G'day mates! :b
Wow, I have a lot more time to write today :) woot! :) Sorry I don't have any new pictures this week. I am going to have some new cool ones next week though because today we are going to see a massive artificial duck that has been shipped into the harbor here. Not exactly sure why, but it's gotten quite the attention, so I figured I had better be part of this historic event of seeing the world's largest "rubby duck in the water." lol! So for this week, I decided I would bring my journal and share some excerpts from there because I often can't remember all that has happened over the past week. Heres a couple:
1/2/13- Best day of the mission by heaps! Witnessed tons of miracles today! First off, Elder Wan pulled off a golden investigator from the street and we were able to give him a tour of the chapel and talk to him about our special message. His name is Simon and he's and underground Christian from Pakistan. His family is Christian, but Christianity is a pretty scary religion to practice there, that's why they have to worship in underground churches and stuff. Pretty crazy, but President Howes has said that we are able to teach HIm since his family is Christian (because of some religious barriers, those of certain other faiths- particularly Islam and Judeism- have to obtain specific consent before we are allowed to teach them, because people that learn of Christian beliefs when belonging to some faiths are honestly faced with death threats) So we were able to meet with him and get to know him better and he wants to continue to meet with us and attend church with us. Also, I set up an appointment with someone who speaks Cantonese! Her name is Donna and she is from Southern China where they speak cantonese. I have been praying for someone to teach in Cantonese for some time now because I really want to use my language ability in my lessons.
1/3/3- Something really cool happened today. I was kinda frustrated at not knowing where to focus my attention on studying Cantonese. I decided I should pray again and ask for help and guidance, and the thought immediately came to read "Preach my Gospel" out loud in Cantonese. After doing this, I have been able to see how much it has helped me. I needed this answer to prayer!
This one is my Favorite :) this is literally the whole thing I wrote that night:
1/5/13- I'm flat out exhausted today. Lots of finding in the heat has tired me out a lot. Write more tomorrow, but a pretty good day.
^ that day was especially HOT. I honestly felt like my feet were on fire when walking on the street haha! It was good though, all part of the experience
Hopefully you'll enjoy some of my excerpts from my journal that I write home, because there is a lot that happens during each and every day, and it's hard to remember all of it when I sit down to write. We started a new reading goal for the whole mission at the beginning of this year. Our mission President wants us all to follow a plan to allow every missionary to read the Book of Mormon again by April. As we do so, He wants us to use a fresh new copy and to only mark references to the Savior and to His ministry and Sacrifice. This has been SO cool to do thus far! I have known since I started reading the Book of Mormon how much it talks about the Savior, however, I was able to see it more starkly when the MAIN thing I'm looking for is references to Him. I'm able to see how many "1-liners" there are that the prophets use to talk about Him. It has allowed me a much greater and broader view of how many times Prophets in ancient times and modern have talked about the Savior.
So regarding Transfers- something crazy happened this week. EVERYONE stayed in our Area. all 12 Elders except the Mini-missionary, who is done with his 6 week mini-mission. Everyone was so surprised because it rarely ever happens that all the missionaries stay in their assigned areas in a zone. But it's very cool because all of the training we have received particular to this zone and how to improve here will be able to be used in full force by everyone here. The longer I am here, the more I realize how special and specific this area is. People keep telling me that the work here is so different, but it didn't all set in at first how different it is. One of the things I love most to be honest is teaching English Class. I love this opportunity to help others with something that is really important to them and to provide community service for other people. I love teaching and helping people come closer to Christ first and foremost, however, English class is also very enjoyable to teach because it is an area where I can see people's quick improvements and I am able to help people a lot. It's really funny to try to explain some of the idioms that we use and that people want to learn. Also, setting the record for tongue twisters is pretty enjoyable too! :) Everyone in the class tried to say "don't put the bitter butter in the batter or the batter will be bitter and the butter wont make it any better." And after everyone had tried, the other teacher, from Japan had me be timed and I said it in..... I think 3.87 seconds? something like that.... so mabye ya'll can try it at home and see if you can beat that record :b you probably can, but it was really funny to hear everyone applaud and roar and be amazed at me saying the tongue twister haha!
I love the Chinese people here. All chinese people are especially funny in their mannerisms and just the way they express things. Part of it is because English is their second language so they use really funny words to describe things sometimes, it makes me smile though not only because of what they say, but because I know how hard it is for them to learn. It makes me think of how odd my Cantonese must sound to other people. My companion and I keep growing closer and closer together over the course of knowing each other. It's been interesting to learn and grow for myself as well. Everyday I feel that I'm learning more about myself- how I learn, how I act, what my true character is. Overall the experience of the mission has continued to get better and better with each and every day. It has been really cool to see how I have been able to continue to distance myself from the world, while everyone else seems to just dive deeper and deeper into it. So many people here talk about the "current trends" the new technology that will come out, new movies, new videos and all these other things. I see more advertisements here on buses, bilboards, trains, and street posts than I think I have seen my whole life LOL! But each and everyday I find that the more I see these advertisements, the less it takes my mind away. Not going to lie, the first time I saw all "The Hobbit" ads I was pretty intrigued and I was wondering what the movie would be about. Or with the new Wii that is coming out. Ad's for Iphone 5 and other new tablets and phones were all over the place, and being the curious person that I am, it often would take my mind off of my task at the point in time for a minute, but as I have continued to try to avoid these things and turn my thoughts, I have found it increasingly easier. I read a talk given by President Packer about how each of us has a "delete button." that we can create. I tried it and it absolutely works! What you do, is you take a common and unnoticeable movement, for instance, adjusting your glasses, scratching your head, maybe even blinking your eyes, and make it your "delete button." So that way when ideas/thoughts come to mind that you want to not focus on, you do that movement and think of something else and it becomes a lot easier for your brain to switch ideas!!! I promise it works. It takes a little while to program in, but now I've actually been able to see how well it works! Whenever a bus passes by and I see the ad- make my sign, and I dont think about that movie, new technology, or book and I can just keep going on practicing cantonese, looking for people to speak to, or thinking of how I can better teach my investigators. It's been really cool. Try it out!! Gotta go, love you all!!!!