Teen puts off studies at Duke to make difference in Taiwan
Adam Wayment, of Luling, is currently studying at the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah in preparation for a two-year mission in Taiwan.
Adam Wayment, 19, put his college studies on hold to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in the Taipei, Taiwan mission. The 2013 Hahnville High School graduate received a scholarship to Duke University to study chemistry, but will take off from school for two years after deciding to undertake the mission.
“I believe that the mission is as much for those whom I will be serving as it is for me. It’s a chance for me to not only learn valuable life skills, but to also become closer to the Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ,” Wayment said.
In order to undertake his trip, Wayment will first have to learn a foreign language. Although his mother is Chinese and speaks Shanghainese, it is a different dialect than the Mandarin Chinese widely spoken in Taiwan. Wayment took a years worth of Mandarin Chinese language courses at Duke as a freshman prior to being assigned to the Taiwan mission, but he will still have a lot to learn during his time there about both the language and the culture.
“I’m sure it’ll be very difficult to communicate. Learning a language is hard work. However, I find comfort in the fact that everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, is capable of being touched,” he said.
For 10 weeks prior to departing for Taiwan in September, Wayment is taking an intensive language course in Mandarin Chinese at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, which should be a great help to him once he arrives in Taipei.
During his time as a missionary, Wayment’s ordinary life will change dramatically.
“I’ll probably miss a lot of stuff, but probably the top two are my family and sports, especially college basketball,” he said.
While in Taiwan, Wayment’s contact with his family and friends will be limited to letters and short phone calls so that his focus will mainly be on the mission.
Wayment’s father, Darcey, who previously served a German-speaking mission to Switzerland, said although he will miss his son, he is proud of his service.
“We are excited about Adam serving a mission for the church in Taiwan. Since he was very young we have hoped that he would have the desire and have the opportunity to serve. We miss him very much, but we know he is engaged in a great cause,” Darcey said.
The Taiwan mission is one of 405 missions throughout the world in which more than 84,000 missionaries work for the church. Taiwan is located just off the coast of China where practicing any religion is against the law. The Chinese government actually claims Taiwan is a part of China and has indicated in the past they intend to take the island back. The countries also have closely related economies, which Wayment said may offer a chance for the church’s message to cross over into the mainland.
“There is a significant amount of travel between the two countries, but China has a repressive religious climate. However, there have been many cases of Chinese from the mainland who have heard about Jesus Christ while visiting other countries for school and other reasons, who have accepted the gospel and have been baptized,” Wayment said.
Only two months away from beginning his journey, Wayment, although a bit apprehensive, said he is ready.
“I’m a little nervous, but right now, I think I’m mostly excited. While they may have different customs and traditions, like us they are also God’s children,” Wayment said. “To be able to live among them and serve them is an experience I can’t wait for.”
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