Friday, March 27, 2015

March 26, 2015 - Lots of Cool Miracles

Well, usually you guys’ lives are pretty boring but this week really had something to talk about. Impressive. I don't know if I hope they're still there when I get back. (Joseph received a baby chick from the girl he asked to Prom and now we have 3 baby chicks!)

We really had an awesome week this week. Sorry, I once again forgot to say that in a bit we're heading to the temple. I can't send any pictures because we're in the Apple store, sorry,

So, some of the cool stuff. We've had a lot of new investigators recently. Our companionship had been struggling with finding people for a bit, but we set some really high goals during our planning on Thursday for this next week, and we were trying to think of how we could really achieve those goals, what we could do different. We decided to fast for this week, and we decided to tighten up our morning and evening schedule. It's really given me a testimony of the importance of strict discipline and obedience to doing missionary work. I always notice that the great missionaries in the Book of Mormon are described as "having the power of the word within them". I have prayed for that more than anything else these last months, and having an obedient and focused evening and morning are a huge part of that, fasting is also part of that. After that weekly planning we had a lot of cool miracles, finding people on the streets and really teaching good lessons. I've had a ton of cool experiences where we start by just talking and being friends with people and in the end really have great chances to teach them.

Right now in Hong Kong a strange and dark thing is happening. It is called the DSE. It is the university entrance test that all grade 6 (last year) high school students take. So everywhere on the street you see people running around with books, losing hair, crying, bleeding from their eyes, etc. Okay, it's not that bad but they all feel about as stressed as we did with AP and IB tests, so they don't have a lot of time to meet. But despite that Elder Black and I have taught several and scheduled for after the tests are done.

We've bumped into a lot of foreigners recently, like Vietnamese or Nepali. One especially cool experience was we had about 1 hour to find, and just as we were heading to our finding area I felt like going back and talking to some guy on the train station. Turns out he's Vietnamese, Catholic, really nice, and at the end of the lesson said that he felt it was God's will that we bump into him.

On the way to A Chung's lesson, we stopped a guy who looked about 14 but was actually about 22, who was interested in religion but hadn't heard about our church. He's really bright, and very well versed with other churches beliefs, but was really impressed by the idea of modern revelation, new scripture, etc. We almost didn't stop for him because we were in a rush, but in the end he went to church and will probably have a baptismal date by next week.

Basically that's the story of this week. I don't really know how to write it, but we had a ton of little miracles letting us meet new people. It's been a cool week.

Then yesterday we moved. We still are in the same area, but our apartment changed. We used to live in Hung Shui Kiu, which was pretty far away, but now we live in Tai Hing Gardens, which is a lot nicer and closer. The 2 catches are that there are 6 people; the Butterfly Elders, and the Tuen Mun Zone Leaders ( Elder Busby from my MTC group) which I don't mind, 6 people apartments have some good points. The other catch is that it is a new apartment so all 6 of us moved yesterday. It is ridiculously confused right now. But it's an adventure. Our toilet already clogged, and it turns out that the plunger is broken, and the nearby toilet didn't have any toilet paper, and the toilet overflowed after being used, but, you know, it is what it is.


Don't have your letter yet, but we're heading to Kowloon Tong in an hour, so we'll see. If I could chose I would extend another year.

Recently as we've been packing, I've been pretty merciless and thrown a ton of stuff away. I hope it doesn't bother you, but I threw away most of the contacts I had (because I've been told that the plastic actually starts to degrade if they're there too long, and I'm not using them for a while), most of my long sleeve white shirts, most of my old language books, etc. I still feel like I've got too much stuff. But it's hard to get rid of the rest of it. On my mission I've really come to love not having things. I feel before I was very sentimental, but not so any more. I've still got your letters, though.

It's weird to think that if I was a sister missionary I'd be done already. How did you feel by the end of your mission? It's been cold recently but we're getting ready for the summer to begin in earnest. Our study room has no AC, so I'm afraid.


I feel as though you've surpassed me in every way. I never went to prom, never remodeled my room, you probably lift more than I do, I have had not even one chicken thrust upon me, and I don't even know what Apotheosis means. Have you gone to the dance yet? I think if I go to dances back in Utah, I'll just break all the traditions and ask people to their face. Then they don't have time to think of excuses, they have to go.

I think Spartan is best. As I told Mom, I've just been throwing things away indiscriminately. Spartan's knew what was up. I like the idea of the mission prep class. Some advice that I would give you is this (and this is from someone apparently made zone leader, so listen)

1. Get a habit of regular scripture study, not just at night, but preferably in the morning, at least 15 minutes, and focus on Book of Mormon and PMG

2. Learn the order and content of PMG chapter 3, it will do wonders for you in the MTC and on your mission.

3. Ponder about the baptismal interview questions and commitments of each lesson, and figure out why and how people would answer them or keep them

4. Do your own missionary work, because you'll constantly be telling people to give you referrals, and it'll mean more if you've done it yourself


I'd love to see the slow-mo on that Nature kill. It'll really put to the test how much the girls love the cats if they have to pick the feathers of their beloved chicks out of the cat's bloody teeth.

A Chung: I mentioned him 2 weeks ago I think. We thought he had no interest, but it was just that he was busy and got sick. So we taught him again, the plan of salvation, and gave him a baptismal date for the 26th of April, which he can make but will be really close. We haven't been able to contact him for a while (again) but I think he just doesn't answer his phone much.

Kelvin: He is still working on quitting smoking. We had a good review lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation, and he brought his friend Kyle, who is also good. Kelvin's got a really great desire. I've seen him progress since I've been here, but his problem is still that he is not quite disciplined enough. He needs to really start reading, meet more often, and put some real effort into quitting smoking. But I feel his chance is good.

A SIng: He is the university guy I mentioned. He came to church for the first time and loved it. He totally understands the Restoration, and just needs a bit of time to read and pray. I feel really good about him.

We found a kid named Gordon on the street by sharing a story about Captain Moroni that was basically just super cool, and gave him interest to listen to the rest of the Restoration. Last night we were at a place called Saam Sing, buying food, and we talked to the people at the restaurant. They thought it was crazy that I could read, so we talked for a while, and I feel like we really gave them a good chance to start to get to know the church. Right after that we talked to some random guy working at a store who was really impressed by us being missionaries and starting giving us tons of stuff for free. Both he and the restaurant people gave us their info without us ever actually asking for it. It's just been really cool to be a missionary right now.

I gave a training in District meeting about how to teach for the baptismal interview questions and the commitments. You can look over chapter 3 in PMG if you want to see what I mean. I feel like a lot of people can know that the restoration is true a lot quicker than they usually do if they would just understand what they need to do and do it. If you have any insights on that I'd appreciate it.

We've got one investigator who speaks only Mandarin and English, is from Mainland, and has no concept of God at all. She's studying Linguistics, so she's smart, but just doesn't get the idea of Heavenly Father yet. I think things like that take experience more than information.

A relatively recent convert has some friends who we're teaching, and it's a very interesting teaching environment, very casual, because other friends tend to just walk over and join in our lessons randomly.


The chicks sound, uh, interesting. Did they have the names already? Why name the one Arizona? What do they do most of the time? And what do you plan on doing with them when they get big and smell bad? Actually, they probably don't smell great now. Very weird situation.

What's the weather like right now in Utah? You'd think that Hong Kong wouldn't have pets but everyone's got those little tiny puff ball dogs. You'd probably love it. Our whole apartment is about as big as what used to be the playroom in the basement. By the way, don't send me any photos, I want to see it with my own eyes first. The basement, that is.


We do the workout every other day. There are a few different ones, all of them don't require any equipment or anything. Yesterday, we did one that has a ton of single leg exercise, the first time we did it we literally couldn't walk at all the next day, but this time it's fine. So I agree with you. Endure and the pain goes away. The gospel is often like that, isn't it? You need to just go and do stuff now so that you won't hurt later.

Sabbath day has got tons of resources and scriptures to use. I love Isaiah 58, the last two verses. If you really understand what that's saying, the Sabbath can be a great blessing. I feel for people here it's a big test of faith. It's really hard to get work of in Hong Kong, so a lot of investigators have to change jobs, sacrifice money, face exhaustion, etc. But when they exercise their faith like that, they are blessed. Also, I always think it's interesting how many scriptures mention people keeping the Sabbath day. Look in the index for the Book of Mormon.


