Monday, October 13, 2014

Slum Dog Millionaire

 I am in one of the more ghetto parts of Taiwan serving in the mountainous area of Daxi (dah-Shee). And it is beautiful. Because of the mountain that overwhelms most of our huge area, we are limited to a very small workable area. 
This is the city part of the area and you will get a lot of pictures of this part throughout the next few months :D . My Companion is Elder Dexter and he is awesome! He has been out about 10 months and is quite good at Chinese. He is also a fan of the fine arts like music and Pokemon. So we have a ton in common and get along quite well. He is from Tennessee and had a lot of experiences there that have made him into a very strong missionary. He is quite awesome and I got lucky. Plus he is a fast biker and I have to push myself to keep up and I already am getting stronger.
Our apartment.. haha. Where to begin. It is sort of a dump. Apparently we got one of the worst ones in the mission haha. I have only seen a few cockroaches but there are always at least five ants in reach of my desk chair. And the shower heater is out of gas and will cost a lot to repair so we have ice cold showers every morning haha. But despite the dirty floors and lack of cleaning/cooking supplies, I am blessed. I have a bed to sleep in, a fridge and a desk to study at. I could easily be bothered by all the bad things but instead I think it is awesome that I get to see what it is like to be on the other side and also I get to laugh at how awesomely different everything here is. 
The food: I am addicted. I am always looking forward to the next meal I get to eat. I will start taking pictures of my meals if they are note worthy. But it is so interesting the things they have here. Milk is expensive and sent from Australia. Nutella has a different name and has caramel in it too (it is way better), and brown sugar tastes weird. I haven't had something yet that freaked me out. The only thing I thought was interesting was the hairy meat haha. It looks like beef that has hair. They have wonderful juices and these things called Zhuabings, which is a shredded onion pancake and it so far is my favorite thing. I cook them for breakfast already too much. I am gonna get fat!! hurrah!! And to add to that statement. They have a chocolate bars here called Tappl bars that taste like solid hot chocolate. Also they carry a lot of Kinder products and Kinder chocolate is SOOO SOO very good. The McDonald's is supposedly better but I haven't yet had the chance to go. 
The restaurants are usually little carts on the side of the road but sometimes are in an actual building. And the 7-11's which coat the streets are more like mini-grocery stores. They are awesome! We have gotten curry at a 7-11 and it was sooo good. So, unlike the USofA, the 7-11s here have capability to have amazing food. There are these drink shops all around that use those cups with sealed-on plastic lids that you stab the straw through. They sell all kinds of tea and we can only have a few of them. But what we can have is really good!  They have these little black tapioca balls that I think they also have in the U.S. but I am not sure. They are super good. Plus the people that work there are sort of like investigators. We have prayed with them a few times and stuff but they are so busy and it is hard for them to find time to meet with us. 
We spend A LOT of time finding/contacting. We bike or walk around the city and knock doors, approach random people, and sometimes just hand out tracts with information about our church in passing. We also teach an English class on Wednesday nights, so during the week we hand out English tracts for a free English class in hope that some will come. At the end of the class we have a short devotional and it has helped a lot with conversion of people who came to learn English haha. 
We have already had quite a few doors slammed in our face and one after being scorned by a Chinese guy. But also a lot of doors have been opened. Here, and probably everywhere else, people notice the missionaries. They notice what we do and how we act. So a smile is required haha. Which is hard. I didn't smile as much as I should have at home, so that is probably the hardest thing for me. haha
We were able to watch conference this Saturday and Sunday and I loved both session. I am excited to receive the ensign so I can read Jorg Klebingnat's talk. He was AWESOME!!! Make sure you have heard that one. I feel myself change everyday. This place is wonderful and I know I belong here. My testimony grows each and every day and I have a strong love for this gospel. I am excited to tell you of all the miracles I see and I hope you can each look for the small miracles in your life every single day.
Best wishes,

Elder Henry David Christensen