Original article posted by Greg:

Please package jerky and send it to E. G. C. Hamblin, floor 4 number 24 lane 183, Chin Hua Street, Taipei 10606, Taiwan ROC. Include pictures of random objects of delight.

Last week I mentioned typhoons and earthquakes. Since then we’ve had both but, against my expectations, the typhoon was scarier than the earthquake. The church roof lost some of it’s stone tiles. Many apartments got broken or cracked windows. We were fine, but it was hard to sleep with all the noise of the wind. Then the earthquake was just yesterday. It was a little one, but it lasted for about 20 seconds. Not strong enough to do anything but squeak the door frame a little. So we were not humbled.

The work goes okay. Once again we’ve pretty much lost all of our investigators except for the ones that make us feel happy. One of them includes a drug addict whose father pulled us over on sunday to ask for our help. I told him to pray. He didn’t sound to excited, but he’s so concerned about his son he’s willing to try anything – even going to missionaries of an accursed christian belief system.

Got to see a mosque (deed I speel htat rite?) yesterday. It was green.

I had the opportunity last week to do a baptismal interview with a deaf man. Now, I’ve never been able to use ASL, much less chinese sign language, so I was a little nervous. But we just got a translator to sit in on the interview and translate for me. It was fun. I learned a lot in the process, so now I know how to say a few words with CSL.

There is one set of sister missionaries in our area. They are amazing. Sister Hong and sister Lai. They also, coincidentally, both speak chinese sign language pretty well. Not a common skill, and not one that anybody knew either of them had until they started working together. Then suddenly the missionaries started running into deaf people all the time. And, what do you know, there’s a couple of missionaries who can talk to them. We all see it as a small miracle here in zhong li. Now every tuesday night is sign language class for anybody who wants to come and most members of the ward (including us americans) have picked up the basics. (like ‘no, yes, thanks, hello, you are handsome, I am cool,’ etc.)

Orignally I thought my camera was lacking several cool features – like macro and super macro photos. But then last night elder blake called me an idiot and showed me that my relatively cheap camera is capable of doing everything his 500 dollar digital camera can do.

Elder Blake is a guy who likes a lot of the same things I do, but does them all better than me. Except maybe write. He writes music, does computer stuff, takes pictures, draws – and does them all well. Better than me, at least. I guess this is another reason I should apply myself to something, rather than just do the minimum to get by. Alas. Work. I only hope that he takes the time to develop any of these skills to something more than natural talent and playing around. For instance, he draws, but I look at it and can instantly tell that it was drawn by somebody who has never taken a single art or drawing class before. I don’t know why I can tell, but it just looks ameteurish. And I imagine if I listened to his music it would be the same. But if he does take the time I think he could be really great.

Which makes me think: Is it bad that I don’t have a lot of direction for myself at this late stage of immaturity?

Nevermind. Don’t tell me.

-Elder Hamblin