So, to explain the subject of this email... My great-grandpa Hendricks loved his chocolate. A lot. and I love chocolate too. I didn't realize how much until I came to Hong Kong and good chocolate is SUPER CHEAP. About a month ago, Sister Jackson and I decided that we would do a companionship sacrifice of chocolate for the month of June to show the Lord we are willing to sacrifice the things we love to see more miracles. And we have literally not seen the end of the miracles because of it! (I mean, she left like two weeks ago, but I'm still seeing miracles here so I assume she's in a similar situation in her new area.) But as I'm nearing the end of the month and the day when I can eat chocolate again grows closer, I realize that I am so much like my great-grandpa Hendricks. Chocolate is more important to me than any other food group. (Yes, chocolate is a food group.) I'm so proud to be out on a mission right now serving the Lord, and so grateful to have the opportunity to sacrifice my time, because it's not really a sacrifice at all. It's a blessing. I feel like chocolate is the same way.
...but I'm really looking forward to Wednesday. I have several chocolate bars just sitting in the freezer that members gave to us because they know how much Sister Tu'avao and I love chocolate. Also we bought chocolate chunk brownie mix and andes mints to make to break my chocolate fast. mmmmmm.
Grace is still doing well. I feel like every time we meet with her she gets closer to wanting to come to church. Turns out her real fear is that she just doesn't like people to ask her questions about herself, or shake anyone's hands. If that's her only concern, getting her to church will be a piece of cake. She's doing really, really well with her scripture reading and we are so proud of her progress.
Mr. Chan is doing alright as well. The first time we met him last week he literally just went off about his problems for an hour (apparently, according to the elders who taught him before, that is normal). But the second time we saw him, he was really focused and doing well. He loves loves LOVES meeting with us. Sunday we had a new investigator come to church, and Mr. Chan went up to him and was like "you need to listen to what these missionaries have to say. Their message is so good! It will help you so much and you will just change your whole life!" I have to laugh that he did that. The new guy was a little freaked out, but it's all good. Mr. Chan does have a desire to change his life. He expressed how badly he wants to be baptized- the only thing he struggles with now is tithing. We're going to see him tonight and talk about how God asks us to "fear not". I think he'll have a baptismal date pretty soon. We just need to make it up this mountain of helping him sort out his priorities. He's doing well though.
We met with several new investigators this week, one of which is named Martin. he's a 20 year old college student who is studying physics and has a desire to know if God is real. We had a pretty good lesson with him and I think that he'll probably progress pretty well.
We met with Sam, who was taught by the elders for about 5 months before turning him over to us. I was a little worried at first because he is pretty quiet and we were worried the lesson would be awkward (I mean, sister missionaries teaching a 17 year old kid? kinda awkward.) but Sister Tu'avao and her hilarious personality helped him open right up. His fellowshipper was amazing and he says he wants to work harder at coming back to church. I think he'll progress pretty well as well.
Met with a less active named Joe who is awesome. Our ward mission leader fellowshipped for us and it was such a good lesson. We taught Faith in Jesus Christ from Preach My Gospel and got a really good discussion going. The spirit in that lesson was really strong and I'm excited to keep meeting with him. He knows he needs to come back, so if we can get him to feel comfortable meeting with us, I think things will go well as well.
Pon Ka Man (LA) is also doing well. We had a fellowshipper at her lesson and it was AWESOME. The last couple times we haven't been able to find anyone to help us. But this time was awesome. We read and discussed Alma 32 and that's really what she needed to hear. I think she's doing very well. She needs to come to church more and even knows it. Her dad was baptized (we're not sure into what church) in Canada a little while ago and he told her she needs to come back to church, so she's willing to start that process.
We finally met with Dave, a guy the elders called "golden" but lost track of for a few months. He is SOLID. He knows he needs to be baptized. it's just getting him to quit smoking first. We were on splits when Sister Tu'avao and a few members taught him, so I'm not totally sure how it went but from what she said it went well.
While on said splits, I taught our new investigator, Mr. Fung. he had a stroke a few years ago that left him in pretty bad shape, but now his body has healed almost perfectly. He said the trials in his life have made him wonder about God, so when the elders met him a few weeks ago he was really prepared to hear the gospel. He came to the last hour of church and I taught him on splits. He has some pretty good potential to be progressing quickly.
We also met with a former investigator named Mr. Kwok at his home. It was such a blessing to be able to visit him in his home. Our fellowshipper was female (that's all that was available to help us at that time) so that was a little weird, but the man has a genuine interest to learn the gospel. there's only one problem- he's an eternigator. But it's been a few years since missionaries have visited him, so we thought we'd give it a try and just see how he is.
It's been quite the adventure trying to call all the elders' investigators, formers, etc. We've been so so so busy this week that we've hardly had time for finding, but it's okay. We're meeting new friends and helping lots of people come unto Christ. I'm so grateful for this new challenge- and a challenge it is. But it's okay. The area is blossoming and we're finding new investigators through all sorts of strange ways. I love it! The work here is amazing!! Thanks for all the love and support! love you all!
P.S. I got the package! Thank you so much. I love love love this camera. It's so... fongbihn. umm..... convenient? That just sounds weird in English. (if it makes you feel better, my companion can't remember how to speak hardly any Tongan, so when she goes home she'll struggle pretty bad..hahaha.) Do my pictures this week look any better?
(For all those who wrote letters to Sister Crook for her 1-year): But really, thank you most for the letters. I spent my prep time in the morning and evenings for several days reading those letters. I truly am so blessed to have so many people (some of which I don't really even know) that love and care about me, and that support missionary work. I am so blessed! I absolutely loved those letters from everyone! The funniest thing that I have seen though is the fact that everyone thinks I speak Mandarin Chinese.....
I don't. Haha.
I can understand a little, especially gospel terms since they're similar. But I actually don't speak the Chinese that all the American people think I speak. SO it's funny to read all those letters with "Ni hao ma!" Because that's Mandarin, not Cantonese. (; but I love it anyways! (I mean come on, I had to google Cantonese when I got my call...haha.) So there's no judgement!
Photos: My companion made me Tongan pancakes for breakfast. MMM. Also, when the 24th floor stinks so bad that you have to smell the Book of Mormon to be able to breathe.