Sunday, June 14, 2009

All Good Things Come To An End

Dear known readers and Jade blog stalkers, 

This is the end of our journey together. It has been a pleasure the past 18 months. Jade returns honorably from her mission in Kaohsiung tomorrow, Monday June 15th. Please be jealous because my flight to Vegas is in a few hours and I get to see her step off the plane!  I am sure there will be a hiatus for a week or two but she will most likely resume her blog which you can get to here. 

Thanks for being important in her life and for supporting her throughout her mission. She has such wonderful friends and family. 

All My Love,

Mandi Scandal.

crazy is right! wasei! transfer 11: week 3 the last

 had so many things to say, now i can't remember what. plus it seems
silly to say too much, i can just tell you with my own mouth, in
chin-glish, with dramatic hand motions as we pull away from the
airport on MONDAY. i cannot believe how quickly time has flown by. i
still feel like i just stepped onto taiwan. at the same time, though,
i feel older, wiser, calmer and a bit more scatterbrained. i know that
i've changed and i love that. it's so cool how when you speak by the
spirit you can open your mouth and words flow out. i have learned a
lot by listening to myself. oh no! that sounds prideful. i don't mean
that i'm wise and learn by my own thoughts. i mean that i learn from
the spirit that is present as missionaries speak. on friday i attended
my last zone conference (it was special and weird. the last zone
conference president hsu will attend and the last zone conference of
the kaohsiung mission because on july 1 this becomes taichung.). i
learned a lot and realized a lot as i shared my final testimony. i
heard myself say, "i'm a new person. sometimes i don't recognize
myself, and i love that." i know that i've changed a ton, but i'm
grateful to know that i'm still the jade i was before this life and
the jade i will be after. i'm still an ozawa, a daughter of keith and
janelle. i'm flattered, mom, by the list of things you said i am in
your email this week. i hope i can still be all of that when i get
home. i'm sure i can. hooray!

lately i feel like saying hooray all the time! life is really great right now.

sister zhong is spectacular. i love her very very very much. i've been
blessed to have companions that have come some of my greatest friends.
(i'm also blessed to have amazing friends on the american continent. i
really feel unworthy of all of the love i've received as a
missionary.) lately we've seen many little miracles and many little
experience that leave us giggling (e.g. last night tracting, every
person that opened a door seemed to be an old man, most were wearing
nothing but boxers). one of the greatest miracles is the sun family.
i've spent a lot of my time in taiwan tracting, only once have i found
an investigator through it. only a handful of times have i been
invited in. the investigator/investigators is/are a wonderful family
that we tracted into the the first friday of this move. a mom and two
kids (jeffrey-10, janice-8). they live with the dad's dad. they are
beautiful! the kids are smart and polite. they listened intently the
first time we shared with them. last week when we went back, the kids
were on their way out to go spend the night at their grandma's. we met
with the mom. she broke down within the first five minutes and opened
up to us. she seems really tough, and we learned why. two years ago
her husband drowned. he was on the phone with her when he fell. now
she's a single mom. all of her family lives in indonesia, so she's
pretty lonely. she has tried to find comfort in buddhist teachings,
but doesn't seem to feel any peace. i know that all that we've shared
with her (and will continue to share) will bless their family. i love
how much people trust missionaries. they tell us a lot. i am so happy
about this family. on sunday they will come to church. i know that the
support network there will help sun taitai (the mom). she's really
great. i love her. and her kids.

time is almost up. i have so much more that i could say, but it will wait.
i love you all. i miss you. i'm excited to see you again. you are all
wonderful, marvelous, spectacular.

sister jade o.

No title. Written May 24

i am certain that all within reading distance are eager to know my
fate for the next three weeks. there is a chinese idiom that says that
says "fallen leaves return to the root of the tree" it means that when
you become old you have a desire to return to your home, to where you
came from. well, i'm back in gaoxiong second ward! the place of my
birth. yesterday was filled with tears, but i'm more and more excited
to be here. i think that leaving jiayi was good/will be good for
several reasons. i think it was getting to the point where i was too
close with a lot of the members. i used to make them laugh by telling
them that i was a "professional" missionary. mostly i was trying to
remind myself of that. also, i was ready for change. i think i was
starting to take things for granted. not much in the city was fresh to
me. parting with jiayi, i think kind of prepped me for parting with
formosa. shebude! my new companion is taiwanese (perfect! a last kick
to my chinese). her name is sister zhong peishan. she is awesome.
seriously, she's so good. i love her already. i'm sure that we'll see
lots and lots of miracles. a lot has changed here since i left (a year
ago) but a lot is the same. i'm so excited to see some of my recent
converts and less-active members. i'm not sure whether or not you'll
remember names, but... jiazheng is still active but is in the
neighboring ward not. monica moved to germany : (. qiu jiemei is an
active primary teacher and hong jiemei is in the relief society
. here there are currently 3 baptismal dates and some other
great investigators. and, there is still the teaching english at the
police station service activity! yes, i am happy to be here. i'm not
sure if this is my home or jiayi. maybe just taiwan as a whole is.

so, last move was full of miracles. i wish things had been more
balanced. i wish we had done more. but, in the end i think it was a
good move. the jiayi sisters are now preparing 4 investigators for
baptism!! FOUR. horray. and they're solid, not wishy-washy. i shall
tell you about them.
chen huirong finally set a date july 4th. yes. we will all celebrate
her baptism with hot dogs and fireworks. she is spectacular and is
already a better member than i've ever been. i am so blessed to have
been able to watch her change in the gospel. she is so much more
confident and at peace than she used to be. she even makes jokes based
on the bible. last night we ate dinner at karen's house. huirong got
kind of lost. she was actually across the street from the house but
somehow couldn't find it. when we got there she jokingly said, "i
can't believe i got lost. maybe it means i shouldn't come. i'm judah
coming to your last supper." what? who says that? what chinese person
jokes like that? and what investigator knows the scriptures that well?
she's so rad.
chen yulan set a date on

computer trouble sorry/

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"i like them asian girls. and i like ozawa girls." transfer 10: week 7

i cannot believe it is already the last week of this transfer. it has
gone by so fast! on friday we'll find out if one of us will move. i
feel like it is totally up in the air. it would make sense for me to
stay here, but hsu huizhang always does crazy things. on monday you'll
know (remember to email me before sunday!!!!).

i have so much to report. two weeks worth. the date is for sure the
15th of june. kuai dao le!!! will my homecoming talk be on the 21st?
i'm assuming yes. let me know.

first let me say that it was amazing to hear your voices. you all
sound almost the same. chloe's is deeper (manlier?), phoebe and naomi
sound a lot older, but you are all still you! i'm grateful for that. i
love ozawas.

so the last two preparation days have been filled with excitement.
last last p-day an english student took us out to "a surprise
location" which turned out to be the local distillery. yes. we toured
the distillery and learned about the history of alcohol in taiwan. it
was pretty interesting. we saw lots and lots of expensive spirits. she
also took us to this guys house who collects art and antiques. it was
kind of strange. a special day to say the least.
last p-day we went to the southern tip of taiwan. (we woke up at 4 to
get there!!!) the aquariium was super cool. one of my favorite parts
was the squid ink flavored ice cream. apparantly it's really popular
in japan. that's probably why i liked it so much.
speaking of culinary delights... last week su jiemei, a member that i
love, took us out to eat. she knows that i'm willing and eager to try
anything, so we ate... frog, soft shelled turtle (including the
kidney, shell, liver and penis), whole bird (she gave me the head),
and pig spleen and kidney. it was all so good! my companion, who
doesn't eat meat, was a good sport and tried a bit of each. she thinks
i'm nuts. this week we're going to find snake soup and go to a place
that serves live shrimp! i cannot wait.
speaking of people i love... there are so many great people here in
jiayi. we are seeing miracles!
my new friend is named terry. he's in fourth grade and talks to me at
the track we run at daily. today he ran with me for half of the time.
we discussed languages of the world and my improving feelings towards
running. his english is amazing and he's really funny.
as of now we have two baptismal dates, and plan to have two more by
the end of this week!!
-yu peizhen is back! and getting baptized in august. she's going to
have to find a new job and a new house, but she's willing to. we
hadn't met with her for a while, but found out in our lesson last
monday that she's been keeping the law of chastity since we taught it
to her in february! amazing. she's good. i love her.
-zhuang wanting. she's new and great. she reads the book of mormon
like a maniac and will get baptized on june 19, her birthday.
-chen huirong is still spectacular. on friday we invited her to start
the book of mormon from the beginning, by tuesday she had read through
2 nephi! she is always quoting scripture and strengthening our
struggling members. she has changed so much. when we told her she said
that she could feel the confidence heavenly father and christ have
given her. she is a living testimony that "in the strength of the
lord" we can do anything. she used to be so shy and unsure of herself,
now she makes friends on her own at the church. she's praying about a
date. she has mentioned mid-june. maybe the same day as wanting!
-chen yulan. also new. also amazing. on sunday she wasn't able to come
to church but called us to say that she's so grateful that we've
introduced her to the book of mormon. we hope to set a date with her

-hong yunling is still good. did i tell you about her mom said that
she needs to wait until she graduates from college before she can get
baptized? that's in two years! we're still working on this.
-zhai jiemei is another new one we love. she's actually a taichung
investigator and is getting baptized there this week. but she is in
jiayi every weekend, so she comes to church here and brings her neice
and son and daughter. we're going to start teaching her neice! i'm
-chen yihua is one we're struggling with. we love her and want to help
her, but she's terrified of everything. she's scared to come to any
activity. she's always questioning herself. we're focusing on LOVE
with her. LOVE is becoming the focus of my mission and the focus of my
life. i know that it's the most powerful principle in this work and in
the work of god. look at what his love has done to me! LOVE. it's all
about LOVE.

time is almost up. i still have so much more.
i know that the temple is the house of god. i can't wait to get myself
back into one!
i know that joseph smith restored christ church. it's true!
i know that keeping a journal helps us to recognize blessings.
i know that god's hand is in our lives daily, we choose to see it or not.
i know that keeping the sabbath day holy is super important.
i know the book of mormon brings about conversion. look at our amazing
investigators. they are progressing because of that book. it's true!
i know the gospel brings peace. i feel it.

i love you all. i miss you!

sister jade!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Transfer 10: Week 4

i feel like my emails have been lacking lately. i'm sorry. my mind is
really scattered these days and i struggle to get it all out. my
letters, too, have gone downhill. consider this a blanket apology to
anyone disappointed by what they receive in the mail.

i'm happy that everyone in las vegas sounds happy. lauren- did the job
at body shop work out? just the other day my companion and i passed
one in the mall. i used the olive body butter. next time i see one i
will think of you, beloved sister. chloe- efy? are you serious? do
it!! cuba might be a counselor. you might see him. i will be honest in
admitting that i thoroughly enjoyed my efy experiences. phoebe and
naomi- your letters get shorter and shorter, but i'm glad to get them.

this week hasn't had too many exciting things happen...
last thursday was zone conference! it was a good one. every share
seemed to be directed to me in some way or another. sister hsu talked
about journal writing and shared some of the things she wrote when she
served here years ago. the aps did a share in which we received taught
each other as missionaries, focusing on receiving revelation as to
what to share. we watched clips from the joseph smith movie. i'm not
sure if i mentioned it last year, we watched it my second move in a
zone conference. it was cool to be able to notice a difference in my
testimony this time. did i ever tell you about the first time i saw
that movie? kyle asked me what my favorite part was. i said the
bagpipes. oh how things have changed.

some of our investigators are doing incredibly well.
-hong yunling no longer has a baptismal date because her mom wants her
to wait until she graduates from college. that's in two years! we
shared with her the blessings of the gift of the holy ghost and she
said she wants it. what ideas to you have, as parents, to overcome
-chen huirong is probably our strongest at this time. i met her back
with sister hornberger. we had a great lesson then she stood us up
each time we rescheduled. she sounded really great on the phone, so we
kept calling. the first week of this transfer she finally came. it
seems like she hasn't left the church since. she comes to everything
including institute. last night she talked about the peace and
happiness she feels in the church.
-chen lin shujun has been an investigator for a while. each time we
try to drop her she starts progressing. yesterday we had a really
powerful lesson.
-luo yuchun is dead for real this time. i think. it makes me sad. she
has so much potential but doubts herself and her worth. watching her
has taught me how important it is for an individual to know that they
are loved and to know that they can change and that heavenly father
will help them make that change. she never let herself grasp that.
-a less active huang jiahua took us to visit her sister in the
hospital. she has breast cancer and is near the end. this time she was
a lot more optimistic and happy than last time i saw her. we're trying
to figure out what part of the gospel we should share with her to help
her to feel peace and to want to learn more. i'll let you know next
week what we decide.

i don't know what else to say beside that the church is true. i love
you all! may 10th is close! i'm sure your voices haven't changed much.
mine has a little. i say certain english words so weird. sister p
laughs. you probably will too.

love all around!
sister jade

mgh Transfer 10: Week 3

chloe- i fail. i fail you. i'm sorry. oh no! this is a problem. i
cannot name the song. i know i know it, but i cannot find it in my
mind. it's lost behind the motab hits that i've grown accustomed to.
i'm sorry, so sorry.

family! you all sound so good. everyone has exciting things happening!
lauren and chloe met fall out boy! phoebe still likes me. naomi is
toothless. mom and dad are still kicking it! i miss you all, but i'm
glad to be updated.

taiwan is getting hot and humid. lately it feels like we're biking
through the world's largest sauna. today is a bit cooler, with a light
rain. i like it.
this week has had ups and downs. luckily, the ups are all tied to what
matters most right now- missionary work! and the downs, for the
most-part, will work themselves out in one way or another. i'm glad
that life is in the hands of one who's abilities far far far exceed my

last week elder bednar came for our mission conference. the rules we
were told before the conference were so strict. i was not excited. i
mean, i was excited, but kept thinking we can have fun and be happy
and laugh and still be latter-day saints. then he came and was
wonderful and funny and cool and i felt horrible for judging an
apostle of the lord. who do i think i am? he didn't prepare any type
of talk, he just read a few verses of scripture with us and we
discussed it, then he answered any questions we had. it was so cool! i
learned so much from him. my favorite thing that i learned/observed
was the fact that the gospel is so much a part of him. everything he
said was evidence that his life is lived serving the lord. he has made
the principles and doctrines of the gospel who he is. i love that. i
want that. as he talked to us he repeated several times three things
that we must do to be successful. i think that this are the things he
has focused on to become who he is. -be obedient -do your work -keep
the covenants you have made. these things are so simple! they are
exactly what we need to do (as missionaries and members). i know that
every mission rule and every commandment is given for our good. if we
keep them we will be happy and safe and we'll have he holy ghost's
companionship. our work as members is simple: be disciples of christ,
invite other to him through our words and actions, strengthen our
families. i guess they sound complicated and doing them can be tough.
but if we keep an eye constant to his glory and our own
salvation/exaltation, we can do it. keeping covenants is obvious.
baptismal covenants, temple covenants. they give us power! he also
talked a lot about prayer. it was his answer to tons of questions. i
love the simplicity of it. it's true that we should turn to our
heavenly father first.

oh no time is short. i want to tell you about all of our investigators
but can't. we have some really great new ones. yesterday we found a
golden family! mandi and ben sent a play cell phone in the v-day
package they made. i made a goal to find a family with a child we can
give it to. yesterday we met with them for the first time! on sunday
they'll be at church!

oh i have to really quick tell you about a thing that happened.
yesterday morning i was feeling kind of sad and friendless. i have
friends, i know that, but things change, people change. i flipped open
a 1996 liahona that i found. right in front of me was a picture of
bjorg and olaffur from the icelandic branch!! it was an article about
their son binni, he was on a mission when i was there! it was weird,
but felt comforted and like part of my family was in taiwan! i miss

time is up.
i love you all.
next week!

s. jade o.

