Thursday, April 15, 2010

2 December--One year on island

Happy December! I can't believe it is almost Christmas. The holidays are upon us so I decided that our apartment should look a little Christmasy. There was a 6 inch Christmas tree (yes, 6 inches) in a little box in the apartment so I put it on the table and bought some tinsel boughs and put them on the window. the problem is, I bought a silver and a blue one and wrapped them together but the blue one was shorter than the silver, so we now have a very tacky looking window decoration of blue and silver wrapped together tinsel with the blue ending before the silver. Oh well, maybe our Christmas decorations will get more advanced as the season progresses.

This week I would like to write about...MOLD. After living in a wet climate for a year (tomorrow is my official year mark on island! CRAZY!) I thought I was used to the mold that appears rapidly if you leave things wet for too long. But, this past week I ran into several surprises: mold on our whiteboard eraser (!!!), mold on some peanuts that we hadn't put in the fridge (who puts peanuts in the fridge?), and mold on my SUIT COAT JACKET!!! I opened my closet the other day and saw mold growing on my suit jacket. It was a very strange oddity...did you know that mold can grow on a suit coat?

Last week we had an awesome Thanksgiving. We made some cards for investigators and members to wish them a happy Thanksgiving so we went to take some of them around. The problem is that I can't draw--at all--so we took these cards with little turkeys on them that looked like a 5-year old drew them. Oh well, my companion said people pay big money for things like that!

For the second year in a row, I didn't have turkey (Taiwan doesn't really have turkey) for Thanksgiving, but I did get two dinners last Thursday! We had one scheduled in Taoyuan and one in Bade and there was no way we could get out of either one. The first was just a normal "missionary dinner" and then after riding an hour to Bade and working it off, we went to the second, which was a full out "Thanksgiving feast." Just no turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, or pie. But there were rolls! And chicken, and salad, and mashed potatoes, and green salad (with shrimp in it--I have never eaten shrimp in as many different ways as I have eaten it in Taiwan!) and pumpkin soup and muffins from Costco (lets admit it, muffins from Costco are the best!!). And the Lin family that invited us (6 missionaries) also invited several ward members, so it was like a big family with lots of little kids. It was a wonderful experience and definitely a Thanksgiving I will never forget! I love ward members who go out of their way to help the missionaries feel at home and missionaries who go out of their way to help the ward members feel like a family.

Let's see, what else. My brother and sister-in-law had their baby so now there are three little boys in the family! Wow, now I have more nephews than I have brothers!

Oh! And then the beautiful fun and funny story for the week. On Sunday one of the members that is our good friend in Bade (she is 22) came up to us at church and said, "My grandma is here visiting from Southern Taiwan--she is Protestant--and she has been looking at a lot of pictures of Jesus and asking questions like where did we come from, where will we go when we die, and which church is true and how do you know. Can you come to our house and explain these things to her?"

Well, more than excited to go, we were prepared for the one difficulty--Amy (the member)'s grandma speaks Amizhu, a native aboriginal language, and very little Chinese. And we don't speak Amizhu. And neither does Amy! Amy's mother (the grandma's daughter) does, but when we went over to teach her the mother was gone so our translator was the Spirit! We used a lot of pictures from the Gospel Art Picture Kit (I love that little book! It is awesome!) and after two days and the first two lessons, Amy's grandma told us thank you so much and she wants to get baptized! We said that we would have the missionaries down in Southern Taiwan find her--and I realized that I really want to learn to speak Amizhu! It was one of the most beautiful languages I have ever heard--perhaps because almost no one speaks it! Oh well. It really made me grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the knowledge the the Spirit speaks all languages--even when we speak one and the investigator speaks another!

Love you all. Hope it isn't too cold--I am still wearing short sleeves here. :)

Sister White

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