Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27,2016 The Blickenstaff's Last Week in Taiwan

                                                                    E. Nelson and E. Stroud
                                                               Buffet in Tainan - 4 Man Apartment
                                                           Elders in Tainan
                                                            Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tainan
                                                    Families in Tainan


To answer some questions...

Language: Going well. I don't get a lot of time to study it for myself because almost all the language study time is spent helping my trainee. Everyone can understand what im saying, just trying to become more fluent every day. It's a lot harder when you speak a lot in english with your companion.

Food: Last week i brought my son to his first Taiwanese 吃到飽 (Buffet) called 石頭. It's basically unlimited meat, sushi, fruit, drinks, ice cream like you name it they got it. We went hard. Also super sketchy but the Taiwanese guy in our 4 man gave us these chinese medicine things that like clean out your stomach that make you able to eat more apparently and i swear they worked. It was 8 tiny pellet shaped balls. Like i didn't even know it was possible to put that much food into my body. Great time.

Comp: Doing well. He's a bro. Cool guy, always fired up about the work. Getting used to everything slowly but surely. This was one of the fastest move calls ever.

People: Super Taiwanese as usual.

Scooters: They're still everywhere.

Bike: Still holding up. This other elder wanted to sell me this brand new bike that he'd never ridden for 4500 kuai and iwas tempted but i held out. This one's gonna last me to the end.

Rice fields: Filled with A ma's.

Investigators: A lot of our investigators have kind of fizzled out recently to be honest. We're teaching that part member family still. This week we read through the story of Ammon with him to try to get him interested in reading about the Book of Mormon/relating  his situation to Lamoni's (not knowing God etc) He's the epitome of a "cool guy" like that's how he wants to come off. He brushes off everything that is directed towards him/makes him actually share his feelings but there are times when you can tell that he's touched by certain stuff. The most important thing to him in life is his son. That's why he's even willing to meet with us in the first place.

We're also still teaching the former family. They're super nice. The wife has a lot more desire to learn. But so far they're not really "keeping their commitments" or doing the things that we invite them to do. Which is the problem with most of our investigators to be honest...Which means we'll probably stop meeting with a lot of them.

With Sister L (the less active RM) this week we reviewed with her about the Restoration of the Gospel. She's totally willing to read the book of mormon every night again and she's told us she has comfortable feelings when she reads the Book of Mormon but she can't get over the fact that when she went to 拜拜(bai bai - worship in the taiwanese temples) in the past she and her family received help from it and her biggest question is whether the God that she knows from reading the Book of Mormon and the God that helped her when she did this 拜拜'ing is the same God or not. The way i see it is God is our Heavenly Father. Of course if his children reach out to him in other ways, he still wants to help them. But yeah it just takes time.

We went up to do the trainer follow up meeting this week. Good opportunity for my comp to catch up with some of his old buds. So we got to see president for the last time. Crazy to think that he's going home this week. It will definitely be a big adjustment.

Random funny story: In English class this week our lesson was on diversity.  So we split them up and had them come up and report on different countries' culture and stuff. One group got Kenya so we asked the class who knew where Kenya was and this dude just blurts out "Obama's homeland!" Classic.

Also this is an email from James, the guy who got baptized in my last area : 我覺得我這機個月最大不同是心裡很平靜   有聖靈的陪伴  不會煩惱一堆事情   這是最棒的  不然以前我每天都在煩惱  哈哈 He said the biggest change he's seen in his life has been the added peace that the gospel has brought into his life, especially the companionship of the holy ghost which allows him to not worry about small things, but about more important things in life. It's the testimonies of people i've met and taught the gospel to me that has strengthened my testimony the most.

This week in 3rd Nephi I was reading about when Jesus comes down among the Nephites. I find it interesting that it was not until the 3rd time that the people understood the voice that came down from heaven. Sometimes answer's are on the Lord's timetable, not ours.

Love and miss you guys!! Have a great week!

Elder Nelson

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 20, 2016


How was this week for y'all???????

