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

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pullback Pitty... Referral City

Hey Everyone!

Did you like that opening? Pretty good, huh? Yeah...I just came up with it all by myself. No, but it's true! That's really how our week has been! I'll tell you more about it in a bit. Oh, and just so you know, my ankle is just fine. I've been icing it and keeping it elevated. Still playing soccer just to stretch it and get it back to normal...those were the Doc's orders. It's almost completely better now. Still hurts and is kindof sore but it'll be alright. Thank you so much for all the prayers everyone! I know it was through the faith of all of you and the power of God that it was healed so quickly. Even the Mission Doctor couldn't believe it!...and he's a missionary here too. Miracles are still occuring right before our eyes? We really are so blessed and very lucky to be able to witness them indeed.
So, for Elder Olson, he is from the good ol' part of Manti, Utah (said in a farmer's accent). He grew up helping his family raise turkeys and also had a few other animals to raise and look after. He's such a funny guy, and really probably the most humble companion I've had. Really quite a blessing and I couldn't be ANY happier!
Jeaneth was not able to get baptized last week because her employer did not give her a day off, so we fasted for her yesterday and we're praying it will happen this week. She's strong though and will DEFINITELY get baptized either this week or in the very very near future. So, no worries with her.
Ok...so my companions have been as follows...Elder Merrill, Elder Harper, Elder Feigleson, Elder Bodily/Elder Oliver, Elder Oliver, Elder Harding, Elder Lee, Elder Poon, Elder Lau, Elder Lee, Elder Wing, Elder Morgan, Elder Wing, Elder Olson. That's it. Quite a few people but truly the GREATEST guys ever! I learned so much from each and every single one of them. I can remember something specific that each one has taught me and I'll never forget it.
How nice of you to stop by and see Helen Hall, mom. You are doing exactly what the Savior would've done. How great of an example you truly are to me and to the whole family. I love you so much! Oh, and you too, dad! Oh, and you too Steph! Oh, and you too Bobby! Don't worry, I didn't forget about you guys. NEVER!
Don't worry about sending much for Christmas.
I'm sending off your Christmas package today as well. I didn't really get a lot because I figured I would just see you guys soon enough that I could just give you a big hug for Christmas! Haha!
Thanks for the prayers guys and thank you for all you do! I promise you, I won't ever forget these feelings and hope to share them with you when I get back.
Real quick for my week...We had an enormous amount of referrals and every single one of them has great potential! Didn't really get too many pullbacks but that's ok. The referrals definitely made up for it. I'd rather get referrals than pullbacks anyday! Yesterday was probably one of the busiest days of my whole Mission. There were so many people to teach and so much to do! Luckily, we got it all done and now one of our investigators, Sister Grace, will be getting baptized next Sunday!
We had to go on exchanges and Elder Olson went up to Kowloon Tong with her because she had to get a special interview from President Chan. She passed and now she's on her way to receiving more blessings than she can ever possibly imagine! She is INCREDIBLE! I'm telling you guys, these Sisters amaze each of us Missionaries with their immense faith and reliance on the Lord. It's pretty miraculous when you think about it considering the things they've been through. It's weird because now we're starting to give dates out to people past the day I go home...it makes me so sad and I can't help but shed some tears for the memories made here and the peoples' lives that have been changed forever. It's ok though. I'm not gone yet. I still have some time. So...I was just thinking about this...for the amount of times I attend Church every week and partake of the Sacrament (6 days a week), I figure I could be able to be less-active for quite a while but still be active with the amount of times I've been to Church, RIGHT?! Ha! Just kidding. We joke about that all the time here in International but feel so very blessed that we have this kind of sacred opportunity.
My Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesian is getting better! Maybe I'll give a short Testimony in both of those when I get back as well. Haha! Jk. I know how to pray though and say a very simple Testimony so that's kind of cool. The Filipinas and Indonesians LOVE teaching the missionaries their languages and talking about their culture and hometown SO MUCH! It's so awesome to see their face light right up; even a pullback we just barely met, or a referral who's never been to the Church before. EVERYONE has the Light of Christ. It's real. I know it is.
I am so blessed to be here serving in the China Hong Kong Mission in the International Zone at this time. The work here is EXPLODING! It will only get bigger. Heavenly Father really is mindful of all of His children and loves them unconditionally. He is preparing these precious souls to hear of Him and His son, Jesus Christ. I want to thank you all for your example and Testimonies. They have influenced me more than I ever could have imagined. I want to express my gratitude for all of my family and friends. I love you guys so very very much! Have an awesome week guys! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My new and last Companion

Hey Eveyone!

What a blessing it is to be e-mailing you guys right now! My new companion is sending a quick little notice to his family, so I figured I should let you guys know what's up as well. It was tough to say farewell to my good friend Elder Wing but the Lord has better things in store for him right now and he's excited to see where these plans will take him. So, I dropped him off today at Kowloon Tong and was able to pick up my new companion. I found out on Tuesday night who it was going to be and it was a complete SHOCK! His name is Elder Olson and he really is an INCREDIBLE missionary.
He really knows how to represent the Lord 24 hours a day, not just out on the streets, he is here to serve and not just the people of Hong Kong. He's probably one of the most humble, selfless missionaries I've met since I've been here. It truly a prayer that's been answered! I love this Elder and I hardly know him! He even got to serve with Elder Poon before he came here with me! Pretty cool, huh? So, now it's Elder Olson and myself for the next 6 weeks...unfortunately my last 6 weeks.
I know I won't be too trunky this move, because he REALLY likes to work and I'm more than ready for it! Those are the times when you have the most success and of course are most happy! I just wanted to quickly update you all and let you know a little about him. I'll give you his info next time cuz he's pretty busy typing away over here.
Something kinda sad that happened this morning...so, every single morning we get up and play soccer at one of the nearby courts with other Elders from the Island Zone. Well, when we were playing this morning, I did something pretty bad to my ankle. It's not broken, don't worry but I do think I may have sprained it pretty bad. The doctor for the missionaries is out of town in Thailand right now but I talked to him and he said I just need to ice it, keep it elevated and start putting weight on it and stretching it bit by bit. I'll be taking some advil and stuff too so that should help. It's all good though. Just another stumbling block Satan's trying to throw.
I feel bad that it had to happen right when Elder Olson got here but oh well. Not much I can do about it now. I'm trying my best and know that Heavenly Father will continue to bless me and our companionship. Don't you just LOVE trials?!
Well, not much has happened since Monday. We had a very very good Zone Leader Council on Tuesday and discussed a lot of things that will further help our Zones become better and help our investigators progress quicker. Yesterday was probably one of the busiest but BEST days I've had thus far in International! We were teaching so much and for every one we taught we gave a baptismal date to.
Yesterday we were so lovingly blessed with 4 new investigators! Quite a miracle, huh? Tomorrow should be Jeaneth's baptism. We'll pray that she makes it. She hasn't been able to answer or respond to our texts lately but we're hoping it was just because her employer won't let her. She is so so so ready for this, it's insane. Wow, it really does seem like yesterday I just got here to International Zone and now to train this new Zone Leader and Elder in the ways of how the International Zone works! I'm so pumped! It's gonna be way sweet! The miracles, blessings, and trials will just keep coming! Thank goodness for Jesus Christ and His infinite and Atoning Sacrifice for us individually as well as collectively.
Last night we had one of the most spiritual Zone Meetings I think I've ever had on my entire mission. We had a giant Testimony meeting and every missionary in the Zone was able to bear a strong, powerful Testimony of the Restored Gospel and this past move. It had many of us in tears. I'm telling you right now, I DON'T CRY and I was having some trouble! It's moments like this we can really uplift and truly support one another. We draw closer and realize the true importance of being on the Earth today. I'm so grateful for my knowledge and Testimony of this Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement and the Restoration.
How lucky we are as members of the Church to be blessed with this kind of knowledge. Heavenly Father loves us. Boy, does he love us! I feel as though I'm just beginning to understand what that love is like. Of course I felt it before I left but nothing even close to this.
Studying the scriptures, prayer and going to Church are some of the most important things we can ever do in this life. These 3 simple things multiply our Testimony by outrageous ammounts if only we are willing to let it happen. Heavenly Father wants to mold us, refine us and shape us into an individual He knows we are capable of becoming. It's only through living the Gospel and trusting in it's teachings this can occur. I know this to be true.
I want to thank you all once again for all you do. You really have no idea what your prayers and encouragement have actually done for me and my companions and this Mission.
Thank you again! Your love never goes unnoticed. Never ever ever forget that.
I love all you guys so much! Thank you! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a sad week for Elder Wing

Hey Everyone!

