Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015 - Doing What the Lord Wants No Matter What the Cost

I bought some stuff at the store today.  It's a bit weird.  Here's the picture.

As far as I can tell, it's ground cereal grains and vegetable powder.  I think it may be the healthiest thing I've ever seen.  The question is, would you eat it?  Rest assured that it is food.

A cool view of the contrast of old and new stuff in Hong Kong

This is my name.
Well, my dear family, this week had its ups and downs. But honestly, as I've said before, as long as you're working hard basically every week is amazing. One of the many perks that comes from being on a mission. All you need to do is use all your effort every day, and you feel great every night when you go to bed no matter what happened.

The downs first. We lost several of our baptismal dates, and our church attendance, though still far above the average for our zone, is still frustratingly down to 3, when there should be at least 6. The reason? Honestly there is no one real reason. I've definitely noticed a pattern in missionary work. It is this; take the number of people strongly scheduled for church and cut it in half. Despite the repeated realization of this, I still have faith that this area can go crazy and we will have one Sunday with 8 people at church. That is faith.

Our finding this week has been super cool. We were out finding sometimes with no success for several hours, but we have met some really cool people as well this week. We met one woman on the street who said she had no religion, and then we just sort of talked and managed to share a good lesson just by being weird people and prompting gospel related questions by our weirdness. Then we rescheduled for the next night and taught an awesome lesson. We met with Ben's family, and while they haven't been to church yet his mom is super humble and has a good desire to learn. It's just that her understanding of things like this is not great, she already attends a church that is much closer, and she doesn't read Chinese. You'd be surprised how much more acceptable illiteracy is here. It's not the schools, it's just that characters are so hard to learn that anyone who is from a rural background in Mainland China who moves here might not read, and many people who quit school young (because you can do that here) won't read super well. But I can read. A bit. He he. The teacher of our Gospel Essentials class thinks that me and Elder Walter are super talented.

The thing that I think that I learned this week was about consecration, not just in terms of using all our time or money, but in terms of not fearing anything and not putting anything above the Lord's will. I have really gained a testimony this week of the hope that comes when you know that you are going to do whatever the Lord wants no matter what it costs. There are a lot of things that make us afraid. Sin, death, sickness, work, financial things, etc. We fear not having enough money, the things we love, we fear embarrassment, shame, pain. etc. The gospel can give us peace in these situations because though we may know these things will happen, when we have faith we know that if we do the Lord's will unequivocally, we will not only be okay but we will truly be blessed.


So, the saddest thing in terms of investigators is that we still haven't found Mr. Wong. He was one of the most well prepared investigators that I've had on my mission, and also just a really great guy. He called us once but it was in the morning and our phone was on silent. After that I convinced Elder Tse to never put our phone on silent. Pray for him.

Rachel and Brother Lo are still struggling to quit smoking. It's annoying, because they need to develop the faith and desire to please God if they are going to quit in the most faith-promoting way, but it's not easy to just give that to people. Something cool this week was our new investigator Ken, who is in his 60's and doesn't understand the gospel too well, was nonetheless able to very accurately explain what the apostasy was and what it meant. And he feels the spirit so strongly at church. He really loves it.

Our investigator Stephy, who is about 24 ish, was busy with a Korean test so she couldn't come to church, but her 14 year old sister Ivy came on her own, which was amazing. We only started teaching her 2 weeks ago, and her family has absolutely no religion, so for her to come to church on her own was really incredible.

The other cool thing at church was Brother Wong, who is the husband of a former less active, came for the first time in a month, and we had a decent lesson. His main issue is that he really hasn't felt the spirit really strongly yet, and he feels like Buddhism gives him more feelings than Christianity. I think the problem is that he's not getting into the Book of Mormon, but any advice'd be appreciated.

I feel so happy to be serving here. We had more people come to church than many areas have people scheduled to come ,and more people scheduled than most areas have investigators, period. This is a really amazing area.

Keep it up with the job thing. You know that hard work pays off eventually. Thanks for your example, Dad. I'm reading in Moroni right now, and I always think of you because you always seemed to emphasis those chapters when we'd read together, and it's about a father and son missionary team. You just need to get a bit more active in the missionary side of things and it'll be perfect.


I must be quick. May I suggest that magnifying your calling might include not waiting for people to find you but finding ways to help them? They might have seen the presentation but I'm sure that most of them are used to not using it, and maybe they need some real experience before they'll see what it means for them.

Good old Mr. B. Yeah, I always felt bad for him because I felt like he didn't know how to teach the class too well. I mostly just did water colors in my spare time, after finishing the rather boring assignments. Don't feel too much contempt, he's a person too.

I don't know what a dead lift is.


Why is it that man is so bent on safety that he destroys everything worth protecting? The trees have no tongues, and no Lorax to speak for them. (David told John they were chopping down trees in the park across from us.)



You sound like quite the busy bee. And it sound like your letter will arrive before my birthday. Much appreciated. But you shouldn't make valentines; you should do what the Chinese do and just give money to people on Chinese New Year’s. Did you know that Chinese people don't know what fortune cookies are? Pretty sad. But they have a bunch of other New Year’s traditions. Lots of noodles with abalone sauce, organ meat, preserved sausages, candies, weird glutinous rice cookies, etc. And gaak jai beng. Gaak Jai Beng are like waffles but they put peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar on them.


Sounds like you have a busy life. Why does everyone keep asking me to come home? Leave me be! I need not your books and games!

I've been a bit sick this week, but nothing too bad. Mostly just a runny nose, which is a bit annoying sometimes, especially when you want people to have a desire to talk to you. My companion bought 15 boxes of Mac and Cheese at the international store today, because they were on sale for about 50 cents US for a box. Because they expire on Wednesday. He's crazy.

Keep it up, can do blond.


Sum seung see sing. Try to tell Eva that,

Elder Tse's family is from Tai Wo, they are all members. They live in Fanling. He will be going home at the same time as me, he will maybe go to school, but he was working before his mission so he might keep doing that.

We get tons of lucky money but we're not allowed to keep it, so we donate it all to the missionary fund. There are also people who want to feed us dinner, namely grandpa's friend Brother Norris Cheung, but we have something called deep clean on the first day of New Year’s, so I don't know if we will. Our transfer should be on the 17th of February, if I'm correct. I will get on the Ecclesiastical Endorsement. Thanks for being such an awesome mom! Sorry, I'm out of time.

Love you All!

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