Saturday, September 26, 2009

Water Filters and Mike the American Sept 6, 2009

Well I guess I should apologize for not emailing on Saturday. It is a long story, but basically I fell asleep. We got busy working in the morning and I completely forgot that it was our day to rest! To me it just felt like a normal day. Being in the office is just like that, we usually don’t get a preparation day and if we do it is just a couple hours to take a breather. So I am sorry if you waited for my email and never got it.
Another busy busy week fighting Chinese cell phone companies. And by the way, no they do not speak English, its quite funny when they try though. It is also very frustrating because they try and take advantage of us because they think the church is rich, they don’t realize that the missionaries are the ones paying for it and that each missionary only has 400 USD a month to survive. Those little scam artists. Its okay we are slowly beating them into submission.
Things have started to slow down now that I have gotten settled in. Although I was in the office before it is a completely different experience here. Back in Kaohsiung, the senior missionary couple there did a lot more than the ones here, so I have to do a lot of extra stuff, which is one of the reasons we are always so busy. Plus President Hoer is always throwing on new projects and stuff. You are probably all wondering, what kind of projects could a mission president possibly come up with? You know what I wonder that a lot too, but sure enough he seems to find ones.
Recently I have been working on getting all the water filters for the entire mission figured out. If you drank the water that comes out of the tap over here, you would most likely turn into a werewolf or a vampire, if you were lucky. It’s pretty gross stuff! I guess when you put 23 million people on a little tiny island you can’t expect the water sanitation to be that great! Anyways, so all the missionary apartments all have these permanent water filter units installed. The filters in them need to be changed periodically. It used to be that missionaries would keep track and change the filters themselves, but we have found that missionaries often forget to swap filters, which isn’t good because we don’t want werewolf missionaries, although vampire missionaries could beneficial because then we could just bite people, and they would turn into a Mormon missionary vampires. But for now we are just going to stick to our normal way or preaching the gospel, I will put in a suggestion though that in the future we could consider upgrading all our missionaries to vampire status.
That project has been going really well, we are getting all the schedules synchronized and organizing the mass amounts of replacement filters that were previously stored at every missionary’s house. Now we are storing all the filters at my house! I have to swim though filters to find my stuff in the mornings . Its okay, though, if it floods again I won’t have to worry about finding drinking water, I can just open up my doors and windows, let all the water in and use the replacement filters as straws.
Apart from the experiences listed above we had some great proselyting experiences. I ran into this guy from Idaho, he was pretty nice guy, his girlfriend who was also from Idaho was not a nice guy. She was a mean girl! I talked to him for a couple minutes and he was great, he was interested and was like “Yeah, okay, I will meet with you.” So I set up a time and then his girlfriend came out to get on the scooter with him and she was not cool. I should have told her to go back inside and let the big boys talk. Just before he was about to give me his cell phone number she hopped on the scooter and was like, “Oh we are not interested.” And I was like “No, actually he is.” I can’t stand it when people try and talk for other people, it happens all the time. Usually with couples, the husband will be really cool and then the wife is terrible. Sometimes I on the street, I will politely tell the wives that I am speaking with their husbands not them. If you do it politely in Chinese it is actually not rude at all. Anyways, I was so made at this Idaho girl, I love teaching Americans, I am sure you remember Robert the Jewish guy. He was a blast to teach! By the way he is doing good and his 2 sons were baptized 3 weeks after I left.
Mike, this guy from Idaho, was like, “Well she will get mad at me if I meet with you.” So I asked her “Hey, kaylee(I can’t remember her name now, I think my mind subconsciously wiped it from my memory) will you get mad at Mike if he comes to church?” Finally, she was like “No I guess not.” And then she started to be nice. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and our purpose here on this earth. I told them “Even if you don’t have interest in what we share you can at least come and understand what we are all about. Heck, at least you will have a cool story to share with your friends.” They laughed and agreed that their friends would think that them meeting with the Mormon missionaries would be a quite intriguing story. Sad part of the story though is that since they just got here to teach english, they don’t have cell phones yet and they didn’t want to give me their bosses number because they thought it might get them in trouble if the missionaries called him. They also don’t know where they will be moving either. I gave them my cell number and they took it, he said he would call. I sure hope they call, but the interesting thing is that people very rarely will take the initiative to get in touch with us. The few that do are usually really really really ready for the gospel, or crazy and want to talk to the handsome Americans. I hope that Mike calls!!
On the street occasionally people will say to us “Why do you go preach, everybody already knows! Leave us alone!” If everybody already knew then we would not have over 1500 baptisms a year in our mission alone mostly from street contacts. People need somebody else to take the initiative for them. Even though a lot of people are interested they would never go out and look for the missionaries. As a matter of fact, I have talked with well over a hundred people on the street that were like, “I am so glad that you stopped to talk to me, I have always wanted to meet with you guys, but I was to shy to wave you down.”
Anyways, I think the moral of the story is that, despite the fact that occasionally somebody will get angry with us for contacting them on the street, it is worth it when we truly find someone who has been prepared by the Lord for us to find. We are not confrontational usually ;), so I think it is very interesting when people start yelling at us before we have even finished our “hello, how are you?” sentence. It is fun though, I have learned that there is nothing better to do but smile as wide as you can. Although, smiling wider might make the person that is yelling at you angrier, it makes the bystanders realize that we are just nice young men trying to share the truth about God.
That reminds me of onetime when I was in Kaohsiung, I pulled up to talk to this man and right of the bat he started swearing and yelling at me in Taiwanese. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you see it, I speak enough Taiwanese to know exactly what he was saying. He made himself look like a fool, in the end though a lady that had pulled up behind us watched the whole thing. She watched as this man attempted to spit on me, don’t worry I dodged it, and then afterwards she actually contacted us and was like hey, where is your church? I want my sons to go. She even offered to buy my companion a new basket for his bicycle because his was all broken up. I’m not really headed anywhere with this, just sharing some random missionary experiences.
Elder Anderson

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