Hey Hey hey!!!!
I can't believe that Ali and Dad made it! Sounds like it was quite the adventure. I am so jealous! Although we get to see a lot of neat things happen on a mission, in Taiwan it is not very adventurous. The only adventurous thing we ever really get to do is eat crazy things, but by now I have already eaten them all. Plus, I have been here so long I am starting to like the crazy weird things.
I bet that hike was so hard. I was thinking, since we do live at about 6000 feet i am sure you guys were already pretty ready for the hike. Not to mention the training that i know you have been doing. so cool!!
Although we didn't get to go on some crazy African safari, On Sunday we did have a little activity with the American "Embassay" in Taiwan. I have to put Embassay in paranthesis because since the UN will not recognize Taiwan as its own country, technically, we are not allowed to have an embassay. However, we do have what is called AIT. Which is the American Institue in Taiwan. That's pretty clever huh? They say we can't build an embassay so we said fine we aren't building an embassay we are builing and "insitute" punks. Hahaha...
Anyways, Sunday night because the World Games are going on in Kaohsiung right now, the embassay (lower case e ;) ) needed people that are both fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese to assist the Athletes and what not. So they had us stationed at different hotels throughout the city to assist the athletes in getting to this big event at the mall. Our job was to excort the athletes from their hotels to the American Party at the mall. Well it just so happens that the hotel we were scheduled to be stationed at was for all the Frisbee Players. And they just so happened to have an event that night, so NOONE came for us to excort. O well it was still fun standing their feeling important.
So we called up the embassay and told them that none of our atheletes came but they told us to come to the American Party anyways. So we went to this huge party the funniest thing that happened was that our bishop was there. As we went to walk though "pseudo-security" that they had setup we saw our bishop who is a police chief. He is a really nice guy and he was glad to see us. I call it pseudo security because as soon as I walked through the metal detectors they started beeping and ringing like I was carrying a fully automatic machine gun. But I think all the police officers were to embarassed to come pat me down. Plus right as the alarms went off our bishop came over with a big smile on his face to shake our hands. I could have been packing heat!!! How do they know i wasn't? And maybe our bishop was in on it. ssshhhh... don't tell them.
At the party we were supposed to help the guest and what not, but it turns out that the majority of the people that came to the party were not even American. Out of all the people at the American Party only about 5 percent of them were American and that includes the 10 missionaries that were there. President Hoer came down to attend, originally we were supposed to do a little more translating for the athletes, but it turns out most of the athletes didn't really seem to mind not understanding.
It is okay though. Elder Christensen and I have another assignment on friday at the embassay. On this assignment we get to ride in an armored car. Hahaha... Seriously, but it is not that cool we are just helping them transport some stuff to the world games. I think we are supposed to help the driver get there and unload the stuff safely, I am pretty sure the driver is American. As of right now we don't know what the "stuff" is but apparently it needs to be transported in an Armored car. Who better to trust then a pair of Mormon Missionaries hahahah... That is probably what the embassay is thinking too.
The reason we got this service oppurtunity is because the main guy at the embassay is a returned missionary who served in Taiwan, he has really good chinese and he is kind of like the liason between the english speakers and the chinese speakers. but because of the World Games he has had to much on his hands so he asked the Mission if we could help out and do a little service for Taiwan and for the United States. It should be pretty cool. I am sure Mom is reading this thinking, I don't want my son riding in an armored car with who knows what they are transporting. Don't worry mom, i bet we are in charge of the imported mineral water that the american athletes demand to drink. i still don't get the whole concept of putting water in a bottle and selling it at ridiculous prices.
As i am sure you know, we love to do service and we are hoping that by doing service like this that we can be a good influence on everybody.
i think i told you about how we went and taught the cops english right? we were joking about it the other day, if we ever get in trouble in Taiwan i think we will be okay. The embassay loves us, the Kaohsiung Police chief loves us, heck we could probably get a permit to park our bicycles where ever we want. :)
So apart from the service we have been doing our investigators are also doing really well. We have a baptism scheduled for Saturday. Zheng Cong Da. He is a great kid! 15 years old and is moving right along in learning about the gospel. We are excited for him!
Yesterday we went to Taichung to have our first Zone Conference as the new mission. I love our new mission president. President Hoer is just as amazing as President Hsu. I guess when people are called directly by a Prophet of God they usually are pretty great people. Its amazing how inspired the callings and assignments for all the volunteers in the church are.
Well as you all continue to climb the "mountains" in your life, remember to take a shot at climbing the spiritual Kilimanjaros that are sitting right before us.
Love you all,
Elder Craig Anderson
P.S. - Oh ya can somebody do me a favor and call Obama and tell him that I am not going to be able to make it to our Luncheon on Friday. Tell him Jack Bower and I are busy transporting the mineral water.