This morning was an unexpected adventure! Sister Liu and I were having companionship study, and a member calls us and asked if we wanted to go hiking to go see the Monkeys in Ershui. Yes, please! So we got permission from the mission president (since the Elders were going too) and had an impromptu hiking trip with the secondward single adults. (That makes it sound awkward but it really wasn't). Oh, it was so beautiful! Palm trees and jungle, but we were on a good wide paved path, not in the tiny paths that freak me out (the jungle still makes me nervous...thank you Tom Long). When we hiked to the top, there was a temple there and they just so happened to be having some kind of ceremony. It was really, really, cool. They had a sort of drumline, where these five guys all kind of danced/drummed in sync. And then they brought the idols out for a little sightseeing (it must be horribly dull being inanimate) and burned some incense. The best part was the drummers did these amazing dragon acrobatics. Like on Mulan, where there are dragons and people inside? So these were smaller two-man dragons but super amazing. These two guys, in a dragon costume (which meant the back one was bent forward for about a half hour without standing up). They were sort of hooked together in this two person costume, and then they miraculously jumped onto these poles about 6-9 feet in the air. No, they literally jumped and threw each other across these big gaps and stood on each others shoulders and all kinds of crazy acrobatics, all the while still in their dragon costume. I've been to the theatre in London, glitzy shows in Vegas and none of them were cooler or more impressive than standing on a mountaintop at some random small temple watching these dragons and drummers. I wish you could have seen it! I feel really blessed that we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to see their little celebration.
Then on the way back down, we saw about a hundred monkeys, I'm not even kidding. I guess that the national park we were at feeds them corn on the cob, and it happened to be their feeding time, so there were tons of monkeys on the path back down. We stopped and took pictures and talked to their feeder. He taught us three words in Monkey! I now can say hello, danger, and thank you in monkey language. I'm not sure they have many more words than that so I am counting myself fluent in Monkey if anyone asks me what languages I speak.
This week was Zone Conference. As Elder Maui'i says, "Zone conference is like Disneyland for your soul." We talked alot about faith, and I really liked one analogy of my mission president. He said, all of your areas average about 90,000 people. Do you think that it is possible that there is not ONE prepared soul to hear the gospel in your area? And if there is one prepared soul, isn't it likely that there are many? And if people are prepared, don't you think that God is prepared to lead you to them?
I just thought that it made a lot of sense.
I love you all so much!