Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mid-autumn Festival, smells like meat, 40 days, if, Taipei temple

Road trip to Taipei
September 28, 2015
Dakeng, Taiwan


Mid-Autumn Festival
Zhongqiujie kuaile! (literally middle fall happy) Happy Mid-Autumn festival! 

Everyone has been celebrating this weekend. Their celebrations have to do with the lunar calendar and that there are a bunch of myths about it and to celebrate, everybody BBQs. Why they BBQ nobody was able to give me a straight answer, but I guess that's their way of celebrating! 

Smells like meat
But the grills are very different from American grills. They're small boxes basically that they put coals in and then a rack on top, so it's done sitting down, and the stuff cooks very slowly, so everyone sits around and talks while waiting for the food. It's really fun to see, because here a lot of peoples' stores also serve as their house. So biking down the street, you can see every single family BBQing outside their house or shop.  All of Taiwan smells like meat! Mmm... 

Last night our Relief Society President invited us over to BBQ with them and it was really fun! Poor Sister Howard is still pretty new, so the Chinese is still a work in progress. Wu JieMei said in Chinese what all the food was, but obviously Sister Howard didn't know what she was saying. So after grabbing a skewer on the table and sticking it into her mouth, one of the elders translated for her: "that's chicken butt." But she's a champ so she just smiled and kept chewing! I even tried some chicken stomach and it was pretty good! 

We have interviews on Wednesday and exchanges again on Friday so I have that to look forward to this week! 

40 days
This week during personal study, I read about the time after Jesus was baptized, which He spent in the wilderness fasting for 40 days. Though this is a short section in the New Testament and one that is well known, I think there's a lot we can learn when analyzing these verses. 

Right before, after Jesus was baptized, He hears Heavenly Father's voice declaring that He is "His Begotten Son." Growing up, hearing that Jesus was perfect, I interpreted this to mean that He always knew who He was and that He fully understood His role as our Savior, but this actually isn't true. He grew up as any of us do, gaining knowledge gradually. James E. Talmage says, "Christ's realization that He was the chosen and foreordained Messiah came to Him gradually." 

So after fasting for 40 days, Satan tempts Jesus saying "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Satan is very tricky! Just in this one-sentence temptation are lots of mini sub-temptations. It would obviously be tempting to eat and assuage physical hunger. It was also a temptation to be selfish and think of Himself for once; it would also be tempting to test His own power. 

But the biggest temptation in Satan's statement lies in the word "IF". Satan was forcing Jesus to doubt His divinity and to try and prove Himself. "To have yielded would have been to manifest positive doubt of the Father's acknowledgement" because Heavenly Father had just declared Christ as His Beloved Son. 

This is only temptation #1 and I will continue next week with the next temptation! But just hoped I would be able to help us all think a little more deeply about Christ's nature and how truly perfect He was.

Have a wonderful week! 

Love, Sister Hancock

At the temple in Taipei together

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