Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Family,

I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish you all a Merry Christmas...

Just want you all to know that the Christmas Spirit is alive here in China! There are so many evidences of Christ's love in this beautiful country - even without Christianity!

As I have been telling my beloved students about Christmas and explaining our traditions, I can see in their eyes how they yearn for understanding. If only I could tell them about Jesus Christ, His mission and His atonement....
I pray daily that the doors will one day be open for the gospel message to be spread in China. They are ready for the gospel message and when it comes, it will spread like a fire. They are so family oriented and they have such a passion for their children! It is heartwarming to watch them with their children and see the love... And, I feel that same kind of love for them - they have such a child-like innocence! And this innocence makes me feel very protective of them.
I am talking about ALL of them - the children, my students, the street workers, the merchants, and the old people...

I was thinking the other day about what my life was like before I came to China and how "shallow" I was.
Oh, I had all of you - and you were and are, my reason to live, BUT I was doing nothing meaningful - not really making a difference in anyone's life...
Grandma Pearl used to tell me that the greatest "need" a person has, is to be needed! And, in China, I am really needed and I really can make a difference in my students lives. And they take every opportunity to express their appreciation and love to me.

You - my dear family - have your own lives and you are all busy raising your families. Dad and I are pretty much just "looking" for things to keep us occupied, at this stage of our lives.... In China, we are "needed" in so many ways.. We feel that what we are doing is really making a difference in the lives of our students. They give us their acceptance and love unconditionally. It is VERY rewarding at this stage of our lives.
We have never been so busy as we are now. And, we are always studying or going somewhere to see or help someone. The only void on our lives is YOU. We miss not seeing you and the grandchildren. It is evident when we are lonesome to talk to you, knowing that you are so far away... We miss hearing those sweet, familiar voices and looking in your beloved faces. YOU are our life.... our reason to live.

We figure this is our last "hoorah" at teaching and giving back to mankind - a payment of sorts, for the abundant life we have.
We realize every day, how we were blessed to be born in the good old USA and have all the advantages afforded us.
We know our Heavenly Father loves us and is with us daily. We can feel His love and protection.
We also know this is where we should be at this time. Sometimes we question why we are here, but sometimes it is very evident why we are here.

On Christmas Eve, as we read the story of the first Christmas, we will be thinking of you and your families.
We will be thinking of the many blessings we have and how much our Father in Heaven loves us all.
We have so much to be thankful for and we need to express to Him, our thanks.

Know that we are counting the days until we see each of you. We can hardly wait to see our dear grandchildren and received the hugs and kisses we have been missing.
May you each have the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves you, that He came to earth to atone for our sins and that we will return to Him one day.

With All Our Love,
Dad and Mom


This is a letter from one of the professors I teach:

Dear Jane,
Thank you for giving us the poem "Myself". It is really a good poem, after reading it, I was encouraged and impressed. I think over about myself and all things I have done, I am not very satisfied with myself. First, I haven't use my time enough and sensible. Some time I waste my time, I really regret for it. Second, I don't think I am a good mother. Some time I am lacking in pacience to my son. I think when he need me so much, but I didn't do what he want, he must be very disappointed for me.
I think I have to do some change, I have to treasure my time, I have to be more and more pacient to my son, I have to do whatever I can to make my mom happy. Four years ago, my dad died of lung cancer, it was very very diffficult for us, especially for my mom. Now my mom have to be single, she is only 53 years old, she hasn't retired, she is not in the same city with me. Some time she feels so lonely. I must be a good daughter to do something to make her happy.
I want to be a good person, only do good things, Just like the poem said, I want to be self respecting and conscience free!
Dear Jane, you don't know how much I like you! I always think it is not enough even use all good words to describe you. I want to have more time to be with you, I want to be your friend, but my mother in law is not in good health, now she go back her home, I am very busy for I have to look after my son by myself, my husband is very busy with his job, he can't help me. So I have not much time to do what I want to do. You said you will go back America soon, I am so sad, I will miss you very much!
I hope it will not use your too much time to read my mail. Best wishes to you!
Truely yours Bonnie

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Here are the photo's the Henderson's took over the weekend. You will note how we
spent our Thanksgiving holiday - at the pearl market!
Seeing the photo's sent from home, of Thanksgiving really made us feel homesick.
We are very anxious to come home in January and to see all of you and be
in our own home!!!
Miss all of you....
Much Love,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week!

