Typhoon and tsunami

"There’s a typhoon coming," one of our ward members told us during our weekly coordination meeting. "We’d better finish up quickly and get home, or it won’t be safe outside."

I had heard that there would be a typhoon coming, but I didn’t know any of the details. I agreed that we should probably return home, since it was already close to 8:30 PM and the winds would probably intensify soon. We hastily wrapped up and rode our bikes home.

After we woke up on Saturday morning, the assistants called us. They told us that, because of the typhoon, everyone in Taipei had been given a day off from work and school and told to remain indoors. Furthermore, because of the dangerous conditions outside, none of the missionaries in our zone were permitted to leave their apartments. Everyone was in a panic!

Startled by this sudden charge, Elder Huntsman and I looked out the window to gauge the ferocity of the treacherous storm. It wasn’t even raining. There was no wind. We both thought everyone’s over-caution ridiculous, but nevertheless prepared for a straight 13 hours inside of our apartment.

The typhoon turned out to be the most pitiable excuse for a storm that ever was. It drizzled for perhaps two hours, and the rest of the day was overcast and breezy. After two hours, the assistants called us up and told us that we could actually go outside.

We ventured onto the abandoned streets and proselyted. All of Taipei hunkered within doors, waiting out the barrage of the terrifying tropical storm. It was the most bogus typhoon ever. I caught a glance of a TV displaying the caption "people dragged out to sea by waves," followed by a video clip of a five-year-old boy getting harmlessly pushed over by a shallow froth on the beach, then standing up again. Some typhoon.

Speaking of natural disasters, my companion and I also organized and carried out a so-called "tsunami" in Sanxia. In Taiwan Taipei mission lingo, a "tsunami" is a concentrated missionary finding effort in which multiple companionships are sent to a small area to proselyte. We enlisted the help of two of our districts to find investigators in Sanxia, then stayed the night at the Sanxia elders’ apartment. It was a good night of finding, and helped to build more hope and camaraderie among our zone members.

Eating dinner with the districts after the tsunami.

Sunday was great; three of our investigators were able to attend church. We met with two of them afterwards: Dennis and 彭姊妹, whose baptismal dates are both set for the 1st of August. They are both committed and progressing. I hope I will be able to see them baptized soon.

On Thursday, Elder Huntsman and I celebrated our 1-year mark on the mission. We went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. Other than that, nothing really special happened. It’s a weird feeling.

That’s about all. My 52nd week on the mission was quite excellent.

Elder Elliott


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