Well, after a very long flight to Michigan, Japan and then to Taiwan, we made it to the mission home at midnight!!! We were all so exhausted but its exciting to be here. The next morning, we had to go running at 6:30 am to the Shanghai Sheck building. So no sleeping in. We were all dripping within like 5 minutes because of the humidity. It wasnt even a far run, but i was soaked. nasty. haha. Then we had breakfast at the Mission President's home and his wife made pancakes. We had orientation all day. Then on Friday morning, we had to wake up even earlier to go to the place where Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work. It is right by the Grand Hotel. We read the dedicatory prayer outside and it was beautiful. You can definitely feel the spirit outside. We came back to the mission home and ate breakfast and packed up our things and went to the transfer meeting. This is where all the missionaries who are getting transferred get assigned to their new companions and areas. It is kinda like a game show where they announce who your companion is and the area you will be serving. Lots of fun. I saw my friend Evan there too! It was so good to see him. He is Zone Leader in Taoyuan. Such a great missionary. Anyways, they made all the new missionaries introduce themselves to everyone in chinese then they show a picture of our trainers on the big screen and announce our areas. My area is Ji'an in Hualien! My trainer is Sister Evans from Illinois. Ji'an is on the east coast half way down to Taidong. My MTC comp. got called to Taidong. It is so pretty here. We are right next to the beach. We took a 3.5 hour train ride with ALL my luggage down to Hualien. so long. We had weekly planning on the train for 3 hours and i felt so car sick because i cant write when im in a moving object. So i was a little nauseous but i made it to Ji'an. There are 3 sets of missionaries in our district. we are in the Ji'an branch. The first few days where a little overwhelming and i had not a clue what was going on and i was also low on sleep and still am. We woke up at 5 AM today to go email...i guess thats what they do here. But i love teaching real people. Lots of people are really nice and will listen to your message, even though they won't accept it. And lots of people say they believe God exists, which is cool. We have about 8 progressing investigators. I meet the neatest people when we go knocking on doors. We will have prayers right on the streets with them if they let us. They always feel awkward to say the prayer at the end of our mini lesson but they say they feel happy when they do it.
Now, i fear for my life everytime i get on a bike here!!!! its so scary! im just dumb and cant ride a bike i guess. It scares me everytime a car drives right next to me. Hopefully ill get used to it here. my bike is coming today, so ive been using a sister who went home's bike. Actually its been having break problems so my companion let me ride her bike and she rode the other one. anyways, i think id rather walk everywhere then ride my bike....well i guess just in high traffic times. so scary though. really. ahh.
Food. I love the mangoes here! The first night i got here, i asked if i needed to get food for the next morning, and my comp said they really didnt have any food at home. So i got some fruit apples, bananas, oranges, and mangoes. yum. the first night i was here, we didnt eat dinner until 9pm. dont really know why, we were wandering everywhere to find a place that had rice and stir fry stuff like vegetables. Lots of places around here just has noodles and no vegetables. So we finally found a place and i got my favorite vegetable!!!! yes i was so happy because i was starving since i only had time to eat a granola bar for lunch that day. Alma, those Kind bars have been saving me these past few days. Then on Saturday for lunch, we got baozhi to eat. i got a veggie one and i got a mantou. so yummy. Ive eaten some mixed vegetables with rice and i love eating real rice again. no more MTC food. Today i cant wait to go shopping for food. we dont have any food at our apartment so breakfast has been rough. haha. Last night, we had someone invite us over for dinner which i was grateful for because it was sunday and we had no food. Today, i want to find a place where they have vegetarian potstickers and dumplings. My companion doesnt really know of that many places to eat around here. we never really have time to eat, so its always a grab and go. and i dont like going to 7/11 to eat because its all the nasty processed foods and meat.
Yesterday i had to bear my testimony in Church. The church building is SO new and pretty and huge. Everyone thought i spoke fluently until i went up there and warned them that i didnt. They think im a native or understand everything they are saying. opps....surprise, im not! haha. but the members here are so nice. its a small branch. i loved getting to know people even though everyone has the same last name, Everyone has like one of five names. its hard to remember who is who. We also got to meet with recent converts after church and teach them a little lesson. we had a fireside last night on temples and only a few people came. The missionaries sang "i love to see the temple". One of our investigators came though so that was good. Im still trying to remember who all our investigators are. There are so many of them, i cant keep track. We have about like 15 investigators but not all are progressing. If everything goes as planned, we are supposed to have 6 baptisms in June. I have faith that that will happen.
Oh and our apartment has 4 sisters living in it. the other two sisters are in the Hualien branch and are in a different district. One of the sisters is a native. she is hilarious. really, so funny. our apartment is considered nicer than most. the kitchen is tiny but the apartment is pretty roomy. Just dirty though. i want to clean it today. im just a clean freak i guess. it grosses me out sometimes.
Anyways, i love it here in taiwan. still adjusting to how things work. All the new missionaries get this language book called Phase 1. It has all the lessons in pinyin, english, and characters. We have to pass a ton of things off and memorize tons of phrases and grammar stuff. i really want to finish it all by the end of my training which is 2 transfers. there are 3 phases. I hope i can make my goal. it seems kind of overwhelming. We don't learn characters until phase 3 but i'm starting to recognize a few characters. My mission president is awesome. i love him. I'm so grateful to be in Ji'an. I know I'm here for a special reason. Missionary work isnt easy but it's so rewarding. I love seeing people so interested in the Gospel. I cant wait to see more miracles here. I love you all and it was so good to talk to you on the phone. Cant wait to SKYPE on mothers day!! :) Alma, remind me of when i should skype. i forgot what you said about that. hope everything is going well at home.
OH!!!! and my mission president asked me if i had family here. I said yes and he told me he doesn't want me visiting family. So i guess i cant see Xiao Gu Gu or anyone, unless i see them on the streets. i can email them though. He doesnt want me having lunch with them because there are a lot of native missionaries who have family here but cant see them. anyways, tell xiao gu gu that. But she can send me things if she wants.
Okay got to go, ill send some pictures home if it works. Wo ai nimen!