Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 - 95% Relative Humidity & Different missions in the world can have the same value/worth!

Well, to start I just want to say that you all had pretty good letters this week but Rebecca's was definitely the most angsty and amusing thing I've read on my mission, possibly my life. Made me laugh in the middle of a quiet library full of Chinese people. How did I get here? What will happen next? Tune in next week to find out.

Very nice week. We have had a good deal more success, taught several lessons, what not, and so forth. A month or two ago we would plan our week and every day would be nothing but study, eat, and find. Now we have some activities and actual scheduled lessons, I must say it is quite nice. Thank you for your prayers, I don't know how much they did because I wasn't there praying with you, but I'm certainly not doing it on my own.

We turned over the second to last guy that we found in a 1 week period a couple weeks ago. He was a super cool guy, praying to know what church to join, and we ran into him next to a river. Finally got him scheduled and turned over to the Kowloon Elders, it makes me feel real good inside. Sometimes you need things like that to remind you that it's not about how many investigators you have, but how many there are, period. That is a fairly commonly discussed topic, but still really hard to apply fully. It is tough to really let go of your pride or sense of ownership of the people you teach and remember what's really going on. The best way that I came up with to describe it is that you need to remember, when someone gets baptized whose victory is it? Not yours, not the people who found them, not the fellowshipper in the ward, not the Mission President, not the Bishop, but the person who got baptized, and the Lord. The success we have is between those two people, not us. The fact that they get baptized doesn't do anything to me. It doesn't really affect me at all. It affects them. This is their triumph, their baptism. The thing that affects me is what I do, how much effort to I put forth, home much do I care for them, how much did I pray, etc. That is why missionaries who go to Africa and baptize hundreds of people and missionaries who go to Hong Kong and maybe baptize only 5 people can have missions of the same value, same worth. The only thing that can really change us is our own efforts and the Lord. 

Random, I know. I don't really feel any other deep stuff today, so I will digress. The weather today is warmer, and 95% relative humidity (which I have reasoned probably means 95% of the amount of moisture that could be evaporated in the air for this given temperature, Dad, please correct me if incorrect, this affects me practically, not just scientifically (though frankly the scientific part is the more pressing in my view)). That means that it is warm and sticky. I will not lie, I dislike the humidity. It is hard to explain how but it is quite oppressive. You feel like you just need to bathe or shed layers even if you're cold. Everything is slightly wet, thus slightly sticky. Papers become damp and soft. Vision is obscured. But on the bright side it smells very nice, and is probably great for your skin.

I ran 4 kilometers this morning, which frankly was probably a mistake. Elder Dorman, who we live with, is a fiendish runner, and guilts us into destroying ourselves every morning. Usually we run 2 kilometers, today was quite long. I felt slightly like vomiting when I finished, and was ridiculously sweaty, but really enjoyed it. The problem is that we still need to be able to find well all day long. Oh well.

Today we go to 10,000 Buddhas, which is a mountain with 10,000 Buddhas on it. I will have pictures next week, for now you can content yourself with looking it up.


Just trying to make you proud with the letter writing. It is really hard, actually, because I have very little time to write. Often no time at all. But all the people who write me letters are pretty awesome. Rachel Kirkland, Mo, Grandma and Grandpa Carmack, Caroline, other family, pretty great. So I try.

Oh, and you should tell Grandpa that the books he sent me are slowly torturing me. I have them sitting on a shelf next to my desk, because President Hawks said that later I can read them, but for now I have to live with every week or so reading out one sentence and trying to figure out how this will help me "make friends and influence people". For a person like me, rough.

I too have spent some time looking at houses this week. We went around to some areas that we usually don't go to, because neither of us had ever been to them and we wanted to make sure that the windows of revelation for where to find were all the way open. So far just a lot of money, high fences, and low interest. Look up Peak One and Paramount Hill, should be about opposite sides of Tai Wai. I would really love to live there, I won't lie. Lots of opulence. Nice architecture, next to the jungle, pretty nice. But they're ridiculously expensive and not that big.

