Date: Thursday, December 03, 2009 3:32:47 AM
First off I will answer Mom's questions. We go to a branch of all Mandarin speaking people. There is only the one Mandarin Branch in all of Hong Kong, meaning there are a lot of inactive people in the outer reaches. If they all started coming to church and got their friends to join we might be able to start another branch in the north (not actually on Hong Kong Island). That would be good. It is hard though. So for now we have one branch (not even a ward) with TEN missionaries. We make up a good percentage of the branch. We don’t meet in the Temple building, we meet in a very large chapel on Hong Kong Island.. It is where the English speaking wards (there may be more than one, I'm not sure) is also. There are a few Americans in our ward, but they are just guys who went on missions to Taiwan, married Mandarin speakers, and ended up in Hong Kong. There's this one Hong Kong man who is married to a Japanese woman. Both of them and all their kids speak perfect English, Mandarin and Japanese at least. I know the dad speaks other languages too but I don't know about the rest of them.
We go to the temple once a move (six week period, you don't neccessarily move that often) so I've only been once. It is very lovely. Workout? like working out? We work out in the morning. Most people don't really do too much. I try to follow the suggested things which are twenty minutes cardio (running in place or jumping jacks) and then every other day ten minutes of strength (push ups and stuff) and ten minutes of flexibility. I sometimes just do the cardio though. It's nice. For a week I didn't do anything cause I was a little sick. I didn't like it. Even though we walk around a lot I still feel better when I've worked out in the morning.
My companion really likes to eat out. Last month we both ran out of money. This month our plan is $100 a week on groceries and $25 dollars a day on eating out, and only eat out for one meal. When you think that one American dollar is 7.5 Hong Kong, that is not very much. but you can do it and you can eat for like, ten to fifteen sometimes so you can save up for more expensive meals (like the delicious Huevos Rancheros I had today. I have to idea how you spell that). That way we still get to eat out and I still get to learn how to cook better. I wish I had let mom teach me more. Do you remember Chasu Bau we ate with the Taylors in San Fran? Steamed bread with BBQ pork inside? They have a lot of different kinds of Bao here. I love it so much and it's quite cheap. They also have cheap rolls and buns that are so so very good. And you can get noodles and congee and stuff for really cheap too. I really like it. Congee is like, rice soup. Lot's of people don't like it, but I think it's great. I try to snack on healthy food at home like fruit. I like to mix oats, milk, coco and a tiny bit of sugar for a nice snack or for breakfast. It's like much healthier, dark chocolate coco puffs. Yummy. It would also probably be good with peanut butter. Like Reeses' puffs!
I have been waiting for someone to ask about pictures. I'm not really sure how to put them onto a CD and we are really busy all the time. I will do my best to figure it out and send it, but keep bothering me so I do it.
Today our Zone had an Airsoft war on an Island. I had nothing to protect myself, so we went to a second hand store and I got an awesome jacket for $80 Hong Kong. I'll hardly ever be able to wear it, so it should still be good in two years.
Yesterday all of our stuff (pamphlates, Books of Mormon, keys, money) got locked in a chapel while we were waiting for an investigator. We ran around Hong Kong for twenty minutes and finally got a key to the outer cage-like door. My companion then literally broke the inner door open. I couldn't believe that he'd done it. Then we took a taxi so we could make it on time to another appointment with someone who didn't show up. It was all for nothing. Of well, that is life.
I can't remember anything that happened this week because I left my planner with my notes from the week on my desk. Sorry. I'm doing my best.
Next Saturday a member is going to teach all the Mandarin missionaries how to make dumplings! I'm so excited. I asked her if she'd give me a recipe and she said she would, but I wouldn't be able to read it. So she's teaching us all instead. I remember the Li's showed me how once, but I forgot. I remember how to bou (like, wrap) them though!
I got to go on Companionship 24 hour exchanges with Elder Wall the other day. It was very fun and very nice to get to talk to him and spend a whole day with him. He's a really good guy.
Christmas in Hong Kong is exactly what you'd expect Christmas in a consumer based non Christian city to be. Lots of commercial stuff. It's still pretty Christmas-y, even though it's not even a little cold. Sometimes I see fake snow and it is weird because it's so warm. Haha
It's been a bit of a rough week. Our investigators are having a hard time progressing. They don't want to come to church or read the scriptures or pray, they just like meeting with us and telling us about how they still don't know if God exists. We are trying to figure out how to help them understand that they don’t need to actually know that stuff before they get to feel anything. But I know that they can feel that God exists if they do try. I know that God exists and that this is His church. This work is hard sometimes, but I know it's His work and it's what He wants me to be doing. I love you all so much! Bye bye!
-Elder Noah Kershisnik