Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I just got back from transfer meeting and I'm still in The city area
:)  Elder Tsai got transferred to the other city area, so I'm still
living with him, he's just with Elder hadfield now :P hahaha.  My new
companion (maybe) is Elder Monsen.  Dependent on one of hte new
missionaries.  president said that there's another Elder Chen coming
in (yay!) but we don't know if he can speak chinese.  So... they're
trying to figure out where to train him.  If he can speak chinese,
They want me to train him into the chinese-speaking program.  If he
can't, Elder Tito will train him into the English program.... we'll
find out later tomorrow. Yikes.  So.... in that case, all of transfers
will change.  Elder monsen will have to move or we'll have a
tri-panionship. hahaha.  We'll see, but I'm really excited to be
serving with him.  he's a really good missionary.

Well, this week has gone SUPER fast!!!!!!! We might get ANOTHER Elder
Chen like I mentioned, and I just found a guy named Joseph Chen....
CRAZY!!! I was talking to him at one of our bus stops and he was
talking about how we were both bananas.  I asked him is name and he
was like: joseph :) GAH!!!! and like every other chinese person here,
his last name is chen.  So I hope to teach and baptize myself this
transfer.  :D definitely possible.  YAY!  Crazy eh? That might be one
of the weirdst baptizms for me if it DOES happen.  We'll see.  I have
faith.  It will happen!

Yesterday, I picked up a missionary from the Airport, again.  He was
WAY cool.  Elder Balmforth from OC California.  Orange County.  He's
really funny and this is where I got the nacho libre mask.  He just
happened to have one because he got it for his birthday.  Anyway, that
was me using the sweat suit that you sent me while I was in the MTC.
:D hahaha, we had a lot of fun last night in the flat.  ELder
Balmforth is the MAN! I love him so much.  We taught a lesson with him
on monday and he's a really good teacher.  :)  He's going to be
serving in my birthplace: Eight Mile Plains.  That'll be a lot of fun.

Oh fun story :D.  We baptized a guy named Frank, a chinese
business-like man.  He looks really old, but he's actually only in his
twenties, which was really weird for me. hahaha.  At the baptism, I
was sitting next to him and he saw my ctr ring and asked if I was
engaged. :P hahahahahahahaha.  CTR=Engaged.  :) So I explained about
choosing the right and stuff.  Enduring to the End.  It was a perfect
segway into the next part of the plan too.  Marriage, enduring to the
end, etc.  It was perfect.  He's really excited and wants to go to
America soon.  one of our members told him: If you go to America, you
must go to Utah, or I will kick your butt.  It was kinda strange to
tell a new baptee, but it was funny because from now on,  Frank tells
all the members: "When I go to America, I will go to Utah.  Please to
not kick my butt", but he didn't say butt... so we taught him about
language. :D

One of my favorite missionaries is going home soon because he's been
here SOOOO long :P hahaha. just kidding.  He's almost done.  This is
his last transfer.  Anyway, he is the CRAZIEST missionary ever.  Elder
Wilson is the MAN!!! hahaha, President wanted him to train Elder
Hopooate (the famous rugby player) and they are doing SOOOO good in
their area.  It got me SUPER SUPER fired up and we've been working to
beat them.  We can DO IT!!!! hahaha.  I love it.  I get kinda fired up
about random things, but that's ok.  I really enjoy seeing how far I
can go.  Sometimes, when I go home, I fall asleep REALLY fast :P it's
really bad.  I've been trying to study at night, but sometimes I'm so
tired from teh day, I just pass out on the bed.  hahahaha.  DOn't
worry, I am doing really good and feel really healthy.  Everyday in
the city is just a really long day and I am really tired.  I'm really
excited about serving with Elder Monsen though.  He's the man.  We're
going to chai diao brisbane! :) hahahaha.  YEAH!!!! The best mission
in the world!  I don't care what Jeff says about Hong Kong, Brisbane
is the best :) hahaha.  hard, but fun.

I am also learning Korean!! only in my spare time though.  I've been
working on chinese really really hard, but we've found so many fresh
off the boat koreans that we can't communicate, but when we show them
a korean pamphlet they get REALLY excited.  So I need to learn Korean.
 The other elders baptized one korean last transfer and he's inviting
ALL his friends to church, which is super exciting.  We have heaps of
koreans now.  HEAPS.  We have one korean fellowship that was an RM and
a few recent converts, but we're really worried about using our recent
converts.  We're not sure how ready they are, but we've been using
some of them anyway because we want to try getting them more involved
in the church.  it's really good.

Vicky sounds like she's killing it in Taiwan!!!!!!!!! She is doing so
good.  She's such a great example to me.  Sometimes, when I'm finding
people, I'll think that this is really hard and I should take a break
for just a second, but then I think that Vicky is talking to HUNDREDS
of people a day, and then I get more energy and enthusiasm.  So, it's
good.... I might just be too competitive, but you know.  :) It's ok.
Nobody can get more competitive than vicky.  :)

Well, the improvement that I've been working on for this week is
something called the Process of Purification.  A general Authority
told us about this and I really wanted to do it, so I've started it
this week.  He told us that we need to start this process with a fast.
 Fast for a day and pray for help and inspiration on what we need to
do, as missionaries, to become the best missionaries that we can
become.  After our fast, we need to write down a list of ANYTHING that
pokes at our spirit.  Anything that could potentially distract us.
Then, promise the Lord that we won't do ANYTHING on that list for the
next forty days.  Every night we're supposed to pray and tell the Lord
how we did on the list and add anything that we feel like we should
write down.

It's HARD!!!!!! As soon as I wrote down things on that list, they
appeared EVERYWHERE! I had never seen so many different distractions
in a week than I did last week.  It was crazy, but I really wanted to
do this, so I was able to get away from those distractions and
continue to work.  because of it though, I've become more focused and
more in tune with the spirit! It's crazy!!!!!! It really does make a
big difference.

One of the miracles that happened helped us move a baptismal date
forward from one our investigators.  Our investigator is what we call
an Eternal Investigator.  He was being taught before I even got to
Australia, and he hasn't really been progressing too much.  Well, we
were asking him about what was holding him back, and he was creating
excuses.  Well, I suddenly felt like asking him about his family.  So
we talked about his family, and we found out that he had never talked
to his family about the church.  Well, we told him that they would
respect his choice to join the church if he told them about it.  So he
told them about it and they were actually fine with him being
baptized!!! :) so.... yep.  The spirit is the best.  My favorite
companion EVER. :)

I definitely know that this is God's work.  he does it in a way that
no human could ever do.  We truly have been blessed to know the
thoughts of our investigators.  Their concerns, their questions.
Everything.  Only if we listen.  It's the greatest.  It blows my mind.
 Every day, we see miracles.  Everywhere around us.  They're there, we
just need to look for them and recognize them.... and work for them.
but they are there!!!!!!!!! I know that through the Book of Mormon,
God has taught us so much, and has blessed our lives!!!!

Well, I've gotta go, the other Elders need to go shopping before our
P-day is over... Transfers take a long time :P hahahaha


Love you all!!!!

Elder Chen

Ps: this is Elder Bellingham and I by the temple across the river from
the City.  it's the best :)

Nacho LIbre mask in our flat

Monday, February 27, 2012


WOW! another week has gone by and next week is transfers! so I won't
be able to email until tuesday.  So just a heads up :D hahaha.  I love
transfers, but I don't want to get traansfered.  It's going to breally
hard this time because I'm afraid that they'll move some of the Elders
from our zone, and that'll make me really sad.

So updates on our zone/mission. President put some of my favorite
missionaries in this zone to get it pumped up and really excited. :D
hahaha.  And it's worked.  EMP (my first area) was known as the
promised land of the mission because they had lots of success there.
Now we have doubled their numbers.  Literally.  Our Zone had 69
lessons this last week... they had 32 (member presents)!!!! The Lord's
work can be done anywhere as long as the missionaries live worthy of
that spirit and expect miracles.  Our zone leaders focused on
expecting miracles, and we've seen them!  Elder Tsai and I Alone
taught more lessons in a month than one of hte other zones :P. yikes.
hahaha.  Elder Tsai is a fireball missionary.  One of my favorite
EVER! hahaha.  we taught 40 member present lessons last month. (this
month we're on track for 70! RISE UP!!!!!)

Anyway, the last picture there is of my FAVORITE missionaries minus
Elder Wilson and ELder Matanasiga (they're in Eight Mile Plains)
Elder Tsai is my companion, Elder Curtis was a professional ballet
dancer.  He danced on the Australian National Ballet Company.  (Child
prodigy, he reminds me a lot of Verina :))  And he's retired from that
now and came on a mission.  He's incredible.  Evidently dancers retire
very early.  He was on national tv and stuff.  anyway.  Next is ELder
Higham! he is THE COOLEST! hahaha, he was on the BYU golf team and is
one of the most BOLD missionaries I have ever met.  He's incredible.
When he talks, you can feel the spirit.  Next is Elder Hadfield, the
biggest stud missionary every.  I've served with him in EMP.  He is an
incredible missionary.  Finally, Elder Bellingham.  My MTC companion.
All around Athlete, and was on the BYU Golf team as well.  He knows
his scriptures SOOOOOO well.  It's amazing.  He has them all memorized
and can recite them as soon as you say the verse.  IT's happened a few

So that is our district.  On p-days we always go to the city or
golfing together.  Elder Higham and Elder Bellingham got clearance
from President to go golfing, because he likes to golf too, and I
learned how to hit the golf ball.  I'm still terrible, but at least I
can hit it :) it's actually a really hard sport. hahaha, Elder Tsai
and I were laughing the whole time beacuse our backs were sore :P
hahahaha.  That was fun.

Well last week, I went on Trade-offs with Elder Curtis and Elder
Hadfield.  They are both AMAZING missionaries.  Elder Curtis has a
very hard zone because it's so big and all their appointments are
fifteen minutes from each other.  When I went there, we went
contacting at the bus stop and guess what!!! I found SO many chinese
people in that area!!!! So I talked to them all, and got their
numbers.  Hopefully Elder Curtis can learn Chinese :P hahahaha.  When
I went on the trade-off with Elder Hadfield, we were in the same area
and it was so funny.  We taught people that I knew better than Elder
Hadfield because he's new in this area hahahaha.  Anyway they were
both really good.

OOOH! I just got your package with the recipes and the curry and
stuff! We were all really excited because we'd all been craving curry
:) hahahahaha.  Inspired timing.  Anyway.  You don't have to send me
planners.  They are the COOLest things in the world, but we get them
for free and Elder Hadfield and I just tape them up so the water
doesn't get through.  It works very well.  Thank you so much though :)
Elder Curtis wanted one so I gave one to him.  Plus I'm supposed to
use chinese planners.  but thank you so much for thinking about me :)
I really appreciate it! :D I really am fine with everything :)

goodness.  hahaha, I LOVE ELDER EVANS!!!! he is the GREATEST!!!! did
you know his dad is a general Authority? well he speaks japanese,
chinese and English really well.  He's the MAN!!!!!!! I didn't know
ELder Nielsen too well, but I've heard so many good things about him.
he was ELder Tsai's father, and Elder Tsai is my Father.  Elder Evans
is my grandpa too. :D hahahaha.  And verina met Jordan!?  WAH!?!?!?!
he came up to me at church and told me that he met my little sister.
I was going crazy anyway.  SOunds like verina isn't lacking in social
life at all.  But if you start dating people..... >:)

I feel like I've been getting really excited a lot lately or having a
lot of heart attacks or something, but Meagan is going to the
Phillipines?!?!?!?! WHOOOOOO! tell her congratulations for me.  I
don't know if she got my letter because the mail is really weird...
but yeah, Verina, could you get me her address? thanks :) she wouldn't
tell it to me hahaha.  But that's super exciting.  I know she's going
to be a fireball missionary.

anyway.  funny story for the week.  We were in Ward Missionary
Correlation and we were discussing a less-active.  We discovered that
nobody knew where she lived or what her number was, which makes it
incredibly difficult to find her.  Anyway, our ward mission leader,
Seth, told us that he sees here every now and then in the library so
we asked him to get her number.  and he was like: "Hey..." in a
very.... strange voice.  It was funny in the moment.... we were
laughing.... I should probably just cut this paragraph out because it
makes no sense, but if you were there, you would have laughed to.

Legitimate funny moment.  When we were golfing, we were just hitting
balls out as far as we could and suddenly we all heard a really high
pitch scream. hahahahaha. it was so funny.  Everybody freaked out and
realized that Elder Curtis was screaming and dancing around because he
finally hit the ball.  Anyway.  He has a really high voice and none of
us could stop laughing.

Elder Tsai this morning just told me that Evidently Elder Nielsen saw
a bird poop on somebody's face... I thought thatw as funny.  Birds are
very violetnt here hahahaha.  I love it.  No jeff, I have not punched
one yet.  Though there are these REALLY UGLY birds going around the
botanical gardens that I've been tempted to punch.  THey have really
long beaks and they're curved.  They dig around in the soil to get
food and stuff... ewwwww.  Not attractive at all.

Thank you all so much for all your supoprt and letters and packages.
I can really feel your love all the way over here.  and I love it!!!
:) I've gotten a bit strange here :P.  During lessons, I can feel the
spirit so strong.  Before the mission, I would NEVER cry.  Ever.  You
know that.  Anyway, for the past bit, I've been so close to crying in
the lessons and it's really crazy!  My vision gets really blurry and I
just feel like laughing.  It's really weird.  But I know that the Lord
is shaping me into an instrument that He can use!  I've seen him work
with some of our investigators as well.  Changing them and making THEM
useful in furthering His work.

An example of this was xiao qian.  I didn't explain why I sent you
that picture last week.  She is my FAVORITE.  We were worried about
bringing her to fellowship, but we felt like we needed to one time.
So we brought her to teach an investigator that has had a rough time
accepting the message.  When we were teaching, xiao qian suddenly came
out and said: "I think your problem is that you're not reading the
Book of Mormon." WOW!!!!!! we all were shocked and then the
investigator admitted that she hadn't been reading at all!  After the
lesson, Xiao Qian was super happy and I could tell that she KNEW.  I
have never seen someone grow so fast.  After she recieved the Holy
Ghost, she became SO intune with the spirit.

The ward is also WONDERFUL in helping us get things done.  As soon as
she was baptized, the relief society jumped on it and went to work
with getting her on to the next big thing.  The temple :) I'm really
excited for her.

I know that this church is true.  I know that the spirit DOES
influence our lives and DOES change our lives.  I hope you all have a
wonderful week. :D keep up the good work.  It sounds like you're all
doing wonderful!


Elder Chen

ps.  Car, Favorite Chinese card in the world.  (random Taiyu card),
Elder Hadfield in the back... stud. and my favorite missionaries :D

those are the pictures :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Hi family!!!!

yes I do still have my camera :) I just haven't really had a chance to
send stuff to you all :) thank goodness this week I took a few
pictures.  Pictures of me typing at a computer wouldn't be very fun :)
here are a few pictures from our adventures in the city on P-day. :)
All of the people in our zone love hanging out with each other on
P-days.  We have the best zone :) hahahaha.

I'm glad to hear everybody is doing so well! Verina did another
benefit concert?! oh my goodness.  She's saving the world already.
I'm way behind.  :D hahaha.  Just kidding. I'm saving souls so I think
I'm alright.  hahaha.  Jeff and Kara better not get married while I'm
out here... :P just kidding.  You can get married while I'm out here.
Just make sure you let me know when it is.  I'd think it would be very
awkward if I came home and thought they weren't married when they were
or visa versa... ok... that was really awkward. Being a missionary
makes you SO weird hahahaha.  Dad is the man! everyday, I think of how
I can be more like him when I'm out here.  It's really hard, but I
really love it.  I always try to remember that Dad does so much and
still keeps going but never complains.  Jon is killing it!!! I know
he's going to be a really good student!

Vicky and I write letters to each other and she teaches me so much
from her letters.  Plus she makes me laugh too much.  I think letters
are too much fun for me hahahaha.  Oh well.  Everytime the other
Elders see the letters you send me, they are like: "Oh wow... Elder
Chen, they make sure they use every cent of that stamp eh?" hahahaha
each letter is like a little package :D I love it!

Well, about other elders, we have now moved from my favorite flat in
the mission into the flat with Elder Bellingham and Elder hadfield.
The Assistants were like, You're being transfered... but we just had
transfers, so I was really confused and thought they were joking.
Turns out they were and I really have been transfered.  The last two
days have been packing and moving.  So I've been really busy.  We set
up in Elder Bellingham and Elder Hadfield's flat and I've now been
companions with EVERYBODY in that flat hahaha.  Elder Bellingham was
my MTC companion, Elder Hadfield was my companion in EMP, and Elder
Tsai is my current companion still.  hahaha.  I'm not sure where else
I can go or who else I can be companions with hahaha :).  President
said that once my chinese gets good enough, he'll probably move me
into the english program for a bit.  :P hahaha.  I'm probably not
going to go to the english program for a LONG time :)

Well guess what! Crazy thing happened, the other day, I was at church
talking to a Samoan brother.  He thought I was from China or
something, but when he found out I was from Utah, he got really
excited and told me he needed to grab somebody hahaha.  When he came
back he had a friend with him.  It was really weird because I knew her
at BYU!!! weird eh? anyways that was the strange moment for the week.
hahahaha.  There are actually quite a few americans in this area...
and canadians, but canadians are crazy and really like to emphasize
their accents hahaha eh?

Fun moment for the week.  I just learned the word for rubber band is
xiang pi jing.  Well, I asked Amulek (RM from Taipei) for a rubber
band, or a xiang pi jing. Turns out, I had the tones wrong and asked
for a loud farting monster.  yep.  So I am now: Xiang Pi Jing.
hahahahaha.  Ok... maybe that wasn't as funny as I thought it was, but
I thought it was pretty stinking funny. hahaha get it? ok.  Anyway,
they told me that I would be dangerous in Taiwan because of my chinese
:P they said it was too cute. awkward.

Happy Australia day by the way! the 26th was australia day, which is a
rather awkward day here.  Australia day celebrates australians taking
the land from aboriginals... but there are still lots of aboriginals
in the area... they're all over the place.  And a lot of the
population isn't actually from australia.  A lot of them are from
Asia.  My favorite part is that not even Australians know really what
it is or what they do or why they do it.  I had to ask a lot of
Australians before I actually figured out it was the day that the
Australians took the land hahaha.  Celebrations include drinking,
going to bars, getting drunk, and then roaming the streets... hahaha.
So the ward just held a party at the church away from all the bars and
stuff. It was a lot of fun.  A few of our investigators turned up.
one from Korea, one from taiwan, one from china, japan, and vietnam.
thank goodness the other elders brought another brother from Korea.
Our korean investigator gets shy when he speaks english, but is crazy
with korean. we have five rm japanese members, and a few vietnamese as
well so the rest were ok.  but it's rather difficult finding
fellowship for all of our investigators. hahaha.  there are too many
languages!!!! :D

So this week was a really crazy week because the first few days, Elder
Tsai and I couldn't go out and work because it was P-day on monday,
tuesday we had a special training that took the whole day, wednesday,
most of the areas were flooded, thursday was Australia day.  (ps I'm
ok, don't worry, our area didn't flood)  We had friday, Saturday and
Sunday to work, and we wanted to keep meeting all of our goals.  So we
said LOTS of prayers.  We had NO lessons till thursday, but after
that, our investigators started calling us to have lessons!!!!! which
is really crazy!  Well, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we taught enough
lessons and had enough miracles to meet our goals!!!!!!!!! crazy huh?
it was really weird because we had only expected to be able to meet
with 6 of our investigators but we ended up doubling that number!!!!!
Miracles are EVERYWHERE.

Our first miracle was that six of our seven potential investigators
one day answered the phone and agreed to meet with us.  All of the
lessons happened! none of them fell through.  The other miracle is
that we got seven potential investigators in one day! (Another story I
shall tell you in a moment :))  Another miracle is that we got calls
from other areas telling us that they had chinese speaking
investigators for us to teach.  Another miracle happened when one of
our investigators finally got his drivers license... the day before we
wanted to meet with him (he is a miracle... another long story) that
will probably be all the stories I get to tell you this time,
hopefully next time I'll be able to tell you more :).

Well the seven potentials in a day story:

Our Zone Leaders decided to have a zone-wide competition where we
would see which companionship could get the most investigators.  Elder
Tsai and I were really upset because that day we had five lessons!
Elder Tsai told me that there was no way that we could win, which got
me all fired up and excited to win.  (It makes me go crazy when people
tell me I can't do something) anyway, the next day, we taught all our
lessons and only had 3 hours to go finding.  All the other Elders had
opened up 5-8 hours to find for this competition.  Well, in those
three hours, we got 7 potential Investigators!!!! Elder Tsai got 1 and
I got 6 because he thought we couldn't do it.  Well, we did it :)
hahaha.  the closestcompanionship to us had 4 potentials.  Everybody
was shocked when we told them that we had 7.  I just explained to them
that you just have to pray really hard for help and for miracles at
night... pray really hard when you wake up, pray really hard when you
study, pray really hard when you end your studies, and pray really
hard throughout the day.  :D so pray lots.  and work REALLY hard.
That night I was so tired I fell asleep on my journal hahaha.
Thankfully elder Tsai didn't notice because I started drooling on my
journal... so... on one of my pages I have a gigantic smear. I will
always remember that day. :D

miracle number 2:  The investigator that can drive now :)

We've been teaching one of our investigators since I entered this
area.  Elder Tsai said that he was found two transfers before I got
there... so we've been teaching him since I've been in Australia...
which is a LONG time.  Everybody was convinced that he would be an
eternal investigator.  I've only met with him once for 20 minutes just
to follow up on some things and get to know him and his religious
backround.  He told us earlier that he doesn't really want to continue
meeting with us because he already knows all he needs to know about
our church.  Well, we decided to call him on saturday to invite him to
church.  He seemed really excited and told us that he could drive.  So
he picked up another of our investigators and brought them to church
as well!!! O.o crazy.  Now here's the crazy part.  We met with him
after church.  As soon as we sat down, he said: I want to be baptized
and become a member. Elder Tsai was on a split because he had to teach
other investigators.  I was shocked and my member-companion didn't
understand why.  He told us, last night, he suddenly felt like he was
missing something and that he wanted to go to church while he was
watching TV.  As he was thinking about church, the TV show he was
watching started talking about "mormons" and then we called him!!!!!!
That day, when he went to church, he said that he felt something
different.  So he set a baptismal date for us and hopefully he follows
through.  I told him to write down his thoughts and his feelings as
soon as he got home so that he would remember them if he was ever in
doubt. so... eternal investigators will eventually feel the spirit...
I hope :D we have a lot of them.  We only meet with one eternal
investigator each week.  We should meet with all of them regularly...
AH there is SO much to do!!!!! I don't have enough time out here.
President Langeland told us that Chinese missionaries can extend their
missions one more transfer so I might do that.  Thank goodness I have
a lot of my mission left.

I LOVE THIS AREA!!! there is so much work to do here and we've found
so much success.  I don't ever want to leave this area.  The
investigators are Wonderful.  The members are SO supportive, and the
people are usually nice.  When they're not, I think it's a lot of fun
:D.  Elder Tsai ran into a bible basher the other day and I thought it
was really funny because every time the bible basher used a
scripture... it actually wasn't a scripture.  One of the ones he was
trying to use about the trinity was about a fruit basket or
something.... I can't remember.  hahahaha.  anyway, we just told him
what we believed and wished him a good day. :P hahaha.  Bible bashers
are funny people.

So in the mission there was a really crazy thing that JUST happened.
One of the elders had an investigator who they thought they'd never
baptize, but one day, they met with him and he told them that some guy
from america told him to get baptized the other day.  So he decided to
get baptized the following saturday, and confirmed on Sunday.  He was
emergency deployed to Afghanistan the next day... O.o.  Nobody knew
that he would be deployed so soon.  God is a God of miracles!!!!!

Thank you all so much for all the support that you've given me! I know
that you have prepared me really well for what I am doing now.  I know
that this church is true.  How could it not be?  I hope you all have a
wonderful week.  There are miracles all around us.  Look for them! :)
A challenge that I might give to you all that started to really help
me:  When you write in your journal, the first thing you should write
is: Miracle: ..... and then write about your miracle :D It works!
There ARE miracles every day all around us.  :)  Big or small they

Love you all, and hope you all have a great week!!!!!!


Elder Chen