Monday, July 25, 2011

July 24, 2011

Elder Glen and me at the memorial

 Elder Erickson and me on his Birthday

Hello Everybody. 

I learned the word for receiving or giving an injection this week DaZhen. Fitting since Savannah received an injection this week. One time the Cedars was full of houses, except for La Costa. Now it's full of houses, including La Costa. La Costa sounds like Costco, where I want to go to buy more pancake batter.

My comp says he's losing weight and isn't "physically able to work as hard as I want to work." I said that's when the atonement comes in and that is when we see the biggest miracles (I know because I lived my first 2 transfers that way.) But, I've learned a lot. I hope I've learned the lessons the Lord wanted me to learn this transfer. Our 82 year old man who is getting baptized I feel is the Lord still willing to give me something good this transfer for being willing to work hard. This area is so AMAZING. We have the biggest college campus in Taiwan. We have some amazing contacting areas. We are really close to the chapel and the temple so we have the ability to have our investigators do tours. This area could really be ON FIRE if I had a companion who was willing to work with me. This week I studied that some affliction is not because we did anything wrong, it's simply for our benefit so we can grow. 10 percent in life is what happens to you 90 percent is how you react.

Dad, don't run kids over or else they'll kick you off rides at Universal Studios.

What? The truck was broken into??? Keep me posted as the story unfolds.

Ether 12:27 is the scripture that changed the Zhang family daughter forever. The moment I shared that scripture with her, her demeanor changed forever. Then by befriending their family in English class it gave us an opportunity to share with them. Because they had seen the change in her, they accepted the gospel with an open heart, and I watched this gospel strengthen their family relationship. Now they are as happy as happy can be. All from Ether 12:27. 

Good luck with the standards works. You can do it. I have the hardest time with the old testament, but there are some real gems and lessons to be learned in there. I love love love having a good study. It's something I took for granted my first transfer. Elder Bogle taught me a lot about studying. He was a convert to the church and only had been 1 year before he served his mission, but you wouldn't know that at all, because he was an amazing studier.

I look back at how crazy my first 3 transfers were. 3 completely different areas, Zhubei (medium-small) Zhudong (tiny), and now the heart of Taibei city and how different my companions were. I've -learned a lot from each of them, had a bundy! If I were like all the other missionaries I came on with, I would have 1 area, and 2 companions. I feel like if I were still in Zhubei and had Elder Erickson for my first 2 and then was onto some other companion, yes it would be an absolute blast, but I wouldn't be the missionary I am now. I've learned a lot. I've seen a lot. There are some missionaries on their 9th and 10th transfers who only have had 2 areas, or are just getting to their 3rd. I've grown a lot because of all the different experiences my mission president has given me.

I'm doing well. This is the last week this transfer, This Friday we find out the change calls. I have no idea what will happen, but we'll see where the Lord needs me.

Veronica, Do I have any special insights? If you want to draw nearer unto Christ, go on a mission. I can't explain to you the change I've had since being on a mission. I didn't even realize it until this week. There is a really cool scripture about draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you. There is also a really cool scripture in I think Joshua, where the Lord tells us "I will be found of you." In one of the Liahona magazines I read an article submitted by a dad about that scripture, and how he would play hide and seek with his little kids in his house, but he would also be sure they could find him easily, maybe leaving a foot poking out or make a little noise. Then he said that's how God and Christ are with us. They want us to have to do the finding, but they make it easy to find them--they give us clues, scripture, prayer (a way we can communicate with GOD!!) and many more resources to find them. "I will be found of you." I really liked that. Sorry I don't know all the references, but I have a firm testimony that if we seek him, we will find him. If we draw near unto him, he will draw near unto us, and as we serve others, he with draw us unto him.


It was a good week here in Taibei. I don't remember a whole lot, but I feel like I learned a lot this week, and for the first time on my mission I've taken a step back and realized how much the mission has changed me as a person. WOW. I'm shocked, but it's changes for the better.

