A fungal infection turned my toenail yellow, and Elder Xiao was suffering gastrointestinal distress, so we ended up going to the doctor on Wednesday. Thankfully, Elder Xiao’s new convert, Sister Chen, works at the Adventist Hospital, so we basically had a free line skip pass and got through the registration super fast. They had an automatic height-measuring device which bops the patient on the head, amusing me and Elder Ure to no end.
My unsightly toenail discoloration turned out to be athlete’s foot. The doctor prescribed me a bottle of topical antibiotic to apply every day for three months. Elder Xiao was vaguely diagnosed with irritable bowel due to intestinal inflammation. The doctor gave him a bunch of probiotics and told him to eat more white bread and rice, and to avoid high-fiber or oily foods. Despite our pleas, he then proceeded to eat some greasy dumplings and pizza in the same day!
A few big highlights of this week: three of my investigators got baptized! 嚴姐妹 [Sister Yan] and 呂弟兄 [Brother Lu], who I had been teaching since I arrived in the office, were baptized at the same baptismal service on Sunday morning. 何姐妹 [Sister He], who I started teaching in 土城 [Tucheng], was baptized as well, although I wasn’t present at the baptismal service.
Sister Yan, far left, with Brother Lu, center.
These are some awesome people. Sister Yan, previously a member of a different Christian church, is a master of scriptural knowledge. She’s read the Book of Mormon several times, with meticulous notes, and her command of the Old and New Testaments is unparalleled. When we invited her to read Alma 32, she read it 12 times in a day. She was a hard investigator to teach, and yelled at us a lot, but now I’m glad we didn’t stop teaching her. She was overjoyed to be baptized.
Sister He came to a Thanksgiving activity in Tucheng after the Banqiao sisters invited her on the subway. She is very refined and sociable, and instantly made friends with almost every member of the ward. She progressed quickly, and she even invited her whole family to her baptism. She’ll be an outstanding member, and I can’t wait to see her again.
Brother Lu and I install a new mudguard on my Frankenstein-esque bike, which is patched and cobbled together from pieces of other bikes I’ve scavenged throughout my mission. We swapped out the wheels today. Not one part remains from my original bike.
Brother Lu and I bonded really well since we both like bikes, machinery, and programming. He studies engineering in college and works part-time at a Giant store repairing bikes. He volunteered to help us fix our bikes today, so we spent a few hours of P-day fixing all of our bent derailleurs, swapping tires, lubricating chains, and scavenging useful parts from the old bikes piled in the chapel parking garage.
My Thursday focus was fixing the line breaks in the Chinese Old Testament text I’ve been working with. I spent a while correcting the unfavorable results of a bug that caused every instance of the Chinese word for "cry" (in a battle-type scenario, such as when Gideon and his men scatter the Midianites) to be replaced by a garbled string of ASCII characters. It’s surprising how much battle-crying goes on in the Old Testament.
Elder Xiao using persuasive tactics at the intercom.
On Friday, President Jergensen asked us to translate a bunch of mission president training videos into Chinese, add subtitles, and burn them to DVDs. This is pretty time-consuming work. We listened to every phrase of the ten minutes of film several dozen times over, adjusting the timing of the subtitles.
Elder Oaks dissects it for us.
As you can see, the subtitles look pretty good, right?
Elders Ure and Xiao bear-crawled to an overhanging travertine precipice.
That’s it for this week.