Sorry about the excess of posting, but certain things warrent such an overload.

Mmm, good email day. :)

Kaylie Jean,
We hope you enjoyed your visit as much as we did. It was so fun having you with us - especially, just relaxing at home, playing games and laughing. Clearly, you've picked up on the fact Landon is the target of most of our laughter - he's quite good at it. You're already well versed in the nuances of our family dynamics. LJ is finally comfortable and confident enough to joke about his dad's vested interest in your relationship. He obviously loves you very much and his expressions are sincere and pure. And it doesn't take much to make him happy. A big salad bowl and a box of Peanut Butter Crunch is a start.
We love ya, Sikahemas

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: "Leland Sikahema" To: Mom
Re: Hi, sweetie!
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 06:23:14 +0000>

Hi Mama
Thanks for the email. Gosh, that's really heartbreaking to hear about all the issues the sisters are going through in Relief Society. I'll keep praying for you to know how to handle them. I loved hearing about how New Year's went with everyone. That trip is so fun.... Oh well. There's always next year hehe.
I still feel happy from having gotten to talk to you on Christmas. Since I've been on my mission I've really gotten to know just how much I love you guys. You make me so happy. I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table talking to everybody. The only thing that coulda made that better was a big salad bowl full of Peanut Butter Crunch.
I'm so glad you all get to spend time with Kaylie, too and that you love her so much. She tells me how much she loves you guys. She's really grateful for you. I'm obviously really happy about that. I love her a lot, Mom. And don't worry, I think it was just Christmas that got me a little trunky, because any feelings I was having for being back are long gone. Actually, I'm having an awesome week. And a hugely successful week. So nothing to worry about in that department. Just watch that Dad eases off the pedal a little bit haha. Just kidding. I don't want the computer to turn off on me.
I love you so much Mom. Have a great day. LJ

Here is another one. This one kind of gives you an idea what the missionary work in Hong Kong is like. Gou Jie and Che Keda are two Chinese boys that were attending St. Joseph's University. They both want to do graduate work in accounting, and BYU's accounting program is rated number 1. In the process of applying, they found they needed an ecclesiastical endorsement, so they went to their Catholic preist. He told them that he couldn't help them, but he knew that Vai Sikahema on NBC 10 was LDS, and that he should be able to help them. The boys got in touch with President Sikahema, and got their ecclesiastical endorsements. During the process of interviewing, President found out that they had no where to be for Christmas. He invited them to stay with him, and so they spent the week of Christmas in the Sikahema home. LJ got to talk to them a little when he called. This is the instance Lj is referring to in this email.

Hey Dad
Thanks so much for the email. Man, I'm so happy that you got to meet those two boys. They said on the phone that they were from Jiangsu, the province just north of Shanghai. I really hope I'll get a chance to meet them. I'm sure I will sooner or later whether in Hong Kong or Provo or Jersey or somewhere. Anyway, I feel like by meeting them you got to experience a little bit of what I get to feel out here talking to these Mainlanders. It's really a special blessing to get to preach to these people. And I'm obviously really glad you've gotten such an awesome chance to help them learn the gospel. But a word of caution---- if you're gonna maintain communication with them, you've GOT to be careful. It's one of the biggest heartbreaks about being a Mandarin elder here. You can help as many people learn the gospel here as you want, but once they go up to the Mainland, pretty much all you can do to help them is pray for them. Part of it is because of the rules we live as missionaries, but really mostly it's because of the relationship the Church has with the Chinese government. There are very very strict rules about what is and isn't supposed to go on in the Church in the mainland. For example- when we get visitors from the mainland come to HK to receive the gospel lessons and get baptized, even AFTER they've been baptized and confirmed members, they are not allowed to take more than one copy of the Book of Mormon. The idea is that if they take more than one copy they will share it with their friends, which is illegal. We've gotta be careful, Dad. I'm not certain just HOW touchy the gov't will be about it, but I just choose to play it safe. I don't want get things to get slowed down because of things that could've been avoided. Anyway, sorry if that sounded harsh at all, but it is really important. I know it stinks to kind of be playing the waiting game, but that's kind of how the work is for the mainland now..... Man, you're really gettin it all: seeing Beijing and falling in love with China, reading Pres. McKay's dedicatory prayer and getting super motivated to move the work with these people, then getting your chance to knock one out of the park with Gou Jie and Che KeDa, and then playing the waiting game before you know if and how much more can be done. Welcome to the Mandarin work of the China Hong Kong Mission. I'll send you a tag in the mail.
Having said all that, I obviously would love to know if the boys are interested in coming to HK as visitors. So as far as that goes- keep in contact with Pres. Van Dam and Elder Watson and I'm sure they could help you know how to help them find Elder Jia- the Church's representative in mainland who arranges for the visitors to come down. They can let you know if there is an efficient and legal way to do that. Meanwhile, be praying for them to keep developing their faith and making the changes the Book of Mormon invites us to make. And if there's no way for us to see the fruits come now, at least we know we've planted a ginormous seed. And the fruit is gonna be a fat juicy one.
Well, my time is winding down, and I've gotta shoot an email to Mama. But thanks for the email, Dad. I'm glad to hear your new year's with everybody went well. It sounded like fun. Tell everybody I said hello. I love you. -LJ
PS. Tell Treybo my prediction for his mission call is either Nigeria or North Jersey.

1 comment:

kendra said...

! love it when you share these little e-mails with us; yet another example of when I live vicariously through you ;) Also I definitely forgive you for posting more than once a day. In this case it was worth it.