Saturday, January 2, 2016

Week 11

I'm in the north, in the New Territories near mainland China. Tuen Mun. My companion is from the Philippines. She is great. She always recognizes the little blessings and miracles--the Lord's hand in our lives as we do His work.

Our companionship received the greatest gifts for Christmas. There were so many miracles. We would be thinking and praying about people we couldn't get ahold of and they would call us! 4 investigators attended the church Christmas party and 3 attended church on Sunday. I think the greatest gift was seeing our love for them reflected. I want to stay worthy of having the sincere love of Christ for these people. I love that as they recognize this love, they desire to turn outward and love/serve us and those around them. I think this example of following Christ (ministering as he would) is one of the most important aspects of missionary work. This is His gospel. I want to strive to learn more about the way He taught on the earth and continuously strive to develop His characteristics. We always strive to think of more ways to serve the people. It also builds their trust. I don't know much Cantonese, but I know enough to get to know them and support their needs with the principles of the gospel.

It was funny because we had dinner at a part-member family's house (my first dinner with people here in Hong Kong), and they served exactly what I was scared of--fish balls and octopus balls. However, I think I am being blessed while here because I was able to stand it enough to eat it without making any faces! Handled with dignity! The friends of the family who were also there were singing Chinese opera songs and one old man started singing in falsetto! This went on for a long time. We just sort of sat there and laughed. I love that the old people here act like cartoons. When they jog and exercise, it is very funny. You would have to see it to know what I mean. Love it. On the way home a random old man started jumping around throwing fists at the elders (not actually trying to hit them but just standing in place pretending like he was going to.) He just jumped around trying to do this for about 5 minutes. Then he stopped and walked away. LOL Some people are really poor here. Some don't even have a toilet. And because Hong Kong is so expensive, it is very common to have an apartment about the size of a large closet. It is so important to be grateful for what you have.

The area we live is very fun. We see all varietes of age groups. The little children are SO cute. hou dak yih. Every day you see older people wheeling little bag-carts around with all their stuff in it. We call them pohpoh che (grandma cars). Its so fun. They are all so sweet, and their faces light up when we say good morning etc. It is normal to call old ladies grandma here. It is endearing I think. Idk. The culture here is very funny because people are very blunt. One of our investigators told me I was so beautiful now because my pimple went away (saw her twice since I've been here. She is trying to quit smoking and has such a strong testimony but is sick currently). And they tell people when they are fat or skinny etc.

We had lots of Christmas parties as a zone and as a ward and a talent show. I got for a missionary as a white elephant gift white cheetah print antlers. Needless to say, he loved them. I also love dragon fruit. It is kind of like kiwi. Tastes good with oatmeal. The chips here are quite interesting. They have pizza flavor, chicken flavor, shrimp flavor. I actually really like most of the food here. Does any one know any ways to help people stop smoking? One investigator is trying really hard but it is such a challenge.

We have 5 investigators who we will extend baptismal dates to this next week. I like to picture them in white. I also like to see them as God sees them. They are each already so special to me. It is so amazing. It is also a commitment to follow Christ, a choice to have eternal happiness rather than misery. A choice to be saved, a logical decision. I know that if we are working diligently and doing all that is required in studying, planning, obedience, etc, the Lord will bless us in the ways we need to help these people.

Sometimes people are astonished at how quickly the missionaries can learn the language and how they can bring so many the gospel. My response: Alma 26:12 and 2 Nephi 28:30. I love this: if you are not going forward spiritually, you are going backward. It reminds my of my dad's story and testimony of his dream of trying to get out of a pit. If you don't know it, you should ask him. D&C 93, grace by grace. You can receive all the Father has. What a blessing. 3 Nephi 9--because it was Christmas.

I think it is so amazing that service and charity can cure all unhappiness and negativity. Any time I am feeling a bit down, helping others blesses me. It helps me become so positive and happy. There's never been an easier cure! I want everyone to think of one person this week and ask "What more can I do to serve them?" Try to find a way to even more love this person. Happy New Year!!

Sister Wilcox

Me with my companion Sister Villasin (left). She is such a great example. So kind to everyone. Knows that everything can be accomplished through faith. That is why we are so successful. Through relying on Him and having faith that we will accomplish His will.

This is the investigator who came with us to the Christmas party- Yan. She is very lovely. I love two of the younger girls in our ward (Carmen and Nikki)- they are such great fellowshippers and make everyone feel welcome. They are very fun to talk to, know English pretty well, and are kind to everyone we intorduce them to. One of them gave me a christmas tree hair pin that she made herself.
This was at the Christmas event at our stake building (they were singing Christmas carols in English and Cantonese). It was really nice. They had a ton of food (most of it was pretty normal-- spaghetti, potato casserole thing, egg salad sandwiches, cake), but they had a WHOLE PIG. Crazy. But cool. I had a tall elder take the picture over the crowds heads.
Our ward building (3 wards use it) in Tuen Mun. We are near the northern outskirts of Hong Kong, pretty close to China. The ward members are so sweet. They bear with my Chinese and talk to me/ help me learn new words.
In the main city area of Hong Kong. We went to the mall to email at the apple store. It is huge. Their stores and all their fashion is amazing. It is crazy how much they love technology though. Everyone is on their phone all the time. The apple store is huge with a bunch of people on the devices (using them) and with music (imagine dragons--- ahhh *cover ears*. I think I heard a new song as well). The main city is beautiful.
View from our apartment. We are in the outskirts of Hong Kong (not as wealthy). The people are so great.

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