Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 16

This week was certainly interesting. We had a lot of meetings - zone conference, English class party, and other meetings so I didn’t feel like a fully productive missionary.
You mentioned in your email that you thought of me when the Chinese space station saved Sandra Bullock in the movie Gravity - sounds interesting - wonder how she read Chinese - I don’t worry about that yet as I don’t have to learn Chinese characters until phase 3 and I'm still on phase 1, but not for long! Phase one is all about learning all the stuff needed to teach the 5 lessons in Preach My Gospel, but that means all of your vocabulary and everything you can say is gospel related. Phase two is all vocabulary and sayings that are not gospel related, so I'm excited to get there so I can actually like speak Chinese. Right now I’m almost done with lesson four! Also no worries about me training too soon, President Day literally came out and told our generation that there are no new missionaries coming for the next two transfers so we would not be “blessed” having to be a  trainer right after being trained - so I can stop sweating.

Hey first transfer is come and gone - that was fast! That means I only have 15 left! Wow the time is flying by, yes the days feel like eternity, but overall it is really going by fast.

Thanks for sending our Halloween costumes
We have 16 transfers on the island, so that means I have 15 transfers left, 88 weeks, 20 fast Sundays, or 3 more general conferences. My time here is so short!!!

I have no crazy needs right now as I got my packages from you guys. The Little Debbie fudge rounds cakes you sent lasted like 20 minutes! Whenever the next package is, and feel no rush to send it, well I just hope there are more of those! Wow I miss those things, or just chocolate and American food. I actually have a list of foods I have to get when I get back, and it grows daily ; )
We also had our English class activity, which was a Halloween party! It was a little early for Halloween but still fun! Our job was bobbing for apples and donut eating. I'm not sending the
Trick-or-Treat in Taiwan
pictures of the members doing it because you don’t know them and it would be embarrassing for them if you posted it on the blog. The only ones of me are videos so you'll just have to wait until I switch data cards but in the end we got the kids to go trick or treating and it was really fun - Though my idea to be the door that hands out toothbrushes was rejected.

Tree Ear - Mushrooms
I hope you are all getting ready for Halloween! I’ll even admit I miss the Halloween feast were Mom cooks all that creepy food and who knows, maybe after 2 years in Taiwan I will have actually eaten some of the stuff you "make-up" for real.  We were at a member’s house and they made us this stuff that translates into "tree ear" - you have to boil it for like a day before it is edible. Weirdest thing I have eaten to date. We showed up and apparently I eat really fast, so they think I didn’t have enough to eat, but it’s just because I can't talk and eat at the same time.  So Elder Russell (my companion for the evening) told our host that I am too skinny and our host gave me a very large second helping of rice with this stew stuff. I ate so much I felt like I was going to explode but I ate all of it - didn’t want to be rude. After that I had two cups of the tree ear janx, and my tummy was not a happy camper. Then that night we rode out to Zhiben, which is like a 30 minute bike ride.  We met a member and she invited us to their house. There she insisted (I have literally had other people put their chopsticks' in my mouth to make me try and eat stuff) that I eat chou dou fu (stinky tofu) (again) and that put me over the edge. I am very thankful for a companion who is patient to wait while I had to use the bathroom all the time for the next two days. I felt like Kent Mansley from the movie Iron Giant.
Kent Mansley

Oh we also finally got to watch conference! I hope you all noticed how much of the topics were about missionary work and how members need to work with missionaries? Well start helping out! There was a challenge to invite someone by Christmas to church and well I'm going to encourage both of you to do it! I'll be checking up, so be sure to! Who knows what will happen!

Hope all is well back home! Miss you and love you all so very much!  Your Elder Dickson

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