Growth Week

Hello my lovely, eternal, family and friends.

I hope everything is going well for all of you. This week has been unusually interesting. My testimony has grown more in the past week, than any other week of my life. After hearing about all of the accidents going on in the family, I was having a bit of a hard time staying focused. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life. I fasted, I did everything I could. I guess the main thing, was being on the other side of the world while everything is going crazy back home. Sister Hawks called and asked me about my back, (which is better now), and she could just sense that something wasn’t right. I guess my Hong Kong mom has that motherly instinct while she is taking care of me. So I asked her if she had any suggestions for me to stay a little bit more focused. She said prayer, fasting, scripture study (the things I have already been doing), and she also set up an appointment for me to talk to her husband. I didn’t think it was that serious, but I agreed. Within the meeting, we talked and he gave me some of the most amazing advice. He shared some very personal experiences, and he just helped me so much. At the end, he gave me a priesthood blessing. It was one of the most amazing blessings I have ever heard. He covered every single one of my concerns, even the ones I hadn’t expressed to him. The spirit was so strong in the room. The way he allowed the spirit to talk through him was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of. In the blessing, he said “You help God’s family here in Hong Kong, and I promise he will help your family over in America.” It was such an amazing experience, and has made all the difference.

I am at this weird part of my mission, where I can understand a lot of the language, but I personally have set my expectations to high, so that has been rough. But once again, the Lord helped me through this. I went on district companion exchanges for a couple of hours to go finding. I got put with an elder who has only been here for about 3 weeks. I was scared to death, but from past experiences, I know the Gift of Tongues is real. So I went at it with faith. We started teaching this lady. She was amazing. She even started bearing her testimony about prayer half way through the lesson. It was awesome, and the spirit was so strong. I knew for sure that she was going to be a golden investigator. Then, at the end of the lesson when we asked her for her number, she just stood up, said “sorry I’m not interested” and then walked away. We both just stood there speechless. I honestly didn’t know what to do! I felt so weird after that lesson, because I didn’t really understand. Then the thought came to my head, she just isn’t ready yet. So I will wait patiently and hope she accepts the gospel at another time.

This morning, we got to go to the temple. The promises and blessings really hit me strongly this time. The spirit was so strong, and it honestly felt like God was sitting there talking to me. Every time I go to the temple, I have a specific question in mind that I would like to have answered. This time, the question was very unique. I honestly had no idea how God would answer it. When I walked into the Celestial room I said a little prayer, then opened the book of Mormon. The very first verse I read answered my question as clear as possible. Just to make sure I had recieved the right answer, I opened to another random scripture, and it gave me the exact same answer. I know without a doubt that God answers prayers. Even if he doesn’t answer a prayer right away, be patient, it will come. I promise God is there and loves each of us enough to give us specific answers to our prayers.

So, that has been the best and the worst of my week. It has been some of the best and worst moments on my mission. Like mom always says, the bad made the good seem even better. I have felt closer to my savior this week. I have felt his love, his atonement, his mercy, his grace, and his willingness. I read a quote this week by Elder Holland. I don’t have the exact quote but it says something like: The path to God is going to be painful to start on, you will have bumps in the road, and sometimes you will get lost. But if you are willing and wanting, the savior is standing with outstretched arms, ready to take your hand and lead you back home.

In Hong Kong, conference is a week behind because they have to translate it, so we get to watch it this weekend. I am so excited! I also get to watch it in English, because President Hawks wants each missionary to watch it in their native tongue. I am so ready for another week of spiritual fulfillment. I am ready to take on this week with whatever the world is going to throw at me. Overall, I would say this week has been pretty good. I am happy and smiling, and I know what I am supposed to be doing. I love you all and I am so excited to hear from all of you next week!

Love, Elder Bubba

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