Monday, March 27, 2017

The Craziest Week Of My Mission Yet!

Mar. 25, 2017 email

Saying goodbye to all her Beitou friends!!  Thanks for loving her Beitou!!

This email might be kinda of scattered because we are running shorter on time because we are going to Monkey mountain today! Thats right, monkeys. Why? Because I now live in Taidong!!!! It is the southern paradise of our mission. It is absolutely crazy, but I love it and am so ready to get to work here!!!

Okay. Starting from the beginning of the week in Beitou! this past monday we went to a trampoline park for pday. At first we were excited, but not super duper ecstatic to go. That all changed about an hour later. All of our childhood happiness flooded back and we had SO MUCH FUN!!!! It ended up being a reallly fun day. This tuesday sister miller and I were outside doing our studies and met this cute little old man that was sitting on a little stool under a tree. We started to talk with him and he told us about the trees in beitou. He said that he goes to a different park in beitou everyday and sits under one of the trees for about an hour just to breath in their air. He then talked about how all the trees have a special spirit. In my head i was thinking, Man, this guy is a little crazy:) then He invited me and sister miller to go up to a tree and just put our finger tips against it, close our eyes, and just listen. 
why not!
We walked over to the tree and tried what he had said. The following experience was super tender. The tree really did have a spirit.  We could feel it. It was a really cool moment. Kinda earthy, but still super duper cool:) 

More Beirou goodbyes!
this week we also had two of our investigators with baptismal interviews. Xie JM and Zhong JM. they both went super duper awesome. Xie JM just needs to wait for a little bit longer so she can be more fully prepared. It was a really special moment. She did some things in the past that she has just never been able to feel forgiven and clean from. she said that in her interview that she could finally feel it start to be healed. She is so great and we are so excited for her to keep moving forward:)
Wednesday was a pretty nuts day. WE found out early in the day that Me and elder Kaufusi were bother being transferred down to Taidong!!! I was so stinking excited that I couldn't even handle it. the rest of the day was teaching lessons and getting stuff all ready to leave. It was nuts. Super sad to say goodbye to Beitou:( I love that place!!!!!!! And we have so many fun  and awesome investigators. Ji Pei De even came up from Muzha to say bye! I said all my goodbyes and wrote down a lot of phone numbers:) Mom and dad we have got A LOT of people to visit when you guys come to visit. It's gonna be great.

Wahoo!!!  Meeting up with old and new friends!!  Emma LOVES Sister Eyre:)  They were companions in Muzha.  And Emma got to meet Sister Eyre's new trainee Sister Eyring!  Sister Eyring's mom and Emma's dad were favorite friends and neighbors growing up and when we heard both these girls would be in the same mission, we were excited!!  Look at those 3 beautiful smiles!!!  Good luck girlies!!
Thursday morning I lugged all my luggage to the mission home to meet with more missionaries going to the south. It was rough, my bags were SO HEAVY! and one of my wheels broke too. AGH! My arms were so dang sore the next day! The funnest part was that I got to see Sister Eyre at the bu!(office)  She is training this transfer so I got to meet my grandchild! Its sister Eyring!! So much dang fun:) AFter we got everything all ready to go we all jumped on the train to bound for the south. ON the train I started to got SO NERVOUS! I have been in Taibei city for almost a year, close to the mission home, have an MRT, tons of people, huge buildings! agh! Now I live about a 4 hour train ride away from taibei! I went from the most north place of our mission to the most south!! Heavenly Father let me see the coolest miracle though. There was this cute girl that was sitting next to me that got me excited to live in taidong. she is from there! She is 17 years old and living a super hard life. We talked forever and I told her about how the much the gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life. (ok now we are going to fast forward to saturday!) So this 17 year old girl is named Ni En and we met with her on saturday and she was so pumped about the gospel! We set a baptismal date with her and are so excited for her to keep learning and become a happier person through Jesus Christ. (SUCH A MIRACLE!!) Ok now back to thursday. 

We pulled into the station late thursday night and met our companions and went and grabbed some noodles real quick. Afterwards we went home, It all settled in that I was in a really far away place, with a taiwanese companion...eeeks!!! I cried myself to sleep cause I was a little scared. But the next day was a new start. The sun was shining. I got to explore our area. We met so many prepared new people, got to meet a ton of ward members, and start to fall in love with the area. 

4 hr. train ride to Taidong.  When James was there 27 years ago the train ride was 13 hrs!  

Cute little family presentation in Taidong.

She already has friends in Taidong:)
Taidong is a really interesting place. so my area I cover the little city of taidong and then an hour away of wilderness. A lot of our members live in that wilderness. It reminds me a lot of hawaii and mexico and Avon all mixed together. The people are all REALLY dark.They are called Yuanzhumin. They are the native indians of Taiwan. Kinda like how america has native americans, Taiwan has them too! They all live in Taidong:) Its so dang fun! The people are all at a more slower pace of life here. KInd of like beach bums and granola crunchers but they still go to work and get things done.  the sun is MASSIVE here. The beach is everywhere. Oh and get this, the other morning we were running back from exercise and there is a mountain next to our house and I heard some weird sounds. I stopped and looked and there were like 10 monkeys playing in the trees next to our house. 
This place is nuts. It might be different but one thing that is the same is the sacrament:)
going to church was the best. I am so grateful for a heavenly Father who loves us all so very much:) Zhong JM from Beitou also got baptized this sunday! I didn't get to go cause I'm so far away, but I talked to her on the phone and she is pumped! The Holy Ghost is the most precious gift in the world!!!! I love you guys so dang much and I'll tell you about all the other adventures next week!

My Dearest Family

Mar. 19, 2017 email

My most favorite family in all the lands:) This might not be the longest email in the world but I just want you to know how AWESOME this week was. It was great in the physical facts, our investigators are all doing awesome, we met great people. But the best part of the week was all the things that I was able to feel and learn in the spiritual parts of the week. So dang great! Heavenly Father loves us all so much and is so excited to help us learn more and more every single day. I learned so much this week and could feel the spirit constantly guiding me. 

Now for a lowdown of the week.:)
Monday! Sister Miller and I threw the most legendary of all P-days! We took our district on a beitou camping adventure in the mountains! We had a campfire, smores, games, and a mystical hike! It was the best thing ever. The only down side was that I got SO SICK. Oh man. it was terrible. 
We got up to the campsite and then about an hour later I was feeling weird. The day got even more fun as it went on but I just got sicker and sicker as the day went on. Oh man. By the time we got back to our apartment I was dying. super hot, super cold, achy to the touch, shivers, all of it! We still had some time left in pday so I crashed for an hour. I woke up and still felt awful. WE went to our lessons and then came home. I was up all night long throwing up and wanting to die.

Sister Miller with her Smore:)

Mystical hike area.

Beautiful girls!
I HATED IT. first time ever sick on my mission SUCKED!
the next day was zone conference so that was a miracle. I was so weak so it was nice to just sit and be spiritually fed:) Our mission nurse loaded me up with medicine. I just got food poisoning or a 24 hour flu. so by tuesday night I was better than ever! Zone Conference healed me! It was so great. We talked a lot about The atonement. I really know that Christ lives and that he can take the worst, dirtiest things and turns us into the best, most pure things. YOu guys! We are so lucky!  We gotta quit waiting for our lives to change. Act and turn to Christ and he can turn the dirty water into wine.

One other thing I learned from this experience of being sick. Pepto bismo is some scary stuff. I dont' think it's safe. It turned my poop black like the night! stay away!

Our beloved Zhong family is doing amazing, but they are being hit up and down with trials recently. Please pray for them! Zhong DX mom is in the hospital and will most likely die this week. We want to be as tender as possible with the situation while still helping them prepare to be baptized;)

other fun tidbits from week:)
-met some cute little old catholic sister missionaries this week:)
-met a martial artist from new york. He was way special. His name is Love.
-met a cute mom from America that wants us to start teaching her sister:)

Lots of sister missionaries!  The cute little old ladies are from the Catholic Church:)

This week really was full of miracles. ONe of the most tender things happened this weekend. We are teaching this family right now. The Li family. We have known the dad for a while through english class. This week they invited us to go out to dinner with them in Danshui. We were excited to be with them and share with them about Christ. It totally got turned into an FHE at he dinner table! The 2 little girls taught us some fun games we shared a spiritual message, it was a blast! The mom has a harder time being serious. Jack the dad has been softening her heart a lot I think. Now here comes the tender part. As we were walking back we were talking with the family. Jack looked a little concerned, He was looking at the ground. Then out of nowhere he looks up at sister Miller and I and says, "Do you know what happens to us when we die? Where do we go? Where are my parents? I have wanted to know for the longest time and I have no answers."

