Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014 - Missions Are So Worth It!

Hello mine beautiful family! You may have noticed my letter is delayed by one day, which is because we went to the temple today. Even 10,000 angsty college students protesting couldn't stop us this time. It actually is pretty interesting, the protests. It doesn't really affect us over here too much, we just have a ton of people who think that we're involved somehow and want to talk about it. But the missionaries in Central are probably getting really bored, not allowed to go out finding.

This week has been really great. Nothing too crazy, but the work keeps on keeping on. Our investigators are doing well, especially Brother Wong. His wife has really been helping him learn, and though he's busy with work he still has had some time to read the Joseph Smith experience of getting the plates in the Book of Mormon, and she's been explaining it. Surprising how useful it is. Actually it's not surprising, we literally tell everyone we meet that the family is important and the best place to learn and apply the gospel. Gema. That was Chinese.

Finding has been cool too. We got a chance to go district finding and do splits with our district leader, Elder Osbourne, who gave some great advice on using questions and silence and the pictures in the pamphlets to sort of guide the people to learn things on their own. It's part of a big push in our zone to improve teaching, which has been fueled by a super cool video by Elder Bednar and the Sunday School General President Brother Osguthorpe on the Mormon Channel, about Teaching No Greater Call. I highly recommend it for anyone with a teaching calling. He talks a lot about making the learners agents unto themselves but giving them chances to put in effort, think of things themselves, etc. Really interesting, because it sort of shows the doctrinal link to a lot of the teaching skills that we've sort of known of before and are attempted in secular education (though gospel and secular learning is really different). I really love learning and developing this skill. It really is so fun.

I am now in the last part of 2nd Nephi. This ongoing (9th) read through of the Book of Mormon on my mission has really been changing me. It is so, fun. There's no real way to describe it. I recall Sister Palmer once sent some mission prep notes to me, and one of them was something to the effect of "have a love affair with the Book of Mormon". That advice has been realized.

I have 2 things to say about General Conference, which I can't wait for. One is an idea that I gave some members in our ward. 3 step process. One, prayerfully choose a friend. Two, for the next few weeks (or days for you) pray and maybe even fast that a talk will answer that friend's need and lead them into the church or activity. Three, do anything you can to either get them there at conference, or if not carefully watch and find which talk is meant for them and let them read it. It is my testimony that if we all do this, miracles will happen. General Conference is an amazing thing. I know that the leaders of the church are not giving their own views on things, they are giving revelation from God for our individual concerns. This is my testimony, because I have felt those miracles for myself.

The second idea about General Conference is a sort of study plan that I have. I have noticed recently as I read through last Gen. Conf. that almost every talk essentially has an invitation attached to it. I propose that we all take note of and record what that invitation is, then in the coming weeks and months we follow them. It's that simple.


I am still mightily enjoying the boxed food sent by you. I made the stroganoff with ground pork, because we have some really cheap ground pork at a street market under our house (which is called Sui Wo Street Market), and I ate it all in two meals. I wish the Church News hadn't spoiled the surprise, that would have been hilarious if Elder Gong just started speaking in Cantonese without warning. I wish Pres. Uchtdorf could do his talk in German. I still add two spaces after a period. When did that rule change?

Don't go to too many cool places without me, you'll have to repeat them all. We can save the good ones for when Joseph and David are gone. Love you Mom. You have told our ward the truth. Today at the temple there were two Indian couples going through for the first time and getting sealed. So cool.


Thanks for the effort, at least. I suppose it's the thought that counts. On Saturday we went to a ward member's house, and his daughter (who was I think a little older than you) reminded me of you. She was super busy with school and church and sports and stuff. Luckily I had our family photo out to show them my superior sister. By the way, when you guys have a new family photo you can send it. I use it a lot.

Your name in Chinese (which is one of the few non-celebrity names to have a real translation, you're lucky because it's a Bible name and they all got translated) is pronounced leih baahk ga, or you would read it lay back ga. How do you feel about that? What language are you learning in school, and how goes it?


