Sunday, October 5, 2014

10/6/2014 Mission Letter

Hello, everybody!

So, I literally had about 20 for emailing time today, of which 9 of those have been spent reading letters sent to me in an extremely hurried fashion (because for the past two weeks I have had around an hour and a half). So, this could be an extremely short email.

But at least it's from Taiwan! Yay! It's so exciting actually being here, it's such a wonderful place. And especially after the torturous long journey beginning with waking up at 2:45 AM, having a 24 minute flight followed by a 6 hour layover followed by a 12 hour flight followed by a 2 hour layover followed by a 3 hour flight. Long day, that was. But I don't have jet lag too bad, just a little sleepy at night (okay, extremely sleepy) and I wake up about 2 hours before I'm supposed to. One thing that was really cool about all the flights, though, was that by the time we were in Tokyo, all 30 of us from the MTC were together again on the flight to Taiwan.

So yesterday was our first full day here in Taiwan, something happened between the International Date Line and the entire series of flights. But all 30 of us were taken by the Temple Sisters (who serve in this area) and we went to Daan Park and went contacting with our temporary companions (we haven't met our trainers yet) for about an hour and a half. And the first thing I noticed, is that people here in Taiwan, who don't have all those preconceived notions about Mormons that a lot of Americans have, are so nice! Everyone will at least acknowledge your presence and will usually talk to you for a little bit. Everyone is extremely cordial, even traffic light crossing guards will make jokes and talk to you. So that's one thing that just makes me love this place even more.

This morning, for exercise, we ran to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (I think that's how it's spelt in English). It's this enormous, magnificent park, with this giant building in it, built for I guess you could say, a war hero. It's beautiful! The entire place is so beautiful! And the culture here is just really cool. All of us missionaries are just kinda taken aback, and still getting used to the fact that we're here in Taiwan.

So I'll leave the mission home with my trainer to go to my area tomorrow afternoon. Not long after that, I'll have my bike (so excited!). Everything here is just so amazing. I'm so happy to be here, and my Chinese is coming back a little bit, too. Because there is no option other than speaking it. In Church yesterday, though, understand extremely little. In Sunday School, the teacher was talking at about 7000 miles per hour, so about the extent of my understanding, that lesson was something about marriage.

So far here, we've eaten Ham and PB&J Sandwiches, Spaghetti, and Pancakes with bacon. Very authentic, traditional Taiwanese food. We ate all that at the mission home, but I think tonight they're taking us out for Taiwanese food. I'm so excited. 

Anyway. My time is completely up. Keep pushing forward in faith! I hope everything is well at home, because it sure is a lot of fun here!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission