Monday, February 29, 2016

2/29 Elder Stevenson, an apostle

spent the day with this Elder

Wan Chai - possibly one of the most expensive the church owns in Hong Kong
Burgers and fries before the meeting
long hair, until it's done up...aaahhh, that sounds feminine

Wow, times flies! I don't think I mentioned Elder Stevenson last week... He came on Monday! It was Elder Stevenson and his wife, Elder Gong (Pres. of the 70) and his wife, then the Area Presidency and their wives. They all spoke and it was great! We took a big picture with them all and then shook their hands. The picture was quite sunfu, though, haha. It was a great meeting! I learned so much.  They all spoke, with obviously the majority of the time given to Elder Stevenson. I learned so much about keeping things simple and just teaching what I need to teach: Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts. (Note: Not baptize investigators.) Elder Stevenson taught so simply and so powerfully. It really was a great meeting and it was so good to see so many of my old friends around the mission.

In other words, moves calls were interesting! We typically get them on Monday, but never even got them past District meeting on Tuesday. The Assistants said they would be late. So then we are at lunch with Peter, an investigator and I got a call from my brother Elder D (AP) and was asked to be the new Zone Leader for Kowloon! I am quite unprepared and underqualified, but it will be fun. My pal Elder S and I get to spend some more time together, but other than that Elder S is training a native who is actually going to Oregon when he gets his visa, and I am still with Elder Da. 

Elder Da and I are great! We head to the doctor tomorrow to check up on him and we will see how things go. WE are doing great together. We get along very good, and have good companionship unity. We need to be better in our record keeping, among many things, but that is what we are working on! As well as 24/7 SYL, if we can say it in Chinese, then we do. We have really seen a lot of progression in the area recently. Things are working and we hope to begin to see more work with members and other such things. The work is great.
Our investigators are doing well! We are struggling at getting them to come to church. The area is good. I am loving it. Really loving being pushed more, feeling growth in myself and our companionship. Things are really just great!!

I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK! It is the best! Take care of everyone out there. Love you all!

   Elder Sargent

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2/21 Baptism by a recent convert


What a week!!! Been a wonder. Had my first baptismal interview, N, who got baptized this week! She went to BYU this year as a transfer student, and is awesome! Her family is heavily against the church, so it's been rough for her, but she has so much faith. A-C, a recent convert, baptized her and did great. Elder D and I shared the Restoration at the meeting and Elder D did the whole first vision in Chinese! So proud of him. Brother C, as well, came to church and the baptism and said he wants to get baptized on Saturday! What a miracle, we talked about how he still needs to quit smoking, and he said he would. Going to be a tough week, but we talked to President and got an interview scheduled up. Going forward with faith!
This month the Zone revamped our goals after MLC the first week. WE PUSH. We doubled our baptismal goals and pushed ourselves a lot more, and the fruits of our labors are coming to pass. This is the last week of the month, and we might have 4 baptisms this week as a district and one more from the zone on Saturday to get our goal! Things are progressing rapidly.
As well, the Lord really has heard our prayers recently. We have struggled for new investigators since I got here, but last week Elder D and I set a personal goal of 6 new investigators in 2 weeks to end the transfer. We both felt impressed that way and that we could rely on the Lord to accomplish it. This week we had 3! Halfway there. Got several new people that have very good potential and two have been to church now. We are so excited. This transfer has gone by so unbelievably fast. Transfers are tomorrow. Hope I can stay. I love the area and my companion. The work is hastening! 
It was a testimony building week for sure. Had many experiences that tried our faith, and it was amazing to me to see how we can overcome these things. Relying on the Spirit. If the Spirit isn't there and it doesn't testify to me, then I am not moving. Really a strong experience to help me grow. I love you all! 
Keep up the good work! If it's work and it's not the good kind, stop and find the good kind! haha 
Ever Stalwart
   Elder Sargent

Friday, February 12, 2016

2/11 Happy Chinese New Year

Ward BBQ

Yam Cha for Chinese New Year with N

Yam Cha for Chinese New Year with the L's

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Things have been great! Wow, I don't know where to start. It has been too long. H and K both left for Mainland these last two weeks, which has put everything off for the both of them. The Chinese New Year has put a damper on our ability to contact our investigators, but we have managed to use time effectively! It has been so much fun. It has been a little hard seeing numbers fall the past two, three weeks, but we are working on getting them back. We had to drop a few lessons to Less Actives that our ward correlater doesn't want us to visit. So we have been working on filling time, really trying to find new investigators right now. Things have been kind of rough in that aspect recently. Have had so many so close and we are just praying and working all we can do to earn one. 

