So now I'm in Taiwan. Cool huh? My first area is Zhongli, or Jhongli, or Jungli, depending on what pinyin you are looking at. It's about an hour outside of and still very "city." We had a baptism on Sunday and Saturday one of the investigators committed to be baptized a week from Friday. So that's pretty cool. Not that I was too involved in those, but I was in some ways too. The transfer officially starts today. Until today we were a companionship of three. It was sad to see Lu jiemei go. She's a native from Taiwan and she's awesome. She's really bold and the members and investigators were sad to see her go, but she told everyone it's the Lord's work and she was called to go to the city in Taipei and be a senior. Her first time to be senior. Her junior companion has actually been on a mission for more time than her. But I'm sure she's going to be an amazing senior companion and they are going to work well together.
My companion is Sister Hill, Cai Jiemei. I'm her first trainee. She's been Senior for awhile I think, but I'm the first one she's training. She had Brother Hutchings in the MTC as well. I want him and my other teacher to have my blog, so next week i'll bring their emails and if you could email them for me that would be great.
This week has been abnormal because of being a greenie, general conference and being a three-some. When we got here, we talked in the bus with the mission president and his wife, and then pretty much went to bed.
Thursday we had orientation. It went by pretty fast. Lots of meetings. We went out at night and Dan Jones'ed on exchanges with more experienced missionaries. It was totally cool. I went with sister barker, who will go home tomorrow. She was really excited and people listened to her. She was a good example. I got the opportunity to talk to some people who lived in America for awhile. It was funny, because I was with an elder at the time, we had bunched together for the dan jones so we could talk to the people paying attention, and my companion was talking to a lady, and there were 4 other people so I went over there...and they eventually asked me, oh, so you understand everything this elder says right (I had told them I had just come to taiwan the day before) and I was like, of course...he speaks English...and they cracked up because they had meant chinese. It was really fun. We laughed a lot and they said they had always wanted to know more about the temple in Taipei, so we gave them a temple tour flyer and a flyer about Christ and told them a little bit, and they said they would go to the tour.
Friday we went to the site where Taiwan was dedicated by the church and read the dedicatory prayer. Then the president invited us to rededicate ourselves to this work and to obeying with exactness. We separated a little and said individual prayers at this beautiful site...then met together and had a testimony meeting with our group of 12 new missionaries. After that we toured the Hotel at the site. It was huge and very pretty. We went back to the mission office and had food, a meeting with the president and his wife, then met our trainers, had some meetings with the mission president and his wife about unity and what was ahead. My new companion went with me to the bank to exchange my money took pictures..then we took the train to Zhongli standing for an hour. It was quite an experience with all the rocking. We had dinner at a part member (but inactive member) family. The daughter is a member but doesn't come to church and her mom is an investigator. They are really nice. We watched the lamb of god with them and talked about the importance of reading the book of mormon. the spirit was really strong.
Saturday we met up with some other Elders in Zhongli and went closer to the city to watch conference, since it was only in Zhongli on Sunday. Since we watched it in English we were in a room of about 20 missionaries, and we all went to eat together in between sessions, then back into a room together.
So on Sunday, we had a really good day. During conference, since they have conference a week later here for translation reasons, a girl walked into the church and appologized but said she needed to talk to a native English speaker for a homework assignment. She's an English major at one of the colleges here. We said we were in the middle of conference and would have time after, so she came and watched an hour of conference in English with us. She said she understood everything, and I hope that's true, but there were some words I didn't understand, and she didn't write down anything she didn't know, I gave her a paper to write on if she got confused.
After conference we were having Chen huiping's baptism, but she didn't have time to stay...She said to call her in two weeks so she could learn more about Joesph Smith and why there was two people he saw, and not just one. She has a huge test in 2 weeks and the chinese people are really diligent, when they have a test, they are busy until their test is over. The girl who committed to baptism is like that. She's amazing and says she needs the protection of the , but she told us she can't get baptized until after her test, so her date is a week from Friday.
Chen jiemei's baptism was really cool. Since it was conference, there were tons of people who attended. Chen was really nervous because she doesn't like to do things alone or be watched and she was watched and was baptized alone. But it ended up being good and she wore a cute pink dress with black knee highs even though she "hasn't worn a dress or stockings in years" She still has a bit to learn so we'll keep meeting with her, but she made a huge leap by committing and going through with baptism. Next Sunday she will recieve the Holy Ghost. I'm excited for her.
I'm also excited for Xiu Renrei to be baptized a week from Friday. She's our friend. Before our lesson with her we were hungry, so she went with us to dinner. After she meets with the missionaries she takes a picture and blogs about it. She was really sad to see Lu Jiemei leave the area, but she's really friendly, so I'm sure we'll be friends, to the best of our ability, since my Chinese at this point isn't really good. I can't communicate well. They give you additional language study time until your 3rd transfer here, for good reason. But I've only been here a couple days, I'm sure it will pick up really fast once the schedule starts normal tomorrow.
3 minutes before the computer shuts down, but at least now I have an hour instead of a half hour, so this email is SUPER LONG. Haha, next week I have Preparation day on Wednesday instead of today, so Tuesday night for you...and so I should have a lot to say. But I'm excited. We already have baptism commitments here in Zhongli and the work is ready, the members are nice, and the Taiwanese are really friendly...
Love you all!