Tuesday, July 3, 2012


ok, first, I must apologize for the late email :P Yesterday was the queen's birthday: Diamond Jubilee :) hahaha.  and so none of the libraries or poublic facilities were open :P.  Unfortunately, we were unable to do anything at all on that day, so now, we are sending you our emails.... I'm talking like I'm reporting on all the missionaries.  Our whole district is with us in the library right now emailing their families... so if you know any of their families :D you'll all get the emails at the same time. ANyway.... sorry about that. I totally forgot about the queens birthday.  I totally forgot I even had a queen right now. I wasn't sure what everybody was getting all excited about and then they told me that it was the queens birthday, then i realized that there was a queen.  So. yep. All hail the queen.... I'm not sure which queen it even is right now.

I was actually thinking about that... so here's a bit of food for thought: does the day of celebration change from year to year? and would they also celebrate the king's birthday? what if they had to celebrate several times a year because one queen died, and the other one's birthday was after she became queen.  these are unimportant questions that I was curious about hahahaha.  anyways.  YAY!

SO yeah... so here are some pictures... I forget which ones I attached... I don't know if I attached a picture, but I got more shoes from more members :) I got some cleats ( they call them boots here) so I can play touch now. Legitimately! hahaha.  I'm still really bad.  My hands are like giant bricks.  I can't catch the ball so I like to run around in circles and psych everybody out.  and laugh.  it's really fun to play with poly elders and members.... and even non-members because they just laugh at everything.  It's funny because they will laugh at their own team, themselves, everything.  Especialy in basketball.  If anybody does some crazy move or messes up, they'll all just start laughing together. most of the time we non-poly elders get confused, but they're laughing too hard to explain.  so we call them FOBS. Fresh Off the Boat. :)  We've actually started picking it up and laughing at everything as well, but that's just because we're around so many.  Australia is like a gigantic Island.  the polies make it feel like an Island too.  Also the fact that all the Elders here are either Polynesian, New Zealander, or Utahn.  hahaha.

Oh yeah, there's another missionary in our zone who is the FUNNIEST elder ever.  He's from tonga, AND lehi at the same time... which is kinda weird, because he's the size of atongan, but has the skin tone of a white man, and really big eyes.  Anyway, he has a voice that sounds like Optimus Prime from Transformers... hahahaha, it's SOOOO funny.  Anyway, we were playing touch rugby( we just call it "touch" so if I say: "touch" it means rugby) and I thought he wouldn't be very fast, but he's REALLY fast.  Well... When he runs, he puts on this REALLY scary face called a pukanha (mowry).  it's really scary. You know the haka? When people do the haka, they put on a pukhana! GAH! anyway, it looks like he's going to kill you. and he runs really fast for his size. I was playing on the wing, and he was in my lane, but when he got the ball, I was on the wrong side of him and so I had to chase him.  He started throwing up MASSIVE clods of dirt from his cleats and they started hitting me, so I slowed down, and so he got at try(touchdown) and when he did, he just dived into the water lining the field( because it was raining) anyway... he acts like a FOB, but that's because he was born in Tonga.

There's another Tongan FOB Elder here and he's SO funny.  He doesn't really speak much english at all because he was raised in Tonga and had never had the opportunity to leave. So, he doesn't speak english.  Anyway, evidently in tonga, they like to climb up coconut trees to grab coconuts, then slide down after they've grabbed the ones they want.  Since many of the palm trees here look like coconut trees, he'll randomly drop his bag and climb up a tree.  haha, "There are no coconuts in these trees Elder VAKA!" so he'll slide down and then look at his shoe, realize that there's a big hole where he slid down the tree and say: "oh no... my shoe is broke." hahahaha.  he's the man.  And he's built like an Ox... If you ever hear about another Elder that Carries massive weights in their bags just to work out... let me know... :) he's so funny. he'll even work out when he's in the car.  he can't drive. I don't think there are too many cars in Tonga from what I hear.

Oh yeah... the other picture is of us in the car! Elder Li, Elder Lam, Elder Hadfield, and I all in the car. I'm driving (strangely... wrong side of the car... bleh. well, there's something called green stone... I'm not sure what it is, but i think it's jade. anyways, you can only get it in New Zealand, evidently, so he got some, and that's something I got in a package. :) so we're showng that off... while I drive.... hahaha, jokes. we were stopped. I think... I can't actually remember.

So yeah.  Well.... the mission slowed down a LOT since all of our investigators are in tests right now :( hahaha.  It's ok though because get to spend A LOT of time finding.  I love finding. It is SO much fun.  Even though a lot of people aren't interested in the message we have for them, we still get to talk to them and hopefully leave an impression on their minds.  It's such a great opportunity.  I keep having to think about all the parables that jesus tought us in thebible.  They have so much application in our lives.  It's great. There are so many different parables about finding something that was lost.  It shows us how important missionary work is to the Lord.  I'm so glad we've continued that emphasis into these times and have SO many missioanries.  Elder hadfield and I were talking the other day while were traveling to a meeting, and we thought about how many name tags there are out in the world.  Current missionaries, return missionaries, etc.  It's such an awe-inspiring thought.  There are currently around 55,000 missionaries in the world actively serving right now.  That doesn't include past missionaries.  Isn't that great?! Our family alone has three! WOW.  that's a lot of tags.  And missionaries too.

Sice we've had a lot of finding time, I haven't really had a chance to teach too much this week, but we were able to talk to a lot of really fun people.  One of which was a columbian named Jeff. Figure that.  I decided to talk to him, even though he's not asian, just beacuse I kinda felt like he looked like somebody I knew.  Which is always a good sign :).  When I started talking to him, he was a little bit tentative and I could tell he didn't really trust me too much, so I spent a little more time trying to get to know him.  Without me even bringing up church (and I'm sure he couldn't read my tag because it's in chinese) he started talking about church and stuff.  :\.  He said that he was born a catholic and disagreed with a lot of what they taught! eh said that: "in the bible, we read one thing, and the father teaches different" I was really excited, but I controlled it and asked him a few more questions.  He's been looking for the truth for a long time now, since he was 13 (I actually don't know how old he is right now, but he seemed pretty old) and had never found it.  When I invited him to learn more about the true church, he told me that he was tired of looking and now does martial arts.  I was really sad, but continued talking with him.  I wanted to give him a restoration pamphlet to show him that we understood how he felt, but couldn't find one, however, I came across the old "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet.  I didn't know why I had stumbled across that one, but I decided to give it to him.  When I gave it to him and explained that it contained the moral standards for the youth of our church, he became really excited and told me that since he didn't have a religion, he had been praying for guidelines on how to live a good clean life.  It was perfect.  I got his number and we'll see where he goes.  He is SUCH an amazing guy.  I love him!

I love doing this work! It's so much fun! It's pretty difficult, but it's SO rewarding to see the fruits of our labor.  It's even rewarding even if we don't get to see the fruits of our harvest.  It's not as difficult as I thought it would be, but i think that's just because I've been blessed with a lot of fun people to meet, and really fun companions.  they're the best.  Watch... now I'm going to get a crazy companion :P hahaha.  But it'll be fun.  I love just waking up and having no doubts or second thoughts about the day.  I know that doesn't make too much sense, but I'll try to explain my thoughts.

When we wake up, we don't have to worry about anything going wrong as long as we've planned by the spirit, and live worthy of its guidance.  Yes, we have to go out and do, and that's how inspiration comes, but as long as we're working hard, living worthy, and praying often, there should be no doubts, and no regrets at the end of the day! It's wonderful to know that our lives are completely in the hands of the Lord.  Sometimes, we do something that makes us fee pretty bad or causes regrets, but then, just like Nephi said: all these trials, tribulations, and afflictions shall be for our benefit!!!! As long as we concecrate ourselves to the Lord. and that is exactly what I get to do for the next while :) Oh man, my thoughts are all over the place.  I just don't know how to put into words what I want to say.  haha :)

Well, that's my fantasticly fun week that I had. :) it was pretty crazy.  Slow, but crazy. We're having winter festivals down here! They made an ice skating rink in the middle of king george square, which kills our finding there, but that's ok.  we go to other places. That's the great thing about the city. No matter WHERE we go, there are asians! I LOVE ASIANS!!! THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!! haha. And columbians too :).  They're pretty much the coolest people in the world.  Brazilians are really funny too.  but I think I'm the most scared of French people... they are SOOOO french. I can't even understand it.  I just contacted a french guy the other day and I was SO confused.  He used normal words, but they sounded SO weird.  it almost sounds like german... but not german, becuase it's french... which makes it.... yeah.


I love you all!  :D I had a wonderful 20th birthday!!!! (OH MY GOODNESS... I'm not a teenager anymore... that's alittle bit weird.) I kinda feel really old.  I remember when I looked back and saw the old 21 year old return missionaries and thought that they were a menace to society cuz they were too old.  But now... I'm that old... fun fact.


Elder Chen

ps. Thanks so much for the great emails... they always make me super happy :)

pps.  The other elders told me that when they heard mom talking to me on SKYPE they thought she was like a teenager hahahahahaha. YAY!!!! at least they didn't think she was my wife :)

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