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Monday, November 7, 2011

Baptism and the Gift of Tongues

Well first off, Shirley's baptism went soooo well. We were able to get so many investigators to it including her mom and friend. I only had to do it once :) (which apparently is not very common because if you say any of the words with the wrong tones, they will make you repeat it). When I returned to the room where everyone was sitting down, her mom who has never gone to church and has buddhist beliefs was crying and was super happy. It was a great opportunity to start teaching her, and her daughter right away helped us out with this. It is amazing how we set the goal to have 2 baptisms in October. At the time we had not even met the two investigators who wound up getting baptized. But somehow we were still able to meet our goal perfectly. We gave Shirley a triple combination after her baptism, and last night she called with all types of questions about the BoM, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price because she has been reading them all.

The story of us meeting shirley is a miracle in and of itself. we told her the story about how we originally were going to go finding in a different area, but then Elder Jolley left his planner where we found her so we went back to get it and found her in that area right afterwards. Then she told us that she was on her way to her friend's house but then her friend called and said she couldnt hang out anymore so Shirley decided to walk around and find soemthing to do. She walked down a path she never erally goes down and saw me standing up on the wall. She was really confused because I was a tall white boy speaking Cantonese to people. Then I jumped down and scared her. She walked away but then had a feeling that she needed to come talk to me. And that is how we met.

Saturday we actually went finding on that same path again. I started talking to a guy who was willing to listen, but then he started yelling Kahp hyut gwaai!!! Which means vampire. He pointed at my fang teeth and started yelling saying I was just a vampire and was trying to get him to our church so I could suck his blood..... -_-   I told a native sister missionary this story and she said she thought I looked like a vampire too when she first saw me. So sometimes this whole long fang teeth thing gets in the way. But it was a pretty funny experience.

I also actually taught a lesson to a Colombian girl on this path. The entire lesson was in spanish because she didtn speak english. I have NO IDEA how she gets around Hong Kong. But she said she is teaching spanish here.

Ahh, so the gift of tongues part of the subject line is because I was given the gift of tongues by a mainlander who we found and who gets up at 5 in the morning to get on the train and come let us teach her every week. Teaching people who have never heard of God or Jesus Christ is INCREDIBLE. They have so much faith right away and are soooo humble and willing to keep commitments. Well anyways, she always brings us random things because she thinks she has to  in order to pay us back for the book of mormon we gave her. This week she gave us duck tongues....... They were really really weird. If you ever get the chance to eat them, you will understand. But they have lots of cartiledge and bone in them and are kind of in two symmetrical pieces. Very greasy, but really not that bad. In Hong Kong you learn to eat meat with bones in it. Every piece of meat has lots of bone in it so you just put the whole thing in your mouth with the chopsticks and suck the meat and anything not hard off of the bone and spit the pieces of bone out. At first it grossed me out. But now I dont even really think about it.

I also went to a members house and had octopus juice... It literally was a pot of water that they put a full octopus in and boiled until its.... "juice" came out. Then, they cut up the whole octopus and let it float around. It was kind of weird, but not TOO bad. Just not something I would drink when I am thirsty...

At a different member's home, he gave us ice cream which is very rare and expensive. But he put a nice treat in with it. Turtle jelly. It was sooo weird. Not too good. Someoen said they make it by pretty much just grinding up turtle shells and mixing it with gelatin. I am amazed that I am continuing to find incredibly weird food here.

I went on exchanges twice this week with the same person. The first was because we had District exchanges, the second was because they had a big leadership training meeting and both of our companions went. We went to his area which is Tsim Sha Tsui. It is really big city and pretty much just like in the middle of new york city. But then we went by the waterfront which was more calm. He played soccer in High school adn so did his companion, so they go soccer finding a lot. He told me that when I came I needed to bring my soccer shoes and clothes.

We went to a soccer field RIGHT on top of the water. It was the coolest field I have ever played on. It was all cement like most fields here, but had a big fence around it and bleachers and everything. The only problem is that if you kicked the ball off on 3 of the sides, it would go into the water. We actually found some really good potentials there. Apparently they have been able to get a ton of investigators by finding them this way and then inviting them to their own soccer games that the young men in the ward do. So then they are surrounded by members and afterwards they teach them.

In hong kong they have a system at most fields where you show up to the field and find elevenish other people waiting on the sides. Then when the game going on ends, you play the team that won or if they are done, the other team. It is pretty much just 24/7 pick up soccer.

