Pink Lemonade <body> <body>

20 Questions
Thursday, September 29, 2011
♦ 9/29/2011 08:58:00 AM 0 comments

I realize that there are, potentially, a few questions about my time here in Taiwan that you may have that I have never answered. So, I'm giving you the opportunity now to ask them, officially, and I will answer those questions to the best of my ability. This is to celebrate the three months that I have been here in Taiwan. So, get cracking! Deadline will be... Next Thursday. What is that, October 6? We better make it October 10, then (double-ten/National Day), because I won't be around that weekend (for reals this time).

Ask me anything you want to know about my being in Taiwan, and ask it by October 10, 2011.


The last of Alma (where Helaman begins)
Friday, September 23, 2011
♦ 9/23/2011 09:59:00 PM 0 comments

(85) Alma 60:16 “Yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.” We must be totally devoted to living God’s will if we are to succeed against Satan and his forces.

(86) Alma 61:13 “But behold he doth not command us that we shall subject ourselves to our enemies, but that we should put our trust in him, and he will deliver us.” I love how this is repeated so many times in the Book of Mormon. As we put our trust in God, he shall deliver us of all evil as long as we do our part and work towards our own deliverance. We can’t just sit idly by waiting for our troubles to go away. Part of trusting is doing or acting upon our trust.

(87) Alma 62:49-51 “But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him. Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them, that he had delivered them from death, and from bonds, and from prisons, and from all manner of afflictions and he had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies. And they did pray unto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that the Lord did bless them, according to his word, so that they did wax strong and prosper in the land.” When we are humble and remember all the things that the Lord has done for us, we too will be blessed and delivered from our afflictions.

(88) Helaman 1:18 “And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government, that they had not kept sufficient guards in the land of Zarahemla; for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla.” We cannot suppose that Satan will never go for that part which used to be the strongest, or that he will never go for our hearts. Whatever happens, we cannot let our guard down.

(89) Helaman 1:28 “But when Moronihah had discovered this [that the Lamanites had come into the center of the land and were taking possession of many cities], he immediately sent forth Lehi with an army round about to head them before they should come to the land Bountiful.” I like how it says he immediately sent an army to defend the land Bountiful. Instead of waiting for the enemy/Satan to arrive at our threshold, the moment we are warned or become aware of the threat of danger we should send out our armies and our defenses. Luckily God has provided us with many means by which we can learn of the things that Satan will and does try to attack.

(90) Helaman 3:25 “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure.” Have you ever been astonished beyond measure by the number of blessings you have received? Or even just astonished to receive a certain blessing? I know I have been, especially as I have been living in Taiwan.

(91) Helaman 3:27 “Thus we see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.” I have witnessed this of myself many times. I think that this is something that everyone needs to try to gain a testimony of, and perhaps several times. It is sometimes easy to forget.

(92) Helaman 3:35 “Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” I feel that this verse contains the ingredients for joy, namely: fasting, frequent prayer, humility, and faith in Christ. I think also that this is one of the most beautiful verses in the Book of Mormon. “Joy and consolation.” What does it mean to be consoled? Consolation is to receive comfort after a loss or disappointment. God and Christ recognize that there will be losses and disappointments in our lives, but because of Christ and because of faith in him, those losses can be made up to us. We can find comfort and joy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is through the Atonement that we are also able to become pure and holy. For all of this to come to pass, we must “[yield our] hearts unto God,” or comply with the desires of God. We must give our hearts to Him and keep his commandments (all of them) completely.

(93) Helaman 5:6 “Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when re remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.” We that have been baptized have been given or take upon us the name of Christ. When we remember our name, then, we should remember him and His works, and try to live up to that name. We should do all that we can to be good as He was and is good.

(94) Helaman 5:42 “And it came to pass that they did all begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.” I love this. I love that when we pray, our faith in Christ can be increased. I also am reminded, in regards to the cloud of darkness, of Joseph Smith when he was in the Sacred Grove. It was through the power of prayer that the cloud of darkness was lifted from him, and it is the same thing here. I think that it is important, though, to remember that a cloud of darkness doesn’t have to be caused by sin. Joseph was not sinning when he knelt to pray. Sometimes darkness is caused by evil trying to obscure our view of the light. It is important that we don’t allow that to keep us from praying. We should always pray.

