This week was mostly filled with me and Sister Liu crazily doing everything in our power to find new investigators and talk to everyone. I’m kind of going through an “end of mission” crisis where I realized I only have a few months left, so I want to do everything I can to make the most out of my last little bit here. I am SO GRATEFUL FOR MY COMPANION because we have just been able to go so hard doing the work. We have been exhausted every night, so guess that’s a good sign!
We kicked off the week staying in Xinzhu for P-Day. I replaced Sister Eyre who went home, and she came back with her parents so we went and ate lunch with them and also went shopping with them. And then we ended the day with a bit of shopping and cleaning out our apartment. You would be surprised how all it takes is 1 or 2 missionaries who go home to fill a big apartment with unreasonable amounts of clutter.
On Tuesday we had this ridiculous Weekly Planning Session because we didn’t know when Sister Nielsen’ s trainee would be coming…if at all. So we had kind of a freak out moment where we thought I would have to go to Zhubei the next day to be with Sister Nielsen for her English class and the logistics of all the splits we had to do were really complicated…But in the end it all worked out because President called and said that he would be driving down to our apartment with Sister Nielsen’s companion that night.
Oh yeah this week I have had a bad cold and have been hacking out a lung. I have started wearing a face mask when we are biking, so you could say that I am starting to become more Taiwanese.
Oh and the weather has become FREEZING, especially for Sister Liu. Poor girl began her mission in Taidong in the summer so this has been kind of a shock for her. I think it’s good for me because it will help me to get used to the weather at home a little bit.
On Sunday we got to go back to Zhubei again for a dinner appointment with Stake President Cai and his family. I also got to see a few more members from Zhubei that I remembered from training! It was so weird to actually understand what they were saying, because when I was in training their Chinese was incomprehensible to me. They said that my Chinese had gotten better, too, so that’s definitely a plus! After dinner we helped Sister Cai to translate a traditional American stew recipe, and it was also weird to think that my Chinese had gotten good enough to do that sort of thing.
Here’s a cool miracle we saw as we were working! It was the end of Friday night and we had not hit the goal we had set to talk to a certain number of people! And so we saw a lady walking her dogs, and so we biked over to her and started a conversation. At the beginning, she would not have ANYTHING to do with us and was about to politely reject us, when my companion offered to say a prayer with her! And after we prayed she told us that she got goosebumps and had a warm feeling in her heart, kind of like the feelings she had had in traditional Daoist temples but more intense. She was SO grateful for our prayer. Although she still didn’t want to meet with us (because she said her boyfriend would oppose), through this experience I was able to learn what it truly means to “plant seeds” and I hope that one day she will decide to call us so we can share with her how she can ALWAYS have peace!
Oh yeah and on Friday I got to go to my first MLC (mission leadership council) where all the zone leaders and Sister training leaders get together to discuss the needs of the mission and individual zones. It was a cool spiritual experience! All of the sisters I came to Taiwan with were there! We all got so pumped to help the mission see more success. We mostly focused on how to make district meetings and exchanges more effective, which was really great for me because this coming week we get to take other sisters on exchanges in our area! We also talked about how to use our new smartphones to raise zone and district unity. Now that we are all using social media to communicate with other missionaries as well as with investigators and members, it can be a great way to get missionaries more motivated about the work through supporting each other’s goals, working towards common goals, sharing spiritual thoughts, more easily finding out the needs of other missionaries, etc. I am so excited to keep exploring ways to use the new tools we have been given most effectively.
And let’s not forget to mention that they fed us an amazing lunch of baked potatoes, salad, homemade rolls, and (last but DEFINITELY not least) brownies and ice cream! Delicious.
Sorry if this email seems a little bit shorter than usual, all we’ve been doing is working hard sharing the gospel! There’s one last little thing I would like to add: we have started doing exercise time on the roof of our apartment in the mornings and it is so pretty! I haven’t taken any pictures yet, will have to show you all next time.
Hope you all are having a fun time getting ready for Christmas! Even though Christmas isn’t taken as seriously here in Taiwan as it is in other countries, we are still feeling the Christmas spirit really strong, especially as we prepare for the 3-ward Christmas party on the 23rd of December and for our mission’s big Christmas Choir performance. And, of course, we are all starting to get excited about the fact that we will be able to Skype with our families in just a little bit! We will probably Skype on Christmas day in Taiwan, which would mean that it would end up being on Chrismas eve for all of you in the States.
I love Xinzhu SO MUCH. This place is rocking and I am having so much fun, I love it here and I never want to leave! Taiwan is such a special place to serve and I am just working on making meaningful memories and friends and helping as many people as I can every day. Here’s to another week in the life of a Taiwan Taipei missionary!
Sister Anne Watson