Sunday, September 25, 2016

More Blessings!

Hey everyone! So this past week was a pretty good week! It didn't start off to well though. We had a pretty rough day where we met some pretty rude people while door knocking, even after we switched streets. After that, we had plans to visit many people, all of which fell through. We went through all the people we had for backup, and even more backup plans, yet everything just didn't seem to be working out. Fortunately, we set up a dinner with an awesome family who loves feeding us, and they helped cheer us up. That day was humbling, and I think it was a test to see if we'd just give up and relax for the remainder of the day, or if we'd keep working and trying to do the Lord's work. Fortunately, I think we passed the test, because I feel as if we were very blessed for the remainder of the week.
The first blessing was being able to perform service for one of our new investigators. We mowed her lawn, and then talked to her about church. She said she was really interested, and once she recovered from being sick she'd love to have us over to talk more and even to come to church to see what it's like! I'm pretty excited to meet with her again and teach her more. She even said that she's been reading a bit of the Book of Mormon we gave her, although it's been hard to do while she's sick, yet she believes everything that she's read so far! I guest the second blessing is that while we were mowing, her neighbor came up and asked how much it costed for us to mow lawns, and I told her it was free, and who we were and what we do. We mowed her lawn after too, and hope to come back and talk to her a bit more.
The third blessing was when we went over to the Stake President's house for dinner! He's the home teacher of our recent convert, and so he's helping us teach her the follow-up lessons. The lesson went very well, and the dinner was great, but the best part was that we got a referral from them! It was the first referral I've ever got in the mission so far, and I'm pretty excited to visit the family that they told us about! The fourth blessing was when we got home that night. We recieved a call from some sister missionaries who told us about a family who wants us to come teach them and visit them (they met the family at a fireside I think). That's two referrals in one day! Hopefully they are the first of many, and I feel like recieving these referrals was a huge bessing for us.
We've been receiving many other blessings too, like door knocking on streets that had an unusual amount of really nice people, getting food from members, and much more. I guess the "spiritual message" that I'll leave you all with today is about having "mountains to climb". That's actually the name of a song that my companion and I like to listen to, and the singer talks about how she wants Heavenly Father to give her mountains to climb, knowing that it will her stronger. I think that can apply to all of us; we'll all have "mountains to climb" and "rivers to cross", but we should do our best to learn from them and see them as oppurtunities to become better and stronger than we ever would be if we didn't have those obstacles.
Thanks again for all the love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hi Everyone!

So not too much happened this week, just the usual stuff. One cool thing that Happened are dinner policy changes. Originally, we could only have 1 hour dinners on Monday through Wednesday, unless a family brought a nonmember to the dinner, then we could have it any day of the week. No we can have dinners any day of the week, and we have an hour to eat and half an hour to teach a lesson in order to practice our teaching skills. I'm pretty excited for that, now our meal roster is starting to fill up a bit more. That mean's that we get more practice teaching! And of course, more food too, that's always good.
We also had a small miracle happen this week. We went to this compound of units to see if we could find a less active and see how they were doing, and we were having trouble finding the unit this person lived in. We asked this lady who was walking by where the unit was and she said "oh that's my unit", but she told us that the less-active had moved out. Then, out of nowhere she asked us for a bible, but we didn't have a spare bible so we gave her a Book of Mormon. She seemed very interested, and she is also letting us come to her place next Friday to cut her grass for her! Yeah, it seems kind of small, but after doing tons of door knocking with not much results it was cool to find someone like her.
It's also been starting to rain quite a bit more, and it's always quite nice door knocking in the rain. Everything just seems a lot more peaceful and quieter. Also, people tend to have a bit more sympathy for us, and one man even invited us into his house to have some water and just talk a bit, so that was nice.
I guess the spiritual thought for today is a scripture that an RM shared with my companion and I just the other day. It's 1 Nephi 7:12, which reads, "Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him". I think that can apply to all of us. Sometimes we forget that we can rely on the Lord, and we try to rely on our own strength and wisdom. It's important to remember that the Lord can do anything according to His will, we just need to have faith and rely on him. That's something that I've been learning about a lot on the mission. If you try to rely on your own human talent and strength, you probably aren't going to affect very many people's lives out here. But if you rely on the spirit and on the Lord, He'll strengthen you and guide you, and you'll be much more successful in whatever you do. Anyways, I hope that made sense. Thank you all again for your emails, your love, and your support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, September 11, 2016

1st Transfer Finished

So I have completed my first transfer here in Australia, and it went by pretty fast! I still have the same companion and I'm in the same area though, so not too many huge changes. Anyways, nothing super exciting has happened this week. We were able to go on splits with some of the members this week, which was kind of cool. The member I was with was awesome and shared a pretty strong testimony at the house of one of the people we were visiting. We did some service this week though, which was really awesome! And not just because I got to take a little break from door knocking... but really, it was a good experience. We were able to do some gardening for a member family, and it was nice to be able to just pull weeds and talk. We were also able to help one of our investigator's family move, and we got to know them a bit better. I think they really like having us over to teach their son, but unfortunately they are going on a trip to New Zealand for a month, so we wont be seeing them for a while.
Another thing we did was, you guessed it, more door knocking! I meet more and more interesting people every day. In just one day I met a guy who opened the door, said he didn't want our 'religious nonsense' (with a few different words), closed the door, and as we were walking away, he put in the effort to open it again and tell us to not come back again. On that very same street we met a lady who sat us down outside, gave us water, and talked to us about what we believed in and asked us to share a message with her. We were even able to offer a prayer for her before we left. It was awesome because we were able to have a really nice, spiritual experience just from door knocking, and it was out of the blue and something we didn't see coming.
I guess the only other thing that was exciting for us was deep cleaning. We had the 'privilege' of taking four hours out of our day to spend our time cleaning the flat. It was really satisfying though to see how clean it was after. I guess we can relate that to missionary work. We didn't really see the flat as dirty or messy. We kept it fairly organized and clean. That's kind of like the life of an average person. It has its ups and downs, and your comfortable with it. When we do a deep clean, we convert that house, we change it, we make it a little better. That's kind of like someone recieving the gospel in their life. Although they were probably comfortable with life before, they realize how much for satisfying and joyful life can be after that 'deep clean'. And that's why we do misisonary work, because although most people could live a perfectly normal life without the gospel, they won't see how much more beautiful life can be with the gospel unless we help them see that. Hopefully that makes sense.
Elder Ho

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Can't think of a title...

Sorry, I couldn't think of a title for the email. Anyways, so I just had my second fast-Sunday here on the mission, which means that I've been in Australia for nearly a month! It's crazy to think that there is only one more week in my first transfer. I heard that there are 24 new missionaries coming in next transfer, which is going to be crazy! The days here are kind of long, but the weeks are really short, and the months seem just as short!
Anyways, it's been another good week. We've been doing a LOT of door knocking, or in Australian lingo, "heaps" of door knocking. That's one of the words they use a lot here. Also, fun fact, they call slippers "thongs", which threw me off when they first said it. But yeah, back to door knocking, we've done a lot of it this week, and we've met a lot of people. Unfortunately, I didn't get any crazy experiences from it to share, like being attacked by a dog or yelled at by someone. I think I'm improving on talking to random strangers now which was really difficult at the beginning of my mission. Who would have known that talking to strangers was a good thing (don't teach your kids that)! I've continued to meet many great people, and also interesting people.
I guess the last thing I'll talk about in this email is how small things can have a big ripple effect. I've been reading through the Book of Mormon from the beginning while I've been out here, and I recently read about Ammon (what a cool name) and how he started by converting King Lamoni. Converting him basically lead to the conversion of his father, which lead to multiple kingdoms that the father ruled being converted to the gospel. They became the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, then the people of Ammon, and they laid down their weapons of war and their testimonies were greater than even most of the Nephites'! I think that's how the story goes. Anyways, we may not be able to convert thousands, but it's important to realize that our small and simple acts can have huge affects on those around us, and we can determine whether that is a positive or negative affect. Anyways, I'll talk to you all next Monday,
Elder Ho