Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mid Autumn Festival...very fun day!

Dear Friends and Family,

I apologize for last week's letter.  We got jipped by this guy at the library who only gave us one hour instead of two.  So the letter ended pretty abruptly. 

This past week was pretty great.  In China they celebrate this holiday called Mid Autumn Festival.  A family from the ward invited us over to eat.  It was a very fun day!  Oh and by the way, the second story I was supposed to tell that I didn't was just about this  crazy guy that followed us around after we said hi to him.  He followed us around and called my companion fat for like twenty minutes.  Some people...  But no matter how much we get stepped on, there's always someone who got stepped on more.  He got spit on and despite doing the greatest service to mankind. He was ignored, rejected, and killed for his cause.  So I don't have it so bad.

The week was a little rough pertaining to missionary work.  A lot of appointments fell through.  The ward is starting to fast for us.  This ward hasn't had a baptism for a long time, apparently.  It's hard work here in Hong Kong, the work progresses here very slowly. 

This past week was also mission tour!  An Area Seventy came and trained us along with his wife and our mission president and his wife.  We were trained the entire day and it was pretty great.  It's nice to get together with other missionaries once in a while, because they know what you're going through! 

We also had a typhoon.  People in Hong Kong  made the typhoon sound so intimidating, rumouring to last 24 hours and to be the biggest typhoon in Hong Kong in 30 years, but we all slept through it and by morning it was gone.  Anyway that's all for today.  Love you!

Elder Phillips

Mom Dad JP and Andrea,
(excerpt from email)

It's exciting for me to hear that you guys are all together!  First I'll try to answer JP's questions from his email.  JP, we study language for one hour a day.  During that time I do Cantonese sounds and tones to improve my accent and pronunciation and what not.  I also study flashcards, make new flashcards, look things up in the dictionary that I've heard but didn't understand, and I read this grammar book that's really helpful.  When I do personal study, I read the romanization of Chinese characters and sometimes just the characters.  I don't know if you had this on your mission, but we have a Book of Mormon that has the Chinese Characters, romanization, and English all next to each other.  I also will get up an hour early to study whatever Chinese stuff I'm lacking in.  The most useful thing though is going to church because I write down stuff I hear that I don't understand and ask a native after church to help me out with it.  If I end up training, I think I'll make my trainee speak Cantonese much more.  My companion says he's never seen somebody pick it up faster than I have.  I shouldn't get prideful though, because I feel like an idiot talking to native speakers all the time.

Yeah the typhoon was nothing.  The only damage it caused was extra leaves in all the public pools.  Pretty lame, I was hoping for something bigger.  It's funny my companion and I were secretly hoping the typhoon would come before church so that we wouldn't have to go to church. ha :)  I bet JP and Andrea can attest to the fact that the Sabbath is not a day of rest if you're a missionary!  But church still happened and it turned out all right. 

This week was Mid Autumn Festival!  How was mid autumn festival in China town JP?  It was crazy here!  A family had us eat and afterwards they took us and walked down this pier.  The beach was decked with people!  If I didn't know better I would have thought it was some weird hippie gathering.  I ate some traditional Chinese food this past week, so that has been fun.  This lady in our ward gave us this herb called Chrysanthemum and we made it into tea.  It wasn't too bad! 

I have to tell you about the people here in Hong Kong.   People suffocate themselves with their work or school.  We had an investigator that slept for four hours every night, and he is just a student.  A less active we meet with works for 80 some hours a week.  But the sad thing is that they choose to be busy with just work and school.  Plenty of members are able to go to church on Sunday and not work and still be fine.  I think that that's all there is for them: work. 

This week on Mid Autumn Festival my companion and I tried our hand at tai chi.  We see a lot of old people doing it and we decided to go there for our exercise and ask to join them.  They let us, so we just try to copy what they do.  If any of you have seen the Cartoon Avatar: the Last Airbender, it looks like what the water benders do when they bend water.  I really like that show.

I have to go, but I hope you guys have a great time in Wisconsin!  Love you!

Elder Phillips

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