Happy almost New Year!!!!

well Christmas was good! 
so what happened.. Well on Christmas Eve we had a ward party!!! It was awesome! We were able to have many of less active members come and also our friend Joe made it!! There was lots of noodles and rice and other good stuff. Solid time. Us missionaries performed Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. We gave it a little twist, but it worked out. I think they understood.. haha they laughed. The party had other people do talents so it was fun. 

On Christmas, I woke up and it sure was cold! haha but I had my little space heater on my toes so it was cool. We did studies and then that day we headed over to a members house. Their son is serving here right now and then the youngest is less active. He was way cool. We just built a relationship and got to know him. See how we can help him and become his friend. We ate lunch and then we had to blast. Why? 
Well there is another member family who they had a little party and the mother invited us! So basically we were to help all the little kids make snowmen, santa, and what not. Then the parents saw us and were like oh, how sweet of people. Then we talk to them and get to know them. and... It was so fun and great. 
All the little kids go to an English school so their English is great and they LOVE speaking it to us! So it was nice. The whole time we were there made it feel so much more like Christmas because of all the little kids running around, playing, the parents sitting and watching and smiling. It was great, but then we had to leave. 

We met up with a friend and talked with him for a little bit at the church, then he left. So we (TST elders and sisters) went up with a couple of the sisters investigators that they just taught and had a very merry leftover Christmas dinner. It was fun, at some grub and talked for a little bit. our food was from the party the night before that some of the members had saved for us which was super nice! After dinner we made our way to the streets by our house to go and try to talk to some people. Unfortunately we didn't have a Christmas miracle, but we wished people Merry Christmas. We even had an awesome little Christmas message prepared. As we walked around that night, I was thinking about Christ and what he has done for us and it just made me smile. It was nice to fully remember Him this year and rely on Him. It is even more special to be able to share of Him each day and know that He wants to help each and everyone of us and when we let Him, He does. 

Well later this week we didn't have much luck with street finding and neither with our investigators who were busy. But we were able to stop by Sister Lam and her Husband's shop (our investigators) and wish them a Merry Christmas. I had saved them a few candy canes so it was a good excuse to see them! haha But when we opened the door to their shop, it felt so great to see them! I just feel like they are family. They are so awesome.

Well other than that, we felt pretty cool one night. We went looking for some non active members homes and we had 7 on the list. out of the 7, we found that only 1 of the addresses existed! as in the floor didn't exist they lived on or there wasn't even apartments at the street number. So instead we would walk into buildings and then walk out, pull out a pen, write stuff down, and continue on. Well there was a few mainland women together and they saw and were like speaking mandarin not sure of who we were. So it gave us an excuse and say hello and introduce our church. Obviously i don't speak mandarin but I know how to say who we are, what church we represent, and how the gospel blesses them. haha that is about it.
Alright this was a random email. but I hope its alright. I just thought the non existant address this was funny.
Well I know this Gospel is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and what better way to start off a new year with goals of serving Him more and being able to give more of our time and love to our Savior then in the year of 2014. So my challenge is to just spend a little more time loving, smiling, and serving. And most importantly having Christ as our foundation.
Elder Townsend or Sugar cause that's what they call me!
1. the party with santa
2. the party with the families!
TST Elders and Sister

Jolly Santa Claus

Rudolf the crazy reindeer

Fun times with kids

A Very Merry Christmas, Ya'll!!!

Yesterday there were people caroling about Jesus. It was awesome. I think they were one of the nearby churches. I loved hearing it. Yep, HK does celebrate Christmas, not hard, but they do. I love it because they don't just put up Happy Holidays or Merry X-mas, but they put MERRY CHRISTMAS. I love it.

 I found candy canes at this one store here and they were on sale for like 1 for $10.50 or 2 for $8. (obvi HK moneys) So i bought 4 packages. They were almost out.. goodbye meat to my meals.. haha But I have been handing them out to people and like "Singdaahn Jit Faailohk!!!!!" Gotta get out the Christmas Spirit some how. 

This Christmas we will be hopefully meeting with a Less Active member and sharing a message and eating lunch. If not,we will be going finding. hoping for a Christmas Miracle. We don't have a mission party anymore due to money and missionaries, but its cool. It'll be a solid time. 

Also our mission is going back to dual language tags! President was able to get them proved! Only our mission will have them so do i feel special! haha
My companionship and the sisters in our ward went caroling on saturday night. It was grand. We went to an estate chyun place that has a lot of less-actives, members, and investigators, and friends. We would knock on the door, they'd open, we sang, they would stand awkwardly like what are they doing?, then we would stop, they would say ahh hello, come in, hand us food, i handed them a candy cane, and then we might be able to share a spiritual message, and then we'd hit up another. It was fun. It was hilarious when we were in the wrong house (aparment place) and we went to the wrong flat, knocked on the wrong door, sang to the lady, and then died with laughter when we left. she was so confused who we were. Gotta love that. haha

Well this week we were able to teach A-Ming again. He is great. Just needs to find a new job so he can come to church. Other than that he is happy. I gave him a ctr so that he will remember to not smoke and what not. It is really hard for him to stop so we are trying to help him out a lot. I hope he can find the strength! We just need to find a member who can help us teach him and bear testimony of their help as well. Also to help guide him. It is just hard because of the time he meets with us. He is funny though, we will teach him random english sayings as we leave. My fave that he says now (because I would always say it to him) is "See you next week, same time, same... place." then he does the snap point thing because I would to! haha I love him.

