Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain And More Rain!

Well it's been an extremely raining week, and today marks the 7th day in a row that it has rained here in Donghai. And when it rains, it rains hard! There hasn't hardly been a break in the rain both day and night! It's starting to get a little old, but I guess that's how it is. I heard that Taiwan rained a lot, but up until now I didn't really know what they meant haha. I was riding from our house to the church for a lesson and within those 3 minutes of riding to the church, I was completely drenched and remained that way for the rest of the day. It was really weird teaching lessons with my clothes soaking wet and while wearing flip flops. I was just glad that only a couple of teaching lessons cancelled this week because of the rain. We were still able to teach lots of lessons, actually this week we had the most lessons of any other since I've been here.

Other than lessons, we had to do a lot of calling though because it wasn't really the best to go contacting on the streets. A lot of times we just had to sit and call any number that we could find in the apartment and we did that for hours. It's effective though. Actually more effective than contacting on the streets.

  Last pday we had some of Elder Moore's friends from Tainan come up and we spent about two hours trying to find the restaurant that he wanted to go to. And that's why you don't have white kids trying to use maps written in Chinese. We finally found it and had some fun.
  Yesterday we had a fun activity at the church and we had quite a few people come. N... even brought one of her friends from work and they both had a really good time. N... is really great about sharing the gospel with her friends and family, and is super solid when she helps us teach lessons. Our other investigators are doing very well. It still seems that anyone that we meet with only wants to meet because we are foreigners. We are meeting with a retired surgeon named Z.... He's a really great guy and a really good example of how a Christian should be. He loves reading the Book of Mormon and says he always has felt there is something different about it, he always feels really peaceful while reading it. I really hope that he can continue to learn and grow.
  Well, I'm sorry that this email is so short. I don't have any time because I was busy emailing to mom and dad haha. I love you guys and I hope that the rest of the school years goes by quickly!! Summer is almost here! Love you.

Rainy Days

Taichung, Taiwan Zone Conference


Monday, May 18, 2015

Root Beer Floats And Much More!

Ni Hao Ma,

 Well to make up for not sending any pictures last week I made sure to send plenty of them today. Sorry for sending so many haha. We had a pretty good week though so that's why I was able to send so many pictures! Hopefully the pictures of N... at her baptism went through ok. She is super awesome! She told us last week that she has been recommending her younger brother to go to church and now he is meeting with the missionaries over there! Yeah!

  Last week we also went hiking with one of our friends J.... We went to a place called Da Ken (at least I think that's how it's spelled), and hiked up the mountains there. It's was a really nice place, and is called the Great Wall of Taiwan because from a certain angle, the mountain looks like a giant wall. In Taiwan I haven't seen very many places with much nature, but we found some! We had to drive quite a ways to get to them though. In the mountains there aren't a lot of people, and it's a lot more pretty there with the open space. It was a pretty fun, and very steep hike. The entire trail was just a bunch of logs spaced out that we would walk on, in some places it was just like crawling up a ladder basically. It was a lot of fun.
  Right now on the investigator front, we are meeting with a lot of new cool people every week, but a lot of them only have interest in meeting with us because we are Americans, so it's kind of hard to find people that want to learn about the gospel. We are meeting with L... who's in his 30s and is really nice. He's a really quiet and shy person so it's been hard to really connect with him or get him to really meet a lot of members, but he seems really interested in learning the gospel. He has a baptismal date for the 30th of this month. He is really willing and will do everything we invite him to do, but I just can't understand him. He hardly talks and I have no ideas what his feelings are of the gospel. We try to ask him tons of questions in the lessons to get him to talk a bit, and from his answers he seems sincere. He's a really nice guy and I hope that we can continue to keep working with him.
  No, I still haven't received the Easter package. It's not in the mission office either so it might still be in the Elder's apartment. I'll try to find out whose apartment it's in so I can call them and set things straight. Have you already sent out the other package? If not, I thought of something to send...a rubericks cube. My companion, Elder Moore, can do it really well, so for the past few nights he's been teaching me and now I can do it! They don't have any nice ones here so if you could send me one that would be sweet!
  This past week was really nice. We had a hiking trip, root beer floats inside of measuring cups, and a watermelon growing out of our sink. We're going to try to pull it out and start growing it in a pot or something. That's pretty much all I've got this week though. It sounds like you are all having a good time back home. I love you all!

