I am trying to get a grip on my feelings about things of a spiritual nature. I’m beginning to see how people develop differently. As a Mormon missionary in Brazil, over 20 years ago, I was very sure about the truth about my religion. There were other missionaries that struggled with formulating a testimony, but I developed one quickly and easily. Since then, I have strived to nurture that testimony. Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful in that pursuit.

I now find myself in the same predicament as those confused fellow missionaries were in all those years ago. I am a regular attendee at the local LDS Church, but go solely because of my children. Personally, going to Church bores me to no end. It is good for Billy and Tyley, though. It is there that they learn important life lessons and develop proper social skills. Most importantly, Billy and Tyley are exposed to teachings about things of a spiritual nature. This leads to an expansion of their imaginations, a sense of the importance of humility, and further love for their fellow man. These traits will undoubtedly help them in the future.

I attend a small branch of the LDS Church in Shalu, Taiwan. Only about 30 – 40 members make it to the 3-hour block of meetings each Sunday. Most of those that attend do so on a weekly basis, but there are many that come and go beyond that core group. You see, the six missionaries in the area are doing their job of getting people who are of the mindset to be baptized. But, once they’re baptized, they never seem to come back to the Church.

We meet in a rented space on two floors of a building. Until recently, we only occupied one floor. I feel the second floor is overkill and wishful thinking on the Church’s part for future growth. The Church is also in the process of building their own building near to the one where space is rented. The construction of the building has already begun and should be complete within several months. I guess the thinking is that if they build it, more people will be likely to come to Church. I tend to agree with that attitude, as a bonafide official building is much better than a rented space.

I do hope that our branch grows, as there are a lot of programs in the Church that are beneficial to people and it takes a large number of members to actuate those programs. For instance, I would like to see my boys attending some social functions of the Church. To date, there are only a couple of those per year and they’re not geared toward small children. With a larger congregation of members, more activities are bound to take place that involve members of all ages.

Also, a bigger branch will help me to become more interested in the Church again. Currently, the small group is comprised of new members who continually talk about gospel basics every week. Having been a Mormon my whole life, I need something deeper than that to keep me interested. Through periodic personal study, I have managed to stay relatively strong in the Church. I mean, although I don’t do every thing I am supposed to in the Church, I don’t break any major commandments. Without personal gospel study and daily prayer, I think I’d flounder and quit going to Church regularly. I think I’m heading in the right direction, but I’m taking an awful long time to reach certain levels that others attain quickly.

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