Saturday, September 25, 2010
How Did This Begin?
We are going to use this space to share experiences and photos as we live life in Taiwan for the next 18 months. We have been called by a prophet of God to serve in the Taipei Taiwan Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during this time.
You might be thinking, "How did this happen?" We had been thinking that we would continue to take care of Mr. Tierney for the next two years as we had been doing for the last 4 years, 3 months, while Alma finished her nursing program. But then circumstances changed and she was not able to continue her study. So we decided we were free to go on another mission.
So in mid-April we began the application process. Our previous two missions required paper applications, but this time everything was automated and we submitted our forms online. We needed physical exams and dental exams and scans of IDs and passports and a photo. We are not asked where we want to go, but rather are asked if we are willing to go anywhere in the world. There was one box where we indicated that we had an interest in going to the Kyiv Ukraine Temple. And so we intensified our Russian language study.
In mid-May we had everything ready to submit and in mid-June we received the envelop extending the call listed above. Alma was in Germany at the time, so I arranged to call her at midnight (which was 6 AM in Germany) and we opened the envelop "together". It was a surprise to us, but we feel it is what the Lord wants for us. It would seem that our previous 11-month experience among the Chinese people in 2000-2001 had some influence in the decision since we now need to learn Mandarin Chinese. We did not learn very much before because we were teaching English.
For the next month we were getting additional medical tests for a visa. This form had to be notarized, and the county clerk had to certify the notary, and the Kentucky Secretary of State had to authenticate the county clerk, and that had to be authenticated by the US Dept of State. By mid-July that visa application was able to be sent off with passport-type photos. We ordered Chinese study materials and began nine weeks of tutoring sessions two or three times a week on Skype (video conferencing).
And we made plans for leaving our house and packing less than 100 pounds in two suitcases (each) and getting another crown (on our teeth) each and terminating some utilities and saying goodbyes and speaking in church and ...ph