March 19, 2014
Really the weather here has been bizarre – more bizarre than the Bazaar at Disneyland. I thought it was just me at first, but I started talking to people about it and basically all of Hong Kong knows about it. Well they should!! It’s about time! There has been no sunlight here or no sightings of the sky for literally weeks. Until today that is! It finally came out! It was real weird. Like going into another world of light! But alas, it went away and I’m just looking at clouds again. Eh, oh well. We’ll just have to suck it up!
Sounds like everybody is doing well at home! I can’t believe the Devils even made the tournament! (The Sun Devil basketball team made the NCAA Basketball Tournament this year.) That is amazing! I hope they win at least one game, although I bet no one has them winning anything.
Disneyland seems like it is going good as ever! Just busy, busy, busy! I was wondering this the other day – how many times have you been to Disneyland these past two years? It must be up there! It’s like once a month at least. (Unfortunately it isn’t like once a month.) I can’t believe Cooper comes home this week?! That will be so crazy for everyone! He comes home so fast! To think I saw him in the MTC, he comes home this week, and I still have about a year left! (Lately Elder Allen has seemed a little bit reluctant to admit that he only has a few weeks left of his mission.) His time really did fly past!
Well it’s been a while since I last wrote and a lot of things have been going on. I’ve never seen a group of missionaries this dedicated to reaching goals and finding people to come unto Christ in my life! It seems like every time I call someone for a question or something, they speak of this crazy miracle that happened or something along those lines! These stories are like, you hear them from 2 or 3 companionships every transfer, but right now I think everyone it is reporting just crazy stories! We are no exception! Heavenly Father is looking down upon Tolo Harbour and the things that I have experienced this month are enough for a whole mission’s worth! We are changing our lives, starting with our own!
So get this. On my birthday, we see this girl on the MTR. I point her out to Elder Brown because her phone case is HUGE and it’s in the shape of a perfume bottle. End of story right? Well, we go down to the Hong Kong island to celebrate my birthday. After the festivities were over, we were coming back, got on the train and there she was again! Sitting down in the same car! We didn’t recognize it until it was time to get off, but we both knew we should’ve talked to her or something! We could have done more! Okay end of story? Well, in the night, hours later mind you, we went up to Tai Po to train some missionaries. That’s good and so we are coming home, and we decide to ride first class on the MTR (I mean it is my birthday and all!) which is something that I’ve never done before, nor will ever do again just because it’s like double the price. I don’t think any missionary has ever done it. Anyway, we sit down (that’s what first class is, seats) and we look up AND THERE SHE WAS AGAIN!!! I couldn’t believe it. We were both in shock the entire time! We knew we had to do something, so instead of getting off at Sha Tin, we decided it would be best to wait till she gets off. We do that, and then I try and contact her – she doesn’t even acknowledge my existence. Then Elder Brown goes, and the same result. It is the craziest experience and I’m not sure the meaning of it. Maybe she was weirded out because two white guys in suits were following her the whole day and the last time she saw them they had their mouths open but couldn’t say anything for like a half an hour! Miracles are happening!
The work is just starting to pick up everywhere you go! We have noticed it more than ever this week that the Lord is truly making his arm bare in the hand of his work. I forget the exact wording of the scripture, but it’s something like that. It started by seeing a girl three times on the MTR in the same day. Although she had no interest, she definitely needed to see us for whatever reason! And then just yesterday, a person came up to us on the MTR asking if we were preachers. We started talking to her and even got off the train unexpectedly to keep talking with her, but when it came down to it, she was Atheist and had no interest in hearing. She was doing a school project so she took some pictures and asked some quick questions. Those aren’t the only two experiences; there have been others THIS WEEK that have probably doubled my count of people engaging me in a gospel conversation. The weird thing is, that none of them are really interested right now. We do everything we know to try and meet them again, but its just not working. However, these experiences are what make a mission just so much more amazing. Heavenly Father is truly guiding his children to us. I can’t wait for them to happen this week!
We did have one success story this week with people contacting us. It was last week and we went and visited the Ko Family. Brother Ko is a “lost sheep” member that was found when some other Elders ran into him on the street. His family is very, very nice and his wife even invited her niece over to hear the gospel. They were super focused in the lesson, even though Brother Ko is really hesitant to share the gospel with his family. She is so nice that she even made dinner for us! We were in a bit of a hurry to meet missionaries to start a Zone Leader/District Leader exchange, but felt like we couldn’t turn it down so we stayed and then taught them. Everything turned out great and she promised that she will come to church this week even! Incredible! The only problem is that we were really late to meet the other Elders. Instead of walking we took the mini bus over to the MTR station. Well, we sat pretty close to the driver and as soon as we got on he said “Hello Elders” in English! Turns out he investigated the church some 10 years ago but stopped investigating because his favorite Elder got transferred. Well we had a good gospel conversation and he didn’t give us his phone number, but he said that we could come over to the mini bus station and he will talk to us anytime! He really liked us! So I count that a great success. Everything is a success when you are with the Lord, this one is just a great one!
Oh yes, I’m reminded of yet another experience of someone contacting us! Well, we have been working with this less active for a couple weeks now, her name is Ava Lau. Her story is sad. She was married for a long time, and had an 18-year-old daughter living in a nice home. Well, just in this past year her husband left her and took everything, then her daughter (who is the only member of the church in the family) moved out and is living with her boyfriend now. Well we went to her old house (she couldn’t afford the other one) and helped her clear out all the beds, furniture etc. so she could sell the house. (She moved back to her childhood home, which is Sha Tin ward). A lot of the day was spent in service, but she was so grateful that she decided to come to church! That was about two weeks ago and she has come both weeks since! The first Sunday we were waiting for her at the bus stop to show her where the church was. She was running late and we were really scared because we were far away and church was close to starting. But as we were waiting, someone contacted us and we taught him yesterday! It was a great experience! It turns out he is a former investigator, and knows the church is true, but his parents are super against the church so he can’t commit to going. Kinda funny – he said if he lived in America he would’ve been a member a long time ago. That is just a faith problem but that’s why we are here right? To help people resolve their concerns! Anyway, we met with him, and we were still on time for church with Ava! Ava is a great person, I hope she keeps coming to the church. Apparently, the missionaries in her old ward were trying to get her to come to church for about a year but she didn’t! This is just a start but it’s a good one.
The member missionary class just ended in our ward and now each member knows how to be a fellowshipper. I was a little skeptical at first and it was really scary teaching a member of the Asia Area 70, the stake president, and everyone else how to be an effective member missionary. But with the help of the Spirit and Brother Chan, we are seeing miraculous results! Lessons are going awesome and the fellowshippers are just the best! Everyone is willing to fellowship and they always end up exchanging phone numbers, inviting them to do things with them, it is a miracle!
A great week at church and hopefully this week things just get better and better, and they will. Karen, our baptismal date for next month, is doing really well and her lessons are going well. She commits to read everything and pray, and come to church, we just need to help her become converted. We are finding there is a big difference in the two! She is good, we just have to help her come out her shell, and then she is solid!
Heavenly Father is blessing us so much. I find it crazy how in the Book of Mormon they say “and not one hundredth of the things can be written.” I kinda know what they feel like, except they have much, much greater experiences over years and decades. Mine are just over the span of a week, but nevertheless God is with us. I can feel it more than ever! I love you all! Thanks for your letters and support! Remember I love you!