Monday, June 14, 2010
Motivational Text Messaging
Date: Sunday, June 06, 2010 8:29:58 PM
Subject: New Branch
Several of you mentioned that it is (or was) very hot and humid in New York, but said you are sure it's not as bad is in Hong Kong. Thank you for these comments, because it helped me to realize that, in fact, it has been very pleasant here. Actually not killer hot or humid. Just bad enough to warrant AC use at night, which completes the pleasantness. I imagine it still has plenty of time to get hot, but I will keep praying, and my faith is not based on results, or whatever that quote is. I mean, I'll go on being a missionary even if it does get hot.
To answer Mom's questions, I am assigned to a specific branch. The Penincula 2 branch. It only meets Sunday, and in a church building a ways south of the Temple (in Homentin, if you wanted to know that). That is technically my branch, but because of everything in this situation, we can only do work for that branch on Sunday. The rest of the week I think we technically are just helping out with the Victoria 2 branch, which meets Tuesday through Saturday in the Wan Chai building (where I used to go to church). Elder Westhoff and I only actually attend Sacrament Meeting during the week once (mostly to help out with the Sacrament).
Testimony meeting was exciting. We got a motivational text messsage read out, a letter from a less active sister, asking that the reactivation efforts cease, as she is now a practicing "Witness", and a long, complicated, inappropriate story about one sister's husband and best friend, which included their church callings, to illustrate the strength of faith in some people. But there were many powerful, appropriate testimonies as well. I was confused for a moment when one sister expressed her gratitude for the "gas bill," and all the wonderful changes it had caused in her life. I really wanted to hear that story! But alas, it was only a figment of her accent.
I have heard a few pretty cool conversion stories though. One sister told me she was converted in Taiwan, while on a mission. I thought for a moment that she had said it wrong (maybe she was converted, and then went on a mission to Taiwan) but no, she was a Catholic nun before. She was living in the same building with the missionaries, and somehow they interested her in listening to their message. Then she was called as a ward missionary, so she and her 'companion' (roommate?) woke up every morning and went tracting with the missionaries. Her parents were supporting her on what was originally a Catholic mission, so she had lots of free time I guess. Now she works in Hong Kong where her employer is very very Catholic, and sometimes forces her to go to Mass, where the nuns really give her a hard time I guess.
Sometimes it feels a little bit like Groundhog Day, doing the same thing everyday. And I almost forgot that I can't buy things on Sunday yesterday. I mean, everyone else does it. I always send people off to church and then go buy lunch! But then I remembered. It turns out I really do have time to cook if I want to. And study Chinese, and even play a little guitar. You just have to manage your time well. And I get to eat at a lot of new restaurants too. It's the best of both worlds, really.
I'm happy to be here. I hope the trip to "The City" was fun. It's really a different city than this one in a lot of ways. But also very similar. I love you.
Noah's New York photos