Dear Mom, Dad, Family, Friends….
Yes. I got banished.
I got transferred to Yuli (Closet and easiest pronunciation for you guys would be Ew-lee, although that’s not quite correct.) This is down on the east coast of Taiwan, near Taidong. This is considered one of the remotest places in the mission.
When I read the transfer paper my body and my brain just froze up, I couldn’t believe it. Leaving the Xinan ward? I Honestly thought I was going to stay in central for a very long time. I just worked with the area and with the ward so well. But when President receives inspiration for you to travel to the opposite end of the mission, that’s what you do. So I did it!
Another reason I was kinda sad about it is because Elder Coletti (who I grew up with) was just made the new AP so if I had stayed in Xinan we would have been serving in the same ward! But it’s okay because I know he’s gonna do awesome.
It was kind of fun because all the missionaries who get sent down to the east coast have to hang around the mission office for a bit on transfer day so they can get train tickets from the office elders. So on Transfer day (Thursday) we picked up the new sister who was coming to replace me from the MRT, and then we took my luggage by taxi to the mission office. And we chilled for a few hours there because our train didn’t leave until the afternoon–we got to see all the new missionaries fresh from the USA, this transfer happening to include President Eyring’s granddaughter which was pretty interesting. We ate at my favorite pizza place (run by an Indian man from London who went to pizza school in Italy) one last time.
The train ride down took like 3 hours, and then I was greeted at the Yuli train station by my companion and a member named brother Gunn (because there are actually Caucasians in Yuli, too! There are two Caucasian men in the branch married to Taiwanese women.) Oh and they also whitewashed the Yuli elders (both missionaries are new to the area) so they both came down with me from Taipei, too.
My new companion is Sister Bernhardt. We were in the MTC together so this is pretty cool. We’re co-seniors here in Yuli and it’s gonna be an adventure for sure.
My second night down here we were just picking up dinner at the dumpling place when one of our members called us, freaking out because she had just gotten bit by one of her dogs and one of her dogs had bitten one of her other dogs. We had no idea what to do because the elder’s phone wasn’t working so we just grabbed some first aid stuff from our apartment and sped over to her house. Which was in the middle of some rice fields.
It turned out there actually wasn’t a ton that we could do, and she ended up having to go to the emergency room. But we did start a conversation with the non-member that lives with them and she’s probably going to become our new investigator this week! So that’s pretty cool.
On Saturday morning/afternoon we went with the branch sisters to an activity in Taidong (which is about an hour drive away) and it was awesome to see all the Taidong missionaries (they have 3 wards down there.) They had a bunch of interesting performances like a member who tried to get everyone to line dance, and this eclectic flute group thingy. The members here are awesome.
But then we had to spend that night at the emergency room. Because the day before, when we had helped our member with the dog problem, Sister Bernhardt got a bug in her eye or something (because as we were biking over to their house we had to bike through swarms of bugs.) And throughout the day we noticed that her eye was getting redder and redder and it started hurting more and more. So we went to the funky Buddhist hospital and they put her on a bed and then put her head on this metal thingy. And they got out this bag with an iodine solution thingy and just poured the entire thing onto her eye. It was pretty funny because before they started it totally looked like they were gonna put an iv in or something and she started freaking out a little bit. But the solution helped out her eye a lot. She called it “magic de shui” and it made all the hospital staff crack up.
Oh yeah, so our branch meets in this little rented building and the sisters’ apartment is right above the chapel. So that’s fun. It’s definitely a LOT different from the Jin hua chapel, that’s for sure! But I love it. Our apartment is actually super duper nice, which I am grateful for because lots of the apartments farther out in the mission are kind of sketchy. The elders actually have a cute little cottage thingy with a vegetable garden. Although they don’t have any drinkable water, so that’s something to work on I guess.
Today we’re being kind of speedy with emails because today we are going to MONKEY MOUNTAIN with the Taidong zone for P-Day! Wish us luck!
I love you all! Stay tuned for another crazy week in the “Radiator Springs of the mission” as Sister Bernhardt calls it.
Sister Anne Watson