So, I didn't get a lot of good pictures at the family reunion this year but I did get these, including the first one of Abbie's birthday. It was a fun reunion up in the Ketchum area of Idaho. Thank you Brett and Leslie for organizing. It turned out grrrrreat.
The annual Taiwan Lantern Festival was held in Taizhong this year and David and I got to go on Thursday night. The Lantern Festival is traditionally the 15th day after the New Year. This particular festival however lasted for 10 days. The lanterns and lights were amazing both in number and craftmanship. We first arrived when it was still light and everything looked colorful and fun. However, as darkness came and the lights came up it was truly amazing.
David and I worked at information booth #9. Sister Xie and Elder and Sister Jan worked with us (and 5 Chinese volunteers). I got to wear a "Helping Hands" sticker. So fun, though I didn't do much because of the language barrier. David was more useful.
This is the Year of the Goat so this HUGE goat was in the center by the stage. It lit up before each performance as seen in the video below.
Everyday we have a chance to serve someone.
It is a great life!
|Serving at a Senior Care Center|
|Holding a baby at a member visit|
|Helping to teach a Relief Society class|
|Teaching a Relief Society class|
|The children loved the cooking class|
|They did not think the apple filling was too sweet|
|English Proselyting - we handle English just fine|
|Lots of fun!|
|singing in a choir|
|Teaching English classes|
These men were putting up the tree for our Ward Christmas party. It was fun to watch. I don't even think they got the tree put together correctly let alone any rhyme or reason for how it was decorated. They never found a top on the tree.
|Young Carson wanted to help - he did as well as anyone else|
|This is the tree in our apartment complex lobby. David asked if one of the gifts was for him and they said sure.|
|/My tree. It stands about 5 feet high. It makes me happy!|
|This is the tree Shanalee's family sent me.|
It hangs on the dining room wall. It makes me happy too!
|My nativity shelf. I have 3 nativities. I brought two from home.|
I haven't found one to buy here, but I keep looking!
|My advent calendar this year|
|The nativity I made this year.|
I made some and gave them away also.
|The book I bought this year is also a decoration|
and has wonderful paper cuttings.
|I found this angel music box and had to buy it.|
|A Ward member was selling ginger bread houses so I bought one.|
It isn't decorated quite up to my normal standards, but it is a
gingerbread house. It smells good!
In September Taiwan celebrated the Harvest Moon Festival. That morning we were invited to watch the building of a traditional stone oven. They build a framework with cinder block and iron rods and pile the rocks on top and around, leaving an oven cavity. Then they build a very hot fire inside the cavity and let it burn for a long time until the rocks are very hot. They then quickly but carefully clean out the leftover fire materials and put whole stuffed chickens and yams inside. With shovels they then smash the oven stones down over the food so the hot stones are directly on the food. Last they cover the entire thing with sand and let it cook for several hours. I'm sure it is an efficient way to cook a meal, but it was already 95 degrees outside and I had a hard time appreciating a hot fire.
|completed stone oven|
|The fire burning inside the oven|
|Putting sand on the hot rocks|
|The Taiwan Taipei Temple|
|A good place to go|
|Here we are with Sister Liu|