Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 2, 2013

Hey mom! This week was once again full of miracles! We found another two super awesome families! They are full of potential and are the most prepared families I have seen!
Other than that we also had a mission tour this last week and Elder Funk came to taiwan! (He spoke in the last general conference) I was really grateful that he was able to come teach us, I learned aton! We talked alot about working with members, receiving spiritual power as a missionary, and about the plan of salvation! We had a really spiritually filling week! Lots of miracles. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary in taiwan. It has been the best thing of my life! Besides you mom :) Love and miss you, hope you have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Ripley

Dad, I got the huge package this week!! Thank you so much!!!!! The pizzelles are super delicious and we are enjoying the pleasure of eating cereal every day for breakfast once again :D Seriously thank you so much dad, you are the best!! There is nothing special I am wanting for christmas, I will probably just use the money mom gave me and buy a few cool things from taiwan. We will see. Things are going so great here. We are seeing miracles everyday and feeling the Lords love and kindness. I love being here. Hope you have a great week dad! -Elder Ripley

November 25, 2013

Hey mom! This past week was another super amazing week! Tons of fun and lots of miracles!  I am sorry this weeks email is going to be super short because we almost have no time, but I hope everything is going great back home! Miss and love you! As for my clothes they are all doing fine and should last me until the end of my mission, my shoes too! It is starting to cool off here but it isn't super cold. I can still wear short sleeves most of the time. I definitely had a great birthday! thanks mom! I know I haven't bought anything yet...we will see! Hope you have a great weeeek!! -Elder Ripley

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey momma! How was your week!? That is super cool you got to go to the missionaries zone conference! Was it fun? I am super curious as to how they do their zone conferences! When does the open house for the temple start? I can definitely bring some friends as well If I get the chance! Holy smokes That mission is huge!!! They almost have as many missionaries as we do here in our mission! Dang Becki and Stacy were lookin good for that 80s event! I want to see them bust out their 80s dance moves now!
This last week was an awesome week for us! First of all we had Brother Kings baptism!!!! He is doing so great. He has taught me so much about being a christlike person. He is so willing to sacrafice time, money, and whatever he has to help is family or friends that are in need. Such an awesome guy. He bore a pretty simple yet powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon after he was baptized. I felt the spirit so strong and was so grateful for such a special opportunity to attend his baptism. Their really is a special spirit at baptismal services! We also had our jiayi district conference yesterday and saturday which was so great, the members here are so pumped for jiayi to become a stake! They are all such great missionaries and dedicated members. The saturday night talks were all based completely on missionary work. They blew me away! Talk after talk, they were all so powerful! One member told a story that I think should be in the liahona!-He gave his friend a book of Mormon and his friend just put it next to his bed and never touched it again but one day the friends little brother snuck into is room and took the book, read it, and noticing the member had written his number in it he called the number telling the member he wanted to be baptized!! So awesome!! Missionary work is no doubt the most exciting and most rewarding work there is. I love doing it so much, it has become part of me! I love sharing my testimony and trying to help others feel the spirit, I find as many opportunites as I can every day to share how much the Gospel has blessed me and my family and how much it can bless others.
Thanks for all of your support and love mom, miss and love you bunches!
Oh yeah and be expecting a card in the mail soon, I know it is a little late, I put it in my bag and forgot to put it in the mail! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!       -Elder Ripley

November 11, 2013

I know Anthea is coming to Taizhong!! So awesome!!! She emailed me right after she got her call!! It is such a bummer though, she moved her report date back to feb 4th so she will get here right after I leave! She is a friend I met in hawaii if you were wondering. Yes we are taking all of the opportunites we can to go do fun stuff! The only hard part is I served in this zone for over a year over all already so I have been to alot of the nearby places for sight seeing and what not. My new companion has never served down here before though so we are going to be taking him around to some places. We are going to an amusement park today!! Woo! Oh by the way, the card you sent back to me for my camera was empty! There was nothing on it..weird! 
Elder Chia and I are doing so great. Last week was full of some crazy miracles! As for Bro King his baptism is this saturday! (You may not be seeing them because I have been really bad about sending them into the mission office :D) We found so many new investigators last week it was rediculous! It was the most new investigators I have found in a week on my entire mission! The Lord blessed us so much! We have been praying every single day to find families to meet with, and talking to everyone we meet about families and asking everyone if we can meet with their families. Elder Chia and I have alot of fun contacting people and getting to know people so we have been able to work together to find quite a few new people who want to learn about the Gospel. As for jiayi becoming a is getting there! We are working so hard! The zone is so excited about it. The district president came to our zone training meeting and spoke to the missionaries last week too which was super awesome! The branches here love the missionaries and the missionaries love the members. Well we gotta eat a quick lunch and get going to our roller coaster rides but I will send some cool pics soon! Love and miss you mom! Thank you so much for your love and prayers. They lift me up every single day. Have a wonderful week!    
-Elder Ripley

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 4, 2013

Hey Mom! Carson is married!! I am so sad I could not be there..I seriously have been so bummed about it! But I know Carson is probably the happiest man on earth right now so I am super happy for him as well! Mckenna sent me some pictures and it looks like everyone had a great time and Carson and Emma look GOOD!   This last week was a pretty great week. Elder Chia and I have similiar thoughts on alot of things so it makes it easy to work together, plan and set goals. We had a really fun week last week and worked hard! We found the coolest family ever that we are going to start teaching! A mom dad and two kids. Elder Chia and I are so excited to be working here in jiayi and helping this district become a stake! We are going to see some huge miracles here in the future! We love to be missionaries! Love and miss you mom, have a great week!  -Elder Ripley

Hey daddio! Sounds like church was really awesome this week! I know Chuck Smith's lessons are always great!   My new companion Elder Chia is super awesome! We are working pretty well together and are seeing a lot of success already! We are loving it here in Jiayi and are enjoying getting everyone really excited to have Jiayi become a stake. This really is such a great place. We are going to see miracles Dad. I know the Lord has special experiences in store for us here and we have some really amazing plans for these next few months. I am loving it so much and cant believe how quickly time goes. Hope you have another fantastic week Dad, love you!  -Elder Ripley 

October 28, 2013

Karson is home!?! Holy smokes this is crazy! I can't believe how fast time is flying. He looks pretty good!
We found another pretty awesome family this last week as well! A few weeks ago after the saturday afternoon session of conference we went to get some burgers at a nearby place and this guy just walked up to me and started asking about english class saying he wanted to take his kids.
So crazy news, We were not expecting it at all but my companion moved! Elder Furner took off to taizhong and my new companion is Elder Chia! I am definitely going to miss Elder Furner and the spirit he brings to the work. Elder Chia just got off the train a few hours ago but I can already feel that he is a very Christlike missionary and we are going to see alot of success together! He is from singapore!
Well I hope you have a great week this week! Miss and love you so much!  Thank you so much for your prayers and support mom, I seriously feel them everyday. Just the other day while we were teaching that family about prayer I shared with them how I feel when my parents pray for me, and that their kids will feel the same way as they pray for them. Have an awesome week!

Can't believe Karson is home! And Carson is almost married! This is just too crazy! Whos next!? The fall festival was definitely alot of fun. Did you cook up some hot dogs for everyone? I am sure everyone loved it. Did they do dunk the bishop again too?
The work is going great Dad. Our zone just gets stronger every move call. President is really building it up over here. It is really awesome because alot of the people from my same generation are here right now. President really wants jiayi to become a stake. We are really going to see miracles these next few move calls. President is really pushing to have us work with the wards closer and closer as well which is easy because he is technically the stake president here, so he comes and visits often. Exciting times in jiayi! I am loving missionary work so much Dad, I didn't even know what to expect when I first came out but now I am finally realizing how much this has changed my life. Thank you so much for all the advice you have given to me I use it everday! Love you dad, have an awesome week!

October 21, 2013

Hey mom!! How was your week? Dad was said at the game he was close to calling the police to get you settled down! Sounds like you really had fun! Haha. That is so crazy seeing a picture of you guys with Robby! Tell him to hurry up and email me!
This last week was pretty awesome! We saw tons of miracles! We found quite a few people who are interested in learning about the Gospel! The coolest one was probably yesterday. We had a referral from the other elders that live here in jiayi who they found from accidentally going to the wrong area and tracting. (It was in one of our secondary areas that is a little bit further away, so just finding the place was a miracle in and of itself) A brother in our ward offered to help us out on sunday night like go to lessons with us and what not and we told him we were going to that area abit further out and he offered to drive us! Sweet!
Well I miss and love you mom. Hope you have a fantastic week this week! 

Love your favorite child :) -Elder Ripley

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 14, 2013

That is so crazy Robby is home!!! I am super bumbed I never got to see him in taiwan! I have been in the south forever and we don't get to go on the temple trips! Is he lookin pretty good? He looks like he got skinnier! Tell him to email me with his email that he is going to use now.

Sounds like fall break was pretty relaxing! Haha I thought it was pretty funny that Dustin couldn't even put his pants on, I was half expecting to scroll down and the picture be Dustin trying to move stuff with one arm and no pants on hahaha.

This week we had a super great general conference! I loved it!! It is amazing how much direction the words of the Prophet and Apostles give our lives. I am so grateful for how much Heavenly Father loves, so much that he gave us a Prophet! I spent some time preparing for conference and decided what I wanted to learn and I got alot of inspiration! Some of the things I learned-put your hand to the plow and never look back! I decided I want to be fit for the kingdom of God, so I will never doubt or look back. Faith is always pointing forward! I was also once again impressed with how amazing the restored Gospel truly is, which added some oil to my already burning fire for missionary work! I also found quite a few talks that addressed concerns that our investigators and recent converts have here in jaiyi. I love conference, it is like Heavenly Father is directly talking to us!

We had a bit of a bummer this last week, which was one of our investigators kind of dissapeared. Brother wang. We were super sad cause he is so awesome!

Love and miss you mom!! About the music, I am pretty much cool with whatever. I can't think of anything specific right now either.

Hey Dad!

We are working really hard to find the one! That is a really good way of thinking, thank you for the encouragement Dad, it really does motivate me and help me to be a better and better missionary.

Sounds like Dusty and Heather had quite the adventure getting all of their stuff over to Texas. Not quite as good as your adventure with Celeste to missourri though!

How is Robby doing? I can't believe he is already home, time is flying by! I am really excited to speak chinese with him when I get back to haha that is going to be so awesome!
Sounds like the Cardinals are still struggling, and ASU is pretty rockin as always! I am also excited to go to the games with you again!

Miss and love you Dad. Just gave a member the last few pizzelles because she made aton of stuff for us and she was super excited! Everyone loves them and is so impressed at your cooking skills!

Your best friend Elder Ripley

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 7, 2013

Hey mom! Yes I extended to february 18th. After some prayer, talking with President Blickenstaff, and thinking about what you said I decided to extend!  Can you look into enrolling me for hawaii for the summer semester that starts in april next year? I am not really sure how exactly to do it..its been too long, but you can start by checking out I guess. Thanks momma! As far as the trip, I would obviously love to come back to taiwan, but I realize that it would be hard for everyone to do. Soo..California? Or we can go to hawaii a few weeks early and hang out before I start school? I don't know what do you think?
About the music, I am using my usb now so I can listen to music again! We cant use hand held electric devices besides our cell phones, so I guess translators was something that President Bishop made an exception for. Right now the rule is we can't use them, so we just don't use them!
 Looks like everyone had a great conference weekend! I am really excited to watch it! We have the broadcast this coming weekend! What were some of your favorite talks?
This last week Elder Furner and I struggled a little bit trying to find new investigators and meet with the ones that we have right now, but we did pretty good at keeping each other excited about the work and lifting each other up. We work really well together and are having a blast. We have some really big plans this week for our area and our excited to really see things fire up! Our zone is doing absolutely amazing! We are all loving being missionaries and are giving it all to the Lord. 
Well I hope all is well back home! Love and miss you bunches Momma. Have a fantastic week! 
Your son, Elder Ripley 

The week is going great Dad. President said it is up to me and is completely fine with me extending so I am doing it! We are working hard here in jiayi and are seeing miracles! President Blickenstaff just came to our area this last week and met with all of the district/ branch leaders (because mission presidents are also district presidents for the districts in their mission). President really knows how to get us going I guess :D We never do forget why we work so hard though, our love for the Lord and for the people here. There is nothing more rewarding than missionary work.
What are you allergic too? Mom said she had an allergic reaction too! Are you sure you two didn't just get into a wrestling match after a heated game of phase 10 and used allergic reactions as a cover up??
Yes I did get my package, thank you dad!! Just ate cereal this morning and loved it. Also shared some of those pizzelles with the members and my companion and they all loved them! Thanks abunch dad!! We are loving it! I also got a big bag of krusteaz pancake mix from costco recently and have been making delicious papa Ripley style pancakes for my companion and I. MMM delicious! Love you dad, hope you have an awesome week!   
-Elder Ripley

September 30, 2013

I am loving it here in jiayi, it is such a great place! Nice city with lots of prepared people! This last week was a little crazy because of all of the meetings and what not. We had our regular District meeting on tuesday but then on thursday we had missionary leadership council which we had to go to taizhong for, and then we had zone conference on friday! It was a little busy, but we saw alot of miracles as we made the best out of the proselying time we did have.
Love you dad, Your son ELder Ripley

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 23, 2013

You got stung by a scorpion! Where was it? It really isn't as bad as you thought it was right? I just remember it felt like getting pricked by a little thorn or something and then it just tingled for awhile.
My new area is super awesome! My first week here I went on exchanges to xinying, my old area, and I got to see alot of my old friends there!
As for my responsibilities here in jiayi, we are pretty much in charge of just making sure the missionaries in our area are healthy and happy! We do alot of exchanging companions and helping them out in their areas with basic misisonary skills, investigators and relations with the ward. We help others feel the fire of missionary work and inspire them! It is a really awesome opportunity to develop relationships with the missionaries around us and serve them, we are loving it! I have already grown and learned so much from the interactions I have had with the missionaries here.
I got to meet the ward yesterday which was super cool! We have such an awesome branch here. Our president is so great. We went to visit a member in the hospital yesterday and administer the sacrament to him, so I had a pretty good chance to get to know president a little bit. We also talked to a few people at the hospital with president and invited them to learn about the Gospel, it was pretty sweet to do some contacting with our branch president! He also has the fire for missionary work, I am super exctied to be here and be able to work with him!
We are going to go eat lunch now but tell dad I will email him after. Love you mom!    

-Elder Ripley

Hey Dad! Just had a real good burger for lunch. Double patty with peanut butter and the other was fried chicken with some sort of orange delicious! They have some pretty weird flavors here in taiwan and they are super good! I will have to take you to eat one.

Things are going great here in jiayi. My companion and I are really working hard to help everyone in our zone feel the fire of missionary work and inspire them. President has a really big vision for this area right now because it is the only district in our whole mission, every where else are stakes! He really wants this district to become a stake because it is getting really close!  Every single one of our key indicators increased last week and the baptismal goals are higher than they have been in 6 months in this zone! And new investigators more than doubled! That is just crazy! We are really seeing success! I am really enjoying being here in jiayi, and I know I am going to love it even more as time goes on. I could have never been a hard working enthusiastic missionary if it wasn't for your example dad! I am still looking forward to the day we go tracting together :D

It is good to hear you are getting better quickly! Keep excersizing and getting good rest and I know you will be in great shape.

I am pretty excited to see the present you sent! I can't even guess what it would be! Love you dad! Hope you have a great week!    -Elder Ripley

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Zone Leader

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Steven Paul Ripley Sr. and family,
I am pleased to inform you that your son, Elder Caleb Alan Ripley, has been called to serve as Zone Leader in the Taiwan Taichung Mission.
Only the most experienced, obedient and energetic Elders are called to be Zone Leaders.  Zone Leaders not only must set an unwavering example, but also spend much of their time training and motivating other missionaries in their zone.  He will supervise several districts and be a source of counsel and advice for the missionaries in his zone.  I am confident your son will fulfill these duties with the utmost diligence.
Please continue to encourage your son to reach out in excellence as he serves the Lord in this new calling.  You can be proud of him and his efforts.  He is certainly living up to the trust the Lord has placed in him as he serves here in the Taiwan Taichung Mission.
President Kurt L. Blickenstaff
Taiwan Taichung Mission

September 16, 2013

Hey mom! I am super excited to get to see the pictures you send! Thanks abunch! Brook is married!! That is so cool! Really crazy-One of Brookes recent converts is in the ward that I was just in in tainan and I had the opportunity of doing her little sisters baptismal interview last saturday! So cool! Those technology classes sound really cool! I am sure you are having a fun time with that figuring everything out. Looks like stacy was really hurtin in that picture! I am sure he got back up and running pretty quick.

Well transfers came this week and...I moved! It is really sad to be leaving tainan because there are so many people that I love there, and I had aton of really awesome experiences there! I am going to miss that place so much!! I am pretty excited to be in my new area though, I am now in jiayi! It is just right above tainan. Two of the places I preiviously served in (taibao and xinying) are both in this zone which is pretty cool! My new companion is Elder Furner. He is from farmington Utah! Really humble and nice guy! I am excited to be here with him, we are going to see alot of succes in this area and learn alot from each other. It is sad to be leaving Elder Washburn too, he is such a stud. We have zone conference in a few weeks though so I will be able to see him then! Well I hope you had a great week and are still having fun at school. Miss and love you mom!    -Elder Ripley

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 9, 2013

Hey momma! How goes it? Dad is really lookin pretty sick these days! You better tell him to get feelin' better soon, otherwise I will whip his butt in our wrestling match when I get home no problem! I am sure you are keeping busy at school, seeing as though everything is just getting started up again! Hope everything is going smooth with work and everything. Where is dad working at these days?
Life is going pretty good here in tainan! Transfers are not until next monday so I have no idea whats going to happen yet! I am still with Elder Washburn right now. We are doing really fantastic, finding lots of new investigators and keeping really good relations with the ward. I love this place too much. We are still workin with John. We are also still meeting with our friend from swaziland! He is doing really great. We are going to have an english class party this wednesday and he is going to participate by teaching everyone about swaziland and teaching us some games they play there as well as giving us a little taste of their traditional food! We have another investigator from Haiti that will be sharing as well and his friend from panama might come as well! And one of the sister companionships in our district have an investigator from indonesia who will also be sharing. Super cool! But anyways our bud from swaziland is doing really well.
Hope everything is going well back home and everyone is healthy and happy! Miss and love you!! Have a fantastic week!    -Elder Ripley

September 2, 2013

Dad is lookin pretty good cruisin around in the stang with his new glasses. Haha I got a pretty good laugh out of the story about him not being able to tell which car was his! Sounds like school is going pretty well, I bet alot has changed since I was in elementary school! What is your favorite thing about working at the school?

We had a great week this last week! I think that the biggest miracle we saw this last week was hitting a goal in our district. WE DID IT!! We were all so excited that we hit the goal, because we had faith that it would happen and it did! We know that Heavenly Father allowed us to see this miracle because of our love for His children and our effort in helping them know of His love for them. WE LOVE MISSIONARY WORK! There is a sentence we often say in chinese in the taiwan mission,  有信心有辦法! (you3 xin4xin1, you2 ban4fa3) I think the closest translation would be "where there's a will, there's a way" but change "a will" to faith I guess..Where there's faith, there's a way! we really saw this prove true last week as we worked with faith to hit our goal!
Hope everything is going well momma. Sure miss you! Keep working hard at school and having a good time! Love you bunches.     -Elder Ripley

Sounds like everyone is moving out now that they know I will be back soon! They are probably scared that being a returned missionary I will start dragging them to church with me :D
You were looking pretty good cruisin in the stang with your new glasses on by the way. I am sure the neighbors heads were turning as you drove by.
That picture of the chapel is so awesome! The one ray of light shining on it and the rainbow behind it. It truly is the Lord's house!
This week our district really worked with faith and worked hard, I am sure you will read the story in the email I sent to mom. I am loving it here in tainan too much! I don't want to leave! I am scared I will be transfered in the next move call which is in two weeks, but I have already made up my mind if I do leave I will trust that the Lord is sending me where I need to be and face change with a good attitude.
Sounds like everything is going pretty smooth back home. Hope all is well, love and miss you Dad.   -Elder Ripley
PS- is that Brooks Johnson in the background of the picture of you and mom and the Laws house?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August 26, 2013

I am glad to hear you got that card! There should be a few more on the way!
Brother Wu is doing so great. The primary teacher had my companion and I go into primary this last sunday and share an experience about a time where we followed the Spirit's guidance and he was having a such a great time listening to our stories. It was pretty cool! Bishop didn't have him stand up during sacrament and introduce himself I was bummed!
Yes Elder Washburn is still my companion! We are loving it here in tainan and are just tearin it up.  It is not often you teach people with christian backgrounds here in taiwan so it is abit of a switch up for us! We just went into the lesson with faith and followed the spirit during planning as well as the lesson and saw miracles!
Hey mom can you help me get some email addresses of friends? Kelsey Dagupan and Nik Huff! That would be fantastic, thanks abunch! Have an amazing week! Love you bunches!

THAT PACKAGE IS HUGE!!!!!!! Thank you so much Dad!!! Were are just pigging out!! I was so surprised how much stuff you managed to fit in there too! Holy smokes! I am pretty sure this one could last me until the end of my mission! Hahaha. It worked out just right because a few days after I got it president Blickenstaff and his wife came to tainan for an activity and they came and inspected all of the apartments of the missionaries in my district so we had some treats out for them when they came. Haha I am sure they enjoyed it.
How was your week!? We are doing pretty awesome over here. Still just following the spirit and working to become better missionaries!
I cant believe Kellen and Kelsey are both leaving right now! That is so awesome! I am sure they are both going to be amazing missionaries! Wish I could have been there to hear their farewell talks! I love them!
Thanks again for taking such good care of my baby while I am gone. I am sure she will be running better when I get back than when I left!

Well I hope everything is going well back home! Love and miss you! Talk to you next week!    -Elder Ripley

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello mother dearest! How is everything back in the AZ? Did you keep pretty busy this last week? Hope everything is going great!
This last week was a great week for our district. A family got baptized into 1st ward which was awesome, a mother and her daughter! They are super awesome. I had the opportunity of doing their baptismal interview about a month and a half ago and then they went to china and didn't get back until about a week ago, so we held the baptism last saturday! It was a really great service and Sister wo and her daughter both shared heart felt testimonys afterwards. What an awesome opportunity to see a family accept the Gospel! I love being able to attend baptismal services, they are the best! Just seeing people light up and share their testimonys right after they are baptized is such a cool experience! The spirit is strong and testifies of the truthfulness of this Gospel.
Elder Washburn and I are doing really awesome! We are loving the work and time is just flying by, which is slightly startling. We have met so many awesome people are just loving being their friends and sharing our testimonies with them. It is such an a amazing opportunity being a missionary, you grow in so many ways it is hard to even describe! I love this work so much and I love Heavenly Father. and I love you! Thank you so much for your great example and love for me momma, Hope you have an awesome week! Stay sweet!    -Elder Ripley

Wow I know that face! That is exactly how she looked when she found out there were snakes in Dustins room!
Good to hear you are feeling abit better now! Get in some good work outs and I am sure you will recover quickly. You are getting out of shape!? I will have to whip you back into shape when I get home! We have workout time everyday besides sunday so I have been able to stay in shape pretty easily. I put on some weight in the MTC but up to this point I have lost it all and put on a little more muscle..not much though. My 8 pack is coming along nicely, but not quite as defined as yours! Haha :D
I am super excited for that package! Thank you so much Dad!!!
Thanks for your prayers and love, we can feel it strongly even though we are so far away! We are meeting tons of great people and are enjoying telling them of our Savior so much, I love being a missionary!! Love you dad and hope you have a super great week    -Elder Ripley

August 12, 2013

I will be sure and get a birthday card out to Aunt Alice today! I looked for one last week but the store only had lame ones so I will find a better one this week. Celeste kitten looks pretty cute! Haha and it looks like you are having a great time on that motorcycle! You are so dangerous! :D I would love to see those pictures of Blakes baptism! I got his invite the other week and was super excited! He is such a great kid. I am excited to see how much he has grown when I get back. What is cool is his baptism was on the same day as brother lin!

The highlight of the week for us was this last saturday, Our best friend, brother Lin, was baptized! He is the most amazing kid ever. He is 10 years old right now. His knowledge of the scriptures is fantastic! He had a very strong desire to be baptize, and whe we asked him why he wanted to be baptized so much he said it was because he wants to recieve the Holy Ghost! I was so amazed at this young kids maturity! He is a stud! I have grown to love him so much. While on my mission I made a few goals, or I guess you could say expectations. They are broad goals and require sub goals or smaller ones to help me achieve them. One of them is that I have a goal and expect to baptize people that I love. This last saturday was a taste of achieving that goal! I feel like one of the greatest accomplishments of my mission so far is learning to love people. I have learned to act out of love. These feelings of love come mostly when I am serving them, teaching them the Gospel, and when I am on my knees praying for them and praying to God that he will fill me with a greater love for them and allow me to feel about them how He does. This week while reflecting on Elder Hollands talk "The first great commandment" it really inspired me. Go read it right now! I love Jesus' call to arms to His apostles as well as Elder Hollands call to arms to us! The part that hit me the hardest was when Elder Holland gave a non scriptural description of what the Lord might have said to His disciples after His resurrection when He found His apostles once again on the lake fishing. He said "Children, Did not my life and my love touch your hearts more deeply than this?" This sentence has been a huge motivator for me. It reminded me of how deeply the Lords love has changed my life and has given me a great desire to not only love the people here but more importantly to help them come to know of the Savior's infinite love for them.

Well I love you mom and hope you have another fantastic week this week! Miss you!    -Elder Ripley

Hahaha I think I remember what goes first, your youth!
Thanks so much for taking such good care of my car dad! I saw it in the background of the picture of mom on the motorcycle and it is looking pretty nice! I cant believe it can fit in the garage now! And thanks aton for the packages too, I love them and so do all of the missionaries serving around me :) And no I do not have to pay any extra money ever.
Wish I could have been there for the baptism, I am sure it was a beautiful service! I was at a baptism on the same day as you guys! I am excited to see those pictures.
This week right before sacrament meeting starts the Elders Quorum president walks up to me and says hey you are doing the confirmation today ok? I thought..I have never even done that in english...but I said...Alright lets do it! What an awesome experience. I am so grateful that I am worthy and hold the priesthood so that when times like that come up I can rise to the call, and even more grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to be a part of the proccess of God giving one of His children one of His greatest gifts, His Holy Spirit.
Thanks for your love and support Dad, It means the world to me! I don't know what I would be doing today if it wasn't for your example, probably making a living off of selling dingleberry pies. Love you dad! Have a good week!   -Elder Ripley

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 5, 2013

Holy smokes looks like you guys had a super busy week! Montana and Dads birthday look like a blast, I am super jealous I couldn't be there! Thanks for all of the pictures though! I love to see everybody! I am sure Dad enjoyed getting to see everybody on his brithday, and I know what he enjoyed most was having everyone at church with him. Such a good birthday wish! That picture of all of the kids with Dad looks so empty without me :) Haha just messin you all look so great!
This last week our zone leader Elder Edwards finished up his mission, it was sad to see him go, but a great opportunity to serve with him for the last month or so of his mission. He has a such a huge love for everyone around him. That is something that I have thought about quite abit on my mission, love! Early on in my mission I noticed that in my mission call it refers to missionary work as a labor of love. I have been striving my entire mission to always allow love to be the motivator for all of my actions as a missionary. One sentence especially stuck out to me in the doctrine of salvation broadcast. I believe it was Elder Nelson who said it "The most effective missionaries always act out of love". I know that numbers are important, but one thing I have learned is that when we put too much of an emphasis on numbers, higher numbers starts to become a motivator for our actions, causing us to be less effective missionaries. One thing we are going to emphasize strongly in our district this move call is the "why" of missionary work. LOVE! Including love for the people around us, our areas, and the gospel, as well as Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ's love for all of us. When we love we are happy, successful and effective missionaries. The "How" is also very important and those basic skills of missionary work will also be trained on in our district, but we don't want anyone to ever forget why we are out here and the vision of our district. We would rather it be said of our district that we were strictly obedient, worked our butts off, and loved everyone and everything about our missions but didn't see alot of success, rather than half obedient, occasionally worked hard, and liked some parts of our mission but got tons of new investigators with baptismal goals every week or whatever it is. But I do know that as long as we do the former, the Lord will bless us with all of the success that He wants us to have, and that is the happiest way of life! We are happiest when we do what the Lord wants us to do. (Alma 50:23) He only asks us to do things that will allow us to be happy!
Peter is getting baptized this saturday and we are all super excited! I will be sure and send some pictures next week. Please keep him in your prayers as he continues to prepare for his baptism this week! Love and miss you so much!
-Elder Ripley

July 29, 2013

Hows montana?! Have you and Dad even been up there before? I bet the weather is pretty nice right now. You will have to go do some huntin and let me know how it goes! I am sure you guys will have a blast! Is there anyone left living at home while you guys are out? Celeste and Coty are still there right? And what is going on with Dustin and Heather? Dustin comes back when he gets off work right? You are so good taking care of aunt Winnie over there, I am sure she appreciates it aton!
You can keep saying all of those things you tell people when they ask about me, because they sure are all true! I am enjoying my mission so much, I am not really sure how to describe how much I love it. The joy comes when I forget about myself, forget about what I want, and let Heavenly Father change me. It comes when I develop christ like attributes, serve the people and missionaries around me and grow to love them and the places I serve so much that I just don't want to leave and everytime move call comes I am praying that I can stay in my area. But also comes when I leave an area and the people I love, just to find out that my new area and the people they are just as amazing and by serving I grow to love them just as much and do it all over again. As far as getting the language down, I like to think I am good but just like everyone I have plenty of ways I can improve. My testimony has grown more in this time than I had ever imagined it would before I left on my mission. I knew I would grow alot, but I didn't understand what that mean't until I actually experienced it. As for not wanting go home, I miss you all and love you so much, but to tell the truth the thought is a little bit scary. :D Missionary work has just become so much a part of me that it will be a huge adjustment going back, though I will always be a missionary. BUT.. I don't really have to think about that right now :) Thank you so much for all the support and love and prayers, it has made my mission the best experience it could possibly be! Love you mom and hope you have a fantastic week!
Your son,    Elder Ripley

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 22, 2013

That is funny that you bring that song up, my companion loves that song too! Yes you did resend it to me and I downloaded it again so I have the full version but thanks for sending it again, I can forward it to Elder Washburn!
Yes you are right, you not only see whole families on scooters, but somehow the manage to fit their two dogs as well! So crazy! I will have to send you a picture sometime.
That is pretty exciting about your medical history being changed! That is super cool that they remembered yours and changed it!
I can't believe Hunter is already leaving! Time is flying! Where is he going again? I am sure he will make a very great missionary. He has always been a smart kid.
We are emailing at the college in our area right now and one of our investigators, just saw us and came up to say hello! He say Hi! He is super great. Teaching him is a blast. Everything we teach just clicks for him. He is so prepared! His baptismal date will be on the 10th of august! The same as Blake too! Sweet! Elder Washburn and I are doing pretty great! We are lovin the work and are just having a fun time teaching the Gospel. I read more about setting goals and making plans this week in Preach My Gospel and there is one part I would like to share with you. It says something to the effect of- setting goals and making plans is what transforms our hopes into action. Super awesome. I have realized more and more on my mission how much potential we have, we just have to learn how to use it! I Thought about how far we come in two years as messengers of the Gospel and even as chinese speakers and it made me realize how we can seriously do anything we want to do, we just have to master the simple principles of setting goals and making plans! With the Lords help in developing these skills we can learn to find those prepared souls who are ready to recieve the Gospel and invite them to learn, we can find a new job, we can learn to play the piano, or whatever it is! We can do anything! You just gotta have the motivations there and ask the Lord to guide you. I am super grateful for how much these principles have blessed my mission and I know they will bless me for the rest of my life.
I know that Heavenly Father loves me because he answers my prayers. As long as we are seeking for answers to our questions and solutions to our difficulties, we will find them! I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers my prayers, and helps me to align my will with His as I humble myself and pray.
Hope you have a great week this week! Love you momma! 

