Let’s Go to the Beach

Beach!
Let’s go to the waves…
Time goes faster in Taiwan.
I think that is actually science.
Monday I went to the beach in Toucheng.
Toucheng is famous for the black beaches and sand, and has super good surfing. I wanted to surf sooo bad, so I’ll be sure to come back and bring a totally rad girl to shred some gnar with me, post mission.
Tuesday was pretty chill, I talked to this guy who lives in Toucgheng,surfs all day and teaches English at night. he had a rad mustache
Wednesday we had an English Party because it was the last week of the transfer. It was America themed.
Thursday we met this girl who was really nice but my companion thought she was a boy and struggled to ask her gender politely. It was entertaining. She was super cool though.
Friday i found this place that made vegan fried ice cream. its translation is ice cream coffin. It was super tasty.
Saturday this crazy lady was jumping in front of cars in traffic and tried to get me to hit her, but I was too quick and foiled her dastardly schemes. I successfully avoided hitting her… but the person behind me wrecked my bike.
Sunday I rode a sister bike that was left at the apartment and that broke when i was riding it…
SO now i need a new bike.
But life is still rad.
Love life.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Keep playing for keeps,
til the life juice weeps!

​Star ships were meant to fly!!!

Ài,
Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

Maybe You’re My Snowflake

And your eyes turn from green to gray in the winter so I’ll hold you in a cold place…
Time is such a funny thing.
This week was a trial. A beautiful, opportunity for growth and personal development.
Monday a bunch of really nice members took us to see the summer home for President Chiang. I found vines to climb. Still "hiked" on a paved path. Still haven’t found any cobras… Still looking though.
But, this journey let us strapped for time so we couldn’t buy groceries. Which is super hard for me because it is not easy to find vegan friendly food on island. Yeah… SO Tuesday I woke up early and gave myself a super brutal haircut. My head was hot. So i cut my hair. Now my head is not hot. So then I think about the fact I’m left with nothing to eat but outs and noodles.
Then the miracles started happening.
At lunch we randomly went out in search of food I can eat and randomly saw a member from the ward who said,
"Wang (Hei Bao) Zhanglao! I am so glad to see you. I was thinking about you today and thought about how annoying it must be for you to try to find food. So I made you some bread that you can eat. Here is a loaf."
Wednesday we had zone conference in Taipei so i had to skip breakfast to get on a bus to head to Taipei. Then the people buying food forgot to get things I could eat so the mission Assistants were like, "Hey Elder Wheeler here is money, go to the vegan restaurant across the street and buy yourself lunch.
Thursday I managed to revive our Rice Cooker (using the knowledge of my father, a leatherman, and some electrical tape)and just ate a bunch of rice.
Friday I was on exchanges and a member cooked us some food at his food stand and gave me fruits.
Saturday we had a ward party and there was NOTHING i could eat, expect for some watermelon. Then out of nowhere three members were like, "Hey Shui gu (that means handsome guy) (That is something that actually happens frequently, the Taiwanese as a culture are always complimenting me on my good looks.)(seriously.)(I know, you’re probably thinking the last thing i need is to be told I’m good looking, but it happens. A ton.) (Because I am. Good Looking. Really Good Looking) we knew it would be hard to get food, so we made you a few dishes specially while we cooked the other stuff." So i had dinner that night.
Sunday I went to church without eating and then some different members said, "Hey I saw you couldn’t eat much last night. Here’s some vegan noodles, curry, and bread I made last night especially for you."

It may be trivial to some, but it was really cool and meaningful to me knowing the Lord provided me with sustenance.

So I just want to say God is a God of Miracles.
Always has been.
Always will be.
Til the Life Juice Weeps.

​Maybe I’m in love when you wake me up.

Ài,
Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

You Can Stand Under My Umbrella

Hey hey.

This week was super rad!
Sometimes I get sad or frustrated, but then I think, " you should be awesome" so I become awesome instead.
Monday we biked up to a waterfall called wufongci , it was rad, its weird, in Taiwan all the hikes are paved, kinda a bummer, need more adventure. They had all these "Warning: Snakes Ahead" signs (with pictures of Cobras), but I didn’t get to see/ catch any. It will happen eventually though!
Tuesday we went up to Jiaoxi and met a bunch of really cool people that were super interested in the idea that there is a living prophet on the Earth today.
Wednesday we started teaching the advanced English class and we taught the class the basic principles of boxing… it was fun.
Thursday and Friday kinda meshed we had exchanges, which is when another set of missionaries trade companions for a day or two. I got to spend time with Elder Rasmussen, he’s a great guy. I learned a lot and just talked about the good stuff in life.
Saturday we went and talked to a bunch of homeless people, it was humbling, it reminded me of the words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon.
Sunday was nice. The ward has started to let me bring special bread for sacrament because the stuff they use has a lot of milk, and eggs, and butter, so it kinda gives me issues. But the issue has been resolved! Also I got to talk to this guy who is a Major in the Taiwanese Army. He was super nice and loved just talking about Army stuff. It’s funny how universal the little things are.
I really though a lot about the Words of King Benjamin this week when he said

