Thursday, May 3, 2018

ANZAC

Another good week! Not too much to talk about. I got another fruit to try from one of the members (the one that's been giving us dragon fruit, panama berries, jack fruit, etc). This one was a custard apple - it looked pretty cool, and tasted pretty awesome. Sorry, that's about as exotic as most of the foods I try here are.

One Wednesday, at 3:30 am, we woke up to go to ANZAC day, where they commemorate the soldiers that fought from New Zealand and Australia in the war. It was a good experience, and quite an early start to the day, but worth it. Got back home in time to sleep for another 15 minutes before our morning alarm went off! The rest of the day was a bit of a struggle, it even included us helping a recent convert move houses! We got to life piano's, dump toys, destroy parts of a tree house, and clean windows! You can imagine how tired we were for the rest of the day - fell asleep pretty quick when we went to bed that night.

Another great service opportunity was when we got a call saying that a nonmember needed our help, due to her physical conditions, mowing her lawn and pulling weeds. Her son was a member so that's how she found out about us. We were able to help her out, and tried to teach her a bit. She's not too interested in having the discussions but we've been sneaking in little points of doctrine here and there, and we're hoping to go back again later to help her out!

Also found a new investigator, through a neighbour. She's a single mom from Poland and has had a tough life, but has turned her life around and is now seeking God. She talked a lot though about some conspiracy theories and her opinion on what the Book of Revelations, in the bible, means. Taught her about Priesthood authority though, and how Christ established His church on the earth.

I'd have to say though, that the highlight of the week was watching one of my companions, Elder Karina, receive his patriarchal blessing! I don't think I've ever been able to hear one besides my own, and so it was a wonderful experience! And no, I wont be sharing any details, but that's probably a moment on my mission that I'll never forget.

Before I close off, next week I'll probably be emailing on Thursday, but it's not confirmed yet. Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Surprise

So surprise email! They recently told us that they'll be moving our pday to monday for this week, so yeah, surprise. I don't have much to email about. Last week we just did our deep cleaning because the transfer was coming to an end, sooo fun!

And we found out that all three of us are going to be staying together again for this upcoming transfer! Kind of a surprise.

And the last thing to email about, is that last week we had Elder Cardon come to visit our mission! He spoke a lot about knowing who we are. There are many valid answers to answer the question of who we are, but he focused on us knowing that we are the seed of Abraham, which, in many scriptures, says that we will bless nations and families. As members, whether converts or born into the church, we are all part of Abraham's seed. Elder Cardon tried to give us a new outlook on missionary work, a new perspective, which, if applied, while change the way we work.

Anyways, thanks everyone for your love and support, the next email should be next wednesday!
Elder Ho

PS - since the email is short I'll just send some pictures

Getting ready to door knock on tradeoffs:





Random Pday Picture:





Door knocking as a district with members:


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cremation?

More door knocking experiences! We met this one older lady, who told us her stories of her travels around the world. We shared a bit about the Plan of Salvation, and asked her what her beliefs are about afterlife. She said that she wants to be cremated, because that is how your soul is released from your body... something like that. I think I'd rather be cremated then buried in a box too, but still deciding...

Also met this guy named Dan while door knocking, and after chatting to him for a bit, he let us share the Plan of Salvation with him too! We plan on going back this week to teach him a bit more, it's just always great to have the opportunity to teach people at the door.

We've also started teaching a nonmember that has been living with a very active family, and she's doing awesome! She's even told us that one of her goals is to serve a mission in the future, and she's not even baptised yet... you don't hear that from nonmembers very often.

What else have we been doing this week... well I couldn't continue on without my fix of lawn mowing. We got to mow this lawn that hadn't been mowed in a few months, and that was one of those things that was oddly satisfying to do. It was a long project, and pretty big, but I always love seeing the lawn go from overgrown to neatly cut. So that was fun.