This week has been pretty intense! For many reasons actually but I'll just mention a few today. For each day of Church this past week, they rebroadcasted the Saturday Sessions of General Conference for all the Sisters and that was Church everyday. It was so sweet! If we had invetigators there, we were able to sit in and watch with them. For most of the days, we had people there and it was so cool to be able to get recharged each and every day from the Prophets and Apostles! Oh man, it was awesome! We really are so lucky to be able to attend Church every single day and feel of that Spirit we always feel on the Sabbath. It really is too difficult to describe. So, last P-Day I was fitted for a suit and I'll be able to get a couple fittings for it before it's all said and done, so I'm pretty excited about that. Also, I'm planning to do some Christmas shopping today for you guys, so be ready for a package coming in the near future. Hopefully you guys don't mind what I send and I'll just kind of going by what I think you'd like. Don't worry, no shirts this year. Well, maybe for Dad. You've slimmed down, right? You'll probly be able to fit in a medium Hong Kong size, right? Cool, sounds good. Haha! Just kidding.
Well, on a more spiritual note, Sister Heni from Indonesia was Baptized on Wednesday and she was SO full of smiles and happy! I've never seen her this happy about something before! The Gospel really does change people's countenances. I know this is true. It's changed mine since I've been out here and I don't know how I would have made it if it weren't for this Mission. This has changed my life in so many ways. I don't even know where to begin. Many of our recent converts are saying how badly they want their children to go on Missions. They say that as soon as they go back to the Philippines or Indonesia they will start preparing their children for Missions. They've continued bearing their testimonies and being the example the Savior would have them be. We always promise them these two basic things even though they're not with their families that their families can still partake of the blessings of the Gospel. Whether clear across the world, or just south a few hours, our example and our Testimony makes a difference in people's lives. We had some unforgettable lessons this past week. Some of these Sisters just CAN'T WAIT to get out of the house and get to the Church so they can feel at peace and worship their Savior. It's sad to hear some of their stories; how they are treated and the things they have to go through with some of these employers. It really is a sad thing, but once they get to the Church, everything outside is forgotten. Everything is dropped, and they just have this BIG smile on their face and love in their hearts for the Gospel. When we have lessons with them it's often the same as well. Testifying to them of the divinity of this work and that they are indeed a beloved, precious daughter of our Father in Heaven makes it all worth it. Some of them have to travel a great distance each week just to come to the Church in Wan Chai but always express how happy they are to be there and how blessed they are to have the Gospel in their lives. The faith of these Sisters amazes me each day. It has truly taken my faith and increased it by immense amounts!
This next week we have another Baptism. Her name is Jeaneth, and she's probly one of my favorite Sisters we've taught here in International. She really is just so down to earth, loves God and knows exactly why she needs to be baptized. Everything that happens here is all almost too good to be true! I'm telling you right now, I've never been more tired in my life but it's definitely worth seeing the outcome of your hard work.
Baptisms ARE NEVER easy! NEVER!
I hate it when missionaries say they had an easy baptism. There is always opposition. There is always temptations that face each person before they make that sacred covenant with Heavenly Father but through Christ, ANYTHING is possible.
Temptations?! PSH! Nothing.
You have to WORK in missionary work. It's not an easy thing to do. It's taken me a long time to realize but I'm grateful I finally did. Each person is different. Some just may be more prepared than others but no one is "easy." Thanksgiving Day was pretty fun here. We had a pretty big Turkey Bowl with a bunch of Elders and then had a Mission wide capture the flag game! They put the Zone Leaders in charge of each team. There were five and we were assigned the people that were on our team. Yeah...we won. Ha! It was so much fun though! We played on this GIANT field and really just had a blast! Then, we went back to Kowloon Tong and had a feast with everyone. Sister Chan and the office Missionaries made a nice Thanksgiving meal for everyone. It was outta this world good! Still not as good as yours mom, so don't get jealous. At least I think it wasn't...I can't really remember anymore. Sorry...ha!
So, this is the week that Elder Wing has had to say goodbye to everyone...and he's not been enjoying it too much. I don't blame him. I can't even think about that time for me. It makes me sick to my stomach. He REALLY did not want to say goodbye to these people and I don't want to either but it has to come eventually. It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Last night was the fireside for all the Missionaries going home and it was pretty intense. It had a lot of people in tears, me included and just seeing everyone who you've been serving with the past two years finally end is just, unbelievable. I can't even think about it anymore. It makes me sad.
So, on that note, maybe I'll comment a bit on what you guys have been up to. We get around 1600 HK per month for food, traveling, personal needs, etc. It's never enough but that's ok. I've learned how to buy only the necessities out here so maybe I can apply that when I get home...maybe. Ha! Just kidding. Don't worry, you know I will.
I can't believe the Open House will be on the 14th! How perfect! But that's also pretty sad about Stake Conference...I am pretty bummed about it to be honest. But, if you'd like me to speak in Stake Conference, I can do that but I'll be nervous up the YING YANG! It's all good though.
Heavenly Father will provide. So, that's about all I have got for this week.
Just know and NEVER FORGET, I am always thinking of you guys. Even when you think I'm not....I am. I promise. I love you guys. I really do. You're all the best and I hope and pray you all have a great week!
Stay strong and until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One p-day a week is way too much

Hey Everyone!

What a busy week! I often feel like just one P-Day isn't enough but at the same time, WAY too much because you just wanna be out there finding more and more people! There's nothing that makes me more happy out here than seeing someone's countenance ACTUALLY change! When someone brings their life in line with the Gospel, it truly is a thing of beauty and something never to be forgotten. These experiences have helped ALREADY so much for the real world...I can feel it. So, Sister Jeneffer was baptized yesterday! WHOOO!!! She is so strong and will be one who really can assist in building the Kingdom. Those are who we are commanded to find. Of course we invite ALL to come unto Christ but it's only those who have that desire to share what they know to be true with others that will inherit God's Kingdom. I feel so indescribably blessed to be here at this time. Oh man, you have no idea. I'm so grateful for the trials I've faced this past week right alongside with Elder Wing. It's in our most humble state that our Father in Heaven really teaches us and refines us to become more like Him. I know this is true. Sometimes they're hard OF COURSE. He wouldn't give us trials if they weren't and that's when the most growth takes place. Jeneffer is an excellent example of that. She lost her best friend (quit being friends with her)from joining the Church. I mean her BEST FRIEND! Her friend was the one who introduced it to her, and then was later antied by someone, but Jeneffer continued to stay strong. She didn't want to receive her answer from her friends or her family or even the internet. She wanted to ask the one where the answers are always right and never change. I know the power of prayer is indeed REAL! It completely changes people. I can't tell you how many lessons we've had where Sisters have prayed at the end of a lesson completely balling and in tears because that's the first time they've communicated with Heavenly Father in months, years, and even longer. These Sisters are great examples to me. Their faith is so strong and they are so in tune with the Spirit that it's almost too good to be true. We have investigators wanting to help us fellowship lessons for new pullbacks before they go to Church that day. They just never cease to amaze me. On Wednesday, we also have another Sister entering the waters of Baptism. YEAH! Her name is Heni and she's from Indonesia. While we were teaching her, the only problem she had was that she wasn't going to be able to go to church when she went home. We didn't believe her and thought there must've been a chapel somewhat near her....The closest LDS Chapel is over 1500 miles away in Indonesia, or she could take a boat to Australia and go nearly 1000 miles...we were floored...Elder Wing and I didn't know what to tell her. We concluded the best thing she should do what to be at home with her family, read her scriptures, liahonas, pray, and NEVER GIVE UP! How sad is that? There are people in Indonesia that are assigned to kill people if they find they've converted to Christianity...Indonesia is primarily Muslim, but we're hoping and praying the people there will begin to soften their hearts and be more open and understanding. Sister Heni is strong though and will ALWAYS be an active member of the Church. She's not scared to go home. She's sad there won't be a chapel nearby but that doesn't get her down. She is one of the most optimistic people I know and will always look on the bright side of things. This is actually Elder Wing's last full week as a Missionary...sad...Yeah you guys should totally contact his family! He said he wants to find you guys when he gets home! He has probably been one of my favorite companions. I don't think there's someone I've gotten along better with on my mission, than with him. He goes home next Friday, Dec. 2. Definitely call them! ###-##-#### They would love to hear from you guys for sure! They're living in St. George right now. Today we're going to finish some last minute shopping for him and I might start for me as well. This Thursday we do have a Thanksgiving activity as a Mission. We're not sure what it is though. The A.P.'s were talking to us and trying to get some ideas. We might do a giant capture the flag and then clean up this huge park that we're gonna have it in as a service opportunity. Then come back to Kowloon Tong and have a Thanksgiving lunch like last year. It should be pretty sweet. I'm pretty excited...but yet still jealous for what you guys are doing. Oh man...American food...it's ok, I can handle it though. It has started to cool down a bit. We have noticed it but not a whole lot. We have to start wearing suits. That's pretty fun! We had a huge multi-Zone Conference last Tuesday and that's when they told us. Speaking of which, Elder Wing and I gave three different sharings for it. They all went so well and we learned a lot from them. They were on Revelation through the Holy Ghost in Conversion, Revelation through Prayer in Conversion, and Teaching People, Not Lessons. 15 min each and we nailed it...I'm pretty sure. I haven't received the Ensign you sent but I will be looking for it, so no worries. Thank you again for doing that mom! As for the things the Thongs gave you (cookies from Hong Kong), I'm sure I've tried them before, or at least something like it. For me, it was an acquired taste and something I needed to eat a few times before I actually liked it. You guys should try them. That Bridal Shower sounds and looks like it was AWESOME! Oh man, I wish I could've been there to help out but it's ok. I'll be there to help do the last minute preparations for the big day. Don't worry Steph! For Christmas, I really don't need anything. I honestly don't want candy or food. I can just get that here if I want it that bad. You really don't need to send anything, because I'll probly just end up bringing back home on the plane. It's up to you though. I'm gonna be getting rid of a lot of stuff before I come home. Suits and shirts and garments and stuff. Just things that are really gross and I would never wear back in the states. Two years is long enough for those and I think time for some new ones. President and Sister Chan would love something from you guys! ABSOLUTELY! I think something unique from Seattle would be cool. Maybe something from Pike's Place. They love fish and and everything. Honestly, they would love anything you send. They're the sweetest, most humble people! Yeah you should write that e-mail to him about the scholarship just to make sure he's on the same page. Thanks! I just want to thank you as well for all you've done for me! You guys are what makes it possible for me to stay out here and keep waking up each morning. I think about a whole lot more than you think. I love you all! Stay strong and keep the faith! Unti next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey
p.s. keep praying for that potential car Dad...I MEAN REALLY HARD! Love ya!

