Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

Again I find myself not knowing where to begin this week's email. You'd think that this late into my mission, after so many weekly emails, I'd have the art of starting a weekly letter down to a science. Nevertheless I don't.

The last time I emailed was last week, Tuesday, Christmas Day. Obviously the highlight of any missionary's Christmas is talking to their family. I love each of you and you all sounded so great. In the most undistracted and un-homesick way possible I say: I can't wait to see you all in a few short weeks!!! It was great to speak with you. 

We started Christmas day with big dreams and high hopes. The goal: to drink egg nog. We didn't know where to find this delicious seasonal beverage here in Taiwan but we had a goal, a vision, faith, and a Costco card. We were sure our Christmas dreams would come true. In the end there is literally NO egg nog in Taiwan. We came up short but a Costco pizza did provide a nice Christmas dinner as 6 missionaries huddled around a Costco indoor picnic table. It will be a Christmas I probably won't ever forget. That night we came back to our area and Christmas caroled while passing out flyers to the free English class we teach. It was a good day.

In other news our apartment is haunted and I think I saw the ghost this last week. There was an old man that died in there 2 weeks before we moved in. Taiwanese tradition says that because he died alone and with no one to watch for him, he'll often come back to the apartment he died in and continue to mourn. Then again, Taiwanese tradition also says Jesus isn't the Savior and Redeemer of the world, so I'm not sure how much I'm believing it. All I do know is I'm about 60 percent sure I saw a ghost.

One of the biggest highlights this week was continuing to work with Zhang Hao Ren, the young man that we reactivated who has been doing so great since we reactivated him. He celebrated his birthday with a little get together at his house that he invited us to. We stopped by to say hi and to give him a small gift and he said the most exciting thing about turning 14 was that he could be ordained a teacher in the priesthood and prepare sacrament. Great answer!! I wish that had been my answer at 14, but I don't think it was. Although you can't blame me, I lived in Idaho at 14, and that's the age you can start drivers ed.

Weeks ago in an interview with the mission president, he invited me to make cookies and take them to the less active members. The next day Elder Peterson and I went to the store and realized we don't know how to make cookies, nor did we want to spend the necessary time to make them. Last week I was feeling guilty about not having done the invite from the mission president so we decided to make cookies Saturday. Since neither me nor my companion knew how we called someone we thought would know how... the sister missionaries. To our dismay, no sister missionaries in our entire zone had a cookie recipe. I thought baking cookies was what sister missionaries do EVERY preparation day. I was without recipe, but what my companion and I did have was faith. We decided to move forward with our plans and make cookies from scratch. We went to the store and grabbed all of the premade cookies boxes (oreos, chips ahoy, etc.) and we looked at what ingredients make up those cookies to give us some idea what our cookies should have. Because several of the ingredients needed for cookies (sugar, eggs, milk) were also in the Egg Nog recipe we obtained Christmas Day we also decided that we would not be denied egg nog this holiday season and attempted to make some egg nog as well. The egg nog recipe was a 5 star recipe... and the egg nog we made was probably about 3.5 stars. Needless to say, we were very satisfied. We also were ready to begin making our cookies from scratch.

Somewhere we went wrong though. I think it was because we discovered my companion added 10 times the suggested amount of baking powder. The cookies... were... bitter. We put in a lot of effort (sugar) to try to save them and what resulted was a flavor phenomenon. The cookie we created would start out sweet, then get bitter, but then somehow return to being sweet, only to leave a bitter taste in the mouth when it was all said and done. Although we had no recipe and the cookies didn't taste especially good there was one ingredient that we used plenty of... LOVE. And although there were 2 people out of the 30 or so that ate the cookies who actually liked them, it was the thought that counted. It was a great adventure and probably the last time I ever try to make cookies from scratch.

Sunday was a great day. Our amazing investigator Jackie came to church again. He is GOLDEN. His only problem is his parents who are devout Buddhists. He's ready to be baptized, but he hasn't even told his parents he's meeting with missionaries because he say if he does he'll never be allowed to come back to church or to meet again. Pray for him.
We also have other great investigators with little obstacles that are holding them back in a big way. We need miracles. They need faith to see miracles. I hope we can continue to help them and that they can wisely use their agency.

Speaking of miracles we were coming home late Saturday night and realized we had no food for the next day. We needed a miracle. We went to church hopeful. When church ended and lunch time came, we found ourselves in the church kitchen. Of course the only thing the sister missionaries were willing to share from their bounteous feast was the cookies we made and gave to them... and I didn't want any of that. Just when I thought all hope was lost, in walked the Relief Society president saying she had a gift for us. She then opened a cupboard to reveal tortilla chips. We were wide eyed as she told us these were for us. My companion said that it was an answer to his prayers, and then she said she had another answer to his prayers. She opened the fridge to reveal SALSA. She gave us chips and salsa. Mexican food. That's hard to come by in these parts. It was so great. I haven't had salsa in..... well I've been in Taiwan for 2 years, so at least that long.

Yesterday we had our district meeting. This month's topic is finding and using the plan of salvation to focus on the family as we find. I had each member of my district share testimony of how the gospel has blessed their family and encouraged them to share that same testimony with those they meet on the street. The spirit was strong, but it made me even MORE grateful for my parents and my family. I know that success in the family takes effort, and I'm super thankful for the effort my parents have put into having a successful and happy marriage and family. You are great examples to me. I want to thank you for creating a loving and happy home to be raised in. Thank you for raising me in the gospel while still giving me agency and making sure I found my own testimony. Thank you for being fun, trusting, and laid back, while still ensuring we were living gospel standards and being decent people. Thank you for pushing me academically and in other activities while still allowing me to choose what I wanted to pursue and do extracurricularly (except a few years of early morning piano practice... that was manipulation.) I'm super thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it has done for our family. I love each of you. See you soon;)

I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. This mission has without a doubt been the greatest experience of my life. I've learned so many things I don't feel I could have learned any other way. I'm not just talking about Chinese. This mission has shifted the way I view the world around me, has solidified my personal relationship with my Father in heaven, has given me a greater appreciation of life and the things in life that are important. I've been edified, enlightened, and uplifted constantly for 2 years and it's shaped me into the man the Lord wants me to become. I'm not there yet, but this mission has pointed me in the right direction. I know I couldn't do it without my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him. I know this is His church and His gospel. I know He is the way, the ONLY WAY. I'm so thankful I've been able serve Him and help others know Him.
Elder White

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012


It's Christmas morning here in Taipei! I don't know if anyone but me and my companion are aware that it's Christmas, but we're excited! I'm thankful for the opportunity to be serving the Lord this Christmas. I most definitely miss you all, but I know I'm where the Lord wants me to be today.

This last week was pretty good. Our area is doing really well. It doesn't feel anything like an area that was just opened 3 short months ago. It's now a very successful and fruitful area of the mission and there is no chance it will be closed down anytime soon (as many areas that are opened are then closed down a couple transfers later.) That was my biggest goal for opening this area, help SanChong become a strong area. It's crazy to think we started with nothing. Now we have an awesome recent convert, and we've got a solid pool of investigators. Right now we have 3 people that are basically ready for baptism, but they all have small things they need to overcome.

Brother Zhang is great. He lives the commandments. He reads, prays, comes to church. He's got a testimony. He desires eternal life, he desires the gift of the Holy Ghost, but every time we bring up baptism he gets really scared. The feeling in the room immediately changes. We've gone over what "baptism" is multiple times. We've talked about its importance. He's attended 2 baptismal services. But there is some concern there that we don't know about. We'll continue to work with him.

Brother Li is really great. He was baptized last year in TaiChung with his then wife, but they were never confirmed. They are since divorced, but still like a married couple? His ex-wife was recently baptized AND confirmed and then moved to SanChong. We meet with Brother Li often. He's reading and praying, he's living all the commandments and really wants to be baptized. He's willing to be baptized as soon as he can get work off on Sundays, but he's unable to do this until after February next year. We're encouraging him to quit his job and work for a few months for his father until he can find work that will allow him to take Sundays off. I really hope that he will take this path. I've prayed about it a lot and I feel like this is what the Lord wants him to do. We've encouraged him to pray about it and so now it's between him and God. We'll see how he uses his agency. Pray for him.

