Return the favor

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

week #95 Mon. Dec. 28, 2014

    Well I'll start with a small story from last week. So Elder Tatton has an older brother, his brother went into the MTC March 6th 2013....In case you aren't aware that is the same week as I went in. So the story takes place on December 26th 10:23 (Taiwan standard time) As Elder Tatton was skyping his family, his mom picked up the ipad they were skyping with. They showed him the house and showed him the countdown for him...and his brother. Then she said "look at how much time your brother has left?....10 Weeks!!!" I fell over. In shock. Realizing my life as a missionary is coming to a close. I realized "10 weeks that's nothing, that's no time at all, that's the end....." Then I realized something.... "wait...I have 11 weeks, oh good still have plenty of time." So we came back from that and I told Elder Tatton I was going to make a plan. A plan of all plans. The plan that would allow me to put everything I got on the table. A plan of intense work. I was going to make a plan that will pull me in every direction, give me more pressure than I've felt before. I was going to push my limits. Reach farther, do more, and change more. I called it the 10 week plan! so this is what I'll be putting myself through for the next little while. It's now no longer the end just a new beginning. I divided it into a few separate categories, spiritual, physical, language, the work, and other. I wrote some B.H.A.G's (Big hairy audacious goals [basically just the overarching goal over this 10 week period]), then I made small goals in each week things I would do to remain focused, have energy and enthusiastic for the work.
     After I made the plan I felt a lot more ready. I'm gonna need a lot of extra help from the Saviors atonement. I will also need a lot of motivation. It starts next week and I want to invite everyone to help me out on this. Send me one inspirational quote before next week. I hope that I can have a lot of quotes by next week to help me get through the plan. I understand there are many of you who are busy but one quote that'll do. 
Dear family and friends,

Sorry that was the main things I wanted to go out. But this week was great, I loved skyping the family. You all are great. We've been meeting with a lot of new people they seem very promising. We have 2 people looking to get baptized in January. They are both coming to church, praying, looking good on commandments, It'll be great to see them progress. Elder Tatton and I have had a great Christmas. So many miracles. I love you all, keep up the great work.
with love,
Elder Bean

week #94 Mon. Dec. 21, 2014

Merry Christmas,
     No matter whether they believe in Jesus Christ or not. Almost everyone is excited to hear and say "Shengdanjie Kuaile" which means Merry Christmas! Which just makes the season that much more special as we get to do some of the greatest service during this season. This week was a little crazy, less time to proselyte, more things throwing our plans out of whack. But I'm happy. I come home everyday asking God for a confirmation that I did my best. I love the feeling when I do. When I know God is saying. "Elder Bean, I am pleased". Of course as usual we did the same this week as we usually do. We contacted our hearts out to everyone. Testifying. turning around suddenly on the street because we know that this message is more important than convenience. More important than work, food, sleep, and the things that these people are doing. The message we are sharing is That God has restored his gospel, he has revealed once again the plan of salvation, which tells us how to make it back to our Father in Heaven. 
     I spent a good amount of time studying the doctrine of the lessons we teach everyday. I am amazed at how deepening my understanding of those lessons doesn't make the things I know more complicated, further from the main message, but it makes it simpler, it makes sense, and I can testify of it so much easier. Everyday I study the beautiful truths within the Book of Mormon. I am amazed at how much of a miracle that it has come forth. Prophets prayed, fasted, begged that this would come to our day. They knew we would need it. I also will study Doctorine and Covenants, which has made me better understand that Joseph Smith had to be a prophet of God, we also need to have revelation in our daily life in order to make it back.
     We find, we teach, and we help people work towards baptism. To what purpose, to get good numbers to turn To increase our church The truth of the nature is because we love these people. The taiwanese people need these truths not just for exaltation (they do need it for that) but in their daily life. They need these truths that I have been blessed to grow up with. Without it they don't understand life in it's pure form.
     I know the church is true. I know that I am doing God's work. I love it. I love this season.
I testify that Christ is our savior, he is our way, he loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Bean

week #93 Mon. Dec. 14, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

    Well this week was filled w/ miracles. I love the work I really do. This week we met people. Woah that's a change. I was starting to forget that we were white washing because we had a lesson practically every day. YES! Tuesday we went on exchanges w/ the zone leaders. It was fun. We met w/ a cool new investigator. We visited some less actives. 
Then Wednesday. We got to meet w/ one of the recent converts that's been missing in action recently. Thursday we had a great miracle day. So that morning we woke up. I wasn't feeling like running like we had planned to. But I figured it was important that we at least tried to go to the track. So we ran, we were in our exercise clothes. Normally nothing that crazy happens when we exercise, but when we finished exercising a man came up to us. Started talking to us about who we were, whey we were in Taiwan, we explained, then he asked us to come over to his house. So we did and it was so cool. We met with a family who were all interested in what we had to share. God is sending people to us. He is both leading us and leading them. It was a crazy awesome really neat miracle. 
     Friday....pretty normal planned, went on exchanges w/ the other pingdong elders. Saturday the sisters had a baptism and we were able to get one of our investigators over to it. He loved it. He had a great time, and because of it he decided to set a date to be baptized. It was awesome. So now we are actually touching every phase of the work. 
     Lately in personal study I've been studying the doctrine of the lessons a lot. I can testify I know this church is true. The plan of salvation is true, it is the way. It was revealed by a prophet. I know that God loves each one of his children and He has sent us to help gather them back. I love the work. I hope all is well. Until next week,
love you all
Elder Bean

week #92 Monday, Dec. 7, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
     This week was a pretty great week. We had a lot of small miracles. We worked really hard and we are starting to see a change in the work. We are still contacting, but about Friday I was sitting there thinking....Wait we are missing a huge margin. I then realized that we needed to start focusing on Part Member Families. So we've been brainstorming a ton. We got a list from the bishop of Part Member families so now we have to go and try and set up times to go and visit them. 
Lately I've been studying the Doctrine and Covenants, and I feel like it is so easy to tell it is the word of God. Every time I open it up I usually feel edified and uplifted. I think it is amazing to know that we have living prophets in our dispensations. We can hear the Lord's voice once again, like in olden days. I love it, I think it's great.
     We are really trying to put some effort into working with the ward. I feel like we are starting to know the people, we are starting to understand Pingdong, and now I definitely feel that The Lord can and will help us find great people to bring into the church here in Pingdong.
     There was a really cool kid (11 years old) that we got to work with this week. The sisters met w/ a boy about 5 months ago, but he went to Taibei for a few months. They finally ran into him again and let us start meeting w/ him. He came to church on Sunday and loved it. It was a great experience for him. He had people friendship him, he felt very attached to the church. He told me that he reads and prays still. It is amazing how little kids are so able to follow Jesus Christ and it isn't to hard for them to do. We shared lesson two, the plan of salvation w/ him yesterday and he loved it. It made sense to him and he was able to explain why he needs Jesus Christ in this plan. He's a great one. He will definitely be a great member someday. 
     Thursday we had our Christmas Activity with all the missionaries in our mission, I have pictures but my computer won't read my camera, so maybe another day....
    Well I am still loving the work a lot, I am continually studying the Book of Mormon, Preach my Gospel, and I'm touched everyday by the spirit those two books can bring into my day. I know that God leads this work, I know that the church is true, and I know that Christ lives. 
w/ love
Elder Bean

Friday, December 5, 2014

week #91 Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
Well This week was a lot of contacting, a lot of contacting, and oh ya more contacting. But man I have a great companion. He's so motivated. Has a ton of energy, and he doesn't seem to be depressed. It's been great. So first Monday we went to our secondary area. Called Jiuru, to go meet with a member. Once we got there he said, "okay so I'm the only active male here in the ward, so we are gonna try and change that" So we went and visited 3 less actives in the area and met some great people that we can start working with. It was so cool. I've never had a member be so proactive about the work. I'm excited Pingdong is a good place.
Then Tuesday we had Mission Tour. It was great. I learned a ton, I was super excited to work. We went out and worked, hard. We contacted everywhere we went, invited everyone we could to learn more. and nothing. nothing. nothing. What were we doing wrong, no one was setting up. Then the answer hit me. Who were we relying on. We were relying on ourselves. I decided then we needed to say a prayer. We asked God to bless us and help us to find more success. The next thing we did is we contacted a park and ran into a bunch of people who not only were interested, THEY WERE WILLING TO SET UP!!! It was a miracle. We found ten people that day who were willing to learn more. 
This work is God's work. I know it is. I can not deny it. I love the Lord my God. I love the scriptures. I love the work.
Elder Bean
p.s.- finished reading the old testament this week. Now I'm reading Doctrine and Covenants, then I will have read the entire standard works while being on a mission. Yes!

