Monday, March 30, 2015

This past week has been absolutely awesome!!  We saw some super cool miracles and had some great experiences teaching this past week!! The Lord is definitely always preparing people for us to meet! This past Thursday after weekly planning we went out finding. We were planning on turning left at a certain intersection but felt that we should turn right. There usually isn't anyone to the right but we trusted the feeling. Apart from seeing a long green snake with red around it's head, not much happened on that street. However, we then continued around the street and ran into a man named Nick. Nick is late 20's and working in insurance. He doesn't have a lot of christian background but he has gone to church a couple times in the past. He said he had actually recently wanted to start praying because he believes that God will help him find more happiness. We found a place to sit down and talked with him, got to know his desires and hopes. It was a great experience! He was super sincere and genuine in his search for answers. After sharing about the Book of Mormon and an invitation to start reading and praying, we scheduled him for 2 days later and left.  On Saturday he showed up with the Book of Mormon in hand ready to learn! He was asking some great questions and had actually already read all contents previous to 1 Nephi 1. He had also done some research at home and he knew that the church was organized in New York and due to persecution, the early members moved. He is so prepared. We shared with him the first lesson, and focused on the Godhead a lot as well. Near the end of the lesson he got a call. He excused himself and talked to them for a minute. When the call was over he said, "that was my older brother and his wife, they're walking around in the area and i just invited them to come over and talk with you!" Absolutely amazing!! That's what the gospel will do to people! Once partaking of the "fruit" the natural consequence is a desire to share it with your family! Everything lined up perfectly. The family arrived just 5 minutes before we were supposed to teach a recent convert with another member, one of the ABL's.  The Lord not only brought a family, he brought members to teach as well! We went and met the Recent Convert and Member and told them the situation and they were more than happy to come teach this new family with us! This family doesn't have any religious background so we focused on the Godhead, prayer, and families. The feelings there were incredible. They were so sincere! Could it get any better? Due to the fact that we had just finished teaching Nick the 1st lesson prior to the families arrival, we invited Nick to help us teach some of the doctrines and share some of his personal feelings! As he explained what he felt about prayer, and the Godhead to his older brother and his wife, there was definitely a special spirit there. 

Exchanges with Zone Leaders was also super special and strengthened my testimony of the Plan of Salvation even more! Having served in Sha Tin before Tuen Mun I was super excited to return and hopefully contact some of previous investigators I had taught when i was there! I felt prompted to call an investigator I had taught who prior to me leaving the area had dropped us. When I called she was more than happy to schedule for the next day. We had originally planned to share Moroni chapter 7 with her but while we were talking it felt right to go back to the restoration. We shared with her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said that recently she has been going through some hard things and has been very confused. Her relationship with God isn't as strong as it was previously. She said that when we called and scheduled her she was very excited to come back. She said there was always a special feeling at our church, she described it as a peaceful feeling. At the end of the lesson when we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray she was more than willing! She was also more than willing to start meeting with the missionaries again!! Such a huge miracle!! The Lord definitely knows each one of us, His children. His plan is perfect!!

Til next week!
Love, Elder Zach Cederlof

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We were reading through Preach my Gospel and trying to find some ways to change up our finding. Normally when finding, we start conversations by saying hello or how are you. Reading through Preach my Gospel, made me think, hey instead of starting with the things that most salesman start with, let's go straight into testimony! At first it felt a little weird to not necessarily even start with a "hello" but literally go straight into testimony and teaching. But I do feel that it has brought a difference. There is a difference in the people we talk to but also in myself. I find it more refreshing. For example, normally trying to stop 10 people, you then get the opportunity to share testimony with 5 of them.  The others walk away before getting the opportunity. However, when the first things we share with them is our testimony, we then get the opportunity to share with 10/10 people. It has personally given me even more energy, cause as we all know, sharing our testimony brings energy!
It has been an awesome opportunity to be district leader over here! Our district is really developing strong unity! One thing that I believe has made a big difference is that we are praying for each other and our investigators! At district meeting we write a list on the board of the investigators that we will all be praying for that week! 
My testimony and gratitude have continued to grow, especially towards the Plan of Salvation and the knowledge that God truly does have a plan for me. Outside of just being one big plan for all of mankind, it is also a plan, specifically for me. I have found evidences of that truth all around me. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but it is a discovery I made within the last couple weeks upon pondering this subject of God's plan for me. In the first couple moves of my mission I remember saying that I wanted to have the opportunity to be a part of opening up a new area/ward. I also wanted to be up as close to mainland as possible. While pondering over my mission experience, that memory was brought back to me; a humbling moment. God is the creator of this great and marvelous plan for me!
Til next week,
Love, Elder Cederlof