This week my 82 year old friend Guo Di Xiong passed his baptism interview. I've never seen someone so excited and happy. He told me yesterday at church, he's just so happy!!! he was so lonely before he met this church and was able to make friends through the church. He is the happiest old man I've ever seen!!! I'm so excited for his baptism this Saturday. He loves to practice his English. His latest thing he says is "Saturday, 6 o'clock I will receive the baptized. Then I am fresh man, son of my God, one goal, become like Jesus Christ." I love him so much. He loves to take us out to really nice restaurants. haha He's awesome. I'm so excited for him. What a great guy.

This week I learned a lot. I feel like I received some awesome personal revelation that makes me feel a lot better about this transfer, and really makes me excited for what lies ahead. I feel like the Lord is still pleased with me even though I've felt like I've been held back this transfer and haven't been able to give it my all. I feel like this week I realized I've been able to give it my all in the my current situation. It feels good.

Last P-day we went to Taibei's only real Mexican restaurant. SO GOOD!!!!! Wow it's been a long time since some real Mexican food. I mean it was nothing like the 2 a.m. burrito runs to Molcha Salsa in down town Salt Lake that Skyler and I would make a couple times a week, but it still hit the spot.

The Zhang guy that I found last week went to the ward where he lives in YongHe yesterday. The missionaries met with him and he moved his baptismal date up!!!! So GOOD!!! This week I found another just amazing Golden guy named Chen. He was so amazing, so golden, and I set a baptismal date with him on the street. Again he doesn't live in our area, but he will be meeting with his area's Elders on Wednesday!! It's so good to find people who will be getting baptized!

Last night I had a really cool experience, we were out at a beautiful park on the main river in Taibei that we contact at a lot. It was 8:30 so we were almost done for the day, when I had a really strong feeling to book it to the NTU campus, actually a specific spot on the NTU campus, a spot that normally wouldn't have a lot of people. We rode as fast as we could and ran into a family there. I spoke with them a little bit and they were the nicest people ever. I shared a short testimony but they didn't really have interest. I thought that maybe something I shared was what one of them needed to hear, and I thought that must've been why I had the feeling. Then it was 8:42, and I talked to the very next guy we saw. HE WAS WHO WE WERE SUPPOSED TO FIND. He had some interest in prayer and we were able to teach a quick 10 minute lesson on prayer, and he set up a time to meet and learn more. So thankful for the promptings of the spirit who can lead us to find a new investigator even in the last 15 minutes of the week.

I love this work. I love the Gospel with all my heart, It's so true.

This week I bought a megaphone, because I set a goal that I want to do more Dan Jones a.k.a. Street Preaching. I'll let you know how that goes.
The second "Elder White" in our family, but definitely not the last (Bai ZhangLao)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011

 A drawing an investigator did of my and my companion while we taught her the gospel
 with Guo Di Xiong at his house. I love that man!!

 Our zone leader Elder Binkinuan, he is a taiwanese aborighne and he's AWESOME!
 A stamp I had made. Yes that is my face
 These are all pictures from our zone's Pday, in which we cooked food and feasted. Of course I made my signature penguin waffles
 myself and my friend Elder Porter. He is hilarious, and we are eating peanutbutter and chocolate covered penguin waffles,
he ate about a dozen.
 our short time missionary, and eating dinner with Guo Di Xiong and the temple sister missionaries

  Milk Peanut Soup... SO GOOD
 With the Zhang family and other members in Zhudong at the church in Taipei, and then eating with them!!!

Hello friends and family,

Another week gone by here on the beautiful island of Taiwan. A lot of cool things happened this week. I don't know where to begin. I'll start with an update on Guo DiXiong, Brother Guo. He is doing absolutely amazing. He comes to the Chapel three or four days a week to read the Book of Mormon. He memorizes his favorite verses, he makes friends with all the members from all the wards that come and go through the church foyer, and invites them all to his baptism on July 30, 6 p.m. He's so excited! And I'm so Excited for him!! 