What a whirlwind of a week

Hey Everyone!

What a whirlwind of a week! I actually don't think I've ever used that word in my life...but thought I'd just throw it in right there, so there you go. Ha! No, it really has been pretty crazy though, let me tell you! But, before that, how was your week for pete's sake? Ha! Not sure why I used that one either...guess I'm just in a random mood right now, I don't even know. Sounds like you guys have been busy, AS USUAL, and that's awesome! I'm seriously so glad to hear that you're all keeping busy and keeping the work going! Thank you so much, seriously, for putting that money in my account! You guys HONESTLY did not need to do that. I'm serious. You guys are truly the best. I'm not kidding. Thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa Grover and Susan! You guys seriously ROCK! Oh, that means you guys are great! (for Grandma and Grandpa...might need some translating on that one) I have been looking around and asking around for different suit stores and I'm starting to narrow it down to a few different places. What color do you think? Probably some kind of black, huh? Something that will go with everything, right? Oh, and did you want any ties, Dad? They're honestly INCREDIBLY cheap here and pretty good quality. I'm talkin like 2-3 dollars American. If so, just let me know what color and style and I'm sure they'll have something very close to what you'd want. Same with you guys Steph and Mom and Bobby...what would you guys like? Seriously, stuff here is so cheap and it's actually ok quality. Would you like me to send a package home for Christmas for the family from me? Because I can do that if you'd like. Or do want me to hang on to it and give it to you when I get back. Actually, I might have some stuff to send home in a package anyways that's mine that'll need to be sent apart from my luggage. We'll see. Let me know what you think. Thanks! Thank you so much for sending that envelope by the way Mom! I really appreciate it! I use those talks ALL THE TIME! I'll be watching for it, so no worries. I talked to President Chan about the scholarship and he seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. He's REALLY familiar with doing recommendations and stuff like that, so he said he'd take care of it. I dunno what he has to do though for it. He just said he has it under control. If you need to, you guys can e-mail the mission office or something and see what's up, because I don't exactly know how this works...whatever you think. Those classes sound great! They really do! I have no complaints with them and I'm READY TO WORK!...as a Missionary that is. Ha! I can't think about that too much right now. We have a lot of investigators that are honestly taking up SOO much of our time it's insane! We don't really have time to think or even talk about other things. I guess that's a good thing though, Well, I guess Elder Wing finds some time every now and then, since he's going home, well...quite soon. I want to take more religion classes though for sure! I'm gonna need SOME kind of spiritual uplifting while I'm there! I'm just kidding, I know I'll be able to get it everyday and it won't be a problem. I just really like the religion classes there. Any of those ideas for things to do in the evening sound great! I'd love to join an intramural sport! That would be so awesome! Thanks for doing all this for me by the way guys! You're seriously THE BEST! For real, no joke this time...not that I was ever joking before, but you know what I mean. Just something I've been kinda thinking about lately...is there any chance whatsoever on a car? Pray about it...and REALLY, I mean REALLY wait for that answer...if you're not sure...DO IT AGAIN! Ha! I'm just kiddin, but really, you have no idea how convenient it was to have one when I was there. Just something to think about...REALLY think about. Come on, help me out here Steph. So, our week...whew! Our week has been another one of ups and downs. We had quite a few pullbacks, which means that we meet them on the street at the same place we go finding everyday, and bring them back to the Church that very moment. It's pretty cool and way awesome to see these people really test their faith and trust in the Spirit that what they're going to be experiencing is the truth, and something they've been in need of. So, we had a good number of those. We had some people that were supposed to get baptized yesterday but we had to push their dates back to next week and the week after, because their employer did not give them a day off this past week, so they weren't able to come to Church and we weren't able to teach them. And YES, that is very against the law. Each employer MUST give the people working for them 1 full day of 24 hours off each week. That is the law. It's sad to see these poor Filipinas and Indonesians just get pushed around the way they do. It really is. But, we still had 5 baptisms for the Zone as a whole this past week, which is HUGE! So, that was exciting. The people we have lined up now are INCREDIBLE! They have changed so much, have gotten so much anti-christianity from their friends, family, and even their employers, and yet they still come and still want to be baptized! Pretty sweet, huh? Oh man, it's just making me excited thinking about it! I'll let you know how all of those end up panning out. Elder Wing and I are doing AMAZING together! We are so right together and really have so much unity! We laugh and have fun, that it's almost too much! But no worries, we're still focused. Well, one of us at least...Haha! I'm just kidding. He's doing great and is trying to live it up as much as possible! We're loving this work. Loving these people. Loving our Zone. Loving this Mission! Tomorrow we have a Mission Conference and we were assigned to give three different sharings during this conference... we'll see how that goes. Psh! Just kidding. We have faith everything will go well. Thanks for all you guys continue to do for me, and for the other missionaries here in the mission. They love you ALMOST as much as I do! Well, actually it's not even close. I LOVE YOU GUYS! Stay strong and BE HAPPY! That's what it's all about. Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Busy Busy Busy

Hey Everyone!

Has it really been a week? No way...I'm not buying it. Well anyway, my week sure flew by. What about you guys? Mom, it sounds like your trip to Utah sure was a rollercoaster ride and definitely not the most exciting trip you've taken to Utah, but that's ok. I'm sure Kevin was watching from above and loved how you would support family and be there to remember him and such. I will continue to keep his family in my prayers and hope they are doing well. Give them my best wishes, please. I can't believe you did ALL THAT for the missionaries Dad! Whew! That's quite a bit of stuff, you know? They HAVE to be grateful for you now. I guarantee that's all they talk about once they leave the house. When you're with you're companion, you always try and bring up the good things that are happening in the work, such as member support, investigators progressing and so on. I'm sure you're most definitely their favorite member to visit now! Lucky them, they get to do it quite often as well. I have been blessed here countless times with the member support and love. It's crazy to think how much these members of the Church care about you when they don't really even know you. They know as their brother or sister, but it's just different, ya know what I mean? I will forever be grateful for the members and investigators I met on my mission that have supported me and my companion in the building up of the Kingdom. Never will there be a better way to show love than through serving others, and especially through the missionary efforts in the Church. I can't even begin to say how much I've received from seeing members be a part of someone's conversion and then seeing them build that everlasting friendship. This really is the work of God. Nothing can stop it from moving forward. Absolutely nothing! Each and every day, we try and count our many blessings we've received from participating in the work of the Lord, but each time, we're unsuccessful...THERE'S TOO MANY! So, Elder Wing is preparing to leave soon. Today, we're going to do some last minute shopping for him before he leaves for home, and he's getting pretty nervous. I DON'T BLAME HIM! I'm terrified to come home...honestly guys! But, I know it's what I need to do, and something I'm TRYING to accept, slowly but surely. I don't think I've ever worked harder my entire mission than we have been these past few weeks. Meal times for us each day don't really exist, because we'd rather be out finding more people, bringing them back to the Church, or calling potentials and setting up times to meet with them on their day off. It's pretty intense. I've never been more physically and mentally drained in my life! But, I'll never let it get in the way of the work. Nothing will stop us from doing this. We've had a lot of disappointments this week, but Satan can only do so much, until we exercise our faith and just GO HUGE! This next week is really looking up and we're super excited for it. Hey, Thanksgiving is also coming up! I just barely realized that as I was typing this! Ha! A while ago, we actually talked about having our own little Turkey Bowl here in the morning for exercise. That would be pretty fun. I'm pretty sure we're also having a mission activity but I'm not sure what it is yet. It's gonna be on Thursday because that's everyone else's P-Day, but ours will still be on Monday, so that'll be interesting. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, Elder Wing and I had to travel up to Kowloon Tong for Zone Leader Council and a Leadership Training. They were pretty good meetings but lots of time not able to find new investigators. It's ok though. We learned a lot and are excited to start putting some of these plans into our Zone to become better and more effective tools in the hands of the Lord. Oh, and Steph I got your package! Thank you so much sis! You're the best! The card was very very sweet. Thank you. It brought a tear to my eye as I was reading it. You're so thoughtful sis. The shirt fits great! I wore it yesterday to Church and loved it! Thanks! The candies were pretty awesome as well. I gave a lot of them to other missionaries and they wish they could come to the wedding cuz that's all I ever talk to them about! Thank you so much Grandma Carey for the money! You really didn't need to do that but I appreciate it so very much. I promise I'll be sure to use it wisely. Same with the money you put in for me Mom and Dad. No need to worry. I won't buy rocks, or crap, or whatever else is useless. Oops...hope Grandpa Grover doesn't read that. You might want to delete that part before you send it out. Well, what would you guys like for Christmas? I know there's gotta be something you're wanting from Hong Kong! Come on, what is it? I won't spend that much and I promise I won't get shirts this time! I still remember you guys telling me about those and how small they were! Haha! Do you still wear it as a belly shirt dad? Just wondering. Well, I hope and pray you guys have an awesome week and I'll talk with ya next week. I love you all so much! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey
p.s. #100!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rice Cookers can also bake cakes

Hey Everyone!

You weren't messin around when you said you'd write a lot! I love it! Keep it up! I'll just answer a few of your questions first and comment on some things and then I'll let ya know about my week. Most of the members here in the branches became members here in Hong Kong, meeting Missionaries on the street and coming back to the Church, but there are a handful that were members before in the Philippines or Indonesia. These Sisters are sooo strong though! Their countenance just radiates and you can tell there's something different about them. It's so refreshing to see after being outside all day and running into those who haven't yet accepted the Gospel in their lives. That guy you were talking about...his name is MJ and his dad is the Stake President of the New Territories Stake. Probably the coolest family I've met since I've been here! They're all so funny and way outgoing. He's only 16, but would always help us teach lessons and want to go play ball with us whenever we had the chance. He's legit, and so is the rest of his family. I did receive Grandma Carey's birthday package and I loved everything in it, and so did the rest of the Elders in my apartment, just like usual! Ha! They love it when I get packages, more than they love it when they get packages! It's because you guys just know what we like I guess, and don't mess around when you say you'll send "some" stuff. Haha! Thank you so much for that Grandma Carey! I love you and appreciate your love and prayers! I also received Grandma and Grandpa Grover's letter and I loved it as well! They really know how to get to me and make me cry, I tell ya! I can't even tell you guys how much a simple card means to me! Seriously! You guys are so great and I'll never forget these feelings I've felt when I've received your letters. Thank you both so much! I love you! My birthday was really good. I did missionary work. It was pretty much just another normal day, and I couldn't have been happier! Doing this is the greatest present I could ever receive, successful or not. It's the fact of doing our Father in Heaven's will and feeling of His unconditional love for me day in and day out. The branch for that day, however, did throw kinda a little surprise party for me and that was really sweet of them. They made a card and a small little cake. We played some games and got to know each other more. That was pretty much their FHE. So, we kinda celebrated my birthday and the baptism of a Sister named Joy on Thursday. It was a great day, and one I'll never forget! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! We did make the cake you sent in fact. We made it Saturday night, and because we don't have an oven, we made it in our rice cooker, and it was a SUCCESS! I can now make a cake successfully in a rice cooker! Ha! It was way good! Thanks guys! The Church looks great! It really does! I sure do hope it'll be done before I get home...what do you think? Your week really does sound like it was a doozy! I'm sorry to hear about the Stoker Family and the struggles they're going through right now. I will definitely keep them in my prayers and be thinking of them this next week. That experience you guys had at Michael's sounds way cool! That's what I'm talking about Steph and Mom! You guys are sweet! Keep going and keep finding those opportunities. You NEVER know what they'll lead to. I have a Testimony of that and have experienced it time and again out here. I can't believe you're already having your Bridal Shower Steph! That's so crazy! Your BIG DAY is almost here! YEAH!!! Every person we meet and bring back to the Church, I always show them a couple family pictures and tell them that's a big reason why I'm out here. They're always amazed at how pretty you and mom are and how cool Bobby looks. I'm sure they think he's good looking as well, but they're embarassed to say it. No worries Bobby. They always say you look like you're in your 30's mom, and Dad...well, they think you look wise. It's true! So, really quickly, my week was INCREDIBLE! Yesterday just topped it off. Elder Wing and I were both able to Baptize and Confirm yesterday, as well as bless the Sacrament. I can't even begin to describe the Spirit that was felt yesterday. One of our investigators, Sister Joan, has made a COMPLETE turn-around. Not even 2 months ago, she was completely addicted to gambling and drinking and partying, but now she can't stand to think about that stuff. She bore such powerful Testimony yesterday at the service and had everyone in tears. We've been getting some sweet pullbacks to the Church from our finding spot in Central. Most of them have been coming back as well, which is great! Yesterday we taught an investigator that will get baptized, and she WANTED and was EAGER to start keeping the Word of Wisdom. She had already heard about and been keeping it before she met with us. Before, she was addicted HARDCORE to coffee and would take at least 5 to 10 cups a day! Same with tea. The Spirit works in mysterious ways, and I have a Testimony of that as well. So, that's about all the time I've got. So much has happened, but no time to say it. It's ok. No biggie. Just know I love you all. I never stop thinking of you and praying for you. Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Friday, October 28, 2011

New P-Day for this zone is Monday. Everyone else is still Thursday.

Hey Everyone!

Boy this P-Day came fast, huh? Probably because it was only a few days ago that I was e-mailing you guys. It feels weird having this be my new P-Day though. I'm still trying to adjust. Hopefully that'll happen before these next two moves are over. Man, time really does fly when you're focused and dedicated to the work, I tell you.. International really is just a whole different world, and the people are so incredibly different. I wouldn't say one work is better than the other, it's just different. Just in these past few days, I've taught more member present lessons than I have in an entire week in Chinese work. When these sisters have their day off (their 'holiday' they call it) and they're a member, all they do is spend their time at the church and be with members and mingle, and eat, and help the missionaries go find and teach. It's just different. It amazes me that people who only have a single day off every week choose to spend it helping the missionaries to build the Kingdom. They could be out shopping, eating with friends, or doing other fun activities but they willingly choose to spend it helping us. It brings a tear to my eye everytime I even think about it. These people are so humble. They are here working, away from their children, the husbands, all their family, just so they can have a roof over their head back in the Philippines. Some are gone for years at a time, and never see their family. Luckily they are able to talk with them every week or so. The numbers are a little different here in International as well. As of now, Elder Wing and I have 12 Baptismal Dates, all of which will be baptized before the middle of November. It's amazing. Truly amazing. These people are so ready, I can't even tell you. I'm so blessed I was able to come and experience the work that goes on in International. I never realized really how many Filipinas and Indonesians there are here in Hong Kong. There's TONS! Every single day, we go to the same exact tiny 50 ft. finding strip of sidewalk, and each day we run into new people. Granted there are some that have seen us before, but most have never talked with Missionaries, or been introduced to the Gospel. Most of the people we teach are Catholic or some other Christian Denomination. It's great fun! I love it so much here! They take care of you really well too! They're always making sure we have eaten and are content. It's like there's a boat load of you here, mom! It's such a tremendous blessing, seriously. This past week, we were also able to attend the Temple with our Friday Branch to do Baptisms. It was the first time I was able to perform the actual ordinance, as well as bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost in the Temple. What an exerience that was! WHEW! Talk about SPIRIT OVERLOAD! We are SOOO lucky to have a House of the Lord so near and accessible. My Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesian is, well...progressing. Let's just say once you've learned one language, it makes it a whole lot easier to learn another. My brain is still functioning in Cantonese though when I want to teach a certain principle, bear my testimony, or share an experience or scripture. It's ok though. The transition is coming along. Yesterday I had a lesson with an Indonesian that didn't know any English and spoke very little Cantonese. So, luckily we had another long time investigator in the lesson, who was also Indonesian, and she helped us as we spoke Cantonese/Bahasa Indonesian. That was a fun lesson. Oh man, I can't even tell you guys how much fun it is here. The Spirit is stronger than ever, and I feel like this is exactly where I need to be. No if's and's or but's about it. Everything back home sounds like it is sure coming along quite nicely. A new Dick's Hamburger Place, a sweet Epicenter Dance, and lot's more. Man oh man! You guys are just livin aren't ya? Oh, and by the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA GROVER!!!! I'm sorry I didn't mention it last week. Please forgive me. I love you so much and I think of you often and pray for you daily. Each time I go to the Temple, I put both your's and Grandpa Grover's names in the Temple. I pray for your health and happiness each and every day. I hope you had a very Happy Birthday! I love you Grandma! There are a few other companionships serving in the same Branches as us, and we love it! We get to see each other every day and support each other as well! It's awesome! Elder Wing and I cover Branches that attend from Tuesday to Saturday and then the biggest one is on Sunday. There are sooo many names to remember, but I'm trying my best. I believe as of now, there are 6 sets of Z.L.'s in the Mission, and I've served as one in 3 of the 6. Serving here in International means that I've served in every single Zone! That never happens with Missionaries! Usually when someone gets moved, it's oftentimes just in the same Zone, but every single time I've moved, it's been to a completely different Zone! I've loved it too! They're all so different and have very good things about them. I'm not sure if I have a favorite. We're only on the 6th floor in our apartment. We're RIGHT in the heart of Wan Chai though. Directly behind the chapel, so it makes it easy to get there. Our area is pretty much all of Hong Kong, and don't really have any boundaries, so that's cool. The apartment was pretty bad when I got there, and I couldn't handle it, so I forced everyone to help me clean it up. Ha! I'm weird like that I guess. It's just hard to have the Spirit with you if your apartment isn't in the best condition. Thanks for the birthday wishes guys! I love you all so much! Thanks for the package mom and dad! You guys ROCK! I love the shirts and my apartment loves everything inside! Haha! I love you all so much! Have an AWESOMELY AWESOME WEEK!!! I love you! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Thursday, October 27, 2011

International Zone move day

Hey Everyone!

Oh my goodness gracious I don't even know where to start! This week has been one of the most intense weeks of my mission! I'm not sure if I've ever been so tired in my entire life! Dad, is this really what a mission does to ya? It seems like no matter what I do, each day I get more tired and more tired! It's crazy! Well, before I get into my week, I'll just make a few comments on what you guys are up to and have had to say. That is a HUGE MULTI STAKE DANCE! 10 STAKES! Elder Morgan leaned over to me and was like, "man! that's like half of Washington!" And I was like, "yeah basically!" Oh man, he's so funny. No worries though. I will definitely be watching for those packages. Thank you so much guys! It means so much to me, it really does. I can't believe you even sent some in the first place! I love you guys! Oh, and yes I did get Steve and Cathy's package last week. It was great! I love the pics they sent! I put them up in the office and everyone in the apartment loved them! We got a couple from the U so it works out great! Elder Morgan about died when he saw them!
Oh man, that's GREAT news about the church! How sweet would that be if I was able to give my talk in the new building! Oh man, that would seriously be SOO COOL! I'll pray for that as well. It's a funny thing you brought up President Chan writing letters of recommendation for me, because he actually called me a week or so ago, and asked if I needed any for when I go back to school and I told him I didn't think I needed any thus far. But, I will definitely talk to him as soon as possible and have him go online or call that number. I'm sure he'll know what I need him to do. He's done a lot of these before, so he'll have it under control. It sounds like a pretty sweet scholarship though! I'm totally down for going to school then! It's just enough time to get home and unwind for a tiny bit, and then get right into school. I would love that! Those classes sound great that you thought about enrolling me in. Just make sure they're not night classes. Thank you so much! I really do appreciate all you guys are doing to help me out with school and stuff and to help me get back on my feet. Thank you TONS! Really any classes would be fine. I just wanna start getting those generals out of the way, so I can start on my major as soon as possible. Thanks for all you guys are doing and have done for me in the past! You have no idea the impact it has on me out here. Yeah, I'm a missionary and I'm doing other things, but knowing that there's people caring about you and loving you makes a WORLD of difference! Thank you so much! I love you all! So...today is moves day...before we found out if I was leaving or staying, I was leaning more and more to the fact that I would stay with Elder Morgan for one more. Well, that goes to show how much of a sense of humor Heavenly Father has! He knows that I now need to serve the people in Wan Chai, as a Zone Leader over the INTERNATIONAL ZONE! I'm going back with ELDER WING! We're both gonna be Zone Leaders together AGAIN, but this time in International! So, we will be covering the Island 2nd Branch in Wan Chai. It consists of mainly Filipina and Indonesian women, who work here as domestic helpers for those families who need them and pay them to do it. There is really no men in the branch, except for the Branch Presidency and the missionaries. So, it will be QUITE different from what I'm used to in many ways! First of all, I don't speak Chinese anymore...I find, teach, and baptize now in a mix of English/Tagalog. Pretty sweet, huh? So, I will be living in Wan Chai right behind the Wan Chai chapel, which is still pretty close to the apartment I was born in when I served Chai Wan. International is much different from Chinese work in so many ways, I don't even know where to start! Elder Morgan served there for 6 MONTHS of his mission this exact time last year, and loved it to death! I'm so excited! Especially since I get to go back with Elder Wing! That never happens to missionaries! To be able to serve with someone you've served with in the past! How awesome is that! Something else that's different is my P-Day. It's now on Monday. I'm e-mailing you today, mainly just to let you know of the change, so I will be e-mailing again this coming Monday, so like in a few days. So, that means you'll have to start e-mailing like Sunday night from now on I guess. Sorry if that screws up a schedule you have or anything, but the reason International's P-Day is different from the entire Missions' is because EVERY SINGLE DAY there is Church! The only day they don't have Church is Monday. The reason for that is because the domestic helpers' employers give them one day off a week. Most of the time it's Sunday, but there are those that have Tuesday-Saturday as well. Those days, the branches aren't as big, but there are still people who come. So, I will attend Sacrament every single day, except Monday for the rest of my Mission! Ha! Pretty sweet, huh? No one ever really has Monday as their day off, so that's why it's our P-Day. So, just be aware that I'll be e-mailing again starting this coming Monday. So, reply to this before Sunday night! International is just a different world. There are so many miracles that happen and so many people getting baptized. I'm so excited and so ready to partake of such wonderful blessings Heavenly Father has in store for me and these people. It's gonna be incredible being a part of this. Elder Wing and I have talked and we're both in shock that we're going back together and we're so ready to get out there and show them what's up! I love you guys. I love all you do for me. Thank you so much for the prayers and support. They NEVER go unnoticed! Until MONDAY...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Temple Day

Hey Everyone!

I'm not kidding you...I'm really not kidding...the weeks? Where are they going?! Oh man...I'm getting kind of scared...I can't keep up with how fast everything seems to be going. Maybe I should just stop having fun and they'll go by slower...what do you think? Just kidding. NEVER!
Sooo, how is everyone this week? Well, by the pictures it sure looks like you're all doing just super! Elder Morgan about started having a heart attack when he saw the U stadium. Oh man, he's so funny. Boy, was General Conference good! Whew! Wait no, that's an understatement. It was INCREDIBLE! I think this was the first time I've received THIS MUCH revelation for my investigators than I ever have since watching Conference on my mission. Boy, has it helped too! I know Heavenly Father is mindful of them, just as much as He is each and every one who is a member. We are ALL equal in His eyes and He loves us. Boy does He love us! I've never felt that more powerfully than I have out here. I know it will only increase from here on out because I'm only starting to realize His infinite and eternal love for me, personally, as well as those who maybe aren't the best people. How does He do it? I ran into some pretty interesting people this past week, and thought, 'how can He possibly love them?...there's no way!' But, He DOES! Just as much as He does me, and you.
That's AWESOME that Megan got married!!! Tell her congrats for me! That "I'm a Mormon" thing sounds way awesome! You guys are very lucky to be a part of it and be able to share your Testimony with the world for whoever looks online. That's seriously so cool! We, as missionaries, have only heard of the awesome things that are happenning on Mormon.org and it be advertised. Did you know it's all over on billboards and big tv's in New York?! Isn't that sweet?! We want them to do that here! Boy, would that go over big in Hong Kong! Millions and millions of people would see it daily, just in one single intersection. Did you know that the busiest intersection in the world is here? It's in Causeway Bay. Elder Morgan and I actually just went there last week just to go look around at the cool shops and stores. It's a pretty amazing place. Hong Kong honestly has every type of environment you could ever think of. I'm SOO lucky to be called as a servant of the Lord here, especially for the people. I'm not sure if there is any other people that I could relay this message to better than the people of Hong Kong. I didn't quite think this way at the beginning, but now I've come to realize I'm here...FOR A REASON! I've found out what that reason is and it's brought me more happiness than I ever thought possible. Aunt Susan, you just gotta realize how grateful I am for you and how much your family means to me! That goes for everyone else back home as well! I think of you guys MORE THAN YOU THINK! Trust me. Ok, as for school I was thinking of going to BYU Idaho right when I get home, starting in the Spring Semester because I'll miss the Winter, and then after a semester there, I might want to transfer either to the U or the Y. I'm not quite sure yet. But I do know I want to attend BYUI for my first semester when I get back. What do you think? I think just finishing up some basic generals would be best, and then starting into whatever I need to take to become JUST LIKE DADDY! Ha! Yup, I still want to work with ya Dad and I hope you can help me get there, because I know there's no one else in the business that can help me achieve it as much as you can. As for housing, I was thinking somewhere nice, mabye? HaHa. I heard they just got done building some new apartments and they're supposed to be pretty sweet. Either there, or The Ridge, or Nauvoo are all fine. Just NOT ROCKLAND! Just kidding. Bryce and I had so much fun there and really actually quite enjoyed it. Oh man, the memories from there are just great!
Thanks for sending off that package guys! You're the greatest! I really didn't need anything besides shirts though. I'm still looking at stuff I might want get before I come back as well. Like maybe a suit and some casual clothes or something. I don't know if you guys have talked about it but it would be awesome if I could just get some stuff here before I come back, just like some stuff to remember my time here. I guess you can count it as a Christmas/birthday present, or whatever. I really don't care. I don't need anything else from home though. So, you guys can save the money on the shipping and stuff. It's totally up to you though. I was just thinking it would be nice that way.
Just a real quick note because I'm running out of time...TODAY WE'RE GOING TO THE TEMPLE! YEAH! I'm so stoked! I won't be able to stand not going at least a few times a month when I get back. There is so much peace and joy found in the House of the Lord that is really just indescribable. I love it so much! It's definitely my vacation getaway! This might also be my last Sunday here in Tuen Mun because I've been here for some time now, and either Elder Morgan or myself will have to leave soon because we can't end together. So we'll see. Moves day is next P-Day, so I'll let you know then what's going on. It's gonna be interesting that's for sure...I'm excited though! Lately, we've seen so many miracles, it's hard to keep track of them all but never to hard to thank the Lord for His merciful hand in the work. It's through Him that miracles are wrought, not through 20 year-old boys in white shirts....although that might help. I'm totally just kidding. That was a joke. I know the people we run into aren't always ready or prepared, but there are those that are and what a blessing it is to see them and picture them from that very moment in white. First starting with baptism, then entering the Temple. What a privilege it is to be a part of this. I can't even tell you how happy I am. It's weird. Really weird. I don't feel like the same person before I left. I hope I haven't changed too much but I can tell you right now that none of it has been because of me. Change isn't easy, and it takes time but it is worth it when you're alligning yourself with Gospel standards. Thanks guys. Thank you for who you are and what you stand for. It sure helps when you have people back home who know what you're going through and experiencing.
A mission isn't a cake walk. I figured that one out a while ago, but I will NEVER regret this. EVER! I love you! Please know that. I really do.
I appreciate your prayers and support. I love you ALL! Until next week...Do what you do!
Love Always-
Elder Carey

Friday, October 7, 2011

Can't wait for conference this week....

Hey Everyone!

Holy cow has it ALREADY been an entire week since the last e-mail?! No way! I'm not kidding you, time has NEVER gone by faster than it has out here! So much has happened this week, just like every other week, and I'm so grateful for the experiences I'm having out here and the miracles I'm so privileged to see! It's like a dream...and one that's too good to be true! It's sure getting a whole lot cooler here and fast! I think that typhoon set it off last week but it's ok though, because it actually feels way good and a nice break from the heat and humidity. Definitely something to be grateful for!
We've been visiting some sweet members and getting some pretty good referrals from them, it's such a blessing for sure! I tell you, referrals are honestly THE BEST! I'm so grateful for member missionary work! Yesterday was especially cool. We went on a bike ride, because it was a holiday all day, with the young men and young women! Do you know how long it's been since I've ridden a bike?! TOO LONG! Boy, was it fun though! We had some investigators come with us, and they were building some pretty good relationships with them. It felt so good to see that happening. That's such a HUGE contributing factor in one's conversion. They HAVE to have friends there supporting them and helping them along the way, especially for those who are young men/young women age.
Right after that, we had a pretty big Ward bbq at this bbq place here in Tuen Mun. Oh, it was ridiculous! (in a good way.) We were able to have so much face time with the members as well as our investigators. They were able to meet EVERYONE in the Ward, and even have it be outside of a Church setting, just to show them, 'hey, we're normal to, you know!' You know what I mean. It was probably the coolest bbq I've ever been. I took some pics so you'll be able to see what I'm talking about.
Elder Morgan and I have been concentrating so much of our efforts on the Ward lately, and we've received SO MUCH help from them and so much support that it's insane! We love it! We can see the work progressing here SO QUICKLY! If not for us, for missionaries in the very near future!
We're so lucky to be a part of it and to be helping not only those who have not yet been introduced to the Gospel, but also those members who are still coming unto Christ. We love this more than anything! We eat, drink, sleep, and breathe for these people! That's all we ever think about and it brings so much happiness and so much comfort each and every day.
So, today is going to be pretty fun. I'm actually in Wan Chai right now e-mailing at the same place I would every single week with Elder Harper and Elder Feigleson! Crazy, huh? We just got flu shots because the mission told us every missionary must get one, so we had to come down to the Wan Chai Chapel for that, but it's ok.
Today, Elder Morgan and I are going to be walking a lot around Wan Chai and Causeway Bay just looking at things we might wanna get before we leave because we won't have very many opportunities to come down here again and do so. So, we're both pretty excited because we both really like shopping and looking at nice stuff. We're so different, but so alike at the same time.
Oh, and of course I'm excited for GENERAL CONFERENCE! I've never enjoyed it more in my life than here on my mission! It's seriously the greatest thing ever! We've been getting pumped for it in our apartment by listening to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir NONSTOP and reading and listening to talks all the time! We're ready! We've got quite a few investigators coming to it as well so that's something to be pretty stoked about also!
Ok, and just to answer some of your questions...yes I probably will need some more cleanser, toner, and acne treatment gel. Thanks mom! The apartment I stay in now is a very tall building. We live on the 31st floor, if that gives you an idea. Pretty high, huh? It's pretty sweet though and you have a way good view of just GREEEEN and more tall buildings! I love it! Every apartment I've stayed in has been a tall building. Where our apartment is at least on the 25th or up floor except for Macau. Macau is a lot different from Hong Kong. They don't have as tall of buildings there. But yes, this is the nicest apartment in the Mission, other than the Temple, of course. I mean, how can you compare with that?
I'm staying healthy and getting enough to eat. I'm totally fine. I'm loving life here, and dreading going home...but looking forward to it at the same time.
I love you guys! Thanks for all you do for me and for this work in which we are engaged.
Until next week...do what you do!
Love Always-
Elder Carey

Friday, September 30, 2011

Category 8 Typhoon finally lifted

Hey Everyone!

Wow! That's so awesome you guys found time to go meet Elder Morgan's parents! We were both freaking out when we saw the picture of you guys together at dinner! You guys are bosses! Pretty neat you got to stay with Brett and Susan for a while and keep them company. I'm sure they enjoyed it and loved having you guys there. Elder Morgan and I are DYING that you got to play golf together with his dad! We talk all the time about playing together when we get back!
That is INSANE about Peyton and how well he's been playing! I can't even believe I actually know someone that can play that well at that young of an age! INCREDIBLE!
Those chicken feet dad had and took a picture of actually look pretty good, to be quite honest! They're not my first choice, but I'll eat them if they're given to me. I guess that's another really important thing to learn on a mission. I just wanna thank you guys for all you continue to do for me. There are so many things that I don't even know where to start! It's going take more than a lifetime to tell you how grateful I am and how much you all mean to me. SERIOUSLY!
So, just real quick for my week..the part member families we're teaching are actually doing great and they're really progressing towards their baptismal dates, so that's a GOOD THING! Also, we've been teaching a lot on the street still and have had some ups and downs with it. Those who reschedule and want to continue to learn more are such a blessing, even those who don't are a blessing as well, but are often a little more frustrating cuz they either give you fake numbers or just never show to the next lesson. We've also been visiting quite a few families and sharing this awesome Stake mission plan that's been going on for quite a while. We've received a few referrals and hope to continue to see great success from it in the future! It's all a matter of following up with them, or else there's little chance we'll ever get to meet these prepared souls.
So today was interesting...the past week or so, everyone here has been talking about this huge typhoon that's going to hit and we need to start preparing for it. So, we did and the days came and past, and nothing. Then all of a sudden at 7 this morning we get a call from the A.P.s saying that we can't leave our apartment at all until further notice. There was a typhoon signal 8 raised, which is pretty huge! I think the biggest it goes to is a 10 or something. So, when it's an 8, we can't leave where we currently are and have to stay there until we're told we can leave. It just so happened that today was also our Temple day, but the Temple was closed because of the typhoon and we weren't able to leave to go there anyways, so that was kinda depressing. We were all really looking forward to going, but it's ok. Maybe we'll get to make it up before the move is over in a few weeks. Being trapped in our apartment ALL DAY today, until literally like an hour ago reminded me a lot of what happened last year during BLACK RAIN! That was crazy but boy was it cool to watch! The water in the streets would come up to the middle of our shins (for me at least). Well, I'm just about out of time because we still have a lot of other things to do while it's still pday and before we need to start proselyting tonight. I love you guys! You're all the best! Grandma Carey, HAPPY 82nd BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I hope you have an awesome birthday, and just know that I am there in spirit and am thinking of you! I love you tons! Have a great one! Until next week...do what you do!
Love Always-
Elder Carey
Thanks again guys! I love you so much! Have a great week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sometimes people think we are crazy

Hey Everyone!
What a busy one it sounds like you guys had! Wow! That's a good thing though! It keeps you on your toes and constantly wanting to serve others. I'm sure that service you guys have been rendering has been something pretty special and actually pretty fun! I'm glad you guys get to find time to do things like that. It makes me feel so good when I'm able to read about how busy you've all been and how much you've been helping with the Church and the community and stuff. You're all doing so awesome! I can tell! I'm sure Elder Morgan's parents will absolutely love the chips and salsa! Last week I told him about you guys going to visit him and he said they'll LOVE IT SO MUCH! They love talking to people who have been his son's companions...hey kinda like you guys! I hope you guys have a great time and send our regards! I'm happy to hear that everything will still work out with the wedding and all the family coming up though! That's something that I'm REALLY looking forward to! FOR SURE! Oh boy, my week was so legit! Sunday we had such a sweet Ward Find, and a bunch of members were willing to sacrfice like 3 hours to come help us find! It was so cool! Elder Morgan and I love the support we're getting from this Ward! It really does make all the difference to missionaries and it affects their mission SO MUCH! We've also been very blessed to be able to teach so much on the street! We'll start talking to someone and then do the walk of faith (tell them we want to sit down on a nearby bench, tell them to follow you, and don't look back). Oh man, it works everytime! The way Heavenly Father works and prepares His children is honestly beyond my comprehension. We've been teaching so much on the street lately and getting so many new investigators from it! Elder Morgan is SO POWERFUL! Oh man, he's just killin it out here! It's pretty funny too because sometimes, no actually ALL THE TIME, we'll be having opening and closing prayers on this super busy street and there will be people just to stop and watch and stare. You can only imagine what's going on inside their head! Ha! 'What weird people!' There's only one way to really find those prepared on the street, and that's to REALLY teach them, including prayers, commitments, doctrine shared, and rescheduling. Boy, it sure works though! We've been so blessed to see some pretty awesome progressing investigators come through the woodwork from a simple lesson on the street that sparks their interest just enough to have them see us a second time, come back to the church, and feel the spirit EVEN MORE! What a privilege it is to see such a thing! I love this work and I love everything about it! I never want to stop! I never will stop! I wish you all my best and hope and pray you have an incredible week! I love you and I care for you, each and every one. Thank you for your support and your prayers. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Grandpa Grover and Adrienne! I wish you both the best of wishes this coming Monday! Stay strong, stay healthy, and HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!
Love Always-
Elder Carey

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What a Blessing to see so many new investigators

Hey Everyone!
Well, how's the gang back on the homefront?! I'm so happy you guys found time to contact Elder Morgan's parents and talk with them for a while! Oh man, when I was reading that, I told Elder Morgan and we both just started freaking out! We're way excited for you guys! You HAVE to hook up with his parents for sure! They are incredible people from what he tells me. We brag about our families more than I think we ever have on our whole Mission. The more we talk about you guys, the more we find out how much we have in common. We were literally just talking about how sweet it would be to play some golf together when we get back and have our families meet up and do stuff together. Oh boy, good stuff. Yeah, Elder Morgan is sooo funny! He is constantly cracking me up as well as every other Missionary in the Mission! By far, one of the funniest people I think I've ever met! Definitely brings back good memories from the MTC! We're so excited and so ready to serve together. We would always joke about it and say how funny it would be if we ever had the chance to serve together or even live together later on down the road. We really get along quite well together and can definitely relate with a lot of things whether it be before the Mission or during the Mission. I couldn't be happier with my companion or my area right now. I'm so excited and happy and up-beat, it's almost too good to be true. We're lovin life right now!!! This is kinda a side note, but last night when we were finding, I saw this guy wearing a Washington Huskies shirt! What?! Yeah, I tried and tried and tried again to stop him but he just wasn't having it but it was just funny and brought back memories from home...not in a trunky way though of course. Yeah, you'll have to let me know how the game goes for sure. So just to answer a few of your questions...it takes about an hour and twenty to get from the New T's to Kowloon Tong...that's like the longest it takes to get from one place in Hong Kong to another. I'm not complaining but compared to getting from one area to another, it's a lot longer. Elder Wing was in our group as well. That's why it was so awesome to serve with him, and then Elder Morgan right after! We just reminisced about the MTC over and over again!
Domestic Helpers are either Filipinas or Indonesians that live with a Chinese family and pretty much do the housework for them while they go to work. They get paid, some a lot, some not very much but there are quite a few here in Hong Kong. That's why there's a whole separate Zone specifically for International and serving and teaching them. That is the only Zone in the Mission I haven't served in. Pretty amazing, because I've had the opportunity to see all of Hong Kong and Macau. I'm pretty lucky. I'll be waiting for Grandma and Grandpa's letters but I rarely go to the Mission Office, unless we have a meeting with the leaders or with the Mission but I'll still keep an eye out for it. They're such a blessing in my life. I love them both so very much! It also sounds like you've been pretty busy with all your salsa making! Oh boy, I remember those days. I also remember last year when you sent some and everyone in my apartment would beg me for some every day! It's all good, I think I can wait until I get home to test out this batch. Wow mom, you're like a machine just pumpin the salsa out! That's what I'm talkin about! So, we just barely started this move last Thursday, and there's six weeks in each move. So, now have 2 moves and 5 weeks left...ugh I hate saying that now. I want longer! It's ok though. It's not what I want that matters. So, I pretty much have 3 moves left.
So, just real quick, this past week has been pretty awesome! We've been finding so many new GOOD investigators! There's a difference between finding TONS of investigators and a good amount that actually have real interest in the Gospel. We have been blessed enough to meet those that are so prepared and ready to hear this message. Part of which has come from teaching some part member families. They're gonna need some work though because they really have ZERO Christian Background whatsoever but that's totally ok. It doesn't matter if it's me here or another Missionary down the road that sees them partake in the waters of baptism. What is important is that they understand the importance of their very first covenant they make with their Heavenly Father. That's one thing Elder Morgan and I have been focusing on a lot more lately and having quite a bit of success with it.
Ok, well I think that's about all I've got for this week. Elder Morgan and I are really have such a great time together, and I'm hoping and praying we'll stay another move together but we'll see. I love this work. OH HOW I LOVE THIS WORK! It changes lives. Changing one's life is not an easy task, but with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ANYTHING is possible, and we can do hard things. I love you all so very much! Really, I do. You all mean everything to me.
I thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. Keep working hard and loving life.
Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Companion New Miracles

Hey Everyone!

