Two years ago I started off as a 19 year old kid that didn’t know a thing. Two years has come and gone and now I have become a 21 year old young man that still doesn’t know much, but I am working on it. Many missionaries refer to their time on their missions as the “the best two years.” It is an interesting phrase to use; I think it is true to an extent. However, the Gospel is all about progression and becoming better. For me to this point in my life, it truly has been the best two years, but I believe that the following two years will be even better.
So what do I say to you all in the last email I will send to you as a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do I tell you a funny story or do I take this last chance to bare my testimony of our Savior? Hopefully I can do a little of both.
I have truly enjoyed the emails, letters, and packages that you have all sent to me. The support from home has been the second most comforting gift I have been given on my mission. The first most comforting gift has been the companionship of the Holy Ghost. On those days where I felt tired, ill, homesick, and down, your letters have always helped to cheer me up.
Working in the mission field has been the single most rewarding experience of my life. I have gained a stronger testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned how to enjoy the most difficult experiences and I have learned to cherish the family and friends that the Lord has given me.
I think it is ironic that we as people truly do not appreciate the things we possess until we do not have them anymore. Whether it is our comfortable living habits or our friends and family by our side, we can never fully appreciate how much they mean to us until we have left them or they have left us. Just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate you now.
Well now that we got all that gushy mushy junk said, lets get on to what happened this week. I am training my replacement, Elder Canann to take over my position. He is doing a great job and I am sure he will do just fine. We are so busy! Probably the busiest I have been on my mission. I am still trying to finish everything up so that he doesn’t have any loose ends. I had a lot of projects going and now it is time to wrap them up. We are having a mission Christmas activity on the 24th and even though I am not going to be there I still have to plan for it. Not to mention we have been closing down lots of apartments recently because the number of missionaries is going down slightly so we have been using the Frummer to transport all the stuff out of the apartments. You would be surprised how much stuff you can fit inside of a VW Van.
Last night, we had a caroling activity downtown. We have it again tonight and Sunday night. I am in charge of the sound and the video presentation. I think I told you about the crazy wiring job I did to get the sound to work. It was really fun, but really cold! I am not kidding, you are probably laughing thinking that I am going to freeze to death when I get home. It really was cold though. Below 50 degrees! I am so excited to see snow and go skiing and be freezing and drink hot chocolate and sleep in a nice warm bed in our freezing house. That is assuming I don’t get hypothermia tonight. I have 2 more nights in Taiwan. To be honest it feels like I am getting ready to go on vacation. The main reason being that I feel like I am leaving home and work, it is a weird feeling. Mostly sweet, I have always liked new things. So it is just on to a new adventure.
We just got back from the caroling activity. It went really well. We met a lot of great people and it was a very good way to introduce the Church to the people here. Several people stopped and sat down with the missionaries right then and there. I taught a couple for about 45 minutes while the choir sang in the background, I had to get up a couple times to go adjust the projector and sound, but besides that it was a really great lesson. I had a choir singing in the background, which was pretty cool. Anyways, I got the man’s email and so now we are going to be pen pals when I get back.
I wanted to leave you all with a final testimony and picture. The attached picture is from our “Dan Jones” activity. Dan Jones is one of the most amazing missionaries of all time. He went to England many many years ago and stood on soap boxes in the city and shared the gospel. Well we also do that here in Taichung. We go to the night markets and stand on our boxes to share our witness of Christ to all those that hear us. You would be surprised how effective it is in Taiwan. We have lots and lots of good contacts.
I know that Christ lives. He is our Savoir. At times it may seem so hard to grasp, but it is truly so simple. He loves us, he wants us to find happiness in this life. By following his teachings and abiding by his laws we WILL be happy. There are no exceptions! Everyone that obeys the commandments of God will be happy. And it is not a temporary state of happiness, but a permanent one as long as we continue to follow his guidance. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet in this day in age. I know that he saw God, the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, I know that they literally appeared to him in the flesh and at that time selected Joseph as a leader of the Church of Christ in our day. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers every one of our prayers, and I know that He can give us instruction if we are willing to pray to him. I also know that Heavenly Father has giving us modern day prophets that may direct us through the spiritual dangers that we face in our society. And I know that if we trust in the Lord and listen to his messengers that we will be able to cross over any trial or tribulation that may come our way. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we all will be resurrected. I also know that families are forever. Death is not an end but simply a waiting period. Death cannot separate our loved ones from us forever.
Coming on my mission has been the most important decision I have made thus far in my life. People may think that the 2 years missionaries spend is such a great sacrifice, but I know that it is not so. I feel that I have grown in ways that I never would have been able to, had I not come. Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. What more can I say, Jesus lives and has once again restored all of his truth to the Earth as promised in ancient times.
Attached is the last picture I want to send you, it is me in the night market, standing on my soap box. Hope you like it.
Elder Craig Alan Anderson
Taiwan Taichung Mission
January 9th 2009 – December 22nd 2010