Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

Me and Sister Bernhardt decided to buy a coconut to share :) not bad!

Me and Sister Bernhardt decided to buy a coconut to share 🙂 not bad!

Dear Everyone,

On the 5th I hit my 1 year mark for being in Taiwan! It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in a foreign country for over a year now. I have an excerpt of one of my journal entries from when I first got here:

“Well, I should probably talk a bit about…Taiwan. It is very wet. My companion says that if you’re not wet from the rain, you’re wet from sweat.Oh goody! I hate how it rains off and on and what it does to my hair. 

Biking is deadly scary. Especially since my bike isn’t getting here ’till Monday, so I have this boy bike our ward’s bishop gave to us. The seat is way too tall for me and the handle bars are way too low. So as I ride, everything hurts and it strains my upper back and my wrists on the handle bars.

Let’s face it. Who could ever be happy being in the rain talking to strangers?”

I hope you’re just as entertained by that journal entry as I currently am! It’s for sure been an interesting year. When I got here I was incredibly uncomfortable with…everything from the weather to the work! So it wasn’t very pleasant then, but now I am just laughing at literally everything that happened  back then.

Looking back on those experiences from a year ago, I know that when your perspective is foreshortened, it’s hard to be positive. I don’t know what I would have done differently a year ago, but I’m thankful for the perspective I have now, and I know that those rather “unpleasant” experiences have really strengthened my character by now.

I know that it takes a lot of constant effort to stay positive. It’s easy for our positivity to slip from us, so this is why we have to focus on Jesus Christ to help us retain it! I know that I am SUCH a weak person and a weak missionary by myself. The message of Jesus Christ really is the center of everything I do and who I am whether I’m a missionary or not. Remembering Him is truly the best way to stay positive and faithful.

This week was a pretty good week! Numbers-wise our area still looks like kind of a train wreck but we are starting to see more and more miracles and we feel good about the work we are doing.

Gondolas

Gondolas

For P-day we did the Maokong gondolas in Muzha again–I went last January when I was in Xinan. This time the weather was a lot hotter, but still the same great view! Afterwards we went to this American-style burger/panini place called Juicy Buns and it was INSANE. It even smelled like an American restaurant. It still wasn’t quite the real deal but probably as close as you can get for being in Taiwan!

On Monday night we got a new investigator named Lin Ting Wei 林婷惟, who was a referral from Hualian! There was this senior couple working in Hualian named the Beutlers, and they gave us this referral right before they went back home. They were meeting with this “juice man” for over a year but he never got baptized, so before they left they finally asked if he knew anyone else the missionaries could teach and so he referred his girlfriend! The first time I called she hung up because she thought I was a telemarketer. But then we called again and we met!

HUGE MIRACLE she is actually from YULI, my last area, and she knows where the chapel down there is and everything. And she was willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know the truth. So that’s good.

Juicy Buns

Juicy Buns

And this week we also had GENERAL CONFERENCE and it was so exciting. We had no investigators show up because this past week was Mid-Autumn Festival and this week is Taiwan’s national holiday so literally everyone is busy and has taken a break from us for, like, a week. Haha it’s okay though.

I have so many favorite talks and I feel like every single one of those speakers was trying to whip me into shape as a better missionary and person. SO fun.

We watched conference in the Tucheng chapel. We did splits so I could watch it in English and Sister Huang could watch it in Mandarin. Luckily the Tucheng sisters’ companionship also has one Taiwanese person and one American person so I just went with Sister Bennett while Sister Huang went with Sister Su.

For some reason they had our Saturday conference sessions go from 1 in the afternoon to 8:00 at night (including the women’s session). And they had the English women’s session going on in the main chapel even though there was only me and Sister Bennett watching it haha. It was pretty fun.

On Sunday we had no idea what to do, so we made two signs with cardboard, paper, tape, and paint that said “free Book of Mormon” and “free English class” and we paraded them around the night market! It left people with absolutely NO questions about our purpose because they would see things in this order:

  1. An American girl and a Taiwanese girl together
  2. The girls holding up signs giving away free service and free scriptures
  3. The girls wearing name tags which pronounce that they are representatives of Jesus Christ

So all that was left was for us to actually talk to the people and tell them WHY we were doing all these things. And we found this awesome lady who had met with the missionaries a year or two ago, but stopped after she left the country for a while and the original elders who taught her got transferred. And we set up a time to meet with her again! Miracles.

Us and our signs at the night market

Us and our signs at the night market

Let’s see…a cultural thing. The only two results of the Mid-Autumn Festival were:

  1. No one came to our free English class this week

and

  1. Everyone was sitting out on their porches cooking meat, so all of Banqiao has smelled strongly of meat this week. Yummy!

Since the Mid-Autumn festival is a pretty chill holiday, the members also had time for us to visit them! We have been inviting the members to share the Book of Mormon with their friends. We will give them a Book of Mormon and invite them to pray about who they can give it to. I have been thankful for the members for humbly accepting this challenge despite their busy schedules and fears in sharing the gospel. Sometimes I’ll have hidden concerns that the members don’t actually want to work with us, but then when we actually visit them and listen to their testimonies we can tap into what they share to help them feel more confident about fulfilling their missionary duties!

Our group that went to the gondolas! My eyes are closed because of the sun.

Our group that went to the gondolas! My eyes are closed because of the sun.

I’m trying to think if there’s anything else. Oh yeah, updates on our other investigators!

We made a lot of headway with Zhang qi fang this week. Of course, she has been awesome from the beginning, but this week we were able to have a member present in our lesson with her for the first time and it was a match made in heaven. Ye jm, the member, shared her conversion story and it turns out her and Zhang jm are pretty similar in lots of ways! And Zhang jm shared with us how she has changed since she started meeting with us a couple months ago. She is now praying about a specific baptismal date, because it is now something that she specifically wants! AHHH SHE IS SO READY.

And that’s about it.

Mom’s Questions

  1. Do you have any contests for clean apartments like grandpa Kent wrote about in his email today?

No, sadly, we just get them inspected every couple transfers! They kind of just expect us to have clean apartments haha. We don’t really get “rewarded” for anything. For me the reward is having a senior missionary couple come to inspect the apartment because they’re fun to talk to.

  1. Do you have to get any special permission to go out of your zone for p-day activities? I don’t remember ever leaving my zone for activities.

Haha we leave our zone ALL the time for P-Day! We just give the APs a ring and it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll let us leave. Especially here in Taipei, it’s kind of a given for everyone to do area-hopping on P-day. It’s so convenient to get around. So I guess that’s something I’ve been taking for granted. Most of the P-day excursions I’ve been on on my mission are out of my area.

  1. How has bike riding been lately? Would I cringe if you told me the things you have done on your bike that I haven’t heard about?

I don’t know, I think you’d just have to see what it’s like to bike in this traffic for yourself. Of course, growing up, you and Dad (mostly Dad) were always like “they’ll be fine” in matters of being outside, so that’s kind of how I feel about biking. You maybe wouldn’t like how we maneuver in traffic sometimes, though! I’m not even bad, though. The elders are horrible, they bike like absolute maniacs, rushing through lanes of car traffic. I have been having some knee problems lately, but it is getting better.

  1. Your emails lately have been pretty short. Is it because you want to get done so you can go out and do fun things or is it because you have less time because of where you do your emailing?

Neither. The past few weeks have just been pretty hard so I figured I would rather keep the emails short and sweet because it’s not fun to just complain. Things are looking on the brighter side now 🙂

Love you all! Always good to hear from any of you!

Sister Anne Watson

1 thought on “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

  • Well that was nice of your dad to share your fabulous email. I am not sure if it was intentional but either way it was a great read – love seeing the photos. My son Jagger and your brother Sam are pretty close friends (now go to Bingham). When I lived in South Africa I used to travel to Taiwan as I had some of my manufacturing done there (branded sportswear) in the 80’s, so its been some time but the memories are still fresh. I cant remember if Hong Kong was more humid than Taiwan? Probably a draw. In Hong Kong if you got in an elevator the walls would be dripping wet. Yes, unless you have visited/spent time you will never comprehend the intensity of either the volume of people and/or the traffic. Then of course the food selection is an entirely different conversation. I cant imagine learning the language. That is most impressive! As far as being weak, I have found that that part never truly goes away—well at least not for me. The constant need to grow apparently is a never ending quest. I have to leave now to collect my son but I did want to write and tell you how much I admire you and for the great work that you do and that you are involved in! I loved the signs that you and your companion made, not to mention the creative angle! I am a convert and having two American missionaries knock on our front door in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was quite a shock/miracle that that could even happen. They too were creative because my parents said that the gospel wasn’t for them but the missionaries (we had a trampoline) asked if it was okay if they were in the area if they could stop by and jump on our trampoline. Rhodesians are very hospitable so of course they said yes. It was a long but interesting conversion story but if it wasn’t that they asked (were inspired) to come jump on our trampoline I wanted be a member today. So your hard yet good work perhaps has greater meaning to a convert and for the change you bring about. It is priceless! Keep pedaling Sister Anne Watson! We love you and your great works as does our Saviour! Ian
    PS If there are typos its because my keyboard sticks so please pardon that.
    PPS Already 12:40 where you are so you are well into your Sabbath.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *