This week has been full of real good stuff! How's yours been? I'm having more and more fun here in Taiwan.
Tuesday was great because...
we were having district training meeting in the church, and then heard and enormous CRASH BOOM BOOM!!!! from the upstairs chapel. Our district ran upstairs to see what was going on, and it turns out, there were two worker guys painting the chapel ceiling. One guy had been on top of his scaffolding to paint the ceiling when the scaffolding fell over (It was really old old rickety ghetto scaffolding with unstable wheels on the bottom)! So I ran over, and the guy was bleeding from his head, and looked kind of dazed. There was paint all over the floor and over a couple rows of pews. We cleaned up as much paint as we could, helped the guy, wash up his wound, which wasn't very big, and sent him to the hospital. ( I told him to just superglue it, but nobody listened to me.) He's fine, the chapel is fine now too. But I learned a real good lesson from this, about the gospel. So I'll share it with you.
Sitting next to the scene of the paint and blood, silent and untouched, was a shiny, nice, extremely safe electric scaffolding. (I don't know what to call it, but the thing that has a place for one guy to stand. and can lift you up as high as you need to go.) I thought, why in the world were they using their ghetto scaffolding? Later we were talking to the West Gaoxiong stake president about it, and he told us this: The church had provided the nice safe electric one for them to use, but they thought it was too slow. The church contract also said to remove all the pews , and cover all the floor, but they only removed the middle pews, and covered the middle of the floor. They had been cutting corners, and thought their way was better, but then they fell. I wonder how many of us are the same way in life. We think the way of safety that is provided by the church (Keeping the Commandments), is too slow, or is annoying, or we're not used to it, or it's not that important. We start cutting a corner here and there, or only covering the middle part. Not doing everything the prophets tell us to with exactness. What could happen? You get owned like the paint guy, and then your boss gets really mad at you. So keep all the commandments. COMPLETELY, and then you'll be safe.
p.s. I went in two days later to see if it was cleaned up. They were still painting, but I was glad to see all the benches removed, and the whole floor covered. They were still using the same ghetto scaffolding. Like the duck cartoon said "some people never learn."
After that experience we went and helped the West Gaoxiong (not our stake) Stake President move beds and fridges and stuff. We've done this before a couple times, but this time was really great. He's a really amazing man. President Yang. He used to be a professor at snow College, teaching art with a specialty in Watercolor. Really good English and a real good stake president. He was baptized as a teenager, (in 10 days, who says that quick baptisms don't stay active?). We talked to him for the whole afternoon about missionary work, about how we could work with wards better, and get members involved in missionary work. We learned a whole bunch! It was fun. As we were driving I realized we went out of our area! And then even out of our Zone! Uh oh, so we had to call President Bishop and tell him we went out of our zone. The best part was that Yang Huizhang in order to show his gratitude bought us Costco muffins!!!! whooooo! Those are so good. You have no idea how precious those are on a mission in Taiwan. And a whole box of honey bunches of oats! yay.
Wednesday was good. Taught English class. I resigned as English leader from last move call. But I think i kept the English program going pretty well here. We usually have about 30-50 students every Wednesday. Right now i am teaching the little children s class with Elder Brigham Blackham (from Mt. Pleasant) we have a lot of fun just singing songs the whole time. his mom actually writes some real good church music.
Thursday was Thanksgiving. It was probably the best thanksgiving I've ever had. Really it was so much fun. Everything we did was just blessed by the spirit. We went and visited old grandpa Yang, he's such a cute old man. He said he really enjoyed listening to me play violin in the stake talent night. He can't really read though, (old people just do that sometimes) and he doesn't get things real fast, so we were wondering how he was going to progress. Then his daughter came down and we met with both of them. his daughter would read out loud to him, and she was really really smart and interested in the gospel. So we committed her to read out loud to him. Yay.
Then, after lunch,
we had one of the best lessons I've ever had. It was with a 24 year old guy named Peter Cai4. We had the recently returned missionary from our ward (now our ward mission leader) accompany our lesson, and we taught the plan of salvation, and the word of wisdom. The spirit was really strong, and we committed him to be baptized on Christmas day, and he said he would, and set a really solid goal. We actually spent most of our last Preparation day with Peter, because he's the brother of two recent converts. Two recent converts who lived in Utah last year, named Mandy and Lisa. When they were in Utah, my companion Elder Chen was good friends with Mandy. Then she came back to Taiwan, and one day walked into English class, and Elder Chen was teaching. He quickly referred them to the sisters and they were baptized. Now hopefully their brother will be baptized as well this Christmas!
Then we splurged and ate at a real yummy buffet that night.
Lastly, I need your help! Christmas is coming soon, and me and Elder Chen are doing something really really cool! We're doing the twelve days of Christmas for about five families, 1 active, 3 part member and 1 investigator. Only we're doing 25 days. We're telling them to buy Christmas trees, and then we'll give them an ornament every day, with a thought about something to do with Christmas, and maybe a commitment to do, like read a scripture, or do something festive for Christmas. We hope that it will be good, and we'll be able to baptize some people because of it (that's the plan). But if you have any good ideas about Christmas traditions, or things we could give them, or things to do, I'd love to hear them.