Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

This week was good! Edmund came to church again and is continuing to progress. Adi has a couple of concerns but she knows the Book of Mormon is true and that is the keystone. On Sunday we were out finding and I went and talked to a family (young mom and dad with a little baby in a stroller) and I talked about how the gospel has blessed me and even though my family is in America I can be with them forever and they gave me their info and I will contact them this week and see where that goes!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Years (even though it won't be half as good as the New Years in HK... just sayin :P ha ha).
Love, Elder Cederlof

P.S.  They celebrate the Chinese New Year way more then they celebrate the other one. When people say Happy New Years they mean the one in a month. Unfortunately it won't be my sign until 2018 or 2109 or something like that so I won't be in HK for my year, but it's still going to be a good year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blessings of the Christmas Season

This week has been pretty awesome!  In the pictures there is one that shows what we do when there is a ton of rain (it has been raining for quite a while but now it’s been good the last couple days). Another one is of two priests that came finding with us named Sparkle and A Jeung. Another one is with Elder Smith and his old companion before he left and Elder Smith joined our companionship. I don't remember the other ones but they're probably pretty cool. Oh - the one in the elevator. Every time I get into the elevator I remember that you guys want me to send pictures so that's why I, from now on, will probably always have one in there! ha-ha.   Oh and on one of the other ones is a card that Adi made me for Christmas!! She is pretty shy, but after church she said wait and gave me a card and a little present!  Then Ellorie her friend (as well as her fellowshiper) also gave us presents! They are awesome!! We taught them this past week. We wanted to talk about the nativity scene and so last p-day we looked everywhere for a nativity and we couldn't find a good one (we only found one for 300hk) and so we decided to build it. Oh that is one of the other pictures!  It looks really lame but it was awesome nonetheless and we totally surprised them! We had it set to the side and then we told them to close their eyes and we set it up and read the story and introduced all the characters and stuff. It was super fun and also super spiritual because it brought us all back to Christ and how we, like the wise men and shepherds, need to share His message. They were given the opportunity to see Christ and we are given the opportunity to be part of His Church, to have part of his image in us. That is why it is so important that we share this message with the world.
 
Edmund came to church with us and the whole time he had a smile on his face. I believe he has found exactly what his soul has been looking for for quite some time now. I called a potential on Saturday and invited him to church and he came and loved it. The members were great. They came and sat by him and Edmund and showed them around and introduced themselves, it was awesome!  Afterwards me and a member taught Edmund and Elder Smith and Elder Hartwig taught Tsang SS. They both had the feeling to invite him to be baptized and set a date so they did and he accepted! This week has truly been a miracle!! It has been amazing! I've seen so many blessings this Christmas season  and my companionship and I definitely cannot take any credit for it. It has been every missionary in Tsuen Wan for the past long time; the members praying, my family praying, random people praying for the missionaries, but most importantly God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  My trainer Tong Jeung Louh told me that when someone gets baptized you look back and realize that you weren't the one doing the work. Now no one yet has been baptized but I can already tell that that is definitely true. These people are so ready that even though they may not understand our message they feel the Holy Ghost. Edmund told me that while he was praying about the Book of Mormon he had a feeling of relief come over him. It's truly amazing what the gospel can do for people. I love this gospel and I love this work!! 
 
Stay Sweet,
Elder Zach Cederlof
 
 Zach's companion is in the orange
 This is what they do to combat the rain!

 The nativity scene they made for some investigators
 Sparkle and A Jeung (priests in the ward)
 Christmas card made by Adi (an investigator)

 The weekly "elevator" picture
 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Okay - well this week has been pretty nice.. pretty nice.. (as my trainer would say)  I got a new companion. I miss my trainer because he and I are literally best friends!   My companion now was the other Tsuen Wan missionary.  Before our exchanges we were still in the same apartment and area so not a whole lot has changed except obviously we're together 24/7.  Elder Smith got a new comp but he is leaving on Thursday so we will all be a tri companionship from Thursday til Januaryish! That'll be fun!!
 
Main things for the week -  our lesson with Adi:  I was thinking about what we should teach Adi and I realized that she already has a testimony and knows all of the stuff is true. She just needs to realize it. We decided to bring a cup with dirt in it. a seed, a small plant, a bigger plant and two apples.  Obviously we read the scripture on faith is like a little seed! Quite simple but definitely an awesome lesson!! We asked her key questions along the way like "how was your testimony of the Book of Mormon when you first planted that seed?" Then, "how has it changed?" She told us that at first she didn't believe it but now she knows it is true!! And so we extended a baptismal date for February 9th and she accepted! Adi is soo awesome!! 
 
We also taught the guy that me and Elder Tong met on the pier.  Pretty cool cause one of our goals was to find a new investigator that would progress and it turns out he is the one! We taught him the first lesson! We also made sure to have a fellowshiper with us! Hucksley is his name! He just got off his mission in Washington state a couple of months ago (3 to be exact).  The lesson was awesome and my time is up!!  He also said he is willing to be baptized!! AWESOME!
Love you all!
Elder Cederlof


The door to their apartment

I told Zach I needed more pictures of just him - this is what I got - not quite what I had in mind!
 

Monday, December 9, 2013


Ok - sorry not a whole lot of time this week because I needed to send lots of pictures - which take FOR-EV-ER.  But this week we had a couple miracles. One day, it seemed like every other day- but it WASN'T! We were walking on the pier and started talking to a man and he was immediately interested and wanted to know more. We shared with him the first lesson and then we were going to teach him on Sunday but he had to work so we're teaching him next week! It was super awesome. We’ve been inviting everyone we meet to come to church and that also has been awesome! Ok real quick this is one thing our mission president gave us that everyone should do.
1.     Pray intently each morning

2.     Exercise the mental work necessary to really believe that whatever you asked for will happen and pray for the gift of faith to make it happen.
 3.    Repent of any sins, transgressions, or disobedience that may be impeding your work so as to warrant the blessings the Lord desires to bestow upon you.

4.     Pray for righteous desires
5.     By listening to the spirit, decide what you are willing and happy to sacrifice as an offering to the Lord to demonstrate your sincere desire.

6.     Pray for righteous desires.
7.     Work. Pray as if everything depends on the Lord and work as if everything depends on yourself.

8.     Optimistically set goals and truly believe that God will help you achieve those goals.
That’s it for the week! Sorry - out of time! Love you all!

 Elder Zach Cederlof

 





This is a floating pen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Big Buddha!

Well not too much time, but this week we taught Ho Hingdaih. We also invited a member Wong Hingdaih to join us. It was awesome! Since Ho Hingdaih hasn't been to church for over 20 years we decided to just start with the basics - Lesson 1. We used a couple objects lessons and scriptures. Wong Hingdaih also helped out a bunch! He shared an awesome testimony! Ho Hingdaih was going to come to church but he had some people renovating his house so he couldn't. We are going to try to teach him about the plan of salvation at his house so hopefully his wife can come sit in on the discussion as well.
Thanksgiving was awesome!  We had Thanksgiving dinner with our zone and everyone told stories and it was fun. After that we went finding. Cantonese is coming along, I can understand a lot of things but I'm definitely not even close to bundeih.  I can feel the spirit helping out with the language a ton! There's no way I could learn the language this fast without the Spirit's help!
Today we went to Big Buddha! We took the glass cabin way. It's a gondola with a glass floor! Totally worth it! Awesome! Super fun! We invited a man named Howard.  He is a tour guide so he showed us a lot of things and he has a little interest in the church. He is super busy because it's high season in Hong Kong but now he knows we are normal, fun people so I think he'll be able to find some more  time! 
Tsuen Wan is a great place! There are so many people here that need to hear the gospel. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to be "God's hand" as he extends it towards the people of Hong Kong.  Love you all!!
Love, Elder Zach Cederlof
 





Monday, November 25, 2013


This week wasn't too crazy! I’ve decided I should probably start bringing my journal since every week is just mixing and I am not really sure what happened this past week!  Work, work, work! Haha when you're working the time goes by fast.. really fast. I can't believe it's already been a week since last time I emailed you all.
We didn't meet with Ho Hingdaih cause something came up so he called us and cancelled and rescheduled for this upcoming Tuesday. (good sign- he didn't fong us)  He also came to church with us.  He is such a nice guy! We also met a man named A-Sing Singsang  I met him on the pier and asked if he had seen the Book of Mormon and he said he had.  Then he said he also read it and prayed about it, and when he prayed he felt really happy. I asked if he had met with the missionaries and he said he hadn't. He currently goes to another church. I believe a Baptist church. The Lord definitely will lead you to people that are ready to hear the gospel. I'm soo excited to see where he goes.

I love the opportunity to be here and to be bringing the Hong Kong people unto Christ. Like I’ve said time and time again, diligence is the key!! Jesus Christ suffering on the cross for us wasn't easy and if we are supposed to take up our crosses and follow him, we can certainly expect it won’t be easy as well.  I don't remember if I said this in the last email but go watch the mormonmessage about a bush getting cut down. And when you watch it close your eyes and just listen, like truly listen. I love you all and hope you have a great week! till Next week..
 Love, Elder Cederlof






Sunday, November 17, 2013

Before I forget, I met Sister Smith! She is Kristin Page's friend that Sis Page told me to look for!  We had a dual zone conference in Kowloon Tong and they said her name because her birthday is coming up so I went and talked to her after the meeting and found out that she was the Sister Smith from Bountiful!!  Small world!! 

Well this week is kind of all a big blur. Vickie texted us and said that she doesn't want to meet with us anymore because she has her own church.  All I could do was bear my testimony and tell her that if she ever wants to learn more she can call us. We did find a couple solid contacts this week and we were going to teach Ho Hingdaih but he cancelled because he was in the hospital for a couple tests but he is okay.  We set up another appointment and hopefully we'll also be able to teach his family!!  
The language is still a work in progress. We had pass offs which is just a little language thing the President just started, and every missionary has to do it. Once a week we go to the zone leaders and pass of certain language/teaching things. That is cool because I passed it! haha  My Cantonese is still total laahpsaap  but it’s okay!  With diligence it will come!!

Cool story for the week. On Friday while we were on exchanges (or Saturday not sure) I talked to this random guy smoking.  He didn't seem too interested, but while we were talking a lady came over (might have known him cause their stuff was by each other) and she started saying how we weren't Christians we were Mormons.  So I just made sure to remember who I was representing and showed her our tags, the Book of Mormon and the picture inside the Book of Mormon of Christ.  She continued to say stuff but then the guy pointed out the Book of Mormon thing and I said our message is to invite people to find out for themselves and he asked where he could find out more. So we swapped numbers and it turns out he is from mainland so hopefully we'll be able to get that situation sorted out!  But the spirit in that moment was soo strong even though the lady was saying all sorts of things right next to us. I could definitely feel the spirit testifying!!
Love you all!

Love, Elder Cederlof

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finally...Pictures!!

