Saturday, February 20, 2010

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:37:47 AM
Subject: New Year

Dear Family,

Everyone goes back to the Mainland for Chinese New Year, so it's been a little slow lately. But lots and lots of people have fed us. Chinese New Year is crazy here. It's their biggest holiday. Lots and lots of red stuff everywhere. New Year's Eve all the Mandarin missionaries went and got a kind of expensive Chinese dinner with all the right food (I guess). It was very delicious and had lots and lots of different dishes, all eaten with rice of course. We ate a sweet and sour fish dish, because the word for fish is similar to the word for extra, so if you eat it you will be very prosperous this year and end up with extra stuff. Extra new members? I don't know.

I got a total of three red envelopes, altogether $80 (HK). Not bad. Cantonese Elders get more, because there are only two elders in each ward. We're supposed to use the money to help our investigators somehow. I'll probably make some cookies for them or something.

Church was only an hour long because of New Year, like when Christmas falls on a Sunday. The Priesthood President's family was in Mainland visiting family, so we all went to his house for dinner and called members and investigators and sang them traditional Chinese songs. I thought about having another missionary call you guys (technically not against the rules) but didn't have a calling card, so didn't have to make the tough decision.

A Taiwanese lady in our ward made us dinner on Monday. She is married to a white man and lived in America for a long time (she has the most awesome accent ever) so she always makes us American food. It's always very good and welcome (pork chops, salad, cornbread, ice cream) but I kind of want to try her real Taiwanese food sometime. Oh well. I will never complain about any delicious food here, especially American.

Tuesday was the big ward party. I ate a lot, played games with the adults, and the ran around with the kids until we were all exhausted. I think that is the way God intended for me to spend holidays. I didn't realize how much I like running around with little kids after eating a lot.

Today our entire mission went to Big Buddha. It was so cold. 2.8 degrees C. I'm not really sure what that is, but it's really cold. Especially with wind and humidity. Other than that it was pretty cool. It's just a huge statue of Buddha they built in the 70's or something. Not quite as cool as it might be. Not nearly old enough and far to accessible to tourists. They fed us vegetarian food which was pretty good. I don't know, it was mostly just really a cold experience.

There are two new Mandarin missionaries coming in next transfer. That means two missionaries have to go to either Cantonese work or international (English speaking). I most likely will not be called to Cantonese, but there is a chance I will be learning some Indonesian and Tagalog in the near future. I hope to stay in Mandarin and will keep studying it, but will strive to go where the Lord wants me to go, and do it cheerfully.

Well, I have to go eat with another Member. I love you all! Happy New Year! Have Health! Be Fat and Prosperous! May you have an expensive son!


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