What a week. I don't know where to begin. I'm getting to you a couple days late this week because today is temple day! I'm hitting a bus up to Taipei and get to go to the house of the Lord up there. I'm really, really excited. It should be good.
I'll start by telling you a bit about my area. ZhuDong is small, one of the smallest areas of the mission population wise, and it is up in the mountains away from everyone. Our travel expenses to and from district meeting are RIDICULOUS. All my money goes to travel. But this place is gorgeous. It is so beautiful up here. It is a really, really cool little town, and the ward here is AMAZING. And... This place is really really beautiful. I'll get you pictures soon.
Last P-day, my companion, Elder Bogle, and I went and bought ukuleles. Neither of us had ever played them before, but seemed like they could be fun. Three days later we performed a musical number at our baptismal service. We played "Love One Another" and sang in English and Chinese. The ward loved it. They all clapped for us, not quite a standing ovation, but I think that's because I missed a chord change, so hopefully next time we'll get some of them on their feet. We also were riding and contacting this week when we saw a place with a bunch of ukuleles in the window. Of course we stopped and knocked. Reluctantly the guy let us in. We began talking to him about ukuleles, and then his wife and daughter came. We began sharing a spiritual message and found that they had both been to Salt Lake City in the 80's to visit and they had seen our temple. We're scheduled an appointment to come back soon to continue to discuss 4-stringed Hawaiian instruments and the gospel. Who'd have thought we'd meet investigators through the ukulele. The guy was really cool. He gave us a ukulele book they sell there, and told us we could run across the street and copy all the chord charts. He also invited us to play in a huge ukulele concert in Zhubei, with over 200 different people playing the ukulele throughout the night. We're hoping that he could become a progressing investigator with a date so that we could justify going and performing in a ukulele concert.
This week was filled with so many miracles. My testimony grew more this week than any other week of my life. I witnessed first hand the power of the Book of Mormon. We were meeting with Zhan Yan Roe (English name Zoe). The missionaries here had been meeting with her quite a bit and she has almost heard everything she needs for baptism, but she had a big concern. She told us her concern in the lesson and our member present and my comp shared really strong testimonies. I just had a really strong spiritual prompting to share a scripture. I shared it, and she got emotional. She said that before she was afraid of being baptized because of her concern, but she said as soon as she read that scripture she knew she could do it. She literally said, "OK I'm prepared. When can I be baptized?" The spirit in the room was indescribable. It was so amazing. The best part is that we've starting meeting her family and they've selected baptism dates. They all came to church Sunday and I absolutely love this family. I will do everything I can for this family to become eternal. I think it was the great 50 cent that said "baptize the Zhan family or die trying" That's my goal. I want them to be an eternal family so bad!
The family has a mom, dad, Zoe(18), and 2 younger brothers (17 and 12). The father's English name is Alfred and he is my favorite guy in the world. He's really smart, and this week in my English class I taught them about beat boxing and rapping. A lot of them had a hard time wrapping they're heads around the concept of rhyming words. I had them each write a rhyme and share it will me. They struggled badly. But then I got to Alfred. I knew I could count on Alfred to come through with a good rhyme because he's a really smart guy. This was his rhyme "I bought a fish, and it was stinky." I couldn't stop laughing. It was awful. Alfred and I have a secret handshake. I want it so badly for this family they are amazing.
Speaking of English class, last week some of them had questions about how mission calls work and stuff, and I referred them to my mission call video opening. One actually watched it and came back saying she felt the spirit. I was shocked. Then that night in English class I taught about Church. It was a powerful lesson. Then that lady came to church Sunday. I was thrilled!!! Then we found out that she was baptized 2 years ago. She just went immediately inactive and hasn't been to church in 2 years. It was a miracle!! She only came to Sacrament meeting, and I could tell she was a bit uncomfortable, but it was a miracle. She's been coming to English for a long time and no one even knew she was a member. It was awesome!
This week has been WET!!! Hardest rain of my life and my bike is having issues left and right. I'm barely holding up.
I met this probably late 40 year old guy with a buzzed head and then really long patch at the very back of the top of his head. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. I complimented his hair. Then he just started singing and dancing a song he made up that goes "Ugly in the face, handsome in the hair," As he's stroking his hair. Made my week.
This week was amazing, exhausting, and miracle filled. Zhudong is on fire. I'm loving it.
The church is true.
Love Elder White