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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!!


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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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