The next day was Sunday. Taiwan Grandma isn’t a member of the Mormon church, but Taiwan Mom said she recently agreed to meet with the missionaries (still hasn’t tho), so I asked Taiwan Mom if I should invite Taiwan Grandma to church. Taiwan Mom said I should, so I did.
What actually ended up happening was me googling the word “church” in Chinese, showing it to Taiwan Grandma, her shaking her head, then Taiwan Mom calling Taiwan Grandma. Taiwan Mom texted me that Taiwan Grandma said she was going to the mountain in the morning so she couldn’t go, but that she’d drive me to church. I wasn’t sure why an old lady would want to make a morning visit to a mountain, but I was glad that I wouldn’t have to walk to church.
So we jumped on her scooter the next morning and headed off. I guess Taiwan Mom told Taiwan Grandma where the church building is because she just started driving without asking for a map or anything. Except after 20ish min, we pulled over to the side of the road. She looked a little lost, so I pulled out my phone and found the church building. I showed it to her, but I guess she’s far-sighted, so she couldn’t see it.
I could see we weren’t far, so I told her I could find it by walking (via pantomime/sign language). She didn’t like that, so we hopped back on the scooter.
Just around the corner, we found a building with a cross hanging over the first floor.
1) Mormons don’t use crosses, so I knew this wasn’t it.
2) My phone said the LDS church was farther away, so I knew this wasn’t it.
But when she asked if this was it and I said, “Yes.” I figured that I’d get off, she’d ride away, and I could find the church on foot.
That would have worked, but she got off too and followed me. Maybe she wanted to make sure I got inside? So I went in. She followed. There was a man in a white shirt standing by the door and a room full of pews seating the only other two people in the room.
I sat down in the nearest pew and bowed my head, trying to look as content and no-out-of-place as possible in this completely unfamiliar setting with everyone in the room staring at me, but she and the man started talking. I don’t speak Chinese, but I heard the word “Mormon” and I knew the jig was up.
It’s not that I’m opposed to attending other churches. I’ve been inside SO MANY different kinds of churches and temples and shrines, but Sunday is my day to be with God the way I believe he wants me to be with him. It would have been fun to sit with those Catholics/Baptists/whatevers and see what their church service was like and feel their excitement at having another Christian with them (an uncommon thing in Taiwan), but I had my own church meeting to attend.
So I got up, was like, “Oops,” and we left, me wondering what the heck was going through the heads of everybody in the room. We got back on the scooter, the man at the front door staring at us as we strapped on our helmets and rode away.
Around two more minutes later, we found the actual church building (no cross). I got off the scooter. She got off the scooter. I went inside. She went inside. I sat down in the chapel. She sat down next to me. She stayed all three hours.
I’m glad she stayed, but I feel a little stupid for telling her that Catholics/Baptists/whatevers are Mormon. That was probably her first time setting foot in a Christian church and it’s too bad it was so confusing.
When we got home, I asked why she hadn’t gone to the mountain. She said, “You want to go to the mountain?” (or something like that in Chinese), put me on the scooter, drove me to the bottom of a mountain, and left me. So I still don’t know what all that mountain business was about.