Zach’s Mom’s Note: Sorry everyone for the delays in getting these up. Left home on vacation without the password… but now we are home again and back in business 🙂 This letter is from June 27, 2016.
Well welcome to another edition of Elder Stroud’s weekly emails! Hopefully this week entertains you! Let’s get to it!
Last P-day our district went to a place called “ShiTou” which means “The Rock” in Chinese. It’s what’s called a “Chi Dao Bao” which literally translates into English as “Eat Until Full”. Well it’s this restaurant where there are these grills on the table and they bring you unlimited meat and other stuff to grill up and eat. You have a two hour time limit, and then you can’t order anymore food, but the way it works it’s that you pay upfront 500 kuai which is a ton (hence the dolla bills), and they bring you unlimited food for 2 hours. SO in preparation to eat all this food, Elder Lai, the missionary from Taibei in our 4 man apartment busted out these “magic Chinese stomach pills” that basically allow it so that you don’t feel full even though you are. I was a little sketched out at first, and I was planning on taking just 1, but HE SAID TO TAKE 8. So we took 8 magic stomach pills and ate so much dang food and didn’t feel full, even though I probably ate 10,000 calories of meat in 2 hours… like we literally ate steak for 2 hours straight, and steak is super expensive here, so we had to take advantage of the 500 kuai up front price! Well our time limit was closing on the 2 hours, and we decided to go big, so we ordered like 100 more pieces of steak to grill up and managed to stay for an hour after the 2 hour limit. WELL that night my stomach hurt SOOOOO bad because the pills wore off and I still had all the food in my over expanded belly… That was lunch on Monday, and I didn’t eat again til dinner on Wednesday lol.
We met with semi-crazy D. J. M. again this week and this week’s topic with her was once again aliens and teleportation. She was telling us how there is an advanced alien race with advanced technology, who are closer to God’s level because of that lol. She’s nuts, and even our member present was like “she’s nuts”, but every soul is a soul worth saving, so we keep trying!!
I’M HALF WAY DONE WITH TRAINING!!! THE FIRST MOVE CALL IS DONE!! This week we had the half way point follow up meeting with the missionaries that I came on island with, so it was fun to see all of them again and do a little catching up! Also I passed off Lesson 3 and can now teach that in Chinese perfectly!
This week in English class we saw a ton of miracles! We had 14 students in our advanced class which is the most they’ve had in a long time, and we had like 4 students come back after not attending in like a year, so that was cool! This week’s topic was “diversity” and we were talking about people from different countries and places and one of the countries was Kenya. Well I asked the class “who knows anything about Kenya?”, and one of our students screams out “OBAMA’S HOMELAND” and this is like a 24 year old Taiwanese dude, and my comp and I look at each other and just started dying laughing hahahahaha.
We got a referral for this 70 year old “ama” (which is Taiyu for grandma) who lives in our area and owns a tea shop, and we went to visit her a few days ago. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Mulan”, a the very beginning of the movie where her grandma is walking through the street with the cricket and is just oblivious to everything else going on around her, that’s exactly what “amas” are like around here. Like not even kidding they are just like that. We have a saying “Ama don’t care” when every we see them walking in the middle of the street oblivious to the cars and scooters and us. Like I have almost run over amas multiple times on my bike, because they seriously don’t care hahaha. Well we went to teach her and she just didn’t care for our message and it was definitely a trial to try and teach her about Christ when she’s super Buddhist.
Another weird thing about Taiwan is how every person here is so “ke qi” or basically like they won’t accept anything as a gift and they always have to look like the more charitable person. For example, this week we had a lesson with Liu Jiemei, and we had out ward mission leader and his wife “peike” or be members present for us. Well they brought this watermelon drink for everyone, and when they offered it to Liu Jiemei she just goes “NOOO Bu Yong” (which means “no use”) and she sprinted to her kitchen and brought us out a different kind of drink and offered it to us. It’s super funny to see cultural differences like that.
I made it my goal to read through the Book of Mormon at the very beginning of the move call and I finished it this past week! My testimony of the truthfulness of that book has only skyrocketed since I got on island. It seriously is the word of God, and another testament of Jesus Christ. I’ve made it my mission goal to focus on and completely read through the BoM every other move call, so that should be fun! I have had so many prayers answered and so much revelation received through my readings every morning, so that has been super awesome! Seriously I love that book and I just want to share it with the people of Taiwan to have it bless their lives as well!
I hope y’all had an awesome week and are enjoying the summer! The high here is 98F today, so things are pretty dang hot, but I love it! Enjoy life and if any of you are looking for answers, I promise they can be found in The Book of Mormon! The Church is true! I love you all and miss every single one of you! Keep it safe and keep it real this week!