Pizza party at Reinaldo's!

Pizza party at Reinaldo’s!

It’s been super fun this past week! Last Monday we went over to Taipei 101 again and looked at some stuff over there! For dinner that day, we ate with some young single adult members at another member’s pizza shop (Reinaldo – the guy from Brazil)!

The biggest thing that happened this week, though, was finally being able to work with my first companion, Elder Anderton, on our English class commercial for Taiwan. Starting on Wednesday, I went down to the mission office to work with him on getting everything filmed and edited (or at least most of it). We basically went on splits since both of our companions stayed in our respective areas and worked with either the other missionaries there or with a member. That Wednesday was super busy – we had one of the APs take a car and drive us to various locations in Taiwan: TaoYuan Train Station (about 45 minutes away by car), Grand Hotel (located in the other area of my district), and XiangShan (a mountain overlooking Taipei 101). Elder Anderton directed how each clip would look and I helped him do the actual filming of the shot, since it’s hard to do both at once.

In the 60th year…working the magic of the gospel!

We’re actually still waiting to receive the video clips from other areas of Taiwan – in particular, the ones from the other mission: TaiZhong. The church has groups of people all over Taiwan that are very good photographers/videographers, so we contacted them a while ago and sent them example footage of exactly how we wanted them to film it. Unfortunately, they still haven’t done it yet, but they should be filming it and sending it to us this week. Thursday and Friday, though, I worked on President Jergensen’s MacBook to edit the stuff we had in Adobe Premiere Pro (the rest of the office computers weren’t good enough to be able to edit video effectively). Since he (of course) needed to use his laptop sometimes, I didn’t work constantly on it, but instead helped the APs do some things or with setting up the big 60 year anniversary exhibit (missionaries have been in Taiwan for 60 years now!) at the chapel across the street from the office. By Friday evening, I was able to get a completed rough draft of the 1 minute commercial (minus some other video clips we haven’t received yet). It’s looking like it’s going to turn out really well! Hopefully we’ll receive all the additional things we need this week and be able to finish putting it together, and then finally upload to Facebook and YouTube! (I’ll send you all the link once it’s done and I upload it.)

Apparently Elder Chia doesn’t understand how to play “Rock, Paper, Scissors”

Another fun thing about all this is that since I was all the way down at the mission office (it’s about 20-30 minutes from my area) and my companion was still in our area, I ended up just spending the night back in the LuZhou elders’ apartment for Wednesday and Thursday night, which was super fun! I also went to some of their lessons and was able to see people from my first area in Taiwan.

Saturday was the big 60 year anniversary event for missionaries in Taipei. Throughout this year, there are going to be events all over Taiwan that celebrate the LDS missionaries arriving in Taiwan for the first time 60 years ago! President Jergensen encouraged all of us missionaries to find someone to take to the event; we brought one of our awesome investigators, Brian, to come with us to the Jin Hua chapel for it. They had lots of cool things out on display!



This week has been packed with tons of stuff, but it’s been super fun! This upcoming week has transfer day, so it’s the time when most missionaries are nervous – my companion and I are pretty confident that we’re staying, but there’s always a chance that we aren’t. Since it’s my birthday today, we’re hopefully going to find something fun to do this afternoon. One of our investigators (Tiffany) is skipping out on part of her day of high school so she can come do stuff with us from like 1-4:30pm! My friend from LuZhou (Yang Ming Lun) reserved this board game restaurant (you eat food and play games at the same time!) for me and other friends to eat at from 3-5pm today, so that’s going to be super fun!

– Elder Austin Simonson

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