I agree that most of the names I sent weren't great, but Broken Glass is a cool name. Okay, what does tergiversates mean? I don't know, I admit it. Also, do you want me to buy one of the Chinese vest things for you or anyone? You guys realize that I answer all your questions but you guys never answer mine, right? So much for family being the most important thing.

I learned the Chinese word for Sputum. Thought you'd like to know. It is taahm. This last week I talked to a Muslim guy on the street, which was pretty cool.

I've literally asked you like 3 weeks in a row if you've 1. Gone to the temple 2. Where are you reading. Are you ashamed to answer me? Do you take my words to be hard? Can you feel to sing the song of redeeming love?

So that's my week! I'm sorry I’m not a talented writer for stuff like this, I feel like I'm always just spewing information at you guys. Oh well, at least I still write. The work is true, put your shoulder to the wheel.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 16, 2015 - Mong Kok and all the Tall Buildings

The tall building is well over 100 stories tall, taller than batman tower.  it costs $20 to get up to the observation deck, so maybe later.

The big arch is a residential place called, you guessed it, The Arch.

The place where we're standing is just labeled "public space".  It's gorgeous.

These picutres were made by panoramic mode with a tilted camera to get tops of the buildings, looks like something from Inception.

These are sheep that were in the mall.  Because it's the year of the sheep.

Hello glorious family! How are you doing? I literally ask that question at least 400 times a day. Usually the answer is "

Sometimes they say "mh dak haahn"

But sometimes they stop and we baptize them.

This week has been pretty good, but it doesn't really show in terms of numbers. Our street finding has been decent, and we've been able to teach a lesson each day at least, but we still don't have a lot of new investigators and honestly not a ton of people really progressing, or being taught for that matter. There are a few investigators who I mentioned last week, but most of them are busy, or uninterested, or both. It's a very frustrating feeling, because every week at planning we look at who we have, we look at what can get done, we set plans and goals, but by next week nothing's happened and we just say "well, let's keep last week’s plan and try again." So that's been a bit annoying.

But there have also been some really great things happening this week. There are, currently, 5 or 6 Recent Converts in our ward, a few of which are less active. Our new ward correlator is the most awesome ward correlator I've ever worked with, and he and the rest of the ward council are just determined to teach these people's ABL lessons and get them active. So we've been teaching a lot of ABL's with some really powerful ward members, and as a result there are now 4 or 5 people who, though not yet referred to us, have a lot of potential.

In addition, I had my first district meeting. I made everyone sing "Jesus, Lover of my Soul" which I've literally never heard before. Also I've forced Elder Black to sing # 96 in the Chinese hymn book (sorry, don't know the name, it's only two lines, one verse, and very strange) every night. Unrighteous dominion? Perhaps...

So I'm feeling excited for this next week of work. I'm really starting to wish I didn't have to go home.


As you are the designated trip reportess, I shall report my last P-Day's trip to you. After emails, we went down to Jordan, which is by Mong Kok (the busy place) and went to a crazy tall building. You can look it up, it's the tallest building in Hong Kong (no, Joseph, not the batman tower. That used to be the tallest). There's a giant mall there called Elements, and some crazy residential places in a circle around a super fancy "public space" I'll send some photos. Then we walked over to some store that sells the classic Chinese silk shirts. I have an important question to ask you and all the rest of the family; should I buy a cheap fake silk shirt for 150HKD on Lady Street, or a real, beautiful, double sided authentic Chinese silk shirt for 3000 HKD? These are my options. Also, you should know that they have some super cool ones for girls. Like really cool. If you want to look like Mulan, I can hook you up. Like I said, the fake ones are about 150, the real ones from 700-3000 HKD. Ask Rebecca, Mom, etc. Also, we went to some store with beautiful jade, metal, wood, and stone antiques, and they only cost 20,000 HKD. So if you or anyone wants them, I'll get it. I can probably bargain the price down too.

