February 18, 2013
Hello again everybody!
It’s a pretty short, uneventful week from my last letter and sadly…no new random Chinese Holidays to talk about. I mean you figure if Sunday through Thursday is a holiday why don’t you just declare the whole week to be a holiday? Well, they basically did that here. The streets have been pretty dead here lately but the work keeps moving on! Every time someone stops and talks to us it is a blessing – it really is! Some of the people here are so humble it’s really just amazing. Let me tell you about the members/investigators we talked to since I last emailed.
First off, we went over to a member’s house for dinner last weekend. She has been a member for a couple years and helped her mom get baptized as well. Since they have both been members of the church they have been going through some pretty rough times with family situations and stuff. Well the girl decided to go on a mission and try and set an example for her family. So she did that and when we went over to visit her (she was a missionary here in Hong Kong) it was her first weekend back with her family. And the whole time during dinner her dad was just clueless about what she had been doing for the past 18 months. I don’t know it’s hard to explain and put it in words but it was obvious he had no clue why she was gone for 18 months. I guess they’ve tried to tell him over and over again but he either rejects the idea or just doesn’t get it. But it was so cool to have her bear her testimony on what she was doing and how going to church has helped her and her mom. It was such a cool experience for my companion and me. I guess it’s harder to put in words than I thought but someone standing up and saying that what she just did wasn’t a waste of time is a really humbling experience. My love for the members here really grew after that experience. The way they persevere through all their family and work problems is just amazing!
Next is the story of Sister Manprom. We visited Sister Manprom on Saturday night. She too has family issues she has to deal with. She was baptized and I think her husband was as well and they had kids and they were all going to church and everything was good. But then her husband died and as a result her kids stopped going to church. Well Sister Manprom has overcome this challenge and has the strongest testimony of families being unified and strengthened in the gospel. Every single Saturday night without fail she takes an hour or more bus ride to where two of her kids live and picks up her 6 and 4 year old grandchildren to spend the night with her in her small apartment. It is so small the living room is also her bedroom. We went and visited her while the grandchildren were there and were amazed by her situation and the love she has for her family. I think she sleeps on the couch during that night but I’m not sure. Keeping the faith through trials and sacrificing for others is an great example to me. I think those are two points in the gospel that a lot of people have a rough time understanding and living. Not Sister Manprom. It is also weird…. why is there a Chinese person named Manprom??? I have yet to come up with an answer. There are tons of Philippinos here but she definitely is not included in that group. Oh well…as the Chinese would say mhganyiu. Ha-ha try sounding that out.
Next we had a lesson with one of our investigators this week! His name is Brother Jau. He lives alone because his wife and his daughter live in Canada. So it’s just him and his three dogs. We actually met him because of his dogs. He was walking his dogs and the first time we met him he didn’t want to talk with us. The very next day we saw him and talked to him again and still no interest. And then on the third day in a row of finding him while walking his dogs he finally agreed to meet us! His apartment is probably smaller than a college dorm room. It is so small that there isn’t a true bathroom. There is just a built in water heater and a shower hose. No curtain or anything to separate the main room from the sink, the toilet, or anything else that is in a bathroom. It’s so crazy, I’m not sure two people could stand in the room at the same time. But then again it is a bathroom and maybe two people shouldn’t be in there. Anyway, we talked to him. He is just really lonely and doesn’t believe in God, but was willing to listen and he even set up a time to meet with us again. I don’t know what will come out of our meeting with Brother Jau but I’ve certainly gained an appreciation for things that are luxuries…like shower curtains! These people are just so humble and happy…. well at least the ones that talk to you are! Ha-ha. I guess everyone has their personality flaws.
We had our first investigator as a companionship come to church on Sunday, Patrick Au Yeung. It definitely put smiles on our faces seeing him come and stay for all three hours. We have been working hard with trying to get people to attend church and feel the Spirit and it is starting to pay off. Nevertheless, it is still a priority of ours. Patrick had a good time at church but I think he’ll take some time to progress and understand it all. He has very little knowledge of Christianity and has questions about whether or not God really does exist so we’re focusing on the Holy Ghost testifying of God and Jesus. It was perfect because that’s what the Elders Quorum lesson was all about this week, The Holy Ghost. I think he is starting to understand and get a grasp of it but doesn’t fully understand all the concepts, so we are just taking it a little step at a time. He is a smart, good man and willing to listen. We have to build his faith fast because he told us his sister is a little anti towards our church so we’ll have to help him prepare for the challenges he will face when she confronts him. I am confident if he keeps his commitments his faith will grow and he will successfully fight these battles.
Well family and friends that’s all for this week! I love you and will talk to you next week. I just looked down at the calendar…this week makes 9 months out for me!!!! 9 months of learning Chinese… little step by little step mixed in with diligence…Once again I love you!!