This guy didn't want the gospel, but I think his mullet did.
My new Chinese nametag
First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE. Live it up. I just realized I'll be on my mission when he starts passing sacrament. I wish I could be at home for that. Tell Joe not to live worthy to receive the priesthood until I get back from my mission. Just kidding! But tell him I love him and am proud of him and hope he had an amazing birthday.
This week was a REALLY GREAT week. It kind of went by as a blur, so I'll try to remember everything.
On Monday nights we meet with this member, Chen Jin Tian, and try to talk to him about kicking his smoking habit so that he can go to the temple. He loves studying the scriptures, and is all about the gospel, comes to church and actually wears a suit (most people here don't get very dressed up for church), but he just can't kick his habit. He's also hilarious! He's genuinely a little bit crazy. The first week we met with him he kept telling us to tell him when the second coming was. This week he was on a kick that the LDS church needed to get a hospital in Taiwan, because the Catholic church has one. He says he's been praying for it everyday. He used to call America "amiguo" (in Chinese it's meiguo) thinking that was correct but over the last week he began calling it amicycle and seriously thinks that's the correct way to say it. Its the only word he says in English except when referring to his ex-wife as "my woman." This last Monday night at one point he said amiguo and then corrected himself and said amicycle. Me and my companion were trying SOOO hard not to bust up laughing. It was really hard. Then in his closing prayer he prayed Taiwan would get an LDS hospital, and that the meeting houses would get better artwork.
I told you about Jevon Wesley last week, the kid that we found in the last 30 minutes of the night right after saying a prayer to be able to help one person's life that night. We were scheduled to meet with him Tuesday but he didn't show up and his phone number wasn't working. The next day we prayed to be able to find him (which is unlikely in Taiwan's overpopulated cities) but during English class in rolled Jevon Wesley. We found out he thought it was Wednesday we were supposed to meet and we had written down the wrong phone number. It was good to meet with him. He and his Buddhist girlfriend broke up. I feel like God really is preparing this kid. I think it will be hard because he runs with a really tough crowd, but his faith is strong and I really want to help him change his life through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday English class was full of a bunch of ROWDY 9-11 year old kids. They were crazy, and to top it all off midway through an old man who didn't know any English walked in. He was trying to ask all these questions in Chinese and I couldn't understand his Chinese very well. Then he told me I didn't know enough Chinese to be teaching. My response? Make that old man play duck duck goose with the little kids. It was hilarious! Take that old man.
I'll tell you about my trainer a little bit. His name is Elder Erickson. He's from Boise Idaho. He's the current district leader in our district. He is great! I'm so glad he's my trainer. I think president did a great job of matching people up with trainers that are a lot like themselves. He is a Boise State fan so he should probably repent of that. Our companionship is great. He's all about working hard and having fun, and we're doing great things. This week our zone broke the zone record for new investigators, and our companionship found the most of any companionship in the zone. We're working hard and seeing many blessings and miracles every day. The work is hard but it's rewarding and great. Saturday night we had a baptism. It was so cool to see the first person I've had the privilege of helping teach receive baptism.
Because my trainer is the district leader, Friday we got to go on splits with the zone leaders. I got to go with Elder Jhou for 24 hours up in their area. It was a lot of fun! Our zone leaders are all about working really, really hard, and having a lot of fun. He's hilarious and we had an awesome exchange, got a lot of good missionary work done and had a lot of fun. Their apartment had a guitar as well. It felt so good to be able to play a little bit since it's been so long. It was a lot of fun.
Yesterday was an eventful day. We watched the Sunday sessions of conference in the morning (such a good conference this year! The first presidency's talks in priesthood were UNBELIEVABLE!) In the afternoon I was hit by a car. On our bikes to turn left we have to turn right and flip around and wait for that light to change to go through the intersection. Anyway, I'm turning right and am biking across that lane to turn around and as I'm biking across that lane a car takes the right turn way too fast. I see it out of the corner of my eye and see it's going to hit me, so I flung by body forward to the front of my bike, and the car smacks the back of my bike and flips it around. The bike fell down but I was able to somehow miraculously stay on my feet straddling the bike, sticking a perfect landing that would make any 12 year old Chinese gymnast jealous (a couple people on scooters and in other cars that saw it said "that was amazing!!")
Anyway, the guy that hit me gets out, and so does his girlfriend/wife in the passenger seat. They're both freaking out "are you ok? are you ok?" Trying to be the good missionary boy I was I said I'm fine and asked if they were ok. Then I asked the guy why he wasn't looking, and told him that he needs to look, and he said he was on the phone. The way he said it was in a way like that made it ok, and then I realized he was still on the phone with the person through this whole thing. Right then he said into the phone "he's ok" telling the person on the other line that I was ok. I lost it. In that brief moment I wasn't Elder White anymore. I was back to Bruce White. I grabbed his phone from him and hung it up. I started yelling at him and telling him he needs to pay attention when he's driving and not talk on the phone. (This was all in Chinese.) I finally rolled off and my bike wasn't working. We messed with it a little bit and it started working again which was good. Just a little bent metal. Most importantly I'm fine. I just had a bit of a headache and was a little sore, but I'm perfectly fine and was back to doing missionary work 10 minutes later.
Later that night (Sunday night) we went out to a newer (more hip) part of our area in hopes of finding some young couples. We turned down a side road and ended up in a bunch of rice paddies right up against the jungle. It was foggy and dark and really, really cool!! We could hear all the monkeys in the jungle. It was awesome but not the best place for missionary work. We would see these little houses right up against the jungle and to get to them we'd have to bike down a tiny narrow road for about 50 yards surrounded by rice paddies on both sides. It was a really, really cool area!! We're going to go back on an upcoming p-day and hike up some of the hiking paths we saw that lead straight into the mountain and jungle. It was a really fun night of going out and exploring and knocking doors in a different part of our area. We even got chased by a couple crazy dogs for a little bit.
Overall it was a great week! Really saw the fruits of our labor. Hard work really does pay off. I'm excited for the week ahead, to continue to be able to do this amazing work, God's work, on the island of Taiwan.
Love you all,
Love Elder White