Hello everyone! Can you believe it's week 35?! Yeah, me neither! Time is flying, and we're already facing moves calls again in less than a week. I'm praying to stay in Kwun Tong, but we'll see what the Lord has in store. I know his plan will be the best, so I should probably just pray that he does what he wants to do! That's what prayer's all about, aligning my will with him, giving him an opportunity to educate my desires, and showing my willingness to do what is best.
T-shirts of the week! First one isn't really funny... it's just that I don't really understand why it exists. It says, "Hits the grass beneath a tree, we're having so much fun now. The traveler is sleeping under a tree. Happy now..." The other one is DEFINITELY a t-shirt, although too often people here in Hong Kong get shirts and dresses confused, so that was interesting. Anyways, it says, "SNARL EXTRA. UK." Yeah, I don't know either.
So we taught two girls this week named A and L, and WOW are they awesome! Naturally, they aren't from our area, so we'll be turning them over to the missionaries from that area, but the first lesson was so good. We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and they were just so accepting and it made so much sense to them. And the best part was at the end, when I told them that we'd give them each a Book of Mormon, Alison said, "Really?!!!!" She was so excited! And then they scheduled us for Thursday, two days later, so we met with them and the elders from Alison's home town, and we watched the movie about Joseph Smith. And afterwards, Alison asked if we were baptized and what it means. And after we explained it, I asked them if they wanted to be baptized, and both of them said yes! They said that the way the felt at the church was different from anywhere else, and that the message made so much sense and felt so right. Just like it says in Doctrine and Covenants section 8, God will tell us in our minds and in our hearts what is right. I am so excited for both of them!
We went finding a lot this week, and we met the cutest little boy in the whole world! Most little kids are really shy around foreigners, but this kid was so friendly and outgoing. He was about three or four years old, but he kept running around us and hugging my knees and asking to look at my planner (which has a picture of Jesus on it). And then he started trying to pick up my skirt, which I stopped pretty quick haha. His mom kept telling him, "Tell big sister that you're sorry!" But every time she said that, he'd turn to me and say, "Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty!" It was so adorable!"
So in English class on Wednesday, the word of the day was whoop-dee-doo. It really confused them for a while, but I think eventually they figured out how to use it. And then Elder Parry said, "Here's how you use it. (he walks up to me and looks really upset) Sister Cutler, my mom just died!" And then everyone looks at me, and naturally I'm not going to say, "Whoop-dee-doo," especially because he'd just barely received a Valentine's card from her that very day (his only Valentine, although that's one more Valentine than I got haha, so I guess I shouldn't make fun of him). So I said, "Oh Elder Parry, I'm so sorry!" And he kept trying ("Sister Cutler, I broke my arm" "Sister Cutler, I have an incurable disease") but I was not going to say it haha. So he finally turns to P, our English class regular, and says, "P, I just scratched my finger a little bit" and P says, so naturally, without even looking up, "Whoop-dee-doo."
In other news, I ate snake last week! It was delicious. Oh yeah, and then after that, the snake wrangler (yeah, he catches snakes and cooks them for a living) let me hold a snake. And by hold, I mean it was wrapped around my neck and slithering around and WOW was that a weird feeling!
So last night I was doing math for fun. It's true Dad! But here's what I figured out. So there's about 6.5 billion people in the world, right? And when I was in the MTC, there were 50,000 missionaries in the world (I'm sure there are tons more now, but I don't know the number). So that means there are 13,000 people for every one missionary! But here's the crazy part. Hong Kong has about 7 million people, with only 100 missionaries. That means 70,000 people per missionary! Granted, some of those people are already members of the church, but still, we have a lot of work to do! And we need lots more missionaries to do it! I am so excited to see what happens in the next few years with missionary work, because everything is growing so fast! It's such a blessing to be a missionary at this time, with so much change and progression. I love it!
So we were visiting with a less active member last week, and she was sharing a bunch of scriptures she'd been reading recently, and then she'd ask us our thoughts about them. Well, some of the verses were really great, but some of them... so random. One of them was Helaman 3:36, about the pride of the people of Nephi, and it was so hard to think of anything worthwhile to say, so when she asked me about my thoughts, I said, "Siusam, mhou giungouh. Yuhgwo mhaih, leihge lihngwan wuih hou ngaaihim." Yeah, that's probably not funny to you. It's a quote from the Cantonese version of the Joseph Smith movie, the part where the preacher is talking to Joseph and he says, "Beware of pride. Your soul is in danger" or something like that (clearly I watch it more in Chinese than in English). We quote that part of the movie all the time, and so Sister Chan and I almost died just trying to suppress our laughter. It was so funny. Just trust me. It was funny.
I went to a RS meeting with the General Board last year at BYU, and Sister Staples said something that I've been thinking about so much recently. She said that our calling is to join the rescue, to save souls. And then she said, "You... you will be rescued by your calling." And it's true. I feel like this calling as a missionary has changed me more than anyone else. I still have so many imperfections, obviously, but I feel like a different person. And I'm so glad. I'm not ever going back to how I was before, that's for sure! I know what's most important, I've figured it out. I think the thing that I've learned most about this mission is the importance of eternal families. I can't express how important it is to me, I don't have the time or the eloquence, but nothing else matters if you don't have eternal family. Nothing, not work, not money, not nice clothes, not position or power or anything else. It's all about family! Mom, Dad, Rebecca, Rachel Rowan, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (SHOUT OUT TO JESSE AND DREW!), I love you all so much! Thanks for the prayers, letters, support, everything. I am so grateful Heavenly Father put us together, and I'm so excited for eternity together!