Happy Birthday Mom!
We had a really great week this week. There were a couple reasons, but most aspects of our missionary work were really good.
1. Mission Leadership Council and our subsequent zone training meeting. In MLC, as you may remember from last month, we give a report of our zone's numbers and our upcoming goals and actions. We always struggle to think of what we're going to do until we get on the train towards Kowloon Tong, so we call it the Revelation Train. This was President and Sister Hawks' last MLC with us. Elder Little and I will have one more meeting with him there, when we meet with the stake president this month, but it's really weird to think of him being almost done. In true President Hawks style, there was no real difference on the meeting, until the very end when he pointed out that next month as we're meeting with President Lam they'll be getting on the plane. Everyone got a bit choked up.
The following Friday our Zone Training went way better than the first one, which was a real blessing to me, I felt that last time my training and the overall meeting weren't that good, and I was really afraid, honestly, that I'd start my training to the junior companions and choke or fail or something. But it was really good, and I really feel that God answered my (fervent desperate constant) prayers about it. I feel like I'm becoming a lot more comfortable being Zone Leader recently, though there's still a lot to learn.
2. This week was really great in terms of missionary work, specifically in terms of finding new investigators. We had a lot of people who we contacted a while ago and couldn't teach find us again, and had a lot of really cool finding experiences. For example, Saturday evening. We went finding and right at the beginning saw a blind guy in a mall and helped walk him home, which put us in the path of a cool 20ish year old guy who'd met missionaries before and agreed to sit down for 15 minutes and talk. In 15 minutes we were able to really feel that he wants to be more wise in his life and change, shared a scripture from Mosiah 4 (see if you can figure out which one) and felt the spirit strongly. He didn't reschedule, but it was a sweet moment, and literally 1 minute after standing up from the bench we taught on we met Mr. K, who's from Mainland (speaks Cantonese) and is really lonely, stressed, and worried about his family and son in Mainland. Another really sweet, simple lesson to an incredibly humble man, that really helped him. He rescheduled, thus achieving the goal we set for finding that day.
3. Recently I've been spending time during my journal writing each night writing down 10 things I'm thankful for that day, which I've tried before, but not as sincerely as this time, and it's an amazing blessing. I really recommend and invite everyone to try it, do it for a week, and really put some thought into finding something relevant to that day that you're truly grateful for. It's so worth it.
Last week we also had this Sabbath Day meeting, though ours was just held in the combined 3rd hour class. It was a really productive conversation for us as well, and I really like that our bishop did it that way because it gave a good place for everyone to think about what they could be doing better without feeling too condemnatory. Honestly there's a lot that could improve in that aspect in Hong Kong sacrament meetings. Phones go off regularly, and for some reason the culture here is to answer your phone and half whisper to the person "Hey, I can't talk. Yeah, I'm at church. No, I'll get it later. I can't talk, really."
It is definitely something that I've learned about during my mission. If I really concentrate and work hard, I can always get some really important and precious revelation out of church services.
Those classes at BYU sound just about right. I still can't really decide for the Civ class, I think I'd really enjoy both. I've also been thinking recently about a creative writing class, though I'll probably do that later rather than this semester. I'm glad that you're so willing to help me pick these so that I don't have to think too much about them.
Somehow it's hard for me to imagine you and mom on a diet, let alone a wacky one. I usually just imagine you biking or something. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I continue to fake as a bike expert, thanks to my brief stint at mountain biking and my knowledge of the word 'fixie".
The Chi family is still doing okay, but it's really hard to help Brother Chi because he goes to Mainland for so long each month. He's got some complicated questions or misunderstandings about why we have commandments and sometimes we fall into the trap of trying to answer them for him, rather than helping him get his own answer. Sister Chi is doing okay, she hasn't been reading a ton, but she loves church and has a lot of friends, and already wants to be baptized. We're just trying to help her move from a social/practicality reason to a real faith in the atonement and testimony of repentance reason.
Kelvin is doing pretty well, though he didn't come to church yesterday because he woke up late or felt lazy. That's really his only weakness, is keeping his willpower up when things get inconvenient. But he's progressing well, and now has a baptismal date again.
Then there are the tons of new people, but there are too many and I'll just wait till they're really progressing before I say more.
I remember you mentioned a while ago about how you discovered how to ask questions to teach people. That's something that I sort of trained on in Zone Training meeting. I taught all the junior companions how to ask more questions, give the investigator some significant time to speak, and by listening and follow-up questions discover what their real need for the doctrine is so you can promise them blessings and give commitments that are really inspired, from the spirit. There're some really cool videos about gospel teaching on the Mormon channel by Elder Bednar, I think you'd like them a lot.
Which game was this again. the one where you are invisible or the map with an office and courtyard? I hope you have a good time at EFY. President Hawks always juxtaposes (see I still speak English good) a mission with EFY, in regards to intensity and difficulty.
I think the only other thing that you need to know from this week is that on the way to the library I met a mom and her 6 or so year old son, the mom was named Psyche (pronounced psych-ee) and the kid was named Bulgy (after the orange bus in Thomas the train engine). So there.
It's weird to think that I'll have living expenses that I have to work for. I'm sort of used to just doing stuff and having money come to me when I need it, without any real correlation. Though we figured the average hourly wage that we're making once, and it's pretty small. At least I've learned to live and work very very cheaply. This week my grocery bill was about $12.
Honestly I don't think I'll even need a T.V. and I won't need too much of a computer. The list that I told you guys to keep will probably go mostly un-used.
That must be so tough. I do get your reasoning, though. It is important to choose what friends you hang out with because you can't choose to not be influenced by the friends you choose to associate with. I'm glad that at least your standards are high. But here's a cool thought; maybe it wouldn't be good to go with them to their parties, but you could invite them to some things with your friends. That way you can one-by-one give them a better atmosphere and better influence, while simultaneously increasing your circle of influence and preparing yourself for world domination. I imagine that though they may be gold digging, they do really look up to you and care about your opinion and reaction to what they share with you, and maybe they’re secretly disappointed when you decline. I don't know, I was never that popular, but I think it's interesting to think of what you could get done. There's a book by a guy named Clay Christensen called "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" or something like that and it's really interesting.
Stop saying see you soon, it freaks me out. I assume you mean on Minecraft. It's funny to think that you still play Minecraft. I haven't seen it in a while. There's a cool guy who's from the UK and is here every Monday doing something on the computer and walks around in the library without shoes on. He knows how to live. I bet you're looking forward to running around without shoes on. Are you going to try Mom and Dad's wacky diet? Did you go to the temple again? Love you!
Love you all!