Dear Family:

Today I sat on the bus, as we traveled to Taidong to shop and I reflected my life and the wonderful experiences I am having - living in a foreign country!!!!!!!!

I sat directly across from an older woman and looked in her face and my mind wandered to thoughts of my Mother The woman's face was etched in smile lines and as I gazed into her eyes I saw kindness. I looked at her clothes, worn but clean and I could see where she had mended her coat - something my Mother would have done... Her concern for us was evident. She offered me her seat and when I refused - she told a young man to give me his seat! I took note of her aged hands and imagined all the "motherly" tasks they must have performed in her lifetime.

My mind was overflowing with memories of past Thanksgivings. All the excitement, all the wonderful smells and all the love of family!! Special memories of each family member who has left this mortal existance, but left precious memories behind. All the memorable Thanksgivings in Provo and Salem and Cedar City....
Your Dad and my first Thanksgiving together and our last Thanksgiving with all of you before we left for China. Good thoughts.... Happy thoughts.....

I saw 3 older women get on the bus and visit back and forth and I thought of Grandma Pearl and dear Aunt Mary and Aunt Reva and all the good times they had together. I can NEVER think of a time they said unkind or hurtful words to each other. What a great example they set for me! I must remember to always have love in my heart for my brothers and sisters and tell them of my love and appreciation.

"They say to count your blessings when Thanksgiving time is nigh, I have SO MANY BLESSINGS, I just can't count that high".......

We will celebrate Thanksgiving this year - teaching classes! I have a class from 8-10 a.m. and a class from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dad has a class from 8-10 a.m. We will probably spend the afternoon preparing for our classes on Friday, as we both teach all morning on Friday!
But, our hearts will be in Cedar City with all you special people who we love so dearly.. YOU are the ones we love the most - in the whole. wide world.
We have so very much to be thankful for and we thank our Heavenly Father every day for all the abundant blessings we have.

Have a memorable Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings - you have SO many.
You live in the greatest country in the universe and you are free to do as you please and go where you would like to go. You all have lovely homes, cars, and a family who would do anything in the world for you. SO much more than most people in the world have!!!!!!
I have a greater appreciation of the many freedoms we Americans take for granted. I pray I never forget the things I have witnessed.

We can hardly wait until January 6th - when we will be home for 2 months!!!!!! We are "living" for all the hugs and kisses we KNOW are waiting for us...............

All our love,
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Learning Idioms

This is an e-mail from one of the Chinese teachers I teach! They are so kind! I LOVE this class - they are all adults! In fact, a couple of them are about my age! Most of them are around between Natalie and Lesa's ages though. She is pretty smart.
Just thought you would enjoy it...
Much Love,
Dear Jane,
I am your student of Tuesday afternoon class. I like you so much! You are really glamorous! I am very very happy that I have the opportunity to know you and become one of your students!
The ten idioms are in one paragraph as follows. I hope you could help me to correct
my mistakes.
Thank you very much!
Truely your's

Last year, we got a new neighbour--Susan, she's a breath of fresh air. Becouse she is so beautiful and polite. A young guy named David who was a cut above when he was a college student, had a crush on Susan. Every time he saw her, his face was a dead giveaway. One day he told her that he had a bone to pick with her. When she heard that, she was a basket case, she didn't know what he want to tell her. The next day, David drived a car and carried Susan to a cafe. They talked a lot. Before they left, David told Susan he love her and she's a big shot to him. On the way home, there was a close call, a bus nearly hit their car! Fortunately, nothing happened. Few months before, they got married, and now, Susan has a bun in the oven.They have a blast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yeah... heat!!!

