Hey everyone, the title for this email will be explained in a moment!
But yeah, Taiwan is great! I think I am starting to adjust really well. As in, my hair does better in the humidity every day haha. Also, my Chinese. Apparently I am doing super well which is great! In fact, most of the time I feel like I can understand Sister Apsley when we teach and we’re getting better just in general as a companionship. It’s definitely harder for me to just talk to people about non-church stuff but I think it will get there. At church yesterday I bore my testimony to the ward and I got several compliments afterward! Which is cool. Someone told me my Chinese is very “standard” and I take that as a really great compliment. Haha soon Sister Apsley will have me be leading on our bikes and I might even start answering the phone really soon (uh oh..haha.)
I would say that at this point I can grasp the subject of any conversation but I’m rather lacking on specific words to know what people are saying in regards to the subject of the conversation.
The Daily Grind
Every day is filled with working with members, going to appointments/lessons/ward activities, study time, and making phone calls. Our huge push this week has been…working with members! We are already starting to see a lot of success with this approach. One thing we did is we wanted to make cookies to give to both active and less-active members! We also wrote thank-you notes to members who have served us..and they serve us a lot.
Like for example, the bishop let us borrow his bike before we got mine delivered. But then we got my bike so we took his bike to the church and cleaned it for him. And then on Sunday we gave him a thank you note and some of our COOKIES!
So we had no idea what kind of cookies we wanted to make. Some of our elders had made brownies the week before so we headed to carefour, the Taiwanese version of walmart to see if we could find any brownie mix. They had literally nothing left. The only thing we could find that would even some what work was cake mix. So we bought the cake mix! And we got a recipe from one of our member friends named Sam for cake batter cookies. The ingredients we used were:
- Taiwanese cake mix
- Coconut oil left behind in the apartment from another sister
We had no idea how they would work out but they ended up tasting SO good. The coconut oil gave them a wonderful coconut taste. Maybe it’s because we used cake batter, but the cookies have been soft ALL week (until we finished giving them all away yesterday haha.) One batch we left in the fridge for hours and they still tasted great. This recipe is revolutionary, I tell ya. We want to make more but we don’t know where we could find more coconut oil. (Thanks Sister Tadd for leaving it behind haha)
Here’s a cool story that happened as we were delivering the cookies. So after we made them we, like I said, decided to deliver them to less-actives. It was kinda fun to figure out the addresses. We showed up to one place and it was this quirky clothing store so I didn’t really want to go in, but we did and I’m so glad we did! Turns out this lovely less-active member owns the store and she was just sitting in there when we walked in. So we had a lovely talk with her. She brought in her 85-year-old mother who speaks Taiwanese. She was honestly the CUTEST little old lady I’ve ever seen. The entire time we were talking she just sat there in the corner singing songs to herself and me and Sister Apsley were dying. She loved our cookies too. She took one at the beginning and we put the plastic wrap on them and set them back down. And then when we were about to leave we saw her grab the plate and she was trying to get a cookie with the plastic wrap still on haha.
This week we only started having lessons at the end of the week because we got stood up all week! Haha it was kinda sad but I know it happened for a reason.
Oh also I taught my first English class this past Wednesday! Me and Sister Apsley teach the high-level English class and it was so much fun. There are lots of non-members that come to class and we share a spiritual thought with them and they ask questions. We have a lot of hope for them.
(So, a little bit of background info Sister Apsley’s had a pretty bad cough)
So the Vatchers, one of the couples in our mission went to our area and did apartment inspections. Sister Apsley has been telling me how apartment is one of the best in the mission and we had no doubt that as we cleaned and prepared that they would clear our apartment. And once the Vatchers came in with one of the office elders we thought that we were in the clear as they admired everything. But then Brother Vatcher noticed a smell and as he went upstairs he noticed the humidity and how it didn’t smell very good…like mold coming from somewhere. They then proceeded to check EVERYWHERE but couldn’t find any mold. However, he was like “this is the reason Sister Apsley isn’t getting better” and declared our apartment UNLIVABLE. He was like “this place is so perfect and so clean but it’s just unlivable.” The upstairs is a lot more humid/musty-smelling than the upstairs so he told us to sleep downstairs. And they’re trying to find us a new apartment ASAP 🙂
We also told the Vatchers about our crazy landlady. I haven’t met her, but I’ve heard her on the phone a couple times and she came to the apartment while the two other companions Sister Apsley used to have were packing to leave for Taidong. She saw some of their stuff strewn over the ground. She saw the tape on the windows (which they had put up because of the Typhoon the other week) and she proceeded to freak out at them for over an hour. Even though the apartment was totally clean. She’s coming again on Wednesday morning so pls pray for us so we don’t die 🙂
Over the past week I have had some really delicious food.
- Lots of dumplings
- Lots of coco’s (this drink place that Sister Apsley is addicted to. They have them on literally every street up here in northern Taiwan I swear)
- Little pancakes with filling inside of them
- Breakfast burgers (they put like eggs and sausage and cheese in em. Really good)
- Little waffles
- Papaya milk
- One of the members gave us these apples…they were gigantic and the best apples I have ever tasted in my entire life. The sweetest, crispiest apples.
Biking in Taiwan is kinda crazy. Biking in zhubei in particular…haha. It has been SO WINDY here. So windy. Like I think I have flashed half of zhubei at this point. With most of my skirts I am just having to adjust them the entire time we’re riding…so today I’m getting new skirts haha 🙂 The best kind to have are longer ones that don’t have a ton of fabric. There’s tons of scooters on the street. Like so many scooters. And I swear people are just the right amount of passive-aggressive on the streets (whether they’re in cars or scooters) to get them around other people. I would have died a million times at this point if it weren’t for my wonderful trainer 🙂
So on that happy note…I think that’s about it! This coming week should be great because on Wednesday we’re going up to Taibei, as well as next Wednesday because it’s temple day. So just so everyone knows I have P-Day next Wednesday instead of Monday.