There are so many languages here. It's like another little world. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. There are a lot of people from my BYU ward here, so I get to see a lot of people that I know quite a bit. Two of them are even in my Branch (Cambodia and Thailand). There is a cream soda tree here. It literally smells like cream soda. My companion and I saw two sisters smell it one day, so we went up to smell it after they left. Then, my friend from Austria came walking back from the temple with her whole district and was so confused as to why we were standing around smelling a tree. Eventually there was a whole crowd of missionaries smelling the tree. We caused a scene. Funny!
There is a past tense, but many of the words in Chinese don't need it. I tried to say "had" the other day (yauhjo) but apparently they only use "have" (yauh). I used instead the word "pregnant" in my sentence. My teacher was quick to correct me but can't use English around us. He just shook his head and motioned a pregnant belly and said "bibi, bibi" (baby) with a super high tone Chinese accent. It was really funny. We try to SYL a lot (Speak Your Language--speak only Cantonese). It's going pretty well but we are learning mostly missionary terms. So for lunch and dinner we say such things as "I know this food is true." Or we'll use phrases from songs "Wohn ching chong" Carry on, carry on + infinitive. Angels we have heard on high=wihhhhhnnngggg (hold it out). Sit sounds like ching chong. Hamburger = hambobo. I love Asians, so I'm laughing with them not at them. We ate popcorn in class with chopsticks because we met a district goal. It was awsome. But now we're trying strict obedience so there is no eating in the classroom. We have always kept the classroom clean but it is better to obey faithfully even if we don't agree with the rule.
I asked my teacher how to say "Good morning, beautiful" to other girls, but he said that people in Hong Kong would take that strangely. But it is perfectly fine for an Elder/guy to say to another guy "Good morning, beautiful boy." LOL. I still don't understand it. I've memorized the First Vision, the commitment to baptism, and the missionary purpose in Cantonese. Hooray!! Apparently they also do tai chi in the park in HK. I remember when we first got to the MTC, some of the sisters would get up 30 minutes early for an exercise class. We went one morning and the whole time we were doing tai chi/avatar the last airbender style moves and flapping our arms like birds. You can imagine how that went. "We woke up 30 minutes early for this?" Ha ha, never again. BTW, one of the elders in my group has fans who want to take a picture of him here. He is a member of a band called Beyond 5. Could someone look him up for me and tell me how famous he is? LOL.
Also, this is a side note. I've been thinking about what I want to do later in my life and my dream job would be to be the director/leader of a humanitarian effort. Perhaps I could do it in China with my Cantonese. I just really like the idea. I like the idea of helping individuals and seeing the impact in their lives.
SO MANY SPIRITUAL INSIGHTS. I will give my favorite ones but for most I'll just give scriptures that align with my life. You can read what you choose and find your own spiritual truths.
"Be still my soul:" every line of this song is perfect. "In every change, He faithful will remain." It has helped me so much. Psalm 37:7 "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him." Jacob 3:1 Christ is pleading our cause. Alma 5 Behold he changed their hearts (v. 6, 14, 21). Washed white with the blood of Him. His significance? Everything. He is the only way and He is here to carry us (as in the footsteps in the sand poem) "I stand all amazed." This is how I feel about Christ, and the more I learn of Him, the deeper love and gratitude I have for Him. Christ has set an example before us. If we follow in his steps with exactness, we will one day be able to look up and realize that he has lead us to the throne of God. 2 Nephi 31:13. Top of pg 5 of Jesus the Christ. "He shall represent us spotless and celestialized unto the Father." Have his countenance; remember his name in your hearts. Mosiah 5:7-8. Think of our commitment at baptism Alma 5:26. "How great Thou art."
"I need Thee every hour." We are singing this next Tuesday in choir. Matt 11:30 lean on the lord. Think of the BofM example of Lehi and his vision that his family must leave Jerusalem or of the tree of life. In both cases there were two reactions: Laman and Lemuel turned to each other for advice. Nephi turned to the Lord. Which path will you take? We have to help each other and point people to the Lord.
What not to read to an investigator, 3 Nephi 3:7.
Baldy and the She-bear 2 Kings 2:23-24
That's not 1/3 of what I want to share, but it will have to do
Ngoh ngoi leihdeih
The first picture is me with my companion. The second picture is me with some of my BYU ward friends that I met in the temple.