Christmas, Sunday School and Pinching Myself

Our first major holiday in Taipei has come and gone.  We weren’t sure it would actually come, but grateful it did.  Our air shipment miraculously arrived on December 23rd, just in time to put up the tree, a few decorations and wrap the presents that Santa (using the magic that only Santa can use) added to our shipment.  Luckily I didn’t have to give the speech that I had prepared for Elizabeth explaining that sometimes Santa doesn’t make it as far as Taiwan until a week after U.S. Christmas.  Huge sigh of relief.

We spent the evening of Christmas Eve with our cool new neighbors LeeAnn and George.  They invited us and a few other people from our church ward to a lovely American turkey dinner.  The food was delicious, the company was pleasant but the best part of the evening was spending it with the missionaries that are serving in our ward.  The two elders were trying their best to be positive but were obviously missing home.  My heart went out to them.  I was in their position twenty years ago and I felt their pain.  They were adorable!  I’m grateful that my children will have more contact with missionaries than they had in Utah.

Christmas day was spent much like every other Christmas: opening presents, wrapping paper everywhere, mass chaos.  But in the late morning we got on Skype with the Hale family and felt like we were in Jason’s brother’s livingroom as they reenacted the Nativity.  We sang carols together and knelt together for family prayer.  The miracle of technology is such a blessing!

We also had a scaled-down version of our traditional Italian Christmas dinner.  I was shocked at the number of Italian items I was able to find around town.  I even found Pandoro.  Our taste buds thanked us.

Christmas over, Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, I got a call from a gentleman in our ward, telling me he was ill and asking if I would teach the gospel doctrine sunday school class for him.  Gulp!  He must have known I’m a sucker and can’t say no to anything church related.  About seven years ago I was the gospel doctrine teacher in our ward and I would spend about 15 hours a week preparing my lessons.  I had 1/2 hour to read through the lesson before we had to leave.  To add to my grief, this was only our second week in this ward and the temple president and former mission president are in the class.  Gulp! Gulp!  I said a quick prayer and winged it.  I somehow muddled through it, unbloodied and hoping I never have to do that again.  Ever.

This morning, I went for a walk in our new neighborhood.  I had no idea where I was going, I just let the wind take me where it wanted.  I ended up quite a ways higher up Yangmingshan mountain from our home.  I found a lookout point with a spectacular view of Taipei.  I could see all the way to the ocean.  It was breathtaking and awesome!  I felt like I needed to pinch myself to make sure it was real.  As I looked out over this spectacular city I couldn’t believe that I actually get to live here.  I honestly feel like the most blessed person on the planet.  I’m loving this new life and I especially love that I get to share it with my favorite people.

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8 comments

  1. Lisa · December 27, 2010

    Missionaries were one of our favorite things living in Canada! We always took lots of pictures and either emailed them to their parents or became friends with sisters, mothers or brothers on FB so we could quickly share pictures. At least 1/3 of my kids (and my) friends an FB are RM’s from the Vancouver mission and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    How much of your ward is English speaking?

  2. Josh · December 27, 2010

    Erin, your lesson was uplifting. Thank you for stepping in at the last minute. You’re a pro.

    • Erin · December 27, 2010

      You’re too kind Josh. I was literally shaking in my pumps. Thanks for your comments. They were true acts of compassion toward me and my predicament.

  3. Becky · December 27, 2010

    It sounds like Christmas went well. So glad you got your UAB! I am sure you did a great job on the lesson. Your life in Taipei sounds wonderful.

  4. Amy Griffes · December 27, 2010

    I am sooo glad you are all well and happy! Here’s to a wonderful New Year may it be full of exiciting adventures for your family! I love you all and miss you:)
    Amy

  5. Debbie Andersen · December 27, 2010

    Merry Christmas to all of you. I am sooo glad you are happy and enjoying your new home. You were sooooo brave to sub for Gospel Doctrine. Bless you. I would have been instantly ill and unable!

  6. Heather M · December 27, 2010

    Erin, it sounds like a wonderful Christmas was had! Yay! Such a wonderful thing, exploring somewhere new, and finding new places to call home. Love the posts, and looking forward to more! Happy New Year (or, Happy Western New Year!)!

  7. Lorisa Massey · December 27, 2010

    Sounds like you are adjusting well to your new lives. 🙂 I would love to see pictures! 🙂 Merry Christmas from the Masseys!! 🙂

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