Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 - Colors of Hong Kong are Gray and Red

This is Durian flavored ice cream.  They also have taro and black sesame flavored ice cream.

The top and bottom are my language study for the past couple days.  I spend 30 minutes learning to write characters and 30 minutes transcribing the text from the Restoration movie in Cantonese

Two of these are some beautiful skies that we saw right before going out for work outs in the morning.  Hong Kong has got some really beautiful weather when it's not yellow and smoggy.

The last is our investigator Rachel on the left and Sister Kwan, who is an awesome fellowshipper for Rachel, on the right.
Hello family!

This was a pretty good week. I really feel blessed to be serving in NTK. It is one of the easiest places to go finding in our zone, I think. Though I hear that Chai Wan is doing pretty well right now as well.

We've still been having a bit of a hard time finding recently, we usually only get one or two new investigators a week, but those investigators are pretty solid, and we've had some good success with them recently. This week we started with 2 baptismal dates and ended with 5. We had 3 investigators at church and one Less Active (more on him later). So all in all, despite slightly difficult finding, it was a good week.

I want to mention really fast two things before I forget them. One is thanks for all the Christmas cards I received from people, including the Kenners, the Wilsons, and unexpectedly the White family. It means a lot to a missionary in a strange land.

The second is a shout out to Grandpa Carmack, whom I name defender of Truth, because I finally got a chance to use his impeccable explanation of Nephi killing Laban to answer that one investigator's question. She was stumped. Though I think that I still detect a good deal of skepticism in her comments, there has entered a little thread of real interest. Thank you.

As you may have seen from the pictures, I've been learning tons of Chinese characters recently. I want to learn to write characters for 2 reasons, 1. I want to be able to text investigators and schedule them if they don't speak English, and 2. There are tons of characters that are just almost the same and that are really hard to tell apart without learning how to write. Like leuhng and mahn.

The less active (LA) story. We visited a LA family of a mom and son 2 weeks ago, and found them both very nice and willing to be active, but the mom has some chronic disease and is too tired in the morning to go to church. The son is 17, went less active with his mom when he was still very young, and doesn't know too much about the church. We visited them this week with Brother Ho from the YM presidency and Ben, the Recent Convert, and had an awesome visit, then got Ben to pick up the LA for church on Sunday. It was amazing to see a new convert of 2 months already magnifying the priesthood he'd barely received. I hope that he serves a mission. That would make me about as happy as all git out.


Oh, when will you learn wisdom. Strategy has to do with the management of resources, the supplying of armies, the decision of what and where to attack on the scale of months or years, not just single matches. Strategy is deciding to destroy the infrastructure and railroads of a country instead of military installations, etc. Tactics is the effective use of resources and force to win a battle or series of battles.

Homeworld. Hiigara, our home. Torment me not with this tantalizing devilry, but if you have an option to preorder it, do so.

Congrats on doing baptisms for your Joint Youth Activity. It is really true in the grand scheme of things that missionary work and temple work are just two sides of the same coin, and they can bring the same wonderful blessings to those who really consecrate themselves and do the Lord's work.


You should eat more vitamin C. I would never have pegged you as a sickly child, yet of all the family you are definitely the most oft infected. And now you've spread it to your own mother. Tsk tsk. Perhaps it is my absence that thus afflicts you. Is this why you eagerly await my return, hmm? Well, too bad. I've still got months ahead, and you can't stop me.

P.S. In the absence of a 2nd party's opinion, I have empowered you to decide the conditions of my collegiate abode. Ask mom.


PROCESSED?! NOOOOOOOO! (Abby told John that the cheese in one of his pictures was from Poland and the words meant it was processed cheese.)

How long did it take to find out that Polish was the language?

I like your question. (Abby’s Question for John: Most places have one color that they mostly are like, here it is mostly green and brown. What is it like in Hong Kong?) It made me think. Honestly, I would say that the answer would have to be either gray or red. Gray because all the buildings are made of cement. Literally, all of them. Unless they're painted (in which case they are usually a horrible spread of green, pink, and blue) they are gray. Red is because red is a lucky color in China, especially approaching the Chinese New Year.

