Monday, August 25, 2014



"I knew that Heavenly Father has a plan for these two missionaries and 
that they are in a better place now.  ...Seeing all of us unite in worship and turn to God for help, half-way across the world, was incredible."

This one was a week I will always remember. I will just start with the sad news that everyone has heard of. We lost two of our brothers this week. It has definitely been hard on all of us missionaries. It's been all over the news in Taiwan and people will ask us about it on the street. 

Elder Thredgold is one transfer younger than me and was in the MTC with me. We used to play basketball together. Elder Xiong1 is also a great missionary.  I met him once. When I first heard the news I was devastated. A member told us. It was really hard for me.  I was scared and I felt lonely. That was a very hard day of doing missionary work. We got home that evening and started our planning session and when I prayed I just felt so much better.  I knew that Heavenly Father has a plan for these two missionaries and that they are in a better place now.  Elder Nelson showed me an incredible scripture this week in Doctrine & Covenants 138:57 that really touched my heart. I encourage you all to read it.

"I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead."  Doctrine and Covenants 138:57
The next day was Sunday and we went to the morning sacrament meeting because we had two investigators that only could go in the morning. Andy Huang2 Di4 Xiong1 and Ace! That was exciting! After the opening hymn a lady goes up and says the opening prayer. She said one of the most powerful prayers I've ever heard. Probably like a 10 minute prayer. She asked the Lord to bless these two missionary families. 
The spirit hit me so strong.  I couldn't hold in the tears. Seeing all of us, brothers and sisters, unite in worship and turn to God for help halfway across the world was incredible. I cried the whole sacrament meeting because the spirit was so strong.  Also, the young men and young women in Taiwan got together for a huge activity this week. So, all the youth bore testimony in sacrament meeting and their testimonies are so strong!  The closing hymn was my favorite song here.  In Taiwan everyone loves the hymn, Truth Reflects Upon our Senses. 
I probably felt the spirit in that sacrament meeting more than ever before. The spirit really comforted me and made me feel so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. Such a blessing.  Alma 22:14 was also a great scripture I came across this week. So grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ!! 
Our investigator Andy Huang2 Di4 Xiong1 has progressed a ton!  He was going to get baptized this next week, but he works on Sunday.  Elder Nelson and I feel that we want him to stop working on Sunday before he gets baptized. He really wants to get baptized though!! He's met with missionaries for 4 months but lately his desire has really improved.  He has quit drinking tea, is in 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, etc.
On the left is our member Mike.  I told you about him last week.  He reminds me of Uncle Steve.  On the right is Andy Huang2 Di4 Xiong1.  He is preparing for baptism.  Pray that he will have the courage and desire to find a new job this week.  He is holding a scripture list we made for him..specific scriptures to read each day.
Brian unfortunately doesn't want to meet with us anymore. I just think it was a lack of desire! He felt the spirit though and will get another chance in the future! We are going to call him this week!
Ace! This 20 year old kid is awesome! Works at the airport. Pulled him over on the street and he came to church! Liked it a lot. He's really busy but seems awesome.
A weird little fox thing.  The owner told us not to get to close to it or it would attack us.  Crazy stuff!

The tallest guy I've seen in Taiwan.  He told me he couldn't dunk a basketball.

Batman...on the ceiling of a restaurant

A new city being built in our area 
This week I had the chance to go on exchanges with Elder Hopper my "grandpa!" Haha he is my missionary grandpa because he trained my "dad" (trainer) Elder Westover! So that was really cool! He is a great missionary. We biked up a HUGE hill and that was pretty intense. He is on transfer 14 and is a great missionary!

Elder Hopper and I drinking some orange juice.  He is a great missionary. 
This week we saw lots of success. Our investigator Betty Liu2 Jie3 Mei4 who has met with missionaries for a long time came to church for the first time! She absolutely loved it! We are excited for her! We also had a less active bring a friend to church! 
We had 25 lessons this week as a companionship and set 4 new baptismal dates. We had a great week and the Lord blessed us a ton. We have more people we are working with now and we hope they can all stick and progress towards baptism.
We got drenched working in the rain this week.  I think my tie weighed 10 pounds.

Elder Willes and Elder Nelson wet but happy 
While we were finding this week we were walking around and we felt like we should talk to this guy sitting on a bench. We talked to him and then his friend showed up and they had great interest. We had a lesson with them and hope to meet with them this week. Miracles happen every day. Qi2J2 mei3tian1 hui4 chu1xian4. 
This week has made me really grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who gave His life for us. I've been overwhelmed with gratitude. The Plan of Salvation is wonderful. Our apartment is good and safe here! Our ward mission leader came and inspected it and we have a really safe apartment.  Lovin' this work. Hurrah for Israel!!
Elder Willes with his ward mission leader.  "He's a beast."  Came over to inspect their apartment. 
Alma 26:12 "Yea I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
Elder Willes
Wei2 Zhang3 Lao3

We all deeply feel the loss of these sweet missionaries and our most fervent prayers go to their families at this difficult time.  I found a quote last week that I loved from President Monson.  I almost sent it to William last week but felt like he needed it another time.  It took on a whole new meaning this week when I did send it. It expresses my most sincere become better than what we were...with stronger testimonies than we had before.  Marianne

"...There are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve and when we may be tested to our limits.  However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were---better than what we were, more understanding than what we were, more empathetic than what we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before." 
Thomas S. Monson October 2013

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