Have fun with the birthday sleep over!


What engine does Civ V use? I know it takes forever to load but I always figured that was just the size and graphics.

Also you never respond to any of my questions of real value, like where are you reading in the Book of Mormon, did you go to the temple, etc. So repent, lest I smite you by the rod of the shirkenslayer.

Everyone invisible: Broken Glass (because glass is transparent, and kills things)

Control Points: This one honestly I'd like some more detail, you could name it anything. Choke, chokepoint, Squeeze. Module. The Terrariam. Carnage Box.

Speed of Light=walking: Ripple Step. I'm not clear, do you mean that light moves slowly or people move quickly? Ripple Step'd work for the first. Echo step.


I got totally Zizzed the last two days.

SO, apparently there was some super strong Australian guy named Zizz who had some workout plans that don't require any equipment, and we've been doing them in our apartment. I literally could hardly walk on Sunday. We did tons of squats and burpies and high knees and divebombers and other oddly named but very painful work outs. So I will soon be huge. Maybe even as huge as Joseph. Though my hopes are not that high.

I think a short talk is better than a long talk in 9 times out of 10. It is so easy to bury the message that the spirit has given us with fluff that we sort of come up with on our own. I think that a lot of times when we do that it's really because 1) we're afraid to be too bold or too powerful in our message, or 2) we want people to think that we can speak well, we want to have a good sounding talk, so we make ourselves look impressive.

If you do want to speak longer, obviously the best way is to speak slower (which is in direct opposition to the style of debate). I also really think that taking the time to share and expound on stories or verses of scripture brings a power into gospel teaching that is irreplaceable. And I also think that in the end, all gospel teaching is designed to lead to action (because faith is a principle of action and of power, it does things, or helps us do things) so having an invitation, a question, or something like that can really improve your teaching. And giving a talk is teaching, really. What was the topic, by the way?


One of the work outs was called a V up which is like a sit up but with your legs moving up in a V as well, and the first time I tried I found my spine to be so bony that I was unable to do it until I removed my shoes and laid on them. So I feel you with the bruises.

What do you mean strip your room bare? On my mission I've come to really enjoy not having stuff. At the beginning of my mission I had tons of stuff on my desk, and now I have almost none. Having stuff that I don't need but can't throw away really stresses me out, so I throw away lots of useful things. Same questions apply to you as to David.


Sounds like you've been putting in a Herculean effort on the remodel. It will all be worth it (maybe?).

I read a bit of one of Stan's papers that he emailed to me. It was really interesting. I have learned a ton of things like that on my mission that really make it hard to understand how the Book of Mormon could not be true. But I think it's really interesting. Even when people have a knowledge like that they often still won't act in accordance with it. If they did, there'd be tons of converts every year. I've noticed that a intellectual knowledge that something is true rarely leads to action, while a spiritual knowledge (e.g testimony) can lead people to do remarkable and miraculous things, and sometimes lead other things to happen. Intellectual knowledge often softens people's hearts, but when it comes down to it only a testimony, an answer from God, can make people willing to go to church, be baptized, or even lay down their lives for a cause.

I don't miss the shopping in my old area, you know me. I love it out here in my new area. There are way more families and the scenery is amazing. The only downside is that we're far away from everything. But I don't mind too much.


I'm really starting to understand what you meant by feeling like time is going too fast. If I could extend 6 months at this point, it'd be a no brainer.

We have an investigator Kelvin who we talk a quit smoking plan to. The plan is pretty professional, seems like the sort of thing developed in the U.S. by a team of motivational speakers, psychiatrists, addiction counselors, and missionary's parents. My first time teaching it was to Kelvin, and I have to say it went pretty well. The plan is pretty good, it actually predicted and described most of his reactions, but the cool thing was that I'd been praying a ton for that lesson to go well, and I really felt like the Lord helped me a ton. I translated a motivational quit smoking plan thing into Chinese on the spot and mostly from memory.

Then he smoked that day, so that was annoying, but he came to Stake Conference this Sunday, and he's doing okay. The others, have not yet been seen by us. At Stake Conference the Temple President and his wife had awesome talks, and in the evening session on Saturday, President Hawks spoke, in Chinese, which was impressive. His Chinese is really not bad. Was President Klein German?

I really respect President Hawks more than I can express. He's an amazing man.

I feel like the longer I'm out the more I understand how you feel about stuff. The tall building I told Abby about was amazing, but honestly I'd rather live in the refugee shelter that we volunteer at on Wednesdays. The people there are so much nicer, and there's this huge empty bottomless hunger that you feel at those super rich places. The insatiable need for more, better, bigger, richer, prettier, more ridiculous. It's not what any of us need.

Love you all!

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015 - Hanging out with Apple from Bangladesh

So, this week was super fun, but I have a ridiculous story to tell before anything else.

It started on Friday. We were on the hing tit, which is the light rail system (like TRAX) that they have out here (and is super awesomely convenient, especially since we don't live in our area), and I started talking to some guy from Bangladesh. He is named Apple. He doesn't really speak much English, but he's super nice, and obviously I'm super nice, so we got along nicely, and since it turned out that he was going to the same place as we were, we talked for a while. He had to leave Bangladesh because of some political things, so he's lived in Hong Kong for many years. Randomly (really, randomly,) he said that he would feed us curry. So we exchanged numbers and scheduled for Saturday at 6 at the Jockey Club near our house in Hung Shui Kiu (if you want to understand how weird this story is, you'll need to look a map of Hong Kong, and remember that we live in HSK, and work in Tuen Moon). So on Saturday we met him there.

He was a bit late, arrived at about 6:20, then stood there smoking and looking at the horse races for a moment, then said "We go!" and got on the Hing tit. Somehow I had imagined that either he would bring the food or we would eat at a nearby restaurant, but no. We got on the train to Yuen Long. At this point I called the Zone leaders for permission, which they gave. On the train ride Elder Black was trying to talk to some guy, who went off about nuclear proliferation, which Elder Black did not understand and made me laugh.

We arrived in Yuen Long, which I've never been to before, with basically a stranger named Apple, and wandered around for a bit, before ending up in some ghetto apartment building whose second floor was not clearly commercial restaurant or residential. But there were lots of people from other countries there, who looked at us oddly. This is when I began to pretend to be very comfortable and amused to set Elder Black at ease while simultaneously thinking "Oh man, what have I done, this isn't even my second week as senior and I've brought us here". Apply bought us some super cool Napolese food and some dumplings, very tasty. I want to reemphasize, we can't really communicate very much. Yeah.

After that we left and wandered outside for a while, at least 30 minutes. We sat down and Apple smoked a bit, then he won $200 at a horse race, and we just kept following and smiling and fearing. At this point he asked "you busy?" "No, not really" "9 o'clock okay?" I'd been expecting like 6:45, so I said "uh, 8?" "okay!". We kept walking, smiling, and fearing.

Then we met up with Apple's friend, Current, (like the electrical unit) and his 5 year old daughter Olivia, also from somewhere else. They brought us to some building, where another guy (whose name I still don't know) was waiting. Current told Olivia to go with him, then Apple said "You go, go!" So we followed a random Indian guy into a random house with a 5 year old without the guy who brought us there in a random city I'd never been to. I think I did a good job keeping cool, even asked some names, chatted it up, but like the rest of them the guy didn't really speak English, and Olivia only speaks some weird pidgin English.

We arrive at the house, where we find 2 or three more guys cooking food, all from different places around India. They didn't seem too phased by our presence, which is baffling to me, but I suppose Apple warned them in advance. At this point it's already about 7:45, so I readjusted my goal for leaving to 8:15. Apple arrived later with Current, but before they got there we were just sitting on this sofa, which one of the guys says "you go in room, watch Indian Movie, Indian Music." My pulse doubled. I tried to explain that we didn't watch movies, but he thought I was asking if there were any English ones. So we sat down in a tiny room on a bed as Olivia starts watching some movies and the guy is setting something up. The movies were weird, and I don't think I could watch them even if I wasn't a missionary. So eventually we convinced the guy we had to go back to the main room sofa. Crisis averted.

