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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Helloooo! (from 07/26/12)

Happy Wednesday night to all of you!

Well lately we have had a lot of interesting things happen.

First off, last week we bought some bug bomb fogger things that we lit off in the house in the middle of the night. We started freaking out a few hours later because we all woke up and our bedroom was foggy from the poison. So we opened all of the windows and were hanging our heads out of them trying to breath. It was pretty traumatizing. 
But then the next morning we woke up, and there were big, dead cockroaches EVERYWHERE. We swept up at least a hundred. It was really crazy and gross. But then the other night we went out and there are still more alive somehow. So now who knows what we will do. Nana proposed buying boric acid and spreading it around. So maybe if I stay another transfer here in Kwun Tong I will try and find some of that. 

Then, this last monday we went on District Leader, Zone Leader exchanges and I was really excited because we had a couple of families to teach and things to do. But then the wind and rain started going crazy. Things were flying around, the shanty houses were losing their roofs and walls. I called the weather and found out we were about to get hit by a huge typhoon, so we texted everyone and told them to go to their apartments. That lasted all of Monday and a lot of Tuesday. It was kinda fun because it turned into a Typhoon 10 which is the biggest they get. (equal to a hurricane 5). But once we were finally allowed to leave, there were a bunch of other weather warnings out. There was an Amber rain warning, a heavy thunderstorm warning, a landslide warning, and a bunch of flooding warnings. So Tuesday wasnt a very productive day either. 

Yesterday was better, we have found some families we are teaching, and we have been having SOmuch success lately. But I just wish we had more time in our day to do everything we need. 

One family is pretty interesting.

I contacted the mom and gave her our phone number. Then the next day she called and asked if we could go teach her family. 
We went to their apartment and taught the son English, then invited the whole family to come out for the gospel part of it. 
We found out that the grandma, son, mom, and daughter all live there but that the dad had committed suicide a little while ago. So they were all so grateful for us and were getting emotional because we were doing things like helping the kids with their homework like their dad used to do. 

It was really good, but the dont have any religious background so when we taught them to pray, they all started praying at the same time out loud and saying different prayers. It was really hectic but kind of funny and cute. They want to come to church and so hopefully we can help them be baptized. 

I have never heard of anyone having so much success in an area before. 
We have almost 20 people who are going to be coming to church this next week. 
We have a TON of investigators who are wanting to be baptized. 
We never schedule our investigators because everyday they either call us or justshow up to the church.

I am so happy and feel so blessed to see so many people wanting to come unto Christ. And I am so blessed to have the opportunity to show them the way..

Well thanks for eveyrhting you all do!!

I love you so much!!

Happy birthday to madi!!

Love, Jordan!

Not too much (from 07/19/12)

Well this last week was pretty normal. 
We have been teaching a ton of lessons and our investigators are doing really well.

A few days ago we went and met with some guy that I called because I found his phone number laying around and didnt know who it was. 
He wound up being someone that missionaries had met 6 years ago in a different area. I am really glad I decided to call him because he has a super cool story. 

When he was growing up his parents died so he lived with his grandparents. But they didnt have any money and would go collect cardboard boxes everyday to try and get money for food. 
They were so poor that they would walk around and find rice on the streets and the floor of different places and collect it to eat it later that night. 
Well when this kid was seventeen he was determined to get his family out of that situation so he spent hours in his room thinking of ways to do it. Finally he said God just answered his prayers and gave him some ideas of how to start his own business. 
Well now he is 24 and that business has turned into 2 high end restaurants and a hotel as well as he manages all of the food everything in Ocean Park (that is a theme park that is huge here. Everyone likes it way better than disneyland). He is swimming in cash and now so is his family he has been supporting. 
He is incredibly nice and a very smart guy.
So anyways, we asked him why he wanted to meet with us and he told us that he considers himself a not-baptized Latter Day Saint. He said that 6 years ago he started going to church when he lived in Sham Shui Po, but that quickly after that he moved to Kwun Tong area so he lost contact. But since then he has read the entire Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants twice! He knows just about everything and is really really good. His problem is that he said before what was holding him back is his smoking and tea drinking problem, but that now he wants to start coming back to church and working towards baptism. So I am really excited for him! :)

After meeting him, I was shocked. In Hong Kong one of the saddest things is that people dont really progress in any way throughout their lives. There is a lack of hope that is really sad to see, and it makes it difficult for us missionaries sometimes. People here are born into a social class and get the idea in their head that they can not escape that social class but are going to stay the same forever. They all have dreams of social progress but dont usually actually believe they can achieve it. But this investigator took his horrible situation and changed it. 

Then I realized that when it comes down to it, we all can change our situations (socially, spiritually, etc...) and only because of the atonement. 

I am so grateful for that and that we are able to continue to improve ourselves continually.

Well that is about it. But thanks for eveyrhting you all do!!

I lvoe you all so much!!

Love, Jordan 

gettin the hang of things (from 07/11/12)

Good morning everyone!!

This last week has been really great! We have been working with a lot of investigators who are progressing really well, and finding more who are really prepared. 

The best part is, that we havent had to go finding for a long time, because every day we have things scheduled from morning until night. 

I have really found a love for working with members. If there is one thing I have learned since being in Kwun Tong it is that working through the members is a hundred times more effective than trying to do things on our own. 

We found a lot of old information and a paper that named all of the Recent converts in our zone and how they were found. For the most part, they were almost all referrals. Only a very small amount were found on the street. 
But for some reason, missionaries spend all day every day out on the street finding. 

But in Kwun Tong we spend our time serving members, and helping less actives come back to church. 

A few months ago this ward had 1 young man. 

Now we have around 10 active young men. 
The ward council is extremely happy with us because all of the people who they wanted us to focus on and help bring them back to church have been successfully brought back and reactivated. 

Our last four baptisms in the ward were all member referrals. 

So lately I have been trying to help the zone focus on working with members.

Sometimes going out in the hot streets finding seems like the most effective thing to do because you feel like you are working hard. But I have foudn that actually for a lot of missionaries it is much easier to do that then to work with the members, because they dont know how to do it. 
Chinese people do not like other people serving them, and also, it is hard to form relationships with people if you dont know their language too well. 

So we have been trying to help other missionaries do exactly what we are doing here and trying to help them understand how to really serve the wards. Because if they just ask the wards what they can do to serve, everyone will say they dont need anything. 

I really feel like at this point in my mission, I am having a lot more fun. I am making more friends, and working with people a lot more. And consequently, we are having a lot more success. 

However, we have been extremely busy because we are having a ton of investigators and people to take care of on top of taking care of the biggest zone in the mission. 

Oh! So I just remembered a story.

Lately we have been finding GIANT spiders in the apartment. 
They are all about the size of my hand stretched out. HUGE!!!!

A few days ago we went to the chapel in the morning to teach a lesson and I walked by the stairs and saw something huge on the ground. I took a double look and saw it was a spider the size of my face!!

I froze and my companion came in and looked at it then started screaming like a girl. We were both scared to death and so we started throwing books at it and stuff. 
Well one of them hit it but didnt kill it and the spider just started slowly walking away like nothing happened. Then one of our recently activated members came because he wants us to help him prepare to go on a mission, so he is helping out very frequently. He saw it and just took a broom and jabbed it super hard with the back, stick end of the broom. Its legs started going crazy and I thought Iwas going to throw up, it was so gross.

So last night, something woke both me and my comp up and then we had to get a drink. So we left the room (which was a horrible idea). 

We walked out into the main room and there were huge cockroaches and spiders EVERYWHERE. We noticed that we were surrounded so I took out a wooden sword that was hung up on the wall and started hitting them all over the place. We quickly ran back into the rooms and I dont think we will ever come out at night again.

So yeah, thats my story.

Anyways, I have beenreally happy lately. 
Once again, I am so happy that I have this opportunity to be here serving the Lord. 
I continue to learn everyday and be inspired by the things I see. (not the bugs though)

Thanks for all that you guys do!

Love you so much!!

Love, Jordan

Wow, Crazy Week (from 07/05/12)

So I got your emails and can see that this last week has been pretty crazy.

I have been praying for grandma and grandpa, but I am constantly comforted by the knowledge that God gave us about after death and the plan he has created for us.

As for the fire, it would really be unfortunate if I couldnt come home to my big bed and nice room. I would imagine it would not be very fun for all of you either.

That is awesome about Junior getting married.

So anyways, over here a lot of things have been going on too.

President Hawks is officially in power. 
Two days ago we were able to go to zone leader council and discuss with him some things about the mission. He has a lot of fire and really wants the mission to explode. I am really excited about that, because I think all of his ideas and his vision for the mission is awesome. 
Then after that, our whole zone met in wan chai and we got a chance to all ask questions and introduce ourselves. 
He told me that he loves looking into peoples eyes because it says alot about them, and that when he looks into my eyes he likes what he sees. I am not sure what that means, but its nice I guess. He thanked me for my enthusiasm and optimism. 
We have been dealing with some zone problems as usual, but overall our zone is doing awesome. We have been having record-high weeks for everything from lessons taught to people at church. I am really proud of our zone, and happy with the things going on. 

We had another baptism this last week. That is three in two weeks!! And hopefully we have at least a couple more at the end of the month. I truly feel blessed, because there are missionaries who go a year without a single baptism, but we have been having so many lately. Our ward is very happy with us becuase we have had a lot of baptisms as well as brought a lot of less actives back to church. Being a missionary is awesome!!!

So lately the weather has been pretty interesting. We had a typhoon signal 8 up last Friday night, and have had a lot of heavy rain and thunderstorms. But when it is not raining, it is SUPER hot and humid here. 

This morning we woke up to really loud thunder and went to go get something to eat by the mall. On our way there, we heard some noises up ahead and then a bunch of people stop by the road. They all had their cameras out taking videos. 
The road was all cracked and some parts were higher than others, other large pieces of it had rocketed into the air and landed in different spots. Then water started flooding the streets like crazy. 

The water quickly filled up all of the roads and the exits to the train, so everything was blocked off.

A lot of people were saying it was from an earthquake but i am not so sure about that. 
It was pretty crazy, and there is a lot of emergency response policemen and stuff like that still there trying to figure things out. 
The roads just look like giant canals and everything is flooding. 
Luckily we live up at the top of a giant hill.

It has been pretty insane lately, and just like I said when I first got here: It is really rare for us to have a boring day in Hong Kong. 

I love you all and will continue to pray for all of you.
Thanks for everything!!

Love, Jordan

uP AND Down (from 06/28/12)


I guess I should start by saying we had 2 baptisms this last Sunday. The dad and son. Super cool experience.

