Monday, February 3, 2014


During the Chinese New Year, red envelopes are typically given by the married to the unmarried, especially children and work colleagues. The amount of money contained in the envelope usually ends with an even digit. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. Red envelopes are also used to deliver payments for favorable service to lion dance performers, religious practitioners, teachers and doctors.
I'm doing good. The weather has been getting a little warmer but not too bad yet. You can tell summer is coming.. my companionship is good, we don't normally have any problems communicating. English classes are also good. We have a new program that we just got from the mission office that is based off of the mormon messages, so it's pretty cool. We are still teaching our deaf investigator, and her baptismal date is Feb 16, and she's super excited, and so are we, haha. She said she invited a ton of friends to see her get baptized. Our other investigators are also doing well, have a few who also are working towards a baptismal date. No, we haven't had the chance to bless or pass the sacrament during the week again, that was on an exchange, so it was a one time thing in the English branch on a Saturday, haha. On a side note, I just found out from a member that the island we live on Ap Lei Chau (Aberdeen Island) translation (duck tongue island) is the most populated island on the planet... like in the Guinness book of world records.. which is kinda cool. The average day in my life includes studies in the morning and either finding or teaching (if we are lucky) in the afternoon/evening.. it's really that anti climactic, haha but we plug along.

Victoria park was ok last week. Lot's of people. Ate some squid tentacles.. There were fire works and a bunch of flea markets and stuff. People give out a ton of those red pocket money to everyone, I got over 300 dollars, haha but we give all of it with our fast offerings cuz we aren't supposed to take money, but it's like disrespectful if you don't so that's the solution President Hawks came up with. Lessons have slowed down because of the holidays.  Chinese New Year is like Christmas in the states, so it's harder to schedule people. But we are hoping it will pick up next week.


Thanks for praying for our investigators! They are awesome. I got the package, thank you so much!! But now I'm super fat!!! I'm sending a box home of stuff I don't want/need. I don't know how much it will cost, but I'm cringing thinking about it. I want it to be the slowest row boat from China to the U.S., haha so I don't care if it takes two years, as long as it's cheaper. 10 months out.. I'll dream in Chinese sometimes but I'm no more fluent or understand anymore than I do when I'm awake, so it's nothing special, haha. In lessons I understand most everything, but on the street the percentage goes down. Chinese grammar isn't really hard, but the tones can be hard to distinguish sometimes and if your tones are off when you speak, it can be embarrassing what you end up saying. The other big thing, that is kind of hard to explain is almost every word, other than the very fundamental basic words, are two characters, with exceptions for bigger, more complicated newer words. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Just two syllables.. but the problem is they mix and match those to make new words.. so even if you've learned the vocab for all four of those words you still have to think about how they can be put together in different ways to make new words.. it's kind of hard sometimes. But learning those new words comes faster because you already have the basic foundations down. Chinese really just builds on itself. They can't invent new characters, there is only a certain number that exist, so they just add two or more together to make new words. Anyways, so yeah that's the language, I don't know if that made sense... I think learning Chinese sign language is easier cuz there are way fewer words, and it's basically just like playing charades, haha. 

Today we have a ward BBQ for Chinese New Year. Thanks for everything! I love you all, keep the faith, just keep swimming, never quit.

Elder Mikesell

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