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Monday, December 30, 2013

week #43 Mon., Dec. 30, 2013

Hey fam,
Well I survived another week, and it hasn't been that long since I last talked to you. (thank you skype). So let's see this past week we've seen a few miracles, I've learned a bit, and ready for next week, ok that's it for this week see ya all next week!

Just kidding, So this week some of the highlights were: For our English Class, we made cookies for our English class. I decided it's a million times harder when you don't know the conversions for cup, tablespoon, etc., but they still turned out great, best peanut butter cookies I've ever made. Everyone loved them, despite the fact they were sweet, Elder Shang thought no one would eat them because in his opinion, Taiwanese don't like sweets. But he was wrong, they loved 'em. Then so details on what I did for Christmas, so as we were preparing for Christmas we had to go buy wrapping paper (there was a gift exchange) and as we were there, I saw a snow globe, and Elder Shang was eyeing it, and said, "wow if we had one of these it'd be soooo cool, it'd be like it was snowing everyday!" so while he wasn't looking I bought it really fast, and shoved it into my bag. Then when we got home I started wrapping it with our leftover wrapping paper, which Elder Shang had no Idea what I was doing, he thought I was eating candy or something so he was annoyed, wouldn't start planning, did his own thing, then when he turned on the light, I placed the wrapped box with a snow globe in it on his desk. He turned it on to see a present on his desk, we did planning, and afterwards he opened it to see the very globe he wanted, it only cost 2 dollars but his reaction was priceless, made it a really good Christmas. Then we lasted until weekly planning, he crashed again....糟糕 But after talking it out, we actually had a really good 36 hours, we helped an investigator set a goal, we found a ton of great people, we helped a ton of people come closer to Christ, it was a really good miracle. 

So then the week continued, I got to church and one of the recent converts came up to me and said, "Elder Pao sent me this to give to you". (Elder Pao is Brandon's previous companion, 3 weeks ago, and he was in the area Brandon is in now, like 2-3 months ago).  It was a box of hot, a picture of the district up there, a small note, and a bunch of hints on the ward and how to help people, it was an awesome gift. Love Elder Pao, such an amazing Elder. Then we sadly found out that 2 of our progressing investigator's don't live in our area, so that was a little sad, but they live in the zone leaders area, so they'll be in good hands, I'm not too worried. Then we went to a family's house to eat dinner and as we were there, they asked, so Elder Bean where in Utah are you from, and I said "Highland".  They were all like "what! we know that place" turns out they have a friend the kitchen family (who was one of the first 4 missionaries in Taiwan) who lives in Highland and they went to visit him, they showed me pictures, and videos, he lives like right around the corner from the Robb family, so I saw the neighborhood, almost all of highland, it was so fun. Yep, this week I've started memorizing A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. good song, love the Savior more and more, you're all great. Until next week.
Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, December 23, 2013

week #42 Mon. Dec. 23, 2013

Hey Everyone,
This week once again not the "wow went by so fast" feeling I normally feel. But lots of good happened. We've been working hard, meeting lots of new people, going through trying to figure out what to do. Studying hard. 

First off, our English class is going crazy. They seriously love us out there. It's exploding, Super fun too because I can use a whole new variety of teaching methods, because I have advanced speakers and beginning. I love it, it's fun, it's a joy. 

Thursday we had our mission Christmas activity. It was miracle. I got to see all of my old friends, all of my old companions. Elder Tolman tackled me when he saw me ( worked at little Caesers). Elder Milheim is in my zone, (Chinese Class) and of course it was fun to see everyone else. It was a blast. Which was good because the morning wasn't going so well, I was struggling with my companion and on the way something whispered to me.."Just get to the Christmas activity, it'll be okay" And It was, it was actually great. I got to see Elder Gassman who's in my generation and has had the same problems I have recently had (companion), and he gave me some great advice. Then I also got a chance to contact with Elder Pao randomly outside the steakhouse (steak house not stake center). It was wonderful, I was having a blast. Then we also had a small devotional, and 10 missionaries gave their reflections and they were so inspiring, it seemed each one was God specifically talking to me, so I was so spiritually full afterwards. Then President Blickenstaff shared some thoughts on Christmas from Isaiah it was so good. Loved it!.Then we headed back, got back a little late, but the lack of sleep was hardly noticeable. 

Friday I fasted for the gift of prophecy, to help me know what to do with my companion, help me better understand scriptures, know how to help my investigators, and I've seen a ton of fulfillment's on that. Fasting has really helped me know that Alma 17:2-3 is true. (I've been studying different talks and one mentioned fasting a lot.)

We had a ward Christmas party, it was great, had a few investigators there and they seemed to enjoy it pretty well. We also went and visited the Bishop and his family last night. We got a chance to share a scripture, I shared my favorite (1Nephi 2:15) and a spiritual insight, he loved it, he made sure I hadn't shared it with any other members because he wants to use it. 

Yep this is the just of the week. Doing well, memorized Lead Kindly Light this week, learning to say pretty good prayers, and learning to love every moment, because it really is precious, it is in these moments we become who we are, when we discover what kind of person/missionary we are supposed to become. I can only be grateful for these experiences.

Elder Bean

Friday, December 20, 2013

week #41 Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Hey family,

Yet another week has passed. This week we've seen a surplus of miracles, seen a lot change and learned a lot of lessons that will help me in the future I'm sure. So this week we didn't have a lot of lessons, there's been a lot of finding opportunities though. We've tried a lot of different things from visiting Less active's and asking for referrals, going up and down the streets, trying to find former, teaching English class. And I've learned that sometimes working hard will still seem to have no results, but that doesn't mean we've failed. I'll get to that in a second. 

So I'm English Leader, and I'm the first English Speaking Foreigner that has been stationed in Guiren for over a year. So Our English class tripled in numbers this week. (pretty good growth rate). And they are all super fun, we had a blast of an English class. I love teaching English here. 

Then Saturday, we had a crazy day. Elder Shang had to go do 2 interviews throughout the day in the east district of Tainan. So our day's plans where all over the place. What we ended up doing was going on exchanges with the zone Leaders from 12-3:00ish and we taught lessons while Elder Shang did the first interview. We saw some great miracles, met a guy outside the dentist and did a short lesson with him and he's super willing to meet with us again. Then in the evening, we had to go back to Dongqu (east district) for another interview. I called our investigators and former investigators during that time. And I ran into somebody who knows the Bean Family. He was talking to the Zone Leaders about how when he went on a mission he was there during the 18 months time, and I was like.....Wait If he came to Taiwan during that time, he might know Uncle Jack. So I asked The Zone Leader to ask him if he knew a Jack Bean (because I was on the phone) so he went and asked (they're in the room next door). And he was like "Of course I do!" Then he came over, turns out they didn't know each other from missions, but he was at your guys high school. He's a year in between Jack and Donald, but he knew all the Beans, we talked a bit, it was super crazy, small world. Then I talked to Elder Edwards (BYU Football team kicker, super cool guy) He's the zone leader over here and he gave me some great advice. He told me about when he got in the area, nothing was happening, most people considered the area a black hole, nothing could really happen. But he came (not attributing faith to himself) but had lots of faith, worked hard, and now that area is a gold mine, has people lining up to be baptized every week for the next month or two. I was so motivated after that. He told me "Every area is golden, it just needs missionaries who have faith in Jesus Christ." Since that chat, I've been so motivated to go and find, work as hard as I can, and help people who are looking find the gospel. 

Then Sunday gave us a bucket full of miracles, we had 6 investigators at church, 2 were eternal investigators, 2 were ones we invited, and 2 were referrals, out of no where, and they were all golden. I was in shock, I was amazed, I couldn't understand why it happened but for some reason God blessed us with such amazing miracles. And because of it, I was able to see, it doesn't matter what we think our success is. If we work hard, have faith that God will allow us to see miracles, He will be there. I know it's true, He is with us every step of the way. 

This week I've definitely learned the Christ like attributes, I've spent quite a few hours on my knees, begging with my Savior.  It's amazing what can change in a week, where you think life is going great, you're an awesome  missionary, you've mastered an area, to the contrast, you have no idea how to do anything on your own, you need the Savior, you need prayer, you need to depend on him, and trust him, and believe that he is there, he hasn't set you to fail. I know my Savior lives, I know he loves me, he is protecting me, whatever I say that may cause worry, don't let it cause worry, I'm the Lord's servant, he's sent me here to succeed, to learn, and to become a better person. I know this is true, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love you all, until next week

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, December 9, 2013

week #40 Monday, Dec. 9th, 2013

Well once again I have moved. I have been kicked out of Zhongming, they think I brought too many miracles to that land, so they sent me away. ;p. But for reals I'm out, we got the call Saturday night and I wasn't sure what to expect. But Elder Jensen says "Elder Bean your moving" and I immediately yelled "NOOOOOOOO!" So here's the low down for the week.

