Monday, January 31, 2011

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - January 31, 2011

Queridos Hermanos y Hermanas,

This week is transfer week. I was with the zone leaders on splits when the transfer text came. I will be staying in Milwaukee with my boy, training for another transfer. The only moves in the whole zone where both district leaders and another English missionary who is actually going to be a district leader after only 6 months. In fact, there are rumors that he is going to be our district leader now which means he won't be going far. Oddly enough, this Elder's name is Elder Calder and when I first saw him when he first came to the field six months ago it was quite a weird time warp situation. Elder Logan Calder was actually going to be my roommate at BYU when I had selected my housing in the fall. But he decided to go to UofU like 5 days before the semester started. It's really funny because I tell him all the time whenever we are having a good time or laughing really hard at a joke I'll say to him under my breath, "Hahah...ooh, man, we would have been best friends...." I make him feel guilty for switching to UofU all the time.

Speaking of splits with the zone leaders, the investigator up there with cancer, Meliton, is doing sooo well. Gosh that guy has got some faith if I've ever seen it. We gave him a blessing a few weeks ago and I felt really strongly that he would be healed and I've been surprised with how long it's been taking. But he reassured me by telling me that he has already been healed. Either way things turn out, Christ has already paid the price. His soul is healed. Wow, that was a pretty powerful moment. He desires so much to go to church and be baptized but he still has two more chemo therapy treatments. Also, the zone leader's Mexican investigator gave a lot of his friends and family as referrals to them. But a lot of them only speak Spanish. Sooo, it looks like I'll be going up to their area a lot more than usual.

The other day it was reeeally cold and we were waiting for at a bus stop (like always) and I noticed the street light pole. It looked for metallic, very cold, very smooth. I could not help but have the urge to put my tongue on that pole. So when my companion turned his back I stepped over to the pole and touched my tongue to the pole. It stuck. But I only touched the very tip and it came off pretty easily. So I called over to my companion and then stuck my tongue on the poll again, just enough so that I could pull back and it would stretch my tongue and really look like it was stuck. He turned and saw me and so ever calmly asked, "What are you doing?" And then I pulled back to detach it but it was stuck on there pretty good. He realized that I really had it stuck on there. I really started thinking that I might actually have my tongue stuck but I pulled really hard and it ripped off, taking quite a bit of skin frozen to the pole. We both started laughing really hard but then my tongue started bleeding and it seriously didn't stop for like an hour and a half. Gosh, it was so funny. I want to do it again and do it with my whole tongue but have a bunch of warm water to get it off easily so that I can take pictures of it. Good idea, right? Right??

Sounds good. See ya'll later.

Elder Papritz

ps. Since the Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl, I got an email from the mission president saying that every missionary needs to be inside by 4:00 PM on Sunday studying or planning. I was wondering if something like that would happen, I can't imagine any real missionary work could be done anyways. But I thought that was funny, we are actually not allowed to proselyte or even go outside after 4.

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 30, 2011

Qinai de Jiating,
Happy Chinese New Year!!! I hope that you all are having great week.We certainly did here in Jilong. I'm just going to say, Alden you better get ready to hit the ground running because there are so many prepared people here. This week Sister Howell and I have continued to see so many miracles. I feel like Ammon in Alma 26, "Of my own strength I am weak... I do not boast of myself but I will boast of my God." I know that Sister Howell and I are not perfect missionaries and yet Heavenly Father is continuing to bless us with so many miracles. My Chinese is still not very good and yet I know that as I open my mouth and talk to people that Heavenly Father is filling it and is helping the people understand me. We taught this one lady named Sarah who was a phone referral from another missionary. She was really willing to set up with us and when we asked if she believed Joseph Smith's experience she said yes. She also said that if Joseph Smith could recieve answers to his prayers that she could too. She was really willing to set a baptismal date and she even came to church on Sunday. She is wonderful. You are going to LOVE serving here Alden. The people are so humble and willing to hear the Gospel. Yang jiating (Green and Joy) are doing great. Green came to church for the third time and is making so much progress. His wife has yet to come to church yet. She has to work on Sunday at a shoe shop but she said after Guo nian she can come to church. So we are hopeing that she will come. If not, we will turn Green over to the Elders to teach.
Everyone is preparing for Guo nian (Chinese New Year). A lot of people don't really want to meet with us because they are "too busy" For guo nian everyone cleans their homes and prepares a lot of food. The ward sent around the calender to feed us for guo nian. Oh dear, we have two appointments a day the whole week of guonian. From what I have heard from other missionaries is that they feed you a TON of food. On Wednesday we have two dinner appt. because an investigator, Song yuan ting, wants to feed us. I am so nervous. I have such a small stomach and I dont' eat much. So we will see if I will survive. haha I am really excited for my first guo nian in Taiwan. Yahoo!! I will send you pictures next week of the festivities.
I hope that everything is going well at home. I can't believe that they already sent you stuff about me coming home! I don't even want to think about it! It still seems so far away. I am already at the end of my 3rd transfer. Yikes!! Time is flying. Mom, I am so proud of you for handing out a Book of Mormon to that lady in Costco!! Way to be a great missionary!! I will keep her in my prayers. Keep it up! There are still a lot of prepared people for you to help. Pray everyday for opportunities like the one you had to share the Gospel and Heavenly Father will give them to you. Jia you!! I love you all so much. Thank you for you love and prayers. I have felt them and I am so grateful for all of your examples. Wo ai nimen!!!
All my love,
Yang jiemei

