Welcome to the Jungle

Me and the Chen family's daughters Yi Ting and Xuan Jie

Me and the Chen family’s daughters Yi Ting and Xuan Jie

Dear Everyone,

Hey so the Hualian and Taidong areas have the ocean but we don’t because their areas surround ours on the east (where the coast is). So our area is all jungle mountains…The very definition of Jungle. So many jungly things have happened this week. And my legs haven’t even been destroyed by mosquito bites yet!

On P-Day we went to the beach in Hualian! It was really pretty. It was another one of those beaches with just rocks. It was pretty funny because they had some army people doing some training or something and there were Taiwanese people walking right up to them and staring.

Me and Sister Goo at the beach

Me and Sister Goo at the beach

On Tuesday we had an interesting adventure. There’s this member that just moved to Ruisui named Sam Chen. He is from Taiwan but lives in California where he is a temple worker (in the Los Angeles temple maybe?) And he’s building this Spartan course/jungle resort thing in Ruisui. He will be living here to supervise the work of it for 6 months. So before our English class he took us up to the remote jungle place where he’s building it and we talked to the non-members that are working for him and he told us all about how in his resort there will be no alcohol or smoking and how there will be a 7 star hotel and all of this other stuff. I honestly have no idea whether it’s a good idea or not but he seems pretty “with it” to me so we’ll just have to see whether his “Spartan resort” will actually become a thing…

Me in the Jungle with Sam Chen and Virginia

Me in the Jungle with Sam Chen and Virginia

We’re pretty excited because he said he’s bringing at least 5 people to English class on Tuesday and is also bringing refreshments hahaha.

And then on Wednesday we had an awesome English class because our member Chen Dong Jia invited one of his coworkers (he’s a pyschologist). And I invented this awesome story for the class about going into a pyramid and mummies and super heroes.

On Thursday we were doing English boarding at the train station when we got a call from Chen jie mei needing us to be her companions for visiting teaching! So we met at her house and we got to play with her daughters for a couple minutes as we were waiting for Chen di xiong to come home from work. Her daughters are THEEEEEE most adorable kids I have ever seen in my entire. Life. But anyways Chen jie mei took us to Ruisui where we visited some members with her for the night. It was pretty fun, Chen jie mei has lots of ideas about the gospel and she talked and talked and talked about them the whole night. Because she is a stay-at-home mom she does mom stuff in the afternoon and evenings but just does gospel study in the mornings. So she knows a lot about the scriptures.

Me with the English banner at the train station

Me with the English banner at the train station

On Friday we got to attend a Buddhist funeral! The husband of one of our members died and the branch members went to support her. It was one of the more interesting funerals I have been to in my life. They had everyone come up and worship the deceased. They even had a band!  But it made me thankful for the gospel understanding we have that we will be able to see our deceased ancestors again someday and that we don’t have to worry! I have never been super sad when people die because I know their spirits still exist and they will be resurrected.

On Saturday we went and did service at a member’s house named Hu Di Xiong. He is really old and has a ton of back problems so he can’t move around very well. Our task might seem pretty simple: We weeded his yard and swept/mopped/wiped around his house. But oooohhhh it was nothing but simple. The yard was a JUNGLE in and of itself and all of the weeds were almost as tall as me and they went right to the back door. We started pulling (luckily it was rainy so the weeds came right up) and I’m pretty sure we ended up destroying an entire ecosystem of creepy crawlies. It literally seemed like we were walking on a bed of bugs. I was terrified out of my mind and was screaming left and right and hopping around in fright but I still managed to pull out some weeds.

The house was just as terrifying! Hu di xiong has been living in this house for 15 years but some little kids must have lived there before him because there were drawings and stickers all over the walls like ancient abandoned cave paintings. Everything was super old and grimy and…yeah I don’t even know how to describe it. It just made me SUPER DUPER thankful for everything I have at home. And I really really realized the value of CLEANING! When I was growing up I didn’t really think that we needed to clean sometimes because I was honestly fine with what we were living in. But, I realized that if you don’t clean every day then your house will one day end up in bad shape. Other than cleaning, it’s also important to do home maintenance/repairs and fix those things that are broken or old.

After we finished cleaning up at Hu di xiong’s house, we went home and showered and then cleaned the chapel (which is honestly always spotless) and I realized that the reason why it’s spotless is because we clean it every week even when it looks completely spotless.The elders found this giant spider in the chapel and I was even brave enough to take a picture with it (after they killed it and put tape all around it, of course.)

Me and the spider the Elders caught in the church

Me and the spider the Elders caught in the church

Oh, and then last but DEFINITELY not least, we had 5 investigators at church because Gao JM FINALLY CAME and brought 3 of her children with her! And we also had our awesome 13-year-old investigator Chen Zhi Yun come with us too. She has been making a lot of progress this week and we are getting to be really good friends with her which has helped her open up a lot.

It’s been a great week and it went by really fast because of the service we’ve been doing. The members have given us lots of people to work with so we are super duper excited! Working with members is the best! I would say the work moves on the best when the members realize they need the missionaries and the missionaries realize they need the members.

Love,

Sister Anne Watson

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