Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March twentieth

Dear family,

I seem to have finally found that my coming next couple weeks will finally be my regular weeks, for it will be spent fulfilling my hobbies until the twentieth of March, which my departure date. Dad told me that it was illegal for me to seek a job as a tourist, so I refused the job offer at Shaoxing. I spoke with my potential new boss there on Thursday night. The first thing that she spoke about was church. I was going to work for an Episcopal church. Churches are really poor now a days, so when I read more of the situation. I was told by the sister that I would be the second teacher and affording both of us is very difficult. I told her, realizing how weak the program is that they would be better off without me. She even pursued with another proposal, which entailed no pay, so I am left here in China doing whatever hobbies that I want.
Since I lacked a purpose in China, I felt like going against the norm. I showed a little California culture by showing that many people wear shorts all year round. Everyone was freaking out, worrying that I would get sick. I learned from cross country that sickness does not come from being cold, but it comes from being indoors more during the cold season, where the germs are more abundant. Mama Dong Ping told me yesterday, when I wore shorts again, that she was wearing five layers of pants. That's how they are raised. I was not cold, wearing shorts.
Friday night I went out for dinner with my good friend Shirley. She has been super busy at school, but we went out to a steakhouse to catch up. Shirley only hung out with me for the second week of my stay here. The reunion was too chill for my liking, but it was nice to see her. She was heading to a concert across the street from the steakhouse, so I walked her there.
Walking home, I passed a fast-food chain in China called Dumpling. There is a girl there, which I find cute. I even got her QQ number. She tried to talk to me once over QQ, but she is not confident in her English. I wanted to see her, wondering what would happen. It was very awkward though. Since she were lacking of confidence before her coworkers, they looked at me very strangely, so I said good bye.
Saturday morning I did not have much to do because the dates that I were hoping to have fell through. I was able to Skype with Deneice, a good friend though. A very limited amount of people seem to see my status' on Facebook because not many people know that I am in China; except for people that I am most close to. I fixed up all the emails for her and Andres, for they want to read my adventure here. I am doing a lot of writing now a days. I was hired as a Ghost writer, so that is fun. Mark said that we can meet in the states to figure out how we can work together.
When all my options were taken away from me, I felt that I don't have a purpose here. I can practice Chinese. Saturday morning I saw that I was set to be on the spring fall track at BYU Idaho. I thought that I may be attending in the spring, but, rereading the letter, I see that I still have until September to get to Idaho. I occasionally thought myself as a prodigal son, since I used up all my saving, but my father comforted me, comparing my stay to the original Zion's camp. They went out only to exercise faith. Zion's camp did not go to war to recapture Zion, but they made it there.
On Friday evening, I introduced Melissa to brown rice, saying it is more complete than white rice. I further said that I like it better than white rice, and on Sunday night, I was surprised that she said that she bought some, preparing me breakfast for the next day. It was tasty. She has cooked me breakfast three days in a row now. She asked what I wanted last night, and I said French Toast of course. I wondered how Chinese French Toast would be. She said that the bread was requiring a lot, and she did not have time to cook it with eggs and stuff.
Fast Sunday was really good. A brother testified of a meaningful principle that 'my way are not your ways', which rang true with everyone. I came here to do things, but they seem to not be my purpose here. We ought to seek to do God's will rather than our own.
The past couple days with Melissa at her class, I would play with the kids. They have toys, but perhaps the toys are beyond their age because they just look at it. They are probably three to four years old. The toys are like Lego's. On Tuesday and Wednesday I built things for them, and they had played with them. They have a great imagination. They played with an unfinished project of mine as if it is a cake, and a boy sang the happy birthday song. A girl wore one as a crown, and the children felt like a dog or a cat as they held a ball like structure before their face. The class play time have been more fun and loud, which I think is good.
Yesterday my sisters said that they will knit me a yellow sweater, starting today. I thought that they were working on it already, for Erika was working on a yellow sweater. I was wrong, and they said that they will make a better one for me. They asked me if they wanted a long neck, a common design, so I had to have that, since it was handmade just for me in China.
On Monday I decided to read my first Chinese book. The first day was discouraging. Since I was reading the title of the book, the character combinations did not make any sense, so I skipped all the title stuff to get to the story. It is children's literature, so it should be fun. I asked Melissa, if she recommends any books to  learn Chinese, and she recommended Hsu Chih-mo poetry 徐志摩的. I hope that they are like psalms.
Occasionally I am able to be an aid
for Mary to teach Engish. Humbling myself to be free without a purpose in China, being able to do whatever that I want and seeking to be fruitful, is interesting. Many people may feel that way now though.


Alexander Hicken

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