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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Treasure up each day

The first email is interesting information about Taiwan and the trip Elder Roe and Elder Liston took with Elder and Sister McOmber!!! She was kind to send me the email and the photos and said I could include it here on Elder Roe's blog...

Nihaou from Taiwan -

And Happy Mothers Day to all mothers out there. Happy Birthday Mark and Del (belated).

We had a great Mothers Day here - loved the calls!!!! Sacrament meeting was on mothers and it was really nice. The talks were given by a great family, the Bateens who are returning to the states to stay in a few weeks. Apparently many of the members go to the states for the summer so I'm guessing the ward will be a bit different.

Yesterday we went to the north of the Island to a place called Danshui - Dansui - or Tamsui - all the same place! We went with the Assistants and had a great time. A bit of history:

For centuries, Tamsui (which means 'fresh water') occupied an important trade and defensive post for the various empires that sought to control Taiwan. Its strategic position, at the mouth of the largest river system in the north where it empties into the Sea of China, and its steep terrain, made it ideal both as a natural port and a location for forts and cannons. In 1629, the town's most famous landmark, Fort San Domingo, was established by the Spanish; it was later controlled by the Dutch, Chinese, British and Japanese.
Pday with the awesome Elder and Sister McOmbers!!!

Other signs of Western influence include a row of late-19th-century mansions and Taiwan's oldest university. All of these were founded by George Leslie MacKay, a 19th-century Canadian doctor and missionary whose name is nearly synonymous with Tamsui.

Mackay came to Taiwan in 1872 and is revered in certain Taiwanese circles for introducing Western techniques of education and medicine. Thanks in no small part to his influence, Presbyterianism is the most popular Christian denomination in Taiwan. (so far, but we're working on that!!!)
Riding the MRT to our Pday excursion

As well as a preacher, doctor, and dentist, he became an architect who designed 60 churches and a civil engineer who supervised the building of them. He was incredibly courageous and physically very tough. He survived bouts of malaria and meningitis. He married a Taiwanese woman in an era when miscegenation was frowned upon in the West. Also, he publicly denounced as unjust and unChristian 
the head tax levied on Chinese (and only Chinese) entering Canada. MacKay's evident love for Taiwan continues to endear him to Taiwanese and his life story features in primary school textbooks.
We saw a statue of him with his boat and his bible.
3 handsome boys hanging out
Elder Liston's excited about his lunch!

By the 20th century, silting had caused Tamsui to lose it's importance as a port and the area reverted to a sleepy fishing and farming community until the recent boom in tourism. These days work continues on landscaping and beautifying the riverfront as well as restoring historic sights scattered among the narrow lanes winding up the hillsides.

This historic town at the mouth of the Danshui River quickly became a popular destination when the MRT line was extended here in 1998. The final leg of the journey runs past mountains and thick mangrove forests making it feel like a trip well out of town. And when you pop out of the station into the wide riverside park with street musicians, bike paths, moored wood junks, and views of an emerald volcanic peak (Guanyinshan) dominating the skyline it all looks very promising – and it is.

Now Porter's email this week                                                                       May, 14, 2016

Hello Hello! Happy Mother's Day to all of the incredible Mother's out there! I sure did love talking with you all this last week, for sure one of the highlights! I loved seeing everyone and talking with you all. I have the best family ever! 
Mother's Day 2016
Fun night Skyping with the family

This week was one that was really busy with exchanges. First Elder Liston and I went to BaDe for district meeting which was really awesome, then we exchanged with the North Zone leaders, I went with my good friend Elder Aiono, he is such a stud muffin. We had a great time and saw some great miracles together!

I'll be home now Mom before you can hardly blink
 Then after then we went to Taoyuan and did some unique exchanges, I went with Elder's Boyce and Bell and Elder Liston went with Elder's Pincock and Zhuang. We both had great experiences. Elder Bell and I saw a sick miracle! We were contacting on the street at the end of night, and started talking to this golden girl. She already has been to a lot of Christian Churches and wants to be baptized but her family is pretty devout Buddhist.

