THIS IS SO REAL I AM IN TAIWAN!!! It was such a long flight over to Taiwan, holy smokes! Guess how many missionaries got their visas and were on the plane…36!!!! All for Taipei and Taichung! We all met up in San Francisco and went to Taiwan from there. It was quite the reunion! It was just super crazy trying to get all of our stuff to the mission home! We stayed in the temple marton housing for two nights, and out window faced the temple, which was literally right across the street, and the streets in Taiwan are TINY. Taiwan smells like sewer and food, by the way.
ANYWAY, for the first two days, we just had lots of training, ran to the Chiangkaishek Memorial, and went to the place of the Dedicatory prayer for the preaching of the gospel in Taiwan. For part of the training, the randomly put us with a trainer and had us go out in the streets of Taipei and XuanJiang FuYin (Preach the Gospel) I was put with Sister Stevens and we placed 2 Books of Mormon in 2 hours of XuanJiang-ing. It was exhilarating! And transfer meeting was soooooooo fun! They have this huge projector, and all of us trainees go first, so they had our name with our picture up there and President Day introduced us, and there was a huge drumroll when Sister Day said “Your trainer is……..” then our trainer’s picture would pop up and everyone is cheering and it’s a total party. Totally not reverent whatsoever!! I LOVE IT!
I know you are all wondering where the heck I am….I am serving with a Native speaker! Sister Huang, from Kending, Taiwan, and we are in Taidong (台東)! That is the southernmost tip of the mission, along the east coast of Taiwan. After transfer meeting, President Day had a meeting with all of the Hualien (花連) and Taidong missionaries (east coast zones). He was talking numbers, saying how if we get 10 baptisms by April, then we are able to make a Hualien stake. WHATTTTTTT. That’s wayyyy awesome! There are 1886 members in our areas, and in order to make a stake, there has to be 1900 members. So he said that everyone that is going to the east coast for this transfer is very special because he received revelation that we are able to do it. That’s pretty freaking cool! It definitely got me way pumped to start XuanJiang-ing! It was a 7 1/2 hour train ride from Taipei to Taidong, so we were all exhausted by the time we got home. We are sharing an apartment with Sister Mao, from Taipei, and her trainee…SISTER OVIATT! That’s right! Sister Oviatt and I are roommates! We have soooo much fun in the apartment together!
My first full day in Taidong was so hard. Taiwan is nothing like the states. We spent all day street contacting and knocking on doors. It was so hard, because everyone we talked to that night rejected us. While we were riding our bikes, I just kept thinking to myself, “Why did the Lord call me to serve in Taiwan? I can’t handle this, I can’t handle this…” I really just wanted to pull over and cry my eyes out. Taiwan is so different from the States…it is such a difficult mission. We have such an amazing message to share, and it just breaks my heart that these people won’t even give us a chance to let them know of it. I honestly really wanted to quit and just go home, or go back to Colorado Springs and just serve the rest of my mission there. But then we taught a lesson to one of our investigators, Lin Wan Lu. She’s about 14 years old and she is on the fence about baptism. We taught her about the Atonement and showed her “Because of Him”, the video that the church released last Easter. I was bawling my eyes out during that lesson…they probably thought that I was weird because it was the first time they met me haha. But after watching that video reminded me why I wanted to serve a mission. It’s because the Savior did ALL of that for us. He atoned for us, and he suffered, bled from every single pore, feeling all of the pains and afflictions from everyone who has ever lived and all who will live. The pain and sorrow that I was feeling at that moment is NOTHING compared to what the Savior felt. Sister Huang then shared with me the scripture in Alma 26:27 about when Ammon really wanted to quit his mission:
“Go amongst thee thy brethren the [people of Taiwan], and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”
I can do this. I can do this for the Savior. I will NOT QUIT.
I miss home now more than ever before, but the food here is so cheap and delicious! We went to this really fancy steakhouse today, and it was just $15…where as it would be $40 in the states. CRAZYYYYY.
I hope all is well with everyone! I LOVE Y’ALL!!!!