Taiwan Flag

Taiwan Flag

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A full and humble heart

Hello family and friends,                                                                         July 29, 2015

Wow what a week and a half. There is always a lot that happens within the week but then when we have temple week and we have to report on a week and a half, it is like impossible. So much information. I wish that I could express what I learned these past couple of days but I don't know if I really can. I feel like I learned the most about myself, missionary work, and the whole reason we are out here this week.

A mission is a really funny thing. For people like me who grow up in the Church, by the time you are ready to go out you think you have a pretty good understanding of what a mission 大概 is. Well let me first bear a little testimony about that. YOU DON'T! If you want to have the slightest  idea of what missionary work really is, feels like, etc. you have to do it. It's not saying that if you didn't go or don't go you are bad. But you might not fully understand. Everyday is a learning process, every week a growth spurt, and every year a complete change in yourself. Here I am after a year feeling like I am just starting to scrape the surface of the big picture.
This confused me....non Christian country with a display of Noah's Arc ;)

One of the big things that happened this week was a very humbling experience. For starters I think that sometimes we lose sight of the "big picture". Key indicators, baptismal statistics, number of members, etc. these are all important; but sometimes if your not careful can rob from you from seeing the big picture. You're here to help people find the gospel so that it can make a difference in their lives. This week we went to visit a single Mom. She is the definition of having a rough life. She has two adorable children, they unfortunately are fatherless due to their Father committing suicide with relation to depression.
 This single mom doesn't have a job, is living in a government provided house. When we walked into the small home, which the front room is about 4x6 ft., no kitchen, a bucket and hose for a shower, and a small mattress on the ground where all three of them sleep, and possibly worse of all no A/C. For those who don't know, Taiwan averages high 90's with the past week averaging 80% humidity. (that's hot) Out of her generosity she provided some fruit and we sat in the small room and began to share our message. Our message was that of focusing on the small and little things that God gives us. I felt a little like a hypocrite, if anyone knew what small and little things were, she did. It was really emotional as she expressed her thanks to God for giving her "so many great and beautiful blessings." She expressed her thanks for her beautiful children, the Church, the missionaries and her Savior. Most of all the talked about how this Church is what has made the difference in her life; that when she needed help, Christ knew what to do to help her.
Christ knows how to heal us

As we biked back to our apartment I couldn't help but cry. (cheesy right) I felt so humbled, God showed me that no matter what, coming from America and the circumstances I grew up in, no matter what I do I will never really know what some of His Children feel like. But I know the Savior does, the whole reason I am here is to give to these people peace and comfort. I can't really help them, but the perfect gospel of Christ can.
 It made me really think of the past year, what have I learned? Through the blistering heat, typhoons, learning the hardest language ever, biking hundreds of miles in some of the most populated places on earth, to walking through the bamboo and rice patties. What has it all been for? I think the simple answer is to understand and know that regardless of who we are, who we were, where we live and our circumstances, God Knows Us. And he knows how to heal us. Even in the darkest of hours, or smallest homes, or worst situation he knows how to help. I feel bad. My mission I feel like was suppose to be all about helping others, but in reality it's me who has been helped. This has given me a lot of motivation to pay it all back as much as I can this next year. I would say I love my mission but I think that might be a little shallow, what I should say is: I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which allows me a full and humble heart.

The snails here are giant size
Spiders are 5-6" long. Freaky!

I love you all,
Elder Roe

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