"We will no longer flee" Feb.23. 2014

Alright so basically there is particularly one day of this week I want to write about and that's about it. Because I got a couple b-day emails as well, i have a little less time today. 

So first you're probably wondering, "how did elder townsend's bday go?" it was good. the day of my bday in HK was good, but the day of it in America was even better or the day of my baptism in HK was prime. aka the 23rd.
So real quick my birthday consisted of heading out early to go teach a less active member with a member and it went well. He was a a great guy but he fears he lacks the faith and scared to talk to others. So we talked with him a lot on faith and we will be bringing him Elder Holland's talk "Lord, I Believe" Afterwards we had a district find with our district. Then after that I had a late bday lunch, Since time wasn't really on our hands, we had some good ole McD's. Yep, Big n Tasty for me. Later we headed over to the church for an activity where we learn to make udon noodles. We had investigators there so it was a good time. On our way we met this cool kid and talked to him about how God will make him stronger. Then we had the activity and then headed home that night. So it was a busy bday! 

Well February 23rd rolled around and it was going to be a good day. We have this investigator who is really great. He came to church all dressed up and was going to attend Vox's (sisters investigator) baptism and better yet sing with the YSA for a music talent. We sang a Child's Prayer. 
Well this day was neat because Vox asked if I could help her be baptized. Of course I was glad to help and thought that will be so cool to help someone be baptized the day I was! Vox is super spiritual and just seriosuly such a role model. She makes everyone feel so loved when she talks to them. But I was also a little confused why she picked me and not her friends she made with some of the members. Well the baptism went on and it was a great experience baptizing her, you could just feel the power of the Holy Spirit there so powerfully. When she came out of that water she was really a new person. She was reborn. Now I felt all happy about that. 

Well towards the end she was asked to share her thoughts on her baptism. As she got up she bore testimony and then said there is 4 things I would like to thank. She first thanked the missionaries that found her on the street (they serve in another area), she thanked the sisters who taught her and spoke on that, she then thanked a member Yu Man Kit who he had helped her and also just brought her into the ward, introduced her to more friends. (Yu Man Kit is my hero though. so awesome) and then she said in Chinese for this last one I would like to say it in English because that is how I would like to express it and want him to hear it all. Then she said Thank you Elder Townsend for baptizing me and sharing this day with me. She went on to talk about when the sisters told her she gets to choose who baptizes her, she originally thought and wanted Yu Man Kit. She said her mind wanted it and he was going to do it. They were friends and so it would be great. But when the sisters asked her and she went to tell them, she said Elder Townsend. She had no idea why or anything, she just said it. Well later that week she was trying to figure it out why and then she said she found her answer. She said to me "He wants you to remember this date, but most importantly He wants you to know that He remembers you. He loves you." Vox talked more about how she was able to find that God is really her Heavenly Father and said that I was able to help her find that love and feel it. She shared some more things that were really touching and was really powerful that I have written down.
 Now,I don't write that to sound boastful or anything, but I write that because it was an answer to prayers. Obviously we all have hard times and desire to have the Lord's help. I share this because after what she shared, at first I was in complete awe. God had answered my long spent prayers. For honestly the first time in my life that I can remember, at that time I felt completely full. I felt as if Alma shared in Alma 29:10 or in Alma 27:17 when it says Ammon felt full. I have never felt that so fully in my life before. 
I won't get into details but recently I have been really seeking for that love, seeking to feel if God remembers me. Seeking to feel where i stand before my Lord. I have been seeking to feel if I am His son. Yes, I know these things, but I desired to feel. Through a brand new disciple of Jesus Christ, God answered me. She said some things that were the exact words I desired and the exact words I prayed for. This was the greatest day of my mission so far. It was the day I felt the joy and true love of the Lord. It was a day I will forever hold. I couldn't fall asleep my heart felt so grateful. I couldn't eat because I felt so full. I cannot describe how much this impacted me. My email will never be able to include all that I felt, but what I felt was really and it has given me a knowledge of my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know it. He is my Redeemer.

