Hi! Transfers have come and gone and I am not training, just the opposite! My new companion is Sister Goo, from Laie, Hawaii. She is great! She has only 3 months or two transfers (including this one) left in her mission–she goes home the same time as my trainer, Sister Apsley. She just finished training another missionary in Bade (Taoyuan). Her Chinese is just about perfect. She hasn’t been telling me anything to do or not do so I’ve been kind of going with it which is a good learning experience for me. We are co-seniors but I am leading the area which is kind of stressful, but Yuli is the best place to get practice because there are so few people here. And we have to get creative so that’s more my style.
I didn’t cry all day Thursday after Sister Bernhardt left that morning. I didn’t randomly burst into tears at many different parts of the day. The moment I had to see her on the other side of an indestructible Puyuma train door wasn’t the most painful moment of my life. Well… it may have been that way but it was such a great learning and growing experience.
It was the most wonderful experience getting to serve with someone who I came to Taiwan with and someone I will be leaving the Island with. Sister Bernhardt and I will get to spend the beginning, middle, and end of our missions together! She taught me so much about following the Spirit, loving missionary work and loving the people of Taiwan. This past week I have been relying on the things she taught me and from what I have been learning by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. She has now become one of my very closest and dear friends.
Oh yeah Sister Bernhardt moved to the Taoyuan 2nd ward where Sister Apsley spent 4 transfers before she trained me so that’s pretty cool! We’ll get to see each other on May 20th for a giant mission conference where Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming so that’s cool!
I am not living in the past though! I have realized how important it is that we always get new learning experiences and make EVEN MORE FRIENDS. I was so nervous originally because I had heard that me and my companion were super different people but we are getting along pretty well!
On Transfer day, a sister from Taidong came up to Yuli with me so she could have a companion and we waited for our new companions to come down together. They were originally going to come at 3:00 in the afternoon but they missed their train and therefore didn’t get to Yuli until 9:00 at night. In the afternoon as all this stuff was happening, we were trying to work out travelling logistics with the mission office and in the end came to the conclusion that the Taidong sisters would have to stay the night in our apartment. Poor Sister Liu didn’t pack anything so we all lent her some clothes to wear and we got some spare mattresses from the elders.
For P-Day last week we played “Capture the Flag” with the Taidong zone and there just happened to be water balloons involved, haha! It was fun to spend one last P-Day as a whole zone before transfers.
Today for P-Day we are down in Taidong again and the stake president is taking our zone on a surprise trip! (As in, we have absolutely no idea where he will be taking us.)
We were thinking it might be his house but we’re not sure exactly.
Questions From Mom
Hot yet? (We had to turn on our air conditioning this week)
Eh it’s not too too bad, I guess. We don’t really like to spend time outside during the middle of the day. Or at least I don’t think we spend too much time outside and then I find myself with these funny tan lines on my arms, feet, and neckline. Time must just be going by really fast. I love air conditioning with all my heart. It feels about as hot as summer in Utah right now, I’m not super excited for when the REAL summer comes, guys.
Where do you meet for church in Yuli? What’s your favorite things about the members in Yuli?
Our chapel is the 2nd floor of a rented building owned by a man named Hong xian sheng and his wife. Us sisters actually live on the 3rd floor of the same building…did I mention that already? It’s kind of cool because the branch is starting to create plans for becoming a ward soon and possibly building a chapel. We currently have 9 Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the branch and they have names for people that will either move to Yuli or receive the Melchizedek Priesthood so we will have 15, enough to create a ward!
The members in Yuli have been my favorite from my entire mission so far. They are just so involved with us and take us very seriously. They give us great suggestions and they let us serve them–they ask us to serve them! Whereas the members in Zhubei and Taibei were always …busy. Very busy. The branch members are super humble as well, and many have multiple callings in the branch. I love them. I love how they have time for the missionaries.
Often the expectation between members and missionaries is “the missionaries visit members occasionally and ask them for referrals.” The case here is “the missionaries visit the members a lot and the members give the missionaries referrals whenever they meet someone with potential.”
The second model, which we follow here, is much more my style! We are also much more involved in Branch council, and the branch is much more interested in our investigators and their progress. They sacrifice so dang much.
Have you ruined any skirts while riding your bike?
I have a couple that have holes/black bike stains in some places and I have a couple skirts that get caught all the time, but none of them have become unusable yet so that’s good. I think I’ll be able to last the rest of my mission without buying any new clothes so that’s good. I definitely don’t have as many clothes as most other sister missionaries but at least it makes transfers a lot easier for me.
And that’s about it. I love you all so much.
Sister Anne Watson