Letter from Hong Kong

{sent Dec. 10, 2012}

Hello fellow wanderers in this great adventure we call life!

Ok, rumor control first. China is not opening up. President Hawks made it very clear that it is not open, and when it does open they will send missionaries with a little more experience than a bunch of 18 year old boys and a stickie note to call President Monson. There will be a formal announcement and much rejoicing through the church. China is still off. Our zone is doing an online pilot program to do missionary work through online stuff, and we aren’t even aloud to get people’s emails that live in mainland, and our “online missionary site” is blocked so the people there can’t see it. They are still a ways off, so you can put a damper on that rumor!

Next, we don’t get to skype this year on Christmas… 😦 I know, some very mixed feelings about this (of many) new rules. But we still get to call. I can either call on our christmas eve, christmas day, or day after christmas. Maybe not our christmas eve, but I might call on my christmas day, which would mean your christmas eve. Does that make sense? is that ok? We have a big party thing going on all of christmas eve, so that won’t really work. just let me know what time on Christmas day you want me to call and I will make the call!

I got the package. I haven’t opened it yet, so I don’t know what to thank you for yet, but I just want to say thank you soooooooooooooooo much! It really means so much! I also got the awesome Christmas card. You are all really too nice to me! I know Elder O’Berg. I don’t know if I will be able to see him and his parents before they get here, so I won’t be able to send anything home, but I am sending a small package that will have pictures and some good “chinese” stuff!

This week has been a good week. We have really been working hard this week. We have done A LOT of finding this week. We are really trying to get our teaching pool bigger. It has been rough, but I have met some very awesome people that I really hope will start progressing.

Yesterday was Stake conference. There aren’t any chapels in our stake that are big enough to hold stake conference, so they rented big double decker buses for each ward to transport everyone to another chapel. It was pretty cool. Elder Watson from the Asia Area spoke. Even though he isn’t one of the quorum of the 12, it was still cool to be able to listen to a general authority speak. Supprisingly we had a few investigators come even though it was so far away. We didn’t get to sit by them though, because our ward is so awesome and just swarmmed them.

M-, our recent convert, is doing amazing. Yesterday she brought two of her neighbors, and her other friend to stake conference. She is already doing awesome member missionary work. Then she invited us to come to her house after for lunch. She brought those same people, and the entire meal was her bearing testimony to her neighbors, friend, and husband. It was so good. Her neighbor said that she can feel that this church will help her family more than anything, and that she wants to keep coming. There are some more steps we will need to take, but she will accept baptism a lot easier than some other people. We just have to keep working!

I had a really cool experience this week. We were finding and I started talking to this guy. We were just chatting, and I found out that he knew quite a bit about our church already. The only problem, was that he just kept saying that he isn’t interested. In the middle of the conversation, a strong voice popped into my head that said, “take the book of mormon out”. I don’t know about all of you, but the “still small voice” usually is more of a feeling than an actually voice. But this was real, this was actually someone saying “take it out”. So I did. He took a look at the book, smiled, then said that he wants to look at it. He walked away with the book. He wouldn’t give us his contact information, but I know that book will change his life. That voice told me to give him the book of mormon, because he will need it later and he will accept it later, even if I never get to find out the results until I join him in heaven.

One of our investigators, T-, is getting close. The only thing that is stopping her, is she doesn’t feel God has given her enough of an answer. We related god answering prayers like a puzzle. God has given her lots of little pieces, now she just needs to put all those pieces together and see the big, beautiful, picture that is in front of her eyes! Pray for her to have the strength and the faith needed for the next step towards God.

Last week we went to 10,000 Buddhas. It was pretty cool. There are thousands of buddhas all over. I took lots of pictures, but I forgot my camera chord so they will come next week! It was a lot of fun and very cool to see all of them. It is interesting how every single one is doing/holding/shaped different from another one. It is all very interesting, but I can’t imagine that being all the “religious” hope you get in this life. “Do it over again until you get it right!” That just doesn’t sound right! haha

Well, I will end there for this week. Stay strong, remember the spirit of CHRISTmas! Never forget to pray, he is always there for you, no matter what your situation. I love you all!

Love, Elder Bubba Brown

Letter from Hong Kong

{sent Dec 2, 2012}

Hello my amazing friends and family members!

And we are back to december! This is honestly my favorite time of the year. I just love the feeling of Christmas and the lights and how people actually smile! First off, thank you for the emails, letters, and everything else that you all do to support me. It really is a blessing to have so many amazing family and friends who are “round about to bear [me] up”. They gave us some tips to help mail get to the mission better, especially during the holiday season. 1. put down the address exactly. 2. make sure it is air mail. put a stamp or just write air mail.

So, yesterday it happened! M– finally got baptized. It was an amazing day, she is now able to join her two children as members of the church! We were teaching her husband after church, and he told us about the change he has seen in his family, and how he feels that every day he is even changing a little bit! AHHHHHH Soon the whole family will be going through the temple to be sealed!

Last Monday, we taught their family how to have FHE. She cooked us dinner, and we did the lesson and the game. It was a great night! This week we have started teaching some very prepared investigators. They love the church, and all the anti attempts that happen up here in Tolo Harbour haven’t affected them! Most of them live in a different area, so we get to do turnovers and help strengthen other areas. It is good that they are still learning the gospel and progressing, but it is hard putting these people into the hands of other missionaries!

The biggest problem we are still facing is parental opposition. It is one of those things, that we have absolutely no control over. We really just have to rely on God and trust in his timing.

The christmas concert is coming along great. I am excited to be able to sing with all the other missionaries and help people remember why we even have christmas.

Jesus Christ is real. He really was born in the most humble of circumstances. He came to this earth for each of us. He died for each of us. He knows our sins, our trials, our pains, and our weakness. Recently I have also found that he knows our joys, our accomplishments, our smiles, and our laughter. He is there for us and knows each of us. I read a quote the other day from Elder Holland, he talked about God shedding a tear for each tear we shed, these include tears of joy. This is more real than anyone can even imagine, and I am grateful I am starting this journey. I love you all!

Elder Bubba