Thursday, August 14, 2014

8-13-14 and 8-14-14 New Missionary Arrivals!

Here are our new missionaries!!! Three Taiwanese missionaries from the Philippines MTC and one senior couple & 15 young missionaries from the Provo MTC:

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:

 Morning orientation:
 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:


  1. One of those sisters is our daughter! After following your blog for several months, it is emotionally overwhelming to see her standing there with YOU!! Thank you so much for picking her up and for being so wonderful. We are just so very grateful. She is ready to go, go, go! Thank you for this blog. Can't even tell you how happy we are to see this picture. :) Michelle Turner

    1. Michelle Turner - Our daughters must have been dorm mates in the MTC. Maybe even companions. Which one is your daughter? There is a Facebook group called "Taichung Taiwan Mission friends and family" were us paents can share pictures and talk. I hope to see you on there. - Amy Cosby

    2. There is also another Facebook group called "Missionary Mammas" for all missionary Moms. We give a lot of support to each other. The Missionary Mammas group is a closed/private group so I can "invite you to the group if you want.

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  3. I feel the same way. One of those sisters is also my daughter (the blond one - Sister Cosby) It is hard to think she is so far away. Thank you for taking care of her. It is so great to see these pictures. Thank you for doing the blog!

  4. Also, thank you for so much for telling us their luggage was not lost. Our missionaries checked their bags the first day they tried to fly and did not get them back. They returned to the MTC with only their carry on luggage. We were worried their luggage would be lost and not make it to Taiwan. You answered a prayer by including in your blog that it was not lost.

  5. I have also been watching this blog ever since my son, Elder Brenner, got his call to Taichung. It is hard to believe he is finally the missionary arriving in Taiwan! Thank you for posting these pictures, and SO quickly. It is good to see their smiling faces and know they arrived safely. And thank you for taking care of our missionaries!!

  6. Thank you so very much Sister Blickenstaff for posting these pictures so fast. I too have a daughter who just arrived, Sister Porter (the one with the bun on top of her head). She was companions with Sister Cosby and the four girls were roommates. I do hope their luggage found its way back to them so Megan can wash her face :) Her toiletries were all in her luggage since she didn't have small enough containers for her carry on. I love being able to hear and see the mission grow and reach their goals.

    1. I am so happy to "meet" the mom who was my daughter's companion. I hope you will join the Facebook group "Taiwan Taichung Mission friends and family." so we can share pictures with each other and news about Typhoons with each other. There is also another Facebook group called "Missionary Mammas" for all missionary Moms. We give a lot of support to each other. The Missionary Mammas group is a closed/private group so I can "invite you to the group if you want.

    2. Your daughter was such a kind and supportive companion to my daughter. It made all the difference in the MTC. I hope mine was to yours as well. Your daughter even taught mine how to use a laundromat when they first got there. Sis. Cosby has been doing her own laundry since she was 12, but for some reason the laundromat through her. hahaha

    3. I'm so glad to hear that she was a supportive companion. Megan loved her experience in the MTC mostly because she loved her district and companion. Please invite me to the "Missionary Mammas" group. I already joined the other one.

  7. So fun to see the newbies with their first companions! What a blessing to have this blog. My son's mission does not have a blog and I miss seeing what is going on in the mission as a whole. My middle daughter was our first missionary and they had a blog so I've seen both sides and it's been wonderful to watch what your child and the other missionaries at work. THANKS SO MUCH for your time and effort updating this mission blog!

  8. Thanks so much for taking the time to post these pictures! It makes a Momma feel so much more at ease!

  9. President and Sister Blickenstaff it's so awesome to have you guys there with the two missionaries that just arrived from my dad's ward (and my old ward) :) Elder Coleman and Sister Cosby, they will be great missionaries!
    Best wishes for the mission,
    Denae Syphus (Putnam)

  10. Thank you for posting so many pics! We are so excited to have our daughter serving in the Taichung mission. We got wonderful reports of her arrival. Thanks for all the great food, the work outs, the funny sense of humor, the p90x comments and duck brain!
    Thanks Sister Turner for such and awesome daughter, my daughter loved her as a comp! Also Sis Porter, I talked to your daughter on the phone in the Denver airport, we're probably related, my mom is a Porter. So great to be connected to missionary moms and Sister Blickenstaff.
    Thank you,
    Tamra Murdock

    1. I just noticed your comment! Our daughter LOVED your daughter as a companion too! Those 4 girls had a great time in the MTC together, didn't they? I felt a little sad when I knew they were going their separate ways. Sure hope they get to see each other from time to time. We sure wish your family the best! (~Michelle Turner)

  11. Thanks Michelle, I posted a few pics on the Facebook page. I may have some of your daughter that you haven't seen yet. I'm so excited for them. Sister Murdock is so happy. Anxious to hear more and more about the experiences. ( don't you wish we were there too!?)