Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guonian Kuaile! (happy new year!!)


Happy Chinese New year!!! It is the year of the Snake! It is a pretty crazy time...Lots of fireworks lots of really nice people and a LOOOOOTTTT of food. Which is good AND bad haha. Before I really get into everything let me go through and answer a ton of Mom's questions! :) I will probably have to answer some next week too because this week we don't have as long to email! :( It is because it is New Year and we have to do a POWER CLEANING of the apartment this week which means the whole day is dedicated to cleaning that roach filled apartment and we get a break to eat and to do shortened emails! I am so glad Mom and Dad made me do my chores haha, otherwise this would be TORTURE, but it actually isn't so bad, and when you finish a job you just feel so satisfied and proud of yourself haha. But anways here are some answers.

The flight over here was LONG it was something along the lines of 34 hours of travel. I got to sit with some good friends and play some chess and talk our nerves out which was really great. Also on the flight over to Taiwan I was across from a family and was able to talk to them about the church! They were on a assigned seats...they were trapped! There was no escaping talking to me about the gospel! :) It really was a lot of fun and was an amazing experience! was also very humbling to see how different native Chinese speakers and white missionaries speak haha. Taizhong is an AMAZING place! It is so full of life! There is a lot of pollution here but after a little you don't really notice it anymore. The thing I haven't gotten used to still, and don't know if I ever will is the smells...especially stinky tofu....It smells like...well I guess it smells like wet dog but it is so strong and you will smell it from so far away! Plus the combination of all the other wild smells...its a little crazy. Somethings smell really good, but not mixed together. Elder E. has lived here for almost a year so this is his first New Year too. He has been on his mission for almost 15 months, but only only island for about 12. The food....well let me tell you...haha. Guonian (the new year) is filled with such celebration and so much food and EVERYONE wants to feed you. So first off I won't be surprised if I finally put on some weight :)...but also I won't be surprised if I lose a ton from not eating/throwing up haha. No....i'll eat...I have too haha. It is really rude to not finish and people will just sit there and talk to you until you finish what is on your plate so you have to take small portions at a time that you KNOW you can finish. And they want you to try EVERYTHING and they will watch you eat it....there is no getting around it...haha. So some of the weirdest things that I have eaten THIS week is octopus (really not bad), fish eggs (it looks like a hotdog sliced long ways but no...its a huge diced fish nasty), and a black chicken. The chicken meat is actually 100% black. It is a little weird, but tastes almost exactly like chicken so its okay. The thing that is weird is that they don't just find meat for you. they cook the WHOLE thing. So I was able to partake of some delicious chicken lung, which means I grabbed the chicken breast and ate that, then went behind and had to tear off the lung (yes you have to eat every part or its rude...) That wasn't really that bad either, its just that you have to get over knowing you are eating a lung.

So some funny and cool things that happened this week are, I went on my first exchanges! So neat! The Zone leaders are studs and I got to go stay up with one of them at their apartment. Which, by the way, is SO much nicer than ours! It was pretty funny to see actually haha. Also sometimes people just sell stuff and don't really put it in the right boxes and stuff haha. So this week I went to buy a clicker to keep track of the number of people I contacted and the box had a black clicker on it, so I bought it. But no...I opened it up...inside was a pink...bright pink, clicker. so embarrassing, haha but I am using it anyways. I think it will become a fun little thing that I can give to someone I train and have it passed on :). I also teach the advanced English class on Wednesdays which is really fun! All the students are really like students and really consider me like a teacher haha they even do little things to suck up haha like this one girl walked in and gave me a little gift haha. It was so funny and super nice. It is really acceptable though because during guonian everyone is just OVERLY nice so I don't think it was REALLY sucking up :). haha. 

One thing I SUPER encourage the young-men to do is to REALLY practice that "give the first lesson in 30sec" type thing. It is so interesting to see that now I will pull up to a red light and see that we have 40sec left (they have things to count down) and I will think, WOW 40sec! PERFECT! I can get in a few principles, discern a need or two, set up a time, ask about baptism, and extend a commitment! Sometimes we only have about 5-10 seconds to say something powerful enough to get someone to agree to meet with us again so we can really teach them. I am still learning but Elder E. is awsome at it! I am so glad I have him as my trainer! Something else that was super funny happened and as we were biking to an appointment we passed this HUGE BEAUTIFUL building. I looked in and I saw all this fruit, I mean tons and tons of beuatiful and big fruit. So I asked Elder E. why they had such huge and nice fruit stands...he just started laughing so hard and I didn't know why until he explained that it was a temple and those were offerings to their ancestors! haha. gosh...the life of a new missionary :). I would say the hardest part is all the tricks that get pulled on me! They are almost all food tricks like..."oh yeah thats chocolate!"...(Pigs blood frozen into a jello type thing). "No those are frogs eyes" (seeds they put in drinks with a weird cytoplasm around them). But that is what makes it fun :)

Well. I am running super low on time! I want everyone to know that there are miracles EVERYDAY! We have started to record our miracles and it is amazing to see how many we have each day! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are such a big part of your life, their hands are in every part of your life whether you know it or not. Like yesterday, We were biking to a dinner appointment and on the way there we ran into a past investigator that has no phone! We talked to him and set up a time to meet that night. We commited him to baptism and set amazing goals for him to give up smoking and drinking tea! The drugs and smoking is the hardest thing to deal with here...especially binglong (its like chew in america except it stains the asphalt nasty). But with the Lords help I know that ANYTHING is possible.

I know that this church is true and I know that Jesus Christ lives, he suffered so that each of us could live again. He loves you and he believes in you. Lean on him and believe in him. There is no other way but by and through Jesus the Christ.

I love you all and have a happy new year! Find someone new to share the gospel with! (Maybe you just share it by your example! But build the church at all times and in all places! :))

Elder Gish