Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 67, in which I'm not in Hung Shui Kiu, and in which I move YET AGAIN, and in which I've rung hundreds of doorbells and sneezed hundreds of times.

So yeah, I'm not in Hung Shui Kiu. But that shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone, I mean really. Expect the unexpected. That's the moral of this week. But wow am I happy! I love my new area, love my apartment, love my companion, love the sisters I'm living with, love the investigators we have. Need I say more? Well, I will anyways.

So last Monday night, the zone leaders called me. Here's how the conversation went:
Elder L: So President Hawks just wanted me to tell you that you will be leaving on Wednesday morning after all.
Me: Okay, I figured. Thanks for letting me know. Anything else?
Elder L: No, I think that's it.
Me: Haha, are you sure? Any surprise changes? Last minute moves?
Elder L: Oh, yeah. Well you're going to a different area. With a different companion.
Me: Oh, that might be worth mentioning.
Elder L: Yeah, maybe.
So now I'm in Tm with Sister M! I love it here, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, New Territories. The mountains here remind me of Provo in April, so rugged and green. Although mosquitoes are more abundant here, and the bees are HUGE. I've only seen one. Unfortunately, it was flying around our study for about 10 minutes, and I kept swinging one of my dresses at it for about 8 minutes until I realized that it was a GIANT, VICIOUS BEE. Then I turned off the light and ran out of the room. It left eventually.
I got to my apartment on Wednesday night (after lugging my suitcases around Hong Kong for a couple of hours) and started to unpack when I realized that the apartment didn't have any extra hangers. It's a brand new apartment, in a complex called Uptown. And it fit the name perfectly--there's a chandelier in the bathroom. And then on Saturday night, the assistants called us to tell us that Sister M and I were moving. AGAIN. Due to my fortunate lack of hangers, I'd been living out of my suitcases for a few days, so the move didn't affect me that much. But now we're in a slightly less fancy apartment and I'm living with Sister P, who I'd lived with in Macau. So I feel much more at home.
I love Sister M, we get along really great. I really hope this is my last move and my last companion, although I'd naturally do whatever they needed me to do.
When I moved into the first apartment, Sister M and Sister C(the sisters we were living with) were speaking straight Chinese, and Sister C (American-born Chinese) pretended that she was from China and didn't know any English. I'd already been told that she was ABC, but I went along with it for a while, pretending like I believed it. That night they said, "Sister Cutler, we have something we need to tell you..." "Sister C knows English already." "What? You knew? AW MAN!" It was so funny. "AW MAN!" is one of the catchphrases in our zone, the second one being, "I'm so sorry about that." They say it all the time.
One thing that has taken a little adjusting: going from teaching 20 lessons a week to doing 20 hours of finding a week. But it's good for me. We went proselyting for a great 6 hours on Saturday, and wow did I need to go to the bathroom. We were knocking doors in a small village which didn't have any public bathrooms. But that's life, I guess. Anyways, these buildings are about three or four stories high; all of the doorbells are at the outside door at the ground floor, and I'm pretty sure 90 percent of them were broken. Of the remaining 10 percent, about half had ridiculous doorbell tones, Jingle Bells being one of the more popular ones. My favorite thing is when we ring a doorbell and then hear a voice from three stories up yell, "WHO IS IT?!" I yell back, "Church missionaries! We have a very important message to tell--" "NO INTEREST, GO AWAY!" It really feels like I'm doing real missionary work. I think we rung a good 150 doorbells.

I'd inherited a cold from Sister L right before I left Macau, and during our finding session I was sneezing up a storm. I think my longest sneeze fit was seven in a row. But here's the miracle: I only got the cold on Tuesday, but it was completely gone as soon as we got home from finding. Now that's what I like to call a tender mercy of the Lord.
We actually do have a couple of investigators, and we found a new one on Friday! We were on the trolley headed back to the church when Sister J asked if she could attend our church! For a while, I was kind of worried that she was crazy. She acted normal--she's really nice actually. I just thought, "Wow, SHE asked US if she could come. She MUST be crazy." But hey, God told me off a little about that. I mean yeah, a lot of people aren't interested, but there are prepared people out there too. I've been praying really hard recently for more people to teach, especially families, and Sister J said that once her husband's health improves, she'll be bringing him to meet us! Such a miracle. God really is taking care of us.
I've learned a lot recently about what kind of person I want to be for the rest of my life. Moving to this new area for the last two months of my mission has really helped me to set a good tone for this last move, to change the things that I want to change. I mean, I could change at any time, but it's easier to make small changes when a big changes happens too. I thought I'd be really distraught or stressed out in my last couple of months, but so far I'm just really happy. I don't want it to be a stressful time, so it's not going to be. I've already decided.

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