2 years at it. Jan. 25, 2015

Well this week will mark my 2 years as Elder Tong, well actually it is Elder Townsend now.. In order to celebrate the elders that we live with (only others on Lantau island) and us will go out for lunch at our favorite noodle place Tam Jai. We already go once every week, but this time we will get the most spicy soups go can get. This soup is a hot and numbing soup so it'll be great. So stoked. 
This coming sunday will be fantastic as well! Sister Arlyn and Gabriel will be baptized!! Gabriel will be baptized by his father Joel. That is very special and will be such a neat experience for them. I am so excited.

This week was quick and I am not sure what happened. Maybe because I slacked on the journal writing this week. darn, i will fix that. 
We had interviews with President Hawks and it was great. They are only for 10 minutes which basically feels like 1. Every time we meet with him I respect him more and more. President Hawks is an amazing man and truly does the Lord's work. That is one thing I really enjoy about President is that he teaches us to be humble and obedient to the Lord's will and what is best for the work. One of the things that he does, I am very grateful for. He has asked that missionaries do not baptize any investigator, that a member does. This will help the bond build between members and new converts and help them receive support. I thought this was neat and was very smart. 

Then just this last week, Sister Arlyn asked if I could baptize her. Instantly, what President Hawks has asked came to my head. I thought of that but then also the thought that she has never had any male fellowshippers to help, so maybe it would be alright if I did. I also wanted to, she will be the first person I teach from start to baptism on my mission. I thought that would be really neat. But I knew what President had asked. We talked about it with her. She ended up deciding that the family she works for dad, Brother Lau could baptize her. She thought about it and decided it would be good. 
At first I was thinking man, that would be cool for them, but then I also thought of how much more special it will be to watch and that Brother Lau will do the ordinance.
 I respect Brother Lau so much and he is such a great role model. He will always be there to support Sister Arlyn along with his family.  This made me realize even more the importance of obedience. That it is understanding and doing the Lord's will. I am thankful for the inspired leaders I have to help guide me to do it. 

In Elders quorum we had a lesson that involved a part on the importance of voluntary obedience. President Hawks has a quote that he always says from President Ezra Taft Benson. "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, at that moment God will endow us with power." I think it even goes past irritant to the point of we do it because we just do. I believe obedience is something we desire to learn and live. Not learning to live to follow rules, but to understand them and then to understand God's will.
 It made me think of when we taught primary and we were portraying God's Plan and Satan's plan. On  how they were brought up. The kids ended up saying, one plan was good because it had rules. It helped us be safe and do right. I thought, yes that is true, but how much better are those when we understand those "rules" and then we can better live them to the advantage that they can be to our life. Because religion is definitely not something that we have in our life, but it is our life. It should be something we live each day. That is what I have come to see how it plays effect in the members lives and also mine. When living obedience and religion is what I do and think, it makes it so much more enjoyable to share with others and also gives me guidance. The simpleness of just obeying. 

We were in a lesson with an investigator who has some great questions that can be pretty big. There are a couple members who help us and it goes really well. One thing is that they bring up a lot is how they understand what it can do for them and what things do. It is because they desire to understand and I really like that.  We help her understand the principle of faith and what it really takes. That faith isn't something that is thrown around or that it should not be taken lightly, it is the very core of why we do the things we do. That there must always be faith. We can have as much evidence, but there must be faith too. I have been pondering that lately.
Holy cow, I am sorry, I went off on a rant and now I am confuse with myself and almost out of time here... haha
Anyways, I will write in my journal this week so I will know what to write about next week. Being a missionary is pretty rad and I like it. Thanks for the prayers for me to have energy. I feel it. Not so tired as much. 
Elder Townsend

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