Monday, December 15, 2014

CONTACTING ALONG THE COAST, UP 25% FROM LAST YEAR, CHECK OUT "HE IS THE GIFT" ON YOUTUBE

Hey! Yeah, my area is suppper pretty. We contact people along the coast a lot. It's been really cold, though, the last week or so, especially because it's right off the ocean. Yeah, seeing Sister Gok get baptized was awesome. She was the second of two Popo's (grandmas) that were baptized this month in Ma On Shan. The first was Sister Lee who is 91 years old. The oldest active member in Hong Kong, haha. Ken is scheduled for the 14... it will be awesome. 

The work has picked up here in the last year. There has been a huge push from a lot of people, and just the attitude and spirit of missionary work has changed here in Hong Kong in the last year. We are up 25% from last year, and the year isn't over. We are striving for another 65 in December like we did in July as a Gift for Christ. By the way, have you seen what the church is doing with "He is the Gift" initiative? It's pretty huge. Total YouTube takeover in several countries for several days, ads all over the work and a huge push with social media. They are hoping all get involved. It's super cool. If you guys haven't seen it, check it out, and SHARE it!! It's a great way to do member missionary work! The Church is pushing more social media/internet missionary work.  

YouTube "He Is The Gift"

That's soooooo cool that you guys are doing all that stuff for missionary work!!! That's by far the best gift I could ever get. Yeah, Lions Rock was super fun. It took about an hour to get up. I'm in SUCH BAD SHAPE! I almost died, haha. It's really sad, especially when I think about what I could do when I devoted so much time to exercise, that it's all gone, haha. But, anyway, no we only went with one other companionship. We aren't allowed to go in big groups. Christmas is good here. It's not a huge thing, though. In the Church it's more, but most people don't really celebrate it. New Year's in February is HUGE though. The best thing is to be able to sing Christmas songs, haha and remember the Savior. Also, I love being cold. It's sooo much better than being hot, haha. 

As assistants we didn't really eat much different than any other missionary. Here in Ma On Shan, though, the members love to feed missionaries. I've eaten more food from members here, than in my entire mission! Thanks so much for the blades!! I love you guys, keep up the good missionary work! Keep the faith, never quit. Just keep swimming. GAI YAUH! Love you!

Elder Mak

Monday, December 8, 2014

NEW AREA MA ON SHAN, DOING A LITTLE RECON FOR PRESIDENT, CAME IN RIGHT AS THEIR 81 YEAR OLD INVESTIGATOR GOT BAPTIZED!

December 7, 2014


My new area Ma On Shan.


Well, I got kicked out last week. I'm in an area called Ma On Shan. It's an absolutely beautiful place. I've always wanted to serve here, though I was told I will probably only be here for a couple weeks. I'll most likely get moved at the transfer. I was put here because one of the Elder's, Elder Pincock, went home with the early group in the move. He's been having some health problems, so he just chose the early of the two transfers. He's a boss, though, he went 8 months with only one lung in Kwun Tong before the doctors figured out what the problem was. It's a super hilly place, too. Walking those hills is hard by itself, and I assume having one lung is too, but together is crazy. Anyways, I was sent to fill his place until the move and to do a little recon for potential trainers in my area. I'm serving with Elder Lam right night. I was actually with Elder Lam in Aberdeen about a year ago, haha. It doesn't happen often, especially in Cantonese work, that you go back with old companions. In Mandarin it's more frequent, but it still doesn't happen a ton. So far, it's been great.

I came in right as their investigator got baptized! She's an 81 year old grandma and mom of some members in the ward. She actually reminds me a lot of my grandma, haha (EXCEPT OLDER!!!  I know, I know..) It was cool to see, though, because she had been investigating for two years and had strong ties to ancestral worship and tea drinking. But, now she's working on getting sealed in the temple with her family. Pretty awesome. Well, I love you guys, keep up the good work. Never quit, just keep swimming, GAI YAUH!!

Elder Mak




TRAINING MY REPLACEMENT

11-30-2014

Lions Rock

I have started training my replacement this week. He actually was in my MTC group, Elder Smith. He's super cool and a great missionary. He'll definitely do a better job than I was doing. He actually grew up in Korea for half of his life and the other half in America. His dad is white and his mom is Korean, so he speaks both fluently which is super cool. His Chinese is really good as well. I still don't know where I'm going... I will probably find out this week. 

There was a ward split just a few weeks ago up in the new T's and President told us there should be more, so it's a good sign of the missionary efforts in Hong Kong. I know that the area (Asia area) and the brethren are really pushing for a new stake here by the end of 2015, so hopefully that will happen. There used to be 5 stakes (not including Macau and International) here back in the day, but because of inactivity (it's a crazy high percent) they had to consolidate back down to 4. But, they are making the push to get it back to where it was back in the good ol' days. So, other than that, just trying to get my replacement ready for the move. I will miss Ken's baptism which is a bummer, but it doesn't matter. Thanks for everything! I love you guys! We went to Lions Rock last P-day and it was SICK! Coolest view. Better than peak in my opinion. You can see from the northern part of the island all the way to Ma On San. Crazy. I'll send some pictures. Keep the faith, never quit.

