Taiwan Flag

Taiwan Flag

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The reunion with family and friends.

Beckett's wait to see his uncle Porter is
almost over.
Unforgettable Moment!!!

A long awaited reunion with mom. This is every mothers dream.

Best Buddies already!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The hardest Goodbye I've ever had to say

Hello friends and family!

How was your week? My included a lot of miracles, mangoes, and a typhoon. So pretty awesome week as you could imagine. :) I'll start off with the typhoon. First, everyone is fine and safe. The people that got hit the worst were down on the East coast, especially TaiDong. I was on the phone with Elder Magness and Wayment a lot and I could hear the wind outside. It was nuts, lots of destruction.
Spent an awesome day with this special family. Just impossible to say goodbye to them.

 Only one or two of the missionary apartments had some water get in, but other than that everything was fine. As for outside of the apartments, not so fine. It will take some time for Taidong to get everything cleaned up. As for the north side of the island, we had some wind and rain, and everyone was off the streets since the government called everyone off work. But it was hardly anything, no damage or injuries. We were blessed to all have remained so safe. Hopefully all of the stress marks in parents faces can now fade a little bit.
 Damage in TaiDong was the worst. Roofs were ripped off and lots of damage there.

This last week was a great week. Super busy as we are approaching transfers but fun all the same. Last p-day I went back to MuZha! They were so nice and had a little farewell party. Although it was bitter sweet. One of the great ward members had suddenly passed away the night before. I went to that members house and visited and prayed with the wife, and son. I was thankful for their faith in the plan of salvation, and for their eternal perspective. I was heartbroken to hear that he had just come back up from the south and was planning on coming to see me one last time at this activity. The members here were so kind to me, I'm grateful for their love and support. It was a blessing to be with this family in such a hard moment.
What a cool experience. MuZha sent me off with a final goodbye party!
They prepared all my favorites!!!

Well I guess I better get to the hard part. It's so hard to realize that this is the last email I will be sending from the beautiful land of Taiwan as a full time missionary. I can't use words of any language to express how I feel. The closest I can get is: heartbroken. I have loved, laughed, learned, cried, experienced, and felt everything here. This is where I grew up. This is where I have found my best friend, Jesus Christ. It's where I found my long-time brothers and sisters. It's where I came to know that my Savior truly atoned for me. When I think of leaving this place, I feel like something flies into my throat and I can't breathe. In Taiwan I have learned who I really am, and who the Lord expects me to become. I learned to not give heed to what others think, but to care what God thinks. In Taiwan I have never felt more alone. Never before have I felt that no one understands, and feel life is so dull and meaningless, but in contrast never before have I felt so loved and 被關心的 That life is full of color and has so much meaning and purpose. I have that the scriptures are true. They can bring us so close to our Heavenly Father. I know that prayer works! God listens to every single one. 

The greatest lesson I learned, is that people can change. It is the most tender experience to be able to meet someone on a busy city road, teach them about their Savior Jesus Christ, say a prayer with them (which is the first time they have ever prayed) and then start an incredible journey. I have been blessed to watch families be repaired, husbands and wives stop abusing their spouse, have alcohol, cigarettes, and other addictions be given up all so they can come closer to God and have better lives. For two years it has been the greatest privilege to get a front row seat to miracles. I have loved my mission. I'm grateful God allowed the biggest change to happen within myself. I wanted to end with a final testimony:


See you all on Friday.

Elder Roe

This is Elder Roe's dad  and I just wanted to say that as our son returns home after serving the Lord, Jesus Christ for the past two years in Taiwan his mother and I want to thank everyone for the support you have all shown to us and our family. His mom has done a great job keeping the blog up to date and we're grateful for all the people who have read it. There have been readers from over 10 countries and many 1000's of views, we hope you have felt the spirit of missionary work and the love our Father in Heaven has for each and every one of us. If your an investigator or would just like to find out more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints please go to LDS.ORG, it is a great resource. We are so excited to have Elder Roe return home but will surely miss the missionary experiences he has shared with the world.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Baptized a fearless advocate for the gospel this week! He's amazing!

