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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