Monday, July 20, 2015

Gaoxiong Here I Come!

Hello Everyone,

 Well today was movecall day and as was predicted, I moved from Donghai and am now going to be serving in Gaoxiong, in a place called Nanzi. It's on the outskirts of the city and is a big factory area. I'm super happy that it's such a big area. Donghai is a small area and it feels really nice to have an area that is so big. It feels like there is so much potential inside it. Apparently because of the factories, this area is known for having some of the most serious air pollution in Taiwan. Not good.  Everyone is telling me that I need to buy one of those face masks that all the Taiwanese people wear when they ride around. Other than the air pollution, I've actually heard a bunch of good things about the area. My good friend Elder Pearce from the MTC was actually trained here when he first got on the island. (btw he actually is moving down to Tainan to the area where I was trained when I first came. We had a fun talk about that on the train ride down) He said there are at least 3 colleges here and lots of people around for us to talk to. The members here are awesome, and the coast is also in our area! Sounds pretty good, I'm excited.

 My new companion is named Elder Dolmer. He a pretty cool dude. He is from Oregon and likes to mountain bike. He just barely finished up being trained, but he seems like a really solid guy. I'm looking forward to working with him. I'm super nervous though, working with a younger missionary! I have no idea what I'm doing in this area, but luckily I think we'll do pretty good together.

 Other than moving, this past week was pretty packed with adventures! For starters, M... was baptized yesterday, along with 2 other investigators, O... and L... JM (JM is short for jiemei, or sister) of the sister missionaries in our district. It was a nice service. M...'s dad W... DX was really nervous baptizing his son, but he did a great job and you could tell he was really happy to be coming to church with his son. O... is awesome, we sometimes go play basketball with her and she helps us talk with people about the church! She even has plans to go on a mission next year once she graduates! Super cool! Another thing, one of Nora's friends, W..., who Nora had originally brought to our night activities and introduced her to us, finally came to church yesterday! She is pretty shy, and we had been working hard with her to come to our activities even once Nora had moved, and she did. After M... baptism, we gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said she would try reading it, and we invited her to church and she came! We've been working for about 3 months with her and it's really happy to see her come. I hope that she continues to progress in the gospel while I'm gone.

 And the awesome things keep coming... L... DX who we have been working with for the same amount of time, had a huge breakthrough. He's been smoking for a long time, over 30 years, and that was his only obstacle stopping him from getting baptized. We had no idea of how to help him stop. He said he didn't want our help and that he could do it himself and he kept saying that for three months. And then last week he came and told us that he hadn't smoked a cigarette in a week and a half! Elder Moore and I literally went crazy when we heard that haha. I had kind of given up on him, but then he just came and said that he could do it and said that now he was ready to be baptized!! Just another one of the many miracles you see on a mission!

 All in all, things are going well. There hasn't been a ton of rain recently. We helped a family move last week, and of course it started pouring, right when we were piling everything into the truck haha. We exercise a lot, but it's with pretty small weights. We try our best with what we have. Well I'm just about out of time. I hope that you have a safe trip to Japan! Hopefully your tour guide doesn't get you lost haha. It's cool to hear about all of your fun stuff you've done this last week. I'm glad to hear that the outside garage will be fixed up by the time I get back. It's been needing it for a long time, but I never really wanted to do it, and now I don't have to haha! Well I love you lots!

Taipei, Taiwan Temple

Fun With Friends



Monday, July 13, 2015

Ward Activity!!

Hey everyone!

I'm happy to hear that everyone is doing well back home, that is, except for Alexa's finger... Sorry to hear about that Lex. It's a really good thing that you recorded that song before you broke your finger! Hopefully it'll heal soon so you can get back to recording more songs! That's exciting that you're going to Japan soon! Do you already have picked where you want to go? That's too bad that Alexa and Ian don't get to go though haha.

Yes, I will probably move this next week. In my last interview with our mission president he said that I had been here for a pretty long time so it was about time that I moved. It's not for sure yet though. My companion thinks that I'll move down to GaoXiong next because I haven't been there. That would be pretty brutal since it's in the middle of the summer and that is the hottest place in Taiwan....we'll see what happens. I guess then I would be able to experience a real Taiwan summer haha. It's pretty hot here, but it isn't as bad as everyone said it would be though. I'm still pretty glad that we've got air conditioning though!
This week we had a big ward activity. Usually each week we have a young adults activity with people, but this time the whole ward wanted to come so we had a ton of food and some games to play. It was a lot of fun and turned out really well. I was really worried about it because I couldn't think of any games that we could play with the whole ward. It was fun though. Well I've got to go. Sorry that it's such a short email, but I'll make up for it with pictures! Yeah!
I love you all lots!
At A Market In Donghai

At The Temple

Bus Ride To The Temple

Uno At The Want Family House.  UNO!

Activity At The Ward Chapel

Random Picture Outside Elevator At Our Chapel

Zhongzi Someone Gave To Us Starving Missionaries
Biking To The Stake Center


Monday, July 6, 2015

American Foooooood!

We went down to Costco with the other Elders and a friend on pday. It was about a 40 minute bus ride down there. It's really nice though because as long as you ride under a certain amount of miles, all the buses here in Taichung are free! So we went down there and got to look once more at all the American foods that Taiwan has to offer. That's seriously like the only place you can go if you want any. We had some pizza there too! Unfortunately it was the end of the month so I didn't have any money to spend so all I got to do was gaze longingly at all the foods that I haven't eaten in a long time.

  We also had our interviews with President and Sister Blickenstaff this week. It was a wonderful interview and I learn a lot on how to better serve the Lord.  President Blickenstaff is really a great guy. He is definitely a great Mission President and you can feel his love for the mission here. The work for this week was a little slow because of all the meetings and interviews that we had, but things are still going well. I want to make these last few weeks count because President pretty much told me that I was leaving Donghai next movecall in 2-3 weeks. So I'd better hurry up and find some more miracles!

  Our 4th of July was pretty nice. We celebrated by going to KFC for lunch haha. We also decided to be patriotic and sing the national anthem to everyone we called that day haha. Whenever we called anyone we would just start out by singing it. We sounded pretty good too. Our investigators loved it, but some of the missionaries that we called several times in the day got a little tired of it haha. Well unfortunately, I don't have any pics to send this week and my time is almost up, but hopefully I'll be getting some pics soon. I love you all very much and I'm glad to hear that everything is going well. By the way, Dad, I liked your epic story of the bike trip! Love you lots.