Monday, August 31, 2015

New Companion!!

Hey Everyone!

Things are still going super good down here in the land of Nanzi. It's been raining hard, every day, for the past two weeks straight, but it's still lots of fun! Especially because of my new compaion...Elder Grisenti! He is awesome. He's from St. George, Utah, and really likes sports, and missionary work, which is the best combination haha. He is just out of the MTC, which means that I'm training!!! I'm super excited to be able to train, even though I really don't feel like I'm able to train anyone. I feel like we are going to be learning from each other. I woke up at 4:40am and rode the train up to Taizhong to the meeting and to pick up my new companion. And then we didn't get home until about 6:30pm. We've been having a great time together and I'm looking forward to spending the next two move calls together.

My last companion, Elder Zheng (the temporary missionary) was awesome as well. Last week we spent a lot of time in the hospital doing check ups and fun stuff like that, but he had a good attitude about it. Unfortuntatly we went to a really bad hospital that took forever to do anything, but we had a good time together. He was super happy to have a chance to serve as a missionary for a short time, and he was an excellent companion. His Chinese was pretty good too haha. 
Last monday, we went to a little out door art museum place and they had some pretty cool stuff.  There was a lot of weird artwork, but it looked pretty cool.
All of our investigators are doing pretty well, except it has been super hard here to get anyone to church! No one is coming! It's really frustrating, considering we have talked about it a lot with them, but I guess we just have to keep trying. Please keep praying for all my friends here, that would be awesome!
I'm glad that you finished up the garage Dad! That looks really nice! It looks super professional! It must have taken a long time to do all of that, but it must feel good to be finally done!
Well I love you all lots and I'm grateful for all the your support! Have an awesome week!!
Elders Grisenti and Stevens
Southern Trainers

New Arrivals

Slight Scare...

Hello! Hey I won't have tons of time to email, but I just wanted to sent a quick email to let you all know that I'm still alive. If I went a week without sending you an email you might be a little worried haha. In a minute I'm going to be going to the hospital with my companion for a check up. We had quite an eventful day! We were doing studies and he all of the sudden started complaining about being dizzy and not able to breathe. He said he was gasping for breath but couldn't get anything! All of the sudden he just basically passed out. I freaked out and didn't know what to do. I called an ambulance and carried him downstairs to take him to the hospital. They quickly got him and took him there. He is all good now though so don't worry.  It might have come on because of us always riding around in the sun and running in the mornings. He is as fine as ever now so don't worry too much about him. We are just going to go to the hospital to do a check up and see if everything is still ok.
I really enjoyed the pictures that you sent of your bike trip. That looked like a lot of fun! I wish I could join you guys and go biking haha. Well I love you lots! Have an awesome week!
A Great Time With My Temporary Companion Zheng!

View From Our Apartment

Art Museum

Nice Email From Zheng


Monday, August 17, 2015

Changes Again...

Well these past few days have been pretty hectic because we randomly got a call that Elder Dalmer is going to be moving! It's super fast and we've only been together for about 4 weeks or so. He is going to be moving down to a place called Kending which is the furthest south of Taiwan that he could possibly go haha. That should be fun for him! I'm a little sad that we were only together for such a short time. He is a great missionary and I know that he'll have an awesome time wherever he is going! Things are going to be a little hectic for me these next few weeks. My trainer and good friend Elder Smith is going to be going home!! Nooooo! He was a great companion and a great trainer!! (Yes Elder Smith that's you!) So I've gotta say farewell to my mission Pops! And because he and his whole generation of missionaries are leaving a little early (for college) the new missionaries haven't come from the MTC yet so I will be without a companion for a while. So I'm going to stay with the zone leaders one night, and then I'll be serving with a native Taiwanese member for the next two weeks. That should be pretty fun!

Things have been going pretty well here in Nanzi. We are also meeting with a really cool guy named P... He is studying to become an engineer and he's working on his masters so he is really busy all the time. That being said, he is super awesome and has been super good about reading the scriptures and he even came to church for the first time last week! He has a tough situation though. There is a lot of religious contention within his family and he is really scared to join any churches because he doesn't want to get involved in all of that trouble. He says that he will do his part to find out whether or not the church is true and he says that he really wants to find an answer! He is a really awesome guy so if you could all pray for him that would be sweet!
We've also been meeting a lot with S... and he's still super cool. I love waking up in the mornings and working out with him. Right now I'm training to be able to do one handed push ups! That would be a pretty cool thing to be able to do. I've been pretty sore from the workouts lately haha. That means progress though! Besides that S... has been reading a lot more of the Book of Mormon. He has trouble with that because he is so busy studying for his board exams to become a trainer but he recently has been making time so I'm super happy about that!
We had a nice Zone Conference last Wednesday and that was really nice. We have been working a lot recently on how to help people resolve their problems and obstacles to baptism. It was pretty much an all day thing. It started early and was supposed to end at about 4, but it didn't until after 5, and then I had to stay for a District Leaders training meeting which lasted for another hour or so. We had to travel a little ways to the meeting, so we got back to our English class late which was at 7. It was a busy night trying to get everything set up for the English class. We have been teaching the little kid class for these past few weeks and it is BRUTAL! The kids never stop moving, or yelling, or screaming, or crying! They even stole all our candy last week! It's been fun though. It's been fun.
I love you all lots! Have a great week preparing for school again! The summers are never long enough haha. Love ya!
Gaoxiong West Zone

Sister Missionaries, S..., Elder Dalmer, Elder Stevens, Bishop, Ward Mission Leader

Zone Conference Training

Beautiful Rendition of "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go"
Mission President

Monday, August 10, 2015

Typhoon Soudelor

Dear Everyone,

Although we just had a HUGE typhoon come through Taiwan, luckily I'm still alive to tell the tale! People had been warning us of the typhoon for about a week leading up to it so we were expecting it to be pretty big. Then at the last minute the typhoon headed towards the mountains on the side of Taiwan so it wasn't as big as they thought...but it was still pretty big.

Elder Dalmer and I tried to go out, but that ended pretty quickly haha. We could hardly open the door to go outside because the wind was blowing so fast. When we got outside, the first thing we saw were tons of trees torn up and lying on the road and lots of scooters that had been blown over onto the road. We could hardly see a thing because the wind would shoot the rain right into our eyes so we just blindly staggered forward trying to get to a place to eat. That didn't happen because the place we wanted to go...was a little broken. The stove counters of the place had been torn out of the ground and ceiling. And as we walked by, a refrigerator was almost blown at us.  That was pretty funny. We spent a little while helping people who had their stuff blown away but then we were told that we weren't allowed to be outside. It was a pretty fun day though, but after being cooped up in the house all day, I was very happy to be able to get outside!

Last pday, Elder Dalmer and I went to a place in Zuoying called the Lotus Pond. It was pretty fun and we took a lot of pictures. We only stayed there a short time because we had to go practice for a singing arrangement that we are preparing for our zone conference. Hopefully it will sound pretty good.
Unfortunately because of the typhoon, no one we invited to church came, but hopefully they will be able to come next week. Things are still going well down in Nanzi, and I'm looking forward to another awesome week!
BTW, Happy Birthday Ian!! You're super old man! Also, you need to stop growing or else you'll be taller than me and that's not cool haha. Apparently I might have grown taller on my mission or something. Everyone who was in the MTC with me says that I look taller than I was...look out Eric, I'm finally going to be taller than you!!
Well I love you lots!

Lotus Pond

Typhoon Soudelor


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Enjoying The Work!

Our New Area Is The Best!

Hey Everyone,

Wow, I can't believe that Eric is done with the mission! Time has certainly flown and it's really weird to get your emails about your fun excursions in Japan with him. I guess I don't really have to worry about telling you to take pictures cuz I know that Dad has probably already taken plenty haha. I'm also glad to hear that you are experiencing some of the pleasures that being in Taiwan and Japan have to offer, such as the humidity. That's pretty much how it is every day, but the difference is I think the body just gets used to it because luckily I'm not having nearly as rough as a time as you guys are having! Make sure you buy me something sweet over there. I don't actually really know what to ask for. But you know that I just like surprises so whatever you get (as long as it's good) will be good enough.

I've been having a lot of fun in my new area with my new companion. We get a long really well. Elder Dalmer is a pretty chill guy and easy to get along with and joke around with. He also is really sincere about the the missionary work. It makes things lots of fun. Yes, I am district leader, but I just didn't think it was that important of a thing to tell in the email last time, but it's actually a lot of fun and less scary than I thought it would be. btw, Eric, I would really like it if you sent me some of your DTM plans and stuff like that because any kind of advice would be much appreciated! You're the best!
My new area is awesome. We have lots of cool people that we are meeting with. This area is actually golden! We have found the investigator that I have been looking for my entire mission! His name is S.... He's about 23 and he's super cool. He has a huge desire to learn, has super good English, and the best part...he's a personal weight trainer!!! Yeah it's best! Every morning we get up early and we go the the park and we work out with him! He knows lots of sweet exercises and it kills! He also is set to be baptized in September!
Well I love you all! Have an awesome week!