6 Months on the Mission, and 6 Months’ Worth of Mooncakes!

Hello all!! I hope y’all had a great week!! Mine was interesting as always! This week is 中秋節 (Zhōngqiū jié), or Mid-Autumn Festival, better known as “The Mooncake Festival”. People here are going nuts because it’s pretty much the second biggest holiday in Taiwan and China besides New Years. The best thing I can compare it to would be Thanksgiving in the states. All the kids have school off, an all the adults don’t work for the week either, basically people sit around and 烤肉 (Kǎoròu) or grill meats outside of their house all day long and eat mooncakes. It is similar to Thanksgiving in that everyone goes and hangs out with family all week. Because of this it has been SUPER hard to set people up for lessons because they are so busy! So that’s been an interesting cultural thing to experience! Also we have been given like 1000 mooncakes by church members, so we could eat those for the next year and still have leftovers!

Other things that happened this past week…

Elder Jiang has a Costco card and we went and bought a TON of food to eat. Costco is incredible because it has food that isn’t Asian! Before my mission I loved Asian food, but being in Taiwan where your only option to eat is some form of noodles or rice for every meal, it gets pretty old pretty quick. This week I made breakfast burritos for pretty much every meal and it was glorious. Cheese and anything dairy is super expensive here, but if you buy in bulk at Costco, it’s a little cheaper, so I splurged and bought some. They also were selling fresh salsa, which in Taiwan is nuts, so I bought some as well, and have been eating very happy this past week!

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If you drink this magic drink it will make you more beautiful!! ALSO some really great English

Because we spent so much on groceries last Monday, we needed to eat out super cheap this week, and we got pretty screwed when we went with one of our members to this very nice hot pot place. We thought that he was going to pay for our meals, but when the time came to pay the check, we ended up having to pay… so oops I pretty much have been eating dirt cheap since then hahaha!

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Livin the bendi life!

 

This week I switched English classes and began to teach the middle level class! Before I was in the beginner class, but because Elder Jiang can’t speak English, and my Chinese is ok, but not at a level where I can teach students English grammar in Chinese, a switch was needed. Elder Jiang continues to make me laugh with his English! He cannot speak English at all but on the rare occasion will throw out a random word here and there. The funny ones so far have been, drift, rap and rape ( I had to explain the differences between those two, because he kept saying he liked “rape music”), and the latest one last night was “testicles” hahah. We were biking down a street by our apartment and stopped at a red light, I looked over at the restaurant next to us and saw their menu. All of the things were around 60kuai, but one thing was 300kuai. Of course everything is only in characters here, and I knew the first character was “duck” but I didn’t know the second one. I asked him why it was so expensive and he said in Chinese “Good food is always more expensive” and I asked what it was and he replied in English “TESTICLES” and I burst out laughing in the middle of the street. I went home that night and looked up the word in the dictionary, and sure enough, he was right, lol.

We had a couple very interesting lessons this week, one was with an 18 year old kid who lived as an exchange student in REXBURG, ID of all places, and we ended up contacting him on the street. The Lord has definitely prepared him to take the lessons, and that is very obvious, so we will see where that one goes! The second was a fun encounter we had with a Jehovah’s Witness in a 7-11. JWs are just not nice people and are always looking to argue about something, and Elder Jiang is very stubborn, so we basically argued with her for at least an hour. I thought that JWs were annoying in America, but arguing with one in Chinese is definitely way worse lol. At the very least we gave her a Book of Mormon and bore really good testimonies, it’s up to her now whether she will accept it or not!

Pretty much that was my week! I have definitely grown so much these past few weeks in ways I couldn’t even imagine before! The mission is super hard, but at the same time, very rewarding. Taiwan has already changed my life, and I still have 18 months to go here! Anyways, I hope you all had great weeks, and I hope that you were able to see some miracles, because I know I did! I love you all! Until next week!

Love,

Elder Stroud

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Some more awesome English! I don’t think “shark cook” was supposed to be a part of the above paragraph!

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