Monday, August 31, 2015

8/31 Bye, bye Buhndaih's!! (native's)

Summer Missionaries

MTC teachers

Sad to see our Summer Missionaries go home today. They were great and I hope to serve in their home wards some day. Elder Chan and Ho. Been SUPER busy. Taught three different English classes this week which took a chunk out of our proselyting time, but has been so fun! M (our English investigator from Yemen) brought a friend and we had several other investigators and recent converts to surrounding areas come. We have a baptismal date! Y is 8 years old and turn's 9 next week. She'll be baptized in two weeks!! She is awesome and comes to church with our 1st counselors wife and their kids every week. As well, we have really kicked our Less-Active Investigator finding into gear and have been calling and spending a lot of time in that. It is a slow process, but we have faith that perseverance will show them we love them and they will begin to again come to church. It is so hard for many to come to church, because most don't have cars and our ward building is in the boonies and it's super hot outside. We walk 20 minutes to get there and we live close. Many have to sacrifice so much to come to church and it is hard for others to do so. As well with this work, we have seen an increase in Investigators! We are now teaching J W (not James Bond, I made that mistake), K J, and have several other promising potentials. To answer some stuff I didn't mention last time, eating! We eat breakfast and lunch (usually) inside and cook  lunch. Elder G is a stellar cook and does a good job at teaching me (lots of rice, noodles, dumplings and other such stuff). Oh by the way, I have never liked Fanta, but Chinese Fanta is fantastic. So good. As for dinner, most of the time we eat out and about where we are. The Ward loves to give us food because they think we are starving to death... Not necessarily true.. but we love it. I have never been one to really try new things or eat spicy stuff, but here I don't know what's happened, but all fears have gone out the window! Not completely a good thing, but the food is great! I have eaten at 1 members home, food was awesome! Had some chicken that the members (the Ngh gahting) or in english the "grunt" family (you don't actually say anything) said most phillipinos and buhndaihs stay away from. SOOO HOT. wow. numbed me up. As well there are now 4 Elders is our apartment. Elder G and I cover southern Yuen Long (or the Yuen Yih area) and the other Elders along with two Sisters cover the north. A ton of people and they ALL need to hear the gospel! We are up to 11, and we do most traveling by foot, but a lot out to the stake center that is by Light Rail, and a little on the MTR which is the subway system here. I have never seen this many bikes in my life. There are so many bikes here it's crazy. As well I am the new apartment leader, and I am teaching our district training tomorrow! haha I've been here a week and everyone is way better at this than me, but come what may and love it. We have been teaching a general mix of English and Cantonese, more on the Cantonese side, which is unusual, but its going back to mostly Chinese speaking. I'm learning, but it's like drinking out of a fire hose! So much EVERY day! I love it. My dear companion Elder J G of Monticello, Utah, has been helping me along and teaching me a ton. Fun note, his trainer was Elder B, who was my MTC teacher! 

My thoughts revolve a lot around change these past couple days as I have really come to learn more about these people and how they are just like any other people. They fear change. They see change as a problem, a scary thought that they try at all costs to avoid. We have so many potentials and past investigators who dropped us because they feared the change. They knew it was true, they had testimonies, but it was a hard change. So they didn't keep up. Why do we fear change and how do we combat these thoughts? Why does the human conscience always avoid this? It is so sad to see this happen in people, and I don't understand why. Then I think about myself and how much I fear change. When this fear has prohibited me from doing good, maybe GREAT things that could have benefited me greatly. Embrace change. Not always, it is not always the way, but when the opportunity presents itself, I cannot fear the unseen. I have grown immensely in my faith towards the Lord and how he buoys me up in MY faith. My willingness to change as well as to help others do the same. I can't be a hypocrite, inviting others to change, when I myself am stuck in the mire of my own problems and shortcomings. It doesn't work that way. We must dwell on the merit's of Christ. Come what may and love it.

Love and miss everyone!

Elder Sargent

Sunday, August 23, 2015

8/24 I am officially a buhndaih

Waaaaa..... Hong Kong!!! To those on the other side of the world I am alive! I made the flight! 20 hours of traveling is killer, just let me tell you. It's a whole new world. I haven't stopped sweating since I got here, I have been cursed at heavily in English by an old suhksuhk (old man who I'm pretty sure was just quoting an American movie he had seen, haha which was pretty funny), experienced a rain storm like none I have ever seen, and am sleeping with 6 people in an apartment as big as my room back home. And I have never been happier. My only sad thought is that my mom is probably going to kill me when she finds out I forgot my camera so I have no pictures today. Shh.... please don't tell her. I am in the Yeun Long 2nd area with Elder George now! Our area is very close to the mainland (can see all the buildings from our apartment window) in the New Territories. So we have some crazy high rises, all the way to the rice paddies and to the shacks up against the mountain. President Lam knew exactly where I needed to be. Our area has roughly 500,000 people in it, and 2 missionaries. Our ward has 50 active members and a lot of in-actives, which means, there is a TON of work to do!!! Elder George has been in the area for 4 months now and knows it very well, his cantonese is also very good, which helps, because I don't hardly understand anything. It's not Heber I keep telling myself. haha I also bore my testimony on Sunday! It was awesome! So cool! I did ok and and I need to work on my tones and have more faith that the Lord will help me, but it will come. The people are busy. So busy. They are fast paced, and always on cell phones with ear plugs in, so it makes it so hard to find people because no one will talk. But there is someone the Lord has prepared, and we'll find them. I have definitely learned the importance of a smile. When its hard, no one will talk to us and I'm dead tired, it's raining and my head hurts from trying to speak, just smile. My mom always used to say that a smile could change a lot and I never really believed her until I came here.  The smile changes my attitude as well as those around me. Not very many people smile, they just seem busy and sad sometimes, so when they do look up and see some big, weird, lerpy, white kid in a shirt and tie with a big old cheesy smile on his face, most the time they smile. I guess it's a blessing that I am funny looking. Seeing them smile makes me happy. They still won't listen, but they're happy and they have a good experience associated with the two white guys and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So Smile. Just do it. Don't fight it, just do it.

Wish I had more time to write, but I am out. Miss everyone!
   Elder Sargent

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two Colton's in the MTC...just before leaving for Hong Kong

Great friends reunited for a minute...

8/18 Safe Arrival in Hong Kong

EN ROUTE!  Seattle Airport - taken by one of Grandpa Mike's missionaries
who recognized Colt from when he got some training in his mission...Nevada, Las Vegas Mission

Safe Arrival at the Hong Kong airport

Dear parents,

Your children have all arrived safe and sound. They are wonderful. We look forward to working with them shoulder to shoulder in this part of the Lord's vineyard. They are cheerful, enthusiastic and ready to work. We love them already.

Best regards,

President L
China Hong Kong Mission

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

8/10 It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN! (deenewdeenew, deenewdeenerner)‏

"The Crew"

Heber Boys

new name tags

two awesome Thai districts

Well I didn't think I could get myself to title any of my blog post's this, but I felt it appropriate for the situation. Haha the MTC days are coming to a close and it is so sad. We leave early Monday for Seattle, WA then the 16 hour flight to Hong Kong. We leave Provo at 5:30 am on Monday and get to Hong Kong at 8:30 pm on Tuesday (And then have to take a long train ride to the mission home). Figure that one out. Well, here's my review of myself and the time here, seeing as I won't get to write next Monday. Physically: My brain has been mush at the end of everyday, yet it feels alive like never before. I have put on 13 pounds (I haven't put that much weight on for 2 years. Show's what working out actually does hahahaha) and have had 3 haircuts. Not pertinent information, but I thought I'd throw it in there. Emotionally: Everyday is a roller coaster. If you're not stressed, you're not doing enough. I have had stress, relief, joy, love, and absolute exhaustion here, and I love it. I am ready to move on, actually move away from home (I usually see upwards of a dozen Heber folk when we go to the temple) and hit the streets of HONG KONG! I have learned patience, charity, and all of the above Christlike attributes, and more, since I have gotten here. I have SO far to go, but at least I am now bearable for my current companion and my future companions. Spiritually: In the famous words, "I believe I [could] can fly." I have never felt this spiritually uplifted ever and I don't want it to go away. The Lord has done so much with me here that I could not have done on my own. My testimony has grown, "yea, even an hundred fold." I never, ever, ever saw what was coming to my testimony and I'll talk more about that in a second. I am surrounded by the Spirit. It has uplifted me. I have found my purpose, or at least begun on that journey. I have received revelation for myself through promptings of the Holy Ghost and through others. Prayers have been answered and in turn, my life has been eternally changed. This has been an amazing chapter of my mission and it's so sad to see it go. Elder Guinn and myself were released from our assignments as Zone Leaders yesterday, which was tough. President Penrod told us last Sunday we'd do it like this, so we could help the new Zone Leaders. I love our zone so much. There are some absolute stunner missionaries here and they are going to do so well in the field. It is time to let someone else serve.

