Friday, October 26, 2012

October 22, 2012

      Hello Momma! Oh please no email can be boring, I love to hear how things are going at home! Your volunteering sounds like it is going pretty well. They probably made you take that class because you haven't been treating their patients well! Haha I am just kidding..I am sure you are a great volunteer. Especially since you walked that man in his wheel chair to the building he needed to go to! Dang it seems I am just missing out on everything! Darci gives a talk in church, Darci is getting married, what's next? Darci wins the lottery?! (If she does tell her to buy me a bughatti veyron for when I get home :D) Wow if Dustin likes your food then it has to be pretty dang good.
      All is well over here! This week one of our investigators (Sister xu, the 55ish year old lady) Dropped into a week B! That means she is getting baptized next week! She decided that is when she wants to be baptized and committed to start preparing! She is doing great and her desire to follow the Lord is obvious by her effort to keep the commandments and give up drinking tea! She can do it! Please pray for her! More news next week!
       Sorry my email is going to be a little short this week we don't have aton of time! Today we went to see the crocodile king, a croc so fat that he can't move so you can pet him and what not, along with some other crazy animals. I will send pictures next week! I really liked your picture of you on the beach with your Monti Carlo, whatever happened to that car? How long ago was that? Love you all! Talk to you next week!
    -Elder Ripley

October 15, 2012

      Darci is getting married!!!?!?!?!? You couldn't wait for me to get home!!??!!? Whoah that is so crazy I am bummed I am not even going to be there!! You will at least have to send me pictures!! Tell Darc congratulations for me and I love her! I haven't even had the chance to approve of this guy yet!
       Oh yes and I remember you asking a question about the chinese hymnbook. It doesn't have all of the same ones as the english one, but it has a good amount. About 200 songs! Audio scriptures, that sounds pretty convenient! Looks and sounds like Darci's engagement party was a hit! Wish I could have been there to party with everyone! Blake's part sounds alot like Dad typed it, hmmm....haha tell Blake I like his avengers shirt, he is a stud! 
       Well this week in taiwan was pretty fantastic! Conference was so good!! 18 year olds can serve missions now, so cool! Tell Trent to hurry up and get his papers in and get called to taiwan so I can be his trainer when he gets here! I learned so much from this conference! What was one of your favorite parts? I always love Elder Holland and Elder Bednar's talks! Elder Bednar has recently talked about testimony and conversion quite abit! Testimony is what we know is true by the power of the holy ghost, conversion is being true to what we know! He talked about how conversion is a proccess that happens gradually, almost imperceptibly, and requires all of our heart might mind and strength, much more than just knowing! So true, we never realize how much we grow or how fast until we look back! I am so grateful for our prophet Thomas S. Monson! He holds the authority of God to lead God's people, what an amazing blessing for us!
       Our investigators and recent converts are all doing quite well here in xinying. Our one investigator right now with a baptismal goal is Sister xu. She is about 55 years old. I am not sure if I have already told you about her? Oh yeah and here in xin ying there are no sister missionaries so we teach the sisters. She is doing pretty good, she is just working right now to give up drinking tea! She is doing pretty good, she has stopped drinking family mart tea which is a start! (Family mart is a convenient store that is on every corner here) Pray for her! She needs it! We had the opportunity to meet with a few new investigators this week as well that I am excited to keep meeting with. The recent converts here we have been working with are amazing too! I love the ward they are all so great.
       Hope all is well at home! Love and miss you!
       -Elder Ripley

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

        Hey momma!!! How was general conference!!?!? Gaaaah I am dying to watch it over here! They don't broadcast it here until this coming weekend! A friend of ours in the ward here was just telling us about how the age for serving a mission was changed for boys and girls like you said! That is so crazy!! The Lord needs more missionaries!! And there is a Tuscon temple now!? Holy cow Arizona is trying to compete with Utah! So cool! The Lord's work is moving forward! And the local news talked about general conference and the temple? Wow that is new!
   I love how in every picture brock is missing clothing. He is such a stud these days.  Paul Julie and the fam look great! And Darci and the girls do too! They are all growing up so quick! Thanks so much for sending me the music and the guitar book!!! I was like a little child on christmas when I opened the package and saw what was inside, I listen to that CD all of the time now. I was laughing when I read about celeste taking your keys with her hahaha have you gotten them back yet? And volunteering sounds like alot of fun! You must have been a hero for that man, taking him over to the other building in a wheel chair, that's my momma!
       Everything here in taiwan is going great! The weather is cooling down more and more. In the morning and at night the weather is amazingly perfect, it feels so nice! It is like Arizona in the fall and spring! The investigators are doing great as well! This week we met with quite a few people who we were meeting with for the first time! Lots of new investigators! Also, we were riding by the basketball courts across from the chapel and there was a guy shooting some hoops on one of the courts by himself so we went over and talked with him. Turns out he was baptized awhile ago in taichung but moved here to xinying about 3 years ago and just never came to church because he didn't know anyone here. We are actually meeting with him tonight! I am pretty excited he seems like a really cool guy. This past week we had the opportunity to go hometeaching with a member here to a less active in our ward. His house is in one of our secondary areas that is pretty far so he came and picked us up and we headed out there. When we got there the father happily welcomed us in but was a little reluctant to get his wife and son to come in and listen. We shared with him a talk by President Uchtdorf about family happinness. It talked alot about forgiving family members and seeking forgiveness as well as other principles relating to family happinness. By the time we were done he says "I wish my wife and son would have heard this!" We challenged him to hold family home evening this monday and teach his family. I love watching the spirit work inside people and soften their hearts! What a great opportunity it is to be a tool in the Lord's hand, and have the spirit work through you to testify to others. We should all be praying for opportunities like this! They will change our lives as well as the lives of others. 
       Well I love you and hope you have an awesome week! Hope you all enjoyed conference and were inspired by the words of our prophet and his apostles! Love and miss you!
      -Elder Ripley 

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 1, 2012

     Hello mother! This whole adventure with the new dog sounds pretty exciting! So turns out he just ran away again and now you can't find him? He can jump over the backyard walls? That is pretty rediculous. Haha Brock is getting so big holy cow. Does he just walk around on his own now? I swear when I left he wasn't walking yet. Was he?
       My new area is super great! The members here are awesome and really welcoming! They love to be involved in missionary work too which is always great. We are still a branch but sacrament attendance is about 75 each week. I think it is not a ward yet because they need more priesthood holders, I am not sure though. But I am super pumped to be here! Also, I think people here in the south are alot friendly than in the north. People actually smile and wave back it is pretty awesome. It is a bit warmer down here which is a bummer because the weather was just getting super nice in Taichung when I left, but!.. i love it nonetheless. I know the Lord put me here for a reason and I am excited to see what His plan for me is here in xinying.
       We had a baptism this week! A lady who is about 53 years old named Sister Han. She is such a sweet lady. I only got to meet with her twice before she got baptized but I am excited to get to work with her as a recent convert! I was talking to her yesterday night on the phone to see when she could meet this week and I asked her about how she felt after being confirmed. She said she had a feeling of safety, a feeling that she has never felt before. Of course it was the spirit she was feeling and we talked about how the spirit is our guide, comforter, and protector. What an awesome experience for her to have as a new member! I love seeing the change the gospel brings into the lives of people. They just light up! They know their purpose in life, they know that God loves them and has a specific plan for them, a plan for us to return to Him, they know that Jesus Christ is their savior and redeemer and that through His atonement they can find peace and purity in their lives as well as strength to endure to the end and keep pressing forward! Could life get any better? I submit that it cannot!  I love and miss you family! Hope all is well at home! Brocks party looks like it was a blast! I have aton of pictures to send but the computers we have been using are kind of junky and it won't let me attach them. Maybe next week we will have to find a better place. Love you!
      -Elder Ripley