This was the longest segment of the adventure, sittiing on the sofa while they made dinner. Some highlights. Olivia started watching Donald Duck movies, which added bizarre to baffling. She found them very amusing. I found, of all things, a Jehovah's Witness's pamphlet, which I compared with my pocket KJV bible that I always carry and found to be strange. Not sure how it got there. I kept trying to say that we would leave at 8:15, 8:30, 8:45 in turn, to which I would always get a positive response, but still no food. Our curfew if we have no lesson is 9:30, so I finally entrenched myself at 9:00 and prepared to die. Then the food finished!

It really was very good, shrimp and chicken curry, some cucumber salad, really nice rice. I was shoveling it in because we had to leave ASAP, when I looked to my left and realized that they were all eating with their hands. Then Apple told me that "spoons, not good. Taste not good. Hand, very good!". So I did. There's an idiom in Chinese, when in someone's hometown, eat the hometown congee. When in Rome, do as the Romans. So I shoveled curry into my mouth with my hands. It was good but there was a ton and they kept giving us more and more and it was spicy. Poor Elder Black almost died. 9:15 we left, made it home at 9:40, which was lamentable. Would I do it again? No. Am I glad I have the story? Yes.

Other than that we had a very good week. We volunteered at some place called Crossroads, which is a refugee center. We basically help with the maintenance, some Mongolian guy named Ooyoo told us to replace an air conditioning unit, and though I have no experience doing such I think we did a decent job. Lots of pidgin English this week.

We had a super cool lesson with a new investigator. We found him on Monday, and had a simple but spiritual lesson. He said his family had some arguing or unhappiness, so I shared Moroni 8:25-26 (I think) about baptism bringing the spirit and meekness. We met again on Wednesday, and he said that on Monday, his family felt a lot happier after the lesson. We taught the Restoration, really well I think, and in the end invited him to be baptized. I don't say this often, but the spirit really was strong there. Baptism always does that.

Church was okay, we had some recent converts get callings (as ward missionary, so that's cool) and I stayed at the church for literally 7 hours straight. PEC and correlation before, numbers after. Long time. All in all an awesome week.


We have the guy I just mentioned, A Chung, who didn't come to church but is scheduled for tomorrow and has been reading. There’s some investigator they've had a while named Kelvin who's quitting smoking. And another new guy, who was a former investigator then got turned over to us by the Butterfly Ward Elders, Justin, who's 14 and doing good, but also not at church. His lesson was really spiritual.

I guess it's interesting, because in terms of language and teaching, there's a lot I want to teach Elder Black, but I know that if I just throw it at him, it's not going to help him, it'll just annoy him. And there are, of course, many things that we don't agree on how to do, that I really think we should do a certain way for a real reason, but I don't want him to feel that I'm controlling him. I'm his second companion, I remember when Elder Tong came it was a bit rough at first. But we do get along well, and he's a super brave guy when it comes to talking to people.


Really, thanks for the college help. Elder Black is from Texas, same as our Zone leader Elder Loderup, but neither have a strong accent. We live with 2 other elders, and our apartment is really way bigger than the Kwun Tong one. But it's not nearly as clean...

Being District Leader is super fun. I often complain about how busy I am, but I love it. And I really love being in a position to help other areas and set plans to help us all improve. It's cool.

Could you send a new family picture? Mine's falling apart because I brag about you guys to EVERYONE!


I'll try to write you a letter, if I can stand it. If I don't die. You will be able to go to the temple with Rebecca soon! That'll be so cool. The temple is awesome because it just has a sort of feeling there of peace and happiness. Everyone is nice to each other there. It makes you slow down a bit and think. And when you leave you just want to help everyone around you, you don't want to do anything bad, you just want to go out and serve people. I love the temple. And the sound of people getting baptized is super relaxing. So go.

Mosiah 5: See if you can figure out which verse I'm referencing.


I just want you to know that I sacrificed the brothers in order to write to you. I think that's what I always do in Risk, turn you all against each other. By giving good advice. I read books a lot because I'm addicted, and once I start I can't stop. It's a curse, but at least it's good for car rides. What is a hip flexor? I'm guessing it's the muscle on the outside of your hip, pulls the leg outwards. Elder Black has a work out where we do tons of calisthenics, and it's exhausting.


