Brother Chi should be back from mainland this week and hopefully in the water by the 9th. Our whole ward is pretty excited for him to come back. We weren't able to meet Justin this week, because like I said last time, people are too busy here.
We didn't find any new investigators this week, but our zone did amazing. We had set a goal for 60 at the beginning of the month, and by the 2nd week we were at about 17 or 18, so it looked hopeless. But they destroyed it this week, and the coolest part is there are a lot of historically struggling companionships that got them. Being a Zone Leader has helped me start to really rejoice in the success of others. It's not easy for me, honestly, because I'm too competitive, but God doesn't want us to beat each other up on our way home. Life can be a lot more joyful, I've found, when you turn outwards and care for others. That really hit me when I was reading Alma 26 in the Chinese 摩爾門經 about how Ammon felt about his converts. He loved them so much, it just struck me how happy he was and how focused he was on the people he served, how he wanted them to feel what he'd felt and not just to be baptized but to really endure to the end, to see them again in the celestial kingdom. I've begun to feel more of what he describes there.
Good thing that bike riding is a low impact sport. We'll have to get some good mountain biking in when I get back. It's really cool to see how much everyone has grown since I've been gone, and just since before, I guess. Old Joseph would view that sort of hike as a Herculean task, but it's clear that Now Joseph takes on physical challenges with ease.
I agree with you about the half-civilization thing. I think that Hong Kong people don't really get that too much. Usually when they go camping it's just to these "camps" with houses and bathrooms and everything. Not nearly as cool as the King's Peak hike or the 60 miler. It seems that though people change, you and I are still the main proponents of wilderness pilgrimages.
I've had a couple dreams about being home on my mission, but they're usually very stressful. Mostly I dream about teaching people. Last night I was dreaming about teaching some family we're meeting today.
Yeah, I think having a temple right here in the mission has been a big blessing. One difficulty is that I always stress about having a perfect temple trip because we can only go once every two months. I hope to go very regularly when I get back so that I can relax a bit and get more out of it. It's always very comforting, though, to be in the temple. We had interviews with our Mission President after the temple, and it was interesting how different he was from President Hawks. The biggest difference, which I think is neither good nor bad, is just that he's way more relaxed and approachable and casual. It's hard to describe the difference. With President Hawks there was a feeling of respect and soberness, with President Lam there's respect but more casual and open.
I loved reading what Dad said about your physical ease on this hike. I look at you as 2 or 3 levels evolved above Old Joseph. Like in Spore, or Pokemon, you added new abilities and your card got all metallic and shiny to show that it's now a level 9 monster, If you have sprouted giant bat wings by the time I get back I'd be a little perturbed but not surprised. As for me, I think you'll mostly just be jealous of my AMAZING 2 NEW TAILORED SUITS. They look way too nice for my head.
The mile run was really incredibly painful. But I feel great about it now. I'm sure you could get pretty fast now if you wanted to, but it sounds like you're more of a distance running guy. What's your running schedule like?
Try not to be too disdainful of life, sometimes there's no van to run to. You've got to learn to love the good and forgive the bad in order to be happy.
If you think a red tailed skunk bear is going to be afraid of an AR15 (of course I know what that is, where is your faith in me?) then you've got something coming. In about 78 hours. The incubation period. Of the rage. Of the
RED TAILED SKUNK BEAR.
Flee to the north lands, before it arrives.
See, you're such a bad influence on me. Every week your letters make me revert to a 9 year old. That's cool to hear that you and Joseph both are in better shape. I still think of you as bones and skin and organs, but maybe I'll be surprised when I get back. Make sure you don't forget the temple trip this Tuesday. That habit will be so worthwhile in your life if you can keep it up.
I know you're not back yet but I love you! And apparently in Dad's mind we're the same person! I did always feel that in the family you and I were really similar. The reading, the hair, the physical prowess, though I think you are a lot more diligent and disciplined than I was. Oh well, I'm taller at least. But really, I love you. Thank you for your prayers.
The wolf-queen of the North,
(Only she can withstand the Skunk Bear)
I am really quite impressed at the diet thing. That is super cool. I've never gone on a diet before, though I do eat pretty healthy now a days. I like how your diet includes Pizza and was preceded by Wendy's. But really, that is so cool that you're doing that. Something I always think is interesting is how God cares about our everyday problems and desires, like a diet. He won't just magically make you skinny, but if you really pray to remember what to do and to have strength to do it, he will help you. The 2 and 3rd week are always the most important because that is where your desire and your determination are tested, and where the habit is formed. I'll be praying for you!
Recently we've been making a ton of smoothies, and I made one on Saturday that was about 2 frozen bananas, one ring of canned pineapple, some ice, and some maple syrup, and it was amazing. But I didn't add enough milk so it was like ice cream, which I think is okay.
Love you all! Stop counting down the days!