January 30, 2012

The first thing I will say is that last week was probably the most
stressful week of my mission. And I'll tell you what, I have decided
that that was a very good thing. The reason being all of the
preparation and anticipation for our Zone Trainings but even more so
the Chinese Activity that we had on Saturday. President Preston asked
me near the end of the activity if I was exhausted and I replied,
"very much so." Elder Eggers and I were very pleased with the turn out
and success of the activity and how much fun it was to see so many
Chinese people there, but we were very happy that it was over because
it meant we no longer had to worry or stress about it. We agreed that
the stress for the most part was all Eustress and not Distress. :)
Good news to let you know right now, because of the activity we will
be teaching 4 more chinese students this week! There are more referals
on their way as well which we are excited for.

The activity itself was great!! We had a total of 57 Chinese people
there from all parts of the mission. 24 of them came out of Liverpool.
:) I am very happy with that fact. We started off with an opening song
and prayer and welcome by President Preston then we turned the time
over to Elder Cai for the Icebreaker activity so everyone could get to
know each other better. After which we had lunch, it was ok, the
Chinese were not super excited about it. I guess you don't eat Mexican
rice and egg rolls at a Chinese New Year Party. Haha. In my defense I
was not in charge of the food in any way.

The activities for the next two hours we were and it was amazing, the
chinese loved it. Essentially we did a mini chinese olympics with a
variety of team activities that would help them all bond together and
enjoy themselves. They said it was absolutely different than any other
Chinese New year party they had attended and that was the intention.
We taught them how to have Chinese New Year the American way. :) We
had eight teams of eigth competing against each other in a range of
games. The first one was a relay race with a basketball, my specialty.
During this race they had to pick up a coloured wrist band. It was
then that we split them into the colours they had on their wrist. We
tricked them! They thought they were in their teams and then BAM! New

Then we did something that was taught to me by my father. The puzzle
game.... It was my favourite by far. You should have seen the reaction
of the Chinese when they had almost finished the puzzle of Winnie the
Pooh but their pieces were wrong or missing. They were completely
confused and flipping them all which ways but they wouldn't fit!
Finally one of them yelled out, "Hey, their is something wrong with
our puzzle, we have two of the same piece!!!" At that point I said,
"Oh by the way, I forgot to mention that some of your pieces are in
other teams puzzles." Hahaha. Dad you should have seen it, they went
crazy, it was like an ant hill, everyone jumped up and left their
puzzle to bombard the other team looking for their pieces. It was sooo
funny, you should have been there. Chinese people making a 24 piece
Winnie the Pooh puzzle. Haha.We had taken 6 pieces from every puzzle
and switched them around. Yellow Team won by the way. So thank you
very much Dad for teaching me that.

Then we did the tie a balloon around your ankle and don't let it get
popped. A strategy game with your team, the last team standing with a
full balloon won. Then we did a paper airplane at a target on the
ground. Then we had the skittle game where you have to suck a skittle
to the end of a straw and pass it to your teammates in a line who also
have straws. It was intense. Then we did a paper tower game, and a few
others. All in all it was fantastic. My activities and social
recreation class at BYU definitely paid off.

At the end we had the last activity of Chinese Whispers to helped
demonstrate the Apostasy and the necessity of a restored church
through the prophet. We had that spiritual thought and then walked
around the temple and took a picture there. I will send some pictures
of the activity in the future when I recieve them. I can't describe
how great it felt to see all those Chinese sitting in the Chapel and
then walking around the temple. One of the best most rewarding days of
my mission. I truly love the Chinese people. One Student named Steven
Dai is dated for Baptism this Saturday but has some concerns. so if
you could keep him in your prayers that would be wonderful. Thank you!

I was able to go on exchange with Elder Peterson at the beginning of
last week which was really a blessing. Since Preston the first time
around I have not seen much of Elder Peterson and because he was my
MTC companion and we have been through a lot together, it was
wonderful to be able to sit down and talk with him again about
everything and see how he has progressed. We really enjoyed being
together for two days and especially teaching the Chinese students
together. I remember in the MTC when we had ideas that we were going
to go to England and teach all the Chinese all the time. Then we got
here and it was quite different from what we expected. It has taken
almost until this point in time for me to really only be teaching
Chinese people on my mission and I love it!!! Elder Peterson and I are
very excited for these upcoming months and the chances we will
continue to have to teach the very humble and hungry for truth chinese

Elder Peterson has grown a lot from the start of our missions, he has
always had a very happy and joyful attitude and is easy to smile and
laugh which really helps him get along with people whether they be on
the street or in lessons or members. He is very keen on gaining good
relationships with the members and obtaining their trust. His desires
for serving have changed quite a bit as well which is great to see. It
seems he is enjoying himself a lot more than he did in the beginning.
He is very optomistic and wants to improve the skills he has. Overall
our exchange was a fantastic one and I know that we both enjoyed the
time to catch up while doing the work of the Lord.