Just a short note to tell you that today is a memorable day - we get heat!!!!!!
Mr. Liu came to our apartment and "bled" our ancient steam heaters. It was quite the process!!!
He bled the one in the bedroom and it started to feel warm immediately but the one in the living room
still felt cold....When Mr. Liu came back to the apartment to hang a hook on the bathroom door,
Roger pointed to the heater in the living room and said, "cold". Mr. Liu, with his limited English just
went over to the heater, released more steam , and now we are slowly getting heat in the living room!!!!
I was sitting here in the bedroom, at the computer, listening to Roger and Mr. Liu converse and I started to
laugh and could hardly control myself. Somehow we manage to make Mr. Liu, as well as most of the Chinese,
understand what we need. We do this by pointing, using facial movements, talking in English and physically
showing them what we want. It is very unique and very comical.
Love this country and its people!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Greetings from China!

Dear Ones:

I want to write and share some thoughts and feelings because I pray that I never forget the things I see and feel while living in China!
There are so many things I see, smell, and touch that are forever ingrained in my soul about China.
It is a place I would never have imagined, I would even want to see, but I have fallen hopelessly in love with the country and her
people and customs. I truly have become a "Chinacan".

I will treasure many memories of China and the ancient classrooms at Qingdao University. One of the memories that will always bring
a smile to my face, is the lighting system in the classrooms! As I walk into the classroom every morning, all the students are sitting
in their seats, waiting for me, with smiles on their faces! What a welcoming sight for these old eyes!
I automatically turn on the light switch in the classroom, as I walk in the room because it is usually dark in the room. BUT - no lights
turn on! I try a second and third time and STILL no lights turn on! It has taken me approximately 14 1/2 months to realize that the
electricity is NOT on in the classroom...... However, as I am teaching my class, out of the clear blue sky - the lights suddenly come on!!!!!
I am sure the Chinese think they are conserving energy this way...

When we go shopping at "RT Mart", about twice a week, we really see and learn alot! This last Friday afternoon, as we boarded the number 202
bus we saw a little boy get on the bus with his "Ni Ni" (Grandmother) They sat in the seats in front of us, where I could closely observe them......
It is customary in China that whenever anyone boards the bus with a small child - they get a seat! I have seen old people stand up and
offer their seat to a young mother with a small child OR the child will get the seat and the mother stands! Also - if an older person boards the
bus - a younger person will immediately offer their seat! SUCH gracious, kind people - so thoughtful of children and the elderly. By the way,
I am one of the recipients of the offered seats!!!!! I must be in one of the mentioned categories!
Also, there are a couple of older ladies that seem to have the same shopping schedule we have and they always smile and chatter to me!
We always make sure they are allowed and helped onto the bus and assured a seat.

One of my most favorite things to do at RT Mart is to go to the meat counter!!! Roger just stands back and lets me do "my thing"....
At the meat counter, it is a "fight" to get to the front of the counter! Those seemingly kind, shy, unassuming little women can be vicious.
Shoving, pushing and bumping is allowed at the meat counter and believe me - it gets pretty nasty there... I make it a game or personal
challenge to make it to the front of the line, in as short a time as I can!
Friday, two old gals had their shopping carts wedged so no one could get near the front !

I know some of you will find it hard to imagine BUT I was at the front of the line within 2-3 minutes.!!!!!
I just started to poke at the meat in the bins and kinda nudged my way in... It helped that I caught the eye of
one of the ladies and smiled a big smile at her and said, "How are you today pengyou ( friend)"... She shoved all
the other gals back and made a place for me!!! I spotted a choice roast over on the chopping block which had
not been thrown in the meat bin AND she even told one of the butcher's to fetch it for the American!!!
And he did!!!!!!!!
I love this place..... I don't think that I have ever felt so loved and admired by anyone. They are so kind and thoughtful...

We are looking forward to coming home in January for about 7 weeks to put our house back together.
There truly is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.....

We love and miss you ALL.
Dad and Mom


This is our Doris!! SOOOOOO cute and sweet. Also, us with Doris and her roommates - they are the Post Graduates from last year. They will go to the hospital after Christmas to study and practice for 3 1/2 years!
Much Love,Mom

Qingdao 2009

A few pictures of beautiful Qingdao... the first picture is of a 1500year old tree!!!! Love you, Mom

Friday, November 6, 2009

Student Nate's Farm

Nate sent these to me when I was in the USA. They are of his village and home. You will note his father pulling the wagon on the way to sell his wares. Neat...Love you, Mom
Nate and I at the Rewards Ceremony last year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Korean Wedding

This picture is of one of our Branch members the night of her reception in her traditional Korean wedding dress... Isn't she pretty? Her husband is not a member. This is your Dad and "Strong", one of his students, on our "wedding day"...This is me, Merlene Ellington and a little Communist official on our "wedding day". He was so cute and wanted to have his picture taken with us..This last picture is of the "group" of Americans who were "married". It is so funny, all the Communist officials ALL wanted to have their pictures taken with us. The wind was blowing SO hard that day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chinese funerals...‏


I see in all my notes from our trip that I never explained to you about Chinese funerals! We saw 3 of them on the trip and the guide explained - in detail.
At a Chinese funeral, all the family members and those attending the funeral, wear white. And they all wear a wide, white head band on their heads too.
They usually hold the funeral at a public place - at a local restaurant where a "funeral feast" is held. But, wherever they have the funeral, there are large white
banners hung to signify there is a funeral. There is also alot of paper money for the dead person to take on his or her "journey" to spend. The
Chinese worry that their loved ones will need money in the next life and on their journey there and that is the reason for the play, paper,money. At one of the
funerals we saw, there was a large, white, life sized paper horse for the departed one to ride on his journey to the next world. Sometimes there
is a paper rabbit to take on the journey also. There are also some of the dead persons favorite clothes or even some new clothes for the departed
to wear on the journey.

All these symbols are gathered and placed beside the casket for everyone to see. As soon as the short viewing is over, EVERYTHING is burned.....
The horse, the play money, the rabbit, the clothes - even the persons body is burned.....
Then the ashes are put in a jar and buried.
A stone tablet is placed over the grave with the persons name carved on it, as well as his family members names.

Every year, on the anniversary of the death, the family visits the grave. They take the dead persons favorite foods and leave the dead person a generous
serving of his favorite food. There are many dishes prepared for the dead person and the family meets after the food is delivered to the grave,and has a

These customs are the way the older generation of China celebrate death. The younger generation doesn't feel it is necessary to continue the ancient
customs. How sad that this custom is only still practiced in the small ethnic villages. I think the Chinese way of death and burial is interesting and I
was fascinated with the ritual.
The Chinese, interestingly, believe in life after death. This really fascinated me. They believe that the departed one can influence family members and
that he could possibly be "re-born" as something or someone else. They are very superstitious.

This all was so interesting to me and I just wanted to share it with you as well.

Much Love,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Korean Family‏

Dear Family,

More thoughts on the past weekend.... We attended a Korean wedding reception and dinner which was fabulous. The bride is a member of our little Qingdao Branch and she wore a traditional Korean wedding gown. She looked stunning and we had a great evening. Not all the members of the Branch were invited, just us and we felt honored.
We took a 45 minute bus ride, in the pouring rain, to Brother Harrison Kong's home, to ride to the reception with him. He and his mother-in-law, sister Yeom, went with us. It was another hour and a half to the reception. It was a memorable evening because we shared it with our dear Korean brothers and sisters. I will send pictures.
Oh - and the bride and groom had a special gift for all the guests - 2 hand towels each, with their names and the date stamped on them!

We were married AGAIN the following morning on the Beach - here in Qingdao. It was a fun day,with the Chinese treating us like monkeys in the zoo....We are the "token" Americans. They don't understand a word we say and we don't understand a word they say. The wedding "ceremony" was so funny and there were photographers all over and there was a feeling of celebration. We went to dinner after the "ceremony" and the meal consisted of both kidney, as well as liver - fixed Chinese style ..YUCK..YUCK..YUCK
Oh - and there were gifts too. Another plate, with Chinese writing on. Two t-shirts that will probably fit Marin and "1", very small - single bed sheet!!!!!!!!! So funny........

Sunday we had another baptism in our Branch. It was Brother Yoon's middle son, who just turned 8 years old. The baptismal font was filled as we had Sacrament meeting and the children kept going back and sticking their hands in the water. As soon as the block of meetings ended, the baptism took place, with your Father officiating. Brother Yoon ask Dad to confirm his son and it was a beautiful confirmation prayer - I wish you could have all been there to hear it!
Then, the Koreans fed all of us! Peking duck! It was really pretty good and it was a wonderful afternoon.

