Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 13: In which is crammed every stereotypical mission experience possible. Well, except a baptism.

Hello from the beautiful city of Kwun Tong! I have had one crazy week, that's for sure. I have so much to say that I'm having an impossible time even starting this email! So I'm reverting to list format, for my own convenience, as well as yours! Each item on the list will have a convenient heading; if you have no interest in that heading, you can just skip that part of the list! So you're welcome.

1. T-Shirt of the Week

I think I'll have to start a t-shirt of the week section of my email, because the t-shirts here are just too funny. This one was worn by a super tall, skinny, teenage boy with about ten piercings and a huge smile. It says, "God Bless the Teenagers of America." So don't worry, kids! People all over the world are praying for you!

2. Teaching English

We have Yingman baan (English class) every Wednesday night and Siupahngyauh Yingman baan (Children's English class) every Saturday morning. They are so fun! And after every class, we share a short, spiritual message. Last night's class was about family members, so naturally our message was about families! I especially loved siupahngyauh Yingman because the children here are absolutely adorable, it about kills me! And the children who come to our class are so well-behaved--true little ladies and gentlemen. Although, every now and then one of them will squeal or something, but even that is cute! We also do one-on-one tutoring with Dahng Jimuih's (Sister Dahng) children, which is quite an experience. Dahng Jimuih's husband is a member, and even though she isn't, she'll come with him to church every week. Let me tell you, that little boy has enough energy to power all of downtown for about 20 minutes! And he speaks about as fast as the MTR, so I can't ever understand what he's saying, regardless of the language he's speaking! But he is the most adorable thing, so I don't even mind haha.

Side note: A few of the members of our English class have expressed interest in learning, French, so I think I'll be starting a French class in a few weeks! I am excited out of my mind for this--my only problem is that every time I try to speak French, it comes out in Cantonese... So, we'll see what happens!

3. Cantonese

I think my language is improving a lot! I still understand less than half of what's going on; my new catchphrase is definitely 'Tengmhmihng.' It means, "I hear you, but I don't understand." Fortunately, most people here are really willing to help, especially the church members. My biggest language challenge so far has definitely been talking on the phone. I made my first phone call on my first night with Sister Taylor, and the only way I could get through it was just by laughing and apologizing and praying! I was inviting one of the girls we're teaching to an activity the following evening, and I wasn't sure if she understood that. But she showed up the next night, so it worked! On Monday night our apartment phone rang while Sister Taylor was in the shower. And the other companionship in our apartment (Sister Kelly and Sister Clements) didn't move. So I very timidly answered. (By the way, in Hong Kong, you always answer the phone saying, "Waih?" The first time I heard that, I thought it was so funny, because it sounds like you're asking them, "Why? Why are you calling me?" Well, maybe it's not that funny... Oh well.) And I think it was someone from the ward, but I still have no idea! We started out talking about attending church (I think), and then I said that I was excited to meet her and asked if she wanted to set an appointment (because I still have no idea who she is or why she called), but she said no. Then she asked me what I like to do, so I told her. And then she said some other things that might have been about church. So I told her I don't understand and we both laughed a lot. And then she said, "Bye-bye!" And that was it! And then I turn around, and Sister Taylor, Sister Clements, and Sister Kelly have all been listening the entire time haha. And they gave me a round of applause, congratulating me for surviving my first phone call!

Everyone has been really complimentary of my language. Well, except this one guy in the elevator who told Sister Taylor and me that our Cantonese smelled bad. I just smiled kindly at him. I know, very charitable, right? Well, I had no clue what he said haha, so it wasn't really charity as much as ignorance... But oh well!

4. Rain

HOLY COW! On Monday night we survived the craziest storm I've ever been in! The walk from our apartment to church is about 15 minutes, steep downhill and then steep uphill--slightly challenging with the best of weather. But this storm was incredible! My shoes were filled with water, the streets became rivers, and my umbrella was practically useless. We were soaked through by the time we got home, but it was so so so fun. The entire time I was grinning ear to ear, and thinking, "Wow. I am on a mission right now. I've imagined this for 21 years, and now I'm actually doing it. This is awesome."

