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Monday, May 27, 2013

Week #12 Monday, May 27, 2013

Well another week has come and gone.

It actually went by way crazy fast. It seems like yesterday I emailed you. But unless my calender, planner, and watch are all wrong, it is Monday yet again and I'm given another chance to contact everyone. It's been a great week. We have been given many opportunities to serve the people in our Area. It was actually interesting how many people we found. We've had to do a lot of finding efforts, because our current investigators can only meet during the weekend, so we've been trying to find some weekday investigators. On Thursday, we had our interviews with the Mission President and Area Book checks. Plus we got cool maps that have a maps of our area (including secondary areas) and has a pinpoint telling us where each member lives. It's is actually way useful, and we have really been able to use it. 
So like I said we've been using the map to find some of the Less Active Members. It's kind of crazy because in Taiwan the addresses are crazy and make no sense to anyone, even the natives don't know where any thing is. :p But it has been an adventure. Usually what happens is we'll ask someone if they know where "such and such" street is, then they will say no, so we'll keep riding, until that same person comes by on a scooter (more like a small motorcycle) and tells us to follow them (they are holding their iphone that is open up to Apple maps.) So we will follow them until the programmed place is found. Then we try to meet with the Less Active Member. Sadly, on Friday something similar to that happened, but didn't end up as well. I was following Elder Jensen and the guy on the motuoche(scooter), when all of a sudden a truck cut me off, a big truck, like the kind that are huge that everyone on the freeway hate. So I'm trying to keep an eye on my companion, and I kept trying to get around the truck with no luck because we were in a very tiny street. Well in case you haven't guessed, we ended up getting split up and I lost my companion. He turned right and I didn't see that. Sooooooo ya, if it's not fun being lost, it's terrifying being lost and not knowing how to talk to anyone, and ask for help. I tried to ask everyone at the intersection if they had seen my companion, I tried other missionary, companion, another missionary, him and I are the same. No luck what so ever. For some reason this idea didn't come to me until 15 minutes of riding around the intersection. I had his number in my planner, and I could ask to borrow someone's phone. Once I got to a phone and dialed the number out of no where, Elder Jensen rode up on his bike. We had found each other. Now I know if I ever get lost again (probably won't happen again), I will immediately call my companion. 

On Saturday we met with Luke. Great lesson, we talked about the Saviors sacrifice and he did it because it was the fathers will. Brother Jensen bore his testimony on doing the fathers will. Then our member who peike(lesson w/ a member present) bore an amazing deep testimony of how much sacrifice and blood is represented by the Book of Mormon, and about the 1st four missionaries that came to Taiwan, (one of them dying) then we testified to look that he needed to be baptized that it was his Heavenly Fathers will.  Dad has the rest of the story don't have much time to type it all out again but ya...

Quick disclaimer I should probably say, Email time... I'm limited, to read and respond, letters I can read throughout the week, time changes every week how much time we have to write actual letters, so honestly just do what everyone feels suits them best, but their may come a day where I won't be able to respond to everyone. Okay it may have already happened.... I'll try and be better but please be patient with me. 

I love you all. I love it here in the mission field. I really do know that my Savior, Jesus Christ  lives. I know this is his work. There are too many miracles on a daily basis for it to be man's work. I've felt his guidance in everything we do. I know I am finding his lost Children. I know this is the True Church. I know that everything we are asked to teach is true. I know a living prophet guides our church today. I know that God loves his Children. I know all this because the Spirit has made it known to me, again and again. 

With love,

Elder Brandon Bean

Sunday, May 19, 2013

week #11 Sunday, May 19, 2013 (Brandon's Monday)

Well another amazing week has been accomplished.

So after last week, when I finished e-mailing you, we went shopping, got a bunch of stuff (mainly food). I had no idea what to buy, so I just ended up buying a little of everything to try out. It wasn't too bad. Then we just went to FHE, then just contacted on the way back. We've been doing a lot of contacting. I need the practice. At first I'd be all like "...."then they would leave because the light would change. So not that effective. Oh by the way,  the way we do contacting is we go to a four way w/ a red light, and then we just start talking about them/the church and then we ask for their number and name, they will write it on a card and then we ask if we can meet w/ them either tomorrow or the day after, and then ask evening or afternoon, then we ask a time, then we will meet with them the next day. It's pretty crazy but way effective. Especially b/c Taiwan people love writing their information. Now I've gotten a lot better about sharing simple short testimonies in like 5 seconds and then asking for their # and stuff. I need to be better at adding them for a lesson time. It's actually crazy, our mission has a lot of different stuff that work really well. I wish all missions could use this stuff. 

We've been teaching a bunch of lessons, Elder Jensen has been really good about having me share, and teach a good portion of the lessons, his goal is 50/50 teaching. I've also progressed a ton in the language. They have something called phase 1, 2, 3. It helps our language here in Taiwan, it's basically like a way to learn how teach in the language. It just has like a long list of vocab words, some teaching phrases, grammar rules, baptismal interview questions, and basically I made a goal to pass it off by the end of this move call(transfer). So I have to learn crazy fast. We also got a second companionship in our apartment, so we are a 4 man. We've also been really trying to discern our investigators needs, and how to help them towards baptism and lasting conversion. Elder Jensen does a great job listening to the spirit, and has great ideas, different ideas, on how to go about doing things. 

We have such an amazing area, I love it here in Gangshan, the Ward is awesome, the members really help with the missionary work, the field is definitely white and ready to harvest here. I've really felt the spirit as I teach, as I testify, as I see people change their lives and turn towards Jesus Christ. I know this church is true and I am loving the service. 


Elder Brandon Bean

P.S.- So also the workout schedule is set for us in Taiwan, we run Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Then muscular wed. and Friday, then on Monday we can do what we want. Yesterday while contacting their was a fengshui demonstration, we as missionaries call these groups, omama exercises. Basically it's a bunch of old people who gather in groups usually in a school field or something and meditate. Well Elder Jensen and I decided to join them this morning and it was crazy. We like stand w/ knees bent, we curl our tongue and touch the roof of our mouths and then you just hold different poses for like 6-7 minutes. Usually your hands are in the air, and it's supposed to usually have a circle involved. It was funny. We'll probably do it on Mondays, because we never know what to do for them.

Yep I think that's everything

Sunday, May 12, 2013

week #10 Taiwan May 12, 2013

Well I just talked to you through skype but might as well write this week as well. Yes, pictures can be sent through email, it is way weird seeing Mckay in glasses, but I like it, he looks so smart.
So let's see, we got off the plane, went to our apartments, President Bishop did a lot of orientation stuff, we got to stand on a soap box and yell our testimony to a bunch of people in  the night market. (it's called a Dan Jones). It was way fun, cuz then afterwards, we went around testifying and getting a bunch of contact cards.
The next day, we got together and met our trainers. It was way fun, we each were given a red envelope and we opened it and read our area and trainer, then they came up and told us about our area. My companion is Elder Jensen, when he came up, he came to hug me and squeezed all the fears I had out of me(so strong I actually grunted cuz I lost a little air too;p) Then, we took a 2 1/2 hour train ride, then another 30 minute subway ride. We then went and taught a lesson and ate dinner. Elder Jensen has started having me bear my testimony (a lot) especially about my favorite scripture (Alma 17:2-3) and testify of it.
The next day, we taught another 3 or 4 lessons, and randomly in the middle of the lesson Elder Jensen would ask me to bear a testimony about something. I almost always end up saying the opening prayer, but it's good because it helps my language. We also got  lot's of different kinds of food. One thing you should all try, pineapple dipped in brown sugar, it's really good, of course the pineapples have more flavor here, but I'm sure it'll still taste good.
So then Sunday came, and we went to church. I didn't understand much, but afterwards we got some Mothers Day cake. It was really really good, then we went to the Bishop's house, they fed us, we all shared our favorite scriptures, and testified about them (I did Chinese, his kids did English, so we could practice our foreign languages). It was way fun. Then we went tracting, we've practiced street contacting a lot. I'm not so hot at it, but hopefully it'll come. Elder Jensen keeps trying to help me learn how to, hopefully one day it'll click.
That's really all, it was great to see everyone, hope everyone has a good nights sleep. Your all in my prayers, I love you.
Elder Brandon Bean 

Monday, May 6, 2013

week #9 May 6 Brandon's last day in the MTC

OK. So everything is super crazy this week cuz it's our last week at the MTC.  I will be at the SLC airport from 9-10:30 so I might call then but probably will call when I'm at the LAX from 12:25-4:00 PM. That being said, be ready, tomorrow is a Tuesday, I don't know your schedule, but chances are it is busy. Mom, I might give you a small shout out tomorrow morning to coordinate.
Now to the letter. This week has been hen ku(cool). I got a lot of temple names (thank you branch 39[my zone]). I was able to really just have an amazing last week. My teachers are so awesome, they helped make sure we were focused. We taught a bunch of great lessons last week. It was way inspiring. I also feel so ready for the field. I feel good about the language (yes dad, I realize that will change by Thursday) and I just feel ready to serve. I know the Lord has prepared people, and my job is to find those people.
We were also fortunate to have in-field orientation this week. Basically it's like a 10 hour pep rally for the field. The best teachers come and just talk to us about how baptism is important, how to find people, setting good goals, working with the members, and so much more. I got to have a lesson from "Elder Christenson" from the District 2, it was taibangle (awesome). It just really motivated me to be in the field. It's funny cuz, we've only heard negative things about it from the past 9 weeks of being here, but all of us loved it. Oh well, I guess the glass is half full for some and half empty for others, and for a few they're upset that they didn't get root beer instead of water. Meiguanxi(kinda like no worries, directly translates to have no relationship). I also said bye to my friends in the MTC (Sister Burningham, Sister Boothe, and Sister Warburton). I'm way excited for the field though especially after last night. Chad Lewis came and talked to us for the devotional. In case you don't know Chad Lewis played on the Eagles NFL team, and guess where he went on his mission? Taiwan Taichung. He basically just gave us a huge pump up talk about serving with all our strength.
All of us are way sad that we are leaving our teachers and the friends we've made, but we are all super excited too. I have a lot of letters to respond to and not enough time. Family, I hope you don't mind but I get to call you twice w/in the next week. I'll respond to your letters through the phone call and next week in Taiwan, Sunday is mothers day. I will send a package home today though, maybe I'll leave a note in it. I can't wait to go. But the end goal is to write everyone by the end of next week for sure. I'm drawing a blank. And I can't think of anything to say. Just give you a heads up. Tomorrow I'm planning on sharing my testimony, saying things I know in zhongwen, trying to talk to all of you, dad if your at work, I'll call you separately.
Elder Brandon Bean