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LDS Church News

Chinese group provides home for new LDS converts

By Kara McMurray

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:45 a.m. MDT

Elder Hsieh, who recently completed his two-year missionary service, said the Chinese group does more than provide gospel instruction for the members.

“It helps the newly arrived Chinese students to learn the culture of the United States and broaden their international awareness,” he said. “It has brought rich diversity to the ward and opportunities for American students to learn about the Chinese culture.”

Many of the group members are spending their summer away from Pullman, so the group has not been meeting for the summer but will resume meeting when classes start at Washington State University again in August.

A group is the smallest unit of the Church and is not an independent unit of the Church. The ward has been instrumental for the building group, Brother Ma said. “The ward provides a lot of fellowshipping. We’re trying to get these group members to be more comfortable and to not be shy with their language skills.”

In the beginning, Brother Ma said, many of the members of the Chinese group struggled to be a part of the ward. “The first few months, they weren’t willing to mingle as much. The ward provides a lot of help in terms of providing people for giving talks or giving opportunities for the Chinese members to serve in the ward. Without the ward, they won’t have as many opportunities to learn and grow in the gospel.”

Brother Ma said that as the Chinese members have become more comfortable in the ward and taken on more responsibilities, they have been building strong foundations. “It did take a while, but … most of our members are becoming solid in the gospel. These members will learn. … They will learn the gospel and it will take roots deeper and deeper.”

Brother Wang said the group has given him the opportunity to deepen his testimony and understanding of the gospel and share it with others, too. “My favorite thing about the Chinese group is that I can share my testimony by my first language. I know the love of Jesus Christ for everyone is fair, no matter what language people use.”

Elder Hsieh knows the group was needed for these students. “Above all, the Chinese students are finding their own identity, not as students of WSU or as foreigners from Asia, but rather as children of God with unlimited opportunities in school and infinite potential in their personal growth.”

As for the future of the group, President Rigby said it will continue to prosper. “As long as we have some leadership, … it will continue to flourish and grow.” President Rigby expressed his testimony that the Chinese work there will continue to be successful.

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com