Leave a comment

Lighting it up!

May 3, 2015
Well it was only 5 days ago that I emailed… not too much happened since then. I did get to go on exchanges with Elder K, who could count as like my half son cause I was in a tri-companionship with him when he was in training. It was super fun, he is in the area that has the 101 in it, which is right next to my area. Really cool area.
Our investigators are all still doing good, one is getting her interview this week and should be getting baptized next Sunday if everything goes to plan. We have set a ton of new dates with people recently. Our teaching pool is getting pretty big. It’s neat to see how the area kinda sucked when we first got here, and now it is lighting up! I guess it really is a testimony to working hard and seeing the miracles. Because we control the input and He controls the output, 100%. If He sees us really trying to bring souls closer to Him, then he will give us those people that He has prepared to accept the Gospel cause He trusts you. During a mission, you not only learn to trust God, but He is learning to trust you. Super happy with the work we are doing here.
Not any funny stories from last week, we just got fed at an AMAZING meal all you can eat  hot pot place, if you don’t know what hot pot is, it’s just a bunch of meat and vegetables that you cook in a pot right in front of you. I honestly don’t normally like them cause they are a little expensive for not a lot of food, but this one was all you can eat meat, seafood, fruit and anything else you can stuff in a little pot. Oh my heavens, it was glorious.
Well there actually was a funny story now that I think of it….Every morning for exercise we play frisbee with the district, about 12 people. Yeah, its a huge district, but today it was really muddy with a lot of puddles. And me and my companion were going up for a frisbee right over a puddle, and we came down and both started to slip and fall, so we grabbed on to each other to keep from falling and tried to run out of it, but just ended up just both getting destroyed by mud and everyone else was pretty much on the ground as well… but that was from laughing as they watched us. Not my best moment.
That is about all I can think of, short week. Love you all!
Elder Mansell
Leave a comment

I can’t escape it!

28 April 2015
So today we have our temple day, that is why I am emailing on Wednesday. Its my last temple day! Wow that is a sad thought, anyways… Today we got up really early to go hike a mountain with our district. It was sooo cool.  It was the mountain right next to 101, where you see all of the cool pictures of Taibei. I got some good ones- it is such a cool place! But the smog was really bad this morning and we couldn’t even see like half of the city. Weird to think that I just live right in the middle of all of that stuff.
Last week we had the mission tour with Elder Gong! It was really good.  He is the Asia Area President, which covers over half of the worlds’ population. He had a meeting with all of the leaders before the training started and it was a little scary cause I was sitting right in the middle with him about 2 feet in front of me and I had to give the opening prayer, O-O.
There was a BYU thing at the chapel this week and there were a bunch of white people there.  When we were going to lunch and walked by a white dude I just said “Hi.”  We stopped and started talking to him. When he asked where I was from and I said Sandy and he was like ,”Brighton or Alta?” Which means this guy is probably from Sandy too. I said Brighton and he looked at my name tag and just GUESS what he said. “You are Darren’s kid, right?” Of course I would run into someone that Dad and Grandpa know for like the third time all the way across the world. I seriously cannot get away from it!
We had some super cool miracles lately.  It seems like they have just been coming like crazy. We are still having to hit the streets like all day- everyday but our teaching pool is getting better. We keep on finding so many cool people!  Our pool right now isn’t too big but neither my companion or I have ever seen such a “stacked” teaching pool. They are all super solid.  Our investigators from last week are still just ‘wow’ing all of the members that come with us. They all say that they are super ready. We honestly have just been blessed recently. Its still super tough work, nothing is falling in our laps I can tell you that much, but so rewarding!
There were 2 funny experiences we had last week. One was with a new member.  I was introducing myself to her and told her that I was from Utah, and she went off on this rant about how 100% of people that live in Utah are Mormons. And she has lived in America for 29 years. But even when the member was trying to be nice about it saying that it wasn’t really that high, she was like, ” No its 100%, I promise you” bless her heart. The other one was when we were contacting on exchanges, I was with a trainee when I started talking to this guy and he was like,” I already know everything about all the churches, I have lots of experience and am already going to be a god when I die. So you don’t need to worry about me.” I honestly just busted out laughing and Elder B, who has only been here for a week was like,”dude what did he say?” I didn’t really know where to go after that one.  I can honestly say that I have never gotten that one before.
That about sums up the week over here! Love y’all
Elder Mansell
1 Comment

Sooo busy!

April 19th

 

Wow it was a busy week last week! We started to really build up the area up here. I still can’t believe I am serving here right now. Downtown Taipei is really my dream area, and I have to pinch myself multiple times throughout the day cause I think I am in a dream. You might just have to force me on that plane in a couple months cause I am not going to want to leave here anytime soon!!!
The ward here is better than I ever imagined it would be. Its the oldest ward in Taiwan so its the most experienced, and they know their stuff. We met with our Ward Mission  leader on Sunday and he told us all about his plans and what not for the ward and how they have not lost a single recent convert in the past 3 years, which is absolutely amazing considering that most new members will go less-active within a couple years of baptism. Most of them come back, well some of them.. but still, the ward here just does what it is supposed to do and we are seeing a ton of success. Couldn’t be happier! They also don’t want us to call the brothers in the ward when we need a member to come with us to visit a woman. We are supposed to call the Elders Quorum president and he will find the brother to go with us, so we really don’t do anything and they will just show up when we call. I was almost speechless when he said that!!  I have never been anywhere where they do anything even close to this. Again, you might just have to force me on that plane!!
We hit the streets a lot this past week, and found some really good new investigators. Most of the people that we talk to don’t live in my area, they come here to work from all over Taipei so we give out referrals like its our day job over here:) We did get 2 of the people that we found to come to church yesterday! And we set dates with both of them, super golden ladies. one was actually a referral that said she really likes the members of this church and has some friends that are members and they are all really good people. So she asked to be baptized before we even got around to inviting her! She is set for the first week of May, and the other lady is a really cool miracle that was actually found right before I got here. She is a Christian that left her other church cause she didn’t think it was in accordance with the bible, and that a church needed a prophet. She was praying for 20 years to find a church that has prophets. Well, she came to the right one!!! She is set for the second week in May. Both are really solid.
I went on exchanges with Elder J last week! He just moved in whitewhashing and training so I went with him in his area. And oh my heck I have never seen anyone work like him before. He took “Talk with everyone” to the max. It was soo cool to see, just super bold and loving with everyone. We found a couple good people. And another funny thing is that his trainer is my companion. At the end he told me about all the things he learned from me and I was just thinking,”What? I am the only one learning from this exchange.” It was a really humbling experience for me. I also got to go with Elder G, he was in my MTC district. He is the first one from my MTC district that I have been on exchanges with on my mission. It was cool catching up on old times.
We have the Asia area president coming to do a mission tour tomorrow, it should be a cool experience. We have a full day of trainings. Gotta love it!! Love y’all!!
Elder Mansell
Leave a comment

Dream Come True!

So as you can tell from the subject, I had a pretty good week last week. It started with the move call that I got. Everyone thought my companion would be moving cause he was there forever. But I moved. And I moved to my absolute dream area!!!! It is downtown Taipei right next to the mission home, called the Jinhua ward. It is right in the middle of everything, all the best food and attractions are here! I had 2 areas on my mission that I really wanted to go to, Taidong and here. And I got both!!! Such a blessing. I can’t even begin to explain how big of a blessing it is to serve here. The ward is awesome.  It’s really big.  My companion and I are actually whitewashing the area, which is kind of what I did in my last area as well. He got here a week before I did and was in a tri-panionship with the other elders that were going home in a week and then I came in.  Neither of us know any of the members or the area at all, so its going to be pretty fun. We have gotten lost a couple times already.  My companions name is Elder V from Arizona. He’s been out just over a year and is a really hard working and super funny guy. Looks super similar to Brad Pitt, not going to lie, its a little creepy the similarity. Nevertheless he is a great guy, loves to have fun and we are going to get work done!
I actually don’t really know what else to put for this week.   We have been doing some serious cleaning here cause the other Elders left a ton of stuff and the apartment honestly smelled like a men’s locker room. But looked a lot dirtier.  It is actually a really tiny apartment that still probably costs more than a 3 story house in America cause we are in downtown Taipei. No rooms, just a big living room where we eat sleep and study and not much space to put anything.
Well, that about sums up the past few days here in Taipei.  I’m going to end my mission really busy around here, which is the best way to do it. Honestly no time to even think about home. I would actually stay here longer if I could. Love yall!
Elder Mansell
Leave a comment

Heating up!

April 5, 2015

It is heating up over here in Taiwan!! Summer hit fast. 1 week and its up to over 30 degrees Celsius and probably 120% humidity at the least. Its like getting hit in the face with a water balloon right as you walk out the door. But it is honestly one of my favorite things about Taiwan.

So we had a few funny things happen last week. It was Easter so that was pretty cool.  Well I wouldn’t have known it was Easter here cause not a single person knew it was Easter.  Nobody talked about it in church, and everyone we talked to on the streets about it thought it was sometime in either November (Thanksgiving) or December (Christmas) …. gotta love non christian countries!!! And the translation for Easter into Chinese is super funny, it translates into “Resurrection Day” and the first time I heard someone say that in Chinese I was thinking,”They have a holiday for that???” Then I realized it was Easter….

But the best part of the week was definitely April Fools Day. We did 2 things that were just dang funny, it was district meeting that day and my District Leader is going home this week, it was his last one so to celebrate we bought the whole district drinks, but the twist was that we found laxative pills (don’t ask me how we found them..) and crushed 2 of them up and put it in his drink. It took everything I had not to just start busting up laughing the whole district meeting, especially when he said,”Alright, why does my drink taste like hairspray? Who put crap in my drink??” I don’t know how I managed to keep a straight face. But he stopped drinking it before he had too much and didn’t have any of the effects from the pills.. so we didn’t succeed but it was still a dang good story.

We also met with 2 old ladies from Mainland China last week.  They are here for a couple of months to take care of their parents. I would tell you about them, but when they were introducing themselves I literally couldn’t understand a bloody thing they were saying!! They could understand my Chinese but I could hardly understand anything they were saying.  The accent was just so thick it would rival the air in Taipei, but we managed to get through the first lesson, don’t ask me how they took it, cause I got no clue.

I have officially gotten sick of Chinese food. My body is literally rejecting any rice that I eat.  I can hardly eat anything anymore because I just get super sick to my stomach after I eat. It’s not as bad when I eat American food, but that stuff is dang expensive here. So I don’t quite know what to do in that case.  We are going to eat Mexican food and dairy queen for lunch today, the only ones in all of Taibei. Gonna feast today!!

I have noticed that enduring to the end of the mission is a LOT harder than I thought it was going to be. Its hitting me like a ton of bricks.  I thought the longer you go, the easier it gets. That is not the case, actually its the opposite. The area is also still not really going anywhere but we did get a good bit of news that Brother Wang will be changing work at the end of the month and he is going to be… wait for it… a Realtor. Who’d have thunk it? So there you go dad! Haha well that about sums it up for the week. Love you all!!

Elder Mansell

 

Leave a comment

March 29, 2015

Well I got a lot to talk about this week! Most of it isn’t on the good side but hey, you take what you can get. This first story needs a little bit of background. Before my misson my dad told me that I would have investigators that would feel the truthfulness of our message and still choose to not accept it, and I honestly didn’t believe him. But, we had one this week break up with us. She was so set on getting baptized, but had some family opposition. She lived with her boyfriend of 12 years, yes, boyfriend of 12 years who didn’t want her to get baptized or to marry her.  She had to get married or move out in order to join the church. She told us that during chinese new year that she would talk to their parents about it and get back to us. About a week after she sent us a message saying that something happened and she needed some time to think about it.   She didn’t tell us what it was, so we gave her a couple of weeks and got the Relief Society sisters on her. After those couple of weeks we started calling her again and she would just never answer. She finally sent us a text that basically said that she had too much family opposition and was going to stop coming to church. She KNOWS its true, but just can’t make that last step. So sad… but I did my part, so that makes me feel a little better.

Speaking of investigators not answering the phone, I swear our phone has some type of disease that makes it so anyone we call doesn’t answer the phone. Its getting a little bit ridiculous! None of our investigators are making much progress.  I related our success lately to rowing a boat with only one oar, just going in circles.  We are getting good enough numbers so that our leaders aren’t following up like crazy, but its a little tough. We’ll push through it though.

Since we had a lot of finding this week, we tried a contacting technique called “Nephite Contacting.”   Normally when you are finding you plan out every street you are going to go to, and  spend about half an hour to an hour just on that street. But this method is where you don’t plan any streets at all, and just go, hoping the Spirit is going to guide us to the prepared people. Takes a lot of faith. I don’t do it too much but sometimes just a mix up every once in a while it’s worth a shot. Cause technically that isn’t the way you are normally supposed to do it, but I have heard of some crazy miracles doing it.

A good thing this week is that in one day we had 3 members feed us. I was on exchanges and got one for an early dinner, not knowing that that day we would have an investigator feed us at 5 and then 2 recent convert’s would be feeding us at 6. I was sooooo done with life when we walked out of that last one at 7. That day I had a whole pizza, cold stone ice cream, bunch of bread, and a ton of Thai food. Needless to say, missionary work wasn’t the greatest after that one.  I was so full I couldn’t even ride my bike.

One thing about me that doesn’t really work too well with missionary work is that I expect perfection from myself. It’s good on the side of always trying to do better, but not so good at always falling short of expectations I set for myself. Definitely something you need to change coming out on a mission cause you make a ton of mistakes.   I don’t know how its even possible to be a successful missionary sometimes. Just gotta keep trying. Well, love you all!!

Elder Mansell

 

DSC00123

 

 

 

DSC00126 copy

Leave a comment

March 22, 2015

 

I am trying to think about big things that happened last week and I can’t think of too many. One pretty cool miracle we had was that we actually found some success from tracting!!! I think in my 18 months in Taibei I have gotten into maybe 10 doors tracting, and only a couple of them actually listened and invited us back. So that’s a pretty good miracle to me! And it happened right after we had one of our investigator families broke up with us and another one called us and told us to stop meeting with him. It was a little hard to stay positive that day, but we kept our spirits up and went tracting, and that is when we found the success. Attitude really is everything.

The one that called us and told us to stop meeting with him was our boy Brother Wang, the mormon.org referral, he just can’t find a job that doesn’t make him work on Sunday so he told us to not meet with him until he can find another job. Then the next day he calls me and says that he can come to church!! So now he can come every week and will probably be getting baptized next week maybe, still trying to figure out all of the details.

Our ward here is interesting, sooo much different than Taidong. I might have told you this before but its just a lot more serious than they are down south. Nobody really cracks jokes in church and when they do, nobody laughs. Its good on one aspect that they are all really good professional members that know the doctrine better than I have ever seen. But I am just not the really serious type of person, as everyone that knows me knows that clearly. So I have been working on getting some firesides and potlucks to get the members to lighten up a little bit.  They are super good at doing activities down in Taidong and we need to duplicate that here in Taibei.  We had an activity last week and it was the first one of the year here. It was a fireside targeting missionary work. We were planning on doing a 45 minute training but our Ward Mission leader called an audible right before it started and just did it all. It was super successful.

We had a Zone Conference last week, pretty much just a 8 hour meeting that was only really fun cause Elder Monteirth and I got to translate it. He is like my best mission friend,  we came on together and have pretty much been around each other our entire missions. Translating is always really fun but your head just hurts afterwards. And you can’t really take notes at all. But it was the whole day and then we had English Class so you can’t really complain 🙂

Yeah that is about it for the week.  It looks like it is going to rain again all this week too, yipee!!! Ping an out!

Elder Mansell

 

DSC00121

 

This is why mom made me get new shirts…..

DSC00119