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 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


1st picture from the MTC!

Temple Day