Happy Chinese New Year 2014 was on Friday the 31st. In our mission we have a young Elder who was born in China and came to the US when he was a teenager. Elder Geng and I have become quite good friends. About a month ago he gave me a Chinese cook book which I really really appreciated.
About a week and a half ago he came into the office and said to me, "You're Chinese, so you're invited to our ward New Year's Celebration." I'm not Chinese, of course, but because I was born in Shanghai he likes to think that I am. We decided that it would be really fun to go. It was a pot luck, but instead of cooking, I took the easy way out. I went to a Chinese take-out place and bought lots of Chinese noodles with beef. I really am not a Chinese cook and besides that we work at the office until after 5:00. As it turned out, they had sooo much food that I needn't have worried. There was plenty of delicious food and they kept bringing more and more out. Also when we were leaving, I saw a ton more food in the kitchen.
We had such a fun time. Everyone was very, very, especially nice to us. When we first got there, the missionaries welcomed us and then we spent quite a long time talking to some of the young adults. They were so nice and we enjoyed talking to them. After that we went into the cultural hall. Of course, we didn't understand a single word of what was going on at the party, but we certainly could tell what was going on. Also, people would come over, talk to us and translate for us. Everyone welcomed us, young and old alike. We sat at a table and several people came over to sit with us, to talk to us, and again translated. We felt so welcomed and loved. The cultural hall was a large one and it was full of people. We later learned that about half of those people were investigators of the church. It was really impressing. Some of the ladies were wearing beautiful, long Chinese gowns and some of the men had the Chinese silk shirts. After the dinner there was a very nice program. First some little children played the piano and then there was a beautiful violin/piano duet. The duet played classical Chinese music and it was really lovely. After that there were some games. We were so glad that we decided to go.
All of these photos are from google because I didn't remember to take my camera, but the variety of food was vast. There were tons of dumplings of different kinds and everyone had their fill of delicious food. While we were watching and listening to the program, they passed around plates of sunflower seeds roasted with soy sauce for people to munch on.