Elder Bailey’s First Letter from Taiwan – 12 Sep 11

Oh my goodness, I do not think any amount of mission prep classes or MTC training could have prepared me for this!  Haha it is far beyond any of my expectations of what this would be like!  Life has been moving SO fast!  I just drop into bed dead tired at the end of every night!  Taiwan is just plain and simply a magical place.  You could have told me all about it but it is something you have to experience!  Just all the smells the sounds the people everywhere!  You just see the craziest things!  So I will just start with what has happened the past couple days!
 
We arrived wednesday at 11:30pm.  We jumped on a bus and had a devotional with all the new missionaries on our 2 hour ride to Taichung.  It was so fun!  between all of our 18 and the natives our new group had 22 misionaries! They said this is more than they have gotten in a long time!  Lately our mission has been very understocked.  We went to bed at 1am and got up at 6am and went for a run with the APs.  We timed our mile on this track.  We wasted no time going to work. On our way back Elder Harris one of the APs was like Elder Bailey come with me! So all sweaty I follow him up to an intersection and we just start talking to people who pulled up to the light on mopeds (mopeds are EVERYWHERE) that is what everyone drives.  So that night we had a Dan Jones experience we went to the Night Market and sung families can be together forever to attract a crowd then put out a box and stood on it and shouted our testimonies to the crowd!  Oh my it was SO great!  I loved it!  Scary, but amazing!  Then when I got off (i went first) someone else jumped on and then an experienced missionary grabbed me and we went contacting people in the night market!  It was so cool we taught 14 people that night! 
 
Friday morning I met some of the mission office staff which was fun because one of my good friends from our stake Elder Mark Siebert was one of them!  After that I met my companion his name is Elder Petters!  He is such a nice guy!  Such a hard worker!  My prayers were answered he is the greatest companion ever!  It has been kind of crazy though we were called to whitewash an area called MingJian. Whitewashing is where there have not been missionaries there for a long time and we reopen the area.  So this is a challenge in itself because we are starting from scratch!  Even more, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine myself in MingJian.  MingJian consists of a couple other areas like SongBoLing & ShueLi.  We have the biggest area in the entire mission, and it is what they consider “country”  MingJian is basically a little city that just appears out of the middle of the jungle on a mountain side.  Our apartment is the tallest building in MingJian and we live on the top floor (12th).  2 blocks from our apartment is a typical movie perfect jungle/mountain.  Haha!  I did not expect any of this AT ALL!  All the same I love it with all of my heart!  This is just absolutely amazing! Make sure to look at some of the pictures!
 
There are tons of little markets, rice farms, and tea farms mixed in where we live.  It is hard cause some of the most famous tea (cha) in the world is grown in our area.  We have a tiny little branch and a building that is really narrow but 4 stories tall with the baptismal font on the roof!  hahaha oh my it is crazy!  Everyone just talks so fast!  I have A LOT of learning to do! Something crazy about here is how hot it is!  I have never sweated so much in my entire life!  We cant afford the electricity bill for AC so we just get to turn it on at night when we sleep, other than that we just drink water like crazy and sweat to death!
 
I have not yet eaten one thing that they have in the US here yet!  I have already gotten out of the way eating some really interesting things!  I have eaten fish eyes, duck brain, duck pigu which is basically duck butt, at  least thats what they said it was.  Not the biggest fan…. we eat a lot of things called shue jiao which is little dumplings!  Oh man they are good!
 
We ride our bikes everywhere, which I absolutely love!!! Today we are going to turn my bike “ugly” so it doesnt get stolen.  I will make sure to do a before and after pictures!!!  We have just been rolling house to house on our bikes and talking with families who are all out doing their version of bbq which they grill some really interesting stuff.  We get to eat quite a bit cause they always offer us some.  Sometimes I just take it and then wait for Elder Petters to eat it or tell me what it is!  Haha but for the most part it has been lots of different meats and stuff!
 
I absolutely love it here though!  This is the greatest place on earth.  Since we dont have any investigators and no one here has heard of the church we are just contacting like crazy!  We have a mission standard to invite people to baptism when we first meet them so I have already invited 3-4 people who said they would on october 8th so we are going to labor with all our heart to make sure that happens!
 
The other night it was pouring rain and we were in our rain suits and my trainer Elder Petters was like, when I just walk into someones house just follow me.  So we would do that and it just made me laugh cause they would just be like Qing zuo (please sit) and we would take off our shoes and start teaching!  The culture here is SO different!  It is the greatest thing though!  I just can’t wipe the silly grin off my face! haha!  I’ll be honest I have had no time at all to miss home or think about anything else.  we have so much to do to open this area I have just been working my tail off from 6am-10:30pm non stop!  Missionary work is the greatest!
 
If you havent realized yet the people here are amazing!  They are all just the nicest people ever!  I just love the chinese people with all of my heart!  It is kinda crazy having been around a ton of missionaries or members for much of my life!  It is just me and my companion as the only missionaries in this huge area and our little branch of 15 or so.  Please pray for our area! Pray with all your heart that we might find those special people here the lord has been preparing for us for so long!  They are here, there are so many of them, I can feel it! 
 
Enjoy the pictures and I will write to you again next week!  I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!!!!
 
-Elder Bailey
 
————————————————————–
 
Mom,
 
Can you check my account and let me know how much money I have?  My bike was a little more than expected and so I still need to get a couple things but I need to know how much I have!
 
Also, can you do me a favor?  A mission rule is we cannot recieve or send emails to ANYONE but immediate family.  The rules were different in the MTC though.  My branch president in the MTC said Vic and people could email me but I just couldnt email back. Could you contact vic for me and nicely let her know I cant get emails from her anymore?
 
Also let the family know we have an hour for email now, so if they want they can send somewhat short emails before monday morning and I will try to respond to questions you have!
 
Ps. note for when jake goest on a mission don’t buy him silk ties.  They arent very conducive to missionary work, I have to go out today and get some polyester ones, cause silk just get ruined by all the running around and humidity!
 
Love YOU!!!!

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Filed under Mingjian, Nantou, Taiwan, Taichung, Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan

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