Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 26, 2010

Christmas is over. It was one of the best Christmases ever! Here's what this last week was like. We put Santa hats on our helmets, and painted our bikes red and green, and gave out candy canes to little children on the street. It was great.
22nd, sad because we have nobody getting baptized on Christmas. The Shi brother's mom came home from china, but she told them that they had to wait until 20 years old to be baptized because she wanted them to go to a Buddhist college.
23rd, woke up at 4:00 in the morning, went over and met with all the missionaries from the south at the Gaoxiong train station, and went up to the mission Christmas activity. We first went to a big Buddha statue place called Bagua Shan. Then we went up to Taizhong and ate lunch at a really yummy buffet. It was real fun seeing all my friends from the MTC. Then, we had a mission Christmas fireside, where we sang some songs and talked about Christmas. My favorite part was that President Bishop asked me to bring my violin and play some prelude music. Apparently he forgot and then asked Elder Ammon Chung to bring his viola and play prelude music too. But before we got there on the bus, we impromptu got our violin and viola out and played through a whole bunch of Christmas carols together, while the missionaries on the bus sang. Elder Chung is so good at viola, and we had a lot of fun. So we just played together for the prelude and postlude music. I also had a really fun time talking to my trainer on the bus ride back. he's great.
24th, went caroling with my violin, and ate a really good dinner ate the Li family's house.
25th, opened all our presents, and ate some breakfast. Then we rode over to the sisters' baptismal service. They had three really prepared investigators get baptized. So I got to baptize one of 'em. The only problem was, I walked into the font, and the water somehow had not filled up enough. It didn't even reach up to my knees. There's that awkward moment when everybody's waiting there all reverently looking at us, and I have to look up and say, "the water's too low!" The members said, "just baptize her anyway." Haha, the poor investigator. The water was cold too. We tried four times, but there just wasn't enough water, so we stood there in the font for ten minutes while the water filled up more, and then baptized her again.
That night was the ward Christmas activity, and they had a big meal. We invited a ton of investigators, and they all came. In fact, it seemed that there were about the same amount of investigators there as there were members, so some of them got a little bit neglected. They asked me to play violin, and so I did, and that was fun. I think they all liked it.
Most importantly though, A Christmas miracle happened. The Shi brothers' mom came to the ward activity with them, and we sic'd the whole relief society on her. They fellow-shipped her real good, I was so proud of them. I have a new appreciation for the Relief Society now.
Anyways, then after the party, we were walking them out to their car, and Elder Chen just asked her about baptism before she left, and she said that she felt so good about the ward environment, that she wouldn't worry about her children as long as they were here and had friends, and she signed the baptismal records right there! Yay!
So, we have 2 "week A's." That means we have two kids getting baptized this Saturday. We'd fasted and prayed and stressed lots for them. I'm real glad they're getting baptized. They'll make a real good addition to the ward young mens program, and who knows? Maybe even go on missions!
Then I hurried home and called on the phone, and that was fun. I didn't really know what to say, but at least I bore my testimony to mommy in Chinese.
Well, so that was Christmas. It was good. I'm glad it's over now, so I can just get back in the normal routine of sleeping, planning, getting on my bike, talking to everybody on the street, calling dozens of busy Taiwanese people, teaching lessons, bearing testimony, going home, and then doing it all over again. That's just the little routine I do every day here. The best part is that I'm improving though. So, hopefully I just get better and better while I do these things.
I love you all, don't expect any more calls home till mother's day. Be nice to each other, and don't punch Scotty's elbow.
Elder Vernon

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