Discovery Bay October 26, 2014

Well good news, Jason got baptized this Sunday and his mum attended the baptismal service! At least that is what I am told... Say what? Yep, I have been transferred to a new area.. But it is all good because it is great. I am now serving in Discovery Bay which is an international branch out here on Lantau Island! Yep, that means I am speaking the English! My companion is Elder Young (first non-chinese companion in over 9 months.. haha) At first I was feeling a little bummed because I wouldn't be there for Jason, but after I ran into president on moves, meeting members and investigators, and Prayer, I know I am at where I need to be! I LOVE IT! This branch is super great and they are the nicest people. Also, i actually completely understood the church meetings! haha It went by so fast.

Some cool things about Discovery Bay is that there is a family here, the Steimle's, that were in the same ward as my dad in Draper! I had ran into them once a month ago and had recognized them and was excited to see them, now I am in their branch! They are so great and it made it so cool walking into the branch and feeling their warm welcome. I am excited to work with them! They are super involved in missionary work and the branch and you can just feel their love radiate off of them! We will be heading over to their home this coming week so I am stoked for that.

Well I don't know what to write about. I guess I will start with the week. I found out I was moving on Tuesday and we had Jason's baptismal interview on that night. So since he had to try on the whites for baptism, we snagged a picture. haha The computer I am on can't send photo's but I will try later. Then I got to say goodbye to a couple of less-active members we had been working with and bear my testimony one last time to them. Mike and A-Chong have such great progress and are reading the Book of Mormon a lot. Their testimonies were such a strength to me, sure do love them! Well then on Wednesday, we went to Crossroads. Oyo had found out that it would probably be Elder Cordon's last week and maybe mine there, so he had a present for us. He sewed us some of his very own shorts! He is very good at it so it was so awesome. Just like the ones he makes. Then we were able to get a Crossroads T-shirt so Elder Cordon and I were so happy. That was such a great time serving there and just fell in love with all the workers/volunteers there.

Well this week we went and met with an investigator named Joel. He is from France and is the greatest man ever. We had sat down to share with him about baptism by fire, he had baptized as a Catholic when he was a baby, and had some questions. Well it ended up being a great lesson and he showed us his wisdom. He had read 2 Nephi 31 previous to the lesson and had a great comparison. He compared baptism by fire to a forest fire or a controlled one when a person must rid the land of weeds, old plants, and other things. Then the fire goes through and destroys it all so that a pure, rich soil can be made and then new plants can grow to their fullest. It was amazing when he was sharing this. 
Going into the lesson, we didn't know this would happen. He hadn't accepted a baptismal invite before, then that night he was teaching us. We extended a baptismal invite to him and he accepted. He also has a son named Gabriel. Gabriel is such a creative boy and hilarious. Joel is hoping to guide his son in the light and on the path to God. We walked home in complete awe that night. I was amazed at the faith and desire in that man. I hadn't seen such a deep understanding and desire of the scriptures until that night.

Later we met with a sister and then a family who are from the Phillipines. They are so great and I love them. Their is the Cruze family who are just the greatest people. It is a father and mother at home now. The faith and strength that they demonstrate is great. We are hoping to see them come next week to church. Walking into their home, I just felt such a peace. We shared a message from Alma 14 and they shared experiences where God had blessed them through Priesthood Power.
It is going well out here. When I first got out here, I was missing chinese people so much. After so long with them, I felt like I could relate to them so much more and to be honest, I was pretty nervous to talk with people in English and also to not locals. But after meeting the members and investigators, I felt a lot more peace and excited to go forth. The branch is just great. We had started a 40 day fast in Tuen Mun and I decided to ask my companion about it and he like the idea. So we talk witht the Mission Leader and Branch President and will be starting just in time that it will end before Christmas! It'll be a great way to open opportunities to bring other unto Christ for Christmas!
One thing that is really hard, praying out loud in english. I feel so awkward and always go to say something in Chinese. I have to translate as I pray. Especially with all the Thy's, thou's and thee's. 'th' is pretty rough. haha I have been working on it though!
Well it is going good, i am excited.
Elder Townsend

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