Subject: Chronicle of Vasha
Nimen Hao! Zenme Yang!!?
Wow, so this has been such an adventure!! First I need to catch everyone up on my last couple of days at the MTC and then my trip across the pond, arrival, and now living in TAIWAN! wooot wooot!
Okay so the last few days at the MTC were AMAZING! I had so much fun with my district and teachers. We had lots of nice spiritual experiences, and last minute preparations that were just great! My teachers Brothers Liu, Workman, Visser, Nightingale, and Sister Hsiao were amazing at preparing us spiritually and mentally for this great work, and for that i thank them with all my heart! They also helped us to pick a goal to work on for our missions, and also to think about how we want to be able look back on our missions and feel. I decided for one of my many goals to:
Pick and attribute from every companion that Iwill strive to strengthen. I will then be able to strengthen my weaknesses and grow a love for my companionship while strengthening my relationship with them.
I am very excited about this goal and am sure that as Iwork on it, I'll also be able to work on my Charity, Humility, and Patience.
Quote of the Week: "If you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Chirst, a spirit of love, and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion." -Elder L. Tom Perry
So the trip to Taiwan went really well! We had a few of our missionaries sit by nonmembers and were able to share the gospel with them and place a few copies of the Book of Mormon and some Mormon.org cards. Which was AWESOME! Our flight from SLC to Seattle was late, so we got off the plane and straight onto the next! Then it was off to TAIWAN!!! It was a really long flight, and i did not really sleep, i was able to work on one of the elders puzzle books doing word searches and crossword puzzles for a few hours, talk to a few different people and for teh last few hours talk gospel with one of the elders which was great and spiritually uplifting :D Then we got off in Tokyo for about an 45 min layover. While there a man came up to us and wanted to know where we were going, etc because he had served his mission in Taipei....after about 10 minutes he asked where we all were from and it turns out that he's the father of someone i went to High School with! (Mitch Vance) So that was awesome!!! The missionaries continue to tease me becaue where ever we go, i always find someone that i happen to know....no matter where in the world we are! hahahahaha
Then we flew from Tokyo --> Taipei!! While on that flight, Elder Gish and i were able to meet a lady named Guo Xiao Jie. She was AWESOME! She wanted to know why E. Gish was an elder when he was so young! and so we explained what missions were and shared a little bit about the gospel with her. We were able to learn a little about what she believed and she gave us some awesome tips on how to help other become interested in the Church even though she herself was not interested. We didn't push the subject, but know that we were able to plant the seed, especially because she said that she sees the missionaries all the time, and sometimes says hi to them. If her desire and preparedness grows, she definitely knows where to find us! She also was so sweet and wanted to make sure we had someone waiting for us at the airport to pick us up and take us to Taizhong. Real nice lady that i hope someday joins the church :D Oh and this conversations all took place in CHINESE!!! Boo yah! E. Gish and I make an awesome team hahahahahahahaha.
Then we got to Taipei.....And it began.....
So we got off of the plane and went to get our passports and visas checked. While we waited in line, a lady was ushering us into different lines to control the flow. She sees E. Gish and Green and goes..."Please wait a minute....please wait a minute...." Then when i get to the front of the line she looks at me and goes..."Ple....oh! Dong yi xia! Dong yi xia! )"(please wait a minute)....i was just like Oh No! It's begun! then i got to the desk where we get our passports checked and the lady is blabbering away at me in Chinese...all the while i can hear the other people talking to our white missionaries in english....and i just kept smiling, nodding my head, and saying "Dui!"....all the while hoping i wasn't agreeing to join the military or something! hahahaha then we were able to go get our luggage at the baggage claim!
Then we met up with President and Sister Bishop, and the Assistants and took a picture which i'm sure that you've already seen! Then we go to catch the bus....which happens to be the chartered bus...which is a PARTY BUS. It has curtains and neon lights and we spoke in a microphone and was soooo WEIRD....but awesome! then we had a 2 1/2 hour orientation while we drove down to Taizhong where we learned about the mission and introduced ourselves, etc. Then...finally we got to the mission home where the sisters were staying (the elders stayed with the Zone Leaders in the area) and were able to go to bed :D It was the best sleep that i'd had in weeks! A whole 5 hours straight :D
The next morning we woke up to go running at 6:30am and we ran over to a track, and then the Assistants had us set goals and try to make them (whether it was timing, or the amount of laps, etc) before 7:00am. I almost didn't make my goal because i was so tired, and my knee kinda hurt, but i was way to embarrassed to tell them that i didn't make my goal, and could not even imagine telling them my goal was less that it really was, so i pushed through and did it!!! woot woot! then we went home, showered, got ready, and went down to a delicious Taiwanese breakfast! Yumm Yumm! then we had more training and interviews with President Bishop. We also had Hotpot for lunch which was super good! and then more training in the afternoon with the Assistants. They taught us a lot about contacting, because we do that every single day while here. We practiced on the Assistants and one said that it was good that I was super friendly and genuine. One of the others was a Bendiren (local) and was sooo funny, he said that he was trying to act like a super shy person in our role play, but that he couldn't look away and break my eye-contact because I just draw him in....hahhaha funny, a little awkward, but good because i can use that to my advantage! I also had an awesome interview with Pres Bishop and he said that Iremind him of all of my "friends here in the mission" which is a good thing i suppose because they are all district and zone leaders! hahaha oh yeah! I know a TON of people here! well....mostly Elders...but still a ton!!! Elder Ryan Allen from Alpine is even in my Zone! And my friend Elder Nathan Erickson is Elder Gish's trainer which is super Hen Bang!!! :D After practicing contacting, we all walked to dinner and practicing contacting and getting peoples information the way to dinner which was super fun! and we got 3 different peoples' information! We then had a yummy traditional chinese dinner and then it was DAN JONES NIGHT!!!
Woot woot!! Dan Jones Night is a night where we go to the night market, stand up on a box, and preach our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and then go contacting with random missionaries! :D IT WAS SOOO FUN! I went first after the Assistants and Pres and Sis Bishop, and i just yelled my testimony in chinese all the while thrusting my BOM into the air :D I felt pretty legit hahahah almost like Dan Jones must have felt!....except not in English....then we went contacting and i was assigned to go with Sisters Cord and Wang.....who it turns out are in my Zone! Then we went back home, had a closing meeting to discuss Dan Jones and then off to bed!
The next morning was personal study/breakfast/more training and then getting our TRAINERS!!! My trainer's name is Maizoua Xiong. She grew up in Californina, but she was born in Thailand and her parents are from Laos. She is also 100% Hmong and is super Lihi! (fierce). Then we went to some random Hawaiian burger place which was really good! and then off to our Areas! I'm in Feng Yuan which is the northern most area in our whole mission. We have to be careful not to cross into the Taipei Mission sometimes.
The second day with my comp we got to go on an awesome 1 1/2 bike ride up a mountain to visit one of our less actives for 30 minutes hahahahhaa but the ride down was fun! I was convinced that i was gonna be sore after riding my bike all day everyday but.....I'm not at all!!! Woot Woot! i'm in better shape than i thought! hahahahah JK ;) but my butt was a little bit sore...but that's to be expected! The rest of our days have been filled with lessons, tracting, contacting, and riding our bikes. I've also had some pretty incredible food here that it wonderful. I've eaten some interesting things, but nothing bad at all!
Church was fantastic and I was invited to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting which went good....except for triping on the way down...but what's new hahahahaha. I actually fell asleep in RS for a teeny bit because i had no idea what was going on...and i was soooo tired! We also went to a recent convert's (RC) house for dinner and then FHE. Chen Jie Mei made us some delicious food, and then we taught them how FHE goes as a family, with a lesson, and then some games, etc. It was really fun! Our elders also came (Long and Xiong Zhanglao) and they are super awesome!
We also had English Proselyting which was really fun and we did at a night market on Saturday. This is were we hand our Flyers for our Ingwen Ban (English Class) and i'm aloud to speak english "Hi! Come to our FREE English Class!" basically how it goes hahahahaha. We have a couple of member girls how come with us sometimes and are super cute!
***That awkward moment when a Bendiren old man comes up to you in front of your companion and says "So Beautiful!" in English and then walks away....
***That awkward moment when you keep making awkward eyecontact with one of the Assistants during training, and then later during dinner drop a fish eye down his back...then retrieve it...while your mission president is watching and laughing....and then you hurry and pop it into your mouth and eat it to make the point you were trying to the whole time....
***That awkward moment when (after 1 1/2 hour bike ride up a mountain) a man in a tiny little pick up truck with his children in the front seat next to him, sees you and yells "HELLO!" and sticks his hand out the window for a High 5....which you awkwardly shake his hand and sorta bow...all the while straddling your bike...and then he ignores your companion and drives away because she looks 100% chinese....
***That awkward moment when you accidentally "Flirt to Convert" and now like eleven 20ish yr old Bendiren guys have promised to come to your English class while you were English Proselyting...and your'e still now really sure how it happened....
***That awkward moment when about 90% of your Investigators/RCLAs have mental illnesses...mainly bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression...with a few eating disorders thrown in here and there.....and you have one who thinks that she's being attacked by a wire, and she won't come to church because that's is where the attacks are the worst....
***That awkward moment when your investigator tells you that your perfume smells really good....but you aren't actually wearing any...just your deodorant and your own day's worth of sweaty muskiness....hahahahhahaha
Well this was a forever long email, and i'm sure my next won't be quite as long....but I LOVE IT HERE! it is sooo much fun and i'm having the time of my life. i ride my bike around like a local (while still obeying all country laws and mission rules mum and dad!) weaving in and out of traffic, dodging trucks and car doors, stopping at street lights and contacting people on scooters....SO MUCH FUN!
Well the church is true, the work is good, and when we trust in the Lord, HE WILL ALWAYS HELP US! Shen zhufu nimen!