Me and my new companion.
Exploring the farthest reaches of my new area.
I did indeed move on Thursday. I left Tucheng and moved up to the mission office in Taibei, where I’m now serving as the Operations Assistant. As far as I understand it so far, I’m responsible for: handling the renting and upkeep of the mission’s apartments, finding and opening new apartments, booking and scheduling plane and train tickets for the mission, booking hotels, ordering food for meetings, and maintaining the mission’s stocks of proselyting materials. That’s a lot of operations to assist.
Also, I have a little window people can come up to and bark orders through.
I’m still new, and basically don’t know what I’m doing, especially when it comes to reading and analyzing stacks of Taiwanese legal documents written entirely in Chinese. Thankfully, I have 蕭長老 (Elder Xiao) to help! He is the previous Operations Assistant. He’ll be my companion for a transfer while he trains me, prior to his departure from the office.
Elder Xiao, Elder Ure, and I.
Everyone told me this job is the hardest in the mission. Usually, only native Taiwanese missionaries are assigned here because of the language requirements. There’s a lot of information to keep track of and organize. These past two days have been pretty OK, though, with a few exceptions.
After the transfer meeting, Elder Xiao and I needed to get the train tickets to the Taidong and Hualian missionaries so they could get back to their areas in a timely manner. Unfortunately, both groups of missionaries were delayed and missed their trains (it was pretty much our fault). Also, because of transfer madness, none of the Hualian missionaries had their phones.
Thankfully, the missionaries were able to find tickets on their own, and they successfully boarded trains for the 4-5 hour ride to their areas. The only loss was the expensive train tickets we wasted.
Picture with 廖弟兄 (Brother Liao), another awesome investigator I left in Tucheng.
This work is very much different than any other I’ve done on my mission. We do have a small area, but most of our time is spent in the office. Absent an emergency, we proselyte from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in our area.
Some of the things I’ve done so far are: ordering gas tanks for missionary apartments, buying and cancelling various train tickets, driving bicycles from the store to the mission office, and even going to examine a potential new apartment with Elder Xiao. We use computers, which feels really weird after a 16-month technology fast, but is kind of cool. Also, we drive a car, which I was less thrilled about. Elder Ure drove us around a few times in the van, which offered me a new perspective of Taipei traffic. I have to go through a long procedure to be able to drive in Taiwan, especially since I lost my Utah license in my first area (argh!).
View from inside the van.
I’m in the same office and apartment as Elder Huntsman now, since he’s serving as an assistant to the president. It’s awesome to be together again. We can reminisce on our Tucheng time together!
Also, my P-day is on Saturdays now, so my sending and reading email time will be moved to Saturday as well.
That’s about all for now!