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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Kindness

Hello Everybody.                                                                                             Dec. 28, 2015

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas! I know I sure did! It was super fun to be able to Skype with the family. So much has changed. But all for good :) Super fun to see Beckett growing up. After we skyped, the family that we were with was super nice and fed as a delicious lunch! After that we had a very long day of finding. We saw so many miracles! I love Christmas :). I was thinking about it and I don't think there was one person that we really tried to talk to that rejected us! That was super awesome! The next day we had a huge choir activity in 樹林 which was pretty darn fun. 
What a great time reconnecting!!!
Wonderful family who let us Skype and fed us a delicious meal!
Hello, Merry Christmas Family Skype!

One of the hits of the week was the big mission party. One of my favorite parts which I am sure was the majority of missionaries favorite part was the dedicatory site. When we first come to Taiwan, one of our first days we drive up to 圓山大飯店, The Grand Hotel, which was where Taiwan was dedicated to the Lord. Or as it was phrased in the prayer, "the China Realm." We then spread out across the property and say our own dedicatory prayer to the Lord for our time here in Taiwan. This week we stood at the lower steps in a canopy of trees on the hill down from the massive landmark and Pres. Jergensen read to us the dedicatory prayer. It was so, so, so spiritual. It was incredible to see all that has come true! How welcomed we are, the service members give, and the growth of the Church! It really is the gateway for Chinese people to hear the gospel.
Skinny building in Taiwan

 Afterward we were given a few minutes to walk around and ponder on our mission. It was amazing to be able to be back there. Seeing as we don't serve anywhere near there this was my first time really being back in this area. It was so... I don't know "touching" I guess you could say, to reflect back on the time that has past and what has happened up until now. It is amazing what God can do to those that come unto him, he has truly fulfilled the scripture in Ether which says, And if men come unto me will show unto them their weaknessgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; anmy grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong untthem." 

Now I mean obviously there is still a lot that is weak. But I know I am at least better than I was when I came here. I feel so grateful for all that I have learned and am really looking forward to continue to grow.
 Truly the most wonderful, loving people on earth!

This week we also went Christmas Caroling. Let's just say it was... super hilarious. I loved it! It is fun to see Taiwan start to embrace a little bit of Christian culture. I feel so blessed to be in a place that is so unfamiliar with our traditions. There are the sweetest, most gracious people. I love them all so much! 

I hope that you all have a fantastic week! 

Much Love,

Elder Roe

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Such a sweet early Christmas gift! The example of a 90 year old man!

How is everyone?                                                                                             Dec. 21, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that you are all having a great week and are enjoying the Christmas season! This week was super crazy busy with transfers. Elder Elliott got transferred, I was super sad. I am really gonna miss him, he was a great companion! My new companion is Elder Bellingham from North Carolina. He is so great! I love him, he is going to be a really awesome companion!!! 

This last week we had some pretty cool experiences. One of which was a man named 劉弟兄! He is the Bishops Father-in-law and is almost ninety years old. His body is in pretty awful shape so we had to have a few people baptize him but luckily it went really smoothly. And just to add the cherry on top he is from China and immigrated to Taiwan so.... that's pretty sweet! 
What joy!!! It's never too late to be baptized!

After transfers pretty much our entire zone got new companionship's, and some areas got whitewashed. Not to mention almost ever companionship in our Zone is training. So we have a young zone full of faith! But we got to put in a ton of work with skills and get it all up to par. It was a really, really rough transfer meeting. So many incredible missionaries went home including most of the Sisters that entered the mission with me. It was crazy to see them bear their last testimony and get ready to go home! I guess it just made me realize how much time is left. (not a lot)
Our last District picture before Elder Elliott transferred

This week is going to be super crazy! Tomorrow is our mission Christmas party, got some exchanges, choir, skype, a stake activity that is going to be awesome! So it will be super busy but super duper awesome! I am really looking forward to skyping with the fam this week too! 

Can't wait to Skype with you this week!!!

Overall, things are going really well. Our two super awesome investigators HJ and L D 
are doing so well and loving everything about the gospel. In fact H J wants to move up her date. So that is really awesome. We are working with some other people to pick up the pace haha. 

Well I love you all so much and hope you all have a great Christmas centered on Christ! 

