Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012

Hey mom! Sounds like your week was pretty busy once again! I am always impressed with how much time you are constantly sacraficing to serve others. Your are an amazing example to me of being selfless and putting others above ourselves. Thanks for being the best mom I have ever had :D Thanks aton for sending the music and oils! I have not recieved them yet but i am anxiously waiting to get them!! And thanks again for helping me keep up with all my buds. I love to hear how they are doing! Natalie is in africa right now! So cool!! Those pictures of Blythe and Brock gave me a good laugh hahaha i see they are doing just fine! Miss those two rascals.
This week was a good week! Last monday we went to a driving range! There is a less active who goes to the same chapel as us who really likes the da keng elders and us it is funny. Our set up is weird because the chapel is pretty close to our house but it isn't in our zone, so the elders who are serving in the bei qu area (where the chapel is) are not our zone leaders, but we see them all the time, alot more than we see our own zone leaders. So this less active member is in the beiqu elders ward, but he likes to hang out with the da keng and beitun (us) elders. He is super nice, he took us to a driving range and brought a friend who is a crazy good golfer that competed in the U.S. for awhile (he is also pretty good himself) and they taught us how to drive! It was super sweet! They gave me some good pointers! I told them my Dad wants me to golf and make abunch of money to help him retire so they better teach me well, they laughed pretty hard about that!
This week we had a TYPHOON!! Not really..ha all week everyone we would talk with would start talking about this nasty typhoon that is going to hit, but it didn't hit too hard. On wednesday we got aton of rain and some wind but nothing too crazy. Kind of like the summer monsoon storms in arizona. It is funny though because alot of taiwan people absolutely hate/fear rain, even though it rains here all the time, so for english that night we only had one person show up!
This week i had a few pretty cool experiences. I was on splits with the zone leaders in Daya, and for companion study that day we practiced giving a baptismal invite, then the investigator brings up a concern, and then we help them resolve the concern and re invite them to be baptized. That night we had a first lesson with a young man who when we originally contacted him, gave us a random number and wrote a random name for his name, so when we called to confirm if he could meet with us for the day he had set up a lady answered and said we had the wrong number. We were kind of bummed, but then a few days later he calls us up (we had left our number with him) and says hey i forgot about that lesson i set up with you guys, lets meet right now. We went and met with him, and he told us his real name and everything and at the end of the lesson we ended up inviting him to be baptized. He had the same concern that my zone leader used to practice with me that morning, and we helped him resolve it and he accepted a baptismal date! And also, as we were heading out to meet with him, a guy on the sidewalk stopped us and said hey I am a member of your church but have not been in a long time, what time is church at? Turns out he is in our ward! Super great. I know this is the Lord's work and he is guiding it!
 Tell Janice law thank you for always sending me letters, she is the greatest. Well i gotta go, love you all very much! Hope you have a super sweet week! 
*Pictures-Golfing/ Biking up da keng mountain!