5. Church

Church on Sunday was so great. I absolutely love our ward! They were so kind and welcoming. Sure, I had no idea what they were saying, but it all seemed like good things haha. I was asked to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting in front of everyone, and I was so nervous! But it wasn't nearly as hard as I expected. I just smiled, explained how much I loved them and wanted to serve them, and expressed my love for the Savior. The great thing about speaking Cantonese is that it makes me simplify my thoughts and helps me to really ponder what I'm saying and what I mean. After church, one of the members came up and told me that he knew I'd be a good missionary because I smiled all day! And turns out that's all I really need to do...

6. Today's awesome MTR experience

Today we took the MTR to the mission office. I always try to smile and make eye contact with as many people as possible, especially on the MTR. And I did this to one middle-aged man and he looked a little confused and then smiled back. Then I looked away and a little while later, I noticed he was watching me, so I smiled at him again. I got off at the next stop and thought nothing of it... Until I hear, "Hello, hello, hello, hello!" And after about the seventh or eighth hello, I realize he's talking to me! So I turn around and he says, "I want to meet with you. You seem very nice, and I need to talk to you. Can I meet with you later?" I was completely stunned, and then said, "Of course!" We gave him our number, and then he disappeared. So strange. But I know that they Lord put him in our path, and that something (The Spirit!!) urged him to talk to us.

7. In other news...

I ate pig's feet. I didn't know it at the time haha, but I did.

8. Yesterday

We taught 8 lessons in one day! Crazy!

9. I have such a testimony of missionary work.

This is the hardest, most emotionally exhausting thing I've ever done. Every day, I fight off feelings of inadequacy and frustration. But I also feel God's hand in my life. I feel so at peace, so right, so strong, like I can handle anything Hong Kong tries to throw at me. Wow, I love this. And want to be home. And wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Well, my time is up, and I still haven't written about half the things I wanted to. I love you all so much. I miss you. I miss a lot of things, but God is helping me get through this, I just know it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weeks 11 and 12: In which one adventure ends and another begins

NOTE: I can only email immediate family members, so sorry to all those others who I'd love to email but can't! Email me, and I'll try to respond in letter format if I have time!
 (Katie's address is on right side of this page.)

NOTE: I ate an orange today. And I liked it. MIRACLE.

Leih hou! Hello from the exotic land of Hong Kong! I am sitting on a short stool in the back of a small, cramped grocery store, listening to several women chatting away in a language that might be Cantonese, but I can't be sure! It's not exactly the language they taught at the MTC, that's all I have to say haha. But wow, has this week been an experience. Last week, well it was my last week in the MTC. Exciting I suppose, but nothing compared to these past couple of days! So on Monday and Tuesday I flew 14 hours from LAX to Hong Kong, but to be honest I can't remember much of anything about that flight, apart from the fact that I felt faintly ill the entire time. Fortunately, I packed some Teddy Grahams, and their pleasant demeanor soothed my soul and my stomach.

When we finally got through customs and immigrations and we saw President and Sister Hawks and the assistants to the president (APs), I felt so relieved! They all had huge smiles, and Sister Hawks gave me a big hug. I love her already. She reminds me so much of Aunt Lanae-- warm, loving, calm, sweet-voiced. So they took us back to their apartment, which is right in the temple. And oh is that temple beautiful. It is clean and elegant, and it stands out in the best way possible. We ate dessert and got to know each other for a couple of hours before going to bed. The elders went across the street to the church building to spend the night, but since I didn't have a companion, I spent the night in the Hawks' spare room. I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to be inside a real home for a change! It was so comfortable and warm. I wish there was a better word to describe it; there are definitely some holes in the English vocabulary. I fell asleep immediately, and slept until 6:30 the next morning, a miracle! I thought I'd have more of a problem with jet lag.

Wednesday was a long, long day. We had some training, were shown around the mission office, and met some other missionaries. I spent the afternoon out finding with Sister Heaton and her companion Sister Kiene! It was such a great experience! We walked around one of the many parks here in Hong Kong and approached all sorts of people. There were quite a few who just waved us off or pointed at their watch and said, "Mhhou yisi, mouh sihgaan." But we had several really great experiences. I approached a husband and wife who were about to have a new baby, and they were the sweetest thing. Side note: can I even express to you the miracle that has hit me? I love these people. I look around and just love them, no matter who they are. And I know it's not love from myself; it's the Savior's love that I really feel channeled through me. I just want everyone I see to feel that love! It really is a miracle. Anyways, this small family was so sweet and kept saying how great my Cantonese is! Although I'm sure they were just being nice haha. We told them about the Plan of Happiness that God has for each one of his children, and how that plan is centered on families and explains why we have trials and how we can overcome them. They seemed really interested, and as we talked, I knew that the gospel is what their new, happy family needs. I've been praying that things will work out with them, because they are beautiful.