 Anyway I just asked if another day we could meet with her and share a message with her. She then said that she actually had time right then and there. So we looked down the street and saw a Family Mart. I said we could go there and talk. So she drove off on her moped and we started walking. Then funny thing, there are always haters. This one guy stopped by and was like hey Mormons! You know that he has something up his sleeve. Anyway he drove past us to catch up with her, and at the stoplight just was all over her, telling her how awful our church was and pulling out his phone to show her all of this stuff. Anyway she was pretty scared and felt a little harassed. I thought she would just back out and drive off. But afterward she still came over. I asked if he was upset with us and if she was alright, she just told me "I don't even know who that guy is!" Anyway, it actually didn't phase her and she set a goal to learn more and be baptized in June so that was a great miracle! 
Every day we meet new and great people

Other than that, to catch up on the week before. We had mission tours With Elder Wong of the seventy! And it was so awesome! I loved traveling with Elder Liston to Taidong. Seriously it is paradise down there, so beautiful and so hot! Elder Wong really focused on teaching by the Spirit. So he is notorious for just calling on people on the spot. It is really nerve racking and scary but so powerful. I really learned the importance to be guided in what we say and to make sure that it come from the heart. Something he said that really touched me was "I prepare my talks 15-20 years in advance. You might ask,"'Elder Wong how is that so?" " It is because I am preparing everyday. Live your live and treasure up every day, so that when the time is come you are ready." It has really had a profound impact on me. I have loved the concept, I'm thankful I had so much time to learn from him. He is a great and powerful teacher. 
Traveling with Elder and Sister Wong of the Seventy!!!
Mango Ice is back baby!
Flying to Taidong!!! What a beautiful part of Taiwan.

To finish up the week we did an exchange with the East Zone leaders. I was with Elder Matua who is so incredible! I loved being with him and learning from him. He has a great talent for loving people, he has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know.

Also our investigator Chen Qiu He is amazing! She is from Vietnam. I have never met someone with such a desire to come unto Christ. She is a incredible woman and I feel so blessed to have been able to teach and help her. She is planning on being baptized at the end of this month. So we are working on getting that all ready. 

Well that about sums up the week. I love you all and am thankful for the role you have all had on my life! 

Elder Roe

p.s. No one got hurt in the earthquake :)

p.p.s Mango ice is back baby

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

One of the coolest experiences of my life

大家早安!                                                                                                                   April, 29, 1016

 Or as Brenna would say "good morning world, the earth says hello!" (random) How is everyone doing? Hoping you had a great week! This week was super fun as always, it was crazy for a few days.
Exhausted office missionaries after getting all the new missionaries there, and all the transfers done! haha

 Monday was just busy with lot's of little things, Tues. reporting and district meeting, Wed. English Unit Leader training/ District Leader training, Thurs. trainer/trainee follow-up, Fri. Mission Leadership Conference, Saturday p-day/stake conference. so needless to say there wasn't much free time. Not that there ever is, this week was just especially busy. Elder Liston handled all the trainings like a champ. (not surprised) He is a great teacher and I love working with him.
Elder Liston and me.
Elder Johnson came back up to Taipei for a meeting this week so that was fun too. He is now serving down on the East coast in Yuli. So it's always fun to see him. Also Elder Huntsman was up here for a bit and I went to their district meeting so we were able to have lot's of good discussions about investigators and missionary work. It's fun to learn from all of these great missionaries. 

This coming week is the mission tour with Elder Wong of the Seventy. He is from Hong Kong and is so awesome. Super talented man, I can see why the Lord has him where he is. For one thing his language is incredible. He speaks perfect: Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. (so cool) So we are all looking forward to being trained and instructed by him.
Elder Liston and I are really loving working together. He is stellar.

This week I had one of the neatest experiences in my life. For the most part of Taiwan when you ask questions "of the soul" like "Why are we here?" Where will we go after we die" (those type of questions) You don't really get a straight answer if even a response. People here just really don't think about it, because cultural speaking they don't really have a firm answer or belief. It really varies from person to person. So anyway that will help you understand why this experience is so cool.

 We were at the chapel, taking our investigator on a tour. However this man was sitting in a lobby and you could tell he wanted to talk with the missionaries. So we let the sisters just head off with our investigator and we started to talk with this awesome guy. He was in his 60's(左右) he spoke like a 大陸人 because he spent 20 years in China,  we sat down and said a prayer. Right after he said "I have two questions I really want you to answer, the first is, why are you called Mormons, what does it mean and what do you believe? The second is, Why am I here? Where did I come from? and Where will I go after this? I need to know." (...........WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?) (Don't worry I kept my cool) It was like that moment when you have the secret answer and your just dying to share it. I was stoked! It was incredible. We shared about the plan of salvation and to everything he was just like "I totally believe this, I have thought long and hard about it I have just never been able to lay it out as clearly." It's amazing how many prepared souls there are here in Taiwan. I can't wait to see how this amazing person progresses. 
So happy to see these wonderful people I love so much at the new converts fireside!!!

The He kids baptism the other week was awesome, but we didn't have our cameras. There are pics I just have to get them from some people and send them to you. So sorry about that haha. 

Anyway life is good and i am happy, hope that you are all doing really well and loving life! Thanks for everything and all the support you give me! Love ya!