I finally got a hold of both my camer and cord, so here are the pictures :) I'll explain them now:
ok, the first picture, picture 001, is our flat with our mini missionaries before they left for home :). They were a lot of fun. One of them was a tongan boy from vavau. he was our mini missionary. the other is named nathaniel, and I worked with him a bit in my last area. We both visited this really funny hong-kong woman named Ivy, trying to reactivate her. She was just too busy with work and stuff to come to church, so we did all we could to get her there. I'm not sure how she's doing or if she's coming to church, but soon, we'll get her all figured out. anyway. There's also Elder Lee, from Sydney, but he's korean. He sounds australian which is probably as weird as me sounding American down here... hahaha. Anyway, his companion is Elder Tobe, from japan. his english isn't too good, but he is the man. He's being trained right now, I'll tell you some stories later about him. Finally there's ME and Elder Chen :D.
Ok, the next picture is the newspaper article that I was talking about last week :) yay! it was a pretty big picture, and that was it. So... yep :) hopefully I'll get to send you a copy or something soon. I was pretty excited. :)
Next is the classic missionary picture in the car :) it's a pretty funny picture :) hahaha. Elder Lee is driving in this one. ( I wanted to take the picture so I made him drive) and Elder Tobe and Elder Chen are in the back. Haha. We were on the way to the temple so we were all really tired so it took a few tries to finally get a picture. hahaha. If I had had more energy, I would've laughed, but sadly, I was really tired and so I wanted to sleep after. Plus we had a train ride after we drove for a while. Gold Coast is very far from the temple, but we get to go anyway. :)
Then the asians from our district :D. So left-to-right. Elder Lam (Hong Kong, my last companion), Elder Tobe (from JAPAN), Me :) (AMERICA), Elder Lee (Korea/Australia), and then Finally Elder Chen (China). that was in front of the temple today :) yay :)
Next picture is us on the train back home. :) The elder behind me is from Thailand, but he was baptized in Utah! :) yeh! and now he's on a mission here. he's the man. I evidently danced with him a few times because he went to the BYU breakdance club. I saw him once and thought he looked really familiar, but then didn't really think too much about it, and then we started talking and stuff. Sadly we won't do any tradeoffs with him because he's not in my district :(. Sad day.
Well, this week was a lot of fun. hahaha. It was pretty crazy because most of the time down here, we travel. We cover such a big area it's ridiculous. hahaha. So, we have to drive half an hour to each appointment and to other areas and stuff. It's pretty funny. The car ride, I get to talk to my companion a lot and so we get to know each other really well. Elder Chen is the funniest person ever. He's a convert to the church, and he's so f unny because I've asked him about who he likes to contact and stuff. He told me that he loves to contact drunk people because that's what he used to be like. He told me this story about when he graduated from high school, a few of his friends just bought heaps of alcoholic stuff, and then went to teh beach and had a big drinking party. :P. but he's repented now and really likes to work with people that drink a lot. anyway. he's the man.
Plus he knows kung fu. we do this thing where I try to touch his face, but he's got these weird kung-fuy moves that stops my hands really fast. It's so funny. I thought it was easy cuz he told me to just touch his face, and so I was like: "ok...." but my hands couldn't get very far. Evidently Bruce Lee learned Kung fu where he's from. YEH. so you don't have to worry about drunk people attacking me or anything. My companion will convert them, and then if they go crazy he'll defend us really well. The man.
Well, not much happened this week. But we have this really cool thing going on. We've been working with a ward member who works with a large group of kids that come in from shang hai, hong kong, china, everywhere. This week, we had several large groups that we now work with. It's really difficult to work with them, but we're hoping we can find the ones that are prepared. The ward member hosts them has had us go up to their area every day for this week, and so that adds lots of travel time. I travel WAY outside my district borders to work with them, but we're the closest chinese elders, so we've gotten permision to go and work with lots of different areas :). We have to go north for a long time and so I get to drive a lot. Good thing I like to drive :). Plus we have the USB you sent me filled with music so it keeps good.
We have an investigator that is an eternal investigator of sorts, but it's so funny because whatever we tell her, she doesn't really absorb, so I decided to change the way we teach her. haha, so for our last lesson, we read and acted out 1 Nephi :) hahaha. She started to remember and actually started reading the book of mormon. We asked her if she had been reading and then she said: "of course!!! I am so curious now!" hahaha. she's this chinese fob and can't speak too good of english. we're helping her english so she might be able to stay in Australia Longer. There's a test called the EILTS test, and they ahve to pass it to extend their study visas.
One of the greatest miracles happened because of working with these kids. We were focusing on the kids and trying to sort out which ones would be willing to learn (sadly we mostly talked to girls just because of the genearl tendency of guys to be very naughty) anyway. One of the teachers saw our badges and started talking to us, asking if we were a jidu jiao. we told her that we were, and then she got really excited. She had wanted to be baptized a long time ago, but had been in china the whole time, so she hadn't been given the opportunity, and the only two weeks she travels outside of china, she runs into us :) hahaha. The best! So, we talked to her about church, and hopefully we'll keep working with her over the next bit. She's really nice. she doesn't want the kids to know that she wants to be baptized, so we have to work with her seperately.
From this, I learned that even though we have our own agenda, it may not be the same schedule as the Lord's. We have to be able to follow the spirit and do the things that he wants us to do, rather than the things we want to do. We had been so focused on the kids that we had totally forgotten about the people that were with them. They were also children of God and also needed the gospel. I also learned that there are MANY purposes to the things He sets up for us. I had thought the only purpose of the kids coming down was to baptize those kids. I've learned a lot more. Because of them, I've had to learn a lot of patience in dealing with individuals that age. It's pretty hard to maintain their attention. I've had to humble myself a lot.
Another thing I've learned from this experience is that the Lord is building me while I work to build His church. I've learned so much from being a missionary, but I never noticed it as much as now because before, we were wroking with people that I could notice us helping. With the kids, I've felt myself changing much more because they aren't changing too much. :) that probably doesn't make too much sense, but it's helped me a lot. Our numbers are going to be crazy good for this week though. I know it doesn't really mean much to have really good numbers if you're not helping too many people, but president laughed at the numbers last week because they were so ridiculous. I'm tempted not to report some of them because it's so funny. there are six groups of 30 kids each and having them all at church is so funny hahahaha. We don't have all the kids at church, but there are a lot of them that come. hahaha. Our area became the craziest area ever :P. YEH!!!!!
Well, keep up the good work, sorry this email is a little bit shorter than usual, but Temple p-days are really short in this area because we have to travel to the temple, and back...
Anyway, love you lots, and hope you have a really wonderful week!