Losing my mind...week 97

Monday, June 26, 2017

I have been getting up earlier and earlier this week. After this last Zone Conference that we just had, I'm starting to feel the rush of adrenaline that comes when you realize that you have VERY little time to get some WORK done. It's not a panic, but I'm definitely nervous. We are trying to get our studies done earlier in the morning so that we have more time to go out and teach or find or call people or do SOMETHING!

A wonderful senior missionary named Elder James is leaving this week. He came to Hong Kong right before I did, and I have been to so many trainings where he would teach us about how to be better  missionaries. This is the end of his 5th mission. 4th with his wife. 3rd in Hong Kong. He's just a fantastic man who I don't think is even capable of feeling disappointed because of his 24/7 upbeat attitude! I'm gonna miss him, but his last training about receiving revelation through the book of mormon was inspiring.

There is a Chinese greeting that directly translates to mean "Have you eaten your rice yet?" Most Asian cultures have different ways like this of greeting people (funniest one was from Singapore (I think) where they asked if you have bathed that day...). We want to start a greeting in the mission of asking if one has received revelation that day. We should be seeking revelation on a daily basis. It should be the bread and butter of our lives as disciples of Christ. The Bible Dictionary describes this topic as THE requirement for salvation, since one cannot have enduring faith, the will to repent, the resolve to keep the covenants of baptism, or receive the gift of the Holy Ghost without having received revelation! Seek by study and by faith! Seek the Lord's hand in your lives and in the lives of those whom you care for.

Just like the sons of Mosiah in Alma 17:2-3...
Now these sons of Mosiah werwith Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of sound understanding anthey had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
But this is not all; they hagiven themselves to much prayer, and fastingtherefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
I love the work of salvation. It's applicable to each of us. HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
1: We was on a bus and the ONLY ONES on the top deck! Be impressed with Elder Wilcoxson's picture taking capabilities to take it on a moving bus in Hong Kong...

2: All the bretheren...came together...didn't know any Cantonese...Leaving together...fluent...learning Tagalog...not very good though (Except for Elder Daplin...native).

This kid in the blue next to me was a summer missionary a year ago and lived with me for two weeks in Fan Ling. His name is Peter Chu (Mandarin is Zhu).

Bonus post...week 96

Friday, June 23, 2017

I got an email and another picture from another wonderful family!  This is a good one!  Ruth pointed out after seeing the picture, "So they finish dinner and ask, 'Do you guys have any costumes?'" Ian is chanelling the Master of the Universe, with Elder Wilcoxson as what can only be Battle Cat/Cringer. Brother Hyde sent this:

So for some reason all the missionaries that are getting sent out to pasture end up in our English speaking branch.  We have met some great missionaries and are blessed to have them.

Thanks for letting your awesome sons serve. They are coming home soon.  Just one more brutal hot and humid July in Hong Kong and they are all yours.


Mike Hyde

Sorry...not sorry...week 96

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sorry no time. NEW COMPANION IS 230 LBS of BOSS! GREAT WEEK! Will you engage in the Wrestle? I would highly reccomend it. You learn a lot...Elder Love is now Zone Leader, but not in my zone. Just saw him at MLC.

Ian and Elder Love at MLC.

Ian and Elder Johnson before his departure.

Ian and Elder Wilcoxson, now companions!

Week 95

Monday, June 12, 2017

I don't have much time to do emails because a typhoon is coming in and they will be closing down the store, but I want you to know that this week is still full of blessings. I love my mission. I'm sad to see the end so close. I don't want it to be. There is too much to leave undone. I thought I'd tell you: I have now had 3 investigators from my last area that have been baptized. They have all called me prior to their baptisms and bore their testimony to me. This last week was a man named Kevin Lee, who is in a relationship with a member of the ward. He was a hard man when I first met him, but I became good friends with him very quickly through the power of the Spirit. He is now baptized, and he cried at his baptism (Chinese men DON'T cry...ever...I mean it...EVER). 

No time for anything else, but I am really Heavenly Father's most spoiled child. I wish I could do more to deserve these blessings, but thankfully I don't have to. I just have to be doing my best. I am enough because I am His. Love you momma.

Notes from Mom:  Ian was able to send a picture from the recent missionary conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Soares, and Elder Waddell.  It's fun to see so many of the faces we love so much!  

Bonus post...week 94

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Notes from Mom:
As I have said before, when Ian isn't able to send a picture, I can almost EXPECT that a member will send one that is caring for my boy.  This week it happened again! I love these thoughtful people! This morning I received an email from the Forte family:

We enjoyed having your son's in our home tonight for a little spaghetti, meatballs, and corn on the cob. They just left in fact. 
They shared a fun spiritual message about pickles which we all enjoyed.
They were very excited for us to send you out this pic w our two youngest boys. We have a son serving now and having your fine sons with us tonight made it seem like he wasn't so far away.
Mike Sheila Forte family

Miracles don't always have to happen in perfect situations...week 94

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sorry this is so late. We woke up at 5 this morning to go and hike to the 大佛 (Big Buddha). It is one of, if not the biggest Buddha statue ever. THEN we crossed almost the entire mission in just over an hour (because our mission is small and the MTR train is a miracle on wheels) to Sheung Shui to eat Tai food with a member named Jello...we did not eat Jell-o though. THEN we went to 王角 (Mong Kok) to pick up Elder Johnson's tailored suits...now I'm here and I have traveled the mission and back...Tonight we get to have a meeting with the zone to discuss goals and have a devotional, as well as get reports from them for our meeting with the District President on Wednesday.

The Victoria 1st branch is full of some of the most faithful members I have ever met (other than maybe the ones from my own home ward in the 'Ville!). I wanted to share a story with you that was shared in Elder's Quorum yesterday:
A brother was living in Massachusetts and would commute to work in New York every morning Monday through Saturday at 6:30 am and would get back home from 7:30 to 8 pm. Pretty rough. He mentioned that his family was struggling relationship-wise because of his lack of time with them. Just as he felt he couldn't handle any more, his bishop asked him to take the calling of the seminary teacher. He said that this was the hardest calling he had ever accepted. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know where the time would come from. Even to this day, he doesn't understand the fullness of it. He just knows that times were stretched, or he was given sudden bursts of strength, the Spirit would guide him in his lessons when he literally had no strength to prepare them. His employment improved more rapidly than ever, and he ended up being given more time to be with his family because of it. "To this day," he said, "I have never felt more in tune with the Spirit than I was at this time...not even on my mission."
This struck me. Will I be willing to take the callings that are extended to me? Will I MAGNIFY them? A feeling of peace filled me though. I don't know what callings I or my family will have in the future. Actually, I'm not even sure exactly what my family's current and various callings would entail. I am sure of one thing though: Callings are more than burdens...they are opportunities. They are blessings in the form of other people. They are times of closeness to God. Times of weaknesses and having those weaknesses being miraculously turned into strengths as we repent and exercise our faith.
I still remember a line from a movie from FOREVER ago. "Never stop pushing your limits." We are literally only limited by our lack of faith in ourselves and in God. Ask Him to teach you. He will. I can testify of this because I have seen it happen to me every single night. I pray after my day asking what more I could have done, or what weaknesses were strengths that day. I push the rewind button looking back to the times where I was not relying on myself, but rather on the Holy Ghost. 

Please brothers and sisters, friends, family, whoever you want to call yourself, don't resist those feelings and urges to do good things. Don't stop acting. Never stop pushing your limits of how much good you can do. You are needed more than you know right now. Look for someone under your care (there's always someone) and share you ability to heal and lead and love, just like the Savior did. Be a light to the world. You are a light for me.

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