Wednesday, July 29, 2015

7/27 Farewell Round #2

To those on the home front,

How is everyone? Miss you all! I was chastised by my mother last week for not letting her know what I actually do here in the MTC... haha so here is a rough schedule of our average day. Wake up at 6:15 and brush our teeth, slide into our workout clothes and head to the sack breakfast line so we're the first ones there. (I typically get 2 hard boiled eggs, orange juice, milk, cereal, and a PB&J sandwich. Sorry mom. No green smoothies here) We head back and eat outside then go listen to Sounds and Tones inside. Gym at 7:35. Typically hit the weights or play basketball. Head back and and shower, start personal, then companion, then language study at 8:55. (each study is a consecutive hour). Then lunch! I pound it everyday. I have never eaten this much in my life. I dont know where it all goes. We hustle through lunch then head back and do some more studying before class. Class at 1:30 to 4:30. Then Maanchaan at 4:30. After dinner class again from 5:15 till 8:15. Then more additional study time and then Daily Planning time from 9-9:30. Then we head back, change, read the scripture, nightly devotional at 10:15 and lights out at 10:30. That's a full day and they go by FAST! I love all the study time. Just finished the Book of Mormon and started again in one of the little military additions with Elder Bs challenge in mind. I love these little guys. I'll probably take 10 when I go to Hong Kong. I leave 3 weeks from today! Wow. I am so pumped, but I am not ready. Almost, but not quite there. Had a hard time sending Elder L off last night to the southern land of Argentina. It is so fun seeing so many of my friends come and go. Can't wait to get Elder R in here this Wednesday. I will be hosting for the 4th week in a row this week! As well as giving orientation for the 4th week in a row! We get 13 more Thai Elders to our zone one Wednesday. Our zone is HUGE nowadays. Keeps us all busy. I'm loving the work. The language is coming! I love learning it and it has all been so amazing to watch what happen to others and feel  what happens to myself. Ngoh ngoi hohkjaahp Gwongdamwa!

Today I want to share a few thoughts pertaining to me and why I am here. I wish to do so through some quotes I have recieved from friends or heard during my MTC stay.

"We are all ACOUNTABLE to Him for our lives, our choices, our actions, even our thoughts. Because He redeemed us from the Fall, our lives are in reality, HIS." Elder Christofferson

"It won't be like this again. So don't miss it." Elder Holland

"THE GREATEST of all is the SERVANT OF ALL." -unknown. Interpret as you may. I love this one.

And a personal thought. "What will I be able to tell the Savior I did for HIM in this mortal life?" He gave it all for me so that I can be with my family forever. So that I can be forgiven and try again. He learned Cantonese. Not literally, but he endured all the trials I am going through and ALL that you are, as well. I will see my Nana again. I will live with MY future family as well. All through faith. I came on this mission with the knowledge that I would serve to my utmost capabilities and give the Lord my all. I knew I would turn myself over to Him and be strictly obedient. I thought I knew what that meant. I thought I knew how hard it would be and how much He could do with me. I didn't know. I had no idea that the Lord could do so much for me, a humble servant of the Most High. I thought I knew how it could be if I completely turned myself to Him. I didn't. I do now. I watched a talk given by Elder Holland last night in which he gave the usual fire, that I expected, that changed my outlook. I sit here near tears thinking that over a month and a half of my mission is over. "It won't be like this for long." The truth. How am I utilizing every second to benefit another. How am I using every opportunity I have to change someone elses day? What more can I do? There is always more. In our baptismal covenant we promise to serve the Lord all our day. Am I doing that? I ask myself every day what I can do more. So that when I return home, to my Father in Heaven, as well as to the one on earth, I can say, "Dad, I didn't hold back." What am I holding back or what is holding me back? I pray every night to know my weaknesses that I may work on them so that may become my strengths. What am I willing to give up? Everything.

To the future missionaries: Come prepared. You might think you know what that is, but you don't. Pray to know what that is.

 Elder Sargent

In the words of the Texas Ranger "Ever Stalwart"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7/20 Hump Day

The half way point has been reached! I got here on the 17th, a couple days ago was the 17th, and I leave on the 17th. Mixed emotions about it all. I can not wait to go to Hong Kong, but at the same time I feel like I need much more time to prepare and understand and learn Cantonese so I can share with the people! The time has flown by at an incredible rate. How is everyone? I hope all is well in the outside world. We don't hear or see much in here. Haha just the chalkboard really.  A quick update on myself: I have gained 10 lbs in my 5 week stay here which is more than I have put on in 2 years. Breathe easy as well... I don't believe it is fat. Elder G has had me on a strict workout schedule every other day in the free weights gym, and as the saying goes, "I am beginning to become... yoked", or put on a little muscle. Whatever is most believable to you. :) Weights and lots of intense biking have kept me in pretty good shape (not everyone is on that bus haha). I am healthy and loving the work. I have enjoyed seeing so many friends come and go here. Many arrive each week (I got the chance to host Elder W on Wednesday!) and many leave. And I am still here. As mentioned I got to host with my district last Wednesday and get to host again this week! It's so fun seeing how everyone reacts differently and I remember when I had to say goodbye to my sweet mother and father a little over a month ago. As well, we received 5 Laotians to our large zone last week, so Elder G and I have been busy still! This week we don't get any more to our zone, but have been asked to give orientation to another zone that is receiving 36 new missionaries! So that will fun to do for the 3rd week in a row! I love seeing the new missionaries. 

My thoughts this week have revolved a lot around how I can better serve my fellow man and the other missionaries. Elder Guinn and myself have studied Christlike leadership and many other things to learn how we can better magnify our callings. President P brought up a great quote during yesterdays Branch Council meeting with the district leaders. "THE GREATEST of all is the SERVANT OF ALL." Caps just like that. The greatest servant of all was the greatest of all. The Topical Guide lists very few mentions of the word leader or leadership. Contrary, the word SERVANT is mentioned thousands of times. How can we relate this to ourselves? There are no "leadership" positions in the church. There are only "servantship" positions. In any capacity in the church we are there to serve, without pay, and without any hierarchical direction. We are called when the Lord needs us to serve a people we are meant to serve. When we are done, the Lord calls someone else to fulfill the duties and dedicate themselves to serve. This is not just for "servantship" positions in the church, but also in all other facets of our lives, whether or not we are in that position. When we covenanted in baptism, however old we were, we covenanted to serve the Lord, our God, for the rest of our day. "For when ye are in the service of your fellow-man, ye are only in the service of your God." So serve. Find ways to uplift and assist those who stand in need of care. Love, serve, and assist should be our daily activities. I love you all and hope everyone is well with your families. Pray as a family. You'll never know how much it means or helps until you don't have it.

To the future missionaries: Bring extra toothpaste. I'm out already, haha. Take notes and study with a pencil. The way I see it is that the minute you pick up your pencil and get your little book of revelation, you are telling the Lord you are ready to receive revelation as you study the scriptures and treasure up the words of the prophets. It will benefit you greatly.

Hah Jeung Louh
Rise to the Top
Ever Stalwart

A few Heber boys, and my district before the Thai missionaries left

Meeting my new Mission President, and seeing my dad's Mission President and his wife

Monday, July 13, 2015

Night before Spenny left the MTC

7/13 What race do you run?

Hello everyone! Elder Sargent here. Things are going well in the MTC. What good times we have here! The days go by slow, but the weeks go by SO fast. We finally got to go back to the Provo temple today which was awesome. I love going to the temple and encourage all who haven't been for awhile to go! As well, our new 36 missionaries are great! We, as well, get 5 more this Wednesday. Elder Guinn and I have been extremely busy.

Sunday yesterday was awesome. I taught my own districts lesson (discussion) and it was amazing! I had the elder who strained his ACL do a certain amount of push ups for every mint I gave out, whether or not they wanted one, and the different kinds were worth more push ups. The elder did 3 sets of something like 80 push ups! While he did push ups, we read different scriptures on the Saviors atonement. After he finished the first batch, I offered them mints again and it was interesting to see how attitudes changed as they saw how exhausted he was. The third time I offered, I also had a large fruit roll up. No one wanted anything, except a few, but I gave them all one, nonetheless. Every time the elder was doing his push ups we discussed the Saviors atonement for us and what happened. The spirit was so strong as the attitude changed from funny to sad as the elder strained. They weren't pansy push ups by any means. Wow, it went so well. The Savior literally suffered THREE times in Gethsemane whilst in between he checked on his best friends the apostles who had fallen asleep. As they left, he was betrayed by another friend, and watched as an apostle cut the ear off of one of the men who came to arrest him. Christ then proceeded to heal the mans ear who he had JUST suffered for. All for us. We have the atonement for us whether or not we use it. I wish I could actually write and convey the feeling that permeated the room and all of us. I probably butchered the idea, but oh well, you understand. 

I also had the opportunity to interview district leaders and wanted to share some of the thoughts we talked about. One of the things Elder Guinn and myself decided to do was to have everyone stay in the classroom building until 9:30 when we are allowed to go to our residences again. Usually, many would wander out and eventually just sit down next to the building and chomp at the bit to go inside, and many would just succumb to temptation and go in. I found myself sitting outside often (9-9:30 is Daily planning btw). I found myself thinking more about this and strict obedience. I likened this thought to a race. Not any race. Not a state or even olympic race. This is a race with the very souls of people we promised we would find in the pre-mortal existence on the line. There is no greater race. Every day is a race to prepare to find these people in the MTC and a race to find them in the field. Satan isn't hindered by a physical body to run this race. Therefore we must run the race THE WHOLE way. There is no walking or even jogging the last 25-15 feet in a race. There is not even slowing down the last foot in a race where eternal salvation is on the line. We were met by some resistance from many elders and some District leaders. I shared this with them to help them understand. We challenged ourselves to ask ourselves what kind of a race we ran that day and write it in our planner and I wish to do the same for all that read this. When we retire can we ask ourselves: "Did I run a first place race today? Or did I slow down a little. I had a little sideache on lap three and slowed down. I got passed up. I took third." Ether 12:27  

 27 And if men come unto me will show unto them their weaknessgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong unto them.  

Likewise, as we are obedient and train and prepare, we can run first place races everyday. Because when we get passed up on the last lap, it isn't a friend or companion passing us. It is the adversary himself and we CANNOT be beat. It is not an option. 

To the future missionaries:
Obedience brings blessings. Strict obedience brings miracles. Here at the MTC as missionaries, we need miracles. We decide what level of obedience we have. Decide not and do not falter.


Elder Sargent

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Zone of Mass Change

Leih Houh! Ngoh haih FEISUHNG houh tungmaih ngoh gamsauh hoisam gamyaht!

What an amazing week!! I'm doing well! Just a quick update on me, I'm studying hard and the language is coming. I feel all the prayers in assisting me in learning the language as well as having a desire to really work all day at SYL (Speak your language). Yesterday Elder Guinn and myself were made Zone leaders! I feel so humbled by the opportunity. Elder Noyce (the old zone leader) and Sisters Yang and Mon left early this morning for Thailand and they will be sorely missed. I loved them all and they were like loving older siblings I never had. Our zone right now is compromised of our Cantonese District of 12 and a Thai District of 8, but on Wednesday our zone receives 31 Elders and 5 Sisters! 4 more districts! Elder Guinn and I kick into our duties right off the bat as our zone nearly triples in size! It will be fun.  As well, our district has been falling apart. We fasted yesterday for an Elder who most likely tore his ACL during volleyball (we find out Wednesday for 100% if he has to go home, but he is making a miraculous recovery), another with hemorrhoids who is having a colonoscopy as we speak, another who had something inflamed next to his heart giving him major heartburn, and two others that have a bad cold. Our room is basically the only untouched room so we have been bathing in Germ-ex and praying really hard to stay healthy haha. 

Last Monday we had the opportunity to clean the Provo Temple for a couple hours during our temple time, because it is closed! What an amazing experience. I was really able to come to an understanding of how much care is put into the Temple as we literally cleaned lockers with toothpicks and cotton swabs. It is the Lords house and I really gained a greater testimony of that as we worked to clean it. I will more greatly respect it now. 

Have I mentioned our devotionals yet? We have one every Sunday and Tuesday night, and had one for the 4th of July. Basically we go listen to a speaker and it's amazing. So last Tuesday we listened to Elder Sitati (he spoke in GC) and it was awesome! I love hearing uplifting words from men ordained of God. One of my favorites however, was yesterday when we got to listen to Jenny Oaks Baker! My district has it figured out how to be in the chairs in the front 4-5 rows every time, so we got to listen to her and her family play from 15 feet! Mom and Whit I hope you're jealous. It made me think of my family the whole time as all their little children played together. The Spirit was so strong.

In priesthood Sunday, we were discussing the Holy Ghost and other things, when Elder Vandyke brought up a strong quote that I feel inspired to share. "Never do anything you can't ask the Lord to help you do." What can this thought do to our lives if we ask ourselves this thought? Tie that into something that Elder Sitati said, "The Lord fought on our same battlefield." He fought for us and fights with us. I came here into the mission field on my will as well as the Lord's and only by the Lords will, can I and will I act. I am a soldier of Christ now. I came here and I am doing a work that the Lord wants me to do. I can ask the Lord for help and I do every night. I ask for help every time I pray (which, especially in the mission field is literally almost hourly) and I feel Christ in my life. Even when it's hard to see his hand, it is there. "A true disciple of Christ acknowledges his hand in ALL things, both good and bad", Pres. Weaver. Do we acknowledge His hand and strive to have that faith in Christ that will get us through the day? What more can we do? James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Strong words from one of my favorite books. There is always something more we can be doing.  If a day goes by that we feel we didn't use the Atonement, we did something wrong; we should need it anyway. The Atonement should be part of everyday repentance as well as drawing upon its enabling powers for strength and power to go throughout our day as "doers of the word as well as hearers." The Atonement is such a huge part of our lives and I feel sad that I am only barely coming to grasp that. Use it. Christ, a literal God, suffered pain so great he bled from every pore and pleaded with Heavenly Father to take the bitter cup from Him. If we don't use this great enabling power, we are sinning against the very powers of Heaven. I hope to use this power so I can have the attitude of Alma in Chapter 13 (I believe) when he looks forward to the day he gets to meet Christ and Heavenly Father. He does not fear it.

To the future missionaries: Bring extra stuff to write letters with. All the Elders in my area use my stuff because I have oodles. Align yourself with Christ now and develop that relationship so that you hit the ground running in the MTC. Use the atonement every day.  

Ngoh Ngoi kuihdeih! Choi gihn!
   Elder Sargent

Sunday, July 5, 2015


This week has been great! I continue to be amazed by the Lords hand. I have enjoyed seeing Elder Heywood here now and can't wait to see so many of my other friends come in. This week has consisted of madness because it has been the new Mission President seminar so they shut down the main building and cafeteria because all the Apostles have been around, as well as 130 new mission presidents and their wives! I also got to meet President Lam!! It was amazing. He is such a great man and I can't wait to serve with him in Hong Kong. He is a convert of 20 years (He's been going to church for just a little bit longer than me haha) and he has sent 5 of his own on missions. He has such a humble spirit to him and I can already tell he will change my life. 

Elder G and I are loving it. Elder G is amazing. He is a powerful influence as well and a very quick learner which has made him the ideal companion. Love him. We also taught our last lesson to "Christina", who as I had an inkling to, was actually SW! She is also our new teacher too, so it's going to be fun having a fellow Heberite in the room. The language is still a process. I have come to a much greater knowledge of the Lords hand in all I do as a missionary. The Gift of Tongues is real. I testify of that. I can already pray in Cantonese with ease and teach small lessons. Without the Lords hand there is no way I would have been able to do that. I also spoke in church on Sunday on call (they don't tell us before hand who will talk). I figured I was speaking when President P and Brother W kept making eye contact with me haha. Sister M spoke right before me. What an experience. She is from Burhma and came to the MTC 8 weeks ago to learn English AND Thai. SHe didn't know a lick of anything anyone was saying and in these 8 weeks she has become capable to talk and teach in both languages. She leaves in a week and her sweet humble influence and strong faith will be missed in a zone of now just elders. She led right into my topic of faith, because one day, I want to be like Sister M. I came 15 minutes down the canyon to learn a new language and be able to understand what everyone was saying. She came all the way across the world to a whole new culture and to learn TWO new languages and unable to understand anything. She is awesome. In Alma 57 is the story of the stripling warriors (or stripling missionaries relative to myself). Having heard Sister M's talk I was moved to talk about these amazing young men. What faith they had!  Having learned to act on faith in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they volunteered to serve their families and go to battle. With their great faith, they defeated the Lamanites and not one was killed. Now this is not the whole story but this is all I tend to focus on. What was made important to me was not only did not one die, but not ONE left the battle field without having been significantly injured. Not one was allowed to breeze through the battle, and neither will I. We as missionaries and individuals enter the battle field everyday. We enter with or without faith in Christ and his ability to save us and teach through us. I entered with a testimony that my sweet mother has helped me grow and nourish, just as these young men did. As I act on faith and love the Lord, He will help me. He will help me and support me throughout my service. Yet it will not be easy. Nothing in this life is easy and the Lord will not allow any of us through without being injured. We will have trials and hardships, but with faith in Christ, we will make it through. Our beloved Elder Bednar quoted, "Only after the trials of our faith are our blessings made manifest."Faith without action in just a good thought. I testify of that. As we act on faith in Jesus Christ He will make himself manifest in our works; He will support me and my desire to serve Him.

To the future missionaries and others. Leave yourself at home. The person you take to the MTC is not Elder Colt Sargent. It is not even Elder Sargent for that matter. We are all servants of the Lord. Who cares what we want, because in reality it is not our wants that are met. They are the Lords. As we turn outward to serve others we will indeed become as the Savior. I can become a mouthpiece and working set of hands only as I purify myself through Him for Him. There is no ME in the mission field. There is no I. There is only Him. And through Him can we serve Him.

I love you all and hope you are all doing well. You are all the best examples I could have ever asked for. Strive to be the person the Lord wants you to be. 

PS *Missionary note: Bring extra workout socks to the MTC because 2 pair WILL NOT cut it. haha Mom please send me some! :) Oh and love your companion.

   Elder Sargent