I have a question for you; What is the sky usually like when you wake up? Can you record it each day and tell me? I think that the mornings here are really beautiful. We had the lesson on the creation at church on Sunday, and I was reminded how the beauty of the earth is evidence that God really loves us.


I feel much better already. I was worried because I, like Dad, always seem to have a cough that hangs around for weeks after getting sick, but after a couple days I was better. I sort of half lost my voice for a while, which was annoying because Cantonese has a lot of low tones that were hard to pronounce.

I think that it'd be fun to live with Joseph if he's going to BYU. Assuming he's willing, I'd enjoy that. It'd be fun to live with some of the other friends on missions right now, Matthew or Evan or Spencer, but I don't really know what plans they've got. I honestly have no opinion either way on the dorm or apartment thing. I've thought about it for a full 45 seconds now, and I just don't really know what the difference would be like. I feel like either one would be fine. If I'm rooming with someone else who has an opinion, they can choose, if not Rebecca can decide for me.

I've really come to love talking to people on the trains. I remember that was super hard for me at first. I wouldn't say it's effortless now but much easier, and often very rewarding. I wish that I could be a bit more natural about teaching people on the street, though. When you go tracting, you just sort of tell them up front that you're missionaries, that you want to come in and share a message about the gospel, so if they let you in or talk, you know that they are choosing to listen to you about that topic. On the street a lot of the lessons we teach come from people who just stopped but never really formally agreed to "hear a lesson" so you sometimes feel like you're walking on egg shells, trying to balance between talking and getting their interest, and sharing a message.

I honestly really hope I don't leave NTK. We have 5 baptismal dates right now, all for after this move, and a lot of those are really solid. I'd love to stay, but I'm worried my chances are low because based on our recent interviews with President Hawks I might be going back to senior companion, which would mean either I or Elder Tse leaves.


I feel like a considerable chunk of my family just sleeps once their pressing physical needs have been met. What lazy bums. Honestly, Elder Tse is an impressive example of how much time you have to sleep if you really want it. He doesn't like having to deal with 6 people in one kitchen, so he often just buys food or eats bread and sweetened condensed milk, then sleeps. And he goes to bed early in the eveneing. And on P-Day he sleeps. He sleeps a lot.

I think that observation is very true, not just for fatness, but for a lot of things. I have come to realize on my mission that I talk way too much. I've had a couple moments where I realized that "Whoa, I'm that guy who talks way too much. How did that happen? I always identified myself as an introvert." I think that the gospel really is designed to eliminate the common condition of people who say that they want to be one thing but whose actual desires lead them to be something else. Everyone says that they want to be in shape, but most don't really make the daily decisions needed to be in shape, nor do they really desire to go through the hard work that makes them in shape. Every member of the church knows that they should be righteous, and I think they'll all say that they want to be righteous, but when it comes down to it not all actually have the desire to do righteous things, nor do they make the choices that would make them righteous and help them develop that desire. Alma 41 talks about that, I don't have an English Book of Mormon so I can't remember which verse, but it's a predominant theme in the Book of Mormon that we are rewarded according to our desires.

Our investigators are doing okay right now. Rachel and I fasted to help her quit smoking. She was expecting to be able to quit cold turkey, but I'm planning on maybe a week or so of reduction first. Brother Lo is also going on that goal. It's really cool to see him become happier just by attending church. Very visible. Our investigator Wong wasn't at church, and we don't know why yet. We challenged him to tell his wife that he's been meeting us and has a baptismal date, so maybe they had some argument about that. Pray for him. Our investigator Zero once again couldn't muster the will to get to church on Sunday, but he is slowly progressing. We met a new investigator named Ken. He's in his 60's. I thought he was just another drunk old man shouting at us but felt like stopping and talking to him for a while, and he's pretty great. He was really touched by us meeting with him, and extremely grateful for church. His only problem is that his understanding is very low and he doesn't really read. And he smokes. So much smoking.

