Monday, September 28, 2015

Mid-Autumn Festival...

嘿!你好!我們這個禮拜過得還不錯!神一定在回答我的禱告因為這邊的天氣開始沒有那麼熱!福音是真實的!
Translation: Hey!  Hello!  This week we have a nice good!  God answered my prayers because the weather here is not so hot.  The Gospel is true!

So it's been a little better going outside and riding around all day. Actually there is a typhoon that is supposed to come today so it's really cool today. I'm going to be bringing my jacket out today. I really hope it doesn't come because we are planing to go to Monkey Mountain and a zoo nearby there. I'm super excited to go there so I hope that the typhoon doesn't ruin our plans!!

  This past weekend was a big festival in Taiwan, it was their zhong qiu jie which is the Mid-Autumn Festival! So everyone was making a bunch of moon cakes during the week and we ate a ton of them!! They are super good and tasty.  Our ward had a big barbaque and we cooked up a bunch of good stuff. The Taiwanese style BBQ are a little different than the American ones. We cooked up little strips of meat, some fish pancakes, sausages, squid, and a bunch of fish. Yes indeed, that fish in that picture was really good. and I ate all of it...except for the bones of course. I'm not going to lie, I missed having a normal burger at a cookout, but I guess that the fish was good substitute. Last night there was a lot of people out in the streets randomly setting off fireworks. It was pretty cool and we got to watch some from our balcony. They weren't like a fancy show or anything, but they were still pretty fun.
 
  Last pday we went bike riding around our area trying to look for fun stuff to do. Elder Grisenti has never been to the ocean before in his life so we decided to bike out to the ocean. Unfortunately the view was less than we expected haha. It was a pretty small and polluted beach, but at least it was something.
 
  S... is still having some problems, especially with coming to church. He came last week for the whole time, but he still isn't sure about baptism. He knows it's all true but he doesn't want to make a commitment until he knows he can 100% stick true to his commitment. He's afraid that sometimes in his life he won't be able to come to church because of maybe work or something, and he doesn't want to let God down. We've been trying to help him to see that we all aren't perfect and if we wait until we are perfect to be baptized, then no one would ever get baptized! Just keep praying for him!! If you have any suggestions on how to help let me know.
 
  We had many miracles yesterday. One of the members in the ward that we actually had never really talked to before came up and said that she had a friend that wanted to meet with us! So we called him up and set up a time to meet (the day that we will watch conference). So I'm excited for that! Also a member that I met up in Taichung came to our ward yesterday and brought one of his friends that lives nearby and after church I was talking with him and he said he loved the feeling at church.  He is in the marines and is always in a pretty rough environment and he says he wants to find more of that peace that he feels when he's with his friend. We are meeting with him soon!
 
  Well we've had some ups and downs recently, but with all your prayers, I hope that things can look even better in the coming weeks! I love you all lots and I'm thankful for all the prayers and support that you already give! Have an awesome week!
Love 
Andrew 
中秋節快樂!
Translation:  Happy Mid-Autumn Festival
 
 
Stake Conference With Stake President And Area Seventy From Thailand

 
Area Seventy

 
The Beach


 
Mid-Autumn Festival BBQ

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lotus Pond, Baptism Preparations, And A Weird Event...

Dear Everyone,

We've had another exciting week! We started out by going to a place called the Lotus Ponds. I had been there once before with Elder Dalmer, but I haven't gone in a while and my companion has never been there before so we decided to go visit there again. It was quite the adventure! I actually didn't remember how to get there at all and it turned out that we used a completely different route than the one that I used last time to get there. Luckily we were able to follow some road signs to finally make our way down there. It was a nice hot day and we were walking around on foot, so by the time we returned home, we were completely drenched with sweat haha. But that's usually how it is every day so I'm used to it now. I usually like to wear my black pants because they hide the sweat that drips down my whole body a lot better. Anyways...we went and visited the whole Lotus Pond area, which is actually pretty big and took a long time to walk around it. I'm pretty much used to it now, but my companion still isn't used to how literally everyone, especially the older people, will just stop and stare at us as we pass by.

 I also bought some cool stuff at the place, including a nice scroll-like painting that I have no idea how I'm going to send it home...the lady that was selling it to me was just really nice... It actually looks really legit though, so if I can get it home somehow that would be cool. 
 
  As we met with a lot of our friends this week, a lot of them expressed lots of concerns that they have. Which is super awesome, because now that they are letting us know what's wrong, we know what we can do to help them overcome their concerns. We are working with a man named M... He's a really polite guy, and we are trying to help him to overcome smoking! He has kind of lost hope for quitting because he hasn't had success before, but he is going to try again!
 
  Unfortunately, several people that we've met with before have told us that they just don't want to come anymore. Just straight up out of the blue they tell us that they just don't feel like it anymore. It's really sad for me because they don't even have a good reason for stopping. I guess I can only hope that in the future, when they are ready, they will come again.
 
  We also had interviews with President again this week. That was really fun. For our mission, we have a Vision, Plans, and Goals chart, which we use as a guide for our efforts as a missionary. And he encouraged us to make our own set of visions, goals, and plans for our personal growth as a missionary, and then for our life after the mission. So that is what I'm going to be working on!
 
  Btw, S... passed his baptismal interview this week, but his baptism will be pushed back until next month because he had to attend a funeral. He's still doing great though!  Stake Conference was a great experience, and all the missionaries in the stake sang several songs during the conference. It was really fun. We sang a bunch of Chinese primary hymns and it sounded really good. It's really fun memorizing all of the hymns in Chinese too!
 
  Just kind of a weird thing that happened this last week. We were in our apartment complex just turning the corner to the elevators, when we saw a random old guy in the middle of the hallway just moaning and acting kind of weird. Then when he saw us, he freaked out and started shaking and screaming and then fell straight on his back and his legs were folded behind his back. He started yelling and just rolling around on the ground. There were a couple people who saw it and they called some guys to help him out. There are a lot of people here that try to invite spirits to come into them and then act really crazy like that, so sometimes we see stuff like this.
 
  Anyways, that's all that happened this week. I'm having a great time and I'm glad that everyone is having a good time back home! Nice job with all the yard work! I'm sorry that I'm not there to help out haha. Just wait a little while and then I'll be able to help again!
Love you lots!
Andrew







 
 
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Working Hard!

 Hi Everyone,

 Last week was full of fun adventures.  Well, I guess there were a few fun ones. This past week we spent lots of time just going around and talking with anyone we met and also knocking doors. It was a pretty hot week, and we were super tired but we both felt really strongly that we were following the Spirit when we were trying to find people. Unfortunately, we didn't see any real success this week. Even after a full week of working hard, we got just one person's phone number. It was a little hard on my companion to be working super hard and still come up with nothing. We actually had one guy try to give us 20 cents to get us to go away hahaha. But Elder Grisenti is awesome and realized something critical. As long as we are doing our part, following the Spirit and working hard, we are successful missionaries and should not get discouraged. I actually thought it was kind of funny a guy trying to pay us to leave haha. And it was only 20 cents too haha. Also though, we met some other super cool people just from calling old records and so we may have some super sweet miracles happening this coming week!! So stay tuned.

  Last pday, we were planning on going somewhere fun, but it poured the whole day so we just pulled out the umbrellas and went for a stroll around Nanzi. There actually isn't a whole lot of cool stuff here besides factories, but we did find a nice scenic park that would be perfect for taking prom pictures! So since there was nothing else better to do, we took a few of our own pics haha. The pic on the bench with the umbrella looks pretty good I think.
 
  So I was hoping that I would be able to give my companion a chance to try some of the stinky tofu here, and we were in luck...one of our English Class students after class came up to us and gave us a ton! He said that because my companion is new, he needs to get used to the local foods! I'll give Elder Grisenti some credit, he ate some of the tofu without losing it, but he was only able to eat one piece before he had to quit haha. I think I'm becoming weird now, because I ate almost the whole thing!
 
  Another thing, yeah dad you were right, some of my friends from Tainan came down to eat dinner with us. We went to eat ate a steak place that was pretty good. They are super fun and were excited to meet my new companion.
 
  Other than that it's been just another week in the life of a Taiwan Taichung missionary. Which just happens to be the best mission on Earth!! I love you all lots! Thanks so much for the packages! Thanks so much Grandma Kaldahl! Last week I was actually just thinking of trying to find some protein powder because of all the intense workouts we've been doing with Schwartz recently. It was perfect! And the Japanese work clothes looks pretty good, not gonna lie! I also enjoyed looking at the family reunion book. I really like our family reunion song that Uncle Bob wrote. I was singing the whole time the rest of the day while we were tracking. Thanks so much! Love you all!
 
Love,
Andrew

 
Japanese Work Clothes From My Brother Eric


 
 
 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lots Of Fun!

Dear Everyone,

Week two of training has been a blast! It has been so much fun working with Elder Grisenti and having lots of new experiences together! Everything that we do, is a brand new adventure, and we have had plenty of them. One of the pictures that I sent is of us eating some mango bing, which is just a bunch of really fine, shaved ice, with sliced mangos, some mango sauce, and some little rubber balls (kind of like the boba stuff), It is super good!  It's one of my favorite desserts in Taiwan. Best of all,,, it's healthy for you! Kind of. So we went and ate that together. We actually ate bing twice this week, but the first place we went was a little different. It didn't have mangos, it just had a ton of random weird stuff that they put in the shaved ice. Most of the stuff did not belong in a dessert. haha. My companion had trouble finishing it. We've been having fun trying out all of the different foods here and it reminds me of when I tried them all for the first time. He actually really enjoys a lot of the good foods, but some of them will just have to grow on him haha. He has yet to try the stinky tofu or the 1000 year old egg, so that should be fun!

  We also did a lot of tracking this week which was fun. Most of the houses here just have a speaker box that we just talk into because most people don't come to the door. I don't really like that as much as talking face to face, but that's just how it is. There was one place though that had a ton of those boxes lined up on the wall (probably about 50 or so) and we just rang every one of them and talked with everyone in the complex. It was pretty fun!
 
   We met up with S... and reset his baptismal goal. He is taking the test for his training certification and he says that he want to be baptized on the 26th of this month! He's a super cool guy!
 
  Also something else....A miracle!!! Do you remember Nora's friend W... that would come to some of our activities back in Donghai? (she's in a lot of the pictures) Well, she got baptized last week!! When I was up in Taichung picking up my new companion, I saw her and Nora up there and they told me!! That is a huge miracle!! At first when we invited her, she was super nervous and didn't really want to. We would always invite her though, and even bring her food to her work. And sometimes when we called her up, we would sing her church hymns! She still didn't show a whole lot of interest. And then the week before I left, Elder Moore and I wrote inspirational notes inside a Book of Mormon and gave it to her. She said she had read a little of it when I talked with her the day before I left, but I didn't realize how much she appreciated the Book of Mormon. And then to hear that she kept coming to church and was baptized....Wow that's awesome! I guess the small and little things that we do, even when we don't think that they are helping, are some of the most powerful things in the lives of others! I'm super glad that we were able to help in some small way!
Well I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Andrew
 
 
Mango Bing

 
Outside Our Chapel

 
 
Reunion Of All My MTC Companions Minus Elder Lauti
(Photobomb by Elder Kunz. Well done)