Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Dear ones:
Wow - what a week this has been! We have had so many rewarding and special moments - some good, some not so good!
The week started with a student of mine - Emi Sakamoto, coming to the apartment to have us help her with her oral English.
She has been preparing for a test to determine her mastery of the English language and has failed it twice. She is an older
Japanese student who has a nursing degree and wants to be a Pharmacist.
She ask us where we had been all day and we told her we had been to Church. She ask so many questions about the
Church and every time we tried to change the subject, she kept referring back to the Church. She saw our picture of the
Salt Lake Temple and ask all about it too. She has a visa and carries a passport - the same as we do, meaning that she
is not a Chinese citizen and we are free to talk to her about the Church!
We really tried NOT to talk about the Church and she kept referring to the Church. To make a long story short - she wanted
to read the Book of Mormon and Rog ended up giving her his copy to read!!!!
He also invited her to go to Church with us... We will see what happens. I will keep updated.

This past week Rog and I attended the finals of the debate competition here on campus. My 7th year Medical students
were vying for first place, against Rog's Post Graduates!!!!!!!! Can you believe that???
40,000 students on this campus (larger population than Cedar City!) and our students are against each other for the championship!!!!!
I am sad to say that Rog's students won. I really thought that my students had won - they did the better job! But the judges
proclaimed Rog's students the winners. Rog's other students - all girls - took 4th place. Two of his girls won top honors, one
for the best English speaking student at the University and the second one as best debater at the University. Needless to say,
he was very proud.

Today is May 27 and we have the next 4 days with no classes, as it is the celebration of the "Dragon Boat Festival". As I have said
before, the Chinese love to celebrate and this celebration is a fun one. The special food eaten is a "Junsie", made with sticky rice and bean
curd or nuts or meat and cooked in twisted bamboo leaves. They taste very good and I had the chance to watch a woman making them at the street
market today.
Every day is a new adventure. I never know what I will see when I leave my apartment. I never look for different things - they just seem to be
Today I had 20 of my Sophomore girls with me at the market and they were so helpful and showed me so many new and exciting things. I took many more pictures and as soon as Rog downloads them, I will post them.

The Miller's have gone to Korea for the holiday and we will stay here and wander Qingdao. There are so many things we still need to see and
experience here. Our friends, the Brown's, will spend the weekend with us and we are sure to have a great time. Of course I will go to Jimo
Market and look at pearls... I am known as the Pearl Lady of China to all the BYU teachers because of my knowledge of pearls I learned
while working at a jewelry store. And, I can bargain !!!!!!

Time is getting short here - I only have 2 to 3 more times with my students before the end of the semester.. I can't believe it.
They are such a big part of my life, I can't imagine what my life was like before coming to China. I love these dear people.
I love the rich culture and history. But I love my students best of all... each one has touched my life in a special way. I love
seeing their faces light up and the smile spread across their faces when I peek in the classroom every morning.

I am getting very anxious to see everyone at home. We were so sad to hear of our dear friend and family member, Bud Bowman's
passing. We pray for our sister, Diane, and her family at this time and realize that it is time to come home and see our dear ones.
When I look at our family photograph I realize how much I miss all of you. I can hardly wait to see you all again........

Much Love,

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Letter from a student to Jane:

To my the best teacher and friend,
Do you know what's the most happy thing on that day? It's just your attendind to our debate! Your attending gave encouragement to me, and I can feel there is one blessing us sincerely.My heart is filled up with your kindness and our achievement is composed of your friendship.
Though my english is not so good,but I am always trying to express my appreciation to you and Mr Halladay.
I have a small secret to tell you, my Chinese is very very good,and nearly all the views of my team are thought out by me~~hoho~But my oral English is not good enough to express well,so I wasn't so active when debating...But i'll try my best to practice in the future.
It's our honor and luck to have such a good teacher and friend as you.
I'm sure that our friendship will last forever.
yours sincerely,

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 4th Square

This place is awesome! We love to go here as often as we can. There are so many vendors selling their wares and so much action going on.I love it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remarkable Day!

Dear Family,
I just have to write and tell you about the things that happened yesterday...

