The meaning of the words for giraffe in Cantonese is long neck deer. Wife is chaiji, grape is taihji. Ngo is goose, which sounds like a goose call. We were talking to some Ukraine missionaries and they said that the word for "point" is similar to the word for "urinate." One of them said when telling the story of the first vision "...calling me by name and urinating at the other". I think that is about the worst language mistake I have heard. We took a Language Study Assessment last week and I got a surprisingly good score for tones and pronunciation. I was very happy as I was really trying to get the tones down well this past week. I think I sound pretty Chinese. I just need to focus more on grammar and sentence patterns and vocabulary for the last week here. I am pretty happy as I feel pretty prepared spiritually and have really come to have a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon within the last couple of weeks.
My zone has become like a family and it is sad that I won't be seeing most of them in a very long time. The Hmong, Viet Nam, and Cambodian missionaries left last week. We just got Thai missionaries in who are so sweet. It makes me realize how much we have grown and changed in the last 8 weeks. There are lots of interesting names in our zone like Shamrock, Tsubasa, and Ysabeaux. My teacher Kuok JiMuih said she didn't like juice. We were all smiling and nodding and thinking "oh, interesting." But the elders started freaking out thinking she has said she didn't like jews. They were wondering why we were acting like it was normal. It was funny.
I've been very sick with a sore throat/dizzy for the whole week. I even missed a day, sleeping all day. The branch president came through giving blessings. So he and the two elders in my district gave me a priesthood blessing to get better. With the blessing and some medicine I'm feeling much better today. BTW Mom, my third companion, who is the Sister Training Leader, said that her dream mission would be the Canary Islands. I thought that was cool since that is where you served your mission. We think that Elder Peterson, one of the two elders in our district, looks like a golden retriever (see if you agree in the picture below), so whenever anyone stumbles over him (he has long legs) or accidentally kicks him, we say "you kicked our puppy."
I'm wondering if I should buy a camera before I leave. I probably won't since mooching off of others seems to be working fine. The other chyungaausih (missionaries) are very charitable. It will be very interesting to see who my next companion will be. I wonder if my trainer will be a native Hong Konger (Heung Gong ge yahn). The phrase I thought of because I'm be missing so many people is "I hate to see you leave but love to see you go." Just because although it is sad, I'm happy that they are going onward and will be working hard and touching the lives of others.
Omni is a very interesting book (procrastination is the focus) as it shows how much effort those in the Book of Mormon put in to make sure we had the record for our day. They were such righteous men and we are so lucky to have their guidance. I love the Book of Mormon.
I can't remember the song but the last line is "What does He ask? Live like His son." If you know what song I mean, I would like everyone to listen to that song and think about the words. At least think about the phrase that I remember. It is such a nice one and it is so interesting to think that the greatest way to repay Heavenly Father for sacrificing His perfect, beloved son is to live like Christ. That is how we show our gratitude. I hope that this Christmas month, everyone will think of Christ AND work to develop his qualities and try to live more like Him.
This is what I wrote in my journal: Thinking of Christ...I want to be more like that--another being and spirit just like us. He really was a person who lived on this earth--the example of courage and selflessness--so perfect and patient, with infinite understanding and forgiveness. Picture him being beaten and put up on the cross, spit on, hated by many. It really happened. Yet in that moment, He asked the Father, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." I'm sure I cried as I watched from above. He knows the fallen confusing state of this world and simply wants to show us the example and way to come home. How could we ever know or come to understand such perfect love? He came to earth and went through all of that willingly and saw each of us as he endured our trials and pains and afflictions (Isaiah 53:10). Of course, it is our goal to show our gratitude by living like Christ. Allow His example to change, purify, and save us. Because He lived, we are saved. He lives today and we will live again. It is my sincere hope that you will take advantage of His life and example and live with the goal of eternal glory. What a day it will be when we see Him and have become like Him.
I invite you to read the scriptures at this Christmas time and share stories of Jesus with your family.
Our zone with missionaries going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in SE Asia.