First, BIG NEWS. The missionary department just changed the rule about emailing: We are now allowed to email friends, recent converts, and priesthood leaders, as well as family. So you all can email me now! Woohoo!!! Drop me an email when you can, I'd love to hear from you! Keep in mind it's not the same email, I have a different one for the mission. You can find it on my Facebook wall.
Note: I would like to ask that you focus your letters on your life and on gospel topics (I.E. no movie quotes or current news in the world, etc.). I want to stay focused on my mission, and I really appreciate efforts on your part to help me keep this focus. And no links to other sites, I'm not able to access those anyway.
And now on to the usual:
How could I possibly recap the last week adequately?...
Over the last month I've been seriously attacked by mosquitoes. I woke up one morning to ten new mosquito bites and ten fat mosquitoes lazily buzzing around the room. Every night reaps more bites. Elder Dailey got a huge kick out of it, because he never got any bites. Ever. "I guess my blood is just too sour." One day I was talking with Sister Zhang about it, and she seemed so sorry for me. I randomly got a call from her asking when we were going to be at the church, and at that time she ran into the church, dropped a bag into my hands, and ran back out. I opened the bag to find a HUGE mosquito curtain for my bed. And some apples. We wanted to set it up that night, but because the ceiling is too high, we "shang ban fa'ed" and propped it up with two doors we took out of the patio entrance. Pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.
So I thought English went well last week, but let me tell you, it just floored me this week. We had our St. Patrick's Day party this week, and we were stunned when we counted 50 in attendance. 50!!! The party was so much fun. We put on a skit to talk about the stories behind the holiday, and then everyone made leprechaun traps. While everyone went on a 4-leaf clover hunt, the sisters destroyed all the traps except for one, which was buried in chocolate gold coins. It was a tremendous success, everyone loved it. I hope Lingya can maintain these successes over the next few weeks.
The whole week, though, was stressful. We were all anticipating "move call madness" on Saturday, in which we would learn if we were going to move or stay the following Monday. When Saturday finally came, Elder Dailey and I were a nervous wreck. And then Elder Chia dialed in, and we just rushed to the phone. And then came the news: I was to move to Changhua. Whoa. Elder Dailey just started laughing so hard. "Dude, you're going to my last area!!! And you're going to be with my last companion, Elder Edwards!" He had told me a lot about Elder Edwards: This guy is apparently going to be kicker on the BYU football team when he gets back.
So then I had to say my goodbyes. So hard. I love all these people so much. Sister Zhang threw a feast on Sunday night, and all our friends came to say goodbye. Even some of my English students came. Some people cried. It was so surreal... you just get so attached to these people, and then you leave. Elder Chia and Sister Busath were also leaving, so of course everyone was super sad to see so many of their friends leaving. Rich was sad too, but he is so good, he just told me to go and give it my all. I love that guy. I also told Sister Zhang that she's been like a mother to me, and that I'm really grateful for her. She was crying a lot. She puts so much of herself into helping us and taking care of us, I can tell she pretty much considers us missionaries as her own children. I'm going to miss her a ton. This morning, before I got on the train, she dumped a huge bag of fruit into my hands. So Sister Zhang.
The one thing that made me feel good about leaving is that Sister Busath is going with me to Changhua. We rode the train together and both wrote letters to Elder Burdick (although with the new rule, I guess we can just email him now). I'm glad I'm going with a friend. How true it is that we need friends in the church. It's hard to make changes when you are all alone.
And then I met Elder Edwards. The nicest guy I've ever met in my life. SO cool. And he's so sincere. We have big plans: next week we want to basically skip preparation day (besides writing home of course) and throughout the course of that week contact 1000 people. My record has been something like 500. It's gonna be crazy!
I just want you all to know that I love you, and please email me! Let me know how you are doing! I may not have much time to respond, but I will try to respond as soon as possible. Thank you for all your love and support.
“English is off the charts!”
“My wonderful mosquito net.”
“Good friends in Lingya and Shizhong wards!!!”
“Sister Peng and her family. We were working with her husband who wasn't baptized yet.”
“Lingya at night.”