Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 49: Kitchenerific!

Man, I love Kitchener.  Not only does it have a fun name, but also fun people.  This week was super sick.  Our zone has two Chinese areas actually, and both of them have been killing it.  It's been pretty sweet :)

So last week we went out for hot-pot again, and that was super fun.  We went with a bunch of the other missionaries in the zone, and for a lot of them, it was their first time.  It was nice to finally be on the other side of the conversation where someone asks "What is this?" and now I get to say "It's good, just eat it."  The tables have turned!!!

This week, Jeega was able to come to the family ward on Sunday morning, and it was cool to see him.  He's just a really sociable guy, so he got along really well with the members.  We met with him after Sacrament meeting, and talked about how his reading has been going lately.  It's been really good, and he started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning.  He really loves it, except for that part where Nephi kills Laban.  That took some explaining... :)

Then, later in the day, Emerson came to church, and brought his friend Xavier!  That's two people he's introduced to the gospel, and he's not even a member!  Honestly, I need to step it up when I get home.  Anyway, that was super cool.  He's progressing super well, and when we asked him how he feels when he reads the Book of Mormon he said "I feel something warm and amazing in my heart."  Come on!  He might as well have quoted from Preach my Gospel!

That was pretty cool.  Nan was sick Sunday, so he wasn't at church, but we've been meeting with him a ton. He's basically ready to get baptized, but he's just nervous about his family and the lifelong commitment it's going to be.  He's honestly one of the nicest guys I've ever met.  He just tells us straight up what his concerns are, and he gets along so well with the YSA members.

Then, we had a guy named Robin show up at church last week with the YSA elders, but it turns out his first language is Mandarin, so we get to teach him!  Our first lesson was fine, but he didn't have a background at all in religion, so we just kept it really simple, but then the second lesson.... holy cow.  We show up and ask him about his prayer recently, and he's absolutely been doing it.  And reading the Book of Mormon.  Several chapters.  And surfing mormon.org.  And listening to hymns on YouTube.  And checking out talks on lds.org.  And he already heard about the Word of Wisdom.  And he's been talking to his friends about it.  Its gonna pretty fun to teach him. I can feel it already :)

Anyway, those are probably the only ones I need to talk about today.  There's a few others, but those 4 are the ones with baptismal dates.

Ellie Kate the Great - That would definitely be awkward if you got your friend drunk.  Especially if it was accidentally. How does that happen? "What, you're thirsty?  Oh, well, this looks good.  Ya, I don't know what vodka means either, but it's probably good."  That would be interesting to see.  Anyway, I'm glad your week went well :)  Where is Sun Valley?  Do I know this place?

Hadley Bo Badley - Did you get David Archuleta's phone number?  Are you going to go on a date with him? Just asking.  Ya, I like the song Glorious too.  It's on Meet the Mormons, and that's one of very few films that missionaries can watch, so we've all pretty much got it memorized. Love you!

Beast - Man, isn't rappelling so sweet?  I love it so much.  What camp did you guys go to this year?  You guys did ice bombs?  Was Brother Freeman involved?  Haha, just kidding, don't tell him I said that.  That sounds like a ton of fun.

Mom - We are so busy.  It's been wonderful, and the branch here is awesome as well.  We didn't have a single lesson last week without a member there to help out. They're just wonderful people :) Haha, I told Elder Earley you would be at his homecoming, but as soon as I mentioned homecoming he just cringed.  He doesn't like thinking about going home...  but he's super excited to meet you guys :)  It's been pretty hot up here, but luckily we have super dope hats to deflect the harmful rays of the sun.  Move away? What are you talking about. I'm just going to live in the basement forever, right?  Okay, breathe, breathe, I was only joking, don't freak out ;)  I like the quote.  Here's one for you. "We will never look back until the love of God and neighbor rules the world."

Ashleigh - I have a special request for you.  As a zone leader, we go to Brampton once a month for leadership council, and we all bring goal sheets for our zone.  We try and make them funny, and our idea for this one is to make a play off of President Shields name. I need you to send me a picture with the Agents of Shield logo, and preferably people in the picture that I can edit my companion's and my own face onto. It's gonna be great.

