Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014 - Zone Conference & Parables

Wow. I thought that I had a kind of successful week but my family is blowing me out of the water, apparently. Also, you should know that I judge your love of me off of the length of your emails, so right now Mom and Joseph love me, Dad likes me, and the rest of you 'tolerate' me. I don't mind, I know you were all very young when I left and you probably don't remember me too much. But part of me has died a little bit.

Not too much time right now, but I will endeavor. Our Mission President had Zone Conference this week. Let me just say, President Hawks is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I, and every other missionary in our mission, idolize him (in a not breaking 10 commandments way). He is extremely strict, but helps us see his vision behind why. He is hilarious, but always in a clever dignified way. And he teaches in a way that just makes sense, and makes you really want to listen to what he's saying and do it. Sister Hawks is the same way. They really are amazing. I'm really glad that he'll be going back to work in the engineering department at BYU after his mission is done because hopefully I'll get to see him some more.

Zone Conference was about the First Vision and Joseph Smith experience. It was very good. The Assistants did a very powerful demonstration of how to share the First Vision which really inspired me, and then this week we had 5 or 6 chances to share it in a teaching environment. Very cool.

We met 3 cool people, all very interested, most not Cantonese speaking, and none in our area. A Fung was a really cool guy who we ran into by the Shing Mun River who said he had been praying about whether or not he should change churches. His lesson came after 2 1/2 hours of finding with literally no one talking to us. Tian was a guy we ran into in similar circumstances, who randomly bought us hot ovaltine and was willing to read the Book of Mormon, but he is probably Mandarin speaking and lives in Kowloon. Will was a Korean kid who we taught on Sunday in English (because his English is perfect). Second time I have ever shared the Joseph Smith story for real in English, 1st time giving out a real Book of Mormon. He also is not in our area.

SO we’ve had awesome miracles, but still a very hard time getting investigators, particularly contacting and remeeting the people we talk to. But we press on.


You email shows that you love me the most.

Iliad is a very good book, but yeah too archaic to use as a model. Also gets a bit boring and repetitive after a while, but maybe just me.

The form that mersenne primes are expressed in shows up as a big box. As we would say, chaam (too bad). I would be interested. That's why I was friends with Micah. He knew tons of random stuff like that.

We will see how well that goes when the human race is numbered in the trillions and spread across planets and no one has the space to store the millions of movies made each year.

Hong Kong is surprisingly not crowded at a lot of places. Weird.


No time, but one of the things that I have learned is that you only see miracles after you keep enduring past the point of negative conclusion. Once you've proved that you didn't get any street contacts today, if you keep going, you find them. Once you have experienced the futility of calling potentials and continue, you find success. Very cool.

One of the things that President Hawks recommended as a way to improve teaching is coming up with parables or analogies to explain certain points. This week I was trying to help an investigator who had no real desire to change or find out about our message understand the situation as I saw it. So I compared it to as if there was a free ice cream truck by Tai Wai station. My companion and I had seen it on the way over here, and we had tasted the ice cream. But if he didn't go over and look for it he would miss it. It was free, as long as he would be willing to look for it. You could extend it further by saying that on the way over he might run into people trying to distract him or tell him he was crazy, but if he endured he could get a ton of free ice cream (which is more expensive in Hong Kong). Unfortunately, he was unaffected. Too lazy. But coming up with analogies is a really fun thing, and also really useful.


You seem about as busy as ever. That is something that I feel like I have learned here is the value of time. You don't regret time spent doing things, but time spent doing nothing, or watching TV, or playing games, disappears. I didn't really realize this before but there is always too much to do and not enough time. As long as you’re using all of it, though, you go to bed happy.

You can find a lot of American things here but they will usually be in American stores and more expensive. I really never have time to go looking for them. We never have time to do anything on P-days. I have been to one cultural site, but as Dad said a couple months ago you just don't have time.

