Monday, August 29, 2011

August 28, 2011

Hello Friends and Family,

Hard to believe another week has passed by. Time absolutely flies.

A little later than usual because we couldn't email this morning, We were still indoors on TYPHOON ALERT!!! We weren't able to go out and do missionary work last night. Was a little bit of a bummer. But as of right now we're allowed outside and can continue to work.

I need to apologize for lack of pictures, my camera cord doesn't work. I've been meaning to go buy a card reader, but still haven't had a chance. Next week I promise.

This week was full of highlights. I don't know where to begin. We had an amazing Zone Conference that absolutely changed my mission for the better. I learned exactly what I needed to learn. Then we also had the General Sunday School President, President Osgethorpe, come and talk to our mission. Between the two meetings I felt like Heavenly Father was talking directly to me.

The real highlight this week though took place on Friday afternoon. Twice a week we go out to visit a diseased member of our ward out in a care home. We help him pray and sing a hymn to him, and then we take him outside so he can sit and walk for about 45 minutes. In the prior weeks we had an investigator we would meet with out in that neighborhood during this time slot. However, due the this investigator's lack of progression we had to make the decision to stop meeting with him. We now had 45 minutes in a neighborhood that doesn't really have any good contacting spots. Through planning by the spirit we had the idea to go knock doors on a street we chose during this time, while talking to anyone we saw walking that street. This combination of tracting and street contacting proved to have success Wednesday and we found a new investigator. We picked the next street over to try Friday, and that Friday afternoon we were headed to that street. When we got to the street and were beginning to turn right I looked up the street and saw a ray of sunlight beaming on an old rundown building up ahead. At that moment I had a feeling/thought that I have no way to explain, but it was like something was telling me there was someone waiting for us in that building. I said a prayer in my heart and asked the Lord to confirm if this feeling was the Holy Ghost, if he really wanted us to go to that building. 

At that moment I said, "Elder Chen, follow me." He followed me up the street to this old 4 floor building. We found the entrance. Before entering I asked if we could offer a prayer. I prayed telling the Lord I knew he had someone for us here, and to please give us the words that this person needs to hear. I was a little bit scared. If there was no one here my companion would think I'm crazy. Each floor had 3 doors, 1st floor, no success. 2nd floor, no success. 3rd floor, 2nd door a young man named Cai answered. As he answered he stepped out into the hallway to speak with us. At that moment my companion and I knew, this was him. When I asked him if he believed in God, he said I don't know. But he said he wants to know and just recently he's been expecting an answer. We quietly said, "We're here. This is your answer." We prayed and taught him. He has a friend in our church and he said he's always been curious about our church because his friend seems different than all his other friends--he seems happier. We also found out he'd given missionaries his phone number on the street before, but they never called him. He was waiting for an answer, and in his closing prayer he thanked God for sending us. I was hit by the spirit so hard.

We went to the 4th floor and with tears in our eyes offered a prayer of thanks. We are meeting with Cai DiXiong tomorrow, and I'm incredibly excited.

We also have another great investigator a Taichung member brought to our ward last week. She is doing amazing and I'm looking forward to continuing with her. She attended a baptism this week, attended a Relief society activity that started at 7 and she was still there when we left at 8:40. She attended church for the second time Sunday, and stayed until 2 o'clock, chatting with relief society members.


In Zone Conference my companion was asked to say the opening prayer, he wanted to pray in English and I offered to write his prayer for him. I wrote a very grammatically advanced prayer and he astonished everybody. All the native missionaries were amazed because they didn't understand and all the Foreign missionaries were amazed because it was so fluent. A couple of missionaries that personally know him and me came up to me afterward and thanked me for the opening prayer. They caught on. But for the most part our mission is still in awe of my companion's amazing English. It's really, really funny!

Taiwan is beautiful as ever. A lot of people are saying the typhoon hasn't actually come yet, so we'll see what happens in the next day or two. I'm really glad to hear the family is doing well. Nothing makes me happier than hearing about my friends receiving mission calls. I'm excited for them to see the blessings of serving the Lord. I'm so excited for them to go help others experience the high life of living this restored gospel of Jesus Christ. If any of you are on the fence, pray about it, and then heed to the prophet's council and serve.

I'm blessed to be a part of this work, blessed to be able to do it in Taiwan, blessed to have the opportunity to learn Chinese, blessed to have a wonderful family and friends, blessed to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I love you all, Do good things.

Love, Elder White

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 21, 2011


This transfer is flying by. I can't even remember where the time went. Where to begin this week? The start of this week was amazing. The work went incredibly smoothly, and it really needed to, because the end of this week was rough. It was rough because the majority of the time was spent in bike shops, repairing my joke of a bicycle. It was a true blessing that we were able to get so much work done at the start of this week.

This week new investigators just fell into our laps. It was a week full of miracles. A member brought a friend to church yesterday, and her friend is amazing!!! This doesn't happen here! Member referrals are super rare. What an awesome miracle. We also called a bunch of former investigators from a few months ago and set up times  to meet with them. Many of them still had interest and actually want to meet with missionaries. The missionaries just stopped making contact with them. It's nice because I feel like the work in this area is finally starting to progress. I'm finally going to be able to say I left XinAn better than I found it.

It's a blast doing work with Elder Chen. He's a lot of fun.
This Tuesday he will be saying the opening prayer in Zone Conference and he asked me to write him a prayer in English so you can use English to pray. I wrote a lot of big complicated words and he's memorized it. So his prayer will make him sound like he's got the best English of all the Taiwanese missionaries. I'm excited to hear it. He has no idea what he's saying, but it will make him sound super smart.

We also often debate which is better--Chinese Kung Fu or American Punch. One time I gave him a small American punch just to demonstrate a little bit. We've both came to the conclusion that American punch wins.

Speaking of America, everyone I contact on the street will ask what country I'm from, and then I tell them to guess, and everyone guesses I'm from England. I don't know why? They all say I don't look American, I look English. I didn't know there was a big difference.

This week I bought some new white shirts, because all my white shirts are starting to not be white. And the current ones I have wrinkle like crazy in this humidity. I bought 2 new shirts. They were the equivalent of 6 U.S. dollars each. STUFF IN TAIWAN IS CHEAP!!!

I'm in TAIWAN!! Sometimes I remember that I'm in Taiwan and I can't help but be super happy!

I speak Chinese!! What a miracle, what a blessing to have this opportunity!

I hope you all had a wonderful week. Family, I hope you had an awesome vacation. Can't wait to see pictures. I love you all very much.

Do what Heavenly Father wants you to do and you will be happy. I guarantee it.

Love, Elder White

August 14, 2011

Hello friends and family,

Not a whole lot has happened since the last email I sent. Today we sent off our DuanChuan (young man with us for one week) He was the quietest human being I've ever known. I often forgot he was there, but it was cool being able to give him a look at what missionary work is like.

The highlight of the last 5 days was probably meeting with Brother Guo, our 82 year old convert. Meeting with him and teaching him is always such a testimony building experience because his testimony is so amazing, and he's so ready and willing to continue to learn. Words cannot explain how much I love that man. He's a real hero to me, the happiest person I've ever met. This week we shared with him Lehi's vision and likened him unto Lehi. At the start, Lehi wandered in darkness for a long time. Brother Guo lived 82 years of his life doing what's right and trying to be a good human being before he found the full gospel of Jesus Christ. Lehi went forth and partook of the fruit and was happy. Brother Guo was baptized and happier than ever. And as soon as Lehi partook of the fruit he desired his family to partake, and looked around to find them. In the scriptures it says that he saw Sariah, Samuel, Nephi... He took that verse and put his 2 daughters names in. SO AMAZING. His second daughter is meeting with sister missionaries and they said she's doing great. And Brother Guo is super excited about continuing to share his testimony with them. He LOVED in Lehi's vision when it says Lehi's family also came and partook of the fruit. He says Samuel and Nephi are Rebecca and Doris (his daughters names). He's so amazing!!!

This week we had an amazing amount of people cancel or stand us up. Like I've never seen thus far in my mission. It was amazing, but next week we have TONS of lesson's scheduled. We're so busy, so it will be really good. We're going to keep seeing miracles.

My companion is great, we have a ton of fun, and it feels like doing missionary work with a good friend. Doesn't even feel like work. That's always nice. I haven't had a companion for 2 transfers yet, but I hope this time I will.

There really isn't much else to report on. Our DuanChuan would only contact little kids 12 and under. He was really shy.

The Taiwan Taipei mission is the best in the world. I speak Chinese now, the gift of tongues is so real.

Scriptures are really good, everybody should read them everyday.

Say prayers.

Elder White

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011


Sorry I'm late this week but it was temple week, so P-day was changed to Wednesday! Today I had the pleasure of attending the temple, always a wonderful treat and always nice to feel that close to the Lord. 

I can't explain how happy I am this week. My new companion is the greatest. He is hilarious. We have the funnest time and this transfer is absolutely going to fly by. He is from TaiZhong Taiwan, and having a companion that doesn't speak English is making me feel so comfortable with my Chinese. It is truly a blessing to have already have two Taiwanese companions.

I can't explain how much influence a companion has on you happiness. It's an absolute blast doing missionary work with Elder Chen. He works hard, he's obedient, and we get along perfectly. We're already seeing crazy miracles and it feels so AMAZING to just be able to focus all my time and attention on the work and not be having to exhaust a lot of energy keeping a companionship alive.

Today after the temple we went out to eat with other missionaries. It was a ton of fun spending time with Elder VandenBerghe, my MTC comp. Ha, it's crazy how we've become like best friends in the mission. I hope I can get the chance to go on an exchange with him the other day.

I ran in to a member from ZhuDong the other day and a lot of the people Elder Bogle and I found and taught on that miracle of a transfer are being baptized or have been baptized. I can't explain how miraculous that transfer was. At the time, I took it for granted, but it gives me a lot of faith and fire knowing that when you're exactly obedient and when you are diligent, miracles come in abundance.

A really cool highlight this week was Guo DiXiong, our 82 year old new convert was asked to say the opening prayer at the fireside that our mission runs, which has members and non members from all over Taipei county come. It was packed. He came up and gave the audience a huge smile before he prayed, which made everyone in the entire place happy. Then he said a wonderful prayer (his prayers are so happy and so cool) and then he closed and did like a little bow. All the other missionaries were so jealous I got to have the opportunity to meet and teach him and help in his conversion. He is the cutest, happiest old man, and everyone he meets instantaneously falls in love with him.

Highlight number 2. He has two daughters that attended his baptism. They were so amazed at how happy their father is after meeting this church. Guo Di Xiong gave the temple sisters his youngest daughter's number and she set up a time to meet with the temple sisters tonight!!!! I'm so excited. I think both his daughters were really moved by his baptismal service. It was one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever attended, and no one could have left there without being moved a bit. They say you can't convert beyond your own conversion, but I think it's possible with Guo Di Xiong. His testimony sounds like an 82 year old man who spent his whole life in the church and never made a mistake. Not someone who's been a member for 1 week.

Things have been so amazing since this new transfer started. We're going to continue to see miracles and we can help XinAn continue to progress.

I'm so privileged to be a missionary of the Lord.

This week we have a Duan Chuan, a young man who's being a missionary for 1 week. He's quiet, his hair is curly and long. Tomorrow I'm going to teach him how to tie a tie. I'm really excited because part of being a good missionary is strengthening the church in the area you serve. I think the lack of young men who know how to tie ties is a real plague on the Church here. These are Taiwan's future leaders of the church, and Zip ties just don't cut it. Moreover, Zip ties are always too short, they never make it to the belt. It's going to be a big thing to teach him tomorrow.

