Monday, April 5, 2010

Today is Monday, April 5, in Taichung, Taiwan and is the annual Qing Ming Festival or better known in the USA as Memorial Day. We left early, about 8:30, for the cemetery with forty two Sisters and Elders to participate in a large service project involving the cleaning, sweeping and bagging of trash that had collected since last year. We all wore the church "Helping Hands" shirts and were very visible among the hundreds of Chinese there to clean up the tombs and graves of their departed loved ones. On many occasions, as Sister Greene and I picked up empty food containers and other trash, people would come up to us and thank us for cleaning their cemetery. They were surprised and very pleased at what we were doing and often people would bring their trash to us rather than throwing it on the ground. There were TV camera crews and reporters there and some of us will be on the evening news report, although none of us will see it. This kind of service project is very good public relations for the church.
Elder and Sister Greene cleaning a few of the grave sites in this predominantly Buddhist cemetery. A number of graves were in disrepair with no family members to attend to them.

Sister Infanger (from Idaho) on the left and Sister Weinheimer (Ivins, UT) on the right.

When we finished we hiked a short distance to a coverd pavillion, with President Hoer and Sister Infanger carrying the water, to eat a lunch that the city government had provided for us. It was a full morning effort that was well appreciated by the government and all of the Chinese families who were visiting the grave sites and we missionaries really enjoyed giving a morning of service. The weather was overcast and cool during the work but as we finished and gathered together to eat, the heavens opened and we had a heavy rain which lasted until we had finished eating and were ready to head back to the mission office.

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