Yesterday we had a couple people to teach right after church so me and a ward member taught Brother Guo the 10 commandments. He made a goal to memorize the 10 commandments. He also has a goal to never sin after his baptism. I almost believe he can. He's too amazing. He is a happy, cheerful old man who everyone loves. A real example to everyone. He said that before meeting missionaries he felt like every day his life was slowly disappearing, but now he feels like he has a new life. He has 18 years (he wants to live to 100) to become like the Savior Jesus Christ. He is AWESOME!!

Maybe the best highlight of the week was going to the Chapel Saturday morning to teach a lesson. The person we set up a time with never came, but it was the XinZhu stake's temple day. I got to see some people I knew from my first 2 areas, and then..... out of the temple comes Zhang BaBa (Alfred), their daughter, and the youngest son!!!! The mother and oldest son had stuff back in Zhudong, but 3 of the 5 were at the temple, doing baptisms for the dead!!! Already!!! I got to take them on a tour, and then got to eat lunch with them. I thought it would be a while before I got to see them again!! We were all so excited!!! Monday I received a letter from each member of the family after their baptism, as well as some pictures of their baptism. SO AMAZING. I feel blessed beyond belief. A lot of amazing missionaries will go their whole mission without being able to baptize a family, let alone an entire family. I got to go to ZhuDong on an emergency move call, so that I could meet this family that I connect with so amazingly and help them come unto Christ. So amazing! It's everyone's goal. 

My other goal was to baptize an old guy (also a rarity) and I got that with Guo DiXiong. When you work hard the Lord places you in the path of those who you are meant to help come unto Him.

One of my favorite things this week happened while I was contacting on the street. I was contacting and getting rejected and contacting some more when I met Zhang Xian Shen. He is a father, and he began asking me some questions. He told me he had a family and 1 daughter, 17 years old who is Christian. He said he had Christian beliefs. I sat down with him on the side of the road and shared with him 3 Nephi 18:21. The spirit was so strong and as soon as he finished reading the verse he said, "Amen." I committed him to pray with his wife and daughter everyday and he said he would, then we set up a time to meet at the chapel. The day before we were to meet he called to confirm. HE called ME to confirm. That doesn't happen. WE call THEM to confirm. I got really excited about him. Unfortunately I would be on exchanges the next day so our district leader would come here and teach him. Our district leader said it was amazing! Zhang Xian Shen was loving every minute of it. They did a temple tour with him. When the tour is over the people are asked to fill out an info card. One of the blanks says Religion:_______ Zhang Xian Shen said "Should I put what I was before, or what I am now, I want to write Mormon." AMAZING!!!!! So we let him write Mormon. He has a baptismal date, and came to church yesterday and loved it. 

Unfortunately he is not in our area so this week he will be meeting with other missionaries, but what a MIRACLE. Finding prepared people like him is my favorite part of the work. I'm more than willing to be outside on the streets in 35 degree Celsius weather, getting rejected by literally hundreds, to find the one. The one prepared! I LOVE IT.

This week we had Jr. Companion Specialized Training. It was 4 of the 7 zones in the mission, so most of the Jr companions were there. President Grimley asked me to conduct the meeting. It was an amazing meeting! A lot of fun, and it was a really cool to be able to conduct the meeting. It was all about unity, and I learned a lot.

This week has been fun having our Duan Chuan, Elder Chen. He stands about 5'3" and is like a little tree stump, so stalky. We literally have no food left in our apartment, because he absolutely raided our fridge and pantry. When he isn't eating, he's sleeping. If we were inside the apartment, he was asleep, when we're planning, he was asleep, studying, he was asleep, getting ready for the day, he's asleep. I don't know anyone can have that ability. I have the hardest time falling asleep at night. He was a funny little guy and good to have around. I taught him how to shave this week. So I think he'll take a lot away from shadowing us.

I think these last 2 weeks of this transfer our going to be amazing. I'm excited for what the future holds ahead.

This church is true. Scriptures are powerful, hence the song Scripture Power.

Do your best and good things will happen.

Elder White

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Is Joe going to be all right? I'm glad your book is coming along. Also I think it's cool you want to run a half marathon, DO IT. I'll pray for you. You most definitely can. I can't believe how fast time flies. I'm mad at the MTC because it eats 1/8th of my mission. I need you to send me more pictures--pictures of the family, Vern's prom, etc. My companion wants to marry Veronica or Savannah.

Another Week gone by in Xin An. This next week is going to be CRAZY!! Why? 2 Words. Duan Chuan. Or in other words we have a young man coming to join our companionship for the next 7 days. It's going to be SWEET!! Living it up with a couple Taiwanese Elders. We have no idea who he is, but we go pick him up in an hour.

This week had some definite high points. Where to start. I think my favorite part was interviews with the Mission President. I love being able to sit down and have ten minutes of one-on-one time with him. It's an opportunity to learn so much, and I always walk out of there feeling so excited to do this work. Before this transfer I wasn't too excited about serving right by the mission home, but it's been amazing how convenient everything is and it's really great to see President so often.

Another highlight is my new best friend. Guo Di Xiong. We went to visit him this week and he is AMAZING. He lives in a house on the roof of a 6 floor apartment building out in the far east corner of our area. He has amazing mountain views, and his house is amazing. He's loaded. Coolest part is that there is no elevator. This 82 year old man walks those stairs every day. He took us out to dinner where we met up with the temple sisters. He is awesome. He has had the Book of Mormon for 8 days and he's finishing up Ether. He's almost done. Yesterday he came to church, loved it, and we taught him after church at about 1 o' clock. We taught him the Word of Wisdom. He loves to speak English. In his prayer he was speaking in Chinese and then in English he said "and... No Coffee, No Smoking, No Tea, No Drinking, No Druggies." I loved every minute of it. He hasn't smoke or drank his entire life, and his health is amazing. Yesterday he also told me his own word of wisdom health tip. After I had 3 fish meatballs during lunch yesterday, he told me how bad and unhealthy they were. I told him I was ignorant to the fact, and he committed me to avoid them the rest of my life. In English he said, "promise me, you must never eat." I'm totally ok with keeping that commitment. They're not even that good tasting. 

We moved his baptismal date to 7/30, and he got so excited. He said he's excited to get baptized so he can go to the temple, and help his wife get baptized so that they can live in heaven together. He's an absolute miracle and such an awesome guy. We returned to the church at 6:30 that night and he was still there. He had been reading and making friends with members from all over Taibei. It's amazing this guy has been out there for so long!!! THERE ARE SO MANY PREPARED PEOPLE, WE JUST HAVE TO FIND THEM, AND THEN HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. It's so amazing this work. So simple. Anyone who is willing to open their heart a little bit, and try out our invitations will get an answer. In the Chinese translation of Moroni's promise there is a character that means DEFINITELY, WITHOUT doubt the Holy Ghost will answer. I love emphasizing that with investigators. I love the fact that I've been privileged to teach an absolutely amazing family, and now an old guy. Both are pretty rare, and both are things I wanted so badly before my mission. Guo Bing Jun is amazing!

This week I also had an absolutely amazing, miracle filled exchange with my zone leader. His name is Elder Binkinuan. He is a Taiwanese aborigine and super smart. He's 26, and has a law degree from NTU, the equivalent of  an Ivy league school in Taiwan. We started our exchange out with our nightly planning session in which he requested to sing the Star Spangled Banner. He sang it with more soul than the most patriotic of Americans. He loves R and B and his Star Spangled Banner was top notch. The exchange was a ton of fun, literally a perfect 24 hours in missionary work, and we saw amazing miracles.

I'm excited for the week ahead, I'm expecting some sweet miracles in the near future. I'm super excited for Guo Di Xiong's baptism. I love this work, really loving this area, really excited for what the future holds. For some reason I get the feeling I'll be here to stay awhile. We'll see. Love you all.

Read scriptures, read correct translations of the Bible, read the Book of Mormon. Those books have POWER. I believed them to be true before coming on my mission, but only out here have I realized their power.

I was in a restaurant this week and heard "Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice. Last song I would expect to hear in Taiwan. Very trunky moment.
Love you all, Going to go pick up my new companion
"No Coffee, No smoking, No Tea, No Drinking, No Druggies"
Elder White

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dang good food
Nei Wan
 Xin Zhu District
 Zhang Yan Rou Being Baptized!!!!!
 Zhang Family (Who were all baptized Saturday!!!)
 On one of our trips to Nei Wan the Zhubei district decided to join us, Elder Erickson decided he wanted a "father-son, trainer-trainee" picture done by the sketch artist there. We sat on the couch being sketched not knowing what it was looking like while passers-by stared. We were worried that he would have a had time drawing Americans and we'd end up looking the same.....

 Zhang family and the Elder Anderson. I am his mom (Elder Bogle is training which makes him his dad, therefore I'm his mom)
Zhang family, Elder Bogle, and I. This was an emotional night, I'm sitting next to my best friend Alfred.
 Sweet view of 101

 It says I heart Xin An, in my horrible character handwriting
 Guo Bing Jun, my new best friend!!!
 Me and my comp
 Me and 101
  Me, My Comp, and another Taiwanese Missionary @ a Kao Rou (barbecue) resturaunt
 Bunch of missionaries Kaoing Rou

Me, 101, my comp

Another week gone by. This week really flew by quick.


Zhang Family Got Baptized!!!! No I wasn't there for it, which is heartbreaking, but there is no way I will miss their sealing in 1 year. This is more than amazing. The odds of finding a big family like that and baptizing them in our mission are so small. I'm so happy I can't even describe it!!! They're going to heaven. I know that the Lord had an interesting mission map for me sending me to ZhuDong for only one transfer, but I know that the Zhang family is the reason I was there. In the end my companion and I left ZhuDong on fire. The other family we found there is doing really well, along with some other individuals we found there. Working with Elder Bogle was amazing. We worked our tails off and saw so many miracles. I'm so happy for ZhuDong and the Zhang Family!!!

Now back to XinAn

Things are going well here. I'm still feeling a little bit held back. I want to work harder, like I had been thus far on my mission, but I can't get out the door until my companion gets out with me. It's tough but we're working out the kinks and working better together. I want us to light Xin An on fire. The ward here is great, and they need some good new converts.

The greatest news from Xin An is Guo Bing Jun. HE IS AWESOME. He came into the church Saturday at the Temple Square, and the sister missionaries there gave him the tour that they do. They gave him a Book of Mormon and a baptismal date. And he lives in our AREA!!! He is 82 years old and sat in the foyer for 3 hours Saturday reading the Book of Mormon. Then he came to church Sunday where we Elders met him and taught him. He is the cutest old man EVER! He wanted to talk all about Lehi and his 4 sons and how he prophesied Jerusalem would be wicked!! He is awesome. When we taught him he started talking about his wife who passed away and how lonely he is and he starting crying, and then bore testimony that he believes in God and that everything will work out and he'll see her again. Then in his closing prayer he started crying again. He is so amazing, and I'm so excited for him to get baptized, and then do the work for his wife!!! He's awesome!

It's amazing how different the work is being right in the heart of Taibei and next to the temple as opposed to running around like crazy in the mountains of ZhuDong. No matter where I'm at I know the Lord needs me there. I know that everywhere has prepared people, it's all about having the faith to find them, Diligence to be out there finding them, Obedience to have the spirit, and Love to make sure they make it to baptism.

This is a wonderful place to do the work of the Lord. I'm privileged to be able to represent Jesus Christ in the beautiful country of Taiwan.

I love my waffle maker that makes waffles in the shaped of little penguins. YEAH BREAKFAST, it's the most important meal of the day. Syrup in Taiwan tastes like syrup in America, so no worries there.

I found a $19 dollar store!!! It's about 60 cents in USD. I bought a bell for my bike. My companion beat me to the bike bells and took the only American flag one... He's Taiwanese! So my bell is just blue. I think to Celebrate the 4th of July I'm going to steal his bike bell.

By the way, I've lost 30 pounds since I left the MTC. None of my clothes fit.

Love you all.

Elder White