Hello my amazing (and medically challenged) family, friends, and other loved ones!
What is up with all the needed surgeries? 3 in one week? Come on! Ha-ha that is crazy, I hope you are all well and that everything will be alright. I will pray extra hard for all of you. Mom and dad, I am glad you all had a fun trip. I love the “bubba gump” picture. It looks like you had an awesome time. I am glad you got to experience some of the nice, warm, humid, weather. It actually feels like it is cooling down slightly here in Hong Kong (or maybe I am just getting used to it). This week has been completely crazy! There has been so much that has changed.
First, today I got a new companion. He is named Elder Leung. He is from here in Hong Kong. It is going to be really nice to have a native companion who can really help me with the language and who really knows the culture of Hong Kong. I was scared at first, because I am leaving my trainer and this is the first time in Hong Kong that I have switched companions. But he is a really cool kid and very nice. We have just been laughing ever since we met, so I am not worried at all anymore. I am still in the same area, but today we also got a new apartment that is in our area, so we have spent all morning switching companions and packing and moving everything. The new apartment is super small, but it is all new and is pretty nice and clean. I am way excited.
Ok, here is my awesome first baptism story (definitely one that I won’t forget). It was an awesome day, about 70% of the ward showed up. Everything was going amazing. The “program” part went great, and then we went downstairs to the baptismal font. I step down into the water and my heart drops. The water barely went up past my knees. I just thought to myself “how am I going to get this man under the water, if it barely even covers my knees!” But we didn’t have time to fill up the font more, so he came down in with me. I said the prayer (which I was also nervous for) without any problems. Then I put him under. It was tough, but I got him completely under… Except for his pants in the thigh area. So, I tried again. (It’s like when you are saying the sacrament prayer and make a mistake, you instantly get super nervous!) The exact same thing happened. So I got to try again! This time, when I put him under the water, I grabbed all the extra clothe that I could with my back hand and pulled until my hand hit the floor… but the stupid pant leg still kept floating! By this time, I was just super embarrassed and just wanted to get out of that font. We realized that it was practically impossible to baptize with that small amount of water, so we had him kneel down and I baptized him. So, technically, I had 4 baptisms this week! It was pretty humiliating, but he was still just as happy as ever. He will get confirmed Sunday in sacrament meeting. He has already been helping other missionaries teach without us even knowing, so he is an awesome member already!
Ok, I have a weird food story now. This week we went to this little hole in the wall place to eat. They had all these different entrees sitting out in little pans to choose from. I honestly had no idea what to eat, it all looked pretty weird. So I randomly chose something. I asked my companion what it was, but he wouldn’t tell me. So I ate it. It was really salty and chewy. Not completely awful, but definitely not my favorite. After I ate it, my companion told me it was cow stomach and intestines…. yup! I don’t think I will choose that one again.
In Hong Kong, it is illegal to knock on apartment doors, but if we have a record saying that they are a member of our church, then we can go visit them. Occasionally we will try and knock on less actives doors. It is scary enough, walking through these long dark hallways and knocking on a random door, but this week we had an even scarier experience. We found the building we were supposed to go into, so we went and told the guard that we wanted to visit our friend. He gave us a weird look, then went into his office to call someone to see if it was alright. As we were waiting for him, all these men started coming up to us and looking at us weird. At one point, I would say we were surrounded by about 10 men. It has this really eerie feeling to it. I looked over at the wall, and it said “Hong Kong rehab and crime prevention center” We were being surrounded by a bunch of crazy ex-cons!!! I told Elder Parkin and we were both pretty creeped out. On the one wall it had a list of all the residents and everything they were diagnosed with. Finally we just told the man in the office it was the wrong place. It was one of the scariest moments every. We were able to laugh about it after, but I was pretty freaked out at the time.
Gene is the stake president now?!? I didn’t know this. It is so cool that he gets to set Carl apart. Did this happen before or after Emily left? That is crazy news. I am so excited for Carl, he is going to be an awesome missionary. I will need to get his and Emily’s mission addresses so I can write them eventually. Hopefully Karen is doing ok; I bet Christmas is going to be slightly different around their house this year. It is going to be so cool to have 3 missionaries out from our family!
Well, that is pretty much it for my crazy week. I hope you are all doing awesome! I hope you all know that I pray for you everyday, and you need to know that I can feel your prayers. I love you all so much, stay amazing!!!
Love, Elder Bubba