Monday, July 29, 2013

"Gish...I have a story for you!"


Do you remember that line? I should have put it in my last email or
the one before that? It is from our amazing investigator Philip! Well
guess what? HE GOT BAPTIZED!! Oh man he is so good! He even called
himself a 傳教士 (Missionary). Oh it was so awesome! He is amazing and we
all agree we can see him being a bishop here one day!! I am excited to
see him progress in the gospel!

So as a good little shout out...I read a scripture that reminded me of
my mom! It was in Proverbs it...YES MY MOM IS
PRICELESS! She is so incredible! She is wonderful! I love her so much
and I am so lucky to be her son! I have learned so much from her and
for those of you that know her I know that you know how incredible she
is! She is absolutely the most amazing woman! She REALLY IS AN
ANGEL!!! :)

So sorry if my thoughts seem a little scattered this email...if they
seem a bit scattered it's because...well they are scattered...hahaha.
But that is okay I can try to bring it all back in. There has just
been a lot going on! The district seems to be struggling a little bit.
I am not really sure what it is...Everyone seems to be getting
offended really easily. I try my hardest to keep everything chill and
good, but some people just get offended and don't back down. So there
is some tension between some of the members of the district. It just
makes me think about how it is so important to be humble as a
missionary (or as a person haha) because without it we lose the spirit
and with out the spirit we can't represent Christ which means we CAN
NOT teach his gospel and do his work! (I know what you are
thinking...Elder Gish?....talking about being humble!? haha, well
while it may not be my BIGGEST strength, it is something I am working
on and hope to be able to accomplish out here! At least I recognize
the importance! :) haha)You know one thing that I also learned that I
love and that I heard from my mission president is the line "champion
horses do not look at other horses." While YES it is great and
important to have role-models and to have goals and such, we shouldn't
be constantly comparing ourselves to others. We are each our own
individual person with our own individual story. We really have no
place to judge or put others down. There are missionaries and members
that I know that have had rough pasts that are now some of my best
friends! They are amazing people, if people could just see the good in would change so much. I don't know why some people SEARCH
for the bad...thats like being in a cave without a light and trying to
go to darker and darker parts of the cave! It makes no sense. The
light is what leads us and will bring us joy. If we are with others
and have negative attitudes toward them and see all this bad in
them...well...think about it. No wonder we don't get along, we just
keep going deeper and deeper into the dark parts. Now if we can take a
second to just look at the lighter sides and go THAT way. We might
find out that they really are great people!...I should probably get
off this horse now haha, but anyways...long story short...just love
people and look for the good over the bad! It REALLY will make
everything so much happier! :)

So two other really cool things happened this week! We had Assistant
Exchanges and a Zone conference (where a bunch of missionaries get
together to receive training from the mission president!). It was
incredible! First off I got ANOTHER confirmation that President
Blickenstaff really was sent here for a reason and was sent here to
help us! I am so excited to serve under him! The other cool part of it
was that I got to see so many missionaries that I knew and missed so
bad like Elder Miller! It was awesome! He and Elder Stark both gave
their Reflections (last talk as a missionary). Sad day....but I know
that they are going to do awesome things back in America when they

So the other cool thing, Assistant Exchanges. I think you all probably
know, but my trainer went assistant after training me. He really is a
good guy. So anyways he came back down with me and we went out again
just like the old days! It was really amazing to see the growth I have
had from the time I got here until right now! There have been a lot of
changes and pretty much all for the good :) It was nice and fun! (No
pictures of it though since it wasn't on P-day :(..)

As my last comment I just want to reinforce in everybody's mind the
importance of attitude. I have kind of been on this train this email
haha so I am sorry but it really is something that is getting at me
lately..(I think I need to check my attitude ;)) haha. But
we all remember what Thumper says?..."If you don't have anything nice
to say....then don't say anything at all" I remember that hitting me
as a kid and thinking...what?...don't say ANYTHING...well YES don't
say ANYTHING. It is so incredible what a nice good word will do for
people and it is amazing what a hurtful phrase can do to
for the VERY GOOD and one for the VERY BAD. Now of course I am not
perfect, I have been out here and had moments where I get too heated
and turn and say something that I regret...but that is the thing...I
regret it. I have never once in my whole life regretted saying
something nice to matter what the situation is. When we
respond lovingly and in a kind way or "showing forth and increase of
love to him whom we have reproved" (D:C 121) we can really see and
feel the light of Christ in us. So now the question is...what are you
going to do?...If you don't immediately think of something that you
want to do this week then please allow me to invite you to go out and
find someone...anyone..and just say something really kind and loving
to them. Try this week to not say anything negative about anyone or
any situation...just see how much 'light' it will bring into your

