On Thursday we were in Gaosiung for Zone Conference. On Saturday we had General Conference and a special finding familes day again. On Sunday we had General Conference which ended up taking all day. On Monday we had Sisters Exchanges. On Tuesday we switched back from exchanges, and today is P-day! Literally, the only day of normal study and proselyting schedule was on Friday for a whole week (That is really unusual.)
General Conference was *so* good! Man. Best talks ever. I can't wait for the Ensign. Watching it was kind of a fiasco though.
So, to start off, our bishop planned that on Saturday the sessions would be watched back to back, from 5-9 pm. That is really daunting to investigators, even if we tell them they can just come for an hour. Anyway, we were there and ready and excited. It was just the Elders and our companionship trying to watch the English version...and we couldn't get any of the discs to work! About halfway through the opening song it would start freezing up. We didn't know what was wrong. After trying for a long time, the bishop came and set us up with a different DVD player which we were successful at watching one session. After that we were ready to watch the next session...and the discs wouldn't play again. It was so frustrating! If we didn't watch them that weekend we would have to use all of Preparation Day to watch the 10 hours of conference. So, the next day we took a bus over to Huwei, where the other Elders in our district are. We literally walked out the door, got on a bus, watched conference ALL DAY and went home.
The first session there was an American family there watching with us. My companion and I talked with the wife and it made us realize how Taiwanese we are becoming! For example, Taiwanese people are very open about making observations about the way people look! Giving compliments to them and their family and building people up is good manners and an important part of the culture. We get called beautiful at least once a day by women and children. [Side note, Taiwanese men are more likely to call out things like Hello! Good Morning! when it is eight oclock at night instead of cat calls.) So! We were talking to the American sister and she was saying how people love her kids and are always trying to give them things, and women are always coming on to her husband (who we hadn't seen yet.) Sister Pickering said"Wow, your husband must be really good looking!" Which in Chinese and to a Taiwanese person is a totally normal thing to say. When you compliment someone's family, you compliment them. Except she wasn't saying it to a Taiwanese, she was saying it to an American who gave us a weird look and changed the subject. hahaha. Sister Pickering and I had a good laugh about it afterward.
Also, when we were watching the Choir sing the opening songs we all couldn't help but notice how white everyone was, and how colorful their hair is. I discovered why white Americans always think Asians look the same- it's because their hair and eye color are always the same! They really don't all look the same. You just have to stop associating color as being a more distingushing characteristic than physical structure.
Also, I sometimes I forget I'm white a little bit. Like, I look at pictures of myself and think, wow, my eyes are SO BLUE. They aren't different than they were before, but I am not used to seeing them.
So, we spent all of Sunday in Huwei, watching 4 sessions back to back, with short breaks for peanut butter sandwiches. Conference was so good; there would be no way I would have the stamina for so much spiritual edification if I wasn't a missionary though.
Then that night, the bus never came so we had to take a taxi back, at the steep price of $9. It was worth it :)
This week we also had Sisters exchanges and I went to Zhonghua again! I wonder if I will get called to serve there in the future. I had a different companion this time - a native. She was sweet and we Chinglished it up. I want a native companion so my Chinese will improve but I know it will be hard.
So we are back in Douliu and working hard. Tonight is English Class (did I tell you I was assigned to be English leader?) and I want to have a Halloween activity in two weeks.
Email me with any ideas!
PS- What were your favorite talks?
Cami's reply to Donna's email:
Wow, it looks pretty good!
It was slow starting, but it's not too shabby! I even just enjoyed the pictures of Elko and the mountains - it looks so beautiful!
In Taiwan it is really polluted so the days when you can see blue sky at all are fairly rare, let alone big Nevada skies. I love it. The mountains here are actually really tall but I've only seen them clearly once in two months! All I can see are the smaller foothill "mountains".
From: "Donna Johnson"
Subject: Peace Park photos
I thought you might like to see that the peace park is officially more than
just a sign in the sagebrush!