Just pics

May 15, 2017

I Skyped with my family for Mother’s Day yesterday, so there will be no email this week, just pics!

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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T minus 9 weeks

May 8, 2017

Last Monday we played with monkeys in Gaoxiong. How about those forearm muscles!

My first and second trainees together. #proudfather

This is a Buddhist monkey. Can you tell?

I’m also a monkey.

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

 

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T minus 10 weeks

May 1, 2017

Well ,we’re going down to Gaoxiong today to hike a mountain and play with monkeys, so I don’t have too much time.

On Monday all the missionaries in Tainan went to the stake center and played some good basketball and badminton. I think I’ve decided that I’m gonna play some competitive badminton when I get home!

On Tuesday we just had a regular day of proselyting. We met with a couple of our progressing investigators.

Wednesday was our zone conference. We caught an early train up to Chiayi to make it to the building by 10! The conference was great. A few missionaries gave their farewell testimonies which was weird because I was in the MTC while they were there. After zone conference a member took Elder Jensen, his companion and me and my companion to “The Freen on the Hill.” It’s a delicious hamburger joint. I got the “River of Cheese Burger” and a mango smoothie. Probably one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had in Taiwan. On the train home that night this guy self-contacted us and we taught him the first lesson then referred him to the missionaries in his area. It was a great experience.

On Thursday we went to a college in our area and taught an English class! It went super well. The Taiwanese college-ages girls love to chat with us and it made me a little uncomfortable to be honest. They didn’t even care that I have rice cheeks.

Friday was weekly planning, so that took up a lot of the day. Haha.

Saturday: There is this super cool member named Amy in our ward. She is a returned missionary, so she treats us super well. She fed us at this super fancy Thai restaurant two weeks ago so I thought this time would definitely be a step down. I was wrong. She took us to a Brazilian-style steak house. It was definitely the best steak I’ve ever had in Taiwan and one of the best I’ve had in my life. Good day. We also biked over 50 miles on Saturday running from lesson to lesson. If I haven’t said it before, we bike a lot in this area.

Sunday: It was a good Sabbath.

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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T minus 11 weeks

April 24, 2017

Today I am so trunky, not because I really miss home or anything, but because in 11 weeks I’ll never have to send another weekly email home again.

This week was much less exhausting than last. I’m finally getting a grasp on our area. Most areas in the mission consist of a primary proselyting area and some secondary areas. Our area is like 12 secondary areas but no primary area. It’s honestly pretty fun. Lots of biking is all.

The ward here loves to feed us. They fed us Thai food on Saturday. It was delicious. It was the equivalent of $40/person (US) which is super expensive for Taiwan. It was some of the best food I’ve had in Taiwan. Still, the ward needs to 加油 in some other areas.

We have an investigator right now that loves us. He fed us four times last week and is feeding us at least once this week. I’m not sure how much interest in the gospel he has, but his wife has a ton so that’s great. Free food, amirite?

We honestly have a ton of investigators right now, but none of them are really progressing. Please pray some to start progressing.

This week I discovered that Romans 12 is one of my favorite chapters of scripture. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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Back in Tainan

April 17, 2017

I was still in Daya for the first part of the week, and in a trio with Elder Poon and Elder Vainuku. That was a blast. I realized that a lot of Asians can’t tell the difference between black people and Polynesians so they all think that Elder Vainuku is right out of Africa. We had lots of fun with that.

I’m going to miss Daya. I was there for more than seven months. It has a special place in my heart, but it was definitely time to leave.

So I’m in a new area with a new companion! I went to the mission office on Thursday and was assigned my new companion. I’ll be training Elder Thorup from West Valley, Utah. He’s a super cool guy, and we’ll have fun together.

My new area is pretty nuts. It’s a 35-40 minute bike ride to get from our apartment to an area where we can proselyte. We proselyte primarily in Annan and Xinshi, but it takes more than hour to get from one to another. We’ll be biking two to three hours a day just to get from area to area. I think that’s payback for how convenient all my other areas on my mission have been.

The missionaries that were here before us left a huge amount of investigators; more than 20. We’re praying that some of them will be good! Haha.

The ward is small, but pretty cool. They love to feed the missionaries which is good! On Saturday we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with members. All the members seem surprised that we’re willing to bike an hour or so just to meet with them. It’ll definitely be a process.

Today we plan on going to my favorite buffet in Taiwan. It’s called Ninja and has all you can eat Haagen-Dazs ice cream. I’m gonna eat so much ice cream!

Well, that’s all I have to report this time, sorry. I promise that I’ll take tons of pictures next week. Our area is pretty cool.

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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Leaving Daya

April 11, 2017

Well, I’m leaving Daya! President Teh texted me on Saturday evening to let me know that I will be white-wash training for the last two transfers of my mission. I’m not gonna lie, I had no desire to train again, but it’s not common in our mission to train more than once so I’m grateful for the opportunity. The cool thing is that I’ll be in a new ward in Tainan. Part of that ward’s boundaries was taken from my first area’s boundaries, so in a way I get to start and finish in the same spot!

I don’t pick up my new companion until Thursday, so I’ll stay with Elder Poon and his new companion until then. I’ll spend all day on Thursday picking him up and traveling to Tainan. Our train arrives at Tainan at 9:20 p.m., and I’ve arranged for a member to take us to our apartment. That’s when the fun begins. I’ll be responsible for getting around a new area, training a new missionary, moving us into a new apartment, doing missionary work, and meeting the members. I’ve always told myself that mission is a stress-free time of my life, but I’m getting a little stressed. Haha.

This week was a fun one but it was hard to say goodbye to all the members in Daya this week. I will miss those people a ton.

We also got to watch General Conference! I loved it. I felt that one of the over-arching themes of the conference was charity. I feel like Moroni and Paul’s sermons were quoted about 10 times. Charity is greatly important.

I found out that I’m going to be in a Taiwan Mormon Message which is cool. There’s a guy in our ward that has a cool conversion story. I was asked to play the role of the missionaries that taught him. NICE. I don’t do signatures though.

Well, I don’t have much time today; we have to go pick up Elder Poon’s new companion. Love you all!

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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Met an “apostle”

April 3, 2017

Well, this week was a blast right from the start.

On Monday we played basketball with about 20 other missionaries. For some reason we have a mission full of really good ballers, so I’ve gotten way better since I’ve been out on the mission. That was fun. Our chapel here in Daya has a basketball court, so we love playing here.

I went on exchanges both on Tuesday and Friday. It was pretty funny to see the contrast between the two days. I exchanged with one of the Aps on went on Tuesday. His name is Elder Parker. He’s from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and is a professional model. Haha. He was actually in the San Andreas movie with The Rock. He goes home in a week so we had lots of work done together. Despite everything, he is super humble. I learned a ton from him.

On Friday I was with Elder Barney. He’s still in the first transfer of his mission. He has the faith of a new missionary and I learned a lot from him. Being with him made me realize how far I’ve come with the language. Elder Barney struggled to recite the first lesson, and Elder Parker and I were talking to one of our investigators about weird Buddhist rituals. #giftoftongues

Funny story, Elder Barney and I ran into an “apostle”. It was a woman so you should know right up front that she isn’t one of our Apostles. She belongs to a church here in Taiwan called “The New Testament Church (NTC) & Mount Zion.” It’s a curious blend of Pentacostal Protestism and Chinese religiosity. Led by Elijah Hong, “God’s Chosen Prophet,” they believe that God has forsaken Mount Zion in Israel for the new Mount Zion (really just a hill) here in Taiwan. They have several hundred followers.

Anyway, she approached me and explained that she is one of the two Apostles from Revelations 11 that will slain in the streets of Jerusalem. I was trying to keep a straight face while translating what she was saying for Elder Barney. I have to admit that she kinda knew her stuff. Playing along, I said, “Well, if you’re going to Israel then the Second Coming must be soon!” She responded, “The bible says that nobody knows when the Second Coming is, silly. I don’t know when it will be.” She told me that she had been called to Australia to preach the gospel for now and that she needs money to get there. I told her that I had been called to Taiwan to preach the gospel and that I wasn’t in a position to help her financially. So that was the end of our conversation.

Elder Poon and I realized this week that we both have learned to be happy no matter what is going on in the mission. It was then that I blurted out: “A thumbs down is a thumbs up if you’re upside-down.” Happiness, save cases of mental illness, is honestly all about perspective. Luckily, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ we should have really good perspective, an eternal, Christ-centered perspective. We should be full of hope and happy!

This week Elder Poon and I decided to take pictures of all the food we ate. The photos prove that we eat like kings!

I’ve been studying a lot about repentance lately. I realized as I was talking to a person of a different religion that the idea of complete forgiveness of sins is something unique to Christianity. Repentance is full of joy and truth. People in Taiwan love to say, “All religions are the same. They lead to do good and that’s good enough.” While that’s partly true, the message of Jesus Christ is different. The teachings of Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad may make us better, but only the Atonement of Jesus Christ can bring true forgiveness.

Love you all!

穆長老

Elder Sam Moody

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