Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 30

Sorry, but I didn’t get any emails last week!
And so sorry I assumed so quickly that you didn’t send any!

So you want to ride a bike here?!
Please understand what goes on in a missionary's mind. Our biggest fear are those horror stories you hear about being forgotten - left behind and alone - and everyone has moved somewhere else back home. Yes we all laugh at them, but really inside we are petrified that it will happen to us.

So cool that Stevie is going on out! I know he will do great! Good to know that with Lauren and Stevie going I won’t be the only one serving from the Catoctin Ward. 

Thank you about the school advice. I think that is kind of what I was leaning for - to go back and finish and then look for something in my area of study - may be international - seems to make the most sense to me.

The reason why I keep bringing up my acne is because in Taiwan, within 1 minute of talking to me, the Taiwanese person starts talking to me about how bad my acne is. I’m used to it now, the culture is rather blunt, but they talk about it lots - well at least they speak to me : )

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!
Luckily we have a temple day coming up which means that in a couple weeks, my personal day will get messed around, so please don’t panic and worry if I’m late in getting emails out - like I did : (

This past week has been really long. We had lots of meetings and other administrative things we had to go to.  We have been ‘invited’ to do this when we introduce ourselves - touch our name tags and let the person know our purpose!  It has been a crazy challenge, and really scary at times, but it’s actually been working. Lots of people quickly steer clear of us but we know if they don’t run away when they read what our badge says that they probably actually have interest in why we are here - weird - but seems to work! So we are all to remember to be bold in what we do and everything else takes care of itself!  The Spirit rules!

I miss you all lots and love you all even more.

Thank you so much for all the support and love you all give me.

Elder Dickson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 28

Oh wow it sounds so cold there! pretty much the same here like 15-17 degrees...Celsius ha ha. Nice that it hasn't been as rainy recently which is really starting to feel like a decent spring!

Thanks for the screenshot of my records - good to know that the University officially recognizes that I'm on a mission. I made sure before I left that my counselor had multiple records of me being here so credits carry and I am still able to continue my work.

Something I have been thinking recently is that while I do love biochemistry, and still fully plan on it being my major but I really want to keep studying music in some way shape or form. Like I was dying back at school before being so focused on just biochem things, so would it be really dumb if I took some music classes and such? I don't know just something I was thinking about recently.

New years for Miao li... president day said we could celebrate!! bed...with our eyes closed. The folks here acknowledge that it is a new year, but the big thing here is Chinese new year. I hear it is pretty Taiwan basically shuts down....

Yes Miao li has lots of Ke jia (hakka) stuff. It's a little strange because back in Taidong I was picking up more taiyu (other aboriginal group). So now I know like all three languages. but I understand when people say that hakka language sounds pretty harsh. The food is okay, nothing really to rave about. Its pretty much the same. Your only choice is rice or noodles really...

Chinese Hymnal
This week was certainly interesting lots and lots of finding more people that want to learn English and inviting them to our classes. We did have one lady who we thought was a little crazy come to class and then show-up at church, but turns out she is just eccentric. We followed-up and invited her to come to family home evening at a
members house. We knew should could play piano, so we asked her to help the evening by playing a hymn. Her first time reading the music for "Be Still My Soul", and she turned it into a concert level performance - like adding her own flurries and side threads, the members just looked at us with their jaws dropped. It was really cool. she's really good at piano. so we are going to keep meeting with her and see what happens!

Also at church we had like over 100 people come, which is like huge for Miao li. We actually had people out in the hallway, and we had to use the additional back-up host and Spirit during sacrament. So yeah miracles in other unexpected ways!

Today we plan to go to a kaorou chi dao bao. (bbq buffet(chi = eat Dao = too bao=full)). We also found a place here that has a 72 oz. steak challenge like the one in Texas. We're going to tackle it as a district at the end of the next transfer.

'Old' Street in Miao li - foodie heaven at night!
When I was in Taibei during Christmas there were a lot of new missionaries listed as coming on island soon - so start praying for me to not be a trainer : )

Hope you all are having a good time and managing to stay warm!

I am still fine and alive, and it is weird to think I have been living here for like over 6 months now. Hope you all stay happy and healthy and that everything is great back home. Miss you and love you all lots!