Happy. Transfer 10: Week 2

this move is happy so far! it's so much better to be happy than not. i
love sister pickering's example of that. she's never not happy. it
made me laugh when she told me her first thought when she was told
that we'd serve together was, "cool. she's a happy missionary." she
also once said that she can't picture me getting mad. funny huh? we
still have 5.5 weeks ahead. we'll see... (this move is a seven week
transfer. i'm not sure why.) other happy things of late- tomorrow
elder bednar is doing our mission conference. i'll get to see sister
stratford, elder chen and an apostle of the lord, all in the same

ether 6. because i will not let another week pass without telling you
why i love this chapter so much.
ok, so the brother of jared and his family/friends are embarking on
their journey. christ has just touched the stones that the brother of
jared has gathered and they are set to go. verse 3 sets the symbolism
that i found throughout the next part. christ has given us his gospel,
light. it will always be with us, helping us through our life "across
the great waters". but why were the stones able to shine? because of
the brother of jared's faith, obedience and humility. when we move
forward in the gospel with faith, it will light the way undoubtably. i
know this. as they head on their way (verse 4) the group "commends
themselves unto the lord." i see them climbing on the ship saying, "we
don't know where we're going: we don't know exactly how we'll get
there. but, god, we trust you. we will give you our lives and do as
you ask us to." i rarely have this attitude, which is so wrong on my
part. this week i'm working on developing this type of faith and
humility, being able to turn it all completely over to the lord. in
verses 5 through 7 trials come. the barges are tossed all over the
place. i'm sure that it was frightening, and difficult. at the
beginning of verse 5 we see that trials come from the lord, they are
given to us. he caused the winds to blow. in verse seven we see the
best response- they pray, they cry unto him and they are, therefore,
brought to the top of the waters, brought to peace. verse ten is my
favorite. they had light continually! whether in a time of calm or
during a trying storm. i know that christ and heavenly father are
always there for us, if we choose it. the brother or jared was
constantly expressing gratitude (verse 9). he chose the light of the
gospel. they could have easily forgotten god during the times that the
sailing was smooth (literally). they could have relied on themselves
at that time. or they could have become angry and bitter during the
storms. but they didn't. and we don't have to either. they will help
us through any challenge that is given to us. they will lead us
through darkness. untill we get to the promised land (verse 12) the
celestial kingdom!!
that is why i like ether 6.

highlights from this week:
-amazing lessons filled with love. this transfer, one of my focuses is
loving everyone and properly expressing that love.
-singing at the train station. we have an investigator that lives
really far away, like 3 hours by bike. we don't see her very much, but
she has a "layover" at the trainstation this week, so we went there to
see her. she talked about how much she likes the hymns. sister p
offered to sing. i felt so uncomfortable. singing at the train
station? but we did and it was amazing. the spirit was strong, and a
woman came and asked what we were singing. we were able to share a bit
with her. it was really cool!
-our new investigator chen yihua! she's great. she came to conference.
she came to a family home evening. she's praying. she's good. we love
-we rode to dalin (1 hr 45 min away) and did service with old people
there. they were so cute and took a million pictures of us. i think
that some of them had never seen white people before.
-hong yunling has a baptismal date! may 16!!!! she's so wonderful! she
was worried that her dad would oppose. we asked if she had a desire to
be baptized. she said yes, and then chose a day!
-conference was so so so great. i don't have time to write the best
lesson i learned, maybe next week. mainly , i'm too prideful. i have
too many of my own opinions. i'm changing this.
-i'm working this move to record what i learn. every day i learn so
much! why haven't i written it all down? i don't know. but, i'm making
an effort to ask myself, "so what? i learned this cool thing, but so
what? how will i repent and change accordingly?" i'm hoping to see a
lot of growth this move.
-how did it take me this long to realize that successful living
patterns are found in the gospel? we have perfect guidebooks. no
wonder the apostles are all such amazing, accomplished men. they live
the gospel. they live gods way. they live after the manner of
happiness. i am trying to too.

i love you all. i hope your easter was great! stay well.

jade, sister jade