Monday, September 28, 2015

9/28 The man; C, receives baptism

This week/ couple days since last P-day has been a blur. Oh, and sorry I wrote on Thursday last week. Once a transfer we get to go to the Hong Kong temple, and whatever day that is becomes our P-day. Speaking of P-day, I am out of money for the month! haha I will be living off of... probably leftovers and rice this week, at least till the first. Haha we have ridden the MTR (subway that is mostly above ground in the New T's) a bunch and therefore have used most of our money on transportation. Had a great day yesterday! Turned into a day of miracles. Sister M L finally came to church with her son Loofie (3 years old and insane crazy over Buzz Lightyear) which was awesome! She came with Sis. C from the Hung Shiu Kiu ward, and we arranged to have her brought to church and hopefully now we can get the ball rolling with lessons! She loves the gospel and  wants her son to be raised with good morals. As well S came for the first time. He missed sacrament, but got to see what we do, which was awesome. He has had some insane changes, including trying to get us to help his drunk friend. We have seen her around a lot and she is always just wasted. She is homeless and we are going to do all we can to help her. As well A came! She has been great. We have been trying to find a time to have both her and Seth over and we have a time scheduled this week which will be hard. As well, JW, the 15 year old has a baptismal date and came to the baptism. We taught him on Friday (me and Elder G...h-we were on Zone 24's). What we taught was spur of the moment and not how we planned to go, but we went by the Spirit and it was so powerful. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end I just felt he was ready. I gave the invitation and he readily accepted. So that's 4 investigators at the baptism, as well as Brother C brought 2 friends! We had a confirmation during sacrament, then Brother C's baptism. With all these people, we couldn't keep up and there was so much going on and it was just great!!! Ah it was an awesome day. Then a Sister in the ward gave us a bunch of frozen waffles that night. Couldn't have been a better day. It was also the Mid Autumn festival which is a BIG deal here. People everywhere and parties. Its a big family thing. Made for a crazy day.

My thoughts today revolve around the war chapters of Alma 45-57 ish. Studying about prayer I didn't know what to take out of these chapters. Or for that matter, for many subjects those chapters just seem to be about war that is fun to read sometimes, but there has to be more. There always is something to get out of that. What intrigued me most was how obvious it was that when the Nephites were struggling with an inner battle, they weren't focusing on what was happening on the outside. The Lamanites conquered a dozen cities in a  short period of time that caused much heartache and sorrow for the thousands slain. All because that weren't focused inwardly, to fight the outward battles. Moroni quotes it very well in that we must first clean our inward vessel. I relate that to myself, my companionship, as well as our homes. If we personally are fighting inside our own beings the Lords will. If I am worried about other things and I am not focused, Satan can win battles that fast (snap my fingers). We have to be completely focused on the work at hand and can't afford to allow the things in side ourselves to detract from what is most important. I don't wish to give more of my thoughts about it because I believe the interpretation and application is different for all. We have to priotize what battles we fight first and where they will be.

What a place I am in... a work I am doing. I love this. Love and miss you all!

Love, Elder Sargent

Thursday, September 24, 2015

9/24 The Man, The Myth, The Legend... and The Man's Man

The Man, The Myth, The Legend... Bro. C.

The Man's Man...M.

My Night Job

My Day Job

Well hello out there!

I'd like to start off my weekly letter with a big shout out to my Mom, who is turning 27! I know she looks like she's 23 so just get over it. (you better include this) She has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest influence, in my life. I love her to death and am so glad for all she does. There is no one more kind, loving, humble, cheerful, and dedicated to the success of others, especially her family, as she is. I love my sweet Mother with all my heart. Miss you mom. :) 

All is well in Yuen Long! This Sunday we have the confirmation for Y and Brother C's baptism! We are super excited! The work is picking up! Quick word on C., The Man, the Myth, the Legend. I have seen few people turnaround as completely and as quickly as he has. He is amazing. He is what every missionary prays for. He is dedicated to this gospel and as prepared as any person I know. He is already doing missionary work and he isn't even baptized yet! He will be such an asset to the missionaries in this area. We are so excited. This Sunday is a big day! It's also the mid-autumn festival which is a huge deal here! Super excited for that, as well, Elder G and I just got the OK to start a huge Halloween party for the 31st that will be both wards and we are really hoping to have a big investigator and less-active turnout. SUPER high hopes for the area this upcoming month. As well, so sad we have to give up two super strong investigators to some other Elders this week. S and A live in another area so there they go.

As for Elder Sargent, I am loving it! Loving it so much I have developed a muffin top! Haha the rice here has done it to me. Never thought I could put on weight, but I am probably sitting at 170 right now. Believe it or not. It's the truth. I am loving the work. Love the food and the people and I am really finally getting accustomed to the heat. All is well. Hurrah for Israel. So happy to hear about all that is going on back home (Everyone know Ted took State Fair Lamb? He always outdoes me.) and that everyone is well!

My thoughts this week revolve around not slowing down and speeding up. 2 Nephi 31:19 and 20. Just because we are on the strait path isn't good enough. We must be moving down that path. We are always moving, and we must make sure its in the right direction.

   Elder Sargent

(Editor's note: Colt apparently had temple day on Monday, which is why we didn't hear from him.  No computer time until today.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

9/14 The kids here are sooooo cute

The feeling you get when members give you food!
Y, her mom (striped shirt), Bro. L (baptized her), Sis. L (blue shirt) and some other ward members. 
Ho hoisam!! Y and two ward friends. The kids here are soooo cute

Elder Sargent is well! Loving it here! This week has been amazing. We had Y's baptism and have received a few new investigators. Again I learned that it is all in the Lords hands. On Saturday, we had scheduled 7 lessons! Plus English class! We had to do language study on the Light rail and cancel language pass off's due to the lack of time. I was so excited, then comes Saturday and we get stood up on 4 lessons. I didn't understand, but the Lord knows. It has been an amazing week. I always knew I would serve and I would serve hard, and I feel as though I have been. Yet, I have found myself thinking about home and all that is going on right now. It's my favorite time of year and there are so many exciting things I love during this month and the coming month, I found myself not giving it my all, 24-7. I feel like I have had small promptings and experiences that have helped and have really been good for me, but the greatest of all was on Sunday during the baptism. Seeing Y's mom come to and cry at the pulpit for what our church has done for her daughter that she could not do due to being a single mom in Hong Kong. Then seeing how happy Y and the other ward members were, but the part that was for some reason the part that put me over was when all the sweet little children went up to sing the baptism song. Being the oldest of a ton of grand kids on on one side of the family and the second oldest on the other, I have heard that song many times, the Sister started playing and I waited to hear the familiar words. But they came out in Cantonese. Their sweet voices and the smiles on their faces sure did it to me. Almost started crying right there. That is why I came here. To speak Cantonese and help these people receive the joy that I was witnessing right then. The spirit was so strong, and Brother C was staring so intent, the moment was one I will cherish forever. That's why I came. I will speak this language and I will give and consecrate all of my being to see that joy on another individuals face. That is real joy. That is eternal joy that I get to see every Sunday. If that's not reason enough to give it all, I don't know what is. 

As well I don't think I mentioned that the other Elders in our apartment are the sign language Elders for this area. So I am learning a little bit about that too. It's pretty cool. There is true joy in sharing this gospel. I have come to truly realize that. I wish everyone could have that same joy, and they can. 

Funny note, we had a less active who wanted to know our favorite kinds of music, told him country and he didn't know what that was and needed an example. I told him Alan Jackson, Remember When. He looked it up on his phone and started playing it out loud and then I was singing it, it all happened so fast and my companion was like Mh Dak! Which basically means not good/shouldn't do it. No real translation. haha it was funny. As well I taught a brand new investigator the entire restoration using the Plan of Salvation pamphlet because I can't read and was too excited to realize the picture on the front was wrong. Haha he looked so confused. We were on splits and I was with the District leaders companion. Was a killer day except for that haha. 

All is well in the big city! I hope all is well back home! Love and miss everyone!

2 Nephi 1:27

   Elder Sargent

I asked Colt if he is still gaining weight after he posted the picture of food from the member's. His response:
"Haha get this.... More weight. I have a little banana of belly fat from all the rice right at the bottom of my gut. But supposedly it won't last very long. haha Never thought I'd see the day."

Monday, September 7, 2015

9/7 The Miracle

Wow, what a week! Quick update on Elder Sargent. Health is great! Always tired, and the brain is always mush. Loving the food and the culture. Everything is tiny!!! Food proportions, bathrooms, things IN the bathroom, apartments, beds, PEOPLE, but not the cellphones. Wow. Are the cell phones that big back home? Our TV wasn't as big as some of these things. Oh, and the truth. They do have holes in the ground for toilets. Not all, but some.

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Bar none, and I feel like I have done some tough things. But it is the most rewarding. Bar none. I cannot understand most of what's going on, I am getting there, and it's hotter than sin, but I am SO happy! I have learned to dwell on the Lord more than ever. He is now more a part of my life and it should have always been that way. From finding less actives in Kam Tin out in the boonies on the rice paddies, to finding investigators street contacting. I, today, finished my Book of Mormon on the Atonement. Wow. I need several different copies just to study the different points of this great act. It covers so much. What I did learn among other things, is the greatness and necessity of relying on the Lord. He will be there whether or not we lean, so why do I let that opportunity go? I have learned that so much.

What a week. We now have 9 investigators! Y should be baptized this Sunday, Mr. C #2 or A-On has a baptismal date for Oct. 4 (he is golden! given up so much!!!), M (who is doing great, but were not sure what do do because he doesn't want to move on but enjoys learning), J W (had a rough week and is not sure he wants to continue which was heart breaking), K J (trying to keep him going but it's so hard to contact) and the last three are the miracle. Last week, during weekly planning, we felt impressed to set a goal of 3 new investigators. The whole week nothing really went like we wanted and we were super confused. We also had a goal of 7 lessons with less actives. Come last night, we were still 0 for 0 for both and it was the last night. We had a lesson/cheng out (or family dinner) where a member family from another ward invited us to dinner with two friends from our ward boundaries (which doesn't happen very often here). We get there and it ends up being a husband, wife, 3 year old son and the husbands mom!!! We had a great lesson that the members taught and then Elder G and I had a game! They loved it, are coming to church next week, and want to learn more. They are now reading the Book of Mormon and are so excited!! I can't explain the joy and love I had so quickly for a family I had never met. And those were our goal. 3 new investigators in the last few hours. The L G, sorry, or L family. That was a miracle that we got our goal of investigators, however I was puzzled on our less active goal. After consideration I felt as though that had been a personal goal and we hadn't gone to God with our goals. We really wanted to further our less active numbers and get that rolling. All of our Less actives fonged us. So we had no lessons. This taught me such a great lesson. Rely on the Lord. I already talked about it, but rely on the Lord. He knows. He knows all and He can help us through all.

Elder G 

The City of ShenZen in the background.  It is part of the mainland, communist China, way too close to me!  Just a couple of miles away.

I hope all is well back home! My favorite time of year! Love you all!!!