Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 29, 2013

Ha phone calls are weird. That's funny you say I got a southern drawl, I feel like I slur a lot more than before. (That may be impart that Texas English is like that and so is Cantonese). However most Chinese people say they like my English the most of missionaries because its the clearest... Which I thought was pretty funny but I have gotten that in all four areas I've served in sooo yeah my English is still intact kind of...

I still got a ton of time left. A lot can be done in six months. I am not to worried but I do know it will come fast sooo here's hopin' for an outstanding last stand!

Yeah about fixing the companionship... Still having issues there. We got a report on Sunday after Elder Lie went over there (Friday to Saturday) and it wasn't good. We ended up talking to President Hawks this morning and he asked us if we think he should split them up... Like he wanted us to choose! We prayed and went to talk to them about it one more time. It still didn't go anywhere and we are left at a weird point of not knowing what to do. Ehhh it's all just really weird. We talked to President Hawks again and said he would call them in today. Its really frustrating and... President Hawks just called us... We fixed somethings and got some more things to work on... Leave it at that I guess haha

Investigators are doing good. We have a list now:
Sis Lee and kids - Found her two weeks ago she came to the Christmas party and brought sis Cheung and they both LOVED it. They want to come back.
Sis Cheung and son (referral from sister Lee) - She loved the party and even asked us to give her son an English name. We chose Benjamin (like the King). 
Tong family and their cousin Cherry (Cherry is a referral)
Mrs. Chow - In mainland for the holidays but should be back this week
A Wing - Found out he can come to church all of JAN! YAYA BLESSINGS 
Jason - Doing okay not the greatest progress still working with him
Eric - No Contact
Herman - No Contact -> think his family has blocked us?
Patrick - Not really sure hard to contact him recently
A Yan - found him two weeks ago - Doesn't really believe in God so we are working on building his faith but he kind of likes us! (I think he kind of likes because he just wants to practice English but I think he also has a small desire to find the truth its interesting.)

Yeah good investigator pool!! haha

As far as adventures go... I had food poisoning last Saturday. On Friday a member named Steven Lau took us out to a steak shop. Me and Elder Liu got this fish plate (had lobster, salmon, and something else) and the Sister missionaries got the steaks. The steaks ended up being HUGE so they gave us half. Me and Sister Wilcox shared one... Turned out it had food poisoning in it. All Saturday morning from 6 to 9:30 I was real sick. We went to this family's house to teach a message and afterward a member that came with us was like "You look terrible" and I was like "I feel terrible." After that we were going to our chapel in Kowloon Tong (about 20 minutes on the subway). I called Elder Brown (another missionary) to give me a blessing. So I get there but he is busy in an interview and I feel and pretty much and looked like death. So while he was finishing up the meeting I went to the bathroom... They came and got me and I walked out to the other room in the church to get a blessing. I looked at both of them (Elder Brown and Elder Bradley) and said "One second I need to throw up". Then I went down stairs and Elder Woodburn (actually I met him at BYU and happen to come to this mission too!) gave me a blessing. I felt A LOT better after both the blessing and the barf... Mostly the blessing haha. It was a LONG day but was full of small blessings and lessons learned. Oh to make it even funnier I was on 24's with Elder Dazza... So he got to watch me do this. In the end its alright we found a family and taught an AWESOME lesson with Tong family. I am happy that day is over though.... so painful.

 Yeahhhh that's right I am SANTA CLAUS! So turns out I am the only white guy in Cheung Sha Wan... so I guess I get to be Santa! Pretty awesome. At the Christmas party me and the other missionaries did a skit. They sang and did some stuff while I played guitar... Its pretty hard to play guitar when you have a fat stomach! Anyways it was an awesome Christmas. (Sister Tidwell, Sister Wilcox, me, Elder Liu and A Yung [Cheung Sha Wan mission leader and return missionary from Sydney])
 These are two families were are currently meeting with! Sis Cheung on the left and Sis Lee on the right! Sister Lee brought her friend to the party and the loved it. They wanna bring their kids to church next week! SOOO AWESOME yaya!
This cute little fella is named Ling Ling. He kept attacking me with this box because I was Santa... He also said I looked pregnant haha. I love this little kid!
On Friday a member (Steven) took us to lunch to this SUPER nice steak place... However sister Wilcox (the sister in the blue shirt) and I got food poisoning. Mine was pretty terrible...
Also this weekend we went to Sister Yim's home again and had an AWESOME Christmas feast! Had so pork ribs and lamb chops baby!!! YAYA :D

In a weird turn of events these are the last three photos on my camera.. Me being a thug? Elder Liu getting attack by Jung Lam and Sam Sam! Then Sam Sam giving me my Book of Mormon back -- She has to be the cutest thing on the entire earth by the way!

December 22, 2013

I can read English just fine but speaking I run into trouble every now and again... As far as writing and spelling goes... Ya I am pretty much doomed there.

Yes, I have had dreams that are in Chinese. Yes, I have talked in my sleep in Chinese. Talking doesn't require much thinking anymore, but listening still take effort. Chinese as a language is just sooo broad and huge its hard to just become natural at listening. It really depends on the people I talk to. When talking to kids (like teenagers or young adults) most conversations don't require much effort but as soon as the start telling stories or share experiences it can get hard because the use idioms, slang, or just weird words I don't know. The older generations 50+ some of them can have just wack Chinese and no one (not even locals) know what the heck they are saying. There is this LA grandma we visit we call her popo (what you call them in Chinese -- old women) and I think she may speak Fuk Gau Wa which is like a cross between like Mandarin, Cantonese and some third Chinese dialect... However we can understand like 70% of the time... maybe... and so that's always fun when we run into people like that and we really have no idea what they are saying.

I am not all that trunkie. I am excited for things but I am not like ready to go home nor am I like dying to stay on my mission. I think I will be a missionary who will finish and be glad he served and I hope I can say I know I did all I could. 

We live with Elder Beal and Elder Anderson. Elder Beal is from Layton, Utah and Elder Anderson is from North Carolina (but his family just moved to Provo like two month ago). I get along great with Elder Beal, he is pretty young as a missionary (same time as Elder Martinez, the elder I trained) but he is doing great. Elder Anderson is the same age (mission time) as Elder Beal (but he is junior).

The zone for all of December thus far has taught 160 member presents and 25 FULL family lesson YA YA baby!! So the Zone is doing alright, need to find new investigators and get more people to church that's our real problem right now.

We are trying to see Mrs. Chau this week sometime she is pretty busy but she loves to talk to us on the phone sooo things are going well.

Brother Tong is the member his wife and daughter are the investigator. They didn't come to church this week because they were sick BUT us and some member are going to their flat on Tuesday to do some caroling yaya! So it should be pretty awesome!

... it blows my mind that some people just don't know how to be parents. I feel like without the church I will still know how to be an effective parent at least but the church just brings a whole different spectrum of what a family should be when you are a member in a fully functional member family. Literally kills me sometimes but then I find hope like in Mrs. Chau or Tong family.

I started a new book of Mormon looking for the Power of God as well as trying to read in the Bible everyday. I have been taking so many notes in my two books its taking me FOREVER to get through them. I think I am on 1st Nephi 14 and Matthew 16 or something. Anyways I am learning a TON from it. 1st Nephi is such an awesome book, there is no doubt in my mind that it was suppose to be the first book in the Book of Mormon

 Check out how Christmas-y my desk is! Pretty legit right? I got cards from people, some presents, a stocking and most importantly Jesus in the center!
 However my favorite gift (I haven't opened them all yet) is my moose tie (it said moose tie on the back -- totally thought it was a reindeer) ya... I look pretty Lengjai (popular Chinese word that literally translates to "Handsome-Boy") yaya

At church yesterday we got about 20 lbs of food given to us and I had to carry it home while Elder Liu carried 3 packages (mine, his and another Elder's). BUT THE BEST thing given to us were these homemade cookies from Sister Yim... She lived in America for a while and she can make food like an AMERICAN.

