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.

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