There is something that I have been thinking about recently. There are
two missionaries in our Zone named Elder Diaz and Elder Sapaden. They
are both great missionaries and a talent that they have that brings
the spirit so well is their ability to play the piano. You have no
idea how great it is to be able to call on them and ask them to play
prelude music before a meeting starts in order to invite the spirit.
They are both very very talented and when i asked them why they told
me diligent practice of course. It is osmething that I admire in them
both greatly. I know how to play the piano very badly and of course
wish I could play it better. I am grateful I know what all the keys
are and how to play the right hand really well. But if only i had
tried a little harder for longer I could be like Elder Diaz and Elder
Sapaden. They are powerful tools and instruments because they took
time to develop their skills and now they are blessing many peoples
lifes because of it.

President Preston leaned over to me in our past Zone Conference on the
stand and said, "It makes such a difference to have someone that can
play they piano like them, you always know you can rely on them to
bring the spirit." I told him I agreed and wished I could play better.
So my exhortation to you my family is to develop the talents that you
have, especially the talent to play the piano. It was great to hear
from mom that you were learning to play the piano taft. Before long
with a little effort and diligence you could be the next Elder Diaz
who the Mission President is so grateful for. That goes for all the
rest of you as well. You can learn from my bad example ok? :) This is
something that I honestly have been thinking about and wanted to let
you know that you were right again mom, I do regret my lack of desire
to learn to play the piano. By the way, the girls love it when they
see a male who can play the piano well. ;)

January 23, 2102

This past week was one that was thoroughly enjoyed! We were able to speak to many more Chinese students and teach them about the Gospel as well as invite them to the Chinese Activity on the 28th. Elder Eggers and I are very excited for it! The Liverpool area has been blessed tremendously over the past few weeks and months and we are still seeing great miracles with the work here in the Liverpool ward. As you know we had 3 baptisms in the ward on Saturday, one from every companionship and we are looking forward to their continued growth in the Gospel with this new step they have made. Ryan our Chinese Investigator is very happy with the decision he has made and we have
already planned on using him to fellowship with specific other Chinese investigators. We also have 5 other investigators dated for Baptism here in the Liverpool ward!

Elder Eggers and I have been able to learn many key principles since we have been put in charge of the bulk of the Chinese Activity Planning. One of those being the importance of delegation. We were
discussing how we were going to do this all by ourselves while at the same time planning for our training at the Zone Trainings. Then we realized that we didn't need to do it by ourselves. Not only would delegating some of the planning eliviate stress and pressure on us, it would give the other missionaries an opportunity to learn and grow for themselves. As leaders it is our primary responsibility to work with the needs of others while helping them steadily progress and improve.
One of the ways to do so is to teach correct principles by example and then give them opportunities to apply what has been taught. Once again, Elder Eggers and I are very very excited for this Chinese
Activity. We feel that it should be put in the Ensign. :) Seriously though, we feel that this is a big step in the Chinese work in the Mission and we are happy to be a part of it.

This past week I had a wonderful chance to be on Exchange with Elder Tellem and Elder Sumner. It was really strange to be on exchange with two Elders at once, but it gave me a new experience and more possibilities for me to learn from Two elders at the same time! I served with Elder Tellem previously on the Isle of Man and was happy to see the progress he has made in the time since. Also I came out with Elder Sumner into the mission but since then have seen little of him and have never had a chance to speak to him about how everything was going. Once again, I was grateful to see the success he has had in the mission in strengthening others and himself as well.

Elder Tellem never ceases to amaze me with his ability to work with members. All members know who he is because he makes himself known by his ever positive attitude and desire to be everyones friend, which he is. He has love for all people he speaks with and can connect with anyone no matter their background. Such a great example of Charity the pure love of Christ. The greatest strength I saw in Elder Sumner was his astounding knowledge of the Gospel along with other knowledge. Whether it be science, history, english or computers, he knows his stuff and has an incredible ability to teach simply while using that vast well of knowledge. He has a strong testimony of the Gospel and
especially the Book of Mormon which makes him an even more powerful tool of Heavenly Father in this work.

January 16, 2012

My Testimony of the Book of Mormon: I would say that the foundation of
my Testimony of the truthfullness of the Church comes mainly from the
Book of Mormon. I don't know what it is, but for myself, all other
principles of the Gospel or any other teachings have not compared when
it comes to strengthening my Faith and Testimony of God and his plan
for us than The Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Many
people ask how they can know what we share as a church is true. Or
they may even be bold enough to say "Prove it." Well the best way to
prove it is to experiment and put it to the test yourself as Moroni
challenges us to do in 10: 4-5 says. He tells us the path to
recieveing an answer of proof is to Read it, Ponder it, and then pray
to ask God about it. I love the Book of Mormon and the knowledge of
Gods plan that it brings into our lives in answering the questions of
the Soul. I know the Book of Mormon is true and through it our faith
in Jesus Christ WILL increase and give us a greater desire to do good.
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Here are just some of the great miracles that are going on in the
Zone. We are very pleased with the work that the different
companionships of
the Zone are putting in to help the work of God move forward in the
Liverpool Stake. Because of the great effort and faith on their part,
this weekend the 21st of January we will be having 5 baptisms! Here are the
names of those being baptized:

Liverpool Ward- Dean Browne: Sisters Chuo & Longmore- Dean is a very
smart and talented man who has been able to see the effect of the
Gospel in his life. He loves church, contributes often, and looks for
ways to serve. Elder Eggers and I had a chance to play basketball with
him, not only did he love it, but he is pretty good. We are planning
on playing with him again before his Baptism. He is very excited for
this step in his life. I must say that my Basketball skills are a
little rusty, but still intact. When I come home, we can have some one
on one games. Dallin how are your Basketball skills coming. I will
challenge you and your recently gained height. ;)

Liverpool Ward- Shelam Mohammed: Elders Diaz & Perego- Shelam is a
woman with a child from the Middle East who has been attending church
meetings for the past few months and loves the way it makes her feel.
She does not have complete understanding of the Language of English,
but the spirit has been more than enough to help here see and feel the

Liverpool Ward- Ryan Zhou: Elders Eggers & Fawcett- Ryan is a Chinese
student from Shang Dong who has been at church and attending many
other activities over the past few months. He knows that God is there
and that he recieves help from him in his life, and because of that he
wants to make this covenant with him. Despite the stress and business
that comes with University life, he makes time to meet with us and
wants to do his best to keep all the commandments that we have been
given. He has a great relationship with many members of the ward which
help him to stay strong through opposition.

Southport Ward- Billy Roantree: Elders Delaibatiki & Youles- Billy is
a very kind older man who although has schizophrenia has a very strong
desire to do what is right and make this promise/covenant with God. He
has a very strong commitment level and has been meeting with the
missionaries almost every day since they first met him. Although the
ward had some concerns at first all has been cleared up and prepared
for his progress in the Gospel.

Crosby Ward- Louis Griffin: Elders Helzer & Camargo- Louis is a media
referal from the MTC. He refered himself and ever since has had a very
smooth teaching process. Along the path he has been able to make good
relationships with the members of the ward and is not only excited but
very ready for Baptism. Once again, consistancy and meeting with the
Elders has helped him be prepared. All a sign of his commitment to
follow the saviour Jesus Christ.

On a side note, from our meeting with the Stake President yesterday,
we talked about the a Chinese Class that we will be teaching to all
those who want to start learning Chinese starting on Febuary 1st.
Today we
were able to go and get 500 Chinese envelopes to put the advertisements for.
Also, Sister Chuo a sister from Taiwan feels that the Fliers need to
be modified a little bit more in order to accomodate for the audience
of the classes,
namely English people. Fortunately she is an amazing designer (She has
a Masters from BYU in Engineering) and will do 10 xs better than we
could ever do.

Now onto the week itself: This week something that has really been on
my mind and a big part of my studies yet again is the idea of Agency
and Accountability in all aspects of life. Yesterday I had the
opportunity to give a talk and share my testimony with the Liverpool
Ward. I felt that if there was one thing I wanted them to know, it was
that God is our Heavenly Father, and because of that he has a plan for
us, not only that, it is a perfect plan meant to help us become
perfect as he is. From this plan we recieve many gifts and blessings,
not the least of which being out Agency. From the very beginning we
had to choose what we wanted to do, no one was going to force us to be
a part of this plan or to go through what we are going through now.
This brings me tremendous comfort and support in times of trial or
stress, because ultimately, I know I chose to be here, going through
what I am going through to help me progress towards my goal that I
made before the world began. All of the plan stems from one simple, or
maybe not so simple principle, Agency. We will go where we choose to
go, we will go where everyone else like us goes. It is our choice and
ours only.

Another great principle I learned to a greater extent this week was
the principle of Effective finding and using our greatest finding
tool. Our smile! Elder Eggers and I went out last night and knew we
only had an hour to find. So we set a goal and went about doing our
best to Achieve it. By the end we accounted and saw that we had not
only achieved, but surpassed our goal and in doing so had great fun.
We spoke to 15 people in total, had 13 Quality Gospel Conversations
and set up 12 Appointments. We set up appointments with people from
Vietnam, India, England, and of course China. The pathway to this
success? One was setting a goal, two was having fun while doing all we
can to achieve this goal, and three was putting the biggest smile on
our faces we could despite the coldest weather of the year, and making
others laugh and truly WANT to meet with us because of not only what
we share but who we are. Every appointment we set was Quality. We have
been extremely blessed here in Liverpool and now all we have to do is
Follow-up with these blessings to convert them into even great
blessings that the Lord has in store for us. Once again, it is up to
us to obtain or lose these blessings. Agency

This past week I went on an Exchange with one of my great friends in
the Mission Elder Delaibatiki. This exchange was a great chance for us
to strengthen our relationship and boost each other up mentally and
spiritually. Elder Delaibatiki is an amazing missionary who has all
the right intentions. He is what you would call completely pure in
heart in his actions. He has a great love for the people he is serving
and always respects his leaders. He truly gets to know those he meets
and wants the best for them. Not only has he made the area better than
it was, but he has made his companion and himself better along the
way. He is always striving to become better than he was yesterday. The
one commitment I gave him was to teach to peoples needs through
simpler teaching. We taught 4 Chinese students while we were together
which made it an even tougher task, but from it I realized once again
the importance of teaching to understanding. If they dont understand
how are they supposed to apply it in their lives. He was very happy
and willing to accept this idea and is diligently working on it as we
speak. Life is Good because the Gospel is True. I could not be more
happy than I am now at this time involved in the Lords work. Have a
great week!!

January 9, 2012

Yet another week has flown by here in Liverpool. Good news: My companion Elder Eggers passed his driving test, so now he has a licence as well and can share the driving load. We switch every other day. Their are thousands of Chinese people here and they are very receptive. Better compared to last time, or maybe our skills at finding them are much better. It is actually probably that. ;) There is no bad news to report.

This week has been fantastic yet again. I don't know what we are doing to deserve all the blessings that we have been recieving in the past two weeks. All I know is we now need to capatalize on them. Yesterday we were able to have 6 investigators come to church. All of them Chinese!!! Like I said last week, the Chinese work is going well and now that they are our focus we have seen even greater miracles. Something I have seen through my whole mission is the increase in my desire to find people to teach, but specifically Chinese people. The past 3 transfers I have really enjoyed going out, working hard, and having fun finding Chinese, "Chinese Hunting." Essentially I have found out how to truly love all aspects of the work.

A topic that has been a focus of my personal study is Desires. So often we meet God's Children who either have no desire to know him, or their desire is in the wrong direction. What I have been studying is why Desires are so important and how to help redirect the desires of those we teach to truly follow the example of Jesus Christ. The best way to do this is of course to teach pure Doctrine in order to help them understand the Why of the Gospel. Then we teach them correct principles that explain the What of the Gospel, and finally we leave them with commitments (the Pathway) that help them understand the How. The hardest part is helping them have a desire to have a desire. For each person it is different in helping them have a desire to follow God, but it all stems from them understanding who they are.

The past few days Elder Eggers and I have been teaching many "tough Cookies". I don't know what it is, but all those that we have been teaching are very willing to meet with us but are quite stubborn when it comes to actually accepting what we teach. The latest comments have been "prove it," "I don't really want to know," "Anyone with an understanding of the bible could have written the Book of Mormon," "You have to convince me that these things are true." Just a few of the many problems and concerns our investigators have been having. And guess what? All of the answers they are looking for can be answered through reading the Book of Mormon and then praying and asking God for themselves. It amazes me how simple it is!!! All they need to do is truly have a DESIRE, then they will find out! Once again, it seems like it comes down to a sincere desire.

One other principle I learned in church yesterday through a bad example was Teaching People, Not Lessons. We were in Sunday School when one of the investigators asked a very important and valid question that was only slightly off topic, but the teacher was not going to have it. He told him that that particular subject would be taught 5 weeks from now and that they need to get on with the lesson. I could just see how put off the investigator was. Here he was at church, trying to learn and find out answers to his questions and we were to busy trying to get through a lesson? I was disappointed and felt bad for the investigator. Fortunately from this experience I was taught a very important lesson. Teach People, Not Lessons