July 28, 2013
Well hello everyone! I heard you went to Disneyland this week! That’s fun and all but I heard that you didn’t fall asleep on Pirates. (Maddy and Charly claimed that The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was their favorite one at Disneyland. Jenna, Kyle and Staci usually catch a quick nap while on that ride.) That’s not the norm everybody. Get back to it! Speaking of out of the norm, the stake presidencies didn’t show up for the 24th parade?! What happened there? (We went to the 24th of July Parade in Safford, AZ and this year the local Stake Presidencies did not ride in the parade. They have been there as honorary “Grand Marshal’s” every year in the past.) I’m kinda worried! I thought them being in the parade was a more sure thing than even having a parade! That’s how sure I was! Next thing I know there won’t be any president at the 4th program next year…everything I know just took a turn! (The 4th of July program in Thatcher, AZ almost always features a guest speaker, aka a dead president who talks about the history of our country.) But I guess things are changing…sad times! Things are changing in the weird things I’ve eaten category as well! This week I ate something I had never, ever even wanted to even look at, but I decide to try…. eel! Ha-ha… I know it sounds like it tempts the taste buds but let me get rid of all rumors. It does not. It only makes the taste buds want something that can be recognized as edible.
It is almost time for transfers is already – which is just crazy! Elder Peterson is such a good guy and a boss missionary! Of course his language isn’t good but – whatever! These past few weeks he really has made tons and tons of progress and he can really focus in on these people! And he’s a funny guy. Whenever we have some down time we change “Lord of the Rings” quotes to make them missionary applicable. We’ve come up with some really funny ones. I enjoy being with him a lot! The second half of this move has just zoomed by!
And now for a funny experience we had at church yesterday. Emily, our 8-year-old investigator who is getting baptized on Sunday came up to me after church and told me what she learned in Primary that day. It was a lesson about temple marriages and surprisingly she was like so interested in it and was just going off about it! Then the Young Women’s president came up to her (she’s like a 30-year-old single adult) and said, “Well you’d better get married there shouldn’t you?!” And she’s like, “But I haven’t even gotten baptized yet! But once I do, I want you and Elder Au Yeung (Kyle’s Chinese name) to do a “sihfaahn” first” (A “sihfaahn” is a demonstration or practice.) Ha-ha! It was hilarious. The situation just totally turned awkward between the Young Women’s president and me and then Emily just ran off going about her business. Besides that Emily is doing great! She reads everyday, prays everyday,… heck, she’s better than most members! And she’s 8! If everything goes well she and her mom should be getting baptized this week! Stay tuned for that!
Then we had a pretty surreal experience this week. We met a whole less active family this week with the sisters in our area. The family has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. One brother got baptized and brought his whole family into the church like 30 years ago. Well, then he moved to Taiwan and so the whole family became less active, married different people and eventually went totally in-active. Well, one of the brothers found out last month that he had cancer and it was in the late stages. The sisters got a chance to meet with him last Sunday and by Wednesday he was in the hospital, probably for good. Pretty crazy how fast everything is happening. So the brother came back and invited us to the hospital where we’ve been back to like every night to help out the family with whatever they need. It’s a very sad situation they are dealing with. Up until 3 weeks ago he was the only one that even knew about it. It’s very sad to see how they just see no hope after he dies, but there is hope. We are trying to get a good relationship with them but it’s hard right now. I just want them to know that it’s sad but it’s not the end, not at all! We gave him a priesthood blessing on Saturday and right now he’s on life support. When we were leaving yesterday he spoke a full sentence for the first time and indicated he wanted us to sing him a song. We sang “Families Can be Together Forever” and he started to cry a little. The brother just started to weep after that and that’s when it started to get us missionaries too! But it’s okay. I’m a man. I almost started to cry. Almost.
The ward is so awesome right now. I can feel them wanting to help. Loving, caring members surround both less actives and investigators. It is awesome! If we missionaries are going out and working hard, good things happen. After church yesterday it was one of the most rewarding things to see the members, recent converts themselves, being willing to fellowship and talk to the people that the Spirit has brought to church. It was so cool! I don’t really know how to describe it.
Our investigators are doing pretty well right now. We committed another person to baptism this week, making 7 in total that we have challenged for baptism and they have accepted. The Lord is truly helping out Cheung Sha Wan. One of our investigators is named Eric. He is only 16, but has already formed a great relationship with the Young Men’s presidency and some young men as well. He came to church for the second week in a row and also to a Family Home Evening. He is really enjoying the atmosphere the church brings, especially since his family situation isn’t the best. His dad left his family a very long time ago so he thinks it’s important to be a good and responsible man. We are really working with him, but he is working to help provide for his family. Still he seems very committed to coming to church. He read the Book of Mormon and has prayed so that’s good. We are just going to help him understand how to apply things more and to understand that the gospel has meaning to his life. He doesn’t really get that yet.
Another investigator that really is progressing right now is A-Hung. We were a little worried after last week because he stayed for the baptism, but it went really long and afterwards he told us he couldn’t meet until church next week. I guess I need to just strengthen my faith and realize that maybe he actually was busy and couldn’t meet. I thought he just didn’t want to spend so much time with us because he didn’t like it. His phone was off the entire week and I didn’t think that was good. But we called Sunday morning and he said he’s coming to church and asked where he should meet us. It turns out, although he is 60 years old he has been studying for a test he has today. I thought it took a lot of faith for him to come to church the day before his test. Most students we meet won’t come to church even though their test is 2 months away! He reminded me he really wants to obtain salvation so that’s a really good goal.
Besides that, we are preparing for two baptisms this week with Or Lan and Emily. We are very excited about them and they are excited too. It’s just right now Or Lan is still recovering and a little weak but she fulfills all her assignments. Yesterday the 2nd hour class lesson was on fasting and the teacher asked if she knew what fasting was. I thought she would say no since we hadn’t taught her yet, but she replied with a straight answer what it is, why we do it, what we should pay for a fast offering and how we should also pay tithing! I was shocked! It went really well and everything worked out fine with scheduling the baptism. The ward is really cooperating with her fellowshipper Sister Yim since she is a big part in this whole thing. Emily is very excited as well and all throughout church yesterday she was saying how she hasn’t got baptized yet but will soon which I’ve never heard her say before!
All the rest of our investigators are doing well, there is just no time to report on them all. These are the big updates for the week. Next week we are really going to focus on Kenneth and Dickson, since they have a new date for baptism, as well as Emily and Or Lan of course. John is doing well, just busy with his part-time schooling part-time taking care of his mother. There was a great spirit in his house though and he knows how much we care about him. The member that came with us even bought him a plant for his garden!
I love you all! Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s a rip off that CTG’s team didn’t get picked first…oh well…if they were picked first they’d never win. (Kyle is referring to the pre-season poll predicting ASU will finish 2nd in their division of the PAC-12.) I love you all! Really I do!!!