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
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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

 

010818 brothers baptism

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.

Santa Arrives Early

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Santa came to YuanLin to deliver smartphones to all the good little missionaries in the ZhongXing zone!

Note from Zach’s mom:  We sent him the santa suit to re-create a photo that his Dad took as a missionary in Japan.  That photo shows Zach’s dad, who is 6’2″ wearing a Japanese santa suit that is about 7 inches too short for him.  It’s a classic photo!  Coincidentally, the santa suit arrived for Zach the same week he was going to be passing out new smartphones to the missionaries in his zone.  So the timing of wearing the santa suit was perfect!

Hello all! This was an action packed week filled with meetings upon meetings. We spent about 1 hour total proselyting in our area this week haha! I love being a zone leader though! It is an awesome opportunity to serve the other missionaries here! I don’t have lots of time today due to answering tech questions about the new smartphones from all of our missionaries! Just pictures today!

Elder Sagatesgui and I went to the bishop’s house and wrapped/ate dumplings last night.
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Exchanges in MingJian with Elder Pang

SMARTER MISSIONARY WORK

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The missionary game has changed forever with the Smartphones! 

What an awesome week it has been! Te(c)hnology (President Teh pun) has completely changed the missionary work here in Nantou! The day we got our new smart phone we were able to have a Skype lesson with our Filipino investigator Gertrude, and the Tehs (who are also from the Philippines), right from the comforts of our apartment! The crazy thing is that the Spirit was just as present as a normal lesson! The phone has enhanced all aspects of the work here. It is easier to stay connected without investigators, easier to connect them to people who can fellowship them in the ward, easier to find people’s addresses, easier to stay in close contact with the bishop, and the myriad of fun language study apps has made learning and improving my Chinese something I look forward to everyday. What a blessing it is to have such an incredible tool.

This week we had our annual mission tour with Elder Muers from the Seventy. I personally received lots of revelation on how best to improve myself and my area, as well as the (Nantou) 中興 zone. Although we didn’t have more than a total of a few hours in our area to proselyte this week, I feel we did our best with what the Lord gave us.

One awesome thing I have loved has been the church’s #LightTheWorld Christmas service initiative. It has made serving people and remembering our savior Jesus Christ even more a part of our days here. You can check it out at https://www.mormon.org/christmas

As for light the world, we have had tons of cool experiences on seeing investigators being touched by the message of Christmas. One of them, a college professor, said she would show the light the world videos to all of her students daily until December 25! How great is that! I love being a missionary, and I love serving the Lord. What a time it is!

I am so happy to be serving at this time! I hope you all had a great week!

Love,

Elder Stroud

Baptisms and Buddhas

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Yang family baptism day

Awesome week here! It was another crazy one full of exchanges and tons of events! The life of a Zone Leader is one without breaks! This week we got to baptize the Yang family, which was a tender experience. Sister Yang has changed so much since the first time she met missionaries and claimed to be possessed by a devil! She dropped all of her bad habits and really turned a new page by being willing to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized! We are super happy for her!

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Dressed in aboriginal Taiwanese clothing.

On P-day last week, we went to Sun Moon Lake and got to play around there! It is super pretty! There is a famous place there which sells lots of cool Aboriginal Taiwanese stuff, so we got some cool pictures!

112717 buddhaNot a lot to write this week! We are still finding, teaching, and hopefully within the next couple weeks baptizing again!

Being a missionary is awesome, and I love my time here so much! This week we are getting our smartphones, so it should be another great one!

I love you all, I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving!

Until next week-

Love, Elder Stroud

 

Busy Busy Busy

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Got to do service for like the first time in 6 months cleaning up a park. There are 0 opportunities to do service here…

Awesome week here! Being a zone leader kills though!! We only had a total 3 hours to proselyte in our area this week! We spent Monday night planning a training for zone conference on planning and goal setting. Tuesday we exchanged with the YuanLin 2nd elders, which was super fun! I learned tons on how to have more humility from Elder Chang. Wednesday we went to Taizhong to have Zone Conference, and had to take care of some things after, which resulted in us getting home around 10pm.

On Thursday and Friday we exchanged with the Assistant’s in Taizhong, and I got to learn from the master Elder Neuhaus! We taught one of the craziest lessons on my mission with a Dr. Sun, a world renowned bio-nuclear doctor/researcher at his hospital.

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Exchanges with Elder Neuhaus in Taizhong

He literally was the smartest man I have ever met. His thinking process was just so far above the normal human. He has been researching different religions for years, and has pulled the truths out of each one. He has already thought about the entire gospel before without even going to church, or meeting with missionaries and he believes everything! Insane. The lesson was literally the deepest doctrine I have ever taught. We honestly didn’t know like half of his question’s answers, and we had to call President Teh afterwards to clear some things up for us, haha. Saturday we went up to PuLi for a baptismal interview, and spent pretty much the entire day traveling as well.

 

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Spent more time on the bus than we did in our areas this week.

Being a ZL wrecks, but it is super fun to help out so many different people! I love being a missionary and representing the Lord. This time is truly a time to be grateful for all the things I have been given!  I am so blessed!
I hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving!
Count your blessings!
Love,
Elder Stroud