Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2014 11:59:24 +0800
Subject: 新年快樂。恭喜發財。紅包拿來
From: eric.heaton@myldsmail.net
To: heatonjudy@hotmail.com

Hello the family!

Things are going good here in the 東高雄圓山支會 doing the work and trying to work around peoples schedule here, which gets kind of interesting.  So lets dive right in.

So this week was the start of Chinese New Year or 過年 (Guo Nian), which if any of you care is the year of the horse, and so because of that a TON of the members here, as well as investigators and just people in general are all out visiting family in other parts of Taiwan leaving the ward actually fairly empty.  And also because of that this last Sunday meeting they cut down to only have sacrament meeting and they had our ward mix with 2 other wards to make sure we had enough people so spend our time.  It was kind of an interesting experience.

Also if any of you are wondering about the subject line, it says "xin nian kuai le" which is happy new year! "Gong xi fa cai" congratulations and prosperity "hong bao na lai" may I have a red envelope. This is kind of a traditional new year saying, which I think kids would want to say to their elders which afterwards they elder person would usually give them a little red envelope with a little money in it.  Kind of a cool tradition. 

Also as part of Chinese New Year it seems like almost a tradition for the members to treat or just invite the Missionaries over to their house for a BIG meal, which is super nice of them, and they usually have some really good food there, as well as some extended family that are non members that we would do a small spiritual share with them.  Really fun.  Also an interesting thing about the culture here, if you are invited over to eat at someones house, its usually polite to bring a small gift or a card to show your appreciation, and one of the most common gifts to bring is actually a pineapple, and here's why.  So in Chinese pineapple is "Feng Li" I think, which when you say it in Taiwanese sounds different, but in Taiwanese it also sounds like a word that means good luck and prosperity, so by giving people a pineapple its kind of like wishing them luck and prosperity, cool little fact.

Well other than that, there hasn't really been much that has happened, lessons are a little harder to set up because of 過年 so we have just been trying to make due with what we have.  Another tradition people have is during 過年 they actually do a deep cleaning of the whole house similar to spring cleaning back at home, and so sometimes we offer to help them do the cleaning, and sometime people accept our help, so I have had the chance to help clean some peoples houses for them, its been pretty cool.

Well thats about it for this week, its been a rather slow one, but good things have happened and we are working to build a good amount of lesson after all of this new year stuff blows over.

Hope you all are having a good 過年 and that this year goes good for you all!

Until next week
Elder Heaton