ALL YOU CAN DRINK BOTTLED SODA!?!?!?!?!?!? That is right my friends! We were invited by a friend of ours to go out to eat with her and some of her friends. It is called "hot pot". It is one of the best ways to eat in Taiwan. You have a big pot at your table, with boiling water in it. You then go up to the buffet of frozen raw meat, vegetables, and things we have never seen before (the mystery foods). We takes those back to our table and proceed to cook them in our boiling pot. Finish it off with some heavenly garlic and soy sauce mixture, you have perfection. When we did think it could get any better. Jenifer told us there was free ice cream and free soda. JACKPOT!!!
Although Laura and I were master chiefs back in America we had not had an opportunity to use our skills until one glorious night. We discovered a lonely box of pancake mix in our local grocery store. It was begging us to take it home. We said sure and it said we had to bring its friend Maple Syrup with it. SO WE DID! That night we had the ultimate pancake feast!
One thing that we have learned here is to never take anything for granted. This includes a lot of things, but one that you might not think of is weekly laundry. We were blessed with a washing machine, outside our apartment and down the hall. Sadly though, it is the Taiwanese way to hang your clothes up outside to dry. It is amazing how much you will appreciate the way your clothes used to fit after going through the dryer, when your entire t-shirt collection is two sizes larger than they used to be. This prompted us to have an exciting adventure to our local laundry mat. Good times were had.
Our final story we want to share with you is about our trip to the beach. Our wonderful friend, Terry, had invited us to ride up to the north coast with him on our scooter. It was a beautiful ride and we brought our swim suits for a grad adventure. Unfortunately, the beach we went to had a "no swimming" rule. Oh well. I built a sand castle around Laura's feet instead. It was a relaxing day, and it was nice to see the ocean and its vastness, compared to the forever busy Taipei.
Update from the church: Last night we attended the youth Christmas service. There was a great turn out of new students from the ages of 13 to 2oish. The Youth group presented Christ in an amazing way through song, skits, and games. Toward the end a local youth pastor spoke which is when many new people came to Christ. Please keep all of them in your prayers, and also thank you for your continued prayers for us.
Here is the amazing Christmas miracle that happened to us this week. Laura and I were starting to feel like we were missing all of the Christmas fun back at home. This was beginning to make us a little sad. Amazingly, when we got home from teaching English at the church tonight our apartment had a Christmas tree and Christmas lights. IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!... Okay it might have of been a surprise that I set up for Laura, but still a Christmas miracle all the same.
So, we had our tree and it came with a pack of blinking lights. We had to use our Mcgiver skills to think up some other decoration ideas. I had bought a thing of popcorn. It was sort of like Jiffy Pop, but no top to catch the kernels as they popped. It was a mix of excitement and fear. It was like war but with the smell of butter... Laura may have some butter burns. If you mix popcorn with our sowing kit we bought at 7-11 you get..... POPCORN STRINGS!!!!
Finally, we found some colored beads and string. With these two tools we fashioned ourselves some make-shift ordainments. They remind me a little of those bead keychains we made when we were in the 4th grade. The picture on the right is a picture of our first glorious Christmas tree together as husband and wife.
We are definitely going to miss our family a lot this Christmas season, but it is nice to have a little bit of Christmas here. We love and miss you all so much and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas season.