Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 17

Another interesting week has gone by. I use interesting cause it is really hard to describe. I have never hated and loved something at the same time this much before.

"Pimp my Ride"
The people we have been working with are well... losing interest or just disappearing, which is frustrating to say the least. Even more frustrating, because my companion is the district leader he has to do all the interviews, which means every time another companionship gets a new member we know about it, we know about all of them, and it’s frustrating as we have none. You really start to wonder if you are doing anything wrong, or what you are doing wrong, or if you have done anything to prevent you from feeling like you are helping people. You really question is this the mission experience you are supposed to have, or is this what is telling you there is something you need to change to have the experience you are supposed to have. I feel a little “bipolar”. My attitude changes so fast, and when people said you would have ups and downs I thought they meant periods of time like a couple days, but it feels like I switch back between moods more than a woman in her 2nd trimester.

However one thing that I love about Taidong are the members! - that is the few that will talk to me - If you don't have really good Chinese language skills (mine are so-so) they kinda just smile politely, say thank you, and talk to someone else. Also when I answer the phone in our apartment, and I tell them it’s Elder Dickson, there is always a pause followed by, Is Elder Allred there? Though there are a few who are the best. First is ZJM - she loves missionaries, and always wants to help us. She makes
"my little Brother"
 us dinner a lot, and always is willing to help out pei ke (member present lesson). This past week she made us Italian food. It was so good. I ate so much. Next awesome spirit is J.  J is always trying to help the missionaries, and really does like us. He always gives us rides and is a lot of fun to work with. Both of these great people used to be a less active, and now they are some of the stronger if not strongest members here, keeping our branch afloat. Imagine what it would be like if we strove to bring back all the folks that were following the light and help them become actively engaged in His church again. Just something I have been thinking of.

The time finally came. I painted my bike! As some of my bike was already silver, I first made it solid silver, and I added some green. I felt like such a hood rat spray painting a bike. It was fun though, and if it looks bad, well it's supposed to so no one steals it! (I secretly really like it though).

Sunday Spaghetti Dinner
Also something I have been doing for the past few Sundays now is carrying our family tradition of spaghetti Sunday! I make spaghetti for the 6 elders in our apartment. I know mom is probably reading that with her jaw on the floor, but it’s true. I have pictures of everyone eating! It’s actually really fun, and I like doing it. But it really started to make me think about home, and all the meals mom cooked for me all the time, especially when I didn’t like something and she would make something special just for me. I don’t think I ever really took the time to really express thank you, because I feel like I understand more now with cooking food for others. So really thank you so much.  It think I'll continue this tradition no matter where I serve next.
Also I cut my hair last night! Well Elder Sullivan did. It was fun! Then I had to cut his! Really scary! But all turned out well! No one is hurt or looks ridiculous!
Other than all this, it has been the same as always. It’s weird to think though that this week I hit the 4 months on my mission mark. Does it seem like I have been gone for 4 months? That means I am 1/6 over my mission, that’s super scary to think about as there is so much we want to do for the people we serve here in Taidong. It’s even weirder to think that in less than 5 weeks I will have a new companion, and might not even be in Taidong! Oh well come what may, I am just excited for what the future holds. Love you and miss you all very much! Let me know what’s going on at home!

Love - from your Elder - Dickson

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