Dust of the earth

And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

I yesterday received the news: I will train a new missionary this transfer.

It’s quite exciting news. I’ll have the opportunity to be a newcomer’s first companion in the field (the Taiwan field, at least). I’ll set his expectations of missionary work, and his course and progress as a missionary will be determined at least in part by my example. I will not remain a barren branch, but shall bring forth a numerous posterity to possess the gate of my enemies.


View from the roof of our apartment. We were locked out, so we conducted our planning session up here.

A few other good things also happened this week.

On Saturday, I witnessed the coincidence of three equally rare natural phenomena: an earthquake (my 5th in Taiwan), a lunar eclipse, and a street contact legitimately interested in the gospel.

After visiting one of our investigators’ homes, we paused for a second to view the stars in the sky. It was one of the few times on my mission so far when I’ve been able to see heavenly bodies other than the sun, the moon, and the brightest planets. Usually, the sky is shrouded by clouds or the stars are obscured by the ambient glow of nearby streetlights.

Then, I noticed that the moon was a crescent, despite appearing full the day before! I realized that a lunar eclipse must have been happening. Sure enough, the lit area of the moon shrunk rapidly over a period of about an hour before waning almost completely to a dim red globe at approximately 8:15 PM. I remembered the Chinese word for “lunar eclipse,” as well (I had previously studied the second character, which translates literally to “erosion”).

While street contacting that night, I also met a man selling his oil paintings on the street. I talked to him first about art. He was very willing to show me all of his works. Elder Illu and I showed him the Church’s Easter video clip, entitled “Because He Lives.” He had a lot of interest. We referred him to missionaries in Taibei where he lives.


Area scenery.

Sunday was a real miracle day. Elder Illu and I had fasted several times during the week for Sister Zhang, our investigator who we received as a referral a little while ago. We have taught her all of the lessons, and were waiting for her to pass her baptismal interview on Sunday. We were nervous about the interview’s outcome, and anxiously waited outside the door. At last, she emerged and told us that she’d passed! Her baptism is scheduled for tomorrow.

We didn’t have any food at home to eat when we finished fasting, but a member invited us last-second to eat at his home, thus saving us from certain starvation.

With the Cai family.​

That’s about it for this week: a lunar eclipse witnessed, a baptismal interview passed, and the promise of offspring as numerous as the sands of the sea. Hence concludes my last full week with Elder Illu, who must soon go the way of all earth.


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