|Downed trees from the typhoon|
This week we've been having a typhoon which has been crazy! Lots of wind, rain, broken trees and stuff flying everywhere, we couldn't go finding the other night because it was too dangerous, but don't worry Mom it's pretty safe here!
Haha this week our gate also broke so we just took it down and decided to fix it ourselves (classic) and once we unscrewed it we realized how big and ridiculous of a fix it would be, I can't really explain it very well because it was so weirdly made, but basically it involved lots of strings and paper clips to get the bolt behind the hole positioned right and to give it enough tension and some other stuff to rescrew it haha but we fixed it and I literally felt like I had performed heart surgery, it took like an hour and was very tense. Sounds ridiculous I know but you would all know, if you we're here.
This was a very spiritual week which is exactly what I needed this week, and I have learned a lot lessons. We had a trainer trainee meeting in Kowloon Tong at the mission headquarters so the new mission president could assess and see how everyone is doing, and if any changes need to be made to how he is doing things so far. Part of this meeting involved meeting this senior couple missionary named Elder James, he served here in Hong Kong about 50 years ago close to when it first opened and has served here many times after that. His love for the people is incredible, as well as his attitude. At the age of 16 he developed a very severe tremor in his voice and physical movement, so when he talks and uses his hand he just shakes really hard, and he told us with tears in his eyes that as he served here in Hong Kong hundreds of people, both members and non members tried to help and cure them, through various gross herbal drinks to needles etc, and he said that he is sure that had he not drunk all of those gross drinks or subjected himself to the pins, then his tremor would be far worse today. He really loves these people and the culture, and has a perfect attitude of gratitude. He talked about how he is grateful for having had that condition develop in his body, because it has helped him rely on God for so much. The greatest humility comes when we have to admit that we can't do something on our own, and turn to the Savior. He even said he was grateful for his weaknesses, and even for his sins, because they have allowed him to grow, and to get to know the Savior. I was amazed by his attitude. I'm not sure if I we're in his position I could be that genuinely grateful for such an impairment. It was humbling to say the least. There is a lot of power in being a grateful person, it humbles us, helps us recognize where everything of ours comes for, and helps us be less selfish. This week I've just tried to have an attitude of gratitude and it's honestly made this week one of the happiest and funnest of the mission despite the hardships.
Thank you all for the love and support! Praying for you all every day!
|The impossible gate|
My Chinese has been steadily improving I think haha it's hard to tell. The latest thing that has been hard for me is being expressive in terms of tones and saying things with conviction, mostly because with tones and the way people speak, you cant' really explain things and say stuff like "I know the church is true.. etcetc" the same way you would say it English or else it would sound weird. But I'm getting the hang of it, fluency is just around the corner! I definitely have been blessed by the Lord to be able to learn this amazing language, and work with the best people and the best ward!
|Ryan and Jason, a recent convert|
|Ryan and Elder Sy playing basketball with the|
Elders Quorum President, Elliot
We then had Zone Conference which was about having a mind focused on the work, and about serving others. We watched the lift mormon message which is very powerful, I like on quote that talks about the dichotomy of the human body and soul, when the body is injured it focuses all attention inward to heal, but the triage of the soul comes from turning outwards, and serving others. President Packer said that the mission is a great time of healing. It is also a great time of change, because it forces us to turn outward. I remember one night thinking wow I've never had this many people to pray for all the time! Then I realized, no, I've always had this many people to pray for, I've just always been to selfish to do it very often. An elder then shared a story about his grandfather serving his grandmother as her body deteriorated from a disease that hampered her ability to move, and it reminded me instantly of my own grandmother, who did everything she could to serve my grandfather as his mind deteriorated from Alzheimer's and dementia. I am amazed be her service and love for him, I have countless memories of her feeding him, wiping spit from his mouth, and always following around the hired helper lady and nagging her to make sure everything was done perfectly for the man she loved so much. I remember as a kid I didn't really get the significance of the example of service that I saw every time I visited them in SF. She would spend long hours with him, talking to him, and being with him even when he no longer recognized her. I've started to realize how many lessons I have to learn from my past that I just didn't realize were even there. I'm grateful for my grandmother's example, and I have definitely seen here how service and turning outwards makes all the difference.
|Mainland investigator! Such a faithful preson!|
This week had a lot of cancelled lessons and disappointments, but it all turned around when we got a call from the office assistants that a guy from mainland had walked in and asked to be taught! So we hurried on down to teach him and I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most amazing people ever! (I'm not supposed to tell his name bc of government stuff) He would tell us how every Sunday in mainland he would travel for an hour to the nearest church building, but because he is a China native and the church building has international members, it's illegal for him to go in, so he would sit outside the doors every day, straining to hear what he could from the meeting. I thought of all the things I take for granted, even something like religious freedom, I thought of all the times I didn't want to go to church, or would go and use my phone the whole time, and not pay attention, and here was this man who's country won't allow him to enter so he goes every week just struggling for some scraps of the gospel. We take a lot of things for granted. We we're able to teach him all the lessons in one day, and he just accepted everything, saying he has never doubted. His knowledge of the gospel was surprising, and his testimony was powerful and simple. It made me just remember how simple the gospel can be, so many people like to try and make the gospel so complicated and deep, or opposers try and look at every small detail to try and tear it down, but he just simply loved the gospel in it's simplicity. He loves God, knows he can be with his family for the eternities, knows that this is the fullness of the gospel restored, and knows that he has a Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for him. What else really matters? He is a truly happy man, and when we invited him to be baptized he gladly accepted, and if we're lucky he will be able to get through all of the legal work etc before he goes back to mainland. Though I sat across the table teaching him all the lessons of the gospel, his simple answers and testimony taught me far more.