Monday, February 8, 2016

Safe And Sound. Earthquake Not A Problem Here!

Dear Everyone,

  Well, everyone has been talking a lot about the earthquake that we just had in Taiwan, but Elder Cole and I actually had no idea that it was as bad as everyone said it was. We feel earthquakes all the time here in Taiwan so we had no clue that this was anything bigger than usual. We woke up in the night and turned to my companion and said "oh..an earthquake." and then just went back to bed. The rocking was actually pretty comfortable haha. We only live on the 4th floor so it wasn't too bad for us. The next day everyone was talking about how bad it was and I guess it was pretty severe. Several people died in the collapse buildings and there are around 100 or so people that they haven't found yet. I don't think that they will be calling us missionaries to do any help. At least up here in Xihu. While riding around, we didn't see any real damage, just a couple of big trees that had fallen over. No aftershocks either. So it's all good here!

  This past week has been pretty fun. On Monday we went to Lugang and looked around. That was really fun. Then on Tuesday we had our big Zone Meeting. Our zone has about 8 Taiwanese missionaries in it so during the meeting I had to sit in the middle of all of them and help translate. It was pretty fun.

  Wednesday was especially fun. Almost every single day of my time in Xihu here we've basically just tracted, but today we had something new. A member in our ward works with local government leaders here and she got some service opportunities prepared for us. Because the Chinese New Year is here, the tradition is that the people need to clean their houses. So we went and visited many elderly ladies in the country that lived by themselves and were not able to clean for themselves. It was a lot of fun and they really appreciated it. Afterwards, the local people in the village we went to prepared a big dinner for us. It was very...special. There was a lot of meat, but the main course was pig head. They sliced up the head of a pig and fed it to us. There was almost no meat on it. It's just basically all skin and fat, and it's still covered in the pig's hair! It was really not that good at all. Afterwards I was picking bristly hair out of my teeth! 

  For pretty much all of the rest of the time we were tracking. We're still working hard and looking for people to teach. We had a big miracle though. A lady named S... that we had called and tried to meet with a month or two ago finally called us back and wanted to meet. I had called her about a month ago and talked with her about God's and Christ's love for her and she started crying and said she always felt something special when she met with us. She said she wanted to meet with us, but then she heard some bad things about our church and didn't want to meet with us for the past month and a half. Then she randomly called us up and said that she always felt really good talking with us. (The morning before she ran into missionaries she had prayed that she would be able to find someone to help her in life!) She came  to the church and we talked and she is really excited to learn more. Unfortunately, she lives a little bit outside our area so we will have to introduce her to some other Elders to teach. I'm at least glad that I could play a small part in helping S... though.

  This week is the start of Chinese New Year so we've already started to eat with many of our friends here. On Saturday night we ate with the Shi and You families in our ward. They are really nice and the second eldest daughter in the Shi family is preparing to leave for a mission in a two months for London, England. Today we went over to the You Family's house for lunch and since they live right on the coast, they took us around to see some fun stuff nearby. They have an old famous lighthouse there and a couple other fun things to visit. The rest of the week we're also planning on eating lots of good meals with many of the members here. It's going to be a lot of fun...and we might also get very full haha. 

  I still haven't received Alexa's package so that's not good... if it's taken this long to get here, it's either in another missionary's apartment, or it just didn't make it. Maybe it'll get here though.

  We're still having a good time. We're exhausted, but still carrying on haha. It's all going well! I love you lots! Have a happy New Year!!

Love

 Elder Stevens



Monkey King Made Of Shells





Dragon Made Of Shells





Chinese New Year Cleaning Day
























Painting Hanging In The Mission President's Home
Representing Plan Of Salvation


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