Must be planning to be on "splits" today...

Must be planning to be on “splits” today…

Sorry for the lack of an email last week!  I had to take the MRT to get to the Mission Office by 8am last week, which cut into our emailing time in the morning that we wake up early for (we usually wake up at 5:30am so we have time to email before study time at 8am). We were planning to email later in the day, but because of how everything worked out, we didn’t get back in time. I even ended up not sending a weekly email to President Jergensen (oops – he probably didn’t notice – plus I was at his house at 8am anyways!).

Let's get this party started!

Let’s get this party started!

Everyone's "board" at this place!

Everyone’s “board” at this place!

Before I explain why we spent a large portion of our day at the Mission Office, I’d like to thank everyone that sent birthday wishes…and especially those that celebrated with me. My friend, and recent convert, Kevin, reserved space for us at the Cat Cat Board Game restaurant. There are many board game cafes in Taipei. It’s a great idea…




…you can pick from many different games to play, and if you need help, the staff will teach you how to play (great idea if you want to test out how fun a game really is before spending the money to buy it!). It was super fun playing games…and eating! I was even blessed with presents on top of all that! The day was memorable being surrounded by so many special friends!

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

Good times with good friends!

Good times with good friends!

It's not really a celebration without a selfie...

It’s not really a celebration without a selfie…









Now, the reason I was at the Mission Office in the morning was actually to finish up the final copy of our English class commercial. We ended up going all the way through study time and part of P-day time to finish up the editing, but we finally did! It’s actually online right now on YouTube. We haven’t done any real advertising for it yet, but it should soon start to get lots of views! It’s called 免費英文班 (Miǎnfèi yīngwén bān or Free English Class). (Here’s the link – ) We also have a Facebook page called 耶穌基督後期其聖徒教會 - 台灣免費英文班 (Yēsū jīdū hòuqí qí shèngtú jiàohuì – táiwān miǎnfèi yīngwén bān or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Taiwan’s Free English Class).

They actually just had a training for all English class unit leaders this last week. President apparently showed the video like 10 times. We’ve heard from his daughter that the night we finished it, he watched it with his family over 10 times plus shared it with all his family in the US. He’s really excited about it! They also came out with this new system for English class registration papers where we text in the information on them to the Mission Office and the computer compiles them into a database. It’s using part of the original system that we have in place for sending referrals to different areas over text message. Actually, Elder Anderton and I were the ones who thought of using parts of that system to make something similar for English class since none of the paperwork is digitized! It’s awesome when your ideas actually get put into use.

Hellen Tsai and Elder Simonson

Hellen Tsai and Elder Simonson

One of our investigators, Timo, has been coming to English class for a couple months to prepare for his English test to get into a Masters program in the UK. He said that if he passed it, he’d be baptized! That was a couple weeks ago. We taught him fasting two days before, and fasted with him the day before so that he’d do well on his test. He ended up passing and is super happy!

However, Timo has been living with his girlfriend for a while now, so about a week and a half ago, we decided that it was time to bring out the Law of Chastity and let him know that he needed to either get married to his girlfriend, or one of them needed to move out of the apartment. At first, the lesson seemed like it wasn’t going to end up with a desirable result, but then, out of nowhere, he’s like, “Well, there isn’t really a difference for us if we’re married or not – it’s just a piece of paper – so if the commandment says I need to, then I will.” It worked out perfectly since he had a cruise to Japan already planned for this week (he’s actually on the cruise right now) and is now going to propose to her on the cruise! Plus, he’s going to get married when he gets back within a couple weeks, so we’re super excited (plus I’m sure he is too…)!

Life before receiving the fullness of the gospel...

Life before receiving the fullness of the gospel…

The other elders in our apartment (Huntsman and Puzey) had a baptism last week! Her name is Carol and she’s this super nice girl! She’s really funny and she actually works at this place called Herbalife. Her baptism was really nice and she had a great testimony that she gave after her baptism!

Life after!

Life after!


Anyways, I would ask you to share the YouTube video, but to be honest, it really wouldn’t help much unless you’re living in Taiwan or have lots of Taiwanese friends! Although, the additional views might help it, so go ahead and watch and share it as many times as you want – it’s only one minute long (it did take three months to make though…)! Thanks everyone!

– Elder Austin Simonson

Banana Oreo Shaved Ice...

Banana Oreo Shaved Ice…'s good!

…life’s good!

Thanks Hellen Tsai for the great photo!

Thanks Hellen Tsai for the great photo!

View of TianMu from up on top of Yang Ming Shan 陽明山 at Wen Hua Da Xue文化大學

View of TianMu from up on top of Yang Ming Shan 陽明山 at Wen Hua Da Xue文化大學

2 thoughts on “IT’S UP

  1. I am so impressed and excited for Elder Simonson! He is doing such incredible things and he is completely happy! The video is wonderful – putting all of his skills to use, and building bridges between cultures, traditions and people! It’s evident he is on the Lord’s errand and loving every minute!

  2. Thanks for another great and inspiring mission report! We’re headed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to take part in a three day event marking the 170th Annv. of the enlistment of the Mormon Battalion. So may miss our monthly mission letters. As we always close our notes to you — Keep on keeping on!

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