Hello my dear family. I realize that for 2 weeks in a row (I think) I have not sent any personal responses, so maybe I'll just do that now and fit all the news into them.
Thank you for the requested data.
We had a pretty great week this week. We are finally officially supposed to wear suits all the time, but it was still a bit to warm so we haven't so far. But today it's pretty chilly outside, a welcome change. We still have the AC on at night, but not for long, I think. I have been eating pretty well recently. I found an international store nearby that sells Mac n Cheese, so you don't need to send any. I make a lot of fried rice, and I think I've become quite adept at cooking it. Curry, Mapo Tofu, pancakes, etc. Today I bought $300 HKD of groceries. So your little boy is eating well.
I always love having chances to serve people randomly on the street. There are a lot of old people around, so we get chances to help them carry boxes up and down stairs occasionally. Yesterday after church we were about to get on the train to go finding and we heard someone shout "Elders!" which doesn't happen often. Turns out it was a group of Utah members from Bountiful on a cruise who couldn't find the shuttle back to the ship. We had actually run into some of their group at church that day because one of them was a returned missionary from HK. His accent was thick but he bore a nice testimony. It was really cool to serve them and help them out. Plus I felt cool because I'd ask them something and then turn to Elder Tse and discuss for a bit, then ask them stuff again. Language felt pretty cool.
I think that that's the important part of missionary work, is being there to do what the Lord wants, and obviously He knows what our talents are. So I think whether you're outgoing or quiet, the Lord will find some people for you to help if you're listening and ready.
There is no daylight savings here. I have gotten into a good habit of getting directly out of bed in the morning, and getting up at 6:45, but recently it's been a bit tough because my companion snores and grinds his teeth, so I need to use the earplugs that sat useless in my bag for over a year. Then I can't hear my alarm clock.
I agree with your sentiment. I had a cool experience on Sunday. A recent RM was called to be the Elder's Quorum President in our ward. He is a really cool guy, awesome fellowshipper, and very obviously was a great missionary. I realized when he was sharing a testimony in sacrament meeting, that being truly great does not mean your calling is higher than the next guy, but accepting and faithfully and diligently fulfilling whatever calling you are given, and doing so to the very best of your efforts. The scriptural precedent is in 1 Nephi 2 when the Lord calls Nephi to be a teacher and leader of his brethren. It's not the call that made Nephi great, it was his unflinching and unflagging efforts to fulfill and even magnify that call.
I am really loving my time here. I am the only missionary I know who would even consider going finding on a P-Day when we have extra time. Everyone thinks it's horrible. I think that I basically have unlimited P-days when I finish my mission but limited time to find or teach now.
The Chinese is actually pretty easy at this point. I just speak too fast so sometimes people don't understand me.
I've seen ads for that movie and really wanted to see it, (in a non-distracted, detached sort of way) but didn't know that it was a Christopher Nolan film (Interstellar). That would increase my desire if I wasn't totally focused. You might tell me how it is, but, you know, I don't really care.
I really am impressed with the self discipline you've showed, and I think that you're reaping the benefits now. I encourage you to take that same self discipline and apply it to the gospel. The biggest thing that you can do to prepare for your mission is just to keep the commandments that you hope others will keep, like prayer, reading, church attendance (which is more than just showing up), going to the temple (extra important), and keeping your standards high. I know that you like video games and movies, which I share with you, but since coming on my mission I've realized a lot of stuff that we very commonly allow is not really up to the standards that we should expect of ourselves. Think of the hundreds of Sunday school lessons and talks and scriptures and seminary classes where you talk about avoiding swearing, immorality, or crude or violent media, and then really think about the stuff that you watch. This is not just at you, of course, this is to everyone, myself included. I really have been thinking on my mission about what I will allow, what I want my bar to be set at. And I can tell you, I feel that my bar wasn't high enough. I invite you all, and anyone else who reads this, to think and say a simple prayer about what in your life might be under the bar. Then just try to cut it out for a month and see what happens. One that I've decided is the Game of Thrones Books. I loved those books but there was a lot of stuff that is very inappropriate in them, so even though I would love to see how the series finishes, I am not going to read them. I know that this idea excludes a lot of things that really are high quality, but if it wasn't a sacrifice it wouldn't bring blessings. Sorry for being all preachy, but I literally spend all my time doing this, so, yeah.
Your emails always make me smile but leave me confused. It is very hard to imagine the context that these isolated statements come out of, the bizarre and fantastic world of Name'n Dave. Keep it up, I guess. At the international store I go to I see a lot of German stuff. I actually buy some German brand of long storage milk, Amity. Very cute, has a bunny on the front. One time on a train I tried to talk to some white guy. I said, “Hi”, and he said, “Hi”, I said "Where are you headed?" and he was "Why?" in a slightly gravelly voice. I thought I misheard, asked again and he responded in a German or Russian accent that spoke of garrotes and large guns "Why you care?" I did not press the issue.
We had a cool experience this week. We went out finding for a while, not much success, and then as we were headed home I suddenly decided to walk some other direction and we found a lady who was interested in learning about Christ, has never really had much religion, and said that we could visit her and her husband on Tuesday. That never happens. Pray for her, my brother.
No, I just checked the pictures again, you all look about the same except that Joseph is skinnier and more handsome and David is way taller. But don't worry, I already know what you will look like when you grow up. Remember, the makeup model in the mall that one time.
What do you mean nothing happens at school? You just sleep or what?
Be careful about the attitude there, little sister. You are starting to sound teenagery. Yeah, Halloween here is not that big. There were a few little kids with costumes, and some haunted houses, but they don't do trick or treat and without that there's not much. I actually almost didn't notice Halloween.
Where are you reading in the Book of Mormon recently?
I had a really great Sunday this last week. We had a lot of investigators at church, about 5, and 1 less active member. And the testimonies in the sacrament meeting were great. I can testify that if you really go to some efforts to keep the Sabbath day holy, you will get a reward. It might not be immediately, I've been trying for a month or two, but it comes.
I don't know if I can believe that you are actually stressed or not, because it sounds like you just spend your time dreaming about snow and making hats or sacks. Do the sack. It neeeeeds you.
I don't get any snow here at all, which is a bit rough. But oh well. I do miss you too, but I know that this is the most important and best thing I could be doing now. It's important to know that, see Alma 46. After I'm at college I can visit you guys all the time. Maybe you can write some stuff for the phone call and have Becca read it.
Tell mom that we're going to the temple on the 18th, and our P-Day will be accordingly changed. I will get a picture then and send it, though I can't send very high res. stuff.
Love you all more than you think!