Monday, April 25, 2016

Missionary Exchanges, Meetings With Mission President...

Dear Everyone,

  This week was a pretty busy week in terms of meetings and the like, but it was a really good one. There wasn't a whole lot of success or improvement with regards to our teaching opportunities, but it was a great week for me personally! 

  On Monday we just kind of chilled around town and tried to find fun things to do. We didn't really find anything, just a few places to take pictures. The zebra guy was pretty cool, and the illusion drawings are cool too. I wish they had more though. The best was definitely the guy on the motorcycle haha. 

  On Tuesday we went over to the Yuanshan chapel to attend another district's training meeting or DTM. I love being able to go and interact with other missionaries and see how they are doing. We also brought the Yuanshan Elders, Elder Weatherford and Elder Jones, over to our area to do exchanges, and I got to work with Elder Weatherford. It was pretty fun. Unfortunately we just went contacting, tracking and survey contacting. In the afternoon, when we advertised for our English class, we had lots of success. The sisters missionaries asked us 4 white American men to stand outside an all girl's senior high school right when they were getting out of school! I think I handed out more flyers in those 30 minutes than I have in the all of the other times combined!! And during that Wednesday's English class, we saw plenty of people from that high school. The sister missionaries are pretty smart haha.

  On Thursday our zone had interviews with President and Sister Blickenstaff. I always love interviews because I always learn a lot of good things from them. We had a little devotional for Elder Hatch, the missionary who recently passed away, and then started our interviews. Elder Steele and I had the super tiring job of doing planner and area book checks for all the missionaries there! It took forever, but it was good to see that we have a zone full of excellent missionaries! And then when President Blickenstaff checked my planner, he said that it was too good to be a Zone Leader's planner haha. Usually ZLs are always so busy taking care of stuff at night after we get home, that many times their planners are not that well organized. But most of the time I am able to get good planning in at night. Sometimes I don't get finished with everything until 10:30 though haha. 

  During our interviews with our President, we were asked to share with him something from "Preach My Gospel" or the scriptures that has changed our lives. I really liked this assignment and the scripture that I chose is from Alma 32:17-18. I really love how Alma tells us how we can develop our faith by doing consistent things like studying the scriptures, praying, and going to church. I don't think I've ever had a big miraculous experience in which I came to believe that God is real, or that Jesus is the Christ, or that Joseph Smith was really a true prophet of God. Rather, my experience has been how Alma describes it, a slow growth that will make us happy as we continue to nourish our faith and testimony. I love that he says that "even if we only have a desire to believe" that we can let this be the start of our testimony. If we want to believe in God, but you can't bring yourself to do it, just let yourself believe and then as you begin to learn more, and experiment more with the things you learn, you will begin to see little changes in yourself, and because of those changes, you will be able to see that God is really there and that as you come closer to Him, you will be happier and happier. I'm still in the process of growing and will always be. But I have felt enough to know that I am on the right path, and the things that I'm teaching here in Taiwan are truly from God. 

  On Thursday we went to Taichung to do exchanges with the APs. It was fun to work with Elder Taylor (he came to Taiwan the same time as me) and we found a lot of cool people on the streets next to the mission office. 

  All in all, it's been a great week! I'm having a great time and I'm loving it here! It's not always the easiest to keep going when your tired all day every day, but it's worth it! Love you all! 
Elder Stevens

Family History Conference

Public Exercise Equipment.  I Am Out Of Shape!

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