|Elder Garcia leaving for Kowloon|
Hard to believe my last transfer has officially started, but we had a great start!! It is going to be a great 6 weeks, there is so much work to finish before the end!
My new companion is Elder Zhou, from Tao Yuan Taiwan, he is a really fun guy, found the church through English class, and joined 8 months or so after. His dad is from Hong Kong, he grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan, so both languages are perfect! It's been really fun being companions, I don't think I've ever spoken so little English before haha. I have really enjoyed serving many times with converts as my companions. I am always amazed by their faith and commitment, to have joined the church and then wanted to go out and share more even though their knowledge isn't always as deep or learned as someone who grew up a member. But they are aways out for the right reason, and I always learn much from them.
|Elder Zhou, last companion before going home|
We are off to a great start, this week had the most people so far at our branch, and there were tons of investigators there! It was a little bit crazy with all of them there, and everyone in a different place of understanding and background. The members did a great job too chatting with them etc. I am proud of our rc Scott, he is so great! He always talks to new people, adds them on We Chat and starts talking to them, inviting them to eat with him etc. Such a stud! I I love Wan Chai branch, it is such a great opportunity to serve, helping them with so much. They are great members! We some great new potentials, so many people to work with that all will be great additions to the branch! We are very busy with many different people and lessons, so I forget sometimes what to say haha. It was also a pleasure to Elder James and Elder Tai visit our branch and share testimony with us. Both of them were good friends with my Grandparents back when the church was first getting started here. I always love meeting people from that time and talking with them, reminding me of my heritage, the great early saints of Hong Kong and their faith, and that I have big shoes to fill!
We met a new investigator, someone I have met off and on before, his name is Tiger, and has a complicated life. He spends half of each month in Shang Hai working, and then the other half of the month here in Hong Kong with his wife. So throughout all my time on the island I have seen him occasionally. However when we met with him last week he seemed very different. As we were talking to him he just started telling us of lots of feelings of guilt and sadness he has been struggling with recently due some poor choices he has made in his life. And he was sharing with us that no matter what he did he couldn't seem to really fully shake the feelings away, hide from them, or move on from them. It was great to see as we shared about the Saviour and repentance and change his countenance changed, he became hopeful, excited, and truly willing to do whatever it takes to change. I think we all have moments like that in their lives, maybe not to the same degree of guilt etc, but where we want to change, to be and become better and something more than we are! I have similar feeling after every big meeting, after every sacrament meeting, after every personal study! The difference between me and him and others is that we know how to truly begin the change and the process of becoming, which is through the Saviour Jesus Christ. Tiger wanted to change and overcome the mistakes and habits of his past, but really didn't know how other than to just try to forget or run away from them.
I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Atonement, and how it can help us fulfil the desire to change and be better. I was pondering about this and read a great talk by Henry B. Eyring, called Come Unto Christ. It is so good, I want to share a part of it :
"Now your impressions will not have been quite like mine, but you have felt a tug, maybe many tugs, to be someone better. And what sets those yearnings apart from all your daydreams is that they were not about being richer, or smarter, or more attractive, but about being better. I am sure you have had such moments, not just from my experience, but because of what President David O. McKay once said. Listen very carefully:
Man is a spiritual being, a soul, and at some period of his life everyone is possessed with an irresistible desire to know his relationship to the Infinite. . . . There is something within him which urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical and live in a higher and more beautiful world.
That pull upward is far beyond what you would call a desire for self-improvement. When I felt it, I knew I was being urged to live so far above myself that I could never do it on my own. President McKay had it right. You feel an urging to rise above your natural self. What you have felt is an urging from your Heavenly Father to accept this invitation:
32. Yea, come unto Christ and be perfected in him, deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (Moroni 10:32-33)
So we invited Tiger to come unto Christ, and it was what he desired most, and what we all naturally desire to, even without realising it. Once he realised that he truly did want to come unto Christ, he was willing to do everything, much like Lamoni's father in Alma. I have loved seeing people have this desire in my mission, seeing them really want to rise above themselves, and in the end, begin the life long journey of coming unto Christ. I have also felt the tug many times in my mission and realised how far I still have to go, but I am grateful for a patient and loving Saviour, who pulls me up every time I don't measure up, and pulls up everyone because none of us can every really measure up. I know Jesus is our Saviour, and descended below everyone so that we could be lifted up by Him. I am grateful for how much he has helped and blessed me here, as well as how many people he las blessed through our missionary efforts. I love the mission so much, there is no better way to get to know yourself, your relationship with God and Jesus, than being in His service and trying to give you best to His work.
Love you all, looking forward to talking with the fam on mother's day!
|P-day ride in the Harbour|
|Elder Hilado is going home|