|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 pea my pants if you went to Spring Fling with me!” Then she spilled a package of frozen peas all over the pants.)