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!

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