Monday, June 2, 2014

May 25, 2014

Another Solid week! We had some really good things happen for us. I was thinking about it last night before I went to bed just how awesome it is to be a missionary. I'll try and recap the week for you.
So Tuesday, Elder Lau and I were on the western side of the island trying to do some finding and we got caught in some yellow rain, which is pretty bad rain. To make things worse, Elder Lau didn't have an umbrella and mine got broke from the winds. So we ran to the nearest bus stop to try and get out of the rain. We found the bus stop and tried to use the little overhang to shield us from the rain, but the rain wasn't coming from above, it was blowing in from the sides. The buses got backed up because of the weather so we sat and waited while we just got drenched! I felt bad for Elder Lau, he was so wet. We both were. by the time the bus came, it looked more like we went swimming than got caught in a rainstorm. Got to love it. I have been yelled at, rained on, and burped at. haha I really do love being a missionary.
Wednesday was a solid day as well. We went do service in Kwai Hing. The program is called soap cycling. They collect used soap from hotels and then we scrap off the top layers and make sure it is clean and good to use. They then send it to countries who are in need like the Philippines, Africa, and parts of China. It is a good way to share the gospel as well. We were able to talk with the manager of the place and we had a really good gospel conversation. What i learned from that was just that if you want to share the gospel, serve! It is easy to do and is well worth the time and effort. We were also able to visit Tomo at the Tai families place again this week. He seems to be doing really well. It is a difficult teaching situation for us, since we need a translator to speak Japanese, but we are working around that. We are using lots of object lessons to help him see and understand as well as just listening. Sister Tai says that it is helping him a lot. So we are glad to see that he is progressing. He has made good friends with people at church. A surprisingly large number of members in the branch know Japanese and are making him feel at home.
We were able to meet with Vicky twice this week. We had a really good talk about the difference between Jesus Christ and Prophets. She has some great questions. Then we met her again on Sunday. Connie Zhang, a member in the branch had us over for dinner along with Vicky and we had a discussion for her afterwards. It was probably one of the best lessons I have had on my mission. I think everyone there was feeling it. We talked about the necessity for a restoration and what it means to us to have the blessings that come from following Jesus Christ in His restored church. I really was an awesome experience. Sister Zhang is an awesome fellowshipper and can relate to Vicky so well. Only problem is that they are moving back to the states in a few weeks. So we are on the lookout for another fellowshipper that can help us teach as Vicky progresses in the gospel.
Sonu is also doing great as ever! He was elected as his Universities student body president. he is a little stressed about the job, but he is figuring things out. We were able to help him and talk through some things as well. I feel like Sonu is such a great friend to us, not just an investigator. We started teaching him commandments and he is loving it. Everything is really making sense to him. He is already having experiences with prayer and the Book of Mormon. He says that he knows it is true and that he feels at home when he attends church. Thats music to our ears! It has been a really good experience getting to teach Sonu the gospel.
Ben and Sarah are also just doing awesome! We met them at their house this week, along with another young family in the branch, the Channers. We had an awesome visit with them. They are on track to be baptized on June 15. Both are seeing how the gospel is helping them in all facets of their life and are really soaking it up. Ben is hilarious guy. They have a roommate that lives with them as well. His name is Kamara and he is from Africa as well. We were focusing a lot on Ben and Sarah, but Kamara was there as well. I noticed how happy he was that Ben and Sarah were getting baptized, so we turned to Kamara and asked if he would be baptized as well. He immediately said he would. It was awesome! So we are now working with Kamara to achieve his goal of being baptized on July 27! Funny how blessings come as we work hard and recognize opportunity.
Sunday was a really awesome day all around. The branch president challenged the whole branch to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. the best part about it was that as we talked with our investigators that were there, they wanted to take the challenge too! After the block schedule, we had what they called a "linger longer". There was food and everyone was there. It was great for us because the ward did a great job of talking with our investigators and helping them feel at home! They are building a base in church with the members and that is key for when they are baptized. If they feel like they are a part, they will stick around. Retention is key. the sense of family will only help. I think we are getting that in our branch here in Hong Kong!
Really was a week of great things. Wish i could rely it all to you. but trust me that we are staying busy and working our tails off.
Love you!
Elder Woodburn

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