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

January 22, 2014

We went to the temple today and it was pretty good (still the old video here), we watched it with a bunch of mainlanders so of course it was in Mandarin (we had headsets). Still awesome every single time. The biggest thing I've been pondering is in Matt 19
 16 ¶And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have aeternal life?
 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is noneagood but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into blife, keep the ccommandments.
 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do noamurder, Thou shalt not commit badultery, Thou shalt not csteal, Thou shalt not bear dfalse witness,
 19 aHonour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt blove thycneighbour as thyself.
 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be aperfect, go and sell that thou hast, and bgive to the cpoor, and thou shalt have dtreasure in heaven: and come and efollow me.
 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had agreat possessions.
I have really thought about this man's question. He asked what is the one thing I must do. The one thing. He was expecting a single thing for conversion or salvation. Jesus knew this was not so and told him to give up his one thing that held him back, his possessions, and come follow him. This one thing is what he asked for. I've been pondering if I were to ask this would I be willing enough to give up that one thing? I actually had an interview recently with President Hawks and we discussed this scripture (I brought it up). So it's been pretty interesting. It's been on my mine for like the last three weeks or so. Just a lot of this I feel is personally applicable to me currently.

Yeah the temple was awesome and I got to review this in the temple and I think I found what I was looking for. Still not to sure.

However as far as investigators go they are doing pretty good. We currently are at 6 baptismal dates again!

A Wing for Feb 9th and he is doing great. Still hasn't been able to come to church due to work but he has worked it out starting in Feb he won't have to work on Sundays anymore so we are super excited for him. He has come so far!

Patrick is Feb 16th and he is doing pretty good. Having some commitment issues I think. Like he has a desire but at the same time he isn't 100% committed. So we are working with him to become more committed to his baptismal goal because he wants to get baptized but the things leading up to it has kind of been slowing him down. Still doing good.

Sis Auyeung and Jordan they were a turnover from a while ago and its been kind of hard to meet with but we scheduled her for church and she ended up bring her son! We taught her after church and gave her a baptismal date for march March 30

Ben - he is this 15 year old  referral from a member family (We are trying to teach his family but their interest isn't the biggest). We gave him a date like two weeks ago for March 30th, he is doing alright but he has been pretty busy with testing. Still no worries, he should be fine if he starts coming to church and meeting with us more often.

SISTER TONG HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE! She was still sick this week but showed up during the second hour of church and had a great time. After church we taught them and shared the first half of the plan of salvation with them. We committed her and Katie to be baptized. They both accepted Sister Tong for March 9th and Katie in Sept (she is turning 8 then)

Sister Au came to church this week and she is doing great. We plan to give her a baptismal date after she gets back from mainland (she is going there for Chinese New Year).

As far as a story goes here is a cool one!

Elder Liu and I went finding as normal in Lai Kok Park and Sham Shui Po Park (they are like a five minute walk from each other). They have tons of mums, dads and kids running all over the place. So we talked to couple and got some information but my favorite one (from yesterday) was this lady named Mrs Leung. I saw her sitting on a bench next to a park holding like a one year old son. So went up and started talking to her. We have tried this new contacting method, we talked about a remission of sins and baptism (this being a special blessing that comes from our message) then turn this to families and how it can help a family to come closer as sins are removed and forgiveness is given. She wasn't to interested (she kept saying she wasn't familiar with Christian stuff) but we promised her it could help and Elder Liu and I both started showing pictures of our families. Elder Liu talked about how it helped him and his brothers/sisters become good kids and know how to behave and I promised that it would help her know how to raise her two sons because my mum was able to raise five (including me) with this gospel. She started listening more and we talked, got to know her and she was super nice. We actually ended up helping her name he youngest son because he didn't have an English name yet. Mrs. Leung 1st son - Paco (he is 5 and she chose this name a long time ago) and 2nd son Charles (we gave him a couple choices his Chinese name is A-Sung and he is one years old). They are a super awesome family and we should be seeing them soon. It was pretty cool ha
 Here is my family picture from current flat! Me, Elder Anderson (under me), Elder Beal (with the red hair haha) and Elder Liu
 Duck face <3
 But its all good. Love Elder Arrington and Elder Beal <3
At the temple... I either can't smile in the sun light or I just wasn't ready... 

