Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This week has been a big adjustment. I'm still adjusting. I miss ZhuDong a lot. I went from this amazing little town right in the mountains to the heart of Taibei. The hardest adjustment has been companion. Elder Bogle and I had sat down and said we're going to do everything in our power to save souls in Zhudong, and we did. We didn't waste a minute. We rarely took a full hour for meals. We sometimes had days where we were so busy we started the day not knowing when we're going to eat, and ended up having to just find some time to throw some fuel in our bodies during the day. We came home at night wiped out. We had really uplifting and spiritual companionship studies. We found the perfect recipe and saw miracles, We lit Zhudong on fire.
This companionship is a little different. It's been a little tough, but it will get there. It's a much slower pace, and I'm trying to a balance so that I'm not impatient, but so that I'm also not feeling held back. It'll all work out, its just going to take some time and it's going to be a different transfer.
Zhang family will be getting baptized this Saturday. I wish more than anything I could go. But I'll for sure go to their sealing 1 year from now. I'm so excited for them. They embraced the gospel with an open heart and received so many blessings for it. Their home is a real home of love and happiness. It's so good.
Last week I was asked if I was Filipino, Chilean, or from Holland. No, no, and no. Most people guess we're from America. We occasionally will have an England or Australia guess, but I've never had the Filipino or Chilean guess. Both people said it was because of my eyes. Apparently Chileans have big eyes.
I'm out of time. I'll keep you all in my prayers.
Love you all, This is the Lords work, if we do it his will we are blessed and really happy.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Are you kidding me? 27 inch Mac? Trip to Ruins? Are you guys even buying food since I've been gone? or playing too hard to eat? I understand, the funnest member of the Family leaves, so you need to compensate by doing amazingly fun things. I understand, it must be hard.
I loved the story about Pepper. I'm glad Veronica had an amazing time on trek. I realize that Veronica is going to be a ridiculously good mom. I'll probably have my wife take lessons from her. I'm listening to Avril Lavigne through the email place's sound system right now. Jealous? They love her here. I have a native Taiwanese companion! Goodbye English!!! My Chinese is coming so fast. I realize it's all the gift of tongues, and what an amazing opportunity this is. I'm absolutely blessed. I know without a doubt I've been called to the right mission for me and where the Lord needs me. I know without a doubt the Lord has placed me in the places he needs me.
I thought I'd end my mission before I served right next door to the mission home. But here I am. Should be good. Really cool thing is that my MTC teacher, Brother Hodges, said that he thought I'd serve around some colleges. The area I just moved to has the largest college in Taiwan. That man called it. My other MTC teacher, Sister Fan said she thinks I'll help lots of families, I'm off to a good start on that. I hope that trend continues. I love this work. I love you all. Pics next week, I promise.
My 3rd Transfer began today. I moved. My 3rd transfer, 3 places, 3 companions. Really, really rare. I have moved to Xin An which is right by the mission home. Really really close. My area also includes 101. Since I moved right next to the mission home I'm probably going to have to shave my mustache. Just kidding.
This place is completely different from what ZhuDong was like. There are tons of people. I'm right in the heart of the city. It's time to find some prepared people here and do work!! My new companion is an Elder Yu. You're probably thinking that's not an English name. You're right! He is a native Taiwanese missionary! I never thought I would get a Native Taiwanese companion this early. I'm stoked because it will help my Chinese progress. I'm really pretty far ahead of the average on our mission's language study program, and this will help my Chinese a ton. I'm excited about that a lot.
