Dear Everyone and Mom and Dad,
I’m not sure if Dad approves of me sharing his journal entries with other people, but I would just like to let you all know that reading them aloud to my companions is a really funny, cool, and sacred experience. I printed them out the last time you sent them and reading them is the highlight of my day whenever I remember to take them out. I like reading the entries that show the good, the bad, and the ugly of missionary work.
I heard a story of a sister who was in Yuli a little over a year before me who had to dress a dead member all by herself because her native companion didn’t want to touch the body and stuff.
Dumb Questions from Mom Time
- What kind of stains do you need the Tide to go pen for?
Oil stains from food
- Is it easy or hard for you to fall asleep at night?
Oh, it’s so easy. I’ve had the best sleeps ever on my mission. I have also been having a lot more dreams which is kind of weird but fun.
- How have the bathrooms been in your apartments so far? Are they clean?
They’re not too bad. My bathroom had some weird red stuff on the floor that I was mostly able to clean off, but there’s some weird residue stuff on the edges of it that I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed but…that will be a job for another time with stronger cleaning supplies. The best bathroom I had was in Yuli, by far. The bathrooms here always have strange tiles and drains and there’s no separate shower room, just a shower hose on a hook with a drain.
- Have there been any interesting illnesses in your mission since you have been there?
I don’t think so. Taiwan is really tame now compared to how it was when Grandpa Kent was here in the 60s and 80s and 90s. There’s injuries sometimes–lost teeth, broken bones, and other things. One elder lost his tooth while going down a ramp in a parking garage and biffing it. Another elder broke his collar bone by crashing his bike after getting heat exhaustion. One elder had to go home because he broke his ankle in the MTC and didn’t find out until after he got to Taiwan.
It’s been a little bit of a shorter week since we had a late P-Day, but we’ve been working really hard! We have some new investigators, new people to work with, and some new referrals. We set a baptismal date with Chen Ma, a woman in her 60s. Her husband got baptized last year but she didn’t join, even though she heard the discussions with him. After talking to them for a bit, it she voiced out a ton of little concerns like not wanting to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting. So basically, she’s just been scaring herself out of baptism for reasons that don’t even matter!
On Saturday we had a pretty free afternoon so we decided to go contacting in an ART COLLEGE and it was so much fun! There weren’t that many people around because it was the weekend, but at least it was really pretty and the 7/11 was open…haha.
Then we went looking for this park but we got kind of lost! Me and Sister Hansen both know the area well enough that we always know where we are most of the time, but we don’t always necessarily know how to get somewhere! We ended up being on this pretty river trail. I stopped my bike next to this young-looking girl who was also biking and she said she would lead us to the park! So after following her for a while we found out we actually weren’t in the right park, but we were able to get her number and set up a time to meet!
We’ve had a couple other successful contacts like that this week. I think having successful contacts is just lucky for the most part. I think the biggest thing is planning with the spirit so you can be in the right place at the right time.
Haha one day we also got lost near a park only to realize that we were right by our house.
Everyone, this week we have been experiencing NEW LEVELS of sweat and heat here in Taipei. But I’ll never be able to say that it’s miserable because our house still has really good air conditioning so we can cool off when we get inside at the end of the day. PLUS, Taiwan has lots of really good cold drinks.
Last night we were heart-attacking our members. I learned yesterday that it’s really easy to just get into Taipei apartment buildings! There’s a million row-style apartment buildings here and most members/people live in little alleys with row apartment buildings. Honestly, I never know where the buildings end and begin because everything seems like a hodge-podge mess! The front of each building will have some intercom doorbells that you can ring for each apartment in the complex. To get into most of the members’ buildings we would just ring one of the other doorbells (normally used as we go tracting door-to-door) and people would just open the door for us! On some buildings we didn’t even have to talk through the intercom to ask people to let us in. But as we were sticking paper hearts on the members’ doors we had some fun sweating it up in their stairwells.
Last of the night we wanted to heart attack our Ward Mission Leader Wu dx…but his apartment complex was a bit different from the others because it was a big stand-alone complex with a doorkeeper who wouldn’t just let us in to the building. So we called Wu dx up to ask him for a copy of the Book of Mormon (he keeps some that have member’s testimonies written in them) so we could give it to one of our investigators. He was so excited because he’s been keeping these special copies for special investigators, and so we told him that we would use it for a golden street contact we made during the week. So after we went up and got it, we said goodbye and pretended to walk down the stairs as they closed the door. But we were able to climb back up and heart attack them too right before leaving the apartment!
I have fun getting kind of creative about everything! Some of these stories might not seem much when you just read about them, but I think literally everything feels like an adventure when you’re in Taiwan and everyone’s speaking Chinese and the apartment buildings are all weird.
And now…it is the end of the transfer this week! I cannot believe it, the past 6 weeks have gone by so fast! It’s been a good one. I am excited to see what the next one brings.
Sister Anne Watson