Hike With Jason

Watermelon Spout


Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

   Wow, it was great to be able to talk with you all last night! Everyone looked happy! Ian, you looked a little tired. Hopefully you got to take a nap after church got out haha. Sorry I called you late, I could've sworn that you told me to skype at 7:30. It's all good though, at least the computer worked and we were able to talk.

   The grass seriously looked so green back in Ohio! I haven't seen nice green grass like that for a while. I really miss all the open space and all the grass in Ohio. I love the warmth here in Taiwan. The weather is nice here literally every single day! It has only rained twice so far. The other days, you can just assume that it will be sunny and warm. It's unchanging.

  Like I said yesterday, N... was baptized! She's awesome! I only met her during my second week here in Donghai, but it feels like I've known her for a lot longer than that. I've already seen in this short amount of time how much the gospel really makes people happier. She was already a really outgoing person when we met her, but you could just tell the change each time we met with her. The gospel has also given her a better perspective in life and what is most important. She even brought her older sister to the baptism.  She was excited that I was going to be talking to Eric because I told her that he was in Japan near to where she used to live. She tried teaching me a bunch of Japanese so I could show it off. Unfortunately, I forgot most of what she said, but at least I remembered a little bit.

  Well, I don't really have much else to report. Today we are going to try to play soccer again. Last week it failed because of the rain, but today the skies are clear. Well, I love you all lots! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Packages From Home!

Changing up companions is always a different experience and sometimes takes a while to get adjusted to, but thankfully this week all went well. Elder Moore is a really fun guy that likes to make missionary work interesting. We, as usually went contacting pretty much all week, but he made it a lot of fun despite the rejection. It's nice to have companions like that. We saw a lot of miracles this week too! Tons of people that we don't even know called us and wanted to set up times to meet! I'm pretty sure they were people that we had called a long time ago but they had never set up or answered. Usually people will never call us back, let alone ask us when we have free time to meet! But it happened multiple times this week! Elder Moore can speak pretty good Taiwanese and I've seen that it is super effective for getting people to meet with you because they are just so amazed that an American can speak it. I've learned a little bit of Taiwanese, but only a little. It's really hard to make the sounds in Taiwanese so it's really hard to learn. I'll probably only learn a little bit just to say some simple phrases to impress people haha.

  I was really happy to learn last week that so many of my friends back in Tainan were baptized! Of course they had to wait for right when I had left!! I'm going to be honest, V... had opposition from everywhere trying to stop her from being baptized. Her family, work, and a few accidents. I was really happy to hear that she made the decision! I'm also pleased to say that N..., the lady who first met missionaries in Japan, is going to be baptized in 6 days! She is super awesome and is already excited to help us teach other people after she is baptized! Woah! 
  Well the visa problem has finally been solved! Yaaah! The new group of missionaries that came had a lot of missionaries that were coming straight from the MTC! It's a good thing too because after the next two move calls, a total of probably 70 or so missionaries will be going home! There's going to be no one left in the mission! I'd better learn characters quick so that I can text people when all the experienced missionaries leave. I've been in charge of texting people in my new area! It's a lot harder than texting in English that's for sure. It's not as bad as I at first thought though.
  I have some good news! I finally got Grandpa and Grandma's package in the mail this morning! And guess what....the food was all still good! Luckily you had individually wrapped all of the cookies so they were all still good. Not as good as if they were fresh, but still super good! Thanks so much G&G Stevens!! I haven't gotten any of the other mail or your package Mom and Dad, but hopefully it'll come soon.
  I'm really excited for pday today because we are going to play some soccer! I haven't played since the MTC! It's been way too long! Luckily the other Elders in the district are pretty good and some of their friends love to play too so finally I have a chance to play! It rained this morning though so it is extremely humid and muggy outside so...that's going to be interesting.
  I can't believe it's almost Mother's Day and we get to skype! I'm excited for then! I'm always really nervous when I try to set up all the stuff to skype because I'm always nervous that it won't work. We always use pretty sketchy stuff. We are using a members stuff and she said that some of the cords and stuff had been chewed by a rabbit. That's really random...hopefully it'll work though.
  Well thanks for listening! Summer is finally coming and it is getting super humid! Luckily I'm in Taichung, just about the most comfortable place you can be during summer. I hope I'll survive. Love you all lots!
Friend From Tainan, My Companion, and Me

City Lights, Taken From On Top Of Our Chapel