Friday, December 28, 2012

SHANGDAN KUAILE!!! (I'm sure you can all guess what this means given the date :)) (Shannon here: We received this on Christmas Evening. But are just posting it now.)

Okay so let me set this up by saying that since Christmas fell on P-day I actually have ZERO time for letters and EVERY missionary has been given 20min to do their emails so I actually have less time then usual. SORRY! So let me quickly get a few things out before I start the REAL good email :)

Okay I KNOW ELDER NOLL!  (Shannon here: I found a few blogs by families whose sons or daughters are serving in Taichung. Elder Noll’s was among them.) He is so cool! A truly amazing missionary! Would I be able to get little updates now and then from his blog? :)

Also we had to go in awhile ago to get our Visa form checked out...and as I was looking over it everything looked fine till I saw it...BAM! Female was marked in all black! RAWR! So this wasn't my mess up either, this is what the mission house had done! Really...ELDER Gish...Female? I am sure you can just see how that I will never live that down here! Oh well haha, it really is fun and amazing here! I am so glad to be a part of this amazing work!

Okay next, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I won't tell everyone your age don't worry!...but I'll give a hint...she looks 27 right?...well she is a little fact, she went to school with Joseph Smith Senior! Can you guess now? ;) Haha, i'm KWX (kai wan xiao...just kidding in Chinese) I love you Mom and I hope you have a WONDERFUL day! You deserve it for having to put up with me these last 19 years! I know for a fact my parents are both going STRAIGHT to the Celestial Kingdom for that! :)

Also you have been asking me for my schedule a lot! Sorry I keep forgetting! Here is the basic Rundown!

Wake up every day at 6:30 and be ready and out by 7 to be at Breakfast by 7:20 (Except P-day, then we get a sack breakfast around 6:50)

MWF: Personal Study from 7:50-8:50 and then an Additional Study time until 9:20 and Gym time starts at 9:30. Gym is from 9:30 to 10:20 and I usually play Basketball or Volley ball with elders that played those sports in high school! It is TONS of fun! Then we have time to get ready again and Then from 11:00-12:00 is Personal study time on Monday, a Workshop on Tuesdays, and Tall lab (language study) on Fridays. We have a personal study on Monday because during the usual study time we do service on Monday! Then Lunch is at 12! Language study is after that from 12:45 to 1:45. Classroom time is 2-5 and that's language and gospel study! Dinner is at 5 and then MORE class from 5:45-8:45! Then we have planning 9-9:30. Prepare for bed and be IN BED at 10:30! :)

T: P-DAY! Early Breakfast then Laundry at 9:20 then Personal Study from 11-12, Lunch (Sack) at 12. Temple time from 1:45-3:45 Usually goes over till 4. Then Personal time (Write letters and Email usually) That goes till 5. Then Dinner and then TALL (Language) from 5:45-6:45. Devotional from 7-8 and District Meeting from 8-9 Then Planning and Bed!

Th: Breakfast 7:20 and from 7:50-10:50 Is class11-12 is Personal Study time. Then Lunch! More language study from 12:45-1:45. Then Class from 2-5 then a break for Dinner and more TALL from 5:45-6:45. Then Gym from 7:05 to 7:55. After we have to get ready and do some Additional Study till 9:00 Finally Planning and Bed!

Sat: Sat is EXACTLY like Thursday EXCEPT we have TRC in the morning in stead of class! TRC is where we teach members and real investigators in Chinese! AHHH soooo funN!!!!

Sun: Breakfast at 7:20. Priesthood from 9:10-10. Lunch is 11:30 to 12:15. 12:30-1:30 is Sacrament and after is District Meeting from 1:45-2:45. Dinner is at 5 and then Personal Study from 5:45-6:30. We have a fireside from 7-8 and a talk/movie from 8-9. Then Planning and Bed! Anything on Sunday that is not scheduled time is for additional study so it can be language, personal or companion!!

As a Side note we got to welcome in the New Elders this week! We got the FIRST 18 year old elders and 19 year old sisters this week! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! THIS WORK REALLY IS AMAZING!!!!!! But it made me think about Dad and dropping me off...I might have gotten a little teary trying to help these elders and their families find comfort in the fact that their son is serving GOD :). It really was amazing!

I just came back from a devotional where we were privileged to hear from an apostle of the Lord Elder Russel M Nelson! What an amazing man! We also heard from his wife! She is amazing, what a powerful duo! :) I don't have much time but I would like to share a little thought from each of them!

Sister Nelson: The Lord does not have a sleigh full of gifts for has entire galaxies full of gifts and blessings for each of us!

Elder Nelson: We are imperfect, but God, his words, his plan IS perfect. We will share his word and his plan! We are his children! BECOME PERFECTED IN CHRIST.

I know it isn't much...but truly ponder those words. They have great a glacier. It is large alone on top...but just look under and see the truly MAGNIFICENT blessing. :)

Now with what little time I have remaining I would like to share my thoughts on the Atonement. I shared a little last week because I wasn't sure if I would be allowed to email today. But since I am, let me just tell everyone who is able to read this or hear these words...I know that Jesus Christ came down to this Earth, he was born as a little child. He condescended from supreme creator to just a little child. Like us he learned to walk, talk, and work. He struggled, felt pain, sorrow but he never once gave in. He lived his life perfectly for us! He never messed up that we, his brothers and sisters would have a chance to be saved. And even through the struggle of living an absolutely perfect life, even after that he gave his life freely for us. He suffered pains that are unimaginable, he was tortured and crucified for us. He gave everything for us. He then, for us again, conquered death, he was resurrected and defeated death. Now he is a perfected and glorified being. He is my savior and my redeemer. I know that he lives. I know that he loves me, I know that he loves each of you, your family, your friends. No matter what has happened or what will happen, he loves you and he will continue to do so. He will always root for you, love you, carry you, pick you up. He is Jesus the Christ, my master. I am now serving a mission in Taiwan for not only my Heavenly Father, but for Jesus Christ. I will forever serve and love him. I pray that anyone who reads this will be able to come to a knowledge of this truth as I have. If you have not, I challenge you to PLEASE read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. I KNOW you will get your answer. He will not let you go without, because he has promised you that he will tell you. And God will not lie.  If you have read this treasure than please, especially in the joy of this season share it with someone. This message literally saves lives and rescues souls. As Children of God should we not love our brothers and sisters unconditionally? Nothing should ever come between us and our fellow children of God. They need this message, don't cover it up....let your light so shine! :)

I love you all and I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas!

I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Shengdanjie Kuaile! (Merry Christmas!!)  I love the translation for Merry Christmas in Chinese! It means “Happy Birth of Christ Festival!” How great is that!?

Well we have now passed the half way point! 7 weeks in and 5 more to go! I can't wait to get out to teach! However, the older generation that was AMAZING at Chinese wrote the districts and told us how even THEY couldn't understand anything that was being said! AHHH I guess there really is a difference between MTC Chinese and real Chinese haha. I guess all I can do now is work hard enough to qualify for the gift of tongues and then just pray for help!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support! It is so nice to get Christmas cards and the happy thoughts! I really, really appreciate it!


So I heard a cool story recently that I want to share. It is obviously a Christmas story. I will summarize it for you all so that it doesn't take TOO long.

There was this little girl in her Kindergarten class and her and all of her classmates decided to put together a fun little play where at the end they would all hold up a letter and the letters would spell out C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. L.O.V.E. They practiced and practiced and finally it came to the night when it was time to perform for the school and all the parents! Everyone was nervous and worried about doing their best. Finally it came to the end of the performance and the kids one by one started to hold up their letters to the music. The little girl I mentioned earlier was in charge of the M. But the poor little girl looked at her M and held it up when it was her turn....she didn't know but she was holding it upside down. A few parents laughed and looked at the cute girl sympathetically and a few of the school kids just laughed and pointed at her. The poor girl didn't know why everyone was laughing so she stood tall and held her letter up big and tall. She held it up and put on a big smile. And finally it was the last letter, the E....and a hush fell over the crowd. Everyone, seemingly, all at once saw what had happened. The letters now spelled. C.H.R.I.S.T. W.A.S. L.O.V.E. Everyone smiled and clapped and realized what Christmas was really about. The sign spelled Christ Was Love...and that is so wonderful, however, we know that Christ IS Love and will always be.

I just thought that was a really neat story and I hope you all enjoyed it!

I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and bear my testimony to you all:

I know that Jesus Christ was born and came down to Earth in order to save us. Heavenly Father loved us so much that he gave us his beloved Son. For us all Jesus Christ suffered and gave his life. Through Him we can and will return to live for eternity with all our loved ones. I know that we can be relieved of our guilt and burdens through Jesus Christ. An all powerful creator of all came down and was born as an innocent Child, lived, felt pain, temptation, and all manner of afflictions and still remained perfect so that He could give us the greatest gift of all. I love Heavenly Father and I love Jesus Christ. I am out on this mission right now because I KNOW that these things are true. I am weak and Christ has made me strong. I know that I am nothing without my God and so I thank Him for every day, for every breath. Not only has He given me all of that but He has given me the BEST family and the greatest friends. Thank you all so much! Please, I ask everyone to remember Christ, remember him everyday but ESPECIALLY this next week. He loves you and has given all for you. I know that these things are true and I know that because They love us They gave us a second witness of Jesus Christ and that is the Book of Mormon, I know that this special Book is true. I testify of these things as a representative of Jesus Christ himself and in his name. Amen.

Please remember why we are even able to celebrate Christmas and why we do it :)


So here is a quick update, we got ANOTHER new investigator! We are busy like CRAZY preparing for our 4 and possibly 5 or even 6 investigators! But what is amazing, is that as I feel I have no time for myself, is when I discover the greatest truths. Truths that I needed to learn. It really is amazing. One thing I have learned comes from a sweet quote that my teacher told us, "we don't teach to the investigators interests, we teach to their needs in a way that interests them!" How amazing and true is that? I have found that as I choose to view everyone as a child of God and as I try to see their Eternal potential, I find that it is easier to love them and find their needs and then help them!


Nothing is too different this week, except tomorrow we will get to host and bring in the new elders! WOOHOO!! That will be so fun and great! Except it is gonna be freezing with all this snow...we will just have to stand out there and wait! But it will be worth it to be able to make the first MTC experience the best it can be!

I expect letters from my Fam! Especially you Chase and Gage! ;)

I love you all and hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas!
Ge ZhangLao

P.S. My arm is still undecided, but it should be good, thank you for your prayers and please don't worry, I trust that whatever happens, the Lord knows whats best and I will let him do with me whatever he chooses.

P.S.S. Hey mom do you think you could find a Chinese Hymn Book for me? A small one? And could I have Chris Gish's address? Thank you so much! I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Hey!!! So I finally found a way to attach pictures! But I have to be in the laundry room so it is kinda weird and I can only send about 3 or 4 at a time! So hopefully I will be able to send more later! But this should be good for now! I think the first one is Elder Green and I on our first day, the last one is of the Elders in the District and one of our district presidency members who is a native speaker so having him around is REALLY nice! The one with the white bags....well that is about the incident a few emails ago...thats the Taichung missionaries. {Shannon here: Don’t worry if you don’t see that one, I don’t think it got attached.}


Okay so this week was actually a little boring, but I learned a lot still! Now we are on week 6, it is hard to not just get into a groove and let it ride. However, Elder Green keeps me in line so we are doing well! And just so everyone knows, I don't remember talking about my arm in the last email, but if I did here is the scoop. There is a POSSIBILITY they will have to take out the screws in the arm (they can't take out the plate without re-breaking the arm). I am doing everything I can to make sure that DOESN'T happen though! I love the MTC but an extended stay here (or a possibility of having to go home for it....) would KILL ME. I just want to serve the Lord and get out and teach! But it is really unlikely that will happen, I will know by the end of this week what is going to happen so I will probably be able to give the final word next email. Your prayers are felt and appreciated so thank you! Yet as a missionary I have been so blessed and there are so many missionaries that need prayers so much more than just my companion...having to deal with me 24/7...GEESH what could be harder!? ;)

I am finally at the point with my Chinese where I am comfortable speaking 24/7 which is really nice! A lot of elders still want to speak English a lot and it is really really annoying, but sometimes I just need to humble myself and speak English to make sure that we understand each other 100%. The older generation just left so next week we will be getting new Elders and Sisters for our zone! It is going to be really exciting and it is amazing how time goes by! It is so true that the Days seem like Weeks and the Weeks seem like Days!


So the update on the investigators! We got a new young man named Joe, he is really difficult...but it is so easy to see his potential and I really care about him. I know he feels the spirit and we will continue to work with him and prepare him! The other two that we have had (Dai and Wei) are both committed to be baptized on the 1st of January! They both know that our message is true! We would baptize them next week if we were able to finish teaching them this week! But because we are teaching in Chinese....I think it will take a good 3 weeks to get through it all, the language barrier is tough. What is tough is that we have a pretty set vocabulary and if someone says even one word wrong it throws it all off...Here is a pretty funny example. So I was teaching Dai about the Holy Ghost and she was explaining to me how she thought she felt the Holy Ghost and it was such a great answer! I wanted to add a second witness so I showed her the Scripture in D&C 8 about how you will know it in your mind and in your heart. So I opened up the D&C in Chinese (all characters) I forgot exactly what verses but 6 and 7 sounded right so I had her read verses 6 and 7....I heard a few familiar words about gifts so I thought I had gotten the right scripture! I was excited and I asked her how she felt and how she thought this applied to her and her last answer...She just looked so confused and said that she had no idea and kept asking me what Yalun de Enci was. Well I had NO IDEA...I thought maybe it was how the scripture had talked about the Holy Ghost so I ALMOST told her it was the Holy Ghost. THANK GOODNESS I DIDN'T! I told her that I wasn't so sure and she understood when I told her I would go translate it and next time we met I would be able to explain it to her more. I was really confused though about how she didn't understand the scripture! So after I went back and looked in my scriptures and Bam....there it was...I should have had her read verses 2 and 3! Verses 6 and 7 are about the Gifts of Aaron and the Priesthood and how she can receive it!...SHOOOOOTTT!!!! I am going to have to fix this this week....ughhhh, but its okay. I am sure she will understand! We are FOR SURE not perfect teachers!

Don't quote me on those verses but I am pretty sure it is REALLY close to that.  So that gave our district some good laughs!

Here is another one that ALMOST happened, thank goodness it didn't. 1st Nephi 3:7 and 3rd Nephi 3:7. Don't get those mixed up! Just read them haha....after you read 1st Nehpi 3:7 it is usually a good spot to make the baptismal challenge! haha....just think about that! :)image 
















Thank you so much for all of the support! You are all so amazing!
Read your scriptures, Pray, and live like a child of God!
Elder Gish!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nimen Hao!

So first I want to know how everyone did on sharing the gospel!? Any amazing experiences or anything!? You can always Dearelder me :).

So this week has been powerful spiritually...but really...thats how it should always be, so be ready to read that fairly often! I want to take this time to openly thank my family. First of all I want to thank Papa Jim for the amazing example of faith he expressed to me. He truly was incredible. I have often brought him up in order to invite the Spirit and to share my testimony of the power and importance of the Book of Mormon! I am so grateful for my wonderful Brothers and my Dad what righteous priesthood holders (and to be - for you Gageroo :)). I could have never asked for anything greater. I want to take some time to focus on my Mom...I love you so much…. I could not imagine my world without my mom. I love you Mom. And Heavenly Father loves you, He has given you gifts that I have never seen in anyone else. You really are incredible Mom. I am very very lucky. Please don't worry about me. The Savior has more than provided for me. His Atonement has done so much more for me than I ever could have asked and I know that all will be okay through that.  {Shannon here –: Elder Gish has been having trouble with the arm that he broke when he was 13. It might be all the P-day Volleyball  games with his new Tongan Brothers –see previous post for explanation. We’re waiting to hear if corrective surgery is needed before leaving for Taiwan.}

Okay so I want to leave everyone ANOTHER challenge! This is one that I hope everyone is already doing but if not then it's time to start! READ THE BOOK OF MORMON! Just dive in! I promise that the second you open the book with a sincere heart and pure desires, your mind will be filled and the blessings of heaven will pour out onto you! It truly is an amazing book, a book of God. I understand how tough it can be at times to read...well...I have experienced that BUT I don't understand it. Now the Book of Mormon has become a part of me and I can't imagine going a day without reading from it! Please, please read the Book of Mormon. I could not and never will be able to stress the importance of the Book of Mormon!

So here is a small testimony just so everyone can know that YES the Lord takes care of his servants! (There is no way I would ever be able to speak like this without the Lords help!) Wo zhidao zhege jiaohui shi zhenshide. Yuese Sime kanjian YeSuJiDu he Tian Fu. Touguo YueSe Sime YeSuJiDu fuxin ta de fuyin. Ta cigei women Mo'ermenjing. Zheduan shu de jingwen hui bangzhu women huida women de wenti. Wo zhidao YeSuJiDu huozhe. Wo renshi Tian Fu he YeSuJiDu ai women, Ta ai Ta de haizi. Women shi Shen de haizi. Zhege xinxi shi zhenshide. Nimen keyi wen Shen he ta hui huida nimen. Ni xuyao zuo qidao. Ni xuyao meitian wansheng zuo qidao! Wo ai women do Shen. Wo hui dui Ta fuwu. Feng YeSuJiDu de ming, A'men.

I love you all and hope that you can feel God's love for you.

God be with you!

Ge Zhang Lao

P.S. The Shengling (Holy Ghost) is so important in all of our lives! Invite him zai sui shi sui di (in all times and in all places.)