There is something I wanted to add here because I don't want to ever forget it....
There is a very reverent, loving, caring, kind, feeling among the Korean members... They are so generous to everyone. Generous with their time. Generous with their money. Generous with their affections. Generous with all they have. As I sat there at the baptism, I watched them and the way they treated each other and each others children. They treat all the children as the Savior treated the little ones. They all had a small one on their laps and they all were hugging, either their own child,or anothers child. And, the children were perfectly content with whoever was holding them - even if they weren't their own parent.
Are we as Christlike to other peoples children? Do we truly love and care for all of God's children? It really caused me to think and look at myself and how I act or re-act to the situations in my life. Am I as Christlike?
Please think about this.... I know I have!
Much Love,

Information learned from our trip October 1-7, 2009‏

Dear Family:
As you know, we have just returned from a trip to the poorest Province in China this past week - Guizhou!
What an experience.... It has been a week with a variety of emotions and I feel so very thankful for
all the Lord has blessed me with. I feel so grateful to Him for the privilege of being born in this dispensation,
in the USA, with all the blessings and advantages life has to offer.
I don't remember ever seeing such poverty and lowly circumstances. It was a very humbling experience for me - one
that I won't soon forget! I feel very emotional when I think of the look on the peoples faces and the hopelessness in
their eyes. Even the children....

We left Qingdao on October 1, 2009 for the celebration of National Autumn Festival and Moon Festival for a week.
We arrived in Guiyang in the late afternoon and as we rode the bus to the hotel, we noticed the poor living conditions
and poverty. We were fortunate to have a great guide by the name of Howard. His knowledge of the area was
remarkable. He took us places we otherwise would never have seen, because he is a native to the area.

Howard explained that the Miao minority worships the water buffalo. The water buffalo does much for these people and
they would be unable to accomplish their farming without the buffalo.
The Chinese people all think of the dragon as something very special. The rest of the world thinks of the dragon as something
awful or frightening. The Chinese say that the dragon has horns just like the water buffalo, which they worship. They say that
the dragon has the body of a snake, the face of a cat, the tail of a fish and of course the horns, like the water buffalo. Virtually EVERYTHING in China has a significance, such as the Dragon Boat which has 50 oars - 25 on each side,- representing the 50 ethnic minority groups.

Each minority group dresses differently. We saw several minority groups on this trip, but predominately the Miao's (pronounced meow) and the Han's (pronounced han, as in hand).
The Chinese dress of the Han women is called a "chee pow" (my spelling as it was pronounced!) The Han women dress daily in the Han native dress. The women wear head bands about 3-4 inches wide. The married women all wear a white head band and the older women or grandmothers wear a black head band. Eligible young women wear nothing on their heads. The Han women wear a 12 in long embroidered belt that has colorful embroidery on it. There are 12 different florals or scenes on the belt, signifying the 12 months of the year. There are also representations, through color, for the different seasons. Their blouses are sky blue and button on the left shoulder and a skirt is always worn. Very interesting and so symbolic.
One tribe of Maio people that had "broken off" from the main body of Miao's, wears a special hat or headpiece that looks like a large hat or hair which comes to a point on either side of the woman's head. It is made of black yarn and also of the hair of Miao women - woven with the yarn!
The Miao women dress very festive. The Miao's love silver and they adorn themselves with silver. All the women, in the native dress, had eleborate silver headpieces, huge necklaces and gorgeous waist adornments. However, they do not wear the silver everyday. The Miao's, especially, worship the water buffalo and for some occasions, the women wear a hat resembling the horns of the water buffalo.

The Miao houses were all made of wood with the traditional Chinese tile roof. However, the Han houses were made of slate or bricks - they even had a slate or a cement roof ! In ancient times the Hans made their homes of slate, with the slate roofs so their emenies could not burn the homes. Today, both Han and some Maio homes have a cement, flat roof and on the roof is water about 3-5 inches thick! The reason being: the water cools the home in the summer months and warms the home in the winter months!

In the small village of Tian Tai, which is a Han village, we saw an ocean of corn drying. It was so amazing..... they cut the ripe corn, saving the husks for food for the water buffalo. Then they dry the corn and put it in sacks for winter. All the houses had clusters of corn drying on the porches. There were also big piles of dried corn cobs, which was saved for fuel for the winter. The Chinese waste NOTHING.....

We were on some of the most frightening, winding, dangerous, roads I have ever travelled on. Disney, with it's frightening rides, couldn't compare with some of the life threatening rides we were on! I felt the Lord's hand in keeping us from harm on this trip, more than ever before in my life. We nearly had a frightening accident one night - one we will all remember for a long time. Remind us to tell you about it someday...

One night when we stopped, the guide told us to be careful where we ate supper because the city was known to eat dog meat...... He said that the local people raised dogs to eat and dog meat was served at every restaurant. Made us a little worried to eat. That was in the city of Kaili. It is hard when you cannot read a menu and the only way to choose something on a restaurant menu is to look at the pictures on the menu and point at what "looks" like it is something you can recognize to eat!!! What an experience.

The rice growing along the road is a wonder to behold. It is hard to imagine the rice paddies and how they grow. I hope the pictures I sent can somehow show you how it is done.
The rice grows as tall as a Chinese man and the harvest is around October 1-10. To harvest the rice, the women cut it in bundles about 3-4 feet long. The bundle is laid on the ground, beside the rice plant - to allow it to dry out. As soon as it is dry, the bundles are "thrashed" with a bamboo stick or "slapped" hard against the ground to dislodge the rice kernals. As we drove by the rice fields, we could see the farmers harvesting the rice.
As soon as the kernals are taken from the rice "reeds" the farmer spreads the rice kernals, single file, on the ground to dry out.
These kernals are spread and repositioned several times per day. They dry for several days BUT they must be swept up every night and put somewhere safe for the night and re-spread the next day!
As soon as the rice is dry, it is stored for the winter. The rice "reeds" or the stalk where the rice grew, is then laid in bundles and tied near one end. These bundles are stacked "teepee" like. Some farmers "teepee" stack the rice stalks in a large circular fashion - even around a tree trunk - higher and higher and higher...
Rice irrigation is most fascinating! The rice must be kept constantly wet or damp - without allowing to mildew. Rice paddies are planted on different levels with a drainage system allowing the water to constanlty flow downward without becoming stagnant. As we drove from village to village among the rice fields, we noticed all the terracing for the rice growth and it was beautiful.
Every available inch of soil is used to some advantage or another, and it is a sight to behold. EVERY part of the harvested fruit or vegetable is used for one purpose or another - nothing is wasted.
Tomatoes are not "bush" grown as we grow them in Utah. I saw a great idea on tomato planting here in China! They take two 6-7 foot long bamboo poles and make them in a big "X", on either side of the tomato plant. Then they run a longer bamboo pole down the center of the X's to connect all the X's (at the top) and the tomatoes are tied to grow up the two sides of the poles - NO tomatoes on the ground for the bugs to eat....
The Chinese are genius' in the art of growing anything. They have been doing it for centuries! I don't know why I marvel at their skill - but I do..

How blessed we are! We live such good lives and we take so much for granted. We waste so much in our country and we expect there will always be more . These people live life each day, hoping for food the next day - never really knowing ... I know that I will think twice about the food I waste and the things I throw away. I see people every day, "dumpster diving" for any scrap of food they can find and I live so abundantly! The thought has crossed my mind, more than once, that I am so blessed to be an American and have such a good life. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for all I have in my life.
I love each of you and you are always in our thoughts and prayers. Tonight, when you lay your head on your pillow, try to think of all the people in the world that have so much less than you have. You will have to count your blessings... You must!
All our Love,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This last day of the tour we were on our own. Our flight didn't leaveuntil 3:45 p.m., so we decided to go to QianLing Park - which isfamous in Guiyang for it monkeys and scenic views.

