Sunday, December 25, 2016

Week 25.5 Christmas call home 12/25/2016

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas call between Elder Joseph Chou and his family.
At first we were only able to get the audio, then just the video, then finally we were able to get both audio and visual. Although skype didn't work out, google hangout worked for us.
Sunday night in Utah was Elder Chou's Monday morning in Hong Kong.
What a fun time it was to speak and learn of the wonderful experiences he is having on his mission in the China Hong Kong Mission.
It is amazing for us to see how he has grown spiritually in the last six months, and how his Cantonese has improved!
It is so wonderful that we get to speak with him twice a year, for Christmas and Mother's day.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Week 25.5 Christmas in Hong Kong 12/24/2016

Elder Joseph Chou has been serving as a full-time missionary in the China Hong Kong Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, on 6/29/2016 to begin his 2 year mission. Then served in the Modesto California Mission while he waited for his visa, and he is now serving in Kowloon City, Hong Kong, China.
Each week, he is able to write home, and we update this mission blog for him.
On Christmas, he will get to call/skype his family, so we are excited and looking forward to speaking with him via skype.
He and other missionaries prepared a wonderful Christmas program in Hong Kong this week (see pictures below).

The message that he and the other missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints carry to those who will listen is simple. Jesus Christ is the son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He was born in Bethlehem to the virgin Mary, and he was crucified and died on the cross. Then after visiting the spirit world for three days, he rose from the grave and became the first fruits of the resurrection. Those who will believe in Christ and follow his teachings, and his glorious Plan of Salvation prepared for us, will be blessed. As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, are baptized by immersion as he did, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we will be blessed and will receive eternal life. It is only in and through the name of Christ that salvation cometh. It is only by following his teachings and example that we and our families will find joy in this life and in the life to come. We testify that God lives, that the tomb is empty, and that the Savior is ready to bless each of us if we will follow his teachings. May the Lord bless you during this Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 24.5 Singing to Children 12/19/2016

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!
This week has been so much slower. a lot of people canceled on us but the [highlight] this week was definitely when we were waiting for a bus [and] we started like kinda signing to these two adorable little girls (8 and 4 it looked like) and that really lit up Elder Mcgrath and my week because we have been canceled a lot this week and we taught like two lessons and were out on the streets for 5 hours a day. Its nothing really to complain about because I know there is a purpose, but back to those little girls as I thought more about it, I was reminded of the scripture in Moroni 8:12 which says, "But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world" and how those two little girls showed me that. I might not have as big of an impact as I wanted to for them, but they impacted me a lot.
Hong Kong is a special place. Lots of people lots of potential, just a very very thick wall that we must take apart piece by piece so that we can get through to them. So they can understand that this gospel is an investment not a sacrifice. "for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer. " (Jacob 7:22) and I know that God has, that he gives me the strength to go on to keep going because "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. "(Alma 26:12).
God sent me here for a reason. Don't let any excuse keep you from loving him and loving his children enough to give them the gospel. I just think of what I have been through and realize that Christ went through so much more. As we try we will face more trials face more challenges, but as we try harder it will also be harder to surrender. We should not demand the unreasonable, but we should always demand improvement from ourselves. I know that my Redeemer lives, What comfort this sweet senate gives. and I know that is defiantly and 100% true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 23.5 Christmas activity 12/12/2016

九龍城 星期二十三 (kowloon city week 23) 我是神的僕人,但是呢個是好難去做祂的事工

Missions are hard haha :)

This week has been less then productive it feels like, we had a Christmas activity, and that took a lot of time that I felt was very unnecessary. The good thing is that it is cooling down these days so that is really good :) I am also alive!!! Ok miracle of the day, people actually talked to us when we went finding at a park, and we bumped into someone we met on the street like a month ago!!! they are super cool I can not remember their names  because as asian as I am, they all still sound the same haha (I think one of them was Edward but I don't know) I also am using a nice computer today so I can actually send pictures in. We also had investigators go to the music activity so that was really good haha :) yea I know this is kinda different I don't really talk about my week so I will get to the usual agenda now :)

We had a zone training this week and it talked about talking with our heart and really really teaching people :) 

I also had a scripture that really touched me this week which is 2 Nephi 29: 6-14 it talks about how the Book of Mormon is super important and how we need it. Read it and tell me what you think! The Book of Mormon is true!! Whatever anyone says it is true, people will write up things to challenge our faith to make us disbelieve in it, because if it is not true, then people have a rationalization to continue in sin. but it is not rationalizable nor is it excusable to willingly commit sin. The Book of Mormon changes lives, if we don't accept it when it is placed in front of us, it is our fault and someone will take that opportunity because they want to. I challenge you all to read it and ponder hat it says and really try to ask God if it is true. By doing so, you will receive an answer. You will feel an answer. In the name of my savior Jesus Christ and this whole world's savior Jesus Christ Amen

There is a difference between being humble and humiliated. you can still be humble and brave, humble and courageous. humility is not thinking less of ourselves it is thinking of ourselves less

Questions of the soul of the week
why is it so hard to give Heavenly Father our will guilt everything after all we have done
(I don't have an answer so thats why I ask :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 22.5 Power of Prayer 12/5/2016

Well update from this week we had stake conference and that was really fun :) We are also organizing a music thing for a Christmas activity so that will be fun haha :)
picture Elder Chou & auntie Suhky at stake conference 
Today I will make it quick but I wanted to talk about the power of prayer
D&C 29:6 is where we will start this topic it says "Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive." so we can literally ask for anything, if we have faith it will be answered. We can ask God to change our heart (I need that a lot haha) but you can do that and he will answer it!!! That's great knowledge to have that God loves us enough to actually answer our prayers!!
So why do we not have faith that God will answer our prayers? because he answers them over time "by small and simple things" we have to be proactively looking for them so that we can see them. We have to thank him like the 1 leopard . Remember it is the little rudder that moves the whole ship and the little turn of the wheel that turns the car. It is in the little things that make the biggest difference, the "tender mercies"
May we all be like Ammon who boasts of the strength of God. For I of myself am nothing. Everything about this work of bringing souls to the salvation of Christ. Having a baptism is not a missionaries highest form of happiness because in reality all the credit should be given to god. He gave us the gift to communicate and move and find and have trials so that we can grow. God will change us if we will only let him do that to our soul.
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of [God's] fingers, the moon and the stars, which [God] hast ordained;" (Psalms 8:3) I think it amazing that he has answered my prayer, my humble prayer, to know if the Book of Mormon is true, to know if he does talk to prophets today. He created all things that I see and there are a lot of things I see, but him knowing me personally gives me a sense of relief and comfort because I am so small and "am nothing" yet he cares for me. I know he will answer our yours and my prayers. He will because he loves us, you and me.
"O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" (Psalms 8:9) In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

differences between ourselves are to be celebrated not calculated

-        steven sharp nelson

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 21.5 Teaching Chan Sang 11/28/2016

hey this week is going to be short sorry :)

we have an investigator, Chan Sang that is set for baptism on the 11th so we will see how that turns out!! Thank you for your prayers!! :)

pictures with people we have met and work with in Hong Kong.

here are 2 insights from this week :)
1. if you do all the good in the world, the good that you will do will do you no good if you have not love
2. if you obey God's laws, you succeed in his realm, if you obey satan's laws you will prosper in satan's realm
3.your world is in your head. get your head right and your heart will follow, and you will be alright

There are also some things, as miracles happen every day in this world I am reminded of the scriptures in 2 nephi 24 which says "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. " and that all things that seem hard and all things that we struggle with is so God can teach us somethings. and as we prepare for judgement as it says in 2 nephi 9:46 let us "not shrink with awful fear" and we will be alright.
I know that the work I am doing now is the greatest work that man can accomplish, which is to bring happiness to people who are without it, to help them understand that God loves them and that they have a right and a choice to be happy now, if they will listen. It is only by surrendering our will and being humble enough to admit that someone bigger and better then us knows what is best for us. For those that worry about where there heart is, make sure you have your head in the right place first and then it will be added unto you. one of the assets added will be your heart. God can change your heart, do you have faith that he can? I know that This gospel is true, and many of you know to, the question is do you feel it, and are you letting it change your life for the better. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 20.5 Success outweighs the Disappointments 11/22/2016

Hello everyone from the other side of the world!!!! This week has been pretty good!!
I really like the hymn praise to the Lord the Almighty (72) it says "surely his goodness and mercy shall ever attend thee. Ponder anew. What the Almighty can do, Who with his love doth befriend thee." 

This is where the first insight from this week comes in. We are not special in the sense that the atonement doesn't apply to us. We are not special in the sense that we have committed so much sin that we cannot be forgiven. We are special in the sense that the atonement was done FOR US and for the benefit of us. it is so that when we have eternal bodies that we can have eternal happiness with it, because no one wants to live in the eternities forever without being happy! However this path will not be easy. Life is not going to be easy and that is the second Insight comes in

as missionaries we are rejected time and time again because people think that they are better off without god, and that they can find a way that brings more happiness then the way the god has prescribed. Elder McGrath said to me one day that the disappointments OUTNUMBER the successes, but the successes OUTWEIGHS the disappointments.

D&C 11:10
Behold, thou hast a gift, or thou shalt have a gift if thou wilt desire of me in faith, with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee;
We all have gifts given from god to go help his children, we must do all we can to serve them then will ""all these things shall be added unto you" (3 Nephi 13:33)

1 Nephi 20:10
"For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." May we let the Lord Refine us and mold us into the servants he wants us to be, In the name of Jesus Christ Amen

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 19.5 New Apartment, Personal Revelation, & Insights 11/14/2016

Hey everyone!!!! How is life going for everyone? :) we move apartments this week… 

and [elders in] my apartment had all their birthdays in November so that was fun haha :)

I have been dwelling on the fact of personal revelation. I realized, all the little insights that I get from observation, are the things that God has put into my mind :)
It is through these "small and simple things" that I have gained my testimony. Testimony is not an event it is a process, but even as you are reading this you are not expecting this to be a long event. But it is. In the world we live in today, we don't want anything to be long, we want things that are good to come now! and things that are challenging to go now! but we must look into the details of life to truly be happy and have that happiness last.
Here is a thing that I wish I knew in high school when deciding a major, if it's hard do it. if you do it and have a hard life that is ok. Nothing good in life comes from things that are easy, that is the great lie of Satan is that you don't need to work to get what you want, but you do.

we look for the spirit to be a huge event, but it is a process and it is continual
We must read the Book of Mormon all the way through and earn our way to 3rd nephi (Christ) because it will mean so much more
Thank God for our failures -Ronald Yeun
God has hope for us to change because we are still on this earth, so we have a chance to repent. Time is a blessing of God. If you haven't died it is so you can repent -Bro Fan
You and God write your story together
no effort is wasted, no effort spent on you is wasted, take all time as a learning opportunity
Every moment in this life has been to prepare you for the next so learn from it
everyone has a different capacity and varying levels of everything. The important thing is to use it so you can increase it
Chopsticks one moves more then the other. Don't complain about people that don't move as much, if they weren't there it would be very bad for you work
This gospel is to change our hearts
if the people you teach feel something, then you are doing your job because they are learning
be grateful for challenges because they are consecrated challenges from the lord to help us grow
We pay a high price to serve him but he paid an even higher price to serve him so it is a blessing to pay the price we are paying now
When you have perfect love for someone, you don't expect anything back
We are happy if we fulfill the ends of our creation
you are wondering why you go out to work and see no success, the lord will bless you and do it in his own way that may not come from where you efforts are put but as long as you try it will work
serving people is to help them be happy
the more knowledge you have, the quicker you learn because you have more things in your brain to connect that new idea to
what’s the point of having eternal perfect bodies when we don't have eternal and perfect and lasting happiness with the people we care, that is why we must strive for eternal life
do you try to solve problems so they don't bother you anymore or out of love for that person
if you try every day and experience a change of heart, then you have a greater chance of making it back
Satan's whole goal is to keep us from the atonement
if you compare don't. Maybe god trusts you to have more faith and to not have to have signs to confirm that you are going in the right way. Maybe that is a gift of yours, so dong compare

I want to take a poll of who actually reads this, for future reference, if you do just say hi :) its easy and I put this at the end for a reason haha :) Tell me what from above is your favorite

I challenge you all to right down the little impressions that God gives you as a tender but heavenly gift by doing so, you will see his influence in your life, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 18.5 New District Leader & Goal to Double Baptisms 11/7/2016

我知道神是我的天父 (I know God is my Father in Heaven)

This week was transfers!!!!! and I am staying!!! so that is great

so [last Thursday] they called me as district leader even though I am still being trained. Elder McGrath is still my trainer but he is now zone leader :)
our district is all district leadership so the other companionship of elders also has a zone leader in it

I totally forgot to talk about mission conference from like 3 weeks ago. My bad. IT was absolutely great!! The greatest lesson I learned from that is to teach people not lessons. He talks about how David when going to slay Goliath, he prepared 5 stones. He only used one of them. He talked about how David later uses Goliath's sword to finish it. He then talked about how we must prepare as much as we can so that we can hit it the first time, and use the right stone. He also talked about after we do that, we will be able to find people's sword. We must find it, so we must discern what their concern is and teach them the gospel according to their need, by doing so they will be 開心 (happy). 

This week has brought many suprises and I caught myself thinking 你有沒信心 (do you have faith) in the scriptures and I do! Elder Wong gave our mission a goal which is to double the total number of baptisms by the end of the year...  Moroni 7:37 I probably have already shared this one, but part of it says "Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought" getting as many baptisms in 1 and a half month to baptise as we have in 11 months is a miracle!! !! I will be honest... there is a lot of doubt that I must dispel. But I have God's promise from the scriptures that Through faith miracles are brought to pass. In Moroni 10:20 on another day and it says "Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity." I have to have charity towards the people I work with to have faith. I know that since President wong revealed it that it is God's will for the China Hong Kong mission to double the number of convert baptisms it has in the weeks to come. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and more importantly, it applies to me. I was reading in 1 nephi 3 and it talks about how laman and lemuel did it, but didnt have faith that it would work. That is why they became discourage after the first rejection. We must be stronger and make it to how ever many number of rejection the lord puts in front of us to make us strong. 神好愛我們 (God really loves us) we just need to show our love back by having faith and doing.

Why is faith a principal of action? in Alma 32 it says that faith is a things that are hoped for and true but not seen. Likewise, I don't see 14 baptisms in our zone yet, but I know it will be accomplished, and I want to be part of the great work that God has asked me to be a part of. but since it is a servant of the lord saying we will accomplish it. it is true (D&C 1) I know that God is merciful, and lets us witness and be a part of miracles, This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 17.5 Powerful Scriptures from the Book of Mormon 10/31/2016

Hello everyone!!! this week has been great especially as I have gotten closer to finishing the Book of Mormon!! My favorite studies from this week was Ether 4 and 12. They are both fantastic.

The first scripture of this week is Mormon 3:12 it says "...I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them;..." 
I liked this scripture because it says that we can love people if we pray for them and that was an exciting discovery.

The second exciting one this week was Mormon 8:12 it says "And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.
I love it because this scripture is so true!! If we read and ponder the Book of Mormon, and don't look for faults, we will receive more knowledge then is in the book because it is a book of God.

The third scripture is Ether 4:12 "And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believemy words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world."
I like it because it talks about if you don't listen to the scriptures or believe them, then you don't truly understand and believe in Christ, or God.

Ether 9:20 "And thus the Lord did pour out his blessings upon this land, which was choice above all other lands; and he commanded that whoso should possess the land should possess it unto the Lord, or they should be destroyedwhen they were ripened in iniquity; for upon such, saith the Lord: I will pour out the fulness of my wrath."
The promise land is a land of blessings, if we follow god's commandments!!! if not, the nation shall be destroyed off of it, just like the jaradites, the mule kites, and the Nephites. It has been proven again and again that we must follow the commandment of the Lord to prosper.

Ether 6:12 "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
I have seen how true that is throughout my mission. I like in d&c 1 it says "And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time." 
I like how it is not a continuous flow, but a blessing of the trial of our faith that we get knowledge of god.

Ether 12:14 "Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost." We can have faith that we can be able to convert people. We have to trust that god is preparing them. This scripture has been a great comfort to me.

Finally Ether 12:37 "And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.
I like how it says even if we see our weaknesses we can be made stronger. The gospel is so simple compared to what we get out of it.

We would not be able to make those huge changes without God. All God asks of us is to do the simple things that are shown in his gospel. I know that nothing compares to this gospel. It has brought me great joy and happiness, and I know it will continue to give me those things if I keep listening and doing. I know that Christ did die for me and that someone would have enough love for me to suffer so I can become clean again. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

group of missionaries

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 16.5 The Book of Mormon is True! 10/24/2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 15.5 The Plan of Salvation 10/17/2016