"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"

Then I thought of what Jesus said in Matthew:
"And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

So just think about that stuff.
Love everyone, especially the homeless. But don’t forget about the poor in spirit too.
Just love. Love, love, love, love, love.
Try to make someone smile this week.
I love you all.

​When the sun shines we’ll shine together.

Ài,

Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

This slope is Treacherous

Hey there! I hope you are having the raddest day of your life!

Seriously, there is no reason to not have the most wonderful adventure of your life start right now!
Don’t even read this, you have to get out there!
(But if you decided to start your adventure with the words of a handsome missionary, I cannot stop you)
Monday was cool, I went with my trusty companion and district members to a temple above a lake.
Tuesday we had zone training, It was nice, but I’ll be honest I was just super jazzed to see my good old friend Elder Robinson. He’s Chinese is insanely good. He also happens to be in my old area Jilung, which is rad.
Wednesday we had English class and we taught a bunch of little ninos about neature.
I craftily drew a tree and said, " you can tell this is a tree by the way it is." I wish they knew my reference, but alas I was left to dwell on my craftiness alone.
Thursday we met this really cool person outside of the college, it was a miracle.
Freiday We found out an investigator who ditched us earlier in the week actually hadn’t ditched us but had entered the building in the back door, so we never saw him because we waited by the front door. So we… technically… ditched.. him… But we met with him and he was like "no worries, I guess God just needed you to meet another person so they could know that Jesus exists. His faith is awesome.
Saturday we found an all you can eat vegan place, for like 3 USD. it was crazy! and they actually had food i could eat which was nice.
Sunday we had dinner at a member’s house and he had the coolest dog that he adopted. I miss Boone.
Ya’ll should seriously read Mormon 9, especially if you aren’t Mormon.
But basically, God is a God of Miracles. Always has been, always will be.
Look for the miracles this week.
They are all around us.
Our very existence is a miracle.
I love you all.
Also, an HDR pic for your viewing pleasure.
Such vivid. Many pixel. Wow.

This path is reckless. and I like it.

Ài,
Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

Life makes Love Look Hard

But this love is ours…
Yilan is the place to be!
I recall in high school I started a heated international debate about the superiority of a viking vs a ninja…
Then Deadliest Warrior came out and our arguement lost its validity.
Such is life.
This week was insanely cool!
It rains everyday and then it pours at least 4 times a week.
I love it.
Monday we went to Warrefour, its like a Taiwanese Walmart, and it is magical.
Tuesday we visited this awesome man who had a bad hip and we were super soaked because of the rain. he just laughed at me. Good stuff.
Wednesday we got on the wrong train and ended up going the wrong way but met some really rad new people to talk to about the gospel
Thursday We found this place that has these towers of ice cream, I couldn’t eat any but it was still cool to see
Friday we got stood up by a few of our appointments because of all the rain. It was all good because we met even more people 🙂
Saturday we met this old guy who was trying to tell us how the Book of Mormon can trace its name to Taiwanese roots. It reminded me of the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Sunday we had combined church third hour and had a lesson on…. avoiding preservatives in our food? I didn’t really understand it but they played a movie from the world food organization at the end.
Church is still true.

This week had so many miracles. I testify that our Father in Heaven is acutely aware of a desires and our needs and is willing to bless us beyond comprehension.
I love you all.
Oh, here is a picture of me in my safety gear and my companion looking good.

​Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.

Ài,
Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

Sophomore Slump? Or Comeback of the Year?

So there I was, sitting in Jilung, and I get this phone call.

"Wei" I says.
"Is your refrigerator running?" a hollow voice on the other end of the phones jeers through the mouthpiece.
"I believe it is." I slyly respond.
"THEN YOU BETTER GO CATCH IT!" The heckler laughs as he hung up.
I was deeply puzzled and concerned over the cardiovascular achievements of my fridge so I journeyed home and to my surprise, it was right where I had left it.
Needless to say I was duped.
But now I’m back in Taiwan so it’s all insanely cool again.

(I think we all know that this isn’t what actually happened but for the sake of convenience and brevity this is the official tale as to why I departed Taiwan.
But on a more sincere note, I appreciate the amount of support I received while I was home and would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the love that helped me get back on island.
But more importantly, I’m Back! I’m a missionary again! Still! in Chinese! I am actually yelling this because I understand the use of punctuation!
Moving on,
I am now in Yilan, this super rad city on the East Coast that has a ton of rice fields and sits in this big ol’ mountain bowl. it’s rained a ton. I absolutely love it. I haven’t showered in like 4 days because I just drop soap in my pockets and let mother nature take care of the rest.
I’m riding an old busted sister bike right now while I wait for my bike to get shipped here from where it was in storage.
My companion Elder Gray is quite the nice fellow.
A wonderful chap indeed!
I am technically training again, meaning that I won’t be finished with training until my year mark. Also, Elder Gray came on Island after I left, so I’m older than him in both mission terms, and in real life. But it’s not bad. and not too weird.
The apartment has mold all over so we are spending most of P day cleaning the walls with bleach. Oh and I found a random guitar to play,so that’s fun.

Being Vegan in Taiwan is super difficult.
I’m probably just going to have to cook everything for myself.
But the members I’ve met are super supportive and understanding.
Also, the people love my name!
I’ve gotten a lot of laughs and conversation from people who can’t believe my name is "King Black Jaguar"

Sorry if my story telling isn’t all that great I have a lot I’m figuring out again.
But I love you!
You’re super awesome.

More than anything I’ve noticed that I completely love Taiwanese people.
People who a year ago, I never even thought about.
But being back I can’t help but just love each and every person I see.
The Lord enhances our capabilities and capacity to love more.
Pray to Love more.

Sorry, I don’t have any pictures yet, I’ve been mad busy but imagine that I’m smiling and reasonably good looking.

(Notice I said reasonably because I am super humble now as a missionary)
Ài,
Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老

Come Sail Away

Come Sail Away with Me!!!
Classic.
Anyway, this week was nothing short of a miracle.

Monday: Went fishing for my P Day activity and didn’t catch anything but little fish. Still nice to relax and unwind by the ocean to go head first into the rest of the week.
Tuesday: Nobody wanted to talk to us. It was crazy. Usually people are like " You are foreign and trying to speak my language, I’ll humor you." But NO ONE would even stop to talk to the two Americans. Then, BLAM! This guy from New Jersey walks by and starts chatting it up with us. He was super polite and just a pleasant guy. He renewed my faith in humanity.
Wednesday: We met this couple from Istanbul and helped them a bunch and then talked about the church in various parts of the world.
Thursday: We met with some people we have been teaching. It was awesome to answer their questions and see them grow as they had a personal desire to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Friday: We had training for all the new people that came on island with me. It was a great experience.
Saturday: We were told to contact this guy who used to talk to the missionaries but when we called we found out he died a few years ago, but his family was interested in hearing about the gospel.
Sunday: I somehow ended up in the ward choir and am now half the tenor section. We sing in Chinese. That is all.

This week was great. One thing from the training that I really appreciated is something that I wish to share with you.
It was about being a missionary, but I feel the principle is something than can enrich all lives.

We often find that we are our own largest critics. As we come to the end of the day we see where we have fallen short and where we could have done something a little bit better.
As we try our hardest to be the best we can be we often find that we are faced with difficultly, trials, or adversity. We may find that as we are doing everything right we still see no success. We may ask ourselves, Why is it so hard?
It is at this time we must remember someone else once asked that question. Someone, much greater begged the same question as he was bearing the weight of the world. Christ himself was the perfect missionary, and by principle, the perfect human, our perfect example. One day he had thousands of followers, the next, he was asking his disciples if they too would abandon him. He being perfect still was intimately acquainted with the hardships and the trials that we all face.
We indeed may face our hard times but we can know that we never need to feel alone. For someone far greater is right there with us.
This gospel above all is a message of hope. It promises to mend the broken hearts, heal the afflicted, and provide eternal salvation and restitution to each and every soul who will follow the Savior of the World and trust in him.
Through Christ we can have hope for a better life and when life does get hard, we can know he has already been there.

​Seize the Day!

Ài,

Wáng Hēi Bào Zhǎnglǎo

王黑豹長老