Hong Kong International District and Zone are doing awesome. It's really awesome to see and take part in the way the mission as a whole functions. President Hawks is very organized and very good with numbers and statistics because his whole life he worked as a professor of manufacturing engineering. He knows how to establish order, and it's been awesome to learn how to account for the work of several other missionaries in the mission. It's tangible evidence that the Lord is hastening the work and guiding His missionaries. It's very faith-building and encouraging to me to watch how things fall in to place through the Lord's guidance. Ultimately everything is based on "go out there, go where the Lord wants you to go, and teach people the gospel" and then it just happens. It seems vague and your average joe just stands in awe as they see the growing success of missionaries as they go out and make things happen through their faith and obedience to the Lord. There is so much structure and so much order to everything that is ultimately founded on nothing more than faith and obedience.
I love the Lord and I love this gospel. We have several baptismal dates out for September and are confident that most if not all with go through. Our attitude and our decision to love people really makes a huge difference. I've thought a lot about charity and loving others this week because I think Elder Ford is a great example of it. Since I've been focusing on avoiding negative thinking or being critical, and treating people the way I feel the Savior would, I've had two pull-backs to the church in the last 8 days that said, "Last time I saw the missionaries, I told them no and didn't want to listen to them. But something in the way you approached me and talked to me made me feel in my heart that I needed to go with you."
We all need to be loved. Everyone needs to know they're cared about. Working with these wonderful people who sacrifice being with their families to work abroad has been really eye-opening to me in a lot of ways. They appreciate even the little things you do for them. They take joy in the simple things because they know that is what brings them happiness. Some of them have literally nothing to hold onto but their faith in Christ, and they give me a huge smile and tell a joke and talk to me like they are the happiest people alive. I feel that many of these people understand better than most how to see the world through the Savior's eyes because they realize that the way they treat others and the way they choose to respond to unfortunate circumstances makes a difference. They know what actually matters. I pray that we can all learn to pray "with all energy of heart to be filled with [charity]", the pure love of Christ (Moroni 7:48). I testify that people will feel it when we show it, and it will give us the power to change our circumstances and lift our burdens.