Da Jia Hao!
I don't have too much time today, but I really had an amazing week! It seems like I say this every week, but it was so up and down haha.
Jason got baptized!! What an amazing service it was! He asked me to baptize him, which was an absolute privilege. He is someone who really understands and knows what his baptism means. I think sometimes people think that baptism simply means joining a church, and that all we do out here is try and convince people to join a church and get bigger numbers of members. Of course there is so much more to it than that! We we're talking to him about baptism, and he always refers to it as the gate, or door.
|Yang Kai and Jason! Golden converts!!|
|Getting ready to baptize Jason|
Since the moment he read that verse that image has stuck out in his mind, and he knows of the truthfulness of that metaphor. It is just as Nephi so clearly states-
"17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive." It makes me so happy that Jason is fully aware that baptism by the proper authority of God allows him to covenant with God and is the gate that allows him to truly enter the path of discipleship which leads to eternal life. As he bore his testimony later of the miracles of his conversion and the blessings he has recieved as he has worked with his family to be baptized, we all felt the Spirit testify of the truth of what he has done. I have know way to describe how happy it makes me to baptize him, and to hear his testimony. I have no way to way to explain it, other than I know that it is of God.
The rest of our week has been pretty hard. As life often does, things went from being very smooth and great to suddenly quite hard. A bunch of our investigators just dropped us or left Hong Kong or we can't get a hold of them, and we found ourselves faced with days and long hours of street finding. After such a wonderful example like Jason, you would think that I was prepared and ready to get out there and find! But I wasn't, at least not at first. Somehow, in 2 long days time, I seemed to forget the amazing blessing of finding a prepared person. I seemed to forget how we are guided by the Spirit, and I seemed to forget the joy of that baptism. Instead I thought about myself, how tired I was, how long the finding was, and how tiring the rejection was. I was not finding by faith, but I was looking around in doubt. Without faith, how are we to find anything? Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind. I had a moment as I was in the midst of a long while with no one talking to us, when I subconsciously started humming a hymn in my mind, and suddenly I remembered the enormous blessings I have had here as a missionary, I suddenly had overwhelming love for our wonderful converts, investigators, the people, and the work. And I stopped thinking about myself, and got back to work! It's amazing how fast we can change our attitudes if we want to. I was amazing at how fast I could forget the blessings of just two days prior at Jason's baptism. I was impressed as I thought of the sacrament prayer, to always remember Him. " We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God." -(Elder Hallstrom). It is so easy, when times get a little tough, for us to forget the feelings we have had, for us to be negative, and for us to doubt. But our most basic identity is that we are literal children of God, and though we have heard it all of our lives, we need to get it 'from our head to our heart" (Sister Oscarson). I really felt that message powerfully today as I went to the temple as well, that we are all children of God, and that we must faithfully strive to always remember Christ, because life will make us forget if we choose not to actively remember, and if we choose not to actively take all this knowledge from our head, and inscribe it onto our hearts. Just as Elder Eyring encouraged and promised us in conference, we have to make "the choices that will create in your heart a more fertile ground for the good word of God to grow and be fruitful. "
I'm not sure if that long tangent made any sense, but I know that we are children of God! I know that we can choose to let the seed grow, and I know that the seed is fruitful. I know that the good and faithful servant is the blessed and successful servant, regardless of whether or not that success is seen by the servant. He is good, and faithful, and he is blessed. I hope I can always remember the blessings of this mission on my life, and always remember the Savior, though whom all things are possible.
Love you all!
|Meeting Elder Stevenson|
|District temple day|
|One last picture from last week's hike: I love Hong Kong!|