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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