May 12, 2014
Well it was so awesome to hear from all of you today! Really it was! Sorry if I was a little speechless! I think Mom was the one who mentioned she was the one doing most of the talking and I totally agree! But to my defense, that’s a compliment! Here in China, you have to almost pry it out of people to get them to open up in lessons and start talking. It’s just a Chinese thing because they are pretty reserved! So sorry if you felt like you were the only one talking, it’s probably because you were! It’s just one of those side effects that comes from being a missionary for this long! More prevalent than ever was my loss of wording for everything non-gospel related. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t talk normally without at least thinking of gospel wording or a good scripture to go along with what I was about to say. I think Brother Chan is getting to me… oh well… let him get me. (If you have read his earlier emails you know that Brother Chan is the former Hong Kong China mission president that Kyle admires as the best missionary ever.) Before I forget, we go to the temple next week so I won’t be able to write until Wednesday!!
As far as food eating is concerned, nothing new this week. Well, with the exception of the thing I’ve had least since I have been here… a steak. When we were shopping we found some super cheap steaks and super expensive A1 sauce. It was good… except it was fried… but I mean we are missionaries what do you expect?! I think the A1 sauce made it taste like it was truly a steak! Anyway… I’ve spent too much time talking about steak!
The problem is there is nothing new/exciting that has happened since we talked. They did catch a baby snake in the chapel on Saturday and we saw a HUGE gecko run into our water-filtering system at the church. We don’t know where it went. It just shows you that even if you are in China, you are still in the middle of a crazy forest. All good fun… except I don’t think I’ll drink water at the church again… lets just be safe…
This week was another awesome week! Four new people at church! We were super happy about that! Mostly because the most important people came! Well… you know what I mean… everyone is important…. but this week was awesome! We have been meeting with a member’s son, Chau Sung Mou. He is a great man and his daughter was coming to church with her grandma! However, a couple of weeks ago, he moved back to Hong Kong and was open to hearing the missionary lessons! It was awesome! He has been praying and reading, but it is just hard to overcome his concerns with the Trinity. He has prayed to see if he needs to be baptized and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. He says in his prayers he feels peaceful and the Spirit, but he says every prayer he has ever said is like that. It’s a little bit of a struggle because he is a little stubborn but then aren’t we all?
It’s amazing what changes the Spirit can bring into our lives. Chau already says he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he says, “It’s just different.” I think we need to just teach him more about the Restoration but then again, we’ve met him 4 times now and all we’ve shared is the Restoration, we’re not sure when to move on. But what was awesome is that even though his mom had to work yesterday, he still came very early to church with another member who is already his good friend since they speak the same dialect! I didn’t even get much of a chance to speak with him after church, but he said he enjoyed it! It was a near perfect church experience for him! We’ll definitely start to see more and more miracles with him as the days go by. He is a great guy who really does have that real intent Moroni talks about that is needed for conversion!
At church yesterday one of the biggest miracles happened that I’ve seen in Sha Tin. We contacted this man a couple of weeks ago, not thinking too much of it, just a normal contact. He is very busy since they just moved to Hong Kong (the day that we contacted them actually.) Well we haven’t been able to contact him but then Saturday night we called him and he was super willing to come to church! He said he might be late though and so we were worried since no one can ever find the chapel on his or her own. We were a little worried that if he did come, he wouldn’t find it and he would be annoyed. But as we were sitting there in Sacrament Meeting, all of the sudden there he was! And not only him, but his wife too! And their daughter! It was awesome! It was great since the Mom was able to get a Mother’s Day gift from the ward and they made it to all of church, save it be the 15 minutes they were late! Amazing! I still can’t believe they found the chapel on their own! Without asking for directions either!
Karen is doing well. She is more steady and sure than before about getting baptized on the 25th of this month. She is reading and praying everyday and this week she almost spent an entire day with the Young Women, making preparations for those Mother’s Day gifts mentioned earlier. That’s something that until this past week was missing; her getting worked into a true member of the ward. She came with her brother to church as well! I guess during Young Women’s class this week, the teacher asked her if she had any experience with feeling the Spirit in prayers and stuff like that. Well apparently without hesitating or asking any questions she said that she has. The Spirit has told her that she needed to be baptized on the 25th! Amazing! Every time something small like this happens, it makes a big impact on the investigator and me for sure! This is God’s work and no matter how many times you meet with missionaries, conversion to Christ is and always has been a personal thing that these investigators MUST have before true progress is made towards them making covenants with God. The only thing that might happen is getting busy and not being able to meet… she has big tests coming up and she is scared. But it’s all right. We have the faith, especially Elder Brown, that she will meet with us and keep preparing herself for baptism.
We have another investigator, Abraham, who has somewhat become of an “eternal investigator.” His problem is since all of his family is Taoist, he feels like he has to be Taoist, even though he openly claims that everything we teach is true (and then shares why he has come to know they are true.) So instead of going to church and preparing for baptism, he is going to Taoist meetings every week. In fact, he is the one that has said, “If I were in America, I would have been baptized a long time ago!” Well, we took the advice you offered and taught him more about faith and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was truly heaven sent inspiration that message to us. We shared about the Atonement and faith. It was just an awesome lesson. The Spirit was strong and for some reason, Abraham just randomly blurted out “I do know that God looks at me as the eternal being I am capable of becoming. I will rearrange my schedule and make plans to start coming to church.” I was stunned. Of all the planning that could’ve been done for that lesson, neither Elder Brown nor I could have jokingly or seriously thought that’s how the lesson would end! Amazing! The Spirit is working hard here in Sha Tin, and it is ever needed and prayed for!
We have been teaching more lessons, now if the rain would just cooperate, we would be able to see more people! Yesterday it kept 3 people from meeting with us! And the zone took a little hit on attendance at church but we are still getting higher than last month! They are an awesome bunch! We added 15 new baptismal dates these past two weeks! Miracles are truly happening everywhere in Tolo.
I love you! Thanks again for the best family in the world and your constant love and support! Have a great day and week! Happy Mother’s Day to the best Mom in the world-mine!! I love you very much! If you want to watch an awesome video take three minutes and watch http://easter.mormon.org/?cid=HPTU041514694. Have a great week and may Heavenly Father continue to bless us!
If you don’t know what the picture is, I opened my drawer one night after taking a shower. When I went into a shower, nothing. When I came out, there was this massive huge cockroach sitting on my journal. The white part is its head. The have been here more recently!
Also the infamous Tuesday Pizza. We ate there right after I called-since ya know its not Tuesday, ha-haI Elder Kyle sent a picture this time of Tuesday Pizza and guess what? It is virtually identical to the one I posted last week. Yes! I got it right!