Sunday, June 1, 2014

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 :) 

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