Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 9th to Dad

Hey Dad!

Yeah we are on a little later today. We went over to the mission office to say goodbye to a friend going home now (just barely was our zone leader). Then we came back and ate at a hot pot buffet because yesterday was Elder Hintze's birthday (he is in the Dongying ward). And then we looked through an antique shop to see what there was. Then that brings us to now. Email time. So today is the start of a new move call. And literally the next whole month or two is going to be so crazy and all over the place.

First off there were only 2 new missionaries that came on (one is Taiwanese and one is from Japan but has a French last name) this past week. As of right now the plan is hopefully that we will have about 20 or so missionaries come one in 2 weeks (or at least we will do a mini move call in two weeks which will really be our big move call since today not many people moved around and a lot more short term missionaries are serving for the next couple weeks). But then today talking to Elder Sumsion who will go home at the end of this move call was saying that actually I guess there is church policy of a black out period of two weeks where no church people move around. So the missionaries going home actually go home about 4 or 5 days before the start of the next move call. And that one will have a lot of people going home (including the sisters I came on island with). But yeah that means that Elder Mudrow who is Zone Leader in Gaoxiong East will go home, Elder Fiegleson who is AP will go home, Elder Flint who is operations manager will go home, and many others as well. Super crazy and lots of changes that will be happening. All kicking off with when the new missionaries arrive. 

But so yeah I am still in Taiping going on to my 4th movecall here. Elder Williams is still with me. I am still serving as the District Leader (and I feel in parts like I have hit that phase where you were talking about feeling really inadequate as a leader). I feel that it in parts stems from me working over some weaknesses in I feel my faith and diligence. I do feel to say that I am getting better about facing on the challenges and trials in front of me or casting out the lies and doubts. It is still a trying challenge. I guess it stems from in parts that this last week our numbers and so forth weren't so good (the lowest compared to anyone else in the district) and talking last night with Elder Williams about what is it that we are missing or not doing. We both had the conclusion feeling that it just is coming down to the diligence and putting forth the faith. I guess really staring me in the face is working really, really hard (which I am gearing up for and willing to go and do now more than ever). It's just annoying when you get little crappy feelings that all they seem to do or feel that I am really not that good or that strong, comparatively. Hmmm, I guess this really is all that the adversary ever does. Yeah I have made mistakes. Yeah I have at times not worked as hard or as faithfully, or as full of love as I could have. But I guess it really just is now to out with whatever happened in the past, and that I am going to go out and make a difference. I am going to go out and believe in myself to hike the summit and stay on top of the summit.

So yeah Elder Williams is still the English Leader. Sister Parkinson is the only one with a new companion (it actually being Sister Anderson because her sister training leader position over in Dakeng, the north Taizhong zone, is closing down for a couple weeks, so she is coming over here where actually she was trained at the start). So that is all really the changes that happened. 

I think about it all the time of trying to make the most of moments. I find it actually quite a conundrum. I feel like it will never really be made the most of in the moment and always will have to some extent afterwards those feelings of longing and desire to just once more experience or partake. So I don't know, if you have any feelings or thoughts about how to make the most of moments better, that would be cool.

Also, do you still collect those marble balls at all?

Love you

Elder Roo

Nov 9 to Dad

Hey Dad!

Well all I can say right now is it is my turning point and cross roads of destiny to create unbreakable faith to labor like never before and trust in God and believe in myself.

Investigators and so forth have some few solid ones, a ZD, and R (one is super solid who is progressing really well, the other is an Atheist and just met for the first time last week, but has the desire of a seed to try). 

Sorry I wish I had more time to say things. I humbly simply ask that you pray for where I am serving and pray that I truly start believing in myself and to train myself to bounce forward continuously to let things go.

Love you lots!

Elder Dayley

November 9 to Allisa

Hey Sis!

So the Halloween party actually went pretty good! Our spook alley went pretty funny but also scary. I played scary music a lot on a really out of tune piano. Then we had some fun games at the end as well with a spiritual share. I tried a bobbing for apple and got it the second try.

Yeah I will be playing for the stake next week. I have been working as hard as I can at the piece with the time I can fit in and not use up too much with missionary work. Hopefully it should all go well.

I am happy the primary program went well and that Sahara did so good. We had our primary program this last week as well. It was super cute and super funny. There was one little boy who didn't want to go up and do it, so his dad had already recorded him saying it and got up to the pulpit and put his phone up to the mic. Pretty funny!

I am sure Sahara had the best birthday ever with it being little mermaid.

Super cool Marty is opening up his practice with his brother. I think that smile on orthodontics is much better sounding in my opinion.

Love you lots!
Elder Roo

November 2 to Allisa

Hey Sis!
Oh man! I didn't know when my card would get there. I was just hoping it wouldn't take too long. I sent 2 weeks ago Thursday. So not too bad! :D I am so happy that she loved the card. I literally spent like 15 minutes or so deciding between cards for her and Allaina. I wanted to get one that was perfect (not too Taiwanese weird, but still enough Taiwanese there that it is cool and unique). I love her too! I thought the stickers would be priceless. Half of them on there I have been to or have seen.

Yeah I agree the price for 東西是超級誇張. But still super cool and awesome for Sahara to have that experience and memory. Aw man! Z is loving my most favorite ride! Hands down that is the best one there, the cars ride. Super funny that he loves Buzz and Woody. I know that at least between mom and I that is a special movie because each one follows pretty much exactly the timeline of my life as well. When the 3rd one came out and Andy was going off to college, I was graduating and going off to college.

You made Sahara and Zephyr's costume!? That is super good! I never knew you to be that creative and that good at making things. When I saw the picture I recognized that Sahara was Ariel but I just thought Z was a lobster. Then after a minute it dawned on me that it looked more like a crab and that he was probably the crab from the little mermaid. Still can't believe you made it though! 

Yeah pretty much kids get loaded with candy at Halloween. You know it is kind of sad that Halloween literally came and went and I didn't even really realize it was Halloween. Something that was in the back of the mind, but when it was Friday I maybe remembered when I woke up, but going throughout the day it just got forgotten and I didn't even say happy Halloween at all. It's ok though, this Wednesday is our English party and we are doing a Halloween party. So we are going to try and pull off some spook alley as well as some games. Elder Williams and I have it worked out to use the high council room which has a big oval table. We are getting the help of some youth (our RC is really good at sneaking up on us and popping up at our sides without us knowing, so he will work great). The piano in there is really out of tune, so our RC printed off some music from a scary Taiwanese movie that I will play on that as people go through (because it will be super dark so they won't see me either).

I think Z may be getting some of me in him. I was a bit of a little impatient boy when I was younger. Sometimes I still can be. It's gotten better though.

Good thing Halloween was a success. Good luck with the songs! You will do great! I know you can! I literally get asked to play the piano each Sunday and they end up being songs from the hymn book or children't book and some I haven't played before at all but I just pick it up there and play. Also they changed there minds back again that I will accompany playing the piano for the choir that is performing in Stake Conference in 2 weeks. It is actually a pretty tricky piece, but I have been getting it down. It is called "Beautiful Savior". We will have a flutist as well as celloist accompanying. Overall I want to get my part down really well so it won't be too intimidating playing at stake conference. Eli, a member, was telling me how the conductor talked with the stake coordinator for music who talked with President saying they can't move me this next week (a new move call next week and I have already been in my area for 3 move calls) because they can't find anyone else that quick to accompany on the piano. So nothing is for sure, but thought it kind of funny how they went all the way up to P. Blickey to say I can't move.

Well anything for Christmas really would be some nice little sweets of home. Like Reeses or Pop Tarts. Those are always good. Besides that though there really isn't anything I need.

I love you lots and lots!

Elder Roo

November 2 to Dad

Hey Dad!
So you come to be the last of the day! I think you are pretty crazy for how much traveling you have been doing just the past week. I would be pretty dog tired, especially if I was 50 ;) 

I think you are stealing Zephyr too much. I haven't even met the little guy at all yet! Don't take too much of him now!

Oh and you say you have watched Cars with them. I already have it lined up that I will start them off the right foot. We will watch Star Wars and as well as Wreck It Ralph (maybe even in Chinese as well). I will make sure Zephyr loves Star Wars!

Tell Mom thanks for her sweet comments. It touches me a lot. Tell her good luck and keep working hard. She is doing a good job. And it doesn't matter that maybe she is a little older, she is just more revered. Just like the older missionaries (like who have come out later than normal) tend to be more revered and looked up to.

Can't believe Jeff is now married. And what is funny is missionaries still know at least Elder Stark's name around here (I will have to say for good and for bad). But yeah I miss the people back home or all like the scripture study.

I can't believe that McKenna Mecham is going on mission too, and to Sweden none the less. I don't really think or feel that I put that big of an influence on the younger generation. Like I said before I was just trying to do what was right.

Definitely that was a tender mercy that you missed the exit to then see the temple.

As for C (our investigator and RC's friend). His parents have been fighting and talking about divorce, so please pray for him and his family because he still hasn't shared with them that he is meeting with us.

I haven't gotten the letter from Disney yet, but it will probably come this week. I got the Star Wars stickers though. Awesome!

Love ya!

Elder Dayley

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oct 27 -2

Hey Mom!
That is so crazy that the Newmans are already home!!!! I feel like it was yesterday that they left!!! Super cool the work they got to do, especially working with those who are inactive. It's a little sad to see how many people become inactive here in Taiwan. As of right now there are about 500 people in our ward boundary that are baptized, and only around 70 to 80 are active. So the Bishopric (coming down from higher authorities) have had us turning in names of people that literally cannot be found or contacted in anyway (I think it may be to pretty much reverse back the baptisms that happened because as sad as it is there were periods of time where baptisms were not as really as qualified as they should, well before my time on island).

So crazy that Robbie is going on a mission now too! These people I still feel all the time are so young and shouldn't be that old yet. But you are totally right about the church being worldwide. Even though everything of my church meetings I attend here in Taiwan are in Chinese, it is exactly the same as what it is like back in Alpine. There are exactly the same types of people. People are still not always on time or things start late. The stereotypical things about Elders, Relief Society, Bishopric and so forth are all the same over here. The Lord's kingdom! Oh yeah! That is what makes it so great about no matter where you go, it is still one great, big family.

You should definitely try and go to the Mo Tab concert. Elder Williams is jealous about the guest artist who played the voice of a character in Frozen performing with them.

I can't wait to see and here what you have prepared and what Allisa has prepared. Parts of me keep hoping that I don't move right before Christmas (there is a move call that literally happens a couple days before Christmas). That would not be as fun.

You know me though, anything that is Star Wars or cars is good enough for me. I don't think I mentioned I got a kids book that has tons of super cars in it with like a page description on (all in Chinese of course, but it has the Chinese bpmf next to it so I can read the characters I don't know and will be able to practice in the future).

Good luck with the studying. Whenever you get down and feel it is hard, say a prayer! Love you ltos and lots!

Elder Dayley

Oct 27

Hey Dad!

Well thanks about sending your thoughts and feelings on leadership. It will be much appreciated.

Oh man, I love that Zephyr is so much in to cars, trucks, and planes. Super super cool that he loved the car stunt show. You are such a good grandpa helping out the grandkids. I know Allisa appreciated a lot the time you spent and spend with them.

I know exactly what will happen when I get time to be with Zephyr and Sahara. I may or may not corrupt them, but I will start them off on the right foot with Star Wars and Top Gear ;) They will be taught well.

Sahara grows too fast and too much. Yes Sahara is such a princess. I can't believe she is going as a different princess each time over the past week. Elder Williams is proud and happy that she went as Elsa from Frozen. That really is a movie I want to see when I get back. So I know Sahara and I will probably end up watching it together. I don't think I ever mentioned but I got a couple movies here in Taiwan. One was simply for getting the Chinese Cover even though it isn't in Chinese (that is Tron Legacy, which has a super sick soundtrack because it is done by Daft Punk). Then other which I am super happy about because it is dubbed in English and Chinese is Wreck It Ralph. So I can't wait to go and watch it in Chinese.

Definitely it is true what you said about being leader. I have felt that at times about being DL. I have felt over the last several days that feeling of transitioning towards seeking more and more to be of service and seeking those who need serving and really taking to having more desire in the lives and work of the members of my district.

I hope mom is doing better! She is so strong!

Well a new investigator we have recently gotten is super cool. Our RC who is 15 and was baptized just before (literally the weekend before) I came to Taiping invited his friend to come to basketball on Saturday. We didn't have much time and sat down with a different investigator, but afterwards went to dinner together with our RC and his friend, but then had to take off quick to another lesson. But to our surprise our RC invited the friend to church the next day and then at the end of priesthood the RC came up and asked if we had time (which we had) and asked if we could sit down with his friend. So we had 3 young men sit in with us on our lesson and taught ZW the first lesson (which he accepted well), and extended a baptism goal for Nov. 22 (which he accepted). So he has been doing not too bad, making good friends in the ward, working at helping him to read and pray each day, and striving towards progressing to achieve his goal.

Definitely trying and doing to make each day fun. I won't lie I had a bit of a crash this past week, but it is the last one. There is a different feeling inside, and it is hard to describe but feels that I am not quite the same.

I love you lots and lots!

Elder Roo

Oct 20 -2

Hey Dad!
So yeah I told a little more in the other email. But yes you are right I have learned to smile. Something I just need to learn is to let go more and relax a bit more. Like you said have more fun. That's why I actually I really like the Frozen song Let It Go (Sahara would be so proud). It has a really good message for me.

You are so lucky as a Dad how much you get to see your kids as well as grandkids that often. I hope you see and understand how special a blessing that is (even if he did say Grandma). I can't wait to see them and go play with them next summer.

Wow you are right, there are only 5 more move calls. I really want to and will make them the most fun of any part of my mission. I really want to immerse that much more in the language. Besides what PMG says and so forth, do you have any other suggestions about how to really come to be in the language more? One of my goals before I come home is about changing myself to be and feel more comfortable, to be and feel more comfortable (like Cody is). At times I can be, other times I can't. So I am working to move the dial over to be all the time.

I am really happy that you and Mom have been having a stronger relationship. Keep working at it. You 2 are amazing and I don't care what has ever been said, you were meant for each other and this is exactly the family you and her were meant to have and to be apart of.

I will be good, I will be awesome, and I will love myself as much as others love me. Because I am a son of God. Because I am a missionary for Jesus Christ. Because I am a disciple of the Lord. Therefore I know that I can face and overcome my challenges. Because my trust is not in the arm of flesh, but in the Lord. That is something you always have taught me and impressed upon me. You have always been one of my greatest examples (behind Christ of course) and greatest heroes that although you have weaknesses and are not perfect, you have always been seeking to do what is right.

So question is how as you have been a leader now for a bit as EQP, how have you come to develop and build to becoming a strong leader, a servant to others, and developing greater love and charity?

Love you so much!
Elder Dayley

Oct 20

Hey Mom!
Pretty crazy huh?! 加油,加油! I miss you lots and lots though. Mom you have been such a stupendous example of your hard work, diligence, and enduring even through the hard times (even like right now, taking care of 3 weiner dogs, visiting Beehives, and helping out in choir as well as doing all your schooling). Sounds like though church was really really good! I'm sad I didn't get the chance to hear Cody's homecoming as well as hear Heather talk.

They are definitely right that prayer is such a powerful instrument and tool. I kid you not but my mission has taught me how to pray. Like to actually pray and seek so much more to talk and communicate with Heavenly Father. P Blickey shared with me this past week in interviews something that can better help me at this time, and it all revolves around my prayers. He talked about at night when I pray before laying my head down to rest is to talk with Heavenly Father and say I did my best. If I didn't do my best that day then tell Him I didn't do my best, then ponder and think for a minute or two of couple things (as well as be listening for the Spirit) to make the next day or the next week better so that it doesn't turn out like that again. He also talked about really taking time to listen at my prayers in the morning. Similarly ask Heavenly Father in the morning what can I do for Him that day. Then ponder and listen for a minute or two and then go and write down these impressions and go about to accomplish these goals throughout the day. President said that actually that morning he had an experience where he had quickly said his morning prayer then quickly got up and went into the bathroom. But then it bothered him and so he came back and knelt down again to think, ponder, and listen to the Spirit, and he received some few thoughts that he wrote down that he felt needed to happen that day.

You are exactly right! It is the matter of not despairing during the hard times. I am learning more and more right now about picking myself up and not reverting to punishing myself so much. But yeah like I said if I were to probably count it out and so forth I probably make anywhere from 40 to 50 prayers a day. Most often or not they are little small ones. But my really meaningful and end of the day prayers can sometimes be up to like 20 minutes or so. I told Elder Williams what you said about pinning me down. He said ok, although he also said he doesn't know exactly how to respond to that.

I can't wait to get the stickers! I am really excited! I have to start looking around a bit now for everyone's Christmas presents and slash birthday presents. I don't really know what to say or do for Sahara's birthday or Allaina's birthday. I will be thinking on it this week.

Mom thank you so much for all you say and all you do! I love you so much and couldn't ask for any other Mom. You are the best mom in the world. Good things are going to happen. I can feel it. An update, Elder Sumsion who was our AP has now stepped down to come open up again the 東英 Elders with another Elder from a different area. So that means my district just got bigger again that I have 2 Elder companionships to watch over and the sister training leaders. Being a leader has really taught me so much more and what I really wish to better work at becoming a better leader that I may better be a servant to others and those around me.

Love you lots and lots!

Elder Dayley

Oct 15

Hey Dad,

In all honesty I do not know exactly what to talk about.

The temple was good. It was a very much more peaceful and good place to sit in.

The reason I don't really know what to say is because of how much confliction is within me. Dad, I have never felt so attacked in my life as I have been being out here. And the biggest part that gets attacked and has been attacked is my hope and confidence. I have desire and wish to be out here, I just feel things have clouded in my mind somewhat that I don't fully grasp or understand what or why it is I want to be out here. I desire and want it to be because of the love and kindness to invite others unto Christ and not because it is simply the right thing to do or what others have said to do. I've seen myself become unto so on edge and parts and scared into sometimes all the obedience I need to be as a missionary. I remember when I was growing up more throughout all my teenage years I didn't ever really break rules or do anything out of order or bad because I just didn't want to get on a bad side or upset you or mom or make ashamed. I will say that sometimes I feel like I don't really remember what it is I enjoy or like or in parts really what my 'interests' are because I feel like I have had to beat so many things out of me or have to 'bid babylon farewell' because that is just not what you do as a missionary. I have felt and seen so much how it has become harder and more awkward around girls because I have been working, drilling, and overworrying/overstressing/ overworking about the keeping clean thoughts and also not being ok or so forth to talk or flirt with girls. Something interesting and good Elder Williams told me was really seeing girls as your sister. I have heard this before. But until I really started saying more and telling myself quite literally that they are my sister and seeing them in that light.

I seek and read over my patriarchal blessings many times. I read over so many different things. I come to points where I am about to break and I in a sense release out a lot of energy with a new commitment that I am not going to make the same mistakes again, I am going to improve and transform, and move forward. But what I can't quite understand is how the hope that it speaks and talks of doesn't quite fully stick.

I have something about me and I want to believe and do what you say to move forward and the past is in the past and so on and so forth, I just can't seem to come to grasps with moving forward because I feel I am a hypocrite and liar to move forward because of my mistakes and letting down and failing. See even looking back at this last sentence I see how entrenched the adversary and followers have come to carve in my mind. AGHHHHHH!!!! When I came on a mission I did not ever think this would be the stuff I would have to struggle through, face, and bear.

I will take to heart and mind what you shared about the JW and what Mom said. I pray and ask that Heavenly Father will help me to be worthy and ready at that time or right now to let the Spirit testify through me.

Which makes me think now to how I still have one aspect and part about the Atonement that I still don't have grasp and understanding about, and that is the power to move forward right now. As well as still trying to understand the enabling power that it gives beyond my own. I still get into feelings and thoughts of everything has to be done perfectly now, that by not doing everything or obedient to everything makes to be not good. I know the truth. I just need to see it really with my eyes and discern from the errors and lies.

DAD I AM SORRY. I AM SO SO SO SO SORRY. One thing Elder Williams keeps telling me all the time is that he finds happiness and joy and making up to him in improving, moving forward, and doing better. WHY DO I MAKE IT SO HARD FOR MYSELF? Where is the balm in Gilead?

I am going to fast today to tomorrow. I am going to pray as unceasingly as possible. I am going to really try to truly repent. To serve right now, move forward as best as I can. I want the peace that the Atonement offers. I am sick of all the natural man selfishness and self-centeredness it has from wanting all these cool things to tell about my mission, or saying I did this or wanted this. I really want to have a full heart to only desire loving and serving those around me. Like you said the greatest sages rendering service and turning away before even seeing the results and having satisfaction in that.

Well, I do love you Dad. Sorry for my bad example and stubborness and slow to learn and actually do. Something I felt impressed from the temple was 'go and do, even as I have'

Love ya,
Elder Dayley

Oct 13 -3

So last week yy from my first ward I was in came up to Taizhong. We got dinner together with some other Elders as well as he cut my hair so I now have a new dew. Also Z who we referred over to the Nantun Elders had his baptism after General Conference yesterday. Super super happy to see him get baptized. Elder Williams baptized him and I introduced him.

Love ya!

Elder Dayley

Oct 13 - 2

Oct 13

Also here is President's letter

Hey President!
So yeah as we talked last week, things are doing better. I will take to heart what you suggested to learn about and understand emotional self-reliance. I will work at applying and implementing this practice throughout my life and building greater and greater confidence in myself to seeing the joy and optimism each day. Something I look forward from Elder Klebingat's talk to learn a lot from.

This past week we have seen many miracles in the form of many, many more people who have been willing to listen, talk, and also start setting up to meet with us. It's been in parts a very much turn around from what has recently been happening. So I have lots more hope and faith to go forward knowing this is the Lord's work. I really wish to express so much of my gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who constantly watches over me as well as everyone else. What a tremendous blessing it is, especially in all that he provides for us. One big thing being General Conference. What a power booster! I had answers received not just for myself but also for investigators I was pondering on as well as less actives. One part that really stood out to me was the mention of the sacrament, to not only look at it as a moment of redemption seeking and seeing all the mistakes or sins we made and then seeking forgiveness. But rather looking back to see throughout the week how the atonement had helped to enable me to do what was placed before me. To then go into the new week with greater hope.

p.s. Elder Williams and I saw the Meet the Mormons trailer and think it would be really cool if at some point in time the mission could see it. Like Elder Williams said, hopeful wishing

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

Also a quick note this whole week is going to be a power week. General Conference was amazing. I noticed my first conference on mission I had 15 pages of notes. My second conference about 19 pages. Then I blew it out of the water this time with 32 pages. I guess conference really touched me a lot. Wednesday we are going to the temple, which will be most welcome. And then Thursday we have interviews with president.

Love you so much!

Elder Dayley

Oct 13

Hey Dad!

Late night huh? I think in part as well that you wanted to talk. Things are doing better this week. President actually called and talked with me Saturday night because he had just seen my email I sent him last week, in large part also talking and asking for his counsel. One big thing he talked with me about is to think about and try to understand emotional self-reliance. We talked and he said I think you are doing well.. He also talked a little more about being perfect and said in his reply to email today straight up you are not perfect and that is ok. That is why we have the atonement.

Elder Williams and I just watched like all the trailer videos for Meet the Mormons. We really, really, really, really want to watch the movie!

Thanks for what you said in your email today though. One thing I come to realize quite bluntly is the confidence I need in myself. And that is why Elder Klebingat's talk stood out the most poignantly to me. I am printing the talk off to study over it more and the six points because I feel it was the answer I was needing for the questions I had going into conference.

Sometimes one of the hardest things I find and is difficult in my life is the whole aspect of forgiving and forgetting or in other sense moving forward and moving on. You know the whole analogy you used to talk about where you keep focused on and towards, about having a car going down a road and there are maybe some little rocks you see and you can fret over them, be consumed by them, waste time over them, or you can look up and look forward to all the other great things around and that are happening? You remember? That is something I am still at times having weakness in but improving upon. I really wish it could be super solid all up front. But it has to be built one block at a time. It can be pretty exhausting though. One thing I noted to Elder Williams today is how distracting, saddening, annoying, and quite frankly disgusting is how fake many Taiwanese girls make themselves out to be. There are many things they do to their own body that almost makes them to the extent of not feeling human exactly. It's kind of scary because one of the greatest defenses for myself is trying to always keep in mind we are all human, all children of God, all sons and daughters of heavenly parents, and when they do things to take away from that it makes all the effort work and such on my part that much harder. One of the weirdest and most things that takes away from being human is the contact lens they put in. Like they literally put different color contact lens in, or even lens that have a little sparkle in it (like what you see happens on an anime show that someones eyes sparkle) and it really makes it feel more inhuman than human.

But yeah. I am actually not going to fully get to replying to all today because I am going to the temple on Wednesday. So shorter email time today. Two things though is one: we are meeting with a Jehovah's Witness (since birth, his mom and dad were assigned to Taiwan as missionaries. His biggest thing is about figuring out if the Book of Mormon is the word of God or not. He has met with about 30 odd missionaries, and with the last set finally decided to try praying and said he got a peaceful answer and so forth saying the book simply cannot be true. So yeah...the other big thing is the whole difference between godhead stuff. Any advice or such you could pass along that will help with a Jehovah's Witness. We are meeting with him again on Friday). Second: when are you going to Florida in December. A member  in the ward I am serving at right now is going on his mission in December. He is serving in LA, but first goes to the Provo MTC. If I remember right he gets into Utah on December 16. But so point being, he mentioned about he somehow has to get down to the MTC from the airport. I thought about well we live half way between each, and I know you have a big old heart. So maybe you could help pick him up and drive him down to the MTC. Let me know if you are still going to be in Utah or not.

Love you lots!

Elder Dayley

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 5th Letter

Hey Dad!

Sincerely thank you for what you said. It's giving me much to think on and what I really need to do and not do. Poor Miko with getting stung by bees. Sorry this week email is not going to be exactly the best.

Super excited for the Star Wars Stickers! Besides that I really cannot think of anything i want for Christmas. I mean I really can't. There isn't anything I need at all right now. All is simply devoted to the work and serving others. So maybe hold off till I come home next year.

I love you Dad! I wouldn't want any other man to be my Dad! I am the most sincerely and humbly grateful for the family I have been born into. I love that it says in my patriarchal blessing that you are blessed in the family you are born in.

Love you!
Love mom as well! Sorry for not replying!

Elder Dayley

Letter September 28

Hey Dad!

That actually sounds like a good idea to maybe try for Elders. Also I would say try and do any other kind of simple activities as well. Maybe even try and get some more sports in there. Guys all like sports. And you are all not that old. So maybe golf, basketball, and so forth. Like here we play basketball twice a week. Once on Saturday more focusing on inviting investigators. Then on Monday morning from 6-7 for our exercise (this is just more the missionaries as well as some members). None of us are particularly good. But we just play to have fun and be with each other. So good luck with getting the Elders all more involved and getting more friendly.

It's interesting that the stress management book talks about specifically if something is bothering you to talk it out and let it out. If it is something that you don't want to talk about, then don't let it bother you. Yeah it can sometimes be a pain when your whole routine and comforts get disrupted, but that is what life sometimes is all about. How we learn, react, and grow.

So this is what I shared with President today. Actually kind of in response more to what you said as well about recognizing the Spirit. 

Hey President!
Well it's a new week and super excited for the next move call. This week had some good moments to help me formulate out strong plans of what I can do each day to work more effectively, with greater excitement, and more joy and happiness. I am looking forward to what Elder Williams and I can do to improve and accomplish in this coming move call. We have lots that we communicate to each other and what we are willing to help push and motivate each other to do.

I feel to simply share with you about this past week my studies. I really focused in Preach My Gospel this past week studying Chapter 1, really desiring to better understand what my purpose is. It's really helped to see how important it is to refer and talk about the Restoration, regardless of what background or religion they come from. Like you said as well, is having a love for the people. The love of God. Something that stood out to me and has progressed my Preach My Gospel study to its next phase was how much Chapter 1 talked about as well as to having the Spirit and its role and importance as a missionary right now. So I have begun studying Chapter 4 on recognizing the Spirit. It's really been impressed upon me that the beginning talks of needing to recognize and understand the Spirit. And that it states through diligent scripture study you come to better recognize and understand the Spirit. So that is my quest right now to more fully understand and recognize the Spirit. Because I cannot do this work on my own.

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

Z is liking and enjoying the Nantun ward as well. He hasn't had a baptism interview yet because President hasn't gotten a hold of him yet to set up a time to meet (probably because he is so busy). But he sounds like he is still doing really good. Brother A and Brother L are doing super awesome. They both got the priesthood yesterday. Brother L is super awesome about wanting to share the gospel and wanting to be involved in everything.

Yes I am watching Conference a week later. So don't you spoil anything for me! So I am watching it the 11th and 12th.

Love you lots and lots!

Elder Roo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 21st Letter

Hey Mom!

Well apparently the Ogden Temple re-dedication was really cool and special because both you and dad mentioned about it and even about some of the same speakers. Bit of a bummer though that you have had to put off your homework until today. I guess that is life sometimes, hey?!

So yeah I got my package on Friday as we were going out the door after weekly planning session. I pretty much grabbed it, took it back to our apartment, opened it up to see all that was inside (a little sad there were not any Star Wars stickers, I only have one more right now that I am going to put on my new planner for the next move call next week, but then I am out but still will have 5 more planners), and then walked right back out the door. Then I wasn't back home until Saturday night because I went over to do exchanges with Elder Christensen in Dongying (which super side note and really cool is that Elder Christensen has met Travis Pastrana before because his dad had done rally car racing before. So they stayed in the same hotel and everything as Travis Pastrana).  So hopefully today or tomorrow I can open up some of the goodies. I have already tried out of the sweaters and such. Look great!

But so as dad probably knows because of his little sniffer nose of finding out everything that goes on in Taiwan, we had a "Typhoon" come through Taiwan yesterday (this is where you picture me doing air quotes with my fingers). Saturday night Elder Williams and I were at a dinner appointment/party with several members (we had known a little about that a typhoon was coming through and that it supposedly throughout Sunday would go up through Taiwan from south to north) when Elder Christensen called us and in a sense pleading/asking that we help out to go with the Dongying ward to the night market to sing hymns/contact (because he forgot about it and already had a lesson scheduled). So we went to help out with that and then found out through one of the members that the Stake President called a snow day for Sunday, or in this sense a typhoon day. Pretty much meaning that church was canceled on Sunday. So we get home that night and I have a text from the zone leaders that it could be possible that us missionaries have a snow day as well, so not going out at all. Before we went to bed the zone leaders confirmed on that that we are not going out on Sunday because of the Typhoon. We woke up Sunday doing our regular schedule thinking to be inside even though we see outside it isn't too windy or rainy or anything. Right before 10:30 get another text from the zone leaders that we have the green light that we can go outside. So basically we have a whole day ahead of us and no church. It still turned out really good. The Bishop invited us as well as the sister missionaries over for lunch, and we actually even did the sacrament at their house (Elder Williams and I blessed it). That was really cool and special. But we shared more with the Bishop and his family about why we came on missions and what helped influence us (they have 2 girls right now the oldest probably no older than Sahara). 

But we went out that day meeting with a less active 70 year old man (caught him just as he was going on his scooter to church because he didn't know it was canceled, and he is just less active really because he has no calling). We met with him, went to a park, walked around, and just had some more casual time with him and seeing how he is doing. We also did a lot of tracting and found 2 people that are willing to meet and hear more (one a 15 year old boy and the other who at first was arguing that he couldn't accept our religion because then he couldn't worship or in sense doing the sacred ritual rights to respect their ancestors, but after explaining more to him he is willing to meet and hear more). 

So yeah we did have zone conference this last week. All of it was really strongly emphasized on understanding and really having our purpose inscribed in us. It's been a bit of a hard month for the mission. As of last week I know that the mission as a whole has only had 13 baptisms this month (president has set as a standard a while back that he desires and strongly believes that our mission can hit 60 baptisms each month). As of last night in our zone we have only had 2 baptisms this month (those being Elder Williams and I) with a goal of having 10 baptisms this month in our zone. So the zone leaders are a little worried and concerned and have asked us district leaders to find out anything we can over the next couple days about what is possibly holding us back or why things are kind of like this. Then to report back to them on Tuesday night. 

Super cool but also super sad is that our investigator Z is all ready to have a baptism interview with President and has been doing super good of not smoking. But we found out last week that he doesn't live in Taiping but lives in Nantun (still Taizhong city). So today we have set up to meet with him and have the Nantun Elders meeting with us as well to hand him over. His goal is lined up right now for the 4th of October. Regardless of when it happens we will still be looking to attend his baptism as well as I know Elder Randall will probably come up because him and Elder Bennett started teaching him and were the ones who found him. We are super happy for Z though. He has such a good and righteous cause for wanting to be baptized, quit smoking, and be obedient. He talks about wanting to have a happy family and seeing how happy we are all the time (he isn't married yet, he is 28). So we pray for him that everything will go smooth and well.

But yeah that's about it. We don't know really yet exactly what will happen with the new missionaries if they are coming or not. A member  was talking with us last night about how I guess the Taiwan government has supposedly changed a stance that only 10 missionaries can come to Taiwan a month (and that is combined between the two missions, so only 5 missionaries for our mission). Supposedly there was suppose to be like 26 missionaries coming this new move call. And there are like 20 missionaries going home. So we have no idea really what is going to happen. Ball is kind of in the air. Still is feel though like move call will still happen and everything.

Also thank you so much for the package! It is great!

Love you so much!

Elder Roo

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sept 15 Letter from Chris - 2 Baptisms!

Hey Mom!
So as for my package I am not exactly sure. No I haven't gotten it yet. If it has gotten here at all they would be holding it still in the mission home to wait and give it to me tomorrow at Zone Conference. Yeah tomorrow is Zone Conference and it is going to be big. We are having both the Taizhong zones meeting together (so pretty much a third of the mission). That is going to be way fun but it will be really uplifting and inspirational (which is something I feel I could really use and need more of right now). The focus is going to be completely on our purpose as a missionary. So really diving in good that it isn't just about lessons, seeing how many people you can contact, or how many people you can get baptized. But really about listening, resolving concerns, adjusting your teaching to each person, so on and so forth.

I remember you saying and mentioning that for the next month or so it is pretty busy with all the different kind of meetings coming up. I don't know if I have ever been to a regional conference at our home in Alpine. At least that I don't remember. Sounds like you had really good talks and lots more guidance, direction, edification, and uplifting. 

Well so, about the baptism............it was one of the most touching experiences ever really. Brother A had asked if I would baptize him, and since I would already be in the water (and Brother L didn't have any preference to who would baptize him) I would baptize Brother L as well. The sad part was that about an hour before the baptism, Eli (a member who is assistant to the Ward Mission Leader) told me that the Sisters's  two investigators (a mom and her daughter that I had done the baptism interviews for last week) were not going to be getting baptized because the Father/Husband opposes to them getting baptized. Apparently the Sisters had just found that out earlier that day. It was really sad and we have been praying for them that the Father's heart will be softened. The Mom and daughter will get baptized, it is just a matter of when. I feel a little sad because Sister Parkinson (one of the Sisters) had asked for a Priesthood blessing on Thursday, that I gave to her. I really prayed hard that the Spirit would inspire to know what to say and part of the blessing I talked of her taking comfort and joy in saying the progression of her 2 investigators getting baptized on Saturday. Well.....that didn't happen. I don't know. Heavenly Father definitely moves in mysterious ways and that there is particularly something else that needs to happen.

But so earlier that morning I was making sure I had everything for the baptism and what not, and went out the door thinking everything was good. Not until we were sitting in the baptism service right when it started that it dawned on me and I looked at Elder Williams saying "I forgot a spare shirt". We both just kind of went bright eyed and were like uh-oh what do we do. Luckily Elder Williams went out to go try and find a shirt. He came back and told me to not worry at all. So we went and did the baptisms. Brother L went first. We had earlier explained what would happen, but it must have either slipped our minds or he didn't understand quite exactly that I had to say the prayer first, because he at first just tried to kneel down and go under water. Then when I did say the prayer and went to baptize him he still went for the kneel again (like kneel praying if you are Islam) and so at first I was like what the but still tried to see if he could get fully emerged. Nope. So we did it again but Eli helped explain in Taiyu (which side note the difference between Taiyu and Chinese is probably not what you think. Not like the difference between US English and British English or like Dad thinks of Tokyo Japanese and further norther Japanese. It straight up is pretty much like the difference between English and Spanish. Seriously! Even probably a third of people in Taiwan don't know Taiwanese or Taiyu or can only understand it some but not speak it) to bend backwards and fall into the water. So on the second time it went all ok.

Then Brother A came in and he was pretty much straight forward and simple. He was already baptized once before, so he pretty much had a handle on it. Afterwards as we were in the bathroom and all changing really couldn't stop from smiling and it truly was a blissful feeling. Brother L was saying some things but I kept telling how happy a moment it was and he expressed how he really felt a good feeling. Brother A was happy and excited too (although his emotions don't always come through as much). Brother A afterwards though shared a really strong, solid testimony that even got some members afterwards to particularly comment on. 

So yeah I already said in the Picture email where Brother A was found. We met with him after church, gave a baptismal goal, then planned to meet with him again after English on Wednesday night. By that time we had prepared a baptismal planner (basically mapping out all that needs to be taught and happen before his baptism goal). So I had written out basically every lesson stuff that needed to happen just putting them on days thinking that it was a start and if needed to change could change. But nope! Brother A kept to that plan down to the exact point. There was even one time we had written down that we would meet with him but we had mentioned saying that we would teach those another day and hadn't even confirmed with him really that we were meeting on Saturday night. Now flip flop to me and Elder Williams in the car with K  (the other Taiping Elders' RC) and I get a call from the Dongying Elders saying that Brother A is at the church and telling them we were suppose to be there teaching him some commandments. So I talked with Borther A, apologized that we would not be able to meet because we were in the car heading down to Yuanlin to attend a baptism. He was fine with it and so on. Brother A is already on top of the game asking me about getting a triple combination as well as saying he wants one of the smaller hymnbooks. Which we are getting those tomorrow at Zone Conference and will give to him later in the week (as well as a triple combination for Brother L).

Brother L was found through tracting. Back at the last move call at the second to last week they did something called the no companionship left behind week (kind of funny that we made jokes about no child left behind). Basically what happened is they really wanted every companionship to get 3 new investigators that week, and if any companionship was struggling or having a harder time to let their leaders know. Pretty much what the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and Assistants were doing the whole week was more just going finding over in others areas (those who were maybe needing a boost) to find new investigators. Our area was fine but the Assistants said they would be back in Taizhong on Friday and wanted to go on power splits with Elder Randall and I. So Elder Sumsion and I hit up one part of Taiping while Elder Randall and Elder Vandiford hit up another part of Taiping. That is when Elder Randall and Elder Vandiford found Brother L. They just talked briefly with him at the door and invited him to church. Then that Sunday he came to church. but we didn't get time to sit down with him. We set up though to meet with him the following Sunday before church. We had a member sit in with us who knew Taiwanese (who actually in my mind ended up being the perfect member to have in the lesson that first time, who we had just thought of the night before and asked to attend our lesson). We simply taught him about Heavenly Father and how the gospel blesses families, then felt impressed to invite him to be baptized. From there on we always tried to have a member help attend lessons because Brother L is from Tainan with a pretty unique accent and prefers to speak more in Taiwanese.

You will have to have fun with Cody and Pat over for pizza. Oh man good for Jaren. So funny that he hiked up Timp with a girl. Good date idea. I hope it goes well with them. I have been meaning to and thinking of emailing him. Just slips my mind or get so busy and caught up in emailing others.

I hope your studies are going well and that you are doing great. I love you lots and lots!

Elder Dayley

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sept 8 Letter from Chris

Hey Dad!
Well that wouldn't be good to jinx my investigators, now would it?! It's all good though. Thanks so much for fasting and praying for Investigator A and Brother L. I suppose I shall update you on the investigators and baptism stuff first. As of right now Investigator A and Brother L will get baptized on Saturday. Yay!!! Super fun!!! Elder Baker (my zone leader) came on exchanges with me in Taiping Friday to Saturday so that he could cover doing both of their baptism interviews (since I am District Leader, need to have the ZL do the baptism interview for our investigators). In Brother L's interview Elder Baker (and the member with him who helped to speak Taiwanese) found out that Brother L had been smoking. It is like this, that he himself doesn't buy cigarettes at all or anything. When he is home he says he has no desire to smoke or anything. But when he goes out neighbors or others offer him a cigarette and so he smokes it. All about being courteous and respectful to others generosity. Which is funny that yeah I have had the same thing of people offering me cigarettes when I bike contact them on their scooter. But yeah Elder Baker told him he could still get baptized if he didn't smoke at all this week. If he does we will have to move his baptism date back. But so yesterday at the end of church when I was sitting with Brother L having him fill a few things out on his baptism record, I asked him how the smoking stuff was going, and he said he hadn't smoked at all. He said that when people had offered it to him he simply told them no. So he is doing super good. Investigator A pretty much passed his interview flawlessly. Elder Baker said he is super good. So Investigator A asked me to baptize him, and we forgot to ask Brother Lin, so we will ask him today when we see him.

Then it gets even better. The sisters have been teaching a mother and daughter from English (actually found in the intermediate class I was teaching) that just passed their baptism interviews yesterday. Which I was the one (since I am DL) that did their interviews. I am not going to lie, I was kind of nervous because I have never done it before I wanted to make sure they were ready. But it went really well.

So this is where it gets even better. We are having 4 people get baptized this Saturday! It is going to be super good! We are all really excited! :D I am just looking to the future now that we need to get some more good solid investigators, because we don't have any other baptismal goals right now on the board. I trust that it will all work out well. Definitely that I really want to kick my butt into gear. REALLY been thinking somewhat over the last day about not wanting to give half-hearted effort, so-so desire towards this calling and work. So I really am going to work my hardest to give it all, not think too much, and see more of the strengths in myself so that I bolster my confidence more.

Elder Williams makes a joke about no matter what you can't burn him (like dis on him or put him down) because he already survived Nebuchadnezzar's fire. Pretty funny! We still have some contradicting personalities. We stick to our guns when it comes to arguing points. So we have had some truce Cokes to settle it and make things better. But we get some good laughs and really I learn so much from him. Really to just get myself to not think too much.

I am glad that your EQP social outing turned out good! :D It sometimes is a pain to get people together all the time. But as long as you be yourself and have fun, you make it fun for others. Something I have found to be very true in English class. Yes I have discovered my personality in Chinese, but my personality really comes out more in the English language. And in English class where you have people who are used to schooling where you sit there quiet, accepting what is taught, and not asking questions, it can be pretty daunting and awkward. But I have found to just kind of be myself, make stupid jokes, laugh about things, be eccentric, and it gets the students to enjoy more of the class.

