This week was quite an adventure!
First, once the typhoon was gone, we got asked to go help in international.
International is an area that anyone can go in. It actually isnt an area though. It consists of teaching the foreigners in Hong Kong. there is Victoria 1 which is for all foreigners, then there are all of the other international missionaries who focus on Phillipinas and Indonesians. There are wards that have church every day of the week in the Wan Chai chapel (the most amazing chapel, and the second most expensive building the church owns, only to the tabernacle.). This is because the Phillipinas and Indos here are "helpers". they are basically maids or servants in a way.
On certain holidays, every helper gets off. so they go to the Worldwide which is a strip of sidewalk with banks and stuff everywhere. So last saturday we went and helped at Worldwide.
There were Phillipinas EVERYWHERE. It was CRAZY. Missionaries would try to get them to come with us onto the subway which tgoes to the wan chai chapel. It is pretty easy, because they are so humble and willing to listen.
Elder Ward (my temporary companion) and I had not found anyone. But then I saw one and I just had the thought to make a beeline over to her. She looked nervous but stayed. I started telling her about our church in English mixed with the little Tagalog I have learned. Then she said that she knows about our church already. She said she got baptized 7 years ago in the Phillipines, but then came here five years ago and hasnt gone to chruch since. She said once she didnt go for a year, she just felt horrible about going back because she felt guilty and worried they would get mad at her or something. Then, she stopped talking to her family because her family are all members and she felt ashamed when she talked to them.
After assuring her that God still loved her and cared about her so much, we finally convinced her to come with us back to the chapel. We got there just in time to see a convert baptism, and hear the testimony of the new member. The spirit was really strong. Then there was an hour before church started. So we brought her into a room and taught her a lesson. We taught about the iron rod. There were people who tasted the fruit of the tree of life but then left and were lost in the darkness. But we told her we had found her and brought her back to the iron rod and all she had to do was grab on again and feel the lvoe of God and try hard never to let go again. People were crying, and the spirit was so strong. Then she stayed for church and met the members there (who are all amazing at fellowshipping). It was really really cool to here her talk about how she feels like she had returned back home and felt feelings she has missed for so long.
Then on Monday, I went on splits to Tung Chung which is an area that has all of Lantau Island. It is a HUGE island with the big buddha, airport, etc... But there arent very many people there. It is a giant mountainous jungle with fishing villages and buddhist temples. It was really cool. I ran into Preacher Jim, a preacher who is very very nice to missionaries and gets to know them very well, but is very clear that he thinks we are wrong. Everyone says that someday he is going to give up preaching and the things he is doing because he is going to recognize that we really are right, and he is a good guy so he will be a great member. He is from Oklahoma and moved here seven years ago. Doesnt speak any chinese, but somehow gets around because he lives in more English areas.
So before I started my mission, I googled Cantonese rap. Mostly just because I wanted to see what cantonese sounds like. The first result was Jin. I was familiar with him because he is one of the smartest rappers ever. He can freestyle very very well and is really clean. But I guess he grew up in the USA to chinese parents so he speaks fluent English and Cantonese.
Well apparently a few missionaries have been able to teach him here. When he sees missionaries he calls out, "elders! elders!" Then tells them he has some time and wants to learn more about the Plan of Salvation. This started a year and a half ago. But he is constantly traveling and nobody has been brave enough to get his number to try and schedule him more. But I guess he is super supportive and loves the church. Supposedly, on his last Cantonese CD, he has a lot of songs about how smoking and alcohol and swearing are bad, and then at the end of the CD, he says, "I am really glad I have been able to be in Hong Kong a lot lately. While I was there, I met some people who have changed my life. They taught me about God's plan for me and my wife, and I am so grateful for them." He sounds pretty golden to me. So I am really hoping I find him sometime. Because theres no way I am going to let him get away without scheduling him more so that I can try to get him to progress and get baptized and stuff. Pretty random though.
Finally, I have realized that Hong Kong is the perfect mission for me. They have something very common here. Jing sahn behng which is 'energy sickness". It is basically a really bad anxiety mental disorder that aroudn half of the people get here. In fact, one of our investigators has it and wants to find a better way to deal with it than medicine because it makes her sick. I have been amazed by how my own personal experience with what was exactly the same as this jing sahn behng has been able to help me help these people. God can do anything, especially if we humble ourselves and have faith that he will help us.
I wish I had more time, because the miracles and things I see here are incredible, and they are constantly happening, but next week I should have more time to send a letter to you with more. (I actually sent one last week as well.).
I love you all, and pray for you daily. I dont think I will ever stop being amazed by EVERYTHING here. The food, the people, the city itself, and especially the amazing experiences that come from hard work and exact obedience.
Well I hope you have a fantastic week! Thanks for your prayers!