Later that night, Elder Holland spoke to the people of HK. It is the 65th anniversary of the church here and it was an event. It was inspiring and changing and it was beautiful. They had members share little testimonies and then Elder Holland shared. Due to the lack of my time, I will write more about this later also with his message to missionaries this tuesday, or if it is available to see the broadcast online, look it up. It will change you. He talked about how we are to run no more. All it times, we are told to flee from Babylon all the way from Abraham to the Saints of this Church. They are all pioneers because they have had to flee. But he said, "Here we are now. We are not going to run anymore..... that is why we are pioneers."  He continued that No generation, no dispensation has been asked this or done this. We are the last dispensation and we are the greatest. We are the combination of all dispensations. We are the same gospel as (then he listed off pretty much everyone in the bible and everything.) then he said "Plant your feet, Square your shoulders, Stiffen your back, and stand firm in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Live it Everyday, Every way."
Alright I am out of time to explain or write more. sorry. but i can say yesterday was one of those "turning events" and not because I heard great things, but because I felt them and I felt the power. It was something so real to me. 
elder townsend

Hey Hey!! Feb. 16, 2014

Alright due today's situation, this email is going to be shorter. I am in the Mac Store. We have to go renew my companion's hong Kong ID so we were unable to schedule computers. 

So I got a new companion and I got to stay in TST!! :) I love TST it is the best. Well my new companion is named Elder Ma. He is from Australia. He was born in HK but then at 8 moved to the land of Oz. He is a cool guy, super excited to be out here to do work and speaks perfect Chinese, obviously. haha So he will be able to help me out with that one. He is Australian so he will occasionally say cool things too. haha

Well this week we had some awesome little tender mercies. While we were out finding, Heavenly Father was placing people in our path. In two days we were able to hand out 4 Book of Mormons to people that really seemed to have interest!! Yeah that is like a record. It was really cool, there was this one guy we walked into and he had recently changed his life and wanted to follow Christ. He had already seen the change in his life and was still wanting more. We were able to talk with him and while with him we shared about what we must do to follow Christ. The conversation led me to bringing up 2 Nephi 25:23 with him. We talked about grace and mercy. This scripture allowed him to see that we will be saved by grace "after all we can do." We talked why that is so important and bore testimony of how He will essentially "fill in the rest." 

I thought a lot about this afterwards and it brought me to think of Elder Christofferson's "daily bread" mormon messages and on how he said that the Lord understands we aren't perfect but He is willing to work with us day by day. I have been thinking about that a lot. What does it mean for me to work day by day? Am I being like the Israelites and going out every morning and gathering the manna I need for the day? I have found the way I really can gather that manna. That is through my daily scripture study and not just reading but seeking, then thanking the Lord for what He has giving me. I have found it in going out each day and making almost a fool out of myself. But it's alright, at least they might remember. But I like it. I like going out everyday and having to work for it. It's a nice challenge and really teaching me to work.

 A couple of days ago, we walked into a guy that was really nice. He was nice and was listening to us while we shared, but you know just being nice. Well he decided that he would say a prayer with us and talk a little more. When we sat down, he saw my Book of Mormon. Instantly he was like, what is this?? We then explained and shared on it. While we were sharing and showing him some scriptures of the Book of Mormon, I was able to see the power of those words. The Spirit was guiding us and helping us know what scriptures to share. It was really special. Right to his needs. Dang, it is so true that Christ and Heavenly Father know us. Sometimes I get all frustrated inside because with Chinese I can't focus my thoughts. I can't remember what is being said and I always have a headache at the end of the day. But sometimes it is nice. Because it really makes me have to rely on the Lord at the very minute . I do believe that the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants is true because there is no way I would be able to say anything when we are there. I just don't have the talent or the brains, but the Lord does. It's seriously amazing to me on how He does His work. I feel so blessed. In the rain and the sun, He seems to help my needs. I just hate how slow I am at noticing the things He does for me. I hope one day I will be able to recognize things right away! 

Well Sister Lam is doing great, she has her mother's funeral coming up so hoping everything goes alright for her. A-Ming said he is training for a new job! So that hopefully means he will be able to come to church eventually. We had a couple of new friends come to church this sunday which was awesome. Also I was able to interview the sisters' investigator for baptism and she was one of the most sincere people I have met. She really has such a true desire to follow Christ and change her life to properly follow Him. She bore testimony on how He through the Atonement removed the guilt that she has felt in her life. On how Heavenly Father has really allowed her to know she is His daughter. Throughout everything she had her mind set to the eternities and desires to have that eternal reward. One of the coolest parts was when she was like, when can I go to the temple and get baptized for my mom? She is probably waiting for me. Just so awesome how she sees it. Sees the work that God has for her and ready to hit the ground running. In fact last this Sunday she dedicated it to keep it completely to the Lord, to keep it holy. That night she gave the sisters a call on how amazing that day ended up being and that the Lord helped her out. So awesome. Blessings everywhere. And she gets baptized next sunday which is my baptism day!! So fun!

Well that is pretty much it. Life is good. Just doing the daily grind. Elder Holland will be speaking to us on the 25th so that'll be good.
Well yeah, not sure what to say now... oh it was SOO cold this week. Coldest I have felt. thought i was going to die. my mtc companion bought too small of thermal underwear so he sent them my way, you know me being short and all.. but it is great. I wear them everyday. sometimes two pair. double the socks. and still struggle at the whole man up thing with the cold... they just don't have dang heaters here. only ac. so when people wear coats to church, the ac is on. by the way the new mac stuff looks pretty cool and i like it all. haha
Elder Townsend
also sorry i don't have my pictures on me. better luck next year. or week.

hay is for horses and that what the year is!!! Feb.9, 2014

Ni hao. Leih hou. Hello. hi. 
Well yeah BIG NEWS in fact this is insane. Yep, McDonald's changed the big mac from being $21 HK to now about $33 HK. Yeah I know. For the past few years its been 21 but it changed. So insane. Looks like your boy won't be eating big macs anymore... It's cool, maybe I might lose a pound or two. Honestly, that is like the most interesting news I had for yah... 

Well this week I really don't believe happened. In fact I don't think it did. On monday we went with some ward members and less-active members bbq-ing. Hong Kong bbq's like the best way ever. Soo doing it in the meihgwok as well. So it was a great experience, our members are so nice and we had a great time with them and able to build relationships. I love these members, they are so awesome. Our investigator A-Ming was supposed to come, but he ended up being busy. Bummer. So how they bbq is that you show up to this place and it costs like $80HK and you get in. You get 1 can drink and a loaf of bread. You then get all you can eat meat and fish/raw food. Then you get scewers and roast them over an open fire. I will send pics. But its like what we do with hot dogs, but they do it with everything. and then you put honey on it when about cooked and finish up the job. super fun.

Alright well this week was cool. We got to teach an investigator of ours. He is a member's son and he is the coolest guy ever. He is super nice and humble and just awesome. best of all, he speaks English! Yeah so the lesson is hard-core english. But since he goes to an English school, he reads better english now so we read the Book of Mormon in English with him! haha We shared the plan of salvation with him and he really seemed to enjoy it. When we asked him, where he wants to end up of the 3 of God's kingdoms he was like Celestial for sure. So that means I need to get baptized? So he accepted baptism and he also is wanting to keep meeting with him. It is so great to see him really desire to go back to his Heavenly Father and also be able to just become a better person. When we talk to him, it's just awesome to see how humble he is and the desire he has. That is why I was stoked to share the Plan of Salvation with him because I LOVE that lesson. The power behind it just knowing who we are and the potential we have. That God gave us the perfect plan and how amazing the Atonement is. it is just too perfect and teaching it just makes me feel like, yeah it may be hard at times, but there is something amazing at the end. The nice thing to its not like we always look forward to it to be at the end, but we feel the blessings of it now! So great. The only bummer is that he is SUPER busy. He is 15 and so busy. Studying so much and tons of classes. A super genius. In fact during the break he had classes to go to. dang. I would so die.

Well That is pretty much it. We had another YSA FHE at a member's house last night and it was great. We shared a message on how do we keep the faith? what do we individually do when things are hard. It was great because everyone shared what they do and to see the faith they have. We watched a video of Elder Nelson talking about faith and self confidence. to take things and not demand things that are unreasonable but to demand improvement. and to watch the Lord help us. Not to sit back and watch, but more as go into the problem head first and then afterwards see how much God helped you and how much your faith has grown.
 As we shared this I remembered one of my favorite talks by President Eyring "Mountains to Climb" and thought, do I have the faith to pray for a mountain to climb? do I have the courage? One of the people there, this amazing friend of the sisters who is getting baptized in this month and she shared how every time she feels nervous or stressed she looks at her phone and reads out loud what is written on the page. "always keep the faith" I thought that was cool because she always says it out loud so she can hear herself never giving up. 

