Temple this week...week 62

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sunday evening we didn't hear from Ian.  When we don't hear from him it means that he has gone to the temple or had a special event on his p day.  We did end up hearing from him on Tuesday, but he didn't send a group email.  These are his messages cut and pasted from previous emails he was responding to.

I didn't realize that Ian had written back about Matthew Bingham's mission call.  He was thrilled and added this:
"I kind of broke down when the fact first hit me. I actually feel like this is the only situation that might even be challenging for him. He is immensely patient and so upbeat about everything that he would have no problem if he was having some struggling investigator. I would be scared too though if I had only one phone call that the person on the other end could cut at any time to share my testimony of the restored gospel of the savior, the plan of salvation, and not to mention all of the commandments. WHERE WOULD I START! He will learn, and I am positive that he will grow, probably faster than any other missionary would."
We are all thrilled for Matthew.  He has such a pure testimony and declares it with boldness.  He will be a fantastic missionary!

I asked Ian about the family that was baptized last week.  Are they from across the border in Guangdong?  His response:  "They are in Lo Wu. That is on the border, but they are on the side that is mainland."

That is incredible.

Notes from Mom:  We received an email from Bishop Choi, who is the bishop of the Sheung Shui ward where Ian is happily serving.  He was going to be coming to the United States for training and we were hoping to meet with him as well as Elder Love's parents.  He wrote this and sent a picture:

Dear Sister Taylor,

This is Brother Choi of Sheung Shui Ward. I suppose to come to Salt Lake City to attend training this coming week, but I have some health problems and medication, the doctor suggest me not to have long travel alone, therefore, I will postponed my training to next year. I feel so sorry to miss the opportunity to meet you and Elder Love’s parents. 

Thank you for raising such a fine son (both of Elder Taylor and Elder Love) who has learned the value of obedience, charity and hard work. You can be very pleased at the worthiness of your son. We love them and are so glad to have them in our ward.

All the best,
Brother Choi

Bonus post for week 61

Friday, October 21, 2016

Elder Love's mom Kim sent a couple of pictures Ian didn't have.  I love getting these!

This is Peter Chu. He lived with us for two weeks as a summer missionary.

Family baptism...week 61

Monday, October 17, 2016

This week the Li Family from the borders of mainland were baptized. Brother Li, Sister Ban, and their daughter Vivian are amazing. I was privileged to conduct their baptismal interviews and you wouldn't believe just how prepared this family is. A very simple, but powerful baptism performed by the Elder's Quorum President. The ward has now had at least one family baptism for the past three years now. It's amazing.

We also were privileged to participate in the true form of missionary work this sunday. A young man has been coming to church for the past few weeks but due to circumstances was not able to meet with Elder Love and I. However, we had a 25 minute lesson with him and his friend who is the one that has been bringing him for the past few weeks. He is now committed to baptism! We are so grateful for the blessings that just are monsooning over our area right now. 

We also have flu shots and Mission Tour this week. Elder Wong will be addressing us. He is the member of the seventy who gave the first talk ever in General Conference that wasn't in English. #Cantonese! Yes...i just used a hashtag in my email. Otherwise, I don't have much to talk about. Blessings are fulfilled as we are obedient. I'm grateful for Elder Love's example to me of this. I have an amazing companion. We have SINGING FINDING tonight. That's always a fun experience. Have a good week y'all!

Notes from Mom: a young man in Ian's ward went into the MTC last week.  He will be serving in Seoul, Korea.  From Ian:  
So there is a young man who just got to the mtc last week. Could you send him something nice for all the lessons that he taught with us these past months that I've been here?
His MTC address is:
Elder Tin Long Angus Lam
2005 N 900 E Unit 104
Provo, UT 84602

This Elder truly is a saint from China. He's an amazing young man.

When I asked Ian what this Elder might like, he had a few ideas:
He likes sweets, but just ask me first. There are specific things that they WILL NOT DO. For example, cinnamon rolls are a NO GO! However, the blueberry rolls would work VERY well from Shirley's bakery (I think that's the name of the bakery right?)

Send him something that you can only get in America. He's going to Seoul on his mission. Be creative!

I asked, "How about trail mix?"
He responded:  "I have not forgotten Dad's bread of life...He'd like that. Doesn't necessarily need to be consumable either. you could send him an XXXL shirt and he would LOVE it."

I responded back:  "As a gag because who is HK wears an XXXL shirt?!"

Ian:  "Definitely not him. He would get a kick out of it though."

This reminded me of Ian receiving a shirt from a bishop who was shocked that Ian needed an XXXL shirt.  

General Conference and ward travel activity...week 60

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Note from Mom:  Ian's letter was a day late because he had a ward activity.  It sounds very successful!  Sister Poon posted some pictures on Facebook.  They are added later.

General Conference was amazing! I think some of my favorites were by Elders Cornish and Elder Nattress. I hope my parents know that, like Elder Natress said, "It's Him." I know it is. I know that it's truly Christ our Savior who leads us in this gospel of truth and light and love.

This week's ward activity was spectacular. Overall, a range of 15-18 Less actives, investigators, and referrals came to it, and EVERY SINGLE ONE HAD A BALL! We played soccer and basketball with all the youth that were there (sore from that) ate with the adult group (sore from that) and took pictures with Angus Lam and his family because Angus will be leaving for his mission to the Korea Seoul South mission. He will be in the MTC for 9 weeks becoming better at English and learning Korean! He's been such a powerful ward missionary and we're proud of him for his decision to serve.

1-Less active A Ming. First time I have ever seen him wearing a white shirt and tie.

2-some of the young men. Our investigator Ken is standing next to Elder Love.

 3-Elder Guinn and I having a fun split second moment together.

4-The Tolo Harbor zone leaders...two transfers in a row! That's four months all serving together as zone leaders!

Sheung Shui Ward travel from Sister Poon!

On my right is a less active named Koon Chi Ming. On Elder Love's left is our investigator Ken Leung Man His.  

Ward Council...week 59

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thought I would tell you a little bit about how it's gonna be working up in 上水 for the next couple of months. This ward council the bishop got up and seemed very excited. He had all the missionary companionships list off the names, ages, genders, and if they had a baptismal date goal for all of the investigators we are teaching. We ended up focusing on 10 names. The Sheung Shui (上水) ward already has 4/10 this year for their baptismal goal, and we all discussed how we can help these ten people progress within the next month, two months, or three in order to have ALL of them baptized by the end of the year. He was very determined. He had a plan, and the spirit was there. Even the members of the council who are usually asleep in the corner by the end of the council were on the edge of their seats and participating in the discussion of supporting these investigators.

Otherwise, I am kind of ignoring all comments about the conference until after I see it. I don't want it spoiled:) Hopefully that's not a bad thing. It's still amazing that we only have to wait a week until almost 12 hours of speaking is translated into more than 100 different languages! You know though. Just another evidence that this isn't just a man's work. Romans 8:16-18, 31-39 are just a few verses that are under the topic of "trust me when I say that it will all be worth it." No challenge even comes close to comparing to the glory that awaits us. We just need to really understand that and apply ourselves (easier said than done right). I know He is real though. He loves us. I love Him, and I will continue to learn of Him until I am unshakable! I invite you all to make the decision as well to obey because of your love for your Father in Heaven. In the name of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, amen.

Notes from Mom:  Ian sent a photo that we enjoyed!  His description:  "Elder love and I thought this was hilarious."  They were right.

I sent Ian a picture of a periodic table printed on shower tiles.  He enjoyed it and we had a familiar exchange. "Ah...the chemistry jokes. That's only one of the many reasons that I love you and how I know that its really my mom emailing me right now."  This made my day. It reminded me of the back and forth we have had about "who are you and what have you done with my (fill in the blank)."

I also sent him a picture of Simon getting asked to the Sadie Hawkins dance.  Simon was asked on Sunday night by one girl and then the next night by another girl.  2 other people were asking if he was available as well.  It got sorted out, but was funny at the time.  When I described the situation to Ian he had this to say:  "There is a saying: Do leuih yat heui. It means a lot of women but only one market. People here say that to us all the time when asking us if the girls in America think were just super good looking. It's very hilarious and awkward, but Simon's definitely got the tougher deal. 加油!"

Speaking of the market, there was a great video posted by the Sheung Shui ward.  It had Ian and Elder Love announcing the English class that they teach on Wednesday at 6:00pm for the children and 7:00 for adults.  The sisters also recorded a video, and the other set of missionaries in the ward that speak Mandarin also recorded a video.  It is a great way of getting people to meet the missionaries and such an effective tool.  This ward and this mission is remarkably good at utilizing social media, as well as involving members in the work.  I was scrolling through Facebook after conference enjoying what people were saying when Ian's video popped into my feed.  I listened to it several times and shared it on Facebook myself, happy to share him translating what Elder Love is saying about the class.  It was amazing.  So many people commented on his fluency.  He looked great and he and Elder Love do so well together.  As of today, this video has 3100 views on Facebook.  I'll try to post the link if I can.

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