It's also been the Commonwealth games! Didn't get to watch any of it though, but got to hear a lot about it! For all my Americans out there, it's a pretty long event, over a week long, kinda like the Olympics, but for all the countries under the commonwealth. Apparently New Zealand and Australia smashed most of the competition. And now it's done, so finally all the roads that were closed off for 2 weeks are opening back up again!

And lastly, we had a culture night for the Pimpama ward! It was to celebrate the ... 175th? Birthday of the Relief society program! So they put together a dinner thing for the ward! There were around 6 to 8 different tables, each presenting different cultural decorations and objects, and then heaps of food, from all the different cultures that were presented. Amongst all of it was Tongan, Samoan, Maori, South American, Asian, and European... I may have missed one or two. You don't usually get to eat Taro and Mexican food all at the same time.

Anyways, thank you all for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Good Eats

So last week for PDay, we went to a Filipino shop with some other elders (one of them was Filipino), and then I saw something... a weirdly coloured egg - Balut! So a few of us bought one for each of us, then we went home, cooked some chicken adobo, then boiled the balut! We ate it, and it wasn't too bad to be honest... tasted like a really off or weird egg. It's kinda cool, you crack it open, drink the juices, then peel the shell off of the baby duck/chicken and then enjoy! Probably the most exotic food thing I've tried in Australia, and it's not even Australian. 

Also had some good teaching appointments this past week. One was with a Cook Islander, and we got to teach him the restoration! We also taught the restoration to this nonmember girl that's living with a very active family. She's really interested on finding out if the church really is true or not, so we're excited to work with her!

And I know, we're a week behind on General Conference so you've all seen it and talked about it for a while now, but we got to watch it and it was awesome! Cool changes, new temples, new Prophet, solemn assembly, and hearing Elder Holland spit fire once again... it was awesome!

Another highlight of the week... our investigator getting baptised! The best part about it was being able to see her husband baptise her, and participate in confirming her. My old companion, Elder Martin, also got to come see her get baptised, so it was fun being able to reunite for a bit.

Highlight number two... had dinner with a ... Samoan/Maori family? They've been to Hawaii though before, and they made Spam Musubi for dinner. SO GOOD! Brought back almost a little too much memories... but worth it though. I only devoured 4, I'm still a bit rusty on my musubi eating skills.

And for my little spiritual thought for this week, we met this random cool guy the other day who taught us about some of his beliefs. One thing he said was his interpretation of the word, "God". He said it stands for "Great Original Designer". So, just a reminder for this week, don't forget about your Great Original Designer, and the amount of detail he put into making this beautiful world we live in!
-Elder Ho

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Another good week down under! Last week for pday was played some volleyball and table tennis with a couple other Elders, and that was fun.

Also, random door knocking experience. Because there is three of us in this companionship, we only have 2 of us go to knock on a door and one stays back and watches us. As Elder Karina and I come back from a door, our third companion zooms towards us on some random kid's scooter he found lying in the yard. As we knock the next door, she asks him, "were you the random guy riding my son's scooter"? Turns out she saw him... in the end we taught her a lesson though, and had a good laugh. New door knocking approach found!

I also had a member from the Cook Islands sing me a song about how I need to learn how to sing and play the guitar on my mission... I don't think that's something that my mission President would want me to pursue on my mission.

Friday morning, we also got to play a bit of touch rugby with our Elder's quorum, and had a bit of a bbq after. Shortly after, we went and mowed someone's lawn and trimmed their hedges. We also got to play a bit with their dogs, two beautiful Siberian huskies. After the service, we got to have a little chat with the member we did service for, and got to hear stories of him out in the Australian bush as a kid, hunting buffalo with Helicopters and driving ute's through trees and bush. Pretty adventurous upbringing.

The rest of our week was filled with giving blessings, door knocking, and some teaching appoints! Nothing out of the ordinary. Oh, and a member gave us fish last night, so my companion cooked it up with some onions and coconut milk - yum!

Anyways, thanks for enduring through this unorganised random email, a lot of random things happened this week. Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Whipper Snipper

I don't have as much to email about this week. We'll start off with a new avoidance tactic for door knockers! If you have dogs and don't like door knockers, this is just for you! We were door knocking the other day, and just as I thought we were about to teach a lesson to this one guy at the door, he said, "One second, let me put my dogs inside", and then carried his dogs up some stairs in his house... and never came back down. We waited for a few minutes, then a few more minutes, and a few more minutes, then left a pamphlet at the door and left. As we passed by his house on the way back, we saw that the pamphlet was still there, but the door was closed... thought it was kinda funny, and definitely a new tactic we haven't seen before.

Another highlight is that we had dinner with a family from our ward who has four exchange students living with them - 3 from China and 1 from Japan. They cooked "hot pot" for us, which was really cool; there was a boiling pot of some soup stuff in the middle, and they'd put meat and vegetables inside, then you take it out when it's ready and dip it into some paste thing in a bowl in front of you then eat it. Different, but good!

We also got a call from a member on Saturday, saying that a random person from their community posted on the community facebook page that they needed some help mowing their lawn. The member saw, contacted us, and so we borrowed her "whipper snipper" (weed wacker) and got to work. That was no average lawn though. One part of it was more like a forest. As we were hacking away at that grass, it started pouring too, making the job even more fun! It was quite a project, and after two hours, we couldn't finish it. So We came back on monday, and had a member bring some machine that was part whipper snipper part lawn mower, and it was a monster. It just destroyed the rest of the grass - in a good way. So that was fun! 

And lastly, we got to meet a nonmember at church who came with his friend from Colorado. We ended up going over to give his friend a blessing before she left to go back home, and ended up teaching him a little and talking about his experience at church - we're going back to teach later!

Anyways, thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Fiji!

I don't have too much to talk about this week, sorry. My new companions and I are doing good, we're having a lot of fun together and have been able to see some cool miracles and experiences! The first one is that one night, we returned home and still had a bit of extra time before the curfew, so we decided to do some "miracle walking". I think I mentioned what that is already, but basically it's the last of the last resort things to do. It's too late to door knock, and there is nobody else left to visit, so you walk around the streets at night, hoping to talk to at least one or two people, because just that in itself would be a miracle. So as we're walking, we pass this "car park" (american translation = parking lot), with a family eating fish 'n chips in the back of their "ute" (american translation = pickup truck). Your welcome for the aussie vocab lessons for today. Anyways, my companion recognizes the dad as someone who looks like a fellow fijian, and next thing you know, they're conversing in their native tongue! In the meantime, my other companion and I are talking to the mom and playing with one of their little kids. We ended up getting invited over for a bbq next week! Anything involving free food or return appointments is a miracle, so bam - double miracle.

We also had a few dinner appointments where my companions and I taught a missionary lesson to the family, and both us and the family felt the Spirit, which is always a good sign!

We also visited an elderly couple; the husband is turning 93 next month! He was filling a bit under the weather though, and asked for a blessing. He group up in Fiji, and so my companion got to give a blessing in Fijian. Although I have no clue what he said (besides Jesus Christ and Amen), it was a pretty powerful experience, and the smile on the husband's face after was awesome to see.

And just yesterday, we had a dinner and a family home evening with one of our recent convert families, which was fun! We passed the rugby ball around with the kids, had some nice chicken and salad, and taught about prophets with a game called "don't eat the prophet" - it involved yelling, laughing, m&m's, and trying to help them what it means to part a sea and where Moses got his power from, it was fun!

Oh, and a little spiritual thought for today - how do you view people? As they are? Think of Alma the younger, and what kind of person he was. I guess we'd see him as a pretty horrible person. But then think about how God viewed him - what he could become. And then look at what he became. Same goes for just about every other great scriptural hero, from Moses to Peter. So how do you view others? And how do you view yourself? If you've ever watched The Prince of Egypt, there's a song called, "Look through Heaven's Eyes". I think we all need to practice seeing people as God would see them.

Anyways, that's all for this week, thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho