Monday, July 29, 2013

Blog Post #68: Happy

Dear People,

I love everything! I'm just so happy today! Why? I'm not 100% sure, but it definitely has to do with the awesome care package my awesome family sent me! What do I miss more than Girl Scout Cookies? Just about nothing! So what did I get? Thin mints and Caramel DeLights! I am ecstatic, and definitely not sharing the Caramel DeLights.

There are many exciting things going on in my family, some of which will be talked about at later dates, the most exciting of which is that my mother is officially a year older! My dad also had a birthday that I forgot to plan a party for, so next week I'll put up pictures of the food I made. There were brownies and birds, I'll be more specific in my captions next week.

Another reason this week was happy is because we taught 10 lessons this week! Now, I'm not sure if Statesiders or Mexico-Serving Missionaries are sad if they're not pulling triple digit numbers every month, but here in Hong Kong 10 lessons a week is a pretty respectable number. Elder Sugar Baby and I have worked hard, talked to a lot of people, and we're feeling better than ever about the future of Tai Po.

Despite wind, rain, and people who don't like us, we've been working, and we'll keep working no matter what happens. I love being out here, I love being with my companion, and I love the work I do! I'm glad I've still got lots of time out here on my Mission, and I expect to write a lot more letters home about the amazing things that are being done.

Elder J.E. O'Gara

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blog Post #67: The Invasion

Dear People,

When I came to Hong Kong, I was aware of two redheads; Sister J was in the Kowloon Zone with me, and my Trainer had just been companions with Elder C, who's hair is the color of a Crayola Crayon with "fire" in the name.
[Elder O'Gara's best friend in high school is/was a "ginger"]

Now, the Gingers are invading! Sister J is serving the Tai Wo Ward, so she shares the building with us, and Elder C is serving in the other companionship in the Tai Po Ward, so I see both of them ALL the time! My life is being overrun by the red hair people, and it's pretty awesome! 

Sister J loves to draw, which is cool, and Elder C and I have many conversations about the Calculus needed to find the hyper-volume of an nth dimensional object. Okay, so that last one is a lie; he tells me about the math and I nod my head, because the only math I remember is "A squared plus B squared equals C squared". He also loves to read Science-Fiction and blow things up, so even though neither of us can do either of those things as Missionaries, we have talks about the shenanigans we used to get into.

This week we've just been working hard and getting people to come to Church and commit to be Baptized, and everything else that Missionaries do! 

Yesterday Sister K got set apart as a Missionary, and she brought 6 friends with her to be there; she's already doing tons of work! She's already on the plane to California (via the MTC), which is super exciting for the Ward! There are something like 9, soon to be 10, full-time Missionaries serving from the 2 congregations that use the Tai Po Chapel, which is really exciting and happy for everyone involved!

I love you all, and hope that everything is going great back home, or wherever you are! Keep smiling, because life will only go according to God's plan for what is the best for you! Have some faith and roll with the punches!

Elder JE O'Gara

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Post #66: Pictures!

So, I've had some awesome times this last week, and I took pictures of it on my iPod Touch! I was super stoked to share these pictures and experiences with everybody on the 20 minute walk from the apartment to the Tai Po Market Library, so here they are, from most recent to least...

I met Dr. Ron Staheli! He's the chior director at BYU, and taught one of my favorite Chior Directors, Luke Lords! He gave a series of devotionals in half a dozen places in Mainland (he had to choose his words "very carefully"). I told him I'll probably see him next Summer, but the next Spring is more likely.

Mango season is upon us! This is not trick photography, that mango really is cut into cubes! And the size of my face! For the price of a quart of cheap orange juice or a dozen eggs, both my companion and I bought the ($15) Philipines mangoes, and they are good! Mostly surupy sweet, with a little tang, they are what mangoes ought to be!

I cooked a $160 dinner for 7 people the other night, and the video I took of the kitchen is too big, so here's the plum, squid, pork, corn, pork liver soup I made! It was really good, but needed more salt. I also did a whole steamed fish and two heads of cauliflower, 4 carrots, and a head of brocolli, all steamed with a little butter.

Oh? What's that that I'm reaching for? Is it a bug? Let's take a closer look!

Yup! That's a small Banana Spider! He's not a baby, not even for a boy spider, but he's not an adult yet. This was only 10 minutes from the inner city housing estate where we like to do street contacting. I love how Hong Kong draws sharp, clear borders between city and rainforest, it's easy to go from one to the other!

This is just a Westie I pretended to kiss because I miss my dog. Joey is a lot cuter, and older, than... I forgot his name.

{insert "caterpillar"}
[Sorry, the caterpillar photo did NOT arrive with the email. Maybe next week!]
I took this the first day after I got my iPod! We found him on the sidewalk, and then we found a couple more that had been run over by bikes, so we went back, picked him up with a stick (because he may or may not have been venomous with colors like that) and put him in the bushes.

That's about all for this week! I am so happy to be able to do pictures! I hope all of you are having a great time, because I know I am, and I know Number 4 is loving Ramadan!

Elder J.E. O'Gara

Friday, July 12, 2013

Blog Post #65: Lack of Communication

Dear People,

No one told me that Devotionals at the MTC are at the Marriott Center now! Also, I wasn't able to tell anyone that today was Temple Day, so yeah, we're even I guess. I have zero time because of a Scheduling Fiasco involving 3 different libraries, but we already booked next week's time, so it won't happen again!

Elder JE O'Gara