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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan October 18, 2010

Da jia hao!!!
   How are you all doing? This week has been long but awesome. I have NEVER riddin a bike so much in my whole life!!!! After I wrote my e-mail last Monday that evening we went to visit the Mao family for FHE. My companion failed to mention that they lived at the top of a HUGE hill! As I was biking up I thought my legs would bust and my lungs would explode. At one point Sister Zhang was so far ahead of me I could bearly see her except for her blinking light on the back of her bike. On our bikes we have a small flashlight on the front, a big red light on the back and a light on my helmet that blinks. So don't worry mom we are safe. The road too for the most part have lights so its fine. So anyways, I was dying going up this hill. I had to stop a few times and drink water and say a prayer. The whole way up I was praying so hard that Heavenly Father would give me the strength to make it up and he did. We finally made it up to the top and to their house. I'm sure I was a sight. It was the first time I had really met them and my hair was all messy and I had rings of sweat on my back and front of my shirt. It was DISGUSTING!!!!  They are an amazing family. So much faith. The daughter Madasy is amazing as so sweet. Mao Jiemei have a great lesson on the temple. The Spirit was so strong during the lesson and I could understand a lot of what she was saying. After that we played a few rounds of UNO. It was so much fun to play a game that I know. It was so great to get to know this great family and also two Elders in our district Elder Gania and Elder Roper. The ride home was all down hill which was such a blessing. My legs were killing me. Needless to say I slept really really well that night.
          So to answer a few of your questions. My area is awesome!!! Xinzhu is a pretty good sized city. A want to say about 200 million people live here. Our aparment complex is in the middle of a private neighborhood. It is a huge neighborhood with a lot of people including a few foreigners. Every morning we go running in the neighborhood and say hello to everyone. People are very friendly here. Our apartment is really nice. We have AC, a small kitchen and bathroom. We also have a washer and dryer! Its really nice. The water here is fine. We have a purifying system built into our sink so we just push a button and we can get pure water. The weather right now is sunny, hot and humid. It is also REALLY REALLY windy. Worst than Rexburg. It has been really fun riding our bikes in the wind. Sometimes I can only move a few feet when it is really bad and my bike shakes. At least I know I am getting a really good resistance excercise out of it. :) It hasn't rained here yet so I don't have a raincoat but we found out today that there might be a taiphoon so we have to stock up on food. If it does come than we will stay inside and study. Dont' worry we will be fine.
       Things with my companion are going great! She is a lot of fun. Her English is really good so we switch back and forth between Chinese and English which is really nice for me. She is very nice and really helps me with my Chinese. Its funny because sometimes when she talks on the phone I will be on the other room of our apartment and all of the sudden i will hear this loud yelling "BU KEYI! BU KEYI!!! ( you can't you can't) or other things. Its really funny. She is just talking to some of the other Elders in our district who like to make fun of her a lot. She is really funny and we have a lot of fun together while we work. The wards here are awesome! Sister Zhang and I cover 3 wards. Each ward has about 30 or so members in it. A lot of them have only been members for a year or more. They are amazing. They have so much faith and have strong testimonies of the Gospel. In two of the wards they had me stand up and introduce myself and bear my testimony. It was a little scary but fine. When I told the ward I had been in Taiwan for 10 days. I had many people come up to me and tell me my Chinese was great for only being in the country for 10 days. That was really encouraging. I can understand the gist of what people are saying but not everything. I love the wards we are in and I am excitied to get to know them more and serve with them.
         One quick story, so we are meeting with a family who has two little girls one is 10 and the other is 6. They are absolutely adorable and remind me so much of the girls. This was the first time we had met with them so we taught them about the Restoration. As we talked you could feel the Spirit so strongly. The oldest daughter asked some amazing questions like when we were talking about prophets and about how anciently there were many prophets she asked, "So who is our prophet now?" It is so amazing the faith of children. We also invited them to baptism and they accepted!! They will be baptized on November 20. When we were explaining about what baptism is and why we need it the little 6 year old kept saying over and over "i want to get baptized! I want to get baptized!" We had to explain to her many times that she is not old enough and right now doesn't need baptism. She wouldn't have it though. It was adorable!! Seeing them and all of the other kids in the ward makes me miss Alaina and Abby so much.
Well that was our week in a nutshell. So much happened that I think I got it all. We have 3 people with baptism dates. All of them are amazing. I love the people here in Xinzhu. There are so many people we have met who are ready to accept the baptism. Missionary work is amazing!!! I know this Gospel is true. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Amy Papritz
P.S As far as a letter or card i did get one from President Grimley. It was in a green envelope. I don't know if thats the one you are talking about. Thank you for sending that. It was exactly what I needed to read.

