Well, family, things have been pretty great recently. The work continues to roll on as fast as we can be worthy to participate in it (that goes for y'all too, in fact). NTK is still doing quite well. In fact, today as we were walking to the temple my former companion, the now Brother Au, called to check how our investigators that we'd had together were doing. I was happy to tell him that most were still progressing, and happy to realize that we have a significant number of new investigators in the few weeks since he finished. The weather turned a lot colder all the sudden over here and that apparently makes Chinese people get sick. Several of our investigators were sick, which was a bit annoying, but Ben came to church anyway. I asked him how he felt, he said he felt a bit rough because his medicine made him super tired and he didn't want to sleep through church. That's a simple but powerful example of faith there.
The temple today was pretty awesome, as always. There were 5 or 6 Mongolians receiving their endowments today (p.s. usually we go to the temple sessions in English but Hong Kong serves a ton of languages, so today was Mongolian with English translation. I've been to a Chinese session before) and it was super cool to see the result of missionary work across the globe. There's always a great spirit that sticks with you after the temple. I wish I'd gone to the temple more before my mission, I really feel that it would have led me to be better prepared. That's probably why I'm always bugging you all to go to the temple more.
We've been hovering on the edge of crazy success for a bit. This last Sunday we had 2 people at church, but we had a potential of 7 people. Next week is about the same. If we can get them all to church, it'll really be awesome. I can see the ward getting really fired up by success like that. Pray for Ben and Mr. Lo and Zero and A Wing and A Wing's mom and A Sam and Mrs. Wong and John and Richie and Brother Wong and others. This is why I don't spend too much time reporting on how they're doing, there are a lot of them. We still have a bit of struggle with getting time in their schedule to meet with us. Most people are available on Saturday, but we can only teach one at a time and finding is the best on Saturday, so we prefer to be out on that day. And it's rough sometimes finding members for all the lessons, and then there are many lessons that fall through. But the work marches on.
I know that the church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true because I read it every day and I am constantly being taught and uplifted by it. I know that God is real because I feel him answering my prayers. I know the Atonement of Christ is true and powerful because I have felt myself changed by it, and I have felt my guilt be eased and taken away. I know that the gospel is not easy, but it is the only way we can be saved, and the more we put into it, the more we will be changed, and the more confident we can be in returning to God's presence.
We were invited to two dinners this week, and I am reminded that Chinese food doesn't resemble too closely the Chinese food that American's think of. They eat a lot of vegetables here. Every meal has at least one bowl of choi, or greens, with oyster sauce or soy sauce. They usually give everyone a bowl of rice and then you just freely pull stuff out of the middle dishes. Pretty great. I'll cook some when I get home.
I agree about the Duty to God thing. I really do regret a lot of laziness before my mission. I probably agonize over it a lot more than I should have, and I know that we really didn't make it easy for you before, but I consider those things a lot more important now than I did before.
Remember when I said that I went to the Indian Restaurant a little bit ago? They had naan, and it was super good. Keep it up with the cooking. You can do it!
Do you ever wonder what you and Dad will do when all we kids are gone? Just a thought... I love you and miss you!
Congrats on the calling, I think (Joseph was just called to be a Family History Consultant). It is all done by computers now a days, so you should be pretty good at it. I really hope that you'll take this opportunity to magnify your calling. That was probably super surprising, for you and the ward. Usually family history is the realm of the, um, mature, members. But remember that any calling is a chance to be built by the Lord. I also feel that doing temple work for people you found would be really meaningful.
I accept that answer for the movie. I've been pretty kahn lihk, or diligent, recently on running. Hopefully I can still beat you when I get home, but I no longer have confidence in that.
It means Ding Chaam (Abby posted a random Chinese character in her letter). Ding is a surname, chaam means to participate like in a competition or something. So maybe it could mean that you're yelling at someone named Ding to get working or participating? You're lucky that the 2 random Characters you picked are 2 that I know. I now know about 500, enough to read and guess through about 70% of simple stuff. Characters are super fun. How is French going? Would you rather have a fan or a picture of horses? You should ask Joseph about what he did to get so skinny, even I feel jealous of him now.
I like how you always act like nothing happens and then everyone tells me about the new adventures of the future president of the United States. Everyone else always comments on your participation in church or dance, you just say, school is fine, dance is fine, church is fine. I really want to congratulate you on your going to the temple. That is a habit that will bless your life more than you can realize right now.
2 questions. If I named my first daughter Artemis would it offend my future wife? And do you think that you will serve a mission?
I had an idea a while ago that you could make a computer model of a school, house, or neighborhood, then fill it with Zombies and see what our daydreams would really be like. OR make yourself super small in it to see what it'd be like. I think that indoor theaters are a much better investment of space than having a random family room that the family never uses. By the way the Chinese confirms that the English is backwards of what it should be. Family room in Chinese is haak fong, visitor room.
I recently have been expending great effort in studying scriptures during my study time. I really have been doing everything that I can to focus. I know that it'll pay off. Do you feel that your study is really diligent? How often do you read? How hard do you read? Do you feel that you've gained the promised blessings of study? Because if not you can. This is not condemning you, you just happened to be the vehicle for everyone else to hear.
Tell Mom this picture was the only one I got off before some guy told me to unplug my camera. We are in a public Apple store using the demo lap tops. I will send them next week. Forgive me.
Recently I've had several dreams that don't really have any of you in them, per se, but have the sort of suggesting of you guys there, especially you and the Brothers.
Church attendance is pretty tough for them here. I don't know how much of a test of faith it is, because they all live pretty close, and Chinese people are decently social, but they're so busy that making time for church is a big sifter of elect and goats. And it can really help them if they have the desire to be helped by it. That is true of myself, as I have recently learned.
I really hope that your job has success. I know that you'd love that. But I can't argue with the President Klein wisdom. I've thought that as well. Besides, you've got a bike; money doesn't really have too much value after that.
I feel that President Hawks is to me what President Klein was to you. I really admire him.
I have been reading recently about some of the early leaders of the church and the miracle they wrought and the power in their teaching. I occurred to me, finally, the concept that every church leader tries to share every Priesthood session in conference. Power in the priesthood comes from righteousness. The thing that really motivated my increased effort in study was a desire to have the power and ability that Ammon, Alma, Joseph Smith, John Taylor, etc had. Thank you for your example to me, Dad. I love you.
I always imagine that my letters consistently bring everyone to tears, but it probably only does that to Abby.
Stay truer to the Faith