Elder Mak



GETTING THE BOOT, KEN DOING GREAT, PRAY FOR BROTHER LAU

11-23-2014



This is our investigator Ken. One of the coolest guys ever. He's blind but really smart, studied in England to be a physics teacher, loves The Strokes, Pink Floyd, Elvis and all the good old stuff! He has a baptismal date for December 14th and is working on memorizing the route to get to church, so he can get there by himself. Listens to the Book of Mormon every day. Just a Boss!

Hey, so we had an activity the other night, and one of the members took pictures. Here is me and my companion.

Well, so last week President, in preparation for our board meeting (the meeting where we meet for like 3 hours to discuss how to make the transfer work) asked us to prepare three names for new assistants... and seeing as I've been in for 6 months, and I still have a good amount of time in the field, I'm pretty sure I'm getting the boot. So, I'm just trying to get ready for my replacement who I'll be training in a few weeks.

We also had a really cool meeting with Elder Wan, who is the seventy inside mainland (he lives in Shanghai) and several of the leaders inside. We are also continuing to teach Ken, he's doing great. We taught him keeping the Sabbath day holy and even though it will be a really big struggle for him, he committed to keep it. Because he's blind and lives alone, he normally goes out to eat, but on Sunday he said he would stop. Huge act of faith. We are worried about our recent convert, Brother Lau (the miracle story that we had when I first got here back in June. Elder Walter and I found him in the last place you would expect to find an investigator, a big industrial street with factories on either side, off a hunch that Elder Watler had. He was the one who lived in Sham Shui Po, and I ended up turning him over to myself  because I ended up going to Sham Shui Po. Well, he was doing really well, but his family is anti-ing him a lot and his two jobs are keeping him from coming to church, he's starting to go less active. Please pray for him. He's probably going to have to move to mainland to find work which might be a good thing, and it might not depending on where he is and if there is a branch close by. More than anything, pray that he will stay in the Book of Mormon consistently. Thanks. Well, I love you guys. Keep the faith, never give up, just keep swimming, Gai Yauh! We are going to hike Lions Rock today which has one of the coolest views in Hong Kong. I hear it's even better than the peak. I'll send pictures next week!

Love,
Elder Mak






Thursday, December 4, 2014

MISSIONARY TRANSFERS AND PREPPING FOR ZONE CONFERENCE

11-2-2014

So, this week was good. Last week was crazy because of the transfer. We moved a ton of missionaries and their stuff. Some of those sisters have a lot of stuff... It was especially weird because I helped take the sisters who started with me home. This week we are prepping for Zone Conference. We were assigned a training, so we are working on that. Other than that, it's the same stuff. We just had Stake Conference. It was really good. There were some rumors of the TST ward splitting, but it didn't happen. Love you guys, thanks for the pictures! Keep up the good work, never quit, just keep swimming and gai yahu!

Elder Mak


HOW WE SAVED THE TEMPLE FROM BURNING!

10-19-2014

Hey family! So, I don't know if I have told you this story or not, but if I have I'm sorry, my memory is bad. Anyways, this is the story about how we saved the temple from certain destruction. So, we are eating lunch in our apartment when all of the sudden, the fire alarm goes off... and of course, the first thing we think is "so annoying... can someone turn that off! It has to be a malfunction or something". So, we walk outside the hallway and one of the temple workers comes running up the stairs and asks us if our apartment is on fire... and we were like "uhh, no, I don't think so..." and then asks if President's apartment is on fire, but they haven't been home all day, so we told him probably not. So, he goes next door to Elder Wong's apartment (the temple president) and knocks on the door. No one answers, so he uses his keys to unlock the door to check it out, and by this time, we are really interested in whatever is going on because it's obviously not a drill... so, we walk into the apartment and it looks normal at first, but then when he turns into the kitchen all you see are flames.... So, of course we all just stand there for a few seconds watching it, then the temple worker tells us to go get a fire extinguisher... so we snap out of it and start running down the hall as fast as we can, all try and get in the door to our apartment at the same time, and find the fire extinguisher. I knew that there was one in the closet, so I open the door and see two. One was about 8 inches tall, the other one next to it was about 24 inches tall. You can probably guess which one I grabbed! We run back to the Wong's apartment, and I go to spray the fire, but the pin is still in the handle, and I couldn't pull it out because I had one hand holding the nozzle and the other hand holding the tank. So, I yell for someone to pull the pin, someone does and I sprayed until they yelled at me to stop. And then some... we got the fire out and the fire department came. We told them not to worry and that everything was under control, we handled it, but if they wanted to check out the remains they were welcome to, haha. Turns out their stove fan was left on, and it overheated catching the grease in the fan on fire. So, now we tell people that we saved the temple from burning to the ground, which may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it sounds good, haha.

Love you all. Keep the faith, never quite. Gai Yauh.

Love,
Elder Mak

Monday, October 6, 2014

ELDER WONG'S CONFERENCE ADDRESS, BRUCE LEE MUSEUM & PROTESTS IN HONG KONG

October 5, 2014

Hey Family. Not much to report this week. We are still working with Ken, the blind investigator. He's doing well, but hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet. We also have a new investigator, Kerson, who came to church for the first time. He's interested in the social aspect of church right now, but it's okay. 

Did you see Elder Wong give his conference address?? We watch conference a week behind you guys, so it will happen for us this coming weekend. I watched a tiny bit online, though. It's kind of lame that they covered his Chinese with some English speaking dude, but whatever, it was still cool. He gave a really similar talk a year ago during zone conference.

The protests are going up and down, but still going. We talked to a bishop of the west point ward who is one of the protesters, haha. He says they are being peaceful, just sitting in the streets, so no one can drive by until they are allowed to vote for whoever they want to in elections and not from a list of names given by the Chinese government. But, last week, the police dropped a bunch of tear gas and sprayed them with pepper spray. I guess that only intensified their drive to stay. Now the police are just trying to wait them out, but there have been some fights breaking out between protesters and people who want to drive... But, most of it is happening on the island and in Mongkok, so here in Kowloon it's not as bad. But, from what I hear, it's catching a lot of news attention. How China decides to deal with it will also influence Taiwan who really doesn't like being part of China at all (they don't actually admit or consider themselves a part of China, and have had pretty bad protesting earlier this summer), but we still go on trying to get done what can be done. It's really not all that bad, though. 

Last week we were able to go up to Sha Tin though, and see the Bruce Lee Museum. It was pretty sweet. Today, we aren't really supposed to leave our area, so I think I'm just going to send a package home and clean or something. We had planned on doing the Pizza Challenge in D-Bay, but that will have to be another day. Well, I love you guys. Keep up the good work. Gai Yauh!

Love,
Elder Mak


MAKING A CANTONESE AUDIO BOOK OF MORMON & GAI YAUH! ("ADD OIL" = KEEP AT IT / KEEP GOING / DON'T STOP)

September 28, 2014

Hey, so I'm doing well. The last couple of weeks have been good. Still just busy with normal stuff. We've been back and forth to the hospital because Elder Pingkock has been in for a collapsed lung. Apparently, he's been living with one lung for the last 8 months or so. He had felt sick and short of breath and thought he had bad heart burn, but when he went to the hospital they told him that it was just some deep tissue bruising, or something like that. He went back last week because it was bothering him more, and they found that he had one lung this entire time. Crazy! So, he's out of surgery and in the office now with the other online elders. 

My next big transfer is in October, I think the 23rd. The only meeting I have to prep for right now is mission leadership tour, but it shouldn't be too hard. Yeah, we did okay without President Hawk for that week. There were a few scares, and I was glad he was still in the country, but we got through it. Today we are hoping to go to a cool Bruce Lee Exhibit in a museum in Sha Tin, but we haven't been cleared to go out yet because there are some demonstrations going on, and I guess it's getting violent. But we're fine and are just going to wait it out. Most of it is on the island anyway, but I guess it's spreading up into Mongkok and stuff. From what I hear there are a lot of college kids who are really mad that they don't have "true democracy", so they are doing some demonstrations, but I think it is dying down. I'm not worried because all the people who are mad are mad at Mainland China, not Americans. They love Americans, haha. 

Well, it sounds like the usual back home. Keep up the good work. I know there aren't a lot of people who might be ready right now, but I promise if you pray sincerely, a name will come. Without the members, missionary work becomes nearly impossible, and a big part of that member missionary work is finding investigators. Also, if you can, I'd like to have you all pray for our investigators. Joseph isn't really progressing right now because of his laziness, but also his parents. They really do not like the Church and won't let him go. They found his Book of Mormon and threw it away, too... We also need help with Ken. He's blind and really humble. Likes to come to church and has a lot of questions. He can't really read English braille, and there is no Book of Mormon in Chinese braille, so we went looking for an audio recording of the Book of Mormon in Chinese... also doesn't exist. So, we are making our own. We've got some of the native missionaries taking turns reading out loud and recording the Book of Mormon. We've also talked to the Young Men's president and he wants to do an activity where they get all the young men and young women together to each read a few chapters and record it, so we can have the whole Book of Mormon. It's been going well, but he hasn't accepted a baptismal date. He's been baptized in the Baptist church and doesn't understand why he needs to get "re-baptized". If you could pray for them, that would be great! 

