Monday, August 30, 2010

Gift of Tongues

Hello everyone!

Well, the pictures from Dad are great! Lol, Except CJ and Kate are in none of them, that I can recognize anyway... :(
If you want to send me stuff, EFY cds (new one from this year, and every year following), and Christmas music. Church's christmas music. Since we can only watch, listen, speak, hear Church produced, published stuff, etc... :) So good! Except that when I hear music I used to listen to at home, on the streets? I get way too trunky. 不好. :)
This week was hard. I've been hit on all fronts of my personality, thought processes, Spirit, culture, Gospel understanding, and so on. It made me feel like no one at home would ever accept me back into their friendship circles or even families if I go home like I am. Lol. Then I realized that the best friends and real family members are the ones who haven't let me leave their circles... I'm still a part of them.
The one thing I wanted most in my life was to be one of my Dad's best friends. To be friends with my parents. And to be accepted by Mike and the Guads. I've always just wanted to be included.
But even here, I find that it must be me. I'm just different. I connect better with people than I have before, but even here, a Taiwanese person, who has a completely different culture tells me that I'm hard to understand. Is that because I'm so flip-floppy? Is that because I think too much? Elder Pei told me I do. Great. Oh, and everyone here in Taiwan recognizes me as Jim Carrey. Ok, Mom. You win.
Anyway, that was a random thought... I'm only on move call two, and YES, I think too much. But how do you fix that? Do you? Dad says relax. Ok. ...  ... Not working. :P
Just heard that the mission has 20+ baptisms a week. Pretty cool, yeah? Still have people that come to the baptisms not knowing that they're gonna get wet... uh... huh? It's a BAPTISM. First of all, if you don't know you're gonna get wet, that's understandable. But if missionaries don't tell you that? Hmmm.... All well, I just think it's funny. Lol. They all still get baptized, almost every single one!
I'm just trying to be myself. It's hard. I don't know what choices to make, and where to go. But I don't care. I guess I'm being led by the Spirit. But how to tell the difference when you can't even define the word miracle? If I go by what everyone at home constitutes as miracles, then I see one every second. NOT an exaggeration. I live amongst miracles. But they don't feel like miracles to me anymore. "Miracle" always had a special connotation to it's sound. It's not special anymore. And I take it for granted, because OF COURSE they're special. Every miracle I see is special, to someone, somewhere. But I don't know it and maybe won't know it for the rest of my life. Sometimes you see the effects, but not all the time. And something you do may not have any affect until years and years later, but you still did it, you still followed the Spirit, and you have no idea why.
Kendall just recently sent me a letter that said that I meant more to him than I know. That made me feel a lot better, since he was the one who never really told us how he felt, it was good to know that he didn't absolutely hate me in high school (although I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that was true), and after high school, or maybe before, I did something that affected someone I respect. How is that possible? They all affect me, I am always asking other people for advice, for help, how to change, how to help them be happier... etc. But not once have I had someone tell me that I affected them like Kendall did.:D
Love everyone! And miss the guys so much! It's comforting to know they're all entering the battlefield (and heaven knows it's a battlefield) with me. I've never been happier to serve alongside my brothers. Tell them thanks for me. All of them. Not just Kendall.
Yesterday was Sunday. Best day of the week. Chen Zhao Yuan's baptism was successful, and peaceful. There were three baptisms that night and a TON of people were there. Wang Yi Hua (Orlando) helped him get baptized. Orlando has been a member for 2 and a half months. He goes to do baptisms for the dead this week for the first time, and he is unbelievably amazing. Chen Zhao Yuan, on Sunday, asked us questions about Patriarchal blessings, and specific parts of Alma, specifically in Alma 42. We got into some complicated doctrine (not deep), just basic stories that he hadn't heard before like David and Bathsheba, or David and Goliath. Patriarchal Blessings? Man, I think this guy might just be an apostle some day. But here's something special- I was privileged to be the Lord's mouthpiece once again.
I was asked to perform the confirmation ordinance for Chen Zhao Yuan. WHAT?!!! I've never done that before, and my first time isn't even in English. What the heck. You can imagine how I felt when they invited me to do it for him. Saturday night was full of memorizing...but when I received the call to help him receive the beautiful Gift of the Holy Ghost, I felt a resounding calm. I was not nervous. I was a little freaked out, but quickly overcame that. And after, of course I don't remember a word that was said, except that I felt like my Chinese wasn't too good. Plus, the members came up to me and congratulated me (after Zhao Yuan, of course, the more important person here) and told me that I sounded like I'd lived in Taiwan for 20 years. They said I spoke perfectly, with no mistakes and my American accent disappeared. It came back right away, of course, but this experience was an answer to prayer. I asked God to bless me with the Gift of Tongues, then got to memorizing, knew that He would help, so I wasn't nervous, and boom. I'm overwhelmingly grateful for that experience.
Question. What happens when you are so sure that God will help you, when you KNOW He will not let you down, and then when it comes time to see if He'll keep His promises, He does? The question here is, you expected it, you knew it would happen, so it was just- normal. I'm so used to expecting something and being overwhelmed by it actually happening.
Trying to be faithful, but at the same time, thinking that it might not happen. Those were great experiences that helped me know He exists, but now? They just happen. I expected it, because I knew He would help me, and He does. It's just normal.
And how to stay humble? That's also a lot harder than the scriptures make it seem, even though the scriptures are all about the pride cycle, and how to overcome it.
I love you all, I tried to not get too Spiritual, and not freak people out or make them feel uncomfortable, but, as you can see, that's impossible for me. The only time I'll tell you "meiyou banfa".

-Elder Carter  
Love you all! May God be with you-

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