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Autumn MTC January 26 , 2011

SZERVUSZ BARATAINKAT ES CSALADOT!!!!
hello family and friends!!
I HAVE BEEN HERE A MONTH!!!!! wowie wowzers!! Time is flying (yet going eerily slow at the same time, must be a weird MTC phenomina) This week is our 5th "mtc week" so on Monday I will be half way done!! I can't believe it/Can't wait!!! I am so ready to be in Hungary... get me to the goulash and bratworst and Hungarians!!!
So since everyday is basically the same: wake up, study the gospel, study the language, go to gym, have a devotional, study the gospel, study the language..... there is nothing really that exciting to report. Other than we were told this week that Hungarian is like learning 4 languages in 1..... so that's awesome for my non-language brain. Everyday i keep thinking "i wonder if this will ever feel as comfortable as walking into a trauma or doing cpr, or taking care of a heart transplant"....etc ... haha. i am such a science brain, but the language is coming slowly but surely. Like it was weird the other day I was reading the book of mormon in hungarian...i got done with the verse and realized " mi csoda! i knew everything that verse said!"...miracle. ALSO this week I memorized the entire 1st vision!!! so awesome.. it sounds soo beautiful in hungarian.
Hungarian lesson for the week: An example of how long hungarian words are: the word for "Trials" is Megprobaltatasaiankat! ..... 20 letters to our measly 5 in english!
Also there is a word that means "cleaner" like "windex cleaner" .... and it sounds like "tasty toaster".. haha.... except you change the A sounds to E's.. but basically the same "tasty toaster".
So i would like to report that I am carrying on the strong Papritz/Wettlaufer tradition of DOMINATING in 4 SQUARE!..... gym time is all business, and I bring my A game and put the elders to shame. so much so that I have an elder that seeks VENGENCE on me everytime... like whenever I get to king he takes out all of his rage on me, a poor little sister missionary, becaue I got him out ONCE a WEEK AGO in am amazingly brilliant shot I took that got him out, causing the crowd to roar basically lift me on their shoulders and him getting booed off the court. i meant, that's a essentially what happened...and he's holding a grudge. haha.. but really....it's the best.
It's crazy cause our "older" hungarian missionaries leave on MONDAY!! that means WE'RE THE OLDER ONES!!! AHHHHH!!!! I don't know enough hungarian to be an older!! but the awesome thing is their flight plans came and they fly into PARIS!!! awesome.. so in 5 weeks i'll be enjoying a wonderful layover in paris on my way to budapest. no big deal.
Well I love you all!!!!! keep strong! the gospel is true!!!! I love serving the Lord.
all my love x a million
Szeretlek
-Papritz Nover
p.s. MELISSA WARD YOU'RE A MARRIED WOMAN!!!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - January 24, 2011

Hello,

Gosh this week was so cold. By far the coldest days of the winter. We had a couple below zero days and with the windchill....we just didn't go outside if we could help it. I've never experienced anything like it. You literally cannot have your hand exposed for more than 20 seconds and your nose just starts dripping and you can't even tell because it's so numb you can't even feel it. Which is incidentally very embarrassing when talking to someone and you have a three inch snot drip coming off the tip of your nose.

In other news, the Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl. I'm hoping this will bring the state out of recession and will boost moral throughout the land, soften hearts and make spirits rejoice for missionary work! We'll see.

Last week we visited our most recent convert in the hospital. He was in a lot of pain after getting his appendix removed. It was a cool visit, we talked to his less-active mother and got to know her better. Scott (the recent convert) asked to get a blessing and asked me to do it. It was a cool moment, I felt confident to reassuring him that he'd be leaving the hospital the next day and that he'd be able to prepare in time for a piano competition he has. I found out days later that he did leave the hospital the next day and I'm sure he is going to be more than prepared for the competition. He is so good at piano. For his senior recital (Senior in highschool, that is) he is going to memorize a 30 page concerto by Schumann. I looked over it for a minute. It's nuts.

I had interviews with my mission president this week. It went really well. He let me know that I'd have another transfer with my boy to train him. There are a lot of missionaries in the mission that are not doing well. They taken to rebelling, breaking rules and really slackin' during the winter, including missionaries that had come out with me to the field. He sincerely thanked me for not falling in to that.

Cool experience! We went to the Chicago temple with an investigator that I had met when I was with the zone leaders on exchanges. He wanted to check out the temple and Elder Partis and I were going to do a session while he did some other errands in Chicago. But we go there and we found out it was closed for cleaning! We still walked around the outside and we had a cool lesson with the investigator but it was still a very decent drive to come all the way for nothing. So I decided to talk to one of the guys there to see if we could help out in cleaning at least. He let us come in and we got to work with these couple of Mexicans that were there cleaning the temple. They were so hilarious, and they were surprised that we had come from Milwaukee and that we were Spanish missionaries too. It was a cool experience just cleaning near the baptismal font and the lockers in the bathrooms (I can now say I've gone in the girls bathroom of the temple). Then afterwards we went in to the Celestial room and that was cool. Then they gave us these pretzel snacks so now I can say too that I've had snacks in the temple. All in all a cool experience. It was cool talking to them about their experiences of being alone in the temple for long periods of time. They had some cool stories.

Love you all. Thank you for the letters and emails of support and other cool stuff like that.

Much love,
Elder Papritz

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 23, 2011

Qinai de jiating,
How are you all doing? This week has been great. Rainy as usual but great. I really feel like I am back at home with this weather. Sister Howell and I continue to see miracles here in Jilong. Our problem still is that many of our investigators won't come to church. They tell us they will but then they don't. So that is something we have been racking our brains to improve. Also this week we set up a lot of peikes (members in lessons) but they all fell through!! Either the member couldn't come or the investigator fanged us our canceled. This next week we will improve. We are going to go peike crazy!
So this whole last week we have been without warm water. We have had to take ice cold showers. We have a water heater in our apartment but it for some reason quit working. We thought it was the battery but when we changed the battery it still didn't help. Finally yesterday our landlord came over with her husband and checked to see what was wrong. The husband worked some kind of magic so now we have hot water!!! Sister Howell and I took long showers this morning. I have never been more grateful for hot water. Our apartment has tile floors and no heaters besides our little space heaters so it gets rather chilly. We have survived though.
On Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity to go to Taipei and do temple tours. At the Taipei temple right next door is the Chin Hua chapel. On the second and first floor they have a gallery of paintings that are used for temple tours. Its kind of like the tours done in Salt Lake. We introduce about the church and the basic principles of the Gospel. We also explain the purpose of temples. It was a wonderful opportuntiy to meet new people and introduce the church. I felt like I was a Temple Square Sister. haha The Spirit was so strong in our tours and many people gave us referrals. Luckily being so close to Taipei I will have the opportunity again to do temple tours. I love it.
As far as our investigators they are doing really well. Yang dixong (Green) is really progressing. We weren't able to meet with him and his wife this week but when we asked if he will come to church he said of course he would. After church the ward had a lunch. The ward really likes Green and have been really great in fellowshipping him. He is practically a member!! His wife had work so she wasn't able to go to church which is a bummer but hopefully she will come next week. We also have another investigator Huang Li Qin. She is amazing!! Sister Howell and Xiao taught her for a while but then she suddenly quit talking to them. About two weeks ago we got back in contact with her. She is so strong! She will be baptized on the 12 of February. She has been praying and occasionally reading the Book of Mormon (she promised to start everday reading in it though). She has even been sharing the Gospel with her friends. She will have no problems preparing for her baptismal date. We have continued to see so many miracles here in Jilong. Heavenly Father really has prepared so many people to hear the Gospel. Sister Howell and I have a goal to improve our contacing. We plan on in one day contacting 101 people as a companionship. When we reach that goal we will take a trip to Taipei and go up Taipei 101 (the tallest building in Taiwan and use to be in the world until one was built in Dubai). Its massive!! So thats our goal. So far we have contacted about 50 or so as a companionship in one day. So we are half way there!! I will keep you updated on that goal.
I hope that you all are doing well. I am so grateful to be able to serve the Lord here in Taiwan. I love it here and I love the people!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Autumn MTC week 3 January 19, 2011

