Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1/30 Happy Chinese New Year!

New Year's meal at the Y's
apartment elders

ward bbq

more ward bbq

Bro T dressed all nice

It has been a great week! The New Year has made it especially difficult this week to get things done with everyone being out and about in Mainland and elsewhere, but that's ok! We figured it out. J is doing great! He passed his baptismal interview this week, and it was announced on Sunday at church. It will be a big time for him as well as the Young Men who he has come to develop a good relationship with. V is doing well also, we hope to possibly move his date up as well, considering we have completed almost all the lessons and he is doing so great. Brother L couldn't come down this week because of the new year, but will see him next week. We also got to help serve Brother T move to a new house this week,  and he will also need a little more help next week. It is amazing to see our ward just gather around and help in the drop of a hat. Priesthood keys and power. Great men and examples in our ward. The area is doing good, but we are lacking time in finding new investigators. We have been seeking referrals and contacting on the street. I would like to focus more on part-member families in the coming weeks as well, which is something that we have been discussing as a ward and area. Had such a fun ward activity today to go BBQ. So much success! I love it. I love it here so much. 

Last Monday we also got to eat lunch with the first stake president of Hong Kong, President P, at the YMCA building in Tsim Sha Tsui. It was all-you-can-eat buffet, nicest meal I have had in HK. So nice. There were some other senior missionaries there as well, such a nice place, such amazing food, as well, it was good to talk to them. Great experience.

It has been fun starting into working with Elder S as an Assistant. He is actually a Mandarin missionary and we came out together. He is so funny in his own way, reminds me of my Uncle Mike Jr. in his dedication to BYU haha. He is an amazing missionary that I look forward to serving with. It will be sad sending Elder W out. We have come to be great friends and I always wanted to serve with him. He is helping me get things figured out for the next week and a half. I felt like Mr. Incredible at the keyboard at first. It has been a while since I have really used a computer. It's true you think you know how busy people are until you step in their shoes. There is so much to do! Updating and lots of number stuff right now. Hopefully we can slim down some more after we get this new schedule figured out after Mission Conference. I have felt bad for Elder E, we have tried to find stuff for him to do, but it is still quite a bit of time by himself. He is practically training himself now. He is a pretty hard worker, I look up to his dedication and desire. He seeks to always be doing something. He tends to be a little more quiet, and I am trying to help him to speak more, but he carries his message across. 

The district is doing well, lots of down time this week to try everything we can do to stay busy. Working with less actives, members, and then turning to the street. We are seeing lots of success in seeking for truly progressing areas. It has been fun to see what has happened, but also is making it tough, but in wise words, "If one door doesn't close, another can't open." President L is right! That is what we are seeking for.

My thoughts today are on vision. What is our vision? Do you have one? If you do, are you doing everything we can do to achieve it? Go forward with faith and do the things the Lord has commanded us to do.
   Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1/23 Best Week Ever

My posterity: Elder Da and his companion he is training

What an amazing week. Very possibly the best week of my mission. I don't really know where to start. Well, the area is doing great! A lot of people were busy this last week and looks like this week, as well, because of Chinese New Year. Everyone is busy with family or going out of own. J is looking very solid and we planned everything out up to his baptism on the 5th. He is reading and keeping his commitments, his only hold up is he doesn't want to invite anyone to his baptism... We talked about that and about how it can be such a great thing to share this gospel with his family. He came in a suit on Sunday and definitely turned some heads. V as well is doing great! We had a good discussion this last week about chastity. He has been coming to church consecutively for the past month, which before was his only hold up. He is doing well, and we are excited to see him keep progressing. Brother L, from Mainland, got a baptismal date on Sunday. We had a member actually give it to him after he said he wants to be baptized as soon as possible. The date is for February and considering we can only see him in the mornings on Sunday, it will be a little difficult to teach. In the end, he will need to be turned over to Mandarin missionaries though, due to his mother tongue being mandarin. Things are doing extremely well here! Elder E and I are loving the area. 

