Monday, July 19, 2010

President Uchtdorf Visits

Couple things...
First: Sorry this is a little later. We went on a 25 mile bike ride through Taiping mountains this morning, and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. So that's why the email is late. I know you've got that little thought that is saying, "It's late, we didn't get any mail last week, is he all right? Maybe we should call the President... " etc. Mom. Don't. :D It got unbelievably busy last week. I wrote a letter to you all, but still haven't sent it 'cause we haven't had time to send it. So, hopefully tomorrow morning. And you'll have it soon. So sorry!! But you'll have a bunch of cool pics!
Luo Jun Xiong, and Chen Wei Han both got baptized this last Saturday. Unbelievable. I helped with Chen Dixiong's (Brother Chen) baptism, and Elder Krantz did the same for Brother Luo. Both amazing souls. Both gonna be stake presidents and general authorities someday, and will be needed when China opens.
Speaking of China opening... It's gonna be soon. I can just feel it. I don't quite know what kind of "soon" I mean, but it can't be much longer.
Any questions? :D jk, I know you always have a million. Well, this last week was tough, but flew by. We had a lot of work to do. We taught 30 plus lessons, and Saturday was a great day. Saturday had President Uchtdorf visiting in the morning, and then two baptisms that night. Just a great day. Especially since I can finally start understanding most everyone now, and get through almost any conversation with at least basic understanding. :D President Uchtdorf was absolutely amazing. He and his wife visited with the Area Authority. Sister Uchtdorf is such a girl! Her English is amazing, but she's like a little girly girl, and loves her husband. President Uchtdorf loves her, too. He loves missionaries, and his wife. It's obvious, 'cause everytime I've heard him speak besides General Conference, and even in General Conference he mentions his wife's conversion to the Gospel, and how grateful he is for the two missionaries who helped her find the truth. The Spirit was so strong!!!
President Bishop is sliding into his position with greater ease every day. He always comments on how they're still "trying to get around". But he does just fine. (This is Elder Carter’s new mission president that just came in the beginning of July.)
Elder Krantz is a great companion, and has taught me a lot about missionary work. As my first transfer comes to a close, I start to feel like I've got a handle on things, but then I know that's gonna change. Homesick is gone, but homesick for my first area sets in when I think about the possibility of leaving it. I've made super great friends here, and I don't know how in so quick a time, but Wang Yi Hua (Orlando), that first baptism that happened the day after I was with Elder Krantz, wants to come home with me when I leave Taiwan. He said he would if he had money to do so then :P I told him, I don't know. :P Obviously a little hard to think about that right now. But I am going to go through the temple with him when he goes the first time, and hopefully he'll still be in touch by then.
(Move calls are when the elders get transferred. As of right now they happen every 6 weeks. We should know next week if Elder Carter will be spending another 6 weeks with Elder Krantz.) It's funny to see and hear the companionship predictions coming to the end of the move call. And predictions about where everyone will go. They've got me moving to Zone Leader or Trainer on my second move call. Yeah right. I'm gonna be junior my entire mission, and I am one hundred percent ok with that. :) That sounds nice.
My goals are being accomplished so far, and it's been fun reevaluating the ones I don't quite accomplish :P. But I've lost 20 pounds, and my eating schedule is pretty well set. My running schedule, so far, is great. My mile time is now at a 6:34 which is a 37 second drop from the first part of the move call. I've passed off lessons 1 through 3 in phase 1, and I have 3 more pass offs. Lesson 4, Lesson 5, and my final. :D I feel like I'm at college all over again!
Phases: Phase 1 consists of Lessons 1 through 5 in chapter three of Preach My Gospel which each consist of vocabulary, grammar, teaching phrases, promised blessings, scriptures, definitions, teaching skills, and doctrine. For each Lesson. I pass off each lesson then, at lesson three, do a lessons 1 through 3 pass off with the Zone Leaders. Already finished that one. Now, for the rest of the phase.
Phase two is all about vocab. 2000 plus words. Then phase 3 is Book of Mormon characters, and after that is up to you.
I wish I could introduce you to every one of my recent converts, and baptisms. Remember my first baptism? Zhang Shu Wei... well he hasn't been coming back to church. He says it's school, but I don't believe him all the way... he was supposed to get the priesthood two Sundays ago!!! And he didn't come yesterday... :( He'll be fine... but it's Taiwan LDS history that says, if a recent baptism doesn't get the priesthood FAST, then they usually go inactive, JUST AS FAST. And Luo Jun Xiong is being prayed for, because he's only stopped smoking for a week, and after baptism it's easy to slip back into old habits... But he knows it's true.
So, pictures. Chen Wei Han, is the chubby teenager, and Luo Jun Xiong is the dark, older man. He makes GREAT bread for us, and Wei Han, makes GREAT biandang. What's with the cooks as our converts? You'd think missionaries ate a lot or something... ;) Elder Krantz, Elder Boshard (district leader), Elder Buenning, and me in Taiping, at the bat cave. And me along the way through Taiping mountains. Love it! Got plenty more pics comin'...
As you can tell, I'm lovin' it here. I have 15 move calls left and it feels like forever. But I don't want to go anywhere but where I am. I could literally do this the rest of my life til I'm 21 or so, that's how much I love it! :D But really, I love it! The people are SO funny, and I can't take time to tell you everything about them, 'cause I figure that when I talk to you through the phone, or in person is the best way to hear about what they're like and who these people are. Lots of stuff has happened this move call, obvously, and I can't wait to keep moving forward. Looking back on my progress, is sometimes hard, but when I'm in a good mood, I can see my progress. Then when I look forward, I get excited about just how much more I can do to progress here on my mission, then on into my life. I still feel like nothing has changed in my progress a lot of the time, but I guess you can't see progress as easily when you live with you. You'll have to tell me what's different when I call you or when I come home. Whatev. No worries. It's just nice to accomplish goals and move forward. The fact that I'm accomplishing some of my goals, and not others makes me feel like I set them just right, right now. Finding a way to stretch myself, and the places where I, specifically, need to improve. It's nice to narrow down the lens on what EXACTLY I need to work on and improve on, then how to do it step by step.
 Well, that's all I guess. I send my letters soon. So sorry!!! Wearing shorts to Taiping was weird... I haven't worn shorts on a bike for ages... and I have a massive tan line problem. But I've given in to the fact that I'm gonna have the same tanline for the rest of my life... So.... just get used to it. Love you all!!!
-Elder Carter

ps- President Uchtdorf gave us a promise. He promised us that any concerns, worries, troubles, or trials that we have at home WILL come to a satisfactory conclusion and solution. He talked about forgetting past sins, and that Satan will definitely come in and bring up your past to make you think that you're not worthy. But the reason WE remember them is so that we can use them to not fall into the same trap we did when we did them in the first place. God forgot about them. So forget the pain, remember the lesson, and move on. Plus, his promise to us, about any trials at home coming to a solution, well that means that everything that I'm worried about here, or think about when I think about home will be FINE. I don't really worry, but I do think about it. Just know that President Uchtdorf PROMISED you that it would be all good. I love you!!! Keep smiling. Keep it real, keep it strong, live right and you'll live long! Remind me to tell you about President Uchtdorf's "4th floor, last door" story. That quote will be on my walls someday... Loves-

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