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spiritual patterns set us up for a life of success. One thing I've really been thinking about is how much my mission will direct my future and the course in life. I already knew and believed that how we live our mission is how we live our lives, but I wanted to break it down even more. How does each individual day, each choice, in all aspects of missionary work, affect our futures? In my studies, I found a greater understanding and appreciation for the Plan of Salvation. This knowledge has brought me an even deeper trust and hope that God really does have a plan for me. His plan is personalized to every single one of us.

This past week was a great example of this. We were on the streets quite a bit and found one investigator. We were looking for miracles but they just didn't seem to come. Then out of nowhere the sisters gave us a number for a young man; we called and scheduled him for the next day. Then while we were doing daily planning the Mandarin Elders came in and said that they had a family to turn over to us! A lot of times I feel like I look too much into expecting miracles coming directly from our searching. For example, finding "golden" investigators on the street, or walking down a street and having the feeling to knock on the "red door" that leads to a full family. But a lot of times, miracles don't come that way. As we commit to this work, be obedient, do what we can; the Lord will do the rest. With this past week, it was through other people that the Lord showed us His hand.

Love you!
Love, Elder Zach Cederlof

Zach & Elder Black with the Tsang Family
(Ward Mission Leader - Castle Peak Bay Ward)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I am so grateful to be companions with Elder Tseng. A little more background on him, he is from Philadelphia!! he has been out in the mission for 4 months so I’m step training again! It’s super fun! His parents are Chinese but they speak English so elder Tseng didn't know any Cantonese before coming! He is awesome! I am continuing to grow closer and closer with Sheung Shui ward as well! I feel that the atmosphere of this ward and my personality really click. One thing I am really trying to focus on this move with Elder Tseng is to help him  progress as fast as possible. As companions I feel that we are both helping each other learn and grow. It's interesting because at first it seems as though our personalities are super different but they are actually pretty similar in a lot of different aspects. I feel that our weaknesses and strengths are opposite of each other. For example, if one area is my weakness, that same area is one of Elder Tseng's strengths. It's super cool because that way we can improve more and more.

I have been pondering more and more about obedience and I asked myself those questions asked at zone conference. I feel that I have been trying to be exactly obedient but I need to step it up even more. I'm really trying to make sure I do all that I can so that our companionship, ward, district, zone, stake and mission can continue to grow. It's definitely tough sometime with all the different challenges faced but as for me, learning and pondering more about the Plan of Salvation has really been the key. Elder Dube talked about it very well in his conference talk in October 2013. The past is to be learned from. We need to take the embers from the past but not the ashes! Look forward and Be Believing!

Til Next week,
 Love, Elder Cederlof

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheung Shui!


This week has definitely been an interesting one, to say the least. It was hard for me to leave Castle Peak Bay Ward. They really are just like family to me. Leaving Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin were also very hard, and after having gotten to know several of the Sheung Shui members already, I know that they will also become family to me! What I have learned is that leaving an area isn't an end. I still have a good relationship with all the members of previous areas that I’ve served in, but now I have the opportunity to meet even more people. I like meeting new people and making new friends so I am excited and grateful to be here. A goal I have set is to learn all of the members names as fast as possible. Knowing their names is really important and it definitely helps in building a good strong relationship. I got a good opportunity to meet with the bishop and ward mission leader this week on Sunday. The members here are also awesome! Lot's of families! It is fun to see the different feelings you get in each ward. Sheung Shui has a very funny, vibrant feeling to it. 

I'm looking forward to working in this area, and supporting the Sheung Shui Ward in achieving not only their goals, but God's goals for this ward.

Til Next Week,
Elder Cederlof