Elder Roe 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy happy Birthday this week Mom!!!

Hello all,  
                                                                                              Dec. 14, 2015

Happy happy happy Birthday this Saturday Mom!!! I am so excited to Skype you guys but the time is up in the air unfortunately! It looks right now like I'll be calling on my Christmas morning this year. But I will for sure have a more set in stone time next week when I email. Sorry. 

Had a busy busy week. Here are some photos of the week. Sorry I am out of time. I am happy and loving life! I hope you are all well and healthy. I love you all to the moon and back! 

Christmas Choir performance and look who came!!! Love Celebrating Christmas in Taiwan!!!
So very happy to see him!!!

Our crazy exchange! Elder Magness and I. We took our bikes on the MRT!

My Chinese Momma!!! Elder Elliott and I sure love her!
Elder Barton and I on exchanges

Crazy Porter

Enjoy your week!!!

Elder Roe

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"In my quest for me and mine, have I forgotten thee and thine?"

聖誕節快樂!                                                                                                                 Dec. 7, 2015

How are all of you? So it really isn't Christmas despite the first line but it feels like it! One because we went through a HUGE weather change.... I don't do well with weather changes. Thank the heavens above that my companion is awesome and goes outside everyday to workout! Otherwise I look outside the window and am just like "I think I see wind, and that cloud over there looks like he is fat and ready to let some precipitation fall! .... we better stay in." haha okay maybe not that bad but I really hate the cold. 

This week was really fun with Choir. Yes I am in the Choir, shocker I know (obviously there wasn't any audition) But we got to go to 三重, 士林, 金華街 and perform so that was fun. I love the fact that we get to share Christmas and it's true meaning with the Taiwanese people. The other week I asked my English class what the true meaning of Christmas was and the answers were: Gifts, day off of work, candy, and Santa Clause. Yup, hard to believe right. Finally one student said he thought he heard that it had something to do with Christ but he wasn't sure. So if you haven't ever taught the life/birth of Christ in 10 minutes before, you should try it some time it is interesting. Also, this week got to see Jason and Jerry from my first area. We got to go out finding and saw some cool miracles. It was really fun to see someone I have taught be on the other side of things teaching the gospel to others. So awesome! 
Jason and Jerry from my first area, came to help me teach! What an incredible experience!
Huge tender mercy this week! Got to go back to MuZha yesterday. I had a meeting with my favorite Stake President there. I am trying to get things up and running here and was talking with Pres. Jergensen about working with Stake and Ward leaders and the importance of it. Anyway since MuZha was such a huge success I got permission to go back and meet with him and get all of the information like: statistics, plans, pictures, etc. It was super fun to be back there even if it was only for an hour. I love that area and all the people in it. 
Some of my favorite memories were back in MuZha!

Anyway,  these past couple of week have been an adventure. Lot's of things have come up that kind of threw a bump in the road. I have learned a lot about what is really important and what is not, why I am here. And while even though things change, whether on a mission or back home the Church is still true. I think the hardest lesson I have learned is how important agency is. Sometimes other people's decisions break your heart. When all you wanted for them was the best. You devote all you have to them and then somehow they are able to look past that and choose something else.

 In those moments I have learned it is important to be steady. We need to be able to understand that in the raging waters of our lives Christ has the ability to calm the sea with the simple words "Peace, be still." But equally as important to remember to ask ourselves the question "In my search for me and mine, have I forgotten thee and thine?" We must align our will to his, and his will is for us to respect other's choices. So the best thing we can do is always leave those people with "I hope the best for you." And really truly mean it.After that all we can do is make sure we are living the way He wants us too. Maybe one day down the road they will find out that we really did love them and this really will help them. 在那時候, 我們要歡迎他們來. And love, reach, and inspire. So grateful I was able to learn this now, even if it was the hard way.

Everybody keep plugging on and spreading the Christmas spirit! Love ya'll!

Elder Roe

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taught at the feet of an Apostle!!!

Hi to all of the Western World,                                                                          Nov. 30, 2015

What a fantastic week! First of all Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!! Missed ya'll for turkey day but you were all in my heart and I am so thankful to have you all in my life! This week was extremely busy and full of blessings we had: p-day, conference with Elder Stevenson, Exchange with DanFeng, English Class and WPS, Mission Leadership Conference, Exchange with SiYuan, and finally returned home for Church. :) It was so fun! 

As for being taught by an apostle of the Lord, it was awesome! And really just so much fun. Every single missionary in the mission was there. (which never happens)  And in all honesty he was just so: real. It's a Cache Valley thing ;) But it was a great time.

 Pres. and Sis. Jergensen spoke and also Elder and Sister Stevenson. All did so great! I really loved Sister Jergensen's talk. It was about knowing who we are. Mainly, to not forget our identity and to remember that God will always help us if we call upon Him even in this scary big world. I don't know why it just really hit home, she is a great speaker!

 Elder Stevenson focused on having "a vision" for our investigators and for ourselves. I really enjoyed it and we are actually going to take a lot of what he talked about and share it in our Zone Conference so I am pretty stoked for that. Another thing he really focused on was obedience. He gave us this "formula" that he wants us to live by. Obedience+Blessings= happiness. He was really thorough in teaching that when we obey, we then receive blessings. And when we receive blessings we are happy. Satan tries to tell us that disobedience brings happiness, but rather it brings wickedness and the scriptures tell us that wickedness never was happiness. So some awesome concepts, it was a great conference.
This work is the best!

This week I went on exchanges with the super 帥 Elder Liston and Magness. I love them so much. Elder Liston basically gives me all my inspiration for Zone Conference haha. Elder Magness and I had a really good time together. Like when we exchanged back, my throat hurt from talking so much. We talked a lot about seeing the big picture, and how to help ourselves progress not just the work. It was really great and I learned a lot. I am thankful to the great friends I have gained here :)

I love these people so much!

At Stake Conference!!! Cutest Boys in the world!
As for everything else. Live is good. We saw some great miracles, and some big heartbreaks. It's a good thing that your heart is a muscle. And only when you break your muscle down do you actually get it built back up stronger than ever before. Because that happens a lot on the mission. This one new investigator named D is awesome! She came to Church yesterday for the whole block and is super nice and.... 熱心 (you can translate that yourself) So everyone was all over her. Like only Chinese can describe it. 每個人都蜂湧包圍著她. Yeah it was that crazy, so I hope that she didn't get scared. But she texted us after Church and said she loved it and can't wait to meet again on Tues. So I am stoked! I am just a lot more pessimistic after someone just broke my heart. (no need for names) So until the baptism is here, I am just kinda going to letting things work themselves out.

Well I love ya'll soooo much! Thanks for all you do for me and the support that is given! 加油!

Elder Roe

Monday, November 23, 2015

Elder Elliott's treat for me!!! Happy 20th Birthday to Elder Elliott!

Hello All,           

In celebration of my fast-approaching 20th birthday (this Saturday), Elder Roe and I went to my favorite all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant for lunch today.
Elder Roe.
View of one side of the restaurant.
The other side of the mirrored central pillars.
This is the same chain where an English class student took us out to eat on my 19th birthday a year ago.
It’s actually a lot cheaper than I had imagined, and it’s definitely worth it. Everything is unlimited all-you-can-eat: traditional Taiwanese vegetable dishes, dumplings, steamed bread, salad, fruit, hot dogs, chocolate fondue, cake, ice cream, various fried and grilled stuff, and sushi. You can choose your hot pot flavor–kimchi is my favorite–and mix all of your own condiments. There’s a refrigerated area from which you can take all sorts of hot pot ingredients, some meat-slicing machines, Slushee machines, and even ingredients for making your own Taiwanese shaved ice. Because I normally only eat really cheap food, I have enough extra money left ofter that I could pay for my companion and I to eat here every day for two weeks, but that would be kind of wasteful and unhealthy. One meal here can fuel several days of uninterrupted proselyting, anyway.
This week was a great week overall. We’ve started meeting with one of Dennis’s friends (Dennis is the investigator I baptized with Elder Huntsman a while ago). Her name is N. She is lined up to be baptized on Christmas, along with 沈弟兄 (Brother S), J, and A.
A and J are both doing well, and each has come to church enough times to be baptized. The only problem is that neither of them has a very strong desire to be baptized. We’re trying to help them develop habits of scripture study and prayer, which is about all we can do to help them in their current situation.
This week, Elder Roe and I also had the privilege of going to the Taipei temple again with two members for their first time. One of them was 楊弟兄 [Brother Y], who Elder Huntsman and I began teaching my first week here in 土城. 
 Now, he comes to church every Sunday, and he was laughing and smiling when my companion talked to him. It’s great to see how far he’s come in this short time.
That’s about all that’s been going on this week. It’s been a pretty stressful week; Elder Roe was out of the area on exchanges for every day except one. Nevertheless, we saw a lot of progress in our area. Tomorrow, Elder Stevenson, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, will be speaking to us in Taipei, which I’m looking forward to. We’ll sing for him in the choir, as well.
From Porter's personal email to me...I will miss you all for thanksgiving as well! To be honest though I don't really care if we have food or not. Like the second year is so much better than the first. The first year you are just like what the heck? Why don't they celebrate this? But now to be honest I don't really care haha. btw, yes I did eat 1,000 yr old egg. It was pretty gross to be honest. I mean I could eat it but I wouldn't say that i would be buying it for dinner tonight either. Yeah there is a lot of weird foods. Well I hope that you have a wonderful day. Love you so much. Be sure to take a thanksgiving picture!

That’s all for now. Have a great week!
Elder Elliott

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Disappointment is felt. Tender Mercies of the Lord appear.

Hey Everybody,
                                                                                                        Nov 18, 2105
This week was probably one of the hardest. It was still great of course just a few disappointments! Our investigator kind of got cold feet. Sort of. She had this super rough trial hit her so that was sad and it just kind of rocked her faith. We had about three days without hearing from her and then she sent us a text saying that she was disappointed in humanity and needed some time to like.... 修正 herself... I don't know how to say that in English. So yeah we were bummed.... we cried. It is hard when you put so much energy, and passion, and time into someone trying to help them and then they let you down. But I am sure that she will come around we have some members that are still able to keep in contact with her. (MEMBERS ARE SO IMPORTANT!) So that is really awesome. 

Other than that I went on exchanges this week with two missionaries that it was their first week in Taiwan. So. much. fun. New missionaries have so much faith. They are a little overwhelmed, but excited, and are so humble because they need a lot of help. I enjoyed it again and made me remember to continue to rely on the Lord. I had lots of stories and journal entries that could 安慰他們. But I am sure they will be very effective servants of the Lord.
My Church house here in Taiwan

We were also able to take a investigator to the Taipei "temple square" tour. He loved it. His wife has been a member for a long time but he hasn't ever joined the Church. Everyone already thinks he is a member because he comes to Church every week to help take care of the kids etc. Like I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to give him a calling haha. 

This upcoming week should be fun. Got some fun exchanges coming up as well as some fun finding activities. 雖然 this week was a little bit of a let down, but God is sooo good!On Friday Elder Elliott and I were both a little bit down. Just a bit sad with all that had happened with our investigator and all. But we prayed  we would have energy and have a bit more desire to go outside and do the work. That night we saw a crazy miracle. We had a lesson set up with a referral we got from 台南 which is in the TaiZhong mission. This guy was golden. Because of the referral system and all it had been a few months since they originally contacted him. But he had been keeping all commitments like prayer, and reading the Book of Mormon etc. Even though he doesn't have a Christian background he already had a lot of faith in Christ because of these invites. We talked about baptism and he was really all for it. Said that he had a lot of guilt and shame from previous mistakes and was really ready for a new start. So we set a date for Christmas and he is willing to work really hard to work towards that. It made up a bit for the big disappointment. I mean it made up a lot for it but we were REALLY down, that's why God gave us such a big miracle. So yeah. I am excited for him! :) 
Fun time with my Recent Converts who came to spend some time with me awhile ago

Other than that all is good! We are looking forward to next week when Elder Stevenson comes. (He is picking up Kyle) So we are having a mission conference with him. It should be super duper awesome!!! (Porter is referring to our brand new Apostle Elder Gary Stevenson!!! His Son serves in Taipei Mission also!)

Love you all hope all is well! 

Elder Roe

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Amazing growth the Lord can provide when we turn our lives over to HIM

Hello Everyone,                                                                                                    Nov. 9, 2015

This week was so fun! Zone Meeting was a big success! We all had a good time together, had a good laugh, and had a good spiritual experience. The only sad part was that it was the last time we were all together for a while since this week was transfers. We had a ton of companionship get all switched up so there is a lot of newness. Which is good but different. Right after the meeting I went on exchanges with Elder King out to XinZhuang. We had a blast! :) 

Then later this week went on Exchanges again. I got to go with my grandson!!!! Elder Coletti! He is the best, and hilarious. It is super fun to be in the same district as my son and grandson. (mission family of course) They are both killing it!
My Grandson and Me!! He is awesome.

Something nice was the weather this week. I can't believe it's November. It feels like paradise here. But winter will be here soon so not looking forward to that at all. 

This week was fun and exhausting that I hardly had anytime to breathe, let alone write in my journal. I am the WORST at writing in my journal! But I had a cool experience that I wanted to share with ya'll. 

I was writing last night trying to catch up and started to flip back to previous entries. I went back to a year ago at about this same time and started to read. The entry went something like this:

"I can't do this. I can do it but I feel so down. I am hard on myself but it's hard not to. I look at everyone around me excel, mostly with the language. I feel that for God to send people here to learn this language he must send the smartest of our kind. SO WHY DID HE SEND ME!?!?!? I am as far away from being intellectual as wood on a fence! Yet here I am. Everyday is a struggle I really need help. I know that God is there but sometimes it is hard to feel it."

Yeah pretty depressing right. I found myself laughing at this entry seeing as it was like yesterday when that happened. I can remember the feelings of inadequacy as I was striving to become the person that I knew God wanted me to be.  I continued onto the next couple of days to find another entry like this:

"improvement! Today I was asked a question in Mandarin, I completely understood the question and didn't have to ask for a translation. Then I responded IN CHINESE and here is the miracle: she completely understood! She didn't give me a weird look, or have that vacant look on her face of misunderstanding. Instead she took what I said and wrote it down. I know that God is there and he is helping me daily, I love Him."

Two pretty different entries I would say. I loved it because I was able to reminisce on the past year... the growth. For one, linguistically speaking. Now it is effortless to talk with people and help them with their concerns so that is one miracle. And the other is the growth spiritually. Through the trials of being "not good enough" "desperate" "inadequacy" are when I grew the most. It allowed me to see the love and mercy of God. It made me fully dependent on him. And that is way I improved. I know that regardless of who we are, he knows us and knows how to help us. I feel so privileged to be here in Taiwan. Changing my life and others daily. 
Beautiful view of Taiwan this week

I hope everyone back home is happy and healthy! Love you!

Elder Roe 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An unexpected encounter with a crazy BIRD!


How is life?                                                                                                 November 2, 2015

This week was so much fun! Had interviews, exchanges with the assistants, temple day, MLC, and to finish it off the new member/ investigators fireside! So much fun! Tomorrow is our Zone Conference which will be a blast we are really looking forward to it. 

The only downer from this week was TJ. She wasn't able to get baptized because of some health challenges. She still wants to be baptized but will have to work through those first. Hopefully she will be able to get a new date soon and continue on the road to discipleship.
Love this Boy who was recently converted. I love this work!!!

 Yesterday was also kind of a hard night. When the fireside was about to end President asked Sister Akita (we are the same generation) who is in my generation to end with her testimony. It was kind of random but when she started talking we figured out why he asked her. Unfortunately because of sickness she said she would be going home tomorrow! We got to serve together in the South and the West zone so I can say she is a boss missionary. We will miss her like crazy! But that made me sad. A mission is so precious and the people you meet whether it is members, missionaries, and just the Taiwanese you love them all so much!  
On a bus headed to Zone Conference! Port in the back!

Something that was kind of crazy today. I was riding my bike to go do emails but on the way here I got hit by a bird, it ran right into me! I stopped pedaling and was just like "what the heck!" then I looked down and he was sitting on my thigh. He looked like he was gonna kill me so I kinda flipped out. Eventually he flew off but it was a scary moment. Taylor saves birds out of fishing line and I scare the heck out of them haha. 
Man, I miss this boy of mine

Overall life is really good. I am loving our area and our zone. Not too much to report other than I love you all! Thanks for all you do and the support you give me! 

Elder Roe