September 22, 2013
So maybe you’ve heard that we had a pretty big typhoon that hit here yesterday. It has some weird English name but the Chinese name is translated to Heavenly Bunny because the Mid-Autumn story deals with two bunnies that are in the sky. I’ve actually never heard the story before come to think about it. I see the two bunnies and the flying lady all the time but I have no idea what they mean. Probably should’ve asked someone or something. (I actually tried looking it up but couldn’t find a story surrounding Fall Festival that had anything to do with two bunnies. There is an ancient legend about one rabbit however who offered his own life to save others and is therefore commemorated by having his likeness placed on the moon. Typhoon “Heavenly Rabbit” however, didn’t really amount to much.) Anyway, the Fall Festival was just a grand ole time. Ha-ha! It is quite enjoyable actually. It’s like the one time each year where they decorate parks and families are out celebrating. They love to light lanterns here (it might be illegal though??) like they do in that one movie with Rapunzel…what’s that movie called? (I think he is referring to the movie “Tangled” where the King and Queen and the townspeople release lanterns into the sky every year in honor of their lost princess’ birthday.) Oh no….my memory is failing. Too many things happening… and now it’s going to bug me for the rest of the week. Anyway. We had dinner at the Yim Family’s house. They really are like my family away from home. I need to take a picture with them actually. They are some very special people. The mom (her name is Julie) cooks so well. It’s always welcomed. But she does like to make jokes and so this week she said there was dessert of Ice Mooncakes but before I could have one I had to eat a whole chunk of Durian. (Kyle has told us before and I have explained how horrible the fruit called Durian smells and tastes to those who have not acquired a taste for it.) It was so awful… but I endured it well. Or Lan and Emily were there as well so it was just one giant party. I did get another joke played on me while there however. She went and found a Durian Mooncake. Oh my. That’s the worst combination anyone could think of. Whatever evil person put those two things together was under the influence of Satan of something.
Anyway about this week. I got to sleep in the temple this week! We had to go on exchanges this week with a companionship and so I got to go and sleep in the temple! That’s where like President Hawks lives along with 6 missionaries. It was so awesome. That apartment beats anything I’ve seen here for these 16 months on a mission! Sixteen months today actually! Happy celebration. The showers didn’t run out of hot water in two minutes, the beds were actually beds, THERE WAS CARPET, and everything like that. That was so nice. And the exchange was good so that’s a double bonus.
We had like a zone conference this week called “mission tour” and Elder Larry Wilson in the Asia area came to teach us. It was so awesome how he taught about the three pillars of the eternities; The Creation, The Fall, and the Atonement. He told us how they are all inseparable and so vital for anyone’s conversion. We also talked about the Book of Mormon. How important it is for anyone to be reading the Book of Mormon and yet some missionaries don’t introduce the Book of Mormon well enough. We need to be excited to read it. He told us to make a movie trailer of 1st Nephi 2-4 and see how imaginative we could be. While we were doing this I thought of Picasso’s quote “anything you can imagine is real” and just how much better I can do in really showing investigators how exciting the Book of Mormon can be. Much more exciting than the Devils game this week. (The Sun Devils lost to Stanford that week and that’s all I’m going to say.) But that’s another story.
Anyway on to the week!!! The area is doing well. It slowed down this week and we’ll need to do some work this week to keep it going like it can be. I love the ward. They are such a big help to us. We were having a scheduling conflict for the baptism on Sunday (the building had a YSA activity planned) and the fellowshipper for Steven just went to the bishop and said, “I like this investigator a lot. He is ready for baptism. You worry about the baptism and I’ll take care of everything else.” That is awesome coming from a mid 70-year-old man. They are really willing to cooperate and there is always someone willing to help out the missionaries. This week we are going to try finding with them using the new street display. Hopefully it can produce in some new investigators. We have found new investigators in the past couple of weeks but a lot of them seem to not make time to meet us a third time. That’s okay. I can feel the faith of the whole area growing and good things will come! It’s going to be a great week
We are having success with some of our new investigators. Jason brought his mom to the church and we sat down and had a lesson with her. She seems really interested about families and loves English class. They have been coming for two weeks now and Jason even came to church with his friend Simon (the mother was in Mainland this weekend). They are doing well and like to ask questions. I think they do have a sincere desire to learn more about the Book of Mormon. We’ll see what goes on with them these next couple of meetings but I’m really excited to start teaching the mother and the son. They have another younger boy as well and we are going to meet with all three of them together.
We had a great day at church yesterday. Two investigators that weren’t planning on coming ended up coming so that was a miracle all by itself. We also had 5 less-actives come to church with us which is great. The ward does really well. As soon as they come to church, they have someone supporting them. Recently a mom and her son have been coming back to activity, which is great news. Yesterday was their 3rd or 4th time at church in a row and they always have people come up and talk to them.
The only other big news for the week is that we are preparing for a baptism. Steven is looking really well. Ever since we first started meeting with him he has been reading every night and really learning from it, not just reading. He has given up drinking tea just because he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He has his baptismal interview this Thursday so all should go well. He didn’t want me to ask him all the baptismal questions because he thought it was cheating! Oh well. Everything is doing well here. My faith is growing bit by bit and I think its because of diligence. I’ve never been this diligent in doing everything and I’ve never seen these blessings! It’s awesome! Anyway. Big week this week! The zone has a chance to meet most of its goals (The typhoon almost destroyed our chances but that’s okay. We’re still looking pretty good.) A big night for the Devils coming up. (ASU had to play USC the following week.) I love you all and hope you know that I’m so happy to have your support. I truly can feel it with you. HAVE A GOOD WEEK. Beat those Kiffin Kitties.