Brother Zhu is a 16 year old kid who is golden. He's an intelligent kid with great English and a great testimony. He really wants to follow Christ and really wants to be baptized. He's got one major problem. His family are all extremely devout Buddhist. The kind that have deep hatred toward Christianity. He hasn't told his parents he's meeting with us and coming to church. He's told us if he tells them it will result in him no longer being able to learn and come to church. We need his parent's permission for baptism, so we really need a miracle. He is an amazing investigator.

This week my stomach was having the same problems it had a few weeks ago. It actually never fully went away but it definitely came back in full swing this time around. It was really getting to me so I went to the doctor on Friday. This doctor seemed a million times better than the one I went to last time. Last time we had to spend about 3 hours in total traveling to and from the doctor and waiting to be seen, then the doctor saw me for about 60 seconds and gave me some drowsy tums-type medicine that didn't do much. It wasn't a pleasant experience but the mission president's wife refers everyone to that hospital because they all are able to speak English there. I didn't want to go through that kind of experience again so I decided I'd just go to the clinic by our house, because I speak Chinese anyway. The entire trip took a total of 15 minutes. I was able to find out what was actually wrong with my stomach, and I got medicine that was non-drowsy and actually worked. My stomach feels a lot better now so that was great!

This week our ward put on a Christmas party. It was really great. Lots of good food and fun. I invited the English class I teach on Wednesday night to come and a bunch of them unexpectedly did. It was really great. There were lots of non-members, investigators, and less active members there who were able to come and learn a bit more about this holiday. It was a great activity and I'm glad our ward puts in a lot of effort to have these ward parties. Although the ward is really small they help unite the ward. Plus nothing says Christmas dinner like steamed rice and tofu.

My current companion wrote a song in the MTC called "Perfect Love" This week I put piano to it. We then performed it at the ward Christmas party. It went so well we got asked to perform it at the other branch that uses our building's Christmas party as well. Then Monday we performed it in front of all the missionaries at the mission Christmas talent show. It's been fun. I remember as a kid always arguing with mom about how much I hated piano lessons, and then mom would tell me how I would use piano on my mission, and I argued that I wouldn't. Well I never did need it. I thought I had won the debate. But lately I've used it a bit and I've been asked to play at a baptism in our ward Friday night. Yikes. You win mom. I'll send you my companion's song lyrics, they're really great.

Yesterday was our Mission's "Christmas Party.'' The senior missionaries put in a ton of effort to provide an American style Christmas lunch. It was so great! Stuffing, Yams, Turkey (Which is a rarity in Taiwan, most Taiwanese people haven't eaten turkey before.) It was a great meal and senior missionaries are the best! My favorite part though was right at the end. After the lunch, talent show, and watching the missionary choir perform their Christmas program for what felt like the 30th time this month, President Day addressed us. He talked about the spirit of Christmas and just about some different things. It was such a powerful and moving talk. The spirit was so strong, and I received a spiritual confirmation that this is where I need to be right now. This Christmas away from home is so much harder than last year's, knowing that I could be there with you all right now had I not chosen to extend an extra transfer. But after yesterday there is no doubt I'm where the Lord intended me to be at this time. Therefore I also need to be doing the things the Lord wants me to do in these last few weeks. My gift to the Lord this year is going to be going all out this last month of my mission.

Yesterday our bishop had us over for dinner. It was great. There was a special spirit in his humble home as we played and visited with their family. His 4 kids are the greatest! They are so cute. They had us and an investigator family over for a family home evening and pizza. Then we sang hymns together around their piano. I don't know how to explain it, but somehow me, my companion, and bishop singing Silent Night in Chinese helped me feel the spirit of Christmas stronger than anything else this year. It was a special experience, and it was a really great way to spend Christmas Eve.

Being Elder Davidson's companion is great. Besides him being such a humble and loving person, and genuinely fun to be around, there are also some other perks. His step mother is Taiwanese and from Taipei, so many members know her. Because they know her they are especially good to Elder Davidson. Sometimes to the tune of giving him all kinds of Christmas gifts and food. This last week his mom's friends from another ward came and gave him all kinds of amazing food and snacks (including Costco muffins!!!) and as his companion I also get to reap the benefits of his step mother's Taiwaneseism!

I can't believe time is going by so fast. It's been a special blessing to serve in Taiwan and to serve the Lord. I'm so grateful we can celebrate the birth of our Savior, Redeemer, and King. Today for Christmas P-day an Elder Relyea and I are going to go all over Taipei on a day long quest to find and drink egg nog. We don't know where we can buy egg nog, but we won't stop til we've had Christmas egg nog.... unless it hits 6 p.m. because that's when p-day ends. We've secured a Costco card, though we've yet to find transportation to Costco, but things are looking up as far as the chances of drinking that amazing seasonal beverage. We made egg nog a key indicator in our planner today, set a goal, made plans to achieve the goal... I'll admit I haven't prayed for it, but minus the absence of prayer I've done everything Preach My Gospel tells me I must do to achieve this goal. Wish us luck.

I love you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Love, Elder White

p.s. When I was with Elder Peterson, my trainee, we created a "prayer board" on which we would write specific things to pray for. It started working and so we started praying for even more things... all of which were happening, even the weirder ones. Then the unthinkable happened. The week before move calls we put up a bunch of move call specific things to pray for. We thought we'd really test it out. Then everything we prayed for happened at move calls. Including specific companions, missionaries in our district to stay that we all thought would move, and Elder Peterson to go to a specific area and serve around specific people. It all happened. We were shocked. Lately we added to the prayer list that we wanted the Mission President to approve the use of and on p-day so we can go and listen to talks and use those things. Yesterday at the mission party President Day gave a sheet of instructions from the Brethren saying they want every missionary to become familiar with and every week spend at least one hour on it. Also they approved the usage of Elder Peterson and I went nuts. The prayer board is amazing. And Elder Davidson has really run away with the prayer board. He's added a lot of great stuff and at this rate, Tim Tebow will be baptized a member of our church. Look for it to happen... I'm serious.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16, 2012


Wow... let the last transfer of my mission begin. It's surreal that it's coming to end. This experience has gone by so fast. I really can't believe it.

The Lord has blessed me with an amazing last companion to finish out my mission. His name is Elder Davidson. He's from Syracuse, Utah. He's a younger missionary; he's been in Taiwan a few months. We've both prayed that he and I would have the chance to be companions... and it happened!!! Elder Davidson is a super Christ-like missionary. He always writes investigators, members, and other missionaries little notes of encouragement. He's a super positive person and it will be great to be around him and work with him these last 6 weeks of my mission.

This last week was really amazing. I'm 21 years old!!!! WOW!!! It's hard to believe that the world keeps going on while we're out here being missionaries. I feel like I should just be going home as the 19 year old that entered the MTC a couple years ago. It was a great birthday though. Last Monday some converts from TaoYuan took me and my companion, as well as Elder Vandenberghe (my MTC companion) and his companion to a really beautiful part of Taiwan in order to celebrate my birthday and Elder Vandenberghe's last P-Day. It was a lot of fun to see some beautiful parts of this island that missionaries don't get to see too often due to the fact that they are only accessible by car. 

Then that night we went to a family in our ward's house to have a birthday celebration. The father of the Wang family, a Sister missionary serving in our ward, and I all have the same birthday. The 3 of us were all born on December 13. We celebrated with pizza and cake. It was very nice and thoughtful of them. My favorite birthday surprise however, took place Wednesday night. Every Wednesday night we teach our free English class. I work the reception desk here in SanChong while the other missionaries teach the class. The class begins at 7 and goes til 8:30. At 7:15 I was sitting bored at my desk with no one to talk to when all of a sudden Andy Huang, one of my favorite converts, from TuCheng walks in. I was so surprised to see him. He asked where everyone was? I  didn't know what he meant. And then he said "They were all supposed to get here at 7. A few minutes later 5 other TuCheng members came in with a big birthday cake to surprise me, but Andy had ruined the surprise. It was really funny. But it was also so much fun. 

While the other missionaries taught English I was able to celebrate my birthday with 3 of my converts from TuCheng as well as some of my closest member friends from that ward. It was a great surprise and super thoughtful of them. I'm so thankful for all the wonderful areas I've been able to serve in and all the amazing friends I've been able to make. It was a great birthday!