family and friends!!!
WEEK 3! LESS THAN TWO MONTHS UNTIL I'M IN HUNGARY!!!! I AM COUNTING DOWN!!!! not that I don't enjoy it here, but my heart is in Hungary and I'm just ready to be immersed in the language and start teaching and taking care of the missionaries and making all of this REAL!
So this week I learned a little bit more about my nursing responsibilities. I had 2 long classes with a bunch of OLD OLD OLD people who are going to be medical area authorities...so it was me and these old couples, and one of them adopted me as their granddaughter. They were APPAULED that I couldn't go to salt lake with them for extra trainging and to go out to dinner. (duh.. i'm a missionary, i can't just get up and leave this place).. then they were so shocked I wouldn't have access to a computer to do all of my charting that I will do in the field. So they showed up the next day and called me to the front office and said "WE HAVE A LAPTOP FOR YOU!!"...the exclaimed it like it was christmas day! i was shocked...cause obviously I CAN'T JUST HAVE A LAPTOP! ... so they said oh don't worry we'll get it approved for you...haha. so the next day they went to this big wig medical meeting with the Chief medical officer of the church and members of the 12, and he (Dr. Doty) approved me to have this laptop so I could chart and keep track of the missionaries and it's getting reviewed on the big church committee and it's getting recorded in the records of the church that I was the first "groundbreaking" mission nurse...(as they put it)... so they just HANDED BE A BRAND NEW LAPTOP!!.... i said well let me get your address so i can return it to you, they said nonsense.. it was mine. So i now have this "approved" laptop stowed away in my luggage that I'm taking to hungary. FOR FREE!!.. i'm so glad though, it will help so much with my nursing stuff.
so nursing stuff I will do includes, triaging missionaries and making sure they're healthy. making sure to maintain good relationships with hospital adminstrations and doctors in the area so that the missionaries can be treated. making sure to be in contact with the Embassy and departments of health, so that we can stay on top of any pending "pandemics" or outbreaks that might be hitting the area. also, being an advisor to the mission president and his wife on health issues. doing community classes and health classes.. etc etc. sounds like it will be pretty fun! on top of teaching the gospel in hungarian!!! booyah!!! One of the elders created this elaborate way to remember directions in hungarian with this layout of Mario galaxy! every direction mario went had a corresponding hungarian word! man that stuck! I learned that soooo fast! that is my way of learning. So now I try to relate everything to mario...haha... but the language is not going to come easy, it's getting trickier and tricker everyday with some new surprise rule or "exception" to the rule everyday. But slowly things are starting to connect. unfortunately my brain is a science brain, where I visualie everything. There's not much visualization in language....so here goes!
oh yeah..hungarian. well it's still crazy! each day the language sounds like something different I said today "it sounds like arabic, french, italian, russian all rolled into one"... on thing is for sure... it doesn't sound like ENGLISH!!
Hungarian lesson: Mi Csoda! ..... you say it like "Me Choda"... (yoda with a CH)....so Mi Csoda means "What the miracle!".. which is the hungarian way of saying "what the heck?!"... SO just yell that out when you need to.
This week has just been a lot of language and gospel study. I'm loving it, growing tons and tons..and already feel like if this all ended today and I had to come home cause I got like a broken leg...i would be a totally better person, just a bit more refined in the gospel...and more diligent in life. etc etc.
Here's a bit of my testimony in hungarian: En tudom hogy, Isten mennyei atyank. Gyermekei vagyunk. Eg az igaz eghaz a foldon! (sorry i can't get this keyboard to do the funky dots on top, just imagine them there)
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Love, Sister Papritz your hungarian.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 16, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
The scripture in Moroni 7:35-37 is true!!! Heavenly Father truly is mindful of the people here in Jilong! He really does answer our prayers and the prayers of others. This week we have again seen so many miracles. The biggest one of all is amazing! So, while I was on exchanges with the Dan shui sisters, Sister Howell and Sister Theissen held down the fort here in Jilong. They went and visit a lady that we knocked on her door about three weeks ago. We taught her a lesson and set up again with her. She told us her daughter and son in law were interested in hearing our message. We thought,"sweet! two new investigators!" Little did we know that we were an answer to prayer. Everyday Sister Howell and I pray that Heavenly Father will put prepared people into our path. The son in law said that he has been waiting for people like Sister Howell and Sister Theissen to come and teach him. Apparently he had some big event that caused him to pray for the first time. He told God that if he would send someone to teach him he would listen and obey. The NEXT DAY or so we knocked on the door of his mother in law for the first time. She told him about the two Americans who came over to teach a message and he knew that he this was his answer. When Sister Howell invited him and his wife to baptism he said, "I have already commited to follow God, Yes!" Then he turned to his wife and asked if she was going to join him and get baptized too!!! He also came to church on Sunday. That was the first time I met him. When I saw him before I was introduced to him I thought he as a member! He was wearing a white shirt and tie and black slacks. He looked like a member! I was so suprised when Sister Howell introduced me to him. Sorry his last name is Yang. His Engish name is Green and his wife's name is Joy. He will have no problems getting ready to be baptized. I am so grateful that we followed the promptings of the Spirit and knocked on Wu mama's door. We wouldn't have found him otherwise. This experience makes all the hard work and rejection worth it. I know that Heavenly Father is truly preparing the people here in Jilong for the Gospel.
Things with Sister Howell are still great. She is so awesome! We have so much fun together. She is a little absent-minded and sometimes forgets things and where we are going but it makes it really fun. We just laugh about it and keep going. She has been out in the field for about 8-9 months. Her chinese is really good. She has such a love for the people here and our members. I don't know if I told you in my last e-mail obout our district. There is one set of Elders here in Jilong. Elder Chen and Huang both are natives. They are awesome! This is Elder Huang's first transfer. Both are such strong testimonies. We have a lot of fun together. Our district consists of another set of Taiwanese Elders and Sister Tanner (my awesome roommate from the MTC) and her companion Sister Yang. Our distirct is so awesome! I love them. Its so great to be in the same district as Sister Tanner. We have already had a lot of fun. Last p-day we went and ate at this BBQ place. It as a buffet. We had charchols and our own little kind of BBQ pitish thing. We cooked our own meat. It was sooo good!!!
Well I hope that you all are having a great week!! I love you all so much. I am so glad that Chris could come and visit you. I'm sad I couldn't be there. Have a great week!!! Wo ai nimen!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 16, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
The scripture in Moroni 7:35-37 is true!!! Heavenly Father truly is mindful of the people here in Jilong! He really does answer our prayers and the prayers of others. This week we have again seen so many miracles. The biggest one of all is amazing! So, while I was on exchanges with the Dan shui sisters, Sister Howell and Sister Theissen held down the fort here in Jilong. They went and visit a lady that we knocked on her door about three weeks ago. We taught her a lesson and set up again with her. She told us her daughter and son in law were interested in hearing our message. We thought,"sweet! two new investigators!" Little did we know that we were an answer to prayer. Everyday Sister Howell and I pray that Heavenly Father will put prepared people into our path. The son in law said that he has been waiting for people like Sister Howell and Sister Theissen to come and teach him. Apparently he had some big event that caused him to pray for the first time. He told God that if he would send someone to teach him he would listen and obey. The NEXT DAY or so we knocked on the door of his mother in law for the first time. She told him about the two Americans who came over to teach a message and he knew that he this was his answer. When Sister Howell invited him and his wife to baptism he said, "I have already commited to follow God, Yes!" Then he turned to his wife and asked if she was going to join him and get baptized too!!! He also came to church on Sunday. That was the first time I met him. When I saw him before I was introduced to him I thought he as a member! He was wearing a white shirt and tie and black slacks. He looked like a member! I was so suprised when Sister Howell introduced me to him. Sorry his last name is Yang. His Engish name is Green and his wife's name is Joy. He will have no problems getting ready to be baptized. I am so grateful that we followed the promptings of the Spirit and knocked on Wu mama's door. We wouldn't have found him otherwise. This experience makes all the hard work and rejection worth it. I know that Heavenly Father is truly preparing the people here in Jilong for the Gospel.
Things with Sister Howell are still great. She is so awesome! We have so much fun together. She is a little absent-minded and sometimes forgets things and where we are going but it makes it really fun. We just laugh about it and keep going. She has been out in the field for about 8-9 months. Her chinese is really good. She has such a love for the people here and our members. I don't know if I told you in my last e-mail obout our district. There is one set of Elders here in Jilong. Elder Chen and Huang both are natives. They are awesome! This is Elder Huang's first transfer. Both are such strong testimonies. We have a lot of fun together. Our district consists of another set of Taiwanese Elders and Sister Tanner (my awesome roommate from the MTC) and her companion Sister Yang. Our distirct is so awesome! I love them. Its so great to be in the same district as Sister Tanner. We have already had a lot of fun. Last p-day we went and ate at this BBQ place. It as a buffet. We had charchols and our own little kind of BBQ pitish thing. We cooked our own meat. It was sooo good!!!
Well I hope that you all are having a great week!! I love you all so much. I am so glad that Chris could come and visit you. I'm sad I couldn't be there. Have a great week!!! Wo ai nimen!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Autumn MTC week 2 January 12, 2011

Sciastok csaladot es baratainkat! (Hello my family and friends!)
IT'S ONLY BEEN TWO WEEKS!!!?!?! Wow I still feel like I've been here FOR YEARS!!! so much happens in these week that it's hard to even summarize it all. This week I learned... well, i bet you can't guess....MORE HUNGARIAN!! ...so we had a surprise and last thursday we had a teaching appointment, we showed up and found out the first 15 minutes were suppoed to be in HUNGARIAN! WHAT?!.... sooo.. that really caught us by surprise. I felt like it would just be comical, since well we don't really know any hungarian.... but we limped along and I did a lot of miming and funny faces...haha.. i think it got the message across. Then the next day we taught again TWO LESSONS in hungarian! .yikes I guess they are really thinking we should know this stuff! Those lessons went better, i think i understand like..hmm.. 1/6th of what they were saying. So every 6th word... or maybe only 6 words. haha i can't quite remember. but I feel like I'm getting stronger in the language everyday. It's crazy to think that I'm actually learning this. oh also we did 2 days of SYL or speak your language where we only speak hungarian. so we've gotten really good at saying hilariously short phrases and gestures..our hungarian is coming along slowly but surely.
The language is so stinkin hard because there are 24 cases.. or like conjugations so. there are essentailly 24 different ways to make a word. instead of the 6 you have in english. and all the words just blend together. So inenglish you would say: Happy birthday to you from me! ... and the english/hungarian equivilant would be something like: birthdayhappyyouilikefromme! ....so they essentially just cram a whole sentence into one word. so normal words in english that are only like 5 letters long are like 24 letters long in hungarian! ... so needless to say it's super hard. but i'm giving it my best shot!
So i think my whole life changed last night. Elder Holland spoke for devotional, and he just blew me away. like... my mind really is still just in shock. the things he said were so powerful and just really made me reprioritize my whole mission and my whole life. He said "my mission meant more to me than anything. and I will be HEAVILY DISSAPOINTED if it doesn't mean the same to you. You should be able to trace every good decision, every event and every good thing in your life from here on to you mission. Your life should be woven around the things you learn on your mission..." etc etc. anyways.. i took like a billion pages of notes, and it just made it all click! this is the BEST thing I could be doing right now! Though I really wish I could be doing an awesome Code or something, or get a really good trauma... haha.. or see my family. This is THE PLACE TO BE!
We had another fireside where they had a bunch of people randomly get up and share their conversion story... so out of the 8 people that got up and shared their experience. 5 of the elders said "well...I had this girlfriend..and well, she was a member of the church. so she made me take the discussion"... then the next one got up "well there was this girl"...ahah..... then the next "well.....you see, I was dating someone". HAHA. i don't think it really had the effect he wanted. Then he randomly called up this old senior man from the audience and said "what was your conversion story" and he said "....well...i met my wife back in highschool..and.....she made me take the discussions!". It was so funny, cause i don't think that was QUITE the effect he wanted. but then they all actually had true moments of conversion.
All of the classes and devotionals are FANTASTIC! i love it, really soakin it up. If my brain isn't exploding from hungarian, it is exploding from sheer gospelness getting crammed into every corner of my brain. I love it!
So funny story about an elder in my district. So this poor sheltered elder is from Idaho and he didn't eat anything before his mission besides chicken nuggets and hot dogs! He had never eaten a WHOLE BANANA in his life. so his companion has been trying to wean him into the real world. He was working on a banana and I said "you know... if your body is not used to that much potassium, it might not be good."...."huh? what do you mean?"... "well, lethal injections are performed with a large dose of potassium..and then they die.. so if your body gets to much potassium then....well...elder..you might die.".....his face got so red, he about puked the banana out of his mouth... and then finally after all of us laughing our guts out we told him that it wouldn't kill him. but he believed it FOR REALS!
also I just got back from the temple and saw NIE NIE in the temple. that was a neat thing, I've always wanted to see her in real life instead of just on her blog.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! SO SO SO MUCH!!!
-Papritz Nover (sister papritz)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - January 10, 2011

