Thursday, June 15, 2017

6/12 Signing Out

What mixed emotions I have writing this. 
My final report.
The area was blessed this week with the baptism of J and Sister C. They were all ready to go on Sunday and the ward was ready to receive them. Sometimes missionaries worry about a hand off of investigators to members, but I feel comfort that it was all of us supporting them from underneath to get them here. C (preparing missionary) baptized J, and RC Brother L baptized Sister C. It was great, a spiritual witness again of the preparedness of our ward. It was a topic yesterday, and at ward council. The ward has seen a lot of people start their paths in the gospel and feels so blessed. We achieved our ward baptismal goal yesterday and over! It is only June. On to setting a new goal, but to continue to work to retain these new people in the fold. What an amazing ward. I will be forever grateful for their examples to me.
Bishop asked me to bear my testimony again yesterday, unfortunately the crying side of me came out and it took a second to gather myself. I love these people like my family. Each one of them. I spent so much time at their sides working in the vineyard in a time where I have grown so much. I have striven to emulate their examples of service and dedication no matter what it takes. They love. They are successful. It was like saying goodbye to my actual family.
My time here has flown by, as I said earlier, on wings of lightning. I have come to realize that history will continue to tell me what is possible, but it will never be able to tell me what is impossible. The Lord has sent us here to do the impossible. Do things that we don't think we can do, and in the midst of the turmoil, sometimes heartache, and beautiful sunrises, to grow and to become like Him; and thereunto, fulfill the measure of our creation. We came here to emulate Christ. We came here to prepare to return unto the Father a different person than we are now, a perfected spirit child with experiences to help us govern in the world to come. If we are not doing things now to change ourselves, we might consider a, "course correction." 
I have learned love, I have learned patience. At first, I tried to keep who I was, but not until two years later after decided to forget it, do I really have an idea of who I am. I have come to know my purpose. As to what will happen in the future? "我還不完全知道這些奧祕,所以不再說了" (Alma 37:11). All I do know, is that I will fearlessly serve the Lord. I will strive to be a clean vessel, a shiny tool, and faithful servant to the Lord. 
I love the Lord my God. He lives and loves me too. I will face Him one day I know, and I wish to be prepared, and to recognize Him as my Savior. This is His church and His gospel. It stands on the pillars of the Book of Mormon, the priesthood, and modern day prophets which I all know and believe to have been restored again to this earth. Families are eternal, and our faith is key to this plan.
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation." (2 Nephi 22:2)
I leave my testimony with you all again, He lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Elder Sargent signing out. With love and respect.
Ever Stalwart

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Elder Sargent gets home June 16th

Elder Colt Sargent is returning from his mission this Friday, June 16th! Please join us in welcoming Colt home. You are invited to stop by his home and see him anytime that Friday evening 7:30 or later. We will have food, good weather and the chance to hug and visit with this wonderful, faithful returning missionary!
Elder Sargent loved his mission and will have a hard time leaving.  He is already looking forward to returning to Hong Kong to show us around and to meet the many friends he made there!

6/5 Final Lap

The work is great! We were busy up to our nose last week. It was fun to see H again, he is ready to go. So prepared, in this last year and a half away from the church, I think he has seen what blessings it brings. He will be coming back to church soon. Our last lesson we were able to see what he wanted from us, which all fell right under the plan of salvation and our purpose in life. He will do amazing things in the church. HK is well, still progressing at a good pace, we are taking it a little more slow with him, which I feel is good, but he is doing well. Sister C and J have done everything to progress to their date, Sister C has quit coffee and tea which was really hard for her, except they missed church on Sunday. Has kind of made a funny situation on whether they should or should not get baptized. We did have a great lesson with them on Tuesday, J said he didn't want to get baptized, we talked about it after and we decided to pray about it. It was amazing to see how even a wild 10 year old can have spiritual experiences if desired. After he prayed, we all sat there and he just kept his eyes closed, then after a minute or two, sat up. Brother L asked him how he felt and he said he wants to baptized on the 11th for sure. He just said, "My heart, it is so hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!" God will use the Spirit to witness truths and answer prayers of anyone when sought with real intent and faith.
Finding two new investigators was great last week and both have great potential, none came to church on Sunday though which was 慘 because it was a great fast and testimony meeting. Absolutely great. Spirit packed and touching. I bore my testimony, and it was even fun to see J McS again. Can't believe I sent him home a year and a half ago. 
My personal studies have been revealing and especially edifying this past week. I feel like that most weeks actually, can we get longer study time? Haha I have been doing some follow-up from Elder Cook, studying Ether 3 and then some chapter in D&C. Holy sacrifice enabling spiritual growth and progress. Give it a study!
I love my mission.
Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the words of my wise Grandpa Milt, "Rise to the top."

Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Friday, June 2, 2017

5/29 Icing on the cake

first ever MINI MTC experience in Hong Kong
Recent Converts from my time in Tung Chung, A-Pang and Chanel, it was the icing on the cake to see them

Jesus Christ with the Chinese children in Wan Chai

Another great week moves on by, a week full of great experiences, both spiritual, and just joy in others I guess. 
It was great to see Elder Cook on Monday! Leading the mission music fulfilled a lifelong dream for sure. That was amazing. It was touching to watch as we sang for 20 minutes and to see how the movement of the music and the power and the Spirit it brought touched most of the missionaries at different times. There is power in the hymns. I loved the questions and Elder Cooks testimony at the end. It was special, that's for sure. It is empowering knowing we have servants of the Lord Jesus Christ on this earth today. 
The first ever Hong Kong Mini MTC happened on Saturday. It was a full day. We have been planning for that day for quite a few months now. It really made me happy to see all the youth smiling and raving about how fun it was. I enjoyed it, we gave a couple training's, learned a little Korean, and had a lot of good food. I also saw Recent Convert's (A-P and C) from Tung Chung that are doing great, that was the icing on the cake. 
The area is also doing pretty good! Investigators are doing well, we had dinner with J and Sister C at the Y's on Saturday night, great lesson. Sister C brought up some concerns with drinking coffee, we had great support from the family and were able to work with her through it. J said he will help her remember. Sister Y asked them if they wanted to be baptized a week early because I am going home, they said yes! So that will be a great week. Another is trying to progress, but letting his doubts get the best of him. We saw X last week which was great. He is on the same boat as R, but has desire, he can do it if he is willing to act. 
The ward is awesome. Couldn't say anything bad about the ward. Trying to get some out to more ward activities to support and fellowship, but things are great. We had a ward baptism this last week. SS and I got baptized. Huge turnout after stake conference at a different building, they had lots of family there and I's non-member dad came. Great guy, I think he will join one day. Just needs some time, and an invitation. The sisters have a baptism next week, and then J and Sister C the week after! 3 Sundays in a row! That will be pretty fun. Excited. 
I went on an exchange this week. It was a great exchange, he is a humble, hardworking, obedient missionary. He didn't seem so sure of himself a little, but he was great! Teaching skills are good. I think he will be great where ever he goes.
Companionship is great. I love working with Elder C, we have a good time together. I am learning so much in my personal studies. I love it. The scriptures are a form of nourishment I don't think I could do without. 
The weather is fine, I think it's time to go enjoy one of my favorite gifts from God. The outdoors.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Saturday, May 27, 2017

5/22 Just a lucky Elder :)

Check out Facebook to see the missionaries singing Called to Serve to Elder Quentin Cook when he visited this week.  It was posted on the mission page for the China Hong Kong mission for President Lam

A great week! It was so fun to see the family, I was surprised how much they have matured. I guess that's what you get with a young family. This week has definitely been different, I got into the "My Plan" packet which I misplaced, on top of seeing family and a lot of members knowing I go home in month, my heart has been battling this week. Fighting thoughts of home, but preparing for such, and as well, keeping focus on the work. It has been a challenge, but I am always up for a challenge. :) 
The area is doing well, realizing we have a lot more potential coming up after these few weeks now that the DSE is over and people are starting to be a little more available. H, a potential that passed his baptismal interview but got shut down from his parents a year ago, is ready to come back now that school is up, AL (Recent Convert) is ready and scheduled this week now that the test is up, and more. Lots of people to come out of the wood work in the coming weeks. Sister C is doing great with J, it has been great to see the gospel work in their lives, enhancing their relationship and helping them become better together. They are doing very well. R is doing great and came to church again yesterday. V had his confirmation yesterday! He is great, unfortunately J couldn't come because of a work complication, but he is doing so good! We hope to see V and B with callings soon. The area is doing great, actually wish we could teach a little more, but every one last week was 唔得閒住. 
It is a testimony to me that unless we are progressing, we will digress. One friend hasn't been willing to share the gospel with his family or make steps to progress, and we are starting to see some of the effects. I am a little worried, not bad, but hope to see him turn the corner here and move onward and upward. It was the same with another. It goes for all of us as well. Unless we are willing to progress then we will be forced to digress.
The ward is great, we had a great correlation with Brother C, our 1st counselor. Poor guy, keep him in your prayers. We talked for a while about how our ward is kind of special since, around 30% of our people don't actually live in our area which makes it hard to take care of them all. In addition to several members really needing assistance, which makes the priesthood holders quite busy, and quite 辛苦. He asked that we seek to continue to lift the feeble arms and raise the weary heads of the Brothers and Sisters that need it. I see it and hope to be an assistance, we have been in harvesting mode in our ward these past few months, and it is looking to continue, as the ward is prepared and loving all those that come. We are in need of loving those and each member to continue to serve those around us. 
I sure love this work and these people. I don't know if I could reiterate it enough. I am excited to see Elder Cook here in a couple hours and and beyond grateful for the leadership of modern day prophets and revelation. In pondering my patriarchal blessing this week, I has seen so many miracles and revelation for my purpose in life. I am a lucky man.
I love the Lord and this work. 

Love, Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/15 Happy Mother's Day

skyping home for Mother's Day

Amazing week! A rest week will be well needed though. Zone Conference was great this week! It was fun to be a part of it this time, I hope the Spirit was able to testify to the missionaries of what they needed to hear from our training's, whether it be about PMG and faith or otherwise. Elder S, myself, and Elder Co gave a 45 min training, 4 times this week. President Lam described it as our last words, just as the prophets do in the scriptures. Truly blessed to have been a part of that. Something special. It was good to see so many of their smiling faces. I do believe that Hong Kong has the best missionaries out there. 
The area is great! V came to the Adult session of Stake Conference on Saturday, and what a session to attend. He will be confirmed this upcoming Sunday. The Spirit was so strong, a great discussion on missionary work from Elder Meredith, of the Seventy. S came as well and sat with Sister K. We had a great lesson with her this last week (again with Sister K, those two are peas in a pod) that went really well. Hou Kei is on the same route. He has felt the Spirit, he can't stop smiling the whole time. He is doing well and came to Stake Conference for his first time at church. Sister C and JC are doing great, we had to meet them outside at a Chinese checker table at the base of their apartment due to a mix up with their fellow-shipper. The lesson was ok, but a miracle came when a lady walked up behind us and had interest and wanted to learn with her baby and young daughter that she was with. Then all the sudden her and Sister C hit it off, they were from the same hometown, which is crazy, then they were from the same street!!! They started jumping and screaming. Hugged each other. Good thing we got her number before that, because we had to leave... they seemed to be instant friends. Miracles. Oh and the 70 Elder Meredith visited the L family with President M, the Stake President. He promised A he would come back when she gets baptized. 
I felt my emotions on the surface a lot this last Stake Conference. I don't know exactly what it was. The Spirit was so strong, great speakers, C even spoke! I was so happy for him. Discussing missionary work on Saturday and then all the simple truths that were testified really touched my heart. I took lots of notes. It was fun to be squashed on the front row surrounded by Ken, Tintin, Adam, Eddie, and Johnson. All people I have really seen grow since I have been here. I love this gospel. 
The work goes on. It never stops, it rolls forth out of the mountain cut without hands. He lives and He is in charge. He merely asks, "Come, follow me." 

A shout out to all the miracle mothers out there, my beautiful mother, Nana Rosy, Grandma Becky, and all my aunts. You are all the best. I have come to believe that God especially loves the mothers of this earth, those who bring His spirit children into the world. I love and am grateful for all each one of you do for me. 
Especially to my Mom, I hope you all know how much I love her. To those who don't, she is a woman of great spiritual stature who has raised me with all the patience that could be mustered. I couldn't and probably still am. Taking care of me in so many ways. I sure love her. 

Ever Stalwart!!!
Love Elder Sargent

5/8 Last weeks Pday to Lamma Island-pictures

5/8 Busy as can be

Goodbye Elder Ea and my new companion second from the left

New missionaries had to walk through a tsunami from the MTR to the mission home

Well, such a great week!! It has been so busy with transfers I don't feel like there has been time to catch a breath. Extra busy because it is the end of the month with sending in reports, and MLC. A week to be remembered. Especially when all the new trainees had to run through a tsunami to get back to the church.
As far as the area this week, it has been great! So blessed. Victor was baptized yesterday, the whole ward was there, we just barely got a seat in the back corner on primary chairs. It was so fun to watch everyone participate. I feel sometimes, that we as missionaries assume we should be involved or that it is our work, but it's not. They are the Lords investigators. I couldn't stop smiling. Bishop L gave a great thought about change and everyone having special talents (he focused on all the Recent Converts in the room, especially B and V). The L's stayed and sang in the choir after church and at the baptism. So fun. I don't know if you can feel how happy I am just writing this. So fun, he won't be confirmed next week due to Stake Conference, but will be the next week. JC and his mom Sister C are doing great! Brother L is a great fellow-shipper and they set a baptismal date for the 18th of June. They are doing great and I can't wait to see what the gospel will CONTINUE to do in their lives. We have a new investigator that we are working with, his name is R or HK. He is 18 and so prepared! He has been in HK for 8 months now with his family and his mom works with a member. We taught him for the 2nd time this Wednesday after English with Elder S (speaking Mandarin) and grabbed one of the new missionaries Elder Sh (speaking very minimal Canto), and it was one of the best lessons ever! The language was all over the place, but we focused on God and prayer, focused on our discussion from MLC the day before (check Bible dictionary-great reference for prayer). He couldn't stop smiling the whole time! The Spirit was so strong, and we sung a hymn after to end on an even HIGHER point. We had to push him out the door to leave. We met him again on Friday, he was so excited to come he brought his mom (who previously said 'no interest' to the sisters who met her and her daughter) at the perfect time after we met with Sister Y (our RS President). It was another awesome lesson. He tried to keep his lips pursed as he smiled the WHOLE lesson, and it was tough for him, because they were quivering as he tried not to go full smile! I have never met someone who enjoys the lessons as much as him. He asked us to sing after the lesson again. So we did. :) They were all grinning. He has great potential. I sure love these people.
It was sad to see Elder Ea go, as he is opening the Tsuen Wan Elders back up (living in Tung Chung) with the now returned Elder C!!! Glad to have him back. Elder Co is my great new comp! He is 1/4 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese and the rest right out of Oregon.He studied for a year at BYU before, and.... he shoots a bow... He is fun, knows his stuff, and overall a great companion and leader, plus he knows a lot about the area having just been my district leader for 5 months. Hopefully I can get everything I know about the area into his head in the next 6 weeks. 
We are excited for this upcoming Zone Conference and will be giving a training every day next week. Pres. Lam told us these were our departing Words of Wisdom. I was shell shocked. He gave us 45 minutes with each Zone.  
I can't close without saying how much I love this work and the Lord. I sure do love this work. I feel blessed beyond measure to be able to take part of the "stone rolling forth out of the mountains cut without hands." It is a special time we are in.
I love this work.
Love Elder Sargent

Friday, May 5, 2017

5/1 Wings of Lightning

Another splendid week, riddled with all kinds of surprises that come with being a missionary. Well a new experience this week! I had something along the lines of Giardia from Sunday to Friday. Kind of just put it off because we had no time to see a doctor and hoped it would figure itself out, but no success. Elder J ratted me out to Sister J who told me to schedule an appointment with a couple doctors, but they were all busy this weekend and into next. So I took to the Uchtdorf method and looked online. It said garlic will do the trick to clean up stomach problems, so I went home smashed and cut up two big cloves, tossed them in warm water and swallowed them down. No one wanted to be around me for the rest of the night, but went I woke up, it was a 180 degree turnaround. I had one more clove to be safe, but other than that, I was solid good to go! A garlic miracle. 
It didn't slow us down the whole week, we almost did pay for it on a couple occasions, but got a lot done! V passed his baptismal interview, the ward has been waiting for that. J and Sister C are great. J has so many fellowshippers it is great! He sat with A and E at church on Sunday, and he goes home with Brother L. They are neighbors and we teach them at his house. For clarification Sister C has to leave church at 11:15 to go to work and just meets J at home later. They are doing well, if the Spirit guides, hopefully they will have a date next week, they are ready for it, it just hasn't felt right these past few times. Been to church long enough too! B is a man. A hero to me for sure. Love the man. 
We picked up a couple new prospects this week, one new 20 yr old investigator (he is only in year 4 at high school though because he just moved here from Mainland), and he has great potential! We are really working to take your counsel to work with who we know, and who we SHOULD know. We are just branching out from who we know in members and less actives and Recent Convert's and even people I have just known ever since I have been here, but haven't been ready to progress till now, like J and Sister C. I wish I could give all the info I know on the area to my next companion via USB. We are staying busy, and a good effective busy too. I still would like to talk to more people though, our potential list has been a little dry recently. Time to pick it back up again.
I have been reading a lot of President Monson's talks from when he started as an Apostle and 2nd counselor back in the 70's. They are great, I really have gained a lot of insight on his life as an apostle and really learned a lot on what I need to do better. Full of wisdom. "It has been said that the doorways of history turns on small hinges, and so do peoples lives." "If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead." "When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past." These are a few of my favorite quotes, and I still have around 200 more talks to read. In reading these talks this week, I have set a lot of personal goals to do better, I have a lot to work on a grow in being a missionary and as servant of the Lord in general.
We had transfers yesterday! I will miss Elder Ea (headed to open up the Tsuen Wan Elders with Elder C!), but am excited to work with Elder C (already live with him, previously my District leader in SSP), and just as excited to have a companion to work in the office with me. 
Time flies on wings of lightning. It never slows down. Hurrah for Israel!
Ever Stalwart
Elder Sargent

Sunday, April 30, 2017

4/24 When it rains, it pours

L family baptism

L family baptism

Stripling Warriors
stake baptism

our car!

temple day

youth trip

youth trip
Korean all you can eat with T family and J

What a wonderful week. I just don't know how to get around an email without starting it like that. It was a weird week with temple day and then still emailing on Monday. It felt like Friday and Saturday every day. I was so confused. The temple was so amazing. I loved it. I got some great peace and revelation in that sacred edifice. I love going. We also moved the Wanchai Sisters apartment on Thursday which took half the day. It has kind of just been all over the place. People out of town and busy for Easter weekend, hopefully investigators can settle back down before we get wild this upcoming week. V is doing great, looking great for the 7th, just need an interview this week. J and Sister C are finally back from Mainland so we can meet with them. I am starting to realize, a lot of the people we are teaching right now are quite solid for baptism, but we need a better inflow of new investigators to keep finding the elect. We have been pretty lousy at that this week. Thank goodness for the atonement. We got to participate in another M investigators baptism this week. Always a touching experience. Amazing people up there. I got to do the interview and Elder Ea baptized. Pretty lucky.
The L's baptism was amazing!  B gave a great testimony, and I was just thinking future leader. No one will be able to tell from the pictures, because no Chinese people smile in pictures, but I don't think I will be able to forget his testimony and the feelings I felt on that day. He bore simple, powerful testimony of his conversion through repentance and the atonement of Jesus Christ and how when he realized that we are all imperfect, and all need the Lord, that that was when it sealed the deal for him. It left a few eyes in the room quite moist which doesn't happen very often in China. Then the door didn't open to the font, and it took us ten minutes and a prayer before we got it open. An amazing experience where God answered our prayers. A and E were a little wild, and E needed a couple tries before we could get the job done in the font, but it turned out great. It was imperfect unto the mistakes of man, but perfect in the eyes of God. It was a great experience. However, B was quite comical trying to coach A and E from the side of the font as E bounced to the middle of the font with just his head above water. C and Brother F baptized. B was blessed with remembering the simple things in the gospel that would enrich his life, A was blessed with a desire to serve a mission, and that he would establish his family on firm gospel principles, and E was encouraged to be a good example, and if he would do so, his mother would be baptized and they would be sealed as a family in the temple. What an amazing experience.
The work is moving on. The area is doing well. As a companionship, we are happy as larks, loving the work of our Savior and Redeemer. This is the work of salvation I know it, and I love it. 
I love this work!
Ever Stalwart
Elder Sargent

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4/17 If I could describe...

A celebration after the L family passed their baptism interview
Dinner with K's and P's

Easter treats and FRUIT Yum from Sister Y

A wedding cake for Elder L's birthday

Happy Easter!!
It has been another great week in the land of Cheung Sha Wan. A lot of people left out of town for the long week end, but we kept things moving. The L family is great! They passed their interview today (B, A, and E). They are awesome! Everyone seems to really like them, the ward is enveloping them. We had a great cake and snacks after their interview today to celebrate as well as celebrate A's birthday this upcoming Thursday! Turning 11! He really is a great kid.  When we were dishing out the cake he almost started eating, then exclaimed, "Wait!! We must bless the cake first!!" It was funny, but reminded me of the Sister at General Conference that spoke of how sometimes we undershoot the younger generation and their maturity. B is excited and the family is ready to go. They couldn't make it to church on Sunday due to visiting family in Mainland, but the ward announced it and started preparing. V is awesome, was at Priesthood bright and early on Sunday, he has been sick this last little while and seemed pretty tired at church, but just has such a big desire to get baptized. The members again were all asking him about it on Sunday. We might be able to bump it up a week (then we can party after because it's not on a Fast Sunday ;). The others are doing well also. 
The area has had some big changes this year, members have even mentioned it. We lost another family this Sunday that moved to Singapore. That is the third family this year. We have had two small families move in so that has been a good contrast, but now getting everyone accustomed to each other will be the challenge, and adding in the other recent additions there is a period right now, where everyone is getting accustomed to the new culture of the ward. We still have some struggling YSA's that is hard to see. Actually really hard. I sat pondering on Sunday during personal study, I have had some of my greatest joys on my mission, but I have also had some of my greatest sorrows here as well. They come that way. As we learn in Alma 40, there is no joy with out sorrow, but I have come to learn that the joys always last long, and that the Lord can truly compensate my imperfections and the imperfections we have as mortals to bring the light back. 
It was great to watch the Priesthood Session finally! We actually ended up having to help an Indian family getting sealed today find a Hostel to stay at. They had to come a day early for a cheaper flight, so we got roped into that for a minute and watched the rest by ourselves. What great talks, I just can't get over it. So amazing. President Uchtdorfs talk, Elder Bednar, all of them... Amazing. All directed to the one, and all. A gift I wish to develop. Need lots of time with the Spirit. As well all of them tailored in a fashion that they can talk about different subjects, but bring it back to the Savior or have Him in the background. Something else I wish we could all do in all of our speaking and teaching opportunities.
A great Easter week. I sure love this time of year. We are back in short sleeves again, got to enjoy some nice weather for a bit, but the weather flipped a switch into summer all the sudden. The cool weather helps me enjoy the season. I love the Savior and am grateful for the opportunities he has given me. I was able to gain some great insights this week into the Savior's life and my relationship with him this week through Conference and some guidance from President Lam. 
I had a great exchange with Elder x this week, his Cantonese is much better than I remember, props. He is strictly obedient, a great example and and hard worker.  He is a missionary I look up to. 
Elder Ea is great. We work well together. I have never enjoyed the work more that I do now, and that is tough, because I love being a missionary. I wouldn't trade this time for anything. 
The Lord lives. I know it. I believe it. He is my strength and my salvation.

"The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart