MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Hello all! Merry Christmas to you! I hope everyone has a magical Christmas and remembers Jesus Christ, the greatest gift of all! I love being a missionary, especially during this happy time of year!

This week we focused on service and doing lots of Christmas caroling! It was super cool because the church partnered with Carrefour, a big kind of Target like store here- We were able to go in the store as a district and sing Christmas hymns to all the customers. It was super fun!

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The district at Mr. Steak for Christmas lunch

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My new companion, Elder Councill, and Jepson, a member from Nantou who goes to school in YuanLin

We’ve just been focused on strengthening the ward and meeting the members this week. I love YuanLin! I am so happy to be able to be serving The Lord during this Christmas season. Being a missionary is awesome! It will be fun to see and talk to my family next week on Skype! See y’all then! Have a very merry Christmas! Here is a great scripture for Christmas!

Alma 7: 9-12

9 But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.

10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. What a blessing!

Love,

Elder Stroud

 

Whitewashing YuanLin

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Found this tank in the middle of nowhere.

Hello all! Another week down here! Big news of the week is that Elder Sagastegui finished his mission and went home and President Teh made the executive decision to whitewash the zone leaders out of Nantou and into YuanLin!

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Said goodbye to Elder Sagastegui

We are excited to get the work started here! I haven’t had the opportunity to whitewash yet on my mission, so it should be fun! (whitewash just means that both you and your companion are new to the area, so you don’t know your way around, you don’t know the ward, etc.)

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Went out to our secondary area in Nantou, 中寮(Zhongliao),  last week. We biked an hour up the mountain to get there.  It’s beautiful.

My new companion is Elder Councill from Franklin, Virginia! He went to BYU for 2 years before the mission and he has 4 transfers left after this one. It will be really fun lighting this place on fire together!

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 Zone picture from the stake athletic activity last week

I’ve decided to go as hard as I can for my last 12 weeks here in Taiwan! It was sad to leave Nantou after only being there for a transfer, but I am excited to get a fresh area in YuanLin. I hope everyone has been lighting people’s worlds and preparing for Christmas! Have an awesome week!

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Christmas tri-zone conference 

Love,

Elder Stroud

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Train ride back from zone conference.

Santa Arrives Early

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Santa came to YuanLin to deliver smartphones to all the good little missionaries in the ZhongXing zone!

Note from Zach’s mom:  We sent him the santa suit to re-create a photo that his Dad took as a missionary in Japan.  That photo shows Zach’s dad, who is 6’2″ wearing a Japanese santa suit that is about 7 inches too short for him.  It’s a classic photo!  Coincidentally, the santa suit arrived for Zach the same week he was going to be passing out new smartphones to the missionaries in his zone.  So the timing of wearing the santa suit was perfect!

Hello all! This was an action packed week filled with meetings upon meetings. We spent about 1 hour total proselyting in our area this week haha! I love being a zone leader though! It is an awesome opportunity to serve the other missionaries here! I don’t have lots of time today due to answering tech questions about the new smartphones from all of our missionaries! Just pictures today!

Elder Sagatesgui and I went to the bishop’s house and wrapped/ate dumplings last night.
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Exchanges in MingJian with Elder Pang

SMARTER MISSIONARY WORK

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The missionary game has changed forever with the Smartphones! 

What an awesome week it has been! Te(c)hnology (President Teh pun) has completely changed the missionary work here in Nantou! The day we got our new smart phone we were able to have a Skype lesson with our Filipino investigator Gertrude, and the Tehs (who are also from the Philippines), right from the comforts of our apartment! The crazy thing is that the Spirit was just as present as a normal lesson! The phone has enhanced all aspects of the work here. It is easier to stay connected without investigators, easier to connect them to people who can fellowship them in the ward, easier to find people’s addresses, easier to stay in close contact with the bishop, and the myriad of fun language study apps has made learning and improving my Chinese something I look forward to everyday. What a blessing it is to have such an incredible tool.

This week we had our annual mission tour with Elder Muers from the Seventy. I personally received lots of revelation on how best to improve myself and my area, as well as the (Nantou) 中興 zone. Although we didn’t have more than a total of a few hours in our area to proselyte this week, I feel we did our best with what the Lord gave us.

One awesome thing I have loved has been the church’s #LightTheWorld Christmas service initiative. It has made serving people and remembering our savior Jesus Christ even more a part of our days here. You can check it out at https://www.mormon.org/christmas

As for light the world, we have had tons of cool experiences on seeing investigators being touched by the message of Christmas. One of them, a college professor, said she would show the light the world videos to all of her students daily until December 25! How great is that! I love being a missionary, and I love serving the Lord. What a time it is!

I am so happy to be serving at this time! I hope you all had a great week!

Love,

Elder Stroud