Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am loving every minute out here in Tuen Mun training! Even after just a week I have learned a lot and have had a lot of great experiences. The beginning of the week started off a little bit slow but through diligence we were able to finish off strong! Thursday was quite the eventful day! We felt the need to go finding over by some chyun uk's. After finding there it was apparent that that was an inspired decision. We ran into several people that were willing and happy to talk to us about the message of the Restoration. On our way out of that area after saying a prayer, I had the prompting to talk to a man walking towards us on the right side. We talked to him; however, he brushed us aside quickly. Happy with the opportunity to have received a prompting and then to have followed it, we turned and started walking the other direction. Our path intersected with a mom of a 7 month old baby. We started talking about families and how the gospel can help. Immediately she showed a lot of interest. If we wouldn't have followed that first prompting and talked to the man in the red shirt we definitely wouldn't have run into mom. However, the Lord truly knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end. We rescheduled the mom and met her the next day at church. The lesson went very well. We invited a recent convert to come teach with us and it ended up working out very well! In fact, she accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of October! The Lord always blesses us! It also showed me the importance of trust in the Lord. Being a trainer, sometimes it's kind of hard to know exactly how much to step in, such as while finding or doing phone calls. But I've decided to put the trust in the Lord and do it His way, doing all I can to help Elder Black become the best missionary he can be, and I have definitely seen the Lord's hand in it. I'm definitely very grateful I had an awesome trainer (Elder Tong) because I can use the same principles he taught me in teaching Elder Black. This is such an exciting time right now and I love just being able to share the insights, tips, skills about missionary work with Elder Black. But it isn't just a one way thing; Elder Black has also taught me a ton of things such as the true meaning of the "Gift of Tongues”.  It's really an amazing thing to witness someone diligently working, testify in a language they aren't too fluent in, and feeling the Holy Ghost.
We had a good sit-down with the other Tuen Mun elders and discussed some things about the ward such as how to do Less-Active and so on. We then talked about how we could strengthen the ward. We came up and discussed several very good ideas that we will be talking more about with the ward in ward council this upcoming Wednesday. The biggest thing we are going to talk about is the work of salvation that we did in Tolo Harbour and how we can apply it here.

The ward here is awesome! We got more time to meet with them this week and talk with them. Definitely a lot of very good people. The goal now is to take all of the awesome people, help each other step up even more in faithfulness, true desires, and unity. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here in Tuen Mun.

Til Next Week,
Elder Cederlof

PS. Almost forgot, Elder Beal put wash in this morning during breakfast, then, during studies all of a sudden I felt some wet on my feet. After looking down, I realized our washer flooded! However, it didn't get to our suitcases, or Book of Mormons. Luckily with our tile floor there wasn't any damage, so we mopped it all up and called housing elders, and then went back to studies.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tuen Mun

This week has been AWESOME!! I'm soo grateful I have the opportunity to train Elder Black!! I'm also very grateful for the opportunity to be part of opening a companionship in Tuen Mun. This past week has been pretty busy in getting ready to move and train but it was awesome! Being a trainer puts a little new perspective on things. Before going to meet my trainee Elder Smith said Elder Black was coming in (he was originally in his group) and how excited he was that he was coming back! I am very blessed to have the opportunity to train Elder Black! He is an awesome Elder and is a great missionary! I like being able to show him things like gai meih baau and cha sui but I absolutely love showing him, encouraging him, and pushing him in finding, teaching, and phone calls. He has a great attitude. I definitely understand that at first, finding, teaching, and calling people on the phone are pretty scary but he was happy and willing to do it. We already have a very strong trust connection and are open with each other.   
Oh I forgot to answer your questions. My companion is from Texas!  Look up Tuen Mun on google maps! It’s out in new territories and it is pretty different than my other areas but I’m super excited!  I love being a trainer because every time he does something new it reminds me of my first time doing the same thing and then I can use that experience to try to help him more! It’s honestly a blast!  And our apartment is very white. We’re with Elder Beal and his trainee. If you want to see Elder Beal look back in the pictures of when I went to Big Buddha. He is the one with red hair. He is super funny. 

Love you mom!

Love, Elder Cederlof


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Called to be a Trainer!