This week, we also got the opportunity to teach Visitors! What an opportunity, wish I could share more details, but there are quite a few restrictions. I have been waiting for so long to teach them. I participated in the baptism of one from this same branch a couple months ago, and it was so amazing to see them again and some of the ones that were able to come down again. It was a long day and L was very patient, though very shy at first. The grandmother was very helpful and has a burning testimony. She is such an example to me. It was nice to have her and a member for a couple of the lessons. Elder E didn't know a lot of the vocab for the latter lessons, so he helped where he could, but it was kind of just one sided with the grandmother. I love teaching visitors so much! They are so amazing, their strength. 

Elder E is a great strength to me. He does well, his Chinese is doing great. The district is doing well, seeking progress in our areas no matter what it takes. These are good days to be a missionary in Hong Kong and in the world. Absolutely amazing.
Happy Chinese New Years!! The year of the Rooster!
"I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
I could not be happier to be a tool in Gods hands. I am grateful now and, and so grateful I decided to do so for time and eternity at baptism, as well as renew that covenant every week. He is my all. My Savior and Redeemer.
   Elder Sargent

last zone conference last transfer

Thursday, January 19, 2017

1/16 Feeling the progress

"And it came to pass, that the Elder's Cheung Sha Wan did continue to progress the work. Insomuch, they worked hard, and the love of the people did abide in them, to the point that their joy did exceed that of all understanding." Elder Sargent's Journal 1:15. I love the work!
The work here is doing very well, PL, an investigator that was supposed to be baptized this Sunday, completely dropped. We haven't seen him since he saw Elder R and E the last day of last transfer, but have maintained contact. He experienced some setbacks with the Law of Tithing, and would like to hold off for now. Our ward mission leader is in good contact with him and is trying to get him back as well as the member who referred him. J is doing very well, and the ward loves him, he fits in with our YSA as well as our Young Mens quorum. They all really like him, and have been part of his conversion these past weeks and months. He is looking solid for February. V is so great! This is probably one of my favorite situations of my mission, just because it's another forever family in the making!  I already knew, but broke the news to me that he is engaged to JL (member) this week. I also may have accidentally broke the news to J that V has a baptismal date he set himself for March... They are doing so well, goal is to have him and Johnson in church attire on Sundays now. We also had SW at church, as well as Brother L. I don't know why Brother L hasn't been taught, he has been coming to church all the way from Mainland every Sunday for 4 months now. So we talked to him and are going to start meeting in the mornings before church, and he would like to be baptized! More on that next week. It has been awesome to see the ward really taking care of the Y family, I don't know if you remember the small family of the mother with her 7 year old son K and 4 year old daughter Y that we found through English class. Well the ward has done so well with them! The mother doesn't have much interest, and they don't come to English anymore, but they do come to scouts and church. So amazing. K is a future 70. Anyways, he will be 8 in March, and the ward would like us to teach him (no problem! He is like my adopted Chinese little brother) and help him get baptized. So we got a plan worked out with some of the members and are excited to see where that goes. So much going on, hope to have a couple reactivations soon as well, Brother T and an RMLA E, I saw him come home last year, now we are helping him come back to church. He is doing well and finding his desire again. 

As a companionship, things are great! Lots of love and jokes and smiles in the companionship. So happy I finally get to serve with an Englishman, a dream come true. The only problem, my accent isn't improving. He said it's now more a mix of South African, Australian, and a little British. Jokes aside, he is a hard worker. Always doing something proactive. Still being in the young stages as a missionary, he doesn't really know where to funnel his desire or really how to go about improving and learning. So we have spent some time this week planning, and guiding him to build a plan fit for him that will help him grow the most. Training is catching up and we are really coming to enjoy our roleplays during studies. 

The district is doing well, it is kind of weird not having as much to do. Kind of relaxing though. More time for the area. Cheung Sha Wan sisters are doing well, seem to be having a hard time finding new and progressing investigators, as is the Sisters Sham Shui Po. We are seeking to have true progressing areas. If they aren't progressing, let them go, and keep contact until they are ready. This the work of salvation and we are sent to find the prepared. I feel like I have learned that more and more on my mission. 

The weather is nice, I love living at the temple, I love my roommates and my area and my companion. 
I love the work of the Lord. I wish that I could shout with the trump of angels that Christ is risen. He lives, God lives and I am here to help this people come to a greater understanding of their capacity as individuals on this earth.
Love Elder Sargent
Always Ever Stalwart

   Elder Sargent

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1/9 The beautiful smell of temple flowers

What a week! It has been such a rollercoaster. It has really been a great time in Kwai Chung.  The time went by so fast there. I can't believe I was there for such a short time, but such a long time in that apartment. Lots of cherished memories there. So grateful for the friends I made there and the work I got to do in Kwai Chung. I will be honest, I don't think we were able to accomplish a ton as far as the ward went and the work. We had two baptismal dates there at the end which was pretty exciting, but I unfortunately couldn't seem to get a grip on where to keep moving. It was, however, a great transfer in learning. I learned so much in such a short transfer that I am very excited to bring it to Cheung Sha Wan and carry into the work. The work here seems to be doing really well, Elder R handled it well, and I am glad to take his spot back here. I am looking forward to training and serving in the capacity of District Leader once again. Those are definitely the two best assignments as a missionary. It will be the first time elders have been outnumbered by sisters in my mission, but it will be fun, it brings maturity. Elder E is such a diligent hard worker. I can tell he has been preparing to come out. We have a good time with accents, sometimes I don't understand him, sometimes he doesn't understand me. I love him so much already and we are looking forward to working together. 
There are several people with dates now! It was fun to come back and see V has a date he set himself, and he proposed to J! He is doing well, still struggling with coming to church, but everything else is great. J, a new investigator that got turned over from TST, now has a date we set this week, he is 16 and a sprinter in HK. He and Elder E plan on racing sometime. He is doing well also, but as well needs to work on his church attendance. He has great member relations. The other is P L, another referral from our recent reactivation. He is very solid, but his worry is in tithing, whether or not he can do it, be where he is moneywise. Our ward mission leader is seeing him this morning for lunch and hopefully they can work it out. The work other than that is doing well, lots of potentials and part member families we would like to work with. Bishop L has put a large emphasis on missionary work. It is really exciting to see and I can't wait to see what work we can do. The ward welcomed me back with open arms, lots of warm embraces and hand shakes from the sisters. Felt like I was going home. So much fun, and it feels like I am on vacation living in the temple, coming out every morning to the smell of flowers in the temple garden. Life couldn't be better.

The district is looking good, excited to work with Sister V and Sister S, as well as the Sham Shui Pou sisters. Solid district. One thing I would like to focus on is finding new investigators and keeping a healthy inflow of people, be it new investigators or LAs. Elder E's training will be another focus.  He is actually from England and got here last transfer. He is 18, enjoys parkour, and holds the world record for amount of front flips in a minute (45? or something? crazy). He is awesome, language is coming.  He is amazing and a great example to me.

Work hard, play hard! Need to get myself repositioned here, but I am so happy! Just passed the two year anniversary of losing my Nana Rosy as well. I am grateful for the great plan our loving Heavenly Father has prepared for us, to see our family again. It really is what this is all about. Perpetuating this great family beyond the grave, not just our blood brothers and sisters, but our spiritual ones as well. Seek out the weary and the weak hearted. That's one thing Nana taught me. Have the spiritual maturity to seek out those in need, because everyone has a need. We just have to find it. Everyone can be supported. Lift those around us.

I love you! Merry January. I sure love being a missionary. ;)
Love Elder Sargent- 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

1/4 Happy New Year!

ward activity
my chinese animal

noodling coys


Elder P - It hasn't been that cold this year

I love finding bugs in my food

Happy New Year!
This week we had our ward travel Monday and Zone Training, so we are barely getting to report quick this morning. 

This last week has been a wild one for sure. Very up and down, it was so good to see my family on Monday for skyping! A big lift this week. A and S as well accepted baptism and we plan on setting a date with them tonight. Both are very solid and we hope to see them continue to progress. The ward is doing well, we were able to see some more new Less Active members this week and found a very solid LA named S who just got back from Taiwan a couple weeks ago. He is probably 30-40 years old and has a really good heart. He hasn't come to church for a long time, or done much reading or praying, but he is willing to listen, as well, is willing to act. He came with us on our ward trip this Monday to Sau Tau Kok and it was a blast. He talked to many members and was able to start developing many relationships in the ward. Our ward really needs men and priesthood holders right now, so meeting him was a bright light. It was a great week, good activities, and we started on the ward list, calling and visiting everyone on it. Many have moved or passed away, some don't have any interest, but we have seen success in meeting some of them.

