Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 24, 2012

Area: Xinying
Companion: Elder Ault

Hey Momma! I am glad you had another happy week! My week was a pretty good one too! Haha sounds like taxes are pretty fun this year :D That is so awesome that you and Dad are going to the clubhouse and working out everyday! When I get home I am definitely coming with you guys. That is super good, stayin healthy! Looks like Dad and Johnny are keeping pretty busy with Aunt Alice's pool, wish I was there to help! Thanks so much for the books I am excited to get them! Tell Myla thank you so much!!
This week was abit of a crazy week! I found out on Teusday that my companion is training a new missionary which means I got kicked out on friday! Because I am so close to the mission, when the new missionarys came on thursday night we got to go do the Dan Jones activity with them. The new missionarys all come and stand up on these boxes at a super crowded night market and yell their testimonies while holding up a Book of Mormon and then right when they step down one of the missionaries there will run up and grab them and take them around and contact people at the night market for about 45 minutes or so. I got to take a native taiwanese elder around it was alot of fun! He is also liu zhang lao. Same as me! There was 26 new missionaries this move call which is pretty rediculous! That is the most this mission has gotten in one move call in a long long time!
So on friday morning I took off and stayed with the Dakeng elders in their apartment which is pretty much right down the street from our apartment. Move day isn't until monday so we just had us three together for a few days which was fun. On saturday night we found out where our new areas are! I am now in xinying!!! It is in Tainan which is pretty much the central part of our mission. My new companion is Elder Ault! He seems like a pretty cool guy so I am super excited to serve with him! I just got to xinying about 5 hours or so ago. I took the train from taichung to here in about an hour and 30 minutes, not bad! That was the first time I have ever been on a train! I think... well I love you family and hope all is well! I have tons of pictures I want to send but I forgot the cord to hook my camera up to the computer! Sorry! I will have to wait until next week. Love and miss you!       -Elder Ripley

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 17, 2012

Hey momma! Wow sounds like Caitlin is really a hero! That sounds super scary, I am glad they are ok and everything is fine! Dinner with everyone sounds like it was a blast, and tell Myla thank you so much for picking me out some books, she is too nice! If you can send me a sheet that will teach me how to read music as well because I don't know much about reading guitar music. :D I haven't really gotten a chance to practice it yet because the only time I can is p-days and on p-days we often go do stuff but I plan on learning some time.  You really look like a proffesional in your banner gateway outfit! How are you liking volunteering there? That is so cool!
This week has been pretty nice. The weather is so great! It is really starting to cool off. These last few days reminded me alot of arizona in the spring. Warm sun, cool breeze, blue sky. It is weird having a cool breeze, ever since I got here it is either raining or super humid and hot with a warm breeze, I am lovin it!
This week we had some success tracting! We were tracting in a pretty nice neighborhood with some huge houses and after getting rejected by a whole street, we ran into this young man riding his bike. We talked with him for a little bit and he invited us to follow him to his house! He goes down the street and goes straight to one of the houses that just rejected us. I was on splits at the time with Elder Bailey and we just started cracking up. He rang the intercom at the gate and told his dad there are some foreigners out here that can speak chinese and want to share with us about Jesus Christ. His dad says just tell them we are buddhist! (One of the most common responses we get while contacting people) He says but dad they want to share about Jesus with us! Eventually his dad wouldn't let us in but he came to church on sunday and his dad dropped him off! SO cool! Alright well I don't have anytime so I will write more next week! Tell Dad sorry I didn't get a chance to send him one I will next week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 10, 2012

