July 21, 2013
Wow! What a crazy week everyone had! I feel bad because so many people emailed me this week that usually don’t and this week we decided to email from this place that you doesn’t give you enough time. That means the responses were a little short but rest assured I loved all the emails! I can’t believe Staci is in China! That’s pretty cool! It looks like Hong Kong where she’s at, (Staci is in mainland China, in a small city called Leshan, as part of a Gilbert Sister Cities Exchange program. The biggest city near Leshan is Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province and known as a research base for giant panda breeding. Most of the picture she has sent home are of beautiful gardens and trees) just a little less city like and more tropical! Happy Birthday to Julie! (Kyle’s oldest sister’s birthday is July 22.) That’s so crazy her birthday is today! Well…I’m not sure why I say its crazy…probably because everything from home just is crazy! Like everything you’ve been doing in one week, all the Ted Miller stories from the week get packed down to an email and I get them at the same time! (Ted Miller is a reporter for ESPN.) So I’m hit with a bunch of info all at once! Ha-ha! So for this reason (as the Chinese love to say) it is crazy! But Julie is so old now! Anyway it sounds like the July 24th celebration in Safford was a hit! (Most of our family went to visit Mark’s mom in Thatcher the weekend of the 20th. They have a 24th of July celebration that we enjoy attending.) Good ole beloved Thatcher and the Burger House. Both mom and dad mentioned you guys went to the Burger House, how sad. Double the pain! But another month bites the dust! It’s crazy! I love it here! Time is such a weird thing here. I’m loving Cheung Sha Wan! The progress in the area, the ward and everything is just so crazy! I love it here! The area is on fire! It really is! Mostly because the weather hasn’t been too friendly but that’s okay! Just go out and do some good work!
Yesterday was such a good day at church! We walked in to Priesthood with an investigator (Sacrament Meeting is last here) and I look at who’s sitting down already and Elder Wong, a member of the 70 and in the presidency here came to our ward yesterday – as well as our stake president! So it was a very cool experience! But right before Sacrament Meeting Elder Wong like pulled me aside and just like shook my hand got to know me for a little bit and then just all the sudden asked me, “What do you think this ward needs to here what can I talk about to them that can help them?” What in the world? This a general authority asking me what I think he should give a talk on?! That’s like a once in a lifetime experience! It was pretty cool! So I gave him a topic about serving in our families and doing the little things to show our love, so that’s what we heard! While we were talking, Kenneth came up to us and of course he had no idea who Elder Wong was but they started talking about the church and then Ken asks, “Oh I’m sorry, what do I call you?” and Elder Wong said, “I’m Sam!” Ha-ha! It was pretty weird to have a general authority just say his first name and then give his phone number out to whoever wanted it and such. That was a pretty cool experience.
We were also asked to do another interesting thing. Our companionship is helping the area presidency test and teach this new English class that they thought up! This week was the first week we did it and it was pretty fun! Just a lot of preparation! English classes here are always fun (we teach them every week if you didn’t know) and this program is supposed to have more of a focus. So that’s something cool…
Besides that, nothing too exciting happened…so here’s a rundown of the week.
This week was a fast and busy one for us. The new English class took a little longer to prepare than we expected and so our finding time got cut a little this week but this coming week we’ll do better at having more time to go out and find. We didn’t have too many new investigators this past week, but this week we already have plans, so hopefully everything will go okay! We are meeting with a “returning to activity” member and her family tomorrow and having dinner to celebrate one of her son’s birthdays. She has three sons and she wants us to meet them all so we’ll see how it goes!
This week at church was very exciting and very rewarding for us! It was the highest number of people at church that I’ve had on my whole mission so the Lord is truly blessing this area and us! We are seeing miracles happen every week and just going out, working very hard, and praying for good things to come. The only sad thing about Sunday was that John wasn’t able to come. Apparently his mother’s feeding tube was really clogged up and so her breathing rate decreased a lot. She had to go to the hospital Sunday morning around 2 a.m. and John barely got home from the hospital when we called him asking him where he was. He seemed very worried but I think everything should be okay. He has been reading the scriptures more and more and at our lesson Friday he was able to answer all the baptismal questions that he has been taught the answers to so far! That truly is a miracle because when we first met John it didn’t seem like it would go this well! We are going to start to visit him two times a week now. He is taking a part-time college degree course as well so he’s very busy but still wants to meet us and will come to church he said!
At church Or Lan and Emily did great and even stayed for the baptism in the building afterwards. The ward is doing really great with them and it feels like they are a part of the everything already. Every week until September someone will have to pick them up to take them to church and the ward doesn’t seem to mind it at all. Emily turned 8 this week and the Yim Family had a birthday party for her and her whole school class came. We went over for about 30 minutes because Sister Yim invited us over to eat with them. (More evidence that missionaries will go wherever there is food.) While we were there, Or Lan was telling every single one of the moms and dads that were there that she was getting baptized soon and they “definitely need to attend her baptism.” It was pretty funny and I got embarrassed because she stopped the party when we got there and had us introduce ourselves. She is going really great right now. She might get baptized on the 3rd of August instead of the 4th because she wants all of her friends to come. I really have grown to admire the boldness and the straightforwardness of Or Lan. This week we were very bold in our lesson about not waiting to have these blessings and she ended up thanking us for our message and said it was the clearest thing she has ever heard or felt!
Next is Kenneth. He is still progressing because he is coming to church, praying and reading but it’s slowed down a lot. This week he and Dickson were in a big argument and while at church Kenneth had to leave suddenly because something happened with Dickson. Its okay, they just can’t get baptized as soon as we thought they could. They still have some issues with the Word of Wisdom but I’m confident they can work everything out. We had a great lesson after English class and they expressed their desire for baptism.
We have a new baptismal date this week! A-Hung came to church for the second week in a row and stayed for the baptism afterwards. He is a little strange because he told me that he has never been to church before but knows a lot about the Bible and has heard some anti-material before. However he has read the Book of Mormon recently and says that Joseph Smith is a prophet so that’s progress! A member helped him yesterday understand that today we have a living prophet as well and then he actually brought up the question of baptism. At first when we said there was a baptism today so he could see how it’s done he took that to mean he was getting baptized today which resulted in a pretty funny reaction but he accepted a September 21st date.
We had a new investigator Eric come to church as well. He also stayed for the baptism and really enjoyed it. I think he doesn’t have much to do right now so that’s what’s going on with him. He already has a good relationship with the ward after only one week which is good. Then Brother Chin and A-Pui came to church so that is good as well, I just don’t have enough time left to talk about them. I love you all! Have a good week and thanks for being such a great example!!!