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - October 18, 2010

Bienvenidos clase!
Oh, some sick stuff is going down in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We got Elder Robbins of the Quorum of the Seventy comin' down this Thursday and he's going to meet with all the missionaries. Elder Cook and I have a baptismal, our first one, this Saturday. We're pulling in better success lately then ever before and looking good doing it. It really started with a siick zone wide fast and pray roll last Thursday. It was so cool, we all had a list of investigators from other companionships and we all fasted and prayed, by name, for each person. I can't explain the gravity of that experience. Things have been going so smooth since then. Like literally, the next day there wasn't a word of Spanish, just about, that I didn't understand and we talked to more people that day than usually, it was a miracle. My spoken Spanish is getting miiighty close to fluency (whatever the definition of fluency is). I think another solid month and I'll be there.
So we visited our goat killing investigator and they had done another animal slaughtering. This time it was pig. So he invited us to come over the next day and they had a big pot full of different pig parts boiling. One of his friends make a rediculously good salsa and we just slapped a peice of pig tongue or something like that on a corn tortilla and smear some salsa and drink it down with a nice Coke. I'll tell you think, pig ankle is really rubbering and somehow mantained the smell of the big (musky and dirty), don't eat that part haha.
My health has been better than ever. Haven't been having stomaches and I've been able to do morning workouts now so that's helping me a lot. I juggle a soccer ball in the morning, just watch I'll come back and be a pro for sure.
Probably the coolest story from the week was when we went to a city on the outskirts of our area. We were very unfamiliar with it so we called a member that lived there and told him to set us all the appointments up for that day (we called him two days before). The day before he gave us our schedule including his sister who, he said, wasn't too excited to meet with us. We went the whole day without much success. Some people weren't home, one lady was home alone so we had to wait forever for a male to come to accompany us in. After an entire hard day of work we had one more appointment, with his sister. We walked in and I could tell she was kind of nervous to have us in but she was a really cool lady. She had just gotten back from bringing her son home from Cross Country practice. We started just talking about her son, we didn't even mention anything church related. I think that kind of surprised her and really let her loosen up. She then out of nowhere mentioned that her son had been suffering an ankle injury and that she wished we would give him a blessing. The kid himself wasn't too sure he wanted one but Elder Cook and I both testified of it from our experiences. He took a good thought about it and decided to do it. After the blessing we just sat down and sort of looked at each other, the Mom was crying and the son and her (who had kind of been poking at each other the whole night) embraced. I then bore my testimony again and told her that I knew that she was glad that we had come. She just began to cry more, she admitted that she originally didn't want us but was very glad we came and helped her son. She allowed us to come back again. It was very cool. It reminded me of my Mom, seeing the love that she had for her son. Pretty tight, huh?
One more quick one: I talk to this guy on the bus named Tarrence P. White, he was pretty cool. He knew who we were (missionaries) and I got his phone number, set up an appointment and handed him off to the English Elders. Well, they showed up and Tarrence (who lives with his Mom) made them take off their shoes at the door. He then examined their feet during the lesson, critiquing their arches and toe size. He offered to massage them (which Elder Privett awkwardly obliged to). I got a phone call afterwords telling me about what happened telling me, "What kind of a guy did you find for us???" They set up another appointment but then at church they talked to the branch president and apparently he had been taught by missionaries before and had actually gone to church one time where he was in a primary class (not sure what he was doing there) but he had the kids take off their shoes and that was all. Haha, so we're not allowed to visit him any more. But if any investigators get dropped from weird things like we called it getting TPDubbed in honor of Tarrence P. White. But we love him like our brother and we hope he doesn't weird people out by his foot feddish any more.
With Love,
Elder Papritz
ps. Elder Adam Harris, I had a vision with you in it. I was talking to you on the phone (you called me from Germany, it was very expensive by the way) But you were telling me how you needed inspiration or something and I went off on how you needed to pray more. More fervantly. More faithfully. Every day. EVERY MOMENT. And then I bore my testimony of prayer and how it's given us success here in Wisconsin. Seemed like a conversation we would have haha. Soooo, pray more, all day and you'll see good stuff. So that was the vision (or might have just been a dream, not sure. ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan October 11, 2010

