Sunday, August 28, 2016

Another Week in Australia!

Hi everyone! Another week has passed in Australia, and it really felt like a fast one. The days seem really long, but when I look back I felt like I just emailed yesterday! So we had the baptism for our investigator, and her husband baptized her and the bishop confirmed her the following sunday! It was awesome and a lot of her family was there, who are nonmembers. Her father even spoke, and he is a pastor in another church I think. He talked on baptism, and it was a really good talk! The whole program went really well, although we may have flooded the font a bit lol.
Anyways, things are pretty average again this past week. Still door knocking, visiting people, and trying to increase the amount of investigators we have. We've met some crazy, and some really nice people while door knocking. It's funny to see how sometimes the most intimidating people are the nicest and are willing to just talk with you for a bit.
One thing that I've learned this week is about relying on the Holy Ghost and our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we aren't always confident in something, for me it's sometimes teaching people, yet we can rely on the Lord to guide us and help us. Also, when we are very successful in what we do, it's important to remember how the Lord and the Holy Ghost played a part in that. When the people of Alma had been under bondage from the Lamanites, and couldn't pray openly, they prayed in their hearts unto the Lord, and He lifted their burdens and provided a way for them to escape later on. This shows us how they relied on him in all their doings, and how the Lord was quick to answer their prayers. Even after they escaped, they immediately prayed to the Lord, praising and thanking him, which shows that not only was the Lord quick to answer their prayers, but they were quick to show their thanks. I think that's something that everyone, no matter who we are, can do more, whether it is relying more on Him for guidance or remembering to thank Him for what He has done for us.
Thank you all for your support!
-Elder Ho

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Aloha, Everyone!

So this week was another good week! We did a lot of door knocking, but still not getting too many investigators from that. We're trying to work more with the members and build a stronger trust in hopes that we can get them more excited about missionary work. I also had Golden Orientation training this past week, which was awesome. Golden is supposed to be the replacement word for "greenie", or the new missionaries. It was awesome though, we learned a lot from our Mission President and other missionaries, and we practiced teaching and stuff. We also got to stay at a small hotel for the night, and the breakfast the next day was awesome!
Anyways, I've got to keep this short because I don't have much time left, so sorry about that. But this Saturday is our first baptism, and everyone's pretty excited about it. I don't think the ward has had a baptism in a while. The person getting baptized is pretty much a golden investigator, she read through her husband's preach my gospel book, has passed out copies of the Book of Mormon to her friends, and has a really strong testimony already!
Anyways, to keep it quick, the other stuff that happened is we had a dog let loose on us while knocking on doors (we're fine), we possibly found a new investigator randomly while door knocking, who seems very interested in what we have to say, and we had another great Sunday with more great talks and lessons!
Thanks for all your support!
-Elder Ho

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hi Everyone!

So this is my first normal P-Day. It's only been about three or four days since my last email, so there isn't a whole lot to cover. I guess I'll start with who I've been teaching and stuff like that. One of our investigators is an 8 year old boy, Tua, and his mom will sit in on the lessons. We have to really simplify and take the lessons slowly since he's a kid, and it's way different from teaching adults, but it's a good experience. His mom seems to be supportive of what he's learning so far. Another one of our investigators is Delane and Stephanie (not sure if that's how you spell their names), who are planning on getting baptized right after they're married, which is in a few months. The main thing that we have to talk to them about is the importance of the Sabbath day, since their kid is in rugby and it's a huge thing here, so when Sunday games happen that takes #1 priority. I haven't actually gotten to teach them yet though, so far we've just talked a bit at the door and tried to set up a time to meet. Another one of our investigators is Tammy, who's husband is a member. He's taught her a lot and she's basically read all of his preach my gospel book, so we are really just reviewing lessons with her and trying to finish everything that we need to finish for her baptism, which is on the 27th. She's really excited to get baptized, and she's already sharing the gospel with her family and friends. Other than that, the ward is good. Everyone's been nice and friendly to us, and the members that I've met so far are really good. It's kind of a small ward though, and we don't get too many referrals from them.
I think one of the lessons that I've learned on the mission so far is to appreciate certain things more. One of those things is church. Church used to be a really long three hours for me that would sometimes seem to drag on, but now I really enjoy those three hours and it's kind of like a time to rest and focus on church and nothing else but church. And we get to sit down for the majority of it, which is nice since we spend hours each day walking from door to door and knocking on them. I've also learned to appreciate the birds back home, which have really nice and simple chirping sounds. It sounds kind of crazy, but after spending some time here, you really get irritated by the birds. There are certain ones who are really defensive of their kids, and will make super loud obnoxious noises if you get to close, kind of like an alarm. There are also kookaburras here, which sound like crazy monkeys. And the crows make weird sounds too. Every bird here makes weird, loud, abnormal sounds. I also appreciate some of the American snacks we have. The ritz crackers here taste weird, and there are many snacks that I miss and haven't seen in the stores here. Well, talk to you all again later, thank you for all your support! Sorry for the short email too, hopefully I'll have more to cover next Monday.
Elder Ho

