Monday, December 27, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - December 27, 2010

Hey.

Cool stuff talking to the family. Abby can spit out completely sentences which I did not know and even knows the days of the week which I'm pretty sure I didn't learn until Kindergarten. The Christmas gifts I got were way sweet, the scarves are totally fabulous and that was suuuuch a good idea to send all of those fancy chocolates for me to give to branch members. During the Branch Christmas party I took a picture with the Santa Claus (who was Mexican. Dark skinned Santa is funny) and I printed that out and chose a bunch of families/individuals and I wrote a note to the on the back of the picture and attached it to the fancy chocolates. Wow, I cannot tell you how surprised and grateful they were. It was way cool.

The other day the Branch President called and said, "When are you going to be on your apartment? I have something to give you two" I told him at about 1 o clock when he got there he had an entire box full of goods. Cereals, pancake mix, full size candy bars, beef jerky, chips and just all sorts of stuff. It was crazy, the thing literally weighed like 25 pounds. I don't even want to think about how much it cost. I thought he was going to give us like a nice Christmas card or their family Christmas photo but he really came with the goods.

Last week it was so funny, while my last companion and I were waiting for a bus we saw a couple black guys walking and we stopped them and asked them if they could freestyle rap. One of the guys was like, "Yeh ayeha, naw problem." So I threw down the beat and he didn't even follow the beat and he just spat off some memorized thing. So Elder Sharrah came back with our rebuttal pure freestyle, it was so funny. We got so much respect from them. We continued talking and they weren't interested at all in God but they appreciated the invite. Def got mad street cred.

So my boy is Elder Benjamin Partis he is from Orangeville Utah. He is majoring in Music - Vocal Performance. He's way cool and humble but definitely very new. It's way cool training. On Christmas day him and I received our new missionary training and he had breakfast at the mission home with President and Sister Jones she made the best blueberry muffins ever, I don't even understand how they could be that good. My Mom never made blueberry muffins that good, but then again she never really liked cooking with blueberries because they "get runny when you cook with them." Or something like that.

After talking to my family over skype at a members house. We went with family to visit the Mom's brother in the hospital. He was absolutely paralyzed when we first visited him like 4 months ago. When we went there today, we walked in he told us to stand around the wheelchair (I was already way impressed he didn't have a neck brace and he was even just sitting down and not stuck laying down). But he grabbed the handle of the wheel chair, kicked the foot holders and hoisted himself up and even took a couple shaky steps. Ridiculous. Just 4 months after we had given him a blessing he is walking after being paralyzed from the neck down.

I guess that's what you call a Christmas miracle.

Shweet. I think that's all.

Take care everyone,
Elder Papritz

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amy - Xinzhu, Taiwan - December 26, 2010

Qin ai de jiating,
Well not much has happened since I talked to you on Saturday. It was really really cold on Sunday. So I am going to go buy some warmer clothes. If I have any warm clothes that I left behind you can send them to me. I think I have a sweater or two that don't have hoods. Dont' worry about buying new clothes though unless you find something really really cute. Church was good this week. We are so busy on Sunday with our three wards that we barely have time to breath. Its great though to rub shoulders with the awesome members here in Xinzhu. We had one investigator come to church recently on her own. We stopped teaching her because she wasn't keeping her commitments but since her mom and her moved closer to the church she has been coming every week. She even talked to Sister Zhang about getting baptized. She knows that she has to come to church at least 3 times before she can get baptized. She is progressing. Its great that she is doing this on her own and she has the desire. One of our other investigators talked to her husband this week about getting bapitzed and he got really angry. He told her that they are not Christians and that she cannot visit with us anymore. They are seperated so she lives alone with one of her sons. We are visiting with her tomorrow. Its sad how much family opposition prevents people from being baptized. We have had so many investigators get right up to their baptismal date and not be able to get baptized because their family fandui (protests). Sad. We still try to visit them and help them progesss.
I dont' know if I told you about our Christmas. We had two activites with the wards. Both the missionaries sang at so this last week up until Chirstmas eve and day we have been practicing our songs. It was really fun and we didnt' sound half bad. One of our ward missionary leaders Chen dixiong invited us to eat. We had a feast!!! Complete with Costco pinapple pizza, chiciken and pumpkin pie. It was great!! After we stuffed our faces Elder Broadhead and Schwabe had an investigator get baptized. It was great!! We were suppposed to have one of our investigators get baptized on Chirstmas day too but his dad opposes. That evening before I called home Sister and Zhang and I had a stake activity were we sang at the mall. The stake members performed a few numbers and then we sang Oh Holy Night and What Child is this. It went good. We also contacted people as we listened to the performace. All and all it was a great Christmas. Plus being able to call home made it all the better. I am still shocked at Alden's mission call. When I told the other Elders about it they didn't believe me at first. haha I am so excited for Alden to come here to the Taipei mission.
I don't have much else to tell you. At the end of this week we will find out who will move. I think I will move. We will see. I love you all!!! Thank you for your continued prayers for me and for the other missionaries in the world. I have felt your prayers help me.
All my love,
Yang jiemei

Monday, December 20, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - December 20, 2010

Lets get started.
So this week I was companions with Elder Sharrah. He is suppose to leave January 30 but he wants to get to BYU in time for Winter Semester so the church is letting him leave on the 30 of December. But transfers were on the 15th and the missionaries are getting here on the 22nd. So he has been with me for the week until I get my boy this Wednesday. It's been way cool having Elder Sharrah because he is by far the most knowledgeable and successful missionary in the mission. I have learned so much from him and we've had so much fun doing it. For example, while we wait for busses (which seemed to happen a lot this week) we would practice our freestyle rappin', we'd rap about all sorts of things like our investigators or the city atmosphere. We be feelin pretty thug when we do that. One time this one guy who was absolutely plaasteredly drunk came up to us while we were rapping, he was like, "Heyrhrah guiysss hoawa been dowain??" And I asked him, "Excuse, can you freestyle rap?" "Wweahyll sheyaah I cannmm." So I threw down a beat and he gave the most incorrehent rap with the most promiscuous dancing and occassional tai-kwando kicks I have ever seen in my life. It was hilarious. SO funny.
I get my boy this Wednesday. I get to spend the day with the assistants tomorrow until I my boy gets in to town and then I'll take him out to go street contacting while Elder Sharrah is in a threesome with another companionship. Then I'll come back with my boy (he won't know that I will be the one training him actually) and get to eat dinner with all the new missionaries at the mission home and even sleep over there (because I won't have a companion anyways). And then on Wednesday I'll head over to the stake center and get my training to be a trainer. Today, we are going to go by the goat as well. That's going to be hilarious.
I've been dingdong ditching this less-active family for a 12 days of Christmas thing. It's so funny, he came up to me at church and guessed it was me. I didn't know what to say so I just lied. "Nah it's not me." "Yeah Elder, I think it was you." "Yeah, it was me." "Oh, it was? Well thank you we really appreciate it." "Nah, Uzziel, it wasn't me. I was just kidding." "What? Really? Then who did it?" And today we are going to do an FHE with them and I'm going to have a member dongding ditch them while we are eating with them so that it really throws them for a loop haha.
Well, I'm off to play some ball. Peace out. I'll see ya'll.
Elder P-rappizzle.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan December 19, 2010

Qin ai de jiating!

Merry Christmas!!! Wow I can't believe that Christmas is this Saturday. I remember last time I called home at the airport Christmas seemed so far away and now its here!!! I can't wait to talk to you all on Saturday. We need to figure out what time I can call so let me know ASAP!! All else fails I will call on Christmas morning your time in the morning. Yahoo!!!!!!!! So this week has been it has been FREEZING!! The lowest tempature was 9 degrees Celius. Plus it was really really windy and rainy so it made it colder. I wore two layers of thick tights and my longest skirt and I was still cold. Sister Zhang gave me her puffy blue coat to wear and it has been really nice sometimes too nice because I will get really hot and sweaty because we are biking so hard and then when I take it off I'm really cold. Its ok though. It just makes us work harder so that we can stay warm. After a having too weeks of no new investigators and not many lessons Sister Zhang and I this last week had the best week we have had this transfer. We started teaching a 10 year old boy and his mom who Elder Gania and Roper tracked into. The husband passed away 3 years ago. We call him Wang didi. He is so smart and really eager to learn the Gospel. He is just soaking it all in. When Sister Zhang and I taught them the Plan of Salvation he really liked it. We also talked about temples a little bit and how we help those who have passed away to recieve the Gospel too. Wang did got really excited and said that he wants to go to the temple so that he can help his dad get baptized too. He is so sweet! His baptismal goal is January 8. We also found 4 other new investigators besides Wang didi. All of our investigators are progressing. Although Chen mei li moved her baptismal date to January 29 instead of December 25. She still has a lot of questions and also has not asked her husband if she can get baptized. At first I was disappointed that we had to move her date but now I see that it is for the best.

Our other 10 year old investigator Ou Chen bo yan had his baptismal interview yesterday. It went really good. The problem still is that his dad opposes. He finally got the courage up to ask his dad if he could get baptized. His dad's reason to why he can't get baptized is that after Bo yan is baptized he won't be able to Baibai anymore. Bai bai is basically the worship of their ancestors. One of our awesome members Wu baba talked to his dad yesterday about it. We keep praying that he will be able to get baptized. I know that he is supposed to get baptized and that everything will work out. So with his baptism, Elder Broadhead and Schwabe's baptism and a bunch of ward Christmas activities my Chirstmas will be so busy! I'm so excited!! The temple on Wednesday was amazing!! It was so great to go to the temple and to serve there. The Taipei temple is beautiful!! It was great too because we got to go with the other missionaries in our zone. Going to the temple was the spiritual boost that I needed for this week and the rest of the transfer. I felt so much peace and joy as I served in the temple.

I am so grateful for this Christmas season. Not for the gifts recieved or the chance to call home even though those are great. I am grateful for the opportunity this season gives us to focus more on Jesus Christ and his life, ministry and Atonement. I have had a lot of time to study the scriptures and to study his birth and life. I love the scripture in Mosial 3:3-10. I especially love verses 3, 7-8.The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of "glad tidings of great joy". Words cannot describe how grateful I am for Jesus Christ and his Atonement. I know that I will never fully understand how He took upon himself all of our sins, pains afflictions as it says in Alma 7:11-13 but I know that He did. He was born into the lowliest of circumstances. He lived a perfect life so that He could give us a perfect example. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redemmer. I know that He provided us so much and suffered so much for all of us and all that He asks is that we come unto Him and follow his words. I hope that this Christmas season will not pass without you really taking the time to think about the true meaning of Christmas.

I love you all!! I can't wait to talk to you on Saturday! Have a great week!!!!

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan December 14, 2010

Qin ai de jiating,

Just to start off this e-mail I want to apologize for any worry I caused. Because today we have a temple day our p-day got moved to Wednesday. I realized last week after we had e-mailed that I had neglectied to tell you this. So mom, I'm sorry!!! Anways, Things are going great here in Taiwan. The weather has been really cold but not too bad. Mainly its the wind. Here in Xinzhu the wind is crazy strong and always blowing. I have given up hope on my skip staying down and I just keep going. Christmas season is here!!! I can't believe it! Here in Taiwan the only places that really have Christmas decorations are the English schools. There are a ton of them so we see Christmas decorations a lot. Also one of the office supply stores we go to had Christmas decorations and Christmas music playing. I just walked around taking my time because I wanted to listen to the music. It has I"m not going to lie stay focused with Chirtmas coming. I fruquently get trunky and miss home. I can't wait to call home on Christmas!!!!!!!!!! Its going to be awesome!! So about that, I was wondering what Austin's plan was for calling home? I can call home either on your Christmas day or Christmas Eve which would be my Chirstmas. Let me know ASAP so I know when to call and so that everyone will be home.

So this week was kind of slow again. We for the second week had no new investigators. Its AWFUL!!! The problem is that I think we dont' make enough time to find. Its hard because since we are over 3 wards our area is really big. We spend a lot of time biking across town to get to our next appointment. But that is just an excuse because President Grimley says "You are never too busy to find!" So this week we are majorly repenting. We also have a little problem with exact obedience. We often don't get home at 9 when we are suppose to be. I have told Sister Zhang a lot that she needs to not plan lessons at 8 because our lessons often go over and then we are home late. It has been really frustrating for me since I always want to be on time and we are also sometimes late for appointments. Sister Zhang insists that we get there right exactly on time(which doesn't happen sometimes) but I want to get there a little early. Its really annoying. But it has been good for teaching me paitence. So obedience is something that we are working on. All of our investigators that have baptismal dates are doing really good. Ou chen bo yan, the 10 year old boy, is doing really good. We met with him last night and reviewed the baptismal questions. He did great! The only problem is that he still hasn't told his dad that he wants to get baptized. But he is planning today to tell him. So we are praying so hard for him today. I know it will work out though. He will get baptized on Christmas! Ou Yang ama came to church last sunday. She is progressing slowly. She keeps saying when we meet with her that it is too late for her. Her desire to get baptized goes up and down. We are still working with her and helping her overcome that. Chen mei li is adorable! We meet with her every Tuesday and Thursday. We taught her the word of wisdom and when we brought up alcohol she went into her bedroom and brought out a waterbottle full of whiskey!! It was already a fourth of the way empty and she said that she drank that much just that morning. But she promised that she wouldn't drink it again and when we visited her on Tuesday she hadn't. She is so cute. She is also worried about her health and was worried she would catch a cold when she gets baptized. When I told her that the font was inside the church that solved a lot of her worry. I love her. She is so cute.

Well that is this week in a nutshell. I am so glad that everything at home is going great. I 'm so excited to get you packages. Dont' worry about forgetting to get Sister Zhang a gift. I will get her something. I don't want to complain about her but when I read what Katelyn said about the native missionaries in Japan I totally can relate! Sister Zhang sometimes won't let me do things. She will sometimes get frustrated with me and very impaitent. She gives me this look like "really you are asking me that?" She also is kind of a stick in the mud. When i joke around with the other Elders she will ask me "How old are you?!" Its really annoying at times because what she takes to be rude or childish is harmless. I am trying to be understanding of the culture difference but it is frustrating. The other Elders jokingly call her our ama or grandma becaus she is always is getting on to us about something. She also REFUSES to eat anything american. She says it is "dry and unhealthy." Which is funny because all of the food here is LOADED with grease and oil. They even add oil to their dishes. When the other Elders are talking about eating steak or meat and invites us to go eat with them Sister Zhang doesn't want to go. I really want to go though!!! She would rather eat tofu or pig intestines. I have been very understanding of that and have tried not to protest too much but its really frustrating. I love Chinese food but you know that every once and a while it is nice to have some comfort food. That is something I am going to work on today when we go to Taipei. I am going to make her eat something American. haha The last thing i am going to complain about is her listening. When I give adivce she will say "ok ok we can do that" and then doesn't do it. Like when I suggest we need to go finding and we can go at this time. We will plan on it and then she will plan over it. That is probably a big reason we dont' have new investigators. She says that she hasn't seen much success in door contacting but that is exactly how the missionaries found her and one of our progressing investigators was found though door contacting. We are going to work on it this week. Anways, That is my complaing for the week. I'm sorry that I am complianing. She is a great companion and example. I am so blessed to have her as my companion. She has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and I have learned so much from her.

I hope that you all are have a great week. I love you all and i can't wait to hear from you on Christmas!! I am so grateful to have the Gospel in my life. I know it is true. I am so grateful for this Chirstmas season we can remember the birth and life of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this opportunity to be here in Taiwan and to share the Gospel with the wonderful people here.

All my love,

Sister Amy Papritz

Yang Jiemei

Monday, December 13, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - December 13, 2010

Family and friends,
Wisconsin is bustin' 20 knot wind gusts, seven centimeters of snow and temperatures of -10 Celsius. It's cold. But I can't complain when I'm in the Lord's vineyard, the land of miracles -- Milwaukee. And will be staying here for another 6 weeks which will bring me to 6 months in Milwaukee. Also, my companion Elder Moore is leaving because I'll be training some poor little soul next transfer. It was actually quite funny. I was woken up last Saturday by a call from President. To stay off a bad cold, Elder Moore and I slept in a little bit that day. Elder Moore looked at the phone and yelled over at me, "Elder Papritz, it's President Jones." My head shot up from the pillow and I said, "Oh shoot!" I slapped my cheeks and shook my head to wake myself up. I answered the phone in a slightly higher voice than usually just so he wouldn't know I was groggy, "Hello, this is Elder Papritz speaking." And without skipping a beat, as if it was revelation from God, "Elder Papritz, this is President Jones. What are we doing up so early?" "Dang, I thought I fooled you, President." "Well, Elder, you told me in your weekly email that you have been taking extra rest because you're sick, so it was a good guess." We had a good laugh about that. But he proceeded to tell me that I would be training. The cool part is that all the leaving missionaries are going home this week and the new ones are coming the week after that (he is doing that so that the leaving missionaries have plenty of time to get home for Christmas) so I'll have a week with the best Spanish missionary in the mission. We're going to go nuts preparing the area for me and my boy, getting tons of investigators and setting more dates. I want to have 15 baptismal dates for when my boy gets in. We'll also speak only Spanish for the week. So I'm way excited. These next few weeks are going to be way tight.
Last Friday we had a zone conference (really just an excuse for my mission president to see all of us missionaries for Christmas). We got together and talked a bit about the season and how to capitalize on this time of Christmas. Then we did a little arts and crafts for a bit, we made a little 12 days of Christmas for one of our investigators, and then after we sang Christmas carols for 40 minutes. President called me a week before to play piano for it. It was way cool. Anyone could get up and sing in a quartet, solo, duet or if no one came up then we just sang as a group in total. It was way cool, we definitely got some good singers in our zone.
I can't think of anything else big. Our baptismal dates are doing really well. Church was canceled though because of the weather so they couldn't come to church but they're still doing well.
I'm doing great. My health is better than ever. I'm lovin it.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

Monday, December 6, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - December 6, 2010

He aqui a mi familia amada,
Hot dang, it's Christmas season. I do this every year too, it turned December 1st and I thought, "Hey Christmas is in December...sweet. ---wait, my birthday is in December." So, I may be terrible about remember birthdays but I seriously totally forgot my birthday was coming up so...bonus! It's weird to think that I'm going to be 20. There are 3 computers that are reserved here at the library for 'teens' and those are never being used because all of the poor, homeless people use the normal computers and the teens are in school. But now I technically won't be able to use those computers once I turn 20.
Last night we had an investigator at the Christmas devotional. That was way tight. He is so cool too, he is Latino but plays piano like a pro. Just about every Latino will say they like music and to dance but few are actually good at it. Anyways, we still have 11 solid baptismal dates. Four of them are suppose to happen this Saturday but we will have to push it back because they need to get married and he's illegal so we are running in to legal problems. But it is nuts -they have read over 55 pages in the Book of Mormon. They eat that stuff for breakfast.
And across the street at out other family with a baptismal date, we were making a daily visit and we were helping put up some ornaments on their Christmas tree and she was like, "Elders we need to talk." And I thought, "Oh no, she wants to drop us." But instead she continued to talk about how her husband admitted to a drinking problem and wants to change. In fact, he felt specifically prompted that if he talked to us then he would get help when otherwise he wasn't too involved in the lessons. We then decided to teach her the word of wisdom. We found out that she had her own vice, she loooved to drink coffee. We taught her that if she expects her husband to live this commandment then she should keep it too. We then went in to the kitcen and threw away all of her coffee. She even had prepared coffee from that morning and she poured it down the drain. It was way cool. I've always wanted to do that as a missionary and now I got to do it. Eventually we'll go back and teach the husband and pour all his alcohol down the drain.
Last Sunday Milwaukee proved to be a land of miracles once again. A less-active came to church and said that he was tired of being inactive and wanted to came back to church, he also wanted us to teach his son and baptize him. We've met with him twice already and his family fed us some way good grub. He has offered to go on splits with us any time and he also wants to eventually go to the temple and be sealed and wants us to be there if we can. Nuts. Just straight up miracles.
We'll get transfer calls this Saturday. I'm going to get my head chopped off by our investigators if I get transferred. They've already got my birthday planned and Christmas presents. But I have a pretty good idea that I'm staying.
Love you all!
Elder Papritz

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan December 5, 2010

Qin ai de jiating,

Da jia hao!!! How are you? This week went a lot better than last week as far as new investigators and people going to church. We had 3 new investigators one of which we found just through tracking. It was pretty awesome! We had some spare time right before a lesson at a college with a investigator. Sister Zhang wanted to go contacting at the intersection but I felt we should go down a road by the school with a lot of houses. We chose the latter of the two and headed down the road. The first two houses rejected us and the next one was on the top floor of an apartment complex. She let us in. Her name is Chen li mian. She is an artist and lives by herself or I think with one other person. She said that usually when her roommates are not home she doesn't let people in so she doesn't know why she let us in. She is a Christian and says that she prays often. We taught her the first lesson and she asked a lot of questions about how our church is different from other churches. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she was very willing. We also extended a baptismal invite but she said that she wants to take things slow and not commit. We will teach her next week. I am excited to visit her. I know that Heavenly Father prompted us to knock on her door. She is pretty golden and prepared to hear the Gospel. I am so glad that Sister Zhang and I followed the promptings of the Spirit.

This week too we doubled our number of investigators who came to church. Last week we only had 2 and this week we had 4! Ou yang ama came to church for the first time!!! We have been inviting her to come to church for the last few weeks but she hasn't come yet. Yesterday she finally came with her son and daughter in law and also Lucy, the lady who helps take care of her. Sister Zhang and I were very excited! Her son and daughter in law live in Taipei so they drove here to Xinzhu to take her to church. Ou Yang ama said that she liked church but was too tired to meet with us later that evening. She is making a lot of progress toward her baptismal date on Janurary 1. Our only concern is that it is coming up pretty fast and she still doesn't know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. We will teach her that this week. We also had Pong guan yi come to church. She was a referral from the Taizhong sisters. She took all of the lessons there and was going to get baptized but her mom opposes. That was a while ago and since she took the lessons a year ago she moved to Xinzhu to go to school. She is awesome! She is so willing to meet with us. She has yet to have a baptismal date. When we extended one a few weeks ago she said she wasn't ready and that she is worried about her mom opposing again. We will keep working with her. She said that when she came to church she felt really happy and peaceful.

Oh this will be of especial intrest to you Austin, We taught a lady from Nicaragua on Friday. I knocked on her door with one of the Zhubei sisters two weeks ago and we met with her on friday. We had member from Paraguay who goes to Zhubei for church come and peike (have a member at a lesson. I dont' know the word in English) It was great because whenever Anaely (our investigator) didn't understand a concept Nilsa (the member) would explain in Spanish. I felt a little bit closer to Austin as I heard them speak Spanish. We also gave her a Spanish Book of Mormon. We have Book of Mormons in a bunch of different languages either at our apartment or at the church. Chinese, English, Thai, Spanish, French, Indonesian, and I think Vietnamese. Its so cool! Anyways, The lesson went really well and she is willing to meet with us again. So I will keep you unpdated on her progress.

One of the wards had an activity on Saturday and they asked the missionaries to perform a skit. I feel like our district could go our tour with all of the skits we do for our wards. haha The ward had a musical concert and a local music cram school was there. It was really fun to hear the students play their piano pieces. I felt like I was back at home. The skit went really well. I don't know how to explain what we did. Basically, there were three brothers whose mom set them up to take music lessons. The funny thing was that the Elders did the migit thing where you have one person stand behind another and act as the arms while the person in front's hand are the feet. It was really funny and the kids loved it. I hope that makes sense.

I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all! I know that this Gospel is true and that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I have already seen so many miracles while I have been here in Taiwan and I am only on my second transfer! I am so glad that I decided to come on a mission. I have learned so much. I love you and miss you!!

All my love,

Sister Papritz

Monday, November 29, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 29, 2010

Hey ho family and friends,

Dang, I love the Thanksgiving season. Especially around Latinos. A normal weekend dinner is like a Thanksgiving feast for an American so you better believe that Thanksgiving was a banquet dressed up as an excuse to cook lots of food. In fact, the only thing that resembled Thanksgiving was the turkey and the Mexicans hardly poked at it. My Thanksgiving dinner also had shrimp fettuchini alfredo, lasagna, fried rice and 10 different types of pies and cakes. I was smart enough to only plan a lunch and a dinner because I heard horror stories of missionaries over committing to 4 and five Thanksgiving dinners. I don't know how they do it (well they don't, they have to usually barf themselves in between appointments) In fact, I was already full after the first appointment but we have TONS of left overs, it's nuts. We literally have enough food to last the rest of the year just about.

It's really starting to get cold here, the wind especially just biiites at the face. On Tuesday we had our first sight of snow but it was just a sprinkle and nothing stuck. Next week it is suppose to snow and I'm already wearing everything I have! Thermals, jacket, scarf, old ear muffs that I got from another missionary (by the way, get me some new earmuffs, Mom, the cool kind that go behind the head not on top of the head like a Jolly Jane). The members make fun of us when we come to their homes because they know it's going to get so much worse and here we are already decked out in everything we got. Uuugh...we'll see.

My President gave me a call the other day and told us that we might be moving apartments too and the apartment would be a 20 minute bus ride away from where all of our baptismal dates are (instead of the 30 second walk that they are now). He told me to investigate other options and possibly rewrite the area boundaries to accommodate such a move. We'll see what I can come up with.

Tomorrow is Spanish Conference (where all of the Spanish missionaries in the mission meet up and get special training). So since it will be here in Milwaukee we were in charge of getting everything organized including the special Mexican food. Today we spent FIVE HOURS at the Ruiz Family house making tamales to have for tomorrow. We told them that we only need 100 but they ended up going overboard and making enough dough for three hundred tamales. We just kept making and making tamales it seemed to never end. But at least we will get to keep all of the left overs (which will probably be 200 tamales). We probably won't even have the fridge space for all the tamales we will have. My hands and forearms are so sore, it hurts to type.

All of our baptismal dates are so solid. It's so awesome. In fact, they love us so much that a few of them have already bought Christmas presents for us. One of them, Beto, called us (he figured out that missionaries get transferred every so often) and told us that if either of us get transferred that he will refuse to let any other missionaries in his house haha. He was half joking but he and his wife are really going to write a letter to the mission president telling him to keep us here haha. I thought that would be cool so I gave them his address to write it. It was also way cool because we got to meet the father of one of the families we are teaching (and who we have a baptismal date with) and he was way interested and loved the restoration movie we showed him. We set a baptismal date with him too and now we have 11 baptismal date. It's so cool because they are entire families that we have baptismal dates with. It for sure gives me a ton of joy to see that. The father was even talking about wanting to learn to tie a tie because he wanted to wear a white one when he was baptized (he also wants to wear white cowboy boots and hat to his baptism haha) he's way cool.

Well, I'm kind of in a hurry today because I still have tamales popping out of my ears and we're running late. Love you all, hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Much love,
Elder Papritz

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 29, 2010

Qin ai de jiating,

How are ya'll doing? This week as far as missionary work has been really slow. Our district has a goal of every companionship finding 5 new investigators a week. This week Sister Zhang and found a big goose egg 0. Sister Zhang also had a suprise leadership meeting in Taipei so she went to Taipei and I went to Zhubei. I didnt' even get to go with her. Sad! oh well, Sister Lin Sister Wu and I had a lot of fun that day in Zhubei. With her going to Taipei for the day it cut into our set finding time that we started to do everyweek. This week we will just have to find 10 new investigators....or just the usual 5. We also on Friday were suppose to have a crazy day with 7 appointments and we would have had to split with some ward members so we could go to them all but half of them cancled or fonged women de gezi ( stood us up). We did have a great lesson with Ou Yang ama (the toothless old lady). She is going great! She is making so much progress and is getting ready to be baptized on January 1. We taught her the 10 commandments and the Law of Chastity. We also asked her all of the baptismal interview questions which was a bit nerve racking since we didn't know what she would say. When we asked the first question about if she believed if God was our Heavenly Father she paused for a second and then said that she beleived. She said also that she believed in Jesus Christ and about repentance. Sister Zhang and I are so excited!! She is making so much progress. The only problem she has is she hasn't been to church yet but next week she is planning on coming. The only questions she had were about Joseph Smith. Her memory is not very good so we have taught that to her a few times and I guess we will do it again. Her son and daughter in law who are always at her lessons have also made a lot of progress especially her son. He is less active and at first didn't say anything during the lessons except in helping us understand what his mom was saying. Now he actively participates. Its great. The 10 year old girl that we have been teaching for a while came to church for the first time since I have been here. We had one the members pick her up and bring her to church. She said that she liked it. Her mom and her will be moving soon to a house closer to the church so hopefully she will continue to come.

I am so glad that you all had a great Thanksgiving. I wish that i could have been there. Thaksgiving here was really fun. As I said in my last e-mail the ward wanted me to make a pie and the turkey. The other missionaries and I ended up just cooking the turkey and making mash potatoes and gravy. The turkey was a 18lbs. Elder Broadhead's mom sent him instructions on how to cook the turkey and even stuff it. One of the ladies on our ward stuffed it. We ended up just lathering that thing in butter and rubbing salt on it. It cooked for about 4 1/2 hours. The Elders put me in charge of it since they were making potatoes and gravy. While the turkey was cooking we had English boarding which is where we advertize our English class. Its also a great time to go contacting and get new investigators. That night we had the ward Thankgiving party. The turkey turned out to be really good. It was a nice golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. Everyone from the ward brought food so that was a ton of food. Mostly rice and noodles and some other dishes. By the end of the night that turkey was picked clean. There was nothing left on that bird! We also did a skit explaining what Thanksgiving was. The ward really liked it.

This morning we went with a ward member to Costco! Hence why this e-mail is so late. Wu baba is one of the awesome ward members in the 1st ward. Another ward member went to Costco last transfer and bought some stuff for us. I got a big box of Rasin bran which I still have big bag left of. It was great to go to Costco. I felt like I was back home. The Costco is two stories and huge!! They had all the usual stuff with one especially awesome thing! TILLAMOOK CHEDDAR CHEESE!!! Can you believe it!? All the way over from good ol' Oregon. I couldn't pass it up. I have a picture of it for you guys. haha

I hope that you have a great week this week. As thanksgiving week came I was thinking of course of the many blessings that my Heavenly Father has given me. Of course my family was the first thought. I am so grateful to have such an amazing family who are all active strong members of the church. I am grateful for siblings who are willing to serve the Lord as missionaries. I thought of a scripture on Alma 26:1-2. This is Ammon talking with his brethern about their missions and what great blessings God has giving them. I love the part in verse 2 where he says, "And now, I ask, what great blessings has he (God) bestowed upon us? Can you tell?" I know that often it is so easy to forget what wonderful blessings we have been given. During this holiday season we remember but what about the rest of the year? Do we remeber to thank our Heavenly Father for all the blessings that he has given us? Can you tell what those blessings are? I am so grateful for this opportunity during this season to be reminded to show gratitude. I am so grateful for this Gospel and for the opportunity I have to share it here in Xinzhu, Taiwan. I am so grateful to know who I am and to know the Plan of Salvation. I love you all and pray for you.

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

P.S Mom the padded bike shorts sound good. You could just send one pair so I can try them out. Keep looking though for the other kind. The size 5-10 footie things should be fine. Which Cook girl got married? Tiffany? I thought she was waiting for the Brock kid. haha I hope things work out with Louisa and this new guy. We have hear a little about the North South Korea conflict but just little bits and pieces. What is going on with that? Keep me posted! Love you tons!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 22, 2010

Family and beloved friends,

This week in the land of the miracles we have 10 baptismal dates, 5 investigators at church and 11 progressing brothers and sisters in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. My whole zone is going crazy. We now lead the mission in baptismal dates and progressing investigators. Over three transfers we've turned Spanish B in to the hottest area in the mission. It's been so cool and definitely exciting to see come to pass. Members are getting involved, my Spanish is better than ever and things are running smooth like Amish butter.

Anyways, this week too we had an unprecedented amount of people at church, close to 100 with tons of less-actives, it definitely made me very happy to see and at the same time I felt bad for Elder Campbell and Cook who just left after slaving here for 4-6 months just to leave right before the wild fire.

So I hear that it's probably going to snow on Wednesday.

I'm doing tight, just doin' my thang here in Milwaukee.

Much love,

Elder Papritz

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 21, 2010

Qin ai de jia ting,

How are you guys? This week has been great. First of all on the transfer front. We recieved the call on Friday night from Elder Choi our district leader. No one in our district is moving!! All of us are staying here in Xinzhu. It came as a suprise to all but especially to Sister Zhang who for sure thought she was moving. haha oh well. I knew I wouldn't leave so it didn't come as a suprise. So I am blessed to have another 6 weeks here in Xinzhu. I'm so glad because I love the people here and I am still trying to remember everyone's names in the wards. So that is the news on the transfer front. So this last week at the end of the week Sister Zhang and I did exchanges with the Zhubei sisters again. But this time Sister Wu who came in to the field the same time I did and I stayed in Xinzhu. It first I was nervous to be left here still being so new but Sister Zhang has been preparing me for the last few weeks by teaching me the address system and map. I felt like she was my mom because before she left she was asking me " Ok you have the map right? You need to make sure you call these people tonight to comfirm. etc. " It was really funny. Needless to say Sister Wu and I did fine. We didnt' get too lost and had a lot of success the day and a half we were together. Right after we switched we biked up to a place called Science Park and went finding. Science park is a huge part of town where there is a huge college campus and a Costco! haha We knocked doors in this one area and at first door we met a student who was interested in our message. We couldn't meet with her then but she gave us her information. We rang the doorbell of another student who just let us in. She is from Nicaragua and speaks English. She was really willing to meet with us. We will meet with her this Friday at 4. That whole evening we knocked on a lot of doors and passed out a ton of pamphlets. It was a lot of fun. The next day we had two lessons with new investigators. We both times taught the first lesson and also extended a baptismal invite. Both accepted!!! Their names are Chen mei shou, she is a student at the university here in town, and the other is Zhang, she is a teacher and has twins that live in Taipei. They have baptism goals for January 8. Sister Wu and I also taught a family that Sister Zhang and I had taught once before. The Huang family is so awesome! We teach Sister Huang and her daughter Angel who is 6. When I called to comfirm the appointment Sister Huang said that Angel was very excited to see us again. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. After that lesson We exchanged back. Sister Wu didnt' move this transfer either so we will probably be companions again for exchanges.

This week also one of the wards had a big Thanksgiving activity. We ate a ton of food including suprisingly turkey, yams, cranberry sauce, and apple pie with ice cream. As we ate I thought of home and missed you all so much. The food was so good and I ate way too much. As part of the ward activity the missionaries were asked to give a skit to explain what Thanksgiving was and why we celebrate it. They asked us a week ago and we didnt' really have time to plan. I made pilgrim and indian hats and we gave a skit which was about 10 minutes. Elder Gania wrote the skit out which was a mistake because he threw in a twist. Instead of the Pilgrims going and planting crops of corn and the like the pilgrims were going over to America to plan lollipop crops. haha the ward seemed to like our skit especially the kids since we gave them lollipops at the end. Next week one of the other wards will be also having a Thanksgiving activity where we will eat more food including turkey which they asked me to help make. YIKES! Sister Zhang, Elders Broadhead and Schwabe and I will also be performing a skit about Thanksgiving. I think we are just going to do the same skit as in the other ward.

Last P-day our whole district went to a place called Neiwan which is up kind of in the mountains. It was a lot of fun. The area was really beautiful with tons of hillside covered in trees. There was a big suspended bridge that we went over and then hiked to the top of one of these hills. It was really fun but the bridge was kind of scary. I will send pictures next week of it along with this week's activity which is hiking at a place called 18 Mountain Peaks. It should be fun.

Well fam I think that is it for this e-mail. I hope that this find you all well. Thank you for sending the pictures. Where did you go that already has snow? Mom and dad, you both look so thin!!!! Thats awesome!!! Keep it up. Dad, how is your foot doing? I hope that it is fine I have been this week thinking about you and wondering if it is ok. I love you all so much and miss you. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission in Taiwan. I know that this Gospel is true. Wo ai nimen!!!

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 15, 2010

Qin ai de jiating! Hey fam! I cant' believe another week has gone by and that this week marks the 6th and last week of the transfer. Crazy! I have offically been through my first transfer in the field. yahoo!!! This week has been great. On Wednesday we had zone conference. It was great!! President Grimley, his wife and the assistants talked about the Doctrine of Christ. Oh he also told us that this transfer as a mission we have found over 300 new investigators which is a first for our mission with as many missionaries as we have. We have currently about 120 missionaries. Anways, it was awesome to hear that the work is really progressing here and that all of the missionaries are trying so hard to help people to come unto Christ and get baptized! Anyways, President Grimley invited all of the missionaries to really study the Doctrine of Christ the rest of this transfer and the next transfer. President Grimley also told us that we need to really study Preach My Gospel. He said ,"It is the missionaries 5th standard work." Since then I have been really trying to every personal study time to study from it especially the first chapter on our purpose. Which is to invite others to come unto Chirst by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Chirst and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Yahoo!! These 4 things listed are the Gospel of Christ. I am so grateful for this purpose that helps us with this work. The assistants taught us about the importance of baptism and how to invite a person to baptism in the first meeting. Austin, I dont' know if you do that but its so awesome! By doing so the investigator knows why we are there and they feel the Spirit so strongly. Our message is not just a warm and fuzzy message about Jesus like any other church but our message is that through baptism we can return to live with God again because He is our Heavenly Father and He loves us. Sister Zhang and I have started to invite people to baptism more earnestly and we have had great results. So many people accept and are willing to get baptized. It really shows that our Heavenly Father knows the hearts and thoughts of everyone more than we do. With the assistants we did a bunch of role plays about inviting people to baptism and also to attend church. We do role plays all the time here in the field. At first I didn't like them but now I am getting used to it. It really helps me get over the nerves. We also practiced recognizing people's needs and concerns and teaching to those. All and all zone conference was great! I wish I could write about every detail. It definately helped me have a new resolve to be a better missionary. As far as miracles this week we have seen a few. Right after zone conference we taught Liu yu shen. She is 10 and we have been meeting with her for a long time. I didn't think she was progressing.She doesn't really read the Book of Mormon and she has never been to church. We have tried so hard to get her to go but she always has some excuse. Well when we met with her she said that she has read some of the Book of Mormon and also wanted to set a baptism goal!! Wow! I didn't expect it. The reason is that her mom and her are moving soon to a house very close to the church so she can start coming. I was so excited for her!! She is such a sweet girl and I was so worried that soon we would have to stop teaching her because she wasn't progressing. The other miracle I saw was in English class. We have a family come every week that is so awesome. Sister Luo has two boys that are 10 and 7. I had the chance during our 5 minute break to talk to her. It started off talking about family and me showing her our family picture. She asked if I missed you vey much and I said yes but my family is very supportive of me. We talked about famly relationships and I explained how the Gospel has helped my family be very close. She told me that she worried a lot for her boys and that she often felt lonely, sad, and like there was little hope. She said, " But when you called me yesterday to tell me the topic for English class I felt something. Afterword I felt happy and hope." I explained to her about the Spirit and how it testifies that what we are hearing is true though those feelings. We talked a lot about prayer and how Heavenly Father hears and answers them. I testified that we should pray always especially when we feel sad or lonely and that Heavenly Father will help her. After we talked she said that she felt very happy and the same feelings she felt yesterday after we talked on the phone. It was AWESOME!! I am so grateful that I had the chance to talk to her and to help her. I am so grateful for the Spirit guiding me in what I should say because I know that what I told her were not my words but Heavenly Father's. Sister Zhang and I also taught two families that another missionary set up for us. Both are amazing!!! I am so excited to teach them and help them come unto Christ and to be baptized!!! Yesterday we visited O Yang ama the 93 year old lady with no teeth. When we walked in the door I could tell this would be a great lesson. We talked about the Sabbath and the Law of Tithing. After discussing tithing we asked if she was willing to follow it. She quickly said "yuanyi!" or I'm willing. She said it so quickly I was suprized. Usually she has some kind of question or reason she doesn't need it. She also comitted to come to church next Sunday. She has also been listening to the Book of Mormon on CD since she can't see good enough to read it. She really likes it. Her baptism goal is January 1. She is so awesome! This week was full of so many miracles. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over the work here in Xinzhu and putting people in our path to teach. I am so grateful dispite my shortcomings that Heavenly Father still blesses me and allows me to teach them. I know that by teaching the Doctrine of Christ and relying on the Spirit that this next week and throughout my mission I will continue to see many more miracles. Oh, the reason this e-mail is so early to day is because our district is going to a place called Neiwan today for P-day. It is suppose to be very beautiful. I am really excited to go. Thats my week in a nutshell. There is so much to tell you but I dont' have time. I know this Gospel is true. I am so grateful to be apart of this great work and share the Gospel with the people here in Taiwan. I love you all!!! All my love,Yang JiemeiSister Papritz P.S On Friday night we will find out who will get transfered. Sister Zhang thinks she will and tells me so on a daily basis. haha but I dont' think she will. We will see on Friday though. I will definately let ya'll know

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 14, 2010

Oh what is going on everyone?

Pretty dang tight week. On Tuesday Elder Cook and I got to take the new missionaries out street contacting. I got to go with Elder Yang (get this: he is a Hmong person going to Wisconsin where there are tons of Hmong people but speaking Spanish). President told all the Hmong Elders that they are not allowed to take him on splits just to take him to Hmong people. But he was cool, he wanted to set a baptismal date while we were contacting that day - a worthy goal, I'd say. We tried our best but couldn't do it. We did, however, get a couple return appointments. He had pretty good Spanish but didn't know too much but he bore his little heart out the few words he did know. It was cool to see where I had come from, he probably spoke about as good as I did when I got out. Elder Cook took out Elder Henderson and they also got a return appointment. Overall it was a cool experience for everyone. Then on Wednesday Elder Cook left for Monroe (about 2 and a half hours away) and now I have a new companion -- Elder Moore. Haha, the funny thing is is that he was my MTC companion too. So now I've had my trainer, Elder Kelly, and then my two MTC companions haha. Elder Moore and I are tearing it up on the streets of Milwaukee.
The first two days Elder Moore was here he brought the black cat of bad luck (but really there was a black cat that crossed the street the first time we went out together). We had to drop FIVE investigators those two days haha. Talk about a rough few days. But then we added 6 new investigators and three baptismal dates! It was so cool. We are way excited. Mireya, Beto and Antonio have a baptismal date of the 11 of December. We have to pray that Beto will let his wife Mireya go to church. She really wants to get baptized but he is a little more doubting.
On a more touching note, the Ruiz family, a family that we recently reactivated, was so grateful for our service to their family that they bought us all a bunch of clothes and food! And they got it all together so fast too since two of the missionaries here were getting transferred (including Elder Cook). But we got hats, scarves, ties, all sorts of food and tons of hygiene stuff like shampoo and shaving stuff. It was sooo cool, they were so grateful to us; they invited us over just "for lunch" and then they took us in to the living room and showed us all the stuff. It was like an early Christmas!!
We already have 3 Thanksgiving dinners planned next week (and a post Thanksgiving day dinner). I'm kindda scared, I hope i make it through them all without barfing my guts out.
Much love,
Elder Papritz
ps. Oh baby, Elder Lounsbury --entering the MTC.
The pictures: I don't remember all of them I attached but they include me in front of a garage door that says, "Smile of you love Jesus." And picture of me holding a bug THAT LOOKS LIKE A LEAF that Elder Cook found in his helmet one day, it was way tight. Aaand a picture of my district for this transfer and some other pictures, I don't remember. Enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 8, 2010

Buenas tardes clase,

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes to see my companion Elder Cook leave me. We think he is going to go to open up a new area in Monroe and Platville and I'll be getting Elder Moore, my other MTC companion haha. For those that don't know, Elder Cook, Elder Moore and I were in a threesome in the MTC and my second transfer I was put with Elder Cook and now I'll be with Elder Moore. I'm definitely excited especially for the miracles we're seeing here. So this week I'm sorry to report that we did not double our contacts for the week, but we added 8 new investigators and taught a ton of lessons. We also had stake conference and the general authority, Elder Payne of the 6th quorum of the seventy, requested to meet with the Ruiz family, they are the largest family in the branch and are almost all inactive. They have fallen in to bad habits like drinking and fornicating. Which is especially sad because in Mexico, before they came here, the grandpa was a branch president and their family was the relief society presidents/counselors, primary presidents and Sunday school teachers, they were all active but just fell away. There were definitely a lot of tears at that special meeting with the general authority, it was way cool.

Also, Elder Campbell will be leaving too. I'm now the oldest in my district, I have assumed the position of "grandpa milwaukee" as they call it.

Last week we had a lesson with Mireya and Beto. It was soooo cool, they've been reading in the Book of Mormon (although I think it's more Mireya than Beto) but she read through two chapters in less than an hour, highlighted every part she had a question about. We had a great lesson about that. I then gave her the entire King Benjamin's discourse and she said she will without a problem read it. She also said she wants to get baptized!!!! TIIGHT Oh man, it was so cool. We will wait for next time to set a date but I especially want to wait for her husband to be on board and be baptized too so they can both support each other and be active their whole lives.

The weather is getting waaay cold here. The wind just bites at the face, I practically drape my scarf around my face like an Arab. And we have to wear gloves when we ride or else our hands just freeze like no other. Also, there was a couple more baby cockroaches in the oven so I opened it up again and killed them and today I saw another tiny bity one on the dial so I'll make sure to destroy it too.

Welp, I'm doing well. Looking forwarded to this week coming up, gonna set five baptismal dates. I'm loving it here more than ever. Super bien.