Da jia hao!!!
 Well I finallly made it to Taiwan!!! It was so great to hear from all of you on the phone. I wish I could have talked longer but with blasted calling cards and limited time it wasn't possible. Our flight left LA at 5:50 in a huge EVA airways plane. Our seats were preatty good sized. I sat next to two missionaries so I didn't have the opportunity ot share the Gospel with anyone. The flight was so long 14 hours in all. It was hard because we couldn't watch TV. With everyone around us watching movies like Toy Story 3 it was hard to not sneek a peek at the screen. We landed in Taiwan at 10:30 and after getting our passports stamped, getting our luggage, and going through customs I finally met my mission president President Grimley and his wife. I already love them. They are so nice. We also met the assistants to the president and some of the new local missionaries who arrived today. The weather here is hot and humid but not too bad. We rode a huge bus to the temple housing where we would stay for the next two days. While on the way President Grimley explained about the area and a little of his mission here in Taiwan years ago. That night I crashed. All of us were so tired. The next day he explained we would have orintation, a tour of the temple grounds, and in the evening we would do the imfamous Dan Jonesing. For those of you who don't know who he is I will explain. Dan Jones was one of the greatest missionaries in this dispensation. He served a mission in Wales and brought many people the Gospel. He would often stand on a soap box and just teach to the masses. So with that spirit of missionary work we did the same.
             The next morning at 6:30 all of the new missionaries with the mission president and the assistants went running to the Chang hai Shek (Jiang Zhong Zheng) memorial and the park that it is in. It was beautiful!!! At the MTC I saw pictures everyday of it but I never dreamed I would see it my first full day in Taiwan! It was beautiful!! We also at a traditional Taiwan breakfast of sandwiches that are a lot like Egg McMuffins. It is a layered sandwich with ham, egg, hamburger meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Their mayo here is sweeter than American mayo. It was really good! Orintation was long but great.I was able to call home for 5 mintues to tell you that I got here safely and that I love it here but guess what... you didn't answer!! haha oh well. We talked about the area and what the main way of contacting is which is on our bikes! We also did a scavenger hunt around the city. While we found the things that were on the list we were suppose to contact people and give away pamphlets and a Book of Mormon. Sister Bready and I didnt' do very good at the contacting part. That night after eating a great dinner we met with some of the area missionaires and split into groups to Dan Jones. YIKES!!! actually it wasn't too bad. We stood in a busy intersection of a market place and just started talking. I was with Sister Steinquist who is really nice. When Dan Jonesing didn't work we just stopped people on the street and talked to them. We also knocked on door. It was at first very nerve racking but I slowly got used to it. We did that from 6 to about 8:30. Sorry I didn't get any pictures. I will get plenty of pictures here in my area.
      On Friday I found out who my companion was and where my first area would be. We went early in the morning to the Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel is the location where Mark E Peterson dedicated Taiwan to the Preaching of the Gospel. There President Grimley expained the history of the church here in Asia which is a miracle! In just a short amount of time the church has grown so much here in Asia. We then read the dedicatory prayer for Taiwan. It is amazing to see the blessing that are promised in that blessing and how they have come to pass. President then gave us the opportunity to dedicate ourselves to the work. Each of us found a quiet spot and read our scriptures and prayed. It was a great experience. I really felt the Spirit so strongly. We then took a picture in front of the hotel. I will send you that picture hopefully in next week's e-mail. At 11 I met my companion and found out what area I would be "born" in or start my mission in. My companion is AWESOME!!!!! Her name is Sister Chang and she is a Bendiren or native. She is a convert to the church and the only member in her family. She has been out on her mission for about a year. When I first met her I was really hoping that I would get a native as my trainer. I am so excited to work with her. My first area is called Xinzhu. We then left that afternoon for Xinzhu.
       Let me tell you about Xinzhu. Its a big city!! Not as bit as Taipei but bigger than any city I have lived in. There are 3 wards here with we are over all three. There are 3 sets of Elders also serving in this city. We ride our bikes everywhere. At first it was crazy riding my bike everywhere right next to cars and big buses but I have started to get used to it. The new bike that I got is really nice. It is a mountain bike with a white frame. On the frame is printed the name of the church in Chinese and a great quote that is very popular around here. It is by I think David O McKay and it says "No amount of work can compensate for failure in the home." The members have bummer stickers of this quote on their cars, bikes, and motorscooters. We also pass it out to people. Unfortunately I have to paint over my bike so that it doesn't get stolen.
       This weekend we had the opportunity to hear conference. For me it was the second time. I also got to meet the people in the three wards we are over. This one sister Sister Lin is so nice. She invited us over to her house my first night here in Xinzhu for dinner. She has a contagious laugh and a big heart. I love her already. She has only been a member for 2 years and is married to the ward mission leader. Many of the people I met are converts only of a year or two. All of them have such great faith. I can't wait to get to know them better and to serve them.
        I already had my run it with nasty food that kind ward members have made me. Oh man it was gross!! It was a noodle soup with pig intestines and oysters in it. One of the ward members made it for me and my companion for us to eat during the hour break between sessions. I tried to muscle it down but I only at about a quarter of it. It tasted no joke like rubber or the way that breaks smell like when they are over heated. I gagged a few times but I kept smiling and trying to eat it. My companion finally took pity on me and told me it was ok if I didnt' finish it. Sister Lin and the other sister both said I was very brave for trying it.
      Well thats my first week in a nutshell. I love it here in Xinzhu. There are a lot of people here in this city and I am very excited to teach them the Gospel. We have already had a few lessons. My Chinese is not that great but I am excited to have a Taiwanese companion to help me. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission here in Taiwan. I love you all so much. Next week hopefully i will be able to send you pictures!!!!!! Wo ai nimen. This Gospel is true and I am so grateful to have it in my life.
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Papritz