I can plan out a Starcraft game from start to finish, and it's still a tactics based game. There is no unit creation in this game, there is no resource management, and the whole thing is contained into one round. I'll get back to you on the names of the games.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015 - Transferred to Castle Peak Bay

This is an amazing Garden in NTK area call Nan Lian garden, which is designed in the Tang Dynasty style art of landscaping, and is literally one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I've been in.  We went there my last P-Day.

Elder Black, my new companion.

A cool community garden under our house.
Hello, family, friends, devoted enemies, and all.

I am no longer in NTK! I really had been hoping to stay but instead was sent to literally the farthest away place in the mission, a new ward called Castle Peak Bay, Ching Saan Wan. The name is a bit unfortunate, because there is a famous (or should I say, infamous?) mental hospital called Ching Saan, Castle Peak. It is next to our area, but you have to be really careful emphasizing the bay part of the name, or you'll tell people that you serve the mental hospital. But it’s okay, because this area is amazing! The ward, when it split, basically stole all the awesome members, so the leadership here is really really good. And the area here is so beautiful. I don't know if it's just that I've become accustomed to the dull drab of Kwun Tong, but every time I look out a window I have to stop and tell everyone, woh, jan haih hou leng wo! My new companion Elder Black is probably getting sick of hearing that.

More on Elder Black, he is a relatively new missionary of 6 months, he is incredibly positive and humble, and though his Chinese is not amazing and his teaching skills still need polishing, I am often impressed by how positive he is. There are a lot of families here in our area (the whole feel is much more relaxed, comfortable, and wholesome) and it takes some courage to try to stop a whole family, never mind share the gospel with them, but Elder Black takes it all in stride.

As you may have guessed, I am his senior companion, which has been slightly weird but super fun. I feel a lot of hope right now for getting both of us teaching really powerfully, and I feel that now I can really put those desires into action. I am not the best missionary, nor am I the most diligent, but I would say that my tolerance for laziness, inefficiency, or disobedience is very low. So it is fun to be senior and sort of enforce that. Not that I'm totally controlling everything...

Beyond being senior, I am also now District Leader over one of the largest districts in our mission, 10 people (though 2 are the Zone Leaders, so that's a bit different). That has actually been super stressful but very fun. I had to schedule 4 people to do numbers on Sunday as well as a baptismal interview (who passed!), and our church here starts at 1:30, and we had Ward Council before church, so I literally did not have any time scheduled for meals the whole day. Luckily it was Fast Sunday, and my companion made me some dinner that I ate during numbers. While you were all eating ham and au gratin potatoes, I was eating rice with a ramen pack mixed in, hot dogs, and a cold can of Chickapees. I tell no lie.

So it's been cool! And even cooler was that Elder Ballard came and visited Hong Kong, and we had 2 chances to hear him speak, once to us as missionaries, once in an all member meeting. It was amazing. He actually sort of censured our mission for being a bit too shy and not powerful enough teachers, and gave a ton of amazing instruction. His member meeting was also amazing, he basically taught PMG lesson one and two in the most natural way I've seen it done. It's cool, because it’s almost like there are 2 Elder Ballards. There is the 86 year old man who's nice and funny and likes cracking jokes at people but may get a bit confused at times, and then there's the Apostle, the power of the Holy Ghost, and the prophetic mantle shining through him giving us the Lord's message. I can sincerely testify, I know that that man is an Apostle of the Lord.


I have two questions about your future. 1) When are you going to run for president? 2) If dance is a minor, what are you considering for a major? I know you love reading and writing and speaking, so you could do something related to literature or debate or politics (nudge nudge wink wink) or English. Lots of options for one who gets straight A's. I'm still not used to you having Trimesters.

Have you had any chance to go to the temple recently? I know that you had a super good goal a couple months ago, just not sure if you kept it up. I mean, if you want to find a pretty lady for me you need the promptings of the spirit, and reading, prayer, church, temple, and being righteous are how you get them. Hey, you can almost start taking Abby with you! That'd be super cool.

