Happy New Years! (But actually not yet in Taiwan, that’s next month)

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The best restaurant in ZhangHua is a tiny little coffee shop that makes delecious american food, and although very expensive (about 250元) it is well worth the price to be reminded of home sometimes.

Pretty standard week here in ZhangHua and in Taiwan. Nothing really interesting or special happens anymore lol! This week I realized a few things…

  1. It is always better to be nice to people than to be mean.
  2. I speak fluent Chinese, and just the thought of that is really strange.
  3. Asian people love really weird things.
  1. While tracting (knocking doors) this week, I decided to try to be nice to people no matter what. If you know me, you know that I have a really stubborn personality, and I hate it when people aren’t willing to consider a new thing when it is clearly better than the old thing, whatever that may be. Well this week I decided to do as Christ would do and react positively to any insult/罵 thrown at me. So as we had doors literally slammed in our faces, and old Chinese dudes “ma-ing” us out in Taiyu, i just took it all with a smile and wished them a happy day, instead of blowing up back at them and telling them how wrong they are. I feel like I definitely learned a lot from doing this, and in the end it made me happier too. Cool life lesson learned!
  1. While contacting the streets this week, we happened to talk to this guy and have a good 10 minute conversation with him about Gospel stuff, and about other random stuff too. As I walked away from the contact, I realized that I understood everything he said to me and that he understood everything I said to him. The realization hit me- I am fluent in Chinese. What a strange thought, and something I wouldn’t have even imagined a year ago. I sometimes catch myself thinking in Chinese, and at least a couple times a week I have dreams in Chinese as well. I still have lots of room for improvement, and I still have like 5000 Chinese characters to learn, but The Lord has definitely blessed me up to this point.
  1. Asians love weird things. I think everyone knows this, but over the past few months it has become more apparent to me. Missionaries aren’t allowed to watch TV or pretty much anything of the like, as they want us to focus on the work, but this past week I caught myself watching the Taiwanese news are some little rice shop we were at for lunch. They had a segment on people just dancing in Pokemon costumes, and they played the segment for like 15 minutes. There was no story behind the segment, just people in Pokemon costumes dancing to weird Korean (not even Chinese) music.
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    蛋黃哥兒 “Yolk Brotha”

    Also there is this thing here called 蛋黃哥兒(which literally translates to “Yolk Brotha”), and it’s this weird (sometimes naked with a butt, and usually in some sort of weird sadistic position about to be eaten) cartoon egg thing from Japan that is on everything… scooter helmets, store windows, magazines, you name it. I have a McDonald’s card that is on, and it is just a weird Asian thing. People love it here, and every time I ask them why they say 很可愛 (Translates to “It’s so cute!”) Asia is so dang weird, and I live here.

Well that’s pretty much it for my week! Our investigators are all progressing nicely and are soon to be baptized! As much as it feels like I am going through the motions sometimes, I have to step back and remember that we are changing other people’s lives, and for them, these things are huge. I know there is no better place for me right now than serving the Lord, sweating and struggling, learning and loving, on a mission, 傳in’ 教!  I hope you all had a great New Years, and continue to see happiness in 2017! I love you all!

Love,

Elder Stroud

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There is a guy here who will hand paint fans with whatever Temple you want on them for about $50 USD, so naturally I got an Orlando Temple one.

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