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - October 11, 2010

Hey Family and Fuuriends,
This week was way cool because we had Zone Conference. I got to see a lot of Elders I hadn't seen in 12 weeks (because zone conference is held every other transfer now, thus sayeth the prophet) and we got to see a glimpse of our new Assistent President. He is a cool guy and is really nice. The other AP is planning on using his last two transfers in the field so he will step down after this next transfer so we'll have yet another AP next transfer. Elder Cook and I were pretty surprised coming out of Zone Conference, we had some questions we wanted answered and we got some pretty sweet answers.
This week Elder Cook came down with somethin' nasty. He was waaay sick for like 2 days. I don't even know how he did it but he slept for 36 hours out of those 48 hours and even coming out of that he can't talk because he has been coughing so much. So....I had a lot of time by myself this week. I listened to MoTab while I cleaned the apartment. It was almost funny for Elder Cook, every time he would emerge to get a drink and go to the bathroom some other part of the apartment would be clean. And one of the times I rearranged all the furniture and tacked up a mural of church posters, it looks way sick. My Mom would be so proud, I worked for like 8 hours straight just cleaning up and stuff. I also got very precious time to write letters to people I haven't written to. It's something that has really been on my mind and then when the Prophet brought it home to me with his talk about gratitude, I knew I was being ungrateful for just taking in all this mail and not sending anything back.
So before Elder Cook got sick we got to visit this totally awesome investigator who is straight up from the slums of Mexico named Carlos. The last time we visited him we ate cow stomach which pretty much looks like fleshy honeycomb but tastes like fatty fatness, but the broth isn't too bad. And this time we walked in to their garage (which we know he is getting himself in to trouble if he's in his garage) and he had slaughtered THREE GOATS that day. He even brought out a light, because it was late, and showed us the blood stains on the walls of the garage that were still there. He then took us over to the grill, which they had all setup in the garage with a table of sodas and beers haha, he opened the grill and was pointing out the different types of meats and then he pointed at this one round, sack-like and asked, "ya know what that is?" And we were like, "What?" And he was like, "The balls." hahaha He then chopped them in half (the whole scrotum was in the grill) slapped them on a tortilla with a bit of onion and gave them to us to eat haha. Elder Cook and I definitely didn't pass up the oportunity to say we ate goat testicles. The most part of it looks and tastes like chicken but the epididymis definitely had a consistancy more like clam haha... But apparently living goats are only a hundred bucks! So I'm thinking I'm going to save up some money so that when I get to train a new missionary, I'll bring my boy in to the garage of good ol' Carlos right when he 'happens' to be slicing the throat of a goat hanging from the roof. Then I'll make him eat the balls. It will be a spectacular first day for the mission. I got it all planned out. But I'm kind of seriously, it doesn't say anything about killing goats in the white handbook, I've already looked. haha
On a more sentimental note, we got a call from a family two weeks ago, the wife is active but the husband is an old-time offended branch mission leader. We've been meeting with them to try to reactivate him, Elder Cook and his last companion successfully reactivated her despite his lack of support. But her brother had fallen off a balcon from being drunk and he needed a blessing. We went to the hospital with our branch mission leader and on the way up we were talking to him and I just told him, "You should give it because you know Spanish better." But also, he does a really good job with his calling but he can't have has a lack of a spark for church work. I was hoping to kind of excite him. But he told us, "If I was on a mission, I'd take advantage of every opportunity like this, like why not? It's not every day you get a chance like this." So we let that sit, I was still hoping he'd kind of do it but we got up to his room and we walked in and he had a neck brace on and when I tried to shake his hand he looked over at me and told me, "Im sorry...but I'm paralyzed." It kind of took me back, I didn't realize it was that bad. He had been in the hospital for a week and wasn't able to move except for a tiny bit in his left foot. We joked around with him, I told him about a paralyzed guy that spoke at my high school that learned to paint with his mouth and sold his art for lots of money. He really warmed up to us. I felt impressed to give the blessing. The spirit was very strong. Sister Barba, the reactivated member was in the room and was in tears of gratitude. It was a very special experience. We've gone back to visit him and plan on doing so every week to make sure he's getting better. He's having withdraws from not being able to drink including hallucinations but he's doing alright.
And finally, my last story for this week. We were riding on our bikes, coming home from a dinner appointment, we were 5 blocks away from home. I usually ride on the inside of the bike lane and make Elder Cook ride on the outside where the cars are parked because I'm always scared that someone is going to open a door and I'll just get rocked. haha he's very brave. But we were riding home and it was late and we've been told by our mission president to start wearing our suit coats full time and the streets were pretty busy. Well, we were coming up to an intersection and I looked over and noticed a car with it's blinker ready to make a turn, then I noticed no more cars flying by me, which meant there was a gap. The car started to inch forward and I thought, "surely it sees us." And then she gunned it right when we entered the intersection I just looked up and shook my head and thought, "I can't believe that she is really ---" BAM! The car struck my side, I tried to push my weight forward so that I wouldn't get run over. I toppled off my bike, it was all kind of a blur, but I remember landing on the concrete and a bunch of stuff fell out of my backpack because there is a hole in it. I immediately looked at my hands, thinking they were scraped up. They were fine, I gathered my stuff and started to stand up...waiting for the sharp pain coming from my legs, back, neck --something! But nothing came. I checked my suit coat elbow where I landed to see if it was scraped up. Nothing. Two people on the side walk yelled out to me, Are you all right??! I told I thought I was fine. The lady in the car, who was hispanic, yelled back at me, "You okay?" I told her I was fine, and then she drove off, no doubt scared and probably an illegal. A person in another car strolled up and told me through the window that they had her license plate but I told them I wasn't going to use it and that I was fine. I started talking to the people on the sidewalk for a bit and tried to bring in the gospel haha, I told them to stop some missionaries if they ever seen any in the future. But I was pretty frazzled after that. We rode back to the apartment and kneeled in prayer of gratitude and then went back out to work. That night I decided to call my mission president because I figured they would want to know. They were no doubt concerned but were so grateful I was okay. They didn't really know what to do. But then at Zone Conference two days later they told me I have to fill out some paper work and I still have to visit a doctor even though I feel fine. It was new to them because they are obviously new mission presidents. But it's nuts. That night I hit the sack hard, I fell asleep fast but then woke up at 11:45 and couldn't go back to sleep until 5:45, probably from all the adreneline I still had. I listened to music and wrote some letters while I waited to go back to sleep. I'm definitely a lot more skiddish on the roads, it's weird. I'm definitely a lot more careful. I'm just glad it wasn't an SUV that hit me. But I just don't understand, it's really miracle. I remember hitting the concrete and it just being Downy soft. We went back to the site and saw that I had been flung about 20 feet. Pretty miraculous. I truly appreciate the prayers. I know they help, I felt angels that day.
I'm doing great though. I definitely feel Gods love for me and for those I teach.
Much Love,
Elder Papritz
ps. Happy birthday Tom.
Family: send the stuff I desire ha

Monday, October 4, 2010


I am sooo excited to announce my mission call. I opened it about a week ago and it has finally become a little less shocking.

