Monday, November 12, 2012

November 11, 2012

The biggest pumpkins in Taiwan our jack-o-lantern
 My Halloween costume.
A drawing of my Halloween costume
 My trainee... he believes people like him more and are nicer to him when he wears the glasses

This week was very interesting. My stomach hurt. It hurt really bad. I took Tums for a couple of days. They didn't help. My companion also had Pepto Bismol, but before I resorted to slurping down that awful pink liquid I decided to call the mission president's wife. She asked me some questions while simultaneously entering my answers into an online program she was using. Sounded like an interesting program because it asked me four times if I was experiencing pain in my stomach. After the fourth affirmative answer I think the program realized I was having pain in my stomach and then said I needed to go see the doctor. So we cancelled our afternoon appointments, hopped on the subway and were off to the hospital in downtown Taibei. 

We navigated our way through a giant hospital to the place I needed to go only to find out that they weren't taking any more patients. They referred us to a smaller hospital around the block. I don't think this hospital had ever had a foreign patient. I took my number and waited to be helped at one of the desks. When my number came up I approached the assigned desk to find a woman who looked terrified. I knew it was because she didn't speak English. I said "Hello, how are you?" to her as a little joke and got a blank stare in return. I then began speaking Chinese to her and she let out the biggest sigh of relief. I was referred to a doctor upstairs. This doctor took me and asked me a couple questions. I think he asked more questions about where I was from and why I was in Taiwan than he did about my sickness, but that was okay because I was able to proselyte to him and his nurse. 

Then all of a sudden he said "hold still" and he punched my stomach like 6 times. He then asked "Did that hurt?" I replied "Yeah that hurt. It hurt really bad." Then he said okay. Entered some stuff in the computer, told me I can't eat anything but toast for the next week and prescribed me some medicine. He didn't even tell me what I had. I went and picked up my medicine. Because Taiwan is socialist the visit to the hospital, the check-up, and the medication cost $3 USD. I am now taking some medication called Strocain. I have no idea what that is, but it rhymes with cocaine, so I'm sure it's powerful. They also gave me another kind, which makes me drowsy. I feel bad for my companion. It's probably not fun having a drowsy trainer. We're hoping to rest this P-day, so that I can get feeling better and hit it hard this week.

The highlight of this week was definitely going over the Huang family's house to eat dinner. Brother Huang was glowing as recent converts always do. His wife prepared the most amazing meal. She's from Vietnam. I honestly hope that one day I could have the standing in the Lord's eyes that I think she's obtained. She'd been taking all 4 kids to church by herself for the last 4 years since she was baptized. All the while doing all the FHE, family prayers, and scripture study on her own. She prayed for her husband constantly during that time, and taught him everything there was to know. She helped him so much while we met with him. Brother Huang is borderline illiterate and she helps him read scriptures every day. Because of a work situation Brother Huang has to attend the afternoon ward, and so Sister Huang, after attending our ward for 3 hours with all four of her kids and doing her calling, then attends the afternoon ward with her husband. It was so nice to go and eat with their humble family. Brother Huang is SO COOL!!!

This week we met with brother Zhang again. He is our closest investigator to baptism. He literally can pass the baptismal interview questions and has a testimony. We just don't know what's holding him back, and he won't share with us. We finished up our lesson Tuesday with him really confused at what to do next. Just then we got an announcement that there was a training going on for the sister missionaries this Thursday on how to do temple tours, and they needed more people to bring investigators to the tours at that specific time. (In the Taipei mission the sister missionaries do tours at the temple, similar to Salt Lake City Temple Square tours. The sister missionaries rotate days doing the tours and every couple transfers they have a big training for it)  The bulk of these tours are spent walking around the chapel adjacent to the temple and looking at gospel artwork hanging on the walls, I've had many investigators have really positive experiences through these tours. We thought this might be an answer to our prayers so we set up Brother Zhang to do a tour that Thursday, and we requested the tour be about baptism. 

We went Thursday and the tour began. We started at a picture of Christ visiting the Americas. I'm thinking this is good, we can talk about how he came and talk about baptism. But then we worked our way to a picture of the Martin Handcart company suffering in the mountains. At that point the sister missionary leading the tour asks me to talk about this picture. I give a description and we continue. Next picture... Nauvoo temple burning down and the saints crossing an icy river. It looked awful. More people suffering for their testimony of the restored gospel. I then asked the sister leading the tour if we could go look at the picture of Jesus being baptized. She informed me that because there were so many people doing tours at once they had been given assigned pictures to use. We got dealt a pretty interesting bunch. Jesus in Americas, Martin Handcart Company, Nauvoo temple burning down, and the first vision. Nothing says BAPTISM more than those four pictures. I didn't know what to think. When the tour was finished we stayed back with brother Zhang and walked him around to the pictures that we wanted to show him. It was really good after that and he felt the spirit. I hope it will result in him having a greater desire to be baptized. He wasn't able to attend church this week so we haven't seen him since then.

Overall it's been a little "different" this week with the stomach aches, hospital visits, and temple tours gone wrong. But It's still great to be a missionary. I absolutely love it, and I'm as happy as can be. I'm so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He is. He's amazing. I love Him. I loving serving Him. I love representing Him. I hope to become more like Him.

I love you all,

Elder White

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