Zone training went well, energy was a little down, but it seemed to rise during the meeting, we trained on "BURST" and time effectiveness. Bursting in 30 minute segments every day talking to everyone we see, inviting all of them to come to church and giving fliers. Part of the reasoning was for finding new investigators, part of it for upping spirits. After we did the role-play, everyone was pretty happy and did admit that quick street contacts are pretty fun. They were all smiles afterwards. Elder O and I gave Elder T an update on the Zone and gave him our info after the meeting and then last night met with Brother C to discuss, and go over end of year goals. Lots of good changes and room for growth this transfer. 

All in all things are coming along. I have been transferred.  Looking forward to go back home to CSW and a chance to step train, and work in the capacity of a District leader again. Sad to leave Kwai Chung so fast and Elder P. I couldn't sleep on Sunday night, just pondering if I have done all I needed to do here with my companion. I head back to Cheung Sha Wan tomorrow morning, but this time to live under the temple!! That's pretty neat. I am blessed, to say the least. Apparently most of the ward already know and I have had two members call me out of the blue.

I can't believe it's a new year already. I am so grateful I got to spend ALL of 2016 in HK serving the Lord and the Hong Kong people. It is the best work. I am grateful to have seen and made so many great friends this year, for my family being healthy, and all the other countless blessings that have rained down upon me.

I read a quote the other day, "The only real disability in this life is a bad attitude." - I hope we can all set our sights high to live happy every day. Smile! I love life and I love being a missionary.

Ever Stalwart!
Love Elder Sargent

Monday, January 2, 2017

12/26 Caroling for hours

The Zone on Christmas
jerky from home

yummy dinner with some members

nativity skit

soap cycling

Merry Christmas! What a fun week. I really have enjoyed this week, there has just been so much going on. We have caroled on the sidewalk for hours a couple of nights. So much fun, I really felt like Dan Jones, Brigham Young, and Joseph Smith going at it from the corner. We handed out SO many copies of the Book of Mormon, Restoration pamphlet, and so many cards that we signed I thought my wrist was going to fall off. Hopefully we get some turnaround. So much fun. We also were able to find 3 new investigators! One from the sisters, Mr. L.  He is pretty interesting, has potential, and is available! So we hope to continue to see him. As well, A and S, both are super solid and have pretty much been anti-anti-ed... They watched a parody of two missionaries singing a song to a popular song and it really sparked their interest to learn more. They have been to church twice, and have great interest, but not as much time. So we are excited to see where things go. Even the LA work has seen miracles. Found two new Less Active's this week and 1 came to church that hasn't been to church for 5 months, and the other, a Young Single Adult, has refused to hear anything about the church for 5 years, but met with us and wants to keep meeting! It is amazing to see the deep relationships so many of these people have that can just be picked up again. Quite a few things starting to pick up. 

Lots coming to pass. The Zone seemed to slow down this last week, probably because everyone is busy, but it seems like everyone used the time very effectively, hopefully we can turn some of these potentials into investigators. Lots going on, everyone seemed happy at the Christmas party and spirits were high. Everyone was excited to see Pres. Lam and hear the greatest stories from Elder James. 

I went on an exchange with Elder T last week, it was really good to see things from the Shing Mun perspective. However, I think the person who benefited the most was Elder P! Elder T is doing well, he does a great job at leading the district. A is amazing. He probably has the award for the most copies of the Book of Mormon handed out this week. Elder B is also doing amazing, so funny and such an example of what Christlike love is.  Elder P came off just absolutely loving life, haha,  they reaped a great harvest! 
This is the time to reach out! Find those we can serve, in big and small ways. Miracles are left and right, just turn your head. 
Love you all! Merry Christmas!!

A great week. Things are well. I love being a missionary, I am grateful for my Lord and Savior. This is the best time of my life.
   Elder Sargent

12/19 Looking

Merry Christmas! It has been a good week, difficult, but the sheer spirit of Christmas and grit of two determined missionaries has helped push us up and through. As the work goes, A ended up not being in our area, so we turned him over this week, he is doing well and even has a baptismal date! S, who was scheduled to be baptized this week, dropped us. Didn't give much to the why and how, but that was tough for us, as well Brother X has been avoiding us and we didn't get to see him this week. There went most of our investigators! We have been trying to find some new ones via the street and members, where we saw many miracles this week. We ran into a member from NY who was baptized just this year in a Mandarin branch there who was with her sister and daughter.  We got their contact info and they want to come to church! Finding has been a little bit of a struggle.  I have been trying to talk to more people and get numbers, so I have been trying to go with it and show and lead in opportunities when we can, which has actually been quite successful recently. Less active work hopefully will take a pick up. We have spent some time after church and at some of the parties this week discussing with leaders how the ward is and how we can strengthen it. The ward demographics are all over the place, but priesthood holders are few, with many leaving right after sacrament. Those right now are kind of the people we are going to focus on, in getting more people here will to get callings. There is a great lack now and our ward really needs the support. We have been preparing and helping pass the sacrament recently which is surprising, because it shows how few priesthood holders there are. So the work right now is leaning toward strengthening semi-actives, their families and then other members. I believe there is a work to do here, and that's the right direction from the ward leaders with the keys, so we will go to work! Even if it means we have to shovel snow every other night at the church for the old folks! Just kidding, there is no snow here! haha Lots to do. There it is, a good Christmas season. I am excited to see my family, the Zone seems to be doing well, everyone really is progressing, and the work is being done in all facets that we can accomplish right now. 
 My favorite thing from this week, was something our Gospel principles teacher said, "We all seek after many things, much of it being power and leadership or authority, but do you realize that you already have it? Parenthood. Isn't that as much as it gets? Everything else is trivial to the effect you have and the responsibility to love and serve." (paraphrased and translated from Bro T). We have so much to be grateful for this season, what Christ and God have given us. I know he lives, he loves us. He started in the most humble of means and look and what He did. Let us go out and serve. Be what He wants us to be. 
I love you all! Merry Christmas!
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

12/12 grateful to be in HK for Christmas

Miracles. Been a good week, to say the least. As far as the work goes, up and down. We have been trying to find new investigators and finally sound a super solid one last week named A, and we were so excited because he is golden! Then found out he lives in Shing Muns area... So we are turning him over on Tuesday. S is slow, not sure what happened, but all the sudden he doesn't like church. So baptism is off till we can find out what happened. Still reads and prays, just no church. Brother W has seen the light that his church isn't the Restored church on earth, as Elder P and I have testified of the true church on the earth again, but something didn't click and he is looking at some other church that claims to have a direct line to Peter. Even though it is missing a lot of things from the church at that time, but hey he is still reading the Book of Mormon. So maybe a little more direction. I love teaching him, he just hasn't quite seen it yet, which might be our fault, but it is coming!
LA's have been tough, can't get into the Tsuen's and most the numbers aren't good. Found out several of the people in our records are dead, moved, or really don't have interest, so that's also another work. Elder P has a new love for LA finding that has grown this transfer, so he tends to do that more now when he has exchanges.  Pretty fun. 

Zone Training was this week, it was ok... not too great. Had some hard time planning and then it all just came so fast! I couldn't find time to go to the New Territories to plan, so they tried calling me in on the phone, which was tough, so next time we are going to have to figure something else out. 

All in all, we are super busy with lots of stuff to be organized for the Zone and just as much in the area, and just as much in the companionship. As my family says, "ever stalwart." There is no substitute for hard work, and love. Ride on!

God loves each one of us personally and I want to testify of that. It's a busy season with lots going on, but I invite each one of you to do the Christmas initiative, and if not, just serve and love. Its a special time of year. I love my life and my mission and am so glad I can be here in Hong Kong for another Christmas. Celebrate with cheer!
Ever Stalwart!
Love Elder Sargent
Merry Christmas!

pictures are dinners on exchange with the Ho's!
Pday pizza, huge! and thats E Turner
My comp got a little excited during planning...

   Elder Sargent