Wednesday, August 9, 2017

E Komo Mai

One of my side goals on the mission is to meet someone who was born and raised in Hawaii that lives in Australia now. I've met someone from Hawaii but it didn't fully count because they were only visiting as part of their mission assignment. As we were door knocking I thought I was going to be able to check that goal off my list as we walked up to a door that had a Hawaiian phrase on it, "E Komo Mai". Unfortunately, when we knocked, the lady who answered wasn't from Hawaii, and wasn't interested in talking about her sign or the gospel either. So my search continues...

Anyways, this past week had quite a few miracles! To name a few...

The first one is Hilton! He's a young boy that we've been teaching, and I can't remember if I've mentioned him already. But we've been able to set him on date for the 26th of August, and his mom is fully supportive, in fact, pushing him to be baptized as soon as possible!

Another miracle we saw was as we were finishing up a night of street contacting, we began to walk back to our car to head home and sleep! As we were walking, a car pulled up along side us and inside a former investigator asked to meet with us again! We did meet with him and answer a few questions, and we're not sure how interested he really is, but he did mention that he'd love to have us over for dinner at his parents house, who are actually members of the Reorganized LDS church! The mom is from Hawaii too so, might be able to check that goal off my list soon.

Another miracle! One day we decided to go door knocking and chose a street. We only talked to 3 people on that street because all three of them were willing to talk with us! The first one became a new investigator after teaching her about the Book of Mormon, the second one wasn't interested but let us in his house and talked with us about his travels and let us say a prayer for him, and the third one was the son of a Pastor but said we could share a message with him so we shared one about the restoration of the Gospel (if I remember correctly).

And I also learned that there are more illegal things in Australia, such as potato launchers, slingshots with an arm-brace, and killing birds.

To finish off, we also got to meet a less active who has a pretty awesome piano gift, where he can sight read just about any music. What was also pretty cool was that, even though he hasn't been to church for ages, he was able to play just about any hymn or church song by memory. We're hoping to invite him to our upcoming talent night!

And my quick spiritual message for today: Look for miracles! They're all over. I've experienced many miracles, but unfortunately I never really saw them or appreciated them till I started looking for them.

Thanks everyone for your love and support,
Elder Ho

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cheap Tuesday!

It was an average week this week, so nothing too interesting, but I guess I'll start off with district meeting. It's become a tradition with my companion and I to go to KFC every Tuesday, because they have a "cheap tuesday" deal here where you can get 9 pieces of chicken for 9 dollars, and in Australia they have "hot and spicy" chicken which is really good so... yeah every Tuesday we eat that. I think it's almost on the verge of becoming an addiction and breaking the word of wisdom but that's ok, it tastes really good.

Another interesting thing that happened this week was trying to help a guy who's car broke down in the middle of the street. We helped role his car to the side while everyone else drove by and decided not to help. He also flipped off some guy who honked a horn at him. Then eventually, as we watched the car, he walked off to buy a battery but never came back so we ended up walking away to head to our next teaching appointment. I think everything worked out because the car was gone the next day.

What else... we've been teaching a lady from Africa about prophets, a lady from PNG about the Book of Mormon, and an Australian about temples. It's quite interesting teaching people from different cultures. They all have different levels of spirituality, different opinions and views on life, and different challenges and trials.

Oh, we also did some service the other day; helping prepare someone to sell their house. Our job for the short time we were there was to clean the pool deck and veranda, and varnish it. We did an ok job, and were trying not to get high or sick from the smell, but the finished job was decent I guess.

And this past Sunday was soup Sunday, so all the members brought bread and soup to church! There's also a bakery that gives us the bread they can't sell anymore, so there was lots of bread to go with it! It was really good, and also meant that my companion and I didn't have to have noodles for lunch.

And I guess to finish up, my little spiritual though is to appreciate all the things that our Father in Heaven has created for us! My companion and I have been doing our studies in a park recently, and it's given me an opportunity to enjoy nature I guess. No I'm not trying to be a hippie or anything, but I just thought that it's amazing how much detail and care Heavenly Father took into creating everything, even just the small cells in each leave on the tree to all the planets in space.

Anyways, hope you all have a good week!
Elder Ho

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Relief Society!

Just a heads up - not too much happened this past week so there isn't too much to email about. But I'll try throw some random things in here to make it seem semi-interesting and long.

First, it's been a cold week in Australia! I guess nothing compared to places that aren't actually close to the equator, but it's been pretty cold and even windy here. It makes door knocking way better though, everything looks and feels nice and fresh and the people have a little more pity on you because they're wondering what you're doing walking around without a jumper/jacket.

