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


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.
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.
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!

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.
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.
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


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...
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.

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.

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...)