if you didn't get my email last week ask my mom for it.
well its being a pretty cool week. way fun! two days ago we went to this government run retirement home and sang and danced and did some magic tricks for the people there. We were on exchanges, i was with elder schwartz and we sang a bunch of Hymns to the people there. They loved it! they asked us to come back every week. we probably won't be able to go back everyweek but everyonce in a while maybe.
when we first walked into this retirement home, there were all these chairs in the middle of the big hall. they were kind of in the way and i thought it was a little strange. then i realized that they were all pointed at these 2 other chairs. i realized that the 2 other chairs were for us. and that the home had set them up for us. they were so excited to have us there. so when we got there the workers started running around like crazy, they brought us drinks and one of them got on the intercom and announced over about an entire 10 story building that there would be a singing show in the big hall.
about 50 people came out of their rooms to come watch us. luckily elder schwartz knows a lot of chinese he has been here for a bout a year. we went around and introduced ourselves to everyone. and then we started singing our little hearts out. it was so amazing to see these little grinns start to form on all their faces as we sang. they became so happy. we shared with them a little about ourselves, the gospel, and why we came to taiwan. they thought it was very nice of us to come do service for them. some of them weren't very coheirent, but others were still very sharp, they were just not very mobile.
it was great! i think we really made them happy for a time. we sang mostly in chinese, but we sang a couple songs in english. like rudolph the red nose reindeer. we made them laugh a lot by doing silly dances to the songs and doing handstands and stuff. all the elderly people were sad when we had to leave, but we promised them we would come back in a couple weeks.
we had zone conference yesterday. it was awesome! we got to eat KFC. so good. normally we eat some rice and a little meat of some sort from a little restaurant on the street, but yesterday we got some real food. the food here is good, but its just not like american food. you feel full after eating, but that rice doesn't really stick to you. i bought some milk the other day. it was way expensive, like 3 dollars for 2 liters. anyways, that was pretty tasty too.
we have been teaching a couple people. this isn't like a south american mission though. The people here aren't really used to religion, matter of fact, if you ask them what the purpose of life is, they get kind of a confused look on their face, almost like they have never thought about it before. some of them probably haven't. a lot of people won't talk to us either because they have heard rumors about us. its very frustrating. some people are very nice and just tell us that they are not interested, some think we are crazy, and everyonce in a while we will spark a little interest in someone and they will want to hear more. out of every 100 contacts we probably get 15 that don't respond back to us or wave their hand in our faces and tell us to go away. 40 that just keep saying, i dont want it i don't want it. 20 that are nice and will talk to us. 10 that seem somewhat interested, but don't have time another 10 that only want to talk to us so they can practice english and 5 people who are generally interested in our message. i have discovered that younger people are far nicer than older people here. younger people actually have manners still, all the old people have gone crazy and have forgotten that you are supposed to be kind to others.
most everyone is buddhist or daoist, but few actually believe in it. they still do all the traditions and stuff though. one thing that you see over here that is just absurd are these barrels with fire in them all over the place. they are usually outside of grocery stores. the grocery stores put the barrels there so that people can worship their ancestors. what they do, is they go into the store, by food that they want to give to their ancestors, then they go outside throw it in the barrel and watch it burn. now if that isn't the most retarded thing ever then i don't know what is. they are throwing away food sometimes they even just burn money. and the ridiculous part about it is that the majority of the people that do it, don't know why they do it, they just do it because they are stuck in this rut of idol worship. they don't believe that the burnt food actually goes to their ancestors, but they do it anyways just for the heck of it.
if you are a member of our church over here, you are not allowed to participate in this. the good thing is almost all of the church members here think that it is a ridiculous tradition too.
well i wish i had more time, but i only paid for a little bit of time today because we are going to go play some ping-pong with a member. its our preparation day so we can go have a little bit of fun until 6:00 pm then we get to start proselyting again. i always do my laundry and stuff today too. i love you all