With transfers fast approaching, I had to come up with a faster way to create the individual instruction files than individually typing each one. For this transfer, there are over eighty sheets that need to be created. So, I learned some Visual Basic and created a macro that generates the instruction sheets from the Excel file containing the transfer information. Pic related:
Elder Ure and Smith had to drive people to and from the airport, and there wasn’t room in the car, so I became companions with Elder McOmber for a day. I implemented multithreading to separate the execution of the SMS-reading and graphical user interface, all while listening to a multitude of stories from his mission in the 60s. It was a pretty cool day. I also finished calculating and submitting all the apartment rent well in advance.
Elder Smith, Elder Ure, and I on the temple grounds with one of their friends from Miaoli.
We met twice this week with our investigator, 邱姐妹 [Sister Qiu], whose baptismal date is set for the 26th of this month. It’s been amazing to see how much she’s progressed since we started meeting with her. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day, and loves coming to church every week.
Last week marked Elder Smith’s year mark in Taiwan, so we all ate a manly meal of 烤肉 [barbecue] to celebrate. There aren’t many restaurants in America where you can cook huge amounts of raw meat on your own. Good thing food safety regulations are laxer here in Taiwan!
Dining on the flame-scorched flesh of beasts.
All of the zone leaders have been coming over to our apartment for exchanges with the assistants, so I’ve had some awesome opportunities to see friends from my generation. I like to run to Taipei 101 and back in the morning for exercise. Elder Robinson joined me, and we spent the whole time talking about our favorite obscure Chinese characters. It’s super fun trying to remember how to write characters like 飆 ["whirlwind," or "violent wind," used to describe reckless driving], 齋 ["to fast," or "a study room"], or 鬮 ["to cast lots"]. At the beginning of my mission, I thought that if I could even read the most basic Chinese characters, it would be the coolest thing ever. Now, we can read and write even characters the majority of native speakers never learn.
It looks pretty good now (with the exception of the front photo, which I’m still trying to change), but rest assured it will be hideous in a few years when cyan, teal, and maroon aren’t fashionable any more. Oh well, I suppose graphic designers would be jobless if the trends weren’t always changing.
Elder Smith and I had a fun time looking through all these different paper samples for the tract, feeling each one and testing its smear resistance and writeability. Some of the papers were smooth and tear-resistant, some rough and fibrous, and some shimmery or printed with a pattern of shiny and non-shiny regions. We were going to try ivory card, but it may be a little too heavy.
Another big task has been correcting the tones of pinyin in the language-study edition of the Old Testament. I spent hours finding every instance of the word 神 ["God/gods"] in the books of the Old Testament and deciding whether the pinyin should be capitalized (God) or lowercase (god/gods, referring to idols or pagan objects of worship). This experience left me devoutly thankful for RegEx and notepad++‘s scroll-synchronize capabilities.
Elder Roe and his companion, Elder Bellingham, came up for exchanges two days ago. Tucheng is doing really well. The formerly less-active 張家庭 [Zhang family] who I taught when I was there are now completely active, as is our patriotic friend Bobby. Feels good, man.