October 27, 2013
The weather this past week has just been so awesome I’m telling you! I think we are on the same temperature schedule because right now and I love it. President Hawks told us to turn off all our air conditioners for the rest of the year! I was super excited about that. I think everyone in the apartment likes to sleep in a icebox at night, but this week I finally came out of my mummified sleeping position that I’ve been sporting for a good 7 or so weeks now! (Kyle must have inherited his cold tolerance from his mother! I have been known to take a blanket with me to church.) The weather is good and so all the missionaries in the zone are happy and we’re hitting the streets and coming up with some of the best numbers in a long time! Things are returning to normal again which is always welcomed… except it’s been a hard month to get people liking to come to church. First it was conference, then stake conference, and just yesterday was our Primary program. I mean the Primary program is the best week ever, I don’t think anyone doesn’t have a smile on, but it’s just weird for investigators. Their first time at church… and they just see 10 kids on the stage the entire time and reenacting a thing called 家人家庭晚會 (which means Family Home Evening.) I must admit I would be way wacked out too! Seeing them run around everywhere and seeing the American’s faces have like the biggest smile ever… ha-ha… but I always remember it is the Lord’s work right? So because it is, it won’t ever fail. Turns out they all are all okay with it! More on that later.
Speaking of not getting things back to normal we ran into some weird things on the street this week. Not saying bad, in fact is was a great week on the streets but every time you got out on the streets of Hong Kong you are bound to run into something funny. We just finished teaching a lesson this week and were walking down the street to the MTR station when all the sudden the TV store right in front of us turns on “The Walking Dead” a famous TV series about a zombie apocalypse. It must have been like a 8 second amount of time where we could see the TV and the whole time it shows this guy taking and killing this zombie by stabbing it in the head over and over and over again. Needless to say the zombie died…I think…the only part we were exposed to was when he was doing the actual killing. THIS IS ON A MAIN STREET IN HONG KONG! Ha-ha, it’s crazy! There was blood like everywhere! And then we walk down the street a little further and instead of having a normal back up tone of doot, doot, doot, this one “tricked out” moving van backed up to the tone of the Pink Panther song! What in the world?! And then later on we see this whole street full of super nice cars. Like even a McLaren was there! That happened in the space of one day! Just some crazy things!
This week one of the districts in the zone, my companion and I got to do a little 15 minute devotional on missionary work in Hong Kong for all the Seminary and Institute directors and their wives in all of Asia and Salt Lake and Elder Wilson from the Seventy. It turned out pretty well. Elder Arrington and I had to plan everything on a moment’s notice and so were glad everything worked out! It was a hit I’d say. It’s not your Lion King at Gammage but…its pretty close! Speaking of which it sounds like the family is doing well! I hear everybody is busy! By the way, is Jenna really pregnant? (Jenna was at this point 38-weeks pregnant and Kyle still couldn’t believe she was going to have a baby. I think even up to the point that we sent him the pictures of her in the hospital with Payson he thought we were just teasing him about that!)
This week was an excellent week for us as far as finding new investigators goes. We have noticed that we have been bringing the same people to church for the past while now and no one new. As a result, during this last week of finding, we focused our finding on getting people to come to church and inviting every single person we talk to attend. We usually do this but I feel like this week we had an added resolve to do something about it and go find these prepared people and invite them to church. While doing reports with the district leaders a couple of weeks ago a missionary (I can’t remember who) was telling me that a companionship in his district was doing excellent at following the smallest of promptings and seeing where it took him. That has stuck in my mind ever since and this week I tried to put it into action. It took us to a lot of odd streets. Streets that in my six months serving here I haven’t ever walked. Well some had success, but others didn’t. I learned that as long as we followed the Spirit it didn’t really matter what the results were, because it’s where the Spirit wanted us to go. I have come out this week of finding happier and feeling more accomplished than ever before. For instance on Saturday while finding, we had a good amount of time to be on the streets. Most of that time was unsuccessful but we kept encouraging ourselves to keep focused. We only had about 20 minutes left before leaving to go to an appointment when we found ourselves walking on this road away from the MTR station and with very few people. We talked to the one person that was on the road and turns out he just finished teaching guitar as a volunteer at his church! He was really interested in our message and took a Book of Mormon. He lives in Chai Wan so we’ll see if anything happens. After that contact I was extremely satisfied. You could easily say, “My joy was full.” Even though nothing much happened, we stuck to our smallest of promptings and had success in the end.
The success we had in finding went well past that one small contact. This week we had three new investigators come to church through finding this past week. One of them, Herman, is actually a recent convert’s friend! We were walking, stopped him and when we introduced the Book of Mormon he said his friend was a member of this church! It was so awesome. We got down his information and when we saw the member the next day at a stake activity he told us his friend already told him about our contact and scheduled him for church! It was very awesome to see. He found church a little weird, since the Priesthood lesson was about Nephi having to retrieve the golden plates. That and then it was the ward’s Primary program.
Speaking of the Primary program again we had some good success with it, and so did Sister Aldana and Sister Wilcox. We had a father, Brother Wu come to church this week that we met on the street. He was worried about bringing his kids this week to church because they study at a Catholic school and he didn’t want to offend us. Well he planned on leaving early and not going to Sacrament because he had to go home and watch his kids while the mom went out to work. Well, after the Gospel Principles class on how families can be together forever, he called his wife and asked if she could wait for a while while he stayed for the rest of church. I was shocked when he said that he actually could stay! And then he noticed all the little kids singing and he thought it was so awesome to have them involved and wanted them to come next week. It was awesome to see the Lord’s timing in these things. It’s his work and his timing is always right.
The other one man that came to church was also a miracle. When going back to the MTR for dinner, we stopped Chris and didn’t talk to him for a long time. However he said these words, “Oh its funny I met you. I’ve actually been thinking how I need to go back to church again.” We wrote down his number and left, confirmed him on Saturday night and then called him while waiting for him Sunday morning. We were at the station and he called us saying he was already at the church! He ended up taking a taxi all the way to church! I can’t wait to see what happens with Chris.
Along with these things the rest of the area is doing well. Or Lan, a recent convert, has had two friends introduced to the gospel these past two weeks and Sister Lam, a less active that is returning to activity, had her referral baptized yesterday in another ward. Great things are happening here. We have two investigators who read the entire 1st Book of Nephi this week, but they couldn’t come to church this week. The experiences here are awesome. We went to a meeting with the stake President, the stake mission coordinator, and all the ward coordinators so we know what the stake expects from us now. They all want to do the work and now we have to come through!
Elder Allen attached some pictures to this email and actually described their contents so here they are along with his brief, but informative, explanations.
These pictures are of my old shoes at my year mark. (It makes me happy to see that he has done enough walking to wear his shoes out like that in just over a year in the mission field. We did send him a new pair of shoes!)
The Cheung Sha Wan Ward BBQ.
The sunset yesterday from my window.
And a less active member who has come to church for 4 weeks in a row, Allen Lui!
I love you all and can’t wait to hear from you again! It will be next Thursday, since we are going to the temple this next week! Go Devils!!! I remember last time at Washington State… we ran the opening kickoff back… then lost….oh well! I love you all!