New Week! August, 24, 2014

Hello there. Well a new transfer is here and the last one flew by so darn fast!
So I have a new companion who is actually from Hong Kong as well. His name is Elder Woo. He is from Tai Po ward which is the ward that I started my mission in! So that is cool. Elder Chan is done with his mission, so hope all goes well for him. He is a great guy and companion.

Well Jason went to Youth Conference this past week! It was with all the youth of Hong Kong. He had a great time and said that he learned a lot. It was awesome to see him. He was at church yesterday and afterwards we talked about what he had learned and he said that one of the biggest things he learned is enduring to the end. He shared some things about that. It was great to see how much he is growing. We shared about the most important fact of enduring to the end is always involving Christ and allowing Him to strengthen us. It was great and I was so happy to see him doing well. 

Well just a miracle occurred this week! Anderson, who we had that experience previously calling him on the day he needed help and went to the temple to pray, called us on Tuesday night! We had been trying to reach him for the past couple months and not had the best success in it. He gave us a call and we were able to meet with him on Wednesday night right before Elder Chan left. It was a great thing. I was beyond happy to see him. Anderson is the greatest man ever. He just needs the blessings of the gospel so much. He is changing jobs so hopefully we can see him again and he will have  a better schedule. We talked with him about how he had been and just let him know we love him and here to help him. We were supposed to meet him on Saturday but he had to go out to the city area so we weren't able to meet up. Hopefully this week though! 

On Saturday we had some people come to an almost family home evening type activity. Our ward mission leader had put it on. It was great because we had a recent convert who has been struggling lately come and I hope it helped her! She came to church the following day! The sisters in our ward have been moved out and now we have a new set of elders with us! They are pretty cool. One of them reminds me and even sounds of my best friend Josh Wood so it just blows my mind. He is a hard worker so it is great. 
At the activity we shared a little message on relying on Christ and knowing that all things are possible through Him. We watched the "Because of Him" video. I love that video. It helps me put in picture how great Christ is. It helps me think of things that I thought I wouldn't be able to do and see how He helped me do them. Christ is our strength and our light. Sometimes I will just think "man how do I help these people on the street. They are busy, they don't care too much and they really don't like us." But then I just have to pray so hard that Heavenly Father will allow me to feel His love for them and that I will be able to see these people the way Christ would, help me know the way that He would serve them. It takes so much work and train of thought, but it is so great to feel a little bit of His love for them. I love these people so much. I'll admit I will get frustrated in my mind because things don't happen the way I would like, but then it makes me want to love them more. I don't understand how Heavenly Father works, but He does strengthen me consistently. 

This week we were out showing the area to the new elders and had a great experience. Sometimes (especially the women) will say their thoughts out loud here in Hong Kong and then surprised when you respond back. so while showing them the area, this lady saw a group of 4 guys in the same clothes and say "what are they doing?" she was walking with her son. So I turn around and told her we were missionaries! She was super surprised that I knew what she was thinking haha. Anyways we talked with her, shared a little message, and then asked if we could leave with a prayer. Her little boy was nervous to say the prayer, so the new elder being trained did. It was awesome. He had so much courage and was like, yeah i'll pray. It was his second day in Hong Kong, with lots of other people and he didn't think twice. Man, I wish I could have that courage. It was so great to see him have the faith and determination to pray and help people. He taught me a good lesson of having faith and courage. 
Well that is all I got.
Oh can I get an answer to this: Where do almonds come from? I was eating a white nectarine and the seed was cracked and I found an almond in it, tasted very powerfully almondy. So Elder Cordon and I have been wondering where they come from.
Elder Townsend
1. Oyo from Crossraods!!!
2. Brother Wong and me wtih the baby pig for dinner!

Good bye Elder Chan August 17, 2014

Well this week is a sad week for me because Elder Chan will be finishing his mission. He is the greatest companion ever, we sure had a great time together. We may not of had all the success we wanted but we learned a lot! Hope he does well with life. haha 
Well not terrible to much to write on for today.

Last monday we headed to the Peak (highest point in HK) and went to the rock where the dedicatory prayer was offered for the mission work in HK. We looked at the date etched in 65 years ago. It was pretty cool and a good experience. The pioneer-age that is there. The people that have given all they had to work for the Lord. I love it. I am so thankful to serve here in Hong Kong.

Well this week we met with Jason for a little, he headed out to Mainland so we won't see him for awhile. He will be coming back for a couple of days to go to Youth Conference though which will be great! Also it has been really cool because the other ward that we share our little building with has a lot of young men and recently they have been fellowshipping Jason a ton, inviting him to basketball with them and other activities. It is so great. I love it. 

Also this week was great because we talked about how Jason could do things to help his mum see how the gospel has helped him and also allow us an opportunity to meet with her. He said he would think of something and pray about it. When we scheduled him later that week, he said that he had to run to the library to find a recipe so we had to meet earlier. My companion was like "maybe he got a girlfriend?" we weren't too sure. Well when we meet up with him he tells us that his plan is that he will start cooking for himself! So he doesn't bother his mum with cooking because she works a lot! It was great to know that he came up with this on his own and that he is starting to do it! Jason is so great. Also we are hoping that youth conference will help him gain a stronger testimony as well. Help him know the truthfulness of the this gospel and have his own testimony.

Well we also were able to meet up with Leonardo this week. He is such a cool guy. I like him a ton. He went to a member's house this last week with us and it was a great experience. These member is the coolest people. He was a convert at 14, served a mission, served other places in the church, and just the nicest guy. Thomas also shared about how the gospel has blessed him and how he came closer to God. Just what Leonardo needed to hear. Then this Sunday Leonardo only got 30 of minutes of sleep that night and came to church! He has to take care of his little brother so couldn't sleep too much. Only bummer is that Leonardo heads out to Mainland this week and will be out there for awhile and when he comes back he goes to school so we won't see him as much. He lives at his school and only home on weekends. Hopefully we will still be able to help him out. 
Well I don't know what to write about this week. It went fast and the people we do teach are not here right now.. 
Life is good. the mission is good. it is a good time to be a missionary. It is hard, but oh so good. 
Elder Townsend
The pictures:
1. is at the peak with the date (hard to see) also wind was blowing good up there.
2. This little girl cherry that became my friend. Starting talking to us on the train and then gave me some dragon eye fruit that her and her helper/nanny went and picked. She was hilarious.
3. cheng out that we had. Snails and innards... 
4. crab.

Hellow There!!! August 10,2014

Well this week was a solid one! As well as last week. Just doing work and loving it!
Alright where to start.. Hmmm.. 

Ok so one thing that myself as well as other missionaries have really come to love out here are the t-shirts. There are always random english on them and have random sayings. We all agree that they seem to contain messages from Heavenly Father to us when needed. I could go on with lots of ones that have helped but no need. The one that I loved this week was I was thinking and pondering a lot on what I needed to do and what as a companionship needed to do to help a couple of our investigators out and also our zone. 
There was just some things that were weighing in on my mind especially with our investigators. I had been praying a lot on how we could help them and was thinking of ways. One day while we were on the light rail to a lesson, i was just saying another quick pray in my heart on how we should help an investigator out. Well once I finished this lady walks on right in front of me and her shirt says to me "Do all things with love." It is a pretty simple answer, but it was so powerful to me. It made me really think, was I doing everything I could do to love this investigator and remembering to act in love for him? I was stoked for that shirt because I am going to focus more on that!

Alright well we had Mission Tour this week with Elder Funk and Elder Wong from the Quorum of the Seventy. It was awesome. They taught us a lot on teaching to the needs of our investigator and also I really learned was teaching with conviction, power and authority. It was a great learning experience. Elder Wong is from HK and recently put in the first quorum of the seventy, so hopefully he speaks in General Conference soon! He is super powerful and funny. It was awesome when he shares about how the missionaries taught him and that they gave him a book mark once 30 something years ago where they wrote his goal to read the Book of Mormon and he still has that book mark! When he shared his testimony and he read from John 6:69 and said his words are Peter's words then he said, "thou art the Christ. I know it." It just shook me, it was so powerful and the Spirit bore testimony to me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 

Alright well this week we had a cool experience with a kid that we met on the street. He is 17 years old. So what happened was that a couple of weeks ago, Elder Chan and his summer missionary ran into him on the street, talked to him about prayer, and that was about it. He was from Mainland and was living here for a couple months in the summer, so not too much thought was put into him. Well then this past week, we ran into him on the street again. This time we asked if he wanted to sit down and talk he said yeah. We sat down and started to talk to him. He had some questions for us already. Comes to find out that his sister had just passed away and that she was a Christian and had left some things behind. So he was curious about her and would he have a chance to see her again. He was curious about God and everything. So we taught him there about God and eternal families. We gave him a Book of Mormon. We scheduled another time that week to meet up again and talk more. 
We then met up with him, he gave us back the Book of Mormon because he didn't know traditional characters too well. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was really well. When we asked him if God existed, would He love him, he said no. He understood trials were to gain experience but that God wouldn't love him. He had lost his dad, sister, and other relatives already. It was hard on him. We bore testimony with him, he felt it, but it wasn't enough just quite yet. Since he is leaving back to Mainland the next week, we scheduled him again in hopes he could check out our chapel and we could get him a simplified character Book of Mormon. Well he said he could and we would meet him on Saturday, just a few days before he headed back. 
This time when we met with him, we focused a lot on teaching him out of the Book of Mormon so he would feel the power that it contained. It was a great lesson. After that lesson, I could just feel the love God had for him. But Heavenly Father still wanted him to know it a little more, so for some reason a member who teaches our gospel principles class was at the chapel. She was looking for something and happened to be the same time. Well I know that Heavenly Father planned that. Sister Kwan is the best, she just makes everyone around her smile and feel loved. So we walk out of the room and Sister Kwan was there. Well she started talking to Tse for a bit with us. After a little while, we left because we had to go to other things to do with missionaries. Then we come back an hour later and they are all talking still laughing and happy. It was just a tender mercy of the Lord. He gives everyone the chance to know how much He loves them, especially through other people. That is why I loved the shirt "Do all things with Love." Because it was a reminder to me, that love might be God manifesting His love to someone else through me.

Alright well another wild event happened on Friday before english class. I was on exchanges with Elder Beal and we were in Tuen Mun. Well we came to the church to have dinner before and then in hopes teach Raymond before english class. Well when we called him again, he said he wasn't going to be able to make it. So that through off the plan for about 10 seconds, but then the Butterfly ward elders called us saying a guy Leonardo was coming and he lived in our area. He wanted to meet up and have a lesson! So right before we teach Leonardo, a call comes in from a random number. This guy, A-Pao, wants to meet up because he is in the area of the church. He told me that we had met him before and prayed with him. I wasn't positive on who he was but definitely welcomed him. Then he calls again saying he is going to bring his friend who is Christian to check out this church to see if it is good or not. While teaching Leonardo, he shows up. Some of the other elders hung out with him while we were in the lesson. 
Leonardo is the greatest, most spiritual person I have met. His lesson was incredible. He shared that he hadn't prayed before but was invited by the other missionaries to the previous week. Each night, he said, he would pray and when he prayed he felt that someone was listening and that not only someone was listening that something was pushing him. Helping him feel the strength that he needed. It was great. He then came to church and had a great experience. He was like I could use all of this in my life. The lessons were on the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. we hadn't introduced any of this yet to him and were curious on how he would respond. We weren't nervous though because we knew God had it planned that way. Anyways we then meet with A-Pao afterwards. Him and his friend decide to go to english class. Then we teach them afterwards. His friend was all stoked about the Book of Mormon. He was so excited to read more prophets writings on Christ. It went all well.
I am out of time. 
Life is good. I love it out here.
Elder Townsend

Hey there....August 3, 2014

This is going to be a hard one to write today. We had to drop off some summer missionaries in Kowloon Tong today so we have to email at the apple store and it is always hard to email here.

Well this week we had a mission leadership council and it was incredible. President first off related about 65 in July experience. He shared on how after it happened he felt like we had a little "Zion's Camp" experience. We all learned lots and grew so much. Our mission doubled and a half the amount of baptisms we get in a month as well so it showed so much more work and effort being put into the work! 
Well later in the meeting we had a discussion time that involves President Hawks training us all. This time he started off asking questions of what was learned in July and what we must do as a mission to keep up the work and not go back to the old normal. 
We started talking and sharing thoughts. Eventually we got to the subject of needing a new mission goal, that this would keep us going. The Spirit was present in that meeting and each leader was being inspired. It was amazing, one missionary would share a thought and then the next. 
Ideas were bouncing off of each other and we came to what was needed. I had shared that I don't like meeting a goal and then leaving it at that. Others agreed with me, so we proposed to President that we do 65 in December. And that to make sure we work hard we challenged each companionship to meet a goal of bringing one person to baptism in the month of Aug and Sept and then again in the month of Oct and Nov we do the same. Then in December everyone brings someone to baptism and we reach our goal of 65! It is very possible and we all knew it. But we also wanted to do more, so we also said that in those three periods.. Aug and Sept... Oct and Nov... and December, we would re activate and bring back one less active member each time. So therefore we could bring more back to Christ! President Hawks was loving what was going on and kept us on track. He was smiling so big and it was fantastic. So we made the goal.

SORRY IT IS SO HARD TO WRITE HERE, SO NOISY. I will need to write better next week.
Jason is doing well. He made himself a goal for this month on the 17th! hopefully he will get it! also we were going to go visit his parents but they declined. 
I had a summer missionary this week and we found this really cool kid named Raymond!! He came to English class and then to church and now has a baptismal date! he is awesome! 
Sorry I really can't write here. 
Just know i am doing great, happy, tired, hot, happy, loving it, all my limbs work, and life is going well. Just working till we drop! Such a great experience. 
Elder Townsend!

We had e a zone training meeting and the sisters had us make bracelets for unity activity/lesson! haha
We had a really hot day and happened to come across water fountains in Tung Chung! haha 
Squatting there with no shoes is more normal than anything.
Hit up the disneyland line on the way there! Little hike to a lake by disneyland!

End of July....

neih hou.
Well this week was a quick week I think.. Not really sure where it went. We went on exchanges again so it felt really quick. It is always good to see how other missionaries work and working with them. Exchanges always tucker me out because when you get with someone new for a little bit there always seems to be random little miracles and those just work you good!
Well to let you know how my Sunday went, it included me thinking twice that two different people were speaking French or something.. haha I would love to say it is because my mind is tired, but I am not too sure. Sometimes when someone who is a native mandarin speaker speaks cantonese it either sounds like mandarin or (as I found yesterday) french. But it sure does keep things lively! 
Well I don't have much to write on this week.
July is to an end and it was a good month of learning. A lot of missionaries worked hard as well as us. It was definitely a month of growing and learning more about what faith is, as well as in really relying on the Lord. It was interesting because my companion and I really wanted to have a baptism in July. We were working for it in May, and then in June, and then in July. We had a couple investigators who we thought were them to be baptized! We were stoked. One of them, who we had seen miracles with, disappeared. We couldn't contact him. It was heartbreaking. So many things were going for him and he had changed so much. His life had a lot of things going for him, new opportunities. Anderson was doing so well. But with change of jobs and whatever else, he was gone. So we pushed forward, got to keep working. Then Jason came into the picture. We were teaching him and he was doing so well. It was just miracle after miracle! He loves what he is learning and living it. But when the end of July came, he wasn't allowed to be baptized. At first, I wondered why we couldn't have a baptism, I was a little bummed. But as I evaluated the situation, I saw what I learned, or more as what I was able to do without realizing it. I was able to depend on the Lord much more than I have before. I was able to really start to pray to Him with more love and more closely.I was able to start to pray in a way that I felt closer to Him as I knelt to pray to Him. Also we were able to help our investigators, and those on the street, see and feel the power of faith. The power of change. It was a really neat experience. Even though we didn't see what we worked for, we saw something else.  I am super grateful for this experience. Sometimes I feel like I may have almost failed the Lord and my mission president in not helping someone be baptized, but I know I didn't. The Lord has plans and allows us all to learn. President Hawks always talked about how this was so much more than we knew, and it sure was. It was a lot more than I knew what would happen.
Jason is doing well. He is signed up for seminary! The teacher in our ward asked him and he said yeah he could do it. She then told him it was early in the morning and he was like, ok no problem. This will be exciting for him! Also he is reading the Book of Mormon everyday! He is finding scriptures that help him and it is so exciting! Just to see him really see the importance of daily scripture study. Jason had some friends that tried to "anti" him, but he told them they were wrong and didn't know. He told them to come and see, but they wouldn't. We were so stoked to hear how he reacted and share his testimony!
Well that is all I got for today.
Elder Townsend