Today we went to a pretty cool field for our multi zone activity. Every zone came except for international and the few missionaries in macau. We played soccer, kickball, rugby, and other things. It was a giant real grass field on top of a mountain.that overlooked kowloon. For some reason every soccer field here is super epic and makes me feel like I am playing in a video game or some movie or something.

Well gotta go. Love youall! Have a great week!

Love, Jordan :)

Sanfuh (exhausting)...

This week has been quite exhausting. Every single day we have had an average of 3 lessons and 2 new investigators which is REALLY good. I would enjoy it even more though if I didnt get sick :/ I got some type of cold or something that I am hoping is on its way out right now. But that hasnt slowed us down at all. We have sooo many great new investigators who seem like they are really prepared for the gospel. I am really excited to see what happens with all of them. We have at least 7 new investigators coming to Shirley's baptism on Sunday, so that will be awesome.

As I learn the language better and realize that I dont make as many mistake anymore, and even if I do, thats how I will learn, I have become more outgoing with the ward and people we meet. This has made them more outgoing as well. Yesterday a girl came up to me and told me my face was getting fatter. I guess this must be the "rice cheeks" that everyone was telling me I'd come home with. Then a recent converts 4 year old son decided that my name was Feihjai which means "Fat boy." Hahaha so first I was too skinny, now I am getting fat apparently. I guess it is a little bit of an improvement from what all of the other Chinese call me. They love trying to read and speak English. Often when we stop people to talk to them the conversation will go something like this (if they are school-aged and know a little bit of english), "Hello, how are you?" "I am 16" "Wow, How is your day" "My name is cucumber (or whatever random word they choose for their english name)." It is pretty entertaining to speak English to them.

Most people when they try to read me English name read, "Erder....... Beckham!!! Like the Football player!!!!!!". I just smile and say uhh.... close enough. They all are convinced I am realated to David Beckham. It doesnt help that the character for my last name "Bik" is the same character for David Beckhams last name, and it is not common at all for other people to have that character.

Oh, I ate some more weird food this last week. I tried one of those duck eggs that they let the duck fetus grow a little bit, then bury the egg and let it sit underground forever. It was pretty gross. I also ate a lot of chicken feet which were suprisingly good. Better than the cow stomach and petrified duck eggs.

There is a huge group of Thai people right now living in patron housing above our chapel. They dont speak English or Chinese and so communication is quite difficult since all I know how to say in Thai is: Yes, no, under, hello, bye, I dont understand, and I love you. Sometimes I can understand what they are saying jsut by their body language and some words that are a little similar to mandarin, so I can respond to them and answer some questions. But it isnt effective, and I am pretty sure they are under the impression that after we are done being missionaries in Hong Kong we will go be missionaries in Thailand.. I have no idea where they got that idea or why they think that, but according to them, they cant wait until I am in Thailand serving in their ward... haha.

I continue to just love it here. If I didnt already have a good plan for education back home, I think going to college here would be so cool (as long as I had LDS friends who came with me). There is never a boring day here. Something unpredictable or just really crazy always happens.

Mom would be proud because they eat something they call Choi here. It literally means vegetable, but it is basically any leafy plant related to Kale. So they eat baby kale, pak choi, kale, etc..... and I eat it every single day when I make fried rice or eat somewhere because it is in everything. Although I miss mom's juices and smoothies, I am at least still getting my kale in.

Well, today we have three lessons after P-day ends that we have to teach, Sunday is Shirley's baptism, and we have a huge pool of great investigators. So things have really progressed since I first got here and they only had 1 investigator in their pool (who left to Mainland China and we havent ever even heard from her).

I was talking to the APs the other day and I guess that technically we have the biggest mission in the world. Our mission includes the entire country of China. But we are not allowed to go into mainland China, so our actual proscelyting area is pretty small. But we still get so many people from mainland who come down for a few days just to get baptized, then go back up and join their local branch up there. I dont think anyone realizes how well the work really is doing in China. They always talk about "when China opens up", but even with not being allowed to proscelyte in Mainland China, things are on fire up there for not being able to solicit religion or even tell friends about it. Especially close to the border in Guangdung.

Maybe I am a little full of it, but I really feel like I am saving China one day and person at a time, and I am loving it.

Have a FANTASTIC week. Love you all!!

Love, Elder Jordan Roe Beckham... I mean Bingham