So I know you missed a letter about my last week at the [Missionary Training Center.] It was great! Saying goodbye to the Elders in our district going to Hong Kong and Australia was filled with lots of tears. We truly were a family.
Two of the best experiences from the last week were finishing teaching TRCs. Which is basically where we teach the gospel to people of different faith’s who are [paid] to listen to our terrible Chinese. I absolutely loved our person, she is actually from Taiwan and learning English at BYU. We also had Elder [Ulisses] Soares [of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles] come to the MTC, and it was really good!
BUT!!! I MADE IT TO TAIWAN!!
We flew from Salt Lake, to LA, to Hong Kong, to Taiwan. The flights were long, I seemed to be the only one who didn’t sleep very much, but in the long run, of all the people coming to Taiwan, I adjusted to the new time and didn’t really have jet lag. So that was really nice!
When we got to Taipei, we were picked up by President Peterson and his wife. They are so cute! I love them already! They took us to eat some awesome food and I already really like the food so that’s good. They are obsessed with Cocos here, which have like tapioca balls in the bottom and a fruit. They are really good. I have a picture of one of the foods we ate that I’ll send home.
That night, we went out with surrounding area sisters to just experience. We also taught an English class about Halloween and that was so fun!
The next day, we went to the mission dedication sight, and dedicated our missions, so that was really cool! We also went and saw the grand hotel which is the cool building that I’ll send a picture of. That afternoon we got our trainers… [and mine is] Sister Williams. She is from Rexburg, Idaho and has been on island for a year. Shes amazing! Her Chinese is so good, and even though I don’t understand basically anything that anyone says most of the time, she’s always able to rescue me and try and get me involved in conversations.
But I am in Hsinchu city (XinZhu) its super windy on the west side, and I love it! [Parental note: the city is in the northern part of the island, off the East China Sea. Geographically Hsinchu is 444 miles south of Shanghai and 465 miles east of Hong Kong. Hsinchu is home to about 450,000 persons who say from October to December is the most pleasant time of the year to visit.]
Okay, sorry, I’m not meaning to make this a travel log. But funny experiences:
1. I was sitting [in the] window seat next to two elders from my district on our 15-hour flight, where they both slept the whole thing. 12 hours in, I really had to go to the [lavatory] but [didn’t want] to wake them up. So I climbed from arm rest to arm rest and then jumped into the aisle. But they didn’t wake up, so I called it a success.
2. When trying to take all my luggage from the mission home to my apartment, I had to take it through a train, a taxi, the MRT (rapid transit), and walking. Haha it was quite a sight as we took the wrong MRT 3 times. My trainer is a little direction-ally challenged. Haha but it was hilarious!
3. My first five minutes on my bike, I lost my trainer, and got lost in some random city. Buses are also the bullies of the road, and I’ve been run off the road by at least three Haha. But who knew that even if I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13, it would come back just “like riding a bike.”
4. Escalators here are the best. There is a rule of walking on the left and standing on the right. But my first day I didn’t know that, so I got all these angry glares (from locals), but the missionaries I was with just laughed. Haha
Spiritual thought of the week comes from the story of the Stripling Warriors. Put all your faith in God and he will deliver you from all your challenges no matter how weak you might be.
I love you all so so so much!!
Sorry this email is a little shorter than the MTC emails, there’s a lot more things to do on the island on [Preparation] day.
Love you all!
An Jie Mei