Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

Happy 4th of July!
   Me and brother Tsai!!! baptized!
 Me and Brother Chi! Convert

Dear Friends and Family,

Another amazing week here in TuCheng. The name of my area translated directly to English is "Dirt City," which got me thinking about all of my areas' names directly translated to English. There are some pretty good ones. Here they are. 

1. ZhuBei- Bamboo North 
2. ZhuDong- Bamboo East
3. XinAn ward in DaAn district- Big Peace District
4. DanShui- Diluted Water
5. TaoYuan- Peach Garden
6. TuCheng- Dirt City

Pretty good stuff. My least beautiful area as far as scenery goes was probably TaoYuan, and it has the prettiest English name. 

This week was full of amazing miracles. Where to begin. How about the 4th of July? I found out it was Independence Day at 7 p.m. that day, I didn't know if it meant I was a bad American or if just meant I was in Taiwan, busy doing Heavenly Father's work so it's reasonable that I forgot. Anyways I knew that I had to go home and celebrate right. So what did I do? I drew an American flag, taped it to the wall, and then had my Taiwanese companion put his hand over his heart, face the flag, and sing the Star Spangled Banner in his broken English, all while I filmed. It was great. I have so many good videos to show you all when I get home. They're too big for email. I'm proud to be an American. 

This week's English class was also pretty good. We taught about facial hair and all the different names of facial hair. I also found some finger mustache sticker in our apartment and we used those. I made the students use English to talk about what kind of mustache they had. Some of the English students laughed at me when I showed them my pre-mission pictures of my attempts to grow a mustache. I shave every day now, so I have no clue how my mustache growing abilities currently are. We'll have to see when I get back I guess. 

On to the greatest news of the week. Brother Jian. Great man, extremely smart college student. When I got here we sat down with him my second day and planned on setting a baptismal date that gave him 3 weeks to prepare for an interview and resolve his tithing and family concerns. I set the date wrong on accident giving him just less than 2 weeks to the interview... oops! But we fasted with him last Sunday and he got on answer that tithing is something the Lord wants him to do and that it's gives him opportunity to serve others. Then we sat down with him this week on Friday and I said we set the date for the 14th, meaning you'd do the interview tomorrow, how do you feel? He said he wasn't prepared. We talked about why and he said he wanted to talk things over with his family. I invited him to pray about it, and told him we'd go ahead and schedule the interview. When he showed up to the interview he said he still hadn't talked to his family. He said he prayed about it and said he knows it's what Heavenly Father wants him to do. So for now it's between him and God and he'll wait until after baptism to tell him family. His prayers truly have been answered by God the last 2 weeks. Sunday I gave him a shirt and tie to wear to church. After church he asked when he should give them back. I told him they were his to keep and his face lit up. It was so funny. He gave me quite the handshake. He was so excited. I'm so excited for him! BAPTISM!

There is a drink shop in my area with the English name Suitable Flavor. I don't know what exactly they're selling, nor what it is suitable to, but I might have to check it out this week.

One thing that has been great about being in TaiBei is we have the chance to take investigators to the temple grounds and do a tour with the sister missionaries there. That's not the great part though. The great part is that I've done it twice in the last 2 weeks and both times I've seen Brother Guo, my 83 year old convert. He's as active and strong as anyone. He was wearing full suit yesterday. Every time he sees me his face lights up. He's great!!! Somehow he knew that I was in TaoYuan for a long time. He truly is such an amazing man and he's so full of life! I love him.

Speaking of recent converts I love, the Zhang family should be getting sealed this month. I'm SOO excited!!!

This week also involved a zone leader council, and a welcome meeting. Both meetings gave us the chance to meet President Day and his wife. The mission is in good hands. They definitely bring a "southern" feeling to the mission. Southern hospitality, southern charm. They are really great people and really loving. I look forward to continuing to work under President Day's direction. The Lord has blessed me with two amazing mission presidents. 

I love being a missionary so much. I love Taiwan. Last night I was riding across a bridge that overlooks all of west Taibei, (my current zone). I was filled with the spirit. I was just so happy as I rode looking out over this city I love. I love Taiwan, I love the people I love this work. It's ALL TRUE!

Elder White

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