Taiwan Taipei Mission

Taiwan Taipei Mission

Monday, June 29, 2015

Staying in TouFen

This week was another fast hot, humid (I don't know how I am surviving the heat here) week! I can't believe how fast the time is going by! I start my 4th transfer in Taiwan (6 total in the field) today! Yes, I am still called to serve in TouFen. On Friday we had transfer meeting and everyone was invited to go because it was President and Sister Day's last time to say goodbye everyone till they finish their service as Mission President this Tuesday. It was a great meeting but I'll get to that in a sec. :)

SO for the biggest news this week, Chen DX got BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!!! It was the neatest service. Being able to see the gospel change his life has been so so neat. He has personally gotten rid of his previous addictions, given up smoking on his own, drinking on his own, etc. the list goes on and on. He is a very nervous and shy person. It was the neatest thing. He wrote out his testimony to share after he got baptized and it was a simple but spiritual testimony. He went through all the commandments--especially the Word of Wisdom and promised he would follow the commandments. He is so grateful for how the commandments have changed his life. 

This last week, while on exchanged with the Sister Training Leaders, we had a great lesson with Huang Qian Wen. We discussed faith and read part of Nephi building the ship and the faith he had even when those around him--his older brothers--didn't believe he could do what the Lord commanded him to do. Huang JM applied Nephi's experience perfectly to her life. She knows she needs to build her courage to tell her parents-in-law she wants to attend church. I'm so grateful for the privilege I have to help Huang JM come unto Christ. 

This week, we have also had tons of time to do finding. Many of the investigators we have been previously working with have become 'other investigators' or formal investigators because of their lack of interest. Sister Cardon and I have really been focusing on finding those who are ready and prepared to hear our message of the Restored Gospel. After many hours of finding and not much success, we had the HUGEST miracle occur. We knocked on a door Saturday night. Zhang XianShang came and opened his garage door and started talking to us. He has many Christian friends at work and seemed really interested. We were talking with him for some time and his wife was watching us from the window. After about  5ish  minutes she came outside and invited us all in. There, we were able to answer some of their questions--what is the difference between all the Christian churches and why there are so many, etc. (basically all the questions that are answered by the first lesson) and we taught them how to pray. Before we left, Zhang XianShang said such a neat prayer. It was his first time. He said in his prayer that he is not yet Christian but that he is grateful for the chance he has to learn about Christianity. Jiang XiaoJie (His wife) is also super cute and really nice. They have a 2 year old daughter. We invited them to Church the next morning and to our branch activity that occurred last night. They came to the branch activity and totally fit in! The members we great to introduce themselves and make them feel welcome. And their daughter loved playing with all the children. Definitely a huge miracle Heavenly Father gave us to end this last week. We have scheduled an appointment with them this Thursday night at 8 and I can't wait! I really feel good about them! 

Lastly, Transfers...We receive Transfer calls Wednesday night and transfer meeting is on Friday. To be honest, I was pretty sure I was going to be transferred from TouFen. I was shocked when we got the call Wednesday night that Sister Cardon and I were both going to be staying in TouFen. At first, it was really hard for me to hear this news. I love TouFen but I had many times this last week where I thought I just didn't know how to help this area continue to progress. But, the words, "The Lord has a lot in store for you in Taiwan" said from President Day in my quarterly interview kept popping up in my head. I prayed for Heavenly Father to give me comfort to know I am supposed to stay in TouFen. I know Heavenly Father has answered that prayer. Over the last few days, I have seen several things take place that have made me realized I am still here for a purpose. I am excited for this next transfer. To continue to help the individuals in Toufen. I love this place with all my heart. I know this is where Heavenly Father needs me to be. 
But, because of what I said up top, we were able to attend transfer meeting. This transfer meeting, we welcomed 4 new missionaries into our mission and 26 missionaries honorably finished their missions--included in that 26 is Sister McKenzie Smith (my college roommate) she gave an AMAZING closing testimony. I will miss her so so much. I was able to go on exchanged with her once during my 2nd transfer on island and I learned so so much from her. I hope she will come visit you when she goes back to school in the fall at BYU-I. President and Sister Day also gave their closing testimonies. I am so sad to see them go. I love them with all my heart. They are such amazing Mission Parents. I know their time is up in Taiwan but I plan to keep in contact with them as they continue to live their lives back in Tennessee. We welcome our new President, President Jergensen and his wife and 14 year-old twin boys to our mission on Tuesday, June 30. 

I want to wish you all a Happy 4th of July! Have so much fun! Make sure to send lots of pictures!!

Love you All!! 
Sister Haacke
Us and Chen DX, Qiu DX baptized him. Lai DX is also pictured. He got baptized a couple weeks ago. Chen DX and Lai DX are pretty good friends and have be taking the lessons together since the beginning of my 2nd transfer here.
 Sister Cardon and I and Chen DX after his baptism.

A member Xu JM and an investigator, Maggie, from Miaoli that came with our District Leader and his companion to attend the baptism. Xu JM said she might know you dad..?!
We went to Lion's Head Mountain again last Preparation day!  (Next four pictures.) It was really fun! Yes, and there were spiders everywhere! 

At our branch activity tonight, we had a talent show and this little girl, Wang Zi Wei (8 years old) played the cello! It reminded me of all my musically talented siblings at home! Love you all!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Tastes In Food

I FIRST HAVE TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!! I know you were in Taiwan. We were so close! haha I'm glad you were able to relax on Saturday and spend some time with some co-workers. Also...I believe it was Father's Day yesterday (Well, atleast it was for the Philippines) Taiwan's isnt until August 8th. So, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I love you dad! 

This week was great! It was a little rough some days but I feel like I learned more than ever this week. I learned more about myself and the love that our Heavenly Father has for each and everyone of us! 

Family, I was so grateful for the letter sent today. It really really helped! 
Yesterday was honestly probably the hardest day of my mission. We had a day full of finding after church with no success. The blessing and miracle we received yesterday was the weather. haha It was hot and you are dripping sweat every second you are outside but yesterday it was a little more overcast so it was heaven sent. Dad, I laughed when you talked about the weather in Taiwan. It hits about 36 degrees everyday by about 10 am here in TouFen. It was crazy because last week as we were riding to church at 8:30 in the morming, we passed a thermoniter thing and it was already 35 degrees. And, July and August are even hotter. Heavenly Father is really helping me get used to this weather! I can honestly say...I have never been so hot and disgusting in my life! I laugh now when I think back to the family vacations we went on--specifically to Mexico last summer when we were doing a day of going around Mexico and it was so hot--yeah. Just think of that, a little worse, 24/7, inside and outside and that is Toufen's weather for you..haha! I love it though. 

This week was a little bit more challenging but it still had its miracles! 

A few neat expereinces this week. Our Monday night appointment got cancelled so we had finding time. We went to this neighborhood to do some finding and no one wanted to talk to us. I felt really strongly we needed to be in this neighborhood and I didn't understand why. Our miracle came on the last door. We knocked on the door and this little boy came running. Through the glass, we asked him if his mom was home. He just stood there and we didn't know what to do! Haha! As we were walking away, the mom opened the door. We told her who she was and she let us in her home. We had a really good discussion about God and who He his. Half way through, her husband walked in from dropping their daughter off at piano lessons and sat in on the rest of the lesson. It was such a huge miralce. There are prepared people everywhere.  The Lord knows where these people are. We just need to learn to listen to the Spirit!! 

Tuesday night we learned Chen DX has completely quit smoking!!!!!! It was hard because he didn't ever want to talk about it and he didnt want help from us so we never really knew how he was doing. Tuesday night, he told us he had been clear for 2 days!!! I was SO happy! He had his baptismal interview Saturday night and is getting baptized this coming Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He loves reading the Book of Mormon and is already in Alma! 

Thursday night, I was able to watch the Restoration video with Lai Ming Jin for part of his new member lessons. The Spirit was honestly SO strong. I love the Restoration video so much. It has so much power to it. Lai Ming Jin really loved it as well. It is just another testimony to me that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God. He was called to restore His church on the earth again! 

Saturday was a great day. Many people were not in TouFen due to the Dragon Boat Festival but we made the best of it! Saturday night was crazy! One of our new investigators, Zhang Li Mei, (she is from China!) invited us over for dinner. She is here in Taiwan till about March of next year. She is pregnant and wants to have the baby in Taiwan. Her husband is Taiwanese but is working in China so she is here all alone. We had some amazing food! (See below.)
Oh, mom and dad, I love shrimp now. I think it is so good. Especially the small ones. And squid--that's pretty good too and fish eggs, chicken skin (yeah this took a while to get used to). It's all good though! haha. After finishing at her home, we raced over to Yang JiaTing where they invited us and the Elders to dinner. So, we had a second dinner. It was amazing as well! We ate dragon boat festival food. I don't know what it is called in English but we had tons of Zhong4Zi. They are like a rice ball with meat and other things in the middle wrapped in a large leaf. They are really good! 
Saturday night was also Chen DX baptismal interview at the church. 

Two less actives we have been working with, a grandma and granddaughter, became active this last week! It is so neat! They were honestly ready to come back to church. All they needed was some extra fellowship from the missionaries :) Home teaching and Visiting teaching are so so important. I never realized the importance until coming on my mission. These callings are some of the most important callings. Fellowship and loving those we are called to teach is what keeps individuals active. 

I continue to cherish the hour I have each morning to personally study. This coming week I will complete the D&C. I really came to realize this week that the missionary work we are called to do, whether that be as a full time missionary or as a member missionary, is so so important. We are called to spread the gospel to all the world. We are called to bring our friends unto Christ. We are not only on this earth to help others come unto Christ but to help ourselves prepare to enter the Celestial Kingdom. The trials and tribulations the early saints made for our benefit and for the building up of the church are so precious. Let us all work together to 'pay back' those who suffered for the happiness we have now. 

I love you all so much. Thank you so much for all the prayers. I honestly feel them everyday! 

I hope you all have a great week!!!! 
Love you!
Sister Haacke
 Sister Cardon and I while tracting.
 Us and Zhang JieMei!
 Us at Yang JiaTing's home for dinner Saturday Night.
 Yes, I died the first time I saw these tennis courts...:) Marissa--I can't wait to play with you!!
 Last Preparation day, we went to NanZhuang. Spent some time there walking around. it's a cute little village:


Monday, June 15, 2015

Meeting with Investigators


I loved reading quickly through the family email this week about your fun road trip! It sounds like you had a blast together and being able to go to Mount Rushmore and other National Parks! I am glad you had fun and made it home safely! 

Today I don't have much time because we are going to NanZhuang with the Elders and our Mission Leader, Jeffrey, soon so I will get in all that I have time for! 

This week was another great week in Toufen. It was much harder though. Our success in finding was a lot lower than it has been in the past couple weeks. Infact, we didn't really get any new investigators this week which is always really sad and hard but we made it through and hopefully this next week we will be able to see more success in finding! 

However, we were able to meet with a new investigator this week. The first time since the night we knocked on her door. Her name is Huang Yi Wen and she is absolutely adorable. The night we met her, we asked her if there was anything special she wanted us to pray for her about. She told us for her husband and her to be able to have kids but that it would take a miracle. As we met with her this last week. We shared with her the Plan of Salvation. it was really neat. Her and her husband have an amazing relationship. They have been married for 11 or 12 years and have been so happy. (Extremely rare here.) They love each other so much and support each other in everything they do. He and his family is Buddhist but she told her husband and he supports her in becoming a Christian. She said her husband is really excited and happy we are starting to meet with her. While we shared with her the Plan of Salvation, everything made sense to her. It was as if she already knew it! We extended an invitation for her to be baptized on July 11th and she accepted! When we invited her, she teared up and explained how before, she wouldn't have accepted but that we are her 3rd or 4th connection to Christianity. 1st: Her older sister is a Christian and lives in Taipei. 2nd: When she was younger I guess these two ladies came to her home and 'baptized her'. She feels like Heavenly Father is giving her another chance to really come unto Him. I am really looking forward to meeting with her more.  

Also, every Wednesday night we teach English and the last 30 minutes of English class we have a spiritual thought. One of the Elders investigators', Peter, attends the class I am currently teaching--Intermediate--and I shared about faith. We discussed three questions using the Book of Mormon. What is faith (specifically in Jesus Christ)?  How can I grow my faith? What blessings can I receive from having faith? For the second question, we read and discussed Alma 32:28. I really thought nothing about my spiritual thought after class until Thursday night when we were walking up the stairs to our chapel for coordination meeting with Jeffrey, the Elders and Peter were walking down the stairs and Peter said, "Thanks for your spiritual thought last night. It really helped me." I was honestly really taken back and so thankful for the kind words he said to me. Later, the Elders explained how it helped him gain the needed motivation he needs to give up smoking. Peter has been working on giving up smoking for a while now so that he can make his baptismal date by the end of this month. He is currently on 3 cigarettes a day (I guess this is the most challenging number to go down to 2?) and he was at a point where he was about to give up but when we read Alma 32:28, he had a thought that it all comes with time and as his faith and trust in the Savior continues to grow, his habit of smoking will become easier and easier to give up. 

This week, Lai Ming Jin introduced us to his son who is 18 and his Sister-in-law! They were at his home when we went to visit him one night! It was really neat! His son seems really interested but it was really hard because his aunt wants him to focus more on School right now. He is in high school year 1. When he graduates from High school--which is still a couple years--he will be moving back in with his dad but I hope and pray his aunt will give him the opportunity he can come to church with his dad. Lai Ming Jin is so missionary minded right now--wanting to share the gospel with everyone he comes in contact with--with his new boss, friends, and family! In fact, his friend, Chen DX, that has been meeting with us for a while with Lai Ming Jin has a baptismal date also for the end of this month and he is all good to go except for smoking--which he is currently giving up--and Lai Ming Jin keeps asking us to continue helping him make his baptismal date! It is so neat! 

We were also able to meet with a mom and daughter we met while knocking doors 2 weeks ago last night. At first the mom was really nervous to meet with us and one of the first things she says is that she just wants to learn about our church but not join it. We told her that is totally fine and that our purpose is to help her come to know Christ and then it is her choice to choose to join His church. We shared the Plan of Salvation with her and she really opened up, asked some really good questions, and seemed really interested. At first she thought that entering the Celestial Kingdom but after explaining, she now wants to go there! 

Lastly, I have really come to realize this week the importance of personal scripture study. I am so grateful for the hour I have every morning to personally study the scriptures. Great strength and guidance comes from studying the scriptures. I know and I can promise you as you open the scriptures every day, whether it  be 5 minutes or 50, Heavenly Father will give you the extra direction and power we need in our lives to make correct decisions to make it back to His presence! 

I love you all so much! I love being a missionary! I love the work, the people, and most importantly, I love my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart. I know this church is true!!

Love you all! 
Have a great week!!
--Sister Haacke
We ate lunch with the Scheese family and Jeffrey on Saturday afternoon--they are so nice to us! We had tacos with REAL cheese and AMAZING apple pie!

Sister Cardon, President Day, and I. Last Monday we went up to Taipei for me to have my quarterly interview with President! Amazing experience! President Day is truly a man called of God. I am so sad at the end of this month he will be returning home but I am also looking forward to meeting our new mission President!
 OH. and I tried Stinky ToFu this week...yes...it is pretty gross..Definitely something that is going to take some getting used to. Our investigator, Qiu DX brought it with him to our lesson.
 It was Elder Dixon's birthday this week. We went out to eat with Jeffrey and Huang JM to celebrate!

Monday, June 8, 2015



School is out?!?! Man, that school year went by so fast! And you are now going on a road trip! Have so much fun! Take TONS of pictures!! Love you all!! 

This week went by so fast! It was an amazing week! 
Greatest highlight of the week was that Lai Ming Jin got baptized Saturday night, June 6!!!! It was such an amazing service! The Spirit was so strong! One of the Elders investigators, Zhou DiXiong, also got baptized Saturday night! Lai Ming Jin was very excited! He has a fake leg though so he got baptized with one leg. His friend, Yang DiXiong, in our branch, baptized him. He had to get baptized three times because his head didn't go completely under the first time, his hand didn't go completely under the second time, but the third time was perfect! It was amazing and our investigator, Li DiXiong also came to the service! I am so grateful. Lai Ming Jin now has a new start. A fresh start. He has come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ--the greatest thing and most important thing! 

