Favorite Scripture

Favorite Scripture:

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37)

Monday, November 24, 2014

First Days in Taiwan and Pictures!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow!! I am in Taiwan! hahaha! I LOVE IT HERE!! I am so grateful for the Savior and my sacred call as a missionary and the opportunity I have to share this message with the beautiful people of Taiwan.  Wow!! haha these last few days have been crazy, so I will do my best to answer questions and catch you all up to par! :) All of my MTC District received their visas so we’re here together!!!

Arrival at the Tapei Airport
The flight over was good!  I actually sat by this guy on my way to Tokyo who was from Taiwan.  Wow, he was so nice!!!  His english was awesome, because he has been studying in the U.S.! I got to talk to him a for like 4 hours straight.  I also got the opportunity to share about the Book of Mormon with him.  He actually is Christian... which is super rare.  It was really neat, and I also got to swap info with him... and I told him that if he was ever in Utah that he could stay with you guys... haha.  So... I hope that is okay!! hahaha! ;)  Anyways, when we got to Tokyo we had like a 4 hr layover and our whole MTC district met up and it was awesome!! We went and had noodles and shared stories! So great!! haha!  Then we got on the plane to Taiwan, and that was when I really felt immersed in the language! haha everyone spoke chinese.. and I had no idea what they were saying!!

With President and Sister Blickenstaff
We got off the plane and got our stuff and met mission president and his wife.  Crazy... haha the smell here was so different.  I am used to it now and LOVE it, but at the time it was so weird. We got on the bus and traveled like 2 hrs to Taicheng which is a big city, and we had a small devotional.  It was great!  I was so tired though. 

Elder Redding - 1st Morning in Taiwan at Mission Office
I stayed at the AP's home with Elder Varvel-MTC Companion.  That was super fun, and in the morning at like 6:30 he gets me up and is shaking me. haha, we didn't have to get up till 7 because we didn't get back till like 1, haha and he was like "Elder Redding, lets go running." haha that was fun.

I don't have a lot of time to go through all the details of everything, so I will tell the highlights.  The next two days were orientation type days.  We got to go out to eat and the food is different.  There are some things that I love!  other things that I will need to get used to.

The night before we met our trainers we went to dinner and they literally eat everyting..  haha Whole fish with scales and all!  haha and the chicken... head and all!! haha!  After dinner President got up and told us about Dan Jones, a missionary in the church.  He talked about him standing on a soap box... I thought uh oh.. haha so we went to the night market!  We all gathered around in the middle of everyone... It is packed of people everywhere and we sang a hymn and then we got up and shouted our testimony to everyone around!!! haha It was crazy!!  I got up and shouted it and got down and then this missionary ran up and grabbed me to go and start contacting people.  haha it felt so sureal!! It was so Awesome!!!!  I loved it.  We talked to people and I didn't understand a whole lot, but the Elder I was with was super nice and would tell me, share about the book of mormon, or share about prophets.  It was really neat. 

That night we got back and I fell asleep in my suit and all!! haha I was exhausted.

Lunch with New Trainers Just Prior to Heading to New Area
The next day we got our trainers!!  We went up to the very front and got a red envelope with our area and our trainers name in it.  I opened it and it said I would serve in DaKeng with Elder Munger!! Then he came up and gave me a hug.  After we went to lunch and then we were off!!  Elder Munger is great.  He is a stud... that is all I can say.  haha.  He is so obedient and is so patient with me.  haha he also is an animal with his workouts.  He is the most fit person I have ever met.  He is crazy... haha we get up at 6 and he wears a backpack with weights in it while he runs and does everything... haha and he also wears a gas mask!!! haha yes, a gas mask!! It makes it so its harder for him to breathe!! haha He is awesome! 

In DaKeng with Elder Munger and One of His New Coverts
We had lessons immediately and over the last two days we helped 3 people set baptismal dates.  I just love it here.  haha.  I don't know what else to say.  I love the people, the food, the smell, the gospel.  Everything. 

I am sorry this is such a crazy email, but I am trying to help you guys know what I am experiencing. 

The roads are crazy... haha there arent lanes and there a millions of scooters and cars going everywhere, haha and we just weave in and out of cars.  Its crazy.  We go full speed right by cars and reach our arms our and touch them... haha.  There really arent a whole lot of rules for traffic.  The one thing that I have learned is you cant hesitate.  haha You just keep going and scooters will get out of the way and cars will wait.  When you hesitate, bad things happen! haha.  I just wish you could experience it.  Its like nothing you could even imagine.  When we get to a red light we just pull up to a scooter and literally have 30 seconds to get them to pull over to the side.  It is so hard... especially when you have no clue what they are saying... hahah!

Church was great, we had 4 investigators at church.  I also got to bear my testimony. 

Last night we went to a members house for what they call hotpot.  you just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and eat it.  I don't understand a lot of chinese, but I can feel their love.

This morning we went and played basketball with two members... haha the Taiwanese are so funny!! haha and of course to get our exercise in we ran there.  2 miles... and Elder Munger flew!!! haha! I was so tired!

I love it here guys.  I really do. I know that the Lord will help me with the language.  He already has.  I can feel it.  I am horrible at Chinese, but I know he will help.  I love you all so much and am so grateful for you all.  Keep up the good work.

I read in 1st Nephi 8 today about the iron rod and the mists of darkness that surround us.  The mists of darkness will never allow us to grasp them.  They will never guide and direct us.  You cannot grab mist. When we make a real effort to "cling" onto the iron rod we will always be able to feel the direction of the Lord in our lives.  The Gospel is what allows us to progress.  If we aren't "clinging" then we aren't progressing.  Love you all.


Elder Redding

Breakfast the First Morning - After a Very Short Night's Rest!

Dinner - Night Before Receiving First Assignement in Taiwan

Lunch Break

First Day - Pres. Blickenstaff Leading us in Buddha Pose After Mile Run

New Missionaries with New Trainers

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