The east coast is a good place to be in the summer because the city isn’t as big or stifling or muggy as it would be in Taipei or Taoyuan. But it’s still pretty hot, although not unbearable. Where there’s air conditioning, there’s hope for humanity…
This week we’ve been to Hualien and Taidong and back. On P-Day we went to the beach down south with the rest of the Taidong zone and just hung around. I took some pictures with a cute missionary from Taizhong named Sister Xie but little did we know that Elder Kaufusi was in the background making some poses of his own.
The missionaries also realized there were coconuts strewn along the beach so they took them apart and we all tried to eat the insides. But we’re pretty sure they were really old and close to being rotten…none of us died though so that’s good.
Right now the big thing in Taiwan is….WATERMELON. Yesterday we met this potential investigator kind of out in the boonies. Our branch president’s wife, Tang jie mei took us out there and it took us a while to find this place. But it turns out this lady and her husband grow watermelon and they got out these huge knives and had us cut up some. It was one of the juiciest watermelons I have ever had. We have also been given a ton of watermelon by members, too. It’s just the fruit of summer.
Oh yeah it’s also beginning to be mango season. The other night as we were visiting Gao jm she fed us green mangoes fresh from the tree outside of their house. They were really good, so much better than the imported Utah kind. We also tried some pickled, unripe mangoes and they were SOOOOO sour but pretty good as well. She also fed us Dragon fruit which is hot magenta but the blandest version of Kiwi you could ever taste. She also fed us pig’s foot. The meat part was really good but it was mostly fat. Sister Goo and I didn’t eat the fat.
Word of Wisdom
This week we taught Gao jm the Word of Wisdom and she agreed to keep it! It was the HUGEST miracle. She accepted it so well and the next few times we visited her afterwards she wasn’t chewing bin lang or drinking, even though her family has been having big celebrations with those items. She is such a trooper! And she told us how the gospel has been affecting her family. Her children have been seeing her read the Book of Mormon every night so they are starting to pick it up and read through it a little bit too! She wants to help out her children to be better people and we can just tell the gospel is changing the course of her family life.
Asian Religions, Coffee, and Trains
This Wednesday we went to Fuyuan, the northernmost part of our area. We were visiting a less-active member who served a mission in Hawaii but went home early because her non-member mother died and her family blamed it on her being away on a mission for another religion. And then she married a non member as well.
When we got to Fuyuan we found ourselves face-to-face with the town’s preparation for a Daoist holiday that day. It was good because it brought everyone in this sleepy little town to life. It was also bad because it made it a little bit difficult to try and proselytize Christianity. It ended up working out though. A bunch of people tried to invite us into their houses to eat with them and they were really pushy about it–wouldn’t take no for an answer, haha! The Taiwanese people are some of the most generous I have ever met. Lots of the time if you say you like something they’re wearing or comment on what they’re cooking, they will definitely offer to give some to you/try to thrust it into your hands! So I’ve been learning to be really careful about that. One time a Buddhist monk gave me her wide-rimmed hat because I said I thought her hat was cool.
But anyways, we went and visited this less-active member named Dai jie mei and she was so fun to talk to. She was really reminiscing about her mission experiences at the Laie temple visitor’s center, but she was treating the church almost as a long-lost, far-away dream of some sort. Her husband is nice but she didn’t seem too happy with her life. But she really opened up to us as we served her and talked to her. I think she’ll come to church again some day!
Our service was actually helping her bag little packets of coffee. She doesn’t drink coffee herself but her husband is really into this coffee business he’s started, to give jobs to local Taiwanese native tribes. And does all the work bagging it so we helped her out! It was pretty fun although I made a couple little messes.
We had interviews in Hualian this week, although the mission office messed up the train tickets so half our zone didn’t even get interviewed before we had to leave. It was pretty funny, the Taidong zone leaders got on a two-hour train to Hualien, walked half an hour to the chapel, sat in their chairs for literally five minutes, and then had to leave before they could get interviewed. Luckily President was staying in Hualien for stake conference the next day so he just interviewed the rest of us after the conference.
And that’s about it for next week. This coming week is transfers so stay tuned.
Sister Anne Watson