June 18, 2012

Thank you for sending pictures every week i love to see what is going on back home! Thanks for the letters from friends as well as the programs and letters from you i love reading those! You have the I cloud thing? What is that like? I bet it is awesome. I saw in the conference edition of the Liahona that some of the talks have that box you can scan on a smart phone and immediately watch the talk..i was so impressed! That is so these days! I am so grateful for the relief society and the support the give to me! Tell them all thank you very much and i love them! Also please tell aunt alice and uncle vern that I appreciate their support more than they know and am praying for them everyday. I will write soon! I have been trying to find a postcard to send them but I can't seem to find any!
As for taiwan the weather here is still a little crazy. A typhoon was going to hit this weekend but it turns out it is not going to hit land but we will get aton of rain from it, which we have. I kind of wanted it to hit just to see what it is like :D Plus i have heard if you are contacting in a typhoon, the only people you find are golden people or crazy people haha. And we have not had a chance to meet with the chang family this week because they have been super busy and one of their kids got sick which is a bummer but hopefully this week we will get a chance to see them. Thank you so much for your prayers momma, i can feel them every day.
This last week we met with Mr tien. He is an awesome guy. When we first ran into him we were riding our bikes down the street and saw him walking in front of us so we stopped and talked with him. He told us he just got off work and to follow him down the street to his house. We were a little taken aback because most people don't say that but we followed him down the street abit and as we pull up to his house we hear some people inside laughing and he says oh we have guests over! That's alright come on in! Turns out another family is over hanging out with his family and they are playing wii and board games and what not. We sat down and told him about God being our loving Heavenly Father and had a prayer with their family but we didn't stay for too long because they had guests, but this time meeting with him it was just him there and we had an awesome discussion with him. He had loads of questions for us which all were answered through the first lesson. It is amazing to see how the Lord is preparing people to recieve His gospel! It is so great to be a tool in the Lords hand finding these people.
This week we had companionship exchanges and this time my trainer left the area and i stayed, which means i become senior companion for a day! And it turns out that morning my trainer had to go to a leadership meeting, so another missionary who's companion had to go to the meeting too came to my area and proselyted with me. (Our area is right next to the mission home so everyone came up for the meeting) So i pretty much had double companionship exchanges right in row, it was fun! I went on exchanges with Elder Miller, who's family is from a small hawaiin island called mulakai. He also has family on oahu and it turns out I knew some of his friends and family from going to school with them at BYU! Small world! After we switched back to our companions we went out to Daya to teach english, and Karen brought us mangoes this week! She is too good to us. The mangoes here are sooooo good. I can't even explain it. She always writes down questions about english that she thinks of throughout the week and brings them to class for me to answer and this week she read some news article about boy scouts and s'mores and had no idea what that was. Lets just say we had a little lesson on how to make s'mores.
Recently one of our recent converts really learned of the power of prayer. He has to go to the hospital often to get his kidneys cleanded and is often in alot of pain. He has learned to rely on Heavenly Father to get him through. We have been taught that the spirit comes through the prayer of faith. The spirit comforts us as well as guides and directs our thoughts and actions. If you get a chance,read on page 93 of preach my gospel about the prayer of faith. It talks about something interesting that i haven't focused alot on in my life, which is praying for the spirit to direct our prayers. I can testify that as I pray for the spirit to direct my prayers, my prayers change. They become more and more sincere and I can feel the spirits guidance in my life more abundantly! The spirit really does come through the prayer of faith, i have seen it in my own life, and felt it from your prayers for me.
Thanks for all of your support and love family! Love you all bunches! Hope all is well. Have a super awesome week!
Pictures-we ate at a restaurant this week that is trying really hard to be american and they have these "western sayings" on the walls that are...kind of funny. Ha there are things like this all over the place here, it is pretty funny. Ping pong- cant remember if I already sent some of these so sorry if i did! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 11, 2012

Hey Fam! How was your week? Sounds like yours was a little hectic Momma. Hope things go smooth this week, wish i could be there to help out! I am very sorry to hear about Rebeccas' husband, that is an extremely sad thing to happen, especially at such a young age. I hope that she will be able to turn to the Lord and find comfort in the plan  he has prepared for us, and be healed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. He knows what it is like.
The weather here was crazy this week. A few days in a row of the hottest days i have had since i have been here and then this weekend is just pouring rain!
This week went pretty well! Last preparation day i went to get another haircut! I sat down in the chair and asked the lady if she could just cut it a little shorter, and she says yeah i know how to do it, just like last time! Then it dawned on is the same lady that cut it last time! This time i watched closely and asked for more specific things as much as i could but i still don't have a super good vocab for getting haircuts in chinese. It turned out better than last time but still kind of an asian style haircut it is funny. As my chinese gets better, so do my haircuts!
Each week we have an invite from President Bishop, kind of a focus for the week. This week's invite was find a family! When families accept the gospel together they strengthen and support eachother as well as provide a huge support to the ward they are in. Families are ordained of God. On fast sunday we fasted that we would be able to find a family to teach the gospel to. We prayed and set aside a specific time every day devoted to finding a family. The Lord answered our prayers and we found one! The Chan family. They are so great. Husband, Wife, and two little kids, one boy and one girl who are about 4 and 6. They were formers who were dropped because they had no time to keep meeting with the missionaries, but we called and they set up a time to meet with us! We shared the plan of salvation and Brother Chan by the end of the lesson said he knows that everything we shared was true. I am so excited to see this family learn of the gospel together, please pray for them that they will accept such a great blessing as this!
This week the sisters in our district had a baptism! A young girl whos parents were both converted got baptized. The baptismal service was so great, the spirit was very strong there. We had two of our investigators come with us which was awesome, they both really liked it!  The girls Mom bore a very sweet testimony about how the gospel blesses families, and after her baptism she did as well. It was just what our investigator needed, he has been having some family issues lately. He had such a great experience, i am glad he was late to our lesson! The Lord wanted him to be late no doubt. It is amazing to watch the Lord's hand in missionary work. As we invite the spirit to be with us through prayer, and then work hard, the Lord guides us in His work.
Karen from my english class (the lady that always brings us snacks and stuff) is always telling me to bring a picture of my family for them to see but i always forget! This week i remembered and brought the pictures you sent me of Dustin and Heather's wedding and i showed those to her. She said Dustin looks like Collin Ferrel and Celeste looks like Jessica Alba. Hahaha taiwanese people often think white people look like some movie star, it is pretty funny.
To answer some questions you sent to me about daily life mom- the average day we wake up at 6:30 and excersize for 30 minutes, then take an hour to eat and get ready for the day. After that we have 1 hour of personal study 1 hour of companionship study, then 30 minutes of language study. Then we are out the door for the day! Doing finding activites and going to lessons and things like that. Since i am still in my first two move calls i am in this 12 week training program, so i have 2 hours of companionship study some days as well. In our apartment it is just Elder Bentley and I, but two Elders live down the street from us. We check in with the mission president through email every preparation day and yes each companionship has one cell phone. My bike is doing great! Haven't had any serious issues as of now!
Thanks abunch for sending me the ensign! I am loving it! Please tell Aunt Alice and Uncle Vern that i am so grateful for their sacrafices for me and i hope the have a smooth recovery. I will be writing them soon!  Well i love you all and i hope all is well back home. Tell Grandma Mabel hello for me and that i love her very much. Hope you feel better momma, you always took good care of me when i was sick so i know you are taking good care of yourself! Love and miss you, have an amazing week!
P.S. your packages take about a week i think! i will pay attention this time when it gets here. Thanks so much for sending those to me i love to get them, but i know it is expensive so if you dont send one for awhile to save money dont you worry about me! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 4, 2012

Hi family! I feel like the time from last wednesday to now has past so quickly that i can't even remember what happened really. All is going well here in beitun. We have three young men that are recieving the priesthood in our ward! Our two recent converts and a less active that has started coming back to church.
The less active is brother Liu. He is about 16 years old and hasn't been to church in along time. I think i have told you about him before. His mother and little sister are at church every sunday but he doesn't ever want to go. One night his mom needed a blessing because she had a foot problem and was not able to work, but she is the provider for her family. A brother in our ward called us up that night and had us go over with him and another brother to visit her family and give her a blessing. We got to talking with her son while we were there and started to go visit often and started teaching him the lessons. He still knew a good amount about the restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the commandments and the gospel in general from when he was little, but he hadn't been developing his testimony. He committed to start reading the Book of Mormon and pray everyday. We invited him to church for about two weeks in a row but he was busy with school things and did not want to come. Then mother's day came around...we invited him to come to church the saturday night before mother's day and he started contemplating...then his mom says from the other side of the room, yeah come on you need to come it's mother's day! Fine he says, i'll go. He has come every week since. I have loved watching this young man's testimony grow. It has built my testimony as well. Even though he already knew what the doctrines were, now he knows they are true. He knows that Jesus Christ is his savior and is willing to walk in His footsteps and keep the commandments of God.
Like i said in my last email, you MUST read Jesus the Christ. James E. Talmage uses some words..well alot of words that are definitely not in my vocabularly, but just make sure you have a dictionary nearby and you start to get used to it. That amazing book testifies of the divine calling of Jesus Christ as our savior and reedemer and allows me to grow closer to Him as I learn of Him.
Today i remembered to bring my camera, but i forgot the USB cord to hook it up to the computer! Arrrrg i am monday i WILL remember! I also had a letter from you Momma with some questions on it about daily life hear in Taiwan but I forgot that too! I am sorry I am slacking. Next week. I love getting your letters with stories and things that are going on back home! Like the greyhound bus story, and the lady that had you call the paramedics! It never gets boring in the life of Momma Ripley! I also loved the one about the lady who helped pay for the green stuff, i am so grateful for the Lord's care over my family. Thanks for the funny cards too haha you and Dad are the best. Thank blake, blythe, and brock for drawing those pictures for me. They are fantastic and i am going to hang them up no doubt! Well i love you! Hope all is going well! Have a super fantastic week!