Elder Fleming

Elder Fleming

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Emails 11/28/16

Wow, all the Ohio peeps are there! That's pretty cool! I'm excited to be there, too. :) I celebrated Thanksgiving with you! On the 25th (the 24th for you) we had a Thanksgiving activity! It was supposed to be used as a finding activity, one where members could bring their friends, which some of them did, so that was good. :) There was pie and mashed potatoes and a lot of other American Thanksgiving foods like that that you don't see often here in Taiwan! :D There was even cheesecake, so it was complete! ;) Haha! :)

The Week:
Well, it was an interesting week. Monday we had Pday. Played football, ate at a buffet, which hurt the wallet, but at least it was a cheaper buffet, so that was good. :) Only about $8USD. :D Afterwards, we took a trip to Costco, which isn't too far and I got milk for the next two weeks (hopefully it lasts that long). :) Monday night was contacting. Woo!

Tuesday, we had a meeting to coordinate our Thanksgiving finding activity on Friday, and afterwards went on exchanges. I went with Elder Evans. He's pretty awesome! Exchanges are usually pretty fun and good learning experiences. We met with Peter, an investigator we hadn't met with in about a week, so we had dropped him and then we met with him. It's been really weird, we've had a lot of investigators meet with us for a little bit, then disappear for a week or two, then all of the sudden come back. It's really strange, because this hasn't happened before.

Wednesday, we met with a less-active member, Brother Li, who loves singing! He sings with us in English and his English is really good. And he's 74. :o Pretty cool! We contacted in the afternoon and exchanged back, contacted some more and then had English class at night. It went well. Afterwards, I saw Sister Liu, from my MTC district! That was weird! :o She was here visiting Taiwan with her family! So that was pretty cool, but also really weird because she wasn't a missionary and I hadn't seen or talked to her for... probably about a year, I think was the last time I saw her.

Then on Thursday, we had DTM. That was good. Then we contacted people, dropped off a note at an LA family's house, and then met with an investigator, Sister Wu, at night. She's pretty cool! The lesson went well. We shared about the Plan of Salvation. She seemed to like it.

Friday, we had weekly planning. Then contacted. We had our Thanksgiving activity at 6, which went pretty well! We ate a bunch of American food, which was pretty fun, and I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of you! (Because the 25th here is the 24th there). :)

Saturday was good. We met with a new investigator family, who were super cool! They seemed pretty cool, and we will continue to meet with them! Then we studied in the afternoon, visited an LA and her parents, who weren't members, but really awesome and might have potential in listening to the Gospel, so that was cool!

Then Sunday was really good. Church was awesome. We had a miracle, where one of our investigators that we haven't met with in about 2 or 3 weeks came to church. We will meet with him on Wednesday and see if he really has interest in learning about the Gospel.
Sunday night we had a pretty great lesson with a Christian lady. She asked some great questions. It's really cool to preach the Gospel to people with Christian backgrounds, because they already have some of that knowledge. It was pretty cool!

So yeah, that was the week. :)


Elder Fleming

Food, Brother Li and I and more food! :D

Monday, November 21, 2016

The week 11/21/16

The week was pretty good. I had my last in-field interview with President Teh. We do them every other transfer. My last one will be the Monday right before I go home. That Monday and Tuesday are looking like they're going to be pretty cool. It is a bummer that this is all coming to an end, though. It's kind of hard.

Other than interviews, it's been good. It's pretty cool because there are a lot of missionaries that live around us, so our district has been playing Frisbee on Monday mornings together and we play basketball with some of the locals on Saturday mornings, and stuff like that. That's pretty cool. We had a couple investigators who could've been baptized before we left, but they haven't met with us and they might not want to meet with us anymore. That's a bummer. I was really hoping we could get a couple more baptisms before I left, but I'm not sure if it will happen... There are always miracles, though. :)

We found some other cool investigators--one where we asked her if she's thought of the plan of salvation questions and she said she had thought about them (which is actually kind of rare here) and so we shared the plan of salvation with her. Apparently a big reason she had thought about those questions was because her cat died last month and she was really sad about it. People are prepared in many ways, I guess. :)

Elder Fleming

Miracle Story. 11/21/16

There have been countless miracles on my mission. When I first started my mission, I had a goal while on my mission to find, teach and baptize a family. Although I have tried on my mission, I had felt that my efforts had been in vain. I then realized as I thought back to several of the people I have taught on my mission, that I have found, taught and helped baptize, at least parts, of families.

One family was in my first area. We taught a pregnant mom. Her husband didn't have interest, but she was baptized. I later learned after I had moved that he was starting to accompany her to church.

There was another family I taught in my second area, where the parents were less active, and we taught them and helped the daughter get baptized as well as worked with the parents to come back to church. Although I was not able to make it to her baptism because I had moved, I feel great joy in helping that family come closer to Christ.

The main miracle I want to share was in Gao Xiong. I was with Elder Ward. We worked very hard every day. It was wonderful! After a particularly long week where not many people were willing to talk with us, and after a particularly difficult day, where our hopes were a little dampened, we were approached by the Stake President of the neighboring stake. He asked if we were the San Min Elders. We said we were. He said he had a nephew, a Brother Peng, and he was ready to be baptized that month. We were astonished. It was July 1st. We met with him on the 3rd. He was prepared. I truly believe that through the faith and hard work Elder Ward and I did, Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle. Brother Peng was baptized on July 30th. It was one of the biggest miracles I've seen on my mission and I was grateful I was able to be a part of it. 


Elder Fleming

Reflection 11/21/16

   When our missions draw to a close (at least here, I don't know about other places in the world, but I'm assuming they do the same thing), we give a talk about our missions called a "Reflection talk." As I near the end of my mission, I have thought of these sacred experiences here and what they've meant to me. I have attempted to take these feelings and these experiences of the last two years and put them into a talk. Here it is:

"You have 2 years to work and a lifetime to think about it. How are you going to use the time?" These words have been in my head since I was in training. My trainer would often share this phrase with me. Coming up on these two years, I now find myself asking things like "Have I done enough?" "Have I done and become what God wants me to have done and become?" and, "What lack I yet?"
     Fortunately, I feel satisfied with the answers I get and the feelings in my heart. I didn't want to have to wonder at the end of my mission. I wanted to make sure I did everything I could so I wouldn't have to wonder, doubt or worry at the end of my mission. I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to have no regrets. This has been a catch-phrase throughout my mission: "No regrets." Sometimes, it may seem like 2 years or a year and a half is a long time-forever, even-but compared with our lifetime and eternities later, it's VERY short. Do we live in a way now that will allow us to live with ourselves in the future?
    During my mission, I have done everything I could to avoid having regrets later. I later had another very influential companion with a similar slogan to "No regrets," he would say, "All in!" Are we "All in" with our missionary work? Are we giving the Lord ALL our time, ALL our will and ALL our hearts? If so, we are "All in," if so, we will have no regrets.
    I am not a perfect missionary, nor will I ever be in this life. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My weaknesses He makes up for with strength. If I always look to Him, then He will always help me. He has made my burdens light. Being on a mission has been work. Sometimes hard work, but very rewarding work and the most satisfying work I've ever done in my life. I have often thought of the time on a mission as being placed in a crucible. When we want to make or form materials, especially metals, it is placed inside a crucible, where it is heated to a very high temperature and placed in extreme pressure. We are definitely in a place with extreme heat! We also often feel immense pressure. We encounter challenges and trials. While here, we sweat. We sweat out the dross, the imperfections within ourselves. Throughout this experience, the Lord through the power of His Atonement, is always right beside us. He knows what we can and can't handle, when to give and take pressure from us, when to add and take away heat so that we may emerge purer, richer and better than we ever could have imagined before.
    Throughout our lives, we have to take the heat to earn our reward. We must study to earn a degree or a good grade. We must practice to improve our talents. We must WORK to WIN, to have success and to achieve our reward. My reward has been peace and joy, and as Ammon says in Alma 26, becoming an instrument in the hands of the Lord, bringing forth sheaves to the garners and being, myself, snatched from being "Doomed to eternal despair."
    For me, passing through this testing ground and crucible, so to speak, has brought me the richest blessings in my life: a more happy, loving relationship with my earthly and heavenly family, many new friends here, learning a new language, many experiences that mean far more than the world to me, and, most importantly, this mission has saved my life; both temporally and spiritually. It has brought me closer to my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. It has changed my perspective and life entirely around. My mission means everything to me, because it has changed everything for me. It has changed me. It has changed my nature.
    As I complete this journey and begin the next, I want to share the words of Moroni in Moroni 10: 32-33. If we have faith in Him and allow Him to help us and do our best, His grace WILL be sufficient, we WILL have peace. We WILL have joy, and we WILL be saved. I have not been perfect, but I have been all in on my mission.
    My first convert on my mission is myself. I share my testimony with the thousands that have gone before me and the thousands that will follow that God lives. He is our Father in Heaven. Jesus is the Christ, and He loves us. This church and this work are His. I leave here with peace in my heart and pure joy, and when the day comes that I take the tag off my chest, He will be as close as ever, because His name has already been forever embedded in my heart.

Elder Fleming

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Emails 11/14/16

Good week. Not much time.

Monday was pday. Ate at a buffet. It was pretty good. :)

Tuesday we had a couple lessons. Not a whole lot else until Tuesday night when I wasn't feeling well. Then we had a lesson then went home then I found out why I wasn't feeling well. I got food poisoning. So I was throwing up all night. That was fun. Then that morning, it died down, but then Elder Chen got it, so we spent all day in on Wednesday. Thursday, I had to get out of the apartment. Also we had DTM, so we did that. Then did weekly planning. Then this potential investigator took us out to eat, which probably was pretty risky for my stomach... :) It was pretty good and SUPER nice!!! :o There was a coy pond... on the second floor of the building!! :o It was incredible! So that was pretty cool. Also apparently, the building was one of, or was the most expensive building in Jia Yi. :o That was pretty cool. :)

Friday we went to GaoXiong to do the trainer follow up meeting. That was pretty cool. I saw Elder Anderson again, and Elder Grisenti, and others, so that was pretty awesome! :) Saturday was good. 

Sunday went well, also. Found some pretty cool potential people last night, so that was nice. :)

That's about it. Love you all!


Elder Fleming
We went out to a secondary area, Fan Lu on Saturday to visit an LA (less active). It was super beautiful!! :D
SUPER NICE RESTARAUNT with our potential investigator. Also us in front of the coy pond. :) Also, the hot pot buffet we went to on Monday. :)
Elder Anderson and I at trainer follow up meeting! He's awesome!! :D
And almost as tall as me! ;)
Hehe, just kidding. :)
I'm waaay taller than him. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Emails 11/7/16

Good week this week. Honestly, it seems like a bit of a blur. Monday was a pretty relaxed day. Today we will probably do all those mundane things we need to do on p-day every once in a while. Also go to a buffet. :D

But last Monday, after Pday we met with a new investigator, Ms. Wu. The lesson went really well and she seemed to enjoy it. She had her son with her and we testified how the Gospel can bless families. It was great to start off the week with a lesson!

Tuesday we didn't have our weekly meeting, because we had a bigger meeting, ztm, on Thursday. So Tuesday was pretty wide open. We had ward correlation meeting in the afternoon, so it was nice to break up the day with that. Then we contacted the rest of the day. A potential investigator didn't show up to his lesson we had scheduled him for, so that was a bummer. So we contacted the rest of the night.

Wednesday went pretty well. We met with Brother Wu on Wednesday. He's pretty good. Hopefully we can help him be ready for baptism by November 26th! We contacted in the afternoon, then at night met with Brother Chen (not my companion, there are a lot of people with that last name here. ;) ), and it went well. Then we had English class that night. That went pretty well, too!

Thursday went really well! Elder Chen's parents were coming to Ali Shan kind of by Jia Yi and happened to come across us before ztm! It was amazing! It was an incredible miracle, because it really wasn't planned at all! We were heading to ztm, and saw them! We stopped for about 10 minutes and they talked and stuff. It was cool to see them and who they were as well as to get a preview of what it would look like when I get back. Now I know what to expect when I first get back. ;)

Then we had ztm. It went well. :) We had meetings all afternoon, then a lesson at night. That was about all for Thursday.

On Friday, we had weekly planning then met with a cool, elderly less active member. He's great. We met at a nearby stadium which was cool and I had never thought of doing before. The weather was perfect and it was calm. We sung hymns with him and he said he'd come to church. Cool. :) We also met another less active family on Friday or Wednesday I think, in the afternoon. Well, we met the wife. She was super cool and we set up to meet with the family tonight! :D

Friday night was contacting.

Saturday we met with a family who had come to English class, but they weren't interested. I noticed they weren't interested when we knocked on their door and the husband answered it while the wife started worshiping their idol in the far end of the room for the first 3 minutes we were there... They just wanted us there to teach their daughter English and stuff. Bummer. So we tried to leave as early as possible.

The rest of the day was alright, and at night we met with Brother Wu again.

Sunday went pretty well. We had confirmed some investigators for church, but they didn't come. :/ That wasn't fun. Oh well. Hopefully this coming Sunday they'll come. We also need to find some new investigators. I feel like we always need to find new investigators. You've never found enough new investigators on the mission.

So that was the week. It went by really fast! The time is going by pretty quick, which is both good and bad....

