It's raining hard!!! March30,2014

Oh it is just pouring out here. So fun! Last night we had to report back when we got home because it was getting so gnarly. It was so cool, there was lightning going off for about half an hour straight without stopping. not even kidding. so cool. almost like a strobe light!

Well this week was quick and honestly I got nothing really to report. I usually look at my planner to see what I wrote down as ideas to write on, and it says "nothing."

Alright how about this week was a little sad because we told an A-Ming we can't meet with him every week anymore. We really need to give him some time to follow through with things. He wasn't following all the commitments and wasn't doing really much at all so it is time to just give him a break. I was bummed, but it is what is best for him. I am just praying he will have the courage that he will have the courage to do what he needs to attend church and keep commitments. we've worked with him the last 7 months and it is time to give him a break. He is an awesome guy and I sure do love him though.

Chris is doing solid though. He just strengthens my faith every time we meet with him and talk to him. He is such a humble guy and it is so neat to teach him. I just see him exercise faith all the time and just always pushes forward. We talked about faith to always follow Christ. It was good.

We are teaching this other guy named Ted. He is cool. He is pretty funny to teach. He understands things quick and always answers questions with ge ma! haha so basically is like this is why la! shoot i dont know how to explain that ge ma.. oh well.

That is my week. We had some hard rain but that is alright, just get real wet.
oh it was pretty cool, we went to a members house and had dinner and message with them. Her husband is not a member and they have two hilarious little boys. It was cool. The husband is such a nice genuine guy. He is so nice. He isn't too interested in religion, but I hope we can help him see this is just more than being part of a church that this will provide him what he needs for his family. We talked with him a lot about families and I am hoping we will be able to see him again sometime. It was good.
Well that honestly is all I have for this week. Sorry.
Elder Townsend
1. Service. Trying to get back on a door with stripped screwdriver and screws.. put sister parker on one side pushing it in and me trying to push the screws in. not screw. haha
2. My district! Zones just got changed so this is the last of us. i love this district so much. My favorite, for sure.

I enjoy this March 23,2014

I like being a missionary. It is great.
Alright well this week was quick, but a good one. Sister Lam was baptized!! It was so exciting, her entire family came out. Only one of her brothers is a member. The rest came and it was so exciting. Originally her brother was going to baptize her, but instead he wanted one of us to baptize her so we had Elder Ma baptize her! So exciting for him. His first move and first baptism! He was so excited. I sure do enjoy working with him. This was just so exciting. Seeing all of her family was just so happy. They were all so awesome. Hopefully she will be able to help influence them to meet with missionaries and learn about how much this gospel and church can bless their lives. Hopefully we can teach brother Lam sometime so that we can help him get ready to one day go to the temple with his family and be sealed with them forever! 

We had some cool instances this week of the Spirit really guiding us in where to go. We were out finding and going to head to this area called Olympic. As we were walking there, for some darn reason I really just wanted to go to Hung Hom, so we headed on over there. I was not sure about what to expect, I was praying that it was guidance so I didn't look like a fool in front of my companion! ha but we went. Everyday we pray and we search to teach a family. Well while we were out in Hung Hom, God led us to a family. A father, mother, and son. Originally the mum wasnt there but as we sat and talked to the dad, he was really nice. We talked to him about Christ. He hadn't really known much about Him. So we talked about what Christ did for us and also how He strengthens our families. Then his wife showed up right as we were pulling out a picture of a little family praying together. They seemed really interested in prayer. So we talked about it and then we all prayed together. There was a sweet peace among us and I couldn't help from smiling so big. It was just so amazing to be with a family, teaching them. As we left, we tried to exchange numbers, but they weren't too sure yet. They wanted time to think these new things over. They don't live in our area, but we gave them things to find us or missionaries if they have interest. I was sad to not be able to exchange information, but I pray what they felt will be remembered. I know its true.

Well I have made a decision regarding my date. I chose February 27. Before I came into emails last week, I had the feeling that maybe I should do February. To be honest, I had always hoped that I would get the option for a leave date and take December. I kind have always wanted to head on home. Get back to the things, see the family, see friends,and see my dog leonard. So I had always hoped for it. But then February 23 of this year had happened and changed how I saw things. Changed how I did things. I guess it really changed me. It really allowed me to put some things in perspective and see my calling differently and feel differently about it. I dont know how to explain. Anyways. then the dates came. I looked at them and was like "oh cool, december!" but then I thought, maybe not. I was so not sure. I prayed a lot. I really thought about it. My mind was like december! but I could feel that february is the date. So I thought more and more and then that mondays emails were very helpful. So I stopped and prayed. I just said,"Heavenly Father I don't know. You know that I want to see them so badly and get back into things back home. Please, is February really right for me?" Then I just didn't want to think about it so I went to to see if they had any new mormon messages or bible videos. That is when I watched the new bible video. I is the one "the rich young ruler." I had recently read through this story and hadn't thought too much on it. But as I sat there, I felt as if the message was for me this time. after Jesus had said the commandments, and the young ruler responded what lackest I yet, Jesus's response was my answer. He told the man to sell what he had and give to the poor and then to "follow me" As I heard that my eyes started to tear because I knew what I must do. To give it up. to follow Him. 

My whole life, I have had righteous examples to follow and parents to guide me. For a mission, to be honest at that time i wasn't sure/ didn't really want to go on one. But due to family and friends and some things that happened, I left. I chose but had the push from others. So I gave my time to the Lord and did it because that is what we need to do, but I personally wouldn't say I gave it too willingly. This time the Lord gave me the choice and the question "Do you want to serve me?" He gave me two good things to choose from and this time I had the complete control of what I would choose. I didn't have any other thing or people influencing me. It was just Lord and me. I believe He has given me these choices with the same question posed to that young ruler. I can come home in December and do things and be with everyone or I stay and I serve Him. to show Him I am willing to give up my so called "riches" and follow Him. 

The one time I can make a choice completely with Him. I will be staying here in Hong Kong a couple extra months. I really want to serve Him. Also I don't write this at all to say "look at me, i chose to follow Him. Oh i am righteous!" No not at all. I do not write this to boast, that isn't my intention. But I write this to let you know of how I made my choice and to let you know what I believe. That I believe this is what I need and need to do. To shape myself and hopefully help someone. That I believe He is my Lord and Savior, that He knows what I need to do. That I must follow Him before I follow other things in life. I hope that I will be able to fully give up my will to serve Him. I don't know what to expect those last months, but I believe what President Hawks has told me is true. That even if those last months consist of me not teaching one lesson and completely being unsuccessful, that it wasn't a waste. That I will always look back at that and be grateful. He also said he wont change the day even when I come in and try crying my way to leave in december. ha! But I truly respect President Hawks so much. He is such an amazing man of the Lord.
So that is it. If it doesn't make sense, sorry.
Elder Townsend

Hey there! March 16,2014

Well I wrote in just 4 days ago and so I don't really have anything to report or tell about at all. Life is good, just going by really fast. Holy cow. So fast.

Well this Saturday Sister Lam will be baptized! I am so excited for her but also her son Elder Lam. She sent him a picture to his email for us. Because it was cool, since he was here in HK for 3 months before AUS he had a trainer and then came to Tai Po where I served with him. Well his trainer is my zone leader and so he did her baptismal interview. So the picture was of us with her. He was also so excited too. The best part is, her little brother is the one that referred Elder Lam to the missionaries and then baptized him. He will be baptizing his older sister as well! so exciting. It is so amazing to see how elder Lam and his cousin Sister Lau how both of them serving missions have helped her so much. They have been able to show her the tender mercies of the Lord. They taught her everything. I just was there to give make sure she heard it in ear. haha

Well this week we went on exchanges. I was with a mandarin missionary from my district, so you could say my mandarin has gone up. haha just kidding. But we were talking to this one guy on the road and I have found this with a lot of people here as well especially the young adults, but when it comes to life having a purpose, they all sort of believe that it is to make money. Then if we talk about what happens when we die, no one seems to care to much. If we have stuff after death then it'll happen if not well it doesn't. This is just really interesting to me mainly because I think the first time I really felt God answer me was when I was younger and had been terrified about death and so I opened up the scriptures right to Moroni 10: 3-5. and then I prayed and was filled with comfort. Many times I still contemplate these things about life after death and also being with others. It is a fear of mine and to see others not worry about it or even more to say not care about it, it makes me curious of how I can let them know how important it is. That this life isn't all about the money, the studies, but it is about those things around us. The people. the love. the nature. 
This world has much evidence of God and that He has plan for us later, I just hope I can convey that message. I believe maybe the main reason why that they don't understand this is because they have yet to feel His love. The changing and moving love of Christ and Heavenly Father. The simpleness and greatness of it. I love how He has given us such simple things that are so great. 
Alright I got nothing to write about this week. sorry. too much to think of. 

elder townsend

Hello! March 12, 2014

Hey there.

Well this week we had temple day! aka today. it was solid. I like to go to the temple. Life is good. I feel like that is good enough for this week. I am so bad at typing or writing, not enough time for me. 
Well as I have said, life is good. I am really enjoying my time with Elder Ma. I feel i am doing nothing to train him. He is super great. He is also helping my chinese a ton. While we are outside we speak a lot of chinese which is super great. He is super patient with my chinese and I can tell it has started to improve being with him. Elder Ma is also such a hard worker. We are just doing work and having a good time. I don't think there is enough time in the day anymore though.. So just trying to make sure we stay busy. 

So it is pretty cool, our mission has got something exciting going on! President Hawks has let us all know that if we all work super hard, put the faith forward, the obedience, and the work, that in honor of 65 years of Hong Kong having missionary work anniversary, we will be bringing 65 people unto Christ through baptism in the month of July. It may not seem big to you, but this is huge. We average about 19-20 baptisms a month mission wide. President believes that 2/3rds of this is possible through our work, but the other 1/3 will be the Lord supplying us. This is super exciting. I could feel the power of this when the zone leaders announced it. I am excited to work for this goal. It is sure going to take a lot of work though! 

Alright lets see this week.. Hmm well we are working with this Brother who is less active and he is excellent. He is the nicest guy and really probably one of the most loving guys I have met. He has just had some hard things happen in his life and really needs the Lord's help. We are really working on him receive that help. He feels that he is not really sure if God exists. He really loves the people of the church and can feel their love, but he isn't too positive he doesn't have enough faith for God. We talk a lot with him. When we talk about how he can truly pray at that time I just see him with the greatest desire. He just cares so much about those around him, i am praying that he will find his faith. the other day he brought me a plant that is like a little tree thing. It is super small and sits on my desk. I think it is so cool. He has them at his house and I always loved looking at them and then one day asked him what they are called. Then he came to church that sunday with a little one for me with one of his shells from his house. Seriously the nicest guy. He shows love to so many people around him. I just learn so much from his example. 

Alright also our investigator Chris is doing great. He also is the coolest guy. He also joined our ward choir. He is good at singing. I just love talking to him and teaching lessons. You can see the greatest desire in him. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, I was able to feel the power of the Spirit in that lesson bear truth of the necessesity of Faith, repentance and baptism. Obviously I am not an english major so I dont know what repentance means broken up, but in chinese it is cool. The first character is like repent type thing, but the second character is pronounced like "goi" which means change. I had never realized this but a member brought this up and talked about it. I loved that. How true it is that when we repent we must change. or there is no reason. I like how when we teach repentance that we talk about change. That we can see the change in ourselves because Christ helps us. it is so true on how much He does for us. 

Alright my mind is scatter brained so I am going to end here. 2 things. one that chris has a baptismal date so I am super excited for him! It will be so great for him.
Second is one of my favorite things to see here in HK. I have seen it from two perspectives. One from being a part of it. two from seeing it from a little distance. What this is is praying. We obviously do a lot of street contacting here and talk with people on the street. While on the street, we will invite those who have talked with us to pray, right then and there. When they accept, it is a glorious moment in my mind. because when we three have our heads bowed down and folding hands or arms and one is speaking to our Heavenly Father, the biggest peace comes. We feel this peace even when there are tons of people walking past us lost in their world. A lot of times they don't even notice us. I love it being inside it because I feel the sounds fades out and it is us. I love seeing it from a distance because you see this light about it. You see something that is nothing like you see everyday. It is very special. I don't know how to describe, but it just makes me so happy! 
Dang, life is good. I am happy. I am feeling it. I can't type anymore. But just know that i am happy. I don't think I have felt this happy and this peace at the same time before. When i share teh gospel and do His work it just makes everything better. It makes me want to be a better person and love others more. I know why they encourage all members to invite their friends or family to church and to continue to be missionaries always, it is not only because the church wants more members but Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and he knows that this is the way. this is the way to joy! Always better things ahead. always.
Elder Townsend

Elder Holland came to town March 2, 2014

This letter will be lame this week because I am having to go fast today. I promise to write more next week.
Well this week was a good one. Went by so incredibly fast that I didn't have any time to catch it. Life is good, feeling good, and most importantly we are doing work. I love TST it is my favorite place ever. The ward here is so awesome and helpful. The YSA are so great too. 

A few exciting things happened this week. First is that Vox received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Pretty exciting for her. It is incredible to see someone after being baptized and then receiving the Holy Ghost. There truly is a real, new light among them. Vox always looks happy, but this time she looked like a completely new person. This gospel is real. 

The other exciting thing is that Elder Holland came and talked to us missionaries. It was a great experience. He shared some really important things and some things that I needed and wanted to hear. God truly speaks through His chosen servants. After listening to Elder Holland, I can testify that he is a prophet of God. 

The other awesome thing is that Chris, our friend that is investigating got a job! He starts today actually. he was looking for one and if he couldn't find one he was maybe going to head back to the America if he couldn't. But Heavenly Father wants him here!! Chris is so awesome. He is such a humble, down to earth kind of guy. I love talking to him. So awesome. 

Well Elder Holland talked to us. He first talked about missions. On how important it is that we are here to convert and bring others unto Christ and His church, His gospel. He talked on how we must truly accept the Lord's will and DO His will. That we make missions permanent. Watching him bear testimony and talk about his mission really was amazing. You could see the power he has felt from it and it makes me want to make sure I do really give it my all. Elder Holland shared about the importance of ALWAYS staying worthy of the title we have. That the church doesn't have images or symbols but the closest that we have is missionaries. two by two. He said that we do not have the right to desecrate the title of being a missionary, a shepherd of God. He said can you imagine what God must think when not only His sheep have went astray, but when His shepherds have as well? He weeps in His throne above. He truly weeps. That was so powerful to me because at that time I really felt the power of love that God must have for us. I was able to feel I believe that love last week. Actually I know I felt it. It would break my heart to know that I made someone who loves me beyond measure weep. Then I thought of how much He loves these people out here. I feel like there just isn't enough time in the day anymore to talk to them. Elder Holland also shared about how the first 14 pages of the Book of Mormon contain everything the proves our Church that gives it validity. That we are a church of revelation. Just as it has always been. You write down Lehi's experience and you see Joseph Smith's or Jeremiah's or any prophet that has ever been. This has been a great thing to share while we are out teaching and talking to people. God speaks! He not only speaks but He gives us so much with that. He gives us more blessings that we can ever know of. Towards the end of elder Holland's sharing, he shared his testimony with Doctrine and Covenants section 50. It was very powerful he talked about teaching His gospel by the spirit and then he shared pretty much most verses 24 and on. It is so incredible. I love it. 
Sorry I am try to be quick today because of scheduling problems also I forgot my stuff that I put what i will write on about. But I am doing good. Loving life. Loving serving the Lord. Just trying to take it day by day so I don't miss any opportunities.
Hope all is well. 
Elder Townsend
we got with the mtc crew, some of it.
just the meat.