It's amazing that you just had a stake conference broadcast the covered all of the 100 or so stakes in the Southeastern US and afterwards cooked hamburgers and hotdogs over a bonfire for Chrissy's, Joe's, and our families and some of the other ward members. I miss bonfires and family get togethers and american foods. I guess I will just appreciate it that much more when I get back (but really american food is amazing. And culture and everything. It really is the promised land). You asked about how Mcdonalds is in Hong Kong and what kinds of toilets they have. Hong Kong Mcdonalds is pretty similar. They don't have salads or snack wraps or any of the good chicken wings. They do have sesame flavored ice cream which is interesting. It is very fun to try random foods with the culture, but nothing beats southern food from the USA and family get togethers. :) I've only seen one squat toilet since I've gotten here. The others are like those in the USA.
We do service at a place called crossroads every week. It is a place for refugees to train for jobs and that gives aid. We work in the shop and walk up and down the stairs for hours (they sell things from poor countries etc).
I have learned a lot this week.
I think the main thing that I love that I learned is that of being an example and a light. I love President Monson's most recent General Conference talk. Matthew 5:5,14-16/ 3 Nephi 12:5,14-16 are my favorite scriptures (have been throughout high school). I haven't thought much about them lately until this week. I really want to have that light and be able to share it with others. I know that if we have faith, repent sincerely, love God, and do good works, we will have that pure light about us (Hel 3:35.. pure, joy). Christ is the light, so learning of Him and becoming more like Him is so essential. People will be able to recognize the happiness in your countenance and will be drawn to the gospel. "As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light in the lives of others."
Our friends interested in the gospel are doing so well. I love seeing the way they want to give back because of our service. They feel the blessings of the Gospel and Christ's love, so they do all they can to serve us and other members. One less active (Sister Tsang) always gives candy and food to give to primary or other missionaries. She insists on feeding us all the time, so we really want to start bringing members with us for her to become closer with.
My companion and I have been very sick recently. It seems we never have energy. But we pray for the strength and keep going. We are so busy with lessons and helping others. Sister Villasin says that when she feels miserable (sickness) she just wants to help and serve others more. It helps her to focus less on herself and lifts her spirit to serve others. This couldn't be more true. We taught Sister Anne, another less active this week. I had been feeling so low (dry, itchy hands and lips, cold/flu/sore throat, headache, probably a little mental/emotional exhaustion as well), yet when we went to help this sister, everything just became positive. She wanted repentance and had been touched by a phone call prayer (we happened to call on her baptism date as well). She told us the words that we said about praying always for strength were exactly needed, and she wanted to be forgiven and "pure and beautiful" like us missionaries. This was an answer to my prayers, because I had been feeling negative and praying and repenting with all my heart. And when I turned outward and forgot about myself, I was able to see what small principles could make such a difference in another's life. Really amazing.
Two sisters with baptismal dates are having trouble quitting smoking/ drinking coffee, and another is never well enough to come to church. I am not sure what more we can do to help them. We will continue to have faith in them and keep them in our prayers. God never gives up on us when we are in our low points, so we cannot give up on them.
The mission is very hard. Sometimes I feel like I'm dragging my feet through the day, because there is a never-ending load of work and people who don't keep their commitments. My goal is not just to endure my mission, but to enjoy it. To let it change me. I will enjoy the moments. I will think positive thoughts. I think that if I have more faith in these people, and if I seek for the Charity and love for them (sincerely always think positive thoughts about them), then everything will be brighter and more simple.
I love this Gospel. I'm honored to be called to the the Lord's work (D&C 4, if you have desires you are called), and that He trusts me and has patience with me and my prayers. I know that every single individual is special to our Heavenly Father, and that means a lot to me. I am excited to learn how to focus my thoughts, plans and energy more so on others than myself. I like to read Alma 26. I ask myself "Would I go through this for the Savior?" The answer is yes. And I want to go through it with similarity to the Savior's positivty, patience, and love. I know that He will lift us above our trials. He will not take them away, but simply give us strength to overcome. And that is such a blessing.