Original article posted by Greg:

Yesterday morning a couple of calls came unexpectedly. The result, therefore is that my companion, elder Blake, is now in SheZi (my old area) with his new companion, I’m released from being DL, and I’m currently with elder Fullmer till friday when we pick up our trainees in taipei.

I guess they decided that movecalls just couldn’t wait. To which I have to say, “Well, whatever, dude.”

I am only slightly nervous about training. The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll get somebody as full of pride as I was when I just came on island.

I think that can be avoided by frequent midnight beatings.

There have been a couple of items of interest and/or note that I neglected to mention in previous weeks. Neither are happy, but I find them interesting like sad things often are…

There’s a 45 year old man who got baptized a few weeks back. He’s really great. He loves the outdoors, and loves the gospel, and just loves life. He’s always smiling. He spent a few years as a monk somewhere in the asian jungles ending about 4 years ago. He related a story about why he’s not married or dating. One day they took him and put him in a room with the corpse of some woman, long mummified. They said, “You can’t leave this room until your spirit is broken.” After about 3 days he started crying. The head monk came in and said “Every time you have a lustful thought towards a woman, you remember this.”

People are strange. I have absolutely no ability to relate to that experience.

I met a sister hsu here about 10 months ago. She’s a great young missionary who I really respect and admire. She was converted through the teaching of a lady whose husband I baptized a few months ago. So we’ve all been happy to see a bit of connection between us.

A month or so ago she fell down and hit her head pretty hard, but didn’t want to complain or anything, so she just kept working even though she had a headache for a few days.

At zone conference a couple weeks ago we were all singing when she fell to the floor and started having seizures.

Last week I saw her again, as they pulled up in a van with her luggage and bicycle. She stepped out of the van and smiled at me. I said hello and asked how she was doing, how was the work. Then she said pretty good and collapsed. I helped carry her upstairs where she waited to be sent home to see the doctors.

She said there’s no better work than this. She doesn’t want to go.

She insisted she would be just fine, and they had tried letting her work on a limited basis after getting approval from some doctors, But nobody knows what’s wrong. And the seizures are more and more frequent.

Well, There’s my two not uplifting stories. But they’ve stuck in me and add in some way to the conglomerate self. I think that hearing or seeing things like this help you define yourself a little bit more. Because you can’t hear something like this and not in some way decide your own point of view about it. I am amazed at how varied the answers could be to questions like “Why would God let His missionaries get hurt like that?” and “Is it a positive change that happens in a person after being locked in a room like that?” The circumstance is fact. The response is what is interesting. And is what divides and defines us.

Anyway, I am done with that.

I haven’t much to say that is funny or of interest. I remain in Zhong Li to contemplate all things and also do missionary work occasionally as weather permits.

Going to the dentist now,

Orginal comments:

Nickname: Gunny
Re: dirt cake with chocolate frosting
In speaking about our answers to questions of God’s motives in allowing injury to good people and advantage to bad, I would not presume to be illuminated sufficiently to speak for him. However, to attempt an answer, I like to think that God tries to be impartial when it comes to allowing misfortune.

A tad oversimplified, perhaps, but one can gain a fuller grasp of my opinion once supplemented with the doctrine of free will. Free will is vital to the learning process of mortality, that being allowed to choose, mortals may choose eternal life by doing the things that Christ did, which he also saw the Father do (John 5:19). He allows mortals to choose their own path without immediate repercussion, excepting the natural consequence of the action. If immediate divine action followed every right or wrong action, man would become programmed and would be constrained to choose eternal life, which would not be free will. The same principle applies to constant divine protection of The Lord’s people and property. If this constant rescue from any mishap was a reality, the same sort of programming would take place because imperviousness to injury would be an instant effect of uniting with the people of God. The probationary state is such that any divine tampering, such as favoritism, could circumvent the law of justice and “God would cease to be God” (Alma 42.13). God Almighty does not take his role in the plan lightly and thus must submit himself to his laws and his word.

Therefore, God tries to be impartial when allowing mishap and good fortune; he “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45). This is not to say that God is not a God of miracles, but it is to say that miracles are the exception to policy, rather than the rule. This is also not to say that God is the impersonal, absentee ruler, championed by the enlightenment. Even though he allows his servants to suffer bodily harm, he also sends them his spirit to comfort them in their trials. The Lord can thus guarantee the preservation of free will and express his personal care for each one his children.

I’m sure that none of this would bring comfort to the sister missionary who might not be able to serve the rest of her mission, but it helps me to suppose an understanding of the world around me. I imagine that this little divinity lecture defines me as somebody who needs to explain the world.

Enjoy the Dentist.