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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!!