Mosiah 4:9-10

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things, see that you de them. Mosiah 4:9-10

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Are we not all beggars - week 4 in Hong Kong

P-day bike ride
Hello everyone!  Sorry about last week's letter - for some reason my group email just randomly stopped working and only sent last week's email out to a few people! But oh well. This week was lots of fun! Also, next week I won't have pday til thursday so don't worry on Monday (Mom :-))

A few of my favorite things about my area are-
All the popos in the morning doing their hilarious popo exercises, reminds me of my Popo but there's just tons of them everywhere, also old people do tai chi in the parks, it's always fun to see them and they love when we say josun! 
The river that goes by our apartment is the best place to do finding ever! Everyone is always out walking at night, it's very peaceful and pretty, and there's this old man that is always our playing that Chinese string instrument, it sounds really nice and just feels so Chinesey haha, there are also lots of white cranes flying around the river, it's super pretty. Also the fish just jump out of the river all the time it's weird, but the sound reminds me of fishing! We've also made some bridge buddies haha.  On the bridge there's the same old man and we always stop to talk to him, he is so funny, he always asks us to find him a girlfriend while he does his weird stretches haha what a guy. 
Bridge near the apartment and the other pic is Ryan with
the bridge buddy
Teaching English class is so fun! My companion and I taught last week's, the people are so fun, it's a great way to get to know the community a little better, and it's just fun trying to teach the poeple English.  It's pretty hard to teach just because it's what I've been speaking for so long, just weird to try and figure out ways to teach it.
I also had my first Bible bashing experience haha.  We met with this random guy, and he just whipped out his bible and starts quoting it and trying to cite history and all this stuff, fortunately I have AP history under my belt (thanks Mrs Whyndham) so for awhile I was just bashing with him, as you all know, I low key like an argument like that haha Im too opinionated, and he was just trying to confound me, like he would say something and then look at me like he's just delivered some killed line or something. So I bashed for a little until I realized I was wasting our time, and just stopped. There's no point in arguing or even really talking to someone if all they want to do is prove you wrong. It was kinda fun though gotta admit.
Also my mandarin is coming along well, I gave my testimony in church and a little intro as the Bishop asked me too, and the members all said they notice improvement (though I don't) haha but I feel that I can express myself fairly well! It's nice to not have to struggle when teaching (for the most part) to say what I want to say! But it's definitely still a struggle.
Ryan's apartment
This week we got a new investigator! His name is Teng Hao and he is such a character! We were teaching him in Mong Kok which is a very busy area, and we asked him what his job is (because he is jacked) he was saying stuff and we both thought he was a video gym instructor, but weren't really understanding what he was saying, mainlanders sometimes use big weird words that we just don't understand, finally he was exasperatedly started doing this weird hip thrust I was like what are you doing haha everyone was staring at him, then we finally realized what his job is, he is an adult film actor (aka porn star) sorry if that wasn't G rated enough. But it's his living. But we had a really good lesson with him, he really was curious and had a lot of questions which basically were centered around the question why does God let bad things happen, why is there inequality in the world, is God a fair God? These are good questions, deeper than you might expect from a man with his profession, but I could tell there is more to him, and some underlying problem that we hope to help him with! He basically said if we can explain to him and help him feel the benefits of the church and he thinks it's true he'll join and change his life. I was pretty blown away. But answering his questions was not easy he kept asking different scenarios of unfairness and bad things ( slavery, holocaust, wars etc). So were hoping we can help him find the answer for himself bc he wasn't really accepting everything we were telling him. 
Interior of the apartment (?)

His questions reminded me of when I was growing up I would ask my parents why I couldn't do something my friends were doing, or why I couldn't stay up as late as them etc and would say that's not fair! And they would always say life's not fair haha but it's a correct principle. Life's not fair, the world's not fair, it's very apparent here in Hong Kong, the inequality is pretty insane. Just in my area there is a huge expensive shopping mall with lots of rich people shopping there, then right across the bridge there are people living in these shacks with dirt floors, there are young rich kids with super expensive clothes, and then there are old women that are doing construction work and hard labor all day for a living. It's pretty sad. The world is not a fair place. But God is fair. The Atonement is fair, like it says in Mosiah are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend on the same God for everything, upon the Savior for forgiveness? God is no respecter of persons, and loves the rich and poor equally. It reminds me of a verse I read in 2 Nephi chapter 2, it says were are to act and be acted upon. That's basically what life is, we are to act, and be acted upon according to the random situations and vicissitudes of life. One could say why would God let this tragedy happen to which I would respond He didn't. It just happened, so what are you going to do about it? How are you going to respond to having been 'acted upon?' Though I do believe that some specific trials are directly given from God, it is my belief that a lot of trials and things in life and random things of the world, a result of other's agency or just random occurances and God will see how we use our agency to respond. Life is a test, and was never meant to be easy. I tend to be a little more pragmatic about things like that though haha that's just my view.
It's great being a missionary, we basically just help people find answers, we help them answer their own questions, just basically being guides! It's amazing to see people realize something, have the light of understanding their minds, or even see them start to have that curiosity and desire to learn start to grow within them.
Spiritual dunks ;)

Another great lesson I learned this week was while we were out finding, it was another hard week of finding and walking all day, and I was feeling a little down. One of the people that we stopped and talked to said out of no where that he really has admired us walking around all day and talking to people, being friendly and trying to help. That just made my whole day, the people do appreciate us! They recognize genuine care and effort when they see it! It reminds me of the Gordon B. Hinckley quote, "You never know how much good you do" and it's so true. I have found small successes throughout the day in nice smiles, friendly hellos, just loving the people, and just as the Savior did we try to be going about doing good.
Also this week I've really been trying to have the attitude of Paul who said "therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ's sale: for when I am weak, then I am strong." He basically just has so much faith and confidence in Christ that he knows he can give his burdens to the Lord, and be made strong through Him. On the mission I feel like every week it's just so humbling, and all of my personal weaknesses get exposed. But as Brigham Young said, "no one can know himself unless he knows God, and no one can know God unless he knows himself." That is so true, through the weaknesses I have come to just try and put all my confidence in Christ, and rely on God here, and I've started to get to know myself and God in the process. Im trying to be happy about having weaknesses pointed out to me because now I know how to improve myself, now I know what needs the most work. Packer said "If you are not feeling happy all of the time, there may the tendency to wonder what is wrong. Why do you not wonder what is right? maybe there is a lesson coming through." I feel that a lot of times I just think about myself, what is wrong, what am I doing wrong to have no success, but I'm trying now to think what is right? And learn everything I can. I am trying my best to give the people of Hong Kong everything I can and everything I have! I love the ward I'm serving it's so fun to get to know them and learn from their faith!
At least I know he's eating well ;)

Thank you all for your support, encouragement and love, I love hearing from everyone every week!
Praying for all of you! And I hope this weeks email actually sends haha
Wu Zhang Lao

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