Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 25, 2014

Well let me tell ya this week was pretty crazy! We got 5 member lessons, 9 street lessons, 9 NEW INVESTIGATORs and 6 people at church! By the way 4 of those member presents happened right after church! Was a crazy week just full of small success that lead to a lot of success. Of the 6 people that came to church 4 of them were people we met on the street!

Those four are Kyle  (17) and Tom  (17) (friends), A Leung (20), and Daniel (24?). They are all pretty interested too. They all attended for 3 full hours and stayed afterwards to talk. We are playing to see Kyle, Tom and Daniel all at English class this week and A Leung later on. It was a crazy week and it was fun.

I will send the pictures of the baptism after this email. Last week I just ran out of time and got kicked of the computer by some REALLY angry Chinese lady. He is seriously one of the most prepared people I have ever met. Elvis got the holy ghost yesterday and it was a really good blessing too. (From the bishop's second councilor).  

Patrick and Fanny are still working towards baptism. Patrick is pretty solid, we actually taught him a lot of the commandments this week (word of wisdom and law of chastity). Patrick really wants to get baptized on June 15th and Fanny still wants to get baptized she isn't 100% sure when. Its really hard to schedule them because their work schedule is freaking crazy but its going pretty well.

Overall I am doing great. Me and Elder Falk are trying to grow with each other. We are both very stubborn people so therefore we argue a lot BUT its not necessarily bad. The only reason is isn't bad is because when it comes time to work we drop all differences and work and then comes a lot of success. We are still great friends but we love to argue with each other... Its stupid but what happens when you put to really stubborn people together. They will either break it or make it. So far we've made it :) <3 ha

Things are great, I am happy, I am healthy and I am loving it.
 This week we had a friend named Elvis (Lam Pui Ming) get baptized. Now you are probably like, "Wait a minute, I don't remember hearing about him!" You probably right. Elvis is a pretty cool guy. He is a 44 year old who is very humbled and prepared. Me and Elder Groesbeck met him on the street but never rescheduled him. On April 19th I invited him to come to church with us on the 20th with me and Elder Falk. He accepted. Since then we have taught him all the lessons in the space of four weeks and then was baptized on his 5th Sunday at church (5/18). Now you are probably thinking, "Wow that was fast..." Yes it was. He was very prepared. He accepted everything we taught him. He would bring up questions and concerns then we would answer them. At the end of each lesson he realized he needed to make small changes and therefore he did it. Now you may ask me, "Why, Elder Arrington, do you think he changed so fast?" Well my answer would be faith and hope for a greater good. He has had a hard life. He isn't married and currently with our a job but he sees the church as an opportunity to grow and live. He expressed to us with with true gratitude on his baptism yesterday with simple hug followed by saying "Thanks you so much." He understands the gospel and has so quickly taught me what faith means. Turning to God when you still aren't 100 percent sure. This man has been a blessing in my life and someone I have learned a lot from. 
 We went to Ikea for dinner the other day and let me tell ya... SOOOOO good :) I love a good plate of pasta and meatballs! 
This past Saturday and Friday I went with another missionary to Tsim Tsa Choi area to do missionary work for 24 hours. It is a very picturesque place of Hong Kong. When I imagine dirty city life... This is the place I think of haha. Super fun to serve there for 24 hours though!

May 19, 2014

Things here in Cheung Sha Wan are still going great and we had a baptism this week! YAYA (See dad's email). We baptized this man named Elvis and he is super awesome and prepared.

This week was full of finding and work. Met a lot of people and was left with open rejection. Always a little painful but more or less accepted at this point. Hopefully we will see more new faces coming to church with us because we need them badly.

Again if I get the letter forwarded then I will update this post.

May 11, 2014

Ya... I wrote dad about the investigators not to much to report. I am happy doing fine. By the way my voice has been going in and out for the last week or so. Other than that I am totally good :)

If I get the letter forwarded then I will post that letter.

May 6, 2014

Alright sorry forgot to tell you I had temple this week.

our investigators sound great- I thought you were teaching a third family?  Any new baptism dates?
Right now we are only really teaching two families. Patrick and Fanny's and then Anna and Billy's. I wrote Dad about our investigators we currently have 4 people with dates. Patrick and Fanny, Elvis  and Patrick  (he is a former investigator from February).
How is your new companion? I know he has been out a year and once y'all lived in the same apartment? are you getting along and is he willing to work as hard as you? 
Elder Falk is doing great. He is also a very hard working missionary and very talented in the language. We get along but we still butt heads a little bit. We are both pretty bold and out spoken so that helps with the work but can sometimes get in the way but we are having a lot of success so I am not to worried.
You have only had on native speaking companion, correct?
Yes his name was Pony Tse

Ya me and Elder Bradley will be coming home at the same time. Its pretty cool because I started with him in Causeway Bay then I am serving around him now! He is currently the Assistant to the President. He is awesome!

