Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aug 26, 2013

Hey Dad,

Thanks for what you share. I always read all of it, even if I don't reply to everything. But so first off I really, really, really, really, really, really, must apologize that I completely forgot your birthday earlier this month. I remembered just earlier this week and thought "oh, no" it's already the 24th and over a week and a half has passed. So Happy Belated Birthday. Also, tell Kyle Happy Birthday because I am pretty sure I remember that his birthday, as well, is in August.

So diving had its ups and downs? Sounds like fun. We have been pretty much sometimes swimming here ourselves. We had a typhoon hit this last week, but it mainly was worse up north like by Taibei. We got off pretty easy. Thursday there was a lot of rain, but Elder Dailey and I caught a lucky break because we had 6 lessons that day. Most of them were at the little library in our apartment complex, so we didn't have to go outside much. We didn't get on our bikes that day until 3:00 in the afternoon. It was nice to be able to avoid the rain. So I do use my rain jacket and keep it in my bucket that I put on the back of my bike, but I only use it when it is really raining hard. Otherwise, I just start to sweat in my jacket instead. So it's a balance really between deciding when to put on the jacket or not.

This past week I went on my first exchange. From 5pm Friday to 5pm Saturday. Elder Turner (yes, my MTC companion) went with Elder Dailey and I went with Elder Vandiford, my district leader. I was at first a little apprehensive about it and a little negative thinking that I was having to pack more things into my box making it a tight fit for my day with Elder Vandiford (like exercise clothing for one thing). But after the exchange I am going to strive to think positively and optimistically as much as I can about everything. The exchange was really good and helped so much. Elder Vandiford is a great missionary that is very friendly and really likes opening his mouth and trying to become friends with everyone. So we practiced contacting and he as well helped to teach me some things about contacting. I also was to see some ways or things I can implement as a missionary to be better and improve. One of the cool things that he did with me though was that night he did this psychology test with me to see what kind of person I am. He does this with everyone. It helped me to better see who I am and really actually made me feel good. I will try to write and explain it as quickly as I can.

So we had the lights off and were lying on our beds. He told me to clear my mind and empty it and that he would then talk me through a story and that I would say the first things that come to my mind when he would ask questions. So first was that my mind was empty and he asked to think of place and describe it. The first things that came was a castle. It had an outer wall with a main central tower. There was courtyard in front with a water feature and then little village houses within the walls. (He explained what everything meant after we were done, but I will explain as we go along) So this was my outlook on life. That I see life as majestic and great, and having great potential. So we go along that Elder Vandiford tells me to start walking along a road to this castle. Then he says there is all of a sudden a huge boulder (an obstacle) in front of me. What do I do? I say that I just wonder for a second why there is a rock there but just walk around it. This means that when faced with obstacles in life I don't let them get to me, that I simply just go around them and get over them. Next, I am walking along and he says there is an animal to the side, what is it? I say its an anteater. This is my view of my family. (I guess I didn't forget my aardvark.) Next, I am walking along and there is a box on the side of the road. I open it and there is a cup in it, and he asks me to describe the cup. It's a smaller mug only maybe 3 inches tall. It's simple, a blue teal color, no flashy designs or graphics on it. Just simple and eloquent. He asks me what I do with it. I pick it up, look at, admire it, and decide that it is a good cup and will be useful and so I bring it with me. This is my view of the opposite gender. The cup is my wife. The color of blue means she will probably be more patient, loving and forgiving. Also, she will be simple and eloquent, nothing far out there, flashy or striving for attention. And the great thing is I bring her with me to go through life together. Next, was I see a house to the side. I describe it as a small european cottage house. I go up to it, knock, and no one answers. So I go in and check it out. This is my self-esteem. Going in means I am comfortable with myself. Next is another obstacle, a gorge. I look for a bridge and find one but it seems a little sketchy so I check it out first. This is how I handle goals. That I look for plans to accomplish them but make sure they are sound and good plans. Next is a body of water, a lake that I come to. I find a boat that get in and cross the lake. This is how my relationships with family, friends, and others will be. I will have smooth relationships that I won't just dive into. Then I cleared my mind again and forgot this place. I was then told to think of a new place. I thought of a futuristic space station like something out of Star Wars. Then someone comes up to me and Elder V asks me who is it. Its you dad. He then asks me what I say. I ask "how are you?" and you reply well. This last part is my view of heaven. Heaven is very advanced, really technologic and such. And then you dad are my view of God and that we both thought it really cool that the first thing I ask you is "how are you".

But so these are just some of my things from the past week. Tell mom I am sorry that I won't have time to email back to her email. If she has any questions from that tell her to send them again next week and remind me to send the hymn lyrics for I am a Child Of God. Also a good idea for things to send in the package is CD's like appropriate soundtrack music.

Love Ya!

Elder Dayley

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aug 19, 2013


So first off, three days straight this last week it had rained. There had been points where it wasn't and such, but always seemed to when we were outside. So the rain just comes down so much here. Literally everything on me was soaked from my pants to getting little puddles in my shoes to my garments underneath and my shirt and such. It's pretty much either getting wet from rain or sweat here in Taiwan. That will be nice that the rain will start to recede, but that just means more sweaty times ahead.

So I am in the hottest part of Taiwan? I knew and heard that several, including people everyday saying its so hot here in Gaoxiong. So did you see some of my area and everything where I serve here in Feng Shan? We are for sure here on the outskirts of the city. We don't really know much though what there is to do around close by our area for P-day though. We are going to the Wetlands today, but besides that we don't know much else. It's all either further out away, so we can't bike and would need a member to drive if they were willing, or we don't know about it yet.

Whale Sharks huh?! That's pretty awesome. I am sure the aquarium is way cool. I always to go to that one. I remember we were maybe thinking about going to it if our layover on the way to Belize was long enough, but it wasn't. While speaking of things from Taiwan, a lot of people here have actually talked or mentioned or brought up Life of Pi (which part of it was filmed here in Taiwan). It's been interesting as well as what people say about it.

Now that just got me thinking about bai bai. That is pretty much the prayer and worship for ancestors that just about everyone here does or says they do. There was actually some holiday yesterday where they apparently open to the doors for spirits to go out and to heaven. So Saturday and Sunday there was a lot of bai bai going on. So they pretty much buy baskets and such that have food in it (and its good food too like Oreos and Doritos and such) that they set up, they burn incense, as well as burn paper money that they buy with real money that they believe is sent up to their ancestors through the smoke. The families then take to the food and eat it themselves. But let me tell you it isn't good incense. It smells exactly like firework smoke. And then its funny that they complain about air quality here. But yeah so many people give us the excuse that they bai bai, and don't want to listen. It can sometimes be hard to have people to listen. The last few days of contacting have been hard because people have ignored us. We have had several scooters who run red lights because they act childish and don't want to talk. I have been working hard though to try and practice breaking the ice when contacting. So sometimes because the lights are short I only get time to say hi, how are you, where are you going, introduce and such. I sometimes don't even get to talking about missionaries, our message, or testifying. I am really wanting to just work right now on breaking my comfort bubble and talking to people, just to talk to them. I hope it will help.

So this last week we had Zone Training Meeting. And we have a large zone. We have about 35 missionaries or so I think or more in our zone. And some of them had to travel a further distance (like the Ping Dong Elders) because we had the training at our chapel where the Feng Shan, San Ming, and Quan Sheng wards meet. So it was easy travel for us, but not so for others. One of the things I really took away from it was President Blickenstaff's urge and push to try to implement the pamphlets more in our teaching and lessons. Not just doing rote presentation with them, but try to use them as much as possible because they really do help to teach and explain many essential parts of our message. Then to use the back page to help share with those we teach our expectations as missionaries and what we are expecting our investigators to do. This helps us to really bring up baptism and to share that.

The last thing that I can think of right now is that like several of the missionaries up in leadership positions have this immense strong desire to baptize everyone. Now I am not aspiring to leadership. But I feel like I don't have that immense, huge desire of baptism like other missionaries do. Elder Dailey was telling me about a missionary like this that had baptized 8 people in two move calls. But now only 1 of those 8 converts is active. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to be just saying baptize, baptize, baptize. My biggest desire and goal of my mission is to help serve people and help them come unto Christ. And so I don't feel like that always means to force baptism. That's why I look towards the converts or less actives with greater interest and such. Like I understand the great importance of baptism. But I want to be able to help everyone I can and in any way help them to turn and come closer to Christ, not be like forcing baptism down people's throats. I don't know. I guess is this a righteous desire, or do I need to change?

So I have been reading more lately out of the Church magazines. One article that was good for me was President Uchtdorf that I came across. I had just grabbed a magazine that the front cover was talking about covenants that I thought looked interesting and so brought it with me to church. But I ended finding the first presidency message was Pres. Uchtdorf talking about being in the middle. That is something I need to learn more and would like to think more along. I as well want to strive to think more optimistically. I also came across one that was titled "Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered" by James E. Faust that I think you, mom and dad, should read.

So a couple funny things I have forgotten to mention. If you had never seen the garbage trucks here before, you would swear they are ice cream trucks. So people have to bring their trash out to the roads to throw into the trucks. The garbage trucks play little annoying tunes like an ice cream truck so you can know they are coming. Not in our area, but the area over, they play Fur Elise. They are still annoying and deceiving, especially when ice cream sounds really good. It's also really funny that they have all these TV shows, mainly cartoons, that are from the U.S. but are played here in Chinese. So sometimes in the little restaurants we eat at things are on on the TV.

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

Friday, August 16, 2013

Aug 12, 2013

So to begin off most of our area is the Feng Shan District, we are out in East Gaoxiong. We have the big Metropolitan Park north of us by like a minute which has been a good spot to try and find people to teach and talk with.

That's way cool that Elder Stark and Elder Wood both had their talks together. We do get asked sometimes if we are here doing college or are working. But we tell them that we are simply serving. Sometimes people are even surprised and aghast that we are only 20 and 21 years old. It's cool though talking to all the different people. We still bike around a lot. We bike everywhere. The church building is just north outside of our area, and we are much closer towards the south west side or our area where we live. But yeah every stop light there are scooters, so there are opportunities everywhere to talk with people because they are just sitting on scooters.

So my bike and luggage got here not last Saturday but the Saturday before. So I was only like a day without my stuff. It was Elder Dailey's stuff that didn't come until Monday because Move Call happened Sunday night and the missionaries call up KJ Logistics Monday morning to move missionaries luggage and bike to the area they are going to. But that was a huge blessing that we didn't get the SIM card for our cell phone until just last Friday. So We haven't had a cell phone. Elder Dailey's companion had sent his stuff along through the moving company, but there wasn't any cell phone to contact us. Apparently because Elder Dailey pays the moving truck when it arrives but they didn't have any way to contact us, was going to pretty much leave and Elder Dailey would never see his stuff again. But we so happened to be up on XinFu road, around the corner from our Apt. and were in a stationary store, that when we came walking out some guy from a KJ Logistics truck came walking across the road saying Elder Dailey. He told us he would meet us around the corner in a few minutes at our Apt. complex. We didn't know this at the time, but later when we had talked with the ZL they told us that right before the moving truck guy had been on his phone saying that since there was no way to get a hold of us to drop it off and have us pay, that he was just going to leave and take Elder Dailey's stuff. That was a miracle right there that we were at that Stationary store and came out when we did and that the truck was pulled off across the road right in front of the store.

So Elder Dailey and I are the only ones in our Apt. It's way nice and a good set up too. I forwarded along the move call that was sent. But so we have a large zone. There are 6 districts, and we are in the largest district. There are 12 in our district, 2 being senior missionaries. But so we serve in the Feng Shan district and attend the Feng Shan Ward. There are 2 Sister missionaries that are also in our area as well. Elder Turner is in my district as well, his companion Elder Vandiford is the DL. Their area is just north of ours.

I don't really feel like I have a profound influence on the YM. I just do what I can and strive to be a good boy each day. The Taiwan Taichung mission blog is more just all set up for you, the parents, to see. They showed us during the meet your trainers meeting a whole slide show they put together with the videos and pictures from the Dan Jones experience. So yeah I have seen it.

Yeah both Elder Dailey and I are really hoping that we can use tablets soon because it would make the work so much more effective. We haul around with us a big binder that lists all the members of our ward, where they live, and there phone numbers (of course there are maps with it, I think google maps printed off). But so our ward maybe has like 45 or 50 percent retention or active rate. Yesterday there was maybe 60 people at church, but there are much more people then that. So we are really working hard on RC and LA. We met with both the Elders Quorum President and Bishop this last week to talk with them what they want and what we are thinking as well. The EQP gave us a list of several Less Actives he wants us to go visit. Both us and him also talked a lot about home teaching and its importance and what we can do to get people to home teach. It's literally been like 0% people home teaching. So any thoughts being EQP on what we can do to help get home teaching going? Then with the Bishop he talked a lot about how the members don't come on time to church (we have church at 9, sacrament first). And its true that not very many people come on time, but it shouldn't be hard, its only 9:00. So the bishop is wanting us to call members and talk to them and really encourage them to come to church on time. We also are trying to line up lots of visits with members (we have a few this week) so that we can get to know the ward as well as share with them a message about church, the sacrament, and encouraging to come to church on time or even a little early to prepare themselves spiritually for the meeting.  We have many ideas and suggestions that we want to work with the Bishop on that we think will help the ward and make it better. It's hard with this area though because they are much more a traditional family area, so the families focus towards there own families first. So they are not really focusing out towards other members (like those they home teach or LA's) and are not much vested as they could be in missionary work. Some members are though like the EQP, the YMP, and a few of our RC. We both just want to help the Feng Shan ward as best we can.

So yeah Elder Dailey was ZL before me, but I think he likes not being in a leadership position and having more time to focus on finding and teaching and hopefully baptizing. As I said I am the first missionary he has trained, and will also be his last companion.

Of course you and mom are just flying all over the place and having fun. Enjoy your time diving and relaxing. I will be here swimming in my own sweat. So yeah you think you sweat in Utah, you don't know Taiwan. I sweat when I brush my teeth, I sweat in just about everything. Like its annoying when I iron or am cooking. I sweat a lot from those because they are hot. But yeah pretty much my whole shirt gets sweaty. I just get used to it, know I can't do anything about it, and just don't really care. But I am so glad I have 14 pairs of garments with me, it makes it so much nicer. Also if it is lightly raining, we don't even bother doing rain gear because we would sweat so much from wearing the jacket that it wouldn't make a difference not wearing it. It's so much hotter down here in Gaoxiong then it is in Taizhong.

We have some other investigators lined up and such to teach. But so far no one is really progressing or coming into line to get baptized.

The food is so good. By far my most favorites are the guotie (pretty much just like gyozas, I like these more than the dumplings or shuijiaos), the bread here is amazing (I have some pictures I am sending, so yeah food wise you don't need to worry about me, I have my bread which for the picture with the three pieces is 48 kuai which is about $1.40), malt milk (literally this stuff is liquid gold, it is by far my most favorite and best drink I have had), and then dong bao fan (which literally translated is egg wrap rice, its stir fry with a scrambled egg wrapped around it with ketchup on top, also mom you don't need to worry about protein. I have a chua bing each morning. I sent some pictures. It's a chinese pancake with egg on top and then ketchup. It will literally be my breakfast for the next two years. Its really yummy). But so those are my favorites. I also really like the fried rice with bacon in it. And what's great is that pretty much all of this is under $2. I almost forgot literally one of the best things in manguo bing, which is mango ice. Oh my gosh! It is so good and so tasty.

I think by the end of my mission I will have no butt from all the bike riding I do. Kind of a bummer. But yeah the biking is getting more used to. Scooter contacting is still a little hard for me because I sometimes get nervous or people don't want to talk at all or the lights are just turning to green (it is nice though with most of the lights they have a count down right up by the red light that counts down until it will be green, so we know how much time we have). It's getting better though. Uhmm Elder Dailey taught me when contacting be relaxed and calm, because whatever tempo you set in contacting that is what the person will go to. So if you are slow and calm they won't be so hectic or stressed and wanting to just zoom off.

So we have some way cool members in our ward. Everyone is friendly. In gospel principle (which I don't ever know what goes on, so I just read the lesson, try to listen, and then read our search for happiness) the teacher it was her birthday on saturday so she brought cake to class. So I got cake in fuyin yuanze. Then in Correlation meeting after church the ward missionary leader, or correlator, his wife brought in some little chocolate cake and so I got cake again. Yay! :) On Saturday we went to visit somebody from the ward, because he is in the hospital. Another thing is that several people actually know some English. It's cool. He had told us before he had come because he had been sick for several weeks. So he had an appointment set up Friday, then had been put into the hospital to have a test done today, Monday. We talked with him and visited, and then we gave him a blessing. Elder Dailey anointed the oil and I gave the blessing. It was way spiritual and way good. We are probably going to visit him again this week and also bring this card game (some type of Monopoly card game) with us to play with him. Keep him in your prayers that the problem can be identified and be solved.

I have a couple family pictures in my triple column BoM that I bring around with me that I show to people. There have been several people that say Mom looks so young, that she looks like a sister to Allaina and Allisa.

