This week was the week the heavens decided to pour out two months’ worth of rain on us in only 4 days, and boy Taipei sure got SOAKED! I think if it rained as much in Utah as it did here in 4 days, Lake Bonneville would be a thing again.
I caved in for the first time on my mission and got a REAL Taiwanese rain coat instead of a $1.50 (in American money-ish) plastic bag to wear over my clothes. And it sure did come in handy! Today it’s not raining, though, which I’m thankful for because I felt like I was going to suffocate sooner or later having to wear the HEAVY-DUTY plastic bag every time we went outside. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures with it because it would have been too hot to wear it inside and my camera would have gotten destroyed if we were to take a picture with it outside. It’s purple though! 🙂
For P-Day last week I took my companion and the Tucheng sisters shopping in my area. I have a love-hate relationship with just “shopping” on P-Day because I feel like we can be doing something SO much more fun…But when I was with Sister Hansen she enjoyed shopping, and now even though I hate shopping, I know where all the good places to shop are. SO it was a wonderful opportunity to help all my fellow sisters take care of all their random needs!
And afterwards we had dinner in Tucheng at this really cheap, really good fried rice place, and we also ate INSANELY cheap, INSANELY huge cua bing (shave ice). I put red bean, taro, peanuts, and pearls (tapioca? The thing that Grandpa talked about in his email once. Basically chewy sugar) on mine. This is apparently the height of Taiwanese dessert. I’ve recently been starting to get more of a taste for them–most newer missionaries from America think it’s gross!
Lately our free English class has been struggling a little bit, so after class on Wednesday I said a prayer in my heart that we would be able to find more students (especially for my advanced class.) And as we were biking home I realized we had a bit of time so we stopped our bikes by Banqiao stadium and decided to walk through it. The second we got off our bikes we were stopped by this guy who was exercising. He asked if we were the teachers of the Free English class and said that he would come again next week! And he said he would be attending the advanced class! Quick answers to prayers, guys–gotta love ’em!
And Thursday night is when the rain started! That afternoon we had district meeting combined with the Tucheng district, so it was MEGA district meeting! Tucheng has 6 missionaries and Sanxia has 4 missionaries so it was awesome to hear the testimonies and advice of so many other missionaries for once. I haven’t been in a big district for more than 6 months, so it was a needed change.
Our investigators are doing well! We met with Zhang jm again and she was finally willing to set a baptismal date again! She set it for December 23rd! But we think it will end up being quicker because she doesn’t need to be taught that much more before she’s fully prepared for baptism. She is so amazing, she could really use your prayers as she continues to change her life!
Uhhhh other than that we’ve met with a lot of members this week–we worked really hard on trying to serve them since we didn’t have a whole ton of appointments this week. We saw a lot of miracles right at the end of the week and I think it was because we were working so hard even when it was raining. We have a ton of potential investigators set up for this next week and we are sooooooo excited. It’s gonna be a busy one!
I made Sister Huang her first EVER peanut butter and jelly sandwich! For some reason, Taiwanese people have never imagined that the two condiments could taste good together. And she really liked it in the end!
- I love to take cool sunrise pictures when I walk with Diana to school. Have you had any cool sunrises or sunsets in Taiwan that you were able to get a picture of?
Honestly I’ve seen so many pretty things in Taiwan that I’ve kind of given up on taking tons of pictures of it all–my camera just can’t do any of it justice! I’ve SEEN lots of cool sunsets. The sunrise is always before we wake up, so I never see the sunrise.
- Missionaries usually do lots of service. Other than English classes, what kind of service have you been able to do?
I feel like service opportunities are really sparse in Taiwan. A big part of it is that people here just don’t like being helped. There was the big service project we did in Central zone during Chinese New Year to help the government’s “feed the homeless” activity, and then in Hualian we helped clean a member’s house and backyard because he was old and hadn’t been taking care of it himself. Whenever we ask people on the street to help them with luggage or whatever they always reject us. So we have to get kind of creative so the people will accept and appreciate what we want to do for them. We do a lot of service for members and investigators by delivering notes to their houses, and little gifts like food. (Even then they’ll try and reject the service sometimes, but we’re also really persistent!)
Your question leads well into another story from this week, though. Our investigator Xu jm moved this week! When we met with her she told us the new address she would be moving to and it was a road that is mostly out of our area (in Zhonghe) so we were SO scared that we would have to refer her over to the Yonghe sisters. So after our appointment we stopped off at our apartment for dinner to look at our map, and turns out that her new apartment was BARELY in our area. Like if she had moved just across the road she would be in one of the Zhonghe wards. YAYYYY.
So in the end she told us she didn’t need any help moving, but on Sunday, Sister Huang had the impression that we should call her and ask to help her move, and so that night we got to do service for her by helping her hang up all her clothes. We were also able to teach her a little lesson about prayer. She loves the principles of the gospel a lot, but we’re still trying to see whether she will really keep commitments to let the gospel truly change her life!
- What does your companion think of your Chinese? Does she think that you are good or just okay? Do you do your companionship study in English or Chinese?
My Chinese must be pretty normal for a foreign missionary because she doesn’t have anything special or horrible to say about it! Haha. My Chinese still isn’t perfect, obviously, but it’s understandable!
- How many Chinese characters do you think that you have memorized?
Probably about 2000 at most
- How often do you get a chance to play music?
I play at the New Member Fireside pretty often, and I accompany in church a lot. Other than that, I don’t really have time to practice. I’ll have to go hard at practicing the piano again once I get back.
And that’s about it! I know that changing individuals and families is possible through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ—but we really have to trust and act upon the things we learn. I’m thankful that I have been able to learn this as a missionary–it’s an amazing opportunity to see so many different kinds of people every day and to learn from them and with them! I love being here.
And this email is super late because we were right in the middle of emailing when the missionary portal stopped working! So we went and did our P-Day plans and came back at the end.
Sister Anne Watson