Taiwan Taipei Mission

Taiwan Taipei Mission

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Happiest 18 Months of My Life


Well, to be honest, I don't really know how to start this email! My emotions are literally ALL over the place. Like literally, I don't even know how to explain but its crazy! Dying as a missionary is so different. I have loved every second of the last 18 months and 20 days. My life has changed forever because of this experience. I am so grateful for all that I have learned. Now, my time has come that in two days from now, I will be getting on a plane and coming home. I am excited but wayyyy more nervous! haha 

But....As for a run down of the last week and a half....literally some of the best days of my entire mission. Sister Wong and I worked our hearts out this week. 

It all started last Monday night where our 6 and 7 PM lessons were cancelled and we had some time to find. As we were street contacting, no one was wanting to talk to us. We went and stopped by a potential's work and she didn't really want to talk with us either, we then made a decision to walk down this darkened road. There was one lady on her phone just standing there. We went up and talked to her and she is a single mom of two young children. She has been looking for a Christian Church to start taking her kids to and we were the answer to her prayers she kept saying. We had the most powerful street lesson with her and set a baptismal date. Then literally as she was walking away, this man self contacted us and asked us if our church was in this area and wants to start coming when he doesn't have work on Sunday! Literally, the miracles flew in, that night we were also able to pray with some sweet sisters who will one day accept the gospel! 

Our investigator, Rachel (張瑞綺) is absolutely phenomenal and is progressing SO much! We finished teaching her all the commandments this week and she readily accepted all of them. As we have been able to teach her over these last three weeks or so, we have seen a HUGE change in her. She went from being a lady who was extremely depressed and flat out looking for happiness, who would never smile or laugh, to someone who is now much more excited, smiling, and laughing all the time with us! We have been able to spend a lot of time with her and she has also been able to help us with some projects. Rachel has literally become one of my best friends! I am so grateful I had this opportunity to meet her and help her come unto Christ. Our last lesson with her on Monday afternoon, she expressed to us how music has really played a huge part in her change. Right there, in the middle of the lesson, we pulled out some hymn books and I went over to play piano and we listened to I Believe in Christ. It invited the Spirit into the room SO strong. Like SO strong. Up until then, she had never been willing to set a baptismal date. She knew that was our purpose but she didn't want to set one until she knew for herself that the things we were teaching her were true. Well, after we listened to I Believe in Christ, we invited her to baptism and she set her own date for May 28 (Mom's birthday!!) Literally, I have never been so excited for someone to set a baptismal date. Rachel is so awesome and she could literally get baptized tonight if she wanted to but she wants to give herself just a little more time to become more familiar with the Scriptures and adjust more to the church schedule which is a little hard for her. I never knew how much love I could have for someone not in my family. I literally feel like Rachel is my older sister. I LOVE her so much! It has been so amazing to see how the gospel has changed her life already so much in just a little under a month. 

Zhou Min Yu: Sister Wong and I went on splits after church on Sunday to have a lesson with some of the investigators we had at church on Sunday. I taught Zhou JieMei. She is the mom of the two CRAZY boys. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. I also love Zhou JM to death! She is literally so amazing. What a blessing it is that she found the church. She desires so much to learn and to help her boys have successful lives. What a sacrifice she is doing for her boys. And let me tell you, her boys are crazy!!! Some of the most active, hyper, 調皮, boys ever. But I love  them!! Zhou JM will also be getting baptized the end of May just as she finished the lessons with the missionaries. 
Tang DX: He is a 21 year old, lock dancer, college student. As we sit down to meet with him Monday night, we were under the impression that he has yet to read any of the Book of Mormon.. Well, much to our surprise, he came in and had read the entire book of Ether. He said he randomly chose a book and decided to read it all (good thing he didn't chose Alma right??) haha He loved reading and he understands so much. He is majoring in History and I think that helps him really be able to understand the Scriptures. He has a very strong desire to be baptized. We discussed more about his work and how he can't start coming to church till the middle of May. He teaching a math class at a cram school. We set a baptismal date for June 18 (Dad's birthday!!) and he said he is certain he wants to be baptized then! AWWW MIRACLES!!

As I sat down in Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday, it hit me really hard that it was going to be my last three hour church in Chinese. WOW. Has time flown. I remember my very first back in TouFen and I couldn't understand like anything! Now, it has changed so much. Not only has the language barrier been broken down but I feel like throughout my mission, my love for attending church and the knowledge of the need to weekly partake of the Sacrament has become something so near and dear to my heart. I look forward to attending church. My testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is stronger than ever. I know for a fact that Christ Atoned for you and me. He did it so we can be happy. Through the Atonement, Christ can fully understand our every feeling. He loves us. Through the atonement, we are able to repent of our sins and overcome death so that we can once again return to live with our Father in Heaven. 
On Sunday, us, the Elders and RuiCong each sang I am a Child of God/I Have a Savior in Sacrament Meeting and I was asked to bear my testimony. Wow. What a powerful song. I know we are all God's Children. HE LOVES US!

These last 18 Months have literally been the most happiest, joyful months of my entire life. I can honestly say my mission has changed me for the better for the rest of my life and into the eternities. I have been able to witness the lives of the Taiwanese change and I have also been able to watch my own life change. The mission has been filled with so many different experiences. It all hasn't been a nice country drive.  I've had to drive up and down hills and plow through mountains of rocks, but these experiences have changed me for the better. They have helped me become the person I have become today. 
I know with out a doubt that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the earth today. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith restored the church with its full Priesthood power so we can enjoy the blessings we receive through righteous living on the earth. I know through the power of God Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I love the words of Joseph Smith, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” I know with all my heart this is true. I treasure the words of the Book of Mormon. I know the Plan of Salvation is a perfect plan. I know we will one day be able to return and live in the Celestial Kingdom if all we do now is to continue developing our faith in Jesus Christ, repent daily, weekly renew our baptismal covenant by attending church and partaking of the Sacrament, keeping the commandments and ENDURING!
Being a full-time missionary for the Lord for me might be coming to a close. I am going to soon have to take of my name tag in which I have worn on my chest with pride for 18 months. But I will never not be a missionary. I will continue walk on the path to eternal life helping others on my way join me. Everything we do to obtain Eternal life is WORTH IT. 
The hardest thing for me I know is going to be getting on the plane Friday morning and flying home. My heart is literally here in Taiwan. I love the people here, the culture, and the atmosphere. I have treasured all the areas I have served in. I know Heavenly Father has truly sent me to be in all the areas that I needed to learn and bless the lives of the people who lived in those areas. I am grateful for all the companions I have had. They have also changed my life. 
I am closing a chapter of my life and opening the doors to a new one. It seems crazy to think about. But, I am grateful. I am eternally grateful.  

I am coming home with no regrets...except one...not flossing my teeth regularly...sorry Jeremy! :)
Sister Haacke

I will be giving my Homecoming talk on April 24th at 1 PM. I hope to see you all there!
7940 N 35th W

 This morning, we got special permission to wake up early and go watch the sunrise. We woke up at 4:10 AM this morning to meet the rest of our district and a few members and investigators to sit and watch the sunrise together. What a beautiful world Heavenly Father has created for us.





 Zhou Min Yu and her boys.

 Li Xun's home (above and below).

 Tang DX
 Eating at May's home.
 Ward activity.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Homecoming Date


I will be returning home from my Mission next Friday,  April 22, 2016. I will be flying into the Idaho Falls, Idaho Airport and arriving at 8:30 PM. I invite you all to be there!

I will also be giving my homecoming talk at the Osgood Ward Building:

7940 N 35th W Idaho Falls, Idaho

on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 1 PM

I hope to see you all! 

Love you all so much! 
Sister Haacke



Wow, TIME FLIES!! This week was pretty crazy and also pretty exciting! It went by wayyy to fast! So much happened this last week and more will continue to happen this next week. 

Before I forget, I will not be having Preparation Day next Monday. It will be moved to Wednesday. I am so lucky. My last two days in Taiwan, I will be able to go to the Temple TWICE! Our Mission is having their temple day a few weeks early due to mission tours next month and it happened to fall the day before I report the the Mission Home!

As for this week, we had a busy week in and out of our area. We had zone meeting this week, exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, and General Conference! So with all these events, we weren't able to do much work in our area but we were still blessed with miracles! 

We met with a referral this week. Tang DiXiong. Brother Tang is 21 years old and from the South but working here and doing his required military service. Well, in the end, he has a ton of interest and really wants to know for himself. Liang JM was our peike and she was so great. We shared the first lesson with him and our peike asked him, "Do you have any doubts about what the missionaries just taught you?" At first I was like...what are you asking? Then, it opened up and Liang JM shared when she was investigating the church several years ago and the doubts that she had and how she overcame them. It was really neat to hear this strong member bear testimony about the power of prayer and really pondering the Scriptures. 

While on exchanges, Sister Maxwell and I were meeting with one of their investigators, Jian DX. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he does everything except for the illegal drugs. When we showed him a picture of all the things he needed to avoid, he points to all of them and said, "ding, ding, ding etc" We made a calendar with him on how he is going to give up smoking. This lesson was neat because after we left, he called us two times that night thanking us for the great lesson and giving him hope he can give up smoking. Helping others change their lives for the better is so so amazing.
We also met with a man, Li Ji Xuan, in whom I also met with last transfer when we were on exchanges. Man, this man has changed. I'm telling you, I am so grateful for the gospel and how it changes lives. He is also working on giving up smoking and has a baptismal goal for the end of this month. 
Also, while we were on exchanges, I saw a picture of dad on the front of someone's instrument store. As we were reading the article with the picture of dad, we noticed the people in the store were all looking at us, we decided to go in and ask if we could share a short message with them. Well, we first met the wife, Zhan JM. I pointed to the picture of dad and said that he was my dad. Then she went off and started to show me all these other pictures and rewards her husband has received from Melaleuca. He is pretty far up there. Well, we shared something small with her and she became a really awesome potential investigators. Several hours later when we were returning to grab our bikes from the front of the store, the husband was outside and came over and said, I know your dad! haha Well, we talked with him and I got a picture with him. Dad, he knows you are not working at Melaleuca anymore and he was sad. But, he was really neat and told us that he has met with missionaries before but is just so busy right now, he doesn't even have 30 minutes to be able to sit and take the lessons. One day. So, I'm just meeting people all over the place that know you dad! haha (This was in BeiTou)

General Conference was absolutely amazing. I could write pages and pages of what I learned and received inspiration on but because I am really short on time today, I won't. But, all I can say is that I am so grateful for a living prophet and Apostles that lead and guide our church today. I sustain and support our current prophet, Thomas S. Monson and I am so grateful for the counsel he gave to us about making choices. Conference is literally the best thing ever. I also heard from several Elders the Priesthood Session was wonderful--especially Dieter F. Uchtdorf's? haha 

This week, I really took some time and studied about hope.
I love in Preach My Gospel under Chapter 6- Christlike attributes it defines hope as:
Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom.

I especially loved the first line, Hope goes along with trust so much. It also goes along with faith. But I feel like faith is like diligent work. Through that diligent work can we develop our faith. I also love how we can measure our hope. Just like PMG says, When we have hope, we are confident, optimistic, enthusiastic, and patient throughout our trials. Hope comes through patience (and if anyone knows me, that is something I have really had to work on on my mission). 

Hope reminds me of a scripture in Alma 58 while Helaman and the 2000 stripling warriors and armies are in battle: 

10 Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God,that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.
 11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea,insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

When we have hope, I know the Lord will deliver us out of all of our trials. He loves us and wants us to succeed. He is willing to help us and willing to lift us up off the ground--only when we lift our hand up to Him. 
I know my Savior lives and loves each and every one of us. His gospel and teachings are PERFECT. He is the head of this church and I am so grateful I have the honor of wearing His name on my chest everyday. 

Time is really clicking down and my emotions have honestly been everywhere. But, I can say, I am starting to get just a little bit excited to head home. I can't think about it very much but I am excited to see you all again! 
I love you all and have a great week and a half! I'll write once more next Wednesday :)
Sister Haacke 

P.S. Crazy experience with our CO2 Alarm this week. Our mission just got new ones and I think the are WAY too sensitive but they all for our health right? Well, I just didn't sleep at all Wednesday night because it went off at 4:30 in the morning. My companion just continued to sleep but I was honestly scared for my life. I opened all the windows and checked the old CO2 alarm but it wasn't going off. It went off again at 5:30 and then about 4 times between the hours of 6 and 6:28 AM. I then finally called our operations Elder and we had to leave our apartment for the morning, in the end, there was no CO2 but it was a sleepless night for me. :) 

 We were taken to WuLai in XinDian last week for P-Day. It was gorgeous!
 Cai JM a XiAn ward member made us dinner. We ate with her and our Bishop's family Friday night.
 I saw Jeffrey! My first MM Leader is Taiwan from TouFen!
 These people's exercise is pretty cool!
Sister Maxwell and I.
 Zhan XianSheng
 Our Zone..We're all squinting pretty hard. haha!

Monday, April 4, 2016

18 Month Mark

My dear family and friends!!

There have been so many neat experiences this week. Emails have always been so hard for me to express my feelings and the experiences I have had. (Sorry :)) The mission is truly an experience FULL of miracles and joyous times. I LOVE my mission.

As I have had to begin wrapping up my mission, I have had a lot of mixed feelings. I can't believe I have been serving the Lord for 18 months! This last week, April 1st, I hit my 18th MONTH MARK! So crazy!! I know I say it a lot but...time has truly flown. I am grateful I have a few extra weeks after my 18th month mark to continue to serve these wonderful people.

Rachel (張瑞綺): She is 25 years old and we found her while finding this last week on Tuesday. She is a college graduate with a writing major and in currently looking for a job. She has one older sister who is studying in Florida. At first we contacted her with sharing we have a free English class, then we explained our purpose and what our purpose is as missionaries. She seemed to have so much interest. We set up for Wednesday after English class to meet with her. Wednesday night came around, she attended our intermediate English class and then we had a lesson with her after. We taught her the Restoration. In this lesson, she explained to us that she has suffered from depression and is continuing to try and overcome it. She is not comfortable with herself and her biggest desires right now is to be prettier and lose weight...But, Wednesday night, we set up to do a temple tour with her on Thursday (Thursday, we were assigned to go up to the temple and be the Temple Tour Sisters for the day). Thursday, we had a member, 王姐妹, be our peike and we had a great tour about the Plan of Salvation, and the Temple, and then also shared with her the video clip by Elaine S. Dalton, Deep Beauty, which talks about we are all queens. She asked us really good questions during the tour including how we feel the Spirit and what it feels like and how she can feel it in her life. We set up with her again and met with her on Saturday. Li Su Mei (李素美)was our peike and was so perfect for her. Saturday, we taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her questions we once again so amazing. She was a bit confused about what she needs to repent of but she was willing to try! She explained more about her depression and Li JieMei was so perfect for her because she works with individuals who are working through overcoming depression and they have a lot of acquaintances in common! Li JeiMei gave her a lot of tips. The thing that Rachel said that was so awesome in this lesson is that she has tried so many different ways to overcome her depression and none of it has worked and now she just wants to use the power from God. She doesn't have much of a religious background at all. She has attended a church many years ago once but other than that, she knows nothing but she has a desire to learn of God and ask Him for help to overcome her current challenges! So neat. She attended some of church with us yesterday but left early because she was feeling sick. The humidity is starting to come on and it was pretty hot at church so I'm sure that played a factor. She left early this morning (Monday) to take a 5-day trip with her parents to Korea so we won't be able to meet with her this week but we will be out of our area a lot so it was a perfect week for her to be gone. I love Rachel SO much. She inspires me. I know this gospel can and will change her life.

DAD, this is mostly for you but also for everyone...So, Thursday, as you know, we were the Temple Tour Sisters. So, we spend the whole day up at the temple doing tours in the big chapel next to the temple all day. Well, in the afternoon, there was a family in the church sitting on the couches and we started talking to them. The dad, mom, and oldest daughter came to Taiwan for their daughters Senior graduation trip and the dad served his mission here and has never come back till this time. I asked him when he served his mission and he said 1990-1992. I told him that dad also served here. As I started calculating when dad was here, he asked, what is your last name? I said, "Haacke." and then he immediately said, "Paul Haacke" I was so shocked. DAD HE SERVED WITH YOU! Jared Hadden is his name.  He said that you were never companions but served in the same district or zone. I was so surprised he remembered your name--especially your first name! He went on and told me a lot of experiences about his mission and your mission president and his wife and also experiences with you, dad. haha He remembers you and I learned a lot about your mission :) haha Well, just a little bit :) What a small world right?!?!? Well, he and his family is currently living in Denver, Colorado.

AND, Sunday night, we had a new member fireside where we can bring investigators, LA's, RC's, etc. to a fireside and new members from all over the Taipei area speak and bear their testimonies about how they came to know the church, etc. Well, last night we went and I was able to see Fan Zhu Song again!! Man, I love this man!! (My first convert)! He told me tonight his plans. He is going to work for the next 2 years to save up money and then he is going to GO ON A MISSION! AAWWW. So awesome!! I told him I will Skype him when I am home so he can meet my family! ALSO, Elder Zach Johnson was there. I first saw his trainer because I couldn't find him and then I went up to him, and was like, "Hey! I am Sister Haacke, do you remember me?" haha yep, I'm on awkward missionary! We reunited and talked a lot. He is doing great. He also asked about Bryan and how he is doing. He says his older sister, Miriam, is at BYU majoring in English. His family is doing great. It is so weird to be like grown up and seeing each other. I remember living in Shanghai China, with his family. We were both so young. The biggest memory I have with his family is going over to their house across the street and playing telephone in their living room...weird memory I know but it was memorable! haha :) He and is trainer asked me for any advice and all I could say was to live it up to the very end. So crazy! It was like we had a little China reunion for a little bit!

For my 18th month mark, Sister Wong made us all lunch. RuiCong, TingXuan, and the Elders. We ate upstairs of our apartment. Sister Wong is so good at making food. I am trying to learn from her...haha...I am so lucky to have such an amazing companion! We also went and got this really good pudding for dinner.

Saturday, we had an activity at the church. We played board games. The turn out wasn't too much because there is a Taiwan holiday this weekend all the way until Wednesday. This holiday is basically everything is shut down, and everyone goes back to their home town and goes and cleans the graves of their ancestors and worships them. So, many people are gone. But, Yang Zhong Yan, an investigator who got baptized last year but never got confirmed came! She is starting to really change and progress. She is actually an investigator who lives in LuZhou, the ward that also meets in our building but she wants to be visited by Sisters, so we have special permission to teach her. She has many different things she is working through! But, she is starting to be much happier and it is great! AND, last night at the new member fireside, our zone leaders came up to us and said she attended their ward up in Taipei Today!!!!! She has a big problem attending the LuZhou ward and has asked us several times if she can go to the chapel by the temple. We are still in the process of having her come to LuZhou but this is the first time she has gone to church since last November! SO IT WAS HUGE! Despite the fact it wasn't in the ward she is supposed to go to, it is an amazing start!

We had a crazy experience with our investigator, Liu Zu Mei this week. We went and picked up pizza and ate lunch with her and then a member came after lunch to be our peike for the lesson. Sadly, in this lesson, Liu JM told us she no longer had interest in learning about the church. She wants to be our friend but, she doesn't want to learn any more :( We saw her yesterday in the park while finding and she was super excited to see us. (I was also super excited to see her) so we talked for a few minutes but hopefully she will slowly gain her desire to learn more about the gospel.

Zhou Min Yu and her boys were down south for the holidays this weekend so they couldn't come to church so we will continue next week with them.

Leann and her son Ray are super awesome. Leann only came to our lesson this week but she is showing a lot of interest. The hardest thing for her is that church is at 8:30 AM and she says that is too early for her on Sunday, her only day to sleep in, but she says she will 慢慢來 and come to church soon!

We met with a referral who is an atheist this week and basically did a psych test on us...interesting experience :)

We also had lunch with Lu JieMei, Bishops wife, and their youngest son on Tuesday. I love the Taiwanese people SO much!!

Last Monday, we went to DanShui for preparation day.

So much happened this last week. I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunities I have had on my mission. I have loved every second SO SO much. I am looking forward to the next 2 1/2 weeks. Seeing what they will bring. Time truly flies. I am in pure shock that I am coming to the close of my mission. I just can't think about it and then I am okay. It is pretty crazy and weird though.

I know this church is true. I know Christ lives. He is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Older Brother, and my Friend. He loves us. He knows us. Through Him, we can overcome all things. I finished my study in the Book of John this last week. I love the last two verses of John 21:

24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did,the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Christ did so many things on the earth that we don't have a record of. But, I am so grateful for the records that we do have. The records that we have right now are all that we need in order to learn and pattern our lives after the Savior. Coming unto our Savior is a thing we must do over our entire life. We must be diligent. Keep the Commandments. Repent Daily.

I love my Savior so much. He is my Rock. Just like the Lord commanded the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in Alma 27 to leave their lands and depart to the land of the Nephites to find safety, the Lord is protecting us. Heed to his council. Listen to the promptings of the Spirit and we will be directed in all things.

I love you all and hope you all had a great conference weekend! I am excited to be able to watch it this coming weekend! Have a great week!


Sister Haacke

 DanShui...the Weather was beautiful!!!
 Lunch with LiuZuMei.
Jarden Hadden and his family.

 Stephanie and Trent got married the day we were at the temple doing tours!
 Chicken heart!
Elder Johnson

 18 month little celebration!