Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 - Transferred to Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island

Hello my family. I have to be really fast today because of some weird things that happened. But more important than what happened is where it happened, where being...

Chai Wan!

Which is the sort of eastern third of HONG KONG ISLAND! My knew companion is Elder Barker, who I lived with in Ma On Shan for almost 4 months. We are already pretty tight so that saves a lot of useless get to know you time. I have used most of that time to learn my new area instead. It is really interesting to move your first area. I have changed companions once before, which was pretty weird, but here is kind of like starting over for a second. I have to learn where everything is, where the MTR stops are, where to eat, where to go during church, learn the ward, who is a good fellowshipper, which people are crazy on the streets and should be avoided, which streets are sketchy and shouldn't be walked on, which refrigerator is ours, etc. But I love it. Chai Wan covers from Tai Koo to Chai Wan, and is really different from Tai Wai. Though it is a lot more crowded and rich than Tai Wai, it is not at all like Central or Wan Chai. The area is almost entirely residential, with a lot of parks and ocean promenades. Finding my first few days was almost comically lucky, we taught 4 street lessons and got 3 new investigators (though it looks like most of them are not going to become progressing). I really love our ward, too. And we get to go to church in what I think is the church's 2nd most expensive building in the entire world. If you look at the buildings around it you will see why. I know these things are not the most important, but it is pretty nice to have such a comfy building. And everyone knows where it is.

A few notes I took down.

1. There are a lot of people who know Grandpa Carmack (surprise surprise). Luciele Mok is in our ward and was his secretary when he was in the Area Presidency. And there is a family named the Lau family who say that they know him as well, the parents were missionaries when he was here. So Grandpa, you made a big impression. Also, I wanted to throw in that I still have that short story, "The Go-Getter" about Bill Peck, I read it again a bit ago. It really is inspiring. Thank you. Everyone wants to read the books you sent me.

2. Elder Barker has a relative named Morrell, Austin Morrell, lives in Pleasant Grove, married Elder Barker's sister. ?

3. I need pens. I can buy them here, so don't worry about it, but next time you send a package send a lot of high quality pens (seriously, don't send a package just for pens. Just make a note to put them with the next package.). I just go through a lot of them.

It is really weird adjusting to a new area, and Elder Barker's techniques are totally different from mine or Elder Tong's, so it's been pretty hard. It kind of hit my pride and confidence a bit, because with things so different I didn't really know where to go in street lessons or teaching, didn't know where Elder Barker wanted to head. But he's really great. I asked for a lot of evaluation and feedback after lessons, and though it was hard, I feel like I have a ton of potential to grow here.


Only 15 minutes for whole family, so forgive the brevity. I appreciate your sacrifice for the world. I know that you hate seeing yearling lambs in pain, but sometimes it just has to be like this.

I hate to say it, but despite your sacrificial zeal, you are no Prophet. I am still junior companion. I think it is a good thing.

I have really developed a love of music on my mission. I am even beginning to soften towards operatic voices and what not. I hope when I get home we can go to some music things together in between our mountain biking. Get in shape for me.

What was it like for you to move areas on your mission?


That question above applies to you as well. I eagerly await the day when I use our tiny toaster ovens to bake CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSAROLE. I am eating much better than Elder Bennett.

The package you sent is probably here but today we went hiking with the ward and an investigator (who will be baptized on this Sunday!) and a recent convert, who has been struggling. So we had no time at all to go to Kowloon Tong.

I really am so happy to hear about you and the kids going to the Draper Temple to do baptisms for the dead during Spring Break. Really. I am definitely more happy than you expect. That was my favorite part of the email. I also think it's so interesting to think of my parents as the people the missionaries go to if they have young women investigators or need to get the Elder's Quorum. Really interesting. You are doing an important thing.

I had an additional idea for FHE, to add on to the General Conference Talk. Elder Barker and Elder Carrasquillo (who I replaced) made these awesome family mission plans with goals that help introduce friends to the gospel, and we've been sharing them a ton. I encourage you guys to do that as a family.

You outclassed Dad in guessing my move. My mother is a prophetess, my father is no prophet.


I don't know what to say back to you, not a ton of specific things for you, but frankly your emails are always hilarious. I would say keep it up but that would imply some sort of conscious effort to do things different from what you would normally do, and I happen to know that you couldn't be less and more normal if you tried. So don't suddenly become normal. Keep up the biking. We shall go together.


Ice girl. Mom is happy that you are normal. I know the truth. I look forward to hearing it when I get back. In Hong Kong they have these one string violin things, really cool. Look them up.


Don't buy it. It's the Sabbath.

Also when you get back from your mission it will be outdated.

Micah also loved Firefly, he said it was amazing.

I was in a ridiculously expensive place today. Wan Chai Expo Center. I could see the tower Batman jumped off of.

This is an email from the investigator Vincent that I just left in Tai Wai. He is too cool, thought you guys should see this.

How are you getting on? Are you used to life in Chai Wan?
I miss you so much. Although we didn't spend much time together.
Even if we don't know how many days later it would be when we can see each other again.
But we have something in common, which is we both have our own goals to achieve.
I will work hard.I will try to make my English and about Book of Mormon become very good.
I think in this photo, I'm not so stud. Next time we take a new photo.
If you want to meet me, you can date me on your Pre day.

Hope everything works out smoothly for you.

Love your brother,

Vincent Ma

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