Love you all! Except for Joseph! Just kidding! (Joseph wasn't awake when it was time to write and send John's email.)

"Subject, did not survive interrogation."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 19, 2015 - Feeling Satisfied After a Full Day's Work!

My dear family,

Today was our temple day, so my time is a bit short. This week has been pretty great, though I say that basically every week. That happens in my journal as well. Basically every day I write "today was a great day" or some joke about the same, so if I ever write "today was okay" it means it was an especially bad day. I tend to be happiest in the evening, and missionary work being what it is, it's very hard to not feel satisfied after a full day's work, even if it was miserable in the moment.

The work keeps rolling along in NTK. We taught a decent amount of lessons this week, and though our finding was not the most productive, we had a lot of chances to talk to some people who have potential. Being on a mission has given me a chance to learn how to talk to random people and to really appreciate the people around you. Especially in Hong Kong, it sometimes seems like there's just tons of faces around you, but when you start talking and listening to them, you see that they've all got lives of their own. Pretty amazing.

This week also had a lot of valuable spiritual learning. In preparation for our upcoming mission conference, we've been reading a talk by Elder Bednar about spiritual patterns and a talk given by President Hawks from when he was at BYU called "Looking towards the Mark". The Elder Bednar talk was really cool, and it confirmed a lot of the things that I think that I've learned on my mission about the importance of little habits and simple things. There are many simple habits that we may not see as being too important, or may not believe can actually help us, but that when consistently applied can wright (is that the present tense of wrought?) great changes and eventually qualify us for Eternal Life.

President Hawks' talk was, to me, even more impactful. In it he talks about the engineering principle of tolerance limits and the Takuchi Loss function, which I have no information about but seems to refer to the little errors that occur in mass production of products, and on the function of tolerance limits, which are basically the limits that can be accepted before a product is rejected. His main idea is that any company that focuses on the limits and not the mark, or the goal, the standard, will not be as effective as a company that strives to match the mark every time. And he talks about how any product that is not in line with the mark, even if it's within the limits, is in error and performs worse.

The application is to our lives, what sin or error we are willing to accept, and whether we are focusing on the limit, or the most wicked thing that we'll accept, or the mark, which obviously is the Savior and his example. I'll leave it to you guys to find the talk and read it, but it's really amazing. It has led me to think back on a lot of the things that I accepted before my mission because by the standards of the world or friends were acceptable, but that I may not have considered the Lord's view towards. Skyrim is a good example. It is a great game, but there are some parts that I wouldn't want to play in front of the prophet, or even Mom and Dad. If I know that those parts are not acceptable, why am I choosing to play it?

Pretty awesome talk, basically.


Our investigators are doing okay today. We had only 2 people at church. Most had a real reason for not coming, but I think that they all could have come if they had the desire. Rachel is doing well, but we found out she still has some word of wisdom problems, so we don't have a baptismal date for her yet. Brother Lo has a date and sort of a plan for quitting, which I hope to make a bit more firm this Wednesday. I think his real problem is just not really reading the scriptures, or at least not getting enough out of them. If you've got any ideas, I'm all eyes (because I can't hear you, so though my ears are fine it'd be useless.) Our investigator Frankie is similar, he's a cool guy but a bit lazy and he hasn't really started reading on his own. Our investigator Stephy has been reading, and should have a date this Wednesday, but sort of skipped church for some party, so, yeah. We had a cool miracle with some investigator who we couldn't schedule but then ran into on the street and taught the Plan of Salvation.

In our ward there's Sister Au, who basically supplies half of the students in our English class, and now has two friends investigating the church. We were teaching one of them and the other Elders the other, but it got too complicated so we turned ours over to them. Sister Lai just has amazing desire to share. It's not easy for her in Hong Kong but she's been really persistent. Almost every time we meet her there's something she's done to help do member missionary work.

In that vein, I honestly think that you know some things that you could do to do missionary work right now. Sister Lai, the Meissners, and all the best missionaries all have one thing in common, which is a desire to do missionary work and a willingness to put that desire above their fear or other desires. You've served a mission, so you know how to do missionary work if you really want to. I've always been inspired by how you described your mission. It was really one of the main reasons that I wanted to serve, because I had heard and could feel how much it meant to you. While you only get one chance to serve full time, you never have to be released and in fact can never be released as a witness of Christ, and I think that blessings are the same after your mission as they were on it.

I was reading in 3 Nephi 28 today, researching about desire (because I've been assigned a District training on how to give people desire, which as you can imagine is about the hardest topic for any missionary) and was impressed by how the 3 Nephites were blessed not because of their calling or their faith, but their desire to bring souls unto Christ. The Savior tells them that the blessing is that they shall become like unto him.

Sorry for the soap boxing, you know how it is on a mission, you tend to think that as far as the gospel goes no one whose not a missionary can understand what you do. Or at least prideful me thinks that.


I will probably just get the battery replaced, there are several watch repair places nearby. That sounds like an impressive lesson. I might try something like that. I've been thinking about how giving people the choice to learn something for themselves is a lot more effective than just telling them to learn.

The cold shower thing. Yes, it is not a requirement for being a good missionary. I don't really brag about it either, because the reason I do it is not just for discipline's sake but because it is sort of an arbitrary way for me to remember the Lord. I don't know why, but I think of it as a way to remember that I put my commitment to him about personal comfort. I got a bit sick this week so I didn't use purely cold water, but I kept it under lukewarm


The keyboard. Very strange and gross. You never think of it until you turn it upside down or pull the keys out. I think that still counts as tactics.


I got sick too, so we are together in suffering. The flu sometimes involves throwing up but often is just achiness, coughing, etc. You should see what it's like when you have literally no free time to rest. It's annoying.


That pool (Midvale Middle School Pool) is such a joke. I remember rival swim teams would refuse to swim in it. Oh well, keep it up.

Joseph, so sleep is more important than blood I guess.

Love you all, sorry I've got no time. Keep it up on the home front. The work is true, the gospel is real, and its blessing and promises are sure to those who wait and are valiant. Don't settle for good enough, remember our goal is to become like the Savior.

Elder Morrell

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 12, 2015 - Don't Just Read, Don't Just Study, But Search the Scriptures

I learned an important principle of obedience both from my own life on the mission and from President Hawks, which is that doing the right thing first is the key to obedience. If you put it off, it doesn't get done and then you don't fully obey. That is very true of P-Day, personal study, morning and evening schedule, and life. And in that spirit today I'm emailing you first and putting in the pictures first.
I mean, the name says it all, right?  Exclusive lactima ser topiony z oliwkami.  If you can figure out what language that is, I'll give you a sticker.  Illegible as it may be, this was my snack food for the week.  Very rarely do we find cheap chesse, even less with bits of olive studded in it.

This is the frozen food section in the supermarket.  You'll notice lots of dumplings and dim sum.  The dim sum is essentially what Elder Tse lives off of.

This is the soy sauce section.  I never really looked for Soy Sauce in the U.S., but I would guess it occupies about a 7th the space as the Chinese variety.

This is a random picture, and the bottom is a graph charting our progress on some numbers that President Hawks wants us to keep.  The shadow is a young man's arm and a camera.
This was a pretty good week.  We had some decent success, especially with two new investigators, Stephy and Frankie.  We found Frankie about 3 or 4 weeks ago but have only really started meeting last week, and Stephy was turned over from the sister missionaries in Kwai Fong.  She's also great, and she brought her little sister to church on Sunday. It's just tricky because whenever we meet we have to make sure there are members there and find a relatively public place, avoid all appearance of evil and all.  I don't know if Dad ever had to worry about that, I'm guessing you had it harder than us since you actually visited people's houses, where as we usually teach at the chapel.  Obviously Mom had it easy.

