Silicates and silicates

Elder Chand takes a picture of us and the sisters at the 蔡 family’s house.

This was a nice week, though not particularly eventful. On P-day, I seized the opportunity to clean our kitchen, meticulously scrubbing the refrigerator inside and out and scouring most of the surfaces in the room, most of which were coated with everyone’s favorite sticky film of dust and atomized grease. Our living quarters are quite clean, especially compared to most missionary apartments, but the kitchen gets dirty quickly because we use it every day and rarely have time to thoroughly clean it.

On Wednesday, I went on exchanges again with the zone leaders. During our studies, the zone leaders’ landlord arrived to inspect their unusually noisy air conditioning units and complain about the living habits of past missionaries along the way. She basically told them to fix the apartment on their own or she’ll let the lease expire rather than pay the minimal repair costs. Her advice was not to use the AC at all. “It’s not that hot anyway,” she said.

Once again, we went to the hospital, this time for Elder Taulepa’s sinusitis. While we waited for the very, very slow queue to advance, we visited an investigator in the sick bay and ate our lunch.

Back at the hospital, the doctor stuck four long wooden Q-tips alarmingly deep into Elder Taulepa’s nose, two in each nostril. It looked quite painful, but apparently helped a lot.

Our mostly-nonfunctional washing machine finally went the way of all flesh on Tuesday, filling with a pool of fetid water and refusing to drain no matter how many times we started the spin cycle. I tried all of the usual clothes-hanger tricks, but to no avail. Now, we’re using a laundromat until the mission office replaces the fickle appliance.

On Friday, I translated for pretty much all of our zone conference. It was my first time translating for an entire long meeting. It went great, except that talking nonstop from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM was super taxing on my voice. I was pretty hoarse by the end.

Among the more interesting parts of the day’s training were the insights President Day offered about the process of bringing in our new mission president, President Jergensen, who will be coming in about three weeks. There will be only two hours of overlap between their times in Taiwan. It will be a completely fresh start, the end of the great Day dynasty (范朝) and the dawn of a new era (江朝). It will be hard to see President and Sister Day leave, but I am excited to see the new direction and insights that President Jergensen will bring to the mission.

President and Sister Day, after acting out a training about effective planning and teaching.

My companion and I saw many miracles this week. At first, I was close to discouragement when it seemed that all of our finding time was yielding no fruit. We knocked on doors and street contacted day after day, but it seemed to me that our results were not in proportion to our effort. After spending two hours knocking doors in a relatively small village with little success, we at last ran into an older man, Brother Zeng, willing to let us in. He accepted our teachings and a return appointment. Now, he has a baptismal date, came to church, and has met with us three times.

I also saw miracles as we planned daily. My companion and I had been unable to contact a member referral for some time, but we made sure to plan for this referral during our weekly and daily planning. When we managed to make contact, we arranged a time, visited him with a member, taught him the Restoration, and gave him a baptismal date and planner. He is actually 11 years old, and is the grandson of one of our branch members. He is totally committed to his baptismal date for the 4th of July.
Our young Brother Gao has also been doing well. When I called his mom’s phone to invite him to church on Saturday, she said he couldn’t come, but we decided to ride the long distance to his house on Sunday morning anyway. When we reached his house, he told us that he was eating breakfast and couldn’t come with us, but that he would ride on his own after we left. I grumbled internally, expecting his response to be an empty excuse, and we headed to church. It was a great surprise when, ten minutes later, he walked into the chapel on his own and joined us!

It’s hot in Taidong, and it’s going to get hotter. I’ve already become accustomed to sweating 24/7, something I was never prone to do before encountering Taiwanese heat and humidity. On the plus side, no Utah weather is ever going to seem hot again.

Love,
Elder Elliott

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