Monday, October 26, 2015


After thinking of how I should start this email off for a few minutes, I'm just not even going to try.

When we have temple days, the five days between emailing always seem to be less eventful for some reason. Unfortunately.

Last week, I sent pictures of our hike we did. I feel like I should restate how awesome that day was. We woke up and got right with it, expecting it to be a lot more difficult than expected to get ourselves across the river to the busstop that we didn't know where to go to get to it. But in the end it was super smooth and reminded me how tiny Taiwan truly is. "Far" here means more than 3 km away. Perception of distance here is much different.

Speaking Chinese all day everyday has its perks. It's fun, helps you feel more intune with the culture and people, and improves your language abilities of course. However, it's surprisingly easy to forget you are a foreigner. Besides the occasional struggles with the language, it like weirds me out in a sense now when I talk to people about America because I know I'm from there, but for some reason it has that same feeling of when I had just gotten home from a long trip and telling people about the place I just visited. Almost this subconscious feeling that I literally live in Taiwan and am going back to America for a "vacation" I guess. It's a hard feeling to describe but it literally turns your world upside down. I'm sure you RM's understand.

I can't think of any incredibly funny stories from this week.

The coolest experience I guess of the week, if you want to call it cool, was while in the Temple last Wednesday. I remember back during my first day in the MTC walking through the back rooms getting handed 100 books with Chinese language material and thinking the day would soon come when I could actually read all those scribbles. While we were sitting in the temple, I picked up a Bible and flipped its pages with ease, turned to the part I wanted to read and read it, not even hardly noticing what I was reading was Chinese. I mean of course I knew it was Chinese, lets be real, but it ALMOST felt natural!!! Super nuts. I had that moment where I officially realized the dream that I had that first day back in the MTC. A sense of accomplishment you could call it.

Chinese is a beautiful language. I love it. I'm so excited to show off to my family and friends. Best part is you'll all have no way of verifying whether I can actually read it or not, but I'll know. And that is satisfying.

I love telling people that one of my favorite activities back home is shooting skeet. They cannot grasp the concept of shooting guns for entertainment. A few of them tell me they are coming to find me in America once I'm home so I can take them out for the experience. I'm excited.

Love you all!

We realized we hadn't taken any new pictures to send.

So this is some last second posing last night. lol

瘀傷 October 21, 2015

I have no time to write my emails yet again. Terribly sorry. Elder Dong and I are just outside having too much fun to take time to be on the computers anymore!

Bike thugs. (pre-wreck)

This week was epic. Of course we saw some miracles with all our people we are working with. And of course we had some fun out on the streets. But this week wasn't epic because of the usual missionary life occurrences.

I wrecked so hard.

Good close up

My arm was locked in this position for a good two days.

I don't bruise easily. But the fact that I wrecked last Tuesday, 8 days ago, and my entire right arm is still straight up yellow and black up and down should suggest that it wasn't some soft landing.

Angels caught me. Nothing broken. Really absolutely no damage at all. Just a friggin SWOLE right arm. At first glance, you'd be like, "Woah, have you been working out lately?" but at your double take you'd notice that it ain't muscle. lol

The story goes like this:
Last Tuesday we had a lesson set for 7:00pm. We had tried to move it to 6:30, but our investigator couldn't make that work. Expecting it to be at 7:00, we didn't rush to eat dinner, until at 6:30 we got a call asking where we were. We were forever away. We got right on our bikes and started booking it! Good news I remembered to put my helmet on. (I've never ridden without it, don't worry mother.) The only thing missing on my bike was a light on my handlebars. So as we were HAULING down this nearly empty alleyway, which happened to not be quite as lit as they are normally, I didn't expect much to happen. There was one parked car on the side of the road with no sign of life in it or near it. Expect the unexpected. The timing was so perfect I don't think Hollywood could reenact it. (Note: Taiwanese people usually crack their door open and peak before they slowly open their door to avoid traffic incidents.) But this man must've swung his door open because I didn't even see anything until there I was lying on the ground with the wind totally knocked out of me. I didn't slam into his door perpendicularly (as if it had been all the way open), no, I hit into it as it was still not even halfway open yet. My feet flew up over my head as I front flipped and flopped onto the ground first landing on my head and then my poor back. When I realized I hadn't died and opened my eyes again, I was staring into the eyes of a frantic man who had me cradled like a baby and my companion's face next to hit with his eyes wider than you'd think Asians are capable of going. I went to stand up, fully expecting to have multiple shattered bones, but fortunately all I had was feeble knees! I wanted to throw up, but I managed to keep my dinner down, saving me the $100 it would've taken to replace that food. :-) And even more fortunate, I was given $500 to go see a doctor (ended up buying desserts with it instead lol) and then was still able to get right back up and ride up an 89 degree hill to get to our appointment at 7:00 on the dot. 

Elder Dong and I got a kick out of it afterward. I probably the best bike wreck stories of most missionaries these days, not to brag.

Love you all! Have an amazing week!!!

We're posers.

Owning this place!

Went hiking this morning!

A missionary that served in Tom's mission found the Elders.

October 11, 2015

I'm not in the "writing weekly emails" mood right now. Let it suffice to say this was such a fun week. I love Taiwan. I love life.

The funny experience of the week happened at our LA's house up on the mountain in a traditional style (two centuries old at least) house. We went to her neighbors house in the other wing of the building to teach her. As I set my stuff down, I noticed a massive spider chilling up on the wall holding what I thought was a stone honestly at the time. Elder Dong tells the old Amah right before we begin our lesson with our LA and Amah leaves the room. We start singing a hymn with our LA who actually loves to sing. And sings loudly for that matter! Seconds later Amah returns with her big swatter and starts hammering that spider hard! Of course, what I thought was a stone turned out to be her baby pouch that exploded with mini spiders all over our stuff on the chair below and kept smacking them everywhere while we are trying to keep it together and just sing! Elder Dong and I couldn't do it. We busted up. But our LA held it together. We finished the hymn successfully and Amah killed them all about 20 minutes later. Good times.

Next week I might write a better one. Have a good week!
Carrying on the tradition of getting Thai after Conference.  It was to die for!

The best Wonton Noodles in Taiwan happens to be run by our member.

Taiwanese cockroaches are much tastier than they are back in America!

Living in paradise.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Today is my "year on island" mark. Technically. I guess really we set foot on Taiwanese soil last night? But today is my first full day! This morning I was pondering back on how crazy its already been a year. This past year has easily the richest year of my life.

My title means "Deliverance". This past week we also were able to go down to Taipei again to attend some of the training meetings for Elder Dong. It reminded me a lot of the same meetings I attended 6 months ago with Elder Miner. (Where does time go?) Back then, I had no idea what I would be shortly in for. That period of time following my call to train the first time wasn't the most smooth period of time for me. Lots of rocky patches that made me wonder if I would survive. I remember thinking back then how when the day finally came that I was "delivered" from all that pain, I would use this title. Long story short, today is the day. Today my life rocks!

I didn't take hardly any pictures this week, I'm sorry ahead of time.

Last P-day we made it down to Taipei Main Station mall to eat some good food. A couple from Sweden came and sat next to us. I tried my best at telling them the places in Stockholm I thought were beautiful. I guess my Swedish accent could use some work. They couldn't understand me lol. Maybe it's my bloody Taiwanese accent now.. Its a real thing sadly.

Then after that we were locked up inside for the night because the Typhoon was so intense. This year we've had so many!! I love these crazy experiences. Also, lots of earthquakes here as well lately..

You all would love to know that there is a family that is here for a while living in our ward from Logan. They are all super young, but they brought a girl over with them who is a senior in high school, the first high school American I have seen since I got here probably. There was a bit of a miscommunication between the mom and my comp, so we assumed the girl wasn't a member and Elder Dong made me be the one to go get her number. I talked to her, found out she was actually a member, and discovered my ability to talk to white girls no longer exists. That was a fun discovery...

There was an art festival going on all weekend in Danshui. That was so dang fun! There were all these local bands out on their stages rocking. It made me miss concerts. I'm going to a million more before I die!

The most interesting experience was last night. We ran into a Divination Guru. He taught me how to see ghosts. The secret is if you look into the shadows long enough they appear. We talked to the "Road People" around us together for a few minutes. The most entertaining part of it was I don't think he ever felt me pulling his leg. Elder Dong and I laughed about that one all night!

I might be becoming Taiwanese. I speak Chinese all day everyday. I eat Chinese food all day everyday. I am always the only white kid within a 3 miles radius. I never thought the day would come when I would say that my best friend is a Taiwanese kid, but I seriously love Elder Dong so much.

Time is going too fast now.

Can't wait to see you all tomorrow ;-) Seriously though.

Elder Dong and I eating like kings

Elder Miller and I together for a night