Man I miss Cody. But also I really don't want to think about that. Because in all honesty, as much as I sometimes hate and loath or think the mission is freaking impossible, it is the best thing ever, that teaches me so much that can't possibly be done in any other aspect of life. It's great, it's wonderful, it's beautiful. I mean yeah I do think of home sometimes and the cool things, the fun things and such that I will have when I am there. But then I was thinking just this morning how that when we come back there will be probably scenario where we are in Taiwan and we are sitting in the Taxi, that I will be up front talking with the driver and going to introduce myself and realizing that I am not 戴長老 anymore but simply 戴先生. It made me sad and think "darn, as much as it is really hard sometimes, I don't want it to end, I don't want to go". I really don't know if I will cry or not when I get home. I mean I have found I cry at odd times. It is really weird. I don't know...

Well things are rolling forward! I am so grateful to everyone who supports me and encourages me in so many ways. I pray and hope that I don't let them down. I just keep trying to do my best, and really tackling head on to be even more confident in myself and not think too much. I love you lots and lots! Hope your week goes well!

Elder Roo

p.s. A victory photo of bowling last week with Elder Williams and member Tony

p.p.s. Super funny on Saturday night it worked out that all 6 of us Elders in our district were at the church as well as an RC Kevin, and that Elder Anderson bent over to pick something up that then just caused a big rip. We noticed that the seam on the inside of his leg just completely broke to be open about a foot or so long. Didn't even start from a small rip, just popped open. This biking is killer on the legs of making them really big. Just about every missionaries' legs get bigger from all our biking. But that day we had played basketball as a finding activity we do, so Elder Anderson put some shorts on instead, which looked really funny because he was still wearing church socks, white shirt, and tie. Something to cherish and remember.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sept 1 Letter

Hey Dad!

I really like what you said about mindfulness. It's very true and definitely helps in getting rid of a pessimistic outlook on life. I will have to try it and work at it.

Some of the cartoons are pretty funny. Like in one your latest letters that had like two pages of cartoons with it Elder Williams thought they were pretty funny. I liked them too, like the one about I don't want to be District Leader anymore. You can always also send more Far Side comics or Dilbert. Those are pretty funny as well.

I think you spoil me too much with how much I get and receive from you and Mom. Don't get me wrong though I love it all. And am super grateful. 

Crazy the Courtney Wells came home a little early. She was in the MTC at the same time I was. I saw her around a couple times. Also super crazy weird that she came home only 85 lbs. Especially living in Japan (which compared to Taiwan is far more advanced and 1st world) and especially in Tokyo. She must have gotten some virus or something, or really came to a point of not liking the food. Hope she does well and recovers quickly. 

Yeah Ryan said he was going around Taiwan with Nate Erikson and then for a little bit by himself. I would say the things about when to come to Taiwan that are up in the air is if you wait too late into summer or August mangos go out of season and seriously you do not want to miss the chance to eat the fruit or mangos here. The only other big determining factor is weather which actually you and mom keep emailing about it being rainy over here. It actually has been an odd summer with not as much rain or Typhoons as normal. It finally rained last Saturday and the time before that was probably a couple weeks. So that is my 2 cents on Taiwan. Japan I have no idea on. That is your area. But going to Florida end of June and beginning of July sounds really fun. Sounds like a plan.

Thanks for praying for me and for our investigators. Investigator A is one interesting character. I love him but yeah he still is interesting. He is like 50, not married. But every single invite we have given him he is immediately willing to do it. We sat down with him yesterday to teach about Tithing, Fast Offering, Priesthood, and Temples. We had the 2nd counselor in the bishopric sit with us and really helped in just asking some direct questions as well as reviewing about restoration and priesthood. When we asked if he believes Joseph Smith is a prophet, he said he is, I mean the Book of Mormon is true, he translated it, so he must be a prophet. So we strongly encouraged him to keep praying asking Heavenly Father about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon as well as Priesthood. But yeah he has read to 2 Nephi now and he is looking really good to reach his goal of September 13.

Brother L is also doing really good. The members have been really good of welcoming him. He has already come to church 3 times. And it turned out really good last Thursday when we went on splits with the EQ, Elder Williams went with Brother X (the 2nd counselor in the bishopric) to visit Brother L, and found out that he wasn't exactly praying because he didn't quite know how to pray (this came about mainly because he speaks Taiwanese a lot better than Chinese, he can still understand Chinese, but he has an interesting accent and we are foreigners so we have an accent as well, so when we have met with him ourselves it is a lot harder to get points across, so we for sure need a member with us). So they helped to clear that up and made things right. So Brother L is doing really well as well. We still have a little more of commandments to share with him. But he is already keeping the WoW which for a lot of Taiwanese is hard. But he is keeping it really good.

That's about all that there is for now. I love you lots and miss you tons. If you want to know more of my current stance you can ask Allisa, since she knows a little more right now. Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Elder Roo

Hey Mom!

Sounds like church was really good. We had it really good with church yesterday. They definitely implement me a lot for playing piano. In Gospel Principles class (which we have a really strong and good class for our investigators) I play for an opening hymn and they have started doing a hymn sung by missionaries that are specific for the topic that day that I play the piano as well for. Then I play in priesthood as well. I even this last week Elder Williams and I were talking and he asked me about music and wanting to know more to play the piano. So I taught him some.

But as well as yesterday was 5th Sunday, and 3rd hour lesson was on missionary work. So Brother X helped in heading it up but gave time over for us missionaries to to do some training. Then right at the end of church a young man in the ward opened up his mission call (so even our investigators got to see it and understand more about missionary work). He is called to serve in Los Angeles Chinese speaking.

Aw man, you know me. Yeah the V-neck sweaters would be a lot better and i would like a lot better. As for treats and snacks I will like just about anything you would send. Just think outside the box of stuff that Taiwan does not have that is reminds me of home and is really good.

Pretty funny about Kev's bed being pink. You might just have to send him a Hello Kitty pillow. It would be perfect. Also good luck with the oral surgery. Doesn't sound too fun.

Love you lots, good luck with school this week, miss you and think of you always!

Elder Roo