So we've worked this week, we've tried to work on getting new investigator's and this week we definitely did it. First on Tuesday, we were trying to visit one of our investigators with the young single adult branch president, only to find that he wasn't there. So President Zhang suggested the idea that we go and visit one of the young single adults who lived nearby and has a father who is not a member, but recently was in a crash. We went and visited them and it was such an amazing lesson. When we gave him the invitation to be baptized, he said "obviously I want to be baptized." It was so good. Then Ken one day was eating lunch with us, and he brought his friend and his friend was super willing to meet with us, so we met with him, had a great lesson, super willing to meet with us and to continue learning. So that prayer was definitely answered. 

This week we had a really amazing zone training meeting. We discussed the vision for Taichung, right now Taichung has 2 stakes, they want to build a 3rd, and the Zone Leaders showed us how close we are, it is totally feasible, and we can totally do it. I made several goals for us to do our part and help  the ward be ready for a third stake in Taichung, so exciting. 

Ya so then Sunday I had to give my first real talk in Chinese (7 minutes).  I may have been a slacker and haven't really prepared that much. The day of I decided my topic and then I kinda of if'ed my way around an idea of what I might say. But for the most part, no script, just went and tried to follow the spirit and in the end it wasn't too hard. I really felt the spirit lead me to say certain things. and the ward complemented us a ton on our talks, so I guess it was over all good. 

Ya, so I'm in Guiren, a county in Tainan. Super close to Gangshan actually. I haven't been here long (literally got of the train, dropped off my stuff, and came here. So I don't know much about the area, other than what Elder Pao told me (this was his last area).  He loves it, says the ward is amazing, wants to help. The bishop loves missionaries, so basically the golden land. Then my companion is  Elder Shang. He's super cool. He's been here for a move call, he's a native missionary (man my Chinese is gonna be off the charts).    ....yep that's it for now I guess. I will talk to you all next week!

Elder Brandon Bean

week #39 Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So this week was pretty great (as usual). Elder Pao and I are trying to get a bunch of things done before the move call ends next week. So main things that happened was this week we've been trying to find some more investigators. Trying to find a service opportunity. And we've been fighting the cold. 

So this week we had a mission tour. Elder Funk (the Seventy who spoke during priesthood session about Spiritual power) came and visited our mission and it was crazy spiritually powerful. I explained it more in Dad's recording but long story short is, He helped us understand teaching with spiritual power. He challenged us to pray for a testimony of the Missionary Lessons, and to be worthy of the spirit. We learned a ton of stuff and I just felt ready to go preach the gospel. It was super cool and crazy. 

This week was also freezing. Like I'm sure most of you will be rolling your eyes, but I was wearing long sleeves, my suit coat, Elder Pao was wearing a scarf, but in the end it was probably 50's or lower 60's, I don't believe it got below 50 all week. But we did manage to have a small thanksgiving, just chicken and the sisters made pumpkin pie for us all. So it was a nice small thanksgiving. 

Saturday, there was a huge baptism and a huge wedding, not even from our zone, but it was at our chapel. So we had to help host it, it was interesting to see the huge difference. We also had our bishop's son's baptism that we helped set up. There was such a drastic difference where the spirit was so peaceful at the Bishop's sons, such a nice feeling, there wasn't a large display, fancy clothes, not a ton of food, there wasn't even that many people, but the spirit was very subtle, and I actually liked the spirit there a lot more. It's funny how that works. 

Well, the only other thing that happened this week is, we found a service opportunity, we're gonna try and work at a special needs day care. There's one right down the street from us. So that's our plan, we are super excited, we'll see what happens. 

Ummmmmm, that's most of the highlights of the week, I'm sure next week will be full of adventures. But I will say, I know the Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God, I know that Jesus Christ came and visited the Americas and shared his Ministry with these people called the Nephites. I know he still lives. 奉耶穌基督阿們
Love you all. Until next week.

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, November 25, 2013

week #38 Mon., Nov. 25, 2013

Hey everyone,

This week has been pretty great. Here's some of the amazing miracles I have seen and learned. So first off we've been trying to get our district to have unity. That was a concern of our zone leaders, so Elder Pao and I have been working hard on obtaining that. With our ideas combined, we've seen a lot of success and our district is really looking better. We've also been working on finding, and trying to find ways to serve others more. 

So we got to go to Bileg's (a  recent convert) Painting studio and see his paintings. It was so cool! His paintings are so amazing, definitely a must see. Sometime I'll get a picture with it to you. 

So we had a special activity this week, a bunch of members, new converts, less actives, and us all went to Costco (right next to our chapel) and proselyted for like 2 hours. Elder Pao had the idea to pull a Camp of Israel and walk around it 7 times, giving pass along stuff to everyone with in our reach. (like the Israelites who walked around Jericho 7 times to conquer Jericho). It was super fun, we all had a blast. But a miracle happened. So as we traveled around the first time we saw a worker who was helping direct traffic in the parking lot, one of the members went to hand a pass along to him, but immediately he put up his hands shook them and did the "掰掰" motion (in other words he's Buddhist and he doesn't want to be talked to. Jokingly I said, "hey studies show that people take about 7 times to accept the gospel from missionaries, he might have rejected us this first round but by 7 times he'll be begging us to be baptized." In the end, we didn't get a full 7 rounds, we got about 4, but here's what happened. the second round he said "no thank you I'm 掰掰的" Then the 3rd he took a pass along, but immediately gave to his friend.  The 4th time, he said to us "Church is tomorrow afternoon eh?",  then we started to talk to him.  He told us he had work on Sundays so he couldn't come, but his daughter had gone to our church before for English, said he likes our church. He went from completely rejecting us to willing to chat with us in a matter of 30 minutes, I really do wonder if we were to continue for another 3 rounds, what would have happened. Maybe he would have ended up coming to church, who knows. It just adds to my testimony the line in Preach My Gospel that says "No effort is wasted, your diligence in sharing the gospel with everyone is God's way of preparing all of his children to receive the gospel someday."  I know that this is true, and that maybe we as missionaries (and members) will be rejected every now and then, but that doesn't mean we have failed. 

We also have a new Bishop and he is doing awesome, knows the members needs, been focusing on getting home teaching done, helping us missionaries...  He's awesome. Oh, the Gangshan members came to the chapel yesterday to said hi, It was so cool to see them.  It really did bring back a lot of great memories, and once again, helped me see how much I've grown.  It's crazy what can happen in a matter of 3 months. 

This week I've also been reading the Book of Mormon, and I really do know that it is the true word of God, it is a true record of ancient inhabitants of the America's, and most importantly its testimony of Jesus Christ is true. It's purpose is to help us know of God and the covenants that he has made in the past with his children, and He is letting us know in these days that he fulfills all his Promises. I love ya all! Sorry no voice recording this week. Until next week...

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, November 18, 2013

week #37 Mon., Nov. 18, 2013


Hope you're all doing well. This week was full of miracles. As stated in the recording, too many miracles, we'll see how many I can get in.
Monday: We met with Brother Cai one of the recent converts, it was so great to see him and his wife are still doing well. He showed us how on his face book he's been bearing his testimony by taking a picture of the Gospel Principles textbook's picture, and bearing his testimony of the principle the chapter is about. How great is he? He's amazing, definitely one of those members that will for sure receive Exaltation.

Tuesday: went on exchanges with the zone leaders. It was such a great experience. Elder Vandiford is so driven and such a great missionary. We really had such a great time. We learned a ton about teaching to people's needs, how to follow the spirit. Definitely made a great start for the week.

Wednesday:Got back to my area, we had English class, and A TON OF NEW STUDENTS CAME! and what's more is they are all super eager to meet with missionaries. It's going to be a great month I can tell. 

Thursday: So we met with Stan and we invited him to bring his brother, and he was kinda unsure about it, but he totally came with his brother. We had a great lesson, and his brother has decided to start meeting with missionaries. He's moving to Taipei, so we don't get to see the teaching work done, but I'm sure that we'll still here of his baptism sometime soon. 

Friday: So Friday the other Elders had a baptism and we were struggling to get an investigator to come, but we got Bileg to come an hour before so we could meet with him. We taught him more about priesthood, (used in Mongolian, thank you Mongolian preach my gospel) then we went to the baptism. And an English student showed up. Elder Pao sat next to him while I translated for Bileg( I'm getting pretty good at it). Great service and afterwards Brother Lin (English student) set a time to meet with us on Saturday. 

Saturday: Well we met with a ton of people, and one of them being that Brother Lin. We had two peike's (members present). And what a miraculous lesson. So amazing, definitely one that I'll probably remember forever. It was a lot like Richard's first lesson. He started off saying he didn't believe in God, and in the end he decided he wanted to become a better person. He said he was willing to do what it took. He came to church (all 6 hours) has a date set for December 14, he's praying, such a miracle. 

Also this week, I've been reading Preach my Gospel a ton. I've learned so much, I really have felt myself grow from who I was a week ago. I also have applied it's teachings into a lot of my missionary work, and it has brought a ton of miracles and added to my fire. One of the things it invites us to do is to continually pray about what the Book of Mormon says, what you read, ask God if it's true, ask him to help you better understand it. And I've done it. HOLY COW!!!!!!! the power it has brought into my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the true record of an ancient people. I know that they are real events, real people, that Joesph Smith did translate it through the power of God. And this is God's true church. I encourage everyone to do this as well. pray about what you read, pray about what you will read, pray about what you know and God WILL add to the testimony which you already have. 

I love and miss you all, I'm doing great, Chinese is improving daily. Until next week.

Elder Bean

Monday, November 11, 2013

week #36 Monday, Nov. 11, 2013

Hey Everyone,

It seems like it hasn't been that long since I last emailed. It's almost like it wasn't a full week, it was only 5 days....oh wait, that's exactly what's happened. So since then, lets see what's happened. Well, we've been working w/ a kid for a long time. He worked w/ Elder Raley and Elder Gummow back when I first got on the island. So it's been a long time. He has gotten close to baptism quite a few times. But in the end nothing. Occasionally the thought would come up..."Why are we teaching this kid, he isn't progressing, he is a kid, not that mature, etc." but we have kept him in the investigator pool. We continue to meet w/ him. Well this week, I realized why. So we went to the house the other night and shared a lesson, and afterwards his mom listened in, (not a member) and afterwards she was thanking us so much. Saying how much she loves what we teach him. How sometimes it seems like we are little miracle workers, bringing joy into their family. At that point I realized we should try teaching his mom in addition to this kid. Well, this last week, we had another lesson w/ the family. The grandma participated (she's a less active) and it was crazy spirit filled. I actually have a feeling this is going to be a family effort. We are going to help the entire family come to church, and become active members. and in the end be sealed as an eternal family. I'm not gonna lie, I think that was one of the greatest feelings I've received, the joy of eternal families. I really do know that is the reason we are called to this work. Help families obtain that eternal blessing they would not normally be able to obtain. 

This week has been pretty great. Elder Pao really knows how to work w/ the ward. We've been giving notes to almost every member. They are starting to be really great. I'm seeing a huge change in the their attitude towards us as missionaries. It's amazing what a few cards, star attacks (we were going to heart attack a recent convert, but we couldn't find heart shaped sticky notes), visits w/ members, and constantly getting to know the members around us can really change the entire nature of the ward. I feel we are about to see miracles happen here in the land of  Zhongming

Oh and another thing is language has been doing great lately. I feel like my entire day has become language study. We switch off very often, speaking English or Chinese, telling stories, sharing spiritual experiences, helping one another in lessons (lessons w/ Bileg are all in English), we read each other's languages and ask for feed back. Honestly it's been amazing, such a blessing to have Elder Pao  here to help me. 

Well that's been everything for the past 5 days. today we are looking forward to a Costco trip w/ a member. Just know that I know these things are true. I know that the Lord is sending angels to prepare, people to receive the gospel, preparing members to share their testimony and preparing us missionaries for the people we need to contact during this short time. I know that I'm seeing miracles on a daily basis. I look forward to the experiences I have coming this week.

Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

week #35 Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Sorry This is late. Today we went to the temple so our p-day got changed for this week only. Ya, so basically a crazy week. Let's see where to start. Well, last week, we had interviews. That was pretty great, I really do enjoy having President Blickenstaff. He's such a great leader. He really does a great job. Hey mom, dad, did you get the pic, I still needed a pic from him so I asked him if we could take one, he said he'd e-mail you. Then for English they put me at the.....Doorman! Wooh! So much fun. I was really shocked they put me there because they normally put the person with the best Chinese there, but even with 3 Taiwanese in our district. They decided to put me there. I'm not complaining it's super fun. 

Then this week we've been helping Elder Bao get used to the area, he is a fast learner. He pretty much knows the area as well as I do, so we don't really have to think of how to get places at all, we just go. He's really great, probably the greatest person I could have asked for. His English is really good, so whenever I don't understand what's going on, he'll help me immediately. He's just as interested at learning English as I am Chinese so we help each other a ton. He likes monopoly, deal, he's a little bit older. He's finished his military service and graduated college. ummmm ya that's him. 

Well, I just want to share a bit about today's experience at the temple. It was so amazing. I forgot how wonderful going to the temple really is. The spirit was so strong! I prayed for all of you. I honestly felt like Elijah's servant from the bible when he is told that angels are all around them, and then Elijah "opens his eyes" I really did feel the truth of "I am on your left side and on your right" The scriptures don't lie. I truly wish I could go to the temple more often....but alas I cannot, so those of you who are closer to a temple than I, GO! You'll love it. 

Ummm, that's really all I got for the week, hope everything is going well. Sounds like everyone enjoyed Halloween. Can't wait to here from you in 5 days.

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, October 28, 2013

week #34 Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

Hey everyone,

Sorry so late, it's been crazy today, I got a new companion. I stayed here in the city, but Elder G left for Zhanghua. We were super sad he was leaving, he was really sad. He got a really cool gift from our investigator, it was a drawing of Elder G. It looks super cool. Maybe he'll send out a picture. 

Well this past week was pretty fun. We started off w/ playing basketball w/ all the Elders in DongQu. Super fun, then we went and hung out w/ the Zone Leaders. Then this week we've noticed we are really struggling w/ a few of our investigators so we are going to be spending a lot of time finding. 

Went on exchanges w/ Elder Jensen this week, which was super fun. It was weird going on exchanges w/ my trainer, I didn't realize how much I've grown/changed since I was trained. But it was awesome, I was understanding everything he said, I was able to teach well. It was super fun (except for the fact we got stood up a lot). 

Oh ya, my companion's name is Elder Bao, he is a native. I don't know him too well yet, just barely picked him up and we came and did e-mails, more to come next week. Well I guess this is everything. I love you all, thanks for the updates. I'm super grateful for the chance I have to serve in this area another move call. See ya next week.

Elder Bean

Monday, October 21, 2013

week #33 Monday, Oct. 21, 2013

Hey Everyone,

It's been a great week filled with awesome experiences. So first off, I had an exchange w/ Elder Chia. He was a zone leader beforehand, so there is a lot to learn from him. We had a blast. Then this week Elder G and I used teamwork to teach the little kids and it worked out fine, not nearly as much chaos. We had fun doing that, and this week we have a Halloween party, so that will be fun. 

On Friday, we had a special training meeting on stress. I think it was mandated by the area, they gave us a new book called "adjusting to missionary stress".  It was definitely a different training, but overall it was fun, especially because I got to see the rest of my MTC District. It was a nice, small reunion. Oh and they gave us a present there, they gave us reflector vests to wear as we are riding in the nights. I will have pictures to send you all next week for sure. I didn't think of taking a picture of us wearing it. 

Oh, so on Wednesday, we got a call from the Stake Presidency. Elder G was asked to give a talk in the Adult session of Stake Conference, along with the Patriarch, President and Sister Blickenstaff, The Stake President and some other members of the stake. He was super focused on it this past week, studying writing, and then on Friday, we got a call from the High Council Member in our ward who is over the English Branch. He asked if I could translate the talk at the Conference. So, we both participated in Stake Conference this last week. And also something that should be said to Sister G, His talk was really, good. he related Lehi and the Tree of Life to a sure fire way to help the work progress. He taught the members, that if we repent, gain a testimony of Christ, look for opportunities to share, and we invite, we will be able to see lots of success. His testimony was very moving at the end. (I'm sure he won't include all these details in his description of this experience).
Then we had stake conference the next day, and we were fortunate to watch a clip from Elder Holland, Elder Hales, Sister Stephenson of the Primary Presidency, and Elder Evans the head of the Mission Board. And it was an amazing presentation, I'm sure the stake got a lot out of it and I can't wait to see the results of it. 

So one thing we've been doing this week is teaching the first lesson to investigator's who weren't really progressing. It was an invite from the zone leaders, to help remind our investigator's that this church has more to it than just a list of commandments, and that there is a reason that they continued meeting with us. I feel like we've seen a lot of success from that. It's interesting how much power the first vision has and how it can inspire anyone, less active, active member, investigator, missionary, etc. I feel like it really does have the power to inspire to teach and to help us remember why we love this church. It's been great. 

Well that's everything for this week. Sorry I didn't have a recording, I was pretty busy this week. I hope you're all doing well. Miss you all. I know that Joseph Smith in reality did have the first vision, he saw God the Father, Jesus Christ, in the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. I know that this was the beginning to the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and has lead to the amazing growth of Jesus Christ's only True church on the earth. 

Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, October 14, 2013

week #32 Monday, Oct. 14, 2013

Hey everyone,

So this week has been pretty great. We have had a lot of great experiences. On Monday we didn't do anything too special, just went to the church and played around w/ our instruments of choice. Elder G decided to change his guitar string which turned out to be more disastrous then he thought. Basically he didn't use his guitar until Saturday because he was trying to fix the string all week. 

Wednesday was super busy. And when I say that, I mean, we had no lessons, so we were on the streets all day just straight up contacting. It was crazy all the people that we went and talked to. I think it will bring a lot of new investigator's for the future. Then Thursday we had an exercising activity. It was super fun. The stake president invited all of us missionaries to attend, so we were there, competed, had a blast. Sister Blickenstaff took a ton of pictures, I'm the one wearing an orange Ragnar shirt. Don't worry I drank lots of water, didn't get dehydrated at all. 

Conference was amazing. I was super ready for it. I loved all the talks but some of my favorites included Elder Dube on looking forward. Sister Oscarson's about trying doctrine before you know it's from God. Elder Ballard's on Missionary Work. Elder Oaks on putting God first. Elder Nelson on our divine nature. Elder Christofferson about the moral strength of  women. President Monson's Sunday Morning Address, President Eyring's talks (both were amazing) President Uchtdorf on lifelong service in the church, it was honestly amazing. I loved it. 

Ya I think that's everything for the week. I love you all, I love the work, love the prophet. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is called of God, he is a prophet of God. I know that his Apostles are also called of God and act in His name. Talk to you next week.

Elder Brandon Bean 

Monday, October 7, 2013

week #31 Monday, Oct. 7, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Yet another great week in Zhongming. This week we had a lot of crazy adventures. First, on Monday we went to a 吃到包aka, an all you can eat restaurant. This one was pretty special, called 石頭 which means rock head, it was a meat buffet, so all meat pretty much, so good, we definitely ate to the point of filling (what chidaobao translates to) it was so good. Then on Tuesday we had ZTM, we got some new standards of excellence, and was invited by the mission President to teach the lesson of the restoration (with every principle) at every first meeting with a new person, and to invite them to be baptized, I was super shocked, but Elder G and I were super willing to obey and we've seen a lot of blessings out of it. I am shocked how much it has changed our work. We really have seen it help so many of our investigators. 

Overall, November looks to be a month of baptisms (this month is pretty crowded w/ General Conference, Stake Conference) but it'll be great. Apparently, lately there have been a lot of meetings going on, being set up between our mission leaders and stake/ward leaders. It is starting to really reap rewards, our Ward Mission Leaders are seeing what needs to be done and what should be done in the ward, it is crazy the difference it is making. President Blickenstaff definitely has a vision of where he wants our mission to be and he is fulfilling a way for us to hit that goal. 

Let's see, we got to participate in a ward activity where we helped clean up a park. Super fun, Elder G and I have been asked to do prelude music some time in our ward, they love that they have a guitar and piano player in the ward. So that'll be super fun. Elder Erekson got called to be the new office Manager, so basically all of the Gangshan district has been up here to the north, It's super fun. We got  a calendar a couple days ago, and we are going to be having a lot of meetings coming up so I'm super excited.

Well, that's all I got for now, I've been praying a bunch for all of you, I know the church is true, I'm super excited for conference, I hope you all got a lot out of it. Talk to you all next week.


Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, September 30, 2013

week #30 Monday, Sept. 30, 2013


So good to be here again. It's been another great week in Zhongming.  This week has been filled with new people, and all of them are golden. I'm loving the people here, they all are so prepared. I keep telling the people in the ward that, because I know it's true. 

So my new goal is to help the zhongming be on board as we are to help the missionary work in the area progress. I feel like the ward is ready, they just need a little spiritual motivation, and then I feel like they will be great. The goal, is to make this ward missionary self sufficient. So wish me luck on that. 

Oh by the way, this week we visited one of our investigators who is an OB/GYN, so it was super easy to get on his good side when I told him that was dad's job. He's a funny old guy, super interested in crazy stuff, and he's christian, not too interested  in changing beliefs, but he's willing to listen for now. Which is nice, people who are willing to listen tend to be more willing to change than they think. 

Taught Intermediate English this week, Elder G and I are gonna keep switching off throughout the move call so that will be fun. Got to introduce myself in Church yesterday, that went really well, I got up there talked about the love God has for everyone, the ward, the people on the street, their neighbor's, friends, etc. I told them I was here to serve them and help them, a lot of members came up to me afterwards thanking me for my service. I think Zhongming is ready to push the work forward, so that will be fun. We had ward council that evening, that was....enlightening, I'm definitely excited to start working with the leaders in this ward. They have a lot of good ideas. 

Then last night we had a great opportunity to visit a family in the ward. He is a return missionary from the Taibei mission (served in 1983). He knows a lot of people in the church, and he is such a great member, willing to put his whole heart into his calling, and wanting to help where he can. It just shows the tip of the iceberg of the people here in Taizhong, they all have so much love and I just want to help them a lot. I wish I had time to have a good experience with every member with in our boundaries, but we'll see what we can do with these 800 members. :D.

Well, I love you all, I'm grateful for your e-mails, I love hearing from you. Next week is conference for you but I don't have it for another week, so don't spoil too much for me. If they change tithing to 15 percent, or change missionary service to 14 years, I'm sure I'll here before I get to the email, but other than that, you'll all know well before me. So until next week.

Elder Brandon Bean

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week #29 Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Hey Everyone,

It has been a great week serving here in the city. I'm loving every second of it. Within my first few hours proselyting here, we ran into a guy who was super prepared, handed him a Book of Mormon on the street, set up a time to meet with him today. We've also tracked into some great people, have received great referrals, in other words, I'm in Zhongming the land of the prepared.

So I'm not in a 4 man anymore:(. But Elder Gummow & I have been having a blast, he plays the guitar, so we get to sing to accompaniment every morning. So good. He and I have been working hard, finding new people, teaching, trying to get to know everyone. I love it so much. 

Then on Wednesday, we had Zone Conference, such a great meeting. President Blickenstaff focused on conversion and repentance. We talked about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. He's such a great Mission President. Oh ya, I played the piano for the meeting. That was crazy didn't know until I was at the meeting (we got there late so literally right before I was supposed to play I was told "oh Elder Bean you're playing the piano for us, is that ok?"). But other than that super great meeting. 

I teach English, xiao pengyou, or childrens, and that is pure chaos. Really little to no teaching is going on then it's more like babysitting a bunch of crazy aged kids. so ya.. good news is Elder Gummow and I will switch off so that's nice. This week was Mid autumn festival, in other wards, everyone is out of town so we had a lot of finding time....yay:D.

As some of you know there was another typhoon that hit Taiwan, but it didn't hit us, we got a little bit of rain last night, but really nothing. But that didn't stop investigator's and less actives from using that as an excuse, they were all so worried but it's okay they all survived.

So here in the city there's a lot more English speakers that's for sure, they definitely have been trained to speak better english than "How are You" or "What is Your name".

So yesterday was a new kind of experience I was at the church for....8 hours about. We have a young single adult ward from 8:30-11:30, we have a lunch there that the ward provides, and then we have our assigned ward that is from 2-5. So I got a lot of church. So crazy, I met a ton of new people. Hopefully I can remember all of them. It's was kinda weird to have church in a chapel, that's for sure. Oh and at church a miracle happened, so we were sitting in sunday school, and 2 random guys came in, they are twins and we asked them where they came from. Just some random people in the area, who got a flyer for church and decided to come, they don't remember who the missionaries were, they didn't get a reminder call, they just came, super cool. 

Well that was this week, super great, I'm loving it here.  Oh before I forget, everyone has been commenting on my fam pic this week, Mckenna they say you look like T-swiz, Dad looks like a movie star, courtney looks like a person from Hollywood, Mom looks super young, ya they said to tell you all that. Um ya, Well I know that the Book of Mormon is God's word, and through it we really can have true conversion, make sure you read it everyday, your spirit needs it. 

Love you all,

Elder Bean

Friday, September 20, 2013

week #28 Monday, Sept. 16, 2013

Hey everyone,

Well my time in Ganshan has come to an end but what a great week it was. So first off the week started off w/ a ZTM. We went to Gaoxiong, had some great beef noodles for pretty cheep. Then we had an awesome meeting. Learned lots, the zone had a total of 111 peike's (lessons w/ members present). So the zone was pretty excited. then we came back, had a bunch of meetings, the Relief Society President bought all the missionaries dinner that night and it was super good food. Super nice and awesome.

Then Wednesday, we had an English party, and the theme was Harry Potter. So I had a blast, we were put in charge of Potions, and we had the students make cornstarch and water muck thing a majigy. Ya super fun, but way messy. The party was a success, had over 60 people at our English Party. So also really crazy but the good news was everyone seemed to enjoy it. Then we had the awesome baptism on Thursday.

So I'm not sure if this is allowed or not, but the sisters took a million pictures during the service including me baptizing him and everything, I have them, but I don't know if I should send them or not, I also don't have my recording stuff w/ me left it at my new apartment so, maybe next time.\

But ya the baptism was super awesome, I baptized him w/ one simple swoop, no retries necessary, and he seemed to like the service, the sister missionaries gave the talks, he shared his testimony, showed how solid he is. I can't wait to see him continue to grow in the church. 

Elder Casperson went up to Taizhong on Friday, so I was w/ the other Elders for the weekend so much fun, they are awesome. They are gonna have a baptism next month so that'll be great. 

Then we've had a million ward parties lately, been working w/ the ward a lot and they decided to do BBQ's, invite me over to their house, and stuff, so basically I've been so full all week. But then that night I got a call from my Zone Leaders to find out my new companion and my new area. I am assigned to serve in the Zhongming area w/ Elder Gummow. Here's the cool part about this info, Zhongming is in the heart of Taizhong, so I'm in the north, in the city and I'm loving it. Elder Gummow went to Lone Peak, and he's in Tay's ward, and he is the missionary that I just happened to read his blog while in Highland. She is Sister Robb's friend, so ya small world. We have an awesome area by the looks of it.

Oh ya and also my new zone, guess who is my zone leader...... Elder Jensen, it was so great to hang out w/ him today during lunch definitely the highlight of the day. 
Well that's everything for the week, I'm so glad I was able to serve in such a wonderful area as Gangshan but I know I'll love Zhongming too. Language is slowly progressing (in all honesty it's coming pretty fast), I'm still seeing miracles on a regular basis, adventures everyday. I will have a story next week, promise, which by the way did you listen to the recording? no one mentioned it. check last weeks message.

Well I know this is God's work, I know he is sending me to find his prepared souls, I know that he has a work for me to do, so I better get to it.


Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, September 9, 2013

week #27 Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So it's been a great week, we've seen some miracles and had some great adventures. First off, the rain has finally ended. YESSSSSSS!!!! Then we went to Gaoxiong, went the 39 kuai store (the equivalent of a dollar store) I got some pretty cool ties there, for a total of 5 dollars, pretty cool. Taught English, for the last time here in Gangshan, super sad to have, but also really cool. I taught them all the damper song. That was pretty great. A lot of my students told me I how much they were gonna miss me and stuff. Had a great spiritual share, we watched Joseph Smith movie. Ya. 

Then we went on exchanges again but I was with Elder Lazenby, the new missionary in our 4 man.  It was super fun. I was so glad I had the opportunity to hang with him and get to work with him. We talked to a ton of people, and we got quite a few new investigator's for him. It was way cool to see how much more fluent I am than I used to be in Chinese. 

We've gotten some new baptismal dates, one of the recordings below talk a bit about that. This week we had an awesome chance to have a movie party with the ward, we watched the Joseph Smith, a prophet of the restoration movie, in Chinese. It's the same one they show at the temple visitor centers. None of the members have seen that before because  they technically haven't translated it yet. But Elder Casperson had a friend in another area who got permission from an area seventy to translate it and just say at the beginning that it was not the churches translations, but ya works out great, right?

Almost done with an entire box of characters, I've learned 840 characters, I have about a 88% retention rate of those so that's pretty cool I guess. I'm in 1 Nephi 11 in Chinese (w/ characters) so that's crazy. Had 140 people at church.

Ya, so also Prayer has been so amazing this week. I was given an invite to follow the prayer pattern in Preach My Gospel more in my personal prayer's. It is amazing the difference in prayers.  I always said I knew God was listening to our prayers, but now I know that he isn't just listening but he is also speaking. I was so grateful for that invite it has made such a difference in my prayers and my relationship with Heavenly Father. I know that He cares about everyone of his children and He has a desire for them to come to him, and I'm so grateful I can be his servant here in Gangshan. I'm sure gonna miss this place, but I know that I will be needed somewhere else. I love you all, can't wait to here from you next week.

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, September 2, 2013

week #26 Monday, Sept. 2, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So it's been another great week in Gangshan and here is what went down. First on Monday we went to gaoxiong, visited the dream mall, had Cold Stone Creamery so 歸(expensive) but it was really good. Then we went to the Gao 85 (was the tallest building in Taiwan until they built the Taibei 101. It was really cool, if I have time, we've got pics to follow. Then we headed back and had burgers at Feed Me, it was really fun. Then later that night Elder Casperson got a call from the mission president, and discovered that he is training next move call. It was super crazy, they don't normally tell us until the Monday before move call, but they called us 3 weeks before move call ends. So basically I've been working really hard to make  Gangshan amazing before I leave, so that the new missionary will come into an already rolling snowball effect.
So then, another part of the week is we got to go on assistant exchanges!!!! It was way fun, we were with Elder Limponasraphong (he's from Thailand) but his English is way good. It reminds me of Jeffery, he lived in America for 3 years before his mission, his parents aren't members. He is way awesome. Helped us a lot, and has such a positive energy. That night I had an awesome English Class, great spiritual share. Then after that began the 5 day long rainstorm, it rained hard from Wednesday night, to about Sunday. It was so much rain. We would just come home soaked, but we had soooo much fun. We got to ride in a car to the train, the trainers meeting (thank you assistants) and it was crazy there, was floods all up and down the roads in Gaoxiong.
Ya, we also did exchanges with the 4 man because Elder Casperson is the district leader and needs to do that. We had fun. I was with Elder Erekson and we did a ton, visited less actives,  met with investigators, tracked. Then guess what we got to do, our investigator went on a mission with us. So that was super fun. Such a great experience.
Yesterday we had 94 in sacrament meeting attendance....ummm that's everything, ba(Chinese word that Brandon uses a lot in his writing). I love you all, thanks for updating me on the week, things sound busy, tell everyone I say hi. Oh and PS, I bought a USB so I can print emails, so emails are no longer an issue, so send me emails if you want (this is to everybody) because I'll just print them and then respond later. I know the church is true, I know God works in mysterious ways but he does answer prayers. I love the work.

Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Sunday, August 25, 2013

week #25 Monday, Aug. 26, 2013

Hey Everyone,

     Another Great week in Gangshan. Loving every second. This week we did get a really long, small typhoon. Basically Taiwanese were scared of melting all week, and we just had to be creative with how we got lessons. But I survived, didn't get too wet.
     So Elder Casperson has been wanting to have as much fun as possible on p-days so last week we ate a giant bowl of ice w/ fruit, brown sugar, and some really weird stuff no way to describe. It was a bowl that is supposed to be fed to like 10 people, but we ate it as a 4 man. We all felt like we were gonna explode afterwards. But this week we are going to Gaoxiong so that might be pretty fun. We are thinking of going to the mall or the 85 (a tall tower). should be way fun.
     So one crazy news is the ward here wants to have a choir, but...they don't know how to sing parts.  So they have asked us the missionaries to direct the ward choir, this could be pretty interesting but, we all were down for it. Who knew I'd be leading a choir throughout my mission. Crazy.
     Also We have been pretty fortunate, Elder Casperson has the Joseph Smith movie (the one they play in the temple visiting center. They haven't translated it into Chinese, but he had a member ask the area presidency if he could translate it, and he did, and it turned out pretty good. We've been using that for a few different investigator's and they have loved it.  So on other news. I've finally tracked into success. Most people don't want to let us into their house, but I was knocking on the doors and guess what I got in!!!! The guy was super awesome, he has already met with us a few times. We are planning to meet with him again on Tuesday
     So I love working here with the Gangshan ward, they have really been changing from pretty good to "Holy cow they are so awesome" I love it. Plus some of them have found my blog so Hey fellow Gangshan members, Glad to be working with you. Any who, I'm loving working here, I know that the Book of Mormon has power beyond anything explainable, I know that we are in the time of the gathering (been reading Jacob 5 lately got super excited). I miss you all but don't worry still working super hard.
Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, August 19, 2013

week #24 Monday, August 19, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Another Great week in Gangshan. I'm really loving it here. So last Monday we finally got a new microwave, and now we have microwaving ability, if I didn't tell you why we needed to replace it I'll have to tell that story when I get home because it'll take a lot of explanations. Any who, ya, it was super funny because Elder Erekson (the other elder in our 4 man) is super good at haggling, he haggles taxi drivers, buying food, pretty much anything (I don't think the taxi drivers like him). Any who ya we got a pretty nice microwave for just under 3000 kuai. 

We had zone meetings this last week, Pretty crazy, President Blickenstaff changed the way we do numbers in order to help missionaries not focus too much on numbers. They also got rid of nightly follow ups, so basically leaders are loving life now. 

Ummm, we have had an opportunity to go to our secondaries, which was kinda iffy because I don't know them as well as I know Gangshan, so we had to do quite a bit of wandering. But Elder Casperson loved the beach at ziguan, the waves were huge that day (we were on the deck and it was a great view. I think the members told us there is another Typhoon coming so that'll be fun. Then we went to Luzhu, and got very lost but we found our investigator in the end and had an awesome lesson.