Email to President:

President Teh,
Another good week in Jia Yi. It's been wonderful working with Elder Chen. He's great! He shared his testimony yesterday for fast Sunday, and I thought of the first Saturday when you were here for zone conference and all the new missionaries had to share their testimonies. He's made incredible and huge improvements. It's been amazing to see and be a part of that! I really hope that he will become a better missionary than I am. I also hope he doesn't make the same mistakes I've made. 12 weeks is such a short time to try to share everything I know and give him all the advice I want to give him.

The district is doing well. We are all trying to continue to work towards finding 7 new investigators a week. Many missionaries here seem to have the faith and the drive to go out and make it happen, but aren't hitting 7. Others are a little daunted by the number. I think it's a possible number to hit, but we haven't hit that goal yet.

I'm doing alright. I'm trying to stay all in to the end. Elder Ward and my trainer, Elder Bak were great examples for me for staying all in and giving their all to the end. I hope I can do that too. I feel like there are a lot of increasing temptations and distractions coming up lately, so I'm trying to stay as immersed in the work as possible.


Elder Fleming

Oh yeah, the Blickenstaffs came to visit Taiwan a little while ago. It was great to see them! :D It's pretty cool I'm back on their blog. :) 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Emails 10/31/16

Halloween came fast! :o I'm excited I'll be there for it next year! :D 

Alright, it was a pretty good week here in Jia Yi. The last week of the transfer. 

Monday was a pretty boring and relaxing Pday, which was fine. :) We bought stuff, did our cleaning for the apartment for the next transfer (even though it doesn't look like we did it at all anymore, thanks small apartment and 4 missionaries living in it) :) We spent the night contacting.

Tuesday went well, we went out to eat with some members and one of our investigators. We had DTM, and found a place that sells snake meat, so I think I'm going to try that sometime... :D We contacted, had a lesson set up at night, but he never came.

Wednesday was crazy! We studied, but left early for a lesson. We taught Brother Wu, our investigator with a goal for 11/26, who's doing pretty well, then had to go back to the apartment super quick so we could change because we helped a member paint his house! Woohoo!!! :D Service!! I was so excited! 
We got to spend some time painting his house on the inside, then he took us to a nice burger place. In some places here, they'll put peanut butter on the burger. The first time I tried it when I first got here, I thought it was kind of gross that they would do that, but when I ate it, it changed my life. It's soooo good!! Try putting peanut butter on your burgers, it's amazing!! :D That's all I'm going to eat when I go home! ;)Anyway, right afterwards, we had two back-to-back lessons, one at 6 and one at 6:30, then English class at 7. :o That was pretty nuts. They went well, though so that was good. :)

Thursday, we met with another investigator and ate lunch with him. We talked about and introduced the Book of Mormon and he was really interested in it! He said he'd read it and we set up to meet again on Saturday to share more. Then we contacted the rest of the day. Oh also a member took us out to eat... at a buffet! That was awesome! :D

Friday we had weekly planning, then contacting, then another member fed us, which is great too, because Elder Chen and I are out of money for the month! :) So that was super lucky that they fed us or we might not have made it. :)

Saturday went well. Lots of contacting in the morning, then met with our investigator from Thursday, Peter, and from Wednesday, Brother Wu. Both lessons went well. The other missionaries happened to be having a baptism at the time, so we met with Peter and then he wanted to attend the baptismal service, so he did that and we met with Brother Wu. So that was pretty cool!

Sunday went well. We had church, which is great! I think I realized that we try to put so much stuff in a week between contacting and teaching lessons and other stuff, that a week seems like forever, because before in a week I wouldn't do a whole lot, but as a missionary, we try to utilize every minute, so in a week, SO much can happen!! It's amazing! So the weeks feel like they go by fast in a sense that we're usually busy doing stuff and don't have time to sit around and stuff or think about it, but at the same time, it feels like a really long time, because of all the stuff that will happen in a week! :) That's my theory, anyway. :)

Oh, also happy Halloween!!!! :D I'm super pumped that it's Pday on one of my favorite holidays so I can celebrate!! :D Woohoo! :)

I love you all and I'm praying for you!

Elder Fleming
Our goofy district. :) Last DTM together. :o 
A "water station" to get water. I don't really know why they have these, because there is working, clean water in everyone's houses and apartments... 
Also, us in front of a pizza buffet a member took us to last week. :D
Also, one of my favorite things to eat here is Tepanyaki! It's cool to watch and sooo good!! :D 
I finally got apartment pictures in! :D