Monday, November 18, 2013

Half Empty or Half Full???

Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been very good.  I have two  stories for you.  They aren't like miracle stories, but they are stories of us getting rejected. So prepare to have a laugh or two.  I'll throw in a couple of actually uplifting stories at the end.  

The first story is about us visiting a less active member.  I had never met him, and I heard he was trouble, but we decided to give him a surprise visit, anyway...

We show up to his apartment and knock on the door.  His wife answers.  She says he is taking a shower.  We ask if we can come in and wait.  She says okay.  So we get inside and talk to his wife and kids.  His kids were 18 and 20 years old, and they were very nice. His wife gave us some apple juice to drink.  Things were looking good!... 
...But then, Brother ____ comes out of the shower, in his towel, and puts a shirt on.  Then he stands by us and leans down and asks us if we can tell the church to never visit or contact him again. Awkward.  So my companion finished his apple juice right then and there.  I left my cup half full (I figured if I left it half full they would have a debate about whether it was half full or half empty for the rest of the night, plus they wouldn't want to waste it because it was a substantial amount of apple juice, but they wouldn't want to drink it because my germs were on it.  In this way, I got my revenge). But we left.  And we were standing at the elevator, still shocked from what just happen.  His son comes running out holding my Book of Mormon and folder I had forgotten..oops.  We told his son to call us if he has interest.  Anyway that's rejection #1. 

Story number 2.  We were on the street talking to a nice guy about our age.   He was a great contact.  At the end of our meeting with him, some guy rolled up in this expensive car and before he turns he rolls his window down, points as us and says: "Don't listen to them! They're Mormons!"  We were kind of already saying goodbye to the guy we were talking to, so we just kind of said yeah we don't know who this guy in the car is.  We parted company with the contact, then the guy who pointed and yelled was still waiting to turn.  We had to walk towards his car to get to the destination, so as we were walking towards him he says, in English this time: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I condemn you!"  It was pretty venomous! But after it I couldn't help but burst out laughing.  He was probably a pasteur or something. 

There is a nick name for the mormon church that is pretty unfortunate.  The pinyin is something like: "Mo-meun-gaau."  It is a transliteration, but Mo also comes from the word Mogwai which means devil.  Gaau means a church or religious sect.  So this nickname means Devil's Church.  Very unfortunate.  So usually people have heard this nickname, and it's not like in the States where we can just embrace the nickname Mormon.  

Anyway those are the two funny stories of the week.  Here is a nice story.  Last night we had dinner with a less active lady.  She is very nice.  Her grandson lives with her.  He is 11 and we are just starting to teach him.  He could have a ton of potential.  

Missionary work is doing better in Butterfly with sisters here.  We can cover more ground.  Less active work is better because we can focus on guys and they can focus on girls.  It gives us less ground to cover and more ability to focus our efforts where it counts most!

So things are good.  I'm happy out here.  I'm lucky to have such great support back home form all of you.  I love you all!

Love, Elder Phillips

P.S.  I loved Dad's Capture the Flag story, so funny! Dad is such a trickster:)
Yeah the steak was delicious!  I will venture to try more authemtic foods once I can read more characters.  Otherwise I'll just be pointing at a menu saying I want this, and I might end up with some pig fetus on my plate.  The worst rumor here foodwise has to do with monkeys.  It never happens in Hong Kong, but apparently in Mainland China some people will take a live monkey, split its head open and poor some boiling water on the brain.  And then eat the brain with the monkeys body still there...Yikes!


  1. Sounds like you have an exiting time doing work in Hong Kong. Miss the good times we had in Red Wing. I Wish you all well :)

  2. Hey Tormod! How are you? Zach will be so happy to hear from you!! He checks his email on Monday's, do you have his direct mission email address?

    Darla (Zach's mom :)