Baffling machines

In celebration of my fast-approaching 20th birthday (this Saturday), Elder Roe and I went to my favorite all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant for lunch today.

Me.

Elder Roe.

View of one side of the restaurant.

The other side of the mirrored central pillars.

This is the same chain where an English class student took us out to eat on my 19th birthday a year ago.

It’s actually a lot cheaper than I had imagined, and it’s definitely worth it. Everything is unlimited all-you-can-eat: traditional Taiwanese vegetable dishes, dumplings, steamed bread, salad, fruit, hot dogs, chocolate fondue, cake, ice cream, various fried and grilled stuff, and sushi. You can choose your hot pot flavor–kimchi is my favorite–and mix all of your own condiments. There’s a refrigerated area from which you can take all sorts of hot pot ingredients, some meat-slicing machines, Slushee machines, and even ingredients for making your own Taiwanese shaved ice. Because I normally only eat really cheap food, I have enough extra money left ofter that I could pay for my companion and I to eat here every day for two weeks, but that would be kind of wasteful and unhealthy. One meal here can fuel several days of uninterrupted proselyting, anyway.

This week was a great week overall. We’ve started meeting with one of Dennis’s friends (Dennis is the investigator I baptized with Elder Huntsman a while ago). Her name is Nana. She is lined up to be baptized on Christmas, along with 沈弟兄 (Brother Shen), Jerry, and Andy.

Andy and Jerry are both doing well, and each has come to church enough times to be baptized. The only problem is that neither of them has a very strong desire to be baptized. We’re trying to help them develop habits of scripture study and prayer, which is about all we can do to help them in their current situation.

This week, Elder Roe and I also had the privilege of going to the Taipei temple again with two members for their first time. One of them was 楊弟兄 [Brother Yang], who Elder Huntsman and I began teaching my first week here in 土城. At the time, he didn’t have a job, never came to church, and spent all of his time practicing divination and fortune-telling in his decrepit one-room apartment. His walls were all spray-painted in slightly varying shades of vomit green ("to cover up the asbestos underneath," he explained), and innumerable old toothbrushes were arrayed on his filthy bedside table. Now, he comes to church every Sunday, and he was laughing and smiling when my companion talked to him. It’s great to see how far he’s come in this short time.

That’s about all that’s been going on this week. It’s been a pretty stressful week; Elder Roe was out of the area on exchanges for every day except one. Nevertheless, we saw a lot of progress in our area. Tomorrow, Elder Stevenson, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, will be speaking to us in Taipei, which I’m looking forward to. We’ll sing for him in the choir, as well.

That’s all for now. Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Elliott

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