Monday, February 10, 2014

February 9, 2014

Hey Mother Dearest!! Sounds like the temple has been so busy!! It really amazes me how big this whole event is! This last week was another week full of miracles for us. One of which being Lu. He is an investigator that just walked in the church last week while we were having our zone training meeting. We asked him if he could come back after the meeting was over and meet with us and he was cool with it! Afterwards we met with him and he is so prepared!! This weekend he went to gaoxiong to see his mom and we called him to see if he could attend church in gaoxiong, but before I even had a chance to say anything about church he said "Hey I looked at that flyer you gave me and found the church in gaoxiong by my house and I am going on sunday!" So awesome! He is such a stud.
Other than that our zone did fantastic this last week. Everyone was so pumped from zone training meeting and interviews/ planner checks with President. The was a pretty big increase of morale and we saw tons of miracles and had a blast together! Hope you have a fantastic week!! Miss and love you!!!
-Elder Ripley

Hey Dad! I really can't believe how huge this whole new temple thing is!! I am excited to see it! I am definitely giving it my all this week and am going to cross the finish line at full speed. Email time is a little short this week but thank you so much for all the support and encouragement you have given me Dad, it has been invaluable to me on my mission. I am so excited to see you soon. Love you!
-Elder Ripley

February 2, 2014

Hey momma! Kevin and Corrin are getting so big!! I was so surprised when I saw their pictures! This last week was a pretty crazy week for us! We went to taizhong for a meeting on tuesday which moved our district training meeting to thursday and then for the rest of the week we had aton of members that fed us lunch and dinner because it is the chinese new year!!! So during chinese new year what happens is everything shuts do for about a week and everyone gets together with their family and celebrates the new year! They have lots of cool traditions and customs they do on the new year one of which is handing out red envelopes! They are pretty much just fancy red envelopes with money inside that are usually given to the children or younger people in the family. We should start doing that :) Anyways we ate ATON of food and had a great time! We also had a really huge blessing yesterday at church. We had three investigators come! Aton of our investigators went out of town or were busy last weekend so we were scared we wouldn't have alot of lessons or people that would be able to attend church with us this last sunday, but we had one that confirmed with us that he could go, one that just showed up with his family, and another one that we thought had dissapeared because his cell phone wasn't working but he showed up too! Super cool! They all loved the meeting and had a great experience at church!
We also met with a really great family this week. They are the family we met with a few weeks ago in one of our secondary areas. They have lots of questions and are really interested! They had to go out of town this week but we will definitely be meeting with them next week.
Hope you had a great week mom!! Love and miss you! -Elder Ripley

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 26, 2014

Hey mom don't worry about the pictures, you sent me all of the ones I needed! Thanks aton! And I have been taking lots of others lately as well. No I did not put a memory card in that box so no need to worry about that either, that was just abunch of stuff I wanted to send back. Thank you for those ideas as well! We are definitely going to use them! Ushering at the temple sounds like a blast!! There are so many people going in that is crazy! I am so excited to go see it. This week I had to write a miracle story and send it in to the office for them to put in a book or something. All of the misisonaries going home have to write one so I will just share with you what I Wrote. I was trying to make it sound really so I hope it worked. It was really intense though :D
Miracle Story- It was the end of the week. Time to report our work for that week. Knowing that the companionships in our district were strong missionaries with lots of faith, and that they were working with some great investigators.  We came back the next week with a fire in us. We talked about it together every day and encouraged and inspired each other to be better. Through our faith the Lord made up for that. We pondered our efforts of the last week in an attitude of happiness and appreciation for the blessings and miracles we had seen, yet dissapointment and confusion at why we had come so close to hitting the goal but fell short when we had so much faith that we could do it. Sunday night, 10:20pm, the phone rings and it is the sisters in our district. A sister of one of their recent converts just moved back home from another area and had been meeting with the missionaries there.  With 10 minutes on the clock we did it!!! With all of the miracles that occured and the effort that we put in to hitting that goal, we realized most importantly of all, that the happiness came not from hitting the number itself, but in seeing lives changed because of the faith and effort we put into becoming tools in the Lord's hand. When missionaries come together in faith, they can accomplish anything.

We had another super huge miracle this week. Brother chen progressed smoothly through all of the lessons and had a few really cool testimonies that God loved him throughout the teaching process. Last week he was baptized! He is going to be such a great recent convert because of his great sense of responsibility and his resolve to follow Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have been a part of the proccess of him starting his new life in the Gospel!
Have a great week mom, love and miss you bunches. THank you so much for taking care of all that school stuff for me!! You are the best!!

Being an usher must have been awesome! I am sure you had a really great experience seeing all of these people gathering to see the temple.
That is a bummer that you missed niks, I should have told you he was heading back!
I will be sure and tell them happy birthday, thanks for the reminder dad. Love and miss you! have a great week!


Monday, January 27, 2014

January 19, 2014

HEY.This is the end of another movecall, and the start of a new one! Last move call was pretty sweet. Elder Chia and I saw alot of success and most importantly were blessed with so many opportunities to serve the missionaries around us and share our testimonys with so many people. We have some great goals and plans for the coming move call and are going to work hard at them! One of these goals is to continue to help all of the Elders in our zone to reach their full potential as missionaries. Last movecall we saw aton of miracles on exchanges and realized that we don't help them reach their full potential by being amazing or a really skilled missionary, but rather by first having a desire to help them and then praying for Heavenly Father to allow us to see what they are doing really good and then helping them build on that. We were able to have some really inspiring exchanges and plan to have even more! Another goal we have is to help some of our investigators be baptized. 

I am really excited to see the temple dedication coming up! It sounds huge!! Thanks for working on that school stuff for me mom. Please wish Hannah and Gage Happy birthday for me this week! I have two other favors to ask you of you if you get the chance- 1. I need some ideas of activities that you can use in the home to help familys apply Gospel principles. For example those service bells we used to use, where you serve someone secretly and then leave the bells on their bed. Any creative or fun ideas? 2. I need some pictures to send in to the mission office but I sent alot of them home already, so I was wondering if you could send me as many baptismal pictures as you can (at least 7) and then at least 7 other pictures. Maybe a few funny ones or cool ones whatever works. Thank you so much mom!! You are the best! Love and miss you, -Elder Ripley

January 12, 2014

I am super excited to see the dedication! What day is it on? So is Grandma Velma moving in with Aunt Alice now? School started up last week right? Sounds like you are really keeping busy!
This last week we saw plenty of miracles. Two of which happened in our secondary area.
Things are going! Love and miss you mom!
-Elder Ripley
Let me know if I need to do anything for school registration! 

Hey Dad if you are there please answer as quick as you can! A member wants to know what the recipe is for those pizzelles because she absolutely loves them! Also, she wants to know what kind of machine you use to make them. Oh and I told her you make really good cherry pie as well so if you have any pie recipes you send over as well she would love that. Thanks so much! 

January 5, 2014

This week was another fantastic one! 
Sounds like everyone is keeping busy and working hard! Miss and love you all so much! If there is anything I need to do to take care of school stuff just let me know. Loves, Elder Ripley

Hey Dad, Sounds like you are doing pretty good at keeping busy over there. Can't wait to be there to help you out! Things are going great over here still. Lots of miracles, lots of great experiences that are helping me become the person the Lord would have me be. Hope you have another fantastic week! Love you, Elder Ripley

December 29, 2013

I hope everyone had a very merry christmas!! It didn't hit me in the moment, but afterwards I was thinking about Christmas day and I realized how memorable it really was. What an amazing opportunity it is to have a Christmas here in Taiwan serving the Taiwanese people. Everyone keeps asking what we did on Christmas and I think back and say.. "we taught English!" I believe we captured the true spirit of Christmas in devoting our entire Christmas day to service and sharing the Gospel without once thinking about ourselves. It really was a special Christmas! I am so grateful for the time I have spent here and how much I have changed and grown. Christmas really made me realize that life has been so much different and has allowed me to change and grow in ways I never would have been able to if I wasn't here. I have also developed an even greater appreciation for what an awesome family I have and have realized from a new perspective how much I love you all! 

Last weeks miracle was ANOTHER family just walked into the church! On saturday night we were here for a lesson and this family of 3 (mom dad and their son) walked right on into the church and said "hey we used to know some missionaries and we want to start coming to church!" How cool is that? The Lord is preparing so many people here I don't know if we can handle it! They came to church yesterday and on their way out the mom says to us "We chose the right place to come to today!" So SWEET! Oh man I am loving it so much here. 
Hope you have another fantastic week next week momma. Love and miss you! <3 Elder Ripley

December 16, 2013

This week was super awesome!!! Lots more miracles and cool experiences. Our investigators and the members we are working with all all doing great! We don't have a ton of time right now because we are working on some christmas cards for the ward leaders here right now and need to go help out but I will share a few experiences real quick. 
I'll share quickly one little experience that made a big difference for me this last week. -We were teaching a referral that had just recently started meeting with us and we were sharing the restoration. It was getting near the end of the lesson and my companion had just finished sharing testimony of the restoration and for a split second I kind of sat back and thought my companion had shared enough and we could go on to the end of the lesson, and then I scratched my side and my hand touched my badge and it just hit me right then, I am representing Christ and I need to take advantage of all of the time that I have to bear testimony of Him to all of my brothers and sisters in taiwan. The spirit prompted me strongly and I bore my testimony of Him right there! We invited him to be baptized and he accepted, and told us that he believes the first vision is true. Small miracle that meant the world to me.

Funny story- This last week I was contacting this guy at a park and there were a few little kids running around us playing that were his nephews. As we were talking one of the kids tries to snot rocket the boogers out of his nose but it just turned into two super long strings of snot hanging down from his nose, and he starts walking towards us bending over with his snot hanging down and yelling for his uncle to help him out. The uncle and I are just cracking up and he pulls out his phone and says dont move dont move I am going to take a picture! Yeah pretty disgusting but I was laughing so hard. Well hope you all had a great week and have an even better one this week! Love and miss you. -Elder Ripley

December 9, 2013

I totally remember saying that..haha I remember why too! I feel like I remember saying something about how movies are wrong because they always say I have two words for you- shut, up! But really shutup is just one word. Oh man I was a spaz for sure :D Thanks for putting up with me mom!
This past week was another exciting week for Elder Chia and I. While we were having a lesson with one of those families we are teaching, we had just finished teaching them about baptism and the son pipes up "can I be baptized?" So awesome! He even came to the baptism in jiayi last saturday too! We are making some really great progress with them. They are such a cute family and really willing to learn about the Gospel! We had movecall this last week but I will be staying here with Elder Chia! I was so relieved/ excited when move call came out, I was kind of scared I might move! I mean of course I was ready to go where the Lord wanted me to go but I was secretly praying to stay here. I am loving it!   Well we need to get going because we are going to go to  an aboriginee village place today, I will be sure and send some cool pics next week! Love and miss you mom! hope you have a great week! -Elder Ripley

You put up lights! Oh man I missed it! I will definitely have to help you throw some up next year as well. Take some good pictures for me! These last few weeks have been full of tons of miracles. I have noticed as I grow closer to the end of my mission how perfect the Lords plan for all of us is. He allows us to have the experiences we need in order to become the person He wants us to be. All we have to do is give it all to Him. If He is the center of all that we do than everything else will fall in place and we will live the life He wants us to live. I have learned so much on my mission and I know it will change my future so much!
Sounds like you guys are still havin aton of fun at home with that cat! I feel like she has gotten so much bigger! Sad to hear ASU got whooped...Who is going to take the national championship?
Well I hope you have a great week Dad! Love and miss you!