(For anyone who wants to know, the X in Chinese is most closely pronounced like an sh sound. It’s kind of, like, between an sh and just an s.)
The very beginning of this week (well, after P-Day, that is) began with my first ever Zone Meeting–we bike over to xinzhu to their cute tiny little chapel. Pretty fun. I love biking to xinzhu.
Then basically the rest of that day and Wednesday was nearly 100% filled with MOVING. Yeah it was fun finally getting rid of all the crap left from other sisters, getting a final inspection from our landlady (She’s absolutely crazy.) And Elder Richards and Elder Lin from the mission office came to help us for a little bit and they agreed–our landlady was absolutely crazy. She spent longer arguing over a pile of dirty sheets and pillows (whether it was ours or the apartments) then she did about the outside balcony covered in sand or the windows covered in tape from typhoons and other stuff.
Our new apartment is pretty small, but it’s really clean and we have seen no cockroaches–so far. (I’ve heard horror stories from other apartments.) Plus, it has a killer view of our jiao tang, or the chapel. Pretty cool. It’s also right next to a coco’s, the drink place we go to a lot.
Starting on Monday after Zone meeting and then going all the way into Thursday the wind was CRAZYYYY and it got a little cold. Most of the time biking I felt like I was fighting against the ghost of an angry brick wall because the wind felt like it was coming from all directions. Felt like I was barely moving.
On Friday we had exchanges with the STLs in xinzhu…again! I was with Sister Bain, who’s from Draper and is going home at the end of December! It was so cool. We got there at like 4:00-ish, then we had an awesome lesson with a recent convert, then we went to dinner and I ate a peanut butter egg sandwich with a chocolate bun (it was actually pretty good.) And then we took a taxi to a 7/11 to have a lesson with this golden investigator who accepted the law of tithing in two seconds flat. It was pretty crazy–she’s just been hesitant to accept a specific baptismal date because she wants to perfectly understand everything. Our peike (members who accompany us in lessons) was super cool too. She’s from Taidong (like the southeast corner of the mission) and knew one of my MTC teachers ou yang lao shi. But by the end of our lesson it was already time to head back home!
It was kinda fun staying in the xinzhu apartment that night haha. They killed a huge cockroach in the kitchen but luckily I didn’t have to be in there to see it. And then the next day we had studies and then we went to eat lunch with a member family, it was so fun! They had 4 sons who were so hilarious and they fed us curry, KFC, and brownies n ice cream! And we had a lesson about sharing the plan of salvation with others. Elder Kleine (from my MTC district) and his trainer Elder Omer were there too, and after we left we all went together to a pass-off lesson. (They came up with this new rule for the mission where sisters can’t teach 1 man and elders can’t teach 1 woman. So when you find someone of the opposite sex and you schedule a lesson with them, you bring the other missionaries along. You’ll team up in the lesson and they’ll take it from there.) So we all got to teach this fun old guy with long hair, half his teeth missing and a red track suit about how to pray and about Jesus Christ.
Then Sunday was Stake Conference! Elder Funk from the Asia Area Presidency spoke, as well as President and Sister Jergensen. Having your chapel be the stake center and close enough so that you can see it from your apartment is so dang convenient–other missionaries had to take the train from miaoli to get there but we just had to ride our bikes like a block away! 🙂
We didn’t think we had any investigators there (which is pretty sad) But after the conference we got to have a cool spontaneous lesson with the mother of a member. This member is super cool, she got baptized just this year and really wants her mother to hear the gospel. We had met them both a few times but this time we actually got to teach the entire restoration. So now she’s one of our new investigators 🙂
Sunday night I got to go ENGLISH BOARDING for the first time! It was pretty crazy. Basically, our district went to this night market place and the point is to hand out as many free English class fliers as you can in about an hour. The market felt kind of like a mix between a city fair and a flea market. There was smoke billowing from various stalls making all kinds of food and brightly colored carnival prizes displayed in others. Most people would just pass by as we walked around trying to hand them flyers but some would have an interested gleam in their eyes and would take the tract. The best is when people call you back over to ask questions about it and that’s when you know they’re interested. There was even one guy that tapped me on the shoulder and asked for one! Heck yeah.
A cool miracle happened at the night market too. As I was looking around at all the sights for just a second I spotted one of our investigator families in the corner of my eye, getting ready to leave! Sister Apsley was in her groove but I quickly grabbed her and ran to catch up with our investigators before they could drive off. It was so cool, we were able to schedule another lesson with them for tonight right there! Isn’t it cool how we were there at the same time, and that I spotted them right before they left?
Character of the Week
Language study has been fun since characters help me to remember different words. So this past week I have learned a lot of characters! One that’s used in a lot of church words is 教, or jiao, which means…I’ll let you guess.
Haha it means church, combined with 會 to be jiao hui. 教會. Church. Our church is the best. There’s definitely nothing to be scared about regarding religion, even though a ton of people in Taiwan tend to be a bit intimated by us missionaries trying to talk to them about it on the street. Other than something to be intimidated about or scared about, this church is the biggest blessing and comfort I’ve had in my life. And I know it’s true, I know it’s not just a fantasy or something going on inside my head. Makes me think of a scripture from Moroni 7:36-37. (In general I just love the entire chapter, one of my very favorites.) Miracles, the ministering of angels, and the reality of Christ and His gospel are OH SO VERY real. All we need to do is keep our hearts open to believing in miracles instead of hardening our hearts.
And that’s about it! Today for P-Day we are going to Taipei to participate in the Christmas choir.