Katie Ward just "happened" to be in the same Sacrament Meeting with her brother. Here are their reports:
Katie wrote: so here are the details on what went down in hong kong. we got here friday morning and got to our hotel and got settled. this whole "vacation" to hong kong was a little disorganized so the rest of friday night we just wandered around kowloon. we ended going to bed at like 7 o'clock. saturday morning we went on a tour that took us to victoria peak, stanley markey, and aberdeen. the tour ended at 2 in the afternoon and we were left with the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted. some of the girls and i decided to find our way to the temple and mission headquarters. when we got there i ran into two companionships of missionaries and talked to them for a bit. they both knew who jj was and they had seen him on thursday to play basketball and get their transfers. i was sad cause he wasn't there but they let me write him a note and told me they would give it to him. we continued to the temple and i had this thought in my mind that i was going to find jj's ward and maybe go to church the next day where he was serving. so i ran back across the street just in time to catch the elders before they left and asked for the address to the aberdeen ward. they gave me one but it was in chinese. when i got back to the hotel i asked the information desk to help me find the bus route that would take us there and after many miscommunications and three people trying to figure it out, they told me which bus to get on and how much it would cost. i told the group and most of the girls were planning on going to a church anyways so about 12 of us decided we would go. we met at 7:15 sunday morning and ventured off to find the bus and try to find aberdeen. we ended up finding the ward which was pretty well concealed around 8:30. at about 8:45 this chinese lady came into what we thought was the chapel and told us it was the relief society room and that the chapel was a floor down...i ran down the stairs and lone behold THERE WAS JJ!!!!!!!!! i took him by complete surprise. he was in so much shock, it was funny. i just started bawling, but then we got talking and it was really good. he is doing soooo well and he is loving it in china. he told me to tell mom and dad hi and that he loves them. he said to tell the friends hi to. saying goodbye wasn't even that hard...i mean i did cry a little bit, but i'm fine. i hope he isn't in too much shock and i hope he is able to keep his focus. i got to hear him speak in cantonese as he explained to everyone that i was his twin sister. we stayed for relief society and the ladies translated for us. unfortunately we couldn't stay for sacrament because we were really limited on time. so i only got to chat with jj for probably a total or 5 or 10 minutes.
me in aberdeen on saturday trying to spot jj
JJ sez: I'm pretty sure everyone has heard by now that Katie found our chapel in Aberdeen and came to see me. Probably one of the most surprising days at church in my life! I was talking to a member and then all of a sudden a familiar looking girl walks in the door, heads straight for me and gives me a hug. Luckily, I recognized she was my sister before she hugged me or I probably would have run away. We didn't get to talk much but it was really good to see her. Surprisingly, this visit didn't seem to phase me too much; when she left it was just back to business as usual. It was a really good reminder of home, and that I have a lot or people supporting me and praying for me.
jj and me at church
a picture of jj's ward (it's the black door in that big building and the church is on the 5, 6, and 7th floor, they kept it really secretive i feel like).
Sunday, March 27, 2011
JJ is talking to the guy that had a bow staff or something that loved smoking.
The mustache is real
Been trying to get to know the new area. Aberdeen is really awesome, totally different from West Point. Our ward is really supportive and has already given us two referrals. When Elder Cho and i go out finding, we never know who we'll meet - a kung fu master one time, a 70 year old blind man another, Hong Kong is just an amazing city.
3/10/11 Well, it's been an ENTIRE YEAR! That's crazy. Can't believe how fast the time has gone. I'm starting to get the hang of Chinese and of missionary work. We pick up some new investigators, we lose some of the older ones, and on goes the cycle. We've given out two baptismal dates this week; one has fallen through and we're praying the other will happen.
Next week we have another moves call. If i stay in Aberdeen, i'll have lived almost that entire year in Kennedy Town, serving in the same district! Good thing i love it here. I've also grown to love the scriptures and the guidance they give us; studying the Book of Mormon has been so amazing. I love being here and love and miss you all
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dear Family members,
We have had a lot of blessings this week!! So on Tuesday we met with Kenny and taught him the plan of salvation. It was an extremely good lesson. During that lesson we extended a baptisimal date to him for March 26th! He accepted and started asking all about what he needs to do to prepare for that day and how he can do it. His grandpa (he is 20 years old and just moved from Houston into his Grandparents house to take care of them) said you know your going to have to stop smoking and take out those earings. When hearing that Kenny took out his earings on the spot and we havent seen them in yet. So he is definately ready to go for March 26th. The only problem I can forsee is the smoking and he told us that he has lived in and out of homeless shelters and was even homeless for a couple of years in Houston. He said that he has gotten into some bad stuff and has been in and out of jail. So tomorrow when we teach him we will find out if he is on parole or probation or not...if he is then he would have to wait till he was off to get baptized. Actually he found his grandparents through facebook...and thats how he found them and now is living with them to take care of them. He is so sincere and is a very caring person...he does nothing all day except take care of his grandparents. He is definately one of the Lords elect. I feel so lucky to be teaching him.
Then on Wednesday we taught Michelle (who is still praying about March 26th as a baptisimal date) the 4th lesson. Specifically praying, scripture study, law of chastity, and word of wisdom. The lesson as always was an extremely spiritual lesson. she accepted everything that we taught up until the word of wisdom. She LOVES coffee. She says that she loves everything about coffee...the smell, the taste, the sound of it being made...everything (in her words). She did committ to living the word of wisdom. she was really hesitant at first...but as i was teaching her i could feel my tongue be loosed by the spirit. I don't eve remember what was said or how it was said all I know is that it was not us speaking. I shared my favorite scripture in the whole book of mormon and the bible (ether 12:6) where is talks about how we will not recieve a witness until after the trial of our faith (i love this scripture!!) and is seemed to calm her nerves. the the member offered to giver her a priesthood blessing. so we gave her one and you guys know my testimony of priesthood blessings after the experience with Pat and Jerri. So i know that she can give up coffee. she also asked us to find some scriptures to help her overcome this. So during our study the next morning we searched everywhere for scriptures and as we were searching...i thought to look for a conference talk that would help her. (those are considered scripture) i said a prayer right before i started thumbing through the last conference issue of the ensign. i believe that i was led to give her the talk by President Henry B Eyring entitled "Trust God then Go and Do" (you guys should look it up). this one jumped out to me. i knew that she needed to read this. On sunday when we saw her she said that she is not worried about it...the combination of the priesthood blessing and the conference talk comforted her. She is most definately the Lords elect and i feel very humbled that I could be the tool in the Lords hands to help her come unto Christ. We could possibly have a baptisimal date set with her this wednesday (March 26th).
Yesterday we taught Darian and Ally (Steve Scotts kids) and Ally has chosen to be baptized on March 26th!!! She is very excited!! I am really excited to see Steve baptize her!! Darian is still really unsure that he want to be baptized (hes just being a regular 14 year old boy)...but i know he will come around.
So if all goes according to plan(which i hope it does)...we could have 4 baptisms next month. Ive Chaug (March 19th), Kenny Bowring (March 26th), Ally Scott (March 26th), and the date that Michelle is praying about is March 26th also. So March 26th could probably be the busiest day of my life!! I feel so blessed...i don't understand it...i mean i work hard and i try to be 100% obediant but do i really deserve this much...NO...it Humbles me. Hopefully i can live up to the blessings that our companionship is recieving.
Well i got to go Love you
I started reading the Old Testament a few months ago, and I’ve gotten to Job. Some of the stories are really captivating. So far I’ve loved reading about Saul and David. Their story up until David’s death is so awesome, and I love the scripture in 2 Samuel 1:23:
“Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.”
And of course the cross reference in D&C 135:3 talking about Joseph and Hyrum Smith. They are so inspiring for me, because every time I start to get disobedient or my work ethic begins to fall I think of how disappointed Papa Hyrum and Uncle Joseph would be with the grand son/nephew. Dad I think you for being built on a rock, and making it easy for your sons to follow the example of the prophet and the patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ in the later days. I know that you have made our fathers proud. I love you all. Faaitoito.
Elder Luke Smith
Being a DL is fun, and I love it here. My new comp is so great and we just had a baptism last night. We have a lot of people to teach. Winston really is great, and we have a big area with different logging towns ha ha. I am learning a lot as a DL and I feel more free than I ever have in my entire life, just like you said!
Tonight we are teaching a family in our ward for FHE then they are taking us rock climbing indoors for the activity hahah! I love this life.