Sunday, February 24, 2013


Hello Everyone!!!! I can't believe Week 50 is already gone! And February is practically gone as well!! Time needs to slow down just a bit!

Well, Chinese New Year is officially over. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm excited to get back to missionary work and have investigators who aren't busy with "guo nian". I loved it all none the less!

We had a FANTASTIC POWER WEEK!!! Wednesday we didn't have a goal because it was preparation day and English, but Thursday our goal was to have 4 "ma shang" lessons and invite them to be baptized on March 23, but the kicker was they had to accept and become our new investigator. So we headed to the Wen3 Hua4 Zhong1 Xin1 (Cultural Center) for a day of contacting people. We had some lessons planned, but almost all of them fell through, which was fine because we got more contacting time. Because we needed to have a lesson with these 4 people, including singing and praying, we were looking for people who were already sitting down. After about a total of 6 or 7 hours, we ended up with 4 "ma shang" sitdowns, but only two accepted a goal to be baptized, and one actually doesn't live in our area, but we can't say we didn't try!! We (along with the elders, who we kept running into) spent the whole day at the Cultural Center. It was warm, and I got super sunburned, but so fun! And we are excited for our one new investigator =]

Friday our goal was to confirm 20 people for church. Now normally this wouldn't be too bad, and we could spend some time on the road inviting people to come to church on Sunday, but Sunday was stake conference, in another city...about 30 minutes by MRT. SO...we worked hard confirming less-actives and our current investigators. And we did it!! We were down to the wire and we needed one more person. Two of our investigators weren't answering the phone, and we were trying to think of part-member families or other less-actives, when we thought of a less active sister, and she said she'd come!!! We were so thrilled! Unfortunately only a little more than half of the people that said they'd come actually came, but we are working on getting them all to come to church =] 

Then Saturday was super fun! Our goal on Saturday was to talk to 20 families, as well as Dan Jones for 30 minutes. Dan Jones is where you basically preach in a public place and try to get people to come and listen to you. We decided to do this goal together as a district. We planned out some activities and places. The morning kind of failed...there were no people at the place we decided to go, and we decided that singing for Dan Jones was the best. The afternoon though was a HUGE success!!! We went to the Cultural Center and we had signs with "No success can compensate for failure in the home" though in Chinese. The members here love the quote and they even have stickers. We couldn't find any of the stickers so we had our own made. We went around talking with families about the quote and giving them stickers. And then we asked to take a picture with their families and the sign. It was a huge success! Out of the 20 families we talked to, we got information from 14 of them! I was so happy! We also had 5 sisters come and do the activity with us, so my companion and I were able to split up and we could talk to more people quicker. It was such a huge success and I want to do it again =] So needless to say, we accomplished that goal!

Then yesterday, Sunday, our goal was to teach 10 new people how to pray. We went to a park, where there were a million people, but there were no people just sitting and talking. So it was a bit more difficult and we only got 7, but it was fun none the less. 

Yesterday was also Stake Conference which was really good! We had two investigators come with us, and a handful of recent converts. I love our recent converts! They are so incredible!! 

So POWER WEEK took up the whole week, for the most part. We were super focused on accomplishing those goals. We did meet with one of our investigators, Lin JM, and she accepted a new baptismal goal! She came with us to Stake Conference and loved it! She is already taking care of our other investigators and is going to be a fantastic member! Her baptismal goal right now is March 23 and I am confident she will hit it. And we already checked that she lived in our area =] 

Last Wednesday for preparation day we went to see the Lantern Festival! I will include some pictures. People make super cool lanterns and they were on display along the river next to our house. It was super fun to see them! Sunday there was also an international marathon and the runners ran right past our apartment! So I got to see an international marathon as well. I love where our apartment is located =] 

Well, I think that is about all. Really, our week was just all POWER WEEK and I'm grateful we had the chance to do it! It was fun and super motivating to help me get back into the groove of missionary work after Chinese New Year. 

I hope you are all doing well! The move-call is almost over, I can't believe how fast time is going! I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support! 

480: One of the lanterns: It's Monsters, INC!

459: This is where I am serving. I love it here!!

533: My district, armed and ready to go and share the gospel with FAMILIES!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 49: Chinese New Year!

Hello Everyone!
We had a great last week! It was 過年(guo4 nian2 - Chinese New Year) and we were treated out to lunch and dinner almost every day. It was so great! I am so blessed to be in two wards where the members love us so much! So while the week was slow as far as new investigators and having lessons, we got to meet and strengthen a ton of members and that lead to many member referrals. 

Last, last Monday was power cleaning day. We cleaned our apartment for 4 1/2 hours. Well, I cleaned the kitchen for 4 1/2 hours. It wasn't super, super dirty, but we were doing a deep clean, and I wanted to do a good job. There were a few things we haven't finished yet, but will be doing this afternoon. And then we will have a super clean house! Yay!

Last week we did find a new investigators! She actually is a former investigator, and she is super great! She already prays every day and we re-introduced her to the Book of Mormon and she was like, it's been a while since I've opened the Book of Mormon and I miss it. So that was music to our ears =] She has a lot of potential and we are excited to help her grow and progress! 

Friday afternoon we didn't have any lessons scheduled so we were going to go tracting and looking for former investigators and less-active members. The phone rang, but I didn't know who it was so I had my companion answer it, and she was like, it's Tiffany. Tiffany is my recent convert in Taizhong. I had wanted to call her so bad on Friday because we were going to be in Taizhong on Monday and had about 1 hour for lunch. But I'm not allowed to call her, so Heavenly Father told her to call me. And even better she was waiting at the church for me! Her family lives in GaoXiong, so she came down for Chinese New Year and came to find me =] And she brought her cousin with her, so we were blessed with a lesson as well. It was so fun to see her!

Sunday was full of miracles. We didn't have any investigators confirmed for church, so I was praying that they would all just show up by themselves, because that does happen sometimes. So church starts and no investigators, and then right after it starts a young man comes in and is like, you have an investigator out here, and I'm like, what?! So I go out and its an investigator that we had sort of dropped. She came to the church because she needed a dance teacher and God told her to go to church. So I took her to my companion and she stayed for all three hours! Then after my sacrament meeting ended, I see another of our investigators in the foyer! She had a meeting next door and decided to come to church for a few minutes, so I sent her in with the other sacrament meeting so she could take the sacrament. Then a third sister who is an off and on investigator said she was going to have to work, but then ended up not having work and came to church! So I was super grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing us with 3 investigators at church!

Then Monday was our Special Mission Visit from Elder Watson, the Asia Area President, and Elder Evans of the Missionary department (and both members of the Seventy). We left about 9 AM and took the train to TaiZhong. We got there at 11:30 and I headed to the mall to eat a quick lunch with my recent converts Tiffany and Melody (I had Tiffany call Melody for me). It was so great to see them! Then we went to the meeting! We took a mission picture and received so much great instruction from Elder Watson and Evans. They are both incredible speakers and I enjoyed learning from them. Elder Evans taught only from Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. I learned that I need to study Preach My Gospel more. I love getting together with the whole mission. It is so much fun!

So this week is POWER WEEK! We leave the door at 9 AM, meals are eaten on the go, and we go home at 9 PM. Every day we have a mission and a goal (except today, Wednesday, because we don't have any proselyting time because of preparation day and English tonight). So the goals for this week are as follows:
Monday - Get three investigators to Family Home Evening
Tuesday - Give out 15 copies of the Book of Mormon and exchange information with the people
Wednesday - The mission as a whole wants to get 500+ likes on our Facebook page (
Thursday - Get 4 "mashang" sit downs (sit down with 4 people on the spot). Invite them to be baptized on March 23. 
Friday - Confirm 20 people for church (adds/investigators/recent converts/less-actives)
Saturday - Dan Jones for 30 minutes and talk to 20 families
Sunday - Teach 10 new people how to pray