I absolutely loved Zone Training and Zone Conference. It has been a powerful week. Learned so much, as well, at our leadership conference. I just feel energized. Learned so much that I want to take back and implement into our area. For Zone Conference we finally got to watch the worldwide mission conference, which was awesome! It was also nice because we got to pause it halfway through and discuss what we had learned, Pres. L is so powerful. It was amazing. 

For those of you who don't know, which is probably most, Chinese New Year is insane. Literally. Monday through pretty much today, no shops are open, everyone goes to their home town to see family. There is music and all kinds of cultural stuff going on. It's crazy. People go around saying things like, "Healthy Body", "Dragon Horse Energy" and all the older generation just give little red envelopes of money to the younger generation, to pay for schooling and to get them started and such. Have to be super respectful, but it's cool. Went on a BBQ travel with the ward.  It was so fun to get to know these people. Our ward is great. Brother C is doing super well. Still working on quitting smoking, but we are working on it. Had a super powerful lesson last night and are eating dinner with the Y's tonight. Excited! 
Talk to you in a few days! Love you all!
Elder Sargent

Cat in the kitchen

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/1 Jawbreaker

Been an amazing week! We have been enjoying the weather (Elder Da wears the long johns every day that we found in the dirty mall), and enjoying the work! Again, we are learning a lot. Studying the "4th Missionary" this last Monday I came across a small tidbit that really has had a large impact on me. I feel as though so many missionaries come out into the field with the attitude that we are going to be the most obedient missionary on the planet, and as time goes by, sometimes our views start to wear down. Like a stone in a stream, day by day, our sharp, strict edges of obedience wear down until we don't even know it, but we become a round slippery stone, prone to not follow standards. I want to strive to be that "4th missionary", my WHOLE mission. I still felt like something could be better. Coming a little frustrated out of last week, from lessons not going how we planned, and the small edges of obedience rounding in our companionship, we read this talk. I expected it to have a large impact on Elder Da, since he has not read it and I think it is an amazing talk. As we read the first portion, it outlines each missionary, and one bullet under that section reads that the 4th missionary does not compare himself to other missionaries in anything he does. He only compares himself to his own capabilities. I just had to stop and think about that one. The consequence of doing so results in frustration and discontent. Exactly what I had been feeling. I needed to read this more that ever. I pondered this, and implemented it into me this week, and I have seen blessings untold. Peace with the Lords will and how everything is going this week. The Lord recognizes our righteous desires to fulfill His word. In days like today we cannot compare, it is what the world wants us to do. It is the plight of fashion and business's to do so. Facebook and Instagram are constantly putting us in the position and mindset of asking if I up to the worlds standard? Where do I get the next best thing? If we compare here, we will never be happy and will never become as the Lord wants us to be. As we compare to the Lords standard and to our own capabilities, we are able to feel peace and contentment with what the Lord has given us as well as understand what areas of our life we really need to do better. We can always progress on the eternal scale and feel peace.

This week has been great! Loved it! Elder Da has had an out-of-place jaw that has caused him pain (never have I seen someone eat so many bananas!) and so we had to spend some time at the doctors this week. Other than that, it has been amazing! Our district has been on a dry spell for the last month on new investigators, but after a great training this last week, EVERY companionship has at least one! It's great, the work is progressing. It was fun to have dinner with the L family, their son K just got back from Texas, where he served with a friend, from Heber.  He showed us some fun pictures. The ward is amazing. Had a fun luncheon after cleaning Bro. Ch's house. So fun to continue to get to know the members better. We as missionaries have to have the taifaat that we will live in these area's forever as to maintain the relationship. Oh I love our ward. All is well in Zion! Hurrah for Israel my family and friends! Find some work and do it! Love You!

Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart