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

April 6, 2014

I am doing well. Tired and exhausted from meetings this week but well. I am very excited for conference this week.... It is the only weekend I get to physically rest (mentally and spiritually I get destroyed by some of the talks...).

As you know as a Zone Leader we have a lot of meetings and things we must organize but the first week of every month is just a truck load of work and soooo exhausting. So this Tuesday we took the Tong's over to the bishops home (the sisters came with an investigator too) and had dinner then a message. Wednesday from 9am to 3 pm President Hawks has a training meeting with the Zone Leaders and Sister training leaders. We are training on the things to help the zones, give reports on our zone, talk about our plans/goals for the next month, and then President Hawks normally has a discussion part at the end (which is always edifying -- This is all in preparation for Zone training meeting on Friday). Then Wednesday night we also have English class... Thursday we have weekly planning to help prepare for the next week. Planning for lessons and other things. (For us it normally takes three hours). Then Thursday night we meet with Brother Tong, a high councilor, to discuss all the current baptismal dates in the Stake and other info... (Normally an hour). Then FRIDAY we have zone training meeting from 10am to 1pm where we share from what President Hawks trained us on, give them the goals/plans for the next month, then train them in some missionary skills (teaching, finding, etc). THEN that night we meet with President Hawks and President Li (the stake president) to report on the zone and discuss things. We report on all returning LA's, all current baptismal dates, all recent converts, ward/mission relationships and a lot of other things... Normally an hour and half... THEN ON top of the that we have to meet with our investigators, less actives and recent converts through out the week.... OH AND ON TOP OF THAT we have to do language pass offs with missionaries (a program set-up for the Zone Leaders to help all other missionaries Chinese/English grow...). SO my point is the first week of every month is the CRAZIEST week every time.... I am soooo tired :O

Basically that is this week...

Sister Tong got confirmed at church this week and she as me and Elder Groesbeck to participate as well, so that was awesome! Her husband gave an awesome blessing and I am really excited to teach ABL's (after baptism lessons) and talk about the temple more.

Fanny and Patrick are doing awesome. They couldn't come to church BUT they really want too. They should however be able to make at least part of conference.

 Hey this is me and Elder Falk out in a part of our area Olympic! It has a crazy view, check it out!
 This is the night time view of Hong Kong island from Olympic! Its so beautiful. Hong Kong is a pretty magical place and you will never find the views you find here!
 We also got to stop by the temple today so just a quick temple pic!
Ya... since my camera is water proof I decided to take a picture from the little fountain in the front. Haha one of the missionaries with us was freaking out when she watched me just place my camera in the fountain ha.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

March 30, 2014

Yes Sister Tong got baptized this week! It was awesome and Brother Tong was able to baptize her. It was definitely the greatest thing on my mission. There is something special about a family getting baptized to really show you that your mission was worth it. It is even cooler that I got to see them from day one too! It was great.
 
Anna and Billy are still doing well (their kids Adam and Eddie). They couldn't come to church this week, which stinks, because they were in Mainland again. However last week we had a solid lesson and they said if they knew it was true then they would be baptized. They also told us that Anna and Billy are reading together! So they are still doing great, they are just a huge handful... So hectic.
 
Fanny and Patrick are doing awesome. Last Sunday they basically told us they knew this was all true. Unfortunately in April they have to go to work in Mainland so we will see how we can contact them this month. They said when they come back they will be at church.
 
We are still teaching some people but its kind of that time were we need to find new people to teach. Sooooo finding WOOOOOOOOOOOO! :)








 So me and Elder Wong went on 24's (meaning we switch companions for 24 hours to train someone younger). It was during the gnarly storm and you can tell by my hair it was humid and gross but it was a lot of fun haha.
 
