Monday, November 29, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 29, 2010

Hey ho family and friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,
Elder Papritz

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 29, 2010

Qin ai de jiating,

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

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

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

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

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 22, 2010

Family and beloved friends,

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Elder Papritz

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 21, 2010

Qin ai de jia ting,

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

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

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

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

All my love,

Yang Jiemei

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 15, 2010

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 14, 2010

Oh what is going on everyone?

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee - November 8, 2010

Buenas tardes clase,

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Elder Papritz

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 8, 2010

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - November 1, 2010

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

Amy Xinzhu, Taiwan November 1, 2010

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