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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rollercoaster Ride

大家好!                                                                                                                Aug 25, 2014

This week has been, as the title indicates, a rocky week. Although something that I am quickly finding is that when there are hard things there so many tender mercies that God gives us along the way. So to start off, there has been a pretty bad sickness going around our zone. Half of our District was out, including my companion.In fact it was a little funny because in every companionship there was one that was healthy and one that was sick. I was able to hold on for most of the week but am getting a little cough now. But no worries I'm alright! Then on the way up, this Friday we got our flight plans!!!! This is like the most exciting day at the MTC! The plan is that we will be leaving the MTC at 6:00 AM on September 5th!
  We will fly from Salt Lake City straight to Tokyo, Japan and have a little layover there. Then it is a straight shot the rest of the way to Taipei, Taiwan!  As you can imagine we were all on cloud 9! Then the head of our department came into our class and told us that our Visas had not come through and that we would be staying another week here in Provo. We were crushed. It was hard to get our hopes up and then come crashing down. We tried to just keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason.
 Then class ended and we walked out into the hallway and the same man was out there. And he told us "They came through, we are good to go!" So then we got our hopes up and were so happy again! It was a big scare and we were a little skeptical and still are. But I am praying that everything goes smoothly so that we can leave on our planned date.
 Then we got our mail and I got one of the worst letter's I could have gotten. I was told the my dog, my best friend had died. I was so sad! It was really rough news, especially when I realized how long we had been together, 13 years! I love that dog so much! But I'm all good, I know that all dogs go to heaven so we'll be okay!
Porter and Turbo playing together this summer!
My faithful friend
 But then last of all to finish the roller coaster off right our Zhongwen name-tags came!!!! And they look so awesome! We are encouraged not to wear them here since no one can read them, but I will for sure not because I want to wear it for the first time in Taiwan! 

Last week I told you all that we would be teaching a native last week. Well we did and after a couple of computer difficulties it was awesome! Such a neat experience, I love the Chinese people! Such good happy personalities. I shared a scripture with him, it was Moroni's promise at the end of chapter 10. When he flipped there is started jumping up and down a exclaiming that this was HIS favorite scripture! He read so fast that I couldn't even follow along. It was so neat to see that a scripture that has touched my life so much has made it across the globe to effect someone else that I couldn't never ever known in my life. That's just prove that this is the true gospel and that the work is hastening. 

Last night I went to watch Elder Holland's "Miracle of a Mission" talk. If that doesn't get people pumped then I don't now what does! A few things that he said that were so awesome were: "This is real life! You don't serve a mission and go home to real life in fact this is probably the closest you will ever get to real life so you better not waste one single minute!" Also he shared the story of the Son's of Mosiah. And talked about the part where they were astonished. He told us, "Go out and astonish someone!" So folks, that's the goal. I don't have time here to waste to figure out how to get things my way and God's way. There is only his way. Elder Holland also said that his mission changed him more than any other missionary that has ever served. Unfortunately for the first time I think ever I will have to disagree with him. I never thought I would say those words. But my mission is changing and will change me more than anyone that has ever gone on a mission. Because it already has. Salvation isn't cheap, and it is what matters. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and want to come as close to them as possible.

Jensen and I were laughing at people who iron only 1 side of their shirts and forget the other side....then he did it! Laughed my head off!
One last story. Before we were given our name-tags one of the Laoshi's who was subbing and would be handing them out asked if he could share a story: He is from Singapore and when he was 18 he woke up at 5 AM and marched out to the square for a ceremony. This day he was joining the military. The would call them each up one at a time by name and then present them with a gun. They told him, this will pay for the next two years. Having a gun was very significant because no one in Singapore owns weapons or carries a gun. Except for military. So it was a symbol that set you apart. One that said you had authority and power. Then he told us this is the same with these tags. They are the real deal. They will set us apart, and they show that we have authority and power given to us by Jesus Christ. When people see the name-tags they would know what they represent. So we needed to always wear with honor. Never to defile what we are representing. After that story, when he present us our Zhongwen mingpai it totally made the experience so much more neat and important.
My authentic nametag from Taiwan arrived!!!

I love you all and am praying for you guys! The Church is true!

Elder Roe

ps...Just found out about the two Elders who died in Taiwan. My heart is breaking for the families and all the missionaries there. Pray for them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hello everyone,                                                                                  Aug 18, 2014

I hope that everyone's weeks was just fantastic! Thank you to all those friends and family that send so much encouraging mail throughout the week it is very much appreciated!

 So I know that all of you have been asking for a funny language story and the truth is, they happen every single day. So briefly for those who don't know, Chinese is a tonal language. Meaning that the same word can be said with five different meanings depending on the fluctuation of your voice. This is by far the biggest challenge for me individually. So everyday when I talk or teach a lesson, I am always saying things wrong. Luckily Wo de Laoshimen (teachers) care more about us having correct grammar and vocabulary right now than hitting every tone right. So this week when I was teaching a lesson on the plan of Salvation, the message that I was trying to get across was than in order for us to become like our Heavenly Father we needed to acquire a body of flesh and bone. Instead what I said was that we needed "bones" (like we needed to have bones from something in our hands) to be able to get back into heaven. Needless to say I had nothing to really say after that, but I got a pretty good laugh out it. This language really is so fun to learn!
This may be his teacher who is leaving the mtc...not exactly sure

 Later today I am skyping some natives in Taiwan and practicing speaking with them. So I'm a little bit nervous about that but I am also very excited. It will be a neat experience to see how they really talk and how FAST! On a sad note, my Laoshi left us this week! He will be teaching Mandarin at Lehi High School and will be amazing! So that means that I am getting a new Laoshi today! His name is So Laoshi, he is from China and is way kind. Even if he talks too fast for me haha. I love him and am happy that I get to have him for the next few weeks! 
Our District

If anyone know's anything about me they know who my favorite General authority is, Elder Holland! He just speaks to me and has my type of personality so I am always really touched by his talk's. My favorite talk of all time that changed my life is "Lord, I Believe" I printed it out early this week to study. Then I gave it to our district to read, on Sunday we walked it in the morning. And then we went to Priesthood and the Counselor taught a lesson on Faith and used this talk as well. So I don't think it was a coincidence that this talk was brought up over and over and over this week. I needed to remember the key focus in this message. Which is, Lead with your faith and only then recognize your unbelief. I am so thankful for this gospel and the opportunities it gives us to have faith. I would encourage anyone to go look up that talk. I know that it will strengthen a testimony. It will help anyone who wishes to have more faith. 

So I will answer the question now as to the different title of this email. Throughout this week I was thinking a lot of the missionaries around me and what they need to feel loved and wanted here. As problems have arose and concerns have been voiced it caused me to do a lot of thinking. To be completely honest, I probably spent too much time thinking about them than I should of. However, I was thinking about these "problems" that seemed at the time to be a "big deal." Towards the end of this week I was talking with a missionary whom I love so much. He seemed a little down so I asked him if anything was wrong. He opened up about a tragedy that had happened from the town where he is from. As I listened, and tried to give what comfort I knew how. I felt like I was slapped across the face. While these concerns were mostly definitely valid, they were short term. Things that could be handled with love, if I supported my companion, residence, district and myself I knew that God would help resolve the things that were troubling me.
 As I listened I was reminded how closed off I was of the world right now. That just because I am in a place that is so spiritually strong and protected, people still go through very hard things. The Elder is doing just fine, he is very strong and loving and was just concerned about those back home as he had every right to be.
 But I was reminded to keep things in perspective. *Sorry for the Harry Potter quote but I can't help myself. Don't be a Hermione, "We could get killed, or worse expelled!"
 As we try to reach out and help others with theirs struggles and lift them up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ it is then that we can feel most happy. I feel so blessed to be here with these missionaries and to be able to call them my friends. I also can't wait to get to Taiwan and help the people there who are having real life struggles that can be cured with Christ's power. When I see things with a positive outlook, more and more is accomplished each day.

Last night we had Dallin H. Oaks daughter Jenny Oaks Baker talk to us. She is a very accomplished violinist who graduated from Julliard. Something she shared from an experience I found easy to relate to because of this experience. (I know this is out of context, but it will serve my point) she said, "I was happy that, that was a lesson I learned off-stage rather than on-stage." I agree completely. I am happy that I learned to focus on other peoples real struggles rather than my own individual concerns, doubts or problems.  This gospel changes lives. I know that it will change others, because it is changing mine everyday as long as I let it. God has been helping me so much throughout this experience and I know that there is no way I could do any of this without him. 

I hope you all are well, I love each of you. A piece of advice I learned this week. Keep it all in perspective. When you feel you have a problem, try to help someone else out. You will find both of you will grow closer to your Savior. Well until next week!


Luo Zhanglao

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Who is God?

Happy Monday!                                                                                          Aug 11, 2014

I know that I have said this every week. But it's so true, the weeks here FLY by. This week was so neat. On Wednesday night we had a discussion of why everyone in our District was here. It was basically a small testimony meeting. It was so amazing. I see why the hastening of the work is happening right now. These missionaries that I get to associate with are 1st class kind of people. It makes me so sad when I make such good friends with them and then they fly off to the far edges of the world and I know I probably won't see them every again. But I do know the influence they will make.
hanging out in our room
 Last night I listened to Richard Heaton talk. His talk was entitled, Who is God? He opened with asking the question; "Who of you think that on your mission you will meet someone who doesn't know who God is?" He then told us that all of our hands should be up. Then he had converts in the congregation stand up who were converts that were 16 or older. Then had two, a Sister and an Elder come down and tell us about their conversion. And why they said the didn't know who God was. It was incredibly powerful! Something he said really struck me because I have found myself being guilty of this. He said; " We act as though the cognitive understanding of doctrine is what will make the difference. It will not. What we need to do is help them discover who God is, who he is makes the difference.
Love his visual on Choice and Accountability...looks like he is soon meeting up with the shark! Poor Luo!
 When learning a new language, Taylor you might be able to back me up on this, I think we stress too much about learning the vocabulary that we need to teach about the lessons in Preach my Gospel. We try to learn definitions for "atonement" "priesthood" haha and especially "baptism" Now don't get me wrong, these are of the most importance. Because I have had it asked to me and when you can't answer it, it becomes very awkward very fast. But perhaps if we focus on learning how they will be able to discover God through these things it will be of better worth. As I write this I realize how obvious it sounds. But breaking out of the teaching mentality can be very difficult!
 So I need to ask myself the question. Do I know who God is? When have I felt his love and do I recognize it in my daily life. I know that I am more than able to have the opportunity to have his love because of what I am doing but I need to go out of my way to help myself and other's realize it. 

A little downtime!

I love you all. There is no greater work than to share the gospel. I think that we are too scared to share it! The best way to share is just to live it. And be open to answer those people's questions. Remember that we are all One Fold, and One Shepard. Wishing you all the best! Wo ai nimen! Wo jian ni xia ge libai! 

Luo Zhanglao

Monday, August 4, 2014

Half way done at the MTC

Dajia Hao!                                                                                                   Aug. 4, 2014

I hope that everyone had a fantastic week! I feel like for me it was just kind of the same thing as the one before. Here at the MTC the schedule doesn't really differentiate much. But something that I have been doing this week was take the challenge of Elder Bednar. And buy a paper back copy of the Book of Mormon and write in the front a question you have. Then read, mark, ponder, take notes etc, pertaining to that question. Then once you have finished the book, write only one paragraph of the answer to that question. I have already learned so much.
 I can testify that that book has the answer to any question we have. Last night I watch the Joseph Smith prophet of the restoration movie. My testimony of the man grew so much. There is no way someone can give up that much, and suffer in so many ways and not be telling anything other than the truth. In 1st  Nephi chapter one. He says "having suffered many afflictions, nevertheless, being favored in the eyes of good..." What!? So let me get this right. Having many afflictions means that you are favored by God? What a good attitude. I read President Uchtdorfs talk on Gratitude. And he talks about what God really wants to see is an attitude of gratitude. I believe that Nephi most definitely  had this.
Playing Chubby Bunny with cheeseballs!
Yep, we get serenaded at night!

Still finding time for fun!
I loved what my Sister Taylor Roe said in her e-mail this week. About how many of us are caught up in the line, and need someone to save us. I would dare say all of us. Being here I have realized how much just an upbeat attitude towards other can make your, or their day. This past week I got to host the new missionaries. A big news agency was here (I think it was BBC) doing a report on the MTC. And as I walked passed them with these new Shen de daibiao (representatives of Christ) I could see the shock on their faces under their "new's reporter facades" to watch these 18 year old boys leave, give their family a hug and then walk away onto a daunting task. I am proud to be a Latter-day Saint. 

I cannot believe that this week I will hit a month since entering the MTC, just about halfway! The time flies here! Thank you to everyone who has been here supporting me! I love you all! Best wishes until next time!

Elder Roe