Monday, July 1, 2013


HALLO!!!!! :)
tha't super exciting. :) I'm sure he's a rockstar man! He was definitely a fantastic missionary. I'll see him soon :P NOT TRUNKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA
Alright. so the pictures are like this. This is elder hodgkinson and I. I in my beautiful pink boots(cleats) and him in my shirt :) hahahaha. that's the shirt you sent us. it was freeeeeeeezing.... so he wanted to borrow one of my long sleeves :) hahahaha all goods htough. We didn't expect sunshine coast to be htis cold. DId you know? Elder Hodgkinson is finishing his mission here and htis is the first area in which he was trained?! cool eh? and I'm finishing with Elder Tito. His older brother was one of the hcinese missionaries I lived with in the beginning of my mission! crazy eh?! anyway..... yeah. so Elder Hodgkinson fly home together so you'll meet him. He'as really good at being a missionary and very patient. and he's realy good at basket ball hence his height :) hahahaha he's funny....
and there's this homeless dude here and it smells a bit funky and elder tito and falevai keep pulling faces because it smells really bad :) hahahahahahahaha but we all feel bad for him... this is probably the most technological interaction he gets with stuff. oh well... maybe he'll hace the gospel soon in his life :) hahahaha
Alright... and President Langeland is now home :) I'm sad because I'll miss him, but I hear president Henderson is a very good man.... so no worries there :) hahahahaha all goods :)
I was talking to him on the phone on friday and saturday and he's really good.... he told me to call him when I touch down in Salt Lake Airport.... so I'm just going to send you his number incase I misplace it :P hahahahahaha
So..... if you could save that so I could borrow someones phone and call him... maybe you'll meet him beforehand... he told me that when I apply for medical schools to give him a call :) evidently he was the chairman of hte University of Utah Admissions committee.... :) hahahaha he said he knew kinda how they admited students and how the program worked :) yeah!!! If I remember correctly, vicky would alsways get angry at me because I was always way luckier than her :) hahahahaha true story :) I IS LUCKY!!!!!! God has really blessed me in my life :) hahahahahahahahahaha
Alright... another funny story for the week.... There are these two recent converts that wer baptized by ELder Taufa in an other ward, bu they come to our ward in search of him. they always ask for "mr Sexy" and the "african one" hahahahahahahahahahaha. IT was really disturbing so we called president and sister langeland and they said that we should just avoid interacting with them beacuse they seem to have a very bad history with misisonaries... it's not good at all..... and the worst par tis that: THEY ARE LIKE 70 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OOOOHHHHHHMAAAAAAHHHHHHGOOOODNESSSSSSSS
:) anyway
the missionaries here are really cool. at the leadership council they kept tlaking about how this is the first time in three years (since president has been here) that there has been this much energy up her ein the sunshine coast. usually only one or two areas are doing well and are excited fo rthe work, but this week, the whole zone did well and are on the rise. it's the first time that all of the areas have 1 baptismal date and so everybody is really excited for the sunshine coast. :) however, the hcinese program hasn't been doing too well lately.... unfortunately..... I'm sure they're working hard but I don' tknow... i tmust be in correlation with some of the semesters or something. I honestly cannot think... that is how much stink there is.... oh my goodnessssssssssss.... I HAVE A HEADACHE!!!!!!!!!!!!
