Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner

The front yard of our mission office. There are beautiful trees and colorful foliage and a friendly Malayan Night-Heron lives among the bushes and comes out often to watch us. In the back yard, which is actually the mission home back yard, there are banana trees with large clumps of yellow bananas growing on them. The front of the mission office is now decorated with many colorful Christmas lights, including a large star suspended about fifteen feet above the roof with lights streaming down and it can be seen from blocks away. We will go with the missionaries, on a large bus, to the Taipei Temple for an endowment session this Wednesday. It is a beautiful temple. For a Christmas Holiday the president will take all 180 of us to the Sun Moon Lake in the mountains about thirty miles from Taichung. There will be many sights to see, Buddhist temples, etc. and things to do and will conclude with a big steak dinner and a special Christmas testimony meeting at the stake center.

JoAnn and I take in a little shopping at the morning market just across the street from our apartment. There are about a hundred stalls with people selling all kinds of vegetables, fruits, raw meats, clothing, a shoe cobbler and just about anything else that you might need. The people are very friendly and love to try their limited English on us.
With Christmas and the Chinese New Year coming there are florist shops all over. These are ornate bamboo plants that they cut and then train to grow in many different designs and multi-plant groupings. We saw many of these bamboo plants while living in mainland China almost ten years ago and they never cease to amaze us.

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