Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 28, 2013

Area: Xin Ying
Companion: Elder Liu

Hello Momma! You are working!!!!! That is so awesome!! How is it going so far? Where is that Elementary school at? So you are working and volunteering at the hospital too? Sounds like you are keeping pretty busy! I got a pretty good laugh out of your co worker taping his buddies straw so he couldn't drink out of it hahaha I think I am going to try that one out on my companion when I get the chance! So that smart board you are talking about, They used those when I was in highschool! They had just come out though and seemed to have some problems so I only saw it used a few times. But they are so cool you are right! Super amazing what they can do these days! I am sorry you had a bit of a rough week. No matter what trials we go through God will never forget us, always rely on Him. I really loved a quote from last general conference, an Elder said If we have faith we will most certianly have trials of faith, but if we rely on God during these trials, they will strengthen our faith. God has an amazing plan for each of us and it most definetely won't be easy, but through these good times as well as trials God will help us become the person he would have us be, as long as we always rely on Him and submit to His will. I think that is so awesome that through the hymn in church Heavenly Father lifted you up. On my mission I have learned that prayers are answered through going to church! I love that song as well. Thanks for all the music you have been sending, I am loving it!

     This week was a crazy one! I am back in xin ying! The Zone leaders called saturday night saying that I would be moving back to xin ying! The Elder that got hurt in taibao is going back to taibao. It is a bit of a bummer because I grew to love the place and the people there really quickly and we worked our butts off the last few weeks to find new investigators and we found quite a few (thanks for your prayers! they are being answered!) and now I have to leave, but I am so pumped to be back in xin ying because I love this place! The branch is so great. I guess the Lord still has work for me to do here in xin ying and I am happy to do it! My new companion is Elder Liu! Yes we are both Liu zhang lao, so this could get a little confusing. He is taiwanese and is from taoyuan. He is an awesome elder, I am excited to be able to serve with him!

     This past week I have been reading King Benjamin's speech to his people in the book of Mosiah. It is such an awesome part in the Book of Mormon. If you have some time read the first few chapters of Mosiah. I especially like chapter 2 when he speaks about how God has given us everything, including the ability to breathe and move as we would like each day, and all He asks of us is to keep His commandments, and if we do, He immediately blesses us! I know that we can see these blessings and feel of God's love for us as we do the simple things He asks of us. Well my time is about up! Hope you have a great week next week! Love you all!! Keep me updated on Kennedy and the rest of the fam. Hope she gets well soon!
  Love     -Elder Ripley

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 21, 2013

Letter to Mom:

Hey momma! Hope all is going well at Grandmas! Tell her hello and I love her for me! Hope you had a good week last week.  How is every one doing?

      Everything is going pretty well over here! This last week went pretty good.  The lady we tracted had already been reading the bible and praying. She was not able to make it to church this week, but she is doing pretty great. A few days after giving her the Book of Mormon she had already read through the intro, witnesses, and the first 16 chapters of 1st nephi! So good! She has been marking the parts that she likes as well! It is such an awesome feeling being able to see the Book of Mormon become an important part of other peoples lives when it has changed my own life so much!  She told us she does believe that God will set up a time for her to get baptized which is really cool, she has alot of faith! We are also helping her to receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon, which shouldn't be hard as she is already reading and praying!  We are praying and working to find some more new investigators as well, please pray with us!

      I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon! The Book of Mormon can lead and guide our lives, give us inspiration and comfort in times of need, and give us inspiration and revelation to the blessing of others! What an amazing tool God has given us to help us in our daily lives. I have seen that as I search ponder and pray about the scriptures, God will lead my life and everything will go according to His plan. What an amazing blessing we have in our lives, the Book of Mormon. Well time is running short and I got to get going! Hope all is well at home! Miss and love you guys!       -Elder Ripley

PS. If you get a chance could you send those addresses to me? Phylip Curtis, Aubrey Hatch, Larissa Price (going on a mission soon?) Thanks again! Love you!

