Monday, August 23, 2010

You Banfa - "There's a Way"

(Elder Carter got to go on a trip with the other missionaries in his zone to the temple in Taipei. It's not in his mission, but they get to go every 6 months.)

Heaven on Earth. Ever thought about where that might be? LDS members have an easy answer, but we're not the only ones who think, have thought, or will think about it. But where is heaven on Earth? It's different for every person, I believe. But one place is a given answer to that question, and in Chinese, you'd say "fei hua" (useless words/speak).

The temple. It's more than it use to be. For me anyway. Prophecies have been told from the ancients to today about temples. But what's more special than any prophecy? What could be better than having a temple right outside your front door? Having a temple in a country on the other side of the planet where you're serving the Lord. It doesn't quite get better than that. I forget how special the temple is. But when you take a whole day out to go to the temple in a country where thousands have doubted would ever have a temple, it just gets special. We forget that there are people in the world who have a temple days away from them, and it's a Summer vacation type of trip. I come about as far away as I can get from home, and there's still a temple. Let's just say I love the temple. And it's one of my favorite things to be able to have a temple here. It's such a blessing!

Could always use more ties. No question about that. It's a great thing to give to members, and new members (since they usually don't have any), and you know how I love ties. I'm gonna have a ton of Taiwan ties by the time I come home. :P There may come a time soon where I just might need more pants. I'm getting skinny, and there's still a big hole in the bum on a couple of them, especially the one that ripped huge when I helped a member move in and I had to ride through most of Taizhong back to the apartment to change... all the while with that blaringly large hole in my pants. Yeah, that was fun. :) Let's just say I was on my bike seat the whole way. I did NOT want to stand up or stop for anything. Ugh...

I'll let you know on all of that. And vocab books. If I find good ones when I need them, I'll tell you about them, you can send money if you want, and I'll buy them here, or you can find some back home and send them here, but it's probably a ton cheaper to buy them here. So, when I'm ready to buy them, I'll let you know. The stuff here is just cheaper. So it's ALWAYS easier to buy here. Even Apple Notebooks are cheaper. WAY cheaper. Like half the price. Not joking. Not gonna buy one... but just saying.

Lol, maybe next time I'll send you a conservative list of things I've wanted to look at buying here. Obviously I will NOT buy almost any of it, and I will NOT take too much home, and I will ONLY buy things I know I will use, or will have meaning to me in the future. So I really have no idea what to ask for or what to say. Really, it's just ties. And maybe near the end of my mission, a new suit to wear home. Cheaper here. Much better looking, I think :P There are other things, but I'd like to serve my mission for awhile to see if I still think I need those things or if they're worth buying. I'm on a low budget, and therefore need to learn how to handle my money better. Right now, money spending is on food. Except for recently, because I was low on money for a couple weeks. Don't know how that happened. Ooops. But thanks! :D

(Elder Carter ended his last email with the term “You Banfa”. We asked him what it means.) You Banfa. Means "There's a Way." President Hoer changed the mission landscape here. The tools this mission has are priceless. But what this mission has, and what this mission does, keeps track of EVERYBODY we ever contact and their status with the Gospel. It focuses on those closest to being prepared for baptism, and brings them to the water, fast, but not too fast, and well-learned in the principles of the Gospel. You Banfa, is our mission theme. You Xinxin, You Banfa. Have faith, have a way. It will forevermore be inappropriate for me or anyone I know to tell me that there's not a way. Yes there are times when I will say, "Uh... There's a way. Just-- later." I just never want to hear "meiyou banfa" (there's no way) ever again. There is ALWAYS a way. I firmly believe in that. And with this mindset, it's easy to find that way, when you think it doesn't exist.

Last week was kinda tough. I got depressed and down again. But I'm a lot more aware of myself, and I'm finding out the little things I can do to pull out. The biggest thing so far, is that people need to not bother me too much about it. I need a few minutes or so to try to think my way out of it, and if that doesn't work, then I'll ask someone to put me to work, or just keep working myself. That's the next biggest thing. When I just start working, and literally forget about my feelings-- They disappear fast. I may not have had a lot of number success that day, in fact, absolutely NONE. But I'm not disappointed in myself, and I'm still a successful missionary. It works. Elder Pei has been hard to get used to. Everything is different. But I've never had a tighter companionship, and, apparently, this is the first time he's told one of his companions "Love ya".

I'm gonna be so weird when I get home, it's gonna be so fun to awkward you all out with my subconscious Chinese culture!) It's getting so hard to speak English when talking about the Gospel, and now in other things. I say Chinese words here instead, 'cause everyone understands. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get home. No Chinese-speaking missionaries I can sneak in a Chinese word or two here or there to help them understand my meaning. Everyone will completely misunderstand. I wanna go to Chinatown at one point and take you guys around. It's almost exactly the same as here, no joke. :D

I love you all!

Note to Everyone: I miss you all, love you all, and am working slowly on getting letters out to those who wrote me and still haven't received a reply letter.

Holly- Get me your address. I can't write you until I have your new address.

Lindsey- Sorry it's been awhile, get you a letter soon, no worries.

Nana- Gettin' there!!

Kendall- Coming

-Elder Carter

Love you all!!! You Banfa!

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