Oh my dear family.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm sorry I can't be there (again!) with you but I know I am where I need to be. I really, really, really am praying I will be able to be home for next year but I'm still not sure when I'll be released. If I am, next year everyone at our house, okay?
This week I went on Sisters Exchanges. It was a blast. I only went one area over to Zoing and just loved Gaosiong even more. Zoing was the cleanest area I have been in, the most modern and western. I guess the most foreigners live there. We visisted a less active who is married to an American and their apartment was so clean and decorated like an American home, oh I loved it. We also had frozen yogurt and mexican food again. The sister I exchanged with was a blast - Sister Kilgore. It just felt good to laugh.
We went to visit an investigator who owns a little restaurant. I had never met her so I didn't know which of the two women in the store were the investigator, her family, customers etc. One woman was staring at us like she knew us so I assumed she was a family member of the investigator. My companion went to greet the woman behind the counter so I assumed this person was NOT who we were there to see, so I said, I'd like to invite you to church and gave her a pamphlet. She was beside herself with excitement to meet us. She told us how she is Christian and was baptised a long time ago and she feels like it was God's plan that we met. And then... Lin: I just have so many questions, so many questions...I don't know if I understand the Bible...Me: Maybe we can help you. What is your question? Lin: I have so many questions... Like why you don't use electricity... I mean that is so amazing, so amazing...Me: ...You think we don't use electricty?... hahahaha...Yes, the woman thought that we were AMISH. Well, I guess we were both wearing dark skirts and riding bicycles... I had wondered before if people look at us the way that I see Amish people and it turns out yes, yes they do :) I am pretty sure that woman was crazy (for reasons beyond what I am mentioning.)
Someone we met last week asked us to come help her clean her house so we figured we could do our service hour there. So we end up getting lost and were an hour late. We went up to her apartment, and it was already clean. It was small and covered in tchoky. I...can't even describe the random things. I want to go back just so I can describe it better. She had a bird she kept in a clear tuperware named Warren. She called her sister and made us talk to her twice, and then wanted to run across the street and bring us coffee. We explained we didn't have a lot of time (being an hour late crunched our schedule), and she disappered into the kitchen. "It smells so good!" She said...(we didn't smell anything...)"It smells so good," she repeated and then came in with a tray, looking pleased with herself. She had made us hotdogs. "Oh yes, those smell so good! Thank you...you are too nice..." And so I have eaten Taiwanese hotdogs. I do NOT want to know what was in them.
I wish you could understand the crazy things and people I see every day.
In my English class, I have students who have given themselves the English names of Wheat, Kiwi, Prince, Milky. And Taiwanese people, bless their hearts, are the most tone deaf people I've ever heard. And Taiwanese people LOVE kareoke. LOVE IT. It doesn't matter how bad they are because the kareoke machines distort their voices to a sort of weird warbling that makes everyone sound exactly the same, pretty much regardless of talent or gender.
Man, so much has happened this week I nearly forgot. Last Thursday we had Zone Conference and Elder Watson of the Seventy was there with his wife touring the mission. He is the Asia Area Authority and recently gave the talk on Temporance in the Saturday afternoon session of Conference. He served here in Gaoxiong when there was only one zone for all of taiwan, one for Japan and one for Hong Kong. He laid bricks in the Gaoxiong chapel. It was just such an amazing meeting. We all had to prepare short talks on Christlike attributes and were told 30 missionaries were be speaking so it better be good, Elder Watson was going to be there. I had been having trouble preparing it because I wanted to speak on charity but nothing was coming. As the prelude started I jotted down a couple notes about John 5:30 and my talk finally felt like what it should be. I was so nervous though - I hate public speaking and chances were I was going to be called on. I prayed that if I had to speak, I would go quickly or else I wouldn't be able to listen to any thing anyone else would say. Then, Elder Watson pulled out a box with all of our names, he chose mine to go second - a tender mercy indeed! My talk went well and Elder Watson, his wife and President Hoer all commented on it. After I was done I could just relax and enjoy the meeting. It was sooo good. I got an interview with President Watson afterward, which was nice.
Alright, time is about up, I love you all, I am thankful for my family!