Letter to Dad:

Not a surprise you have been called to help out with the flags, whenever you came with we were always the first ones done so we got first picks on the donuts.
I want to see Blake's games! I will go out and practice with him when I get home.
How have things been going back home? Is mom still making you stick to that diet? So Celeste is moving back in for abit? What are her plans? What are Dusty and Heather up to besides leaving dried mangos out for scouty to eat? Is Darci and the fam all settled in? Miss and love you Dad! Have a good Week!    -Elder Ripley 

January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013 

Hey Momma! How was your week? Sounds like you had a good time over at Aunt Alice and Beckys house. Tell them I say hello and I love and miss them!  Your hair is looking pretty good these days! Rebecca did an awesome job! I got the package that Becki sent me! Oh man I am really enjoying the food and the tie as well! I have been living on cereal for the last few weeks and it has been so great.
      We went to the zoo today! Wooo! Haha it was a small nearby zoo. Some members from xinying came and picked us up this morning and then we went and picked the Elders in xin ying up and headed out. We had a pretty good time there, getting bit by ostrichs and seeing monkey shows. It was pretty sweet. The cool thing about zoos in taiwan-you can touch anything, yes, even the porcupines. I'll make sure and send the pictures soon. I keep saying I will but this time..I really will.
      This last week was a pretty great week! We got to go back to xin ying and attend brother shens baptism! My district leader who happens to be in xin ying called me that afternoon and says hey your giving a 5 minute talk at the baptism ok? Sweet. I was a little nervous but I think I did alright...It was super cool to get to go back and see him get baptized. I will send pictures of that soon as well. It is hard to explain the feelings of getting to see someone you were able to teach the restored gospel too get baptized and make that covenant with God. I am so grateful I could be a tool in the Lord's hand as part of his conversion. I sure hope you all get a chance to meet him someday! His english is pretty much perfect so no need to worry about that. So yes you can tell Elder Hansen that Brother Shen got baptized!
      We also saw another pretty cool miracle this weekend while tracting! We tracted into a lady named sister huang! She has been reading the bible lately and has a had a desire to know God. Talk about being prepared by angels! She came to church yesterday and had a super cool experience there with her daughter and by the end of the meeting she was asking if they could come back next week. Every missionarys dream. So great! The Lord is blessing us here in taibao as long as we are working hard and working by the spirit. Keep these people in your prayers! Well I love you all! Have a great week!      -Elder Ripley

Hahaha wow it looks like the weather has gotten pretty dang cold! I am sure that got a good kick out of their water features freezing over. I thought it was getting so cold here and then I turned the setting on my thermometer from Celsius to Fahrenheit and it said 50 degrees...I am turning into such a wimp!  Sounds like Alabama took it pretty easy. Those are never as much fun to watch as the close games!  Everything is going great here Dad. The Lord has blessed me so much. Hope everything is going great back in AZ. Love you Dad! Have a good week!     -Elder Ripley

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 7, 2013

Area: Taibao
Companion: Elder Chen

 Hello mother dearest! Wow Tiny is looking pretty small...I think you might want to consider getting Blake a bigger tackling dummy! Phylip is looking like such a stud these days! Can you help me get his address? Oh yeah haha Tyler loves to take pictures...a little too much! Tyler told me to tell you about his new name, Carson Ripley. Hahaha he asked me to give him a name that starts with C so I chose carson. He is a funny one. As far as playing the piano, I was just playing the one in the chapel on preparation day but no I haven't been playing in sacrament. I need to brush up on some songs so I can though! As for the guitar I am still working on it. Haven't had much time the past few p days to practice but when I have the time I play! Thanks so much for the books I am super excited to learn that music! The curious george one by jack johnson is pretty sweet. That is so cool that Whitney and Rachelle stopped by! I miss those two! They are so great. Thanks for emailing rachelles music to me! If you have more email it too! That is way cool. 
       So Taibao is a pretty great place! The more members and people I meet here the more I love it! That is what it is all about, our families! I am so grateful for my family and how much you have all done for me. I am so grateful as well for the knowledge we have that our family can be together forever. What an amazing blessing it would be to be able to be a part of the process of a family being baptized and getting sealed in the temple. The blessings this Gospel brings to families are innumerable! What a great message we have to bring to the world! 
       I am pretty excited because brother shen, the brother I was teaching in xin ying, is getting baptized this Saturday! And I get to go! It has been an awesome experience getting to know him and teaching him the gospel. He has grown to love to learn from the Book of Mormon. He really loves the Liahona as well which is super cool. Being there for him saying he is willing to take this step in his life and follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized was such a great experience. He will be so blessed for this choice he has made in his life. 
       Well I got to get going but I love and miss you all bunches! Hope you have a good week! Love   -Elder Ripley  

Our new Bishopric sounds like they will be a great blessing to the ward!  Blake is such a stud, I can't wait to watch his football games! well Hope you have a great week! I gotta get going, Sorry this week is so short! We are almost out of time at the internet cafe and we have to start proselyting at 6! LOve you dad, thanks for always being such a great example to me of a disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Love you!   -Elder Ripley

December 31, 2012

     Hello Momma! I loved to see you guys too! I am sorry I can't really speak english anymore. I will have to practice a little before the next time I talk with you guys. Yes I did get that package from Dad! Oh man those fruity pebbles have been sooooo nice I eat them every single morning! And I love the football as well! And no I have not gotten a package from Becki yet. Terri Stump is going on a mission?! So awesome! Tell her congratulations for me! And Rachelle is going to china!?!? Tell her to hurry up and give me her address! When does she leave? That is way cool.
       Yes you are right it is getting pretty cold here! Saturday was pretty warm, then yesterday was freezing cold, and now today is about in the middle. So last week was a little crazy! On thursday the assistants called me up and said pack up your stuff you are going to taibao tomorrow! That morning we had a pretty good lesson with brother shen and he accepted a january 12th baptismal goal. He is doing so great, he is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, coming to church and doing all that he needs to do to develop his faith and testimony. I really hope President will give me permission to go back to xinying on the 12th and see his baptism! I think he will. So I was sad to leave because I love all the people I have got to know there but I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me here in taibao! So what happened was the Elder who was in taibao hurt his ankle while running and is not going to be able to walk or ride a bike for awhile so they called me up thursday and told me to pack my stuff and then on friday the office elders from taichung came and picked me up and brought me over to taibao where they dropped me off and picked up the Elder here who hurt himself and brought him up to taichung. My companion in xinying, Elder Stratford, is living with the other Elders that also live in xinying right now. It was a pretty quick switch but I am getting adjusted to taibao pretty quick. It is really close to xinying but over here it is a little more like the country side I guess. Not alot out here! The branch is super new, only a few years old. Yesterday we had 21 people at sacrament! The members here are so great! Super strong testimonies and love to do missionary work! I know I will love it here. My new companion is Elder Chen. He is taiwanese, so sorry if next time we talk my english is even worse, I have pretty much no chance to speak english unless we happen to run into someone who speaks it here but the chances of that are pretty low. I am happy though, my chinese will hopefully improve alot! Elder Chen is so great, he has a huge love for the people here and enjoys missionary work. We are going to have a good time serving together no doubt! I am so happy to be a missionary at such a great time as this! The gospel is moving forward and we see miracles everyday. I am so grateful for the Lord's blessings in my life, especially my family. Love you all bunches! Hope you had a merry christmas! Happy New Years!!!!!!!! Have a good week!! I am really enjoying all of the christmas presents you sent! All the candy and guns and basketball hoop the whole deal. Thanks so much!! 
Hey Dad!
That is sad that ASU is stinking it up so bad this year. At least they beat the navy right? Terry Thomas probably wasn't too happy. The cardinals too! That is just a bummer.

The new teaching program sounds really cool! Sounds like you were way ahead of the times dad! I know the kids from your classes always loved to go to class and participate so you must have been doing something right! The church is constantly growing and growing and coming out with new programs it amazes me! The Lord really knows His children and how to help them. How grateful I am for our modern day prophet, Thomas S. Monson! 

Bishop is being released! Whoah! Make sure and let me know who the new bishop is next week! I think I have to let my mission president know too. 

Hope the pumpkin pie was really nice, I am jealous. When I was in taichung a member gave me this pumpkin pie mix that she got from an american store there in taichung and I still have not used it! I am not really sure what to do about the crust. I want to just buy one but I don't know if they sell it here? We will see.

Hope you have a happy new years!!!! Have a great week Dad, Love you!