Monday, January 11, 2010

1/10/10 - Taiwan sounds like‏:

Dear Family,

This week Song jie mei got confirmed so that is good! We had been calling and bugging her all week to make sure she would come, and Sunday morning we called her and found out she was walking to church because she was letting her adult daughter use her car. So we rode our bikes to her house to walk with her and ended up missing most of Relief Society. I'm not sure how that looked to the ward but oh well, I was fulfilling my purpose as a missionary.

We have this investigator Xue jie mei who thinks that she is controlled by devils or spirits or idols or something. She says they force her to bai-bai and last week made her go to a nearby city to sightsee for the day. I didn't believe her until she started speaking in false tongues the other day. I still don't know what to think. She has a very, very sad life, possibly is schitzophrenic and has made a lot of bad choices. Her family is so poor. We have a couple investigators living in places that you wouldn't believe. As Sister Busath said, "If we were in America in a place like this, I would be scared to death." It is safe enough in Taiwan but really destitute. Anyway, Xue jie mei really makes me laugh. The first time she prayed, she ended "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen, Hallelujah." It was the cutest thing ever. I wanted to say "Amen Hallelujah" too :)

Taiwan sounds like fireworks. The few times I heard fireworks I didn't know what it was, it sounded like gunshots but no one looked alarmed. It never occurred to me that people may just want to light fireworks in the middle of the day for no immediately apparent reason.

Taiwan sounds like traffic. The scooters and the trucks are the loudest, and we are always talking over them. There is often less traffic than you would expect.

Taiwan sounds like construction. Every morning for months, there are the buzz of saws and some other kind of banging as they work on construction around our building.

Taiwan sounds like advertisements. In Douliu especially, blue trucks drive around slowly, blaring advertisements. This would NEVER be allowed in the US, it is definitely disturbing the peace and would annoy everyone so much that any business that tried it would go out of business immediately.

Taiwan sounds like chanting. There are some buddist temples near our apartment, and once in awhile they start kind of warbling chants or singing. I'll sit there reading the Old Testament, condemning idol worship and the chants start and suddenly my life seems surreal. Sometimes the singing is accompanied by a monotone kind of banging...cymbol noise. It's hard to describe.

Taiwan sounds like Taiwanese. Taiwanese sounds angry; I don't know if it is because they are angry and are slipping into their mother tongue or if it just sounds rough. Most old people only speak Taiwanese. I know how to say "Hello" "I am a missionary" "You are beautiful" and "I am American" in Taiwanese. It pretty much gets me by.

Times up
I love you all big bunches
Sister Johnson

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