Dear Mom, Dad, and anyone who knows the BYU Fight Song (we will fight, day or night, rain or snow),
This week was a Typhoon physically and in my heart. Because I really wanted to train this transfer and I didn’t. Sister Hansen is chill so it shouldn’t be a bad transfer coming up (since we’re together again), but to say the least I was really bummed.
Here’s what I would say has helped me the most this week–reading Jesus the Christ.
I didn’t bring any books from the “approved missionary library” on my mission because I just figured everyone else would have them and I have not been disappointed! Every apartment has at least a couple copies of Jesus the Christ and the other books. In our apartment we even found Mormon Doctrine, a brick of a black-bound book written by Bruce R. McConkie last century.
Reading Jesus the Christ has been like a breath of fresh air for me, because I love the academic style of writing which I haven’t been able to dive much into in a long time. (If I could write a 30-page research paper right now I would bite into that assignment with all my heart!) But this book has helped me to continue to have perspective even in this very difficult time. The thing that humbled me the most was to come to the realization that God desires me to be a missionary and to serve Him, and that Jesus Christ wants me as His associate even though I am sometimes filled with pride and frustration and anger and a whole bunch of other things.
Living the gospel is an ongoing battle for everyone, especially me! At this point, I think I’ve seen God humble me in different ways each transfer and for now He really wants me not just to know, but to really feel and believe how one has to serve faithfully even if their calling is the most humble, even if they are not serving in the capacity that they WANT to serve in.
I have no idea what kind of future God is preparing me for, and it’s been hard to realize that that’s not what matters the most right now anyways–since I’m a missionary, it mostly matters what’s going on in the lives of OTHERS right now. I’m still figuring out the answers and I’m sometimes still really prideful. But at least there are a lot of people that still love me no matter what.
The more interesting part of this week has been the typhoon storm that hit Taiwan this past Saturday! I’m looking at emails from my friends in the Taizhong mission and they all say that no Typhoon hit them, which is kind of weird.
Because it definitely hit us here! On Saturday night we were going to have a big ward talent show that’s been in the works for weeks but in the morning our Ward Mission Leader texted us to tell us it was being cancelled. He also told us to be careful and that we were probably going to get a message from the mission office telling us to stay indoors at night.
All day I was getting pumped for the typhoon but Sister Hansen was laughing at me because there were no hints of any typhoon in the morning or in the afternoon. The weather was kind of strange, though, because it kept raining off and on and there were occasional gusts of wind. By 5:00 it was pretty windy! It felt like Zhubei! I was getting pretty pumped but my companion was still laughing at me. By 6:00 we were finishing up dinner inside a restaurant and the rain started picking up. We went and visited a member family in the neighborhood pretty quick and the wind really started picking up! It wasn’t horrible but it felt a little bit eerie biking around the windy Taiwanese streets trying to find the member’s house.
And then after we got done we started biking towards Banqiao station, and then that’s when I experienced my first typhoon. You know it’s really bad when the wind is worse then Zhubei! This was a REAL tropical storm in Taipei. The wind was so bad that we could barely stay on our bikes, and the rain was pelting us like little rocks. We were honestly scared for our safety.
Haha Sister Hansen was joking with me SO bad because I was pretty excited about the typhoon while she was just mocking our fears–I guess Mother Nature must have heard her and decided to send out the worst of the Tyhpoon to Banqiao. Needless to say, as we were fearing for our lives Sister Hansen finally agreed that it was too dangerous to stay outside so we set off for the journey home being pushed around by the wind, fearing that cars would be pushed by the wind into us and biking through standing water (not even close to flooding though–I’m sure that if the rain from Taiwan appeared in Utah the whole Salt Lake Valley would be underwater.) And right as we got home the Zone Leaders sent out a text saying President wanted us all to get inside. (about 8:00 p.m. or about an hour and a half before we are regulated to go inside every night.)
The biggest tragedy, though, was that they CANCELLED CHURCH! We were all so devastated, especially because on Sunday morning we woke up and the sun was shining bright and glorious as ever. As we were going about the morning, though, the elders in our district called us to say that their ward at 1:30 had decided to go through with their meetings, so we spent an hour and a half calling everyone in our whole area book to see if anyone could come to church.
It ended up being kind of disappointing–the members had told us that the government had cancelled work for everyone but mostly NO ONE was willing to come with us because they said they all still had work! The job force here seems to work people to death!
But in the end, right at the last minute one of our investigators who had been sleeping finally answered her phone so we were able to take her to church at 1:30. What a miracle! If she had answered any later we wouldn’t have had enough time to make it for sacrament meeting.
Anyways, before the typhoon happened Sister Hansen saw a stick on the ground and joked with me saying, “look at the damage from the typhoon!” As of yesterday and today, as far as we could see mostly just branches from trees and lots of palm leaves and things have fallen, so in the end the typhoon wasn’t too dangerous but we can tell the street sweepers will have a lot of work for the next couple days! They’ve been gathering up these giant piles of tree branches and palm leaves and garbage that are kind of cool and weird to see on the side of the road.
Other than that, this P-Day we went to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and it was pretty cool, there’s not much to do except take some fun pictures which we did even though we were sweating bullets the entire time.
Happy Harry Potter Day!
Sister Anne Watson