I'll be frank, finding was a little scary at first. You walk up to someone and say 'hello' and just hope that they'll make eye contact with you and want to listen to you. But I just put down my pride, boldened up (is that a word?), and went for it! Of course, the scariest part isn't saying 'leih hou ma?' The scariest part is the next part, where you have to actually have a conversation with them! There were many awkward pauses yesterday, but the people I spoke with were very patient with me as I tried to gather my wits, for which I was very grateful. The hardest part is just how much you want them to listen and understand, because you know how important this message is and how drastically it can change their lives. You just want them to try, just take the jump and hope that maybe this is something good, because as soon as they have that hope and act on it, they can see for themselves how Jesus Christ can help them, how the Book of Mormon can help them.

After finding, we ate dinner with chopsticks! It took me forever! But maybe it's good that I'm learning to eat slower haha. I can be a bit of a speed demon sometimes. After dinner, I helped teach a couple of lessons with Sister Heaton and Sister Kiene! I didn't really contribute as much as I maybe should have. It's hard to overcome the fear of messing things up, but I just have to learn to trust that, as long as I'm in tune with the Spirit, then those we teach will understand me even if my Cantonese isn't very clear. The first lesson we taught was with an older woman who had the biggest smile and the fewest teeth I've ever seen! She was the sweetest lady, and even though I understood almost nothing she said, I loved her so much. We taught her the most basic principles: God loves her and wants to communicate with her through prayer. We taught her how to pray and testified of why prayer is important. She was so funny and just kept talking and talking about her family. She said that we all seem so happy, and Sister Kiene (smart woman) asked her why she thought we looked so happy. And the woman told us that it was because we prayed and had a relationship with God. Ngaamge! (Right on!) So we told her she could also have this relationship, to which she humbly replied that God wouldn't want to hear from her because she was old and her life was older. God would want to hear from us because we were young and had a lot left to do in this life. We tried to convince her that God is her Father and loves her and wants to hear from her, and I hope she will at least try. She gave the closing prayer of the lesson and said she'd come to church on Sunday! So she is also in my prayers, that's for sure.

After that, we had a short lesson with one of the young women about the Strength of Youth pamphlet, which was really neat. At this point, however, the jet lag started to set in and I was next to useless haha. After that lesson, we had English class! And there were about 18 or 20 people who came! It was really fun; so many people at so many different levels of English proficiency, and all excited to be there. I mostly just observed and stifled yawns. Finally, I made it back to the Hawks' apartment and fell asleep in approximately two seconds. I managed to sleep until almost 6 am-- yet another miracle!

So this morning I met my companion, who is probably the sweetest, most wonderful thing in the world. Her name is Sister Taylor, and she is going to be the best trainer, I just know it. She's been in Hong Kong about 8 months, and her language is so good. She has such a beautiful testimony and smile and I can't wait to get to know her better. I know we're going to get along really well. We had some training with President Hawks this morning, and let me just say that President Hawks is awesome. He reminds me a lot of Dad-- it must be an engineering professor thing. He has so many wise insights and is so honest and straightforward. He is big on obedience, just like every mission president. He also emphasizes the importance of families. He encourages us to teach families as much as we can, which really excites me! After training, we took the metro to the government building to get my Hong Kong id, and then we got pretty lost trying to find the bus station on the way back, but it was a great adventure and we got a lot of walking in! I am so grateful to be able to do all this walking. I might get tired of it eventually, but for now I love it! I also love how convenient all this public transportation is. The metro, buses, taxis... so great. And all I have to do is swipe my little travel card and walk on through. And everywhere there are hundreds of people. And I need to talk to as many as possible! That's what I'll be doing for the next 15ish months, talking and teaching and loving people, and then inviting them to change their lives. It's awesome.

After we made it back to the mission home, we visited with the missionaries for a while, and I met a lot of new people, which was great. Then we traveled to our apartment! It's very small, and the hallways are super narrow, but I know it will feel like home in no time. We immediately started companion study, which went well. We did some practice teaching, and I practiced teaching Sister Taylor while she acted like one of the women that we'll be teaching sometime next week. I was a little nervous because I wanted to impress Sister Taylor and I wanted to do a good job, but I really didn't have much idea of what to say. But she was really kind and encouraging, so yihga, mouh mahntaih (now, no problems). And now we're here writing emails! Tonight we'll go shopping, eat dinner, and unpack. I'm looking forward to sleep because, let me tell you, I am exhausted! I feel like I'm listening so hard that my ears might fall off! But I'm picking out words that I know and I feel like my language will be able to improve so much quicker now that I'm here.

It's been a bit of a miracle, actually, how calm and at peace I have felt. I smile all the time, and it's not even a conscious effort. I'll just be standing there on the metro and all of a sudden realize that I have this (perhaps silly-looking) grin on my face. So that makes me smile even more! And I know if I didn't have the Spirit with me, I'd be stressed out of my mind. Because there are a lot of people here. It's a huge city with millions of people who are all speaking a language that I hardly understand. Their written language consists of complicated squiggles, and those foreign squiggles are everywhere, and I recognize about five of them. The air is full of smoke and is incredibly humid, which turns me into the biggest frizz-ball in the world! I did put make-up on this morning, I promise, but I'm pretty sure it melted off many hours ago. I'm walking around in a skirt and my feet probably smell pretty awful and it's only 4:30 in the afternoon but it feels like this day has lasted for weeks! But you know what? I am happy. I don't feel like crying! (Although I'm sure that will come at some point!) Things are going to get harder, but I have no doubt. I need to be here. There's something for me to do, something for me to learn.

President Hawks told us today that we're about to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And then I had this weird flash-forward moment where I saw myself at the end of my mission, looking back with fondness at this first, overwhelming, confusing week. I'd better not waste this! I'd better not waste a moment! I sure do love this hazy, busy city. And I sure do love the Lord, who gave me this life-changing experience. And I sure do love all of you! I'll talk to you next Thursday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I am in Hong Kong!

We received this picture and an email from Sister Julie Hawks confirming that Katie
arrived in Hong Kong today (or tomorrow there). Debbie Cutler

A few more MTC photos before I go

Packing and preparing to go to HONG KONG!

The beautiful sisters! Tiller, Watson, Muessig, me, Grover, Ainge


Me and Sister Ainge, bffs and bcfs (best companions forever!)

My favorite district and volleyball team! The Philippines elders

An elder's basketball shoes. Don't they look like socks with sandals? Reminds me of dad...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 10: in which everything I've ever believed becomes incredibly real, and in which I witness a series of undeniable miracles

Wow. This is my last Preparation Day at the MTC! And I'm thinking that the Lord is getting me supercharged with the Spirit to prepare me to head out to the field. This week, I have seen Christ's Atonement in action, I've seen people's hearts completely transform, and I've seen the power of charity, the pure and perfect and overpowering love of Christ.

But firstly, let me say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful cousin, Laura! I love you Laura dear! I miss our cousin dinners together, and can't wait to make some great Chinese food for you and Thomas when I get home :)

Thank you so so so so much for the package! The dresses fit perfectly, and I got so many compliments on my black and white one yesterday at church! Pam, you are a miracle worker!

Does Krispy Kreme deliver?  (Thanks Tinah!)

New dress and New Elders from Poquoson Ward...Nick Hansen and Tyler Camarena

Last Thursday, we got our travel plans! It was a very thrilling moment, let me tell you. I leave the MTC at 6 am, leave SLC at 9:45 and arrive at Los Angeles at 10:46 (this time is all local to where I'll be). I leave LA at 12:55 pm and arrive in Hong Kong at 6:50 pm on Wednesday. So I'm not quite sure the time difference, or how long that flight will be. It will be pretty ridiculous though.

Official Travel Docutments

I was talking to my branch president's wife on Sunday, and she mentioned Sister Romney's talk that she'd recently given all about love and charity... And I thought to myself, "Sister Romney... did she speak in Relief Society last Sunday? That name does seem familiar..." And then as she continued to talk about what this mysterious Sister Romney had said, it finally dawned on me that she was talking about Mitt Romney's wife. And then I remembered, "Hey, isn't there an election going on this year? Huh. Weird." Yeah, I guess you could call the MTC a virtually impervious bubble. It's kind of nice, but I'm ready for some real-world action!

Elder Morton: Tai Jimuih, haven't you ever run barefoot in the grass before?
Tai Jimuih: Yes.
Elder Morton: Isn't it great?
Tai Jimuih: No.
Elder Morton: With the dew? And the fresh-cut grass? And the butterflies?
Tai Jimuih: No.