We saw no cockroaches after the slaughter for a few days, then last night saw a ton more. They came all at once and were all small, which leads me to believe that they hatched together. I would love to fix it, but almost no time to clean either. Chaam. (Too bad)

Elder Tong, what to say about him. He likes dark chocolate. He worked for a while in Australia before his mission, and has a lot of family that like him, so he has quite a bit of extra money. His view of money is that it should be spent. He lives according to this view. Quite amusing at times. I think my cheapness bothers him at times. I like to think it pricks his conscience, but probably more like the above story about the ice cream. He is also studying mechanical engineering, very smart guy. He is much more practical than I am, though. I enjoy a lot of abstract or basically useless things, he doesn't. We get along pretty well at this point. His greatest desire is to have a native companion, or at least live with a native. That's all that can really help his spoken Chinese at this point. I am still pretty frustrated at my lack of hearing skills, so I've got plenty to improve.

Now that I am a missionary, I am really curious to see how you and Dad were as missionaries. I think that'd be very interesting.


That is pretty cool, David. I am actually quite impressed. Your chess skills seem to have improved in the interim. And having gone to some tournaments myself I happen to know that the lowest level there is quite a lot lower than many of the people at Hillcrest, so that is pretty sad. But you keep it up. I know that thorns sometimes enter our feet. Sometimes they even turn sideways. But when those hard times come, we just need to remember that all thorns dissolve eventually, especially when attacked by our bodies immune system and enzymes, and if we rely on the scriptures we will come to know them better, even though it won't help our foot.


You sound so funny over email. I can imagine you talking with a slightly sarcastic tone. Oh, Becca.

Abravenal Hall, pretty fancy. You play that flute, girl! But remember that the more famous and skilled you are the worse it is when you mess up!

I can see you being a really strict babysitter. You'd just read Harry Potter and shout at them if they tried to talk. Then you'd scare them with ghost stories and tell them that if they tell their parents what you're like they'll be eaten by monsters. Then you'll get all smiley when the parents come home. Yep, I can see that. Maybe you'd force them all to do turns without pointe shoes. I don't know if that would hurt but I bet it would. My feet are sore sometimes, because we walk at least 2 or 3 hours a day.

You need to read with Abby. And don't paint anything else green. I mean it. (Rebecca’s new room is now green, very bright.)

Your letter is very funny, Abby. It looks like you've finally broken down and started outright enjoying violin. About time, about time. And yes, none of the other kids do practice. They don't have super responsible mothers to force them. So you should probably say thank you to mom.

Being CEO sounds stressful. Signing your name all the time, that would be tough. At least you get a nice lunch break.

I don't think you'd like Hong Kong. It is a bit smelly, the food is weird (I made myself Mapo Daufu this week, which was amazing) ( spicy hot tofu with ground beef) and there's a lot of old people with really big moles that have a ton of hair. None of us missionaries know why they don't at least cut the mole hair. They are seriously up to a foot long, like a weird misplaced beard. (Eva says that the long hair is like a fortune and that it means long life.) Read with Becca or you will grow long mole hairs.

Sorry this email doesn't have as much cool spirituality in it. Feeling too disorganized today. Today I read 3 Nephi 11 about the Savior visiting the Americas. Right after he teaches us that contention, and men "striving against one another" is of the devil, he gives us His example of what we should do. He and the Father and the Holy Ghost were one in purpose, one in action, totally united. Life is full of competition, but I hope we can remember that our goal is not to outdo others. It is to be one with God. "What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

That might be incorrect, it's from memory and I only have a Chinese Book of Mormon with me.
Our mop hanging out the window on a peg actually designed for this.  In Hong Kong very few people own dryers because they are annoying and take up a lot of space.  So, most buildings have mounts to put long poles out the kitchen window and hang clothes up on them.  Except for the wealthy buildings, which are going for more of an all glass feel.  The problem is they still usually don't have dryers, so you have super rich buildings with laundry hanging out the window.  As we say, hou gau siu (so funny).

Our district in Tai Wai.

And the third picture.  There's one reminder that I feel like shouldn't have to be there..

No comments:

Post a Comment