Hey  ya'll!!!!!                                                                                                           July 1, 2016

This week was full of wonderful surprises! Yesterday was our MLC and it went really well I think. There were a lot of changes that happened. Pretty much the  biggest one was we have completely redesigned our language learning program. It's awesome! Huge shout out to Elder Elliott and Elder Smith. They put in so much effort to get all the resources and make sure it was amazing! It was awesome to be a part of it, even though my role was basically just look at it and talk it over with them. They are so amazing. To make our teaching more effective Elder Liston and I then re-created how we will be doing lesson plans in our mission, while incorporating the new language program. Overall I am feeling really good about it. It is the best way to be finishing out. The mission is doing better than it has in years, having so many miracles and so many people coming unto Christ, as well as new materials and tools to become the most effective teachers than ever before. So we are feeling really good about things :) 
Fearless in sharing the gospel is this new convert!

This week was so fast! I am trying to think about what we did and I can't even remember, it was that fast. Pretty much just moving forward with everything we have. Our investigators are doing well but running into some road blocks. T has been having some problems at home and feels a little helpless and is going to need a little bit more time to learn and grow which is totally ok. H DX is doing well but he still has the problem where he can't accept anything to come from God. Even when God answers his prayer he feels that he can't discern if it's from the spirit or if it's coincidence or what. So we are working on that as well. On the up side our investigator from Vietnam Chen Q He is actual going to be able to stay in Taiwan until next month while she works on some last things here. So she is coming to Church with us tomorrow :)
Last time saying goodbye to these guys. Sad. 

B Dx is doing really well after baptism. He is literally so happy and has such a big desire to share it with everyone he meets. He really inspires me and amazes me at how fearless he is when it comes to sharing the gospel with everyone! I can still learn so much. 

Everyday there are huge miracles! For example, last night a friend we invited a friend to the church to help with a lesson. The investigator actually ended up cancelling but our friend just stayed around the Church. He lives alone and doesn't have much family. Towards the end of the night we were all out there talking and he was sitting on the couch and then suddenly had a really serious seizure. As scary as it was, we were all there and had a doctor on the spot quickly. Everything is ok and he'll be alright, but it just makes me so grateful for all those little details that God knows about our lives. If he hadn't of come to the church he could've really been hurt. 

I love you all, make the most of your week! Love you!

Elder Roe

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Train trips this week....still going strong!

Hey ya'll!                                                                                                  June 27, 2016

This last week was one that was full of travel, and also a lot of miracles. For starters on Monday we were on exchanges. I was with Elder Luther who is so awesome! I learned so much from that guy, he is going to do amazing things in the south zone! Then on Tuesday we went to district meeting, I got to go back to MuZha chapel for the meeting which was so fun!

Prepping for our teaching at Zone Conferences
Got these pics from the a member there in Taiwan...so fun to see Elder Roe actually teaching in Zone Conference!!!

Then on Wednesday we had our Zone Conference with the Central and East zones. I think it went well. Probably just as good as the other ones, at least I didn't think it was much different. Right after the meeting we hopped on a train and headed off to Hualien! :)
Enjoying our pday at the beautiful beach...this is as far as we are allowed to go into the water.
Beautiful shot of the Elders on the beach

 We got there Wednesday night, and on Thursday we exchanged with Elder's Humphries and Miner. I was with Elder Miner, I love him so much! He was super impressive and I learned so much from him. We saw a ton of miracles! We had a afternoon full of finding and we found  5 of the most prepared people ever! So awesome! But holy hannah it is so hot down there. Literally we sweat buckets.Then Friday morning we played Frisbee with the Taidong and Hualien zones which was super intense
Feeling at home near the water!

. Then afterward had Zone Conference. It was different in a way since there weren't so many missionaries, it went well and we had a good experience. It was a good way to end the conferences. After the meeting we hopped on another train and went to Taidong. I was on exchanges with my already long time friend Elder Magness! I love him so much as well! (lot's of love this week) We had a great time and worked hard. We found some awesome people, he told me last night they met with one of the people we met and she brought her friend and is doing really well. So I'm excited to see where that will go. That night (saturday) we hopped on the last train and came back to Taibei. Home at last. 
One of my most favorite women in Taiwan!!! She's so good to me.
Had a great lunch from these ladies!

Sunday morning we had Brother Bian's baptism! It was awesome! He invited friends both non-member and LA. It went really smooth and he was so happy! I have pics of his baptism but not on me today. I'll send them next week! After that we had Church and had 7 of our investigators there which was busy but a miracle since we weren't here at all this last week. Brother Huang came back to church! (remind me to tell you about him)

Overall life is going well! Super awesome stuff is happening over on this side of the world. I hope your all doing well! I love you and miss you! 

Elder Roe

The grandma was 100 years old! 

Met some incredible people on exchanges this week!!! 100 year old Ama!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dragon Boat Celebration and Miracles

Hello America,                                                                                         June 10, 2016

This week was one full of trainings The week after the  transfer is always a fun one. Now everyone is in their new areas, with new companions and trying to get to adjust to all the change, so fun!

 This week we had a meeting with the new English Unit Leaders and District leaders and then the trainer/trainee follow-up meeting. I felt like the District Leader training finally went well for once. Each time I have done it, I felt it wasn't great or super engaging. But this time we had lots of great discussion and I feel like they left the meeting feeling like, "I know what I"m doing." The District Leaders are SO important! They really make or break it for their District.
Celebrating with friends at the Dragon Boat Celebration 

The  trainer/trainee follow-up meeting is by far my favorite meeting that we do. It is always really tender, especially for the new young missionaries. After 6 weeks the initial adrenaline has kind of faded a bit, and they have come across some challenges. It's a great thing to watch them as they come through the struggle and learn and grow. The time we had switched it up and I got to stay with the trainees the whole time and hear how they were doing. It was a blast to year about those early mission struggles, the heat, the culture, rejection, comp. relations, and worst; the language. I guess the good thing was I could tell them, "it does get better!" But this group is awesome and they have already learned so much. They will be just fine.
Treated ourselves to Texas Roadhouse this week. Yeah, we're fatties.

This week we have seen so much success/improvement from our investigator Bro. B卞 He was just 下定決心 determined to be baptized. It has been so fun teaching him. He has already invited a ton of friends to his baptism including some LA's that were members when he was in High School, he is seriously so awesome!

Two other quick miracles. First was on exchanges two days ago, on the way home we met this guy named L Y 盧毅 from Macau. He is so great! We were biking and he was on a bike too. So I started talking to him as we biked and then told him our Chapel was like two minutes away and asked if he wanted to see it. So he biked over there with us and we taught him a small lesson and set him up for Saturday night. Then yesterday night I was biking somewhere else and ran into him again! So we stopped and talked, and talked a lot about the gospel and how it blesses our lives. It was so great, he loved it and he loves us. He is going to be one of my best friends! 
This guy is going to be one of my best friends!

Last thing. Yesterday we got a call from the temple front desk saying there was a man here we could teach, and needed some help. Apparently he came in and said "My wife told me I needed to leave the house, and repent. So here I am." Anyway we taught  him, it was one of the weirdest lessons I have ever taught. His wife called during the lesson and I got to talk to her which answered a lot of questions. He is a big alcoholic, and I'll tell you what, he was drunker than a skunk. Like so bad. He was soooo out of it. Yet also really "there." It was interesting. I think we were able to get through a little bit, I was pretty blunt (as usual) and told him since he was so drunk there was no way he would be able to learn anything and he needed to come back tomorrow sober. So he said he would and I set up the appointment in his phone so he wouldn't forget and I guess we will see what happens. I really hope he comes and we can turn his life back around and get it on the right track. 

I love you all! Have a fantastic week! 

Elder Roe

Look at this 帥哥 
Happy 20th Birthday Porter.....hope you got one of these...your favorite Mango Smoothie!!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Welcome to the 16 new missionaries!!!

