March 2, 2014
What a great day it is both places of the world – Hong Kong and Gilbert! I can’t believe the temple was dedicated! For some reason I thought someone told me it was this week, so I was surprised when I went on today and it turns out it already happened! And the Cultural Celebration seems like it was pretty crazy! Your emails are way better than the official release on the church news! It just said it happened during a storm and didn’t show any pictures of the storm! I couldn’t believe it! (We couldn’t believe it either. After almost 80 days of no measurable rain in Gilbert, on the day of the Cultural Celebration here in Gilbert it rained practically the whold day! That never happens!) But they still had some good ones up! Pictures are the best part of anything! I can’t believe it’s finally dedicated though! It took quite a long time but now its finally finished!
I hope everything is all and well at home, it sounds like everything is going fine! Another sister is going to be a nanny! (Staci decided this week that she will travel to Paris, France and work as a nanny for the Hall family – the same family that Sarah worked for a few years ago. She is very excited!) That is just the thing to do I guess!
Well it was another great week for us here in Sha Tin. Just every week just seems to be getting better and better and more exciting! On Monday I went with a couple of mission friends and we went to get some awesome customized suits! I guess I’ll call it my birthday present… except that it takes like a month to complete everything because it is super good quality and totally customized! (Kyle’s birthday is March 10.) I even get my named hand stitched in it! This next statement is totally rumor but I think it has some validity to it. The story is that President Hinckley would get his suits at this place (because he was in Hong Kong a lot). I’m not joking! And it’s super cheap too! Well everything in Hong Kong is, and this one is relatively pricey but it’s cheaper than any quality suit in America! Like 130$ I think!!!
Well, on Tuesday we had a 2-hour meeting with Elder and Sister Holland (Elder Holland is a member of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles), Elder and Sister Hallstrom (Elder Donald Hallstrom is in the Presidency of the Seventy), and Bishop Stevenson the Presiding Bishop. It was so cool! The mission is so much bigger than last year when we had Elder Andersen come speak to us. The meeting was awesome. That’s all there is too it! Elder Holland spoke for about an hour and it was just a really simple, easy to understand lesson about how the first chapter of the Book of Mormon has the same foundations as the Joseph Smith story…and really any prophet’s story. It was basically about the Restoration…mixed with the usual “when I was on my mission” experiences. So it was overall a great event.
The work of the Lord continues to flourish here in Sha Tin. Every time I pray, I ask that I can remember the good things of the mission and always have them in my heart. It is weird but without fail every single time, that exact day I am just happier. I feel as though my memory just has no limits to it and then I find myself just chuckling or something like that the rest of the day. Try it out! I think Elder Brown thinks I’m a little crazy some days but I can’t help but smile. Heavenly Father always delivers and in the best way! Also we have been working on something that both of us feel strongly about – stopping lessons not at the end of the end of the lesson, but at the high point. Off and on I have worked on this throughout my mission, but right now I feel it is just so important to do! So we are doing it! It’s so hard to end lessons when the Spirit is at its highest point, and you feel like you can go on teaching, and then after teaching you wish you had stopped because that lesson was just so awesome and the investigator was just “getting it.” Often you start to regret ending the lesson only after 25 minutes or so but I just have to remember that it is all worth it and the investigators were helped because of it.
For instance this week we had a great time finding new investigators. One is named Charlotte. I had heard that other Elders had called every former investigator in the book many times recently as well, but nothing came of it. We tried doing some calls on Friday and the first person, Charlotte, picked up and answered. She scheduled right away for the very next day! We had a great lesson but not at first. She works at a very Christian school. The teaching record said that she had trouble accepting anything but the Bible. We were talking to her and it seemed like it was going that way. She just finished going to a camp with her students where they had to make crosses and carry them, bare foot, in the rain for around 20 minutes. (As a result 20 kids reported sick for the whole week). The lesson wasn’t really going anywhere, but then, for some reason, it just started clicking and she got excited about the Book of Mormon! We ended the lesson a little bit later and committed her to start reading the Book of Mormon again! It was such an awesome lesson just because of the change in Spirit that was there.
Finding was great this week as well. One experience was pretty funny. This man came up to us and started talking in English. He said the Church’s name while we were waiting at a light. We thought he was just going to talk bad to us but it turns out he was interested in our Church because he works right next to a chapel in a different area. We started talking and trying to get into a lesson, but he said he had no time even though he kept on talking with us. A little later he asked, “How old do you think I am?” Knowing he was about 50, I obviously said 40. He liked that answer so much that he bought us some drinks and sat down and listened to what we had to say! Turns out he is busy but he left us his contact information. This is experience is why finding the elect of God is just so fun! You never know what is going to happen!
The investigators are doing great. Suk Wai, a new investigator of last week, had a successful heart surgery and is recovering well! We went to visit her with Timothy on Saturday and she was very happy to see us. Even more than I thought she would be! She has some real potential, but it will take awhile to get back up and moving again. On the way over, we were talking with Timothy about how smoking is bad for him etc. and he agreed but said he couldn’t stop. Right after he lit a cigarette he smacked hard into a light pole. We couldn’t stop him because he just took a hard step over and then just smacked into it. He hit it so hard that his glasses flung off his face, and stuck to the light pole so it looked like the light pole was wearing the glasses. We all kinda laughed it off and he kept saying it was a “penalty” for doing something God doesn’t want him to do. It is funny and he is doing well. John scheduled us this week and it was an okay lesson, he is just losing some of that desire to come to church. Karen is doing awesome as well. We gave a mother and her two sons a church tour right after church and the whole ward flooded to her and introduced themselves. It is a great time here.
The Sha Tin ward is just amazing. Truly amazing. All of them are just so willing to help us out with lessons. We basically get who we want for lessons because they move their schedules around to help! And if they don’t, they call someone else who can! It’s like a game of tag and somebody eventually wins and helps the missionaries teach! Members are inviting us over more frequently to visit their less-active family members and non-members, which was the case twice this week. Brother Chan these past two weeks has scheduled an investigator and a part member family to have family home evening at his house as well as to eat dinner together. The ward is helping this father come back to activity after getting baptized at BYU and then going to mainland for 20 years to work and forgetting about the Church. We are going over to the Chan’s house for dinner tonight with his family and another less active!
That’s all the time allows me to type! I love you all and can’t wait to hear about your week soon!