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Friday Fun
♦ 9/23/2011 09:17:00 AM 0 comments

By the time I am done teaching on Friday, it is 9:00, and I feel like my day has been wasted away into nothingness. There's not a whole lot of time to do things for myself, and I feel positively exhausted once classes are over. Actually, that state of exhaustion pretty much starts after the first 10 minutes of AK, if you want to be honest. Still, how can you not love these kids?

The first rotation: Zoe, Immy, Candice, Sam, Vincent, Daniel, and Oscar (who was absent today)

Zoe (who we thought was named "Lori" for about a week") Immy, and Candice

Sam ("love" may not actually be the right word for this kid, but he's doing a little better ever since we got our third rotation)


Zoe, again. Seriously, doesn't she look like some sort of gorgeous child model?

Daniel (he didn't want to dress-up, but he asked me to take a picture of him erasing the board, so I did)

Rotation number two consists of Jay, Jack, Tim, Tiffany, Kyran, Peko, and Coco.

Jay (again, not sure if "love" is the right word here)

Kyran- he for sure has an aunt that lives in Australia because he's told me about it several times now in very specific details. He just doesn't know how to tell me why she lives in Australia.

Kyran and Tim

Tiffany, my little Diva.

Crazy Jack. He's been sick this week, but he insisted today that he was not too sick to play.

Mullet-haired Tim

Coco and Peko

My second rotation. I could not get them to cooperate well enough to see everyone's faces at the same time, so I had to take too shots. See below:

Left to Right: Jay, Kyran, Tiffany, Peko (in the back with the cow hat), Coco, Tim, and Jack

And, finally, the third rotation, the children that most often make me want to pull out my hair, stomp my feet, or throw someone out the window (occasionally all three) Nick, Danny, Carl, Derrick, Ray, Mia, and Angelina.
Nick (who didn't want his picture taken) and Danny


Ray again. He keeps telling me his name is Ferrari. I have no idea where he got that, but he does know what a Ferrari is. 

Special, special Mia. This child has no coordination whatsoever. She's very sweet, though.


Ray (again)

Mia and Angelina

You guessed it: Ray.

Derrick, my saving grace in the third rotation

Carl, who keeps telling me he is named "Kevin." I may need to check up on this. This child... There are not words. He's new, so I may yet learn to love him, but... Until then, he likes to try my patience more than most of the other kids.

(P.S. I took all of these pictures today. They are not the ones that I have been meaning to post. I'll try to get around to those ones this weekend.)

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Mid-Semester Blahs
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
♦ 9/20/2011 09:23:00 AM 1 comments

I have pictures to upload. Not very many, but some. Life has been busy, but also relatively boring lately, which is why there's been such a lack in note-worthy blogs here. We've hit the mid-semester blahs (not to be confused with blues), which mean most things are pretty much routine and it takes a lot for something to feel "special."

I did, however, take a ride on Heather's scooter with her today to Costco in Taichung. I bought a bag of Rocky Mountain Marshmallows, a True American Tradition (yes, I went to Costco solely for the marshmallows). That was some fun times, but my bottom was pretty sore by the time we made it home. We passed the National Art Museum on our way to and from Costco, and decided that one of these days we'll be making a trip to Taichung to go there. Probably on a Tuesday since neither one of us teach in the afternoons.

On that note, every once in a while you can smell fall in the air, but it's still pretty hot here. It wasn't too bad riding on the scooter, and at night it's quite nice outside, but generally speaking? HOT. I hope it cools down soon, because I'm getting really tired of all my short-sleeved shirts. I'd like to be able to start wearing my warmer clothes without roasting myself to death, just for a change in wardrobe.

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My new mantra
Thursday, September 15, 2011
♦ 9/15/2011 10:20:00 PM 0 comments

Watching the first 20 seconds of this clip will tell you what I've decided to repeat in my head over, and over, and over again throughout the day when I'm stressed.

I'll let you know if it helps.

Thank you, What About Bob?!

