Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 74, in which I am absolutely FREEZING COLD, and in which we find Bilbo Baggins.

Clarification: it is only when I go indoors that I'm freezing cold. Outside is lovely, like Virginia in early May (all you need is a light jacket! name that movie). But for some reason the Chinese people like to crank up the air conditioning to the point that I can barely move my fingers and I almost feel like not typing this email. But I'll endure.

T-shirt of the week! I think it might be for a good cause, but I can't be sure. "Rocku, Keogae, Jazz, Rock acanst ranism." 

We've had some rough moments this week. Sister N, who was planning to get baptized in January, cancelled her lesson last week, didn't come to church on Sunday, and isn't answering the phone. We're not sure what is going on, and we're really worried about her. But Sister M and I both feel like God is taking care of things. I'm so grateful for him. Sometimes when you care about someone, you want to just be with them all the time, helping them and keeping them safe and happy, but you can't do that. That won't really help them in the long run anyways. So we're just doing our best to trust the Lord with it, and things will work out.

Do you remember H, the Filipina sister that was baptized in Macau? I talked to her on the phone this week! She is working in Hong Kong now, and she's still going to church and reading the Book of Mormon every day--I'm so proud of her!

Sister M and I taught English class on Friday, and it was so fun! Our topic was "Breaking News!" and we taught all about what the news is like in America. Then we broke off into groups and each came up with our own news report, which we then shared with the rest of the class. It was so funny, and our news stories ranged from deathly typhoons to Justin Beiber in McDonalds fighting over a Big Mac to an escaped convict who used a spoon to dig himself out of prison just so that he could steal a Book of Mormon (he didn't realize that missionaries give them away for free). 

I met Sister L's mom yesterday! She is here visiting family, and when she walked into the church, she gave me the biggest hug! It was almost as good as having MY mom walk into the church! She's such a sweetheart. When she left, she said, "See you in Canada!" I guess I'll have to get up there someday.

Miracle! We were wandering through one of the villages near the church the other day, knocking on doors and evading dangerous bees and barking dogs, when we happened upon the Burrow. Or Bilbo's Hobbit Hole. Well, not quite, no round door, and it's not in the side of a hill. But it is the cutest little cottage I've ever seen. It is surrounded by flowers, and on one side is the most beautiful tree with fantastic branches that embrace this whole house and create a little canopy under which one can sit and, say, teach the gospel. We knocked on the door, and who should come out but the cutest, old man with a gap in his teeth and the sweetest smile. Brother J really is the Chinese version of Bilbo. He's 72, divorced, and lives by himself. He traverses the countryside with his pack and stick, and he chuckles in the most hobbit-like way, I can't get over it. He was so willing to sit down with us under his canopy, and he listened so intently as we taught about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He was so grateful when we gave him his own copy of the Book of Mormon, and tried to pay us $100 for it. We said no, obviously. 

The next time we visited, we brought one of our members, and they are already the best of friends. Brother J is so humble, he kept saying that he didn't know why God would send so many wonderful people into this poor village to find a lonely, little man like him. He then said, "Many years ago, as I was lying in bed one night, I thought to myself, 'I'd really like a Book of Mormon.' I didn't really know much about it back then, but I never tried to get one. And now God has sent one to me!" I almost cried as he was saying that. I still don't understand why I'm so blessed to witness miracles like this. Heavenly Father's plan for his children is so absolutely perfect, beyond comprehension, and yet so simple. I need to be needed, to share my beliefs, to feel useful, and Brother J needs a Book of Mormon and someone to tell him he's a child of God. So God sends us to him, two birds with one stone. I'm blown away sometimes. You'd think after being a missionary for so long I'd just get used to miracles. But I still can't get over it! And I don't ever want to get over it. Heavenly Father lives! He loves us! I don't know much, but this much I know.

Week 73, in which it turns out that people in Hong Kong actually count differently than the rest of the world does.

So I'm officially 23, and it feels just like 22 except when people call me pohpoh, which in Chinese means grandma. Yeah, thanks guys.

T-shirt of the week: "Honey Buns do what good." AH MAN what does that even mean? The next one: "It thinks about the nature of the earth." I don't know what that means either, but it had a kitten on it.

My birthday was an adventure, to be sure. We had one appointment scheduled, but that fell through, so we did finding all day. I think 'searching' would be a better term, though, because we didn't find much! We were wandering around T Village for hours searching for a few members who haven't been to church in a really long time. We literally spent hours looking for house number 125, and we could NOT find it! We found number 127 and number 130 and number 123, but good grief, I'm pretty sure 125 doesn't exist. Or it's hidden under a giant pile of rubbish or in a bamboo thicket. I wish you could see these places, they're incredible. You get off the light rail train in the middle of some apartment buildings in the city, walk through a random construction site for about 10 minutes, and then take a sharp left-turn down into the banana trees, and then you're there. Some of these houses, honestly, I don't know how they stay up... sheer willpower or magic or something. And the numbering system is ridiculous. We could never find house number one. The first number we could find was 14... then 23... right across the street was 82... turn left and you see 247...   And no one knows how the number system works or what their neighbors names are! 

We asked so many people for help. Some of them stopped and tried to help (they all said, "Well, why don't you call them?" "Their phone number isn't working." "Oh... have you actually tried it?" "Yes, we have. That's how we know it isn't working." "Oh... have you tried asking someone?" "Yes, that's what we're doing right now."). But quite a few people just completely ignored us. We got to house number 124 (so close!) and I saw someone in the window looking out at us, so I said, "Excuse me, but we need some help, we're trying to find--" and then she just disappeared. Her dog kept barking, but she would not even look at us. So yes, that was a little frustrating. The way many Chinese people here interact with strangers is so cold, and I think a lot of the reason is because they just expect other people to be cold back. They're so suspicious and on edge whenever you talk or smile, and really it is just a cold feeling. And only the gospel, the pure love of Jesus Christ, can ever change that. So we just gotta keep going! 

But a couple great miracles happened that day. The first: we met the sweetest girl, S, who is about 16 years old and just adorable. She came with us to a youth BBQ on Saturday, and she was so shy, but I think she would really like to get involved with the youth and make friends in the church. I love her already.

The next miracle: I was so happy. Sure, we spent hours wandering around, getting ignored by people and not having much success, but I felt like I was walking on air. I felt so grateful for everything: the blue sky, the big banana leaves, the way the dogs didn't chase after us in an angry fashion, the escape from the noisy city, the weird old guys on bikes carrying huge random pieces of sheet metal and bamboo... It's such a special place, Hong Kong. I love it. Sure, we might not have made much progress, but I felt at peace. I think that's one of the greatest gifts the gospel gives to me: internal peace. No matter what the outside world brings, I can feel good inside. And one of the other greatest gifts? Hope for a better world, a brighter future. I'm scared to go home and leave missionary life behind, but God's plan isn't to have us peak at the age of 23. No, it gets better, and harder, and more worthwhile each day. So when it's done, it's done, but not until then! I love this place, and I love this work, and I love my Savior, because he's the one that brought me here.

Week 72, in which I learn more than I knew before about how much I don't know.

What, week 72?! UGH this is the worst. Whose idea was it to number my emails anyways? I can't believe it's mid-November--I feel so old! Seriously, I'm one of the oldest missionaries here right now. Hong Kong is filled with peppy, super cool 19-year-old sisters, and I feel like the awkward old lady in the corner, SO last year, just like Angry Birds or Twilight or JBiebs. (Actually, let's be real, I have no idea what's cool and what's not anymore, I'm just guessing.) Anyways, that's enough about that.

T-shirt of the week: this one's just a little weird, I don't know. It says, "Mind if I have a bite?" Oh, and on the way to the library I saw a shirt that said, "WINNING," and it reminded me of that celebrity whose name I cannot remember who said that a lot. 

This week I learned several things. The first is how simple this gospel really is. In K T, they had a gospel class every Wednesday night, and we called it the Kolob class, because they just loved to get into deep, ridiculous doctrinal speculations. Sometimes people just look for the most complicated things and debate these minor points and get all caught up in things that aren't as important. But really, it's simple. We had a lesson with Sister N this week, and we set up three chairs in the room, each several feet further away than the one before. On the first chair we put a mint; on the second, an onion (our fridge has a limited variety of food, okay?); on the third, three delicious homemade cookies (courtesy of Betty Crocker cookie mix). And we asked Sister N which one she wanted. After asking if the mint was some kind of medicine (as if that would make a difference in her decision?), she said that she wanted the cookie. We pointed out that she'd have to put out extra effort to get it, wouldn't it just be easier to settle for the onion? But she walked all the way over to go get the cookie. (This object lesson is more poignant because earlier this year she had a stroke which left her unable to walk for quite a while; but in the past few months, she has been able to go from using a walker to walking without any help at a completely normal pace. Miracle? Absolutely.) Isn't this life the same way? Our joy is positively correlated with the effort that we put forth. 

