Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,

Well, I was coming home from proselyting Saturday night and checked the fax machine and to my surprise, I found a mini-surprise-move call (the move call doesn't actually end for two weeks).  I was moved to Nantou.  It's about an hour south in the most rural part of Taiwan. I feel really blessed but I'm really sad to leave such an amazing Zone and area.  We were supposed to baptize two this week as well.  I'll probably try to get permission to come back for those two baptisms.  Where ever I go and no matter the situation, it's where the Lord needs me to be.  For that, I'm excited to go to NanTou and see what I can do.  

My new companion, however, is ELDER CHAN!  Do you remember him at all?  We roomed together in the MTC!  How awesome is that?  He's from England, but his dad is from Hong Kong.  He's an amazing missionary and I can't wait to get to know him better than I already do.  What an amazing tender mercy of the Lord.

This week has been great though.  Elder Ye and I finally reached that wonderful balance that comes into a companionship after you trust one another and love each other and understand each other's missionary style.  I love that feeling.  We had many lessons this week and many other successes.  If you don't love your companion more than yourself, you don't baptize.  We were supposed to baptize two this week, so I feel like it's an indication of our mutual understanding.  It was just a great week of many successes.

Also, we exchanged with the Assistants.  Talk about two wonderful missionaries.  I exchanged with Elder Allen who is beyond great.  He loves the work of the Lord and he is just one of those missionaries that I've looked up to since I've come out.  He leaves in two weeks which is terrible in many ways, but that day comes to every missionary.  I love him so much and to proselyte with him one last time was exhilarating.  He will definitely go places in the church and in life.  I love his testimony.  He has a wonderful fire about him.

I went to the temple to see the CAI Family get sealed for time and all eternity.  Seeing a family go from not knowing God to being worthy to enter his holy house was truly inspirational.  The spirit was so strong as they made those commitments.  I love the house of the Lord.  It also made me realize that I want to get married more than anything.  I want to have an eternal family built upon righteous principles.  I WILL have Family Home Evening, daily family prayer twice a day, and daily scripture study.  These things are essential.  I will be the perfect example of a Saint so that what I say has meaning.  If I am not the perfect example of a missionary, and a disciple of Christ now, I don't have any possibilities later to do what I desire.  I will do what's hard for Jesus Christ.  I love this gospel so much. My life will be centered on its wonderful teachings.

I love you all so much.  Write when you can.  I'm thankful for such amazing parents who take care of me and love me so much.  Keep working hard at coming unto Christ.  He loves you more than I do.

- Elder Woolsey


Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,

Tracting in gale force winds and water up to your hips is more fun than you make it out to be.  Does that adequately answer your question?  I'm exaggerating about water up to your hips, for the water was only up to mid ankles.  I actually think that the Typhoon was much more anticlimactic than last year's.  Regardless, we did proselyte in it, for "no unhallowed hand" can stop the will of the Lord.  I didn't get to go to the temple because of it though.  Instead I will be going tomorrow.

Le Tour de France.  I wonder whether my opinions toward it have changed or not.  Right now I can't really think of how I feel about it, but I suppose a year from now we can see.  I think it's great, however, that you all are working so hard to take care of your bodies.  That's honestly vital. The Lord wants us to be healthy and fit. He wants us to constantly do our best to maintain ourselves in order to be tools in the Lord's hand.  Poor health is obviously detrimental to that.  If we are unhealthy, we are limited.  Just like if we don't develop our talents, we are limited.  If we don't get a good education, a good job, etc. we are limited.  That's one thing I've realized on my mission, I need to develop those talents when I return and become successful material (through the Lord's way) in order to help more people.  Before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the Kingdom of God.  I feel that's why so many general authorities are so educated and wealthy, because only the most capable can be chosen to serve the Lord in those capacities.  We must stretch ourselves and grow in order to be the most effective, efficient, well-oiled tool we can be.

The world is decaying in wickedness and disobedience.  I just wish that others would learn to submit to the will of the Lord.  Following yourself will only lead to unhappiness.  The Lord is the only correct path.  It makes my heart hurt.  There is so much immorality abounding that the Lord must be doing all he can to stay His mighty hand.  The time soon cometh, however.

Keep following the Lord in those decisions, Dad.  Thank you so much for being such a great example of a righteous priesthood leader in our home.  I am eternally grateful for your example to me, mom, and Eric.  You always consult the Lord.

We had a short term missionary with us for a week.  He was a youth from my companion's former area who, for a youth activity, came
proselyting with us for a week.  He did a great job.  Really awesome young man. He will certainly serve a full time mission.  I wish I had had opportunities like this when I was younger, but I suppose in Utah there are many more willing youth than missionaries so the opportunity is less.
The mission truly is blazing by.  I want it to slow down, but I know if it feels like it's slowing down, it means I'm doing something wrong.  I suppose I want an extension at the least, but they are nigh impossible to attain.  Because of this, I will in fact be returning on January 3rd.  As far as classes, please talk with a counselor soon and confirm that I am returning.  I need help picking, so I would love it if we could focus part of each email on this.  If needs be, I can get permission to scout out BYU's website.  

I love you all so much.  Don't worry about me.  The typhoon has come and gone and I'm still here.  A little wet, but still standing.  You all are the best thing in my life.  I'm happy that the most important things in my life are the best.  Keep being the amazing people you are and draw closer to the Lord every day.  Decide not to argue when you feel you want to.  Read a scripture when you have a free moment that you could spend watching television.  Take a moment to say a prayer when stressed out.  The Lord's way is greater than our ways 10/10 times. I love you.

- Elder Woolsey

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The work progressing.

Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,

What a great week for you, Mom! It sounds like you have been a very productive and busy bee.  I'm so happy that you got so much done and had that feeling of success that we all desire.  I love the feeling that all things are completed and completed well. Keep up that attitude of working diligently in all things.  I believe that you can hit all of the goals you set, even when working. It's all about goal setting and planning though.  Way to be miraculous.

Guess what?  I'm going to the temple this Saturday to see the family I baptized with my trainer get sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.  What a wonderful experience.  I can't wait to feel what that is like.  Seeing these people make the entire journey from no belief to the temple altar.  Too wonderful.  I have been so blessed on my mission.

We baptized last week.

President Blickenstaff is amazing.  He can command a room in a heartbeat and fill it with the spirit.  He is an amazing individual who has done amazing things with his life.  He loves the Lord more than I understand and I want more than anything to have the kind of family success that he has when I am 57.  What a great man.  He served as a Stake President for 9 years.  He is CONSTANTLY working and is honestly inspiring.  No one mission president is better than another.  They are merely different and you learn to love each one, like bishops or stake presidents.  I adore President Blickenstaff.  Honestly after two years of having doctors (President Blickenstaff is a surgeon), I'm honestly contemplating the medical field.

That movie sounds really awesome.  I'll have to see it when I return. It sounds totally appropriate.  Feel free to put it on my list of "to-sees".  I'm more than willing to watch a clean wholesome family flick.

There isn't much to report, I suppose.  My companion and I are getting along great and things couldn't be better.  I love the Lord and this gospel more than anything.  I fear that my weeks in Taizhong can be numbered on one hand.  I don't want to leave.  I love it.  But, surprisingly, I've already been here for 4+ months.  I just got a new companion who could potentially take my place and things look like I may be heading south next move call.  The last thing I want is to leave this area.  I feel like I'm totally in my element.  The growth of the church in Taiwan is rapid and incredible.  I could be a missionary forever.

I love you all so much.  Don't ever worry about me.  Just keep yourselves focused on the Lord and His gospel.  Read daily.  Pray daily. Go to church weekly.  Obey the basic commandments.  You will never be led astray.  Please do these things.

- Elder Woolsey

Monday, July 8, 2013

Moving Forward

Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Cofee,

Time is still moving like at a bullet's pace.  Shocking, really.  Elder Jensen emailed me today and it about knocked me over.  I can feel the maturity in his written emails.  Very impressive.  I imagine that he is an incredible missionary and has endured faithfully.  I hope you all know that I am working as hard as I can.  Obedience really has become my quest and eternal life with you four and my recent converts the goal.  This morning and conducted an activity out of Preach My Gospel that asks you what you want to become when you leave your mission, what you want to have done, and what you want others to see in you.  I hope that I have changed and that I am still changing.  I want nothing more than to be a fully converted disciple of Christ.

My trainer emailed me today and compared our missions to our lives in that if we can work diligently for two years and never give up or slow down on any part, we won't mess up in our lives either.  I love this analogy and found it motivating.  I have no intentions of giving up in either one.  Also, my point in telling you about my trainer's family was not to offend, but rather to encourage you to seek new ways to come closer tot he Lord each day.  I imagine that you already have.  I've actually mentioned this to Eric before, but I have noticed a tangible difference in the way dad writes his emails (a different level of spiritual maturity) that I've been very impressed by.  I just want you all to keep reading and praying daily, magnifying callings, and loving the journey.  If you do, you will progress.  Worry about the little things, not the big things like, "have I changed?"

It's hot here as well.  Elder Ye and I had a very difficult day last week where we were outside most of the day contacting,
tracting, and traveling which resulted in a lack of hydration and a serious sunburn.  It was fun though.  Coming back knowing that you've worked very diligently is a lovely feeling.  I love knowing I'm doing the Lord's work in the Lord's way.  It keeps me motivated in those difficult moments.

Having a native companion is amazing and fascinating.  He is an INCREDIBLE teacher.  He loves the Lord and his conversion story is amazing.  He wants to be the best missionary he can be and has great desires.  There are some culture shock things associated with it though.  He wears sandals indoors where ever he goes, showers at night, and perspectives on many different things are seemingly unusual, but in the grand scheme of things, they don't bother me or get in the way of having an amazing relationship.  he is such a good missionary.  I love being his companion.  We will see success together for certain.  My hope is that my Chinese will improve, but I don't know if it will. He wants to practice English all of the time which is fine.  Right now we are alternating days.  English and Chinese days.

Well, President
Blickenstaff has arrived and he is incredible. He's on fire.  He speaks and stands and acts like Mitt Romney in many ways.  When he enters a room, he commands it.  Sister Blickenstaff also has a Michele Obama feeling about her.  Truly fascinating.  He has some amazing plans for ward involvement in missionary work which I think will be very productive and progressive.  I can't wait to get to know him more.  We are interviewing with him next week, so I will report more on that next week.

I nearly forgot. Living with Elder Erickson is a GO.  A GREEN LIGHT.  I get to live in a righteous environment to maintain standards and it's cheap!  Tell BYU it's a go and then plan accordingly for that housing.  I'm still pending more information for that, but I already told Elder Erickson to set a spot for me.  It sounds like a pretty good idea to me.  Thoughts?  I would love to hear them.

I love you all. Don't give up or give in.  Work constantly for the Kingdom of God.  

- Elder Woolsey

Monday, July 1, 2013


Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,

In a matter of hours my companion will be entering the TaoYuan airport and boarding a plane that will take him back to his loving family.  It's a new move call and a time for change once again.  The rest of my senior companions are heading home to begin their lives.  My companion has been telling me for three months all of the things he plans to go do when he returns home and I am surrounded by non-missionary life on all sides.  It's mentally straining to be certain, but I've come to realize something from all of it: I have become resilient.  I don't know whether I have always been firm in obedience and diligence or whether it has been developed on my mission, but I now know that I WILL be obedient and I WILL work as hard as I can no matter what.  I know why I'm here and I will not "lean unto [my] own understanding."  The Lord is my King and I know my purpose.  I will not falter, but will persevere in all things.  I can't wait to start a family of my own -- one that is built solidly upon the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will read with my family daily out of the scriptures, I will have family home evening every Monday night, and I will pray twice a day as a family.  These things will build a barrier of eternal protection against the horrible temptations of the world.  President Bishop told Elder Croft to make sure he does these things because no matter how much you want them to be, THEY WILL NEVER BE CONVENIENT.  You must prioritize and you must do them.  I feel like all principles in the church are like this.  Church, Sabbath observance, tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and all other commandments are INCONVENIENT, but they must be obeyed if we want the blessings that they bring.  I want an eternal family (children serving missions, a temple marriage, and worthy to be a servant of the Lord).  This is what I want and I must change now in order to be remotely prepared for that time.  I must change.  My time is short and I can't imagine accomplishing the change that still needs to happen, but I will do all I can.

Tell BYU I will be returning on January 6th.

Elder Croft and I baptized yesterday.

President Blickenstaff comes on on Friday.  I don't know how to feel.  I will miss President Bishop so much, but he doesn't want to be the special Mission President and he doesn't want to be better or worse than President Blickenstaff.  He's so noble and righteous.  It will be a huge change at any rate.

How was World War Z?  There wasn't much in the way of analysis of it in that email.  Any good?  How are these movies coming out?  They seem like an eternity away.  They're so strange to me now.  So alien.  These new missionaries come on and talk of the Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises as relics and to me it's newer than new.

I got your package, but I never purchased any clothes or food or anything.  I'll think about it.  There's no point in buying clothes now though because I will just be getting rid of them again once I get home.  I feel like that's a bad idea.  I should just wear them until the end.  It will be much better for money's sake.  Granted, everything is cheap in Taiwan.  Actually, I wanted to run an idea by you.  In Taiwan, you can get hand-crafted, tailored exactly to your body shape suits that are incredibly attractive for about 4000-9000NT which is about $130-300 USD.  I don't know how that compares to a normal suit, but what do you think about it?  If I did something like that at the end of my mission for example, what would you think? I just wanted to run that by you.  I 'm not thinking about it too much, but I just saw an incredible one that a missionary just bought.  It is really nice and from what they say it's cheap.  I don't know if that really is or not though.  They are honestly like Super Star Suits.  They construct them according to your body shape, etc.  Not just tailor a premade suit.  They make it for you.  Super cool.

I love you all so much.  I'm getting my new companion here shortly.  He is Taiwanese.  My first Taiwanese companion.  His name is Ye Wei Hao.  He is was finishing his training as I was beginning to be trained so we have known each other for a while.  It should be a lot of fun.  Keep working hard.  I'm fine here and I will not let up.

- Elder Woolsey