Poor Village

This is without a doubt - the poorest village people I have everseen... We had to drive 3 hours to reach them, on a winding,frightening road and then 3 more hours, after dark, on the same roadto get back to the hotel. It was a frightening day and I felt aspirit of unrest while here...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Huangguoshu waterfall,etc. near Anshun‏

Today we visited Hauangguoshu waterfall where we climbed to thewaterfall. The waterfall plunges down 74 meters to Rhinoceros Pool.This is the largest waterfall in Asia. Below the falls is the StarBridge scenic area, which is known for its "potted landscape". We sawStone Forest on the water and visited the Buyi minority Stove Village.We walked across the Sky Star Bridge and rode the longest escalator Ihave ever seen. Long day...

Temple, Dragon boat cave - great day!‏

Today we visited a famous temple - the Temple of Mercy, which was noton our itinerary. It was beautiful and so peaceful. We also went toLiuzhi, hometown of the Changjiao Maio's. We also took a boat trip tothe Dragon Palace cave or the Karst cave. Great day...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Han minority village

Today we visited the Tianmountain Dragon Temple. We visited a Hanminority village. In that village, all the houses were built out ofbricks or stone and so were the roofs! The reason being that inancient times, enemies could not burn the villagers out because thehouses and roofs were stone.. We saw a "ground" opera with gorgeouswooden masks. It was a great day. Note all the corn. The harvesttime is here and they were either drying the corn or getting it readyto take off the cobs.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kaili and Xijiang Maio village‏

Today we visited Kaili and went on a scenic ride to the Xijiang Miaovillage - th elargest Maio village which is well known for itsembroidery and silver ornaments. It is very picturesque, set in anatural basin and bordered by rice paddy fields, with wooden houses onthe hillside. Only a few of our group went to the Datang Maiovillage, which was very unique. We saw things there we will treasurefor the rest of our lives...

Friday, October 2, 2009


Visited Qingyan ancient town and Zhuangyuan mansion. Also a Miaominority village. Also Kaili - the center of the Miao sliver culture-the gateway to other minority villages. Also visited the Langde Miaominority village - seeing traditional Maio architecture.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Arrival in Guizhou Province in Guiyang‏

Pictures of our arrival in Guiyang - Guizhou Province on October 1, 2009.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WHAT a weekend!!!!

Dear Family:
What a weekend we have had.......
To begin - we had Branch Conference and your Dad was basically "in charge" of all the coordination of meetings and speakers. He really worked diligently to make it a great conference and he did a super job. You all would have been so proud of him, I know that I was!
The Beijing District Presidency attended and spoke as well, with President Steven Toronto presiding. It was a great conference and the Spirit was strong. Dad gave two talks and he did a great job. It was a great two days - a real spiritual feast.....

There was a BIG Communist National Celebration planned for Sunday night as well - the Communist party has been in China for 60 years and there was a huge celebration planned.....All us "Foreign Expert Teachers" were invited and we received a beautiful written invitation. When the invitation was delivered, we noted that we were to sit at the "VIP table"!!!!!!!!!! All the other teachers sat at other tables.... Shirley, our waiban, really likes us and we felt it an honor to be seated at the VIP table!!!
She told us that we would be seated by all the "big wigs" in Qingdao! She said that as soon as we arrived at the Hotel where the dinner was to be held, she would take us to the VIP room where we could relax and visit and have a drink. AND, she said that we would walk into the banquet after everyone else was seated and make an entrance...We were very intimidated by this!!!!!!!!!!!! But the BIG thing was.....we were to sit by the Mayor of Qingdao, as well as the President of Qingdao University!
There were cameras flashing and people walking around offering toasts everywhere. It was just like in the movies!!!!!!! Why we were the honored ones we will never know........
I sat next to the President of Qingdao University and visited with him all evening. Rog sat one person away from the Mayor and they chatted. What an evening.
Beautiful fresh flowers everywhere and some of the fanciest food we have ever eaten. I will include the menu.. And, the desserts and fresh fruit was unbelievable!!!!
Victoria took pictures and I will send them to you... You will get a big laugh at us....

We will leave in two days for the National Holiday/Moon Festival celebration... We will go to Guizhou - a very authentic ethnic village where we will see alot of the poor people dressed in their native dress...It promises to be an outstanding trip. I will try to send the information on it also.

I will send photo's as people send then to me...

I miss all of you and it is so wonderful that we can at least talk on Skype. I love to hear your sweet voices.

Much Love,