Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 37, in which A teaches me about faith, and in which C.S. Lewis makes an excellent point (but let's be real, that happens like every other day or so)

Hello everyone! Excellent news! I'm in Kwun Tong for my fifth move in a row! And with Sister Chan for our third move! I feel so incredibly blessed. I love my companion, I love my area, and I love the people we're meeting here. Oh, and have I told you lately how much I love Cantonese? Seriously, it's the weirdest, sweetest, sassiest language in the world. It's kind of like a puzzle, where all sorts of pieces fit together, and DING! Out pops something awesome. It's hard to explain, but let me tell you, my linguistics classes have really changed the way I think about languages, and that thought process has really helped with picking up the language. But honestly, it's God who has helped me pick it up so fast. There's no other way to explain it!

Missionary in training

T-shirts of the week! This was a good week for weird t-shirts, because it's warm and most people have taken off their jackets (although some people are still bundled up like it's mid-January at BYU... pathetic!). The first t-shirt says, "When you hear the sound of confusion drifting through the door, get away." The second: "The handsome boy in blue was often with a girl." I don't know, but it sounds kind of like a line from an EB Browning poem or a book by that lady who wrote Enchanted April (I can't remember her name for the life of me). But the best one was actually a black leather jacket with white sleeves... yeah, one of those awkward, trying-to-be-tough ones. On the back was embroidered: "Backbone attacker: special parking." I'd never realized the kind of privileges that come with breaking people's backs... I'll keep it in mind.

Traditional Chinese Opera Costumes

We've had a pretty challenging week, where finding is involved. Usually when we go out finding, we at least meet a few people who are willing to listen, and they make all the rejection worthwhile. But yesterday I was pretty sick with a cold and my head just felt really big and heavy, and I was not in the mood for finding. But we didn't have anything else scheduled, so out the door we went! And it was just a rough time. No one had time to talk or even take a pamphlet, and I was getting discouraged. But we started to sing "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today" and that get me a little more pumped, and then as we're walking down the hill, with about 10 minutes before we need to head home, we stopped a young woman pushing a baby stroller and talked with her for a few minutes. Her name is A, and we could tell that she was just so ready to hear about the Plan of Salvation--where we were before this life, why we need to come to earth, and what happens when we die. We talked with her, got her number, and we'll be seeing her this week! And after that, I realized something about faith. I thought to myself, "If I'd known that A would be at the end of that finding time, I would have been so happy to be rejected by all those other people. I wouldn't have cared at all, because I would have known that it would all be worth it." And this might seem really obvious to you, but I feel like at that moment I relearned what faith is.
Katie in Wonderland

Faith is not knowing what's at the end, but it's knowing that the end will be good, will be worth it. It's like the first time you hike a mountain. You don't know for sure that the view will be worth the climb, but you have enough hope that you act, you climb the mountain, and you find out for yourself. What's the worst that could happen? Maybe the view won't be quite worth it, but you got some exercise, right? And exercising faith in God is the same way. Maybe you don't know if he's there or not. But you'd better find out for yourself. How to do that? Pray and read the scriptures and just try it out. Just try doing what he says. What's the worst that could happen? You find out that he's not there, but you did some good things. What's the best that could happen? You do what he says, and he keeps his promises and blesses you. You become a better person. You find out your purpose in life. You learn that life doesn't end with death, that because of Jesus Christ, each one of us will be resurrected. You find greater peace, happiness, and light. You know the truth, and the truth sets you free. That's what we do here, we just invite people to try it for themselves. If you haven't tried it already, try it out! What's the worst that could happen? And what's the best that could happen?

One of the things people say to us a lot is, "Your religion is good for you, and Jesus Christ was probably a good person, but I don't need what he has to offer." But the thing is, when Jesus Christ came to earth, he didn't come to just be a "good person." We can't just go around saying that Jesus was good, but maybe not necessary. Because either he was the son of God, the Messiah, or he was a liar. I love what C.S. Lewis says: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

There's no such thing as middle ground. We each have to decide what side we'll be on. We can't be eternal fence-sitters, plus how uncomfortable is that! A fence is probably the least comfortable place to sit. So get off it! That's what I want to holler from off the highest roof in Hong Kong! (And let me tell you, that's pretty high...) Get off the fence!

At the Hong Kong Science and History Museum

Little known fact: Dinosaurs like to read the Book of Mormon

The aqueduct from Harry Potter movie!


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