We are all really excited as we leave on the 27th that’s next Tuesday. Still haven’t gotten the physical visa or passport in my hands, because us 18 year olds would lose them so fast it wouldn’t be funny. The travel office issues them the day of travel - however I know I did get a visa because they only give you travel plans if you did.
Our flights are from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles then direct to Taiwan with only a 5 hour layover in Los Angeles so it’s not too bad of a trip just a mere 22 hours.
We did get new badges - all Chinese, but we aren’t allowed to wear them yet. I didn’t have time to take a picture of it, because it’s been really hectic, but you'll see it eventually!
We will have a devotional tomorrow (rumors of General Authority speaking), and I will be hosting new in coming missionaries on Wednesday, and we have an infield orientation all day Thursday so It'll be the weekend before I know it.
I feel ready as I can be, but it will still be challenging when I get there. One of our teachers said her Mandarin was still not that great by her third transfer. They have a cool system of "phases". By phase three I learn characters, so I should be able to read and write in Chinese when I get back, as well as speaking near native.
Last Tuesday we had Elder Scott talk to us. Very awesome! It was really similar to one of his talks from April 2007 on prayer if you’re curious here is the link: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/using-the-supernal-gift-of-prayer?lang=eng
Thanks for sending my District the cinnamon rolls which were great, but I gave myself a gnarly cut opening the box - apparently dear elder uses staples and they hide them under the lid opening!!!
We went to the Temple twice this past week and it was awesome both times. Some new changes have been made and if you haven’t been for a while you should definitely go.
I got to see Elder Blaylock and Elder Larson before they left for their missions, and I've been seeing Sister Francis a lot in the hall ways as well.
As far as things I may need before I go - only 2 items come to mind. Apparently I was wrong, and it does get cold in Taiwan, so a coat of some kind would be nice and of course it needs to be missionary attire appropriate. The next thing is that apparently back packs are no longer allowed and they are changing to the shoulder messenger bags because those look more professional. Although I grew up around D.C. and everyone uses a back pack (including you Dad) but still that’s what they want us to have. Guidelines for those are also on the website for missionaries.
Love you all!
Ding Zhang Lao