Here are our new missionaries!!! Three Taiwanese missionaries from the Philippines MTC and one senior couple & 15 young missionaries from the Provo MTC:
WHAT??? WHERE ARE THE OTHER 15 MISSIONARIES FROM AMERICA?
The Taiwanese missionaries coming from the Philippines and the young missionaries coming from Utah were all to arrive at 6:30pm. The only glitch was that the senior couple did not get on the same flight and wasn't due to arrive until 9:30pm. So the plan was that I was to stay behind, wait for the senior couple, and take them home on the High Speed Rail. President would take the young missionaries on the bus back to Taichung so as to arrive at a decent hour.
The Taiwanese missionaries arrived at Terminal 1 on schedule and came through the gates. As well the United flight with the American missionaries arrived on time at Terminal 2. However, as we waited for them to come through the gate, a young caucasian female approached her Taiwanese courier standing next to me and I overheard her lament that her departing flight had been delayed, she had only had 20 minutes to catch the connecting flight to Taiwan, all who could not make the flight were delayed one night, and everyone's luggage was lost in the shuffle of planes:( I then asked her if she had seen missionaries on the flight. She confirmed. So we waited patiently, assuming that all our missionaries had to complete lost luggage claims. After another hour, with no missionaries in sight, we finally decided to inquire of them. Security was able to ascertain that there was no group of missionaries within baggage claim or customs. WHERE DID THEY GO? President made a call to Church Travel. Church Travel anticipated the delay would cause problems with the connecting flight so changed their flights to the following day. Indeed, we are grateful no one's luggage was lost! Unfortunately, however, we were not informed:((( By the time we discovered all this, our senior couple had already landed. So we waited for them to come through the gates, which they did, cowboy hat and all, with huge smiles on their faces!
A big empty bus, but a great group of missionaries nonetheless!
I'm not quite sure what's more surprising, getting a group of missionaries one day EARLY, or one day LATE! Now we've experienced both!
The next evening, we returned to Taoyuan International Airport and our 15 missionaries not only arrived early but came through the gates in record time! Here they are:
Bus ride home, together at last:)
First day of exercising on the island:
Timing their mile run:
Finishing with some P90X Yoga:
Breakfast at the mission home:
President instructs about the Taichung Mission Vision, Goals and Plans:
After an introduction to the Blickenstaff Family by Sis. Blickenstaff, orientation to missionary finances, and interviews with President, we break for lunch at Wu Hua Ma:
Interviews with President continue in the afternoon while Assistants train on Taiwanese culture:
After instruction and demonstration by the Assistants, new missionaries practice contacting skills,
first in English and then in Mandarin:
Missionaries get their first chance to contact on their walk to a banquet dinner that night.
Undaunted by duck brains:
Braving fish eyes!
Next morning staircase training:
One last huddle together!
After meeting with trainers and focusing on PMG principles, the new missionaries were handed a red envelope with Top Secret information: their first companion and area! Then off to lunch together:
Our newest missionaries and their trainers: