Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

It's that time of week again!

Hey there everyone! Sorry, this week's letter's going to be a little shorter, since I had to wrestle with the pictures a few times. But they say a picture's worth a thousand words, and I sent you like a finity of them. =)

It's great to get your letters every week. I know I say that every week, but I don't want you to go thinking I get sick of reading them. I don't! Really, they could be a little longer now that you're not limited by characters and I have an extra half hour. Just if you want. Not complaining.

Well, yeah, I'm here in Donggang, which took about three hours from Taizhong city. The first leg was a train from Taizhong to Gaoxiong (aka Kaohsiung, which sounds nothing like it looks =/ ), followed by a bus from there to Donggang. Yeah, I did indeed see much of the country that day. It's been raining pretty much every day in the last week. In fact, yesterday and Saturday we had huge lightning storms, thunder louder than I've probably ever heard before, and rain so hard it was flooding the streets. Elder Bickmore tells me that's not even the most fun I'll have--it's Typhoon season right about now. :o) But it's really beautiful down here. On the west we have the sea, and on the east you can see the mountains on a clear day.

In answer to Kelsi's questions, I have one companion--threesomes are kind of rare. Yes, I have my bike. It's really shuai (good lookin'), but I had to spray paint it in places because a bike that shuai is more likely to be stolen. :( I love it though. Even though it took me like a week to stop looking like Kirby on The Best Two Years.

The work's going great. We have several investigators who are pretty darn solid, a few of which I found myself. I'm so excited to keep teaching them and then see them get baptized. The cool thing here, and I dunno if I already told you this, is that we challenge to baptism when we first contact them on the street. We ask them if next month on x day, if they feel this message is true, would they be willing to accept the gift of baptism. That tells us whether they have real intent to act and also tells them right up front why we want to meet with them. It's awesome. Can't nobody say the Taizhong mission is ashamed to baptize. And Elder Bickmore and I have a goal to help four people accept baptism in this six-week move call.

I still spend portions of my day when Elder Bickmore is calling our investigator list chasing scooters at red lights. There are sooo many scooters here. I've almost never contacted a person in a car because there is almost always a handful of scooters at any given intersection. And the traffic--so crazy. Dillon was right, if they have a red light but think they can make it, they'll just go. Traffic signs, lanes, everything is apparently a suggestion. But I've seen amazingly few accidents. o_O Maybe the Taiwanese have super powers?

Time for weird-stuff-Carter-ate-this-week Corner! This will be a regular feature, I'm sure. The highlight of the week was just last night at a branch activity. See, if you hold back to be polite and let others eat first, Sister Chen grabs your bowl and heaps it high with a little of everything. Everything. Including stuff I have no idea what it is. But if you don't finish the whole bowl, that's really rude because you're kind of saying you don't like the food. So, out of love for my branch, I ate everything. Including what I later found out was pig feet. Yep, that's this week's Weird Food. It had a little meat, but was mostly a mouthful of chewy fat.

Hopefully that won't scare Dillon away from a Chinese speaking mission ;D (by the way, I'm not actually trying to pressure you to go Chinese speaking, Dill--I just think it would be funny to both know Chinese, m'kay?). One weird thing I actually really like now is called Donggua cha, or Wintermelon Tea. Don't worry, it has no tea leaves, so it's word of wisdom approved. The first time I drank it, it was freaking weird. But the second time it became one of my favorite drinks. Tastes like honey graham crackers.

Well, I'm down to three minutes. I better wrap up. Go ahead and keep asking me questions in your letters, because I forget what I have and have not explained already. I love all of you so much! I'll talk to you next week.


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