My mom (that amazing angel!) Sent me a letter recently that touched on
the importance of obedience. Let me tell you future missionaries,
young missionaries, about to go home missionaries...even return
missionaries...obedience is key and is SO important! I can honestly
say that when I am obedient I am happy, when I am not obedient I am really is just that simple..would you rather be happy or sad.
:) Be obedient and remember to shine bright! :)
Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao

AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I sure miss that guy!




Monday, July 22, 2013

Yes...I really am on an island

For those of you who are wondering...yes Taiwan is an island. For
those of you who are wondering where is Taiwan? If you pull out a
microscope you can see it on a globe below Japan! :)...(I learned
today some globes don't even have Taiwan...oh goodness haha) My
companion and I got to bike down to the Beach last P-Day and play
around by the coast! It was a lot of fun!

So questions/comments...then
bad news...then good news..then best news okay? :)

~Where the heck is my Cousin Zach? I haven't heard from him
long have I been out?....8months!? :) haha
~It is hard to play the alphabet game here....
~Elder Wong....our fearless zone leader is leaving us and i'm sad
haha. He really is awesome and I wish I had more time to learn from
him but now he is off to bless the lives of other missionaries :)
~I DID eat at a vegetarian restaurant this week...that was an experience haha.

Bad news:
Our baptism got canceled....what!?

Good News:
~Baptism is still on!! :)

Yeah...well the ward thought that having it
on Friday would no be good because some people might not have gotten a
chance to hear about it..from SUNDAY till they decided
to have it this upcoming Saturday instead. Which I guess is good
because they announced it in church which made Philip feel good :) So
its all good I guess :)

~I may have found a new favorite scripture in Alma! [26:22 Yea, he
that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works,
and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know
the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal
things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto
such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been
given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.]

Is that not amazing? This is going to lead me into the BEST NEWS
THE SCRIPTURES ARE TRUE! :) I was having a bit of a down moment when I
have across this scripture and I just thought..holy moly...this is
EXACTLY what I need to do because this is EXACTLY what I want to
happen! :) I was just like..." THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER!" (That is a
habit I got from my wonderful mom..Thanking God for things that others
would think is just a coincidence or is just a nice random thought :))

There are so many miracles that happen on a mission and throughout
life! The key is realizing how many things really are miracles! :) You
have to be aware that God's hand really is in your life at all times!
I am a little short on time since we had to go help a nice lady (謝姊妹)
Get some stuff for her son today.

I will throw in extra pics to make up for it okay?
I love you all so much! go out this week and find someone..just one
person and do something really nice for them :) Just help them feel
important! :)
Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao





Sunday, July 14, 2013

颱風來啦!!!! (From Google Translate: Typhoon Coming)



If you are thinking that I am talking about the nature typhoon that hit Taiwan you would be wrong (That happened though). I AM TALKING ABOUT THE SPIRIT TYPHOON THAT ELDER FURNER AND I ARE UNLEASHING ON XIAOGANG!!!!! Say what!?!?!? YEAH!!! Now do you all want to know why I am so excited! Because my testimony of Fasting has AGAIN been strengthened and my love and gratefulness for the savior is AGAIN being exponentially multiplied! Story time:

So there is an amazing investigator 黎明鴻 was literally the PERFECT investigator until we shared the Word of Wisdom. He stopped answering and meeting with day after fasting he texted us and said..."Gish...I am sorry, I can't live the wisdom..." I almost died! I was so distraught and frankly angry. But I was NOT going to give up! No way! So we kept praying for him and trying to call and nothing...two full weeks of nothing. THEN yesterday we called to invite him back to church...and! answer...oh gosh. What made it even harder was I had decided the day before to do a HUGE fast for 黎明鴻 and I just had a feeling things would work out and then nothing happened and I was so sad. After church I went to see the bishop to discuss the Ward Mission Plan that I am creating and talk about some investigators when BAM!! I look over...and who is it?..黎明鴻!!! He looks at me and says, "Hi Gish....I have a story for you!" Of course I leap out of my chair and give him a huge hug and say "tell me your story!" So he started to tell me how he didn't think he could join the church because of the word of wisdom but he believes what we taught so he still wanted to be baptized and join a church. He went to other christian churches to get baptized there. Then he told me..."when I went there it didn't feel the same....something was missing...This church is true and I know it...and because of that I gave up coffee and everything, I have done it for a week now and I am ready to be baptized." Even me...the manly man that I am (;)) couldn't hold back the teary eyes! I just gave him a huge hug and testified about the blessings he can and will receive. We sat down, taught a lesson and had a baptismal interview! He will be getting baptized this Friday night! I am so excited and thankful to the Lord for his mercy and love!!! AH IT IS SO INCREDIBLE!!!

So this week as many of you know, we got to meet our NEW MISSION PRESIDENT! And let me tell you what...he is an INCREDIBLE MAN! No one is quite as incredible as my Dad! But President Blickenstaff is still incredible! Maybe its the German in him (there you go dad...for ALL the Irish is a German one for you ;) haha...even though you are 75%Irish by the transitive property. :) haha) So anyways, we were talking about other missionaries and he told me a quote that I will never forget and love! "The difference between the Arabian champion horses and other horses is that the Champions don't look at the other horses." Is that not an amazing quote! I got so fired up to just focus on my goal and to go for it 100%! Of course I wan't to be able to help other missionaries but if I am taking too much time to look at other horses and not focused on my purpose...well then I will lose. And let me tell you what...I am fighting for the Lord right now and I WILL NOT LOSE. I will do anything it takes! Even eating mostly veggtables and weird foods...

I was reading in Corinthians 9-20-23 this week and I realized that in order to truly be successful I need to become Taiwanese, I need to love what they love and eat what they eat (uh-oh) and do what they do! It was amazing as I thought about all the changes I have already made and to make goals for what else I can do to continue to become apart of this amazing culture! This that help are people putting us on the spot to do things like...Teach the Gospel Principles class!

It reminds me of a moment after trek when my Dad had to ask me to get up and give a talk in sacrament! We were sitting there and no teacher what do we do. 'I'll do it!' We just on the spot started to teach about fasting! It was amazing and really helped me build my confidence in my teaching and in my Chinese! I feel like no matter how long I stay here or how good my Chinese gets, I am always going to be blown away when I realize what is happening....I am literally speaking and writing a different language!! There is no way this would be even close to possible with out the Savior and his gifts/blessings!

So I want to just through this in because this week it has actually been making me excited. There is an Elder in Taipei...Elder Gibson...he is the MAN! We were in the MTC together! We write each other in Chinese and have some great plans for business and dates when we get back :) haha. I am super grateful for his influence because he works super hard and his Chinese is INCREDIBLE! It just pushes me to be better and makes me want to be better! I am so thankful I had the opportunity to know him! Please pray for him! Taipei got hit bad by a Typhoon! 

THANK YOU MOM AND DAD FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY PACKAGE!!! I can't tell you how incredible real milk and cereal is...oh good...and those candies...of mouth is watering again!

Advice from my Zone Leader...the Best missionary ever (Elder Wong Wei): "Love your mission." I want EVERYONE to think about that :) It has a great surface meaning and an even better deep meaning :).

As you can see in my pictures I have a list of Pokemon...the first this a good use of Language study time?....maybe not the BEST...but is it SUPER fun to do and SUPER fun to contact people with?....yes haha. People love it when I ask them the name of their favorite pokemon or dragonball z character or naruto character! The thing about it is that because a lot of that stuff is part of their culture, when I talk about it they trust me more and it makes us better friends which means they will be more open to hearing the message I have to share with them! Just loving people will do WONDERS!!!

I am a little out of time for other funny stories!

But I want to end with an invite and letting you all know that I know this is true and I love you all!

The invite..Watch that video and then go act. Find someone you can strengthen and bless! :)

Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao





Monday, July 8, 2013

Toss out the OLD WAYS!



Friends, family, all that can hear my call, listen! I have something very important that I need you all to hear! THIS IS TRUE!!!!!!!! :) This gospel! Everything we teach! It is all true! There are lots of things that I can say that some may say are just coinsidence, but I know that these miracles we see are all because of the Lord's hands in our lives! (Sorry if the english is sounding weirder and weirder...Somethings just sound better in Chinese...) So why the sudden outburst? This week Elder Furner and I met with a less active in our ward. As it turns out he had been going to another christian church for a few months and he was telling us about all these stories the people would tell about members of their church having the gift of tounges or about miraculous healings and so forth. It was really interesting to see how because of these stories he had been led away from things he had felt before and things he had known to be true. Luckily for me, my companion Elder Furner is 超強!! He is so filled with the spirit and righteous desires. It took a few minutes of teaching correct principles, sharing powerful testimony and a pinch (maybe a whole ton) of the spirit and then BAM this less active was lead right back to the restored truth of this gospel! All of the sudden, the other big cool stories didn't mean as much as the feeling he had! Signs and Miracles WILL NOT CONVINCE OF THE TRUTH! ALthough there are some amazing stories and some of them are really cool, there is nothing like the testimony that comes from the Holy Ghost witnessing of truth! I just thought it was really amazing experience because ofcourse (my pridefull self :(...) I wanted to try to combat what he was saying with amazing miracles the LDS people have had...thank goodness I was restrained and instead of ME trying to convince him, Elder Furner and I just let the spirit do all the work!

First some shoutouts/funny things...#1..Chase....when I got your letter I litterally couldn't tell if it was you or Gage writting until I opened it and starting reading haha. I love you so much bro and I miss you like crazy! YOU ROCK! Don't you forget it ;).
#1.5 GAGEROO!!!! That picture made me smile so big! (attached somewhere) I think other than the tail we almost look exactly alike right? :) Love you buddy!!!! I miss you Roo!


#1.75 MOM AND DAD!!!!! YOUR LETTERS GIVE ME SO MUCH STRENGTH!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!! I love you both so much!

#2...I don't know if you have heard about getting doored...well it happened to my comp this week. It means you are biking fast and on the side of the road and then BAM someone opens the door and you fly full speed into that door! I was infront and all the sudden I heard a big "UHHHH" And a crash sound. I looked back and there was Elder Furner rolling on the ground and his bike still in the air coming down! I was ofcourse like "...well this is...AHHHHHHHH" haha. Oh it scared me so bad! Atleast we got to teach the gospel to the guy Elder Furner crashed into :)

#3 FOR ISSAC SOUCY! some weird foods besides fish eyes and the thousand year old egg. This week I ate ostrich meat, octupus leg, this super nasty fish egg, black chicken, stinky tofu (really stinky). That is about it for now but I will be sure to let you know of others :)

#4 Elder Stark is my hero ;)

So any other really cool things happen this week...well lets on a mission serving the lord so..yes! :)


Our new mission president came! I am so nervous! We will be meeting him on thursday! I will let you know how it all goes! Another big thing is that last week we had a DuanChuan (a young man stay with us for the whole week!) It was SUPER funny being with him and watching him go out with us, so scared and new! It really brought me back ;) haha...gosh I sound like an old fart!....Like Dad ;) hahaha. Just kidding pops! It was nice though to be able to see my progression as a missionary and to be able to help a young man develop his desire to serve!

My big fun thing this week was being able to play the guitar and Sing at a nightmarket! It was so much fun! I know some of you are like what! YOU SING?...well don't worry, I had people there to sing and help out haha.

I gotta go email the new president and take care of some other missionary stuff...:( I love you all!



Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao


Monday, July 1, 2013


Haha what is the cruise!? Well it is the district joke haha. Anytime we do something that is 'legendary' or super great we yell "cruuiiissseee!" It is becuase we have an elder here named Elder Stark! He is super super awesome. He keeps talking about this cruise he is going to go on when he gets home (5 weeks) and so we yell cruise because THIS IS OUR CRUISE! THIS WORK IS WHAT BRINGS US AND EVERYONE ELSE TRUE HAPPINESS! This is the real Cruise :) This week is also a little low on time because we had to go out early this morning to pick up our 段傳. I really don't know how to say it in English...It is someone that comes on a mission for 1-6 weeks and lives with us and does everything with us? Like a short term missionary! He is super cool! I will probably follow up on it and send pics next week about it, but know that they are commin! :)


So before I get too distracted I wanted to do a few shout outs! SOUCY FAMILY AND SISTER WILSON! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Those letters you write are so amazing and truly do help to through a smile on my face! Plus are right...this world is one big pig, I couldn't say it better myself ;) haha.