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hi everyone! 

So I made it to Australia, and I'm serving in the Capalaba ward. My trainer is Elder Dunlop, and he's from New Zealand. He's been out for 15 months I think, and he's taught me a lot already in just the first 7 or 8 days. The ward seems pretty good too, I've only had one Sunday with them so far though. I'm looking forward to getting to know all the members, and the ones that I've met so far are awesome!
Anyways, Australia is great. The climate and environment is really similar to Hawaii where I am. I think the humidity is the same, the weather is the same, and even the plants are the same. I also got to see my first snake the other day, and also saw a bunch of wallabies, which literally look like baby kangaroos. Also the spiders here look a lot bigger and more deadly. The birds here are crazy, they make weird noises, and some like to attack if we get to close to their kids. I'd say the biggest difference between Australia and Hawaii is the people. The general attitude is very different here, and so is the language. I'm still trying to adjust to the different words they use here and the different accent. Apparently they don't use the word "napkin", and it's simple stuff like that which throws me off. Also, I have to drive on the left side of the road now, which is kinda crazy. My first few days were a bit hectic when I was driving, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.
Also, sorry for the lack of emails lately, I missed my first P-Day because I was traveling to Australia, then my next one got pushed to Thursday since we were going to the temple on that P-Day. I think we have temple P-Day's once per transfer. Going to the temple was a good experience. The one I went to is quite small, but just as beautiful as the others. The spirit was the same too, and it was nice to head to the temple after a long and busy week. Sorry, there wont be any pictures for a while though, the computers at the library wont let us upload any apparently.
I guess I'll just finish up this email with what I've been learning. One thing I learned is to cherish your time that you have to sleep, because that's all you get. I've learned that there is pretty much never a day you get to sleep in on the mission. I've also really learned to love studying the doctrine, whether it be the Book of Mormon or the Preach My Gospel book. Yes dad, I've been reading it. There is so much to learn from it all, and I feel like two years is not even close to enough time to get to know all the doctrine that I'd need for the mission. My trainer also likes to emphasize a quote which goes something like, "obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles". Through being obedient, my companion and I are blessed. That's all for this email,
Elder Ho.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dear Ho Family,
We are delighted to report that your son, Elder Ho, arrived safely at the mission home in Brisbane, Australia!  Your son is an impressive man filled with the missionary spirit; we are thrilled that he will be serving with us in this great mission.  Elder Ho has an excellent trainer, Elder Dunlop, and they will learn much serving together in the Cleveland Zone.  
You should be receiving an email each week from your missionary, and he should be receiving one from you as well.  Though they are immersed in the work, they do miss home, and a loving letter from family is comforting and reassuring. We are grateful for your support of us and as an expression of our gratitude and appreciation, we have created a webpage for you to follow:  We will post pictures of our missionaries and will do our best to capture all that is happening in our mission; especially the missionaries' joys and successes as they labor in the Lord’s vineyard. As they email us pictures of their baptisms, we will post those as well.
We are so happy and humbled to be able to serve the Lord along with your son, Elder Ho.  Great blessings are in store for not only your missionary, but family at home as well.  We know that you will experience marvelous blessings as you support your son while he serves the Lord honorably and obediently on his mission.  We pray for the Lord's blessings upon you, your missionary and his other loved ones.
President & Sister McSwain: Australia Brisbane Mission