Our district with our flight plans!
So as week 8 has come to a close, and my final week here at the MTC has begun, the countdown towards Taiwan has begun! We leave here next Tuesday at 3:50AM, but I couldn’t be more excited to finally get out to the field! We are anxiously counting down the days and hours here!
This week was pretty bland, but definitely necessary to get us ready for the field! Our teachers here have us working on overdrive to prepare our language and teaching skills! We finally got our flight plans which is awesome because that means our Visa’s most likely came through which was a HUGE relief! I feel like my Chinese is pretty good at this point, like I can say just about anything within reason that I want, but the hard part is listening to what people say and understanding their speech. People in Taiwan speak SO DANG FAST! In our Skype TRCs with members in Taiwan we always have to ask them to repeat what they say and try as we try and decipher it. Chinese is HARD! But there were multiple times this week where I ran into missionaries native from Taiwan or China and they told me my Chinese was really good even though I don’t think it is lol. Also on Sunday for the devotional, Elder Horton and I got in line with the ESL kids who get headphone translators, and we snagged some Chinese ones to listen on. I would say we focused about twice as much as we normally do during those things, and we got about half as much out of it lol. But it was cool to test our Chinese listening skills, and I would say I understood about 50% of the talks!
I am definitely about to get WRECKED next week hahahah. When we get to Taiwan on Wednesday night, the mission president and his wife take us to one of the busiest night markets in Taizhong and they have us brand new missionaries “Dan Jones” which basically means we stand on a soapbox in the middle of this super crowded night market and bear testimony of the Book Of Mormon in Chinese to whoever happens to be passing by. So i’m definitely intimidated by that! But i’m looking forward to the challenge and know it will be an awesome experience. Also that night they take us out to dinner and have us eat duck brain and fish eyes, so that will be fun! There are 11 other missionaries who will be flying out with me Tuesday, so we’ll all be in the same boat! Then we have sort of like an orientation at the mission home for a few days, and then we get assigned a new companion, and we head off to our first areas! I’m seriously praying that my first comp over there will be a native speaker, because I have SOOOO much to learn, but with my luck i’ll probably end up with some white kid from Utah who’s been out in the field for a while! Even if that’s the case, in order to become a trainer and be paired with fresh out of the MTC missionaries, you have to have been in the field for at least a year. So either way, I’ll get someone who can speak Chinese pretty well! I’m definitely excited!
In front of the HUGE mission map.
My life is about to go airborne, both literally and metaphorically! But I couldn’t be more happy or excited to serve the people of Taiwan whom I already love SO much! I’m super pumped y’all can tag along for the ride and experience some of the things i’m about to experience through my weekly emails! These things are about to get LIT in about 7 days. I love you all, and cant thank you enough for your continuous support and love week in and out!
Have an awesome week and be sure to tell your mothers you love them on Sunday! Until next week from TAIWAN!!
Elder Jensen from my zone who’s going to Taibei with 30(!!) pretzels in his mouth