We just got canceled a lot this week, disturbingly enough many times it was the members canceling or "fonging" us. I don't know exactly why but the past few weeks we've not had as much luck, but I still feel pretty happy because I don't feel like we've slacked off at all or been disobedient. It's interesting how living decently softens any blow. If you're doing what's right it'll be okay, anything bad that happens is from God not you. Not that I'm perfect, I also view this as a time to crack down on any weaknesses and figure out how to improve.
Only a few things to report. One, Chai Wan is getting sister missionaries. We have 11 sisters coming on Tuesday, and they are creating some new companionships, so they bought an apartment in North Point, stuck the Causeway Bay sisters and moved the TKO (I don't know how to spell it) sisters in. We've been helping them adjust this week. They have no one to tell them about where to find, no investigators except for the ones we're turning over to them, and absolutely nothing in their apartment. No rice, pasta, rice cooker, paperwork, nothing. Fun. As a result of them coming, Chai Wan is likely to lose one set of Elders, so 2 of us are probably leaving. I do not speculate as to who.
Elder Ferrar had his first two visits to member's houses yesterday. I've been a bit lax, and the culture of Hong Kong is not really that of inviting people over to visit, so he's never been before. The first visit was a really nice lady in our ward who loves missionaries and often goes to visit Utah, and who invited her returning to activity friend and her whole family over. Pretty cool. The second was at a fairly young family's house. Their whole house would fit into the antechamber downstairs, and they have a 1 year old son and a border collie dog thing. Pretty nice people, their son is like the ward baby. Literally everyone just picks him up and takes care of him during church.
I've been having a really great time studying chapter 1 of Preach my Gospel recently about what the Doctrine of Christ really is. I challenge all who read this email to the same challenge we gave at the first visit on Sunday; Read 2nd Nephi 31, and 3rd Nephi 11 and 27, ponder on what the gospel really is according to the Savior, then ponder what the gospel really is to you in your life, then pray for how to share it with your friends.
How did you like swim team this year? You mentioned that you were sad to miss is and not work out, did you endure to the end on that? Who are your new teachers? Which class is your favorite? You're taking French, right? I loved German but I think that Mom could help you a lot more than Dad can. No offense, Dad. Has your favorite color changed? If so why? You should just skip school until you hit 104 days. It'd be fun.
I remember really loving Outdoor Youth Adventures (OYA), I felt that OYA helped me really feel that spirit, and it was super fun as well. I think that it's amazing that you have 2 friends with so much potential. Like you said about your friend at camp, she may have started to learn about the gospel because of having a lot of LDS friends and going to camp, but I think the main function of these things is to give her an invitation, a chance. You mentioned the spirit you felt there. I think you're right when you said that the spirit changed her. Social groups and friends can influence people, but only the spirit can really convert them. That being said, PMG teaches that people rarely change without an invitiation. There's already been a lot of success in that she was invited to the camp, invited to read, invited to pray, etc. Now capitalize on the testimony that is starting to grow and invite her to come to church, or see the missionaries. Same with your other friend. I will pray for them, and for you to have success. I am so proud of you!
P.S. Same school questions as I asked Abby
Your emails, they have a certain chronological weakness to them. Nay, weakness does not describe it, for that would imply the need for change and improvement. May I describe it as a sort of chronological and logical freedom? A lack of restrictive times and orders, an unbounded propensity to depart from traditional requirements, a refreshing lunacy...
As I recall, I alone amidst my friends enjoyed A Sand County Almanac. You are not alone in your dislike of the book. (David is reading this in prep for AP English.)
Apparently you seek to eclipse me physically and socially. Dad implies you have stolen the hearts of the elderly women in our ward. But listen to their praise and I doubt not you shall still detect the reverent reference to the one who came before, the progenitor, he who shall return and in a firestorm of rhetoric and righteous invective set aright any confused minds relative to the order of supremacy in the House Morrell. I reference my homecoming talk. Prepare yourself well...
And keep up the work outs. You'll have to show me the Krav maga place, it sounds pretty cool. I've thought occasionally about doing Judo, something about the reliance on flips and holds appeals to me.
I recommend you find some time to go to the temple. I really do understand more how the influence of the temple can stay with you if you attend regularly enough. That remains my largest regret when I think of pre mission time.
Dad and Mom,
Sorry, I have little time. I really am happy to hear about the scripture reading and praying and Family Home Evening. I know that I probably sound a bit presumptuous counseling about that. It's just that I literally spend all my time thinking about how to get people to be doing more of those things. I get a mindset of trying to save people, to get them up to the required level of activity necessary to develop testimonies and get baptized. Then it bleeds over into you guys.
I may still be with Elder Ferrar after this transfer. In our mission we often will be together 4 months. That's probably the short average, though some are shorter and some are longer.
Sometimes people, especially the old ladies, sound really angry when they speak when they really aren't at all. Mandarin might be different; I think it's a bit harsher, at least in my ears. If you hear z or sh or urr sounds, it's probably Mandarin.
I love the story about Joseph and the bread. Pretty hilarious. Sorry, I am out of time. Keep being perfect or you shall all stand condemned. (Joseph had to run home after Sacrament Meeting started yesterday to get a loaf of bread. When he got home there was not a full loaf so he constructed a half a loaf with different bread and then raced back to church. We had to sing a few extra verses of the Sacrament Hymn, but there was plenty of bread in the end. He called it a Frankenloaf.)