But the trick is this: as Elder Joseph B. Worthlin said it, "Those who make happiness their chief objective in life are bound to fail." In our leadership meeting this week, we discussed this quote, and I've thought about it ever since. It seems so illogical, but it makes sense to me. Who was the happiest person to ever live? I'd say it was Jesus Christ. Yes, he experienced all the pain and suffering for all of our sins and our trials. But because of that deep understanding and capability to feel pain, his understanding of true joy was more complete and perfect than any other person who has ever lived. A newborn baby can only experience so much joy, because he has no real understanding of what joy isn't. But Christ completely understands what it means to have a fullness of joy. And what brought him a fullness of joy? Doing the will of the Father. When we turn our will over to Heavenly Father, he can make so much more out of us than we ever could. If our focus is always on getting the things that will make us happiest, we'll fail. But if we focus on doing what God wants us to do, we can't help but be happy. And it's a real happiness too, not anything that the world can give us. I've only started to understand this concept, and I feel like the more I figure out, the more I realize I don't understand! But I guess that's life, right? I wonder if there's ever a point in the eternities where that reverses? Probably not. Which is great.

We had another great lesson this week--we had a family home evening with a member family, the bishop's family, C (who recently got baptized), and C's dad, who doesn't really know much about the gospel. We taught about how important the simple, basic gospel habits are, and compared our lives to Jenga. If we remove just one block, it doesn't seem to make a big difference, right? Just like not reading scriptures for a day or two doesn't seem to make a difference either. But as you keep removing blocks one at a time, the tower becomes less stable, and you realize the difference that one little block can make. We talked about Helaman 5:12, about building ourselves on a sure foundation, on Jesus Christ; when we do so, the storms are still going to come, but we won't fall. And again, it hit me how simple the gospel really is. It all comes back to these simple building blocks. That's what builds a powerful testimony, consistently making small, daily decisions to build on Christ. Just like Aristotle said, "We become what we repeatedly do." 

Well, now that I've written way more than I planned to about all that, we're headed to buy Christmas presents! Thank you to Granny Kate and to Uncle Marcus for the package and birthday card, I'll open them on Wednesday! I love you all, hope you have a great week!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Week 71, in which I celebrated Halloween, faced more killer bees, and met Mister O

Happy November! Turn on the Christmas music! Sorry this email is later than usual--our P-day changed to Thursday so that we can go to the temple! I'm so excited, I haven't been for six months now!

This week we had a couple really good t-shirts of the week. The first: "Captain American." Nice try. The second: "Let's go to space, brother." The third (worn by a Chinese woman): "Black girls rock." 

I've had several moments this week that took me back to my childhood... We celebrated Halloween by switching clothes with the other sisters in our apartment. I dressed up as Sister T, and I must say that I love her style. We discussed our past Halloween costumes over lunch, so naturally we ended up talking about my awkward years when I dressed up as a stoplight... and a mailbox. And a few days ago we were walking to the church when I noticed a stick lying on the sidewalk. My first thought? That stick would make a perfect Harry Potter wand. Oh yeah, those were the days, when you'd go out searching for the perfect stick to use as a wand! Not too fat, nice and straight, a little flexible, 11 1/2 inches long. Classic.

We had another encounter with the killer hornets outside our house. Last time we were merciful... we caught him in a cup and then freed him out in the wild. But this time, I had had enough. That was the last straw. The audacity, coming in again after we'd gone to all the trouble to free him. He came in right during our evening planning, so I just went to bed early and prayed SO hard that he would just die in the night. I prayed and prayed and prayed. But when I came out in the morning, I could still hear his merciless buzzing. He was camped out in the corner right behind my desk. So after much squealing and close calls, we caught him in a cup and then tied him in a grocery bag and then smushed him. That's what they call karma. Or something.

Anyways, this experience taught me an eternal principle. Heavenly Father heard my prayer, I know that for sure. But why didn't he answer it? Why didn't he just get rid of the bee? That's not usually how he works. God typically doesn't just take our problems away. How are we ever supposed to learn and grow and man up and just kill the bee ourselves if he just takes away our problems every time, as soon as we ask? So instead of killing the bee, he gave us the courage and protection that we needed to kill the bee ourselves. I'm grateful God does that. Otherwise I'd just chicken out of everything and never learn or grow.

And for all those who think me wimpy for being so scared of this bee, I want you to know that he was aggressive! And Dad told me that people have DIED from the aggressive Mainland bees! They're much meaner than the tame, Virginian bees. So yeah. 

Mister O is the friend of J, the old man who wants us to ride motorcycles with him. But he's much more normal than J. J brought him to the church the other day, so we gave them a tour. During the middle of the tour, J insisted that we go take pictures in the lobby immediately, "before all the people come" (it was a Thursday morning... no one was coming). So then we took pictures, and I must say they turned out quite awkwardly haha. As they left the chapel, J turned around and said, as he creeped backwards and waved extravagantly, "For you... sweet... lovings. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEET lovings." Yes. I almost died.

We were having a rather fruitless afternoon of finding in drizzling rain a few days ago, and right before we went home, Sister C (one of our members) appeared out of nowhere and said, "Come here quick!" She pulled us into 7-11 and bought us ice cream. What a blessing! Heavenly Father really does look after us missionaries, sending angels in all forms to brighten up our day. Sometimes those angels are named after fruit, and sometimes they are just sweet, loving members who have experienced finding before and know that it's hard. But he always sends them right when they're needed. 

Week 70, in which I see some miracles (no surprises there) and in which I experience the first human car-wash. Yeah, it's weird.

Remember how I got my hair cut last week? Well, it turned out great, but let me tell you, it was the weirdest experience EVER. First, the majority of hair stylists in Hong Kong are men, so that's weird. When I first got there, they led me to the back corner were there was a strange chair resembling a dentist's chair, but with a weird sink contraption where my head was. It wasn't a normal shampooing chair, no. This was the Human Car-Wash 2000. I didn't really know what was going on (strangely enough, I didn't understand most of the technical terms the dude was saying... I need to brush up on my hair-cutting vocabulary). The man handed me some earplugs and gestured for me to put them in my ears. After I did that, I laid down and he put my hair into this sink thing and put a lid over it that framed my face and covered my hair. And then these lights started going off and a weird beeping noise started and these jets started spraying my head at a rather alarming pressure! My head started being moved up and down and back and forth, and the jets kept spraying from different directions, first hot water and then cold water. I was trying so hard to not laugh and my neck started hurting after a while because my head kept getting jerked up and down. This machine lasted for over ten minutes, and it felt like ETERNITY! Then it finally ends and I keep trying to just get up and out of there, but the hair guy keeps stopping me to do things like towel-dry my hair (weird) and fish my earplugs out of the sink (they got shot out by the water jets). But he finally let me go. When I got to the mirror, I almost burst out laughing again--my hair was a MESS! It was so knotted and frizzy and horrible! And then the guy spent at least 15 minutes combing my hair and watching a Korean rock concert on the tv. But finally he cut my hair and it turned out fine. It was a very... interesting experience, and I think it set the tone for the rest of the week.

That night we had a really cool miracle! We were trying to find a less-active family who hasn't been to church in a couple of years. We got past the apartment guards (the first miracle) and then we found the right door and they were home (the second miracle). They were so nice (the fourth miracle) and turns out they don't even LIVE there anymore; they were just visiting a family member who lives there now. That's the best miracle! We just happened to drop by at the exact time that they were visiting. That's miraculous. I love that feeling, when I realize that Heavenly Father really is guiding us. I don't always know if he is, but it's experiences like this that really build my trust in Him.

We had a really funny visit with an old pohpo this week. A member invited us to go visit the old lady that lives next door to her, but wow was she not interested in having us there haha. Here's how our conversation went: "Thanks so much for letting us visit you today!" "I don't have anything else to do!" "Could we open with a prayer?" "I don't like to pray!" "Oh, you don't have to pray, I can pray." "I don't want to pray!" "You don't have to, I can do it." "Okay, but I don't want to pray." "Okay, you don't have to, I can do it." "I can't pray!" "Don't worry, I'll say it." "What!?" "I'm going to say a prayer." "Okay!" Later... "We picked out a hymn to sing for you, is that okay?" "I don't know how to sing!" "You don't have to sing, we can do it." "I never sing!" "You don't have to sing, we can sing." "I won't sing!" "Okay, we can sing though." "Okay, but I won't sing!" "Okay, we're going to sing now..." Later... "And Heavenly Father loves and teaches us just like you love and teach your children." "What?! I didn't teach my kids anything!" "I'm sure you helped them learn how to be good people and help others and be good parents." "No, I didn't help them at all! They figured it out by themselves!" "Well, I'm sure you help your grandchildren now." "Nope, not at all! I don't tell them anything useful!" "And you're humble too!" Anyways, it was a fun lesson, but I don't think we'll be getting frequent visitor passes any time soon.

We had a miracle walk-in family this week! And they are so cute: they have two daughters that are 4 and 6, and they all stayed for our English class. We met them after a few tough days of finding, so I really feel like Heavenly Father answered our prayers and is aware of our work.

Anyways, I had about 5 more miracles I wanted to write about, but I'm out of time. We're going ice skating now, so I'll talk to you next week! I love you!

Week 69, in which I'm wading through the Book of Job, but other than that having a great time!

I can't believe I'm almost to week 70! Where has the time gone? I'm loving ----, Sister M, our investigators, and our weird, random, creepy, old men that we meet. Seriously. This is one of the major trials we've had this week, the only people who want to talk to us on the streets are the old dudes with crackly voices and relatively good English. We met J this week, completely by accident, and he gave us his number and told him to call us for English class. So I called him and here is the conversation we had:

Me: Hi J, how are you today?
J: I just got off work, have you eaten dinner?
Me: Yes, we have. How was work?
J: It was good. Do you want to go to eat dim sum?
Me: No, we've eaten. What job do you do?
J: I drive a motorcycle. Do you know how to drive a motorcycle?
Me: No. We have English class tonight if you want to come, it starts in--
J: I can teach you to drive a motorcycle. Let us go ride a motorcycle.
Me: No, missionaries don't ride motorcycles, especially with strangers. Anyways, hope to see you at English class ton--
J: How about on Saturday? We can go ride motor--
Me: No, I won't be doing that, thank you. Have a great evening!
J: Okay, next time we'll go eat dim sum thanks bye!
Me: No---

Yeah, just my luck haha. But we've met some really great people this week, including a sister named S, a referral from a friend back home! She is so prepared, it really is a miracle. We ate lunch together and then showed her around our chapel. She has been looking for guidance and direction in her life, and wants to know if this can help her. She said she'll read the pamphlets and the website and call us soon. It really was a special meeting. I'd been kind of nervous about it all week, and I'd prayed hard that I would know what to say and how to help her. And then afterwards I realized that it didn't matter that I don't really know what to do or how to help people, because this work isn't about me. It never is. It's Christ's work, and he knows exactly how to help her. I'm so grateful that he trusts me, despite my imperfections and weaknesses, to take care of some of the precious people here in Hong Kong. It is a privilege.

T-shirt of the week: "Spooky. Stretching it a bit. Foo." It had a kitten on it.

I've learned more about following the Spirit this week, although I haven't quite come to a conclusion of what I've learned yet. We were getting on the light-rail the other day when I saw a lady looking at us. I felt like maybe I should talk to her, but the car was so crowded and there was literally no way that I'd get over to her before our stop came. So I just got off and we switched trains, and I saw her again! Still pretty far away though. So I prayed and told Heavenly Father that if she gets off with us again, I'll talk to her. And then she did. I walked up behind her, having no idea what to say, and so I just opened my mouth and said, "Hi, I'm Sister Cutler, and I really want to help you--" and then she said, "NO NEED!" and booked it away. I was kind of taken aback for a second. All these doubts came, and I thought maybe I was just wrong. But then Sister M told me, "I felt like we should talk to her too." So I have no idea what that was all about, but for some reason or another it needed to happen.

In other news, I was dumb this week and cut my finger pretty badly on a seemingly harmless butter knife. Don't ask. Anyways, I've been sporting a pretty sweet band-aid which has been more than averagely annoying. It got me thinking about that scripture in Isaiah 49 where Jesus Christ says, "For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." I've been noticing my cut all week, I just can't forget about it. And in the same way, Jesus Christ always remembers us. (Well, not exactly the same way, he doesn't feel irritated every time he remembers us, the way I am with my cut, but it's just an analogy.) He really doesn't ever forget us. 

I've thought a lot about this verse this week as we go up into the small villages in the mountains to go finding. These villages are incredible, I don't know how they survive typhoon season. The little squatter huts are perched so precariously one on another that I feel like if I kicked out one loose board, the entire neighborhood would collapse. The huts range from reasonably sturdy to held-up-by-sheer-will-power. And sometimes it's almost impossible to even find a door, because you have all these random gutters and alleyways and secret stairways. These people out here really are forgotten in a lot of ways by the world. But not by the Savior. He loves each one of them, and their trials and sadness and joy and successes are continually before him. I love him for that.

Well, Sister M and I are off to get hair cuts! I'm a little nervous. We've heard several horror stories about various hair-cutting experiences that went awry. But I've been praying for protection, so I think we'll be okay. And something I've learned on my mission: time and the Atonement are great healers. If you take Jesus Christ's sacrifice and apply it to your life, then just add faith, anything will be fixed: broken hearts, lives scarred by sin, even cut fingers and bad haircuts. And that's why I'm here, because I've felt that healing power and want others 

Week 68, in which I become a little more like Legolas and in which I receive several much-appreciated beauty tips

Well, I can't believe it's P-day again! It feels like this week was about five seconds long. First of all, let's talk about the t-shirt of the week! This one isn't my best, but it kept me thinking for a while. It says, "Texture in a painting is the feel of the canvas." I think it might be really deep and philosophical, but I can't be sure. It might just be ridiculous. Anyways, then I saw an advertisement today that said, "Tattoo is not just a piece of art, but a state of mind." How can one be in a "tattoo" state of mind? 

Good news! Or bad news! I haven't yet decided. The QUEST gang has struck AGAIN! This time they're right here in ___! Their sphere of influence extends beyond the borders of Macau. Who knows where they could strike next?

One of the sweet pleasures that we enjoy here in the mission are our excessively low-tech cell phones. These beautiful Nokias (we call them "daew dou mh laahn ge," an adjective which means "throw still won't break") have this cool feature where you can make little tunes and then use them as your ring tone. So our current ringtone is "Called to Serve." It's sweet. Every time someone calls, I roll over in my profesh office chair, answer with a classy, "WAIH?!" And wow do I feel like I'm on the latest episode of the 'The District.' I love it.

In other news, my Chinese is coming back at a miraculous rate, although I still have times where I say something like, "This hand sanitizer tastes really good" when I mean to say that it smells good. But hey, that's life! 

There are some really elaborately decorated security gates here, and sometimes we just stand there for a few seconds with feelings of awe and frustration. We just KNOW that there are prepared people waiting behind those gates. And we try lots of different ways to get through them. My most recent attempt: speak "friend" and enter. Yeah. Elvish style. But here, we say, "Pahngyauh." It hasn't worked for me yet, but it'll work one day, I have no doubt.

We had a really great lesson with Sister N last week. We talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I shared about how he has helped me throughout my mission, especially during those times when I felt alone and so useless and helpless. It was a powerful lesson. As I finished sharing my testimony, she was just staring so intently right at my eyes, and I was sure she was about to say something really profound. Then she said, "You shouldn't crinkle your eyebrows like that, it looks really ugly." Haha, it took me aback a little, but it's amazing how much comments like that don't bother me anymore. That's just the way the Chinese people are! I really appreciate her advice, I've been trying my best not to crinkle my eyebrows so much. 

I had a really enlightening personal study yesterday after General Conference. I was reading 2 Timothy 3 (which was quoted several times during the conference) and in verse 7 it talks about people who are "always learning but never come to the knowledge of the truth." And then I thought about the verse in John 8 that says, "If you do my will, you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." And then I remembered what Christ had once said about himself, that he is "the way, the truth, and the life." He is the truth. That verse might as well say, "You shall know Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ shall set you free." There are so many people in the world that are searching for truth. For thousands of years, philosophers and scientists have debated about the meaning of truth. Some believe that there is no truth, nothing absolute or unchanging. But I've seen and felt the truth and the love and the power of Jesus Christ. As we come to know him, we know the truth and we attain true freedom. We're free from the burden of sin and past trials. We're free from who we were before and we're able to become a new, better person every day. I have met so many intellectual, educated, experienced people here in Hong Kong; they have learned so much and yet they haven't to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

We've experienced a lot of rejection lately, and it's a miracle how much it doesn't hurt me. I love these people and it just makes me sad. I wish I could just stand on a great big box somewhere and shout really loud so that everyone here could understand and feel how important this is. But we just keep on going, one person at a time. That's how Jesus Christ did it anyways. He didn't just stand on the roof of the temple in Jerusalem and holler at all the people at once. He went city to city, door to door, setting people free from physical and spiritual burdens one by one. I love him so much for his example. He is real, I'm so so sure of it.