 
 
 
 
This however is probably is the greatest picture from my mission! This is the Tong family. We have been meeting with them since November and Sister Tong got baptized yesterday. Her husband was able to baptized, which was probably the greatest part! Defiantly the greatest part of my mission is seeing a family come together and follow Christ!
(Elder Groesbeck, Me, Katie, Brother Tong and Sister Tong)
 So this week end we had some crazy weather but last night was the craziest. It was raining so hard and lighting so hard! This picture on the left is at 8pm with lighting the one on the right is two seconds later... It was crazy... OH by the way it HAILED last night! People told me it hasn't hailed in like 20 year or something like that... It was crazy...
 

March 2, 2014

Its been warm here the last couple of days but its cold out right now and has some light rain. Today we aren't doing to much I just measurements done on my suit, emailing, getting a hair cut then playing some soccer with members and missionaries. Busy but fun day.
 
I'm so anti trunkie haha. We make so many jokes about it but me and Elder Groesbeck talked about it you can be trunkie or you can come to the realization that you are coming home. They are two different things and one of them is okay. I realize I am coming home and that does not affect me (more or less makes me a little sad). Its a mental thing and in the end its whatever you want it to be. I am happy to be here for the next 100 + days I got left and I am going to hold them sacred.

Yeah Elder Holland was freaking intense... That's the best way to explain it. He teaches very well and use D&C's format of "show love, rebuke, then build." He started to talk about our service and how important it is. How much he loves us, how grateful the church is for us, this that and the other thing. It made us all feel great THEN he threw down the way Elder Holland does and man... it was intense. The biggest thing he taught was from 1st Nephi 1. He told us it teaches us the model of the restoration in a simple 20 verses
1. Prophet
2. Prayer
3. Vision
4. Divine Beings
5. A Book
6. Warning
7. Killed, attempted 
Blew my mind... Shows how much of the gospel I really grasp. He taught us a let that we need to know the gospel more and that the reason President Hinkley wanted PMG is because he thought the missionaries didn't know the gospel well enough. (Due to people just memorizing things, it lost passion, application and some missionaries just said things without finding out first). It was crazy.
Three quotes I liked: (I am going off memory at the moment sorry)
1. "God weeps when he see one of his Shepard's leave the fold" (Talking about any missionary going inactive after his mission)
2. "You do not have the right to desecrate that name plaque and leave this church after finishing a mission" (talking of true conversion and committing for life once you have served a mission)
3. "I have come half way around the world, I am authorized to say 'I love you'" (at the beginning when he was building us up before rebuking us)

Alan well we are trying to still me with him. He is a little depressed right now from a work circumstance and he will text us but its been hard to meet with him.
 
A Yut is still doing okay. She is still very Taoist and doesn't want to switch but she is still willing to talk to us and hear us out for the time being.

Summer is doing awesome, we turned her over to the sisters because she is 24 years old. They taught her the full Restoration and she at the end said she thought Joseph Smith's vision was true. They asked why and she replied, "I don't know just a feeling." I am hoping they keep meeting with her. She is wanna of those people you meet and feel like she would be an awesome member and really needs this in their life. (I mean we feel that for everyone but just a bit extra for her).
 
Sister Tong was sick this last week, she tends to get really bad migraines therefore she can't come out sometimes. She wants to push back her date, she told her husband who told us at church. I think she is ready and so does Elder Groesbeck so we will see her this week. It might not be on the 9th but it will be in the this month, I have faith.
 
Then there is Sister Au! She is gotta be one of my favorite people every haha. She is from mainland but fromt he Gwong Xian area so she also speaks Cantonese. She hasn't been to church in a week and we didn't see her the week before because she was busy/sick. However on Saturday we gave her a call and said we were near her home and she told us we could meet her at the park at the base of her home. When we met her she gave us some ice cream haha. We talked to her for a bit then introduced us to two friends and we talked to them for a bit and helped them with English. Then we started to see how she was doing with the Gospel and such. Two Sundays ago I gave her a Book of Mormon and she has already read like the first 50 pages or so! She is so awesome and she talked about how it makes her happy to read it. She says she doesn't understand a lot of it but she still always feels better after reading it. Anyways she is doing awesome and progressing so much soooo coool :D

我希望你會有好好嘅星期!我非常之愛你!
艾長老

Feburary 24, 2014

Things in Hong Kong are doing well. Me and my new comp Elder Groesbeck and just having a ton of fun out here in Cheung Sha Wan. Finding and meeting all sorts of new people. We have already made 3 new friends who seem pretty committed.
 
Alan  was this guy we bumped into on the street when we were trying to find a place. We quickly traded numbers and that was it. That night we called him and he was like "Ya know give me a call when you are in the area and if I am free we can talk." So we tried it the next day and he met with us. He is pretty cool and seem s to have some interested. We talked to him about his religious views and if the church could help him. He thinks so, so we plan to see him this week.
 
A Yut. I told you about her last week, she was the one that cried when I shared about Grandpa Arrington and how I know I will see him again. Well we saw her again this week and met her daughter Sophia (who by the way is the most adorable thing on earth) and of course her son Ben was there. We talked for a while and she still is fight the Christianity for herself but wants her daughter to go. So we will keep working with her, I hope you heart will soften up and give the church a chance. I think she will!
 
Finally is Summer Chan. She was a pretty interesting contact. I walked through a park with Elder Groesbeck on like our second day together. She had like a little one year old daughter looking at me and I waved at the little girl and she waved back. Actually she walked towards me (the little girl) so I squatted down to talk to the little girl and so did the mum. She was super young and we talked. I didn't have much time so I told her who I was and why I was here. She seemed kind of interested so I traded numbers. This last week we rescheduled her and brought her to the church and introduced her to our friend Jacqueline  (20 year old member). She told us that she was a single mum and she really just wanted to help her daughter and thought maybe this could be the way. It was a pretty awesome lesson and she was suppose to come to church this week but her baby ended up being sick. We are going to see her again this week though.
 
So many little blessings coming our way here in Cheung Sha Wan. I love this place!
 
Sister Tong also got an answer that this church is true.
 
How is your zone doing?
Zone right now is doing okay.... February in Hong Kong is always a bad month due to Chinese New Year soooo many people leave and some you never see again. Lucky me and Elder Groesbeck didn't get to affected. Zone over all is doing okay as far as teaching goes BUT we got another 4 baptisms in Feb!!! YAYA 4 in Jan and 4 in Feb super stoked for our zone
Where is your from? 
I think you forgot to write comp? MY comp Elder Groesbeck is from Orem Utah. This is his last move, he is pretty awesome. We get along swell!
How r ur investigators doing?
They are doing pretty well. The greatest thing that has happened this week was Sister Tong told us she knows these things are true. She told us back in January there was a weekend she was sick and she didn't want to go to church but they night before she prayed about it. Her husband and daughter went to church without her because she still wasn't feeling hot. However she had a dream of a friend that had passed a way a while back and in the dream she talked about how her friend said she had returned to Heavenly Fathers presence. She woke up and said she got dressed and a immediately went church. She had taken that as her answer. Such a cool story. I love teaching them so much. She is definitely getting baptized on March 9th

I forgot to tell you but these week marks the 65th year of missionary work in Hong Kong and Elder Holland came to Hong Kong to speak and tomorrow he will speak to the missionaries. And let me tell you wow he is freaking intense! When he walked in he shook some peoples hand and he came up to the man sitting in front of us and said "Watch out the missionaries are sitting behind ya!" He shook Elder Groesbeck's and mine hand and he also shook A Wing our recent converts hand! When he walked away he gave Elder Groesbeck a little noogie! Hahah it was pretty funny.

He also shared three points as to why everyone in this dispensation is a Pioneer!
1. This is the first dispensation told not to run - We are to stand our ground against Babylon!
2. This is the greatest and the last dispensation - We have ALL of the gospel restored and it will NEVER be taken from us again
3. WE must prepare the world for the coming of the Lamb - No dispensation has had such a great and challenging invitation in all of history of man.
 
