The Herbst appliance

Elder Ure took a really sick picture of me stamping a contract, but he can’t find his camera, so this email may lack the usual feast of visual imagery.

After countless hours of devoted effort, I finally finished Project Keys, my quest to update our collection of all 80+ apartment key sets in the mission and provide every zone leader with a copy of all the key sets within his zone. This was a massive task, much to the profit of the local locksmith. I’m pretty sure we’re his biggest source of income.

I called about six landlords to close down apartments that were out of use. I felt really bad, because the contracts hadn’t expired yet, and the Chinese new year would make it much more difficult to find new tenants, so this would hurt them financially. When I called the landlords to tell them the bad news, I could hear their family members start yelling, crying, and arguing in the background.

Chinese new year is a huge problem for us, because every company shuts down for an entire week. Even the banks in Taiwan won’t accept or send wire transfers, so none of our payments will go through. Yesterday, we were in a mad rush to get everything done before 5:00 PM. The financial department didn’t get some payments through before they closed down, so a bunch of landlords are on my case now.

New year brings other inconveniences as well. Our apartment toilet got clogged yesterday, we didn’t have a plunger, and the stores were all closed. I ended up making use of a bent wire coat hanger to remove the blockage. It was super effective!

There was an earthquake last night which dealt severe damage in some southern regions of Taiwan. I woke up suddenly and felt the building rocking back and forth. It was dark, and I could hear some tiles and debris falling outside. I was ready to stand up and run under the door frame in case the swaying intensified, but the tremor died quickly. It was no more severe than the many other earthquakes I’ve felt here in the past.

This week, I also found out that one of the people I found a while back during the tsunami activity in 頭份 [Toufen] was baptized. 張弟兄 [Brother Zhang] is a 30-year-old engineer I contacted near the Zhunan Science Park. He didn’t believe in God, but he wanted to give us a donation, which we told him we couldn’t accept. He started paying tithing way before he was baptized. It was good to know that my few days of finding in 頭份 really did have an effect on someone’s life.

That’s about all for this week!

Love,
Elder Elliott

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