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Visit from Elder Holland

February 23, 2014
So this past week was the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. We can start with the good.

So those brothers I told you about last week, we went to their house last Tuesday and taught the first lesson, and it was awesome, we set baptismal dates with all 3 of them!!! But then the dad walked into the room. And this guy looked like the meanest, most hardened hearted person I ever seen. He came in screaming at us in Taiwanese. I don’t know why all the old people always scream at us in Taiwanese…. I mean, COME ON, I just learned Chinese and now you’re gonna switch things up on me???? Anyways, my companion kind of had an idea of what this guy was saying, and he told us to get out and how they are super Buddhist and everything. I didn’t say much, but I was just praying inside like the whole time that the Lord would soften this man’s heart. Then the kids stood up to their dad, which NEVER happens in Taiwan. I have never heard someone talk back their parents here before, but they just told him how they felt really good when we were teaching them, and how we aren’t as bad as all the Buddhist think we are. And we were just bearing testimony about how they can still be Buddhists, we are just trying to help them have more happiness. Then he just left the room, and came back a couple of minutes later and TOTALLY CHANGED. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen, he brought us some food and started showing us family pictures, I was just sitting there in shock, and he said we could come back Friday night. It was the craziest miracle I have ever seen.

But here comes the bad, we went back on Friday night with one of our rockstar members, and for some reason the dad went back to the way he was when he first saw us. Just said that he is really scared of us, and we can’t meet at their house anymore. The kids still want to meet with us, but we can’t do it there. then the next day, we call the kids, and the dad had totally changed them. They said that they were too busy to meet, and didn’t seem to have much interest anymore. We were crushed, just absolutely devastated. We got back to the apartment and honestly just started crying. Every miracle that we have had, it had seemed, had just dissapeared a couple of days after. We weren’t actually making any progress. It was the worst night ever.

Back to the GOOD!!!!
The next day after that happened, Elder Holland came. There was a pretty big earthquake the morning he got to Taiwan, apparently it woke everyone up and was shaking beds, my companion woke up, but I just slept right on through…. Everyone says that it hit right as Elder Holland stepped off the plane. Haha. But then that night we had our meeting. We got there at 5, and the whole mission was there. Very rarely does the entire mission get together. We got in position for a picture, and waited until they walked in and we started singing, “Hark All Ye Nations.” Then we took the picture, got to shake his hand, and honestly, his hand shake isn’t anything like Elder Bednar’s. Elder Bednar stares into your sould and see’s everything  you’ve ever done. Elder Hollland’s isn’t like that. Then the meeting started. And you know its big when a member of of the Presidency of the Seventy just bears his testimony for 3 minutes. Then Elder Holland stood up. And within 3 mintues he was all in our faces, almost screaming into the microphone. IT WAS AWESSSOOOMMEEEE!!!! I was just sitting there with this massive grin on my face, like ” This is not happening right now, so cool!!!!”as he was like, “Do you think we (all the people on the stand) get up every morning, to preach what Paul called a cunningly designed fable?? HOW DUMB DO YOU THINK WE ARE??? We sacrafice our LIVES for this work, for this message, so I don’t want you to remember a single thing about this meeting except for the fact that we KNOW this message is true.” And that was just his opening remarks. Here are some of the quotes.
“Even if you don’t take ANYTHING home (leave it all on the court) that doesn’t mean you will still win.
“It is not too much to ask that we get converted from our mission, the rest is just icing on the cake. And believe me, we want a lot of icing.”
” You are never going to come closer to real life than right now.”
” One day, we’ll let you leave. Then you can go home to your families, and eventually, when you’re 40 you can date. Well, I actually shouldn’t joke about that, we want you to do that fairly quick.”
” We are God’s investigators, everything we want our investigators to do, He wants us to do.”
“You need to wrestle with God and pull down the blessings of heaven with mighty prayer.”
“You should see me when I am in the vicinity of a Returned Missionary that is not living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I go BALLISTIC.”
” Preach My Gospel was created to convert the missionary.”
” I have always been asked, ” WHY are missions so hard?” And I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t easy because it wasn’t easy for Him. God never intended a mission to be easy, there have never been any other missions than hard ones. But we can’t expect to be a disciple of Christ if we don’t go where he has gone. Part of our mision has to be spent lugging our Cross up Calvary’s hill. Part of our mission has to be spent in Gethsemane. The road to Salvation goes through Gethsemane.”
“Your neices and nephews don’t have a single clue what you are doing out here, but they still have you on a pedastal. There is an exalted pedastel in the church called a Missionary.”

It was the perfect timing for me to hear that, there could not have been a better day for that to happen. We are going to light it up this week, our numbers have been terribe recently. My companion says that he is going crazy cause he has never been in an area this hard. Haha- our district leader was like, ” Why do you have these crazy high goals for next week, what’s going to change?” I don’t know, but I just got a feeling we are going to light it up this week. I’m pumped, we’ll see what happens.  Love you all!!!
Elder Mansell
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