Merry Christmas and I hope everyone remembers what we should really being focusing on at this time. I have had no greater gift in my life than to serve my Lord and God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength these last 1.5 year.

December 15, 2013

I know my English has gone to crap, its crazy how easy you lose information if you aren't always using it. I still have issues remembering some words but normally they are bigger words and when I mean bigger words they really aren't that big... ha :D

I love Elder Liu, we getting along great. He was actually step-trained by elder Ward and was also companions with Elder Krainock sooo we have a lot in common... He also was in Causeway Bay right before me (ie he knows my RC's Melody and Felix haha). So we getting along great. We teach great together, we find great, and enjoy our mission. I think this week though he got hit with the idea he is going home (this is his last move). He kind of freaked out a little bit yesterday but nothing that big just some anxiety for college and stuff.

We are teaching two families right now about our church! Its awesome, they let us come to their home and talk for an hour or so. We share messages or read scriptures together its pretty great. It kind of takes me home back when I would read with my family. We actually started teaching this lady named Mrs Jau this last week from a miracle. Two weeks ago we went out to eat to get dimsum (a Chinese brunch kind of thing) and she saw us bless the food (we were with members at the time). She asked why we blessed the food, so we explained. Then she left, she came back and asked why we (the white people) could speak Chinese so well, we explained to help people learn about Christ. She left and came back again and asked if we were Christian and we explained. This happened for like the next hour and half until we traded phone numbers. We called her last week and scheduled her to come take a tour of our church but said it was too far to bring her kids (its like 10 minutes away by subway) so by faith I asked, "can we come visit you?" (Which normally never happens, just do to Chinese culture) She said yes and gave me her address... We visited her (and one of her sons Jacky was there he is 7, she has a 15 year old son who was out at that time) and shared about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. She said she always wanted to learn about Christianity but never could because something always stopped her. She said she gave us her address because she felt like she needed to and felt there was truth to what we shared. HOW COOL IS THAT? She prayed in the lesson for the first time in her life and said she felt something (ie the Holy Ghost). It was amazing. Just a cool blessing from this week!

The other family is still Tong family. They are doing great! We taught them after church yesterday (they still only came to Sacrament meeting) and it was an awesome lesson! Sister Tong really opened up and said she wants this for Katie because she knows everyone is going to be faced with challenges and the church can prepare them more than anything else. She still isn't like fully accepting yet, meaning she herself needs to change and accept it too... BUT they are doing awesome. The bishop talked to Brother Tong yesterday and he seemed pretty happy sooo doing good.

Well A Wing is actually going to stay Feb 9, we prayed, talked with our ward mission leader and him. He will be fine, he can't keep the Sabbath Day holy currently with his job situation and he can't quit because he supports his family (since his dad passed away). However he is working on a promotion were he will learn to cook cakes so he will only be able to come to one hour of church in January due to this class HOWEVER afterwards he won't have to work Sundays anymore. I think this is a blessing. I am not to worried (all four of us, Elder Liu, me, A Wing and A Yung)

Patrick is doing the same not much to report, progressing and doing great haha. 

Herman we haven't contacted in a while... Think  his parents are restricting him seeing us sooo thats to bad. We are trying to use his friend to keep contact with him. yeah :(

We have called the family from the park but they are busy with school tests and studies soooo they can't see us. Hopefully soon we will see Tse family. We also found another family called Tung Family but they are going to mainland for Christmas so we will hopefully see them in January.

To answer your question about the Chinese on a computer... There are three well four ways to do it...
1. with Radicals on the key board
2. A pen were you write the characters on a pad and it comes up
3. By strokes (I don't know how to explain this but this is the method I use on the computer and cell phones)
4. Mandarin pinyin

 Its crazy but my sisters just left last Friday... We had one last get together and went ice skating! I am not sure what I am doing in this photo but I look great :)
 In case anyone is curious on how to say Turkey or Bulgaria in Chinese I know how! I had to learn how to write it and say it to explain to the people here... So have fun in Bulgaria Zac!!!
Check my super awesome hair cut (and scarf lol). I look pretty old... :o I am old man haha