過年!! (Chinese New Year!)

DSCN2064Hello everyone! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY IN TAIWAN. I really do. There is NOTHING better than this. NOTHING. This last week has been 過年/Chinese New year! I learned a lot of really cool things and ate a lot of really cool food with great people. It’s been a very interesting and fun several days! It will last It was a pretty rough week as far as actually setting up lessons and teaching the gospel, but it was a really good week as far as inviting all of the QiShan and MeiNong tourists to learn about the gospel and eating a whole lot of food with all of the members in the ward!

Here are some cool things that happened/ 過年 things that I learned:

*2015 is the year of the goat! Yay goats! (Remember that dead goat I saw boiled in Neimen a few weeks ago? Isn’t that much more festive feeling now?)

*Two different families fed us pizza this week, because they were scared that we’d get sick of Taiwanese food! Ha so great. There’s Pizza Hut and Dominoes in Taiwan, but the toppings are more seafood-y and the crust is more sweet. I had heard some stories of missionaries who had been given straight pizza all week because all of the members were scared they would get sick of normal 過年 food.

*Last night I ate a pig’s ear. The members were super excited to give us some because they are such an ‘expensive delicacy.’ So, we couldn’t refuse that! (Honestly, I wouldn’t refuse it either. I have this strange love of trying weird things now). Anyway, it was pretty cartilage-y, but kind of like bacon!

* Last Monday, Sister Biancardi and I went and hiked QiWei Shan! It was one of the coolest and most intense hikes I have ever been on in my life.  From the top you could see Gaoxiong, PingDong, and Tainan- plus every little bit of our area. We found some old Taiwanese men at the top who were amazed that we spoke Chinese. I swear that at the top of every mountain in Taiwan, no matter how steep or long or hard the hike is, there are a couple of really old men at the top drinking tea and having a chat. Part of me just wants to climb all of the mountains in Taiwan all day long every day! But, I really love missionary work too, so we’ll leave it to P-day hikes for now 🙂

*At Chinese New Year, everyone counts themselves as one year older. So if you were to ask me how old I am I would say 21, even though I’m not. It’s a funny 算法-(That is a word that doesn’t exist in English. It means the method of counting.)

*We cancelled English class this week for the holiday! It was just weird haha.

*Because QiShan and MeiNong are such little tourist towns it has been nuts this last week! I have met people from every single county in Taiwan here. There have been so many cars. There was a big carnival on QiShan Ancient Street and we talked to so many people about learning the gospel. There was also this huge flower festival out in MeiNong where everyone went to the flower fields and took selfies with them. (Taiwanese people are serious about their selfies). We met so many incredible people!

*There are only two groups of foreigners that live here in QiShan. (Most other places in Taiwan have more foreigners teaching English or going to college). Here it’s only us missionaries and then some Italian families that run the Catholic church and sell this super great pizza. We made friends with them this week and ate some of their pizza. It was the best pizza I have had in my life.

*When we ate lunch at the bishop’s house this week with a whole bunch of members, we played some games after. Let’s just say that scattegories is significantly harder in your second language. I only know a limited number of nouns, okay?!

*One of my favorite dinners this week was with the L     Family. They joined the church last year and they were so excited to invited us over. They made a whole bunch of random food. They made waffles and dumplings and chocolates and just made it into a meal somehow haha. They tried really hard to make mashed potatoes for us too which was fun. We also got a chance to talk to the rest of their family about the gospel and it was really cool.

*Fireworks are okay at anytime of the day for Chinese New Year… 4 am. – 2 pm. All the time!

It has been an incredible week.

The biggest miracle of all that happened this week is Fu Jiemei and Jia Xiang. They had to overcome a whole lot the last couple of weeks to prepare to be baptized, but after a lot of faith and prayers and miracles- they are both ready to be baptized on Saturday. They are so incredible and I am so grateful that I have met them. I know that this gospel is true and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all things can be made right.

LOVE!

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