Thursday night my companion got a call to train. Petty cool. We were both pretty excited. This transfer has been so amazing! We found the perfect recipe of hard work and fun and absolutely tore ZhuDong apart! It's on fire right now, and it was asleep only 6 weeks ago. I got to see one of our investigators we got together baptized, that being the Zhang daughter. They are all getting baptized on July 2 and I won't be there. I arranged it so my last lesson in ZhuDong was with them at their house. It was really emotional for me and them. They are more than 1 missionary could ever ask for in an entire mission, It was so sad to have to leave ZhuDong just because of them. They said they'd plan on me coming to their sealing in the temple in 1 year. I'm so excited for them. I had the most amazing feeling on the bike ride home from their house last night. I had thought earlier in the transfer that I would be in ZhuDong for a long time, because my comp had been there for 4, and I was just starting, but on the bike ride home I had this feeling like the Lord needed me there for that one. In all honesty just to meet that family, and that my work there was done. I had an amazing feeling that the Lord was really pleased with the effort and work I had done there. It was so sad to leave that area, but I know that the Lord now needs me somewhere new, and that he has a plan for me.
I just look at the crazy circumstances that put me in ZhuDong, and there is no doubt that my mission President is receiving guidance from the Lord.
So here I am, 3 transfers, 3 areas, 3 companions, 3 bikes. I'm ready to go to work right here in the heart of Taibei. My new companion is an amazing missionary I've heard. He was in Hong Kong for the first 6 months of his mission, but because of Taiwanese military rules he had to come back and finish his mission here.
The last couple days were really fun too since my comp was training. We got to go up to Taibei and pick up a brand new missionary, and then have the 3 of us together for a couple days. It was crazy to see how green he was! I know every missionary is green, but I know I wasn't THAT green. It's hilarious. So adorable. Any greenness I had was quickly worn off just because of the nest I was born into, my trainer being Elder Erickson, and always being with Elder Jhou and Elder Duff, the zone leaders. Elder Bogle would always tell me he thinks I act like a 5 or 6 transfer missionary. So right now all my greenness is long gone.
The last transfer was really fun, amazing miracles, so much help from the Lord. Coming home at nights and just passing out from working our guts out. It was so cool. I'm leaving behind a lot of amazing people and I'm really sad to be leaving that beautiful area, but I know the Lord has good things in store for me. I feel like I still could transfer again after this transfer because I think my current companion could train next transfer. We'll see. This mission has been an adventure so far, really amazing. I'm having a blast.
This week I bought a waffle maker. It makes waffles in the shape of little penguins. It's pretty amazing. I bought it for the equivalent of 6 US dollars from a thrift store after doing some fine bartering. Not too shabby.
I'm right by the temple now so I get to look at that beautiful house of the Lord often. I'm really excited about that. I'm starting to think in Chinese a lot, and it's going to be more and more this transfer especially, so if my English in the letters home sucks, I'm sorry. It's just that the Lord needed me to preach the gospel in a language 100 percent different than I learned growing up. Apologize for the bad English, especially coming from the son of an author.
Everything is good. The rewards of missionary work far outweigh the sacrifices. I love this work, I love the Zhang family. They are getting baptized. They are my family in Taiwan. If it weren't for the language barrier I know that our families would be such good friends. Every time I teach them I think of how much they are like our family. I love it. I'm so happy for them.
All is good. Didn't get hit this week. Love you.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Another week gone by here in JhuDong. Many more miracles and blessings.
Last Pday we were able to get together with the Zhubei District and go to Neiwan, a small, really touristy town in our area. They came up and we had a good time. The highlight was that Elder Erickson, my trainer and I were walking around and found this guy that does pictures of people. He was just getting done with this Asian family and did a really good job. In the mission a trainer and trainee are called a father and son. So he said he wanted to get a picture done with his son. We thought it'd be funny and so we sat as the man drew us. Many curious Asians gathered to watch this man draw us, many said things that would translate to "I see the resemblance" and "It looks a lot like them." In our mind we were worried he wouldn't be able to draw white people. Elder Erickson even said it might just be a picture of 2 Tom Cruises with different hair. 10 minutes later the masterpiece was completed and we found out he can't draw white people. We look the exact same, and we laughed for about 10 minutes straight. We also sent a copy up to our mission president. He's going to love it.
The Zhang family is doing great. They are so ready to be baptized. They come to church every Sunday, and love it. They read their scriptures as a family and really study them out. They all love to read their Book of Mormon, and now we're beginning to teach the commandments. Saturday we taught W.O.W. and they already started to live the Word of Wisdom before we'd invited them. They're so amazing. They are what make this work so rewarding. I love it. We're meeting with them Thursday and they are feeding us Pizza. It will be good.
This week I went on 3 exchanges. It was good. It was needed. The highlight is that Elder Erickson arranged for an exchange and came up to Zhudong with me. It was really fun to go and do work with him again. It was also the craziest rain ever that night. It absolutely killed all success, because all our lessons cancelled. There was huge lightning that was striking just streets away. It was Crazy!!! It was fun to do missionary work with him again. We both anticipated being together for a 2nd transfer because he was training, but instead we didn't even get a full one. This transfer has been good though. I've had to stretch a lot more and been forced to step up my game and take control in almost all our lessons and not be anything like a 2nd transfer missionary. But it's been good for me to grow so fast so early in the mission.
My first exchange of the week was just for half a day while my companion was at special training for senior companions, and I was in Zhubei. I ran into Dan, the less active that Elder Erickson and I were able to activate there. He is doing really really well. He came up on the street and gave me a big hug and took a picture, then he invited us to eat food with him for lunch so that was nice. I've set a goal that in every area I serve I want to find someone to reactivate to full activity.
Things are good, and we're being blessed. This is the last week of the transfer, and then we have Move Call Madness. It should be an interesting one. You are all in my prayers. Thanks for all the prayers in my behalf. I shaved my head this week and my hair is now short. Taiwan is really hot and humid.
Love Elder White
Monday, June 13, 2011
This week flew by. I don't remember a lot of details. I'm sorry.
The highlight of this week was Zhang Yan Rou (Zoe) getting baptized. This is what missionary work is all about. Her family are my favorite people in Taiwan and they're all set to get baptized next month. Then they're going to work to get to the temple 1 year later. Zoe's baptism made me so happy. I watched the power of the Book of Mormon come to life in a lesson with her, watched it resolve her biggest concern and change her right there on the spot. That was when she decided she was willing to be baptized. She is amazing and she's setting the example for her family. Her family is so great! They're so amazing! Last night we taught them about the Plan of Salvation. It's such a privilege to be able to share God's perfect plan with others, especially those who are hearing it for the first time. I'm so excited for their family to become an eternal family. They are the greatest! They also get us cool gifts all the time and have amazing fruit to eat when we go teach them. BONUS!
The rest of the work is going really well. We're meeting a lot of great people and sharing with them this wonderful Gospel. It's amazing how much different my view of people is when I'm constantly thinking about and focused on their salvation.
The food in Taiwan is amazing, something I'm really going to miss. We eat outside from street vendors almost every meal because it's so cheap. Here in Zhudong there is a special food stand that sells what I call Chinese burritos. They're a burrito type thing, but the inside is brussel sprouts, lettuce, peanuts, some meat, and curry. It's really good, and I'll miss it when I'm out of Zhudong. My other favorite is Dongguo cha (Wintermelon Tea) It is one of the few teas we can drink. My first night in Taiwan, the missionary that took me out contacting bought me some Wintermelon Tea and said that every missionary doesn't like it at first, but by the time they leave the mission they love it. I drank it, didn't really like it and that was that. Now I love me some Wintermelon tea with milk added. He was right.
One tough thing in Taiwan is giving a mini Word of Wisdom lesson every lesson because we get offered so much tea.
Overall this week was quick. It was good. Taiwan is good. Asians don't look very Asian anymore, sometimes I forget that I stand out, because to me everyone just looks normal. I hope all is well with all of you. You are in my prayers, and I wish you all the best. Go have an amazing summer. Go to church. Choose the Right. Do your best and good things will happen.