Monday, August 28, 2017

Adam the Trainer and District Leader

At the most recent transfer on Aug 17, Adam became a "trainer", with the responsibility of mentoring a brand new missionary as he entered the mission field.  His new companion is Elder Dotson from Enoch, Utah.  According to Elder Dotson, Enoch is even more rural than Taibao so he is being eased into the mission that covers some really densely populated areas.  Adam is also given the assignment to be the District Leader, with Min-Hsiung (Minxiong) as the other area in the District.
The Taibao Branch is pretty small, with about 20-30 people attending church each Sunday.  There are a total of 7 young people (Primary children plus Young Men/Young Women).  The branch president is 29 years old but, according to Adam, is a super cool person.  Adam's apartment is only 3 minutes from the chapel so it is very convenient.
Adam loves this area (just like he loves all his former areas) because the people are so down to earth, really nice, and really hard working.  His area includes the beach so it's a little farther from the mountains and the rain.
He is teaching some really good people and working with members who have been to church for a while.  Now that he has a companion who is brand new in Taiwan, Adam has to take more responsibility in communicating in Chinese with the local people.
Here are some recent photos.

With someone Adam is teaching.
Getting a local member who has not been to church for a while
Best dinner ever!  Homemade Peking duck and dumplings.
With Elder Chang and local members before Elder Chang leaves the area.
Elder Dotson's first hotpot dinner.  They're very thirsty!
At the Taibao City sign.  Calligraphy by the city mayor.
Taibao Sunset.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Farmlands in Taibao City

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Area: Taibao in Chiayi County

After a very productive and rewarding 5 months in Kong Shan, Adam was transferred on July 3rd to Taibao City, in the Chiayi County, midway between Taichung and Tainan.  Taibao is a small city in a rural area that is very flat and famous for melons.  It is named after the official rank of its most famous native son, Wang De-Lu, who was a high ranking official (a Taibao) in the Chinese emperor's court.  It is also famous for a temple memorializing the water buffalo to remind the people in the area how hard the water buffalos worked to till the ground when the area was first settled several centuries ago.  As shown on the map below, a few city blocks of buildings are surrounded by farmland.  The LDS church is at the corner of an apartment block with a huge sign hanging on the side of the building.
Aerial view of church in Taibao 
Taibao Branch Building
Adam is reunited with his missionary training center companion, Elder Chang, and another elder in the group behind him at the MTC, Elder Farnsworth.  He is really excited about the new area, his third since arriving in Taiwan.
July 13, 2017 will mark the half-way point of Adam's mission.  Below are photos from his Kang Shan days.
In his Kong Shan apartment
Rainy day in Kong Shan
After bike accident.  Both were okay.  Companion with sprained elbow 
Monkey Mountain Outing
Monkeys in the park
More monkeys
Kang Shan District elders 
Giving a presentation to the ward council
Group outing
Mission Conference
Zone Conference
With new member at his baptism
Playing pingpong with a 92-year-old man that reminds Adam of his Grandpa Li
The 92-year-old friend who beats Adam in pingpong most of the time
Adam's birthday package
Birthday album from home
Chinese hotpot during his last week in Kong Shan with Elder Richards

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Earthquake! All safe

There was an earthquake near Tainan this morning but Adam and all missionaries were safe.

Adam's first 2 weeks in Kang Shan had been good.  He enjoys working with Elder Zavalla, who is wowing the local people with his language skills (fluent in Mandarin, English, and Spanish).  Adam was pleasantly surprised to receive a care package from the Dalisay family, especially the Star Ward Yoda tie, which Adam is going to wear often.

Care package from San Francisco
Favorite snacks in the package
Yoda tie!
At church Christmas party
About to teach a class
Teaching a class at church
Teaching a class at church-2

Monday, January 23, 2017

Photos from Vincent's Visit

Over the holidays, Adam ran into Vincent, a friend from San Francisco who was visiting Taiwan.  Vincent served his mission in Kao Hsiung a few years ago and he sent us these photos.

In front of the chapel in Kao Hsiung
Beef noodles - Adam's favorite
Adam in action.  Talking to people at the traffic light

Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Area: Kang Shan

After 4 months in Kao Hsiung, Adam was transferred to the Kang Shan District, a northern suburb of Kao Hsiung.  He is only 20 minutes by train north of his previous area.  His new companion is from New Mexico.  Elder Zavalla speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Mandarin.  Adam learned a lot from Elders Collette and Elder Clayson in Kao Hsiung and he looks forward to working with Elder Zavalla in the new area.
Selfie with new companion at internet cafe.
In Mission T-Shirt
With Bro. Yu, whom Adam taught
Saying goodbye to Elder Clayson

Monday, January 9, 2017

Holidays in Kao-Hsiung

Adam spent the holidays away from family for the first time in his life but the holiday season was quite memorable.  It started with a Skype video conference with family, followed by a zone conference with Pres. and Sis. Teh, and visits with many people.
Zone Conference on Dec 22, 2016
Highlights of the holiday include chance meetings with two UCLA students visiting Kao-Hisung.  One is actually a fellow student that took a class with him last year.  The other is an upperclassman who had relatives in Kao-Hsiung.  He enjoyed the chance to tell them about his mission in Taiwan.

It might not have been a sound financial decision but Adam decided to become a Costco member in Taiwan.  With the membership, he had access to the cheap pizza slices and even churros.  He now has a favorite place to go on P-day.

Pizza and churros at Costco
He was pleasantly surprised to receive a package from his mom, filled with his favorite treats and lots of motherly love.  He also loved the handwritten notes from church members back in San Francisco and a special package from the Durrants.  He sends his love to everyone back home.

Notes from members back home
Selfie with Christmas package from the Currants

Just when he thought that all the surprises were done with, he met Vincent Lin from home.  Vincent served his mission in the same area several years ago and was visiting Kao-Hsiung over the holidays.

Adam is poised to complete his language training by "passing off" the last module of Mandarin Chinese lessons this coming week, at the 6-month mark of his mission.  He has been sharing the gospel with many wonderful people and is getting a lot of help and support from the local church members.  He works really hard but feels very blessed and has had many spiritual experiences.