Corner Benders

As a tripanionship, Elder Clark, Elder Montierth, and I are entitled to all of the inherent rights and privileges thereof–including the exclusive ability to bend corners without breaking mission-mandated sight and sound contact with each other.

On Monday, we took the MRT to Songshan with the sisters in our district and ate Mexican food in the neighborhood of Taipei 101. At first, Elder Clark and I thought the restaurant closed at 2:00, so we were super stressed. We ran through the rain like madmen, dashing up and down every side street until we finally found the one-of-a-kind restaurant. Thankfully, it was open until 3:00. It was awesome to at last partake of some Western fare.

Afterwards, we went to a local T-shirt store on a street near our apartment. Elder Clark sha’d the jia (haggled) for us, and I bought the following two gems:

Figure 1.0: A manly item of garb: "Dominated Power Game for Guys"

Figure 1.1: Sporting raiment states: "Bike is a very good exercise"

Tuesday: our schedule was packed with lessons. We had the opportunity to shang ke with some of our most outstanding investigators. Brother Xie is progressing steadily due to his willingness to read the Book of Mormon and pray concerning its truthfulness. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, a difficult obstacle for many Taiwanese investigators. Although he was concerned about the necessity of giving up his daily cup of coffee, he was willing to obey the commandment.

We finished teaching Sister Xu all of the commandments. We expect her to accept baptism next week.

Two of our other investigators have been taught every lesson and attended church the requisite three times, but are waiting for parental permission.

A disappointment: Brother Tang dropped off of the map. He hasn’t answered any of our calls. Member friends have been unable to contact him. From our limited information, it seems that family opposition led him to break his correspondence with us. All we can do is hope, pray, and keep calling.

The Church recently started a new missionary operation to aid missionaries in our proselyting efforts: we’ve been given cards that contain a URL and QR code that link to the Church-produced "He is the Gift" Christmas video. We’ve also been instructed to give the card to passerby and convince them to immediately watch the video on their internet-capable devices. It can be quite awkward, but we do it anyway because we’ve been told it will work and we have faith that it will. Anyway, people can’t think we’re much crazier than they already do.

Because of our recent over-abundance of lessons, we’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time in the vicinity of the chapel. Thankfully, there are some good restaurants nearby where we can escape for a quick dinner, including several Thai places and an exceptional biandang store. One of the advantages of eating here so frequently is that I’ve accrued a sizable collection of biandang-box rubber bands to keep my Phase 3 flashcards organized.

Elder Clark with crispy avian friends at our favorite biandang store.

Other than that, not that much has been happening around the Shuanghe hood. We have Facebook now, which I’ve never used before in my life. In what little free time we have during meals, Elders Clark, Montierth, and I vigorously discuss fascinating topics such as Paul Revere’s role in secretly orchestrating the Revolutionary War to fund his underground arms company and how Johnny Appleseed was really John the Beloved. Elder Montierth did an interview for his re-entry to the Air Force Academy over a semi-functional Skype connection. It’s cold, but bearable. Things are good.

Love,
Elder Elliott

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