I don't know why I always forget to write you, but there it is. I've got some cool stuff to tell you today, though. Apparently, my whole family has become more awesome since I left, especially you. Solo dances in front of the whole middle school, talks in church about sacrifice, flute playing with Canyons Youth Symphony and school band, something about glamour girl, which I don't know what the meaning is. I am afraid when I get back I won't be cool enough for you.
So, Becca, I will tell you about where I live. Right now I live in Shau Kei Wan, on the 7th floor of Ging Fai building. It is right next to the train station, a grocery store, a bread store, and a cha siu faan place (which is basically barbecue pork and rice, but better). It is pretty darn convenient, but the apartment itself could be better. The size is nice. There are 4 of us living here, Me, Elder Barker, Elder Wu (who is not a native, but has some of the best Chinese out of anyone I've met and is super rude and verbally abusive all the time) and Elder Yim (who is a native, but his English is terrible and he is really bad at defining words. Elder Wu is more useful, but he'll insult you viciously if you ask him). Our rooms are nice and big, the bed is nice, but our bathroom is a bit smaller. Our shower randomly has crazy powerful water pressure. I don't know how good the water heating is, because I made a goal to only take cold showers. Our kitchen is a bit of a joke, though Elder Barker tells me I've just been spoiled by Ma On Shan. There is one small sink, about 2 square feet of counter space, no where to put utensils or plates (we just leave them on the drying rack,) no burners, just one portable gas stove and an induction burner thingy. So it's a bit annoying to cook stuff. But fear not, Rebecca. I still manage to make a ton of Curry! And I ate a lot of noodles and tuna for a bit. So we shall overcome.
We had a lot of cool miracles this week, as well. There is a recent convert in our ward who, I think I mentioned last time. She has some crazy hard trials with family and stuff. She is still pretty rough to work with, honestly. She's like you, a small teenager, and gets really irrational. We want to get the ward teaching her but if we try to invite her to ward things she gets all pouty and won't go. Like you. But on Monday, after emailing, we had a lesson with her, asked her to pray and then ponder about what answer to fix some problem in her life. She had been pretty uncooperative in that lesson, and recently she really hadn't been interested in the gospel at all. But after thinking for a bit she remembered some missionary telling her “chi sau dou dai”, which means endure to the end. It was amazing. I know that the Holy Ghost answered her. This week she's been a bit better, came to church for the first time in a bit.
Tell Mom that this morning I went to the face doctor and he charged another ridiculous fee, which I will mail home for insurance to cover. My acne right now is okay.
We had a women get baptized on Sunday! Ida, who is the most well prepared investigator ever. She loves the scriptures, feels the spirit, and has seen tons of miracles already. And best of all, she is super out going, has a lot of friends, and shares the gospel like crazy. So we got to meet and teach 3 of her friends and her husband after her baptism, which was great. NEW INVESTIGATORS! Pray for her husband, he really feels like he won't be able to quit smoking. Becca, don't ever smoke. So many people in Hong Kong do it and it's pointless. And stinks.
I hope this was long enough for you, dancer.
Elder Barker is from Mapleton Utah, has been out about 4 months longer than me, is our district leader, is 6' 4", ran track and did football in high school, went to BYU for a semester, has a brother in law whose last name is Morrell, is a super friendly and funny guy. We teach really differently, so it won't be all easy, but he is really really good at getting to what people care about, getting to know them, making people like him, and then using the gospel to help them. I am learning a ton from him.
Hong Kong is pretty small, so transfers are super easy. We all go to the mission office, meet up, and then go to your area. It takes about an hour. Underwhelming. If I wanted to, I could go over to Tai Wai pretty easily. Just no reason to right now.
The Chapel is in Wan Chai, so in the big building district. Right now we are emailing in Wan Chai, next to a convention center which is ridiculously expensive. There is a woman doing a tour behind me in Mandarin. Hong Kong has a lot of people from Mainland China in it. The chapel is really really nice. It is super comfortable, beautiful, always lots of members (some Chinese, some American, lots of Philipinos) hanging around. Cool place.
That is super cool about Nicole. Her French is probably pretty amazing already, given her dedication to school. I don't think I have her email. I like Dad's comment on the sons of Mosiah. Except I guess I'm Alma and the rest are all the daughters of Mosiah? I assume he had daughters, we just never hear about them. Russia, France, Argentina, and Hong Kong. Pretty good spread.
I got the package, and it has been pretty nice. I loved the music. One of the things that I've been thinking of recently is how having good music playing can really improve your attitude, your mood, spirituality, etc. The BYU Men's Chorus one has a song that I mentioned before, “I love the Lord”, pretty awesome. And “Heavensong” is really nice.
Love you Mom, I will ask soon about the Mother's Day call. I think I can get it changed to call on your Friday night before Dad leaves for Italy.
I think the reason that I sometimes feel self doubt is the big gap that comes from knowing information and teaching it, and the real difficulty to getting people on the street to talk to you. I feel like I knew a lot of things, but I definitely could have had more productive habits and gotten more practice sharing the gospel than I did. The toughest thing recently has been that I changed companions dramatically. Elder Tong is not at all like Elder Barker, they teach totally different. So a lot of times, I feel unconfident because I'm trying to follow Elder Barker's lead and I don't know where he is going. That was tough for a while, and still is sometimes. But it's made me think a lot more about what teaching skills are effective, how to improve, etc. I also think that the stress made me rely more on the Lord, think more about the basic principles behind teaching and being an effective missionary. Love the people. Gain the power of the spirit. Follow the spirit. I think this has helped.
Maybe I should be more confident in myself, but missions have a way of making your weaknesses abundantly clear. Which is good, I think. I didn't realize how many opportunities I had to grow before.
I wanted to ask you and mom, who were your trainers, and did you ever train new missionaries? I know that most missions are different, but President Hawks likes to give everyone at least one chance to train.
I live with a native now, so I am trying to SYL more with him. No better way to learn. Oh, I'm actually really sad I don't get to do jury duty. That would be really interesting. Man...
I am afraid I'll forget you. I totally beleived you about Ginger. Why you do this to me? (Abby told John a long story about how we got a new cat named Ginger and then at the end announced that she was kidding.)
I like Dad's description that you play the violin very nicely even when angry. I can very easily picture you playing angrily. Last week I had a chance to do some mini MTC in our stake, and I did a role play with 2 young women, one 12 the other 10, about how to share the gospel. They did pretty well. You could too. Hint hint. Find some activity and invite a friend. And remember to read with Becca. Tell me if Dad ever went on a ride with you. That lazy chunk of lard...
I feel like I watched the movie, “Captain America, Winter Soldier”, just by seeing the ads over here. Pretty pathetic. Looks like you got to get both ends of the spectrum as far as artistic ability goes. Flying carriers. Honestly. 3 of them? Where did the metal come from? Where is the heat vent? How are they cooling the reactors? Plus if never mind. Too many things. Space is quiet. This is a good thing.
Memorize scriptures. Also, I never heard anything about the book this week...Don't give up on things. I have learned that. Great things can be done.
Power outage my foot. You just get your lazy self to work, and use the bike upstairs to power the house. I like the idea of you making a computer game. I'll come home and beat it for you. Sorry. To you and Joseph, I don't really know what else to say. Sounds like things are pretty cool. Tell me more about the new kid in the neighborhood. Priests are hard to find here too.
I can't send any pictures. Tell Dad I've been thinking about his grants.