January 12, 2014

Things are doing pretty good here and I think the one thing you need to realize about inviting people to church is you don't need a relationship or a special opportunity to invite people. That is something I've learned so clearly from my mission. So many people look for that special moment they can invite your friend to church, it won't come unless you instigate it and then honestly just do it. I have more people come to church when I say to them on the street, "Hey have you been to church before?" 'No' "Want to come with us and give it a try?" - Bam they come. That is actually the story of this week. 

Last Tuesday me and Elder Liu had an extra 30 minutes before we were going to head home so we decided to go find, OF COURSE! We saw a mum and her son playing on a jungle gym and we just went up to talk to her. Her name was Mrs. Au and she had a son who was 18 months old. She was super nice, no religious background, never been to church before and has really never thought about these things. We talked to her for like 15 minutes about the gospel and said a prayer with her. She didn't seem all that interested but we told her if she would just come to church she could see and feel what were talking about for herself. She was like ehh maybe, I don't know. My son is young I don't know if its the best idea, etc. We said that's okay and encouraged her anyways to come. Then Sunday morning around 8am she gives us a call (out of no where) and said she was coming to church and bringing a friend too. She came to church late because her friend didn't wake up on time (her friend ended up not coming BUT said she would come next week). She got to meet some of the other mums during primary and then went to sacrament. It was amazing and we didn't have a special moment or a window open to us we just gave an offer. I think it is as simple as this, "Hey what are you doing on Sunday." 'Nothing probably just sleeping.' "Want to come to church with us? You can make some new friends and get to hear a little about our church and it's special message of Jesus Christ." -- I think it really is as simple as that only because that's what I do.

As far as the seven families goes we just aim for families -- Elder Liu and I decided that's all want to teach is families. It's a lot harder than it sounds, contacting a family and getting them to all meet with you is really hard. We found the easiest way to contact families (specifically parents) is through our English class. It normally starts with us saying along the lines of, "Hello we are church volunteers and just wanna let you know about our free English class" normally after that they either ask why its free (explain we are missionaries our purpose is to help others so we serve them with this free English class but our main purpose is to share a special message about Jesus Christ... switch to the gospel) or where is the English class (oh, its at our chapel, actually have you ever been to church before?... switch to the gospel). If all else fails I normally start talking about their kid like how old is he, do you have any other kids, etc THEN I whip out my family picture and that is normally what catches them. I explain that I am away from my family for two years to share a message that means the world to my family and I know that it can help your family too... switch to the gospel. I think it's easier than we make it out to be. I've had a lot of success with it lately but I think previously I just didn't think it was possible. I think I had a change of attitude or faith -- one or the other it has helped me.

January 5, 2014

I didn't do anything for my birthday just worked haha. Elder Liu along with the sister got some members to jump out at me while I was finding and sing me happy birthday... Scared the crap out of me but it was nice. Also got a nice little mango cake it was pretty good. I don't know I feel like birthdays, Christmas and other holidays are different on your mission. That might just be because I am in China but at least that's how I feel. I haven't had a chance to buy Pizza yet, I'll do it later. ha

The markets here are all over the place... We have places like Taste, Fusion, Park N Shop, Wellcome which are all like wal mart's food shops. Then you just have these things called gaisi's (I forgot the English word sorry) they are kind of like a farmers market, you can buy meat, fish, veggies, every kind of food. Its pretty easy to get food. Normally we eat out here in Kwai Fong (where I currently live) because there are a lot of shops and they are all pretty cheap! However when we do cook food we normally just buy it all on Monday and it will last us or we will buy out haha. 

I think President Hawks is going to split the companionship with the many many problems. They can't work it out and I honestly think they don't want to or decided they can't. Its pretty sad. President Hawks has taught us a lot (or at least I've noticed) that no matter the struggle if you are focused on one purpose your disagreements will slow disappear as you work together for your goal (sounds kinda like marriage haha). Even with a previous companion we put aside our many disagreements and worked together. Eh its a shame but they won't work it out. Not sure if it will or when but something needs to change. 

Our investigator pool is doing okay -- need to see everyone more often than we do, that is our real problem. Overall investigators are doing great. People are facing trials and they just have to have enough faith to get past that, that's all.

Sis Lee and Cheung - are they both single sisters with kids? (I think it is way cool an investigator is bring an investigator)

They are both married. We actually found out this week Sis Cheung lives up in Tai Po (kind of near Sheung Shui) so we will be turning her over, oh and Mandarin is her mother tongue so we plan to turn her over to the Mandarins up there. She is super awesome.

Why did you chose the name Benjamin? did he like it? Do the kids go by their Chinese name or English name?
Most people here go by their English names. Its easier to distinguish people and they like the Western culture, etc. We chose Benjamin from the Book of Mormon (the King) just because that's kind of what he looked like. He didn't really care he is seven but his mum loves it. She only calls him Ben or Benjamin now haha.
When did you get Cherry? does she live with them? is she related to the dad or mom?
We got her at the Christmas party and she is Katie's cousin from her mum's side. She lives all the way in Tuen Muen sooo pretty far away (like 40 minutes by bus). We've seen her a couple times she awesome.
I don't recall Mrs. Chow?
Mrs. Chow is the lady from the restaurant that Elder Allen and I met when a member took us out to eat. She is doing awesome. It's hard to teach her at her home at the moment because its being renovated but she really wants us over. She is awesome. 
AWing still on for his baptism in Feb? how is his sweet tea thing doing?
A Wing is doing okay. We had a misunderstanding... Well when I say misunderstanding I mean we (Elder Liu and I) misunderstood his Chinese... We thought he said sing1keih4yaht6 meaning Sunday but he said sing1keih4yat1 meaning Monday... So he said he only had Mondays off for January not Sundays... So he can't come to church this month due to work ): Its alright he is still progressing and doing all that he can. No problems with the tea
Who is the family you found and taught after your illness?
Haha Tong family. I love them. Tong family is doing pretty great. Mum was sick this week so we couldn't teach her. Bro Tong and Katie came to church (by the way at Cheung Sha Wan we start with Elders->sunday school->sacrament) they showed up the last 20 minutes of Elder quorum but the mum wasn't there because she was still sick. Then she showed up for sacrament! Like out of no where, and that's like all I fasted for was for them to come to three hours of church (almost made it) but it was awesome! Katie is friends with all the kids at church and found out one of her classmates is a member. Sis Choi's daughter! Yaya so that's super awesome 

Eh not much else to report. We found a bunch of families this week through a new method of English class park finding... It is scary and awkward as all get out but it works. We just walk up to parents in a park and try to talk to them... Pretty simple right? No... its weird and awkward for everyone. Because they all stare and some parents reject you super rudely then you try to talk to the family sitting next to them..... anyways its hard BUT we got 7 family phone numbers and should be rescheduling them this week :) awesome

Eh not much else to report. We found a bunch of families this week through a new method of English class park finding... It is scary and awkward as all get out but it works. We just walk up to parents in a park and try to talk to them... Pretty simple right? No... its weird and awkward for everyone. Because they all stare and some parents reject you super rudely then you try to talk to the family sitting next to them..... anyways its hard BUT we got 7 family phone numbers and should be rescheduling them this week :) awesome

With the Christmas gift (money)I bought this epic tiger sweater :D Yaya! (Elder Liu bought that jacket too) My hair looks crazy mostly because I took this picture right after I showered... Ya anyways I just really liked this sweater. It was like USD$10 haha :D
 So I heard Matt stole all my clothes INCLUDING my hats so I got one this
weekend for like USD$5 haha its a BOYGIRL hat they are pretty popular in
Hong Kong

To end on a spiritual note this is my current Bible. I have really started
studying the way Jesus teaches and lives. Without any better words it truly
is inspiring to read. Everyday I get to see literally how Jesus lived his
life, what I need to do to change, how can I share the gospel better, how
did Jesus Christ teach the people he met and so on and so forth. The Bible
has really changed my eyes recently on my mission on how I see and act has
person as well as a mission. Especially when reading about his eternal
sacrifice for us all; his suffering on in the Garden, his death on the
cross and most importantly his resurrection to save us all.