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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in Hong Kong - Week 20

I hope everyone had the merriest of Christmases!! I had such an amazing time talking to my family on the phone! It was so surreal to hear everyone's voices again, it was too short though and then it was back to life in Hong Kong. I'm so glad everyone is doing so well though! It was so cool and weird and miraculous feeling to talk to Popo on the phone! I feel unbelievably blessed by the Lord to have been sent to a place where I can learn languages that allow me to communicate with and understand family more. It was so fun understanding Popo, I am so blessed the I have been able to learn the language at this rate, I definitely know I was meant to serve here. It was pretty funny, I was expecting Popo to tell me different things than the same few things she is always telling me in English, but she basically told me the same stuff she did before, just more expressively haha. She's so funny. Anyways I love my family so much! I was truly blessed with an amazing family! I love each of you, try not to miss me too much! Also I always show people pics of our family and everyone is always just thinking we are such a leng or shuai family. And they always laugh at white dad just chilling on the edge of the picture too haha. Anyways, thanks for the being the best fam!
We had a great week here in Kowloon! As I said last week we are a super busy companionship, just traveling all over the place and trying to coordinate everything, it has honestly been a tender mercy to me this week that everything somehow miraculously worked out and everything went rather smoothly. Our teaching pool also seems to be growing and growing, the Lord really is hastening the work here in Kowloon!
Singing Christmas hymns with the district
I had a funny situation here this last week, we went to visit one of our investigators with a baptismal date in the hospital, he told us to visit him outside of visiting hours, saying that he had already passed it by the staff. But when we showed up they were kicking us out, and then he just rolled out in his wheelchair and just yelled at all of them and my comp and I just kinda sat there uncomfortably, then a social worker came over and then we got corralled into this situation where the social worker wanted us to represent him and go look at housing and negotiate prices for him all over HK which of course we can't. All of it was also going on in Cantonese so I was working overtime to understand and try to explain stuff to them, and it was all going over my comps head. Then our inviestigator tried to sneakily get us to help him escape the hospital haha it was pretty comical and just ended up with him moving hospitals and us deciding to only visit during visiting hours. It was quite the ordeal. On the bright side he should make his baptismal date! He is a funny older guy, but is extremely intelligent and has great desire to be baptized. May have a bit of a temper though. 
Christmas with the zone
Our buddy Yang Kai is doing great too! He is super excited to get baptized! I love seeing his eagerness, he attended a little boys baptism this week and was just marveling at it all, taking pictures of everything and was just so excited! Hopefully no problems will arise as he continues to progress.
Ryan with Elder Sy - he's now Ryan's zone leader

Just this afternoon my companion and I decided to meet with this guy who we hadn't met with before (an old street contact who we had both forgotten about), and we ended up teaching a really powerful first lesson. He was just soaking everything in and the Spirit was really strong. He was just loving it, and everything really clicked for him, it's rare that I have met someone so readily accept and continue to desire the gospel like he did. It was a great moment for our teaching unity and skills to really come together well, and at the end we felt prompted to extend a baptismal invitation. He accepted right away! I definitely see the Spirit working with us here, the work is really moving along, and I am blessed to be a part of it.
All of the other work is going great too! I have gotten to know more members, and hopefully we can get them to work even more with us! Elder Grayam and I are always looking and praying for ways to serve them, and hopefully they start to see how sincerely we are working in their branch.
This work is truly the most satisfying work there is! It's amazing to look back on a day, wonder how it all possibly worked out with all the crazy variables, and just have the reassurance of the Spirit that during that day, we were truly able to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. It seems like every day is like that. I know the Lord supports and loves His missionaries. It is an absolute privilege to be wearing His name everyday, one that I am not even near worth, to be able to wear the name of the Savior of all, the only perfect person to live, but we have been called, set apart, and are being qualified to be able to do so. I have been reading in the Book of Mormon in the latter half of the Alma, which, previous to now, I never really got too much meaning out of other than all the contentions, battles, pride, etc of the people. But what I never realized was the sheer faith of the righteous in that time. They were so unbelievably faithful to the Lord, trusting that no matter what, if they were faithful, he would deliver them. In one verse, I don't remember where, it says that Some men were left with just the trust in God, which was so pure and strong that no other power could prevail over them. What incredible faith. So much that no other power, be it worldly or not, could overcome them. I can't imagine that faith. If we all had such pure, unshakable faith, so much could be avoided, contentions, being offended, doubting, fear, uncertainty, so much.

 For this new year I would invite everyone to set a goal, a real goal, not one that will be forgotten or stopped after one month, but set a real goal and stick to it. A goal that will help develop real, strong, faith. A goal that will make a difference. A goal that will help us not only know about Christ, but to truly know who he is. That is something that the mission has given me, especially this amazing season of Christmas, where I have been able to not only learn about Christ, his actions, character, and teachings, but to really know who he is. 
It's actually something that I think can be asked better in Chinese than English, its the difference between zhidao ta shi shei, and zhende renshi ta.

Ryan's Christmas day running outfit



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