It is SO FANTASTIC here. Literally the greatest place on earth. I’ll try to remember everything to tell you all! So many crazy things!
Getting here was kind of insane! Our flight was delayed and we had to go back to the MTC for a day, but the very next day, we got to go. We made some friends in the airports and all 15 missionaries had seats together on the long flight from San Francisco to Taoyan, which was awesome. One of the elders who has flown to Asia a bunch was wonderful and traded me his window seat so I got to see! It was the greatest! I got some cool pictures haha. It was a really long flight, but it was also super awesome! We landed and got through immigration and all of that and our luggage was all there-which was a concern because it spent a night at the airport from the day our flight was delayed. President and Sister Blickenstaff greeted us along with the Assistants and we drove the most psychedelic bus to Taichung. President and Sister Blickenstaff are seriously the greatest! On the ride over we all introduced ourselves and did some paperwork, but President Blickenstaff taught us how to say, “Bring it on! ” in Chinese and a couple of other cool things like that. We all just got really excited to be here on the way to the mission home in Taichung. It was pretty late by the time we got there, so we just went to sleep. We stayed with a couple of sisters right in the Taichung area and that was pretty fun.
Friday was the best day ever. Like of my whole life. We ran over to the track (past this Confucius temple) and we all ran and did some really intense yoga. Because of the humidity you sweat so much without working out, so once we started working out, it was a little gross haha. Some guy was playing cool Chinese music on a flute type instrument which was kind of cool. Then we got to go over to President and Sister Blickenstaff’s for traditional Taiwanese breakfast. Holy cow it was the best. The fruit here is insanely good. I could eat pineapple and mango all day long. We spent that whole day at the mission home for orientation and stuff. It was great! We also went to lunch at this really great place with dumplings and no forks. I got used to the chopsticks pretty fast haha. That afternoon was more orientation and stuff like that. We went out contacting a little on the way to dinner too, which was pretty awkward with all new missionaries that haven’t done it before, but it was also pretty cool to just talk to people a little bit. That night we went to this awesome restaurant and we had a whole bunch of different stuff to put in our rice. Fish and duck and vegetables I didn’t know the names of. Duck is actually pretty great. I have had it a couple times in the last few days. Then at the end someone had to eat both halves of the duck brain and the two fish eyeballs. Me and Sister Port volunteered for both from our table haha! All of the other sisters had no interest in that. The brain was chewy and the eyeball was crunchy. Pretty nasty, but Sister Blickenstaff got some good pictures! After that we all went to the night market which was just crazy. SO MANY PEOPLE. We sang We shi Shen di haizi/ I am a Child of God and did some Dan Jones style missionary work. See Preach My Gospel page 1- it was basically that picture of Dan Jones except for us yelling into the night market. Sick. Then we went out contacting with missionaries in the Taichung zone who know what they’re doing. We talked to a bunch of different people. At first no one really wanted to listen to us, but then we prayed to find someone and instantly found several people who were interested and it was SO AWESOME! Basically the best day of my life right there.
The next day we got our first assignments! President Blickenstaff likes to make it a big huge surprise with a lot of anticipation. We meet with all of the new trainers and have a devotional-esque meeting together which was great. Then he calls up one by one and gives us a red envelope with our trainers’ name and the area we are assigned to. Everybody claps and it’s exciting. I’m with Sister W. and we are assigned to the Wu Feng area. Her last two transfers will be training me and she’s already been here four transfers so she knows the area really well. So great! As soon as we got that assignment, we went to lunch (it was actually pizza! Different pizza, but good) and then got a taxi to head over to Wu Feng. Turns out we have an awesome member friend who drives the taxi. He like pulled over and got us beverages and drives us a bunch. He’s great. Anyway, shortly after I was on my bike for the first time. Biking here is SO MUCH FUN. A little bit crazy, but I absolutely love it. We bike all over the place and I love it so much! I’ve biked more in the last several days than in my whole life I’m pretty sure.
Sunday was great! I am already wholeheartedly convinced that the Wu Feng area has the greatest members of anywhere on the planet. I met the bishop and he instantly asked me to speak. Haha. Mostly I just told them my name and bore my testimony for a bit and then told them that I love them and I’m excited to get to know them all. That was cool. The rest of church was good, everyone was SO NICE. I didn’t really understand the talks in Sacrament or Gospel Principles class or Relief Society, but hey it was fun! They are all wonderful! One brother gave us a whole bunch of food and they all wanted to talk to me. We had ward correlation meeting (I think that’s what it’s called in English??) and the ward mission leader and ward missionaries are great!! We hardly ever teach a lesson without a peike (a member present). SO GOOD. Yesterday afternoon we taught two lessons to two of our investigators. The first went really well. She is so cool and has a lot of good questions. I pretty well understood everything that we talked about and was able to contribute a bit and it was so great. The second lesson was actually with a new investigator. She has the cutest son ever! (He was watching Handy Manny in Chinese, but it had Spanish and English too…weird). She has an accent that is a lot harder for me to understand, but I was just praying that I would be able to understand enough to contribute something. We ended up teaching her about the Restoration of the Gospel and singing I am a Child of God. It was so great. My prayers were answered because I was able to participate by teaching the Joseph Smith experience. After that we went to dinner at a members’ and it was delicious.
I love TAIWAN! I love WU FENG!! I love my mission and I am so happy to be here with the greatest people in the world!
Love you all so much!!