Taiwan Flag

Taiwan Flag

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Week of Miracles

Hello again,                                                                                                        Oct. 27, 2014

Wow what a crazy week! So after emailing last week we met up with most of the rest of our zone and headed to.... the beach! Yes you heard me right the beach! My all time favorite place on earth. It was super beautiful. Nothing too special, I just always have thought that the ocean was so awesome. Not to mention China was just over the way. That is a weird thought, then we played football of the beach. It was a good time.

Elder Roe on his Bike!

 We rode back home down the coast which was an awesome ride, especially because it was just in time for the sun to about set. This week we saw so many miracles. This one day we made a very very long trek up this huge hill to try and go finding. We were just about to head back for dinner when there was a girl walking up the sidewalk. So we just thought we would try and talk to her then keep going. We stopped her and talked for a few minutes. Then we asked here a super common question. "Have you seen missionaries around before." Then to our disbelief she said no! I was like, What!? How have you not, everyone has! We asked her where she was from and she said, The Mainland! Yup guys, and gals, mainland China. We talked to her about the gospel and gave her some soul searching questions to which she actually said she had though about before. We introduced her to what could answer those questions: The Book of Mormon. She got really excited and even told us that when she had finished the book she would give it back. We told her that she could have it, and that we could meet and again and discuss what she read! It was so awesome.

This place is awesome!

 Then we ate dinner and started out again, I started to cross the street and then realized my companion had not followed me. I looked behind me and saw him talking to a lady. I turned around and started to talk to her as well. She had stopped to talk to us and then told us that her and her family would love for us to come and teach them! Yeah, I know. Sounds too good to be true right. This NEVER happens. I am so happy that God put us in the right spot that day to find those people who where prepared to hear the fullness of the gospel.

Another day we got a great taste of the Taiwan humidity. We went to help a family move. The mom is from Taiwan and the Dad is from Curitiba Brazil. I was like, Bo would die! So crazy! So the family speaks Portuguese and Chinese. The thing about houses here is that they don't really take up a ton of space but they go up. So this consisted of climbing up four flights of stairs! It was so nuts. So hot we were dying haha. But it was way fun and they were very kind and fed us a great dinner.

Well I love you all so much, this gospel is so incredible. It blesses the lives of others all over the world. From Utah, Norway, Brazil and Taiwan. It is fast and it is true. We are so very blessed to have what we do. I love you all so much and pray for you always! 

Elder Roe

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Searching For Investigators

Dajia Hao,

Can't wait for this traditional Tiawanese meal! 
Well here we are again! This week has been a great time. We are in a newer area which means that we get to have a lot of time to go finding! Which is really comical and fun. Luckily the people are so polite here that they are usually willing to at least let you start a conversation. Then when you start talk about the Church they just say Fojiao or bai bai! And I'm like, yeah I was 99% sure you were a Buddhist but that doesn't mean I don't want to talk to you buddy.
 But it's alright, we are out here to find the few that are prepared. This Thursday I went out on an exchange with Elder Anderson who is in Zhunan, which means that I was in the same apartment as Elder Humphries. Which of course means we had a blast! Elder Anderson has been in that area as long as I have been in mine which means we were still trying to find out where we were hahaha.

Glad I'm not scared of heights...

On Friday we went out to Zaociao which is in the country a little bit. The train just stopped and it was like a ghost town almost. No one was at the station there to get tickets or anything. It turned out that it is a really really populated area but during the day everyone goes to work in a nearby big city. So that meant we were left with all the older Taiwanese. Which provides two small problems, 1. They are huge on tradition so don't really care for Christianity and 2. Most of them couldn't speak Mandarin. They speak Taiwanese or Hakkan. Which for your info sounds nothing like Chinese to me at least. But something neat did happen. We were walking up a street and there was a group of about 25 kids waiting for the bus to take them home from school. They just stared at us for a while and then just kind of giggled when we waved. Across the street we stopped to make a phone call. I was watching them, a little amused cause I was pretty sure they hadn't seen an American this close. Very often at least. Then with some peer pressure one of the kids got up the courage and yelled out "Where are you from?" I told him America and they all looked at each other and laughed. Then I told him his English was really good! But that was a little advanced because he didn't understand so I just switched back to Chinese. I'm sure he didn't understand me though. They were all super funny and it was cool to talk to them and ask them a little bit about themselves. Then it was back on the train and returning to Xiang Shan. It was good to be back home! 

My companion told me that they found a new investigator which of course I was stoked about. He told me that it was a bit of an interesting situation though. When I asked for further details he told me that he was the equivalent of a fortune teller... I thought oh man there is no way. The next day we rode out to teach him and it was very.... different. However he does have a lot of potential. He really does want to follow Jesus Christ and grow closer to him so I hope that he will follow through with the commitments we extended to him. It was hard to teach because not only did he talk really fast but he used really really old Chinese that I guess no one uses anymore. Luckily we had a ward member accompany us so when we didn't understand what he was saying he could translate. Needless to say I, I didn't do much talking. 

My beautiful Xiang Shan!
Last of all, I talked to a man this week who had been investigating the church for the past 20 years. When I asked him why he was willing to meet with us he told me just because it would have been rude to say no. As the conversation progressed he had a wide array of reasons that he didn't want to accept baptism. He began saying that the reason we were so willing to be in the Church was just because of our families. That is where somehow I got the courage up to tell him that wasn't true. And in my broken Chinese I told him that it doesn't really matter what my family believes. Because I had to, like him, know that this was true. And I didn't what Moroni tells us to do. And I've tested it and I got an answer. I bore testimony that this Book is true and that this gospel is the true restored gospel. And that's why I am here because of what I know for myself and I want other's to get what I have. This broke down the wall a bit and even though I don't know if he will ever convert to our Church. It reminded me that no matter what this is true. I learn more about my self everyday. My advice to anyone whether Church member or not would be: Don't take anyone's word for it. Find out for yourself. Because you can. This gospel is capable of changing lives! I love you all. I'm so blessed to be here! I pray for all of you all the time!!! 
Cockroaches...they will take over...
Elder Roe

p.s. Shout out to my sister for finishing her mission! Your awesome and I love your face as well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running in Asia!!!

Dajia hao!                                                                                                                         10/13/2014

Wow, the past week has been insane. Last time I really talked to all of you I was still in Omaha. Then early Thursday morning I got a call from the President. He asked me if I was ready to go to Taiwan? I of course said yes! He then said, good, because you are leaving tomorrow morning at 6 AM. And from there I started running and didn't really stop. That day was full of packing and making sure everything was ready to go and saying goodbye to some of the members that I had met.

Omaha Elders who are headed to Taiwan!!!
 That night we all met up at the mission home and we said goodbye to Pres. and Sister Weston. It was in all honesty SO HARD! We were so excited to be leaving but then again so sad. It is true that God expands your heart beyond what you are capable of. As we all said good bye, I realized how much I had already grown to love these people and how hard this was going to be. So with all of  us crying like babies we got into the van and rolled off. We stayed at the assistants apartment and had a good time catching up and then we were up at 3 the next morning to start the adventure!

 We flew to Dallas where we had a 6 hour layover. We met an awesome girl on her way to Uganda for humanitarian work. She was incredible and we collectively taught her and gave  her a book of Mormon. We also met up with some other missionaries there. Then from there we flew to Japan! Wow, seriously I never want to fly in a plane for that long again. We made the most of it, but I do not like being that confined for that long. We had to go through security again in Japan and we had to spring our guts out. We had to hurry and board the plan in about a half hour. We barley made it on and then looked around to find EVERYONE was there, the 30 of us! We were all so stoked to see each other! And we were on our way to Taiwan! (this is partially a lie, one sister was having a few health issues and has not come to Taiwan so please keep here in your prayers) We landed and made our way through immigration smoothly and met the President and we were taken to the Mission home.
My view outside my bedroom window on night #1!!!

 By this time it was midnight in Taiwan so we all went to bed and got a good nights sleep! The next day was fast Sunday we got to meet a lot of members and we had a good time. We even went to a big park and tried contacting. Up until this point it just all felt like a whirlwind. The next morning is when it really clicked that we were in Taiwan. President Day took us on a run and didn't say where we were going. As I started running I looked up around me and it all sunk in. I was running through the streets of Asia! It was so cool, I feel like a dork but I was so stoked I had the biggest grin on my face. He took us to Chiang Kai Shek memorial which was as beautiful as it was large. The next morning we were taken to the Grand Hotel, which is where the mission was dedicated. On the grounds we went and said our own dedicatory prayer. It was such a neat spiritual experience! 
Beautiful Building in Taiwan

My Boss Sister and Nephew!!!
Then the moment we have all been waiting for right!? The transfer meeting! I was called to go the the city of XiangShan in Zhunbei! It's way out west, when we travel we can see the ocean that goes straight to China. It is an awesome little place! My companion is Elder Illu! He has been out for about a year and a half and is such a good missionary. I will have a lot to learn from him. He helps a lot because I is learning characters so when we go to eat he can actual tell me what I am ordering haha. And of course he helps me in even more ways than that! The language is a blast and a half and way hard. But the people here are so nice and will try to help you as much as they can. There is this cute little Chinese lady that I go and get breakfast from and she knows exactly what have ordered before and will just point to the sandwiches or what not and if I tell here that is what I want she knows exactly how to make it with what I want haha she is awesome. And it is true that Asian's like pictures, I never been asked to take a picture with someones dog before... So that was new experience.
Sweet Reward

Also, shout out to my sister who had a kid like a boss. I am so excited that my nephew is here and healthy! So many exciting things are happening its a fun time! 

