I’m getting married?

061817 QiJin

View of QiJin from the top of the fort last Pday, before it started raining every day.

Crazy week here! We didn’t teach a single lesson this week. It was finding from morning to night every single day.  It rained all week long, and Elder George and I just about went contacting in every single 7-11 in the boundaries of our area! When it’s wet on the streets people flock to the 7-11’s for shelter (they are more like coffee shops with places to sit here). We had a couple sick miracles this week!

We hadn’t found a new investigator all week long, despite the long grueling days of contacting.

We went out every day with faith, we were obedient, and we worked our hardest. Come church on Sunday, and all of our investigators who committed to come stood us up. Pretty sucky right?  Yep.

But that’s how it goes sometimes. Sunday morning before we left our apartment, Elder George and I pleaded with the Lord to let us see a miracle at church, and through the grace of Heavenly Father, we got one! While we were in Young Men’s at church sharing about missionary work, and literally telling the boys how sometimes no matter how hard you work, how faithful you are, things always come on the Lord’s timing. We get a knock on the door from a member and he’s with some random 19 year old kid who had just walked into the church looking for English class. Anyways, he stuck around, loved church, and set up for a time to meet with us next week. Cool stuff.

061817 Port

View of the little port in our area along the GaoXiong harbor.

Funny/crazy story of the week:

Crazy Grace from last week’s email called the cops again on me this past week. We were out contacting, but the sisters were at the chapel. Grace starts banging on the door with the police hysterically crying and asking where I am. The sisters say “we don’t know, he isn’t here”. The police ask the sisters if I am missing. The sisters laugh and of course say “no”. Grace flips out and the police ask the sisters if she is “all there”. The sisters say “of course not, she is crazy”. Grace then flips out says she isn’t crazy, and gets mad at the sisters and accuses them of opposing her marriage to me… (Grace is about 60 and homeless by the way). The cops were frustrated, yelled at Grace for wasting their time again, and escorted her off the premises.  SO we had to call the bishop and some members of the stake presidency to come down and just wreck her later that night when she showed up again. ALL A DAY IN THE LIFE HERE!

Anyways it was a great week! I ate it on my bike because it was pouring rain and the sidewalk was too slippery to brake when some girl darted in front of me, so I kind of did one of those cool powerslides they do on motorcycles, and I popped right up in front of this group of girls said the Chinese equivalent of “sick”, and hopped back on the bike and biked off. I hit my knee pretty hard and I was worried that I had done some interior damage. The first thought that crossed my head was “what if I had torn something and have to go home” the second thought was “I don’t want to go home yet, I still have so much more to do here”, and I was happy with that thought. SO yeah, it is safe to say that I am in a good mental place here on the mission. It really is such an awesome time every day! I love it so much! I hope you all had a great week! Enjoy the sunshine in Florida! We haven’t seen it for like 5 days here! I love you all!


Elder Stroud


061817 DeWitts lunch

The DeWitt’s had us over for lunch again! Brother DeWitt is retiring and he and his wife are going back to America next week. We will miss them!

The Fuzz

Hello all! Another week down here! It has been a lot of the same around here! Finding, teaching, sweating, just the usual missionary work here in the Taiwanese summer!

As far as the week goes, there wasn’t much new going on here!

Biggest thing of the week is probably that I changed my Chinese last name from 繞(Rào) to 饒(Ráo) (Note the tone/accent change). The biggest reason is that 饒(Ráo) is actually a Chinese last name, where as 繞(Rào) is not. I just got tired of people asking in every contact why my last name was so weird. It really was killing a lot of contacts we were having. I don’t know why but they gave me the incorrect one in the MTC… no worries though! New name tags are on the way! It’s pretty sick too because it has a few different usages. One is 饒命 which means to spare a life, and another is 饒舌 which is Chinese slang for rap music. Chinese is weird, but I love it. In Chinese, because there are words that sound the exact same but have different characters and meanings, you always have to introduce your last name. So now I just say 我是饒長老。饒舌的饒。And it is pretty sick. Google translate will butcher that super hard, so don’t trust what it gives you for that.  (Mom’s note:  Google translate says its something like, I’m Elder Rao, like rap music).

As far as other stories, we got the cops called on us yesterday, so that was fun! There is this crazy homeless lady who is always at the church, and has been hanging around for like 20 years, and she has taken a liking to me… She calls our phone about 10 times a day and night and of course we never answer. She thinks Jesus Christ owes her about $300k USD. She always asks us when Jesus will give her the money. We ended up staying after church for about 3 hours to help the bishop’s daughter fill out her mission papers, and as we walk outside, there is Crazy Grace talking with two policemen. As I walked over there, I heard her say my Chinese full name and I questioned the police what was wrong. Grace then turned around to start yelling at me that I had left her and she didn’t know where I was. I apologized to the police and they proceeded to get angry at Grace for calling them when there was no need. Grace then turns to us and yells at us as we bike off haha. Good stuff. She called our phone at 2am this morning and woke us up. Also she called the sisters, and they made the mistake of answering, and she kept on asking them where we live, and a bunch of other sensitive questions… All a day in the life!

As far as pictures go today… Sister Lin, the Less-Active member Elder Nelson and I rescued in AnDing came down to take Elder George and I out to lunch at the seafood buffet here in town. It was good stuff and they had all types of sashimi, so I was a happy camper. Also the DeWitt’s invited us over for fresh mango ice cream with a very wealthy business partner of theirs, so that was also a super nice treat!

061217 DeWitts

We will miss the DeWitts when they leave Taiwan! They are so good the missionaries here!!

061217 mango icecream

Ice cream with fresh mangoes!

Love you all! Have a great week!



Elder Stroud


Drink It In.

060417 monkey

We did some explore contacting up on Monkey Mountain last week. Watch out for monkeys!

Great week here! Monsoon season has arrived and we got wrecked all week long. It pretty much dumped rain nonstop, and I can’t think of a time where we were 100% dry this week.

Apparently there was some pretty severe flooding up north in Taipei. It’s all good though! Rain outside means that Taiwanese people flock to the 7-11s here, which makes for good contacting, since they are all trapped inside, haha!

This week didn’t have much go on besides us finding. It seems like lately that’s all we have been doing. It’s good though. Builds character. We did find two new investigators this week, so that’s great! We hope we will be able to continue working with them in the future!

060417 Formosa Blvd

Gaoxiong’s Formosa Boulevard (underneath our area)

Aside from the finding, we got taken out to a super nice steak house this past week by a wealthy member in the other ward. He treated our whole district to some filet mignon. Good stuff. It’s been a while since I have had some good American steak.


My excellent steak

Elder George and I are still getting along super well, and it has been pretty fun to troll around with him looking for people to teach! Despite the challenges, our faith hasn’t dropped yet! I’m hoping this week we will be able to whip up some success and see some miracles!

I hope y’all had a great one! Happy summer break! Summer here means rain, heat, and mangoes, so it’s not all too bad! I love you all!


Elder Stroud