[Editor's note: Daniel's first few paragraphs to the family were too good to not be included! I am sure he would be mortified that his name was associated with such a lengthy email.]
Hello family! It has been an amazing week, probably one of the most productive ones on my mission. It's been one of those times when you just move from appointment to appointment, totally focused on the people you're going to teach. It's awesome! There are a lot of people coming out of the woodwork. We're seeing so many blessings and we hope to see sustained and steady progress. Here is an update on the investigators:
Niko is doing really well - we talked about his experience reading Alma 32 this week, and he really enjoyed it. He could sense Alma talking to him and he told us he believes the Book of Mormon is true! He came to church yesterday and enjoyed that as well. We were going to meet him tonight and confirm a baptismal date but it turns out he is in LA, and he might be there permanently because of work. So that is a bummer for us but we want to ensure he gets the best care from the Chinese missionaries in LA. Cindy is also doing well - we challenged her to read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and to use both the Bible and Book of Mormon to find the answers to questions at the back. She is not sure about baptism yet - we will make sure to make that a main focus of our next lesson this week. Emily is making the most progress - we just taught her this past week and she has accepted every invitation including the invitation to be baptized on the 19th of October! She went to church yesterday and is quickly becoming acquainted with many members. We will have a lesson with her tonight at a member's house and will perhaps even move up her baptismal date to the 12th! That is so very exciting for both of us - it truly is a miracle. There is also progress with Ying Kuan! We reset a baptismal date for this Saturday - and it seems like his wife's heart is being softened! We're praying that we can make that date and that his wife will allow it.
The work is great, and I'm just trying to make the most out of my time left here. You will continue to be in my prayers every day.
Hey everybody, I hope all's well in whatever part of the world you're at. Things are going super well out in the field here in SoCal. There are actually clouds in the sky now, which is an indicator for autumn here, I believe. So the season should be called "Cloudy" instead of "Fall." Anyhow, it's still a perfect 75 degrees here, with still no signs of rain. It's interesting because a year ago I said to my companion that I really missed the clouds and that I just wanted a storm once in a while. He, being pretty new, said I was crazy and that this was perfect weather and how could I want anything other than this, etc. Now, he being older and wiser, said the same thing I did a year ago, though he denies that I said any such thing. That's my rant about the weather - I hope that's not a sign of sheer ingratitude for a blessing of two years' good weather.
My mission is changing me in more ways than I thought. I received a diagnosis from the optometrist this past week that I am becoming more Asian than I thought I ever would - that's right, I am getting glasses. It turns out that reading all the squiggles that are Chinese in the Book of Mormon has accelerated the degeneration of my eyes' refractional abilities, something that I think was bound to happen because of my genes. So I am now nearsighted and will be collecting my new, Clark Kent-type glasses this week. Hopefully that will be more endearing to the Asian community here.
The people we're working with are doing so well. These are some of the most humble people I've taught in all of my mission. They are willing to act in accordance with truth and the testimony they receive from the Holy Ghost. I know we all can actively maintain that humility in our own lives to the blessing of others as we pray with real intent and look for opportunities to serve.
The work is true! I love it so much.
Have a great week.
- Elder Daniel Winters