“NO ONE ELSE CAN FEEL IT FOR YA ONLY YOU CAN LET IT IN. NO ONE ELSE. NO ONE ELSE. CAN SPEAK THE WORDS ON YOUR LIPS.”
When you’re trying to ride your bike but it’s pouring rain, traffic sucks, and you’re trying to dodge a bunch of old people and people with earphones in that can’t hear you…you just sing a song. That’s what I’ve been doing a lot this week!
Biking in central Taipei is crazy. Oh man it can be pretty annoying but it’s an adventure too. I’m not sure I’ve said this already but I kind of feel like I’m in a video game all the time with how much I seem to almost die every day. Cars and people and motorcycles pop up out of nowhere and think that they run the road. It’s definitely a lot harder in the big city compared to a place like Zhubei, which has wider roads and fewer pedestrians/bikers.
Last P-Day we went with the temple sisters, the Siyuan sisters, and the Yonghe sisters to Yingge! It’s a pretty fun little town which is a few stops down from Taipei on the local train. We passed through it a lot in training because it’s on the same route that goes down the west coast so it was fun to stop at it last week. The town is very famous for pottery. They have tons of touristy shops and stuff, as well as places where people can make their own pottery!
We found a cool place where we could make our own clay pots and then carve them. It was so much fun–maybe I should pick up pottery when I get back. The key was to keep your hands wet with water and to not push the clay too hard as it was spinning into a bowl. A couple of sisters accidentally destroyed their bowls into a big clay mess so they had to have one of the workers come help them fix their bowls.
We carved designs into our bowls and then left them at the shop so they can prepare them and paint them. We all pitched in a bit of money so that they would just send our bowls back to the mission office in 4 weeks in a package. So that’s a fun thing to look forward to!
Progressing in Language Study
On Thursday, I did a language test with Elder Hammond the AP so I could move on to the 3rd phase of the mission language study program, Book C! The point of this is to learn characters! I’m pretty dang pumped. The Book C just has thousands of characters in it with their meaning. I know about 800 (ish) of them already, I would say.
At this point I can start practicing writing characters for the members in Chinese so I will try sending a letter to Grandpa Kent soon and maybe he can critique. And like forever ago I got a bunch of addresses from Mom so I could send everyone postcards. I haven’t sent those out yet but I promise I will. Sometime. I still haven’t gotten the handwritten letters you all apparently sent me so I am patiently waiting for those.
I would like to tell you the story of Chevelle. The APs contacted into Chevelle during English boarding a couple weeks ago and set up with her for last Monday night. We had a pass-off lesson together and we got to meet this wonderful woman and she became our investigator!
Chevelle is in her 20s and is just about to finish up with dental school. Her father forced her into going into this profession, but then he died after she began the program. Chevelle loves to talk and ask questions, and all of her questions are right on point for us to be able to testify of gospel principles. In that first lesson with the elders she shared with us many of her struggles and confusions and I just felt my heart opening up to her.
We were able to teach her once more this week. She wasn’t able to come to church when we invited her, but she’s told us she really knows that we want to help her and wants to keep our invitations. She has a true desire to learn and accept our message. I LOVE CHEVELLE. Plus her English is absolutely perfect. I don’t know why, I just feel this special bond to her and I feel like I am really able to relate to many of her questions and concerns. Whenever I have met with her I have just felt the spirit pouring out of my heart and I know that it is touching her too. I wish I could just sit with her for hours and explain to her everything, but sadly we are all busy people with a limited amount of time.This week we are going to invite her to baptism. Pray for Chevelle. We are working with some other great people but today Chevelle is the special person I wanted to share with you all about.
The Relief Society Activity
So, on Saturday night the English Ward relief society had this fun activity to celebrate the anniversary of the relief society and it was so much fun! They invited all the sister missionaries in the area to come too. It felt like the most American thing I have done since I got to Taiwan. I walked into the room where they were having the party and I felt like I was suddenly transported back in time to Young Women’s or something. They had the tables, the tablecloths, the wall decorations, the table decorations, the cheesy games, everything. It’s like it came off of sugardoodle.net or something (family jokes anyone? Haha.)
What’s funny is Elder Reintjes and Elder Hammond kind of invited themselves into the activity and it was the most hilarious thing ever. Elder Reintjes even won the “guess-how-many-M-n-Ms-are-in-the-jar” game and got the entire thing as a prize. We all know the APs are over the English ward but is it really fair for them to crash relief society activities? 🙂
This week I would like to re-share what I shared last week: Ether 12:4. I’m still learning so much about having hope and patience for a better world. Particularly I’m learning to have patience in my investigators and the missionaries I serve with. It sure is hard but it is super rewarding to get through challenges.
I am also super grateful for my mission president, President Jergensen! I remember when I first got my mission call and called Grandpa Kent on the phone. One of the first things Grandpa mentioned to me was “you have the best mission president ever!” And I’m sure he was correct. I’ve learned so much from President Jergensen this week. I love him and Sister Jergensen. I loved them from the second I saw their picture, but being here in central Taipei I feel like I have really started getting to know them and they are starting to get to know me too.
I love you!
Sister Anne Marie Watson