Much love,

Elder Papritz

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 8, 2010

Hello all!!!
Welp another week has gone by here in Xinzhu. Not much has really happened. We taught a totall of 18 lessons and have 5 new investigators. Yahoo!!!!! On the down side a lot of our investigators are not progessing. The one lady who is a widow with a young son hasn't met with us in weeks. We go and visit her often but she is not home. We leave notes for her and her son but we have yet to see them. Its frustrating because I know that the Gospel will bless her life especially during this tough time. We will keep visiting her and writing notes. We often write notes for investigators or members. Sister Zhang often makes me write them. In characters! At first it would take me like 15 mintues to write a few lines but now I am getting faster. I use the Book of Mormon a lot as a reference. It truely has ALL the answers even for what a chinese character is. haha The weather here has been nice. Its still has windy as ever but not too cold. It has rained a few times but nothing this Oregon girl can't handle. Austin that stinks that your weather has been crappy. I know exactly what you mean by the wind being so strong you almost get sweeped off your bike. That happens all the time here!! It makes riding our bikes fun. As far as hills my legs are getting stronger. I can actually make it us the big hill to the Mao family better than before. I am actually faster than Sister Zhang which is nice.
We had Stake Conference too this weekend. We rode our bikes to Zhubei which is 45 minutes away. Conference was great. I actually understood a lot of it. The focus was on missionary work and the importance of it. President and Sister Grimley came and both of them spoke. They talked about how even though they members are not set apart missionaries they can still be missionaries to their friends and family. It was really good. A little girl probably about 10 or so spoke which was so suprising! Her talk was so great. It was great because we got to see a few of the other missionaries in our zone. Its a great time to catch up since we dont' see eachother super often. This Wednesday we have zone conference so we will again go to Zhubei for the 4 time in the last few weeks haha.
I'm so glad that you sent me those pictures. They are adorable!!!! I love the Halloween pictures! So cute!!! And the pictures of Abby with the trash can sheild are hilarious!! I wish there was a way I could print them off but there isn't. Dad, I'm sorry about your foot! I hope that it gets better!! How did you hurt it?? Thanks for the political news too. I am SOOOOO glad that the republicans are taking back Washington and that Nancy Polisei is no longer the speaker!! I was wondering about that since its November. Oh another thing is that the ward is having a Thanksgiving party and wants the missionaries to put on a skit about the start of thanksgiving. haha the funny thing is that we put Elder Schwabe in charge but he is from Australia. I'm helping him though. haha Elder Broadhead will help but he is so confident he will be transfered he won't hlep too much. Oh well!! The other thing that is really funny is that when I show members my family picture, the big one that you sent me from the Heather Boyles pictures, everyone thinks that 1. The girls are Autumn's daughters 2. Alden looks like he is from Europe 3. That I don't really look like anybody. hahaha I have had a good laugh over that. Everyone says that I have a very beautiful family and are very suprised when I tell them that we have currently 3 missionaries out. They also think its great that all of us are members of the church. I have realized what a blessing it is.
Well family I don't know what else to write about. This week wasn't very eventful other than what I wrote. I love you all!!! I miss you all so much. I wish I could be home for Halloween and the other festivities but I know that being on a mission is the best thing I could be doing right now. Love you!!!
All my love,
Sister Papritz
Yang Jiemei

Monday, November 1, 2010

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - November 1, 2010

Hello family and friends!
 
My, whatever beautiful week it has been. And it makes it even better to be emailing you all at 1:29 (lucky number). Lucky indeed. This last week, Elder Cook and I went on a rampage in the city of Milwaukee. We contacted more people this week than any two other weeks combined - 78 people. This week we are planning on doubling that and contacting 156 people, and in doing so teh zone leaders will take us out to the restaurant of our chose. But surely we're aren't doing it for that but to glorify our God! But really, we are excited for this week, it's going to be sweet.
 
So as my Mom informs me, Wisconsin had the all time lowest pressure in the history of the world. Aaaand that would explain all the dark clouds and dreary wind. We would be riding our bikes and the wind would blow so hard that it would almost sweep our bikes out from under us. And it was realllly eery because every else must have known something was coming because we especially noted that Milwaukee was like a "zombie town" we called it (or ghost town in other words.) We would go out and not a single person or car or moving thing would be in sight. And we'd go down streets and the wind would just blasting, swinging door covers open and closed, kicking up leaves and trash. We'd frequently maybe see a large black man down the street like two blocks just standing there and we'd freak out and pretend like he was a zombie and we were in some kind of I AM LEGEND scenario. We definitely got our kicks from it and helped us keep working.
 
This week we did a deep clean of our apartment. It was so nice because the last three weeks we have a had cockroaches in our stove/oven and they'd climb up to the clock panel and sit right on the numbers so we couldn't see what time it was. It was so obnoxious, we'd have to get up and then push the little plastic cover to squeeze them until they ran away. So I unplugged the stove and moved it to the middle of the kitchen tiles, armed for war with bleach, a wooden spoon and a roll of paper towels. I had to undscrew a bunch of panels and stuff to get in to it and I had to shake the battery pack with the software chip and clock-dial and by ones and twos they'd fall out on the ground and then I'd prounce on them and kill them. I killed a family of cockroaches that day. 10 in all. We can now see the time on our stove at any time without problem. But really, it was a massacre. I was going buck wild on that family of cockroaches, not even the children were spared.
 
So I had a cool interview with our Mission President last week. It was a way good boost. I asked him about the new missionaries coming in and asked if we could take out the couple of Spanish missionaries street contacting for their first day and he said we will be able to. So I'm way excited for that. They come in a week and two days. We going to probably take them down Cesar Chavez street (about as Mexican as you can get) and just go wild contacting people. It's going to be tight. It's so weird that I'll be the one doing that when I was just the one doing it a few months ago. I'll be in Milwaukee for sure another few months because of medical stuff so my address won't be changing any time soon.
 
Elder Papritz
1314 w. Lincoln avn
Milwaukee, WI 53215
 
Love you all, thanks for the support and keeping me up on your lives. I miss you all a ton. I wouldn't trade the things I've learned on my mission for anything. I love it.
 
Much love,
Elder Papritz
 

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 1, 2010

Da jia hao!!!!
     This week has been amazing as pretty much all weeks are. The biggest and most awesome thing is that Chen mei he got baptized on Saturday!!! She is 18 years old and so amazing. Her older sister is a member of the church but the rest of her family isn't. On Friday we had a bit of a scare because of her dad. Here in Taiwan if you are under the age of 20 you need to get permission from your parents to get baptized. I think I told you this a few weeks ago. Anyways, so her dad said that she couldn't get baptized. So the next day Chen mei he, her sister, Sister Zhang and I all fasted and prayed that Mei he's dad heart would be softened and that she could get baptized. Well on friday we called her and asked what her dad and he said that his biggest worry was that she would regret her discision of joining the church. Because her dad lives in a different part of Taiwan and he wouldn't be able to get the consent form to us fast enough we found out from President Grimley that we needed to talk to her dad ourselves and hear him consent to her getting baptized. Sister Zhang called him and had a long heated discussion. Afterward all of us weren't certain if she could get baptized. Long story short an hour or so later Chen mei he called us and said that he consented and that he would send the form to her. President Grimely also said that if he promised to sign the form and get it to her as fast as possible she could get baptized tomorrow. We were all so excited!!! To say the least! The baptism was wonderful. Many ward members came and supported her. It was really interesting to hear a baptismal service in Chinese. It made me think of Alaina's baptism last week and how much I wished I could have been there. A ward member baptized her and the Spirit was so strong. It was amazing!! I wish I could fully describe the joy that I felt as I saw her get baptized. We have been working with her for a  while and after all the stress with her dad it was so great to see her finally get baptized. All of the missionaries sang a musical number after she was baptized. When she was confirmed the next day it was great. She has such a huge smile on her face. I know that she will be a wonderful example to her family and to the members of the ward.
       On Thursday and Friday we did exchanges with the Zhubei Sisters. I went to Zhubei with Sister Lin. She is a native. We taught a lesson at the McDonalds to a new investigator. I never thought I would give a lesson on a McDonalds but it was fine. We have also taught lessons numerous times in convenient stores like Seven-11. Its kind of weird but I have gotten over the awkwardness of having people walk in the doors every few minutes and looking at us funny. Sister Lin gave a really great lesson about prophets and prayer. She used a great object lesson that I hadn't seen before. Her English isn't very good so the whole exchange it was sometimes hard to talk to her but we did ok. It really helped my Chinese. I also had the opportunity to eat chou dou fu or stinky toufu. It is the worst smelling stuff I have every smelled. Right up there with pig intestines. I saw it in China but never got up the nerve to eat it. But before I got to Taiwan I decided to try it and to not be afraid to try weird things. It actually wasn't too bad. I wouldn't order it again but it wasn't bad. I realized I think in every e-mail I have talked about food and the weird foods I have eaten. haha but that is just part of the experience I guess. I think I'm running out of crazy foods to try so maybe next time I won't talk about food. haha  On Sunday I along with the other missionaries in the ward gave a short talk on missionary work. It was a little shaky but it went good. We also sang the  EFY medly in Chinese. In combined Relief Society and Priesthood with talked about peike or member visits with the missionaries. The ward is having a hard time with missioanry work and with peike so we are trying to not only help them understand the importance of it but also get them excited about missionary work. The missionaries along with the ward mission leader did a short skit of what to and not to do during a peike. The members really enjoyed it.
        Things with Sister Zhang are going good. I have learned a lot. We have had our struggles though. Its been interesting to have a native companion. I have learned a lot about Taiwanese culture. There have been times when I have felt like she hasn't really listened to what I have to say. But I have learned that I need to be open with what I am thinking and just tell her when I have problems or questions which has been really helpful. I am so grateful for her example. I know that she was assigned to be my companion for a reason. I am so grateful to be here in Xinzhu with her and to share the Gospel with the people here. They have such amazing faith. I know that this Gospel is true. It has brougth me so many blessing in my life and my families. I am so grateful for the missionaries who taught my parents the Gospel and how that has eternal blessed our lives. I know that missionary work is so important and I am excited to be a part of it. I love you all!!! Have a great week!!!
 
 
All my love,
Sister Papritz
Yang Jiemei
 
 
Word of the week: Gamma!! (gaaama)  It means basically "what are you doing?!?! or what the heck! haha  The word of the day was brought to you by Sister Zhang and Sister Papritz. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - October 25, 2010

Whatupfrizzle at the housegrizzle and throughout the worldizzle?
 
Hello, this is Elder Papritz. I'm still doing well. In two weeks I'll be hittin' 6 months, I was thinking about that and it made me sad. This week Elder Cook and I have been going nuts preparing for a baptism, contacting people, getting returning appointments and in general just rocking the streets of Milwaukee. On Saturday Joshua Ceja got baptized, he is only 9 years old but he is in a part member, less-active family. And we definitely saw some miracles from it. His Mom spoke at the baptism on the Holy Ghost -- she had never given a talk before in her life and hadn't even gone to church in a year. She was soooo nervous, in fact, she just got up there and started crying. I thought it was because of the spirit but then was like, "oooh I'm soo nervous..." haha so that was unlucky, but then she went to church the next day! It was sick, Josh came with his tithing even though no one told him to, he is suuuch a smart kid. He will single handedly turn around his family.
 
This week we have a dinner appointment every day (and in some cases a lunch appointment too) It's going to be nuts, I'm kind of terrified, last time this happened I was not feeling good and even had to throwup a couple times haha. Oh man, they just stuuuff us full of food. Every around here is so excited for Halloween, it's nothing like I've ever seen it anywhere else. People had Halloween decorations up in September. In fact, at a dinner appointment last night I found a fake hand in the house and, of course, as missionaries we are obligated to greet people and shake their hands. So I tucked the fake hand in my coat and then would greet them so politely, "Buenas tardes, como ha estado?" and then I go to give them a handshake and then I let go of the hand and when they look down and see my hand detached from my body they'd freeak out. It was SO funny. And the family was a huge family and they are all very well humoured so they thought it was just hilarious. Then we had baked potatoes and  pork ribs and I thought of my family :'(.
 
Last week Elder Robbins from the seventy spoke to our mission. It was awesome. He is an incrediblysmart man. I was definitely taking careful notes, he is on the missionary counsel for the church including was the personal tutor for the missionaries in The District 2 (for those that don't know, the church filmed a district in Los Angeles for 5 or 6 months as an instructonal video for all missionaries) so he has seen a lot of missionaries and been to a lot of missions. Elder Cook and I are very happy right now, our district is just soaring and our zone is bustling with excitement for the work. Our numbers were way up the last couple of weeks and we even lead the mission in a couple which hasn't happened in a LONG time for this area.
 
Things are more exciting than ever. Our mission is also going to get two new Spanish missionaries next transfer so we're going to talk to the Assistents and see if we can take them out street contacting for their first day. It'll be tight (but no dead sheep yet, I'll save that for my first boy).
 
Love you all, thank you so much for the letters and stuff. It's real tight. I have so many people that love me and care for me. I can't express the kind of joy that gives me. I see a lot of people here in the city of Milwuakee with broken lives, torn relationships and no love. If nothing else, my mission has given me an appreciation for the life I have. It's tight.
 
Sincerely yours,
Elder Papritz
 

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan October 25, 2010

My dear family!
          How are ya'll doing? This week has been crazy weather wise! I'm sure mom you were tracking the typhoon coming to Taiwan every day. It ended up not coming. I dont' really know what happened to it since we cannot watch the news. We did get a lot of rain though. It was crazy riding my bike in the rain. My skirt by the end had a 4-5 inch ring around the bottom where it was soaked. I loved it though. I have a really bright yellow raincoat with green and blue patches on the shoulders. Very stylish. haha It keeps the rain out so I am grateful. It also was really windy. Crazy windy. This week Chen mei he had her baptism interview!! She will be baptized this next Saturday. The only problem is that she is 18 and here you need parents premission to get baptized until you are 20 years old. When she wrote a letter to ask her dad and then he talked to her he said that she could get baptized but that he would not sign the consent form. UGH!! Her older sister is a member and the rest of her family is Zhanglao Jiao or Presbyterian. We are praying that her father's heart wil be softened and that he will let her get baptized. Our other investigators are doing great. We are still meeting with the Chen family with the two really cute girls. The 10 year old is praying everyday!! We taught them the second lesson this week and it went really well. They are set to get baptized on the 13th of November. This week we also had two ward activities. Crazy! One was a Halloween party which was fun. The Relief Socitey president invited us. They had decorations everywhere in the church. They even did Trunk or treating in the parking lot. The other activity was called POP. It was a calligraphy class. It was a lot of fun. It was great to get to know the ward members and gain their trust. A lot of them don't have great feelings toward the missionaries because the wards here used to be part of the Taichung mission and I guess the missionaries baptized a lot of people but a lot of them are now inactive. So the people are nervous to give referrals to the missionaries. They think we will just baptize people and then they will be inactive I guess. Its frustrating but we are trying really hard to serve them and help them see how important missionary work is.
          Things with Sister Zhang are going great. She is awesome. We have a lot of fun together. This week she had me try 1,000 year old egg. Basically its an egg that they had some kind of ingrediants to and then I think they firmment it. It comes our green and goopy in the middle. It was so gross!!!!! I won't describe what it tasted like but it was gross. I did want to try it so you can't fully blame Sister Zhang. On the other hand we ate at a really good resturant with Curry noodles. YUMMY!!! It had chicken, potatoes, carrots, and onions. I love it!! We are eating there again today. Yum!!
          There is one experience I wanted to share. In the last General Conference President Monson talked about gratitude and how we need to be grateful for everything that we have. It also helps us through trials. Last monday as we went up to the Mao family for FHE I once again was faced with the big bridge and hill. As I rode my bike I prayed not only for Heavenly Father to help me get up the hill but a majority of my prayer was thanking him for the many blessing He has given me. It made the trial of going up the hill so much easier. I know that if we have gratitude for the things that Heavenly Father has given us that He will bless us more. So I invite you all to in your prayers tonight to just give a prayer of gratitude. I know that as you do so you will feel more love toward our Heavely Father and will recieve more blessings. I love you all. Thank you so much for all of your love and support as I have been on my mission. I have truly felt your prayers sustain me as I am sharing the Gospel with the people here in Xinzhu. This Gospel is amazing! I have already seen it bless so many people's lives. I love you all!!!
All my love,
Sister Amy Papritz