September 29, 2013
Every week just seems like it gets more rewarding and rewarding. Especially when I hear things like they wouldn’t even let Lane Kiffin on the bus after the night? (USC’s coach Lane Kiffin was fired following USC’s horrible loss to ASU 62-41) Since when do teams spend Saturday night there anyway? That seems like a Lane Kiffin thing to do. Anyway… not my point. My point is all is well that ends well and everything ended well so… you know the rest. The zone did awesome this month! We doubled the total our new investigator total from last month and then every single goal went up a lot! We even made a lot of our goals for the month, the best one being baptisms! We needed one more yesterday to reach it and what do you know?! Stephen got baptized! So there is just another miracle here in CSW. I have been spelling it wrong this entire time. It’s Stephen not Steven. But to my defense no one here can actually spell their English name right because they don’t have one… anyway… more on his baptism later.
This week was an interesting week for a couple of more unexpected reasons. I’ve said it over and over why I love being in the Kowloon tong chapel but this week made it even better. This week I met a husband and wife combo from Cali, Colombia! (Kyle’s friend Phylip Curtis was called on a mission to Cali, Columbia and his brother-in-law Corbin Robinson also served there.) It turns out their families are both members but they themselves aren’t. They work in Shenzhen at a hotel playing jazz music and all that. First time in my life I’ve ever met a Colombian! And in China too! We gave them a church tour and they wanted to take pictures of EVERYTHING! Picture after picture! But that’s awesome! I guess their son was baptized last year as a 9-year-old! They thought the temple was the coolest thing! I hope they had a good experience. Well, zoom to later in the week and we were at the chapel teaching a lesson when this mainlander and his friend from Santiago, Chile walked in! First time I’ve ever met a Chilean, and it’s in China! (Kyle’s dad went on a mission to Santiago, Chile.) I felt pretty connected this week! The Chilean served his mission in the same mission in Argentina where my friend Alex is serving! His friend (the mainlander) was fluent in Mandarin, English and Spanish! They are like business partners and they travel all over the world. It’s pretty crazy the places they have visited. They stopped by to grab a Book of Mormon to give to the mainlander’s dad. Pretty awesome. You never know who you’ll run into over there in Kowloon Tong! Heck Justin Beiber has a concert in Macau in a couple of weeks. I wonder if I’ll meet him!
We had a great chance to sit in a meeting with President Hawks, his counselor, and the Stake President and the stake coordinator this week. A member of the 70 was going to be there, but it turns out they are busy a lot? Who would’ve thought? Ha-ha! But anyway, we had an awesome talk with them about the Kowloon Stake and how to boost missionary efforts. It was really cool to present what we had to present and then just see what happens when experience combined with the Spirit take over. Some amazing things happened in that meeting. Cool experiences!
Yesterday our investigator Stephen was baptized. He said that from now on he is going to wear a suit to church and he looked good in it. I’m really happy for him. He was contacted by the missionaries many, many years ago but was so caught up in his work that after 2 or 3 times meeting with them he stopped. But then one week a couple of months ago, he walked in to the church and wanted to know more. He really wants to follow the example of Nephi and not get trapped in sin he says. His testimony was very powerful! It blew me away hearing him testify that he knew that Jesus Christ coming to Earth was an essential part of the Plan of Salvation. Then he went on to testify that he knew Jesus suffered for his sins and through baptism he has “found his way back into the fold.” He named all of the commandments and then promised that with all his might that he was going to keep them for his whole life. It amazed me! I had no idea where he learned all that (it certainly wasn’t me teaching all of that). I asked him and he told me simply, “I read the pamphlets and felt something, I prayed and I believe it to be true.” Wow. Great testimony to me and a great motivator to teach from the pamphlets every time! I am almost ashamed I haven’t been doing it every lesson my whole mission, but there is always repentance right? It was an amazing Spirit that was felt there. The conviction in his voice was one that I’ve never heard before out of any convert baptism. It motivated me to get people reading the words of prophets.
Besides that, this week went pretty well. We have a new baptismal date Jason. He is doing really well. he just couldn’t come to church yesterday. We read 1st Nephi 1 with him because he didn’t know how to read scripture. It had a positive impact on him and extending the baptismal invitation seemed really easy. A couple weeks ago he didn’t know how to pray and now his prayers are better and better every time. He is a slow learner but he has potential to be great. We weren’t able to meet with his brother or his Mom this week like we did last week, so we made it our goal to teach all of them and extend invitations to them all. I’m really excited about it.
We were excited to see another fairly new investigator come to church for the first time yesterday. His name is Wing. We took your advice on teaching full lessons and it really helped him. He even told us his learning pace is slow, but he is willing to try. Well, we taught the whole Plan of Salvation even though we had to explain almost every definition to him and some definitions for the definitions. Nevertheless it worked out. After teaching him the full lesson, we were able to review the parts he still didn’t understand. It was a lot but it seemed better because instead of teaching the same things over again and having to back track a lot, we now know what we need to focus one. He was able to attend the baptism so we are excited for his progression.
Elder Liu and I are doing well. We have different ways of viewing some things but we are being obedient and have the same purpose in mind. I’m learning a lot from Elder Liu. He is very diligent and always has an open mind. It’s fun serving with him and seeing how he views things. It’s a great opportunity to learn. I can feel my faith surfacing more. It’s hard to describe, but before I felt like faith was inside me and trapped there. Well now its making its way to surface and becoming more a part of me and controlling my actions. I like it. It is a great time here in Cheung Sha Wan. The ward even is planning to go finding with us next month using the new street displays the mission got! Have a great week!!! I love you all! Read the Book of Mormon everyday! Its changing people’s live over here! You have my support and encouragement and of course my prayers! Go Devils A-S-U-(in the marching band voice.)