Elder Morton (looking at our salads): How can you even eat that? Much less enjoy it? It reminds me of the scene in Ice Age where the animals don't have any food, so Sid picks up the pinecone, crunches on it, and says, "Mmmm, pinecone."

 Elder Bishoff and Elder Howard--Zone Leaders

On Thursday, I accompanied an elder who was auditioning to sing a musical number at a devotional. It went alright, nothing spectacular. But afterwards, Sister Ainge and I decided to stay and listen to the other people who were auditioning, and WOW was that a good idea. My favorite was a seventeen-elder a cappella version of 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.' No lie, when the basses came in with the melody on the second verse, I could feel the vibrations in my kneecaps. It was incredible. And then one elder sang 'This is the Christ.' I've heard that song so many times, but that day it really struck me. I couldn't get one of the lines out of my head for the rest of the week: "How many drops of blood were spilled for me?" The Atonement was so real. If Christ hadn't suffered that pain for me, it would have been mine to bear. I'm a real wimp when it comes to pain. I couldn't have done that. And he loved me enough that he chose to suffer in my place. How dare I waste that but not turning to him and serving him every chance I get? And how dare I waste a moment on this mission? There are billions of people out there who don't know what Christ has done and can still do for them. This is the most important work there is. And the most miraculous thing about it is that people can know it for themselves. They don't have to just trust me and take my word for it. Heavenly Father promises that anyone who asks with real intent can know the truth. It's a miracle, but just one of the miracles I've witnessed this week.

Another set of miracles that I've seen this week reminds me of a scripture from 2 Nephi 4:20. Nephi writes, "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep." I love that image; God leads us through our afflictions. He doesn't always take them away, because those trials are essential to give us experience and help us grow. But he doesn't leave us alone. He guides me through every day, and I've seen how he is guiding those around me as well.

This was my last week as coordinating sister, and let me tell you, that was the most miraculous calling I've ever had. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to care for and help those sisters. There were moments when I was standing there comforting a sobbing sister, and praying in my head, "Heavenly Father, what in the world can I do?" And I opened my mouth, and something came out. It wasn't me; it was a power so much greater than me. And two weeks later that same sister, the sister who was emotionally harrowed up and completely broken, told me that the trials that she's experienced here (and let me tell you, they were harder than anything I've ever faced) were the best thing that ever happened to her. She could never be the missionary she is now without them. That is the Atonement: the power to change and to become infinitely stronger through Christ.

Yesterday in Relief Society, (women's meeting at church) our guest speaker told us how the death of her 8 year old son broke her. And then saved her. It brought her to Christ in a way that nothing else could. Later that night, one of the elders inanother district lost his grandmother. At the same time, another sister was struggling with some incredible emotional burdens. And I saw both of those missionaries pick themselves up today. They're still struggling, and will keep struggling. But they are letting their trials humble them, shape them, and make them more like Christ. Christ suffered more than any of us, and he knows how to comfort us and to save us. We just have to let him do it. And that's why I'm serving this mission, because people need to hear this message. The word 'gospel' means 'good news.' And this is the best news heaven has to offer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 9: In which I accidentally say some rude things and in which I give my first talk in Chinese!

Outside the  Provo Temple

Hello everyone! GET THIS. I get my travel itinerary THIS WEEK. It's actually happening! In two weeks from today, I'll be on a plane headed halfway across the world. It doesn't feel real, but I think it might be. I am so grateful for this wonderful time that I've had at the MTC. There is no place like the MTC! But I am so ready to get out and actually go serve those Chinese people that we pray for every day. On Tuesday, we had our special Chinese-speaking missionary meeting with Elder Perkins of the Quorum of the Seventy. He was a member of the Asian Area Presidency, which meant he's been living for quite a while in Hong Kong. He and his wife both spoke about charity, and let me tell you, the love in that room was practically tangible. Elder Perkins pointed out that 1 out of 5 of God's children are Chinese, and the opportunity that we have to serve them is an incredible one. It was such a blessing to hear from them. Sister Perkins talked more about charity in the Tuesday evening devotional, and she said to remember that we are called to serve our brothers and sisters, and that we should serve them like they're family. I am so ready to do that! For the rest of the meeting, I was thinking constantly about Rebecca, Rachel, and Rowan. How would I want people to serve them? Well, I'd better serve the people of Hong Kong the same exact way. In the scriptures we're commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. Love is a commandment. And 1 Nephi 3:7 tells us that with every commandment, God will give us a way to accomplish it. And for us, the way to love the people in Hong Kong is by praying and serving and praying until we feel like praying and serving until we love serving.

I'll be frank, this week has been the most challenging so far in the MTC. It's not because the work was harder or because I was busier or sicker than usual. I was just missing home and missing BYU. It's really hard sometimes to control your thoughts, so I just tried to stay busy. I feel kind of like Harry, Hermione, and Ron must have felt at the beginning of The Deathly Hallows, when they realized that the Hogwarts Express had once again left the station, but this time they weren't on it. That must have been a little sad. But at the same time, they didn't want to be on it, because they knew that had something so much more important to do. I kind of miss classes and homework and wearing sweatpants on the couch, but given the option I'd never, ever, in a gazillion years, be there instead of here. That's the thought that's helped me push through this week, that no matter how tough things get here, there's nowhere else I could feel so at peace.

Sister Ainge and I have had a blast so far. She and I are such good friends, and our giggling binges make the MTC so much more fun. We always laugh at the same things, so even if maybe they weren't that funny before, they're now hilarious. We giggle, and then the giggling escalates until we have tears pouring from our eyes and our faces are so red and people start giving us weird looks. The 15 minutes before devotionals start, we always sing a few rousing hymns, and on Sunday night we sang Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel. The choristers will sometimes tell one half of the room to sing the melody, and the other to sing the harmony, and we lucked out and got the harmony for this one: the echo "Push Along" and "Full of Song" during the chorus. And for some reason, we couldn't get the tune at all. It was terrible. And so we basically just shouted the echo as loud as we could. And Sister Ainge sang it especially bad in one of the verses, and I turned to her and whispered, "Nailed it!" And then we just lost it, and giggled for the whole rest of the song. To sum up, I love that Sista. I made a goal to love each companion I had, fully expecting that as soon as I made that goal, I'd be blessed with all the most... challenging companions. And I know they'll come (I know because I have been well-prepared by various... situations to deal with challenging companions) but right now I am just soaking up this wonderful companionship and making the most of it!

I've had the weirdest array of songs going through my head this week. One of my vocabulary words for Thursday was 'gaakjyuht,' which means 'separated.' So then I thought of that one line from that one song that I don't actually know that goes, "Dun, dun, dun, gotta keep 'em separated." Which I then translated into Cantonese: "Seuiyiu jeunsau keuihdeih gaakjyuht." And I sang it all day. And then the next day in gym, during volleyball... Well, I think I must have had too much sugar or something because I couldn't stop jumping up and down and stretching and running in place. And then I started singing, "WAR! HUH! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" Not exactly the most uplifting of songs haha, but what can I say?

Elder Morton (talking about Elder Staheli): He's like a goat! He'll eat anything! 'Oh, I love Almond Joys! Oh, tater tot casserole, yum! Oh, yes, thank you, I do love caterpillars! They taste like gummy worms!

This conversation took place at a workshop. These are real elders from our branch:
Teacher: So how can we invite miracles to be a part of our work? Yes, Elder Davis?
Elder Davis (in a Forrest Gump voice): Well... Miracles... are... miraculous.
Teacher: Uh... great. Thanks. Anyone else? How about you, Elder Smith?
Elder Smith: Oh, sorry, he took my answer.

In other news, Vincent got baptized on Saturday! It was... well, hilarious. After the 'baptism' (keep in mind, these are just investigators played by our teachers) I had Elder Morton do a special musical number. So he played 'If You Could Hie to Kolob'... on his tin whistle. I died. I was trying so hard to subdue my laughter that my chair was shaking and tears were pouring from my eyes. And every time I almost got it under control, I heard Sister Ainge laugh behind me and it started all over again. It was a great day though. Which reminds me, do you think someone could send me some pictures from my baptism? I thought it would be a nice thing to have to share with people I teach in Hong Kong.

Anyways, I'm about out of time! Thank you so much for the letters, and Aunt Lisa for the wonderful package! I love you all so much, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

(Some pictures from Katie's letter this week...she did not identify anyone, so not sure who they are, but they look very happy! )


Sister Ainge

So we do know Elder Aaron MacFarlane (on right) from our hometown, heading to Idaho.