Thursday, August 16, 2018

Peruvians Come In All Shapes and Sizes, But Mostly Small WEEK #1 Aug. 16, 2018

Saying his final goodbye!

Hey guys so this week has been awesome but also really busy. I got on the plane to go to Atlanta and the kid I was sitting by was from Grace Idaho and he was also going to Cusco! We sat by each other on the next flight to Lima as well. While we were on that plane, there was this 21 year old guy who was flying to Peru for the first time, and it was also his first time out of the country! We talked with him for a little bit which was fun. He was really confused why there were so many of us wearing suits and all going to Peru. We told him that we were all missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, and that we were going to peru to teach people the gospel. right after, he said  ok, tell me about your church. Me and elder campbell looked at each other and were like ok! we shared a couple things with him and he was super nice about it all. He did have some difficult questions though and i wish we could have had a couple days to teach him more but we did an alright job for our first lesson. It was kinda fun teaching him, but at the same time it was also really hard because he had some difficult questions. We got to the airport in lima and kinda didnt know where to go, so we just kinda walked around looking for a guy holding a jesus christ sign. Funny thing, everyone is really short here. Most peruvians are super short and have really small hands and really small feet. Just a really small person. And its weird because we were on the plane with some peruvians and they were not dark skinned at all, they were like white people!! it was weird! Peruvians come in all different shapes and sizes, but mostly small.

Last family photo for a while.

Brotherly love!
Most of our days have been the same. wake up, study, breakfast, classes, lessons and more studying, lunch, classes, dinner, classes, study and then go to bed. I felt like i have been here for so long and the language is hard. especially when some peruvian man or woman all of a sudden comes at you with like 100 words per minute. But im getting better with phrases and words and kinda of talking to the latinos. 

On monday we had to wake up extra early to go to interpol so we could work on our visas. It was going to be our first time outside of the walls since we arrived and we were all freaking out!! This littel taxi driver guy comes to pick us up in one of those little vans that can hold like 10 people in it. Just a fun fact, everyone that drives here drives like there are no rules and they can do whatever they want, im pretty sure we almost died 5 times on our way to interpol which was only 10 minutes away. We were actual missionaries and it was our first time out in the real world. the CCM (its what they call the MTC in Lima) is exactly what the mission presidents wife said it was. A paradise in the middle of a crazy world. that is totally true! we have these huge walls that surround our building to either keep things out, or to keep us in. the weather is usually really cold and today was the first time we have seen the sun all week. But the CCM is not just a paradise, it is also a spiritual prison, lots of rules and they are very strict on pretty much everything. But honestly it is amazing here. the grounds are beautiful and the physical activity area is huge and awesome!! We have like 3 small soccer courts, one full size and 2 basketball courts that are only for our use and have huge walls surrounding them. it has everything we need here. all of my roommates and mi compañero are so awesome. my companions name is Elder Boyle and he is from Eagle Idaho.  Elder Abrath is 20 years old and from salt lake city, elder chamberlain is 18 and from salt lake as well. and then we have too elders who are already fluent in spanish and are awesome. Elder Salazar y elder Dahl. all the elders in my district are awesome as well. I love them all and they are all so fun, and they are totally as lost as i am at times. I have met An elder spackman who is dennis spackmans nephew, (Dennis is our favorite bus driver at home) and i have two friends from school that came down here with me!! and i also met up with Elder Nichols from ridgeline, I dont know if you know jackson Nichols but hes a good dude and hes here!!

Jake and his favorite friend Tyler shared a mission farewell.  These two girls have been in Jake's primary class since they were BABIES!  Love these kids!
we have had many devotions and i love it when we have choir practice. Yesterday we had an Elder Held from colombia talk to us and that was awesome. today for prep day we went to the temple in lima and it was so awesome! the session was all in spanish but we had those little translater things. And we took tons of pictures of the temple and i bought a peruvian tie form some guy on the street! I dont think i was supposed to do that but me and my companion did it anyways. Then we did a flippin ton of laundry. and I was feeling sick today but i took some advil and now I feel great. I have a testimony of advil! I dont have a lot of time but I love you guys and miss you all.
I know that I came here to be a messanger of Heavenly fathers message and I know that the scriputres are true and that jose (Joseph)😁 smith did translate the book of mormon and restore this gospel.

Love elder clawson.

Packing and going to visit Grandma Roberts before the airport.  As she hugged Jake he just burst into tears.  Grams looked at him and promised she'd be here when he got home!  She'll be 90 in a couple weeks.  We love you Grams!!!
MOm, I love you and miss you tons. I dont have too much time but Thank you for all you do for me and feel free to send me packages of stuff if you would like! but probably dont cause it might take alittle bit and i forgot the address. I love you all and I cant wait to email you all next week. 
I love you mom!.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last Email EVER!! Holy cow!

July 23, 2017 email

This week was a lot of fun, full of great memories. 
ok, first really funny story from this week. :)
This tuesday morning, sister xie and I were just coming back from exercise and we see this old grandma babbling with the grandpa that lives below us. We overheard their conversation and it turns out there was some dead animal that they were trying to clean up but both of them were too scared to do it. They saw us walk past and they were like, "the missionaries! They can help us!" So of course we put on our brave face and followed the grandma to wherever this animal was. I was expecting like a rat.. or a kitten maybe. we get to this part of the road and lying in the gutter is an ENORMOUS badger.

This is taiwan?! A BADGER?! are you kidding me?!!!!! i was dying. They badger seriously looked like he just got really tired, laid on his back, and then died. it was hilarious. Literally massive.

then...I had to pick it up and throw it away.. 
aghghghghghghhhgghhhh! Xie jm, this grandma, and me were like three squealing 6 year olds. I was so dang terrified, but I knew I just had to man up and pick it up!! Top 5 bravest moments on my mission.
the grandma was super grateful and then we had a really good laugh about it later:)
Agh taiwan is nuts.

Now for some other cool miracles from the week.
This wednesday we had a pass off lesson with the 2nd ward elders, it was with Lin Wen Jie Dx. He is amazing and basically the most prepared person in all of Taiwan. So earlier in the week I was talking to Lin DX on the phone and he told me about how he actually has  a 4 year old son that died 3 years ago in a motorcyle accident. We planned with the elders that we would teach him the plan of Salvation when we met with him instead of our original plan. The lesson went amazing. We all taught it together so simply and the spirit was so strong. Elder Johnson shared a scripture about how little children have eternal life and he testified to Lin DX that his son was with God in a place of peace and happiness. Lin DX just burst into tears, then I burst into tears...AGH It was so sick! He just understood the plan and how important it was to him! I'm so grateful that Heavenly FAther gave us the chance to meet Lin DX and get to help learn about our Savior.
I love this gospel. It is so dang true!

This week I also had my last interview
and last sunday
and last coordination meeting.
gonna have  a lot of lasts this week! kinda scary but really exciting:)

I have loved serving a mission in Taiwan. I know that God lives, He LOVE US!! I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today that receives revelation directly from God. This church has been restored! The Book of Mormon holds the restored truth. I know that if we live Gods commandments and follow Christs example we will be HAPPY. Dad told me something super awesome and true today. Missions don't change lives, purely living the gospel changes lives. 
I have seen a lot of unhappy people and a lot of happy people. The ones who are happy are the ones that choose to trust in God wholeheartedly, follow his son, repent, and keep his commandments. I love you tons)
SEE you all in a hot minute!!!!

I Love Being A Missionary!

July 16, 2017 email

My beloved family and friends!!!! This week was great. I think last week I had one of the coolest pday in maybe my whole mission. We woke up early with our Member Zheng JM and her family and went to a little town on the outskirts of TAidong called Luye. It's beautiful and SO GREEN. So we went up there to see a performance. It was done by the aboriginals of Taidong, They sing and dance together! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I may or may not have cried at one point because I thought it was so cool.......Agh I am a baby now...I cry really easily. but for reals it was the sickest thing in the world! afterwards we drove around and saw all sorts of cool mountain scenery of Taidong:) and then before we went home we stopped and saw Hot air balloons!! IT WAS THE MOST MAGICAL THING OF MY LIFE!!!
All in all it was a super duper fun pday:)

you guys this week saw a lot of cool miracles. But I just don't have time to write the nitty gritty details. But I promise I will tell you in person soon. I'll give you the quick run down of the amazing things that Heavenly Father was able to help us see this week:)
First off was the LA's that we were able to contact this week. The first was Chen JM. We simply got to know her and shared with her a mormon message about healing. She cried and cried and said that she hasn't felt the Holy Ghost for such a long time. she said she has the biggest desire to start coming back to church. 
the next Was Fan DX. He said that he hasn't been contacted by missionaries or members in 18 years. He has a big desire to quit smoking and drinking again but doesn't believe in himself. We invited him to come to church. Yesterday he was flooded with members loving him and welcoming him! AGH THIS WORK IS SO GOOD! LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR PEOPLE!

This week I also went on my last exchange! I went with Sister Austad. It was a lot of fun:) and we treated ourselves to not one, but 2 MANGO ICES!! the best.
I actually feel like this week was also just full of a lot of delicious foods.

And we got HUGE news for the week. Guo JM finally set a baptismal date!!!!!!!! She has been to church 4 times, reading the BOM, praying. agh she's awesome. But she was always just a little unsure about setting a baptismal date. This week we shared with her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and asked her how she felt about baptism. She just smiled and said she was excited about it. We then invited her to be baptized on August 26th and she just so pumped and said, "Ke YI!!!!!" 
perfect!! We are so excited for her and her cute cute cute family:)
I know this gospel is so true. I'm know that Christ lives. He's the perfect example. Literally all we have to do everyday is ask ourselves,What would jesus do. If we can all have this attitude and follow his example and use the  Atonement daily in our life, we will be happier and see miracles everyday:) I LOVE YOU GUUS!!!!!!!! ONE MORE EMAIL!!!!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Thanks Dad For Teaching Me To Be Extemporaneous!

July 9, 2017 email

Making Shuijiao's with a member family.  This is our family's favorite thing to eat on the planet!!!
My beloved family! THis week was super fun and I love being a missionary. This Pday we went to a mystical place called Taimali. We explore a super cool waterfall, everything about it was beautiful even though the water was like chocolate milk problem, still beautiful! Afterwards we went to the beach, cause it couldn't be a P-day in Taidong without going to some beach:) It was beautiful! Good start to the week!

This tuesday we had Zone Conference in Hualian. It was my last zone conference ever.... kinda weird, but it was an awesome one for sure. It was all focused on how we can be more powerful and simple teachers. We all came prepared with 2- One minute lessons on a gospel principle and roleplayed our guts out! It was so dang awesome! It forced us to keep our teaching simple and powerful. I loved it. It has helped us so much in our teaching and finding this week. This whole training just reminded me of this one time where I was driving in the car with Dad once and I asked if we could stop and get an ice cream or hot chocolate or something! He looked at me and said, "We can if you give my a one minute persuasive speech on why we should stop and get a treat." hahahahha thanks dad. 

I am now and effective one minute persuasive speech teacher:) xoxo

A cool miracle from this week! We got this super long referral text from Taizhong this week. It was a man named Lin Wen Jie who apparently had met the missionaries a long time ago and is looking for God now more than ever! I gave him a call expecting to have to talk to him for a second before he would set up. When he answered the phone I told him who I was and then this is basically how the rest of the conversation went... 
"Hey can we meet with you this week.?"

hmmm. yes! easiest set up ever.

Anyways we met with him this week and he is hands down the most prepared person that I have met in all my mission. He is so great!!! So humble and willing. Too bad he's a the elders will continue to teach him and help him be baptized. but hey! Team Jesus! It was a great opportunity to be the first ones to meet with him and set a baptismal date with him:)

Other fun bits from the week include:
-going member visiting with our bishopbric! (What?! this never happens! yes!)
-made delish chocolates for our investigators and members. (We are the See's Candies of taidong)
-Our Member Cai JM called us tuesday morning and told us that her cousin was going to meet with us THAT night! (Out of the blue referral!)
-Met someone from Muzha!
Our investigators are all doing so great too:) 

Waterfalls P-day

I had the most tender moment yesterday in church! We were sitting next to our investigator Guo Mama and her 3 little girls. Someone was giving a lesson and they were sharing about Alma the younger. All of a sudden Guo mama's eyes got so big and she looks at me and says, Ke Jie mei!!! I read this yesterday with my kids! then she goes off and tells me about how her an her girls read this story together in the book of mormon. She said how important it is for us to always repent and keep gods commandments. 


