Our investigator, Winnie, passed her baptismal interview and is getting baptized next Sunday, March 5th!!! I am so excited that she is going to take this next big step and even more excited and humbled that I get to play just a tiny part in it all! She was already being taught when I got here so I have only been able to be here for a little bit of her journey, but am still so happy to be able to see her get baptized!
We were able to see some new investigators this week which was amazing! One of them is actually named Jacky Chan, though I am sorry to inform you that he is not actually a martial arts master. But meeting with this guy was so much better than that because instead of his showing us how to find inner peace, we got to teach HIM about his divine potential and what the purpose of life is. We had just called him from a potential sheet so we didn’t really know anything about him beforehand, but he ended up being really interested in what we had to say and Sister Malone and I were both feeling the Spirit because the lesson that we had planned on went totally out the window and we had a really good discussion with him. One thing that you should know about people here is that they have never really thought about the deeper questions in life as to why we’re here and what our purpose is. Sometimes we’ll ask people and they just say “I’d never thought about that before” or “It doesn’t really matter, just as long as you’re a good person” but this guy, Jacky, actually ended up asking US what our purpose in life was and we got to teach him about the plan of salvation. He has had quite a few hard things in his life that I just know the gospel can help him with, so hopefully we can keep meeting with him!
We also met another potential investigator who we didn’t know anything about beforehand and she actually showed up to the lesson and ended up being super cool! When we gave her a tour of the chapel we showed her the baptismal font and she was really interested in it. Also, there were some millipedes or something swimming around in the bits of water that weren’t cleaned up from a few weeks ago so she might have also been staring at those as well….. awkward…. but it was actually a really good lesson with her! She is very traditional and is very into Buddhism and a very feeling and sensing kind of person. We had her say the prayer after the lesson and it was really good, she was so sincere in saying it.
Some fun Chinese for the week:
Baker= mihnbaau sifu which literally translates into “bread master”. So that’s pretty cool
I was also learning some characters this week and figured out that the word for animal is “dungmaht” and the “duhng” character means to move and the “maht” charcter just means “stuff”, so an animal is literally translated into Chinese as “moving stuff”. I just love how much Chinese makes sense–it’s so fun to learn!
I was reading about the parable of the 10 virgins in the Bible and was struck again by the need that we have to prepare ourselves before it’s time. Just like in the parable of the virgins, by the time that you hear the cry it’s already too late. I am not the best person at being proactive and not procrastinating, so this is a lesson that I am still trying to learn. The time to buy oil for your lamp is not when the feast has already started, just like the time to improve and work harder is not when we see an eminent need to do so. When Noah built the ark, the rains hadn’t even started, but it would have been too late if he waited until the sky had darkened before he decided that it was probably a good idea to build that boat that he had been commanded to make. Do what you need to while the sun is still shining so that you will be prepared for when the storms. come. Remember that by the time you hear the bridegroom call, it is already too late, so start now!
Love you all!! Be proactive!!!
I hit my one year mark on the 24th which was CRAZY! Time flies!! This is Sister Vasseur, a sister that I live with who is also from my MTC group
At a ward activity! The girl with the dog is our investigator Winnie who is getting baptized next Sunday!!!
It still feels really weird that I’ve only been in Hung Shui Kiu for a little over a week because there is already so much that has happened and I absolutely love it here!!!! I don’t think that it would be possible for me to pick another place on the whole earth that I love more. Heavenly Father really does know best!
There were a couple of lessons that I learned this week to sum things up:
1. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or, Hong Kong New Territories style, don’t judge a shack by its outside.
2. The dogs will lead you. Okay, I know that doesn’t really make much sense, but I can explain.
So this week we decided to do some finding in the morning which we never do because we’re usually doing studies at that time and it’s not necessarily the best time to go outside and do some finding. But we felt that we should and so we did and at first we were able to talk to a few people, but really didn’t have too much success. We saw a lady walking a couple of dogs by herself down an empty street, so we decided to stop and talk to her for a minute. Well, she was pretty happy to talk to us and ended up giving us her dogs’ leashes and we walked with her for about 15 minutes as we walked her dogs down the street and talked to her. We shared with her what we were doing and she said that she had been to our church before in a different area about 15 years ago and that she had a friend she knew that was also a member of our church, but we didn’t recognize the name. We were also really excited because we were able to exchange numbers with her and she seemed pretty interested. We still couldn’t figure out who her friend was at church and were wracking our brains trying to think about who it could be. We headed to our lesson with our investigator, Winnie, and it turns out that she was the friend of the person that we had met on the street and had actually just called us the day before to ask if we could help walk a friend of hers’ dogs!! When we made the connection, all three of us were just sitting there like WHOA!!!! There are no coincidences, so I think that Heavenly Father must really want her friend to hear the gospel- we’re so excited!!!
