Greetings from Tuen Mun!!! April 27, 2014

Well this week went by super fast. All of our investigators have been busy or unavailable so we just been hitting the streets all week. The weather was super good to us for most of the week and the little rainstorm we had left after a little while. 
This area is awesome. I love it. Even though i love the city, it is a pretty neat area. It is still city like, but people are slowed down a little more. We have been blessed this past week to teach many street lessons with some people. 

Still working at finding families though. Not going to lie, they can be the most intimidating to contact, but they are the most precious as well. It is funny how it works, the best is the hardest. Obviously everyone else knows that, but I am still trying to remember it. Everyday is a new day and it makes it exciting.

My companion Elder Chan is the best. He is super good at talking to people and just a great guy. Street finding is great with him because we will stop someone and the conversation just flows so well. We talk a lot about God and baptism lately. We are trying to be better at using the Book of Mormon on the street as well. Just flipping to a verse and have them read it while we are standing at talking. I love the people out here. We just are really trying to focus on getting people rescheduled and getting them to church.
I really like the ward, it is a lot smaller than my last one, but it is good. So my last ward there was a member named Yu Man Kit and he is like my hero. I miss him. But he helped us out so much and helped me with teaching and chinese. Well I just moved into his older brother's ward! His older brother is the Elder's Quorum president so hopefully we can help him out. Pretty cool moving into his ward. He shared a powerful lesson. He talked about how we really need to serve others and really reach out to our fellow brothers. How we should notice if someone isn't there and then be calling them and letting them know that you missed them THEN help them get there the next week. To know that every single decision you make effects your future. That you need to choose now and choose right. If not, it will not end the way we would have wanted. It really got me thinking on am I really trying to fully serve people. Really putting them in my life where i think about them and strengthen them? It is so easy to pray for them, but so much harder to constantly serve them when I can. 

There was a member that gave this super powerful talk yesterday as well. She talked about service as well. She said that she notices service all around her. That amidst (whatever that word is) that she looks to serve people. We get caught up in the thought of is that when I am done with this busy stuff such as work, i will have personal time and then help people. That we live that we are too busy too much. I like how she was like I am busy but when I am going to work, i am not busy. I am travelling. There are people around me to help or people to call. That service is in the person who you stand two feet from. I liked that because I realized that while finding I should also be serving others in anyway possible. Even just smiling to the people across the way. So my new goal is to make sure I remember the person right in front of me.
We have a zone training coming up and had to choose some actions and goals. We as a  mission have been trying to be more bold and also work for our 65 baptisms in July. We have to step up and change the game. So while thinking of ideas, I had thought of Elder Holland speaking to HK and saying, "we will no longer flee, we will run no more, we will FIGHT!" Since he is pretty bold I figured he would be a good person to take advice from. So I thought about fighting. How this isn't a game out here, you can lose at games. This really is a battle and nope, you can't lose at those. So we decided on our zone action is to FIGHT. Find to baptize. Into the night (never stopping. last minute. last door or person.) Gotcha! (rescheduling and bringing them in) Hasten our work. Target, never take eyes off of it. 65 in july and our goals now. we will have faith, integrity, gratitude, hope and be tough! haha so even if you feel like its hard, it's cool, Christ will strengthen them. We have Angels with us! I truly believe that as well. I have felt the extra desire at times. And we will do as 1 Timothy 6:12. Fight the good fight of faith!
Pretty stoked for these next few months to come. 
I wrote and typed real fast because I didn't know what to say and watched the messages filmed on asia and HK. the Matthew Mok story has Sister Aguilar from my MTC group in it. That is actually filmed out here in the new t's!
I will write better next week. Sorry, just didn't know what to write this week.
Elder Townsend

New Places! April 20,2014

Say what? Yep. I just got transferred. I am companions with Elder Jacob Chan. He is so rad, Loving being companions with him, it'll be a great transfer. From Hong Kong and studied in Canada and the Utah. 

We are out here in the New Territories in a place called Tuen Mun! Aka- the farthest place away from everything. I saw Mainland on our way to our area. It is pretty cool though I like it. We are zone leaders out here so that'll be interesting.

Elder Falk (in case you forgot my homie and we were in MTC together) was just out here and headed to my last zone to be a zone leader too, so I was so close to living with him! But it's cool, guess who I live with now? Jared Cordon! I don't know if ya'll remember but when I played American Football, at that time I played with the Cordon twins. They were tall and big and strong? haha yeah he is out here now and I am in his apartment. such a small world!

So just to not make you confused from last email our time schedule in this mission is 7am to 11pm. So 30 minutes pushed back. Also I moved to this awesome apartment. It is all the way on the 31st floor of a building. It is so rad. Love it. 
Alright honestly I don't really have much to write about. We are looking for some investigators and finding people to teach. This area is much different because I went from the busy city to a calm area. Basically this is kind of a city area in the New Territories but compared to my last area it is quiet and peaceful! A lot of people live all the way out here and then commute to the city and Hong Kong Island for work. Cheaper to live out here. 

Happy Easter!
This Easter I wore my tie that I wore last year. It is my special event tie. This year, honestly I forgot it was Easter. We were sitting down before church and then I was like oh shoot! Happy Easter! It was neat though. No distractions and just able to focus on the Savior that day. I liked it a lot. Just thinking of Him and not really thinking of anything else. It is incredible what He has and will do for us. I have read the book "Jesus the Christ" by James Talmage a few times now and also "Miracle of Forgiveness" by Spencer W. Kimball and it just really helps me put into a new perspective of Christ. Of how incredible and indescribable  His Atonement sacrifice is. I am so thankful to know that I am part of His complete, Restored Gospel and get to fully use the Atonement. Having it push me everyday to just do a little more. 

I love that video "Because of Him". We did a little street find thing where we had a tv outside of our chapel playing that video in Chinese and it was super cool. I couldn't read it all so I enjoyed watching it in English just barely. So amazing. I love being here on a mission, just in a way being away from the world and focusing on His work is just so amazing. Just allows me to see that He really is each individual's Savior.
I probably sound super cheesy, but I really do just love it. I am excited for this week!
I don't have much to say this week sorry, just moving in still.
Elder Townsend

Suits are off!!

Well we had conference this weekend and it was SO good. After everyone was talking about it, i was so excited to watch. I loved how Elder Nelson spoke about who is your faith centered to? I enjoyed him talking about letting our faith show. Also all the other talks were so great, so i am looking forward to getting the Liahona!

Alright so I got some questions to answer and I will just include it all in here so i can send off an email.
So we have 4 elders living in our apartment, two companionships. We have enough bunks for another set, but its already pretty small. haha I am living on bottom bunk! I was so happy when I got bottom bunk because it is so much nicer, unless you have someone who moves at night so I don't have anyone sleep above me also my bunk in semi broken too.. haha
Our normal day is arise at 650 am, do some workout at a little park down the street. It is a soccer court. In the morning it is filled with pohpos (grandmas) and suk suks (uncles) doing thai chi and then swords. aka an army of old people. so great. and then some other joggers. Then we have getting ready and then personal study from 830 to 930. Since i am training elder ma, we have 2 hours of comp study, then at 1130 we eat lunch, then at 1230 to 130 we do language study, at 130 we hit the streets and go contacting until 6. then eat dinner. and then go contacting again until 9pm. then we come home call people til 930. then plan for 30 minutes. and then call people til 1020ish and then prepare to sleep.:) that is a normal day. 

 Occasionally we have a lesson or maybe go and help someone. or just something like a lesson in the morning. If i wasn't training then we would start finding at 1230 and until 9. :) we will usually hit up home for dinner because our area is expensive. but other areas we will eat dinner out becasue it is cheaper and more fongbihn.
I drink water. also i drink asian drinks that are good. (not as sweet) and also soy milk.
We wear suits between conferences. so suits off now!
Shoes, we tend to take them off when we go into a house and leave them outside. no one wears shoes inside. use inside slippers. Its very rare to see carpeted houses usually tile and also the streets are gnarly so it is smart to take off shoes.

We live in Mong Kok!! We live on the street with many shoes aka shopping central. its a very convenient place. between two MTR trains. also my building has 20 floors? not sure. we like on 13. back in Tai Po I lived on 26.

The weather is humid and lovely. I love the heat. I am so happy. You always feel a little damp nowish or very mosturized. haha I am so happy its getting hot. Most people like winter though.

The biggest influence on my testimony? shoot, my whole mission. haha But I think the day of Vox's baptism was. It strengthened it and also really let me come closer to God or understand Him better. Also just going out everyday is a testimony builder because you can really see the tender mercies of God. 
Knowing that this is Jesus Christ's real work just is so special. It really changes perspectives and even when you get rejected non-stop you can still keep going because you know that you will find someone and if you don't, tomorrow does. and if it doesn't, well the next does. and when I go for awhile without finding someone, well I am just not working hard enough.

There are too many people in Hong Kong to have them all reject and I know that they need the gospel. Seeing the lifestyle here without living in it is really neat. We can really see how the gospel can strengthen them and how it will apply to them. So when we share, we can really speak to their heart. Also the Lord will open our hearts to really feel for them. I have felt so many times of just wanting to tell someone "I love you" and really mean it. Even someone we walk by and say hello too. When I look into their face and really just pray to Heavenly Father for guidance, sometimes I believe my heart is touched by the Holy Ghost to allow me to feel some of the love God has for them. It is a really a special thing, it hurts though at times. When you see them walk away, especially if they look sad, your heart aches. It is hard not to grab them and somehow just allow them to feel their Heavenly Father's love. Like hug them or something. or yell I LOVE YOU! haha nah, but seriously I wish I knew how. 

I guess it makes so much more sense that when the Prophet says "tell them that I love them" that he is speaking truth. You just feel that love and want them to know. Sometimes I just smile real big and gently hit them on the arm and be like, hey your awesome because I don't know what else to say to get out my feeling.

Alright since we talk to a lot of people on the street and park, it is interesting. Not going to lie, sometimes I still feel scared. Street is easier because they're moving, but a park is interesting. When they are on benches (especially as a family) you're like "who do i look at? what do I say? do i sit down? or ask to?" but as long as you say a prayer as you walk up, you just know what to do. It can be awkward though especially when they are like what are you doing?? haha It feels i guess intimidating but also fun. I love what my trainer taught me: 90% awkward 10% miracle. so true.
We get to go to the temple about quarterly i guess. the assistants assign it out and i got to go last month I think. Time goes too fast anyways. I love the temple.
I have seen the Bruce Lee statue so much. It is in my area and so we see it quite a bit. always has so many tourists at it. 
I have been to monkey mountain once. All the way back in my first move. They are crazy monkeys.

Well that is that. Also not much to report on this week. it was good, just busy with conference. Moves are this week so I will find out if i am moving or not. I have been here for 3 moves of 9 weeks so my chances are higher. But I love TST ward oh so much. 
I am doing well.
Elder Townsend
english session! 
Dinner with Yu Man Kit. He is my hero. The coolest member and also helped me out a ton!
Dinner with Yu Man Kit. He is my hero. The coolest member and also helped me out a ton!

Turtle Power!!!

Time to Preach the Good Word

My area on the Ho Man Tin chapel

English Session

Us with Vox!!!

Me and Former Elder Chan! haha he hates when I give him a big old hug. ahah

April Showers April 6, 2014

Well we had a couple sunny days last week, or just one, but it was great. the booking was messed up today, so it will be real quick.

So I learned an important lesson last night. So as missionaries, we are supposed to shave each day (even if it takes you a week to grow a little bit of a mustache like me... hopefully later it'll grow) anyways I like to shave my beard at nights. So last night, to save me a couple of minutes I thought I would brush my teeth then shave, well it all came down to me thinking I could do both at the same time. So as I was brushing and shaving, I made a mistake. I went to shave my mustache and then whoop, there goes the side my nose. Totally nicked it real good. So now I have a cool scab. Who would have known that was a bad idea?

 We were able to teach a mother and her daughter! It was so great. She is worried about her son and wants to help him so we hooked her up with a For the Strength of the Youth. We testified and shared a lot on how the Lord strengthens families. She doesn't have much of a religious background because she is originally from Mainland. So we talked a lot about who God is to her and to her children. It was really neat. As we left, she held on to the pamphlet as if it was precious material to help her son with. I hope we can meet up with her again. I know this gospel will help their family so much!

This week during a rainstorm, we didn't have umbrellas (i dont like them anyway) and we were waiting to cross the street to return home and it was raining from the heavens on us. So as we stood there getting soaked, a lady came running up with an umbrella and protected us. She said she was proud we were such law abiding citizens we wouldn't cross the street on red. See, we have lots of good people here in Hong Kong :)

This week Vox shared her testimony at church! It was so powerful and profound. She continues to amaze me. She is preparing for a mission too! Anyway what she said just got me thinking more and how I can better serve the Lord. She testified about if we expect something good to come, we must work in order for it to. Such as if she wanted to have love in her home, she must show it first. I thought a lot about how this is the same with me. I need to do all that I can do now in order to find it around me. Love my companion, love the people I serve, and always remember to love Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So I'm going to be focusing a lot on that as well. She then shared about how she felt God's love after she does this all and that it is so true. In fact, it is super cool because her dad will be coming to a ward activity this week! She is already a missionary! Actually she fellowships all the time too. Her testimony is powerful because she shares the truths she knows. She has much confidence in the Lord. Just an example for me. 

Well other than that, this week was quick. Just trying to do what we can do and help those around us. The weather will be better so I am stoked to do some more finding this week and preach the good word! Just searching for families and friends. 

Elder Ma and I are doing well. I love the guy. He has helped not only my Cantonese but me being a better missionary. I owe a lot to him and the Lord. I can admit, even though i still need to work, but my Cantonese has improved. He even told me a Chinese saying that goes translated as "when the sky falls down, use it as a blanket." so the other day we were talking to this college student and we were talking about how God will give us hope and knowledge of a brighter future. She then said to me have you heard of this Chinese saying which was like "more hope comes more disappointment?" and obviously I hadn't so i said nope. Then Elder Ma talked about how that isn't so with God and Christ. Then after him, i looked at her and was like have you heard this saying and then I said it. Then she was like ohhhhhh and elder ma was the same. haha got her to smile and then I testified how things happen to bring us closer to God. It just all depends on how we view the situation.

 Also the other day, i really felt the gift of tongues. I have been feeling words being put into my mouth so that I can say what I need. Just like I don't know how to describe, but something just great feeling. That I can almost express myself. I think it's working because as President Hawks and Elder Holland has said, "be careful what you pray for because you will get it." I have been praying for charity to the people. as I have prayed for that, I have opened myself up to the gift of tongues every once and awhile. Its true, the most important things as Christ has taught is Love God with all thine heart and love your neighbors. After that, things work out.

Elder Townsend
(dont have any pictures.. sorry been to busy.)