Decree of the watchers

Last Saturday, President Jergensen, the twins Brecken and Daxton, Elder Smith, and I ventured to the Eye of Horus. It’s an ancient-Egyptian-themed escape room, a multi-floor puzzle that you have to use problem-solving to climb through and escape from. There is a 90-minute time limit.

We began in a closed room where we were trapped following the collapse of an ancient pyramid’s entrance. After running around aimlessly for a few minutes, we started sifting through the sand on the floor and pulling up the floorboards. We found a wooden key and a scarab-shaped attachment, which we could use together to open the door and enter the rest of the puzzle.

We had a great time blundering through the escape room together. All of the hints and information were written in Chinese, which was fine for me and Elder Smith but made things slightly more difficult for President Jergensen and the twins. We deciphered sequences of Egyptian characters representing numeric quantities, climbed up and down rope ladders, and arranged canopic jars to open hidden doors. President Jergensen’s favorite part was the ball pit; he swam around and tossed balls at the twins as we struggled to unlock the next phase.

We completed the game with only five minutes to spare. The staff took a picture of us in front of a "winners" sign, and we cleaned the sand off of our feet and walked back to the MRT station together.

Our Egyptian adventures aside, Elder Smith and I had kind of a boring week. We drove to 新竹 [Xinzhu] to rent a (different) new apartment for the sisters, and the landlord actually showed up this time! I also signed for the new 瀘州 [Luzhou] apartment after the old one became a showcase for an abundance of fungal specimens. This is the 15th apartment I’ve rented, which has to be some kind of record.

We went on our usual Costco pizza run for the trainer-trainee meeting. I went by my usual ratio of 1/4 pizza per person, which in the past was more than enough. As the missionaries devoured the pizza, however, I found the slices disappearing at a disconcerting rate. In the end, our rations were sufficient, but barely so. Only later did I realize my error: I had neglected to take gender into account. I had estimated the 1/4 ratio at meetings comprised mostly of sisters, hence the vast discrepancy when the majority of constituents were male. I’ve come up with a gender-adjusted ratio of 1/3 pizza per elder and 1/4 per sister, which should work better next time.

Elder Smith’s gnarly ingrown toenail is growing back. This, along with the infection in my right big toenail, has caused us to develop a mutual hatred of toenails. These infuriating hunks of keratin are nothing but trouble, and we both desire to have our toenails permanently removed upon returning to the U.S.

This week, though boring, was pretty awesome. Elder Smith and I received a great referral the other day, 黃姐妹 [Sister Huang], who has a baptismal date set for 5/28. She’ll be coming to church this Sunday, along with 徐弟兄 [Brother Xu], our other baptismal-date investigator. We’re really excited to see her progression.

Love,
Elder Elliott

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