Taiwan is so beautiful. It’s unreal. But first I'll give all of you the flight details and make my way to today.
At the airport nice and early, slept from Salt Lake to Detroit. Easy. Also in SLC they decided to take my carryon bag since there wasn't any room. In Detroit I discovered the black people there are way nicer than the white people.
Had a nice talk with the parents.
Did you know that there are birds inside the Detroit Airport? I thought I heard birds and then I saw them diving and doing bird things. So next set of flying. I didn't sleep at all from Detroit to Tokyo. We left at 2pm Detroit time and landed 430? Tokyo time. It was cool we flew over Russia and Iceland!!! On the plane I talked with this lady named Mary Jane. Ah she was great! Elder VanDenBerghe and I had a great conversation with her and we taught her the first lesson (most of it) at the end we gave her a Book of Mormon and got her address so we can send her a post card from Taiwan.
Next Tokyo, well it was Tokyo. Nothing too exciting and I couldn't speak Japanese. Also I talked with this man name Ramadan (I think that's how you spell it) He was cool, he DJ’s in Taiwan and Asia. He also teaches a dance class in New York. But it was sad though, he was telling us how he had a son in Mongolia that he has never met. Also- he told us how he was planning on trying to get him to come live in America with him.
Taiwanese people are the best. There was an old couple teaching us and telling us all these little things. Now the next plane ride. Slept the whole way. Out like a rock and the others were as well.
So we arrived at 1030 and they lost my carryon bag. Go figure right? Well it’s all good. I talked to some Taiwanese people with just as bad English as my Chinese. Got a claim and off I went.
Now I see my Mission President. From the second I saw him, I was excited. He is the greatest man. Just truly called of God. He is energetic and loves to crack jokes. He doesn't seem at all like your normal mission president and he isn't. His wife Sister Grimley is just as great, a happy sister. Make it to the mission home and we fall asleep.
Next day, we go running around jiang kai shek, it’s a memorial like Abraham Lincoln's except its surrounded by a beautiful garden area. It was great, there were a ton of old people and you would yell, "Ama zao an" or Agong zao an! (Means grandma or grandpa good morning!) They in return would say zao zao zao zao.... It’s great! So at the memorial the mission president shared a few things with us and some history. Later we ate a Taiwanese breakfast, soo soo good! It was a sandwich, with egg, meat, tomato, cucumber, and I think a sauce? But still, awesome.
We did a little orientation and ate some more. A Taiwanese Elder, Elder Yu, joined us. He was serving in Hong Kong, but the Taiwanese govt has a mandatory military service so he had to come back and stay in the country for a year. He is the greatest. We asked him what his favorite English words are and he said "that's legit". He is fantastic.
Now the day we meet our new companions. But first the morning activities. We went to the Grand Hotel. Awesome! We went to this little place that was part of it and Pres. Grimley told us how it was the place where they dedicated Taiwan. He then asked us to go off and say a little prayer and dedicate ourselves to Taiwan. The Spirit was so strong. Just further testified to me that this was the Lord's work.
OK, now you made it through this much of the letter you can find out who my trainer is and where I am serving. We walked into this room in the chapel of the church sang Called to Serve. President listed everyone off and it came down to Elder White and me with two missionaries across from us. He called us real quick. Said Elder White's then mine. My companion is Elder Sessions! He is from Vermont and we are serving in Taidong!!!!! Taidong is the heaven, Hawaii of Taiwan. We are on the east coast, with jungle, mountains and the ocean to other side. It’s unreal. We took a 6-7 hour train ride to get to our area. On the train I talked to a Taiwanese lady and she gave me some fruit. lian wu. It’s like a little wax apple my trainer calls them. It was really good!
The members here are so funny. The first night they feed us. It was in a bike shop and let's just say not an American bike shop. SO messy! But that's how they work. They told me I look like Brad Pitt. Yeah, I can see what they mean come on look at the suit, the tie, and the shoes. Totally flows.
They food was good but I am 87% positive that in the eggs I ate were egg shells. We ate with their whole family. The Wang family, Wang ma and Wang ba they have been members for 35 years. The members here still belong to a branch. Only branch left on the island. They love to make fun of the new missionaries who's Chinese is not great. Yep, lots of fun. Maybe I'll be sarcastic and see if they understand.
Well, we taught a couple of lessons and the people are amazing. I found out that Taiwanese people really don't like to lose face. All good though. You'll talk to them on the street, be nice, get info and that's the last of them. Sometimes they pretend not to listen or ignore you. I still love all of them. Taiwanese people here look more Poly then Chinese then you are used too and they are awesome too.
Well Church was great and I also understood a lot too. But when it comes to something other than church I am lost, all good, I have a senior companion.
Pday we went and looked at the beach, saw an island, it’s in our area but we aren't allowed to go there (stupid previous elders). It was great. Also I spent most of my pday cleaning the bathroom of the previous elder. Ahhh.. Nasty.
Well Hope you enjoy lots of Love and Remember God loves his children wherever they are!
Love, Elder Townsend
I had to fix a few things and could have fixed a lot more but figured it was better to be authentic...who would have ever guessed he passed AP english!