Townsend 2 taiwan

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

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