July 15, 2013

     I listen to music on my translator, that is why! The translator came with a free 4g memory too which was super nice, so I can hold abunch of music on it. Thanks for the lyrics to that song and the idioms! I actually just found out that I have a dictionary full of idioms on my translator as well so all the ones you sent me should be enough for now! Thanks so much! My english class is super excited to learn this song haha its going to be super sweet. I got a pretty good laugh out of your new method of beating dad in phase ten and about recieving those packages and giving it all away hahaha I bet Stephen III thought that was pretty funny as well! What is Dad's new job anyways? Sounds like you had fun with all of the birthdays last week! Tell Blake and Darci that I love them and say Happy Birthday to them for me! Tell Dusty he is going to have to take me in a ride in that one when I get home. That helicopter looks pretty sick!
       One of the coolest experiecnes from last week was meeting with our investigator, who has a baptismal goal right now. He is currently 11 years old and although he enjoys playing with toy swords and battling me in yugioh cards, he surprised me quite abit with his maturity this week! We went over some baptismal interview things with him this last week and set up a time for his upcoming interview. When we asked him why he wants to get baptized he said something that threw me off. I was definitely not underestimating him , but I was just not expecting it, he said "I want to recieve the Holy Ghost!". I just got the biggest smile on my face and we read a few scriptures together about the Holy Ghost, and talked about why we should seek for the Gift of the Holy Ghost as well as His daily guidance. He is such a stud and is ready to be baptized and confirmed! We are super excited for him! While talking about the Holy Ghost he even cited a few scriptures from Moroni that talked about Him which impressed me!
       This last week during studies I loved reading in Alma 43. Moroni is battling against the lamanites and the first place he turns for guidance is to the prophet, Alma! Just like in our lives, we fight all sorts of battles against the adversary, but we can always look to our church leaders, especially our prophet Thomas S Monson, for guidance. Also, Moroni prepares everything he needs to be able to take on the Lamanites and follows the counsel of Alma without one bit of hesitation. During the battle the Nephites struggle but because of their righteouss motivations for fighting the battle they muster up the courage to press onward and by working and praying in unity with "one voice" they win the battle. Much like missionary work today! Their will be struggles but if we always remember our motivations of why we are out here we will have the courage to press onward and never look back. I love a saying that is on a poster at some tire stores here in taiwan- "Power without control is nothing" We must use careful planning and preparation, just like Moroni, to give our motivations a direction. This way we can reach our highest potential and see the greatest outcomes/successes in our missionary work. That applies to every other aspect of our lives as well. Just like every missionary will tell you, set goals and make plans. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

Got your letter this week! I love to read those stories, but don't stress too much about it because I can email them now. I just love to hear from you! Thanks so much for your prayers momma, we feel them here everday! No we have not had the chance to meet President Blickenstaff yet but they called us yesterday night to wish my companion happy birthday! (yesterday was his birthday!!) We have interviews with him this wednesday so that should be sweet! I know he is going to really press forward the work here in taiwan, because that is what God has called him to do! We are excited to meet with him and work with him. Yeah I don't have flour on my face because I didn't lose :D Haha that was a fun day! 

(Caleb was playing a game that you have to get flour all over your face if you lose) 

Sounds like you are keeping busy like usually! Hope everything is going smooth.
As for Elder Washburn and I everything is going super great! We are working hard and really seeing lots of miracles! We are talking to tons of people every week and finding those people that are prepared to recieve the Gospel. We have also been strengthening our relationship with the ward as well which has been going great. Right now we have a few investigators with baptismal goals who are doing really great! 
I am growing to love missionary work more and more every single day. I feel like time is going by to fast and I don't have enough time to accomplish everything I want to do! I love being on the Lords errand and telling everyone about his Gospel. It is the most rewarding and compelling work we could ever do! I love my mission!
Well Our time is about up! Love and miss you mom. Hope you have another good week this week! Thanks for all the music too! No special requests, My translator was getting fixed so I haven't been able to listen to it for awhile but I just downloaded it all today so I will listen to it soon. Thanks so much!!!! Love you!!    -Elder Ripley

Wow the temple looks great! That is super cool that Jack is going to be painting the leaves, bet he is pretty excited about that!
I loved your story about putting up flags, I can just see everyone laughing so hard at that because it is so true!
I am also really excited to go swimming in that pool when I get home, leave the last part, (at least filling it up) for after I get back so I can remember starting it as well as finishing with you :D Love you dad! You are the best. It really is amazing how the church continues moving forward in such powerful ways. The gospel is being proclaimed to the ENTIRE world! What an exciting thing to be a part of! I am so grateful that I could be on the Lords errand during this special time. I love my mission so much. I am already scared of the thought of taking off my badge Dad. Hope everything is going well. Have another great week. Love you! -Elder Ripley

July 1, 2013

Wow it is smokin' hot over there! It is pretty hot here as well, I am not really sure temperature wise all I know is I am wet all of the time! Its alright though, you get used to it pretty fast. Yes President Bishop went home last saturday and President Blickenstaff is here now! I have not seen him yet but I am pretty sure we are going to have interviews this week. I will have to tell Elder Washburn that, he makes all of the decisions! That is right Dad always told me that I make the decisions so I do! I Will be sure and pass that down to my new companion, because I know it has helped me accomplish alot on mission. Elder Washburn is such a stud. He has a super great attitude and always has a smile on his face. We are going to accomplish alot these next few move calls! I am not surprised that this is the place Brother Smith enjoyed the most, it is such a great city! I love it! I will have to ask him which ward he served in. I am glad you are enjoying your stretching, and not streaking..hahaha I read that over once and though hmmm I wonder if she typed that wrong? Way to go mom, streaking again! (In my letter to Caleb I told him I was streaking...meant to say stretching) Haha that is good though excersize is huge! It gives you alot more energy every day too!
       This last week was a pretty good week for us! We ran into quite a few really prepared people on the street last week and started meeting with them! Two of them accepted baptismal goals too! They are so great.  One of them lives in a close by city so he will be going to church there but from mon to fri he is here so we are continuing to teach him. He is so great, he is getting his masters degree from the college in our area. Really awesome kid. He gave us abunch of peaches the other day that I am now putting in my cereal..yum! He is such a great guy. His biggest concern when we invited him to be baptized is that his pants might get wet! Haha he is really awesome, learns things really quickly and really enjoys learning about the Gospel. The other one is such a stud. He came to church yesterday and went to FHE and hung out with the people in our ward without us even there. Super great, that is how we hope it happens with all of the investigators we find. It is hard sometimes because almost all of the investigators that we have we find from contacting on the street so sometimes it is hard to help them get to know people in the ward if there is no one there they really click with.  We are also meeting with this kid lately. He is an 11 year old who comes to church every week and his older sister is a member. Last wednesday his mom came and picked him up from the english class so we talked with him and his mom for alittle but and by the end we set a baptismal date for him in august as well! Super awesome! He is a cute little kid and is super excited for his baptism. The work is moving forward here in tainan! Pray for these people when you get the chance. Hope you have a good week! Love and miss you mom!    -Elder Ripley

Bobbing for cupcake party? I dont remember that! (We saw some pictures of Caleb at a Church activity and they were sticking their faces in these flour type things and we didn't know what to call it. It looked sort of like bobbing for apples, but instead of having water all over the face, they had flour all over their faces)
That is awesome, when is Kellen headed out? He is going to Idaho right? I wish I could have been there for Kalvin's farewell talk, but I am happy I will be able to be there for his homecoming talk!
Sounds like it is getting pretty hot these days! It is heating up over here as well. Your right it is all mental though. We have gotten pretty good at forgetting about the heat during proselyting out here. The occassional mango or peach smoothie helps as well :) yum! They are less than a dollar too which is so awesome. The food here is so delicious and so cheap. I am excited to bring you and mom here to try everything!
The stash should last me at least a few more weeks but I will be sure and let you know when it gets low. Thanks so much Dad, you have no idea how much I am enjoying the cereal!
I am sure everyone got a good laugh from your explanation on the "hickup" haha that is pretty funny. You are a fartsmeller! Err I mean smartfeller!
Well I love and miss you dad! Hope you have a good week this week! I am so grateful for my mission experiences thus far and I know they have turned out this way because of everything you taught me. Love you pops     -Elder Ripley

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

Wow this missionary broadcast sounds pretty crazy! I knew some missionaries could use that stuff but does this mean all missionaries will? I think it would be too weird to go on my facebook...President Bishop goes home this week and he said when our new president, president Blickenstaff, comes that he will announce some exciting new changes to missionary work so I am guessing it has something to do with the broadcast you are talking about. That post from twitter or whatever was pretty funny, wonder who thought of that! That is a super crazy story about that kid that is looking for his birth family. So he is a member and served a mission? That would be really crazy if he turned out being related to us! If he was pretty good looking he probably has some Ripley blood in him :D
We still have not gotten ahold of that investigator, he just dissapeared! Huge bummer..but like 5 minutes ago I ran into one of our other investigators who dissapeared too which was cool! He is a college student and we email at the library on the college campus, and we just ran into him here! He ran up behind me and hit my bag and I was super confused who was hitting my bag and it was him! He said he has been busy with finals lately but he said he can meet with us this thursday because tests will be over by then! Sweet!
I have a new companion now! His name is Elder Washburn. He is from Lindon Utah. I don't know if Dad has been watching the NFL draft but my companions brother, Ziggy, was drafted by the detroit Lions! 5th pick in the first round. Super nuts! He plays defensive line. Ziggy is his adopted brother. This is his first move call on his mission! He is seriously such a stud. He has a huge desire to work and is constantly working to better himself. I am excited to be his first companion! We are going to see aton of miracles these coming weeks. Last night we set a goal for new investigators and went out there to find them with an acronym we made in mind. FFA, faith fire and attitude. We had the faith Heavenly Father would put those people in our path and we had the fire to go and find and we did! It was awesome, it was like one after another after another, everyone was setting up with us! We are super excited to be working together this move call and are doing every thing we can to forward the work here in tainan. We are lovin it!
Well I hope you have a great week! Love and miss you. Thanks SO much for the cereal, we are loving it!!!     -Elder Ripley
Thank you so much for the cereal Dad!!! We are lovin it!!! I have been chowin down but we still have quite abit so you shouldn't have to worry about refills for awhile. You have no idea how much I am enjoying it, it is seriously the best! Robby was super excited about the cereal you sent too, he is lovin it!
Kalvins farewell is this coming sunday?! Wow time is going too fast. He is going to be such a great missionary. Wish I could be there to hear his talk.
Thanks for taking such good care of my car for me!
Sounds like the missionary conference was pretty cool! I think when our new mission president gets here he will announce to us what went on.
So that pool really is going to get finished? Sounds pretty exciting! We can have a pool party when I get home!
Well I hope you have a good week this week. Love you Dad! Thanks again for that cereal, we are eating breakfast like champs now.
-Elder Ripley

June 17, 2013

I don't know if it is different in tapei or not but I have never heard of anyones parents coming to pick them up before. It is pretty much a rule, not only for taiwan but other missions as well. So it would be best to plan something later on if we have the time/money. What is this scanner thing? It keeps records of documents in it or what? Sounds pretty handy! Father's Day was probably pretty fun! So many Father's in the family these days. Looks like the kids all had a pretty good time, besides brock and blythe fighting over that bag hahaha. You are doing so good at getting to the temple, make sure and take dad along with you! The temple is such a huge blessing, especially having one so close! Oh yeah how are the Huffs doing? I have been keeping in touch with Nik everyonce in awhile. He seems to be doing pretty good in the netherlands. How are the girls doing? They are probably so big now! That is a good idea, I mean being their friends! It is amazing what big difference one friend can make. Thanks for your great example to me of being such a good friend to others mom! Your are awesome!
This week was a little tough because we can't get a hold of one of our really good investigators.  We did see some pretty cool miracles this week though.  We had two investigators confirmed, but then that morning they both told us they couldn't make it! We were bumbed out but prayed that we would be able to continue to find more new investigators and bam, one of the sister's investigators family members shows up to church and so does some other random guy! Super cool! We added them both as new investigators and are pretty excited to continue working with them this week! Super awesome! Oh yeah one of the people I found while I was in xinying  is getting baptized! Crazy thing is he acutally lives here in tainan and is getting baptized into the other ward that meets in the same building as us! Tons of cool miracles. Things are going great and we are working pretty hard to find new investigators and see more miracles here in tainan. Well I hope everything is going well back home! Hope you are having a great summer and are staying cool! Love you bunches momma,
      -Elder Ripley

Happy Father's Day Dad!!!! Looks like everyone had a great time back home hanging out for Father's Day! All you fathers are looking pretty good. Except the one on the far rights hair is lookin a little silver these days...haha tell everyone hello for me! Looks like everyone was pretty happy except for when brock and blythe were fighting for that bag, that was a nice shot. I am sure Robby will really enjoy that! I have not gotten the package yet, it should be here soon I guess. Thanks Dad! We also look forward to more cereal over here. Running real smooth! So smooth you forgot to put the flags up! That is pretty funny, I am sure everyone was a little confused as to why they didn't get their flag up that day.
Well I hope you are having a great summer over there. It is pobably just as hot over here, just a little more humid so we sweat like crazy. The last few days have been a little over cast though which has been nice. The rainy days are pretty cool as well. Things are going pretty well here in our area. We have quite a few really good investigators with a lot of potential we just got to pull things through here in these next few weeks. Hope you have a good week next week. Love you dad! Tell Dom if he gets the chance, to email me or something. Haven't seen or talked to him in forever! The Gospel is true.
        -Elder Ripley

June 10, 2013

Hey mom! That is a bummer about the standby tickets being so hard to use. How are you supposed to come visit me while I am in hawaii?! Hopefully you can get on a flight!  As far as going back to school I was thinking about starting the summer semester after I get home. I think that is the earliest one I can make it to. If you get a chance you can check when the semesters start next year and let me know!
Sounds like the get together for Dusty had a pretty good turn out, hope everyone had a good time! So Heather isn't moving with him? I am sure he will love his job as long as it is flying helicopters.
Jessica Barney is married!? Holy smokes that is pretty crazy! Tell her congratulations for me if you see her!
Yes I am keeping a journal. I can't say I write in it every day but at least 3-4 times a week.
Last week was a pretty good week! We started meeting with a really cool family! Super nice family! They came to church this week too which was super awesome and they got to know alot of people in the ward. They had a great time, especially the kids!
One of our other investigators, also came to church this week.
The work is going really good here, there are tons of people to talk to, the ward is great, everything is just going super well! We are looking really good to see alot of success coming up! I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity I have to be a missionary and for the huge blessings that come from it. I know that God lives and loves us! I am so grateful that He loved us enough to give us the plan of salvation and send His son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins so that we may live with Him again! There are so many people that don't know this message that need to know! Go find them!
Love you bunches, hope you have a good week this week! Thanks for the info on the card for Blake's baptism, I will be sure and get that done. 

Loves, Elder Ripley

Hey dad! Looks like the get together was a success! Everyone seems so happy that Dustin is leaving! Haha just kidding. That food is looking really good right now, I am starving, especially that frog eye salad. Yummmm. Make sure and send a box of cereal for my companions birthday if you send a package. Prefferably waffle crunch or honey bunches of oats, but anything works really. Love you bunches dad! Hope everything is going good. I know the Gospel is true and am so glad I can be a deliverer of this message! 
Love, Elder Ripley

Friday, June 7, 2013

June 3, 2013

Dear Mom, 
     Looks like you are going to have a super busy summer!  Send me some pictures! That is super cool that dusty got a job flying! I am sure he is going to love it. I am sure the missionaries enjoyed being fed by you guys! I wonder how the work is going over there. 
       The maps are on paper. They are printed out with a list of all the people in that area along with their addresses phone numbers and other info. Maybe I will just take a picture, that might be easier :D Things have been going super fantastic! The district I am in is full of super awesome missionaries! I have had the opportunity of learning so much from them! It kind of reminded me of when Alma the younger is glorying in their successes while preaching to the lamanites and his joy is full because of the success of his brethren. We are all super good friends here and glory in eachother's successes. The first day I was here we found this college kid on the street and the next day we met with him, but due to him being a little late and us having another lesson we had to get to we only had just enough time to give him a quick tour of the chapel and talk a little bit about prayer. He was a little busy after that and we didn't seem him for about 2 weeks but last week we set up with him and met! Turns out he has prayed every single night since we last met and he really has a desire to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God! So good! He also accepted a baptismal goal for the june 29th! He is such a stud. We are excited to keep working with him and help him hit that goal!
       Well I hope you have a good week this week! Try and relax a little bit, school is out! :D Love you bunches, Elder Ripley

Hey Dad,
You look like you are really having alot of fun with that cat of yours! Wow 107! Pretty smokin' hot. It is summer here now as well. I am almost always sweating on proselyting days, no matter where I am or what I am doing! But the work is going great so nothing worth complaining about. 
Things are going so great here in tainan. I am loving this area so much already. The missionaries I serve with, the people, our investigators, everything! We are seeing alot of miracles here. Baptisms will soon follow. Love and miss you, have a great week!
          -Elder Ripley

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

Hey momma, You can tell people that I will answer them it just might not be right away. We 90 minutes to be on the computers which includes report to president and what not so sometimes I can't get to answering everyone. School is out! That is super crazy! Do you guys have any sweet plans for the summer? Sounds like you are going to be a little busy! That is so awesome, I wish I could have gone to the baptism so bad! Tell them congratulations for me!! Tell Ryan I say I want to go to their family sealing in a year! Wow our sacrament meeting has quite a few people! Our ward here had 88 yesterday which is pretty good. The ward here is awesome.
     Elder Casperson and I worked hard on the streets this last week and saw some pretty good success. We had 5 investigators come to church this last week which was a huge blessing seeing as though the week before we had 0! We found aton of really cool people this week. Our mission just got these sweet new maps that are super useful. It was actually developed by on the of the members in taibao! (where I was previously) Pretty much what it does is breaks up your area into sections and then in each section it gives the members that live there a number, so when you look on the map you see each section and if you turn to that sections page it brings up a closer look with a sign where each member lives. Super convenient. It is the next step before Ipads. Previously there have been tons of people using ward lists to contact the less active members or find people who haven't been in awhile but didn't live behind alot of notes so what ends up happening is the missionaries after them end up doing the same thing they just did. After lessons we plan to go to nearby less actives and formers using the map and then just talk to everyone we run into on the way. It has been working pretty good for us. What we need to work on right now is bettering our relationship with the ward. It is pretty good but I just got here so I am still getting to know everyone. So things are going pretty good here, we are just setting a vision for what we want to accomplish within these next few move calls and making some plans! Elder Casperson says hello back! His brithday is coming up so if you or anyone in the family send a package sometime soon send a box of cereal for him. (Preferrably lucky charms, fruity pebbles, honeycomb, one of those kinds)
Well I love you momma! Hope everything is going great back home. Have a good week and a good start to summer! Oh yeah and tell Jack I love him.
Love, Elder Ripley (Caleb :D)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 20, 2013

May 19, 2013
Hey Mom! Celeste is working on sundays that stinker! Tell her to shape it up abit! We usually try and email right out the door so usually about 11 taiwan time but sometimes things come up and we don't get around to it until abit later. I am super glad I got to skype you guys too, always love to see your guys' faces! I can't believe how fast time went by, before I know it we will be skyping again! That is so awesome that Dustin got that job! Wow I bet it pays pretty good! Haha tell him by the time I get home he better have that house with the Helipad on top he was talking about so he can come pick me up and I can go chill with him.
This last week was a pretty good week! My new area is so great! I am loving it! I miss xinying and the people there alot but I know this area is going to be just as amazing. The ward here is super great! The church is really strong here. My companion is super great too. Elder Casperson! He is such a stud. We work together really well and are having a great time doing missionary work here in tainan. I am pretty sure Bro. Smith served in part of tainan before. It is really such an awesome place. This last sunday we saw a pretty cool miracle. I was contacting people on the street in xinying one day and I ran into a guy. He started meeting with us and it turns out he is in xinying mon-fri for work but lives in tainan so he goes back on sat/sun. We met with him a few times and then I left to come to tainan! Turns out he lives on the same street that the church is on here in tainan and came to church yesterday! That street is the other Elder's area so we won't be able to continue teaching him but we introduced him to the other Elder's and talk with him for a few minutes which was super cool. Pretty crazy! Elder Casperson and I found quite a few potential investigators last week too so we should have some super good lessons this week. We are pretty pumped! Everything is going fantastic!
I was reading the Book of Mormon this past week and was impresssed with the example of Ammon! Just as all of the sheep are scattered King Lamoni's servants start crying and talking about how they are so dead for letting the sheep get lost but Ammon just gets super excited and tells them hey lets go find those sheep! And then they do it! It is all about attitude. As we pray in faith and then have a good attitude through all of our trials we will see miracles happen.
Love you momma! Hope work is going well! I bet it is abit tiring, working with that many kids everyday, but you have got to be immune to anything seeing as though you raised Ripley kids. Thanks for being the best Mom ever! Love you bunches! Have a fantastic week! Your favorite child,    -Elder Ripley

Hey Dad!
I can't believe Jack is already getting home! Time is just flying by, it is a super weird feeling. You sent out 300 post cards? Wow...Oh yeah I keep meaning to ask, what is the average number of people that attend sacrament meeting in our ward? We are always keeping track of that here as missionaries so I am just curious as to how many our ward usually has. The church is growing so fast here in taiwan it is amazing! I am so grateful to be a part of it!
Today for P-day we are celebrating a few peoples birthdays by going to pizza hut. All you can eat pizza hut pizza for less than 10 dollars...can you believe that!? I will take you there when we come back to taiwan together. Hope you had a good week this week! My new companion is enjoying those snacks you sent. We have almost got them finished off. We have been working out pretty hard in the mornings to keep in shape haha.
We had a good church meeting this week as well. We had a joint meeting and had a workshop on family history! Really cool! I got to talk in sacrament this week too. I made em laugh a little bit as well as got a pretty good gasp out of everyone when I told them I am the youngest of 8. They really liked that. The ward here is really great, I am loving it already! Taiwan is such a great place.
Hope you have a good week Dad. Love and miss you.     -Elder Ripley

May 13, 2013

Hey mom! Loved getting to see everyone today! Happy mother's day!! My new area is called Tainan. I am in the city. Thanks abunch momma! Hope you have a fantastic week! Love you bunches!!   -Elder Ripley

Super happy I could see you dad! Thanks for the advice and strength that you give me! Love you!    Your best friend, -Elder Ripley

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 6, 2013

Hey Mom! How was your week? Yes I can download music from Elder Magnuson is great! We are having a great time working together here in xinying and are seeing lots of miracles! And to answer your question about eating at the church-that week some members provided lunch for us at the chapel! The members here in xinying are so great. Magda and Kevin are getting baptized!? Wow! That is so awesome! I know it will bring more happiness into their family than anything else! I have seen it! This is so great! I can be there for when they get sealed in the temple next year :D Tell them congratulations for me!! Looks like you guys had a fun time on your field trip! Haha I can just see all the kids wanting to get up in the luggage rack like Celeste. Blake is looking like a stud in his football uniform! I am excited to be able to go see his games! 

This week was a pretty good one! We had some pretty cool miracles! The Lord is blessing us big time here in xinying and allowing us to see miracles as we set high goals out of a desire to help more people come unto Christ and then rely on Him to help us accomplish those goals. 
Well I hope you had a great week last week and have an even better week this week! Love you momma!  Oh yeah and about skyping next week-Next monday is move day so I am not sure if we will be able to skype that morning, it depends on wether or not my companion or I move. President said if we don't get a chance to skype on monday we can do it tuesday. So plan on being free on sunday and monday night around 6 because I am not sure when we will be able to. I would like to do it monday but we will see. Just log into skype on sunday night at 6 and if I am not on I will just email you abit later and let you know when I will skype. Love you!     

Hey Daddio! Being sick is no fun. Hurry up and get better! Get lots of sleep! Hope everything is going alright!
Magda and Kevin are getting baptized!? You are baptizing them!? That is so cool! Wow send me some pictures of the service! I wish I could be there to support them! I am super glad I will be able to go to the temple with them in a year when they get sealed though! :D
This kitty sounds like quite the pal. You will have to send her over here in a box and let me play with her for a few weeks. Ask Celeste what she thinks about that.
Oh man I wish I could be there for your cooking at the outing, It has been too long since I have eaten Dads pancakes or hotdogs/hamburgers. Those pizzelles were fantastic though! We ate them all up really quick! My companion loved them as well and told me to tell you how delicious they were! Thanks so much dad! We really enjoyed them.
How is work going lately? Take it easy while you are sick. I know you will just keep going at it but I am sure mom will make you slow it down abit :D Thanks for your great example to me dad! Love you! Hope you have a great week this week. Yeah I usually just send the stories from the week before in the email to mom cause I know she shares it with you. This way I don't have to type everything twice. Love you Dad!  Your best friend and son,    -Elder Ripley 

April 29, 2013

Hey momma! Thanks abunch for the music! That was actually not the song I was looking for but that is a super good song too! We have permission to get on now and I found the arise and shine song that I was looking for on there too so don't worry about it! I told you wrong, it is called arise and shine forth. oops! Looks like you guys had a good time at field day! I remember those days. Too much fun! Wow that monkey looks like a pretty mean monkey! At least she shot it before it got to her! I bet they are having a great time out there in Africa. Sounds pretty crazy to me! 
       This week in xinying we saw miracles. Elder Magnuson and I set goals and worked hard to hit them and in the proccess were blessed quite abit! The biggest miracle we saw this week was with Brother Wong. He is the best investigator I have ever seen at reading the scriptures. He reads everyday without fail and just can't stop! He has read quite abit of the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible, and lately has started reading Jesus the Christ as well. He has been extremely busy lately so we have been finding time here and there to teach him over the phone. We have been emphasizing praying as he reads lately so that he can recieve an answer from God that this is His true church. On saturday we called him and he didn't answer and then on sunday we called him again and he didn't answer again and also did not show up to church! I was super worried about it. After church ended we were eating with some members and Brother Wong walks into the church! He says hey I need to tell you something. We go into one of the rooms in the church and he starts to tell us about a dream he had. He said everything started out really dark and he felt really scared, but then everything all of a sudden light up and he felt a really strong feeling of warmth. He said it was a really good feeling that he couldn't describe. Afterwards he saw a man with white hair and had a deep feeling of respect and awe for him. After that he woke up! He said he remembered every detail and feeling he had very clearly. As he was telling us his experience I felt very clearly that his was an answer to his prayers. After telling us this I asked him do you think this is an answer to your prayers? He said I know it is! We invited him to be baptized right then and he accepted a date for may 11th! Super huge miracle! I can't even express how grateful I am to have been able to be a tool in the Lord's hands. Brother Wong is going to be a huge blessing to the ward here in xinying and is going to be such a great leader. I am so pumped for him!! I know the Gospel is true! I have seen it change the lives of many, including my own. I am so grateful for our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and for his infinite atoning sacrafice for us.
      Have a good week momma! Can't wait to talk on mother's day! Love you bunches!     -Elder Ripley

