Monday, February 3, 2014

Chinese New Year Traditions

red pocket money!

Dear Friends and Family,

This past week was the beginning of Chinese New Year.  Happy Chinese New Year!  It started on January 31st and it's still going on.  People get fully back to regular life on February 9th or so.  The craziest days are the first few.  It's nice to see the people in Hong Kong cut loose a little bit.  

We did Deep Clean in our Apartment on February 1st.  We do it at this time because proselyting can be pretty unproductive on the first and second day of Chinese New Year.  We used the whole day to clean.  My fingers are super sore from scrubbing things to death!  We completely rearranged the apartment to so it's really a fresh new start.  

Yesterday we had just an hour long church.  In all I received $170 in Red Pocket Money.  For those who don't know, Red Pocket Money is a tradition where people (typically married people) hand out red envelopes filled with money to others.  What a great holiday, right?  Missionaries cannot spend the money, though.  We must give it to the Missionary Fund in our ward.  One lady was very clever, though.  She knew that in previous years, missionaries could not spend the money she gave to them, so this year she comes up to us and says in Chinese: "You don't have to give this away, it's coupons for Mcdonalds."  Funny stuff!

Elder Falk and I went on splits this past Friday.  We taught two people.  I taught a guy named Anson and he taught a man named Gary.  I thought Anson was super golden, it was a great lesson.  He felt the Spirit for sure, and he acknowledged that he did.  He is going back to school (his holiday is about over) so will be hard to schedule time to follow up.  School in Hong Kong is rough.  If I ever thought I had it hard in America, I thought wrong.  Anyway it's been a good week.  Happy Chinese New Year to everybody!

Elder Phillips

kids in the ward wearing their Chinese New Year attire!

On the way home from a Flower Market.(Flowers are a big deal around New Years here)  

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