At English class we shared about the Nativity with the class. We watched the new Bible Videos and it was awesome. I highly suggest checking it out. As we watched it, i couldn't help just think over and over. Born is the King. Born is the King. Born is the One who saved me from pain. Born is my Savior. I am excited to be able to focus more on Him this year and be able to remember just how good He is to us. I think of when President Monson said to capture the true meaning of the Spirit of Christmas and it becomes the Spirit of Christ. Makes me so happy to know that people are feeling the Spirit of Christ this season!
Oh so to let you know that I am not dumb is when I put sianara for my goodbye thing last week, i knew it wasn't spanish but japanese. Everytime I try to speak fake spanish now it comes out sounding like Japanese. #chineseprobs. haha 
anyways, goodbye.
Elder Townsend
1. just going to buy some apples.
2. Elder Goronson and I put on normal clothes and had a blast. haha

Wah...December 15, 2013

Hey there.
Well this week was good! We just ended another transfer and I am staying in the great land of TST!! And this time, i get the privilege to serve as District  Leader. (must be running out of resources..) Anyways, the Last 9 weeks flew by. So stoked and I will be with Elder Goronson still! I really like him, he is a solid guy. Did I mention that he is from Las Vegas? or that he went to Arbour View High School? Or that he shot his eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun? alright maybe the last one wasn't as true, but had to throw a little Christmas Story line in there. 

Also it has been cold the last 2 days. Yesterday about 14 degrees Celsius and then today i swear like 12. I need to call Windy the weather lady though. The Winter Monsoon is here and that means some rain as well. Elder Goronson and I don't like umbrellas so you could say we got saap saai. honestly I don't remember what that is in english. ahh shoot. you know when you're like all wet and nothing isn't like drenched but it's not that word. I swear I wont have a language soon. I never know things in English or Chinese. so one time an Elder asked me what my first language was. haha so i said guess and he was like German? and all I did was wink and said you could say that. I am German. 

Well this week as we were walking, I could say I felt tough. We were walking up this hill and since some of the place is under construction, the sidewalk is narrow with random cement blocks. So we were going to go past on and a guy walked up and he looked at us, saw the gap, and then froze. Then he put his hands up in the air and was like "I'm Sorry!" and then expected us to pass. haha 
Well needless to say I wanted to laugh super hard because it was just these two gwai louhs walking up in suits. But we talked to him for a second, but he was too confused by who we were and that we knew Chinese so he split. All in all, it was a good experience.

Well this week we taught A-Ming again! It was awesome. He has a new baptismal date and after the lesson I realized it is the same day I got baptized, February 23rd! We were not able to get a member to come teach with us, but it went well. As we sat down and talked to him, for some reason I stopped talking and had nothing in my mind and I think the same with my companion. 
Then A-Ming asked us if God would really give him a path. It through me off, but he proceeded to tell us that he is praying for God to show him a path to take and help him find a new job or a way to attend church. He said he had faith that God will help him, but wanted to make sure he would. So we assured him God would. As we went on, we talked about the Word of Wisdom. He is having a hard time quitting smoking, been doing it for 30 years and it helps him relax. So we talked with him and made a plan. We offered to give him a blessing and he wanted one. It was really cool because as I gave A-Ming that blessing I know it had to been from Heavenly Father because I spoke Cantonese much better than I really ever have there.. Just kinda opened the mouth and the things came out. It was really special, because I knew what I was saying but there was just like so much love felt inside of me. It was so amazing. I know A-Ming will get the Lord's help. Afterwards as we talked about it, there was a tear in his eye. He said that he had never felt this way before. He said no way to describe it. He kept repeating I am His son, I am His son. It's true, he is His son. As am I. So grateful to know that and know He is real. He does exist and He does love us. So awesome.

Well Later this week we met with Sister Lam and we got her a baptismal date as well! She is really busy until after Chinese New Year so it is a little farther away, but she has the best intentions for it. She wants to make sure she will be able to attend all 3 hours and so she also can have her husband there. (also to make sure he will follow after her soon! Wants to go to the temple with him!) It was awesome because she talks about her son and how he will write things in his letters and she wants to learn about it. She is so awesome. Shared how she wanted to find this scripture about Faith but couldn't find it. Then eventually prayed and right when she opened the Book of Mormon, she opened to Alma chapter 32!! What a tender mercy of the Lord! Ahh so awesome.
Well that's all this guy has to say, so 
Sianara ya'll (spanish) or in my lovely tongue of Cantonese... Bye, Bye.

Elder Townsend
the only new picture i have is of me and my boy Elder Woodburn with our matching wool ties. You know it gets cold here.

Christmas season is a good season... December 8,2012

Well once again I can't think of a title for the dang email. So yeah, love Christmas season.
Well this week I really don't have much to report on. We were able to go to dinner with our ward mission leader, his wife, Fiona and her boyfriend Matt before he flew back to the meihgwok. we went to this awesome seafood place and had a HUGE alaskan king crab!! so good. I will attach the picture. 
Well this we went and taught A-Ming with former Elder Chan and it went great! He helped us out so much and we read Alma 32 on faith and applied it to how he can use it for helping him attend church and keep commandments. former Elder Chan was so great and powerful. It was nice to have his help their. We shared an object lesson on how God will lift you up in trials, even when we feel we can't handle them. To have no fear, for He never abandons us. We did the one where you take an empty tea bag, stand it up on their hand, and set it on fire, as it burns down, it looks like it'll burn their hand, but with faith, right at the end it lifts up. Its a good one and I believe gave him confidence to trust that the Lord will now deliver him as he figures out how to change his schedule for church.
shoot, I don't have anymore time to write. They must up my time...! 
I will write more next week!! 
Elder Townsend

Happy Christmas Season! November 30, 2013

Yeah, they totally have random Christmas things up in places and even our local Park N' Shop is playing Christmas music. About 30 seconds of the same thing looped to play all day. haha

Well Thanksgiving was a great affair. We had a lesson that morning which we were able to meet with A-Ming, our investigator. He is awesome. Hopefully we can help him out more. We were able to schedule former Elder Chan (i served with him in Tai Po) to come with us this week so he should be able to help us out (he is awesome) and help out our investigator a ton. Especially since they speak the same language! ha! 
Anyways then we went and had a lunch/lesson with our good friend that is an in-active member. He is a great guy and just so cool.