ok. anyway... also... this week, we got assignemnts from heaps of the ward auxillliary leaders to do visits and find certain members that they havne't been able to locate And this week, we found out that the ward list isn't even updated. of the 20 people we were able to visit and confirm location 15 of them no longer live at that address and do not have a current forwarding address. we tracted all the houses around all of the visits na dnone of htem could tell us exactly where the people moved too...... oh miy gooondess.... this ward... :) hahahahahaha. and so we brought it to the ward clerk to update hte records thinking htat we were trying to help and then he told us that he was too busy to update the records... so we talked to bishop and then he referred us.... but I think thi sis just a test of faith to see how persistent we really are :) hahahahaha I"m really excited to see how many trials we've got in this area and we're going to smash them one by one. :) hahahhaa BRING IT AOUN!!!!! :) When trials are not an evidence of disobedience, it is a proof that God feels that you are prepared to grow. and going from what you are now to what God wants you to become takes stretching and pain.... :) like one of hte members in my wards said: "No Gain, no pain" bhahahahahaa :) but seriously.... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
THis week, we met with one of ht emost fantastic investigators I've ever seen. She wasn't baptized and was dropped by the previous missionaries... I'm not sure why... so we went and visited her while we were in her area. ANYWAY she is FANTASTIC!!!!!! she was lutherane, but because of several indecent experiences she was disheartened and yeah. ANYWAY!! we started teaching her and she said that she feels happy around us because we'r ealways smiling. ANYWAY. We invited her (when she knows it's true) to be baptized. And we asked her if she would be willing to set a goal day in which she would be with her 3 kids. and she was like: Yeah... I'd like to know by wednesday :) htis week hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Elder Tito and I were like: OH............. :) hahahahaha. she's really good but we encouraged her to give it some time and thought and prayer and reading. :) SOOOOO yeah. that's how fantastic she is. she said that she'd like to research us before hand and ask us questions and so we let her ask us quesitons. she's really cool and she liked what we said and stuff so she's progressing really well. :) hahahahahahahahahahaha
ANyway! Keep up the good work! I started looking back and reviewing all of the notes I toke and revelations I recieved on my missiona nd 'm going to give a training on ittomorrow.... so... it's been a long journey :) hahah. I've learned so much and I still have so much to learn... I havne' teven scratched the surface..
I love you all :) and hope you're all doing FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! You're always in my prayers!
Elder Joseph Chen
I'll see you soon :)


HELLO!!!!! :) hahahaha Hi family! :) how have you all been? :)
So this was a rather sad week, all things considered... President Langeland goes home On the 30 of June, and hte new mission president comes in and meets him for a few hours and then they're off and away :) hahaha so yeah... that's what's happening there... So I'm a little sad about it, but yeah... these things happen.... oh well. :) hahaha. we will miss them but then we'll be all goods.
Since it was a short week, pday on wednesday and all :) so last week, we just had a special training from president and sister langeland. it was really sad because it was basically a farewell. I won't be able to see them again :( sadly.... oh well. and then here are some pictures :) I think I sent you ap icture of the elevator. we have an office here for the stake president and we use it all the time for zone meetings and such :) hahaha it works really well and it's in a really convenient place. I wish the church put the church building in such a convenient place. it's pretty annoying getting investigators to church, but hte office is really easy because you can just get off the bus, walk across the street and go up two floors :) rather convenient. and some of our members didn't really know it was there until some of them had to get some blood drawn... saw the icon... hahahahahah oh too funny. :) hahahahaha. ANYWAY!
The next pictures should be of some kangaroos... after a lesson, we saw a bunch of htem in the field wandering around. it seems that htey like to do that... hahahaha. it's good. I like them.  They're really comon, but these were a lot more docile than usual. I got pretty close, but didn't want to maket them aggressive at all... so yea.... hahahahaha.
AND HTEN LAST PICTURES WITH PRESIDENT AND SISTER LANGELAND :( :( :( :( oh well... I will se ethem again.. I think president langeland will always be president to me no matter what his calling. I think he should go 70's.... :) he's hte man. ELder Henderson... the new mission president should be really good as well. :) hahahaha
Then the next pictures should be of our area... we were tracting and this is our area :) hahahah tada! I think it's a bit too remote for any chinese to come up here.... hahaha it's good though. I started laughing when I saw the area we were tracting... there is NOBODIES HEREEEEE! :) hahahaha. but it's a good amount of fun :) hahahahaha. we get to take pictures and stuff.
haha. alright. so this week, (this is how disorganized the ward is) they ahd no speakers arranged for sacrament meetings.... sooooooo.... they called hte missionaries to fill up a long time. :) we had a lot of time to fill and elder tito wasn't really excited so he told me he'd take up 5 minutes and I'd have to finish the meeting. anywya. when I was talking, I kinda felt like I was just going and going and going. it was a really good feeling. I didn't really have to pause to think or anything. ANYWAY. After the talk, some of the members told me they enjoyed the talk (like normal... they always do that regardless of how good the talk was) BUT THEN people started inviting us over to dinner... nobody has invited the missionaries out to dinner in AGES in this ward.... but now they're inviting us! exciting huh? anyway....
The story continues! :) this week, as we were visiting members (because we don't know any of the members even though tito has already been here for 4 months) they all remembered the talk and we were recieving referals like CRAZY!!!!! hahaha. at one house we recieved 2 really good referalls that had already been to church and stuff... just none of hte missionaries had taught them. they were both families of 4 and I have NO idea why they haven't been contacted yet so we've got our work cut out for us this week.
:) It shows the power of humility :) hahahahaha oh my goodness. I love working with wards that are excited and willing to go out and work :) the referrals and missionary work havce been piling up in this ward for ages and there haven't been any misisonaries htat were willing to go out and contact them.  THey all focused on the misison standard of 14 hrs of finding, but didn't htink to look towards the area of the work where we can be most productive!!!!!! MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!
it caused me to think a little bit aobut alll the things the church has announced and stuff. they wanted us to increase the rescue of hte one, and then there are thousands of missionaries comming out and smashing the world with the gospel!!! IT"S PERFECT! My role now is to establish the foundation for the next generation of missionaries in which SIster Chen will be one of the first!!!!! :)  MEMBERS ARE THE KEY!!! I had never realized that my whol emission because chinese missionaries only work with chinese people. all english speakers are referred to english missionaries in the area. we never had the opportunity to work with the members. now that I'm in this ward, I've started realizing its importance! OH MY GOSH! hahahahaha.
ANYWAY. I'm now off my soap box. During President Langeland's training he referred to the difference between transgression and sin, and I had already read that quote from Dallin H. Oaks about the difference between the two. :) it was simple, but it was really fun to see missionaries tyring to differentiate the two in very complicated ways! it just showed me how truly simple the gospel is!! :) hahahaha I LOVE IT SOOOO MUCH!!! :) simplicity is truly the way that we can know truth. the more simple somehting is... oh my goodness.  THE gospel is SOOOO simple, and true intelligence is being able to take anything and put it into simple terms... it's something that I've been striving for my whole mission. It's the best :) hahaha
YOU KNOW ELDER TIAN!? On the board it says he's fro the philipines.... :) hahaha we'll see. He looks really small and bald hahaha, I'm guessing his trainer will be Elder Davies or Elder Chen. I'm not sure who's training, but they're both really good missionaries. Elder Davies was my last companion in EMP and I learned so much from him... :) hahaha. He'll tell you that I'm his favourite companion, but htat's only because he hasn't served with the greatest of companions. I was supposed to trian elder chen. The zone leaders had called and everything, but another missionary requested him during hte dtransfers so yeah... he's really good. he's the misisonary I baptized 6 people in one transfer with. :) hahahaha. I'm sad I'll miss seeing him, but he's in good hands here. the chinese program is really good. :) I'm not sure what'll happen to it because Elder Bellingham, Me, Elder Tsai, Elder Lee, and Elder Lam are all going home, leaving a skeleton crew to maintain all the areas..... I think ELder Chen, Elder Davies, Elder Allan, Elder Johnson, and ELder Williams are all that's left of the chinese program after this transfer, and they're all rather new.... I just trained ELder Allan and ELder johnson... follow up trained elder williams and Elder Chen.... Elder Davies I was with for four weeks... they're good though.
Sorry my time is up... but keep up the good work!!!!! :) I love you all! and I hope you're all doing super duper wel!!!!! :)
Elder Chen


SORRY.... this is going to be short because we just barely got back from the temple and we're AGES away. We're in one of hte farthest areas in the mission. The Gladstone area (which is only 2hrs drive frome us).... yeah....... they have to take a plane to gladstone :) hahahahahahaha SOOOOOO FAR AWAY FROM CIVILIZATION! anyway... just went to the temple for the last time here in brisbane... it was strange. I don't htink it's hit me quite yet, cuz I'm still doing everything the same. My work is still the same.. I'm still talking to people that I feel like I'm going to help and stuff.. I don't think it has sunk in yet... I"ll let you know when it does though... :) hahahahahahaha
Though... We're all really tierd up here.... it's insanely exhausting how much work there is to do up here..... AND it's like a gaint retirement village. I tracted for 24 hrs last week, and everybody said they weren't interested.... it was an interesting experience... hard... funny... but hard. there are a lot of people interested in how I look chinese, sound American, but act like an islander :p hahahahahaha oh gosh.... One dude told m ethat we look healthy (my companion and I) and then asked us which pacific Island we're from :) hahahahahaha YES!!! I am get FAT and look like a fob!! :) hahaha
ANYWAY! One of hte funniest doors that we knocked on... I don't htink that the lady was too comfortable wit us at the door... but we tried it anyway and she keeped making htis awkward laugh-like thing where she would sound kinda like HEH HEH HEH HEEEEEEEEE. hahahahaha Elder Tito and I were trying to not laugh SOOOo hard it was ridiculous. :) hahahahaha oh my gosh.. :) hahahahaha and then she told us that she was anglican and she knew everything about the mormons and diddn't want to have anything to do with us... it was interesting... :) so we left. :)
People here are a lot more forward with their comments here as well.... so that was exciting hahahahahahahaha.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!! ANYWAY!

ALSO we were able to go to ward council for the first time in AGES!!!!!! The previous missionaries in this area seemed to have gotten absolutely nothing done. SO...... I'm going to try to set something up befor ehte next missionaries get to the area. It's really frustrating. At ward council... they were trying to implement a trade-offs system that the Area Presidency has had running this whole year..... so... they're on it 6 months late.... and they weren't sure about the logistics of it (I'm not sure that they needed to worry about that) so they were asking me what the program entitled and what we needed to do and wher ethe names came from.... OH MY GOSH!!!!! and then the relief society president wasn't cooperating at alll..... hahahahahaha. it was sooo funny. anyway. so while they were having their little disputes, I started doing work of my own bcause they weren't getting anywhere.... something about a reciept that the relief society president was supposed to cash in last year... but still hasn't even turned it in.... anyway. that's besides the point. the moral of the story is... while they were conversing in harsh tones, I was visiting with all of the members of the ward council one by one... discussing some of hte members of hteir quorums that may have been struggling and seeing who we could visit. Anybody that they thought were hard to find... and by the end o fhte night... I had compiled a rather decent list of people to visit and who to report to and what the call of action was.... I felt rahter productive and left happy. Then I talked to bishop and started discussing several of the other members of the ward with him. I actually don' know anybody... but It seems that previous missionaries had divided themselves away from the ward and hadn't actually interacted with the ward leaders... but that's all we can do here...... Australians are very stubborn and own't want to do anything however. they are VERY loyal people... so if you can get a way intotheir hearts.... :) BAM perfect. I think it'd be too easy to get into their homes if we had a member iviting us..... We have a really high rate of converting member referrals to baptisms because australians are so incredibly loyal. :) hahahaha it's perfect.
SO that was our week. lots of tracting..... and finding... I don't know that the missionaries here are a big fan of efficiency.  I was researching it to separate effectiveness and efficiency. the two are similar.... but they're also different. :) Tracting... yes it gives us finding time and we talk to people it is effective. the work is being done... but is it being done in an effecient manner? is every minute being used to its fullest ability? I realized that some people fill time with their plans.... but I've been trying to fill my plans with success.... it's out htere... you just gotta know where God wants you to be or what He wants you to do at a certain time....
anyway... the others want to go out and play some rugby... so sorry for the short email.... :) next pday will be in a bit... we havcne't had a monday pday for AGES. the first one because of transfers, then the queens birthday, then temple week, and next week, we havec special trianing on monday....... and a mid-transfer transfer meeting to prepare fo rhte new missio npresident :) hahahahaha
Love you all!!!!!!!

Elder Chen