Other than the baptism, we stayed really busy this week having lessons with other investigators and finding. 

Monday night, we were able to meet with a less-active male and his family! He has two children. His wife is so fun! We had a little family home evening with them and taught the children how to pray. We colored prayer rocks with them and really got to know Wang DiXiong and his family. His wife, is super nice and seems to be really open to learn more about the gospel. The whole time we were at their home, their 9 year old son was asking questions about Christ. It was so neat! I can't remember if I wrote about how we found him last week--We were eating dinner at a shaved ice and chicken place and a man and his daughter came and sat near to us and he started telling his daughter who we were and what we do. We overheard him and he didn't look familiar so we started talking with him, figured out he was a less active, and exchanged phone numbers. I am so excited to see where this family will go. They seem golden. 

This week was also a week of meetings and training. Tuesday we had Zone Meeting and Wednesday we had Zone Conference. Wednesday was my last Zone Conference with President and Sister Day. They go home at the end of this transfer (end of this month)! It is absolutely crazy. They have been absolutely amazing mission parents and leaders! I love them with all my heart and will miss them like crazy. I am also looking forward to meeting our new mission president as well. Some huge changes are going to be taking place soon in our mission! 

We also met with a new investigator this last Friday. Xu DiXiong is 85 years old and is originally from China. He is so so cute! We sat outside in his garage area and talked about God and families. He showed us all these pictures of his family. It was so neat. He is really down to earth and just flat out amazing. 

Friday night we also taught Li DiXiong the Word of Wisdom. I was pretty nervous to teach this lesson because I knew he uses and drinks all five things the Word of Wisdom invites us to avoid. It was really funny actually because the first thing he offered us when we walked in was Hong Cha (Red Tea) and we can't drink it. He asked us why and we were like, "That's a great question and we will answer that today in our lesson!" The Spirit was definitely in the lesson. He had his bettle nut and cigarettes on the counter the entire time we were teaching and he said he is slowly working on giving up cigarettes. He took the lesson really well and committed to slowly start following it. He was really shocked with the things we are asked by prophets to avoid but agreed that they are all bad for our bodies. But, we didn't scare him away because he came to Lai Ming Jin's baptism the night after! Li DiXiong's faith is so big. I pray he will continue to be able to rid himself of using bettle nut, cigarettes, and drinking tea, coffee, and beer! 

Gan Qiu Yi continues to progress. She has already been baptized into a different church and still doesn't quite understand the importance of the Priesthood. Our lessons with her are always so good. She absolutely loves the Book of Mormon and she learns from it every week. 

Sunday afternoon we also met with a new investigator. She is a member referral from ZhuNan. She is also from China, five months pregnant, and her husband just returned to China for work. Her husband is Taiwanese. She is going to have her baby in Taiwan and then move back to China in December with her husband. She doesn't believe in God or has any religious background but she is really open to discussing religion and learning more. She has been to church once with her friend and really liked it! She has all the time in the world so we will be able to meet with her a lot! 

Overall, this week was great! There are definitely hard days and good days but everyday is worth it! Every day I am learning more and growing. I love the people of Taiwan. I love being a missionary--it is definitely the greatest calling in the world! 

Sister Haacke

 All the Sisters in my Zone and Sister Day at Zone Conference.
 A small rice field in TouFen.
Lai Ming Jin's baptism! His friend, Chen DiXiong is also in the picture. 
 Yes, our baptismal font is a portable hot tub. :)

 Sister Cardon, Lai Ming Jin, and I after his baptism.
Sister Cardon and I.
 We ate Sunday dinner at Hong JiaTing last night as well as some other members in our branch. 

 My current Zone at Zone Meeting.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Many Miracles

Family and Friends!

This week has been great! I have learned so much and grown so much from my new companion, Sister Cardon!! She is absolutely amazing!! I have already learned and grown so much from her in just the first week we have been together! 

This week has been absolutely crazy! We have seen miracles upon miracles upon miracles! Most of them have been in finding new investigators! It all started last Monday night when a less active wasn't at her home for a FHE we were going to have with her and her family. Instead, we decided to knock doors. On one of the first doors we knocked, a 13ish year-old girl came out and started talking to us. She was so excited to be talking to 2 girls from America it was so cute! As we were explaining to her we were missionaries and about prayer, her mom walked out. We were really nervous her mom was going to tell us to go away but she came and joined in on the conversation and we were able to have a short lesson with them in their garage. We were able to give them a Book of Mormon and invited them to begin reading it together. Although they can't meet with us for about 2 weeks, we were able to get a return appointment! 

Another really neat miracle is that same night, we talked to a man who was sweeping his garage. He wasn't too interested in the gospel but he gave us a referral! (Who wasn't interested either-but we never get referrals!) About 30 minutes after we talked to him,  we were leaving that area, and a man came up to us on his motor scooter and gave us two huge bottles of water. It was the same man who was sweeping. He told us he has been watching us and the work we do as missionaries is really tiring and xinku so he ran to a family mart and bought us some water. Because of that, we were able to talk to him some more and come to find out, he is really interested in learning English. We told him about our free English class. It all starts with a little desire in something, and as that small desire begins to grow, interest in the gospel comes! 

Also, as we were walking down a street in a neighborhood this past week, a man started talking to us in perfect English from across the street. We went over and squatted on the side of the road with him and got to know him. He is from China but his whole family now lives in Taiwan. He is a chemistry teacher and is 85 years old! But honestly looks like he is in his 50s or 60s. He has heard of God and prayer but explained to us that he thought he was useless because he is this old man. We taught him that he is one of God's precious sons and that God knows and loves him very much. We gave him a Book of Mormon and explained to him through this Book, he can learn more about Jesus Christ and the love Christ has for him. We asked if we could come back and read it with him sometime, he said, "Of course! What do I need to do to prepare?" We invited him to start reading from the beginning and we will talk about it and discuss it the next time we come! 

Also this week, We were also eating dinner at a fried chicken and shaved ice place when this man and his 6 year old daughter came and sat at the same table as us. He started talking to his daughter about us and telling her that as missionaries, we work before our missions to save up money and then during our missions we come to teach people about Christ and we don't work at all. Sister Cardon leaned over and asked me if I knew him--which he didn't look familiar at all. So, we started talking to him. He said he used to be a member of the church. He named off multiple people in our branch and said he was friends with all of them! We were really kind of confused as to why he isn't coming to church anymore. We asked him if we could visit him and his family sometime, and he said of course! (We are actually meeting with them tonight!) We asked a member about him at church yesterday and they said that his father-in-law told him that when he was getting married to his daughter, if he wanted to get married to his daughter, he had to stop going to church. We are hoping that maybe his father-in-law's heart has softened and we can hopefully start beginning to teach a part member family! 

The miracles were so large this week. The largest miracle of all is that Lai Ming Jin passed his baptismal interview with President Day this last week and is set to get baptized this coming SATURDAY!!!! I am so excited. He is also so excited to get baptized. When ever we talk to him or see him is is always talking about his baptism. It was cute. Yesterday in sacrament meeting, he leaned over to me and said, "Sister Haacke, I haven't drank beer in 5 days now." He relapsed for 2 days last week but when President interviewed him this last week he told us he have to be clean for 7 days and then can get baptized. The change Lai Ming Jin has made in his life is absolutely incredible. As he was introducing himself to the branch in our combined third hour yesterday, he talked about his son who is going to high school in Taipei and how he is going to talk to him about the church and invite him to is baptismal service this coming Saturday. What joy comes when we see those Heavenly Father has put in our paths progress towards making their first covenant with our Father in Heaven. 

Other investigators we are working with are continuing to progress. The work in TouFen is really booming. I am blessed to be serving here in the time that I am. 

I love you all so much! Thanks for all the emails and letters! I appreciate them all so much! 

Sister Haacke

P.S. MOM-happy birthday again!! I hope you had a great week!

 Sister Cardon and I one night.

We ate dinner last night with Xu JieMei and her mom, Tan JieMei. They are so amazing!