As you might be able to tell from the title of this e-mail, I may or may not have picked up a couple of talents in the past week… I’ll explain more later 😉
This week the Lau Family invited us over to dinner at their house again because both of their daughters are home from college for about a week. They live all the way up on The Peak so we had to take a bus as far as it would go and then walk the rest of the way. The only problem is that when it let us off, it was dark and absolutely POURING rain so hard! So we got a taxi to stop and took it the rest of the way to the top. We walked into their house a little disheveled. But they are a super great family. And we even got to share with one of their non-member friends that they had invited a little bit about what we as missionaries do!
I went on exchanges to Pok Fu Lam this week with another missionary and we did some less-active finding in one of their big apartment complex building things in their area, I really don’t know quite how to explain what it was. Most of the time, these people have moved or aren’t home so it can be a little discouraging. We were about to head back to Sai Wan because it was getting late, but we decided to visit one last apartment first. And it was the correct lady and she let us in! A miracle in and of itself! She remembered the church and loved missionaries, even though she hadn’t been in like 12 years! We shared a message and she will let the other sisters come back again next week.
There’s this one less-active we have that is impossible to schedule! But we finally got a hold of her and she let us see her this week which was awesome. We showed up and shared a quick message because we had to go to Welcome Center in Wan Chai afterwards, but before we left, she whipped out some bags of balloons and a pump and started showing us how to make balloon animals! It was so unexpected! We took it with us to Welcome Center and gave them out to all of the little kids that passed by and they loved it so much. It turned out to be a great gift! And so basically now I am an expert at making those little dogs and this is pretty much only the beginning of an amazing future, I can already see it! I will win the hearts of ALL the little kids haha!
Another funny story; the other week the other sisters that we live with had “summer missionaries” for a couple of weeks, which are just 16 and 17 year old girls from Hong Kong who want to see what missionary life is like for a little bit. One of them kept saying that I looked like this cartoon/doll thing, but I wasn’t really that sure what she was talking about because she was speaking in Cantonese. I was like “oh, that’s so sweet that she thinks I look like this doll, I can’t wait to see what she’s talking about!” So she promised me she would send an e-mail to me when she got home and I just got it. And I opened it up and it was a picture of a Smurf! She thinks I look like a little blue creature! I showed my companion and we died laughing for the next 10 minutes!
We had Stake Conference this past Sunday and Saturday and it was really good! It was good to see that my language is improving because I could understand most of what people said in their talks! Granted when I’m talking about random stuff in Chinese I can’t understand as much, but it was a good booster. And there was one person who gave a talk about one of the most precious gifts our Heavenly Father has given us: our time. He basically talked about doing things now, today, and how waiting until tomorrow was already too late. It made me think about the quote that talks about how the best time to plant an oak tree is 50 years ago, but the next best time is right now!
Have a spectacular week and always remember: when life gives you a bag of balloons, make some balloon animals!
1) The subway when it was SUPER crowded the other day
2) some gummies we got, they are SO good. And eggs, so pretty healthy 😉
3) View of West Point from the Lau house
4) Some food and candles people left out after they got done worshipping their ancestors. It’s a part of Chinese culture to show respect to them.
5) Balloons at Welcome Center
6) MORE BALLOONSS!!
No typhoons or monkeys this time, but the work is still continuing!
This week we visited one of our investigator’s houses and she insisted on making us food. When we got there, she had already laid out a few dishes and started having us eat fruit after fruit while we waited for her to finish cooking. By the time that she was done, she had laid out an entire feast for the 3 of us and I already felt full. She must have been cooking all day long! It was all pretty good, but truly it was a lot of food and she kept insisting that we eat everything that she had made and scooped endless amounts into our bowls. She even scolded me for drinking too much water, which is something that Chinese people don’t really do while they eat, and replaced it with a cup of boiling hot soup! But the highlight was when I made the mistake of telling her that I liked the peanut sauce she had made for the noodles and she proceeded to scoop almost all of it into my bowl! I love peanut butter, but I haven’t touched it again after eating that dinner. On a side note, I found out that I really like eating bamboo! We still got to teach her and she has a baptismal date for September, so it was all worth it! You know, sometimes you just have to make a few sacrifices.
The Primary had an activity making cupcakes this week and we were able to stop by for a few minutes. There were SO many friends of mothers with their kids there, we were able to get some of their numbers and invite them to another activity that we will be putting on in a week. There were so many little kids running around that I didn’t know what to do with myself! Also the cupcakes were pretty good and we got to steal a couple… 🙂
We got a hold of a less-active member that we have been trying to see for the past couple of months and she let us visit her at her house! It was really good to talk with her because has been going through a really hard time right now with some events that happened. She had apparently become less-active in part because she though that Buddhism just made more sense, but with the way that things have happened, she has more of a hope and desire to believe in Christ again. I have so much faith that we will be able to get her back! We’ll be there again next week!
The father of our recent convert, Floren, passed away a week ago. He really was her whole life and she had even quit her job so that she could start taking care of him full-time. He had been in the hospital for the past 3 months, but she always held onto a hope that he would get better, despite what all of the doctors and everyone else always told her. But his condition kept getting worse and worse until he passed away. We met with her the day after and she just missed him so much, she would just go for walks by herself now. But she still has so much faith! I am so grateful for this knowledge that we have of a life after this. The end of this life is not just darkness and nothingness with no hope for anything more. Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, there is hope and there is light. Sorrow is swallowed up in His sacrifice. This really is the greatest knowledge and I am so grateful to have it!
Make this the best week ever! Press forward!
1) A Japanese restaurant! Hou sihk!
2) Service at a disabled center
3) What a typical bus looks like in Hong Kong
4) Hong Kong at night!
This week started off pretty exciting with my first ever typhoon! It really wasn’t a very bad one, but it was still kind of scary! There were really heavy rains and winds so we were confined to our apartments for most of the day on Tuesday for our protection. And for the next day or so every body wanted to talk to you about the typhoon haha. It was pretty exciting! Monday was pretty nice weather though, and we got to go to the zoo and see some more monkeys, but this time they were in cages.
The other day on the subway I talked to this lady and got her number and she was actually willing to meet with us and let us schedule a time! Yaya! We met her on Saturday and before we could even say anything, she whipped out a big bag that she had been carrying and proceeded to give us all sorts of different gifts. And then when the bag was empty, she gave us the bag itself, which honestly was pretty hip! The lesson went pretty well, but she mostly did all of the talking and wouldn’t let us say much which can be kind of frustrating at times. But one of the key teaching skills is being able to listen to others and more than just that, being able to really understand them and find ways to highlight truths of the gospel through what they say. We did reschedule her again though, so I’m excited to see how it goes!
We also visited the Lee family in our ward and then they took us out to dim sum at a nearby restaurant. It was my first time to go and it was pretty good! They ordered like 13 different dishes for the 4 of us, so I walked away pretty full by the end of it! It was really fun to try a lot of different Chinese foods that I hadn’t eaten yet. There was this one steamed custard bun that was SO good!! I am blessed to have such a great ward who takes care of the missionaries and tries to help us out through simple means!
We also went with some members of the relief society to visit some elderly people from our ward who haven’t been able to come in years because of health reasons. We visited sister Chu who was in her 80s and had Alzheimer’s so she couldn’t really do anything or speak. We just sat and visited with her, trying to get her to remember things and talk with us. We read in 3 Nephi with her when Jesus Christ visits the Americas and you could tell that she wanted to speak and say something so badly, but no matter how hard she tried, no words could ever come out. You could feel the Spirit and it was a testimony to me that this gospel and the peace that it brings can really teach anyone’s heart, no matter what condition they are in.
My focus this week was on humility. It’s a simple word and a simple concept, but there is so much power behind it. When we are filled with pride and selfishness, our minds are clouded and the influence of the Spirit is gone. If we are humble, however, I can testify that we can have a hope and assurance and begin to see people more like Christ would see them. And after all, the Savior Himself, greatest of all, came not for any glory that He could receive, but in all things acknowledged the grace and power of our God and Heavenly Father.
Keep working hard and moving forward!
1) just monkeying around 😉
2) Dim Sum with the Lee family
3) Sister Chu
4) at the zoo!
I know that I say this every time–but what a great week! Sometimes you just have to stop and take a second to be grateful because there are so many blessings! Too often I take for granted this wonderfully sacred opportunity and forget how utterly amazing it is that I get to be in this place at this time doing this work!
On Monday we went to the Chun Family’s house in our ward for dinner and it was all so good! They are such an amazing family and I was grateful to spend some time with them and get to know them a little better. One thing about me is that my very least favorite vegetable is cauliflower. I will try to avoid it as much as I can. For dinner Sister Chun made a whole bowl of it and throughout dinner I took a little bit of it to be polite. After everyone was pretty much done eating there was still about half of the bowl left and she asked if anyone wanted some more. I thought that I would be nice and take a little bit more and she ended up dumping almost all the rest of it onto my plate which let me tell you was A LOT of cauliflower! But I ate it all and walked out of the apartment full of more cauliflower than I have ever eaten before in all of my life combined!
We have TONS of ants in our apartment and moved a cupboard in the kitchen to try to spray some of them and found a lizard hanging out back there! This wouldn’t be too weird other than we live on the 23rd floor of our apartment building!! So we of course grabbed some cans of soup and proceeded to have our dinner in the church building haha!
For the first time, I got to go to the Hong Kong Temple this week for P-day! We’re supposed to be able to go every transfer, but it has been closed for the past little while for cleaning so I didn’t get a chance to go earlier. It was 3 months without the temple and 3 months too long! There really is such a special feeling in the temple and it is such a wonderful opportunity to forget about all of the worldly cares and worries that weigh you down, and realign your will with God’s. If you are feeling troubled and burdened or even just need a break, there really is no place greater than the temple! How blessed I am to have one so close, and if any of you have the same blessing be sure to take advantage of it and go as often as possible! I promise you that there are great blessings waiting for you!
We have of course still been seeing Floren, our recent convert, and teaching her all of the after-baptism lessons. This week we were teaching about baptism and the Holy Ghost again and at the end of the lesson I felt impressed to bear my testimony about prayer. Her dad is really old and has been in the hospital for almost 2 months ever since he suffered a really bad stroke. I talked about just how she misses her dad and desperately wants him to get better, we have our Heavenly Father who also misses us dearly and wants the absolute best for us. And even though we can’t go and visit Him, we can still communicate with Him through our prayers. At that moment I could feel Heavenly Father’s love for her so strongly I started to tear up a little bit and was just so grateful that I could share this wonderful message with her. I know that we are all God’s children and that He wants to help us, but we have to do our part first.
This week we were waiting outside of an investigator’s apartment building and waved to a cute little popo (the term for an old lady, pronounced “paw-paw”) that walked by. She stopped and asked “sihk jo faahn meih a?” asking if we had eaten yet and then patted our stomaches haha! She was really nice and we even ended up getting her number and visiting her later that week! She was already Christian and loved talking about Jesus Christ! She also loves taking selfies, so I got some good pictures 😉
One thing about our ward here is people LOVE to just give out food, especially to missionaries! This Sunday we walked away with some wafers, an entire cheesecake, and a package of pork chops!! Man, they are so nice! People love giving out random things!
I was studying about exactly what the “gospel” is. The Bible dictionary explained it as literally meaning “good news” and I just thought how accurate that was! Because how truly amazing is this message after all?! Sometimes I just stop and have to take a minute to realize how amazing this gospel and the opportunities that Jesus Christ has allowed all of us to have by the life He lived and all that He did!
My invitation for the week: find the good in everyone and see them not for who they are, but who they can become! We all have such amazing potential, don’t you dare overlook that in anyone else or in yourself!
District at the temple
Hong Kong Temple!
Preparation days are supposed to be relaxing, but this past Monday I was absolutely exhausted by the time that we got home. We went to Monkey Mountain and it was pretty much exactly how it sounds–a mountain with lots of monkeys. We had to be careful because apparently they attack you if you have food or stare at them for too long. Luckily we did neither of those things and made it back in one piece! Although we did get kind of lost and ended up following this random old lady down the side of the mountain pretty much. She was actually pretty nice, but man was I tired afterwards!
Another funny incident happened while I was on the tram last week. I now realize that all of my interesting experiences seem to have taken place on the tram. It’s the place to be! I sat down next to this older man in his 60s maybe who honestly looked kind of like a pirate with his long and ragged hair as well as tanned skin and a vest. I said hello to him and then he started talking to me. He was born in England but is a gypsy so he doesn’t really have a home or a family and just kind of travels from place to place. Upon talking further with him it turns out that is actually also a communist rebel that has been in Hong Kong and the Phillipines for the past 20 years waiting for the downfall of western civilization. I asked him about his religious views and he had some pretty interesting takes on God that I didn’t quite follow. As he left he said, “You know, we’re really on the same team.” It was just overall a very interesting conversation.
And now for the highlight–the Bible basher! There was this potential investigator that we met on the street a couple of weeks ago and taught a really simple lesson to. She was really interested in religion, but was a baptist and pretty devoted to her religion. She was actually really nice and courteous and even wanted to see us again which was awesome. You’re probably wondering where the whole Bible bashing aspect of this comes into play. Well, we met her again this week and she brought a white friend with her (and juice! :D). We sat down to share the message that we had prepared and the man introduced himself as the pastor of her church! He was a fairly nice man, but it was very soon clear that he wasn’t really that interested in hearing what we had to say, he just wanted to suffocate every one of our beliefs with a mountain of obscure passages from the Bible. We talked with him for a bit, bore our testimonies and left. And laughed a little bit about how funny the situation we were just in was! He was probably thinking that he was going to confound us and convince us of our errors, but all it really did was strengthen my own testimony and conviction. It was interesting to get a peak into someone else’s beliefs, but made me realize just how grateful I am for the knowledge that I have!
I was reading in the Book of Mormon and came across a passage that I really liked about one of the kings, Mosiah.
And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah; yea, they did esteem him more than any other man; for they did not look upon him as a tyrant who was seeking for gain, yea, for that lucre which doth corrupt the soul; for he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood; but he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage; therefore they did esteem him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure.
It says that “they did esteem him more than any other man.”Now, this king Mosiah really wasn’t anyone special. He wasn’t particularly talented or blessed with extraordinary intellectual gifts. He wasn’t stronger than anyone else nor did he try to get gain over them. I’m sure that he was your typical run-of-the-mill kind of guy who was just trying to do his part. But he was a good person. he treated everyone he came into contact with with kindness and really truly loved them. He didn’t try to pull himself higher by pushing others down. He took time to think about and serve others and made them know that they were worth his time. If you really want to be “esteem[ed]… beyond measure” all you have to do is love people. No extra talents of either the physical or the mental are required, just love and a little humility.
Now go out there and get to serving!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) Dinner with the Woo Family!
2) Pretty view
3) Sisters and I at Monkey Mountain
4) Leung Popo again (the coolest 96-year-old you’ll ever meet)