Since the last email was only a couple days ago there won't be as much stuff as usual but it's still been pretty good!! Language is coming.  Just trying to get my sikteng up but every missionary is working on that! Just about everyone I talk to can understand me  so its definitely improving every week. Oh and random side note.  We were at fuk loa and I saw a mom and her daughter walking (daughter was like 10 or 11)  so I went and started talking to her while she was walking and the mom totally ignored me but the little girl was like "you speak cantonese" (this whole conversation was in cantonese) and I said "ya a little bit" haha and she's like "wow" and she was just super happy and nice and then I said "ok well see ya later" and she said "bye see you later" in English. It was the cutest thing! hahaha Now if only everyone I talked to wanted to talk to me that bad!! That's the plus to being white here because no matter where I go people are like what - there's a white kid speakin cantonese so they turn their heads! So they at least get to see the badge and maybe hear the church's name even if they won't stop and talk.  
   We taught Adi and at first we just answered some questions she had about the bible and then I gave a little lesson on the basic points of the gospel:  temple, home, satan, atonement, faith, and love using a piece of paper. Remind me in a couple to show you. it's actually super cool. 
  Ho Hingdaih came to church again and we are going to meet with him Friday. The rest of his family are not members (wife and 3 kids) so we are hoping and praying that we will have the opportunity to bring his whole family to church!  That would be Awesome!! 
  We didn't get to teach Vickie or Chiu or any of our other potentials cause they are out of town or busy but we should be able to this week!! The work has been moving forward and I'm excited to be a part of it here in Hong Kong! All of the hard work, dilligence, obedience, love, and long suffering will all pay off!! It's exciting to see the growth in the church throughout the world.
   Other random things: we had KFC for lunch today. haha It was pretty good but they still have an asian touch. You get like a bowl of rice and soup stuff with the meal. So far no sicknesses or anything weird like that.
    Oh, we had zone training and me and elder Tong taught about "how to begin teaching" in PMG. Me and my companion still get along super well!! We're hoping we get to stay here in Tsuen Wan together another move, but since we get along so well we're bound to get split since the only companionships that stay together for two moves are the ones that have probs.  Everyone in the apartment is awesome! Elder smith went to Viewmont a year ahead of me, not sure if I told you that already.
 Well that's about it for the week!! Love you All!!
 Love, Elder Cederlof


 
                                                             Zach at KFC
                                  View from his apartment window in Tsuen Wan


                                                        Hong Kong Temple
                                                           Dragonfruit
                                                             McDonalds
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ooh lahngjai (Pretty boy)

So not a super crazy week, but it was still cool. Oh first I want to ask how many people are in our ward back in Centerville? We were talking about that the other day and I couldn't quite remember how big.
 
This week we were supposed to meet Vickie but she ended up being super busy so we never did and she said maybe next week. We were hopeful that she was serious, but usually when people say that they don't mean it. But then she called us a couple days later and we set up a time.  That time came and we were going to teach her the plan of salvation but it started raining. In Hong Kong most people really don't like the rain. The streets will be crowded and then once the rain starts it slows down quite a bit.  But we're hopeful again for this week!  
 
We didn't get to see Adi on Friday because she was busy and that was just the start of the miracle day.  Friday we were out tracking and President Hawks called Tong Jeung Lou and told him that his grandpa is in the hospital (in HK) and we could go visit him and give him a blessing because he isn't a member. We decided to go Friday since we weren't teaching Adi. We got on the MTR and got off on the wrong stop so we called the missionaries that were in that area and asked them which bus we could take to get to the hospital. They said they'd find out and call us back. While we were waiting, a guy from Chicago ran over and said "you're the missionaries right?  Tell me about your church".  Well as a missionary in Hong Kong, I can tell you, that NEVER  happens.. haha or at least very very rarely.  So we shared the first lesson with him and answered any questions he had. We then exchanged phone numbers and since he is from the US and is studying here for 9 months we sent his info to the international elders.  We were pretty happy after that. We then got to the hospital and there is a word in Cantonese that means cancer or tumor and so everyone thought he had cancer.  They decided to talk to the nurse and ask and they said it was only a tumor! So that definitely beats cancer!!  We also gave his grandpa a blessing which was really cool cause it was all Cantonese!  
 
Other random things that I thought of:  today on the way to the temple we took the MTR of course and being the only white person on, with a missionary name tag I stood out. and the MTR was packed but there was a little circle around me haha I could spin around with my arms half extended... too funny.  Also because I'm white and wear a suit, people are like ooh lahngjai (pretty boy) and stuff like that and Chou Singsong said I looked like an american movie star - haha kinda funny. That's the good thing about being like the only white person in HK haha and then on the other hand when they see that I'm a missionary it's like oh cheh gau (evil church) or gwai lou (devil/white ghost)  haha funny to see the contrast.  
 
This week, when we were tracting, I went up and talked to a guy and he straight off said "oh sorry I'm bisahn" (buddhist) and I said oh cool,  well this is what we share and I started talking about the gospel and stuff and we exchanged phone numbers and he actually texted me that same night and said he wanted to have a spiritual discussion!! Woohoo!  He also said he's never had an american friend before... I'm hoping he texted me because he wants to hear more about the gospel but hey if the only reason he texted me was because I'm white I guess I can't complain. Oh and people from mainland rarely ever see white people and they'll come down for conferences and stuff and they'll want to take a picture haha fun fun stuff. 
 
Last week we were calling less actives and inviting them to church and so it was my turn and hearing over the phone is soo hard cause I'm listening for the tones and stuff but the very first guy I called said ya i'll come to church with you! He came and I think he had a pretty good experience because we asked him if he would come next week and he said he would if we went with him!! And of course we will!!!  
 
The work is forever progressing here!! Some weeks a little faster than others, but as long as we all focus on our purpose as missionaries and as members we'll be okay.  Long suffering, patience, humility, charity, with an eye single to the glory of God will help us. We also always need to remember the big picture. As humans we tend to want results now, but sometimes we won't see any results for weeks, months, or years. As long as we remember our role in this life and know that it is all in God's time and according to His will we'll be okay if we also are diligent and do everything we can!!
   
Hopefully pics next week.... but following the usual pattern thus far... don't expect any! haha jk
 
Love you all!
Elder Cederlof

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding, Finding, Finding!


