Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 24, 2014 Letter

Hey Dad!
Well another week another dollar....except that we don't make dollars at all. I guess the term can still be used though that we make it rain, with baptism water. The other Taiping elders had a baptism this last Saturday which was way cool because he was found through English, actually in the class Elder Ward and I taught. So I knew the investigator as well. But then this next Saturday we are going down to Yuanlin because an investigator Elder Williams had found and taught down there is getting baptized. So we are going to go see that, and we will get to see Elder Randall as well. So this week should be pretty fun. And our two investigators are on line for their baptism dates on 9/13. So pray for them as well.

Alright, alright I will spend some time telling about my companion. So Elder Shadrack Williams is from Parker, Idaho. He comes from a family of 8, him being the oldest. Like I think I mentioned before, he did wrestling as well as boxing. So basically he is the one you don't want to get on your bad side, or else you will be hurting. He was trained down in Yuanlin right when I got to Zhanghua, so I saw him around about once a month or so when the zone got together. Then we both moved to Taichung together at the same time, except he went to Dongying and I went to Taiping (same district, same church building, right by each other). Then after a move call he was kicked out of Dongying because Elder Christensen started training. He went with the other Taiping elders, which actually turned out to be really funny because they got the move call call and he was told he would be with me in Taiping. So the next night, Sunday night, he came with Elder Randall and me, and we just had a blast and a half the 3 of us. So I think he is on his 5th move call. We have been doing pretty good. Been pushing each other to work out each morning hard (getting up at 6 to go running, then working out back at home). I actually since I have changed part of my diet over to where I bring out my own lunch instead, I have lost some weight now to where I am about 172-3 or so. I am actually pretty happy about that. But yeah Elder Williams has given good feedback (like something Elder Randall mentioned as well, is that in general sometimes I explain things a lot longer then they should or too much detail, which I find to actually be something of a challenge because of how much I am an engineer). We also have gotten in some pretty good arguments and debates (actually just happening within the last couple days) over some pretty unimportant stuff, like this morning debating about that infinity is definitive and that infinity minus infinity can equal infinity. But we are doing really good. Getting to know each other more. Have lots of laughs and such (probably not always the most obedient about getting to bed on time, which is something we are working on).

But for leadership, our district is pretty strong and pretty good. Last week for my first training meeting it was my choice and I decided to talk about companionship unity and having synergy (which actually fell in line with President's invite to the mission). Elder Williams said he thought the training meeting was good as well as Elder Christensen. So hopefully I make a good leader and can help our district...

As for investigator A and investigator B (both with baptismal goals for 9/13). They are doing super good. Investigator B has already come to church 3 times, is in 2 Nephi, and is still willing to get baptized (just wants to keep building his faith). Investigator A is just a boss. I mean I was a little nervous on Sunday that he didn't come to church and didn't answer his phone. But after Priesthood I come out and he is sitting on the sofa there (thank goodness I wrote a baptismal planner up for him so he knows what we need to share with him, because that is why he showed up, was to sit down with us). Turns out he went to a concert yesterday and didn't come to church. But just right, we shared about keeping the Sabbath day holy with him. And at first he expressed a little scared because next week there was another concert on Sunday, but we taught with him more and he committed that he would keep the Sabbath day holy, come to church and not go to the concert. Pretty much pray for them that they may feel the spirit, so that they can really build a strong testimony.

Also pray for me that I can be stronger about trying to talk with everyone. The adversary gets hard on me sometimes to not want to talk or really proselyte, but I have been trying to work hard and get over those feelings. Just pray that those hard, bad feelings can become not so strong, or that I can have greater strength to overcome them easier. And I have not stopped praying for you and mom. I hope you and mom are doing better and that you can keep building your relationship stronger.

It's up to you how many sweaters you send. Keep it to solid colors. Probably no on the collar. And you will have to decide on button or no button. Think about it and think about if I would look sleek and good in it. Probably ask Allisa and Allaina as well.

Well almost about it. I love you lots, miss you lots, Elder Williams and I have actually talked some about home stuff and just makes me cherish and look forward so much more to all the fun and happy times I get next year. Love you!

Elder Roo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Letter - August 18

Hey Dad!

Well sounds like you have had a good week with your birthday and fun with the family. Also you seem to be doing a lot of goal planning, reflection, and seeking to improve. Don't burn yourself out too much though!

Here is President's response to my email last week that I want to share with you because I feel like it has valuable info in it:
Companionship unity always starts with looking at yourself. Do you love, serve, and listen to your companion? This morning in my personal study I read in the book of Mark chapter 12, where Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment? His answer," thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Pretty straightforward. Is your companion your neighbor? Do you love him as much as you love yourself? What have you done to serve him? Perhaps as you ponder these questions you can find ways to improve. If you need help, pray about it. As you study PMG and the Book of Mormon, the Lord will answer your questions.

Here is my letter to President:
Hey President!
I will make sure to keep my email short for sure this time. Well as for me how I am doing, actually not too bad. I was super happy this past week to see our English movie night go really well, super happy to see my investigator John (in Zhanghua, thanks by the way) get baptized, and happy/sad to see Elder Randall progress on to the next phase of his mission life. I really appreciate what you shared in response to last week about do you love, serve, and listen to your companion. Something I come to terms more and more with is how much better I really can love, serve, and listen to my companion. Definitely took me by surprise that Elder Williams is my companion now, but I am super excited and really look forward to forging a strong and awesome relationship.

Now to miracles. This past week I added a man from English to meet on Sunday before church. Long story short he came earlier than normal when we weren't there, but he still stuck around. We sat down with him and started teaching the 1st lesson (he is Christian by the way and already baptized) focusing on authority. We got through to the Book of Mormon but church was about to start. So we ended the lesson and invited him to come and attend church. He attended all 3 hours and in priesthood when the EQP asked if there were questions, and this investigator asked about baptism in other churches. The EQP provided a really good answer, and afterwards the investigator asked when he could get baptized. The EQP kindly replied that we (missionaries) would be happy to help him. We sat down after church again, extended a baptism invite and talked about what he will need to do now to work towards his goal. I have never had such a tremendous miracle happen as like this just did.

Real quick from studies, I studied in Alma 7 the other day. It's super good and the part about the Atonement stuck out to me in a different way. It talked about how the Spirit already knows our infirmities, temptations, pains, but still the Lord suffered in the flesh so that he truly knows how to help us. Really makes it feel more special and know that the Lord really knows what you are going through.

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

So I hope you are all doing well. As for this past week I saw many miracles happen that I am so blessed of the Lord to witness. So really two stories. First we had our English party movie night this past week. We watched the Restoration video that is an hour long. We had banana split ice cream afterwards for everyone. It went really well I feel (although only got 1 add, someone set up time to meet and learn more, but still I think some numbers did get exchanged). But so after the movie got done and we said a prayer I just went up to one guy and started talking to him. He attends my intermediate class and I knew him a bit. I ended up talking to him for about 10 minutes, found that he didn't live in our area, tried to set up a time for this weekend (he was just uncertain about time for Sat. or Sun.), but was still interested and willing to meet. So I handed the contact info off to those Elders. Then right after that I talked with another man who was his first time attending English class. He is a 50 year old man.  But so I talked with him for about 10 minutes as well. I added him to meet with us before church on Sunday. Then I finally got to go get some ice cream for myself (about half the people had already left at this point but thankfully there was still ice cream) and right when I finished scooping it the other Elders noticed that the Sisters were the ones starting to put the chairs away. So the other Elders were like oh no, we can't let the Sisters be doing that, that is not gentlemen like. So I was like screw it, put my ice cream down and went over to help clean up all the chairs. Finally I got to have a few quiet minutes to sit and eat my ice cream. Then had to quickly get everything cleaned up and numbers counted for the night. 

But so as for the 50 year-old man like the letter to President said, he came, we met with him, he is Christian, already baptized, but desires to get baptized now (I feel he more fully understands now the importance for authority). So he has a goal for 9/13 that we will be working towards and helping him with. We also gave another investigator a same baptismal goal yesterday on Sunday. So it was a pretty killer Sunday if I do say so myself. 

Then the other cool miracle is that I got permission from President that Elder Randall and I could go down to my old area on Friday to attend an investigator, John (do you remember me sharing about him before?), his baptism. Elder Oldham told me that he basically got an answer, developed a testimony, switched from the children's Book of Mormon to reading the regular one (because it is better and explains more), and now got baptized. So I was super happy to see him as well as others from my old area.

Lastly, Elder Randall moved today. I am sad because we really started to work at our companionship more and starting to do a lot better. But so Elder Randall moved down to 員林. Then for the kicker. Elder Williams who was with Elder Christensen in Dongying was kicked out because Elder Christensen started training (we are all in the same district). He went with the north Taiping Elders (Elder Ward and Elder Ames) rather than us. But then found out the next night at move call madness when we get the call of who is moving and found out that Elder Williams is my new companion. We were just surprised and ecstatic. So basically Elder Williams is just moving next door over with me. Also I am now the district leader for our district. Short about Elder Williams, he is from Idaho, and you can tell, but he is also different and way cool. He is pretty smart as well as he wrestled. So I am hoping one of these nights he doesn't wrestle me. But so yeah I have our District training meeting to prepare for tomorrow. A little nervous. But hopefully it should all go well.

I have to end now because we need to run off and get groceries before the end of the day. Tell mom sorry I didn't get to replying to her email. I read it though! I love you lots and miss you all the time!

Elder Dayley

p.s. we went to the mission home today and it is move day with 23 missionaries going home (so I saw tons of missionary friends as well as member friends, some I haven't seen since Gaoxiong). You will never guess who I saw. I saw Ryan Allen and Nate Erekson who are over here in Taiwan touring around and seeing places. It was way fun and good to talk to them. Ryan already seems to have grown a ton, but he said even I have grown and have different feel about me from that day that I just got off the plane in Taiwan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 10

HiI Mom

I am happy and jealous that you are down visiting Allisa and her family. Also super way cool that you got to see Paul McCartney live. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

I am super happy you got accepted into the Business school. I fasted for you and put your name of the temple prayer roll this past week. You are going to do awesome, you will be great!

Just believe in yourself. A quote I read from a Liahona talk that I really like that applies really well in all aspects of life is this: We would not sin, give up what we treasure most, or abandon our hopes and such if we simply remembered the truth that we know. That is all that Satan does, tries to get us to forget the truth that we know whether it be through lies, doubts, or worries.

Love you lots mom!
Elder Roo

Hi Dad

That is pretty funny that Sahara was wanting to tell me to tell her that I love her too. Well I know that she loves me, especially after seeing that picture of her with the pink bag and according to your words she does not put the pink bag down. So, yes, "Sahara, Uncle Roo loves you." I still remember that one time almost 2 years ago that I went out to California and Allisa, Sahara, and I went to the Lucasfilm LTD. buildings. We took some pictures outside but there was one little cute one where she leaned over and kissed me.

Well I feel first to go through and respond more to what you shared, then I will share what is on my mind. As for seeing the new man who was baptized, that is way cool! It's always something cool about seeing someone just baptized and confirmed. Although I have not had any other baptism of my own except Wayne's (which side story....yeah I know this email may be all over the place a bit, but who cares! Wayne emailed me back today and said he is doing well. As well as this past week when we went to the temple part of our zone went together with the Zhongxing zone, so I rode the train down to my old area, the Zhanghua station. I saw Elder Greenhalgh and knew that when I move out of Fengshan he moved in. He had just moved up to Zhanghua and so had been in Fengshan for 6 months as well. But he shared with me how Wayne is doing. He talked about how they still almost every week visited Wayne at their family restaurant. He still came to church and was doing good reading and praying), I have had the privilege many times to see other people get baptized. Like even this coming up week Elder Ward and Elder Ames (the other Taiping Elders) have 2 baptisms on Saturday. They also had a third one lined up for Saturday but because he didn't come to church yesterday, President was saying to wait and get one more church added in (the Asia Area Presidency has set a standard that investigators need to attend church 3 times, 2 of which being for sure in the current ward where they live). So this investigator is super good and solid, but next week he goes to Danbing, which is the required military service that all the guys have to do. So that is why Elder Ward was still pushing and hoping that he could be baptized this Saturday. But President said to wait and see about trying to do it at the beginning of next week. But you want to know what?! Guess where this investigator came from? Elder Ward and I teach the intermediate English class together and we switch off between the lesson portion and spiritual share portion. But yeah He was found from English class. Even just this last week I had the spiritual share and shared focusing on faith. I shared a couple scriptures coming from Alma 32 and Ether 12. I ended with inviting to act and to meet with missionaries or come to church on Sunday. And guess what happened Sunday!? A girl probably about 15 or 16 showed up (mind you it had been raining) and asked about where church meeting was at. We directed her to the 3rd floor and introduced the Sisters to her. But yeah she was in my English class this last Wednesday and it was her first time. But she totally acted! And came! And I believe the Sisters are going to be meeting with her later this week. I saw the Sisters had already given her some materials.

So as for your feeling about having a new Elder.....nope. Not yet. Although 20 new missionaries are coming this week and another 20 new missionaries will be coming at the next move call. Along with a lot of missionaries going home and leadership roles going vacant. I really don't know what will exactly happen. It could even be up in the air that Elder Randall may move this next week. It's really uncertain. Maybe the Lord knows better that Elder Randall and I have some things to improve upon and work on right now. Last night was the first time that he actually kind of lost his anger for a second. Then during companionship study this morning we talked for almost the whole time really about our companionship. Really opened up a lot more to each other. There is things I do and say that need to improve and change. There is things that he needs to improve and change. We both talked out a lot of things, knowing the goal and where we want to go. It just seems kind of hard right now because we don't know exactly how to get there. Let me paint you a picture. I don't know if you remember a Dilbert, but there is one where the salesman brings Dilbert along who pretty much makes the sale go bad. Pretty much in a nutshell Elder Randall and I have these two kinds of personalities. He very much is like a salesman. Although he was studying Math major in college, afterwards he was working at his brother's car lot basically helping to go to auctions and everything to buy cars, fix them up, and then sell them back. So he really pretty much has that whole personality of a salesman. Whereas me I am very much like an engineer. That is how I think and act. There is one solution/answer. I explain things out in greater depth rather than quick, short, simple statements. Basically how Elder Randall explained it to me is that I explain out my thoughts (which he said I have good most often on the spot thoughts) but I may repeat myself of things or reexplain things (like saying the same thing but just in a different way) and then when I am done may listen a little to someone else's ideas or thoughts, but because I already have a thought/solution/answer in my mind, I feel and think it is the best one. So that is where I am an engineer. Math there is only one solution. This is why I then also sometimes have a hard time with companionship study or studying together with others. Because sometimes when I am already scripted in a subject and know it well, I guess I just don't really want to or like to listen to others because I have the answer and solution already. That is why I think when I was home with you and we did FHE or something and I was so difficult to talk or share in FHE was because I was and am so prideful that I think I already have the knowledge and what I need rather than listening and accepting others ideas and thoughts. This is extremely difficult I have even found with teaching the Gospel. I see it so clearly and purely, how good it is and how much it has blessed me, that I teach it out, then someone still doesn't get it, and it's like "come on!" it's right there before your eyes. Same thing with I still catch my temper running a little short when I have been waiting to share my thought and I start to share but they then just cut me off again and I don't get to share my thought.

Yeah I don't know. It's a matter of finding the balance of getting a salesman and engineer to work together. Basically Elder Bennet (Elder Randall's trainer) had him the last couple weeks of training doing just about everything and he would observe and make corrections here or there. So Elder Randall has become very independent in being able to do anything. So he has the attitude to go super fast with everything, like he is just willing to take the phone and plow through making calls to everyone, or just that independent kind of attitude. As well as having an attitude that if someone tells him he can't do something, he will specifically go out and do it (maybe not right there at that moment) just to prove a point. So we have finally come to the point where we have talked and communicated more with each other (he said he has always just been putting it off and forgetting about things because he has that as well in his personality to be like "whatever" and also feeling like he doesn't want to put too much on me since he knows I work a lot against getting the doubts and worries away). So it comes down to how do we go forward? How do we get a salesman and an engineer to work together?

Want to know something funny? On Friday after weekly planning the assistants (Elder Sumsion and Elder Vandiford) went on power splits with us, Elder Vandiford with Elder Randall with me. Elder Randall and Vandiford had contacted a guy when they were outside of the Carrefour. Then Elder Sumsion and I over on the other side of Taiping contacted him where we were working at. And....no he still rejected a second time, even though talking with missionaries twice in one day.

Well I am glad in some way I was able to help the Collings, by giving their kids some of my Legos.

As for our work right now it has the potential to rise really good. We found 4 new investigators this past week. Except I am sad about the one guy we met with once, shared about the message of the Restoration, invited to be baptized (accepted for September 13), even followed up with and he said he had been praying before bed, reading, and even praying about Joseph Smith and such and said he believed; after all this he texted back saying he is busier reading his books for driving test this week (this was last Wednesday he said) as well as helping take care of some relative. He wasn't exactly clear if he didn't want to meet or not. We texted him back with some questions, but he didn't reply. He hasn't answered whenever we have called him. This feels like the story of my mission. That I find really good people with good potential, but then just ridiculousness happens and it all goes to whack. I mean what do you do about this? I know everyone has their agency. But still, COME ON! However, another investigator we have who has come to basketball several times and has been taught the first and second lesson, finally sat down again with him after basketball on Saturday, had a good discussion, fairly direct, talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invited him again to be baptized (he said no in the first lesson) and he accepted it this time. He still had the reply if it is true then yes I will get baptized. So we have been trying hard to follow up with him good. His phone was off last night, we sent him a text, but he didn't reply. We are going to call him today to follow up.

But on another note, I talked with Elder Oldham last Wednesday going to the temple and he told me that an investigator in my last area is going to get baptized! I asked him what changed/happened. When I left he was in a feeling of slowly doing everything, maybe one time at church this month, and so on. Basically Elder Oldham said he got an answer. He actually switched back from reading the children's Book of Mormon to reading the regular Book of Mormon because you get more from it. He had come to church like 4 times in a row. So he is getting baptized this week or next. Elder Oldham said he already passed his baptismal interview.

Hmmmm.....other news, this week is our week 6 activity for English. So that is what I am heading up. We are going to watch the hour long Restoration video in English with Chinese subtitles. Each of the classes will have worksheets to fill out as they watch, according to their English level. Then we are also making banana splits. So hopefully it should go really well! We have been getting around close average of 95 people or so with 80 or so being potential to meet with missionaries and get baptized. So we should be planning to add a lot of people this Wednesday to meet with us at another time.

But yeah.....that is just about it! And of course...................................................HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! You old fart! You are really over the hill now! the big 50! What are you going to do now?! You are old!!!

And yes I saw in your letter about the doctor about not eating anything for 3 hours before bed. Well that is ok because the mission has kind of kicked it out of me to not really eat much at night. I eat dinner at like 5 but after that I don't really eat much. Main part is because I am kicking back against the little bit of flab I have taken on. I even now have come to making my own lunches and taking them out. PBJ, carrot, banana, apple, and then usually water unless I want to buy a drink. It actually has gotten a little twist in the stomach to think about eating the food outside because of how much oil and such is used.

Well, that is about it actually. I keep at it to work it harder, make it better, do it faster, to make me stronger! I love you lots and miss the family all the time! It is crazy to think that I haven't seen you all for now 1 year and a couple months (skype doesn't count!). Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Elder Roo

August 4 & 6

Hey Mom,

I will email you back on Wednesday. I read your email and thought your lesson and story with the YW was really cool and sounded way awesome. As some updates, our duanchuan goes back tomorrow. Last week at English Proselyting had one of the most beautiful things happen. A Nissan GTR came through the intersection and he was accelerating fast. So it sounded way awesome! Yeah the typhoon was pretty so so, doesn't really hit here in Taizhong. Also our English class hit 102 students this past week. Elder Ward and I always have the most students in our Intermediate class (about 30 or 31). But it has been way cool as I have seen the sister missionaries working hard in getting some of the students to come to church or meeting. But yeah we are going to the temple this Wednesday. So I will email for another hour on Wednesday. Talk to you then!

So this past week since it was a member's birthday (he just dropped off the CAL meaning he passed his one year mark of being a member back in June) as well as my 1 year anniversary of being on the island of Taiwan, we went to a place called Shark Bites Toast. A little more expensive, but they have pretty dang good papaya milk as well as I got some french toast (so nice to get a little taste of home).

Then this is what happens when your duanchuan (our short term missionary we had with us for 10 days, a way funny 17 year old kid from Taichung) gets his hands on your camera. He takes pictures of you while you are planning at night and drinking some juice.

And then today we went to the temple. So I know I already have gotten pictures with the temple before, so I did it a little different this time to go in front of the visitors center plaque to take a picture. And of course wearing my snazzy suit with my new red dragon tie I got a couple weeks ago.

Couldn't ask for a better place to serve a mission. I love Taiwan! Hope you all are well!

To Dad

Thanks for sharing with me all your feelings, thoughts, impressions, and so on and so on. I really never feel like I have that much effect and do that much. Which is where I have come to the feeling that I have come to be maybe so humble that I need to add a little pride in again to take credit and such for myself in seeing that I have done good things, I am good, and will continue to do good. Which is also a thought came to me today about how I think many times (maybe too many times) I have come to just use the bad or negative things in my life to define me and who I am. 

But I appreciate your words and what you shared with me. I really do. I love you so much though and appreciate so much you have taught me in my life. 

Tell mom congrats on getting into the school and her hard work! 

As for investigators that will have to be more next week. The 9 year old boy has gone forward with anything yet because we are trying to get the aunt involved and talking with his mom. Hasn't happened yet. The other scooter guy I accidently set up for today but forgot that we went to the temple. I tried calling to reschedule but he hasn't replied and sent a text but hasn't replied back yet. So praying on him.