Zheng person buying footwear

During our Monday preparation time, Elder Roe and I didn’t have anything to do, so we took the MRT up to 附中 to see the 林家花園 [I think it's called the Lin Family mansion in English]. We explored the historic mansion grounds and took many photographs. It reminded me of an old garden-surrounded church my dad used to take me to in our Utah neighborhood. The aesthetic was very similar.

One of the interesting design features of the structure was its narrow, covered passageways between buildings. These were apparently constructed to make inter-building travel more comfortable during rain.

The main building was actually very small, its footprint occupying only a small fraction of the whole garden space. Most of the space was occupied by pavilions and other outdoor garden features.

Some round-leafed 荷花 outside of the main building.

The entrance to the main building.

I stand in front of an alcove, at the bottom right corner of the above photograph.

There was a pretty pond at one corner of the garden.

Standing in a circular door near the exit.

A view through the same door, from the other direction.

Our relaxing P-day provided a good contrast to the stressful schedule of the rest of our week.

Because there are now more companionships in our zone, we have to go on two exchanges per week to fit everyone in. On Tuesday, I took a bus down to 三峽, the land of unimaginably broad sidewalks and fancy faux-European apartment complexes. After eating curry at a member’s house for dinner, we rode our bikes around the modern sculptures scattered around the apartment buildings and contacted a lot of college students. The bike I was using had a nonfunctional derailleur, but it was a nice evening nonetheless.

Our English class on Wednesday was interesting. To teach our English students about adjectives and body parts, I took a page out of Dwarf Fortress’s book and created a random body-part/adjective-combination game, in which students come up with a list of adjectives and body parts which are then inserted in different order into a pre-made story. The results were pretty hilarious. Then, I taught them about the Word of Wisdom for the spiritual portion of the share, which is pretty risky for an English class. I think it’s better to let people know what we actually believe rather than reciting vague platitudes about friendship and respect, which everyone agrees with anyway.

Some of Elder Roe’s friends from a previous area came to eat dinner with us on Saturday.

On Friday, we accompanied two of our members to the temple in Taipei for their first time, including 李姐妹 [Sister Li] who we baptized not long ago. When we arrived at the temple, we found them in desperate need of people to perform baptisms. Since I could read the names printed in characters, they enlisted my help. It was a great experience. They had me in the font for a long time, probably over an hour, and my arm got really sore from pulling everyone up out of the water. Many of the names were from mainland, and were printed in simplified characters, so my study of simplified characters came in handy as well.

We rode over the bridge to Shulin on Sunday to visit some members who live in that area. We visited a cool guy who spoke mostly Taiwanese and Japanese. He told us all about his life story, and even demonstrated the stretches he uses to keep himself flexible despite being in his 90s. He was pretty hilarious, and a really nice man. After that, we rode all around around the gritty industrial district looking for some members who turned out to have moved away long ago.

That’s about it for this week!

Love,
Elder Elliott

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