My trainer is Elder Youd (pronounced yaod, so Yao, with a "d" at the end). He's really cool. In some ways he's like David too, so I get along with him. He's a western missionary from North Carolina and he went to the Air Force Academy for a year. He's a great guy. And really trusted in the mission. From what I've heard, because the East Coast missionaries are so far away, they're the ones President can trust. I guess he really wants us to learn well from the ones down here how to do missionary work, be obedient and learn good skills for the rest of my mission. We work hard, but I always feel there's a lot more I can be doing. Last week we only had 15 proselying hours because we had Zone Conference, then General Conference. So LOTS of learning, but it was great, and now we're back to our normal schedule.
Elder Youd has been here in Yuli for 5 months! It's kind of crazy. He and other missionaries he's been working with have really pulled up the ward. The final goal of the ward is to make the 2nd Counselor (currently Elder Youd) a member of the branch, and to have the missionaries focus on missionary work. So that's going to happen hopefully at the end of the transfer. So it's all progressing and we're starting to find people to teach.
This really cool guy, Brother Wu, is 60 years old. His only problems that we know of right now is smoking and... mostly a knowledge of how the church can help him. Compared to most other single Taiwanese guys, he doesn't go drinking, he doesn't chew binglang (Beetlenut), and etc. He's a really good guy and always happy. By the way, Beetlenut is such an interesting drug. It turns your mouth blood-red, it smells foul, and probably has a stimulant in it. But, lots of people chew it and it's a big part of the culture.
The first few days in Taipei were hot, sticky, and I had a difficult time with the language. I still struggle with it, but not as much as a firehose it was the first few days. It's coming along and it's going good. Oh, it turned out that David talked to his friends in Taiwan and his bike broke. He wasn't sure what they did, but they said they weren't going to send it because of that. So it's all good. I have my beautiful bike here in Yuli. Oh, and just to make it less likely to be stolen, I put on a huge "No sucess can compensate for failure in the home" sticker in Chinese. I think people will be able to tell that its a stolen bike from that :).
Wow... Trees were uprooted in Hong Kong? We don't have that problem where we're at. We have mountains on both sides so we're pretty safe. We have earthquakes and lots of rain, but we're good here. In some ways, I'm really excited if a disaster happens. We'd get to go out and do service... but at the same time, that'd be really terrible for lots of families here. Like David used to say, lots of people here really don't have too much money. They struggle at times because of their situations. It's great to always help where we can though.
In Yuli, we live 2 floors above the church, and it's pretty big. The kitchen sink is completely clogged right now, so we'll fix that, and we've got AC, so it's comfortable. It has 1 main room, and 2 smaller side rooms, but we sleep in the main room because that's where the AC is. I have pictures that I might have sent to you of the mountains, and that's our view outside our window. Yuli is really small, but nice. For food though, all we can eat is rice and noodles. If you're in Taipei, you can eat dumplings, KFC, Subway, McDonalds, etc... But we're just stuck with noodles. But hey! There's a great Tea shop we sometimes get drinks at.
Aww... I wish I could've wished Erika a Happy Birthday. I still don't know if I can send her emails, or if she can send me them, so could you tell her I wish her Happy Birthday?
Anyways I probably need to run. I love you though. I'm glad to hear things are good over there. Things are great here too, sometimes difficult, but that's expected. The work and the Gospel is true. I know it is. Haha, I'm glad you love missionaries. :)I love the gospel and I'm so thankful I can be serving here. I'll work hard.