Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Chirstmas Pageant

The Taibei 7th Ward has staged an outdoor Christmas Pageant for the last eleven years. Sister Hahn and Elder Hahn sang in the Pageant Choir last year and this year. These two years it has been held right beside the temple. This year we gave three performances, two on Saturday 10 December, and one on Sunday 11 December at 7 PM.

The Set
All week it had rained every day, and many were wondering what we would do if it rained those nights. There were no alternate plans. A lot of prayers were said. There was heavy mist each night, but the show went on.

Chinese Choir
They sang as people were gathering.

The Narrators - Sis Chiles
They told the Christmas Story by reading from the scriptures, first in English and then in Chinese.

Philippine Choir
It was announced that a Philippine Choir would sing. We have a lot of Philippine brothers and sisters attending the English-speaking 7th Ward.



Townspeople milling around Bethlehem

Elder Calvert

Children's Choir

Pageant Choir - Elder Hahn

President Horner

Pageant Choir

Roman Soldiers

Mary in Spotlight
entering on "donkey"

arriving on a little horse

Joseph Asking for a Room
There were no speaking parts - just music and narration.

Joseph and Mary going to the Stable

Pageant Choir

Pageant Choir Director



Missionary Choir

Sis Calvert - Missionary Choir Director


Two more Wisemen

The Three Wisemen
Photos by Vivian Pan - organ student

The Double-car Garage

There are a lot of motor scooter in Taibei, partly because there are so few automobile parking spaces. There are some underground parking lots, under parks and big buildings. Quite a few of the large apartment buildings have parking garages underground. Some people have a car AND a scooter. That way, if there is a traffic jam, they can leave their car at home and take the scooter. Some people have a single-car garage. I posted a couple of them earlier. But I had never seen a double-car garage until last October, as I was walking home one day. Here it is:

A Double-car Garage
Hmmm... not too handy for getting the one car out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Organ & Directing Taining

This week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Sister Hahn and I are traveling to Hsinchu to offer directing and organ seminars. Hsinchu is about 30 minutes away on the High Speed Rail (HSR). During the following weeks we will offer the same seminars in Taichung, Chunghsing, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. In those locations, we will stay over night in hotels. Last night we were well-received in Hsingchu.

There were 11 students and an interpreter in the Directing Class. They reviewed and practiced the different beat patterns with preparatory beats and cutoffs. There were also a lot of questions.

There were 13 students and an interpreter in the Organ Class. We emphasized the difference between piano playing and organ playing. Students had a chance to demonstrate the concepts I had just explained. Thursday night we will have the two groups together for the last hour to see if we can start and stop together.

We were requested to do this while the temple is closed by Elder Ran. He is a member of the Seventy and an Area Authority with responsibility for Taiwan, and he has been tasked by the Area President to improve the spirituality of sacrament meetings through music and using organ sounds in the meetings. The church provides electronic piano/organs (called Liahonas) for some chapels, like Rodrick has in his branch. Taiwan has 25, but many of the players want to use it as a piano because they are more familiar with that. So I'm trying to provide them with training and experience so that they are able and want to use the organ sounds.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clean Up Service Project

Saturday, 17 September 2011
The Taipei Central Stake planned a service project for this day and we were to meet at the stake center at 7 AM. All of the wards (except the 7th Ward) are Chinese speakers, so most of the people on the buses were Chinese speakers.

These are some representatives from the 7th Ward, senior missionaries and a Philippine sister (the Chinese sister on the right was already sitting there and we didn't want to ask her to move).

I wore this hat to protect me from the sun. Usually I carry an umbrella for this purpose, but you can't very well pick trash carrying an umbrella.

There were three large tour buses like this so there must have been 70 or 80 people from the stake. We didn't get started for 45 minutes, which is not unusual. A couple of our families drove their own cars.

We went to a community (harbor) on the east side of Taiwan, put on these Helping Hands vests from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, put on plastic gloves and started filling our bags. When we finished this is what we had to show.

Virginia Solvia is one of our piano students and she stayed with us most of the time. In the background is an unusual building (looks like a sinking ship). We were told it is a museum, but we didn't get to see inside.

We were right next to a small harbor. After this project (which took us about an hour to complete), we were driven to a restaurant for lunch. It was large and had big round tables with "lazy susans" -- reminded us of China. We were served family style, with a lot of different dishes placed on the rotating center and we would pick off a bite or two as it moved around. It was very good. Sorry I didn't take a picture. But...

I did take this picture of the sign pointing to the toilet.

Our next stop (and probably the "drawing card" for the trip) was the Wufengchi Waterfalls.

It was about a twenty-five minute hike to the big waterfall. Along the way there were some small waterfalls and people playing in the water.

As we drew nearer, we could hear the falling water, and there was this little pagoda.

This is the waterfall. I started to load a video so you could hear the sound, but realized it was 95MB and would take forever to load.

Another friend (a temple worker) went down to the water with Alma... they could get their feet wet.

Here is a map showing our origin of Taipei City and the China Strait in the upper left hand corner, and our destination of Toucheng on the Pacific Ocean to the southeast. We traveled on an expressway, the green line number 5. There are several tunnels going through the mountains and it took about an hour to get there. Before that was completed, you had to go over the mountains, zigging and zagging and it took half a day or more. The longest tunnel was 13 KM (about 8 miles) and almost immediately upon exiting the tunnel, you turn off onto highway 2 which runs along the Pacific Ocean and the first town to the northeast is Toucheng. It was a fun day.