Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving and Flowers...

Our Thanksgiving 2011 was a day late, but spent with five of our wonderful mission friends who work with us in the office.  As the photo shows, the meal we shared didn’t miss any of the traditional Thanksgiving fare.  The pies were a little expensive and difficult to make without any Crisco.   But, the seven of us, for an hour or two, felt like we were home.  All we missed were our families.   (Well, maybe some football too.)  We really enjoyed spending our Thanksgiving with President and Sister Bishop.  

In addition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the people of Taiwan, we are so thankful for many things.  One of the year round pleasures in Taiwan are the flowers which seem to grow everywhere.  The city is very crowded, with only sporadic garden spots which have not been crowded out by small and large apartment buildings.  However, in front of many of the apartments are “potted and bucket” gardens---many of which are very beautiful.  We are especially pleased to see our neighbor’s flowers every morning on our way to the office.  The caretaker of this garden spends time each day caring for this masterpiece surrounded by concrete and asphalt.  It is certainly a joy to us.  Right across from her flowers, and attached to our large apartment building, is a beautiful flowering vine.   
Of course the mountains are filled with wild flowers.  On one of our recent preparation day hikes we were most impressed with the Poinsettias which apparently are not native, but thrive in the moist mountain air.  And, of course there are many other flowers growing wild in the mountains.  The photos are beautiful, but do not capture how elegant and delicate they all appear on our hikes. 
Taiwan is very proud of its history and heritage.  Our thanksgiving holiday was crowned with a trip to the Taipei Temple on Saturday.  One of our Branch friends received her endowment, and several recent converts were also sealed to their families.  We had time afterwards to once again visit the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, two blocks from the temple.  The flowers and gardens were absolutely beautiful.  We feel very blessed to serve a mission here and enjoy so many things, including the beautiful flowers.

Neighbors Flowers

Flowering vine on our apartment building
Taipei Garden
Memorial Garden

Mountain garden

Mountain Poinsettias
Poinsettia and Elders

Yellow wild flowers