May 5, 2014
What an awesome week this was! I feel like I am just repeating the same things over and over again, but really the weeks do just get better and better. Don’t ask me how…I don’t know. But I love that they are and I’ll take it and ask no questions! This week although it was super busy, was just amazing! Right now with the investigators that we do have, we can see half like every week, and then the other half about once every two weeks. However this week was just so weird. Everything just fell right into place! We were able to teach so many lessons! It was beautiful and something that I haven’t ever really experienced in here. It just boomed up, so now we are working to keep it stable!
When I first got to Sha Tin we were teaching like 1 to 2 member presents, but now it’s… well much more! It is just so awesome! The miracles stare me in the face everyday! The small things of the mission are the good things of the mission. Let me tell you about them, but before I forget, today was already an awesome day! Some of the Elders I came with go home in a couple weeks and so we went to this SUPER AWESOME Indian buffet together to see each other once last time. unElder Siebach, the only one staying with me until June, is in Macau so he didn’t come. It was amazing. If that’s how they eat in India every day I might just not come home. I’ll just go to India… but I don’t think Mom will like that too much. (He is correct. Mom would not like that too much.)
Speaking of which, I’m calling home next week! (Mother’s Day! Yay!) No one told me a any specific time to call so I’ll just call at 10 am Monday, Hong Kong time. That’s like 7 pm on Sunday there. Is that when you eat dinner? (Kyle called just as we were saying our blessing on the food last Mother’s Day and we ask him to say the prayer in Cantonese. It was a great experience for all of us.) I hope so. Life here in Hong Kong is different so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 2 years! So 10 am Monday morning my time. And if there are any questions as to who will be dominate in Ping Pong, instead of getting another suit I got a custom made ping pong paddle. And Corbin thinks he has a chance. Heh. (Before Kyle left he and Corbin, who was then Jenna’s boyfriend and is now her husband, had a huge ping pong rivalry going on. Sounds like being gone for two years hasn’t changed very much.)
A couple of awesome things happened during the start of the week. First, while we were finding, this random contact told us about a Pizza place called Tuesday Pizza. (I looked it up and I think the actual name is King Pizza Tuesday. I’m pretty sure this is the right place because it is in Sha Tin and several of the reviews mention that it is close to IKEA.) Apparently it is pretty famous in Sha Tin. I’ve seen it before but never realized it was any good. Well he said we for sure had to try it and on Tuesdays it’s cheaper. Well, we were so excited about it we invited the other Elders in the apartment to come with us. We got there and guess what? Tuesday Pizza is closed on Tuesdays!!! What in the world is that all about?!!!
Here are some pictures I found online of the restaurant called “King Pizza Tuesday.” It looks pretty nice and the food looks good. In addition to pizza they serve pasta and rice dishes. Boy am I going to be embarrassed if this is the wrong place.
So instead of eating pizza, we decided to go for the IKEA Swedish meatballs instead. They were good… in the moment… but right now nothing sounds good. I was seriously about to die this morning. I think the Indian food blocked my breathing tubes. But as revenge, Sister Hawks ordered some pizza for Mission Leadership Council. Those meetings just keep getting more awesome and more awesome. Except this time… President Hawks joked about me. He said that instead of getting new baptismal dates, I will get new marriage dates soon. That was the awkward part of the meeting. (Don’t worry Kyle, I’m sure President Hawks was referring to marriage dates for some of your friends who have been back from their missions a little bit longer.)
I got my package!! (I sent Elder Kyle a package for Easter that was similar to an Easter basket.) That was the easiest Easter hunt I think anyone has ever done! But with the best results! I hit the ultimate jackpot! I think I scored bigger than the last 3 or 4 Easters combined! If this continues I will certainly do whatever it takes to stay out for more Easters. The Easter Bunny must be a member of the church or something! He is giving lots of love this year! One of the Elders in the apartment got a movie called Ephraim’s Rescue, a movie that the mission says we can watch. That was a weird experience. Watching a 90 minute movie. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but you should. It was the best movie ever I think. But then again… anyway…
This week was just spectacular. Elder Brown and I are motivated by change. It’s happening all the time, we just have to be on the good side of it, and with obedience it really is working. This past week we visited a less-active sister. We needed to find another person to come with us, otherwise we couldn’t go visit her and we really knew that we needed to help her testimony. We mentioned it when the Elder’s Quorum president called and he said no one was available to go with us that night. We called her to explain the situation and try to reschedule, but that was going to be hard since this was the first time she was willing to even schedule. Well when we called she said something miraculous. She said, “Well then I’ll just invite my neighbor over and you can teach him!” I guess it’s just that easy, right? I wish. But then again, we didn’t do anything! We were just trying to be obedient! We had a good visit with both her and her neighbor and although the neighbor doesn’t have too much interest, the less active member came to church on Sunday! It was super awesome to see! The blessings for being obedient are often small and unnoticeable, but it’s experiences like these that make me wonder, “How could I ever not be obedient if things like this happen?” What a great blessing it was. It set the tone for a great week.
Mission Leadership Council was a blast. Every time I leave those meetings I feel the need to just go out and declare the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The thing I learned most had to be the pattern of studying scriptures. Often times I’m caught up, only looking at the awesome lines and taking that as that. One-liners. But I’ve noticed that the great leaders take sections of scripture, break them down, and apply them to their own situations. It really is a concept from the beginning of time, but at the meeting it was just made so clear to me that if we don’t do it like that, we are missing out on a big spiritual opportunity to grow our faith through reading scriptures.
But even better than the meeting itself, a member called us right after and gave us a part member family referral! Chan Sung Mou’s mom is an active member and when her home teachers went over this week to visit her, they found out that a member of her family just moved in with her. He is a very devote Christian already, baptized 15 years ago, but you could just get the feeling that he knows there is something more. There will just need to be some miracles ordered up in order to break the walls which the “craftiness of men” have put up. He is definitely going to be baptized. The circumstances are just too perfect. He is super willing to read scriptures and pray for specific things, super available and already friends with some super good members. We have seen him twice already and he is great!!
The first time we went over there was like a test to see if we really wanted to learn. He brought out bitter melon soup to drink. I’m not sure if you have ever tried bitter melon, but it is exactly what the name says – very bitter and just hard to swallow. I think the word is… gross. Well I got through the whole soup, swallowed the huge chunks whole (there was no way I was biting into one of those) and then she brought out like 4 seafood dishes. I just haven’t gotten used to seafood yet…oh well. We were very grateful for it! We weren’t even expecting them to feed us but he is just that nice! A really great guy! This week he was in mainland, but he said next week he will probably come to church! That’s awesome!
Speaking of church it is going awesome! Brother Ko, a recently returned to church member, brought his daughter to church! And at church, he received a calling to serve in the Sunday School Presidency. You should have seen his smile and how giddy he was when they read his name for sustaining! He was about the happiest man I have ever seen! If only every member could be that happy when we get a calling. It was unlike everything I’ve ever seen before. We will go visit him and his wife this week so we are excited for his progression. He really wants his family to be there with him.
Church was also great because Karen came, stayed for all 3 hours and then met with us after! It surprised both of us! It was a true miracle! We talked to her more about the Atonement and getting baptized. She said she has prayed about it and the Spirit has told her that she needs to be baptized on the 25th of this month! It was so awesome! She is doing great, now just needs to make the final step to make the full commitment to come unto Christ and partake of the fruit. It is an awesome story, Karen. These past two weeks have been great! We’ve seen a lot of improvement!
The zone is doing awesome! Everyone was fired up for zone training meeting and there was a particular spirit that was there in the meeting. Everyone seemed very excited to get instructed, not the least of which was me! It was a great weekend after that! Right after the meeting the Mandarin Elders were leaving and went up to contact someone. Well it turns out that that man wants to be baptized now and wants to bring his wife to church with him as well! Zone Training Meeting days are miracle days! The reports for the week were great. We increased on everything! At this rate we are going to have almost as good of a month as March was, but that is going to be hard to beat. However this week we almost doubled our member presents! In one week! We usually get in the 40’s and this week we got 80! It came from nowhere! But don’t miracles also come out of nowhere?
The Park-N-Shop lady, Sister Kong is doing great! She is reading the Book of Mormon and surprised us when she showed up to English class on Saturday! She is a great lady and definitely has a bright future in the gospel, she too has some walls that are not easily broken, but she is willing to learn!
I love you all! The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real, just as he is. He is the Great Physician and can heal the wounds that nobody else can. Have a great week! I love you all and you are always in my prayers.