it is moon festival season in taiwan. moon festival is based off of an ancient chinese legend about a woman who fell in love with a rabbit that lived on the moon, so she flew to the moon to be with her lover. i think it's a cute story. apparently the saying "a fish may love a bird, but where would they live?" really does not apply here.
the chinese celebrate by eating lots of moon cake and by barbequeing habachi style. they've got little coal grills that they set on the ground, and one is encouraged to relax by sitting right next to your grill, loading up your kebab with green peppers, tofu, pork, chicken, and load it with barbeque sauce. they even barbeque bread. and i have to say, being invited to join the chinese singles' ward to barbeque with them was probably one of the best meals i have had in taiwan. it is kind of funny, too: so much moon cake is consumed during moon festival that there was a bit of a bread shortage one week. last week, we couldn't do kitchen activities with our students that required bread due to shortage problems at the bakeries. i guess we could have embellished some moon cake though.
the members of the church in taiwan are some of the warmest, kindest, friendliest people i have ever met. i am constantly impressed by how eager they are to make new friends and help people feel included and welcomed. while driving away from the event that evening, my roommate commented, "if more members of the church in the states were like this, we would have no problem retaining members." i think she is right.
when i was up in taipei, i met the mission president and his wife. his wife told me that the missionary work in taiwan is warmly received because it is part of the culture of taiwanese people to behave christianly towards each other: think of each other before themselves, raise self-reliant families, work hard, show love and kindness to others. it is a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.
with loves, us.