I will be serving in the Hungary Budapest Mission!!!! Hungarian Speaking. I will be serving primarily as the Mission Nurse Specialist!!! I report on December 29th to the Provo MTC.

I could not be more excited. At first I had no clue where it was, but the more I have researched it the more perfect it feels. I am just thrilled!!

Here are some picture of the beautiful country I will be serving in:

Pretty perfect I'd say!

Autumn's Covert MTC operation

Since I am leaving on a mission and won't see my sister for 2 WHOLE YEARS!! (since she left 6 months before me) I decided that instead of mailing or dearelder-ing her my call, wouldn't it be WAY more awesome if I just read it to her LIVE?! ... so I decided that I would surprise her and kind of stalk her out, it's not breaking the rules if she didn't know I was coming right? and it was totally mission related, obviously, MY mission related. So I parked in a spot that I knew I would see her little curls bouncing by on her P-day up to the temple... after 3 hours of waiting I saw that perky little sister of mine just beaming as she skipped-hopped- and practically summersaulted her way to the temple (she always was cheerful, but the MTC like tripled that in her). I jumped out of my car and yelled her name, she was obviously shocked, and we had a movie like reunion full of screaming-running-arms wide open embracing-magic. I read her my call and, as predicted, she was SHOCKED!...just like all of us have been. Budapest?! who goes to Budapest?!!!

So I decided I needed to somehow document the moment and decided to take a video of her awesome new Chinese Skills (sounds pretty legit to me). She says that she is baring her testimony and talking about how exciting it was to hear my mission call. (For all I know she could have been saying the ABCs)

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - October 4, 2010

What up peeps?
Oh man, it's been a sweetite week. And I'm not even sure why. Because of the transfers we got little missionary work done except for a few lessons taught and five new investigators. God is so graceful...what the heck. Elder Cook and I have been reorganizing ourselves for the new transfer, I never did get fully unpacked from when I got to the apartment. We are trying to slow things down, think things through and do it right. We're praying harder, planning better and being more obedient and we're hopeful for a good transfer. Him and I both were so stinking glad to have conference. The phrase, "We have a prophet, we have a prophet!" Kept running through my head. It's that tight though? I had my infusion this week. It went waaay better than last time. The room wasn't 20 degrees below zero and this time I had my companion to keep me company. I do have to say, after taking the new pills for a month...I'm feeling a lot better. I called my doctor and he was really pleased to hear that, I got a refill and will be seeing him next week to see what else he may want to do. It's gettin' COLD HERE! Holy cow, it's still like 50 degrees but the wind chill is just frigid. I do not want to know what 8 degrees feels like...ooh maan. I'm going to need a little bit of money (probably just like 50-80 bucks) to buy gloves and a other winter gear like socks, gloves, hat, ear mittens and stuff like's going to be colder than I expected, dang :((((((( I'm going to try as hard as I can to not stress out about it but for reals I'm freaking out.
My favorite talks this conference was President Uchtdorf's talk on pride, that was waay tight and how he totally put himself up there with the conference gods like President Benson's talk on pride. I also really liked Elder Scott and Elder Oak's talks, there were really conceptual and I really liked that. I made some really nice connections during them and have a few ideas on how I want to use those ideas in my mission.
The only funny story I have is that because it was transfers we did the HABENERO CHALLENGE. All the Eldesr that left had to eat a habenero and it was so funny. Also, all the Spanish elders ate them because we tight and cultural like that. Elder Hulet's face swole up so much it was so funny. Elder cook had burning gas for two days.
I got to go though. NOt much time. Love you all.
Elder Papritz.

