Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 1 Again

 Memories of Harry Potter
da jia hao!!
Well, I guess I'll take care of the elephant in the room.. I finally made it to Taiwan!!! I have loved every minute of it so far.  It is 100% different, but I just love it all.  I was definitely blessed and comforted to run into a missionary mom in the Tokyo airport, and a family whose son served here that was coming back to visit.  I think Heavenly Father knows exactly what I needed, and for that I am so thankful. It wasn't hard to say good bye to everyone in Georgia until I was actually gone, and then my mind raced with all the people I’m going to miss so much.  From here on out, all I see is Asian people.  I'm really going to miss the huge variety!   I talked to Pres Harding in the airport, and he told me that the Lord was proud of my work, and that I had accomplished everything I needed to do in Georgia.  Boy, did I need to hear that.  Pres Day seemed like he had a lot of trust for me already, and helped me feel that I can accomplish everything I need to in my short time here.  
It was so good to meet President and Sister Day.  I forgot they're from Tennessee and they knew Cami! Sister Day has made me feel at home, especially when she uses her little Southern phrases. President Day is way different! Obviously.  He's just fun haha.  Our first morning, he went on a run with us to see the Chang Kai Shek memorial. I think it was the memorial place for the guy who founded Taiwan or something haha, I haven’t got it all straight yet.  It was way cool though! We also went to see the place where Taiwan was dedicated as a place to preach the gospel.  We all took the chance to dedicate our own missions and fully recommit to do our very best.  That was a cool experience!
 A cool hotel, and the place that Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work is right outside here
 Sister Pendergrass, Westover, and me by the temple.  First day in Taiwan!
The night before transfer meeting, we got 'babysat' by the new trainers, and I got to go contacting with Sister Bowman! That was really weird to see her in a different setting other than the MTC, but way fun! I miss her! Transfer meetings are way different too! They're a party, and I love it.  
So my new tongban is Sister Strong! or qiang jiemei.  She's from Hooper, Utah, and she was the generation older than me in the MTC! It's been fun to reunite (: She likes basketball and soccer, so we have fun in the morning exercises! Luckily, she was just barely with a bendi tongban, so she learned a lot of characters and knows how to get around now. 
 Sister Strong
I’ve seen almost everyone in my district from the MTC and more.  Elder Gray is in our ward, as well as Elder Wheeler, from qiang JM's district, and two other elders from the generation after us.  I'm in the Yilan ward, and we're in a little town called Luodong.  They say it's pretty country, but there's still parts that look like the city to me.  Maybe just because there are a million rice fields! 
 Taiwan, Taipei temple!  We get to go next month!
The ward is awesome though, everyone was so happy to see me, and everyone asked why my zhongwen is so good. Haha I'm still not sure if I should believe them, or if it's just a thing they say. 
The bike riding has been fine with a skirt, but I'll have eternal bruises on my butt! Maybe one day I'll get used to it. We're still waiting to get mine, so I've just used a rental. I'm pro at chopsticks, since I learned how to used them back with Sister Watts.  Thank goodness. 
Sorry, my mind is buzzing everywhere! If you want to know more about something, just let me know (: but here's some random things about Taiwan:
skinny roads
scooters EVERYWHERE. I want one!
sewer smells.. I'll get used to it
I thought Georgia was humid.. Taiwan is SO HUMID.  Sister Day walked outside from the mission home and her glasses fogged up.
the showers (ours at least) are on the same floor and space as the toilet.  So everything gets wet. 
We only have A/C in our sleeping room, and our study room.  That's where se spend most of our time at home
So we don't have cockroaches, we put food trash (like apple cores and such) in the freezer until the garbage man comes.  They don't have dumpsters, so the garbage man comes around probably every day and goes to people that are standing outside with trash
the garbage truck sounds like a sad ice cream truck
they have weird dongxi (stuff) in the drinks!
you go up to someone and ask them chibaole ma? (have you eaten yet?)
ba.  That's how you express uncertainty.  Best word ever.
You can spray your bum when you're done if you would like... 
I'm sorry I didn't take advantage of that.
 This is either really safe, or really creepy
 Snagged this gem while biking along...
Taiwan yidian (a little) reminds me of Peru.  Sometimes the people here even look latin.  I don't know if that's my mind playing tricks on me, or Heavenly Father's way of sending me the people I originally wanted to go to. The people are wonderful though! On our first day, a guy gave me two apples to welcome me.  Everyone will give you water or some kind of fruit.
For the most part, I feel confused all the time.  I can pick up a few words here and there, but it's a struggle. I know it will come though.  President has us work on Phase 1, which is basically where you learn a million teaching phrases, vocab, and other stuff.  I wish I was studying this for the past 8 months, but I'll make up for it! 
rice fields for days
 women de jia! I guess you could call it an apartment complex
Hahah everything about rice farms make me laugh.  
They tie them up before cutting it, and they look like little ponytails!

It's really cool to see how the gospel is exactly the same even when you're half way across the world.  They teach out of the same book, you feel the same spirit, and church goes the same way.  It's comforting.  And it's such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father loves His children everywhere, even if they don't believe in Him yet.  He loves them just as much.  I'm so grateful for the fullness of the gospel that we have, and for this opportunity that I get to serve two missions.  I'm so sad that I won't be here for the full 18 months, but I'm taking advantage of every minute here that I have.  

Love, Feng Jiemei (:

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