Monday, March 15, 2010

Transfer 9 Week 1: Sister Bruno in Taoyuan City with Under Four Months to Go

This week we did Temple Tours again.  We had a really touching experience with 3 members.  2 mothers, and one of their husbands.  They were from Taizhong and came up to Taipei for a tour.  Well, we went up to show them the temple book we have, which maybe one day I'll take pictures of it.  What it is, is pictures that kind of run through a plan of salvation in some ways, so we review plan of salvation with the temple for our members.  Well, we did this for this lady, and when we get to the place with a memorial and a lady laying flowers I usually just explain we will all die one day, then we move on to talk about resurrection and returning to God...the more important parts, but in this tour I felt prompted to mention sometimes people around us die also, then my companion testified about the comfort of knowing we'd be resurrected and return to God, and the lady, since I had talked about death had been sobbing, her husband was patting her...then I testified also about God comforting us and welcoming us home.  I was a little worried, but we just continued on, to show them a movie put out by our Mission called Believe, which talks about how we need to believe in the growth of Taiwan, and the gospel, etc.  It's good and has pictures and music.  At the end, the lady shares with us, that her oldest son recently passed away after suffering for 2 years, and that she felt some comfort in doing this tour, even though sometimes she didn't know what her son was doing.  By the end, there wasn't a dry eye in the room, and Sister Collyer shared her testimony on eternal families.  It was really a faith building tour.  I was glad to be a part of it.  That woman had some strong faith.  She's been through some hard trials. I was glad to see she had such a loving and supportive husband, who could go to the temple with her, and stay by her side in her trials. So yeah.  They were really wonderful and even gave us these onion cakes that were absolutely delicious after the tour.  It was a special experience.

In other news, I moved again, this time to Taoyuan City (Taoyuan 1 and 3 ward). Zhongli is in Taoyuan county, so I'm back to around the same area I was born in, but not too terribly close.  It's still a good 12ish minutes train ride. And the bike ride to the train station of course. I've been moving a lot lately, but not too much and I don't really mind moving.  I just don't care anymore.  I only have a very short time left on a mission, so I could stay here the rest, or I could move again, I'm okay with whatever.  My new companion is Sister Adrienne Tedjamulia.  Yeah, from the MTC, the one transfer older than me Sister Ted.  Sister Ackerson is down in Danshui training...the only missionary, elder or sister, that came in this transfer, a Sister Amy Collyer.  I thought this transfer would be a big massacre and kind of dramatic with so many people going home, but it was kind of smooth, only one missionary came on, they closed a couple areas...basically sister transitions were very few for some reason we all thought they would be, but it wasn't.  Although, now we all think next transfer will be what we thought this would be, with some 6 new sisters coming on.  This mission is seeing a lot of drawbacks in missionary numbers I think, but soon I will be home, so I won't even see the dramatic changes from what I hear.  Today, from not too reliable sources, they said with my group, 45 elders were leaving.  Maybe a handful are coming in.  I'm not sure, but I know a lot of people will leave with us to make it home in time for school, so we won't see a lot of Elder extensions to that next transfer.  That's for sure.

Within my district though, there was a lot of change.  The Bali Elders were whitewashed, and just Elder Smith and Sister Ackerson stayed from they will get a lot of change...  My old district leader, had a hard time leaving I think.  He was only there 3 months like I was, I think he had settled in.  And it is not easy to hear you are going co-senior...with the way the mission has been lately, there isn't spots for people who are older on a mission and qualified to be seniors, to go senior, or stay senior with Elders they've started experimenting with co-senior.  Elder You is going to be one, and in Danshui, I'm pretty sure Elder Smith is in that situation too.  I bet he'll have a lot of fun though.  His companion is funny.  I've met him.  Also Taiwanese, so they'll have no language barrier or anything.  They haven't done this kind of thing with sisters (yet anyways), but it will be interesting to see how that goes with the Elders.  Elder You is in Taoyuan as well, just a different ward, so I'll still see him now and again.

As for my new district, not much change happened  I'm now with 4 Taiwanese Elders in my district, so that will be interesting for my companion and I to be the only Americans in our entire district.  That's all on the whole mission move call madness front.

Besides that, really not much to say.  I guess mostly because moving is a transition.  I just got here to Taoyuan only moments ago, and we needed to directly come email since it took awhile to get here.  I took my luggage down to Taipei, then waited around and said goodbye to the leaving missionaries, such as my fun little Sister Chen companion, from back in my Zhongli days...for like almost 2 hours.  Then, when they got there, we went to lunch with the member who was helping Sister Allen come down, and me come up...and then finally came here.  Now Danshui feels like awhile in the past, even though I just left this morning, but I've known since Zone Conference on Wednesday when President told Sister Ackerson she was training, that I was going to move.  I just had to wait until Friday to know where.  I've been telling people all week that I'm going to move, even before I knew where's just been another moving week.  And now, I will spend the next 6 weeks trying to figure out how to get to basic places, and trying to memorize important leadership names...etc.  Sister Tedjamulia will be able to help me a lot with that drill though, she's been in Taoyuan about 11 months now, so that will help a lot.

Well, that's all I feel like writing for today!  I'll send pictures or something in my extra time.  BYE

Oh! P.S. Funny scripture moral for the week that the Elders shared with us:  Ether 15:31.  Even when you feel like Shiz in the morning, you still have to try to get up. That's Elders for you.  Always finding fun little principles like that.  I appreciated it.  Hopefully I shared that sentiment correctly.

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