Sorry about last week, we ran out of time, and I seriously had like 10 minutes to read my emails. I'll make this week's report extra exhaustive.
Seriously, she is the most amazing person ever. You know what's even cooler?! Frank, the other guy we baptized and the guy who referred Candice to us, is going to baptize her! Ahh! It's so amazing!
Let me update you on our lessons with her.
Tithing Lesson -
Missionary - "So, you have to give the church a bunch of money. Are you cool with that?"
Candice - "Ya, totally. That makes perfect sense."
Law of Chasity Lesson -
Missionary - "Alright, so don't do any of this stuff. *point at list of stuff not to do* Do you have any problems?
Candice - No, actually I want to bear testimony of how true it is. *Proceed to bear testimony*
Other Commandment's Lesson -
Missionary - "Alright, do this stuff. Don't do this stuff. Cool?"
Candice - "Totes"
Okay, I'm kind of kidding, and our lessons were much longer and more spiritual than that, but if I could sum them up in two lines, that would be it. She's amazing.
Anyway, the plan is Saturday at 5:30. Elder Mak and I are super pumped.
That's probably the biggest piece of news. Aside from that, it was a great week. One of my favorite quotes from this week comes from teaching English class. We were teaching about relationships and dating, and when the class was over, I asked one of the other teachers what his class talked about. He said "I taught them all about dating culture in Utah. At first, they just wanted to go out to a movie. NOW, they want to climb a MOUNTAIN!!!" Gotta love Utah.
Also, a lot of people asked what we did to celebrate New Year Eve. For those of you who were wondering, yes, Chinese people do celebrate this New Years. Mostly because it's another excuse to party together and eat boatloads of food. However, as far as missionaries go, we were required to be back in our apartments for the evening, so in order to celebrate the New Year we did.... PLANNING!!! Yay!
Ya, so that was my New Years :) Pretty hardcore, I know.
As far as food goes, I want to tell you guys about something called Hot Pot. It's super expensive, but if you ever get the chance, you should definitely try it. Basically they bring out a pot of water, and set it on stoves on your table. They boil the water (therefore a "hot pot") and bring out all sorts of raw mystery foods. They come in various shapes and sizes, and since the menu is in Chinese I have no idea what they are. Our method is usually just to point at things and tell the waitress to bring them. Last time, to make it extra entertaining, we put the new missionary in charge of ordering. I think, in her eyes, the conversation went something like this.
Waitress - "What can I get you?"
Missionary - "This one, this one."
Waitress - "The cow intestine? Are you sure?"
Missionary - "Bring, bring."
Waitress - "Alright, if you're sure."
Missionary - "Thank you." *Nods, as if he understood anything she said.*
Anyway, the food comes out on plates, and there's tons of it, and no one asks what any of it is - mostly because no one is brave enough - and we dig in. You take this stuff, and put it in the hot pot for a few minutes, and then it comes our magically cooked! The wonders of modern technology. Super good food. Not kidding about that part. Tastes awesome.
Anyway, that was pretty much our week. We had some other great lessons, but frankly I'm too lazy to write about all of them.
Mom - Glad to hear that the Priest's Quorum hasn't fallen apart without my incredible leadership. (Put as much of a sarcastic spin on that sentence as you possibly can). I love Nephi too! He's like the most optimistic guy I've ever heard of. 2 Nephi 4 has some great verses about that. I know I've mentioned it in an email before, but I love him so much. I listened to a great talk given to me by another missionary this week about that. I think that the reason optimistic people are much more successful is not because they don't have as many trials, but because they don't fall as far when they happen. Nephi has a lot of crazy family problems, but he's never willing to let go of who he is and what he believes, and, for that reason, he's able to hold onto the good that he still has in his life.
Dear Hadley Jane the Insane - As far as New Years goes, we did have a dinner appointment, and I was force fed delicious dumplings. It was great, but I nearly went into a food coma. You broke a tooth? Maybe you should have the dentist pull out all of your teeth, just to be safe. You know, so you don't break another one. Is that a good idea? Also, did the song I sent last week go through?
Ellie Kate the Great - Well, in the Land of the North (I like that you capitalized it) things are going great. I don't actually know when Chinese New Year is this year. It should be near the beginning of February. I'll ask around. They usually celebrate it by having all the family get together, eating lots of food, and blowing up a ton of fireworks. They don't actually do that here (Canadian Law) but back in China... holy cow. They like blowing stuff up.
Ashleigh Taylor the Sailor (Really? We're going with that?) - Do you know why no one was motivated to play the Risk game? Because they don't have anyone to gang up on and mercilessly beat into a corner!!! (Australia). We did celebrate your birthday, but it was more like Memorial Day. You know, the remembrance of something terrible and violent scarring the world, and remembering all those who have been slain because of it. It was kind of like that ;) Kidding. Love ya! Also, I don't think you can have the name "Sailor" if you've never been sailing in your life.
Hayden the..... really? The boss beast of burden? That's worse than Sailor! :) It makes me think of like a huge herd of alpaca's, and there's one in charge. Therefore, the Boss Beast of Burden. Is that the image you're trying to convey? Anyway, just be glad you don't have to bear your testimony in Chinese. Much harder. Also, love what you said about reaching out to people. Totally true. Fellow shipping is so important for investigators, and it definitely applies to members as well.
Dad - You're having surgery? If they put any artificial parts in you, I'm gonna start calling you Bionic Man. Or Cyber Dad. Okay, I'm super excited now. But sorry about your surgery. I'll pray for you for sure. Glad to hear you got to watch a lot of football. Turns out, they have football in Canada! Kind of weird. When you say football, half of the people think of soccer, and half of them think of American football, so you have to be really careful about how you say it. On a more spiritual note, I've really been trying to get the most out of personal study, and I wanted to share an insight with you. I was reading the beginning of Alma, specifically his two speeches to the people of Zarahemla and Gideon. If you'll remember, the two parts are very different. In one, the message is "are ye stripped of pride?" and he basically chastises the people of that city for a few chapters. The one given in Gideon has a much different tone, and Alma gives a beautiful sermon about the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about that, and I realized (it's kind of obvious) that Zarahemla could have had the same sermon, but they just weren't ready. Instead, they got the "fire and brimstone" speech, while the people of Gideon were able to have their faith strengthened. What I think I learned, is that we always need to be ready to hear the messages of the Lord, because when the time comes, He's either going to chastise us or uplift our good qualities that we're already working on. Anyway, just wanted to share. Love you!
P.S. Cool Quote - "Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory." Neal A. Maxwell