Thursday, April 15, 2010

26 August

So August is almost over. And guess what that means--only one more month of summer! I am so excited. I have never sweat so much in my life and I don't think I ever want to sweat again. But the Taiwanese think that sweat is good for your body--if that is the case, I must be one of the healthiest people in the world! Bade is really hot (but that is nothing new--all of Taiwan is really hot!) and our area here is really big (also nothing new, as almost all sisters have really big areas!). There is a chapel in Bade and a chapel in Taoyuan (pronounced taou-you-en) and my companion and I cover the women in both areas.

So last week I was telling my companion about my bike riding speeds. I told her I have only two speeds--fast and late. Unfortunately much of the time I am late so I am riding at top speed--my poor companions! So Sister Olsen and I laughed about that one--but then one day we were late and had to get home, so she said we needed to try late speed! We have been quickly trying out (and passing) all of my former speed records because we just don't have enough time to do anything! Saturday morning we were at the chapel in Bade to teach some lessons there and then we had to go to Taoyuan because we had two baptismal interviews that we had to be there for (two of our investigators are getting baptized this Saturday! :). The ride from the chapel in Bade to the chapel in Taoyuan usually takes 50 minutes on our bikes--but when we left the chapel in Bade we had less than half an hour to make it to the Taoyuan chapel! We really didn't want to be late--especially for a baptismal interview!--so Sister Olsen turned to me and said, "It's time for late speed!" We rode hard all the way and made it in 25 minutes!!! It was not late speed, it was death speed! And it was the middle of the day with the sun beating down on us, so by the time we got to the chapel in Taoyuan we were both dripping with sweat and about to pass out. But we made it on time. :)

Let's see, what else. My companion, Sister Olsen, is so awesome!!!!! We have so much fun together and I never thought missionary work could be so fun. She is like an angel but with just enough sarcasm to keep things interesting. And even though this is only her third transfer she is so competent and so it is awesome to not have to do everything by myself. I am so blessed to have her as my companion--life is just so awesome right now!

So I guess I should tell you a little about my area. Although there are still a lot of people in Taoyuan and Bade, it is much more "hick" or countryish--which makes our bike rides really fun! There are many fewer people on the streets (which takes the stress, the noise, and the heat down quite a bit) and there are rice fields everywhere, which for some reason makes me feel like I am back in Utah. Even though Utah does not have rice fields. Hmm. Anyway, our ride from Bade to Taoyuan (we live in Bade, 20 minutes away from the church in Bade and 30 minutes away from the church in Taoyuan--at normal speed) goes through some really beautiful rice fields. We take this small back road to Taoyuan to avoid the freeway and it winds through these rice fields and really run down houses. The road is really narrow and stray dogs are everywhere, just sitting in the middle of the road. And one of the houses has chickens. And the rice fields are on either side of the road, with canals right next to the road. Sometimes at night I am afraid that if I am not paying attention I will fall over into the canals or fall off my bike down into the rice fields--especially when it is dark! But I love the feeling and for some reason every time we are on that road I feel like I am in Idaho.

The point of that whole paragraph was to say that I love this area! It is really so awesome (how many times have I used that word in this email?) and my companion is so great. I feel like the Lord has sent me to paradise. :)

The members here are also really really awesome and our MM leader in Taoyuan just got off of his mission in California. And since in the US the members feed missionaries all the time, he has arranged for us to eat at members' houses almost every night here too! It is a really great chance to get to know the ward really quickly--and also we save a lot of money on food! Not to mention that the food they feed is is great. Lots of rice, fish and vegetables--but thankfully I haven't eaten cow stomach or chicken feet in this area yet!

Speaking of dinners (I think my brother, who served a Spanish speaking mission, will enjoy this story) the other night we went to a member's house for dinner--and of course had to eat a lot to make them feel good about the food they had prepared for us. And then our next appointment was also a dinner appointment with an investigator and his family--a man that Sister Olsen's cousin met in Texas and wrote her about so she could look them up and introduce them to the gospel. They actually live in a different ward but Sister Olsen wanted to meet them because they are her cousin's friends and she wanted to see if they would set up to meet with the missionaries in their area.

So anyway, they wanted to take us out to eat and of course we consented. So my stomach already uncomfortably full, we pulled up to this REALLY nice looking restaurant--and the food was as expensive as it was good. So we ate two really big meals and enjoyed every bite--although the bike ride back to Bade was really really uncomfortable on an overly full stomach--especially since we were once again going at late speed!

But we were in the restaurant with this family and one of the waitresses came over to set some food down on our table. She saw my companion's name tag and did a double take and asked her, "where is your church?" And then she asked for our number and gave us hers and said she wants to come to church. It was so awesome to see that the Lord led the investigators to choose the restaurant and He had someone there that was waiting to hear about the gospel! It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission.

Well, that's about it for the week. Maybe next week I will tell you about our investigators here. Cheers,

Sister White

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