Hello everyone! Today has been an exciting week, of course. I bet if I read over all the emails I've ever sent, the majority of them have started with that exact same sentence. For my readers' sake, I will try to be more creative... next week.
First things first, t-shirts of the week! The first one is very simple. Big, black print saying these four words: "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked." Yeah, I don't know either, but it's weird! The other one was gray with a black kangaroo wearing a business suit and holding a sign that says, "March." If anyone has any idea what these mean, please let me know. I think there might be an existentialist phase going on here, because everyone wears either very deep or very meaningless clothing around here. Right now I still think it's a little weird, but no worries. By the time I come home, I'll be as wacky as the best of them! And please feel free to inform me of the fact. But don't expect me to do anything about it.
So that thing that I mentioned about people commenting on my appearance? I think it must just be a culture thing, a way to show affection or something. Either way, it doesn't bother me. It just cracks me up! Last week, one of the ward members told me that I look baby-faced. And since then, at least four other people have said the same exact thing! One of our new investigators asked me why I decided to serve a mission even though I'm so young! And of course, as every missionary knows, that is just the BEST question to have anyone ask you, because you can just bear testimony of the things that mean the most to you and hammer them with the Spirit. It was an awesome opportunity, and I just pray every time I talk to someone that they'll ask me that question.
So Sister Taylor and I have discovered that, as far as taste in tv shows is concerned, we're pretty much the same person: Dr Who, Agatha Christie mysteries, Doc Martin, Sherlock, to name a few. Weird, huh? It's like the Lord knew we'd get along or something. Oh wait...
We didn't get a chance to watch General Conference this week, so I am EXCITED BEYOND BELIEF for this Saturday and Sunday! Of course we heard about the changes to missionary age requirements, and I am beyond thrilled! It seems that the younger generations are prepared earlier, and the Lord needs more missionaries to spread this gospel! Really, there are so many people in Hong Kong alone that we can't even get to. There are just so many people, and so many need to hear this message and need to feel the love and change. I've already seen some of our friends progress just in these past few weeks, and it's incredible what the gospel has done for them. We've been teaching Wendy for four years now, and she brought a friend to this past lesson and basically spent the entire time testifying of everything we said. This change is incredible. She has suffered so many trials, but last night when we were teaching her and she shared with her friend about Christ, she was literally glowing. It was a miracle. That's the only thing that could have brought about this change, the work of God. I am so grateful to be able to witness these miracles. I don't know what I did to deserve such a blessing, but let me tell you, it's worth every trial. And there certainly are trials here! I've been feeling pretty sick this past week, ice cream prices are soaring, I only get mail once a week, I sometimes feel like I'm completely alone in the world (drama queen alert! permission to roll eyes granted). But I KNOW the Lord needs me here. I keep thinking about the fifth verse in 'How Firm a Foundation:'
"If through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design, Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
How beautiful. All the trials, all the times we've missed a bus or a meal or an appointment... all those refine us. They give us an opportunity to choose to be more Christlike, more patient, more holy, more dignified. I love it here.