Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 1, 2015 - The Book of Mormon's Got an Answer for Everything

Sorry it's not much, but this is what I love to eat.  Grapes and fried rice.  The fried rice is delicious, I'll make it when I get back.  You don't need any seasoning powder, that's a lie.  grapes are a bit expensive but so good.  I was totally out of money this month, which is not like me.  But some random couple bought us lunch one day so I was saved.

I want to clarify the one sentence thing last week was pretty funny, I was just a bit surprised.

Well, there's really not a ton that I can report on since last Wednesday. We had a great trip to the temple, as always. I think I've mentioned this to Abby before, but I love the feeling that you have as you leave the temple, like you just have no desire to do anything bad...Mosiah 5:2. The Book of Mormon's got an answer for about everything.

One of the more fun responsibilities that we have as Zone Leaders is language evaluations. I may have mentioned before, but Language Evaluations are when we meet with the newer missionaries and role play with them, and they pass off a sheet with 13 different lessons from Preach My Gospel to ensure that their language and teaching skills are up to snuff. It's been really cool to do because as a Zone Leader, there are a lot of people that we are responsible for, and we don't have a ton of chances to train everyone one by one. But in language pass-offs we can see how all the junior or younger missionaries are teaching and speaking and give some good training. I've really enjoyed that aspect of being a Zone Leader recently, because I don't think I was good at it when I started. In fact, it was a bit terrifying because I felt like I didn't know how to help or train them. But now it's becoming better.

Our Mission Leadership Council and Zone Training are coming up again, so lots of things to plan for. It's tricky sometimes, because I have to learn which ideas are just me wanting to do them, and which are really what the zone needs. There’s a big lesson to be learned in humility and real leadership. Yeah. Translation: there's an idea that I really want to do but I think it'll be replaced so I have to let it go.

The Chi family is still about where they were last week, though we had two pretty good lessons with Brother Chi. He just has a lot of topics where he's confused on or has some misunderstanding, so we've been practicing really listening to him and trying to find ways to resolve his real concerns. This Sunday after church we had a cool lesson with him and a returning less active, and answered some questions about the Book of Mormon, and the whole idea of forgiveness after repentance. I was impressed by two things, 1) the Book of Mormon has soooo many important answers in it, and 2) God is really merciful and will forgive all who will accept the Atonement with real intent. Kelvin is still doing pretty well. We had a lesson with him and he had learned so much from the scriptures that we gave him to read beforehand that we didn't really need to even teach. He seems in a position to really change and be baptized. Found a couple new people, but had a lot of people not show up or cancel for appointments. Such is life.


I think you may be right. I don't think that one Zone Leader would really be able to do it alone. Or if they did they wouldn't get much else done. We started a goal last week of having 5 days a week where we plan out 2 hours of consecrated finding time, and treat it as a non-negotiable appointment, and it's been really cool to see some miracles happen from it. On Saturday we found a guy in the last 10 minutes or so, which is often the case. The biggest things that it's done have been 1) it makes us keep doing finding, which is sometimes hard with zone leader things, and 2) it really makes you work and focus absolutely on the goal you set for that time. Really cool.


The weather has been quite nice recently, about 33 degrees Celsius, and above 70% humidity. It's been funny because the train stations all have sign for when the train will arrive, and if there are weather emergencies like heavy rain or what have you, they will display them. On Thursday it started saying "Very hot weather warning". So Chinese. Honestly it's not even that hot. You have to drink a lot of water and you'll sweat a lot, but in short sleeves it's very bearable. In the apartment it's sometimes rough, but we have AC in the evenings. Chinese people are just very afraid of the weather. Today we're going to Kowloon to get our temple recommends renewed.

That would be nice to be able to hear Stanford Cline’s talk. If it's convenient we could change, but if not I don't care too much. The only sad thing is that he won't be able to hear mine. Ha ha.

I feel like you always get guilt-ed in to things like this.


I recall being less than enthusiastic about Graduation as well. Honestly looking back I think seminary graduation is much more meaningful than high school graduation. At this the end of your illustrious secondary academic career I am confident accolades are being showered upon you by adulatory fans school and state wide.

What classes are you going to be taking? You are generally more expert in this sort of data acquisition and analysis, so your perspective may be of value to me.

Don't say the word crap, we'll be roommates before too long and it won't go down well.


That's a finely written talk, my boy. My favorite part is the line "If you feel unhappy about a commandment, pray for a change of heart to help you obey." That’s a real deep insight on the real reason that we pray, I think. In a talk that I gave in our sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago, I mentioned something similar along the lines of "You can always have faith that a prayer to overcome temptation is a righteous desire, and as the Savior taught in 3 Nephi 18 if you ask for that in faith, and are willing to do your part on it (e.g. pray with real intent) you will see miracles occur."

The jokes, of course, are the real meat of the talk.

I think that's a great insight about half-hearted obedience as well. I can testify as a missionary (and D&C 4 is a great missionary scripture) that if you serve your mission half-heartedly you will miss so many precious blessings. There is so much happiness in store for us if we can but learn to obey and truly seek to do the Lord's will. I know that I was definitely not perfect in this aspect before. I recall my attitude towards collecting fast offerings on summer days as being rather less than inspiring. But all the same I'm really grateful that at that time I was given a chance to serve, and I'm glad I chose to obey then because it helped me prepare to learn the spirit of obedience on my mission.

I don't want to be preachy, but I think a sincere reflection over our own lives, our duties, our motives, the rules we've been given (whether they be from heaven or from parents) and our level of obedience and devotion to them, would be a real valuable chance to be taught by the spirit. If we do it prayerfully and with a real desire to follow Christ more fully, I know that God will help us see how we could more fully obey his law. The sign of a great talk is real growth in the hearers (or the speaker nudge nudge wink wink). Thank you for the taih sing (I don't know how to translate that, it means like reminder but also a sort of recommitting or taih sing-ing of ourselves, leveling up?), David.


Honestly I never thought our family could be considered rich enough to have people gold-dig around us. That’s an odd thought. Oh the trials of being popular and pursued by the many, your life must be so hard, Rebecca.

Just remember that those people all have fears and worries of their own, and though some may be very fake, some might really need a good friend or a good example. Hyrum Smith has a cool quote that goes something like "Charity is separating the man from his actions." Or in other words being able to love people despite what they do. I don't mean to sound judgmental or preachy, it's just I remember feeling the same way as you do towards some people. Sometimes while finding you'll talk to people who seem really sarcastic or cynical or uninterested, and then for some reason, maybe because we're missionaries or maybe the spirit, they just break down into tears and share some really heavy burdens with you. You’re a great example to your peers, Becca. Don't forget or underestimate the good you can do with your example. This last week of school may not be academically productive but I'm sure if you ask God's got some things that you could do.


Thank you for ever detailed exposition of the current events back home. The stalling added nicely to the suspense. Well done. It's really funny to meet 12 year olds, because every time I talk to a kid who's 12 I think of how you are the same age. Very very odd. Usually they don't play violin as well as you or write with nearly the same descriptive power. Also kids in China are really really small, usually. They don't eat enough, sweat too much in the summer, and spend too much time taking tutorial classes, so they all look scrawny and bony. I swear you could take on two average 12 year olds from here in a fight and win.

By the way, now that the summers coming and you're more free, you should use your considerable planning skills and plan a trip to the temple again...

Love you all!

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