Monday, August 19, 2013

Hong Kong week two!! The two Elders in Wuh Dihp are working hard :)

Dear Friends and Family,

I lost tracks of how many weeks I've been out, I'll leave it up to my mom to count them from now on.  Hong Kong is a great place.  Everything is cheaper except living expenses. Luckily I don't have to worry about that.  :)  I've found that Anti-Mormonism is pretty common here.  And the people in Hong Kong will believe some crazy rumours about the church for some reason.  Most people haven't heard of the Church, but the ones who have have heard about it because they attended Christian schools where they taught them the Mormon church is "chehgaau" or "evil church."

 It's pretty great to be a missionary.  It's definitely hard, but I just try to focus on the positive things.  THe biggest challenge is the language barrier.   Hopefully  I can very quickly understand everything the ward members are saying.  I bore my testimony yesterday in church.  And they were very impressed.  One thing I said when I was up there is a Chinese proverb which goes like this : po fu chahm jau.  It means break kettle sink ship, literally.  The story behind it is that a Chinese general was about to go into battle with his army.  The enemy army outnumbered them.  But the general did this.  He said:  Spend this day eating yourself full and getting rest.  His troops did so and the next day they crossed the river into battle.  Right after they crossed however, the general commanded them to sink their ships and get rid of everything they had except for their weapons and each other.  So they did and were left with nothing.  They went to battle and fought and won, because there was no other option but death.  I compared that to my mission, and said that I was not going to turn back.  My teacher at the MTC taught us that proverb and I took it to heart.  I am in this for the next two years no matter what.

We spend a lot of our days finding.  And it's very tiring and often discouraging because of the rejection we get.  But there are always blessings.  We met two new people who are potentially great investigators.  We didn't meet them through finding but they basically just fell into our hands through luck (divine providence).  It was great!

 We ate dinner with the Yau family last night and they gave me a lot of advice for Cantonese and they were super nice.  We eat Mcdonalds a lot because it is fast and cheap.  We can't always go home for dinner because it wastes so much time, so it's usually mcdonalds.  A big mac meal here is under three dollars!  Pretty sweet!  I am out of time but I love you all!  Thank you!
Elder Phillips

(excerpts from letter to parents)

Dear Mom & Dad

This week has been good!  It's good to be a missionary but I'm starting to realize the gravity of everything on my plate.  We are the only missionaries in Wuh Dihp  there are some discouraging things,  but I just want to prove to our ward members  here that we are good missionaries.  It's going good though.  My Cantonese is getting even better.   I am always tired here.  But always pretty happy.

I've realized how hard Hong Kong is.  I bet JP felt this in New York too, but especially in Hong Kong all of our work is street contacting.   Finding is hard and we have to do a lot of it because Wuh Dihp's investigator pool has been shrinking for a long time.  But I'm sure the Lord will bless us soon.  I'm sure he already has.

 We ate dinner with a family from the ward last night and they were really nice.  I could understand them almost always.  The one thing I get messed up on is when I focus really hard on what they are saying so I understand the individual word they say but as the sentence goes on I forget the word that they said because I'm too focused on what they are presently saying.  So it's a sometimes a puzzle figuring out what they're saying
 My companion said something really funny the other day.  He said: "Missionaries that go to North America have these amazing relationships with their converts for the rest of their lives.  Missionaries that go to South America and Africa have amazing miracle stories of baptizing hundreds of people.  Missionaries that go to Europe come back culturally enriched with a great, romantic language.  Missionaries that go to Asia just get humbled."  I thought it was really funny.   Some of the stuff we're up against is ridiculous.  But I know we can do it.  My goal is to be close to fluent in Cantonese by the end of my training.  So I have 12 weeks.  It seems like a lofty goal but I know the Lord is blessing the missionaries.  And I know I have a good aptitude to learn languages.  So I'm going to do it.

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