Just A Couple Pictures Today

111317 Nantou City
My new companion, Elder Sagastegui (from Kentucky) and I.  He’s a great missionary. This is his last transfer (6 weeks) before returning home.  We go hard every day!
My new area which includes Nantou City, Caotun and Zhongliao.  We bike about 30 km a day covering it.  This area has two main parts that are about a 45 minute bike ride apart from each other.  It is really beautiful and I love the mountains.
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Just have a short time today.  Headed to the dentist for a check up.
Have a great week!
Elder Stroud
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GAME CHANGERS!!!!!!!!!

110617 District time graph

Our District Graph: one chair for each transfer you have been out on your mission. (Each transfer=6 weeks).

Well all, I moved again! This time to become a Zone Leader up in the green mountains of NanTou!  It is known as one of the most beautiful areas in the mission, and I will send pics next week! I feel super blessed to be able to serve the missionaries here in the ZhongXing Zone! My guess is that this will be the last time I move! My new companion is Elder Sagastegui (Nope, I didn’t just bang my head on the keyboard to type that out, that’s actually his name) from Kentucky! This is his last transfer, so we are going to be going super hard!! We have already set a transfer goal of 6(!) baptisms!! Should be lit!

MASSIVE GAME CHANGER!!!!! OUR MISSION JUST BECAME A SMARTPHONE MISSION!! Which means full online proselyting will be enabled! THIS IS A BIG DEAL!! We should be getting our phones and being trained how to use them within the next few weeks!

110517 Saying goodbye to my boy

Saying goodbye to my “son” (trainee) Elder Degn

It was sad to leave Tainan and the boy Elder Degn, but we ended it on a sweet note with Sister Xie being baptized! She is super awesome and so humble, and we are excited for her continued progression in the gospel!

110517 Sister Xie Baptism

Sister Xie’s baptism

Also last week we went to visit the community leader to ask for service opportunities (super hard to find in Taiwan) and she directed us to the senior center, where we met this super funny 97 year old ama!

110517 Funny Ama

This Ama (grandmother) cracks us up!

Short post this week due to moving eating up like 5 hours of my pday time! I hope you all are well! Have a great one!!

Love,

Elder Stroud

Sick week

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When sick in Asia, you wear sick masks.

Another good week here of finding, teaching, and seeing miracles! Not really a ton to write this week. We had a great time being missionaries! Transfers are next week, and I will finish up training Elder Degn! Time flies out here! We are hoping to see a baptism this weekend, so that should be awesome! I love being a missionary!

This week we both came down with colds and also got a little bit of a stomach bug after some not so fresh meat we ate… Our poor apartment’s toilets haha! All is well though we still managed to hit mission standards of excellence! Shout out to plenty of miracles to help us along the way! I hope you all have had an awesome week! Big congrats to BYU on winning their second game of the season! If we win out the rest of them, we might have a chance to make a bowl game. (sarcasm) Go Cougs!

Until next week!

Love,

Elder Stroud

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Our favorite, Sister Lin, took us and all of the youth from her ward out to a tasty Italian restaurant at the mall.

103017 Linda Dinner

Our English class student, Linda, took us out to a very fancy, very traditional Chinese restaurant. We were well taken care of this week!!

Week #85

Just pictures this week, sorry! I love you all!
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One of the members in our ward had a house dedication at her super nice new apartment complex, naturally there was a Taiwanese feast to accompany it!

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The Brothers, of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) came to play the Tainan UniLions this past week! We went out during dinner time to buy some merch and take some pictures!

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Our good friend Charlie from English class last year when I was in YongKang came down to take us out to a nice McDs lunch! Elder Storey also happened to be in YongKang last year too, so it was a fun reunion!

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We biked 2 hours into the mountains out to a cool Daoist temple last pday with the district!

102317 B Ball

Morning exercise time: ball is life

GaoXiong Temple?!

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THE FUTURE GAOXIONG TEMPLE SITE. The church has bought this plot of land across from the Gaoxiong North stake center, and people say that it is the site of the future temple!

Great week here! Not much to report on honestly! Last week was 10/10 day, which is Taiwan’s Independence Day, so there were lots of festivities in the streets! We had a special meeting in GaoXiong, with Elder Snow and Elder Funk (The Asia Area President) of the Seventy, which they discussed topics of church history and the job of the church historian.

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Got to hang out with my friend Underground Frank last pday! He goes around the mission selling missionaries’ cheap stuff from his shady Chinese websites. Good guy.

Elder Degn and I worked, worked, and worked and had a great time being missionaries, so it was super fun! We hit mission standards of excellence again due to more than a few miracles, and all in all just had a great week! I hope you all are well! Stay safe and stay happy! Have a good one.

Love,

Elder Stroud

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We tried some Power Bomb. Some random energy drink we found for 24元

中秋節快樂! (Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!)

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Doing some Kung Fu at the college

Super awesome week here!!!   Here are the highlights:

MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL!! Super fun! We got invited by the Relief Society to BBQ with them, so we had a few grill masters, plus the one white dude in our ward here teaching English there, to fire up the meat!

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Grillmasters  中秋節快樂

10(!) new investigators!! Elder Degn and are continue to trust in the Lord and work our hardest!!

General conference! Such an awesome and revelatory experience! Lots to learn and listen to from the modern day apostles of the Lord. Especially loved Tad. R Callister’s talk on the Book of Mormon, and Elder Anderson’s talk on among other things, learning Mandarin Chinese!