We should have another one this Sunday, we will see. Hopefully everything will go well for that. 

So anyways, today was transfers, and things have changed pretty fast. 

I just spent 2 transfers with my favorite companion ever. It was the fastest 2 moves, and the best part of my entire mission. Then on Tuesday we had moves calls.  I'm going to get a new companion that I was at the MTC with for a while.

It was really nice being with Elder Ho while I could, but I guess not all good things last forever.

So anyways, we found a HUGE spider in our apartment I took a lot of pictures so when I get a chance, I will send them to you guys. It is really big and really gross. It was bad enough having huge cockroaches in the house, and millions of little bugs on the ceilings (same as my old apartment), but now we have huge spiders. 
I guess thats just all part of the experience of going on a mission to a foreign country. I may be disappointed if we never had any huge bugs in our apartment. 
But I think that usually most other missionaries in the world have more than the size of my bedroom back home for a whole apartment. Almost all of the apartments in Hong Kong are sooo small. But actually mine right now isnt too bad. 

No matter what happens, I am so happy to be in this great area, and have such great friends here. 
My zone is pretty awesome and just grew a lot because they gave us more areas in our zone even though we were already the biggest. 

But even with all my friends and people supporting me, I am most grateful for Heavenly Father. 
I could not do this without God's help.  

Well sorry this email is pretty short. 

But I love you all and pray for you all every day!!

Hope you all have a great week!!

Love, Jordan

1 Year Today (from 06/21/12)

Good morning!!

First off, sorry I emailed a day late. We had a lot of stuff to do yesterday so we didnt get a chance to email. Actually it was pretty cool because we went to my first convert's house and ate with him and his mom because they now live in my area. 

So guess what today is? Exactly my one year anniversary of going into the MTC and beginning my mission. Yesterday to celebrate it, my whole MTC group went to an Indian buffet and ate until we were stuffed. It was really good, and really fun to see everyone at the same time. Something about being in the MTC for 12 weeks together really creates a bond between people haha. 

It is just so weird to think about a year ago going into the MTC and leaving home for two years. 
It does not feel like it has been a year already, and its crazy to think about how much time we have left.

Someone told me that in four transfers, the sisters in our group go home. Four transfers after that, we go home. That definitely seems a lot shorter than a year.

We have been having SO MUCH success lately. You would not imagine the amount of golden investigators we have been finding lately. 
This next Sunday we should have 2 baptisms. That dad and his son that I have told you about. They passed their baptismal interview last Sunday and so I am pretty excited about that. Then next week we have one more baptism. A boy that we have been teaching. Then later next month we have 2 to 3 more baptisms coming up. 

Yesterday I was talking to one of the APs who is about to finish his mission. He was talking about how Kwun Tong right now is doing so well, and its true. Right now we have been being blessed so much with so much success. 

The last three days we have taught over 30 lessons. We have been incredibly busy, and it has really paid off. But somehow every time we are having this much success, I seem to get sick. So I am already sick again, luckily this time it's just a cold. 

Anyways, I have seen a ton of miracles lately, but I only have time for one.

One of them is someone that the office elders called me and gave me his phone number. Apparently he referred himself to us. I have tried to get ahold of him before, but been unsuccessful.
Then on monday night we were at FHE in the chapel and I got a call from him. He asked if I was at the chapel because he was at the gate wanting to come in. I invited him  in and gave him a tour of the chapel. In the tour he asked what the difference was between our church and other christian churches. So I grabbed my summer missionary and we sat him down and taught him the restoration.
His story is that he is newly married with two little kids and a wife and his dad died last year. 
He said that when his dad was about to die, he told his son he doesnt believe in Buddhism anymore, but that he needs to find Jesus Christ in his life for his family. So after he died, his son went around to a bunch of different churches and tried to find the best one. He said that in all of them he felt okay, and that they all taught good things, but something in him was telling him that there is more out there, something more complete. So then one day he met one of our members at work or somewhere. He only had a couple of minutes to meet him, but he said that when the member told him what church they belonged to, he immediately felt a peace that he had never felt before. So then he started trying to find our church.

Finally he found it and that is where I come in. We taught him the restoration and he was fantastic. He said other churches told him because his dad wasnt baptized, he couldnt be saved. I was so happy to tell him that it wasnt true. He grabbed onto everything we said and then we immediately gave him a baptismal date for next month on the 29th. He then prayed for us and asked God to help him be ready for baptism on that day. 

Basically he is just super golden. It has been incredible to see all of the different ways that God prepares for these people to meet us. I love being a missionary and watching people change their lives because of the message that some 20 year old white kid shares with them. It is really amazing. 

I am so grateful I have this chance to be here. I guess I should especially thank mom and dad for raising me well, and not being afraid to share their testimonies to us as kids. 

Thanks for everything!!

I hope you all have a great week!!

Love, Jordan

Stories... (From 06/14/12)

Good morning everyone!!

I am assuming you will get this in the morning since it is like 4o clock at night or something like that in Utah right now. 

I am really excited about the RM working in Barbacoa!! You will have to let me know who it is. If it is Elder Dastrup (Kolby), then definitely introduce Kylie to him, because he is probably the best, funniest, just all around good kid ever. There are some other really, really good ones too, so let me know who it is, then get his phone number or something in case I let you know he is a keeper hahaha. 

So now it is story time, and I have a lot. But before I tell them, I want to wish dad, Grandpa Bingham, and Grandpa Behm a happy fathers day!!! I love you all. Thank you for being such great fathers and grandfathers to me and everyone in the family!!

So my first two stories are about the gift of tongues, because I definitely believe they relate. I sometimes feel pretty good about myself because I can understand Cantonese really well right now because of my native companion, and even though I am not great at speaking it, I can understand Mandarin pretty dang well if I know what subject they are talking about. But it has been way too long since I have used Spanish, and other than really small talk, Arabic as well. 

So the other day I was sitting at my desk and pulled out the Arabic Preach my Gospel just for fun. I was looking at a couple of things I dont know how to say, and just messing around. Well later that day we went finding, and as always, there were a ton of Pakistani kids running around playing cricket. Well two of them came up to us and were speaking to us in English. Then, an older guy came up and was speaking to them in some Middle Eastern dialect. I tried talking to him in English but the kids said he didnt know any English or Chinese, but they said he knows Arabic.
The next thing I know I was having a pretty good discussion with him in Arabic. I really could not re do it again if someone asked me to, but it was a really cool experience. I prayed in arabic and everything for him. He was pretty amazed and even though he is an Islam teacher, he really liked what I was talking about. 

Then the next day we went finding for a district find in Po Lam. While we were there I started talking to a girl and boy. The boy really didnt want anything to do with us but the girl was really listening and accepting our message. I noticed though that while her Chinese was good and she understood me, it had a weird accent so I asked where she is from. She is from Argentina. Her dad is chinese and her mom is Argentinian. 

So I started speaking to her in Spanish and she told me she had been living here for a little while but that she would be going back to Argentina soon, and that in Argentina she was able to speak to missionaries a few times, and go to church.

I started speaking Chinese again so the boy could understand, but he was super negative and would make little negative comments left and right so I switched back to Spanish. I wound up teaching her a lesson and then praying in Spanish. The whole time the boy was kind of mad and kept saying they had to go. Then she just kept telling me in Spanish that he was against Christianity and to ignore him. We were able to get her information and stuff for when she goes back to Argentina.

So anyways, the moral of the story is that even though my arabic isnt very good and my spanish is really rusty,  I was able to teach in both of those languages! It was really really cool.

Okay so the next story is shorter, but remember a long time ago in my first area we had an investigator named Rain that I told you about? Well the other day I found his phone number and decided to call him. He was really excited to talk to me and told me that he had moved to Kwun Tong!! Where I am serving now!! So he wants to meet with us ASAP.

Alright, Last story.

This week we went to the Elder Quorum President's house to eat dinner. His son was there and we asked him if he went on a mission. He said that he didnt think he did but that a little while ago he looked at his member record in the clerk's office and it says that he did.
When he was 19 he got his call to stay in Hong Kong, but right before he went to the MTC, he woke up with a bad headache and went to the hospital. 
They found a fist-sized tumor in the very center of his brain, and so he was hospitalized. A world famous brain surgeon found out about his case and came to Hong Kong to try and take care of it. He went in and miraculously removed it, but found out it was cancerous. Before he even left the hospital, he had already grown another one. 
They decided because it was too dangerous to try and remove it, they would put him through chemo and radiation. 
During all of this, his dad had been praying for him. His dad was not a member and had been an investigator for 30+ years. He told God that if his son was healed, he would get baptized. 
The son was then in the hospital for the next two years and in all went through radiation and chemo 10 times. While in the hospital, he was really well known and would have other patients come visit him while he would teach them the lessons. He become probably one of the only hospital missionaries ever. 
Well finally after two years, they found all of the cancer and signs of it were completely gone. 
So his final investigator (his dad) was baptized, and is now the Elders Quorum President.

So this week is going really well. We have so many investigators right on the verge of getting baptized, so hopefully soon that will happen.

Well thanks for everything everyone!!

Love, Jordan!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sickness and a Change (06/07/2012)

Well I will start off by letting you know that last week was the best week I have had of my whole mission. We taught sooo many lessons and did a lot of really great things.
When we were in the Wan Chai chapel under the Asia Area offices, someone came down and was like, "Wow! I heard you guys were the missionaries who broke all the records for the mission!" Not sure what "the records" were, and it really doesnt matter about records, but we had a really great week and taught a lot of great lessons.

Saturday, I woke up not feeling too well though.

Soon enough I discovered I had food poisoning :(
It seems like every year at the beginning of summer, I get food poisoning.

The bad part about this time is that it lasted for FIVE DAYS!!
Today I finally felt better and was able to play basketball. But wow, it was a hard five days.
We had a few times when we would get back and I would just fall asleep right away, but for the most part we couldnt really slow down because we had so much going on.

Buuuut, suddenly yesterday at Zone Conference they informed us that a few companionships in the mission were going to get "summer missionaries". These sumemr missionaries are usually Young Men from around here who will live with missionaries and do everything with them for two weeks. This morning we went to the meeting to meet them and pick them up and find out which ones we got. Well this year they are trying something new and instead of one sumemr misisonary following us around, we get two who are our companions for these next two weeks. So my companionship will become two companionships and we will split up and do things seperately.

It should be interesting, and I am a little excited because my companion seems like a really cool kid. He is really really quiet and shy, but this is his third year doing this program and the missionaries he helped last year said that he is really willing to help out and does really well.

A lot of other missionaries are jealous because there are only 2 companionships in the whole mission who get a summer missionary this month.

The more I think about it, the more I realize this is quite the blessing for me. Because my companion and i have been so busy that I really dont know our area at all because we rarely go finding. So now that we will have more time to do things like finding, I will be able to explore my area a little bit more before my companion finishes his misison.
Our area is the second biggest area in the mission right now, so there is a lot to explore.

Well I dont have too much else to say. But thank you all for everything!!!

Kylie, CONGRATULATIONS on graduating!! Enjoy summer before College exhaustion kills you!

Madi, I will pray for your foot :)

I love every one of you so much!!!

Have a good week!

Love, Jordan

More Miracles (05/30/2012)

It sounds like things are pretty crazy now on your side of the world with Kylie graduating and everyone getting out of school. Well things continue to be pretty crazy here.

We are getting along with the ward really, really well. Mostly because everyone in Hong Kong loves my companion and knows his family. But it has been awesome because we havent had to buy too much food from all of the "cheng-outs" ( people feeding us). This isnt all too common here in Hong Kong, and we are encouraged to try and go to members houses as often as we can.

One thing that is pretty interesting here is that people are afraid to let white people into their houses. I remember while at a member's house, a family friend came over with their son. He was scared to death of me and wouldnt look at me. It made it a little better because I spoke Chinese, and by the end he wasnt scared of me. But when they asked him what my name was he still would say, "ngoihgwokyahn" which means foreigner. It was pretty funny.

Related to that, two days ago we had a huge miracle. We havent had very much time to go finding for new investigators at all, but we had a chance to that day. We took a less active, 15 year old, shy young man with us. Well as we started walking, I had a feeling to talk to a lady walking on the other side of the sidewalk. I approached her and she wasnt too interested, just a little bit surprised by a white guy speaking Chinese. Then my companion out-of-nowhere told her we could help her children. Well this caught her off-guard and we were able to talk to her a little bit. Then something happened that NEVER happens. I have NEVER been in an investigator's house, just a few members houses. But we asked if we could go back home with her and help her kids. She led us to her building and took us up to their apartment. Her husband and three kids were all there. The husband was scared and maybe a little drunk so he just went into another room. But we were able to sit down with the rest of them adn teach them about simple things like prayer and God (they were Baaisahn, so some of it was new to them). It was just the coolest experience ever and we are going back on Saturday.

We just have been blessed so much lately. It blows me away how much we are able to do in the little amount of time we actually have to focus on our own area and investigators. I hope the miracles will continue and that our whole zone will be able to experience them.

Our zone is the toughest zone in Hong Kong. It is the Hong Kong Island which is the busiest, craziest part of Hong Kong. But lately I have been trying to focus on the missionaries in our zone really experiencing and recognizing success. In my companionship, we see miracles daily and get so much done. We are dead tired by the end of the day, but its a good kind of tired. Our zone works hard but we have just been struggling to help them have the same success we are seeing in our area. We think it may be that we jsut need to help them with their faith. Help them to expect the miracles that they will see. Because they have been set apart as one of God's messengers, and God will not forget them or the work they are doing.

Well, I dont have much else to say this week. I hope all is well. Oh! I got my package yesterday! Thanks so much for that, I really appreciate all of it. You guys are the BEST!!!

Love you all!!!

Love, Jordan

20 and Dallin H. Oaks (05/24/2012)

Wow, I am 20. Weird... I guess I am not a teenager anymore?

Well anyways, my birthday was great! Our ward had a suprise party for me and that was a lot of fun, then the next day Dallin H Oaks came and took a picture with us, shook our hands, then talked to us!!

It was really cool. We went around shaking his hand, but every once in a while he would stop someone and ask them a question. I was near the end of the line, and when he shook my hand he stopped and started to ask me a question. I was hoping it would be something profound and thought provoking, but he just asked how long I have been on my mission. I told him, and then he gave me a little hug.

Him and a few other General Authorities talked to us. One of the first things he said when he stood up was, "Your mission president often tells you that you are the best missionaries in the world, well let me tell you something. For a long time now, I have helped assign missionaries where they will serve their missions. We take into account the language difficulty, the difficulty to convert the people, and a few other things when choosing missionaries, and you guys are the best of the best to be sent here to Hong Kong speaking Cantonese."

Then he went on and talked to us about a lot of things, about going from "doing missionary things" to "being a missionary" and about a bunch of other stuff. But that was probably the thing that I have thought about most.

I feel like it applies in a lot more than just missionary work, but really in all that we do. I remember when I first got to Hong Kong and in the MTC I felt like the same person as before, just doing different things. But of course, the inevitable transforming effects of a mission slowly turned me from "Jordan doing missionary things" to "Elder Bingham - A missionary". I am not sure if that makes sense or not, but I dont really know a better way to explain it. Now someday when I come home, I will come back and not expect everyone to call me Elder Bingham. But because of what I have become, and still continue to become on my mission, it will change who I am for the rest of my life.

Well anyways, he also talked about improving ourselves everyday. I have learned as being Zone Leader, that the missionaries who everyone are most concerned about are the missionaries who are not progressing. Not the missionaries who are bad teachers, or who are even disobedient, or whatever other problems they may have (as long as they are progressing). But the moment they stop progressing, no matter how good or bad they may be at the present, they fall behind. The same thing goes for our investigators.

It is interesting because we give our investigators commitments, then we consider their commitment-keeping, progressing. We also tell them that part of "enduring to the end" is progressing for their whole lives. But I think that a lot of the time both missionaries, members, and everyone else doesnt really think about that very often. We are eventually destined to be perfect, exalted beings. But while there is no way we can become perfect on this Earth, we must continually use the Atonement to just make ourselves better and closer to that perfection, no matter how far off from it we are now.

So I realized I need to keep progressing as a missionary and person, even if I feel like I am doing great. Because if I get too comfortable with what I am now, then I feel like I will not have used the atonement to its fullest capacity. Which is not just to repent of sins and horrible things, but to replace the less effective with the more effective, or the good with the better.

Well now that I have gone on a rant for a few paragraphs about that, there is something else I noticed this week. Our baptism didnt happen, his parents cancelled the home phone so that we couldnt contact him, so we have no idea what happened :( BUT we kept working hard this week even though now twice this month we were supposed to have baptisms that didnt happen because the parents wouldnt sign the papers.

Well the other day we were out teaching a little kid English. We didnt know the little kid, but we knew the mom because she invited us over. It turns out that the mom is the only member in the family, and that the son (Who is like 11) hasnt been to church before. The dad was there so we were able to talk to them all about it, and they are all in support of the son coming to church and getting baptized :)

Twice now, when Satan ruined our baptisms, we were blessed with golden new investigators.

Which reminds me!! The dad and son who we met a few weeks ago, whose mom died in a car crash. We were teachign them the plan of salvation and the dad just looked at the son and said, "Well it looks like we better hurry up and get baptized because that is what your mother wants."

We gave them the baptismal date for June 10, then the dad said, "Ooooorrrr, how about next Sunday?" We explained that we still have to teach some commandments and other things, but that we know June 10 they can get baptized. He was happy with that, so hopefully June 10 will be a good day :)

Well thats about all.

Thanks for everything!!

Love you all so much!!!

Love, Jordan

Almost 20...weird! (05/16/2012)

Well Hello everyone!

It was great to talk to you all for mothers day, especially mom!! We are so lucky we have the best mom ever!!

Well, not too much is happening. We had moves calls and found out that almost our entire zone will be staying the same next transfer. I am really glad I get to stay with my companion. He is the best.

One of our investigators had his baptismal interview and passed! He has sooo much faith. I am really excited for him. But we have been praying so hard for him, because he has an obstacle that hopefully wont be a problem. He is supposed to be baptized on this Sunday coming up. But his parents have to sign the baptismal form because he is not quite 18 yet. He is scared to death but told us that if his mom says no, he will just fast and pray until she says yes.

I just hope that we dont get ruined by parents for the second time in a row. Our last kid who was supposed to get baptized also had this problem, but it didnt work out too well for him. The good news is that our investigator right now is older and hopefully his parents let him choose...

So.... I dont really have to much to talk about cuz I just talked to you all this week.


Love you all!!

Love, Jordan

Almost Mother's Day (5/9/2012)

Well this email will probably be short because I have pictures to send, and i will be able to talk on the phone (or skype) with you guys soon enough.

This week has been pretty crazy just like every other week since I have gotten here. We are seeing lots of miracles with our investigators, and solving a lot of problems within the zone.

We wouldnt go into details about this with other people here, but we had to call some other zone leaders to let them know about the situation and they were shocked by the little we were able to tell them. It sounds like these things are not normal which is a relief so that in the future hopefully things arent so crazy. But the good news is that things are finally getting worked out. The bad news is that it is RIGHT before the end of the transfer so we will be getting some new missionaries in next week.

Despite of everything going on I am SO happy. I just love being a misisonary, and as for me and my companion, things are going fantastic. We get along REALLY well and our area continues to do great even though we barely have any time to focus on it because we are taking care of zone things everyday and we live an hour bus ride away from the rest of our zone.

Well I am going to get on the pictures, but I am excited to talk to you (especially the best mom in the world) on monday (sunday for you guys).

Love, Jordan

SOOOO Hot & Humid (5/4/2012)

WOW it has definitely started to get into summer weather here. It is so incredibly hot and humid here now. I have switched to my summer clothes but realized that one pair of pants is lost :O and one has a big huge tear in it from last summer. I should be fine though. If i need more though, dont send any because here they are cheaper and better quality. But I think I am fine for now. :) Just a heads up for if something happens to my other pants.

So it has been another week of being super busy. Last week we had a total of 2 and a half days to actually do any missionary work for our own area. But somehow we miraculously were able to exceed our goals and teach more lessons than I ever have. In one day we had 10 member present lessons because we were able to split up with members and schedule our time with investigators really well. We got seven more the other days and a bunch of other lessons. I have realized that numbers dont matter, but this is just a testimony to me that we are doing what we should with focusing on our zone and trying to help them, because God is helping us so much with our own area.

We saw a huge miracle last Saturday. Our recent convert brought a dad and his son to us. The son was in a car crash that left him a little bit messed up and traumatized for the rest of his life, and the mom was killed. So when we met with them we are asking why they wanted to meet. The dad said because he wants to meet people who will have a good influence on their lives and wants to find friends for his son because ever since the accident, things have been hard for them. Then, he said he also had a feeling one night after his wife died that he would see her again. He didnt know why so he asked us about that. The spirit was so strong when we told him that he would see her again. The dad and his son have such a close relationship since the crash because the dad goes with the son places to make sure he is okay and because he has been teased a ton ever since because it left him with some problems. It makes me want to cry when I see them because they are so amazing and I can not wait to continue teaching them. They are really golden and I have a lot of faith in them. We should be getting at least a couple baptisms this month that we have lined up.

I have never been so happy as I have been these last few weeks. My companion is awesome, my area is the land of miracles, the ward is awesome, and I have been so busy.

This week we had some zone leader councils and things so thats why I am emailing you a day late. Those were pretty good.

I am excited for may. Next week I can call home for mothers day, I will turn 20, and I just feel like it will be a great month for our zone.

Sorry if my emails have been boring lately, I have just been so busy and not really remembering a lot ofthe things that happen because I havent really had time to write in my journal and stuff :/

I love you all and really do appreciate everything you do!!

Love, Jordan

Monday, April 30, 2012

Too busy (4/26/12)

Well I can tell you right now that this email will be very scattered and may be kind of hard to follow. 

President Chan asked us as the Zone Leaders to do some interviews with the new missionaries. So all of Monday and Tuesday were devoted to multiple hour-long interviews. 

What really impressed me was one missionary. After he was told he needed to be humble, he really understood and applied it. His interview was the easiest. He recognizes that his trainer is not perfect and they sometimes have different viewpoints, but he has really tried to not fight with him or put him down to other missionaries. He is able to voice his opinion and his trainer listens to him because they respect each other. He has really humbled himself a lot already which will help him throughout the rest of his mission. He is progressing at such a fast rate already, and I am really proud of him.

The problem we are facing, is that while there are some missionaries who are willing to accept what they need to change and do it, there are others who no matter who tells them, they have a harder time making the choice to make that change in themselves. 
I have learned that missions are the best environments to make change in ourselves. We have everything we need in order to do that, and we can change at such a fast rate. All we have to do is be constantly evaluating ourselves, be humble, and immediately take the action necessary to make the change.
Next week is Zone Leader Council and actually one of the topics of discussion is going to be about this exact thing, so I am excited to see what other missionaries have to say about it. Because I know it is a problem not only in our zone, or in our mission, but with people in general. We don't have to be perfectionists, but we have to constantly be improving or else we will fall behind and not progress as missionaries or as people.

Anyways, other than that our zone is doing fantastic. There are some areas that are really struggling (one district in particular) so we visited their district meeting and came up with specific goals and plans together to conquer the obstacles that are holding them back.

I dont think I have ever been so busy in my life. we have things to do from the second we wake up until it is time to turn off the lights. We often don't have our full study time or time to go finding, but to be honest I love it. While I really enjoy doing studies and finding, we have so much that we are doing to help our investigators, members, and missionaries in our zone. 

Last Saturday I had an experience I dont think I will ever forget. For the sake of other missionaries privacy and also because part of this may be gross, use discretion with what you put on my blog. But on Friday night... [removed a section here]

I was so spiritually exhausted on the inside. I had been humbled so much, and at that point I just felt like I had grown up from a boy to a man. 

Now I still definitely consider myslef a boy haha. But I will never forget the feeling I had that night. My companion and I had nothing really to say. My emotions were so mixed, but I knew that God was there and loves me and everyone on this planet.

The next day we heard the sister went to church and was just as happy and smiley as ever. 

Being a missionary is exhausting in every way possible. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Being responsible for 20 other missionaries is quite exhausting as well in and of itself. 

But I am so grateful I have this opportunity because I am everyday learning so much and everyday feeling so much love for everyone. I have learned so much about trials and pride, and patience, and so many other things. 

As for our little investigator Ken, all we can do is pray as he doesnt have a phone. I am so grateful to have such an incredible companion, and especially have such supportive family. There are so many missionaries here who dont.

I love you all!

Love, Jordan

problem solving and miracles (4/18/12)

So this week has been interesting. For my companionship it has been fantastic. We are always seeing miracles. On Sunday we had an hour of finding and we went on splits with two of the recent converts. Well in the middle of finding, my comp and I decided to go to a random little tiny grassy area with a bench on it. When we walked there we found a lady and a man sitting there. They both looked pretty rough, but we talked to them anyways. It turns out the lady is about 50 years old and she was actually baptized into a different ward when she was 20. But when she moved to Kwun Tong she lost contact with the members and was still a recent convert so she didn't have that much of a base or knowledge about things like there being a Kwun Tong ward. She was really excited and gave me her phone number and wants to start coming back to church and to activities again even though she said she really doesnt remember much about any commandments or church in general. 

Other companionships in our zone are struggling though. So yeah, we have been trying to keep in close contact with everyone by calling a couple people from our zone every night and just finding out what their needs are and how we can help them, and we were able to schedule interviews with President Chan for those who are really struggling a lot. 

Well on a happy note, our zone has had 4 baptisms so far this month and will probably at least double that number before the end of the month, and hopefully my comp and I will have one!!
He is this kid who is kind of quiet but super nice. We have been teaching him and his sister, and we gave him a baptismal date. At first I was a little bit worried because he was reluctant to accept it. But we promised him that if he prayed, came to church, and read his scriptures then God would help prepare him. Well he has been so excited and has been asking me all about his baptism, so as long as he can get parent permission, he will be good to go. It just continues to amaze me how when we promise blessings, they are always fulfilled. It is a testimony to me that we really have the authority to represent Jesus Christ as his missionaries.

Elder Ho is amazing. I asked someone who served in Kwun Tong a while ago about the young men here and they said there is only one who sometimes comes. Well this last Sunday I went to actual church for the first time (since the week before we had General Conference), and there were like 10 young men. Apparently all of them were either inactive and reactivated by Elder Ho, or they are his recent converts. The bishop was soooo excited about this. We are continuing to work with more, and now trying to get the ones we have to get temple recommends and we told them we would go to the temple with them because president chan just came out and said we can do that. Also, we are trying to get all of the men 18 and older who have not received the Melchizedek priesthood, to get it. Because this life is a process, and if we stop progressing will will fall behind. We believe that will 1. help them stay active and 2. give families good Melchizedek priesthood holders :)  

Well, we have to go spend P day running to the mission office and then going and buying a fax machine and doing a bunch of random things. I never really imagined how much time Zone Leaders spend doing their zone leader stuff. 

Thanks for everything!!

I love you all so much!!

Wish sam a late happy birthday again for me, and let him know I love him.

Have a great week!

Love, Jordan

Miracles and love in kwun tong (4/12/12)

Well first, it is definitely true what they say about Kwun Tong being the land of miracles. We have already seen SO MANY. Actually, this is pretty cool but when I was in my first area we made an activity that we invited the ward to and had them invite their friends. Well one of the recent converts Tomoko brought her friend who wound up liking it and coming to church a few times. But I remember for whatever reason the sister missionaries werent teaching her because they said she didnt live in the area. (I dont really understand why that makes a difference)
Well now jump forward to this last week. I walked into the chapel and saw this girl and she ran up to me and remembered me. It turns out that after I left the Kwun Tong missionaries got in contact with her and she got baptized just a little while ago. It makes me so grateful we had that activity, even though we didnt see any immediate success from it ourselves.

Kwun Tong ward is very interesting. It is the most diverse Chinese-speaking ward in Hong Kong. A lot of the ward is actually Indonesian or Thai. We go over to a Thai lady's house every week to eat on her roof. I have to take pictures next time because it is soooo cool.  Well anyways, we have had a lot of opportunities to give priesthood blessings. 

In one situation, a member from a different ward called and said her mom lived in our area and has some bad health problems. Her mom doesnt have religious beliefs but her daughter told her about blessings and she agreed to let us give her one. We went over and started talking about God and how blessings work. Then we gave her the blessing. In the middle of it she started crying and by the end it was obvious that she had felt the spirit so strong. She then called a few nights later and told us that she had been healed and had no more problems and she wanted to meet with us again. 

We really have just seen miracle after miracle here. I have loved it so much. I am also glad that I have a native companion because I have given a couple of Chinese blessings before but they are quite difficult. 

Speaking of my companion, he is amazing. He loves all of the people he works with and serves. He is an incredibly powerful missionary. He does everything he can to serve me. He makes really good food and always makes enough for me as well. When I think about him I just feel so much Charity towards him. 

Today for P day we went to Lamma Island. It is south of hong Kong Island and it has a lot of beaches and cool stuff. We played at the beach and then came back. It was pretty cool, but I think Cheng Chau is cooler.

Well I have to write sam a birthday email so I dont have much time. But have a great week!!

Love, Jordan

Kwun Tong, the land of miracles (4/4/12)

Well I just got to my new area. It is COMPLETELY different than my old area. One of our investigators who grew up in the United States told me it is like the Brooklyn of Hong Kong. It is very crowded and cramped, but really cool. The chapel is right down the street from our apartment and our apartment is HUGE(compared to my last apartment) they call it The Castle. It is in what some of the missionaries call "little pakistan". There are tons of middle easterners around where we live. Maybe I will get to practice my Arabic a little bit more. 

I still have NO IDEA what to do as ZL, but I guess that will just come with time. My comp is a newly called ZL too, but he knows more about what is going on.

My companion is super cool. He is a native as I said. His name is Elder Ho. He is super spiritual, and super cool. His family is in Tai Wo ward so during testimony meeting his dad got up and was talking about how I was leaving to be zl with his son. So the whole ward found out and that was pretty interesting. Elder Ho does not act like most of the other Chinese people do. He is closer to a polynesian, and built like one too. He has a really bad knee problem that everyone says he technically is supposed to be home getting surgery on, but they are trying to keep him here for two more transfers until his mission ends. 

I went to a missionwide fireside for everyone that they do every six weeks. My recent convert brother Ho was there and he was so excited to see me. He said he actually just moved to Kwun Tong so he was ecstatic when I told him that was where i am going. I am SUPER excited to be in his ward. He is so amazing. 

Well I honestly dont have too much to talk about.

I am still really disappointed about leaving tai po and tai wo, but I cant do anything about that. We were going to explode this next move with baptisms, and we just found some more super golden investigators who quickly started progressing. I will just keep praying for the areas and hope that the missionary replacing me will do well and him and my last companion can keep things goin. I have faith in them so i am not too worried. 

Tonight we are going to a members house to eat, apparently the ward here is really awesome, but in some ways it definitely has its struggles. I am super excited to meet the members and see what its like. 

Well, I am out of the northern mountains and villages and into the brooklyn of hong kong. I have a lot of changes to get used to with my new calling and with everything going on. But I have an amazing companion and a lot of other people around me to learn from. So I am really not worried at all. It will just be really different for the first couple weeks.

Well I have to go. I love you all so much!!

Love, Jordan