Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22, 2011 - Zhudong is on Fire!

(The tall building is Taipei 101)

Dear Friends and Family!

How are you all doing? This week was a really eventful week.

Wednesday we had temple day!!! It was fun going up to Taibei and going through the temple here in Taiwan. I look forward to the day I can go through the Chinese session, if my language ability ever gets there.

After the temple we went up Taibei 101 because it was an unbelievably clear day in Taibei which is really rare. That day from 2:00-2:30 was a drill the Taiwanese government did where everyone had to be indoors. We made it up 101 just in time to see it. It was amazing to look over this ridiculously busy city and see no movement, no people, no cars, scooters or buses. It looked like a HUGE ghost town. It was really cool. Then as soon as 2:30 hit, the streets were packed. It was an amazing view from the top of 101 after riding the worlds fastest elevator. My ears popped like 50 times on the way up. It was really cool to look over this beautiful area of the world in which I have the privilege of preaching the Gospel. It was a lot of fun, and from the top I could see out all the way to the ocean.

This week was a week of random people giving us free stuff, which is way cool. This old guy bought us a full roast duck, really delicious, really expensive. We met a family to investigate the gospel through our ukuleles. They own a little shop and studio where they teach ukulele, and so we went to visit them again. They informed us they don't want to investigate the gospel anymore, they just want to be our friends and play ukuleles with us. Because they felt bad they gave us a free ukulele book, so before I go to bed I practice a little ukulele. Other people have bought us fruit on the street, and members have given us food. It's been really cool!!

Saturday I was contacting a scooter on the side of the road. We were pulled over and it was a routine thing I do hundreds of times a week. All of a sudden I was rocked and I found myself on the ground, my head inches from a tire. I was hit, hit hard, by a truck. The roads are really narrow here, and there is often no way for 2 cars to get through, so they have to go slow and yield. But this guy just decided to fly through and as a result he caught the back half of my bike and sent me flying. The police came and the whole ordeal was crazy. I started yelling at the guy, and my companion, who is really timid was a bit taken back and was absolutely no help because he thought I shouldn't have been yelling at the guy. So that was no fun. The police made the guy pay to repair the bike, but the guy dished over a little bit of money and then took off. The Taiwanese police had no idea how to handle the situation. That little money covered a small amount of the repair, and the bike was still unrideable. I didn't want to put a bunch more money in an already horrible bike, so I'm having Elder Erickson send me an extra bike that's in Zhubei that one of the missionaries that just went home left behind. Two months on island, starting my 3rd bike. It's really annoying, and the whole situation was no fun.

After I got hit I hopped back up, and finished the contact with the guy I was contacting on the scooter. He thought that was funny. But overall I'm really bruised and sore.

This place is on fire!!! We're finding new investigators like crazy. A lot of them are so-so, but we've got to keep finding them to weed out the good from the bad. When I got here there were two people with baptismal dates. Now we have 16!! It makes all the difference to ask from the very first lesson.

The Zhang family we've begun teaching are my favorite people in the world. They have all committed firmly to baptism. Their daughter is being baptized June 4, and the mother, father, and 2 sons are being baptized on July 2nd. They're amazing. They are already a part of the ward. Last night we had a ward activity and they asked if they could participate. The parents sang a song that the daughter played the piano to, and the 2 sons each did piano songs. The father, English name "Alfred" referred to his wife as "Sister Zhang" last night. I loved it. They're the greatest! The cool thing too is because my companion has been here for 4 transfers, it's almost definite I'll be here at least through next transfer, so I'll get to see them from start to finish on the their journey. I love it. I can't wait for them to be an eternal family.

I was talking to the old man who bought us duck, just making small talk. He informed me he's a vegetarian, doesn't eat fish, meat that stuff. Then I told him "but you eat duck?" and his reply was "Well yeah, I'm a vegetarian not a Vegan." I liked that conversation. Another good old man convo was this mean old guy who I said was really handsome and I asked if he was in his 30's. He yelled at me and told me my eyes are really bad if I think he looks like he's in his 30's. He took the term crotchety old man to a new level.

Things are good (with the exception that I have a bike curse). I'm doing great. Zhudong is beautiful and the work here is going really well. The Elder whose bike I'm taking was hit 4 or 5 times on his mission. So it seems fitting that I inherit his horse.

Love you all. Stay in School. Don't do drugs or cigarettes.
Love Elder White

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