Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 25, 2012

What a great week it has been. The biggest news is probably that move calls came, and I'm leaving TaoYuan. A very bittersweet feeling. I'm looking forward to something new and the next adventure, but I really love the people here, and I will miss them greatly. I am moving to Taipei. My new area is called TuCheng. My new companion is another native Taiwanese missionary. His name is Elder Su and he will be on his last transfer. I've never worked with someone on their last transfer so it could be interesting. I'm really looking forward to working with him. I've heard great things about him. I feel really blessed to be going to my 4th native companion. It seems like on average most missionaries will only have 1 or 2, but Elder Su will be my fourth. 

One thing I'm looking forward to is less exchanges! I'm moving from the biggest zone in the mission, to one of the smallest. I think it will be nice to be in my own bed a little bit more. There's no doubt I'm going to miss TaoYuan, the ward, my companion, and of course my converts, but I know that the Lord has things for me to accomplish in TuCheng.

So last week was Zone Conference and they talked about eating healthy and having a balanced diet. A few days later I was on an exchange with Elder Miller and we were determined to eat the most healthy, balanced, breakfast possible. We wanted to make sure we got our proteins, fruit, vegetable, grain, and dairy. We did it, we got it all, in one convenient pancake. We made the batter from scratch consisting of carrot, oats, milk powder, eggs, banana, and an apple, blended it all up into a pancake batter and cooked to perfection. We're thinking these could be pretty marketable back in the states.

Another great thing Elder Miller and I did this week took place in our English class. We talked about heroes, what makes a good hero and then we just had everyone start naming off their heroes. We ended up with like 50 names on the board and then we voted it down to the top 11. Here's the top 11 heroes, in no specific order. Well Jesus is number one, and then the other ten are in no particular order. Jesus, Liam Neeson, Mr. T, James Franco, Sean Connery, Zoe Deschanel, Johnny Cash, Will Smith, Ichiro (the baseball player for the Mariners), Allen Iverson, and MC Hammer. A lot of great people there. I'm looking forward to MC Hammer accepting the gospel in the Spirit World some day. I will definitely miss teaching English with Elder Miller. Those classes tended to be pretty crazy... in a good way.

So on our last 3 weeks on Island we can call any former members, converts, or investigators in previous areas. There was one missionary in our zone who taught the Zhang family English in ZhuBei for a while after they were baptized. The Zhang family loved him so they kept in touch and he's been able to call them these last couple weeks. He set things up with them so that on our companion exchange this week the Zhang family would come up to TaoYuan and visit us and take us to lunch!! It was the greatest. Zhang MaMa and the oldest daughter both came and we got to spend lunch with them. Their family is so amazing. When I called them the night before they were to come and eat with us, they answered and said "Elder White!!!" excitedly, but then said "Sorry I can't talk right now, I'll call you back in 15 minutes, We're busy with our temple prep class." I couldn't even be upset that I couldn't talk to them because I was too excited they were in temple prep class. Their whole family will be sealed the second week of July. I cannot wait to go see them become an eternal family. I'm so excited for them!!! Getting to see them Saturday only made me more excited for the second week of July. It's so great to see the gospel bless families.

Our mission president officially has 1 week left. It is going to be such an interesting transition. Needless to say I will miss President Grimley. He was an amazing mission president, and taught me so much. I'm really grateful to have been able to work with him. He called me the night of move calls and thanked me for the work I've done in TaoYuan and talked to me briefly about what he hopes I can do in the West Zone. I know President Day will also be great I'm sure.

It was sad to leave TaoYuan and my converts. Probably the hardest is Brother Tsai, the security guard. He was definitely the biggest battle of my mission. When I told him I was moving Saturday night he looked really sad. Then he said he wanted to meet one more time so we met with him last night and had a small testimony meeting. He was my first lesson in TaoYuan, and my last. Very fitting. There was so much fasting, praying, and effort to help him make it to baptism, but last night I realized it was all worth it. He looked me in the eyes and said to me, "Thank you, there were so many times where I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up, I didn't think I could overcome Satan's temptations, and then you called." He said he wouldn't have made it if it weren't for me. I know that none of it is me, it's through the spirit that people are converted and I'm just trying to do what prophets and priesthood leaders tell us to do, but it's such an amazing feeling to know that you've been a tool in the Lord's hands in bringing others unto the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ. It's such an amazing feeling to be a missionary, I love it. Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16
And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one 
soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the 
kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I've been very blessed to serve here in TaoYuan, to be a missionary, and to experience the joy of the gospel more fully in my life, as well as see it completely change the lives of others. I'm thankful this is a work of miracles, because I don't think this work could get done without miracles. I'm thankful for the miracles I've been blessed to see here in TaoYuan, and I look forward to miracles yet to happen in TuCheng.

The gospel is true, so is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Choose the right.
Elder White

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

It's not Father's Day in Taiwan. Well, if it was no one mentioned anything about it. It might be because everyone was talking about the natural disasters of the week. 

