Saturday, February 25, 2017

2/20 Miracles...more...and more!

Sometimes for these letters I really just don't know where to begin! Another week that just goes beyond description of what I can give you. When I thought the miracles might slow down, they have kept speeding up! It's unbelievable. Start at church yesterday, S W came with her kids, they are such balls of energy, but our Primary handled that shot well, she was about to die of exhaustion, but made it through. We visited them as well last night, and hope to start meeting her when her kids are at school with her sister and some other Relief Society sisters. As well A and her sons turned into more miracles! This week on exchanges with Elder J. J., we taught their family at their home and the Dad B was there! He is so solid and led the family in such a touching prayer to close our message. The Spirit was so strong, everyone just looked at each other with big smiles on their faces, even their normally rambunctious kids. It was so quiet. They all came to church on Sunday as well, with the exception of A, who had to work. The Primary again did well, and so did the Young Men with Ad. Next, the Y family! Little K is awesome. He was there with his mom and sister, and the Primary is doing a great job of helping him prepare for baptism and the tell his dad what the church is. We visited yesterday, but the dad had left for Mainland for the day, so we need to wait till next week to set a solid goal for him. He is a great 8 year old, like a little brother. V is still solid, just having working problems these couple weeks that he can't get out of. So is Brother L, probably going to do the Mainland process with him. We will see how it goes. 
We also saw so many miracles in finding former investigators that we haven't seen for a while due to New Year's that are ready to go and to progress again. S and H are two of those miracles we saw on exchanges with Elder JJ. As well, quick couple of miracles from the week, as well on exchanges, we had a lady named Sister H that walked into the chapel after ward correlation and ran into our ward mission leader, he came and got us from the office and we met with her! Such a powerful experience! She was on the brink of tears the whole time, Bro. S did amazing and we got their whole family set up with the mandarin elders in the New Territories. 3 college girls walked into sacrament as well that the sisters took that are awesome as well! They will be turned over to the Sha Tin sisters though. Such miracles! The Lord is preparing people left and right. I fully believe that they are being sent to the prepared places as well. Our Young Men's and Primary are such solid programs, our Bishop was just raving today later after church when he was about to go home. He just couldn't believe there were that many kids at primary or that many investigators at church. We talked about prepared auxiliaries and how the ward is ready to do the work. So, the Lord will do His part and His will and send His prepared. 
The office has been good, trying to get a few things out soon, we need to get the Summer missionary program finished up, just need a few dates, and as well need to start preparing for MLC and then Mission Conferences after that.. Then transfers after that... Time will just pick up again. One thing at a time. 
We are getting things figured out in the office, need more organization for time, but it's doing well. Exchanges this week with Elder JJ were a success, I am glad to start doing exchanges and have a few planned out already. I have heard a lot from the other Zone leaders in wanting to do them and never having done them with the Assistants. Good reports, and I love being able to go there or stay here for it. Cheung Sha Wan is a great place train, nothing we are doing, but to show what good members can do. Elder JJ was  good, he has good energy, good language, and is a sanctified missionary from what I can tell. He has a desire for the work. We talked about energy and attitude in the missionaries, and how much it effects the work. Attitude is a big part! 
Happy as a lark as always! Love what I am doing and never want to stop. The Lord lives and this is his work! I love you all! Take care. Ever Stalwart!
Love Elder Sargent

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2/13 Transfers...and a very prepared ward

Last night with Elder E and Elder W

First mandarin lesson with Bro. C

The traditional stop at the Melody Thai with Elder S and Elder W

What a busy week!! I had no idea until I got here. With transfers this week, we have been busy. I only saw my real companion for around 50% of the time, if that! We are getting the quadpanionship figured out, it is pretty interesting, but hopefully it will get a little easier now that there isn't as much stuff this week. Elder Ea and Elder L do well together, both are good workers and try to stay active when we switch. Just need to keep working on planning. 
The area is doing well, we managed to stay above water this busy week, and saw so much! J was confirmed yesterday.  He is doing great, no concerns, we hope to start working with his mom soon. So we will see how that goes. V is solid.  His job is going to slow him down just a bump, but he is solid for March. We found a new family this week: the L's! The mother is very fast paced and wants her son's to learn and have good morals, she came to church a few years ago, but her sons have a lot of potential (9, 11 yrs).  As well another miracle, little K and his mom and sister have kept coming to church for these past 6 months!! Amazing. Never been able to understand why, just because Sister Y doesn't talk a lot. Anyways, he is turning 8 and wants to be baptized and our Primary President talked to her, and she said it's her husband that gives the push, and he doesn't work on Sunday's! (Perfect!) So they are wanting us to teach Lil' K in their home, and hopefully get the dad involved. Lil' K's birthday is in the middle of March as well. Same time as V's baptism... maybe together? Good potential. Lots of potential still, so much! Elder Ea's and I were discussing during weekly planning, there is just so much we need to tap into. I feel overly blessed as well, the ward is absolutely amazing. Working with the people and just pushing the work along. I believe the Lord has big blessing's in store for this ward. They want to do the work and the Lord is sending His work here. To a prepared ward. Nothing us missionaries are doing. Elder Ea and Sister Y (both new to the area) just commented after church (walking away with bags of food as well...), "You have served here for a year?! I have never seen a ward like this in my life!" Too blessed. We are coordinating well with ward leaders, Young Men and hope to see the Primary President this week, and will see the Relief Society President on Tuesday. I love this work so much, this ward. I just feel like a member here. It really seems to be a blessing as well, how it can really work with the ward and know how things flow. I just can't express how great things are right now!
The office is well, as mentioned, hopefully should slow down this week. I got my drivers license, and look forward to driving again! We picked up new missionaries from and took old missionaries to the airport this week. Again, too blessed. Beautiful drive from here to the airport, so relaxing, discussing the mission and things. I am a little terrified to be at the wheel on the wrong side, but hey it should be an adventure. This week was so much fun being with new missionaries, sad to take the departing missionaries home, but will see them later. I am looking forward to this week to settle down, hopefully we can stay out of the office as much as possible. It's just the small things that really make it interesting. We can figure it out though.
I am doing great. Happy as a lark. Pumping on all cylinders, sometimes I forget and need to slow down to catch Elder Ea up, so that is what I am working on this week. Sometimes I forget he has actually only been in the field for 7 months, his Chinese needs help, and he is in a new area. He is older (21) so I just forget! He is amazing though, he will do well in this area, I have no doubts. He is from San Diego, and half Korean!

Notes for upcoming training so far, what is success?
Alma 26:22 “Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works (action, such as baptism and receiving Holy Ghost), and prayeth continually without ceasing (enduring to the end)—(one who lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ-) unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.”
·         Does not mention anything about going on a mission, teaching lessons, or even about good member relationships, let alone referrals.
o   Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
·         He who lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a walking example of our Savior, will bring thousands of souls unto repentance.
o   “The gospel of Jesus Christ defines both your message and your purpose; that is, it provides both the “what” and the “why” of missionary work.” PMG pg. 5.
·         Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
·         How?
Alma 26:27 “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back (hearts failing), behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
·         2 Corinthians 2:4 “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
·         “Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people and to help them become faithful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.” PMG pg.10.
o   Success is given to those who sanctify themselves and their life the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and, isn’t that success in the first place?
We are in Hong Kong to continue, or to start long time conversion, and success. The rest of life is a mere continuation of the mission, there are still commandments, and there are still rules that surrounding things we do in the church.
·         This life is like a 400m race. Must be paced, you can’t give it all out in the first 50m or you will lose it in the last 100m. Success is about the end result, not the beginning.
o   Heb 12:1 “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.”
o   Mos 4:27 “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”
“If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?” Elder L. Tom Perry
Brothers and Sisters, we have being doing in these things a good work, but now is a time that needs more. The Lord lives and needs His servants to give more of themselves. It is my testimony and invitation that there is more, and we must give it now. 

We can determine success in our conversion, the rest is given, as Elder B illustrated in the broadcast.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2/6 Chinese New Years finally over. Come back investigators. Big changes! Lots to say.

J's baptism - he's on the left

J's baptism

J's baptism, and last week with Elder E, my favorite Brit

Dinner with the L's

Mission conferences - good to see old friends

Throwback to meeting Pres. L in the MTC

What a great week! Even the New Year couldn't slow us down. Well, it sent everyone out of town, but the progressing people and others that really needed to be seen were still here. Most of the other potentials were gone, but it worked out with so much to do in the office this week and Mission Conference. 

J was baptized this week! It was absolutely amazing. The Young Men were all there around him, his mother came and was also enveloped by our Relief Society. It made me so proud of our ward. They are so good at being living followers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just in word, but in deed. His actual baptism was one of the most smooth and perfect of any I have seen on my mission. The Spirit was so strong, especially after we as missionaries sang "The Spirit of God" to the piano. It was so strong it was almost tangible.  He is doing well and making good ground with testimony and relationships with the members. V is solid for March, testimony is doing so well, he in general is prepared if we could do it this week, but with the New Year his job needs him in on Sundays for the next 2 weeks which put things off. I love working with them and they are so prepared. I started meeting him a year ago and to see the changes he has made is amazing. On that note, so is K! Sometimes I feel I came to HK just to find him. He is amazing for a 13 year old and has grown up so much. He tried to convert all of his family in Mainland during the break, and seems like he was successful.  We will be getting their info soon, and they can start attending and then in a few months come down and hear the lessons and be baptized! That's the vision. Everyone is doing well honestly. There is so much potential right now in our area. Now that the New Years celebration is over, hopefully we can really get to work with it. I am excited to work with Elder Earls and feel like he has the right skill set to really help and do what he can while we tackle the area and what needs to be done in the office. 

It has been a great week with the mission for Mission Conferences this week. Really good to get to see everyone and get to know many that I previously didn't know very well (and watch the broadcast multiple times!). As for things in the office, it seems as though we were able to take down most of the problems that have come up with all three of us together in helping me get used to the office still (after 2 weeks you think I would be familiar with a computer again). That should get us onto the right step going into the new transfer in keeping office time down. It was amazing to see how transfers work and get to be a part of that. I am really grateful for this opportunity to serve and work here. Elder S is amazing, a real example to me, as well as being hilarious in his own funny way. We are going to have to figure out how to work the time schedule, but it shouldn't be too hard, just scheduling. The other random things that pop up are going to be where the problems lie.  Elder Ea will be my new companion.  That will be great.  I will be sad leaving Elder E, he is a good Elder with lots of potential. He will do great things. I hope to learn to be more confident in my ways here in the office, I feel a little like a small guy and inadequate, but, no problem, I can do it.

The new changes included less Key Indicators, but President decided to keep Member Presents and Full lessons just for us to see how things are going, as well, P-day is almost no studies now and planning is in the morning. Lots of good changes that I think will have a good effect on the mission and the members here. Focusing on what matters most. Seeking and doing what we have to for real progression. 

It was a reminder and a testimony that we have the priesthood on the earth today, that we are lead by prophets and apostles that see and work through the Spirit to guide and direct us. I know He lives and that He is in charge of this work. 
I love you all! Add oil!
Ever Stalwart
Love Elder Sargent