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!
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!
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 Zachary Kearsley Stroud
–> # 498-11, WuQuan Road, North District,
Taichung, Taichung 404-46
Taiwan (Republic of China)