March 30

Hello All!

It has been such a great week, lots of craziness, lots of laughter, and once again lots of miracles. Here it goes:

Monday night we are able to see an investigator (I wont say his name because of the craziness of the story). So we start to teach Bob, and he is acting very weird. He is a little different anyways, but on that night he was acting extra weird. In the lesson he talked about cutting his hand and now he made an atonement like Jesus to overcome sin. He was dead serious. Then he grabbed our pamphlet and ripped it up. We were both pretty uncomfortable, so we ended the lesson. The next problem is that he wouldn’t leave. He stuck his foot in the door and wouldn’t let me close it. He just kept saying, "I want to stay with you." "let me be with you". It was really weird. Finally after talking, some slight nudges, and some silent prayers. He agreed to leave. He said, "wait, aren’t you supposed to shake my hand?" I really didn’t want to, but if it would get him to leave, I would do it. So I stuck my hand out, He said, "I want a hug" and jumped at me. There he was just holding onto me, and I wanted to be anywhere else in the world. It was pretty bad. Finally I pushed him off and locked the door. He sat there knocking on the door trying to get in but we just ran away. It was very awkward.

We went to visit a potential investigator at his house, his name is Brother C–. I have never met him before, but the last time I tried to visit, we buzzed at the intercom and he quickly hung up. This time we went to the intercom and buzzed up, but nobody answered. We tried a couple more times, but didn’t have any success. We finally decided to go finding in the area until our next appointment. We felt a really strong impression to start walking down this little sidewalk. The very first man we started talking to was very nice. This was our conversation:
Me: What is your name?
Him: Brother C–.
Me: (getting kind of excited) Wait, where do you live?
Him: Right here (pointing to the building we were just trying to get into)
Me: Do you live in 6A?
Him: How do you know that?
Me: We are here to find you!
It was the man we were originally planning on visiting! It was such a great lesson. He let us up immediately and was so receptive to our message. He has cancer, so things in his life are very precious. He also is feeling the stress of having an illness, and the gospel gets to be the soothing peace he needs in his life. It was so good.

Brother Y– had a great breakthrough this week. He walked into the lesson and said, "I’ve made up my mind, I want to be baptised. No more excuses. I have decided to be baptised on either April 12 or 20" So we knelt down and prayed and he felt he should be baptised on April 20! I am so unbelievably excited for him! His only problem is that he wants to wait until April 10 before starting to keep the word of wisdom, because he thinks that is enough time. We still have a ways to go, but his desire is there now!

Ok, now I get to tell you about our little rainstorm we had yesterday. We were eating dinner, and the light drizzle outside started to pour harder and harder. Then we went across the hall to talk with President. As we were talking, it started to pour really hard and there was lightning and thunder. Then we had to go across the street to the church/mission office. As soon as we stepped outside, our umbrellas broke under the strong wind. We ran over to the church and got sopping wet in the process. As soon as we got to the church, we realized that water was shooting under the doors and starting to build up on the church floor. We ran all over trying to find the sand bags to stop the water from coming into the chapel. We finally got the sand bags placed in front of the doors and the drains uncovered so the water could be let out. I tried to take some pictures, but the wind and rain were going to fast for my camera to get a good picture. Just as soon as we got back into the office, we got a call from President Hawks telling us to get all the missionaries back to their apartments because it had just turned to black rain. So we got that called out and grabbed the other 4 missionaries in the office to run across the street to the temple. By that time, the streets were already filling with water. The temple is kind of built on a hill, so the water was just pouring down the street. The street drains couldn’t drain the water fast enough. So we finally got back to the temple, and changed into dry clothes. We then ran down into the temple parking garage. There was water pouring through one of the emergency exit doors and down the stairs and started to flood the elevator lobby. There was also lots of water pouring down from the ceiling. So we spent a good deal of time getting that cleaned up and pushing water to different drains. It was pretty exciting. It never felt dangerous, just lots of excitement.
This morning we woke up to some interesting sights. because of water/wind, there was quite a bit of damage. The mall by the church (called Festival Walk) got flooded pretty badly. Lots of subway stations also had some flooding. And the chapel had some damage, especially in the bishops’ offices (water came down through the roof). It was an exciting weekend. All the missionaries are safe though!

So that was my interesting week. I took a video of the rain, but it is too big of a file. You will all just have to see it when I get home. Love you all. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Bubba

My mission’s “dog” experience

Hello Everyone, I hope ya’all have had a great weekend.

Ok, everyone has a "dog" experience on their mission, and I got one! We went on exchanges last Thursday. I went to an area called Tuen Mun, in the new territories. We had a really good day of finding and teaching, and then we decided to go visit a potential investigator. That included hiking up a mountain to their house. The whole path up to their house is using stairs. The whole way up, we are walking up these stairs and weaving through the trees and forest. We can hear dogs barking in the distance, but the only dogs we have seen have been behind fences. Finally we turned a corner and stopped. Up a couple of stairs were five dogs just staring at us. I have heard so many stories of missionaries getting chased by dogs in the new territories. The first thought that came to my head was, "oh man, now I have to outrun these dogs down a bunch of stairs. I am going to trip and die and ruin this great exchange." The dogs started growling at us and barking, but they didn’t chase after us. I was pretty scared. We stepped towards them and the backed up a little but barked even more. We continued to walk up the hill with them barking and growling the whole time. We finally got up to the house and the owner came out and calmed the dogs down. Then he let us into his little metal and cement shack and we taught him. He is a very nice man from mainland and was very open to our message. We were also able to meet his son, and his little neighbor even decided to come join us. It was a great ending to a pretty scary experience.

Yesterday we had an awesome stake meeting. It was all the missionaries, ward/branch mission leaders, and all the ward/branch missionaries. The stake presidency did a big training on how we can better work together. There were also trainings about the role of a mission leader and other awesome things. I really hope it helps the wards and missionaries work even closer together! The Sham Shui Po ward really represented, and had so many people show up. They even gave us our own little corner. I love how the work is moving forward. Members are starting to realize their role in missionary work, and the everything is doing great. I look forward to continuing to build up Hong Kong.

Well, the rest of the weekend was full of some little experiences, but nothing too stand out. This will be a short one. Love you all lots! Have a great week.

Elder Brown

Party in the Hong Kong!

Hello all my faithful friends and family!

Hope you all had an amazing week. I know I did. Hong Kong is still doing really good. Once again, we were able to see many miracles and the Lord stretched forth his hand to bless the work. ITS SO GREAT!

We were able to meet so many new people this week. As we were finding we met this awesome man named L–! He is from Mainland China, but is living in Hong Kong for school and work. He is one of the most humble/naive people I have ever met. He goes to another church, but was very interested in the Book of Mormon. We were able to share a little about it, say a prayer right there on the busy street, and then schedule him for last Saturday. Saturday we were able to meet with him, give a tour of the chapel, and answer all his questions about the Book of Mormon. He was just amazing at the message. It was almost like a movie where the person has their mouth open in complete awe!

I went on exchanges with Elder Groesbeck. Lets just say we had a good time.

We also met with K–. He is doing good, and it is good to have him back in Hong Kong. He is so prepared to accept this message. The only problem with the lesson is that he couldn’t stay awake. He was up late partying the night before, and was having a rough time keeping his eyes open. It sounds pretty annoying, but we made the lesson fun. We got up and walked around and used the chapel as a giant object lesson for teaching the Restoration. It made the lesson a lot more interesting, and it kept K– awake.

On Saturday I got one of the best surprises of my entire mission. A couple months ago Elder Jackson and I taught a lady from Mainland named Sister H–. Well, on Saturday she came down as a mainland visitor, was taught all the lessons and then was baptised that night. She was so grateful to us and wouldn’t stop thanking us. We took a picture with her in her baptismal clothes.

