Sunday, November 29, 2015

Still Here

Hello all,

   Well it has been another week in Hong Kong. This week one of the best things that happened was Elder McGowan and I went on splits and taught a man named Chris. He showed up on a Kawasaki freedom I believe. Either way it was a beautiful motorcycle modeled after the classic triumph bikes. So I showed him a picture of me and my motorcycle and that made him more comfortable with us which was great. Then we started in on the restoration. He told us about how when he was a little child he and his parents were refuges living in a camp in Hong Kong. So he ended up living with a preacher for some other Christian church that abused him and made him sleep in the hallway and things like that. He also talked about how he was a soldier for a little bit. So to sum it up he was way hard core. We taught the restoration and he got it which was great. He asked us why there was no cross. We explained that the cross is a symbol of death and a sad thing and that the gospel is a happy thing and we have been asked not to use it. He thought that was weird but was OK with it. We asked him to pray because it was getting to an our word vs his word place and that is not a good environment for the spirit to bear testimony so we asked him to pray and he did and said that he felt a really good sense of peace. He also told us that he likes meeting with us because we like his questions and we can answer them where as all the other churches he as tried do not like him because he asks too many questions so that was great.

   On Thursday we had thanksgiving. Which means that our whole zone got together and everybody made some food and we had a feast. While the food was being prepared we all made hand turkeys and made a present for President Lam and his wife. After the meal we had Zone 24s which means we all went on 24 hour exchanges. I stayed in Sha Tin and was assigned a companion that has only been here for one more move than me. So that was fun. However he was doing a 40 day English fast which was annoying when it came to studies and stuff like that. However all of our lessons went great so that was a huge blessing.

   Then on Saturday the ward had a thanksgiving activity. That was fun. It also meant that I had 2 thanksgiving dinners haha. It was great to see some of the less actives and people we have been trying to contact. Then they played a video that was all the youth and bishopric saying what they were thankful for. They even had all their missionaries send in videos. To the surprise of their parents so their parents cried, that was nice to see. Man I love this ward they are so nice and very helpful.

   Elder Griffis who is one of my roommates, He is from the UK, has started calling me Jeremy Clarkson. Which is fun. He says I look like him which is not the best but haha.  
Jeremy Clarkson is/was one of the hosts of the BBC's Top Gear television show.  I think Gordon has seen every episode at least 3 times!

Jeremy Clarkson                                                                                           Gordon Walker

   Also fun fact I have been wearing the same pair of pants for 28 days straight because I only have the one suit. However today we are going to H&M so I can get a black jacket to use with my other pants so that will be nice. 

   Also we are getting haircuts to day. I am really nervous because I have curly hair and my I have no hair cut Chinese haha. Hope that goes well. Assuming he means that they don't know how to cut curly hair...

if anyone is interested my mailing address is:
Elder Gordon Walker
China Hong Kong Mission
18 Dorset Crescent 
Kowloon Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Love you All!
-Elder Walker

me in an ally/ maze/ village thing

pretty park

really cool street

little taste of home

Looks like one of the guys is putting together one of the chairs they got at Ikea

Sisters making a pie at their Thanksgiving dinner with their zone

Me and my companion


The hand turkeys they made for the mission president and his wife

so we have to be back by 10 so at 9:45 we open the door so that if they (the other two missionaries that live in their apartment) are coming in hot they are not late

This is a gift from the Bishop, a greatly needed coupon for the grocery store

Gordon's actual address If you send something to him it should still go the mission home address above

Monday, November 23, 2015

Woo Hoo!

Hello All,
Well this week was a fun one. Last P-day was spent going to the immigration office... I think that is what that is called, anyway we went there and we were issued our Hong Kong ID cards. They are really cool. I will attach a picture if it at the bottom. It has a cool hologram of my face and a computer chip in it that tracks... some kind of information I am not sure what. But it also contains my full legal Chinese name so that is really cool.
Then Elder McGowan and I went on exchanges again. So we had an appointment in this building and we as missionaries have to sign in and show our IDs and tell them about how long we are going to be there. That way we can't tract on doors. However as we were doing this one of the guards leaned over and said "haha they don't understand what we are saying" To which the other guard responded "You idiot they are missionaries they speak Chinese" they then both looked at us and we told them that we do in fact speak Chinese. haha good times being white.
Elder Phung and I had some fun this week because the ward gave us a list of about 30 Less Active members that they wanted us to track down and see if they in fact still lived there. However there are like 5 or 7 people in one building so when we sign in for the reason listed above we say that we are going to visit the person that is on the highest floor then walk the sometimes 20 floors down to the last address we have and then so they don't get suspicious we walk the 20 floors back up. Yeah good times.
This week I also had one of my favorite street contacting experiences. It is when some one comes around a corner and we do at the same time and all we do is say "Hi how are you?" then they turn around and run away really fast. One time I want to chase one and see what happens. Probably nothing good so I wont.
One night this week I noticed something about the doors in our apartment. So I went around to all of them (3) and put my ear on them and knocked on them. One of my roommates asked "Elder Walker are you mental? what are you doing?" (He is from the UK so that is why he talks funny. I then told him that the doors are hollow. He then looked around and did the same thing I had just done and turns out they were hollow haha.
This place is also a car lovers dream I see about 2 Lamborghini a week, lots of Maserati, and a few RR. good times.
Elder Walker

Some questions I asked Gordon:
Do you find and eat candy like you used to?
haha no not at all but I bought some gummy bears which I keep in the freezer and suck on them because it is hot here haha

What can we do as a family here to help you there?
Just the pictures I asked for last week a little worldly news and keep writing me!

