Sunday, 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,
Tuesday, 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
Sunday, 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,
Monday, 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,
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
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.
Sunday, 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,
Monday, 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.