The Chinese is REALLY coming along now! I am in Mosiah for the Book of Mormon reading ( in chinese) and I can write enough to randomly write letters to people! It is something I have started doing a lot lately! Just randomly pulling out paper and writing a note to investigators! I have a goal to be the best on the mission! I want to do it for the Glory of my Lord and for the bringing of souls unto him! With better chinese it will be so much easier to help these people that I love, that our savior loves!! :)


Oh so the pics, one is from the MTC, why you say? BECAUSE I MISS THE MTC haha. For all of you you are ABOUT TO GO ON MISSIONS! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY SECOND IN THE MTC!!! It might get boring and you might just want to leave (after 12 weeks it happened...) haha But i regret that now! JUST LOVE IT! Soak it all in because you WILL MISS IT< I promise you! The others are of me with my cool glasses and face mask! The glasses are for characters...they hurt when you read too small of text! The mask...that is just s joke haha.

Okay, now on to the good old land of Taiwan. So I figure I will start with a funny story this week because...well this one is really funny haha. I hope it is as funny to read as it was for my companion to actually watch haha. So we were biking in a mini Typhoon. So the wind was CRAZY! We were standing up to peddle and it was tough! Then the rain is insane! I was soaked from head to toe and the rain feels like bullets as you bike! So I have my head down (we are on a BIG empty road, because people here HATE the rain so no one goes out) and I am peddling super hard, just go, go, go and don't stop (something my awesome Dad taught me ;)). But anyways I am biking and then something tells me to look up (spirit? maybe?...yes haha) I see about 5 feet in front of me is a HUGE truck stopped in the road! I of course slammed on the breaks! See...the good thing about breaks is that is stops your tires, the good thing about smooth tires is they slide on water haha. I skidded still going SUPER fast right into the back of the truck! BAM! Slammed so hard haha. It must have been hilarious to watch! I was so embarrassed haha, I must have looked like I have never biked before in my life haha!  Oh gosh....well yeah, so now I know that even in heavy rain it is important to look up haha.

You know what else is great about Taiwan? Really old really drunk guys! We decided one day to go out and tract at a place we don't usually go. Before we even tracted our first door a super old guy walked up to us and said "HEY! I LOVE JESUS!" Of course, even when people are joking with you or teasing never pass up an opportunity like that haha. I said "well he loves you too!" We got talking and I found out quick he was drunk. It wasn't just the slurred chinese or the wobbling as he tried to stand but it was the smell haha. So anyways we walked him back in his house and sat with him! We set up another time to come meet him. He said he doesn't drink on sundays because that is the Lord's day haha, well atleast he respects the sabbath! So anyways we left there to start tracting and within about 30 sec guess who comes out....OUR NEW FRIEND! He started trying to tract with us and teach the gospel to people! It wasn't great missionary work but it was SUPER funny! Eventually we got him to get in his house and let us really go back to work. We got in with another family which was awesome but when we walked out...there he was...sitting on the floor. He said "where have you been!? I have been waiting FOREVER!" haha. I couldn't help but laugh. But then, he stood up  (slowly and wobbly) Then you could really tell how drunk he was since he started turning and couldn't quite make it. He tried to regain balance but just stumbled backwards! I saw this all starting to go down so I jumped forward to grab him but it was too late! He fell backwards and smacked his head on the floor! There was a moment of silence as my companion just sat there completely stunned! Then he started to get up, I half expected to hear him start to wail like a small child that falls over! But he just got back up and blood started pouring out the back of his head...oh it was so scary! We got him back in, made sure he was okay and basically locked him up and got out! IT WAS CRAZY! I can't wait to see him not drunk!


So my new companion is so awesome! He is super obedient which is incredible! I love the power that can come form the testimony and teaching of two companions that are 100% (or striving to be 100%) obedient! It is truly indescribable! My little piece of advice is to all NOW AND SOON TO BE MISSIONARIES!!! BE 100% OBEDIENT!! DO NOT CHEAT YOURSELF OR YOUR COMPANION OUT OF THE BLESSINGS AND POWER THAT COMES FROM obedience! Just go and do! Like Nephi!

This week we actually ran into a lot of was crazy! Our big focus this week is how to help people put their stake in the ground and stand firm! That is what we must do first! Make sure that our roots are DEEP in the gospel! Then go and share our fruit and prune and work hard!

NOW TO EVERYONE! WE ARE ALL HERE IN THIS TIME, IN THE PLACES WE ARE FOR A REASON! God's hand is in our life! Pray about what God wants you to do, then write it down...finally...go do it! :)

I love you all!

Shine Bright! 發光吧!!!

Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao