Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain Rain

Happy Buddha's Birthday! Yes, today in Hong Kong it is a public holiday in celebration of Buddha's birthday!

The best way to describe this week is to say that it POURED! In Hong Kong they measure the amount of rain by color. So it goes yellow, amber, red, black. Black being the heaviest. When it is black we are not allowed to leave our apartment. When it is red we have to stay close enough that if it gets worse we can be home within half an hour. But, red rain is still insanely hard! It just dumps water and the streets fill up and then it thunders and lightenings! It's crazy! Yeah, so I am giving this weather summary because we had red rain on and off all week.

The rain was a bit of a bummer because it led to many cancelled lessons (people don't really like to go out in the rain), but at the same time it also led to many great experiences!

Saturday we had originally had lessons planned all day. Which, we were grateful for because we could hear super loud thunder all night and when we woke up it was still gray outside. But, by 10 am all but one of those lessons was cancelled (and that lesson wasn't until the evening). And so, Sister Ellsworth and I decided to go finding down on one of the promenades. For most of the day it was a steady and not too heavy rain. There weren't much people out, but we were still having quite a lot of success.

After walking down the promenade for a while we ended up in this really cool spot that was kind of at a right angle to where we had come from and so we could see the coast of Kowloon, Hong Kong and the bay. It was beautiful! There were big gray clouds that were moving super fast and it just looked way cool. Sister Ellsworth and I were looking around when we noticed that down the coast to our left (a few miles or so) there was a HUGE wall of rain coming! We decided to turn around and head back for the way we had came. Of course the weather is faster than us and in no time we were hit by a downpour and got Soaked!!! Eventually we made it to a pavillion and after we thought the rain had calmed a bit we decided to go out again and maybe head to somewhere else for more finding. But them BOOM! the biggest lightning and like loudest thunder ever came right in front of us! We screamed and sprinted to the next pavilion. When we got there we happened to meet the cutest and nicest Mandarin family who was also hiding away from the rain! And so, for about 40 minutes while a huge thunderstorm happened above us, we were able to speak with this family. Unfortunately, they had zero interest in learning the gospel for themselves. But, they were super interested in just talking and asking questions, and so during our conversation Sister Ellsworth and I had several opportunities to bear testimony to them about our message! It was a lovely time! I don't know if we will see them again (they didn't want to exchange info or anything), but I do believe that the Lord scared us into that pavilion so that we could meet them and at least give them an introduction. We are probably just stepping stones on their path to conversion!

Besides the rain, this week was just another normal and happy week as a missionary!

After the rain, the sun came out and it was MARVELOUS!

Hump Day (i.e halfway point in my mission)!!! Ahhhhh ... so weird.
Sister Cook (my roommate who entered the MTC the same day as me) and I
celebrated/mourned by making a cake together (and then we fed it to each other). 
Accidentally wore my house crocs outside!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FULL of Miracles

The only way to describe this week is to say that it was FULL of miracles! We have been so blessed!!

To start: we had four people at church yesterday! FOUR! The last several weeks have been really tough with not many people being able to come to church, but then something happened and now everyone is coming. It's great! 

Our investigator Stella (who was the miracle that came to church last week with her son) is doing awesome! I'll be honest again and admit that I didn't really think that they would make much progress. But, they are doing so great! We went to their house this weekend for dinner (which was delicious) and a lesson. For the first time I was really able to see the Spirit work on her and she totally opened up to us. And then they both came to church on Sunday!

Hong Kong Temple
We were able to meet several newer investigators this week and they are all super awesome. One of them is Nina and I think she is the biggest miracle EVER! She actually met the Elders first when she came to English Class last week. We weren't there but the Mandarin Elders were able to talk to her. We were then able to meet her this week at English class. She is so awesome!!! She investigated the church about a year and a half ago and really wanted to get baptized, but then because of some family emergencies had to go back to Mainland. But, now that she is back she wants to pick right back up. And so, her current baptismal date is June 21! When we first met her she said "I was supposed to be baptized on December 8, but couldn't. I want to be baptized!" She also came to church on Sunday. And then we met with her yesterday morning. She is such an incredible woman and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work with her!

Another miracle is that we got to go to the temple this morning! Yay! The Temple is the best!!!

In our zone conference this week the focus was on becoming a better teacher. Obviously, to be a better teacher we just need to look at the Master, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be here and to be serving Him and our Father in Heaven! That is a blessing too!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Miracle

Hello! This week was pretty good. It was a bit sad because we had to say goodbye to some more friends as they head back to the mainland. I'm happy that they get to go home and see their families, but I will definitely miss them!
We had an awesome last lesson with Cynthia before she went home. We discussed the Plan of Salvation. We gave her a "study journal" to use for her Book of Mormon and also a CTR ring (thank you, Grandma!)  I hope and pray that we (or whoever the missionaries here are) will be able to continue meeting with her when she gets back. Though, I do really hope I can see her again! She's awesome! 

Yesterday was Mother's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay! We had our very own Mother's Day miracle.  We have one investigator, Stella and her son who have been investigating foreverrrrrr. They haven't really been having much progress and haven't been to church in ages (like way before I got here). On Saturday night I gave them a call to invite them to church and to the activity after church (I don't know whose idea it was, but to celebrate mother's day our branch had an after church food eating activity where all the women prepared food for everyone. It was really yummy, but I felt bad that all the sisters in our branch spent mother's day making food for everyone. Sister Ellsworth and I brought Rice Krispy treats - an American delicacy!  It took a while, but I managed to get both Stella and her son to say "See you tomorrow." But, I have to be honest, I did not think that they would actually come ... I guess I had no faith. But, we did pray really hard that they would be able to make it. And then yesterday we were sitting in Sacrament meeting singing the opening hymn and out of the corner of my eye I see Stella and her son walking in!!! It was a Mother's Day miracle!
Also, i got to call my family today! That was awesome too :)

Oh, and here's a good joke (actually it's really dumb) that I learned from another missionary:
Who is the best female financier in the Bible?
The pharaoh's daughter. She went to the bank of the Nile and came back with a baby prophet (profit).

We asked Hannah for some random pictures of Hong Kong streets ... this is what she sent us:

Hong Kong street on the way to do emails
Only at McDonalds in Hong Kong

Inside the boxes!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Love our Investigators

I really don't understand, but being on a mission seems to make time change. Everything speeds up by like 50000%. Once again, this week flew by.

Things have been going really great here!

Sarah is still doing awesome. We met with her this week and she shared with us about how having the Gift of the Holy Ghost has really helped her. She told us about how she has "a fuzzy friend" to guide her and help her out. We are now working on preparing her to go to the Temple! Baptism is so special, but it really is only just the start! She too is excited for all the blessings in store for her!

She also expressed some slight concern as to why she hears people say bad things about our church. She was like "They don't even know! How could they say that!" We told her to think about Christ's life on earth. People saw Him perform countless miracles, and yet they still rejected and even crucified Him. She was comforted and now has a very strong determination to always "be an example of the believers".

In yesterday's fast and testimony meeting Sarah also bore her testimony! She has such a beautiful testimony and love of God! I was so proud and happy for her!

We have another investigator that we have been meeting with for the last few weeks. She is so great! She is in her 20s and has been in Hong Kong working. She had zero Christian background. When we met her for the first time a couple of weeks ago we shared briefly about prayer and then rescheduled her to meet a few days later. At that second meeting, after discussing the prayer and the Godhead, we asked how she felt about what we had said. She told us that she knew it was true. She said the first time we met she had a special feeling (Holy Ghost!!!) and that right now she had the same feeling and knew it all was true. So awesome!!! We have met with her several times since then and every time she shares amazing experiences about how her new found faith in God (which she exercises through her prayer and scripture study) has helped her so much! It has been so awesome to see the understanding and change that has come upon her. Unfortunately, she will be moving back to mainland this week :((((

As the summer season comes many of our investigators are planning their trips home. I am so happy that they will be able to be with their families, but also so sad that I won't get to see them. We hope and pray that as they travel home they will be able to remember the things they have learned and to continue applying them in their lives.

Yup, that's it! We had lots of good things happen, but we are also really bummed that everyone is leaving!

(And here is some Q&A from Lilly)
Do you see any Polly Pockets there? Apparently they are going out of production!
No, I have not seen any Pollies! Sorry!

What do people say about Lilly when they see her pictures?
People always say that Lilly is really tall and pretty! And that she looks like Dad. Sometimes people don't get that Hazel and Emmett are adopted and so they will ask if Mom is Chinese. Hahaha!

Do you have bunk beds in your mission?Yes! Right now I sleep on the bottom bunk. (Thank goodness ... it is like 50 degrees hotter on the top bunk)