Hello my (presumably still) beautiful family. I want Mom to know that I just plugged in the camera so if no pictures end up coming through I really have poor self control.
As always conference is a great time. We had a pretty good week overall but the dominant event was definitely conference. I don't really know what else to say for the rest of the week. We did exchanges twice, once with our district leader Elder Osbourne, who has a very interesting teaching style that uses silence a lot. It was really fun. We taught some former investigator for Kwun Tong area named Jax. He hadn't been to church for at least half a year, randomly came back to church, and when we taught him we felt impressed to ask him to be baptized. He said he needed to work out some personal problems first. Nothing unusual. We asked him when he thought he'd be ready. He said, "umm, two weeks". Actually he said, ying goi leung go sing keih. We were pleasantly surprised, reminded him of the seriousness of baptism and the fact that here we have a sort of policy of going to church 5 or 6 weeks first and set a goal in December. He went to conference, I believe. The second exchange was with Elder Peacock, who is from Ireland and has been in Macau his whole mission because UK people have easier visa requirements. He was super cool, and his Chinese is really amazing. All his companions so far (6 months) have been natives, and he did a good job with it.
I went running on Saturday with Elder Peacock, for the first time in a while. None of my companions have really had any desire or willingness to run. I probably could have forced Elder Ferrar to but it may have killed him. After 5 months of not running I am still feeling the soreness.
Conference was obviously awesome. I will admit, I still couldn't maintain absolute focus, physically I was tired by the end, spiritually and mentally I was done by the end, but I loved the whole thing. Before my mission I had never experienced the feeling of wishing that it could go on longer. Before conference I wrote down 4 questions to be answered. They were answered within the first day in a dramatic way. I know that God knows us and that those men and women have the authority of God to receive revelation, because I have never been so personally answered by people that I have never met before.
After Conference we visited a family, and got to their house early. We did 10 minutes of finding and soon taught a nice simple lesson to two totally non-religious 20 year olds. It was a short, sweet lesson, talked about Jesus giving us remission of sins and prophets letting us know of him and testified of the restoration. Shared one of my favorite scriptures, Mosiah 3:13. Just goes to show every sliver of time that you can spend finding can be a miracle.
I loved the Elder Christofferson talk, obviously. Down with laziness, moral relativity, and those annoying and depressingly common people who say that if you believe in God he exists, if not he doesn't. I saw you twice on Saturday, many other missionaries were suitably impressed. I also loved Elder Eyring's priesthood session talk. I always find him inspiring, he has a reoccurring theme of a Priesthood Man, and how powerfully he can influence those around him for good, which always lifts my views a lot. I (and all the other Elders) loved the guy Jorg Kleighnoiknsdgn something on Saturday Afternoon, who basically told everyone to get into shape spiritually and physically, and I thought Brother Callister's talk was a clear enjoiner (don't know if that word is used correctly) to pray for a wife. He and Elder Scott were both very clear on the importance of morning and evening family prayer, scripture study, and Family Home Evening. I have been trying to improve my morning prayers, because I think that it's easy to make them repetitive, meaningless time to sort of doze a bit longer. I've been trying to really ask for specific help over the coming day.
My friend Elder Yim has a foreigner uncle named Brother Welch who sings (sung?) in the choir, and some random white guy at Wan Chai during conference said he has a friend named Aaron Dalton who's a second bass right now. Any yan jeung? Oh right, you don't speak that language. Do you know them?
I think what you need is a 60 miler. I haven't heard you say anything about boxes within boxes for a while. Nothing blasts off the materialism like thin air, leprous feet, and stark isolation. I see super rich cars all day long in Hong Kong, especially at Wan Chai, but I always just wonder where they think that they are going to drive them. It's hilarious and sad to see these super rich guys go from zero to 60 and back down to zero between two stoplights set up a couple hundred meters apart. Don't let that become you.
Even though you omitted your name I could tell your email was from you. You have become quite the party girl. Last week I recall a bit of grumbling about the scripture study and family prayer and stuff. But I really think and know that it is important to us. It can give you a lot more strength to be righteous throughout the day. I know that you're young but temptations come younger and younger now a days. So do it. Elder Scott said it will give us buoyant peace. Which is even better than the 3 kilograms of peaches that I ate in two days this week.
I would be so good at conference jeopardy. I don't want to brag but that is what my memory is best at, remembering phrases and facts like that. Plus I really find myself a lot more able to pay attention these days. I didn't sleep at all (except for some of the prayers, but in my defense I haven't slept well recently (a curtain broke in our bedroom (which Elder Au may be responsible for but has insufficient money to pay (he eats a lot and wants to go to a lot of buffets his last week) so no one will blame him for it (meaning it won't get fixed for a while) ) which always lets in enough light to wake me up at 6:00 AM) and any empty time it becomes hard to stay awake) and just felt comforted by their messages. I hope the women's conference was good. My favorites were Saturday, and I loved Elder Bednar's talk, Elder Scott, Jorg what's his name, Elder Cook, Pres, Uchtdorf and Eyrings, etc.
Elder Peacock just has 2 younger brothers left at home, and he says he doesn't know what his mom does in her spare time. I fear this is coming for you as well...
Though if you're not careful you'll soon be YW president over multiple groups, not just one big conglomeration of young women. Congratulations!
I wish I could get snarky and criticize you for a short email but I don't have much to say either. I will say, did you notice my email last week matched up perfectly with a part of Elder Scott's talk about going to the temple? It is true doctrine, my sister. It is true doctrine. I have a request to make of you, and shall put you in charge of seeing it done. As they emphasized so much Family Home Evening, and as I don't really have any chance to participate in FHE, I shall require you all to begin a tradition of reading my email as part of FHE. You may have to wait longer, but this is my will and wish, incumbent on Rebecca to carry out.
So much for no fancy ending. I wonder, what was David Morrell's favorite conference address. I can see you being entertained by Elder Bednar's description of the "great reason to howl and wail and gnash their teeth". Or perhaps Jorg what's his name impacted you, or Elder Holland's impassioned call to serve the poor. Report back to me.
I will grace you with the message that Elder Au and I will soon go to the place called "Korean BBQ" at which place I will not fall into gluttony but will eat heartily and pleasantly. I have learned my lesson.
If it were me, and with my perspective, I really would do a better job on the extended essay for IB. I think that the essay is actually the best part of IB. That is a useful skill, no matter how you slice it, and hopefully you will show that you can actually produce high quality, interesting, and edifying material. That is what I suggest. Elevate yourself.
I loved Elder Eyring's talk. I will say to you and David, you don't have much time left to be Aaronic priesthood holders, make the best of it. Yours is the call to serve, to bring others to repentance, and qualify them for the blessings of the Melchizedek (?) priesthood. Magnify it.
Did they argue about "hard" vs. "soft" science? My theory was that soft science is just science that we don’t have the information or technology to reduce down to a realistic, concrete form yet. Medicine was a soft science for quite a while. Astronomy as well. It is depressing, being mathematically or scientifically minded in a world of soft squishy philosophy.
Love you all!