This week was pretty awesome, it feels like so much and so little. Lots of things felt like they happened! It started off with New Year's Eve.
We had only a little time that night after we got home from spending the day on Cheung Chau island doing some proselyting. There wasn't really any success there, but we met some nice people visiting from Israel. That night we went on splits with the Tung Chung elders (the only ones we ever see because there are only 4 of us out here and we live together) and did some chinese work. We were able to also talk to some people and I had to remember some of my gospel vocabulary which felt weird speaking back in Cantonese again! We usually just tend to the noodles and rice vocab. Anyways we were all walking back that night to our house and feeling the energy of a new year. Across from our little place is a pizza shop. We decided to check out the prices, pizza is pricey out here. There seemed to be a good deal so we debated it. While talking to the lady, we heard some big booms and ran out of the place only to see about 15 seconds of fireworks in the sky!! No idea where they came from, but with that excitement we all spent a little more for that late dinner! Probably lame for normal people, but for us missionaries it was great!
It was super cool because this week we were able to have some service opportunity. This area we have not had an opportunity to serve. The past few weeks it had just kept coming up in my mind and my studies that we need to find a service opportunity. After a week of asking around, Brother Bishop had a project for us! He is going to be putting together a little community center out of this old school and needed some help clearing it out and all the work needed. That week, he set up a day, got some more members and we went out and did some work. He had been working for this and planning for a long time and we were able to help. He also thinks it'll be a great tool for service and missionary work in the future. It was a great time. Machetes hacking and saws going to work. We basically removed 10 years of growth from this place and took down a huge tree that had fallen into the place. It was nice to do a little more hands on work and get tuckered out from that. I love doing service projects they just make it so great.
This week we met an awesome lady and her two daughters. It started off with my companion saying "hey, we're the missionaries!" and her responding "and I'm not! Got my cup of beer on me!" We laughed and started to talk to them. It ended up being a great conversation and walked with them to their place. After her two girls, about 11, said they would love to come to church! The lady seemed open to the option as well. On saturday night, we called and confirmed them. But then on sunday, they didn't show. It was a bummer just because we spent this week mainly being rejected and had met these great people. It is alright, we'll keep going!
Sunday was a great experience during sacrament meeting. The first person to share his testimony spoke on how with New year's we always focus on how we can improve and what we did wrong or not so good. He then shared the that he felt a great gratitude for the year and all that had happened. What stuck out to me most was the story he related from the Bible. He shared about the 10 lepers and then as they were healed, one turned back and praised the Lord. After he shared this, I had a great appreciation for this past year as well. It was a year completely in the service of the Lord. I thought of what was learned and what had happened. I thought of how much I must praise the Lord. There was another member who stood up and shared about the simpleness of following little commandments and how little blessings come to us. He said that as he thought of last year and how terrible it had been he also realized how amazing it was. That through the small and little things, that life was strengthened. He and others shared a lot of how much the fellowship and love from others in the branch had strengthed them. Brother Deynu, Joel, got up and bore his testimony and it was very powerful. He testified of the power of the Lord and the confidence he brings. Then to wrap it all up a member shared his testimony about how he lost his boys, went around running and looking for them and then found them on a bench, crying and praying that Heavenly Father would help their parents find them. The member shared that is when he felt like all those things he does are worth it and that he'll "just keep trying."
I loved that little thought. Enduring to the end was also a theme, but not slowly, but with enthusiasm, strength and most importantly gratitude. I felt that I was able to pull some great messages out of their testimonies and pumped up more for the work. Not going to lie, I am super tired, but with others it gets me what I need. It'll be a good year and I am excited to work harder this last little bit.
That is all I can think of for today. Happy new year and happy day.
We went to Big Buddha and Elder Falk came out to it! We live near buddha out here. Also that is my nice picture of my new years treat of Shave Ice and red beans! Then the service project. I built a swing for the kids out of a vine on the big tree. Scotty was the best at swinging on it. Then the other picture is of my companion and Luke working on a tree. Notice the branch that Elder Campbell is standing on and the branch they are sawing. Also how far Luke's saw is into the tree. hahahaha It was funny.