This week was filled with a couple of smaller earthquakes, as well was a crazy flood! School and work was cancelled for the flood. It rained heavy rain for about 9 hours straight and in certain areas the roads turned into rivers. It was pretty cool, except for the fact that on the day it flooded the Zhang family from ZhuDong had planned to come up to TaoYuan to visit, and then they had to cancel because the train wasn't running. Which was unfortunate, because I had planned it out to be on exchanges with Elder Bogle (my former companion in ZhuDong) at the time. We were going to eat with them. It was going to be a great surprise for them and Elder Bogle and I were so excited we could barely the sleep the night before. And then the flooding happened. However, they still are planning on being sealed in the temple in July. Elder Bogle and I cannot wait. It was great getting back together with Elder Bogle. It was a really fun exchange talking about the good old days up in the mountains of ZhuDong.

Really good news. My sickness is gone. About time! It feels really good to do the work not sick.

This week was Zone Conference. Our mission topic for this month is Following the Spirit. It was such a great meeting. President Grimley has taught me so much, and it will be weird to see him go. It was his last zone conference. Elder Sheng and I also did a training during the conference that went pretty well. It was a lot of fun and a really great meeting. Since the meeting I've been focusing really hard on listening to the Holy Ghost, and I've seen some crazy cool miracles. Here a couple.

We were contacting after dinner in a part of our area and we were getting rejected pretty hard. I said a prayer and had a feeling to go to this alley that in my six months in TaoYuan I'd only been to a couple times and isn't known for having many people, but the feeling was pretty strong and we went there. While there, my companion was talking to someone and there was no one else to talk to within sight and sound of him so I knocked this random door and there were 3 guys in there. I asked if I could share a message with them and they invited me in and invited me to eat with them. I said wait a second, I'll be back. I went and got my companion and we taught these guys a lesson and set up a next time. They said we could come back anytime. Ha. It was pretty cool. 

The other great miracle was while we were on our way to Ward Mission meeting. I was riding through the park 2 minutes away from the chapel. The meeting was scheduled to start in 3 minutes. When out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy in the park. I had a strong feeling to talk to him, but I told myself no, I don't want to be late for the meeting and kept riding. The feeling was still there and I said no and then I got to the edge of the park where I could see the chapel and I felt almost scolded by the spirit. So we went and talked to him. I called the other Elders in our ward and told them to tell our Ward Mission Leader we'd be late. Then we continued to talk to Brother Yang, a husband looking for something to bring more happiness to his family. We prayed with him and he's going to bring his wife to meet with us this week.

On the not so positive side, Yang LiAn's mom isn't going to make her baptismal date. She won't give up coffee, and because she feels "pressure" has stopped reading and is praying inconsistently. Really heartbreaking.

Overall things are great. It's the last week of the transfer. It'll be interesting to see what happens with move calls as well as a brand new mission president. I know all will be well and the Lord with put us all where he needs us.

I love you all.

Elder White

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 10, 2012


Greeting from TaoYuan. An interesting week here in Taiwan. I don't know where to begin. Let's start with Sister Huang.

"I'm willing to get baptized, I just don't think I put Jesus as my number 1." She said. She's so close, she literally can pass every single baptismal interview question. She just still believes she also has another God. I don't know what else to do at this point. I will continue to pray for her and seek revelation, but I really want her to make her baptismal goal of 6/23. She lives commandments, prays, I'm just concerned she's waiting for a sign.

Yesterday I was woken at about 5:10 am because my entire building was shaking. We live up way high on the 13th floor. The room was shaking pretty intensely as a good size earthquake struck. Ha ha, because I'm always so tired I sat up on my bed and looked at my companion on his bed, he sat up and we simultaneously in as monotone, unenthusiastic, tired voices as you can imagine said "earthquake'' and then hit our pillows til 6:30. This week was actually filled with lots of little earthquakes. It was fun.

My mission president came to sacrament meeting in our ward yesterday to speak. It was great. It's just really hard to believe they're going to be leaving here in 3 weeks and there will be a completely different person in his office, leading this mission. I'm really grateful to be able to serve under President Grimley. I feel like it's been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I know the next mission president will be amazing as well, but it was really nice to be able to have president visit our ward in one of his last few Sundays here in Taiwan.

This week the water bottle holder on my bike didn't house a water bottle all week long. Instead, it played home to a big bottle of Ibuprofen which I was taking every few hours to reduce my fever. I had a pretty intense fever all week to close out this month long sickness, but yesterday I began feeling a lot better, and I feel like sweating this fever out kind of got rid of all the sickness altogether, which will be really nice!! I'm grateful I have such a good companion who has helped me through it all and been patient. Go Elder Sheng!

That's about it this week. Not a whole lot happened I feel like. I'm going to go try and rest now so that this week I can go crazy on the work front. After being sick this long I can't wait!

