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Sunday, June 6, 2010
June 6, 2010
Well, if you thought there were a lot of scooters in Provo, you were wrong. there's a whole bunch here. like a veritable sea of scooters that I weave in and out of on my shiny new bicycle that hasn't been stolen yet luckily. Oh, where to start? Everything is so crazy and awesome that I don't know how I'll even be able to describe it.
So, I left the MTC.
it was a little annoying to take my violin as my carry-on but I managed and everything is totally fine. In fact I played it for a little tiny bit afterward to see if it was okay and it was. But President Hoer said to put it away and not worry about it. He called it a "net" that I needed to leave behind like the apostles and follow Jesus. That made me a little bit sad, but oh well. So he'll just sit in a corner for a while.
On the airplane ride to LA Elder Van Noy and I gave a Book of Mormon to a really cool guy. and we tried to share the gospel the whole way but we were all so scared. It's weird now that only a few days later I've basically overcome that fear already. Not completely, but you really just have to or else.. why are you here?
I also taught a first lesson in chinese to a nice couple at the airport and gave them some pamphlets and stuff, and had a couple other good missionary experiences in the flight.
We finally got in to Taiwan and rode a bus down to the mission home. President and Sister Hoer were just awesome and amazing like everybody had said. It was a fun orientation to Taiwan. We ate some great food that first day. Overall the food here is really yummy. We ate some grosstuff though of course. Like I didn't really enjoy eating the fish brains and eyeballs. Especially because when you chew into in it pops open and squirts out foul tasting stuff and has a hard crunchy lens inside also that you're not supposed to eat. (That part I only wrote because I wanted to gross Julia out). I didn't dare eat the coagulated pig-blood squares.
So, yeah. Lots of Taiwan people here. It's all just city. Taichung is a big one too. Just lots of buildings and scooters and asians and that sort of stuff. So, we did some fun stuff like visited a real real real big buddha and confucius temple, and then met our trainers and went to our first areas.
Some of the things that surprised me the most in Taiwan- there's a 7/11 on every corner, and we also ate at a TGI fridays. yum. Mcdonalds and other stuff too. How fast people speak and don't articulate. I don't understand them most of the time. and besides, all the old people speak taiwanese. oh well. The thing that surprised me the most is just how missionary work is done here. I don't know, I guess I expected that you would find a couple of people maybe from referralls or contacting, meet them, have a nice little sit down lesson and continue progressing them until they are ready for you to ask them to be baptized. Nope. The big thing in this mission is that you talk to everybody and ask them to be baptized. It's rather funny. So, it's basically like this. You ride your bike, see a kid on the side of the road. Stop, run up to him and say (this is about how I sound) - "Handsome Boy! Yes, you with backpack handsome boy! I am Jesus Christ's representative! He loves you, wants you baptize! Baptize help us have new start. Good opportunity. You willing with missionary meet to prepare for baptism? You awesome! I know you can!" and then come the hard part, you have to set a time with them to meet, and then the baptismal date, get their cell phone number, address and name.
And we do that, or something like that with everybody. On our bikes, when we pull up to lights, we talk to all the people on scooters that we can, and the best part is, the red lights tell you how much time you have left. Oh thirty seconds to get all this man's information. It's hilarious, because people here are pretty nice, they'll talk to you, and give you their information. Sometimes I just ride up on my bike and hand them a little card and smile and say. "I'm a missionary, what's your name? What's your cell phone? what's your address? when can we meet? will you be baptized in a month?" It works. they just write it down. Also some times we will ask people to pull over to the side of the road on their scooter and talk to us, or my favorite is at every stoplight you go up and knock on car or truck windows and say "Helllooooo!" and they roll down their window and you start talking to them. If people ignore us, we just follow them and keep saying helllooow?" I'm pretty annoying. I get a lot of "don't use, don't use, embarassing. Bubye" It works pretty well that I can't understand them because I just keep talking until they give me their numba.
Anyways. that's missionary work. It's different and harder than I expected. So my trainer is an Elder Jase Adams from Littleton Colorado. He's awesome. Our area is called Fengyuan, and is the most northern area in our mission. It's pretty awesome. The first full day here was saturday. It was really hard for me. I was super super tired and I didn't understand at all what was going on, and everybody was speaking chinese. The first few days feel a lot like wakeboarding. the part of wakeboarding where you're trying to get up out of the water....for a whole day. You're just getting dragged through a bunch of stuff you don't understand headfirst and it's confusing and not very fun. So, I prayed a whole bunch, and Sunday morning was getting sooo much opposition, like Satan was telling me that this was pointless, because Taiwan culture is annoying, people will either not listen to you, or fang your gezis (which is a little bit true) I don't have time right now to explain what fanging someone's gezis is. I also questioned whether I had a strong enough testimony to come out here and tell thousands of people that the church I belonged to was the only true one. What made me better than them?and so on.
Don't worry. I popped up out of the water and now have begun to have a lot of fun. It started when I went to church. The ward meets in a really beautiful building and they are such great members, and we got four or so good investigators to come to church, and then directly after church I baptized two people, Song hong zheng and Zhang ya pin. an old guy and a young girl. I felt the spirit real strong. The girl was taught by the sister missionaries, and Song dixiong was taught by my trainer before but he just gave me the opportunity to baptize them, and it was really good. Things are great! Keep up the good work at home! Bubye!