My companion and I enjoy discussing whether America or Taiwan is better. I told him that we have more agency in America because our hymnbook has over 350 hymns and their has only 200. But he pointed out that because when they refer to siblings in Chinese they won't say like a general word for brother, the words they use will specify if the brother is older or younger, so in the Chinese Book of Mormon they know the Brother of Jared is his OLDER brother. So we're like 1 to 1 right now. We'll settle it eventually.

I'm happy, and hungry, not for food, but for the salvation of souls. 
There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not extremely thankful for the opportunity I have to learn Chinese. This language is tough, and I've been put in an amazing situation to learn it and to have the gift of tongues while learning it. I contact people who study Chinese in the colleges here and who have been studying Chinese for years and they don't believe I've been here that short. I've truly been blessed to have such an opportunity and it's an absolute miracle to be able to learn so quickly with only half an hour of study a day.

This life is just a small part of such a bigger plan. This church is true, and that's all that really matters.

I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be born into this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me and trusting me to preach and share this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me to do this wonderful task in Taiwan, and I love my Heavenly Father for sending His Son to atone for my mistakes and sins and give me the opportunity to return to live with him one day.

I love all of you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

Today I start my 4th Transfer as a missionary of the Lord. This last transfer seemed way longer than my first 2 combined, but that said it's amazing to think I've been in Taiwan 4 months. It feels like I got here yesterday. I'm finally staying in an area more than 1 transfer. I will still be here in XinAn for at least 6 more weeks!!! I'm excited about it!! It's an amazing area with some of the most amazing contacting places in the whole mission. 

My new companion is an Elder Chen. He is a native Taiwanese, and I've heard he is super funny, so we're going to get along great. He is Elder Jhou's trainee, so I know he'll know how to work hard and how to have fun, which is the kind of companion I've been longing for. It's apparent the Lord wants me to get good Chinese, because my first companion was an American with solid Chinese, then I moved to an American with really good Chinese, then I moved to a Taiwanese companion, but could speak pretty good English and answer a lot of questions. And now I've got Taiwanese companion who doesn't speak English. My Chinese is going to get SWEET!!!! I'm looking forward to the transfer ahead and my new companion. I'll officially go meet him in about an hour.

This week had some really cool highlights. Obviously the biggest and the best was Guo Bing Jun's Baptism. It was the most amazing baptism I've been to thus far, and other missionaries that have been here a long time said the same thing. His testimony is so firm and strong. The spirit at that baptism was unbelievable. I was super nervous because he asked me to baptize him and I was worried about getting his 82 year old body completely submerged into the water. Needless to say I prayed really hard all week that it could go smoothly and we could get it in one try, and it only took one try!!!! He then shared his testimony and touched the hearts of absolutely everyone in that room. The best part was his 2 daughters that he always talks about came. They were worried they wouldn't be welcome because one is Buddhist and one is Catholic, but I talked to them on the phone and let them know they were welcome, and they came and I'm pretty sure they felt welcome. It was an amazing night. This week during my prayers I've had the coolest feeling that Guo Bing Jun and I knew each other in the pre existence. Maybe I promised to bring him the gospel while we were up there. And here is a man born in mainland China in 1929, and myself born in the U.S.A. in 1991, but we were able to meet up in Taiwan, and he is able to receive the gospel and the blessings from it. I couldn't be any more happy.

This week I also had the privilege of babysitting. It's where the new missionaries that just come in go out with an older missionary to learn the ropes and get a look at missionary work in Taiwan. I was a little nervous because I'm only a 3rd transfer missionary, and all the other missionaries doing it were seasoned veterans, and zone leaders. But I'm thankful the mission president trusted me enough, and I took a brand new missionary out and we saw miracles. It was a lot of fun!! And I hope that I get to do it again this transfer since there will be a huge group coming on.

I'm really excited and looking forward to this next transfer, I'm hoping that my companion and I can work hard and have a lot of fun. I know that miracles await around the corner, and I want to light Xin An on fire. I want to be TOO busy.

I love you all and you're in my prayers.

Use your agency wisely.

Love Elder White