Hey! Yeah, I heard he [Alec] was going to the Philippines!! That's so crazy! The Filipino missions are baptizing like crazy. I was actually in a zone with a ton of Filipino missionaries in the MTC. They are some of my best freinds in the mission. I wonder if Alec is going to the same mission.. I can't remember where they are, though. I'll have to ask.
I got your package!!! Thank you so much, it was awesome!! I ate all the chocolate in like 2 days and then felt sick, haha. I wasn't actually able to bake the brownies, though because we don't have an oven. But, I think we may be able to do it at the church cuz they have one. I just gotta find the time, haha. Actually, two of the elders in my apartment went to Kowloon for something and saw my package and grabbed it, then hid it until by birthday, so it was an awesome surprise, haha. Tell everyone thanks for all the birthday wishes and cards and prayers and emails and everything else. It meant a lot. I can't really believe I'm 21. It felt weird that morning cuz I was thinking about what most 21 year olds do on their birthday, and I was up by 7 in the morning running though the streets of Kam Tin, Hong Kong, China for morning exercises. Kind of a contrast, haha, but it's awesome.
Wow, that's cool that President Hawks sent you a letter. He is awesome.
I can answer your questions here.
Do you have regular dinner appointments at member homes? What kind of food do the members feed you? What are some of the craziest things you've eaten? Anything surprise you about the food there?
As far as dinner appointments, no not regularly... I've been changed out (it's chinglish, literally meaning "please out" like, please, let me take you out to eat cheng, meaning please, but anyways that's what we call them) about 4 times since I've gotten here, so not very regularly. Some missionaries get more, but the Kam Tin elders are the Spartans of the mission, haha. The food is different, but good. I've had chicken feet and liver, fungus soup, cow intestines, lots of rice, lots of different parts of pig, most of which I'm not sure what it was, lots of crazy veggies, that kinda stuff. Oh and curry. Curry is crazy spicy.. noodle soup, lots of dumplings.. and because the mid autumn festival is coming up, people give us a lot of moon cakes, which are little cake things with a duck egg in the middle.
To be honest, I'm not sure what the craziest thing I've eaten is because I don't ask a lot of times what I'm eating, haha. Yeah, there are some foods like cow intestine that I thought was good, so that was surprising.
Do you spend a lot of time each day riding your bikes? Did your previous companion or your current companion have much bike riding experience before being called on their mission?
Yeah, the Kam Tin elders are the only elders in the mission with bikes, and we are on them everyday, and no neither of my companions have much experience, and I get kind of
for them because the traffic can get pretty crazy and the roads are
super bad, so I taught them how to j-hop up and down curbs. Actually, my
last companion ate it really bad and went to the hospital cuz he was
trying to keep up with me once, so I've slowed down a lot.. My new
companion has fallen a couple times too, and once into a rice patty,
haha. So, I go slower now.
|How to j-hop on a bike...|
What are the grocery stores like there? Similar to America grocery stores? Do they have similar brands?
Grocery stores are pretty similar, but a lot more packed.. All 4 wheels of the grocery cart swivels instead of the front two, so you can get around people. They have most everything that America has at "park-N-shop" which is like their Walmart, but the American stuff is really expensive, like syrup, peanut butter, mac and cheese, ice cream, chocolate, that kinda stuff. So we just buy ramin, rice and dumplings, haha.
Do you speak a lot in church or teach a lot in church? You mentioned you've been working a lot with less actives. Has your branch had success with reactivation?
I actually spoke last Sunday in the yeun long 2 ward, but that was only my 3rd time speaking. Expressing the Spirit can be hard in Chinese, but I'm getting better at it. We don't teach any classes in church themselves, but we will teach investigators who come to church afterwards sometimes. Um, the less active work is a slow process, we are doing our best and have had some success, but there is a lot more to be done. I'd say only about 20 percent or so of members are active, so there are a lot of lost sheep we can't find. But we keep trying! One of our investigators has a baptismal date, so we are excited. She belongs to another church right now and read 2 Peter 2 from the Bible, and is worried that we are a false church. A lot of people get antied here because the translation of Mormon sounds like (Mo Muhn) which means "devils door"... So, we talked to her about how only good trees bring forth good fruits and vice versa from Matthew 7 and 3 Nephi also Alma 32. We read the Book of Mormon with her every time we meet with her, so I think that is helping.
Well thanks for keeping me informed on whats going on back home! I'm crazy stoked about Alec! Sister Moody is too, she says hi. We are emailing together right now, and she said that her ward is freaking out that we are in the same mission, haha. I guess I just take it for granted, but it is pretty cool. Anyways, I love you all. Alec, do work man!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh! You have a good amount of time to prep, so don't get lazy! It will go by soooo fast. I love you bro.Love,