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

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