Turning 20 in Taizhong

From 9/26/16

Hello all family and friends!! Welcome back to another update on my life in Taiwan!! I’m gonna be super honest with y’all… this week wasn’t anything special, but we did do lots of missionary work! (LOL that’s what I do every week) Tomorrow is my birthday and its really weird to think not only is today my last day as a teenager ever, but that I am going to be spending it in Taiwan and not with family and friends, but I know how important this work is, so that’s why I’m still here!

092616

The last photo from our last district! The camera was on a timer and I had to sprint back in like 3 seconds and squeeze in between everyone, so that’s why its super awkward…

A cool thing that happened:

So I got made English Leader, which basically means I have to organize our free English program that our district teaches every Wednesday night… it’s a pretty difficult calling, as our program has about 60 students that come every Wednesday. BUT we were doing an English proselyting activity on Saturday at a really big park, where we hand out flyers to try and get new students, and my comp walked off and got lost like he always does and I found him struggling to have a conversation with a man in his 20’s. As you all might know, my comp can’t speak English at all, and as soon as I found him he yelled at me “Engeelish” and I went over to help him out. It turns out the man who he had started talking too was from Australia, even though he looked like a regular Taiwanese dude, and he could speak 0 Chinese, but could speak Cantonese, as his parents moved to Australia from Hong Kong before he was born. He was visiting Taiwan to see his girlfriend, and he was just chilling out at the park that day. I had a really good gospel discussion with him in English, and got his info to give to the Australian Cantonese speaking missionaries (Yes that really is a thing)!

Probably the craziest miracle I have seen on my mission thus far:

We were waiting at the chapel for a 2pm lesson with an investigator last week, going over our lesson plan and things like that, and a man who I had never seen walked in and said “I want to be baptized, can you baptize me right now?” WHAT THE FREAK THAT NEVER HAPPENS! My comp and I looked at each other and I just burst out laughing because of the absurdity of the situation. We told him we would, but he needed to take all the lessons and pass an interview first, and he was totally willing! It turns out that he met with missionaries 10ish years ago and hasn’t been in contact with them since, and out of the blue he wanted to get baptized! We checked the ward record to make sure his name wasn’t on it and he wasn’t just some LA, and didn’t find it, so we started teaching him! Super cool miracle.

092616-taichung

Super cool view of all of TaiZhong City from the top of our area. You can’t see the mountains in the background very well because of all the smog.

Another cool thing that happened was that Lin Jie Mei one of the Less-Actives(LA) from my last area in Anding that we rescued, came up to NanTun to visit a friend, and she took all of us out to this really nice Italian place for my birthday dinner! So I ate salmon pasta, pizza, and Caesar salad for the first time in forever! A nice little change of pace from rice and noodles! I realized today that I can’t remember the last time I ate a fruit or vegetable, so that made me laugh to think that my mom would be so proud lol. Somehow I’ve managed to lose a ton of weight since being here without any super hard exercise or dieting at all. I think the majority of it is from stress (not being able to speak English ever and not knowing what’s going on half the time) and the fact that we pretty much are broke, so we eat very cheap.

092616-pomello

So this is from last week, but basically the Taiwanese people go nuts when you put these pomello peels on your head, like they think it is the funniest thing ever, so when we went to KaoRou last week they made me do it…

Pretty much that was it for my week!! Thank y’all for the birthday boxes and cards y’all sent! I have yet to open them, but I will tomorrow! I know since I have started to look for the miracles in my life every day, they have become more apparent to me. I know that if y’all apply the same principle, you can see them better as well! A scripture that I am really a big fan of that I pondered over again this week is Alma 37:44. Basically it is talking about how if we let Christ be the compass in our lives, he will point us to our eternal bliss and individual promised lands, whatever they may be! I encourage everyone to read and ponder that chapter!

 

 

 

 

Love you all so much!! Have a great week!!

Love,

Elder Stroud

 

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