Wednesday, October 15, 2014


 Taiwan straight up rocks! First week was best week of my life hands down! Such a party. And ridiculously eventful which made it super nice and cool. I'll just give you a brief overview of all my experiences so you can get an idea of how backwards and goofy this place is. I'll start with what all I've eaten haha, maybe this will you tell you all you need to know.

A chicken's neck
Pork's blood
Fish eyeballs
Pineapple bread (which is from heaven)
A black bean pastry (thought it was a cinnamon roll...)
Duck filet
Squid chucks
ZhuaBing (almost like a breakfast burrito?)

All surprisingly good! Although the first few days it wrecked my stomach hard core hahaha! But I've made my trainer get more adventurous with the food here with me so I have him tell me what sounds the most disgusting on the menu and that's what I get hahah BUT the food is all SOOO friggin good that if this food could put weight on you I'd have already gained a 1000 lbs but luckily Chinese food goes right through you haha so no worries I've stayed the same and if anything am probably on the decline. ahhh sooo good though its ridiculous.

Anyways, as for the experiences of this week. First real day in the field was Tuesday night. I am assigned to ZhongLi which is by Taoyuan on the west coast of the Island and my trainer is Elder Willes from somewhere up north. First night we go out and Willes leaves it up to me to go approach me and you know me and approaching people haha I love talking to random people so I would just go up get their attention, stumble through some sentences, start laughing at my lack of Chinese, and then yell at Willes to come save me from tingbudonging. We set a goal to get 2 lessons in, which he said was maybe a little unrealistic considering we only scheduled an hour to do so, but, miracles happen and we got 3 and it was cool we found a golden new investigator. Then with another I played with someone's kids while tongban taught so here I am all dressed up professional looking, but doing handstands and racing little kids in this public park. And the fact that I was the only waiguoren was probably making me stand out hard core. But I went home and laughed forever at how hilarious this place is. People are so direct, super racist, and express themselves in the most quirky ways I swear!

the view from our apartment

me and tongban Willes
One night while we were eating pineapple bread on the streets me and Willes were shouting hello to everyone haha. Got a lot of Asians laughing at us and lots that wanted pictures with us (slightly awkward as a missionary...) BUT we got one guy and I yelled at him "hello! Where are you going? Do you know how to pray??" He stops and listens and we ended up having a lesson with him and he gave both the opening and closing prayer by volunteering so that was cool.

THE TRAFFIC HERE IS NUTS!! mom you would not believe how crazy fun it is riding bikes in the streets here, but I'm really glad you aren't here to see you'd have a heart attack. There's basically no laws, its straight up free for all! and there are these schools of scooter drivers everywhere, so soooo many bikes on the road. So drivers are good to watch out for bicyclists so I have not yet been hit by a car, however, I have been in a wreck. I straight WRECKED this poor woman. Hit her SOOO hard and knocked her into a car hahahaha. It's not funny but it is because I was riding down the yellow lines in the middle of a traffic jam and pedestrians are just walking everywhere in the streets so I'm coming up along this bus and the buses here have really sharp corners so this woman was walking in front of a bus right at the perfect moment that I was riding alongside it such that I had no time to react and I straight up wrecked her haha. It was like when I wrecked my jeep in the parking lot, my car didn't have a scratch but wrecked the other car hard core. Same with me I'm just standing there nothing wrong and this poor woman quickly gets up off the ground and storms off. hahahah I was in shell shock for a minute at what just happened.

We went knocking doors in the pouring rain and even though we were getting straight up drenched I was loving it. We found this guy standing outside his house so we go talk to him. Tells us he's baibai-ren or buddhist and not interested and I'm not sure what happened to me but I (loving) started yelling at this fellow that he didn't understand and our message was super important! So he starts yelling in return so his dialogue was along the lines of this:

"I am happy with my religion just like you are! I worship my ancestors not Jesus! I don't need Christianity--

What are you doing standing out there in the rain getting soaked like that, get under my shelter!!"

Me being me replies
"No I'm a "MeiGuoRen" (American) I'm not afraid of the rain!!"

(remember we're still screaming at each other)

The argument stopped after that and we were all cracking up haha I won the argument with that one and the guy actually ended up being willing to meet again! Miracles.

Last night I got chased by a rabid dog for the first time in my life and that was terrifying.

Tongban and I have this joke going on that whenever a miracle happens or something chao cool happens or really just anything good we yell at each other "TianShi Laile!!" Which translates to "Angels came!" hahah so someone at General Conference pulled out the tortilla chips from Costco and I shout with like 30 people around "TianShi Laile!!" Inside jokes are the best.

Last of all for my well-being, I have literally never been happier. I am Taiwanese. I have found my home. And my people. Besides theft, there's no crime here and everyone is so nice. And goofy. People will ask you all the time as you pass them in the streets "ChiBaole Ma?" Which means "have you eaten?" and thats their way of saying "what's going on?" hahaha cracks me up everyone is so interested in where when and what I ate last. Thats the Chinese for you. The fruit here is to die for, as is the bread. My trainer is such a stud. Favorite companion thus far, we get along super well. ZhongLi is actually a more rich area so everything is super nice.

In a nutshell, I'm at home here. And missionary work is actually really fun regardless of rejection because the Chinese really are the most hilariously different people you have ever met.

Wo zhende ai nimen!

Jīn ZhǎngLǎo
Elder Jensen

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