Well that is about it. We got to watch General Conference yesterday because Taiwan is on the re broadcast program. And I got to watch it in English with the other missionaries so that was really really good! I hope that everyone will take the time to study those talks and apply them to your life! Praying for all of you!!

Elder Roe 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Greeting from Taiwan!

Hello Family, Greetings from Taiwan!                                                                             Oct. 6, 2014
My nametag....I am in TAIWAN!!!

So the past couple of days have been so crazy. We just have a few minutes to tell you we are here and we are  safe. So real fast I will just fill you in a little on what has happened. We got all the way to Taiwan. A little bit late because of weather. And then we went to the mission office in Taipei. Me and Elder Robinson and Elder's Wheeler and Wayment are staying with us in Pres and Sister Day's apartment. While everyone else is throughout the temple housing.

 Yesterday we went to Church which was pretty fun even though it was hard to understand. Then we had lunch and went to Da'an gongyuan (a park) and did a proselyting activity. It was a blast! People here are really nice once you get to talk to them. And they also talk really fast! Here in Taipei you get a lot of diversity so a lot know broken English at least so between the two of us we kind communicate a little bit hahaha.
Currency in Taiwan

 Today we went to get our money exchange for our bikes. So Mom and Dad please keep an eye on my account. We also got up with the President early and we all went on a run through the city and he took us to Chiang Kai Shek memorial. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!!!! Seriously it was so huge, I don't think pictures will do it justice.

 Taiwan is so beautiful, this morning all of us were saying: there is no way we are running through these streets in Asia. It seems so surreal. But for the rest of the day we just have some orientation and tomorrow we will find out who our companions are and where we are going! So that will be awesome! That's about it for now. We are so lucky to be here with these people. It's so neat how young the Church is here. Yesterday all the Elder's in Priesthood got up and introduced ourselves and then gave them suggestions on things we did in America for home teaching. Although I'm not sure if they could understand us ;) Well I get to talk to ya'll next Monday on Preparation Day so until then!
Chiang Kai Shek memorial...where we ran to with the mission president.
So I have a little bit more time than I thought. They people are awesome, haven't really had Taiwanese food yet but when I walked down the streets it smelled good, not sure who my comp. is yet. We will find out tomorrow and find out where we are going.. The time change sucks. I slept like a log last night. I'm lucky because there a so many of us that I am in the Pres. apartment in the General Authority room and get to sleep on a kind sized bed that is SO comfy! It won't be like that for the rest of my mission so I am trying to enjoy it while I can hahaha. The next exciting thing is tomorrow I get my bike! I went and exchanged my money today and Taiwanese money looks way more cool than U.S. money hahaha. But I get a little confused on what things are worth. I know the exchange rate of things but have no idea on the amount you actually spend. But I asked an Elder and he told me that you can eat a meal for about 2 American Dollars. It Taipei City it's alittle bit more expensive and you just might spend 3.... so yeah I am a fan of that. I went to a park yesterday to try contacting and the park was HUGE! Its called Da'an Gongyuan (park) but in Chinese  it's name is forest. It's super cool! 

They gave us money to call if we got lost and couldn't find our way back to the entrance hahaha. I talked to this old lady for a while and she talked really fast and was hard to understand but it was a lot of fun. I can't wait to be fluent. A sister missionary translated for our Presiden'ts wife. And she was insanely good. Like out of the ordinary good though. It was cool to hear the english and chinese side by side. I understand a lot when it's a American or missionary speaking chinese but the natives  are a little bit harder for me. I think because the don't speak as clearly, just like how we wouldn't say mountain right. Usually though they are nice to us and slow down enough that it becomes easier to understand. Sign  language is still a huge indicator. It was really hard to be in the states and not be speaking it daily. I think it will be easier when I finish my mission because I will actually be fluent enough that I can talk with people and do other things. But learning it if you aren't fluent and then trying to keep it seems like impossible.
Jia You!

Luo Zhanglao (Elder Porter Roe)