Monday, December 20, 2010

Climbing Trees

Well, life is good here!
Not a lot of changes.
LIU WEN SHEN: This 17 year old, mischievous, annoying, wonderful, brilliant young man was baptized and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost this last weekend.
CHEN RANDY: Randy is another not well-behaved, but hilarious, very spiritual 16-year-old. He will be getting baptized on Christmas Day.
CHEN JEFF: Randy's twin. A little better-behaved, but is a lot quieter. When you get him alone, he seems to open up better, and is more willing. The two of them put together are quite the hoot, but a really hard lesson to control. Luckily they've been to church a ton before, and are totally willing. Also, obtaining permission from their parents is not a problem. Jeff will also be baptized on Christmas Day.
CAI DANIEL: Unbelievably Golden. He had Word of Wisdom, and Law of Chastity problems, but they were overcome the lesson of. When he heard Sabbath Day, he sat back, took a deep sigh, and told us he LOVES this commandment. He thinks it's very smart, and just makes sense. He likes the idea of being commanded to rest. He thought it was pretty funny. God has to do that every now and then, doesn't He? Command us to rest a little... sounds familiar... I just think it's funny it has to come in command form... :P Daniel, because of a miracle, will be getting baptized on Christmast Day as well. Our Asia Area Presidency has said that every investigator must come to church at least 3 times before getting baptized. Daniel has come twice, and will not be able to come to church on the 19th. Therefore, we thought we would have to move his baptism goal to the first of January, which we hate to do, because delaying baptismal goals is NOT a good idea. But President Bishop is comfortable with it. Daniel's family would protest if they knew he was coming to our church, but luckily he's 25 and doesn't need permission. His reason for not coming to church next sunday is because he is going to Xinzhu to be with family. He doesn't want to tell them, because he's afraid they wouldn't let him get baptized. He almost didn't make it to church yesterday because he was hiking with family, but he booked it over and made it almost on time.
YUE ZI XIANG: Met two weeks ago on exchanges. Set up for an appointment on Saturday at 11 AM. Didn't come, and didn't call (like most of our lessons, lol), so he was dropped off of our APR because he wouldn't answer, but we kept his number around because he was so nice on the street. Friday night, on exchanges with Zone Leaders, he calls me and apologizes for not coming (this is a week later, this never happens) then sets up again for Saturday morning at 11. Doesn't come. Promises he can come to church. He comes to the baptism Saturday night, and we find out that he had surgery and couldn't come and had no use of his phone for a few days. Oh. Patience, Elder Carter. He came to church and brought a friend. They both have interest, and are ready and willing to get baptized on New Years' Day.
LI BABA: A 9 year investigator. He let missionaries in 9 years ago when they were tracting and the whole family was baptized except for him. Because he couldn't quit smoking. Lol. Still has smoking problems, but he, for the first time in 9 years, set up a baptismal interview for Christmas Day. Every missionary that has worked with him before has not gotten this far. So he's progressing. His son just got back from his mission in California, and he pushes hard for his Dad to get baptized. It's about time.
When Li Baba gets baptized, that will be a completed family. And in one year, they can go to the temple. And I can attend. I'm praying hard. Please pray for this man. And for the twins :D.
Me? I've never felt shorter. I've never felt older. I've never been so busy. I've never been so happy. I've never had so little money. Oh wait, I don't have money. :D
But I'm a missionary.
I'm an emissary.
I'm a messenger.
I'm a Son of God.
I have an opportunity for eternity.
I can go to the Celestial Kingdom.
I'm on the right path. I might like climbing the trees on the sides every now and then, but one thought back to Mom and Dad, sends me running back to the middle of the path.
My relationship with my companion took a couple hits this week, but we worked it out and came out on top. We have a great companionship. And I feel like the way I serve my mission is a little too relaxed sometimes... lol. Elder Zhu is SO much better than me. He makes me feel like I need to be better. I WANT to be better around him. He's so diligent and unbelievably focused. :D I'm so glad he's here. I'm scared about what happens when he leaves.
My trainer, Elder Krantz just went Assistant to the President. Seeing him today was funny. He was totally humbled, and a little scared. He is companions with an Elder who he was with in the MTC. Yes, they are the same age. Elder Krantz has 4 move calls left and will head home. All 4 will be as Assistant. I love him!! :P He's so funny.
I hope all is well at home. I'm doing my best out here and I love all of you!
My feelings are changing. My personality is the same, but more secure. I feel like I love people more, like I treat people better, including myself. But I'm not perfect. Isn't that a great feeling? I'm NOT perfect. Sigh........ All that being perfect pressure is not mine to bear! Don't we love our Savior for doing that for us. Luckily we only need one person to do that for us. But, Mom, you're right. We don't understand all the time, just how COMPLETE the Atonement of Jesus Christ really is. I need it, you need it, everyone else needs it. Who cares if you're perfect? You know who else needed the Atonement? Christ.
Don't forget how easy it is to forget how to use the Atonement, and how easy it is to succumb to pride. Lucifer himself was one in Authority under God, and he fell, because of pride. President Benson (I'm pretty sure it was him) 21 years ago, gave a talk on "Beware of Pride". It changed this church. It had a funny side effect though. This was mentioned in General Conference, but I forget by who. Maybe Elder Uchtdorf? When we feel like saying "I am proud of my son" "I am proud of my family" "I glory in the fact that I'm a messenger for my God"... etc, we feel like that is the bad pride. When this talk was given about "Beware of Pride", the word proud, or pride, became taboo among saints.
Just remember. YOU need the Atonement, too. So does President Monson. Not just the smoker on the street curb, the broken mother pushing her house around in a shopping cart, the drugged up homie with missing teeth and a false sense of what seems to be happy, or even the business man with the shredded suit, empty suitcase, no job, no account, and, at the time, no apparent future.
The Atonement is real. Don't forget it. USE it. Every day. REPENT.
See you next week!!!
-Elder Carter

ps- I'm writing Lindsey, by the way. She's great isn't she? :) Just thought the whole world should know. 'Cause she is great. (LYL) :D (yes, Elder Brimley, I heard that sigh... and Elder Seamons...) :)
Love you all! Gotta go! figure out the call stuffs!! LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU!!!

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