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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Elder Coletti and Elder Crawford's First Baptism!

Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti's 1st baptism! 
Here is a story Joey wrote about an investigator that was just baptized this week.

It was a late winter day on February 4, 1971 in China, and a man by the name of 王乙凱 (Wang Yi Kai) was born.  He was born to a Chinese father and a Taiwanese mother.  After some confrontations, 王乙凱 and his family (excluding the father) decided to move to Taiwan.  王乙凱 grew up pretty rough and arrogant. In high school, and throughout most of his life, he would smoke and drink alcohol.  But at some point, he was humbled and wanted to change.  At the age of 44, he was working for his older sister at a Chinese medicine tea shop.  He had changed a lot since his teenage years.  He was now a very timid and soft spoken person. It was  a very rainy night in November of 2015 and he was getting on his motorcycle to head home from work after stopping at the market.  All of a sudden, two white people, by the names of Elder Karlinsey and Elder Crawford, made eye contact with him and started shouting, "HELLO!"  He was shocked!  Why were two white people talking to him?!  He had seen missionaries before, and he knew that they were Mormons, but he had never talked with them before.  It was still pouring rain at the time, so he decided to allow them to come to his house in order to get out of the rain.  Elder Karlinsey and Elder Crawford thought that this was a miracle!  They were going to get out of the rain, and teach a really nice person!  However, as soon as the missionaries walk in, 王乙凱 told them that he didn't want to talk about the gospel at all.  He offered them warm tea (tea that we are allowed to drink) and allowed them to stay in is home to stay warm and dry. At his home, 王乙凱's mom tells the missionaries that he doesn't have any friends and that they should be friends with him.  The missionaries ended up leaving, thinking that they may stop by again sometime.  On December 27, 2015, Elder Crawford decided to go back to 王乙凱's house with his new companion, Elder Coletti.  They walk into his home  and 王乙凱, again, was very hospitable, but didn't want to talk gospel with the two young missionaries.  He wanted to talk about speaking English, knowing that the two missionaries were fluent in the English language.  The missionaries were unsure if they should stay and continue with this lesson, or just leave.  They weren't sure if 王乙凱 was seriously interested in hearing their message.  But, something told the missionaries to stay a little bit longer.  Finally the missionaries asked 王乙凱 if he was willing to come to church on Sunday.  He told the missionaries that he couldn't come to church because he didn't have money to attend the service.  The missionaries laughed and told him the church is free!  王乙凱's eyes got a little bit wider.  The missionaries left, not sure if 王乙凱 would make it to church.  The missionaries went to church a couple of days later, not really expecting him to come.  The missionaries finished the sacrament meeting and were walking down to the second floor of the building. They see 王乙凱 standing next to the wall, looking like he is lost.  They missionaries run over and give him a giant hug!  The missionaries accompany him for the rest of the time at church.  After church, the missionaries meet with 王乙凱 and invite him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.  王乙凱 gladly accepts and they set a baptismal date of February 6, 2016.  The missionaries start teaching 王乙凱, and it is going really great!  He is keeping all of the commitments, and participating in the lessons. The real struggle was getting 王乙凱 to church on time at 9.  王乙凱 tells the missionaries that he has a little mental disorder that requires that he sleeps 10 hours every night. On Saturdays, customers come a little bit later to his tea shop and it makes him get home and to sleep a little later.  It makes it hard for him to  wake up in the morning and get to church in time to partake of the Sacrament. The mission has a rule that an investigator must come to church and partake of the sacrament 3 times before they can be baptized.  On January 31, the last Sunday of the month, and 王乙凱 had only made it to church twice.  Earlier, the missionaries had offered to come to his house on Sunday morning and wake him up for church. 王乙凱 tells them no because it would wake his mother.  王乙凱 tells the missionaries that he will be at church. Sunday comes, and the missionaries are waiting for 王乙凱, but 王乙凱  isn't at church.  About 10 minutes after the sacrament, 王乙凱 walks in.  Although a great effort by 王乙凱 to get to church on time, he was too late to partake of the sacrament, therefore he could not be baptized on February 6, 2016.  As bad as this sounds, Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti felt that 王乙凱 wasn't quite ready for baptism.  He was having a little problem with the Word of Wisdom and smoking (an addiction that started when he was a teenager).  Also, he didn't know if he was going to be able to keep the Sabbath Day Holy because he had to work on Sundays in order to provide for his older mother.  The missionaries went to 王乙凱's house later that week  and asked again if they could come to his house to wake him up on Sunday for church.  He accepts.  When the missionaries got to his house Sunday morning, they ended up pounding on his door for nearly 10 minutes, but no one answers. The missionaries had to leave in order to get to church on time.  The missionaries were getting really nervous about 王乙凱 and whether he would make it to church or not  They weren't sure if he truly was ready for baptism.  Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti go to 王乙凱's house the next week and meet with him.  The week prior, the missionaries had offered many prayers for 王乙凱 and his development and desire for baptism.  On February 12, the missionaries went to his house and they decide to go over the Baptismal Interview Questions to see where 王乙凱 was at.  They started the interview, and the missionaries were completely shocked with every one of 王乙凱's answers.  He was giving absolutely perfect answers to every question and was showing how much he truly believes.  By the end of the interview, 王乙凱 asks the missionaries if they would come to his house on Sunday and wake him up for church.  The missionaries gladly accept.  That Sunday morning, the missionaries go to 王乙凱's house and start to knock on his door.  Elder Crawford starts to call 王乙凱's home phone, and Elder Coletti continues to pound on his front door. After nearly 10 minutes of knocking and calling, they have no success, and fear that 王乙凱 had once again slept in.  Elder Coletti started to pray that 王乙凱 would answer the door.  In the middle of Elder Coletti's prayer, the front door swings open. It was 王乙凱 ready to go to church!, He was ready to get baptized on February 20, 2016.  王乙凱 passed the baptismal interview with Elder Karlinsey.  Elder Karlinsey commented to Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti how much 王乙凱 had changed since he first met him that rainy day in November.  February 20th, 2016 comes and the missionaries meet 王乙凱 at his house.  The 3 ride over to the church, the missionaries on bikes and Wang Yi Kai on his motorcycle. Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti decide that Elder Crawford should be the one to baptize 王乙凱. 
 Elder Coletti is chosen as the missionary to baptize the Sister Missionarie's investigator.  王乙凱 steps into the baptismal font, and Elder Crawford baptizes him.  As soon as 王乙凱 is lifted out of the water, he is just radiating light and love. Elder Coletti had the opportunity to complete his first baptism. It was truly an amazing experience that both of the MeiLun Elders, Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti were able to baptize someone on the same day.  That next day, both of the investigators were confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  As soon as 王乙凱 was done with his confirmation, he shouted, "我是耶穌基督後期聖徒教會的成員(wo shi Yesu Jidu Houqi Shengtu Jiaohui de chengyuan)!  In English this mean: "I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!"  王乙凱 started his journey with the missionaries as a very timid man. He is now confident and filled with the light of the Lord! It has been a wonderful journey!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Elder Coletti's Letter 02/15/2016 Week 30
This week was AMAZING!  GuoNian (中國新的一年 or Chinese New Year) was super fun!  I don't know where the Taiwanese ward members have been hiding all of this wonderful food,  but it was amazing during this celebration! However, there was something that was a little bit better than the food, and that was the work of our Heavenly Father!;)  I don't know what it was, but I had so much JOY this week.  It wasn't something that specifically happened, but rather just a feeling I had all week. I felt almost as if I knew I was doing the right thing and that I have learned so much in my short time as a missionary so far in Taiwan. (Almost 7 months!).  I don't know where it came from, or why this feeling came over me, but it was there!  It seemed like an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation for everything that I have experienced so far.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
We have an investigator who is so close to being baptized. If you had asked me last week if he was ready, I probably would have told you that he isn't quite ready. He is unsure about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and has a little Word of Wisdom problem. But this week Elder Crawford and I went and asked him all of the Baptismal Interview Questions and he changed SO MUCH! He was answering every question perfectly and he even changed his mind about being hesitant about Sabbath Day observance.  He said he would take Sundays off from work. This was a HUGE miracle! The Lord truly prepared him and softened his heart. We are super excited for him and for the future. I absolutely love being here in MeiLun. When I left my first area in SanXia, I wasn't sure how I felt about change. I had gotten so close to the members and our investigators. But now that I am here in MeiLun, I know I am in the right place. I have grown so much these past couple of weeks! I am absolutely ecstatic for what the future holds!
Back to JOY.   I just loved the feelings of pure enJOYment I experienced this week!  I think JOY is one of the most important feelings that we can have today and I feel like JOY is a choice.  I was so grateful this week for all of the members help, and our investigators that still wanted and were able to meet  with us during GuoNian.  I was filled with gratitude and love for all of the wonderful the people of Taiwan.  They are truly amazing people.  I learned a very valuable lesson this week about loving where you are in life at any given moment.  Loving your life no matter what check point you are at and no matter what situation you are in at this time in your life.  There are blessings everywhere wrapped up in little packages, we just have to find the PRESENT.  We have all made mistakes in life.  That is just part of life , part of learning and that is the beauty of the atonement.  There will always be things in the future that we worry about.  But if we can live in the PRESENT, then we can truly enJOY each moment!   God didn't send us here to dwell in the past, but rather to dwell in the now....to be PRESENT.   God sent us here to experience JOY! I learned from this week to enJOY everything that I have and to live in the moment.  To not think to much about what could've happened, because if you keep thinking about what could've happened, it will never happen!  Just go on, one day at a time, and enJOY your blessings, one blessing at a time.  I challenge everyone to enJOY the day that you have been given.  Soak in the JOY of each and every moment, and enJOY it!;)
Here in Taiwan, Valentine's day is basically nonexistent.  So no Valentine's for me this year...;)  I truly love everyone single one of you.  As I have been on my mission, I have learned that the most important attribute a person can have is Charity.  It doesn't matter how good you can speak the language, or how well you know the doctrine, or even how hard you work!  All that matters is if you have love....true, pure, Christ like love.   I want to challenge everyone to love one another like Jesus would. 

