April 27, 2014
Well, we are on to May….I guess that means HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! Look at that. This time he didn’t even remind me! And I still remembered! (Last year Kyle forgot to wish his dad a Happy Birthday. I think everyone has forgotten that but him. Mark’s birthday is May 2.) I’m getting pretty good at this!
Well Happy May to everyone as well. May the 4th be with you this week. Ha-ha… I just had to throw that out there for Sarah and Chase before I forget about it… which I’m sure I will… but anyways. (Star Wars fans like Chase celebrate “May the Fourth” because of its similarity to “May the force” be with you. But I’m sure you already knew that.)
Yesterday I think I went to the best Sunday meeting of my entire life. It was just so awesome. Elder Wong and his wife finally got back from Salt Lake City and they were able to speak in church. He even taught a combined Priesthood meeting. Best third hour of church ever. He started by saying he didn’t think he was going to be home before he got his assignment to serve somewhere. However, President Packer told him that he had a new assignment this week and that was to be at home. It was so awesome! The change is already just so crazy! He was only here for the weekend and then he flew back this morning to go get his calling to serve! Crazy! He was getting super into the Priesthood lesson. You knew he was getting into it because all of the sudden he would just start quoting scriptures in English and just saying super powerful sentences in English. Then he would catch himself and start talking Chinese again until a few minutes later the same pattern would start again. He taught on President Eyring’s talk from November entitled, “To My Grandchildren.” It was just super awesome. For like half the time I felt like he was just staring right at me no joke. More than half the time, maybe. I left that meeting feeling like I just left the Conference Center. Honestly though. I have to show you the notes I took on it. I didn’t know he’d be there so I didn’t have any paper except my planner. It was filled!!!! Well…anyway…I hope your Sunday was just as good as mine! (In this talk President Eyring addresses those who seek advice from him on how to have a happy family life – including his grandchildren. He says it all basically boils down to keeping the commandments and putting yourself where you can feel “the joy of forgiveness through the Lord’s Atonement.”)
This week was just a pretty normal one – just pretty busy with language pass-offs and getting ready for Mission Leadership Council. We caught a break when we found out that our Stake President’s meeting was pushed back to next week. It’s all good! The missionaries here are the greatest ever! They are a good people who are humble and ready to work. I could call every one of them my friends and they are. I’ve been doing language pass-offs every week for 9 straight months now since the program started. It’s getting pretty… let’s just say I’ve heard the missionary lessons so many times… it’s ridiculous. But I love it and I will continue to do it every week for years and years! Just seeing the progress that these people make every week all by themselves with the power of the Spirit and their willingness to accept criticism and learn is just awesome! If I had to do these back when I was a young missionary I would’ve had a panic attack.
It was another just awesome week in Sha Tin. The days are beautiful and at the end of the night I just feel good about the things we have accomplished. Of course there is always a few tiny things that could have gone better but it’s just that I can’t remember them! They are swallowed up in all the joys of the week. Really though. Some days, when not a lot happens, I just think back on the day and I realize that I’m wrong and that miracles happened and I am just being too stubborn to recognize them. In my journal at the end of every day I write down the biggest miracle of the day and it helps me a lot! I’ve done this for probably a year straight now and looking back at days is just so awesome to see the bare arm of the Lord in His work. I can’t believe all the things that happened, even this week! If I did not take witness of them myself, I would not believe. But I have witnessed, and I am testifier of the great blessings. The blessings that go along with missionary work are real and I am a firm believer in miracles.
Here is a miracle this week. Although it might not seem like a miracle, it totally is. Karen finally has a concern about the gospel. This whole time we were teaching great lessons but we could tell something was missing. It might be that “the load” was missing like Elder Bednar taught us. She was just super willing to do everything, like she reads and prays everyday, but there was still just no real conversion. It really just wasn’t moving and it was frustrating. However, our lesson with her this week was great! We talked about baptism and the Doctrine of Christ and she just openly came out that she wasn’t ready for baptism because she is still drinking tea! We had no idea because she was telling us that she had stopped and even to her church friends she was saying the same thing, but this time she was just super open and now we know what she needs. Some other things also came out in the lesson that were vital to know, but the Word of Wisdom was the biggest one. It was super critical and the Spirit was strong! I didn’t want the lesson to end, but it’s good that it did! She was going to bring her mother and brother to church this week, but then her Dad had to go to the hospital Saturday night so none of them could come. I hope he is all right. It sounded kinda serious.
Another miracle happened in finding this week. In companionship planning we decided to go to this place that I have never been. I have spent many hours finding in Sha Tin, but I’ve never been here and it’s pretty obvious why. The place was just so crowded and very noisy. Well, during planning I was just confident we had to go there. So we did! And it was the right choice! Did we find anyone “golden”? No! But yes at the same time. Right when we got there (and I mean immediately – it must have been less than 30 seconds) we ran into one of Elder Brown’s recent converts from his last area that moved to college and went less active ever since! Amazing! She was surprised but happy to see us! I think this will turn into something too! We talked for a good 10 minutes or so and she knows she has to come back to church, it just got jumbled with all her other priorities. It was just so awesome! No one had any contact with her but the Spirit is always in contact with her. It’s so awesome. I am tempted to ask, “Why don’t things like that happen every day?” But then I don’t think those things. I like the way things are.
Solomon Ko was brought back into full activity yesterday! Two and a half months ago he was a “lost sheep” with no one in Hong Kong knowing who he was and now he is a solid member. He walks to church a lot and yesterday was in a normal t-shirt just dripping with sweat when he arrived. We were a little disappointed that he didn’t come in a shirt and tie but when he came out of the bathroom there he was! Shirt and tie! He just didn’t want to get it dirty! He is awesome. His knowledge of the gospel still isn’t great, but his faith makes up for any of that. His wife gets back from mainland this week so we hopefully can start meeting with her again.
Last week during shopping time we contacted a Park-N-Shop lady. Well Tuesday at District Meeting she called us and said she was waiting for us at the train station in Tai Wai to go and tour the church! We were all the way in Ma On Shan still but we ran over to the MTR and then taught her and her son. She is super awesome and at the end wanted to pay us 50$ for every time we taught her and her son! She was strongly for paying us mone – it was unlike any other person I’ve met on my mission. We finally got her to put the money away and told her just a reschedule would do. It’s so “lucky” that we met her even. Every week her only day off is Monday, our only day at Park-N-Shop. But since last week was still Easter Holiday she had Tuesday off instead! We are meeting her actually right after we finish emailing! Things are going great!
Less-active work continues to go great as well. Ava Lau has put in a better effort to get Sundays off at work and this time she did! She loves that Mandarin Sister missionaries are now in Tolo Harbour and especially in Tai Po because her less-active daughter who speaks Mandarin better than Cantonese lives up there! When we met with Ava this week her prayer was super sincere about finding a way for her daughter to come back to church! And then the next day we started teaching her neighbor, Jack! His family has potential! They are all super nice and love missionaries! We were very welcome in their home which is a great start!
Have a great week everyone! Below are pictures of Jack and the cockroaches that you find in your showers everyday! This one was the biggest this week! (i wonder if there is a weekly contest or something.) I love you all! Have a great week!