Hey mother dearest! Watching the ASU game at Pauls sounds like it was a good time! Blake even got to stay up late, wow! What a lucky guy! He probably gets to stay up later than me these days! Haha I got a pretty good laugh out of those pictures of Dad and scout with the discs on their eyes! Yeah that is a good idea, moving that trampoline over to darcis, they will get some good use out of it! Tell Aunt Alice and grandma that I say hello! That is so great that Rachelle came to say hi! I miss her! The floss you sent me was perfect! I love that kind, they don't have the good stuff like that at the store we live by. So thanks abunch!! Also, I am going to use the proactiv this week and see how it goes so thank you for that too! Your lectures on faith class sounds pretty fun and interesting! You will have to let me know what you are learning there. You asked about my watch-yes it did break but I recently got a new one so no worries. And I have not met a Taylor Powell, tell aunt winnie sorry!
Taiwan is doing pretty great! The weather has been a little warm the past few days which is weird, because it had just started cooling off! Other than that it has been pretty nice though. Not quite as much rain lately but still a few days every here and there. As for our investigators...well..recently we have been having some trouble. The last few weeks we worked to find some new investigators but just couldn't seem to find those prepared people! After some long days of contacting and lots of prayers we had some more success this week. This week my companion and I talked to more people in a week than we have since we became companions! We are set up with some pretty cool people that we met this week so we praying that the Lord will help us help these people progress towards baptism, confirmation, and enduring conversion!
We have been working with some less actives in our ward lately who are doing pretty good. One is a dance teacher! He teaches pop/lock/street dance type stuff! Pretty sweet! I told him he needs to teach me how to do that crazy stuff. We will see how that goes! We are hoping we can help him see the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy and partaking of the sacrament. That is one thing that I was really grateful yesterday. Not that I am not always grateful for it, but yesterday as I was taking the sacrament (and trying to control brother Huang's rascal child) I was thinking what a great promise we have, that we can have God's spirit with us always! What a huge blessing! Well I hope you have an awesome week next week! Love you mom! You are looking pretty stylish these days, especially with the peace sign! :D
     -Elder Ripley

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 3, 2012

Hello Momma! Sounds like dad has softened up abit and started letting you win in phase 10 again :D hehe
Taiwan is doing great! The weather yesterday was rediculous though! We were inside doing studies after chruch and it started to rain, but then stopped right when we went out to proselyte. Right when we got back in to make dinner it started raining hard again, and the rain drops were huge! We heard this huge rumbling in the distance and my companion and I looked at eachother like whoah...that was big. A few minutes later we heard a super loud crack and boom that was even louder! I wasn't sure how it was so loud, and then right after another one struck right outside our window and was the loudest thunder and lightning ever! We looked outside and the sky was just go crazy, lightining striking everywhere. It was super rediculous! Right when we went out to proselyte again the rain stopped again! Haha lucky us. 
Right now we pretty much are out of investigators that we meet with on a solid basis. We are working hard to find those people that the Lord has prepared, but lately it has just been a little hard to find them! No matter, I know the Lord is using this time to teach me, and faith always proceeds the miracle, so we are just going to hit it hard again this week and find those people the Lord would have us teach. One lesson I learned this week-We had a little activity planned this last friday with our investigator and some other missionaries and their investigators, but it turns out our investigator couldn't come, so it would have been kind of pointless to go. I thought that the Lord might have something else in mind for us that night so I was excited to go to work! We went tracting and contacted some people on the streets instead and we didn't find anyone, and we happened to tract by a less actives apartment that we have been trying to get in touch with lately. We went over and he wasn't home, but in taiwan they always have these security desks at the front of every apartmemt complex, and the guy at the desk told us to come back around 4pm to see the guy we were looking for. (Which is odd because those security guys usually don't like us very much and make it really hard to get in touch with people who live in apartments, they just tell us everyone isn't home or that we have to call them first, we can't just come visit) By the end of the night we had no success and I was bummed that the activity for cancelled and then we had no success on our back up plan. Sunday came around and we thought about that less active and put him in the plan for 4pm like that security guy had said. We went over at 4 and he was home! It was perfect timing too because he works night shifts so he had just woken up and had to go to work in abit. His attitude towards us changed quite abit too, he was really nice and invited us in and told us he wants to come back to church but work makes it hard. We talked about what we could do to help him come back and set some plans with him. I know the activity on friday was cancelled for a reason, even though I didn't see the results right away. It helped me realize that the Lord definitely has a plan for us, and he will bless us, we just need to hold out faithful even if we don't see a solution or results right away! I know it is kind of an obvious thing I guess but it was an experience that just kind of made me once again realize and strengthened my testimony. 
Love you momma and hope all is going well! Have a super awesome week!!!