So the funniest thing I saw this week was a scooter with a man and a woman riding on it and where there feet were supposed to go (they just ride with their feet out in the open) were 3 weiner dogs. 3!!! It was cute but also funny that they got 3 weiner dogs to ride on the scooter.

But so this is pretty much the week. We are really going to be trying hard working with the ward, the Less Actives, and Recent Converts so that we can get the attendance up, and get more involvement from the ward in missionary work. Over and out!

Love Ya!
Elder Roo

Monday, August 5, 2013

Aug 5, 2013 - First Week in Taiwan

Ok so here goes. There is so much to say and to tell, I hope I can cover everything!

So I am doing good. Like there are many different emotions I have experienced and felt over the past week. It definitely doesn't feel like a week. It feels much, much longer. But there has been so much to keep busy and to keep preoccupied that I really don't have much time to think.

So, first impressions are that Taiwan is freaking awesome. There is so much, so new, so different, it's all just great. Much more urban and not so much green open areas though.

The flights weren't too bad. I didn't sleep much on the flight to Tokyo. I can never sleep much on flights. But even worse is that two people around me watched The Hobbit, two people watched Star Trek, three people watched GI Joe, and other movies as well. It was torture to just have to sit there. I was pretty much wiped out on the flight to Taipei. I actually slept for a good part of that flight.

Of course, I have seen people since I have been here that I have known. As soon as I came out of baggage claim the first person I saw was Elder Forbes (he was in the older generation in the MTC, he is the operations manager) and gave him a big hug. Then next was Elder Allen who was holding the Taiwan Taizhong mission sign. I gave him a big hug as well and actually was talking with him a lot that night and sometimes being his companion, momentarily, if he needed to go somewhere. Then at the Dan Jones Experience I saw Sister Mack, Sister Smart (from the older generation), Elder Robison, and Elder Hellberg (from the older generation). Handshakes and hugs were given respectively. Then finally when it came Friday to get our trainers (I already had seen who the trainers were going to be because Elder Allen showed me the list), we went into the chapel to have a meeting and learn who would be our trainers (both the greenies and the trainers were sitting in the meeting). The trainers were already in the chapel and they had us new missionaries walk in so that the trainers could grab us and have us sit by them. So as I was walking in, Elder Purser was shaking the hand of a missionary in front of me but when he saw me, he pretty much ran at me and hugged me. I ended up sitting by Elder Erikson, Elder Purser, and Elder Robison during the meeting. I also saw Elder Magnuson there as well.

President Blickenstaff and his wife are very nice and are really great people. They will do a very good job directing us and guiding the Taizhong mission. Yeah, our group was there first batch of new missionaries and they handled it very well. It was also probably difficult for them because we were the biggest group to ever come through at one time; a total of 33 of us.

The numbers next to
Chinese words indicate
different intonations.
So you will probably never guess who my companion is. No, it's not anyone you know or that I knew previously. I will be his last companion and I am the first companion he will train. It is Elder Dailey. Yeah, insane right? Two Elder Dayley/Daileys. Both of our Chinese names are Dai4. So we will now be referred to as Da4 Dai4 (for Elder Dailey) and Xiao4 Dai4 (for Elder Dayley) meaning big and small or Gao1 Dai4 (for Elder Dayley) and Ai3 Dai4 (for Elder Dailey) meaning tall and short (I am taller than him). He is from Bluffdale, Utah. 

Kaohsiung County
So what has made our last few days since Friday even more interesting and fun is that we are whitewashing the Fengshan area (it might be Fongshan on Google). So that means we are new to the area. We don't really know where anything is. We got to the Fengshan area (it's in East Gaoxiong, which might be on Google as Kaohsiung) at about 7:30 on Friday night. We took a train down from Taizhong, which was about 2-1/2 hour ride, and we had to stand because there were no more seats. That was fun. We talked with people, one of which was a lady who had studied one year at a university in England. So she spoke flawless English. Also to interject, Elder Turner (my MTC companion) was on the train with us along with his companion, Elder Vandiford. So we were all talking with this lady and passed along information and got her contact information. After the train, we took a subway system called the MRT. Then Elder Dailey and I walked to where, supposedly, our apartment was (it took a while since we had no idea really where we were going because we were new to the area). We also don't have a cell phone right now because the missionaries before us lost that one. We have the new phone, but we are waiting for the new SIM card. So we have been going to 7-11 a lot (which there are tons of here, they are your basic convenience store) to use the phones and contact people on our APR list (active progressing investigators). So Saturday came and my luggage and bike as well as Elder Dailey's luggage and bike had not been delivered yet. We had an appointment set up with an investigator who is pretty much golden and we were wanting to meet him and get to know him. The appointment was at noon and we had been told that there were some old missionary bikes at our apartment complex. We found one, but not the other. So we had to get a taxi to go up to the church (it's a 30 minute bike ride to the church). We were a little late, but we were able to eat lunch with our investigator. He is 18 years old and will be going to Taibei in September to start college. The only thing holding him back from getting baptized is parent fandui, which is parent opposition. He has to have consent from his mom (his parents divorced when he was young, his dad being Catholic and his mom Buddhist). His mom is afraid that if he is baptized because he will leave her, not love her any longer and possibly move away from her. But he loves his mom more than anything. After eating lunch with him, Elder Dailey and I taught him about having faith, acting on that faith, and also fasting. He has pretty much had all the lessons taught to him. We invited him to join in fasting with us on Sunday that his mom's heart would be softened and that he could further explain to his mom that he loves her so much and how being baptized wouldn't cause problems or change anything. He came to church and also to the family home evening activity on Sunday night, which was really good for him. Keep him in your prayers regarding his mom giving consent to allow him to be baptized.

I love being in the middle of this whole different culture. It is so much fun and so many things to see and are different.

The language will simply take time. Its just something that is here a little and there a little. So this made Church fun when everything was in Chinese. But my testimony I shared touched a lady who bore her testimony later and said it was an answer to her. During the third hour block, the Young Men's president had me come with him to Young Men's while Elder Dailey stayed in Elder's Quorum. There were, I believe, 4 young men there and then also the Presidency. They taught about chastity and allowed me to introduce myself to them and they introduced themselves to me. Apparently, Elder Dailey was telling me that, I guess, the Young Men's President, Frank, is a translator for the Church. You would be surprised at how much people actually know English. Its really cool.

People do speak fast, but the thing that is hard and will take time is listening as well as more common everyday language. So like scooter contacting, there was stuff I didn't even know how to say that Elder Dailey has been teaching me. It's always interesting, and also kind of nerve racking and scary to contact.

So now some more interesting and funny things. The scooters here are nuts!!!! There are so many and they pretty much don't obey any rules at all. Also they have scooter boxes because they can't make left turns, its illegal. So when a light turns green, they drive forward into the intersection and there is a box they stop in that is in front of the traffic into which they will be going with. Same goes for bikes. Apparently, Elder Dailey was telling me that the cops don't care much about traffic laws around here. Sometimes scooters just run red lights, or if we are trying to talk to someone and they don't want to talk, they may just run the red light so not to talk with us.

Some of the funniest things I have seen here though is that first it's ridiculous what the Taiwanese people put on their scooters. Sometimes families have the mom and dad sitting on the seat of the scooter and then have their little kid standing where their feet are supposed to go and have the kid hold the handle bars. Or I have seen a number of dogs that sit where your feet go on the scooter. The funniest one was a weiner dog that was sitting there (another funny thing is that a weiner dog is called a regou which literally means hot dog). I have also seen a tree that someone was carrying on their scooter.

Next, is Elder Dailey explained this more to me, but it still is so funny. There are so many Playboy accessories and clothing here. They have Playboy stores that sell all this merchandise, but none of their magazines or other pornographic stuff. So even members wear Playboy stuff. For example, glasses frames that have the Playboy bunny logo on it. Elder Dailey says that when he has asked members, "Do you know what you are wearing?". They don't even know.

Next, is that I totally agree with Elder Dailey. I feel like I am in Pokemon. There are buildings here that literally look like stuff out of Pokemon. One building definitely looks like a Gym. Then there are stray dogs, and other animals all over the place. Then we are sitting here riding our bikes all over the place. We run into all these different unique, peculiar, and individual people. And then even doors to places, like the 7-11 make little jingle sounds that sound like the noises out of places on Pokemon.

Uhmm, so I have had so much good food since I have been here. One meal with the Mission Prez and wife was a hot pot. Another was a round table meal with traditional food (the best being peiking duck). And so much other good authentic Taiwanese food. The most interesting I have had so far is fish eye and then also blood cake (which is quagulated pig or duck blood mixed together with rice). Today for lunch we are going to go get some dumplings. But we had really good stir fry on Saturday for dinner (mine had bacon in it :) ).

