My dear family, I am sorry. I very specifically told you all that I would be emailing on Wednesday last week, because we had a special chance to go to the temple on Wednesday and see the newest temple film. Then President Hawks changed it because the Mission Department wanted all the missionaries to do some survey and we needed it by Monday. So we ended up having P-Day on Monday and Temple Day with no P-day which doesn't happen often. I felt all graceful and long suffering as I wrote about how it was okay that you guys didn't email me last week, and then I felt like an idiot when Elder Yim reminded me that we had warned you all. He got out fine because one of his old young men's leaders works in our chapel. Natives. Psh.
SO Sorry. Especially to mom. In Hong Kong we would say, gau cho. Which means dang, or seriously?, or come on.
This week was pretty interesting. It wasn't the best week I've had but we had some pretty cool experiences. Because of our weird temple visit and our zone training meeting on Friday, we really had almost no time to find this week. That was pretty painful, we only taught 3 street lessons. We have been getting a ton of member present lessons recently but mainly because we have 3 really cool investigators who are willing to meet often, and we've been trying really hard to schedule people a lot. It was funny last week, we taught one guy the first 3 lessons in a single week. The danger with this is that when those investigators drop out (whether through baptism or lack of interest or being unavailable that week) our numbers and success and basically effectiveness kind of disappear. So I'm really hoping to find some new investigators soon. Finding is still fun. Just this past day or two Elder Ferrar has really started working hard to contact people on his own. I know that that was extremely hard for me at the beginning, so I've really been encouraging him to work on that. He's an awesome Elder, very humble and a lot more willing to listen to advice than I was. He is very artistic, he plays guitar and bass very well, and draws probably better than I do (which is saying a lot). Cantonese is really hard for him, but when we get chances to teach in English he's really great. Cool guy. I always accidentally write gut instead of guy.
KK, who is actually named KiKi (apparently) is progressing amazingly. It is so interesting to see the change in her. Her knowledge of the factual doctrine of the gospel is shallow at best, and sometimes I get a bit worried at stuff she forgets (or, when asked what is the difference between Thomas S. Monson and the Pope, she responds that one is older and has a weird hat instead of a suit. That prompted its own lesson) but then she'll give some answers for basic doctrines or why she does things that blow me away. I asked her why she wanted to get to church on time. She said it used to be for us missionaries. But now it is because when she prays, she doesn't want to make Heavenly Father disappointed. She is ready to be baptized. And she wants me to do it, so next email I write may be after my first time baptizing someone.
Last cool experience for the week. On Thursday we left ward council early to teach a lesson that was okay, but not amazing, then got back with almost no time and a ton of calls to make and just too many things to do. I was feeling pretty frustrated and a bit upset, especially because I have to do all the calls right now. I make Elder Ferrar answer the phone and struggle for at least a few minutes but making him call people is a bit unrealistic. We planned, I was grumpy. We finished, I just wanted to get ready for bed and put it off till tomorrow. But diligence is working hard when you don't want/need to, not when you do, so I did some calls. Nothing too crazy happened, but they were some really successful calls. Just reminds me how much better you can feel when you work hard, how much you can get done by being diligent. Missions can really change you. I'm afraid I won't be able or willing to do half the stuff on the list when I get back. But at the same time not too worried.
My young brother, the roads will never be safe again. (David just turned 16 & got his driver license.) You know Matthew has totally forgotten about the jsut thing. I will have to remind him.
Your emails have a certain element to them that no others can really imitate. I really did want to see Pacific Rim, but from what I heard about it and from what I had seen, I kind of figured it would be mediocre. The idea was cool, though. Good old fashioned giant robots fighting Godzilla monster. Though honestly, if you're going to put so much effort into it, I would just build a giant rail gun and snipe them all from a couple miles out. Honestly.
YCC. I have come to realize that if you want to really get the nicest scholarships and get into the best schools, YCC is a necessary evil. But frankly I can just read books on my own, find all the really smart professors and somehow befriend them into teaching me without going to the schools. Is it worth it? I don't know.
Happy Birthday. You should know that on the 4th of July we were in an apartment with a Brit and a Native Hong Kong ian who is technically a Brit. Grim. I want to learn more about the Revolutionary War now. Argh. I just want to learn more about everything.
I really am sorry. I know that that sort of thing is hard for you, because I feel like you probably worry more about me than Dad does. But I was fine.
The Girls Camp sounds a bit exciting. Alma 53:8 One big blessing that I think I'm getting from my mission is a really somewhat ridiculous familiarity with the Book of Mormon. It makes it very easy to relate experiences to it. And yet each time I read it I still get something out of it. Sometimes it rains, honestly I tend to side with dad a bit. Your perspective changes when you look at food as real survival rations. You leave the box as it were. But that's more of a Glen Morrell thing. I think you lean more towards clean, civilized, and artistic.
I feel like I understand a lot more how important it is to magnify callings now. Keep it up in the Young Womens. I've seen a lot of really amazing sister missionaries on my mission (and one super awesome one before hint hint France *cough*) and they all have to draw from experiences with the spirit. I've noticed as Elder Ferrar and I have done some of the more basic training stuff how important it really is to focus on giving people a chance to be changed by the spirit. We really just need to put them in the situation to be influenced by it and then not mess it up.
One of the sister Training leaders in our zone training had a really interesting idea. Pray only in gratitude for your evening prayers for one or two weeks. Only thank God. I'll admit, it is really hard as a missionary (and probably as a parent as well) I felt like I had to ask some things or God wouldn't bless our investigators. But I've been trying it, and it is a wonderful experience. Try it.
It didn't kill me too much to not get a letter, but I think my attitude is a little different from yours because my only life not on a mission has been with my family, so I do really enjoy emails.
I always joke around with our ward and say that the bravest teachers get put in primary. I remember when you were my primary teacher. It was pretty awesome. Do they give you that book, Teaching No Greater Call? I have it. Weird.
Bear in mind that if Adam and Eve hadn't eaten the fruit we wouldn't have sickness or disease and your job security would take a significant hit. No government's going to give grants (I learned the Chinese for that today) for medicine in the millenium.
I really like the new temple movie. Have you and mom seen it yet?
Not much time, sorry. I heard about Google Fiber before I left. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Fiber optics. I prefer google to apple for some reason, I just can't wait until I am driving my google cart down to google mart to by some google fruit juice for my new google child simulade's birthday.
Read Elder Scott's talk from last conference. Love, consistent effort, prayer. I don't remember what calling you have, but if you're in the presidency you have authority to receive revelation for him. Biggest thing would probably be Book of Mormon. Yeah, that I think would have the biggest effect. Book of Mormon can stick in people more than you would think. Find ways, take chances, get him reading or read for him.
And read more yourself.
And go to the temple. The basics.
I saw that same ad again. It was freaky. But it was slightly immodest so either you are going to go less active (unlikely) or you have a long lost time traveling twin who is not in the church. FIND HER! SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Abby, I don't have any time. I think that you and Becca actually have a big opportunity to help the twins and their family. Just remember that they will notice what you do and say, and if you are really righteous and become the best person you can, you could help them in the future. They will remember your example. Read the scriptures. I was about your age when I started reading the Book of Mormon on my own. And pray for them.
Love you all family. When next we write, it will be next week!