Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015 - My Velvet Smooth Cranium

This is what the barber decided to do with my hair.  I didn't ask him to, he just took things (my hair) into his own hands (razor).  It's not exactly within missionary standards, and maybe I look like a bit of a punk, but it's might convenient and comfortable.  As I write I'm stroking my velvet smooth cranium.  And I only need as much shampoo as I usually use toothpaste.

This is the day that Elder Little went to International and Elder Halvorsen went home.

Counterclockwise is ME, Elder Chan, Elder Mangrobang, Elder Little, Elder Halvorsen, and Elder Busby.

This is a picture with Pres. & Sis. Hawks I got after our meeting with the Stake President, of which I will mention shortly.  I asked them if we could take it.  It was terrifying.
Pretty funny email from you guys today.

This week was good, but we were really busy and we didn't have a ton of chances to go finding or teaching. Our area is still pretty good, though. Even on a sort of off week like this one, we are able to teach a lot of lessons, get some people to Church, and I really feel like our daily actions are leading towards people being baptized, step by step. We taught Brother Chi twice. The first lesson was really difficult because we couldn't really answer one question before he would start to ask another, so we didn't get much done. The 2nd lesson was nice. We based it off the Book of Mormon, and kept it shorter. The spirit was there, and I think we started dealing with his biggest issue, which is not understanding why we need the read the scriptures and not have a real personal testimony of the book of Mormon. He believes us implicitly, and is willing to keep commitments. But I can just see him being challenged by someone after he's baptized, and not having that foundation of faith to fall back on.

We are also teaching Jacky, who's an awesome 9 year old, and is willing to be baptized but is afraid of water, Mr. Dou, who is extremely nice and humble but doesn't read too well and finds a lot of things confusing, Kelvin, who's a long term investigator but who has a lot of potential right now, because he's begun to really read the scriptures, and Amigo, who's a super cool form 5 student we found over a month ago, and just recently started teaching. This week we taught him the Restoration and asked where he lives, and he said in Tuen Mun area (Tuen Mun ward is right next to us). We were sad, but you just do what's best for them, obviously, so we turned him over. Yesterday we saw him at church and it turns out he has 2 houses, one in Tuen Mun and one right next to our Bishop. Go figure.

As I mentioned, we had the meeting with the Stake President and President Hawks. It's a bit of a high pressure meeting, for obvious reasons. We have a paper we need to fill out (I won't go on a long rant about Chinese paperwork this time, you can look at the last email about this meeting) and despite many reminders, we had to rush to re-write and prepare a ton of sheets from the people in our zone. So much fun! But really, the meeting was cool because it's a chance to learn from real experienced and inspired ministers and administers how to do things better.

Abby of the North,

Maybe I'll just write you this week. I find it ironic that you call Rebecca a liar, and in the next sentence you reference the fact that you lied about why you couldn't go to the swim meet. There's some parable about that in the Bible, if I’m not mistaken. Something about motes and beams...

You can't just say, "Hey, do you wanna play a game?" That's like if I just walk up to people and ask them if they want to be baptized. You have to teach, expound, testify, and then invite according to the spirit. "Rebecca, if we play this game, I know that it will bring peace and happiness to your life, and that you will be less bored and nauseous, and we will have some real things to talk about to Elder Morrell in his email. I know that this game has made me happy. Will you be willing to commit to play this game with me for 45 minutes? And do you have any friends that would benefit from hearing this message and playing this game?" Then you have to get her phone number and email and follow up within 2 days.

Rebecca the Great,

I just still can't believe that we have chickens now. And that they haven't been eaten yet. The big question that's burning within me now is, did you run when it chased you? Because if so, you're just making it more bold for the next time. I remember at the Darryl and Lorrel Morrell house Beth kicked the chickens when they chased.

I think you just get along most with me because you only ever have to interact with me through email. I make no requirements and can't bother you more than once a week. (Though I do require you and Abby and the Brothers and Mom and Dad to go to the temple more) As it says in Robin Hood, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder". But being blond surely does play its part. Recently I've been reading the book of 2 Nephi, at the very end of Nephi's ministry, and I'm struck by how he really felt his own weakness. We look at him as invincible, but he had insecurity and a carnal nature to fight against as well (see 2 Nephi 4). But I love in chapter 33, he talks about how he's able to overcome those weaknesses, and it's through love for his people, consecrated prayers, and pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ. He had faith, he knew what was valuable, and he was exactly obedient.

The Undemonstratable David,

I never really did the lifeguarding during swim team and lessons shift because I was always teaching. Believe me; being in the chair is not as tiring as being within the pool of kids. Here's an idea for what you can do to not be bored.

This week I've been trying to learn more about noticing body language, specifically sitting posture, hands, facial expression, tone of voice, and eye movement. You sit on that chair and you watch people, and look for patterns. After 3 hours, write down what you learned, and apply it the next day. Next week tell me one or two sentences about what you learned. Just do it.

I have seen the ads for that movie, though I honestly don't have any desire to watch it. Is the trunky statement supposed to be about the movie or the dating? You sly dog...

Joseph the Unencumbered,

You better hope you get into that martial arts class, or life will become a endless cycle of fear.

I remember fondly the time I spent coaching the team. My view of life has changed a lot on my mission, because now I just am always focused on chances to teach or lead others to achieve excellence. I think about it a lot, so every time someone mentions something like coaching, teaching, etc I want to do it.

This week at Crossroads Elder Boyd and I moved several pallets of air conditioners. I don't know why it's so fun but it is. We had a moment of super-human strength as we lifted a pallet jack full of air conditioners onto a ramp. Too much fun. I just got my suits refitted; they should be picked up in about 2 weeks. I followed your advice and got a nice charcoal one. Right now it's just half a suit and covered in threads, but it looks real nice. And it's a tight fit. The guy there is an old man who is totally hilarious, and loves missionaries. He always says stuff like "Korean pop-star style, Obama style, ready to see professor now, tight at the tight spots, loose at the loose ones, so clever fit!" You'd love him.


I weighed myself after dinner at a member’s house last night, and I am now about 145 lbs with clothes on. But you can't fatten me up because if you do I won't be able to fit into my super new Obama style suit.

We've actually been very comfortable climate wise. It's been hot, of course, but probably not as hot as Utah, and the set-up with our room right now has got a lot of breeze. The only time I'm hot is after we return home from running, when I usually feel like there's a furnace underneath me. The Chi family really is amazing. Yesterday he had to leave church early because his daughter was really sick. She insisted on coming despite a fever, but had to go home early, and I felt impressed to tell them about priesthood blessings and we found some brothers to give her one before they left. I don't know if anything will come from it but I hope so. I love that family.

My Cantonese is by no means perfect. I record it often and listen, so I know.

We'll meet President Lam at Mission Leadership council on Wednesday, which by the way is his second day. No rest for the weary. Elder Boyd is a cool, sometimes goofy guy, very perceptive and good at noticing strengths and weaknesses, and very focused on Character.


That's really similar to what we want to share in our Zone Training meeting this coming Friday (woah, that's pretty fast). We are going to focus on character and expectations, and the Book of Mormon. Specifically an Idea, which is to challenge all of our investigators and less actives as we teach them to read THE WHOLE BOOK OF MORMON! as inspired by President Hinckley’s famous invitation. Wish us luck! I really think it can help the zone, I just hope we can teach it and apply it in a good way.

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