Return the favor

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