Chris's Mission Photo

Chris's Mission Photo

Welcome to Elder Carey's Blog

Elder Chris Carey 計長老
China Hong Kong Mission
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
Kowloon, Hong Kong







Famous statue in Hong Kong

Famous statue in Hong Kong
Great Art where ever you look

Need a snack?

Need a snack?
The daily staples

The path of Ten Thousand Buddas

The path of Ten Thousand Buddas
Never ending gold Buddas

High 5 with the Big Budda

High 5 with the Big Budda
Enjoying P-day

Unity on the Island

Unity on the Island
The Macau Zone

Incredible Place

Incredible Place
Hong Kong Heritage

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Well... This is it... Huh.. Not ready for this to happen

Hey Everyone!

I'm not gonna lie, I have a LOT of mixed emotions right now...of course I'm excited to see you guys and see everybody back home, family and friends and all...but man, oh man, it's going be hard to leave this...I never thought for one moment it was going be THIS hard. Oh well, I'll just let you know how my week went and try and not dwell on that one other thing; me going home, or whatever you call it.
This past week was absolutely incredible! BY FAR, one of the best weeks I've had on my mission! I was able to attend the career workshop which was kind of (ok la). Nothing too special, except they did call me by my first name the whole time which I was NOT used to. Too weird but I really did learn a lot. I'll have to show you everything they gave us when I see you. It was definitely worth it, and apparently not every mission does it. That surprises me. It seems it should almost be required. It seriously helped so much! We also had two incredible baptismal services for Elder Olson and myself. Sister Bea and Sister Grace were able to more fully come unto Christ and follow Him in the waters of baptism. It was honestly one of the greatest things to see. Both of them have come so very far, and I couldn't be happier. I really couldn't. The Sisters also had a couple baptisms, which was also a tremendous blessing! Another Elder companionship had one as well, so that makes a total of 5 in one week for the Zone. That's pretty sweet.
It's been so hard to say goodbye to all of our recent converts, members, the Branch Presidencies and their wives. Each and every single one of them has changed my mission in one way or another. I thought I knew all about it before I came here to International.
No sir-eee!
Yesterday, I had the privilege of bearing my Testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting and could barely keep it together. Just looking out at all these wonderful Brothers and Sisters, MY Brothers and Sisters, I couldn't help bare to become emotional. It was tough but it's all good. Most of them I'll be seeing on facebook or e-mailing or writing to or whatever. Some way I'll keep in contact with them, so no worries. To be quite honest with you guys, I kind of forgot what life back home is like. These past two years have been all I have focused on and it's all I know anymore. So for real, I'm not sure how easy the transition is going be but I'm praying it won't be too difficult. Oh, I just BARELY read your e-mail you sent. I was a bit worried you weren't going to send one in time, just sayin mom! Ha!
All of that is GREAT news!
Oh man, I was super happy you got the package. I hope you like the pictures. It covers a lot of time but it's still good. Everything else in there was just kind of random but oh well.
I'm just tearin up as I'm typing this....this isn't good. So, yesterday was pretty intense. Like I said, I was able to bear my Testimony and then we had that fireside for all the dying (going home) missionaries and I chose Sister Ivy to speak for me. Her conversion story is SWEET! I'll have to tell you all about it when I get back! Everyone thought her's was the best. It was also pretty tough to say bye to some of the missionaries last night and a few other members from other Wards I had previously served in. It was super nice of them to come and I was way stoked to see them.
Well, the rest of this week is going to be interesting for sure. I haven't even BEGAN packing. Don't know when I'm going do that. Just too busy (la)! Today we're going out to a traditional Chinese tea time with the whole Zone and then bowling afterwards. It should be fun.
Tomorrow night we have moves calls, so we'll find out where everyone else is going and who's coming to replace me.
Wednesday night we have our last Zone Meeting.
Thursday I go to the Mission office and have a final interview with President Chan, do any last minute check out things, have a Temple Session with my group, lunch and dinner with the Chans and that night stay in Patron Housing there at the Mission office right across the street from the Temple.
Friday morning...early morning...EARLY MORNING leave. That's all I got.
The experiences and lessons I've learned on my mission will NEVER be forgotten! THIS TRULY HAS BEEN THE BEST TWO YEARS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE! I WON'T EVER FORGET IT! Thank you, to each and every one of you. You have made my time out here seem like I'm not even away. You are such a blessing in my life. There's no way I can ever repay you for all you've done.
I LOVE YOU GUYS MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW! UNTIL FRIDAY...DO WHAT YOU DO, ONE LAST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What? 3 whole days since the last p-day... Time needs to stop...

Hey Everyone!

Well...it's almost an entire 3 WHOLE DAYS since my last p-day! Actually, lots has happened since then if you can believe it. This has been the most successful week on my Mission if you're looking at the key indicators, which is what we as missionaries are instructed to focus on, this week we had 21 new investigators, 26 member present lessons, 14 people at Church, and A BAPTISM! This has been definitely a week to remember and learn from. A lot of these came on Monday when we had the Statutory holiday and yesterday as well. These numbers may not sound too high to some but for Hong Kong, they're pretty good and we are very VERY blessed to have received such great rewards. I'm dead now though, so, I guess that's what it takes. You have to be dead if you want the success.
Yesterday was an intense day, mainly because of the AWESOME baptism that took place but also the people that came to church and new friends we taught added to that excitement as well.
Ivy's baptism was probably the best baptismal service I've ever participated in or have seen. A member from the Branch Presidency got up and spoke at the end and said the same thing and he's a senior missionary in his 60's. It was just so spiritual and quite honestly, I've never seen anyone so excited and happy to receive baptism. Ivy gave such an incredibly strong Testimony at the end and mentioned how I found her at Worldwide (the place where we go finding every single day). She's too legit. This Sunday is the fireside for those missionaries who are going home the next transfer and each missionary gets to choose one recent convert to speak, share their conversion story and testimony. I've chosen Ivy. She really is such a great example to me and I have seriously learned so much from her. I've never met anyone who has a stronger testimony of the power of prayer. She KNOWS she is communicating with our Heavenly Father. Every single time we see her, she has this GIANT smile on her face. It's still sad to know she's away from her own husband and son in the Philippines. As soon as her contract ends here, she's going back to teach them about the Gospel and they will be sealed in the Temple. What a blessing it's been to witness her conversion process and the change that occurs when people truly soften their hearts and come unto the King of Kings, even our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This week and the next are going to be pretty busy. Tomorrow and Wednesday, for all those who are dying we have what's called, The Career Workshop. Two senior missionaries teach this class about 3 to 4 hours long. They talk about how we can start to prepare for things back home such as school, work and living on our own. Stuff like that. I'm not too excited for it because I hear they call you by your first name and that's just weird. I'm not sure I can take that. For two years, my name has been Elder Carey and I don't how that transition back to reality post mission is going to be. We'll see. When Elder Wing was going through this special transition class, he said they had you just talk about yourself and the achievements you've had in your life. I don't think I can do that either. I've spent two years not thinking about myself and it's gonna be super hard to just sit and talk about myself and say "me, me, me, I, I, I. I don't like it. So that'll be loads of fun. Psh.
This week is the "My Conversion Story Fireside". That will be fun to attend. I've gone to every one except when I was in Macau. Missionaries can only go if they have an investigator or recent convert with them. They have always been great! Yesterday, a lot of people said they really wanted to come, so that made me feel pretty happy and people do care, even if I don't know them. Members of the Church are TOO AWESOME!
We then have our last Temple session with our group and the Chans, a talk with the Temple President, lunches and dinners with the Chans and a few other random things. It's gonna feel so weird and NO I'm not going be ready for it nor am I excited for it, so don't even ask. Good thing we have a few baptisms this week for the weekday branches. These Sisters are so tight with each other and their faith is out of this world! Elder Olson and I really are very blessed to be together and to be here in the International zone. We love being here being together. I've made so many lifelong friends and will definitely keep in touch with all of them.
I'm glad to hear all is going well with you guys. Don't even worry about me,
not even for a second. I'm healthy and doing fine. I'm praying for you each and every day, especially you, Steph. Just take it easy and seriously, don't stress too much because it will just make it worse. I've learned that out here as well.
My next P-Day will be next Monday, as usual, so I'll talk with you then. Sound good? SWEET! Have a fabulous week! Stay strong and never give up! Keep the fight and we'll talk with you in a week, or a few hours. However you wanna look at it. Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey (always...)

Friday, December 30, 2011

C YA 2011...READY OR NOT, HERE WE COME 2012!

Hey Everyone!

Ok, for one, I just barely talked to you guys 4 days ago and now I'm talking to you again, and we'll be talking again in 2 days...what is this? Boy, has this week been one hectic, busy week! So, Monday was HUGE! On that day alone, we were blessed with 14 new investigators! It was insane! Every single one of those was a member present lesson as well. We are so blessed each and every day! I was completely dead afterwards and then we did the same thing on Tuesday since Tuesday was also a Statutory Holiday. Wednesday was yet another Zone Leader Council for all the Zone Leaders in the Mission, so we had a meeting all together at Kowloon Tong for over half the day but it was still a way good meeting! Then, yesterday, we had another meeting at Kowloon Tong but this one was a Leadership Training and it was also very very good and enlightening! Yesterday, one of our investigators surprised us and came to all of Church; we taught her after and now she's getting baptized next week. We also have another investigator that wants to be baptized next week as well, depending on when her holiday is. So, as of now, we have one this Sunday, and two the upcoming week! We are loving life right now! Elder Olson is just killin it here! He absolutely LOVES these Sisters, ALMOST as much as I do! Man, I'm sure gonna miss them though. So many fun times and memorable experiences. We'll keep in touch though and we'll always have our friendship, so no worries. I received my "dying envelope" this past week. It's pretty much just like my flight plans, the things that will happen and meetings I'll need to attend these last few weeks. I was NOT HAPPY to get it but I've come to grips with it now. I've still got some time, so I'm not letting it get to me TOO MUCH. I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to attend MORE meetings though. This past week just wore me out with the Zone Leader Council and then Leadership Training the very next day. We'll see though. I'll pray extra hard I can make it through alive. There is so much happening that's not really related to missionary work and working in our area here coming up these next few weeks, so that's kinda a bummer but it's all good. We'll make the best of it. Good thing we've got some good people lined up for Baptism! So that's pretty much been my few days since we last talked.
Do you realize?...I'm flying on Friday the 13th! What? AHHH! This stinks.. That really worries me that you haven't received the package I sent you yet...They didnt' give me a tracking number or anything. All they gave me was a receipt that said how much it cost. Lame. Well I'll keep praying and hopefully it'll show up. I'm glad you're looking at the Ridge. I've talked with people here on the mission who went to BYU Idaho before they came out for a bit, and they lived there, or some knew people that lived there and said it was definitely worth the money and is THE BEST place to stay on campus. There really are so many benefits to staying there. I get my very own room besides! Plus, I'm super close to Grandpa and Grandma and the Temple! YEAH! I remember Elder Reeser told me that he was going to stay in Brighton before he left back home and he wasn't looking forward to it. He even suggested the Ridge to me.
I will definitely keep you in my prayers Steph, no worries. Just keep reading and praying. I would love to be the DJ! That would be so sweet! I be so down for that and you know I'd play good music for it too, Steph. I'm so excited to dive right into everything with you and help you out with all the much needed preparations. Don't you worry. I'll be there to help all you need. You just need to promise to help normalize me when I get back, k? Cool.
Well the next time I'll talk to you will be my normal P-Day, so Monday and not much will have happened by then probably but it's ok.
Ivy's Baptism is on Sunday, and that's pretty cool! What a blessing it is to see so many wonderfully, prepared people take upon themselves the name of Christ, promising to follow Him and keep His commandments throughout their life. Such a blessing! I can't even begin to explain. I love you guys. You're all too awesome and good to me.
Stay strong and keep moving forward! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Monday, December 19, 2011

hAvE a HoLlY jOlLy ChRiStMaS!!!

ey Everyone!

Oh my goodness gracious!.. SO much has happened this week! It still feels like I talked to you guys yesterday. Are you sure I didn't?...oh well. As for the Christmas call home, Elder Olson and I are thinking of doing it at 7 am (our time) on the 26th. That should be perfect because I think back home it's like 3 in the afternoon on the 25th. So, that's kinda what we're shootin for, so just plan on that. I'll have about 45 min. to an hour to talk. Don't worry, it's not like I have to wait ANOTHER 6 months to talk again...not even 6 weeks! Wow...I can't believe that. Lately, I've been getting random hits of the fact that I'm actually going home and gonna be ending my time in Hong Kong. It's really weird and kinda surreal. It's only every now and then though, so thank goodness. I haven't received your package yet, but I'm sure I will soon enough and I hope you're able to receive mine as well in the coming days. Really, it's not a lot, just some random things that I saw that might be cool.
I'm glad you received the measurements for the tux. HOPEFULLY that works, and we won't need to make any huge adjustments when I get back. We'll see though. I'm soooo very excited to see the dress on you Steph! You have no idea! I'm sure it looks absolutely stunning and everyone will be blown away! I can also testify of that. Oh yeah, the purchase was for my suit and two shirts I had specially made and fitted but I just ended up paying with cash and only half. I'm gonna pay the other half today when I go to get a second fitting. It's gonna look so good. I'm way excited for you guys to see it. It's grayish charcoal and I also had two white shirts custom made as well. I just can't believe how cheap it is here! It blows me away every time. The guy who's doing it for me is from India and he has clients all over the world and travels everywhere for their fittings. He was saying that this kind of suit in America would be more than double this price. So, it's a good thing I'm getting it here plus it's also way good quality. Much better than the one I got earlier in my mission for sure.
The Christmas Parties we had every day this week all went so well and every branch loved them! Our skit went over really well also! They were dying on the floor laughing, so that's a good thing I guess. I recorded it when we did it for the Saturday Branch because it has the most Sisters, other than Sunday but we're doing it for Sunday next week. So like I said earlier, we were able to attend the Temple and boy was it good! Whew! One of the best sessions I've attended. I've learned whatever you put into it, is the amount you'll get out of it. Just like a mission. It was my last session with my Zone but I'll get to go once more with all the Elders in from MTC District on the Thursday, I think, before we leave. So, that'll be nice for sure.
For me, I'm doing GREAT! Just kinda getting realizations every now and then that it's coming to end, but not too bad...YET! I hope it won't get that bad. I'm praying it won't. I want to be crawling out of the field because I'm so tired and completely worked! Kinda along those same lines, I feel this week was probably the best week I've had on my mission if you were just looking at our numbers and key indicators. Heavenly Father blessed us so much this past week with tons of investigators at Church, willing to be taught, and come back to the Church to learn more. It was truly incredible. Definitely one of the greatest Christmas presents I could've asked for. Seeing other people partake of the blessings of the Gospel just gets me every time. It's often too good to be true...but the fact of the matter is...THAT IT IS TRUE!
Our Zone, however, isn't doing too well as a whole but still trying their hardest and finding those things that they can sacrifice to come closer to the Lord, to show Him how bad we want this and how much it means to us. I think another contribution to all of these investigators coming to Church was the fact that Elder Gong, from the Seventy, and his wife both spoke everyday in the Sacrament meeting. Wow! Was that a neat experience! I was shocked every single day at how powerful the Spirit was in that room and to see all of the Sisters' eyes locked on him and his wife throughout the entire meeting. No talking. No texting. No getting up to leave. Nothing. Complete silence, and a perfect atmosphere for the Holy Ghost to work on these wonderful Sisters and their testimonies. Each day, they both talked about something different, which was incredible in itself, considering that every day was a spiritual overload! Both of their talks were related to Christmas and the true celebration of it.
This week, in the Branches, we'll be watching the First Presidency's message and then going to the Temple to perform baptisms for the dead. We're pretty excited , and tomorrow night, we're going carolling in Causeway Bay at one of the busiest intersections in the WORLD! How cool is that?! Elder Olson and I have put it together and we'll be doing it along with the Island Zone, so there will be about 36 missionaries in the choir. We have it pretty well planned out, and hopefully everything goes to plan and the people there will be able to reflect and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This Thursday, we have our Christmas Activity with the Mission, where we have skits, a gift exchange, a big lunch and each of us gets a slideshow DVD just like last year. The office Elders are in our Zone and they're the ones who put it together. It looks AWESOME! That's all I'm gonna say. WAY better than last years! You'll see it when I get back. So, that'll be fun. Just a lot of stuff preparing for Christmas for this next week.
Next Monday and Tuesday are also Statutory Holidays which means almost every single domestic helper in Hong Kong will have that day off, so we'll be EXTREMELY busy that day and we get to invite one Chinese working companionship to help us and go on splits since there will be so many Sisters able and willing to come back to the Church.
Elder Olson and I are still calling on Monday but we we have to do it early, so we can immediately head out and find once we're finished. So, since Monday and Tuesday are going to be jam packed and we have other meetings in Kowloon Tong the rest of that week, we are told to take P-Day on that Friday the 30th. So, that's when I'll e-mail again. But, I'll talk to you guys on Monday anyway but this time we'll actually be able to hear each other!
Thank you so much! I love you guys! I really really do! I can't say it enough. I say it every single e-mail but it's so true. You'd be surprised how often I talk about you guys to members, investigators, and missionaries. AT LEAST a dozen times a day!
I love you! Have a great week! If there's anything else, just let me know...even though it won't be till next Monday...ON THE PHONE! YEAH! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Tis the season... getting cold quick...

Hey Everyone!

I'm just going to jump right into things this week...Thank you so much for writing to President Chan, Dad! I really appreciate! I will be sure to thank him again and again and again. When the package comes, I'll for sure give the things to him that are labeled as his and Sister Chan's. No worries. I'm sure they'll love them to death! Just the fact that you guys thought of them will be great! That's so sweet you gotta talk with Elder Wing on facebook! Oh man, I miss him. He helped me so much here with everything. He has definitely been one of my favorite companions for sure. We had so much fun together. Keep in touch with him and tell him we all miss him here and all the sisters still ask about him. They loved him so much! It's cool that you also got to talk with Elder Olson's mom! Wow! I bet that was fun! She also mentioned it on his e-mail today and said she LOVED that you guys called her! She was so shocked and felt very blessed to be able to talk to another missionary's parents. Thanks for doing that guys! I honestly can't believe you ran into Elder Fogt, Dad! THAT'S INSANE!!! It's true, his parents bought a bunch of pizza for people he was close with the night before he left and we all hung out at the chapel and ate and talked together, along with some of the sisters. It was a good time for sure! I love Elder Fogt so much! We had a blast together in everything we did! He is so hilarious! Elder Morgan has been planning in the summer of 2012 to take a bunch of close mission buddies out on his house boat and go to Lake Powell. Elder Fogt is also going, along with pretty much our whole MTC group. It's gonna be sweet! That's fun that you got to be the MC at the Ward Christmas Party, Dad! I bet that was a pretty exciting job and you had a lot of fun with it. I can totally just see you being the MC. Haha! Oh boy, so funny. So it's done then...I'm speaking in Stake Conference, huh? Oh boy....I'm SUPER nervous now. It's ok though. I'm definitely willing to do it. Just pray for me...PLEASE! I need it! That topic of "How missionary work was so different than what I thought and how it benefited me" sounds great. I figured it would be something like that, so great, I'll start thinking of some things I can share. Speaking of mailing things home, I mailed a pretty big box home last P-Day. It's going by surface, so it won't get there for like another month or two. It was all my books and study materials. 40 POUNDS! So, it's a good thing I sent it instead of taking it on the plane with me.
Well, just real quick, my week has been GREAT! Absolutely spectacular! I don't want to leave this life...do I have to? Sister Grace did indeed get Baptized yesterday, and it was a great service. She was so happy. The water was FREEZING though! Oh man, I don't think I've ever been in as cold of water as that was before for a baptism. But, she said when she came up out of the water that it was comfortably warm. Weird, huh? I wonder if that's a sign...hmmm..! We had quite a few pullbacks as well, a fair amount of them being Indonesian, which is good. We need more Indonesians in the Branches! This week is the Christmas Party for all the Weekday branches, and us, Missionaries, are performing a little skit/song for them. It's the 12 Days of Christmas, but we're changing the lyrics. It's pretty funny. I'll get someone to record it while we do it, so I can show you. We're pretty sure Jeaneth will get her day off this week, so she'll also be able to attend the Christmas Party and get baptized. So, that's good! We've been finding a LOT of people lately and they're all way good. Hopefully we'll see something come from it. It's weird because we're starting to give out dates past the time I'll be here...It's super sad but the work MUST go on, right? This week we'll also be attending the Temple as a Zone, and that will definitely be a spiritual experience for us all. Something we all really need and can really help us in each phase of the work. Well, just like the subject says, it really is pretty cold over here...or maybe it just feels like that because it went from super hot to super cold within a few days. I'm tellin you, it's the humidity! The temperature isn't SUPER cold, but it's just the fact that it goes through any amount of clothing straight to the bone. Brrrr! It's ok though. Luckily, we're in the chapel most of the day teaching and being with the members at Church. Unfortunately the chapel doesn't have heaters, nowhere in Hong Kong are there heaters but we still bundle up, so it's all good.
Well, thanks guys for all you do! You have no idea how much you mean to me. Having this time of the year roll around magnifies my gratefulness for you even more! You guys are all so awesome! Don't ever change! I wanna meet the same people that I said goodbye to nearly two years ago. I love you all! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey