The Mission Lifespan… and Banjia Tian!!

People — I’m still emailing from a sketchy internet cafe somewhere in Northern Taiwan… BUT this one happens to be in Tao Yuan. Yup. I’ve already moved. And I have a Native companion (Tan Jiemei… now that you’re actually reading the Blog, you will be pleased to note that I am companions with your dearly beloved Yang Jiemei!!!!! AAAAH!!).

This change comes not unexpectedly. There is an incredibly strong and shi he analogy between the span of a mission and the span of a person’s life. Each transfer represents ten years. As I move into my third transfer, I feel like I’ve moved into my 30s. I know what I’m doing (more or less), I’ve gotten all the partying of the teens and twenties out of my system… I’m still young and hip, but more clearly focused on working and knowing what it takes to accomplish The Work. I’m sure that doesn’t really make sense… but shi shi kan. šŸ™‚

Last week was a bit crazy. Started out with Pday in Xin Dian. If anyone asks what’s down there… the answer is nothing. Long, crazy story… but Gao Jiemei and I ended up wandering around Xin Dian for our last Pday together. Tuesday to Wednesday was Exchanges with our new Coordinating Sister, Jin Jiemei. It was a good, soul-searching type exchange. She has quite a unique perspective on me because she was with me for my first three days on Island, saw me through Tan Jiemei, and Gao Jiemei. Basically, she’s been able to watch from afar and geng hao she’s incredibly observant and insightful. Our discussions provided lots of answers to questions I’ve had about life as a missionary, how to handle changing yourself, etc. After that set of exchanges, I felt a change in the wind. And that change required a new start. I love love love love Shi Lin and Tian Mu… but I could tell it was time for me to have a fresh start, to really push myself, and to get a little dirty.

That night we got called to go “babysit” which basically means coming into the Bu and showing a new missionary around for a couple hours. We decided to make this the best babysitting anyone’s ever seen… so we took our “baby” back to Shilin. We planned several different types of contacting and she was a pro at all of them. Her Chinese is aweful… but it did NOT stop her. That’s my girl, Dai Jiemei! šŸ˜‰ She even knocked on some car windows because “they smiled at me!” Haha! Pretty sure that’s illegal. šŸ˜‰ We found out the next morning that Gao Jiemei would be training Dai Jiemei this transfer. Which meant, of course, that I would be moving. Made the weekend incredibly difficult emotionallly. Eventhough I felt it coming, a big part of my heart is in Shilin and I will never forget it.

Saturday was spent packing and seeing people near and dear to my heart. Family Home Evening at Huang Jiemie’s, of course, Liao XianSheng qinged me some fruit from his Father’s farm out in the country, Dinner at Liu Family’s, etc. Lots of tears, lots of cute notes in Chinese that I can’t read yet. Church was hai keyi until they sang “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again”… I didn’t even get one syllable out before I just broke down (luckily, on the backrow). I promised them I yi ding hui visit them before I left Taiwan for good.

Now that I’m landed in Tao Yuan, I know I’ll never forget ShiLin and Tian Mu. The friends, the family I had there. But so far Tao Yuan is excellent! Colder in terms of the temperature… but still Taiwan and I’m still a missionary! Perhaps, a better missionary than when I landed in Shilin. I did get one blessed morning with Jiang Jiemei (my friend from the MTC) while our Da Tong Bans were getting their Training instructions… and we both felt that calm, determined feeling wash over us. We’re both headed with “clear mind and full heart” into our third transfer. Both fully aware we have difficult times ahead of us, but also more confident than ever in the power of the Lord. With God, all things are possible.

And now… I’m headed to go bowling with the Elders. HAHA! Aiyo. Waiguoren. šŸ˜‰

Much love,

The Newest Sister in Tao Yuan… Sister Oler

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