Well another week went by and..... WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! It was so great!! So exciting. the ward was very excited because it had been 4 years since the last baptism and now, we had a baptism! Why? Because the ward's faith is rocking and due to the help they have been giving us missionaries, the Lord blessed them. We were able to baptize a girl named Cheuk Hou Ling aka Zoe. (she IS the asian version of my friend Zoe Hart. Pretty Hilarious and same name too! haha) She is great, her dad is less-active and her mom isn't a member but her grandmother is and as well as her uncle who baptized her. The spirit was definitely there yesterday and her parents came! and they want us to come by sometime! So many blessings from the Lord! Well it is exciting because this week, Patrick will be baptized!
Well Hong Kong is great! Want to know what  McDonald's is like here? Alright, 1st you can get a cup of corn. Second, they just added the rice bowl. It is getting pretty crazy. Oh what's that? Yep, they clean your table for you. So if you come to Hong Kong and eat at McDonald's, get up and leave your tray on the table.  They have workers to clean up after you. So if you don't want to look like a newb or a tourist, leave the tray. Yes, I always quietly laugh when I see these white people pick up there trays and throw their stuff away. McDonald's is classy here, welcome to the land of Ritz.

Another thing I learned is not to hope for clear skies here. I asked my comp why we don't ever have clear skies and he told me don't you even think about hoping for them. Well I kind of did, so one morning when I looked out and saw it was sunny I was excited. bad mistake. He blamed that day for the clear skies. When it is clear skies here, it is like walking in a sauna. Right now though, the sauna is on lowish. But I am told, come July, you will die. My comp tells me he is so grateful he wont be here come July. and then on hot days he always says, "elder guess what? or did i tell you? did you know?.... then always ends IT"S HOT!" He is pretty hilarious.

So I am now just starting getting to the Right, left, right look before crossing streets. It still throws me off that the cars drive on the WRONG side of the road. The worst is when I am sitting up top on a double decker and it takes a turn and I'm freaking out in the inside thinking we are going to nail oncoming traffic. Also the bus drivers like to stop as close as they can to cars in front of them so basically you never know if you are going to crash into their tail.

Hmmm for food this week.... Patrick, our investigator, is a vegan! so on Saturday we went to dinner with him. Well we wanted to see what he eats, so he took us to a little shop. I have no idea what we ate but it was good! haha very healthy, very vegan. But it was good! I know there was rice, tofu, lotus thing?  and egg plant and other stuff oh aand lettuce. One thing that is really good is called da fu faan or something in that matter. It is this warm tofu that is in like sesame sauce or other stuff and then (being americans) put a lot of sugar with it, haha its good though, my companion has been addicted to it this week.
This week was also exciting because Sister Black, now Sara, my MTC teacher is in Hong Kong! We were able to see her and go eat the mentioned above tofu stuff haha It is so crazy seeing her here for some reason! Pretty great!

To conclude my letter, I just want everyone to know HOW THANKFUL i am for the Lord. This Saturday, I was somewhat hating my life for a second (being a little baby dude) Well while in the lesson that night, I couldn't understand what was being said. Then when I was to teach, I had nothing. So my companion went on. Well that was when I leaned back in my chair and just let my little heart out to Heavenly Father and let Him know what I was feeling.
Well I was like seriously, I am done trying so hard. So I went back to focus on the lesson. This time I decided I would just pretend I knew what was being said rather than try so hard, I just relaxed and had a "whatever" type of attitude. I think from trying to have faith this past while the Lord decided to let me earns be tuned. And that's when I understood a large part of the lesson. When I shared, I was able to speak as if I were in English (limited grammar though). But it was incredible. The Tender Mercies of the Lord are incredible. It truly is His work. I am so thankful for that. What I learned was that I was too focused on the not important. I was focused on the language and not the spirit. So when I relaxed, the spirit was able to help me. One of my favorite quotes this week is from the book "Drawing on the powers of Heaven" it is "when you encounter a situation that causes you to doubt your ability to achieve your desire, request the Lord's help in maintaining an attitude of faith." I really liked that because it doesn't say to ask on achieving your desire, but to just have the faith.

