Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015 - It's Going Strong Over Here!

This is the Light Rail station in Town Center. 

My favorite canned meat (not too many contestants there).

The entrance to our building.

Once again, I do emails 1 hour early and nothing in my inbox...

So this week had some pretty cool experiences. Our investigator A Sing was not ready to be baptized this week, which was also a bit discouraging. We had a pretty massive 2 hour lesson with him on Wednesday (combination of him liking to discuss things and me being super nervous for it and preparing too much.) He really hasn't been developing the habits and spiritual patterns that he needs to have a more firm testimony, and he wasn't willing to fast with us yet, because he's still more worried about how his family will feel about stuff more that how God will. But it was inspiring to see how the ward came to support him. There were perhaps 10 ward members who fasted with us for him. This ward is really great. I feel that he's still got good potential, but he just really needs to actually get consistent and humble about reading and praying. His biggest obstacle is trying to figure out how to tell if an answer is really from God or not, and I think that there's no way to teach that without really helping him get that answer first.

And we've had great success teaching the Chi family, who are relatively new. You recall the guy I mentioned last week who showed up at church and asked when he could be baptized. Well, we were able to teach them 3 times this week, which has been really fun and also a great chance to see the spirit working with people. Mr. Chi has no background, and though his understanding of things is still hard sometimes, he has grown so much in terms of testimony it really is astonishing. Like, the first time we met him he didn't understand that God was a real being, he really thought that it was just some sort of internal motivation (not an uncommon belief here). Then he went to mainland for 2 and a half weeks and somehow by the time he got back, through his own diligence in reading and praying, he totally believed in the existence of God. Now he's just got this amazing desire to learn. And his wife is doing great too. We visited Sunday morning and at first, they weren't planning on coming to Church. Then his daughter almost threw a fit because she loves church, and then a member helped get them all there. Amazing family.

I see your email has arrived, I will answer it now. It's going strong over here. Keep up the work back home.

莫金壽謙 長老 (that second and third character should be connected closer together but the computer can't tell when I write it...)

Dang, this was a heavy email. (Editor note: David crashed our kid car in a church parking lot a week ago. John makes several references to that event.)


I can see you being a crazy orchestra conductor some day. You'd get upset at everyone being too mechanical and yell "All right, if you’re going to play like that, everyone close your eyes!" And then you'd tell them to "Bend!"

You'd love the family that we're teaching. The daughter is 7 and had just woken up on Sunday when we visited them. Then when we started talking about church, she randomly disappeared, then came back in a princess costume and demanded to go to church.


Here and I thought we had 'the connection' because we're both blond and both like reading. And now it's just this "Sorry, you've been gone too long, my love for you expired. It got all stale, and there wasn't enough room in the pantry with all this new classmate love I have to fit in there, so I threw it out. Hope you don't mind." Yeah, that doesn't hurt.


Oh David david david. At least no one was hurt. I'm sure everyone's told you already, but you know that if someone had been there they might have seriously been injured. But that's what mortal life is about. The important thing is that now that you've proved definitively that it's a bad idea, don't do it again. At least you weren't underage driving the same time (hint hint Dad). What weapons did you have for the invisible game?

Keep up hope, and do good works continually.


I feel that I can really sympathize. On my mission I've worked pretty hard on getting good habits and use of time in the evening and morning, because we only have that little time to do whatever we want. Now a days if I have to do numbers late or if we are teaching a lesson and get back late, and don't get my evening schedule done well, it's frustrating. There is a big power that comes from disciplined living; I think you've figured that out a lot faster than I did.

I remember going to the chess tournaments and feeling like the whole world was a big chess board, and needing like a day to get out of it. I recall physics being similar, but even more exalted. I guess missions are even more so.


I suppose me missing the Regents Scholarship deadline was good practice for this.

I feel that I learned something about parenting this week. An RC called us randomly and talked about how her 8 year old son had lied about something and had a big problem come out of it, and how she really worried because he was very consistently dishonest. We talked for a while, and as I shared a couple gospel principles that I felt might help her, I sort of had a parenthood epiphany, which was about how to be a real successful parent you have to put yourself aside in a big way. You have to lay aside feelings of selfishness and justification, and be willing to totally forgive. It was a very strong impression because this lady was really struggling with that. I think it's cool because it sounds like that's exactly what you did this week. Thanks for being such a great mom to me. I love you!