I don't comment on political things, unfortunately, but if I did I would say that while politically China and Hong Kong are not the same (sort of) and while the people politically have a barrier, the culture and the family relations between the two lead me to believe that they will always be at least loosely connected.

I will tell you what the point of the academics is. 1) to actually learn the stuff, because though much of the homework is not the most useful, the work and repetition will teach you the things more effectively then not laboring, and knowledge is its own reward, and 2) the hard work will prepare you for your mission and life. Plus the best scholarships go to those who are willing to look beyond the pointless drudgery and system and see the money there for the taking.


They are all just so mean to you. A lot of people think that you are older than Rebecca when they see your photo, because you're sitting really far in front and look a ton taller than her. How is violin going? Do you have any plans for Halloween? And how do you like middle school now that you've been there a while? I really loved Midvale Middle School, happy place. Are you learning a language yet? Your questions also apply to Rebecca, and vice versa.


If it makes you feel better, these days I tell people that I plan to do gung ching, which is engineering, but I haven't decided which, maybe gei haih or dihn ji, which means mechanical or electrical. And that would be cool to go on a study abroad to China. Plus I think that President Hawks (my mission president) is going back to work at BYU when he gets back. :)

The choir agrees with the preacher. When I read that, I had the idea that all of Judaism and Israel thought that the Messiah would come and solve their national problems, that He on his own would force a change on the world and thus redeem them in a physical sense. But as you said, his ministry was short and personal. It was centered around the Atonement, but the example he set was also essential. When I think of the New Testament I realize that most of it is not complex political or religious discourse based on a scientific study of God, it is Jesus’ example and all the teaching and Gospel that the Apostles learned from watching him. That's why when they chose a new apostle they looked for someone who had seen Christ living. He changed the world because he lived perfectly and left it up to his disciples to tell others, and left it up to the natural goodness of his life and the power of his atonement to change everyone who heard and accepted it. And frankly, if the example that he had set had been in the context of a national conqueror, how would it help any of us? I have never found myself in need of an example of how to redeem an enslaved nation by military means. That's what video games are for. Our lives are composed of person by person interaction and individual moral agency, and that's what Jesus showed us how to do, and that, as you have said, is ultimately what will change the world. Now the choir is preaching to the preacher.


I did something very similar to the Discovery Space Center once called Star Lab, it was super cool, though I think you were better because Star Lab had no weapons. I assume when you mention how one person's mistakes can ruin everything you are referring to attacking a (presumably) neutral ship while lifting off. Har har har.

I can draw a loose parallel to missionary work. In a lesson, there are (ideally) 5 parties operating. You. Your companion. The investigator. The member. And the Spirit. Essentially, you all have to work together to get anyone to progress, to feel the spirit, to convert. And a lot of that comes down to preparation, on the part of the 4 of us who are not omniscient, and trust. you have to trust your companion to do well and not hog it all yourself, you have to trust the member to help the investigator, and hardest of all you have to trust the spirit to work on them, give them some quiet time to feel the truth, trust that they are spirit children of God and they will accept this plan again. Data data data, I cannot make converts without revelation.

Love you all, and I feel your prayers. Missions are great, let me tell you. They are never easy, rarely just fun, but so worth it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014 - Gospel of Christ Gives Us the Ability to Change Ourselves

Hello family! Last week, probably due to my Tuesday email, I had about 30 emails to read through and insufficient time to email you. This week I have much less and have put you all first because that is what family is all about, amen, hallelujah.

This honestly wasn't too much of a special week, most things were ordinary. In answer to Mom's question about the 6 guys in one apartment, we are now at 5, because one of the zone leaders is not here. They went to go get a suit on last P-day, and stopped by the mission doctor because one of the zone leaders had some long lasting pain in his left shoulder that bothered him a bit when he exercised; it'd been there for a long time. Pause while Dad guesses what the problem was.

Turns out he had a hole in his lung and the left lung had basically collapsed for a long time, and he'd been somehow living off of 1.25 lungs for at least a couple months. The doctors were confused at how he made it that long, because it should be been excruciatingly painful. Maybe it was and he's just super tough. But in any case he got checked in to the hospital for the week, had surgery. He's fine but might not be back for a few days still, so we've had a loose zone leader floating around, latching on to our companionships occasionally. It was cool to have another set of eyes to give us some feedback.

On Thursday we met a guy, who I almost didn't stop, because he was covered in tattoos and dressed like a gangster, but I take an odd pleasure from trying to stop those people and I did. He was willing to talk, and then we realized he had interest in English class, and then we realized he had interest in any church meeting or activity, and then we realized that he desperately needed the gospel and was really willing to be taught. In the end we just walked right over to the church about 10 minutes away and taught him for a while. His story was pretty interesting. He used to be a really rude, bad, doesn't care about anyone, sometimes beats his son kind of guy, smoker, drinker, maybe drugee. Then he went to jail for a while wherein he heard about Christianity, his wife and son left him, his Dad died, and he got sick to the point where he can't work and is living off government money. He kept saying that he would just sit in his house and think and it was like torture, he said "jan haih hou fui" Really remorseful. He is the best example of someone being humbled to the dust that I've ever seen. I'll admit that we kind of didn't know what to do with such a willing investigator. We taught a lot of random stuff, probably not too clear to him, but after a bit we focused in on the Gospel of Christ cleansing us, giving us peace of conscience and the ability and strength to change ourselves and free us from addiction and sin. He set a goal to be baptized on December 20th. We haven't been able to contact him since Saturday, just because his phone number doesn't call through, so I don't know if we will see him again. But I hope we do, because I know that he needs it. I saw, as we talked with him, the potential for a massive miracle in December. A man like that being baptized a member of the church. I pray that it will happen.

We currently have several other investigators who are doing pretty well. We have a kid named Ben who is about 17/18. The first time we met him was part of the super crazy week (our numbers have normalized a lot, unfortunately) and I thought that his interest was pretty low, but he's progressed a ton. He's read to 1 Nephi 10 and this week said he believes it's true because when he reads it gives him desire to keep reading and change himself. Pretty deep for a 17 year old. His only problem is that he's cripplingly busy. Hong Kong has some weird thing called "tutorial" which is basically teachers who prep students for tests by talking at them for hours. Some are better than others, I'm skeptical of them because number one they're expensive and number two they stop countless masses from being available to meet with us or go to church. More on that later, but I really hope Ben can be available to go to church. He has a baptismal date in November that I think he can make.

We also have Casi, who was also part of the crazy week. We haven't met with her for a while because she was sick and busy, but she's cool. And there's a new investigator whose wife was less active for years and years and suddenly came back. We taught them twice last week and they were at church. He's a bit skeptical about receiving an answer through your feelings, but I think he has potential. And I am really happy to see his wife back at church. It really seems like she's coming back to where she belongs.

That's our status right now. The weather the past two days has actually been a lot cooler. It feels like autumn, but we still have a lot of hot days. Cold showers are becoming a bit more of a test of discipline. We had one day that was super depressing, a ton of unsuccessful finding in the worst quality air pollution. You could see the gray film over anything more than 50 yards away. Gross. It really does feel like fall somehow, the angle of the sun and what not.

Just so you know English names in China are flexible and sometimes ridiculous. There's girl who goes to our English class who changed her name from FIRE to LORETTA randomly. We all told her to go back to FIRE. IT is a lot cooler. And on the subject of English class, last week someone tried to hire me as a private tutor for their kids for English. I said that if she really wanted we could do it as service but felt obliged to warn I had no formal training or experience. Pity, she literally said I could name the price per hour.

I also want to ask really fast, where did Eva live when she lived in Hong Kong? I want to see if I can find any friends of hers.


