Elder Fleming

Elder Fleming

Monday, March 23, 2015

1st Week in Taiwan

This is week 1 in Taiwan, although I have only been in Yuan Lin since Friday. :) It feels like it's been longer than that, though. My companion is Elder Bak and he only has about 2 1/2 months left on his mission, kind of like my companion in California, Elder Schoonmaker. :) Yuan Lin was Elder Bak's first area when he got here. He came back for his last couple transfers and he's really excited to be here, which is pretty cool! :) He is an awesome companion and I have a lot to learn from him. He came from a different area and this is my first, so we are both new to the area. We call this "White-washing." So we came here and didn't have any investigators. That means a TON of finding and tracting and contacting people on the streets. I think that Heavenly Father is trying to help me improve my contacting skills and stuff like that. :) I personally don't really like it a ton, especially contacting on the streets. I also don't really have a lot of vocabulary and I have a hard time understanding people when they talk. :/ I feel bad because I feel like I can't really help my companion very much. I also have NO Idea where I am when we go places. I need to buy a map or something. :) I have lost all sense of direction, which is really unsettling. :) 
     So far Taiwan has been pretty cool, though. The humidity isn't too bad; it reminds me of Ohio and it isn't as bad as I thought. I just hope it doesn't get more humid in the summer! :) It is also going to start getting hotter, which will be... interesting. ;) I didn't eat the duck brain or the fish eyes, haha. :) I watched the other Elders eat them and that was difficult enough! ;) I tried the duck, which I don't think I've had before and it was pretty good! :) We also went to the Bishop's house in our area yesterday and they had a fish, which I fortunately was able to avoid. :) I think I will be ok eating fish as long as it isn't sushi or shrimp or eel or something like that. :) They did have a couple of things that I didn't know what they were, but I didn't ask, because they were pretty good and I didn't want to ruin it mid-meal by finding out it was something I was really scared to eat or something. ;) 
     We have done tons of contacting people on the streets like I said earlier, which is kind of weird. We will just go up to people on their mopeds and talk to them, but there usually isn't enough time. I feel like tracting might be a little more productive, but I'm not sure yet. :) We have seen a couple complete miracles while we've been here, though!! :) The first one is how they cram so many mopeds onto one street and city! ;) There are SO many of them here!! I thought there would be a lot, but then there was about twice as many as I thought there would be! :) The second miracle is that I haven't been hit yet by a vehicle! ;) Or that anyone else hasn't been hit either, for that matter! Do you remember that game on the iPhone, called Traffic Rush? You would try to see how many vehicles you could get through the intersection before you crashed them? Yeah, the intersections are kind of like that, but with way more vehicles! :) They also obey the law of physics here; the bigger the vehicle, the more the right of way. :) But you'll see bikes and mopeds just zip around cars and stuff all the time! It's nuts! :) 
     The next miracles have been that we have found a couple of families and were able to teach them and set up appointments to return and teach them again! :D The other big miracle was that a lady and her two sons came in to church because of a street contact from other Elders yesterday! :D (For us, yesterday was Sunday) ;) Anyway, the first week has been pretty intense, but overall, it's been good. :) The exchange rate is pretty good here, too. I can get a meal at a restaurant for about $3 or less, usually. :) Oh, the pollution is really intense here, too. :0 You can look straight at the sun in mid-day with little or no clouds and it's won't burn your eyes. You can feel it, too. It's kind of like in Utah in the winter where it doesn't snow or rain for a while and we get that inversion, but it's like that every day and it's more than the Utah inversion. It's really cool here, though and the people are all nice usually! :) 
        Alright, I think that's about all I've got for now. I love you all SO much! I hope that you are all doing well! You are all always in my prayers! I love you so much! 
    I met up with some of the people from my district in Japan! It was really nice to be able to see familiar faces and be with missionaries in general, even if it was only the last few hours of travel. :) The people from my district were Sister Liu, Elder Ludwig and Elder June, as well as an older Elder I knew in the MTC, Elder Stringham. :)
     I love all of you and you all are always in my prayers! Jia you! (that means "add oil" but roughly translated, it means "keep it up" and stuff like that) :) 

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Elder Fleming