 Afterwards we headed out and then reported back to the chapel around 4:30. Why? for a thanksgiving zone dinner!! Yeah, it was great. We had 16 of us there. We ate rice, potatoes, fish, and duck!  Yep the only zone without Turkey. haha It is good though, felt more chinese-y. Also former elder Chan came and brought tons of KFC! haha It was a great time and great to remember all that I am grateful for. 
I sure do miss my boy and dog, Leonard! haha Didn't have him to hug this year. After we ate the church men had a basketball night. So while people were cleaning and didn't need some of our help, Elder Tse and I sat on the stage and had a Thanksgiving game to watch. Just basketball not football. 

Well this week was good. While we were out finding, we went back to our "miracle" park and once again... miracles came. This week we taught 2 people there that had lots of interest and rescheduled with us. While on exchanges, one of the guys we taught said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. He had no religious background at all. As we talked about God and who He is to us, he found interest. Sharing of who He was to me really helped me be more thankful for our Heavenly Father. Well our friend decided he would pray with us, as he bowed his head to pray, he took a breath to relax, kinda was nervous to try. As he prayed he basically said "God, i really want to know if you exist, I have been wanting to ask you and now I can. God, a lot of people believe in you in this world and know you exist, can I be one of them? I would be very grateful if you would let me know." Just through his sincerity and desire, the Spirit's presence was there. It was amazing, our Heavenly Father touched his heart that day. So when we meet with him next time, I hope we can bring that same Spirit of Love with us.
 After his prayer, I went home that night looking at my prayer and had the goal to always remember to pray sincerely. There is a Mormon Message called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. At the end it says like of all the names we could call God He has asked us to call him Father. I think that is so cool. For some reason I have been really thinking about that a lot and how I can better use that to allow others and myself become closer to Him.
Well that is all i can think of. 
Oh on a fun note, on exchanges, we made friends with this lady who is really nice. She works at the restaurant that is next door to where a in-active member lives. So as we tried visiting she found out the situation and wants to help us. So everyday she scopes out for when the person will come home so she can let us know. I think she wants to be a secret agent, like she ran up to the door one night, knocked to see if they were home. haha and asks people about our member. We told her we cared about him so she is really helping out! Look at that service from a friend! she will be blessed!
Elder Townsend
1. Elder Woodburn (from MTC group/great friend) and I got Mighty Duck hats on Lady Street for super cheap. We had to buy them because the story was hilarious. Lady chasing us down the street making them cheaper and cheaper the farther we went. She originally tried selling them almost like 12 american bones at first. But no way we settle for that. So we settled for 11... just kidding like 3.
2. Thanksgiving festivities in Kitchen

Happy Thanksgiving! November 25, 2013

Well this coming week is Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving! We will be having a Chinese/American Thanksgiving hereon Thursday. Our zone will be meeting up and having it at our chapel in Ho Man Tin. It'll be fun. We have a pretty small zone and so only 16 missionaries will be there. Our companionship is bringing the rice and corn. Yep, wouldn't be meal without the rice.

Well good news! Fiona was baptized yesterday! It was a good ole' event. Her son and daughter came as well are her daughter's husband and their two kids. Also her sister came. It was really neat. and afterward she shared her testimony and expressed her desire to show her family her desire to follow Christ and join His church. It was very powerful. She is a pioneer for her family; setting the way for her children and sister. Hopefully her children will have the desire to attend church and allow the gospel to bless their lives. They will be coming to her confimation on Sunday and that'll be great. They are really great people, but unfortunately like most people in Hong Kong, they are busy. That is a large thing that I have seen occur here in HK, time is small. People have to constantly be working and their time is limited. 

I am very impressed and very grateful for the families (members and not) that put their families first. Sometimes it's not taking off work for something, but it is in sacrificing. When work doesn't allow time off, I have seen people sacrifice sleep and meals so they can spend time with their families. This is really powerful to me as it shows me to place what's important first. There is always time for what is important. This has really helped me reflect and see how I am using my time and what my true commitment to this mission is.

Well this week we had a pretty cool experience. So one night as we were out finding, we were walking over in this area that we've only been to once before. As we were walking down the sidewalk, there was like a groupish of people (got off a bus/out of a store) well as we walked passed them, I noticed last second that a guy looked at my tag (happens all of the time) But as we continued to walk, his face came into my mind again and then I just knew I needed to turn around. I thought "turn around" and then felt like the Holy Spirit gave me a shove in the shoulder. So I turned around. I knew why too, for him. So I turn around and see him down the street like 20 meters away and he was standing there looking at us.
I kind of waved and picked up pace to him and he waved us over. We got up to him and the whole situation was going off I just was like. "hey. how are you? Leih hou ma? What's up?" just like no idea what to say. Then we talked introduced ourselves and chatted with him. He said he had friends who were members that went to BYU and lived other places and always curious about us. So we talked and exchanged numbers. He was heading to Singapore for work that next morning and had things to finish but we will be meeting him this coming week upon return! This experience was really neat. Heavenly Father obviously needed us to talk to him and wouldn't allow us not to.

 Also this was another proof of prayers being answered. The previous night, I prayed to God asking Him to guide me to one person that next day. I fully felt the faith for it and really desired it. President Hawks told us "be careful what you pray for, because you will get it. God will give you what you pray for and desire." So that night, Heavenly Father led me to a man that he prepared for us. He proved to me, He listens to each prayer. He proved once again to me, that this is His and Christ's work. He proved to me, that faith will bring blessings.This was once again a tender mercy of the Lord. Nephi's words sure are true in the end of chapter 1:20about tender mercies. 
I am grateful and thankful to be out here and trying to help others. I am thankful for the testimony of knowing God loves us and that He really does. It always makes things easier and better knowing that. (that is my thanksgiving thankful)
Elder Townsend

Special friend and new convert Fiona

Hey You!! November 19, 2013

Well I don't have much to write about this week.
 I saw Jimmy's pictures of his bike wreck, that is NUTS. So wild. Anyways, life is good.

We had temple visit today so that is why I email now. 

This Sunday we will have Fiona's baptism so that is exciting!! She is super cool and awesome. Her boyfriend came in from America and he will be here for it! I think he is the one who introduced her to the gospel. She took lessons in America as well.

Well on a night, our neighbors moved out of their apartment. So since we were home at 9 (we don't have to be home til 10 if we are teaching a lesson in this mission because we are shifted back a half hour), we were able to help them. It was hilarious, we come, carry out tons of stuff, find out they are moving down the street and have only one little cart, so we carry it down the middle of the street up to their new place. They were super grateful and took us to get dessert the next night. They said, God had to of sent us. I guess they just don't know how us Americans move people out. Especially Mormon ones. haha They were way cool, just a guy and his girlfriend. They are 20's. We laughed and had a good talk. He isn't too interested in religion but thinks you should treat everyone good. He said he will be going to America one day and to new york. Has family there ish. Told me to hit him up later and also after the mission so we can go to a NBA game. haha

Well, a really neat experience. Back in Tai Po i got to serve with an Elder Lam. He is in Australia now (got a pic of him with my friend Elder White from HighSchool!) and anyways, he is a convert and this is his ward. Well this last week, we got to meet up with his mum and dad! We were able to teach lesson and chat for a while. We taught about tuning in to the spirit and allowing to guide their lives. Related it to their son out in the field. They have cheng'd out missionaries every once and a while, but they want to learn the lessons now and we are able to work with them! Such a blessing to help them. It's funny because Elder Lam told me in the past to got teach his parents one day! so pretty awesome. I am mainly excited to teach them so hopefully when they are baptized they can prepare to go to the temple to be sealed together when Elder Lam gets home. That would be the coolest thing to happen. Teaching them is a great opportunity as well, it just feels like a happy loving envirnoment and just is great. 

Well that's all I got for now. Sorry not much more. 
Love you,

Elder Townsendandsfgasgbowe4gt

 zone conference &the canto boys from the MTC and sis moody because she wished she was one

snake soup (this place was on tv)

Hey there! Nov. 11, 2013

I am seriously terrible and knowing what to type as the email title things. I actually thought of one while I was walking here but obviously forgot it. I know pathetic, that is my mind thought as I thought of what to email...

Well this week was fast and hard. But it feels good to know we have a new week coming and a new week to fill with miracles. Sadly, we were unable to meet with our investigators this week.. 
One of them said he was pretty busy so he dropped our appointment. I sure hope nothing is happening to him, he is so awesome. We will have to move his baptismal date back a month or two more now because he still hasn't come to church. So we will continue to pray and allow God to help us know what to do. 
Even though our other investigator, Fiona, couldn't meet this week, all is well! Fiona has her baptismal interview this coming Sunday and will be baptized on the 24th! It is pretty cool. Her boyfriend is coming to Hong Kong to visit so he will be here for her baptism. So cool. 

Alright this week, we had this way awesome family cheng us out and bring investigators. Our companionship wasn't able to schedule either of ours, BUT the sisters brought their investigator who brought her husband and 4 kids! So it was rad. The member family was so awesome, they live at this nice place so they reserved this place where kids can play games and what not (like a little arcade thing that has a play area or like a fancy lil day care place) Then they helped the sisters teach a lesson.
 We helped the husband member set up and get some stuff ready. Basically I made tuna sandwiches with their two little boys 5 and 6 years old. They were hilarious and could speak good english!! #blessings. So we had an entertaining time helping them and then while waiting pretending to use super powers to kill each other. Dang, I miss playing with little kids. Imagination rules. haha 

Well I have to say one more thing, I sure do love how most people here are nice enough to deal with my chinese. It gets me curious how much they can understand. The other night, I was on the phone with a lady interested with english class and as I spoke to her she told me she couldn't understand and it sounded like I was saying weird english things.. haha "i don't understand enlgish..!" haha well I had sister Foong call her and she had a hard time understanding her so it made me feel better. But my language study is getting so much better now. haha motivation from the honest people. 
Geez, I am so happy to be a missionary. I am loving the life out here. Being able to see the Lord's hand in everything. Sometimes it's hard to see, but it is always there. Even though we weren't able to have any success this week, blessings came. One of them was our ward correlator giving us people to talk to, another was having the bishop come with us to a less- active members home (our bishop rules, super powerful) and then the last was I just got a text saying we got a member referral. Too rad.
Well that is all I have for this week. 
Soory this doesn't have anything much. Next week will be better. Also I am super scatter brained now.
Elder Sugar

Waih November 3,2013

Hey there you.
Well this last week went by fast again, so I will try to update you with the stuff that happened!
So such way awesome news!! Roy, our recent convert in Tai Po, got the Melchezidek Priesthood!! He is an elder now!! So rad. I gave him a call up the other night and he said he is doing awesome and told me about being ordained an elder. He wants to come visit my area and chapel sometime because the church's basketball court is very "leng" or beautiful/good-looking. haha love him. I am just so excited for him progressing in the gospel and being able to receive the blessings that come from the gospel.

Well this week we taught our investigator. He is awesome. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings and importance of the Atonement and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a good lesson, since we have him scheduled for baptism we will need to work with him and commit and help him live the Word of Wisdom and other commandments. I believe with his faith, that he will easily be able to quit smoking and drinking for the gospel. His faith is incredible. He just knows, no matter what, Jesus can help him. He wants His help. As we taught the Atonement and repentance through an object lesson, he pointed out the importance of baptism. He pretty much said, if I want to use the Atonement, I better be baptized because I need to use the best and perfect way to get rid of my sins. It was incredible to see his desire. He also talks all the time about going to the Celestial Kingdom. Like he will say "so when I got to Celestial kingdom..." or "in the Celestial kingdom..." I love the desire and faith he has to follow our Savior. One of our biggest concerns right now is trying to help him to get to church. He is a hair cutter and he has his day off on Thursday so we can't get him there. So we are praying on figuring out how to help him go.

Well just another little Tender Mercy of the Lord happened again this week. As we had spent a lot of effort this week on trying to find our less active members, we weren't able to have really any success. It was sad, all we contacted denied us.Saturday night, as I was finishing up calling people who said they would again come to church, they wouldn't pick up or said they were to busy and couldn't come. I was bummed, we were going to have a sunday meeting without anyone with us. so that night I prayed real hard to Heavenly Father to help us out. I asked Him if we could just have one less active member come. That morning as we arrived to church and were waiting on the 1st floor to greet members (our building has 4 floors) I made some calls. and guess what! no one could come. Well as we stood there I was thinking "alright Heavenly Father please, please help us" and then all of a sudden walks a man through the gate and up the steps to the church. He was rocking a nice leather jacket, hat, gold chain cross necklace, and some rocker jeans. Well I went to greet him and he was awesome. He was a less active member who hadn't been to church in over 30 years. and today, he decided to come. He got baptized at 18 and went a couple of years, but then slowly dissappeared and moved away. He came to sacrament and sunday school with us and I think he had a good experience. One of the awesome members who knew him from a long time ago talked with him and got his number. So tonight we will call him up. But I was so happy. 

Heavenly Father is such a loving Father. He answered my little prayer. That's all there is to it. He listened and did work. The best part was He helped out His other son that needed help too. I am so grateful for this work and for the Holy Spirit. Giving us direction and thoughts in our lives that can lead us to the better and eventually home someday. Prayers sure are answered. 
Well that's all I got so..
Elder Townsend

Kickin' it in the streets October 27, 2013

Well this week has actually gone so fast, I didn't wake up thinking "it's p-day!" I actually woke up thinking, alright today is wednesday and what do we have planned. Didn't realize time would move fast.
Well this last week was good! 

Monday as we were finishing P-Day, we were in an area called Hung Hom. It has the best HK style waffle there. So my companion was getting one and I decided to talk to the shop owner guy next to it. He was selling lots of jade and other rock things. As we were talking, he shared how he learned to make it all and pretty much a little part of his life story. It was awesome he was such a cool guy. As we were talking, I was amazed by his work. I wanted to buy a necklace that is like usually jade and it a ring. Its like the peace ball thing (just look at the picture) but they were pretty expensive. I asked him if he had cheaper and he said (I hate quoting because I don't know how to translate..), hmmm oh wait yes, for you I do. you are my friend. And he grabbed one and he said only 1 dollar! and I refused but he persisted. Finally we settled an agreement on 1 dollar. He said money has not importance he doesn't want it all sitting with him when he is dead. He gave me some kind of one. I didn't feel too bad because it wasn't jade, but I thought it was so cool he gave me one. He is a good friend. We invited him to bring his grandchildren to church or english class so hopefully we will see him one day.

Oh we had another miracle. We went to go visit a less active member and while we were going up to the door of the place.... it was locked. So as we turned around to leave, a man walked up and opened it. we got in! look Heavenly Father needed us going up there. as we went up to the place, holy cow I felt just like super scared for some reason. Just like super weird. Warm and just heavy footsteps. So I said a little prayer and then just knocked. The door answered and the member had moved to mainland. But his son was there. We had a good chat and gave him a mormon.org card and put him on our email system. He was way cool. Hopefully we can find a time to meet again. Definitely Heavenly Father needed us to talk to him.

Later this week we were able to meet with some more Less Active members. One was this incredible artist guy. He does calligraphy now. His house was filled with artwork of ancient china and was just elegant. so awesome. He said he will write a scripture for us in Chinese calligraphy! He was so awesome.

Also the other day when we were walking home one night, we took a different way. As we were going to cross the street, we heard a man yell elders! This one guy came up to us and asked for english book of mormon! We ran and grabbed one. We found out he was teaching in mainland and came for a new visa. While he has been here, his friend has been reading the Doctrine and Covenants with him because that is where she is. He feels so happy from the scriptures. and really wanted to read the Book of Mormon so while he was in HK he really wanted to see us. and... he did!!Definitely miracles.

alright this key board is sooooo sticky. but I am done.
sorry if  hard to read.
Elder Townsend
took elder goronson too the island real quick!
this is my awesome suit passed down from Elder Tyau to Elder Christensen to me!

The hand-me-down suit

Awesome friend Roy!

My friend Mr. Wong

Finding at old  awesome park

Bro. Foo birthday

TST lovin' October 20, 2013

So I am loving my new area it is so great! I still can't believe how big it is! Elder Goronson and I have been heading around and been able to get some solid finding time in! In fact, Heavenly Father has just been blessing us with miracles as we go along! 

Alright want to know a fun fact. Elder Goronson and I were out finding and we stopped to talk to this one guy who was reading some papers and like a magazine the other day. He was kind of in a random spot, not waiting for the bus or anything. Well as we stopped to talk to him he was like looked at us then looked down and reached for his pocket. I was expecting him to pull out his phone and turn off his music to talk to us or something like that. Nope. Instead he pulled out a badge and was like I am a police officer, I am on duty right now. I am busy. We totally talked to an undercover officer maybe. Yeah, cool story.

Anyways, so this week started off awesome. Tuesday night while we were out finding, we were checking out an area and it wasn't the best for finding so we decided to leave. As we were going, I decided we should stop in Hung Hom and check out an area. I wasn't sure if this was me just wanting to see the Island lit up at night or if this was the spirit hinting. So we decided to go. Well while we were walking on the Promanade, right before we left the area we ran into a man. Usually the foreigners won't talk to us here so it was weird to have someone come up to us, but then he introduced himself as Brother Adler from Germany. Then he talked to us for a bit and we came to find out that he has been doing business here in HK for 18 years and he was a great man. He wanted to go look at the light night show they do across the harbour at night with us. We had a little time so we decided to go walk with him, talk and watch the show too. Mainly we just talked. He was sharing some great things with us and it just felt so good to talk to him. He talked a lot about really understanding priorities and the importance of looking to eternity and really signaling in on what life is and the blessings of it. It was amazing what he shared. As we were leaving I asked him "now remind me brother, what was your name again?" he then was like "brother, well actually Elder Adler. I am in the third quorum of the Seventy. So I am a general Authority." It was so cool, we met a General Authority and able to talk with him for a little time! He was inspiring. One of my most favorite parts though, was after chatting with him, I went to shake his hand goodbye and he pulled me in and gave me a hug. I could just feel love in his embrace and just honestly, Christ's love. and that was what I needed to remember, we can all show Christ's love and be able to share it with others. I knew it was definitely God's hand that placed us there. In Chinese we say something like God's will or hand in things.. I don't really know how to translate it, but that was definitely the perfect time for that word! haha

Well after being able to chat with Elder Adler, the days that followed were miracles. It felt as each time Elder Goronson and I went out finding, we were able to stop people and teach them . We were able to pray with them and bear witness that God is their Heavenly Father and that He is wanting to help them. We were also able to share on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how it can bless our lives and bring us closer to God by following the words of it. 

I also was able to learn of the true power of fasting this week. I know that through our sacrifice, God will help us. After I fasted this week, after that God supplied. He helped me just be able to understand when others spoke to me and helped me share my feelings. We also were able to commit our investigator to baptism! He is awesome, we will have to work with him and help him get ready for baptism. also need to get him coming to church! 

All in all this week went super fast, but was jam packed of the tender mercies of God. 
Like one of my most favorite little mercies is a man named Jack Swagger. well I don't know if that is his last name, but it should be. As we were walking around last monday night, I was like seriously? what am i doing here! this is so hard and blah blah blah.. you know thinking of myself. But then all of a sudden i hear, "now what are you doing out here in these neck of the woods?" my first thought was, woh haven't heard that in awhile and then I see this guy with a basketball, thug look and big ole smile. Came to find out he was born and raised in the "beautiful, blessed, glorious state of Florida." Jack was hilarious he shared of how he is sharing of Jesus, and how He has blessed him. Then, since he was in a rush to play ball, said to us, "you keep up that work. You keep your heads up and walk with strength, walk with Jesus! Bring as many souls to Him as you can! God bless you!" that was when I was like, yep, i am doing this. And all my lame attitude was gone and the worked started. Thank you Jake.

Seriously this reminded me of the importance of just keeping that attitude of faith and just remembering that hey it doesn't matter, we got good things to come. Smile and do work. 
Well I don't know what else to say.
love you.
Elder Townsend
1. me and the cat. This is the Wong's family cat named Blessing
2. Happy Birthday to you know, us. Thanks to Brother Foo.
3. Hitting up Dim Sum with Hank, A-Po, and Jarvan.

City Life October 13, 2013

Well it's official. I am now in my second area!! I am pretty excited! It'll be really good, filled with new adventures and miracles... I hope! So I just got transferred to an area called TST. Tsim Sha Tsui (honestly, i dont know how it is spelled yet...) But this area is HUGE! It includes so much area, like tons of places. In fact, I have only seen a wee bit of it so far. 
But what is it? The city!!! Yep, I am in the city now! It's wild. Super busy. Tons of people. Awesome. We live in Mong Kok (which is our area) and we live over the famous Lady Street. Basically one of those cheap fake stuff places that attracts everyone. But I am loving it out here, it is really awesome. I have been only able to meet a few ward members so far and they are awesome, super nice. My new companion is Elder Goronson. He got here last move and has really good chinese so far. He also has a huge desire to learn it which is super good for me because that'll help me have a better desire! haha Elder Goronson is really cool and I am really looking forward to this move, I think it will go really well.

Well this weekend was conference weekend for us out here in the land of Hong Kong. Man, I wish we could watch it like twice in a  row. I feel like so sad when it is over because it was so good hearing the words of the prophets. Oh and it kind of was hard for me to understand all of the conference because some people spoke english too fast.. haha as in, I am super used to slow english now and when some people spoke it was a little fast. I really liked what they shared though. 

I liked the HUGE focus on missionary work and also the amount of using the Atonement. One thing that really stuck out to me was when President Monson shared that there is light and there is sorrow. But through the best and the worst, He is always there. I love how Christ is always there for us, through it all. I know that is true because I truly have felt that. I also liked the focus on families and also less active member work. As we were at a members home last night, we shared a message on happiness. We watched a video on Mormon Messages called Our Fun Family Vacation. After watching this we talked a lot on families and where we find happiness. One thing that the members shared is through the gospel and their family they have found happiness. That the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation brings them happiness. It is true that through God we will find happiness and that through our family we find it as well. I am so thankful that I am able to have an awesome family and I have been able to learn a lot and learn love. 

Alright, I only had 30 minutes today at the library (and the computer wouldn't turn on for 10 of that!) so I am out of time now. Sorry it is short. I am doing good. Life is good. This mission is good stuff. I have all limbs and every thing. Hopefully I get hit by a car. That'd be cool. obviously with no damage to me.

Elder Townsend

Prayer works Oct. 6, 2013

On Monday we were looking for a less active member's home to visit them and we couldn't find it. The road that the address had on it and the building didn't match up. We had asked people where it was and they were not sure. So what did we do? well pretty obvious, we prayed. After prayer Elder Kwan and I were guided. We were walking a way we felt was right, and then we felt we needed to ask a person where to go. So we asked the person and they knew where to tell us to go. 
Then as we continued walking (honestly this would look like an epic scene in a movie, rain drizzling, dark night with street lights, taking random turns) and then we eventually ran right into the place. As we got there we made our way up the stairs to the home. Sadly, when the person opened the door and saw us, it was put back into the shut position. That was a little bummer because we had this amazing direction to them and when we finally got to them, they didn't want to talk.
 But I was able to strengthen my testimony in the power of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. and I hope the people felt that we truly loved them and that's why we continued forward in searching for them. I hope they remember how much Christ loves them.

Well on Tuesday that night, my bones started shaking and my skin started tingling. Then it was like that for the rest of the week. You know one of those crazy chinese illnesses that get the white people like me. I pretty much had a nice fever, got something like strep, and my body didn't want the food. So I spent some time on the bed sleeping. But since I sleep on the inner top bunk, I got tired of climbing out of the bed and almost falling to my doom everytime that I ended up sleeping on the nice tile ground. Which might I add was very comfortable. I took a blanket and just laid there. Luckily the tile was cool and the fan was rotating. And now I am here standing well sitting typing an email without really any fever anymore or anything. Just a cough. Thanks to Sister Hawks who helped me out a lot in my sickness. She is great. Seriously she could be a doctor after the mission. haha
The reason why I was healed. Well because I got a priesthood blessing from my fellow missionaries. I know that through God's power I was able to get better. Even though it took awhile, I was able to get better and not have anything bad happen. 

Oh! a cool miracle happened. So the first day, wednesday, I wasn't feeling to well, we had a lesson that was really important. Going to go visit a mother and her son. Mainly the mother wanted us helping her son. Well as we were walking over, I was feeling miserable but I knew we needed to teach this lesson. So as we were starting to walk into the building, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to remove this sickness at least just for the lesson so we could effectively teach it and have the spirit. Well as I walked into the door, I felt normal, I felt good. Then after the lesson right as we walked out the sickness got me again. I thought it was so cool how Heavenly Father allowed me to be healed for that time. That is just another testimony builder that He sure does listen and answer.
Well I am not sure what else to type.
Elder Townsend
1. elder crump and I on exchanges
2. sports
Church house in Tai Po

Elder Crump and Elder T

4 days! September 29, 2013

That is how long it has been since I wrote last, 4 days. So as you know a lot has happened. Actually not much. First off I want to share a fashion tip for anyone who wants to start becoming more Hong Kong. G-Shock. Everyone has got one. They are neat, they are rad, they are watches. The goods.

Anyways this weekend was good.
I guess I will tell you a kind of funny story first. So we have these cards that we pass out here that have a QR code to link people to our online system and to mormon.org. Well I usually keep them in my Book of Mormon I carry around and my pocket. Well the other day we were out finding and I picked up some random Yuh-Gi-Oh cards on the ground. Well I had forgotten I put them in my pocket before I threw them away. So as we were talking to a lady, she was in a rush and needed to head to work. So I hurry and reached into my pocket to give her a card and when my hand came out of my pocket, I was about to hand her a Yuh-Gi-Oh card. It was pretty funny/awkward. I then hurry and grabbed the "I'm a Mormon" card and handed it to her. She had a good little laugh with us and went on her way. So lesson learned, don't put cards in my pocket. 

Well this week the Lord helped me out again. On friday, I was struggling in spirit with the language once again. Just not feeling as if I was able to do the Lord's work because I couldn't communicate. After a few fails in speaking and multiple long prayers in my heart, we continued on. As we were walking and I was dying inside, I felt that I should talk to this one man walking by. So I decided to do what I could to stop him. and I did. When he pulled out his headphones, out came english, thick scottish english. He was really cool. He had grown up in Scotland and just moved to Hong Kong again. He stopped and talked to us for a little. He was very nice and we talked about life and religion. He believes in buddhism. He enjoys that spiritual part of it and Nirvana. We were able to share out testimonies of the power of the Holy Spirit and how we can become closer to God. It was a little bummer when he didn't have interest and left after our conversation.

After the conversation, as we walked away gravity loosened its grip on me and I felt much more peace inside. I am so grateful that the Lord directed us to be in His path. It really is so true that the Lord answers us through others. He had prompted me to talk to this man, to stop and take a turn. Heavenly Father could have done plenty of things to have helped me, like allowing me to speak the language, but instead He allowed me to talk to my new friend. For all I know, he needed to talk that day. But I do know that God is fair and loving. That was just another witness of it.

 Another day this week as we were walking home one night, I said hi to this old man walking next to us and he turned and said something I rarely hear. "Hello friend, have you eaten rice yet?" (asking about eating rice is like have you eaten yet type thing) To hear him called me friend made me feel so happy. It's true the simple little things in life are so uplifting. So simple and so great. So now, as I walk around I am going to start letting people now that I see them as my friend because I know Christ would do the same. 

One scripture I have really enjoyed is 1 Peter 5:14. When you read this verse, I love how it says greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Charity is such an amazing thing and can be shown in many ways. I know that we can share that charity and give it freely. I have been shown it many times in my life. I also like how he uses the word kiss. A kiss is something people do to show love and affection. It is something special. So I know when we know that, we will start to treat others differently because love will be among us when we serve and lift up others. I also like when he says peace be with you that are in Christ Jesus. I know that is true. That if we are following our Savior, peace will be with us. Sometimes I find it hard to find in hard times, but eventually it is always revealed. I am thankful for Christ and I know He is our Savior. I know we have peace when we follow Him and that this peace is true. 
Elder Townsend

Little Miracles

Well today we were able to go to the temple and able to enjoy the spirit felt there so that is why I am writing on a Thursday. Since we are on 9 week transfers, I used a 6 week planner and now a 3 week. Bad choice because I forgot my 6 week with what I was going to write home about.

This week and a half has been a new experience. I was challenged by Buster to notice and write down the tender mercies each day, I have been able to open my eyes to how much the Lord loves me and everyone. 
It started with the day last week when Elder Kwan and I were searching for an apartment for a less active member, having the hopes to bring them back to church. When we found the apartment, the doors leading up to it were locked. It is one on the street next to the shops. Well we decided to wait 15 minutes to see if someone would come by to go up. 
As we stood there, we started to talk to the shop owner and his little sister. They were closing up shop and were willing to talk. As we talked with them, they were really nice and his little sister knew some members! Really cool. The best part is they were just super friendly. Well after 15 minutes, we left. As we were walking away, the shop owner yelled at us. We turned around and two people had come up to the door to unlock to go inside. We were able to get upstairs and leave a note for the person we wanted to visit. This was just proof to me of the Lord's existence in this work. There is no way that we happened to be there long enough to have a person show up after we left. Then I also realized, the importance of talking to everyone. Imagine if we would have kept to ourselves and then left. We would not have been able to get inside. It was so awesome. 

Earlier that day, while we were out finding, we ran into a lady. This lady seemed to have interest. While talking we came to find out that she had actually been to Utah and seen the Salt Lake Temple and just loved it and the peace around it. Then that was it. Then we happened to run into her and see her! What is the chances of a person going to Utah, seeing our temple, then walking one day in Hong Kong within millions of people and then seeing us.. I think the Lord wants her to come unto Him.
It was really cool the other day while we were walking home for dinner, we said hello to a man and he invited us to sit down with him. He is a sailor! He has been across the world and been able to see many things and speaks English! He was taught in school as a kid about Christianity. He really enjoys the bible. After talking for a little, we shared with him about the Book of Mormon. When he saw it, he said, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Wow. There has been more out there and I never knew it. I would love to read this book. I can tell by your words that you know this book to be of God. You sound honest and you only mean for good things. I will take your word my friend. I would be very happy to except this gift from you." This had made me feel so great. This is a man who truly desires to know God. He loves that we can read his words and feel enlightened. 
It reminded me of last week when we had zone conference and Elder Wilson, a General Authority, had said " I have read the great words of Shakespeare, I have ready many great books, but this, the Book of Mormon is the only book that has changed my life every day that I read it." I know that to be true. I know when we do read the Book of Mormon with purpose, it changes our life. This man that we had talked to was wanting more about Christ, wanting to become closer and I was very happy to share with him that the promise that  Prophet Joseph Smith said that this book will bring man closer to God is true. I am so thankful that we can have the Book of Mormon and the Bible. 

Anyways, I was grateful for the direction and the help that the Lord has given me this past week. Elder Kwan and I have been enjoying our time. He is really pushing me with the language (even though he LOVES speaking english).
 I found it really amazing that when we had talked to a guy on the street, we shared with him about our Heavenly Father and the power of the Book of Mormon and how Christ understands us. This guy we talked to has wanted to end life many times, in fact has tried a few times. But for some reason it hasn't worked. We had the blessing of stopping and talking to him. As we stopped to talk, he kept saying life is unfair, life is not worth it. That hope isn't even good enough. Elder Kwan and him talked for a while and I had practiced my listening. But finally I felt that I just needed to share my testimony. For one of the first times I felt that I actually had power in my words. I had fully trusted in the Lord to help me speak then. As I shared my testimony, I let him know hope is enough. Hope is what starts things. hope is the beginning of a fuse. as we press on the fuse burns more. then eventually we can find what we hope for. Some fuses are of many sizes, we don't know but we can hope to find the end. I promised him that he could find strength in his hope by reading the Book of Mormon because that is where I helped find mine. Finally he excepted the Book of Mormon. This just made me so excited because as he took it, he said "I will have hope."

Now I don't know what I have really typed because I am in a rush so it might be a jumbled mess. But I just am so thankful for the Lord. Helping me at all times. I am glad for Him helping me when I am blind and do not notice what He does for me. I know that this gospel is the true Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am glad I get to face challenges as I try to share our message. Why? because the more challenges I face the more I know it is true. 
So I guess the title of little miracles of this weeks letter is because of the little miracles I have been able to witness this past week. They are from meeting a new person on the street to even running into a friend. They are also from feeling we should be at one place rather than another place. Another miracle was the Lord allowing me to speak Cantonese a little better in a lesson and allowing the person to understand me. 
Well I am out of time. Sorry if the letter is lame. I will remember my planner next week. 
Elder Townsend
We had a typhoon and we decided to clean up the church. We bought a saw.. Well elder christensen did.
Elder T & Elder Kwan

Clean up after the Typhoon

He is so lucky- even Hong Kong has the ugly animal shirts!