1+1=2

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Skybridge at TaiJai

Well, I would go as far to say that this past week was one of the best of my mission. It started out with a crazy fun p-day, where a member took us out to a place called TaiJi ShaGu which is this sick nature preserve in the mountains of NanTou, with waterfalls, monkeys, and a super cool sky bridge. Since it was so far away, we only could stay for a few hours, but it was still probably the coolest place I have been to in Taiwan thus far! I took lots of pictures, and they are below!

We had set a baptismal goal for Sister Lin for this past Saturday, and we were so blessed and lucky to be able to baptize her! She was the most golden/prepared investigator I have met on my mission! She is 50+ years old, never married, and just needed somewhere she could feel loved. She found that in the ZhangHua Ward here. She was found in our secondary area in the middle of nowhere, and she was just ridiculously prepared. She strongly dislikes the traditional Taiwanese traditional religion of a combination of Buddhism/Daoism/Idolatry/Ancestor worship, even though her 7 other siblings do it, and it was so cool to see her accept Jesus Christ and change her life because of it! She beams with joy now.

The coolest miracle of the week was that another one of our investigators Pony (his English name) Wang, FINALLY got baptized! Pony was found back in February by Elder Hampton (who was the missionary who passed away here in ZhangHua in April) and his trainer, and has very slowly come to develop a testimony! He pretty much had already come to church a million times, had all of the missionary lessons a million times, and is best friends with the whole ward, but he just hadn’t been baptized yet. He passed his interview about 2 months ago, but his mom said she didn’t want him baptized (even though he is 23) and he didn’t want to go against the family traditions (the BIGGEST problem of doing missionary work here). We see him pretty much every day, since he is always at the church hanging out with members, and we called him Saturday morning just to ask if he wanted to get baptized with Sister Lin, and he FINALLY agreed to get baptized Saturday night! It was an awesome surprise and a night I won’t soon forget.

Other than that, the work is steady here! We dropped in a family of baptismal goals for January, so it will be fun to continue to work with them and everyone else we teach!  This area is super golden and it is a blast to serve here! Elder Poon left today to go to PengHu which is a tiny set of islands off the coast of mainland Taiwan! It is the most coveted place to serve in our mission, as it is super cool. I’ll miss him, because we worked super well together and were just good friends, but I am excited to work with my new companion Elder Evans!

I know that friends in different missions around the world are using the “Light the World” initiative put out by the Church to share the joy of Christmas with everyone. It doesn’t really have a lot of use here in Taiwan, like pretty much none actually, since everybody thinks Christmas is “An American Holiday”. But it really is an amazing video about serving others and the true meaning of Christmas! I strongly encourage all of you to check it out and get into the Christmas spirit!

You can check it out on the homepage of https://www.mormon.org/

That’s pretty much it for me this week! Good luck to all on finals, and remember to serve others! I love you all!

Love,

Elder Stroud

Guess What? …Chicken Butt

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Merry Christmas from your favorite Changhua Elders

Super short one this week as we are heading out to NanTou today to go 玩 (“play” per Google Translate), so that should be fun!

Yep, as the title alludes to… chicken butt was the Taiwanese treat of the week! If you can imagine, chicken butt tastes just like you think the part of the chicken where poop passes through to taste like. We were teaching a family, and the dad left to go get food and came back with at least like 100 chicken butts on sticks. We had to eat them. Not fun.

We had the kind of week that you would expect after a week where you find 15 new investigators. We got to teach a lot of lessons! 林姐妹 (Sister Lin) passed her baptismal interview yesterday and is very excited for this upcoming Saturday when she will be baptized. We also have a few baptismal goals for Christmas Eve/Christmas which will make for a pretty legendary Christmas.

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In front of the ChangHua Train Station there is a concrete island where all of the minorities here working in the factories congregate on the weekend. Vietnamese, Filipino, and Indonesian people are everywhere. We came across this rowdy drunk group of Indonesians and I asked if Elder Poon could play their guitar. After jamming out for a little bit we were all best friends! Apa Kabar! (Indonesian for “how are you”)

 

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Every week I teach Elder Poon English! Just kidding he’s from Utah.

Pretty much no time left to write more, but know that I love all of you, and I love our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be a missionary this Christmas season and to be spreading the cheerful message of Him! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Stroud