Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 30, 2013

Hey Mom,
   It was so good to talk to you and everyone. Definitely I am at some of my happiest moments. But at the same time there are some of the lowest or hardest or can be depressing moments I feel of my life here. The best way we missionaries have come to describe a mission is that it is like taking a full life and cramming it into 2 years. You get all the highs and lows of emotions and everything all packed together (and yes they have often times happened in one day of highs and lows). And furthermore the highs and lows are enlarged to greater extremes. So some days it really is an emotional roller coaster.
   Yeah, it is hard when people close to you leave. Elder Turner, my MTC companion, had been right by me ever since we came to the island and now, just this past week, he moved to Taizhong. So I don't know when I will see him again. Quite possibly it could not be until next Christmas gathering. But that is what life is all full of.
   Correction on the cookie photos from last time. Elder Chen helped buy some ingredients and clean the dishes. He polished our shoes while I made the cookies .
   You know it's interesting you mention about resolutions and wanting to do things. It sometimes feels a little bit weird and different as a missionary we have the chance to actually very more acutely manage and track what we want to accomplish and do accomplish. The easiest way is through move calls. They are every six weeks and actually give good opportunity to set goals and the time to actually accomplish meaningful things. You mentioned about finishing the Book of Mormon. I would invite you then to read Doctrine and Covenants or to read Jesus the Christ. I am reading my second time through Jesus the Christ. I love it so much. It is so deep in knowledge and spiritual treasure. Actually, the other day, Elder Chen was not feeling well and I had the chance to read the Book of Mormon a lot. Normally, when I read, I sometimes have the struggle to stay awake and usually end up nodding. But this time I was wide awake and was just eating up what I was reading. I was learning so much and being spiritually edified so much. I read all the way from the beginning of Jacob to Mosiah 5 in an afternoon. But I loved reading about the vineyard in Jacob (it makes so much sense and is so beautiful). Then it was really informative as well as spiritually good seeing the testimonies and knowledge the different prophets and men wrote down as the Book of Mormon switches hands several times before Mosiah. But I definitely have some ideas and such for myself that I want to work towards.

I love you so much!
Elder Roo

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dec 23, 2013 - Christmas Testimony

Hi Dad,
     Well as time for emailing is coming to a close and as I will be talking with you in less than 48 hours, I don't really feel or have much to actually say in email this week. I do have photos to share and such. Oh and by the way Allisa within about 5 minutes of opening your package I figured out that you sent me lightsabers (yeah sorry to spoil the whole surprise, I will still be as excited as ever Christmas morning and will whack Elder Chen with them still). Maybe you should just follow Dad's example of writing on the outside of the package when listing contents of just Pens, Snacks, etc. Rather than Toy Plastic Swords. But its all good. As I have learned 好玩就好了
     I feel that as it is Christmas and this week we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ 耶穌基督, I would like to share my testimony.
     I know that Jesus Christ lives. There really is no sweeter sentence than this. Truly as we see His life and what He has done, it has been full of love. Never for His own benefit. Never for His own pleasure. Never for His own gain. Never words of complaint or murmur. Always love, compassion, and selflessness. To build off of last week, after Christ was tempted to turn rocks to bread to satisfy His own hunger, He came to Cana where His first miracle is recorded. While at a marriage feast, His mother was overseeing the providing of food and drink. However, the wine had run out. She turned to Jesus, knowing in part of his supernatural powers, but perchance not fully comprehending them, asked or stated about the wine run out. Jesus's response while may appear harsh, actually has great esteem of respect and love as He says "Woman, what hast though to do with me? My time has not yet come." Woman in the singular aspect during that time actually had an attribute of queenliness as well as women who are blessed with maternity receive the sacred name and honor of mother. But similarly every child has but one woman who is that figure in their lives. There are not many women. It is but one woman. And so it was with Christ. He viewed that the time for Him to perform the miracle of providing wine had not yet come. But when He did change the water to wine, it was not for his own benefit or blessing, but it was for the benefit and blessing of others. Let us strive to emulate the Christ. He is our advocate. He is our Prince of Peace. He is our Shepherd. He has trodden the wine press so that we may not suffer the agonies of our sins and our mistakes. As for me and my future spouse and family, we will always heed the call of the good shepherd and look to Christ in all deed and thought. Truly when we think of Christ there will be no desire to sin or to even hurt those around us. So let us think of Christ not just at this one instance, but everyday and throughout our whole lives!
      I love you all so much! 我愛你們!Can't wait to talk to you in a little bit!
Elder Roo

Dec 16, 2013

Hey Dad!
     That's so weird with Trevor and Christian coming home. Doesn't seem right. And moving up to the second row of pictures.
     Yeah I understand what you mean about having that final push and then being able to relax and ease up a bit. As a missionary I don't think that ever happens. Literally.....
     So I don't know, I read your email and it is touching to see the experiences and the faith of so many good people. But not really much on my mind to respond to any of that. I am actually finding it a little hard to say anything right now with being able to talk to all of you come a week and a half.
     I guess I will start off with saying first, here is a picture of our current cell phone......You want to know why I am sending you a picture of our cell phone? Because this Thursday we get new cell phones! The whole mission! But we don't know what cell phones yet we will be getting. But so yeah we get them this Thursday at our Christmas Activity. Which will Sun Moon Lake. So our zone needs to be to the utterly Main Train Station at 6 in the morning to get on a bus to ride all the way up pretty much to Puli. So get to get up really early Thursday morning.
     What I feel like sharing on this day is that the mission is like an unending game of Whack-a-Mole. Literally! If you don't believe me then tune in as I expound. It seems that each and every day I find things that are good and truly have remarkable and fun experiences, but at the same time I find each day I make mistakes and as well as problems and issues I discover (mainly about myself) that I struggle over and strive to improve. These are the Moles. The part that stinks the most is that when I have overcome, healed, or fixed (meaning whacked) these moles down, for some reason later on (whether it be a day, week, month, or longer) they then pop up again. So then I have to exert effort in going back to whack that mole again. It gets utterly frustrating and exhausting as these moles keep popping up. Such as yesterday many different moles popped up that attacked my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Basically, this all just made me feel kind of sick last night when we came home, but I did my best of writing the records I needed to update, folding some laundry, and then just going in on my bed to lay down and rest. I read a few conference talks to bolster my spirit (which kind of helped). But just not feeling all that good (head, stomach, spirit, etc.). Luckily, Elder Chen kept strong in making some calls and trying to set things up and having our plan for tonight, but he was nice and helpful. Got some pain medicine for me as well as my milk to drink with it. 
      I got your letters this past week about love and charity. Maybe I have fallen back some again in not loving myself. I am not sure. I have been reading Jesus the Christ again and I just read today about Jesus Christ's sojourn to the wilderness to commune with God. He fasted 40 days and prayed to subvert the will of His body to His divine spirit so that there may be closer communion with Heavenly Father. Towards the end of this experience, Satan came to tempt and pretty much subvert the Christ. He first tempted Christ to turn stones into bread to feed himself, knowing that Jesus was an hungered due to his much fasting. But the key part of Satan's diabolical plan and temptation was the 'If'. He said "If thou be the Son of God.....". Satan was wanting Christ to doubt his relationship with Heavenly Father. Just prior to this sojourn Jesus Christ had been baptized and had received the witness by the Father's voice that He was the Son of God. But now Satan so quickly was wanting to cause him to doubt. But Jesus thwarted Satan as he replied that man should not live by bread alone, but also by the word of God. Then following (time is not certain, but not of import) Jesus was high in one of the pinnacles of the temple and Satan again came to tempt him. The diabolical one once again in his cunning used the word 'If' striving to cause Jesus to doubt his divinity and relationship. But this time rather than tempting Jesus to trust wholly in himself and his power, he was wanting to tempt Jesus to wantonly trust in the protection of the Father by casting himself down to the ground. Seemingly also as Jesus had used scriptures to rebuke Satan before, Satan had come in this second instance quoting scriptures for his own twisted use. However, Jesus was faithful (even as Satan was hoping to catch Jesus between trusting in the Father by casting himself down or by not causing him to think that He doesn't trust in the Father) and boldly replied "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God". Meaning Heavenly Father's miracles and help will come according to His will and in His time. They are not to be forced or willed upon by man or for that matter by Jesus Christ. This testified further of the Christ's power, that it isn't His power, but is His Father's power. He was not bestowed with it to satisfy his own pleasures or gratify himself, but to serve and uplift others. Then, of course, there was a third time that Satan came, but I will not go into detail about that due to what I wish to say and time.
      At the end of this ordeal it states that Satan left Jesus for a season. And as we read later on towards the end of the Savior's mortal ministry as He was with his Apostles, He states that "these are they who were with me in my temptations". We see that even the Savior was continually tempted throughout His life. This shows that with temptation, if conquered once, it will not just go away and you are not simply rid of it. It is a continuing battle and struggle that will not end until after the Millenium and Judgement when Satan will be cast out and banished. Oh, how much more need of the Savior is there! Truly we cannot go a day without His help and His strength. Truly I need it so much, especially to heal and fix me. I hope though more sooner than later. I just feel like I am not good sometimes even as I try my best to be good. Maybe I am being ridiculous of myself and too demanding. I just want to be a good person and be pure, clean, virtuous, and chaste. I just don't know if I am. Satan causes me to doubt so much. So I really need to develop my trust more and to trust in the Savior as well as my Priesthood leaders when they declare that I am clean.
     So these are just some of my thoughts. I will see you soon and can't wait to talk to you! Love you lots and lots and lots!

Elder Roo

Dec 9, 2013

Hey Dad!
     So that is just crazy about the snow. Of course it would dump a ton right before you hand over the responsibility. And of course it happens when your most trusted and faithful elder is half way around the world.
     Darn! That is too bad about Real not winning, but it sounded like one intense game and really fun to watch. I wish so bad that I could watch or enjoy a game once in a while. 
     As for A Christmas Story I had no idea that it is Leonard on the Big Bang Theory. That's crazy! Funny when you find out the little things like this.
      But yeah I emailed Elder Devey, or now Jaren Devey, on his last P-day he would email me and he emailed back (since we are basically in the same time zone). He is such a great man and I will always be grateful for his friendship and love.
     So for calling Kevin, I believe it will be possible. I am going to call President Blickenstaff tonight and talk with him about it. But I mentioned it to Elder Chen and he said it should be ok. So I will call tonight and by next P-day I will have a response about calling Kevin. I really want to call Kevin. I think it would be really good for him.
     So yes as for Christmas call I was meaning to ask today about Skype info (yes I can use Skype to call and talk. I believe I will be using my Ward Mission Leader's computer). I still don't know exactly when. 
     I love the letters that you send, especially when they have cartoons with them (I really like the Star Wars one about the health care insurance). I got your letter this past week about expectations, and it really helped me. I really spent this past week pondering a lot about expectations. I feel that I am step by step coming to terms more and more with really being impervious and clueless to all but my calling, my companion, myself, and those I serve. I really try and remember and live doing my best and enjoying and having fun.
     For your comfort scripture, I think I have mentioned and shared before how I tied this Isaiah scripture with Mosiah 4:27. Truly these are I feel my powerhouse scriptures that build, support, and establish a foundation for me on patience and trust.
     So first a few more down to earth things. First off is Steve Nash now playing for the Lakers?! How old is he now? He has to be hitting a mark where he is too old to keep up with the younger guys, right? But yeah I saw a magazine that had him on the front and he was wearing a Lakers jersey.
     Second is I wish so bad sometimes that my eyes or something had a camera built in, because there are just sometimes things I see that are priceless and wish I could take a picture. This one is that last Tuesday (every Tuesday we do this) we went to English Proselyting which involves us going to and intersection often and handing out English flyers as well as yelling and waving a banner so people know about the free English class we teach. But so right before we start we are in a circle and going to say prayer and such (and I am facing towards the street so I can see across the street) I look across the street and I see a scooter. Do you know what this scooter had??????? This guy had a yellow scooter with Pikachus all over it, and to put a cherry on top you should have seen his helmet. It was a Pikachu helmet as if it was a head. So the helmet had ears as well that came off it and everything. I said this a little out loud and Elder Watson turned around and just about screamed like a little girl and Elder Barson was laughing so hard.
     As well as this past week when we were at a Family Mart sitting inside doing some language study as well as making calls, I was studying my flashcards when all of a sudden a Jack Johnson song came on. I was in heaven. It was really mellow and sweet and nice to listen to (yeah I know I am a missionary, but I love my music). As well as this will make you laugh. You remember in Happy Gilmore when Happy goes ice skating with the girl and then there ends being that chinky romantic song playing all of a sudden (I think it is called Endless Love), that as well came on while we were sitting in the Family Mart. That just made me laugh a lot that that would play.
     So over this past week I have learned a few things. First is that even after we repent and such we have to still deal with the consequences. So this is why I right now strongly implore, plead, and beg all parents everywhere to protect your children and grandchildren from any form of pornography. Because as destructive as it is in the moment, as Elder Holland stated (and of course altered a bit to my use) it blasts a crater in your mind. Even though I have worked hard as ever to climb out of the pit I put myself in for the past 5 years, I am still having to deal with the consequences that come from my actions and working continuously to repair the crater I blasted in there. This became apparent to me throughout this past week as I received your letter about expectations and I really sat down to ponder and somethings bothering and troubling me as I really looked inward to tell myself and figure out that this is my mission, and how I want to serve and do my best as well as enjoy my time. That is when then Satan struck hard as ever in thrusting temptations at me and recalling many bad memories to mind (or because for many years I poisoned my mind that I feel it has corrupted my thinking sometimes that a normal person wouldn't have as much impure thoughts immediately come to mind). Saturday and Sunday became very difficult days as I continually kept doing that which I have been taught and understand and know to strengthen me and protect me. But I felt as Satan had come with his storms and whirlwinds that I was simply not moving anywhere but just clinging and hoping to not fall backwards. I had continued to study, to pray, to serve, to teach and everything but I felt like my mind was a mess still so much as I was battling every minute sometimes in thrusting out impure thoughts and putting good thoughts in (the thing I hate most which I think comes as a consequence of many years being addicted to pornography is that how the stupidest or littlest or even sometimes pure things my mind can take and immediately produce out an impure and disgusting thought). I ceaselessly have been dropping to my knees, pleading for help and truly going out and trying to do my best and thinking of others. But so this carried on today when this morning Elder Chen and I came to companion study. He was humming a song and asked which hymn it was (Christmas of course). It was "O Holy Night" and so I told him what it was but I didn't remember if it was a hymn or not. So we were looking in the back and he was looking under the section that is first lines to hymns and came across the first line for Joseph Smith's First Prayer. He didn't know it was that and said the number out. So I turned to it and told him what it was. He was like "oh, ha ha, I didn't know it was that". But I said we could sing it. We sang it and it just was a blessing to me from us singing that hymn. After we sang I pulled out my scriptures and read through Joseph Smith's account again from when he prayed. As missionaries we never teach about that Satan came during that experience. But as the second verse says of the hymn Joseph trusted in the Lord. And as his account states when he went to do what was right and what he had learned to do Satan immediately came and seized upon him to silence him and strangle him. But Joseph recounts as he exerted all effort to call upon God and as he felt his life was gone and would be swallowed up by this unseen figure, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came. Right when he felt that all was lost and he would die, the Lord came. This renewed hope within me and vigor to push onward trusting and knowing that no matter what the Lord will come and he will triumph. I still have so much to learn, grow, and develop and definitely my patience. I just pray fervently and wish intently that sooner than later my mind can be almost fully mended (I say almost because I know throughout my whole life I will have temptations of immorality, but I wish that I can not have to fret, worry, or work so unceasingly hard to just handle combating my mind who so readily and easily creates impure thoughts or recalls impure memories). I realize as well and remember that it comes to a matter as well to just not give the impure thoughts heed or to think oh no an impure thought and freak out. But to simply and calmly thrust the rascal out and replace it. It just sometimes becomes extremely difficult when feeling that I have been doing it all day and working hard as ever but they just seem to keep coming back with ferocity and not easing up. Today though gave me renewed hope and I wish to build off this and not slide back or weaken.
    So as for the bigger of the news, I will be in Fengshan another move call (this will be my 4th move call and at the end of it will have been a 1/4th of my time on the island of Taiwan). And as well I will be with Elder Chen for another move call (so we get to spend Christmas and New Years together, but I don't know where I will be for Chinese New Years which is just going to be crazy!)
     I love you so much and miss you always!
Elder Roo

