The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see

We’ll talk to anyone who’ll listen!

Last Monday was pretty fun! We had a member, 林志南 (Lin, Zhi-Nan), drive us to some cool places! This one place we went to had these amazing sculptures…everything from a big sand guy to Mickey Mouse!

These wicker figures were outstanding in their field…bwuhahahaha!

Tony says, “Therrrrrrre Great!”

Must have liked it, cuz he put a ring on it!







At first, we found this guy to be a bit abrasive….

…after a while, he had us in the palm of his hand.



How much do we love spreading the gospel? Thiiiiiis much!

We spent a lot of time looking at things there, but we also drove up to the top of a mountain (Liushidan Mountain – translated it means Sixty Stone Mountain). It ended up being a foggy day though, so about halfway up, it started to get hard to see things; by the time we got to the top, there was no point in trying because there was nothing we could see! I understand the area is beautiful in the late summer, early fall, when the daylilies are in bloom.

Liushidan Mountain Guide

(“Liushidan Mountain rises to an elevation of about 800 meters in the Coastal Mountain Range, to the east of Zhutian Village in Fuli township. The slopes of the mountain provide space for 300 hectares of daylily fields. This is one of the two major daylily-growing areas in Hualien County, the other being Chike Mountain. As a part of the gradual transformation of the area from production of economic crops to the development of tourism, the east rift Valley National Scenic Area headquarters has built ten pavilions and names them using various nicknames for the daylily or other alluring appellations. One example is the Yellow Blossom Pavilion, which takes not only a nickname but also the form of the daylily.”)

On Wednesday, one of our investigators invited us over to the school he teaches at, since they were all going to make dumplings together. It was super fun! We worked with the teachers and kids to make a bunch! We also distracted them a ton – it makes sense though, since I doubt that they often are able to see foreigners given that we’re in such a rural area. The school is very small, compared to what I’m used to for an elementary school, with only about 30 or so students attending. What a fun day!

Naturally, we distributed the pass-along card to everyone for the Free English Class! 😉

On another fun note, I had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics they gave me for my tonsillitis (發現到我對一種抗生素有過敏). I ended up waking up one morning with a big red rash all over my face and upper body. It started spreading down my arms as well. Fortunately, it just so happened that another Ear/Nose/Throat doctor (耳鼻喉科) was visiting Yuli that day. I went to him and he confirmed that it was most likely an allergic reaction to the new antibiotics I was taking. It was weird though, since they’ve never really heard of anyone ever being allergic to this before…I guess I’m just weird is what they’re saying! Anyway, I got a nice shot and some new medicine. As of today, the rash is not noticeable on my face and neck, but it’s still pretty noticeable on the rest of my upper body…it’s just going down little by little, I guess.

I could see the writing on the wall…

Yesterday we had a surprise visit to our branch by the stake presidency. They released our branch presidency and called a new branch president and first counselor (second counselor stayed the same). Our new branch president is 唐弟兄 (Brother Tang) – he and his wife were the ones who took me to the ER and then gave me a ton of food that one day! We also had our first missionary coordination meeting with him yesterday. I really, really like his methods and his ideas of what should be done. I think it’s going to help out a lot! I hope that I’ll be able to stay in this area until we have enough members to turn our branch into a ward!

– Elder Austin Simonson

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