Townsend 2 taiwan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More pictures!

Still welcome to the East side....(Buster's title)

So this weekend our transfered ended so means move calls... I am staying in Taidong! Same with the Companion. So all is good! It was a bit stressful because I was not prepared to move out at all but now I can start preparing in case of next transfer. Man time flies by, one of the sisters here (she has been in Taitung for a year) went home today. I saw how hard it was for her to go home and I thought that wasn't a good sign for me. But nevertheless, I will enjoy the time here in taitung and in taiwan.
Well for Preparation day we went up to this mountain and had a great view. It really was unreal. Pictures can't do justice for what it is really like. That's a fact. Anyways, after we went to the beach. I was looking in the tidepools and I saw these tentacle things. At first I thought I stumbled upon a mini octopus, but it turned it out be a starfish! There were a ton of them!  They would just crawl around. I never imagined starfish just chilling and walking around like that. 
So for lunch we went to an American Restaurant. I about died. Do you realize how good American food is? Probably not. Not saying Taiwanese food is bad, just that a majoritity of it taste exactly the same. I love but I need a little variety.
Couple of big things that happened this week, we got a sister in the branch's husband to accept the baptismal invite! He has meet with missionaries before but has always had problems with it. He was pretty excited about it. Ha he is a super funny guy. So the plan for him is to go over all the lessons and help him quit smoking, coffee, and tea. (Currently about 20 cigarettes a day which is not to bad since a year ago he smoke over 40 a day) He is a cop so they always a big smoking problem.
Next big thing is that tuesday we had companion exchanges it went pretty great but there was one problem. We get back to the apartment and realize my keys are gone. We went looking for them and ended up going to the south Elder's apartment to get my companion's keys. Kind of giant punch in the stomach but that's life. Just said an even bigger prayer to find them. Next day we go and do work. We get back to the church, look for the keys, no success. We were outside in the parking lot changing back companions and I notice on the garbage can my keys!!! Truly my prayer was answered. Such a blessing it would have horrible to have lost those. I quickly said a prayer of thanks for allowing me to find my keys.
I just have to say that there really are prepared people in Taiwan, as we talk and meet with these people they really do have a desire to learn and change their lives to know them. Mainly this week was just composed of little miracles along the way to keep us going. From having a investigator fang us, but having another investigator show up out the blue to meet with us at time is just one of them. Its fun how Heavenly Father will provide ways for people to grow.
Probably the one of the biggest things for me this week that might seem small to the rest of you is that Yu rui showed up to church. It was amazing! I had meet with him on tuesday and I asked him why he doesn't come to church and he said it was boring. (I have learned to call those days, the "real intent" days) But I still invited him and he gave the usual shi shi kan (I can try). So him showing up was a enormous blessing for me.
Well I hope everyone is doing well and still loving the States or wherever you might be. Enjoy the Food, but more importantly remember Heavenly Father loves you, You are his child. Jesus Christ welcomes you with widespread arms. Come join his flock and be a heir of the Kingdom of God.

Elder Townsend

Friday, June 17, 2011

Taiwanese Wedding and more

I forgot to mention that I attended a Taiwanese Wedding! Ha It was hilarious. The more corny it is, the better, the decorations looked like a 1980's prom (no offense) and the music was yeah. Ha it was funny, I had to share a blessing with them which was really weird. I forgot both chinese and english. ha oh well. But they are aborigine so they did an aborigine dance which was way fun to tell the truth. The whole wedding I couldn't stop laughing at how funny it was fun. Taiwanese are just too perfect in my heart. They really don't care about being goofy and how really how nice something is. As long as they are a big family they are happy.
Also Hermie graduated high school so he is moving back to cheng gong, I feel bad I could help him into the baptismal font but its all in the Lord's time. Long live the Hermster!

This guy looks a little "stiff necked"

Elder Townsend

Summer, the gospel and conquering the beast!

Hello Hello!
Wow Summer finally/officially hit it feels like. Now I am always in a shower! ha I never imagined it to be that true, always wet, just out of shower, well its true. I'm trying to figure out if its sweat or if its the humidity sticking to me, probably both.
Monday for our Preparation day, we fought the beast. Their were four brave missionaries and one of their loyal friends. They entered the bing shop with a determined mind of either conquering or dying within. They bought a thirty person bing, yet that didn't intimidate them. Finally the came, they fought (literally fought that mountain), and they conquered. Of course there were wounds and just hanging on strings of life. 

Pretty great right? ha They took pictures of before and after because 1. they wanted proof 2. they wanted an excuse to take pictures of Americans. :) It was pretty epic the whole ordeal. 
 Also we went to the beach, ate guo tie (potstickers sort of), wrote letters and just enjoyed the beauty of the sea.
Tuesday I became kind of the senior companion! My companion went on exchanges after district meeting so Elder Lusupudan and I tore up the town of taitung! It was pretty funny work hard that was for sure. Unfortunately, we did not have a map since my companion took it with him up to yuli so we tended to get lost and rely on my vast knowledge of the streets... It was fun though because we worked hard, we continued to push, and we let the spirit guide.
 We rode all day on Wednesday trying to find formers and just share with everyone we saw. The blessing came off when we visited one of our current investigators, shen hong yu, poor kid broke his finger and did something to his arm as well. I feel even worse because his grandparents just sat there telling us how stupid he is and how he needs to be like us. They were brutal. One thing the grandma said was We doesn't know how old he is, he thinks he is 8 or 9, he needs to grow up and be smart, he is just dumb. I understand that's the culture but I don't think they realize how of an impact that has on him. Anyways we got him to share a bit which loosened the attacks and we invited them to church. HIs mom said she would come to church with him. IT turned out all good! We didn't see the blessings we wanted but in a way we did. The Lord blesses in a different way.
English Class was fun we played twenty questions and the two words I chose were night and knight. I thought I was really funny. Ha they thought it was pretty good too. 
Friday went to hualian for a meeting. again. This time it was only for the Senior companions so I and two bundies had our "own junior companion meeting". ha We did studies and then shared a ton during our companionship study.
 That night the Kim family came and shared with the city of Taitung. They are a big hawaiian family. His wife was from Taiwan and her dream was to take all of their kids to taiwan one day. She had passed away so they were doing this in memory of her. It was really good. It was kind of really weird to be called "Elder". I have really only been called zhang lao which is the chinese of it so it was really weird to hear the English. Funny how that works.

Saturday was legit! Elder Kasparian and I went on splits and we had the best time. Him and his companion had worked really hard during the week and set up a ton of kids for today. So we had back to back lessons for 1130 to 530. It was sweet though because every lesson was spiritual. Our first lesson was the best. Basically we got to know him and from every point were able to share doctrine we came to the spot were we felt it was right to invite to baptism but first I decided to ask one last question. I just asked/told him. We shared a lot today and it might be a little confusing, what questions do you have? He asked us if it was ok for people from other churches to join. Elder Kasparian and I just looked at each other smiled and told anyone can join. He was pumped and accepted the baptismal invitation. Its amazing how clearly and simply teaching invites the spirit, the spirit teaches and both are edified. We messed up and our chinese wasn't perfect (by anymeans) but it didn't matter because he was having his spiritual experience and he received personal revelation on to progress and follow God. It is such a beautiful and delicate process and I am so thankful for the Spirit.
Until next time!
Elder Townsend

