The last one.

030418 Last baptism

We baptized MinYu this week, he is the most mature high school kid I have taught on my mission. It was super fun to help him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and repent! 

Hello all! Crazy to think that this is my last week of being a missionary, but it’s true! What an adventure it has been. It’s impossible to summarize a two year mission experience full of joy, sadness, rejections, fun, and pretty much every other emotion out there, but I will try to conclude it all.

I love Chinese and one of my favorite 成語 (idioms) is 光陰似箭, which means “time flies like an arrow”. What an accurate description for the past two years! To quote Andy Bernard from The Office “‘I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” Let me tell you that the mission is the good old days, and I am lucky enough to be living in them right now. The lessons I have learned while serving in Taiwan are invaluable. Nothing will ever detract from the experience serving a mission has given me.

If I were to describe my mission in one word, it would be change. Everything has changed for me since leaving home two years ago. Through Jesus Christ and his example, I have become a much better individual. Change at first, like all things, is difficult, but in the end is only for our benefit. I am grateful to have become what Heavenly Father has always intended me to become on my mission, and I am grateful for the opportunity he continues to give me to keep improving.

I want to leave you with my testimony of the Gospel. The Savior Jesus Christ lives, he watches over each of us and is anxiously waiting to help us in this life. He was nailed upon the cross and brutally slain for the sins of the world. His sacrifice fulfilled the needs for justice and mercy in God’s eternal plan of salvation. Because of him, we too can one day return to our loving Heavenly Father’s presence. Christ knows us perfectly. He loves us perfectly. He is the way. I am also so grateful that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to restore the truths of the original gospel of Jesus Christ through his first modern day revelator, Joseph Smith. I’m grateful to have The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. A tangible book of scripture that we can read at anytime to learn more about our Savior and his gospel. What a blessing it is. Serving The Savior these past two years has opened my eyes to just a slight glimpse of the infinite love that Heavenly Father has for his children. It has been an honor to be a tool in his hands. Truly something I will never forget.

One of my favorite scriptures Alma 37: 44-45 reads

44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.

I know the Lord will never lead us astray, we just need to have the faith to follow the compass that is his example.

I love the Gospel, I love Taiwan and the people here, and I have loved being a missionary. Thank you all for tuning in to my weekly emails these past two years and for the support I have received during the good and the hard times. It will be a sweet reunion with family and friends next week!

I love you all!

Signing off,

Elder Stroud

030418 Park Questions

We set up a “questions of the soul” stand in the park.

030418 cheap food

One more thought about the food here… I will miss how cheap the food is in Taiwan! For reference $1 USD is about 32元 NTD