I took a ton of notes it was intense but this was my favorite

"I know this church to be true more certainly than I know I stand here at the pulpit and you sitting there in front of me."
 
If that is not a testimony, I am not sure what is...

It was pretty awesome. I am excited and a little scared for tomorrow when he speaks to us missionaries haha.

Feburary 10, 2014

How were your meetings this last week? training meeting etc.
They went pretty well, was just super busy this week getting everything together. Last Wednesday we had Mission Leadership council (MLC). Were we talk about our zone and whats been going on. Report back to president Hawks and the other Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. That went fine, learned a lot of things again. Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) went super well. We did a lot of stuff to get people stoked and it worked pretty well. I got most of it on video (sorry but I can't send it, the file is to big). So that was great too. Finally the meeting with President Lee and President Hawks went well, nothing to report really. Just talked about the wards and their missionaries, the LA's we are working with as well as the RC's too and then we talked about what can be done to hasten the work here. Always interesting to attend those.

Is Hong Kong just one big stake? 
Hong Kong Mission currently has four stakes: Hong Kong Island, New Territories, Kowloon and Tolo Harbor (as well as international branch on the island and the district in Macau).
Does anyone serve on all those little islands?
They fall under certain missionaries areas but most people don't go out to them because the population is low and normally annoying/hard to re-meet with those people. For example when I served in Aberdeen, Llama Island was in my area but I never went there for finding because it just wasn't worth it.
Why do you think you will stay in your present area the rest of you mission? That is a long time to be in one area - about 8 months. 
Well President Hawks' goal is to have an AVG of 7 months in an area (as recommend by Elder Anderson when he came last year). So I figured I would just stay here. I love this area so I don't really want to move any ways.
Do you think you will train again? 
Weird you should ask... So last night I met with President Hawks and he asked me to train (side note I had a dream about this last Monday). I accepted the call to train. However this morning he said the Spirit told him otherwise and I was to say Zone Leader and not train... Soooo no I am not training at the moment. (I was just told I wasn't training like an hour ago.... so crazy).
Do you like going on splits?
Yeah its alright. Kind of depends on the situation. If you are going to help someone train it can be up lifting and enjoyable but if you are going because someone is struggling it can be pretty depressing. So I like it 50% of the time haha.
and do you think the other missionaries like the change?
I think its about the same for them too.
How are your sisters? When I served they were either whiners or hard workers - no in between. Mine are pretty good. Sister Wilcox and Sister Tidwell. Not much to complain about, pretty normal sisters. haha not sure what to say to that.
How was the baptism? did your other investigator come to see and feel of the spirit there? The baptism was AWESOME. A Wing was super nervous but Fantasy (the Sisters RC from like 2 weeks ago) helped him out. He was so happy, I will send the pictures later. We were able to get the whole Tong Family to come. It was awesome and they are all doing awesome as well. I LOVE THEM <3
Here is the story of the week, its pretty cute actually.
So we were teaching Tong family after the baptism, A Wing was there to share a little too. So we planned to teach keeping the Sabbath day holy to help Sister Tong prepare for baptism and such! So we were getting towards the end of the lesson and I was sharing my personal experience about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Letting them know that not matter the sacrifice its worth it but in the middle of my testimony I look over to Katie (the 7 year old) and she makes a weird face then I hear this ppffffffffffffffffffffffft pft.... (she farted) I look at Brother Tong then Sister Tong... They both kind of have a blank look... Then I try to keep going like nothing happened but I snickered and everyone died.... Just we all started laughing sooooo freaking hard. Oh my goodness it was the funniest thing to ever happen, I swear! The lesson ended well and they committed to it. But aw man that was sooo funny.


As far as visiting Hong Kong. If you can come that is fine. You don't need to bring everyone that is just unreasonable of me to request that. I would like you to meet my friends I've made and I... may have told everyone you are coming already ha :D



 Hey everyone check out my gang!! Ha this is the Kowloon West side Zone! We currently got 24 missionaries got some Americans, Australians and Hong Kong people!









 One of the greatest blessings of this week has got to be seeing A Wing get baptized. He has been meeting with us for quite a while and he was very excited to finally be baptized.



This is the Tong Family! They are like my favorite people in the world. Brother Tong is an RM (served in Hong Kong) and his wife/daughter are not members. Everyone at church loves Sister Tong and Katie. Actually Katie wants to get baptized when she turns 8 in Sept! Her mum is setting a pretty great example by deciding to get baptized in March!
Katie is basically like my sister in Hong Kong! She is nuts and probably the funniest thing in Hong Kong.

Feburary 2, 2014

So how many elder and sisters are in your zone?
We have a total of 24 missionaries (including my companionship)
6 Sisters and 18 Elders (we also cover the Assistants and the office elders in our zone)
 
Do you over see all the languages? 
I only oversee English and Chinese (Cantonese). We currently have no Mandarins in our zone. If you are a foreigner I have to pass them off in Cantonese and if they are a local Hong Kong person they do the same pass offs in English. (PMG talks a lot about if you serve in your country but you have a English speaking companion this is a good opportunity to learn English, so we will help them too).
 
Do you meet with the President monthly ? 
Yes, roughly ever month. Ever month we have mission leadership council which beings all the missionary leaders of Hong Kong (ie the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders) together and we discuss how each month went, how numbers look, issues we ran into, success we had and the President Hawks will also expound more for the mission. (That is actually Feb 5th). Then like every month to every other month we meet with President Hawks and President Lee (the stake president and sometimes his assistants come) and discuss how Kowloon Stake is doing as far as missionary work, ward relationships and other things on their agenda. (That is on Feb 7th). Takes a lot of our time to prepare and do these meetings but WOW I've learned a lot of how the church is ran and how much this work is looked upon. So interesting.
 
Are you still enjoying being a zone leader? 
Yes I still enjoy it, I hope I stay here in Cheung Sha Wan and as Zone Leader for the rest of my mission (and there is a pretty good chance of that). I like seeing the mission more as a whole rather than just my area, which I think a lot of missionaries don't see until the become a leader. It also gives me a lot of chance to serve which is nice, between language pass offs to exchanges I get a lot of time to help people grow and its been pretty rewarding. However I can say it can give you a little more stress because before I just had to worry about my junior comp and my area. Now I have to worry about 22 other missionaries, there areas, etc etc. I like it though.

Do you think you will have that problem or do you speak enough English that it is easy for you to separate and you remember English words?
My English sucks but I can speak fine. Writing on the other hand, well you can see from my letters my grammar has gone to poop. haha. I should have that big of an issue, Hong Kong is pretty international. Especially the island (which was like half my mission). I do struggle some times in my English to explain things because I can't remember words or common phrases but I should be fine.
 
So when is exactly Chinese New years? 
Well its like a week long celebration. It started last Saturday.
is it a day or a time period?
Like six days or so
 
Why do they go to the mainland during this time?
Well a lot of people have family up there soooo they go see their family. That's really all I hear from them at least. Plus Mainland seems like a pretty legit place to party... haha I really don't know sorry.
 
 what did you do? As I recall your first Chinese New Year you were in your apartment doing a heavy duty cleaning - waxing the floors.
Well because no one is out on the first day of Chinese New Years (CNY) the mission will have a deep clean of their flat... you literally clean freaking everything all day... it's soooo intense and can take for ever if your flat is dirty like ours. We started at 10 am and finished at 10:24pm... It sucked BUT this year I didn't have to wax YAYA d(^_^)b
 
What mps and rclas? It sounds like you are still being able to teach a lot . 
Mp's = Member present lessons RCLA's = Recent convert or Less active lessons
 
Any news on any of your investigators. You should be having a baptism coming up this next week.
Investigators are doing great. CNY makes things a little hard because a lot of people are going for like a week and half in mainland sooo we can't contact them BUT we still had a decent amount of success. A Wing is having his baptismal interview this week and he is so ready. He is totally getting baptized next Sunday and we are all super stoked! Sis Tong is doing great too! She needs to read a little bit more but she is really starting to pick up interest and she came to church all dressed up this week too! Normally she has come in like jeans and a sweater but she came in a dress. It was cool. All of our other investigators are doing okay, we didn't seem them this week due to CNY.