So this week we got to help take out tiles, It was great service, but it was so hot, we showed up in our missionary clothes so we were dying from heat.  Especially since we had to wear those face masks to keep us from breathing in all the dust (they where those face masks Dr's usually wear a lot actually) Then they fed us dinner, that was super awesome. 

Church yesterday was AWESOME!!!! guess how many people were there? 120!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we hit the goal, that was the highest attendance has ever been, so now our goal is to try and maintain that for the next 9 months then get a chapel. woot woot!!! 

Everything is going well, finding tons of new investigator's. We are looking to baptize some time soon. The ward is all on fire right now. I can't wait, super excited. I love serving here in Gangshan. Well I guess this is everything. I know that the Church is true, I know that Jesus Christ Really did sacrifice himself, he felt our pains, weaknesses, and sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and he paid the price. I know that through him we can overcome all. We can do anything. Your all in my prayers. 

Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

week #23 Monday, Aug. 12, 2013

Hey Everyone,
It's been another great week let's see how much is writable and I can get in letter format. So I've had a full week w/ Elder Casperson and I've gotten to know him for real now. He's way funny, great story teller, and fun to be around. He and I have actually gotten used to each other pretty well. Take that "second companion syndrome" that everyone was trying to scare me about. Ya he's from Draper, UT youngest of 3, his parents are serving right now, he does all kinds of sports (including ballroom) and he is planning on shooting for the team at BYU when he gets back. So far no problems really. Sister Burr got a native companion so she's been pretty stressed lately, and Elder Lazenby (the new missionary in the area) has amazing Chinese so he's fitting in well. 
So, they moved me up in English, I teach Intermediate class now, and their English is awesome, I hardly have to use Chinese. I got to talk about ballroom for the cultural share, and they loved it. I was telling them about the different kind of dances and dancing solo style, but they got a good kick out of it. Then I had an awesome spiritual share about prayer and everyone was participating and afterwards one of the soon to be missionaries in the ward came up and said "thanks, that answered a question I've been working on recently" so successful English lesson... I think so. We had fathers day that was pretty awesome, got free food that day from one of our recent converts. Then the next day we went on exchanges w/ the zone leaders, I lead Gangshan while Elder Casperson went to a different city. It went ok, I got lost a couple times, but not too bad, we had lots of success, finding people it was great, we didn't get too much teaching but it was okay. 
Also our mission president has been working w/ the stake presidents and suddenly the ward is amazing, they are calling people and setting up times w/ me to go meet w/ less actives w/ them, or have members come over, basically our ward is awesome! 107 people came to church this last Sunday that was a high for my stay in Gangshan so far, we need a hundred and 20 people there before we can get the chapel so we're gonna keep working. woo!
So that's everything. I'm really loving the mission, We are seeing a lot of awesome things. The church over here in Taiwan is really stepping up, they're getting the fire in their eyes, the drive to do missionary work, or as Elder Nielson said "Catching the Wave". People are being prepared, we are just servants in the process. I've felt the spirit guide us and we've had some great experiences just finding and teaching. I love this church, I love this work, I love this mission. I know that the church is true, I know that we are starting a new era of missionary work. I'm excited.
Your all in my prayers, I miss you, love you, You're all awesome, Be safe. Remember God, and never give up.

Elder Brandon Bean

Sunday, August 11, 2013

week #22 Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

I have been on a scuba diving trip, just got back at 2:00 in the morning, so I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this last weeks letter posted.  Sorry, Debbie (Brandon's Mom)

Hey everyone,

Sorry I am emailing so late, it was crazy today w/ move call and all. So first off I'll just tell everyone about the week and I'll talk about move call last. So last week we partied w/ the members. We went to a "Chidaobao (chirdaobao)" which is basically an all you can eat place, w/ steak. All of the members we work w/ came. They invited our investigators, the Recent converts, and everyone. IT WAS AWESOME!!! There was probably 20 people there, so the Chidaobao was going crazy. Basically I got a 24 oz steak, and all you can eat buffet for like 10 bucks. Woot woot. 

So Elder Erekson got the call Monday night that he is training. So he had to go and pick up Elder Lazenby on Friday, it is so nice not being the newest kid on the block. So normally the companion of the soon to be trainer will get moved in advance so that there isn't a complication w/ having an extra missionary in the training companionship. But Elder Sumsion moved to our companionship because he wanted to be around for the baptism. It was super awesome, we worked super hard, got a lot done. (I think I work really effectively in a 3 man). So ya... So Elder Erekson came back had his new companion Elder Lazenby. His Chinese is super good, he's from Boston, but he hasn't talked too much so we'll see.

So normally we get the move call (or at least the call telling us where are going and stuff) on Saturday, but we were sitting there waiting Saturday Night and nothing. We called like 15 minutes before 10:30 and the zone leaders said they still hadn't gotten it...The next morning we get a call at 6:37ish and that was when we found out Elder Jensen is going to Dakeng, I was staying and my companions name was Elder Casperson. So ya. Then we had church, visited a lot of members, and investigators and stuff. Today I dropped Elder Sumsion and Elder Jensen off at the train station in Gaoxiong, hung out w/ my new zone leader (They switched up all the zones) went to the dream mall (biggest mall in the world) hung out there until my companion got to Gaoxiong. A member drove us, so we didn't have to take the train. (A/c is always nice) Then We got back, I've had very little time to get to know him really, but he already seems super cool. He's super funny, I'm his first junior companion, and he's a District Leader for his first time. He came on island back in septemberish so he's about 6 or 7 move call's ahead of me, he's from Draper, Utah went to Jordan High school. Super cool guy. Still getting to know him and stuff.

Well that's everything for this week, I love you all. Happy Birthday to Mckay, and Courtney, hope you guys have fun. Here it's Fathers day on Thursday b/c you say it ba ba which if you switch the tones its dad. so Happy Tawainese fathers day. I love you all, I love serving, I know the Lord is preparing people. I know I'm doing his work I love it here. 

Love you all,
Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, July 29, 2013

week #21 Monday, July 29, 2013

Yet another week has flown by, it's crazy how fast time flies by when your having fun, anywho.
So, yes I am officially done training, but the move call has not finished, they set it up so that you finish like a week before move call, so now Elder Jensen and I are regular full time missionaries, get out the door at 10:30 instead of 11:30/12:30 (depends on if we would eat inside or outside). But it is great fun (well we haven't really started yet, that starts tomorrow). 

So lets see this week was kinda crazy, let's see what I can remember. So Tuesday, we got a chance to visit one of the young men who is in the hospital, our ward mission leader used to be the young men's president, so he is really good w/ all of them. Good experience, Wednesday, we had another great English Class, and the President Blickenstaff came to interview our baptismal candidate.
The next day we had a mini zone conference, it was cool to see my MTC's younger generation, all of the Elders got put in the south so they were all at the meeting. It was great, we talked about goals, and vision, working w/ the ward. I'm excited to work w/ President Blickenstaff. Saturday we had a really cool activity where members from the ward came and were missionaries for a day, we split off w/ them. I got lucky and got put w/ the American in our ward, he is here for business. So I wasn't as lost as I thought I would be. We visited some of our investigator's, did some finding. Then it came time for the baptism. The baptism was really good. His nephew and aunt came to the service. 
Then yesterday, we had another one of our investigator's have a baptismal interview. 
So I think that's everything. Good to hear Bryson and Dad made it back, Bryson should have seen the drinking a soy sauce bottle as a bad thing, hope you end up surviving, but if you like soy sauce that much, we've got plenty here in Taiwan;). I love you all. I know God is working miracles through us here in Gangshan. I know he cares about the work I'm doing, He helps me everyday.
Elder Brandon Bean

Sunday, July 28, 2013

week #20 Monday, July 22, 2013

Hey everyone,

So this week went by way too fast, I'm officially on my last week training, supposedly I should be "ready" to train another missionary after this "12 weeks". I'm not too sure how I am on that requirement, but it is weird to feel this far. 
This week we had a zone leader exchange, and I had to lead Gangshan, so I took my zone leader around set up the lessons, decided where we were gonna go, it was pretty crazy. But I guess I know Gangshan well enough b/c we didn't really get lost ever. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do so before the next move call, I don't know whether I'll stay here in Gangshan or not, but if I do, at least I know I can get around the area. so ya...
So our English class is apparently too successful, I have too many students, so now Elder Erekson (our District Leader) and I co-teach the beginning English, class which works out pretty well. I was well pleased w/ the opportunity to have someone else to help me take up time.  

We've also been trying to work w/ members more, it is something the Mission President Seminar was mainly focused on, and President Blichenstaff is wanting us to work harder w/ the members, which will be great, I'm hoping we can set up Taiwan to have a lot more success, especially retaining the recent converts. Been meeting w/ a ton of new people, trying to find new investigators, it's been crazy fun. I think we found a lot of great people, hopefully we can continue meeting w/ them. 
I hope that's everything, I hope everything is going well, I'm doing great, I miss you all. I'm loving the work out here, everyday is a miracle, I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, He has created a plan so that we can live w/ our families for eternity, He wants us to return to him but there is a price for that, we have to follow the pathway Jesus Christ made, I know that this is true in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Yours Truly,

Elder Bean


Monday, July 15, 2013

week #19 Monday, July 15, 2013

So today I'm on computer w/ a bad keyboard so please excuse all my typos.
Hey everyone,
It's been another great week in Gangshan. We had a lot happen in the last week. So on Monday, the Elders got a duanchuan to be w/ them (Elder Xue). He was way awesome, although he didn't speak much English, so I had to practice a lot of my Chinese. Also on the subject of Chinese I finished phase one, I passed it off, I am done w/ that giant text book, now I'm on a different textbook called phase 2. It doesn't have a pass off, but It is just a ton of vocab, but it actually helps a lot, I've been able to understand a bit more. 

So this week has been filled w/ a lot of travel and meetings. Tuesday we had a meeting in Fengshan, and we had to take the train to and from. So that killed our Tuesday, then on Thursday we had to go to Fengshan again in the evening. But that meeting was to meet our Mission President. He is really awesome, he was born in Blanding, UT, currently works in CA. has 6 children....maybe, all are married except the younger 2 one is in med school, the other is there daughter who just went on a mission to South Korea, They had another daughter who died in a car crash when she was 3 years old. We had interviews w/ both of them, she asked about a tender mercy I've seen on my mission, he just asked me about my companion and I, my family, he said I sounded like I had an accent (Swedish) that was weird, but whatever.

Taught English again, for spiritual share I shared "Ask the Missionaries" by Elder Nelson. Something I found funny is they also liked the line "Ask the Missionaries" by the end they were kinda chuckling at the line. Guess somethings work through all cultures. Also this week Sister Burr (our area's current English leader) told me that my class has too many people and I need a second teacher to help me teach so Elder Erekson will be helping me teach (which will be awesome). 

So also this week Taiwan had a typhoon, that's right I survived a typhoon (in mandarin it's called taifeng). Okay in all honesty it was just a lot of rain in Gangshan, didn't get a lot of wind, It affected up north and the east side a lot more than it affected our area. I think some areas in our mission got some bad winds, but as for here I just ended up, being wet most of Sunday, and a lot of people not wanting to set a date to meet with us during the weekend, and it killed our sacrament attendance, so basically I'm going to pray typhoons don't happen as often, unless it will help us find service opportunities (since it wasn't big enough no was willing to accept our help). 

So that's really everything, I'm excited to play the piano today we'll see how that goes. I hope I touched on everything. I'm praying for you all (especially Dad and Bryson being on the East Coast).

I know the Church is true, I know God has prepared these people in Gangshan to hear the message of the restored church. I look forward to everyday, waiting to find new people.
 Love you all,

Elder Bean

Monday, July 8, 2013

week #18 Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear Family,
So like I always say time is going by to fast, I noticed I don't have long before I'm done training. Kinda scary. But I'm kinda loving everything still, so here's the update. So First off, I have been working on contacting, for some reason the past while has been really, really hard, I struggle, a little bit is the language for sure, but I feel like this is just a sign I need to perfect my contacting skills for the mission, so that's how I'm going about it.
So this last week we went and visited an less active whom self contacted us (which was a really good thing because otherwise we wouldn't have gone to his house because his name on our list says "don't visit") which usually means family fandui(protest) but since he asked us to come over we did. He is so cool, he goes scuba diving, and harpoon fishing. He also has taught himself how to play the 2 stringed violin and play hymns. He had me teach him how to know what key a song is in based on the sharps and flats (in chinese it was crazy, but I did it) And what's great is he came to church for the first time in years this last Sunday. It's so great to see people decide on their own that they can change. 
This week I also passed off lesson 4 for phase one, and tomorrow I will finish phase one training, I'm so glad and excited to be done with that. Then I can play piano on p-days so ya that'll be great. Taught english again this week, I guess I'm doing something right because I have students returning;). Yah I did a lot better this week, my spiritual share was about the Holy Ghost, and Elder Erekson, the door man,  got a lot of good comments about it so ya... 
That's really the week, good to here from all of you, Hope that was enough info for everyone.  I know that Jesus Christ suffered for all of God's children whether daoist, budhist, christian, whether they baibai, or say "amen". And he did so, because of God's love for his children. I've felt that love he has for the people of Taiwan, and I know he really does love all his children. I know this is why he's called me to help bring his children into his fold. 

Love you All,

Elder Brandon Bean

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

week #17 Monday, July 1st, 2013

Hey Family,
So first off, mom asked about the new missionaries, they send out an email w/ the entire move call. So yes, they come in on the move call, and people move around a lot. Usually, except those of us that are training. So 3/4 of the companionship in our district didn't see a change. Only the other Elders in Gangshan saw changes.
So exciting news. I'm now an English Teacher. Basically people call me professor, I give giant lectures, pretty amazing, just kidding. It is weird teaching people English though, I'm the newest missionary and they have me teaching beginners. Which is kind of hard. I usually have no idea what people are asking but luckily we have like 5 people who attend my class who's english is advanced enough that they could be in a higher class, they just choose to be in my class. I have like an hour and a half to teach english and stuff. Pretty hard for me to fill that time. It reminds me of when I was a primary teacher and I always ended early. Yep. 
So also we've had to do a lot of splits b/c we have to many people to teach at the same time. I usually find a member who speaks at least adequate english, and Elder Jensen finds someone else and we teach as many people as we can at that time. It's pretty crazy but kinda cool as well. We've gotten a lot of lessons in that way.
So this Sunday was a missionary focused day, so 2 of the talks were given by the missionaries, us missionaries went up and sang a 4 part version of Come thou font, and I had to play for us while we practiced, so that was fun, good thing I can sight read alright. 
And that's the week, glad I got a chance to write all of you. I know this church is true, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that through the atonement we can do anything, and I know that God loves each of His children individually and he wants success for each and everyone of them. I miss you all, hope this week is good for each of you. Your in my prayers.
Love ya,
Elder Bean

Monday, June 24, 2013

week #16 Monday, June 23, 2013

Well I survived a full 6 weeks, I'm no longer the youngest missionary (generation wise), I'm so experienced now!!!! Just kidding, I still have plenty to learn, but it is weird to think I've already been here for 6 weeks, the MTC seems like it wasn't that long ago. Even last year's graduation, doesn't seem like that long ago, I feel like I just started college like 2 months ago, but It's almost been a year, crazy how time flies by. I realized last night while praying @ the beginning of next week, I will have been on my mission for 4 months, that means I will have completed 1/6 of my mission, so crazy!!!

So first I got to talk about my trainer for a few minutes.  He and I were riding to a dinner appointment last week in Luzhu(road bamboo-about 30 minute bike ride) and on the way his gear got caught I look over to his bike doing some funky turned while motion, and then he flipped over his bike. We went to the dinner appointment, came back that night, and he got a bandage out and wrapped it. He kept complaining *he wants to clarify that he was commenting not complaining* about it all week, but he didn't ask the Mission President's Wife for permission until like Friday. Then we realized he didn't have time to go until Monday. So finally we went today, He apparently had "irritated triangular cartilage" in is wrist beforehand, but this bike crash had caused it to become more irritated. So he got some medicine and now he should heal quickly but ya... Moral of the story go to the doctor sooner (even though I hate the Taiwan Hospital system, there are millions of patients there, I imagine that's how American's Obamacare turned out).

Let's see we had a zone leader exchange on Tuesday, I got to go up to Gaoxiong, holy cow, I love the city, it felt so cool, The Zone leaders however have the tiniest apartment in the world. It was so funny I felt like was in a dollhouse, so tiny! But while on Exchanges I got to go to costco for my first lunch, then the next day we got Mango French Toast, and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Basically, It was the bet thing ever. I also got my first Zone Leader Phase One pass off done, basically I've been given the stamp of approval that I can teach people in Chinese (I'm not sure how accurate that stamp of approval is but.....)

On Wednesday we had a English Party, it was pretty fun. We do a party every six weeks, this party's theme was 4th of July. It was really fun, We had fishing, taught them about Yankee Doodle, played limbo, used those tiny poppers (not the exploding kind the kind that shoot out streamers) and had Root Beer Floats and Funnel Cake. Pretty good party. Even though little to none of it had to do w/ 4th of July...awkward. After the party we had made a plan to do a quick mashang (sit down lesson) w/ our investigators that would be there, but separate...(in other words, I would teach one investigator while on split w/ a member, and Elder Jensen would teach another. It was super crazy, but I managed to do it. It all turned out well no one ended up deciding the church was false or anything so I deem that a success (It actually wasn't too bad of a lesson, I taught the Plan of Salvation).

 So Elder Jensen are staying here in Gangshan, but Elder Jorgensen has left and is going to the southern most tip of the Island, and his replacement is Elder Sumsion who is from Kaysville, UT. He seems pretty cool, he is about 2 movecalls ahead of me, He left right before I got to the MTC.. so ya.
ummm That's everything I hope, I'm gonna try to send pictures see how that goes... I know this church is true, I know God has a plan. a plan for you a plan for me. He has called me here to Taiwan to succeed, and He is helping me do so, in the language and every other part. I miss you all can't wait to hear from you next week.

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, June 17, 2013

week #15 Monday, June 17, 2013

Hey everyone,

So, it has been another week and our mission gets new missionaries this week which means.....(drum roll) I've survived a full move call. It's almost been 6 weeks I can't believe it. So it's been a great week, lets try and get it all written down.
Brandon lost his wallet last week.  Told his Mom in an e-mail Monday morning, then later Monday went and found it.  In the meantime, I have been praying all week to help Brandon find his wallet.  Kind of funny!
So, first off, I have my wallet. Yes, my wallet has been retrieved, everything was in it, I have a huge album of photos to send but I left my camera at the apartment so those will be coming next week. But here's what happened, so last p-day we took the 40 min ride on the subway to Gaoxiong, there, we went and talked to like every bus station there but none of them had it. So finally we looked for the bus stop we got off at. There we found that there are 4 different buses that stop there, so we had to examine the maps to discover which bus we took. Finally we found it so then we wrote down the numbers and went to the train station to use the pay phones because the phone number was a house phone. Then we found out they had a black wallet but they weren't sure, so just told us to come to their headquarters and pick it up. Well they don't really have a train that goes there, and we'd have to wait for a bus, but then we found a taxi guy that said he'd take us there for 200 kuai, bucuo right? So we got to ren wu's bus station and we go in the first door, and the lady puts her hands up and says in chinese "no no, I'm bai bai (I worship my ancestors, don't preach to me). Well, once we got the message to her that we were not there to preach, she told us we were in the wrong office, the correct one was 3 doors down. So we got to the right office and they pull it out of a box and say, "can you show us ID, and we were like....It's in the wallet how are we supposed to show you id if you have it." So finally they let me prove my ID from the wallet, then I got it and it had everything in it!!!!!! So ya now I'm rolling in money, buying food for myself, living the life.
So that's that, and then this week I've also started being able to speak more fluently, I don't pause as much when saying sentences, I still struggle, but it's improvement, so that's nice. 

 Also on Friday, we helped the Qishan Elders (where my trainer was born, first area) do a puppet show telling kids not to smoke. Basically it was the creepiest puppet show in the world. (you might be able to find it looking up Taiwan Tabei Mission's puppet show) Basically it was made to teach little kids how breaking the word of wisdom is bad, but it's a little too much of death for little kids in my opinion. On the bright side, I'm pretty sure those kids at the elementary school will never touch a cigarette again in their lives. Ya good times. 

So that's all for the week, I mean of course, there was other stuff, but that was the big bulk of it all, like I always say unless a day has a miracle, an incredible adventure, and a moment where I laugh my head off, the day wasn't quite complete. And I've been able to experience all three everyday. I know this Church is true, I know that the Atonement has the power to change people. I know that God has prepared countless souls for me to bring the message of the restored gospel to. I know he loves the people of Gangshan and he wants me to serve them with all my heart. I love this work, it's a blast, Let everyone know I love them, miss them all, you're all in my prayers. 


Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, June 10, 2013

week #14 Monday, June 10th, 2013

Hey Everyone!

It's been a great week, we had a Zone Training Meeting, and a Zone Conference Meeting. So in this e-mail I decided to just talk about everything that I could think of. 1st they have the craziest milk here. We don't ever get normal milk b/c it's too expensive, so normally we usually just get soy milk which once you get used to it. bucuo (not bad). But on the other side we have gotten apple, banana, and malt milk. They also have chocolate, strawberry, watermelon, papya, and mango, basically every kind of flavor imaginable. So that's one thing I felt like bragging about, Go Crazy kinds of MILK!

We had our zone meetings, it was fun to see a lot of people I knew in the MTC, and what's crazier is to realize I've been on the island for a month now, man time flies by fast. President and Sister Bishop used these meetings as a final goodbye to all the missionaries, the Blichenstaffs come on the island on the 28th of this month. It was really sad to see them so nostalgic and sad about leaving. However, it was also a way crazy awesome meeting, that I felt like just going and serving w/ my all. So it was good. 

Last week for family home evening, one of  the elders had gotten a package w/ a bunch of dry ingredients (stuff that wouldn't get confiscated, that he could use to make his favorite kind of cake (better than whatever).  It was so good, especially since we had to make homeade cool whip, since that doesn't exist in Taiwan. It was really good, great refreshment for FHE. 

Also we got bunkbeds and air conditioning this week. So that was awesome/hectic. We've had to spend a lot of time putting together bunk beds, and being at the apartment for the A/C men. Not fun, but it's helped me w/ study time. 

So president Blichenstaff comes in the 28th, he's from California (born in Utah) He looks like Uncle Jack's age, and served in Taipei, wonder if they know each other? All their kids are out of the house, they seem super nice, still haven't met them obviously. 

On Friday, we went on an exchange w/ the assistants. I was with Elder Erekson.  He also went to Lone Peak (as did the other assistant).  He's been on the island for quite a while. He is super funny, and great and talking to everyone, such an inspiration to literally try and teach everyone you find. I hope I can be more like him throughout my mission. 

This week we have been teaching a lot of new investigators, and it's been so great, I think we are going to see a lot of baptisms this summer. Which is good, our ward needs them. (every ward needs them) I'm so excited for these diligent awesome investigators. 

Well that's everything, I just want to say I love being a missionary, there is an adventure everyday, I see miracles on a regular basis, and I meet so many great people. I Know that my Redeemer lives, I know He has His hand in this work, I know the church is true, I know the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. I love you all. 

Love Elder Bean

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week #13 Monday, June 3, 2013

Hey everyone,

Crazy awesome week finished, and it went by super super fast. So on Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the district leader and his companion (the other two elders in our apartment). It was fun, got to teach a lot of sit-downs. Then did I tell you that we had to move this week. Last week we got a call saying our landlord (even though we had a contract until December) decided he no longer wanted us in his apartment. In all honesty it didn't make a ton of sense b/c we never did anything, but oh well. So we spent all Thursday moving all of our stuff over to a different apartment across town. The office elders came down w/ the mission van, and we spent practically all day, packing stuff into it, while the other elders were waiting at our new apartment taking stuff from the van to our room. Ya... hopefully I don't have to move again, b/c that was very time consuming. We did it though, our apartment is a little bit smaller but that's just b/c our old one was huge (probably the size of 3/4 of our upper floor in Bean Manor at home). It was weird packing and unpacking just 3 weeks later, after we got here. 

So, continue having Luke in your prayers, he has started avoiding us, I think he believes we will just push him into the baptismal font if he tries to meet with us. So we've been just trying to leave friendly messages, trying to encourage him to meet with us again. I still believe he will come back, I just don't know when. Thanks for praying for him, I'm sure our prayers will be answered soon. 

So funny story, yesterday I experienced one of Taiwan's earthquakes. It was crazy, crazy fun that is. I don't want to scare you, the earthquake was more of riding over a lot of hills,  nothing even fell down. It did last like a full minute or two. It was funny b/c we were fasting, and I was sitting down reading Jesus the Christ and all of a sudden I felt the earth shaking, but my first thought was, wow I am so hungry I'm starting to shake and feel so dizzy. Then I noticed the painting next to me was shaking too, then my companion said there was an earthquake going on. Apparently the president of Taiwan was upset about how many earthquakes there have been in the past while. Apparently, the week before I got here, there was a huge one, but this week not so big. 

So this week has been focusing on President Bishop's advice he gave Elder Jensen and I. We have been trying to find new ways to work with the ward. I'm excited, yesterday we had a meeting with the Bishop, and a lot is going to be happening. I can feel some miracles coming to our ward. 

I know this is God's work. I know that he is hastening His work, and I'm so glad I can be a part of it. I know the importance of following the spirit, and I know Heavenly Father has a Plan. This plan is the reason we are here, it tells us where we are going and why we need the gospel of Jesus Christ. This life is filled with so much more than just getting a good job, getting good scores on tests so you can go to a better school. This plan is the reason why we all have a natural desire to start a family. I know that Jesus Christ is the center to this plan and he suffered and died so that the plan could happen. This plan is the Plan of Salvation, Plan of Happiness, and it is the most amazing thing that we have in this world. Spread the word, the gospel is true, Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and it will make us more happy than anything else in this world. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Brandon Bean