If you move while I'm gone I'll be really confused when I get back.

Just remember Mom, if you know you don't have faith like that you've got a nice clear goal of where to end up. Start walking.


I had some weird dream last night where you were cooking some food. Don't know what or why, but it made me a bit sad when I woke up and found that it was time to run. I think that I probably miss home more than a lot of missionaries (because of my naturally home boundedness and amazing family) but I decided early on that if I think about home now I'll just feel stupid when I'm back.

Do you find it odd at all to be doing the other side of the process that forces you to write so many grants? I would. It would be pretty weird to be asked to fellowship a lesson right now.

It's weird that I've been out long enough that you can say "a few months ago..." Even weirder that I can look back and actually see that I've gone through 'a hard time'. But it's true. Things are really nice right now, though none of it is my doing. All our investigators are turned over to us. Keeps you humble, I suppose. You better find more fatherly advice to send. It is usually my favorite part of P-Day.


I hate to say it, but I think you are growing up. "Sniff sniff". The epoch of Zelda games in our house may have passed, and as the Elves said while boarding the ships, the time of Hyrule is past, now dawns the age of Valve.

I think the people in your story should all decide to go back to earth but then the ship breaks. Then everyone feels silly. Or, better yet, it was broken the whole time. All that drama over nothing. OR BETTER STILL massive alien animals burst in and kill them all. Like the book, Deus Ex machina, the writers and the crocodile, ask Dad.

Are you still running? I'm doing my part so just making sure. And go to the temple for once.

Of course I knew about that. Don't be silly, I don't watch history channel for nothing. It's a relative thing. The gravity between the stars in a galaxy is strong enough and the distance is low enough that they don't spread out. On the bigger intergalactic scale the distance is greater. That matters because the space itself is stretching, so the bigger the distance the bigger the stretching, etc.

That happens to me a lot in Personal Study. I'm looking for a specific verse in Exodus and next thing you know I spend 20 minutes reading about how the Ark of the Covenant gave the Philistines emerods in uncomfortable places. 1 Samuel 4 or 5, I think.


This was a pretty well funded party. Where was this? And who threw it? And what did the seeker do? And what do you mean Ravenclaw :(? Ravenclaw is obviously the best house. Where do all the scientists go? Ravenclaw. That is the house of the Engineers, my sister. You have some repenting to do.


They have home teachers, but they are not nearly as good. It is actually quite a problem. In our ward the Bishopric and Elder Quorum president seem to do most of it. But it's also tough because if they don't want to be visited they just block phones and don't tell the guards to let them into the building. There is a decent base of members in Hong Kong, just not quite enough and too many less actives.

I turned into that for a while when I got here because everybody thought, 'Oh, let’s let the new missionary practice'. Nowadays, not too bad, but I feel ya bro, I feel ya. And just like the ads always say, those who are bullied often become bullies. There's something called unrighteous dominion, have you ever heard of it? He he.

I feel like you would like Hong Kong, David. Lots of really random funny stuff. You could be kept amused by just walking around for quite some time.


Wow, quite a teenager. My calendar says you don't turn 13 till next month, but there must be some mistake. You also seem too much like me. Using inferior. Your friends might understand that but I doubt they'd use it much. Ah, the joys of reading.

Well, I'm tired, I'm a missionary, and my hand hurts. I don't want to write anything else. Sorry, that's just how it is. It’s pretty weird to only have 16 months left. I don't know how I feel about that. Becca, you should go to the temple. You can be one of those cool people who make everyone else uncomfortable and guilty in seminary because they don't go to the temple 3 times a week. If you go I'll go with you when I get back.

Read with Abby. If you want something to write, there's your prompt. READ. And REPORT.

Make sure you all have Family Home Evening. Sometimes I worry...
Elder Tong in the elevator.

The parks that go through the chyun we live in.

A random building nearby.

Lots of weird bread here.

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