You guys. The Plan of Salvation is the greatest comfort to all mankind. Jack is very in tune to the spirit and recognized us 2 little missionary girls as messengers from God that could help him find these answers. Through the restored gospel we are able to have these restored truths of the Plan of Salvation. I love you all so dang mcuh!!!!!
have a fab week!!!

Families That Play Together Stay Together

Mar. 12, 2017 email

Hello my beloved familia:) I love you all so dang much and am glad to hear that you all had an awesome week! I'm glad spring is finally coming for you all. Its the raining season starting up here now. I have officially lived in Taiwan for over a year now! Crazy how fast time flies. Sister Miller and I have been preparing ourselves for the rain we know will be coming this upcoming month or two. It was so hard last year when we were in training. We are just so grateful to know that the sun does actually come out and that everyday can be a happy day in Taiwan! Hallelujah! 

This past week has been a ton of fun:) P-day this week....was a joke..hahah it was super funny. so here is what happened. We had planned to meet our misison leader at this place called Jin shan to go on a hike. We road a bus their and it took a little bit longer than expected. We called Chen DX and asked him where he was, he said that he was already in Jin shan waiting for us. We could not find him anywhere though! I asked him again where he was and he said "Jin shan" But then I realized his tones were a little different..We then realized that he was at a shopping mall in taipei city....

Everyone. Pay attention to your tones:)

So basically we didn't know where to go and were short on time anyway so we went and explore this little ghost town, got persuaded into buying some really delicious apple vinegar, bought a bag for jane that looks like a strawberry, road the bus back home, and then got some hamburgers. 
haha. funny day. Today will be better! We are going to make a campfire in a campsite in beitou! fun.

The rest of the week was full of all sorts of awesome adventures and fun lessons. This week we were meeting with the Zhong Family and shared with them all about Repentance. We read from Enos together and all of us identified things in our life that we need to change. We all wrote them down on a piece of paper and then read Enos to see what we should do to fully repent and receive a remission of our sins. The spirit was SO powerful. The coolest part was that Zhong JM stopped dead sentence and said to all of us, "Do you feel that? That is the power of the Holy Ghost here in the room with us!".


They are doing so amazing. They really have become the greatest examples to me and teach me so much every time we meet with them. Keep praying for them!

We have another awesome investigator right now, Xie JM. This week we read together, The Family a Proclamation to the World. Oh man, she got PASSIONATE about this one! She then went off to explain how everyone in taiwan is crazy and just gets married has kids and then give the kids to their parents to take care of so that you can go to work all day. 
Then she asked the best question I've ever heard on my mission. "What is your purpose in having a family?" So. Powerful.
Xie Jm, will change taiwan:) she absolutely loved the family proclamation and I am so grateful for the things that she was able to teach us about having a family:)

Other fun things this week included,
-visiting our investigator at the hospital, don't worry, she just had a cold...everyone goes to the hospital here!
-Met a Kind american named Dave when we were out running on morning:) yes, he was kind.
-Made Sister Jergensens homemade Chocolate chip cookies for our investigators and just died cause they were so delicious.
-Got to meet an LA family and help them start coming back to church! Their
Sister Jorgensen's World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies!

son isn't baptized yet!!!! #almosteternalfamily
-got to partake of the sacrament. Best part of every week:)
I love you guys tons:) have a fun safe week!!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ikea, mlc, the holy ghost, repentance. all good things here in beitou!

Mar. 5, 2017 email

This week was fabulous! So DANG BUSY! Literally Sister Miller and I are exhausted! this week every single day was just packed with lessons and activities, such a huge blessing! I'll go through some of my favorite highlights from the week.
This past monday we went Ice skating for pday! It was so much fun but absolutely PACKED with people. It was a national holiday in taiwan and everyone was off school and work so all of taipei was ice skating with us. It was a ton of fun though. I was super scared that I forgot how to ice skate, but then I was fine:) #blessed. Still not as good as dad, but I'm getting their! Afterwards we went to Ikea!! That's right! Taiwan has an ikea! It was super fun and we got some delicious ice cream. Afterwards we had dinner with a family from our ward:) It was a huge pot of NOODLES! Literally just a massive bowl of noodles that 9 of us all ate together. It was delicious. I have found some pretty delicious foods here in Beitou.

