Dear Everyone (But especially Mom, Dad, and Fam because I love them),
This week has been the usual struggle of emotional challenges and attempting to handle all of the expectations they have for us as missionaries. But we’ve also seen some very big successes–so all in all I think this week summed up is probably how most of my mission has gone so far.
It was probably the hardest yesterday, maybe because it was more than a week since we’d had a P-day and our investigators were cancelling on us (as usual), I don’t know. Also maybe because we had interviews with President, and I am still doing so bad at taking counsel from leaders in stride.
I’m currently emailing in the high school library some members work at and it has that library smell and it makes me super happy. My whole mission I’ve only done emails in the chapel or in an internet cafe so coming in here always feels like we’re switching it up a bit.
Currently there are tons of interesting summer activities going on in Banqiao, so they have put a ton of weird statues outside of the station including some dinosaurs. They also have inflatable monster arms coming out the top of the New Taipei City government building and other strange knick-knacks strewn all over the place.
The highlight of this week was definitely that our friend Huang Ya Ling made the decision to be BAPTIZED. A great number of people showed up to the service since the elders also helped someone else be baptized on the same day. The day before her baptism, we sent Huang jm a scripture in 2 Nephi 31 and she replied with the next verse! She is so awesome.
On Friday we also have been doing a scripture study class, and we are just beginning with 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and talking about different stories every time. This week we were reading in 1 Nephi 16, where they receive the Liahona and Nephi breaks his bow so Lehi and his family are left without food in the wilderness. I just love the Book of Mormon so much and I admire Nephi’s ability to just keep pushing forward through problems without complaining or breaking down, and just relying on the Lord. It has led me to think that we often complicate our own problems in this life. God expects a lot of us, but in the end He just wants us to do our best and He wants us to be HAPPY! I am still working on that, and just always working on not being overwhelmed. I don’t know where I would be right now without the scriptures, though. When we don’t know what to do, I think taking out our scriptures and praying for a few minutes is never a bad thing to do. We try and help those we teach to rely on these simple things all the time–that’s why we shorten reading the scriptures, praying, and coming to church in a simple acronym called CPR!
This week I’ve had some interesting experiences being in large crowds! The first one was this night market we went to on Sunday night. And then there was this morning where we went to the temple/mission office in Taipei for P-Day! Normally it’s about a 30 or 40-minute MRT ride to the office. We left our house this morning at 7:30 so we could get there at our assigned time at 8:30 (to do initiatories for an hour before the session started at 9:30.) But as we got to one of the stations, the MRT we were riding suspended service so we all had to get off, and this train was packed. Sadly, there were also a ton of people who had been planning to get in this train too so they were super confused when they saw all of us trying to get off.
And that’s how we got caught in insane Taipei morning rush hour metro traffic. We tried to get on so many trains after that but every single train that came to the station was PACKED and there was also a huge crowd of people trying to get on. It was a steady buildup. Only now has it really hit me how many people really live in Taiwan! After we realized we weren’t getting anywhere we decided to go back the opposite direction for a stop and get back on the MRT from that one. In the end we’re not sure how much time we saved but we were able to get to the office by 9:30 to get into the temple on time.
This week they’ve been spraying this cockroach killer into all of the sewers. It doesn’t immediately kill all the cockroaches; they just make it out of the sewers onto the road and they all die there. So this week we have been having to step around a ton of dead cockroaches and it’s been ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. I HATE COCKROACHES.
Also a Gecko made its way into our house on Monday night so we got to spend like 10 minutes trying to get it out. Geckos are kinda cute but I’m not sure I’d want to touch one. In the end we got it to just run out the door.
Hot Hot Hot
This week began with intense thunder, lightning, and rain storms. I actually have grown to really like this kind of weather because it’s kind of cool to see and the thunder is some of the loudest I’ve heard in my entire life. But sadly it stopped about halfway through the week and has been exchanged for intense heat and literally no clouds so we are exposed to the sun in the afternoons as we bike. Luckily we have our trusty sunglasses and other various articles to keep ourselves intact. But I am praying for more thunderstorms in Taipei for sure!
We are also indulging in a lot of yummy summer drinks. There’s this really good one I’ve found called Calpis water, it tastes like juice. It’s supposed to be yogurt water. In Taiwan they have lots of “yogurty” drinks that sound kind of weird but are actually really good. Apparently calpis water is Japanese so maybe my Mom knows about it…?
I’m not sure if there’s anything else…there probably is but I forget and I’m kind of out of time! Talk to you all in a few days!
Sister Anne Watson