Saturday, December 20, 2014

"What Counts As a Cockroach Problem?"

Wow! This was the fastest week on my mission! It is crazy how quickly December is flying by! I think you will really enjoy my adventures this week ;) We came back to the apartment Monday night and went on a cockroach killing spree. Yup. We killed about 65 of them within about 2 hours. We don't actually know how many it was because we stopped counting at 50. It was disgusting. One of us would be making calls and the other one would be on cockroach duty with the can of Raid haha! It was rather comical. Oh, and did you know they fly? I found that out Monday night. Haha! So we had to keep our shoes on because of all the dead cockroach bodies and puddles of raid that I kept slipping in. The nice part was that the Raid was "Country Fresh" scented, so it was basically like spraying Febreeze everywhere, right? ;)
Oh, but it gets better! Wednesday morning our sink was not draining. It was filled with dirty sink water. So we went out and did some contacting for about an hour and came back with some Magic Ama (drain fluid) and poured it down the drain. It started bubbling this black nasty looking stuff, but our water was draining so that was good! It smelled absolutly horrible. We were very excited that something in our apartment was working out... until I heard Sister Murri say, "This is not good," and I saw water spilling out of the bottom of the cabinet underneath the sink. We look, and we discovered that the sink pipe was plastic and the drain fluid had corroded it. Haha! Oh my gosh we just started laughing, because what else can you do when the floor of your apartment is covered in dead bugs and dirty sink water? We have called for a plumber but as of yet they still have not come. So our sink has had rotting brocolli in it and we have not been able to eat at home. Just lovely ;)
Other adventures of the week: so here in Taiwan it is incredibly rude to not finish your food. So you had better get small portions or else everyone will judge you. Our less active, Cai Jie Mei, took us out to dinner at my favorite little dumpling place. I was ordering, so I decided to get a soup and 7 dumplings. But she took the pen from me and changed it to ten dumplings, and then added ten more of a different kind of dumplings, and then ten more of another kind of dumplings plus a bowl of noodles. Long story short, I ended up eating half of those dumplings by myself along with half the soup and the entire bowl of noodles. Somehow Sister Murri got away with just eating her bowl of soup but Cai Jie Mei kept forcing me to eat EVERYTHING and my Chinese is not good enough to tell her that my stomach has expanded so much that I think that my skirt is ripping. My favorite restaurant offically became my least favorite place to eat.
One of our Tongxue, Li Tongxue, drinks tea every time he comes to our lessons. So we taught him the Word of Wisdom (while he had his bottle of tea on the table of course). We asked him which part he would have the most trouble with, and he said tea and coffee. We asked him if he was willing to keep the Word of Wisdom and he said yes. We said the closing prayer and immediately after he starts chugging his tea! Sister Murri was like, "hey! that's breaking the Word of Wisdom!" and he just kind of stared at her and kept chugging away haha! I guess that's one way to end an old way of life ;)
We had temple tours on Friday and we did a tour with one of our Elder's investigators. He showed up and we instantly knew that he was very drunk. He was a very sweet man and so much fun to hang out with! Throughout the whole tour he would just randomly shout "Hallelujah!" Haha! We invited him to attend the Nativity performance the next night and he showed up! And then he showed up to church on Sunday! It was awesome.
The Bali Elders (Elder Ploeg and Elder Frizzel) had quite the adventure with their baptism this weekend. So apparently we had forgotten to turn of the water from last week, so when they went to turn it on it was 98 degrees Celsius! So they turned off the hot water and waited about an hour to start filling the font in hopes that it would be cooler. When they turned it on only steam came out. Well this cloud of steam went up to the fire alarm and set it off. A voice came over and started telling everyone to evacuate! Luckily they found out how to turn off the alarm and a member came over the loudspeaker and said, "Don't panic, it's just the baptismal font!" Haha! I wish I could have been there to witness all that ;)
Then they decided to play a video after their investigator got baptized to try and keep the spiritual mood. But the member had picked some video that had to do with crocodiles attacking these gazelles and just ripping their heads off! It was so violent! Sister Murri and I were dying we thought it was so funny! That's the difference between elders and sisters I guess: we pick warm and fuzzy movies and they pick violent animal channel videos ;)
On a more Spiritual note, this week we really saw miracles. We had no time to do anything because we had to keep traveling back into Dan Shui to teach our old investigators (about a 30 or 40 minute bike ride and then up this monster hill that just kills me). But the Lord kept sending prepared people our way! One night we found 3 new investigators, and after church on Sunday a man randomly walked into our chapel and we gave him a chapel tour and set up with him! We received several referrals from other Elders and Sisters in our district too! Miracles! This work is incredible!
We performed this weekend with the English ward. They did the Nativity and we sang a couple songs with them. It was so amazing. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. This Christmas season is so special because our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was born for us. "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. And he shall go forth, sufferring pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and sicknesses of his people...Yeah, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin which easily doth beset you, which doth bing you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God thhat ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witnesss it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism" (Alma 7:10-11,15). Everyone, He is inviting us to come unto Him! He wants to help us! He wants to heal us of our physical and spiritualy infirmities! He loves and understands each and every one of us individually. He came into this world for you and for me so that we can lay aside "every sin which easily doth beset [us]". Through him we can become clean from our sins. We can have true happiness and true joy. Come unto Him. Repent and be baptized. You will find true joy when you are following the example of Christ. Don't forget the true meaning of Christmas.
I love you all so much! Jiayou(:

Dedication of the new chapel

Five Months



  1. May God bless you for your efforts and bravery with the cockroaches!!

  2. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Taiwan? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Taiwan in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez

  3. Merry Christmas Courtney .... Papa is up already up and Not a creature was stirring, not even a Mouse ... just a few cockroaches... Ha,ha :-)