Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas! Week 71 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   Well I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. We had a great one here in Hong Kong. I have some great pictures so at the end if I have time I will jump on another computer and send them out. (we are in the Apple store and some genius designed a computer that doesn't have a USB port. Thank you Apple) 

   Last p day we went to the Island to see some of the Christmas lights. However it was the middle of the afternoon so there were none. We got some pizza and rode the ferry. So that was a lot of fun. While we were waiting Elder Darrington talked to a few people from Mainland and at the end they wanted a picture with us so I will have to attach that. I love going on the ferry it is so much fun!

   Then we had a our Zone Christmas party that was fun. We had a breakfast turkey. What is that you ask? It is a turkey marinated in syrup. Turned out pretty good. We also had pancakes and other breakfast foods. Elder Taylor and I were in charge if the syrup, so we made Maple, vanilla, and strawberry flavor. They were really good and the strawberry was definitely a hit. 

   We also celebrated Festivus. That was great. If you don't know what that is then you have to watch more TV.

   There was also a member of our ward who had her wedding. That was fun. That was the first wedding I have been to in a long time where I didn't have to take pictures haha. That was fun. She is a RM from Temple Square and her new husband is a non member so that was a little sad, but the wedding was great so that was fun.

   That brings us to Christmas. We had all our gifts under the small tree my parents sent me. We woke up Sunday morning and opened them in our PJ's family style. That was good fun. Elder Taylor and Garcia had a blast. I am very excited to spend next Christmas with my family. 

   We also got some fun news that we will be getting iPhones in about February. That will be really useful. That way we will be able to be in contact with people much easier. No one uses proper texting here because it is just too expensive. We will see if that really happens though. 

Elder Walker 

new mission vehicle!!! haha jk

Please ignore my loud voice on the videos!

A message for Grandma's and Grandpa's.

Elder Walker reciting a scripture in Cantonese to see if we could guess what it was.

A short video talking about their exercising. Little brother Jensen is a distance runner so he was a bit surprised to hear that they run about a quarter of a mile! 

random people at the ferry dock

cool shot from the ferry

festive display in TST

Elder James reciting the Grinch from memory at the zone Christmas party 

Festivus for the rest of us 


Can you see the tiny tree behind all those gifts?

Christmas Socks

The room right after skyping home.  He was able to use a member's tablet at the Church.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas!!! Week 70 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   Well this is my mass letter before Christmas. So MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Hong Kong is much much more pleasant to live in in the winter. The weather is bearable now. So that is great! 

   This week wasn't super exciting. I did get to go on an exchange with Elder Darrington. He is one of the Zone Leaders here and is also a Mandarin Elder. Which means that teaching together was a bit of a stretch. I was surprised at how well we were able to teach together. Both of the lessons that we taught together were to people who could understand Cantonese. So that helped me out a lot. I started one of them in Mandarin and introduced myself and explained that I don't really speak Mandarin. She looked very confused so I just said it in Cantonese and then she understood and we laughed. We also went on a very long bus ride to a place way up north that I have never been to before. Like it was far enough away that I saw stuff growing out of the ground! We got of the bus and walked into the village. There was no sound from the road, no sound from people. The whole place was really really creepy. We didn't see a person the whole time we were there. There was just very skinny sick dogs. We walked around a corner and got that "Get out NOW" feeling so we both looked at each other because we were both feeling it, and obeyed and got out fast! So that was really really scary.

   Then this Wednesday we had our ward Christmas party. They had all the missionaries sing songs and things it was really funny. There were also a lot of potential investigators there so that was awesome! 

   Last night there was a choir performance of various selections of "the Messiah". It was REALLY good. I was very nervous because I have been to a few Chinese choir things before and usually they are pretty bad. So I was very happy with this one. It was also a lot of fun because I was able to see some of the members from Sha Tin so that was a lot of fun catching up with them.

   Everyone in my apartment got their packages from their families. So we put all the wrapped gifts under our tree. I am so excited for Christmas! It is just the best. The only bummer about having it here is that there is no real Christmas cheer like there is in the states, unless you go to a mall. It is really strange to think that next year I will be home for Christmas. 


Elder Walker

This is elder Taylor and I at the Christmas Party with one of our investigators. 

The following pictures are the ones I pulled from their ward's FB page.  Fun to see their chapel, stage, food and people!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 69 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   This was quite an interesting week. We had a lot of really great things happen, along with some not so great things. 

   To start off the week we had a really great time at Zone Training. Everything had a nice Christmas theme, so that was lovely. All of the trainings were really really good. I am really excited to be working with this new set of leadership. 

   We also had a very interesting experience with an investigator named Lisa. She was scheduled to be baptized on Christmas day. However she ran into some trouble with her parents not liking her joining the church. Remember that she is 33 years old. So we couldn't get in contact with her for a few days and we were really worried about her. So we said a prayer and during the prayer she called us! We were really excited. However the problem came when that phone call was about an hour long and she was telling us how much she hates us the whole time. This was really out of nowhere. Usually her lessons are really funny and we have a good time and all of the members really like her. So we still had a lesson scheduled with her for that Friday so we said look if you want to talk we will be there. So we were pretty sure that she was not going to come. But she came!!! With a cake!! So we ended up having a really good lesson with her. We will have to see what happens. 

   On a more worldly note, Elder Taylor broke our shower this week. I don't know why but there is often some kind of issue that happens with him and the shower. haha This week it was when he turned off the water but the water did not stop it just came out full blast. So we had to call the office and get them to call a repair man. so in the meantime anytime we wanted water we had to go up to the roof and turn it on and off when we were done so that we did not use a LOT of water. I will attach a video. It was quite the experience. 

  We also had our interviews with President Lam. I always love those he is the best. I would love to just listen to him tell me things and stories all day long. 

  That is all for this week!

Elder Walker 

sticker I got this week!

Video of Gordon and Elder Taylor explaining the shower situation
It makes me laugh that almost every video starts with "okaaay"

All the roomies on the roof showing the water pipes and the view

some random lady on the street who was so surprised that we spoke Cantonese she wanted a picture with us. I said I wanted one too. I do not even know her name.

pipes on the roof at night

view from the top of our building 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 68 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   Well judging by my inbox I can see that everyone back home is "busy". 

   Any way, this week was nothing special really. I had to do a lot of paperwork closing the last reporting period and opening the December one. I did not think this much paperwork would be involved in missionary work. So that was fun in its own special way. 

   It was Yoshi's birthday this last Friday. So I got his phone number from the missionaries that serve in his home ward. Turns out they completely forgot! So they made me promise that I would not call him until after they did. haha so we called him and sang to him. haha that was fun.

   We also got to give one of the new sisters a blessing. I guess she had something wrong with her foot. That is dangerous because foot problems will put you out of this mission. She will be fine though. 

   I also wrote a letter to Elder Taylor's parents. That was fun. I knew my parents would enjoy something like that, so I figured so would his. 

   We somehow got conned into making Yorkshire puddings for this upcoming zone training. The only problem that we will have is finding muffin trays. If we can't we will go to the backup plan. Which is bananas. They are cheep and easy, and they won't ask us to make stuff for the zone again. So really it is a win win. 

   That's it for this week. Hope every one has a great week next week! 

Elder Walker

This is a very common grocery store. We buy food here. neat huh?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Again Week 67 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   I hope that everyone had a lovely thanksgiving. This week was great because it started to get cold!!! I haven't been chilly in 8 months. It dropped to about 69 degrees and we put on our sweaters. I much prefer Hong Kong in the winter. 

   This week we had our Zone Thanksgiving party! That was a lot of fun. We were in charge of making cobblers. That went surprisingly well. We were assigned to use the kitchen in Tai Po to prepare then carry the 6 cobblers for the hour of travel to the Sha Tin chapel. We made 2 peach, one banana, 1 mango, 1 apple and one pineapple. We were kinda skeptical about the pineapple one. turns out it tastes great! So we spent the morning cooking those as we did our studies. Then we got to the party. Our Zone leaders had prepared an "un-talent show" That was a lot of fun. In short it was a bunch of stupid skits or things people had to do. For example we had one of the sisters from Korea tell a story in Korean and another sister (who spoke 0 Korean) translate it. That was funny. One of the better ones was one of the Zone leaders doing impressions of people from different countries... in Chinese. He did Frozone from The Incredibles and Obama. Then he asked for requests. I yelled out "Bill Cosby being taught the restoration!" Which he turned in to me teaching Bill Cosby the restoration. It was really funny. Then we got to the part where I asked "has there been anything in your life that has caused you shame or guilt?" and he looked at me and laughed really hard thinking about what to say. and he then just broke in to Bill Cosby's chocolate cake routine! It was hilarious!

  Then I did my dumb thing and it was just as the mission president and his wife arrived. I had to look at a spoon in the air and spin really really fast and then drop the spoon and step on it. I will include a video. It was a blast! 

   Also It was elder Garcia's birthday so we got him a cake. and we put relighting candles on it! That was really funny!

Elder Walker

Gordon doing the spin then step on the spoon thing

Elder Garcia's Birthday Cake with relighting candles

Thanksgiving food! Everything was hand made!

scriptures I am memorizing in Chinese

Our roommates made a turkey piñata 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week 66 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   This week was full of... experiences. It started with a really, really great lesson with one of our investigators. It was more or less a "Do or Die" lesson, We have been teaching him for 3 months now so we were really banking on it being a "Do" lesson. He will be having his interview with the mission president this Wednesday. Assuming that goes well he will be baptized this Sunday. I am really excited for that it will be the first person I have taught all the way through and then seen the baptism so I am really excited for him!!!

  We had our ward Thanksgiving activity this last Saturday. On Thursday we had a lot of paperwork to get done that really needed to get done. However I was moved upon by the Spirit and told to go and visit a Less Active family in our ward and invite them to this activity. So I looked at the map and jotted down their address. We took a way that I haven't been before and as we were walking a man came around a corner visibly very very shaken and crying and I guess he recognized the fact that we were "Priests" or some form of religious clergy (which we are), and immediately began to pour out his soul to us. He explained that he had cancer and showed us the lumps on his chest and legs. He also explained that he was too week to get treatment and that the doctors told him that he was going to have to die a long and very painful death. So he told us that he was intent on killing himself that night. However he was also saying that his mom said that if he kills himself that is not manly. While he was explaining this a few people came up behind him and made motions to us that he was very crazy. So we prayed with him and gave him our number and talked him out of killing himself. 

   Then when we got to the building we were originally trying to get to I realized that the house number... was not there and that I had not written it down! I managed to recall the floor number but not the room. So I made up a room number on the form to get in and when we got up to the floor the families door was open and we were able to look inside and I was able to recognize the house I had been to only once before. And they were home! So we were able to invite them to the activity. 

  On a sweeter note in relation to that activity we had the responsibility of making caramel. So we have spent the last few weeks trying and failing at making it at home. Eventually we got a good method down and taught the whole ward how to make caramel. So that is a good load of stress off of my back.

   Now this next Thursday we have our missionary thanksgiving. Elder Taylor and I have been assigned to make 5 cobblers for that activity and we have been given HK$50 to do it. Which makes about $6 US. this is going to be a thoroughly ghetto Thanksgiving.  

Elder Walker

Thanksgiving Activity

Me in an alley

Me not in an alley
This is a cool shot. I don't think you can see it in this picture but you can see some buildings in mainland. (I was on exchange with elder Garcia and we were up in Sheung Shui)


Monday, November 14, 2016

Tortillas? Week 65 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   This was an interesting week indeed. To start things off, everyone back home chose the new president. No I will not make any political comments. However It was really fun because it was Wednesday for us when the election was happening. That morning my British companion woke up and said "I had a dream that Trump won the election 59% to 41%. So we laughed. Now, we don't use the internet at all except to email once a week so we had no way of knowing who was going to win/ how the race was going. So we spent the day texting each other the news we heard from people on the street. finally at 4:30 HK time our roommates got a text from a member and told us who won. haha so that was kinda fun. We actually got the text in a lesson and I looked at it just to see if it was life threatening and the preview of the text said "Its official President" Then it was killing me the whole rest of the lesson. haha silly things.

   So this next Saturday our ward is having a thanksgiving activity and they asked us to cook and prepare all of the food. So we were planning on spending a lot of time cooking and shopping this week. However our mission president found out and called our bishop and said "you are using my missionaries wrong" So now we are not making food for this activity. Instead they asked us to make caramel at this activity. Now we don't know how to make caramel, so we made a few tries and ended up with what tasted like caramel/vanilla fudge. So we are just gonna do that instead. So we will see how that goes next week.

   So we had a few people not show up to our appointments this week which was annoying. However one of the times our person did not show up the Mandarin Elders ran into the room we were in, and begged us to help them. So we being missionaries decided to lend a hand. Help them do what you ask? make 150 tortillas by hand!!!! I was in charge of flipping like I usually am on taco night. problem was that I was working three pans at one time. And the spatula I had was no use at flipping them so I just had to shake the pot/ pan in a way that the tortilla would fly about 2 feet in the air and flip like that. So that was good fun.

   Last night we had a lesson at one of our investigators house. She decided to cook us dinner. SO while she was cooking we tutored her 11 year old daughter in English. Haha that was really fun. we had her tell us stories and stuff and it was fun. Then I would write a story on a paper in English and then she would translate it in to Chinese. Or I would write in Chinese and she would translate it in to English. However sometimes I would miss a stroke in a character and she would correct me, and I would say that it was pretty close. Then she would spell a word wrong on purpose and say that it was pretty close. It was really cute. Then during dinner I had to do a lot of translating. Elder Taylor is new so his church Chinese is pretty good but his everyday Chinese is not there at all. Which is completely normal. It was fun though. It is also fun to see how far my Chinese has come in a little over a year. 

Have a good week!

Elder Walker

Last p-day we went bike riding with our roommates. This is the bike we rented. it was really good fun

a short video of them riding the 4 person bike

this is me posing on the bike    Nice face son....

Me and my new companion Elder Taylor. Some people say we look related

this is a giant Koon Yam statue

the tacos and stove set up

Monday, November 7, 2016

New move!!! Week 64 from Hong Kong

Hello all! 

   Well this week went very very well. We got our move calls and my companion elder Jensen has moved to Tagalog to work on the island. I am now also district leader in Tai Po and Training!!! The new district included us, our roommates the Tolo Mandarin north elders, and the Tai Wo elders. I am also training!!!! My trainee is Elder Taylor from a place called Yorkshire in the UK! He is super awesome, very green and jet lagged but awesome! I am really excited to work with him. 

   So story wise Elder Jensen and I took the bus to Kowloon Tong Thursday morning and the bus driver was a pacifist! I have never seen a Chinese bus driver that is a pacifist! Usually they are very aggressive and lacking in mercy. Long story short the bus ride took forever and I was 10 min late to the meeting! We were pushing his bags from the bus station and running. By the time we got to the gates of the chapel I took of running and ran straight in to the meeting just as the opening prayer was being said. So that was lucky. Also the whole thing was being filmed by a film crew because there is a documentary being made about the church in Hong Kong to dispel some of the confusion about the church. It is a half hour and should come out in December sometime. 

  So yeah I have been scrambling to get on top of the paperwork that was left by the previous district leader and also learning the new administrative system that is in place. So that is a fun challenge. 

   Also last week we went to the mainland border and took some pictures! haha that was fun. Really weird but super fun. We had to be really careful to not get sucked in to customs and stuff.

   We had a fun experience on the way home last Saturday. We were in a rush to get home before 10 and plan the next day. We had just enough time to do it too. However we saw a small old taxi driver trying to change a tire. He was bouncing on the wrench trying to get the lug nuts off. So we decided to give him a hand. We were in suits and tall white guys. So I am sure we gave him quite the shock. Any way we just jumped in and changed his tire for him. He was super super grateful! It also only took us about 5 min. so I still wouldn't hire us as a pit crew but not bad. And we were able to make it home just in time! 

   I am really excited for this new move!

Elder Walker 

funny pictures ya know how they always talk about staying away from "the line" well there it is!!! that is how close I got to breaking Chinese National Law. haha good times

tim tam slam to end the move

Video of the Tim Tam slam....

For Halloween we went to our zone leaders house and TP'd their gate. haha 

Building in mainland

planner I made for my "son"​  I'm hoping he attached the wrong picture and isn't making his new trainee carry this around as his planner!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween and Move Calls. Week 63 from Hong Kong

Hello all,

   OK this week was pretty normal. So I will just apologize for not having any fantastic stories to share.  We love ALL the stories he shares!

In the Title Gordon mentioned Move Calls.  Looks like he will be getting a new companion but will be staying in the same area.

   I guess I can start by talking about how this week we went Less Active finding. We had a lot of extra time so we decided to go up into the hills and try and find some people that we had not seen at church in a few years and see if there was anything we could do to help or serve them. That was fun. The problem was that there were many dogs. However I learned from the boy scouts to be prepared so I brought my Chinese fan with me... to use as a club or to make myself suddenly seem much larger. I didn't have to use it so that was good. I did get charged by a dog though. I knew that running was a bad idea, and I saw that there was a chain on it so I was just banking on the fact that the chain was shorter than the distance between us was. And I was right!!! so that was good. Other than that it was a pretty area. I will attach some photos.

   We also came home one day and learned that our roommates had  made a piñata. I guess it was for some ward's Halloween party. So that was funny.

   It also got quite hot. I looked at my thermometer on my desk when the sun was on it and it said 35 Degrees! (95 degrees Fahrenheit) That is very, very warm when you add humidity. We lucked out however and it got kinda chilly the last day or two. I think it dropped down to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. So that was fun.

   The Mandarin elders also came home with some strange mainland money. It is made from aluminum and floats! They feel like fake kids money but I guess it is real currency. I had some fun playing with that because I did not believe that they could float. It is true they really do float. 

   Then this last Friday we got to go to the Temple!!! It was supper nice! I will attach a picture of my new district. it was nice and AC inside and hot and muggy outside so my camera fogged up. The temple is just the best I wish I could go more often.

  Have a spooky Halloween!

Elder Walker

Class 3 Typhoon rain on the street where they live

Class 3 Typhoon Rain (This one might make you a little seasick)

In the hills of Tai Po

Pretty Picture

Typhoon Rain

Dogs from Less Active Finding

Less Active Finding

Halloween Piñata 

floating mainland money