Hi family,

So I'm not gunna lie. This week was a pretty rough week. It started out super decent when I went on exchanges with the zone leaders and set a baptismal date with a Hispanic investigator up there. And then it went downhill from there. First of all that baptismal date is way far away and we will probably not be able to baptism him because he lives so far away from the branch building and we don't have a car so we can't even really go up and teach him that much. Also, he has cancer so he can't live his house too much. But the next day when I got back to my area we got dropped by 4 investigators progressing to baptismal. On Sunday I had knocked on their door and I knew they were inside but they didn't come to the door. Then I decided to look through the window on the top of the door and I saw the grandma and the little sister of the family just sitting their watching TV. I waved them down and told them to come to the door. The grandma just shook her finger at me and shoo'd me away. (Rosa the grandma, Antonio the dad, Mireya one of the sisters and Beto (Mireya's boyfriend) all had baptismal dates in this one household.) But Mireya's Mom who owned the one decided one day that if they were all going to live in her home that they weren't going to meet with us. But I didn't know that at the time. I was just confused as to why they didn't want to talk to us. So 2 days later I went back and the little sister who was watching TV answered the door and told me that no one was home. I knew she was lying and eventually I figured out that someone was hiding around the corner. It was the brother. He explained to me what his Mom had said. He told me, "Sorry man, it's over. You gotta go." Then he grabbed me by my arm and helped me out of the house. I was so completely stunned. That was a family I had worked with for 5 months. Gone.

To answer a question from my Mom. I haven't had a baptism yet. I was at the baptismal for the other Spanish missionaries here in Milwaukee. But I did baptize him because I knew him the best and had taught him a few times and he just decided that he wanted me to do it.

On top of all of that, I lost my phone on a bus on Saturday and the lost and found was closed on the weekend so I just called in today and they don't have it. We rode buses for 2 hours to try to find it (there were 4 buses on the route where we lost it). It's been pretty miserable without a phone. We're pretty worthless without it. We still have plenty of investigators and quite a few progressing towards baptism.

Training is going really well. I really love my companion. He reminds me more and more of Alden every day. I wish I could provide him with a little better experience than we've dealt with this week but he's awesome and remains totally optimistic.

Cool stuff. I'll see ya'll next week.
Elder Papritz

ps. The electric sox are decent. I guess they do exactly what they say which is make the feet warm but I wish it would get hotter not to mention the holster that the battery's in makes a bump in my pant leg where it sticks out. I haven't mailed the sweaters yet. I still haven't found a UPS but I'll make sure to call the store to see if they even have exchanges for it before I send it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 09, 2011

Qinai de jiating,
Wow this week has been a week of miracles! I love it here in Jilong!! Sister Howell and I have seen so many miracles this week its crazy!! We are having so much fun though! Sister Howell is fantastic. She is the youngest of 4 and all of her siblings served missions. She is from Utah and is best friends with Sister Bready my MTC companion so that has been fun. Her Chinese is so great and she has been so helpful with mine. We work really well during lessons together each of us taking turns to teach. When Sister Howell teaches she gives such a strong testimony and I know she really loves the people. This is her 7th transfer. I love her to pieces!!
Jilong is wet, hillly, and amazing! I love that you sent me all that information about Jilong. It truly is Taiwan's Seattle!! It has not stopped raining since I have gotten here. It makes riding bikes lots of fun. Jilong has a bus system so we take that a lot more than we have biked actually. Its really nice. The church is in an office building on the 5 and 6th floors and has a great view of the harbor. I haven't seen the ocean yet but there are a lot of boats here including a few sailboats. (Dad don't get any bright ideas about sailing here.) The traffic is busy with lots of buses and cars a little more than Xinzhu but the neighborhoods are tucked into the hill sides. Its a workout getting to houses but its so beautiful. It is so peaceful and quiet up on the hills with all of the windy staircases and little tin roof houses. Its amazing!
The ward here is great! The ward members truly are our angels. They are so willing to help us with anything. One Sister, Chen jiemei is amazing! She has helped us teach lessons a few times. She served a mission here in Taiwan and now has an adorable 4 year old daughter. She currently is the Primary President in the ward. She has such a powerful testimony of the Gospel and has brought the Spirit into the lessons. She has helped us see so many miracles this week. Chen jiemei introduced us to a family that is in desperate need of the Gospel. The Elders are currently teaching the dad but they have run into some huge problems. Basically there was an accident at work and the dad is being charged with the death of a coworker. So he is in jail and they have 3 children. The mom is doing ok but they dont' know what to do. My heart was breaking for this sister as she told us her situation. I am so grateful that Chen jiemei went with us to visit her. We are going to keep visiting this sister and helping her. They need to get baptized pronto so that they can receive the blessings and peace that the Gospel brings. We also visited so many other families that are prepared to hear the Gospel. We found 8 new investigators this week!! Heavenly Father truly hears and answers our prayers!! I forgot to tell you, Sister Howell and her companion last transfer whitewashed this area. There haven't been sisters in Jilong for months because there simply weren't enough sisters to send here. So the area is still very new to us. There are a lot of areas we haven't been to yet. Heavenly Father has so many people here who are prepared to hear the Gospel. It has been amazing to see His hand in preparing these people. I am so excited to be here in Jilong and to help these people come unto Christ. Being a missionary is AMAZING!! Another miracle we saw this week is that we met with an investigator named Macy. She took us out to eat at this Korean resturant. We had a feast! We ate hot pot with seafood, lamb and all sorts of yummy stuff in it. I was so stuffed afterward. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and about eternal families. We found out that her husband who passed away in October was BAPTIZED! He is a member of the church!! She was baptized in another church. She had tears in her eyes as we talked about eternal families and how her and her husband can be sealed together. Next month she will go to Boston, Mass to visit her daugther for 3-6 months. The crazy thing is that Sister Howell's uncle is the mission president in Boston! So we will definately be giving her name to him. She is amazing. I will send you pictures next week of her and the members here.
Well I hope that you all are doing well. I'm sad that I wasn't there to visit with you and Chris. Tell her I say hello and that I love her. Also tell Chelbo I got her package. Thank you!! I love the headband and letter. I will write you soon. I am so grateful to be here in Jilong, Taiwan serving the Lord. There is no other place I would rather be. I know that this is the Lord's work and I am so grateful to be a part of it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and was restored on this earth again. I know that this Gospel is a gospel of miracles. I have already seen so many. I know that Heavenly Father really is mindful of each of us and He is on our right hand and left hand and he goes before our face and sends angels to bear us up as it says in Doctrine and Covenants 84:88. I love you all!! I hope that you have a fantastic week. I hope that you will this week share the Gospel with someone. I know this Gospel will change lives. Jia you!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Autumn MTC week 1 January 05, 2011

Csaladot and Baratainkat! (family and friends!)
wowie wowzers!!! A WHOLE WEEK IS GONE!!! I can't believe it, even though it was only a week if felt like a month. My brain felt like it was going to explode all week, HUNGARIAN IS INSANE!!!!! Words that are only like 3 letters long in english are like 15 letters long in hungarian. oh man, but luckily this week I can pray, testify, read the book of mormon and form decent sentences in hungarian all from memory! miracles!!!
So when I showed up on wednesday I was sicker than a dog! my voice was COMPLETELY lost and i felt like i had been hit by a dump truck. So for the first five days i had no voice, couldn't really show my personality, couldn't talk in english or hungarian and just couldn't be myself basically. So it as really challenging, but one of the cute little elders gave me a blessing, and I went and saw a doctor and got started on new antibiotics and VOILA.. i'm feeling nagyon better (very). I am still coughing up lungs, and haven't really slept a full night sleep... but i have a husky women's voice, instead of a husky man voice.. or a squeeky painful voice 5 days ago.
The language is crazy as I mentioned before, but luckily all of our classes are awesome. My teachers are of course incredible and it's so fun trying to learn a language, because I previously never even knew english.. haha. now i'm a pro at conjugations, pronouns, verbs and adjectives!! who would have thunk! All of the devotionals and classes with our Branch presidents and stuff are filled with MEGA doses of the spirit.... I have taken SOO MANY NOTES.. and am actually keeping a journal, cause there is so much awesomeness going on here.. i don't want to miss recording any of it!
I am in a companionship trio, and they are from Utah and Kentucky... we are working stupendously! The Elders in my district feel like little brothers...and act like little brothers. Don't worry, I don't treat them like a mom.. i let them do their goofy thing and just shake my head, when I think of my working with 19 year olds! We have an older group of missionaries that are 6 weeks ahead of us, and they are awesome! They seem so smart and fluent!! haha..eventhough they're only 6 weeks ahead. It seems like they are LIGHT YEARS ahead of our baby hungarian. in time it will come, that's what I keep telling myself. I'm not getting overwhelmed by it because it will come with time, but I definitely think the language is BEAUTIFUL!! singing in hungarian is so awesome cause it just rolls of the tongue. I'm going to sound so fancy when I come back fluent.
I saw Zack Lounsbury a bunch and Elder Wynn....Zack is doing awesome and we swapped testimonies near the temple. It was cool.
Time is flying and I've got to go do laundry!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!! write me dear elders!!! God be with you till we meet again in 2012!
SZERETLEK!
-Papritz Nover (sister papritz)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - January 03, 2011

Well I'll just jump right in to it.

I had a way fun split with my district leader, Elder Privett. He's in the "northside." So I was way excited to go up there. Every district meeting I heard from him about how good his investigators are but just knowing Elder Privett he isn't the boldest missionary and so I really wanted to go with him to help him set some baptismal dates. But we haven't been able to do it because he was training and now I am training but we just went ahead with it on Tuesday. It was unlucky that we got dogged on just about every appointment he had but we did get in the door on one of his investigators and it was hilarious. I didn't realize the the person he was looking for wasn't actually in the house and it was the ladies friends and siblings just sitting around. We were just kind of mingling and I came up to this one guy (this is a black family if you didn't figure that out) and I called him out and asked if he could freestyle rap. I threw down the beat and he started spittin' flames. Then one of the sisters came in and started freestylin' and then I even took a verse, it was sick. They were loving it. Also, I always see the black people around here do this secret gangsta handshake and so I asked them afterwards what it was and they showed me! Elder Privett and I had been looking for someone to show us for like 6 months but we finally got it. It's so tight! We are so hood. But then one of the guys started rolling a doobie so we decided to go haha. But really....

My boy is way tight. He is so good at singing. He is going to major in vocal performance so we almost always sing for our investigators. It sounds way tight. This week too I got a random call from one of our members and he told me he wanted a blessing. I figured he was sick but he told me that his daughter in Guatemala had killed herself and he wanted a blessing of comfort. I couldn't believe it. I got to his house as soon as I could. You have to imagine too that he is already a really quiet, soft spoken guy and he was just ballling his eyes out. I could have gone my whole life without seeing him like that. Also, he is illegal so he can't even go visit and support his family and other two daughters he has there. She was only 19 years old when she died. And right on New Years Eve. Coincidentally we had a lunch appointment planned with his family the next day and we had Pasole de Pollo which is what they eat every year for good luck. It definitely had a bitter feel to it.

This week we have zone conference and then I go on exchanges with the zone leaders to help teach some of their Hispanic families and stuff so that'll be cool but I'll have to leave my boy to take care of the area for two days. Hope I don't come back with Milwaukee in flames.

Welp, that's all from me. Nothing crazy happened on New Years except all the busses were absolutely packed because Miller Light beer had bought out all the busses and made all busses free for the night (probably to encourage people to drink and not drive home). Investigators are going very well, I'm slowing but surely solving all their concerns and doubts. I just need to get 6 of them married for heaven's sakes.

Love ya all,
Elder Papritz

ps. The family that I rapped with has a recording studio where they do "clean, non-degrading rap" and when the Mom had heard that I was a baller she told Elder Privett to invite me back so that she could check me out and see how hood I am and perhaps I'll even get to be featured in one of their songs. Tiiight. "Missionaries in the Hood" - Random Black Family in Milwaukee ft. Elder P-rizzle. Look out for it in the itunes store.

pss Mom: Didn't you tell me you were sending white shirts? I was thinking about it and I've never gotten any. Sooo, I hope you sent it to the right apartment or maybe I missed the UPS truck when it came. Not sure.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Amy - Jilong, Taiwan January 02, 2011

Qin ai de jiating,
Happy New Year!!!! Can you believe that 2010 is over?! Crazy how fast time flies. This last week has been good. Both Sister Zhang and I have been very anxious to get the move call on Friday and see if I would stay in Xinzhu and where Sister Zhang would end her mission. So friday came and we recieved the move call that night. I found out.........that I will be moving to Jilong! I also found out that my companion is Sister Howell and she is from Utah!! I was so excited to have an American companion. Sister Zhang will end her mission in Xinzhu. It was sad this morning leaving her and heading up to Jilong. She was a great companion and I have learned so much from her. My new area Ji long is in the northern part of Taiwan above Taipei. When I told the members that I was moving in our wards they all said the same thing "It has a lot of hills, it rains all the time, and it has really good food." haha reassured them that back at home it rains all the time so no problem.
On Sunday it was crazy because I attended all three ward's sacrament meetings and bore my testimony in all three. I will miss the ward members in Xinzhu. All of them have been such great examples to me and have been so willing to help me. On Sunday too it was crazy taking pictures will all the ward members and having members write in my byebye book. We also met with Lu family. We have met with the wife and one of the daughters a few times but never the whole family. On Sunday night we finally met with all of them including the Philippino maid that they have. We taught them about how the Gospel blesses families and shared the Proclamation on the Family. It was a great lesson. When we asked the husband how he felt after we shared about the temple and how we can have an eternal family he said that he felt great. When we asked if an eternal family was something that they wanted, brother and sister Lu looked at each other and said that they did. It was great!!! They are a great family. We invited them to come to church and to continue to have family prayer. We tried to set a baptismal goal but they didn't give us a forsure answer. Sister Zhang will have to re-invite them next week. They are pretty golden though! When we told them that I was moving one of their daughters, Angel, asked if I was going to come back. It broke my heart to tell her no. She is adorable. I hope that they continue to meet with Sister Zhang and Sister Pederson. We also met with Ou Yang ama, our 83 year old. We haven't met with her for a while. During our lesson on repentance and forgiveness she kept saying its too late for her. She has been saying that for a while. But she commited to start praying again. Since I am leaving I got a picture with her so you guys can finally see our cute 83 year old no teeth Ou Yang ama. We also reset a baptismal goal for February 12. She insisted that it had to be after Chinese New year which is the first week of February from the 2-7.
So more about Ji long, it is like I said the northern part of Taiwan. I have only been here for about an hour so I don't know much about it. haha It is right by the ocean. I can see the ocean from the church. There is only 1 ward here so Sundays wont' be quite as busy when it comes to ward meetings. Our apartment is at the top of a huge hill, or so Sister Howell tells me. She said that there are a lot of hills here so I will get my work out. It is raining right now but not too bad. I will tell you more about it next week when I know more about the area. Oh, there is two sets of Elders here in Ji long all of them are natives. I haven't met them yet.
It is so great to call home on Chirstmas and to hear all of your voices. Alden, I am still in shock about your mission call. When I went to the mission office today Sister Grimley talked to me about you getting your call. They just got all of your information. We are all really excited for you to come!! When do you report to the MTC again? I said May but I wasn't sure. I can't wait for you to get here and to serve here. You are going to love it!!!!! Autumn, I can't wait to hear about your first week in the MTC!!! Remeber to have mom dear elder my e-mails to you. It will save you time. Also, send me your MTC address!!!! I want to send you a letter or two while you are there!!!!!! I love you all!! I am so grateful to be serving here in Ji long, Taiwan. This Gospel is true. It is truely a Gospel of joy and miracles. I have seen so many miracles just in these first two transfers. I love you all. Have a great week!!!
All my love,
Yang Jiemei
P.S Mom, I can't think of anything that I want you to send me now. I am just going to buy warmer clothes here since it is cheaper. If you want to send me a package just send it to the mission office. The Zone leaders will pick up the mail every week when they go to zone leader meetings. If the package is too big they will send it to me here. Oh I remembered one thing. Burts bees orignial chapstick. My chapstick fell out of my bag and got ran over by a car. Just send it with whatever stuff you send. Dont' send it by itself. Thank you!!!!