Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb. 24, 2014

This week went by quick, really a lot like the other weeks lately. This week we spent a lot of time out of the office, trying to meet new people. We were able to have meaningful conversations, but no new investigators from our efforts. I think that it is just another good opportunity to see that hard work and persistence will pay off in the end.

We had a pretty special opportunity to go to a special fireside last night. Elder Holland of the Quorum of the 12 is in Hong Kong. He had a special conference that was in Wan Chai, but was then broadcast to each stake center. We watched in Kowloon Tong, our church building. It was an awesome conference. Elder Holland talked a lot about the importance that we play in this last and greatest dispensation. He said that we as saints will no longer flee like prophets and peoples of the past. It is the time to stand and confront worldly trials head on. He spoke with such power and passion, it really filled the room. gave me added fire to make this upcoming week a great one. 

We as a mission have a meeting with Elder Holland tomorrow, so we are all looking forward to that.

I wish i had more to say, but that really is all. We have been working hard and have faith that prayers, work, and consistancy will best help us do God's work.

Life as a missionary has its challenges, but its really not that different than regular life. We are all looking for balance. I promise that as you learn and follow the Savior and his example, you will find that balance.

I love and pray for everyone back home. Your thoughts and prayers are felt here in Hong Kong!

Elder Woodburn

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb.17, 2014- Happy Valentines Day

Really quick week. Lots of change, but I feel like you learn to adjust pretty quickly. Elder Mak is learning all there is to do about housing and taking care of apartment stuff. He isn't too busy now, but in the next two months we have a few apartments that we need to renew or find new ones. Other than that, we have been able to really get out of the office and hit the streets!

On Friday, we had a call come from the temple saying that there were people there who wanted to learn the gospel, so we walked over there to meet them. It was a daughter and her mom. They saw the temple and thought it was really pretty and wanted to go inside. We took them over to the chapel and showed them around. The daughter is named Donna and she is actually born and raised in Canada. Her English was a lot better than her Cantonese, so I talked to her in English, while Elder Mak talked with the mom in Chinese. It was an interesting experience to get to teach in English. they were both really interested and so they said that they would be at church. They didn't make it though because they went to a different LDS church closer to their home, but walked into the wrong one. We scheduled them this week along with the missionaries that serve that area so we can show them the right one. It was cool to think that there are interested people out there and are more than willing to ask and seek out the answers to some of life's problems.

A-Ho had to work overtime this week at a new restaurant that his company opened up. So he has been really busy. We have talked with him over the phone a few times and he is doing well. Still praying and reading, so we are excited to turn him over to the missionaries that cover his are in Choi Hung.

Sunday was probably the busiest day of the week. We had a former investigator come to church, A-Seui. But he brought a friend to church, A-Fui. It was really surprising to see them there because we haven't been able to contact A-Seui for the last few months. His mom doesn't like him meeting with us, so he had to stop meeting with us. I don't know what was different this time, but it was great to see him and get to know his friend. We talked with them both after church and they are doing great. We talked about how everyone has challenges, but how Christ helps us overcome them. We read examples from the Book of Mormon so that they can see that it is true and the consequences of the truthfulness of that book. Went really great. Only problem is that A-Fui lives outside of our area as well, out in Tseun Wan. So we set a turnover for this week with him.

Lots of the people that we have met and taught this week live outside of our area, but they have real intent. I think that is what I have admired most about the people we have met this week, they have real intent. It is a good feeling being able to turnover great potentials to other missionaries too.

A Thai family came to church this week too, since they were in HK to come to the temple. We translated for them, which I don't know how much good that did, since their English wasn't super great. But they cooked a big lunch and had us eat with them. It was really fun because of the language barrier. We learned that they have a son in California on a mission. The funniest part was that the mom in her broken English kept saying that the girls in Thailand are very beautiful. It made for a really funny lunch. haha

As far as everything else goes, things are great! Time is really flying. Weird to think how that happens.

Until next week.

Elder Woodburn 

Feb. 10, 2014 - Lots of Changes

你好嗎?今個星期點啊? 我們在Office好忙喎!

So this week has been an interesting one. I think I mentioned last week that Elder Woo and I would be staying together in the office. Well, I was wrong. Tuesday Elder Woo got the call that he would be leaving and that he would need to train a new Housing elder before he goes back out this Thursday. So my new companion is Elder Mak, from the west point of HK island. He is a lot different than Elder Woo. His english isnt as good, so I hope that I can help him best I can while we are together. Im sure he will progress fast. I have had native speaking companions pretty much my whole mission so my chinese has improved a lot. I still feel like I dont know very much, but its just more opportunities to learn. But that is what is going on in the office. I will still be here, but just with a new companion.

We had a really great week. Most of it was spent in the office because Elder Mak has a lot to learn about the housing responsibilities, but we were still able to meet with A-Ho. He is doing great. We asked him why he is so diligent in finding out if our message was true, his reply was awesome. He said that he has seen his life begin to change as he has thought and acted upon the things we have shared. He said that he has faith in God that He will help him. Thats huge! When we first met, he didnt even think God existed, now he growing his faith by acting. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the change in peoples lives because of the gospel, but the fact that he recognizes it is even better. We set something up this week so he will get to know the missionaries in his area. I dont know if I mentioned it last week, but he lives in the neighboring area, not ours, so we need to pass him to the right elders. I am just happy that he is using faith to act and find out the truth for himself.

Last Monday we had the chance to go and visit Elder Kho's grandma in an old folks home. Oh yeah, I dont know if I mentioned that before, but I live with my trainer again! He got permission to go and visit his grandma, so we tagged along. It was really fun. All the old people loved having us there and talking with them. I attached a picture, check it out! It was so funny because Elder Kho's grandma took the picture with us and then was so surprised that we could immediately look at it. She was embarrassed she didnt comb her hair so she quickly ran her hand through her hair and made this cool Mohawk thing. haha It was so fun getting to know real family in Hong Kong. Made me appreciate the importance of family in the Chinese culture.

Time just keeps on going. Weird to think that we are into February already. Hope all is well back at home.

Elder Woodburn

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb. 3, 2014 - Happy Lunar New Year

So it was suprisingly a slow week out this way. No one told me that Chinese new year makes it super tough to do missionary work. It is a really traditional holiday, so everyone is home and visiting family. Makes it tough to schedule people and meet new people. 

We did manage begin teaching a new investigator this week though! His name is Jeun Faat. He was met by the sisters and so they turned him over to us. He is 15 and a really cool kid. Has a ton of faith in Jesus Christ, so it has been an awesome experience teaching him. He started the BoM last week and we have him scheduled again this week. He is great!

We also met with A-Ho again and he is doing well as well. He has little knowledge of the Savior, so we read stories of miracles that he performed and more about his life. He seemed to really be soaking it up. He has the most sincere prayers I have heard, trying to figure out if God is real and if Jesus Christ is really someone he can rely on to overcome all things. 

There is a tradition in the Chinese new year that you take one day and you clean your apartment. Like really clean it. So Saturday was set apart as "deep clean day". We cleaned the entire day. A solid 15 hour block of cleaning. It was exhausting! But good to get our apartment in order and to throw away tons of junk.

Sunday was interesting. Church was just sacrament meeting because of the new year and we combined with the other ward that meets in our building. Attendance was scarce... Everyone went up to Mainland to visit their 家鄉, their home town sort of thing. Where their ancestors came from. Still fun. Wierd to think that a week ago our sacrament was bursting with mainlanders, then this week, we hardly have anyone because they all went to mainland.

I wish I had more to report, but the new year really put a damper on things. Still an awesome experience.

Excited for the holiday to end, so we can get back to work!

Elder woodburn

Jan. 26, 2014 - Halfway? Already?

Well its weird to think that i have been a missionary for almost a year now. By weird, I mean just how fast things have gone. The flip side to that is I think of how much I have been able to experience and to think that I still have another year as a missionary gets me excited that I am here. The elders from my MTC group are all meeting up today at a burger place on the island. It should be a really fun lunch. Getting to catch up on things and talk about the mission so far. In the MTC, I don't think that any of us thought we would make it a year of living in HK, learning Chinese, and waking up early and going to bed late. But here we are, doing the Lord's work. It should be a really fun day.

As far as the week goes, we had an awesome one. New investigators, mainlanders, and baptisms! I'll try and recap as much as I can.

So we were really blessed because a companionship in another area met two different people who live in our area, and were able to schedule them to come to our family home evening. One is named Jason. He is really awesome, but there is just one problem. Jason is deaf. He knows chinese sign language (which is different than ASL) and when you talk to him, he reads your lips. It is crazy how he is able to do it. Especially since he cant here the tone on the word you are saying, so he has to do a lot of guessing. He were able to have an awesome lesson with him and he really enjoyed FHE. I think since communication is so difficult for him, he doesn't have a ton of friends, but at church everyone made a special effort to get to know him and I think that meant a lot to him. He was sick on Sunday, but we will be meeting with him again tomorrow.

The other investigator that came is named A-Ho. He is a really awesome kid. He is 20 and works in a kitchen at a giant restaurant up in my old area, Sha Tin. He fit in really well as well. He came to English class the night after FHE, then came the next night to meet with us and share the message of the Restoration. It was really awesome. He couldn't come to church since he had to work, but we will be meeting with him again this week as well. He seemed like he really likes the atmosphere at the church and the members he has gotten to know. He has very little religious background so we have moved really slow. But I think that we are already seeing progress. He isn't exactly sure that God exists, but since we have taught him, every night he has prayed to know more about God and if He is really there. A-Ho has real intent for sure. i cant wait to meet with him again this week.

Sunday was actually the craziest sacrament that I have ever been to. The reason? Well there were a 108 new branch presidents from mainland here for leadership training. Since they cant hold such a big meeting up in mainland, they all had to come down here. The branch presidents and their families all came to our sacrament meeting. It filled up our whole chapel and then some. We had to set up chairs into the gym as an overflow. That never happens! I think our bishop knew that they were coming so he had the whole program in mandarin. can you imagin that happeing back in Fallon 4th ward? Having sacrament in a different language? Just another day in Hong Kong.

Another awesome miracle was a baptism that they had in the ward that we share the building with, Cheung Sha Wan. The investigator's english name is Fanatasy. She was a walk in about a month ago that Elder Woo and I taught. We could tell just how prepared she was and so we turned them over to the sisters in the right area. They have been working with her ever since and then yesterday she was baptized. I think that the most rewarding thing is just having a small part in the change of someones life. We really did have a small part, but it means the world to me to think that we had that chance because we are doing what we need to be doing.

Overall a solid week. Really awesome. The idea of trying to remember that trials are not trials, but opportunities. It is making all the difference.

I love you you all and hope all is well.

I should have another exciting report next week, it is Chinese New Year! 


Elder Woodburn