I had some dream last night that I ran across a street and got ticketed by an officer, then somehow drove across a street right after and got arrested, and I was super upset at what it would do to my mission. Coincidence? Probably.

Our other investigators are pretty busy and we haven't been able to teach them for a while. I feel that I am not the best at keeping track of and maintaining so many people, like I should call or schedule more consistently. But it's a learning process, I suppose. I had two times on Saturday where we were walking and I had a small feeling to go somewhere or talk to someone and we found some really golden people. Pretty cool.

Anyway, love you all! I'll try to send some photos.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 - "So, baptism, do you guys set up the date or do I need to set it up?"

Durian Fruit

To avoid injury, please beware of durian spikes.

Caste Peak 青山

And this counts as a sparsely populated area.

This picture is from the other side, which I think is a lot cooler looking, not as many people.

Why pagoda? Because CHINA!

How are yall doing? Oh, wait, you all already answered. Awkward...

Well, we had a cool week, though I literally feel like I say the same thing about every week. Each week I write my report to President Hawks and the first things that come to mind are "this week was pretty tough, wait, be more grateful, this week was amazing, wait, I said that last week, uh..."

We did have some challenges this week, mainly in terms of not being able to meet some investigators and few people at church, but other than that it was awesome. We did exchanges as a zone, and I was with Elder Loderup, who's the zone leader senior companion, and finishes in about 9 days. So I'm his last exchange. He's an awesome guy, really funny but has a really intense and inspiring attitude towards missionary work. He's also a good example of good vs. bad trunkiness. He makes jokes all the time about how he'll be gone soon, but in his actual work there is no sign at all. He is still looking for ways to improve his teaching and unity, still looking for how to be more effective, even though he knows he'll be done in a week. That's what everyone should be at the end of their mission. Right now my response to people saying I don't have long left is just to deny and tell them I still have a couple years.

We taught a lesson to our investigator Kelvin. We haven't seen him for a bit, and in the last couple weeks, he hasn't really come to church, or read scriptures, or prayed. As a result his testimony has atrophied (see, I can still use big words) and now he doesn't know if God is real, spouted some anti, feels like science doesn't give evidence of God, etc. I asked him if he's really searched for a testimony and he said he had, online. So basically we had a 40 minute smack down lesson. It was sort of cool, actually. I answered his concerns for a bit, but when I realized that he was asking the same questions I'd just answered and wasn't really listening, I just told him that to his face and said he needed to get his own answers through consistent spiritual patterns of reading and praying. Boom.

Our investigator A Sing still might be baptized on the 26th or 25th, and he will if I or my faith has anything to say about it. We're going to teach him about fasting this Wednesday and all fast together for him to gain a testimony. If he does. we will then teach all the rest of the lessons in 2 days, interview him and baptize him on his date. It's going to happen.

On Sunday we were expecting to have no one there, which is relaxing in a way but disappointing, then Mr. Chi 池兄弟 showed up from his work thing in Mainland and came to church with his two children. Our sacrament meeting was loud, but in a happy way. Then at the end of Elder's Quorum, they were talking about the signup sheet for cleaning the chapel, and they said he didn't need to because he wasn't a member yet, and he leaned over and asked me, "So, baptism, do you guys set up the date or do I need to set it up?"

I was a little happy.

So we showed him the baptismal interview questions and explained about exactly what he'd need to do to get baptized (explaining, by the way, almost all the commandments in about 5 minutes) to which he had no concern besides smoking and drinking. He has only been to church twice, has only started reading Book of Mormon a little bit a go, didn't know how to pray until 2 weeks ago, and really has only met with Elder Black and me 2 times, but he believes that it's true, and he's willing to be baptized on the 30th of May. And we're going to teach his wife on Tuesday.

I know that the reason he knows is because the Spirit of the Lord will tell every humble, willing heart that this work is true, that God is real and is our Father, and that the Gospel will heal us. I know that this is true.


That was basically it for investigators; we haven't really been able to meet with too many others so far. We got a turnover from the Zone leaders named John who wants remission of sins but doesn't really believe in God... So that's an interesting concern. We taught a really nice lady from Mainland about the Restoration, and it seemed confusing but clicked for her at the same time. Unfortunately we need to turn her over to the Hung Shui Kiu Elders.

Some member donated a huge 50 inch TV to the mission, so on Saturday on exchanges Elder Loderup and I stood outside blasting Mormon Messages at people and handing out flyers. It's a pretty cool set up, massive flat screen on 4 wheels, built in USB reader.

I feel on my mission I've developed a hatred for having items, so I throw a ton of stuff away. I love having empty desks at the end of the day.

I remember that ride. I think the difference in weight gave me the advantage on the uphill and you the advantage on the downhill.

One thing I did this week was that I noticed that I really did feel nervous about finishing. If I finished today, I wouldn't be happy. I remember our mission president once said when he finished he was sad but felt like he was ready to go home. So I wrote up a list of 10 points that I want to work on so that by the beginning of May I'll be working in a way and at a level that I'll feel peace about finishing my mission. It's been really good so far.


I hope you see the hand you've played in taking the YW from 2 to 10. It sounds like you've really magnified your calling and the Lord's done some really cool things through you. We're visiting a member who lives in a place called V City on next Monday, you can look it up, but it's pretty tall, and expensive. Our stake presidency has a guy who lives in a pretty average/poorer area, but who has an amazingly renovated house. It's weird here in Hong Kong. Our apartment is probably the nicest I've been in overall, big kitchen.

I'll only be in the guest room for about 6 days, so it could be the bare floor for all I care.

Our ward is starting to practice for a Mother's Day music thing. I'm planning on just calling, not doing Skype. What do you think?


I just noticed that today you guys all emailed in order. Don't judge Mr. Anderson too harshly. I remember you said that his son died unexpectedly a while ago. He may be in more pain for that then seems apparent. If you get a chance, tell him I say hi, and that I wish I'd paid more attention to Chinese History. Ha ha.

5 miles is a long way to run. I feel I could do distance really well, I just don't know about the speed. In the morning when we run, the last part is a hill, and I call it the Hill of Dreams and sprint up. My companion doesn't like it.

If you think the Khan Academy thing will work, I would like that, but I'm still a bit nervous. Elder Loderup mentioned something called Auditing a class, where you just sit in and watch but don't have to get a grade. I've been considering doing that for Calc 1 to make sure that I don't ruin my university grade out of pride and hastiness, but still considering.


I would say that if you have a long object and there are chicks nearby they truly are in danger, not just of accidental pole axing, but of real malicious destruction. I'll have you know I've been sleeping diagonal for quite a while now. Just ask Frau Adams about the skit we did my Junior Year in German. It was amazing. And the movie. I bet she showed it as an example. I am so creepy in that movie.

I could respond to the comment about Sister Uchtdorf and spirituality, but I won't deign to. If you want to know, look up something Elder Bednar said about Spiritual Patterns. And Repent.


Don't do cheerleading! That'd make me so sad to come home and have a cheerleader for a sister! I could never go to another sports game without thinking of the blemish in our family. Oh, the shame. The deep,dark shame. This is what happens when people are blessed with dancing skills for too long; they wax strong in iniquity and become cheerleaders. With an iPhone. Please read Helaman 12. Promptly.


Since you are the reporter of family trips, I will report to you my P-Day exploits. We hiked Caste Peak 青山 which was the first real hike I've done on my mission. It was short but steep, really fun. At the top we could see our whole district's area. The weather was a bit hazy, but it was still good. I love hiking. Up at the top there were these weird caveman style dumbbells basically made of leftover construction material, concrete and rebar. Joseph would love it. The next day we were wiped out. It was rough. But so much fun.

You should tell David to take the pants, pee all over them, and put them on her door with a sign that says "oops, I did too!"

Or maybe do it with water or apple juice.

(Explanation needed! David was asked to a school dance with a pair of pants and a poster that said, “I’d p
ea my pants if you went to Spring Fling with me!” Then she spilled a package of frozen peas all over the pants.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 - General Conference Weekend! (in Hong Kong)

Though your email has not yet arrived, I will show mercy on you, because of the many multitudes of my tender mercies, shedding themselves abroad upon my family.

General Conference Weekend! My concerns about General Conference are total opposites from what they were before my mission. Before my mission, I felt they were too long. Now my biggest concern is that I have not prepared myself enough or am not paying enough attention and might not be getting everything that I need to from them, hence I desire them to be longer. Now that I mention it, that attitude is an almost perfect reflection of my view towards my mission... I used to think it was long, and now I just wish I had more time to perfect it.

I felt a little disappointed, because we didn't have too many investigators there, but it really was a great conference, and I feel that I had some very specific answers. The most consistent and most needed answer was the very thoroughly voiced truth that sometimes it just takes patience and faith and persistence to see improvement. And I loved President Monson's talk in Priesthood Session. Though I'd heard those stories before, something this time made me realize the truth that though we may not have seen or know how to do a particular priesthood responsibility, if we've been consistently doing our best in our callings, we are prepared.

I can add my testimony to the many already born that these men and women are called of God and their message is true. Quick question, what advice do you guys have on applying conference effectively?

This week our investigators are doing okay, the only main problem being that they are not at church. A SIng is still doing great, and we taught him a short sweet lesson after conference. He only has 2 concerns: gaining a testimony before his impending baptismal date, and having enough time to teach all the lessons before said date. A Chung, who I feared was lost for a time, resurfaced without mention of why he had disappeared for 1 week, and we taught him on Thursday. Then we were again unable to contact him till now. ?

Kelvin is not doing great; he seems to be losing his desire to meet with us. Pray for him.

Last of all we had some really cool finding experiences this week. We found a cool guy from Nepal named Rabiphagami, who didn't speak English really well, but was really cool, and is very worried about how to help his son who spends too much time playing computer games. We were able to teach him and his wife again, and should be turning them over to the International Elders soon. We also taught an older guy named Paul. He is technically Catholic, but not very religious. He was willing to talk to us, but was sort of playing the sarcastic, cynical, jaded old man type, but as we talked about God and about whether or not He loves us, he broke into tears because he really feels that his life has some serious trials and he feels afraid and guilty. It was a very sweet experience, and afterwards he kept saying (albeit in a slightly cynical old man way) that he believes that we were sent from God. I know that the people around us, no matter how uninterested or hardened they may seem, need the gospel. In General Conference we heard a lot about healing and families that these people need. I pray that we'll all be ready to reach out when God requires us to.

Elder Morrell


So, I'm about to go hike a mountain called 青山, which literally means bright green mountain( as if every mountain in Hong Kong wasn't bright green..) I feel like I used to like lounging a lot more but now I don't like wasting time. That was the worst part of General Conference is that there were some hours in between sessions that we had nothing to do. On the other hand, I've come to enjoy car rides because I never have time to sit and not do stuff. I've been trying to start my Chinese read through of the Book of Mormon, which is going to be tough. Right now I'm in 1 Nephi 15.


Why on earth would you need a smart phone? I hated getting my phone, and I didn't have to spend nearly as much time with it as you probably will. While I admit there are a lot of useful things that phones can do (finding places, calculating, checking the safety of things, communication,) as a missionary the Phone is always my enemy. He sits there looking so sleek and cool and whispers, 'Don't talk to those two handsome men, look, Jenny just posted a new post, and Rachel texted a new text, and you're about to break 30,000,000 points on Candy Crush, you don't have time for the gospel." And thus he whispereth in their ears until he grasps them with his chains and leads them carefully down to hell.

Okay, you probably won't be led down to hell, but just promise you'll spend at least some time looking up scriptures,, etc and don't play candy crush ever.


That's so sad that your ears got pierced. It's a dangerous world out there. Hardly a women alive can survive without her ears being viciously pierced. Well, don't worry, it'll all be better in the end, and I'm sure in the resurrection your ears will be healed.

Just joking. Although I do still wonder why people do that voluntarily. It seems like the sort of thing done to slaves in the Old Testament or by Cannibalistic native tribes to their prisoners. Thank you for the itinerary. It is always appreciated. You should go to the Temple. I loved President Monson's talk about it.

Thanks Dad and Mom. Sorry, I'm almost out of time. I do want to ask why on earth you let one daughter's ears be mutilated and afflicted another with an iPhone in a single week. Seems pretty heartless.


Could you send me info on the following classes:

ARTHC 201 world civ to 1500 and HIST 201 world civ to 1500 have what difference?

ENGL 201 masterpieces of world lit

IP and T Hist of learn in art tech sci

PHIL 210 science and civ

Tech 201 hist creativity and innov.

Ihum 240 itro hum. asia

arthc 203 survey of oriental art/archetecture

va stu 101 intor art drawing non major senior capstone?

va 114 drawing

va 115 2d design

Would those last two be too intensive for a non art major?

Also, my biggest concern is that the Calculus class will be tough because I will have forgotten all, and may not be able to catch back up in time. I'm willing to try it if Dad thinks it's possible, but if we do it that way (this may sound fanatical) I'd like Dad and Joseph to come up with a sort of review course for the material covered in Calc 1 so that I can spend like 2 hours a day in my one in between week catching up/reacquainting myself. I don't remember exactly what's in the calc 1 curriculum, so I’d be relying on you, but after all you have patriarchal and matriarchal authority to receive revelation for me, so I'm not too concerned.

Really love you all! Even Joseph, who I assume is sleeping.

April 6, 2015 - I testify as a representative of Christ that He lives, and because He lives we all can.

Hello Happy Family!

So we had some cool stuff this week. We got a lot of chances to teach some of our investigators. You wouldn't guess it, but there is a super long Easter break in Hong Kong. All the students are out of school for like 2 weeks, and lots of businesses are closed as well. As I have mentioned before, there are a lot more Christians in Hong Kong than you'd expect, (though most would probably fail the Alma 5 test, they're just Christian-high-school-converts) and there have been some significant Easter activities, but I suspect the real reason for the break is that this year Easter lines up with Ching Ming Jit, which is where people go and jai jou, or baai saan.

Which means they worship their ancestors. Hong Kong is not the most devout place in regards to the tradition ancestor worship, especially with the younger generation, but on holidays like this they still get the old ancestral blood pumping and head for the "high places". Old Testament reference there...

The end result is that people are pretty available to meet with us. We met with A Sing twice and A Chung twice. And we had a cool newish investigator named A Fung who we taught a really powerful lessons about Plan of Salvation to. It was awesome. You know that feeling where you really feel how the atonement is the center of everything, and you can articulate it clearly, and they feel it too, and everything clicks? Oh right, that's just us missionaries...

So that was our week. Pretty cool stuff.


I like that advice. I guess it's always tricky because I'm not perfect either, but I've really been thinking about that sort of teaching by example, and I actually had remembered that story. I know for myself that when people tell me what I'm doing wrong bluntly, it's often hard to accept and change, having it shown or initiated by me makes it a lot easier to take.

As I mentioned our investigators are doing pretty well. A Sing has been to church 3 times in a row (which is a pretty big thing in Hong Kong) and he reads Book or Mormon really fast. He's already in 2 Nephi. His only obstacle is 1) I think that he doesn't read every day, he just reads really fast every now and then and 2) He hasn't gotten or at least hasn't recognized a testimony yet. That's always a tough step because we can't do it for him. Elder Bednar has a lot of trainings about making people agents and not objects, so in pursuit of that we gave him an invitation to read a list of scriptures we compiled from the Book of Mormon that talk about receiving testimony or revelation. I'm impressed that the first 1/4 of the book of Mormon has a ton of stuff on that. Definitely no accident.

A Chung has been doing well, but he fonged us on Saturday and we haven't got in contact with him since. We had to drop his baptismal date because he hasn't been to church yet and it's too close. So pray for him.

A Fung is a cool guy who loves English and German (of all things) and has a mangled hand from an industrial accident that means that he doesn't have to work for the rest of his life. He's started reading and was really impressed by Nephi in I Nephi 4.

Kelvin is not doing great. He's been too busy to meet for a bit, and on the phone it seems like he's sort of discouraged/ fed up with stuff. So we need to teach a super powerful lesson this Wednesday.

Our other investigators are in Mainland right now.

We had some guy at our English class named John who played Guitar and spoke pretty good English, so he taught part of it, played a song called The Wrangle Mountain Song. Do you know it? It's stuck in my head.


I am super looking forward to General Conference. It is probably the happiest time for missionaries. I always used to have to fight being sleepy before, but now it's just 10 hours of paradise. We've got several investigators who I’m hoping will really be able to obtain testimonies from it, one of whom is an awesome lady named Yaliwe.

We met Yaliwe 2 or 3 weeks ago. She's from Zambia, and speaks pretty good English. We just exchanged numbers in a park, and I almost forgot about her, then going through potential sheets I saw her name and called, scheduled for Sunday, and she is awesome. She is Evangelical, but really understood what we taught, and even noted down the scriptures so she could review them later. She'll be coming to the Saturday Afternoon session.

One weakness I feel that we have as a companionship that I'm hoping to improve through study is teaching too long. I don't know if the language has anything to do with it, but I feel like we teach too long most of the time, and it takes away from really powerful lessons. Still loving life!


Your class may not be impressed, but at least now you know the stuff about Lenin. That's how I felt about a lot of stuff that I learned, it might not be useful for school but it's useful because it is real, and I know it. Like the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich book. Every time people talk about Nazi's I can pone them because I've read that book. It's awesome.

This Sunday, because of numbers and a late lesson, I had no dinner time at all, (after fasting,) and ended up having a piece of bread and some frosted flakes during numbers to break my fast. I don't recommend it. I woke up this morning weak and feeble, a feeling I'm sure that you find foreign.

I like the idea of the advanced body weight thing, because on your mission you might not have any work out equipment, but if you know how to do other work outs, you'll be fine. I especially like the idea of the study thing. As I mentioned before, a good understanding of the lessons in chapter 3 will help you much more than you'd think. Being able to say that you've read the whole Bible is a really good thing when you talk to other Christians. And perhaps most important is that you have to really have and be able to share a testimony of the Book of Mormon. You have to know it's true and be able to tell people how it's helped you. Elder Bednar (who is way more awesome than you might think) has a cool thing he recommends, which is to take a blank missionary copy of the Book of Mormon and go through it, looking for a specific topic, for example, the work strength, or revelation, or people giving in to sin, or pride, or humility, etc. It puts you in a position to be taught by the spirit.


Oh, do be more Surios, dear Brother. Who'd want to touch those nasty red pages? That guy obviously can't be trusted, you've seen that creepy goatee. Just bring me the blue pages and I'll explain. I would right now but the connection is so poor. Just bring the blue pages and it'll all work out...

Things like programming never seem as simple as they should be. I feel like that with some gospel things. On Monday we taught an awesome guy who came to church because of his kids, named Mr. Chi. He has absolutely no background, and we spend literally 15 minutes trying to explain prophets to him. We thought he understood, then during some follow questions, he said something like "so if we pray, God will give us a prophet to answer our prayers." Super cool guy, though. He's in Mainland till the 20th, so I'm praying for him.

Just while typing that last paragraph, some random guy across from me started talking to us, and in the end we invited him to General Conference. Always open your mouth. jsut.


Who says it needs to be done at school? If they really feel passionate about you, just tell them all to come to the field without telling them why, and then give them each a rebar pole and tell them to do what comes naturally. If they start dancing then you should run away.

I can't really imagine taking a break from missionary work. There's not much else I'd really do if I was available. I might like to wander around and explore. Or learn Mandarin. I talked to a lot of mandarin people in the last week. Whenever there are big breaks like right now, lots of them come to Hong Kong to buy stuff.

School is good, except I literally skipped like 500 times in the last year and a half, and now I have to choose my classes which is super weird (by the way Mom that letter was really well put together. Thanks!).

Dance is good, except I hate dancing so I didn't at all for a while. But we've still been working out well.

Church is actually really good. I learned a lot this week.


Thanks for the answers. The questions this week are as follows:

1) When was the last time you had Chinese food and what did you eat?

2) How is it being in Young Womens?

3) Is there any way to go to the temple right now with Rebecca and the Brothers?

4) What color is it in California right now?

5) How would you describe the smell of Utah and California?

6) What is your favorite Book of Mormon character?

Thank you all, you guys are great! Easter is an awesome time because we celebrate the most important thing that ever happened. Just remember, that if any of us really understand and remember what Christ did for us those 2000 years ago, we'd never choose to sin. If we really feel and remember what he had to go through to pay for our sins, none of us would choose to make him go through more. I testify as a representative of Christ that He lives, and because He lives we all can.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

March 30, 2015 - Going to the Temple Makes an Undeniable Difference in your Day

Since there have been only a few days since my last emails, I'll be brief.

After doing emails on Thursday we went to the temple, which was as always a great experience. It sort of takes up your whole P-Day and doesn't seem to have any tangible results, but the difference it makes in your day is undeniable. After that we scoured the mission office for Book of Mormons. Somehow we managed to give them all away and we literally had none to give out, which was awkward because we had an investigator scheduled that night to give a Book of Mormon. Eventually we stole some of the Assistant's and President Hawks's personal one. President Hawks had an idea a little before I got to the mission that we should always carry a Book of Mormon around so that people will see them and be curious, and so that we'll be prepared to give one out no matter where we are. One of reasons that I admire President Hawks is that he never tells us to do anything without doing it himself. I have never seen him on the street without a Book of Mormon in his hands.

We then went to Sham Shui Po so that Elder Black and Halvorsen could buy some electronics (because they have super cheap electronics there). While they were buying I was talking on the phone to some lady trying to sell facials. I feel a lot of sympathy for those people so I rarely just hang up on them, and if it's a P-Day and I've got no pressing responsibilities, I take my time to explain exactly why I have no need or ability to buy their trial facial thing. This time the lady endured in trying to sell stuff for 10 minutes, which is more than most, before being distracted and going off on a tangent about us missionaries and our lives.

As I mentioned, we moved in with the Zone Leaders and the Butterfly Elders. Well, Friday night as they went to bed they were feeling a bit ill, and from about 11:20-2:50 at night they were vomiting. I have rarely had occasion to pray as fervently or selflessly as I did for them. In the morning they looked like zombies. It was sad, but pretty funny. Fortunately we unclogged out toilet before that all went down.

On Sunday we had our awesome investigator A Sing, who totally understands the need for the Restoration and is working for a testimony now. We also had a referral come out of nowhere. Mr Chi, who is the father of a little girl that a somewhat recent convert named Sister Chan was sort of babysitting at church, showed up in the middle of Sunday school to pick up his daughter, stayed to the end of church, and became a new investigator who we will visit tonight. Just so you all know, we never get chances to visit people in Hong Kong. Never. Mr. Chi's interesting because he has a Buddhist background, and really doesn't understand the idea of God. We were talking about how faith can cause blessing to happen.

"So if you pray and then really do your part, God will help you."

"Oh, so if you pray your attitude will improve and help you."

"No, God will help you"

*confused stare*

"God is a real person, and he will help you."

"Oh, okay."

Repeated a couple times. He asked the slightly awkward question of if believing in this church meant that we couldn't worship our ancestors, which we answered bluntly but with an explanation that we do respect our ancestors immensely. I think he actually likes the idea of not having to burn incense any more. Pretty cool guy.


I've still got the big box of -4.00 contacts, I just got rid of the loose ones. The shirts weren't too bad, but the collars and sleeves are getting frayed, and I kept the 2 best ones. Hopefully they got donated, I didn't toss them in the trash, and to be honest I think I just left them on the couch. Sounds like you've gotten quite a lot done as YW President. You were in the Primary with the girls before as well, right? We actually had an interesting thing about that come up in our ward. There were a couple Recent Converts who were given callings in the Primary, which was good for them, but didn't give them a chance to really learn much about the gospel and stopped them from being involved in the Relief Society.

They are the classic silk vest looking things you always see in movies. I'll probably buy the fake ones because they're way cheaper. If the kids want them they should tell me their sizes. I feel like I've had good success finding people, but sometimes I don't spend enough time maintaining the contacts we make. I’ve been working on that recently. Love you Mom!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! That is (I just want you all to know that for some reason today I literally cannot type. This is all taking extreme effort. So be grateful.) an awesome story! I think you're better at violin than I was at piano, and I did piano until I was 16. I wish I could hear you play right now. I remember when you started as a 4 year old it sounded horrible. When I left it was good. But if it's bringing people to tears, it's probably moved into virtuoso status (or it's gotten way way worse and they're crying out of pain). In keeping with the family tradition, I love Abby because she is without guile when she writes me emails. She always says just what she feels to me, and I can feel that she loves me. Also, she cries a lot which is funny. She probably cried when she wrote my email. You're awesome Abby. I had a dream last night that me and you broke into some abandoned building and then police with dogs came and tried to hunt us down. I'm sure it's a good omen.


I'm sure those in the city of Jacubagath could have easily found time to repent, but they didn't and look at what happened to them. Just kidding. Or am I? ...

The Doctrine and Covenants is probably the most quoted in PMG of all books of scripture. Lots to do with missionary work. I've read through it from start to finish once, and read most of the sections on my mission, but I am not the most familiar with it. Book of Mormon, on the other hand, and New Testament, I feel quite confident towards.

Sounds like the size of the map might seriously affect the TACTICS used to fight on it. Some of the normal TACTICS might not work. Some TACTICS that don't usually work might do better. A TACTICAL genius could probably come up with some great TACTICS and get a TACTICAL edge on that map...

Oh, do they ever. They have meanings with almost no relation at all. It makes no sense. Sahp: to pick up, to gather, formal ten. That's what it says, literally. Wuh: stupid, careless, clumsy, crazy, a Chinese family name. unfortunate.


Must be cool to be in YW with Abby. You guys should go to the temple together. She's not yet had a chance! It'd be so cool! DO IT!

Well, Rebecca, you must be a woman now to have guys fighting over you. No one ever really liked me at all, so I can definitely say that I've never been in that situation. Though the telemarketer I mentioned sort of tried to ask me on a date by the time we finished talking, though I am about as unavailable for that as a person could be right now.

So, tell me the deets. Do you like any of them? Do they know that they all like the same girl? Could you set up a tournament to determine who gets to sit next to you at lunch? You could have them engage in knightly combat. Then film them and tell me. Where are you reading in the Book of Mormon? There is probably an answer to this conundrum in there.


You look way more handsome than me now. I don't want to come home because as long as I'm gone my memory has a sort of magical lacquer that keeps me from fading in their eyes, but as soon as they see the two of us standing together they will all turn against me and choose you. As for who "they" are, I refer mainly to the more mature population of our ward, but it could be just about anyone. Friends, distant relatives, teachers, neighbors, Mom, Dad, even Abby. Ho hum. Well, at least it's another reason to not get trunky for coming home.

I believe you said that in your new extra Spartan room you may have a chance at achieving apotheosis. There are a few parks here that have made me feel that. I think the reason that I would encourage a little study of PMG is that it will focus the rest of your study in a really powerful way. For example, chapter 2 talks specifically about how to study more effectively and knowing the doctrines in chapter 3 helps you see why certain scriptures are so important, and reading chapter 10 lets you start to notice powerful teaching example in the Book of Mormon. So try it out. You don't need to spend all your time but spend some of it.


I believe I mentioned almost all our investigators on Thursday. We got a new turnover from Yuen Long who's an interesting guy. His arm was destroyed in an accident so he's not been working for 2 years. We taught a turnover lesson and basically just explained why it was so important for him to read the Book of Mormon and pray. Always interesting how hard that can be to teach people. They need to feel a need to know if the gospel is true, and an understanding of how it'll bless them, and know how and why reading the Book of Mormon will help them know this thing. We're teaching Mr. Chi tonight, and he's going to mainland for 20 days afterwards, so we really need him to know and understand about the Book of Mormon, because we're not going to be able to meet again and explain more for a good while.

I'd like to ask you and Mom a question, what do you think that I could do to have a more effective companion study? I really want to help Elder Black and myself become more powerful teachers, and I think our study could be better. What did you guys do that was effective?