Hey, my great family,
This week was pretty good, if a little slow in the progress of investigators. I can really honestly say that I'm not trunky at all, I don't dream about going home, and I don't worry about it too much either, but I do feel a bit of time pressure helping this bunch of people get baptized already. We were able to visit Brother Chi twice this week, which has been pretty good, and our bishop got to visit him. He's quit smoking for about 11/2 weeks now, but the real challenge will come now when he goes to mainland, because people smoke a ton there. I have faith in him, though. Other than him, not too much else to report in terms of investigators. We weren't able to meet Kelvin or Jacky this week, but hopefully next week. We have one investigator from a while ago, Justin, who's really busy and hasn't been contacted for a while, but we've been giving him a scripture text each day. He met with us again recently (I was on exchanges) and he's doing great. He said that he's been reading all the verses we send him, and he now believes in Christ! The only challenge is that he's super busy with work, but miracles have happened before and they'll continue to happen.
This week I read the Book of Jacob, and I have just been amazed at his teaching. I think that I can sum up what impresses me about him in 2 lines; 1. He is consecrated. The scripture says he and Joseph were not only set apart but consecrated as teachers. His consecration comes in his absolute commitment to God and love of the gospel, and his amazing love for the people he teaches. Read his sermons, and you can't help but feel that he is doing everything possible, using all the energy of his soul to call people to believe in Christ and be saved. 2. As a result, when he speaks, he speaks the word of the Lord. He and Nephi both have this attribute, when they teach they truly represent the Lord to those they teach. Think of the confidence, the faith it takes to really say that with conviction. That's what I want to do. This week I've been praying so hard for the Lord to give me his spirit so that I can speak his word and really help the people we teach. Teaching the gospel, when you have the spirit, is the most enjoyable thing.
Honestly I would have welcomed some arrows, at least people would be paying a bit more attention. But honestly, I think it has some potential. Some ward member gave us an idea, if we could use a big poster with the Plan of Salvation on it, it might attract more people to stop. The best thing about soap boxing was just the conquering of fear. And the fact that I can say that I did it. Ha.
The spirit really cultivates the delicate and wholesome things in life. Like having a really clean house. There was a tropical storm on Thursday, so we had to stay inside in the evening. We called some investigators, but first we cooked a big meal together, made oreo smoothies, and then cleaned our whole house spotless. I love having a clean house. I've noticed that as a missionary I care about you guys a lot more than before. It always makes me really happy to hear about people going to the temple or reading. My life is just focused on people keeping commitments these days.
On Sundays we do numbers with the whole zone, and last night I just felt a bit frustrated because I really want to help the missionaries, think of some solutions to help them get more investigators, etc, but I felt like there wasn't much useful advice I could give. What did you do when you were zone leader? You have a lot more experience than I do.
I have to tell you what I've been eating this week. It's been good. Elder Chan, who is a native missionary who lives with us, agreed to take some money from us and cook for all 5 of us in our apartment for a week. So we've been eating delicious Chinese food. It makes me realize how mediocre my normal cooking is. He made fried chicken, fried egg stuff, fried fish with corn sauce, steamed egg and chicken cake things, steamed fish, all seasoned amazingly. We wanted him to keep cooking this week but I think it almost killed him off last week.
My food is not bad either. Recently I've made some pasta stuff with ground pork, Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, and salsa, which was delicious. This week we'll be making two types of Thai curry. It's just difficult with so little time and two companionships.
I've been cleaning. A lot. The house'll be so clean for that week that I'm here. Oh, I found out that we might not be allowed to maintain public blogs through emails. There's a rule about using Facebook through family at home, and this might come under that. That's why Elder Boyd's blog went private. If you could make mine private for a while and I'll re-check that next week. Sorry. You could just tell everyone who's in about the private one.
Sabbath worship is so hard for people here. Their work schedule is sometimes just ridiculous. But I've noticed that the ones who find a way to keep the Sabbath day holy are also the ones who have the happiest families, who are serving as bishops and stake presidents and quorum presidents, and who seem to have kept the missionary fire in their lives the most. I'm really grateful you and Dad made us not play video games on the Sabbath.
I haven't been running as much as I’d like to be, certainly not 6 miles. There's one route we take in the mornings sometimes that we do in about 15-20 minutes that Elder Boyd reckons must be at least 2 miles, which if so would be pretty cool. But honestly I don't know if I'll be able to keep up too well when I get back. But I will say that at the end of the run I always sprint up the hill of dreams. The first long run I went on was in 10th grade, a measly 5K, and I felt that if I tried to run at all by the end I would fall down.
Thanks for going to the temple; honestly that means a lot to me. That goal to go every Tuesday is probably the happiest thing to me in this email. It'll be really tough, especially this first two weeks. Be aware, and plan, and commit yourselves.
Apparently some Elder in our zone from Sweden was almost a professional Counterstrike player. My companion's dad used to be a game designer before he went into app design and started a company. It's a good business to go into, and it definitely sounds like you've got the stuff to do it. I want to ask how the process of balancing a map out goes, but I think it'll distract me. Don't tell me. Congrats on going to the temple. It's worth so much in the long run. I try to drink a full 2 liters of water every morning during personal study, which then makes me urinate many times in the morning.
Horse Clan Chieftess Rebecca,
It's so sad that the twins don't love the Farming Game. I guess you can't be friends anymore. Oh well.
I've honestly never liked horses. Maybe it's my pride, maybe fear, maybe just lack of Martial arts skills, but I always am reminded that if they wanted to kill me with their legs it'd be too easy for them to. And most of my interaction is not with the actual horse but with the green stinking piles of stuff it leaves all over the hiking trails.
Seeing as Dance is not really in session right now, what do you do to stay in shape these days? Do you rely on natural young active lifestyle, or do you do some specific work outs to keep the dance muscles strong? What time of day do you usually get up at? What do you eat for breakfast? Did anyone do night games this summer?
The Duchess of the North (cold eyes of fury)
Do it! Go every Tuesday! It's totally your choice! That's what's great about life and the gospel, is when you find that something can help you spiritually and lead you to be a better person, you can choose to do it. It sounds so obvious but think of how many people just wish that they were better people without realizing that they can choose to be better people today! Just like you mentioned about reading the Book of Mormon. It's okay that you haven't read a ton, that's actually why I always ask everyone. You recognized you haven't been doing it, and now you can choose to do better and gain blessings. Life is so good!
There is almost no grass in Hong Kong, besides at the Hung Shui Kiu chapel (which looks like a random expensive Utah chapel stuck in the middle of nowhere). And even when there is lovely grass growing, they send people to destroy it with weed wackers. So weird.
What does it smell like in Utah? What does the house smell like? What is the most stressful part of your day? What is the most relaxing part of your day?