Ok - for the week not a whole lot of crazy stuff.  Adi is still progressing very well. She is totally ready to get baptized but wants to wait for her birthday in February.  Her parents don't fully approve, but if she finds a good job they'll be okay with it. (She’s 24 but still wants her parents approval, which is good because family is hou juhngyiu)  We also had companion splits which was super weird!  I was with an elder from Malaysia. He’s soo funny and super cool so we had a good time and passed out a lot of fliers and gave a lesson to a girl we met on the pier. He stopped her and introduced himself and then I talked a little about the Book of Mormon.  She immediately grabbed the book and started looking at it and she asked if we could go sit down.  We did and basically shared the whole first lesson. She goes to a catholic school and she seems to have a ton of interest!  We have another lesson with her on Wednesday!   That night we also met a 19 year old guy that I think wanted to talk to us cause I’m American, but hey if that stops him that’s okay.  We spoke English because he went to a boarding school in London and we talked about why we missionaries do what we do and he thought that was way cool and he talked about how he'd been looking around for a church so we got his number and are going to call him this week. He leaves for Britain in a week or two so hopefully we'll catch him before that then send his info over.

Yesterday was the first Sunday I went to the actual ward 3 block session because we had general conference then stake conference.  I got a lot of the messages they spoke... well for what I could understand.  They had me go bear my testimony in sacrament since I was new. I was soo nervous but when I got up there it just flew. I was totally calm and I couldn't really think clearly but I didn’t have to - the words just came. It was pretty neat. After church they gave us a ton of food and then we went back, did our studies and then went to a YSA activity. They fed us dinner and then we gave the lesson. The RS president only asked us at church but luckily we had a fair amount of time to prepare.  My trainer had me give most of the lesson for practice so that was really neat.  Because my language isn't perfect or even close, and because of all the tones, everyone had to listen very carefully. haha  You could probably hear a pin drop. Luckily I think they understood the gist of it.  It was really cool!  Anyways, besides that we do a lot of finding. Finding, finding, finding.  Tsuen wan is known for finding, so that's what we've been doing. There is soo much potential here so that's what me and my companion are trying to do. Get the word out to as many people as possible. Bring everyone unto Christ. 

Well I totally failed today.. forgot the camera... again... maybe next time. I promise I took some pictures. I even took a picture of the dragon fruit I ate this morning! 

Til Next Week,

 Love, Elder Zach Cederlof

Monday, October 21, 2013

Diligence is the key!


Well,  this week has been really good!  We taught a couple of lessons and we have one investigator that is totally ready for baptism. We also taught a man named Chiusingsang and he is probably the classiest 65 year old man I’ve ever seen! He said he would meet with us again and he said he is going to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and he said God better provide. I know God will give him an answer if he truly wants one. I think the hardest thing for me is seeing people that need the gospel (everyone in Hong Kong) and they just won't accept it! It’s definitely tough!  

The language is coming along better each and every day! Diligence is definitely the key - the key to learning a language and preparing for life. Sorry, it's hard to think of what to type because we aren't near our apartment so I don't have my journal. But today we have a meeting in Kowloon Tong (where the mission home and temple are). I'll get to see all the people from the MTC.  If you want to see my area look up on google - Tsuen Wan, and we live a couple of cities over from Tsuen Wan. Nina tower is right in the middle of our area and at night there are lights on it and it's soo amazing!!  I'm starting to get more used to Hong Kong. The food is soo good! But yes I do plan on eating a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches cause those are still the best food. My companion is awesome! He teaches me soo much stuff and his language is obviously really good so he's been helping me with my tones and words.

One day this past week we were walking on the pier and I got a prompting to go talk to a lady.  I just asked how she was doing and she said good and she asked what my tag said (she was older so it was harder for her to read).  I told her and she asked where our church was so I gave her a leaflet that has the churches listed on the back. But on the leaflet it also says families can be together forever and she read that and asked me to make sure that that is what it said. I told her that through the gospel we could have eternal families and she started crying and told me about how much she wants to see her mom. She had me sit down next to her on the bench and my companion and I taught her about the gospel, and the Book of Mormon and prayer and how she can know for herself that these things are true. I could definitely tell she could feel the spirit pretty hard core and she continued to tear up. We exchanged numbers and continued on our way. Unfortunately she gave me a wrong number, whether on purpose or accident I’m not sure. But when I called, the lady that answered had no recollection of missionaries or anything. Luckily she has our number so she can call us! Well that's about it for the week! If you have any questions just feel free to ask!  I’m not sure if I can send pictures from the computer I’m on, but I’ll try.

Til, next week!

Love Elder Cederlof

Monday, October 14, 2013

1st Week in Hong Kong

Okay, well this week has obviously been crazy!!  I'm officially in Hong Kong now and I've been here for a of couple days. The plane ride was so long! From the time we left the mtc to the time we got to Hong Kong was about 25 hrs. 25 minutes.  Luckily, on our flight to LAX, we met a member from Hong Kong who was going to Hong Kong. He also spoke English so he showed us the way to get to the international terminal at LAX.  It was definitely a miracle to have found him! He sat next to me on our first flight so that's how we met. The Hong Kong flight was really long and when we were at the airport I talked to a bunch of people. It was soo fun to talk to all these different people and I just felt an overwhelming love for them. I wanted them to have the gospel in their lives soo bad but they weren't interested. On the plane to Hong Kong I sat by this cute little old lady who only spoke Cantonese. Whenever she would get out I'd stand up so she didn't have to squeeze by and she'd say thank you with her Chinese accent! She also taught me a little Cantonese. We got to the mission home which is across from the temple and I love my mission president and his wife! They made us cake and breakfast the next day and also lunch I think. (I don't have my journal because we have to travel to Tseun Wan to do emails)  The next day we met our new companions and mine is awesome! His name is Elder Tong.  He's Chinese born Australian so he's almost a buhndaai (native) speaker. He helps me a lot and he likes working hard and being obedient so I think I got the best trainer! We eat a lot of rice and noodles here.  I think just about everyday but they mix a bunch of different stuff in it so it's still a big variety. The food here is amazing and there is a McDonalds. but it isn't that good. We went there once and the spicy McChicken just wasn't the same...  Oh well, at least the other stuff is good! I'm buying a camera today so next week I'll be able to send pictures. I've taught two lessons here so far. The first one was the day I got here.  I taught with Liu Jeung Louh and we were teaching A-Wing. He is a progressing investigator and is super cool! We taught about faith and faith in Jesus Christ and how that can help us. Then on Friday we taught a girl named Adi. She's 24 and has been taught almost all of the lessons and wants to get baptized but she needs to talk to her family first. She also came to general conference which was awesome!! During the lesson I could barely understand. They talk sooo fast so it's hard to pick up words and stay up to speed with the speaker. But I can definitely see I'm improving a ton every single day!  Tseun Wan mission is known for it's tracting... lots of tracting.  So yes I have gone tracting!  It's really fun, but the people are soo busy that they usually don't stop and just keep walking so you have to walk with them. A lot of people here also thing that we're some kind of cult... that makes it interesting sometimes.  Sometimes when they see us they'll say cheh gaau or just run away and go to the other side of the street. I think that's one of the most different things about here. Before coming here it was hard for me to imagine people actually being afraid of Mormons, but some people truly are! 