Dec 2, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad!
      So I will try to say as much as I can with so little amount of time I have. Because I have many, many things I want to say, need to say, and ought to say.
      First is I felt bad throughout the week because of last weeks letter. It simply was all just about me complaining. I am sorry. I was praying throughout the whole week that you or Mom wouldn't worry or such over me. But it is weird is that really this week was much better. Really the Lord blesses me so much, and I am so ungrateful in so many ways. I wish I could be a better son and a better man. Truly I am ungrateful for what the Lord does for me. And then the Lord turns around and blesses me more.
So I would not say that my companionship with Elder Chen is that we hate each other or have discontent. What it is (and part of it feels hard to describe) is that very much we have different characters of one that has great desire to be obedient, and one who struggles more with time management but has a greater abounding love and understanding. So we are open with talking with each other and truly I love Elder Chen. He has taught me many things that I couldn't learn anywhere else and have really excelled my friendliness towards complete strangers and willing to open my mouth while he says he has learned a lot throughout this move call.
     But yeah it was weird. Sunday night came and that is when we had the whole explosion (that night Elder Chen in his planner drew a picture of a volcano). After we had returned home, things settled down and we went about planning the next day. Then Elder Barson called and asked if we would like to go to Fo Guang Shan with him and Elder Turner the next day. I think this literally helped me personally so much and as well as our companionship in starting the week off. It was just very peaceful and relaxing to go out and see some of Taiwan's wonders and as well as learn a little more about the Taiwanese people and Buddhism.
     Miraculously and truly the Lord blessed me and Elder Chen as well so much. That night we worked hard together in being diligent and doing the best we could. Tuesday followed and we tried working our best again (granted some nights we need to make more thorough and specific plans or making sure we have back up plans so as to have really good days) and it felt like a good day.
     However, at Tuesday night I got a little stress as Elder Magnuson (yes the one from my first district) called us and said that him and his Trainee were having to move out Wednesday night of their apartment to a new apartment. So quick background is that at the start of this move call we split the beginning English class into two and I was teaching the younger age beginning class (around maybe 6 or 7 people). But so Elder Magnuson told me that they won't be their at English (he is our English Leader) so he was going to have Sister Smith and Sister Ward teach the advanced class (their class) and have me and Elder Chen teach the two beginning classes together (so a total of about 16 or 17 students). Granted this gave me a bit of stress as I was used to teaching the smaller class at this point as well as I had already prepared my lesson for a SMALLER class. So the next morning (Wednesday) I had to spend my time preparing again for English. Needless to say truly the Lord blessed me because the class went really well (Elder Chen as well as Gao Rei said it was really good). So that made me feel good at the end of the day.
     Thursday came and this day we had to do weekly planning. So we left the door at 2 rushing to go eat lunch since we had lessons at 3 and 4. However, while eating both lessons called and canceled (huge bummer :( ). So we sat their thinking for a bit and decided to go visit formers that we have accumulated from trying to call but their numbers are useless now but still have an address. So first we stopped back in our apartment because it was really cold outside (we had a cold front come through) and grabbed jackets as well as one of the formers lives in our apartment complex. So we visited them first. We asked the security guard person at the front desk to try calling their home for us, but no one answered. So we tried knocking on their door, and still no one answered. So sadly we moved on to go visit the next one.
     This next former had met with missionaries 3 years before and was now about 20. He also lives in an apartment complex. We arrived and had the security guard call the home, but no one answered. Graciously enough, when we asked, the security guard was nice enough to let us in and go knock on their door (sometimes they are mean and won't let us in :( ). So we go to the door and knock. An older gentleman answers and we find out it is the former's dad. He is very kind though and lets us come in. We go in and sit down on the couch and the first thing I see is sitting on the table in front of the couches is a cage. And in the cage is a.......... squirrel! No really, a squirrel. Of course Elder Chen does more of the talking about the squirrel (because come on, I am only here in Taiwan for 4 months, I am not going to know how to say anything about a squirrel). But so this guy has a pet squirrel. After introducing for a little bit and settling in, the man then lets the squirrel out. So this squirrel is just having the time of its life running everywhere (the man as well has a ladder set up so that often times the squirrel will go there to poop, which is easy clean up since nobody has carpet here. It is all tile). So at first as Elder Chen and I are talking with this man and getting to know him we keep trying to touch the squirrel, but it keeps running away. But as we start focusing more and teaching this old gentleman about our Church, Heavenly Father, and prayer the squirrel then runs over us. As we drew our focus away from the squirrel to the man, the squirrel would then get close to us and run on us. So I had a squirrel in this lesson that was jumping onto my thighs and onto my shoulders, and even at one point because I was wearing my rain jacket the squirrel jumped onto my shoulder and was really curious about one of the plastic tighten fasteners. So he sat there trying to chew on it and I noticed and so put my hand up to pet him as well as get him to stop, but he didn't stop until after like 10 seconds. So yeah we taught this man and he was very friendly, open, nice, and he set up to meet again tonight (which is confirmed and still ok to meet tonight).
     Then Friday came and this was the day for the two Gao Xiong Zones to meet for the mission tour. Yes a mission tour. Elder Funk of the Seventy and his wife came and visited our mission (he talked in Priesthood Session about the boy who served in India and they were the mission president and wife, talking a lot about becoming humble, obedience, and receiving spiritual strength). It was really good and learned more about how to really work with the ward and to know them, not be a stupid or inconsiderate missionary. Afterwards Elder Chen had an interview with President Blickenstaff which I feel really helped for both of them so that they know each other more and President Blickenstaff can help Elder Chen more. As well since President Blickenstaff had time, I sat down and talked with him for a little bit about my own feelings and such. He really helped me so much and helped in teaching me much more. First, he talked about that having a native companion as a second companion is one of the hardest things (as well as P. Blickenstaff had a native companion as his second whose English was not very good at all, like Elder Chen or even worse, so I don't know what that entails for me in the future.....). He also talked about how to strive to use your time effectively even when companions aren't maybe using time as best as they can. He talked about how he doesn't hold anyone disobedient or bad if their companion is the one not being obedient. He also talked about always, always, always try to never get frustrated or angry. So one of the things I am working and striving towards is greater patience with myself, Elder Chen and having greater love. He also mentioned that sometimes we are called to certain places or with certain companions mainly because of that companion. He said that if all that I do in a move call is help that companion be that much more obedient, or have a greater testimony or understanding of doctrines or principles, then that is a success.
      Saturday was great as we had Ward Correlation and our Ward Mission Leader is amazing. They have such a great family. But they had left overs from their Thanksgiving and gave us as well as the Sister missionaries rolls and mashed potatoes and gravy (and these were good mashed potatoes and gravy. Even better than the MTC).
     Well so this is some of the doings of my week and that truly the Lord has blessed me so much when I have been so ungrateful and complaining. Granted I feel that definitely being with Elder Chen is to grow my patience like none other because there times where things he does causes me to stress more and make my patience thin. But I really feel that it is teaching to be better and as P. Blickenstaff said to strive to never get frustrated and have love and think of how I can help Elder Chen, because quite possibly that is all that the Lord has planned for me with this move call is to help Elder Chen improve and be better and love himself.
     Also I am taking a wild guess (yes I received my package this last week and it is all great. The chocolates are wonderful) that the two lieutenant clone troopers LEGOs are from a bigger box at home with bigger LEGOs. Dui4 bu2 dui4 (correct?)?
I love you lots and miss you lots and always think of the wonderful memories and good times being with you, with mom, with the family. Keep on keeping on! Cool cool!
     Elder Roo

Dec 2, 2013 - letter to Mom

Hey Mom!
     Yes, yes I will be working on keeping my eyes out for some cool unique snoopy thing over here.
Sounds like you had a good dinner still. Yes it is sad that neither Allisa nor I were not there for Thanksgiving. Man Man Lai, or slowly come. It is weird to think but I have been away from home now 6 months. That is already 1/4 of my mission! Wah!!! Where does the time go?
     I honestly don't know though if I would be an expert carver. Nothing like Dad for sure. He is a pro.
     I am sure if you were to see me there would be many things that would surprise you. Really!!!!!! Like there was one time Elder Dailey and I went to a resteraunt (still can never spell that word). We ate their once before with our Recent Convert (RC). But this time it was just us (it is Korean style). But so I remember what I ordered the previous time and thought that was good. But as I was looking at the menu I couldn't between two which was the right one (because it is all in Chinese Characters). So I picked one that I thought it was right. Turns out it wasn't. They came out with this big bowl that included noodles, soup, hundreds of small little minos (those little tiny fish), muscles, two shrimp (and they are the whole shrimp, head, legs, and everything), and as well as some little tiny octopus about the size of a golf ball). I just sat there for a minute and was staring at it and contemplating in my head "crap, this is not what I had last time, but I don't want to leave food sitting here, so........". And so I just jumped in and started eating it. Needless to say I ate at least 2/3 to 3/4 of it. Elder Dailey was totally surprised that I starting eating it and ate so much of it. After I ate as much as I could feel like without feeling embarrassed of leaving uneaten food I said "Dad, can I go get a candy bar now?" (p.s. Trainers and Trainees have the joke of Dad and Son). And that is just what we did. I went and bought a Twix as well as a bag of Mint Crispy M&Ms (I think I forgot to tell you that yeah they have Mint Crispy M&Ms here. Sweet!!!!).
But so yes this week was much better.

Love you lots!

Elder Roo

Nov 25, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad,
     Well I will try to convey and share everything as best I can and also try to share more missionary/spiritual experiences (I know I am not good, I was thinking about that over the past few days, I really do try to share things, but then I also have lots of things on my mind).
     So first thank you for what you shared about Elders Quorum, Heavenly Father always nearby, and the analogy with Marty. I know Heavenly Father is there and will always be there.
     Definitely this past week has been one of the hardest by far. I have turned to Heavenly Father many times and pleaded in prayer, but I still don't understand everything that He wants me to learn right now. This past week I just spiraled and built into much much more stress. It seems always that we have a hard time getting planning done in half an hour at night which then causes us to lead into eating up time to relax, wind down, and get ready for bed. So then often times I am never in bed at 10:30. I also don't get time sometimes to do all I want at night that I would like to (like flossing or doing some core exercises).  So Wednesday was just a hard and really down day. Thursday started out a bit the same with the same feelings and just feeling down and not having the Spirit or light of Christ or happy. We met with our RC later that afternoon, but both of us were feeling awful because we hadn't done much or been effective from the morning to that point in time. But so after our lesson I said ok, I don't want to have a crappy night. I know that we will all have experiences in our lives, but it will always be our choice how we react to them. So we said a prayer together which I offered starting in Chinese but switched to English because I was really needing to fervently pray and plead for help. I don't remember exactly what we did Thursday night, but I remember we worked hard and I had gotten up from that prayer that I was going to have a good night and not let myself feel like crap like the night before. I truly testify that prayer however simple or however small and insignificant you may feel, Heavenly Father will hear and answer your prayers. But so Thursday night was really great. But then Friday turned around again as plan wasn't as specific or well planned as it should.
     So Friday was okish. But I just felt worse and worse as I felt I wasn't a good missionary and wasn't obedient (knowing I could do more, do better, and be more obedient) such as eating to long at meals with RCs or meeting too long with investigators or LAs and feeling that we should be moving on to our next task and using our time to try and find others. I always get the recurring haunting feeling of if there had been someone I could have saved, could have brought unto Christ, but didn't because I wasn't obedient, it will be upon my head. So this progressed into Saturday and I felt just as about as worse and was explaining my situation of not feeling obedient or a good missionary to our RC as he had gone to lunch with us. He talked with me and explained about that I am good and am obedient and that with each companion it will be different. They will have their own weaknesses, own strengths, own gifts.
     But so Saturday there were many blessings given to us (we had 4 lessons, which is a lot to have in 1 day for us in a long time) as well as having a Thanksgiving dinner. A LA in the San Min Ward owns a English class/school and was throwing a thanksgiving dinner and wanted to invite as many missionaries as possible as well. So we had all the missionaries from San Min Ward, Yuan Shan Ward, and Feng Shan Ward (totalling 14 missionaries). It was a great dinner and when we arrived there Elder Anderson and Elder Mckenzie were already there early with another member helping to set things up and get it ready. But so Elder Mckenzie and David (the member) were trying to carve a turkey and some chickens, but they didn't know what to do. So they were just trying to cut at it and such. But so David kept asking if I could do it, but I was a little reluctant because I have never carved a turkey before. Eventually I took the knife though and so I carved a turkey as well as several chickens that we had. And I might say to not brag or anything, but that I did a pretty good job.
     So that night I was still just feeling a bit down because I felt how can Heavenly Father give me all these blessings when I am not a good missionary, not doing my best I could be doing (and knowing I can do better, really, from past experiences), and not feeling like I am an obedient missionary.
     Sunday came and that morning we have about a 25 minute bike ride to church. Elder Chen didn't come out of the shower until about 8:25. So my stress and anxiety went up more. So church ended up being okish as my stress had now just been accumulating more and more and feeling like I wasn't good or obedient at all. I had to go to ward council as well after church and after that one of the members who is a good friend gave me a little note saying she doesn't know how she can help and can see that I am under a lot of pressure and reassuring me that I can do it and Heavenly Father is there and that if I ever need help she will help.
      So after ward council I sought out Elder Barson and talked with him one on one in a classroom sharing just about everything that I have been trying to share and asking for a priesthood blessing. What he shared and said most that struck me was having patience and love. But the blessing truly helped me a lot in relieving some stress and helping me to calm down. I also can truly testify that the Priesthood is real, and when exercised in righteousness and purity can work miracles that bless lives and families. So we went home to eat and do studies. I was ok through that time. but when it got to almost before 6 to leave the door and go out Elder Chen was making some calls to see if we could try and visit some people that night (we didn't have any time much the previous night to plan Sunday because we had come in the door pretty late from a lesson that had started a little late and had gone long).  He ended up talking to for 2 hours (we were still in our apartment and hadn't left yet). I used the beginning part to update some teaching forms. We had set in our plan to go try a visit an LA close by at 8 with a member helping us. We didn't leave out the door until 8:15.We finally left and met up with the member, walked down the street to the LA's house and outside things just kind of exploded. I started explaining and saying everything that I have now told you to the member and feeling that I am not good and not obedient. The member was acting as the peacemaker and mediator, talking to me and explaining about rules and like the rule for keeping lessons under 45 minutes (which several times we haven't done) as well as Elder Chen talking for 2 hours with this guy and how he possibly really needs it. And then just talking about how Elder Chen and I are not the same, I have this great desire and drive to be obedient, and Elder Chen has a lot of love and compassion for people and talking with them to help them.  We went home and Last night we were ok and such and played Chinese Chess to just kind of relax a little and ease up.
     Needless to say this is where I have arrived at today. I honestly don't know how I feel. I already emailed President Blickenstaff with a shorter version of all this. So I will be awaiting to hear from him and his advice and help. Because I just don't know really what to do or what steps to take because I have had too much stress, to much hurt, to much worry in my life right now.
     So sorry that is not much really of spiritual or missionary. I just felt to share what has been going on.
     That would be cool if Real goes to the Championship game. Go Real! I miss going to the games.
     Yes I exercise and I am going to be pushing myself more on it. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning we run. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we work out at home with the weights that we have. I don't have any more pass offs with leaders with the languages. The next phases are just a whole bunch of flash cards. I have actually been studying Phase 3 a lot which is characters. So I can actually start to read more and more and definitely throughout the day I recognize characters and know them.
     I definitely miss reading and wish I could read out here. Something to look forward to when coming home is LotR and the Oregon Files. I will have to see about Ender's Game when I come home. Wish so bad I could see the Hobbit. Oh well....
     I will try to have next week some more spiritual and meaningful missionary experiences. Right now is just a time of healing and fixing things.
     I will testify and stand this week though as it is Thanksgiving that I am grateful for the Savior. I am grateful for his sacrifice. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sent him to atone for my sins and my mistakes. I know that Jesus is the Christ. Our Savior and Redeemer. He knows our sorrows, our pains, and our tribulations. I will always turn to him and be ever indebtted and grateful for his Atonement.
     I love you with all my heart!
Elder Dayley

Nov 18, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey hey Dad!
     Now to your letter. I have just been really trying to make sure to email those who I haven't emailed in awhile (Elder Devey, Allaina). But so now I am to your letter. I already read through it at the start of email. 
     I am striving to understand and to embrace that to work hard and have fun. Not living up to expectations. But just doing my best.
     That's way funny about Matt walking into get a job and instead comes out with a date. I am sure President Wood thought it special and unique that Elder Dailey was my trainer.
     Yeah it really is true about Matt's chopstick rusted contraption to hold his bike frame part together. He really did try to carry as much as he could. But of course I have a box which is simply put much bigger carrying room. I don't feel like my Chinese is that good. I think Elder Dailey is just being nice. I honestly feel sometimes like my tongue can't move and that my mind is just blank when I try to speak Chinese. 
     I think what I could express from my end about a missionary that goes home early is that the parents need to support like none other. It's a hard time and he will need to have the support and love because he is going to feel like he is a bad person, that others will judge him, and that others will think down on him. Then make sure to just talk with him and what his goals are, what he wants, and explain that maybe the path that is the hardest or may seem the hardest (aka going back out) will yield the greatest blessings, peace, comfort, and literally joy. Then next is to make sure that he doesn't fall away from the basics. Prayer, scriptures, and church. Really I think he should right away if possible have a calling in the church. I didn't mention this before, but actually I think was this past week that I had an interesting dream that revealed more about me. Ok laugh all you want and such, but in this dream I was with this really pretty girl. She was brunette. But we were going somewhere (I don't remember where). We were talking and she eventually asked "are you happy?" I remember thinking it wasn't just an answer I gave because I was with her but more so in response to my life at this very moment right now. The steps I have taken over the last year and arriving at this point in time in Taiwan. I remember responding that "yes, yes I am truly happy. I haven't been this genuinely happy and content before." So yeah....
     Off to Orlando to really just play and have fun! Yeah someday, some time in the future I will eventually have my own family. Don't know where or when though. If Sahara has a dinner party with the princesses I will bust up laughing to the point of rolling on the floor because I would want to see Marty's face so bad. I am sure he would love that to see his daughter with a whole bunch of princesses. Marty's little princess girl :)
     Yeah I cherish that time I had with Cody, Kevin, and Pat.  But I so badly and will make it happen that the 4 of us will go to Florida again.
     I will for sure let you know about anything to pray or fast for. I would say pray for our new investigator. He is progressing in quitting smoking. I think to pray that he will have the strength to continue progressing and overcome this trial as well as his mom's heart will be softened and see the changes in his life.
     Well I am really striving hard to keep clean. For some reason over the past 3 or 4 days the temptations and thoughts have been a killer to handle with. For some reason just been much harder. Something I have repented of as well that I feel was an ok victory was last night Elder Chen and I were at 7 because he needed to use the restroom. But so he was on the phone talking with a new investigator we got this past week. He has a lot of hopelessness and I feel depression in his life. But so Elder Chen was talking for a long time while I was sitting by him. I was looking around and such and looking back over my shoulder I see the magazine aisle and of course somethings stand out to the eye more (like especially for the natural man when there is more immoral things). But so I tried to focus my attention to other things. It was getting close to time where we really needed to go home quick (we had about a 20 minute bike ride home). So I was tapping my watch to let Elder Chen know as well as I stood up to let him know we really needed to get going (but this new investigator really likes to talk). But so I ended I was standing and then I ended up walking around eventually ending up on the magazine aisle. I remember standing there and looking (over all the magazines from sports to cars to anything) and then having a few thoughts coming to mind. One was that I don't want to deal with the crap and baggage that comes from this. As well as I remember Brother Lindsley sharing one time that he was at an airport and in one of the stores and that he was in front of some magazines and that there were some pretty awful immodest and immoral magazines. He instead moved on not even thinking about it. Later on the plane he then realized and found out that some other young men or members as well had seen him in front of the magazines and saw that he didn't pick them up or anything but instead just moved on and how it touched them to see his integrity and faithfulness. So he didn't even know others were watching. But so yeah I had these few thoughts and I just walked back away not even looking anymore or wanting to pick up anything, going back to Elder Chen and eventually sitting down to wait again because this new investigator was still talking on. So yeah I still prayed and asked for forgiveness because I knew that those temptations were over there and I still put myself into a dangerous position. That's why I feel it is an ok victory because I know I can do better. The thing that sucks sometimes is that when I have these harder days like I have lately with temptations and thoughts (and understand me when I say harder I refer to just that for some reason thoughts or memories seem to just bombard more frequently, like I am not thinking about or lusting after or seeking these things, but the thoughts and memories just randomly come to the forefront more boldly) is that Satan starts to then make me doubt that I am clean, that I am worthy, and such because I am having more thoughts and memories to fight against during these days. That's one of the things I have hated most since being on my mission is how much Satan makes and strives to cause me to doubt myself. Doubt my work, my faith, my missionary efforts, and my worthiness.
     Well to share a more funny experience. Last Friday Elder Chen and I went on exchanges with the Zone leaders. Elder Chen went to San Min with Elder Hu and Elder Bennett came to Fengshan. So Friday night we had to do English proselyting for an hour as a district since it fell through on Tuesday night. But afterwards we went to eat at a resteraunt in Yuanshan (Elder Turner, Elder Barson, Elder Bennett, and I) called La Salsas. It is owned by a guy from Colombia who married a lady from Taiwan and their son works there too. I believe they are members. Lots of us missionaries eat there. But so we are sitting there waiting for our food and there is music playing overhead and you are never going to guess what came on!? Numa Numa by Ozone (a Romanian band whose song became famous because of a fat guy dancing in front of his computer to this song). But so all of us were just "we are not really hearing what we think we are hearing". And we are all just laughing and eventually singing along too to the song. It was a great laugh and was priceless.
     Well I love you lots and miss you all the time! Can't wait to catch up on Top Gear! (p.s. I saw a Ferrari 599 as well as a Ferrari F360 Scuderia this past week)

Elder Dayley

Nov 18, 2013 - letter to Mom

Hey Mom!

Sweet about the packages. I will keep my eyes open and as well have the batteries ready when it comes. It will be exciting when they come. I definitely always look forward to mail and packages. Even the ads for the grocery store we shop at I look forward to so I can read it while I eat breakfast. Cool cool. And you know me, I am careful with my things, I will not go at the package like a lunatic with a knife.

So for the Axe hair cream funny thing happened the previous Sunday but I forgot to say it last week in the email. Right now I am using one can and have another extra one I think. But Sunday morning I was opening my Axe can and it slipped out of my hands.......right into the sink.........Initially of course my reaction was oh crap, that is so not fair. But after like 5 seconds I was just calm and such. But so about half of the cream fell into the sink. So I began working my best to scoop it with my hands and put it back into the can. Needless to say I think I lost about 1/4 to a 1/3 of my hair cream from that can.

Cool cool you have 2 midterms done and that your professor goes that far and is that caring to get to know each of his students. And yes I am probably going to go to BYU when I come back. That is also another reason for going to BYU is all the cute girls, especially since they have good standards and the same goal of marriage in the temple. If you passed my photo and address along, you honestly would rank as the coolest mom ever and probably even more confident and courageous than I am.

So you got to go eat with the Dailey's this past week. Fun fun. I am sure that was cool to listen to Matt. Yeah let me tell you something about winter melon tea. When I first got here and had the first time I didn't like it. The second time was so-so. By the third time I liked it. And yes the starch balls are interesting with it. But winter melon tea with milk is so good! So all those stories you mentioned were all from one person. That is our RC. The one that is the hair stylist. He is quite the character. But he actually came home this past Saturday (he left last Monday to go for 4 weeks and do a short term mission) because his mom had had a stroke. So Elder Chen and I with Frank went to the hospital a little after he had gone there on Saturday (it was not in our area or zone I believe so we had to get the Assistant's permission) to visit and support. Elder Chen and I gave the RC's mom a blessing. I anointed the oil and Elder Chen gave the blessing. Right after we finished they took his mom into the ICU. I have to say since I have been in Taiwan for now almost 4 months, I have been to the hospital more within this amount of time I think than my whole life. I have probably participated in about 8-10 blessings as well as other visits to the hospital. It's crazy what you do and have the authority to do as missionaries.

Yeah Elder Dailey was pretty busy the last several nights getting everything together. So I wasn't fully expecting to have a letter at that time. That is why I wrote my letter for him over a week before he left. He told me he read it twice on the plane and it made him cry.

Thanks for sharing what was taught in YW's. Definitely always need a reminder and to always review and be taught the essentials.

Love you oh so much!

Elder Dayley

Nov 11, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad!

     Cool cool you got to go to Elder Dailey's homecoming. That really means a lot that Elder Dailey's mom said I was the perfect companion for him to end on. Such a weird and unique experience that you have two elders end up together with almost the same last name, that is pronounced the same, that went through similar experiences. Maybe God has a sense of humor to pair a Dayley with a Dailey, but also is sensitive and aware of all our needs and what will bless us the most.
     All I would say with the home teaching is keep up with it. Home teaching is key and vital to a ward. This is something that Taiwan seriously lacks is home teaching. It's a little saddening to see that there is not much effort in doing home teaching. I really hope that it can improve over the years.
     So my new comp is from Taiyuan, up by Taibei. He comes from a family of six. His Dad is not a member, his Mom is a member. And then he has an older brother and sister as well as a younger brother. I think all the kids are active. Not sure. But so it was 7 years ago that the missionaries met with his family. So he was baptized when he was 12. He went a little less active for a period, but then came back and is now serving a mission. He is on his 11th move call. He has been out for a year and one month.
     Dad I strive to be obedient as I can. I really do try to be obedient and do my best. It's tiring and exhausting when I am trying to work at a pace that I know I am capable of doing but that I feel sometimes my companion cannot or just by nature is that much more relaxed. I really will try my best. It's exhausting trying to be that strict and studious or to not be rude or mean some of the time. This brings another thought that I really try to do my best or maybe there are times where I slack, but I feel that I will never live up to being as good as you.  Which leads to another part of me that I am discovering more and more. I'll explain in a second.
     So the language is going well. I mean I have a native companion now that most of the time I am speaking Chinese. Even the Sisters in our ward are both native. So ward correlation is fun with being the only foreigner there. But yeah right before my move call with Elder Dailey I passed off my last Phase 1 language evaluation. I now have Phase 2 flashcards that I review as often as I can. This will build my vocabulary now.
     So the thing to explain. I am discovering and feeling often that I don't have confidence in myself and that I doubt myself. I doubt whether I am a good missionary, whether I am a good person, whether I am being lazy and not working hard enough or I am working hard but that there are doubts that I am not. So this then paired with my harsh critical look at myself and perfectionism is a beast to deal with. I mean often times I do things or missionary work I do, that after it is done I then doubt what I just did and if it was good or not. Then the self-criticism kicks in and the perfectionism and I start beating myself up and saying man I should have done this or I know better to do this or man my faults and weaknesses just made me miss opportunities here. So then I get myself down. Over the last few days I have been having a lot of introspective thinking and pondering and I feel that I reached at the conclusion of why all of these are cascading together and causing me to feel over-worried, taking all the stresses and worries of the work and placing them on my own shoulders, and not enjoying as much as I could and being too serious and strict with myself. That conclusion is that I feel maybe I haven't fully forgiven myself yet and that I am nervous and worried about messing up again. I know in my past I made some pretty dumb, stupid, big mistakes and that struggled with some nasty things for several years. My thoughts are that because of these past mistakes is that maybe I just really haven't forgiven myself fully which causes my self-confidence to be very small and to doubt myself. And that the perfectionism and self-criticism thrive from me feeling worried and nervous that I don't want to make mistakes again. I don't want to feel the same pain again. I don't want to fall like that again. So I feel that perhaps my brain is connecting that with my missionary work and that if I don't do things perfect and that I don't have investigators and that I don't set up times to meet with people even though I try and they say they are not sure of their schedules or time that I have fallen. That perhaps I am connecting the two and causing myself to hurt too much, putting too much upon my own shoulders, and not really actually learning and growing and enjoying my time. I feel that just my confidence in myself has weakened again a bit now because of this destruction of myself in demanding perfection and feeling if I don't do this or achieve this then I messed up and am not good. So then I feel that I won't be as good as others. Don't feel like I am special, good, or unique. That I am doing well, or that I live up to your praise and words. So I feel I have pinned down where maybe so much of my stress, worries, and anxiety are coming from, that cause me to beat myself up, demand so much of myself, and basically shoot my self-confidence to pieces. I don't really know how to go about fixing and healing this though so that I can have confidence in myself, and can enjoy my mission more!
     Well I love you with all my heart! Pray for me that I will be patient with myself, with my new companion, and that I can have confidence in myself!

Elder Dayley

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nov 11, 2013 - letter to Mom

Hey Mom!

     I didn't even realize or remember that your anniversary was this Friday. This is a testament to how bad my memory is. Well Happy Anniversary! I know it will be a little different that you will spend it at the Dailey's home instead. But I think really one day won't make a difference. Enjoy your anniversary and talking with Elder Dailey.
     I know I keep trying to do what I can. We had interviews this past week with President Blickenstaff, and I expressed to him the worries I am having and that I feel a lot of doubts that I am doing my best and such but that nothing is happening right now. President Blickenstaff told me I do not need to be placing all the mission's worries on my shoulders and doing that to myself. He told me that it is a progression and that right now there might not seem like any success, but over the course of the mission I will see the results and reasons from being in Fengshan. To be honest the other hard part sometimes as I really try to do my best, is that I feel at times I don't do my best or can't because of being with a different companion. To best describe switching companions is like trying to jump from a bullet train to a steam locomotive. Both moving forward but at different speeds. With my first companion here, I was very much accustomed to being very strict and disciplined with the time and such. But my current companion is a much more relaxed and slower paced missionary. I guess best way to describe it is that he isn't as studious about the time and such. He moves at a slower pace. So sometimes it's been hard for me and I try to say and make sure we get going at times and that we use our time effectively. But sometimes it is really hard because it feels like I have to do it all the time. It feels if I let up really at all that it just slips back into a very much slower pace and lax way. I know I must not run faster or go faster than my companion is capable (being considerate of my companion's needs and not dragging him along behind me) but sometimes I feel like I know and am capable of giving or being that much more diligent, but then my companion, because of his nature, is a little slower and not up to that speed. I don't know, have any advice or such?
     Yeah I can't wait for the holidays and the time approaching for our first Skype call! I honestly don't really even know what I will say or want to say.
     Cool cool about the package, something to look forward to over the next few weeks. I have two exchanges I will be doing this week (I actually had an exchange last week with our district leader and another missionary. They came down to Fengshan. It was a lot of fun). Tomorrow my companion will go up to Yuanshan and be with the district leader this time and the district leader's comp will come down to Fengshan and be with me. Yay! MTC companions back together again. It will be good to see him again. Then on Friday we are exchanging with the Zone Leaders. My comp will go to San Min and I will stay here in Fengshan for the exchange.

I love you lots!
Elder Roo

Nov 4, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad!

     You are correct that it has now been one week with my new companion. He knows a little English. And I mean little in the way that he knows some words, but really has a hard time being able to speak English. So no joke most of the time I speak in Chinese. So everyone says my Chinese is going to fly now. But so yes I am trying to savor and relish every moment I have being with a native companion. I have asked him to teach me BPM so I can know how to type Chinese characters (especially helpful with the dictionary we have on our phone). So switching companions has felt a little like jumping from one train to another train moving at a bit different speeds. My problem is that often times I am a conformist, that I conform myself more easily to fit with others rather than being loud and boisterous saying this is my will and this is how it is done. Probably why I am a blue and white rather than a red and/or yellow (the color scheme from psychology). I often times am that shy, quiet person who much rather will please and fit in with others rather than be loud and demand my own will and pleasures. Although when things get uncomfortable or really not ok with me I speak up. But I am super nervous about doing it because I don't want to upset or make people mad, or have feelings of hatred towards me. But we are doing much better. Still not getting to bed at 10:30 which needs improving, but it's getting better. Usually try to make sure we are at least on the beds by 10:30 though. I am not going to lie though, there have been several times this past week where I have felt like senior companion because I know the area, I have been leading planning, getting us to places, setting up lessons, calling people, and such. So this past week there has been a lot more responsibility on my shoulders.
     Thanks for having the Teacher's Quorum send letters. I am sure our new convert will really appreciate that. We got him a white shirt this past week as well as I gave him Elder Dailey's note and tie. He looked good at church yesterday in a shirt and tie.
     So yes there are a few things on my mind that I will try to type as fast as I can. First is I got your letter this past week. I really appreciate and enjoy reading it. I think I have a big problem sometimes with self-confidence and doubting myself. A lot of times it is with missionary work, that I get thoughts and feelings that doubt myself and feel that I am not worthy of the praise that you say and tell me (I am not the only missionary, literally every missionary I think feels this. Both my last and current companion have said they feel the same way). I really want to make you proud and Heavenly Father proud. Sometimes I don't feel like I am anywhere near that potential.
     I feel like I am really trying hard in finding contacts here in Fengshan. I carry around a dead stack with me that I am trying to call through to find people that are willing and ready to hear the gospel. It's just been so hard with finding. Our numbers are low. We only really have 1 progressing investigator right now. So I am really working hard to find new investigators and I have faith that we can find them. But then today I read Cody's email and on move day he went with 3 other missionaries in Cuarnevaca and handed out 72 Book of Mormons in 3 hours with several people set up to meet and learn more. I don't even know if that is something possible that can happen here. I just feel like I am trying hard and working as best as I can, doing what I know is right which is missionary work, the Lord's work, but just not really having much of any people who will set up with us or who want to learn more or who are prepared and ready. I mean I know I am not suppose to compare myself with other missionaries. I guess I just have lack of self-confidence and doubt myself. I just need to know that I am doing what is right and that I am doing the Lord's work and am doing my best (I feel like I am).

I love you lots and miss you so much and can't wait until the time to meet again but I love it here too!

Elder Dayley

p.s. I really hate the wanka's here where we email. Basically just think of a place that sucks peoples souls in and wastes there time away (not just young kids but older men as well. It's really sad and kind of pathetic too). But right at 2 hours they shut your computer off. I was just typing my name, Elder Dayley, and going to send and my computer shut off. So I had to go spend another 50 cents (15 kuai) to add another hour on so I can say this and send your email. But yeah I love you so much and I miss you everyday, but I am content and fixed and can do the Lord's work with all my attention.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nov 4, 2013 - letter to Mom

Hey Mom!

So first off to that's awesome about getting a good grade on your test. I know it is frustrating when you get an answer and there is one that is almost it or the other choice is none of the above. I have personally had that happen multiple times. It is super annoying.... But yeah I often include you and Dad in my prayers as well as I think every fast since I have been here I include you and Dad in my prayer that Dad will be able to do his work well and that your school studies well and that the both of you can balance your lives and find time for each other, the dogs, for your own physical well being, and such. I really do care and miss you a lot.

Poor Rusty... :( all cold and shivering. Non of the weiner dogs here have to worry about a sweater. It's still just as hot and everything. Ughhhhh! Oh well I think I am fairly well used to how hot it is here all the time.

So for Halloween, yeah I got the joke. I did take Jazz Band and everything. So I am familiar with the song Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend. Literally it didn't even feel one bit like Halloween here. Large part of it is that it is super small here. So very different compared to the US. The other part is that really as a missionary it doesn't feel like any day is special (except P-Day :) ). I think I remember right that Thursday night Elder Chen and I went tracting as well as calling through our APR (basically has our investigators numbers as well as potential investigators that we can call and try to set up times with). Then afterwards we met up with the EQP to go visit first a member who is at a PVS place (Persistant Vegitative State, he is 17 years old and got in a scooter accident, his head no joke looks like there is a second skull coming off of his normal skull. Also while we were there there was an earthquake (my first one!). It was a small one though) and afterwards went to try a visit LAs. So that was my Halloween.

Honestly I enjoy reading your letter. Don't worry or fret that you don't write like Dad. Each person is different. I like everything. 

Thanks for expressing and telling me I am a good missionary. I will probably say more in Dad's email as well as Elder Dailey may have expressed some to Dad, but I just need to have more self-confidence and not doubt myself.

I love you lots and miss you a ton!
Elder Dayley

Oct 28, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad!

So Elder Dailey went home today. It's been a whirlwind of emotions over the past week for the both of us. I am sure Elder Dailey will tell more when he sees you. Needless to say I am sad, excited, feelings of joy and success, a little envy, and so on. But so as I have said my new companion is a bendiren, or a native Elder. His name is Chen Wei Qing. He is coming down from Taizhong. So Elder Turner and I are companions together until this afternoon when our new companions arrive. But our district has grown again from 6 to 8 missionaries and our English class missionaries are now at 14 missionaries (both our district and the San Min District work together in the same English program).

But so for this past week not a lot of interesting things have happened. Just been a lot of the same old, same old. We have been progressing with an investigator. Definitely have grown to love him, but it's a little hard with getting a baptismal date since he has parental opposition. Elder Dailey can tell more about him. 

So one thing that I have found interesting and a little bothersome is that one of the commandments is to obey the Word of Wisdom. But Missionary life gets so hectic and sometimes the sacrifices you make for others shoots holes in your plans and eating times. As well as only eating 3 times a day. So I strive and want to have a healthy body, but how am I suppose to when sometimes schedules get messed up due to missionary life and sacrificing for your investigators and those around you?

Something that I have come to realize and recognize more and more is that I struggle with patience and trust. So my goal for my mission is to develop these attributes, to grow them, and have them become some of my strongest strengths. I wish to be able to trust more in the Lord, to not worry too much and put too much stress upon myself. I wish to be able to be patient more, waiting for the Lord's timing knowing that the blessings will come in His time and in His way.

Sorry I feel like I am not saying much. I guess I feel like I don't have a lot to say right now. My mind is kind of scattered and in many places. I will try to concentrate more this week and have better prepared things to say next week.

Yay! That I got accepted to BYU. Thanks for deferring it. When the time gets closer I will need to figure out more which semester to try and get into since it is deferred to the semester to start in January. Something for the future. 

As for the teachers I think written or typed letters sent by slow mail are best and that they can write about personal ways they come closer to Christ. What they do personally from reading, to prayer, to service, exercising the priesthood. I really think those testimonies will be the most effective. That's what I feel a lot of our converts need is their own personal conversion, having 3 pillars secured that are prayer, scriptures, and church attendance.

I love you with all my heart! I miss you like none else! But I am excited and a little nervous but willing and ready moving forward to the next chapter in my story. Elder Dailey will have things for you as well as will have many things to share. Don't be afraid to talk and ask about anything and everything.

Love You!
Elder Dayley

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PHOTO ALBUM - Taiwan Taichung Mission Arrival (July 31, 2013)

Official entry time into Taiwan.
The new group of missionaries arrive at the Taichung, Taiwan airport.
(I'm on the back row, 2nd from left.)
Arrival at the Mission Home in Taichung, Taiwan.
My mission president, President and Sister Blickenstaff.
They fed us well that first day.
(I'm on the far right.)
We even got to eat a great hamburger and fries that first day. Mmmm.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PHOTO ALBUM - MTC (May 29, 2013 - July 30, 2013)

Taiwan Taichung District 25L
with our new Mission President and Sister Blickenstaff.
My MTC roommates.
The MTC elders in my district.
The MTC sisters in my district.
The MTC sisters in my district.
My personal backpack with my lucky Snowtrooper.
My goods all packed and ready for Taiwan.
Departure day. 
I got to ride the UTA Front Runner. 
Our district's last day at the MTC.
One last photo in front of the MTC world map before our departure.