Waterfalls, Coldstone, and Fudge

“(Elder) Boo Boo, you’ve tried to stop my brilliant ideas with common sense a thousand times. Has it ever worked?”

This last week was really fun! Last Monday we went with one of my companion’s friends (Arvin) and he drove us up to this trail, 瓦拉米步道 (Walami Trail) that we walked on until we got to a waterfall!

Embarking on our adventure with Arvin

We don’t often have people who have cars and can drive us to places that are further away, so this was a great opportunity to go out and see the surrounding nature! Apparently the maximum number of “customers” on the bridges we had to walk on to get there was 10… #translationproblems 😎



Yushan National Park…with “Boo Boo” posing for the tourists


The Walami Trail is the eastern entrance to Yushan National Park. The trail leads all the way to Yushan, the tallest mountain in Taiwan, at nearly 13,000 feet. The name “Walami” refers to a species of fern in the Bunan language. (The Bunan, historically known as the Vonum, are a tribe of Taiwanese aborigines and are best known for the sophisticated polyphonic vocal music.)


Elder Yogi: Did you check the safety manual?
Elder Boo Boo: It’s just a picture of us screaming!




“I can’t take it anymore, (Elder) Yogi! “Don’t do this! Don’t do that!”









“Anytime we want to do something fun or natural, there’s a new rule…

… And I’m plenty TIRED OF IT!”




The trail goes back to the Japanese era, when it was built for logging, mining and controlling of the aboriginal tribes. There are a total of five suspension bridges throughout the area.


“What do we do now, (Elder) Yogi?”

“Hang on Boo Boo!”

Walami gets very little sun, as a result is very cool during summertime. In the winter, most leaves turn yellow and red, giving the entire mountain a beautiful autumn-like coloration. There is Walami Cabin, which acts as a lodge with camping facilities.

“Just sit back…”


In addition, there are beautiful waterfalls, like Shanfong Waterfall, along the way.

“… and let Mother Nature carry us toward her own. “












(More photos of the day adventure below.)


You’ll also see a picture of Roger here…Roger is one of our English class students in RuiSui. His English is actually already pretty good! He is working on becoming a tour guide and I talk to him most everyday on the phone to practice English. He actually came to church this last Sunday for the first time, so we were super happy!

On Friday we had to go on exchanges with the zone leaders. It takes us about an hour to get down there by train so unfortunately we end up losing a lot of the time we need in our area. On the bright side though, we are able to go eat ice cream at Coldstone since there’s one there in TaiDong!

Well worth the train ride…

Heaven in a cup!

It’s strawberry season, so they had a new flavor out, Strawberry Ohayo (草莓喔哈喲), which was yummy, yummy, yummy!

On Sunday, I made some fudge with some members at our investigator’s (沈家銘) store. They’re always surprised by how sweet things are.When I finished making it and it had adequately cooled, I gave some fudge to everyone that was currently at the store. They all liked it! They were only able to eat one piece though, since they’re not used to things being that sweet. That’s the nice thing about Taiwan…I can leave dessert foods out anywhere and don’t have to worry about them being eaten, since Taiwanese people don’t eat many sweet things!

Melt in your mouth deliciousness…just like my Great Grandma Pearl used to make!

Everything is going well in 玉里. We’ve got about five solid investigators (one of them has family as well here in 玉里) who could legitimately be baptized within the next five weeks. We also have lots of others, but because of distance restrictions (they live farther away), schedules, and the number of times required to come to church before baptism (three), they are less likely to be baptized during this transfer. Anyway, we’re confident that we’ll be able to have at least a few in the near future!

Is that a sign for peace – or for a piece of pizza?!!

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!
– Elder Austin Simonson

“You know what the Rangers handbook says to do about bears!”

“Kicking it!”


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