Monday, July 20, 2015

First Week in Taiwan 7/20/15

                                                 Departure at MTC

                                              Plane to Toykyo

My goodnessssssss I am so overwhelmed. Not gonna lie, this week has been one of, if not the hardest, yet on the mission. First of all, the day before i left the MTC i got sick so that made the plane ride pretty brutal. On top of that, jet lag absolutely SUCKS. Ive had a massive headache since i got here and only now is it/the sickness starting to get a little better. The plane ride was long but actually not as long as you would think. I got some nasty food on it so that was cool. When we stopped in Japan I had to get some authentic japanese food at the airport so i grabbed some really interesting thing and it was actually pretty good. I am currently sitting in an internet cafe under ground where there are a ton of people playing these internet games and it smells heavily of smoke. Then again, I feel like everywhere here in Taiwan smells like a mixture of smoke, curry, poop and chi do fu (stinky tofu). There are literally like no houses here, its all super tall buildings and EVERYTHING is in characters, but of course they don't teach me that at the MTC. There has been so much that's happened this week that idk how im gonna be able to remember it all but ill try to remember the important stuff. So yeah when we got here the mission pres, his wife, and the assistants picked us up at the airport and then we had a little orientation on the bus ride back to Taizhong (when we got back that might have been the most tired ive ever been in my life). The humidity wave stepping off the plane in Taiwan was unreal. Its  just so wet. I know Texas is humid but I think that Taiwan may be even a little more humid. The next day we had orientation stuff in the chapel and it was so hard to stay awake. That night we went to this Chinese restaurant then did what they call the Dan Jones experience. If you remember, Dan Jones was that famous missionary who apparently just had a way with words. soooo what they did was they set up these podiums  in the middle of a super busy night market, just in the middle of the road and had us get up there and yell our testimonies in front of everyone. The blickenstaffs may have posted a video not sure..Then we went around the market passing out Book of Mormons and lds cards and stuff and tried to get their numbers to contact. The next day we ran the mile and then came back to meet our trainers, eat lunch and we were off to our area. The hype was real on who our trainers would be, they had us come up one by one and open these red envelopes with our trainers' names in them. My trainer is elder Garula and im in an area called Fengjia, which y'all have already apparently heard about via pres blickenstaff. Its NW Taizhong if i remember correctly, just like 25 to 30ish mins by bus away from the mission home. Speaking of the bus, my comp really likes to use the bus so we dont bike as much as you would think. The reason why you kept getting the night market on google is because its either the 2nd largest night market in Taiwan or Taizhong, can't remember. It's NUTS over there. The food here is way good and way cheap. The ratio of money is somewhere around 30:1  and most meals are in the 1-2 dollar range for what would normally be 10-12 in the US. We got groceries today and i got cereal and milk for breakfast haha. Also got some fruit, almonds, and bread. So at the apartment my food is pretty american but i figured that i would get enough Taiwanese food on the streets haha. My bike still hasnt gotten here but im borrowing someone else's right now. So far the hard rain is all hype. Like Taiwan's got nothing on Texas thunderstorms, its only been light stuff so far. My trainer is nice but , when i got here he had literally ZERO PROGRESSING INVESTIGATORS. And it just seems like whenever someone cancels or doesnt seem interested in our message he just like doesnt care! Hes been out for a year and 8 months. And his dad is philipino, but hes from Utah (that was some solid detective work). At church i bore my testimony in front of our ward. Everyone is super nice and always says your chinese is "lihai" which just means its really good, even though I obviously sound like a white guy. Everyone here chooses the strangest english names (Fudge, sponge, oreo etc). Speaking of fudge, he's this awesome guy in our ward with hair past his shoulders and is in a screamo band.  But yeah the ward is super nice. There was a baptism for 3 people this first Saturday I was here. It was kinda a different experience than one in the states. Oh and our church is on the 19th floor of a tall building here. I taught my first lesson kinda by accident on Sunday. This guy just showed up at our church and was like I want to go to church. Apparently he knew someone in our ward. Afterward, he met with us and we taught him the first discussion. He wasn't in our area though so we had to refer him to other missionaries. The traffic  here is crazy. There are A TON of scooters and they have no regard for anyone. They have these little things called scooter boxes at every intersection and we're supposed to talk to and try to contact someone in those boxes everytime we're at an intersection. A lot of people wear face masks here because of the pollution.  The vegetation is definitely tropical, and the weather sure feels tropical. Im literally always wet. Our air conditioning is only in one room so the rest of the apartment is hot and sticky. So yeah, that's a long enough rant i suppose about Taiwan haha. It's starting to slowly get better, but right now im just really frustrated/tired/depressed.

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