Monday, December 27, 2010


An "all mission" photo opportunity at Baguashan in Zhanghua. Elder and Sister Greene are tucked away in the back at far right. There are 150 missionaries here.


The Sister missionaries at the huge Buddha with Sister Bishop, Sister Greene in back at far right.
A group of young Chinese girls performing a dance at the mall where we sang Christmas carols.

The Greenes with Sister Morey and Sister King

Sister Ko, our fellow Idaho missionary.

A small Buddhist Temple in Lugang, Taiwan, where remains of ancient Chinese culture still exist. This is a popular place for tourists to shop in a multitude of small stores and from street vendors. It is fun to try many authentic foods, including an oyster omelet many missionaries love. Some shop keepers are willing to bargain a little and others not at all. An artist in Lugang is very popular for he paints pictures of LDS Temples on Chinese fans; he has quite a business going with missionaries!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


President & Sister Bishop with son Nick, his wife Christina & infant son, with the Greenes and all of the Taiwan, Taichung missionaries at the Taichung Steak House. All 152 could not fit into this picture but they all enjoyed a fantastic, all you can eat, dinner.
Sister Greene knocking at a door in the old section of Lugang where we spent a few hours seeing the sights and doing a little Christmas shopping.

Sisters Liu and Brownell on the bus heading for the Christmas dinner. It was surely something to smile about.

In front of a huge elaborate three story Chinese temple at Baguashan.

Our sister missionaries in front of the huge Buddha at Baguashan.


Christmas caroling in the mall while the crowds looked on and some joined in singing.
Sister Morey, the Bishops and the Greenes.

Feeling the real spirit and meaning of the Christmas miracle that we celebrate.
The Christmas DVD "Joy to the World" was shown on a large screen next to us.

Santa Claus is alive and ever present in Taiwan.

The beautiful tree was created with many thousands of little white plastic spoons
lit up by strings of blue lights.


We spent an hour with about twenty five missionaries singing Christmas carols
and handing out information about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of the missionaries helped decorate the mission office for Christmas, complete with raising the lighted star high above the office roof.

President Baclayon, our English Branch President, with his wife Melissa and their two children Emily and Bradley.

Jana and Kevin Hogan at a farewell dinner for them and as they prepared to leave Taiwan for their new job in Minnesota. Kevin was the 1st counselor in the branch presidency during the nine months that they lived in Taichung. They were a great blessing to our small branch and are missed by us all. We also bid farewell to Jake and Ariel Anderson who moved to Australia.

Sister Greene enjoying a casual stroll down the narrow street of the "night market" in Taichung, close to where we bring the new arriving missionaries for a "Dan Jones" experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sister Greene with missionary Sisters the day before they left for their homes. From left to right, Sisters Hampton, Lindley, Roper, Infanger and Crane. What a dedicated and spiritually powerful group of Sisters they are.
Elder Greene in one of the beautiful cactus gardens at the Chaing Kai Shek Memorial in Taipei.

A counselor in the Taichung Stake Presidency, Pres. Wu, with returned missionary Stephani Jian and Elder Greene. The stake held a humanitarian project teaching members of the church and 20-30 nonmembers how to make hand puppets. Parents (such as single mothers) of special-needs children will then be taught how to make the puppets to sell as money-making projects to help support family needs so their children could be kept in their own homes. About 200 attended the three-hour work session making about 300 puppets and then 700 puppet-making kits were given to the Foundation so local community project leaders can offer them to the parents of the children to assemble. It brought to mind the saying "if you give a man a fish it will provide food for one meal but if you teach him to fish it will provide food for a lifetime".
What a great project to teach the gospel principle of self reliance.

Our Mission President's wife, Sister Bishop with Sister Greene participating in the puppet-making project.

Elder and Sister Karl Wheatley, the Humanitarian Missionaries from Taipei, provided, through the church, one thousand kits and the other resources for the project and the stake organized the work day to accomplish the goals for which the event was held. Elder Wheatley and I were companions in the Southern Far East Mission in Hong Kong during the early 1960's and I couldn't have asked for a better example of what an obedient and dedicated missionary should be.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


President and Sister Bishop with a delicious Thanksgiving feast for the four office Elders and Elder and Sister Greene. This was a wonderful dinner with a turkey and all of the trimmings. It was a pleasant surprise for all of us and we each had the opportunity to share stories of how we have been blessed for our time spent in Taiwan, and how thankful we are for the Lord's sustaining help.
From left to right: Sister and President Bishop, Elder and Sister Greene, Elders Mix, Opper, Lloyd and Young in the mission home's spacious kitchen.

A memorable Thanksgiving feast with wonderful friends.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last week we had the opportunity of attending a session in the Taipei LDS Temple and afterward we spent a couple of hours visiting the huge and elaborate 20 acre Chiang Kai Shek Memorial just a few blocks from the temple. Within the walls of the Memorial are numerous beautiful sculptured gardens with all kinds of follage, encluding a cactus garden that reminded us of when we lived in Arizona. The buildings were huge and contained concert halls, an art gallary, a museum and various stores.
This is the main Memorial building which contains a huge statue of Chaing Kai Shek sitting in the upper chamber much like Abraham Lincoln in Washington, DC.

One of the concert halls with gardens on one side and a very large tiled parade grounds, about the size of a half a dozen football fields side by side, in front of the building.

There were a number of different groups of highschool girls marching in formations on the parade field and as we walked across the parade field all of the girls in one of the units became very excited and broke ranks and came running to us wanting their pictures taken with us. We felt like movie stars with adoring fans surrounding us and trying to get as close to us as they could.

It had been sprinkling and the girls all had light plastic rain coats on but the sprinkling didn't dampen their enthusiasm and excitement. If we could have spoken Chinese, more than a few phrases, we would have had a willing group to listen to a gospel message.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I found a book with many pictures of beautiful wood carvings in Taipei, Taiwan. This picture, a wood carving of a plant growing in the wood carving of a person's hands, reminded me of a scripture in the "Book of Mormon", Alma chapter 32 verse 28:

"Now we will compare the word (of God) unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me."
We have experienced a number of serious trials while serving our mission in Taiwan which has made us realize to an even greater extent our dependence on God. We often reflect on the scripture from Proverbs 3:5,6 that says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
It is easy to talk about having faith but faith is something that has to be worked on constantly, like nurturing a plant. As Paul the Apostle said, "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). When we feel weak in faith and weighed down by our own problems and the sorrow we see others bear, we turn to the scriptures and words of latter-day prophets.
These words of the prophet Alma teach us that the word of God helps strengthen faith and that if we can just muster the strength to "desire to believe", the word can be "planted in [our] heart" and enlighten our understanding. " This is just like planting a seed in soil and having faith that with good care it will grow. We know this is true; when it is hard to sleep at night or concentrate on our daily tasks because of our concerns, our prayers in the name of Christ and study of the prophets has given us peace. We have had many faith promoting experiences occur this past year that has strengthened us, such as help from doctors, people who have come into our lives at unexpected times, thoughts that have come into our minds, help from our family members, and support from missionaries and other friends here in Taiwan. Our faith has also been strengthened seeing how our children and other friends have dealt with major challenges in their lives through the help of the Lord.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Desks from an old school in Lugong. This part of the larger town has been kept and rebuilt to how it was a hundred years ago.
Jim at the entrance to a court-yard of a private residence

A small private Buddist Temple with children playing basketball in the front court-yard..

JoAnn and Sister Nora Bishop, the mission president's wife, at the entrance to a residence on a cobble stone walkway. The door appears to be much older than the combined age of these two dear sisters.

School was out and these young high-school girls were delighted to see us and wanted to have pictures taken with us. They laughed a lot, loved to talk to us in English and were a joy to be with.


The big department store across from the mission office was gutted and three large restaurants were constructed in place of the store. A big celebration was held as part of the grand opening, complete with Chinese dancing "dogs," drums and firecrackers going off, filling the air with loud noise and thick smoke. About a dozen young men in bright costumes participated in the ceremony.

The dancers were very good at keeping the attention of the crowd of people assembled to watch.
This was part of a Buddist ritual that was intended to bring good luck and prosperity to the newly opened restaurants. It was very intertaining.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Our special friends, Brother and Sister Lin, Meng Yi.


Brother and Sister Lin, Meng Yi at his baptism on August 27, 2010. We, along with other missionaries had the wonderful experience of teaching him, an educated man who is very fluent in English. His wife was a member for 35 years and his son and daughter were both returned missionaries and both married other returned missionaries. This was a long-awaited blessing in their lives. Elder Greene was asked to speak at the baptismal service and after being baptized by his son Nelson, Brother Lin was invited to speak and bear his testimony. He spoke at length about his resistance to the gospel for 35 years and what brought about his conversion. He was very humble and his experience of finding peace through the teachings of the Book of Mormon was touching and brought tears to many eyes and even a little laughter at times. Many photos were taken after the baptism and then all enjoyed some wonderful food: beautiful cakes, fruit, and all sorts of treats.

The Lin family with daughter Annie and husband Riley on the left, son Nelson (right) and wife Crystal (kneeling) with Sister Lin's mother and 5 grandchildren. Missionaries-Elder Cocke and Elder Petters in the back with the Greenes.
Many family, friends and ward members attending the baptism
and sharing in the joy of the occasion.

The Lins surprised us with a beautifully decorated anniversary cake!

The picture simply does not do this beautiful cake justice!
What a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary!
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days . . . . . and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" Doctrine and Covenants 18:15