A week full of miracles


Purple Poop

Too lazy to write a full email this week!  Sorry.


Working hard and having a ton of fun.

Setting up Brother Sun for his baptism next week

Stake conference yesterday and seeing all of my old friends from the AnDing Ward

Pooping neon purple after eating 3 dragon fruits for breakfast one day

And… Many, many more!


Pizza buffet with the GuiRen Elders who are also in training last pday.

091117 pizza buffet

Getting mango ice with Brother Sun

091117 Bro Sun

Reppin’ the Y with Guo BaBa, or better known by his English name “Lebron James” not even kidding haha he is a legend here in Tainan. All of the RMs send him BYU swag, and when he is not wearing a shirt and tie, he is Reppin the Y!

091117 Y guy

Love you all!! Have an awesome week and stay dry from Hurricane Irma!


Elder Stroud


For Teh Boys (not a typo)

Mostly pictures today… sorry!

090417 100 year old egg Degn

Elder Degn and his first 1000 year old egg!


090417 long legs

At the Qimei museum in Tainan. Taiwanese girls all stick their legs out in pictures like this because they think it makes them look longer. After the picture is taken there is a 90% chance they look at it and say “好長哦” (translation: my legs are so long!) word for word. Not even kidding.

090517 Qimei museum

Qimei is a super cool museum that looks kinda like the US Capitol building in D.C.

090517 mango bing

Have to enjoy mango bing while we can!  Summer is almost over.  Bing is kind of like creamy shaved ice dessert.

Today we are going to a pizza buffet, also Elder Degn and I just bought 3 dragon fruits each, because they say that if you eat 3 of them, you pee purple, so we will see if it’s true! The title of this email references our mission president, President Teh, who is awesome!

Taiwan is amazing and I love it here!! I love being a missionary so much, and life really is super happy right now!

I love you all!!


Elder Stroud

吃到吐 – Missionary VS Food – Fail

Zach’s Mom’s Note: English translation of title refers to the aftermath of the food challenge failure.  I’ve taken the liberty here to give it a sanitized English title 🙂

082817 Kid buys me icecream

One awesome thing from this week: this kid randomly bought us ice cream!

Pretty awesome week here!! I love being a missionary! This week was pretty standard as far as things go, but it was highlighted by us attempting to undertake the douhua challenge and failing, a visit to a sketchy snake zoo, and talking with many, many people with only one person willing to accept! What more can you ask for here in Taiwan?

Douhua challenge: Eat 10 pounds of douhua, which is a type of tofu pudding, in 30 minutes, and it’s free plus your picture goes up on the wall. Result: I put down 9 pounds, and with about 3 minutes remaining involuntarily emptied the contents of my stomach and disqualified myself. Unfortunate. Was it good? Kind of. Would I try it again? Probably not. Overall experience: a solid 8/10.

082817 doha fail

Aftermath of the douhua challenge

Sketchy snake zoo: Full of severely mistreated animals and reptiles. We watched crocs being fed, heard a lion roar, and watched a live chicken being fed to a boa constrictor, and got to play with baby cobras all for less than $5 USD. Overall experience: 9/10

082817 Baby cobra

Playing with baby cobras.  Another note from Mom:  Dude!  What are you thinking! 

Doing missionary work and training: Super fun, but exhausting! I love what I am doing every day! Training is super fun, and I feel like both of us in this companionship are finally adjusting to the norm. I think the hardest part about training is that you have to be inside for so long. It is a change of pace from when I was with Elder Zeyer last transfer and we did as little studies as possible to spend the most time outside proselyting. It’s all good though! Elder Degn and I are having a blast and seeing tons of cool miracles! Being a missionary is the best! Overall experience: 10/10

I love this work and I love Taiwan! It is crazy how fast time flies out here. I feel like time just slips away right before your eyes. I think the only thing to do is to just make the most of it and go super hard! Anyways, I love you all! Have an awesome week!!


Elder Stroud

A Week of Firsts and Superheroes!

Hello all!!! What an awesome week it has been! Training a new missionary is definitely a whole new ball game! My trainee’s name is Elder Degn (pronounced like  “great dane””) and he is a 6’5″ GIANT from South Jordan Utah! The coolest thing about him is that he played middie on the BYU lacrosse team last season, so we have had a lot in common!

