Kelly, Christopher, and I spent the morning on Saturday in Taipei at the temple and it was a beautiful experience. Next to the temple is a chapel that also serves as a visitors center for anyone who is interested in taking a tour and enjoying the gallery that features some beautiful LDS historical art.
Every month, our ward has a temple date scheduled, where members can ride on a bus to Taipei. We decided to just follow the bus since we hadn't been yet, and Christopher rode with his friends on the bus. In the US, bus drivers tend to be among the safest of drivers. That doesn't seem to be the case in Taiwan. Following this guy was so stressful with him changing lanes all over the place for no apparent reason, and he also would change the speed he was driving unnecessarily. We were relieved to have finally arrived at our destination, and needless to say, didn't follow him back to Jhubei.
I saw these pretty plants along the way and thought they were gorgeous, just along the roadside.
The city was blasted with these flags that were all over the place, and we never figured out what they were for. Advertisements? Elections? If you know, please tell us.
The temple was situated right in the middle of a bunch of other local businesses and buildings and certainly was a busy place on Saturday.
Lisa is such a sweetheart. She is one of Christopher's friends in our ward.
Abish gave me the scarf I'm wearing below, and I have worn it a few times, always trying different ways to tie it. Thank you, Abish!
Here's one of the counselors in our bishopric, Brother Wu. You can always see him with his little boy. He recently extended the call to Kelly to be the new ward mission leader, for which we are all excited. When he was setting Kelly apart, he started off doing it in English, then realized how difficult it was, then switched to Mandarin. In the prayer, Kelly is pretty sure that he was blessed to be able to communicate in Chinese better, so we're crossing our fingers for that!
We were excited to find out that sister missionaries give tours at the chapel next to the temple, and we went on one and loved seeing the beautiful artwork. I took a picture of some of my favorites, and look forward to going back another time and carefully looking at the art more closely. This one is a scene from the Willie handcart company, of the early Mormon pioneers, who traveled in extreme conditions, many of whom died along the way.
This painting is titled "Not Alone" and really resonated with me. It seems like I have met so many people here in Taiwan who I would think are somewhat lonely, with family members in other countries, and who are by themselves a lot. Even though I have Kelly and Christopher here, I often feel alone, missing many of my friends and family in the United States. This heroic depiction of a woman trudging along the frontier next to a covered wagon really puts things into perspective.
In my profile here, I talk about my feelings for Moroni, a great prophet who lived about 400 A.D. and fought in battles until his entire family and everyone he knew was killed, then recorded his experiences, made an abridgment of other records that had been passed down to him from previous generations, and eventually buried this sacred history on a hill in upstate New York about 1,400 years before Joseph Smith was shown where to find it. He then was able to translate the ancient writings and we can all enjoy it today as The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. In my profile, I talk about why I am a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Proclamation of the Family, in Chinese, was one of the things that I was happy to see on the walls of the visitors center.
This little girl is one of my favorite faces to see at church and I don't even know her name, but I look forward to seeing her every Sunday. She is so adorable! Since I could only communicate with her using hand gestures, all I could get from her was silly poses. Isn't she the cutest?
Rachel is the only other married American woman in our ward, but she's moving back to the States in December. She just had a new baby, a little darling boy named Gabriel.
Here's my smart, handsome, wonderful, sweet, awesome husband. As you can see, we brought a change of clothing to be able to walk around the surrounding area after we went to the temple.
Here are the charming three young missionaries who were our tour guides. Sister Petersen, Sister Hsiao, and I can't remember the one on the right. She left us after the beginning since she mainly speaks Chinese.
We are looking forward to going to the temple again in January and will plan another all day activity while in the big city.