Gong xi fa cai!!! Xin nian kuai le!!! Happy New Year!!
Well it's the week of the New Year here and let me just tell you.....it's a HUGE DEAL!!!!
They close down many businesses for the whole week, so they can go out and celebrate. It's super Kua Zhong (over the top). There will randomly be fire cracker and fireworks through out the night AND DAY! and We get Ching-ed (Treated) out for like EVERY meals! with tons and tons of food! We have every lunch and dinner this week scheduled out with various investigators and members starting last friday! AND....sometimes we have people call us at the last minute, and when they are a RC, LA, or investigator, you cannot say no! So last Saturday we had lunch, early dinner, and dinner.....with tons of delicious food at each house! And they make you eat more and more and more! and you feel like you are going to DIE!!! It's very funny because they'll be explaining a food to me and then i'll be like! "Oh!! Sticky Rice! or Monk Soup!!!" and they'll be shocked that I've had it before! hahahahaha i've yet to eat anything here, that i haven't eaten before....and I've eaten some pretty gui gui (strange) food here...which makes me think that my food history has been very varied even before the mission!
Scripture of the Week:
Alma 26:26-27 (starting with the last half of 26)
Alma 26:26-27 (starting with the last half of 26)
"...with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls. Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the LORD comforted us, and said: Go amonst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience tine afflictions, and I will give unto success."
I was having a little bit of a sad moment this week, because my trainer was a little bit discouraged because our numbers aren't as high as she was used to, and we have interviews with President Bishop tomorrow. She was worried that he would be disappointed in the decline, but I tried to explain that because she's training, we aren't outside as much, and the President Bishop knew that when he made her into a trainer. She was also very scared to train me, because she's never trained before; but she's doing an amazing job!!! She was scared that I would be scared and uncomfortable talking to people, but I helped her to understand that I wasn't scared or uncomfortable at all!!! I love talking to people, and when I mess up, I just laugh and so do they. They do not judge my language skills because I am definitely an American, and they can see that! I was reading through my notes that people gave me when we left the MTC and Elder Hagedorn had written that scripture down, but he said that he didn't know why but he felt like he should. I hadn't read it yet, but I decided to look it up. I was then able to show it to my trainer and remind her that we are saving souls, and that when we are patient, the Lord will give us success. I know that Elder Hagedorn was inspired to give me that scripture, and that I was inspired to look it up just when I did. It's been incredible to see how much the Lord has already helped me so much on my mission, though short the time has been. I also decided to find a scipture to share with my companion everyday, and it's been interesting how sometimes it's also one that i need for myself as well!
My Companion has been out for almost a year! I'm going to be her last companion, then she is going home May 13th.Tell the ward I say HELLO and the YM as well :)
Quote of the Week:
"God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been asHe does about where you are and, with HIS help, where you are willing to go."
We need to be clay that the Lord can mold into whatever he needs us to be. We must keep an open heart and mind, and listen to the promptings of the Spirit. Only then can we truly be what we need to. We need to remember that there are souls He has prepared for us to meet and help, but in order to help them, we ourselves need to be prepared for them!!!!
I still have the WEIRDEST dreams every night! Some are in English, and some are in Chinese. Sooo weird, but always entertaining to the other missionaries hahahahaha.
I also feel as though I speak more English here and less Chinese than I did in the MTC! but maybe that's because I'm more used to the language than before, but also a surprising amount of people here speak English, if only a little, that it's enough that we can use Chinglish with each other.
Random moment: Yesterday when we went to our Correlation Meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, he gave me a note when I came in from some missionaries that he took out to eat while up in Xin Zhun (taipei mission) visiting his parents. And thouse missionaries were Sister Latimer and Elder Cheung who were in my Zone in the MTC!!!! and they both wrote me a quick little note! But it was super random and awesome that they are in the same area and that they met Huang DiXiong! I guess not as random being in the same area as someone you know up in taipei since we had 20 missionaries go to taipei together from our zone/generation in the MTC.
Okay....Mum had some questions, but I figured I would answer them on my big email, so that you can all know what it's like here!!!
What is the weather like where you are at? Megan Starley was there in your area for six months. She did the Dan Jones thingy too. I guess it is a Taiwan thingy. The weather here is cool, I wear my cardigans everyday, and it gets pretty windy, so I wear my leggings everyday as well for warmth and for when my skirts fly up! hahahaha I will be in my area for my 3 months of training, and then at least another 6 weeks (one "move call" aka transfer) so that i can show my new companion the area. Sister usually get to go to about 3 areas for about 4 1/2-6 months at a time. Dan Jones is definitely a Taizhong thing. They've been doing it for years. 20 years ago, they used to set the missionaries free their first night in the nightmarket with a list of 20ish or so things to buy (writting in English) and they had to figure out how to say it, buy it all, and then get a taxi and return to the mission home on their own! The list also contained super random/weird things like pacifiers and other things! hahaha.Does it get a lot of rain? Are you wet all the time? It hasn't yet rained since i've been here. At least not when we've been out riding our bikes. We've gotten a few showers while inside, so i come out to a wet helmet and seat, but nothing major. It won't really rain a lot until the summer months/monsoon season.
Do you go tracting - knocking on doors? What time do you and comp go in and not ride your bike. What do you do for P day today? I am so glad you have a great trainer and you get along with her. Yes we go tracting!! Not a whole lot though, because it's not really as effective in our area. We do go contacting A LOT. in parks, in the mall district, at the hospital, etc. And whenever we are traveling from appointment to appointment, we contact at all traffic lights, etc. We go in at 9 pm and we leave at either 10:30 am or 12:30 pm, depending on if we do our language study indoors, or eat indoors as well. Since i'm training, we get an extra hour of companion study, and an extra hour of language study each day. Other wise normally we'd leave at 10:30 am every morning. For P day we do all of our grocery shopping, emailing (we get 2 hours for email here!), any other shopping we need, write letters, clean the whole apartment (every pday morning), and nap ;)! Today since it is Chinese New Year, we had lunch with one of our members, Mark, for his birthday! and we ate Pizza Hut! Which was delicious and better than the Pizza Hut in the US!!! We get "ching"ed (invited) out for lunch and dinner everyday this week! Blahhhh! I'm going to die by the week's end from Gluttony!
Are you teaching any investigators or mostly English classes. Did those twenty something young men come to your English class? I might have to send you some elastic for your hair, I am pretty sure they do not have thick one ine Taiwan. Maybe they do, since they are made in China. Let me know. I just got some. We teach investigators, RCs, and LAs everyday! We only have English class on Wednesday Night for 1 1/2 hours! Two of the young men did come to our class! hahahaha I have plenty of hair elastics, Sister Gish (Elder Gish's mum) sent me some for part of her Christmas package to me! And Taiwan has beyond a lot of hair accessories!!! They LOVE wearing hair accessories! Bows, scrunchies, ribbons, etc! Anything you could want for your hair, they Have It!
How many sisters and elders are in your district and how many in your zone? How many sisters and elders in your areas. What is your apartment like? Is it in the city? Do you have a washer and dryer? If you need more bounce, let me know. We have 4 sisters and 4 elders in our district, and 6 sisters and 8 elders in our zone i believe? In our area, we just have one companionship of sisters, and one companionship of elders. Our elders are Elder Long and Elder Xiong. Our apartment is really big, because we have 4 sisters living in it. I think that we're the only sister missionaries that have a 4 man flat in our whole mission! We have a washer and dryer as well! and we have plenty of bounce sheets for now thank you! We have our room, which also has our desks in it, and a separate room for dressing and all of our clothes. The other sisters have their room (with wardrobes) and their study room. Plus we have a front room (which we do not use) and a kitchen and breakfast nook! Very big, and a pain to clean the whole thing, but we still do each monday morning! :)
***That awkward moment when you are walking away from the elders trying to help someone move, and the wind is going CRAZY and blows your skirt up, you catch it but then one of the elders says: "I think Bao Jie Mei's skirts too short, i just saw her garments" but you skirt is actually down to your SHINS!!! hahahaha dang wind! So we wear tights and leggings everywhere to keep warm and "preserve our modesty" hahahahaha (it's surprisingly cold here, though nothing like Utah winters, it's also super humid so it goes straight through you! BRRRRRRR!)
***That awkward moment when you're sitting in sacrament and some nice Chinese lady comes up to you with a packet of paper and says in broken english "This my son biography....you please read and change ma?" hahahaha Then you realize he wrote his resume/autobiography in English for applying to a Sweet school in the Czech Republic and all this pressure is now on you to make sure that it's all spelled right/grammatically correct so that you can help him get his scholarship! (PS He is also a musical genius who has composed music for multiple orchestras here in Taizhong and up in Taibei! and his english is super good....only a few grammar corrections:))
***That awkward moment when your new investigator shows up late for church and a member comes and grabs you, not your companion to go talk to her and help her....and she doesn't understand your accent, and you do not understand hers! After about 15 minutes you finally realize she's saying sorry for being late!
***That awkward moment when the members see your picture and tell you they're glad that you've gotten whiter during your MTC stay, and that you've gotten skinnier too, because you were much too fat before, and still a little bit too fat....all the while trying to shove food down your throat! (PS I'VE LOST 10 LBS SINCE I'VE GOT HERE!!!
***That awkward moment when your companion's month goal is to lose 5 lbs, and you did it in the first week of the month.....
Well even though there have been some major ups and downs this week. Everyone is well and happy! We even found out who our new mission president is going to be!!!
. President and Sister Bishop are amazing, but the new ones will be as well, but there will be lots and lots of changes. It will be good though!!!
The gospel is true, the work is good! and the LORD WILL ALWAYS HELP US!!!!!
Psalms 29:11 "The LORD will give strength unto his people, the LORD will bless his people with peace."
We just need to trust in him, and He will provide a way for us!!!!