The Taiwan airport! The most spotless airport I’ve ever seen. It was fantastic.
Dinner in the mission home: authentic Taiwanese spaghetti.
Now, for some text.
On Wednesday, President Blatter called our companionship and informed me that my visa had arrived and that I would be leaving on Friday.
A senior couple drove Sister Sorenson and me to SeaTac. We flew for ten hours from SeaTac to Tokyo Narita. At Tokyo, we were surprised and overjoyed to meet all the rest of our Taipei-going MTC friends! Aboard the same gigantic Airbus, we flew to Taiwan. I was in the middle of the center row, but I strained to see out of one of the side windows as we approached our destination. Through the tiny, fogged-up aperture, I could see the clouds all around us glowing dimly orange from the city lights below. Occasionally, as our plane dropped through the turbulent clouds, I caught glimpses of the huge cities passing beneath us, shimmering in the darkness.
When we finally touched down in Taiwan, we walked into the Taoyuan airport. It was amazing how clean it was. The floors were polished so as to resemble mirrors. We walked along a very long, bright corridor with a low ceiling to the immigration portal, where all of us passed through without incident.
Upon claiming our luggage, we met President Day, who led us out the door to a garish rental bus. We and our suitcases barely fit, but with the help of some handy spatial puzzle-solving we managed to cram all of us and our luggage inside.
We rode through Taiwan in the night as President Day gave us an introduction to the mission, warned us not to drink the tap water, and passed around the microphone for each of us to introduce ourselves. I was looking out the window the whole time. It was amazing. We drove on a huge multi-level highway, and grimy factories, industrial complexes, and apartment buildings swept past, dimly lit by the orange skyglow.
When we finally reached the mission home, we unloaded our bags–and sweated. I sweat and sweat and sweat in my black suit. We had to take out two days’ worth of supplies and repack our suitcases in a sweltering parking garage. The sweat soaked through my shirt and ran down my forehead.
Exhausted, we dragged our supplies up to a tiny residence room on the fourth floor, where eight of us reside. It was about 12:30 AM. I looked out of the window of my bunk bed, and the temple was right there! I fell asleep almost instantly, despite the many flashing lights outside of my window.
Yesterday morning, we had an hour before personal study, so a few of the more adventurous of us went exploring. We walked through two markets, which were awesome. They were crowded with hundreds of people buying and selling goods. Many shops had huge slabs of raw meat hanging from hooks.
This is the most awesome place ever. It’s great to be here. Bye!