Date: Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 3:30 AM
Subject: The ultimate objective
This week has been a huge change from what I'm used to in International. 5 new philippena sisters have arrived in the mission, thus making every existing philippena missionary forced into training, even a sister who has only been serving here for about 6 weeks. Elder Ford has successfully made it home to Colorado, and I'm now working with Elder Joshua Chang, from Anaheim, California. We're practically neighbors! He's one of the most hilarious people I've ever met. He's kindof like Brian in the way that he talks and cracks jokes, except he has a twang of beach boy surfer kid. I didn't realize I belonged to an American subculture until I actually worked 24/7 with another elder from my state. It's pretty awesome. We're both really experienced -- he's from my younger district in the MTC, so we've known each other for a while.
We've changed our Sunday branch from Peninsula 3 to Discovery Bay. It's so different, because we are now working primarily with Americans who live in this Hong Kong utopia out in Tung Chung, on Lantau Island. We now live out on that island too, but we still serve the every-day branch in Wan Chai during the week, so it costs us a couple hours and a fortune of travel money every day to get down to Wan Chai. However, I know the Lord is in it. As inconvenient as it seems to live out in Tung Chung, we meet new philippenos every day out there. There are tons of them! Elder Chang and I have set goals and plans to find and teach families out here, and on Sunday we fasted together to find a family. That night on the 15 minute walk from the MTR station to our house, we met a family from the philippines who gave us their address to go visit them later this week. I know that the Lord honors our agency in the desires that we seek. When we are consistent in our righteous desires and make the Spirit our companion, nothing is impossible. The Lord answers our prayers.
We're still getting adjusted to the new way of things. It was nice also to get to go to the Temple again yesterday. We spent a lot of time there praying and talking about how to draw on the powers of heaven together as a companionship to initiate growth in each Branch. There is so much energy and potential in both, especially Discovery Bay. The members there are so excited, and every new member we meet says, "Oh you're the new missionaries, we've heard good things about you guys!" I feel that God has placed us here, and Elder Chang and I have a lot of faith we're going to be teaching the families we've been praying for our entire missions in the very near future. I've noticed that whenever I set my mind to something, that's when fear and doubt play their biggest roles. But just like Elder Uchtdorf said this Conference, we must "doubt [our] doubts before we doubt [our] faith."
The Philippenas out here are amazing. They are so filled with faith and choose to be happy no matter what circumstance they are in. It inspires me every day to see these people who are so motivated by love in all that they do stand as a testimony to the real meaning of our existence. All around me I hear stories and meet people who have let themselves be suffocated by information and forget to breathe the air of wisdom. Sometimes I think we forget that the ultimate objective of the human existence on this earth is happiness, and that can and should be experienced in every condition.
"In every condition, in sickness in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be." -- Hymn "How Firm a Foundation"
Heavenly Father is wary of us. Christ's sacrifice is real. He is the reason to rejoice and the motivation to do good even when everything else seems to fail. I know this is God's work, and it will never fail.