Family and friends,
Hello from Taiwan! I know I have been here for a while but I never know how to start my emails, so whatever. :)
I decided to do another smorgasbord of random things that have happened so far in Taiwan--so hopefully there will be something to catch all of your interests.
First and foremost, Mitchie got baptized! It was so so amazing--she is the 15 (almost 16) year old that we have been teaching here in Tucheng. We were so happy and so was she. I thought about all the things the gospel will bring to her life--she didn't have any family members at the baptism and only friends from the ward and really doesn't have any one to support her--but the wonderful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we have wards and stakes and branches that can support us and help us come unto Christ--and new members still meet with the missionaries, and all of us have the support of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She is amazing and so so happy. And we are so happy too!
And now for some random stories. I brought my camera and camera cord but forgot to ask for a computer with a USB drive so you can't see pictures from the baptism-sorry. Maybe one day you will get a picture. :)
The other day I was riding my bike and was getting ready to turn a corner when all of a sudden a motorcycle sped around said corner. I pushed on my brakes a little too hard and lost my balance and fell over into a parked car! The guy just stared at me as I got back on my bike laughing and rode away!
And then, I was riding over a bridge into a part of our area quite far from home one night when all of a sudden my bike tire exploded. It turns out that I had run over some small pieces of glass--but it took quite a while to walk to a bike shop and then get it replaced!
I thought that these might be the most exciting bike stories from the transfer--but then last night I was following my companion perhaps a little too closely when all of a sudden she just stopped. It turns out it was a red light but I didn't even see it coming--so when she stopped I jammed on my brakes to keep from running into her. I think only the front brake worked because all of a sudden I found myself flipping over my handlebars and landing in the middle of the road! I looked up and saw motorcycle lights coming toward me and realized that I might get hit--so I grabbed my bike and dragged myself off the road. Thankfully I didn't get hurt badly and have only a couple of bad cuts and bruises on my legs. But I have decided that bicycles keep missions exciting. :)
Other things keep missions exciting, too. A couple of weeks ago my companion and I were in planning session when all of a sudden our building started rocking back and forth (we live on the 12th floor). My companion said, "Is this an earthquake?" and I said, "Probably." It was one of the weirdest sensations--but only lasted about 30 seconds and then we went back to planning. It wasn't major, but now I can say that I have lived through an earthquake. Isn't my mission exciting?
If natural elements weren't enough to keep things exciting, the other day my companion and I ran into two Jehovah's Witnesses sister missionaries. They were in their 40's, and one of them was really really nice and said we should call her "Auntie" (they were both from Taiwan). The other one was not so nice--but don't worry, we didn't even Bible bash, even though she started quoting Isaiah! It was really interesting to see them and talk to them for a minute or two--when we left I asked my companion, how would it be to preach a gospel that isn't true? We couldn't even imagine what it would be like--I am so glad that I am preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and can have confidence in the message!
Finally, the mosquitos are quite the problem here in Taiwan. It has been cold so they haven't been too bad, but it is warming up and they are starting to infiltrate our apartment. But we have the most amazing mosquito zapper I have ever seen--it is like a tennis racket, but the strings are wires and are electrified. We merely have to touch it to a mosquito and it is instantly electrocuted! It is really much cleaner than squishing their blood all over the walls. :) Plus, it is a lot of fun to hear a "zap" and know that you got it. :)
That's about it. The mission is going well. Today I realized once again how lucky and blessed I am to be serving the Lord here in Taiwan. This truly is the work of the Lord!