Another week already gone by, the Kowloon Area is doing great, Elder Shukis and I are working hard to get it going again! I'm glad that our area had this dip, it's helped me step back, evaluate, and start to make some changes to help us get the momentum back. We've been working on some big projects as well in our area, we cover 13 cantonese wards in our area, and lately we've been coordinating with them to help us find some of the lost sheep from our mandarin branch who moved their records there and just disappeared. It's not been the easiest working with all of them, but it's a good way to help us get better at coordinating with other people and just being on top of it all. We're helping to build a sense of community in our area for the mainland community and members, it is hard for a lot of them to assimilate! I'm excited for the potential once we have all the info gathered! Love these people!
|Dinner at Sister Dong's|
We got a great new potential, named Wang Di Xiong. He is great! He is from northern China, I love his accent, and he literally has no religious background at all. He is a former member of the communist party, and is quite lonely in Hong Kong. He doesn't really have friends and his family is all back in mainland. I haven't taught too many people like him who have no concept of any religious belief, it was pretty amazing. We shared a simple lesson about Heavenly Father, about prayer, and some other basics. It was amazing how he just listened and wanted more. At the end, he expressed his desire to know God, it's amazing how people treasure this knowledge that they have never heard or even thought of before. Definitely another reminder to me of how blessed we are to have the gospel, and how truly precious that it is, how blessed we are to even have free religious thought. He has great potential, I am excited to see where his desire takes him!
Yang Kai also graduated college the other day, we attended his pictures, and it was probably the best finding activity of my life. Everyone wanted to talk to us and come to our activities and take pictures with us it was great! Haha so many pictures with random China moms they were loving us. They couldn't believe an American and Mexican looking guy could speak chinese with them. Got lots of great potentials from it! Way better than off the street.
|Yang Kai's college graduation|
Our other investigators continue to slowly progress towards their baptism, which is heart warming. Lately I have really felt that I just have to trust the promise of the Book of Mormon, that anyone, if they really read, ponder, and pray about it's contents will get an answer of it's truthfulness. We have 2 investigators right now and that is really their only problem, and the only thing we can really do with them is encourage them to read, and trust the promise. And I really do trust that promise. I have complete faith that because they are in a seeking mindset, really looking for truth, they will be blessed with the answer they are looking for. It is a promise from God, and one that I have experienced myself.
This week I have been pondering a lot about desires as a missionary. What are my greatest desires here, and what success is here. I was reminded of Alma, who's desire is to be an instrument of God to bring some soul to repentance. The word instrument really struck me, as I think back to the greatest moments of my mission so far, the days or moments that have been the most meaningful have been the times when I know I was truly just being an instrument in His hands to accomplish his purposes. We spend our time refining ourselves, teaching, studying, praying, and working so that we can be better instruments in his hands, so that we can allow ourselves to be used by him, to the best of our abilities. So success to me is really connected to that idea, if I am committed to being an instrument for two years, put away my 'weapons of rebellion' and do His will. It's not that easy of course.
I really like something President Lam said in our District Conference the other day, about hard things. He talked about how he was in an interfaith council one time, and the people there couldn't understand the binding of Isaac, couldn't understand why a loving God would test Abraham so, asking him to sacrifice his son as a test, and then stopping him at the last second. To them it was so hard to understand. God knew how Abraham would respond to that command. God knew Abraham would obey, because He perfectly knows Abraham. But God wanted Abraham to know Abraham. He wanted Abraham to see his faith, his obedience, to see what he's made of. It reminds me of a quote by Brigham Young, I've used it before but I'll use it again, he said something like- "a man can't come to know God without knowing himself, and a man can't know himself without coming to know God." Abraham had come to know God, and God wanted him to come to know himself.
So as time here goes on and the work moves forward, it never really gets easier, because the more I come to know myself and God, I discover more things that I am capable of improving upon, and the more I have to allow God to help me and change me. It's an amazing process, and I am blessed to be on it's path. I feel like all of our lives are like the binding of Isaac but stretched over all the years, a slow process of easy and hard and ups and downs, strong and weak testimony in which we come to know God, and come to know ourselves. God doesn't only want us to know Him and His Son, but He wants us to know ourselves, and see ourselves and others as He sees us, His children.
I love the work, I am so grateful for every eye opening day. It's a blessing to be able to go out and apply everything as I try to be a more refined instrument that the Spirit can testify through. I'm excited for the work of this summer, we have a lot of great things coming up in our area and in the lives of our investigators, big progression is just around the corner!
|One more pic from last week's P-day hike - windy and foggy!|