Monday, December 28, 2015

12/28 It WAS a Merry Christmas!

Ch and A-P and Ch's baptism
Christmas day visit to the ward camp (what a fun trip to see a FIRE again)

My team lost and I was taped to the wall with a helmet on.

Christmas Eve Party
It has been a very wonderful Christmas week. It has been all over the place with members and lessons and others, but it has been exciting. Started out with an amazing Zone party, where we did a fun skit (including myself as a shepherd riding my trusty sheep (Elder J) into Bethlehem), and moved to our ward Christmas Eve party. Wow! We planned for 90 people at a good turnout and had over 100 people there!!! As well, 50 of them were less-actives or investigators. It was an absolute stellar night. I as well, got taped to the wall. My team lost the scripture challenge because I was trying to talk to a less-active (best excuse I have) and so I got taped to the wall with a helmet on so people could throw rings onto me. Quite an experience. Christmas was also very fun! Got to see the family which was absolutely amazing. First time seeing baby B! Love you family. Best present ever. As well we got to visit our ward camp and meet some new friends they brought. So fun to go "camping" (50 yards off the side of the road surrounded by people) and have a fire and roast stuff, good memories. Unfortunately, one of the less-actives we have been working with, Bro. A, while there had a problem with his knee that kept causing him to fall over.  We had to leave with him to take him to the hospital, barely made it back in time for dinner with the Ts family (just baptized Ch cooked it all), and then home to open a few presents. The next day, we called Bro. A, and he was ok and wanted to meet! We met and he shared the coolest miracle story. He went to the doctor, found out his knee was having major problems and wasn't reacting to anything, as well, after many X-rays, found out he has a bone spur in his spine. They called a top tier doctor in and sent him in an ambulance to another hospital, where he had the opportunity to share the gospel with the medic (one of many miracles for him). Once he was waiting to meet with the other doctor, he prayed as he was extremely scared. Promised the Lord, he would get back in better shape, and get back to church faster if he healed him. The Lord did! The doctors couldn't figure it out. Brother A walked out of the hospital without support. One of many miracles. Can't wait to see where he goes now.

As well, Ch's baptism was amazing! It was so good to see her make this step. Her testimony is so strong. She is such a good example for her whole family. It was such a joy to see. We love their family so much and we are looking forward to next week's confirmation and hopefully baptism. They are so special. Our Christmas dinner was up there in the best things on that day. It was the Lords arrangement that we actually made it, and it was just too good. We laughed, we cried, we are just so close. Sis. T wants us to visit more and A-P should move to baptism very soon. His sisters baptism helped a lot. Pres. G, during his talk at the baptism, said he saw Ch as a missionary one day, which was pretty amazing. I would not doubt it. She is a rock. So strong, just one of the Lords elect.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! It's a good time to look back on last year and now look to the future and what we can now do to be more like the individual the Lord needs us to be.
Love you all!
Elder Sargent

Saturday, December 26, 2015

12/21 Merry CHRISTmas!

Just some Mtn. Dew cooked squid and chicken wings made by the the hand of Elder Sargent.
Grandpa Milt, your technique has been asianized
There are bikes everywhere!


Merry Christmas! The Christmas out here is beyond amazing. I am loving it. The work is amazing. We are working and have a Christmas baptism scheduled for next Sunday! For sure Ch and A-P is a maybe. He is working really hard to know right now, trying to get him on the believe plane, but he wants to just jump to the "I know" thought process. Want to help him so bad. Has been sick, so he missed his baptismal interview, but I believe it was a blessing from the Lord. Gave us the opportunity to step in. He talked about how he prayed really hard that the Lord would help him overcome his sickness, but nothing happened. He missed school (which here is not a good thing), and was too uncomfortable to go to the mainland on his volunteer trip this week (which was also another small blessing). Got to see him last night, after teaching a good lesson, trying to help him understand, we had a good laugh for a bit. When we started talking about Ch's baptism and she was so excited her foot was going back and forth, commented on how excited she looked and then there was just non stop laughter for 10 minutes, none of us or the fellowshippers could control ourselves. After re-controlling ourselves, we sat down and talked to A-P about his priesthood blessing. Talked about how it will be according to his faith, and discussed it for a bit. Then Elder J annointed and I gave the blessing all in Cantonese. What an experience. One of the most spiritual and sacred to me that I have ever had on my mission. It just came. Then A-P sat there for a minute with his eyes closed, we said Merry Christmas, I gave him a hug, they started for the door with us and right before he walked out the door, he turned around and said, "I am going to believe 100% this week." That just sent chills down my spine. That had been what we have been praying for. The Lord hears prayers. So excited for what the rest of my time here has in store for me.
Been such a Merry Christmas so far, missing my snow this time of year, but loving my rice! It's such a special time of year. I hope everyone can really take the opportunity to think of what we do have. Think of all the many things that the Lord has blessed us with. Gather as a family. Love those we have. We never know when the Lord is going to need them home. It can happen fast. Enjoy each other. That's the message this gospel brings. Wihnghahng gatihng. It's a special time of year, don't waste it.
I love you all and you are in my prayers! Merry CHRISTmas!

With all the love in the world from the big land of little people,
Elder N. Colton Sargent

Friday, December 18, 2015

12/14 Transfers

BBQ  A-P and Ch to the right of Elder D

Blanket service project in Tsing Yi

Helping set up a tent
Merry Christmas to all my colleagues out there! Haha I miss everyone this time of year. I love hearing the stories of the snow and the joy we are all having. This is a special time of year! It truly is. It is a time of year that binds families around warm fires (or air conditioners, depending on where you are) and unites the hearts of all in a joyous celebration of love for our Savior. When we celebrate his birth, do we truly recognize that this is the birth of the One who would atone for our sins? In Chinese, the translation is Singdaanjit, which means Holy Birth (I think the Chinese word is better), it reminds me of the real reason, makes it harder to think that it is just "Christmas." Remember the Holiness of this day.
Elder Sargent is doing SO well! We got transfer calls on Sunday night for some weird reason that the Assistants won't tell us about, and so..... I am staying in TUNG CHUNG! Elder J and I are sticking it out another transfer, and Elder J is the new District Leader! He is amazing, so powerful and will serve his calling well. As well, Elder D and Elder A are both staying, but getting another companion from Elder A's group. So Elder D will finish training them and then probably move. He has been here for over 10 months now, and they only have tripanionships here when one will quickly move out, but they haven't told Elder D where he is headed yet! So I am looking forward to a fun filled next two months! We will have 4 younger Elders serving together out in the boonies. I can't wait to see what miracles the Lord will perform to support us. That is my testimony: that the Lord supports those he calls. There is no way he wouldn't. The work is amazing. Christmas here is amazing. Our investigators are amazing! A-P and Ch are coming up again. Ch told us she is ready and A-Pang is still having minor problems. I have never loved a people this much.
I love you all and hope you all know I am doing so well out here. In the words of Grandpa Milt, you could say I am "wintering quite well." They say the elk are as big as buffalo in Montana this time of year. Haha I love what I have been given. This time of year the one thing we have that only we can give is our thanks. Give it freely, the Lord gave all he had for us.


   Elder Sargent

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12/7 Well It's Christmas Time

Breakfast with the C Family
P Day fun with President G
What a week of families!!! Wow! I don't have words to describe what has happened in Tung Chung this week. Miracles all over the place. We are now into the Leung family home teaching all three sons English and the Gospel and the mother is slowly having interest, all thanks to the amazing Brother H. He was relentless at getting us there! Can't wait to see the progression. As well, the M family! Brother M is a less-active from years ago; baptized when he was 15, stayed active for a year and fell away. Brother H (again) got him scheduled to play basketball with us and Elder Jensen and I just prayed for a miracle to get into the home. We had previously dropped by, but he didn't have time. The time came to go play basketball with him and Brother H and to get to know him.... and it rained!!! We then got to go to the house and meet his wife and their 3 year old daughter! Our ward has one child under the age of 8 and she is 3, as well! It was such a miracle. I feel like I have met brother M before, he is just the nicest guy and I can't wait to get him back to church. As well, we had previously been teaching Al and her son Cl (13), and the other Elders had seen her husband Da. They have huge interest, and aren't a real traditional Chinese family. Kind of different and as well, are super outgoing and nice! They have two older daughters who we have never met before. Our problem was that this week we weren't able to go to English class where we normally see them during the second half of the week because we were teaching the L's, so we were going to have to call to schedule them and invite them to the big music concert in Wan Chai, but the other Elders did! It was only planned to be Al and Cl, but come to find out, Da came with Cl, we all rode the MTR there talking the gospel, AND met Al and their youngest daughter T! They all loved the concert and are really interested! A-P and Ch are as well doing SO well and preparing for baptism. So ready. The greatest miracle of all, they are all re-scheduled! I dont know how to say it. We are loving it. As well, the other Elders had the F family at church, which was super fun to meet.

I can't believe it is Christmas time. Tung Chung finally cooled down, and it's actually been quite cold... I love it. Feel so alive. Family and friends! It's Christmas time! Share the spirit. People at this time of year are beyond open to hearing a message about family, about love, and most important, about our Savior. I feel so thankful for all I have been given. Every day I see the miracles more and more. I denote my tale as the Ballad of the Overly-Blessed Missionary. To those that have been given much, we too must give. That's how I feel and I encourage every one of us to remember that. Remember what we DO have. Forget about the other things people are posting on Facebook and remember what we have. Ponder that and in turn, give to someone else. We have the knowledge that not everyone has! People live daily in sadness not knowing what their purpose is. Many claim to know, but deep inside are yearning for the knowledge and comfort that the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ can give. It's what brings true joy.

I love and miss you all during this Christmas season!! Take care and drive slow.
Ever Stalwart my friends
Elder Sargent

Friday, December 4, 2015

11/30 Happy Thanksgiving

Well folks, what a week. Been a real week of growth for me. Had a fun experience with two of our investigators. A Brother and Sister that have been coming to church for 3 months, and their dad is a less-active member. Had a baptismal date for this last Sunday. They had been taught all of the lessons except for tithing, and we just felt they were so ready! The brother, A-Pang however was still having problems with knowing if God is really there. We scheduled the baptismal interview just moving in faith, but I was having all these mixed emotions of not wanting to push, but wanting to push, and just having faith, I just wasn't sure what to do. So Elder Jensen and I fasted! All Friday up to their interview we fasted. Fasted that we could have peace with what was to come and that A-Pang could get an answer to his question that he has been praying about for a month. We taught a lesson before and he still just didn't seem ready. Elder McSweeney had been waiting for 45 minutes at that point because our lesson had gone so long. I just felt like there was nothing I could do, and there wasn't. I just had to put it in the Lords hands and ask Elder Dale to help talk to A-Pang and Elder McSweeney in the interview. My capabilies had run out. It was draining and so difficult for me. I just wanted to cry! I love them so much, they are so ready, but A-Pang still had his doubts. In went Chanel, the sister, and they were in their interview for an hour and a half! During that time, a sense of peace just came over me. They were in the Lord's hands now. Chanel passed, but it was 10:00 at that time so everyone defenitely needed to go home at that time. We scheduled A-Pang for the next day. He didn't end up passing, but surprisingly, I just felt ecstatic. I felt so happy and so at peace. I didn't understand. The realization just came to me that they would be baptized, just let the Lord work with them now. I often try and do it all myself, but I can't! It just doesn't work like that. Elder Jensen and I can only do so much, then they have to accept it. It was a big learning week in many aspects. 

As well, we had Thanksgiving feast! Elder Jensen and I did the potatoes for the whole zone, 40 pounds!! We cooked them up in Tung Chung then tossed them on our Pohpo cart, professionally packed I might add, then hauled them all the way an hour to Kowloon for our party! It was great. President and Sister Lam were there for a while and got to talk for a bit. Great food. It was kind of weird, I haven't eaten with a fork for a long time now haha. I am loving the work and so thankful for all I have and for the the many opportunities that have been presented me. I feel overly blessed to have the family, friends, and circumstances I do. I have a lot of people that have heavily influenced my life, and I am so very grateful to each and every one of you for all you have done.

I thought I might add some fun facts for everyone in this letter
1. There are sparrows everywhere, in the mall, the subway, bathrooms, everywhere.
2. The Gaaisih is crazy. The open market its insane, under the parking lot, smashed people and stalls that you can buy anything and see anything. Buy frogs and toads for dinner, live fish, chickens, and other stuff flipping and squealing and all manner of meats hanging up, people taking a big old blade and just cleaving a pig head in two, it's a party. Thats where ya make life long friends who will give you good deals on dinner.
3. Everyone has a little dog or a baby. One or the other. Haha and they all get walked around twice a day and both just use the bathroom anywhere. On the way to church the other day, their was this little munchkin peeing into a bottle his mom was holding in the middle of the subway station. Pants on the ground and their Phillipino helper just laughing. Ah it was a kick.
4. The most mahfaahn thing in the world is having to fill the toilet up everytime we use it. Just thought I would throw that it there.
5. Oh and one more, my head touches one side of the bed and my feet touch the other.
Grandma Becky would be proud of these potatoes!


Love and miss you all! Can't believe we are running into the Christmas season! Stalwart, 

Elder Sargent