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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Will of God

We met an astrophysicist (thanks for auto correct because I had no idea how to spell that) this week, and talked to him. He didn't believe in any religion, but was a nice guy and told us some interesting things, like how there have been an estimated 72 billion people that have lived/ever lived on earth. Pretty crazy if you think about how much that really is. Just thought I'd share that cool insight with you...

Anyways, it's been raining a bit this past week, which has been nice! It's also been a bit cold, being winter, and it makes it a bit more tempting to sleep in in the morning when it's cold and raining outside.

I also got to meet the father of a famous person! Kind of. We had a meetup with some of the stake members, and did a rescue visit kind of thing with them, and I got paired up with brother Striplin. He told me about his son who has sung for a few bands or something, and is on American Idol and America's Got Talent or something like that. I think the best part though was learning about how a lot of the stuff we see on TV is scripted, sorry if I ruined your perception tv shows. The competition itself is real, but apparently for some of the people who audition, they'll have them re-audition a few times to get the right camera shots. And the golden buzzer sometimes doesn't work, so they have to re-film it. And the best part is the part where the family greets their relative who competed after they walk through the doors after auditioning, and if the family isn't excited enough they re-film it. Yep, that's what I'm learning on my mission in Australia.

Well, we did a bit of teaching this week, and met an investigator who was really nice, but slightly intoxicated. We talked to him and shared a little message with him, and then before we left he gave us these two really cool coasters from New Zealand (they're actually pretty nice), and also a little plant in a pot that was sitting outside. Thanks. We don't have a yard or anything though... so it kinda sits outside near the walkway. Not sure if we're allowed to have potted plants in our apartments, but I'm grateful for his gifts nonetheless. I guess the Lord blesses us in mysterious ways too.

And now slightly getting a bit more mission-related and spiritual, read 2 Kings 4:40 - that describes the mission life when it comes to food, whether it's what your companion cooks or sometimes the members, although so far I've been able to eat and enjoy all my meals with the members so far.

Also, just thought that I'd mention prayer and and advise you all not to take it for granted. We've been teaching someone who doesn't really understand prayer, or how God works, and so we've spent two lessons, and nearly 2 hours, just talking about prayer. It's actually pretty tough to explain it to someone who didn't' grow up with a Christian background who's only prayers are to family gods. But it's been a good learning experience for us, and has made me truly grateful to understand the role that prayer plays in my life, and how it works... which makes a nice lead into the spiritual though.

God's will is not our will. (Hopefully I haven't talked about this in a previous email, you start to forget after being out on the mission for a year). In the bible dictionary I believe it mentions that the purpose of prayer is to align our will with God's, not to change God's will to match ours. He knows what's best for us and is prepared to bless us as long as we seek His guidance and follow it. There's a mormon message titled "The Will of God", which is pretty good. Watch it, because I don't really have time to explain it all, but it's worth the few minutes of watching. God's love is perfect, and sometimes we have to thank him for hurting us. Which will make since if you watch the video.

Anyways, love you all, thanks for your love and support, have an awesome week!
Elder Ho

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ups and Downs

This past week was a good one! It had it's ups and downs as you can tell by the title. So I guess I'll start with the downs, which are only small and few. A lot of our appointments fell through this week, like, almost every day we had appointments falling through, and none of our investigators came to church but... the ups! So we were able to find a new investigator this week, she is a former investigator from Thailand. She has a few concerns but she's definitely worth working with and trying to help. And although no investigators came to church, we did have some less actives come! It made us pretty happy to see them, especially one of them who has been having trouble with drinking, but she came to church and hasn't drunken at all for about a whole week! Physically, mentally, and spiritually, there was a big change in her, and it was really uplifting to witness that!

I also ran into another guy while door knocking who was talking to us about his studies as a Christian. I don't think his first language was English, and he was a bit old, so it was hard to understand him, but I learned a new word, "disconcernment"! I think it's supposed to be discernment but apparently he has this special power of disconcernment and "could read my mind if he wanted to".

Other than that, it's been the usual week. Door knocking, eating KFC and doing a bit of teaching here and there.

Anyways,
Thanks everyone for your love and support! Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Ho

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Another Week in Holland Park


Just finished week 2 in Holland Park! It's been pretty much the same as the last week though, so I'm not too sure what to email about. Lets see.... We've just been doing the usual. Teaching the same people, knocking doors, etc. Maybe I'll just send some pictures since these computers are actually good ones for once.

So this is my last companion, learning to drive. It was a ... great experience. 















Another picture. That smile is just me trying to hide my fear.















My new companion and I on a road trip to a zone conference with the zone leaders...

















My last area with another set of Elders that lived near us:




The new district we're in:



A trip to the temple that we took last month:



Anyways, a quick little spiritual thought...
We are less than dust of the earth, yet we have the potential to become gods. I think one of the ways to progress to that point is to realize that we are less than dust of the earth, and to humble ourselves, but don't think that humility means to condemn yourself and not see the potential within you. Humble yourself but remember the vision of what you wish to one day become.

Thanks everyone for your love and support! Hopefully I'll have more to email about next time.
-Elder Ho

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Test

So apparently these new library computers upload pictures in seconds! Expect pictures next time, hopefully! 

Lots To Do!

Well this week was quite a busy one, there was a lot of driving! We have a large area book that is filled with lots of notes and people to see, so we've been going all over the area trying to follow up on all the investigators and less active members that the previous missionaries have been visiting and teaching. We did have some successes though, we had dinner with and taught these really funny Persian guys (one's a recent convert and the other is an investigator), we met up with and taught the son of a member, who's a nonmember, and he loves talking and seems like a cool guy. And this week we'll be seeing a Japanese investigator who came to church last week, who has the nickname of "Yoda". He seems great, and he just got a job as a bar tender, so that will make things a bit interesting. But yeah, it's been a fun week!

My companion is great, and I've been able to learn a lot from him. He's been out for over a year, I think he's about 3/4ths done with his mission. His name is Elder Tonga, so just about every member we visit or meet makes the same comments or jokes about his name... but it's been fun getting to know the members!

Anyways, not sure what else to email about... but a little spiritual message I guess. The opposite of faith is fear, it's the only thing that can get in the way of our faith. There's many things we can be fearful of, whether it be doubts, the opinions of others, questions we have, things we have to do, but don't let it affect your faith! Faith is the power by which God works with us! When we have faith we have power, and we can do many mighty things in the name of the Lord and reach our full potential, so have faith and be fearless! That's something I'm trying to work on more.

Love you all, thanks for all your support and emails,
Elder Ho

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Transferred!

So Saturday night we had a conference call and that is when I found out that after 6 months of being in Windaroo... I'm leaving! I'm pretty sad that I only got to be with Elder Ahn for one transfer, we had an awesome time together and I was able to learn a lot from him! Well, now we're white-washing Holland Park, which is in the same stake that I started off in. My new companion is... Elder Tonga! From Tonga. Honestly my mind is a bit overwhelmed right now with all the information I've got to take in and stuff, so bear with me through this email...

Well my final week in Windaroo was good. I got to start it off on Monday with a mother's day call/skype! It was awesome being able to see and hear from my family (Shout out to my sister who woke up just to talk to me, thanks you!)! 

On Wednesday we had our p-day, but since we skyped we weren't allowed to email, hence the lack of emails from me. We were able to go to the temple though, which was awesome! It was crazy how much I learned from this visit, which made the long train ride there and back worth it. Yup, we had to catch the train, because they didn't want us getting stuck in traffic on the road. We also had a zone get-together after, where we played jeopardy, played some sports, and then ate a lot of food.

Other than that, this week was just full of door knocking, cleaning, and packing up for the transfer. We were able to find a new investigator though, Michelle, who has been taught by the missionaries in the past. She has been searching for the truth for a while, but she's afraid that if she "chooses" a specific church, it will be the wrong one and she'll be punished for it in the end, which is why she loves us teaching her but doesn't really want to come to church or be baptized yet. I'm no longer in Windaroo though, so hopefully my ex-companion will see some miracles with her!

Anyways, I guess the little message I want to share with you all is about Jesus Christ. I've been reading a lot about Him recently, and It's been awesome to learn more in depth about each and every parable, the miracles He performed, and the services He gave to others. He is the King of Kings, yet He was always serving, helping, and performed the greatest sacrifice that anyone could. So the message today is short, but important: Don't take the atonement of Jesus Christ, or His life and teachings, for granted. He is a God, who creates worlds under the Father's command, who can cause the dead to rise, the deaf to hear, the seas and storms to calm, and yet He became mortal, subject to death, and suffered the pains of all who have lived and yet lived, just so that you and I could have eternal life. He who had control over the elements, over life and death, gave His life for us. Pretty crazy if you think about it. So my invitation is just to remember Him this week.

Thanks everyone for your love and support, and thanks to the Windaroo members for taking great care of the missionaries there!
-Elder Ho

Sunday, May 7, 2017

ACCIDENTS!

No, we didn't get into a car accident, if that's what you're thinking from the title. But another pair of Elders did! They work in an area that is right next to ours, and one day we got a call from them asking to come over and help them out. Turns out that they were having a lesson with someone when they heard a loud noise from outside (probably their tire popping), and as they went outside to examine the situation they found out that their investigator's neighbor had been teaching his son to drive, and his son ended up hitting the Elder's parked car. We ended up helping them change their tire, and the car is still somewhat driveable.

And another accident happened while we were on tradeoffs with those same Elders! One morning I got a call saying that my companion had a little accident, where he ended up rolling his ankle as they went for a morning run. It was sprained, and so we haven't been door knocking in a few days.

Some good news though is that we had an awesome stake conference! There were talks about self-reliance, scattering sunshine, and the temple! The talk I loved was the one from the Temple President about how the temple can bless our lives. He shared some experiences of people who were doing the work for their parents who had passed on, but initially refused to be sealed to them because of the horrible things they had to go through as a child. He then talked about how things are different in the next life, and that people can change and it's our responsibility to give them an opportunity to do so by performing their ordinances for them here on earth. He then talked about how many people are struggling in life, whether it's with family, sickness and health, or personal testimony. Each person can benefit from the atonement of Jesus Christ, and we all need to reach out to others, since we don't know who is struggling on the inside.

Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Monday, May 1, 2017

Back to 2...

I've got very unfortunate news to share... we're no longer the three amigo's, the power three... now it's just 2 of us again. Elder Apable is flying home to the Philippines on Tuesday, and is in the mission home at the moment! So he was supposed to go Monday morning, but we got a call during Church that he'd be getting picked up at 6. Church is from 1-4 by the way, and he wasn't packed yet. Then at 3, we get another call saying the Office Elders are on the way now to pick him up... so we left, got him packed, and said our quick goodbyes. It was pretty sad to see him go so suddenly, and now our tiny apartment feels so empty, but that's ok. Now it's just me and Elder Ahn, and we're still having a great time!

So this past week we've just been doing a lot of door knocking and visiting less active members. We're having trouble getting new investigators, I think it's the biggest struggle we have in our area. So I don't have too many things to talk about, so this email is going to be pretty short.

I'll end it with a true story that I heard at a dinner from one of our members, brother Triffitt. Now I'll re-write it as accurately as I can, but not all of it may be correct because It's been a while since I heard the story. So his father, I'll call his father Soldier Triffitt, was fighting in World War II. He wasn't a very religious person I guess, and one day he was wounded in battle, I think it was like a gunshot wound to his stomach. He was lying in a trench waiting for help, and night came. He had put a cloth on the wound to try to stop the bleeding. Rescue boats were going around that night, picking people up and taking them to safety, but a storm had hit and was getting worse every minute, and that combined with gunfire was making it very unsafe for the rescue teams. Soldier Triffitt said a prayer though, asking Heavenly Father to help him make it home safely so he could have a family and continue his life. The final rescue boat got a call saying that there was one soldier left waiting to be rescued, but to do so would be very dangerous and probably not worth it. Yet for some reason, they all felt that they should go and they went, and through the storm and gunfire were able to rescue that one last wounded soldier. Eventually he was sent back to Australia and hospitalised, and after he got better he was able to start his family and continue life. Many many years later, when he was around 70 I think, they were having a get together reunion thing for all the veterans. And so Soldier Triffitt decided to go. He sat all the way in the back when he got there and was listening to all the speakers and stuff. One speaker got up, and he had been the rescue team leader. He told this story about how, against all odds, his team went back and rescued one soldier, and he said, "I always wondered what happened to that soldier we rescued that night". In the back, Soldier Triffitt stood up and said, "that soldier was me". And because of him, many children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren were rescued. So, how does this story relate to the gospel? Well, I think this story was actually shared in an ensign or general conference a while back, but it's about rescuing the lost. We never know how many lives we'll affect just by rescuing one person, by bringing one less active back or a nonmember into the gospel. We may never see the results of our rescuing efforts, but maybe in the next life many people will come up to us and say, "thanks for saving me that day".

Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ANZAC

So this past Tuesday we honored ANZAC day, which I believe stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps. It's kinda like a memorial day and they hold a service at dawn, at about 5, and honor those who served in the army. It was a cool experience, and we got to hear bagpipes play, speeches given, and a choir sing. Just another cool historical moment in Australian history.

Anyways, this past week has been good! We had a baptism for Tyson, and it went well! It was interesting, knowing that this would be Elder Apable's last baptism and Elder Ahn's first! Anyways, some families from the ward showed up, and a lot of his friends, and the program with very smoothly. He even bore his testimony, which was awesome to see, because he was really nervous about it but did it because it meant a lot to him.

Also, we got to hear Elder Nielson of the 70 speak to us! One of my favorite things he shared with us was, "Don't let satan win the battle of your soul". When you think about it, this life can feel like a battle within yourself. You have the world, or satan, telling you to do certain things and be a certain way, and you have to fight it and overcome the natural man in order to reach exaltation in the end. As a missionary, you see people winning that battle and unfortunately, you see some people who are starting to lose that battle and you are desperately trying to help them turn the tides, or even see that they are losing such a precious war. Anyways, that will be my little spiritual thought today.

This week we also met someone from Destiny church, a curch that started of in New Zealand. We came back and mowed their lawns for them, and in turn they rapped some songs for us! They were really good, and it was all about praising God and spreading His word, it was pretty interesting. I'd send a video but it would probably take the whole day to upload, so sorry. Apparently though they rap in the city about all these messages of joy and stuff, and it get's quite a lot of attention.

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Three of us! An nyong ha sae yo!

Just as the title says, we are now officially a three person companionship! It's been super fun already in the first week! So Elder Apable will be finishing his mission and going home halfway through the transfer, so we picked up a new Elder last wednesday, and he's straight from the MTC! And Korean! South Korean of course, he doesn't like being called North Korean. But he's awesome! He's really funny and always has Elder Apable and I cracking up at the things he says and does, and he's got an awesome spirit! Oh, his name is Elder Ahn by the way. It's pretty cool being the companion in the middle of someone going home and someone just entering the mission!

Anyways, news for this week... we've had the opportunity to do a lot of service! One of the things that we did for service was clearing mud out of a tree far, which had been affected by the recent floods. There was mud everywhere and many missionaries and members shoveling mud into wheelbarrows. Unfortunately I wasn't able to grab any pictures, but it was a good experience. And only halfway through did they tell me that the mud was dangerous and toxic and try not to breath in any of the dust or touch my face at all... so I might come home with some cool powers or a weird new disease. We'll see.

Also, we had easter sunday, which was great! There was a musical number from a ward choir, and then a musical number from a little primary girl that had the whole ward going "aaaaaah", and some great talks!

And last but not least, a baptism coming up this friday, which we'll really excited about! I'll let you all know how it goes next time! Anyways, got lots to do today, so gonna have to end the email here...
but thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Revelation!

Finally! General Conference! This past Saturday and Sunday we were able to watch it, and I was able to receive a lot of revelation and helpful insights! I'll probably finish this email with one of my favorite talks or something.

Anyways, being the last week of the transfer, it's been really busy. Lot's of cleaning, planning, and then General Conference Weekend. We also got to go to an Easter Choir thing that the stake put on, which was pretty cool. They sang many songs about the life of Christ and had actors giving little speeches in between. Our mission president actually ended up turning up to one of them, which was cool. 

Also, we got flu shots this past Tuesday, and many missionaries were there from other zones. It was pretty cool, because I was able to talk a bit to my trainer and my first zone leader, who are both going home very soon. It's weird to think that all the people that were there with me at the beginning of my mission are either gone or going home soon.

Well, with a new transfer, we got the news of who is staying and going and... Both my companion and I are staying! My companion only has three weeks left, so he'll leave halfway through the transfer, so we'll see what happens after that.

I guess the last thing to talk about is one of my favorite talks. It was by Mark A Bragg, and he spoke about the Light of Christ. The Light of Christ is in all things and in everyone's "Spiritual DNA". It is the tendency for all living organisms to do good, to have compassion, and ultimately, the desire we have to return home to our Heavenly Father, whether we know it or not. It is not the Holy Ghost, but even those who aren't members and haven't heard of the Gospel have it, and it is the Light of Christ that leads them to seeking and accepting the Gospel. How does this "Light of Christ" apply to members? Well, correct me if I'm doctrinally wrong, but, as members our "light" shines towards others. The more obedient we are, the more our light can affect others. So by simply growing your light, letting it shine, you're being a member missionary and those around you, even your neighbors, are affected and that's when missionary miracles happen.

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

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Some Pictures





Water...All Over

So it's been a bit of a hectic week! Lots of things happening.

So to start off, this past thursday, it stormed! We were told to be back at our flat as soon as possible and stay at home the whole day, and it was crazy! But it was only the beginning. The next day was sunny, but that was when the floods hit. We were safe, but if you walk maybe 5 houses down our street everything was flooded. Many roads were closed, and we weren't even able to get to some areas because all the roads were flooded! The next day, the waters shifted a bit and the elders that lived near us were pretty much stuck on an island, all the roads to get to their flat were blocked. So it's been an interesting and wet week!

And on the topic of water, this past Saturday we filled up our baptismal font to help prepare of the baptism of Asa, the 9 year old boy we've been helping to prep for baptism. It was a private baptism since he gets stage fright easily, and it all went well! It took him a while to enter the water, then a little longer for his dad to immerse him, since he was scared of the water and the attention, but he was able to gather up all his courage and was baptized in the end! It was a really powerful experience.

Anyways, we have one more baptism coming up this month, which we are really excited about! It's for Tyson, and we've taught him three lessons so far. He's a really cool guy and really smart, and is understanding everything we teach him so far.

Well, I can't wait to watch general conference, thanks everyone for not giving me any spoilers! Just a spiritual thought I want to leave with you today is to remember that Heavenly Father loves you! And if you don't know if He does or if He's there, ask him, and experiment upon his word! Just a short little message for you all today.

Thanks for all your love and support,
Elder Ho

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Upcoming Baptisms

So I don't have too much to email about today. But just thought I'd let you all know that I made spam musubi for my companion, and he loved it!

Anyways, we had a lesson with Tyson, and he asked how he gets baptized, and we ended up setting a baptismal date for the 22 of April! And this saturday is the baptism of the 9 year old we've been helping to teach, which is also pretty exciting!

I guess another cool thing is that I saw my second snake in Australia! It was night and I was with our ward mission leader trying to see a few people, when he almost stepped on this small snake! It was no longer than 2 feet, maybe not even a foot, and we pulled out our cameras to take a picture or two. Then, a car pulls up, a man jumps out, asks if it's a snake, says, "just the one I was looking for". Then, for about a minute, while trying not to get bitten, he grabs it and takes it back to his car and drives off. Welcome to Australia!

Anyways, general conference is coming up next week I believe, but we only get to watch it a week after in Australia, so no spoilers please!

Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Miracles!

So this past week has been a good week. It had it's ups and downs, with days where everything seemed like it was falling through. But there were many "ups".

First of all, after weeks and weeks, even months of heat and sun, it finally rained! And it's been raining off and on for just about the whole week, which has been very nice. It also made everything a lot more green and tropical looking.

Another "up" is that, while door knocking, we ran into a 16 year old (who looks 20), Flynn, that asked what we do as missionaries. He then told us that he'd be willing to have us around again to teach him the lessons, and he seems more interested than any other people we run into while door knocking. We have an appointment with him on Tuesday and we're looking forward to that.

There is also a guy named Tyson, who has been coming to church for around a month now. We actually door knocked into him before he came to church, and he said to come back later, but nobody answered when we came back. We assumed he wasn't interested, but then a few weeks later a friend brought him to church, and upon introducing ourselves we realized it was the same person we met while door knocking! He wasn't ready for the lessons at the time, but just this past Sunday, he came to us and asked us if we could start teaching him, so we'll be seeing him today!

I'll just finish off this email by talking about obedience. On the mission we say that obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings miracles. We know that obedience is vital, especially for our investigators and those we teach. When they are obedient to the commandments, they receive blessings, see miracles, see changes in their lives, and reactivate or convert. On the other hand, those who think that a little disobedience is ok, change their "spiritual trajectory" by just a few inches, and in the end they often fall away and miss the mark by quite a distance.

Thank you all for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, March 12, 2017

3 Days Later...

So it's really only been about 3 days since I last emailed, but I've got a bit more stuff to talk about this time, including things I forgot to mention.

I think it was a little over a week ago, we got to listen to a group called "The Brown Hymnbook" sing at a fireside, if we brought an investigator. It was a really good performance, and the singers were really good (One of them was Sammy J).

Also, did you know that there are free electric grills in Australia? You can just go to a park, press a button, and the surface heats up and you can just cook food! We've done it a few times on P-days. Australia has some really nice public facilities and stuff, like very clean public bathrooms, mini zipline things, cool jungle gyms, free electric grills, and much more. It's pretty cool.

And this past Saturday, we got a referral from Church Headquarters; apparently a less active member used the church website to ask the missionaries to come around, so we ended up seeing her and her nonmember fiance, and they told us they'd come to church on Sunday! So Sunday came around and my companion and I were waiting at the door, hoping that they'd turn up. Family after family came, but they didn't show up, so we assumed they weren't coming. But during sacrament meeting, we turn around and there they are, sitting down and listening to the talks! They came a bit late, but the stayed for all three hours of church and they enjoyed it! They said they'd be coming next week Sunday too, which is really exciting.

Anyways, just a short spiritual though. I think it's in the second chapter of first Nephi, maybe around verse 14, and it reads something like "And my father dwelt in a tent". That's Nephi talking about his father Lehi. The reason why he may have written this verse is to show all the sacrifices that Lehi and his family made to follow the will of the Lord. They had a lot of gold and other riches, and I'm assuming a good house and many friends, BUT, they left it all behind to travel in the wilderness all because their father claimed to have a vision. Soemtimes we're asked to make sacrifices, and we may not always be too sure about it, but if it's from the Lord, we know that we'll be blessed for our obedience. Lehi and his family were blessed; they reached the land of promise, they weren't destroyed with Jerusalem, and their seed where ministered unto by Christ.

Love you all and thanks for the support!
Elder Ho

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Another Week in Australia

First, sorry for not emailing on monday, they moved our P-Day to friday since we were going to the temple today. 

So it's been another usual week I guess. The only exciting thing about this past week/week and a half is that Asa, the boy we've been teaching, is planning on being baptized on the 1st of April! So we're really looking forward to that! In the mean time we've just been doing door knocking and searching hard for new investigators.

Anyways, I can't think of much else to email, my mind is blank right now, so I'll just leave the rest of the email for a spiritual thought...

The spiritual message I want to share today is about charity! In the bible, I think in corinthians, there is an entire chapter on charity, and it says that among faith hope and charity, charity is the greatest. It says that even if we are miracle workers, even if we prophesy of the future, or do other great things like that, it's all meaningless if we don't do it out of charity. Charity, or a sincere love for those around us, should be the motive for the good that we do. Without charity we can't make it to the celestial kingdom. If we're doing good only for popularity, greed, or other similar motives, then we are doing it for the wrong reason. As a missionary I've noticed that the missionaries that I admire the most are the ones who work out of charity. Many of them aren't leaders, or well known on the mission, some of them haven't had as much success as they deserve, but what I really admire about them is their sincere love for those they serve. Regardless of the outcome, regardless of who knows and sees, they teach others and serve others with great love. That's something that I really need to work on; having charity for others. So, it might sound weird, but I put a coin in my shoe to remind me, every time I step on it, to love others. When I'm door knocking, I'll be reminded that these people are my brothers and sisters, and to love them. When I'm walking into a less-active's home, I'll remember to make sure I'm there for the right reason; because I love them. So I'll just leave an invitation with you all, you don't have to put a coin in your shoe but try to figure out a way to remind yourself throughout the week to have charity, even for those who you don't know to well, or maybe don't get along with.

Thanks for all your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Companion!

Hi everyone! So another transfer happened! I'm still in Windaroo, but my new companion is Elder Apable! He's from the Philipines and goes home in 1.5 transfers, so I'll probably be "killing him" as they say. I miss my old companion, Elder Tiaihau, but I'm excited to get to know this one and learn from him since he's been on the mission for so long!

Anyways, this week has had it's ups and downs. The last email I sent talked about Morris, a former investigator who we re-established contact with again. There's a long story behind it, but basically he dropped us officially now, I think his wife has a lot to do with it since he usually really enjoys our visits. The 9 year old boy that I talked about in the last email told his parents he wants to be baptized sooner, so they're planning on baptizing him in the next few weeks! Hopefully everything works out for that!

Other than that we've just been doing a lot of lawn mowing this week, door knocking, and preparing for the end of the transfer (which means cleaning and planning). Also, we took the car in to get serviced and had to spend 5 hours just waiting for it to finish... so that took out a chunk of our work time but I can't complain too much, at least we have a car.

Thank you all for your love and support!
Elder Ho

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Service

So this past week was filled with a lot of service opportunities! First, we had a district service and we spent at least 4 hours trying to dig out this massive stump from an investigators yard.Then on wednesday, we did around another 4 hours of yard work for a less active woman, from digging holes, weeding, cutting trees, and spreading dirt and mulch. She ended up coming to church on Sunday, which was awesome! Then, we ran into someone who needed help weeding their garden, so we spent around 2 hours doing that on Saturday! As a missionary, service is probably one of the funnest things we get to do, so it made our week pretty interesting and fun!

We were also able to set a baptismal date this week, which is pretty exciting. It's for a 9 year old boy. His family is active, but he wasn't baptized because he's a little slower mentally and wasn't ready to be baptized at 8. His parents have been having us teach him all the lessons, which has been pretty hard since he's a young energetic kid and he had the shortest attention span I've ever seen. So we have to be pretty creative with our lessons, but its fun. We saw the family this week though, and we planned for him to be baptized on the 1st of May, although that date could change depending on him and his brothers, who are going to be getting baptized soon too.

Another thing that we're excited about is one of our old investigators, Morris. We haven't been able to get in contact with him for a whole transfer and we were worried that we would have to drop him. So yesterday, my companion felt the impression to see him one final time, and he ended up answering the door. We're not sure why he wasn't home when we tried visiting him and why it was difficult to contact him, but we're excited to hopefully start teaching him again.

Anyways, I guess I'll share a little message about charity. We all know that charity is "the pure love of Christ", but as I was studying it recently, I came across an interesting chapter in the bible, I believe it's 1 Corinthians chapter 13. It talks about the importance of charity; without it, miracles, prophecies, wisdom, service, pretty much everything, is pointless. In the least verse it says that among faith, hope, and charity, charity is of the greatest importance. When I thought about it, it's true. We can serve others, but if we're doing it for the wrong reasons and not out of love, it's in vain. As missionaries, we can work hard, but if we're just doing it for the numbers or to brag to others, it's in vain. We can even perform miracles and prophecy about things, but if it's for the wrong things like fame, then it's all in vain. But when we do everything in love, because we love others and we love the Lord, then there is a real reason and purpose for why we do it. 

Thanks everyone for all your love and support!
Elder Ho

Dinner with the mission president:


District service:

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Heat Wave

So another week has passed by, and I feel like we're in the refiner's fire... literally. We got hit by a heat wave over the weekend, and it's been crazy hot. Things have been good though.

First, we got to have dinner with President McSwain, our mission president. Our zone had hit our month's goal of 5 baptisms, and when that happens we get a zone p-day and a dinner with the President. It was really, fun, we had hamburgers and played a game (sisters and the President and his wife versus the Elders). It was fun being able to spend time with the President and Zone in a more casual way and get to know all of them better.

We also got to help a member build a retaining wall in his front yard, and helped him with spreading the concrete, and laying the bricks. It's not done yet but the hardest part is over. There was a lot of adjusting and making sure the bricks were perfectly level and aligned, but in the end it looked pretty good.

We also got to have tradeoffs with the zone leaders, and I was with Elder Putong, a Filipino. I was able to learn a lot from him, but it was also pretty funny, he's going home soon and he's a bit trunky (excited to go home).

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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

So things are starting to pick up a bit here in the windaroo area in Australia! First, we have finally found some new investigators! The first one said we could come back, just give her a text and she'll cook something up for us too! The second one is an older lady who's taking care of her grandkids and said she hasn't seen missionaries in a while and is looking forward to us being able to see her again (she used to be an investigator around a year ago, but lost contact with the missionaries). We were also able to provide service for one of our member's friend/neighbor. She is German and doesn't speak very much english, so we got permission from our leaders to have have tradeoffs with another companionship who had an Elder from Germany, and it went really awesome!

Anyways, we also did some service for a senior missionary who needed help moving a refrigerator out of a missionary couple's flat that wasn't being used anymore. Since they were getting rid of everything in the flat, they let us take whatever we needed, and now we have a cool little desk fan, some speakers to rock out to Mormon Tab' to, an extra chair, and an entire shelf full of copies of the Book of Mormon in different languages.

That's about all the exciting stuff that happened this week, but we're having a dinner with our Mission President tonight so I'll let you all know how that goes next monday.

Thank you everyone for your love and support! 
Elder Ho

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Australia Day

So on the 26th of January we had Australia day! I guess it's kind of like independence day? It's the day when the Australians landed, or "invaded" Australia. The aboriginals don't really like this day though because it's pretty much when the foreigners came and started to take over. But anyways, many people got the day off and were very patriotic about their country I guess. For us missionaries, we got to gather as a mission and watch a missionary broadcast from Church Headquarters. Maybe I'll share something I learned from it at the end of the email, but it was really good and included some changes to our schedule and what we report to our leaders.

These past, well, nearly two weeks, have been pretty good. We're getting fed pretty well, and we even got to have dinner with the bishop and many other members who don't normally get to have the missionaries over, which has been a blessing. We've also been visiting many less active members, in hopes that we can help reactivate them and maybe even start teaching some of their nonmember friends and family.

We also went bowling again for our P-Day, which was really fun, and we got to go to the temple too. Other than that, things here have been pretty much the same as usual.

Something that we learned during the broadcast that I guess can really apply to everyone is about faith and action. An investigator needs to have a desire to know more, and a willingness to act, in order to receive and answer from the Holy Ghost about the truthfulness of the gospel. That applies to all of us though. If we are praying but we're not really willing to act on the answers or guidance we receive, then it's probably in vain. Sometimes we might not be happy with the answer we receive, and it might not be what we wanted, but when we are willing to follow the will of God regardless, then He'll bless and guide us and we will receive our answer through the Holy Ghost.
Thank you for all your love and support, Happy (late) Australia day!
Elder Ho

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Quarter Mark

So I've finished my fourth transfer in the mission, which means I'm officially a quarter done, which is kind of scary. It really makes you reflect on what you've done so far and wonder if you're truly making the most of it. So I'm still with the same companion, but anyways, this past week...

So one cool thing that happened was I went to a members house for dinner, and when we knocked on the door our convert back in my last area answered! with her husband (the husband was the son of the members we were eating with). It was an awesome dinner and we talked about how the Capalaba ward was (the last area I was in), and how her friend got baptized too now, and about her husband's mission, and it was a pretty fun dinner. We also taught a lesson at the end, and they pretended to be investigators, to help us practice teaching, and it reminded of me of when I got to teach her around 5 months ago, it was pretty cool.

As for the temperature here, it's still rising. Every day seems hotter than the last, but that's alright. We got to do service for nearly four hours straight on morning in the sun, but it was a really good experience. We did it for an older man named Brother Ball, and he's really awesome. He loves the missionaries and we often get to do service for him. This time we got a truckload of soil and moved it all around his front and back yard, trying to fill in the holes and make the ground even.

I guess today I'll leave with a cool lesson I learned from my district leader, Elder Tai. He's awesome, and I got to go on tradeoffs with him and experience his awesomeness. He was teaching an investigator about overcoming the natural man, and I'll just kind of share what I took from that lesson. Basically, everyone has the natural man. Unfortunately, there are many people that are overcome by it. We often wonder why certain people are successful in life, whether it's our peers or maybe people we hear or read about. For many of them, they were given the same chance as everyone else, but the only difference between them and everyone else is that every day they fought to overcome the natural man. We all have goals in life, and the way to reach those goals is to constantly fight the natural man. our ultimate goal is to return to live with our Heavenly Father again, and the only way to do that is through overcoming the natural man. It's a fight every day, and usually the small fights are the toughest ones. It's so easy to skip reading scriptures for a day, or to skip our prayer at night or in the morning, or say a short one. Its easy to do the bare minimum requirements for our callings, or cut corners. But the natural man is an enemy to God, and our Heavenly Father knows our potential and who we can become. By overcoming even the smallest temptations from the natural man, by reading scriptures every day and saying sincere prayers, to even some of the tougher challenges, like magnifying our calling and devoting all our efforts to the Lord, we can reach that potential that He knows we can reach. 

Thank you for your love and support,
Elder Ho


My first zone (when I was in Capalaba)

My new zone (my comp is all the way on the right). We're missing the district leader and his comp though.

Service

Meeting my MTC roommate at Christmas

District leader (at Christmas conference)

Bush

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nearing Six Months!

So this past week was pretty good. For P-day we got to go bowling with the district, and that was pretty fun. I'd send some video's but it takes ages for that stuff to upload using this computer. So this past week, we did more door knocking, and while I was door knocking on tradeoffs with a zone leader, we found a little area where all the streets were named after states. No Hawaii st, but there was a Utah court which was pretty great. Nobody there was really interested though, unfortunately.

We also did some service, which was laying a bit of concrete for a part-member family. They had a pool nearby and I was tempted to accidentally trip and fall in, or offer to clean it for them from the inside, but I resisted temptation.

We also were finally able to set up an appointment with an investigator that we have, Morris. He's been coming to church, but hasn't been able to meet with us outside of church. His wife is atheist I think and doesn't really want us coming around, but he's really nice. I think he had a stroke so he's physically pretty slow, but he enjoys talking to us and coming to church. He told us that his father, around 40 years ago, had been taking the lessons, and before passing away had told his son that he knew that the church was true, and now we invited him to be baptized when he gets his answer, and he said yes!

Anyways, that's my week down in Australia.
Thank you all for your love and for your support!
Elder Ho