I don't know what happened to the old man. I'm hoping he at least rested for a while after that. He lived off cardboard boxes for quite a while before us, and presumably he'll live off them until he dies. We left a flyer with our number on it but he didn't call. I do worry a bit for him but there's not much to be done, and he didn't have any interest in the gospel. But since then I've been trying to notice more anyone who has need like him.

I'll probably just sell the Honda Civic when I get home and try to buy some pure electric car. I had some idea about a battery that works but storing energy nuclearly, since nuclear power has a much greater energy density than chemical. I bet there's no way to do it well, if there was it would have been done, but it was interesting to imagine what the world would be like if we had super high energy capacity and light weight batteries. Cars, planes, phones, wheelchairs, mars missions, etc.

There's going to be a kitchen in the basement? That'll be interesting.


I feel like even though the package was from everyone (and I really appreciated the letters) I should thank you for the contents. Lots of comfort food. I already had the rice a roni thing, the others I have to wait to buy milk for. Recently I've been making pancakes in the mornings which have been pretty good. There’s a lot of stuff that I can cook or do that I had no clue about before my mission. And I thought it was horrible doing dishes at the cabin before because there's no dishwasher. 1 year and counting with no dishwasher. I will be much more helpful when I get back.

I especially loved the Resees. I stuck them in the fridge and keep myself to one per day. The nutella is already almost gone. Many thanks indeed.

I think you would like parts of Hong Kong. It stays a lot warmer in the fall and winter and there are flowers at all times in the year, but no room to plant anything. It's cool to think that Nicole will be heading to France soon. Make sure you give her some advice! I'm really looking forward to conference, It's going to be super great. I enjoy stuff like that so much more nowadays. My language is still going well, though people occasionally don't understand me and I don't understand everything that I hear, it's enough to impress most people. I am learning words like proton, neutron, calibre, epidemic disease, and to entertain guests these days.


Hopefully you can do one better than me on that. I really think that I could maybe have gotten some of those real high awards if I'd actually studied at all. Especially when I think back on the IB history test, I didn't really study at all. Don’t follow that example.

I will watch some of the shows, but honestly I've realized that I've got way too many things that I need to do when I get back. There's not going to be time to watch much else besides Planet Earth and Life after People.

Something that I've thought of recently is that you and David right now are in a brief but valuable time in your lives. Remember that this is the only time you have to be a youth, to be a quorum leader, to be a son. I'm still mom and dad's son when I get back but I don't have the same opportunity to really obey their counsel like you two do, or work hard in high school. Remember the worth of time is great.


Today we found a library 3 minutes from our house to replace the one 20 minutes away that we used to go to. Somehow I feel that we owe this victory to you. Many thanks. I give you the same advice as Joseph. Use your youth wisely, go to the temple, magnify your callings, because you only have one chance to be this age.

I highly approve of nightly wandering. Good show, keep it up my beamish boy.


Dance sounds pretty cool. It sounds like you're really stepping up the effort now. As the Chinese say, add oil, ga yau. I would also point out that the only one who didn't seem to get anything out of the temple thing was the one who slept through it. I don't want to make you feel guilty but there it is. Maybe that's why Mom rarely lets you have sleepovers on Saturday night...

If you have parties with the sophomores as a (8 or 9th grader?) what will you do as a senior?


I love your in depth description of life. You have a future as a news reporter. I also noticed that 2 weeks ago when you couldn't email me no one gave me the exact run down on the week's activities, then the package arrived with your 5 strips of paper account. Don't change, little one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014 - Follow the Spirit to Serve Others

Sorry everyone but I have almost no time right now, I actually can't give the individual responses. I don't know why but all my friends decided to email me and I always worry that I'm supposed to answer some prayer through a heartfelt response. I try my best to give some heartfelt responses, so it takes some time.

Not too much has happened anyway. We had a giant sports day activity in Tai Po for the church's 65 year anniversary. It was cool, literally everyone was there, but it took up 10 hours of precious finding and I don't think it was really worth it. I saw some guys from Tai Wai. Tai Wai had a lot of success soon after I left, which is cool. I was talking with the Elder's Quorum President and he said that he felt really bad for Elder Tong and me back then. Reflecting back on it it was really rough, but I feel like I learned a lot from that time. Things are going well here in NTK. We didn't have the crazy success on the street that the last two weeks had, but we have some investigators actually progressing.

There is one kid, Ben, who is about 17. Up till this last Saturday I thought his interest was kind of mild, but he read up to 1 Nephi 6 and has a real desire to apply the atonement in his life. It is always sweet to see these people who are prepared and who are touched by the spirit.

On Monday we had an all mission meeting with Elder Rasband, who is an awesome guy. I will tell you all, the Saturday Morning Conference session will have an interesting surprise. I will not reveal what it is. But watch, that ye may be ready.

In preparation for the approaching conference talk, I have started rereading all of April Conference's talks. Those men are not lying. They are prophets. I also had the chance to read some book about President Monson, and I think I finally had an epiphany about what the real main message of his ministry is. It is to follow the spirit to serve others and thus do the work of the Lord. The Work of the Lord is not just missionary work, it is service, in all forms. I suggest that you all take time in your prayers to specifically ask to be guided to answer someone's prayer or help someone in need.

In other news there's a typhoon that passed nearby Hong Kong and stopped us from going to the temple today. The wind is, impressive. And wet. Many umbrellas have perished, mine included.

Go out and serve someone today.

P.S. Mom, I have received the package. The books are for later. Thank you!

Dad, I could definitely say the quantity of advice that you've given me, but not yet the quality.

Joseph, Run? Krav Maga? I have some strange desire to learn Judo now.

David, I miss German greatly.

Becca, congrats on your pointe part for Nutcracker. Remember that school can be fun and rewarding but only if you choose it to be. Ask Dad about waterskiing.

Abby, Scary houses are scary. And your violin skills must be impressive.

Monday, September 15, 2014

John's new companion - Elder Au

Elder Morrell and Elder Au - John's so excited to have a bundei (native) companion!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sept. 8, 2014 - Never Ignore the Old or the Poor

We are emailing a bit early today, don't be alarmed if this comes in without time for you to send anything. Dad's prediction is slowly coming true, my emails feel a bit perfunctory.

But I have a lot of cool experiences to share this week. Another great week in NTK, we didn't quite have as many lessons as last week but that's because we have some real investigators now. New, but starting. Like a fledgling chick just out of the shell. It's amazing what keeping commitments can do for these people. More on that when it happens. We didn't have anyone at church but that was largely because we had Stake Conference in Wan Chai, which was a bit far. We had Elder Rasband, the senior president of the Quorum of the 70, his wife, the temple presidency and obviously stake presidency speak to us. All really great. One interesting way to measure your conversion is how interested you are in church meetings. From this I can see that I was not very converted before my mission but significantly more so now. I loved it all.

The best part was Ida, the recent convert. On the Saturday Evening session Elder Rasband used the whole time to do questions and extemp. answers, and Ida asked when China would open. The answer was standard, "we hope soon, but we will be cooperating entirely with the government". The cool thing was Ida's question. I don't know exactly what it was but I could just feel her testimony so strongly when she asked. She is amazing. Since her baptism 2 friends have been baptized (one of them KK) and another friend in Mainland will be baptized as soon as she can arrange a time. I was more moved by that question than by anything else for quite a while.

A really cool experience that we had happened as Elder Au and I were walking home to do English class. We had decided not to take the MTR, and as we were walking in NTK lower estate, we saw an old guy pulling a box full of cardboard and carrying a bag, walking slowly and with a bit of difficulty. Understand that in Hong Kong they have a big recycling push and the gov. will buy cardboard, paper, cans etc. Not for much, but enough that there is an entire class of almost homeless old people whose living is collecting cardboard. Pretty tragic, but usually not much you can do. This time we both decided to ask the guy if he needed help. Usually they reject help but this guy accepted. I soon realized why. As we took the box and bag (both of which were maybe 5 or 10 lb) and started walking with him, I realized that he was really in bad straits. He was maybe 80, and walked as slow as a 2 year old. And after talking a bit (he didn't say much) he said that he'd fallen that day and hurt his hip. He had to rest every minute or so, and cling to me or a hand rail, and even with that almost fell once. We walked with him for 10 minutes or so, found a little cart with 15 or 20 lbs of cardboard on it, and took that as well, walked another 5 minutes to his house, helped him carry it into his apartment. He lives alone, his room has almost nothing in it. He could barely walk. When we first started asking him about what was wrong, there was one time when he sat down and said that he fell, and then just sort of groaned in pain or despair or fear.

I literally think that if we hadn't been there he may have died. He would have tried to pull all the cardboard home, almsot 50 lb, and he definitely would have fallen again, and really might have died. I am so grateful we stopped. I cannot express how glad I am that God would trust us to help him. Never ignore the old or the poor. Yeah, there are many you can't help or who don't want or need help. But there are those who need us. I really don't want to think of what would happen if we hadn't stopped. That was the best part of this week, even though we didn't have time to prep English class or eat.

Some other little things.

Next week is temple week, I will email on next Tuesday.
I want to get a book called Warfare in the Book of Mormon. Want is not an expressive enough word. Also some Hugh Nibley stuff.
I ran into a German guy and couldn't speak German. I wept bitter tears.
I had a dream that Joseph was a super fast backstroke swimmer. Just saying...
I know the Book of Mormon is true. I have learned so much from it this week. It's not the historic proof that convinces me. NO mortal man could write a book with so much power. Read it. It's true. I know that the Savior lives.

Elder Morrell

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 1, 2014 - 32 Hours of Finding!

Hello my family. This was a very special week, in a pretty cool way. Mundane first, shall we?

I have never been so poor in my life. It is true that my family may have been that poor, but I didn't have to buy food back then. The reason is simple; I had a good amount of food in Chai Wan and left behind what I couldn't hurriedly eat, and the Elder I replaced was going home and was totally broke, so he left me nothing. And anything that would have been left behind for me was given to Elder Au, who makes me look like a wealthy industrialist he's so broke. So I had to buy from scratch, as it were. And I had already dumped a lot of money into my octopus card, which is the transportation thing here, in expectation of the high travel cost in Chai Wan. Wasted. But despite living a whole week with about $1.30 US, I managed to eat very well. I just added more rice to my curry, more pasta to my spaghetti sauce, and even had some left over to give Elder Au who had literally nothing but a big bag of "Tartary Black Buckwheat" which he ate with wilting vegetables and baked beans last night. About the healthiest thing I've ever seen. Lots of Rutin. Look it up. And tell me what it means because all I know is the Black Buckwheat's got the highest concentration of Rutin around, yo.

The actual cool part of this week was the finding. We did approx. 32 hours of finding, which is not a bad amount. We don't really have any people to schedule yet, besides one new kid we found a bit ago, so nothing in our way. Lots of time to thrust in the figurative sickle. And boy did we reap. 21 lessons with people on the street, a lesson being defined as teaching some gospel principles and praying together with them, and 12 new investigators, defined as people who have been taught a lesson and have a definite reschedule time. I know that everywhere is different, some missions might look at that as impossible, some as trivial. This is not important. The significance lies in that this week broke the record for total lessons in one week on my mission handily, more than doubled my street lesson record, almost tripled our weekly goals, and has only been surpassed by Elder Au once when he had summer missionaries and was thus essentially 2 companionships. So that is the context. I don't know why, I don't know how. I am concerned that we may have been teaching too superficially, and I don't know how many of the new investigators will follow through. But it happened.

That is actually about it. We really just went finding this week, nothing else. I like the ward and the building, though it's not as pretty as Wan Chai. School starts for all these little Hong Kong kids today, that might affect things.

Oh, we had a mid autumn festival activity in our ward. Someone tell Eva "Jung Chau jeet faai lohk", tones are high high mid high low. Our ward had a pretty cool dinner, lots of good traditional Chinese food, which is nothing like American Chinese food. I had shark fin soup (I think), lots of moon cakes. Moon Cakes are the traditional food of the mid autumn festival. I will tell you the lore behind it next time, because I have forgotten. They are not too bad, lotus seed paste on the inside which is sweet and a little nutty, but they've got these big egg yolks in them as well, which I am not as keen about.


I will make it easy for you and give you some prompts. I now live with the zone leaders, and in our mission we always have a companionship of zone leaders. I know that in Germany it was just one zone leader. Here it takes the Zone leaders about 2 1/2 hours to do numbers with all the district leaders, and that's with two people doing it at once. How long did it take you?

The other is a question I suspect you will fail on. Floyd Ko. He is the young men's president in NTK ward, pretty cool guy with perfect English. He visited Utah for some leadership training thing in 2009 and one night practiced with the choir. Just curious if you remember him.

Everyone I talk to about the leadership thing says that I should change my point of view and then I'll be a leader. I respond that my whole point is that I don't think I really need to be a leader. But I do think that there is a good chance of it soon. I have noticed now more than ever that being a zone leader, for example, is pretty stressful and sucks up a lot of time. They have to work to get 12 hours of finding a week. Assistant would be even more so. District leader wouldn't be too bad. I will say that while I really love being with Elder Au and I am glad to not have to decide everything for our companionship, I would enjoy being senior just because I feel like the way I like to do things is really the best way to do it, in my point of view. I don't decide to do things if I don't think that it's the best decision. So being junior means that I have to accept decision that I think are not the most obedient or effective. Obviously that is what humility means, is that you recognize that your point of view is not necessarily right.


I will look for some contact solution today, but honestly I don't know if I'll find it. Not as many people here wear contacts, though I have seen ads for them, they are here somewhere. I'd like one bottle, maybe. Just in case. Also I'd kind of like more pants. The hems are all busting on mine and I don't have time to find an old lady to fix them. Plus they are all too fat. No major problem but no ideal. I remember the Mr. Mac guy said that most missionaries gain a lot of weight. Every time I weigh myself I am the same weight. Other than that just send me some motherly love.

Cantonese is a tricky language. The sounds are very different from English, to the extent that a lot of Hong Kong people really can't say some English words. The two just don't cross over that much. I think that understanding a romanization system is the best way, because you have to get the patterns for the sounds into your head and connect them to some letters. My Chinese is pretty decent now. Elder Au and I mostly speak Chinese.


Be careful. Your mature, cold, sarcastic aloofness, combined with impressive physique and dashing apparel are making you too attractive. Start wearing false noses or teeth or you may soon find yourself a student body officer or worse.

I believe that we officially had only HL students in our Physics class, though several of them decided to test SL because they didn't feel confident enough. Mr. Miller always preferred us because we actually had a desire to learn and we were relatively diligent.

Going by your description our family really is deeply entangled with them. Troubling...


I've heard of python, though I can't say I remember what it really is. I find it fascinating to ask people what they want to do. Some people have really specific answers. Some, like me, know what they will study and are brilliant geniuses and thus will find some amazing job. I have had many companions who really have no clue what they want to do or even study. Interesting. I recommend gaming for you, but it's all still open.


Life is good. Finding is good. I have learned on my mission that the real key to good teaching and inviting the spirit is just to continually and consistently bring up the atonement and why it's important, how to use it, etc. How are your friends doing? I hope you can continue to invite them. Sorry, I have not much time and not much to say today. It's not your fault, it's mine.


I am sad, because no one gave me an in-depth description of the day to day activities of the trip. The scribe was absent, and no history was written. I find it interesting that the 6 of you don't just share what happened to you, you sort of give 6 different points of view on one week.

I just finished Book of Mormon again for the 8th time on my mission. Abby, the book is true. I can't point out one experience to you that proved it, but it's true as I am sitting here. I hope you can learn that for yourself. It's a happy thing to know.

Love you all, don't die while mountain biking Dad.