Taiwan Flag

Taiwan Flag

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A full and humble heart

Hello family and friends,                                                                         July 29, 2015

Wow what a week and a half. There is always a lot that happens within the week but then when we have temple week and we have to report on a week and a half, it is like impossible. So much information. I wish that I could express what I learned these past couple of days but I don't know if I really can. I feel like I learned the most about myself, missionary work, and the whole reason we are out here this week.

A mission is a really funny thing. For people like me who grow up in the Church, by the time you are ready to go out you think you have a pretty good understanding of what a mission 大概 is. Well let me first bear a little testimony about that. YOU DON'T! If you want to have the slightest  idea of what missionary work really is, feels like, etc. you have to do it. It's not saying that if you didn't go or don't go you are bad. But you might not fully understand. Everyday is a learning process, every week a growth spurt, and every year a complete change in yourself. Here I am after a year feeling like I am just starting to scrape the surface of the big picture.
This confused me....non Christian country with a display of Noah's Arc ;)

One of the big things that happened this week was a very humbling experience. For starters I think that sometimes we lose sight of the "big picture". Key indicators, baptismal statistics, number of members, etc. these are all important; but sometimes if your not careful can rob from you from seeing the big picture. You're here to help people find the gospel so that it can make a difference in their lives. This week we went to visit a single Mom. She is the definition of having a rough life. She has two adorable children, they unfortunately are fatherless due to their Father committing suicide with relation to depression.
 This single mom doesn't have a job, is living in a government provided house. When we walked into the small home, which the front room is about 4x6 ft., no kitchen, a bucket and hose for a shower, and a small mattress on the ground where all three of them sleep, and possibly worse of all no A/C. For those who don't know, Taiwan averages high 90's with the past week averaging 80% humidity. (that's hot) Out of her generosity she provided some fruit and we sat in the small room and began to share our message. Our message was that of focusing on the small and little things that God gives us. I felt a little like a hypocrite, if anyone knew what small and little things were, she did. It was really emotional as she expressed her thanks to God for giving her "so many great and beautiful blessings." She expressed her thanks for her beautiful children, the Church, the missionaries and her Savior. Most of all the talked about how this Church is what has made the difference in her life; that when she needed help, Christ knew what to do to help her.
Christ knows how to heal us

As we biked back to our apartment I couldn't help but cry. (cheesy right) I felt so humbled, God showed me that no matter what, coming from America and the circumstances I grew up in, no matter what I do I will never really know what some of His Children feel like. But I know the Savior does, the whole reason I am here is to give to these people peace and comfort. I can't really help them, but the perfect gospel of Christ can.
 It made me really think of the past year, what have I learned? Through the blistering heat, typhoons, learning the hardest language ever, biking hundreds of miles in some of the most populated places on earth, to walking through the bamboo and rice patties. What has it all been for? I think the simple answer is to understand and know that regardless of who we are, who we were, where we live and our circumstances, God Knows Us. And he knows how to heal us. Even in the darkest of hours, or smallest homes, or worst situation he knows how to help. I feel bad. My mission I feel like was suppose to be all about helping others, but in reality it's me who has been helped. This has given me a lot of motivation to pay it all back as much as I can this next year. I would say I love my mission but I think that might be a little shallow, what I should say is: I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which allows me a full and humble heart.

The snails here are giant size
Spiders are 5-6" long. Freaky!

I love you all,
Elder Roe

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Fantastic Surprise

Hello Western Hemisphere!                                                                     July 20, 2015

How was everyone's week!? Mine was super great! I actually think that this week was the fastest one on my mission. I just didn't even notice the time and then it was gone! It also may have been because my watch broke so I didn't know the time... that would explain it. ;)
The best night!!! They surprised me!

The start of the week started off with a little bit of a disappointment though. We had a lesson set up for our investigator on Monday, it was actually our investigator who was suppose to be baptized two days ago. Brother Wu.

 But we had a great member there to help us and we were waiting on him but he didn't come. I called him and he told me he decided that he will just read and study on his own and doesn't want to meet with the missionaries. So being on a mission I have learned so much on how to be patient, loving, kind and understanding. But when you tel me you don't want to meet with me I am still the hot headed devil that I have always been. I was like "Excuse me?" Yeah I wasn't happy, but I very straightforward and lovingly shared with him that if he wanted all of the blessings our Heavenly Father WANTS to give to him we need to continue meeting and preparing for baptism. But if he doesn't have a desire to meet with us we couldn't continue and if he had interest  he could contact us.  So basically we... are done for now. Sometimes people need some time but it is really sad that he is going to wait to get the blessings when he could start right now! Keep him in your prayers.
Cool Security Guard

After that we had a week full of seeing lots of people, potentials, etc. The best part of my week was probably on Sat. night. I had one of my RC's coming to eat dinner with me and Elder Loke but what I didn't know is they surprised me and brought some more of my favorite people from 香山! It was so great to see them and catch up! I was so stoked to see them I wanted to hug them all but there were some sisters so that would have been 不行. But I loved it!

Then last night we had our missionary fireside for our ward. They have them once ever two months what is weird is that I have been there for all of them since they started cause I have been here so long haha. But I can say in that time I have seen a HUGE change in the ward and there outlook towards missionary work! The Stake Pres. and Bishop have made plans for some places in our areas where the ward is going to go finding with us. Like everyone. I love the Stake President he told me yesterday that finding is the wards responsibility, our responsibility is to teach. I know that if he can fulfill this vision the ward/stake with grow and be so fruitful! 

Well that's about it for now. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Elder Roe
I LOVE THIS PICTURE. (if you don't read Chinese you wont get it though...;))
All you Chinese Readers will have to tell me what this means....

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Typhoon made for a slow week but faith wins out in the end

Hello dear family and friends!                                                                July 12, 2015

This week was a roller coaster ride! Oh, also full of rain seeing as the typhoon came. Now, can I just say, it was super duper 還好. Like we have had worse storms in Utah and there isn't any ocean over there. But that did cause for a lot of people to not want to meet with us or go outside because they thought they would die or something. So I am hoping that there are no more typhoons because it's really 不方便. The day of the typhoon was super rough. So the next day we set lots of time aside to find and work really hard.
 My companion looked a little skeptical about finding which makes sense since the entire day we hadn't talked to anyone but I promised him we would see miracles the next day. And guess what? WE DID! The best part was that we got 4 New Investigators! :) In one day. :) Yeah that was awesome! And all the lessons we had and Book of Mormons placed we barely had to do anything for! Literally it was almost like the people started talking to us! So that was super awesome! I hope that everyday can be like that. :)

Other than that, our investigators have seemed to just be in a rutt. Not really 退步ing but also not 進步ing. We are really trying find the prepared people but lately it seems we have only really been able to find those that are prepared only to meet again but not quite for baptism. A little frustrating. But I have learned that we don't really get to control where they are at in life. We invite and sometimes all they can do at that time is make it through one lesson, accept a book of Mormon and then they aren't ready to go further. But later on, down the road the have the tools necessary to continue. So it's a process. 

Also I was very kindly reminded from a few people that I passed the year mark. Yeah... I don't really even want to think about that. Time has gone way way way too fast! I think I will just extend to a 3 year mission 就好了.

This week we were also able to meet the Jergensen Family a little bit more. They are all so great! I am really excited for them to be in Taiwan and I know that they are going to work miracles in this mission! So awesome! 

Well that's all I got for now. They Church is true. Jesus is the Christ. The Gospel is the key! Sending much love your way!!! 

Elder Roe 
PS Pres Jergensen invites you all to check out the website taiwantaipeimission.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Looking for 'good fruit' and not just fancy foilage

Hello everyone,                                                                                         July 6, 2015

Hey sorry this week is gonna be a bit short! Time is of the essence and it's not something that I have a lot of haha.

Something that I learned this week that I would like to share with you was while I was reading in the New Testament. I was reading Jesus' entrance to Jerusalem and he comes across a fig tree which was bearing no fruit. He then proceeds to curse the fruit tree to where it whithers away. I have always wondered about this incident. Why would he do that? I went to Jesus the Christ in search of a answer where I found Brother Talmage's answer. He said that Jesus was showing his supreme power, just as much power as he had over life he also had over death. He then continues to give countless examples of him commanding the elements as well as raising the dead. Then he concludes this portion by saying it was made completely clear to the apostles in just a few days later how voluntary his sacrifice really was. From this experience we learn that if he wanted, he could have killed all of the evil Pharisees with one word. Yet he let them practice their agency though it hurt him. 
Monster Ice outing with Sister Jergensen's famiy...what a treat!

I really learned from this that I cannot control the outcome of some of my Investigators choices. Sometimes I want them to just hurry up and be baptized instead of postponing. But I realized that regardless of what we want everyone gets a choice. Even the Son of Man who really could get whatever he wanted, let them have their choice event though it was the wrong one.

 I really need to learn to follow His example in this aspect.
Pretty view from the canal
delicious dragon fruit

 The second part of this that I learned a lot from is that the tree itself was all leaves and had no fruit. If it was mortal we would say it is a "hypocrite." It was all for show. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I hope it doesn't come across the wrong way. I have had baptisms and they were all very prepared and are doing well in the church but I have never had tons of investigators at one time. I feel like my style is really trying to make my fig tree have fruit! Not just lots of foliage on the outside. My area to others on the outside may not look insanely great. But its not because of a  lack of effort. The effort is all focused on trying to get those fruits. I think the most important part is the fruit. Of course we want the best of both worlds and that is the goal so I will be working diligently on getting fruit and foliage. I hope that makes sense, it was just something I have been thinking about this week. 

Anyway I hope that you all have a incredible day and week I love you all! 

Elder Roe