Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 20, 2008 Email

holy smokes! i can't believe it has already been another week. it was a pretty standard week here. We had exchanges twice, though which was kind of cool. Two older Elders came to my area and so i was the senoir companion which was fun. I got to decide what we did. Plus it was fun showing someone around our area. I didn't feel like such a newbie.

Chinese is coming great! I feel like i improve a little everyday, i can basically get any point acrossed that i want. And i almost always understand what is going on in a conversation. Except yesterday when this guy started talking about water wells, i sure as heck didn't know the word for that, but i learned it yesterday after i asked him what it was.

My chinese is still pretty bad, but i can get by. Last Wednesday was pretty funny. We were getting ready to teach our english class, so we were setting up and everything. I realized that we only had 1 chair so we walked over to the front desk of this city hall building. I went to ask the secretary if we could use this spare chair. so i said "Women ke bu keyi jie yong nage yezi?" She looked at me really strange and was like "What?" So the word for chair and coconut are very close. So what i actually asked the lady is "whether or not i could use her coconut", we all had a good laugh about that one. It is so easy to make a mistake in chinese when you speak. All the words are so similar, and then you have tones which is even more intense. I hate tones :)

Well the young man that we have been teaching that is preparing to go into the army, leaves in about 2 weeks. we are really working hard to try and get him studying the scriptures everyday. we figure if we can help him get a testimony of jesus christ before he leaves, he will make it through the army and still be interested when he comes out. I am glad that America doesn't force all young men to go into the army for a year, i wouldn't wanna do that. There army is pretty sissy though. Seriously, though they work in like Retirement Centers for their army service. Very few of them actually do combat stuff, and the ones that do it is so weak. We always see them on the roads and we cheer them on, and they cheer us on. The soldiers usually have backpacks and are hiking and then we pass them on our bikes. We yell to them "Jia you," which i guess if you had to translate it means "hang in there." Kinda doesn't translate but ya.

No pictures today! i have the same old mean lady. she is lazy. if these computers weren't all in chinese i would, fix it myself, but i can't read the characters yet. I just started studying them, so i only recognize about 400. There are 3000 i have to learn before you can read fluently.

Mangoes are still spilling out our ears! People will give us mangoes, boxes of mangoes. We were cleaning up the street doing service work 4 days ago and this guy basically pulled us into his shop and made us sit and eat ice cream with him. Then he gave us a big old bag full of mangoes and told us that we work to hard. Thats a compliment over here. Anyways, he is our friend now.

Funny story, people here like to yell out random English phrases that they know. Sometimes good phrases sometimes bad. Anyways, we theorized that if you yell out anything to a Taiwanese person and smile and wave they will yell it back at you and smile and wave. in order to apply the scientific method to this hypothesis of ours, i gave it a try. On my bike the other day i saw this old man that we often see. I got my smile ready, waved my hand and said "Alabama," he looked right back at me smiled and yelled "Alabaamma." It made me laugh. Now we often yell out randon states and stuff just to see if people will yell them back. I am going to give mississippi a shot. ;)

Taiwan is awesome! You just got to do the work, but have fun while you do it. Missionary work is hard. People are mean, its hot, and it smells. But with the right attitude it is the most fun thing i have ever done. Some days are tough and i just want to sleep for 10 hours. It is weird, i never thought of sleeping as a temptation hahaha. I know that what i am doing is the more important than anything i could be doing. It is amazing hearing the conversion stories of the members here. Some of them were the skum of the earth before, but now they are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and their entire lifes and their families lifes have been changed.

sorry if this hurts your head to read. I am sure my grammar is terrible, learning chinese will do that. plus i have a headache right now, from all the annoying little computer games people are playing all around me. I wish they would wear headphones.


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