This week was a crazy one because I got transferred from my BELOVED Yuli to… Banqiao, which is in the Taipei West zone of the mission. Oh man, leaving Yuli was KILLER! I’ve really loved all my areas but as I was on the train going up north this thought came to my mind that whispered “you HAVE to go back there.” So one day I am going back, I just don’t know when, maybe I’ll have to visit it again after my mission, or maybe I can somehow get transferred to Hualien city or Taidong city at the end of my mission.
For my last P-Day in Yuli, our taxi driver friend Chen Zhi Da took us to a beautiful mountain with a little Switzerland up at the top. From this mountain you could see Yuli, Fuli and Chishang, three of the towns in our area, but Ruisui was fogged by clouds up north. Funny, we couldn’t even see our whole area from the top of a high mountain. Sister Goo found this giant worm and she picked it up on a stick and took pictures with it. There’s like a ton of pics I have to get from her…someday.
And then we drove up to Fuyuan, the northernmost part of our area and we went to this cool Butterfly Resort! They had some displays with really gross, big bugs and I walked by and declared my hatred for every single one of those big, gross bugs.
And then we capped it all off by going on a little hike around that area. Our district all brought hats and we took pics with them. Sister Goo is wearing a rice hat she bought in Ba De, I am wearing the hat the Buddhist monk gave to me, Elder Nelson the tall dude is wearing that hat he normally wears on P-Day, and Elder Bell forgot to bring a hat so we made him wear his bike helmet.
Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we had a lot of lasts for me, who was getting transferred (everyone thought I would before I even got the ibon code), and Elder Bell, who was going home. We shared miracles with each other in district meeting and got fed by some members. I also had my last English class in Yuli on Wednesday night and I was so happy to be able to build up the class a little bit as English Unit Leader before I left. And to cap off my last night we visited Gao jie mei one last time. It was so hard to say good bye to their family, we have had so many special memories in their house as we have sat there teaching them for weeks. I know that one day her whole family will follow her example and be baptized and they will be a huge strength to the branch (which hopefully will become a WARD soon!)
On Thursday morning Peng jie mei, my recent convert, had work off so she took me and Sister Goo to breakfast and helped me get my stuff to the train. I love her so much and hope that I will get to see her when she comes to the temple for the first time in a few months, hopefully!
Finally, I loved Sister Goo SO much and she taught me a ton. She is really good in befriending the Taiwanese people. She talks to every single person like she’s truly interested in their lives instead of treating each person like “no potential to become an investigator” or “likely to be an investigator.” Her ability to focus on people, not numbers, is already coming in handy in Taipei. She is an amazing person and I am so excited to go and visit her at BYU Hawaii someday. When I become filthy rich haha.
When I first got into Taipei Main Station with two gigantic suitcases, I started trying to go up one of the escalators with one piece of luggage balanced on one of the stairs above me and the other one below me. But the one below me toppled over and I fell over backwards with it.
And that’s how I found myself on my back on a piece of luggage going up a moving staircase. All the Taiwanese people around me propped me and the suitcase back up (just as much for their own convenience as for my safety) and I was back in business.
My new companion is named Sister Hansen and she’s from Utah. I have been in on my mission for about 3 months longer than her. And I’m in the Xinban ward! This ward is so awesome and apparently my Uncle Nate served in this area when he was a missionary (a couple of the members still remember him!)
We also teach the single female investigators in the Xinpu ward which meets at none other but the…Jinhua Chapel (where I served when I was back in Central, right where the temple is.) And so on Sunday we got to go over there and I saw a ton of people and missionaries and it was SO DANG WEIRD.
We also have this English Ward investigator named Kat (she lives in our area so we teach her) so we went on a split so I could go with her to a baptism and Sister Hansen could be with our Xinpu ward investigators. That was really weird too. I was happy to see that lots of people remembered me (although there were one or two that didn’t haha.) Lots of people here have really interesting, hippy English names like Green Tea, Kiwi, Cherish, and Circle.
We currently live in Zhonghe on the border of Banqiao because apparently Banqiao itself is too expensive. We live in an old Elders’ apartment because this area used to have only elders. In fact, Elder Nelson from my Yuli district was trained in this area so he told me all about the members, the apartment, the food, etc.
Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?
It has been a nonstop DOWNPOUR in Taiwan this week! What’s worse is I haven’t had my bike so we have been walking around in all of it. Luckily I have had my handy, cheap, plastic rain poncho and some sandals I wear when we have to go on a long walk outside.
So I made a funny comparison between me and a plastic bag! I am dispensable, but not disposable because I am really useful! Haha. This is my fourth area in the mission and I have gotten transferred kind of a lot, but I know that it is all for a specific purpose! I have been lucky to be able to go around the entire mission and to work with so many different people. And I know that I am not a useless missionary even though I have weaknesses. I may be a plastic bag with holes but at least I still get most of the job done, haha!
Sister Anne Watson