Monday, March 31, 2014


Monday, March 31, 2014

Week one in Taiwan! Wow I don't know where to start. There has been so much that has happened. The flight wasn't too bad except I didn't know what the flight attendant was saying over the intercom haha. Dad it was so awesome seeing you at LAX! All the missionaries were talking about how cool that was. Jake Happy birthday my man!!! Sorry I'm a little late ;) and congrats on getting the priesthood. That is something that you will remember for the rest of your life. If you haven't yet, write about it in your journal. Mom, sorry to hear you are so sick. I hope and pray that you get better. Nate lookin’ good at that Chinese performance my man :) What a stud! Hilarious stuff.

So anyway our mission president has a rule that we can't email back and forth so this will be my only email. When we landed in Taiwan we met President and Sister Day and the AP's. They were so awesome and welcoming. We took a bus into Taipei. We stayed in the building right across from the Taipei Temple where the mission home is. It was cool. The next morning we all ran to this huge Taiwan Temple. It was crazy cool. Also, that morning we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast so that was good. We spent the first two days having orientations, getting interviewed, temple tours, role plays, and meetings talking about rules, expectations, goals, receiving our language books, etc. The second night they paired us up with older missionaries to go proselyte for a few hours.  That was when things got real. I went out with Elder Lee who is a stud. We placed 4 copies of the Book of Mormon.  This was awesome. The spirit was strong and we had great success. People speak SO fast and it is really hard to understand.

The next day we got our trainers. They had all the new missionaries come up and introduce themselves in front of all of the transfer missionaries, trainers, and missionaries going home and then President Day would say who their trainer was. I was the very last missionary to get my trainer because of the W last name. Whenever President Day called out who the trainer would be the trainer would run up and give the new missionary a big hug while everyone was clapping and cheering it was way cool.  My trainer is Elder Westover. He is AWESOME. He is from Arizona and has been out over a year. His Chinese is very good and he is very nice and willing to help me with anything.

After that meeting we left for our areas. We are in XinZhu. It's about 2 hours south and west of Taipei. Our area is kind of a rough area. Our ward has about 70 active members. We don't even have enough copies of the Book of Mormon to give out and that is very hard too.  Our area hasn't had a baptism in 6 months and right now we don't have any investigators that have a desire to be baptized.

I would be lying if I said things are easy out here. People here in Taiwan are very busy and most don't have much interest in our message. Elder Westover and I do have very positive attitudes and high ambitions for our area. We are praying for 5 baptisms. We feel that through obedience, working our very hardest, faith and prayer we can accomplish our goals. I really do have a good feeling we will turn this area around.

Our district has 6 missionaries. Ironically we have Elder McClellan who I knew from the MTC. We also have Sister Bennion who is a few years older than me, but she went to Woods Cross. Small world! The first night with my trainer (Elder Westover), because he is district leader we attended a baptism. Elder McClellan and his companion baptized probably about a 10 year old kid. It was awesome. Cool to see that. Our ward is really awesome. Our bishop is very nice and there are awesome people who are always willing to come out and teach with us (PeKe) accompany us for our lessons. There are kids who have great faith and have a desire to serve missions. Church was also great. After Sacrament Meeting I had a few ladies come up to me and tell me that even though I don't understand now my Chinese will improve and that my Chinese is already great. Everyone is so nice.

For food I’ve eaten a variety of stuff - fried rice, chicken, sausage, Taiwanese tortillas, noodles, beef, etc. It is interesting. Nothing at all like American Chinese food. It's taking some getting used to and my stomach has been sick sometimes. My companion and I make breakfast like eggs or toast. He really is just great. I feel so blessed to have him as my companion.

People here in Taiwan are very interesting. Most are nice, but most think all churches are the same. Taiwanese believe every church is good, but that they are all the same. Most don't understand the importance of baptism, and it is VERY hard to get people to come to church. We have made goals to get people to church next week.

A few miracles this week. I felt like I should have a paper back copy of the BoM with me and we met this Pilipino lady who only spoke Tagalog and English! We talked with her for like 45 minutes and she believes in God and Jesus Christ and we gave her that BoM to read it. She said she would and we are going to follow up with her tonight. While we were talking to her we saw Sui2Jie3Mei4 another one of our investigators and we were able to talk with her. It was really cool and we have high hopes that these two have a great desire to follow Jesus Christ.

Anyway things are good in Taiwan. Riding a bike is harder than I thought. My legs are dying. One day we rode about 5 or so miles in pouring rain to visit a less active teenager. We had a great meeting with him. I like singing hymns when I'm riding my bike. It helps me think of my missionary purpose and all of my investigators. I hope everyone has a great week! Love you all so much! Sorry this was random.  I'm still getting used to writing from the field :) All in all I'm doing great and feel good about our goals to turn things around in this area.

***So this is where the "mommy blogging" starts.  We received an email from William's trainer Elder Westover on p-day telling us how great William is and how he will take care of him.  A true tender mercy. We love him already for that gift.  I found his mission blog and copied Elder Westover's letter below.  It makes us so proud.  My sister Allison and I were talking today and she said, "It is a hard time in the world to be a missionary."  Yes it is.  Keep working hard William.  We are praying hard here at home.  Send him a quick email if you have time. It would mean the world to him.  His email address is

So I am officially a dad. :) And thank you so much for your prayers because I'm still in Xinzhu with my Trainie. He got here last Wednesday Night and I got him on Friday. Elder William Willes (sounds like Willis) is from Bountiful, UT and is such a wonderful missionary. Like stellar!! It's crazy how they just get better and better!! We have seen a ton of miracles and are learning so much!! One of the miracles is just that after another companionship's baptism that we were asked to attend, I asked Elder Willes what he felt like we could do on the list of Finding Ideas in our planner, and we both decided that it would be good to invite people to come to church. So after a very sincere prayer we went out! We talked to three people, and on the fourth we talked to a woman who was willing to come!! She couldn't come this week but committed to us as Representatives of Christ that she would come next week! It was so good. for only being our 4 days, my companion is awesome with his Chinese, and we are going to continue to see miracles through our faith and Help 5 souls be baptized this transfer! :) This week was alright until I got my baby boy (Elder Willes)... and then it got a whole lot better!!! He is so great! I am learning so much with him so much, and it's only been 4 days! Haha. He has got so much faith and is so excited to be working to help them according to their needs and build a testimony. His Chinese is so good. It's so much better than mine was when I got here, and I know it's because he is such a hard worker. He really has a great desire to help these people obtain a testimony of the truthfulness of our Father's Gospel and develop faith in Christ. He is not scared to invite to baptism and is super willing to get into everything. We took the opportunity to kneel down on Saturday morning and ask Heavenly Father what he sees happening in this area with in the next transfer and we feel that He would like us to specifically work really hard on working with the ward to accomplish our ward mission plan. The goal is to get our area caught up with our baptisms for the year. We would like to help 5 people receive the blessings of baptism and establish good footings for the rest of the year. We are still working on our plan, but Heavenly Father has given us the vision, and we are going to go forth as Nephi with faith and follow the teachings of the prophets in the scriptures and PMG, and seek the guidance of the Spirit by being exactly obedient. Happy belated Birthday to Savannah, and Laci!! I love you!!! :) The next family that goes over to visit Grandma Dixie... Give her a hug for me, and tell her I love her. Jia You!!!! Hurrah for Israel!! Love, Elder Westover
Much love,

Elder Willes

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