This week has definitely had some good surprises. Friday when I got the call to train I could definitely feel the spirit confirm that that is what I am supposed to be doing next move. I'm very grateful for that role of the Holy Ghost, to confirm to ourselves the truthfulness of our callings. I'm very excited to train and since receiving that call I have been pondering about how I was trained and thinking of ways I can apply certain principles. I'm thankful the Lord has that trust in me and knows that I can train effectively.  Along with the call to train was the call to move and open a new companionship. I'm also very grateful for that opportunity to learn and grow. To be honest, before I got that call I definitely felt that I might be moving or training. As with all changes in life, or opportunities to grow, we are going to have to leave some things behind. I will be leaving the Sha Tin ward. I will definitely miss them. I feel like I have a very very strong relationship with all of them. I've loved being able to meet with them, set goals, build each other's faith and come unto Christ. The Sha Tin ward is amazing! However, I know that the future is even brighter than the past. Like Christ mentions, no man with his hand to the plough looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God; I'm definitely looking forward to the upcoming things and put my trust in Christ. I feel like these 4 months in Sha Tin have really taught me about Charity. I feel like when I was in Tsuen Wan I had a really good relationship with the ward, but in Sha Tin, I feel like I have a SPECTACULAR relationship with the ward. Us Missionaries and the ward have really been putting our efforts together in order to bring more people to Christ; and I now get to take those things I learned here in Sha Tin, and apply them in my new area!

I have put a lot of emphasis in my personal study on really "digging deep" into the scriptures. Reading through Jesus the Christ has definitely helped me understand Christ's teachings in the 4 gospels. Cross referencing/re-reading certain parts have also played a big role in being able to get a more in depth look at things. The teachings of the Book of Mormon are just incredible.  Alma, while talking to his son Helaman talks about after "tasting" of the gospel, the desire to share it. The Book of Mormon's usage of words is incredible. Every word, every sentence is there for a specific reason and purpose; and even more incredible, when put all together, we have the fullness of the Gospel. The Book of Mormon is true. It is a powerful witness of Jesus Christ, coupled with prayer it is single-handedly the most powerful tool in not only investigators conversion, but in ourselves. I absolutely LOVE the Book of Mormon. If everyone could just truly ponder and read it for themselves they could understand and feel the happiness that only the Book of Mormon, the fullness of the Gospel, can bring!  
Love you all!
Elder Zach Cederlof

Dinner with Dorothea
Sha Tin church
Far left is Sister Cheng (stake president's wife) she is one of my best friends here! The older lady is my Hong Kong Grandma! She is a less active we've been visiting for a  while and has started coming back to church the last month or so.
Ward Mission Leader/Previous Mission President
Bishop, David (one wearing glasses) and youth from mainland down here for school
70 dollar all you can eat dim sum?? In Tsuen Wan?? That's where it's at!




Sunday, August 10, 2014

This Last week with a summer missionary has been an interesting one.  We have definitely seen some great blessings!! The new investigator we met last is now progressing! We met with her twice this past week and she also came to church!! We are definitely very excited and grateful for meeting her. She has learned quite a bit about other churches from what I understand but she says that she just hasn't found success. She is willing to read the Book of Mormon and to pray. Her biggest concern is not a concern with the gospel. Her biggest concern is her family. She is very worried about her family's safety, salvation and such. Fortunately, as we know, the family plays a big part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the whole purpose of the Gospel is to bring families not only closer for our time on earth, but together forever. It has been... what's the word… quite refreshing... to meet someone that values family as much as I do; someone that truly cares about their family and their eternal welfare.
David is also doing really well. We have been reading the Book of Mormon with him the past few lessons in order to help him develop a strong testimony towards it. He already believes it is true. But has a hard time remembering to read it. I definitely agree with the mission tour's emphasis on the Book of Mormon. I know that if we help him not just believe the Book of Mormon but truly LOVE the Book of Mormon, not only will he be baptized, but he also will Endure to the End. The Book of Mormon is soo key in their conversion and I feel that these past few weeks I have definitely seen that. 

We met with a former named Mike this past week. When we met with him he had a headache and was kind of out of it. He definitely has hope. It is just a seed, but that's all that is needed in order to start the conversion process. He has some things that we are going to have to work hard and pray that he will be able to overcome, but I think that once he commits, he'll go all the way.

Me and my summer missionary, Brother Singh got along very well. However, he did not like it when I pushed him to be obedient, work hard or things like that. So everyday there were some ups and downs and we also spent one of our dinner times sitting outside because he didn't want to go finding and wouldn't move. I shared a lot about the importance of working hard, being exactly obedient and diligent and I hope that we can both apply the things we learned. Definitely a lot different working with a Summer Missionary than with Elder Koochin. However, these past two weeks I Learned a lot.

There is a little experiment I have been doing over the past month that has produced interesting results. Preach My Gospel says in the how to help people overcome addictions sections to pick a habit and to try to break it. A few months ago I read that and chose to give up popping my knuckles, something I naturally did all the time. I decided to put it on my list of "sacrifices" in order to help me have more samgei (can't think of English word for that) just like an investigator would use their baptismal date as their motive. At first it was pretty hard because it was a habit but after a few days I had it down pretty well. Well, the date had come that I had set as the end of that experiment and I started popping my knuckles again. At first I did it just to release all the pressure I felt, but after that, the habit practically came back!   That little experiment taught me a couple things. First, when helping someone overcome an addiction, they definitely need a strong motive. Second, the role of the Holy Ghost is huge. Because if an investigator can break that habit and get baptized, the Holy Ghost will help them keep them from falling back into that habit. I also feel that if it is a member then a blessing could also help a lot as well.  Obviously, I didn't need a blessing to prevent myself from cracking my knuckles but I think on a larger scale thing, like a smoking habit, a blessing and the Holy Ghost are soo important. 

Love you all!
Love, Elder Zach Cederlof

Sunday, August 3, 2014

This week has definitely been a good week! Working with a summer missionary has been awesome! Definitely had some challenges but through working through them together we have a really good relationship and have been able to continue to learn and grow. I made sure to set up expectations first, especially about obedience. Being exactly obedient is most important. He has also been able to help me with my Chinese quite a bit. He is really good at it because he is quite patient and will be a stickler if I ask him to. This week we have definitely seen some cool miracles happen. Among one was on a hot day. He was very tired and wanted to take a little rest. He asked if we could and I told him that if we found someone, taught them, and rescheduled them, then we could take a short rest. Within a couple minutes a lady came walking towards us and asked us if she could come to church! Definitely a big miracle! We've taught her twice now and she was going to come to church yesterday but something came up. However she is rescheduled for Tuesday. That experience was not only a great learning opportunity but another opportunity to see the Lord's hand in His work.

David seems to have rekindled some fire. Since meeting some people at EFY he has seem more interested in continuing to prepare for baptism. He has a baptismal date in October. We are helping him to develop pure faith in Christ. Faith that will endure through challenges. He also has a friend that is now meeting with the Tai Wai Elders and sometimes he'll also go to those lessons with his friend so now he is getting double power!

Zone Exchanges were awesome! I went with Elder Dorman. I love being able to go on exchanges with missionaries that have been out for a while! It is a great time to learn from them and their experience. Elder Dorman is definitely an experienced missionary with a passion for the work. I really liked how much he used the Book of Mormon while finding.
Before Zone exchanges we had Zone Meeting. Because my summer missionary doesn't speak English I translated for him the entire time. I think it helped me learn the stuff even more because then instead of the information going through the brain once I had to then change it into Cantonese and speak it as well.

I just absolutely adore our ward members! Every time we visit ward members my love for them just grows soo much! They really are amazing people! That is just one of the blessings the Lord has given me. I've never felt homesick because the people I'm with are my family. I know that if I have any worries there are lots of people that are willing to help and that care about me and how I’m doing. This church is true! Anyone can travel to any part of the world and the members there will, with a warming smile, welcome them. Everyone really is a big family, and I want every Hong Kong person to be able to have that same powerful sense of comfort, peace, and love in their life!
 As my year mark is coming up I have been thinking a lot about how my desires have changed over the past year. Obviously my original desires were still good but overtime, through experience, they have changed. I have been trying to make sure to maintain "pointing outwards" as David A. Bednar would put it. Truly thinking about how the ward and missionaries can work together. But also how we can help each individual ward member develop more faith to not only come unto Christ, but to share that message with their friends. It truly is a miraculous thing to be able to witness someone else's testimony being strengthened. That's just one among many things that I am grateful for.
Til Next Week!
Love, Elder Cederlof