新年快樂!!汪汪旺! (Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog – Woof, Prosperity!)

021918 year of the dog meme

Year of the Dog Meme

Happy Chinese New Year! This is the Year of the Dog, and it’s is pretty fun here! There are lots of cool Chinese puns regarding the new year with the biggest one this year being 汪(the sound a dog makes) and 旺(which means prosperity) both are pronounced “wang” with the first being in the first tone and the other in the fourth. Chinese new year is the most crazy time of year here. Everyone gets work off and does nothing but sit at home with family, eat a lot of food, and worship their ancestors.

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Playing Majiang, a Chinese new years staple

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One of our New Year’s feasts

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Some graffiti we did at a members house, 耶穌是我家之主- Jesus is the Lord of my house.

Most people are caught up in their traditions, so it makes doing missionary work next to impossible. We have been doing a lot of service and working with the members very closely.

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Some of the service we’ve been doing

The members rarely feed us during the rest of the year, but during new years, we have lunch and dinner feasts almost every day.

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Our new year’s card we are giving to all of the members who feed us

I am sick of eating. But it is a very fun time to be here! The atmosphere is pretty electric, regardless of all the rejections we get.

Go eat some Panda Express and enjoy the Chinese New Year’s!

Love,
Elder Stroud
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Hello

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Helping Hands service – Cleaning up the park

Hello all! Another good week here! You probably heard that Taiwan had a big earthquake! We are all safe. I probably would have slept through it if I hadn’t had to get up to go pee in the middle of the night right as the earthquake happened haha!

Right now we are trying to progress our investigators towards baptism, as well as finding ones to build up our pool with. We have about 4 people right now who are qualified for baptism, but for whatever reason aren’t getting baptized. It’s pretty frustrating. But being a missionary is great and I love my time here, no matter how little I have left!

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Japanese BBQ buffet for pday today

I gave my final testimony and reflection of my mission at Zone Conference last week. It was a weird feeling. I will miss Taiwan, but I’m grateful to still be here! Have a great week! Love yall!

Love,
Elder Stroud
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Sweet political cartoon with 蔡英文, president of Taiwan and Trump ganging up on N. Korea’s dictator.

Week #100

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My new companion, Elder Huang and I

Hi all! Another week in the books! It is freezing here! Our apartment says it’s about 50 degrees inside, and we have no heat! No way it was this cold last winter!  This week we worked with a bunch of members and had a lot of fun helping people set up personal family mission plans.

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020518 rocky river

Today we went hiking up in the mountains of NanTou. Super pretty place. I love being with Elder Huang and talking about our fun times at BYU, and working hard. Being a missionary is great! I hope everyone has a good week!

Love,
Elder Stroud
020518 z bridge squat

再一個 (One More)

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Biking out to lessons with bishop of our ward and Elder Council.

Hello all! It was a great week here! Our time was spent cleaning and repairing our filthy apartment, which failed a cleaning check by the office senior couple last week, going on exchanges, and baptizing! It was a good one!

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On our P-Day, the district made pizza.

Last week we had the district come over and put a total of over 100 man hours into deep cleaning out apartment. The senior couple who came to check out our apartment gave us a -1 out of 3 on the rating scale, and thus decided to sponsor a cleanup project.
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Baptizing brother Chen

We baptized Brother Chen this week and we’re pumped to see his progression towards being more like the Savior Jesus Christ. Being a missionary is awesome! I am excited to hit the work hard my last transfer here in Taiwan.
Elder Council left me to go to the office, and my new companion is Elder Huang from Wisconsin. He has been out three months less than me, and actually lived in the room next to me in B9 at BYU! Small world!  The Elder Stroud farewell tour starts today, and this island won’t know what hit it! It’s going to be fun to light this place up and go as hard as I can before I have to get back on the plane. I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Stroud

Baaa pt. 2

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Feed my sheep

Hi everybody! This past week was great! We went to the sheep farm and played there for a day on pday.

I went on exchanges with Elder Horton, my MTC companion, and reminisced on the good times we had in the MTC as well as how much we have grown since then. It was a good time!

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ZhongXing Zone at Zone Conference

We have three baptismal goals for this week, but two of them although already passed their baptismal interviews, feel like they aren’t ready yet. Basically they are just procrastinating the day of their repentance. We hope we can help them out soon! Being a missionary is awesome! I love it here so much! Hope you all have a good week! Stay classy!
Love,
Elder Stroud

Week number 346817252783538

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Views of Yuanlin

Hi y’all! This week we did a lot of service, did a lot of missionary work, and that was pretty much it. My life is the same every day.

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Our district, the clean up crew.

We helped a member clean up their newly refurbished house yesterday, and that was pretty much it.

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The whole clean up group.

Funny story of the week- we were out in the middle of nowhere trying to find a Less Active member, and couldn’t find the address. Taiwan’s address system is pretty much non-existent in the rural areas BTW. So we are lost, looking for this dude’s house at about 8pm at night and it’s dark because we are in the middle of nowhere, and we run into this old Taiwanese grandpa who has a bowl of pig’s foot and rice. That’s not the weird part though. So, we ask this dude where this random guy lives and he says he will take us there. Nice! Usually old people can’t even speak Chinese, let alone are willing to help us. So this old guy hops on his scooter and tells us that he will go slow. We follow him for about 100 meters and as soon as he makes a turn, he runs his scooter off the elevated road and into the brush. At this point, we are very confused and ask him if he’s OK, he then proceeds to tell us that he’s drunk and that he needs to drive slower and we pull his scooter out. He then takes us to the wrong address and we just laugh as he leaves.  I love Taiwan!

Anyway there’s the short summary of my week. Have a great one everybody! Love y’all!

Love,

Elder Stroud

YuanLin in Chinese means Dunk City

 

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Yang brothers baptism

Hello all! It was another great week here! We had a lot of fun, did a lot of things, and got to baptize two of the boys we have been teaching! I love being a missionary!

010818 Bishop Kuang Mr Steak

Bishop Kuang took all of the missionaries in 員林 to Mr. Steak for dinner.

This past week we went on exchanges with the Assistants, and Elder Neuhaus and I both decided to work on our patience. It was fun and I learned a lot. We have been focusing on being balanced missionaries and on working with the members more closely. It has been really rewarding!

 

010818 RC Pony

My RC Pony from ZhangHua finished his required year of military service and we went out to lunch together.

This week we baptized the Yang brothers who we have been working with for a while now. It was super fun to see how happy they were! Their mom was a Less-Active member who recently returned to activity, and was more than happy to have us teach her kids! We are now working on the dad who is not a member.

010818 RC Damian

My RC, Damian from TaiNan, came up to visit.

I am super happy here, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to help make eternal families happen! The mission is a joy! I love you all have a great week!

Love,

Elder Stroud

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We made Christmas cookies last pday with our Chinese last names. 

 

 

新年快樂 (Happy New Year!)

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Community service at the local clinic

Hello all! Happy New Year! New Year in Taiwan isn’t celebrated until February this year, so the celebrations were pretty lame last night! We went to bed at 10:30 pm regardless haha! The mission is great and I still love being here! Make some good new year’s resolutions and become better! Love you all!

Love,
Elder Stroud
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Christmas caroling last week at the train station

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Hello all! Merry Christmas to you! I hope everyone has a magical Christmas and remembers Jesus Christ, the greatest gift of all! I love being a missionary, especially during this happy time of year!

This week we focused on service and doing lots of Christmas caroling! It was super cool because the church partnered with Carrefour, a big kind of Target like store here- We were able to go in the store as a district and sing Christmas hymns to all the customers. It was super fun!

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The district at Mr. Steak for Christmas lunch

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My new companion, Elder Councill, and Jepson, a member from Nantou who goes to school in YuanLin

We’ve just been focused on strengthening the ward and meeting the members this week. I love YuanLin! I am so happy to be able to be serving The Lord during this Christmas season. Being a missionary is awesome! It will be fun to see and talk to my family next week on Skype! See y’all then! Have a very merry Christmas! Here is a great scripture for Christmas!

Alma 7: 9-12

9 But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.

10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. What a blessing!

Love,

Elder Stroud

 

Whitewashing YuanLin

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Found this tank in the middle of nowhere.

Hello all! Another week down here! Big news of the week is that Elder Sagastegui finished his mission and went home and President Teh made the executive decision to whitewash the zone leaders out of Nantou and into YuanLin!

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Said goodbye to Elder Sagastegui

We are excited to get the work started here! I haven’t had the opportunity to whitewash yet on my mission, so it should be fun! (whitewash just means that both you and your companion are new to the area, so you don’t know your way around, you don’t know the ward, etc.)

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Went out to our secondary area in Nantou, 中寮(Zhongliao),  last week. We biked an hour up the mountain to get there.  It’s beautiful.

My new companion is Elder Councill from Franklin, Virginia! He went to BYU for 2 years before the mission and he has 4 transfers left after this one. It will be really fun lighting this place on fire together!

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 Zone picture from the stake athletic activity last week

I’ve decided to go as hard as I can for my last 12 weeks here in Taiwan! It was sad to leave Nantou after only being there for a transfer, but I am excited to get a fresh area in YuanLin. I hope everyone has been lighting people’s worlds and preparing for Christmas! Have an awesome week!

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Christmas tri-zone conference 

Love,

Elder Stroud

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Train ride back from zone conference.