082117 Elder Degn

Elder Degn and I

The beginning of the week was spent hanging out in the GuiRen area with Elder Densley while we were waiting to pick up our trainees. One of the absolute craziest things I have seen in Taiwan is that in the middle of GuiRen’s secondary area, LongQi, is a temple where they literally worship Marvel superheroes. I couldn’t believe it until I saw it for myself. Video on the attached google drive link below!  (Mom’s note:  Sorry, tech issues… video is very funny, but Google won’t allow a shareable link for some reason, bummer.)

It was a blast to hang with Elder Densley for a couple of days! Today we are taking our trainees to the sketchy zoo, as well as trying to take down the Douhua challenge in their area! Should be a blast!

On Thursday I caught a train up to TaiZhong to pick up my trainee, and we were on our way back down south to the promised land of Tainan 2nd ward!

082117 New Trainee on train

Our train ride back to Tainan (featuring one of my old favorite companions, Elder Choi, who is also training)

Since then I have learned many lessons, including the fact that being a trainer is super hard and just about 100% of the companionship workload burden is on your shoulders due to the new missionary’s language barrier, as well as having to figure out how to balance training and teaching opportunities alongside normal missionary work. Because I am training, we have to stay inside an extra hour a day doing studies and practices for the new missionary, which takes an hour out of finding time outside! There really is not enough time in the day to do it all!

Elder Degn has been holding up like a champ, even though I can see it is physically exhausting on him! I remember I was very similar to that last year as well. It takes a while to adjust to the swing of things and to get over the culture shock! Taiwan is awesome and I love being a tour guide for him! I can’t wait to show him all of the awesome parts of this country and culture, as well as showing him how to be a successful missionary! I am super grateful for my trainer, Elder Nelson, who showed me the ropes and started me off right last year!

Aside from the abnormal training things, the work here is progressing at a very normal pace, and we are still seeing miracles left and right. I love being a missionary!! It really is such a happy time. It’s crazy how fast time flies when you are working hard! I will hit my 18 month mark in a couple weeks, and it’s all downhill from there! There just isn’t enough time! It’s crazy how your perspective on two years changes!

Anyways, I love you all so much, and am grateful for the support I receive from you all every week! It means the world! I hope you all have an awesome week! Until next time!


Elder Stroud

Elder Zachary Kearsley Stroud
–> # 498-11, WuQuan Road, North District,
Taichung, Taichung 404-46
Taiwan (Republic of China)

All Aboard the Training Train!!


081417 Pokemon Go contacting

Contacting at a Pokemon Go hotspot… still popular in Taiwan!

Hey y’all this week’s email is going to be short with a lot of pictures, sorry! I guess the big news of the week is that I am going to be a Trainer! It really is a honor to be trusted with a new missionary, and I am pumped to help him love the mission, the culture, the people, and the language! All things that mean so much to me! I will be picking him up at the mission home on Thursday, and we will be heading to our area after that! Should be a blast! I am so happy here in Tainan! This place is awesome, and I’m pumped I get to stay another 3 months! I hope you all had a great week! Happy back to school for all my young LHP friends! I love you all!!


Elder Stroud

Elder Zeyer and I  have had such a great time working hard together this past 6 weeks! Here’s some of the great things we did this week before he left for his new transfer area.

We found some elementary kids in the park one day this week while contacting, and they let us play baseball with them. It was super fun and they loved us!!

081417 baseball



It is tradition in our mission for Elders to burn a tie at their 6 month marks, and for whatever reason I never did back in the day. Thankfully Elder Zeyer hit his 6 months, and I got to do it with him!


We found one of the best burgers I have ever eaten! Smokey Joe’s is the only authentic American/Mexican restaurant in Taiwan! This burger was about 400 kuai, or about twice as much as I usually spend on 3 meals for the day! Worth it.

081417 goobye Zeyer

It’s been awesome serving with Elder Zeyer.  He’ll be great in his new area!

Tainan – The Promised Land

Hello all! This last week was great! Lots of the same old same old. Finding and teaching! Here’s my week in pictures…

080717 burritoI went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday, we went and got some pretty decent burritos at the mall in my area! It was fun to be with Elder Storey again after living together in a 4 man apartment last summer in AnDing.

We went back to the YongKang chapel last P-day and played basketball with a bunch of missionaries from our zone. It was fun to be able to go back and visit that place after I lived around there last summer while I was serving in AnDing. This picture is at our favorite drink shop by the church.

080717 favorite drink placeOn the bike ride over there to play ball, I ran over a screw which wrecked my tire… we walked around in the rain for two hours before we found bike shop that could fix my tire. Every place was closed because the Tainan city government announced a no work day due to the typhoons and flooding.

080717 tire fix

We also went to a great restaurant with Sister Lin from my first area, AnDing which is not too far from where I am now in Tainan.  She always treats the missionaries so well! Here’s a bunch of us at the restaurant…

080717 Sister Lin photo a

That’s about it for the week! Kind of a slow one around here. We did have interviews with President Teh a couple days ago, and I took advantage of the opportunity to have a one on one talk with a General 70, and grilled him with a few deep doctrine questions. Pretty fun! President Teh is the man! I love being a missionary and I love the work here! I hope all is well with you all back home! Have a great one!


Elder Stroud


霖雨為災 – A plague of showers

073117 double typhoon day

Double typhoon day proselyting

Hello from the typhoon land of Taiwan! We got smacked with two typhoons, Haitang and Nesat, yesterday only hours apart from each other, so it was pretty crazy! President Teh didn’t even send us the lock in notice, so we were out on the streets proselyting in about 50mph winds! Kind of fun! People were just telling us how nuts we were all night! At one point some kind Samaritan let us in off the street and let us dry off for a few minutes! Typhoon days are pretty sick!

This past week was full missionary hard work and sweat, so nothing out of the ordinary! We met lots of new people and saw some cool miracles in the missionary work! It really is awesome to be a missionary! Not much to report on this week, but know that I am happy and safe here! Tainan is awesome! Hope yall have a great week! Until next time!

073117 pizza with Anding Friends

Some AnDing members took us out to an all you can eat pizza place last week. It’s always good to catch up with old friends!

073117 fruit gifts

Our fridge is full of fruit that the members give us!


Elder Stroud

Running 7’s

072417 English Class

Our awesome (and crazy) English Class kids

072417 English Class 2

Great week down here in the promised land of Tainan! Being companions with Elder Zeyer has been some of the most fun times on my mission! We wake up every morning with the faith to find and to get our daily goal of one new investigator, and we have been seeing miracles rain down upon us! This week in DTM (District Training Meeting) I really focused the training on the importance of the promised blessings in PMG (Preach My Gospel) and how if we do our part, the Lord will fill in with his. Last night it was 8:55 and we were sitting at 6 new investigators for the week. (Our mission standard is 7, which is a lofty goal each week!) We knew that if we could teach a lesson, we could be out til 9:30 (usually we have to be in the door by 9). Elder Zeyer and I were not going to settle for only 6 new investigators for the week. We went into the last 7-11 for the night, with probably the most faith I have ever had going into a contact on my whole mission. There were 3 people sitting in that 7-11 and we KNEW that one would be our 7th investigator for the week. Sure enough, we sat down with one of the men, chatted him up, he ended up being Christian, we taught him a lesson about the restoration, and added him for next week to meet again. We had the faith to find, and the Lord delivered in the final minutes of the week. Being a humble servant of Him is great, and I couldn’t be happier doing what I am doing now! The mission is an awesome time!

072417 zone conf

Tainan zone conference pic from last week- everyone in our mission is like 6’4″

072417 gate

Some random Christian church had a sweet gate

Short one this week due to nothing interesting happening besides mission work! Sorry to let y’all down! But know I love y’all!  Have a great week!


Elder Stroud

072417 checkers

Playing Chinese chess last pday because new rules say we can’t leave our area to go do fun things, and our area is 3 square miles big #sad


All I Know is Mango

071717 An Ping Fort

Elder Zeyer and I at the old fort at An Ping last p-day.

Hello family and friends!

Another great week here in Tainan! Elder Zeyer and I worked our butts off this week and managed to come up with 7 new investigators, a worthy haul! It is super fun going out every day and sharing this happy message with the awesome people here! I love talking with everyone!

This week wasn’t very special, just lots of sweat and hard work! Our baptismal goals are progressing nicely and are looking good to hit their dates! We are having a blast working with everyone! Elder Zeyer and I have decided to be more healthy, so we have been getting up early to go running or to go to the college to play basketball every morning! We have been having so much fun being a companionship! Also we made it a goal to eat mangos everyday, to make the most of our time here in the mango capital of the world, so that’s been fun too!

Not really much else to update on! We ended up going to the old fort here in Tainan for pday last week, so that was pretty fun too! I love you all! Sorry this week’s email is boring! Have a great one!


Elder Stroud

071717 Petting dog

I petted (pet? I’m not sure ) this dog in a 7/11 for like 10 minutes straight waiting to contact the owner while its owner was in the bathroom haha! Sorry my English grammar is bad now!

071717 7-11

Got slurpees on 7/11 day! Sadly Taiwan has no cool promotion, so we paid in full…