This is from two weeks ago. Lisette
I’ve learned one thing in the last four days — it is absolutely crucial to manage every minute of your time wisely… or you end up not being able to send a legit email in an hour. Crazy. Sorry for the delay on last weeks news. Now, onto this week!
A few nights ago, Tan Jiemei and I were eating dinner at ShiLin Zhan (MRT station). It’s legit and has, hands down, the best jua bing in the universe. Also, at the dumpling shop across the commons, some good friends of ours work (ew… listen to that Chinese grammar. Sorry!). Our favorite thing to do (mostly because they do it first) is people watch. These five high school students were standing near us and at one point, the geeky-ish one got a text. Couldn’t hear most of the conversation, but some things are so universal they don’t require words. Like getting a text from a girl you like. The more shuai (good looking) one of the group, started fixing geeky kid’s hair and clothes, prepping him for a meet-up with this girl. Each time he made a change, he said “zheyangze!” which means more or less “like this!” It was hilarious to watch and reminded me that “zheyangze” is everyone in Taiwan’s favorite word. Even as far South as Hua Lien, the slang is the same. Good times.
This week I was reminded of the global name of the Church — that is, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the streets of Taiwan, it’s easy to feel like you’re by yourself. It’s just you and your companion, preaching the Gospel to 8 million people… all with somewhere else to be. But this week, the current political situation in America and the Church’s recent decisions on some very political issues hit like a ton of bricks. We were English Contacting (because missionaries teach a free English class every Wednesday night in Taiwan… http://www.englishclass.tw) outside a school, when this man passed me on the phone. I just nodded and smiled, realized he was on the phone and decided not to bother him. He stopped, finished his conversation (a full ten minutes), and came back to talk to me. I would love to tell you this whole conversation went down in Chinese… but alas! I’ve only been here a month. 😉 He started by telling me he regularly attends the English class down in Gaoxiong and loves the missionaries down there (two points for Taichung Mission!). Then he launched into asking me what the Church’s relationship with politics in America was, especially pertaining to Mitt Romney. Thank you, dad, for keeping me well informed of the latest developments! Keep the news coming!
Through some confusing questions and a bit of back-and-forth, I reminded him that the Church is not a political organization. You can be both politically liberal and politicaly conservative and still be a member in good standing of the Church. However, when politics starts encroaching on traditional family values, the Church will take an official stance. This resonated with him and he outlined the issues he sees facing the youth of Taiwan as they pick up bad habits from Western Culture. I told him about the Proclamation on the Family and promised the Elders would get him a copy this week. Thanks to my renzhen Elders, Ke ZhangLao and Sun ZhangLao, he got one in his hands before he headed back to down Gaoxiong. An interesting experience for sure… and a reminder that as a member of such a global organization, you not only represent yourself but you represent the whole as well. Make sure you’re well-versed in Doctrine and Policy before you open your mouth.
Zui zhong yao, though, is recognizing God’s ampai (set up) when you come across it. On Sunday, in the Tian Mu ward, I met a member who just returned from some work in the Marshall Islands (get excited, family, he’s applying to A&M… you may get to meet him). Two days later, I met him again….. but this time it was a complete suprise! Apparently a girl we’d contacted on the street and agreed to meet with us is his cousin! In the following two days, I’ve met her 94 year old grand father, both her aunts, her mother, and her other cousin. All of them love us and want us to shang ke at their house. She’s also managed to get further in the Book of Mormon that most members do in a month…. She’s legit. 😀 This is one incredibly prepared family and I’m excited about the coming week’s work!
I love you all and hope to hear good things from you shortly! Love ya!