We also had a pretty good surprise on Saturday when my good friend Mike Macfarlane came back to visit. I was companions with him for a week as I was being trained to be an assistant. It was so good to see him. He was even nice enough to let me stand next to his wife for the picture. He is so thoughtful…

Well, I don’t have much more time to write about the other great things that are happening. We went to the temple today and it was absolutely amazing. I love the Hong Kong temple so much. It feels like the other temples in Utah, but with a chinese twist. So good. I love you all so much. Hope you have a great week and we will talk in a couple of days! Bye!

Oh if I could count the blessings…

Wow…

That is about all I can say to describe this week. It was filled with so many amazing miracles.

We went on Zone Leader/Assistant exchanges this past week, and I got to go back to my first area, Chai Wan. It was so amazing to go back. Back then I was so young, inexperienced, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I could actually talk to people now! It was fun to be back on the island/city. I miss walking along the ocean and trying to stop all the runners.

This week we also had mission leadership council. We have been working with President and Sister Hawks to set a goal. This year is the 65 anniversary of Hong Kong being open for missionary work, so all the wards and stakes are celebrating really big, and we were trying to decide what the mission is going to do. We finally came up with a goal. 65 baptisms in the month of July (the month Hong Kong was dedicated). This many baptisms hasn’t happened in years. In fact, that is almost 3 times the monthly average of baptisms we are currently getting. It is going to take a lot of work, and I am sad that I wont be here to see it, but I am glad that I get to give it a big shoving start! We announced it at mission leadership council, and everyone is on board. It is going to be really hard, and I think everyone knows that, but I have found that the hardest things in life are the things that make you a better person. Trials and challenges are so hard, but if you let it, your testimony grows, you grow as a person, and you are better suited to help those around you. I am not one to ask God to give me more trials, but I have learned that when they come, you just have to make the best of them and try to learn and grow as much as you can. I am so excited to do this!

Brother Y–g is making amazing progress still. He has the information and he has the answers, now he just needs to make a decision (which is the hardest part). He has grown so much since we first started meeting with him. His life is completely different from what it used to be. The bishop also met with him, and was able to get a good idea for his level of progress and also what other needs he has. Our bishop is awesome!

Friday we were coming home from a zone meeting, and as soon as we stepped on the train, we ran into a former investigator. We were able to talk to him and invite him to church. He stopped investigating because he went to study in Australia, but now he is back for a couple of months, so we will be able to meet with him and help him learn more about the gospel while here in Hong Kong.

Saturday was just an amazing day. We were able to have prepared people just placed in our path and we were able to teach so many people. We were also able to teach Q–e and we committed him to coming to more than just 1 hour of church! He is also making such great progress.

Then yesterday. I almost want to cry when I think about it. God just prepared so many of our investigators a way to come to church. They just kept coming and coming. That was amazing, and then after church a member came up and introduced us to her little brother and his friends. The ward is really trusting us, and they are loving the miracles God is providing. I can’t even count or express the number of miracles that were provided yesterday (and this whole week). God really wants the work to move forward, and we have to be ready to be instruments in his hands.

This week was amazing. I pray that God keeps helping us, and even if we don’t see as many miracles, I will count my blessings for the ones I do get.

Love you all, Elder Brown

ps: Next week I am going to the temple, so I wont have P-Day until Wednesday (your Tuesday).

The week of never ending miracles

To be completely honest with you all, this week has been great! We have seen so many miracles, and have had great experiences.

The meeting with Elder Holland was just amazing. Everyone is always scared that he is going to go pound on their obedience or pound on the microphone, but the very first thing he said when he stood up was, “I feel that this mission is very obedient. Because of that, I don’t need to spend the next hour lecturing on obedience, instead, I get to teach you.” He then went on to teach about the book of mormon. He also taught about less actives. He talked about the sorrow God feels when he looses one of his sheep. You could just feel the sorrow in his voice as he was talking about it. He then repeated the promise he has made before. He said, there isn’t a single person is this world right now who has strayed too far to be unqualified for Christ’s Atonement. You all can repent. You all can be forgiven. You all can lose the burden of sin and feel the joyous feeling of the gospel that you once enjoyed. It was such a powerful meeting. I add my testimony to Elder Holland’s, that the Atonement is real and anyone can change. Anyone can come back. People in the church aren’t perfect, I am the first to admit that. But the gospel itself is perfect. Christ loves us and wants us to be happy. If we trust him, no matter how “unsure” you may be, it will lead you to happiness.

Tuesday night we had our “sports night” We had a member bring 4 friends! This member is just on fire. She helped us teach them all after, and she boldly bore her testimony in front of them. I love when members aren’t ashamed of their testimony.

Brother Y–g had a big breakthrough this week. Before we got him to agree to keep the word of wisdom for 1 week. This week when we met with him he said, “I kept it for a week, then I really wanted to drink tea so I did it. It was the nastiest tea I have ever drank, and no matter how much I drank, it didn’t help my craving. I now know I need to keep this commandment.” I almost jumped out of my chair and gave the man a hug right there! We were both so excited. He still has a ways to go, but he had such great progress this week.

On Saturday we met with Q–e and gave him a baptismal date. That lesson was really powerful, and the spirit led us so well and resolving his concerns. He agreed to be baptised on March 30. He says he is still unsure of his testimony, but will keep praying and working towards that goal. At the end of the lesson we asked if he was coming to church and he said, “no, I have work. I am just way to busy. Next week for sure.” We couldn’t get him to budge. Finally we just said, “ok, we will pray for you to have a way to come to church tomorrow.” Then we prayed so hard. Yesterday, right before church started, he walked into the chapel. Maybe my faith isn’t great enough, but I was in a bit of shock. After sacrament meeting ended, we ran over to ask him what happened. He said last night right before he went to bed, he opened his computer, and saw that there was an email from the church. As we watched to video that was in the email, he had a feeling that he needed to go to church, so there he was! It was such a great testimony builder to God answering prayers.

This week we were also able to have lots of miracles with mainlanders coming down as visitors (hearing the lessons in one day, then getting baptised and confirmed that night before making the trek back to mainland). At the start of the week, we only had 2 scheduled. Last night, we had the 6th one baptised. It was such a miracle. We have been able to work closely with the one that happened yesterday, so it was a really good feeling to see her get baptised. She is such a nice lady. She will make such an awesome ward member. (I am guessing future young women’s president).

Such a great week.

Love, Elder Brown

Zone conferences (#3) and… Elder Holland?

Well, this week I had my last zone conferences. Zone conferences are so great. I love being able to travel all over Hong Kong, interact with all the missionaries, and be uplifted and learn from President and Sister Hawks. The main focus for this zone conference was Joseph Smith’s first vision. It’s an amazing experience, and for every conference, I was reminded of the time when I found out it was true. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ.

I attached a picture of me in Macau. I took a picture in front of one of the street signs. All the signs there are in Portuguese and Chinese. I don’t have Chase’s email, but I wanted him to see it. The other picture is of a Portuguese style house that is on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Macau is such an amazing place, I am glad that I have been able to go there a few times.

Yesterday at church, we had so many miracles happen. In the ward we had over 6 less actives come back, and about 10 investigators there. The ward did awesome and made it all happen. Even though we were incredibly busy this week, God still provided us with miracles.

Last night we had an amazing fireside from Elder Holland to celebrate the church’s 65 anniversary in Hong Kong. It was the most powerful talk I have heard given. He talked about in past dispensations, the saints had to flee from Babylon. Only is this dispensation are we told we need to turn and fight (not with guns and weapons, but with the Priesthood and service). It was just amazing.

Tomorrow we also have a special opportunity to have a missionary meeting with Elder Holland and the other general authorities. I am so excited to meet him tomorrow! It is going to be a very interesting meeting.

Love, Elder Brown