Fey mood

Elder Smith and I spent our P-day listening to music as we cleaned our apartment to a fare-thee-well. I trundled the fridge out from its dusty corner and scrubbed all five exposed faces; ages of accumulated grime ran to the floor in black rivulets. We vacuumed all the floors, and we picked up all the assistants’ scattered laundry and threw it on their beds.

President and Sister Jergensen went to Hong Kong this week for a mission presidents’ area seminar, so the mission plunged into an anarchy of looting and arson. Just kidding; everything was fine, just as usual.

Great news: our investigator 邱姐妹 [Sister Qiu] passed her baptismal interview on Sunday! Her baptismal service is tomorrow morning. It’s awesome to see how fast a person’s progression is when he or she is truly prepared to receive our message.

廖弟兄 [Brother Liao], my elderly yet computer-adept convert from Tucheng, walked into the office last night with the Tucheng elders! He had just gone to the temple across the street for the first time. We talked about batch programming on the Apple II.

Speaking of batch programming, President Jergensen showed a bunch of pictures of our key indicator reporting system at the seminar. He told me that the other mission presidents were amazed, and several even wanted it for their own mission! So, I may be working on making ARPS [the Automatic RePorting System I programmed] ready for other missions as well.

I set a goal to finish the Old Testament three-column text (Chinese, Pinyin, and English) by the end of this week. I completed most of the editing of the text files, and then started to work on formatting the text. Here I ran into the hard part: moving from the effortless simplicity of Notepad++ to the laggy and erratic Microsoft Word 2013. Word is a great piece of software, and works fine with small files, but when it comes to paginating nearly 2,000 pages of holy writ in three languages, it doesn’t stand a chance.

After finding that Word usually crashed at around 1,000 pages of tables, I made the mistake of trying to use master documents, creating a sub-document for every book. All I can say: there’s a reason nobody uses them. After adding 39 sub-documents and making some changes to the format, the master document was already more corrupt than the Somali government.

Finally, I figured out how to use IncludeText fields to include the text from each sub-file in a more reliable manner. I then used draft mode to view and edit the file, since switching to print view resulted in a grueling pagination marathon that crashed Word about 50% of the time.

At last, the book was completed. We’re going to have a first sample printed off; I’ll send some pics next week.

Some other cool things I did this week:

Elder Smith and I made a Chinese-subtitled version of the Church’s Easter video. The Chinese dubs they use are always wince-worthy, so President Jergensen had us add subtitles to the English version. I used Aegisub and ffmpeg, which together form a super-smooth and high-quality pipeline, to create and burn the subs.

Sister Jergensen also let me redo the aesthetics of our mission’s webpage. Check it out:


Of course, it’s not perfect (I didn’t have time to remove all the wacky frames around pictures, or make them consistent) but it looks a lot better than before, if I say so myself. And, I added a spooky parallax background!


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