Monday, April 25, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The mighty Hamilton hammer has been raised to it's fullest extent, and will strike with the force of 1000 baptisms! No heathen will remain untouched! Kidding. Sort of. Not about the baptism part, that was serious. There may or may not actually be a hammer involved. We haven't decided yet.
Man, working for Jesus is sweet. He's a really good boss. He doesn't pay us, but there's some pretty sweet benefits involved. Rock solid testimony, spreading peace and love with other well dressed guys, and most importantly, random people that drive past us and yell, "Cult!" out the window. Oh Hamilton.
Life has been going well. Elder Hudak almost got translated this week, but he decided to remain and help me to become a better missionary.
In Joe-related news, there's been a ton of good happening. Joe just does everything perfectly. Also, it's really nice to have an active Chinese member in the YSA. We brought him teaching to a few lessons last week, and man... he's a sweet missionary. We were worried that he would still be a little unfamiliar with the doctrine, but he figuratively slapped us in the face with that one. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and Joe just pulled out all these super dope insights about how the Atonement blesses us. He hasn't gotten the priesthood yet, but that's only because our branch president is still out of town, and we can't do it till he gets back. It will be soon though!
Other investigators we've been working with have been Jack, Zhu, Charlie, Richard, Nightengale, and Richardson. It's been a great week. They're all super pumped about learning about this new cool thing called Christianity. Good thing Elder Hudak is ready to drag Elder Sabin around and teach them! We had some pretty sweet lessons this week, and it's all thanks to the pretty sweet members here at the YSA.
In food related news, we had some good food this week. The Hillman family invited us over for lunch this week, which was amazing...but wait! That's not all! Their daughter just came back from Utah, and she brought fry sauce! And they gave it to us! So now we have this bottle of heavenly nectar from the gods in our fridge. Our meals have become so much more celestial.
Also, the Elliots invited us over, and Sister Elliot managed to get the recipe from back home that Mom used to make for Yorkshire pudding. So that was delicious. I would say that it reminded me of home, but as you can see from my subject title, I'm not trunky.
Also, there's this cool guy named Jim who loves the gospel. He's a former member from Mississauga (I think I talked about him last week) who we found by dropping by, and he's super dope. He came to church, and has already become a man of much spiritual stature. He's super cool.
Did you guys just barely get that video of me eating balut? Man that stuff is interesting. We ate it about 3 or 4 weeks ago. It's kind of funny. As people we don't have a problem eating eggs, and we don't have a problem eating chicken, but as soon as you put a chicken inside the egg, it's disgusting. Interesting, right?
Hizzy J - Haha, you're sentence made me laugh. "Partied until Mom freaked out at us." Glad to know that our home is as loud as ever. Heck ya I did the dance festival! Man, I totally rocked the square dancing in fourth grade. I was the biggest square out there. Man, the Yorkshire pudding was SO good.
Ell I Slim Shady - Not much happened this week? But your life is always so exciting! Are you just keeping secrets about all the fun you're having so I don't feel jealous? It's alright. You can tell me about all the exotic countries you've been to since I've been gone. I know you guys are partying tons and playing Kelly Clarkson's "Since you've been gone" over and over again. ;)
Leigh-roy Lackey - Haha, I know what your last sentence was supposed to say, but it's funny what you actually sent. I promise you with all the fervency of my soul that I will "now eat anything gross". I'm really good at that.
The Mom bomb - straight out of Compton - What are you talking about? I'm totally making balut for you. Don't you want the full Toronto experience? On a serious note, that's really sweet what you said in your talk. I guess I like you and love you and miss you a lot too :) Yes, the Yorkshire pudding was fabulous. It tasted just like the pudding back home. As far as mother's day goes, we haven't made plans yet. I was thinking of just not skyping home this time around. I'll take a nap instead probably.
Don't punch the computer Mom. Don't do it. Fine, I'll skype you guys.
Haha, just kidding. I can't wait. I'll let you guys know what the plans are asap. Also, can you remind me of my account info? I have it buried somewhere in my suitcase I think, but just in case.
Hayrod the Dawg - Man, you need to stop letting Hadley yell at you so much then. Stand up to her! Just kidding. Our apartment hasn't had any bad problems. There was a mouse a few weeks back, but we locked him in a closet with no food other than a mouse trap and eventually caught him. There's like 1000 cats that roam our neighborhood, so he was disposed of very quickly. Sorry all you animal lovers, but I hate living with mice. Love you bro!
Diddly wack mack Mormon daddy yo - Ya, it turns out some of the members like having me around. Who knew?! Tell Jaden congratulations. There are a few Malaysians serving here as missionaries, and they're all super grateful to the missionaries who baptized them. It sounds like the church is tiny there, and there's a heavy Muslim influence, but one of the elders said that God's kingdom will roll forth in every land! Ya, the balut was kind of gross, but once you get past the idea of the baby chicken, it just tastes like egg.