Love you all!
Elder Coletti

Monday, February 8, 2016

GuoNian, Earthquakes and Typhoons....oh my!

Elder Coletti's Letter 2/7/2016 Week 29:

Because of next week being GuoNian 中國新的一年 (Chinese New Year), this week was pretty slow.  All of our investigators said that they couldn't meet this week or next week because it's GuoNian!  The Taiwanese people go CRAZY for the Chinese New Year.  The entire city shuts down for the festivities. They stop everything they are doing in order to prepare for and celebrate this holiday which lasts a week. There is no work or school.  If only Christmas would last that long!  The members are feeding us feasts twice a day during the holiday week too!! The people here in Taiwan are so amazing and I love them!

I want to invite everybody to read Luke 1: 26-38. Read it a couple of  times this week and think about the significance behind what is being said.  I read this passage probably 5 times this week.  Each time I read it, it got more and more meaningful to me. 
Elder Crawford, Myself, Max and his son

I love you all so much!  I heard that there was a pretty big Earthquake and Typhoon here in Taiwan.  I wasn't anywhere near it nor felt it.  No worries!  Also, I heard the Broncos defense won the Super Bowl this year!  That's cool to hear!   The work in Taiwan is so much fun!   I can't express how grateful I am to be a missionary right now!  It's one of the best decisions I ever made!
Keep spreading the gospel everybody!  Spread the GOSPEL, like it is GOSSIP!:) Ha!

Elder Coletti

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Never Doubt the Lord

Elder Coletti's Letter 1/31/16 Week 28:

This week was a little bit slow for Elder Crawford and myself.  I don't know why, but I felt like I was having a hard time focusing. It wasn't because I was homesick or distracted from missionary work. I just felt like I was moving in slow motion all week! Elder Crawford and I have made some inspired goals in order to help us hurdle this situation with lack of focus.  We are going to always be on the move.  We are going to always be doing something productive and protect those little minutes that we waste in the day.  We are going to turn these minutes we waste into hours of productivity. We really feel that if we can put this plan into action, next week will be great!

Although it felt like we were a little bit off this week, the Lord blessed us beyond belief! We were a little behind on our Standard of Excellence goal that was established by our Mission President.  We were trying to figure out what we could do in order to hit this goal. After praying, we decided to go see an investigator that we haven't  met with in a while. We were at a the house of less active member (Max: the guy with 16 dogs)and the investigator we planned on seeing was his next door neighbor. After meeting with Max, we went over to her home. She is a women I think is about 80 years old or so and she is one of those old ladies that just grunts and says, "Aahhhh!" all the time.  It was super funny to be around her because she hardly understood anything we would say. She was home with her granddaughter who is about 30.  We talked to her and ended up setting a time for another visit. For one reason or another, we weren't able to meet with her at all for a week or so.  She completely slipped our minds until Sunday evening.  We found a Peike, and went over to her house. We knocked on the door and she answered and let us in. Inside the house was the old grandma, the granddaughter we had met, the granddaughter's mom (also the old grandma's daughter), and the granddaughter's two children (they are 12 and 10). This house is a home to a 4 generation family all living together! We ended up teaching them one of the most spiritually power-filled Restoration lessons I have ever been a part of!  They all had a background of Christ and it almost felt like a testimony meeting to me. You can't ever go wrong with a testimony meeting based on Jesus Christ!  The granddaughter's mom tells us that she knows that everything we have said is true, and that we, Elder Crawford and myself, are angles sent from God. We invited the whole family to be baptized and they all said yes! So..... we ended up scheduling the whole family of 5 with baptisimal dates! We also hit our Standards of Excellence goal this week!
This experience made me realize that regardless of our faults, weaknesses and short comings, God continues to bless us immensely!  There are many times that we feel like nothing is going our way and that no matter what we do, we can't seem to catch a break.  This week was a little rough for us.  Finding wasn't working, members couldn't help with lessons, the weather wasn't great, etc.  I was a feeling a little discouraged, but through the mercy of God, he rewarded us and he turned everything around.  I don't think I will ever forget this experience!  I learned to never doubt the Lord and what he is capable of.  Even when things are the lowest of the low, he is there and he will help us.  I know God performs miracles, and it's usually  when we least expect it.  I learned this week to never take anything for granted.  We need to focus on the good in our lives and recognize all of the beautiful blessings.  It's hard sometimes to see the blessings when we are struggling.  When you start to adjust your focus and count your blessings, blessings will flood your mind!  Don't take anything for granted, because God has granted us this life. Everything we have that is wonderful in our lives is a gift from him.
Yum!  Chicken Head!

I love you all so much!  My love for you all is ineffable!  I know I say that word a lot in my emails but I just love it!  It's my favorite word I learned my Senior year in English 1010! Have a wonderful week everyone!
Elder Coletti