Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I'm finally in Taiwan! So when we landed, let me just say...I knew I was home! Everything looked so familiar, the food, the highways, the people...everything. I just knew that this is where I needed to be.
Okay, so leaving the MTC was pretty sad but I was ready to take on the rest of my mission. Last Sunday we got our Chinese names at our Naming Ceremony. Our teacher, Bro. Johnson, who also served in Taiwan Taipei gave us our names. My name is Xia4 (the numbers explain the tones for the word, if you know Chinese you'll understand) Hui1 Zhen1. So Xia4 means "summer" and that's my last name, which I've had since I got to the MTC. You can pretty much call me "Sister Summer." Then Hui1 means "radiant" and Zhen1 means "cherish" and that word also comes from the word "zhen1 zhu1" for pearl because I like the beach. So I don't really know what my name means when you put it together. I guess you can say Summer Radiantly Cherishable...haha.
The plane ride wasn't too bad. It was about 13 hours. That doesn't include the time to travel to Denver and from Denver to San Francisco. But from San Francisco it was just 13 hours away from Taiwan.
I'm in my new area! So I'm in the Taoyan Zone, Taoyi (Tao 1) District, Guishan South Area. This is to the west of Taipei. We are what's known as "white-washing" the area. This pretty much means that we're re-opening the area. Soo...please don't get too worried about this, but the sisters who were previously in this area, one of them who was the trainer got sent home because she got sick. Like her body wasn't functioning well and her intestines weren't working I believe. The other companion got sick as well but she is here and recovered but got sent to another area. So on Sunday, (yesterday) the members have been very concerned about us and kept asking how we're doing. They're concerned that it might be the water in the apartment or the food places around here. We really have to have the Gift of Discernment here. But I know that my Mission President is called of God and wouldn't send us to a place that he knew wouldn't be OK for us. He sent us here for a reason. Although we're still trying to learn about this place, learning who the members are, picking up what the other sisters had left as far as investigators, I'm so grateful that I get to do it with my companion.
So my companion/trainer is Sister Koch. She's from a military family and she's lived in Hawaii for a big part of her life. So we just say that we're both from Hawaii. She is so great! She's been "on-island" for almost a year now and I'm her first "daughter." She's very bubbly and so cute. Sister Roy called it that Sister Koch and I would be companions! And Sister Koch also told me that when she saw my picture and name in the mission office half a year ago, she said out loud, "I want to train her!" Perhaps President Day heard her? Haha. When we first got to our area, the first thing we said was that "They had to send the most optimistic sisters to this area." I can guarantee that many people would complain about everything, but nope not us! We've already seen so many miracles. We don't have our bikes yet so members took us to church. They've also been feeding us. We are so blessed!!!
Missionary life is definitely something that I did not expect was like. Haha. But then again, my trainer says that nothing about what we've been through these past few days has been normal. Haha. To me, it seems pretty normal but I just can't wait until we get settled. Re-opening a new area is crazy! The Lord has so much trust in us! And I need to have so much trust in Him, especially knowing that the sisters who were there before got sick and one was sent home. I have been praying like crazy here. But I know that there is a reason we are here. We are here to work and leave the area better than when we got here. This will be an exciting adventure!!!
Miracle of the week:
We had an investigator family come to church on Sunday. They are the Chen2 Family. They have two children, a boy who's 10 and a daughter who's 6. The sisters who taught them before said that the boy wants to be baptized. We taught them a lesson and invited them to church and they were more than willing to come. Well, after church, the boy couldn't find his family because the family seemed like they left early. I was so worried because how horrible would it be if we lost one of our investigator's sons?! They would never trust us again. So I'm a worrier...I explained that to Sister Koch. But as I said a personal prayer, I felt comfort. It was a feeling of so much comfort that I had to pray whether that's what I really should be feeling. The Lord answered my prayer and just comforted me. It was the weirdest thing! Well...after our dinner with a member, which BTW was SOOO GOOD, we knocked on the Chen2 Family's door and there he was. The family was happy and together. There was nothing to be worried about. The Lord answers prayers. We just have to trust Him with His answers.
I love you all so much! Please take care! I know that I'm supposed to be here in this area! I know I'm supposed to be in Taiwan.
Sister Koch and I at an internet cafe getting ready to email you!!! It smells like smoke in here :(
Okay, so I was in line going through security at SLC and this brother sees my name badge and asks where I'm going. I say Taiwan Taipei and he says that his daughter is there and will be training! Perhaps we could be companions! Well I took a picture of him and he took a picture of me to show his wife. And in a few pictures, you will see his daughter, Sister Porter!!!
I was admitted to Taiwan!!!
This is Sister Porter! She laughed when I told her the story of her dad, Brother Porter! Haha.
Oh my goodness, I almost about cried when I saw my BEST FRIEND, Sister Roy!!!!!!! She's not in my zone...or district...but we're on the same island :D
This is an awesome conversion story painting. See if you can figure it out. It starts with two missionarries giving a Book of Mormon to the brother at the bottom.
The Chen2 Family (another Chen2 Family, who are members) and the Lin2 Family! Look at how amazing the food looks!
Another picture with them!
My beautiful companion and the streets of Guishan. Well, one main street. There are so many streets.