Boy, those subject lines are getting more and more boring and redundant. ;) How is everybody?! I'm so glad to read your letter every week and see the good things that are happening to all of you.
Yeah, October 10th is a big holiday, but I don't think it's the Independence Day. They just call it Twin Ten Day (Shuang Shi Jie), and it's a big time for families to all get together and barbecue, stuff like that. It's supposed to be a lucky day to get married as well. But yes, this next Chinese New Year will be enormous, because it will be the year 100 in Taiwan.
It's like the fruit lover's paradise here. Mangoes are out of season now, but I hear oranges start coming in abundance during the winter. Peaches...I am still searching for them. So I'm not jealous, but I am really hungry now. To get my stuff to Donghai we sent it through just a delivery service called T-Join. They were a little rough with my bike. :( And I loved my two move calls with Elder Bickmore! I learned so much from him, and we had a lot of fun. Actually, it was sort of like being around Dillon again, because our personalities were very similar and we even said the same thing simultaneously a couple times. Except it wasn't as fun as being with Dillon, of course. :)
Well, it's been a great week here in Donghai. We've seen a lot of success just in the last few days. This area is basically on a big hill, and we've had to bike to the top of the hill a couple times already. It's a killer going up, but lots of fun coming down! I just basically coast until I break the sound barrier and then start to slow down. :) Just kidding. And the weather is starting to get chillier and more windy. Who'd have thought I could be riding my bike around Taiwan and start to shiver? And not during a typhoon, either. Elder Gardner is from Rexburg, Idaho. This is actually only his seventh move call, so we're kind of both learning together. He's great though. He already has a clear idea of his purpose as a missionary and we're working hard to invite Heavenly Father's children to come back to Him. I'll try to send a picture of the two of us together next week.
We've been working with a couple of men this week, both of whom have a desire for baptism, but both also have an obstacle keeping them from it right now. Brother (name) is a really nice and humble man who wants what's best for his family, but he's addicted to cigarettes and doesn't feel like he'll be ready to be baptized this month. He says by the end of the year he can do it. Brother (name) used to believe YiGuanDao, so although he says he's left it and he wants to join our church, he still doesn't really believe Jesus is his Savior. That, of course, is a prerequisite to passing a baptismal interview.
This week I've had the chance to eat some interesting things, ranging from shark to Subway to tofu noodles. The shark and tofu noodles were at a member's house--a really nice family. The old grandpa kept teasing us, trying to convince us the dumplings had dog meat in them. They didn't. And there's a Subway in our area, so I got to eat a real turkey sandwich for the first time in a long time. It was good, but don't misunderstand me; I love Taiwanese food. The rare American stuff like chicken nuggets or McDonald's are exceptions to the norm. Here's a fun cultural thing for you today: I'm-a gonna teach you some Taiwanese (the language). The word for an old guy or a grandpa is beibei (sounds like bay bay) and the word for an old lady or a grandma is amah. Or you can call your own grandpa Ah-gong (that's a long o, like in Rome). See, TaiYu isn't a written language, so I'm just spelling them how they sound. Next time you see G+G, call them Ah-gong and Amah, see what they say. :o)
Well, my time's getting short. I sure love each and every one of you. I admire how you are so diligent every day in pressing forward, being anxiously engaged in good causes. I love how you take care of each other and love each other. Even amidst the growing persecution, we can have peace in the atonement of Jesus Christ. I love you!