April 22, 2013

      Baylee! Holy smokes you are a freshman in highschool now!? Where did time go? I can't believe you are that old! Slow down abit! Payton! Your are already in junior highschool! Wow you two are getting so grown up. I love you guys too!! Miss you bunches and can't wait till I get to see you!! If there is anything you want me to bring home for you from Taiwan make sure and tell me!
       How's Natalie doing! Looks like her and celeste are enjoying their wintermelon tea, was it pretty good with ice cream? I love that stuff. Wow our new couch is looking pretty comfortable too! Why didn't we think about buying that while I was still sleeping on the couch every night? :D
      I have thought alot about how my mission will effect my life as well. Just like you said, my testimony, being a member missionary, learning a new langauage, my future family, my relationship with Heavenly Father and so many more ways. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord for two years. It will/has changed my life more than anything I have experienced thus far in my life.
      Things are going so great here in xinying! We just had a mini move call today (It is a transfer day in the middle of a move call or six week period) and my companion was called to go to ping dong in the south! So my new companion is Elder Magnuson! I am super pumped to be with him! He is from Florida and is super great. We are going to have a really good time together and see alot of success, we are both pretty excited! So this last week we had a pretty fun experience. The ward had been calling some members lately and ran across a few whos numbers were no longer in use and were hard to get ahold of so they asked us to go to their houses and make sure they are still there. One of these members lives in nan shi keng, A small village up on top of mountain. So we made the journey out, about two and half hours, up to nan shi keng! Once we got up there we looked and looked and looked and just could not find this house. The house numbers there are all mixed up and super hard to find. After riding up and down a few times we stopped on the side of the road and said a prayer. We asked Heavenly Father to help us find this members house! After praying we felt like we should head back up the mountain a little ways to a Daoist temple. Yeah it was a little weird having the feeling, "go back to the Daoist temple" haha but we hopped on our bikes and headed back! As we rode past the Daoist Temple we ran into a small group of people and stopped to ask them about this persons house. Amazingly enough one of the people was their lizhang or the person that oversees there village and he says oh I know them, they moved 20 years ago! WHAT!?!? At this point we were thinking ok we rode all the way up here to learn they moved 20 years ago? Oh man..the guy goes inside for a few minutes and then comes back out with a paper in hand. He gives us the paper and says oh here is their current phone number, they moved up north. WHAT!?!?! They moved 20 years and somehow this guy who lives up on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere has their number..huge miracle! We were extremely grateful to have a way to get in contact with this member. As we headed back down the mountain it started to get dark and we took a few wrong paths on the way down. Just as it gets dark enough that we can't see much a truck passes by and we stop him and ask which turn we need to take to get back down to the city we were headed to. He points the way and then takes off. My companion and I start heading back down the mountain in the dark with no lights (they had just ran out of batteries) and we can hardly see a thing because there are no road lights up there. Just then truck passes by us, turns around, and then pulls right up behind us. It was the same guy! He says hey throw your bikes in the back and I'll take you guys to the bottom of the mountain! There is no doubt Heavenly Father was looking out for us that day as well as allowed us to find one of His lost sheep. We totalled about 40 miles that day :D I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that takes care of every single one of His children.  
       Well I love you fam! Hope you have a great week! Take care!     -Elder Ripley

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 15, 2013

      I am glad you got the package! Yeah to make the tea that is all you do, put it in boiling water and let it dissolve. The less water you use the sweeter it is! If you make it super sweet and put some vanilla ice cream in with it, it is so delicious! Did you guys drink it hot or cold? Some people do drink it hot but most people drink it cold. I think it is alot better cold with vanilla icecream! And is that peanut butter good or I am just crazy? I think it is so much better than jiffy...I am glad Brother Smith enjoyed it :D Tell him if he needs more just let me know! So you are going to be staying in casa grande for 2 weeks with grandma velma? Sounds like that might be just as exciting as the 2 week safari in Africa! Haha tell Grandma I love and miss her for me! How are you going to manage that with work?  Hope all is going well back home! Oh and yes alot of chinese books are read from left to right and that big building is a buddhist temple in mingjian! 
       As for Taiwan things are going pretty good! Elder Liu and I are still working hard to find those people that are prepared to recieve the Gospel. We spent alot of time this week in secondary areas looking for some less active members which was an adventure! The ward gave us a list of members that they had not seen for awhile and their phone numbers were no longer in use or wrong numbers and asked us to visit them! We had a hard time finding alot of them because addresses in small towns in taiwan are super hard to find and alot of the people had moved and what not but we did find a few! We haven't had the chance to meet with them yet but we have confirmed they still live in ward boundaries and have contact with them which is good. One of them is a lady who moved out of her old house but lives close by, and when we went to her house we ran into her dad who helped us get ahold of her. Turns out she has been in a car accident lately and may need some help! I know that God sent us to find His lost child! We are still working with Bother Liu as well. He studies the scripture like no other investigator I have ever seen. 
       Well I hope you had a great week last week and have an even better week this week! Love and miss you bunches! Yes that animal I am petting is indeed a kangaroo. Pretty cool huh? Enjoy the tea and peanut butter while it lasts! If you want more or any or weird foods from taiwan just let me know.  
Love, Elder Ripley

We just dug into the waffles and chicken flavored chips this week and there are surprisingly not bad! The flavor didn't taste alot like waffles and chicken but I can see what they are going for. As far as cereal goes we are doing alright! Right now I am at about 4 bags left so we should be good for at least another few days...haha just kidding at least a few weeks! Thanks abunch dad, we are really enjoying the cereal aton over here!
Thanks for taking such good care of my car for me dad! That is such a nice looking car too. I will probably never buy another car, just drive the stang for the rest of my life :D Haha unless you trade it in for a ferrari again.
Yeah I heard Kolbe got hurt from a member in our ward haha everyone in taiwan knows kolbe bryant. That is a bummer! Sounds like the diamond backs are doing great! Everyone in taiwan knows them as well!
The Gospel is still true in Taiwan as well. I am so grateful for your prayers dad! I pray for you every day as well! Hope all is well back home. Miss and love you, Elder Ripley

April 8, 2013

    The package should get there soon enough. It usually takes like two weeks right? You will probably get it in a week or so? Sedona looks like it was a ton of fun! The kids look like they really enjoyed riding those horses! So Dusty and Heather are gone and Celeste is back with Cody? Things never do get dull at the Ripley house! How far away are Dusty and Heather? Sounds like everything is going pretty great back in the good ole AZ. Was the yardsale a hit? I am sure you guys were probably pretty busy!
    As for us everything is rockin here in taiwan! Elder Liu and I are still working hard here in xinying! Our investigators are doing pretty good. We are meeting with Brother Liu and he is pretty fantastic. I love that guy. We are also meeting with a stud named brother zeng. He has been having some trouble with english class in highschool so we have been helping him out a little lately. We taught him to pray before he studies english which he has been doing this last week! So good. He has come to church the last two weeks as well! We also saw a pretty cool miracle this week. I ran into a lady on the street about a week and half ago and tried sharing a little bit with her about the church but she was a little busy at the time so I gave her a little flyer with our churches address on it and what not and last week on tuesday right after we finished district training meeting she showed up at the chapel! We are not at the chapel unless we have a lesson or a meeting so her showing up right when we happened to be there was a miracle in intself! We invited her to church and she came this week with her two kids! We introduced them to alot of people in the ward and I know they had a pretty good experience. I am super pumped to continue to share the gospel with this amazing family this week!
      Well I hope all is going well back home! Miss and love you bunches!! Have a good week! Your favorite child,
      -Elder Ripley