We also got to mow a lawn today! And I got to witness my companion save a little girls life! As we were mowing with some members, a little girl was playing in the yard and my companion told her to move away, and literally seconds after she moved a rock from a whipper snipper (to all non-australians that's what they call weed wackers) flew right to where here head used to be and into a window, completely shattering it. The window looked cool though, it was still partially held together and had thousands of cracks all over it.

We also found some new people to teach this week, who seem to have potential! One of them is a younger boy, who's mom is a less active, but he's seems really interested and likes the games and tricks we use to teach him.

And last, I got to teach relief society! I think it was my first time even being in a relief society class. One of the members had invited my companion and I to come teach about the Godhead for a few minutes, so we did, and it definitely felt different from teaching a priesthood class. It was good though, and I guess I'll use that as my spiritual thought for today...

One thing that we believe, that not many others believe, is that the Godhead isn't the common "Holy Trinity" beliefs, but that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all 3 distinct and separate beings. In Matthew chapter 3, there is a bit of evidence for that when Jesus is baptized, and also in Acts chapter 7 when Stephen sees Jesus standing on the right hand of God, but one that we all seem to forget is the first vision, where Joseph Smith becomes a witness that they are all distinct beings and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have bodies. But, although separate, they are one in purpose, and that purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life! Everything they do is for our benefit!

Hope you all have a good week!
Elder Ho

Sunday, July 16, 2017

State of Origin

First of all, this past thursday, on July 13, I officially hit my year mark! And what was cool about it was that I got to go on tradeoffs... with Elder Hymas! We entered the MTC together just within a few hours or even minutes of each other, lived in the same MTC room, flew on the same plane here, and now celebrated our year mark together! Not trying to sound trunky, we were just talking about what a cool day it was during tradeoffs. 

What happened this week? Well we taught a bit, door knocked a bit, street contacted at night a bit, and had dinners with members just about every night, so it's been a pretty good but normal week. On Tuesday we had a zone conference, where multiple zones gathered together to receive trainings from our President and a few others, and that's where I found my first Hawaiian! Elder and Sister Graham are the pacific mental health missionaries (something like that), and Sister Graham was born and raised in Hawaii! She even graduated from the same Highschool! She acted like a local Hawaiian too, which was kinda funny to see because I haven't seen that in a whole year. It was nice being able to talk to her a bit after the conference. 

Another cool thing was being able to talk to our zone leader's investigator (who was just baptized this past saturday) on tradeoffs. It was really cool, basically he prayed and read the Book of Mormon to find out if it was true, and his answer ended up being him realizing he needed to serve a mission. So when I talked to him, which was before his baptism, he was already talking about where he wanted to serve and how excited he was, which I thought was really awesome!

And if your wondering what the title is all about, for all you Americans out there the State of Origin is a huge rugby competition between (I think this is right) pretty much the Northern and the Southern Part of Australia... hopefully I'm not teaching false doctrine here. It's New South Wales vs Queensland. It's huge over here, and they have 3 games between the two teams, it's kinda like the superbowl in America, when you talk about popularity. And Queensland won! They play on Wednesday nights, and this past Wednesday was the final game, so it was fun being able to go street contacting that night and hearing all the cheering and screaming coming from some of the houses. Also, I had to make sure I didn't wear a blue tie, since that's the New South Wales team...

And fun fact! Did you know that it's illegal to have a rabbit in the state of Queensland? And in all of Australia you can't have... I believe it's a hamster. And if you do get caught you can get a bigger fine that you would get if you got caught growing weed. I think the best part is that if you take a rabbit to the vet, they'll call it something like a "long eared guinea pig" or something like that, so that you won't get in trouble after they treat it.

Well, back on the missionary work side of things, while I was celebrating my year mark on tradeoffs, my companion and the other zone leader set a baptismal date for August 5th with one of our investigators! It's exciting, but it means that we'll have A LOT of work ahead of us. 

And for the spiritual message for today... I'll talk about obedience. Obedience is the first law in heaven, and it is only through obedience that we can be blessed. One of the reasons Heavenly Father has given us commandments is so that he can bless us! One thing that was mentioned in zone conference was that obedience shouldn't just be a chore or duty, but a quest! And when you think about it, at the end of quests are great rewards, so the result of obedience yields many rewards, and ultimately, exaltation. 

Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Here Comes the Bride!

Happy late fourth of July everyone! I totally forgot that it was the fourth of July, and nobody here even mentioned it, although I'm not surprised. I'm the only American in the district, and I think there is only 3 of us in the zone, so there wasn't really much of a celebration... 

Anyways we've had a good week! There's a decent bit to talk about this week, like this one member's video game collection! We walked into his house and there were a shelf full of just video games, and there were action figures and little collectible things from video games all over, it was crazy. Apparently he was also one of the best players in the world for this rugby video game he plays. Just thought I'd mention that, I thought it was interesting, it's the biggest collection of anything that I've seen.

We also visited another member, who lived in an apartment building, and they had this awesome view over the area and the city. I wish I took pictures, but there was this really nice sunset and you could see the city in the background. I think the best part was all the bats just flying around! There were just tons of them, all flying in one direction, probably for hours. I had no idea where they were coming from. Just thought I'd mention that one too because I've never really seen bats before the mission.

Also, I heard they don't have it in America, but we got to eat truffle/mayo fries and a truffle burger at McDonalds! It's probably the best McDonalds meal I've ever had... it was fries and a burger with "truffle sauce", which apparently comes from a rare mushroom called a truffle which makes anything taste good.

And, as you can see in the title, my companion and I were asked to come to a wedding! It was only about 30 minutes long, and half the people there were nonmembers. It took place in the chapel, and there were maybe around 20 people there, but it was pretty cool. My companion and I got to say the opening and closing prayer, which we thought was pretty cool because we've never really participated in a wedding before.

And I guess the last event that happened was we got to go to a stake priesthood meeting, where they talked about the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods and their duties, and about the benefits of the mission (to all the future missionaries). They talked about a few examples of "wingmen", like Pikachu for Ash in pokemon, Robin for Batman, Pedro to Napoleon in Napoleon Dynamite, and ultimately, John the Baptist to Jesus Christ, and how with both Jesus Christ and John the Baptist, the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods work in unity.

Well, that's my week! Thank you all for your love and support, hope you all have an awesome week!
Elder Ho

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Staying!

So we got the call for who's going and who's staying, and both my companion and I are staying in this area! Not really a surprise though, since we both have been here for just one transfer. Anyways, it's only been a few days since the last email, so not too much has happened...

Well we've been doing a lot of "GQ-ing" at night, which is basically walking around and talking to people on the street. I think that's when you meet all the interesting people and see all the interesting things. We met a guy named Peter, who was sitting down and maybe slightly intoxicated (couldn't tell), and at first he said, "Mormons, you're not going to convert me". But after talking with him we were able to share a quick message, talk about the hardships he's going through, and say a prayer with him. We're also walking right next to a big intersection, so often times people drive by and try to "sneakily" take a picture of you, or say something weird, or honk and wave if they're members. So that's always keeping things interesting.

Also, this past Sunday, we finally had an investigator turn up to church! What's weird is that we've been teaching and inviting a lot of less actives and investigators to church, but the people that we haven't been focusing on are the ones that show up. I can't complain, and it was really awesome to see them, but maybe Heavenly Father is just trying to teach me a lesson or remind me that He's the one in control and it's all about His will and not mine.

Also, today, although neither of us were getting transferred, my companion and I had to go to the temple with all the other missionaries to pick someone up and help them move to their new area. While there, I was able to talk with a lot of missionaries, and it was awesome and weird seeing missionaries who were going home in two days, and missionaries who had only been out for a few weeks. It's a scary though to think about how much time you have left on the mission. No, I'm not trunky and thinking about it all the time, but it was just kinda a reminder about how short the mission really is, and how precious time is.

Well, hope you all have an awesome week! Thanks for the love and support!
Elder Ho

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Final Week of the Transfer

This transfer has gone by way too fast, it's crazy! The weeks and days just seem to go by so quick. And sorry, our p-day got moved to thursday, which is why I'm emailing today. But it's been a good week and a half!

I guess the first news for this week was that there was a big meeting for all the Auxiliary leaders and bishopric and stake members, with the mission president and missionaries, to talk about missionary work. It was a pretty good meeting, but what was really cool was being able to see members from the ward I started in, since I'm back in the same stake! It kinda makes me look back and realize how much time has passed.

Also, my companion's birthday was a few days ago, and we got to have a dinner with some members to celebrate it! He's 21 now, and we got to enjoy a bit of kfc for his birthday (his favorite food).

As for people we're teaching, for most of our investigators we're focusing a lot on getting them to come to church, since none of them have been coming for the past few weeks.

Sorry, it's gonna be a short email, but I'll be more prepared for monday when I'll be emailing again.
Thanks everyone for your love and support, hope you all have a good week!
Elder Ho