Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Use What He's Already Given You

It's a hot day on the inskirts of the Kong.
I've forgotten the past three P-days to get this out there: Little Caleb down in south Georgia and to your parents as well -- I got your package and nearly wept tears of joy. Haha, it was so awesome, and it only came two days after the fourth of July! I wish I could thank you with more than just these typed words, but this will have to do. Caleb, keep up all the good work, and take care of your family!
It's been really hot lately -- Mom, you mentioned you heard that it rains a lot in Hong Kong. I'd say that's true, which also explains why it's always so humid. The rain here is nasty-- it's thicker and stickier, so you feel like a dirtbag by the time you've leaped onto the bus. It makes people even more confused at why your smiling at them when you're sitting across from them drenched in Honkey Kong death rain. People in Hong Kong HATE rain. Count on getting fong'd by an investigator if it's raining.
Well, this time I'm a lot more sure -- I'm getting a new companion next P-day. Elder Ng is going to be a Zone Leader in Kwun Tong, so I'm anxiously awaiting to be assigned to a new companion. Elder Ng is such a good little man. I say little because I'm pretty sure if he held his knees to his chest I could shot-put him, but his heart is big. I've learned so many things from him, and I'm positive my experience with him will largely shape the way I will do my work for the rest of my mission.
Cantonese is getting better. Yesterday I spent most of the day with an American Elder who hasn't even finished his first move yet, and taught a lesson with him. I'm positive I was just like him only 4 months ago, but I couldn't believe how much more able I was to communicate. He did great, but it was encouraging for me to realize how much I've improved since I got here -- I can understand most of what is going on although I know I still miss a lot of the nitty gritty stuff. It's still hard, but I've focused on pounding a ton of vocabulary into my head simply for the sake of understanding it when other people say it. They say that 6 months in you start to understand people a lot better -- it seems to be coming true with a lot of diligence and prayer. For that I'm so grateful, and sometimes I wake up and realize I spend most of my waking hours speaking in Chinese. Who'da thought.
We work hard. Since last week's reevaluation with Elder Ng and in my studies, I've noticed a significant change in our progress. We're achieving our goals more easily, we're having more effective lessons, and finding more people to teach. It's profound for me to continue learning about what it really means to follow the Spirit -- so many times we think revelation and following the Spirit to equate to Mario hitting a question mark and an invincible star hits you and then all of the sudden you overcome anything in your path. Sometimes we think we're immediately going to be inspired if we just pray about it and wait. It isn't like that. God gave you a brain and gave you logic for a reason: use it. God wants us to use the resources He's already given us: willpower, intellect, knowledge, wisdom -- and then use it WITH prayer and His guidance. It's never a bad idea to evaluate yourself and where you're at, to look at what can be better, do everything you can to change it and ask God to help you make up the difference. I know He guides us after all that we can do. Use your gifts.
Love, Elder Hazen

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