Hello everyone! I can't believe it is June already. This past week was REALLY really long because our preparation day was last Monday and we didn't get another one until today, Wednesday. This happens every transfer but usually we have zone conference on Monday, so it breaks the week up a little. This transfer, however, they changed zone conference to week 3 (next week) so we had a really really long week between preparation days! You know you have been on your mission for a long time when you measure your weeks by preparation days... :)
Anyway, on Sunday after church the missionaries were eating lunch and we were all a little edgy...we all kept making comments about the "10 day fast" that we were having between preparation days. Those of you who have not been on a mission might not know what is the big deal about preparation day but missions in Taiwan (and everywhere!) are really hard and stressful and preparation day really is a big deal. Anyway, we all made it through and only a few people got hit. :)
I feel like the longer I am on a mission the less interesting things seem because they happen all the time--so I have to think hard to think of what I could say in my emails. The big news of this week is that I have fallen back in love with peanut butter and jam sandwiches. As missionaries in Taiwan, we are a little special in the fact that we don't cook most (or any) of our meals. Street food is so accessible and so cheap in Taiwan that all of us buy lunch and dinner on the street. Going back to our apartments most days is not an option (at least not a very convenient option) and it is a lot faster to just buy some fried rice or noodles or something else.
Anyway, this past week I ran out of money on my mission account and still had another week until I got paid again and for some reason my American visa card did not work in any of the ATM's. So last preparation day I went to Carrefour and stocked up on bread, peanut butter, and jam and made sandwiches for lunch and dinner for several days. I realized that it was really nice to have a break from the greasy (and most of the time definitely not sanitary--we just try not to watch them make it!) street food that I have been eating every day. So I have re-fallen in love with pb&j.
Yesterday we had temple tour up in Taipei. My haircutting skills have come in handy once again and I have started cutting some of the senior sisters' hair. Since we had to be up in Taipei yesterday I cut the hair of two of them, Sister Wells and Sister Ye, during our lunch time. I think the senior missionaries are so amazing! They are so cute and have lots of health problems that come with being old, but they don't complain and are just happy to be serving the Lord. They are really great examples for the rest of us--and make life interesting with their witty sarcasm (of course I would like that! :) and their stories of raising children and grandchildren.
And while we were up in Taipei, this man from Namibia walked into the church. He is an investigator and is visiting Taiwan for the month for business and has been attending church up here. He said he will get baptized in Namibia when he gets back. He talked to us and told us a little bit of his life story--that he only finished elementary school and doesn't have much education but he had a dream 3 years ago that he would go to Taiwan and here is the fulfillment of his dream! I don't really know how to describe to you what it was like to have a man from Namibia talk to us about his conversion after I have been serving in Taiwan for quite a while--but let me just tell you that Africans and Taiwanese and not at all the same!!!! I often wonder what it would be like to serve in missions in other areas of the world--definitely a different experience!
Anyway, hope all is well back in America. I have decided that halfway through anything is the hardest part--and it is definitely true of being a missionary! I no longer have the energy of being new on island and don't yet have the "I am almost going home" energy, and I just feel dead all the time! Some days I get on my bike and just want to cry because my legs are so tired. But hey, this too shall pass, right? :) Love you all,
PS--JSACers, I just got your letter this week. Thanks so much and good luck with everything! And what was with the random piece of gum? :)