Another thing about this area which is different from my last one, which was pretty wealthy, is that a lot of people live in huts. Like literally, they have some pieces of sheet metal held together with a roof on top. We walked to one of our investigators’ houses, Michael, and his house was one of these hut-looking things. However, when we walked inside it was the craziest thing to see because it was all decked out and he even had a little fish pond under his kitchen floor!! Weird!! The lesson with him was also so amazing! He is a long time investigator that has never come to church or really made any progress, he just wants to learn English from us. I was skeptical when my companion said that we would go visit him, because I wasn’t really sure what to teach him. We got there and were just chatting, and then somehow it kind of led into commandments and why we have them and we were able to find out some of his concerns and to overcome some of them. We also invited him to come to church with his wife and kids and he didn’t promise us, but when we walked out of his house, he said “see you next Sunday!”, so I’m really hoping that he’ll come!! Ahhhhghg, I just love teaching!!!
I learned this week not to give up on people or to judge situations too quickly, especially when you don’t have all of the information. Our Heavenly Father never gives up on us and even when we can’t even see the potential hidden inside of ourselves, He can. Because there’s only so much that you can see with your eyes, it takes something more to be able to see what’s actually there. After all, you never now what’s hidden inside of the rusty old shacks that you pass everyday.
Love you all!!! Keep working miracles every day!!
1) an old abandoned Buddhist temple that we saw while finding
2) Sister Malone! Me new comp!
3) What a lot of my new area looks like, it’s quite different!
4) super good aloe vera drink with rice balls–so good!
The ward is also super great and really…. crazy! We had a big ward event on Saturday called “puhn choi” which literally means “basin of vegetables” so you can imagine that there was a lot of food there. They literally had huge metal bowls chock full of food set in the middle of each table. It was just a little bit misleading though because it was actually a basin of meat upon meat upon meat with a dusting of vegetable on it. Everybody has their own bowls and they just take food from the massive bowl in the middle and eat it. I love it! There was also karaoke and dancing and based off of my new ward’s performances, let’s just say that I think I’m really going to like it here 😉 Also I guess that Chinese New Year is still technically going on, so I’m not really sure when that ends. I think that it ends on the 15th or something which is Chinese valentines day. Not really sure, but still enjoying the celebrations regardless!
We have some good investigators that we’re working with, though I haven’t been able to meet them all yet because these past few days have been kind of weird and all over the place. I’m excited for this week because things should be a little bit back to normal and we’ll be able to meet with more people. People out here are a lot easier to talk to, so finding is a little easier which is good. I can’t wait to teach all of these people!
Yesterday we also went to a member’s house, the Dung Family, and they were so nice! I also got to try chicken feet for the first time on my mission! Everyone was surprised that I hadn’t had it yet, but being in West Point before I didn’t really have a ton of really traditional Chinese food. It was an interesting experience eating it because you just kind of stick the foot in your mouth and then spit out the bones and cartilage onto the table. Also, not surprisingly, chicken feet don’t have a lot of meat on them so you’re pretty much just eating boiled skin, which while I’m sure that it sounds delectable, isn’t necessarily my favorite thing to eat. But I love trying new foods so I’ll never turn anything down!
I’ll let you know more next week when I’ve actually been in my area for a little longer. Sorry this isn’t the most coherent e-mail, but I promise that it will be better next week… I hope haha!
I love you all and thanks for your support! Make this week the best week ever and keep moving forward!!
1) selfie with the security guard in my building before I left West Point. I’ve seen him almost every day for the past 9 months!
2) what the trams or “ding ding” looks like here. They only have them on the island!
3) My last picture of the city!
4) Dinner at the Dung Family’s house
5) Chicken Feet!
6) The Puhn choi
AHHH!!! MY HEAD IS STILL SPINNING!!!
There are some changes that I will have to tell you about!!
As far as the rest of the week went, it was really good! We had a big zone conference with our mission president where we watched a missionary broadcast and they announced some changes that are being made worldwide. They are reducing the number of key indicators that we report and cutting down our lunch time and allowing us to use our agency to do studies during any time of the day that we think is best. I have only had a couple of days with these new changes actually put into place, but I really like it so far! It’s been different, but it’s been good! Oh, and we can also go to bed earlier, so you that’s a plus 😉
A couple weeks ago I met this girl sitting on a bench and this week we were finally able to see her! She is like the cutest person ever and was so interested in everything that we were teaching her! She of course didn’t have any religious background, so we just taught really simply about who God is and then how through prayer we can communicate with Him. She had such good questions and when we said that she could pray at any time she was like, “Really?! Any time?!” Ah, she’s so great! The only sad part is that she doesn’t live in our area, so we are turning her over, but I have no doubts that she will do great with the elders in her area!
Taught our investigator Ms Cheung and she is actually doing pretty well! We have been really pushing to get her to come to church with us–and she came on Sunday for all three hours for the first time! I was sitting next to her in sacrament meeting which was Fast and Testimony Meeting and she asked if she could bear her testimony as well. I was just a tad bit nervous because this is the same investigator who gets super off track and talks about aliens sometimes during our lessons, but I told her she could and explained just a little bit about what she could share. And then she got up there. And did so well!! It was short and sweet and she said that she knew this church was true! Afterwards all of the members came up and greeted her and thanked her for sharing her testimony. I also learned that sometimes I need to have a little bit more faith in people!
Also went on exchanges with Sister Ng this week and she is just such a great missionary, I learned so much from her in the day that we were together! We also went to lunch with a member and afterwards we both walked away more stuffed than we have ever been before hahah! The restaurant that we went to had the BEST ice cream, which just so happens to be one of my weaknesses …
We also got to teach some more less-active members this week and were a little more to the point with them this time. It’s always just a little scary to speak exactly what you need to say and they need to hear, but I also learned that if you have the Spirit with you, you can’t ever go wrong. Man, I really am so grateful for the guidance and direction from the Spirit, I don’t know where I would be without Him!
This past week was the end of Chinese New Year which means that we have have a lot a lot of oranges sitting around our house. I have eaten at least two every day for the past week. I now really love oranges. I think that they are in my blood now.
So I have been in my first and only area for over 9 months now and fully expected to be here for the next 2 months, because that’s when we were told the end of the transfer was–but things changed. We got move calls last night and I am leaving my baby area, beloved West Point city, for Hung Shui Kiu which is in the New Territories and pretty much as in the middle of nowhere as you can get. AUGHISLDF I’M MOVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I found out that I was leaving, it was one of those moments where you’re too shocked to really do anything, including cry. It still hasn’t really set in yet that I will actually be leaving this place and theses streets that I have walked thousands of times, theses people that I have grown to love and care for. My heart really does ache even thinking about it, but I know that the Lord knows best and if He thinks that I need to pack my bags and head out then that’s exactly what I’ll do, and I’ll do it happily! It’s actually really funny because we ate with some ward members and were talking about how long I had been here and how I had broken the record for being here the longest. And at church before I had found out, I was sitting there in sacrament meeting and as we were singing I just started to cry because I had the feeling that it might be my last time with all of these people. But all of the gooey emotions aside–I really am so excited! I’m also sad to leave Sister Percival, my little baby in my baby area, but I know that she will keep doing such great work! I will move this Thursday, so I’ll let you all know next week how everything is! 🙂
I just know that the Lord is aware of me individually and if only I will listen to and heed His will, He will not only direct me down a good path, but the best path.
I love you all!!!! Thank you all for your support and love, I am grateful for your prayers and keep you in mine!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) a Chinese New Year decoration in Wan Chai
2) After exchanges with Sister Ng!
3) A mosaic in the subway station
4) Loving that SEAFOOD!
5) It said “Here To Serve” so we of course had to take a picture with it!
6) MY CITY!!!!!
This week was one of the best weeks ever because we got to go to the temple!!! We get to go once every few months which is more than a lot of other people, but still just never feels like enough for me! It is such a special experience to be able to go to such a sacred place and to just feel… at peace. All cares, all worries, even all of the silly little things just seem to fade away. Don’t forget to set aside time to go to the temple! I know that it is a place of learning where we can receive answers to our questions.
Chinese New Year is approaching quickly (January 28th) which is a fun and exciting time, but also means that everyone is really busy. It is tradition to clean your house before the new year in preparation for all of the family and friends that you have over in the following days. But while everyone is really busy this time of year, it’s also a really good excuse to get to talk to people! When the conversation gets awkward or they don’t really want to keep listening to you, just shout “Happy new year!” and run away.
So while everyone here pretty much speaks Cantonese, there are still a lot of people who speak Mandarin which makes it difficult sometimes. Now you may be thinking, “but they’re both Chinese, right? Isn’t it pretty easy to understand one if you know the other?” Well, not really. It may as well be Greek for all that I am able to understand! While we were finding at the park the other day we stopped and talked to this one guy who was sitting on a bench, but it turns out that he didn’t know any Cantonese, just Mandarin since he was from mainland. Sister Percival and I went through a lot of hand motions and guessing games to try to figure out what he was saying and I just kept saying “Jesus Christ!” and “missionaries!” over and over in Mandarin because those are the only two things that I know how to say which in hind sight probably didn’t really help a whole lot hahah! But much to our amazement we did actually get his phone number which is a testament that the Lord is helping us! And he did at least seem a a little interested in what we were doing, well at least from what I could tell! We’ll turn him over to the Mandarin missionaries to teach.
Another funny experience this week also happened while finding. I started talking to this little old popo who was walking next to me. She got wide-eyed, looked up at me and grabbed my hand, and then squealed at how happy she was that I could speak Chinese. I walked with her for a minute and started talking about the church, but before I new what was happening she let go of my hand, turned a corner towards an alley and hopped onto a random escalator out of nowhere, so I didn’t even have time to wish her a happy new year! Haha, I love these people so much!
We actually had the opportunity to teach a few new potential investigators this week, and one even came to church after we had just met and taught him the day before! He also doesn’t live in our area so we will teach him a few more times to get him solid, but then we’ll have to turn him over to the other missionaries. It’s sad to see investigators go, but I am happy just as long as they continue to hear about the gospel!
We found a family that wanted to learn English, so we went over to their house and taught them for a little bit, and then shared a message with them. The mom seemed so interested and was also so nice. We can’t wait to go back there this week and teach them some more! We were teaching English to her three little sons and she just kept asking us question after question about what it is that we do–and I was so happy to be able to answer her and bear testimony! I just love every opportunity that I have to share about the gospel and help people come unto Christ! Whether it’s in a lesson or just sitting next to someone on the street, every time I share with them about these cherished truths, it gives me another opportunity to realize them again for myself. I just wish that they could understand how much this all means to me and that they could just know how much their Heavenly Father loves them!
Happy Chinese New Year!!! Do something fun, eat lots of rice!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) our district at the temple!!!
2) found a phone booth!
3) those delicious sesame dumpling things- I made some the other day!
4) Sorry, but I always have to send a picture BECAUSE I LOVE THIS PLACE SO MUCH!!!
Sadly, we’ve seen some of our investigators go these past couple of weeks, but we have also met some people who have really good potential that we are going to keep on trying to work with!!
We taught Sister Yuen about tithing and she was still totally on board with it all!! She is seriously doing so good and has read ALL of the talks from last General Conference and keeps reading Alma 32 where it talks about faith being like a seed. She really loves the comparison of the two and talks about it all the time 🙂 Our problem is still that she’s not coming to church partially because she oftentimes goes to mainland on the weekends and also because her kids are kind of crazy and it can be hard to get them out of the apartment. We have had some really good help from members though and have some good lessons lined up for this week where we are really going to try and help her understand more!
We visted Leung Popo this week and taught her about repentance because while she is a well meaning old lady, she sometimes gets things confused and this is something that we’ve been meaning to re-teach her for a while. It was pretty good and she actually remembered a lot. Like a lot a lot. Turns out that her home teachers had just come and visited her about 15 minutes before us and taught her almost the same exact lesson. Talk about inspiration!
We also visited a member this week and she took us out to Korean BBQ which pretty much is paradise for a missionary, or anyone for that matter!! It’s really just all you can eat food, meat in particular, which is really nice when you don’t have a lot of money to spend on food! I branched out and ate this little baby squid thing and it was…. DELICIOUS!! ^–^ I think that my palate really has changed since getting here because I used to hate seafood but now I will eat pretty much anything haha! Also I tried this sesame seed dumpling thing that looked rather interesting but turned out to be one of the most delicious things that I have consumed!
So back when I first got to Hong Kong, like my third week here or something, Sister Curtis and I got a phone call from a random girl who was crying and said that she wanted to talk to us. We had no idea who she was or how she got our number, but we met up with her in a park and talked with her. She was having some family and friend problems and was just really sad and wanted advice. We talked for a while (mostly just listened to her), taught a little about Jesus and prayer, and then went our separate ways. It was good and all, but she wouldn’t ever let us schedule her again so 8 months later we still hadn’t seen her again. One thing about me is that I am also a very persistent person and don’t ever forget people or give up on them. So sometimes I still think about all of these people that I have seen at one point and at times call and try to talk to them. The other day I had a feeling that I should call this girl and she finally picked up and what’s more she was willing to meet with me and Sister Percival! We just taught a really simple lesson and in it I asked her when she felt like she started to really believe in Jesus Christ and she told us that it was really after she saw us missionaries in the park for the first time that she felt something. In my mind our first encounter with her hadn’t been anything special, but it had apparently impacted her far more than the two of us had ever realized. You just never know the good that you may do in the life of another person.
Here’s a phrase that I learned the other day:
Yat louh seuhn fung, which literally translates into: one road follow wind, or in other words, have a smooth journey!
Don’t forget to keep doing the small and simple things. Find ways to brighten the lives of others. Focus on the positive and a lot of the negative will go away. And keep working hard!
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
1) I don’t know why, but around Chinese New Year, the grocery stores are FILLED with tins and boxes of those danish butter cookie things.
2) Look closely, some of those noodles are actually little FISH–they have eyeballs!!
3) A park in our area
4) It’s been cold these past couple of days and the only heating that we have is this little guy haha!