Oh man, I can't even BELIEVE how fast this past week has gone by! You've got to be kidding me! Whew...let me just take a breath first...Sooo, let me first start off by thanking you guys for understanding about my release date and everthing that's going on there. I'm so grateful to have such understanding people like all of you in my life. You guys are the biggest blessing to me! I can't even tell you! Trust me, I'm still in shock about it and still a bit disappointed, in case you couldn't really tell from the last letter but I know it's what is supposed to happen and Heavenly Father has made it like this for a reason. A reason I might not quite understand, and ya know what, that's ok. So, I just really wanted to say how much you guys mean to me and how blessed I am to have you in my life. Other Elders that had to tell their families aren't quite as understanding as you guys and it's sad to see, so I'm SOOO relieved you guys are cool with it all. THANK YOU SO MUCH! That's so awesome you were able to reschedule your wedding Steph! Honestly, that was one of the biggest concerns to me about coming home earlier...I'm seriously so glad you were able to work it all out! Don't worry either, I'm SOOO down to help you get everything ready for it! "Busy" has been my middle name for the past 2 years, so I think I'll be right for it. I'm glad the rest of the family understands too! Thanks guys! Steph, your wedding's on January 27?! That's gonna be a special day for BOTH of us now! I'm glad you enjoyed the little message I wrote for ya momma. I hope you enjoyed it. I also hope you had an awesome birthday! From the sound of it, it sounds like you were completely blown away and had a blast, so that's way cool! CONGRATS! Don't worry, you're still not Grandma age YET...pops however...well, we just won't get into that. LOVE YA DAD! I can't believe school and seminary are already underway! It's sure seemed that way here for a while. All the kids, as soon as school time comes around are just like robots. They don't do or care about anything other than school, projects, and homework. Family even really isn't in the picture that much for them. This time of the year makes it a little more difficult to stop those school-aged kids. But it's all good. We're working with what we've got, and praying for those unplanned opportunities and awesome miracles to occur!
I love going to the Temple and finding peace that can only be found there while putting those special names in the Temple and entering the Celestial Room which is honestly unlike anything else on this Earth. It really is Heaven on Earth.
I did receive the package you guys sent and was WAY excited to see everything in it! Wow- you guys are AWESOME! I'm telling you right now, those few shirts are gonna go such a long ways! The candy will of course too, mostly to the apartment but the shirts are perfect! Thank you so much mom and Susan! You guys rock!
The chapel looks like it's coming along. I'm kinda bummed I'm not gonna be able to give my homecoming talk there but that's ok. Maybe by some miraculous reason it gets finished early! That would be SWEET! Since last Wednesday all the Zone Leaders have had quite a few meetings to attend. They were all good but it's just so far to get to Kowloon Tong from the New T's. I'm not complaining but it really does wear you out and leave you with very little energy for the rest of the day. It's all good in the neighborhood though. Elder Wing and I presented a pretty sweet sharing on Revelation Through The Holy Ghost in front of about 2/3 of the Mission. It went really well and we feel that everyone.
Speaking of Elder Wing, he is no longer with me...sad...he moved to the International Zone which covers mainly Filipina and Indonesian domestic helpers. He's pretty excited about it and I'm way excited for him. He's speaking English there, so pretty much, no more Chinese for the rest of his Mission. It's the ONLY PLACE in the world that has Church every single day of the week at the Wan Chai Chapel. The reason is because domestic helpers only get one day off a week and it's not always on Sunday. So, he gets to attend Church every single day. Pretty crazy, huh? That's the only Zone I haven't served in. I've been pretty lucky compared to other Missionaries, to be able to see all of Hong Kong and Macau.
Sooo, who's my new companion?...Lo and behold, dear old Elder Morgan! We were also in the same MTC District and we got along probably the best. So, we are both now serving as Zone Leaders together in the New Territories covering the Tuen Mun area. Did you know that my last area, Tin Shui Wai, is the SECOND SMALLEST area for Missionaries in the world?! The first is Temple Square. Ha! I'm not even kidding. It really is a pretty small place. Tuen Mun is huge though. So, it's quite a big difference. We are SO READY to light Tuen Mun on fire! We still can't even believe we've been called to serve together! It's so funny being with him so much again! It's like we're in the MTC all over again. Well guys, that's about all I got for this week. Thank you so much again for being so understanding about my release date. You guys are so awesome! I love you all! Thanks for all you do and for all your prayers! Until next week...Do what you do!

Love Always-
Elder Carey

Friday, September 2, 2011

"4 day miracle"

Hey Everyone!
WOW! This week has been a pretty intense time for me! It's been great and the work's been awesome but I guess I'll just get started right into it. So, actually on the authorized missionary card I carry around with me wherever I go that says I am a Missionary for the Church and that I am allowed to proselyte until January 11, 2012 and moves day is January 12, both of next year. Elder Merrill was going over things with President Chan and talking about next year's moves and it turns out that we are only allowed to go 30 days earlier or later from our assigned date on our card. We didn't realize that, nor anyone from our MTC District realized that. So, we all planned to just take February 23 or 24, whenever it was, because that was the move right after our actual 2 year mark. However, like I said, we're only allowed to go 30 days earlier or later from what our card says. Everyone in my District is the exact same. We honestly had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER! I am SOOOO sorry guys...I want to stay...I really do but this is something that's honestly just out of anyone's control. It's interesting because a couple of weeks ago when I was in the Temple, I was praying while I was in the Celestial Room about my mission and confirming if when I go home is the right date, like I always do, and for some reason, January 12 was popping into my head for some reason. I had NO IDEA why! Seriously, it was the weirdest thing! I prayed again, and again, and again, and everytime it was always the same answer. I now know why. Doubting the Holy Ghost is really NOT a good thing to do. We should ALWAYS trust His promptings and ACT on them immediately. That's something HUGE I've learned on my mission. Sooo, what I'm trying to say is that my mission will be ending on that moves day, which is JANUARY 12...I'm kinda bummed, because I want to stay...I LOVE helping these people come unto Christ! It's the greatest thing in the world! However, I know it must come to an end. I love honestly EVERYTHING about my mission, and wouldn't change any of it for anything! I know this is what the Lord wants, it's what the Church wants, and who knows, maybe it's what we want as well...but we just don't yet know it. So, I first off, would like to apologize if I've inconvienced any of you with other plans if you were planning on attending my homecoming, or anything of the sort. Steph, I'm SOOO sorry I'm messing the time up for you AGAIN and your wedding. I feel horrible about it. I really do. I've told tons of missionaries about how long you've had to wait, and then you planned it for when you thought I was going home, and now you have to change it. They think you're just AMAZING by the way for waiting. They're right. Mom and Dad, I'm sorry if you guys had already booked tickets or anything, or even a hotel...I would still REALLY love for you guys to come. It would mean so much to me. I want you guys to experience a taste of what I have since I've been away. I love you guys so much and I'm so grateful for your support of me out here and doing this work in which we are all engaged in. On another note, Mike got Baptized! YEAH! It was an awesome Baptism and right before he entered the font, the tears in his eyes came and you could tell, he'd been waiting for this day to come for a long long time. Elder Wing and I have called it, our "4 day miracle!" We taught him everything from Lesson 1 to Lesson 4, commitments involved as well as reviewing and having the Baptismal Interview. He is such an amazing kid and will go a long way in the Church. I can easily see him serving a Mission and some day finding himself in the Temple with someone who has the same standards as he does. What an amazing experience it is to witness and be involved in someone partaking of the blessings of Baptism and those that follow. Truly indescribable. Our Bishop had Baptized him because we felt that Bishop had done so much to help keep him coming to Church and looking after him, since he is President of the Priest Quorom, throughout these past 2-3 years. His parents still don't entirely approve but that doesn't bother us, nor him, because we all know that it's only a matter of time, whether it be in this life or the next but he WILL live with his family for time and eterntiy through participating in the sacred ordinances of the Temple. Oh man, there was so much more we did this week, but I really don't have time to share it all. I'm not THAT fast at typing. We had another visit from some General Authorities! The 2nd Councelor in the General Young Men's Presidency, the General Sunday School President, as well as the Asia Area Presidency: Elder Gong, Elder Watson, and President Perkins (all 70) came to visit the entire mission, and shared on how we can improve the work here in the China, Hong Kong Mission. It was an INCREDIBLE visit! We are so blessed as a mission to have such amazing opportunities to enjoy the presence of these wonderful men and partake of their words and sharings on how we can improve. Elder Wing and I have been so busy with the Zone, IT'S CRAZY! We've been at meetings every single day this week at Kowloon Tong and we're loving this knowledge and advice we're receiving! It's definitely working!
Well,lastly, I would just like to wish you a VERY HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I love you so very very much and once again, I'm sorry I'm not there to celebrate with you, but just know that I am and always will be there in heart. I love you and I am forever grateful for you and your continuous love and charity. YOU REALLY ARE THE GREATEST MOM! Also, thanks for the shirts Susan! I can't believe you went up to celebrate with them! That's sweet! I really am grateful for the shirts by the way! They make a WORLD of difference! Thank you so much! I'll be waiting for that package by the way. Thanks guys you're the best! Until next week...Do what you do!
Love Always-
Elder Carey