Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct. 21, 2013 - Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Another week in the office has come and gone. Time really does fly. This will be short, but just know that everything is going really well! I wont bore you with the details of everyday life. But I will share a few stories from the week.

So we finally had some time this week to do some real missionary work. So we got out on the streets and met and talked with people. Our area has a huge university campus so we meet a lot of students. Many of the students are from Mainland who don't speak Cantonese so we do our contacting in broken English or my companion talks to them in Mandarin. I usually just smile and nod. 80% of communication is body language, right? haha. But it was fun just being back out there doing what missionaries do. Talking to anyone who wants to listen, knowing our message will change everything for them. We do have one investigator who we were able to meet with this week and his name is A-Seui. He is a 17 year old kid who had a friend in another ward. He has been coming to seminary every morning and has tons of questions. We were able to meet and teach him. He is great, but just has a lot of challenges to overcome. His family is really opposed to him coming to our church, and has some other complicated family problems. But he wants to learn and keeps coming to church and seminary. He has a lot of faith and he doesn't even know it.

The other story is of little importance really, but is just sort of funny. I needed a haircut and I didnt want to spend the money to go get one. So I tried giving myself a haircut. I did not work. I ended up just having to buzz it all pretty short. Bootcamp style... haha All the missionaries here have walked in and just laughed. haha the Cowleys, the senior office couple, have just laughed and laughed. My companion says I look like Buddha, belly and all. haha. Last time I try and give myself a haircut...

The office is great. Really rewarding having this opportunity to help the misisonaries here fulfill their purpose! The work is true. Nourish your testimony. It is everything.

Elder Woodburn

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oct. 14, 2013 - The Office

Things are going really well. The week really flew by. Crazy how that seems to happen week in and week out.

The office is a little different of a life than the one I have been living for the past nine months. We are swamped right now with trying to find new places to live for all the missionaries. Our mission is really growing. My responsibilities aren't really that bad, but my companion is the housing coordinator, so he is really busy! 

I wish I had more to report on but there isn't a ton to tell. We got a big batch of new missionaries from the MTC this last week and so we had to do a lot to get them into their areas and starting to share the gospel. I never realized all the behind the scenes stuff that it takes for our mission to run smoothly. A lot of little things that got to get done. Like going to the bakery, pharmacy, and missionaries apartments. That does remind me of a good story...

So we got a call from some missionaries on the island that they locked themselves out of their bedroom and couldnt get back in. So we went there with the biggest set of keys I have ever seen. Took a while but we tried every single key and not a single one worked. So we called the landlord and got permission to break the doorknob off... Problem was that we didnt have a hammer so we took the weights off a barbell and went to town to get the knob off. It was pretty fun... haha But we got it all figured out and a new doorknob. So all is well.

There was also a little bit of stress this week because of BOM order didnt come in on time so our mission went this week without any Books of Mormon to hand out. Luckily they came in this morning and all is well again. I felt like a customer service worker at the lost luggage department. Which brings me to another story...  

So some of the new missionaries luggage was lost and the airline couldnt find it. that caused a headache for everyone! Turns out their luggage went to Japan instead of HK. They got it all figured out and the bags finally got here, but not before everyone went out to their areas. So we spent a whole day delivering luggage all over HK. It was pretty cool actually. HK is pretty small, but it is just so crowded. Especially the roads!

I haven't driven yet. Last week I went and applied for my Chinese liscence and it takes a week to process it. So I go tomorrow and pick it up. Driving is pretty crazy, but most of it is just bumper to bumper stuff so thats not so bad. The worst is parking. There is nowhere to park ever. And when you do find a place the spot is really tiny and hard to get into. We drive a giant van so it can be pretty tough. It turns like a boat. So pray that I dont get any parking tickets... haha

This week seems to be equally as busy. A realtor is taking us around Hong Kong island tomorrow looking for new apartments. Never thought I would be going house shopping on a mission. Just one more thing you would never expect.

Since we have been so busy, we only have a little time to teach and proselyte. I am hoping that changes because I am already missing the normal work of missionary work. 

Overall, things are going great. Since we work in the office I have been thinking a lot about the Office lately. No one really fits the personalities from the show except for me. I would say that I am definatley Ryan, but in saying that I make myself Michael Scott. haha

Conference was awesome! Waiting an extra week to watch it was killer, but it was worth the wait. If you didnt watch it, repent and go watch it. My favorite quote comes from Elder Dube. he said something to this effect, "Its not about where we have already been, but about where we are willing to go." Align your will with His and I promise you will find happiness. Real happiness.

Love you guys,
Elder Woodburn

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013 - Lots of Change

Well it has been a great week, probably one of the busiest on my mission so far. I got a call from President this last week and told me he had a new assignment for me. So I am officially the China Hong Kong Mission Distribution Manager and Referral Secretary. So what does that mean exactly? I am in charge of a lot of different stuff. I make sure that we have enough Books of Mormon for the mission in what seems like a billion different languages. Along with other materials the missionaries use to help people get to know more about the church, also in a billion weird languages. Need a Book of Mormon in Swahili? I'm your man! Another big responsibility is helping my companion, the housing Elder, get around Hong Kong. So that means I have to drive everywhere. So I went to the Island today to apply for my drivers licence. It is pretty crazy on the roads here, that's for sure. But by next week I will be hitting the road. My companion, Elder Woo, is a native and so he doesn't know how to drive. that's another thing, My companion and I have the same last name in Chinese, so it has been a little confusing. haha. There are some perks to the job besides driving though. Our apartment is actually inside the China Hong Kong Temple. Pretty sweet, huh? Going to the temple is so awesome, so living in one has been that much greater. We also have an IPhone. It is kinda weird. So things here in the office are a lot different. We have a lot of responsibilities. We do the regular missionary work, but we have a lot of extra responsibilities. So we do as much as we can, but there is never a dull moment. Mondays are usually our P-days, but we usually don't have a ton of time to really do much. Just to much to do.

So this week we opened up a new apartment in Tuen Mun so we had to drive out there a few times and set things up. Went to IKEA and bought everything a missionary apartment needs, and then it took practically the whole day to set it up. IKEA isn't as user friendly as you might think.

The rest of the time, I have been here in the office learning how to do my new responsibilities. Its been a crazy week for sure.

I was sad to say goodbye to Butterfly for sure, but that's the nature of things as a missionary. You do all you can. You serve them, you love them, you do all you can. Then you leave. I really did put my heart into that area. I know things are going to continue to grow.

I guess that would be my message for the week. Life goes on. Things change. But you got to have confidence that good things are going to continue to come. I was said to leave so many great friends behind, but I have the confidence that good will come. Just keep doing what you can, all that you can. Hope that is inspiring, maybe just a little bit. If not, go watch conference. That wont let you down. We don't get to watch it until next week. Just because the time change and needing to make sure it is fully translated. So I am pretty stoked to see it next week.

Pray for me that I don't ruin the entire mission because I can't get enough Books of Mormon or something.

Love you guys,
Elder Woodburn