Monday, November 23, 2015


I had two cool opportunities this week. I realized a dream I had back a while ago. Teach the gospel in China.

I obviously didn't go to China this past week. But I was able to teach two mainlanders this past week. As crazy as it sounds, they literally had no perception of religion. Neither had any idea what the cross that hangs on lots of buildings here meant. They also didn't know much about Buddhism or Daoism which are the main religions here on this half of the world. We started at the very, very basics. I found it interestingly entertaining exposing these people to a new way of thought. China allows people to go there these days, but it is certainly still very closed up. One of the girls was going to join the Communist party when she made it back home. Apparentally there are a lot of benefits that come with it living there.

I also ran into a German man who was very pleased to hear that I loved the German people. He told me that many people in the world still have some biases against the German people unfortunately. That made me sad to hear. But either way, he was a traditional Catholic. Meaning they don't believe in the New Testament and don't believe the Messiah had come yet and still follow the Law of Moses. I said it sounded a whole like Judaism to me.. He told me they were COMPLETELY different. I laughed. I may have semi experienced what its like to be a person on the street meeting us Mormons for the first time telling them we are completely different from other Christian churches..


We went on two beautiful hikes this week, one last monday and one during morning exercise. Taipei is unique in the fact that it is one of the world's metropolises and yet it has maintained its natural side as well, except the ridiculously gross and stinky rivers in the middle of the city... Those aside though, and the air, everything else is beautiful here!

I'm looking forward to a good Thanksgiving. Hope everyone knows I love them! Have a good one.

Hiking life

Blazed this trail

No need to say

You probably can't tell I'm in Central Taiwan here can you?

Stinky Tofu and Duck Blood Soup.  Delicious!

Monday, November 16, 2015


Last week's letter was very preachy. I'm sorry, you all probably want to hear my stories, not my 20 year old wisdom. Stories it is today then.

Last week I sent some awesome looking pictures of my comp and I at Taiwan's Goblin Valley. We have a member here that has a car and loves hanging out with missionaries, we got lucky. He picks us up and we drive the road that runs the northern coast line of Taiwan, wow that is a beautiful road! Made me want to drive Highway 1 in Cali. The place there is made completely of sandstone and has gone through about the same effect that Goblin Valley or Bryce Canyon have. It was beautiful as it was along the water with the sound of waves in the background. Only difference was there were thousands of Chinese people there instead of the normal few hundred in the US Natl Parks. Lots of fun.

We had two baptisms last week! Baptisms are always fun stuff. They were both awesome. Elder Dong was really stoked about having the chance to baptize 黃姐妹 (Sister Huang) as it was his first time. He did great. Brother Alann, the other man, I cannot take any credit for, he was pretty much taught by previous missionaries. I was just lucky to be here to see him finally take that last step.

Now, this week. Last Monday we got invited over to the Casperson's (hailing from Logan Utah) for curry rice and MILKSHAKES! I was stoked out of this world and was not disappointed! It was the greatest thing! Plus they had salad made for us. I forgot what uncooked veges taste like. It was wonderful.

This week I took an attempt at making homemade black beans. Regardless of what you see in the picture, just know I succeeded and made myself the first black bean burrito I've had in over a year. It was so dang tasty! But honestly, going to all that effort to make something I'll get to eat everyday back at home when the Taiwanese food here is authentic and just as delicious made me reconsider any ideas at future attempts with it..

This week we attended a follow up meeting for all trainers and trainees. As I sat in on the meetings, listening to other's experiences, I was actually super grateful for my circumstance. Love is the answer to missionary work, who would've thought? Elder Dong and I are lifetime friends. I've never made such a close friend, and even better he's nothing like me haha. We have such a good time together, I'll always look back on these days with such a warm regard. I have loved my every second being here in DanShui.

Lastly, I have a shoutout for my parents. I remember them arguing maybe once or twice my whole life. I've never heard my dad speak bad of my mom and vice versa. They've had their fair share of hardships, but never once allowed any of them to affect their relationship. We have some members we are teaching right now. I see them, living under the same roof, but in a broken home. These eye openers make me so grateful for the upraising I had. Statistically speaking, I may be in the lucky 1% to grow up in such a good enviroment. Thank you mom and dad. I'm grateful beyond what I can describe.

As always, excited for another week of experiences and memories to be made!

Sunday dinners

We put that Chinese-Mexican buffet in STG to shame with this ramen and burrito combo

I promise you they turned out really good!

Best meal of the week

信心 November 8, 2015


This week I was fortunate enough to run into an unusual amount of Mormon-haters that wouldn't even try to see how decent of a person I can be before jumping in and trying to tear me and my faith into pieces. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Fact.

