Monday, June 30, 2014

Good member missionaries are bringing about good success!

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm still working on replying to everyone's email.  Have patience with me.

So yesterday in church we had about 11 deaf people.  Many members saw it as a sign of things to come.  They are all talking big, hoping it will  turn into something great.  I believe it can.  I believe it's a big reason I'm was sent here. 

But of course, this is not the first time such talk has existed. Teaching deaf people in Hong Kong has come up many times in the past, and it had good success, but then it tends to die out.  So now, there are many "less active" deaf people in Hong Kong that are popping out of the woodwork. It is interesting to see. We want them to pop out and swarm to Pok Fu Lam Ward, it is the designated ward for the deaf. It's a gathering process. I hope we can keep them. Pretty cool how past Hong Kong missionary efforts lay the foundation, and missionaries after add a bit more to it. 

Many hearing ward members were a little bit surprised at seeing so many deaf people.  I hope it helps them realize what is happening.  I hope they will really learn sign language. With the growing number of deaf in the ward more members are learning it.  

Here's one thing I've learned on my mission.  Let me share it with you through a conversation I heard at church.  Elder Walter was talking with a member at church who was talking about times when she has seen missionary work bloom.  She is a member of a long time, and her belief is that success in the ward in regards to missionary work, is because of the missionary that was there.  Now here is what I've learned.  That claim given by the long time member is not correct.  Yes, a disobedient or lazy missionary will ruin missionary work in a ward, but from what I've seen, that is uncommon, missionaries work hard here.  What is always contsant in a ward, is the ward itself.  The members choose how much success they want their ward to have.  Pok Fu Lam is experiencing good success right now, and it is truly not because of Elder Grobeg and I. 

Anyway I love you all.  The World Cup is big in Hong Kong. Maybe America will win it this year. hehe

Elder Phillips

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A powerful fireside...

Brother Kwok from the Hong Kong Mission Presidency emailed  this picture of Elder Phillips and Elder Groberg to Parents :)
Sister Chan emailed this picture from the "My Conversion Fireside" to Elder Phillips parents :)

Two weeks of updates.

Dear Friends and Family,

This is going to be a quick update!  But I thank you all again for all the birthday wishes and kind thoughts.  I am still working to respond to them all.  My time using email is very limited. 

This week we had a "my conversion fireside" and it was great.  Sister Chan (our deaf recent convert) spoke and it was super powerful.  We had two deaf investigators come as well as 3 deaf members.  Translating from Cantonese to Sign Language is a little rough.  There is no time to think, it is just translation.  So I was pretty drained after the fireside.  But they were all very thankful that we did it. 

Our investigator named John accepted a Baptismal Invitation for July 27th.  He is doing pretty well.  He is 16 and he is a super funny kid. 

Got a haircut today.  woohoo.

June 9th

Today we went to Korean BBQ and ate a ton of food.  It was pretty delicious.  For those who haven't tried it before, I highly recommend it.

This week Pok Fu Lam had an interesting twist.  The sister missionaries who previously served in Aberdeen moved to the Pok Fu Lam area just out of no where!  Apparently the work was not enough for four in Aberdeen.  Our Bishop's goal was to have sisters in the area by the beginning of next move.  And now we have them before the current move is even over!  So Bishop Chan was very happy about that.  

The work is going well. Mr Yip is doing fine.  We have an investigator named Christy who came to church last Sunday!  It was pretty awesome.

In other news, the Ward Council asked us to teach the Deaf Sunday School class for two weeks of the month because the member who usually teaches it has a stake calling and cannot attend our ward two weeks out of every month.  They assured us it was only a temporary thing, so we accepted.  Our ward is small right now, in fact at this moment we don't have a ward mission leader.  Our bishop is very missionary minded, and he meets with us often to give us assignments and things to do.   

If I can ask you all to pray for one thing right now it is for us to find more deaf investigators.  We have had some pretty big talk about deaf work for the future.  We don't just need growth, we need exponential growth for a vision such as the one we have thought up to be fulfilled.  Anyway I love you all!

Elder Phillips

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

sweet miracles + birthday wishes = a great week!

Just this morning Sister Chan emailed pictures of Elder Phillips Surprise Happy Birthday Cake!!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! It might take a couple weeks, but I'm going to try and answer them all! Here is a short update.

This week we taught some new deaf investigators. It was a miracle. We were leaving church, but then we called Elder Mikesell and asked where he wanted to go over numbers: at home or the church? He said at the church, so we headed back to the church. On the way back we saw Sister Chan and the Lee Family talking with a deaf couple. I finally got to see Sister Chan's finding techniques in action. I found out that Sister Chan doesn't take no for an answer. The husband was okay with coming in the church to meet with us, but the wife was a little more hesitant and said they had to go. But Sister Chan saw the compliance of the husband, and grabbed the wife by the arm (gently) and "helped" (pulled) her to come along. So she is doing it. Anyway, the deaf couple is named Mr Chan and Mrs Wong. They are the family lesson we had. They are meeting us again this Tuesday. Mr Chan has a bit of a Christian background, Mrs Wong has no Christian background, but they seemed to form an immediate friendship with Sister Chan and the Lee Family.

We met with a lady named Christy this week.  She is 30 some years old.  She has a super funny personality. She is in some competition for her work.  She has to make up a sentence and a picture of herself and they all vote on the winner.  Her sentence was: Ngoh siu yuhng fa leih laahng mohk.  In English it means something like: My smile will melt your deepest sorrow.  Super funny. 

We met with Jason, Ronny, and Sister Mak. Ronny and Sister Mak came to church. Jason met with the bishop last night at his house. The bishop had us come as well. He challenged Jason to become active again. It was pretty cool. 

Thanks again everyone!
Elder Phillips