Got the package... Sad story the salsa jar broke and got on freaking everything but I was able to save all the ties and the t-shirt. So its all good. You gave me a ton of sugar... I am gonna get fat right before I come home from that crap. haha I gave some of the ties to people though... I've gotten so many from home haha I've only bought two here in Hong Kong.

Oh ya I do live with another set of elders. Elder Anderson and Elder Wong. Same from last move.

I don't have to much to write about. Just working hard and stuff.

April 27, 2014

How are Fanny, Patrick, and Donald? Are they all committed for the 18th?
They are doing great. We went to their home last night with bishop Gwok and his wife to share about the plan of salvation. It was a really solid lesson and they confirmed that they want to be baptized. Patrick is really good and was immediate about getting baptized and Fanny said she needs to think about it but she said she will eventually get baptized. We are pretty positive on the 15th they will get baptized. (Donald is not 8 until next year so he will have to wait).
Did you get a commitment date from Anna, Bill, Adam, and Eddie?
They have been busy and in mainland this week but we are hoping to go to their home this week and give them a date then.
How is your ward with them after they are baptized? 
Us and the ward will teach ABL's with their home teachers or visiting teachers.
do they step up to keep them moving and headed toward the temple? 
Yeah they do, its really good
Do you have a good relationship with you bishop and the stake leaders?
Yeah our relationship is pretty solid and I really know a lot of the people through out the stake so that is pretty cool. I have gotten to meet and know a lot more people serving here in Cheung Sha Wan. I love this place!

To answer your questions moves are all the same BUT mandarins and english speakers can have mid moves sooooo there is that....

Ha Zac's English sucks thats super funny. Mine is getting better? That is funny. I have been reading Jesus the Christ and that book is intense... It requires a lot sounding out words and context clues haha. Such a good book though.

Hi everyone... not much to send as far as pictures go. I just got this funny one of me today... If you know me well I always complain when it comes time to cut my hair... I don't like cutting my hair. Anyways Elder Falk really needed a haircut and I didn't want one... So we got one anyways... for HK$50 (about US$7) and I got owned... I think the lady was watching the customer TV more than my head. Anyways this is what happens in about 20 minutes in Hong Kong...

April 20, 2014

Soooo I defiantly stayed here! Elder Groesbeck went home so I wasn't going to move and I am really glad to stay. I LOVE CHEUNG SHA WAN. This area is amazing. 
Are you still zone leader? Well tell me about your new companion. You thought you would stay in the area....did you?
Yes I am still a Zone leader and I am now senior too. My new companion is Elder Falk. I lived with him when I served in Sheung Shui last summer. I had been saying for the last three moves that he would be coming with me! I love this kid he is super awesome. He is from Salt Lake City, been on his mission for like a year and a couple of months. His Chinese is super awesome and we are pretty much best friends.
How do you feel about this being your last transfer? 
Its a little serial to me... Like I haven't thought about it much but I think when I get to the last couple (meaning last two) it will really hit me... We will see. 
How is your Chinese- would you say you are fluent?
That is pretty hard to say... I would say I am very comfortable with my language. I can read, write and speak enough that I know what's going on like 97% of the time but there are still moments when people use weird words or idioms or colloquial Chinese I don't understand... Chinese, especially Cantonese, is really hard to compare to any other language because it is so dramatically different. 
What has been the best thing about you mission? 
The greatest thing that has come from my mission is probably the friends I have made. Although I would like to argue that the things I've learned will probably have the longest impact. So many moments of celestial joy coupled with the darkest moments of despair have taught me the reality of this gospel and the responsibility the it gives me. It also provides hope for better things to come. 
the worse thing?
Well I guess two things. One being looking back at your mission and seeing the things you did wrong or could have changed. Especially when they are things like "if my language was better then" or "maybe if I persisted a little bit harder the would have come" etc. The other being seeing people fall from Christ and deny the blessing the could hold. I have seen investigators, members and recent converts fall away from so many things; pride, anti, doubt, death, etc. Seeing this things are always the hardest to deal with because they area ALMOST out side of your control but still some what there.
the hardest thing? 
Aside from the language... Well building up passion and a desire when face defeat. Hong Kong has got to be one of the hardest places to serve in the world. I church has a bad name here, people don't like us, the language is hard, people disappear all the time, etc etc... When the things happen to you sometimes it can be hard to hold hope or even imagine you could help one of these people. I would say a decent amount of missionaries here will have that problem at least once on their mission were they wonder "Am I even helping anyone." That moment can be the hardest moment on your mission. If you choose to follow the easier way which is to give up then it can take a while before you refocus on the work. It is hard to hold faith in the challenge when you didn't prepare before hand.
what would you change?
I would have been more obedient and hard working from day one.
and what advice would you give?
Learn to be more humble and obedient; these two this will bring you the greatest happiness and blessings on your mission. I have learned the strongest, greatest man in the entire human race was also the most obedient and humble to ever live. He was Jesus Christ.

Our investigators are still doing great.
We are still teaching Fanny, Patrick and Donald. They are awesome and very welcoming to us. Patrick came to church and we were able to give him a baptismal date for 5/18th but Fanny couldn't come because Donald got sick the day before. They are awesome! We plan to give Fanny the same date this week when we see her.

We are still also teaching Anna, Billy, Adam and Eddie. We tried to give them a date last week but we didn't have enough time to resolve some concerns (we had to run home from that appointment). However they are still doing awesome me and Elder Groesbeck went to their home last Monday for dinner and a lesson. We shared some of the conference talks because Anna LOVED them and wanted us to show her how to watch them online! Then they also came to English class week and that's when we tried to give them a date but we got a little caught up in things.

We have a couple other ones but I want to share a story instead because I thought it was pretty cool actually.

So last Thursday was when me and Elder Falk became companions. So we did some planning that day and taught a lesson then we had an extra hour to go out finding and decided to go to Lai Kuk Estate. When we went to the park we saw this lady sitting on the bench while her kid was planning in the park behind her. We walked past her but we both turned back to talk to her. We sat down and started talking with her. When ended up talking to her for an hour and half. We shared that God has a plan for all of us and he has prepared ways to help and a lot more about the plan of salvation. She was very hard heart-ed towards God because of what she had suffered in her lifetime. She over that hour and half basically bore her soul to us and shared the last 20 years of her life. It was one of the moments were you wanted more than anything in the entire world to just help her find peace. She told us her daughters dad divorced her after one year of her daughter's birth. Then she remarried an amazing man. Who loved her and her daughter. Provided for everything she and her daughter needed. Then she told us one day he got up kissed her good bye and headed off to work. That afternoon he had an aneurysm at work and was hospitalized. She rushed to the hospital and she was told that there was a 90% chance he would die. This hospital happen to be a Christian hospital and some of the church missionaries there told her if she was just pray in faith he would be saved. So she died. But he died. She looked up crying and asked me "How can you believe in God? How can you say he loves us and wants to help us if he couldn't even save my husband. He was a good man and never did wrong. He helped everyone and gave to everyone. But God didn't save him, he let him die. Now I fight and work everyday just to get food for my daughter and help her have a decent life." It honestly was one of the most heart breaking moments of my life. I knew all she had to do was pray to find peace. Elder Falk and I both knew it. We testified and bore souls to her but she walked a way and said she couldn't because her heart doesn't know a God. I honestly almost died at that moment. The peace and comfort she so yearned for was right in front of her but she wouldn't reach for it and try. Ah... Broke my heart.

These are the moments on your mission you wish you could change. You wish you could help that women and her daughter. I swear I won't let it happen again. It hurts to much to see people like this.

Be grateful for the blessings and peace that you have in your faith. Regardless of your economical situation the peace the gospel gives is the only thing that really give me hope.
 This week me and Elder Groesbeck got invited by our family to come over to their home eat dinner and share a message! They are so awesome! (Elder Groesbeck, Adam, Eddie, Anna, Billy, and Me)
 Due to crazy events this week we had to go pick up a missionary from a hospital at 1 am... I am still super freaking tired from that. (DON'T WORRY EVERYONE IS FINE :) 

April 14, 2014

Investigators are still doing great. We are going to Anna's home for dinner tonight because she wants to make Elder Groesbeck a good bye meal. So she is doing awesome and she loved conference. (Her husband couldn't make it because he has to work but it was still good). Fanny is doing great as well but they are as busy as ever... We are working to meet with them but their schedule is never to clear. A Yut is still the same but we get to see her this Wednesday.

Well moves calls is tomorrow and I won't be moving obviously since my companion is leaving. I have a pretty strong feeling my next companion is going to be younger than me but be my senior because he will have to take care of the area and the zone after nine weeks mind as well let him start leading from day one. So I am excited for this move.

President Hawks wants the average missionary in an area at 6 months so some might be more or less. I have had a pretty good average so I hit that well haha.

Conference was awesome! There were so many great talks. President Uctdorf about gratitude and sleeping through the Restoration, Elder Hallstrum with Priesthood men (he came Hong Kong with Elder Holland), Elder Bednar with spiritual friction, Elder Holland, President Monson and others were all awesome. The big theme that I got was Charity and work. So very applicable to a missionary haha.

Well not to much to report this week.... Tell you who my new comp is next week