Well I am so happy right now and happy here. It may be because I am on my way to monkey mountain or the fact I am in a wolf shirt. Yes, I got one last monday at lady street. (such a touristy spot with SO MANY shopping place things.) But I know I am happy because this gospel is pretty much awesome. I love the Lord. That is why I am here.
Until next time pangyauh,
mau mau,
Elder Tohng.
Ward Mission Leader and the Elders


Man's best friend

mh, mh, mh, mh, haih...April 21,2013

Hello, hello.
Yes the title is my language as of right now. I am barely starting to separate words that the people say. So there for, what I say keeps them talking and then they turn it into a haihmhhaih question and i say haih or mhhaih. haha 
Well this week was a  goody and a toughy. We have been working very hard to find a new investigator to teach and still trying. The only bummer is that on days when it is raining, there is no one on the streets. they all disappear. Well we went out a little farther this week and went to little tin huts/ concrete homes. We can actually "knock" on these doors. It is crazy to go from skyscrapers to little tiny homes. This week has been two types of weather... BUCKETS of rain and then hot, humid, sunny weather. Well I guess it is always hot and humid. It is just either raining or sunny. 
Well this week I haven't had anything to crazy to eat. When we had dinner at the pohpos home, there was a ton of fish. Its pretty interesting to have to eat around bones. the funny part is when you spit them out into the chopsticks and put the bones on the table. Oh, my chopstick skills lack hardcore. Other than that, I am just the foreigner who makes a fool of himself. Like the "funnest" thing is when my companion says talk to them! then i try and yep. haha he always says, at least you mentioned Jesus. That may be the most they ever thought of him. I like how he is always pointing out positives. also that he puts me in awkward situations and laughs at me afterwards. ahaha

So we have two baptisms this week!! which is very exciting because Tai Po supposedly hasn't had any for almost 4 years. nuts town. We have Patrick and he is this 19 year old guy that is so great! He is super cool and very spiritual. He is huge into music and wants to maybe go to BYU! He is great. 
We also have this girl who is pretty awesome too. The work here is going to be set on fire. I am excited, hopefully the baptisms will make members want to give us referrals!!
 Alright so I am terrible at phone calls. They are so hard. I always call one of our investigators. Well the call goes from me keep saying uh umm wait oh shoot ahh waith thats not cantonese blah blah. Well he always dies laughing and now we are pals. haha so now he just laughs at me.

Well events of this week. We went to Bride's Pool on monday. It was cool, it was just a hike up to a waterfall. It was pretty fun on the journey there though. On the way we saw a HUGE buddha. The size of the Jesus in Buenos Aires. So we hopped off the bus (double decker!) and attempted to hike to it. The only bummer was that the rode to it was closed and we weren't able to get close to it. But the journey there was entertaining. Sweating like pigs, going through random weird paths and sets of stairs that lead to practically nowhere.

Then this week we met with the elderly couple. they are so great and cute. The old man used to not like the missionaries and wouldn't listen to their messages, but he told us he really likes us. It was funny, when we were talking with the pohpo (word for old ladies, like grandma) he randomly sttod up and said, teach me to pray! so we did. He would just follow along and repeat.  He last fall had hit his head really bad and has had bad effects on him. such as he doesn't have a great memory on occassions and bad health. So we gave him a blessing. It was great. he was very happy about it. Well then later that week we met up with the family again. He wanted to pray again. Well when we were saying the prayer and he was following, sister cheung said "thank you for my wife" and he stopped and was like what?? haha why?? then the pohpo was laughing so hard at that she was tearing up. it was so funny. But after the funny part, he was able to pray. It is really cool to see a man who told us, He didn't like the gospel at all to wanting to learn. If only he would have started when he was healthier and could remember more.

I really have no idea what I am writing about and what not because my mind is pretty scatterbrained today...
But I can say this week has been a testimony builder. Not because of success or anything. this week was rough because the language is a killer and I want so bad to be able to help people.
 Well this just makes it hard. It has been a big faith tester. I have had to really rely on the Lord for help. As I was doing some studying, I came across a quote, as of right now all I remember is it said that faith is a reward for our righteous desires. and as I started thinking what my desires were, I realized they weren't all the best. yes, itd be cool to be fluent, but I think it is more important that I bring someone to Christ. 
That kind of drove me crazy because how am I supposed to do that without talking. Well I am still not sure. One thing I know is that the Lord knows how and it is very hard having to completely trust Him in this. I want so bad to know what I can do, but for now I just know that as long as I smile and bear my little testimony it'll add up. Because if righteous desires brings faith and faith brings miracles, well I am going to start at the beginning. One thing that faith is a lot of is patience. I have been like, I have the faith to learn this! but then The next day I think that I haven't progressed. It can be hard to remember there is time between the success. That is the time for mistakes.
Well I am sorry this letter isn't too good. For some reason I have nothing in my brain right now. absolutely nothing. I will try to make next weeks better. Hopefully I will be able to type something. This week just went by very fast!!
Well I wish the best to everyone, for now I think I'll go try to teach in Cantonese. haha
(sat for 10 minutes thinking) Well I really have nothing. My mind is a dud. I am out of time.
Love you all,
Elder Townsend

The thunder is rolling and the suits are off!!


Well yes I am in week 2 and i am now fluent! fluent at saying mh hm mh hm. My trainer said that is a good technique to do. haha well This week was an adventure!
 First off, I love my companion! Elder Goodrich is the man! He is always keeping the mood up, always making this fun aka when we are teaching he does signs to let me know where we are at and what to share. Adjust the tie knot? I say 1st vision. Touch tie pin? I teach about Book of Mormon. and so on. Well Elder Goodrich is a wise man. He knows the good food and he also knows where to get the good deals. He is on his last seven weeks so he dies with me! One is born as the other dies. He is from North Ogden. 

Well the weather is so nice now!! The past week it has been raining non-stop and  the rain storms are insane! all the people are like scared of the rain so it is imposibble to find and they will cancel a lesson because it is raining. haha But now the sun is out and the humidity is up and the suit coats are off! Today we are going on a hike to "brides pool" with Elder Denos and Elder Falk! He is my homie from the mtc and elder denos is from home!

Well the work. All the work here is contacting, contacting, and you guess it, CONTACTING. All this contacting is done of the concrete streets. The reason why is you cant go in to apartment buildings and that is all there is. unless you're in the jungle and have little homes to knock on. Where I am is all skyscrapers and cities. I live in the concrete jungle or so i thought! Just on friday we were going to meet with former investigators. they are these 80 year old people. (i swear 80 is much younger here than America.) 
Well, as we adventured to their home, we found we were in the real jungle. I will send pictures. their home was this little concrete place. They had turtles because she didn't want to release them because someone might kill them. She had fish and then she had DOGS!!!! not just one or two either. a ton of them! I took a picture of this little adorable puppy.  Actually tonight we are going to their place tonight to cook dinner with them! so it'll be interesting! haha Hong Kong sure is amazing! Beautiful and a LOT OF PEOPLE. The best part is, practically no one speaks english. if they do they say, "my English no good la" haha

Well my ward is fantastic, they are always helping us and the fellowshipping is excellent. 

The food here is crazy. always noodles or rice. or mcdonalds. McD's is so cheap here and I think it is more asian than american because asians love it! haha But we had a soup that had pig skin, pig stomach, and it will have pig blood. pretty dope. haha

Well this week we had general conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhh it was so good!!!! I loved it. They seemed to talk so much on obedience! That was so good. Missionary work really all depends on obedience. The Lord blesses those who are obedient. That doesn't mean just following the rules. Exact obedience is working for it, having faith in the Lord. I love the Stripling Warriors because of how great they were. the reason why was because they were exactly obedient. We can read that they were in the Book of Mormon. 
Since the prophet and apostles were talking about obedience and faith it made me really look at myself. Have I been trying to demostrate faith through my obedience? Well not knowing the language can be very frustrating and can try to shake my faith. 
Well this past week, I had made a deal with the Lord that I will try to talk to everyone i could and try my hardest. I told Him i didn't care anymore at looking like a fool, just as long as I continue doing this, he would bless and help me. Well it's been working!! and then to hear the messages at conference, I know that the Lord is truly going to help me.
 It is pretty amusing talking to people and being like "leih houh! Leih heui gon bindouh?? and so on." they always look at me like, who is this gwaailou?? (crazy white boy) But hey, if they listen, Im sure the spirit will touch them. I know that even though I can't speak to well the spirit can. 
So even though I am slaughtering the 1st vision, just them looking at the picture can speak to them on just the last line can."je sih ngoh dik ngoi ji, ting ta syut" "this is my beloved son, hear him"

 I know this gospel is true. I know it's true whereever it may spread throughout the world. Just as Christ said he has "other sheep not of this fold" I know he loves his "sheep" here in Hong Kong. Why? because the love i feel for them  testifies to me of Christ's love for them. Oh how great is He, willing to send me here to these people. I am so glad that I get to serve with him. 

Well I'm off to my hike and must leave!
remember that the fish is always swimming in the grocery store before you buy it. good luck my friends and family.
Loves always,
Elder Tohng.
Elder Goodrich, Elder T, Elder Denos and Elder Falk

How bout that rice???

I am here! I am here! and there are millions of Asians!!! haha I love them all!! And my eyes are just as squinty hahahaha
Well Hong Kong is the place to be. I love it. I don't understand a lick of Cantonese so I just smile and wave. Oh and say Leih houh, leih houh ma? haha Well I am currently in Tai Po! It is about two MTR stops from Mainland. Mellow part of the city. not so mellow. haha Well I will start from the beginning.

Once upon a time, I boarded a plane and waved goodbye to my grand ole America. Then, I landed in a hot, humid land in China. Upon landing, I immigrated here. Yep, I am finally an immigrant. Bucket list, check. Then we walked out some  doors to see the most loving, amazing people I have seen! President and Sister Hawks! Right when I saw there smiling faces I could feel their love. They are so awesome! President Hawks is so cool and same with sister Hawks. They are pretty funny! So then, due to the size of our group, the 4 new elders and Elder Denos (elder from Riverton!!!!!!) rode the MTR to the mission home. 
Yes, we started contacting. hahaha so insane, i don't know if i know Cantonese. Oh wait, I dont! haha then after we rolled up into patron housing at the mission home and slept with 3 guys from Thailand. They love us Americans and say we are so strong and hard as wood. hahaha the next day we got I.D's and then went finding at a park. 
Well while at the park, let's say I had a friend who's stomach started hurting and he lets say needed to "poop" So elder Denos with Elder Tyau and Falk went to a bathroom at the park. Elder Denos half jokingly said, "I hope they have toilets." This friend laughed not knowing what he was getting into. Well we walked in and then Denos started laughing so hard. no toilets. SO this is how it went. This friend had to grab the toilet paper at the entrance and then go to a stall and there was a flushable hole. So you pull down your pants, grab these metal bars on the side and lean back. Wow, what an experience. Best Poop in the world. hahahahahahahha I'll one day send a picture of the stall. well then the rest of the day I got drenched in rain and then fell asleep dead on the hardest be back in patron housing. 
The next morning we were assigned our trainers. My trainer is Elder Goodrich! He is the man! He is so hilarious and everyone thought we'd be together. He is also short, so that is good. haha Well we serve in TAI PO. We live on the 26th floor in the smallest apartment with 2 other elders. We are living in a little place with many things broken and having a good time! I was so lucky and somehow got the sisters old bed. Other words it is so comfy!!! I love it. By night time, i am dead asleep before lights out. I think the Lord charges us in our sleep because I always wake up wondering how I feel so energized. 
Well We have the coolest ward missionary in our ward. Jonny. He has the sickest style, tells great pick up lines in his limited English and is so happy, WISE, and helpful. He is like 26 i think. served in canada. Our ward has a lot of return missionaries so fellowshipping is great!!!! 
 This sunday was fast sunday! we watch conference this coming sunday. Well with that, I had the oppurtunity to bear my testimony. hahaha It was good experience. I got up there and said what I could, and then said the classic baby missionionry line, ngoh jidou lido fukyam hai jansahtge. I know this church is true. Well the ward members were great. they all told me welcome and a bunch of other stuff. Since I cant understand them I just smile say, 19, Utah, and thank you. They tell me my Cantonese is so good. Ha they tell anyone that. Well I am out of time! I love this gospel. It is true. Prayer is outstanding. It has helped me feel so much peace and joy here. Being completely alone is scary, but here, I know I am not alone. I have Christ with me. I can feel Him. This is such a great, hard opportunity. I hope America is doing good. LOve you ALl.

Love Elder Townsend
PS!!!! I was given the coolest Chinese name. It is Harbor Air Dragon. So it has a lot of meaning many members tell me I am like a dragon. :) dope.



Plane ride

View from their 26th floor apartment

Elder T and Elder Goodrich

Hello....Hong Kong!!!

He has arrived! Sister Hawks sent this picture to me so I would know my missionary has arrived and is ready to serve.
Be good, do good and the Lord will bless you my son!