The Missionary Journal Of Kyle Martin Brunner 6430 Spanish Garden Court Las Vegas, Nevada 89110 Serving in the Taiwan Taichung Mission Volume 1 From 1 March 2000 to 28 February 2001 THE FIELD IS WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST (D&C 4:4) THOUGHTS BEFORE MY MISSION CALL CAME (MY TESTIMONY) I did not expect to be called to Taiwan because a good friend of mine, Brad Fish, is there now, but I know it is the Lord‟s will. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church today. I know that he lives today. I know Heavenly Father speaks to our prophet today. I have followed Moroni‟s promise and the Spirit has confirmed it. AND WHEN YE SHALL RECEIVE THESE THINGS, I WOULD EXHORT YOU THAT YE WOULD ASK GOD, THE ETERNAL FATHER, IN THE NAME OF CHRIST, IF THESE THINGS ARE NOT TRUE. (MORONI 10:4) PERSONAL HISTORY BORN: Las Vegas, Nevada 2 February 1981 FATHER: Karl Martin Brunner MOTHER: Marrae Allen Brunner BLESSED: Karl Martin Brunner 1 March 1981 Second Ward Las Vegas Central Stake BAPTIZED: Karl Martin Brunner 4 February 1989 Second Ward Las Vegas Central Stake CONFIRMED: Karl Martin Brunner 5 February 1989 Second Ward Las Vegas Central Stake ORDAINED DEACON: Karl Martin Brunner 7 February 1993 Frenchman Hills Ward Las Vegas Sunrise Stake ORDAINED TEACHER: Karl Martin Brunner February 1995 Frenchman Hills Ward Las Vegas Sunrise Stake ORDAINED PRIEST: Karl Martin Brunner 2 February 1997 Frenchman Hills Ward Las Vegas Sunrise Stake ORDAINED ELDER: Karl Martin Brunner 22 August 1999 Beverly Glen Ward Las Vegas Sunrise Stake ORDAINED HIGH PRIEST: PATRIARCHAL BLESSING: E. LeGrande Bindrup 30 March 1997 Frenchman Hills Ward Las Vegas Sunrise Stake SET APART FOR MISSION: Paul Thompson 28 February 2000 Beverly Glen Ward Las Vegas Central Stake ENDOWMENT: Las Vegas Temple 22 January 2000 SEALED IN TEMPLE: BEFORE AND AFTER 29 February 2000 FOR IF THEY HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE ME, AND HAVE FAITH IN ME, THEN WILL I MAKE WEAK THINGS BECOME STRONG UNTO THEM. (ETHER 12:27) LINE OF AUTHORITY I WAS ORDAINED AN ELDER BY Karl Brunner (High Priest) ON 22 August 1999 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Lee M. Earl (High Priest) ON 17 November 1985 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY William L. Taylor (High Priest) ON 18 August 1963 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Harold B. Lee (Apostle) ON 23 May 1948 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Heber J. Grant (Apostle) ON 10 April 1941 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Goerge Q. Cannon (Apostle) ON 16 October 1882 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Brigham Young (Apostle) ON 26 August 1860 WHO WAS ORDAINED BY Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris, Sidney Rigdon, Fredrich G. Williams (Apostles) ON 14 February 1835 WHO WERE ORDAINED BY Joseph Smith (Prophet) WHO RECEIVED HIS AUTHORITY FROM PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN; WHO RECEIVED THEIR AUTHORITY FROM JESUS CHRIST. AND NO MAN TAKETH THIS HONOUR UNTO HIMSELF, BUT HE THAT IS CALLED OF GOD, AS WAS AARON. (HEBREWS 5:4) THOUGHTS UPON BEING ORDAINED TO THE OFFICE OF ELDER It is a staggering thought to know that I hold the same priesthood as the prophet and as Peter, James, and John, which priesthood is still used today to work mighty miracles. I have felt the immediate and miraculous healing power of the priesthood in my life. I know that if I am faithful, I will magnify this power. I am now fully prepared to do all of the Lord‟s works. I WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR HEART, BY THE HOLY GHOST, WHICH SHALL COME UPON YOU AND WHICH SHALL DWELL IN YOUR HEART. (D&C 8:2) SET APART BY: President Paul Thompson DATE: 28 February 2000 RECORD OF WHAT WAS SAID: Brother Kyle Martin Brunner, in the name of Jesus Christ and by and with the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head and set you apart as a missionary to serve full time in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we set you apart to serve in the Taichung Taiwan mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for a period of two years. And we bless you, elder Brunner, at the end of that two-year period that you have been called for, that you will return home to your family, to your ward and to your stake to be honorably released as a full time missionary. And we feel impressed, elder Brunner, to bless you with some of the blessings that our Father in Heaven desires to pour out upon but know that there are many others that he wishes you to have that will not be verbalized this night. But as you live worthily, our Father in Heaven will pour them out upon you. We bless you with health and strength that you can go forth and do the things that our Father in Heaven would have you do as a missionary. And we bless you and promise you that nothing of a serious nature will affect you physically and will keep you for any length of time from going out to teach the people in Taiwan. We bless you with a love of those people of that nation and bless you that when the time comes for you to return home that your heart will be torn and in many ways you will desire to stay there and of course you will want to come home also to your family. But you will have a great love for those people and particularly for those you have the opportunity to teach and in many cases see come into the waters of baptism and become members of Christ‟s church. We bless you that you will have a great love for your mission president and his good wife and companion and we say to you to always follow his direction. Follow the mission rules that he establishes and we say to you as you live those mission rules as diligently as possible that you will have great joy and happiness, peace and contentment upon your mission, that we know that when missionaries do not follow the mission rules when they break them in some way, it brings despair, heartache, sorrow into their lives so again we encourage you to keep those rules and we bless you as you do again that you will have much joy in the service of our Lord. You have been taught well. You have been born of goodly parents. You have been taught in your home, and in church and in seminary and other places. You know well the gospel of Jesus Christ. There may be many things that you feel you have forgotten that you have learned over the years. We say to you that they are in the recesses of your mind. And we bless you that at the appropriate time, you will be able to call them forth and proceed forth to teach someone. And when a scripture will be helpful or a thought that you have learned, you will be able to recall those things and verbalize them for the benefit of those, which you will teach it. We bless you that you will have love for your companions and say to you that there will be some who, for whatever reason - your personalities may clash somewhat. But know that they are there to serve the lord as you are and try to overlook and overcome those things that might cause conflict, and go forth as a companionship as one with one goal to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and always remember that even though there may be conflicts, that transfers will not be too far away and a new companion will come too. That you then again can go forth in all diligence. Remember your family. Share your mission with them as much as possible. Follow the direction of your mission president as far as communication with your parents. Write often - as often as he allows you. They will miss you. They will be concerned about you. They will, each day, think about you remembering what has happened in your life that prepares you for coming into contact with teaching and remember how things were done. Share those things with them that they may enjoy this mission with you. We say to you too and counsel you to pray daily, morning and night, with your companion and individually. Study the scriptures. Do not just read them, but study them. Again in that way follow the direction of your mission president and as you do we bless you that even greater knowledge will come to you for the benefit of others that you have the opportunity to teach. We bless you that you will be able to learn the language and become fluent in a short period of time. That you will be able to again use that talent and skill to teach the people that you come in contact with. And we bless you elder that you will be able to teach many and that some will accept the gospel of Jesus Christ at that time and become members of the church. Others will not but we say to you that you will have planted a seed that others will come after you and harvest and even some will not accept the gospel then and be baptized on this earth. But when they have that opportunity beyond the vale, they will remember and accept and we say to you that each of those individuals either baptized here or beyond the vale will thank you and be grateful to you and beyond the vale will come to you to express their thanks and their love to you for the things which you did in their behalf to help them to come unto Christ's church. And many will introduce you to their posterity who have been sealed to them because of your initial efforts. Now elder we bless you with all things that our father in heaven would have you blessed with and know that they are many, but we say these things to you now, send you forth, do our Father in Heaven‟s will. And we say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. WHO WAS PRESENT: Mom, Dad, Theresa, Seth, Skyler, Karrae, Todd, Justin, Erika, and Shean THEREFOER, O YE THAT EMBARK IN THE SERVICE OF GOD, SEE THAT YE SERVE HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART, MIGHT, MIND AND STRENGTH (D&C 4:2) DATES Steven Hanks INTERVIEWED ME ON 30 October 1999 Wayne Anderson INTERVIEWED ME ON 31 October 1999 I RECEIVED MY CALL TO THE Taiwan Taichung Mission ON 18 December 1999 I WAS SET APART FOR MY MISSION BY: Paul Thompson ON 28 February 2000 MY MISSION CAL WAS HONORED IN SACRAMENT MEETING ON 20 February 2000 I RECEIVED MY ENDOWMENTS IN THE Las Vegas Temple ON 22 January 2000 I WAS IN THE MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER FROM 1 March 2000 TO 3 May 2000 I LEFT FOR THE MISSION FIELD ON United Airlines Flight 2377/845 ON 3 May 2000 ON 4 May 2000 I ARRIVED AT MISSION HEADQUARTERS AT 498-11 Wu Chuan Road. Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C. 台灣 404-15 台中市五權路 498-11 號 MY MISSION PRESIDENTS WERE Dennis Chai Han Kim & Linda Kim AND James Kent Larkin & Patricia Larkin MY FIRST BAPTISM WAS IN Hsihu 溪湖 ON 2 June 2000 I DID MY FIRST TRANCTING IN Hsihu 溪湖 ON 7 May 2000 I LEFT THE MISSION FIELD ON 26 February 2002 AND ARRIVED HOME ON 26 February 2002 I WAS RELEASED FROM MY MISSION BY Paul Thompson ON 26 February 2002 I REPORTED TO THE STAKE PRESIDENT AND COUNCIL ON 3 March 2002 MY HOMECOMMING WAS HELD AT Las Vegas Beverly Glen Ward ON 10 March 2002 COMPANIONS Spencer Chow 周啟明 1316 N. College Way, Ontario, CA MTC FROM 1 March 2000 TO 6 May 2000 Sidney John Krommenhoek 柯軼誠 411 East 100 South Pleasant Grove, UT North Hsihu 北溪湖 FROM 6 May 2000 TO 31 July 2000 Brad Hagen 甘謙陽 974 West 770 South Provo, UT 84601 North Hsihu 北溪湖 FROM 31 July 2000 TO 27 August 2000 Chris Huang 黃詠元 10290 Tula Lane, Cupertino, CA 95014 Wufeng 霧峰 FROM 28 August 2000 TO 6 November 2000 Michael Wright 衛嘉俊 4618 North 3800 West Morgan, UT 84050 Mission Office – East Taichung 傳道部 – 東區 FROM 6 November 2000 TO 4 February 2001 Nathan Eric Smith III 史學文 1578 East Fallbrook, Fresno, CA 93720 Mission Office – East Taichung 傳道部 – 東區 FROM 4 February 2001 TO 18 April 2001 IT IS ALSO WRITTEN IN YOUR LAW, THAT THE TESTIMONY OF TWO MEN IS TRUE. (JOHN 8:17) EXPERIENCES EXPERIENCE PAGE DATE Crazy Lady‟s Kiss 68 8 June 2000 “Look, kids, the angels have come.” 104.5 19 August 2000 POSITIONS AND CALLINGS POSITION FROM TO MTC District 58D/51D District Leader 9 April 2000 3 May 2000 Elder Sid Krommenhoek‟s Trainee 6 May 2000 31 July 2000 Elder Brad Hagen‟s Junior Companion 31 July 2000 28 August 2000 Elder Chris Huang‟s Junior Companion 28 August 2000 6 November 2000 Mission Secretary 6 November 2000 6 May 2001 Office Leader 6 November 2000 6 May 2001 WHEREFORE, NOW LET EVERY MAN LEARN HIS DUTY, AND TO ACT IN THE OFFICE IN WHICH HE IS APPOINTED, IN ALL DILIGENCE. (JOHN 8:17) ORDINANCES ORDINANCE NAME OF PERSON PLACE DATE Confirmation (Standing in) Wu XuChang Hsihu 溪湖 4 June 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Wu Xu ShuFen Hsihu 溪湖 4 June 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Chen ZhiMing Hsihu 溪湖 18 June 2000 Baptism Wu LingQin Hsihu 溪湖 9 July 2000 Baptism Chen YiShan Hsihu 溪湖 9 July 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Yang SiTing Hsihu 溪湖 30 July 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Lin ZhengYi Hsihu 溪湖 26 August 2000 Confirmation (Standing in)Lin Yang FeiFeng Hsihu 溪湖 26 August 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Lin YanRu Hsihu 溪湖 26 August 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Lin YanTing Hsihu 溪湖 26 August 2000 Confirmation (Standing in) Huang Xin Wufeng 霧峰 5 November 2000 NAMES AND ADDRESSES NAME ADDRESS Wu XuChang & Xu ShuFen 2 June 2000 (04) 885-2886 Chen ZhiMing (Chen JunPeng) 17 June 2000 0920363250 (04) 881-5173 Wu LingQin 9 July 2000 0920605558 (04) 882-9997 Chen YiShan 9 July 2000 0921363250 (04) 882-9997 Wu ShengShi 15 July 2000 (04) 885-6220 Yang SiTing 30 July 2000 (04) 881-2739 Lin ZhengYi, Yang FaiFeng, YanRu, & YanTing 26 August 2000 (04) 885-1400 Chen WanYi 9 September 2000 (04) 2332-3056 Chen Zhou RiChun 16 September 2000 (04) 2332-4884 Dai QiuLan 23 September 2000 (04) 2333-9612 Hong XiuHua 21 October 2000 (04) 2330-8552 Liu ZheLun 21 October 2000 0952716514 (04) 2330-4028 Yan ChengLiang 18 November 2000 (04) 2212-6347 Lai KunBin 3 February 2000 0928484760 (04) 2220-4720 HOW GREAT WILL BE YOUR JOY IF YOU SHOULD BRING MANY SOULS UNTO ME! (D&C 18:16) SUMMARY OF WHAT MY MISSION COST DESCRIPTION RECEIVED SPENT Missionary Journal (Steve & Tina) 20 February 2000 Gift Missionary Journal Vol.2 7 March 2000 $30 5 Piece Luggage 25 December 1999 Gift 4 Passport Photos 21 December 1999 $18.13 Passport 21 December 1999 $45 Immunizations 21 December 1999 $15 London Fog Overcoat 1 January 2000 $165 2 Double Pants Suits 1 January 2000 $400 Rockport Slip on Shoes 1 January 2000 $100 Rockport Tie up Shoes 1 January 2000 $100 Contacts 20 January 2000 $203 Glasses 26 January 2000 $35 Typhoid Immunization 9 February 2000 $40 Garments 22 January 2000 $98 Plastic Rain Coat 1 January 2000 $45 10 Short Sleeve Shirts 28 December 1999 $100 2 Long Sleeve Shirts 28 December 1999 $20 Pajamas 25 February 2000 $16 2 Flat Twin Sheets 25 February 2000 $7 2 Pillow Cases 25 February 2000 $5 Digital Camera 25 December 1999 Gift NiMHi Batteries and Recharger (for camera) 28 February 2000 $50 Shoe Shine Kit 28 December 1999 $8 12 Pair Dress Socks 28 December 1999 $30 Shoulder Bag 2 March 2000 $27 Mandarin CTR Ring 7 March 2000 $20 Bicycle 8 May 2000 $150 Gift Money: Robbs 20 February 2000 $30 Lowes 20 February 2000 $30 Brummetts 20 February 2000 $20 Steve & Tina 20 February 2000 $50 Grandma & Grandpa Brunner 20 February 2000 $50 Roses 20 February 2000 $25 Austins 29 February 2000 $100 IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. (JOHN 14:15) REFLECTIONS UPON BEING RELEASED (MY TESTIMONY) I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. (2 TIMOTHY 4:7) Excellence Can Be Attained If You . . . Care More Than Others Think Is Wise. Risk More Than Others Think Is Safe. Dream More Than Others Think Is Practical. Expect More Than Others Think Is Possible. ~ Grandma Naylor‟s Plaque 1 March 2000 Mom, Dad and I went to the temple yesterday. I really enjoy the peace I feel there. We stayed in the Best Suits Inn. We woke up at 8:00 and called Grandma Naylor and Becky and arranged to eat lunch at Brick Oven Pizza with Sister Austin. Nathan, Ryan, Jerryn and Shealyn came as well. We had a lot of fun. When I got to the MTC, we found Jennifer, Voshco and Danny waiting for me. Dad helped me with my things as they ushered us down the hallway to the orientation room. We sang songs, listened to the speakers, almost cried a lot, and then I continued down the hallway after the meeting for more paperwork. I had to get shots for Hep A & B even though the people at the „Vegas Health Office said they weren‟t due and would not be effective until June and later in March. I met Elder Chow in my dorm – like room. His mother is Native American and his father is Chinese. He will be a great companion. At dinner, I saw Perry Adams, my cousin once or twice removed. It turns out that he is in Robert Deaver‟s district. I sent him a message yesterday and when Perry got it he did not know who I was, but Robert said I sent it to the wrong person. We met our branch - district presidency. They are great men. I learned today to: STUDY, READ, WORK, AND SERVE Serve someone until you love them and then you will love to serve them. Have companionship prayer. Commit to obey the rules. “If you need to say „just joking,‟ don‟t say it.” Watch my behavior and speech. “The purpose of your being here is to learn honest, complete, and voluntary obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~S. Dilworth Yong I also found out that I accidentally left all of my garments and my towel at home. 2 March 2000 Today, I wrote home for my garments and also purchased two pair at a distribution room in the MTC. We learned a lot of Mandarin today and received our Chinese names. Mine is 步 pronounced BÙ. At lunch, I met an Elder Bronner from German decent. His great grandfather fought in World War I and then moved to Brazil. I guess their family originated around Hess, Germany. I said my meal prayers in mandarin today and that is a neat experience. I cannot wait to be able to speak the language easily. It is great fun and I know the Lord is blessing me with understanding and faith in the work. 3 March 2000 Free time this morning was spent studying the language and the Book of Mormon. We had a large meeting where we learned to pray always. Pray for everything and anything. Pray in our hearts. I have already applied this since I used it at school constantly especial for tests. I saw Jake Lloyd and another Elder from my BYU ward. I have now seen everyone from BYU at lunch or dinner from my ward. I love to learn Mandarin and try to use it everywhere. I really can see the Lord blessing me, but I often have a hard time recognizing the Spirit as it comes. I see afterwards that it must have been there. Sometimes I just feel numb and that scares me. I want to do as my patriarchal blessing says and allow the Spirit to guide my every thought and deed. I received an email from home saying that they found my garments. Dad thought it was very funny. Nathan also wrote and said he missed me and that he hoped I was doing well. I am trying to follow all rules, but sometimes I get close to the line. That is ok as long as I am always getting better. 4 March 2000 Today was our first full day of work. On every other day, we had some personal time, but we spent most of the time studying and learning the language. I think today I began to feel the Spirit and recognize it as it came and testified to me. I sometimes get a feeling of goose bumps – like awakening that moves all though me as I realize that someone or something is teaching truth. I am beginning to say all of my prayers in Mandarin now. I hope to be able to speak mostly in Mandarin before I leave in May. 5 March 2000 Today I found that shampoo had dripped onto my baptismal pants. I had to spend the morning cleaning off shampoo and there is a pink tint where the shampoo was. I hope that it comes out when I do laundry. The day was wonderful and sacrament was especially touching. 6 March 2000 In gym, I run for about ten minutes and then try to do gymnastics. A lot of elders and sisters are impressed that I can stand and walk on my hands. We continue to learn more and more of the language, almost before we can get the previous lessons completed. I know that the only way to learn at this pace is though complete reliance on the Lord and the Spirit. Mom and Dad did send up my garments. I was so grateful to have them. I was out of the ones I had brought up. Nathan sent me an email saying that Elder Fish was having a hard time in Taiwan. My thoughts and heart go out to him and I want to write him a letter. Brad Fish has been one of my best friends for many years. It pains me to think that He might be having a hard time. I wrote my roommates a letter about MTC life. I felt very happy and we had a lot to share. I have noticed some elders that do not take their calling very seriously. They do not follow all of the rules exactly and they seem not to care that they are here on the Lord‟s time. I do not want to be judgmental, so I try to remember that everyone has had different backgrounds and situations and each f us is here to learn how we can best serve the Savior. 7 March 2000 Elder Neal A. Maxwell spoke to us for devotional. The Spirit of the meeting was quite strong and he spoke of what we will find on our missions. Our contacts and converts will range from those who are almost persuaded like Agrippa to those who are well prepared to receive the message. We are to think and act every moment as if we could be the only Mormon a person meets in this life. They should see, behold, hear and know that we are representatives and ambassadors of Christ. We must follow his council to “Do not let our old selves hold our new selves hostage.” The talk was wonderful and all of us were uplifted by it. Focus on Families when possible. Charity, Love “See things as they really are and as they really will be.” ~ Jacob 8 March 2000 TRC is the training center we use to speak the language and practice skills we are learning. I worked in the observation and feedback section, which means I helped people critique themselves while watching their work on videotape. I really like the program. We have been talking about love and charity for a while. I want to be able to do some service for my district each day to express that. I really have started to love them. Elder Hendrix has started to learn Spanish from me, but I think another missionary would be more suited. We go to the temple tomorrow afternoon. I cannot wait to see it. 9 March 2000 The temple was one of the best sessions I have ever been to. While we sat in the session, I wondered what part of the robes and cap were representative of. I really wanted to know and asked Heavenly Father. In the Celestial Room, I remembered that one of the members of my district wanted to tell us something about the temple. When he told us, it was the answer to my question. I know the Lord guided us all in our thoughts. I thanked him for answering my prayer. The Lord truly tells us all things that we should know if we ask in faith. I love going to the temple. I feel a peace and joy that cannot be found anywhere else. As it snowed, Elder Chow and I took pictures. I also found Elder Robert Deaver and my cousin, Elder Perry Adams, taking pictures. We all took pictures together and went on to dinner. It was neat to have snow. 10 March 2000 My first P-day turned out to be a P-45 minutes. After scrubbing toilets and doing laundry, I did not have much time left. The MTC make us clean once a week to help us gain appreciation for clean facilities. The members of my district are Elder Chow, Elder Woolsey, Elder Hendrix, Elder Russell, Elder Perry, Elder Eldridge, Elder Dewitt, Elder Garcia, and Elder Koerner. Elder Koerner‟s father was the last mission president of Taichung. Elder Hendrix‟s father assisted the Chinese ambassador. Both of them knew Mandarin before coming. We usually eat together and we do a lot of fun things and play a lot of games after class and before bed. These are things like word games, little basketball – language review games, and then we just joke around. I got Mom and Dad‟s letter today. Mom wants to hear all about my ups and downs. I am finding it hard to write except on Sundays. A lot of us have thought of family or friends we want to write to and invite to come back or to the gospel. I have already sent a letter to Mrs. Anne that included a copy of my farewell talk and my testimony I hope she takes it well. 11 March 2000 I have seen Zen Rookhyzen twice since he arrived. I see Robert Deaver and Perry Adams a lot more often. I think the difference is that our schedules do not correspond to Zen‟s. I really love the spirit and feeling my teachers bring to class. They constantly inspire me to do better. I want to become perfect in obeying mission and MTC rules. I know I can do it if I start from now. I know I will be blessed if I do and if I can listen to the spirit. 12 March 2000 I cried today for the first time in a very long while. In district meeting, one of the counselors taught us about the atonement and justice and mercy. The point was driven home that no matter what we suffer or are asked to suffer for, Christ has descended below it. Many missionaries loose family and friends while they teach. I thought about the members of my family and what could happen to them. I know that I would have a hard time if anything would happen, but this mission must come first. I remember Theresa, how we used to play together, how we have grown together. When she had a problem, she could come and I would listen. When each of us needed love, we would share a hug. If we were down, the other could lift us. Seth always looked to me. He wanted to share my experiences and take time to be together. He always asked me for help and guidance. When I needed, he supported me. Skyler can be in a state of intense fury, love, or playfulness. I relate well with what he goes through. At times he needs a lot of love, but at other times, he touches my life. We have a bond that transcends all things. Karrae loves having older brothers and sisters to so things for her. She is becoming quite an artist. When she needs comforting, sometimes she comes to me and we talk. She is always looking for something to do together. Todd is becoming more and more independent. He loves sports and activities and he comes to me for help with any problems. He loves to help others do things and he constantly seeks for knowledge and learning. Justin knows exactly what he is doing every minute3 of the day and when he puts his mind to it, nothing will stop him. When he needs a friend or bodyguard, he looks to me first. He tries to always be happy and share it with the rest of us. Erika can be as determined and demanding as a tyrant. She is so intense in living life that she makes everyone else glad too. She never walks anywhere and she will not speak without making sure everyone can hear her. Whenever she had anything broken or in need of repair, she would ask me to fix it. When I came home from school or whatever, it was like the highlight of her day. Sometimes we would just sit and play together or sit and watch movies or else she would just come and sit with me. Shean also has a will of his own. He loves to play ball and drive cars (his 4-wheeler). He has a face and laugh when he is happy that dissolves any other dark thoughts or feelings and fills my soul with joy. He too comes to me to find things to do and looks for me to come home. Mom waits for me to come home so she can talk with me. She loves to find ways to do things together. She often tells me about the other‟s wants, needs, and problems and she comes to me for help. She has always taught me the right things to do. I am not sure how she could be a better mother Dad spends a lot of his time working for our benefit. He has taught me many things about life that I will remember and use. He always came with me to go camping or hiking if he could. He always shared his knowledge of the gospel when appropriate. He looks to me for help in some things and I always look to him for advice and guidance. I love my family very much, but I do not covet their companionship. If the Lord required it, I would give them up for his service. If trials should come and the Lord called one of them home, I would press forward with a brightness of hope knowing that we will meet again when my work in this life is done. Above all, I know the savior endured more than I ever will in this life and so I dedicate all I have to him. 13 March 2000 I did not spend my time wisely in studying the scriptures and gospel. As a result, the spirit was not as strong in one of our classes and everyone felt it. It was not just me, everyone felt as if they had not used their time as they ought and some expressed feelings of monotony. I have not felt that way yet. The classes and events here still hold my attention and uplift me. We had prayer as a district together. Then, Elder Garcia put on a shadow puppet show. He made great impressions of the Lockness Monster, Yoda, a dog and rabbit fight, a King Cobra, and a few other things. He also does a great Kermit the Frog voice for anything from “The Rainbow Connection” to Chinese. We have a lot of fun. Grandma and Grandpa sent me a box of cinnamon buns and rolls and a letter. They were very good and the email was in reply to a question about the name Bronner, an Elder Bronner I met in food line a couple of weeks ago. His family was from Germany originally, but had settled in Brazil. 14 March 2000 At devotional, we learned the reasons for the most basic doctrines that we must teach to those who do not know of God as we know him. We learned of the fall and of fallen men. The difference being that because of these things, we will die spiritually and temporally and therefore, Christ‟s atonement is necessary. I received a letter form Brad. He wrote it on the 19th of February, but it just got here. He wished me luck and told me about Taiwan and wanted me to write back. The funny thing is that I sent him a letter last week with everything he wanted to know. I cannot wait to be able to swap stories with him. A lot of the missionaries make tapes to send home. Elder Koerner asked me to pretend to be Bill Clinton‟s nephew and to tell my conversion story [To his family]. I told her [his mother] a little about Las Vegas and then gave it back. It would be neat to send tapes home to my family. 15 March 2000 At the Training Resource Center, Elder Chow, Elder Dewitt and I were together. We taught a “nonmember” a scripture, got acquainted, and prayed. Actually, the person was pretending to have no notion of God and we had to help her feel the Spirit by introducing ourselves as missionaries, getting to know her, sharing a scripture, having a prayer and sharing our testimony all in Mandarin. The fact that we were somewhat successful is proof of the Lord‟s influence on us and the work. 16 March 2000 At the temple, we went to a session with a different video presentation. It was very interesting. Then we did laundry even though our allotted time is on Thursday. The peace and love at the temple has a profound effect on me. I find myself to be more grateful and loving of others. I am glad we are able to have a temple so close for us to go to. P-day will turn out to be a lot of free time because I did laundry after the temple. I look forward to using the time to write and read and study. 17 March 2000 For service, I was in charge of using the hose to wash everything down. It was a lot of fun and I think I like that job best. Grandpa sent me a letter telling me that he got the picture I took of Perry Addams and me standing in the snow with out friends. He continues to call me Karl Martin Brunner on the address. I am not sure why. Dad also wrote and said he will send the pictures I asked him to print. I think my camera is going to work very well for the next two years. I spent my free time writing to Theresa. Each of my letters home have been addressed to individuals, but are for everyone. I also sent home a spare name badge that I bought. 18 March 2000 I have come down with some sickness that has given me a soar throat. This morning I was fine, but by dinner I could hardly talk. Luckily, Mom sent a lot of the Sunrider products I need up with me so I have been able to take care of myself. Mandarin is getting easier and easier to speak. I know almost all of the vocabulary and the sentence structure is getting easier. In class, Elder Chow and I were split up so that our district could practice teaching another district. Elders Woolsey and Russell and I were able to talk clearly and quickly and deliver our message it was great fun. 19 March 2000 At dinner, I met Elder Jared Brunner who is going to San Antonio Texas. He arrived here on 8 March 2000. His home address is 8181 Clover Way, Buena Park, California 90620. Neither of us had met anyone that had spelled our last name the same but were not family members. Actually, we do not know if we are related or not. I wrote home to ask grandpa to find out. Elder Brunner pronounces his name like B+runner. We switched name tags for fun. I cannot help but wonder if the Lord is getting me to know of these people for a reason (Elders Bronner & Brunner). I think I will write a letter to his family. That would be interesting to witness on their end. He was very friendly and excited to get to know me. I wonder if we will meet again. 20 March 2000 It snowed yesterday and last night. All the ground is white and beautiful. Last night, elder Woolsey and some others decided to put cookies in my bed. All this week, they have been putting eggs, fruit garbage, and other things in each other‟s beds. At least elder Woolsey helped me clean it out. Someone also put Tiger Balm (same as sunbreeze, but not from Sunrider) on my deodorant. Elder Woolsey felt bad and cleaned it off before I found out. It is good that the Lord has helped me to retain love for them and not to get angry because of their pranks. I have never felt so calm and peace. Elder Chow wanted to set a time for a haircut today. He got tired of telling us he was leaving, so he went off without telling me. Right after he left, we were ready to go and I went after him. I was disturbed that he would leave me. I did not find him and returned to wait. It turns out that he went with Koerner and Perry, so that was good. We talked about it and I asked him to make sure the DL knew next time. I was in a bad mood until we talked and after I prayed, it just lifted off of me like a shroud. 21 March 2000 Elder Chow and I went to the Social Security Office to get his Social Security Number fixed. As we waited for the shuttle, I helped open the doors for people and a lot of them said “he elders.” Many people also honked as they drove by and said he. I have waited my whole life to hear that, but did not realize it until it happened. It felt good to realize that others recognize me as a full time representative of the church. Nathan Austin received his call to Bilbao Spain. He comes here on 26 July 2000. 22 March 2000 Grandma and Grandpa Naylor sent me two letters telling me that they left for their mission yesterday. They were very excited and wished me luck. I cannot wait to share our experiences. At Training Resource Center, I did not need any notes and I was able to talk and converse on things I never thought of before. It is great fun to do TRC. 23 March 2000 At the temple, Elder Chow and I participated in sealings. We were only allowed (as missionaries) to be witnesses or “sons.” We took turns and spent 3 ½ hours doing work. It was fun and informative. I did not know the blessings given in a sealing. The sealing rooms are beautiful and ornate. The mirrors are turned just right so that you can see “forever.” At the temple, I also remembered just the last line of a story about missionary work. Two boys were waiting to come down to earth and they were talking to each other about their families. One boy was going to the Rocky Mountains to a family in the church. The other was not. Just before parting, the non-member boy turns to the other and says “find me.” As I thought about it, the words “find me” Just kept repeating in my head and I felt excited and full of goose bumps. I cannot help but think that I am going to Taiwan to find someone in particular and maybe quite a few someones. 24 March 2000 I was the squeegee man for service today. It was a lot of fun. Everyone with me started stomping and sweeping in rhythms and we had an improvisation number in each room. It was a lot of scraping, pounding, and hitting, but it sounded neat. On one floor, we just used the brushes and our voices. We all felt that it was not really service, just play time with a specific goal in mind. I just bought a new tape recorder. Everyone else has one and likes to talk to their families. In class, Elder Chow and I taught the first discussion. It was a neat experience because the testimonies that everyone shared were very uplifting and edifying. The Spirit was with us. 25 March 2000 I started making a tape (Click here for audio file) for home. On it, I introduced each member of my district and talked a little about the MTC. Most of it is light-hearted and not serious. Dad will probably save a copy of it on computer for me when I get home. I have started to notice that I do not remember some experiences very well and when I relate them, I do not know if I am telling the truth. Starting now, I do not want to tell any more tales that I am unsure of. I also want to catch myself before I make degrading or bad comments. I hope to learn to love. I want to obey the rules exactly. I want to be a representative of Christ in all things. 26 March 2000 Four of us have decided not to speak English again if we can avoid it. Hopefully we can all live up to it. Brother Allen spoke at the fireside. He taught us that our memory is a muscle and we have to exercise it. When we do, by memorizing scripture, the Spirit can then call these things to our minds when we need. He also told us to find out how to hear the Spirit. Experimenting will help. Trust even the most odd of promptings and see what happens. Sometimes the Spirit can feel like a comforter, thoughts and impressions, a quaking of your body, and cause you to be exhausted. It was a wonderful lesson we learned. He brought the Spirit powerfully to the meeting. 27 March 2000 Brother Sell, our morning teacher challenged us to learn all of the vocabulary for the discussions before we leave in May. Only a few have been able to memorize all forty pages. I know with the Lord‟s help, anything is possible. John Aedo, my BYU roommate sent me a letter and box of cookies. It was exciting to hear from him. I miss playing around with them, but I love learning the language here and the gospel. 28 March 2000 At devotional, I sang in the choir. We practiced on Sunday and I sent home the tape I made of “How Great Thou Art.” All of the elders in my district thought it was great and they congratulated us a lot on our performance (Elder Hendryx and I). Elder Richard E. Cook spoke on being good missionaries. We must be obedient, discern the Spirit, work hard, and develop Christ-like attributes. We must use our leverage of scriptures and blessings to become powerful missionaries. I purchased a small notebook for a scripture journal along with a blue version of this journal and some more filler paper. Without it, I would not have enough room for my whole mission. Therefore, like Nephi, I make a record of my days upon these papers, but a record of the more scriptural things of my proceedings on my smaller papers. 29 March 2000 Behold, it came to pass that I did begin to reckon my time according to my days of Service to the Lord this being the first month and the twenty-ninth day of that service. Now I shall show unto you that the Lord has indeed blessed me because of my efforts. For on this day, the commencement of the fifth week of my dedicated service, a decree hath gone forth in the land of my district insomuch that is generally forbidden to speak except in Mandarin. Now because of my small understanding and weakness of speech (and slowness of tongue), this did worry me insomuch that I did call upon the Lord for strength and knowledge. And I bare record that he hath blessed me this day with understanding of tongues to the effect that I was able to converse somewhat and share my thoughts on scriptures during class. And again the Savior of my soul did bless me with imparting of his Spirit when my brethren and I were called upon to give a blessing to Elder Koerner. Behold, we did read scripture together and bare witness of his work upon which time we did sing and pray I his name that we might be guided in his work. I know he is with me; therefore, I have knowledge of his help and love. And this is the message I hope to deliver unto those I serve. 30 March 2000 And it came to pass that on this thirtieth day, there was much snow on the ground by morning and it did continue to snow until I did go with my brethren unto the Mountain of the Lo9rd known to the saints as the House of the Lord. There I did learn and give all of the necessary tokens to enter into the rest of the Lord. My soul delighteth in the service of my fellow man. Now behold, after I descended from the Mountain of the Lord, I did go and meet with the “Butcher of the MTC” so that I might conform to commandments of the Lord which says a missionary‟s hair should be of short, conservative style. And thus it was. Amen. 31 March 2000 During Book of Mormon sharing time, I felt as if I did a lot of talking, especially in response to other‟s questions. I felt almost as if I stifled the discussion because I did not ask for other‟s opinions after I had given my own. For the next share and later, I want to truly find out other‟s feelings and beliefs before I state my own in a way that might be too matter – of – factly. For Conference, my district will sit in overflow for two sessions and in the main hall for the other three. We are all so excited for it. The thing I will miss most is not being able to listen to Dad‟s conference CD‟s in his car with him. Because of the, I have nearly memorized the sessions of conference from the last two years. These are starting to fade from my memory, however. I plan on writing as much as I can down in my smaller papers so that I might have them to refer to for talks in the next two years. 1 April 2000 After thinking about my journals I decided to buy a separate journal for Conference and devotionals. Therefore, I now write in three papers, these, my large papers, my first small papers for the purpose of preserving my thoughts on scripture, and my second small papers for the purpose of preserving the thoughts I have had as I listen to the prophets. As we listened, I learned many things. I hope to be able to follow the council of the prophet and use these things in my life. The first presidency made a movie called a Special Witness of Christ. Each member of the twelve and first presidency bear testimony of different parts of the life of Christ it was very touching and spiritual. 2 April 2000 Conference was wonderful again. President Hinckley bore his testimony along with all of the other speakers. The stories told and the talks were just fun to listen to. All of the quorum of the twelve and the first presidency talks were fun to listen to. I love to hear these prophets speak. They are inspired and give guidance. 3 April 2000 Mom sent the caramel I asked her to make. It sure does taste good. I shared with the rest of my district. In class, Brother Sells, (Shi4 Lao Shi4), is having us learn the Mandarin version of “Faith in Every Footstep.” The harmony is great and it gets better each time we practice. Eventually, we will sing it for other Mandarin districts before we leave. During a class conversation, in Mandarin, I was surprised how much I was able to understand and to say. It is exciting to experience and we have a re-tried to dedicate ourselves to only speak Mandarin. I love it. I want to work harder. 2003.1.19 Going back over this now, it is funny to read the Chinese words I tried to spell using Romanization. I usually got the right sound, but, like above, I was often way off on the tone. My teacher‟s name should have been Shi1 Lao3 Shi1 (Teacher Shi). 4 April 2000 Edward J. Pinegar spoke at devotional. He was lively and full of jokes. He taught us to follow the examples of the four sons of King Mosiah and seek always for the spirit. So far, we have not done well on our commitment to speak only Mandarin. Once we get out of our grove, it is far from easy to go back. We just have to keep trying. Dad sent me a letter about the sons of Mosiah as well. He also talked about his own experiences going out of the country for business. He has been all over the world, but only speaks English. As he goes, he is filled with gratitude for the blessings and freedoms of this country. When I go for two years, there will come a time when my home will be in two places. I hope that I will hate to leave. I want to do all I can and have no regrets. 5 April 2000 At Training Resource Center, Elder Chow and I taught the first discussion. It went well, except that we had a hard time understanding them. The first teaching experience was kind of rocky and I did most of the talking. Elder Chow thought we had worked it out before we went, but I had not paid much attention. The second time, I followed the plan and things went a lot better. I have done very well at speaking only Mandarin. I hope to keep it up. 6 April 2000 President Hinckley was very funny at the Palmyra Dedication type temple (that is almost Chinese word order). The spirit was very strong and I felt as if the Lord were right there to accept the prayer. Some satellites were malfunctioning, so only a few locations in North America actually saw it. The MTC was one of them. The endowment session was also a good experience. At Teaching Experience, we had to teach “investigators” the first discussion in Mandarin. Our experience was very good, even though we often did not fully know what the discussions were saying. At the end, one of the real investigators (some are real, some are fake) bore her testimony. I only caught a few works, but I asked the Lord to let me feel it. As she talked, the thoughts came into my mind that she had a different experience tonight and wanted to be baptized. I dismissed them as hope, but afterward, I was told that is what she really did say. I know the spirit was speaking tome, but it was different than any time I remember before. Before and while the thoughts came, I also thought about my own feelings. I felt peace and happy. Next time I will look for those feelings and know the spirit is with me. Anyway, during the dedication, I was reminded often of my trip with mom and dad to the Sacred Grove. I remember being at the Hill Cumorah and in the Grove how strong the spirit and feelings of peace and happiness were. 7 April 2000 In class today, I was able to identify feeling the spirit. As we talked, we talked about keeping the Sabbath Holy. I felt peace and understanding of the things we talked about and as each new idea came into the conversation, I felt that it was true. I thought about these feelings and thought it could be the spirit, then the teacher asked us which of us were feeling the spirit as we talked. Half of us or more raised our hands. I felt good about class. At first, I did not like the way the substitute taught, but I decided to just listen and learn, and that opened me up to the spirit. 8 April 2000 Dad sent a tape with the whole family talking on it. Shean and Erika kept talking into it as if I should answer back. Many neighbors also talked and wanted me to write or tape something they could hear too. In class, I shared the story of Nephi‟s bow as an example of where I could improve on patience. As Nephi‟s brothers and father and family murmured because of a lack of food, many here, including myself sometimes, complain about the food. When and if we are not grateful, we become impatient. If we humble ourselves, then we can over look small things and become more patient. Brother Nelson, Yan4 Lao4 Shi4, agreed with me and reinforced my invitation to become more grateful and patient because of his experiences in other Asian countries. 2003.1.19 Here again the tones of the Chinese are off a bit. The teacher‟s name was Yan2 Lao3 Shi1 (Teacher Yan). 9 April 2000 I was called to be District Leader. My former District Leader is going to fulfill the place of the former Assistant to the President. The former AP is going to his field this week sometime. I also bore my testimony in testimony meeting. Part of what I said is that I had asked myself if I would change anything that I have been doing as a missionary now that I am District Leader. I hope the answer would be no. Hopefully, throughout my whole mission the answer to that question will still be no. At devotional, we learned that people will remember us for something. Let us decide what that is now and work for it. 10 April 2000 And now I proceed to make an account of my doings. Now therefore, this being the tenth day of the second month of my service, I have somewhat to say concerning my actions and the actions of my district. For, under a desire of Elder Koerner, we removed the top bunk from off his bed to the top bunk of Elder Hendrix‟s bed thus making a stack of three beds and a single bed. Now behold, this was contrary to the singular liking of our room inspectors, therefore are we required to remedy said situation. And thus we see that although there are many diverse ways and methods of entertaining ourselves while within these great training grounds, not all can enjoy our simple pleasures. We must, therefore, commit to using wise disgression in future endeavors. 11 April 2000 Brother Seastrand from home and Dad sent letters to me. The first was a kind of newsletter about each of my friends. They seem to be doing will. The letter from Dad was about the Hosanna Shout at temple dedications It said or rather quoted general authorities saying that angels join the shout as it reaches up to the throne in Heaven. Hosanna means save now. The whole article was interesting. At devotional, we learned about different kinds of “taters.” Spec-tators, anticipi-tators, many-other tators, and participi-tators. Each of these were different kinds of members involved in missionary work. They were potatoes in dress-up. We also learned to cherish our testimony for it is power and by bearing and serving, we can obtain forgiveness of mistakes. 12 April 2000 We have flight plans now. I will be the travel leader which means I get to assign and be responsible for companionships and missionaries going to my mission. We will leave at 8:30 on May 3 and arrive at 6:40 on May 4. At Training Resource Center, Elder Chow and I were supposed to ask “members” for referrals. On our second chance, we finished early and knocked again saying that we were now checking yup on what we had asked them to do at our last meeting. It was funny and we had a good laugh as we improvised on getting a new appointment to teach with them. 13 April 2000 At the temple, I did an endowment session. On the [way] there, we say an older man sitting on the grass with his cats. Elder Koerner has an affection for cats, so he stopped and watched for a few seconds. The thought came to me that since he loved cats, he should probably talk to the man. Then I thought that if he did, he would hold us up and . . . I was actually surprised when he did not talk to the man. At the temple, he found ha had forgotten his recommend and had to go back to his room. He said afterward that he had felt a prompting on the way back to talk to the man and so he did. He still does not know why. I hope to be able to recognize promptings better in the future and follow them. At Teaching Experience, Elder Chow and I taught up to the third principle. It was fun to understand and speak with the investigator. We had to solve or help her resolve some questions about Heavenly Father and the Plan, but it went well. 14 April 2000 I really enjoy being the hoser for service. All I do is spray soap on and rinse it off of the floor and shower. We can usually finish in half to ¾ an hour with five of us working and cleaning three or four bathrooms. Teaching Experience last night has made me excited to stuffy more, but it is hard to get up an hour early and sometimes the words just do not stick in my mind. 15 April 2000 In our second class, we were all a little tired and not very enthusiastic about learning. Our teacher, Yan2 Lao3 Shi1 or Brother Nelson, let us talk about different things for an hour. Afterward, we talked about why. He wants to prepare us for being our own teachers and responsibility. He views himself as and instrument in our hands to do as we want. It is up to us to get and do what we need. I love this Brother Nelson because of his spirituality and all he brings and teaches to us. If we could use him, we could learn more in a shorter time than else where. I hope we can change how we treat the class. 16 April 2000 Elder Deaver, Adams and I took pictures and talked on tapes after the fireside. They leave on Tuesday. At the Fireside, President and Sister Edman spoke of Temples. It was great. The purpose of Temples is to ensure eternal families. Their adopted son would have been nineteen now, but he died at eighteen in a car accident. Their story was very touching and the spirit was incredibly strong. I know temples have a real purpose and are true. 17 April 2000 Classes were better. We stayed more focused and had a lot of fun. We finished a lot too. Part of the difference is that now, when someone is tired they can stand up in class. It adds more energy and keeps us awake. I am happy with my progression so far, but it seems like I am coming up against walls and mental blocks. It is hard to remember the words I learn. I will try to ask the Lord to help more often. Elder Chow and I have been doing well, but he does have a hard time with rules. I hope he well learn to obey soon. I hope I will also learn to obey better and know how [to] handle situations that may come up. That will require the Lord‟s help. 18 April 2000 Mom and Dad sent a package up with Aunt Lou [who came] to get Brent from BYU. I think she (Lou) also included some cookies and an Easter Basket of candy. Mom sent my luggage hooks and more Sunrider. My roommates think it is all weird, but some is good. At devotional, we sang “As I View the Wondrous Cross.” It was incredible [and] about Christ‟s Atonement. The speakers were Bishop and Sister Edgely of the Presiding Bishopric (1st counselor). They talked on missionary work and stressed faith in the Lord‟s help. It was awesome. Their stories were very inspirational. 19 April 2000 At TRC, Elder Chow and I had to teach as much of the second principle as we could. We also had to resolve any concerns. Our skills were very rough and we kept forgetting what we wanted to say. I hope I will be able to fix that in Taiwan. Mom teaches a native Japanese girl piano lessons. She asked me to find Japanese pamphlets on the church as well as a Book of Mormon to give to her student. I asked the Asian Director, Brother Mils, to help me. He got a Book of Mormon and two videos. He wants me to report back to him on it. I hope Mom can use it and help her student know about the church. 20 April 2000 At the temple, we did another Endowment Session. I tried to stay awake and I asked Heavenly Father to help me. Also, I have noticed that although I usually forget a person‟s name right after I meat them, I can remember the name I am going through for easily. I know the Spirit helps me remember and also helped me stay awake. Teaching Experience was neat. I had to conduct the meeting in Chinese, so I had to learn what I would say in half an hour. Our “investigator” was from Gaosheng [Gaoxiong – Kaohsiung] and she talked fast. With her accent, it was hard for me to understand and I forgot a lot of easy words. Elder Chow did not feel it went well, but I felt very happy and full of joy. I liked it. 21 April 2000 At service, we cleaned showers again. I like to serve, but my district has begun to complain about mandatory service and doing the same thing all the time. Grandma and Grandpa sent me a box of orange rolls. They were great. I love to get things because – its just fun. I love my family and friends they have blessed me so much. Elder Woolsey‟s girl-friend, Puff, sent each of us a pad of paper and a pen. Actually, her mom instigated it. It was supposed to remind us to write home. We will have to thank her at the airport. 22 April 2000 In Brother Sell‟s class, we read assigned scriptures about the Savior then watched corresponding movie scenes. Between each scripture, we sang songs, but we tried not to talk as much as possible. The spirit was very strong. I know the Savior died for my sins. The realization of his pain is greater for me now then it has been before. Every class today was especially spiritual and meaningful. It was special for me to be able to enlarge my testimony through this. 23 April 2000 For church, we sang a cappella because no one knows how to play piano. I was disappointed that I was not asked. I hope we can fix that. Elder Chow‟s testimony and steadfastness continually amaze me. He knows the gospel is true and is able to be a great wetness and leader when given responsibility. I am glad he can take responsibility and help lead the district. 24 April 2000 We have a new schedule to follow. Now, our service and temple days are on Monday and P-day is Wednesday. At the Temple, Elder Chow and I did sealings. As I thought about the work we were doing, I knew it was blessing the lives of many more. Then I thought about all the work grandpa Brunner does. I wonder how excited he must have been to be sealed to his parents and do their work for them. It was a very special feeling as I thought about Great Grandpa Brunner too. Our night teacher changed schedules, so we also have a new night teacher. Brother Cheng was from Taiwan and talks very fast. It was difficult to understand him, but I think it helped our comprehension. We also had culture night. The teaching supervisor talked about the way Chinese people think. It opened my eyes to how much we still have to learn. This clip was sent by Skyler. He wanted to help me “Chews the right.” 25 April 2000 The new study system is interesting. Each week we study one topic and find all references we can on it. It is supposed to reflect our study habit in the field. At devotional, I saw Elder Jesse Johnson. His is going Spanish speaking and doing well. I have also seen Elder Travis Pack. He is going to Guatemala. The speaker was Elder Angel Abrea from Buenos Aires of the first quorum of seventy. He quoted a lot of scripture, but his message about the spirit and missionary work was great. Elder Koerner and Elder Perry had a small problem. Elder Perry has a girl friend he plans to marry. We have been instructed that writing to anyone more than once or twice a week is inappropriate, however, he writes once a day. Elder Koerner in companionship inventory brought it up and Elder Perry said he would be sent home before obeying. Because we love Elder Perry, this caused us great distress. 26 April 2000 For P-day, I took my suits in for dry cleaning and three pair of slacks in for alterations – they are too long. The rest of my time was spent in scripture study and talking with a chemical engineer friend from the Mandarin district that is going to Gaoshung [Gaoxiong – Kaohsiung] next Wednesday. I learned a lot and think that I might want to work or look into the consulting side of chemical engineering. At TRC, Elder Chow and I had a great time. None of the “investigators” knew which role to play (the roles were altered this week). Our teachers told us to work on the new roles because that was what their supervisors had said. The TRC people, however, had not yet asked the supervisors to do so. Eventually, we just asked them to be the role we wanted and we had a great time resolving concerns, not really ever getting to the main object of our visit. It was a lot of fun to understand most of what they had said and to realize that I can really do it. Last night, we gave Elder Koerner a blessing and President Dennis talked with them. I prayed earnestly and had a short fast with Elder Russell. They seem to have patched up the situation and are fine. 27 April 2000 Yesterday was Mom and Dad‟s anniversary. I sent a card, but don‟t know if is got there on time. At TE, Elder Chow and I taught Lee Jie3mei4, Sister Lee. Her family is not Mormon and they did not want her to join. I did not know what to say. The discussion went well and we resolved several concerns. I liked it a lot. At testimony meeting, I found I could understand more if I just let the works go by me. I was surprised how much I could understand. I cannot wait to get to Taiwan and speak more. 28 April 2000 At evening class, some people from the research and evaluation department were running a check on how last-week missionaries were doing. They chose six of us to participate. I was the first. I had to teach principle 1.6 and invite an investigator to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The lady role-playing the part was Catholic and did not want to accept the invite. They told me I asked excellent questions and resolved the concern very well. The second situation was a 4-month inactive member who had been offended by a church member. I shared a scripture from 3 Nephi 12:23. They told me that it is best in this situation to teach of Christ so that they want to repent. Also, my method of helping resolve concerns was good. My invites need to be more specific and powerful. I loved the experience – it was wonderful and informative. 29 April 2000 After class, most of us took a shower together and we brought in our desk chairs to sit on. It was fun to sit and relax and talk, but I left early because I thought that it probably was not something the Savior would do. In class, we started to sing a song just before prayer and it became irreverent. I stopped singing and afterward they wanted to know why. I did not think that I was mad – in fact I really did not mind – I just did not want to be part of it; however, the words that came out of my mouth were full of fire. After the prayer, I apologized and thought about it. I asked the Lord to forgive me and if it was his well, help me know what to say to my district. Just before we started, I said I love to sing hymns and even sing them in a crazy way, but what is the purpose in singing before prayer? Who are we singing to? I asked them to remember next time. I wanted to know if what I had done was right and I felt the comfort of the spirit. 30 April 2000 I played piano for sacrament meeting. I wish it could have been better. We have packed most of our stuff and are getting ready to go. As part of the “going,” we sang “How Great Thou Art.” It was really neat and we sang it for church in part Chinese, part English. 1 May 2000 At the Temple, Elder Koerner and I did baptisms while everyone else did endowments. It was a great experience to be able to do all of the ordinance work on ourselves. It also occurred to me that every ordinance in the temple is just as important. I love to work in the temple. When I wrote this entry, I was remembering an experience I had at UNR when I attended a Catholic service at what I think was the St. Mary‟s Catholic Mass or something in my junior year of high school, 1998. The priest who gave the service looked rather bored and almost like he didn‟t believe the doctrine himself. He was scheduled to give several services each day, Friday through Sunday, so I imagine he might have just been going through the motions. Contrast that with the wonderful, white-haired temple workers who had to make sure that I not only said the words of the baptismal prayer correctly, but with feeling each time. I am sure they had been through thousands of baptisms, but each one was still special to them. I have noticed this same thing whether doing sealings, endowments, baptisms, or any of the other ordinances. Last week, we got a new night teacher. Brother Chang is from Taiwan. We had our last class with him and then took pictures. He has taught us so much and he is strong in the spirit. It is hard to leave him after just getting to know him. 2 May 2000 We continue to prepare for Wednesday. Our classes were mostly relaxed and we talked and told stories. We also took time and pictures with our teachers one last time. At devotional, a member of the second quorum of Seventy talked on Joseph Smith and love. He and his wife were very food speakers. Our new schedule also has us go to district meeting after devotional. Most everyone else thought it was a waste of time, but I think President Baliff did a great job and just helped us out with things like budgeting and customs. As part of the changes last week, our branch is now 51. I have mentioned some changes that took place many times already. About two weeks before we left the MTC, policies on money allotment and schedules were all changed. Initially, the elders were all given 1 haircut per month and all missionaries were given a certain amount of money for each week they were at the MTC. The money and the hair-cut credits were given in full on the first day. The money was intended to buy proselyting supplies. Some missionaries spent it all at once and other saved it up to the end. The new policy cleaned off the debit cards we were given each week and a new balance was put on for that week (hair cuts didn‟t change). Some of the elders in my district were sore about it because they had been saving the money incase of emergency, but had wanted to buy some expensive supplies before they left. They lost $60-$90 on their balances and only got about $15 each of the following weeks. When I forgot my garments in Vegas, I used my balance to buy some that would hold my over and a towel. I don‟t remember where all of the money went, but I was out and then the last two weeks I suddenly had the $15 allowance for those last two weeks. 3 &4 May 2000 Mom, Dad, Theresa, Seth, Skyler, Karrae, Todd, Justin, Shean, Erika, Blair, Jen, Becky, Voshco, Danni, Elliot, and Shealyn came to the airport to see me off. Before leaving the MTC, I had all 4 of my packages “chained” together so they moved like one. My things were loaded on the van last. Since the Millers had counseled me to get to the ticket booth as soon as possible, I had tried to do this so that I could be first. We had a lot of time in the airport together. I loved to see everyone there. After take off, I met a Japanese couple (sitting next to me). They had heard of the church, but did not know much about it and did not have an interest in hearing more. In San Francisco, we had a couple of hours to talk with Elder Chow‟s and Elder Garcia‟s families. They were both really great. I found that while waiting to board, I was very reluctant to practice 4 May 2000 Mandarin on native speakers. Because I took off at 2:00 PM May 4, this entry runs together. All of the missionaries were placed into a group together. Most of the time has been spent listening to a tape the family made for me to hear on the plane and also we have slept for a while. Because of our route, a grand arch, we flew over Alaska. The sky was clear and we saw just the Archipelago islands, but they were covered in snow. I realized that the tiny white dots on the water were probably much bigger than the tiny ships we saw – great icebergs – hundreds of them. It was neat. We also flew over Japan, but while I was asleep, so I missed seeing an active volcano from the air. At the airport, I met my AP‟s but President and Sister Kim had not made it yet. When they came, I drove in their car and talked to President Kim while most everyone else slept. The president and his wife are great. 5 May 2000 We had a lot of orientation. Also, President Kim interviewed each of us. Then we opened a bank account and took pictures for our Alien Resident Certificates. For lunch, we had shui3 jiao3 „s, little pastry “raviolis” of meat and vegetables that have no tomato sauce. They are dipped in a hot sauce. My second sauce was especially hot due to its re pepper. The peppers were good too. At dinner, we had pork patties on rice and new drinks. They were very sweet. We also had our first experiences contacting one that I met only spoke Italian, French, and Spanish, but my Spanish flew out of my head. We continued contacting all the way back to the office where Elder Chow met someone who really wanted to hear the gospel. We got the experienced missionaries to help us. Last of all, we had a night market scavenger hunt. We were in three teams and had to find the items and our way back on our own. It was a lot of fun and again we did some tracting. I don‟t think that we actually went tracting; however, we might have knocked on a few doors on the way back to the mission office. It is more likely, however, that we were just street contacting all the way back and I mixed up my words. 6 May 2000 For breakfast, the AP‟s took us out for some kind of egg-tortilla omelet and han3 bao1 „s [漢堡 han4 bao3]– pork patty on fried onions and a sweet – salty – hot sauce. It was pretty good, but I did not like soy milk. I now love the soy milk called 豆漿 Dou4 Jiang1 I went on splits with an Elder Beazley (?) from Canada and we contacted for 2 hours and 45 minutes. At lunch, everyone was wondering where we had been. Elder Christopher Allen Beazely showed me a great variety of contacting methods. We went to a park and stopped mothers and fathers with children. He had me blow up balloons for the kids and try to talk to the parents. Finally, we met our new companions. Mine is Elder Kromenhoek from Utah. He has served in Taiwan for only seven months and is the youngest trainer. At first I was worried he would not expect us to obey all rules exactly, but that was not the case. We taught a second discussion right after getting off of the train. She was invited to be baptized, but I could tell she had a concern. I wanted to know, so I asked Heavenly Father to help me. I had no idea what she said, but I thought she had said she had already been baptized once. That seemed strange to me, but afterward it was confirmed. We also saw another missionaries‟ baptism. 7 May 2000 At church, both investigator families that we have showed up. It was great to see them and I think they also had a good experience. I did not understand much, but I bore my testimony as best I could. An RM that I met on the plane is living in my branch. The members are awesome and helpful. While tracting, I did not say much, but we got a few contacts. Afterward, we ate a meal at a member‟s house for the leaving missionaries (the other elder in my companionship His name was Elder Wilde). The food was delicious – even the pig‟s feet. At the end, we taught a family of five the first discussion. I must have meant “at the end of the day” after we had left the dinner. 8 May 2000 For P-day, we woke up at 4:30 and finished all of the P-day stuff like writing home, planning, study, and I got to know Elder Krommenhoek a little better. Another companionship came in to live with us so we also had to split up out area. When the first Elder arrived, we collected my luggage, changed out my money $180 US is $5400 NT, went shopping, and purchased a bike for me. After dinner, we went out tracting and met a few more families. Everyone seems very polite and willing to talk with me. Elder Hagen, my second companion was the “first missionary” that showed up from the other companionship. He looked like he was going to have an attitude or something. He had earphones in his ears, his clothes seemed a bit worn, and it looked like he didn‟t care. I found out later that that is all part of his personality and that he grew up in Philadelphia. He is a spiritual giant, as I learned later on, and he has a great will power to do whatever he feels is right. After getting to know him a little more after the mission, this image of him is still firm in my mind. It seemed to me that the people of Taiwan were very willing to listen to my horrible Chinese. They were very patient I thought as I tried to learn. Later on, after I could actually say something worth listening to, it became increasingly harder to hold their attention. I think the difference is in the Lord‟s help with the spirit, and also the improvement in my ability to read their reactions to the things I was saying. 9 May 2000 We got up early and went on splits. I was with our Zone Leader‟s junior companion. We taught a couple discussions or actually tried to, but 1 out of four showed up and we did not know if we were supposed to teach the last family or not because it sounded like the sisters already had. We went out contacting and got a few referrals. We rode half an hour to teach someone that was not there and then we contacted at the near-by park, but did not find anyone. At lunch, we visited the other new elder in the branch. He came on Monday and then got rushed to the hospital because he got sick. The hospital was pretty good and clean. We visited again at dinner and he was still doing fine. The food you can buy from street vendors in great. It is a bit different from food I am used to, but it is good. On the bus ride over in the morning, I spent my time memorizing discussions. My area was in a different city from our zone leader. We had to take a half hour bus ride to get there and then we split up at the church. It was on the upper level of a building with a convenience store on the bottom floor. The City was Yuanlin 員林 roughly translated it means people forest, but it was not a large city. I don‟t remember if this was the first exposure I had to street food or not, but I fell in love with everything Taiwan had to offer on the side of the streets. Lucky for me, this first area I served in, 溪湖 Xi1 Hu3, and the other city, 員林 Yuan2 Lin2, served the island‟s best 鍋貼 Guo1 Tie1 or Pot stickers. Those are my favorite. 10 May 2000 We had a Zone Training Meeting all morning. We discussed how to do our job and our activity at the end of the month. It was pretty neat. We biked home, but on the way, the road was wet and I got a little too close to my companion and I came out muddy all over. Then we went right into a discussion. The lady met us at a member‟s house and we taught the fourth. She was pretty excited and she finally committed to baptism. It was pretty neat. This lady was the mother of the first family I saw baptized on Island. Later we would teach her husband as well. This is the Wu family 吳家庭. 11 May 2000 Today we contacted at the hospitals. One lady‟s father was in pretty bad shape, so we asked if we could sing a couple hymns to him. It was pretty neat. We also taught the Yang family the fourth discussion – almost. We met in their pharmacy and several customers kept coming in. Also, they had not yet decided if the Book of Mormon was true, so we did not get much past the third principle. They are a neat family and we want to work with them. 12 May 2000 We tried to teach the Yang family again, but it ended up just being a visit to help them pray and feel the Spirit. He did actually get on his knees and try the prayer and it seemed pretty serious, so we have high hopes. After lunch, we had service. It was helping a member clean out his yard/ garden area. We talked with everyone and had a great time with the grandparents. After dinner, we went contacting and then taught English class. That was pretty fun. Everyone spoke pretty good English and I tried to do a good job. I just hope they all want to come back next week. 13 May 2000 We biked out to teach a first discussion to the owner of a clothing factory. After waiting for him to get drinking water for his family, we taught him, but he said he felt it was true, but right now it would not effect his life in any way. After lunch, we taught another family a first discussion. They accepted and scheduled a second. Then we went tracting. We did not find anyone to teach except an older boy than us and his friend. The boy seemed ready to hear, but his friend was not and after the third principle, we left. My companion and I were teaching a lot of people, particularly families and we didn‟t waste any time with anyone that wasn‟t progressing. In this case, the guy we were teaching was probably being very polite and looking for some American friends. That was a big concern in our mission because some people just wanted to know some Americans and maybe learn English. After dinner, we taught Mr. Wu [吳 Wu2] the third discussion. He responded well and we are excited. We also taught a family of five the first discussion. They all seemed interested and set up for a second discussion. It is wonderful to feel the Spirit of a family learning together. Doing contacts, I took as many opportunities as I could, but no one had much interest. It is fun getting better. 14 May 2000 Elder Krommenhoek and I biked out to church early because of a meeting he had to go to for District leaders. Yuan Li [員林 Yuan2 Lin2] is about forty minutes away by bike. I have perpetuated these mistakes in order to show my eventual progress in learning the language. I made many mistakes early on because my ears were not trained. I have said afterwards that it seems in English that we focus on the initial sound of each syllable, whereas in Chinese you listen to the end of each syllable. We made up study time and had lunch. Afterward, we went contacting at the ice cream shop where many families gather Sunday afternoons. We met many people from out of town, but could not set anyone up. We also went tracting in our neighborhood and met a lot of nice people that also did not want to set up. I constantly try to work on my language and discussions and remembering my setting apart blessings. I am excited about my progress. I hope it will continue. 15 May 2000 At home, my family was waiting for my Mother‟s Day call. They were excited to hear from me and about Taiwan. The other missionaries talked for 2-3 hours, I talked for only 1 and ½. Afterward, we played basketball at the elementary school. During recess, the children all gathered around and watched us play. It was great fun. We finally cleaned the house. I picked up and swept the front room. Also, I bought a lot of long-term type food. We also taught 吳 xian1 sheng2 [Wu2 xian1 sheng1] the fourth. It went well, but he does have a problem with smoking. I think they will be awesome and come through. I laughed now that I am back about how bad my Chinese was. I put the wrong tones on everything. 16 May 2000 We had a Zone Meeting or Conference out in Zhang Hua. It felt like being in the MTC all over again because everyone was enthusiastic and inspirational. During travel time, I was able to get a lot of the discussion memorized. We set up a time on Friday to have it passed off. It will be close, but I can make it. I assume this is the first discussion. 17 May 2000 We met with the Yang family again. He actually seemed to progress as we talked and has been doing better on his reading and praying. After lunch, I learned how to run the Area Book. There is a lot of catch up work to do on it. At English class, I had only 4 students, but we were able to get a conversation going on between them that was interesting and fun. I told them a little more about Las Vegas and America and my new experiences here and then we talked about fruit and things that were along those lines. I think I only talked half of the time. I think it went well and I hope they want to come back. 18 May 2000 We went looking for a family we were supposed to teach, but it took a long time to find and we ended up pretty far out in the country. Then, they did not live where they said they lived. Instead, we tracted around that area. While traveling out, I noticed a lot of nice things about 台中 mission and about Taiwan. Most interesting is the sunset. The sun turns a dark red just at the horizon and looks very big. It also is soft meaning the sun just glows and I feel as if I could look at it forever because it is so much different from home. This area is interesting because it is mostly a larger city surrounded by smaller clusters of houses and a lot of rice fields. Most people and most houses do some kind of factory type work – making sprockets, putting plastic covers on electronic components, etc, but they do it at home. 19 May 2000 We finished the last discussion with the 吳 family. They really enjoyed the message and getting excited for their baptism next week. It is awesome to feel the spirit of the family coming together into the gospel. Dad sends me excerpts of his journal pretty often. I often think that some of them get pretty personal and sound funny, but then I think about what I write and realize it is probably a lot alike. I did pass off the first discussion. It went a little rough. I forgot more than I thought I did. We had to bike out to the church – thirty to forty five minutes by bike each way. We have done that several times already. In Yuan li [員林 Yuan2 Lin2], where the church is, we went to lunch for Elder Barker‟s birthday. It was an American steak house. The food was great and there were six elders and a member present. Elder Barker is from New Zealand. Last week, he was in the hospital for several days with some kind of sickness. The sickness was dehydration that hit right after I got on island from fast Sunday. Later in my mission, we were told not to abstain from water when we fast because of the problems it was creating. For me to pass off my discussion, I had to go to the chapel to meet with the Zone Leader since Elder Krommenhoek was the District Leader. After I was done, we went to lunch with them because of convenience. 20 May 2000 While tracting, a herd of children began following us around. After a few houses, Elder Krommenhoek began doing all of the talking and focused on the children since they began hanging on me. Finally, we had to ask them to wait for us around the corner. Sometimes I feel like a walking talking church billboard – one that everyone wants to look at, but only a few pay attention to. I don‟t mind, but I hope these seeds will grow. We taught a couple more discussions after lunch and dinner. We also visited with an American from Albany New York. She was Chinese but had married and raised her children in America. She was Christian and was interested in the church. She will continue investigating in America since she was just visiting her sister in Taiwan and had to leave in a few days. 21 May 2000 The 吳 [Wu2] and 楊 [Yang2] families drove us to church. It was great to have them both there. The 吳 family is a young, small family with three children about 3, 5, 7 – just like my family. The kids did not want to sit still and Sister 吳 was almost always out. Even still, I think they enjoyed the meeting. After church, we went to a set up I made with Elder Wilde two weeks ago. It was at an ice cream shop everyone likes to visit Sunday afternoon. Since I have been in Taiwan, it has rained only a little, but it was raining today. We could not find our appointment so we went contacting and found an inactive member with her family. We got her information and sent it to the sisters in Yuan Li (員林 Yuan2 Lin2) where she lives. Last of all, we went out to teach a discussion out in that neighborhood where it took a while to travel to. He did not want to hear, so we did more tracting and met an older couple who sound like they really want to hear. We gave a discussion on the spot. 22 May 2000 We played basketball at a Miao [廟 Miao4] – a Buddhist temple. The people were really nice and we had a couple good games. Afterward, my companion and I went to the Morning market. Many farmers and people sell vegetables, meat, and fruit of every kind there. It is a huge covered open market. You can bargain everywhere. Many people gave me free food. It was a lot of fun. We cleaned the house and then went shopping again. I purchased a name insignia. I like the idea – it is a traditional signet. The Chinese chop (印章) is more valuable than a signiture in Chinese culture. A chop cannot change, but anyone can forge a signiture with a little practice. The banks will not do business with you unless you have a chop. Legal documents are only signed with a chop. The church and the Taichung Mission has their own shops for official business. All businesses and entities have them as well as any person with a bank account. We met with the 吳 family and brother Chen [陳 Chen2]. The 吳 family is ready for baptism this Saturday. We gave brother 吳 a box of “scripture cigarettes” to help him quit smoking. The box we got from a contact of ours and we glued little sayings and pictures of Christ to it. Inside were little scriptures rolled up. They loved it. I also gave their children paper cranes to help them remember to be like those cranes. A crane is the best of the best. We also met with brother Chen [陳 Chen2]. We taught a great 2nd. He investigated the church before, but missionaries some how forgot about him. He will be baptized next month. 23 May 2000 The purpose of missionary work is to bring souls to Christ. I will strive harder to focus on individuals and on pointing to Christ in all things for that is my calling. He will lead me in every faucet of this work. At District Meeting, we reviewed all of our current goals and had a lesson on doing the small things that count. It was pretty neat. We shared “Together Forever: with the Yang2 [楊 Yang2] family. They said that they had just talked about it yesterday and then the part about praying to know truth came. They responded very well and are becoming more happy. Tonight, the 吳 family had their baptism interview. We played with the children and talked with the parents. They decided to wait until next week because he still is not certain of some small things and he wants to know. 24 May 2000 To be more Christ – like, have faith to follow all things he did, and humility to ask him for help and let him do the speaking. Continue to do my best memorizing 2nd discussion, and be able to set 1 person up on my own. Well, I did not set anyone up, but we talked to a lot of people. We also had apartment inspection and interviews. President and Sister Kim were very kind and pleased. She brought cookies for us and told us to clean up a lot more of our apartment than we had. At English, I talked about American Holidays. Sister 吳 came and brought her 3 children it was good to see her. 25 May 2000 At the hospital, we contacted a lot of people and set up a few. One man had been in a bad automobile accident and had been there recovering for a long time. He will probably be there a lot longer too. He invited us to come teach him. After lunch, we talked with a ward member about our open house at the beginning of next month. He helped out a lot and then we all went to buy supplies for it. On the way out of the store, a lady drove up on a scooter and said she wanted her son to learn Christianity and a little English. We told her about the message and set her up. It was neat and interesting to have someone contact us for a change. After dinner, we talked with and taught brother Chen [陳 Chen2] a third discussion. It went very will. He took us to meet his parents and family and they gave us corn on the cob. It was pretty fun. The rest of the night, it rained. It was the first long drizzle I have had in Taiwan. 26 May 2000 On splits, Elder Helm and I did a lot of contacting. I have never had more people run away from me before in my life. It was a lot of fun. I was also able to talk to and help set up five people. 27 May 2000 We taught three families and had different experiences with each. We taught a Chen [陳 Chen2] family the first discussion and felt they accepted it well. We also taught an Wu [吳 Wu2] family the first, but they do not believe in God and said they do not believe in prayer. The discussion still felt good. The other Wu [吳 Wu2] family only got through the first four and a half [principles] of the third discussion. They are Buddhist, but believe in some lady who is their master and which has many things in common or a lot alike. The wife really cannot accept the things we teach, but her husband really has been feeling the Spirit. Even though it did not turn out the way we wanted, we felt really good about our visit. I know we did what the Lord wanted us to do. This family believed in some lady that had already achieved the highest state in Buddhism and had a large following of people. She sold T-shirts and posters of herself and did a lot of that kind of work in order to get more converts. The wife in this family was a “missionary” for her, contacting people and things like that. Elder Krommenhoek contacted her and we taught them the discussions. During prayer, they assumed a meditation position and they would never share their feelings with us because this lady taught that those were sacred experiences that you should not share with anyone. Consequently, it was difficult to help them identify the Spirit. During the third discussion, my companion and I were praying hard about how to help them progress and when they were unwilling to try anything we finally had to end and leave. I remember that experience particularly when I talk about feeling the Spirit and I shared those feelings with Elder Krommenhoek back near our apartment. I was perhaps a bit too open, relying on the fact that no one in the area would understand English and I shared another very personal experience that might not have been appropriate. Elder Krommenhoek taught me that spiritual experiences should be shared with discression, saving those sacred experiences and treasuring them up in our minds for our own benefit. When we share them too freely, the Lord may not trust us to hold them sacred in the future and would then withhold other opportunities for other experiences in the future until we have proven ourselves. A journal is a very appropriate place for such things. Later in my mission, Elder Krommenhoek was an AP demonstrating in zone conference how to get members to feel the Spirit and used me as an example by reminding me of this experience and then inviting me to use this technique in member work. 28 May 2000 The 吳 family took us to church again. They have really changed in these last weeks and we can see them growing. We can feel their love for us. After church, we went tracting at the ice cream place again. (I think I meant contacting). I found two families who set up, but neither of them were for our area. Later, we taught an investigator my age. He had a lot of really good questions and does not believe in God yet. He is welling to find out and well keep all of his commitments. The Chen family [陳 Chen2] in our ward put on a ward dinner. A lot of people shoed up and it was pot luck. The 吳 family and brother Chen [陳 Chen2], our single investigator, both went. After dinner, I played with the kids. The parents all sat together and welcomed the 吳 family and brother Chen [陳 Chen2] into the ward. Their baptisms will be June 3 and June 10 respectively. The members told stories and testimonies and had each of them share their own experiences. It was pretty neat. 29 May 2000 At the beach, the sand was littered with trash, but the tide was low and we had great fun. There were nets set up to catch crab and fish. We It appears that I didn‟t finish this entry. We had arranged to go to the beach with our Zone as a kind of reward for a good month and also to build unity. We were able to get some members to drop us off. It was only a 45 minute trip or so. Like the entry says, there were nets set up to catch fish and crab at high tide. We freed a couple of them and took pictures. Then a couple of guys came and yelled at us. I guess we were invading their prize fishing ground or something. When the zone got there, we played football or Frisbee or something and I cut my toe on a sharp shell. We didn‟t swim, but we wore our tags and had fun near the water. 30 May 2000 We met a new family who are the aborigine Taiwan people here. They were great and welling to accept commitments. They remind me of a Polynesian family. They have round faces and a laid-back attitude. They already believe in Christ and the mother has taught her children well. The middle daughter told us her mother said there are angels with them helping them sometimes. She loved to sing our songs and loves church best. We really want to get them to church and all they really need is a ride. I tried to fill in something for everyday of my mission, but I did miss some days. I usually tried to make up those days later based on what my planners said I did, but sometimes I could not remember a single thing. Hence, 31 May 2000 and 1 June 2000 are blank. 2 June 2000 As we rode out and began contacting people at the bank, I talked to a lady sitting in a car. She did not seem to have much interest, but then someone walked right up and started to tell her about us. She, the new comer, told the lady that we represent Christ, we have an excellent message to share and all you have to do is listen to the first one to see if you are interested, on and on . . . I found out later she was the other missionaries‟ baptism goal. She was friends with the lady in the car. Later, Elder Krommenhoek got a flat just past the house. An hour later, we were getting ready for the baptism. The 吳 family was really excited. They were both glad to be able to be baptized together. Elder Krommenhoek did the baptizing. Before, there were a few speakers. Sister Chen [陳 Chen2] was the first member out here. After her mission, they asked her to move here and start the branch. She said she had a dream about filling the chapel and now it was coming true. Brother 吳 was baptized first. He went down flat and straight as a board. Because the font was small, and because Elder Krommenhoek forgot to tell them and practice, Brother 吳 hit his head on the side of the font. He was still all right, but probably will not forget this experience. His wife was next and she went down perfectly. Afterward they both got up and bore testimony side by side at the podium. It was awesome to see a family be baptized. I was so happy to be able to play a small part and hope it continues. 3 June 2000 We had an open house for investigators. Each companionship of missionaries chose to talk or do a skit on a gospel principle. There was Church History, missionary Work, Jesus Christ, Temples, and Families. The funniest was the skit for missionary work. The Zone leader, Elder Hancock, and his companion, Elder Helm, acted out a day in a missionary‟s life. Ours was Jesus Christ. We acted out a small skit about a boy who wants a bike, but cannot earn enough money. Hid brother comes and helps him buy the bike. Afterward, we had Brother Chen Zhao Hua (narrator) and Brother Lai Ming Yong (brother) bear testimony. Elder Krommenhoek (“Billy”) and I (bike shop owner) only had to put it together. It was not bad. Three investigators of ours came as well as a few other missionaries‟. 4 June 2000 At church, we said goodbye to Elder Hancock and Sister Burborough who are being transferred. My companion will be the new Zone Leader. That means splits at least once a week and mostly within this Zone. I will have to begin leading out discussions and being able to find places. Hope I can. 5 June 2000 We met with Brother Chen Zhi Ming and learned how to paint lobsters – Chinese style. They did not turn out bad. Brother Chen should be baptized on the 17th. We still have to teach the 5th and 6th discussions to him. On the way home from his house, it rained so hard we looked soaked. At least that is my memory of it. Also, we painted shrimp, not lobsters. After p-day, we had to go to YuanLi [員林 Yuan2Lin2] for another elders‟ baptism candidate interview. It is about a 35-45 minute ride by either car or bike. The interview went late – 9:05 pm and we had to get home. As we started out, there was heavy traffic in town. It took us five minutes to get to the open road. As we started, I asked Heavenly Father to provide a way for us to be able to make it home in time and to give us the speed we needed. We did not have to stop at any red lights – they turned green right as we got to them. We were in the house by 9:27 pm – only 22 minutes. I know Heavenly Father answers prayers. I guess that it is not clear from the description above that we were on our bikes the whole way home. Elder Krommenhoek told me later that the night this happened he thought we could not make it. After a while he got annoyed at hearing me say that we can make it over and over again. Finally he decided that no matter what, we would make it and we just plowed home. It was a great bonding experience for us and we felt like we could really feel the Lord‟s help in getting us home on time. He shared that experience later as he taught in the MTC and also with other companions and in his leadership roles in the mission. 6 June 2000 We met with the Yang [楊 Yang2] family again. He still has questions about what is right. He still believes his gods and his ancestors will help him if he prayers directly to them. It was hard to tell them that if they would like to continue meeting, they could call us when they have answers to their prayers. This was the Dragon Festival Day. 2 member families had us over for lunch (Qiu family) [邱 Qui1] and dinner (Chen family) [陳 Chen2]. At the Qiu family lunch, there were a lot of vegetable dishes. She also cooked a chicken. In Taiwan that means they took the feathers off and boiled it. The head, neck, legs, feet, everything was still there. I got to try the foot. It was a little weird – not much meat, just skin and muscle. Then Chen family also had a lot of vegetable dishes. They also had a sweet and sour dish. Actually, Tu Jiemei [途姐妹 Tu2 Jie3 Mei4] made the dish. Sister Chen thought it was too sweet. I thought it was very good. My favorite dishes, however were the vegetable dishes. 7 June 2000 The Yang family took us to meat their friends. The wife owns a clothing shop. He does not have work. It was a weird situation because they had not been here very long even though both their families live in this area. She kept trying to force him to accept us and when we asked him questions, she would answer. We decided to be delicate in the situation and try to get just him by himself another time. We do not want her to be first to do anything with us. We also met with the 林 (Lin) [Lin2] family. He comes to English every week and sometimes brings his son. We found out he has heard three discussions before. He translates into English or Mandarin at his job. His English is a little broken, but he has a huge vocabulary. We really made an effort to be able to include his wife as well. The first discussion went very well. Her family is already Christian. He showed us a stack of cards from missionaries about an inch and a half thick. He said in the 20 visits from missionaries before, we were the first to include his wife and also be understanding of his beliefs – not just telling him what to believe. That was a special experience. English went well, but I did most of the talking again. I taught about the education system in America. Next week I hope they can teach me about the education system in Taiwan. After English, we met with the 吳 family. Tu Jiemei [途姐妹 Tu2 Jie3 Mei4] was teaching the first new member discussion. It went pretty well. 8 June 2000 On junior splits, elder Hagen and I had a couple great experiences. We set some goals for each place before we left and then worked hard to get them. Within the first couple of minutes of contacting at the Post Office, we already had a set up. We were supposed to teach a discussion, but the person‟s house was somewhere we were not familiar with and when we called, he cancelled and would not set up again. Instead, we made a contact who was willing to hear the discussion immediately. We taught her at an Ice-Cream shop. The discussion went really well. The only problem was another lady there who was crazy. She has seen Elder Hagen many times before in Taichung. We do not know if she recognized us, but she kept putting her cold, wet hands on our necks, and putting her arms over our shoulders and her head between ours. Near the end of the discussion, she did it again and just stared at me. I said “Ni3 Hao3” [你好], and then she kissed me. It was a great big kiss right on my cheek bone. She even opened her mouth like she was going to bite me. I was too stunned to move, also, there was no where to go since she had us trapped in her arms at a picnic table. I was just thinking “OK, if I feel teeth, I do not care what she id, I‟ll hit her.” I did not feel teeth. Then she just walked away. I felt sorry for her, like she had never had any love from anyone before. She just sat down a few tables down and stared at me again. The whole time, Elder Hagen had been freaking out. He had met her before and was a bit scared. When she tried to come back the next time, he just told her to leave, and she did. He had a hard time finishing the discussion and trying not to laugh. The investigator was surprised and laughed a little. Elder Hagen made a big deal about how it did not even faze me and how I just kept smiling and I was cool. I felt like my cheek had acid on it – it felt like a tingly-burning sensation right where her lips had been. Her breath/saliva were absolutely putrid. All I did was wipe off my cheek with my handkerchief. At home, I washed and scrubbed my face. Elder Hagen and Elder Krommenhoek told that story ever now and then to their other companions. Word got around eventually that this had happened and I had companions ask me about it later on my mission. It was very funny. Elder Hagen just sat there staring open- mouthed. He said he was teaching and didn‟t like the lady there and then the next minutes he heard a sucking sound and turned to look at me. He saw her sucking on my cheek and thought she was eating me, but he couldn‟t do anything. 9 June 2000 Elder Krommenhoek had a Zone-Leader Conference, so I spent the day on splits with Elder Williamson. He leaves in just a couple months so his Mandarin is pretty good. He likes to correct my tones after we leave an appointment. I should be grateful, but I have always hated it when someone tries to give me instruction. I must have a great deal of pride. We met a few people and taught a lot of discussions. I often find myself hoping for longer discussions so that we do not have to go out and contact – I must need more faith. I am surprised how much faith really makes a difference. If we do not have faith, no one will set up. We also tried to pass off the second discussion during an early discussion. I forget so much. I must be able to know of certainty the Lord is with me and will help me. He will help me know the discussions. Part of the missionary training manual included assignments to write in your journal about certain topics. I don‟t know if this entry was one of those assignments or not, but it sounds like it might have been. 10 June 2000 In Taiwanese, the work for grandma is “A Ma4” [阿媽]. There are a lot of them all over! Some are really friendly and nice and some are just cranky. Sometimes, they get these really cute smiles on their faces, you just look at them and a light goes on. The only problem is most of them only speak Taiwanese. The 吳 family [Wu2] we baptized last week called us after dinner and said they could not take us to the large district conference tomorrow. Apparently brother 吳‟s father died. The wife, sister 吳, was balling on the phone. Later, when we called brother 吳, he said his dad had been in the hospital for a while so of course he would be sad for a little while. That is the Chinese attitude. They try not to admit their emotions at any time. I only hope the 吳 family remembers what we taught about prayer and families. This time is their refiner‟s fire. 11 June 2000 At 2:00 AM, we had an earthquake. Elder Williamson jumped off of his bed and yelled “earthquake.” I remember a loud rumble and shaking back and forth a lot. It did not last very long, and we just went back to sleep. It was centered in Nan Tou [南投 Nan2 Tou2] as a 6.9. We attended the district meeting. Elder Cook of the Seventy and President Kim spoke among others. President Kim told of conversions down through the 3rd and 4th generations. Elder Cook‟s talk had to be translated by Sister Kim. He talked on what members‟ responsibilities are and how to make this district a stake. Every talk was great. 12 June 2000 We studied bamboo at brother 陳 Zhi Ming‟s [陳志銘 Chen2 Zhi4 Ming2] house. My painting did not turn out so well. We all had a lot of fun together. He is a great artist and an awesome teacher. As we left his house, it started to rain, then it started to pour, then a lake of water fell on us. It was great fun, but we were wet when we went shopping and anywhere else. Last week, our phone stopped working down stairs, so all of our calls have had to be up stairs in the bedroom. It is a great pain. 13 June 2000 We have a lot of discussions lined up, but we also do not have many people in our teaching pool. This week is going to be big on adding people to teach. It never stopped raining from yesterday and recently at night it had been colder. This weather is great. 15 June 2003 We had Zone Conference most of the day. It was really good and inspiring. The AP‟s invited us to list out where families in our area are at times of the day and use it in proselyte, and to plan out each half hour of every morning. I think these things well help me make better use of my time. The biggest shock of the meeting was finding out that Elder Krommenhoek is going to Hong Kong next month. He is going to be one of 4 trainers sent to Hong Kong to start the Hong Kong Mandarin speaking mission. He leaves next month after he gets a visa. Everyone was excited to hear about it. 16 June 2003 Elder Helm came here on splits this time. That was a nice twist since before I had always gone to his area. We got lost on our first task: hind and teach a first discussion. The man lived 15-20 minutes out in Pu Yan [普嚴 Pu3 Yan2]. He was able to meet us at a gas station when we called him. It went very well. Later, we spent a lot of time tracting and business contacting. We even got three set ups. It was a great thing to know how well I know the city. 17 June 2003 We spent all morning and most of the afternoon in 台中 [Tai2 Zhong1] filling out paperwork for Elder Krommenhoek to go to Hong Kong. Afterward, we only got a little proselyte done before we had to go to Yuan Lin [員林 Yuan2 Lin2] for Brother Chen Zhi Ming‟s [陳志明 Chen2 Zhi4 Ming2] baptism. He was pretty excited. It is so neat to see our investigators be able to receive baptism. It makes me want to continue finding and teaching and doing the Lord‟s work. 18 June 2003 in church, I stood in for Brother Chen‟s [陳 Chen2] confirmation. Also I was able to understand all of the sacrament talks. It was neat. I want to continue to memorize and pass off the discussions, but it is hard with this crazy schedule. After church, we taught a few more discussions, or tried to, and found a new area to go tracting in. It is huge and has noticeable family name “villages.” Brother Chen was sitting on a moped in front of a school when Elder Krommenhoek contacted him. He was the first person I taught the discussion to from start to finish. 19 June 2003 This was a busy P-day. I spent an hour cleaning the front room and we had a lot of shopping. Then I got my bike seat raised and handle bar extensions. My slip-on shoes were full of mildew and had to sun bake a little. My belt got wet a week ago and now the leather looks moldy on the inside of the two pieces of leather that make it a belt. Also it will not fit into the slip side or part of the belt buckle because the leather is too fat now. I just threw away a mushroom farm pair of socks. I wonder how many of my clothes will last two summers. I was able to set up my first full contact. I hope it goes well tomorrow. Afterward, we visited the Shi [實 Shi1] family. He is a member; she comes with him every week. We want her baptized. Also, we taught the 巫 (Wu1) [Wu1] family a good second. 20 June 2003 We learned a lot about being a companion in DTM. Elders Woodruff, an assistant to the president, and Stahle came on splits, it was great fun. We got a lot of contacts and taught a few discussions. It was neat to be able to lead out for a while. I caught myself in the long-follow-up trap I often thought Elder Krommenhoek and I used to get in. I hope to be able to do better. It will be a very different experience to be a senior companion some day. I found out later that being a senior companion is not that different. 21 June 2003 On splits, Elder Williamson and I had a good day. We were able to work hard and get everything we wanted to done. On the way home from a discussion that we stopped early, we talked to a man on the side of the road. Elder Williamson asked if we could share a five minute message with him. We parked our bikes and walked in. Something told me to pick up my bag because we would be staying longer than five minutes, but I ignored it and we talked to him for a while. We ended up teaching a first discussion to him and setting up again. Turns out that because of a blood disease, he has to get a transfusion three times a week and he has been thinking about these things lately. I felt good about the discussion. I also passed off the third discussion. It feels good to be done, but I really did not know it very well. It was the same with the first and second discussions. I feel I can do better and really get to know them. 22 June 2003 We went business contacting and saw Brother 吳. He seems to be doing great and seems happy. It‟s good to know he can continue to do so after his father died. I love that family a lot. We also are meeting with a Sister named 巫 [Wu1]. Her husband already finished hearing the discussions, but he did not want to be the only member of his family, so he did not get baptized before. This sister never got baptized, but her husband did after we completed the discussions with her and he eventually went to the temple and was endowed. He also brought his daughters to church and they were baptized as well. Another one is a Sister named 吳 who is not married. She is accepting of everything, but sometimes hard to work with because she does facials and often has customers when we schedule times to meet. This sister was eventually baptized and later because the single adult representative to the district for her branch. She was also endowed after her first year. Her place of business was next door to another sister, 陳逸珊 Chen2 Yi4 Shan1, and they became good friends. 23 June 2000 We have been able to find an area where the majority of the people are Christian and they are pretty willing to accept the gospel. In two days, we‟ve knocked on five doors and taught two or three first discussions. It is a really neat place. Well, I was able to mid-term with Elder Williamson. I felt good because I really am starting to get the first discussion down very well. The others could still use work. 24 June 2000 We have seen the 吳 family. They got over their grandpa‟s death really well. They seem happier and ready to jump back into the church. We practiced our musical number for them. They even fed Elder Krommenhoek and me lunch. Sister 吳 is an awesome cook. We sang the musical number at sister 李 (Lee)‟s [li2] baptism. She has an awesome testimony and will make a great member. We sang the children‟s baptism song about rainbows [I always search for rainbows whenever there is rain]. It went well. 25 June 2000 At church, we had 123 people. Twenty were sitting in the hallway listening because there was no room. We want to split sacrament meeting into XiHu [溪湖 Xi1 Hu2] and YuanLin [員 林 Yuan2 Lin2]. We are already approved for the first American standard sized stake center in Taiwan. We haven‟t split yet so that our numbers stay high enough to remain a priority. A few days ago, I met a brother 林 (Lin) [Lin2]. He said he was a member of a church from Taipei and had just moved here from there. Just before the member social, I found out he was not baptized in this church, but another. We had even asked him to be a short-time missionary for us – something our mission needs more of. I feel like he is latching on to me as his best friend here and I really don‟t like it. Oh well, he has practically begged us to baptize him. President Yang talked to him and said he was not crazy. We‟ll see what happens. 26 June 2000 I bought some Buddha and other kind of neat statues to send home. For Mom, I bought a “calli” pot (tea pot). Also, I found those chocolate eggs with the toys inside that I will send home. I hope ever one likes these birthday presents. I sent one package home with a bunch of little gifts that was supposed to make up for all of the birthdays I would miss that year. I sent Dad two statues. One was a warrior and one was Milafo. When the family finally got it, they told me the chocolate had spots on it and they weren‟t sure if it was safe to eat. The eggs were a kind of Christmas tradition since dad had first brought them home from Germany on one of his business trips there a few years earlier. They had a chocolate shell that encased a plastic capsule with a toy inside. 27 June 2000 We had interviews with President Kim. He talked about our temple covenants and the reason we are being blessed more now than ever before. Only here are we truly able to live all of those covenants including consecration. It was pretty neat. 28 June 2000 For English, I taught my class about “Ring Around the Posey” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” We had a fun time singing together. It was really neat to hear how well they were able to sing these songs with me. Afterward, we taught a Zhen family the second. Right now, we have baptism goals lined up for three weeks in July and we will keep adding more. This family has a grandmother who seems excited to hear about these things too. I want her to be able to hear and be baptized. 29 June 2000 I am slowly starting to adopt and accept Elder Krommenhoek‟s point of view on missionary work. That is, we are actually here for only a very short period of time and so we must focus on only working on those things that we‟ll improve our work. We only contact families. Young or single people may come through, but we don‟t seek them out. When investigators do not keep commitments, we have to drop them. Also, we personally have to just know they will get baptized without any doubts. Expect miracles and they happen. They were not meant to change lives, but rather to reward and help those already living a certain standard of spirituality. I want to live this better and be able to fully embrace it. I believe it is the key to the work here. I have already seen its effects. Tight now, we are packed with people to teach and have twice as many people lined up for baptism as any other companionship. I love my companion. I love this work. This description of the work we were doing sounds like were didn‟t care about those who weren‟t progressing very much. The truth is that we were teaching so many people, we couldn‟t afford to spend a lot of time with those who were prepared and so if they kept commitments and progressed we continued to work with them, but if they didn‟t read or pray (or come to church) after the second or third visit, we asked them to keep in touch with them and we would often call them a couple of weeks to a month later to see if they had had a change and if they wanted to continue. Often times, if we felt that during the first discussion they didn‟t really have interest, but just asked us in because they wanted some American friends, we would leave after only a few principles. It was fairly apparent if they had interest or not because they would ignore us or make fun of the Joseph Smith story or argue with us about the nature of God or of Jesus Christ. The page this is written on is smudged from water damage. One night, the other companionship had started throwing water balloons at each other and Elder Williamson threw one at Elder Hagen. Elder Hagen dodged it and it splattered my journal and my bed. It wasn‟t really a problem having water fights inside because everything was tile in the house. Almost no one in Taiwan has carpet. Our bedroom would get very hot at night, so we would open a window (not such a good idea if you live next to rice paddies – like we did) and we had an industrial fan blow on us all night. One day, we took the grimy screen off of the window and put the fan up just right so that it was directly in front of the window (it was a small window). In the morning, we woke up and found our floor black and twitching. Mosquitoes had flown into the fan and killed themselves all over the floor. I think we lowered the mosquito population in the immediate area by quite a bit that night. The floor was so covered that it really did look black and it twitched. None of us were bit that night thanks to the high power fan. 30 June 2000 I bought a pocket watch for just about six dollars US. My other watch has been broken for some time and I have wanted a pocket watch. It is pretty neat. While contacting at a night market, I also found the sword displays that look really neat and that I want to get (Uncle David wants one too). The work is going well. We are very busy because of all of the people we are finding. The large majority of the people are teaching their children not to worship their ancestors any more. The rising generation will be ready to hear the gospel and bust Taiwan wide open. 1 July 2000 We have four families scheduled for church now. A Zhen family, a 楊 (Yang) [Yang2] family, a Song family, and a 巫 (Wu) [Wu1] family. The Song family is an aborigine family. They really look Polynesian like their ancestors were Nephites. They are already Christian and the mother has taught her children about angels and God and Christ. When we shared the first, the daughter told us her mother had said that when you feel good, there are angels all around you. It was neat. This family and the 巫 family live in great poverty. They struggle to make ends meet, but they gave us things to drink and they welcomed us back. The 巫 family has had some hard life stories. The mother wants to go to church, but at other churches, when the collection plate came around, people began to look down on them because they could not five much. She loves her son to death and wants the best for him. These people are ready to hear the gospel and make changes in their lives. It will be incredible to see these changes. All five of our families are ready to hear. 2 July 2000 At church, things were a little weird. First, there were several ordinances to perform. Second, the prayer on the bread was said by the person who loves to shout at Heavenly Father. During the second hour, we learned about developing talents, but the sister shared what she knew about acupuncture, Yoga, and making money – without tying any of it to the gospel. Priesthood was a discussion about food storage, but a crazy investigator kept shouting out and telling everyone that we do not need to worry about it – we can just go to the factories. I hope I can feel better about it all next week. We had 9 investigators there from our companionship. It was neat to have them all come. We had to perform all of the confirmations in church during sacrament meeting, but during July and August, we had as many as 20 baptized in a single week. Not only that but we had 16 just a couple of weeks later. One sacrament meeting didn‟t have any speakers. We listened to confirmations during the entire sacrament meeting time and them the branch president got up and said that there wasn‟t any time left, but thanked those who had prepared talks anyway. It was an exciting time for us as missionaries and also for the members. It seems that this Sunday, there was a member in that branch who said the sacrament prayer as loud as he absolutely could. He shouted it at the top of his lungs as if he were shouting it as a matter of life or death. It scared all of the missionaries and I have no clue what the investigators were thinking. 3 July 2000 A family from Elder Krommenhoek‟s first area brought his trainer and a couple other elders down to see him before he has to go. We did a little sight seeing and ate lunch together and came back just in time to start proselyting. It was pretty fun. Members took us on an outing all day so that Elder Krommenhoek and Elder Brown (his trainer) could spend a little time with the members before Elder Brown went home. We stopped at a Banzai Tree farm on the way. That was also a lot of fun. For lunch, we ate at a really neat park. See the pictures I took of this adventure. I am pretty sure that Elder Krommenhoek got this outing approved by the president. He was a stickler about those kinds of things (for which I was grateful). President Kim was pretty easy going about reasonable things as long as we could proselyte at the right time and as long as we were a performing companionship (based numbers of baptisms and discussions each week). We were encouraged to do culturally enlightening things on preparation day. 4 July 2000 We taught a first to a lady who only speaks Mandarin, her son, and her husband who only speaks Taiwanese. They cannot communicate and have not for ten years. Actually today was a follow up. When we arrived, she ran out crying telling us about all of her suicide attempts and how she feels her husband uses her. It was weird. The rest of the day was pretty normal. 5 July 2000 In English, I taught the class the pledge of allegiance, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the United States Government. It was pretty neat and fun. 6 July 2000 Elder Peterson came down on splits. He really has great Chinese and a different way of doing the work. I almost felt like he wanted to take over when we were tracting and teaching a first discussion at night. He is a great missionary. I remember this experience being hard for me to take because I felt pushed out of the way and I felt like he felt like I didn‟t know anything about what I was doing as far as missionary work goes. He probably wasn‟t far from the truth, but at that time, I felt like I had the best trainer in the world and I felt like I was doing things the way I should be doing them. 7 July 2000 Elder Krommenhoek has ZTM, so I went on splits again with elder Williamson. He expected me to lead out everything, but I felt a lot of support from him too. I love the way he explains everything so well and makes sure the investigator understands. He goes home in August, so he has had a lot of experience. I also passed off the fourth discussion finally. 8 July 2000 Elder Krommenhoek is more and more aware of the fact that he is leaving soon. He wants to make sure everything here is taken care of by that time. I want to think more like him. I want to be the missionary the Lord wants, but more and more I think that is a lot like Elder Krommenhoek. Sometimes I feel like I do not know how to recognize inspiration. That is the biggest thing I want to learn. Elder Krommenhoek has many great ideas about it. I‟m hoping to learn all I can. Elder Krommenhoek had a branch president in the MTC by the name of Merlin Fish. I have a talk that he gave to Elder Krommenhoek. Elder Krommenhoek used all of those principles in teaching the gospel, right down to keeping a revelation journal every time he prayed and writing down any thought or impression that came to his mind. The theme of the talk is revelation (click to read). 9 July 2000 My first baptism in Chinese was pretty neat. I baptized a girl named 陳 (Chen) Yi4 Shan1 [陳逸珊] and a 吳 (Wu) Ling2 Qin2 [吳鈴琴] (both single, over 20). It was really neat to get to be part of this great work. I hope I can stay a lot longer and continue the work. 10 July 2000 We spent P-day doing the usual things – cleaning, shopping, companionship & personal study. It always seems to fly fast that way, however. We are trying to get an 巫 [Wu1] family ready for baptism together. She still feels like she needs more time so we asked them to fast with us tomorrow. 11 July 2000 It was good to visit the Yang Hong Ming [楊 Yang2] family. They have accepted an invitation for baptism after not meeting with us for almost a full month. They have been having some problems together lately, but their only concern was with following the Word of Wisdom exactly. We were happy to hear them accept baptism. The 巫 [Wu1] family fast went well. Afterward, they were supposed to come to the baptism interview, but apparently one of their kids got sick so only Brother 巫 came. I guess he still has some problems with the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as well as tithing. We are going to give them an extra week to come along and work it out together. 12 July 2000 For English, I taught the mid-level class. It was OK. Elder Williamson and I were on splits. I lean a lot from him. He likes to sing before and after the discussion and he really explains each principle well if they do not understand it. It felt good and peaceful all through the discussion. 13 July 2000 At Zone Conference, we were asked to really look like representatives of the savior and really plan out each part of every goal and each part of the day. I feel like nothing can stop the work from progressing. If we just follow everything we are taught, and get the edge, then there is no way our investigators cannot be baptized. 14 July 2000 Elder Krommenhoek and I started applying some of the things we learned. We are trying to be more exact in everything and make sure our teaching is very clear and simple. I think it will make a difference. 15 July 2000 We had splits with AP‟s, so I led Elder Dopp around 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu2]. We worked hard and yet were only able to set up one person to here. Early this morning, Elder Krommenhoek called our long-time investigator 巫 Shen4 Shi2 [Wu1]. We have been teaching them recently and this was to be their baptism goal, but he had not passed the interview because of a lack of testimony about Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, and Tithing. Yesterday we visited him and he said he no longer had questions in these areas and still wanted to be baptized. We called him early in the morning for a baptism interview – he passed, and then went to the baptism. Nine people were baptized all at once. That is more people this week than we have ever had in a month. This month already we have 13 – the record for a zone is 15. We should have no problem meeting that. The Lord is indeed blessing us in his work. 16 July 2000 Sacrament meeting was spent confirming everyone. It took the whole hour. Afterward, we had three people bear testimony. Our companionship had sisters 吳 Ling2 Qin2 [吳鈴琴 Wu2 Ling2 Qin2], 陳 Yi4 Shan1 [陳逸珊], and Brother 巫 Sheng4 Shi2 [巫勝拾] confirmed. 17 July 2000 I looked at CD players and Elder Krommenhoek went to the dentist. With government health insurance, a cleaning only cost $100NT ($3 US) and cavities are free. It sounds great, but you have to be on island four months before they give you a card. I‟ll just have to go back in a couple of months. I meant, of course, that having cavities filled was only $3US. 18 July 2000 Elder Russell – from my MTC district – came down from 員林 [Yuan2 Lin2] splits. We had a great time together, taught a whole lot of unfinished discussions – a time problem – and tried to find some more. He will be a wonderful missionary. He is finalling tomorrow. 19 July 2000 In English, I taught about “Modern Day 'Moroni's” – an article from the church news. It went pretty well and I think they enjoyed it. Next week, I want to do the Proclamation on the families or “The Living Christ.” 20 July 2000 Our day was a little rough. We “killed – off” the Yang2 Hong2 Ming2 [楊] family again – he still believes in his gods and Christ is best buddies with them all in heaven. Our finding was ok – 3 people. Last night though we got a call from president 楊 [Yang2] about our new member 陳 Zhi4 Ming2 [陳志銘 Chen2 Zhi4 Ming2]. He has been feeling a lot of stress lately, so we tried to find a scripture about Enoch and how the Lord helped him overcome his trials and fears. The scripture I found however did not help. He thought we were telling him to repent and do everything we want or god would punish him. I felt so terrible because I had shared the scripture. He told some members he would move to Taipei [台北 Tai2 Bei3] on Monday and he sent us an envelope with cards we sent him – scriptures we shared. He also sent the scriptures – pages out of the cheap Book of Mormon and triple combination. Without realizing it, in the last 3 weeks, we have shared 3 bad scriptures – depending on how you take them – all telling him to repent. Our objective was to share the good parts – not make him feel bad. We called him up – seems to be doing well. I hope this blows over. I do not want to mess up like that again. 21 July 2000 We had great success finding. Many people set up with us to hear the discussions. It was great. We also visited Brother 陳 Zhi4 Ming2 [陳志銘 Chen2 Zhi4 Ming2]. He seemed to be doing well, it‟s just that he doesn‟t believe he is cut out for missionary work and believes God wants him to develop other talents right now. We are supporting him, but he still thinks we are pressuring him to do missionary work. 22 July 2000 Our day went well. It seems we taught 17 1st discussions this last week. Other than that, we did not teach much. The other elders taught a total of 37 discussions. The work here is going great. I hope I can continue to share and spread this success on to the rest of my mission. The Lord has indeed blessed us. Our next goal is to baptize every week – be a true “Farming Missionary.” 23 July 2000 Church is always great. This week was really big – 123 people again. The talks were on families – great for our investigators. We visited Brother Chen2 Zhi4 Ming2 [陳志銘] again to give him a picture of us and an invitation to a new member‟ meeting this week. When we got there he had a cigarette in his hand. He had been helping a neighbor with a funeral and they had given him some towels and a box of cigarettes. He was afraid to talk about the church, so he just took it and smoked with them. His testimony seems shaken, except that he still knows everything is true. He will move to Taipei [台 北 Tai2 Bei3] this week for work and says he‟ll call us and still go to church. He seems so sad now. I hope he turns to the Lord for help and can overcome these trials. 24 July 2000 We spent p-day doing the usual stuff. It never seems like we can get everything done. The girl we‟ve been teaching, sister 楊 (Yang2) Shi4 Ting2 [楊思婷 Yang2 Si1 Ting2] passed her baptism interview today as well. It feels great to have been able to teach her. She just knew it was true – never had to question or fight about anything. This is an interesting way to describe her because after her confirmation the next Sunday, we never saw her again. It is like the story of the trees that never have to fight for anything, but after the first big storm, they fall away because of shallow roots. 25 July 2000 I got up at 4:00 to memorize the discussions and I got pretty far too, but at the end of the day, I started getting sick. I‟m not sure it was worth it. 26 July 2000 I was sick all day and had a fever up to 102 degrees. I felt fine just sitting down – thank goodness we taught a lot of discussions. Turns out though that we had to come in ½ an hour early because I couldn‟t handle tracting. I hate having to miss time because of me. I felt bad about this ½ hour because in my setting apart, I was promised that I would not miss any time for sickness. I probably could have made the last half hour if I had pushed myself a little harder. I guess I would never know what I could have done until I had collapsed. I got really sick one other time on my mission when I had a lymph node infection while I was in the office. That time, I just slept in the office all day and then I went out with my companion that night, so I didn‟t miss any proselyting time for it. In English, I shared the 1995 proclamation on families. It went great. Maybe next time I‟ll find the “Living Christ” or the Bai4 Bai4 talk or write something on my own. It went well. Bai4 Bai4 is the practice of ancestor worship. An article written by a previous mission president of the Taichung mission wrote in the Ensign that respecting ancestors is allowed in the church, but not worship and the difference in the two acts might only be the person‟s own attitude. Above all, we should remember what Paul wrote about being a stumbling block to others coming into the church because they see some members using the same actions to respect their ancestors as everyone else uses to worship their ancestors. 27 July 2000 I felt much better proselyting, but I also felt drained of energy. We had a good day of finding and teaching. 28 July 2000 We found out Elder Krommenhoek leaves on Monday and flies out on Tuesday. I will miss him. We had another great day together. I love his scream – he crosses his eyes, opens his mouth wide, sticks his tong straight out, shakes it back and forth, and screams. Elder Hagen (甘)[Gan1] will be my new companion. He is great. 29 July 2000 I passed off the sixth discussion and finalled. I just wanted to get it done with Elder Krommenhoek so I could start studying everything else. It feels great to be done. I cannot wait to get through vocabulary and characters. 30 July 2000 Church was great again. President Kim and Sister Kim came to see how beg church would be. We had 7 people baptized this morning – 楊 Yang2 Shi4 Ting2 [楊思婷 Yang2 Si1 Ting2]. Then at church, we had 141 people show up. It was huge. He was very pleased and plans on making a lot of changes. We went to a five – family home evening. It was good to have all of our new member families together with ward members. We had a short lesson on citizenship and then a few activities. It was great. 31 July 2000 Elder Hagen and I spent the day realizing that were both still in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu3] and that we got a chance to work together – its what we‟ve been hoping for since we found out Elder Krommenhoek is going to Hong Kong. Elder Hagen is great. We will baptize together this month. I hope [we] can stay here one more month after this together, but that would be stretching it – 5 ½ months in my “greenie” area. 1 August 2000 Elder Hagen taught his first District meeting. It was great. Afterward, we spent a lot of time trying to get sections of the Book of Mormon copied. When we give out books, sometimes we don‟t get them back. The problem is we have to go one more week on no Books of Mormon. 2 August 2000 English was great. Elder 楊 [Yang2] and I taught the little kids – we had to get rid of the high – level class since Elder 楊 has only been out 2 months and is still working on his English. 3 August 2000 We met with 林五 yi4 [林正義 Lin2 Zheng4 Yi4] and his family at the Zhao [趙 Zhao1] family‟s house. We were 40 minutes late, but the two families were able to bond a little. Then we watched “What is Real” and really locked them in. It‟s the first time I was really sure that this family would be baptized. The father is an aborigine – his ancestors are the Lamanites. They are great. I think this is the first time that I mention the Lin2 family. They were rather unusual because Elder Krommenhoek found them when we were racing to an appointment that we were late for one evening. Brother Lin was waiting outside of the other Harvard English School in town (not the one we taught English in) for his daughter to finish her lesson. Elder Krommenhoek was racing by and decided to stop and invite him to hear the discussion. He made an appointment and then we went to visit them for the first time. They were a little slow coming at first because neither he nor she had had very much education. The first visit was very unusual because Elder Krommenhoek was very particular about his time and he hated to waste time. We did not even share a discussion in that first visit. We just looked at their pictures, got to know them, and found out that Brother Lin was not receiving the money he should have received for his labors as a construction worker. His boss was not paying him because he was aborigine. He was very upset and we decided that it would be better to build a relationship with them than to try to force down a discussion that they probably would not listen to. When Elder Krommenhoek left, Elder Hagen and I began to teach them the discussions and it was slow going, but with patients and an effort to pray with the parents every day, they were finally baptized. 4 August 2000 We shared a third discussion with that 林 [Lin2] family over at the Zhao [趙 Zhao1] family house again. It went great. They still seem to not quite grasp the picture yet, but they are coming along. They will get baptized, we jut need to get them converted as well. 5 August 2000 Well, I guess it must be rainy season – this is the tenth day of rain – I love it. We had another great day of finding and this week we taught a total of 27 discussions – 19 firsts – 8 second-sixth. 6 August 2000 Church was really good. 137 people showed up and we did not make any special calls or anything. President Chen – district president who decides whether or not to split 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu2] and 員林 [Yuan2 Lin2] – came unannounced this time. The meetings were great. Afterward, we had a long hard night of tracting – we taught only ½ of a discussion to a 12 year old girl - her family did not have interest and she had to leave early At home we waited for the other elders, Williamson and 楊 [Yang2] , to get home. We wanted to hit them with water – a bucket and a bag. They got a little wet. We used to do that a lot more a little over a month ago. 7 August 2000 When we got up and went to get breakfast, we found all of our bikes had a flat tire – someone slashed them last night. That was the latest in Satan‟s recent attempts to discourage us. Last week was a little rough despite all of the discussions we taught. Last week, someone stole the other elders‟ rain gear and helmets. Last night our tires were slashed. I‟ve really felt like Satan‟s been on us and on the members hard this last week. We‟ve all had a rather rough week. Elder Williamson baptized a sister 吳 [Wu2] in another area. She took the four of us down to a folk village theme park. It was fun walking around the traditional theme and seeing a few shows. All in all, it was a great day. The members took us to the Taiwan Folk Village. There were all kinds of neat things to look at and learn about. See the pictures for this outing. 8 August 2000 The 林 [Lin2] family is doing great. They really feel the spirit and really want to join the church. They can feel how it will be influencing their family and they already see a difference. It is a pleasure to teach them. 9 August 2000 In English, Elder 楊 [Yang2] and I taught the little kids the story of the three little pigs. Of course they had heard it before, so it was easy to do in English. We decided this would be the last week for English at the Harvard School where it has been for a year. Mostly because we need to get away from our association with Harvard. The fact that someone will be living on the third floor in two weeks just adds to our reasoning. We found a post card on the main desk of the school that the owners, who were members, had been sending out to all of the people on their mailing lists. The card took advantage of us teaching English for free and never mentions the church. It claimed that the owners had set up four extra classes with Americans that come and teach at no charge. Click here to see the card and a translation. 10 August 2000 Zone Conference was great. I have been praying mightily for help in three areas of the work: humility, the Spirit, and how to focus on the work better. Guess what the topics were at Zone Conference: humility, Listening to the Spirit, and using the Missionary Guide (its close enough). It was everything I needed. I love Zone Conference. 11 August 2000 We wanted to share “On the Way Home” with the 林 [Lin2] family, but the husband never came in. Because he is Yuan2 Zhu4 Min2 [原住民] (aborigine), he has a habit of drinking, smoking, and chewing bing lang (a nut native to Taiwan that is addictive and bad for you). It sounds like he may have forgotten the Word of Wisdom yesterday night or sometime and so he felt bad. We have got to make sure he feels loved and help him remember. He doesn‟t do any of it at home – just with his friends. He and his wife do not want their children to grow up doing it. They are an awesome family. 12 August 2000 We started teaching a girl at Harvard named Xu3, her friend too. She is pretty down to earth about everything – nothing fazes her. We taught her a second and she wants to be baptized in two weeks. That well be neat indeed, but she seems ready. We will just go with it one day at a time and watch her progression. 13 August 2000 Church, of course, was great again. Not only that, but we had seven investigators come: the 林 [Lin2] family (4/6 will be baptized), the Xu3 girl and her friend, and a girl named Cai4. Coming to church, reading and praying are the determining factors on whether an investigator gets baptized or not. Church is so good. Afterward, we went to a member‟s house to have him look at Elder Hagen‟s hand. (His hand has a bump or two just above the wrist that sometimes five him funny bone pains in his hand – weird stuff). The member starts doing qi3 [氣 qi4 – air] (air power) stuff and Elder Hagen started to laugh – he was pretty sure it was Hocus Pocus stuff, but then he said he could feel it trying to flow down his hand – it‟s the same stuff grandma taught us to do. It was neat. Then, the member‟s wife (also a member) taught us to do acupuncture on him. That was really neat and fun (I could not stand it at first and I would not let them do it to me at all). Then, we went down stairs and he worked on our backs. It felt really good. Grandma Naylor taught us the same kind of stuff about qi4 many years ago. It has to do with envisioning the energy around you flowing into you and concentrating in a certain place for the purpose of helping that part of the body heal itself. I inserted one of the needles for Elder Hagen. That was the interesting part, but I couldn‟t stand to have a needle stuck into me. Elder Hagen said it seemed to work for a bit. By this time, his wrist was so bad that he had to have it heavily bandaged so that it was stiff and couldn‟t move. Turns out that it was a gang green cyst and he had to have them removed at a hospital. He just didn‟t want to go to a hospital in Taiwan until we could go to the Christian hospital in 彰化 Zhang1 Hua4 that he trusted to do things correctly for him. 14 August 2000 Elder Hagen and I went to Zhang Hua [彰化 – Zhang1 Hua4] to the Christian Hospital to have Elder Hagen‟s wrist looked at. The doctor said if he wanted to do anything about it, they would have to cut out. He decided to wait till he gets home to America to have any surgery done. Some new members, Sisters 李 [Li3] and 陳 cun4 美 [Chen2 Cun4 Mei3], took the 4 of us out to lunch. It was pretty good. The 林 [Lin2] family is doing very well. We taught a fifth to them that went ok until the very end. We will have to finish it tomorrow. It‟s good to see the change they have had in just a few weeks. 15 August 2000 Elder Hagen taught about the Book of Mormon and challenged us to use it more in our work – especially in contacting and finding. It was a great DTM. We taught a second discussion to a girl from 二林 [Er4 Lin2]. It went very well and she seems to be excited to learn more. The 林 [Lin2] family was great tonight. We finished up the discussions and set them up for their interview and prepared them for it. It went great. They are excited to be able to receive baptism. 16 August 2000 No English because Harvard will be renting the space out. We will have to find a new place to have it. Instead we asked all new members to attend a meeting about accompanying us to discussions. It went great, but left half way through to go to the 林 [Lin2] family for the sixth discussion. They are doing great and are very excited for their baptism. 17 August 2000 I went on splits to Dou3 Liu4 [斗六] with one of the Assistants to the President. I was with Elder Dopp again. We did a lot of contacting and Business contacting. It felt like a larger 溪 湖 [Xi1 Hu2]. At night, we found a family to help us locate an appointment. They had a black bird with 2 yellow feathers on its neck. It could speak, chirp, and make noises like a horn or computer. It was neat. Over all, it went well, but I did not feel the urgency there that I do here to find people to be baptized. With more urgency, more work gets done. 18 August 2000 The 林 [Lin2] family passed their interview and are ready to meet with the Mission President. They are very excited to be baptized and are doing great. Recently, they seemed to have changed a great deal since we first met with them. It feels good to see them change in that way and be excited about church. 19 August 2000 We went to Pu3 Yan2 to teach a family. When we first arrived, the mother kept calling us angels – despite the dirt and sweat. She believes in Christ, but has not been baptized because of a question about ancestor worship. She goes to church each week with her friends, but they kept telling her that if she “bai4 bai4” –s, she is not a true Christian. Other churches here make their members completely oppose “bai4 bai4” before they join. This lady‟s husband and mother-in- law expect her to bai4 bai4 no matter what, but they also well let her believe what she wants. When we told her that in this church, we respect our family and parents and so we bai4 bai4 to let them know we respect them, she started to cry and continued to cry through the end of the discussion. As we were leaving, she again told her children we were angels. It was really neat. I cannot wait to see how the rest of the discussions go. She and her daughters were baptized after I left Hsihu [溪湖 Xi1 Hu2]. I remember this well because when we arrived she said “Look kids, two angels have come.” We were hot and sweaty and did not feel like angels. When we left she said, “Look kids, the angels are leaving. Say goodbye to the angels.” It touched me because in the MTC, one instructor, Sister Peng, said we would be angels to these people. This was a literal fulfillment. The last part of this entry was added later – probably after I finished my first year on island and I was filling in some of the pages at the beginning. I named this experience “Look, kids, the angels have come” because of how it touched me. I remember that she interrupted the discussion to ask us specifically if she was allowed to worship ancestors. We told her no, but that did not mean she could not respect them. It was ok to go through the motions as long as she made her beliefs and her thoughts known to her family and as long as in her heart she knew that there was only one God and that she was not worshiping ancestors, but just paying respects similar to the way Americans put flowers on the graves of the deceased. She told us that her Christian friends told her that no true Christian would continue to do those things and Elder Hagen told her very boldly that they were wrong and at that moment the tears came and didn‟t stop coming. The Spirit was strong, but Elder Hagen was so startled by the tears that he wondered if he said something wrong and he asked me what I thought. We just continued the discussion and made arrangements for the rest of the discussions. She had a son that was probably just about 2 years old who was wearing wooden shoes and who made a lot of racket during the entire discussion. She did not let that stop her from hearing the message we had to give to her. Her name was sister 紀黃美珍 Ji1 Huang2 Mei2 Zhen1 and her daughter was 紀淳萍 Ji1 Chun2 Ping2. 20 August 2000 I really like going to church in Taiwan. I am stating to understand most of what is said and it is great to see how things at church correspond to discussions we teach our investigators. It is awesome to see new members progress in the gospel and get callings and how much it really means in their lives. We went to the Zhao [趙 Zhao1] family house to teach the Ji1 太太 [紀太太 Ji1 Tai4 Tai4 – Lady Ji1] we taught yesterday. She had read a little of the Book of Mormon and liked it. Sister Zhao [趙 Zhao1] was great and bore excellent testimony, not just that it was true – from her heart. She reads it for 2 hours everyday. That just blew me away. She loves the gospel and knows exactly how it has helped her family. I know that is exactly what the gospel is all about – helping us change ourselves for the better, turning to Heavenly Father. 21 August 2000 The new member Zhuang [莊 Zhuang1] family took us to 台中 [Tai2 Zhong1 – Taichung] for lunch to a very nice buffet. It is really neat to be able to know so many great people here. Heavenly Father is blessing us and moving the work forward. I hope I can stay here long enough to see it really take off. 22 August 2000 Everyone started worrying about a typhoon this afternoon. It is supposed to be bigger than Taiwan. We were to continue proselyting as usual. It did not turn big until 9:00 and it gets gradually worse. The big winds and rain remind me of being in Las Vegas during a big storm. It is a lot of fun. 23 August 2000 OK, the Typhoon turned out to be a big wet breeze-storm. Not even that much rain. I guess everyone said the reason is because of the mountains in the middle of the island. It came from the east, so it was not as bad as one from the south or west. The work was about the same as always except that a lot more people were home because of the Typhoon thing. The Cai4 Jie2 Mei4 [菜姊妹 Cai4 Jie3 Mei4] we have been meeting with finally talked with us as well. She seems good, but might have family problems if she tries to join the church. 24 August 2000 Another long day of finding. Sometimes it is difficult being patient and waiting to find those golden families. After that, we received a phone call from sister Zhao [趙 Zhao1] that said sister Cai4‟s neighbor found a note on her doorstep that asked her to tell us she could not come. When we called her house, her dad said she had not been home in two days. It was like she disappeared. We went with the 林 [Lin2] family to their interview. It went great. They will be baptized on this Saturday. 25 August 2000 We did service moving a family. They were moving out of Elder Williamson‟s area into our area. Nothing in their house was packed or ready. I guess people here do not move much and so do not have much organizational experience. It went well, though. President Kim called Elder Hagen and told him he would be training. I will be moving to Wu4 Feng1 [霧峰] – near 台中 [Tai2 Zhong1]. I will miss 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu2], but it will be exciting to go somewhere new. 26 August 2000 Brother 楊 [Yang2], a new 19-year-old member and I went on splits. It turned out to be a pretty good day. We taught a discussion in the morning and went tracting in the afternoon. He was a great companion. The 林 [Lin2] family was baptized tonight. Brother and Sister 林 [Lin2] and their 2 older children. It was a really neat service. Elder Williamson and I solo-ed “Love Is Spoken Here” in Chinese. The other elders came in on the chorus. It was neat. Elder Hagen and I had helped them decide to let brother Zhuang [莊 Zhuang1] baptize them. Afterward, brother 林 [Lin2] bore his testimony. It was a really good feeling to hear him talk about their family change and love of the gospel. Right on the middle he lost his train of thought, thought for a second, and closed. He is very funny at times. He will be a great priesthood brother. 16 March 2004 – Elder Hagen returned to Taiwan with Cameron Smith last week and spent time seeing the members in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu2] that we had baptized there. (Cameron Smith was present for this baptism – he was the missionary that elder Hagen trained to take my place and later became my companion for a few weeks in the office as I trained him to take my place there as well). They said that the 林 family is doing fine and that the dad comes to church and is active now to (which was an obstacle at one point because of work – when she went to the temple for her Endowment, he could not go yet because of activity). They said the other members are doing all right as well. 27 August 2000 The members kept asking me to remember them and said they would mess me and gave me cars at church. I will miss this place, but I will see them all again. The 吳 [Wu1] family took us to the dinner after church. It was all great food and everyone was having fun. Lan2 Jie2 Mei4 [籃姊妹 Lan2 Jie3 Mei4] then shared a quick lesson on blessings. It was really neat. 28 August 2000 A member‟s (Qiu1 Sheng1 Yu4) father picked me up at 7:00 and drove me to Wu4 Feng1 [霧峰]. Elder Huang was waiting for me. He seems excited to be senior companion and he is a lot like Elder Hagen in his ideas. Turns out we are a lot alike too. Things like neither of us are very spontaneous – we need a plan. We like things rather neat. I can‟t wait to go out and teach with him. 29 August 2000 Went on splits to Wu4 Ri4 [烏日] with another elder who came on with Elder Krommenhoek. The day was pretty good. We had a lot of set ups, but half of the people there did not show up for their appointments. It‟s neat to see how similar the work is no matter where we go. 30 August 2000 Elder Huang is great. We spent a long day contacting and teaching a couple of discussions. Our area is huge, so we have to ride a ways out to where we usually proselyte. We are also rather close to the mountains. Much of our area was affected by the earthquake 9/21 last year. Many huge concrete complexes are slowly being torn down. Everywhere we go there are huge cracks in houses, roads, everywhere. It‟s kind of neat to see. 31 August 2000 Instead of an English class, once a week we help out at an old folk‟s facility and help them study English. It was kind of neat. The teacher is a member. After English, we contacted at the Post Office. Within three contacts, I was mad and ready to hit the next person who would walk by without listening or looking at me. I sat down to cool off for a while and prayed for forgiveness and help. It felt good to be that calm again and feel at peace. Also, I noticed when I was angry, I could not speak. All my language skills disappeared. The Spirit is very important in the work. I remember a little about this incident, but later in my mission I would say that this experience “broke me” as far as a love of contacting people goes. I just felt so bad that I did not see any reason to continue working if there was not going to be any one who would listen. I continued to try my best, but I didn‟t let my feelings surface and it didn‟t matter as much to me any more if people rejected my message because I didn‟t care too much if they did or not. When people did listen, I got excited and I began to care again. I did not realize this was only my third day in my new area. I was probably used to the laid-back feel of the people in my first area and not used to the bustle of the big city. 1 September 2000 Almost all of the day we had discussions scheduled, but a lot of people decided not to show up. When that happens, we usually turn to local tracting or phone calls and contacting. All in all, it was not a bad day. 2 September 2000 This companionship baptized a 林 [Lin2] family tonight (Mom & son). It felt strange for me at the service because I had only met them last night, but it was this companionship‟s baptism. Our morning was spent at McDonald‟s where we found and taught a discussion and had already scheduled a follow-up. It felt weird going there for discussions. 3 September 2000 The ward seems great. I met a lot of new friends and a family baptized by Elder Hagen (黃 family) [Huang2]. Church was a bit different. The missionaries stayed with the investigators and sat and talked between classes. I am used to getting up and throwing as many members as I can at investigators. I think one of the big differences is that this ward covers a huge area, so it would be difficult to try to have people who live ½ - 1 hour away try to become good friends. We‟ll figure it out though. 4 September 2000 I have never had more study time than today. It was nice to get everything done I wanted to. 5 September 2000 I received a package – CD player & CDs, Nathan Austin‟s farewell, peanut butter, capsules, flour, brown rice, caramels, and a bag of dish rags. I felt a lot of love, but also guilt for burdening my parents. While riding home, a police car pulled us over. Three policemen were inside with lights on just cruising around. They wanted to talk to the missionaries. They were just having fun and weren‟t worried about bothering anyone or anything. It was kind of sad to see them stoop so low and play around in uniform. 6 September 2000 While making phone calls, a man came up to me, did not speak much, but gave me his card and had me write down my name and number and then he shook my hand a lot and began bowing himself in half, touching my hand to his forehead. It‟s the first time I have been so worshiped here. The guy was probably crazy or else drunk. Afterward, we visited the new member, 林 jie2 mei4 [林姊妹 Lin2 Jie2 Mei4], and her husband. He was drunk and talking very nice – a little funny also. He kept telling how happy we were because we knew and lived God‟s plan for us, but it was different for him. Al in all it was a funny, if not a good visit. I hope he does not remember the sad state was in tonight. 7 September 2000 Zone Conference was great again. One of the talks or lessons given was about using Faith as a Principle of Power: How to use our faith to call down the powers of Heaven. It was the answer to my prayers and was a really good talk. I can‟t wait to start using it in the work. I saw Elder Eldridge and Elder DeWitt at Zone Conference. It was good to see how they are doing. The only one I have not seen is Elder Chow. 8 September 2000 We have been teaching a 陳 [Chen2] family. They heard a 6th and finally decided to set a baptism goal. It took three hours and the help of a returned sister missionary who could speak Tai2 Yu2 [台語]. Sister 陳 [Chen2] is pretty excited. She has a self esteem problem because of a small speech impediment – she does not think anyone can understand her. 9 September 2000 陳 Wan2 Yi4 [陳婉儀 Chen2 Wan3 Yi2] was baptized. She is 18 and really loves the gospel. At first, her parents did not want her to get baptized, but when she told them last night, they did not seem to care. It was good to see her baptized. A member did it. He had to re-say the prayer 6 times and when she went down, it seemed like her body just stopped on top and would not go down so he tried to push her, but she did not go. Elder Huang and I could not stop laughing. After that she had to be put down 3 more times because her feet kept coming up. She was glad to finally just be baptized. Brother 林 [Lin2], a single, returned missionary (10-20 years ago in Taipei) took us out to Kentucky Fried Chicken. That was a special treat. 10 September 2000 As part of a “mission day” the Bishopric asked the ward missionaries (12 of us) to take up all of Sacrament Meting. The talks were pretty awesome and then we sang hymn 97 [Lead Kindly Light] in English. It was really neat. Bishop Gao4 then asked us all over for dinner. It was really good. Sister Gao4‟s cooking is really good and tasty. 11 September 2000 It has been neat working here in 霧峰 [Wu4 Feng1] for the last couple of weeks. I have felt the help of our Heavenly Father as he has answered my prayers. I am grateful for the Zone Conference talk on using Faith as a Principle of Power. I have set a couple of goals that I felt Heavenly Father answer now that I am trying to use what I have learned. First, I want to help 5 souls each month come unto Christ including 2 families each month and I want to be a farming missionary – baptizing every week. Second, I want to sound like a native when I speak so that my language will not become a stumbling block. I want to achieve this by completing the language program before I leave. 12 September 2000 A lot of Philipino people come here for work as house servants. We taught one today named Katherine. It felt kind of weird trying to teach a first discussion in English. She really liked it. In District meeting, Elder Huang taught us about retaining investigators. It was a really good talk and lesson. 13 September 2000 While tracting one day, we met an older lady who wanted to hear the gospel. She set a baptism goal for the thirtieth of September and really likes the resurrection doctrine better than reincarnation. Her name is Hong Xiu Hua [洪秀華 Hong2 Xiu1 Hua2]. 14 September 2000 We taught a sister Dai4 Chou Lan [戴秋蘭 Dai4 Qiu1 Lan2] a fourth discussion. She finally set a baptism goal for the twenty-third of September. She seems really good and was a referral, a friend, from another investigator, 陳周 Er Cun [陳周日春 Chen2 Zhou1 Ri4 Chun1]. She seemed ready to hear the rest of the discussions and prepare for baptism. 15 September 2000 We taught sister Dai4 a fifth discussion this morning. She seemed to like it, but is not sure about tithing. Last week, we met someone with awesome English named Spenser. He knows more about poets like Shakespeare, and Spenser, and Lord Byron than I do. He will be going to the South soon to teach English. He really likes the history side of the Book of Mormon and would like to know if it is true. His grandmother is a pretty devout Catholic – a true Christian with a heart of gold and a love of the Savior. He is afraid she will appose him investigating the church. All we can do is turn him over to the Gaosiong [高雄 Kaohsiung] elders and hope for the best. 16 September 2000 Sister 陳周 Er Cun [陳周日春 Chen2 Zhou1 Ri4 Chun1] was baptized. Her husband did not make it. Their oldest daughter is an inactive member. She [Sister Chen2] is very scared of speaking in public probably because of a slight slur in her speech. She wanted to go home when she heard they wanted her to bear her testimony. She acts like a teenager sometimes. It is pretty funny. Everyone seems to love her and she reaches out with love and kindness to everyone. She will be a great example and leader in the church. 17 September 2000 I like being able to understand what is said at church. It is a good feeling to have the blessings to hear it. We visited Katherine again. She really liked the Book of Mormon and the Liahonas we gave her, but her contract says that she will not seek any religion while here and some of her employers have asked us to stop meeting with her. They could not directly tell us, they had to have her tell us. I hope she enjoys the rest of her stay here (3 years) and that she will continue looking and investigating the church in the Philippines. 18 September 2000 I found out that Elder Hagen and Elder Smith did baptize the Ji1 [紀] family. I want to write them and congratulate them, but I would have to use English still. I really enjoy studying the words I am starting to pick up on a lot of them in conversation it is great fun. 19 September 2000 Zone Training Meeting was different than in Yuan2 Lin2 [員林]. More time was spent in unfocused discussion. To measure the amount of faith in the district and zone, our leaders asked us to set goals for how many souls we will bring to Christ by New Year‟s Eve. This zone together said 123 – 62 per five companionships and a sister companionship. I, myself set a goal of twenty from September first. It was kind of a scary thought – by the numbers, I make up one-fifth of this zone‟s faith, and yet, we have already seen the blessings of many souls come unto Christ this month. I need to do a better on qualifying for the powers of heaven to guide this work. 20 September 2000 It is neat to be able to study the vocab and get through it so quickly. I know Heavenly Father is blessing me in these studies and in the work too. I know that with his help, I can out do all of my goals and overcome any obstacle. 21 September 2000 We hope to get sister 陳‟s [Chen2] husband ready for baptism on the 30th. He still thinks he is too stupid and does not know enough. We do not know what to do to help him out. Hopefully he will feel the spirit at Dai4 Qiu2 Lan‟s [戴秋蘭 Dai4 Qiu1 Lan2] baptism. Because next week is Teacher‟s Day, the English Class students we visit gave us large packages of cookies and a card. It was really nice of them. Most of them are old folks and are pretty funny. 22 September 2000 Elder Pendleton and I split in Wu Ri [烏日]. It was a neat experience getting to work with a more seasoned senior companion and hear his view on everything. Only he and Elder Williamson have been over a year on island when they worked with me. There is not a large difference in their work, but they do offer insights and guidance that others do not always have. It is funny to think that I have been the first junior companion to all of my companions. 23 September 2000 Dai2 Qiu1 Lan2 [戴秋蘭 Dai4 Qiu1 Lan2] was baptized. She is Sister 陳‟s [Chen2] friend. It was really neat. 5 people were baptized all together. Sister 陳 [Chen2] did the introduction, but had a hard time because of her shyness. She has a way of making everyone feel good inside and want to laugh. The font had a hole in it, so the water was extra low. She was really afraid of having to go down twice, so she got herself all wet first and then got baptized. It went smooth – she was one of only 2 who did not have to re-do it. Her testimony was great too – wishing that her sister could also get baptized. While she was up there, Sister 陳‟s [Chen2] husband handed her the huge bouquet of flowers they bought for her. It was loud and noisy, but a very spiritual testimony. 24 September 2000 Sister 陳周 Er2 Cun2‟s [陳周日春 Chen2 Zhou1 Ri4 Chun1] husband really likes church and says he will get baptized someday, but he wants to understand more first. He has a hard time speaking Mandarin and cannot read much at all. I think he will come around in a little while. He will need a lot of help to understand everything he needs to know for baptism. 25 September 2000 I took a bus by myself to the Bu4 for a Zone Conference Choir practice. Sister Kim personally invited certain of us to participate, but Elder Huang went to 大里 [Da4 Li3] to stay with those elders while I was gone. A lot of people gave me a hard time about being out alone on the bus. 26 September 2000 I visited the other 大里 [Da4 Li3] elders while Elder Huang went to his training meeting. On splits, it was fun to see how much every place is just like another. I got to know Elder Duckworth a little more. 27 September 2000 Elder Jia1 of the Area Authority Seventies, from Beijing, attended Zone Conference on a mission tour. He is the church‟s contact with the Chinese government. It was really neat to hear him talk about the spirit and about Chinese culture and about the gospel. Toward the end, he said that when china opens, it will then require the combined force of the entire missionary compliment at this time to properly serve those people. That means 60,000 missionaries for China alone. Elder Beutler gave his farewell testimony and then Elder Jia1 said when China opened, Elder Beutler would be called back to serve. It was an incredible experience. 28 September 2000 No English for some reason. The vocabulary words seemed to get pretty easy by the end. I finished them yesterday and am reviewing. I cannot wait to start on the characters. 29 September 2000 Wu Feng [霧峰 Wu4 Feng1] has a lot of damaged high-rise apartment buildings. Since everything is cement, they all have to be jack-hammered down by bob-cat type things. It is weird to see them start ten floors up on the roof and end up on top of a pile of rubble. Such is the result of last year‟s earthquake. 30 September 2000 most of the day was spent tracting in 大里 [Da4 Li3]. We met a lot of neat, prepared people and had a good time. It is the first Saturday we have had together without a baptism. I know I have been blessed and seen the answers to my prayers even though it seems like it has not been though any of my own efforts – the blessings have come from other sources as we do our diligent work. 1 October 2000 I must have a gift at offending people – without meaning to. I was calling out of the “Set Up” stack of cards I have and called the home of a girl. Her mom answered and said she did not want her daughter to go to any of our activities. I did not know what she meant by activities and told her that she did not understand us. I thought it was some random person I had never met before. Later, it turns out that was 陳 Wan2 Yi4 „s [陳婉儀 Chen2 Wan3 Yi2] mother. I hope she is not terribly upset and that sister 陳 [Chen2] is still ok. There is a religion here called Yi4 Guan2 Dao4 [一管道 Yi2 Guan1 Dao4] that believes in the five major religions of the world. The members seem illogical in their arguments and seem afraid to pray or show doubt and I cannot find a way to get them to understand or break through the darkness. It is frustrating. 2 October 2000 It feels good to have finally started learning characters. It is also a lot of fun. Haven‟t had mail from home since 2 Fridays ago. I wonder how everyone is. I sometimes feel a little lost as to what is a prompting and what is not and when I can try to find a difference. Sometimes I do not even realize a thought has come into my mind before I discard it. If I learn not much else, I want to learn how to listen to, receive, and follow personal revelation concerning my life, education, and work. 3 October 2000 Elder Huang taught a great lesson on obedience. I feel I can really work on being more exact all the time. Lately, he has changed as well – we stop at every light and obey all traffic rules. It feels neat to do that. I want to be perfect in preparation to leave when we ought to and not cheat the Lord‟s time. We visited 陳 Wan2 Yi4 [陳婉儀 Chen2 Wan3 Yi2] and her mother. She didn‟t have any hard feelings and understood my misunderstanding. It was a really good visit and I think our relationship has grown because of it. I did my pre-certification pass-off with Elder Pendleton. It went really well. It will be nice to get all of that officially under my belt. 4 October 2000 We visited some of the most pleasant countryside I have ever seen up in the mountains. It was beautiful. We were visiting an artist who did not seem to have much interest after we started talking. This must have been one of the most difficult days I have had out. Most of the day was spent finding and we only had two make set up appointments. By the end of the day, we were pretty beat. I do not know what to do when I feel my spirits dampen. I guess we ought to do more praying. 5 October 2000 Sister 陳 Er2 Cun2 [陳日春 Chen2 Ri4 Chun3] visited Hong2 Xiu2 Hua [洪秀華 Hong2 Xiu1 Hua2] with us as we shared a fourth discussion. It went great and sister 陳 kept adding her won testimony and helping us teach. It was great to see her so in-tune with the spirit to say exactly the right things. Sister Hong [洪 Hong2] wants to get baptized on the 21st. Hopefully we will be able to get her daughters ready soon as well. I can see now all the blessings the Lord is giving us. We have baptisms lined up for every week in October now and they all seem pretty solid. I love to see the changes all these people go through. It is wonderful. 6 October 2000 It seems that Heavenly Father is really blessing us as late. Hong2 Xiu1 Hua3 [洪秀華 Hong2 Xiu1 Hua2] will be ready for baptism next week. Others are on their way too. This morning we taught a man just “looking for a religion.” He has dialysis, but is the humblest person and seems ready for the gospel. I felt very happy and edified coming out of the discussion. His name is 陳 [Chen2]. Move call came, but we will get to be together for another 6 weeks. I like this area and am excited about staying with Elder Huang for another month and a half. He has had to put up with a lot from me. If the moves go as usual, I should be here through New Year‟s Day. We will see what happens. 7 October 2000 Elder Huang (who came on with Elder Hagen) has been on island a full year today. He seemed pretty excited about it and looked back on how quickly it has all gone. We tracted a nice, old neighborhood around the side of the mountain. The houses were almost American style, but from the beginning of the last century. Most of the people were older as well. Coming home, we saw a strong dark man with long, braided, black hair hit a woman in their temple. [Buddhist or Taoist] It was part of a processes to get “evil spirits” out of her (the man was a Daoist Priest or something). There was a weird feeling about the place – it looked like a warehouse – and one person came out to talk to us – a lady. She also gave us a weird feeling when she talked in good (no accent) but broken English. She said he took care of her “problems.” It was weird. She was a teacher, but I kept wondering if she was possessed. 8 October 2000 A sister named Zhuang2 Yu4 Ling2 was baptized. She started investigating in August with Elder Huang and Elder Grierson. Elder Huang was very exited to see her get baptized. I have only met her two or three times at church. I set up with the assistants to certify tomorrow. I hope to be able to pass off well. 9 October 2000 Elder Hagen called to tell me that sister Cai4 in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu3] was baptized last Saturday – October 7. I wonder what took so long. We taught her a fourth back in August – just before she left for a trip to the mainland. It is good to hear of all these people I taught get baptized. I just wish I could have had a bigger part in it or feel like still know them. I had my first accident tonight. We were visiting an investigator (Hong2 Jie3 Mei4 [洪姊 妹]) and were going to turn left to get to her house. It was a three way intersection and through traffic had a red light. We had a green arrow to turn left, but at the last minute it turned yellow. I was already turning and decided to swerve back when a fifty year old man and his wife hit me with their motor scooter (running the red light). We all ended up on the ground, but no one got hurt. All I have is a small bruise where they hit my leg. Angels really are watching over us. 10 October 2000 Not much happened. We taught a few discussions and went tracting, but nothing special happened. This is Double 10 Day in 台灣 [Taiwan], a holiday celebrating . . . something. I guess there are fireworks in Gao1 Xiong2 [高雄 Kaohsiung] along with rallies and stuff. A lot of people had the day off. Recently, I have felt that I do have a lot of pride and selfishness or at least my character is flawed. Sometimes I wonder if I would have a hard time living with someone like me. Some of the things I do and say and share are not the best things, and I have not been very sensitive to Elder Huang‟s feelings. I have a lot to learn. 11 October 2000 The day seemed to pass before we actually did anything. Lately it seems a lot of days have been going like that. Also, I don‟t feel as sure or on fire about my goals as I have been. I want to be more strictly obedient, but things just seem to slip. 12 October 2000 It is hard to remember to do a good preparation or BRT with the contacts at the same time as be simple and direct and remember to listen for the spirit – amid trying to figure out what they are/aren‟t actually saying. It‟s a big game I often loose. I hope within a short period of time (the next 1 ½ years) I can accomplish it. 13 October 2000 Bike tire got a flat. I had to run home and we were late getting in. People are funny. They want to know why we work so hard, but they do not seem to understand when we say what we are doing we know is true or is right. Why can they not see something here that is different from their own like that they should look at or investigate. Why can they not understand the difference in truth and opinion or thought pattern. Someday all will see and know, I just wish we could better help them now. 14 October 2000 I started liking my tracting method. I try to be nice, I try to compliment them, and I do it as quickly as I can in the window of the spirit, being bold, but not overbearing. I have a long way to go, but I feel good, I feel the spirit in the work. I repeat Alma in his work as well as Ammon in his: I want to flood this nation with the spirit of God. 15 October 2000 O that I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart that I could speak with the trump and majesty of the power of God unto the convincing of my brethren of our eternal Father in Heaven and his plan for us his children. But I should be content with what the Lord has given me that I might invite his Holy Spirit to bear testimony and allow these people to exercise their free agency in following the Savior and forsaking their evil traditions, or the traditions of their fathers. 16 October 2000 Elder Westover certified me. He had me teach a second discussion starting from the fifth principle. It went pretty well, but I do need to do a better job of following up on previous commitments. Other than that, it went pretty easy. It feels good to finally get it out of the way. 17 October 2000 Elder Pendleton asked Elder Farr to teach a lesson in Zone meeting. I really did not understand how to do everything he said, but he emphasized getting to understand the people and how they think and feel. I want to be able to follow the guidelines he gave to us for doing just that. 18 October 2000 We turned a family over to the 大里 [Da4 Li3] elders, so we went on splits. Elder Duckwork and I went tracting. I really liked how we went pretty quick and really felt good about all our contacts. Lately, though, it seems that set ups are farther and farther between. Perhaps we need to repent and be more obedient and work a little harder. 19 October 2000 I have been reading Doctrine and Covenants and the commentary that goes with it. Particularly, I remember that when I went to meet the stake second or first counselor before receiving the Melchezedick Priesthood he said that I don‟t have to wait till later to make my calling and election made sure. The commentary on this is from Joseph Smith who said that when we follow all the commandments and continue to humble ourselves, after some sufficient trials and tests of worthiness, the Lord would show unto him the second comforter and make his calling and election sure. I guess this is a pursuit we should be seeking for any way. We should be following commandments anyway. 20 October 2000 We visited the 陳 [Chen2] family again. Brother 陳 has improved a lot. He knows Buddhism is wrong and wants to be Christian, but while we were setting a baptism goal and helping him get ready, sister 陳 started saying that he has to come every week to church and he got really sad and looked like he was about to cry. He wants help reading the scriptures, but his wife is too impatient. I do not know what to do, but ask for member‟s help. He wants to learn. He can do it with the help of our Heavenly Father. 21 October 2000 Jerry, (Liu2 Zhe1 Lun3) [劉哲綸], and Hong2 Xiu1 Hua2 [洪秀華] were baptized. Jerry gave a great testimony about how he feels about the gospel. Sister Hong2 (50 years) did not exactly understand and she said a prayer (her kind of prayer, including telling Heavenly Father who she is and asking for peace and health) instead of a testimony. They are both going to do well and will be able to help more people come to Christ. Jerry said that he felt he should go home and be spiritual rather than go out and play. I remember these feelings. Peace, calm, happiness, and a detachment from the world. This is the effect of the spirit. While praying, we asked the Lord to give us more people who would listen and accept the message. Not ten minutes later, another elder calls in a referral coming to church. 22 October 2000 The referral from last night seems pretty cool and willing, but his time is really rough. At church we were given many more referrals. Heavenly Father does immediately and effectively answer prayers. I need to do a much better job of being grateful. 23 October 2000 There are many great stories about the earthquake last year. One man and his wife lived on the 11th floor of a thirteen floor high rise. The bottom three floors were crushed down into the under ground garage and then the building fell sideways onto the next house over. After it fell, they jumped out their windows. A school track yard looks like a field of small mountains and valleys because of how the earth rippled. The power of nature is astounding, and yet all things obey the voice and will of the Father. He with authority speaks, and there is immediate obedience. If we have any faith, then we can speak with such authority always in the name of him whose power and authority it is. The family was gathering guesses for where Brent was going. I felt very distinctly that he was going to France, some city from the war I could not pronounce, and so I put Paris down and sent the mail off. 24 October 2000 Elder Huang taught about being missionaries to match our message. In 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu3], Sister 吳 [Wu2], Rene, once told me that when I talk about fruit (in English class) my eyes get a certain glow and she can tell I love it. Then Elder Huang pointed out that our message is the most exciting thing ever, why don‟t we look like it. I have resolved to fix this. We visited a Lu4 [陸] family for a second discussion. Mr. Lu4 is really neat. His way of thinking is totally in line with the gospel and he likes reading the Book of Mormon a lot. They are excited about continuing to hear and have agreed to have us continue to share the discussions and help them prepare for baptism next month. 25 October 2000 A letter came saying that Brent was called to the France, Marseille mission. I never thought that I would guess right, but I remember feeling very certain about what I wrote. K Maybe it was the spirit. When I opened the letter I felt all good and tingly inside. I have felt a struggle lately to get others to understand me and get the words out right. Sometimes I feel stifled like I never get a chance to speak and everything comes out wrong. As I keep trying, the blessings will come. I will be “fluent” and “native” when my calling here is through. 26 October 2000 Sometimes while tracting, people say we have come before and left magazines and things then they want to give it all back to us. Turns out it is Jehovah Witness garbage. Having it makes me curious as to what it says. It is probably a good thing I can‟t read it all. I don‟t think it is anti- Mormon and I want to know what the difference in our churches is. Perhaps when I get back home I can look it up. I guess right now I should focus on what I am teaching and learning. 27 October 2000 While tracting, we came upon and old house. It was crawling and covered with weeds. All of the windows missing. It seemed very well designed like an old style 18th or 19th century mansion. It felt weird walking around inside – like we were in the middle of a Hardy Boys mystery. We found a wedding picture album near the front door. Some of the pictures were torn and cut. It seemed as if the two broke up because of something and left. Neighbors said the young couple borrowed money on the house and ten their business filed and the banks foreclosed, selling the house to someone who never lived in it. Later, Hong2 Xiu1 Hua2 [洪秀華] took us to a place advertising electric chairs. Supposedly for your health. It was fun shocking each other. 28 October 2000 We will start following all rules exactly now since situation specific questions have been cleared up. Elders will no longer teach ladies for any reason (unless it is a family). Also, we will start following all other rules more exactly. The Doctrine and Covenants reveals that when we do as the Lord wants, he is bound. We will bind the Lord and receive the blessings. What a wonderful chance to double our faith in the work. 29 October 2000 I translated for a Philippine member at ward conference. It was difficult hearing the speakers and then trying to put it into English. It was fun trying. I am afraid the sister did not get much out of the meeting however. While tracting, we met some men putting incense before an idol. Elder Huang had me hold and light one, but not do the actual Bai4 Bai4 and then place it before the god. My feeling afterward was a little strange. I don‟t think I did anything wrong and I know the men knew it did not mean anything to me, but I said a small prayer a little later anyway to ask forgiveness if I had done anything wrong. I felt better afterward and we finished the night off with phone calls. Sister Zhan (Jennifer) had us and 6 or 7 girls and Brother Liu (Jerry) over for dinner. It was great food. 30 October 2000 For P-day, the zone got together and had an American barbecue. Elder Duckworth and Elder Miller found a place that sells ground beef and we had hamburgers. The sisters made popcorn and there were chips and Oreo cookies. It was great. While eating they put on Bug‟s Life to watch. I finished eating and went out to write letters. I hope I never see a movie out on my mission. It was fun to let down a little with everyone. Chen2 Jun4 Ping2 [陳郡平] (Chen2 Zhi1 Ming2 [陳志明]) sent me mail. He sounds great and is doing okay up in Taipei. He never thinks of himself as acceptable to the Lord, he is too humble. I hope he continues to follow and grow in the church. 31 October 2000 Happy Halloween! A typhoon moved in. We have been wet all day and went on with work as usual. Although they are troublesome, I do love typhoons and the wind and rain. This earth is simply beautiful and wonderful in its sphere of creation. 1 November 2000 The Typhoon was pretty bad this morning. The wind was huge and caused a lot of damage. President Kim told all missionaries to NOT ride their bikes to Zone Conference. Zone Conference was really neat. I realized that I have many more faults than I realized. Many of the things I do are not in line with being perfectly focused on the work. I want to change and have a food idea of doing it. 2 November 2000 I bought fresh cinnamon and nutmeg. I did not realize nutmeg really is a nut about the size of your thumb. The little herb shops here are neat and they helped me grind up and prepare the spices. Those two together brought a really nice smell to the apartment. The French toast was really good too. 3 November 2000 Sometimes when we go to the post office, there are a lot of other salesmen. It makes contacting hard especially when the book companies try to contact all the young families too. I am finding hard to focus in the way that I make everything have a purpose in bringing more people to Christ: Eating food, sleeping, studying, how it all affects the work. This kind of focus would help obey rules more too. I just felt a little depressed and felt like I was out of place doing the work. President called and asked me to be the mission secretary. I was quite shocked, but understood now why I might have been having those feelings. I never thought I would go to headquarters. I thought I might stay in Wu4 Feng1 [霧峰] for another two or three months. The first part of this entry was written with those feelings of discouragement in mind. I had been feeling pretty down for most of the week and I didn‟t know if I was doing the right things or if I was making any difference. I remember getting frustrated at myself and also feeling that my companion was frustrated with me as well, though he never said it. Then, in the middle of writing this entry, the president called and asked me to be the new mission secretary. I was so shocked I couldn‟t speak. I sank to my knees and asked the Lord for forgiveness of all my sins. I was desperate to know if there was anything I needed to do to be ready and worthy for the new role I was to play. I wanted to feel He was near me and that it would all be all right. I was struggling in my mind with these things while praying and I was getting all worked up and mad that I could not feel the Lord near. Suddenly, the words popped into my mind “My son, be still.” The effect was immediate and I felt the love and comfort of the Spirit. I have often reflected on this experience. With everything that was going through my head, those words were all that I needed to “hear” and all my anxiety and troubles went away. I humbled myself and asked for forgiveness for the angry feelings I was feeling. I would like to add that I have noticed in my life that there has never been a call issued to me that I did not already know or feel that I would be called to. It was no different with this call. My companion had said several weeks earlier that elders like me end up in the office as the secretary or something like that and the thought went through my head that it would happen eventually. I was shocked that it came so early in my mission. The timing proved to be perfect for me and I knew that it was right for me to begin serving as secretary when I did. 4 November 2000 At the Special Member Conference, President Cook and president Cofford spoke to all members within our mission. It was a little long and boring because of live, on stage translators. It took almost 3 hours for 4 people to speak. They talked on love and on sacrifice. I finally saw Elder Chow again for the first time in six months. He seems like he is doing great. People started congratulating me on being the secretary. I really don‟t like being congratulated for doing what I am supposed to. I will be taking Elder Eyre‟s position. He is great. 5 November 2000 It felt good to just relax in church and hear others‟ testimonies. I felt like I wanted to get up, but I did not make it in time. I have often felt a little guilty because of my patriarchal blessing saying I sill have many chances to bear testimony from the pulpit and inspire others to do the same. I wish I would love to bear my testimony. That is my goal: to bear it until I love bearing it. I tried thereafter to bear my testimony every fast Sunday and I did so until a few months after I returned home. 6 November 2000 Took a taxi to Taichung to the Mission Headquarters. It was a little expensive, but there was no other way. I was received with open arms in welcome and began training. A lot of the work was like being back at Dad‟s office – copying, sorting, correlating, and organizing. I have been told that time is not usually so lax and that study time will disappear. I got to the office at lunch time. The elder I was replacing and his companion were on their way to lunch with some members. The members knew the missionaries well in both Taichung and Kaohsiung. I told them I had a friend, Elder Fish, serving in Kaohsiung. They said they knew him and one of them made a phone call to the Kaohsiung office without telling me. He then handed me the phone and said it was Elder Fish. Brad Fish was on the phone and said “你好. 你的國語怎麼樣?” or “Hello, how is your Chinese?” I was a little startled that he was on the phone and talked for about 10 seconds before I said goodbye (realizing it was a phone call out of my mission) and handed back the phone. They thought it was pretty funny. I enjoyed it. Over the next couple of months, I made phone calls to Brad whenever I needed something from the Kaohsiung Mission, but always in the name of mission business. It was nice to talk to him once in a while. We had a few “crazy” encounters as well. One lady had to be forced out of the office. Apparently she has been here before. Another guy kept calling back and talking in a weird voice. Everyone knows who he is and they usually hang up on him – he calls about 10 times in a row. Our proselyting time begins at 6:00. 7 November 2000 Our district is huge. It has as many companionships as some Zones. It includes the sign language companionship and us, the assistants, as well as a sister companionship and another companionship. Elder Eldridge is in my zone. He and Elder Woolsey are still in their first areas. We taught a Mister Yan2 and Mister Liu2 a third discussion. They are 30 and 50 years old and live and work together. They really like the discussions as well as reading and praying. 8 November 2000 Working as secretary is an awful lot like being in Dad‟s office. There are a million little things to do everyday that do not seem to add up to much in the long run, but someone thinks they are important. I sent off my application for an international license. I would prefer not driving in Taiwan, but I guess it will be necessary soon. I managed to avoid driving for the most part until January. At that point, my companion had two or three speeding tickets on the freeway which were US$100 each. He could not afford them and so I began driving and I liked it. I was a lot of fun dodging all of the crazy drivers and pedestrians. 9 November 2000 Elder Wright is funny sometimes. He lets people know when they are wrong when they start not making any sense in what they say. His favorites phrase is “Bai2 Tuo1 Ni3” [擺脫你 “Oh, come on!” or “Spare me!”]. We taught a few firsts together that went well. Sometimes, we have a problem with crazy people who want money. One particularly is Lai4 Xi1 Yu3. She is rather funny. She wanted us to send Bill Clinton a letter requesting money to her. (See copy) [Page 1 2 3] 10 November 2000 I went with Elder Eyre to visit brother Yan2 and brother Liu2. We had to finish the fourth discussion with them. They really understood chastity and really liked both chastity and the Word of Wisdom. When he said the closing prayer, brother Yan2 thanked Heavenly Father for sending two angels to teach him the gospel. It was really touching. That is the second time someone has called me an angel here in Taiwan. The other time was 19 August 2000. Brother Liu2 will be in Korea Sunday and until the Chinese New Year in February. He said baptism is a great way to start the year off right and wants to look us up then. I hope he does. At the end of the discussion, his mother came in and really liked the Word of Wisdom and asked us to teach her. Hopefully we can and baptize his family. He is divorced. 11 November 2000 A new native MTC program was started by the mission. All native missionaries now come here for one and a half weeks of training before going out to the field. All classes are taught by a few guest teachers, the assistants to the president, and the office elders. Of course something had to go wrong on the first day and one of the sisters is still in 高 雄 [Kaoshiung]. The office closes at noon and then we can go out proselyting again. We taught brother Yan2 and brother Liu2 a fifth discussion. Brother Yan2 thought fasting was a great idea because then we could know how the hungry feel and then love them more. He also loved the tithing idea. He is so incredibly willing to follow all the commandments. It is really neat teaching him. As we went to leave, brother Liu said he wanted to start contributing and took out three thousand NT dollars to give to us. We told him we could not take contributions. It is amazing how willing they are. 12 November 2000 I had another opportunity to translate at church. There are many Americans teaching English here. Sacrament meeting was a little difficult because some of the topics and things I did not understand much. Sunday school was a lot easier. I like translating and learning more Chinese. 13 November 2000 We taught brother Yan2 a 6th discussion. He really likes hearing and really likes the commandments. He will have a baptismal interview tomorrow. 14 November 2000 Brother Yan2 did not make it to his interview. Hopefully we can set him up for another before Saturday. 15 November 2000 P-day again. We bought groceries and prepared for incoming missionaries. 16 November 2000 Brother Yan2 passed his interview and will be baptized on Saturday. That is so neat. The orientation went pretty well. It was kind of a neat experience. I had to pass out and fill out many papers and orient them with the ARC card. I think that the ARC card was the Achievement Recognition Card – the mission‟s way of certifying missionaries. After the missionary passed of the first three discussions, they would have a mid-term where they were required to give any of the three discussions from memory to their district leader or zone leader. After they passed of the last three discussions, they would have a final where they teach any of the six discussions memorized to an assistant to the president and resolve a concern. A missionary was not allowed to be a senior companion until he had certified. There was good reason for that because if he could speak enough Chinese to teach a discussion, how could he manage a companionship in Taiwan? Certification was not an automatic ticket to be a senior companion, however. 17 November 2000 The new missionaries seem so advanced in the language already, and yet it is so funny to hear them pronounce words wrong. I am reminded of being in the MTC and really not knowing or understanding what I was saying. 18 November 2000 Elder Eyre and Elder Adams will be trainers. Elder Adams will stay another week in the office to pass his gob onto someone else. Brother Yan2 was baptized. It was really neat. After his baptism, he bore testimony about the Book of Mormon and shared scriptures from it. He also talked about how blessed he was to get to meet missionaries and accept the gospel. 19 November 2000 At church, I translated again. It is a lot of fun, but also a difficult thing to do. I do not mind doing it. Brother Yan2 was confirmed also. 20 November 2000 I never seem to make it in for Choir practice because I am always preparing for office meeting or something. 2000 年 11 月 20 日 今天是很老傳教士回家天. [Jin1 Tian1 Shi4 Hen3 Lao3 Chuan2 Jiao4 Shi4 Hui2 Jia1 Tian1. Today is old missionary return home day.] I found an insert in my journal with a few small entries in Chinese for various days. This is the first entry. 21 November 2000 Suddenly, it seems like there are so many things I never had Elder Eyre train me on. I am glad he will be available to talk to about it. 2000 年 11 月 21 日 我們很忙.早上,6:30 到辦公室去.很幸苦. [Wo3 Men2 Hen3 Mang3. Zao3 Shang4, 6:30 Dao4 Ban4 Gong1 Shi4 Qu4. Hen3 Xing1 Ku3. We are busy. 6:30 in the morning we go down to the office. Hard work.] 22 November 2000 I wonder if I will ever get this routine down and ready for smooth action. It seems so busy at times. 2000 年 11 月 22 日 衛長老和我今天有準備天. [Wei4 Zhang3 Lao3 He2 Wo3 Jin1 Tian1 You3 Zhun3 Bei4 Tian1. Elder Wright and I have preparation day today.] 23 November 2000 Sister Kim made us a turkey dinner and invited the stake president over as well. It was really nice to have an American style Thanksgiving my first year in Taiwan. Got a package from home with a tree, caramels, nuts, and a few other things. It was great. It was homemade caramel. 2000 年 11 月 23 日 中文字差太都. 我不能很好的寫字.我的同伴學的字非常好. [Zhong1 Wen3 Zi4 Cha2 Tai4 Dou1. Wo3 Bu4 Neng2 Hen3 Hao3 Di Xie3 Zi4. Wo3 De Tong2 Ban4 Xue2 De Zi4 Fei1 Chang2 Hao3. Chinese characters are too poor. I am not able to write well. My companion‟s characters are pretty good.] The character 都 should have been 多 [duo1]. The first means “all” and the second means “much.” It just goes to show how much I still had to learn. My grammar was pretty poor at this point as well. 24 November 2000 We did more service putting up lights in the yard and getting things ready for Christmas. When everything is together, it will look nice. The office always put up lights and a giant Christmas card made of plywood and paint with a nice message and a manger scene on it. The lights would draw crowds of people on their way to the mall across the street. 2000 年 11 月 24 日 我看到了員林分會的 Brad.你去美國,回來了.非常好! [Wo3 Kan4 Dao4 Le Yuan2 Lin2 Fen1 Hui4 De Brad. Ni3 Qu4 Mei3 Guo2, Hui2 Lai2 Le. Fei1 Chang2 Hao3! I saw Yuanlin Branch‟s Brad. He went to America and returned. Great!] Brad had turned up missing a little bit before this. He was a 15 year-old Chinese boy and the only member in his family. His parents did not know where he had gone. He apparently went to visit with some of his favorite missionaries‟ families (while some of them were still on their missions). He had a talk with President Kim when he came back to help set him in line against doing something like that again. In this entry, you can see again that my Chinese characters were horrible. The character 你 should have been 他. The difference is that the first character is “you” and the second character is “him.” 25 November 2000 We have been teaching a brother 張 [Zhang1]. He is really neat and likes reading and hearing discussions. He also asks a whole lot of questions. It is very neat to teach him, but I fear he is not getting the spiritual side of things. 2000 年 11 月 25 日 我們很忙. [Wo3 Men2 Hen3 Mang3. We are busy.] 26 November 2000 We recorded Christmas music at a radio station as a missionary choir. It was really neat. There are many very talented singers and musicians in our mission. It was great fun. 2000 年 11 月 26 日 我希望可以有聖靈與我同在. [Wo3 Xi1 Wang4 Ke3 Yi3 You3 Sheng4 Ling2 Yu2 Wo3 Tong2 Zai4. I hope I can always have the Spirit with me.] 27 November 2000 Elder Krommenhoek had an MTC District President that really taught a lot about recognizing revelation. I wish to study his methods and writings and apply it in the work. Still need to register driver‟s license and pick up ARC cards. Also call 李 Xian1 Sheng1 [李先生 Li3 Xian1 Sheng1 Mr. Li]. Check-in new move-ins. This last part of the entry was a stream of thoughts I had about my next day‟s activities while praying (see the article in the link above). 28 November 2000 We taught a first discussion that went great. His name was Li [李 Li3]. He was very excited about hearing the discussions and reading the Book of Mormon. He seems great. I think he will be baptized. 2000 年 11 月 28 日 我上了一個很好的課.是一個第一課.我決得你會受洗. [Wo3 Shang4 Le Yi1 Ge Hen3 Hao3 De Ke4. Shi4 Yi1 Ge Di4 Yi1 Ke4. Wo3 Jue3 De2 Ni2 Hui4 Shou4 Xi3. I taught a good discussion. It was a first discussion. I feel that he will be baptized.] Here again I used the character 你 when I should have used the character 他. The difference is the first character means “you” and the second means “he” or “him.” 29 November 2000 For P-day, I got a lot of study and reading in, but never wrote home. I feel bad because I know my family really misses those letters. 30 November 2000 Lately, I have not been able to get all my needed studies in. I wake up at 4:50, but barely get time in for Book of Mormon stuff. I miss memorizing cards and more in depth studies. 2000 年 11 月 30 日 我愛衛.我 [Wo3 Ai4 Wei4. Wo3 I love elder Wright. I] I obviously never finished this entry. 1 December 2000 We are finishing the details on the Christmas social. It should be great. Things are getting busy and hectic. 2000 年 12 月 1 日 我把一隻 dog 車禍了.好玩. [Wo3 Ba3 Yi1 Zhi1 dog Che1 Huo4 Le. Hao3 Wan2. I hit a dog. How fun.] Somehow the details of this incident didn‟t make it into my English journal. I find that I must justify myself, for I am not a ruthless dog-hater. The brakes on my bicycle had been completely worn down, and I had been stopping by coasting for a day or so. I assumed that since every other animal I had ever come up to tried to avoid me on my bicycle that this dog would do likewise. Instead of trying to maneuver around the dog, I aimed straight at the dog, trusting that it would see me coming and dart out of my way. Unfortunately, I think I caught it in my bicycle head light, and it simply stared back at me until we both ended up lying on the ground with my bicycle on top of us. I don‟t know what happened to it because it ran off quickly thereafter. I‟ve always tried to avoid animals since then when riding my bicycle (and keep my brakes in good working order). 2 December 2000 We taught two twins a first discussion. They are great! They said they had been looking at churches before and wanted to join one, but did not know which one to join. They are a lot of fun even though they are only 17. They will be great. Their only problem is that they study all day everyday and might have a problem coming to church. 2000 年 12 月 2 日 宣-Xuan1 講-Jiang3 3 December 2000 Elder Westover and I went on exchanges and set a baptism goal while we were at the church teaching. It was a really neat experience being able to teach with him and I hope to learn much more from him. He seems to radiate love to the investigator. Sister Kim was the member fellowshipper for this discussion. She was an amazing member-fellowshipper. She naturally said all the right things at all the right times and her testimony was incredible even for a missionary just listening to her. She bore testimony about how much the church meant to her and how it had influenced and permeated her entire life and influenced her entire family. She was in tears and the Spirit was very strong. That is my fondest memory of my mission president‟s wife. Church went well. I did not translate. It was kind of nice just to sit and listen. 4 December 2000 Dad sent me some conference and Christmas CDs. As soon as I got them, I let Elder Chapman use them for the slide show presentation. He still had not found the proper background music, but decided to use the stuff Dad sent. He thought that was perfect. All of my things were done by 10:20pm, but we were all up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning getting other things taken care of. I hope everything goes smoothly. Normally the office elders would leave at 6:00 to proselyte, but since the mission Christmas retreat began on the next day President Kim allowed us to finish up the essential preparations. When we were still in the office at 9:30 he told us to finish everything as quickly as we could and get to bed. The preparations that were not finished yet included organizing mission t-shirts for distribution and parts of the slide show and I don‟t remember what else. That is the only time on my mission that we stayed up past the missionary curfew. 5 December 2000 We got up early and drove to 溪頭 [Xi1 Tou2] to set up before everyone else arrived. It is so incredibly beautiful. So incredibly green. I took care of our room assignments and then we continued to set up the stage and other places for the social. At night, we watched a slide show about stuff earlier this year – kind of a memory thing. Then a slide show of family pictures. Then the new temple president, President Neilson, spoke about his mission here in Taiwan and in Taichung. He came here when there were only 10 missionaries on island. It sounded like a very rough start for the church back then. After seven months, he felt he had not learned anything, but in a training meeting, he spoke such perfect Chinese that everyone was amazed. Later, he became the island president and worked with President Hinckley for 2 weeks interviewing the missionaries. He came back as a mission president in the „70s. Afterward, President and Sister Kim (Santa and his helper) came and passed out goodies to us. It was great fun. President Kim was a master at managing the financial budget. He always had money left over and liked to take the mission on full mission retreats at Christmas time. Instead of a P-day that week, all missionaries were to take only a half day to wash clothes and then proselyte. The next day they were all picked up in busses to go to the resort called XiTou. It was so beautiful. The meeting was a huge mission conference instead of the usual zone conference for December. In that manner, the missionaries did not miss any of their normal proselyting time. I was in charge of making room assignments for all of the missionaries (keeping the districts and zones together as much as possible). Unknown to all of the missionaries, the office elders asked each family to send a family picture for the slide show. It turned out great. My family was up in a tree in front of our house. President Neilson spoke of how elder Hinckley wanted to go around the island, living like the missionaries and eating what they ate and doing what they were doing. President Neilson didn‟t have a set companion as the island president, so President Hinckley was his companion for two weeks. President and Sister Kim then dressed up like Santa Clause and an elf and he gave each of the missionaries presents: ties for the elders and I forgot what the sisters got. It was a great Christmas party. 6 December 2000 We got up early and spent time looking at stars and really pondering. It was really neat. Afterward, we had our final testimony meeting and devotional. It was really great to hear so many really great testimonies. I like being administrative on big projects like this even though it seems a big bother. 2000 年 12 月 6 日 我們昨天去溪頭作傳道部大會.非常好.我們聽聖殿會長的傳教故事.很不錯. [Wo3 Men3 Zuo2 Tian1 Qu4 Xi1 Tou2 Zuo4 Chuan2 Dao4 Bu4 Da4 Hui4. Fei1 Chang2 hao3. Wo3 Men3 Ting1 Sheng4 Dian4 Hui4 Zhang3 De Chuan2 Jiao4 Gu4 Shi4. Hen3 Bu4 Cuo4. We went to Chi Tou yesterday for a mission conference. Great. We heard the mission story of the temple president. Not bad.] 7 December 2000 I felt far behind in my work because there was so much to catch up on from a lack of letterhead. Hopefully we will get some soon. My greatest hear is sending someone to Hong Kong because of an ARC card. If we did not get the correct paperwork completed in the right timeframe, missionaries could get deported to Hong Kong. One mission secretary before me had forgotten to take care of one missionary and ended up sending him to Hong Kong the year before. 2000 年 12 月 7 日 陳家庭很好!我們去馬家庭的家跟陳家庭上課.他們很好. [Chen2 Jia1 Ting2 Hen3 Hao3! Wo3 Men3 Qu4 Ma3 Jia1 Ting2 De Jia1 Gen1 Chen2 Jia1 Ting2 Shang4 Ke4. Ta1 Men3 Hen3 Hao3. The Chen2 family is great! We went to the Ma3 family‟s house to teach the Chen2 family a discussion. They are good.] 8 December 2000 We took p-day. At lunch, one of the members invited us to go with him to a science center and look at all of the things there. We started to watch a dolphin movie at the Omnimax theatre. President Kim has approved it, but we did not know and we left in the middle because we did not know and it did not feel right. It was pretty neat to go there. Unfortunately, I did not get to finish another letter home again. I will have to repent on that point. 9 December 2000 The twins are great! They really want to get baptized and are starting to think and worry about what their parents think and how they can get out of class. We will have to pray hard for them. I really feel different about them than others. 10 December 2000 The twins‟ parents do not want to let them get baptized. They also feel it would be very difficult to get out of class. We will see them again next Saturday. 11 December 2000 We recorded choir music again at the church. It is fun, but takes up most of the day. It is a bit of a pain. Lately, I have felt a little stress because of deadlines. 2000 年 12 月 11 日 我今天開始讀注音聖經.真好玩!我今天讀經文時感受了聖靈.看馬太福音第 1,2 章還有阿爾 瑪書第二十五章.都很好看. [Wo3 Jin1 Tian1 Kai1 Shi3 Du2 Zhu3 Yin1 Sheng1 Jing1. Zhen1 Hao3 Wan2! Wo3 Jin1 Tian1 Du2 Jing1 Wen2 Shi2 Gan3 Shou4 Le Sheng4 Ling2. Kan4 Ma3 Tai4 Fu2 Yin1 Di4 1,2 Zhang1 Hai2 You3 A1 Er4 Ma3 Shu1 Di4 Er4 Shi2 Wu3 Zhang1. Dou1 Hen3 Hao3 Kan4. I read the Zhu Yin (a kind of Chinese alphabet) Bible today. How fun! I felt the Spirit when I read the scriptures today. I read Matthew chapters 1 and 2 and Alma chapter 25. They were good to read.] 12 December 2000 I think I am finally catching up in my work. Almost everything is back to how it ought to be and in the right order. I am afraid if I don‟t get Christmas stuff out soon, it will be too late. 13 December 2000 The first half of P-day was spent in a meeting to discuss needed improvements in the mission followed by a few games of Chinese Chess with Cai4 Zhong1 Ming2 and a couple of others. He goes into military on the 18th. I spent the rest of the day working on Christmas letters for the family. I am giving each of them Chinese names and explaining their meaning. It is a lot of fun. I hope to make chops for all of them as well. 14 December 2000 I have been so busy lately trying to get everything done and ready. It seems there is always more to be done. 15 December 2000 I learned about my position as office leader. When there is something to be done, it is upon my head and must be dealt with by me. I can see ever more how much I must rely on Heavenly Father for direction. I also learned about Elder Wright. He takes most everything at exactly face value. He loves to do the work. I can learn so much from him. 16 December 2000 I feel bad for not getting a family letter written off this week. Maybe I will have to fast mail a letter home. Elder Wright and I taught a discussion to a Mr. 林 [Lin2]. He was really willing to learn and really likes the message. 17 December 2000 I saw President and Sister Kim for the first time in church today. There were also a lot of investigators (not ours) so it was really neat and fun. 18 December 2000 We sang at the opening of the 台中 [Tai2 Zhong1 Taichung] legislature and met the Mayor‟s assistant. It was kind of neat, but our singing left something to be desired. 19 December 2000 I went on exchanges with brother Lai4 again. His bike kept breaking so it took a long time to go anywhere. We only got to share part of a first. I hope I will be able to do better a missionary. 20 December 2000 For P-day, I finally got my letters done and picked names for the whole family. I hope to make chops for them as well. Name Chinese Name Pronunciation Meaning Karl Martin 步俊國 Bu4 Jun4 Guo2 Handsome Nation Marrae Allen 步愛倫 Bu4 Ai4 Lun2 Loves those near her Theresa Marie 步美麗 Bu4 Mei3 Li4 Beautiful Seth Allen 步艾蒙 Bu4 Ai4 Meng2 Transliteration:Ammon Skyler Raymond 步銳蒙 Bu4 Rui4 Meng2 Transliteration Karrae Nicole 步凱瑞 Bu4 Kai3 Rui4 Transliteration Todd Albert 步彥廷 Bu4 Yan4 Ting2 Name for a Boy Justin Jacob 步俊傑 Bu4 Jun4 Jie2 Name for a Boy Erika LeAnne 步麗安 Bu4 Li4 An1 Beautiful, Peaceful Shean Arlin 步安寧 Bu4 An1 Ning2 Calm, Peace 21 December 2000 I caught up on most of the things I needed to do. I still have many things piling up on me, but hope to get it done quickly. Sister Kim heard I wanted to FedEx my letters home and told me not to. She offered to let me email it instead, so I thought it would be ok. Then, while I was writing she said it was not approved by president so it had to be her computer, but then just to finish anyway. It felt weird emailing that to Dad. Proselyting went ok. We met with Mr. 林 [Lin2] again. He is doing great. 2000 年 12 月 21 日 很久都沒這樣寫中文日記.我要再開始. [Hen3 Jiu3 Dou1 Mei2 Zhe4 Yang4 Xie3 Zhong1 Wen2 Ri4 Ji4. Wo3 Yao4 Zai4 Kai1 Shi3. It has been a while since I wrote in my Chinese journal. I want to start again.] 22 December 2000 1st ward had up put on a small skit as part of the elders Quorum sponsored activity. We had 2 missionaries tract into a grumpy old man, pray for the Spirit (me dressed in white with a 聖 靈 [Sheng4 Ling2] sign), and tract into a rowdy little family. They could not teach them until the Spirit gave them an idea to sing and then they were willing to listen. It was funny. I guess that representing deity on stage has always been part of Chinese culture, so for them, it probably wasn‟t anything weird, but for me it was weird to represent a member of the Godhead and I wasn‟t comfortable with it. I expressed my feelings to my leaders and let them direct me. The Zone Leader thought it was an important part of the skit and wanted me to do it, so I did. 23 December 2000 We sang at the Sogo as part of a member‟s radio program. It went pretty well. On the way there, however, Elder Westover drove and it reminded me of the simulated rides where everything is fast and out of control and you are always about to hit something. He has a very funny impression of Taiwanese drivers and of what the laws here ought to be. I have not been that scared in a long time. I think he did not go 80 km/h only at the stop lights and in town the limit 40km/h. 24 December 2000 We spent all day singing and did almost no proselyting. We left before six to go to 日月 堂 [Ri4 Yue4 Tang2] to sing for a single adult conference. That was interesting because most of it was a big push for marriage and during the testimony meeting at least 3 couples announced engagement or proposed on the spot and a lot more were “selling” themselves, giving out addresses and phone numbers. We came back and immediately went to first ward to hear President Kim speak (I translated again and accidentally mistook a word he said and thought someone had died) and sing more hymns. Then we ate dinner and prepared for our 7:00 fireside performance that ended at 9:30 and so everyone was late getting home. That was a very tiring day. 25 December 2000 Woke up a little later, that was nice. Then went down and did the usual Monday morning stuff, except that I was able to call home for 30 minutes. It‟s a new rule that we speak for no more than one half hour. I talked with the kids for one minute each and then with mom and dad for 10 and then they had me talk to everyone for about 10. Dad got my email to the family with their names and printed them on cards and did some neat things. I could not believe they were already talking about coming and picking me up! I thought that was at least one more call away! We had Formosa for lunch (I went there once while still in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu3]). It was pretty good. All in all, not a bad Christmas! 26 December 2000 Spent all morning recording hymns for Sister Kim. That was really neat since there may not be another chance to sing as a choir again when the mission president changes. Sister Kim also fed us. Ever since the skit last Friday, all the kids have been calling me the spirit 聖靈 [Sheng4 Ling2]. I guess that is how they will remember me for a while. 27 December 2000 Spent half the morning getting things done in the office. The rest of P-day was writing and ordering chops for the family. The chop lady was really nice and did the family ones for just $40NT [$1.30 US] each and my larger, fancier one for only $400NT [$13 US]. She will also deliver them. 28 December 2000 Spent all day working on the move board, getting ready for the new missionaries. Then at 4:30, Elder Hunter and I drove to Taoyuan to pick them up. We had a long talk about spiritual things and about how to recognize revelation. I am really excited to really try it out. He also helped me realize how I could better guide the office to do better. This talk with the AP about revelation came from a document I frequently mention and referred to while on my mission. This AP, along with my trainer, was in the district of which Merlin Fish was the district president in the MTC. The document is entitled Revelation. At the airport, we saw the Taipei mission elders. One just came back from serving with Elder Krommenhoek. He did not ask my name, just looked at my tag and said “You‟re Elder Krommenhoek‟s companion, aren‟t you.” I thought that was very interesting. I found out later that Elder Krommenhoek used me as an example of a great missionary or a learning experience or whatever else he needed when he trained other missionaries in whatever leadership role he held. That made me feel special and loved. He was always very good at that. Driving was not bad. I got used to it after a little while and tried to follow traffic and keep the limit (a bit of a paradox). The airport was three hours from the mission office. We had to leave the mission to get there, so it was very exciting for the few office elders that ever got to do it. Once a month we had the opportunity to meet elders from the other mission and observe their mission culture and behavior. President Kim would tell us after the trips what he liked and didn‟t like about our behavior. He was glad we didn‟t have some of the same problems their mission had with some of the behavior of the elders we saw. We tried our best to contact as many people as we could while we were waiting instead of just standing around the waiting room. We didn‟t wear sunglasses or weird ties that match, etc. 29 December 2000 Orientation went well, but very late. The missionaries are excited (and a few are sick). I went out again with Lai4 志倫 [賴志倫 – Lai4 Zhi4 Lun2]. He is great and helps me look at my work. He also helps give me a chance at going Senior for a while. I am really interested to see how I will be for a senior companion. 30 December 2000 The new missionaries are excited to be off and going out to new areas. I lent my bike to one for exchanges earlier and my keys never came back! I am going to have to follow up better on things like that. Everyone got excited to find out that we had enough baptisms to meet our goal, but they still had to be confirmed. We said a family prayer together (the Kims and the office elders) to thank our Heavenly Father and continue to ask for help, guidance, and direction. 31 December 2000 The actual final count for the year was 1024 baptisms and confirmations. That was a year – long miracle!! We have been blessed so much. I thought of something, we baptized 1kb in 2K . Elder Wright said only a computer nerd would understand that. We doubled our count from last year and added 20 more. Not only that, but we had 169 baptisms and confirmations in December. Our goal next year is 1800, an average of 150 confirmations per month. We will break the 200 in one month mark and will get that goal. The Lord has blessed us so much, it is incredible. Elder Krommenhoek comes back tomorrow to be the new assistant. That will be exciting. Because Elder Westover is leaving, Sister Kim invited us to dinner. For the spiritual share, I shared Alma 32:33-37 and focused it on taking what we have done up to the next level and using it with faith. 1 January 2001 Happy New Year! Last night, it was incredible to see so many people on the streets ready to welcome in the New Year. They were just piling up all over the place in huge hordes. Elder Krommenhoek got back last night. He was so excited to see all of us. Elder Hunter, the assistant, was his MTC companion. For the last few days he has been really excited! Elder Krommenhoek walked in while I was on the phone with President Kim and he came in and almost tackled me. Ten he went around and gave everyone a great big hug and got to meet a few of them. It was really good to see him, but there was a weird feeling in me. Something like “have I become all that I was supposed to do?” I imagine the judgment will be like that. I did fail in at least on area; he asked me if I had been writing our members and I was sorry to disappoint him. I will repent. 2 January 2001 Old missionaries went home today. Elder Wright and I stayed at the office. I have started fully planning out my days now. I like that a lot. All I have to do now is follow it. Well, we baptized 1024 during last year, so we can go to the temple in Taipei. That will be a rare and wonderful experience. We spent the night tracting and contacting. President Kim wanted to take the mission to the Taipei temple. Technically, if the missionaries can get to a temple outside of their mission within 3 hours, the Church would allow them to go, but the Asia area presidency felt it wasn‟t fair to the Kaohsiung mission to allow us to go to the temple when they could not. The Asia Area Presidency did not believe our mission would baptize 1000 people in 2002, especially since we still needed over 100 baptisms to go in the second week of December. President Kim called the Asia area president and told him our goal. The president didn‟t believe we could do it, so President Kim asked if he could take all the missionaries to the Taipei Temple if we did make our goal. He agreed. When President Kim called to tell him the results, he said “we didn‟t baptize 1000 people this year, we baptized 1024!” He said that the Area president was silent and all he heard was light crying and sniffles. He reminded the president of their agreement and he said of course we could go. It was really neat to be in the office and to be privy to all of the developments during this time that the other missionaries were not even aware were going on. 3 January 2001 Elder Wright and I taught a discussion and then went on exchanges. Brother Lai4 志倫 (賴志倫 Lai4 Zhi4 Lun2) and I went and found a really neat 21 year old who had some Mormon friends and would like to meet the church. It was a blessing to set him up after wading through a street full of unprepared people. 4 January 2001 Elder Wright and I split up again to teach more discussions. I taught a guy and his friend who I met yesterday. It went great and brother Wei4 Da4 Wen2 really helped out teaching the discussion. They both are very willing to read, pray, and come to church. After that, we stayed in the neighborhood of the church here to contact. 5 January 2001 I went to Zone Leader / District Leader training meeting. It was a really neat experience and seemed like everything the assistants talked about I wanted to cover in our office meeting. The only problem now is enforcing and using it. 6 January 2001 We met with 張英哲 (Zhang1 Ying1 Zhe2). He seemed different this time and really willing to learn and excited about the church. He read and prayed and set a baptism goal. I think going to the baptismal service today really helped him. 7 January 2001 We met with 賴弟兄 (Lai4 Di4 Xiong1 – Brother Lai4), the husband of the sister‟s new member. It has taken us four visits to teach two discussions, but he did finally set a baptism goal. This time he seemed changed, ready to listen and willing to learn. I am excited to share the rest of the discussions with him, especially the fourth. The wife really wants the eternal family part of it. We also talked to 張英哲 (Zhang1 Ying1 Zhe2) and shared a third discussion. He seems really willing and loves to read. He has already read past 1 Nephi. His biggest concern will be with the Word of Wisdom. 8 January 2001 張英哲 heard a fourth discussion. He really liked it, even though he smokes 20 cigarettes each day. He did not have any questions with Tea of China or coffee. It was inspiring to hear him declare his testimony. We wanted to make certain his testimony before inviting him to keep the Word of Wisdom. 9 January 2001 I was very late getting home. Elder Wright went to teach Brother 賴 (Lai4) a third and I taught 張英哲 (Zhang1 Ying1 Zhe2) a fifth. It went well until we got near the end. I did not have much time, and he started asking questions about things like how many people hear all the discussions and don‟t get baptized. We went over time. It was a terrible feeling being out late. If you are not obedient, you lose your edge. 10 January 2001 張英哲 (Zhang1 Ying1 Zhe2) has not been showing up on time the last couple of days and he did not come at all today. He has never not come, just been really late. I think the Lord is teaching me that when we are late, we sacrifice whatever we were late for. I have never been late talking with someone who got baptized. 11 January 2001 Sometimes it feels hard trying to get people to listen and talk and when they do, set up. Today, I felt tired and a little discouraged. When people did want to talk, they did not let me talk and they just kept sharing their views of things. I don‟t like that feeling of wasting time. 12 January 2001 President and Sister Kim will be leaving for a few days for an Asia Area Conference. President Kim, however, forgot his passport and so I had to mail it to him. I did not know the fastest way, but we sent it “same day mail” trough the Post Office. President wanted me to call him before I sent it, but pressured with a time limit and no convenient phone, I did not. President was not happy, but said it would be good if he just got it. Everyone (me and the Kims) were up tight all day about it and I just kept praying that it would get there at 5:00 like the lady said. Right at 5:00, President called and said “trace it,” then he wanted to talk to Elder Chapman. Apparently, he wanted to chew Elder Chapman out for influencing my decision. In the middle of their talk, it came and President told him to think of it as a life lesson. I was so relieved to know it got there. I hope I can learn to follow directions. 13 January 2001 It feels like proselyting time for us often disappears sometimes. Recently, a lot of things have had to get done so that we could get out and keep the mission moving. It is hard to get it all done in time. 14 January 2001 We spent most of our day after church getting the newsletter printed. At night, some people came over to try to convert us to the Eguandao philosophy. We originally told them our intention was to share about our church, but they interrupted at the beginning and began sharing a bunch of “spiritual” experiences that had absolutely no point other than to say we were going to Hell because we did not believe them. I found out why I most do not like their “religion;” you don‟t feel the spirit as they try to force their thoughts on you. The “spiritual” experiences mentioned here are as follows: 1. A Filipino woman joined Yi Kuan Tao (Yi Guan Dao) and her friend didn‟t. The woman had a dream that she was flying on a paper airplane to heaven. Her friend asked her to give her part of the airplane so that she too could fly to heaven. The woman ripped off the back third of the airplane, but the friend said it wasn‟t big enough, so she also ripped of the second third of the airplane. The friend never made it to heaven. Then the person telling me this story unfolded the three pieces of the paper airplane she had folded and torn. The front third formed a cross. She said that meant that the Filipino woman was saved in heaven. The other two thirds of the airplane were just a bunch of ripped strips. The person telling the story then arranged the pieces to form the word HELL, saying that those who don‟t accept the Dao will not be saved no matter what they believe in. I think I could have just as easily made the character 道 (Dao4) out of the same strips of paper that the person made HELL. 2. One person was flying on an airplane and looked outside to see a green light in the shape of Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa (the Buddhist god/mother) during a storm and suddenly the person felt calm and at peace. I am grateful to belong to the true church and have the ability to find out for myself what is true. I don‟t have to rely on stories others tell me or on the persuasions of men. People in Yi Guan Dao are sign-seekers and look for physical reasons to prove themselves correct without any other confirmation of truth. Without the Spirit, we can easily fall into the same trap. We try to look for God in all we do all day long and we think we see his influence in little things that happen. If we do not have a testimony of the truth through the Spirit, and if we do not rely on the Spirit to help us identify those “miracles” when they happen, we are not any different from the other sign seekers today or in the days of the Nephites. That is the biggest problem I have with so called faith-promoting stories that get passed around the church and even read at the pulpit in sacrament meeting and also in the MTC. Special experiences are usually very personal and not meant to be shared on a broad rage. If it did not happen directly to you or to someone you know very personally, it is not worth listening to unless it has been published in a Church publication. The right way is to gain a testimony of the gospel and to watch the apostles and the prophet. Believe the scriptures, believe the Spirit, and believe the leaders of the Church. Be very careful of any other sources of doctrine or counsel. Do this and you will find you are on the Lord‟s side. Amen. 15 January 2001 President Kim came back from Hong Kong for the Area presidency Meeting and had listened to Elder Perry talk to the mission President. One main focus point was to answer questions. Many presidents had questions about language training which previously was not approved. Over 300 languages have had a stop put on their language training because it was not approved. Hopefully that is resolved soon. 16 January 2001 There was a lot to finish before the temple and Zone Conferences this week. I almost forgot about getting ARC card stuff done and some people could have problems soon. I was in charge of keeping Alien Resident Certificates up to date. They were the little green cards that every missionary was supposed to carry around with them everywhere. 17 January 2001 Zone Conference was great. It was good to see Elder Krommenhoek up in front again. We learned a lot about having the Spirit and about planning and organizing. I am excited to start using it. 18 January 2001 The temple was incredible. It is rather small – not much scenery around it, and there was a gas station across the street. All the ordinance rooms were on one floor and were connected together. It was particularly special to hear the prayer circle in Chinese and to watch the native workers struggle with their English. Also, Elder Wright had to go through the veil in Chinese. That was very interesting for him. I also got to work at the veil. That was a new and different perspective of the work for me. The temple was simply wonderful and there was nothing more rewarding than the witness of the Spirit to me that this church is true and my savior lives and that my Father in Heaven will help me accomplish my goals and his work. I think I remember being in the prayer circle. When the office elders arrived at the temple ahead of the other missionaries, the temple president (one of the first American missionaries in Taiwan) asked us to be the veil workers for the mission. The previous Taichung stake president and his wife and a few other native leaders of the church came up with us. Not only did Elder Wright have to go through the veil in Chinese, he had to bring a native through in Chinese as well. That was also interesting. Originally, the missionaries were given the chance to go through the temple all in Chinese, but the younger missionaries did not have good enough Chinese skills and the older missionaries were mature enough that they realized they had not been to the temple in over a year. As such, they were just glad for the chance to go to the temple and did not want to miss out on some of the spiritual quality of the experience because they were trying to listen in Chinese. The temple president was surprised that not one missionary asked to sit through the session in Chinese. The Taipei mission home, office, stake center, and distribution center were all next to the temple and across the street. The stake center was the first and original chapel built by the church. At the time, Taiwan and China were officially at open was and all building had to have a bomb shelter built into the basement. Since all of the men had to work all day, the Relief Society sisters dug out the basement of the chapel and the bomb shelter on their own. There was a complete lack of heavy machinery, so it was dug with shovels and they carried the dirt in buckets on a harness that went over their shoulders. The original chapel has been demolished since I returned home so that the church could build a high-rise building in its place including floors for the temple president‟s apartment, a new mission office, two stake centers with offices, underground parking, and a new distribution center. When we first parked in the parking lot of the original church, I saw Elder Koerner, an elder from my MTC district waiting in the chapel for his interview with the mission president. Later, he would serve as the Taipei Mission Secretary at the same time as I served in Taichung. After we went to the temple, President Kim let us drive by the historic parks with the tomb of Sun1 Zhong1 Shan1 (孫中山 – Doctor Sun Yatsen was the father of Chinese democracy). We were not supposed to get out of the vehicle, but we misunderstood and we stayed to see the changing of the guard at the tomb and take pictures. It was very neat. 19 January 2001 A new missionary, Elder Howe, came in to the office from the airport. His sister actually lives here in Taichung and is teaching English. He had to come two weeks [early] to avoid the Chinese New Year and get in before his permit expired. 20 January 2001 Elder Howe seems great. He is well prepared and well be an incredible missionary. Elder Wright got a speeding ticket while following President Kim home from the single adult activity last December 24. If it had been this year, it would have been nearly 200 dollars, not the 60 he has to pay. His new member took us to dinner to introduce us to his friends. Afterward, they wanted to hear the first discussion. Elder Wright had the member and I teach it. He bore an incredible testimony about the church. I then asked them how they felt and they answered. One said she felt good, and the other said she felt like something within her just moved and tingled. The rest of the discussion went great and they are anxious to hear more. It was a great discussion. 21 January 2001 Church was first and second ward combined testimony meeting. It was packed and was only an hour and a half. It was also officially announced that the Name of the Church has been changed in Chinese to 耶穌基督後期聖徒教會 [Ye1 Su1 Ji1 Du1 Hou4 Qi2 Sheng4 Tu2 Jiao4 Hui4 – Jesus Christ Delayed Days Saints Church]. The original 末世 [Mo4 Shi4 – 耶穌基督末 世聖徒教會 – Jesus Christ Last Day Saints Church] actually meant “Most Last Day” whereas the 後期 [Hou4 Qi4] means later time. It is a more correct translation and is a step toward having the mainland open up to us. All of our things will change within the next year. It has to be understood that in Asia, and especially in Japan, China, and Taiwan, there was a surge of fanatical religions during the 80‟s and 90‟s. They disrupted the peace and claimed some far out things. The name of the church as it had been before sounded like some of the doctrine that made those radical Christians famous, particularly the doctrine of the last day is here, everyone who is not Christian will probably die tomorrow, etc. Also, a lot of people misunderstood „末‟ [Mo4 – most last] for 魔 [ Mo4 – as in 魔鬼 Mo4 Gui4 – Devil]. I remember going tracting and having people ask me how I could belong to “that devil something” church. To be more correct, the name of the church in all Asian languages was changed (since they are all fundamentally related and use the same characters). Our name badges and all of our publications were eventually changed along with the name plaques for all of the chapels over the next year. 22 January 2001 All of the Postal Service and Banks as well as the Police Station and most of the defense forces are shut down for the next 8 days. It is pretty incredible how big such a day is here and I am a little surprised everyone takes it so seriously. This was the first day of the Chinese New Year. 23 January 2001 The 賴 [Lai4] family asked us to dinner with their family, a pretty big honor. Tonight was also the largest family gathering of the Chinese New Year. It was pretty amazing to see most of the streets pretty much clean of people. Dinner went great and was very good. We did not get to talk to the other family members much though. 24 January 2001 For lunch, Elder Chapman and I ate at the Tai Barbeque. It was pretty good, but a little pricey. For dinner, we originally had an appointment, but we decided to trade places with some others and we ate at the steak place on the top of the 中友 Department Store [中友百貨 Zhong1 You2 Bai2 Hou4]. That was incredibly expensive. It was actually probably only as much as a middle class restaurant in the States - $20, but that seemed expensive to me at the time – living off of a missionary‟s budget. We also saw the Lion dance which tells the story of overcoming obstacles to obtain life. The actors were 2 young acrobats who wore the traditional lion suit and commenced bouncing around on poles. There were incredible. Afterward, we contacted on the street and at a 7-11. I fell like I am doing something wrong sometimes as I have not been able to set someone up in a long time. On the other hand, I have been praying for more faith and charity and also to find and set up only the elect and also to learn more of the Spirit. Elder Wright contacted about 8 and found 3. Elder Krommenhoek reminded me that you can know how your mission is going based on how much revelation you are receiving. 25 January 2001 I went out with Elder Krommenhoek to proselyte. I loved it! It was a lot like being back in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu2]. I felt like tonight I was on the verge of something. When I see Elder Krommenhoek work, I can see the work come alive with him. I want to get that and I think I almost know how. I just want to practice a little more and be able to catch the Spirit. 26 January 2001 I tried to use Elder Krommenhoek‟s boldness today and felt really good. I was able to set up three people almost, but I ran out of time on the last one. I want to work harder on my goals to do this work. I love the work I love my companion. I can‟t wait to have my next baptism. Elder Whiting came into the office today and will take Elder Chapman‟s place in a couple of weeks. 27 January 2001 My work load has been full and will be very busy next week. I have several things I must accomplish which I am not quite ready on as far as timing goes. I wonder what it will be like to be a senior companion. I do not feel too sure about my abilities and I do not feel as prepared as I could be in language. I know the work will not change. I will still be me and must still have the Spirit to teach. Cai4 忠明 [菜忠明 Cai4 Zhong4 Ming2] and his member friend 陳 Jun1 Ting2 [陳君婷 Chen2 Jun1 Ting2] gave me a bottle plant [pitcher plant – an insect-eating plant] for my birthday. 28 January 2001 I stayed in half the day with Elder Chapman since he was sick all day. I was able to read my scriptures and patriarchal blessing during church time and ended up not loosing any proselyting time. I felt really good like there was and is a particular thing I must achieve here about myself. I am excited to see what is in store for me. After reading this entry for the first time since I wrote it, I am surprised that I forgot about it. I have always said that the thing I learned most about myself while on my mission was who I really am. If you know yourself, then you know how the Lord works with you and you gain confidence when talking with others and you don‟t have to guess about whether or not you are doing things the best you can. It took me a long time to figure that out, but I believe we can do nearly nothing until we have discovered who we are and define our personality and character. If that definition does not include our Heavenly Father, then we are left on our own, but if our definition of ourselves includes faith, we can do anything that is within His will. That has helped me to have confidence in myself and in the Lord‟s help in all that I have done after I returned home from my mission. I suspect that helped me be confident in courting Jenny and I know it helped in my summer jobs where I did not have the skills to perform the jobs when I started, but I knew I could learn. 29 January 2001 President Kim was making fun of Elder Wright and telling him he did not have much time left. All in all, not much happened. I wrestled with my computer for half the day as we are switching it from Chinese to English. We taught Brother 賴 [Lai4] a sixth discussion and were getting him all ready for baptism. He is great and will have no problems. I want to find more families to baptize into this ward. 30 January 2001 I have a hard time knowing what is right and what is wrong as far as the work goes. I guess that means I need to study the missionary guide a lot more. I feel like I am just as lost concerning the Spirit now as I ever have been. 31 January 2001 For preparation, I . . . just kidding. I spent my preparation day down stairs doing the move board in the office. I did not even get a family letter sent off. Our night was pretty bad as well. We did not teach any discussions and finding seemed useless all night. It was hard not to get discouraged and not to believe that not many people are prepared to hear the gospel Maybe we just need to listen to the Spirit better. This was still part of the Chinese New Year – a 10-14 day holiday where families were usually home, but tracting was difficult because they did not want to see missionaries at their door when all of the out of town family came together once a year. 1 February 2001 I spent most of my office hours working on the Move board and getting everything ready for the new missionaries. At night, Elder Wright and I taught a good first to a kid he met the other day. Afterward we watched a movie with the 賴 [Lai4] family. Brother 賴 will be baptized this Saturday. It was so refreshing to see the two of them so excited and just loving the gospel and all is has brought to their lives. 2 February 2001 Orientation went great. When I went to pick up the new missionaries at the Kim‟s, Sister Kim had all the new missionaries sing happy birthday to me and she gave me cookies. Elder Wright and I went contacting at a park and while he was contacting a family, I contacted others. One lady came up to me with a white face, red lips, and furs and asked if I came to play. The first thought I had when I saw her was that she was a bad lady and I should call her to repentance. I did not and I got rid of her. There were a lot of bad people out like that. I felt bad for not following what I felt was the Spirit. I wish I would be more bold and listen to the Spirit. I thought it was funny that on my Twentieth birthday I would get propositioned and on my mission no less. There were a bunch of ladies like her on the street and a man seemed to be watching and directing them. When a police car drove by a few minutes later, they had all suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. They eventually came out of the various cracks they had hidden in a few minutes after the police drove by. It was my first exposure to these things and I was a little bit taken back by the boldness and the cowardice of it all. 3 February 2001 Brother 賴 Kun4 Bing1 [賴坤彬 Lai4 Kun1 Bin3] was baptized. His wife joined in December and they have been attending church together from the start. It was so neat. They are the first full family to join first ward in over a year. They are so happy together and they love the gospel. They want to go to the temple. Brother 賴 said that before they would often have arguments and often did not know how to resolve it. Now after they talk it out, they end in prayer. The gospel has given them a platform to meet on. It is a beautiful gospel. 4 February 2001 When hw was confirmed, Brother 賴 [Lai4] was told to help his son decide on serving a mission. I was so happy to hear that. This family, they are great. 5 February 2001 Elder Smith and I have started a new companionship that covers 東區 [Dong1 Qu1] and 西區 [Xi1 Qu1]. Both of our previous companionships are getting ready t leave the office and are training replacements. True to the pattern, I am still the first junior companion to every one of my senior companions. I was only junior companions to newly-called senior companions. None of them had experience being senior companions before I was their junior companion. I think I would have liked to serve under a more experienced missionary at least once, but the Lord works in his own way and it was all great. 6 February 2001 I took old missionaries to the airport. Brother and Sister 馬 [Ma3] also went. Their daughter is getting married in America to a returned missionary from the Taichung Mission. The returning missionaries seem so full of skill and ability. They made some comments on how to help the mission. One that I really need to work on is daily follow up. 7 February 2001 Elder Smith and I were teaching a family, but they feel they can‟t hear more because of their mom. It breaks our heart. We have also been late every night. I guess I need to do a better job of communicating. In Chinese culture, parents are the most important people on earth. Traditionally, if a parent told a son to kill himself because he was unfillial, he would do it. Not even 70 years ago, if a parent complained to the government that their child was unfillial, the government would do any number of things from banishing the child to the wilderness, to a public execution. I saw the doctor about a bump on my neck that was hard and sore all week. They took a fiber optic video camera and looked down my nose and throat. That was a weird feeling and weird to watch. The also took a blood test and an x-ray. They think it might be an infection, so they gave me antibiotics to eat everyday. 8 February 2001 Elder Smith feels the work has been particularly difficult and is a little depressed. We try to contact families all day and get nothing. He wants so bad to help people get baptized. I started getting sick. The ache in the bump started spreading throughout my neck. 9 February 2001 I was hat and cold all day and felt really bad. At night, Elder Smith‟s bike broke, so we had to ride kind of slow and it did not seem like we got anything done at all. 10 February 2001 I was unable to speak much and felt drained all day. I slept during office hours. I accompanied Elder Smith and he did most of the contacting and talking. 11 February 2001 I felt much better today and enjoyed church. After church, we went to a park and spent a couple hours contacting nothing but families. None of them set up. That was a little discouraging. We were able to teach some kids a discussion. 12 February 2001 I felt all better. We taught a discussion to a really neat kid. He is 24 and back from the army. He is Christian, but has been inactive for 10 years. He has been looking for Christ in his life and enjoys what he is hearing. 13 February 2001 When I went back to the doctor, he said I was fine and gave me more pills to eat. It was great proselyting. 14 February 2001 The assistants and President Kim taught about obedience and doing the right things right, using an area book, and getting back to basics. It was a good Zone Conference and I felt like I learned a lot. 15 February 2001 Recently we have been really blessed with finding people interested in hearing. It is funny how this cycle works. One week many want to hear and another – no one. We are teaching families too. That is neat. 16 February 2001 A lady called and said she wanted to hear and that we had to come immediately because she might not be there too much longer. We took a member with us and visited her. Afterward, the member said she was a drunk (he could smell it). She was pretty messed up and depressed and wanted to know why we are happy. The first discussion went well, but I do not think anything will come of her. 17 February 2001 We spent our entire day teaching people. We visited a family and taught a first discussion. At night, we met with someone who did not seem to want the gospel, but just kept talking. I hate talking with time wasters like that. 18 February 2001 Church went well and I was asked to translate again. It really felt like Satan had a huge grip on the people everywhere we went. Their only reason for living was to discourage us and make us loose the Spirit. It seemed bad, but it was not much different than at other times. 19 February 2001 I do not know why, but recently it has been bothering me about my Chinese name. I do not ever tell it to people, especially investigators and members, but those who have heard it have thought it a little weird. One day, I just got this impression that I ought to change it from 步凱路 [Bu4 Kai3 Lu4] to 步凱龍 [Bu4 Kai3 Long2] or 步龍凱 [Bu4 Long2 Kai3]. I don‟t know why, it just suddenly came upon me and as soon as I made the decision to change, the thoughts left me alone. First, the new name is more of a common name. Second, it reminds me of the year I started my mission. Third, it reminds me of what I ought to be doing always working to bring victory to my Heavenly Father‟s cause. Last of all, that I should be doing this all the time, in progression, being valiant, brave, trustworthy, etc. even as a dragon would be. This has nothing to do with missionary work, but I felt it necessary one day, I don‟t know why. Perhaps Heavenly Father will have some use for it later or in the near future. Other names have been changed before to give meaning and direction in life – Abram (Abraham), Jacob (Israel), Sarai (Sarah), and many others. It seems, and I remember, that this point in my mission became a sort of distracted, depressed period. I don‟t like the attitude I remember having when I re-read these entries (the few before this and the few afterward) and I have always been embarrassed about the amount of time I spent worrying over my Chinese name. I hasten to add that I spent little more that a single P-day and a few hours of personal time actually worrying about my name, but it was wasted. At the point mentioned in this entry, I was so hung up on it that I could not perform any tasks until I mentally did something about it. The rule in the mission was that we could not officially change our name until we had written a letter to the president requesting the change and presenting the reason for it. We were required to write a letter to our mission president every week and I used up one of those letters explaining to president Kim why I wanted to change my name. The good thing was that after I had spent all this time worrying and then finally making the decision to change my name, all of the worry went away and I almost never thought about it again. I thought it was weird that after worrying about it for so long I never thought about it again afterward, but since I never did think about it again, I never went through with changing my name. I am rather fond of the name Sister Kim gave me (步凱路). Chinese people still act funny about it at first, but it bothers me less than it used to and I have since forgotten that I even wanted to change my name. During this same period of distraction, I made a few mistakes as secretary (switching names & pictures of new missionaries on the move board, etc.). Later, President Kim commented that I had been a little distracted at that time and that my whole mind and heart had not been in the work I was doing. I was able to get things figured out, however, before I left the office in May. 20 February 2001 Elder Smith and I are teaching families, a lot of them. We know it is a gift from Heavenly Father and we feel so thankful for it. We want to continue and help them come unto Christ. 21 February 2001 A lot of mistakes have been made by me lately. Little things like mixing up missionaries pictures and things like that. The bad part is if I would do a little better checking, it could all be avoided. I just want to decide right now to be more responsible and perfect and do it. We spent a lot of time cooking caramel and cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, it did not get cleaned up all the way. This must have been a P-day. P-day for elders in the office was never on Friday through Monday. Each companionship took turns having a p-day on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday depending on their working load for the week. The purpose was to have a companionship in the office at all times until 5:00PM. 22 February 2001 A senior sister from Taipei reported to the office. Sister Wang is the cousin of Elder Jia, an area general authority who has been working with China. She seems full of energy and really wants to be here on a mission. She will be a great asset. 23 February 2001 Elder Wright and Elder Chapman are leaving the office on Monday. They seem pretty excited about it. It is different being the old man in the house, and still the youngest. 24 February 2001 Elder Smith and I have set some goals to help baptize 8 people in March. He has got the desire and I think together we have the faith. We want to be more focused and more spiritual. We will get all our studies in everyday. If we do all we can, Heavenly Father will do all he can. 25 February 2001 At church I translated again. During Sunday School, Elder Smith wanted to call someone. While we were home, he broke down and cried for an hour because we are having a hard time finding the families that will get baptized and follow the commandments. Elder Smith had called a family that had said they were coming to church and I think they may have even had a goal for baptism. They didn‟t come to church and told him they didn‟t want to hear any more when he tried to call them after church. While tracting, it became particularly hard to do the work because everyone was rude. I got so frustrated and we said a prayer. At the end of the prayer, out comes another drunk dad from a house who was blinded by Satan. A little while later, I realized I was learning the Charity I had asked for in prayer. Suddenly, the work was fun to do and I was happy. At the very end of the night, I contacted a father and made it spiritual. He set up. It felt so good. After reading this entry again, I realize that the point I was trying to make in this entry wasn‟t very clear. We had been praying in our companionship to learn charity and to find the families that were already prepared for baptism. The Lord was letting us do just that. He was answering our prayers in a very literal way. We were tracting in an area where there happened to be a larger percentage of drunk rude people just as we got there so that we could learn charity for them. There weren‟t a lot of families in the same area who were already ready for baptism (if they were drinking, they obviously weren‟t all the way ready yet) so we were not setting any families up. Once I realized that, I became excited and happier. I was eager to have the next guy slam the door in my face so that I could show how much charity I had learned from him. I wanted to find the next drunk guy to tell me off so that I could increase my charity count. It became a fun game for me. I got the Spirit back and I finally set up a father at the end of the night. I think this was one of the biggest lessons I learned, that the Lord answers my prayers in a very real, very physical, and very literal way. I learned to be careful of what I asked for, because more often than not, I got it. 26 February 2001 Elder Smith and I will be together for at least another month and then he will leave to office. I will stay at least until May. Time is flying so fast, I don‟t dare close my eyes. It is hard to think I have been out almost a year and exciting to think what I will learn in another. We taught a Mr. 黃 [Huang2] who was divorced with 2 children. He was very willing to accept the invites and wants to come to church. I think if we can get the 賴 [Lai4] family to fellowship him, that would be great. I made cinnamon rolls for a Sister‟s Conference. They all thanked me for them. It made me feel so good. I never thought I would do that on my mission. See the entry for the 21 February 2001. I gave president and Sister Kim some of the rolls and caramel and Sister Kim loved them. She insisted that I teach her to cinnamon rolls as good as that. Turns out that the difference in my rolls and hers was that I used a sweet bun recipe for the dough and I let them rise for an hour or so. She had me come to her house during office hours one day and we made three batches of rolls all at once – one by me, one by her following me, and one by the Chinese house maid. She originally intended to make more for the entire mission for a conference, but decided it was too much work. Instead, she fed them to the sisters at the special sister‟s conference. 27 February 2001 We set a baptismal goal with the 陳 [Chen2] family. They seem willing and want to know the truth of what we teach them. Their daughter reminds me of Shean and she is so full of energy and love. I noticed while teaching them (I was actually drawing with the daughter) that I do not show as much faith as I should in the message and so loose many teaching opportunities. They were curious about the Book of Mormon and Bible and why we do not give out Bibles. I made a totally irrelevant comment about how we can only buy Books of Mormon in Taipei. We could have used the opportunity to build their faith in the Book instead of just throwing it away. I meant of course that I threw away the opportunity to teach them the differences in the Book of Mormon and the Bible and help them develop more faith in it. 28 February 2001 I remember a year ago and what it meant and I think, what have I done, what have I changed to make this last year a good one. I am more solid in the Faith. I am more exact in obedience. I am more skilled in language and teaching. I look forward to the next year. I will complete the language program. I will become quietly dignified. I will be Missionary Guide standard. I cannot wait to see myself there. I am more focused and have no other motive or desire than to teach and baptize families and all else is merely a sub-goal and appendage to that. Dear Father in Heaven, strengthen my soul this day. Let me pass through this life in thine appointed way. Keep my heart firm in faith, don‟t let doubt make me err. Upon my knees I plead, through humble, daily prayer. And when dark clouds arise, Thy work to stop and stay, Keep thy progress steady, break forth thy gospel‟s ray. I love thy work to do, thy lost sheep to gather. When at last the work‟s done, a thousand years together. Thy kingdom and thy will, done on earth as Heaven. Hear this my prayer, O Lord, in Jesus‟ name, Amen. ~Mid Mission Plea Kyle M Brunner 步凱路 13 July 2000 – 26 August 2000 Sister Kim‟s Mini Miracle As I was following Elder Krommenhoek to a discussion on night in 溪湖 [Xi1 Hu3], he pulled over to the side of the road and contacted a man on a motorcycle who had a couple of children and no shirt. He was waiting for his daughter to finish her English class. He set up a time to hear a discussion and then we left. About a week later, we visited them, got to know them, and looked at all their family pictures. He is an aborigine and she is of the later Chinese immigrants. We set up another time to teach them. The first discussion was ok, but they did not seem to understand much of it. They accepted the invitations. When we returned for a follow up, they were a little disturbed because his boss was discriminating the aborigines and would not give them money. We did not meet again for a week. Then I changed companions and Elder Hagen called them up and we began to share the rest of the discussions. They began to change slowly. The children loved reading their picture Book of Mormon every day. The parents loved reading their Book of Mormon. They began praying as a family every night. We shared the Proclamation on Families and another article that was written on families. The mom loved them. We had them come meet and make friends with a new member family. They talked about the love method of raising your children and the mother loved it. She said before she would throw things at her kids when she got mad at them so she would not have to get up. Now she uses the love method to teach them. The husband did not have a big Word of Wisdom problem as much as a friend and family problem. He struggled with that for 2 days and the whole family decided to stop drinking Nai Cha [奶茶 – Milk Tea, a combination of milk and red tea] in exchange for Mai4 Cha and Milk [麥茶 – Wheat Tea, tea made from puffed wheat that is not against the Word of Wisdom]. The parents and two children of the 林 Zheng Yi [林正義] family were baptized on 26 August 2000. Sister Kim asked all the missionaries to write and share a mini-miracle from the year 2000 so that she could collect them in a book. The purpose of the book was to show some of the miracles that went into making the miracle of 1024 baptisms in the year 2000.