I've been reading the Book of Mormon over again recently, I'm now in Mosiah, but I just read about Jacob. In chapter 7 he confronts an Anti-Christ, and basically destroys him with a) the scriptures b) personal testimony and c) the power of God. I think that it was a good reminder for me that we can't wait till then to get those things, you need to prepare.


Thanks for the housing arrangements. I may be used to living on my own but I'm also used to having you here to deal with all my financial and legal needs. I'll have to hire a personal secretary to replace you when I grow up. But they won't make lunch for me or send me loving packages...

So as I said I moved. Here's a funny thing that you can tell Eva. In our apartment is Elder Black and Elder White, and they are both named 白長老. She'll get it.

I will try to get President Hawks on it today. Sorry I don't have any pictures, I forgot my camera cord back home. If I have time I'll try to send some. Love you, and thank you for your amazing example to me!


As I said my food for the past couple days has not been impressive. I have been eating a lot of butter cookies because that's what we have at our apartment. I also had some ramen, which I haven't had in months, because it's the only thing here. Our ward gives us TONS of food but none of it is very healthy. We ate some weird orange peal stuff a bit ago, fermented with salt. It's nasty. Have you ever eaten Chick Peas? They taste good if you're starving and doing numbers.


To be totally frank, in the individual battles, Moroni was using strategy. Coordinating multiple units around to fight guys is the perfect example of tactics. Moroni building cities on the borders or pushing the Lamanites out of the Nephite lands and stopping them from getting cut off is strategy, while concealing his men in a valley and cutting off the Lamanite spies is tactics. And to say that fatigue comes into play and makes it strategy is to imply that soccer or football are strategy games. Frozen Synapse is the perfect example of complete tactics. As is chess.

Sounds like your creativity is still going strong. I'd really love for you to develop some sort of Rome Total War game based on the Book of Mormon. I think we all know that that would be the best game ever. Where are you reading in the Book of Mormon recently? Also, I've been studying the lessons really in depth out of Preach My Gospel right now. Have you ever read that? If not I'd recommend reading chapter 3 and 4. They are super cool. Honestly, every chapter in there is good.


The lap of luxury. He sits at the computer clicking buttons, and thousands of dollars roll towards him. He is the demon Nauda from the Bartimaeous books.

I think based off our combined college test credit we'll both be halfway through sophomore year by the time we start. What I said to Rebecca and David applies to you as well.


Your prediction that I'll become District Leader finally came true. I really have been super busy with stuff, but it's really fun. My first District Meeting isn't until next week, but I'm planning on making everyone sing super obscure songs. Unrighteous Dominion!

When I left NTK, Rachel was basically ready to get baptized, (March 8th), We had the 2 older guys Ken and Mr. Chau who really love church and English class, we finally found Brother Lo again. He's had some trials in his family recently but there’s still hope. The 14 year old and her older sister were doing okay, just trying to get them to read, and it's really hard to meet the younger sister because you definitely have to have a fellowshipper there.

In this new ward they just had 2 baptisms, Nicole and A Yung, both of whom are doing pretty well (though I've noticed they all really really really like the former missionary here...), and that's about it. It seems every area I go to has no active investigators when I get there. There are a couple people who are probably good but haven't been to church or in contact since New Year’s, so we'll see. In the meantime, it's been a while since I had some long finding, I'm excited.

I hope we get a chance to go to the cabin together when I get back. I've been praying for your work, I'm sure it'll work out just how the Lord wants it to. I had a chance to share in testimony meeting about my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the story of the king in Alma 22, which is probably my favorite scripture, especially v.15. As I mentioned, I've been really studying what it is the lessons are trying to teach people, and I think that Ammon and Aaron's investigators are great examples of people who learned what they had to, which was that God was real, they could pray with faith, and that God would have mercy on us through Christ. That's what I've been trying to teach people recently.

Yesterday some new investigator named Fong Fong stood us up. The funny thing is that the slang for to stand someone up or not show up is fong fei gei, release airplane. So, Fong Fong Fong ngoh deih Fei Gei. It's funny, I promise.

Love you all, literally, all 6 of you. Seriously, I don't hate even one of you. No, not even Joseph.