Happy Father's Day to Pops! haha not gonna lie, on Sunday I totally forgot that it was in father's day because here in Taiwan father's day is celebrated on the 8th of August. Becauseeeee the way you say dad in Chinese is 爸爸 (ba ba) and August 8th is 八月八號(ba yue ba hao or ba ba for short). I feel like they're a lot more clever in their choice of when to celebrate father's day.

So once again, im sitting at the computer not knowing what interesting stories to bring up from the week buttttt Elder stroud has saved me. 

We went and visited the Wfamily this week (I feel like I've told you guys about them before - part member family.) They had us over for these super delicious dumplings inside of a sour spicy soup. Sister W also has this mean tapioca pudding that she makes and gives to the missionaries. Anyways, afterwards we sat down with them and shared pieces of the Plan of Salvation, specifically trying to help Bro W see the importance of this decision so that he can be with his family forever, bearing testimony of the influence that a dad can have on a boy (shout out to pops). Anyways, he set a baptismal goal for his birthday! He's still reluctant about some commitments but is looking like he's gonna progress.

One night we were meeting with a less active member and we had our bishop go with us. After the lesson, Bishop's like hey have you guys eaten food yet? And we were like nah and he's like alright i'll treat ya. So we went to this Korean place, ate some super good food and took some money selfies. He told us not to send the one home because he thought he didn't look (shuai) enough in it but i couldn't resist. 

While we were out contacting we met a German dude who only spoke german and russian and was living in how.....

A thought: I love this story about Isaac Newton, not sure if Ive told you before buttttt people would always ask Isaac Newton how did you think of Gravity? And his response was very simple. He just said, it's what was always on my mind. When he didn't have anything else to think about,  that's what he was thinking about. Falling asleep, that's what he was thinking about. Getting up out of bed, that's what he was thinking about. When no one else was round, that's what he was thinking about. I think there's something that we can learn from Sir Isaac. If there's something that we truly desire, that is what must occupy our thoughts at all times. We have to have that DESIRE. So i guess thequestion is 
what is occupying our thoughts?

Love you guys have a great week!!

Elder Nelson

, E. Stroud, E. Nelson and Bishop inTainan
 Andrew on Couch in Taiwan Jungle

E. Stroud,Bishop,and E.Nelson

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016 Mango Season in Taiwan

         Zone Conference


​Herro Famiryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

How are y'all doin'?

haha mommy my comp does not run with me because he has a broken foot! He'll go out some mornings and walk around while i get out a sluggish jog though. And he's just a mediocre fan of peanut butter and bananas.

Senor - We live in this community type place where there are like 3 or 4 really tall buildings with a couple of apartments on every floor. We're on the fifth floor and aren't even half way up. It's kinda small for 4 elders but it works. The mangoes are super expensive this year! Apparently because it was so cold in the winter. Buttttt im definitely going to have to splurge this week and get some, it's my last mango season in Taiwan! This week i just asked this fruit stand boss how  much his mangoes were and he gave us a free one each. Our area is full of tons of rice fields. We try to stay in the areas with more people though.

This weekkkkkkkkkk hmmmmmmmmmm. It was just another week in the missionary life to be honest. Some things of note  - on Thursday we had a big zone conference where we all went up to 嘉義. It will be the last time that a lot of missionaries see President Blickenstaff before he goes home. It's so weird to me that we're going to have a new President in 2 weeks. The longer i've been on island the more that president blickenstaff has become a bro. It will be weird adjusting. For my trainee it will be his president for almost the entire 2 years. The true highlight of zone conference was the costco pizza though, lets be real. 

It's been raining a lot the past couple days. The weather here is such that there will randomly be a week or two where it rains for the entire week and then nothing for the next couple. Right now we're in the middle of more rain than not.

We went on exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday with Elder Shurtleff (think back to that guy who emailed you about psychology senor). He's a really interesting guy and is honestly just one of the nicest, most down to earth people i've ever met. He's going home in 2 weeks, where he'll hang out for a little before heading back up to west point mid summer. Unfortunately though, on exchanges the pillow talk is REAL so i was super tired for the second half of the week haha.

