Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow In The Tropics...

Thanks everyone for wishing me happy birthday, and for the packages and letters that you've sent! I'm no longer a teenager and, if you were wondering, I actually do feel a little older now. Maybe I'm just exhausted from the past few days here in Xihu haha.

  So these last few days have been the coldest they have been in Taiwan for many years, and we can definitely feel it! It's actually snowing in several places in Taiwan, including a place called Nantou which is right near to us. Fortunately, it hasn't snowed here in Xihu.  We are too close to the ocean for it to snow, but because we're next to the ocean, the wind is a lot stronger! You may be thinking, What? Taiwan can't be that cold, it's a tropical island! But let me tell you, it's very cold. And we have no jackets except for a very thin rain coat, no gloves, and not hats, which is not good enough when there is snow haha.

   I would say that Saturday was the coldest and most miserable day of my entire mission! We started out tracting in the morning until lunch and we got soaked completely through after 5 minutes of leaving the apartment. The rain and wind were super cold, and I almost got blown off my bike, or blown off the road many times haha. While we were eating lunch, our 1 pm appointment called and said that he wanted to cancel the meeting because he didn't want us to have to go outside in the terrible weather and bike to his house. That was really nice of him to think of us!

  Luckily for dinner, some of my friends from Tainan, Diego, Danny, and Felicia came up to eat with us and to celebrate my birthday! We ate at a hot pot, and then went to the church to eat a cake that they brought and to open presents. They got me a homemade scripture cover for my Chinese scriptures that I use, a sweet Chinese tie that says "Families are forever" in characters, and a leather coin pouch. (We pay for a lot of stuff in coins here. They're worth a lot more in comparison to American coins) I'm really glad that they came up to celebrate, because up to that point, the day was not fun at all haha. After they left, the rest of the night was cold, and so was Sunday and today, but at least it isn't raining! ....or snowing.

  This week we met a really cool guy named  W... Z... He is 18, and he's also Christian. He met a Preacher a year ago and really liked what was taught. We actually met him when we were away in a secondary area in Erlin which is about an hour away. We had just finished dinner and went to a 7-11 convenient store to study some Chinese. Right when we were finishing up to leave, we saw him walk in holding a Bible and he got excited when he saw that we were Christian too and we started talking. We started talking about Old Testament prophets and he loves all those stories. We shared about how God has once again called a Prophet to lead our church today and he was shocked and really excited to learn. We met with him again later that week and he says he wants to continue to learn more! That was definitely a big miracle!

   Last week for Pday, we and some of the Elders in Zhanghua, including Elder Moore (my old companion) and some members all went to eat at a huge burger place! The burger was bigger than my head!! Elder Moore goes home in 3 weeks so we were having a big last get together.

   Today is still really really cold so we aren't going to do a whole lot for my Bday, but we are going to go to Yuanlin to eat lunch with a friend, and then we will probably sleep for the rest of the day haha. It's going to be a blast! Thanks for all the emails! I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Stevens

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