Our finding recently has been a little tough.  It's always harder in the winter.  Though it's much more comfortable than the summer, everyone is busier and people are afraid of the cold.  Finding is always an interesting thing because so often you have very little control over the situation.  Usually when you don't have success it's not necessarily because of what or how you're doing things, it's just that there's no one willing to stop long enough to say anything.  So in that sense finding becomes more of a test of faith, endurance, optimism, and your understanding of the way the gospel relates to the most common and fundamental parts of people's lives.  I'd love to force Joseph and David to practice street finding.

I've been having a great time in my personal study recently, trying to focus more and really learn new things, and I feel that I've already been richly rewarded.  In that regard, I am primarily motivated by Grandpa Carmack's example from his mission.  It's easy to see what his first months of study did for him and his life, and I want to be like that.  Obviously I encourage you guys to do that as well, don't just read, don't just study, but search the scriptures and the teachings of modern prophets.

Abby, (Abby sent John her email in color so John is reciprocating.)
I think that it's funny how taahn baahk, or seut jihk, or frank you are about how you and Becca both hate the story you are writing.  I had a lot of ideas for books but I never really did much for writing them.  I always got super bogged down in details and sentences that I felt like didn't flow well.  Obviously Joseph has a lot more experience than I do.  It sounds like you got everyone to start writing stories.

It's weird to imagine you in middle school already.  I remember when I was in the swimming unit I was already doing swim team at Hillcrest, so I just destroyed everyone else.  The teacher gave me a special work out.  That made me feel pretty good about myself. 

I've been pretty chilly recently.  The temperature isn't too low but it's so humid here that it very quickly gets cold, especially in the morning doing studies.  The cold showers obviously don't help.  I've thought a lot about the cold showers since I started doing them.  When I started it was mostly about self discipline and because I wanted to be faster in the morning, but it quickly became more of a sacrifice to God.  Often I would feel like it was too big a sacrifice, to never enjoy a warm shower again.  But somehow it's come to mean something to be, like a personal vow or something.  And I feel that, silly as it is, I've been blessed for it.

Make sure you are working out hard and eating healthy!  Being in shape is a very good feeling, and you will be able to do it if you put your priorities on it.

Okay, I admit, the picture that Mom sent shows that you have changed a bit.  But not as much as Joseph and David still basically looks the same but he and your voices are way lower now.  I feel you on the sleep thing.  The worst feeling for me is when I wake up at about 6:20 am.  I can sort of tell that it's late, but I'm not sure, and I can't get back to sleep until I check the time (that reminds me, the watch you guys sent is great but the battery doesn't seem to work.  Was it on when you sent it?) and then I realize that I only have 20 minutes till my alarm goes off.  Ugh.  I analyzed a bit ago about why I actually get up on time, because a lot of missionaries will be a little late.  I think that it's not just wanting to be obedient, because I wanted to get up earlier before my mission too but always failed.  I think that I've really been able to develop more control over myself and more perspective.  Anyway, you always get sick and I think that I specifically told you about a year ago to not get sick so much.  What does "one of my beehives" mean?

I just want to let you know that I have been drinking a lot of hot chocolate recently.  Because I'm cold, and because I'm sometimes too lazy to cook pancakes (though the syrup is amazing) and I just have hot chocolate and crackers.  I miss cereal.

I do recall that story.  I think the part that I liked the most was the idea of the space station being a front in the war.  It seemed so ridiculous but actually plausible.  And the bushmen.  And the bees.

Two notes on the Counter strike reference.  One, that's not new at all, I knew about that game 3 years ago.  Two, the most an FPS can ever have is tactics, unless each battle relates to some greater scheme or war.  Tactics in the positioning within a battle.  Strategy is the more overall scheme of the war.  Yes, RTS games should probably be called RTT games in most instances.

I feel to tell you that today a pork seller guy robbed me.  He usually likes me a ton because I always say hi to all the people who work in the market underneath us, and usually he gives me pork for ridiculously cheap, but today he gave me less than I asked for for the full price.  IT"S SO UNFAIR!!!