Also we had many scriptures and thoughts shared. But all in all, we all shared on how it will always bring us closer to God, understand Christ more, and allow His Atonement in our life. To always know that yes it may be hard, but everything happens for a reason. And that if you don't understand what reason, well Heavenly Father does and that is enough. Trust and walk forward. 
Ah so transfers is this coming which is wild. I am going to miss being with Elder Goronson, he is such a great companion! We had a good time. 
Also guess who is coming this February 25th to Hong Kong and will be talking to the missionaries for a little? Elder Holland from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Yeah it'll be good.
Well I am so scatter brained and I dont know what to write so yeah.
Elder Townsend
alright this computer wont let me attach pictures. you're going to have to wait til the next. 
sorry this letter was terrible. 
I got a good streak of that.. bad letters I just can't think anymore. Chinese makes me so confuse so all the time I am never there. 

Empty!?! Feb. 2, 2014

Yep, coming up to Chinese New Year the streets were packed with people, mainly people from mainland China to buy stuff. 
It was super busy and noisy. But then when the day hit Friday, we headed out to teach a lesson and stop in Kwun Tong to meet with the zone leaders for language evals, I was confused. Where did all the people of Hong Kong go? The MTR was empty and I thought they all vanished. When we got to Kwun Tong and went to go pick up a rice box from the market, there out of like 30 shop things was 2 open. It was a ghost town! 

When we were heading out to head to our area again, the families were out. A lot of them. All the little kids dressed in traditional clothes and running around happy. So the adults give the younger people red pockets which have money in them so obvious all the kids were stoked on how they just became rich men and are eating great food i guess! Anyways we did a fun little family find as a district on a bridge in Hung Hom and it was fun. 
Everyone was rushing to places so had to make them interested a little but mainly just handed out TONS of family cards. I got pretty creative and would hide the cards in my hand. Since they are business size it was perfect. Then I would shake their hand and wham! the card was there. Some people loved it haha crazy gwaailouh. Other than that, i had fun. Bridge finding is hard but super fun because of that reason it is so fast paced and doesn't require me to have good Chinese! I also met this super fly kid from Korea and who lived in Japan too so I let him know I had some good friends serving there too. Love to make the littlest connections. haha
Well anyways, didn't get to participate much or really at all with the Chinese new year. Got to see the decorations and people. The sisters in the ward got to so they are lucky. I was SUPER bummed though about the fireworks. Honestly, I prayed so hard that i would be in this area for Chinese new year so I could go see the fireworks because the best view is from our area. Well that day was deep clean so it would have been perfect to see them as well. Well the other elders in our flat went and scheduled people so the flat was just left to my companion and I to clean. So by the time 800 rolled around, we were locked in the confines of our flat. then at 815 this 12 year old kid that shows up to English class called and was like are you watching?? it is beautiful! and all that jazz. Made me so sad. So from our flat, i could see flashes in the sky (darn skyscrapers) and I totally did a creeper thing. I looked out our window across the street into another building and watched them on someones tv for a little. yeah so weird. But come one, this opportunity only happens once. So sad still.

This past monday was epic! A few of us elders and a couple of our sisters went out to have burgers for our year mark! it was so dang fun! They are all so rad and we enjoyed them time. Also we got our new name tags in! for sure will send a picture of them!

Well this week due to the Chinese new year didn't teach anyone. But we had this awesome ward member go less active finding (finding their homes) this week. He spent about 10 hours with us!! Yeah that is so amazing. First time i have ever had a member go with us places and he scheduled us again for this week! Such a great example of self-less service and also the desire to bring his ward back to activity and help those who once enjoyed the gospel's blessings. We were able to locate a few people but most were incomplete addresses, not home, or moved. But we have a list of about 300 men to visit so definitely lots to do! 

well hope all is well and honestly, didn't realize this week went so fast so I have nothing to report on. 
OH! A-Ming came to church this sunday!!!! Yeah didn't have work so he could come. He LOVED it enjoyed it so much. Such a miracle. He wants to come so bad, but just can't get work off. I hope this experience will help him find a way how to attend. And the members invited him to a bbq today so that was so awesome! We will be going to and the area is out back in my old stomping grounds so I will see the good ole' Tai Po and Dai Mei Dok today!

Body Health; Forever Young, Forever Beautiful; May You Have Posterity; and most importantly Happy New Year. (had to give some blessings out)
Elder Townsend

One year out! 

Attempt at a jump picture...failed!

Cola toothpaste for kids ?!?