Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Taichung Mission Christmas Activity!

We left very early in the van (Big Bertha) to get up to Sun Moon Lake ahead of the buses.
It was looking foggy on the way up...reminiscent of our Christmas activity two years ago. This year, at the last minute, we postponed our activity one day in hopes the rain would dry up the night before.
 As we climbed higher in elevation, the fog burned off and the lake was pristine!
The Xuanzang temple is dedicated to Buddhist monk Xuanzang and his 16-year pilgrimage to India wherein he translated the sacred scriptures of Buddhism from Sanskrit into Chinese.
We arrived early to set up for the group photo at Ci En Pagoda. 
Chiang Kai Shek erected this pagoda in honor of his mother.
Climbing to the top:
Can you spot all four elders?
Hey, who's taking pictures of who?
A beating of the drums to welcome our missionaries:
Here they come!
Elders to the sides, sisters in front!
Over 200 missionaries!
Aren't they all so beautiful?
Photo session successful! On our way to Sun Moon Lake:
A huge thank you to the tourist who climbed our 10 foot ladder to take our group photo!
Senior sister missionaries are the BEST!
Sun Moon Lake's Itashao aborigine village:

Lots of handmade aborigine souvenirs:
Converting our missionaries to our favorite stand selling,,,
 sticky rice stuffed chicken wings and...
shrimp tempura lettuce wraps!
Ice cream cones and chocolate for a sweet tooth:)

Finishing off an order of stinky tofu:
Cool wooden swords!
Even cooler Santa ties...
and Santa hat!
This elder celebrated his birthday at Sun Moon Lake:
A round of "Happy Birthday" is in order!

Our ABC elders:

Heading to an All-You-Can-Eat buffet for dinner!
Stopping at this unusual outlook where the architecture not only provides an scenic backdrop but produces an echo chamber:
Brink on the steaks!

Longest sashimi chopsticks ever!

Everyone's getting plenty to eat:)

Both colors of watermelon!

These candied yams were delightfully crunchy on the outside!
Watermelon juice:)

Ice cream line:

Taiwanese missionaries:
Missionaries love to take pictures too!

Then off to the devotional portion of our activity, this year held at the Chung Hsing Stake Center in Yuanlin. The Taichung South Zone and Taichung East Wufeng & Taiping Districts practiced their opening number on the bus. Their spirited performance of Jingle Bells warmed everyone's hearts. 
Next, the mission office presented a nativity to be remembered:
Afterwards, we enjoyed departing reflections from these elders and sisters:
Between the reflections, we also enjoyed a beautiful violin and piano rendition of Silent Night by the two elders on the right. The two elders on the left performed an amazing piano duet, a medley of "Carol of the Bells" and "O Come All Ye Faithful." It powerfully moved  me to ponder about the Atonement of Christ, as I could feel the music testify of the great eternal sacrifice that the Savior made in our behalf.
Two brothers got to see each other today!
Love the spirit of Christmas our sisters, along with all of our missionaries, bring to Taiwan!


  1. I love this picture. Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful missionaries. Sister Blickenstaff, thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful blog! I follow it regularly and love seeing pictures of my missionary along with others who she has grown to love so much. It is such a blessing to be included in the amazing experiences of these incredible missionaries. President Blickenstaff, I love and appreciate your weekly letters. Thank you for your inspired leadership and direction. Keep up the great work!

    Love, Brother Dave Gardner

  2. I echo the sentiments of Brother Gardner. Thank you President and Sister Blickenstaff for your service and for setting the example for so many wonderful missionaries. We love reading the weekly letters, viewing the pictures and "seeing" how our missionary is doing. We are grateful you get to enjoy his music as much as we have. Thank you for celebrating our son's birthday at Sun Moon Lake. :-). Merry Christmas to all of you!

    Love, Rich, Cami and Cortlee Crockett

    1. Hi Sis Crockett...thank you to your son for showing our son (Elder Watson) the ropes!

  3. I too enjoy your blog Sister Blickenstaff, and have since my missionary, Sister Burton, was there. It has become a habit to see how things are going even though she's not there any more. It's hard to believe the missionary she trained is ready to go home, as is the sister I helped in the distribution center before she left. You've had several Cache Valley missionaries and now only one will be left. What wonderful experiences you and these missionaries have. Through my missionary's time there, this blog, and my own opportunity to visit that beautiful place, I have gained a love for Taiwan and the Taiwanese people. I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings us together throughout the world and helps us understand that we are all brothers and sisters. Merry Christmas to all in the Taichung Taiwan mission.

  4. What a blessing to be part of the Taiwan mission! Thank you so much for your service. Merry Christmas