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.