Townsend 2 taiwan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!Sheng dan jie kuai le!

Merry Christmas! Sheng dan jie kuai le!
Hello Everyone! What a wonderful Christmas. Taiwan is at the best weather ever right now! (Really cold) The people are driving there scooters around. We are inviting to follow Christ and its just a beautiful Great day. Although I already talked to a lot of you this christmas, I still wanted to send an email out for all of you who didn't get to listen to my voice.
I am going to first start off with Christmas Day.
Waking up. Listen to my companion talk to his mom and sister on the phone, open up some gifts that were shipped around the world, and got ready. Next open up the scriptures and read about Samuel preach of the coming of Christ, study for some investigators, and read a talk by pres. eyring teaching about the atonement and gratitude. Go to church. Have larry du come to church, partake of sacrament, and listen to the talks. It was a bit hard to focus on the talks because I kept pondering the fact about how Lord and Redeemer's birth is celebrated on this day. After church, return home, make some pancakes, do some language study, and then go out to preach the word. Lots rejected, but it felt extra powerful to testify of Jesus Christ and teach of the Son. Searching and searching, return home to eat a PBJ sandwich and a banana real quick and go back out. End up meeting with some of the missionaries to carol for a little bit and see if can snag some people real quick to share about Christ. The time is finally up and we have to go home to start another day. Pretty much the same as any other day, but today we could the Lord was pleased with us. I felt what we did was just right. No other problems, no feelings of sadness, or homesickness, just that everything was all right. It was a quiet or better a silent night in a noisy city. I love Christmas this year.
 
This week I also had the privilege to go do some work with Elder Workman! He is the Travelling Assistant. He is such amazing guy. That had to be one of my favorite missionary days so far. Again no crazy out of this world miracles, but I was just happy. Happy to be able to talk this brother and sisters. This morning in our companionship study, he helped me realize how much I love and truly care for these people. How much I love the investigators I am teaching now, these dear friends and I felt really good because he said he could feel that love and kindness around me. That was just a needed thing that I felt like I was lacking. Sometimes in missionary work, I get caught up in the unimportant things that the really important things like love and the actual Gospel seem to have less of an impact, but when I remember the important things, everything else seems to take care of itself. 
Finally on Saturday we had a christmas party and we had an investigator, Larry lin come. It was fantastic. Just a kid who needs some guidance in his life. The ward did awesome putting on this play. At first I was a bit nervous, said a little prayer and asked God to send the holy ghost to testify. As the kids were acting out the Book of Mormon stories, the spirit was present. I was able to use the Book of Mormon to quickly teach him the restoration and baptism. He understood. I know he felt the spirit because you could see it on his face. I love the ward here in xinzhu and I am so grateful for all the Lord gives.

Lots of Love,
Elder Townsend

Friday, December 16, 2011

Prayer

Hello Family and Friends!
I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and tell you to go out enjoy the snow, temple square and the lights. I realized I wish I had taken more time to go do that.
On the flip side, the weather here got rediculously cold. A day or two of warmth then bam! cold. But it is starting to get better now. I wear a long shirt, a sweater, my suit coat, and my outer jacket. I think today I might go invest in a pair of gloves... Who would of thought that being on an island somewhat near the equator would be so cold? But I have to say, there isn't such thing as bad weather here in Taiwan. Lots of interesting, but no bad weather.
People!
Daniel huang. Crunch time. His baptismal service is scheduled next weekend, his interview is this weekend, and we need to sit down with him. He went to Church this last Sunday to Taizhong with his girlfriend. She has been a good motivation. I was talking to daniel on the phone and he was telling me about how his prayers have been answered, receiving blessings and miracles. We talked about how those are answers and oh it was so exciting. Its trully marvelous and spectacular (actually no words can describe the feeling) when someone is receiving the Lord's help, is being drawn to Christ, and is being prepared to be baptized. He said he was going to do everything he could to prepare for Dec 24 baptismal date. He is another testimony that the conversion is between the Lord and them with the Holy Ghost doing the work. We are just guides and it is up to them to accept or reject and we hope to give them an opportunity to be able to decide. We missionaries have a very small part in this whole conversion process. We teach, bear testimony, invite, promise blessings. Daniel has proved to me that it is such. The whole process has been his experience.
Xiao ren jie. I love the kid. We shared about the atonement this week and trying to make it more personal to him. We were talking and doing our final recap of the lesson we asked what he learned and why Jesus performed the atonement and He said because he Loves me. Said it better than I would. Also he wanted to know all the commandments so we gave him all the commandment pamphlets to take home to study and read so next time we can invite them to live them.
Ricky Zhuang. He is answer to prayers. We meet him for the first time this last week and we asked what expectations he had for us and he said, he wants to join our church and change. Hello World! ha He is amazing, he absorbs everything. He doesn't believe God but by the end of this week he says that he believes he exists because everytime he prays, he feels peace and it gets stronger and stronger everytime. He will obviously have some trials along the way but the Lord will help him.
Other.
Well this week my testimony of prayer was strengthened incredibly. At the beginning of my mission I never realized how weak my testimony of prayer was. I knew it worked and that it was true, but never to the extent it is now. I know God listens to prayers and more importantly he answers. As I have mentioned we will just have lessons on the streets because we can pray anywhere and anytime. There were two particular experiences I had. I just share one of them. I was talking to this man (Filo) named alex. Alex life isn't easy. Raised catholic but never went and doesn't really remember when he read the bible last. We were talking and invited him to baptism. He was a bit unsure of it and everything so I asked if I could pray with him. we prayed together, asked God about baptism, and sat listening. After the prayer I look at him and he has a complete new expression upon his face. He said he felt God's existence and his love for him. He said God had answered that prayer. He was willing to be baptized. Unfortunately because of work and things it was a little hard to set up a next time. But I testify that God will answer. He asks us to prayer with all our soul and heart. If we realize how dear our connection is with him and how much he truly loves us and we love him. We will know of his existence in prayer.
Well running out of time. Lots of love, take care, and until next time America (or where ever else)
Elder Townsend

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Transfer time again!

Hello!
Well I am here again in xin zhu for my 4 transfer now! That means 1/4 of my mission is going to be spent here in this town. Isn't that fantastic? I think its pretty great, but I wouldn't mind getting out and around a little bit. So Elder Slawson and I will be together for another transfer. Oh my old man, (Sorry not you dad) Elder Sessions, goes home tomorrow. Kind of a heart breaker. He is such an amazing missionary and a fantastic example. Its funny because I was with him for a transfer and got to know him pretty well. Well him being the assistant, I got to see him a bit more and wow, he has changed. Its all good changes. He is just a man now I guess you can say. He carries a strong presence and you can feel that the Lord is pleased at what he has done as a missionary.
This week people.
Ping Wang. Lived in America while attending college. Just a really cool guy. He says he is just so grateful for all that God has given him. He says he wants to be able to thank God for all his blessings. That's the main reason he wants to study the gospel. I guess I need to repent a little. I can always improve my gratitude. I guess looking upon my inadequencies has affected my gratitude for the things I already have. Its similar to what we see in the scriptures. The people will remember God, but how quickly the forget all that he gives them and they become selfish.
Dean Cai. Wow I am glad for a peike (member present lesson). I thought we were doing pretty good at teaching Dean, and all was going well, but we have an all-star peike (His name is Jerry, just to clarify NOT the Taidong Jerry) who helped us realized that we need to know about their culture for  him to understand. So Jerry helped us explain and bring the spirit in. He is the man! Dean is pretty funny, I am pretty sure he drinks more tea and coffee and smokes more than I don't know, he just drinks and smokes a ton! We could stand ten feet away from him and you can already smell the smoke and he jumps around a little bit in his seat when we are sharing. Ha He is a cool guy though. 27 and just happy to be alive.
Other...
Yeah I don't remember a whole lot about this week. It was slow and fast... Went on Exchanges with Elder Terry. We found this way cool girl from mainland china. Hand her over to the sisters. We also had the smoothest lesson in the world on that day. It was awesome.
Food.
Confession. Mom for breakfast I usually eat bread with chocolate sauce on top. Its the cheapest and its not too bad. Usually I'll microwave the bread for a little bit to get it nice and warm, but this week. I ate pancakes for the mast vajority of time.
Anyways lots of love and email you next time!
Elder Townsend



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving

Li bek yi gao hui bo? (Do you want to come to church in taiwanese)
Yeah probably don't trying saying this one out loud...
Also I forgot my camera this week sorry...
Food.
I love pumpkin pie. We got to eat some more of that heavenly delicassy. Even though it was small, I was able to eat turkey!!! It was awesome. I got a little dark meat in my belly. Most of the ward members had eaten turkey before so it was a new experience for them. ha I could not imagine never eat the gobble monster before.

People.
Before I had always have a bad view on girlfriends here (and I guess it would also include boyfriends too) in Taiwan. One of them would have interest, but the other... rejection! Well this week huang jun zhen, his girlfriend is heaven sent. She is a member from Taizhong and decided to buckle him down. Daniel had been smoking a pack a day. With his girlfriend's new quit smoking plan within a week he was down to 3 cigarettes. Answer to prayers? Yes. Can girlfriends be a good thing? Yes. In conclusion, I am so grateful for all the many different and extraordinary ways the Lord answers our prayers. He won't leave them unanswered. Sometimes they might feel that way, but he does not leave them unanswered, because we are important to Him.
Xiao ren jie. He is doing pretty good, unfortunately he didn't come to church yesterday. We did however meet with him. He is start to pull in the Gospel and apply it to his life. What a huge step. Without application of the principles of the Gospel, how could we ever dream of reaching potentials that are far from our imperfect tendencies? We shared with him agency and the beginning of the Plan of Salvation and he understand agency and we asked him if he wanted to use his agency to accept or reject our message. As it now stands he wants to continue forward and learn more so that he might be able to be baptized.
Li dixiong. (Pedro's dad) So we set up another time to go over to Pedro's house and to share a gospel message with his family again. Before that, I asked Pedro what did he want me to share. He said a happy message. I thought what is a happy message? First thought. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ we are cleansed, faith, and repentance. So we shared when Jesus Christ visited the ancient americas part of the Book of Mormon. How if we have faith in Christ we can be healed. (3 Ne 17) then the invitation to repent and come unto christ (3 Ne 9). His dad as we read this part had an interested look on his face. My companion said we represent Christ and just as Christ invited them then, we invite him now to come to church. He said he was willing. It took his family by surprise. I think they didn't believe him. It was a really cool experience and I just followed up by promising just as we have faith in christ and repent, we can receive the healing power of savior in our lives. He heal our past spiritual wounds and also our physical ones. He can help us mend those pains. It was a very humbling lesson.

Rejection Corner.
This week rejection winner as we were riding to zhu bei we stopped a light. A car pulled behind us with two kids. Elder Slawson made the attempt to go contact them. Everytime Elder Slawson went backwards they backed up too. It took a little bit for Elder Slawson to notice this great pattern. Finally he gets to them. (Other traffic helped that one out) It was pretty funny to watch them back up on somewhat a freeway to avoid the Elders. That's right put fear in the hearts of the people.

Other.
Well, we had a Thanksgiving play. It was pretty funny we renacted the "first Thanksgiving" wasn't quite true since the pilgrims brought haagen das with them and meat rice too. Ha The Narrator always had to point out that the Indians were descendants of the Lamanites. Ha Sister Holm did not like that too much.
Also we had a member come out and proselyte with us. Ha it was funny. He taught me a few funny things and it was great motivation to go out and do work. Hopefully find some prepared soul he could share his testimony with.

I think that wraps it up for this week.
Lots of love and dub,
Elder Townsend (and I'm the chub...)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble, gobble...

Li ho.
People.
Huang Jun Zheng, Daniel. He is doing great. We met with him this week and talked to him and found out some last concerns about prophets and other little things. It was cool because we started off with a song and said a prayer and lately his life has been so much better from starting to pray, read scriptures and keep God's commandments again. He said that he feels now he can make his baptism date. Said he still hasn't had a big answer, but he has recognized the Lord teaching him a little each time. It is really good and he is trully awesome.
Eason Li. He is doing well, we had a lesson with him that didn't go so well, but ok. Our peike (member present lesson, this one is a returned missionary) talked about the war in heaven and all of that good stuff. Had to take control of that one pretty quickly. Just a re-emphasis that the Gospel is simple and we don't need to over complicate it with other details. It was pretty fun however in the lesson (this one was all chinese) we were sharing a scripture and he came across a character and he just stopped and said in English, "Yeah, I have no idea what this one is". so it called for a bit of explanation. Also he didn't know how to say irritated in Chinese so the both of us were trying to explain it in chinese to our member.
Events.
We went up to a college to meet with some of these students we meet the other day. Shared a pretty good lesson and after they really didn't have any interest in learning more. We were about to head back and we meet a Joe Hong. He was a cool guy asked him if we could share a message. We shared about prayer, used how to begin teaching (Its in Preach My Gospel, one of the most amazing things ever.) and invited to be baptized. Said he would set a date and we went on our way. Really just a sweet little thing.
Thanksgiving with the missionaries. Success. It was pretty good, The sweet potatoes were out of this world. There was a little boy there (an investigator's son) and I played "ball" with him for ever. It was fun it was kind of like goofing off with the little cousins. The sisters asked me if I would be available today because the little boy wants to play ball again. Ha apparently I left a pretty good impression upon the kid.
I meet this guy on the street (happens everyday) and He was a bit strange (happens everyday) but I felt like I should keep talking to him. It was an interesting conversation. I shared with some things and was a bit point and blank with him. He said he couldn't deny my words which was cool, but he wasn't willing to meet. I had shared with him the Book of Mormon and he really wanted to read it. He said that when he is being judged he would remember me talking to him, but also he wanted to say that he read the Book of Mormon and he would be held accountable for it. It kind of caught me off guard so I gave him the Book of Mormon and told him that we need to what the scriptures tell us to and act.
That wraps up this week. Because of the great holiday that is taking place this week I just want to express my gratitude. My gratitude to family and friends for your support and love. My gratitude for the Savior and his Redeeming Sacrifice. My Heavenly Father, who patiently and lovingly listens to my every plea. My every trial and challenge as it is helping me stretch and grow into the tool the Lord would have me be. Prayer. Just to know I can express my heart and all the things around me. The great people of Taiwan. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Strong members. A comfy house and so much more.
Lots of Love.
ELder Townsend

Taiwan Wassup!!!

Hello!
I love how the lord blesses us in so many ways from little things to bigs, to answering our prayers (sometimes not the answer we want) to keep pushing us a long.
This week...
People.
Huang jun zheng=Daniel. We were sitting in church, when Thomas our mission leader tells me that Daniel is here. It was so great to see him. I haven't been in contact with for over 3 weeks so it was so good to be able to see and also meet with him. After we had a little lesson and as we were talking he mention how the word of wisdom is his only problem. He has started smoking again and is up to a pack a day which isn't too bad. (isn't that funny that smoking over 12 cigarettes a day isn't too bad?) Anyway we talked and he was willing to recommit to baptism. He is willing to do what it takes to be baptized. I still think he has some little problems still that he hasn't brought up yet, but we will see.
Li guo xu=Ben. Two weeks ago we were contacting at a light and we I got this guy to pull over to the side of the road. We started talking and he was really good so we set up a time where we could meet and share the Gospel with him. I was talking to him and he told me he was a cop. I thought it was pretty ironic that here you a random white foreigner pulling over a cop on the street. That's right! I guess we just have different power and authority. I saw he needed spiritual help. Well anyways during the week, we bumped into each other again. He remembered me and everything. We confirmed times and was seeing how he was doing. A couple of days later I go to call and confirm again except... I had a wrong number! So on the appointed day we were going to meet we had a meeting before with the ward mission leader. The meeting went a bit longer (thanks to the sisters coming late) and as we went out and were talking to Thomas, Ben the cop shows up! It was the biggest miracle. He said he got a little lost (shouldn't police officers know the roads?), but made it. I was so happy! The Lord trully does work miracles in the simplest and greatest ways. (not saying that sisters coming late and talking to the ward missionary will bring lots of miracles)
Xiao ma. Well this week during Weekly Planning Session (WPS), we talked about if xiao ma wanted to make his baptismal date. He needed a lot more time. So in our prayer we ask God if he could provide more time for him to study the Gospel and a trial to strengthen his faith, just to rely upon God. After WPS we went and meet with him. Before the lesson started he mentioned how he received the dreaded dang bing call (Mandatory military service). He told us though that since he as a flat foot and no arch that his dang bing was a bit different. It would be like a normal job, 9-530 and from 530 to 9 he could do whatever he wants to. So now when he goes to taoyuan for dang bing , he'll have a huge block of time where he can meet with the missionaries and read his scriptures. In the end we shared with him about Jesus Christ's Atonement, and recommitted him to pray and read scriptures everyday. He really is awesome and is going to get baptized! So principle is, the Lord will always answer our prayers, sometimes not how we want or expect them to be answered, but he will.
Eason Li. I hadn't been able to get a hold of him and I was a little bit bummed because he was so good. On Saturday during the ward mission meeting, I got a phone call from him. He said sorry his phone broke so he had to go get it fixed and wanted to know when we can meet with him next. Ha it was sweet! I love having investigators call me to set up! Kid has great faith and he is my hero! Another Giant blessing.
Other.
This weekend Elder Harr and I went on exchanges. It was sweet. We saw some awesome miracles and we had a good time together. He is a good missionary. He is a great example for me on how to love these people. He had served here before and now when he came back everyone is so excited and happy to see him again. Also he still remembers about them and does show geniune interest in their lives.
Today for preparation day we are going to have a thanksgiving meal. Get ready, Costco had pumpkin pie!!!
Food.
I ate this really good mantou, (Steamed bread) it was coated in coconut. I would recommend it if you could find it. That is one good food here is mantou. Missionaries love it and the best part is it is pretty cheap!
Well I want all of you to know that I love you and that this message has increased my love for all of you. The Gospel is so simple and pure. It is the very fabric of God's plan.
Lots of love from this homeboy,
Elder Townsend



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hello!

