Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013 - "Perfect Love Casteth Out all Fear"

Hello mine family.

It has been a pretty good week. I got my first 'baptism', though I didn't really teach the guy and didn’t actually baptize him. A Houh was our investigator, he was basically ready to be baptized when I got here, waited a while for family convenience. I did teach him a bit, though, and it was pretty great. When he was baptized, he came up and was like, "Woah, yeah yeah!" Not really loud but more than you would expect. He is pretty spiritual, but I think it also may have been the water was really cold. Afterwards he kept saying he was 'gam syufuhk' which means so comfortable. Pretty great kid.

It made me realize that the counting of baptisms is not only bad because people focus on the numbers and judge success off things they can't control, but also because it really is hard to tell whose baptism it is. I only taught 4 lessons, maybe, nothing new, just maintenance stuff while we waited, but some elder in Macau helped do all the major teaching. So, baptismal count is pretty worthless. It takes like 6 weeks at the least to be taught in Hong Kong anyway, so you have a really good chance of being moved before finishing.

Finding, still lacking success, but good. I've been trying to talk to more people on trains, since we have two 30 min train rides a day. It's awkward, but good practice. I feel like I have a very easy to please measure of success. We'll have a whole 3 hours of contacting, and if one person that I stop,stops for 2 minutes and then waves us off, I'll count it a success. This is a strength. I can do no wrong in mine own eyes.

Obviously exaggerating. But it does keep me going. I had one time this week where E.O'G stopped to watch a Chinese chess game, and I randomly stopped some guy, talked about Heavenly Father, the gospel, the Book of Mormon, etc in about 1 minute, and the guy, surprisingly, asked where he could buy a Book of Mormon. So of course I gave him mine (we always carry around copies in our hands), got his number, and he said we could call him, seemed very interested. Made me giddy, partially because I did it on my own. Then of course I've called him 5 times and he hasn't answered, but we'll see.

Did some tracting in these little villages that are honestly really creepy at times. It gets dark at 6 pm here, so by 7 pm it's pretty black, and we're walking around on these tiny alleyways, over concrete trenches we suspect may be semi open sewers, past a surprising number of starving cats, and knocking on tiny houses. Most have bai sahn (worship god, or ancestor worship) shrines, some are next to large cenotaphs (which are like empty buildings with nothing but incense sticks, a dark and suggestive altar, and two disconcerting red bulbs glowing in the night) some have doors covered in bai sahn pictures. We almost got trapped by a large amount of dogs once, so that was fun. It's just weird. Like mud huts, but closer together, and everything including the ground is concrete.

There are a lot of people in Hong Kong who don't like the church, who are biased against it, or who go inactive for no reason, or don't do their home teaching (actually that is almost everyone). It can be very frustrating. When you go contacting for 3 hours, and the only guy you talk to believes in 'himself' (which is a very common idea) and gives illogical arguments, it can be easy to want to argue, to prove that you're right, and to conclude that he's an idiot, that he doesn't know anything, or that he's just wicked. But he's a child of God, same as us. He needs the gospel as much as I do, and he could be just as good a person. One thing I'm really grateful for is that I've been blessed to not feel angry at them, to start to have that love for the people. It might just be that I'm new, haven't been jaded yet. But that is one goal I have for the end of my mission. By the time I leave, I'll know which people are statistically more likely to listen, which people will basically never listen. I want to still try to talk to the unlikely people, and never say that the people are stupid or prideful or racist. They're not. They are people who need the gospel, same as everyone.

When we ask people for referrals, they usually say they don't know anyone. But obviously, everyone we know needs the gospel. Don't be scared off by thoughts that they're not ready, or that they are not sensitive enough or are too prideful, or whatever. As Mormon says, "...perfect love casteth out all fear." (Moroni 8:16). Love them, and help them. If you don't love them, serve them, pray for help, and then love them.


Keep on keepin’ on with the grants. Just think, if they do fire you, then you can go into private practice and have twice the money. You could have a bike for each day of the week.

That's scary about Grandpa Carmack. Luckily he's in a pretty healthy state, but I will pray for him. It is fun to brag that my Grandpa dedicated the land that our temple's on.