So in Hong Kong during Chinese New Years (last Saturday) all missionaries must do a very DEEP clean of their flat. It took us all day from 10am to 10pm but I was reward with the most beautiful sunset I've seen in a long time. The whole sky was purple, pink and blue with the moon right in the middle. Wish you all could have seen it.
 At the Bishop's home A Wing brought some chocolate moose and Cheese cake moose! By the way he is a trained chef! He made this by hand, his specialty is in cakes, pies and dessert breads. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD AND SOOO FULL OF SUGAR!!! :D
 Yesterday (still Chinese New Years) we went to our bishop's home to eat dinner and to celebrate a little! (Bishop Kwok is in the red) We also brought Edward (back left corner) a member preparing to leave for his mission to Seattle on Feb 10, our investigator A Wing (he is getting baptized on Feb 9th! He is in the middle back with the glasses), the sisters came with their investigator Cherie (I think that's how you spell is it haha). It was pretty awesome!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 26, 2014

Things are going pretty great out here in Hong Kong, our zone has had a ton of blessings (and trials of faith). So its been a pretty good month. In the reporting month of January we had 4 baptisms and 4 confirmations! (Our goal was original 3 so we got more, ya yay!) We have had some struggles in other areas (as far as numbers go) but we have set up new ones for next month with some sweet plans/actions to help the zone. We came up with three1. Look towards conversion    - meaning we have things given to us in our planners and in PMG on how to see if someone is converted. (Chapter 8 in PMG) We want the missionaries to start looking on how to help in conversion not just teaching lessons to our investigators. We want people to focus on getting people into the Book of Mormon -- We feel like people understand that reading is important and they share scriptures with their investigators but the ones that aren't progressing are the ones that are not really reading the Book of Mormon. We have a couple other ideas on how to help our missionaries ... kind of to lazy to write them all :) <32. Look towards exact obedience   - we want missionaries who are trying to be the best people and missionaries they can be. I think everyone wants that but they are getting lazy in certain parts of the work. Last move we focused only on studies (Ie personal, comp and language) now we want to step it up and help them in all aspects of the work. So this is the purpose here -- Once again we have more details I am just feeling a little to lazy to write them all.3. THE ATONEMENT

  - We want all the missionaries to true understand the Atonement. If we really did understand it we wouldn't be scared to share this gospel, we would love everyone, we would be exactly obedient, so on and so forth. We really want to get them to understand this principle of truth before they share it with their investigators. Once again we got some more ideas to go along with this too.


Yeah we are working on the zone right now that's really the big news because this week was okay. We didn't get to see everyone because Chinese new years is coming up so people are starting to prepare for that and some are heading up to mainland so that is kind of been a little annoying but its all good. Still had a decent amount of success. Taught 6mp 5 other lesson and 3 rclas soo still teaching a lot.

Sis Tong is doing great, we saw her on saturday! I love going to her home, there is just something special about teaching a family.
It's cool Madeline is home... Kind of weird to think about that though, means I am right around the corner. (About 6 months) Kind of sad. Still need to move on with life right? President Hawks share some pretty cool stuff about coming home. He said like I don't want you looking forward to going while on your mission but you need to understand you can't reach your eternal potienal unless you finish your mission (ie marriage, career, etc). So I look forward to it but I am not look for it right now. Yay something like that. :D

 We had a baptism! This is Fantasy the sister's investigator!
ME and Elder Beal just swaggin out! :D