Sunday, July 31, 2016

My Finally Email Home!

Dear Family and Friends,
  Well here it is, the final week of my mission. My last week in such a beautiful country that I have called home for the past 2 years of my life. I don't really know how to express all of my feelings and thoughts in this email, I don't think that is possible to do so. All I can say is that I love my mission. I love Taiwan. I love the message that I teach here. I wouldn't have traded this time away for anything! The opportunities of learning and growth that I've had during this time are impossible to get in any other way. And I can't imagine what it would've been like had I not come and experienced all of this. My testimony and love for Jesus Christ has grown alongside of all of the many people that I was able to teach here. I have loved seeing my own growth, and even more so, the growth of the people that I love here in Taiwan. It will be sad to leave them all, but I know it will be like the sons of Mosiah and Alma, as we all remain faithful, we will still be "brethren in the Lord" and be held together by these special ties and see each other again some day.

  Last week was another great week with plenty of miracles. I had the opportunity to do two baptismal interviews. One with a 18 year old young man named J..., and another with a young girl named W.... Jeff's cousins are all members of the church (one of them is actually the translator for the Prophet. He's a really cool guy) and he has always secretly wanted to learn more about the Church, but his mom didn't think that he should because he was busy with other things. But a few months ago she finally agreed and he has loved everything that he learned with the missionaries. Now his mom is meeting with them as well.

   W... is super cool too. 5 days ago she came back from a two month exchange program in Utah. And of course she heard a lot about the Church there. Actually she had been to our English class here many years before and one reason she wanted to go to Utah was to learn more about the Church. So she met with the missionaries there and heard all the lessons and went to church every week. but because of the government policies she was not able to be baptized until she came back to Taiwan. So the second day back she comes to our English class and tells us she wants to be baptized in two weeks, so probably this Saturday or Sunday. She is super solid and is so excited! I'm glad I was able to see her and probably be able to attend her baptism before I come home. 

   Our friend Brother Z... and his wife X... came to church this Sunday!! They could only stay for a little bit before they had to leave for work, but they still came!!! We didn't even have to remind them. We met with them twice last week and watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with them. His wife X... started crying and loved it. Brother Z... is still determined to be baptized in September. They are awesome!

  And Brother Z... is doing well too! He says that the story of Joseph Smith and the restoration of the priesthood makes perfect sense. Unfortunately his eyesight is really bad to he can't read the scriptures. So either he's going to buy some eyeglasses or we will buy him a giant copy of the Book of Mormon! 

  Last week in a convenient store, we also ran into a nice girl named A.... She said she is Christian and just moved down from Taipei and hasn't been to church in a long long time so she has been looking for a church to go to. She had prayed a day or two before to be able to find the right church, and then she bumped into us at the store. She instantly just started sharing with us her whole life's story about her troubled family and youth. She talked about how much she felt she needed God in her life now. After she finished telling us she paused. Then she said, "I don't even know why I just told you all of that. I've only met you for 5 minutes. I guess I just feel good talking with you." I believe that she was able to recognize us as servants of the Lord and knew that she could trust us. God truly helps us find those people that really need His help.

  Well for my last pday I will be going with our ward mission leader to a traditional Taiwanese place in Meinong to buy some sweet souvenirs to bring back. Hopefully there will be some cool stuff. Also Dad, about the big scroll that you wanted. I thought we could buy them from the place across from the temple in Taipei but apparently you can't. I still don't know where to get the scrolls from. I think I'll get a free one from the Mission President though. Also, does anyone want any of my old shirts or pants as a keepsake? I wouldn't if I were you haha. What about my old shoes that almost have a hole all the way through them. If any one wants these let me know or else they will be given to one of the old ladies that collects garbage on the streets here.

   On Monday morning I will be heading up to Taizhong for my final interview with The Mission President. On Tuesday we will be going up to the temple in Taipei and then to go explore the rest of the day, and then on Wednesday morning we will head off to the airport. Then...I'll be on my way home.

   Well the time is finally here. I'm closing up my last email that I will send while on my mission. I don't think I will have time next week so here's the last one. Thank you for everyone who has supported me while I've been away these past two years. Thanks for you emails, letters, and packages. I'm really glad that I had that support while over here. These two years have been the greatest of my life, and I can't imagine that anything I will do afterwards will be anywhere close to as meaningful as my mission. I love it so much! I know that the things that I've learned here will be able to help me through the rest of my life. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love my family and I'm thankful for all of you. I'm excited to see you again when I get home. 

Love,
Elder Stevens


Saying Goodbye To My Good Friends!


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