Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mission Letter 6/29/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been awesome! Full of little surprises all over the place, but awesome none the less!

So, this past week, we had a couple days right at the start of the week where it rained and thundered and poured buckets and cats and dogs. So that was pretty fun; there was one day of constant, hard rain, and there were some roads that were a little bit flooded, getting close to half a foot deep water in some places. That day, we went "English Boarding," which is giving out tracts and pamphlets and advertising our free English Class; we went right outside the train station, and because there weren't a lot of people standing around in the open, we went "umbrella contacting," which is noticing the people who are standing around because they don't have an umbrella, and offering to escort them across the street or to where ever nearby place they want to go. 

It works really well, because the Taiwanese people (at least, most of them) are truly afraid of the rain. Which doesn't make sense, considering how much it rains here, but they hate being in it and getting wet. So we went umbrella contacting, and we would talk to people about English Class as we crossed the street, etc.

That day, we also had our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Wu, take us to a member's house to give her child a blessing. Because it was raining so hard, he drove us there (instead of making us bike, which was nice). Because of traffic and rain, it took like, twice as long as it normally would have to get there, and by the time all things were said and done, it had been about an hour and a half. But then he took us out to dinner, which was really nice of him.

He took us to a McDonald's Drive Through. What ensued was hilarious. He ordered the "Number 5 combo," and then we pulled up to the window, and they gave us our drinks and a big brown bag, then told us to pull up ahead and wait for the rest. Which we did.

After about 5 minutes, I peeked inside the bag to see what we were waiting for. I also couldn't smell any food, so I didn't know what they had given us. So I opened the bag, reached in, and to my great surprise, pulled out a "Original Coke" glass, not food at all! Brother Wu, a little flustered at the fact that he bought something he didn't want, and that the food hadn't arrived yet, proceeded to get out of the truck (in the pouring rain) and walk...up to the McDonald's Drive Through window. Yes, there were cars in the way, but he waited his turn, and then asked them where the food was. They told him they'd bring it out to us, and he came back. But Elder Ribar and I could not help but laugh as we watched him standing at the drive through window. It was great.

This past week, we had our English Class party. In honor of America (I guess we could say), we held a "Freedom Festival." It was somewhat of a carnival, with different games and activities being held around the church. People had entry cards, and played games, and ate watermelon (for some reason, Taiwanese people view watermelon as an "American fruit" that all Americans just love). And at the end, we as missionaries did a skit where we told the story of Captain Moroni, making his Title of Liberty, and going to war against the Lamanites. So I go to be Captain Moroni, an hoist our wonderful Title of Liberty during the skit. It was a ton of fun. 

Then we had some unexpected transfers this week! First off, it was me that transferred. My whole District never thought I would leave, but that my companion would. Instead, here I am, no longer in Zhongli, but rather in Cenral Taipei, right by the Temple, serving as a new Zone Leader! It's a ton of fun being right in Taipei, but it is so much hotter than any other place I've ever been in Taiwan. But I love it here. More people ignore us, but there are also more people, too. I'm really excited to start working with my new companion, Elder Varney.

And our new mission president! President Jergensen arrives tomorrow. President Day leaves tomorrow. We played basketball for exercises this morning, and he came for his last time in Taiwan. It was awesome having him as our mission president, and I'm also excited for whatever lies ahead. 

I'm so grateful for everything that has happened while I've been to Taiwan. And although I've moved from place to place to place, never staying in one place for more than three months, I hope I can settle down here in Taipei for a little bit longer than that. 

Scripture of the Week: Alma 46:12 and 20

12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
 20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission