This last week was really fun! Last Monday, we went with a family from the 天母 ward (my last area) to this place called YingGe, which is a pottery town. We traveled by train to get there, which was fun since I’ve never actually taken the train before here in Taiwan…only the MRT.
When we were there, we walked around for a while looking at everything and then we started looking for one of the DIY pottery shops that they have there; the problem was finding one that was open. Some things are closed on Mondays here in Taiwan – museums in particular. We finally found one and started trying to make a masterpiece!
It took a little while to get used to how you mold the clay on the potter’s wheel, but eventually we all somewhat got the hang of it. Once we were done and had etched the clay any way we wanted to, we gave it to the staff so that they could put it in the kiln.
It takes about 2-3 weeks total, so when they’re finished firing it, painting it, and glazing it, they’ll mail our finished masterpieces to us! This is also the last time I’ll see Sandy and Ari before they head to China for the next 3 months because of Ari’s job!
Transfers came up this last week on Thursday. Wednesday afternoon we found out that Elder Swank would be leaving the apartment to go to a different area. Nothing else was changed though, so Elder Crawford, Elder Tan, and I are all still here in the same apartment. The new elder who came in is Elder Robbins! He’s actually close to being finished with college; he’s completed almost four years of electrical engineering already. When we have time at night before bed, I have him teach me some of the stuff that he’s learned about electrical engineering – it’s pretty fun!
In addition to these changes, I also got a phone call and was told that President Jergensen wanted me to be the new district leader. The other elders in our district have all been district leaders before, so he wanted to let me have a chance to be one, which is pretty cool. This means that I now check to make sure all the missionaries in my district are home at night, I call them every week to report with them on their week, and I also lead district meetings each week. Yay!
Yesterday and the day before, we had the opportunity to watch General Conference. We watch it a week later than everyone in the US because of the time it takes to translate it into Chinese. We still watch the English version, but we watch it at the same time that they watch the Chinese one here. I thought it was really good!
Our plan for today is to go up to a beach in 淡水…it may be raining a little, but we’ll see how it goes! It should be really fun!
– Elder Austin Simonson