My dear ones.... I'm sorry I am such a thoughtless fiend and completely forgot to tell you that I would be sending out the email a little later this week. We didn't have a normal P-day this week because our zone had a temple trip today (Wednesday). It was very exciting. Sister T. and I woke up this morning at 4:45, got ready as fast as we could, and sped across town to the mission home which is normally like a 30ish minute bike ride but a lot of the traffic lights were just flashing cause it was too early so we were just FLYIN'. Then we got on a huge bus with about like....20 other missionaries, and we made the trek to Taipei. It is the smallest temple I've ever been in, but was still so beautiful. While we were in the temple, I just kept thinking about the first time I went through to take out my endowments....just me and mom. It was one of the happiest days of my life and I felt like my soul was expanded beyond anything I ever knew it could....does that make sense? I love the temple. I miss going there every single week. It was so wonderful to be there with my dear Taiwanese brothers and sisters and...I don't know. It just made me so happy to be here with them. Lately I've been thinking a lot about why I was called here specifically to serve in Taiwan. I am still not totally sure, and maybe I'll never completely know why, but I am so glad that I love my mission the way I do. I love that Taiwan is a part of me. These people are a part of me even if they never fully understand how much I love them, how invested in them I am. Ok enough bumbling and not making any sense while trying to analyze and process my feelings and the things I am learning. STORY TIME. One of our recent converts is a really sweet hearing impaired lady named Sister Cai. Sister T. and I feel like she gets the shaft and kind of neglected by missionaries/ward members because well...how are they supposed to talk to her? Anyway we decided to go visit her, and before we went in, Sister T. said a prayer and just asked Heavenly Father to please help us to be able to communicate that He loves Sister Cai. We went in and decided to teach her the plan of salvation, and I had some little pictures so we couldlay them out on the table and point at them. She started to teach us Chinese sign language, and sometimes she would write stuff down to communicate when we couldn't understand. It was so fun, and the Spirit was so strong. By the end of the lesson, we could sign: "Heavenly Father loves you. We love you. You are our friend." It was so cool and a complete answer to prayer!! I love those teaching moments when you really are seeking out the one who other people might forget about, and God works through you to touch the hearts of His children because each one is so precious. 2 Thanksgiving dinners!!!!! Yeah. 2. On actual Thanksgiving DAY, Sister Tanner and I went to this little turkey rice place by the river. We had vegetables and some freaky bread from a Taiwanese bakery. I talked to her a little bit about James cause it was his birthday, and I had been thinking of him all day. Then we just kind of quietly ate and watched the traffic and the sun go down. It was strange and didn't feel like Thanksgiving, except that I got really full, but I was really happy. So happy to be in Taiwan and so happy to be with Sister T., my kindred spirit. THEN on Saturday we went to a less active member's house for a real Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and all. Plus some Taiwanese elements: duck, sushi, guava....also my companion and I made no-bake cookies to take with us. And we got sent home with an entire pumpkin pie and can of whipped cream, which we wanted to devour ourselves, but we ended up sharing up with the Elders in our district. It was a very interesting dinner......at the end we were sharing a little message about the Book of Mormon. Then the less active sister divulged everything about why she is less active....quite a bit of drama. It makes me so sad when people leave because they were offended. She was really hurt by what happened to her. I felt so sad that she let that get in the way of her choosing to use the Savior's Atonement to heal her...we love her so much, and you can tell it's hard on her husband because he tries so hard to be active with their kids......man I'm sorry, I am so tired so I am not being very eloquent. Just know I had the classic Thanksgiving: turkey, pie, family drama. You can find it anywhere you go ;) Last thing.......Sister T. and I have started this crazy diet. For one week we are only eating raw food. I am going crazy. My sweet tooth has been controlling my life for so long, but Sister T. helps me stay strong....it has been extremely hard though haha. BUT! I am determined to learn self-discipline in all areas of my life. There are just way too many tasty treats to eat here, and you can get them anywhere, anytime for not verymuch money. But I have to start controlling myself now because Chinese New Year is not too far away, and my trainer said she ate so much last new year that she gained 4 pounds in one week!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!!!! That is just a little glimpse for you of how incredibly generous these Taiwanese people are. They are always giving giving giving. Sometimes it's hard to get them to take (food or the gospel) because they are so bu hao yisi, but God is softening the hearts of the people in this area every day :) I feel so strong even though my weaknesses are so clearly laid out before me. It's like that scripture in Corinthians....for when I am weak, then am I strong.