Hello family! I have much to share today and not too much time to do it, so apologies to those who were not graced with a personal response from me.
I am no longer in Chai Wan, nor am I a trainer or senior companion. I am now in Ngau Tau Kok (which, interestingly enough directly translates to Cow Head Corner. Go figure. Which is right across the harbor from Chai Wan, and I am with Elder Au! A Bundei, a native! Who speaks perfect Chinese and not that much English! Words cannot describe my joy about this thing.
Ngau Tau Kok is very very different from Chai Wan. Chai Wan, though not central, is still heavily influenced by the Hong Kong Island Money atmosphere, and is a relatively wealthy place. Ngau Tau Kok is not, and is largely comprised of Chuens, which are like giant apartment buildings arranged in groups. Chai Wan was relatively flat, or at least the places we went street finding were. Ngua Tau Kok is the opposite. The area, speaking topographically or geographically, is extremely complicated, and I still have no clue where we are going when we find. Unfortunately, half the time Elder Au doesn't either. More on that later. The finding here is really great, though. The people are poorer and warmer, and weirder. Also, more on that later. We've had some good success. We are next door neighbors to KWUN TONG! which is the promised land, the legend baptizing area. Don't ask me why but about 3 or 4 years ago it went crazy and still is. We aren't that insane but it's a good place.
The reason Elder Au doesn't know either is because he's only been in Ngau Tau Kok for 3 weeks. We are actually a new companionship. Previously, the Assistants and the Office Elders served here but they left about a transfer back. So neither of us really know where we are, and we don't have a teaching pool per se, but I still love it.
Elder Au is on his last transfer right now. He will go back home to Shatin on October 24? I think, right next to Tai Wai where I started. He's a funny guy. His English is okay, but not great. I don't mind one bit, I just want to speak Chinese with him. Which, by the way, I can. I still have times when people don't understand me or I don't understand them, but I live with a native and it's much easier for both of us to use Chinese to speak. It's a very gratifying feeling. I miss Elder Ferrar, yes Mom that was 9 weeks with him. It seems fast to me too. And I sort of miss being senior companion, if only because I feel like I have stricter views of obedience than most and I can't really enforce them as well. But it's all good.
Our apartment is not quite so gratifying. It is a great apartment, really nice, hardwood floors, used to be super comfortable when there were only 4 Elders in it. Now there are 6. We have beds, but no study chairs, desks, no cabinet for clothes. That’s right, I am still not unpacked. I pull one shirt and a pair of socks out each day. Ease into it, sort of. I felt very oppressed by it for a bit, but that's something that I've learned on my mission is that you can choose to still be grateful in situations like this, and the apartment really isn't that bad if you choose to look at it in a kind light. Let that be a lesson for someone. The Elders we live with are really cool. Elder Bus, who is small and new and educated, Elder Osbourne, who laughs like some sort of elf when tickled, Elder Peterson, who is a new Zone Leader and a pretty cool guy, and Elder Pincock who's been zone leader for a while, very leng jai (Chinese) and really interesting guy. They are all pretty tight; honestly Elder Au and I are just a little bit on the outside right now. No complaints, though.
I love this new area, I am happy as a fool, and the gospel is true. More on that later. One last experience before personal responses; before I left Chai Wan we had one day, outside talking to a new investigator as he was about to go running. It had been sprinkling a bit, so Elder Ferrar and I had umbrellas. All of a sudden we saw a wall of water coming towards us, and in an instant it was pouring like it never does in Utah. The investigator fled, we really couldn't responsibly tell him to stay and talk longer, Elder Ferrar's umbrella took the pounding for a few seconds and then promptly resigned, (by which I mean folded, as in THE WIND FOLDED HIS METAL UMBRELLA) and we were suddenly a little damper.
I am not yet District Leader, though I will admit this theory that Elder Yim and I had. Elder Osbourne is our District Leader right now, he's been here for a good long time and will probably leave next move. Elder Au will leave. I have a good chance of being District Leader then, though not for certain. I really feel that I won't be a very high up leader on my mission because it would be very difficult for me to control any pride that might come from that. But we'll see. One way or another it's all service. That is something that I really can say I have learned and understand pretty well right now.
I did a lot of study on the Great Apostasy this week, because I had an insight into it. We talk a lot about the loss of scriptures, revelation, prophets, organization, authority, miracles, truth, etc, and all these things are important. But the real horror and tragedy of the Apostasy is related to the missionary purpose, the Gospel of Christ, which is given to men to help them gain a remission of sins. I suddenly understood that the real thing lost in the Apostasy was the remission of sins. That makes the Apostasy more devastating, and the subsequent Restoration all the more sweet. Just a random insight.
I really find that cool that you can intellectually understand the Book of Mormon as well as spiritually. Our testimony obviously needs to have the real true core of an answer from the spirit, but we are mistaken when we assume that logic will contradict that. Uncle Stan is pretty cool in that regard. I've been reading a bit of a Book of Mormon study guide, the one for the religion class at BYU, and it really has helped me gain a better intellectual understanding of some things. I have a lot of books to read when I get back.
The biggest thing that the study guide did, though, was give me a greater desire to study and receive revelation through the Book of Mormon. I had a feeling that I don't want these insights spoon fed, I don't want to rely on other's insights, I want to have my own experiences with the Book. And I really have. These past few days have been some of the best days in my mission because my personal study has had so much more effect and been so much more, I don't know how to say it, revelatory. I got to share a brief introduction testimony at Church on Sunday, and that was what I exhorted the ward to do, was really drink deeper from the gospel that we have here. I exhort you all as well.
I've had some more thoughts about a package to be sent to me. If you've already sent it, no problem, but if not here are some ideas. Syrup is very expensive and hard to find here. Maple Syrup, or hershey's chocolate. Any food, in fact, will be appreciated. I say that as a hungry person. Because I replaced an Elder who just finished, there was no food left for me. I had no dinner really last night and only watermelon for breakfast. But today we buy groceries. I also need more contact fluid. I'll try and find some today, but I could use some more. That's about it, I think. I love you mom, especially now that I see what it takes to clean up after 6 people.
I know how it is. Compare your work with mine. Then repent and be happy. Sorry, that was prideful.
That is very disturbing about physics. To be fair, electrostatic induction is part of the AP C physics test, not IB, because it requires some intense calculus, but I feel your point. Ask Dad for help? He is a Doctor Doctor Associate Professor.
I saw two old men get into a fist fight on the street last night. Literally, two 50 or 60 year old men, obviously drunk. They were yelling for a bit, then one (blue shirt) just straight out punched Red shirt's head. Red shirt was staggered, it was a real blow. He was carrying a ton of stuff and a backpack, so he started putting stuff down, and blue shirt clocked him in the jaw, punched him once more, then started walking away. Red shirt put everything down but his backpack, walked after blue shirt, tried to hold his shoulder or talk to him or something, then blue shirt punched at his arms for a while, then as blue shirt was walking away red shirt came up again and took a fair sized backpack and just smashed blue shirt in the head with it. Blue shirt was literally down, on the ground, clutching his head, unable to stand for at least 10 or 15 seconds. Some guy came and broke it up, but pretty ridiculous. Reminded me of Ether 15, which I just read, and how if we fall into one sin it gives Satan power over us to lead us to another. And eventually we end up like Red shirt and blue shirt or Coriantumr and Shiz, dead or in jail. Not that you are in danger, but something I noticed.
I look forward to your game. Forgive your sisters, Jesus knew full well that the Romans were crucifying him and he forgave. The above story should please you. Oh, my apartment mates are setting up a sort of Dungeons and Dragons game. I won't participate, but thought you'd like to know.
Don't bug David. The school year will be as good as you make it. Get your father's blessing and go to work. I wish I'd have worked a bit harder.
Because Because Because. I liked Middle School, you could sort of choose your classes, and you start learning some really interesting stuff.
Thank you my awesome family! READ THE BOOK!