Dear friends and family,
I feel like it was just yesterday that I wrote to you! I always think the first preparation day of the transfer is kind of weird. The big news is--I am with the same companion and still in Tucheng! I have never been in the same area with the same companion for two transfers in a row and it will be an interesting experience and a real opportunity for my patience to grow. Hopefully no one will get hurt in the process. :)
So now that it is May I am getting letters and emails from people that have graduated from college. Congratulations! Sometimes I do get a little trunky for BYU--good luck to everyone in the job search! And Courtney, good luck preparing for your mission!
Now to the good stuff. This past week I wanted to hold an activity for the YW in our ward and our YW-age investigators (basically everyone between the ages of 12-20). Our ward has quite a few non-active YW and we have quite a few investigators in this age group, and I wanted to have an activity where they could all associate and make new friends and feel more comfortable in the church environment. And what better activity than to make Mexican food in Asia, right?
So I was really excited and planned this activity and invited everyone. It was going to be Saturday afternoon, so Saturday morning I went to Carrefour to pick up the food--forgetting that Asia is NOT equipped with Mexican food! I couldn't even find hamburger--I had to ask them to grind up some steaks into hamburger meat! Tortillas were absolutely non-existent and I couldn't find taco chips either. Finally we settled on plain yogurt to substitute for sour cream, dortitos to substitute for tortillas (we made taco salad instead of tacos), left out the guacamole, and somehow made do with everything else. The activity was actually quite a success and several of our investigators came (and they actually liked the food!) and the funniest part was we ate the Mexican taco salad with chopsticks! I think next time I do something like this I will just make Chinese food!
One thing I have learned in Taiwan is that you have to work hard but also be very creative if you want to have successful ways to find and teach people about the gospel! Last Sunday we had a fireside about pioneers that the missionaries were supposed to plan. Well, on Wednesday evening before English class my district leader told us, "I just remembered that we have a fireside on Sunday and we are supposed to plan it!" Well, I volunteered to plan it that night and give him the schedule the next day. It actually turned out ok and less actives and investigators came, we learned about the pioneers, and the Spirit was felt. So I am learning how to prepare things last minute--good thing I had so much practice before I came on my mission!
And finally, one of the infamous bike stories. I don't know if anyone will appreciate this story but I am going to tell it anyway--if you don't understand, just laugh anyway. So last week we went on exchanges with Shuanghe, which is next to our area. Usually we ride our bikes and meet in the middle of our two areas and one companion switches with the other for the day and night. But this time the Shuanghe sisters had district meeting and then a lesson right after and so they didn't have time to meet in the middle. No problem, I told them, we can just ride to the church in Shuanghe--forgetting the fact that Shuanghe is very big and I have only been there once! Well, don't worry, we finally found our way there without getting too lost and only had to ask about 15 people for directions. Then my companion went to Shuanghe and Sister Chang from Shuanghe came to my area. We rode back to Tucheng from Shuanghe and then rode out to Shulin to teach a lesson, then back to the church in Tucheng and then almost to the border of Sanxia and back. This doesn't mean anything to any of you but I will place it in Provo--Provo is Tucheng, Springville in Shuanghe, and Orem is Shulin. So imagine riding from Provo to Spingville and then back through Provo to Orem and then back to Provo. By the time we got home that night my legs felt like they were going to fall off, I was so tired! They still hurt a week later! But at least I burn off everything I eat here, right? :)
That's about it. I think this is my last transfer in Tucheng because I hear rumors that sisters will be taken out of Tucheng next transfer. More about that later. Good luck with everything and remember that this gospel is so amazing!