It’s beta

I baptized 邱姐妹 [Sister Qiu] on Sunday!

We held 邱姐妹 [Sister Qiu]’s baptismal service on Sunday morning before church. It went really well. She had never cried at any of the lessons before, but she was crying the whole day! She bore a great testimony of repentance at church. She’s considering going on a mission in a year! We’re going to try to get her on a short-term mission in Taiwan as soon as the need arises, so she can have some missionary experience.

The Chinese character for mold (only one of its written variants) is

霉 [méi]

which is composed of the character for rain, 雨, on top of the character 每, which means "every," and by extension "daily." Thus, the character for mold is allegedly derived from a primeval observation that daily rain led to the growth of mildew.

These past two weeks, it’s rained almost every day without cease. Sure enough, everyone’s apartment was grew a ton of 霉. Every day, missionaries call to report on their moldy apartments. The hapless landlords try to clean up the mold or paint over it (ack!), but in most severe cases, these solutions will never work. The filamentous fungus has already infiltrated the damp medium, and it cannot be eradicated short of the complete destruction and removal of its habitat.

I’m still not sure of the best way to handle this situation. Landlords aren’t usually willing to tear down and rebuild mildew-infested walls, and immediately switching apartments is unlikely, since it takes weeks to find and rent a new apartment, and prematurely cancelling the old apartment contract incurs a hefty fine.

Speaking of hefty, this week we printed out two proofreading copies of the three-column Chinese Old Testament. We printed on normal paper, so the resulting three-volume tome was more massive than the golden plates.

Hefting the book in my hands.

The Old Testament: Beta v1.002

This view communicates better the book’s thickness, more than 4 inches (10 cm).

Because the book was so thick, the printing company split each one into three sub-books for convenience, each about the size of a regular King James. I was shocked when I realized how enormous the book was. I ran the calculations with paper thickness and found that, when printed on the thin scripture paper, the entire book will be only about 1.75 inches (4.5 cm) thick: almost 1/3 of its current size.

Now, it’s just a matter of proofreading and correcting all of the errors in the pinyin. I devised a scheme to enlist the help of other missionaries in our mission. I will print about 50 pages for each missionary with advanced Chinese, and include detailed instructions for what kind of errors to correct. Elder Smith and I will examine finished proofreading sections. If an audited section passes, the missionary who did the correction will be awarded a free copy of the book when the final edition is printed.

Last P-day, Elder Smith and I went to 西門町 [Ximending] and examined the wares. We bought some shirts with the Chinese characters:
Front: "White people can’t read this."
Back: "Neither can black people."

That’s about it for this week.

Elder Elliott


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