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English General Conference squad

Crazy thing that happened this week!!! We went to the college to do some language study and found our way into the Statistics building- Elder Degn is a stats major at BYU and he wanted to check it out. We found this little alcove on the 4th floor and started doing our language study. We soon were approached by a professor, who we thought would kick us out, but instead started a conversation with us. We said we were from America, He said he had one American friend who also happened to be a stats professor at the one and only BYU! He said he had met him first when his friend was serving his mission here 20+ years ago. I asked him what his friends name was, and he said he couldn’t remember, and I asked him if his name was Dr. Reece. He said yes!! DR. REECE WAS MY STATS PROFESSOR AT BYU!!! Small world. The professor was delighted with joy and said how he really looked up to us for being missionaries and serving his people. He said how much he had been impacted by Dr. Reece. He left, and came back with two of his TA’s and told them to help tutor us in Chinese! Super cool experience!

This week was awesome and I love being a missionary. I love doing what I am doing and love serving the people here! What an awesome opportunity this is. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Love,

Elder Stroud

20+1=1000

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1000 contacts this week in Tainan City!

WHAT IS UP Y’ALL!!! We just threw down the best week of my mission/life this past week!!!! It was so hard, so much fun, and so so rewarding!!

This past week, in honor of my 21st birthday, we made it a goal to invite 1000 people to come unto Christ! We went out and bought clicker counters, and we decided that in order to be able to 算 (count) someone, we needed to teach doctrine, promise a blessing, and invite them to act/repent. It was an awesome challenge for us, and it got us talking to so many people who we might have not had the thought to before! It was tiring, but it was so rewarding! We did nothing but street contact and go for adds (or setting up a time to meet with someone to learn more off the streets either at the church or a 7-11) all week long. We ended the week with 1000+ people invited unto Christ,  9 new investigators, all of whom were found this week, and a solid 10 more adds lined up for next week. The miracles that come with sacrifice are so real. We took half meal times to be out on the streets more, and we really did nothing but ride our bikes around and talk with everyone we could! I haven’t knocked a door since Chinese New Year lol. We went home exhausted every night, but it was so worth it. We literally we running people down on the streets to talk to them, it was so sick!
I love being a missionary, and right now is honestly the happiest I have ever been in my life. There is no stress, no pressure, no deadlines, just you, your companion, and The Lord walking side by side trying to help make peoples lives happier and more full of hope. It will be sad to see this all end in just 5ish short months. I hope I can leave every last drop of sweat on the asphalt here in Taiwan. This week honestly changed my whole outlook on the mission. Before it seemed a little daunting to go out and find the mission standard of 1 new investigator a day, but now I can see how easy and fun it really can be. WE HAD FUN THIS WEEK! It was fun to leave it all on the streets and lay our hearts out trying to serve the people here. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate turning 21 than to offer the day in service to The Lord and the people of Taiwan.
I hope everyone had an awesome General Conference weekend as was able to soak up the words of the living apostles! Ours is next week due to a translation delay, but you can bet we missionaries are excited! What an awesome time to receive revelation in our lives. What a blessing it is to have modern day prophets and apostles to help guide us in our lives.
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Wow! 超帥der (Super Handsome”der”)

That’s about it for this week! People on the streets have been starting to ask if I am Taiwanese after talking with them, so I think kicking the foreigner accent is a good sign for my Chinese! There still is so much more to improve on though! I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!!
Love,
Elder Stroud
100217 Harbour restaurant birthday lunch

Took Elder Degn to the all you can eat seafood restaurant for my 21st birthday! All hail Harbor!!

1/2 way done with training!

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Random kid pulled us over and wanted to take a picture with us

This week marked the half way point of my time training Elder Degn.  As weeks go, it was kind of uneventful week.  We went out to find, we found, picked up some new investigators, got dropped by some other investigators, and had a blast doing it all! Nothing really eventful to report on here. So, this email will pretty much just be pictures. Sorry!

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President Teh made a change of missionary standards here to where we should strive for one new investigator a day. The zone leaders made this incredible poster for their apartment haha!

This upcoming week we have made it a goal to invite 1000 people to come unto Christ! It should be a good challenge for us, and get us talking to people who we might have not had the chance to before! It’s going to be tiring, but it’s going to be rewarding!

I know that this church is true and that the Lord’s hand really is in our life every day. What a blessing it is that we can have the fullness of His gospel. As I hit the final lap of this 1600 meter race now, all I can think about is how I can do more. How can I be more diligent? How can I help more people? How can I serve more willingly? How can I be more humble and grateful? There are so many weaknesses that I have, and I just hope that by the time these next 6 months are up, I will have improved in at least some of them. I love being a missionary, and I love the work. There is no place like Taiwan! Have an awesome week everybody! Love you all!

​Love,

Elder Stroud

092517 lunch

Food picture of the week:  Classic Taiwanese lunch of BianDang. This one is super good and costs only 70kuai or about a little over $2USD

Purple Poop

Too lazy to write a full email this week!  Sorry.

Highlights:

Working hard and having a ton of fun.

Setting up Brother Sun for his baptism next week

Stake conference yesterday and seeing all of my old friends from the AnDing Ward

Pooping neon purple after eating 3 dragon fruits for breakfast one day

And… Many, many more!

Pics:

Pizza buffet with the GuiRen Elders who are also in training last pday.

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Getting mango ice with Brother Sun

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Reppin’ the Y with Guo BaBa, or better known by his English name “Lebron James” not even kidding haha he is a legend here in Tainan. All of the RMs send him BYU swag, and when he is not wearing a shirt and tie, he is Reppin the Y!

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Love you all!! Have an awesome week and stay dry from Hurricane Irma!

Love,

Elder Stroud