So it's funny is that the internet cafe where we are emailing at is just full of computers with people playing so many different video games. Some are playing Star Craft, others War Craft, others Magic the Gathering, and others either Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. It's kind of funny.

Well so, that is just a bit of a taste of what my first several days in Taiwan have been like (of course, the first few days I was crazy tired like none other, but I am starting to adjust more). I will try to remember throughout the week what I want to share. Tonight after dinner Elder Dailey and I plan to visit less actives. So pray and hopefully some will answer and be home so that we can teach and help them. Last tidbit is that it's funny that Elder Turner, my MTC companion, is in the same district as I am. I have seen him every day so far except today. So I will be seeing him more. And then Elder Teerlink is in my zone as well. So Elder Dailey and I are planning for some P-days to go to Monkey Mountain and the Lily ponds as well. So that will be fun in the future.

I love you all and hope the best for you!!! :)

Love ya!

Elder Roo

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jul 29, 2013 Last Day at MTC

Hello All,

Well all I feel I can say is that the Lord gives us trials to strengthen us. The Lord knows us and knows what we can handle. He wouldn't give you anything if He knew you couldn't handle or overcome. He feels you are prepared and ready to grow, progress, and develop. The hard part to swallow and understand though usually is that with this growth, stretching, and development there can come pain, uncomfortableness, and hard times. But the great thing is that we can turn to the Lord in faith, asking for help, and He will bless us with so immense strength, endurance, and fortitude that these trials will seem to be lightened. As we focus out towards others and showing charity and service to our neighbors, these trials or hard times we go through will seem but a small moment. And then we pass through these trials, standing on the mountains of our success (of course giving thanks to the Lord for His hand in our lives), and looking back at the valleys we have passed through they will truly appear as just a small, minuscule moment in our lives and we see how passing through that valley to rise to top of the mountain blessed us so immensely. The key is to strive to always push forward, never giving up (because that is what Satan wants more than anything, for us to think that we are worthless, that Heavenly Father could never love us, that we are lost), and seek for our will to align with the Lord's will. We are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He loves us so immensely that every soul, EVERY soul is precious to Him. Heavenly Father wants every single one of us to succeed and to be happy. He Himself knows what brings the greatest joy and happiness in life, so He teaches us what to do to obtain that joy and happiness through His son, Jesus Christ. Nothing attests to the greater love and devotion Heavenly Father has for His children than sending His perfect son, His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to come to this world, to atone for our sins, sinking below every single soul, suffering such an immense anguish we cannot even fathom, so that every single soul has the chance to obtain forgiveness as well as eternal life, the greatest blessing Heavenly Father has to offer. Think about it for a second. Eternal Life. To be able to be with our Father again as immortalized beings. And even greater is his promise and blessing that we will be with our families forever. We will be able to perpetuate beyond the grave the deepest and closest relationships we create on this world. As a missionary we are called to cry repentance to the people. It goes so much further beyond just repentance. It's through doing work according to the Lord's will that we are gathering His children to be able to return to our Father as a family. Even furthermore we are bringing the opportunity to families around the world to be together forever. That is my greatest joy and feeling I have about missionary work. Family is so important to me and I am working each day to become a better son to both my family on earth as well as my Father in Heaven, in addition that I am working each day to become a better husband for my future spouse and and better father myself for the children I will be blessed to rear. A mission not only can change the lives of those you teach, but changes your own life. My own advice and what I feel with how a missionary should work is that you should strive to serve every person you come into contact with, improving their life in any way you can. Leave them and their life better than when you first met. Then further throughout your whole mission, no matter what, strive to have no regrets. I know myself that I will make mistakes, but if I learn from those mistakes and grow and develop, then I will have no regrets. Key is just work hard, doing all you can, and turn to the Lord realizing you don't have strength to do all. Then the miracles will happen and you will be the instrument that the miracles will flow through and be blessed to witness.

It can be crazy to be serving a 2 year mission. But if you have fervently prayed about it and that is truly what the Lord has in mind for you, then do it and go for it. The Lord knows what will be the greatest and best blessings in your life. A mission will be something so unique and such a tremendous blessing that will affect the rest of your life. If served righteously, you will recognize and see the impact and blessings every day that your mission has had on you. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you will never be in this exact situation ever again. Push forward with faith and know that the Lord is with you.

It's crazy to think that I am leaving in less than 24 hours for a different country, different culture, and going out to preach the gospel.

Love you all!

Elder Dayley