Friday was my 100th day since I entered the MTC in November of last year! I guess it’s actually gone by fairly quickly. I’ve only been in Taiwan for just over a month, though! It feels like the days go by slowly, but the weeks go by quickly; our weekly scheduled events like district meeting, English class, weekly planning session and church, all seem to come around real fast!
This last Saturday, we had a ward Family Home Evening activity. The wards here in Taiwan don’t really ever do any “fun” activities. Basically, the only activity they do is to bring food and just talk. Since fun (yet still spiritual) activities are great for both members as well as investigators/less actives, we’re really pushing to get them to start planning more activities like this. My companion and I volunteered to be in charge of this FHE event, so we got to work planning it.
Since the stake’s theme for this month was “Use Time Wisely”, Sister Wong and I both thought of the idea of “Minute to Win it” for the activity. Working off of that, Elder Anderton and I reviewed a huge list of Minute to Win it game ideas that my mom found and emailed to me for this, and narrowed it down to 5 different stations. Since we had no idea how many people would come, we planned for up to 60 people and also made contingency plans for if there were not many people…and also if it rained (we were planning to use the apartment’s roof in addition to the living room of the people’s house it was going to be held in). We got all the supplies we needed, brought them over to the family’s house, and got it all set up for the night!
As people started to arrive, we had them sign in and put on name tags, so that people could meet each other. We ended up with between 40 and 50 people that came! That’s also including 3 of our investigators who came and 1 less active, not to mention the ones from the other missionary companionships.
Everyone had a fun time and people actually said that they wished they had invited friends to come – that’s really amazing since they’ve never had an activity like this before, so we weren’t sure exactly how they would take it. Since we know we won’t always be missionaries in this ward, we’re working on getting them to be able to plan things like this on their own.
On Sunday, we actually had 4 people come with us to church! One was a new investigator we met on the street (a 14 year old boy), one was a less active’s daughter who we met with last week, one was the guy who came with us to church the week before and helped write the EasyCard software for Taiwan as well as the Starbucks’ software, and one was a less active. This last week went pretty well.
Our English class teaching has been going better as well. Teaching the children is difficult, but as long as you’re patient and give them lots of activities to keep them focused, everything goes fairly smoothly.
Our temple day last week was also really nice too. Every 3 months, everyone in the mission is given a certain time to go to the temple. My area is really close – we’re only about 30 minutes away. They have both English and Chinese sessions that go on – most of us do the English one, except for a few of those who have been here almost two years so they’re pretty fluent. I also was able to take family names in to do as well, so that was nice – plus it was fun to give the workers a challenge since I had a German name instead of the usual Chinese ones that are usually done there. Afterwards, we went over to the mission president’s house to eat homemade waffles/caramel sauce/whipped cream/bananas, which tasted great!
Finally, I actually got my new missionary nametag that has both my English name and Chinese name on it! Plus I got my ARC (Alien Resident Card) card which is my identification that shows I’m allowed to live in Taiwan until next January, at which point I’ll have to renew it.
– Elder Austin Simonson