Sunday, December 8, 2013

November 24, 2013

In all honesty I think the only way to maintain my Cantonese is to comunicate with my friends here as much as possible and the ones that come to America to study because I really don't think I am going to meet that many Hong Kong people in America. I do plan to learn Mandarin sooo that should help me maintain grammar but it is pretty different. Yeah I want to do an internship here, I met a return mission (Bro Jolly) who served like 2 years back and got to be here for 6 months to do some work. So I might try that. 

A Wing is doing great, he should be able to make his baptismal date of December 8th! He has changed dramatically since I've gotten here (nothing to do with me), he is more easily able to recognize the spirit and that is what is helping him the most. We are seeing him again tonight to finish up commandments and hopefully set up his interview. He is pretty excited soooo things are going well for us!

Patrick is just amazing... So we saw him last Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at the lesson on Tuesday he told us he couldn't come to church because of work this week but he really wanted to. He said and awesome prayer and we ended out lesson. Ten minutes latter he called me and Elder Allen back and started talking about baptism and told us he actually wants to get baptized in December! SOOOO yeah we gotta work to do to help him! He text us later last week on Thursday saying he got work off to come to church and we were soooo stoked! But he got sick Saturday evening with the flu and couldn't make church yesterday but we have him scheduled for Tuesday soooo its all good!

Every thing else is going well here!! My only request for my next package is Men's Gellet deodorant, I like it more than this brand I have. 

My camera is an Olympus tough TG-1, I saw in a store here they now have a TG-2 (its a little bit better was reading the specs). AWESOME camera soooo worth selling my two long boards. This thing has lasted sooo much abuse!


 Went for a Hike with my original district from the MTC in Tuen Muen this last pday and got a pretty good view of the city haha. Nothing like Hong Kong, mountains and cities where ever you go.
 This is everyone on the hike (us and all of our companions, Elder Morton actually has two comps at the moment) yaya super fun stuff!
Yup this is my district all grown up! Sister Cutler, Sister Law, Elder Morton and I. My sisters go home like the second week of December. So that's pretty crazy, that will mark the beginning of the last portion of my mission... crazy

November 17, 2013

I think I get about as many packages as anyone else does... Like its alright not anymore or less. So I am happy! Yeah I know packages are expensive and I am thankful you send them they are always fun to get and open with others. OH exciting news! So sister Hawks was given some extra suits from couple missionaries going home and I REALLY needed one because my one from last year is dying... So I went in and found one that fit perfectly and its a HUGO BOSS from TURKEY! Some old guy left me behind a SUPER nice suit! ITS SOOOO NICE :) and its navy.

I like the city its fun and I just like it more as a missionary. I feel here it gives me more opportunities... You gotta understand when you live in the boondocks here you live like sooo far away from things its just inconvenient to you and everything else... Sooo yeah I like the city but I don't think I could ever raise a family here. I see to many reasons why every day I couldn't well rather wouldn't want to. Sooo yeah I love the city right now. I probably would live more like you and dad just in a suburb next to a city. 

Zac is going to a pretty interesting place. Actually at the MTC I played with the Bulgarian missionaries everyday soccer and volleyball so I got to here the language a lot its funny sounding to me. He will love it. Seems kind of fitting. Me Asia and him Europe (he is such an aristocrat [did I even spell that right] anyways!) 

Just a quick story for the week. Actually two.

So we have this investigator named A Wing. He is pretty awesome but he is very busy working (his dad died so he supports his family by working a lot of hours at bread shop) and he likes meeting with us. By the way he is 22 years old. He is a little slow to spiritual things and doesn't seem to always get it but over the last couple of weeks he changed and progressed so much. Two weeks ago we invited him to a new baptismal date of Dec 8 and to ask his boss off work to come to church and he agreed with no hesitation. His work situation is crazy he works at a crazy busy bread shop and only three people work there... so no one really gets time off. However he had faith and we promised him it would happen and he got work off! SO HE COULD COME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK! YAYA! He has a deal with his boss for every other weekend but I really challenged him again to ask for every sunday off and I said he wants that and even prayed for it in our less yesterday! It was so awesome and I really think his boss will let him. He is so cool.

Next is Patrick, we got his number as a referral from another ward and me and Elder Allen (working together) started texting him (all in Chinese). We talked for a bit then rescheduled him for last Saturday to share a message and tour the church. He was a really nice guy and pretty open to what we shared and he said a beautiful prayer at the end. We invited him to church and he came yesterday for all three hours! IT was awesome! We then shared a quick message at the end and gave him a baptismal date for Jan 12th and he was completely willing to accept! IT was sooo great! Pretty good week :)

This last week we actually had Zone Conference it was Kowloon West Zone (my zone) and Tolo Zone (my last zone) sooo got to see some friends and heard a lot of things and I also got to do my own little instruction with Elder Allen too. It was pretty cool and one thing President Hawks shared from PofGP was when the God's organized the earth they did four things
1. Organized
2. Ordered
3. Prepared
4. Obeyed
Through these four step (I think this is Abraham 4 and 5) the God's were capable to organize the earth. Essentially the message he was trying to get across was if the God's need to take time to plan and then follow through with it, we should do the same. There was a lot of other stuff and I got it written down back home. Me and Elder Allen shared about "Not taking No for an answer" basically how to overcome people with commit issues or how to find the real underlying issue that's stopping their progression soo it will be interesting.

We also got an assignment today from President Hawks, we have to prepare a training session for a DL's on how to have more effective district meetings but he want's us to like super prepares this with papers and demonstrations and then report back and maybe do a full mission training if successful.... Sooo a new pressure on my back, oh and has to be done by next Tuesday and previewed to him by next Sunday haha.... Fun

Also me and Elder Allen are actually being videoed right now by these two college girls... They are doing a report at the university on us and they are following us around and stuff... Like with meetings, finding, teaching, etc sooo thats been fun and awkward haha. Really I have had a special mission here.

Oh by the way I do have a facebook but our mission rules are a little different. We don't have ipads yet (they may come in the future we have so issues president Hawks wants work out first in the mission-- he is afraid of disobedient missionaries abusing this and ruining it very quickly sooo only ZL's have FB's and they have to use church computers). So I basically use it like once a week to contact investigators, to make post about activities, to find missing/lost investigators, etc. Stuff like that. It feels weird to use like I am breaking the rules because I see worldly things... That sounds really funny to me when I reread that last sentence. haha

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 10, 2013

Things are going well out here in Hong Kong. Things are fine, nothing to complain about, weather is cooling down (sometimes), ward is pretty supportive, have a decent amount of investigators (it the time to weed out, so we are dropping some) and my Chinese is slowly progressing. Finding here isn't so bad and I can stop most people but the real issue with stopping people is seeing them again because I mean I could stop like 30 people a day and teach all of them and get all of their numbers and never see one again... So me and Elder Allen are very patient when we find. We don't teach a million street lessons we talk to every one but we only teach and find the really prepared souls. Its been interesting to see how we are able to find more investigators than other companionship's (I see numbers to compare) with less street lessons. We will average 3 to 4 street lessons and bring back like 2 to 4 new investigators. Other companionship's will teach 8 other lessons and bring back 1 new investigator. Not saying they are doing anything wrong but I think me and Elder Allen have really found the path to follow and are really holding on the iron rod in this situation. Its been really great to see these blessings flow in.

We haven't done anything on Pdays except for that first on with the BBQ. Which the BBQ is Chinese style meaning its over very small pits with everything covered in Honey (their BBQ sauce haha). Next week I will see my old district again my sisters (Law and Cutler) are going home at the end of this move so they wanna get lunch or something. Yeah so nothing special here. Always busy running around doing something, some where...

So we haven't seen Mr. Woo and his family yet been busy with work and this weekend went to see family (we think in Mainland - text message was in Chinese sooo we tried to read it haha). Most of our investigators are doing well. Herman Wong is just doing awesome keeping all of his commitments and committed him to baptism this last week (Dec 22 - last member of the year)! So things are going pretty well! A Wing is doing well, he is a little slow to spiritual things (like I've said before) but he is starting to recognize it more and more. This last week we reviewed Joseph Smith and prophets and he said he thought he was a prophet so we are making progress! YAY:) Our other investigators are doing okay... like I said its kind of that "weed out time" where you get a lot of investigators than you go through and get down to the top two BUT we are hoping to refill! (We are still teaching: John, Eric, Kenneth, Paul, Mr Cheung, Jason, Mrs Cheung [different Cheung's])

Cool story... So last night we went finding because wanted to go out for at least an hour before finding. So we were walking around and elder Allen was going to the right but I saw this guy on the left and I really wanted to go talk to him (dono why). So I went and I stopped him and started talking. He was like yay I met missionaries once before... Then elder Allen walks up and he says, "ACTUALLY it was him, I gave you my number and you never called me back!" (Turn out he gave his number to his companion Elder Kwan who moved like 4 months back soooo we couldn't call him.) So we review what they talked about last time (prophets) and talked a little more and shared about the Book of Mormon. Said a prayer and got his phone number. Elder Allen said his interest level was WAY higher this time than last time. So interesting to see how God prepares us to meet his sons and daughters when they aren't and are ready... :) yaya

I finished the Book of Mormon like two weeks ago so now I am studying things... Today I studied "What is the light of Christ" like the difference between the light of Christ and the companionship of the holy ghost. So studies have been pretty good lately learning a lot.

I don't need much I am doing okay right now... Pretty happy :)

November 7, 2013

Hong Kong we don't have time changes here (not really sure as to why) but I love it because my body never has to adjust to a new time:)!

Not much has really happened this week just finding, OH before I forget we went to the temple today so that's why my pday is today... I always forget to tell you. My bad... Anyways these last two weeks have been pretty busy, we've gone on 24's twice this last week to watch a troubled missionary and another companionship having issues and that was just interesting. I was with the troubled missionary on Monday and all we did was find all day (from 1230 to 800) in the rain because we never schedule anyone on Monday because its normally our pday. I tried to help him as much as I could help him find his desire and love for finding, how to make it enjoyable, and all these things. We found some goals he hid in his desk and he is trying to decided to go home or not. This so stressful and just such an interesting thing to be working over, we are working pretty close with the assistants and the President with these three missionaries to make sure everything is going to be fine sooo been kind of up tight recently. Yesterday was also my first Mission Leadership Council (meaning all the Zone Leaders and Zone training sisters met together to talk about this new months goals, plans and actions). So that was fun and super intense.... Being in Leadership is so exhausting and makes me worrisome, we also have to meet with the mission president and our stake president soon about our goals for Kowloon so that aught to be fun! haha

Things are just moving along and I think I've started to really understand my mission. Three things I've learned pretty recently:
1. Exact obedience is not hindrance but the greatest thing that we can have. You can not plan to have success or God's blessings if you don't do what he asks us to do. How can we pray for protection when we travel on the high way and break the speed limit? Its the same principle here and now. I need to follow God and Jesus Christ's example foot step for foot step the same or else I can not receive his help now or in the future.
2. The second you allow doubt in your heart you loose trust or confidence in God. Its easy to doubt things and blame things but it takes consistent hard effort to maintain a heart of hope and faith and keep a positive out look. We can change all circumstances with God's help. We can't expect just faith to be enough anymore; we have to give everything and the only thing that I [we] have to offer is our agency and will. When we give literally all that we have that's when you can really see God in your life.
3. I am not as strong as I really think I am. I can say a lot of things, I can learn a lot of things, I can say I have faith but I really am nothing. I had a specific set of scriptures come to my mind 2 Nephi 4: 16 - 35 in the temple today and it really showed me my own weakness. Specifically verse 18 came to my mind. I sat in the temple thinking [after having read verse 18] and it came to my head to read verse 24. I realized that I am weak but I can become strong and there is only one real method to make me stronger. It was prayer and to be ministered too. That is the only way to become stronger.

 Here is a picture from my office with no affects on. God gives us some beautiful moments to find peace in the storm. Gotta love the beauty of God.
 Me and Elder Allen at the Hong Kong temple. Just livin' the good life out here in Hong Kong!
Thanks be to God for all that I have. My Family, my friends and my life. I love you all very much. Stay safe and remember to look up.

October 21, 2013

So I serve in Cheung Sha Wan but I live in Kwai Fong, it's the area next to mine. The flat has me and Elder Allen then Elder Beal and Elder Anderson. So its nice and organized because its only four people! The flat is clean and nothing to complain about. Elder Allen is my older MTC group so I've known him my entire mission and we are pretty good friends. We are both sarcastic, like soccer, and going home together in 8 months yaya haha jk. I actually haven't seen my ward as a whole yet because last week was conference and this week was stake conference but I was told its like a 100-ish people like the rest of the Hong Kong wards. So Elder Allen as been on his mission 6 weeks longer than me, he is from Gilbert Arizona and he is a great missionary, has good language and leadership. 

I've been studying characters and I am making sure to learn how to read and write them before I move on. Learning to read is pretty easy because its just memorization (I could learn about 50 ish characters in an hour) but I really want to be able to text and write which is pretty hard. I can read around 700 characters now so I can get by in Book of Mormon my comprehension is not all there when reading so I still need a lot of work. Writing I am only at like 300, its hard because Chinese has stroke order so you have to write it a certain way... yay Chinese....Not worrying about Mandarin right now, I can work on that when I get home or whatever. 

Since Hong Kong was once a British colony thing most the schools here are private religious schools meaning most people know Jesus Christ. I'm not in China I am in a British China haha. I would say about 90% of the people I meet know the bible stories, of the those 90% I would say 60% have been to church AT LEAST once, of that 60% I would guess only 15% consistently go to church as an active member... Yeah so people have knowledge of the stories of Jesus Christ. However most of the older generation (your generation) are buddhist or baaisahn (worship of ancestors). A lot people just do it due to tradition and not because they believe it. A lot of the younger generation (mine and younger) are Buddhist because there parents are kind of Buddhist too... So yeah not much real active religion but there are still some. The most annoying people to deal with in Hong Kong are three churches 1. The Almighty God's church (a church who believe Jesus was resurrected again in this day an again in mainland China as a women or something dumb) 2. JW's! Jehovah's Witnesses are up here 3. All private church-school-things they tend to anti people about our church... oh well not my issue :)

We have a lot of investigators right now but they aren't doing to hot so we need to find new ones soon but here is the list.
John BD (baptismal date) 10/27 will change because isn't ready, just doesn't get we have to change for the gospel, he is around 40 and has to take care of both his bedridden parents.
Kenneth BD 11/17 kind of looking at us to solve his family issues, has a good heart but not much of a desire to find the truth.
A Wing 22 years old, works to provide for his family (dad died), he is a little slow to the gospel but super willing to try and learn, BD 11/17.
Eric 17 years old, good kid super busy and has a desire to find the truth, BD 12/8.
Phillip is John's brother he also takes care of his mom and dad too, he is really busy with things and just hasn't made the biggest effort to find the truth, BD 11/23.
Jason 18 years old, his mom met the missionaries and thought we could help him, we meet with him and his friend Simon they are doing pretty well, Jason has a date for 11/17.

This are our BD investigators so we have a couple more and LA's we are working with but they are our main focus. So we teach about a total 20 lessons a week (street, member present and LA's). So its a lot of work here haha.

It was weird President Hawks made the move because the day before I "got in trouble" or at least that's I how I felt about it. Maybe he was looking at my desire to change or something. Regardless I am stoked to be here with Elder Allen!

A talk to look up is Looking Towards the Mark by Val D Hawks given at BYU devotional in 2003 or 2004. President Hawks gave it to me to help realize my real potential as an obedient missionary and I think I really understood what that meant when I studied his talk today. I think you would like it, it'
 Alright funny story of the week... So we went to visit this less active member and afterwards we have to walk about 10 blocks from his place to the MTC (subway) stop. Well we walked down the the 10 blocks next to this lady in the yellow, well actually she walked down the middle of the street blowing a whistle, while me and elder Allen walked down the side walk in confusion... She literally blew this weird whistle thing and walked down the middle of the road! SHE ALMOST GOT HIT like three of four times and caused some serious traffic. I think she thought here whistle would make the cars stop? I don't know it was super obnoxiously loud... I see the weirdest things here...
 Just a cool little sun set out side of my flat in Kwai Fong! The city is so beautiful!
 Sooo I found out I can grow a beard in like three hours now!!! WOOOO count your many blessings! ... not one of them... 
Anyways got a hair cut to day and its pretty ballin' not hair paste right now so it s really good.

October 14, 2013

haha Well your move prediction is wrong... Super wrong. I am now junior companion under Elder Allen (my older MTC district) and oh by the way I am Zone Leader.... Not sure how I ended up here. Last Monday I went into a interview with President Hawks and he talked how I cut a lot of corners. He told me he has seen me be a great missionary at times and just a missionary at others (when I cut corners). I went into the interview because my flat has had issues with "pillow talk" after lights out. We talked for my desire to change and become the missionary I could be. I figured I would stay district leader and nothing would change but the next day (last Tuesday), I got the announcement that I would be a new Zone Leader of a new zone. (The split Kowloon zone in to two, Kowloon west and east. I am in west side). Soooo yeah some big changes; I was told the decision to be zone leader was made the night before moves calls (which is not to common).... So President Hawks is expecting a lot out of me our something. Yeahhhhhh... ha Oh by the way I am serving in Cheung Sha Wan.
Well not much is really going on over here, just readjusting to the shock I am Zone Leader and getting to know my area. I am back in the city and Sheung Shui was called the "farm" so its nice to be back here :D

When I left Sheung Shui our two investigators were doing well, Ben was having some issues with Sabbath day but I think he should over come it pretty quickly. Nephew in my last lesson with him told us that he knew this church was true and got an answer. So he should be getting baptized at the end of the month. Freda has been busy but he is doing okay.

Cheung Sha Wan is a pretty blessed area, we currently have 6 baptismal dates, and like 5 other investigators! Sooooo this area should bring a lot of success. I am pretty stoked to be here. Actually today we had a huge ward BBQ and I got to know a lot of the ward really quickly they are pretty awesome. (I will send some pictures later).

I also got my date for when I come home... I go home June 20th, which means I only serve like 23 month and 2 week mission... Not very happy about that.

I really enjoyed General Conference, a lot of it touched on obedience and the Atonement which really are intertwined because we can't RETAIN our repentance unless we are obedient to what we promise to God. So thats something that I've been thinking about lately was the fact we need to retain our repentance not continuously try to get it back. 

 So this our family picture from my last flat (elder Halverson, Falk, me and Osborne). We took this because Elder Falk and I have moved. I am now severing in Cheung Sha Wan as a Zone Leader. Sooo yeah that was unexpected.
 I also said goodbye to my trainer Elder Ward this week, he finished his mission last Thursday (when I went Zone Leader, we were both freaking out because he watched me from a greenie until now...)
 Me and SiuPangYauh (that means child-- his nickname) 
So this is my new ward, today that had a big BBQ so I got to meet everyone. Elder Allen is my senior comp (he is the white guy with blue shirt in the middle). I am super stoked to be here, this ward is super welcoming and loving. Gonna be an awesome move.

October 6, 2013

We will watch (Conference) this weekend and I will watch in English. We watch it in our native language because we can better apply what we learn. I really would only understand about 80% of the stuff because it can get pretty deep and I will get lost...

A big mac meal with a milk shake large... is HKD$27.5... its pretty cheap. Pizza is around the same price I think? I don't get it because I could get more food from other places. Food here is SUPER cheap.

There really isn't a story this week. It was pretty boring. 

The only cool thing this week was during finding we met this kid name Jason. I just saw him and said hi and we started talking and stuff. He had no religious beliefs he went to a Christian school but didn't really believe it. So I talked about how he could personally know its true through prayer and he was willing to try it. So we sat down and talked a little more than he prayed. He said he got a good feeling and said he knew God was real. He had to leave though because he had tutoring in a minute but we are suppose to see him again this week soooo hopefully more comes from it.

Ben is doing okay but we had a big last week on Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, Law of Chastity, and Word of Wisdom. Things were going well, had a problem with Tea. But the big issue was Sabbath day. He is in the school club called the JCP its like a mini cop club thingy that's at the beginning of every month and the end and we had a big talk about following God's commandments and not going. Then Sunday 1 am he texts me he isn't coming and so I don't know right now if he will make his date. I think this was the test he was going to have and he made his choice hopefully we can over come it and move forward...

Nephew is doing alright we may need to push back his date a week. He just has been kind of lazy about things but we had a good lesson yesterday on following the prophet and some other small commandments and he seem more pumped BUT he is going to be gone from like Thursday until like next Monday so that puts a damper on things. Yay

Freda is interesting. EVERYTHING is getting in the way of us meeting. Last week he was able to go to a FHE with us but its like impossible to schedule him. Everything gets in the way. School, sports, family. 

Right now is a just a trial for all of our investigators and if they can make it through it they would be gold. Just gotta make it.

THE CRAZIEST THING this week is Elder Ward is going home... He finishes his mission this week. Super weird! He just trained like a year ago haha I am going to miss him.

 This is me and James (also at the BBQ), he is a member in our ward. He is 13 years old and super funny. We play soccer together all the time haha.
 This last Tuesday we had a holiday, well the Hong Kong people did, so went to a BBQ with ward and played lots of games. I was paired up with this girl (Kiki) to do a three legged race! She is so adorable! 
 Peace out!!! (BBQ and she is a member name Lee, most Chinese picture ever haha)
Elder Wards last Sunday in Hong Kong! HE was my trainer and probably has had the BIGGEST influence on my missionary work. Felix and Melody are people we taught and baptized. We got to see each other one last time it was awesome!

September 29, 2013

Things are going okay up here, little road blocks all over the place. Ben is doing great but didn't make it out to church this week because his Taoist school required him to come to something at his school on Sunday. Overall he is doing great, he asks like a million questions when we meet him so its a nice change of pace from others we have taught in the past. Freda missed church because he felt sick slash slept in because of it. He did come to FHE last night which made up for it. He is doing pretty great just SUPER busy because he is Form 6 (senior year). Nephew missed church as well do to work.... yeah so our big three didn't make it. Kind of sad... We had two others at church and a LA so it was okay...

Yeah we (missionaries in the flat) basically always speak English.... It's our first language sometimes we speak in Chinese and the Mandarins don't know what we are saying and sometime they speak and we try and guess what they are saying. Yeah its a weird dynamic we have... its like 20% chance we actually speak Chinese in our flat... 
Yeah so last week we had a massive Typhoon hit Hong Kong so we decided the best thing to do was go to this really cool waterfall but the path to get there was super flooded so we had to "Indian-Jones-It" and make our way there. Was a little sketchy and scary but so worth it. 
 It was soooooo beautiful and it was sooo big! 
 It's the missionary life haha
Us under the waterfall! It was soooo freaking cold, this is in a mountain by the way. The place is called Bride's Pool. You can google it. It was sooo fun!

September 22, 2013

Week was pretty normal nothing to crazy. We had a typhoon (I assume you know) come back this weekend but we didn't even get hit, the rest of Hong Kong got hit but we kind had a peaceful Sunday. (We had to stay in our flat because it was a 8/10, so really dangerous but nothing happened in our area....)

Back to people in my flat
Elder Falk/Halverson Cantonese
Me/Osborne Cantonese
Dy/Qu Mandarin

Yeah after my experience here no one on earth can tell me Americans are ignorant as to world status and culture because I've met people here who have never even heard of the Holocaust... How do you not know what that is... There was a WORLD WAR about it... A WORLD WAR... what the heck... 

Freda is doing good. This last week was Mid-Autumn Festival (last year I was in CWB with Elder Ward!) so Freda couldn't come to church, had to spend time with all of his family. He is doing good though, we text a lot. I am excited to teach him this week, I think he is really interested

Right now we are teaching Ben (the kid Elder Osborne found but didn't call back and we met under a bridge later) he is doing great has a baptismal date for Oct 27th. Nephew is a kid found by Osborne and his previous companion; he is doing okay. Still has some issues we need to find to help him progress even more but does have a baptismal date of Oct 20th. Then you know about Freda. We do have a couple more but they are still just kind of floating around Paul (or A-Louh), Alex, Sharon and a couple others.

Okay I want to make this clear.... All of Hong Kong is pretty modern. I don't think there is any where here that is like 3rd world or even 2nd world status (unless there is like some hidden bridge to teribitha...). Yeah I like the area its just different from the island but its all the same at the same time. Not to sure to explain it but I am content/happy with it.

Yeah my sisters "die" (go home) Dec 16th... That's right around the corner. BTW I found out I "die" after June... No specifics yet but I will probably know in Nov/Dec-ish. I am kind of hoping August :)

Well the general authority that came was Elder Wilson of the seventy. He was very powerful. I actually got to hear him a couple times. On Tuesday they had a leadership meeting with us (around 40 missionaries elders and sister in leadership callings) came he talked a lot of active service. The assistants and the Hawks also talked to. It was really powerful my favorite quote is from President Hawks, "Value the differences but pull together" something good to live by. He shared on group dynamics the four parts Forming, storming, norming and preforming. It was really cool, mostly because I remember learning about that at BYU haha. I will send some photo copies of my notes next week.. if I remember :D 

I just finished Helamen and I am in 3rd Nephi 10 (?) I think... Its really sad to read what Nephi and Helamen had to face as missionaries sometimes I feel like I relate to them.  I like reading about their missionary work just to the fact that I relate sooo much. 

 So yeah we had a roach problem in our flat... so me and a bunch of missionaries went APE and killed A TON. We had spray... and even a bomb and now we don't really have roaches any more:) sooo happy! BTW this is got to be one of the most scaring experiences of my entire life... When we started spraying places they came out in SWARMS it was like zombie warfare I was soooo disturbed by this...
 Another home made filter! Me and Elder Osborne (my comp) just trying to be as hipster as possible and I think we nailed it...
 ME and Elder Falk had a picture session last pday because we were bored.. Figured out a cool "hack" on my camera to create my own filters and this is one I got. We were just cheesin' all day haha
My MTC district one year to the day we've been Hong Kong (Sept 17th) we look way different now... Hahaa

September 15, 2013

Yeah our flat is pretty small it really is the size of your bedroom and maybe a part of the bathroom. Of course having 6 people there is legal, the church wouldn't do it if it was! Its a ton of fun but sometimes there are just WAY to many distractions with everyone in my apartment... So these are the people and ages
Me 1 year and Osborne 3 months (in Hong Kong)
Falk 6 months and Halvorsen 1.5 months
Dy 8 months and Qu 2 weeks (there names are funny we just call them DQ haha)

Yeahhh so they are all pretty young haha

Yeah it was sad to hear Lee got anti'ed but its nothing new, we find our ways to deal with it.  

