We had a really great week! Overall the island is doing well, there is tons of potential and lots of work to do with the new branch, we are always busy, which is the best! Working with Elder Garcia is tons of fun, he has a great desire to be the best missionary he can be, and learn a lot as well. We are really good friends!
On Monday night we had a miracle! We had nothing scheduled for after P-day ends, and we decided to go out on the street and do some finding, something we haven't done too much of recently, and decided to go to Hong Kong park. We were walking around, talking with everyone and only after a few minutes, two people invited us to sit down with them right away, which is super rare. And they said you must be Christians, we could tell by how we felt when you said hello! (it was too dark to see our tags very well). After chatting with them for a sec in Cantonese we quickly realized that they must speak better mandarin and they were from Henan! One of them lives here, the other just visiting. But the one that lives with us talked about how her mother randomly a Christian in mainland, and how she herself had always believed, but recently had kinda wandered away from that type of behavior, and after talking to her for awhile she shared with us a desire to come back to religious life, as well as a desire to be baptized! I was almost speechless, I have never had an experience like that before! Her name is Liu jm, we met with her later that week, and she is just amazing! She asked a great question, one that I have been asking myself and asking Heavenly Father in prayer, "what do I need to do to follow Christ better?" What a great question! She is very enthusiastic and wants to follow Christ as best she can! What a great example to us. She also brought her son with her when we met, I feel she will be a great strength to our new branch, and is someone who will definitely be inviting others to come and learn! She should be getting baptized in May or June, depending on her travel schedule. Amazing!
Heavenly Father is definitely supporting our new Wan Chai branch! It was the first Sunday as a branch, and it was exciting! Two of our big families were out of town, so there were only 20 or so people at church, but they are all rock solid! Great members that you can build a strong branch upon. I was so happy to see them step up their game and really go out of the way to talk to and fellowship the investigators that were there. We had the opportunity to share a brief talk as well as teach the 3rd our combined class, and I was just so happy to look out at our little branch. I really love these people! It is a special branch. I love the words from one of the recent conference talks, we come to know Christ and draw closer to him by being is His service and doing as he would. I certainly feel as I have served in this branch that I do at times feel and understand the Savior as I try my best to represent Him here, and do the work! He was certainly with us Sunday morning.
The first person to arrive at sacrament meeting that morning was Zhao jm and her not yet baptized son who is our pianist! I was so happy to see her there early with her son, she was absolutely beaming with pride for her son to be playing for sacrament, and so excited to be at church. She is so great! She has really amazing faith. All the members of this branch really are pioneers, and have great and real faith. Though the numbers are small, they have a positive attitude and an increased desire to be more and do more for the branch here. We have a lot of great potentials coming up and I know the branch will grow quickly! May and June will be big months for this little branch!
The Easter season is a great time of year, though for us it didn't seem to different because we are always thinking about, studying about, and testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Atonement. However I spent more time studying and pondering about the Atoning in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Resurrection. It always fills my mind and heart with amazement and gratitude to think that he would do so much for all of us. It fills me with hope to know that death is not the end, death has no sting, we can and all will live again! I was pondering upon some of the people in the New Testament who were blessed to see the resurrected Christ, and find it interesting that many of the first to see Him didn't recognize him. Often times we ourselves are like Mary of Magdala, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, or Thomas, where grief, ignorance, or doubt prevent us from realizing or feeling that the Risen Lord is actually near, walking with us, supporting us, and blessing us. Each of those people had moments where they realized that He is there, and that He has risen. For Mary it was when He called her by name, the disciples when he entered their home, dined with them, and they finally recognized who he is, afterwards saying, did not our hearts burn within us? And for Thomas it was not until he saw Him face to face that he did finally believe. I hope we all don't all have to wait until the day that we die and are taken home and see Him before we believe. I know that He rose from the dead, He is our Savior and Redeemer. I know he is walking with me as the disciples on that road, and my heart does burn within me every time I bear testimony in His name. And I know that when I make mistakes, or am in need of comfort, that he does know my name, who I am, and is always reaching out to us to buoy us up. I know that Jesus is the Christ! I invite everyone to really think about what that means to them, and what it can mean do them if they are willing.
I love being a missionary so much, this experience so far has been the biggest blessing and filled me with testimony and love of Jesus Christ. There is no better or more satisfying work than is His,
Thank you for the prayers and support,
Love you all!
Sorry.. didn't take very many pics this week!
|Lunch with Jason|
|The Big Bowl at Tam Zai|