I too feel a bit sick today.  I worry it is because my sleep is interrupted by the multitudes of snorers around me.  I have lost one of my ear plugs, so my defenses are weakened.  Yes, it may seem useless and arbitrary, but think of the real purpose of school.  It is not to get into college, it is to prepare so that when one gets to college one's knowledge is sufficient to survive and eventually start actually doing stuff.  Some things are arbitrary, but I think that most have intrinsic value.  The Vietnam vet one, for example, in a couple years there won't be any living vets left and then you'll be happy for the chance to know it.  There's some guy behind arguing with a bunch of kids about being loud, and now he's using kung fu to threaten them, and now they're all kicked out of the library.  The devil is strong in this world.  You think I'm joking but seriously, that just happened.

I also enjoyed Elder's Quorum more, but to be fair Elder's quorum isn't based on age, but on priesthood.  There’s not a fixed age for the priesthood, after all.  Right now the policy of the church and God's direction is at least 18 years old, but people have been Elder's at much younger ages before.

Thanks for the letter on Monday as well.  That was a really interesting story that I've never heard before.  That'd take a lot of faith to do.  I think going on a mission was much easier for me and for Elders, because we don't have to wonder about whether or not we are supposed to go.  I just heard from President Hawks about the Lams as well.  I think that they're probably Chinese, because Lam is a very common name, but I don't know anything about them.  Honestly I'm a little sad because I'd like to have my exit interview with the mission president that was here for the majority of my mission, but I am happy to have a bit more time here.  You guys are all slothful.

Did you or your companions ever have to deal with being trunky, wanting to get home earlier?  I lean more towards the wanting to stay longer, but some of my companions have been a bit trunky.  Elder Tse doesn't always super enjoy missionary work but he's also not trunky at all.  He's a very interesting guy.  He's done basically every job that is legal and doesn't involve specialized training.  It reminds me that I don't have much working experience.  I'd like to do some work in some machine shops or stuff like that because I hope to be able to design and build things on my own.  My mission has given me a ton of experience with working with people, obviously.  I try not to think too much about that, though.  How's the remodel going?  Why do we need a second kitchen?

So, you haven't heard too much about Rachel because she's still a pretty new investigator.  We only met her about 5 weeks ago or so, but she's totally accepted what we've taught, she's read all the way to Mosiah 5 or 6 already, and she's been to church every week since meeting us.  She's a bit shy, but very humble and willing to learn.  She won't be baptized this next week because though we've taught everything, she needs a bit more time to think about her desire, maybe develop some more faith in herself first.  But probably soon.  Her only sticking point is that while she gave up tea, she doesn't like it.  But she's willing to sacrifice for it.

The investigator with the smoking problem we haven't met for a bit because he was busy last week.  It was interesting because when we talked on the phone it was clear that he hadn't been too happy and just didn't feel as good that week.  Then, he came to church again and felt better.  The influence of the spirit on him is very clear.  It'll probably be a bit for him to be baptized because he still hasn't quit smoking.  I've been doing a lot of personal study about how to make hard changes and repentance for things like this, where our own strength isn't enough.

Ben is still doing great.  He's just a solid kid.  We're really hoping to be able to visit his family, but for more than a month now we haven't been able to.  Oh well.

We have some other guy, named A Ho, who is about 60ish.  He's really willing to meet and read and pray, his main problem is that his relationship with his wife is poor and she doesn't like any churches very much, so he's nervous that she'll be opposed.

Ah, science fair.  Basically a chance for Dad to do some simple science experiments.  I have fond memories of science fair.  I recall some of mine were really not scientific at all, especially the wood burning one.  I've been thinking that I'll have to start getting active in some college science fairs to get some good graduate school options.  I think that the extra curriculars were my biggest weakness.

Love you all, family!

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 - Believing Before There is Proof

A very small orange and a normal sized orange.

A picture from the boat as we were riding to Sai Kung Island on Christmas Day

A mangrove forest on Sai Kung Island.

