This week Sister Percival really wanted to get a sausage McMuffin from McDonalds, so I told her how to order it in Chinese but she went up to the counter and spoke English to them and asked for an “egg burger.” Well, that’s exactly what they gave her and she walked back with an egg on a hamburger bun haha! I think that she learned the importance of always trying to speak to people in Chinese haha 😉 I also let her try an egg tart for the first time this week and realize how much of a mistake that it was because we have now stopped by the bakeries every single day. I can still feel the egg tarts….
We got a new investigator this week! Her name is Sister Yuen and she is doing so great! She actually lets us meet with her more than once a week which is more than our other investigators usually let us so she is already progressing so fast! She has such a firm belief in Jesus already and keeps saying how happy we look and how she just feels so good when she’s with us. She also has the cutest little girls that she brings with her sometimes! We are just having problems getting her to church because she, just like most other people here, goes to Mainland China quite often which means that we lose contact with her.
Wednesday was kind of frustrating because everybody canceled on us which meant that we had a lot of hours to be filled with trying to find people. We rode on the tram to try to talk to people, but there unfortunately weren’t a lot of people on at that time. After a couple minutes, a lady sat down across from me and I struck up a conversation with her. She looked so sad and when I tried to talk to her and tell her what I was doing as a missionary, she asked to be excused and turned away from me a little. I really felt like I should keep talking with her though, so I asked her name and she told me that she was really sorry, but she had just had some unhappy things happen lately. I talked to her a little more and she opened up to me and told me how happy she really was to talk to me. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I was talking to her and just had such a desire to help her so she didn’t have to feel so unhappy anymore. She had to get off, but thanked me again for me talking to her and then gave me her phone number and said that I could see her again. She got off the tram and out of nowhere I just kind of started crying to myself because I was so overcome with the love of Jesus Christ for this person. I know that I’m an easy crier, but that is the first time that I have cried out finding. It was such a special experience and I just know that our Heavenly Father’s love is real. I am so blessed to be able to share this happiness and love with people every day.
My lesson for the week: for the past 2 months, one of the light bulbs in our main area in our apartment has been burned out. I keep meaning to buy a new one, but I don’t know where to go and am afraid that it will take too much time and be too tedious to buy a new one. This week I decided to just go out and find a new one, and I literally had to walk about 10 steps outside of our apartment until I found a shop with what I needed. So the lesson is to not put off doing things, but to just get it done! We always make things out to be more difficult than they really are! And now our apartment is so much brighter!
I found this poem in a conference talk by President Monson from a few years ago and really loved it:
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide—
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”
May we always strive to build and uplift others instead of trying to break others down in order to lift ourselves up, because that’s never how it works. And always remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, who built the ultimate bridge for all of us, the bridge that allows us to have eternal life and happiness. Follow the example that He gave us and try to lift and help others. You may not benefit from your work, but others will and that will in turn help you as well!
Don’t forget to change any burnt out light bulbs! 😉
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) Just one of your typical shops here in Hong Kong
2) Pizza at the pier!
3) We accidentally crashed a free music concert, 2 weddings, and a graduation at the park the other day…whoops!
It really has been getting colder here lately! It has felt absolutely FREEZING this past week! I asked one of the members what temperature it was and it turned out that it was really only like 55 degrees out. I really have turned into a wimp when it comes to the weather haha!
Thanksgiving was this week!! Our zone got together for a little Thanksgiving party and my companion and I were asked to make rolls for it. So I got a recipe from my mom (thanks momma!) and we got to work on them during our meals. The only thing is that maybe I’m just not used to reading so much English and also we didn’t really look it over that well beforehand, but we may or may not have made a few mistakes while making them. Okay, yeah, we made a lot of mistakes. After a couple hours, some prayer, and a lot of flour, they turned out great! They were some of the best rolls that I have eaten! One little miracle that shows that God cares even about the little things in our lives!
And speaking of which, I hit my half-way point on Thanksgiving– yikes! It’s crazy how fast time flies by! I also can’t believe that I’ve been in this same area, my first one, for 7 months already! I remember at first I just wanted to leave and go experience what the rest of Hong Kong was like, but my perspective really has changed so much since then. I love this area and this people so much that I really don’t ever want to leave! I have walked these streets so many times that they really do feel like home now.
Sadly, we don’t really have a lot of progressing investigators right now as it seems that other things in life always take priority over church, but we have been seeing lots of new faces which is good too! We had an old lady take us out to dim sum again this week and boy did she own that place! She waltzed into that yam chah restaurant and literally everyone there knew her! Turns out that she really doesn’t have interest in the gospel, she just wanted to talk with us, but at least she was pretty straightforward with us. Also, Chinese people have a thing that you can order that says it’s pizza but it’s not pizza. It’s a big circle of rice with random stuff in/on it. Don’t let China fool you with their fake pizzas! (…..it was still pretty good though ;)….)
We also met with a girl from Indonesia here studying at HKU and she is so nice and has so so much potential! We gave her a tour of the building and then taught the Restoration to her and she seemed to be really interested! I found her on the MTR and it was a really random and fast encounter, but she let us meet with her regardless. I asked her why and she said she didn’t really know, she just felt like she should. We’ll have to turn her over to the English elders, but she is doing good for now!
You know about my movie career? Well, one of our investigators, Ron, randomly wanted to interview me and my companion for a little film that he’s making. What did I tell you about it being my big break?! Also with that documentary that I was in last week, it should be out in a few weeks and I can direct you to the youtube link, it should be pretty good!
With Thanksgiving and my half-way mark being on the same day this past week, it really got me thinking. I realized just how grateful I am for this precious time here. It really goes by so fast. And I also realized that it’s easier than you would think to just go through the motions in life. I don’t care whether it’s a mission, school, work, with friends, or anything else that you do in a day, we sometimes forget what it is that we are actually doing. Do you realize how blessed you are?! But really! Take a second to just live life and think about what you’re doing and how amazing everything is! I feel like just running down the streets and telling everyone how precious life is and to just lift up your head and smile. But I also realize that I can do that, at least to a small degree, through my example. Sometimes I smile and wave to people on the streets and they look up and smile for just a couple seconds and it makes my day! It really is through small and simple things that we can change our lives and the lives of those around us. After all, life is no more than a culmination of all of these little moments.
Wave to some strangers!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) The comp and I!
2) A member gave us a HUGE Ferrero Rocher!
3) Sisters in the zone with some of the food that we made for thanksgiving
4) A close up on the rolls 😉
Life is so great, and this week was filled with lots of hard work, but also a little bit of some extra stuff on the side 😉
I’ve been doing a little bit of *acting* on the side of missionary work. They are doing a documentary here about our church in Hong Kong and some of the misconceptions and stereotypes that surround it. Okay, so maybe it’s not an actual movie and will only be like a half hour long and aired on a local station here and I’ll probably be in it for about 3 minutes, but great things start small, right?! One of the sections in it is about Mormon missionaries, so they filmed a few scenes of us doing some finding and asked us a few questions in an interview. They thought it would be interesting to film us because my companion is so new to the mission and they wanted to get some good insights. It was really cool to be in something that will hopefully help people better understand our church. And, I mean, If I just so happen to get famous for it then I guess that would be fine too 😉
We taught our investigator, Ron, this week and our lesson was an hour and a half long! We taught the plan of salvation and he just had so many good questions for us. He leaves soon for California, so we are trying to get him solid so that he can hopefully be baptized when he goes back to the states. The sad thing is that he didn’t come to church this Sunday because he was sick 😦 But we’ll teach him again and get him solid!
This was just kind of the week of teaching random guys in the park, because we met another guy and taught him. Turns out that he mostly just wanted to complain to us about his girlfriend, though, so that was kind of a bummer. At the end of the lesson, he get up to go, takes out his phone, snaps a selfie with us, and then literally runs away! And I mean running, he bolted out of that park! Haha, it was a fun experience!
Remember that popo who I got to sit down on the bench with me the other week? Well, we got ahold of her and taught her and she was so cute! We should be able to see her again this week 🙂
In church on Sunday, there were some people from America who were originally from Hong Kong here visiting family for the week who are ward members. They didn’t speak Cantonese though and in Sunday school I got volunteered by the other missionaries to translate for her! I have to admit that I felt kind of silly translating into Chinese for a Chinese person, myself being a white girl from Oklahoma, but I was actually able to do a pretty okay job (I hope!) It was such a neat experience and good to see the progress that I have made in my mission so far!
Second chances are real. Last week we met a guy in a park and then scheduled to meet him again on Saturday to teach a lesson to him. He showed up and we taught him a lesson, but it was probably the worst lesson that I have ever taught. Afterwards, I just sat down on a bench and pulled out some fudge from my bag and just kind of tried to wash the nightmare out of my head of what had just happened. (And by the way, if it’s sugary enough, fudge CAN heal the soul at least a little bit). We tried to kind of laugh it off, learn from our mistakes, and burn his phone number to forget about it. But the other day we decided to call him again anyways and he let us schedule him again. What he was thinking, I have no idea and I am like 100% sure that it was the Spirit that persuaded him to say yes, but we saw him again just a couple days ago and it went so much better! We brought a member with us this time and he actually participated more in the lesson and it looks like we’ll be able to see him again. The hard thing is that he knows nothing about Christianity and what little he does know is kind of mixed up and confused. I just have to say that I am so grateful for the mercy of second chances. It just goes to show that the Lord will always be there to help you, no matter how badly you mess it up!
I really do have such a testimony of the goodness and grace of the Savior. If there were no such thing as second chances, I really don’t know how my life would be right now! I am also grateful for the many miracles that we’ve been seeing and for my companion and her hard work!
I love you all! Keep working hard and take advantage of those second chances!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) The building we live in!
2) We found some flowers in the trash and did the only reasonable thing and took them home… they were still perfectly fine haha!!
3) I know that you were all missing Leung Popo, so here’s another picture!
4) The harbor at night
This was SUCH A GREAT WEEK!
We were able to reach or surpass almost all of the goals that we had set for the week and got to meet with so many potential investigators, some of which I have been trying to get ahold of and schedule for about 5 months now! There have honestly been so many blessings!
It has been so fun being with a missionary who just barely got here and also seeing all of the progress that she has already made! We’ve already had some good laughs together and I feel like I have become such a better missionary.
One of our potentials took us to dim sum, but it was at 9:00 in the morning! That’s a lot more random fried and steamed food than I’m used to in the mornings! I have figured out that most Chinese food is just a bunch of different combinations of random meat mixed with random vegetables and then served with some sort of rice–and trust me, I have learned that there are a LOT of different ways that you can eat rice. She was super nice and even brought her mom and uncle! She turned out to not have a ton of interest, but her mom sounded kind of interested and were are hoping to be able to meet with her again and share a little bit more with her.
We also saw another potential at the park this past Thursday. What we didn’t realize was that she worked at the park and so we just kind of walked around with her and talked while she patrolled the park and what not. And it actually turned out so well! We gave her a Book of Mormon and committed her to start reading it and she accepted! Before we left, we taught her a just a little bit of English since she didn’t know how to speak a lick of it and her face lit up so bright! We couldn’t help but to smile too when we saw how happy she was at something so simple. It made me realize I often I take the little things for granted!
We taught one of our investigators about the plan of salvation and when we got to the part where we explained how we came to earth and got our bodies, she stopped us suddenly, looked us straight in the eyes, and asked what happens to our bodies when we get taken by the aliens. Oh man, it was just so funny and random that I didn’t know how to respond to it! Don’t worry, though, I related it back and we got back on course haha!
I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday at church and just had such a feeling come over me, I’m not really sure how to explain it. It was just such a gratitude for the Savior and for everything that He did for me and for everyone. There’s a song that asks “I wonder how many drops of blood were shed for me” and I think about that a lot. I think about how he suffered so that I don’t have to. This knowledge has given me much more peace and comfort than I can even begin to express. If there is one thing that I know, if there is one thing that I have had ingrained in me since coming out here, it’s that the atonement is real. I am so grateful for this act that has allowed me to overcome my faults and try to become who the Lord needs me to be.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here. I know that it is exactly where I am meant to be. If you don’t feel like you are where you’re supposed to be or doing what you need to be, pray for guidance to get where you need to!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) a red bean rice thing. I actually used to HATE red bean at first, but it turns out if you eat something enough times you learn to love it!
2) there were SO many people doing exercise at the park the other day! I have never seen so many people slapping their heads and arms in unison before!
3) Cats! Yeah, I don’t really know why they’re there either
4) Just getting into the Christmas spirit!
This week has been full of lots of crazy twists and turns as well as a few changes! In case you didn’t already figure it out from the title, I got a new companion on Thursday and I’m training!!! She came from a MTC group of 12 elders and she is the only sister, so she hasn’t ever had a real companion before and there will be a lot of trial and error! Her name is Sister Percival and she is actually from Wales and she is so amazing! In the few days that we’ve been together, I have already seen so much progress–it makes me so proud! She is a hard worker and I am so so excited for this opportunity! Let’s just say that we’ll both be doing a lot of learning over these next few months! I’ve already been practicing my British accent and had her laugh at me every time! I may not have a Chinese accent yet, but I’ll at least have a British one by the time that I’m done!
In Hong Kong, there are literally so so many less-active members and the majority of them are “lost”, which means that we don’t have any way to get into contact with them anymore because their contact info has changed and they never informed any one. I always have the thought as I’m walking the streets that all of theses “lost sheep” are probably walking right past me and I don’t even know. Well the other day while we were finding we found one! I sat down next to her on the tram and started talking and asked if she’d been to church before and she said that she had been baptized into the same church as me when she was younger. My jaw dropped a little when I realized that she was one of these lost sheep and I just talked to her for a little. She wasn’t willing to give me her number, but my companion actually ended up talking to her daughter that was just a couple seats away and was able to get her number. What a blessing! She doesn’t live in our area, but we’ll give her number to the missionaries over there and we hope that they’ll be able to help them out!
We were at a park last night doing a little bit of finding and were sitting on a bench for a minute because the person that we had been talking to had just left. I turned to Sister Percival and said, “What do you want to bet that I can get the next person that walks by to sit by me?” I waved at a popo that walked by and she was so happy and I motioned for her to sit next to me and she did haha! Apparently she recognized me because I had talked to her before (though I had no recollection of such) and we talked for a good little while. She thought that what we were doing was great and gave me her phone number before I could even ask for it! She was so cute and I can’t wait to call her and see her again! It was such a cool little experience and testifier that there are people ready to hear about the gospel, but sometimes we have to open our mouths and literally invite them to sit down next to us first!
Our two main investigators, Ron and Auntie Amy, are doing well! They made it back safe and sound from Mainland China and actually came to church yesterday as well! Auntie Amy is one of the funniest people that I have ever met and just has an air of easiness about her that has helped her make friends at church easily. I can’t wait to see how their progress continues over this next little while!
One of the greatest things that we can have, the greatest thing we can do, is hope. And sometimes that really is all that we can do. It is so unbelievably easy to get down on things. I myself know that I have done plenty of things that I wish I hadn’t done or that I know I could have done better. I don’t think that there would be enough paper in the world for me to make a list of all of the things in my life that I should have changed! But hope, and especially hope in the Savior Jesus Christ, allows us to move past what was and onto the the glorious thought of what can be. Moroni 7:41 “And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.” We need not lament and worry because we are given a sure hope that all things will be made right. If you are stuck living in the past, then you won’t have much of a future. Remember the past, learn from it, and then use it to make the present, and in effect the future, even better. We are told that all things will be for our experience, but what kind of an experience that is and the lesson that we learn is always up to us. Replace doubt with hope and and a resolve to be just a little better starting step by step and day by day! And remember to apply the Atonement daily into your life!
Learn from the past and look to the future!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) Me and Sister Percival after I picked her up!! ❤
2) Outside of a museum that we went to
3) This is what a tram or a “ding ding” looks like. There was a protest that we accidentally walked into the other day and all of them got stopped because of the police blockade!
4) And of course the city!
So you know how I e-mailed just a few weeks ago about how Sister Curtis left and I got a new companion, Sister Martin? Well, after being with her for about a month now, we just got move calls last night and I will be staying in West Point, but she will be leaving! It was so unexpected and I am so so sad to see her go after such a short amount of time here, but that’s just how it goes sometimes I guess! We don’t know where she’s going yet and I don’t know who my new companion will be, but I’ll let you know next week!