week #90 Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Hey Everyone,
So it's official I am a white washing wizard. I'll get to that in a second though. So last week we were super busy trying to strengthen our area. We seemed to be super busy, between balancing my current area, preparing to go white wash and helping other missionaries in our zone. Then Wednesday we went to a train, the trainers meeting, it was good, it helped me have some time to think and process what I hoped to do with my new missionary. Thursday came around, we planned a ton, I planned for the next week what I was going to do, where my focus would be. 
Then Friday came. I went up (very early ~4:30 in the morning) We traveled up. Everyone had questions for how they should train. I was the only one sitting by so I shared my experiences. Then we made it to Taizhong, it was chaos. Because it was move call day, everyone else was there. We got pulled into the chapel where president told us that the group that came on was doing awesome. However they had some expeiriences while waiting for visas. Quite a few had companions in other missions that were struggling with obedience, dilligence, and morality. He said that he hopes we can be good examples and help these missionaries have better experiences. Then the meeting started. I got my new missionary drum roll please.......................ELDER TATTON! He is a fireball. He read my name I got up went and hugged him. As we were going back to our seats I told him Elder congrats you're white washing. His eyes got big and he was excited. He is so fun to serve with. He has a ton of faith. super obedient, his chinese isn't half bad either. Then we took a 4 hour train ride back to Pingdong. We hopped on a taxi and traveled to our apartment. We put our stuff in the apartment, then we tried tracting a bit before we went to the Ward Cordination Meeting. Saturday we contacted a bit that morning but no success. Then I realized...wait! we should say a prayer. So we prayed for some help contacting. We then turned down a random road and ran into a man who was pulling into his house. We talked to him a bit and he said he'd love to bring his kids and wife over to our church some time. BAM MIRACLE. Then contacting became super easy for us. Obviosly it was the Lord's hand.
I'm not gonna lie, whitewashing is different than I thought it would be. It's a lot more work. But here's the seceret of the matter, it's not the work that makes things happen. It's the work that reminds you you're doing it wrong and you need to turn the Savior. This is his work. and I love it. 
I'm enjoying Pingdong, I feel like it'll be my last area. I am excited for it. Pingdong is a golden area. 
I love you all!
Elder Bean

week #89 Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Dear Fam and Friends.
So some big news. I'm moving....On Friday. We don't know where, we don't know who will be my new companion. But we know that 21 new missionaries are coming on island this week (late because of the visa problems).  So President Blickenstaff sent out a fax Saturday Night w/ a list of the names of the missionaries that will most likely be moving, told us that yesterday was their last Sunday in that ward. And I was on that list....:( It's super weird that I'm leaving and moving somewhere else. But it's all good. I'm more curious about where I'm going, We'll find out tomorrow night. Well ya.
So last week we spent P-day playing football, then went to TGI Fridays....ya we are definitely more in the city part of Taiwan. Then Tuesday we went on exchanges with some elders. Had a great time, We went on splits. That was the first time I had to do that on exchanges. But it was a good lesson. Then we had a good talk about Elder Shang, the missionary I was with also served with Elder Shang. It was good to hear some stories about my old companion. Let's see. Friday we went on exchanges again with Gangshan Elders. I went to Gangshan, with Elder Lieske. So I was basically in heaven that weekend. But here's the cool part of that story.
That night we met with one of the RC's (W) (he investigated when I was there). As we were discussing the topic of (R) came up. For those who don't know (R) is one of my very first RC's overcame smoking, coffee, all because of his faith in God. He was super solid, had a lot going for him. Then in July soon after I moved here, the Gangshan Elders called me up telling me that he had just gone apostate. Someone from work had handed him Anti-mormon literature. I was invited by them to try and get ahold of him. I tried calling but never answered. Well,  we were meeting w/ (W) and he asked about (R), I explained some stuff. Then I asked Him to pray for (R). As we got back that night, I felt prompted to try calling him again. So I called...HE ANSWERED. (R) and I talked a bit and then asked if he could meet with me on Saturday. I set up with him and we met with him. I didn't talk much about the antimormon stuff. I just loved him, talked to him as a friend then in the end I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was going to go meet with the missionaries in Gangshan again. I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!! I was sad for him for a while, but now I know he was a reason I had to come here to Gaoxiong. I love the work.
I'M TRAINING!!!!! I just got a call from president. I'm going to be white washing Pingdong. That's the southern tip of the mission. I can't believe it. so that tells you where I'm going on Friday. Well that's all for this week,  I love you all. Until next time!
Elder Bean

week #88 Monday, Nov. 10, 2014

Dear Family and friends,
It's a new move call and guess what? No one is leaving or coming!!!! because of the shortage of missionaries coming on the island, president is going to wait two weeks when we get the new missionaries before moving anyone. It's super crazy. But I'm happy, I get to spend more time with Elder Shelton, Elder Faddis, and Elder Sheanshang. 
So we had a great ZTM. We practiced teaching the second lesson (Plan of Salvation) then we had a great english training meeting with all the english leaders. We hope to increase our baptism's from english. Then we met with our District leaders. I made sure to encourage them all, and help them feel the love from President. I don't know if that was what did it, but our zone did awesome this week. We went and worked. bam. boomshakalacka.
We didn't get to go on the exchanges we were planning on because the companionship was sick and the other elders we were going to go with cancelled last minute. So Elder Shelton and I got to work together more. Which was a great blessing. I love working with him. He's such a great teacher. Wednesday we had a great english party. Lot's of people came. It seemed like everyone enjoyed it. The theme was pirates. ya... ON Thursday night we gotta call from the assistants to ask everyone to call all there female recent converts and ask if they can be short term missionaries. So I got to call half my Recent Converts and check if they could do that. It was good to hear that they are doing well. I did feel sad to hear that some weren't reading, praying, coming to church. I feel like it's hard to see those you've worked with decide not to continue doing the things they should be doing. 
It's been a good week looking forward to next. 

Sincerely Elder Bean

week #87 Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

Hey everyone,
It's been a good week. So onday we got the flu shots that were required of us. Then we we went and visited the Bishop and his family. Had a great dinner. Then on Tuesday we went on exchanges, I was with Elder Cuartas, he's a great missionary. He's from Columbia, he works super hard and he sees a ton of miracles. 
We had a good english class Wednesday. Then we went up to Taizhong for MLC. It was great really fun to see all the other zone leaders and to learn from President. I also was able to renew my Temple Reccomend. Which means I've been endowed for over two years. That's weird. I definitely miss going to the temple. I think that'll be something I look forward to for sure. Anywho. Friday we went on exchanges w/ Xiaogang I got to go w/ Elder Tolman again. It was super fun. We had a ward activity, went to a funeral, but the craziest thing was I forgot my bag that had my razor, and all my other stuff. So I discovered I can grow a beard if I don't shave 1 day. Don't worry I shaved by the end of the day. But it was definitely weird. 
So something cool that happned is we were visiting one of our family investigators. And as we were there the peike went off on some tangent but the spirit was still there and then we felt prompted to invite the daughters to set a date to be baptized, and they did. They have a date as a family, and they are working together. It's super exciting. Just need to help them come to church and they should hit there date. 
I know this is God's work. I love my companion, I'm learning a ton, but I don't know how to explain it all. I know that God has provided a plan. That plan is his plan of salvation. I love you all. 

See ya next week

Elder Bean

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

week #86 Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Hey everyone,
     It's been another week and man time has flown. Elder Shelton and I have been getting along very well. He has such a great testimony in the plan of salvation. He's a great worker. And he's really good with people. 
     This week we have really been working hard with families. We have 2 families that we are working with a Shi family and a Wang family. They are both great. One huge thing is trying to help them progress as a family and not let anyone left behind. 
     Sadly though I can't think of anything really until Saturday. We had a cool experience where we decided we should start heading back to the chapel for the other elders baptism that night. But on the way back I got super lost. Which is weird because I've been here for 2 or 3 move calls now, but I got so lost. We wandered for 30 minutes still unsure of where we were. But then we pulled up to a stoplight in the middle of nowhere, and we saw him. We talked to him and we found out a ton about him. He was super curious about our church. Then I realized I knew exactly where we were, we were about 2 minutes away from the church. I asked if he'd like to come with us to see the baptism. He said he was willing. We brought him there and he said he felt really good, felt peaceful. It was an awesome miracle.
Sunday i woke up with a very swollen finger. I took some advil, but still wasn't quite working. So I called Sister blickenstaff. She had me pull out all of my medicine and I had one pill that would suffice. It was benedryl (spelling is prolly wrong). She warned me that it would definitely cause me to be drowsy, but it would help my finger. After discussing the pros and cons with my companion, I decided to take the pills. Slowly the finger was getting better, we got to church and then suddenly bam! I was out cold. I Slept through all 3 hours, my companion explained to everyone why I was sleeping through every meeting. So I hope no one was super angry. But now my finger is normal sized, so I can't complain.
     Well those are my two stories for the week. Sorry,  next week I'll do better.
Love,  Elder Bean

week # 85 Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Hey everyone,

So some crazy news. My companion has moved yet again. I'm still in Qianzhen,. but now I have a new companion, Elder Shelton. He is one move call older than me. I'll get to that in a second. This week was a blast. We found a ton of new investigators. Helped a lot of our investigators set goals to be baptized. Our area is golden. Love Qianzhen. 
So first on Tuesday I went to Gangshan for exchanges. I got to see a lot of my old RC's (recent converts) or LA's (less actives) I worked with. It was really fun. Great area, definitely miss it. But I got to my area again,  and it was on fire. We found a brother and sister from english class. Had a great lessons with them. The older sister used to be atheist but then she went to church and felt it help her. But she never joined that church because she didn't feel prepared enough. Then she came to our english class and said she'd be willing to learn more with her brother. They both have set a goal to be baptized. 
We had another lesson with our favorite 11 yr old investigator and his family. As we made plans to visit him, we invited a sister from the ward to come and peike. She did and she got there before we did. So she started talking to S. He was a little bit sad because he failed his tests. But Sister Liu told him after our lesson she'd help him with his homework. After we taught him and left. She did just that. Then she also helped him read the scriptures. Him and his family were really touched by her act of kindness so he came to church this week and learned he really liked singing the hymns. 
Elder Gassman and I were having such a great week. all of our investigators were starting to progress. Sunday night we were doing planning, then I heard the phone ring. It was President Blickenstaff. I answered it and he asked to speak to Elder Gassman, well turns out he's going to be assistant. We were all pretty shocked. But he and I had a great run for 3 weeks. I'll miss having him around but I can call him whenever now. Plus I'll see him at MLC. yay. Anywho,  that was this week. Until next week. see ya all. love ya. bye bye

Elder Bean 

week # 84 Mon. Oct. 13, 2014

     Hello everyone! This week we had a ton of time sucked out of our schedule. Tuesday we had ZTM so we had to go to the stake center from morning until evening. Then Thursday we had interviews and we were at the chapel from 9 in the morning until 7 at night. Then we had a stake exercise activity on Friday. Then we had 10 hours worth of conference. Needless to say we had about 30 less hours to proselyte than usual.....  But shockingly we still did a lot. Monday we had an opportunity to meet with that Wang DX I mentioned last week. We had a great lesson, read Alma 32 with him and our members did a great job of fellowshiping him. 
     Tuesday we had a great ZTM, President Blickenstaff came, and it was good to have him there. We focused on faith. We also discussed the importance of having faith in your area. 
     Wednesday we had a great engilsh class, we talked about rodeos, demo derbies, cowboys, american history, and a bunch of other randomness, gotta love advanced class. Thursday we had interviews, and as zone leaders we were required to be there all day to do planner checks. I had fun though. It is always inspiring to see President Blickenstaff behind the scenes.
      Friday we had the stake activity and it was really fun because I had  an opportunity to see all of my Gangshan friends, they were all great. We had to leave quickly though because we had a lot to get done that day. Something I've learned is the power of personal studies. When we have good personal studies we can help others come to unto Christ. That Friday night we had a lot of miracles. We were able to help some of our investigator's really feel the spirit in a lesson. We committed several people to come to Conference. Then Conference was awesome as always. I was really excited for all the talks. It was sad to realize that it was my last conference as a missionary. But I know that President Monson and all of his apostles are called of God. I know this is God's church. I love you all, hope you have a good week.

Elder Bean

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

week #80 Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

大家好!Hey everyone,
      This was a really good week. We went and did a bunch of BBQ's on Monday. I'm still super full from that. The first one was a member family. Super fun. Then on Monday night as we were contacting, we pass by a family who is having another bbq, we yell "happy mid-autumn festival". They then yelled "come eat with us". So we went over and ate with them, to find out it was a bunch of foreigners. We ate with some cambodians, indonesians, and a bunch of others. It was super crazy. We invited a few to come to church and they actually came!!!! 
     On Tuesday I went on exchanges with the elders in our four man. It was a super fun exchange, we contacted, taught lessons, and then we discussed how the district was doing. Wednesday, Thursday, both pretty good days.... Then on friday went on exchanges again. This exchange was pretty good. We had a lot of good lessons. The spirit was super strong. 
     Oh ya Wednesday, we had assistant exchanges. We were with Elder Sumsion. That was fun, that was my 4th exchange with him. It's fun serving around the same person for over half your mission.   I'm sorry, It seems like a lot happned but struggling to write a lot about it. Maybe next week I'll record to help have more stuff in it. 
     Something cool I studied this week though was in Ether 2. Brother of Jared is trying to fix the ships and make them able to bring them all the way to the promise land. He notices there are 3 main problems. 1)direction, they have no way to direct the boats 2)air, the ships would not have enough air 3)they would not have light. God answers the questions about direction and air. But then he leaves the light one up to Bro.of.Jared. This part puzzled me. Why is it he leaves the light one up to the Bro. of Jared? The air one could have been solved by Bro. of Jared...possibly, obviously the direction one needs the Lords approval. I have thought a bit more of that bit. I thought about how the Lord is the "light of the world", He is "the source of all light", it seems like it would be obvious that the Lord would be the center of this solution. But why is it something that the Lord didn't provide in the first instance. Then I thought about our investigator's, we show them the way (direction). But they can't be converted until they go and search for the "light". They must develop a desire, they must act on it, and then they will receive. I think this is a good comparison with the Bro. of Jared. He had to go and search for light, the Lord couldn't just give it to him. I'm not sure how close I am to that one. But maybe I found it...
Well that's all for now folks.
love you all,
Elder Brandon Bean

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

week #79 Monday, Sept. 8, 2014

Hey everyone,
     So this week was a blast. We went to Costco last week and bought a ton of food. So much food!  Muffins, m&m's, milk, pepper jack cheese, like we bought everything! But the best part is we bought a costco card!!! So as long as I'm able I'm going to go to costco for my groceries. Woot Woot! 
     Then we had another ZTM (zone training meeting) this last Tuesday. It seemed to go well. It's fun having Elder McCulloch here when he brings a great energy to almost every meeting he is in. Got the zone pumped up and everything. Then we went on exchanges with Donggang elders. Then after our lesson and while we were eating, I didn't feel so good. Turns out I got a nice bit of heat stroke. Felt dizzy, super hot, Elder Jiang (he's a taiwanese) asked me how I felt and was like "you probably have.....zhongshui" but he didn't know how to translate it, so we had a member look it up. And it means heat stroke. So we went and had to stop for a bit. Call apr, lay down, drink water. and eventually I overcame it and now I'm fine. Wooh!
      Wednesday we had the greatest english class ever. A student came in and since he was the only student we asked him what was going on in his life. He's 40 and lives with his parents (like most taiwanese) and was telling us lately they've been more and more angry because he's not married yet. So we had a english class on "How to date" soon more and more students came and we had a great discussion, on first dates, ensure a second date. It was the funniest/best english class we had. The entire class had a blast. 
      Thursday we had a long day. We were all over our area. In the morning we had to go to lingya and do a language evaluation. Afterwards we raced back to visit a LA (less active). (we skipped lunch to do so). We sat in a lesson for an hour where this man would not stop complaining and making excuses for why he was LA (even though we never even asked him about how he was enjoying the bible (he's been reading it so we just asked)) and he went on forever not listening to any advice we tried to give. We showed the mormon message "mountains to climb" and he ignored the entire time Elder Eyring was speaking and said "well it's different, I have all the trials in that video, so my life is worse" Finally after a long discussion he finally accepted for the ward to bring him the sacrement so he could retain his baptismal covenants. Then we raced over to visit an active member who served with Elder Mcculoch and I in Taizhong. She's a Sister Liu, her mother was just recently baptized. Afterwards went and had a feast at Costco because we hadn't eaten lunch yet. 
      Our investigator XuDx has been doing awesome lately. His biggest concern is the fact that his mom might oppose him getting baptized. But we might have overcame that concern on Friday.
      Well that's all for this week. All is great, loving the mission, loving my companion, loving my area and my investigators. 
with love, 
Elder Bean

Saturday, September 6, 2014

week #78 Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

Hey everyone,
      It was a great week! Last week we went on the Ferris wheel on top of the Dream Mall. That was fun. Gotta see my area from a higher perspective. Then On Tuesday we went to help someone move. That was crazy, had to carry a fridge and a washer machine down 4 flights of stairs. Needless to say we were exhausted. Then we booked it to Zuoying to participate in their DTM (district training meeting). Good Dtm, then went on exchanges. We went out and taught a less active, had a good time, liaotianed a bit. Wednesday we had English class, good class, talked about writing stories, then had a great spiritual share watching the "Because of Him" video. If we had more non members in our class it would have been better....but still a good class. 
       Thursday we woke up bright and early to head up to Taichung. We got up at a whopping 4:30!!!I think I was so dead the entire train ride up. Slept most of the way. It was a great inspiring meeting as always. We discussed the importance of increasing our fundamentals. Being more effective. Came back, taught a great lesson to one of our amazing investigators. 
      One thing we've been trying to do is help our baptismal goals rollover. In order to do that better, we've decided to bring back project purification. We started it on Saturday and we've already seen a bunch of miracles from it. Yesterday a new investigator came to church and had a great time. He felt the spirit, we were able to help him realize what he was feeling and that if he recieved baptism, he would be able to feel that great feeling more. 
     This week was even better than the last. Love working with Elder Mcculoch. He's a great missionary, super creative, has a lot of fire. I love the area, excited for the next week, we have ZTM (zone training meeting), I'll try and have some good stories about it.
With love,
Elder Bean

Sunday, August 31, 2014

week #77 Monday, August 25, 2014

Well it's been another week everyone.

     Ya, so this week has been pretty awesome. Elder McCulloch is pretty cool. We get along really well actually. I feel like 80% of the time we are laughing our heads off. He's a super funny guy. He has been on his mission about 20 months. He heads back December 24th. He has a ton of personality. It's super fun on the streets we talk with everyone. We have been able to do a lot already and it's only been a week. 
     Last week our entire district changed....most of the zone changed. We gained a senior couple companionship in our district, and another Elder Companionship in our zone. Also an area on the southern tip of our zone just got a third companionship. So our zone now has 16 companionships, or 33 missionaries. So I became very busy very fast. Our english class was super great. We were able to have a great discussion on families and how to help our familes be better (through the gospel). 
     We were able to find some cool miracles this week. First was a family, Elder Mcculloch served in Fengshan (an area bordering ours) a long time ago (he was trained there). There him and his trainer found a family through English Class. The family was super cool, they met with them, shared all the lessons, then they realized they lived in a different area. qianzhen's area....well they reffered them over, Elder Mcculluch kept there info, and then got sent here (the area where they live). We went to go visit them. They were super excited to see him, they became too busy last year and stopped meeting with the missionaries, but now they are super willing. yay!
     Ya loving the mission. Sorry my letters lately have been lacking umph... But I do want to let everyone know that it really has been amazing. Every day I wake up, study, and go and contact, meet with people, and It is amazing. Every moment is a miracle. I wish everyone could experience this, because you can't get this growth, experiences, closeness with God anywhere else. This is the best time of my life. I love it
with love,
Elder Bean

week #76 Monday, August 18, 2014

Wow Another movecall blew bye,

     Hey everyone. It's been a crazy week. We started off the week going to a memorial for the Gaoxiong bomb explosion. A lot of religious leaders and representatives were there. We had 20 missionaries there and it was really interesting to see a bunch of other churches in their way of worship. They had Muslims, Presbyterians, Catholics, Budhists, Daoists. It was really cool.
     Then we went on exchanges, had a really good dtm (district training meeting). Wednesday came, we had a cool english class. We did an English party, the theme was game show. Elder Gummow and I had Jeopardy. It was fun, we had an awesome spritual share. It was on leap of faith. We had a student stand on a board (she was blindfolded) we had a missionary stand near her, as elders lifted the table, the sister missionary squated. Even though the board was only 2 inches off the ground, The student felt like she was super high up in the air. Then we asked her if she would believe us and do what we said. She said ok. We told her to jump and she did it to her suprise found the ground was only an inch away and she survived ok. 
     This weekend we worked a lot. Elder Gummow wanted to be as busy as possible. So it was a great week. Although there was a crazy moment. On Thursday we were at an investigator's house. In the middle of the lesson, Elder Gummow get's a call from his RC (recent convert) who was waiting for us on the other side of our area. We end the lesson. Head out, booked it for 20 minutes, Then Elder Gummow turns to me and asks, "hey do you have the phone?"........"no..."We search ourselves, then realize we left the phone at that investigator's house. So we booked it back, then re rode back to where we met Elder Gummow's RC. It was a busy day. Other than that the week was pretty normal. Elder Tolman is training someone named "Elder Coleman" So that's pretty funny. Last night we got movecall. My new companion is an Elder MCCulloch. He's from Canada he's like a movecall and half older than me. I don't know him that well yet. I'm gonna pick him up in a few hours. Elder Lieske is in this zone, he's out in Gangshan, I'm trying to make plans to go on exchanges with him this week. We'll see. 
with Love,

Elder Bean

Monday, August 4, 2014

week # 74 Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

Answers to the general public. No I'm not dead. Yes there was an explosion Thursday night. Just so family at home can all be at peace, I'll start with this story. Thursday Night Elder Gummow and I just got back from MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and spent half the day dragging a broken suitcase weighing about 60+ lbs. So we were exhausted and went to bed, only to be woken up around midnight by a call.  We ignored it and we heard a few text messages ring on our phones (we are in a 4 man and both phones were getting messages). We continued to sleep. We wake up the next morning to have a few calls/txts from the YSA members in the ward/stake. One saying something like "there's been explosions, it's like the movies, super scary, it's hit the city's main streets, stay inside!" and then we called a member to find out that the night previous in our area there was some gas explosions down near the dream mall, yixing road, and sanduo road. He had been evacuated from his house, that entire area's gas has been shut off (so Bishop cancelled having us over that night, I'll say he had a good excuse). Then I call Shizhong elders to double check they are ok (their area borders ours) then I called Elder Sumsion (the assistant) asked him what he knew, he knew nothing, so he told me we should be fine. Then in the middle of personal study, Elder Sumsion calls me back to tell us President has recieved a lot of calls asking about it. So they had us call each companionship and ask if they were ok (which was kinda mafan, we were in the area it happened in and we were fine, we called anyways.)Fun conversation:Elder____are you and your companion alive" " everything ok?" "Well last night there was an explosion you'll probably hear about it today."
Then president called us and asked us to stay in our apartment until 1:30.....most boring time ever!!!! we just wanted to leave, but we stayed inside. Then we got the call we could leave, went and ate then went on exchanges. 
Cool rest of the week. So we have been having a hard time meeting with our investigators with baptismal dates, please pray for them. This week on Thursday we had Mission Leadership Council and it was such an inpiring day. Even though we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning. We headed over, we discussed how our zone was doing, what we could do to do more. It was interesting as we discussed the way our zone was headed. Lately our zone has increased in a lot of the key indicators. This month we ended with a low amount of baptisms. But as we talked to each companionship, there were a lot of people who were looking good to baptize. So we set a reasonably high goal. But the cool thing was other zone leaders also set reasonably high goals. The zone is looking to double last months numbers. President gave us a lot of cool trainings on finding, the way us zone leaders can be better leaders. It helped me feel a lot more prepared to go and serve my zone down here in Gaoxiong west. Elder Gummow started calling our zone "The New Gaoxiong West" it's been catching on and everything. Ya it was pretty good. We've been finding quite a bit, found some really solid people this last week. I'm excited for this upcoming week, Elder Gummow and I get to lead a Zone Training Meeting. It'll be good, we are gonna show the new Mormon message. 
That's really all for now. Love you all.
Elder Bean

Monday, July 28, 2014

week #73 Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear Fam and friends,

     This week was awesome! So last week we started strong, we found a lot of new investigators. We headed to Gangshan for exchanges. That's right, Gangshan. I got to go there with an Elder Galura. It was so much fun. We saw a few of my recent converts over there. I got to attend a ward meeting and see some members. It was a crazy blast from the past. Then Friday, Taiwan got hit with a typhoon. But unlike most typhoons, nothing really crazy happened. We just got hit with a lot of rain, no crazy wind or flying cows. Nothing. So Elder Gummow and I just went and visited some members, investigators, etc. 
     Thursday we got fanged (stood up) a lot. But we were able to find a lot of cool people. One of the things we did was we got a board, wrote on it "Does God know you?" Then we went around asking everyone what they thought. Most said no, and so we would tell them why we believe God knows them, share a bit about prayer, then try and get them to meet with us later. I was amazed at some of the answers we got. "no, there's to many people" "no, I don't know him", there was one family from China that said "yes, he created us, of course he knows us." It is so crazy running into people from mainland china because we learn how prepared they really are, despite the fact that they don't even have religion. 
     Later that night we also had a crazy experience. We got called by our investigator to come and meet him over in the city, near his work. So we rode over to try and see what was up. He was waiting for us, he brought us into his work where we see a bunch of older people dressed rather nicely. He leads us to a table where there is probably 6 or 7 people waiting for us “哇你带外国人的朋友,他们会国语吗?”(so you broght foreigners, do they speak Chinese?" We answered "会“(yes we do) then they started talking to us, apparently they were working for a company named mirandana (I think I'm not sure) the founder of the company is from Utah, he was a missionary a long time ago. But here is the funny part. They are a pyramid scheme, and our investigator was trying to get us to buy under him. We told them we weren't interested (even if we were, we wouldn't have the money, but they don't seem to understand missionaries are broke). Elder Gummow feels like all the crazy things seem to happen while we are together as companions. 
     Friday we went on exchange with the Xiaogang elders. Which meant I was with Elder Tolman, who worked at little caesers with me back in Highland. We had a blast, we contacted a ton, went and met with some solid investigator's. It was really weird to see how much we've changed in the last 2 and half years. He's a great missionary. Love working with him. 
     That's basically the week. we're doing great, loving the work. We are keeping Elder Gummow super busy, never giving him time to think about home, I feel like this move call will finish and he'll finally realize he's going home. Life is good, the work is great, I love it!
with love, /爱
Elder Bean

Monday, July 14, 2014

week #71 Monday, July 14, 2014

Hey Everyone,
Well this week was crazy, full of adventures, lets see if I can get them all. So first off, it is super fun being with Elder Gummow again, it seems like I time traveled 9 months ago and we are just continuing on from where we left off. I'm super glad I get to be with him again this move call. It's funny at the end of the last move call we were together, I told him, I don't think you're leaving, I feel we still have another move call together, I was right. 
So we have a four man here in Qianzhen, it's super fun, haven't been in one of those for a long time. The district here are all really great missionaries. We've got Elder Tolman who worked at Little Caesars with me and Courtney. Elder Moore who is the same move call as Elder Faddis. Sister Mancillia is training a sister Voss, then we've got Elder Blacker who has been with Elder Liu for 2 move calls, and has been in this area since he started his mission (4 months ago).
Tuesday we had a good DTM (district training meeting) by Elder Tolman, Elder Gummow and I then went out and found a ton. I forgot what it's like in a city where you run into millions of people everyday. I get to lunch with the same amount of numbers that I would return home with in Guiren. Later that night, we get a call from Elder Tolman telling us that they got locked out of their apartment. I guess they left the keys in that day, and for some reason they decided to get on the roof and then the door shut and then they were locked on the roof. They finally got to our apartment around 10:15, it was pretty crazy. But hilarious. Elder Gummow and I teach Advanced class in English so that's fun, my first time doing that. We have a huge class probably like 15 people. Then Saturday, we had a "Missionary Day" the youth in the stake all came to the stake center and got assigned out to different missionaries in the zone. We got two kids. They were funny, we went tracting, our investigator had a baptismal interview, took the subways both ways, it was a party. oh ya and it was Elder Gummow's Birthday Saturday. 
The people here are so great. I'm excited to serve with them. There are lot's of great investigator's, we are gonna be working really hard on finding in the upcoming. Elder Gummow and I are doing well. Love the work. 

Elder Bean

Monday, July 7, 2014

week #70 Monday, July 7, 2014

Hey everyone,

Don't have a load of time, I'm moving to Gaoxiong in a bit. So I'll cut to the chase. I'm moving to Gaoxiong, I'm going to be zone leader with... drumroll please...................................ELDER G!!!!!!!
I'm so pumped. I'll get back to that later. (Brandon and Elder G were companions in September and October, he is also from Highland, same high school, same school bus to high school, but didn't really know each other then.)
So last week we went with the zone leaders to eat shitou(an all you can eat meat place). This week we've been finding like crazy,  inviting them all to be baptized. We were having a lot of success. We were able to get a lot of work done. Tuesday we had ZTM (zone training meeting) and I felt like I learned a lot, we discussed finding, faith, and baptism. We had a lot of opportunities to work with the ward this week. About Thursday I started telling people it was my last day, so everyone was wanting to buy us food, give us treats. So I've gotten pretty fat ;p. I have a thousand pictures I'll send when I'm at a better computer. 
Saturday came around and I had called President Blickenstaff (mission president) to ask a question about whether I could email/write a part member family that has only active sisters in it. He didn't answer thought... Then later that day we were eating lunch and he calls me up. He tells me the answer to my question, then tells me that I'm gonna be zone leader. (tells me all the expectations) then says, I think you're gonna get along great with your companion. But I won't tell you who, you'll find out tonight. Later that night, they call me up and tell me that I'll be with Elder G! crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so pumped. 
Well that's all for this week. 
Love ya,

Elder Bean

Monday, June 30, 2014

week #69 Monday, June 30, 2014

Hey Everyone,

     Another week, it was stressful for sure, but had it's ups and downs. Started on Monday, we went over to help a family build shelves for service. It was fun. Then Tuesday we had Zone Conference. We had some exciting changes that I think will really help the wards out. We now are only supposed to visit less actives & recent converts if we bring a member from the ward. Basically do Home Teaching, which I think will increase the recent convert retention rate, which will help the growth in Taiwan. Second is we are now supposed to visit 3 active members a week. Which I think  will also help the member missionary work. Overall I just love Zone Conferences, they are a huge spiritual boost. 
     Then later that night, we visited Viviana with Bishop and a sister in the ward. We shared a bit about service in the church (through callings) and then afterwards she asked if she could have a blessing. It was yet another proof about how powerful priesthood blessings are. While we gave her a blessing the spirit was so strong. 
     Wednesday, we had an English Party, we did a talent show. There were recorders, piano playing, singing, guitar, improv, handstands, and root beer floats. Great fun. 
      Unfortunately,  we did not have a baptism this week. Our investigator was having some reservations about some of the commandments. So we met with him, we thought we'd helped him, we met with him the next day, then called him the following day, he was looking okay. We set a new date to help him be baptized and then he sent us a text saying he didn't want to try anymore. Felt like our church wasn't for him. 

     We've been working hard to try and strengthen the area. It's a possibility I'm leaving next week. If that's the case I'd like Guiren to be as strong as it can be before I leave. So pray that we'll have the energy to work as hard as possible and have success. 
     I know that we are lead by a living Prophet. As I've studied General Conference talks this week, I really have felt the power and significance of their words and teachings. I know that they speak to us as representatives of God. They will lead us back to him if we are willing to follow them.

Love ya all,

Elder Bean

week #68 Monday, June 23, 2014

Hey everyone,
This week was a good week. Last Monday some members made us a great dinner for Elder Faddis' Birthday. Then Tuesday I woke up not feeling amazing. I called Sister Blickenstaff because I wasn't sure if it was a fever or not. She was busy said she'd call back later. As we left the door we were on the road and as she called, we pulled over to the side of the road and as I was talking to her about my possible fever, Shi Dixiong came out (Guiren's Recent convert back in February) of 7/11. I motion for Elder Faddis to go and talk to him while I finished the phone call with Sister Blickenstaff and once I finished we go over and talk to him. And he said he'd be willing to meet. He's been unwilling to come to church or keep contact with us for over 4 months now, but something has softened his heart. I think we might finally be able to help him out. 
     Then Tuesday we meet with L. 弟兄(dixiong) and he was super willing to make the changes needed for baptism, he set up a time to do an interview and he passed!!!! His baptism is this saturday morning at 9 'o clock. I'm so happy for him. 
     We've been going and meeting with our investigators and helping them progress and get closer to the great waters of baptism. Luckily for us, all of them are willing and desire it. They just need to keep commitments AND COME TO CHURCH. Church is so important for an investigator to progress. Once they do come, they are a million times more receptive to spritual truths. Friday we went on exchanges with Dongqu elders. It was a fun exchange. I was w/ Elder Liu(本地人native) He's super fun to be with. It was weird being with a 本地人elder again because I got to work on my Chinese a lot more. I had fun. We had a great lesson with  Xia弟兄。 He's on his way towards baptism. He's scared of commitment but I'm sure he'll get there. Then Yesterday we met with  shi姐妹(jiemei=sister) She is so receptive and loving church. We met with her once 2 weeks ago. She committed to come to church. Has come twice since and is loving every minute of it. She has a baptismal goal now for July 27. So exciting. 
The work in Guiren is amazing. I'm loving going out everyday and finding, teaching and baptizing. Until next week, love you all.

Elder Bean

Saturday, June 21, 2014

week #67 Monday, June 15, 2014

Well another week older,

This week had a lot of highs and lows. Our investigator's are all starting to have some big concerns. I ask you all to pray for them. Elder Faddis and I have been trying really hard to help each and everyone of them. 
Of our three baptismal goal people, all of a sudden they have faced some different kind of concerns.  So If you can please pray for those people. I want to help them so much. But they need to do things for themselves. All we can do is support them in their righteous choices and keep testifying, trying to remind them why they want to work towards baptism. 
I'm starting to have to face the fact the day of change is coming. In 3 weeks there is a very good chance I'll be kicked out of Guiren. This is the exciting time of a mission. When you have plans and a deadline, that's when you push yourself. That's when a lot of the magic happens. I'm hoping we can do better on finding in these up coming weeks. We've been stood up too much. (it's been the beginning of typhoon season, so people don't like to meet around now)  A lot of our recent converts are doing well. 
I really do love the work. I love every second of it!

Elder Bean

week #66 Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey everyone,

It has been a great week, hasn't it?  So first we had ZTM (zone training meeting) on Tuesday. It was pretty good. We just talked about finding, and inviting people to be baptized. But had a really good practice. I really do enjoy ZTM's they help me have a lot more motivation to go and do. Also to go find, to go and teach, to go and help people be baptized. It just gets you pumped.

Wednesday, we had a good English class, we've officially separated, we have an advanced and a beginner's class. The students seem to really like it. Afterwards a guy who we've met before but didn't seem interested showed up. Bishop Yang and I met with him while Elder Faddis went and met with one of our progressing investigators. This brother has hit a rock bottom, but he still won't take what we have, he wants a quick solve answer and bishop told him that we don't have a quick solve procedure to solve all his problems. Bishop said when he comes again, just to share simple short messages that he can start taking one by one. While I was in that lesson, Elder Faddis successfully shared the 3rd lesson and word of wisdom with our investigator. Apparently it was a great lesson. I was super excited it went well. 

There was a really cool miracle the other day. So we were about to eat dinner and I asked Elder Faddis what he wanted, he lists some options, one of them being bread. I told him, I'd be down to go get bread if we went to the farther one out of our way. As we stepped in, the cashier lady was super  nervous that we didn't speak Chinese, but as we spoke to her in Chinese she was super curious. We told her about church and she said she'd be willing to come to church sometime. It's crazy how sometimes God works through our appetites. 

We met with the Bishop on Saturday, we talked a lot about the importance of reading the scriptures, he talked about all the RC's (recent converts) that have stayed or fallen away and the ones that stay are the ones that read their scriptures. So that day every LA (less active) we went and visited, we talked about reading scriptures daily. It really is an important thing. It's hard for people to develop that habit, but if they do, they will have a firm testimony. 

That was our week, glad to talk to you all.

Love ya,

Elder Bean

week #65 Monday, June 2, 2014

Hey everyone,

Another week has gone by. We started off the move call excited for the upcoming adventures and it's definitely looking good. Our new district is full of old friends. We have 4 from my generation (arrived in Taiwan on the same day), Elder Sumsion, Elder Gassman, and Sister Ahquin were all in Fengyuan together a year ago. Just a fun little reunion district. But on the way to DTM (district training meeting) Elder Faddis' bike's back tire popped, we are about 30 minute ride out of our area, so we have no idea where to go. Fortunately, the zone leaders were super willing to help out. We switched his bike for Elder Gassman's for the week. We raced back to find our investigator couldn't meet for another hour. But our lesson went great. That night we were able to help a family do FHE. Lately I've been trying to help all of our Less Active families, Part Member families do FHE. It's been fun, they seem to love it and all be willing to keep doing it, so we are excited. 
Wednesday we went up to Jiayi for a trainer followup meeting. We got to see all of his generation and the trainers again. We ate lunch with President Blickenstaff (see the mission blog). It was fun. Then we came back, had English Class, yep. 
Thursday was fun because we had a million people set up randomly. They called us up during studies and was like "hey can you meet today" and we were glad because we didn't have that much set up. 
Friday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders, I went to Dongqu while Elder Faddis led the area. I got to be with Elder Gassman who is in my generation he came on island with me. It was fun we saw a lot of miracles. Then I came back Saturday. super sore from the morning workout. Yesterday at church we had one of our investigators come to church for the first bit, he seemed to be doing ok. We are gonna have to work hard to help him be ready for baptism in the next month.
So we went to church yesterday and I realized that I forgot my suitcoat's nametag, so I took my white shirt name tag and put on the outer coat. Then later that day after dinner,  we were out in our secondary area and I look down to realize I wasn't wearing my name tag. Luckily we had a member who lived nearby she made me a makeshift name tag, sometime I'll send you pic. Also people sometimes call me "Dou dou xiansheng zhang lao" or Elder Mr. Bean.
This week I've been thinking a lot about how important it is to preach the gospel through the spirit, "Wherefore I the Lord ask you this question, unto what are ye ordained? To preach My gospel by the spirit; even the comforter , which was sent forth to teach the truth." (D&C 50:13-14) It's such an important part of our work. This last week while I'd be teaching, I'd stop and try and listen to the spirit and when I did that I'd have an inspired question come to me, or I'd notice something about the investigator that would help me know how to teach to their needs. It is amazing what we can do with the spirit and even more so, what we can't do without the spirit. 
I love you all, wish you all well. until next week,

with love,

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, May 26, 2014

week #64 Monday, May 26, 2014

Hey everyone,
Yet another move call has flown by. This week was awesome. Let's try and go through. Monday, we went and visited a part member family. We were able to help the kids be a little bit more excited to come to church. We have to try and get the dad to be willing to do stuff.
Tuesday we went on exchanges with the first ward elders. Elder Faddis lead the area with Elder Cao (a Taiwanese missionary)!!!! I was super worried, Elder Cao our district leader suggested the idea, he did awesome though. They didn't get lost, they had lot's of great lessons, they seemed to have fun. Elder Faddis is doing great. While he was there Elder Peterson and I went to Dongqu, and we contacted a ton, tracted, found a lot of willing people. It was fun to chuanjiao over there in the city. Sometimes I forget what it's like in a city. 
Wednesday: We had a huge monsoon hit us, it rained hard core all day. And the fun part was I didn't wear my raingear, Taiwanese all thought I was crazy, they were staring at me, soaked riding in the rain, showing up to lessons dripping head to toe. But it was way fun. Somehow, I've convinced Elder Faddis to emulate my poor rain preparedness example. So lately we've been going with no rain gear. Then we had our English party, we taught them ballroom, played an English game. Ya had a fun time.
Thursday....Sorry I can't remember and I don't have my planner with me. We had a ton of lessons that day I remember, but other than that........
Friday: We did weekly planning, went and visited some investigators and families. An investigator texted us because of the rain and said he didn't want to meet. (a lot of Taiwanese do that because they think it's courteous of them to not make us go to them in the rain, they don't understand we still have to be outside anyways) We explained it to him and he's like, oh, ok we can meet. Then he saw us soaked and he kept telling us we were crazy, we should have stayed inside. Oh the joys of monsoon season :). 
Saturday: sorry once again forget...........awkward...
Sunday, day of miracles: So we were at church and about 5 of the less active's we've been working with came to church yesterday. I was super excited, also our new investigator with a baptismal date also came. We were fed an amazing lunch (curry rice) then we studied, went and prepared for a fireside lead by us missionaries. We tried to help the ward know what they can do to overcome their fears of sharing the gospel. It was a great fireside. We had most of the active families there. Great show. 
Well this was the week, we're finding, teaching, preparing people to be baptized. It's all looking good. I'm loving the work, I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. I'm honored to be his Representative in this part of his vineyard. I love the work.
Elder Brandon Bean 

week #63 Monday, May 18, 2014

Dear Family,

Yet another week has raced by. We've been busy trying to help the area in a multitude of different ways. We've spent a lot of the week finding. We've seen a lot of success. I'm excited for the upcoming week. 
This week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  I felt like it helped me a ton. I was with Elder Sumsion.  He's so much fun to serve with. It was a blast, we went and taught, found, and talked a ton about what we can do to be better missionaries. There was a member in the ward that just invited her friend to hear more about the gospel. She was so excited it was a great. Showed how much it'll help members when they start sharing the gospel. They will feel a fire for the work.
This week is definitely one of those trial weeks. They come and they go. They make us work harder, look for alternates, but they test us. There is still lot's to learn, and the only way to learn some of these things is by failing. Sometimes we don't even know what kind of missionary we are until we are coming back home every night, exhausted, we talked to everyone we could about the gospel, and we are willing to get up and work again. God has had several of his prophets tested, hardened israelites, prideful kings, wicked judges. They were chased out, spit upon, even killed. But that didn't stop them, it didn't mean they were bad teachers, but it was God's test for them. I haven't been kicked out of Guiren, I haven't been spit upon, or tortured to death. Until that day I have no reason to back down. I know this church is true. I know Jesus Christ is everyone's redeemer, both westener and eastener's. I know God loves everyone on the earth and I am so blessed to be able to go find his children here in Guiren.

Love you all,
Elder Bean

week # 61 Monday, May 4, 2014

Hey Everyone,

So this week has flown by. We went on Assistant exchanges on  Tuesday. Elder Vandiford came with us. I think it was great for Elder Faddis. I feel like he's changed the way he does missionary work all because of that exchange. We saw a lot of miracles, a ton of people really willing to meet and talk with us. We also had a crazy experience. So we had a member who asked us if we could try meeting with her daughters friend, who was getting into some bad stuff. She said her parents don't really teach her a lot of good morals, so we agreed and the day before she set up, we got a call from the mom, apparently this girl had tried to commit suicide. She had gotten in a fight with her mom and had decided no one cared about her, in the end she didn't finish, a teacher found her, and the member who knew her, has been taking care of her, helping her more, and told us to prepare a lesson completely on how she's a daughter of God. We did just that, I was a little worried because it seemed she wasn't really listening to us. But there were a few moments in that lesson that I realized this was having an effect on her. One was the scripture we shared Alma 7:11-13, she actually payed very close attention to those words, then we gave her, her own Book of Mormon, she seemed to treasure it as we told her she could put her name in it. Then at the very end of the lessons we ended her and her friend (the members daughter went to the elevator and almost everyone was cleaning up and I stopped them and told her "Hey C, it was great to meet you, until next time" And I felt like the spirit helped her know that we weren't just here for that hour, but would be praying and wanting to help her even when she wasn't around. It was a really interesting experience.
Let's see saturday we baptized V, she did great. Her mom came, seemed to enjoy the baptismal service. After she was baptized V said to me "That was so much fun!" She said she felt clean, and is just so happy from it. She's loving life and seems like the ward is doing well about caring for her. 
We also had a great miracle last night This week we went to go find a potential investigators at their house, I thought we pulled up to it. We went to the door, knocked and a lady I didn't recognize came to the door. After talking to her, we discovered she was not the person we came to visit, but she was a former investigator from 2 years ago, and has interest in our church. It was an amazing miracle. 

Well I think that's all for this week love ya all wish you well.  - Elder Brandon Bean 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

week #60 Monday, April 28, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,
     Well it's been another week yet again. So we've had a pretty crazy week, busy filled with ups and downs. Let's try and talk about what happened. 
     So Elder Faddis and I have been really working on our language study plans this week. He's making plans to pass off the lesson's in Chinese, while he was making his plan, I made a plan for myself, I'm gonna try improving my ability to translate in meetings, videos, etc. It came up because I've realized I've had to translate a lot more recently and I'm not as talented at it. So I have some plans for the upcoming weeks.
     Wednesday came around and we were trying to help one of our investigator's get her interview so Elder Gassman came to our english class while Elder Faddis went up there. But our investigator didn't show up. So we called her up, she said she couldn't come...we tried explaining the zone leader was there, she talks to her parents and she says still can't come, but then she talks to parents more and says she could come after 8:30, she shows up finally at 9 o clock, but her dad came with her. At first we were really worried he would say he doesn't want her to be baptized but....he just had questions about her going to college outside of he was fine with her getting baptized and she passed her interview! So She'll be baptized this Saturday. 
     We rescued a Phillapeno member yesterday. He got a calling and everything, so we were pretty excited. All the members have been great at showing they care about him. They invited him to lunch and dinner yesterday. 
We had interviews this week, mine seemed to go fine. I've decided to switch over to the Chinese book of mormon, no more English. It's been going okay for the past week. 
     Cool! Well this week we had a really great expereince helping a family do FHE. At the end of it, it seemed that it wasn't that effective and we felt like we wasted the last hour of the week but last night before we went to bed we get a text from the mom telling us thank you so much for helping her do FHE, her son and she enjoyed it a lot, she said she hasn't been that happy in a while. It was really cool. Definitely glad we did it for that family, in fact I'll probably try and go and help more families do just that. 
     I know that our prophets are inspired of God, I know that they know how to help families have the most happiness. I love the church I love the family unit. I can't wait to go help more families find this joy. 

Until next week
Elder Bean

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

week #59 Monday, April 21, 2014

Well another week has flown by!
     Hey so this week was filled with miracles. We've been pretty busy, when you lose an hour and a half to studies (every day with a new missionary) you have to pick up the slack to do the same amount of work that you were doing beforehand. But it has been so great. This week we've been trying to help Elder Faddis work on the first lesson and how to begin teaching. It's been great, we've had a lot of practice. We started off the week by going to DTM (district training meeting), it was led by Elder Cao, I got to practice translating. Then after that we raced back to our area to find out we got stood up, 3 times that day, it was kinda a hard day. But Wednesday we went out and found a lot of success. We met with some investigators, RC's (recent converts), LA's (less actives). Even though Elder Faddis doesn't speak fluently, he's not letting that stop him from participating, I've had him lead lessons. He's done great. 
     As we were getting to the end of the week I was getting a little worried because we hadn't found any new investigator's. I was worried we would end the week with maybe 1 new investigator, but I didn't let that stop us. We went out, contacted, tracted, did what we could, then on Saturday night we tracted into an awesome family. It was such miracle. It was actually pretty crazy, started off pretty normal, *knock knock "Oh hello we are missionaries" "Sorry I'm a devout budhist" "That's ok" "I believe all churches are good" "we do too, we just want to help others learn more wisdom and truth" I gave her the family tract, it has a scripture, I invited her to read the scripture then she said "ok come in".  Her family was there and at first they didn't seem interested, but after we said a prayer, they were so interested, they were begging for more. It was soooooo cooool!!!!! Great miracle to help our companionship keep working hard. 
So Sunday was pretty great. Chen Jiemei got a calling, she's YSA rep, they also gave a calling to a LA (less active) we've been working with which means she's rescued. The ward had 70 people at church yesterday, so if we can keep this up, and get 10 more we'll have 80. We're so close!
     It's been a great week, even though yesterday Elder Faddis and I completely forgot it was Easter yesterday. We both got on our e-mails and we start reading and I looked at him, and I say sorry I forgot it was Easter yesterday, and he looks at me and says "I forgot too".  It's funny how that happens when your in a place where no one celebrates Resurrection day. Elder Faddis is super great about being diligent, he has been pushing and pushing to try and have success and yesterday he got 2 people to write down their numbers, he's great. Love working with him, even if he is picky and puts his nose up to all the dishes here in Taiwan.
     Well It's been a great week. I've really seen the amazing power of working on the Lord's errand. I've seen the blessing of serving, helping others. We are seeing miracles. Elder Faddis is an awesome missionary. I love the work.

Elder Bean

Monday, April 14, 2014

week #58 Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey everyone,
       Yet another week has passed and it's been filled with learning. Elder Lieske (from St. George) and I tried to end the move call by having as much happen as could be happening. We were handing out invitations to be baptized. Confirming people for church. Visiting as many people as we could. We had a great Zone Training Meeting to start off the week. Wednesday we did our English party, the theme was Jeopardy and they loved it. 
      Other than that, not a ton happened until Friday. So Friday morning we woke up early, headed to the train station in Tainan. Elder Handset and I went up to Taizhong to go pick up our new missionaries. We sat down, President talked to us a bit, then we got ready to meet the new missionaries. We greeted one (not knowing which one we were gonna be with) We grabbed one, greeted them and sat down. We sat through some training. President had us talk about preach my gospel, we watched some videos about how the companionship study would be. We discussed a bunch about what's coming up. Then they said it's time for the suprise (us trainers knew that they'd be picking who's going with who, but the new missionaries had no idea). They showed an introduction video of the mission to the new missionaries. It quoted a lot of talks about missionary work, it showed pictures from our mission of missionaries contacting, teaching, baptizing. As it was going on they showed some clips from the Dan Jones Activity they did the night before, as they're showing this montage it shows some clips of some of the missionaries contacting, as one of them got put on the screen, I felt a rush of spirit and I was like, "he might be my new missionary....maybe...well I don't know" Then they had the new missionaries take a red envelope and open it and read who was their trainer. Elder Faddis (the one I saw on the screen) got up and as he opened it I was already getting up. and sure enough He read off "Elder Bean, Guiren" I went and greeted him. We spent most of that day traveling, we met with an investigator in the evening. Then this Saturday and Sunday I watched conference for the most part, he was super jet lagged and had already seen conference, so he had some great Lehi Dream moments.;p
     Elder Lieske is headed to Qishan. Our district is changing quite a bit, Elder Gassman from my generation is coming down to be our zone leader, that'll be fun. Elder Faddis is from Sandy, Utah, graduated at Skyline. He's the youngest of 4. He has an older brother who served in Korea. He did tennis in high school, he's 18, He'll be turning 19 in June. He's the blonde one with glasses, I'm not sure if Sister Blickenstaff has put up pictures at all but...ya. 
So training has proven to have some challenges, like not having a companion who speaks a ton of chinese, hasn't used a phone before, never contacted someone before, however; we are seeing miracles. We are running into people who are prepared, some who want to buy the Book of Mormon from us because they see the value. Some who have been wondering their entire life why there are so many different churches and how to know which one is true. He's a great Elder, He's still a little jet lagged but I think he'll make a great adjustment once he gets the hang of it all. 
         Ya so all is going great. Elder Faddis is awesome, he's still a little shy and trying to get around the language barrier but I know he'll come around soon. 
        Well that's all, I love you all I loved conference, had some great talks. I know that President Monsen is our prophet, he leads and guides in these days.

Until next week,

Elder Bean

Sunday, April 6, 2014

week #57 Monday, April 7, 2014

So it's been another week. It's been crazy filled with miracles. First off on Monday, we went tracting, trying to find some investigator's, but we weren't having any luck. Then we just happened to run into a Philippino house. Had a lot of people from the Philippines (I obviously have no idea how to spell that). Well long story short, one of them came out and said "Elder, I've been looking for you" It was a Philippino that I ran into my first day in Guiren. He's a member who got to Taiwan the same day I got to Guiren, he's a return missionary, he'll be here for 2 years. He lost my number and he couldn't find the chapel, so we exchanged numbers, I told him to meet us at the McDonald's. Such a crazy miracle, I was so excited after that. 
Tuesday we went out met with one of our investigators who we haven't seen in a while, he's gonna be ok. Then after the lesson Elder Lieske went to grab something at a 7 as we were waiting there, my phone started ringing, I looked to see it was President Blickenstaff. I thought it was weird, then I thought, oh he might be coming to DtM today ok. I answered "Hello this is President Blickenstaff" "Hello this is Elder Bean from Guiren" "How have you been lately Elder Bean?" "Pretty good" "Well Elder Bean I was calling to let you know that you're going to be training this move call"......WHAT!!!! ya so I'm training. We had a DTM on talking with everyone, it was super fun. I felt like I was really able to help the other Elders and the sisters in our district, this week their new investigator's increased a lot. Elder Lieske keeps commenting on it. I focused on making sure to get a contact number and talking about baptism in a contact situation. I guess it worked. I went on exchanges that day with  Elder Cao. We saw some crazy awesome miracles including tracting into a family!!!! that was an awesome moment, the spirit was strong. I hope they continue investigating. 
Wednesday we started setting up for the Family History event that would be happening this week. We had a pretty good English class. Thursday we helped the Family History thing some more.... a lot of time this week was there, about 24 hours worth of time.....but it was fun. Friday we went to the train the trainers meeting. It was super great. First, it was fun to hang out with other missionaries for a bit. But also Elder Handset helped me set goals for training, and the meeting was a super relief. I feel so much more prepared than I did beforehand. Saturday we had 2 really great lessons with new investigator's both accepted a date to be baptized in May. Sunday we had a pretty busy schedule because all the members wanted to say bye to Elder Lieske. It's gonna be sad to see him leave here. We were doing great together, but I'm confident he'll do just as great in his next area. 
Well That's pretty much all for this week. Love ya all. I know the Lord prepares those whom he has called. I know that this work is going to keep growing. I know that the church is true and these moments are what's going to affect the rest of my life. I love my savior and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Elder Bean

week #56 Mon. March 30, 2014

Sweet so here's the low down for the week.

     So first off this week's Tuesday I led the DTM we talked about helping our investigator's rollover and continue progressing towards baptism. It was a really good day for me. I read and studied about how we can help our investigators. I figured there are 2 keys, they need to be more excited for baptism, we need to help them better understand how awesome and great it is. In order to do that we help them better understand that they really do want it. We need to help them see the blessings that come from the commandments they are living in order to help them continue to grow their faith. The other thing is we need to help them know what they need to do in order to hit there goal, so I challenged everyone in our district to better understand the commandments, help their investigator's see the blessings they are experiencing, and also to lay out what they need to be doing in order to receive baptism. It was a really good DTM. From listening to my own advice we've helped each of our baptismal candidates become more excited for baptism. 
     Our English class was super fun, Elder Lieske and I co-taught the lesson and we were just playing off of each other, we think everyone loved it. It was really good.  
     Friday we had that musical activity, I played All of me (John Schmidt), Elder Lieske sang I know my Redeemer lives. It was way fun, a lot of our investigator's came and enjoyed it. We are still getting comments about it. After the activity I did an interview for the Zone Leaders investigator and then Elder Handset and I went to his area for exchanges. It was way fun. We learned quite a bit. Then came back and Saturday Chen Jiemei got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a great baptism. Font was filled on time. She came ready. Great service, they told me right before I would be giving a I did, I shared about the first vision and how because it happned that night's baptism would be done with the proper authority. I think it went ok. Then after the baptism. Sister Chen shared her testimony and it was so professional. Her testimony was shared just like a talk, everyone was super impressed. Then after the service the Bishop asked if we knew we were giving talks in Sacrement meeting....NO we didn't. They told us that we'd be speaking for 15 minutes and to prepare it on Faith. So that's what we did. And after all the comments and the spirit was there, I think Elder Lieske and I did pretty good.
     Yesterday we saw a couple really cool miracles, but one that was amazing was we met with a guy we contacted on the street. After meeting with him and discussing the first we taught him how to do prayer, and we invited him to try it. As he did it, we felt the spirit and then he said "amen".  We opened our eyes and he just had the biggest smile, we asked him what he felt like and he responded "I...I feel like He heard my prayer" SAFDKAPOGHAPJVNSAPODI SUCH A COOL MIRACULOUS MOMENT!!!!!!! He's gonna be great, I'm excited to meet with him next week. Ya that was this week.

Well I gotta jet we're are hanging with the zone Leaders and the District, 

Love ya all!

Elder Brandon Bean

Saturday, March 29, 2014

week #55 Monday, March 23, 2014

Hey everyone,
     So shockingly, another week flew by. But that's not to say nothing happened this week, because it was filled with miracles and lots of growth. So first off, Tuesday we had zone conference with the Jiayi. It was so great. I got to see Elder Gummow again, he's doing great, rocking it up in douliu. At the meeting we discussed a ton, like the doctrine of Christ, the vision of the area presidency, we got new rules and clarifications. Something we also discussed that I want to implement more, is President Blickenstaff told us a bit about how talking about our families brings in the spirit. I want to start using that at the beginning of lessons by having them talk about their families more. Hope it will help. Then we had a meeting after with the district leaders and the mission president. It was really great, we discussed Baptismal interviews, exchanges, and a bunch of other things. In the end I was super pumped to go and do stuff, unfortunately we didn't get back until.....8:30, so we didn't get to use our energy that night. But the next day we had Elder Yang, one of the assistants with us, and it was a great day.
     We started off by meeting with Sister C, taught her a bit, made sure she was prepared for her interview and then she had an interview w/ Elder Yang and......SHE PASSED!!!! so she's gonna get baptized this Saturday night. woot woot!
We had a few other lessons that were both very chaotic, our peike's (investigators) were not on focus, and we just were not on game, it was pretty sad, but Elder Yang didn't judge us too hard (he's too nice, he doesn't judge). We had advanced english class that week. It was super fun. We also got one of our english students to come to church, so that's going great!
Thursday was crazy, we had a our apartment......So about 8:30 during personal study Elder Lieske says "well I gotta go to the bathroom" and then yells "Elder Bean, there's water everywhere!" I was pretty confused, so I came out and there was a huge puddle in our guitar room, changing room, and in front of the bathroom. We called our land lord and our office. They came and tried to fix it, but it was pretty all over the place. Most of everything was soaked (we had to use all our clothes, rags, and mop to try and soak up water, and it still didn't do the job, so we just built a wall of soaked clothes around the puddle so it wouldn't spread. Took up a ton of time Thursday. But it didn't distract the work too bad. 
We are looking to rescue quite a few of less actives, it's so exciting. I don't know what happened, but they are all changing their hearts. It's great! They're starting to read and pray daily, come to church, now we just have to help them receive a calling/assignment and they'll be set. Sometimes I feel less active saving is so much fun. I really hope it builds up the ward. I think we are seeing a revolution in the ward. 
     Sunday after church we had a lesson with that english student who also just happens to be a student of Chen Jiemei. She's super excited, loved church, has a ton of friends now, and already accpeted a date to be baptized. The works rolling. 
     Well I'm excited for this week. Thing's I'll be doing this week include but are not limited to another set of exchanges with the seconders. They've dropped a ton lately in their work and I've been asked to try and figure out what's going on, exchanges with the zone leaders, chen jiemei getting baptized, a musical concert our ward is putting on, oh ya and a ton of miracles. I know This is God's work, Elder Lieske and I constantly are amazed how we don't have the skills required, we lack in a ton of ability, but it just shows that we aren't the ones doing this work, it's all on the Lord. It reminds me about the scripture where the jews go to war and the leader is told to cut down their forces so that there is very very few present to fight. It helps them know the Lord is the one who won the war. I definitely feel right now the Lord is the one finding, teaching, and helping people prepare for baptism because for some reason  it's happening. 

I love the work and all of you,

Elder Bean