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.