Monday, April 28, 2014

Hittin the Standards!!!

THIS WEEK WAS A WEEK OR MIRACLES!...But I guess....what week isn't a week of miracles when you are out 24/7 serving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!? :) So, lets dive right into it!


東港, this area was supposed to be a "dead area" meaning that nothing is going on here and nothing will happen. I don't know you started that silly rumor because this place is AMAZING! All of the people are SO GREAT, the food is good, the companion is better and the miracles are the best! We have been working hard and leaving the rest to the Lord....which means that we give him a lot....haha, but he sure does pick up all that slack! We were finally able to hit the Mission Standards down here! (Numbers givin' to us by our Mission President, it kind of gives us all a goal to hit to help us to keep working hard, it is not like a quota at all....rather it is more like him telling us what score we have to get on our Finals to get an A in the class....okay that was a bad example too haha...but the point is that it pushes us :)) So anyways, Elder Anderson and I were SUPER stoked to hit the standards because it just showed us SOO clearly that this is the Lord's work, there is NO WAY that we could have done it on our own! NO WAY JOSE!

We did a lot oh fun things this week and met a lot of amazing people! First off, last Monday we just played around 東港 and I got to see the area since it was my first real P-day down there! So nothing too special happened that I can think of....and it is even worse now that I am totally stinking at writing in my journal! I KNOW I KNOW!...gotta fix that for sure. But I do know that on that Monday night we were able to hold a big Family Home Evening that Monday night! SUPER FUN! If you are not holding regular Family Home Evenings, just start now (There is your invite!! If you are already doing it than I invite you to brush off your shoulders and keep going!!) :) SO FUN AND SO WORTH IT! We played some card games (yes we can play all chinese card-games now hehe) and had a small spiritual share and just had a good time strengthening the amazing people here! There are only about 15-25 people that come to church regularly and so they really look to us missionaries, it is kind of sad to see, but also so amazing that this people have so much faith! I love and am so grateful that I have gotten to know each one of them so well! And what made it even better was that at church this week we had SO many people show up...maybe around 40 or so. And everyone just got SO EXCITED! It was totally a huge miracle! LOVED IT!

After church we held what is known as a fireside (a small specialized training thing...but also is hard to explain haha, mom help! :)) So yeah, we had a fireside on missionary work (of course), Elder Anderson and I didn't really know about it till last minute but we still had a GREAT TIME and were really able to feel the spirit working in this little amazing area!


Side was totally awesome because here they just use Electric Pianos for everything in church. So they asked if I could play....I said yes...(WHAT?! You can play the Piano!!?!?....noo....but I do know how to pick a song on an Electric piano! :)) So people thought I could play until I started playing with one hand....then no hands haha.

I was also able to meet with President Blickenstaff for an interview this week! That man is so inspired and totally knows what he is doing! I am so glad to have a leader like him here! The things he teaches us go so far beyond our little two years here in Taiwan...they are things that I will need to know and utilize with my future family and the rest of my life!

I want to share something with everyone that I found while I was studying the scriptures, pondering and praying. I very often hear people tell me that I need to forget myself as I go out to work. I was thinking about this and I have had a small problem in trying to think about the difference in going out and being this robot missionary and in being a true disciple of Jesus Christ....I think the problem is that too often people really do FORGET themselves in the work. They separate their mission life and their "other life." This is what can cause people to just become total robots or to go back home after 2 years of sanctified service and quickly stop going to church. I think that the difference lies in forgetting yourself...forgetting who you really are. I would like to propose that instead of forgetting ourselves and going to work we REMEMBER ourselves and go to work! Remember who you REALLY are as a child of God. Remember that these people around you are your brothers and sisters. Remember that God Loves you and that he has givin' you so many blessings! Remember why you are here, remember where you are going, remember what is important! :) (Thanks for ingraining that in my head Mum!! :)you are the B.E.S.T BEST of all the R.E.S.T. REST!) It was a really interesting thought for me. There have been way too many times when I have really forgotten myself. And it is at those times that I am especially grateful for the ability to repent and to truly change our core being. We will NEVER have to say "that is just how I am," because "just who we are" is children of God, eternally progressing beings. And we can ALWAYS move forward! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he loves each of us and that because of his Atonement we can progress!

Love you all!



Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao


Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Life of a Two missionary District

Yup...that is right! My old districts have had anywhere from 6-10 missionaries in them! Lots of fun and a LOT of responsibility over those missionaries...but not out here in lovely 東港(Tungkang). Out here it is JUST Elder Anderson and I and we are about 2 hours away from the closest missionaries! So District Training Meeting, Teaching English, P-Day....everything is just us two! :) Do you just feel the love? haha. But really, Elder Anderson is AWESOME and I love working with him so these next 6 weeks are going to be AWESOME!


So here is some funny stories really fast! And to back these up, you have to know that 東港 really is a pretty out there area. It has been an area that has a drought of the spirit I guess you can say. There was a string of missionaries that came through that just gave up because there isn't a whole lot going on out here (MISSIONARIES! DON'T DO THAT! GOD IS PREPARING PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!!!!). And so people haven't seen missionaries often. Out here more people have asked me why I am here than in my whole mission put together. (Which is a good thing cause it is a good opener, but a bad thing cause its like...are you kidding? We are the only white people that ever show up here and there is only like 1000 people have never seen us? haha). So there is your background!

So at McDees we were teaching a first lesson! (McDees is a prime spot for spiritual enlightenment...that is why Dad always took us there when we were younger ;)) And in the middle of this lesson these two high school girls walk over and TOTALLY interrupt our lesson and say..."Can we take a picture with you two?" Then they barge in and basically try to jump on us and start snapping pictures...Needless to say, bad situation and bad influence on the person we were meeting with. We handled it well after....but man. That was a scary moment (yes....girls are scary...).

But a SUPER cool thing, is that even though we are far out...the closest Elders and closest area is 小港!! (XiaoGang!) Remember that place? That is my first area! I was there for almost a year! :) So it brought back a LOT of awesome memories and felt a little bit like home! That got me so excited to go out and just work hard!


I introduced my family to everyone and USUALLY ALMOST 100% of the time everyone says "WOW! Your Mom is so young and so beautiful!" And they just can't get over the fact that I am the son of that woman! (I know it is hard to believe that someone like me get get born to such an AMAZING angel!) However this time, everyone was like, "Wow! your dad is SOOO COOL! IS he going to ever come to Taiwan! I wan't to meet him! He seems so awesome!! WOW! Bring him over here quick!!" hahahaha. So yes...Dad IS Superman and IS famous in Taiwan now.

This is going to sound a little weird...but I loved it and it helped me a ton! I was havin' a bit of a rough day, still doing all I can, but it was just one of THOSE days. So anyways, it was about time for lunch and I walked into a place to get food and what was on the speakers? Nickelback! I haven't heard them for SOOO LONG! Now I know there are a lot of haters out there but I LOVE Nickelback haha. Anyways, it was EXACTLY what I needed to get me pumped up again! The Lord just knows and he really does just give you little blessings here and there cause he loves you and he knows! HE KNOWS! :)

This week we were only able to help one kid find his way to church but he is AWESOME! He is also meeting with the Jehovahs Witness's because he REALLY wants to know which church is true! So he went out and missionaries found him! :) He is SUPER COOL! And has such a pure desire! I hope so much that the Lord can use me and my companion to help him realize the truth of the restored gospel and its truth! I know it is true! I know that any accomplishment I have of anything that we do is because of the Lord and his mercy! :) I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!! :):)

I think that is about it for the week!

I read an awesome scripture in Proverbs this week...I think it was chapter two and listening to your parents. And 1 Nephi 1 verse 1 talks about the importance of parents...It is pretty obvious that listening to parents are important!! I love my parents and am so Grateful for them! This week I hope everyone can go out and just express their thanks for their families!!! :) Show them your love! :)


Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao



Monday, April 14, 2014

I just can't express how much I love the plan that God has for us!

Well the end of this week was a little wild! On Saturday we got the Move Call saying that I would not be moving! That I would be staying with the amazing Elder Teerlink for at least another 6 weeks! Obviously we were super stoked! We have just loved every second of doing this work together! So of course we are super pumped, PLUS ON TOP OF ALL THAT it was GENERAL CONFERENCE! #RealTimeRevelation! We were having a good time and were able to be with lots of great friends and in the middle of the Sunday Morning Conference who calls me? President Blickenstaff! Of course I get up immediately to answer. As I do he says, "Elder I need you to do something for me." (Not those exact words but along those lines.) He last minute changed some things and has sent me to 東港! So that is where I am right now, in the B.E.A.UTIFUL land of DongGang. It is an amazing place! Over the phone President called it a "hard area." But I really don't believe in hard areas! It may be struggling a bit now...but that will all end soon!! I was sad to leave Elder Teerlink, but I know that Elder Anderson and I are going to work miracles here through our faith, obedience, and diligence! He already seems like EXACTLY what I want in a companion! So hopefully very soon you will be hearing about the SWEET miracles down here!

On another happy note LAI HONG QUAN GOT BAPTIZED!!! :) It was amazing! He will stay strong too, the ward did an AMAZING job of loving him and showing him his next steps, like going to the temple and becoming a leader. He is awesome! I will totally miss him, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles #BruceAlmighty! What is a bit sad....but also SUPER EXCITING is that next week YongKang (the area I just left) will be having 2 baptisms and the week after that should be having another! :) It is SOOO Obvious how this is the Lords work and he is deeply involved! So needless to say, a BIG part of my heart is in YongKang, however I will do all that I need to and all I am asked to do!

Last week Elder Teerlink and I thought up a way to make 3,000,000$ before we are watch out world ;) haha.The things that happen at night on a mission are WONDERFUL haha.

So I want to take the rest of this and talk about what I learned from General Conference this last week...which if you haven't seen...go check it out at was SO inspirational. Whether you are religious or not, LDS or not, you will benefit from it! So my invite this week is to just go watch at least ONE of the talks given in last weeks conference (if it is for the second time, then all the better!).

One of my favorite of all was... oh jeeze....haha. I just looked at my notes, I don't think I can pick a favorite, and there is so much there is no WAY I could fit it all in here...shooooot. Well lets just say it was amazing!! :)

Russel M Nelson told us this last week that Truth is Truth, it is from God and it will not change. I love that. Truth is Truth! That just makes so much sense! One thing I really don't enjoy out here is when people tell me that "That may be true and right for you, but it may not be that way for me." Does that make any sense at all!?! No. No it does not! That is like you trying to tell me that for ME 5x5=25 but for YOU 5x5=22. That just makes ZERO sense. Truth is Truth, and i'll tell you what. It is out there, it is real. And like any other teacher, I can tell you, anyone can tell you that 5x5=25 (i.e. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living church of God on the Earth). But until you go and take 5 groups of M&Ms with 5 in each group and count and see that there really is 25, then you wont know if I am just lying to you or not! And the great thing is that God has invited us, AND he gave us the M&Ms and said, just count, just do the experiment (i.e. read, pray, and go to church, AND meet with the Missionaries in your area....we are everywhere mwahahaha :)). I know that wasn't the best example, but you all understand right? 懂我的意思嗎?懂吧.好了. :) He also told us that when we keep the commandments we will be blessed 100% of the time! An APOSTLE said that! What a great promised blessing! He also said that when we don't keep the commandments that we will not be blessed 100% of the time! UhOh! Seems pretty clear that we should keep the commandments :). 

There was SOO much more! just gotta go watch it!

So this past week my AMAZING BROTHER IN NEW ZEALAND sent me an Amazing story about an experience that he had! I don't have time or his permission to share it haha, but I want to thank everyone for keeping him in your prayers! Him Gageroo and Dane are the biggest parts of my life. My Brothers and I love them so much! We strengthen each other, push each other and love each other. That is one of the greatest blessings I have received from being apart of this church. Life long connections and friendships, brothers from other mothers ;) haha. But really. I just can't express how much I love plan that God has for us! It just seems so clear to me that it is a part of his big plan! Even outside of this church the Lord puts us in places to meet great life long friends! I just got back in contact with some of my AMAZING friends from Highschool! #lovin'life!

I love you all so much! Have a great week! Shine Bright!

My USB thing seems to not be working...Mom if you could go on Facebook to get pictures to show everyone that would be great! :)


Ge Sheng Long ZhangLao


Images courtesy of Sam’s Facebook page: