Sunday, October 5, 2014

WELCOME TO TAIWAN!! This is Where I'm supposed to be!

I'm so happy! This is where I am supposed to be.

I have no time! I only have 30 minutes to write this, so I will do my best on a quick update! Traveling was…an adventure! We met up with everyone – the 30 other missionaries from the MTC headed to my mission -  in the plane from Tokyo...we had about 5 minutes to get off the plane in Tokyo to get on the plane to Taiwan. WE BARELY MADE IT!!

The 13 hour flight to Tokyo was fine; I slept a lot and caught up in my journal and watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and yah. Lots of sleeping and eating the plane food. Then the 3.5 hour flight to Taiwan wasn't bad, I slept then too!

I didn’t get sick on the airplane at all and didn’t even get a headache. feet swelled up A LOT. And everyone was laughing about it and the swelling wouldn't go down!!!! Hahahaha it was pretty funny and Sister Morris was like "wait till you're pregnant, it will be so much worse!!" haha!

We got to Taiwan at almost 10 pm...then met our mission president, took pictures, got our luggage, rode a bus to the mission home and did introductions on the bus.

I sat by Mo Jiemei and we caught up a little. Apparently she threw up in the Tokyo airport, poor thing!! Guess who else I saw? Elder Luke Sanford from Henderson, NV!! He's the mission recorder, so he has been helping take us around everywhere!! So cool!

I had an interview with President Day; he lived in Cookville, Tennessee, in my mom’s mission!! Also, he knew Elder Michael Bowcutt, the ward mission leader in one of my SLC wards. So Elder Sanford and Michael told him about me, haha!

This is where I'm supposed to be. I love the humidity! The weather has been perfect; not even sunny or that hot. Everyone is telling us how lucky we are with the weather. 

YESTERDAY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. We did a proselytizing activity and it was the single best 90 minutes of my mission or basically my life! The thing is that, in America where I know everyone can understand me and they're judging my every word and I know it, it makes me more timid. But in Taiwan, I only know a few things so I share what I know and it's fine!

We did a little scavenger hunt thing, where there was a list of certain types of people they wanted us to talk to, such as a grandma, a teenager, someone with a dog, a family, someone smoking, someone waiting on a bench. And there was a list of things we were to share, such as about the restoration, the Temple Tour pamphlet, ask for referrals, have a prayer, and a first lesson. So we each got about 3 of each of the 5 pamphlets and 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and set out.

I was scared out of my mind but it was SO much easier than I thought it would be. And I HANDED OUT EVERYTHING. I gave out all of my papers and half of my companion’s papers and both of my copies of the Book of Mormon.

Here was my favorite experience from this: We walked past this man watching us. Then I felt like we should turn around and go back so we did and he actually spoke really good English so that was a bonus! But we talked mostly in Chinese still. We talked to him and he has been to Las Vegas and Utah and we taught him about our loving Heavenly Father and how we have a prophet and how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which was written in the Americas and how we read both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We handed him a Book of Mormon and he said, "This is the first time I've touched this thing," so obviously he knew something about it, and it was just awesome because I knew I was bringing him something that would change his life.

We also talked about temples and he asked where church was and we gave him a map and a temple tour card and a restoration pamphlet and a family pamphlet and he said he didn't really have time so I said "yidian meitian" which means "a little bit every day" and he said he would definitely read it all! He also had 2 daughters and one had been taking English in school so she was shy but she spoke a little bit to us! I said how we believe that he could be with his daughters and wife forever and wouldn’t that be awesome? We taught him so much and his daughter was listening too, and IT WAS SO AWESOME.

My second favorite experience was the very last man we talked to. We asked him how his day was in Chinese and he responded in English with "Bad, I'm SO OLD AND MY WHOLE BODY HURTS!" HAHA it was such a nice surprise to hear that! It was just funny because he was so old and spoke really good English. He told us how much he respected what we were doing and how young we were! He was actually Japanese and 82 years old, and got shipped to Taiwan during the war.

He told us that old men are very stubborn and not easily converted but he would take our pamphlet and call us if he needed anything. And then he gave us suggestions on how to preach to the Taiwanese people! He told us we have to be very patient because they're stubborn. He was so great! Ah, man it was amazing! It was so exhilarating using my Chinese and having it flow off my tongue and seeing how the Lord was blessing me to be able to communicate!

Last night we had a missionary fireside and we saw Sister Tan, Sister Hughes, Sister Wood, and Sister Stevens from the MTC!! It was a pretty good fireside...from what I remember!! I was so tired! I looked around at all the missionaries, and EVERY ONE (minus Elder Griffin because he's a champ) had their head down or was KNOCKED OUT! Haha it was so hilarious to see how everyone just fell asleep as soon as we had a moment to rest!! We went to bed at like 9:15 pm last night...much needed. :)

This is where I'm supposed to be. I feel happy and alive and everything is good. Just know that I am so, so, so happy!! I know that this is where I will thrive the most as a missionary. I have so much gratitude for my current situation, and I know that whatever I learned in Sandy will help me here. :)

This morning we all went on a run at 6:30 am to the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial and it was so beautiful! Everything here is just amazing and reminds me of China. I can feel it in my bones that I will learn everything so fast. :) Oh, and it made the swelling in my feet go away. :)

I don’t have my address yet, since we are still here at the mission office! We are RIGHT across from the temple! We are staying in temple housing! We have a tiny locker, and grabbed out of our suitcases 3 days worth of stuff! Me and Sister Strong sleep in our own bedroom...and we have a KING SIZED BED! Ah man I don’t know how I got so lucky, but it makes up for my tiny house in Sandy!!

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! I AM SO, SO, SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!! Did I mention this is where I’m supposed to be?

I gotta go, I LOVE YOU!

Rèn Jiěmèi 
Taiwan Taipei Mission

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