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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4/10 Happy

Pictures are from one of the most fun Preparation days ever!!!

Well another week to remember! This has been so much fun! General Conference was absolutely great. It was amazing to hear the words of the prophets. I personally had many questions answered. One of which included me deciding to learn Mandarin. So I am excited to see how that goes. I personally felt so uplifted. They were quite literally speaking to me, a one. I love our prophets and will continue to support them in a time when many are finding it difficult.
Our investigator pool is doing great! Everyone is moving forward, making steps toward eternity. The L's are preparing for baptism in two weeks, V is solid for the 7th and might be able to move up, and S even set a date. I think things are really just moving forward! We found an old investigator who couldn't progress because of his mother, we felt impressed to call him, and he is ready! His mother actually passed away recently, so he is available and wants to move forward. Not my errors and Elder Ea good looks can slow down the work in this area. 
It has also been fun to eat at a few more members homes recently, Brother Y called us and even cooked for us!!!  We started inviting members to read and memorize their favorite part from the "Living Christ." Power in simple principles.
It was really fun to have Elder G come down this week. Great to be with my MTC comp that I unfortunately don't get to see very often out here. He is an example to me of Christlike love and simple obedience. He is a light. He is doing great work in the Kowloon West Zone, we discussed a few things to help keep things moving forward, but it is coming. Energize the missionaries. 
The video from South China Morning Post came out! It has gone viral and so many members comment and share it. Even had someone take a picture with us on the train. Found out after 10 minutes talking he was a LessActive RM. He called us his missionaries. :) I thought the video was pretty good! It didn't include much about our testimony which I was disappointed about, and the article wasn't all the way correct, but we are making ground. I have already heard of members reporting their friends have had interest in the gospel because of the video, that is what makes me most happy. Funniest moment in the clip is either them not showing me airball the deep 3, or the lady we talked to not having any idea what was going on hahaha. Cameras, white people speaking to her in Chinese, and she was from Mainland with not very good Cantonese and had little to no background in religion... that might explain her face. My whole family is so surprised I still play the piano. No faith. 
Well I know this is His work, my good friend Jayson N came home from his mission this week, another shining example to me. From where he started to now it was a reminder of what we are doing here. We can't be short sighted. President Lam is always reminding me of that in all he does. God wants us all to return to his presence. All of us. Didn't the prophet just testify of that on multiple occasions? I will read the Living Christ and memorize it. I am here to do his work. Now and forever. I love this work, and love the Lord. I am blessed.
16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

4/3 Still Just Miracles

Dinner at the Y's home with our friends the L family

Well, the work keeps moving forward. That is definitely one thing that I feel like I understand, but don't really fathom. It just goes forward, and I better be holding on. The L family is preparing.  We met Tuesday night and B and their two sons Ad and E decided to move their date forward to this upcoming 22nd of April, two days after Ad's birthday. I personally think A will make the decision to follow, but we will see. They are excited to move forward. They accepted the law of tithing and fasting on Saturday at the Y's house, B was quiet, but seemed to bravely accept. I think it will be a tough one for him, his family not being in the best financial situation, but they can do it. A exclaimed as we were inviting them, "I, we, will do it!!! All of it! Starting now!" They fasted as they even found us to ask who to give their slip to on Sunday. Ad's primary teacher, also Sister Y, told me that he was offered a cupcake on Sunday at Primary, but he denied it because he was fasting. They gave it to him to take home, and the funniest part she said was that he kept telling the cupcake (in English) to not tempt him. I saw him snacking on it later... They are doing well. So excited for them. Just seeing them at church, and thinking that they have the faith to perform fasting to its fullest, just about had me in tears at sacrament. That's amazing!! Raw faith.
Little K (W K) was confirmed. The ward loves him. His growth and his families growth has just been exponential these past few weeks. A newly moved in member from Hawaii blessed him with us Elders and our 2nd counselor SM. A young boy, surrounded by priesthood bearing men who support him. Reminds me of a talk given last conference, or two. I was so happy. His mom hopefully can progress soon. They are all opening up. Have I mentioned how much I love these people? 
Everyone else is great. KC (J-recent convert) is so mature and does so much at school. Very much a part of the ward now, Brother T (recent convert) has been giving out copies of the Book of Mormon like candy, we give him more and more every week. He writes his testimony in them and gives them to friends in HK and Mainland (when they come down to HK obviously). So amazing. JC and his mom came again and said they want to come even more. They are doing well, with all the people at church, so I would expect to not know what to do! And we didn't, but it was because there was no one to sit with. All of the investigators had someone sitting with them and watching over them. Every single one, completely covered, and there were nearly around 12 or 13 investigators there including the sisters investigators. Again, moved to tears almost! What a great ward. Exemplifying the term service. Loving their investigators. Amazing.
I am terrible at remembering all the miracles, that's why I spend so much time in my journal. There are too many to remember. 
Elder E and I are great, seeking to keep an inflow of people to meet, when the L's get baptized this month, and V at the beginning of next, we will only have a couple. We have had a great time finding new investigators, have turned over several in the last few weeks. Glad to support others, I hear they are flourishing as well! 
I had a good exchange with both Elder McG and Elder H this week. Elder H is new, but not afraid. He is 100% obedient and a hard worker. I could have told you small town Utah boy before I even asked him. His teaching and Chinese are all ready to go. Great energy, which is good.
I love this work and what I am doing. Hurrah for Israel. He lives.
Excited for General Conference. Lots of questions.
Love Elder Sargent
Ever Stalwart