Wednesday, July 22, 2015


July 19, 2015

The air has been so poor lately here. Apparently Taiwan occasionally gets winds that carry over some of the crap from Mainland China. And it just takes Taiwanese skies over. Wow. My snot and eye bugars have been so black lately its disgusting.

One particularly hot day here, i think Friday, we went out contacting in the heat for a while. I didn't realize how tired I was until I stopped walking to make a phone call. Then I realized that I was maybe not standing on both my feet anymore. It was a weird sensation. So I got myself a shaved ice and sat down for a few minutes. You wouldn't believe the delicious flavors I got. Green bean, tapioca pearls, grass jelly, and sweet and condensed milk. No one judge that until you try it. It is DANG tasty.

We have been walking down the streets many times when drunk aborigines lean out the window and call out to us "ZhangLao!" (meaning "Elders") That's always fun.

We have some progress amongst our LA's and Investigators. Perhaps I said this in last week's, but again, as a missionary it was good for you to see progress and be busy. I almost forgot what that is like during my time as a SiYuan elder. 

We occasionally still hike the mountain behind our house in the mornings for exercise. We have become part of the regulars. People know us. That is fun.

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but we randomly found out we have to move before the transfer is up. Our apartment's contract is expiring. It's actually a fun story as my companion forgot the keys walking out the door and ending up finding out that we were getting kicked out in a matter of weeks. Miracles take many different shapes and forms, including locking yourself out of your apartment occasionally.

Yesterday in Gospel Principles class, we heard the story of the little boy and the apple tree again. It really moved me as it has taken on all sorts of meaning lately as a missionary.

There was once a little boy who loved to play on a hill near an apple tree. The apple tree loved watching the little boy come out in the heat of the day and his little heart out. One day after playing hard, the little boy came to the apple tree and said "I have played all day, and now I am so tired!" The apple tree lovingly said, "Come, sit in my shade." And the apple tree was so happy.

The boy went away for a while and the apple tree began to miss seeing that little boy. One day, the boy came back, however, he had now grown into a young man. The young man said to the tree, "I'm almost to the age of going to school, but I have no money to do so." The apple tree lovingly replied, "Come, climb up and pluck all the apples off my many branches and sell them so you can have money to go to school." The young man did so and the apple tree was happy.

The young man went away for a time again and the apple tree began to miss him again. One day, the young man came back, however, he was a grown man now. The man said to the tree, "I have gone off to school, however, I want to get married now and I don't have a house." The apple tree lovingly said, "Come, cut down all my thick and strong branches and use them to build yourself a house." The man did so and the apple tree was happy.

The man went away for a time again and the apple tree began to miss him again. One day, the man came back to the tree and told it, "I have got married and a have raised my family. However, now I'm retired and I want to go see the world, but I don't have a boat." The apple tree lovingly said, "Come, cut down my trunk and use it to carve out a boat for yourself." The man did so and the apple tree was happy.

The man left and did not return for a very long time, and again, the apple tree began to miss him very much. One day, the man came back, except he had aged during his travels and became an old man. The old man said to the tree, "I have now seen the whole world. My life is full." The apple tree was so very happy to hear this, however, it began to be somewhat sad as it realized it no longer had anything to give to the man. It told the old man, "I am so happy for you, but I am so sorry, I have nothing more that I can give to you." The old man smiled and said, "All I want now is to just rest." The apple tree rejoiced and told him, "Come, sit on my stump and rest with me." The old man did so and they were both happy together.

Pursuing happiness is best achieved by giving. Such common sayings like this are hard for me to truly comprehend it until I actually experience it a little. This apple tree is still much more virtuous than I am, but perhaps as my days start to come to an end, I can be happy with all the service I have offered as well.

That is my goal.

Love you all. 

Taipei art

still impressive

sometimes I still have those moments where I think "I wonder what would happen if I throw a penny from off the top.."

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