Best Elevators

Elder Roe and I were just sitting down for our weekly planning session when we got a text from 凃姐妹 [Sister Tu], an investigator whose baptismal service we planned for this Saturday.

"Hello, Elders,
I’ve decided not to come to church for a while. I’ve thought about this for a long time. Thank you for your care."

That was it. I called her over and over again, and she never picked up.

There have been hard days on my mission, and this was definitely among the hardest. All of the energy drained out of me. Elder Roe and I slumped silently in our seats.

I was so exhausted I could barely drag myself out the door to go on exchanges with the 新埔 elders. When I rode back the next day, Elder Roe and I were still in the doldrums. We knelt down and prayed for our area. We prayed that we could see miracles as the result of our efforts. We prayed that we could have desire to do the work.

That night, we met with a new referral named 沈弟兄 [Brother Shen]. He was contacted by missionaries in 台南 [Tainan] over three months ago, and he’d been keeping their invites to read the Book of Mormon and pray daily for the entire interim. We set a baptismal date with him, and he was extremely willing to accept the invitation. "I need a new start," he told us.

沈弟兄 works repairing elevators. I showed him our chapel’s elevator, which he examined enthusiastically. "This is a good model," he told us. I told him about how it sometimes stops far above or below the desired floor, and how it had trapped a missionary companionship for hours before. "If you ever get stuck inside, you can call me, and I’ll get you out for free," he said. I thanked him for his offer.

In front of our chapel. The weather is perfect now.

When I was on exchanges, we visited a crazed Indonesian man named Aguo who was also moderately intoxicated. After jumping around on his bed, he invited us to sit on the bed with him. We attempted to begin teaching him when my temporary companion found a bottle of liquor stowed behind the bed’s pillow. "I’ll pour that out for you," he said. Aguo adamantly refused, but my companion began walking towards the restroom with the bottle to pour it out. Before I knew it, Agua leapt up and started tussling over the half-full bottle of vodka with my companion! They tugged back and forth and rolled on the bed. "Just let go," I told him. "If you throw it out, he’ll buy another bottle anyway." He released the bottle of liquor. Aguo gave us a bunch of bananas, and we exchanged pleasantries and left.

So, even though this week was really hard, there were also some parts that made it better. I’m still disappointed about 凃姐妹, but I am feeling much more optimistic now, and I’m looking forward to next week.

Elder Elliott


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