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Happy Moon Festival!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
♦ 9/10/2011 08:22:00 AM 1 comments

Remember how I was going to Kenting today?

Well, instead I've spent the majority of the day bonding with my bed, but I also:

My throat really burned for about an after going to the doctor, not to mention the nasty taste in my mouth every time I swallowed, but then it was magically Not Sore for about 5 hours. Dr. Wong speaks some English, enough to understand what I was telling him, but not enough to really efficiently tell me what's wrong. All I know is that there's some post-nasal drainage going on and that it's causing an infection in my throat. I don't know why my ears hurt because we kind of hit a communication wall at that point, so I just nodded my head and smiled. Then they loaded me up on drugs and sent me home! For $5.15 (USD, going off of today's conversion rate), I can't complain too much about the price. That includes all the pills and the visit. Awesome, right? I think I can handle this National Healthcare System they've got going on over here in Taiwan.

Honestly, though, I'm still enjoying myself. I'm enjoying my long-yearned for Alone Time, the fact that I don't have any obligations for a few days... This isn't such a bad way to spend a vacation.

Also, the Pills:

Don't ask me what they are or what they are for (other than making me better), because I haven't the faintest idea. I take all of these three times a day for three days. Cool, right? If there's any other nasty bug inhabiting my body and waiting to strike, I have a feeling its days are numbered.

Meanwhile, I hope this whole shooting off fireworks thing doesn't last all night, because I'd really like to get some sleep.

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Talking about the weather
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
♦ 9/06/2011 03:47:00 AM 0 comments


If you are from a high-latitude country, you can leave your winter coat behind when coming to Taiwan and enjoy the pleasant warmth of the sun. If you'd rather experience the carefree sensation of healthy beads of sweat running down your forehead, then you should visit the beach at Kending (Kenting) in the southern Taiwan where it is summer all year round. The country is surrounded by oceans, and the ocean breezes, which are the reasons for Taiwan's humid weather, will surely make you completely forget the dry cold back home.

Sometimes I want to know when it's going to finally cool down, so I Google Taiwan's climate. That's when I find gems like the one above.

I am actually going to Kenting this Saturday after class. Here's to hoping it's a great vacation! Meanwhile, I'm busy trying to finish up progress reports before we leave, being that they're due next Tuesday. I'm about 80% done, and should be able to be 90% done by the end of the day, hopefully within the next two hours even.

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Teaching = My Life
Sunday, September 04, 2011
♦ 9/04/2011 05:38:00 AM 3 comments

So, for those of you who do not keep a blog or who do not use Blogger, well. Blogger recently changed their interface, and I'm not so sure I like it. Change is hard. This may take some getting used to.


Life has continued to be crazy busy, but for the most part I am doing well. You may or may not remember that there was a "typhoon" on Monday that cancelled classes for us. That was awesome, except for the one part where it meant that I wasn't able to get all the testing done that I needed to do in my elementary class. We will continue testing tomorrow and will hopefully be able to get caught up to where we need to be in another day or two.

Speaking of my elementary class, there is some good that comes from voicing concerns and complaints about students. Starting tomorrow, two of my students are going to be transferred out of my class into a brand new class that Gerald is creating. Sara (lucky girl!) gets to teach this class; I hear it will have about students in it. This change should make my class a lot easier to teach. I hope.

Also happening tomorrow, we will have three rotations in AK instead of 2! Currently, we have 20 students in AK which we've been splitting into two groups of 10. With this third rotation, we'll have two groups of seven and one group of six. I am also moving to a new section tomorrow and will start teaching Self and World Exploration. I better take a look at my lesson plans in the morning, because I've already forgotten what I was planning on doing... pray for me, yeah? I'm pretty nervous about "starting over," but at least this time I already know all of the kids. I'm also glad to be done teaching games. Kitchen wasn't so bad, but I think it will be good to get away from that one, too, for a while.

And now, this. For Halloween, the school is putting on this big production. I need to dress up, and I also need an activity (or two? I'm not real clear) to do with several different age groups. Any ideas? I'm drawing a total blank here. Halloween is totally not my thing.

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"I think I know how it is to be grown up; it's when you feel how someone feels that isn't you." -Frances Griffiths

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