The clam noodle incident

On Sunday, Elder Roe and I rode the MRT a few stops over to Banqiao to attend a dinner and family activity we’d been invited to by a member. We met our investigator, Jerry, at the MRT exit, then walked for about ten minutes along the busy night streets to get to the member’s house.

Elder Roe and I went up to the 市政府 [City Government] ‘hood on P-day.

I had told one of the members before that I enjoyed cooking Taiwanese food. She told me when we arrived that I could help her finish cooking some of the last dishes! I helped mix and fry some noodles with clams and onions. When the food was finished, we set it out on the table. After saying a prayer, all of us members and missionaries started to eat. I ate a lot of the noodles, as well as several bowls of my favorite jellyfish strips with vinegar.

After dinner, everyone sat around the table and shared their favorite parts of the General Conference broadcast we had watched at church that morning. I was worried that we missionaries wouldn’t get home on time, so I had to urge the pace a little bit. About halfway through, my stomach started hurting, so I crossed my legs and curled up. After a few minutes, I could hardly stand the pain. I wanted to stay behind in the member’s home and rest, but I knew that if I did so, we wouldn’t get home on time. I wanted to set an example for the other missionaries in our zone, so I hobbled down the staircase first with Elder Roe.

By the time we reached the bottom of the stairs, I could barely walk, and I felt like throwing up. We had walked only a few steps on the street before I collapsed onto a table outside of a bakery. I couldn’t even stand up, and sweat was running down my face and body. I pulled a plastic bag I’d brought along just in case, raised it to my face, and started vomiting into it. One concerned bakery worker noticed me sprawled across the table and started talking to my companion. I could only moan, puke dribbling down my face.

My companion and I decided to go back to the member’s house and use their restroom. I crawled back up the stairs with his help, and we knocked again on their door. When the members saw how pale I was, they freaked out! They all wanted to talk to me and call a doctor, but my companion told them, "just let him go throw up in your bathroom." I swiftly hobbled over to the restroom and made thorough use of its facilities. My body efficiently purged itself of the suspect seafood, in both directions. After resting and cleaning up, I felt fine. We made the walk back to the MRT station, rode back to 海山 [Haishan], and finally returned to the apartment late that night.

Walking along a typical street in our area.

The rest of the week was good. We’ve been going on two companion exchanges per week with the other missionaries in our zone, so both of us have been running all over 板橋 [Banqiao] and 三峽 [Sanxia]. Also, because my companion’s bike still hasn’t arrived since moving day, we’ve been reduced to walking everywhere in our own area.

凃姐妹 [Sister Tu], our investigator who found her own way into the church, has been progressing excellently, and will most likely be baptized next week. She was originally going to be baptized on Saturday, but she had to leave General Conference early and missed her baptismal interview. Ida’s also doing great; she’s going to change her work schedule so she can take her day off on Sundays and come to church.

That’s about all that happened this week. It was great to hear general conference, and especially to see my dad playing the organ. I started taking my notes in English, but kept habitually dropping into Chinese. By the end, I just wrote completely in simplified Chinese, which is less laborious than traditional Chinese and takes up less notebook space than English.

I asked my companion to teach me how to solve a Rubix cube, a skill I’ve long felt lacking in. He recently bought his own Rubix cube, which is Taiwanese-made and turns very smoothly. He taught me the first and second layers, which I can solve fairly efficiently now, but we still haven’t had time to go over the third layer, which is the hardest.

Our zone training meeting also went really well. Everyone loved the video I re-formatted last week. Many of the missionaries in our zone now are very new missionaries, and they said that they felt very inspired and motivated by our training. It was a good success.

Love,
Elder Elliott

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