Anyway, I don't have much more time. Jesus lives. He's cool. He loves you. Serving a mission rocks.
*picks the mic back up* "Elder Sabin out"
Monday, April 18, 2016
Man, it has been a good week.
In major news, I have a new companion! His name is Elder Hudak, and he's from Red Deer, Alberta. His testimony is estimated to be about the size of two Elder Sabin testimonies, and he's ready to baptize the world. He's a slightly younger missionary than me, but not by much. Our time in the MTC overlapped, so I knew him back then, and now we get to serve together! How cool is that!?
Anyway, we've been teaching the crap out of Hamilton China, and it's just been wonderful. Two big names are Charlie and Jack, both of whom are really excited to learn about how Jesus can bless their lives. Jack kind of has a funny story, because I've met him several times on the streets of Hamilton, but he didn't have interest the first few times. We talked though, and pretty soon I just started saying hi to him every time I saw him. Anyway, we talked last week, and he decided he'd like to learn a little bit. So now we're teaching him!
Charlie is a super prepared guy. We also met him on the street while contacting, and he was just super excited to give us his phone number and schedule a meeting. He's a boss.
Recently one of the bishops in our ward gave us a referral for a guy named Jim Zao who had just recently moved into the ward boundaries. He's from Mississauga (a nearby city) but he's been in China for a long time, and he hasn't been in contact with the church for a long time. I don't know how the bishop found out, but he gave us an address. Elder Lau and I had stopped by a few times, but he hadn't been home, and Elder Hudak and I were in the area so we thought we'd give it another try. Well, he was home, and he was super excited to see us. He really wants to start coming to church again, and his family is really cool.
Also, turns out the missionaries in St. Catherines started teaching a Chinese family, so they're going to pass them off to us. To be honest, I'm a little weirded out. I don't even know how to teach a family. All I've ever taught is college students. What do I do?!
Kidding. I'll be fine. Hamilton has been as crazy as ever. There are a bunch of other crazy Christians like us that like to proselyte, but they only come out when the weather is warm. It's been good weather lately, so we've been running into a ton of those. To their credit, they're usually courteous and respectful to us, and they respect the work we're doing, but there's a few crazy ones. I don't know if everyone back home knows that missionaries do this, but we usually just try and make it funny when people try and bash with us. Some missionaries like to bash, but I just find that it drives the spirit out, and I usually end up angry.
So the other day I was talking to a guy and he was trying to hate on Joseph Smith, and I remembered this idea another elder has told me (shout out to Elder Butler) This was our conversation.
Guy - You guys are a cult! Who do you think you are, changing all those doctrines and such! And what's that guys name? That guy....ooh, what's his name? Smith! Ya, that's it!
Me - Will Smith?
Guy - Yaa! Will Smith! That guy's an idiot! Your church worships a false prophet!
Me - What are you talking about?
Guy - Will Smith! You worship him, don't you?
Me - Why would we worship him?
Guy - Will Smi- oh not him! What is it? What's his name?
Me (pretending like I finally get it ) Ooooh! You must mean Joseph Smith!
Guy - Ya, that one!
It was really funny.
In Joe-related news- man, if Joe was a good investegator, he makes an even better member. He just understands everything! We read the end of D&C 121 together, and he has all these awesome insights. I love that guy.
Mom - Well, basically take the charity of 3 average people, and stuff them into one person, and you have Elder Hudak. He's dope. He plays piano like a boss too. About the new president, ya, I've heard some pretty awesome stuff about him. I've met a few people that knew him in the past, so I'm looking forward to him. Just do me a favor, and call him and tell him what a great missionary I am ;) kidding. As far as Evonne goes, we're not really working with her, but we still text back and forth every once in a while. She still likes us I guess :) Wow, Sam and Katie!? That's awesome! They're both going to be amazing missionaries.
Ellie - Ya, I did swim team for a little bit, but it was a long time ago. It was really fun, but it was a lot of work. It's getting pretty warm here, and of course I miss elder Lau :) He's a really cool guy, but it sounds like he's having a lot of fun in Hong Kong. Joe is doing super well. He's basically the best convert since Paul of the New Testament.
Hadley - Sam will definitely be eaten by an alligator. Don't tell him I said that though :) As far as oreos go, I don't think I care if they're double stuffed or not. They're all good. When does Sam go into the MTC?
Ashleigh - Man, I'm going to be a big fat 19 year old. That's weird to think about :) Chandler Roetker got married? What's the pioneer invitational? Yes, I did hear the news about my new president. If you guys get in contact with him, you have to promise not to tell him about all my stupid teenager endeavors ;)
Hayden - Sounds like you're having a ton of fun with lacrosse. Man, there's an elder in my district named Elder Crye who's from Lehi and played lacrosse. He's just old enough that we didn't overlap, but it's been pretty cool to finally have someone to talk to about it. Small world, eh?
Anyway, I love you all. You guys rock.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Hello family! I really do apologize for not having time to do much writing last week. I felt pretty bad about it, but Elder Lau had to get some last minute stuff in before he went home. He's actually not leaving till tomorrow, but today we won't have time to do much because we'll be hanging out with all the other missionaries in the zone who are leaving. It's gonna be so much fun!
Anyway, life's been super good these last few weeks. I've kept Elder Lau from getting too trunky. Just kidding. I've been the worst at that. Honestly, I make jokes about it every day, and then he just replies with jokes about me still having years to go on the mission. Transfer plans came last night, but it wasn't too stressful. Elder Lau is being transferred to Hong Kong YSA, and Elder Hudak will be coming to be my companion. I heard it was going down like this a few weeks ago, so we weren't too stressed out. The others elders however did have some changes. Elder Flake will be staying here in the Catcave, and Elder Ellis will be coming. I don't have a picture, but he basically looks like Syndrome from The Incredibles. It's uncanny. It sounds like he's sweet, so we're excited. The only problem is that both of the new guys in the house are Canadian, and I don't know how happy they'll be that we sing hymn 340 all the time.
It's going to be weird having a white companion again. Honestly, it's been too long. Elder Lau will have a great time in Hong Kong. We've been taking bets on how long it'll be till he goes less active. My money's on 13 minutes
Elder Butler is dropping down from Zone leader to District leader, and he'll be serving in Brampton and training a new missionary. He keeps making jokes about how he'll turn his new greenie into a number crunching machine. He's going to make a monster.
Other piece of big news. Joe got baptized this weekend! He's so cool. Honestly, he had almost no concerns during the entire teaching process. Also, his confirmation was during Fast and Testimony meeting, and so during the meeting he got up and bore his testimony to the congregation. Honestly, it's moments like that where you feel like a successful missionary. It was so powerful, and I am just so grateful that God blessed me with the chance to be able to teach him. He's amazing, and he's going to do great things. It also means that our area has a new convert! Yaaaay!!! It's been a while since the area had a new convert, and we're super happy that the drought is over. We're going to take him on so many lessons, and baptize SO many people.
In other news, the zone is changing quite a bit. Every companionship in the zone changed except for one, which means there will be a lot of new faces here.
Hamilton downtown has still been loads of fun. There are a lot of people down there that I love talking to. There's one guy that always dresses up as a cowboy and dances down all the streets. I mentioned him in a previous letter, but it turns out that we've seen him like 6 times now. I guess he does it on a regular basis. We're pretty tight. Every time he sees us he yells "Who's the Lord!" and we yell "Jesus!" and he smiles and keeps dancing.
Also, there's a bunch of homeless people there that we always talk to. One of them always yells "Hail Mormon" when we pass by, and we laugh every time. We've explained it to him before that we don't worship Mormon, but he just thinks its funny. There's another homeless guy that's Irish, and I always go practice my Irish accent with him. Mine is pretty bad, but he's a cool guy. I love this town.
Anyway, the work is going great here in Hamilton. This is definitely a place that I'll visit in future years. There are just so many really cool people here.
Hadley - You went to St. George without me?! I thought you were going to wait until I got home! ;) I bet you all had a really hard time following those rules. Elder Lau tried to make some stupid rule where I couldn't text while driving. Ridiculous. I am having a buttload of fun up here. Maybe even two buttloads. For my birthday, I want American Oreos. Can you make that happen? The Oreos here aren't nearly as good.
Ashleigh - Well, you would have sounded pretty smart, but you started with Dear Brother dearest. Am I really that dear to you? Also, saying "it tis" doesn't work because "tis" is already an abbreviation of "it is". Also, why would you increase in stamina? Did you do some cardio? I'll give you a solid C- ;) By the way, building a fire is really easy. I'll show you how sometime. All I need is a cat and an oven.
Mom - Man, I haven't asked President about trading ties yet. I really want to, but every time I see him it's always a really spiritual setting. Like the other day Elder Lau had his departing interview, and when they came out of it, it was super spiritual, and Elder Lau was super happy, and all that jazz. I didn't want to spoil the mood by saying "Hey Pres, wanna trade?". I feel like I might have been chastised :) Also, tell Taylor congratulations! She's gonna love the Portuguese people. There were a ton in my old area, and they make some killer food. As far as birthday stuff goes, I don't know. I still haven't found my camera, which I'm super bummed about. Aside from that, good ties are always sweet to get. If I think of anything else while writing, I'll include it.
Hayden - Man, that sounds like a pretty fun week full of things that missionaries can't do ;) As missionaries we have a handbook that tells us all the regulations, and there's a missionary who just went home who keeps sending me pictures of him doing all the stuff he hasn't been able to do for two years. The first one is him playing contact sports. Then one of him doing winter sports. Then motorcycling. Then horseback riding. Then rock climbing. Et cetera. It was pretty funny. He did it all in like a week, so when I get back we're going to do everything, alright? Also, I have no idea how many days I've been out. I passed my 1/3rd mark a while back, but other than that I don't know.
Ellie - Here, I'm going to tell you a joke that you will hear at least 80 times once you learn to drive. You're going to say "I got my license" and then people will say "Oh, I better stay off the roads." and then you'll give them a pity laugh, but on the inside you'll just be sad that they are so lacking in creativity :) I almost wanted to start my letter with saying it, but I decided I'd rather not. Man, you've been sick all the time lately. What's wrong? Are you just sick of not having you're favorite brother around? Is that the problem? Just kidding :) You'll be fine.
Dad - Man, I didn't think that Chinese food was that spicy before I came out on the mission. I mean, I know my only exposure to it was Panda Express, but man. It get's pretty crazy. There's a region in China called Sichuan, and the stuff they have is pretty extreme. It makes your mouth go numb when you eat it. It's honestly one of the weirder feelings I've ever experienced. But I still totally want you to introduce me to it. I'm always up for a taco.
Anyway, I know Conference already got talked about by every other missionary last week, and you're probably sick of hearing about it, but I wanted to make a note about how much I loved it. How incredible is it that we have the opportunity to listen to living prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ?
I especially loved the talk by Holland (I know. Just like everyone else). During the talk he said "The Lord will be with us even when we struggle - no especially when we struggle" and for me that line meant the world. I'll be honest. Being a missionary has definitely made me struggle. There have been times when I go for days or even weeks and I feel as if I have not progressed. I feel as if the area has ground to a halt and that I am far too lacking in far to many aspects. I know that many people around the world have similar feelings of despair, thinking that the present is depressing and the future is bleak. We will all face times like that in our lives, and maybe someone like that will even read this letter.
We talk a lot in this church about how the Atonement makes things better, and to pre-mission-me that meant that it changes the situation. It will change the circumstances. Things will begin to look brighter. Now, that has happened in my life, and it happens in others as well, but what I have learned is that sometimes our prayers of sadness are answered in a different way. The Atonement doesn't always fix out circumstances. It doesn't always change the things surrounding us, because if everything could be repaired with a silent prayer to heaven, God's plan would not be fulfilled. We would never learn. That's the plan of Satan. To give us all perfect lives, and to make sure that no one can ever harm us. We're all here being tested, and Satan just wanted to give everyone an A
As nice as that sounds, it could never work. It can't work like that. We would never learn a thing. We would never have to struggle. God has to burn the dross out of us, to make us push our roots deeper. The atonement doesn't act like that. It's not a crutch.
However, even though it won't always change the way the situation looks, it will change the way we look. We will find joy, no matter the situation and no matter the odds. Our lives will be happy because we will realize our divine destiny, and remember that as dark as things are, they have been darker for our Savior. He loves you, and with every bit of his heart he wants you to understand that. I promise you all, that when things get dark, the Lord will reach out more than ever. He has given up his life for you, and he certainly won't give up on you now. There's a lot to be happy for in life, and a lot of people who need to be touched by someone like you.
PS: Just got word. Pres Clayton said he'd trade ties with me. I'm gonna have a general authority tie!!! I'm so pumped. It's gonna be great. love you! I sent some pictures this week by the way. I'm gonna try and repent.
PS: Just got word. Pres Clayton said he'd trade ties with me. I'm gonna have a general authority tie!!! I'm so pumped. It's gonna be great. love you! I sent some pictures this week by the way. I'm gonna try and repent.
Dinner With Some of the Elders:
Me and Elder Lau:
Lots of Elders in a Car:
Paul from Bayview Came to Visit Us:
A Typical Night in Downtown Hamilton:
Niagara Falls a Few Weeks Ago:
Monday, April 4, 2016
Alright family, I have to apologize. This email's coming late today, because we've been super busy again.
Elder Lau is getting ready to go home, so we've been running all over town trying to get all his stuff ready. Today's email is going to be pretty short. I'll repent as soon as he goes home. On the bright side, I love you!
Anyway, Joe is doing super well. No worries with him thus far. He passed his baptismal interview, and we're really excited to be working with him. He's basically been taught everything, and he's super pumped to be baptized
He's probably our main investigator, but we're meeting with a few other guys named Jack who are doing well as well. They both love learning, and we're really lucky to be teaching them.
In other big news, yes our mission president has been called as a general authority. Kind of crazy. He'll be sticking around until July 1st. I'm gonna try and trade ties with him so I can have a general authority tie. It'll be great.
Once again, I'm so sorry I don't have more time. Next week will be super long, I swear. I'll update you on everything that's been going on.