October 7, 2010

Hello again!

This week WAS SO GOOD!!! I was a little worried last week about moving to a new area and having to start over again, but things are so good! I love my tri-panionship. Sister H and sister s are both so amazing. They are both such hard working missionaries and such good examples to me. I was worried about having another three missionaries together because last move was, in all honesty, pretty tough. But both of them are really chill and we're having a lot of fun while doing a TON of work.

We serve in two wards, so that means two areas. I think I mentioned this before but the standard is for us to be teaching 20 lessons per week. However since we are serving in two wards, we have been asked to reach for the stars and try to teach 40 per week. Now that is *almost* an impossible goal, so we're working our way up to it. There have already been miracles as we are diligently working towards it. We are also focusing a lot on faith, and how we can develop our faith more. Faith is a principle of action- if you have faith, it leads/motivates you to act. It is also a principle of power. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, anything that is within the Lord's will is possible. Faith is also a gift of the spirit. In Moroni 10 it talks a lot about gifts of the spirit and how to obtain them. v. 9-11, for behold, to one it is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same spirit; And to another, exceedingly great faith." So exceedingly great faith is my desire, so I need to work for it and pray for it, and have the faith that God will bless me with greater faith. Because if we need to get 40 lessons per week, we can get 40 lessons per week. But it is going to take a LOT of work and a LOT of faith.

I was really happy this week to get an email from aunt stephanie with pictures! so cute! weird that I have cousins I dont know yet. but I can't wait to meet them!! Tell them hi from me!

On sunday we had 4 people recieve the gift of the holy ghost. It is really something special because its like... before having someone with the priesthood confer upon you the gift of the holy ghost, its like a pen without a cap but you can tap the cap against the pen and the pen can theoretically feel that, just like before you get the gift you can feel the holy ghost at times bear witness of truth, but it isnt until you put the pen cap on the pen that it is always with the pen.it isnt until you get the gift of the holy ghost that it is with you always. (sorry if that analogy is confusing... you get the gist, right? i think that is such a good analogy for it) That's why baptism and confirmation by someone with priesthood power is so important, not just for me to have but for everyone. It is the only way to recieve the same kind of baptism that jesus christ himself recieved. And that is one of the billions of reasons I have within me to be serving a mission.

so confirmations... yes... church.. I went to both wards and learned why sundays in this area are crazy. We didn't even have time for lunch we were teaching people and having meetings and stuff all day long!

This sunday I am really excited we get to go to Kowloon Tong and Ho man tin (sp?) to watch general conference!!!!! YEAH!!! It is going to be amazing. I have been looking forward to this for a long time- because i can't wait to hear what the prophet has to tell us, what guidance the Lord has for us right now. I was thinking about it the other day while teaching, about revelation the prophet recieves and thinking about the "get out of debt" message that had been shared over and over starting like ten years ago, and looking at the economy now it was definitely revelation that helped so many families if they listened to the prophet. so cool.

Ok so more about my companions- sister h is from palo alto california and her parents are professors at stanford. She is really smart and a great missionary because she has such a good balance within her. She is so humble and uses her gifts and talents to help both our investigators, as well as me and sister smith. Sister s is from riverside california, and she has a crazy family. one of her uncles (?) has 14 kids!! holy moley! anyways she is really quiet at first but in fact is so funny and so chill. I wouldnt change being companions with them for anything

This week I also met for real my friend SW's brother. Its so weird because they look almost exactly alike. Anyways it was fun to meet someone who knows someone you know. Speaking of which, Sister G, the temple president's wife, is the nicest woman ever. She knows 2 of my dad's cousins and so today at the temple I was getting ready to leave, and she came up to me and was like I baked some bread and I want to give you a loaf to take back home with you! So... now I have some lovely warm bread sitting here while I'm on the computer typing away. It smells REALLY good too. I miss homemade bread mom!

What else happened this week? hmm.. Well I got probably 30 more bug bites on my calves. that's always fun. but no i got them while we were knocking on some doors up in this cool area in Tsuen wan. There are all these 3 story house/apartment things up on this really steep hill that you have to walk up into. We met this aaaancient lady that didn't speak cantonese, but hakawa (sp?) a dialect from mainland but pretty close to here i think. Luckily sister h speaks a bit of mandarin too so we were able to communicate enough with her to teach her and sing her a song. She was so cute just all hunched over and old! anyways, she was awesome. Then we went to our next appointment, also in one of these houses, and i met a less active member of the church from thailand. She speaks cantonese but reads thai. So we taught her the restoration and invited her to general conference. But we also watched the DVD of the restoration in THAI. Just saying, thai is a pretty crazy-sounding language. Seriously.

So where I live now still is very urban, but on the edges of hong kong, so there is water too. My apartment looks out over a pier or wahtever where they have those cranes that get all the stuff out of ships. And in Tsuen wan there is a nice park/path along the water where you can look across and see lantau island. Tsuen Wan is a pretty wealthy area too which is interesting to see the contrast, because most of the people I meet have like one room apartments but now i've been to these members' apartments that are by hong kong standards, huge.

hmm other things about life here-- typical walk outside= all the grandmas sitting together on benches around the buildings chit-chatting it up, all the grandpas sitting around in groups playing chinese chess or something, and little kids playing on the play structures that are outside of all the buildings. then you walk to another set of buildings and there is the same thing. All the grandmas are wearing these button up floral print shirts which I SO want one for pajamas. annnd yeah. I don't know what else. There are food places everywhere and by our apartment there is a gambling place for horse races. the guards there are really nice and we always wave at them as we go by. Gambling is so sad to me though because its like a total waste of money and it sucks people in! In Hong Kong the big things are horse races and video/computer games. I just think like how many more worthwhile things there are to do in the world. But that's my two cents so... i'll be done on that tangent.

Being a missionary isnt the easiest thing ever but it's for sure one of the most amazing opportunities I've ever had. And I still feel like I've barely started! I am off now for another HUGE week!! please keep me in your prayers! Thank you all so much for the love, letters, prayer, and support!! :)


Sister Black/ Baahk jimuih