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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