Original article posted by Greg:

Unfortunately, these emails and messages go to many people of many backgrounds so they are lacking in some of the more spiritual aspects in order to appeal to the largest common denominator. (That means the most people, silly.) So for the super spiritual experiences, you’ll have to ask me in about 1.75 years and I’ll be glad to share. Or go on a mission and get your own.

So, since many people have not yet heard from me, I’ll start from the beginning. I’m currently in “Tangerine On-Line,” an online computer place, in the city of TUCHENG. Or as I like to call it, dirt city. It’s pretty amazing. In the travel guide to unusual smells, this place ranks in the top 5. Or at least the area of my apartment does, as I’m housed next to a color-changing river (a gentle blue coating of the dirt today with mostly clear water and a faint oily sheen today) sewer grates, fried tofu stands, and the industrial half of the city. It’s great.

Hey! We got air conditioning today! Isn’t that grand?

I’ve been here in Taiwan for about a month now. It’s really been pretty easy for me to adapt to everything except the language. I’ve had very few health or sleep problems or distractions. I feel very blessed in that respect. And really, the language is coming along pretty well. I get lots of compliments. But I know I need lots of improvement because sometimes peole just say “Okay, just give me the pamphlet.”

My companion is Elder Smith. He’s really great and full of energy, which is a big help to me. We get along well. We had a tough time the first couple of weeks finding people to teach. Apparently people don’t really like to see the missionaries. Some will cross the street to escape us. BUT TO NO AVAIL! For we cross the street willingly to share the gospel with beautiful families!

However, we are having great luck with a certain Chen Xian Sheng. He was my first “on my own” contact and was willing to hear our message. He’s super excited to be joining the church. I have never met somebody with so much faith. He gained a testimony of the truth of this message and it has carried him over every trial. He simply says “Well, this church is true and a prophet has asked me to do ________, so I will do it.”

Only he says it in Chinese.

My companion had his first car crash a couple of days ago. Well, it was a motorcycle. A motorcycle pulled out in front of him. We had the right of way and it was raining hard. Elder Smith couldn’t stop, so he jumped into the air. He flew right over the young couple on the motorcycle and slid across the pavement on the other side. It was great from my point of view behind him. He took a few moments to lay on the pavement laughing. But we only had 3 minutes to be in our apartment so we just got going after that. He was fine. It was hilarious. Now we have matching elbow scrapes. Mine came from a lamppost.

Last week we visited a shrine up in the mountains. There are tons of these things. It was peculiar because it was white with a green roof instead of red. Very beautiful, and a great walk Too bad my camera batteries died. No pictures for you.

The people are very nice here. I would say fully 3 quarts moreso thanAamericans. They always give us weird fruit when we teach them. Last week we had something called “Stinky Fruit.” It was awful. The guy who gave it to us said “Just like ice cream, isn’t it?” and I thought “Yes… Like onion and garlic flavored Ice Cream.” Then he gave us grass juice.

Yum.

So here I am, Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Taiwan. Many people are missing limbs from working in all the industrial joints around here. Even the dogs are mostly maimed. It’s pretty amazing. But there are so many wounded hearts as well. Sometimes we teach people that there is a living prophet, or that there is a God who really exists, and you can just see the suprise and happiness in their eyes.

Of course, they frequently clam up right away… But every once in a while you meet another “Mr. Chen” who recognizes truth and then refuses to let it go.

If there’s one thing I want to accomplish here, it’s to teach everybody I can to pray and read from the Book of Mormon every day. I think those two simple things done by anybody will change the world for them.

Well, my time is up. Much love to you all.

Elder Greg Hamblin
Taiwan Taipei Mission
Floor 4, No. 24, Lane 183
Chin Hua Street
Taipei 106
Taiwan ROC

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Zoe
Re: Patrols sited in the fourth quadrant, sir.
I have enjoyed reading your stories from Taiwan. Perhaps sometime I’ll have to share some stories from my life teaching music in the antartics of eastern idaho. Yesterday, on memorial day, we had such a major snow storm that they had to close the pass and no one could go anywhere. Don’t feel bad about your color changing river. I also want you to know that I was awe-struck by the Art Museum in NY as well. We spent all day there, and still didn’t see everything. Unfortuanately, while I was there they had the music section closed. I really would have liked to see that section being the music nerd that I am.

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