Helllllo my Rebeccaless family. There was a definite lack of sarcasm in this email, though Joseph always does his best. This week was an amazing week. Really, really amazing. We didn't have any one crazy miracle, but the whole week was just nice. We have been able to teach a lot of lessons recently, this week we got 8 member presents and 7 other lessons, which I think is probably the highest total lessons on my mission. KK was confirmed, gaining the Holy Ghost, and helped us fellowship a lesson with 2 of Ida's referrals from Mainland. As always KK surprises me with how mature and deep her conversion and testimony is. And Ida continues to be Ida. She really has been prepared by the Lord. Her background was Catholic, so she can tell about the differences between our church and others, and she is a little acquainted with the Bible, she's got a lot of time to do callings or activities, she is super social and just influences a huge network of friends. Really cool.
We had one investigator, Justin, who is one of the coolest guys I've met. He does construction, and previously had no religious experience, and when we taught him, it just seemed obvious to him that all the commandments we shared were true. He didn't immediately know that the Church was true, but he's humble and read scriptures diligently and now he knows. Here's the only sad part. We have our 65 baptisms in July goal (pray for it) and I wanted to move his date from August 24 to July 27 because honestly he's ready and I felt inspired to do it. But we found out that he's already scheduled some school course to get him able to go to college. He had them scheduled before he even met us, and the last 5 weeks have been a sort of a break in between semesters. But starting next week he can't go to church for 1/2 a year and a bit. We asked him to pray, and this is the sort of cool part. He said he talked with his mom, struggled for hours over it, and then woke up and KNEW that God wanted him to be baptized next year after school. I don't know why, but that was God's will, I'm sure that it was a real answer. I don't know why, but that experience (though sad a bit) was really cool. And he's still meeting with us every week. SO...
The other cool thing this week is that we've just had a lot of success on the street. I bear testimony that God is preparing people to receive the gospel, and the Holy Ghost really does guide us. Sometimes it’s hard to believe when you wander around for a couple hours not talking to people, but it's real.
This was your longest letter to date. I'm glad to hear you liked the camp. I always have felt like camps, activities, etc, often seem really annoying before you do them, and sometimes (like the young women's camp that got rained on) seem annoying while you're doing them. But they are always worth it when you get back.
I really like Archery, I've always thought it's super fun. I hate horses and horseback riding. I don't like knowing that this giant stupid animal could probably kill me any moment, and they smell. I would rather go archery shooting. There's a place in Sugar House nearby the pool over there that you can go archery shooting at.
Abby, you are basically a Parthian. Ask Dad what that means. PARTHIAN CAVALRY!!
I remember way earlier in my mission (which, if I was keeping track, is growing disturbingly close to half way...) you mentioned about a zone leader who had just figured out that missionary work can be amazing and successful, and it really helped him. I feel like I've really realized that in Chai Wan. Like I said, sometimes we find and it just feels ridiculous. No one stops, and after a while you get to feel like if someone did stop you wouldn't know what to say. But then you go finding for 40 minutes on Sunday before an appointment with an investigator found 2 days before (who now has a baptismal date) and you find and teach another guy in the same place as the first. I wish I could figure out the secret, but I'm afraid it's just the Lord. I've had a couple times where I realize that our companionship right now is that successful companionship I used to look at jealously and feel slightly annoyed at their humble downplaying of their role. Now I realize that it's true. If you have success, it's because the Lord wants you to. It isn't us.
I don't believe it. (Becca is out of town for a couple of weeks & David wrote something silly for her part of the letter.)
I remember when I became a priest, I was super nervous to say the prayer, so I just made myself say it every week for a few months. I think that you really understand the importance of the sacrament more when you say it. Passing the sacrament helps you respect it more, but it also sort of occupies your mind. Focus on it. I think it's more important than I realize.
Honestly, I've been thinking a bit about Wolfire, mostly because I've got this really cool idea about a totally non electric non technology house made out of all stone and metal and wood (prompted because we found a way to be comfortable without the air conditioner for the past 2 weeks, and ever since learning about thermodynamics I can't look at air conditioners the same) and I've been thinking about making it in that game's modeling engine, but I actively resist such thoughts because I believe they distract from missionary work.
We went to pick up Elder Ferrar's official ID card today in Sham Shui Po, which reminded me of going there my first day here. So many things have changed since then that it's hard to imagine. But the weather is about the same, same street stalls, same wait in the lines. Quite surreal. I'm sure President Hawks's letters are purely perfunctory (I still speak English). Elder Ferrar has been progressing a lot. It's cool to see him change. I made Tuna macaroni salad this week, though I didn't have any cucumber so I used peppers instead. Pretty nice. Eating food like that always makes me a little trunckie, but I'm really so happy these days that I don't mind. Make sure everyone does evening scripture reading and goes to the temple. I worry all the time about Recent Converts or investigators doing those things, it's weird to think that when I finish I'll be needing to worry about myself doing them.
Oh, just received Jeffrey Bennett's wedding invitation. Could you inform him I can't be there in time for the ceremony, though I might make the reception. Congrats!
There's an Elder named Elder Howell. He's sharp and witty, but I agree, don't pick that name for your main character in your book. Pick a cool one like CYBERWOLV or xxwizardmage67qq. Pierce, but that's overused. Silver. That goes well with pirates and smart people. North. Tanneson. Paine. Corely. I don't know. CYBERWOLV is probably the best.
I always thought those principles; the sort of physical tactics of martial arts were the coolest thing. The strategy involved in each individual movement is pretty cool. The running is pretty awesome too. I have a goal to get down to a 6 minute mile by the end of my mission, but Elder Ferrar doesn't exactly like running.
Relinquish power. Ha. Insert ironic snort. Insert embarrassed wiping of nose and computer screen
Keep it up with Brad. I think that this opportunity is a lot bigger than you realize. You have authority to receive revelation for him, but it takes effort. Do film making for the church, man. I'm telling you.
Thank you, my loving family. This week was amazing. I plead for your faith on behalf of the 65 in July goal.