All is well and the labor is satisfying here in the Kong.
There has been a change in the Mission Presidency this week! President Hawks is our new Mission President, and he has the same Chinese surname as I do: Hah. He's a way legit guy, he works in the Engineering department at BYU, he's tall, and for some reason I get the feeling he'd make a perfect cowboy in True Grit. When we had our Question and Answer session with him, I asked what he liked to do. He said, "Work." When he has nothing to do, he likes working in the yard, going up into the mountain and cutting down trees, and making his kids work. You can bet my first thoughts in response to this was, "Welcome President Lee Hazen to the Mission field, good to have ya." Haha Dad, I remember all to well the saturdays we spent together working in the yard and I murmured against you so hard. All I wanted to do was see a movie. Maybe God is giving me a chance to repent by strictly working in the Hong Kong yard under a very symbolic you. Love you Dad.
I love getting fed by the members. You'll see in one of the photos that we ate some seriously amazing roast goose. Mom and Dad -- I gave in. I bought a yihwu. Mandarin pingyam: erhu. It's a chinese violin. I'm teaching myself, and it's turning out pretty good. And it's a beautiful one. I'm currently preparing myself to get good enough to use it for street contacting. Nothing like a little hymn action on a chinese instrument duly sounded by a white kid.
Elder Ng (yes he's still my companion) told me yesterday that my voice is deeper and more monotonous when I speak Cantonese, even though my tones are almost always correct. He says if I talk too long in Cantonese it starts to lull him to sleep. What the. I didn't think it was possible for a tonal language to be limited by monotany! is that even a word?
I told you about Brother Choi, the high priest in our ward that we helped reactivate. Yesterday he helped us fellowship an investigator. I can't even tell you how satisfying it is for a missionary to watch the same person who was giving you skeptical questions 2 months earlier now happily helping you answer the skeptical questions of another. It's powerful to watch how simply and profoundly people change when all they do is keep the commitments we give them. We told Brother Choi to read the scriptures every day and pray, and find answers from the only perfect source of truth. He did so, and now he doesn't even need us anymore.
Roddy had some moments this week. He called me on the phone and I talked to him for nearly an hour about the necessity of going to church, but his biggest problem was he felt like we were his connection to God but he had a ton of reservations about being associated with an organized religion. Again the answer ultimately was: read the book. Read the Book of Mormon. He did so. He texted us and asked us if he could come sit in on a church meeting, and afterwards told us he felt like some things the members said echoed with him. Now we're doing everything we can to get him turned over to the missionaries in his area. As for the investigators in our area, things are progressing slowly but surely.
I love knowledge, and I love gaining it. But if there is anything I adore more than anything, it is the truth. Through my experiences I am positive that our feelings and our faith can become tangible evidences and sources of further data to confirm the truth. The Spirit is real. There have been too many times where my knees have felt bruised from praying so long begging to feel the Spirit, and arising from my prayer renewed and determined, confident and happy. A state where I have conquered myself and my pride through begging God to help me. And I know it works, and plead with you all to do the same. I wish everyone realized seriously how incredible it was to know that we are supported by Divinity. God is our support!
Love, Elder Hazen
Roasting an entire goose, mgoi.
Tallest building in Hong Kong, 3rd (?) in the world.
In front of the Wan Chai chapel building. Most expensive chapel in the world. 11-13 floors, I can't remember.