So we have already done Monday and Tuesday. We were only able to get one investigator to Family Home Evening, but our district (3 companionships) did the Book of Mormon day together, which means we needed to give out a combined 45 Book of Mormons. We had 3 - 2 hour blocks of time where we went to populated areas and gave out Book of Mormons. We had some posters and such as well. It was super awesome! We had some members come with us and help as well which was super fun! In the morning we had one member, Zhang JM, come with us, and in 1 hour, she gave away 9 Book of Mormons, and got contact information from all of them!!! That was more Book of Mormons than all of us missionaries gave away that hour! She is a rockstar! And at the end of the day, did we hit our goal?? YES! We gave away 49 Book of Mormons yesterday! So we got to call our mission president and say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! We called him as a district and it was so fun! We are also going to be doing the family day together as a district! Yay! I'm excited to report next Monday on how many we are able to accomplish!

The last place we went to give out Book of Mormons at was the train station. When we got there, I saw this girl sitting down, listening to a guy playing music. I didn't think much of her at first, but I kept feeling like we needed to talk to her. The elders had already talked to the people in that area, so I assumed they had already talked to her. With 30 minutes left, we had 4 Book of Mormons left that we needed to place to hit our goal. We prayed together and went to work. I again felt strongly that we needed to go talk to her. I was like, ok, lets do it. So my companion and I go to talk to her, and she was so awesome! She was very willing to talk to us, and we were able to share about the Book of Mormon and about how it can bless her life. We were also able to teach her to pray and it was just so neat! I was so worried that she had already been talked to, and I didn't want to bother her again, but the spirit kept telling me to talk to her, and I'm so grateful I did. She is hopefully coming to English tonight, and we will be calling her on Sunday to try and set up a time to meet with her. I am so grateful for the Spirit and that I listened to it. I think that was my best spiritual experience of the week. 

As for the most interesting experience of the week: We were getting ready to leave the church on Sunday afternoon, and we were the last ones there. As we are about to walk out of the building, this man comes in and is like, in English, "shake hand", so I shake his hand, and then he is like, thank you. Then he says, in Chinese, "President Monson said winter is coming. We need to prepare food, water and money." And then he shook my hand and left. It was super random, and I had never seen him before, but, well, I'm pretty sure winter already left Taiwan...

Ok, sorry this was a super long letter! I am so grateful for this chance I have to serve my Heavenly Father here in Taiwan! I love being able to study about Christ and His gospel everyday, and share it with everyone I meet. It has been such an incredible experience being a missionary, and I'm so grateful that, even though time is going by so fast, I still have time left to help so many people! 

I hope you are all doing well! I am! I love you all and am so grateful for your love and your support! Have a great week!

436: Our signs when we went to give out Book of Mormons

434: Tiffany, Sis. Busath and Melody

428: This week is the Lantern Festival, and they have a huge fireworks show every night. And our apartment just so happens to have a perfect view. It gives us a greater motivation to be home at 9 PM so we can see the fireworks =] 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 48: 6 Months Left!

Happy Chinese New Year!!! The year of the Snake has arrived!
We have had a good week here in Taiwan, though a bit slow, thanks to Chinese New Year =]
We had a great last week with our investigator, Wang JM. Last week? What does that mean? Well, Wednesday night she came to English and we introduced her to President Chen, the first counselor in our mission presidency. They were talking and he asked her where she lived. She told him and he was like, oh, that's actually ZuoYing ward. I almost started crying right there. We went home and checked a map and, sure enough, she doesn't actually live in our area. We are devestated!!!! But before discovering that she didn't live in our area, we taught her the word of wisdom, and she was willing to live it! So last Friday we met with her and explained about wards and boundaries and how where she lived is actually considered ZuoYing ward, and we had the ZuoYing sisters come so they could meet her, and then we handed her off. I am still so sad over it. But she asked if she could still keep coming to our English class, and we said yes, of course =] So hopefully we will still get to see her. And we will be going to her baptism!!
Speaking of English class. Last Wednesday was the first time we implemented our new English class! And while things were a bit rocky, being the first time we did all these new things, I think it was good overall. We had great book sales, and people seemed really excited about our new program! As a result of the new program though, I am actually not teaching English, but evaluating the other teachers and finding ways to help them improve, or ways that the English program can improve. I'm sad to not be teaching English, but it was fun watching the Elders teach last week, and I hope I can come up with some good insight to help improve our specific English unit.
Thursday was fun too! Thursday morning we had planner and area book checks, as well as interviews with our mission president, and a bit of instruction from him. All went well! The planner and area book checks are with one zone leader and one assistant. I love area books. I think they are so important and so are teaching records, so I always make sure to keep good, detailed teaching records. The zone leader and assistant who checked ours were super impressed. And then when my zone leader was checking out my planner, he was like, um, I don't know what I can tell you to improve on. He asked me about my daily goals though and I was like, to be honest, I'm not motivated by them very much. So he invited me to have some fun with the goals and when I set goals for new investigators or roadside lessons, or referrals, write down a last name (that's the nice thing about Chinese, they only have about 100 last names, and really only about 30 super common ones =] ) or a place I want to send a referral to. So we've started doing it, and its been working!!!! Several days in a row, we've gotten referrals to places we wanted to send them to, or one day we wanted to have an unplanned lesson with a Chen Family, and we found a Sis Chen and had a lesson with her! One day we wanted a new investigator named Wu, and while we didn't add anyone with that name, we got information from only one person on the street that day, and her last name was Wu, so we plan to work hard to help her become one of our new investigators! So that has been really, really neat to see. The elders are having some success with that as well =]
On Thursday we also met with our recent convert, Liu JM's mom! Her mom has been curious about what Liu JM does every time she goes to church, so Liu JM set up a time for us to come over and introduce  her mom to the church. She isn't totally interested right now, but she is willing to let us come back and start teaching her what Liu JM learns at church. So I'm pretty excited!
Friday began our meals! The Taiwanese eat a lot of meals during Chinese New Year, so in turn, the missionaries also get fed a ton during Chinese New Year! Friday night we went to a members house with both sets of elders for dinner. It was super fun and we learned how to make these little greeting cards as well (I'll take a picture of one and send it next week).
Then Saturday we had no lessons planned. I repeat, NO lessons planned. I was a little bit nervous. But we set some goals and made some plans and wrote down some names and looked up some less actives and former investigators and set out to work! We very rarely go to the far edge of our area so we decided to go over there. While none of the formers or less-actives we visited were home, the mom of one of the less-active sisters was, and she was our Chen JM that we had a little lesson with. She is super nice, but Buddhist. I want to go back and visit her again. She was really touched when we prayed with her and for her. I know she felt the spirit. An experience like that makes a day with no lessons a great day. For lunch that day we were treated out to lunch by Pres. Chen, our mission presidency counselor, to a very delicious buffet at a hotel, overlooking our whole area. It was really cool to see our whole area like that. It really is a beautiful area. Then that night we had dinner with the elders and another ward members home. Saturday night dinner was the most important dinner of the year for the Taiwanese, so we were grateful for their hospitality in inviting us over for dinner. And we estimated that we rode about 15 miles total on Saturday...we were exhausted!
Sunday was great too! We only had one hour of church, and while only 1 of our recent converts came to church (they were all out of town or had to go "bai bai" with their family) we did have 3 investigators at church! One is actually an investigator from TaiZhong who was down here for CNY, and one is a former investigator that we've sort of picked back up (but she comes to church every week anyway). The third investigator, Lin JM, is our miracle tracting find. She came to church and I was so happy! The talks were all on the Book of Mormon, which was exactly what she needed to hear! She has started reading the Book of Mormon, and she has such a great desire to change, but she is just scared. We hope we can help her come to undertand Christ's Atonement, and how, through His Atonement, we can overcome all fears. She really is a prepared soul! After church some members invited us over to eat, and then Sunday dinner both sets of elders and us went to my Taiwanese mom, Zhang JM's house for dinner. I love Zhang JM! She really is like my Taiwanese mother! She takes such good care of us and I love going to her house for dinner.
We have several other dinner appointments scheduled for this week too. I love the members here. They are so good to us missionaries. I don't know that there is a better ward =] They are just so incredible!
Well, I think that is about it! I am excited for this week of Chinese New Year! Today is Power Cleaning day! The Taiwanese all clean their houses before Chinese New Year, so our whole mission is doing a huge, deep clean today, all day long. And then next Monday we are all heading up to BeiQu in TaiZhong, my first area, for a mission tour! We have two members of the Quorum of the Seventy coming to visit our mission! I am so excited!! So preparation day will be on Wednesday next week instead.
Last Monday we went to this food street so my companion could buy some CNY goodies. I'm including some pictures from it. Hope you all are having a fantastic February! It's almost halfway over already!
Love you all!!! Thank you for your love and support!
389: That would be dried squid. And other dried seafood. I'm not sure how they eat it, whether they eat it dried like that, or if they put it in soups and it becomes rehydrated, or what...

390: The area we went shopping at: San Feng Zhong Jie. There were so many people there, and so many shops. Most all sold the same things =]

391: Dried sausages. Their sausage and American isn't the same. Theirs is super sweet and so yummy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 47: WOWZA!!

Wowza! Where is the time going!!!! I can't believe already a week has passed us by! This move-call is going to go by so fast because February only has 28 days (though I wish it had 31...I'll tell you why in a minute). 

This week was great. We had a young woman, Wang JM (王姐妺), come be a missionary with us for a week. I was nervous the week would go by super slow, having another person with us, but it turned out to be really great. She was a super great missionary! She had some nervousness, but we practiced everyday how to contact people, and the last day she contacted 10 people! I was so proud of her! She only joined the church last June, so she hasn't even been a member for a year yet, but her desire to share the gospel with others is so big and she did so great. She also prepared lessons for people everyday and she shared some great experiences. It was just so much fun. She didn't want to go home =] 

Also, on Friday, we had a training meeting about our new English Program! We teach English every Wednesday night as a service to the people of Taiwan. There are other missions in Asia who baptize an upwards of 20 people a month from English class...and we want to be like them! So some of the Elders in the mission revamped our whole english program, curriculum, books, method of teaching and retaining, everything! I didn't used to really like teaching english because we didn't have a way to do it, it was all kind of free-for-all. So I am so excited for this new way! Another huge problem we were facing was that people would come once or twice and then leave, but we now have a membership card, and they get a stamp every week, and after 19 weeks, they have completed our course and will get a certificate of completion. So exciting! I know that this will help us to find new investigators to teach, especially FAMILIES! And we are even on facebook: (or maybe its Taiwan English Program...try them both =] ) I was super excited for this because right now I teach the advanced class. But then our English leader said he wants me to be the evaluator (a new "position" in English). So I actually won't be teaching English right now, which is kind of sad...oh well! Next move-call!

All of our investigators have disappeared for now because of Chinese New Year, except for two! Wang JM (王姐妺) and Shi JM (史姐妺). Wang JM is so awesome! I love her so much! Last week we taught her about the Plan of Salvation and the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentence, baptism, Holy Ghost and endure to the end). She readily accepted it all. She is doing so great reading the Book of Mormon every day and writing down what she is thinking, and when she comes to understand something better. It is so awesome to see her learning and growing! She also came to church yesterday! I was so happy! She seemed to really enjoy it. She has some questions about our church compared to other Christian churches, so we are going to see if we can have a member come to one of our lessons and help her answer some of these questions. She still has a February 23 baptismal goal, but that day and the next are Stake Conference, so she wouldn't be able to receive the Holy Ghost in church that Sunday, so we might have to push her baptism back a week =[ This is why I wish there were 31 days in February, so she could still get baptized in February! But, we'll see. 

Shi JM is also doing good. We are getting past some surface concerns and really starting to understand her real concerns. She has two little girls (3 and 5) and we made prayer and Book of Mormon charts for them, and we gave them a Children's Book of Mormon. So if the girls read and pray everyday, they can put a sticker on the chart, and every week, if they read and prayed every day, they can have a prize. We are hoping this will help Shi JM establish a habit of reading and praying every day. We are also working on getting her to church. She has the desire, now we just need to help her have the motivation. 

We also had some great experiences while visiting less-actives. On Wednesday we went to visit a less-active and her daughter, and her other two daughters who aren't baptized yet were there as well. We had a nice little lesson with them. We hope we can help the mom come back to church (she currently goes to another church) and help the little sisters get baptized. Then Thursday we stopped by a less-active who we didn't know's house and she was home! She is normally up in TaoYuan taking care of her mom, but she had come home for a few days. She and her 3 daughters were all baptized a few years ago, but are all less-active. We hope we can help them come back to church. So those are two great miracles we had this week. 

Well, I think that is about it! I am doing great, the work is great, abeit a little slow, but we are going to keep on going forward! Thank you all for your love and support! I feel it every day!

Lots of love!

Week 46: 1 Year Anniversary

Hello everyone!

So the big news of the week is...I'm not moving!! I am so happy to be here for another move-call! I love this area and am so grateful to be able to be here a while longer (especially to be here for Chinese New Year!!!)

The other awesome exciting news is our investigator, Lin JM, got baptized on Saturday!!! Because of her desire for her parents to attend, she wasn't baptized in our area, but back at her home area, and because it was a bit far, we weren't able to attend. But we saw her on Sunday night and we reinacted the baptism (well, the pictures part) and we dressed her up in white clothing so we could have pictures with her. It was so fun =] We had a few other recent converts come and we ate dinner together and then went to Family Home Evening. I love this area and am so grateful Lin JM finally decided to be baptized!!!

This week we also were blessed with another fantastic new investigator, Wang JM! She met the missionaries in Taibei 2 years ago, and the sisters there recently called her and then referred her to us when they found out she had moved to our area. She is so wonderful! She is looking for something better in her life and we know she will find it through the gospel. She has a February 23rd baptismal goal, and I know she will hit it! She is so anxious to read the scriptures which is also so awesome! 

There wasn't much else that happened this week. It is almost Chinese New Year and people are starting to be really busy, so our investigators don't really want to meet with us, which is super hard. But, we will keep up the faith, keep praying and being diligent, and all will be ok. 

This coming week we are going to have a young woman proselyting with us. She is 16 and is from Tainan, and will be with us from tomorrow (Tuesday) till next Monday. I'm nervous about having 2 people to take around, but I'm sure it will be great and we'll see lots of miracles from it! Yay! 

Also, tomorrow is my 1 year anniversary of my car accident (if you didn't know I was in a car accident, read my blog; its all there). I can't believe its already been a year! It feels like just yesterday that it happened! That also means that I am only 6 weeks away from my 1 year mark as a missionary! Also crazy! 

Sorry this email is short. There really wasn't too much that happened this week. I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support! I love being a missionary and I love serving the Taiwanese people! They are so incredible and have such a strong desire to learn about our Savior Jesus Christ!

Have a wonderful week!

337: Lin JM's "baptism" - Liu JM (my companion), Wu JM (recent convert), Lin JM (just got baptized), Liu JM (my other recent convert, baptized in November), Me!

314: My companion, Liu JM, my recent convert Liu JM, me. We went to an art exhibit last Monday. It was super fun!

Love you all!