Mission is really cool, difficulties notwithstanding. I feel like I've learned a ton and I've still just started. Time passes very quickly. It seems crazy I've almost been here a month. I've had people tell me my Cantonese is amazing for having been in Hong Kong 3 weeks, which is gratifying. Honestly, I would be happy with things like this for the rest of my mission, except that I feel like I could be working harder. It's tough to figure out how to work best. And it's hard to be humble enough to accept criticism from people I know aren't perfect, like companions. E.O'G is great, but he's fairly jaded, gets really negative about Hong Kong people and “Antis”. It makes it hard for me to accept advice, even though he does know what he's doing. Still, I'm trying. I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on mission. That was cool. Thanks for the advice Dad.


I would really love some snow. It's not hot per se, but it's definitely not cold, often warm, always muggy. Still, weather has been really nice, and I feel fairly adjusted already. And Ma on Shan is right on Tolo Harbor, so the air is great here. If the whole world were like Ma On Shan... actually we'd all die because there'd be no room for crops, no room to actually produce anything, just very pretty apartment complexes and garden areas. Lots of playgrounds, though, so we could play as we starve.

I figured out I have about 375 Hong Kong dollars per week for food and travel, which is actually plenty. I’ve been trying to not get snacks or stuff very often, save money, plus most people seem to gain a lot of weight on their missions here. Elder Ah Mu, for example, has gained 10 pounds, but that's largely because he cooks huge pots of coco rice every day.

Halloween literally had nothing in Hong Kong. Nothing. We did nothing. Nothing special occurred. The day we were tracting was much creepier. I didn't mind too much, though. I will admit, I'm looking forward to Christmas season. I keep practicing Christmas songs on the pianos at the chapel. Oh, and I'll say it. I really wish I'd played piano more. Particularly because I only have the first 4 lines of “Deux Arabesques”. I have played them many times. Many.

Jsut the boy, (David)

Oh how fondly I recall the autumn night, when gathered we to peruse and survive the dark mansion. Many were the shrieks that day.

I enjoy hearing of mein bruder punishing incompetent chess players. Play a lot, or code. Do something cool, bro. I need to brag to the Hong Kongs ' bout choo. Oh, and they know what Halloween is, but don't care. So sad. Jsut about brings me to tears.


You’ll be glad to hear I stretched a lot today. Working on my splits. Don’t let any boys hang out with you unless they're really smart or they give you money. But don't let it go to your head. You're too much like me, Becca. I never cared about girls in school because I knew I wouldn't marry them, so what was the pointe?

Did you get that, pointe? Ha

Anyway, keep golden girlio I don't know what else to say. No one in Hong Kong is named Becca. They're all called Destiny or Kelvin or Cameron or Yuki or Naicy pronounced Lancy. I wish I could read. Tell Dad and Mom to make a list of good classic books, I want to read them when I get back.


I too, have felt stirrings of excitement for the First Noel. I play Christmas songs often. It's kind of sad. I’m glad you like violin a little more. And you really should be first chair, just saying. Do your best, little munchkin. I feel like I don't know what to say and I am slightly rambling. Also this keyboard is hard to type. Don't send me goldfish. I might send you girls silk shirt things, or jade bracelets, think about what you want.


If you can't take the water, you might as well take the dirt, I suppose. I wish I was a better runner. I ran a lot in the MTC, but never more than a mile at a time, and now my hip muscles need time to rest a bit.

I would point out that establishing a female ruler as incompetent doesn't exactly decrease the chauvinism of your book. Might want to through a stereotypical tomboy princess who loves fighting and hates dresses.

Actually if you do that I will never read your book. Nothing against tom boys, but if you do that do it with some class. Send a hard letter, even if it's not done, when mom sends the stuff. Please, I have nothing to read, but SCRIPTUUUUUUURES. What more do we need? Oh yeah, other books.

Okay family, love you. You must not be praying hard enough because I still haven’t had tons of success. Work harder. I will try to as well. Triads subdued by nice weather, maybe hibernating.

No comments:

Post a Comment