What is the strangest thing you've eaten so far?
 tree fungus soup

Are you able to get around pretty well without getting lost?
kinda, I hope so, we have zone 24hr exchanges after thanksgiving and I will stay here and act as the sr. companion so I hope I don't get too lost.

This was in Gordon's family letter.  I thought I'd share it here.
This week I have a message from Elder James. He is one of the senior missionaries who works in the office. This is his 3rd mission in HK. I was talking to him a little bit and he asked me why my Chinese name is what it is. So I told him about Grandpa and he wanted me to tell him that he is supper proud to know me and he is a big fan of the missionaries here in 1956 and in Taiwan and said that he is definitely in Grandpas fan club. (He served here 10 years after grandpa)

picture time:
This is my Hong Kong ID
This was left for us in our apartment and I had a spare 5 minutes so I counted it up and this is what it turned out to be. So we are going to make it our Ice cream fund haha
 This is what boy scouting looks like in HK. It is a natives planner that he left on my desk and I thought it was cool. 
This is my district on Temple day (That is what all of these are)
The assistants to the president are ​in the background


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This weeks e-mail comes again from an apple store in KOULOON TONG

Hello all,
   One of the major points of new is that this week my companion and Elder McGowan's companion are Zone Leaders so they have lots of meetings so we go on splits a lot. One time last week we went to his area and got fed by a part member family. They were really cool. The 7 year old wouldn't tell us his name so we called him mouuh mame (To not have a name). Their apartment was HUGE it was about the size of my house back home which is HUGE by Hong Kong standards. They were also on the 34th floor and we could see Big 6 out their window. (We call the Chinese mainland Big 6 because that is what mainland literally translates too. We started with some kind of soup with meat and carrots and tree fungus. That was pretty good. Then we had the main course which was a bowl of rice on which you put other things, in this case pork, vegetables and shrimp. The shrimp turned out the be very spicy so I didn't eat too much of that. Then we shared a message about family scripture study and how that would bless their life. The non member father was really involved in the discussion so that was awesome.
   Something kind weird here. There is no Daylight savings of any kind so it gets dark like middle of the night dark at 5:30 pm. So that is interesting.
   This week we also had interviews with our Mission President. When we got to the chapel we were surprised to find that neither of us had keys to the chapel so I had my interview with Pres. Lam in the mission van. Still weird to have the steering wheel on the other side. We read D&C 31 and had a really great discussion. Then I switched with my Companion and chatted with sister Lam about motorcycles so that was cool. She still calls me Movie Star because off the picture I sent in of myself  haha she is awesome.
   Then later in the week elder McGowan and I went on exchange again. we meet 3 people on the train. and chatted with them for a while. They were all very impressed that 2 gwok lowe (Chinese slang for a white person meaning "White ghost") could speak Chinese then one of them wanted a picture with us haha great fun. We gave them our number so we will see if anything comes of it. 
   Last P-day we went to the Bruce Lee museum that was cool. I am excited to come home and be able to watch those movies without sub tittles or dub. 
   For service we helped the ward clean the church. They spent three hours on just the chapel. They go Hard here. Then they fed us lunch. Which was tuna a corn sandwiches. and to answer your question you all have in your head right now... no, no it doesn't. 
love you all,
Elder Walker
ok picture time!
typical missionary lunch

this is a huge hallway with no people in it

 last p day 

This guy showed up while we were cleaning the church haha quite the amusing series of brooms and trashcans and missionaries to get him out of there haha.

 we teach a guy on this floor the round things on the bottom are about 30 cm across

got to go to the temple today! it was in chinese so we had to wear headsets haha
These pictures were posted by another mom on a China Hong Kong Facebook missionary parents page we follow .  They were at the Temple in Hong Kong Monday.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Emergency Transfer (moved to new area and apartment)

Hello all,
   Well the major news this week is that we were transferred from where we were in NTK to Sha Tin. That means completely new zone and area and I had to pack up and take everything I had just unpacked and move again. This means that we had to leave all of our investigators and less actives behind. One was very sad and gave my companion and i crosses. oops haha. I am going to keep it though because she was the first lesson that I ever taught in the field.

An Elder, in the area where Gordon was just sent, had to be moved (we don't know why) so he and his companion traded places with Gordon and his companion.
To explain the cross comment....
President Gordon B. Hinckley explained the reason in a talk delivered in general conference. He told about talking to a Protestant minister following a temple open house. The minister had asked why there were no crosses anywhere if we say we believe in Jesus Christ. President Hinckley answered, “‘I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian brethren who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.’

Even though we do not believe in using the cross as a symbol in our Church, we do not criticize others for wearing or using the cross in their religions. We should understand that the cross is significant and sacred to them. In fact, the 11th article of faith says, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
We focus on the great atonement of our Savior, his sacrifice for us that makes eternal life possible. We think of his life and sacrifice every Sunday during the sacrament. Our testimonies become the precious things that we bear, along with our obedience, to show we are true followers of Christ.

   So a little bit about the new area. There is a river that runs through it and it is not as crowded as NTK so it feels a lot like Portland. My apartment is now even smaller. I am living with one of the other guys from the other Canto. District in the MTC. His trainer is from the UK so he is cool and we make fun of each others accents a bit. So the un-spoken protocol for moving is that when you move leave your food behind so life is just easier. However Elder Hill (he was in the same district that I was in at the MTC) left me corn flakes and that was it I had to make it from Thursday to today with just that. Also I left him a lot of food so I was annoyed about that.

   Also the apartment has some cockroaches in it which is not the greatest thing. Also there is no power that goes to the bathroom so there is no light and no exhaust fan so it smells pretty bad in there. Add to that the fact that the water heater is broken so you either seriously burn yourself or freeze. So I am going to call the office later this week and see if we can get rid of any of those things. Our apartment is also in a mall so that is a new experience for me. It is right above a restaurant and we smell the food all the time.

   Our teaching pool took a serious hit to. We left behind 8 progressing investigators and 2 less actives that were finally being reactivated and came to an area with 1 investigator and no less-actives that are willing to meet with us so that was a bummer. Oh well I guess that meas we will walk a few extra miles every day.  

   Last p-day we went bowling. I have never played with people who are good before. I didn't do too bad though I got a 122 with 4 strikes so that was cool.

   Last night we were able to meet with a member family just to start introducing ourselves to the new ward and the husband only speaks English and his wife speaks it really good so we visited and taught in English it was so nice! That is all the major news this week.
Love you all,

Elder Walker
we got another letter right after this one......
Almost forgot we are going to the Temple text week which means that my Wednesday will be my p day so I will write then and send you my exact address! 
Love you,
Elder Walker

So excited to have a new name tag on the left

Riding in the car to new area

New apartment main room/bedroom

Kitchen in new apartment

Gordon's new desk on the left

Bowling shoes

Always a car guy here's a Ferrari he saw through a mini bus window
Alex, a young man they had to leave behind

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This Week (second letter from Hong Kong)

Hello all,
   Well today this letter comes from an apple store in Kowloon Tong. If any of you are wondering they do not celebrate Halloween in Hong Kong. 

   Last p-day we went to a museum it was awesome I will include some pictures. One of the things we got to see was the document that succeeded Hong Kong to the UK. Supper cool.

   I am really enjoying the city. It is not as hot anymore so that is good. The city is really beautiful at night. Sometimes it feels like we are on a space ship and they just made stuff look like earth. There is no grass anywhere, but there is just enough trees to not go crazy haha. 

   I got to speak in church this week. That was fun and I don't think that I made any catastrophic errors. So the character that identifies me has two separate pieces and I don't know the name for the different pieces so I just he'd my hand up in a 5 because it is the same sound. So later after the meeting the second councilor in the bishopric came up and said "Elder 5 Elder 5" in English it was really funny. All of our investigators are progressing well so that is awesome with any luck if they keep their commitments we should have 3 baptisms this transfer. 

   Another adventure was that on Thursday my companion is a Zone Leader so he had meetings so I got thrown into another companionship and had to cover one of our appointments. Later Elder Cornillis (who is another trainee with me) had to teach a lesson all by ourselves. It went really well. Gift of tongues is real.
This is how he ended this letter.  I'm thinking he sent it before he was completely finished!
I sent Gordon a short list of questions here are the questions and his answers... 
What is your church building like?
Two floors and hard wood pews
How is church in a different language? 
Really hard to understand
Are the hymns the same but in Chinese?
No, they are in a completely different order but the music is the same 
How are your shoes working out?
Shoes are great
How are your pants and shirts working out? 
Is there anything you need?
I don't need anything yet
How is the FOOD??  Anything weird yet?
Food is great, nothing too nasty
Can you guess which door is ours?

Our address We put the address into Google maps and "walked" around on the street where he lives! 

A funny sign in a public bathroom

Me and a cool statue

A map of Hong Kong.  All the light blue areas are man made

Me and my companion
 This is how long the subway trains are. Absolutely massive and they they are packed with people

We got to go to the Island for zone training and this is the biggest building I've ever seen
also we walked by a Lamborghini dealer ship. The only place I've ever seen more Mercedes cars was in Germany