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Discovery of the dead dog

Well another week gone by way too fast. A bit scary, but I have to be grateful for the time I have (but, if there is a way to make the time last a bit longer let me know)
This week I was everywhere besides Taidong it felt like and is partially true.
Tuesday I went up to Yuli and did work! It was great I was with a bundy elder Su. We were outside tracting and he went to one side of the street and I took the other.. whala. Do work. Meet some really cool people (and not so cool) got some set ups etc. We hit one house together and the ama let us in with a bunch of her grandkids. We were teaching about prayer and the holy Ghost. She liked it but she was a bit in another world. 
Our lesson was kind of going nowhere and then walks her 15 year old grandson. Elder Su and I look at each other and just move to direct most of our teaching to him. It went great, I invited him to baptism, Elder Su sealed it with a date. I love how the Lord will provide ways for us to find people. He always will provide. If that ama hadn't let us in, and we hadn't done our part of teachin' and preachin', we would have never had the opportunity to meet him.
Heavenly Father also has a sense of humor. He totally helped me Tuesday night and wednesday morning and I felt like my Chinese was at the top of its game, but that wednesday night. It was another thing going. I was having a hard time speaking. Its ok its things like that makes me just lean upon him even more. 
Friday went up to Hualian. Elder Riches had a meeting so I went with Elder Fang to go do service! We went to Wen dixiong's work and he gave us some yard tools. Right across from his work there was this field with what remained of a house. It was a wall and a roof. Went over there and lo and behold a homeless wang dixiong lived underneath there. The man was pretty raggedy, but he is still a brother and a child of God. Basically what we had to do was cut all the grass which was probably to my waist to chest range high. Luckily we had a pretty great tool for that, unfortunately, that meant only person could work. AKA me. ha It was all good I went to town on the grass/mini trees. I was cutting and came across a pretty big bag, but it was full of something which I thought was sand or something. While I was doing it started to smell really bad and then went away.
 Later After I had cleared a bit away, Elder Fang asked if he could move the bag. He went over to it and back away. He told me to come over. I went over and look at the bag and it had a ton of maggots. Look inside the bag and I see what looks like ribs. I thought what was going on? I take a step back and saw I had hit the bag with the scythe tool I was using. out of the hole was black hair. I then realized it was a dead dog someone had thrown into a bag. Elder Fang grabbed the bag and threw it out of where we were working the Homeless man, wang dixiong just started gagging and kept spitting. I thought it was bad, but not that bad. Anyways I keep going and we finish, share a message with him and invited him to come to church, find a job, and if he does these things baptism.
Elder Fang and I get back to the church and Elder Riches and I need to be in the train station in oh 15 mins. A taxi to the train station takes about 15 mins or so. We find a taxi and Start going. I prayed so hard that we would make it. The Taxi driver was slow but somehow we get there with a minute. Run to train and hop on. The train left less than 20 seconds later. I was thanking Heavenly Father so much for the miracle.
Had a couple of other things go on but I am out of time!
Lots of Love,
Elder Townsend

(taitung sunset and mango bing!)

Life in Taiwan, life is good...

This Preparation day we decided to go up to Fei yu's (Flying Fish) and do service. Thought it would be fun and guess what? It was.
We got up there they gave us lunch and after Fei yu pulled out his guitar and started playing a few songs (improv mostly) and we would sing the songs in Chinese. It was fantastic, probably not our singing, actually I'm sure our singing wasn't, but the experience was. After having fun we got to the real "fun". What we had to do was move a bunch of sand (not kidding we creating a mini mountain) to another place so it wouldn't get dirty. haha It was a bit strange but we love the members so it was no big deal!
Tuesday we meet with this Tony Wang. We also had Elder Vanwagoner with us, He is one of the zone leaders (By the way he graduated from Riverton High School)  We had contacted him the other day on the road and invited him to meet with us. So he came. We told about our purpose got to know, him, and invited him to baptism. He accepted. Not quite sure how he took the message in but we are hoping for the best that he will do the things he needs to prepare himself for baptism. After our meeting with him he asked if he could come chuan jiao (proselyte) with us. Ha We let him and it was great, we still had a lesson that night and we decided it would be ok if he came. The man we were meeting with was also new and so it was kind of fun experience. We asked Tony how the spirit made him feel and he said happy! After We invited the new investigator for baptism, but before that we asked Tony what baptism was. He enthusastically replied "For the remission of your sins!" Ha we were trying so hard not to laugh because we did not expect that answer but he's right! Ha That person also accept the invitation to be baptized.

This Friday we went up to Taipei. It was crazy! I am a little country bumpkin I have found out! Ha Taipei is huge and yeah. ha We listened to Elder Jensen and his Fireside was really interactive and inspirational. I had a ton of personal revelation! It was great, I think one of the strongest impressions I received was at the beginning when he said thank you for the opportunity to shake our hands, the hands of messangers of God, who are the only hope for this fallen world. It was intense. I was also good to see all my buddies from the mtc and to catch up with them for a second. They are all great, except it sounds like they've almost died from being hit by buses, cars, and bitten by insects. I am grateful that I really don't have that big of problem.
Finally our Branch President invited us up to his place to eat again. It was fun because we had two part member families and it was fun to talk to them and get to know their husbands. Oh! Also sunday I had to give my first official talk in Church. Scary but the topic was xinlai shen ranhou qu zuo, trust in God and go and do. Ha it was good, it was crazy because of the lack of time but I challenge everyone to read alma 38.4-5 (I think?) its about shiblon and his dad Alma. Alma teaches shiblon how through his patience and him trusting in God how God will provide and support and eventually eternal life.
Well lots of love from Taiwan
Elder Townsend