Secret tunnel

In an hour, Elder Smith and I will fly on an airplane down to 花蓮 [Hualian] to help President Jergensen set up and translate for the 花蓮 [Hualian] and 台東 [Taidong] zone conference. I never thought I’d go back to the East coast on my mission. Neither did I think I’d ever fly on a plane for these two years. It’s happening now, though!

Elder Smith and I will stay overnight in 花蓮 [Hualian] and spend all of our P-day tomorrow there. We’re going to go hike in 太魯閣 [Taroko gorge] and probably hang out at the beach too. I’m super-excited to go to Taroko, a place I’ve always wanted to see in Taiwan but never got the chance.

This past week went really fast. I made some breakthroughs on the language program, and the first books were printed this week. Here’s a preview (but this is still on the hush in the mission, since we haven’t announced it yet):

This is the overview chart thingy I thought up with Elder Smith and illustrated on the computer. This is how missionaries track their language progress.

The cover of Book A, which contains the basic Chinese for teaching people.

A preview: the first page of Book A.

So, that’s basically what I’ve been working on every spare minute this week.

For P-day, we went to a big bookstore and looked around. I bought a bunch of Chinese books for me to bring home and read after the mission. I’ve been trying to improve my Chinese character reading speed recently by reading the Liahona and the Gospel Principles book in Chinese. I bookmarked my current reading speed at about 360 characters per minute (6 cps), which is pretty OK (an average Chinese native reads at 386 characters per minute), but my goal is 450 characters per minute.

There were also some cool miracles this week. First, we found and rented a new apartment for the 三峽 [Sanxia] elders, even though the first one cancelled at the last second because the landlord didn’t want to report taxes. Second, we received a referral from my old stake president in the West stake who has a lot of potential to be baptized. Third, a missionary’s parents were traveling around in Taibei and they referred their driver to us. He’s really cool, and super-prepared to receive our teachings. So, those were some good highlights.

Anyway, this email’s going to be short because I have to get on a plane in an hour and a half. It’s been a great week, and I’m looking forward to the next! I’ll hopefully have a lot of Hualian pics to send.


Elder Elliott


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