This mom has had a struggle reading the scriptures, but after a lot of prayers, reading together, getting them a childrens Book of Mormon to go along with the normal version, they are getting it!!!!
agh:) yes!
Ilove being a missionary!
 I miss you guys a ton:) love you so dang much!!

Happy 4th of July!!

July 2, 2017 email

Hello my beloved family! this week was blast. A lot of super awesome miracles, lessons, and funny random moments.

To start off the week we went back to our favorite park Shenlin Gongyuan. It is absolutely beautiful! but this time to took an adventure path and went and explored for a little bit. It turned out to be this sick path the lead up to the beach! So then we all skipped rocks at the beach for like 20 minutes. One thing I've realized. Throwing or skipping rocks into a body of water is a big things amongst americans, Taiwanese not as much. But don't worry, Sister Xie is a pretty great skipper now. We had a tender bonding moment as I taught her how to skip rocks. Just like a date! hahaha. FUN  Pday:)

This weeks English Class went a lot better and we had 13 kids instead of 15 come:) I did some serious prep this week. Games, songs, races, you name it, we did it all! I think teaching english once a week on my mission has made me never ever want to be an english teacher! Way too hard! Its harder than teaching people about the gospel! 

This is Zhou ZiChen and her cute kids!  Emma loves teaching them:)
Anyways we had some incredible times with our investigators this week. Zhou Zi Chen met with us on saturday and was SO happy. Her countenance has changed so much:) She has been eating food more, happier, better relationship with her mom. It's ridiculous! WE asked her why she thinks all these things are changing in her life and then she went off for like 10 minutes on prayer and how she knows that God loves her and wants to bless and answer her prayers:)
eeeeeks:) yassss!!

We love her so much and are so dang excited for her. 

This Saturday we started our weekly summer festival activity! so every saturday throughout the summer from 4-6 is a different activity. this weeks was a giant water balloon party. All of us missionaries filled up hundreds of water balloons and invited everyone to come! We played volleyball, capture the flag, and had a war at the very end. EVERYONE was squealing and smiling it was so dang fun! over 50 people ended up showing up and it was such a success! We all got new investigators from it and a ton of happiness. 

This was a happy visit from friends from Muzha and HYRUM UTAH!!!  The dad in the back on the right is Brother Roe.  He was Emma's seminary teacher at Mountain Crest.  Emma said he walked into the room and gave her a huge hug!!  It made her day.  His son Elder Roe is on the back row with his sister.  He was the AP when Emma first got to Taiwan, and was a friend of Emma's from high school as well.  He was a happy, familiar face when she got to a new country.  And then there is the Chui's!!!  The greatest family from Muzha!  Emma loves them:)

Taidong, Taiwan
Sorry I don't have a whole lot of time today but I'll tell you all sorts of stories for the next 3 months after I get home! I love being a missionary and I love this gospel! God loves us and he wants us to be happy! This is why he gave us repentance and his son jesus christ! I love you guys so flipping much! have fun in my favorite place in the world this week:)

Hotter Than Sin Over Here In Tailing!

June 25, 2017 email

What a fun hot week! Ok quick story from last night just to explain how hot it is. Its about 8pm last night and we went to visit a member who hasn't been to church in the past couple weeks. We got up to her house and she was so excited to see us but didn't want us to come in because her house was messy. No problem:) so we sat in her menkou with her and shared a message with her. THe sweat, was a constant drip from my forehead, down my face, down my shirt for like a solid 20 minutes. Sister Xie and I both looked like we had just gotten out of the shower! We finished the visit real quick cause we were literally going to melt and die if we stayed a minute longer!!!!!! agh but don't worry we were full of love and charity for this member even though we were drippin sweat:)
Taidong is something else. 


so sticky, so wet, but so many cool people!

This week we met some of the coolest new investigators, and there background are both very similar. Both are in the army but have a huge desire to treat their kids better and help them grow up in a more loving atmosphere.

The first family is the Zhen Jiating! WE met the mom a few weeks ago on the street, I remember her very vividly because she is actually brazilian.....but doesn't speak a lick of any other language except chinese! she moved to taiwan when she was 5 and hasn't left since. She is a soldier and that's how she met her boyfriend. They have 3 kids now and really want to get married and have a more stable family! They are both so cool! It's so weird to talk with a foreigner that's basically taiwanese on the inside! WE are excited to help them and their family!

The other soldier is Song Yun LIn. WE met her at the night market a couple weeks ago while she was playing with her son. she was sooooooo willing to meet with us,  I was chatting with her and then she looked at me and said, "I want my kids to grow up in church!!! can I meet with you and learn more?!" 
Yes. Willing!

haha. we met with her this week and it was magical. she ate up our message and opened up so much. She really believes that it was Gods plan that we met her at the night market, she said she hasn't been for 2 years but had a feeling that night that she needed to go.

agh!! goosebumps!!

She has not changed!

oh man this just reminded me of another sick miracle this week. We were meeting with our investigator Zhou Zi Chen and were trying to think of a member that could click really well with her, we had a feeling to call up an RC from the second ward, Guo Shi Yun. She said she could come help us with our lesson! We all met up at the church and then it just turned into magic, turns out that they both have the same health problems, interest, desires, you name it! They literally became best friends! Guo JM even said that she usually has violin lessons the same time as our lesson but he had surprisingly canceled. God planned everything perfectly so that they could meet! 
It's been amazing to see how things are really starting to change here in Taidong. Especially in the ward. The love is growing! I love it so much!
xoxooxoxoxxooxox family!

The LAST Transfer Has Begun!

June 18, 2017 email

This week was a blast! We are so blessed to get to serve in the greatest area of our mission:) Today I want to share some cool lessons that we had this week. Man it is pretty dang crazy how different every single person is. Every lesson we have is not even sorta the same as the other. hahaha.
This week we had another lesson with Wang DX. He has been doing some serious homework on the things that we have shared with him! But he asks the most intense questions ever! Do you think plants have spirits? How would you describe the atonements effect in your life? And many many more! After his lessons I am whooped. Like so tired! His questions are soooo awesome and he is learning a lot. I just have to take the time to ponder and think before I answer. I'm so grateful for all the investigators that we meet! I think we learn just as much from them as they do from us!

The other is the cute Guo Family! This week going to their house was so awesome! They 3 little girls had memorized "secret Prayer"! It was so cute to sing it all together before we prayed. This week we shared the message of the Restoration and it was so cool to hear ALL the questions that the mom had for us. She wanted to know everything! They even came to church yesterday and the little girls absolutely LOVED it! They didn't want to leave. I know that God is constantly preparing people wherever we go! We just have to prepare ourselves well and then the blessings just flow:)

We had one night this week where we had planned to go visit an LA but turns out he lived farther away than we thought and we weren't going to have enough time to visit him and make it home at 9:30 so we just decided to talk to all the people that we saw around us! We saw a couple, said hello to them, and started to chat. Turns out that they just moved to Taidong from Muzha!!!!!!!!!!!! I freaked out a lot:) They are tour guides! Cool job. AND They are Menonites.....oh. First menonites I've met in taiwan!
actually ever...
But anyways they are really cool! They have searched so many churches trying to find the one that is the best for them. We gave them a quick low down of the restoration and asked them if we could share more with them later. They were all over it! We are so excited. Heavenly father blesses us so much when we open our mouths;)

Ok last cool miracle from the week. This was last night:) As Sister Xie and I were doing our planning that morning we had a feeling we needed to go and visit this LA that we had never met before. She is 16 years old and apparently had been baptized 3ish years ago. We biked our way over to their house and knocked on the door. we could see that there were 2 scooters outside, lights on, dogs barking, but nobody was coming to the door. The neighbors came out and told us that the parents of the house were both deaf and can't talk either. 
So.... we just kept knocking and waiting;)
FINALLY the mom came down!!!!! We were basically dancing at her front door to get her attention!! She saw the two of us and came outside.
for the next 20 minutes we talked to her using charades and a piece of paper. she was so cute, loving, and patient. We learned that her daughter, (who is the LA that we wanted to visit) had left home a year ago to live with her boyfriend. The mom is sad and worried about her. We shared with her a little bit about why we come on missions and told her that through Christ her whole family can be helped and healed. It was so tender!!!!! Literally one of the coolest experiences of my mission. she agreed to meet with us next week. Heavenly Father's plan is bigger than we can comprehend! he knew that Sister Xie needed to be here at this time in this place to write in chinese to communicate with her! THIS GOSPEL IS SO TRUE. GOD AND CHRIST LIVE!!
This week was a lot of fun.
Love you tons.