Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 23, 2015

So I'm losing my boy in two weeks!  Elder Dalmer got his visa to go to Taiwan today and he will leave on April 6th.  It's been a fun time though.  Awesome seeing his Chinese improve so much.

One of our investigator's husband and son returned to China to go back to school and work so she is alone here.  She was really scared about being along so we recommended she get a "beware of dog" sign to scare away any potential intruders.  Yesterday when we dropped by there was this nice big "beware of dog" sign on her fence gate.  It's pretty funny.  We had to go into a bank to translate for her too.  We double as missionaries and translators.  A Chinese family walked in while we were helping and must have thought I worked there.  They walked up to me and asked if there are any employees who speak Chinese in some broken English.  I think they had a heart attack when I told them there's one in the back (that I had seen earlier) who speaks Chinese... in Chinese of course.

At the park, we ran into these three guys playing basketball.  We were talking to them for a bit, and obviously brought up religion.  I told them if I make this shot, they have to come to church with us.  I made the shot, so we'll have some more people at church this Sunday!

One of our investigators is struggling with believing there is a God.  I picked a flower before we drove out there to Chino Hills to talk about nature and how beautiful it is to connect it to God.  Elder Dalmer held it for the 30 minute ride. When we got there, this spider started crawling out.  Looked like he had a nice car ride in Mulan!

Elder Dyer - number one barber in Riverside California

Got my Jesus socks on for St. Patrick's day

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015

Lots of meetings this week.  Picked up my greenie on Tuesday – Elder Dalmer from Oregon.  Great guy! He's supposed to go to Taiwan, Taichung, but his visa didn't come through so he got the next best thing, Riverside California!!!  There were four visa waiters for Taiwan that came in, so all four of us Chinese Elders are training.  We have eight Chinese missionaries in the mission now! That's a first! Their first morning, Elder Murray and I welcomed them with some Dan Bing, because they're not getting it in Taiwan, they can get it here!  His Chinese last name is the same "Dai" that I have, so we're Elder Dai and Elder Dai, President must have thought it would be funny!

They got their second introduction to Chinese culture when one of our Chinese members made chicken feet for them.  The members are from Sichuan so they made some really spicy food.  Elder Dalmer was asking what the least spicy thing on the table was, and Elder Carling (Elder Murray's trainee) said, "the apple juice" it was too funny.  I don't think they liked it very much but at least they tried it!  Next up, stinky tofu! We're not going to let them miss out on the Taiwanese experience!

We've been going over to Chino Hills a lot in the past weeks so Mulan's been going a lot of miles (our car is Mulan!).  We had a miracle and found one of the investigators that was supposed to be baptized last month, but got a new phone that for some reason can't call our phone.  On Saturday we were supposed to have two people getting baptized in Chino Hills a mom and an eight year old, but on Friday she called it off which was a bummer.  So close!

With my new missionary - Elder Dalmer

A family we are teaching

At the field - all decked out and ready to play

Gotta have our headbands!

So serious!

March 9, 2015

IT'S A BOY! So turns out I'm training one of the "visa waiters" that's waiting on a visa to Taiwan – should be a pretty fun experience.  

We do a lot of service as missionaries, including weeding yards - which is especially fun when the whole back yard is weeds.  One of our recent convert’s wife had us help her weed this back yard that was literally all weeds.  We showed up and I just said we're getting some weed killer. So we get the weed killer and come back and spray it, then she says she needs it out by TOMORROW, to show people who are renting the house... So we had to clear weeds for someone who wanted to rent out a house.  It took a really long time and Round Up apparently isn't made for killing weeds in one night... Luckily one of the missionaries that helped us is a farmer from Iowa so that sped up the process.

It's really interesting seeing the Chinese people that live here.  The older people still have old habits that die hard.  Their kids come and buy a half million dollar home in cash and they go around the parks looking through the garbage cans for plastic bottles they can recycle.  I guess it does help the environment, but funny nonetheless.

We're teaching this eight year old who is getting baptized with his mom this week in Chino Hills.  On the subject of faith, I asked him how does he know the sun will come out tomorrow.  He replied in a very matter of fact way, "because the weatherman said so."  I guess that's faith.  

We spent a lot of this week helping prepare for the Stake Chinese New Year Party that the Chinese members threw.  It was huge! 700 people at least.  Elder Murray and I were in the dragon.  I was the tail so I had to shake it a lot.  It was really fun though, especially for the kids who all kept trying to reach out and touch it.

I get really excited every time we go to a Chinese member's house for food.  The food is good, and hearing the Taiwanese (at the Taiwanese member's homes) really reminds me of home and listening to all the Aunties and Uncles talk!

Jurupa Zone! 

With the dragon

Murray and I before the party!

With some members and investigators

After basketball, Elder Williams on my right is going home tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 2, 2015

Two baptisms this week! Great time with them.  But we lost one of the recent converts already! She moved to Irvine, so we won't have her here for Church.  We handed her off to the missionaries in Irvine though. They came to the baptism, which was nice of them.

Baptism group photo

Baptism photo 1

Baptism photo 2

We were at one of the Chinese recent convert's houses this past week, and their daughter had a project on Hellen Keller.  She practiced in front of us, and in her small speech she said, "Since she was blind and deaf, she was better than all of us."  I laughed a little too hard.

We had to deal with lots of immigration issues involving our investigators this past week.  One of our investigator's family was coming to visit, the mother and father of the wife, who are in their 60's.  But they never showed up.  Turns out they got sent back home to China - never made it past immigration.  Apparently the immigration lady had fluent Chinese and did not need translation (something that all the Chinese people were very VERY surprised about).  Apparently the grandfather is sick or something and the immigration lady said I don't care if you die here, you're not entering America.  Very rude!

I've learned a ton about Chinese people's immigration techniques to get US citizenship.  One of the family's we're working with is filing for political asylum right now.  I had to translate a letter from the FBI about their fingerprint processing.  He said in China he had a really great life, better than “white people in China” (his words), and here he's the lowest.  He asked me why he though he did it.  He said it's because his son, education, the environment (clean air), and opportunity. 

We helped them do the Kindergarten application for their five year old son today.  We waited for a couple hours with them at the school to translate.  He was the happiest guy on earth when it was done, jumping up and down because his five year old got into school (he's the really really huge one, I'm going to have to get a picture!).  He was so grateful, he said he loves us because we're very "pure" (Elder Murray and I).  We don't have ulterior motives or anything.  

One of our recent converts got a cross necklace for her baptism from her Aunt.  It was funny seeing her wear it at church where there are no crosses anywhere.  

Orange juice and baozi (pork stuffed steamed buns) in the park

So cold (60 degrees)

So full!

Preparing for dan bings for breakfast (Chinese omelettes with  tortillas) at church member's home

Breakfast of dan bings (Chinese omelettes with tortillas) and you tiao (fried bread sticks) at church member's home

Snow in Southern California?

Strumming the ukulele part 1

Strumming the ukulele part 2

Taiwanese chef in the kitchen

Taiwanese chef results