I know the church is true.
Elder White

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3, 2012

Elder Chen ( my former companion and me)
  Me and an instrument I almost bought on the street for like 7 USD
 Elder Workman and Me
 My 80 cent USD lunch (Tofu and rice)
 Brother Tsai Yong Sheng, and Chen Hao Yun and myself.
 Me with Ru PeiYuan (Less Active I've been working with)(nametag story)

 Peter Pan, a local security guard at an apartment complex that we have some investigators at, he's great, so funny, and he is now our new investigator, this is him with his cologne.
You may have noticed I'm not good at starting these emails. Anyway, it was an interesting week here in TaoYuan. I spent most of the week proselyting and teaching with a fever. That was no fun. My sickness has lasted over a month now, but I'm feeling a lot better today and plan on resting this P-day and trying to get all the way over it. This week was also filled with ridiculous bike problems, because it just isn't my mission without some bike problems. Having a fever all week kind of put a damper on the week, but a lot of great things happened.

I'll start with Monday. The Assistants came down on exchanges and I got to work with Elder Workman again, always a pleasure. That night we went and taught the Huang family. Some really good things happened. They set a new baptismal date and LiAn was able to bear some good testimony to her mother and brother. Sister Huang said if she gets the answer before the 23rd of June she'll get baptized. I'm worried though. Her only concern is that she believes in other Gods as well and she feels that these other Gods have really helped her in the past. It's such an interesting situation, and something I haven't seen on my mission yet. She can pass all the baptismal interview questions, including do you believe God is your Eternal Father. She believes, she just believes he's not the only one. She keeps all the commandments, comes to church every Sunday, and she pays tithing. I want it so bad for their family, and I've tried to do everything. I've tried to approach the problem from every angle, I've done all that Preach My Gospel says to do, I've found members to come help us teach who were also devout members of some of these Eastern religions before they were converted, but she's still not there. I feel like I don't know what more I can do. I really, really want this for their family.

Let's talk about the bike. Monday through Thursday were spent in the bike shop because it was breaking down daily. I was really frustrated. We also had to cancel an exchange this week because I was afraid of riding to this far away area and then having my bike break down. Thursday I took the bike in and Brother Tsui (bike shop owner and good friend) was replacing the tube when he noticed a really big problem with the entire back wheel. He said this would take about a week to fix and that I should try to find a replacement bike (which I found--a hello kitty women's bike with a big basket on the front, really cute). A couple days later Brother Tsui called me all excited saying that he called the company's headquarters and explained that I was a missionary and needed my bike to do Heavenly Father's work and got them to speed deliver the needed parts, then he called the next day saying it would be done. I went in the next day terrified. I knew that it was no small repair and a lot of things had been replaced. I knew it would be about 2500 dollars NT, about 75 USD. When I went in I found out that Brother Tsui's friend, who we'd also shared the gospel with in Brother Tsui's shop a couple times, had come in and seen my bike, recognized it was mine and paid for all the repairs. It was a HUGE blessing. I was extremely grateful. I can't even explain it. It was really a miracle.

Every week before we teach our free English class, we have a pre-English class meeting. During this week's pre-English class meeting I decided I wanted to name someone Shiz if we had a new student who didn't have a name (a rare occurrence in the intermediate class I teach) However this week we had a new student. We tried to help him pick a name, so we wrote a bunch of names up on the board. One of those names we wrote on the board was Church. He wasn't feeling the name Shiz, so he picked the name Joey, I told him that's not a very good name, and so he said he likes the name Church. I knew that was the one, so we had our new student, Church. After class I asked Church if he wanted to come to church and learn more. He said he was willing and we met with him the following day and set a baptismal date. I then invited Church to attend church with us this last Sunday. He came. Church had a great time at church. During priesthood when they invite new people to stand to introduce themselves, Church didn't quite understood what it meant, so he went up to the front and gave a short speech about how he met us missionaries through English class, and he set a baptismal date, but he isn't sure if he wants to commit to doing it and go all the way yet (this is after only 1 meet ) and he'll still have to think about it but he's willing to continue coming to church and learning... HaHa, way better than the typical name and where you live intro.

Another sweet miracles besides Church is the progress of Brother Xu's girlfriend. Brother Xu is the less active I pulled over on the scooter just by yelling at him as we were driving off. Then he brought his girlfriend and they set a baptismal date and came to church. She's progressing really well. We taught her the restoration and the plan of salvation this week, and she loved it and wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom. It was just a huge miracle to find him, and then through him, her. He's determined to come back and stay active as well.

This month our mission's topic is the spirit. I'm so excited to learn all I can on the topic. I know it will bless me not only on my mission but also when I get back, I feel like it's so much easier to follow the spirit here while I'm on the mission, but I need to learn to follow it better so I can continue to do so when I get back. 

We had our last Zone Leader Council with President Grimley this week. He leaves at the end of this month. It's too crazy to think about getting a new mission president. It definitely will be an experience.

Yesterday I once again experienced the blessing of staying in an area. It's been so great to see my recent converts grow in the gospel. Two of them got up and bore testimony in testimony meeting. I've been really blessed here in TaoYuan, really more than I could deserve, lots of priesthood added to the ward. The gospel is true and I've been so blessed to share it here in TaoYuan.

I'm more tired than ever, but that's ok. It's a good thing. When I come home I'll probably spend the first 3 days sleeping, but that's way down the road stuff, don't need to think about that now.

I love you all,

The Church is True
Elder White