During my entire life, I have heard a common phrase, "Don't fight it. Just don't fight it Seabass." The Seabass part wasn't always a part, but I don't know how many times I have heard my Dad or Grandpa Milt tell me not to fight it. Grandpa must have said it a lot to my Pop's when he was little because he said it to me, and I will in turn tell it to my children. There is a profound lesson to be learned in this short phrase that never hit me untill I came to the MTC. Most of the time I heard those words, "Don't fight it," I was trying to get a bolt into some strut the hard way in the warehouse of MIRO during those cherished years that, at a young age, I got to work with my Grandpa. Other times, it was around the house from my Dad, when I was working the sheep or doing other chores that could have been done so much easier if I just would have thought it out or as my Dad always commented, "Bring your work closer to you." Now in the position I am in I have heard that phrase again and again in my mind, not from Grandpa Milt, and not from my Dad back home, but from my Father in Heaven. He keeps telling me, "Don't fight it." What am I fighting? "Just don't fight it." Just like my Dad and Grandpa, they would never tell me what to do better, with the exception of the occasional, "Bring your work closer to you." It was always just the phrase, then after a second of thought, "Just don't fight it." I have been fighting the will of the Lord, and I can't do that. Don't fight the Lord's will. Give it to him. It is the most intelligent thing we as individuals can do. If we are fighting it, we are wasting energy that could have been used otherwise, serving the Lord and furthering his work. "Bring your work closer to you." Do just that, if the Lord has his work is in the outermost parts of our mind, we aren't working to our best capabilities and we could we be doing so much more. Work effectively. Bring your work closer to you and JUST DON"T FIGHT IT. It's not work it. Do the Lord's will and allow His will to become yours. Think about it.

I love you all, sorry I couldn't expound more thought, ran out of time.

TILL CHINA!! Joigin!!


Hah Jeung Louh
Elder Sargent

Monday, August 3, 2015

8/3 One more PDay left...

As my Dad recently put it, PDAY's are busy. I couldn't have said it any better myself haha life is busy here in the MTC! Still kicking and learning here in Provo. I get my flight itinerary and leave for the distant land of China two weeks from today!! It has gone by so fast! This week was great. Got to host one of my best buddies Elder Roney on Wednesday and see so many more of my Heber family. We also got 13 new Thai Elders that are absolutely awesome! And we sent out Sister M (for real this time) and little Elder J V. We have two Hmong Elder J V's who are on fast track out of the MTC. Send the other one out this week. Our branch is HUGE! We are extremely busy learning the language, studying doctrine (I'm 1/2 way done with the Book of Mormon already! Goal is two weeks. Studying faith) and keeping everything going. President P wanted to reorganize Priesthood this week so that kept us busy and it went well! Sad our time here is slowly closing in, but we are ready to move on! Had an awesome devotional on Sunday by Sister Sheri Dew, and low and behold Sister P and Spencer walked in! Sister Dew gave an awesome devotional and then I ran up behind Spencer and gave him a bear hug. It was so nice seeing more Heber family, haha even Sister Kenna C was there! It was also Elder G's birthday on Saturday! So we couldn't party that night because we were fasting, so we had twinkies Sunday night. Elder G is AMAZING! Turned 19 and he has already done a year a BYU. The man is on a fast track to success. He is the best companion that I could ask for. Not much else has happened here this week. Our investigators (our teachers) are doing great! Have one committed to baptism, the other is a homeless less-active, and the other is a 19 year old that is just taking it slow. Haha he would pray or read for like 2 weeks and when he finally said the prayer on like our 4th lesson ( I had tried to bribe him with just about everything before to do it) I was so excited and happy I gave him a big hug on the way out. I forgot he wasn't our teacher at that point and time and acted super weird when I hugged him. hahahaha and said "keihgwai..." on our way out. haha which translates to weird. Apparently you don't hug in Asian culture. Our teacher from Macau has only hugged her Dad once. It was so funny. Live and learn. I wish I had time to tell you all of our funny teaching experiences. Elder G has told A-Jung (the 19 year old) that he is pregnant, and told Fantasy (the Sister comitted to baptism) that on fast sundays, when you're hungry you can just have as much sacrament bread and water as you want. Haha we have had some funny exeperiences. Elder G is such a blessing to me.

This week my mind has turned to faith, I have been studying faith out of the Book of Mormon this week and have had some great insights. Several things stuck out to me. One, Faith unto knowledge as the Brother of Jared. What kind of faith it takes to KNOW the Lord can touch stones to bring forth light (Ether 3) and the Lord comments that he is the most faithful of any man and that he could not keep the Brother of Jared from out of the veil. What do I have do to the attain such knowledge, that as Elder Holland said, "I know the Lord liveth more than I know that I am speaking to you today!" That is faith. That is knowledge. What can I do to know such things. What can everyday members do to understand and really put knowledge behind the words, "I know." That's what I am striving to do this week. Two: Mosiah 23 and 24, trials of faith. Used this during a lesson the other day. The Lord seeth fit to try us in all our day that we may become stronger. I urge all to read both these passages and study to see how to become stronger in our faith. Faith can move mountains, yes it can. I was enlightened on one way this might be possible by Elder during their District meeting that I was sitting in on. Faith might move the whole mountain at once. But for most of us, it is just going to move, one, shovelful, at, a, time. Slowly, but with faith, it will be move. The Lords ways are higher than our ways. I wish I had longer to write. I love and miss you all! Till Next week!

Missionary note: Wake up early if you have to so you can get everything done. Sleep is unimportant and the Lord will lift you and give you energy to carry out his work. 

   Elder Sargent