Well, this is crazy. I am typing my last email as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ. However, I know endings are just beginnings to other awesome things. It truly has been the biggest blessing every day to wear the name tag and represent Jesus Christ. Now, with only a few days to wear that tag, it will be engraved on my heart for the rest of my life.
As I write this I am filled with gratitude. I'm grateful for goodly parents who helped me get to where I am today. I'm grateful for two awesome brothers who are incredible examples to me. I'm grateful for other family and friends who have loved me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have had to come to Taiwan and testify of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I'm grateful for all my companions and 88,000 other brothers and sisters who are willing to be a part of God's army with me.
I'm grateful for the Taiwanese people. I love these people beyond words and Taiwan is my second home! The people here are the kindest, most humble, and loving people I've ever met.
A scripture has been on my mind all morning, Alma 26:2-3
"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
Behold I answer for you; for our brethren, the [Taiwanese], were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which God hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work."
Every day out here, the good and the bad, I've felt Christ leading me to those people that need the gospel. I know He really does labor with His servants in the vineyard. (Jacob 5:72)
This week there were two really cool miracles I wanted to share. I was on my last exchange with Elder Clawson. We had a full day of street contacting and we weren't seeing a lot of success. Then we contacted into this super big and tall guy. We got to know him and told him who we were. We told him that our purpose here is to help people prepare to be baptized. He started telling us that for the past few years he had been wanting to be baptized and so he had talked to multiple churches. But because he had broken the law a few times he couldn't be baptized. We taught him all about the Atonement and how Jesus Christ can help him be cleansed from his sins. We promised him that his guilt and pain could be wiped away. He said he wanted that! He set a baptismal date (in a few months) and was so happy at the hope that he could be cleansed through the Atonement.
I've learned on my mission that everyone can experience the power of the Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has transformed who I am. The Atonement helps us to not be discouraged or sad about the past but filled with hope for the future with a realization of how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. I testify of the reality of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ's love for us. The Atonement isn't too far out of reach for anyone and everyone can come unto Christ. Every day we have a choice of who we will serve. We can choose everyday to be a light and a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The last miracle I wanted to share was that my last Sunday here in Taiwan we split the stake!! It is so cool to watch probably at least 2,000 members come together and rejoice as Zion is being built in Taiwan! The best part was one of the current stake presidents, who I worked with in the past, when I served in Taipei, has been called to continue serving as the Central Stake President. He has been the Stake President for 10 years. So, 10 years and then some! Wow. When he bore his testimony he talked about how grateful he was to be able to continue and serve. A big example to me that when we are a disciple of Jesus Christ we are always a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
|Elder Willes and President Liang2|
|With Elder Seamons and Wang JM, my recent convert|
I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and I hope this Christmas season as we look at the lights and enjoy all the Christmas festivities, we can remember the Savior is the Light and Life of the world. He is my older brother and I know He is my Savior and Redeemer. Through faith in Him we can do ALL things! Through faith in Him the impossible becomes a reality. I'm grateful I can be His disciple for the rest of my life!
I love you all and I am excited to see you! Mom, Dad, Nate and Jake see you guys in a few days!!!
|Elder Willes and Elder Seamons with Zhang1 DX, our recent convert|
|"Generations" of awesome missionaries (taken from Elder Jensen's blog)|