Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knowing Everything

Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010 1:27:37 AM

Dear Family,

A while ago Leah asked me if I'd eaten Frog. I still haven't, but I did notice frogs and turtles for sale in the meat markets on the way to our apartment. It made me sad. The pickled lizards were weird, but not as saddening as live turtles.

I have eaten chicken feet. They aren't good.

We called an woman who was contacted by a Cantonese Elder. She is 23 and married. She already graduated, but doesn't have a Hong Kong ID so she can't get a job. I think she is very very bored and lonely because she calls us everyday and mostly just wants to hang out. But she listens to the lessons. She is kind of weird. Like a twelve year old. Not like Leah, she's not a normal twelve year old. Like a twelve year old with an extreme case of ADD. We want to get her some friends in the ward so that if she gets baptized she will not just immediately go inactive. The problem is there are only about two members her age, so we only have one shot to get her some friends and we don't want to mess it up. It's a little scary. Also I think she will do whatever we tell her to, including get baptized, so we need to be careful to make sure she has a testimony. That's also scary. What if I convince someone to make sacred covenants that they don't really believe in? Yikes.

I am fascinated with Dad's new hobby (collecting death masks), but I am interested in how he will store them. Will they be proudly displayed somewhere to show the eccentricity of his artistic mind, make him more adorable in the eyes of his admirers and more odd in the eyes of the people of Kanosh, or will they be hidden away somewhere safe, only showed to those who have earned the privilege (hao xiang [like] the glass eye collection hidden away under the counter in Cat's Cradle)?

I decided to take advantage of the fact that I live in the only apartment in the mission that has a piano in it. I really like playing the piano now, but I'm really not good. I really should have kept practicing. There's another point for my mom. When I was a teenager I thought I knew everything. I even thought that I knew that teenagers think they know everything so I didn't think I knew everything. I still think I know everything. Every time I learn something knew I think, "Oh of course I didn't know everything. How foolish I was. Now I know it all though, no problem." You'd think I'd start to notice the pattern.

We set a goal to find 6 new investigators this transfer. At the time it seemed immense. Now, not even halfway through with 5/6 it seems silly. What were we thinking? Six is nothing! You can get six without trying.

I'm really trying hard to not get fat. There is a kind of generally accepted missionary... xiang fa... uh... theory I guess. Way of thinking. That you can get fat now and just lose it all six months before you go home. I however know everything and so I know that losing weight is not just about losing weight, it's about changing to be the kind of person who is healthy and eats healthily. It's about changing your desires so that the desire for health is greater than the desire for delicious food. That is not an easy thing to do.

And it's more than just food, it's life. Life is not about filling your spiritual bank account with good works, going to church, reading the scriptures, blah blah blah, it's about changing our desires so that the desires of the spiritual man can be strong enough to overcome the desires of the natural man. I'm not here to get baptisms, I'm not even here to help people get baptized, I'm here to help people (including me) change into the people Christ wants us to be.

Or something like that. I know I talk about this a lot. Sorry if it's old news. But I'm still figuring it out, and then I will finally know everything!

I love you!


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