This week has been very demanding in a good way. We've been so busy lately that this week I think we only got about 2 or 3 hours of finding total. That's probably a good thing for me because I really think that I have a bad tendency to just go finding all the time, when there are much more useful things to do, like diligently calling through all the numbers you get from people during finding. I've been pretty well weaned off intense finding since coming here.
We attended our mission leadership council and later held our Zone Training meeting this week. The planning required for those takes up way too much time, to be honest, because we always get stuck on the brainstorming stage all the way until a day before the meeting, and then we end up with like a million ideas. But it went pretty well, not perfect of course, but people seemed to really learn from it. We were mostly sharing about attitude this month, and confidence. We've also been practicing teaching a restoration lesson in 4 minutes, which I love because it makes you really think about what the key points are. The spirit really comes when you are able to teach simply and testify of Joseph Smith.
We saw a lot of success this week in contacting part member families in our ward. We have been teaching 3 families this week, which I will give more detail on next week when they have a chance to progress. But all have come from persistence and consistency in contacting them, particularly the Fung family, whom I bothered at least 3 or 4 months before finally getting to regularly teach the husband Erik.
Jacky and Jimmy are doing well. They are some of the most curious and hard to focus children I know. Teaching them is always a challenge, but a welcome one. It helps me think of more object lessons and creative ways to teach, and their whole family is really awesome (including the Dad, who's one of the aforementioned part-member families. They invited us to a BBQ at their house (I know what you're thinking, how is it done? How do you BBQ within the confines of a tiny Chinese apartment? The answer is a magical little grill stove deployed on the table. Genius) and we started teaching him.). I have a great love of double (and even triple) parentheses. Jacky was sick this week but next week may well be baptized!
Mr. Chi is back from Mainland and we visited him a couple times, rushing to teach all the lessons before his interview this Sunday. He asks so many questions and gets so confused sometimes that I thought teaching him a short lesson would be impossible. I was right, until Sunday where we taught an awesome lesson after church which included most of the 5th lesson and was finished in 20 minutes. After that he met with Elder McEwan (also in my group) for the interview, but didn't pass because he still doesn't have enough of a personal testimony of Joseph Smith, he mostly just really believes us. Despite this I'm really really happy with this week. He enjoyed church so much and learned so much, and it was just so apparent that he felt the spirit and was enlightened by it. We're struggling now to see when he'll be able to be baptized and resolve a very foundational concern about if he should focus on his job or baptism, but I know the Lord loves him and will help him.
Sorry for writing so much, but you know that I am a rather long-winded fellow. I know the gospel is true. I know Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God, the Book of Mormon to be His word, and I know the Priesthood has been restored. I know that God answers our prayers and in an enduring, grand, and ennobling way loves us. I know these things not only because I have prayed and searched, but because I have taught them to others and seen them change the lives of others. The greatest joy of missionary work is feeling the spirit testify through you of the truth of the Gospel to another, and knowing that you were meant to go to that one person, to speak that word, and to help that soul.
I'll have to learn at the feet of my younger brother in this aspect. I definitely have to put more effort into learning how to go on dates well. I think a lot about how you described your attitude at the end of your mission and I think that maybe we are very similar. My biggest challenge is just to enjoy the time I've got rather than stress about whether or not I've done well enough, and turn more towards the people rather than myself. Honestly I think it'd be so fun to be put into a brand new area and just spend 5 months building it up.
I notice that in your every letter you spend most of the time describing other people in our family. I think that reflects on what you really value in life. Thanks for being such a great Dad!
I love that feeling of just doing something that you always sort of meant to do but never got around to doing. A couple weeks ago I had an idea to make a hanger for my towel that had sort of been puttering around in my mind for a bit, and then on P-Day I just did it! And it felt good!
Jan Corallo was one of the most positive and happy people I knew, and a true teacher. She always had so much faith and love for us. She could have gone through the motions and taught us our technique and passed songs off, but I know she really desired us to play music, to really reach and play better than we thought we could. She believed that even a lazy and reluctant student like me could play Deux Arabesques. I think that is her most Christlike attribute, because truly, that's how Christ felt for us. I loved her, and I'll miss her.
I think that Facebook has its origins in Heaven. Though it's a major challenge to many people, and is often over-used and abused, it's definitely one of those inventions designed to help us stay more together. Love you Mom! Don't remind me of the time!
I think you'd appreciate this perhaps more than most, seeing as you pride yourself on having proper grammar. So I live with Elder Chan, who's a relatively newer native missionary, and who has an intense desire to learn more English. This week I've been teaching him Grammar, and really setting up a foundation for him to understand the real why of the complicated and twisted rules of English. I'm going places most English speakers never dared to dream of. I found and graphed out 12 different verb tenses, and defined the use and explained the serpentine loop-holes of the monstrous 'to'. I don't know if the terminology I'm using is correct but man he's going to get the why of the what.
I like the idea. I could see that coming into play with a lot of products. Non-radioactive: cereal, milk, clothing, dentures, teddy bears (prey on their love of their children, you know?)
I guess one difficulty would be if you really want to make that product work you've got to get the radioactivity down really low, and you'll have a very awkward fine-print label
"This product contains some radioactive materials." The best you could do would be "Relatively non-radioactive vanilla" which might not be as catchy.
There's a really cool Mormon message called LIFT.
Look it up.
Sounds like the dance camp was awesome, though I have to agree with you I don't entirely understand why. I'll just say that I've been sleeping in twin bunk beds for the last 2 years and I'm a bit taller than you are. We'll totally have to work out together. I've realized that as far as physique goes, being skinny and puny before your mission is much preferable to being huge, because I’ve actually been able to become more muscled than I was before.
Abby of the North,
I'm so happy to hear about the weight loss. 5 pounds is a lot in one week. Usually that's what people get by the end of a couple weeks. I don't know what I'm supposed to be getting ready for right now; I'm plenty busy as is. I have three questions for you: 1. Stop counting the days! It makes my blood pressure go up 2. What does your diet consist of, and how's it been so far? 3. Do you think you will serve a mission?
Love you all!