鄭弟兄 (Brother Z) is still doing well. He talked about how he's already started to feel God's presence more in his life and after the closing prayer of our last lesson he started to tear up a little bit, telling us that he was touched by what he thinks was the spirit. But of course he got sick on Sunday so couldn't make it to church. Still a bro though.

林帥哥 (LSG) is still a bro as well. He's still hittin up the clubs on a weekly basis buttt in our last lesson we asked him if he had a desire to change his habits and he said yeah he did but he just couldn't change that fast. We shared with him about the relationship of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End as a way to overcome these issues. He's read a few chapters in the Bom but also hasnt been able to come to church.

A cool miracle was seen on Sunday though when 林姐妹, one of the less active members that we've been meeting with brought one of her coworkers with her and she seemed to maybe have interest? So we'll see where that goes..

Im sure there was a lot of other stuff that happened this week but as always, this is about all i got come monday...

This week i've been thinking a lot about faith. I don't know i feel like faith is one of those things that's easier said than done. I think it's something especially hard to have when you use a scientists point of view to look at a situation. But, the funny thing is that i've noticed that those who truly have faith (in whatever) they are the ones who are the happiest and accomplish the most. That faith is what leads to hope which leads to happiness. How do y'all think we can have stronger faith?

Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 5, 2016 Continued Training with Elder Stroud


Happy Summer Break!

Mommy i got your letter! Getting a snail mail is always a highlight so thank you a ton! plus the message you shared with me was great as well. When does Sister Lin get up here?

So this weekkkkkkkkkkk.

I always forget what happens in the weeks now but luckily I have a companion who's fresh on island and keeps a list soo some random funny stuff from the week:

When we were biking home from our area one night we stopped at this little taiwanese cake stand on the side of the road (it was a lady who we had contacted before about the church) and she was like do you like pizza? And we're like uhh yeah and she whips out this box of pizza hut pizza and just gives us each 2 pieces of pizza.

We convinced this guy that my companion's last name, stroud, is just an english word for a special, bigger kind of cloud.

I introduced my comp to the thousand year old egg this week. He had it in his mouth for about two weeks before he started spitting it out. I proceeded to take the rest and eat it all. Made me realize how Asian i've become because i actually LIKED eating it lol.

One night we were in our Area in 安定 (An ding) at like 9:00 just finishing up a lesson so we had to sprint on the bikes home and biked what normally takes at least an hour and 15 minutes in like 35. We were straight up drenched in sweat walking in the door that night. 

 Frank moved back to Taipei this week so we went and got a lunch with him and got a pic with him before he left.

One of the people we're working with (Sister L) took us out to an Argentinian Steakhouse where the steaks were SO GOOD. She also ordered a lot of random stuff (she loves treating us) of which the most unusual was probably squid covered in like a chili cheese sauce haha. It might have been the only time in my life ill eat fried rice with steak. It was good though because we got to real talk with her about some of her feelings of returning to church (she's an RM who hasnt been to church in forever). She's just super confused about everything because she'll go with her parents to worship in the buddhist temples and feels like its given her some peace/helped her parents and she just doesnt know if she can say that this church is the "only true church" and she feels like a hypocrite coming to our church if this buddhist God has helped her. Trying to help her see that every religion has truth and that it's the same God who's watching over all of us so of course He'd help her mom and dad.

We contacted this guy who has been contacted by missionaries before apparently. His name is Mr. H.. He was the funniest dude ever. He would say a joke, trying to speak english then laugh so hard at his own joke that he would have to walk away for a sec to regroup and compose himself.

We're going to be having a new stake in 嘉義 (Jia yi), just barely north of us.

Besides that, we're still working with BH and  BZ.  BH heard from his mom stuff about us being polygamists/the word of wisdom so that was an interesting lesson. He's got some issues with the word of wisdom because he loves to party. He wasn't able to make it to church because he was so hung over. Buttttttt he's still willing to meet with us and he likes the book of mormon.

 BZ randomly had work stuff so couldnt come to church but he's solid as well. Had a few random people come to church who we had contacted on the street and they were willing to set up for later so that was good to get the ward pumped up about missionary work.

Things are going well over here. I'm serving in the best mission in the world having an experience that i'll never forget.

God lives. 

Love you guys hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson