Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016


How are you guys doing?

Wait so am i allowed to vote from over here?

Still in An Ding...move call comes in 2 weeks

Luckily no dysentery this week haha

lol when i say sister teh wrecked our apartment she was just shocked at a lot of the stuff that's pretty normal here in Taiwan. Our aparment is actually better than the majority of apartments so she'll be even more shocked when she visits her second and third

I hadnt realized the Lees had already moved!

Yeah Senor i did not understand what the editors want you to do but it sounds like a major pain

This week was a good week. It was great to be able to get out and actually preach the gospel, which was something that we couldn't do last week haha. We were able to meet a really cool bro on the way home one night named Danny S. He's a sophomore in college and is studying to be a tour guide at the college in our area. It's summer break for him so this last week along we met 3 times. He told us he wants to join a christian church and hopes that the Book of Mormon can help him to be able to feel of the existence of this God. The first day after we met with him he had already read 6 chapters in the Book of Mormon. Said he's gonna come to church this next week. 

He was definitely the most "golden" of all of the investigators that we found this last week. Besides that, this bro who we tracted into one night came to church this sunday. His last name is tian. His mom is christian and he went to a christian church when he was young but hasn't gone in a long time. He seems to have no purpose/direction in his life. He's just like work, eat sleep repeat. And we were like dont you think theres more than that? and he's like is there? And we're like let us tell you about a really cool Plan. we'll see how he starts to progress.

We tracted into another bro who's christian but he refused to read from the book of mormon until we told him where in the Bible it talks about the Book of Mormon. Also met a family of 3 with a mom and her two kids. They are a part of a religion called 一貫道 (yi guan dao - doesn't have an english sorry). Basically it's a religion where they worship alll the gods. Like Jesus Christ, buddha, they cover their bases and worship it all. And theyre the hardest people to teach because they're always like nah its all the same! I already know it all! 

Brother W is still doing well. We're hoping to have his baptismal interview this week.

We got a referral from the states this week saying there was a kathy chen in the US who said for us to go visit her nephew and his dad. So we bike out to this really far part of our area and then there's this dude yelling in Taiwanese at us to never come back so that was exciting.

Besides the normal 'ing of the , most special thing was a mormon broadway group came to taiwan this week called synergy. It was a great opportunity to bring investigators and less active members to. It was weird seeing so many white people. One of the guys had served in this mission so he helped them to translate haha. It was fun, they did some classic brodway stuff, classic rock, country, michael jackson, etc. The Taiwanese people ate it up.

quick thought from 1 Nephi 13:16 " And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them." iaidk when i read this verse it just stuck out to me the connection between humility and power. It is only through humbling ourselves that we can obtain that power of the Lord in our lives.

Love you all have a great week!

Elder Nelson


Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2015 E. Stroud Gets Dysentary


How were you guys this week?

To be honest not much happened this week, except for the big news of the week. Which issssss that my companion got dysentery this week! Which i thought was just something that little children in Africa got from drinking water but apparently from eating dirty street food in Taiwan you can get it as well. Somehow I managed to not get it but my comp was going to the bathroom like 15 + times a day having bloody diarrhea. He also had stomach cramps and just felt like crap ( no pun intended) so needless to say we did not get to go out and proselyte this week. Which meant we also didn't get to go to the "Meet the President" conference or interviews. But, President Teh was determined to be able to meet us so he drove down specially to our apartment and interviewed us on our beds. He's one of those guys where he walks in the room you just feel like there's a tangible spiritual difference. He's also planning on getting rid of the small Taiwan Rules and Clarifications book because he feels like the scriptures, PMG and the white handbook are what we should be focusing on. He also said that since we wont have anyone looking over our shoulder in the real world, he hopes that we can learn to make those kinds of obedience decisions ourselves, instead of outlining every small rule for us. Sister Teh wrecked us for our apartment (funny because this might be the nicest apartment i've been in my whole mission). It was the first Elder's apartment that she had seen in Taiwan.

Besides that, Brother W is still looking good to be baptized on the 6th of August. I got the note with the Peanut Butter from you guys! After reading the talk by Elder Holland, i thought it would mean a lot to the sister Lin that we've been working with as well so i gave it to her so that she could try to get something out of it as well. Everyone else didn't really have a big opportunity to meet with this last week. Still doing our best to find those who are prepared to hear the gospel!

Remember about a year ago when we went and ate that massive bowl of ice and stuff? Well this time we actually did the challenge, which is 2 people finishing it in 2 hours. And let me tell you that thing was just as nasty as i remembered. It was hilarious we were like famous people. They were all like WHO ARE THOSE 2 WHITE GIANTS EATING THAT HUGE BOWL OF ICE. Everyone wanted selfies with us and were staring at us. Oh and yeah because we finished it in an hour and 15 minutes we got all of our money back. It was full of ice, this nasty brown sugar, red beans, taro root, fruit, this other nasty sugar stuff etc. I definitely threw up a couple times but emerged victorious nonetheless.
Note from Andrew's mom:  NOT what I want to hear....gross out! 
The weather's looking to pick up again this week. Super hot today. The East coast was apparently more seriously affected by the typhoon than we were. Rice fields are still in tip top shape after the storm. Scooters are still chugging along. My chinese has definitely gotten worse since being with my companion. It sure helps the language a lot to be with a native speaker. A movecall is a transfer aka 6 weeks. For some reason in our mission we call it movecall because the saturday before that monday you get a call telling you where you're moving to. 

This morning as i was studying the vision of the tree of life in 1 Nephi 8, I noticed for the first time that right as Lehi followed the man in the white robe, the first place that he was led was into a " dark and dreary waste." So even if we are making the right decision to follow God and give our very best, we'll still run into trials, temptations, etc because that is how we learn and grow and how God's plan for us is fulfilled.

Love you guys so much, hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Nelson


                                                          E.. Stroud with La Crosse Guy

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11, 201y Typhoon Nepartak Hits Coast

Herro Famiryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

How was your guys week?

So yeah this week we had a typhoon. Apparently it was supposed to be stronger than the one last year in Taizhong, but down here in Tainan they're all not super serious. The mountains catch the brunt of the storm. There has been a TON of rain though. Like it has not stopped raining since the typhoon came in. Like HARD rain every day. That day we had weekly planning then made calls for forever inside. Then we wrote some notes. I think the one last year in Taizhong was more intense, when the wall of our chapel got blown out haha. Everyone just continued life on as normal that night after the storm. Im not sure what happens to the agriculture to be honest, i think if anything it's helped out. Our apartment had no issues. My comp was pretty used to the typhoon life, because he's from Florida.

Besides that.....we got treated out to two different buffets this week, one of which was absolutely insane. Like unlimited sashimi, crab, susi, meat, dumplings, pizza, hagen dasz ice cream, like anything you can think of they had it. The other one was this all you can eat meat buffet (that's one of the awesome things about taiwan, they have really good buffets for really cheap). At this meat buffet though, the guy who treated us out loved eating all the weirdest foods including pig butthole and other inside intestines and organs. He ordered a huge plate of em and was like "go  for it." haha in case you were wondering, pig butthole tastes exactly how it sounds like it would taste.

People we're working with right now...Brother W is playing in Malaysia this week so we couldn't meet with them but we're still looking for the 6th of August for his baptism. Sister L has been praying every day! But we were't able to go see her this week because of the typhoon. I told you guys about Sister D right? The one who believes aliens are protecting the earth? Well she's been reading in the Book of Mormon which is more than we can say about most of our other investigators right now.  The Lin family is yet to be determined whether they will progress. Brother L just likes treating missionaries, doesnt really care about the gospel. The wife doesn't have a "desire" to know if our message is true but rather is just "curious" so shes willing to read. Aand then the less active sister L that we've been meeting with (who's progressing really well btw - reading the Book of Mormon every night) introduced her coworker to us and she's really cool, willing to learn. Her English is super good as well, comes to English class every week. But yeah all our investigators are kind of on the borderline of progressing or not right now. Hoping we can find some really prepared people this week!

Oh btw do y'all remember when all those cool Taiwanese people threw a little dinner party for me? Well at the party I met Kimball (or maybe Spencer I forget which is which) but anyways he was a twin with his brother who made Spencer Kimball together. Anyways, his other half is in my ward right now! Small world...

Also brother F from my last area got baptized! So sweet, eternal family!!!!!!!!!!!

Quick thought from Ephesians 4:32 "and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you." Something that mommy always taught me that i've definitely obtained a testimony about is that you can never go wrong by going the extra mile to be kind to someone, to put their needds above your own. Help those pick themselves up who can't do it by themselves:)

Love you guys, have a great week!

Love, Elder Nelson

      E. Nelson with Dino
           E. Nelson with Guava Farmer

E. Nelson and E. Stroud ini Tainan

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016 Fourth of July in Taiwan with E. Stroud


Never did get the peanut butter from sister lin, not sure where along the way it got lost. 

I think we can see all those conference talks that you talked about? 

I kinda don't have a lot of time this week sorry but some random things that happened...

We now have a new president. the only thing that i've heard was a short email from them about how they're happy/excited to be in Taiwan. Nothing in our day to day schedule has changed.

For the 4th we had a member take us around  and we did all the American things that can be done in Taiwan i.e. ate a hot dog at costco, went to a zoo. It was pretty fun. Also had some Taiwanese experiences as well - mango ice, big Miao with the 2 huge guys (one who can see for 1000 km and one who can hear for 1000 km).

Also funny story one day we went up to our furthest away area and met this bro farmer who gave us a bunch of his guava for free. Also the dude has fluent english (and hes the 77 year old grandpa)

Sorry for the short email. Things are going really well over here, im loving being a missionary in Taiwan. I hope you guys have a great week!

Love, Elder Nelson

p.s. ill forward pics and email of my copm on for more deets

Happy 4th of July from Taiwan!! Not even gonna lie, I feel like today is gonna be one of the most trunky days of my mission. It's pretty dang hard not being able to celebrate America and all the fun things there. It was super sweet because today we went to a COSTCO here and ate hot dogs for lunch, and that's pretty much the only american thing ive eaten here on island other than the very rare pizza, so we kind of got to celebrate? But anyways it was good! I almost felt like I was in America, until i looked over at the table next to me, and the lady had cut up her costco hot dog and was eating it with chopsticks... so the magic was kind of ruined hahahaha. But its ok! I love Taiwan!

Another great week full of miracles here!! This week i totally felt like a stateside missionary.

A couple of super cool miracles happened back to back this week which was awesome! On Tuesday we went out to go contacting at YunDong DaXue, a college in part of our area, and the absolute first person we went up to talk to ended up having free time, and we taught him the first lesson and gave him a BoM on the spot. Pretty much that never happens. Right after that we went tracting and ended up having another lesson with this dude who was a christian, which also never happens! He was a bro and it was so weird to finally teach The Restoration instead of "There is a God". Afterwards we laughed because we felt like stateside missionaries lol.

I got a super short haircut because i still don't know how to tell them to cut my hair in Chinese...

The R family in our ward had us over for dinner, and it was the first time I had a family do that for me since being on island. The dad is American, like born in Hawaii, but both his parents are Taiwanese, so he looks 100% Taiwanese, and he went to BYU-H. The mom is full Taiwanese, but went to school at Denver University, so they both speak fluent English which was super weird for me! But they fed us pizza hut and they got cans of root beer for us at this American store in Tainan, so that was way cool! Ill probably never drink root beer the rest of my mission because they literally have none here.

The third stateside missionary thing i did this week was do service! Everyone in Taiwan is super "ke qi" and they wont accept help from people, so service opportunities are super rare here! But our ward mission leader needed our help to caulk and paint the walls of these dorms that he rents out to college students, so we went and helped him out for like 6 hours and it was awesome!

Oh there's this curry restaurant that we love to eat at in Yong Kang because they have really good curry, and they also sometimes play american music. I swear they see us coming and switch to an American station or something. But anyways... this week they straight played Taylor Swifts album, and it was the first american music i've heard in a long time, and all of us who were there were straight jamming out. I don't even really like TSwift, but that day I loved her hahaha!

We for the first time ever we went out to our farthest away area ShanShang, which was like a 2 hour bike ride, and its basically in the mountains. (ShanShang means "mountain top" in Chinese)
But anyways we were biking around and this super old farmer man yells at us in perfect English "Hey the Mormons!!", and we were like what the heck and swung back around to go talk to him. In Taiwan, in the rural areas, most of the old people don't even speak mandarin, they all speak Taiwanese, so usually we cant even talk with them... so the fact that this dude knew English was crazy! But we went and talked with him, and he took us to his guava farm and gave us free guavas which was super sweet. He ended up telling us that a long time ago he was a middle school English teacher, and he was so cool! He also said that he has only spoken English 3 times with other people this year, so it was awesome to see his face light up when we told him about our free English class! Pics below

Taiwan is so freaking awesome I love it!! Every single day people stop me and take selfies with me just because im white. I always let them, but i tell them they have to take a pass along card in exchange, so its a great finding opportunity! Also another weird thing is the fact that people creep shot me, like take my picture when they think i'm not looking like at least 3 times a day lol. But its cool and I love it and the people here! I bore my testimony in church for the first time yesterday and it was so awesome. My Chinese is pretty "HaiKeYi" at this point, but the Spirit is the real teacher and not me. The Gift of Tongues is a very real thing, and I can feel The Lords power when i speak. My Chinese is slowly improving, but i know that it will get to proficiency one day!! I love the work, and i love the gospel!

I hope you all had a great week! Enjoy America and the freedom that we all take for granted every day! Being in another country has made me come to realize that I took so many american things for granted.

Be safe and count you're blessings! I love you all!!

Elder Stroud

Hog Truck in Tainan
E. Sroud with English Speaking Guava Farmer in Tainan
Elder Stroud with Guava Farmer ( English speaking, 77 yrs. old)
E. Stroud with Broom truck
Diansaur in Tainan

Restaurant Sign in Tainan

Hog transport in Tainan