My companion took many photographs this week, but left his camera in the apartment. The only pictures I had were of the weird blood blisters that swelled up in the back of my mouth on Friday. So, to minimize the disgust factor, I’ll omit the subepithelial hemorrhagic bullae in favor of a description of this week’s missionary work.
On Tuesday, Elder Roe and I conducted our December Zone Training Meeting. Then, I rode the bus to 三峽 [Sanxia] for exchanges. That night, we walked along the road in 頂埔 [Dingpu] to an elderly investigator’s house. Although his Mandarin was proficient, he preferred Taiwanese, so the lesson was mostly a discussion between him and the member we’d brought along. Surprisingly, I grasped a good deal of the exchange, although I couldn’t reply in Taiwanese.
After returning to 土城 [Tucheng] on Wednesday, I taught English class on Wednesday. It was then, under the probing spotlight of my curious English students, that I found myself unable to draw a clear distinction between "yams" and "sweet potatoes." Are yams truly endemic to Africa, or are the orange tubers sold at American supermarkets genuine representatives of the same species? What about the 地瓜 [digua] and 山藥 [shanyao] sold in Taiwan? In the past, I considered 地瓜 to be sweet potatoes and 山藥 to be yams, but my electronic dictionary flagged the two words as synonyms, much to my befuddlement. My perplexity was only exacerbated by my never having seen a 山藥 in person before. In the end, I saw fit to dismiss the conundrum and simply coach my class on the pronunciation of the word "yam" instead.
I performed thrice with the missionary Christmas choir this week: once in 三重 [Sanchong], once in 士林 [Shilin], and once at the Church headquarters in Taipei city’s 大安 [Da'an]. All three times went pretty well, especially since my trio part is pretty simple. I only have to repeatedly sing the bass line of one phrase: "榮耀歸與至高真神" ["Gloria in Excelsis Deo"]. After the first performance, I figured I could just leave my music on my seat when I went up to sing.
One of our investigators was able to come attend at 大安, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to see how significant of an effect our performance had to her. She told us, "I’ve listened to a lot of choirs before, but none of them sounded this good!" I wanted to believe.
Other than that, we also found a really cool guy we can teach. His name is 廖先生 [Mr. Liao]. Elder Roe and I intercepted him as he ambled along our street in his snowflake-pattern sweater. He’s seventy years old, and recently retired from his career as a computer instructor. It is rare to find people older than 40 who have a desire to meet with us and learn more about the Church. However, 廖先生 came to church the day after we met with him, and he said he’d like to continue coming. Also, he’s one of the few people I’ve met who can talk about the glory days of the Apple II.
That’s about all for this week. It was great!