我親愛的朋友們,                                                                                               June 3, 2016

This week was super fun! :) We were blessed to have 16 new missionaries arrive safely to Taiwan as well as some incredible missionaries finish their missions and return home. So nuts! It was so weird to see this group of Elders  go home because this was the group that was in the MTC when we entered. They are all amazing and I have loved associating with all of them. Something a little crazy that happened. All the new missionaries arrived on Wednesday, and the returning missionaries departed on Friday. However pn Thursday, the airport flooded. So that was a little nuts, and a big clean up job. We were lucky they were able to clean it all up in a timely fashion. Then for those going home, their flight changed, had some crazy layovers and everyone was running around looking for a passport one of the missionaries accidentally misplaced. Needless to say, preparation day came just in time. 
Our new group of missionaries we welcomed this week!!!
Welcome to the best mission in the world!!!

This week was Zone Conferences. Elder Liston and I attended the XinZhu and TaoYuan zone meetings. They all did such an amazing job! I really love going back out to XinZhu and seeing my first area! The Chapel and all brings back so many fun memories. It was also Elder Listons first time really seeing the West Coast... sort of. Anyway that made it pretty fun.
We are working hard and really seeing some great things happen!

Last saturday we went on a picnic the the Wang family, Cai JM, EnCi, Pei Cheng, and co. It was a blast. We spend the day at the 中正紀念堂 which has a beautiful garden where we fed the fish and visited all day. Oh man I love those people! Sister Clawson is super lucky, she just got transfered to MuZha. The members will take good care of her there.
This pic just makes me smile!!! Love him!!!
Had a great day with my dear friends!

Miracle of the week. Our investigator B DX had a big moment/breakthrough and is going to be baptized in two weeks. I am really looking forward to it. He is really serious about doing what it takes to be baptized. Setting out a lot of time and making a lot of sacrifice to do what God wants him to do and what he thinks is right.

MOM!!! Had dinner with Wanda and her family!!! She is as awesome as you told me she was!!! She has a great family!!
Love this man! He is the man!!!

I am so excited for this last transfer! It is going to be the best one yet. I have lot's of goals and things to focus on so I am excited to be here with Elder Liston and blow up the XinAn ward! 

Hope you all are doing amazing! Go find a mango... and eat it. 

Elder Roe
PS... Shout out to Bre!!! Way to go Cous! So proud of you....you made it through! MC Grad 2016!!!
Bre and Brenna at Graduation!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Celebrating 60 years of Missionary work here!!!

Hello everyone,                                                                                                 June 2, 2016

Wow the last two weeks were so much fun. Last Saturday morning was one of the events for celebrating the 60th anniversary of missionary work in Taiwan. It was up at the Grand Hotel in DaZhi. That Friday night when we went to set up was crazy. The same day was the presidential inauguration of 蔡英文, and the dinner banquet was in the same part of town so traffic was nuts. But super fun to head up there with the Elders. The Grand Hotel is stunning at night. The big red pillars stretching up into the sky overlooking the HePing 和平公園 park and the rest of Taipei is absolutely majestic. It's a sight to behold, I love living in Taiwan with all of the Ancient Chinese structure.
Love spending time with this awesome family and I love these two boys!

Saturday morning we woke up early and went up to the Hotel and had a buffet breakfast, which was delicious :) The ceremony went really well! The Choir was incredible and loved hearing from all of the speakers. Afterward, we ate lunch with our Gospel Doctrine teacher Tan JM and then had a ward finding activity! This was the first time the ward has ever done a finding activity. (like MuZha) So we are working on get it up and running. It turned out to be a raining day which was a little disappointing because it made it so not as many members showed up. But it was still a huge success. Then that night our district/zone had so many baptisms! It was incredible! I had the privilege of baptizing Brother 陳建均 Which was a great experience. He will be a great member and is already a great Dad. Then we headed off to SongShan where Elder Liston got to baptize someone that he had taught just before he moved here with me. So overall it was a great night! 
I was so happy to baptize Brother C! He is an awesome Dad and will be a great member!

On Sunday we had a whomping 38 investigators at Church. It was an awesome day! We had invited a school hear in Taipei that studies religion to come and attend our Church meeting. So awesome! They are all Catholic, so it was  really cool to go into sacrament meeting and have 32 nuns and fathers sitting in the pews. After sacrament they split into classes, and then the last hour we had the Mission President with us, the Stake President, Temple President, and Bishop have a question/answer session. It was awesome! These people were really curious to learn more! How cool is that!

Then on Monday we were privileged to have our newest Senior Couple arrive, the Vatchers. Elder Liston and I got to take them out on Monday and help them buy all the things they needed for their home here. We had a great time getting to know them, they will be a great asset to our mission. We are so excited to have them! Then the rest of this week was busy while we have been filming for a English Class promoting thing and working on transfers etc. All good things, all good things.
We took a fun hike
I loved this cute Ama

 Lastly, this last Friday was MLC (Mission Leadership Conference). Yeah that sneaked up on us super duper fast! So we cranked out a plan super fast. President and Sister Jergensen focused/trained about Fear & Faith. It was incredible (as always) and then Elder Liston and I trained on working more with members. The key focus was how to teach and encourage members to talk with their friends about the gospel. I think it went well, I had never been trained on something like that before, so we didn't have much of a foundation to go off of, but I think in the end it turned out ok. Thank heavens I have Elder Liston who can carry me and make anything good, I love that guy!

Man, I love Elder Liston. He's a stellar companion!

Finishing out today we went to the last event of the Celebration here at the Chapel. It was really good and was very similar to last week. One of the greatest parts was to hear from Elder Kitchen, who was the first missionary to come to Taiwan. I had the honor of talking with him a lot as he as been here over the past week. He is truly inspirational and I'm so grateful for the faithful service he has given to Taiwan. If it weren't for him and his companions the Church would not be anywhere close to where it is today here in Taiwan. He took time out of his busy schedule to talk to our mission. It was nothing but inspirational. They suffered so many hardships while here. I can't imagine all they went through but I'm grateful that all of us that where in that room shared something in common: what it is like to be a missionary in Taiwan, and the incomprehensible love for the Taiwanese people.  

Hope all is well! Love  you all more than  you know! 

Elder Roe

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Treasure up each day

The first email is interesting information about Taiwan and the trip Elder Roe and Elder Liston took with Elder and Sister McOmber!!! She was kind to send me the email and the photos and said I could include it here on Elder Roe's blog...

Nihaou from Taiwan -

And Happy Mothers Day to all mothers out there. Happy Birthday Mark and Del (belated).

We had a great Mothers Day here - loved the calls!!!! Sacrament meeting was on mothers and it was really nice. The talks were given by a great family, the Bateens who are returning to the states to stay in a few weeks. Apparently many of the members go to the states for the summer so I'm guessing the ward will be a bit different.

Yesterday we went to the north of the Island to a place called Danshui - Dansui - or Tamsui - all the same place! We went with the Assistants and had a great time. A bit of history:

For centuries, Tamsui (which means 'fresh water') occupied an important trade and defensive post for the various empires that sought to control Taiwan. Its strategic position, at the mouth of the largest river system in the north where it empties into the Sea of China, and its steep terrain, made it ideal both as a natural port and a location for forts and cannons. In 1629, the town's most famous landmark, Fort San Domingo, was established by the Spanish; it was later controlled by the Dutch, Chinese, British and Japanese.
Pday with the awesome Elder and Sister McOmbers!!!

Other signs of Western influence include a row of late-19th-century mansions and Taiwan's oldest university. All of these were founded by George Leslie MacKay, a 19th-century Canadian doctor and missionary whose name is nearly synonymous with Tamsui.

Mackay came to Taiwan in 1872 and is revered in certain Taiwanese circles for introducing Western techniques of education and medicine. Thanks in no small part to his influence, Presbyterianism is the most popular Christian denomination in Taiwan. (so far, but we're working on that!!!)
Riding the MRT to our Pday excursion

As well as a preacher, doctor, and dentist, he became an architect who designed 60 churches and a civil engineer who supervised the building of them. He was incredibly courageous and physically very tough. He survived bouts of malaria and meningitis. He married a Taiwanese woman in an era when miscegenation was frowned upon in the West. Also, he publicly denounced as unjust and unChristian 
the head tax levied on Chinese (and only Chinese) entering Canada. MacKay's evident love for Taiwan continues to endear him to Taiwanese and his life story features in primary school textbooks.
We saw a statue of him with his boat and his bible.
3 handsome boys hanging out
Elder Liston's excited about his lunch!

By the 20th century, silting had caused Tamsui to lose it's importance as a port and the area reverted to a sleepy fishing and farming community until the recent boom in tourism. These days work continues on landscaping and beautifying the riverfront as well as restoring historic sights scattered among the narrow lanes winding up the hillsides.

This historic town at the mouth of the Danshui River quickly became a popular destination when the MRT line was extended here in 1998. The final leg of the journey runs past mountains and thick mangrove forests making it feel like a trip well out of town. And when you pop out of the station into the wide riverside park with street musicians, bike paths, moored wood junks, and views of an emerald volcanic peak (Guanyinshan) dominating the skyline it all looks very promising – and it is.

Now Porter's email this week                                                                       May, 14, 2016

Hello Hello! Happy Mother's Day to all of the incredible Mother's out there! I sure did love talking with you all this last week, for sure one of the highlights! I loved seeing everyone and talking with you all. I have the best family ever! 
Mother's Day 2016
Fun night Skyping with the family

This week was one that was really busy with exchanges. First Elder Liston and I went to BaDe for district meeting which was really awesome, then we exchanged with the North Zone leaders, I went with my good friend Elder Aiono, he is such a stud muffin. We had a great time and saw some great miracles together!

I'll be home now Mom before you can hardly blink
 Then after then we went to Taoyuan and did some unique exchanges, I went with Elder's Boyce and Bell and Elder Liston went with Elder's Pincock and Zhuang. We both had great experiences. Elder Bell and I saw a sick miracle! We were contacting on the street at the end of night, and started talking to this golden girl. She already has been to a lot of Christian Churches and wants to be baptized but her family is pretty devout Buddhist.

 Anyway I just asked if another day we could meet with her and share a message with her. She then said that she actually had time right then and there. So we looked down the street and saw a Family Mart. I said we could go there and talk. So she drove off on her moped and we started walking. Then funny thing, there are always haters. This one guy stopped by and was like hey Mormons! You know that he has something up his sleeve. Anyway he drove past us to catch up with her, and at the stoplight just was all over her, telling her how awful our church was and pulling out his phone to show her all of this stuff. Anyway she was pretty scared and felt a little harassed. I thought she would just back out and drive off. But afterward she still came over. I asked if he was upset with us and if she was alright, she just told me "I don't even know who that guy is!" Anyway, it actually didn't phase her and she set a goal to learn more and be baptized in June so that was a great miracle! 
Every day we meet new and great people

Other than that, to catch up on the week before. We had mission tours With Elder Wong of the seventy! And it was so awesome! I loved traveling with Elder Liston to Taidong. Seriously it is paradise down there, so beautiful and so hot! Elder Wong really focused on teaching by the Spirit. So he is notorious for just calling on people on the spot. It is really nerve racking and scary but so powerful. I really learned the importance to be guided in what we say and to make sure that it come from the heart. Something he said that really touched me was "I prepare my talks 15-20 years in advance. You might ask,"'Elder Wong how is that so?" " It is because I am preparing everyday. Live your live and treasure up every day, so that when the time is come you are ready." It has really had a profound impact on me. I have loved the concept, I'm thankful I had so much time to learn from him. He is a great and powerful teacher. 
Traveling with Elder and Sister Wong of the Seventy!!!
Mango Ice is back baby!
Flying to Taidong!!! What a beautiful part of Taiwan.

To finish up the week we did an exchange with the East Zone leaders. I was with Elder Matua who is so incredible! I loved being with him and learning from him. He has a great talent for loving people, he has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know.

Also our investigator Chen Qiu He is amazing! She is from Vietnam. I have never met someone with such a desire to come unto Christ. She is a incredible woman and I feel so blessed to have been able to teach and help her. She is planning on being baptized at the end of this month. So we are working on getting that all ready. 

Well that about sums up the week. I love you all and am thankful for the role you have all had on my life! 

Elder Roe

p.s. No one got hurt in the earthquake :)

p.p.s Mango ice is back baby