Amy last week in MTC October 4, 2010

Da jia hao!
Its so weird to be writing my last e-mail in the MTC. We got up early today so that we can do laundry. Its strange to think that today is our last full day in the MTC and its a p-day. I am so excited to leave the MTC and to head out to Taiwan!! This week has been really weird with people leaving and packing. A few of the Elders who are not going to Taiwan left today or earlier this week. We got our flight plans switched earlier this week so now alll of the people going to Taiwan are on the same flight. I am so glad that they put us all on the same flight. It was so great to be able to call home too and to hear all of your voices even just for 5 min. I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow!!!!!! So just a reminder of my new flight plans. We leave SLC at 11:30am and get into LAX at 12:30. Then our flight leaves LAX at 5:10 for Taiwan. I will call some time around 1 or so. About calling cards. I will try to get one here at the MTC if they sell it and if not I will buy one with enough minutes to talk to you without any problems. I can't wait to hear from you all!!! I'l call home first and then Autumn and then Alden.
Ok enough legistics. This weekend was conference. Wasn't it great!! I loved the Spirit that was felt so strongly. It made me so excited when they announced 5 new temples!! One in Indiana too!! It thought of Kailee my old roommate when they annouced it and how excited I bet she is. All of the talks were wonderful. I had a few questions that I wanted answered during conference and they were answered within the first few talks! It was such a testament to me that Heavenly Father is indeed mindful of each of us and knows our needs and answers our prayers. We all watched the sessions in the gym. It was so fun to watch it with all of the other missionaries. I dont' know what my favorite talk would be but I noticed a theme throughout all of the talks. The importance of prophets was disscussed over and over. Especially the talk givien by President Ezra Taft Benson on the "14 fundementals of a prophet." You all should read that talk. I read it in my teaching of the living prophets class and its really good. I was also reminded of something that my teaching of the living prophets teacher said, "When prophets quote other prophets we need to pay attention to what they are saying." Having that talk mentioned twice at least to me tells me that we need to trust in the prophets more and follow their counsel. Also as Elder Holland and President Monson were talking about the people in their lives that have made a huge difference I thought of the many people who have made a big difference in mine. I am so grateful to each of you for helping me be who I am today. Especially my family. Thank you for all of your love and support thoughout my life and providing me with every opportuntiy that I wanted. Thank you for your strong testimonies and examples of what a disciple of Chirst should be. Words cannot express how grateful I am to you in the small amount of time that I have left to write an e-mail. Thank you for everything! xie xie!
I really don't know what else to write. This week has been really non eventful besides conference. Since I will be talking to you tomorrow I dont' know what else to say. I love you all! I can't wait to hear from you tomorrow!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Amy Papritz

Amy - MTC - September 27, 2010

Da jia hao!!!!
I can't believe this will be the second to last time I will write you here in the MTC. Crazy!!!! I feel like I just got here!! So we got our flight plans on thursday. My flight leaves Salt Lake at 8 and we get into LA at 9:01. Then our flight doesn't leave to go to Taiwan until 1:20am. We get into Taiwan at 6:30 in the morning. Fun!!! Its really weird though because they do the flight alphabetical I am not flying with Sister Bready. There are a few people in our district who are leaving earlier in the day on Tuesday including my companion. They will get into Taiwan at 10:00pm so they will get to sleep and recover from the flight. I won't. I will just hit the ground running. I'm so excited though!!!!!!!!! So during that lengthy lay over in LA I am allowed to call home!!! I can't wait to hear all of your voices. Autumn, I need your phone number. I don't remember it so I need it so I can call you. by the way, WHERE ARE YOU GOING ON YOUR MISSION?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? This wait has been KILLING me!!! Its so hard because I can't call you up and see what the staus is I have to wait until the next dear elder comes which is at the end of the day. Tourture?? YES! I can't wait to find out. let me know ASAP!!!
So now that I have talked about flight plans. This week was really good. Last Monday at the temple we had the wonderful opportunity to help a couple with a family sealing. They had an old family name that they have been waiting for a long time to do. They asked a few of us missionaries to help with the sealing of a daughter to a family. We can do sealings as long as they are sealing of children to parents. It was a really great experience. I got to be the proxy for this daughter. As we were doing the sealing it reminded me so much of when the girls were sealed to us and the special spirit that was there. The words were so powerful. I am so grateful that I know that my family is sealed for time and all eternity. We had our last TRC appointment on saturday. So weird!!! I can't believe that we are done with our TRC experience. Since next week is General Conference no volunteers will come on Saturday. The teaching went well. We taught three girls from Taiwan. They were really nice but spoke really fast!!! Holy moly I'm going to be in trouble when I get there!!! haha oh well!! One of the girls reminded me a lot of Autumn. She looked like her only in Taiwan form. haha It made me miss her a lot. After we were done teaching it so weird to think that the next time that I will be teaching will be a really person from Taiwan who knows nothing about the church. I am so excited but nervous at the same time. This last week will be really weird and difficult to stay focused!!
This last Wednesday my disctrict and I had the opporunity to help host the new missionaries. It was a lot of fun! I helped three sisters get setteled in their room, get their tag and other things for the MTC, their teaching materials and I also took them to their classroom. Since I have gotten here I have been so excited for this opportunity to host. This job is only given to missionaries who leave within the next two weeks. I helped one sister who was going to Arizona.. i think. Another was going to Texas Houston East spanish speaking. The last sister was from Fiji and will be serving in the Marshall Islands. She was really nice. She was suprised when I told her I have been there and when we were there. She apparently was there in Fiji. All of these sisters were really nice I am so glad that I got to help them get settled here at the MTC and calm their fears. I know that all of them will do a great job. Sister Bready and I also found out that our teacher He laoshi reccomended us to help teach the new missionaries this Wednesday. The first day a missionary enters the MTC they go to a class where they first learn about teaching and what to a not to do. I am really excited and I am glad that he reccomended us.
Well that is our week in nutshell..... I can't believe that soon I will be out in the field. This next week is going to be crazy in trying to learn as much Chinese as I can before we go. But I am REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED!!!! I can't wait to go and share the Gospel with the people of Taiwan. I hope that all of you have a great week. Thank you so much for all of your love and suppport as I have been here in the MTC. I love you all!! This Gospel is true. I know it is. I know that the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that by reading it we can draw closer to our Heavenly Father and that we more fully apply the wonderful gift of the Atonement in our lives. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he is our Savior and that he and our Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us so personally. They know us by name and know all of our problems, fears, and joy. Again, I love you all!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
Sister Amy Papritz

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - September 27, 2010

Hermosa Familia,

My oh my, what a spectacular week it was, made as such by the receival of Autumn's mission call. I got it all on film (my reaction that is from reading it and even more), probably more than I needed to record but oh well. Pretty much all you need to know is that the videos didn't play on my camera and so we went on a gooose chase to find a camera that would play the videos. I figured I was going to follow along on the video and read your mission call as you were reading it but then realized that would be too tricky to do and so I after waiting half a day after having the call in my hands I finally got to open it.

And holy chupacabra it craazy, I was freaking out when I saw Hungary Budapest. And then I was really freaking out when I read that your "primary responsiblity" was to be a Mission Nurse Specialist like wth is that?? That's sounds so cool. I want a mission nurse specialist in our mission!! I hope you get a sexy Mission Doctor Specialist companion too and you two can take Hungaries slums and fancy touristy castle sites by storm. Also, I can't figure out if you are going to be a nurse of the people or of the missionaries. As in, Hungary doesn't have good health care, so you are going to be kind of like an "office missionary" and kind of be a first healthcare for them . Which reminds me, both Elder Campbell and Elder Cook are calling that you are going to meet your future husband on your mission. I don't know. But keep your eye out for any potentially mortally wounded, tall and handsome missionaries that you may or may not need to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on.

Also, about Hungarian. Yes, Finnish is widely agreed to be the hardest language to learn in the world. I'm not sure why either but from what I heard from a guy from my zone in the MTC that was from the Netherlands (and could speak Finnish too along with Dutch, obviously, and spoke English dang good too) and he said that Finnish is just a dirty language. Hard to pronounce, hard grammatical rules and mostly just reallly, really hard to pronounce. All the vowells are way back in the throat and sound weird, it sure sounded like dirty garbage when he spoke it. Sooooooo, yeeeah, you might have a pretty fun time learning Hungarian which sounds like (from what you told me) is related to Finnish. Oh, and I have to tell you that after I opened it I got Hungarian mixed up with Romanian (which, oddly enough, the countries are neighbors) but I was saying on the video how you will be able to understand me because Romanian is the oldest root Latin-based language and I fluent speaker can understand most all of the other latin-based languages. In fact, in the MTC we talked to some missionaries going to Romania and we could pretty much understand each other. Buuuuut that's not you. We probably will have a very hard time, in fact, understanding each other. But at least Spanish will be a peice of cake for you to learn when you get back after tackling something like Hungarian! Uuugh, but you are soooo close to Romania, I wonder how much of an influence it has on Hungarian, also from what I looked up there are a lot of Hungarian speakers in Romania. Maybe we could tour over there and I could speak Spanish to the Romanians and you could cover the 2 million Hungarian speakers there. Tight. Also, I better be home from my mission before you, I for sure want to visit Hungary to see you there. That would be sooo tiiight.

So we have transfers today, the only news I have is that Elder Hulet is out of here and we are most likely going to get an Elder Hirschi who is one transfer older than me and is mighty fine good at Spanish (he took five years before coming out) aaand was the only other person trained by my trainer, Elder Kelly. So that'll be tight, we can share old stories about our Pops. But Elder Cook and I are gearing up for another 6 weeks together. We going to do some good transfer goals and try to get some work done. We'll see how it goes.

I'm glad ya'll enjoyed the package I sent. I personally think that chile candy is nasty. But I tried to buy the best, easily to stand kind. I'm off the pain meds for my back, and I still have plenty left in case I have another accident so that's really nice. Also, I think the Crohn's medicine is workiiiing!! I haven't had almost any pain and I'm feeling really good. So that's kind of a relief. We'll see how it keeps helping me.

Well, I go to go. Love ya all.

Elder Papritz

Amy - MTC - September 20, 2010

Zao an!!!

Suprise!! I am writing this e-mail a little earlier than usual. ok a lot earlier. We realized today that we have a lot of time before we go to the temple at 9:30 so we are going to write our e-mails now so you get a great treat when you wake up this morning. This week was really good. Nothing really in particular happened. Its getting down to the wire though. 2 more weeks!! Its so crazy that we started our 10th week today. We should hopefully be getting our travel plans this week or next week. CRAZY!!! I'm so excited! I can't wait to get to Taiwan and hit the ground running. Our teacher He laoshi told us that the first month in Taiwan our heads will explode. haha He said its because we are trying to listen so hard and say what we learned. That will be fun. Our TRC appointment went really well. We taught a women who was from Taichung, Taiwan. She has been a member for a few months I think. We taught her as if she was a recent convert and we were re-teaching her the second lesson on the Plan of Salvation. It was kind of hard to understand her because of her thick Taiwan accent but the lesson still went really good. Heaven up me when I get to Taiwan and try to understand that accent!! Anywhoo, we discussed the Atonement more indepth since she has a few questions. We didn't know how to answer it and Sister Bready was looking in the scriptures and suddenly turned to Alma 7:11-13. It answered all of her questions!! I love how the Spirit works!! It was the best lesson we have had in regards to making it more of a disscussion rather than us just teacher her.

ummm what else can I tell you about this week. Its starting to get cold here but only in the mornings. Then it is really hot. haha silly Utah weather! The mountains are starting to change colors and it is beautiful. I love it. It reminds me of the fall in Oregon and I miss it. I LOVED the pictures that you sent me and the package. I look at those pictures often and I wish I could be there but I know I am needed here. The sweater is so great thanks!! It is just the right size and length. I lot of people have complemented me on it. Oh i rememberd something. So He laoshi was telling us about the importance of member referrals. He said that about 60- 70 percent of the baptisms that he had on his mission were from member referrals. He said because they had someone to take the lessons with that they knew and were friends with and that once they are baptized and the missionaries leave they have a support system in the ward. He told this great story how he in one area baptized 4 people at once and all from member referrals and the investigator bringing a friend. So I invite all of you to give referrals to the missionaries and to talk to your friends more about the Gospel. There are so many people how need it. He also advised us to be the best missionaries that we can be the kind that I would want a good friend to have teach me.

I am so grateful to be on a mission. I love it here!! I can't wait to get to Taiwan. I dont' know what else to tell you that happend this week. Sorry this e-mail is a little short. This week wasn't as eventful. Please keep me posted on Autumns call. As soon as you find out LET ME KNOW!! I was dying this week when I didnt' find out until FRIDAY!

I love you all!!

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

Sister Amy Papritz

P.S Mom I forgot to tell you before I left but can you go to OSU Federal and tell them that I will be out of the country in Taiwan. I tried to take care of that before I left but they wouldn't let me because it was too far in advanced. silly bank Xiexie!! Oh also if you could send a copy of my mission call that would be great too. I think it is up in my room on the window seat. Love you all!!!

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - September 20, 2010

Hey family,

So on Tuesday we had district meeting like every week. And like every week we go eat out as a district after the meeting. Elder Cook and I had our bikes so we dropped by our apartment first to drop off some stuff before going to the restaurant. After dropping off our stuff and heading to the restaurant while we saw the rest of the six Elders on the sidewalk. I rode up behind them at an angle but when I tried jumping on to the curb I didn't make it all the way and my tire slid out from under me sideways and I was thrown off my bike. I was so embarrassed that I started to wail in pain, grabbing my heart, to pretend like I had just been playing along the whole time. Even more embarrassing, there were two real people behind them that watched the whole thing. Everyone was just kind of thinking, "What are you doing Elder Papritz?" And all I could say was just, "Yeah you're right, I should probably stop practicing my falls, I'm getting to good at them." Well the real funny part is that I really was hurt. When I stood up my back hurt so bad, like someone was digging a knife in to my muscle. The next day, after I only got 4 hours of sleep from the pain, I went to a clinic and I strained a muscle. He prescribed a pain killer and a muscle relaxant and man-oh-man that stuff works. Now I'm as high as a kite day and night, the pain killer makes me all lightheaded and makes my body tingle, and the muscle relaxant, which I only take at night, just knocks me out. Oh and I just used our insurance for it all. The church insurance is really crummy, and it uses tithes/offerings to pay for it so I figured you would just want to pay for it.

But anyways, at church we had Sister Zavala attend! She had been less active for a while and her family is a focus family for us. She has a lot of children that are less-active and a lot of nonmember in-laws. It was so cool to see her at church. Also, I absolutely got rocked by member meals this week. On two different occasions we had a lunch and dinner appointment and one of those was a breakfast/lunch/dinner combo. I literally have never eaten so Holy cow, and you feel so bad for not eating, so I just stuffed myself past the point that any human being should have to eat. One day I ate 3 big pancakes, 6 french toast, 6 sausages, 2 breakfast rolls, 3 eggs, bacon, hashbrown and two cups of orange juice, and then one hour and half later we had another lunch appointment with a Dominican guy who made us Sancocho which is like a stew with pork and this potatoe-like plant. I had two bowls of that and then that night I had three homemade tacos and a couple glasses of grape soda...oh my gosh I wanted to die. It was so much food that by the next day we had a dinner appointment and I still wasn't hungry. I literally cannot describe the feeling of it. And then to top it off you have to leave the appointment on a bike.

Anyways, the transfer is almost over. Crazy! Time just flies, Elder Cook and I are hoping to stay together but we won't know until this Saturday. Elder Cook feels like he could be going but there really is no way to be sure. I still excited for Autumn's mission call, I'm hoping it will come this week. It'll be Chile, just you wait.

Zone conference next transfer is going to feature one of the brethren from the quorum of the seventy so I'm excited to hear from him. Other than that I'm doing fine. Except, I'd like the cord to my camera that allows me to plug it in to the computer, that way I could send you pictures over email, my best guess is that it is in my room. I'll be sending a package this week, included are the pants from my fall, you'll need to mail those to Missionary Mall and have them send me a new pair of pants. Thanks a ton for the package. Elder Cook and I laughed at the yo-yo's. He had never had a yo-yo! What a deprived child, for companionship study I taught him how to make a yo-yo sleep and walk the dog. He's learning. The oreos are always so good, I pound through those in two days easy. Also, I'm now easily above two hundred pounds consistently, although it might just be the weight from the actual food in my body, I have yet to go a day this week without a large, prepared dinner so we'll see after a few days if it's just food weight or if I've gained fat. And please send a picture of you and Dad at the temple. I have a question: Of the people on the family tree I have, how many of them do you think you could find pictures for? My idea is to have a piece of paper with my family tree and pictures of all the people on it. I think that'd be cool.

How is Sarah's Mom doing? Is she doing well? I think about that family all the time because it's kind of getting towards fall/winter and some of the families we visit are already talking about their family's posada fiesta.

I hope you all are doing well. Love ya,

Elder Papritz