Friday, March 31, 2017

3/27 Happier than ever!!!

W's baptism
W's member missionaries, her mom on left of her

Throwback to W's mother and her baptism
WK's baptism


WK and family

transfer week

What a week! I don't know if a happier week has come through my mission. 
Picking up new missionaries was great as always, drove safely to the airport and only hit the windshield wipers 4 times when turning. It was something new to be on the left side. They will be great missionaries. I found myself quick friends with Elder B (4'9"). I have a soft spot for short Phillipino's. He reminded me of Elder Da. It was good to get transfers done with, although it has been so fun. Get back to the work full time. Did see lots of miracles in the work through the way however. Found some great potentials. 
Well, among the many miracles we saw this week, I knew there was a Cantonese mainland baptism on Friday, but when I walked into the building I saw a lady I recognized, and realized it was Sister W! A lady I baptized 8 months ago from the G 3rd Branch and it was her 21 yr old daughter W coming down to be baptized. I was able to perform the ordinances for her, and do her interview. It was a special thing. I just remember changing after, and remembering that Sister W was blessed at her confirmation that if she was a good example, that her daughters would follow in her footsteps and be baptized. Then she and her mom bore testimony of how their relationship wasn't great before, but now it is perfect and W started crying when she said she wanted to be baptized so she can live with her mom forever. Plus the other daughter she mentioned hopes to be baptized soon. I hope I am here to see it. I love connecting families for eternities.
The other was Little K or WK. His baptism was this Sunday, and wow what a special experience. WK has just become like a little brother, and watching him do this whole thing by himself, bringing his mom and younger sister to church, and his dad has come twice now, just about had me in tears. Just the small things, tossing him a towel, practicing the baptism, and rolling up his suit pants while he put his foot on my knee, just made me so happy, yet so... I don't know how to describe it. I just thought of myself doing the same thing with my dad, and here this little pioneer with a screechy voice was doing it all by himself. He was singing loudest in the Primary and is already a leader. What topped it off was his answer to, "What does it mean to endure to the end?" He replied so fast, but with confidence, "To love Heavenly Father FOREVER." You are right WK, a simple truth we oft forget. It was amazing. The Spirit was there, and the L's came up to us after, A was in tears almost when WK was baptized, and told us they want to baptized next month. They don't want to wait. A will need more time, but the boys and B will be ready to go on the 22nd. J (recent convert) performed the baptism as well, and Brother T (recent convert) brought a friend. I was just so happy. The ward is eating everyone up and doing it all. Nothing we are doing, a testimony that God will do his work, the stone is rolling forth without hands. I just consider myself God's most spoiled child to be in the position I am to watch it.
I couldn't explain my feelings this week if I tried. 
Lots going on, loving what I am doing. It doesn't get better.
Hurrah for Israel! God lives, and He sure does love.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Friday, March 24, 2017

3/20 Miracles

Knee How

I don't feel like I can start a letter with out starting with, "What a great week!" or something similar. Just can't do it. Every week is just so great!
This week we had quite a bit of interesting stuff happen. Start from the most recent and go back. Brother L got baptized! He called on Saturday night (well called our Ward Mission Leader Brother S) and told him he would be coming down and wished to be baptized. Due to the way things were, too much to explain, it was available, he came down and after church we met with him, then he had his baptismal interview, and an Recent Convert, Brother T, got to baptize him! It was great. Had a few members from the ward able to stay after, and Brother S did great in getting it organized last minute. Brother L was all smiles, which was unusual because he is a fairly solemn fellow. Brother T was just absolutely beaming that he could help someone follow the example of Jesus Christ through baptism, just as he did not to long ago. I think the only two that weren't frazzled and stressed were those two, so it worked out perfect. I have known Brother L for 9 months. I know he will do great things for his family in Mainland. I don't know if I mentioned, but before he would wake up around 4 in the morning to ride a bus 3-4 hours here every other Sunday. For 9 months. Stalwart.
Other investigators are doing great! V is still preparing, lots of determination, I just think he justifies his job on Sunday because it is service. He said he will be able to work it out, and I still think he will be good to go for the 22nd, but he probably will have to get a new job. The L family is also still progressing great. So good! I had someone ask me why I love being a missionary, I told him because I love seeing people change, and immediately thought of them. I love seeing the gospel change people. Little K will also be getting baptized on Sunday! Another one I met at about the same time as Brother L. Both parents aren't members, but his mom, Sister Y, has been bringing them to church for the last 9 months! So amazing. Wui Kun (Chinese name) is probably the most prepared 8 year old I have ever seen. I literally see him as a 70 in Hong Kong one day. His sister YY will follow him one day when she is 8, and even some of the members have mentioned Sister Y looks like she is really engaged and wanting to learn. The gospel and families. These are a few of my favorite things. S is doing well, engaged and determined. She is keeping commitments and we are meeting her every week now. Off to a great start. Another family, and they are moving to California in a few years. So much good going on.
As a companionship we are doing great! I am going to try to work with Elder Ea this week on being more proactive in our language. He hasn't put much time into it, partly my fault, but it is game time for his language now. Hope to get him prepared to lead soon, and not have to worry about language. We work well together, things are working out great. He is a strong support.
No exchanges this week, but Zone Conference was great! I loved it, and got a lot from it. We as missionaries, and anyone really, cannot forget the center of our message, Christ. We tend to let that get put to the wayside and I hear to many missionaries, even myself, preaching of the "Church." "Would you like to hear about our Church?" There are SO many churches in HK, no one wants to hear about another one. The people need to hear about Christ, and come to a greater understanding of who he is. A necessity for this people. Got a lot to take and apply.
I am doing well, excited for this transfer week. A big transfer for sure, oh and a side note, it is Elder S and Elder L versus Elder E and I in the Final 4 of our March Madness. I fear we will lose by a long shot. Never give up hope.
I love being a missionary, and I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

   Elder Sargent

3/13 Busy

V at Bishop's house
raiding a buffet near the church on Pday


march madness training at MLC

date night with Elder Ea after he had to do exchanges all week


Another crazy week to say the least. Two exchanges back-to-back, self-reliance training and some great progress with investigators. The Lords hand is in this work, that's for sure.
We had a great dinner with Bishop L, his wife, in addition to J and V this last week. Besides the great food at their home, it was a great discussion on family and the gospel, and especially, their upcoming marriage. It was one of my favorite visits, just being in a home and having a discussion like that, just made me happy. I loved it. V was tearing up talking about how grateful he was that even though this world is so big, God helped him find J. He moved his date back a month due to challenges with coming to church, but is working hard and so prepared. The L family is doing great! We had some great progress with them. It has been amazing to see the gospel change that family. We had one of my favorite lessons on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. E and A were involved and the family loved the lesson. They met with Bishop on Sunday and have been telling people they would like to be baptized even before June! Making great progress. S W, if you can remember her, decided to work for it this week. She knows what she has to do, and she told us! She was so prepared for that lesson, it was just her and the Spirit. She even took us to Dim Sum after that. Lots of good progress with people. The ward is progressing as far as involvement, the Primary is really wanting to harvest in English Class, hopefully we can see some more turn out there. 
Elder Ea went to Tolo Harbor, and then to Kowloon City right after. We might with the reporter on Saturday, and scheduled this Saturday to do the story. They want to follow us around and then do a short interview. I am looking forward to it. We will represent well. We are working well together. He is a lot of fun, very patient, and really funny. I sure do enjoy his companionship. 
I have been pondering a lot on what President Lam has said this week, I would love to get things moving in the mission baptismal goal. We could do it. Just a paradigm shift, in both missionaries and members. Take the advice of Elder Wong. Double time. 
I love being a missionary. Go to work.

   Elder Sargent

Saturday, March 11, 2017

3/6 The Flock

It was a busy week to put it right! Sure a good time. I loved MLC, and got some good thoughts from it. The discussions and councils I felt helped a lot. Once we decided to change numbers again, sent me back to the office to get everything changed in format for the upcoming week. Got it all figured out and fixed up. Had a bunch of random things pop up that we didn't get done till the weekend for lack of time, but pounded them out just in time. I have never been to one of the "Mandarin Meetings" before, so that was fun to put on and get to know the Mandarin missionaries a little better. So many fun little things happened! We got to help out with another ML baptism, The Kwai Chung sisters taught a lady, but needed help with the baptismal service, so Elder Ea got to baptize her and the ShaTin Elders came down to do the rest. Elder Ea was pretty excited, it was quite last minute, and he was in a rush trying to memorize the prayer. After he just walked out in shock, "I just baptized my first person! Wow! And she was from ML!" He was pretty excited. One other funny thing, was the International districts quarterly Temple Sunday was yesterday, and they didn't have enough people to bless so they got Elder Ea and I. All 6 Branch presidents passed with 6 other men, and 6 of us broke for this huge congregation. President Funk (Asia Area President and 1st Quorum of the 70)  came as well. It felt so weird to break bread again and sing in English, but it was kind of a touching moment and it felt good to hear and partake of that sacred ordinance in my mother tongue again. It was powerful. 
The area is doing well, Little K is going to be baptized on March the 26th! His dad gave the ok for him to go yesterday at their home. The Primary is very excited and it will be a good start for that special kid. I sure love him. He might be 8, but he has the spiritual maturity of someone much farther beyond his years. V asked to move his date back, J supporting him even, to next month. His job is still creating problems, so we might have to be more straight forward with that. We are teaching him his last lesson with our Bishops family this week on marriage and eternal families. We are excited and hopefully they can keep preparing. I feel he needs more spiritual boost going into this, but they are so love struck its hard to get that focus. I can see why a BYU ward would be so interesting now. The L's are doing great. A was at church yesterday, she is quite interesting sometimes... actually most of the time. Haha her son sat with us and was helping one of the primary kids on the row and she stood up in sacrament and told him to focus. The family is doing great! Everyone loves them and A and E are well engaged in  Sunday School. Good kids. B does well also. Asks good questions an gives good input. 
The area is doing well, our problem is scheduling lessons and turning them into spiritual feeding lessons. I find us to often having to meet at a restaurant or some other location. Hope to change that.
As a companionship we are well! Elder Ea got over being sick at the beginning of the week so I could be sick the rest. I spoke like good old Josh Turner for the better part of the week. Almost better now though. Lots of good members to give me Chinese medicine. We are staying on top of things for the most part, no problem. Elder Ea is good to take care of calls and updates so we stay as effect as we can.
I know God answers prayers. I know he is listening to me, and even when I have to pray for the same thing for 2 weeks, he is just trying me and will still answer. Patience is a virtue. Hebrews 12 has a scripture that basically says, have patience, the Lord will give all he has promised. I know its true. God lives and He listens to all our prayers. 
I love my mission.
Love Elder Sargent

Sunday, March 5, 2017

2/27 Moses?

Lunch with Sister Y
transfers with Elder C from my MTC group

Elder Ea

As always a good week. It seemed like last week was our 7 days of harvest, for this week 7 weeks of, well people being busy! Teaching wise it was a slower week, lots of fongs with new people, and others were busy as well. However, at the end of the week, they are so solid and we made lots of ground. Quick updates on miracles: Little K brought his dad to church on Sunday! It was so awesome to see their whole family at church. We visited again yesterday, shared the Restoration and some other question stuff. He likes the church, but still is considering allowing Ken to be baptized. He will be in our prayers this week. The L family is also doing very well, everyone but the mom was at church on Sunday again and everyone loved them again! Making good progression, Brother L, B, even asked to pray at Gospel Essentials. Amazing. We had a businessman from Utah show up at church as well with two friends he had been sharing the gospel with. We shared a message with them and they came to church as well! Both have solid potential. One even lives in our area, the other lives on Tsing Yi. Glad to send him that way. So many miracles. We have loads of potentials as well, this week we are seeing a couple new people, looking to be a packed week. I thought things might slow down... but nope. Somehow keep picking up. High goals for this month. High goals. 
Got to meet with President L this week! Even though he is my neighbor, both in office and home, I don't get to see him as oft as would be wished, at least just to talk. He is so busy with this new schedule it baffles me how he does it. Amazing. We get interviews every 6 weeks now. It was fun to talk with him and share what I have been learning and working on. I feel like talking to him now is just talking to a friend. A man I look up to.
Companionship is well! Elder Ea and I got to spend more time together this week which was great! He has been sick for the last couple days and we are just getting him back up and running. I don't know how I don't get sick. I quit sugar this week, well at least am trying, so that must be it. As an office companionship, it works! I love working with Elder S, I think he is hilarious. Hard worker and has good ethic. Elder L is about as solid as they come as well. 
The office work is little! Which is great. We got summer missionary stuff out last week, and then as well met with some leaders to get started on Hong Kong's Mini MTC! Should be a blast. They haven't done one for a while and hope to make this really big. All day, really make it a real experience as well. Should be good. Small moves here and there make it interesting, and we are starting to gear up for MLC this week, then Mission Conferences the week after. Lots going on keeps it fun. 
We also moved the Fanleng sisters apt this week. A real good time, went smooth... and another excuse to ride in the car. Also, exchanges this week with Elder C! Went well, and it was fun to be with an MTC friend again.
It is amazing to see the Lord's hand in so much of what we do. It always seems to be there. God's grace is real,  not only in repentance, sometimes I think we forget that. It ties into the enabling power of the Atonement as well. All just so we can do this work. It is amazing. He lives, I know it and I cannot deny it.
I love the Lord.
Love Elder Sargent