We’ve been teaching this new investigator, Henry, and he’s doing so well! He has a real desire to know what his purpose here on earth is and told us in our lesson with him that one of the things that he wants most out of life is to help others be happier. Luckily, we know exactly how to help him figure out both of those things! The only problem is that he doesn’t live in our area so we will have to turn him over to some elders this week. When we went to go see him, we accidentally got out at the wrong exit of the subway and rushed to the chapel so that we could meet him on time. Right as we got there, he called us saying that he was waiting for us at the MTR exit because he didn’t know how to get to the church. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen two white girls in dresses running down the streets of Hong Kong at night, but it makes for a pretty funny scene! I was sweating so much when we saw him that he pulled out a tissue for me to wipe my face haha! Things turned out well though and he should be all set to be turned over to the elders next week!
There is a former investigator that I have been trying to get ahold of for the past month or so and we finally got to see her for the first time this week! We just met her at HKU and got to know her and taught a short lesson, and she was so cute! She seemed really happy to meet with us and remembered the missionaries from before, the only problem is that she is super busy with classes and tests right now, so we don’t know how much we’ll be able to see her. One of the biggest problems that we face here is that people are just always so busy that it’s hard to even see them once a week sometimes. That means that seeing them enough to actually help them progress is very difficult. But luckily we are very persistent missionaries and we try to keep in touch with them!
Lately I’ve kind of been going through a crisis. I’ve realized that there are so many foods here that I still haven’t tried! So last week was my fruit kick and I bought a whole bunch of random fruits from the grocery store. Probably the most adventurous one that I tried was one simply labeled “Chinese fruit” which didn’t really have any flavor and really wasn’t that enjoyable. But I also figured out that guava is delicious!! It was money well spent. We’ll see what I end up buying this week…
This week we also got to go to the temple and I know that I say this every time, but it was so great!! It really does help you to just kind of set aside any care that has been weighing you down and puts things into a more eternal perspective. It is hard to feel stressed or worried when you are sitting in the house of the Lord. It was also a cool experience because our session was actually in Indonesian, so we were in a room surround by people from Indonesia who had sacrificed so much to be able to come to the temple. It really helped me to feel more of an appreciation for the temple and realize what a sacred gift it is. There are people who sacrifice so much to be able to go there! Do I myself realize what a unique opportunity it is to be able to attend?
For the past 2 months, we missionaries and our ward correlators have been working really hard to put on a Halloween activity for the ward. We have spent countless hours planning, and calling, and trying to put things together so that it is a success. Shout out to the awesome people in our ward who worked so hard and did an amazing job with it! We ended up having SO MANY people there–it was so great! I think that the church was more crowded than it usually is on Sundays! There were so many ward members’ friends that came to the activity and we were able to get so many numbers of potential investigators. And the best part is that a lot of people that came were families which is so exciting because it’s so hard to find families to teach! Oh man, it really was just so good! Halloween really isn’t a big thing here, but it was still a fun activity and turned out so well!
24 ¶Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I just loved these scripture when I read them the other day. It just really made me think about what it is that I value in life and the way that I am spending my time. It is
so crucial that we just get to work and lose ourselves in the service of others. It’s kind of contradictory, but the only way that we can actually improve ourselves and become better is by forgetting about ourselves and focusing on the needs of others. I am grateful for the ultimate example that our Savior gave us of how to selflessly serve others and truly live a full and rewarding life. I know that as we serve others, not only does it help others around us, but it also strengthens us and helps us to align our will with the Lord’s. If you just get lost in the work of the Lord, you will get back so much more than you ever sacrificed. In the end when we are able to see all of the blessings that God has set aside for us, we will ask, “is that all that was required of me?”
I love you all! Thanks for your support!
1) our district at the temple
2) part of the Halloween activity
3) one of our members went to Korea and bought us back some shirts, so we wore them to church on Sunday!
4) some super good fungus that I ate. Seriously though, it was really good.
5) some kids at the activity!