Well Hello!
This week I don't have anything to clever. Except this week was sweet!
Example A. Eason Li
We were out contacting and we had a point were we wanted to make it too. We were contacting a lot and we got to a part with not a whole lot of people but just enough that you could miss someone. I see this guy (pretty big, has scruff, doesn't look like a kid). I remember talking to him (don't have a clue what I said) and seeing if he wanted to study the Gospel and he wanted too. He told me he lived in canada for 5 years and his English was awesome. He is only 17 and is doing some stuff to get ready for college or is taking some classes for a better college. Don't quite remember. I just remember being extremely impressed by him. Well he came, we met, had a spiritual experience, and wants to be baptized. The only real concern is finding a way for him to come to church, because he has class those days. He was bummed because he likes church. He said while he was in Canada he went to church every weekend almost. He wants to learn a lot about Jesus and is pumped to learn. I am confident he will find a way with the Lord's help. Ah the Lord does bless when we are courageous and open our mouths. It might wear us out somedays, but in the end, it is far more satisfying.
Example B. Xiao ma.
He came to church and liked it. He loves absolutely adores hearing member's and our personal stories about the gospel has helped us. Modest came and accompanied his lesson and it was a blessing sent from on high. He talked about how the gospel helped him, how he struggled, relied upon God, received blessings, overcame and drew it back into the topic at hand. That bought xiao ma. We will probably have to move his baptismal date back a week, but I confident in the Lord that he can help xiao ma accomplish it.
Example C. Temple.
I love, completely adore the temple. First reason as I go in and am getting ready I bump into an amazing member from Taidong. He is one of my examples. He has helped 72 members of his family come into the church. He also is just humble and carries a heavenly spirit with him. Next, as I was sitting in temple, I started to stress about time, investigators, all that stuff and was getting worked up, when I realized I was in the Temple. I was on the Lord's time. In the temple we can let go of cares of the world. I didn't have to think about all those things. The burdens I had been feeling (stress and lots of it) went away. I knew I was with the Lord so why must I worry? Its funny because I just had to let myself go in a way in order to really regain myself. After coming out of the temple I was so happy, truly happy. That's what the Lord's house can do and it is all made possible by the Restoration of the Gospel.
Example D. McDonald's
Taiwanese Micky D's has it going on. They go big. They don't stand for the American average. They like to look big and happening. If you want to have a business meeting, that meeting could take place in a McDs. It tastes a little bit different, but none the less, it does taste like American Food.
Example E. Companion
He is good hard worker. He isn't afraid to open his mouth. He is good at always trying to follow the spirit which is perfect. No spirit no true conversion. He is so happy and thrilled to be a missionary and do the Lord's work. He has set high goals and I am willing to try and help him attain those goals.
Well I have many more examples, but for right now this is all I have time to share.
Lots of Love from The Asian little Island.
Elder Townsend



New Transfer..I am getting old! (Nov.1st)

Hello!
So my new companion is Elder Slawson. He is a second transfer missionary and his chinese is already amazing. Its pretty cool how awesome his chinese is. He is from Seattle andUtah. He lived in beijing for a couple of years and yep! He's a good one. Likes to microwave sponges to santize them... Lots of energy to go out and do the work. Today we have temple day so we will go to the temple pretty soon here. Lately it feels like we have been mostly been just being busy! Always going not quite sure, hopefully we can start getting the flow a bit smoother and see lots of miracles together! The Lord has prepared people. Just have to see past all the ones who are not quite yet. The thing I've to find is that here in xinzhu that I run into people from all over, phillipines, singaporegermany, america, paraguay, and many more. Its always interesting to try and speak one common language with them. The thing that keeps coming up over and over again is that this message is the same for every one. Its doesn't matter what type of person we are, we all can feel the spirit.
I really enjoyed church this last week at church it was really something I needed, it was too crazy and the sacrament allowed for the needed refreshment of the spirit and talks were even better. I had the opportunity to translate again this week for a member from Pennsylvania (I forgot how spell that state). It was really good they focused on how we need to be agents and go and do. One of the bishopric shared how Nephi was an agent. He didn't wait around for the Lord to give him an answer. For example, When he went to get the plates. He made a plan, tried, failed, tried, failed and kept trying! All he knew was that he was supposed to keep trying. If the Lord told him right off the back you were going to fail the first couple of times, what experience would he have learned? None. We don't need some giant spiritual feeling in order to do something. All we need is to make a plan, ask the Lord to consecrate it, go and do. If the plan is in the wrong the Lord will tell us, he won't allow us to go astray. That's what I am finding out missionary work is. We plan, ask for consecration, contact everyone, teach, and if we are doing something wrong the Lord will let me know. I also have noticed from my personal experience and scripture study is that teaching by the spirit is listening, observing, discerning and acting. Elder Bednar has shared this with us and I found it to be so true. As I have been teaching on the street, I found the more I do this the stronger the experience is. For example, this week I was talking to this man, he was a bit closed off, but as the more I listen, observe, discerned and finally acted the more opened up he became. It completely changed his attitude. That is the spirit at work. It was a giant feeling that overwhelmed us. It was an instruction kit from heaven. It was simply doing what the Lord has taught is his way and pattern of teaching and the results will bring him closer unto Christ. We just need to remove those distractions from our lives and we don't have to worry, because if something does come up, well the Lord will let us know.
Finally I have almost been out for 10 monthes now. Can you believe you haven't seen me face to face that long? It feels like two days ago I got on the island. (Two days because the first day was a shock, the second was the adjustment, and now today is being taiwanese) Well if you want to help out in anyway just pray for all the missionaries in the world, that they might have the spirit as they go and do, and the people they teach, that those people can have their hearts be soften, open and receptive to this glorious message from a loving and merciful Heavenly Father who made it all possible through his Only Begotten.
Lots of love,
Elder Townsend

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wassup...(honestly Bust... Oct 16th letter)


Hello!
Sorry quick email this week. Well the big things this week I had interview with President Grimley. He said I was going home next week. He told me I'm not doing any good. Totally kidding but seriously he didn't(did) tell me the two options of when I can go home. Scary. Time does fly. I still have lots of time so its ok!
Well this week I took the advice of a wise somewhat old man, and have been praying for who's life I could l touch today and that I would be able to recognize him or her. Well we were at the park and We just finished praying and I look up and see a man on the bench. (Recognize this pattern yet?) I go sit next to him. we start talking and he isn't looking to good but I decided to keep talking with him. Pretty soon he spills his guts with all his problems how his family won't let him go home. His boss hasn't paid him and all the difficulties he has encountered. It was really sad. He said he wanted to change so I told him how. He told me he would come to church on sunday but he didn't have any contact information. Usually not a good sign. I trusted him. This sunday I get a call from a landline and it was him he told me he was running a bit late. He came and in our sunday school lesson we talked about agency and all the important decisions we make. we had to write down all the decisions down and which one was most important and I peek at his and it said to change his life. He also talked during the lesson which was huge. He said he was thinking about changing his life when I showed up. The Lord does answer our prayers and I know this work is in God's hands. We are his ministering angels to a people in a strange land, and yet the Lord has been mindful of us.
Lots of love, smile and enjoy the weather.
Elder Townsend




I have some saddening news. My dear little friend of the past six weeks, Elder VanDenBerghe is being moved over to Taibei so that means... I have a new companion!
You will have to wait to next week to know his name. I am not quite sure how to spell it or say so I figure next week (after being with him for a week will be easier to have his name down)
Here is the Rundown of Last week...
Food.
We had a couple of different cooked rices... I don't know what they are in Chinese so I don't how you in English, but they weren't too bad. Also we had these fried eggs and inside they had some weird little things in it. I decided I would hurry and eat so I could get it off of my plate. Bad mistake. The member gave me more of it.
Other.
On preparation day we made mexican food! Not too shabby. This week we also had stake conference. It was good, we had a less active come, Larry du! He is hilarious. He was a little restless during the meeting which was hard, but it was ok! Also sunday as we were contacting we bumped into some croaking friends. Couldn't resist snapping a picture with the monster. Also on Sunday we had some crazy member from another ward follow us. She kept trying to tell me that I couldn't talk to the people on the street because they were lamanites and that they would corrupt me. I could only speak to members because they were nephites. Also she asked me how long it takes to the train station and I said around 15 to 20 minutes. (I don't know exact we always contact to there so it takes 30 or so minutes) She said this was lamanite language and that the nephites say exactly how long it takes because the Holy Ghost tells them exactly how long it takes. She also went off on some other crazy lectures and I just kept praying. There is my testimony of the week. I was getting really mad and it was bugging everyone there, but I remembered to breathe and say a prayer. I just prayed for the patience and calmness to come down. It did. I still thought she was out of her mind (which she is), but I could now handle the situation.
People.
This week we meet with xiao ma! (Its his nickname and it means little horse, pony). Xiao ma is classified as a social type. We had invited a peike to help us out and xiao ma would as for example and more explaination on everything. If we didn't have a peike, I don't know if we would have survived. He is a great guy and we with the spirit have some work to do. Starting to pray for some humbling experiences, just to help him to rely on the Lord. I really like him, he is young, 21, and wants to know everything. We will take it nice and easy and he will make his baptismal date! So last week pan dixiong, was really good. We saw him a lot last week and he said that the he loves praying morning, night and all throughout the day. He shares with us the experiences he has had. Unfortunately bro. pan might have a while before he gets baptized and that's if he can get baptized. Bro. Pan back in the day killed someone. I don't know why but there are a lot of killers. I still love him and love how the gospel is changing his life, but its hard when you have that heavy of burden we have to deal with.
Anyways lots of love!
Elder Townsend




Buster and his creatures...just as long as they don't come home with him...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This isn't monkey business unless it is language study...(where does Buster get these titles from???)


Hello!
Hope everyone is doing well! Thank you for the recent letters and packages! It makes me feel all good warm and fuzzy inside to think that someone loves me! Taiwan is great and I'll give you the quick break down of this last week's time in the service.
Food
Ate the curry egg rice. Translation is a little rough, but basically what it is a scoop of rice. Curry on top of it. A giant egg, within the egg has lamb or beef, chicken, or pork. Its really good. The man who opens the place is named Richard and he is from Singapore. (I think)
 
Other News
This week was Elder VanDenBerghe's Birthday so I made him a dinosaur, moose, and rattle snake pancake. I am pretty sure he was impressed with my pancake pouring skill.
Also this week for our lunch language study we went to the zoo which was about .30 cents in America. (Isn't that sweet?!) Saw lots of animals and learned a lot of them in chinese. Except the names aren't the basic ones, they are more specific correct names which is still ok. Finally this weekend we had conference! It was fantastic, I loved it so much. Again it was like Christmas, long anticipated, made me feel all good, and was gone before I knew it. Its ok though there was still a lot that I learned and a lot I didn't catch onto so these next sixths monthes will be spent studying their teachings and more importantly applying them here in my life and the lives of our brother and sisters here in Taiwan. The biggest thing that I pulled out of Conference is that we have a living loving Heavenly Father that is willing to help us with anything. He is always there. As I watched conference and listen to our prophet share his testimony of our Father in Heaven I could feel His presence draw ever nearer. After watching and praying in gratitude for Conference, it was easy to bare testimony of His love for his Children and I could feel the truth of His Reality linger upon those words. I know God lives. He loves you and He loves me. I know we have a Prophet called of God who is leading us today. His counselors, the apostles, and the other general authority and general auxiliary leaders messages are from Heaven. They shared what we needed to hear.
 
People.
Daniel Huang is struggling in the Gospel. He is right there, but we can't force any one to come unto God. He just needs to recognize his Heavenly Father's hand and Jesus Christ's ultimate sacrifice and how they are in his everyday life, if he lets them.
Well I found two brothers on Sunday and they were great. The older brother was excited about baptism and the only concern he had was that his clothes would get ruined when he went into the water. I don't know why so many people have this concern. ha I just tell them we have clothes they can wear. Oh I met them playing basketball sat down and talked to them. Besides basketball they also like break dancing. I think its pretty cool and they are pretty funny.
 
Well I am running out of time but thanks, know that I love all of you and have a great week!
Elder Townsend




Friday, October 7, 2011

Hello!


Here is the weekly email as follows.
Food.
We have had a new discovery. It is called tian bu la. I am not sure exactly what it is, but I love it! Probably get sick of it in a couple of weeks, but it is currently a favorite. Also we have youzi. I forgot what it is called in English. Elder VanDenBerghe is a freak over them. He always is eating them. Its kind of like a giant grapefruit. Its pretty good.
Other News.
This Saturday we had the youth from the ward come out and be missionaries with us! It was great. They came over to the church early in the morning. We had little studies with them. Then we went out and preached! It was great we went knocking on doors and we got let into one and we shared with this older man. We also went contacting at the parks by the trainstation and we had them Dan Jones! Just start preaching the word! It was pretty fun. We also had this old grandpa with a guitar who was also really crazy grab a tract and start going wild preaching the word. It was a little awkward but the kids loved it so it was all good. We finished this little experience by going to zhu bei and having a nice little fireside. It was stressful but a great experience. I wish they had this in America.
People.
Well last week I came across this guy named ken shi (sure). He was really excited to be alive and really excited to hear to a foreigner. I told him a little about us and our free English. He said he had most interest in English, but he was curious about religion as he is looking for something in his life to have that place. He just seemed too good to be true. So I set him up right before English Class. He came and he was awesome. A bit hard to teach. He talks a lot and really fast. Just a great blessing that I could understand it. It is crazy how the Lord can bless and help out. Unfortunately since he talked so much, we were only able to share with how to prayer. He kept going off on so many tangents we couldn't share the message we prepared for him. That's ok, he'll be back and love the gospel.
Next we have Daniel Huang. Daniel is a really great guy and he is so close to baptism. The main thing with him is that he is afraid of that last step you can almost say. Hopefully with this coming weekend having General conference he can receive his answer so he will be ready for baptism the weekend after. Its hard to almost watch him because is so good, but at the same time there is something there that is keeping him from enjoying all the blessings.
He dixiong is good. He went two weeks without drinking coffee or tea! This week though he had a cup of coffee. I was mostly just impressed that he had gone that long without anything! It means he is starting to keep all of his commitments! He had been struggling with keeping commandments for a while but he is getting better! He is finally starting to have the change he has been looking for.
Well got to split,
Lots of love!
Elder Townsend

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Elder T and VBE taking on the world...or at least a tiny part in Taiwan


Hello other side of the world!
Isn't that crazy? I have been over here for over 6 monthes now... New announcement I think I'll stay. Two years isn't long enough.
Anyways back to the real business. Elder VanDenBerghe and I spent a lot of time again finding. We found some greats and not so friendlies... but overall we were good. By the end of the week we were both so dead and tired. Also I have been teaching Elder VDB to pound up the giant bridge by our house. (He still needs a little work on it, its a little hard when you are super skinny) Well this tuesday we were riding to zhubei for district meeting and as we were riding along I yelled at a guy if he wanted to come to church he said ok, we went to the church, showed him around, and shared a message. It was a pretty cool miracle expect I think he might be a little bit out of the taiwanese norm.
The next great miracle was with Michael He. He brought his son and we shared a message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our member was awesome he started to share about the spirit and Bro. He really desired the spirit. He also said that this week his wife bought a lot of coffee and tea but this week he has had no desire to drink it which is an amazing blessing.
On friday we had a specialized training and the main focus was on our studies. Studies are one of the most critical parts of missionary work. Without studies, no spirit, no guidance, no knowledge, really we would be nothing without them. President Grimley also to keep our studies going even after our mission. This how we obtain exaltation. Anyways I invite all of you to figure out our own gospel studies were you spend time in the scriptures and feast upon the words of Christ. Its my sincere testimony that the scriptures are in fact the words of christ and we can grow closer to God and the Son through them.
Finally miracle a member brought two kids to church and it was just great. The Lord provides miracles in many forms and usually not how we suspect them.
Anyways lots of love, keep it righteous!
Elder Townsend









Saturday, September 24, 2011

Elder VanDenBerghe...comp from the MTC


Hello!
Well Elder VanDenBerghe is..................................................... Great! This has been some of the best time on my mission! We just work and work and yet we still have fun! Its crazy to think that the two of us used to be sitting in a classroom back in Provo, Utah thinking about how we should survive out in Taiwan and of course we knew back then that we would be companions so it scared us little (or a lot) and now its actually happening! It really has been good and we are already learning a lot together. This week we spent a lot of time finding. (If you forgot how we find review previous emails) So it was really good, but at the same time really hard. We had some successes and sometimes not so much at all. There are days when the peoples' hearts are a little bit softer and other days where you are teaching a rock. Luckily, I have a companion who can cheer me when we hit those days. Elder VanDenBerghe decided when we were in the park to go teach 7 grandpas and use a picture book. Half of them only spoke taiwanese and the one translating for Elder VDB was apparently really sassy. It was really funny to turn around after rejected and seeing him standing in the midst of them with a picture book.
This week my trainer Elder Sessions came back and went on exchangese with us. The night before we taught English class with me. It was so great we had a lot of fun it was fun to be able to teach with him again. Its funny how much your trainer can turn into your role model (For the most part) Come on the island and are completely dependent upon him for the most part and he teaches you everything you should know to be a missionary. Well it finally came time to drop Elder Sessions off so we hop on the first train (trying to be fast of course). After Ten minutes or so we realized we should have already hit our destination. We ask a train waiter where the next stop was and it wasn't too close to our destination lets say. It was ok and we were still able to have some good time to talk.
Finally this Saturday was clean the Earth day and we went and cleaned the earth! Basically pick up half a million cigarette buds and firework pieces. By the beach we found a bit more trash trash, so we got that too. Yep service is great and even though it was small, we were still doing it. In the end it spark two people's interest in the church and hopefully we can help them know recieve all of it.
Lots of love,

Is it any wonder people look at missionaries kind of funny..... :)


Earth Day! Saving the planet one cigarette butt at a time!

Hmmm pretty high place to plank....wonder if the guy in the background is thinking "another stupid American"!
Elder Townsend

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept 11th "Hombre on the Island"...gotta love that kid...


Well some big news... I am staying in xinzhu and I am going Senior Companion! ha What adds more to the excitement is my new companion (we are actually going co-senior) is... Elder VanDenBerghe! The same one from the MTC! So its going to be a bit interesting in every factor of the work, but trust in the Lord, go and do, and the Lord will take care of it!
Well first a little testimony on prayer. We went running in the morning and one of the members came along with us. He had set his keys and towell down and we went running around the track. When we came back his keys and towel were gone. We looked and couldn't find them. Not sure what to do we went out and still couldn't find them. I suggested we say a little prayer and the member was a bit doubting of it. We say the prayer and we go look. Within 2 minutes we found them. Even though it was a little insignicant thing it taught us three things. 1. Need to humble ourselves. 2. God listens to prayers. 3. He answers us through tender little mercies.
Later that day we get a call from a less active. He asked if we could come watch him for a while. He has parkinsons I believe. He is awesome. We talked about his growing up and we read scriptures with him. It was pretty funny because I asked him if we could read his favorite scriptures with him and he said it was moroni 7.45-48. It was great because the week or two before I had shared that with him. Well he had to get up to go the bathroom after he called for our help to walk back to the chair. He could barely walk and I had to hold him up to get back to the chair. He almost fell a few times. It took about 10 minutes for him to walk from the back of the chair to front to sit down. Made me thankful for my youth and health. He asked if we could give him a blessing and we did it. It was a really humbling experience.
The next biggish thing is that I went on exchanges with Elder Erickson the Zone leader. It was fun we had some sweet lessons. One of the them sister we were teaching just kind of broke down and told us all the problems she has with her husband and son. She says she has to yell at him on the phone when he is at the bar and karoeke with his friends for him to come back because if she doesn't he won't return. It was really frustrating how the men here treat their families. Fortunately we had a sweet member help us out. It went really well and it was good. The next one This sister came in a little depressed and she herself has no confidence. In fact she hates herself. We started to share with her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she really got it. She actually became really happy and she realized she was a daughter of God. She decided there that she was good enough to be baptized and she left with a hop in her step and a smile on her face. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will change peoples lives and I know that because I felt of his love and He changes my life everyday.
Lots of Love from your hombre on the island,
Elder Townsend




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 6th


Hello Everyone!
Well this week was pretty good. We spent a lot of time finding. I love finding. So this is basically how we find in Taiwan and xin zhu. So every light I basically attack someone ( go up and start talking to them and try to get to pull to the side of the road to continue talking) If I see people on the side of the street I will try to go talk to them without getting hit by a car, scooter or bus. The most popular method in our area is go to this park near the train station and there are usually a lot of people (try to avoid friday night too many snuggly teenage/any age couples, its weird). Contacting and finding is almost like how it is Alma with the sons of Mosiah. Teach them in the streets, parks, homes, Can't in their temples, and anywhere else. So out on the street I will pray with them share the gospel, use how to begin teaching (greatest tool ever and can apply to situation), and invite them to be baptized. Just as the scriptures say the field is white to harvest and we must thrust in our sickles. Even though I say this we do get rejected a LOT, but that's just part of the process. Anyways this week I was able to sit down on a bench and share with this man. He said that he has been contacted by churches before, but none of them have ever prayed with him. It was awesome and really spiritual. We also meet with him this week again at the church and he has real desire. Unfortunately he might live in the other Elder's Area so we will have to hand him over, but its OK! Its the Lord's work. Bringing out the light of Christ in everyone.
Finally this sunday we went over to the Bishop's house. Ah he is awesome! We talked for awhile with what we could do to help and what he expects out of us. It was awesome. The Leaders here know how to do work and are really brave and courageous. They aren't afraid to spread the Gospel which is huge because that is a huge concern of many people here.
Anyways loves and byebye!
Elder Townsend
They have a phone in the bathroom so they can multi task with other missionaries....yikes!

August 28th


Ni hao
Its been what five days since my last email? So I don't have too much to say. Lets say that I had a really rough time on Wednesday. We got to the temple late and missed the endowment session. I was about to go on a rampage. We still got do some temple work which as in Chinese. At first it was a bit hard to understand, but then everything started to make sense. Oh it was some of the fastest chinese I have ever heard, if you think that the English ones will go fast... Your in a treat for Chinese. They could take out Muhammed Ali's float like a butterfly sting like a bee before he could even blink, that's how fast they were. Anyways it was good, but not quite the intersanctuary meditative peace I was looking for.
Friday we had President Osguthorpe of the Sunday School Presidency have a specialized Meeting. It was good, these meetings tend to have a lot of discussion and sharing of experiences. Well I volunteered to say something and basically I could not speak English. I tried to say how to begin Teaching but everytime it came out wrong everyone tried to fix me but it just came out wrong. In the end everyone laughed and thought I was an idiot, but its ok. I am just worried that if my English grammar is this bad now... Oh a year and a half... Well at least I don't sound taiwanese. He also pointed out that effective teachers do three things. 1.listen 2.Observe. 3.Descern. This is the teaching pattern for using the spirit this is how the Gospel can come alive within them. After the meeting we had companion exchanges and Elder Ah Puck and I took over xin zhu. Because we had a couple of lessons that night Elder Ah Puck and I had two members go with us so we could teach the investigators at the same time. The brother who helped me, dong dixiong, was awesome. He just bore simple testimony of how he came to know God and also shared how this world can prove we have a God. He said that if there wasn't a God why would we want to make good or evil choices? They wouldn't be either if they didn't have a consequence in the end. If there wasn't a consequence and we all die, why does it matter what we do? We have these choices and agency to receive the consequence of our actions. It means we have some after this life. We have a Spirit inside of us that guides us, gives us the feelings after we sin, make a mistake or do something good. Oh by the way we were teaching an atheist. He is way cool.
The reason I am emailing late today is because we had a typhoon. So saturday they gave us permission to go prepare and buy food so Thomas our ward mission leader took us to costco. It was like a wonder land. I loved it and they have american things! For prep for the storm I bought a bag of krusteaz pancake mix. That will last my mission:) It was pretty great. Sunday we got the call that after church we have to return home and stay inside. I got sick I think from one of our investigators on Saturday so I took a little nap and it felt amazing. Still a little sick but improving. Typhoon days are no fun after two hours I was going nuts. and this morning we had to stay in till they let us go. So I am free and going to enjoy my preparation day inside places without exploring!
Lots of Love from the Elder on a small asian country of formosa (Taiwan formosa is the dutch name for this island when they were here)
Elder Townsend
 
Oh Ps! The english class kids were good and there wasn't a parent insight! It was a miracle because basically I was the only one there because ELder Siebert had to take desk! Thank you for the prayers!

August 23 letter


Well time flies by!
Sorry I wasn't able to email on our normal preparation day. It was changed today because we are going to go to the Temple!!! Its my first time in over 5 monthes to go to temple so I am pretty excited. I am excited to go rest from the world and be in a place of peace. To tell you the truth, Taiwan is covered with filth aka pornography. Billboards, dress, shops, and any form. Their really isn't a safe place to divert your eyes in a place like this. Its sad because of a how strong of a destructive force is being imposed upon everyone. It destroys the sacredness of our own physical tabernacles. Also there is just smoking, drinking, chewing betel nut and whatever else is out there as well. So I am so grateful I can go to the temple to rest from those cares and concerns and be able to rest and mediate in the Lord's presence. I never realized before my mission how big a blessing the temple is in our lives. Its something that needs to used to the fullest if we want to receive all, feel all, and understand all.
Well last week. Last week was a bit tougher of week but it had some of its ups and downs. Last week my trainer, Elder Sessions went on exchanges with my companion and me. It was great! It was so nice to be able to work with him again. He helped me to remind me of how I used to be when I first got on the island and I needed that. Lately all of the feels like the unsuccess we've had and everything else have taken a toll on me so It was really to be able to be reminded why I am here. Not that I was slacking off, but I had lost of the enthusiam I had before and was struggling.
A majority of our investigators aren't progressing as much as they should, but one of them had huge leap and bound in progression! Lennart zhuang he did the homework we gave him and it strengthened his Testimony and helped him receive his much needed revelation! He was struggling with a few things, but when he did his part, he got closer with the Lord. He is just one step closer to baptism now. Hopefull he can continue to progress as we are now racing time before he goes back to Taipei to start school.
Another Investigator daniel huang (Don't all of you love these american names?) had a baptismal interview. In the interview he decided he wasn't prepared to be baptized. So Yesterday we sat down with him and talked about his concern Joseph Smith. It was really good the spirit was there. I know Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. A lot of people will judge him because he has made a mistake in his life, but they never realize that they too have mistakes that cover them. Joseph Smith like all of us through the Savior's atonement can repent. (Sorry A bit of chinese grammar) Well I am out of time but lots of love and I know that Through joseph smith, god and jesus restored the plan of salvation!
Elder Townsend


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 14th letter...Hello!


Last week had a bit but the main things I'll share will be English Class Monsters, Chen dixiong, Thomas, Tian, and Jenny Phillips.
English Class Monsters.
Probably self explanatory. So Elder Siebert (Who I think is exactly like Rudy, Also does anyone know if Rudy is still alive?) and I were waiting for the kid class and they hadn't showed up with they came about half an hour or so late and it became the hardest hour of my life. It was as if someone had let Satan into the Church. Luckily they didn't have knifes or they would have thrown those around and possibly killed someone. They would not be good. So we tried to play games, because that was they only thing that wasn't too out of control. It was really it feels like it was just babysitting their kids. Ah I can't even describe the chaos that takes place. So the reason why I share this is. 1. English Class is a nightmare. 


 3. Always have a (responsible) parent present who can control kids. 4. This wasn't a good way to encourage us to have kids
Chen dixiong
We had been contacting down at the park and had no success, it was time for dinner so we decided to go, but before we left I saw this man on a bench (different bench) and decided to invited to start studying the restored gospel with us. He said yes and we met him on Saturday. Super humble and great. We got him a baptismal date and set up the next time to meet with him. Hopefully start getting him to come to church and be baptized! So remember the biggest blessings might come at the very last minute or after you have "done your work". (work is never really done)
Thomas.
One of the pictures I attached is our great ward mission leader Thomas. His English is amazing. Basically, He is American in what he likes, speaks, and does (except he is Taiwanese and doesn't live in America) This is after our correlation meeting and he is just being great. He is super awesome because he can help me with words I don't know in Chinese and English. He is just a funny man. He is definitely one of my best friends here in Taiwan.
Tian dixiong
Well we had a list of potentials and I just started calling them. About the eighth number a kid answered and I started talking to him and I tried to set him up. He asked if we could meet tonight and luckily we had Finding time planned (so yes we had room) so we went over to the church real quick and we met with him. It went great. He was really funny, we talked about the spirit, how the holy ghost can bless our lives, prayer, scriptures, and finally we set him a baptismal date. It was pretty funny he would throw a little English out he knew and little taiyu.
Last but not least Jenny Phillips to zhu bei (She is a big lds singer). She was really good our investigator daniel huang really liked it! It was a little hard though to have the spirit though because one of the English Monsters (The worst of the worst) was sitting right in front of me. Everytime I saw him I wanted to go nuts. I need to repent and love him but oh man he is truly sent from below. Anyways Daniel Huang's baptism is in two weeks so it should be great!
Lots of love!
Elder Townsend