Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 25, 2008

hey everybody,

Ping Tung is stinking awesome! It is pretty big and the church members here are awesome. My companion is Elder Chen Wei Yang he is from Central Taiwan and he is awesome. We get along pretty good, occassionally we will come across some cultural differences, but for the most part its all good. He teaches me Chinese, my chinese has gotten so much better in the past 10 days its ridiculous. I feel like i can actually speak chinese now. i can't say everything, but i can always get my point across. Elder Chen has been helping me a lot with just express myself the way i want. i have pronunciation and tones down pretty good, so i will ask him how to say something and then he will tell me. its so convenient because the dictionaries dont have ways to say things they just have words. His english is really good, he has been studying it for 7 years so its way good.

i felt like i was going to get a native companion a couple weeks ago. i just knew i would get one and sure enough i did. i didn't think he would speak such good english, but i am glad he does because he can tell me how to say the chinese equivalent of what i want to say.

ping Tung is huge compared to my last area. they have a big old night market that we go to to contact people and its just awesome.

so yesterday i was riding down the street and i looked over and i saw an indoor swimming pool. and then i saw a bunch of old men sitting around the swimming pool with fishing pools. it was an indoor fish pong. i laughed for like 5 minutes, its was so cute. all these little old men in their lawn chairs, sitting inside an air conditioned building fishing. maybe i have just lived in utah for too long so i am just used to having nature right out the front door, but that doesn't count as fishing. i want to get a picture of it.

speaking of pictures here are a couple. they are all from me and fang liao, but the last one is of my new companion elder chen. he is a goof as i am sure you can tell from the picture. he is a little immmature, but thats because he is only 18. in taiwan since they have mandatory military service, the church will let them go when they are 18, so he is here and is probably one of if not the youngest missionary in the world.

i had to speak in church last sunday. you always have to when you move to a new area. believe it or not i made the congregation laugh, who would have ever thought that i could be funny in chinese. i am not sure if they were laughing at me or with me, but who cares they laughed.

it was really funny in priesthood i got up and introduced myself and the teacher asked me what my name was. my name is Zhang (which is a last name, but their first names are last) and he said "o that is the same as me." so jokingly i told him that "maybe we have the same ancestors." the whole roomed burst into laughter, because obviously my chinese last name has no heritage it is just a name.

anyways thats been my life for the past week. i hope you like the pictures.

the first pick is me picking mangoes, the second is fang liao with the fishing boats and the mountains, the third is the stinking huge spiders we found in the mountains, that no joke were bigger than my head. and just to let you know they are extremely poisonous even the natives are scared of them. one of the members from the fang liao branch took us into the mountains to take pictures of them. and the last picture is of elder chen.

love you all

i own the computers in ping tung, haha :) i can send pictures a lot now so i will try every week.

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