Last night Rog and I helped 4 of my students prepare for the upcoming Speech Competition and as we were finishing, another student - Kaye, came by our apartment.
Kaye is one of those souls who is a misfit in the class. Her little face looks as if she has had a stroke - it sags on one side. She is a very intelligent, sad little girl and
I have always had a "soft spot" in my heart for her. She usually comes to the apartment with her 5 roommates, but she came alone last night because she had
something that she wanted to discuss with me.
She ask me if I had noticed a change in her in the past 2 months and before I could answer, she said that she is much happier and not as sad nowadays. I did not
say a word, I just sat and listened to her as she poured her heart out to me. She said she feels loved and she is very happy, now that she has found "him". I thought
she had found a boyfriend, but continued to sit and listen. She went on to tell me that she isn't lonely anymore because she now has brothers and sisters.
It took her time to express herself, she said that "he" had made a difference in her life. I ask who "he" was? She said, "You know him".. and held her hands like a cross.
She knows she cannot talk about this - she was taking me into her confidence! She told me that she goes to church and there are many
churches here in Qingdao. She went on to tell me that church is where she talks to her brothers and sisters.
I just sat there listening to her and wondering where all this was going....She told me that she knew I had religion in my life, that I was a Christian and she
ask me to please help her and tell her more about "him". What a temptation!!!!!!! She told me the reason she had come to see me alone, was because she needed
to talk to me about this and she would tell no one what we talked about. She pleaded with me to tell her more about "him." I explained to her that I had signed an agreement with her government as well as Qingdao University that I would never discuss my religion.
Then she told me that she wishes she could live in the United States and worship as she pleases. She told me that she knew that I worshiped as I wanted because
I always seem to be so happy and content. She told me that she always sees me with Mr. Halladay and we hold hands and smile at each other. She knows
there is something different about us.
I can honestly say that I just sat there wondering what to say. I just sat and let her do all the talking. I said a silent prayer that I would say the right
things to her - appropriate words that would put her mind at ease. I will say that many things went through my mind as I sat there with tears in my eyes. I put my
arms around her and told her how much I loved her and the subject turned to her new internet friend.
After our little talk, we walked her back to the dormitory and she kept tell us that she was so proud to be with us. It made me feel sad for her. She said that she loves
to tell the girls in the dormitory that I am her teacher and that I love her, because everyone knows me. What a humbling experience for me....... I tell you this - not to
brag, in any way - but to share with you, how very dear my little Kaye is.
So what do you all think of this??? I know we are not on a mission......But are we? I think that everything we say or do is a reflection of the United States of America
and of the Church and they are watching everything we do. They are interested in our actions, thoughts and deeds and it is a very humbling, spiritual experience.

Today I had a wonderful class of Sophomores - they had collected pine cones and wanted to know of a use for them. I tried to explain the pine cone turkey's we
make at Thanksgiving and could not, so I told them to collect as many pine cones as they could and bring to class. I took all sorts of things to embellish the pine
cones, such as glitter, glue, ribbon, feathers, marking pens, colored paper, etc. They had a great time. I let them use their imaginations and I wish I had taken
the camera to class.... It was unbelievable. They made some darling things - the boys having the best imaginations. I walked around the classroom and
visited with each one in the class and really got to spend some "one on one" time with them. It was a spectacular day for me, one I won't forget.
Much Love,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Week of May 12, 2009‏

Here is a report of our latest adventures..

I always think that I have seen it "all" here and that there isn't another thing that would amaze me. And then, another crazy thing happens!!!!!
The other day we went to our favorite super market - "RT" to buy some supplies and as we were dodging between all the people I saw something that made me stand with my mouth opened, in amazement... In the super markets they have live fish and live "things?%#@ in a big area near the meat. There are all sorts of fish and chicken parts (yes - even the famous chicken heads, inner parts and feet) in huge tubs' just sitting out with a thin layer of ice under them. As I looked the place over, I saw several women talking excitedly and grabbing the pigs feet, examining them and tossing them back into the pile. One woman grabbed a couple of the pigs feet that were stuck together and she dropped them on the floor to separate them. ON THE FILTHY FLOOR..... Apparently she had found the object of her search and it was too large,so she tried separating it by dropping it on the gross floor. I had to stop and stare in amazement. Unbelievable......

We have had a wonderful few days, with the Ferrel's from Nankai University. They are dear BYU China teachers and they are so much fun to have come and visit. They wanted to have a trip to the famous - Jimo Market, or Pearl Palace, as I call it!
Friday we spent a great day at the market and they found some real treasures - we literally shopped, until we dropped. After the "shopping frenzy" we met the other BYU teachers at a new Mexican restaurant and had a great dinner. It is such a welcome change to spend time with other Americans.

Today as we walked back to our apartment, we heard someone hammering on something metal and we looked up and saw a man leaning out of a 6 story building window. He had a hammer in his hand was pounding, as hard as he could, on something metal near the window. He kept leaning out, further and further - he was standing on something and I was so frightenend that he would lean too far and topple out the window. I swear, sometimes the Chinese really take risks that could be harmful OR far even fatal.

It is such a comical thing to be in China, when you think of all the things that are SO different from our way of life in the United States. Just because they are different does not mean their ways are better or worst, but it really causes me to reflect on the many blessings I have as an American citizen. I guess I have always assumed that all people did things pretty much the same way. Wrong. I've lived a pretty sheletered life and I have sure had my eyes opened to a completely different way of life!!!
I guess what I am trying to say is.... some of my views on life, as I have assumed it should be, are not always the best ways.
I do not need a large, spacious place to live. I do not need a big bathroom. I do not need lots of dishes to be happy! I do not need hot water in my kitchen to wash dishes - I can carry water to my small kitchen sink and still do dishes. I do not need a big clothes washer, with hot water, to clean my clothes. AND, I can wear the same 5-6 outfits for nine months and survive. I can sleep on a hard bed and really learn to love it. I can walk to school in the hot sun or blowing rain and be perfectly happy. I can see the good in all races of people and love them because they are Heavenly Fathers children, just like me.
Have I changed??? YES. I will never be the same person who left Cedar City, Utah on August 27, 2008. I have learned to love these wonderful Chinese people with such a strong love, I wonder how I survived without them in my life before now!!! I see beauty in all their faces and I pray that I am not as judgemental as I was when I arrived here in Qingdao, China. They readily accept us Americans and I pray that we Americans are as accepting of them. I know I will forever defend the Chinese people and their strong family ties and respect for me as an elder and teacher. They readily accept me and love me for who I am. They always have a hug for me and want to hold my hand and protect me. How cherished I feel when I am with them - any of my students or any of Roger's students. I thank Heavenly Father every day for all my blessings and the chance to be in China. Hopefully I return to the United States a more loving, accepting, caring person.

I love you all very much,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our life in China!‏

Dear Family and Friends,

The time is passing rapidly and we have been so busy with school, students, and school functions. Last week was truly a memorable one for me.
I only had one class all week long, as it was mid-term exams and there are no classes for one of the days. Also, there were 2 days of "Sports Day" for all
my Freshmen and Sophomores. On Thursday and Friday I went to the track and watched the sporting events and I really had a great time with the kids....
Some of my medical students participated and some did not. It was very strange how the entire thing was handled.
All students are required to attend the two day event - they have NO OTHER choice but to attend. There are several students assigned to each class that
take "roll" and record who is in attendance - every 30 minutes. They actually walk around with a paper and pencil recording who is there and who is not!!!!
I could not believe it. I went and sat by my students and they were so sweet to me and they explained the consequences if a student does not attend the
events. This is how it is: all the students are required to attend - if they do not attend they will be in very serious trouble and they will have "points"
deducted from their school record. There are no excuses accepted for someone not in attendance. It is a very serious offense to not be in attendance.
And ALL must cheer and encourage the competitors and write the competitors words of encouragement. Does this sound very Communist??????????
BUT, they are all so cheerful and happy to be there and they cheer and act as if there was nothing unusual happening in their lives - and I guess this is
not unusual for them....
When I walked to the bleachers they all cheered when they saw me..... Made me feel so special. And, they all wanted me to come and sit with them and
their class. Happy times and memories for me. I love to see them out of the classroom - they seem to be so much more relaxed. I took many photo's,
which I will attach.

Two nights last week, we walked down to "May 4th Square", ate supper, and walked among the vendors. There were people who were out for an evening
stroll or to watch the tide come in. It was amazing - so peaceful and relaxing. It seems like we never allow the time to take walks in Cedar City....I guess
we just allow too many"things" to prevent us from making it a priority in out lives. Here in China, life is so "laid back" and relaxing - it seems. Such a
carefree time for us, a time we will always treasure among these special people as well as the dear friends we have made in the Miller's, Goodrich's, Nona
and Victoria.

Saturday we were invited to go to a "tea picking" with my co-teacher, Aron and his wife and daughter. We discovered that Aron's wife, Linda, is also one
of Rog's co-teachers. We went to Yang Kou on a bus with about 15 different Chinese parents and children. The children all speak English - the parents
do not speak English. They were a delightful bunch of people and we had a wonderful day. We went directly to the tea patches and were shown how to
pick the tea. Then, we were served a delicious lunch of dumplings which were made of tea, flowers and unknown vegetables. It tasted great.
Then we went to the beach and the children played in the sand and the ocean. We were exhausted when we got home - but what a great day.

Yesterday, I had my class of Post Graduates come to our dormitory and I served them French Toast and taught them how to use a knife, fork and
spoon. They were so excited and they really did well with the utensils. They were something to watch. Most of them thought the homemade
maple syrup was too sweet BUT others wanted to drink the leftover syrup ! ! ! Such sweet people and I can honestly say that I love them with all
my heart. Some of the most intelligent people I have met and so kind and considerate. They each gave me a hug on arrival as well as a farewell
hug and kiss on the cheek. Melted my heart. Next year, after Christmas, they will be assigned to assist the Doctors in a local hospital and I will
not see them as much, but they have promised to keep in touch. I know that I will never forget them - they were the first class I taught at
Qingdao University and I was so frightened that day.

I have been teaching my classes - the past 2 weeks - facts, as well as trivia about Mother's Day. They celebrate Mother's Day here
in China and we had some good ideas and discussions on Mother's Day. I gave each student a piece of stationary and assigned them to write
their Mother's a letter of appreciation and to tell their Mother "I love you". This was a hard assignment for my Chinese students, as
the Chinese culture does not express feelings of love to each other....
Today in class, I ask if anyone had given their letter to their Mother and one girl raised her hand and said that she had given her letter to her Mother.
I then ask her what her Mother said. She said that her Mother read the letter and turned her head so that she could not see her crying as she read
the letter. The daughter (Natalie) said that when she saw her Mother crying, she started to cry also. It was a very touching moment, as Natalie got
tears in her eyes, as she retold the story. Natalie went on to tell me that she was thankful to me for making the assignment to write her Mother a
letter of appreciation because she never expresses her love to her parents and they do so much for her. Wow........

I love you all so very much.We are getting anxious to come home. We only have 6 weeks of teaching left and we are keeping busy so as not to
dwell on the fact that we will see you all soon. How we miss you dear family. I think our love and appreciation for each of you has grown in the
time we have been gone. Can't wait to see your dear faces.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trip to Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghi‏

Dear Everyone:

Well, we have been traveling again! We have been on some wonderful trips, with wonderful people and seen some wonderful places....
This was our last trip for this year and it was so enjoyable and gorgeous. It is hard to say goodbye to our dear friends, who have
taught with us, in China this year. They are such talented, kind, loving, generous people. I feel honored to have been so closely
associated with them and we will miss that association.

Last week we went to Hangzhou on Thursday, April 30th. When we arrived, we met BYU teachers from Beijing and Marvin Wu took
us to a traditional Chinese noodle dinner.
The morning of May 1st we toured the West Lake and went on gorgeous boat ride around the lake. We saw a huge Dragon Boat that
was magnificent. The average depth of the lake was 1.8 meters - less than 6 feet! As we got off the tour boat, there were many little
shops and vendors. What wonderful buys we made! Then on to Suzhou.
The morning of May 2 we visited the largest traditional garden in Suzhou and it was beautiful. "Humble Administrators Garden" is a
10 century creation and "Tiger Hill" is located within the garden. Within the park is a leaning pagoda - a 7 story structure dating
back to 961 A.D.
In the same afternoon we took a boat trip to the Grand Canals in Suzhou or the Venice of the East. It was absolutely gorgeous -
something I would hate to have missed. There were people living along the waterways. We got some great photos. I will send them.
Then we went to Suzhou's famous embroidery factory, where we saw some awesome stitchery on silk.
The morning of May 3, we went to the small ancient Chinese town of Zhouzhuang. We took another boat trip on a different canal
to visit "Old Street" and the Zhang and Shen family mansions. LOTS of great shopping... We ate the famous "sweet pig's elbow"
for lunch (alot of fat - not much meat!)
Then rode to Shanghi and flew back to Qingdao.

It was a wonderful trip and we were happy to return to Qingdao. This week I only had one class - it is mid term and the students are
busy with that and also it is "sports day." I have been helping BYU friends purchase pearls and preparing for classes next week.
Dad keeps busy too.

We are anxious to see all of you and get things in order at home. The world, as we knew it, has changed in the USA. In some ways,
it has drastically changed and will never be the same again. We feel so sheltered over here and almost like we don't realize what is
really going on in the USA.
But, the most exciting thing is that we will see all of you. I can hardly wait to see your sweet faces - faces I love with all my heart.
I have dreamed of the day when I will see you again. I can hardly wait. You have been in our every thought and prayer. How we love
and appreciate all of you. You are the most important part of our lives.
I Love You,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trip to Zibo and Wei Fang‏

Dear Family:

It is such a gorgeous time of the year and we have seen some unbelievable sights here in China. What a beautiful country!!!!
Our trip on April 21 and 22 was to Zibo and Wei Fang - a place that is internationally known for it's kites. The Chinese are the
culture that invented the first kite and we had the chance to see the first kites made and to actually go to a small, authentic kite
producing site.

On Monday, April 21 we traveled to Zibo - a city close to Wei Fang. When we arrived in Zibo we went to a ancient village that is
400 years old. The buildings are still standing and people are actually living there! (If you can imagine that!) The streets are all
bricked and there is much to see. There are little stores all along the street and smiling Chinese people of all ages. Especially older
people, mainly women.
As we walked down the street I felt like I had stepped "back in time". As we leisurely strolled down the street, I spotted a group of
women sitting and I walked up to speak to them. They were all smiling and laughing. A little boy with his "Ni Ni" ( or Grandma)
was hollering and trying to free himself of the harness Grandma had secured to him.
But there was one very old Chinese woman sitting on a chair and I was immediately attracted to her. Her face told of a hard life, with many wrinkles - but what character... She had small feet which had been "bound" when she was a young girl, possibly as young as 6-8 years of age. I was drawn to her and put my arm around her and looked in her eyes. Could she have been someone I knew in the pre-existance? She stuck her little feet out for me to see - they measured 5 to 6 inches long and extremely narrow!!!!!! I put my foot beside her little foot and it was a shock. She had white socks and little black shoes on her feet.
IF ONLY I COULD HAVE SPOKEN TO HER........I 'm sure she has a tale to tell.
Her eyes were full of expression and I felt such a kinship to her. As I looked at her dear face the deep grooves or wrinkles in
her face told of pain and strife and I am sure she would have a "story" to tell.
The younger women near to her, showed me that she is 92 years old. She was so gracious and allowed us all to take as many
photos as we wanted of her and her feet. I kept putting my arms around her and patting her arm - hoping that she would
somehow understand my love and admiration for her. I hated to leave her.
I purchased a darling hand made Chinese hat-with much stitchery and detail to take home, also some little wicker type shoes.

The next morning, April 22, we had another "hair raising" bus ride to Wei Fang to see the kite festival.
The festival is held in a huge arena, and I am sure there were 5,000 Chinese people there!!! The Chinese love to celebrate anything and they were all so happy to be there. The kites were wonderful and some of them took
6-8 men to fly. The biggest kites I have ever seen. What an experience.
Then on to a kite making place. It was really fascinating to watch the artists paint the kites. Then we watched them assemble
the kites - what an interesting process. The unique thing about these kites, is the fact that one person makes an entire kite
by himself, from start to finish. They are not mass produced. Also - these kites were all made of a special, sheer silk fabric.
What a great form of art and really interesting to see. By the way, after completion, each kite is tested or flown before they are
ready to sell. We all bought kites to take home. Rennen ask us to bring him a dragon kite and we were looking for that as well as a kite for Jack
and Deken. We found the perfect kite for Rennen, however it is more of a collector's item than a kite he can actually fly. Same
with Jack's and Deken's. I will watch for kites they can actually fly, as well....

Every place I shop, while I am in China, I look for items I can use to decorate a Christmas tree. I have found some precious items, but I am still looking for more... They will be a lasting, sweet reminder of China.

I will send pictures to post with this entry to the Blog.

All my love,

Students Visit

These are 3 of my students who came to see us....

Chicken Dinner

Dear Lesa
I HAVE to send this entry to you because we have all been so amazed and shocked over this experience....

One day the Goodrich's invited us to eat lunch at their apartment and Joe ran to the canteen in our building to
get some rice to eat with our lunch. While he was at the canteen, he saw some soup that looked good to him
and so he brought the soup for us to eat as well.
Rog ate the rice as well as the soup and Jo Ann said how good the soup tasted - I chose not to eat it because
I am dieting. As we were clearing the table, after we had eaten, we looked at the remaining soup and noticed
that - in the soup was a "chicken head" - the beak, the eyeballs, the comb on the head - EVERYTHING......
Attached is a picture we took to prove our findings...