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

Trip to Taipei


This week was sweet! We went to the Temple in Taipei with all of the soon to be departing missionaries as well as President and Sister Teh. It was super fun to get the elders from our generation of missionaries all together one last time before we head home.

022618temple trip 2022618Taipei trip022618 Temple trip

This week we met with a lot of members and enjoyed the Chinese New Year, while trying to strengthen their families and share how we can all be better missionaries. It was very fulfilling! As my time here shrinks shorter and shorter I try to make the most of it and use every minute the Lord has given me. It will be great to see family and friends in two weeks, but I will miss the adventures of being a missionary in Taiwan for sure!


Elder Stroud

022618 Chiang Kai Shek memorial

Chiang Kai Shem memorial in Taipei

新年快樂!!汪汪旺! (Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog – Woof, Prosperity!)

021918 year of the dog meme

Year of the Dog Meme

Happy Chinese New Year! This is the Year of the Dog, and it’s is pretty fun here! There are lots of cool Chinese puns regarding the new year with the biggest one this year being 汪(the sound a dog makes) and 旺(which means prosperity) both are pronounced “wang” with the first being in the first tone and the other in the fourth. Chinese new year is the most crazy time of year here. Everyone gets work off and does nothing but sit at home with family, eat a lot of food, and worship their ancestors.

021918 majhong

Playing Majiang, a Chinese new years staple

021918 New Years Feast

One of our New Year’s feasts

021918 graffiti

Some graffiti we did at a members house, 耶穌是我家之主- Jesus is the Lord of my house.

Most people are caught up in their traditions, so it makes doing missionary work next to impossible. We have been doing a lot of service and working with the members very closely.

021918 service

Some of the service we’ve been doing

The members rarely feed us during the rest of the year, but during new years, we have lunch and dinner feasts almost every day.

021918 New Year Card

Our new year’s card we are giving to all of the members who feed us

I am sick of eating. But it is a very fun time to be here! The atmosphere is pretty electric, regardless of all the rejections we get.

Go eat some Panda Express and enjoy the Chinese New Year’s!

Elder Stroud


021218 clean up park

Helping Hands service – Cleaning up the park

Hello all! Another good week here! You probably heard that Taiwan had a big earthquake! We are all safe. I probably would have slept through it if I hadn’t had to get up to go pee in the middle of the night right as the earthquake happened haha!

Right now we are trying to progress our investigators towards baptism, as well as finding ones to build up our pool with. We have about 4 people right now who are qualified for baptism, but for whatever reason aren’t getting baptized. It’s pretty frustrating. But being a missionary is great and I love my time here, no matter how little I have left!

021218 bbq

Japanese BBQ buffet for pday today

I gave my final testimony and reflection of my mission at Zone Conference last week. It was a weird feeling. I will miss Taiwan, but I’m grateful to still be here! Have a great week! Love yall!

Elder Stroud
021218 political cartoon

Sweet political cartoon with 蔡英文, president of Taiwan and Trump ganging up on N. Korea’s dictator.

Week #100

020518 Elder Huang

My new companion, Elder Huang and I

Hi all! Another week in the books! It is freezing here! Our apartment says it’s about 50 degrees inside, and we have no heat! No way it was this cold last winter!  This week we worked with a bunch of members and had a lot of fun helping people set up personal family mission plans.

020518 z hiking

020518 rocky river

Today we went hiking up in the mountains of NanTou. Super pretty place. I love being with Elder Huang and talking about our fun times at BYU, and working hard. Being a missionary is great! I hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Stroud
020518 z bridge squat

再一個 (One More)

012918 biking with bishop

Biking out to lessons with bishop of our ward and Elder Council.

Hello all! It was a great week here! Our time was spent cleaning and repairing our filthy apartment, which failed a cleaning check by the office senior couple last week, going on exchanges, and baptizing! It was a good one!

012918 pizza

On our P-Day, the district made pizza.

Last week we had the district come over and put a total of over 100 man hours into deep cleaning out apartment. The senior couple who came to check out our apartment gave us a -1 out of 3 on the rating scale, and thus decided to sponsor a cleanup project.
012918 Baptistm

Baptizing brother Chen

We baptized Brother Chen this week and we’re pumped to see his progression towards being more like the Savior Jesus Christ. Being a missionary is awesome! I am excited to hit the work hard my last transfer here in Taiwan.
Elder Council left me to go to the office, and my new companion is Elder Huang from Wisconsin. He has been out three months less than me, and actually lived in the room next to me in B9 at BYU! Small world!  The Elder Stroud farewell tour starts today, and this island won’t know what hit it! It’s going to be fun to light this place up and go as hard as I can before I have to get back on the plane. I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Stroud

Baaa pt. 2

012218 sheep farm a

Feed my sheep

Hi everybody! This past week was great! We went to the sheep farm and played there for a day on pday.

I went on exchanges with Elder Horton, my MTC companion, and reminisced on the good times we had in the MTC as well as how much we have grown since then. It was a good time!

Zhongxing 18.01.11

ZhongXing Zone at Zone Conference

We have three baptismal goals for this week, but two of them although already passed their baptismal interviews, feel like they aren’t ready yet. Basically they are just procrastinating the day of their repentance. We hope we can help them out soon! Being a missionary is awesome! I love it here so much! Hope you all have a good week! Stay classy!
Elder Stroud

Week number 346817252783538


Views of Yuanlin

Hi y’all! This week we did a lot of service, did a lot of missionary work, and that was pretty much it. My life is the same every day.

011518 clean up crew

Our district, the clean up crew.

We helped a member clean up their newly refurbished house yesterday, and that was pretty much it.

011518 clean up group

The whole clean up group.

Funny story of the week- we were out in the middle of nowhere trying to find a Less Active member, and couldn’t find the address. Taiwan’s address system is pretty much non-existent in the rural areas BTW. So we are lost, looking for this dude’s house at about 8pm at night and it’s dark because we are in the middle of nowhere, and we run into this old Taiwanese grandpa who has a bowl of pig’s foot and rice. That’s not the weird part though. So, we ask this dude where this random guy lives and he says he will take us there. Nice! Usually old people can’t even speak Chinese, let alone are willing to help us. So this old guy hops on his scooter and tells us that he will go slow. We follow him for about 100 meters and as soon as he makes a turn, he runs his scooter off the elevated road and into the brush. At this point, we are very confused and ask him if he’s OK, he then proceeds to tell us that he’s drunk and that he needs to drive slower and we pull his scooter out. He then takes us to the wrong address and we just laugh as he leaves.  I love Taiwan!

Anyway there’s the short summary of my week. Have a great one everybody! Love y’all!


Elder Stroud

YuanLin in Chinese means Dunk City


010818 brothers baptism

Yang brothers baptism

Hello all! It was another great week here! We had a lot of fun, did a lot of things, and got to baptize two of the boys we have been teaching! I love being a missionary!

010818 Bishop Kuang Mr Steak

Bishop Kuang took all of the missionaries in 員林 to Mr. Steak for dinner.

This past week we went on exchanges with the Assistants, and Elder Neuhaus and I both decided to work on our patience. It was fun and I learned a lot. We have been focusing on being balanced missionaries and on working with the members more closely. It has been really rewarding!


010818 RC Pony

My RC Pony from ZhangHua finished his required year of military service and we went out to lunch together.

This week we baptized the Yang brothers who we have been working with for a while now. It was super fun to see how happy they were! Their mom was a Less-Active member who recently returned to activity, and was more than happy to have us teach her kids! We are now working on the dad who is not a member.

010818 RC Damian

My RC, Damian from TaiNan, came up to visit.

I am super happy here, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to help make eternal families happen! The mission is a joy! I love you all have a great week!


Elder Stroud

011818 PDay cookies character last names

We made Christmas cookies last pday with our Chinese last names. 



新年快樂 (Happy New Year!)


Community service at the local clinic

Hello all! Happy New Year! New Year in Taiwan isn’t celebrated until February this year, so the celebrations were pretty lame last night! We went to bed at 10:30 pm regardless haha! The mission is great and I still love being here! Make some good new year’s resolutions and become better! Love you all!

Elder Stroud
010118 caroling

Christmas caroling last week at the train station