Elder Bryan, off to Taiwan
This fall, our senior grandson became the first of his generation in our family to serve a full-time mission for the Church. With two years under his belt as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, Bryan Wolz Anderson accepted a call to spend his next two years in Taiwan. He addressed his ward, by way of farewell, on the second of August, and then entered upon two months of intensive training in Mandarin Chinese and missionary life.
2wcomp My documentation of his service derives, as is customary these days, from the weekly e-letters he sent home to Laura, his mother, and which she distributed to family and friends. Here he is with his first companion, Elder Rhoton,* in the MTC dormitory.

To give you the flavor of Bryan’s MTC experience, I’ll just cite a couple of excerpts from his letters:

“Yesterday for our Tuesday devotional President Bonnie Oscarson (the Young Women General President) spoke, which was pretty cool. She talked about how the Lord has prepared this specific mission experience for us individually.
Our choir musical number was The First Vision, and it was crazy powerful. Also I forgot to mention last week that last Tuesday for our devotional Elder [Neil] Andersen spoke, which was pretty cool. He talked about being truly converted and how we will need to be when we are in the mission field, not just for those we will teach but for ourselves because the mission field is rough and whatnot…

“So we heard from another apostle yesterday! This time it was D. Todd Christofferson, and I always forget how much I love hearing him speak…One of the counselors in our branch presidency pointed out that we are commanded to love everyone but only ever commanded to trust one, Jesus Christ. Elder Christofferson also drew a distinction (several times) between ceasing to sin and covenanting to obey, specifying that these are two different duties and both are necessary for true repentance.”

If you want Elder Bryan’s full account of the MTC experience, I can send you whatever you want of the archive of his weekly e-mails. For six weeks, he had both total immersion in Chinese and simulated practice in the kinds of interactions that proselytism was going to require of him.
*We often don’t learn the given names of the missionaries, nor the family names of their associates in the field; this last restriction is the exact opposite of the way it was, back de mon vivant when we were onlysupposed to use family names. Particularly with the jeunes filles.)
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