That is a HUGE bowl of noodles!
Ok, now for a food side story. So sister Miller told me about this magical waffle place that she found when she was on exchanges and I was bound and determined to EAT one. I don't know why, but I went to go buy one 4 different times this week and they were either sold out or closed. I was ticked! They literally looked so good, but I just had the worst luck in the world! But, we finally went back for the 5th time and I was able to buy one. And it was delicious:)The end!
Ok now onto better things for this week:)
Thursday was an absolutely crazy day! we were traveling all around beitou to different appointments from the morning until the evening! Thursday morning started out on top of the mountain in a place called Xiao pingding. It was NUTS. So fancy. I literally felt like I was in a james bond movie or something! One of our investigators doris lives up their and wanted us to teach her in her home that day. It was quite the adventure! there is only one bus that can take you there and you have to have permission to ride on it! So neat! After that one of our members called us and asked if we could go with her to her little brothers juice store and share the gospel with him! It was a blast and her little brother was awesome. He is 28 and really just wants some guidance in his life. This Members name is Sister Lin, she has two kids. Her son is 9 years old and has really funny english. He always grabs his little sisters hand and yells, "Come on baby, lets go!!" Agh! Its so dang cute. That day we had so many fun lessons:) The best one was that night with the Zhong Family. sister Zhong has been SO sick and hasnt been able to meet with us for over a month. She finally was able to come to church this week and had a priesthood blessing. She called us wednesday night and was so excited because she had been healed!!! Her and her husband were both freaking out and wanted to see us ASAP! We  met with them the next night and reshared with them about the restoration. The spirit was so strong and they both set baptismal dates for the end of this month. Sister Zhong also bore the most powerful testimony in church this week! AGH I LOVE THEM!
Ward carnival participants:)

The Holy Ghost really will touch the hearts of everyone. I had a really cool experience with that this week. We had MLC this week and Elder Funk from the 70 and his wife came to share with us. It was so fun! WE had some great training and an awesome discussion about repentance. Then we started to discuss the role of the holy ghost in conversion. Elder funk explained that the Holy Ghost will only testify to us things that are crucial to our salvation. He looked at a chair and said, "This is a chair." then he asked us if any of us had any special feelings. Nope. Then he looked right at me and said, "sister clawson, would you mind sharing with us the first vision in chinese with my wife?"

WHAT?! I was pooping my pants I was so scared. I was so nervous. I got up and looked at his wife, said a quick prayer and shared the first vision. 
This experience changed my mission. I was totally an awakening moment! I was I shared with her I could see in her eyes that she knew that what I was saying is true. She doesn't know Chinese. But the Holy Ghost testified to her and to me that it was true.
I bore my testimony of the first vision to her and then we both sat down. I was SO overwhelmed! the room was just full of the spirit, The Holy Ghost will testify of things crucial to our salvation. And the Restoration of the church is very crucial to that:)
I'm so grateful for this experience!
I love taiwan, I love you fam, this is Christs restored church. 

Deitou Is Awesome!

Feb 26, 2017 email

You can get Costco hotdogs in Taipei too!!

This week was lots of fun! Toward the end of the week it just poured and poured and poured! Literally just dumped rain and got cold for 3 days straight! Talking with people in the street was a little tough because everyone had a bad attitude but we pulled through!

The beginning of the week was great too. This monday we went with some missionaries down to the beach in Sanzhi and played volleyball together! It was a ton of fun, but the best part was when Sister Miller and I went to get a few groceries at costco. We were going to make chocolate chip cookies this week so we needed to buy a bulk bag of Chocolate chips! Afterwards we went to the food court and went all out! huge hot dogs and churros! oh man it was the best. We were so dang excited. We felt awful later that night, but it was still so worth it!

Volleyball on the beach.
This week we also had lots of exchanges with the other sisters! It is so dang fun to be able to go with all of them and to learn from them. This week I went with Sister Bradley, Sister Yang, and sister Zhong.
Sister Bradley, sister Zhong and I had an awesome time, but sister yang and I kinda a had a crazy experience.
so this all started thursday afternoon. We had just gotten some lunch and we were going to see this lady that we had met a few days earlier. We biked up to this park that we were going to meet her at and there was an old white american sitting on a bench with a beer, we waved to him and then went to talk with the lady. As we were talking with the lady, I realized that she was a little crazier than others, when we were talking with her she started to exercise and asked if we would give her a back massage cause she was feeling a little sore. ugghhh. I'm sorry, but I just can't do that as a missionary right now! We explained to her how we can't massage people and she FREAKED out. she started saying how we were evil people and never wanted to see us again. ya..she was a little cray cray. Sister Yang and I felt a little bad but knew that we had done the right thing by not touching her. We scampered off over to our bikes and the white guy yells at us, "she backed down didn't she?" I replied and said "Thats ok, we love it here." Then, this white man snapped. He started yelling at us at how stupid we are and how everything we believe is a crap. I have never heard so many S words A words F words, in my whole life, He was SO drunk. I was so scared. I knew we had to leave ASAP! He looked at me and started yelling at me, "you are such a perfectly programmed missionary. What do you know anyway! What do you know!!?" There is no way I am going to battle with a drunk man, so I just said, " I know I'm hapy." Holy crap I was so scared.We put our helmets on and biked the heck out of there!!!!!!! AGH!!! He just kept yelling and yelling at us as we rode away! People on the streets started to come and see what was going on but we were long gone! I was shaking so bad and absolutely terrified. I had biking for maybe like 30 seconds and then I just BURST into tears. We biked probably a mile away and then I stopped and took a deep breath for a hot sec. Sister Yang had no idea what had happened cause she couldn't understand, she was super confused. I explained to her what had happened and then we prayed together. 
Even though this was like the worst thing that's ever happened on my mission, my testimony was strengthened so much. I KNOW that this is the restored church on the earth!! Christ lives! And I'm  the happiest person in the world dang it!

Other than that, the week was really great. Heavenly Father is so good to us. Just when we think that everyone hates us and doesn't want to talk to us he lets us see so many miracles and find willing people who are ready to hear the restored gospel. Agh! love him!
This week we met with a new family that we met and all had greek food together! We shared with them about prayer and it was so cool to see how their attitudes were just lifted after they had finished their own prayer. I know he hears us and will answer all of us.

Church was also amazing this week. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that we all have to partake of the sacrament and to renew our baptismal covenants! We can become clean and new EVERY WEEK! Seriously! Christ loves us so much and is just cheering us on every step of the way as we are preparing to return to our heavenly father.
good week:)

This picture was taken especially for Grandpa Garner and all my Garner uncles who I believe keep Costco in business with their hotdog purchases:)
ok now for a hilarious story. Mom, you might not want to put this one on the blog..hahaha:)
so the other night Sister Miller and I were calling the Jinhua Distric leader Elder Lloyd to follow up with him on the exchanges that we went on with the sisters in his district. I had finished talking to him and gave sister miller the phone to talk with him. She had just gotten out of the shower so we put it on speaker so that she could talk while she got changed. I was in the front room reading my scriptures and had revelation about the sisters! I was like, "Sister Miller I figured it out! I got it!" She then said back, "Ok wait! I don't have a shirt on!" 
And then....I looked at the phone...and remembered, that it was on speaker...
Then Sister miller looked at the phone and said, "Oh no! Elder Lloydd! I'm so sorry!!" 
OH man....
I LOST IT. I quickly ran into the living room and just died laughing!
sister miller took it like a champ and got the conversation back to normal so smoothly:) 
After the phone call we just laughed and laughed together. we felt so bad!
Poor Elder Lloyd:) If anything he probably got a really good laugh.
Always be careful what you say when you are on speaker phone!

We had a fun week:) Love you tons!!

The Adventures of Sister Miller and Sister Clawson In Beitou

Feb. 19, 2017 email

This week was another awesome week here in Beitou. We are so blessed to live in the best place in the world and to share the best message with Taiwanese people all day. 
Ok so we will start off with pday this past week. I would definitely say that it was one for the books. 
We were craving some delicious American food so we decided to form our pday all around that. Elder Walters from Danshui did some quick little research with a members phone and found this American BBQ called Mighty Quinns. Apparently its a pretty killer place and super famous in New York. America+BBQ, that's all we needed to know to want to go. 
It was in Tianmu, which is really close to Beitou. It has a lot of American things in that area and Is where the American High school is actually. It's where the Jergensens kids go to school. So we got together with our district to hunt down this Mighty Quinns place. We found it and walked on in! It was such cool place! It made me really want to take over the bakery or open a restaurant. So handsome! We were looking at the menu and got up to order, you can pick out of like 5 different bbq meats and pick some sides and then they pare it with all this delicious pickled things and coleslaw, then you put it all on a bun! It reminded me of skiing at Beaver making sloppy joes with coleslaw!
I got the Brisket. Then they doctored everything up for me and it looked like a masterpiece.
Holy. Cow.
It was the best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life.
The end.
Best pday ever!!!!!!!!

This week we started up exchanges again with our sisters in the zone and it was a blast. Sister Watson and I met the cutest old grandpa and sister Dayton and i met the most prepared family! We really do have some incredible missionaries here in Taiwan thats for sure. I absolutely love the energy that everyone has to do the work!

Sister Miller and I found the most delicious Juice store this week. We went to try it out and got talking with the cute girl that was working there. Her name was Lin Xiao Jie. she is the same age as us and lives in the area. We got to know her a little and asked her about her family. Turns out her family is christian, all of them have been baptized except her. We asked her why she hasn't been baptized with her family(que Nacho libre, "You have not been baptized?!") . She was quite for a minute and then started to BAWL! 
oh crap!
we for sure did not ask the right question!
We tried to comfort her as she was making juice and asked her if she was ok. She then explained to us how much she want's to get baptized, but hasn't been able to feel that the church they are attending is true. She know has all this pressure from her family, feelings of doubt, and thinking that God is so disappointed in her. We talked to her and shared with her briefly about the Restoration. She instantly started to light up and agreed to meet with us again. We are so pumped. Jesus Christ really will put light into everyones life!

other funny bits from the week:)
-Sister miller almost got kissed by a drunk old man on a trike scooter...oh man it was awful!. He reached out to shake her hand and almost pulled her in!!! Then her started making a nasty kissy face and was saying stuff that we did NOT understand! We gave him a tract about family history and took a shortcut the heck out of there! BE CAREFUL ALL THE TIME!!!!
-Our investigator Sophia got to see Linda Burton last night and LOVED it!
-We went to get lunch at this pho place in Taiwan and got interviewed on camera about why we chose to go there, instead of any other pho place. It was hilarious:) So we might be on TV somewhere! haha.
-Sister Miller got asked if she was pregnant on the street by some mom we were talking to. Oh man it was hilarious. I could not hold back my laughter, neither could she. It was just so funny cause sister Miller is literally stick skinny. hahah:)
Taiwan is great:)

Sunday Morning was pretty dang awesome. We had a ton of people committed to coming to church with us so sister Miller and I were stoked! Morning came around and I was getting ready for church. I had this feeling that I needed to say a special prayer for all of our investigators to make it to church safely. After I prayed the phone rang, Zhong jm. she said she was sick so couldn't come. ;( Well shoot!
5 minutes later, Doris called and said her son wasn't feeling good so she couldn't come to church.
and then we got a text from a mom that was supposed to come saying that she had last minute things come up so she couldn't come!
I was so confused and sad. sister miller and i prayed that we would somehow still be able to make our goal. We biked to church and were waiting for a family to come that had said they would come. As we were waiting this grandpa walked in! Then I remember that I had just seen him on the street earlier in the week and invited him to church! WHAT?! we kept waiting and our family of 3 showed up as well!! We were just about to go into the chapel when I hear someone yell me name. We turn around and it was Roan! our 9 year old investigator, her mom had helped her get all ready to come to church with us! We saw her and I just started to cry. Heavenly Father loves us all so dang much!! He gives us miracles of all varieties! I love you guys so dang much and miss you even more. Have a fun safe week:)