Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm still running!!

Hi Mom, Dad, Kelli, Nathanael and Savanna!

Wow!! I've made it through my first move in Hong Kong!  Can you believe it?!!  That also means I'm not the youngest of the babies (new missionaries) anymore!  Wow!! I'm pleased to say my first moves calls were thankfully uneventful.  Sister C. and I are still together, which we expected since I'm still a "baby" for another move.  She leaves to go home after this move.  I also still have my running buddy!!  Sister K. and I have been getting up at 6:40 a.m. to go running since neither of our companions want to.  I was so afraid she was going to leave just in time for the coldest move!! Plus since Sister C. is leaving, we're probably going to get changed out A LOT!!!  I'm so glad I'll be able to work out every day this move!!!

1 - How are you enjoying the Hong Kong weather? The forecast always looks rather nice, although, it looks like you are in for some rain this week.
It's really nice!  Some days it can be really cold, but it's not as cold as Illinois!! Sister K. and I usually wear shorts and t-shirts running in the morning and we get lots of funny looks.  People say, "Dong mh Dong?!!!!”  (Are you cold?!!!)  We would get funny looks anyway… 2  5'9" white girls in shorts and t-shirts running around speaking Chinese.  Running isn't as common here as it is in the US, so we stick out even more.  Although there are a lot more people out exercising in the mornings.  There are 2 old men always playing soccer at one of the soccer fields we run around.  There are usually 2 groups of popohs doing Tai Chi, or some other types of dancing/stretching exercise.  It's quite a site!!  Someday I want to join them... we'll see

2 - Do you have to do any sort of qualification process for your mission?
Yes, we have to do pass-offs.  That is, teach all of the lessons to our district leader, and then one of the first 3 lessons and lesson 4 to our Zone leader.  If we do that, and "demonstrate ability to write pinyam, use correct sounds and tones, and be an SYL missionary," we are a "Language Scholar."  After that, we can move on to become a "Langauge Master" by learning to read characters, and scriptures.  I've tried to pass of the first lesson twice already, and haven't passed yet, but that's normal, especially with our district leader.  I'm hoping to try again this week.  I'm hoping to finish my pass-offs in the next two moves or so.  We just got a new district leader, and I am so excited to be able to do pass-offs for him because he's a native and a really good teacher.  I'm excited to have his feedback on my teaching too. 

3 - How many sister missionaries are in the mission? How many missionaries total? 
I think 30 sisters and I don't know how many elders.  

4 - Nathanael asked about Chinese New Year.
It is the week of January 24, and apparently EVERYONE leaves!!!  It's like Christmas is in the US.  So it's difficult to do missionary work that week.  Not to worry, the mission has provided.  One day we get to go to the temple, one day we get to see Big Buddah, another we will do deep cleaning, and another day our ward has a hiking activity.  The hike itself is 4-5 hours.  Ward members are encouraged to bring friends so we can meet them (I'm so excited for that!!!)  Hahaha!  I'm sure we'll still get to do some proselyting.  (I sure hope so!! That many days without being able to do missionary work will drive us CRAZY!!!!)  It will be fun to have a change of pace.

This week we had to drop a lot of our investigators because they won't answer their phones, or really don't have interest.  I'm learning what mh dak- a (Not free) and mouh hing cheui (Not interested mean.)  The other people we are teaching have tests at school, left for mainland, or are busy for the New Year.  It's been more difficult to schedule lessons.  But even though we didn't have as many lessons, Heavenly Father is still doing miracles!!!  We were able to teach two lessons while we were out finding yesterday (That's exactly how many we were hoping to be able to teach.) and Elder O. just called us this morning to give us some numbers of ladies they've talked to this week.  In spite of some logistical challenges, the young woman who got baptized last week was able to come to Sacrament meeting.  She was late, but had barely sat down when the Bishop called her up to the front to be confirmed.  I was sooooo happy!!!  Plus I'm learning to talk to people and share the gospel wherever we are. It's still super intimidating, but I'm doing better. 

I love you all so much!!!

Sister Nelson/Kasey 

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