This week was a week of miracles!! We were so discouraged after last week, but we kept working hard and the hard work paid off!

So I got to experience the “Běndì life” or what we say when you have a local companion from Taiwan! I got paired up with Elder Chen on exchanges this week and it was an eye opening experience! Elder Chen is actually visa waiting in our mission, but he will go to San Diego after this move call when his visa comes in. ELDER CHEN SPEAKS NO ENGLISH. So it was a test of my Chinese and patience for sure! My Chinese is actually better than I give myself credit for, because I didn’t have as hard of a time with him as I thought I would! It was definitely a hard 24 hours though, because not a word of English was spoken hahah! We managed to teach a successful lesson together and to contact a ton of new people!

7-25-16 Chen

Elder Chen and I!

We contacted this SUPER golden dude this week!! He is 20 and his English name is D.! He said he wanted to join a Christian church, and we were like yeah we can help you with that! He is off of school right now, but goes to cram school every night, so he has unlimited free time! We had three lessons with him in 3 days last week! He does his HW and is reading and marking us the BoM on his own! We put him on date for baptism 8/28! I can’t wait to see him progress!

In our stake there is a girl whose English name is T. who is 25 and speaks fluent English, so all the missionaries like to have her “PeiKe” or be our member present for lessons. She put in her mission call like a month ago and it finally came!! SHE GOT CALLED TO THE TAIWAN TAIZHONG MISSION. That is like me being called to the Florida Orlando mission! We don’t even know how it is possible, but it happened! We were all super shocked because she speaks fluent English and we all thought she would go to Australia Chinese speaking, but we were wrong! So that is super weird.

7-25-16 snail

Giant random snail we found while biking in Anding, which is one of our super rural areas!

We got a referral from America this week!! First of all we never get referrals, second of all, they never come from America, but this one did! The dude lives in Qigu which is one of our farthest areas, and I had never been there before, but we went to go see him this past week! We had our ward mission leader and his wife help us “Peike” because they live in Qigu as well, but nothing went according to plan of course. We showed up at the dude’s house and it was just this rundown shack in the middle of nowhere. There was an ama sitting outside and we had T. JM., the mission leader’s wife go talk to her because we don’t speak Taiwanese, and almost every ama doesn’t speak mandarin.. It was super obvious that something was wrong because the ama started going crazy, so we went over to check it out. We got out of the T.’s car and we just heard screaming in Taiwanese. There was an a’gong, or Taiwanese for grandpa, who was just screaming his head off from inside the house at T. JM., and we had no idea what he was saying because it was Taiwanese. T. JM. speaks Taiwanese, so she told us that they were that dude’s grandparents and they hate any religion that isn’t idol worshiping basically, so we were a little disappointed. The funniest part was that the ama was deaf, and the a’gong was blind, so it was just one big mess hahaha. He said he would sic the dogs on us, so we left quickly haha.

7-25-16 husky

Not one of the dogs that was going to be “sic’d” on us, but another “sick” (translate: awesome!) husky that I took a picture with! Pretty sure this dog was dying in the heat, but it was happy, so maybe not?

CRAZIEST THING OF THE WEEK. There was a singing and dancing group called Synergy, who are from SLC, that came to perform in Tainan Seeing white people who weren’t missionaries was one of the weirdest things of my life. Not even kidding. They did a Broadway style show on Saturday night, and then they did a fireside at the stake center on Sunday night. All their songs were in English, so pretty much everybody else had no idea what they were saying, but the people freaking ate it up! We brought an investigator and an LA to both of the things, and luckily both of them have pretty good English, so they loved it! The fireside had a ton of awesome testimony translated into Chinese, and the Spirit was so strong there! THE WEIRDEST THING was that after the fireside they were taking pictures with everybody, and I honestly don’t know how to talk in English to people who aren’t missionaries anymore. Like it’s so hard to describe, but my brain wants to slip into Chinese in every conversation, and fighting that was super hard. I probably seemed super awkward to them, but its whatever. I’m gonna be wrecked when I get back to America in a couple years…

But anyways… this week was a big testament to me of how hard work pays off. We worked our butts off this week and we finally saw some success! The Lord is blessing us and it’s cool to see the effects of our work! It was weird to be in Taiwan for Pioneer Day, because Pioneer Day in Utah is soooo much fun, and absolutely nobody here knows what it is, but that’s ok! We had our own Pioneer Day by biking like 5 hours in the hot sun that day! I love you all and hope your weeks were good! Until next time!


Elder Stroud


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