Some people think I am a "mixy" meaning half something and Chinese but a lot of people also think I'm British, Mexican (thought I would get away from this one here in Hong Kong), Latino, Filipino, Indian, Persian, pretty much everything. The best part is when I tell them I am American and they don't believe me. They always say, "But you have black hair and black eyes like me!" Some Chinese people really think all Americans have blonde or brown hair with blue or green eyes... haha No I don't think I have Chinese in me. I don't have many similar features! I have HUGE eyes, Chinese people talk about them all the time! They think they are amazing haha. My nose and my teeth also make me different... so no, no Chinese in me.

Cool story of the week for ya!
So me and Elder Osborne were finding (like normal) and it was a 7.5 hour finding day (that's a long time to find if you have forgotten). We pretty much had no success for the first I don't know maybe 5 hours... Not a big deal haha. So we were back finding in Fan Leng (where we live) and I say this kid and I decided to talk to him. At first he wasn't really to talkative then I started joking with him and gave me his name Freda (FREE-DUH is how you say it). He is 17 in form 6 (so a senior) so talked about maybe helping him with English for his DSE (that big test they have) and then he was asking me all about it. Then it got on the subject of why am I here then we talked why do I believe in this and then we sat him down and taught him about prayer and our relationship with Heavenly Father. Then scheduled him to tour the Tai Po chapel (where we hold English class) on Thursday (we contacted him on Tuesday forgot that little tid bit of information). So Thursday comes around we take him to the church and he is just kind like "alright cool" not really interested. Then we started the first lesson, he didn't seem really that interested and seemed to zone out a little bit. Then I kind of dropped my testimony on him with Jesus Christ Atonement, just went all out with everything I had at him. Talked about me and my use of the Atonement, its purpose, why we need, how it helps us, what is specifics are, and finally closed it with I know its true and can help you have more peace than you have ever had before. He then changed in the lesson and had real intent. The question that really showed he changed was, "Well what if I am Christian and my family is all Buddhist will they be okay with that?" We talked about that but that question really proved to me he had interest. We didn't finish the first lesson because we spent so much time on the Atonement (which I am grateful for) and committed him to come to church. That night he text me (in Chinese), "Thanks for meeting with me and teaching me about God, goodnight --Freda" That was on of those few moments on my mission where I have felt like some cares about what I am doing here. I don't know how to explain it but we don't get much love from strangers and it was so nice to see that for once on my mission. On Sunday he on accident went to the wrong address, our chapel is in Fan Leng but he went to the Tai Po (English class chapel) one instead. Luckily I called Elder Falk and picked him up and brought him to the church. Get this Freda also brought his friend Kolor (a girl). Elder Falk said he had and awesome time and the ward welcomed him in amazingly! I also text him that evening if he liked church and said he loved it. He said he made new friends and thought it was great! I am soooo excited to see him again this week! YAY

So right now we have 4 investigator: Ben, Nephew, Freda, Alex
Ben is doing great and we are giving him a baptismal date this Tuesday for Oct 27th and he is just golden. Gonna ask him to start trying to talk to his mum so we don't have another "Peter/David" issue again.
Nephew is doing okay. We changed his baptismal date to Oct 20th (he chose it actually). I feel like he has a concern that he hasn't opened up about and me and Elder Osborne are just guessing at it. I don't know if he will progress much further until we figure this out
Freda... I like Freda haha. I just met him and as you read in the story he is a pretty cool kid. Gonna meet him later this week
Alex is an interesting one. He met with the previous missionaries for nine weeks straight and when I came kind of fell off the planet and now he is back this week. I don't really know his interest level so I will give you more on him later
We have a couple other investigators but they are all so-so.

Yeah over all things are great and I am happy

Just had our quarterly interview with President Hawks and loves to end with questions and this was mine. In D&C the scripture "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly..." "let" implies that it is a natural thing and if it is a natural thing there should be a way to increase the virtue we have in our life. I then gave an example of working out, if develop a good plan things will move faster than just sitting around all day. He then gave me these two scriptures Mosiah 3:19 and Helaman 3:25. Talked a lot about yielding or submitting to the Lord because in the reality of all things virtue probably comes at a rate we are not prepared for (since it is from God).... so in other words President Hawks is a smart man and taught me a lot. haha

September 8, 2013

Food is in the living room because that's were we got space okay? Haha we live in a tiny area... My flat has 6 elders in a space MAYBE the size of your older master room and a half of your bathroom. Actually probably smaller.

I go on splits with the Elders only to check up on them and train them not to get to know the ward or their investigators (those aren't the purposes of splits). A kind of cool story for the week was when me and Elder Dy went on exchanges. He actually is a Mandarin missionary and I found this lady who spoke Mandarin and we were going to pick her up later but to kill time we went finding. So he speaks a different language than me so you can imagine the difficulties that brought upon talking to others. We stopped this kid named Lee and  we talked to him. Elder Dy started of Mandarin and introduced who were are and what we do and I understood all of it in Mandarin (give or take a couple words). Lucky for us the guy was from Gwongxi (an area in mainland which speaks Cantonese -a little different than HongKong- and Mandarin). So we taught this guy in two different languages at the same time. I would say something in Cantonese then Elder Dy in Mandarin. It was cool experience got to see God help me with the gift of Tongues for a bit. We were suppose to go play basketball with him and his friends today but his friends anti'ed him. Elder Dy called him and he acted super weird and said he didn't want to meet. He was like 23ish years old so he might of talked to his friends or a university professor. Its alright, thats what happens here.

Things are moving right along here. I just realized how average my mission has been. 6 months in CWB, two senior comps. 5.5months in Aberdeen one senior comp and then I trained. Then I step trained and DL... Pretty average mission if you ask me (was talking to Elder Falk about it yesterday)... So my theory is now I am going to get moved around like crazy! :D

Ben is the one we met on the bike trail. I wrote a little bit to dad about him but to answer you questions he is 16, lives with his mom and grandma (parents are divorced), doesn't have a  big religious back ground and his mom is Buddhist.

Sad story on Billy. He really wants to meet with us and come to church but his parents won't let them. They use like every excuse in the book, he is busy, he has tutoring, he needs to find a job but they let him go to activities (church ones). Just no missionaries or church. We plan to meet him through FHE at his friends house (Jack)

Ben is just golden as all get out. On Saturday we talked to him on the phone and he asked what is he suppose to wear to church because last week he came in a t shirt and like sweats or something. We told him some nice clothes. That night he went an bought some nice black  Hong Kong style slack/jeans and a nice button up shirt. He looked good haha. He shows a lot of potential! Nephew is doing pretty well just seems a bit shaky. He will take a couple steps forward (in our eyes) but then we realize he hasn't moved all that for or has actually digressed. So we are trying to help him more and I think we can.

Only time I really use English is when I talk to other missionaries or when I use it as a finding tool. I will talk to them and ask if they speak English (most Hong Kong people can speak a little) then I compliment them and it makes it less awkward and plus who doesn't like a compliment on their English from a handsome white guy... Seriously I have been called lengjai (literally translates to handsome boy) or handsome boy so many times its not even funny... Actually its still funny every single time haha

Zone Conference is every quarter, Zone training meetings are every month. So for Zone Conference three Zones meet in Kowloon Tung and there is a bunch of training done by President Hawks, AP's and sometimes ZL's. Its normally a 5 hour thing. Its intense. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

September 3, 2013

The tired thing is just being a missionary its not really that big of a deal. The second I go outside or start talking to people I am fine its just during those dull moments (ie bus rides, boring church talks, etc) I fall a sleep.

The roach problem... Yeah we haven't really done much about that. Just to busy to care... gross and sad. We just kill em when we see em. So that's how that is doing haha. The are just in our kitchen but our food isn't in there (food is like in our living room/bedroom area).

Billy is doing okay but he didn't come to church this week because the last week he has been in Mainland with his family and got back on Monday. I called him yesterday and it sounds like his parents are against him meeting with us because when I tired to schedule him he kept saying, "Oh my parent won't let me go out then" or "My parents want me to study then" something along those lines BUT he is a friend of a member so I plan on using that to meet him again.

So the whole door knocking thing sucks because everyone works all the time and if they are home they don't want to be bothered soooo I just don't like it. I like bumping into people "accidentally" on the street and talking to them soooo much easier and understandable for these people. I have gone door knocking like 10 - 15 times on my mission and have only gotten into two houses and taught only one real lesson with two prayers... It's harder and I don't like it.

I got two stories for ya here is the first one

Sooooo last Tuesday we were going to Siu families house to share a message and get dinner. We had to go under the street through an underpass. In the underpass there is a bike lane on the left, a fence in the middle and then a walking path on the right. So we are walking under this underpass and this kid comes around the corner and goes down the bike side. I wave to say hi and his eyes get huge and he turns around and speed walks away... I was like, "Wow scared that kid pretty bad." He then wraps around the fence and comes up to Elder Osborne (like two feet away... he got really close) and says, "Why didn't you call me back?" I was beyond confused and I could tell so was Elder Osborne. So I started talking to him and apparently he met the Elder Osborne on the street a week before and said he would call him back later but never did or never got a hold of him. So Elder Osborne pulls out his planner and says, "Maybe you can rewrite you number" Before he finishes his sentence he takes the planner out of his hand, flips to the back, and points to a name and says, "Here is my number!" I almost started laughing. I then scheduled him for the following day (Wednesday), we then taught him a lesson on Wednesday, Thursday, he came to church on Sunday and we taught a lesson after church.... He is sooooooo golden. We plan to give him a baptismal date this Friday when we see him again. He is super funny, talkative, brave and cool haha. He is a great kid! When I was getting to know him I asked what he liked to do he said he like to do maaihkeih which is a charity here where kids sell stickers for change and all the change goes to a charity. He said "I love helping people, that's my favorite thing!" And I was like wellllll you are in the right church haha

The second one was last night! We planned to meet a LA and play basketball and we also scheduled a bunch of random kids we met on the street, including the Mandarin kid. So us and the Mandarin elders went and they all didn't show up... So we decided to basketball find. We played with these two kids and it was pretty fun got talking with them and then I saw two more kids on the other court and invited them to play. Turns out one of them is the Mandarin kid I contacted two weeks ago and gave to the Mandarins but he was to busy to meet! They hit it off and they plan to meet again soon! It was crazy because we haven't made contact with Hui (his name) in a while and he just happen to be there! It was crazy and it was a good way to end the day.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

August 25, 2013

I'm soooo tired! Were you constantly tired on your mission? I've like mastered the art of instantly falling asleep anywhere in an attempt to catch up on sleep... It’s crazy how fast I can do it EXCEPT when I lay down to go to bed every night. Then I just lay there and think about EVERYTHING. The other night I pondered the lyrics of "If you could hie to Kolob" ... Bad idea. That just confused myself for like three days.
As far as I know Dicky is doing okay but they need to push back his date because he does have a problem with believing in one true church. (I knew this when I left) He pointed out other churches’ and faiths do HAVE truth to them and that's whats holding him up. He thinks if he ONLY believes in this one church he will miss other truths from other faiths. He doesn't truly get that there is one answer but they are working on that. 
So about the cockroaches... We bought an axe deodorant spray can and a lighter and just light them on fire when we see them.... I probably shouldn't be telling you this. We need to by a bomb and you are probably right about the flat being infected but I can't really do much about it. We are lucky it’s not THAT bad, its only like 10 or 15 we see a day (and kill with fire hehe).
Let me share a story of a golden referral that we received this weekend! This last Saturday we had a music activity in our ward, where everyone would show off their talents. (They even asked the missionaries to do a piece). Half way through this kid gets up and beat boxes and it’s AMAZING! He was a nonmember but his friend asked him to perform. So afterwards I went and talked to him. Found out his name is Billy and he taught himself to beat box over the last two years. I complimented him on his beat boxing and he was like I can teach you! (So I might be learning to beat box...) Then we talked some more and I invited him to other activities for this upcoming week (English class and soccer night) so he gave me his phone number. Then Elder Osborn (my comp) gave him a tour and showed him the baptismal font and he asked "So how do you get baptized?" and "What do you have to do to get baptized?" We talked a bit more then invited him to church then headed home. We get to church yesterday 15 minutes early (like normal) and he is sitting in the chapel already! The night before every young man was asking him to teach them how to beat box and so all the young men and him were just chatting it up. It almost looked like he was a member by the way he was talking to them it was awesome! Then he went to all the classes (sacrament, gospel class, young men) afterwards we pulled him aside and asked Peter (he is a RC of two years) to help us. Instead two more young men come in and help us! We wanted to teach him a short lesson on how you can know this church is true but he asked a lot of questions so we just taught him the first lesson. Gave him an invitation to read, pray and keep meeting with us. He accepted. We promised he could know it was true and he said he would try. When we started walking down stairs (our church building is two stories btw) Billy and Elder Osborn were talking (I was talking to Peter) he told Elder Osborn, "Yeah I think this could be true!" So he is our golden referral and I am so happy!
Yeah soooo for all the finding hours we've had these last two weeks (which is a lot by the way) God rewarded us with this kid!

Our current investigators that are progressing are Billy (also a new investigator) and Nephew (yes that's his real name). We have a couple other investigators but we don't really meet all that often so hopefully we can fix that.
I try to help Elder Osborn and I push him a lot to help him improve; I just hope understands what I am doing and not just trying to "run" everything. I've tried to explain to him my method on pushing him (like I did Elder Martinez) and I think he understands. When we go finding (just on the street) I try to talk to someone by myself and he talks to another person so we can meet as many people as possible but he normally just follows me around and talks to whomever I stop. So now when he starts talking I walk away and let him handle it. This is the method Elder Ward used on me and I used on Elder Martinez. It guarantees he will learn how to find quickly, pick up Chinese faster and become a good teacher but I think he might feel I am just leaving him hanging. I've explained and I think it is helping him. (I got him to teach two street lessons on his own this week). So I'm serving him but pushing him a lot. Ehhh being in a training position is a lot of work and being District Leader over a bunch of young missionaries is a lot more work haha... When did I become the mature one to handle this?
Well a typical day in Hong Kong is pretty much the same everywhere... We wake up get ready, studies then we go find or teach lessons if they are planned. That's really it. We pray and ask were to find or sometimes (more recently it’s been like this- we just walk... We do have paakmuhn (door knocking) areas but I don't like them they really aren't that effective with Chinese culture. So we normally go street contacting. We do have activities up here to bring in investigators like English class and soccer night. We have other ones coming up like dance class (we won't attend haha). Overall it’s going okay. 

 So this last Monday we had a special activity called EEFY (English Especially for youth) we planned a "war day" which capture the flag and a water balloon fight... But I need a hair cut sooo I asked Elder Townsten to help me out and instead of get my hair wet in the sink I thought it would be more fun to take a sick picture with a water ballon hitting me in the head!

 This is my first missionary given hair cut and I asked for Hong Kong style and it came out pretty epic. We were just chillen on the side of the church and I'm in a trash bag so I wouldn't get hair on me... Yeah it looked really funny and everyone was laughing at me (including the Chinese kids that were there early)
 Then the water balloon fight started.... And let me tell you I am SOOOOOO glad I got a water proof camera because these pictures were awesome!
 So we quickly ran out of water balloons like you would imagine with 30 + people and so it turned into an all out bucket war! It was INTENSE haha
No one was safe...

 Like I said no one was safe from the buckets at any given time... Even during group pictures people were getting attacked!

 Me and Elder Townsten didn't want the fun to end so we kept taking crazy slow-mo pictures with my camera and hitting each other with water... I got like 100 pictures of just me and him doing this to each other...

So Sister Mckown took this picture and it just made us look super gangster so I thought it was funny. The big Asian in the middle is A-Ho he is going to Snow College (in Utah) this week. All the white kids surrounding him are missionaries... By the way everyone commented on how Mexican I look... I'm in China and people still think I'm Mexican. (By the way my hair doesn't look that crazy... the water just made it look like I greased it back...)