December 29, 2013
What an amazing thing to see that the whole year has gone away! I don’t think there is anything that I would want to be doing OR keeping me from doing the work which I have been doing for the entire year. Looking back it just all sums down to 4 things that I can really remember – Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po, Cheung Sha Wan, and now Sha Tin. Four areas that I feel like have changed my entire life around, really they have! It has just been so long but so short and I can’t remember any of the bad moments – I’m trying to but nothing too bad happened… all of it’s for the good of everyone right?! Christmas was just so awesome. The presents were all first class – like how did everyone (and by everyone I’m guessing it might just be Mom but I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt) know that I needed new bed sheets?! Miracle. Or that I was running out of toothpaste and wanted to buy the kind that we always have at home but it’s either nonexistent here or costs 60$. Miracle. The Angry Birds Cars. Miracle. (I love giving fun gifts as well as practical ones so I sent him two little toy race cars that he and his companion could play with on Christmas Day.) Okay…well maybe not so much but it makes for a better story. The ties were all excellent. I have a HUGE collection of ties right now, but that’s no problem. I’ve never been too much to speak on the phone. If I had been I would’ve told everyone how much I enjoyed talking to them, or sounded excited, or said something along the lines of “Oh, that’s just what I needed.” but instead, you just got me. Oh well. Better luck next Christmas. (Contrary to Kyle’s humble self-assessment, his phone call on Christmas Eve was everything we could have hoped it would be. All of my family was here and almost all of us got to talk to him for a few minutes. He sounded happy and healthy and had nothing but positive, uplifting things to say about his mission. In case you can’t tell I am so very proud of him. Not once in the many months that he has been gone has he given me cause to worry or be concerned. Not once has he complained or indicated that he was discouraged. Not once has he expressed anything but love and support for his family. It was so wonderful to get to talk to him!) I never can really express how grateful I am for all of you and every single thing you do! I LOVE the presents and the conversation. And my body is 100% now…. except I’m really itchy right now. The apartment said its something with not all the bad stuff is leaving the body when I shower, but gets trapped in there. Ehhh… whatever….
Well I know you are all wondering what did Brother Chan do this week? He went up to Macau to celebrate his birthday so he wasn’t around for most of the week. I thought it was going to be a slow week for him. However in correlation meeting he announced two things. 1) That he wrote down and met all 30+ nonmembers that came to the ward Christmas Party this week and so we have the list to follow up how they are doing. I had no idea he was going to. And then, he has worked out with the bishop that starting this next week the missionaries are going to teach a special 3rd hour class all about how members can do missionary work more effectively. And throughout the year everyone has to attend the 2-week course! Ha-ha! He organized a missionary class for us! It’s amazing! So starting this week we will be teaching how members can do more missionary work. A great idea – an even better man.
The ward Christmas party was a big hit. The whole night was filled with fun and we had investigators there, some of them actually performed in the talent show that they put on. At the very end they had Elder Wong, a member of the Area Seventy here, come out and be Santa and give out presents to all the kids. It was pretty funny! It doesn’t beat Katie but it’s a close second. (Kyle’s sister Katie plays Santa every year in our annual Christmas Play.) Well…not close…but you get the point. Christmas was a great time here!! This Christmas will always be special because…
Most importantly because we had a baptism! That was a great day and the baptism went really smoothly in my opinion. No problems whatsoever, except that our chapel is lacking a sufficient amount of baptismal clothing, but that is no problem at all. Kira did well and she was very happy and excited. People came early just to see her and everything. She really appreciated that. During the Christmas party she was always being congratulated by someone or talking to someone. I feel that she just has been in the ward for a long time, and the baptism was just a long time coming. She is doing very well with recognizing the spirit. She was a little disappointed because she built up a lot of courage to ask her mom to come to her baptism. Her mom said she would come and then at the last second got mad at her and then decided not to come. It didn’t get her down for too long though and she was right back at it. Overall it was a very good day here. After the baptism, the ward Christmas party was a hit. Like I said, the ward counted and said somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the people at the party were nonmembers. Although some of them have been to many church activities and some wouldn’t even allow us to ask them their name, it was a great event and everyone could feel the sweet joys of Christmas. This is truly a great time to be a missionary.
The area is slowly getting there. We are getting more and more potentials, it’s just people were busy with the holidays. As a result a lot of the investigators that we do have were busy as well, but this week should be better! We already have things scheduled and I can’t wait for the week. Sha Tin is on the edge of great things. I can feel it. So is the whole zone. It was a little lackluster week this week but we’ll get right back at it. Elder Welker has already done a good job scheduling a part member family for tonight and we should meet with Ada this week. She was busy doing service so couldn’t come with her brother to English class. And John came to the Christmas party where he ran into his childhood friend that he hasn’t talked to in 10 years who is a member!
Love you all! Have a great year! I’ll talk to you next year!