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.
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.
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!!
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.