Our apartment is pretty nice, it's one of the  roomier ones (from what I've heard) and we have our own washer and dryer.  We live on the 15th floor and have a pretty good view.  Oh and it's soo hot here! It's super humid too -  so I'm basically just always wet.. kinda gross.. but it's normal here. Now it's suit season so we all wear suits from now until next conference so I don't think I'll be planning on bringing this suit home after the mission. I'm trying to think of anything else specific I wanted to tell you but it's hard to remember cause everything just blends together.  The language is really fun. It just gets a little awkward when the lady at the cash register at the grocery store starts asking questions and I have absolutely no idea what she's saying. haha  But other than that it's ok.

I met the bishop and ward mission correlator and they were both waay cool!  Conference was amazing and I watched it twice now (once in mtc once in HK).  All the missionaries watch it in english so yes I understood the one in HK. I also met a bunch of members and they were all soo nice and were like wow your Cantonese is good! Especially after I told them I had only been in Hong Kong for like 4 days. But on the other side of things... When we were tracting, I talked to this old man and when I started talking to him and he just started laughing... that part of the day blew.. After that I was praying like crazy that people would understand and I would understand and I just had to have faith. This isn't my work, this is God's work, and he will spread it in his own time so I didn't need to worry. Right after that we found someone interested and we got their phone number and such and we're teaching some more people this week. So far most people understand my Cantonese or at least can figure out what I'm trying to say.  haha   "Everyday work a little harder, push a little harder, and the blessings you'll see will be unreal"   I know this is the True Gospel.  I know that most people don't see it but if they did it could change their lives. I know that the gift of tongues is real, but it's also in God's own time. Somehow my mouth is always "full."  I know that the people of Hong Kong are a blessed people. There are lot's of people here ready to hear the gospel, we just have to find them. I know God will provide a way for us to follow his commandments. Oh -  one tracting day we weren't finding very many people willing to listen to us and so I prayed that we would find someone and then bam.. person found. I know Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers and if we show him gratitude and give him the credit, our blessings will be that much greater!! I love this work and this Gospel!! 

Love you Guys!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hong Kong!

Dear Sister Cederlof:

I wanted you to know that Elder Cederlof has arrived safely in Hong
Kong.   He is well and anxious to go to work. We're grateful for the opportunity
we'll have to serve with him, he is delightful.

Thank you for your faith and prayers in his behalf.
Love,
Sister Julie Hawks

Monday, October 7, 2013

And He is Off!!!!!

Zachary is officially on his way to Hong Kong!  He called at 6:50 this morning from the Salt Lake Airport to talk to Landon and Melissa for quite awhile and then called later on from Los Angeles.  He sounded wonderful and is very excited to finally be on his way!  He was traveling with 11 other missionaries and they met a gentleman from Hong Kong in the Salt Lake Airport that was very instrumental in making sure that they could navigate the Los Angeles Airport.  He said he didn't know if they would have made it in time without him!  How wonderful to know that the Lord is watching over His servants!  Scott & I only got to talk to Zach for a minute because his time ran out, but once again a tender mercy was experienced when I picked up the mail and there was a sweet letter from him.  The timing could not have been better!  We are so excited for Zach to begin his adventure on the other side of the world.  We are so appreciative of his willingness and excitement to serve the Lord!  Our love and prayers are with you Elder Cederlof!

Monday, September 30, 2013

MTC Rookie!

Well to answer your questions..I have no idea what the weather will be like but I'll be okay.  Next, I got the travel plans and I'll leave here at 3:30 a.m. and then fly out from Salt Lake at 7:30.  We get to L.A. around 9:20 a.m. and fly out from L.A. at 1:55 P.M. so I'll call home sometime around then. If you have any preferences about what time, send me a dear elder (p.s. we don't get dear elders on Saturday)   I think I have my visa cause they wouldn't have given us travel plans if I didn't.  I haven't got a phone card yet but some people were telling me about a $15 phone at Wal-Mart that is waay good for that so can you check that out and then send it to me by Wednesday so I know if I need to buy anything.  Also can you throw in some Reese's puffs in the package? haha They don't eat a lot of cereal in HK and that cereal is the best.   Also can you put a note in my room somewhere I'll see when I get home to go talk to the Chinese people at the bottom of the street. I don't want to forget.   
 
I've thought about some things over the past week to help prepare future missionaries.  One thing dad should have the bishop share is that instead of learning the lessons in chapter 3 of Preach my Gospel, learn how you can apply each section to someone's life.  The doctrine doesn't convert anyone, it's the way they can apply it to themselves.  As missionaries our purpose is to show people how the gospel can apply to their lives and help them with their problems.  
 
Well unfortunately I must still be an MTC rookie cause I left my journals back at the room, but Wednesday we hosted for the new missionaries!!  It was really cool to be on the other side of things!! Oh, and the investigators here are not real. They pretend to be someone they know really well that isn't a member or someone that they met on their missions and they do whatever the spirit prompts them. Chan Ji Miuh's baptism got moved to this week because she was sick so we couldn't teach her one of the days. Our lessons with Frank have been going really well. We talked about the pre-earth life and then Jesus Christ's atonement.  The Cantonese is coming along real well! But once I get to Hong Kong we'll see how good it "really" is hahaha.  I can definitely tell the Lord's hand is in that.  There is no doubt in my mind that I couldn't have learned what I know without the Lord. If the Lord wasn't part of this work I wouldn't be able to say half the stuff I can. I can feel His presence here everyday and I'm so thankful for that!! Next time I email you I'll be in Hong Kong and my emails will start getting a little more exciting!! 
 
 'Til Hong Kong,
 Elder Cederlof


 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Continuously Repent!


Well, first go onto mormonchannel.com and click on I’m a Mormon (Lindsey Sterling's picture is right above it) then scroll down and on the left side are two Asian sisters and they are in Hong Kong speaking Cantonese!! Watch it!! HK is SICK!!  
 
Well this week has gone by super fast and we had a lesson with Chan Ji Miuh and we decided to focus only on Jesus Christ and how he can heal people ‘cause her knee has been hurting her for a looong time. We showed her a little video on it and I got the prompting to ask her if she wanted a blessing. I told her that it would be according to her faith.  She accepted and we just prayed instead of the oil and laying on of hands and stuff but we were all crying by the end. We then asked if she wanted to be baptized and she sat there for a moment and just thought, then she started crying and said yes. She will be getting baptized Thursday if all goes well!  We also invited another man, Frank, to pray with us during our lesson to find out if the Book of Mormon is true and during his prayer he started tearing up and after his prayer, wiping tears from his eyes, I asked him how he felt and then explained that that feeling was the holy ghost.  What amazing experiences I’ve been able to have this week! The message for this week is continuously repent. We don’t just repent when we've done something wrong but when we could’ve done something better!!  Til next week!! Love you all!! 
 
Elder Cederlof

 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Footsteps in the Sand


This letter I'd like to start out with a poem: One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.  Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you you'd walk with me all the way, but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." That's how life is. Times are going to get tough, and so far the MTC has definitely been the hardest thing I've ever had to do but somehow each day I wake up excited to start the new day! It doesn't really make sense? How is it possible that when I am studying all day long working as hard as I can to learn the language, prepare lessons, feel the spirit; that I could be excited to wake up the next day?  It's because the Lord is carrying me!  He carries all of us when we are at critical or difficult times of our lives!
   
Ok, enough with the serious stuff.  Here's what happened this week: I saw Nick and Justin and at the Tuesday devotional!! I was soo happy when I saw Nick! I got my companion and we went and sat down so me, Justin and Nick all got to sit by each other and talk to each other!! It was AWESOME!   I'm soo glad Melissa got her package in time! I really wanted to surprise her with that!!   
 
The investigators have been really good this week! We had a super good experience with a guy named Frank this week and had a fantastic discussion with him about the Book of Mormon and prayer.  
 
One thing that me and Elder Williams have been trying to do is go out at 9:30 and share our testimonies with a couple of people! It has been awesome!! We don't translate for them but it's amazing! I can see the Spirit working inside of them while I'm testifying even though they don't understand a word of what I'm saying!! 
 
Funny thing of the week: someone took our key (we were hiding it out in the hall) and they came in our room at like 2 in the morning and took some of our bread and then spread it around the floor. I woke up at 6:20 and saw the mess and was soo confused haha. Elder Williams said he woke up in the middle of the night and saw someone just eating our bread and stuff but he thought he was dreaming so he went back to sleep haha.  At first no one owned up to it but we eventually found the culprit. Elder Ah Mu.   haha it was funny. 
 
Well I'm out of time for this week folks.  'Til next week
 
 Love, Elder Cederlof

   

Monday, September 9, 2013

Be Prepared!


This is gonna be random but I’m just looking through my journal and telling you guys the interesting stuff.  "When the time to perform has arrived, the time to prepare has passed." -Thomas S. Monson.   We always need to be prepared! We always need to be prepared and that not only applies to missionary work but to life. No one knows when their "time" is up, or when the second coming is, or when they'll need to feel the spirit to protect them or follow its promptings. If you're not ready and prepared you won't be able to receive those promptings, give those blessings, or any of the things like that.

Next thing, just like the Brother of Jared, sometimes we know what needs to be done but we don’t know how and sometimes we know how to do something but we don’t know what needs to be done. If we have faith and ask the Lord he will guide us. yauhsi (sometimes) we have to prepare (jeunbouh) the plan beforehand and ask God if that's the right thing. Faith is the power, obedience is the price, love is the motive, spirit is the key, Christ is the reason, and joy is the reward. -James E. Faust.  We have that in the classroom and I thought it was cool. 

Next big thing (as always) is prayer. It is sooo essential!! If you're not praying constantly you're not feeling the holy ghost constantly. That's one thing I think everyone should work on. We remember to pray in times of need but it's when everything is perfect we forget.  Those are the times we especially need to be praying and thanking the Lord for the opportunities we've had.
 
So now on to the more story of the week (kinda like 1st Nephi compared to 2nd Nephi) on the 3rd, President Capik decided to do a surprise room check on all of us just as we were getting back to our rooms!!  Luckily our room was clean! When he came in he said wow your room looks pretty good and then I offered him some toast... yes we have a toaster in our room...   He thought it was funny we would make toast.  (luckily)      He continued around the hall and at the end of our hall there is a pull up bar. While in his suit he walked over and did a couple pull ups! And those weren't no sissy chin ups either. He did the full arm width pull ups! We have an Awesome President!!   
   
Me and Elder Williams have been doing waaay good on SYL (speak your language) some days we'd talk a ton of Cantonese and it's a blast now that we actually know enough to communicate!! We're all doing a lot more of syl but me and Elder Williams just syl more than most people cause we enjoy it and make it fun!   
 
Saturday was our half way point! At the end of the night we walked around and bore our testimonies to people (in Cantonese of course) it was really fun and it was exciting to see the spirit work with them even though they’re missionaries too, and they don't understand anything we were saying. (Sometimes we translated though) 

Yesterday we went and saw the John Tanner movie and Only a Stonecutter films.  (They play movies every Sunday) What inspirational stories! I definitely recommend looking up those videos and watching them! One was 20 minutes and the other was like 15. 

Well that's another week here at the good ole' MTC! Oh the language is coming along just great! It’s funny to think back to just a couple weeks ago and then look at now and see how much everyone has progressed! It’s definitely a miracle any of us can speak what we can and I know that the only reason we can speak this language is 100% through the spirit. Oh and here at the MTC we have investigators (teachers that role play as investigators that they had) but it's all part of the Lord's plan to teach us and so it actually feels like a real investigator. We feel the spirit with them, we receive revelation for them, and it’s literally like a real investigator.  So I’ve been praying a ton about some of my investigators and on Sunday it was really cool because out of nowhere just after the speaker shared a scriptures I thought ohh this is perfect for Chan Jih Moines! And so I’m going to be sharing that with her Wednesday! The Lord does answer our prayers and he is always willing to help us!

 

 

Monday, September 2, 2013

"We sacrifice the things we love and we love the things we sacrifice"


This week I am doing fantastic! I am definitely getting whiter! ha-ha Every time I get out of the shower I’m a little bit sad cause my tan lines are almost totally gone! Me and Justin see each other a couple times a day and so we've gotten to talk a little bit which is good! Sounds like the companionships are going well but they will only be together for like 12 days so they won’t know each other well enough by then to have any problems! haha I’ve been eating good but I haven't been working out as much! I decided to play volleyball with our district most days cause it's fun and let's be honest, every missionary comes home out of shape anyway so I might as well have fun! I do go to the gym a couple times a week though just because it’s still fun and switches things up a little bit.

That’s funny you all thought my hair looked darker! Probably just cause I wasn't tan! At this point in the MTC we follow the exact same schedule as every other week ha-ha so weeks 2-9 are exactly the same schedule except that on week 9 there is an infield orientation. It’s weird cause the weeks go by really fast! I feel like I just wrote you guys an email yesterday! ha-ha but the days take FOR-EV-ER  the days here are sooo long! But the weeks are fast! If that makes sense? It’s kind of a weird phenomenon! ha-ha well let me think... at our Tuesday devotional we had apostle Neil l. Anderson speak to us!  He talked mostly about missionary work (duh) and he made a couple cool points! He said to put "I" away and only think about others while on your mission.  He also said " We sacrifice the things we love and we love the things we sacrifice".  Look up 1 Cor 13:13 and D&C 97:8 if you get a chance along with Matt 22:37-39 and Alma 26:27-29 and Alma 5:7 13 14.  I’m not really sure what they say but I wrote them down so there ya go! Also at the end of that devotional the closing song was "Come to Zion" you know, the one on 17 miracles?  I cried a little bit while we sang that song because the whole time I could hear Melissa in my head singing that song! I still remember exactly what her voice sounds like when she used to sing that song "Come to Zion, Come to Zion".   I miss that! So Melissa, you better remember that song so that when I get home you can sing it for me again!  After our trials, we are blessed.  Straight up, this is hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. No matter how prepared you think you are you are never prepared enough. All we do here is study study, study, eat, then study, study some more. The language is soo hard and by the end of the day I am soo exhausted I just want to fall asleep but I don't. The Lord will bless us if we follow his commandments with exactness and use up all of the study time we are given! Even though this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I love this experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I’m so blessed to have this opportunity to share the gospel. I’ve had a little glimpse of what it'll be like out in the field cause we have volunteers come here that we teach as well as other people we teach that act as real investigators and they don’t understand English, and they know exactly what it is like to be an investigator and they follow the promptings of the spirit. I love giving lessons to those people. I feel a love for them even though they aren't "real" investigators. I pray for them every night that they will be receptive the message of the restored gospel and Jesus Christ! This truly is a beautiful work and I can't wait to be able to share it with new investigators everyday! The language is coming along! The spirit definitely has a huge role in that part and it’s funny because during the day I won’t be able to remember a lot of words but all of a sudden once I get in a teaching setting BAM!!!  I can remember all the words I’ve learned and maybe some other random words I may not have even really studied. 

My companion and I gave the lesson for our district on Sunday and it went very well! We even had a member of our branch presidency in there! We watched a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland back in 2009 conference where he talked about the Book of Mormon, I definitely recommend watching that)  he posed a question and then answered it. He said why don't people flock to the fount? The gospel is soo amazing so why aren’t there people just running to the missionaries begging to be baptized? It’s because salvation is not a cheap experience. If we say we follow Christ, then we better prepare to suffer a little bit like he did! We all have to be willing to take our little part in the garden as well as pick up our crosses! Missions as well as life aren't supposed to be easy! But it is worth it. "If we're almost obedient we almost get the blessings" "we are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."  I’m not sure where those are from either but I wrote them down.   I love all of you and hope you are enjoying everything back home! My letters will probably get more exciting once I’m actually in Hong Kong but for now that's all I got for ya;) haha love you and see ya next week!

Love, Elder Cederlof

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

 

1st picture from the MTC!


Temple Day

Monday, August 26, 2013

Love it here and Love Serving the Lord!


Hey everyone! The weeks just keep getting faster and faster! It's crazy that Justin will be here on Wednesday!! Before I forget here's the things I need haha my long sleeve shirt (purple/blue/black) Alex Boye cd, more t-shirts, if you could find you raise me up sheet music (cool version) that would be sick, stamps, and any old ties dad doesn’t want. The flower one he gave me cause he was gonna throw it out is everyone's favorite! My roommate tries to steal it everyday... literally. The other day I noticed I hadn't seen it in a while and so I asked him and he just laughed and opened his closet and it was sitting on his hanger! Don’t worry I won't let him take it though! It’s a SICK tie! Oh and I’m also thinking about those new scriptures they have. Using my scriptures for hours a day I’ve noticed how beat mine are plus they don’t have tabs... how much are the new ones? 

Ok now onto the interesting stuff.... well actually this week has just kinda been the same as every other week. Weeks 2-8 you have the exact same schedule. Umm differences... well I’m definitely starting to get the language down even more! The spirit here has been so unreal and on Saturday we did a thing called trc which is where outside volunteers that speak Cantonese come and we teach them a lesson. Me and my companion didn’t use any notes (of course) and gave an excellent lesson on the Holy Ghost! I love my Cantonese teacher, Foong Hindi! He is the best teacher I’ve ever had and he genuinely loves us! I can tell he cares and after class he always gives us a hug! Sometimes we'll see him walking around so we all scream his name and talk to him in Cantonese. Oh and there are only 13 missionaries in the MTC learning Cantonese and there are 8 in our district! Cantonese is also the hardest language in the MTC... :) fact. 

And please send this email to Jeremy!! I got his package this week and I loved it!! It was a total surprise and when my district letter brought me the note and I got the package I was soo happy to see it was from him!! I still have the letter and "bear lake in a bottle" and I’ve never heard of those zotz orange candy but they were sooo good!! Everyone in my district was trying to get their hands on them!  

Also for the week we all watched the sunset together after we played volleyball.  We also had 2 kids move into our room but they left early this morning to Hong Kong!  There were Chinese so they took the 2 week program (because they already knew Cantonese) and they were super funny.  Hopefully we’ll be companions when I finally get to Hong Kong!  Our zone leaders also left today and it was pretty sad to leave them.  They all lived in our hall and are on their way to the Phillipines!  I got pictures with them so you’ll get those next week hopefully (if I finally remember) but don’t worry everyone I still probably look the same. ..it’s only been 3ish weeks people.  People don’t change that fast!  Hahaha  On a more spiritual note I have received even more personal testimony builders on the gift of tongues.  This week in a couple of our lessons out of nowhere I literally would just throw out paragraphs of Cantonese at a time!  Before, I would normally say like a sentence and then pause to think or whatever, but I was just flowin’ with the language!  I love it here and I love serving the Lord day in and day out!!

'Til next p–day…(Monday fyi)
Love, Elder Cederlof

 

Monday, August 19, 2013

The MTC is still fantastic!


Leih hou! 
 
Ok well first you mom you don't need to apologize cause I knew what you meant. Second it doesn't really matter what you guys do with the bike. Oh and has anyone called about my dirt bike?  I forgot my list of things I need you to send so I'll do my best to remember them: retainer with stuff I can put it in so it doesn't smell horrible, 3x3 Rubik’s cube, Motab cd w/you raise me up, sheet music for Come Thou Fount, and I can't remember anything else.  I don't think I'll need an adapter but I still need to check on that!  I can't believe there was another fire on the mountain! That's crazy! Oh and my stomach is feeling great! Thanks for the medicine!
 
Landon and Melissa sure are getting brave! I'm so proud of you two! Oh and it isn't worth it to iron his shirts and the MTC gives you bedding to use here and please send my retainer and fingernail kit. When does Nick get here? and I don't know if I told you but I won’t be able to go to the curb when Justin gets dropped off but still look around just in case I’m around.  
 
The MTC is still fantastic!! And the spiritual lesson for this week is about prayer. Moses 1:18 I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of Him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee (Satan.)   There is no way anyone could make it through the MTC without prayer! it is so important and I’ve definitely come to realize that! Praying in the morning and at night is very good but one thing I’ve noticed is that when I’ve been praying practically constantly throughout the day the spirit is soo much stronger!! 
 
Exciting stuff for the week is on Tuesday we had a devotional and Richard G Scott spoke! He focused a lot on the missionaries who were learning a new language and at the end of his talk he bestowed an apostolic blessing on us to receive the gift of tongues!!  That was very neat and I can definitely feel the power and truth of that!  Me and my companion didn't take in any notes or other helpers when we went in to teach our investigator and we definitely worked through the gift of tongues and gave a good lesson!    Elder Moore and Elder Hendrix's plane got cancelled so they had to stay an extra week and they were in our room! They are both awesome! They left Monday night and so our room was a mess the next day cause they left a bunch of stuff and left at 2 a.m. but we had room check and the note just said "are you kidding me?" Haha so we cleaned up and hopefully we'll get a better feedback next time!  The language is super tough but we are all starting to get the hang of it! Memorizing all the words alone is tough, but then we also have to memorize the tones! For example sik can mean to know or to eat depending on the tone. But I love it here and I can't wait to be able to go out in the field! My companion is soo sick! We both are twins and we both are the only ones that want to work-out in our district so that works out well!  oh and here's some MTC facts: 30 hrs a week of classroom  7 hrs personal study  6hrs 20 minutes of language study 2 hrs devotional 1 hr missionary portal/assessments, temple, 3.5 hrs planning, 4 hrs 10 min exercise, and 12 hr 5 min additional study! We are in the same classroom for over 50 hours a week! Haha and tell bishop page I got a seat by the window! Hahaha.  This week when we were at the temple there was a protestor! He was holding a cross and a bible! The missionaries are not allowed to talk to him though! He was saying that we didn't have to do this, we only had to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.... which is what we're doing.... hopefully some missionaries get to his house and teach him more about us!  Well that's really all there is this week! Most of the stuff is just really repetitive! Oh I don't think I told you about who's in my room with me and my companion. Elder McEwen and Elder Williams!  We are lucky cause we have a good group of elders and have a lot of funny guys in the room! This definitely helps keep tension off and the stress out! None of us have ever gotten mad at each other! i honestly couldn't ask for a better companion and roommates! Well this is it for the Week! I love you all and can't wait to see you again! I’ll send you some pictures next week! I forgot the camera today! 
  
Love, Elder Cederlof