Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014 - The Gift of the Savior is a Precious Gift

Elder Tse & Elder Morrell with members

District Dec. 2014

This Book of Mormon kid’s story book is about perfect for my reading level. I am fast approaching 1000 characters but my retention is a bit lamentable, and I predict that when I review there will be more than 200 that I don't know. But I can basically read this book!

This is somewhere between Kwun Tong and Mong Kok, but looks like a cheap European chapel.

This is a super Chinese looking meal that I cooked all on my own. Dumplings (cheap, frozen) vegetables (cheap, packaged) and duck breast meat (cheap, frozen and vacuum packed, but tasty) with rice. I am the Chinaman.

This is a collection of nice pictures that I found. I felt a bit gloomy last week and I decided it was because of my working space (which you'll notice is already randomly occupied by a MICROWAVE! Everyone who moves into or enters our apartment tells me I will get cancer, I try to explain that 1. Microwaves are lower wave length than visible light; I'm as liable to get cancer from them as I am from sleeping with the light on in our room and 2. The front door is a Faraday cage anyway, so nothing gets out. No one seems to believe or understand me, expect Elder Buss (who was a chemistry major but just moved out). Elder Tse even implied that microwaving food makes it radioactive. I don't have the vocabulary in Chinese to express my disagreement with that idea. Does sun ripening tomatoes irradiate them?). I am a big fan of parenthetical statements.
I have discovered that the only way to get things done (in emails or in life) is to put down everything else and do them immediately. So that is what I just did with these pictures. It's a big step for me, I feel I've grown a lot.

This week was pretty cool. I honestly had struggled with some unhappiness last week, and some doubts. I think it's interesting that people comment on my apparent firmness and devotion, because I don't feel too much like that myself. I especially wish that I could have a more powerful testimony. I know many people who can cite a specific instance, a powerfully answered prayer that let them know. I can't say one time when I suddenly knew that the gospel was true. This week that sort of bugged me a bit. So I prayed a lot, really a lot. I can't say that I had any remarkable vision, but I feel that gradually through this week I've been re answered that this work is true. I will clarify, I wasn't doubting my testimony before. But I worried a bit. I know that God will answer prayers, it's just often not in the time we want or the way that we want. For me, this week, the sweetest answer was one day out finding, when I had several chances to testify of the Restoration of the Gospel of Christ. At that moment I knew that what I testified of was true. I think that that is one of the coolest experiences that I've had many time on my mission, feeling that what I'm saying really isn't coming from me, but from God. Sometimes when I testify of a commandment or the atonement, I don't feel like I'm saying it, I feel like it is being said through me.

In other news, pretty good week. We didn't have as many people at church, but we have one member (sister Lai) who is a super hard working member missionary, and she finally got a friend to church. The friend loved it, and her son didn't want to leave. I was super happy for her.


I got to watch the First Presidency devotional this Sunday, unfortunately no remotely close shot of you. But it was nice to hear the MoTab again. I love Christmas songs. Our investigators are doing well, though not as many at church yesterday. This week we met with a new investigator who got caught up on Nephi killing Laban because she thought that it conflicted with the 10 commandments. After sort of arguing for a while, I grabbed a Bible, randomly opened up to Judges 1:1 which, surprise surprise, is about the Lord commanding the Israelites to destroy the Perrezites and Cannanites.

I think one reason that I went to Hong Kong is that the language makes it a bit harder to argue logically. Thanks to that and experience, I really have learned that while you can and sometimes have to prove points using the Bible or logic, it doesn't invite the spirit, and usually doesn't lead people to do the most important thing, which is to put forth some personal effort and learn if it's true. That being said, it is fun to use the Bible to quash Bible rooted concerns. I'm sure Elder Bennett has more practice than me, but in that same lesson I had a good time responding to the concern that "no man can see God" with Acts 7, Stephen the Martyr.

Transfers led to no change for us, except that we now belong to TKO district. That means that I'm still junior companion, validating my theory. But I am really being honest when I say that I'm grateful to be Elder Tse's junior companion. I have learned more being he and Elder Au's junior companion than I did training Elder Ferrar (not to short change Elder Ferrar). At the beginning of my mission I'd be really alarmed at being junior companion up to my 1.5 year mark, but though it's not entirely easy it is not a problem for me now.


As I told Abby, I had a dream that had a lot of you in it, but don't remember it. At least I could face death without fear as a missionary. Maybe I'll pull a Stripling Warrior.

I have learned buying groceries on my mission that money lasts a lot less than the stuff it is exchanged for. I always feel like that with the food we buy. But this Sunday we had like a hundred members give us dessert, one gave us apple pie, and Sister Lai gave us some cereal. So I am in good hands. Looking forward to the package, though I may need to pay for a storage fee.

As I said, I don't feel like an especially great missionary. But I do feel a firm determination to keep all the commandments all the time. If you thank me for the reminder, the best way is to do it. I really love the talk that I mentioned in Abby's email. Thank you and Dad for the good example. I'm also curious, next week (or at the call (at 12;00 my time)) could you guys have a little testimony sharing thing? What you all believe? Sorry, this letter doesn't feel very understandable. But I do love you.


I love the morning, and from about 7:00 am on. Midday depresses me because I always notice that time is running out. Congrats on the sterling scholar! Though to be honest I think an honorable mention in science is worth more than a victory in English. Yeah, time seems super weird for me. I get a bit panicked.


The dream that I mention had you specifically, in a friendly way, but I don't know why...

Keep on treading on the tanks. Just make sure that you don't neglect the Civ V. Also if I recall in that game, I and my jsutites stomped all over Elder Bennett.


I don't remember what TTYL means. I'm going to pick up my package today. Because you guys insured it I have to go to some place in Yau Ma Tai to get it, but at least it's safe from the scheming office Elders. I don't trust them farther than I could throw them.

Christmas is cool because of all those traditions. I remember you especially loved the stockings. I'll give you an assignment for the telephone call, so you can speak more easily. Tell me where the Book of Mormon Christmas story is. And what you gave me. I'm excited for the package, 4.2 kg, pretty intense.

I want to follow up on your fitness. Joseph said that you were starting to track calories. Christmas is probably a pretty rough time for that, but keep it up! I really love what it says in that Gen. Conf. article, Approaching the Throne of God with confidence. You will really feel a lot better about life and everything if you know that you're in shape and in control of your body. You can do it! I had a dream last night that you and Becca were babies or toddlers again, but I can't remember it now.
(you're my favorite)


Artemis is a fabulous name no matter what you say. I did miss your Nutcracker performance. It's a great tradition. My favorite part of Christmas is always Christmas Eve, I'm glad I get to participate a bit. Sorry, we have a zone Christmas party so all you guy's emails have been short. But it's not that I don't love you, it's just that I don't care.

Just kidding.

I know that the church is true, and especially at this Christmas time I know that the gift of the Savior is a precious gift. I know that he suffered and died for us so that no matter how dark things get, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I add my humble witness to the thousands who stand with me to testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Highest, born to set us free.

Elder Morrell

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