This week was also filled with some great miracles. On Thursday night we had a lesson with one of our really good investigators. It went smoothly and concluded at 8 p.m. We had nothing else scheduled so we'd normally go out and contact people or knock doors on our way home. I was overcome with a feeling that we needed to stay in the chapel a little bit longer. Our chapel here is on the 7th floor of a big building. We sat down and I made a couple phone calls when the elevator doors opened. In walked Jackie Zhu, my favorite investigator right now. He came by total surprise and in his hand was a bag. He walked in and said he had brought us coffee for my birthday. Hahaha. He was confused by the laughter from Elder Peterson and me. We thanked in for the thoughtful gift and then informed him we don't drink coffee. He seemed confused and so we asked if we could sit down and have a lesson with him. We taught the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity. We invited him to live them both. HE IMMEDIATELY ACCEPTED. He's truly GOLDEN. He's such a great kid and it was so cool to have him come out of the blue and meet with us. It was super thoughtful of him.

I'm thankful for the spirit that helps us do this work. If we'd have immediately left the chapel after our lesson Jackie would have come up to an empty chapel, and we would have missed that opportunity to teach him more about God's will for us. Jackie is so awesome! He came down with a bit of a cold this weekend, but he still came to Sacrament meeting. It was easy to see that he wasn't feeling too good, and after he left sacrament his mom took him to the doctor. It was really cool to have him come to church even while feeling a bit under the weather. He's really dedicated to doing what God wants us to do.

Another great miracle this week happened on Saturday night. We invited our investigator. Brother Li, to attend a live nativity activity being held at the temple square in Taipei. We also got his recently baptized ex-wife (they still act like a married couple around each other) to attend with him. After the activity we took them on a temple square tour. These tours are set up through the mission and involve Sister missionaries taking investigators around the neighboring chapel and showing them gospel artwork while teaching gospel principles. Our tour took the theme of eternal marriage, and both Brother Li and his ex-wife Sister Hong's faces lit up as we stopped at a window that looks out onto the temple and talked about temple marriage. Brother Li is really good and would get baptized except that he has Sunday work and isn't willing to do anything about it at this point. Hopefully the tour will have given him more motivation.

I'm sorry this letter is a little bit all over the place. I know my English is getting worse, and I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors.

I'm thankful I have 6 more weeks to do this work. I still have a little gas left in the tank and I look forward to giving everything I've got left these last 6 weeks. It was sad seeing the other Elders in my MTC group go home and know they will be with their families for Christmas this year, and they'll be getting right back into school, but I had a wonderful spiritual confirmation at this weeks move call meeting that I made the right choice in taking an extra transfer. I know there is more the Lord needs me to do here. I know there are more miracles to be seen, lives to change, and souls to save. I'm looking forward to doing work with Elder Davidson. He's a great person and a great missionary. It's going to be a great transfer.
I love you all!


Elder White

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 9, 2012

This week was probably one of my favorite weeks since I've been in SanChong. It started out on a great note and was miracle packed and full of fun. I don't know where to begin. 

How about last Monday? We went to a special night market in a really old part of Taipei last preparation day. Our purpose in going there? It's the only place in Taipei that one can legally eat SNAKE MEAT. We went and ate snake meat. Snake meat was only part of the deal. Our meal also included weird snake gall bladder which was quite disgusting. Overall it was a unique experience. Snakes have a lot of bones, as do their meat. Snake blood, surprisingly not too shabby.

The real highlight Monday night was meeting Brother Li. Brother Li has an interesting situation. He and his ex-wife were baptized in central Taiwan one year ago. They unexpectedly moved to Taipei on a whim the following day and never ended up being confirmed. Now one year later and a week off of a fresh divorce, Brother Li's wife entered the waters of baptism again, this time to be confirmed (baptized by fire) the following day. Brother Li recently moved into SanChong as did his recently baptized ex-wife, (not co-habitating) and now he wants to prepare for baptism. We met with him Monday night and he is great. The biggest obstacle is he's in a tough financial situation and is working on Sunday. Other than that he's reading and praying and I think has a lot of potential. We met with him 3 times this week and all 3 meetings were very spiritual. The 3rd of the 3 meetings he brought his ex-wife (they had just been out on a date?) and we met with them both. It went so well and we talked about how God is a God of miracles. He committed to begin praying for work off and committed to act on any promptings God gives him about his work situation. It's been a big blessing adding him to our investigator pool.

This week we also were privileged of meeting an amazing kid named Jackie Zhu. Jackie was contacted last week by an Elder in our neighboring area. He felt prompted to give Jackie a Book of Mormon and invited Jackie to English class. He came this last Wednesday and after class we sat down with him to meet for the first time. Jackie had read and prayed every day for over a week. He already read to 2 Nephi. He also already received a spiritual witness of it's truthfulness. WOW! This was all before the first official meet. At the beginning of that lesson we sang "I am a Child of God" I asked him what his favorite line in that song was. He replied "lead me, guide me, walk beside me." I asked him why. He said he really wanted to follow Jesus. We committed him to keep the Sabbath day holy on the spot and he said he would. He came to church this week for the first time and it was the primary program. He said while the kids were singing he had a really good, warm feeling. SO GOOD!!! Such an amazing miracle.

I feel like my trainee and my teaching together has gotten quite good, and we had evidence this week. We did a practice teaching situation where we taught a sister in our district the Word of Wisdom, but we talk the "higher law of the Word of Wisdom, a.k.a. pescitarianism." (not eating meat, just fish and seafood) We convinced her just like the law of consecration is a higher law to tithing, that the current Word of Wisdom is like a mosaic standard of what the Lord REALLY wants us to do. Long story short, we committed her to try and live it and she hasn't eaten meat in 6 days. Haha, all the while Elder Peterson and I are out eating snake! The best part is she's a General Authority's daughter! Don't worry we'll tell her this week at district meeting. If only Elder Peterson and I could teach that well to our investigators...

Another great thing happened this week. I've been hoping and praying to be able to do something meaningful with my bike when I leave. Leave it to someone who needs it. It's a really nice bike and I didn't want it just getting sent to the mission home and being used for parts. This week we were visiting Brother Zhang, the 13 year old less active we've brought back. HE'S SO COOL by the way. We were meeting with him when unexpectedly Bishop came over to visit too. Bishop was talking to him a little bit about how he can start seminary when he turns 14 in January. Seminary here is at the church and starts at 5:30. Brother Zhang was really excited about it because he knows it will help him prepare for a mission, but was a little sad because the church is a bus or a subway ride away from his home. The buses don't start until about 5:20 and he doesn't know the route and would have to pay to ride the bus everyday. The subway doesn't open until after 6. Right then and there I felt like I had my answer to my prayer. I told him if he's willing to actively attend seminary daily I'd leave my bike to him so he can go attend. He was thrilled. He doesn't currently have a bike and he comes from a very humble, single mother home. I'm so excited I was able to find a way to do good with my bike once I leave. It will be a big blessing for Brother Zhang and I know it will be put to good use. I'm so happy I can leave it to such a great person who I so dearly love.

This week was also a great week as our investigator Brother Zhang (another one) made somewhat of a comeback. After finding his job it's been tough to meet with him and he'd been going to other places a lot with his family on Sundays. The last little bit he's been able to find time to meet and we've had some good lessons. This week we called him Saturday night and he committed to come to church. He hadn't been in 6 weeks. He came, had a good experience, and also shared some great personal testimony in Sunday School. I think we cleared up some misunderstanding that was keeping him from coming and now I think he's back on the right track, a track that leads to baptism!!

This week another great miracle came through my personal prayer. The ward lacks priesthood and as a result, the 3rd hour church (priesthood) all the young men, elders, and high priest's are together. We've got a young man coming back into activity and a few investigators who are young men, and I was praying for ideas on how to help them have a better church experience. I had the prompting to call bishop and see if we could teach a young men's class this week. HE WAS THRILLED. We taught the class and it went really well. Bishop was so happy, he came and sat in on the end of it. I later found out in ward council he'd been stressing over this quite a bit prior to my call. He's been unable to call a young men's president, because the ward still doesn't even have an elder's quorum president. They just barely got a 2nd counselor in the bishopric. He had been praying about this for a while before I called him. I told him I'd be willing to teach every week until they got a member called or until my mission ends. He was thankful, and I'm excited because we've got some good young men who just need the proper guidance and example. I don't think the ward has a single priesthood holder who is a returned missionary. I'm excited for this new opportunity and to work with Brother Zhang, our less active, our recent convert Brother Huang's son, and some good investigator kids. I felt like the Lord really heard not only my prayer but Bishop's prayer also.

It was a great week. I'm super happy!!! I've really enjoyed training Elder Peterson, we spend most of our companion study or planning times laughing and joking. It's been a fun couple transfers kicking it in our haunted apartment in SanChong together. My training him will conclude this Friday, and I will meet my new and last companion. Hope he's a good one. Time has gone so fast out here. My MTC companion and good friend Elder Vandenberghe goes home this Friday. It's been a wild trip. I've got 7 more weeks of work the Lord needs and wants me to give. It's so amazing! I love this work and I love the Lord.

Elder White

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2, 2012

 pumpkin pie!!!!! Check out Elder Vandenberghe's tie

 The ice cream that my comp has eaten in the last 2 weeks 
 My birthday gift from a member in TuCheng... it's a small bag to put coins in from Australia.... i wanted one so bad and I finally got one. A few missionaries (as well as my trainer had them from an Australian elder back in the mission way back when) see if you can read what it says
My new running shoes. I Love Running now!!!

Wow. This week was exceptionally fast. It feels like a complete BLUR to me. I really don't know where to begin. I think I'll take things from the start, meaning last P-day. We went down to my favorite place in all of Taiwan! The TaoYuan 3rd ward. It was really great to get to see some old member friends and converts. I was also able to spend some time with Elder VanDenBerghe (MTC companion) before he goes home in a couple weeks. We ended up going to the Costco down there and bought a PUMPKIN PIE! I thought I'd have to go another year without my favorite Thanksgiving food, but such was not the case with the new TaoYuan Costco. Costco is cool here, because it's exactly like Costco in America. Built the exact same, stocked the same way, carrying the same items. With the exception that everyone in there is speaking Chinese and speaking mandarin, it was like a step back into America. CRAZY! It was great visiting TaoYuan again. I really loved that ward, and it was great to see so many of them. It's amazing how much I've come to love the Taiwanese people. I'm very grateful I've been called to serve in this amazing land.

Our biggest miracle from last week continues to be our biggest miracle this week. We visited a less active last Thursday named Brother Zhang who ended up being amazing! He's such a cool 13 year old kid. He ended up attending our ward activity last week, meeting with bishop, and passing the sacrament. But the miracle didn't stop last week. He's on fire!! This week we went and did a temple square tour with him, giving him the desire to get a temple recommend. We also learn in Preach My Gospel that an indicator of true conversion is a desire to share the gospel with others. In the last 10 days Brother Zhang has given us four referrals of his friends, three of which we've been able to meet with us multiple times now, attended a baptism and the Christmas choir activity, and best of all, they attended church with him this last Sunday! He's been an answer to prayers here in SanChong.

Another answer to our prayers is our recent convert Brother Huang. He's doing so well!! He actively attends all of the meetings and activities. He's still strong on his abstinence of cigarettes. He's doing and looking so great. He's feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost strongly in his life. I'm so blessed just to know him, let alone to have had the chance to teach and baptize him. Another cool thing about Brother Huang is that his work is selling fruit at the morning markets. It's a really tough job, he wakes up between 2 and 2:30 a.m. every morning. His stand he works at sells only imported fruit, and often he gives some to us when we visit him. He's been giving us the biggest, ripest, Washington apples I've ever seen lately. So juicy!! We've also got to eat some Japanese and Korean fruit while over at his house. It's pretty great. I continue to love the food and fruit here in Taiwan. I'll definitely miss it in a couple months. 

I'm excited to finish out strong these last couple months of the mission. The mission president sent out an e-mail talking about how December and January have a tradition in Taiwan of being the least fruitful months with regard to missionary work. That will not be the case here in SanChong. I won't allow it to happen. I'm going to give everything I have left in the tank these last two months and try to work hard for the ward and the Lord. Sometimes I feel as if I'm running on fumes, but I know I can rest a bit when I知 back home. I'm excited for the miracles still in store as we have faith and work hard here in SanChong.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. 
I love you all!
Elder White