Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week 10

July 20, 2015

Hello all!! I am alive and well and... IN TAIWAN! Can you believe i am here? cause i cant. sometimes i just stop and think "Jess you are in taiwan... what the heck?!" Its great here.

The plane ride wasnt bad at all and it was a nice time to relax for a second before getting into the field. Our stop in Japan was fun and we ate some great food! Once we arrived in Taiwan we were all ready for bed. The first night was hard because i wasnt quite used to everything yet. but i was grateful to have sister oakeson by my side. The next few days were a blur with a lot of information and then also being way jetlagged and exhausted so i dont really remember a whole lot but on our second night we went to a night market (basically imagine like a fair with people all over and food and craziness) and we stood on SOAP BOXES AND PREACHED THE GOOD WORD (yes you heard that right). It was crazy. I was the first to go (after our president and APs went) and i dont even remember what i said but i was shouting something in chinese and holding a Book of Mormon high into the air. It was quite the experience haha! The next day we met our trainers! Sister Tapia is my trainer and she is AWESOME. She helps me so much and i can tell that it will a good next few months with her. We got lunch, boarded the bus and then were on that for 3 hrs until we made it so Gao Xiong!

So ya i am in Gao Xiong! (more south in taiwan) AKA its realllly hott. I am getting used to it though- but basically i am sweaty all the time, 24/7, 7 days a week. It also rains everyday (and by rain i mean down pour) so i am either wet from my sweat or the rain? Ill let you decide that one haha ;) So here in Taiwan we bike everywhere. And the first time we hopped on our bikes and started going i literally thought i was going to die. So it pretty much goes like this: imagine times square in NYC, plus a million people on scooters, in the rain, oh and then there is this little blonde girl trying to keep up with her speedy companion without crashing into something or someone. it is quite the adventure and my thighs are so sore i think i might heel over any minute but i keep going and i keep pedaling as fast as i can. and i am still alive! So i know that i will be safe. i always keep a prayer in my heart when i am biking. Its pretty fun to see all of the different people here and stores/shops and those are only things we would notice while biking. Also i will have ripped legs when i get home so that great too haha JK

I love the people here! Everyone is so kind to us and even though they may not be interested in our message they will still be polite and listen and even sometimes give us there phone number. The ward here is also soooo strong ahhh i love it. The YSA is the best and they are all so fun and try to talk to me and help me understand what is going on (cause lets be real i have no idea LOL) I bore my testimony at church on sunday and it was great! They might not have known what i was saying but i did my best. One day (the days are all one blur) we went and visited an older lady in our ward. She was so sweet and when we got there she offered us mango (which let me tell you is the best mango in the whole world, like nothing like america mangos) and juice. Then she took us the back of her little shop/house and gave us her homemade pot stickers! They were sooo good but in taiwan when people offer you food you are expected to eat it all. I just looked at my companion with wide eyes and started to eat. I must have had like 10 pot stickers and i thought i was going to blow up. Luckily my comp said something along the lines of "Oh we are so full thank you so much" and we were able to stop. I love meeting with investigators and members. Even though i cant really understand much i try and at least bare my testimony of the truth of our message and that god loves them.

Oh random but yes everyone is obsessed with my hair- even though i kid you not it looks terrible frizzy and sweaty all the time haha once again another way people are so kind to us.

I am definitely tired and my body hurts but this is the lords work and its not supposed to be easy. I am enjoying the tender mercies in life like a small breeze that cools me off and a red light that lets me take a quick break from biking. I am definitely getting more used to be culture and am growing to love all of the differences that are in Taiwan. It sure is a country that is prepared and ready for the gospel.

The church is true and i love my savior Jesus Christ more than ever. He is my best friend and the reason that i am out here. I cant wait for the weeks to come and what they hold. This is the best thing that i could be doing right now - no doubt about it.

I love you all and hope all is well :)

-Hong Jie Mei

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