Love you all, keep up the good work, never quit, just keep swimming, and Gai Yauh! ("add oil" = keep at it/ keep going/ don't stop, etc.)

Love, 
Elder Mak

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

THE FIRST PERSON EVER TO SPEAK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE IN CONFERENCE WILL BE IN CANTONESE!!!!

September 10, 2014

HEY! Sorrry, I should have known you already sent a package. Sorry to make you send another one. Thank you though, a lot!!! I got your first package, thank you guys so much!! I love it! Especially the beef jerky!!!! Oh, man, I don't remember the last time I had jack links beef jerky! There is an elder in our apartment who likes to bake things, and we have an oven across the street in the chapel, so we went over last p-day and baked some of the stuff. We also used some of the chocolate and Oreos for English class. We did a scavenger hunt, and everyone LOVED it. So, thank you a bunch!

Yeah, the Seventies are pretty cool. Actually, we met with five of them, including Elder Rasband from the Seventy because all the mission presidents in the Asia area are coming to Hong Kong for a special mission president seminar. It started Tuesday and goes until Friday. So, President Hawks is basically gone from the early morning until late at night which means we have to keep the mission running until he is done... pretty scary! We had to pick up some new missionaries, too, and it was the first time ever that President Hawks wasn't there at the airport to greet them. He felt bad, but then we found out that the mission president of one of the Taiwan missions (I can't remember which one) is getting something like 30 new missionaries while he's gone. I feel so bad for those assistants. We only got three in, and our mission president was still in the country, haha. But before the conference, Elder Rasband wanted to come and have a meeting with the missionaries. So, with like 2 days notice we set up an all mission meeting. Only the second one I've ever been to. (First with Elder Holland). It was cool to be taught by so many Seventy, but the coolest part is soooo awesome!!!! 

We got some inside info about conference coming up MAKE SURE TO WATCH THE SATURDAY MORNING SESSION OF GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! It's going to be awesome! Elder Wong, who is really cool is from Sha Tin in Tolo Harbour which is like the Northern East part of Hong Kong, kind of, and just got called recently to be a Seventy. Actually, his first assignment as an official seventy was at our mission tour about a month ago. He's the first Hong Kong local to be called to the first quorum of the seventy, so he's like famous in the church in Hong Kong. But he's going to make history. He's going to speak in general conference, but wait, not only that, he's going to be the first person ever to speak in general conference in his mother tongue!!! Yeah! So, the church changed their policy about only speaking in English. They want everyone who's mother tongue is something other than English to be able to speak it over the pulpit and it will be translated. (I think into subtitles)! Awesome, huh? The first person ever to speak a different language in conference will be in CANTONESE!!!! Wooo Wooo! REPRESENT!!!!!! They said that there will be others too, in Spanish, Portuguese and maybe some other ones. (Hopefully dad will be able to understand it), so it should be fun. But, yeah, you should watch it! I know a lot of people don't watch the Saturday morning session, but it will be sick! Elder Wong is pretty nervous, but he'll do great. His English is great, but I'm sure that giving it in Chinese will be easier. 

Well, other than that we are still just busy getting everything done that we need to. We had an awesome activity the other day with all of Hong Kong. All four stakes came and competed in a sports day, and we had a ton of non-members there. Our investigator, Joseph, had a great time. I ran one race, it was a relay race where one person spins around and then runs, then another has to run with a bucket of water on his head, and so on. So mine was the hurdles... and even on the lowest setting... I was wearing jeans and am fat, so I didn't want to hurt myself, so I crawled under one, ran around the next two and then kicked the last one over, haha. It was fun. We also did a Kung Fu performance to the Mulan song Be A Man in Chinese, it was the most boss thing I've ever done, haha. I have a video, but I'm sure it's too big to send. 

Anyway, I love you guys, keep me posted on what's going on. Keep swimming, keep the faith, never quit.

Love,
Elder Mak

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BEING ABLE TO SEE THINGS FROM A BIGGER PERSPECTIVE HAS CHANGED MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE MISSION AND MISSIONARY WORK

Hey! 10,000 Buddhas was pretty fun. I'm hoping we can go to the Bruce Lee museum sometime soon because I hear it's awesome. This week wasn't too bad. Elder Falk and I are still just getting used to our new assignments together. Without Elder Kho we sometimes just run around like chickens with our heads cut off. On Saturday we had a big group of 30 people come from the Sham Shui Po Peace Evangelical church to tour our chapel and the temple grounds to see what the Mormons are all about. It went okay, but we couldn't get the stupid computer to work with the projector in the chapel for the video, and we just had some technical problems which was a little frustrating, but it was still good. They weren't really too interested in the gospel so much as they were about us missionaries. They think we are weird white guys in suits that walk around all day speaking Chinese, and the inside of the temple and what goes on and stuff. Because they can't go in they were really interested. Elder Falk made a joke that we would start telling people that our church has an amazing book called the Book of Mormon and that it was incredible, but you are not allowed to read it unless you were baptized and active for a year. We would have EVERYONE lining up to get baptized, haha. Just cuz people want what they can't have. I't pretty interesting.

Other than that, it wasn't too busy. We are prepping for a smaller transfer next week. We have a local, a Malaysian and an ABC flying in next week, but President and Sister Hawks won't be able to pick them up because they have a mission president seminar to go to. That means we are just going to go get them ourselves. We'll see how it goes. It's always weird going to the airport. Lots of flashbacks. 

We also have Mission leadership council next week that we are prepping for. My new companion is pretty awesome. We've known each other for a long time and have lived together before becoming companions, so it's good. I think I enjoy just having things to do and being busy the most. Also, to be able to see things from a bigger perspective has changed my understanding of the mission and missionary work. It's not just my little corner of Hong Kong anymore. It's all of Hong Kong and the Asia area. My language is terrible. We don't speak it nearly as much as I did before, so I'm trying to keep it up, but a lot of times we don't have time for language study which I hate. President Hawks served here in the 1970's, so he does speak Chinese but not super well. Like, he can have a simple conversation and he'll give talks that he's prepped for in some meetings and things, but he doesn't do interviews or anything. He gives those to his counselors. Sister Hawks can say things like "missionary" and "blessing" and stuff like that. She's really nice and a realllly good cook. 

Love you all! Keep the faith, never quit, just keep swimming.

Love,

Elder Mak
Gave the Buddha statue a Book of Mormon... not sure what the monks there thought of that...

Apparently, it's a serious problem

Bigggg ol Buddha

One of the temples. Inside one of these temples was a monk who had his entire body coated in gold to keep him "preserved" and live forever, but we weren't allowed to take pictures.

1,000 handed gun yam

Thought he looked good with a tag, haha.




13 NEW SISTERS COMING INTO THE MISSION, 20 HOURS DRIVING IN THE CAR & FIGURING THINGS OUT WITHOUT ELDER KHO

August 24, 2014

Busy week. Transfers take a lot out of you. Especially with 13 new sisters coming into the mission... It was good, though, we are done now. It was a lot of training and managing logistics and all that stuff like where people are going, apartment closes and openings, people forgetting passports, visa problems, some of the sisters had to go to Macau to get out of the country for a little bit... it was interesting for sure. We moved a lot of sisters around to make room. Some of them had so much stuff it baffled me! The only day we really had to move a lot of them to be ready for the move was, of course, the day we had a red level rain warning. Trying to get things moved without getting it all wet was difficult because if it gets wet it will get mold for sure, so we had to be extra careful. 

We also took the returning group to the airport Friday morning which is always a weird drive... you just dump them off, throw them their luggage and drive away. This time wasn't as bad as when Sister Moody's group went home, though. We got to sleep until 5:00 instead of 4:00 in the morning because their flight was delayed. This last week we had to have spent 20 hours in the car. Just driving from one side of Hong Kong and back again over and over. But, I've decided that if you can drive in Hong Kong, you can drive anywhere on the PLANET! Imagine down town Vegas but wayyy more complex, unforgiving roads, and absolutely ruthless crazzzzy Asisan drivers, haha. But, we got through it. We are hoping to get Elder Falks drivers license this week, so he can drive some too. He is in no rush though, haha. Being on the other side of the road and all freaks him out a little I think. 

We didn't really have a ton of time to do a lot of proselyting, but we did get to meet with a new investigator named Joseph who is really cool. He has a desire to be baptized, but he doesn't feel super worthy and is worried about not staying faithful till the end. He's also on parole right now, so we'll see how it goes. He's really cool though. In a band, loves America and wants a Ford Mustang, haha. Other than that, Elder Falk and I are just trying to figure out how to handle everything without Elder Kho here to babysit us... but it will work out. Elder Falk is smart. 

Well, I love you all. Keep the faith, never quit, just keep swimming. I don't know if you ever watch Mormon Messages, but these two are probably my favorite. You should check them out and then share them with friends online!

The Hope of God's Light

Because of Him

Love,

Elder Mak


Saturday, August 16, 2014

MISSION TOUR WITH ELDER RANDY FUNK AND ELDER SAM WONG, DODGED A BULLET ON THAT ONE & KIND OF INTIMIDATING TO TEACH WITH A GENERAL AUTHORITY

August 10, 2014

Hey, so this week was pretty busy. Really busy. It's hard to keep up sometimes, especially when you're still trying to do missionary work as well as your other priorities, but it was still really good. We had Mission Tour with Elder Randy Funk and Sam Wong of the Seventy and the Area Presidency. They are both really awesome. They interviewed us and brought up some ideas they had for mission tour. We set everything up, got everything together, dealt with all the last minute things that you always deal with that are never expected and went for three days. Two zones per day. It was cool to be there for all three days. Even though the general layout is the same, it's surprising how much it actually changes by the end. 

They also wanted to sit in on us for a lesson on Thursday at 6:00, but we couldn't schedule anyone, right up to the time we were supposed to teach. It was pretty embarrassing, not having ANYONE who could meet. Made us look like lazy missionaries who didn't have any investigators! BUT, right before we were scheduled (we thought we were going to have to take them finding with us...) a less active called who had called the night before and was able to come down so we could share a message. Dodged a bullet on that one! We were assigned to teach with Elder Funk, who doesn't speak Chinese, so we kind of translated for him a little bit, but it was still good. Kind of intimidating to teach with a general authority. Anyways, I'm glad mission tour is over. It was great but exhausting. Now we have a week of normal instanity before it gets bumped up again for transfer week, which is mind blowing insanity. It's a big move, too, with a lot of sisters coming in. The logistics are pretty hard to conceive.

We did have an Leih Fei Yeung get baptized which was awesome! It was especially cool because his older brother, who got baptized two weeks ago, received the Aaronic priesthood on the same day and was able to baptize his younger brother. They are both super solid. When A Fei gave his testimony after his baptism, it made a ton of people cry. He is the most mature, intelligent, quick 10 year old I've ever met. Super cool kid. 

Anyway, that's about all for this week. Love you guy, keep the faith, never quit, just keep swimming.

Love,

Elder Mak


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

EATING BALUT, 48 BAPTISMS FOR THE MISSION IN JULY, SUMMER MISSIONARY PROGRAM AND EEFY

Helloo. So this week was good. We were really busy with the summer missionary program that we're in charge of... it takes a lot of time and effort into getting everyone with who they are supposed to be with at the right time and with the proper training and with a bed and everything... but it was good. Yeah, Elder Fong is great. We don't normally have time to go on many exchanges, but we're doing a Zone 24 next Wednesday, so hopefully I'll be with someone cool. 

Elder Klein just got in, he was supposed to get here with the rest of his group a few weeks ago, but tore something in his knee or something, so he was late. He's super funny, though, all the Elder's from England are really funny, they have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. We are getting a huge group of sisters coming in the next move, though, so we are trying to prepare for that. Who's training who and where they will go. There are a ton of sisters in our mission now. 

We were also able to help some members from Cambodia out this week as well as one of the Filipino branches doing baptisms for the dead. I did like 25 crazy sounding Cambodian names and Elder Kho helped a Filipino sister do some of her ancestors. Yes, I go to way more meetings than normal now. 

We had this crazy goal of 65 baptisms in the month of July that we've been working towards for a long time... We weren't looking good at all coming up to the last Sunday of the month, but on that Saturday (the 27th) we had 32 baptisms throughout the mission, crushing any existing record that we may have had. Though we did over double our monthly baptismal average, we were still short of our goal. Overall, we had 48 baptisms in the month of July. President Hawks gave a great training in MLC about Zion's Camp. What the original goal was and what the Lord's actual purpose of the entire thing was. It's pretty much exactly the same for our goal. It was more about what we became rather than the number we achieved, but we decided as MLC counsel that we needed to go for round two. Take what we learned and strive for it again. So, we are going for 65 in December, but we are bumping the goal up for not only 65 baptisms in December but also 65 re-activated less actives as well. Basically doubling the goal. Yeah... but we realized as we looked over the numbers for the last few months that because we had this goal, our less active work has been steadily declining. So it's pretty daunting, but we'll see how it goes. Everyone seems to be fired up for it. 

Sister Moody goes home today. She's here in the office re-packing. She can't get her luggage down to 50lbs a piece, but it's pretty close. We actually had to go and get her luggage from the house and drive it to the mission office because they are both broken. I don't know exactly what she did to them, but I think one of them had something to do with a ride on an escalator gone wrong... 

It was a good week with the work too. A Tin's little brother Fei Yeung will be baptized this Sunday, so we are excited about that. We also found a cool Filipino lady on the street who is a member, moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago and couldn't find the church, so she went lost sheep. We ran into her on the street and took her to the chapel. She was pretty excited. Turns out she married a Hong Kong man and they have a kid. We are working with the Filipino sisters to try and find out the best way to get them taught. We potentially found a part member family to be baptized. 

I have to go now. We are doing a big EEFY (english, especially for  youth) activity and they want white people there to promote it and teach English... I just get used for my skin, haha. We also have a mission tour this week, so it will be pretty busy right up to moves. Thanks for everything, love you all! Keep the faith, never quit, just keep swimming. 

Love,
Elder Mak








This is called balut, it's popular with the Filipinos. It's as gross as it looks. A fertilized chicken egg that they boil alive and eat before the bones get solid.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

"YOUR SON, ELDER MIKESELL HAS ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT TO BE ONE OF MY ASSISTANTS."




ELDER MIKESELL IN THE CHURCH NEWS!

Check out this article in the Church News about the Saints in Hong Kong commemorating their mission's beginnings. Elder Mikesell is featured with his companion, Elder Kho in the article!


Saints in Hong Kong Commemorate Mission's Beginnings
Contributed By Elder Paul Richard Sullivan, Church News contributor
16 JULY 2014 
Missionaries currently serving in the China Hong Kong Mission pose on Victoria Peak with Hong Kong in the background. (From left) Elder Kho, Elder Mikesell, Elder Little, and Elder Tong. (In front) Sister law and Sister Garlitz. Photo by Janet Cheong.




GOT STOPPED BY THE POLICE THE FIRST DAY DRIVING IN HONG KONG!

July 13, 2014

I'm doing well. I'm adjusting. I picked up my license this week and drove home... it was pretty weird with everything on the wrong side... I kept turning on the stupid windshield wipers instead of the turn signals, and Elder Kho had to keep telling me to get back on the right side. Driving in Hong Kong is pretty intense. Imagine the strip but even worse, everything backwards and way more Asian drivers... but it was fun. I actually got pulled over that night, first time driving and I get stopped at a police stop check point. We pull up, say hello, and the cop said, "Are you guys church people?" And we were like, "yeah" and then he and his partner laughed and just told us to go ahead, haha. 

This is Elder Fong, his story is super awesome. He's 26, the only member of his family and a convert of only a few years. He had a lot of family opposition and stuff but is one of the hardest working, humblest missionaries I've ever met. We went on exchanges last week.

Yeah, I work pretty close to the mission president and his wife. He is good. He takes his calling really serious but makes jokes, too. I'm starting to learn when to laugh. His wife is really nice and is a really good cook. She will cook sometimes for meetings that we have and stuff. 

We also had a cool meeting with all the Asia presidency and seventy inside mainland. They also pulled down all the district presidents from Beijing to discuss procedures with the Mandarin missionaries working in Hong Kong for all the visitors. We've been getting a lot lately. If I can remember right, we baptized more visitors from China than we did for the entire mission of Hong Kong in the month of May.. and they keep coming. I don't know how many members there are inside mainland but judging from how many of the leadership of the church came down, it's pretty big. They aren't allowed to proselyte or even tell their friends about the gospel, but they can talk to their immediate family. The restrictions are pretty tight and enforced pretty hard. 

We also just had the 65th Anniversary Peak Service on Saturday. Back in the day, they used to do it every few years or so, but the last time they did it was in 1993. The Peak is the top of the mountain that looks over the harbor. It's really famous and where all the landscape pictures of Hong Kong are taken. It's also where the land of China and Hong Kong were dedicated for missionary work in July of 1949. The seventy who actually did it (Elder Cowley) carved the date into a rock on the Peak that is still there, which is cool. Originally, they had planned on having the serve on the Peak itself, but they couldn't get government permission to do it because there were thousands of people going and they didn't believe that a group that size wouldn't bring a drop of alcohol, haha. So, we did it in Wanchai but it was still cool. 

We went finding and ran into a park they made around some ancient Chinese ruins. They had a full zodiac in the middle and some cool gunman which is like really old Chinese characters. Kind of like Shakespeare to us but even older and people don't know what a lot of them mean, haha. 





Haha, that's funny Chase got his wisdom teeth out. Thanks for all the pictures. Sounds like you guys are doing well. I will try and send more pictures. Thanks for keeping me updated. I'm trying to do better at writing more. Everyone and their mom keeps telling me that they are following Sister Moody's blog. But since she is leaving soon, I guess I should step it up. Thanks for everything. I love you all. Keep the faith, never quit, just keep swimming.



This is a HUGE fish in a reservoir up above Aberdeen. We went on a hike and from the dam you  can see these massive coy fish, they look like giant gold fish. Then I saw this guy, I swear he is over 6 feet long, even though you can't tell from the picture!

Elder Mak

Monday, July 7, 2014

TWO BAPTISMAL DATES FOR JULY, LIVING ABOVE THE TEMPLE IS PRETTY COOL, BUT THE MISSION PRESIDENT LIVES ACROSS THE HALL AND THE TEMPLE PRESIDENT LIVES NEXT DOOR...

We went to a history museum on a P-day and saw this old ding ding. (Ding dings are tram things on the island, they go superrrrr slow, but they are really cheap.) It was cool, though, because our huge massive church building in Wan Chai is getting a name for itself, haha. 

Yeah, Sister Moody and I are in the same ward and district. I'm not a big fan of being in leadership positions. It's cool because you stay busy, which I like, but it's just a lot of responsibility and everyone looks up to you and expects perfection and stuff. I'm trying to be a better example, so hopefully I get better. Being busy with errands and stuff is better than not having anything to do but find. It's really hot outside, and I stay in an office typing or in a car driving most of the time. We still go out, but not as often... I feel so guilty sometimes like I'm not actually working. I feel more tired but more mentally than physically. There is too much stuff to do and it hit me like a train cuz the assistant I replaced went home, so I couldn't call him or anything to ask for help on what to do. Elder Kho helps a lot though. He's great. He's an ABC (American Born Chinese) so both of his parents are from Hong Kong and his Chinese is perfect... so it's nice for language study. Kind of like my old trainie, Elder Wong, who was CBC (Canadian Born Chinese). He's really cool and loves soccer, so we get along okay, haha. Some of the elders who have gone home are keeping us up to date on the World Cup... it's huge here, and I cry myself to sleep knowing that I'm missing it all and that it won't be back for another 4 years... and the US is actually doing pretty well! But anyway...

I have a lot of new responsibilities but one of my major ones is I'm in charge of the numbers reports. So, I have to input all the numbers and different values for the mission as far as the key indicators go. I use most of my time on Excel which at first I was really slow on.. and made a lot of mistakes, but I'm getting better with memorizing all the formulas and stuff. As hard as it is, though, I'd rather have that job than Elder Kho's. One of his responsibilities is to set up all the main lander visitor baptisms with the Mandarin missionaries, and that can get pretty scary cuz you are dealing with international and federal laws of religion.

Yeah, I'll probably be in this ward for a while. This ward is good. It's probably the same size as my last ward before it split. I haven't gotten a cheng out here but a lot of times we don't have time for dinner anyway so it doesn't matter. Living above the temple is pretty cool, but the mission president lives across the hall and the temple president lives next door...   I'm in an apartment with five other elders. One of them is my trainer Elder Kwan. It's kind of weird but cool to see him again.

I haven't gotten my license yet because we haven't had time, but hopefully next week. I'm in no rush though, cuz it's been a long time, everything is on the wrong side, and the streets of Hong Kong are insane. Elder Kho is a good driver, though. I actually saw from the number report that Cotton was baptized! I couldn't go see him, but I think he's doing okay. I was sad I couldn't be there... but other than that it's just been really busy. 

We have a couple really solid baptismal dates for July. One was kind of crazy actually. Elder Walter and I found a guy in Aberdeen one night by super good chance we went down a super industrialized street, full of construction sites (not normally where you would go to find people) and ran into a guy named Mr. Lau. We taught him on the street and found out he lived in Sham Shui Po, and when I found out, I can't lie, I was pretty disappointed... He was golden, and we had to turn him over. So, we scheduled him and went to the turn over lesson with the assistants who work that area. That same day, I found out I was getting transferred to Sham Shui Po! So, President Hawk told me, "Looks like you will follow your investigator over", and we've been teaching him ever since. He's super awesome. Yesterday, he came to church and after he told us that he had gotten off work at 7 in the morning (church starts at 9:30), and he really wanted to go home and sleep but he felt like he needed to go to church, so he did and he was really happy he did. He does that every week because he works graveyards. So, pretty cool. 

Oh, also, the craziest thing happened. Elder Loderup, who came in with me, got attacked by a huge dog last week!! He's been in the hospital since then, doing okay but had to have a couple surgeries. We go visit him every day. It reminded me of Kam Tin because the dogs outnumbered the people like six to one. I think the biggest mistake he made was he ran... Whenever a dog would get mad at us and growl or bark, we would just stand up really tall and sometimes pick up our bikes over our heads to make ourselves look really big and they would normally not do anything until we could walk backwards and get out of there. But he's super tough and will be okay. Pray for him. He said his mom is kind of worried. Thanks for everything, love you all. Keep the faith, just keep swimming, never quit. 

Love,

Elder Mak


This is our bishop and his family in Aberdeen. Super awesome people.


This was in Stan Lee during the dragon boat festival. There were a stupid amount of people there. These guys were doing Brazilian capoeira which is like a martial art/dance. They were pretty good.

This was taken from Lama Island. One of the places we would go knock doors. Full of the biggest spiders you'll ever see and a ton of mosquitoes but really pretty. It's a weird place because of all the different cultures mixed in such a small area.

Sister Moody & Elder Mikesell at a hot dog eating contest.
Sister Moody & Elder Mikesell at a hot dog eating contest.