I believe. There are many dark clouds that hang over religion when you want to talk about the colorful aspects of history and doctrines. But this week I witnessed first hand the true power behind having a faith in God. 

Getting backed up into a corner by people who, like Zeezrom, have a written out script in hand that is meant to get you to catch you in your words is quite a fun experience. I think it's cool to read the stories in the gospels now because those one liners and side comments of the Pharisees trying to trap Christ become real as you realize that though the author only devoted a line to expressing that aspect of the story, there is much more emotion behind it than could possibly be portrayed. It's a fun experience, if you have faith in Christ.

I don't know what to make of the mess behind the Joseph Smith story, I don't understand why homosexuality is a sin, I don't even know if every last word that comes out of the mouths of church leaders is the pure gospel of Christ. But I know one thing. When I tell someone that Christ is our Savior and the atonement can change your life, my insides get warm. My faith in Christ got me through the darkest hells in this life. The godly forgiveness made possible by the atonement allowed me to forgive myself of the awful things I did against my best friend before he died. The enabling power behind the atonement allowed me to close my eyes as I stepped into the dark unknown, uncertain that I would see my mother again because of my "privilege to serve God."

The power of the Spirit touched my heart this week as I faced some of the grumpiest and aggressive accusers I've faced in my life. Though they were thoroughly prepared and fully expecting an easy victory, yet they had nothing they could say in refutation as I looked them in the eyes and told them with a calm steady voice that I believed in Christ as my Savior and a loving Heavenly Father. 

The scriptures aren't kidding when they mention in there that the words which even babies can speak can confound the greatest wisdom found in this world.

The gospel is simple. The apostles and the haters make it to be more than it was intended. God lives. We can receive forgiveness from our sins. We can hope for a better world and a better life. By striving to be like Christ, we can improve our lives and find more happiness. And so my beloved family members don't misunderstand me, striving to be like Christ never did and never will mean striving to be like the prophet. Anything that is run by man or associated with man is going to have faults and errors. But Christ's doctrine in its purest form is perfect.

I believe.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Our Halloween party was a good old time. I had my face painted up all pretty and was handed a huge bag of candy to give out to the trick-or-treaters. The Taiwanese don't celebrate Halloween here, so thanks to our American family living here, they were all able to experience a little of what Halloween is all about. The chapel where I'm serving is one of the biggest in Taiwan, so that helped as well. We all went up to the top floor and stood behind all the doorways down the hall and handed out chocolates as the little ones came by and knocked on the doors. Elder Dong and I had a system where he opened the door and I jumped out at them to scare them! Fun stuff. I also ate half a bag of chocolates, so call that a success if you will.

We also made it out to that hole in the wall Texas Steakhouse again. I had three coupons for free steaks, so we hit it up. It was the closest thing I have had to American food in a long time. Notice I say "closest" thing to American food. The Taiwanese also have steakhouses out here where you can get a Taiwanese style steak. They are half decent, except they won't cook their steaks past rare. And for those of you who haven't had raw beef before, it's less like raw fish and more like overcooked octopus. You simply cannot cut it, let alone eat it. I hoped that going to an American steakhouse would mean they would cook it past rare, but I guess you still have to cater to the local opinions to have business. The fries tasted good though.

On the contrary, we had a night where we ate at a member's food stand. I ordered noodles with some 滷味, which included some stewed chicken hearts, tofu, seaweed, and pork blood cake. I left that place a thousand times more satisfied than the American steakhouse. Perhaps I really am becoming a little Taiwanese...

And to further prove that point, I went on exchanges with an kid from Utah this past week. I felt a little out of place speaking English with him, not to say I feel more comfortable speaking Mandarin than English now, but my English has gone to trash lately. I struggle to express myself at all anymore I guess. As long as I keep my sentences simple, I'm pretty good to go though I guess.

This week brought the worst smog I have ever witnessed. I almost died. We couldn't even see the buildings 1 km away from us. We lived in a strangely lit orange bubble for two days. Glad to be past that.

Last Monday we made it to Costco again. I got all the stuff to make myself some world class breakfast burritos. I made myself and Elder Dong some good quality potato, green pepper, bacon, ham, pepperjack cheese, egg, and salsa burritos on authentic Mexican tortillas. Good news is I still have the same taste buds for Mexican.

Elder Dong sleeptalks. And when I'm really lucky, sleep-screams. One particularly fun night I woke up to yelling and sat right up to see him screaming at his wall in some slurred Chinese. At the moment I thought he was yelling at me so when he got up to go to the bathroom after he woke himself up I got in a feetle position thinking he was gonna come at me. LOL. We laughed about it the whole next morning.

Fun stuff going on here in Taiwan. I love it here.

Hope you all have a good week!!!