Tthe ghetto bow and arrow game.  I was the best at it

New Years was good, we had a BBQ at a member's house. Lots of seafood and Chinese stuff. Very good. When we got there two members were talking about relativity and Interstellar (yes, Joseph) and after about a minute or so I clued in and started understanding. They didn’t' think that I would, but I did. That made me happy. Also I learned the Chinese for special and general relativity which was one of the best gifts this holiday season.

Our investigators are doing well. We have been teaching two of Sister Lai's referrals who are really faithful. I think that they have a very good chance at getting baptized. We also had two new investigators at church, so things have been going pretty well. Brother Lo is still struggling to quit smoking, but I know that he'll get baptized. It just might take a while. Our other investigator Rachel is doing amazing, will probably be baptized on the 18th.

I had a really cool insight about Helaman 16. there are 3 types of people shown in this story. The ones who believed Samuel right off the bat, 1, the type who believed after the arrows couldn’t hit him, 2 and the type who refused to believe even after that 3. This story illustrates how miracles affect people. The 3rd group was actually harmed by the miracle, because they decided to rebel even with the great proof that they had been shown. Later, all the Nephites converted when the day and night and day were as one day, but some quickly fell away. I think that group 3 fell away quickly because of this experience in chapter 16 they chose to destroy their own faith. The second group is interesting. They were converted by it, in other word they repented because of the miracle and started to develop faith. But the first group actually benefitted from it. They had chosen to believe even before having it proved to them, so when the miracle came it did not damn them, it did not convert them, it strengthened them. Their faith was made firmer because they had chosen to believe when they didn’t' need to.


This morning we helped our ward correlator move back into his house. They've been renovating and finally finished. Their new house is pretty nice, and honestly very westerny, in the sense that the kitchen and bathroom are big. The reason we had to help them, is because Brother Yuen loves reading and knowing things, and owns literally 2000 something books. I will try to get the picture to you some time, but it took 7 of us a full 3 hours to move them from one house to the other. Madness and very tempting. He has books on literally every subject.

I think that I probably sound a lot more enthusiastic towards finding than I actually am. You probably know that it's easier to say that you always enjoy it than to do it. But I do feel that more and more I enjoy it. I have been trying to focus more on the people as we find, which can be hard sometimes. I think that the hardest thing is this. It's not hard for me to choose to go out finding, I've decided enough times on my mission to choose to go out finding and work hard that it's a habit now. But when you don't get a chance to really say anything for an hour or more, it becomes hard to remember or feel what will help people have interest and what will help them. But if you get someone who stops and talks, you quickly remember.


We just switched to 9 am church, and our schedule is now reversed, priesthood first. It was a bit light in numbers for priesthood, because no one is used to it. Doesn't really affect us at all, we get up at the same time every day anyway. I want to ask you and dad about what you learned about consecration on your missions, because I've been learning a lot about that recently.

The sisters in my group are almost done. There were no sisters in my MTC group at Provo, but some natives who went to the Philippines, and this is their last move. Is August 21st good for a return date?

I should mention that I ran into a friend of Grandpa Carmack who lives in our ward, Norris Cheung. He's super cool, somehow he remembered that John Carmack has grandchidren named Morrell. He was happy to the point of almost being emotional. I'm sure that Grandpa remembers him. He wants to invite us to dinner for New Years. Also, Grandpa's letter about Nephi was super cool. I want to read a lot more of the books he's written, because he writes quite well.


What do you mean, I don't give you anything to work on? What are my letters about? My life! What are your letters about? YOUR LIFE!

School can be hard and sometimes boring but I really think that the chance to work and learn is something that I enjoy a lot. Even in high school, when I might not have loved it, I still didn't mind going to school too much because I liked all my classes.


I'm really glad to hear that you read the 3 Nephi 1 thing. Thank you. Do you have any New Year's resolutions? If not I would encourage you to set an exercise goal. Ask Joseph what worked for him and do it. We are what we choose to be. I am writing to you and not the boys because I feel that usually when I've got no time I neglect you 2 girls more often.