Monday, November 16, 2015

Tender Mercies...

Dear Everyone,

First off I'd like to start out by wishing my Mom a very happy birthday! 媽媽!你生日快樂!我也祝你平安和健康!我希望你的願望都應驗! (Translation:  MOM! happy birthday to you! I wish you health and peace! I hope all of your wishes come true!) 

  I hope that you all had a great time together and made some super good foods! Did Eric make some good Japanese foods for your birthday? I was celebrating your birthday over here in Taiwan. I made sure to tell everyone it was your birthday in all the lessons that we had! Thanks for all that you do for the family and for me! Thanks for the emails and the packages and all the advice that you give! I know that you are sad I couldn't be home for your birthday (at least I think so..) but I know that you are happier that I'm out here serving! I love you lots Mom!

  I'm glad to hear that the package made it home alright and the goodies inside were all intact. Thanks for sending me the pic of everyone wearing the ties I bought. They are some pretty nice looking ones. Thanks for the package you sent out for me. I will probably be moving next week because I am almost done training Elder Grisenti, so I hope they send it to the right place when I move. I have a track record for all of my stuff getting sent to the wrong place haha. 

   This past week was a little rough. It seems like as we have been working, we haven't seen a whole lot of success from our labors. We talked with W... again, and he told us that actually his parent's won't let him meet or talk with us as all anymore. He said that he was allowed to continue to read the scriptures and pray, but not to come to church again. That was the last time we have heard from him, about a week ago, so it's pretty sad. I hope that we can at least keep a little contact with him. We will definitely keep praying for him that things will work out in the end! I know they will as long as he continues to keep his faith in God and to continue to build his relationship with Him!

  We also met with K... this week, and he said that he didn't want to continue learning about the gospel. He decided that it didn't really matter to him what happened when he died or what God had to offer. He just wanted to live his life as he wanted. It was really sad seeing that, especially after he hadn't even really given it a shot. I guess everyone has their agency to choose what they want in this life. We were really sad on the long ride back home (it's about a 40-50 minute bike ride to his house) and not saying much. But as I stopped at a stoplight I said a prayer. Just to ask God to help us know if we were doing a good job or not. Things haven't been going the best, and I wanted to know what we could do better. And then I just kept riding, and when we stopped at the next light, I pulled up to talk with someone on the scooter next to me and he was super happy. When the light turned green he told me to pull over to the side of the road so we could talk about church. He's a really nice college student that believes in Christ, but hasn't really gone to any church in a while. He would've talked with us forever, but we had to get home quick, so we exchanged numbers and he agreed to meet in the future. I felt a lot better about that, knowing that God was watching us and is helping us along the way, regardless of whether there are setbacks or not. Even though we've seen some challenges these past few weeks, we have also seen lot's of His tender mercies. And Elder Grisenti and I have had a great time together!

I love you all lots! I hope you all have a great week and an upcoming Thanksgiving!

Elder Stevens

Our Good Friend Charles!

Elder Grisenti

Zone Conference Training

Wearing My Fancy Sandals  

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