It's already been a week and a half since I've been here in Zuoying!! It was so good to skype and see all your faces, especially Jon Jon's. haha JK. I loved seeing all of you!!
Ok, so the first few days here in Taiwan were so crazy!! I think I was really anxious about the language and the people, and basically everything. Things have settled in here, and I am SUPER comfortable now. I feel like I'm at home. The food is great, my companion is amazing, and the members here are so awesome. There are so many cute Asian children over here. It's so fun to give them little letters and candy. They love that I'm from America and have a weird sense of humor. ahhaha I also love all the adults and members in our ward. They always give us doujiang and all sorts of Asian delicious treats. I think I'm gaining a lot of weight... Don't be surprised if I come back and look like Santa Claus...
Just kidding. I'm not that fat... yet. So the miracle story for this week is as follows:
Sister Lai and I were sitting in our apartment, very studious, when I decided to look outside the window. It was so dark outside and looked like it was going to rain, so I said, "Lai Jiemei!! It looks like it's going to rain!!" (in Chinese) and then a SECOND later, LITERALLY, it started POURING rain. It was hilarious. We just looked at each other with the biggest eyes and started laughing. It was "Shen de anpei!" (God's timing/doing/planning... something like that).
Anyway, everything has been doing very well. I passed the first chapter of phase 1 yesterday to our district leader. I have made a language plan and have an hour to study every day. Sister Lai is teaching me to write Chinese, and so whenever I write letters to thank members for food or to cheer them up, I write a line in English, Sister Lai translates it, and I copy it down on the line below. It takes a long time at first, but I'm getting faster and recognizing characters even better now!
Every night when we bike home, I like singing hymns with Sister Lai. It's such a fun thing to do!!! I love riding bikes around Zuoying.
Also, I've been able to play piano at church every week for relief society. Yesterday, I was playing some hymns and decided to improvise a little. Before the mission, I had a hard time improvising, but now, it's so easy, and my improvisations actually sound good!! It's so crazy. I feel like God has really blessed me with a better understanding for music now that I am serving Him and putting Him first.
I know that God loves us and is aware of each and every one of us. This week, I've realized how important it is to keep a journal and record everything that happens. It's also really important to write down your goals. A goal written down makes it easier to remember and then to accomplish. I know that the time we have here on Earth is short, but that makes it even more essential that we cherish every moment and work hard to bring the world His truth. God is REAL. He listens and answers our prayers. I see His mercy and love every day, and I know that we ALL can witness the same things.
I love Taiwan and the people here. I love you all so much.
Sister Verina Chen
PS Sorry I didn't have a lot of pictures this week. We only take pictures on P-day or in the apartment, and we haven't done anything exciting yet for P-day since we've been busy settling in.
PPS I cleaned the bathroom today and mopped the floor/reorganized the apartment. I think I'm the first missionary to every actually CLEAN the bathroom... haha I've noticed my OCD coming out a bit more on my mission. I LOVE CLEANING.
Ok, so a lot of the pictures are from last week. For the ones from this week:
Me taking out the trash!
The fish that I say good morning to every morning outside our apartment!
My companion taking out the trash.
Me looking and pointing to Vicky's email address that is in my companion's book.