Monday, February 20, 2012

week 59 on the Island

So I don't know if I have told you or not, but Cruise Control is illegal in Taiwan.

This week was almost all full of driving. Monday wasn't too bad, but then on Tuesday afternoon, we went down to Tai Nan to get a new apartment figured out down there. We did that last week too, but the one that we wanted was sold to somebody else. So this time, we went with money in our hands to put a down payment on the apartment. That only kind of worked... while down south, we set it up to do more than just a normal trip. We drove a little further south and stayed at a zone leader's apartment there over night (I also fixed their shower while there) we woke up and we had to turn a 2 man apartment into a 4 man. We bought all of the things there and had orchestrated it perfectly to pick up some extra mattresses from a sister's apartment that had 2 too many. We also had to get shelves for sisters that needed more.

So it went like this.
1. fix shower
2. pick up stuff needed for the day
3. see that something was falling off the back of the car and going back in to the store to buy tape to keep it on until we had time to think about that
4. dropping of a set of weights for some Elders somewhere (we didn't have time, to actually run them up, so we put them in their mail box)
5. getting to sister Peterson's apartment, taking off my backpack and putting together 2 shelving units in a record 21 minutes.
6. getting horridly lost and confused because the GPS was being unclear (let's face it, it was probably user error)
7. One hour later, we got to the Gao Xiong elder's apartment and dropped off the stuff to turn it into a 4 man.
8. Stopping for lunch and realizing that, yes, Elder Siebert would have to spot me for late afternoon lunch because, drum roll please, my back pack was still back at the other sister's apartment along with the wonderfully constructed shelves.
9. Yeah, getting my back back after another couple hours of back track and GPS madness.
10. getting a call from the person that we gave 5,000 dollar down payment yesterday telling us that the actual land lord had sold the apartment that we wanted to somebody else the previous day, just before us. (Just an awesome side note. and the real miracle of the day: Because of all of the back tracking and crazyness with parts of the car falling off, right at the time that we got that car, we were positioned about a 20 minute drive from where we could drive to and talk to the guy and find another apartment. Good timing or God's timing?)
11. Getting to the 3rd apartment that we had to look at and approve in Tai Nan in the past week and signing some stuff.
12. driving up to Yuan Lin to get a different apartment for another set of sisters.
13. driving home. Goodness, it is a good thing that I love to drive and that I just so happen to be driving one of the best cars.
I know that God loves us and is looking out for us. As we do the best we can, he is setting up the way.

Thank you to our wonderful access to Costco, we went the other day. I was a little surprised but pretty happy at what I found. Tillamook Cheese. Medium Cheddar. Great stuff. They don't really have Cows here in Taiwan so most dairy products are a little expensive. Cheese especially just really isn't as developed here as it is in america. Milk is 3 times as expensive as soy milk. Crazy stuff. They also usually don't have flour products. Mostly Rice. You can't find flour in your usual grocery store. But thanks again to Costco, yes, I found some Flour Tortillas. Not quite up to the Don Julio par, but the same idea. Good stuff. My mornings are filled with cheese and have a nice crunch to the outside.

Two weeks ago, we had some exterminators come to spray for cockroaches. Pretty intense. We were pushed out of the office for a few hours. We didn't look too well ahead of time and were actually pushed out for a few hours. Just at that time, we got a call from a few of the sisters in an area not too far away. They said that they kind of smelled a little bit of gas. We went over and checked it out because we had time and were out and about. Usually we would have written a work order for it and got the Land Lord on it. But we went over there. We thought that we could kind of smell it as well. So we turned off the gas. The Land Lord later came and said that there was no problem. But then the Sisters kept saying they smelled it. So we had a person with a meter go in. we found out this week that it turns out that if we hadn't had gone in and turned off the gas, the sisters probably wouldn't have survived. Good thing that the Lord loves and is looking out for his missionaries. One of the pipes was bad or something. It is all replaced and OK now. Yeah!
The work is good.
Have a good week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

58 weeks

Hey mom & dad
I'm excited for your letter and the box. I haven't gotten anything in the mail for a while.
It's weird that people are getting engaged. and married. Being in the office, I hear bits and pieces of missionaries that went home and how they are doing. One of my favorite old AP's is getting married in April. Stuff like that. It's pretty fun.
Yeah, time is going by super fast here as well. I'm not used to writing on Saturdays yet.

Yes, my load is a little full for the next two weeks. We are getting ready for next move call when we have a huge number of missionaries coming on and not many going off. I've been looking into the phones thing. It seems that most of what I have found is for people that are visiting taiwan for a short amount of time. I'm going to go and talk to some of the cell phone shops around the corner this week as well. Alot of people will call you up and say nothing more than "call me back" and then hang up. I was thinking about it and I think that is usually because "their phone has no money on it." If I remember correctly, it is pretty common to get a phone and just "put money on it" to be able to call other people. I need to research more, but that seems like probably the best idea.

I have been trying to keep track of all of the people that I meet here and their information. Everybody from people that I taught down in 潮州 to my trainer to the person who I did his baptismal interview the other week. I'm wanting to keep tabs on them and keep up a friendship. Keep that circle of friends growing.

I've been reading a lot of D&C lately. Pretty good book. I'm finding a lot about missionary work that is nice. I like where it says. I like what it says in D&C 38:41 and the way that missionary work is in this verse. I picked out 3 points. 1. Let your preaching be a warning voice. We should go out and tell people of what happens if they continue not doing what the Lord wants them to do. 2 Every man to his neighbor. I think that the best and most powerful sharing of the gospel is to the people that we know and live close to us. That is why working with the members is the best thing to do. and 3 let it be in mildness and meekness. This is how it should be. I have had a few times when I just get mad that people aren't listening to what I am saying to them. and at that point, the Spirit is gone. It's got to be mild and meek.
ANyways, I've got to go.
have a good week.
-Elder Sanford.