Mon pere - je suis tres bien :) mais j'ai peur je perde mon francais.  Peut-etre je vais aller un region francais, et alors je peux practiquer un peu :)  Seriously, I can't speak French anymore.  Every time I switch out of English mode, I go into Chinese mode.  The struggle is real.  I'll definitely try and re-learn when I get back though.  Our week was definitely Kitchenerific.  We have a similar problem here with investigators traveling, because oftentimes Chinese people will go back to China for 3 months or so, and there's no way to communicate with them.  Ya, Canada has something similar to July 4th.  I don't think they take it quite as seriously, and there's definitely less fireworks, but it's still a big event.  It's on the first of July.

Anyway, I'm getting low on time here, but I love you all!  This gospel is true, and there is so much of a difference that it makes in our lives when we stop treating it like a checklist, and start treating it as a way to change ourselves.  I think sometimes we start looking at scriptures and prayer as something that I should do every day, and if I do I'm blessed, but that's not what its about at all.  Reading and praying should sprout from a desire to want to follow God, and nothing else :) Always remember that, and remember that God the Father and Jesus Christ love you.  They created you, and they have been with you from the beginning.

Elder Sabin

We had a stake carnival that we helped out with.  This was us in front of our game that we ran.  It's hard to explain :) but it was sweet!

My handsome friend Elder Earley.  I told him to make the face he'd make if he was on the cover of an album:

One of the districts in our zone!  Elder Earley was at a different district meeting, so he's not here but clockwise from me it goes me, Elder Johson (district leader, loves Chinese), Elder Monson (related to THE President Monson), Elder Skarstehdt (new guy from Eagle Mountain), Hermana Smith and Tyler (The sister training leaders in the zone.  They speak Spanish), and Sister Skinner and Sister Deng (The other Chinese missionaries in the zone):

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 48: Hail to thine Earley-est welcome ray!

Hello friends!

Well, I'm glad to say that this week has been splendid.  We tore it up this week in the Kitchen.  It was sweet.  We had a bunch of people come to church, and a few of them were people that just strolled into the chapel on Sunday.  It was glorious.

Anyway, I guess I'll start you off with updates on the dope-est people we're working with.

Nan - Man, Nan is the bomb.  I wish that rhymed.  It's close.  Anyway, he's doing super well.  We hit him with a bunch of commandments this week, and he just accepted all of them.  The only part of the gospel he's concerned about it is the Word of Wisdom, but we've been praying for him super hard.  He's been living it, but he just wants to make sure it's from God before he commits to it, seeing as it would be an enormous change in his culture.  Chinese people love tea a lot.  He has a ton of friends in the church though, and we're all supporting him, so we're really excited for him.

Jeega - Been really busy lately.  Still reading and praying, but we didn't see him very much this week.  He's doing good though.

Emerson - Sweet!!! We met this guy a few times last week, and one of our meetings was at branch president Dixon's house.  Both the branch president and his wife are converts, and they just both bore awesome testimony about how much the gospel changed their lives. It was super spiritual, and he had a lot of good questions.  He accepted a date for July 16th, and he was super excited about getting baptized.  Then, we had him say the closing prayer, and he said during it "I think I am starting to believe in you."  Ah!  It was so good.  Then, after we all left, he texts us and says "I convinced my other friend to meet you. Can you meet her Wednesday?" He's so cool. He loved church as well.

Mino - Really cool guy we met that is really excited to learn about church.  He came last week, but he wasn't able to come this week.  He was really busy, but we've still been meeting with him quite a bit.

Audrey/Audrey's mom - We got a text this week from a member who said that some people had asked her if they could come to church this week.  She didn't know them, but their WeChat username was Little Yellow Man. That made us laugh so hard.  We arranged a ride for them, partially because we were just curious to see who they were, and it turns out it was some 40 year old Chinese woman and her teenage daughter.  It was wonderful.  I had to translate the whole time for Audrey's mom, which gets exhausting, but it was really fun.

Ruby - Super smart PHD student at Waterloo.  Believes that maybe destiny led her to the missionaries. Pretty sweet.

Jerry - Dad lived in Utah.  Has heard a ton of anti, but still wants to learn.  Really intrigued by the word of wisdom.

Yi - Guy we found street contacting.  Pretty cool dude.

Owen - still in China, but Roy (his member friend) says he should be back soon.

Those are the ones who have been meeting with us pretty regularly.  It's been pretty sweet to see people progress in their learning of the gospel.  I've loved every minute of it :)

艾米 - You know it! We always cook up baptisms in the kitchen.  That's the only thing we know how to make!  Ya, we've been super busy, which is wonderful.  Elder Earley goes home in two weeks, but he's not trunky at all, so I don't have to do much. He's a super hard worker, so as long as I just show up good things happen.  Ya, we've been going running every day still.  I forgot how much I missed it.  Haha, what do you mean by "plans"?  What are you scheming? :) I saw Elder Lemon the other day, and he's doing wonderful.  He's a zone leader over in Kingston, so we saw each other at Mission leadership council.

海登 - Sounds like you had a good week.  Summer's going well I assume :)  I've heard a lot of good things about the Cannibal ride.  We'll have to go ride it next year.  How is lacrosse going?  Are you guys still rocking it?

哈德利 - Don't worry, I'm doing sooooooooooooo good :)  I hope you are to.  We finally finished the driveway?  Does that mean the yard is done?  Wow, 12 years in the making, and it's finally complete :)  Good for you guys.  Haha, the fashion show sounds like a riot :)

艾莉 - Haha, life is just regular, huh?  That's too bad.  You graduated from Kiddie land?  Does that mean you can ride the big rides or that mom got tired of kiddie land and won't let you ride any more small rides? It sounds like you're just having the time of your life!  You go to lagoon, and your week is still just regular?  Haha, just kidding, I'm sure this week will be fantastic!

卡梅倫 - Ya, I have Braeden's home email, but not his mission one.  Haha, that fashion show sounds super funny :)  Are you trying to make me trunky?  Wow, that's a low blow ;)  Ya, the language has been going well.  Elder Earley and I pretty much only talk in Chinese to each other, which is really funny when there are white people around wondering where in the world these two oddly dressed men speaking foreign tongues are from.  It's been going pretty well.  Elder Earley goes home in about two weeks, and some of the members can't stop reminding him of it.  He hates it so much :)

阿什利 - Oh, chick flicks.  Glad to hear you've been spending your time watching fake relationships happen :) kidding, I love you.  Don't be offended.  That's sweet that you're going to AFY.  I've heard a lot of good stuff about it.  I had a few friends that went every year.

Anyway, I'm about out of time.  I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Sabin


What?!  Is that John Taylor and Heber C. Kimball?  That's crazy!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 47: The Earley Bird Gets The Worm

你們好! 這個星期過得很順利!

Hello!  This week has once again been a week of miracles!  We have some sweet people that we're working with, and we've found a lot of people searching for the truth this week.

First off, just so everyone at home knows, there's a running joke between me and Elder Earley.  There's a place in China named Nan Jing in Jiang Su province, and I'm not kidding when I say that this must be the most prepared place in all of China.  Not saying that other areas aren't cool too, but so many of the interested people we meet come from there.  We'll usually ask them where they're from, and if they say Nan Jing... baptism.  Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but they're just sweet people.

Honestly, that's one of the coolest things about working in such a diverse mission.  You start to see regions of the world that have been prepared and flock to the same region to get baptized.  Kurdish people definitely belong in this group.  Kurds are a group of people from the middle east who have been heavily persecuted and are fighting for independence back home, and I can honestly say that every Kurd I've met has made my day.  You knock on their door, and they just let you in and offer you all kinds of food.  They're sweet.  I feel like Nigerians are this way too.  A ton of the really prepared investigators that I've seen have been from Nigeria.  I don't really know why it's like that, but I've definitely seen God's hand move in mysterious ways.

The work has been going wonderfully here in Kitchener.  I don't think I have time to talk about everyone, so I'll just mention a few of the people that have been really progressing.

We've been meeting with a sweet friend named Nan who's a university student at Waterloo (the town's main university).  He hasn't been able to come to church for the past couple weeks, but this week he was finally able to make it out and he loved it.  We've taught him a ton of the lessons, and he's really excited to get baptized.  Right now we've set a date for July 2nd.  In Elder's Quorum we talked about Elder Uchtdorf's talk about the destruction and rebuilding of the Dresden Cathedral, and it just so happened that at the time I was holding a Chinese Ensign in my hand.  Nan asked about the talk, and I realized I had it and said "Actually, it's in here.  Do you want to read it?"  That was pretty funny.

Another really cool guy is Jeega.  Jeega loves to volunteer and serve other people, and he's a really smart guy.  He really enjoys learning about Christianity and he's been eating up the Book of Mormon.  He's also got a date set for July 2nd, and he has quite a few member friends, which is really cool.

Also, there's Owen, who I talked about last week.  He had to go back to China for a few days, but he'll be back this week or next week.  We taught him about the restoration, and he basically said he believes it all.  We gave him a Book of Mormon, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he had started crying.  He just told us how grateful he was that we would entrust him with a book of such importance, and even though we assured him that we give a lot of them out every day, he promised to never let the book leave his person while he was in China.  Honestly, how does God prepare people this well?

Random side note before I forget.  Remember a while back when I was in North York and I was talking about Xiao lin?  He got baptized!!!  YAAA!

Mom - Ya, it was pretty hot this week.  The hats are definitely a bonus, although a lot of people think we're Mennonites (basically Amish people).  Haha, Emi's the best.  I just worry that one day she's going to catch a real animal.  Ahh, you're too sweet.  You can absolutely take credit for anything good I've done.  You're the best.

The BEAST - Yes, believe it or not, they do actually experience warm temperatures here in Canada.  Crazy, right? A Hover board?  Is that that the thing with two wheels and a platform in between that you stand on and it moves?  Those are actually pretty commonly seen in Ontario. I don't know how much they have caught on in the States, but I probably see one every other day or so. Then again, Kitchener is kind of like that.  Lots of really smart people and big technology companies.  I think Blackberry was founded here.

Hadley - Haha, I'll do my best not to eat anything else gross :) So swim team is going well?  Have you started growing flippers yet?  Just kidding, that sounds really fun though.  Love you!

Ellie Kate - Yes, I did get transferred to a town called Kitchener.  It's a really fun place with a TON of college students.  Waterloo university is one of the more prestigious universities in Canada, so all the people we're teaching are super smart PHD students and engineering majors.  It's a really cool town.

Ashleigh - So when are you going to start studying Chinese? I need someone to speak it with when I get home :) Just kidding, you don't have to.  How's lacrosse going?  Are you still killing it?

Dad - Ya, Elder Earley is definitely a runner. We've been running every morning.  Honestly, I missed it so much.  All of my companions have been Asian, and if you know anything about them, you'll learn that they don't really like running in their culture.  It has been good.  Kitchener is about an hour west of Toronto, and it's basically the tech town of Ontario. Lots of buildings owned by Google, Blackberry, Samsung, etc.  Also, Waterloo University is basically the best school in the country for engineering, math, and computer science, so there's a ton of smart people here. The University is interesting, because its about 75 percent male, and about 50 percent Chinese international students. We don't have a ton of problems finding Chinese people to talk to over there. I love the branch :) Thanks so much for the cool thoughts about Jacob 4.  He's a pretty cool writer.  I really love how straightforward and blunt he is.  They teach us a lot out here about being bold and loving, and I think he really sums up that quality well.

Friends and family, I love you all so much. You're support and your love never go unappreciated.  You're influences on me are so much a part of who I am, and I am forever grateful for the service you have given to me in my times of need.

I've been studying a lot about service lately, and I've learned that it is so much more than something that we should do to be good Christians.  Service is a way of life.  It is an action that requires the heart and soul of the giver and will help one to store up those "blessing in heaven" that we hear so much about.  I love service, and in my life I have honestly seen it change lives - both the life of the giver and the life of the receiver.

As you know, I am a fan of quotes.  Here's one more for you guys - "The more we serve our fellow man, the more substance there is to our souls.  We become more substantive as we serve others.  Indeed, it is easier to find ourselves because there is so much more of us to find."

I know that's true.  For many years the saying "lose yourself to find yourself" confused me a bit, but I think I'm starting to realize what it means.  There's too many people today focused on themselves, asking "what do I need?" and "how do I accomplish this?" type of questions.  These are not wrong or evil in any way, but they are unproductive.  You are not meant to be a selfish creature.  You were not born to worry about yourself.  You will never find the true, original, complete "you" unless you start striving to do what you were born to accomplish.  You are a co-heir with Christ, and that means that you are to be like him in every way - including serving your fellow man.  As we do this, we will find that our very souls are changing, and our motive for service is no longer a desire to be a good person.  It will become a desire to change lives.  It will no longer focus us on ourselves, but instead it will take every bit of our heart, might, mind, and strength and point it to our fellow man.  As Christ set the example, let us follow him, and be concerned only with loving God and loving our neighbor.

Conquer the natural man, and together we can truly change the world.  Let us "find ourselves" and together change the way we look at life.  "Lose yourself" or forget worrying about your own life and "find yourself" or find the man or woman that God has always meant for you to be.

Let no one ever come to you without expressing to them the love of God. Let them leave you feeling better then they were when they arrived, and I promise you all that you will be more satisfied with life.  Like Peter be ready to "always give a reason of the hope that is in you."

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Elder Sabin

Xiao Lin, Elder Carroll, Me, Anna, Anna's Friend

Sister Tsui, the Relief Society President at Bayview.  She is awesome!

Me and Brother Wang (Bayview)

Kitchener drivers:

I saw Elder Lemon!

Me and Elder Flake:

Me, Elder Anderson, Elder Hernandez.  I stayed with these guys for a couple of days after Elder Carroll left:

 Elder Wehi and I:

 I saw Elder Mak at a zone conference!:

Elder Earley and I emailing you at the library:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 46: Cooking in the Kitchen(er)

As you can tell by my subject title, we are cooking up a ton of stuff in this town.  My successive emails will probably include similar puns about the wonderful town of Kitchener.

I guess you could say that this week, the spirit of God like a fire was burning.  It was pretty hot.  Luckily, there were many miracles to keep us going forward!

First sweet guy we met this week.  His name is Jeega (pronounced like it looks) and he sat in on an English lesson with us and another investigator.  He was really fascinated by why these missionaries were being so charitable and helping someone learn English, which was cool, but then we got to talking about gospel stuff. After we finished up with the other investigator, we started talking with Jeega, and he was just super stoked about learning about Christianity and why Christians are such nice people.  Just a testimony to me that Christ can change lives and make us better people.

Anyway, we taught him about the restoration of the gospel, and he was super excited to come to church. Long story short, he came to church and he loved it!!!  He came on a really good day as well, because alot of the YSA had just gone to the Kirtland temple for a conference, and it was testimony meeting, so everyone was talking about their experience.  It was really a beautiful meeting.

Another guy that came to church was named Owen. Man, Owen is just a really cool guy.  He's really fascinated by the idea of repentance, and every couple minutes he would ask us a question related to overcoming past mistakes that he's made.  I mentioned him last week I think, but this week was just incredible.  He came to church in a Porsche, which is pretty cool because he's about 20, and he gave us his business card.  Turns out, he is the CEO of some real estate company, which is sweet. He wants to donate money to the church, and so we told him about tithing, and he's really excited about that.  Also, he loved sharing his opinions in Gospel Principles.  It was just a really good Sunday.

Also, we met with Nan again this week, and he accepted a baptismal date for the 2nd of July, which we're super excited about.  He keeps asking us for good chapters in the Book of Mormon that he can read, and he just eats them up.  Truly "feasting upon the words of Christ".  We had a really cool couple of lessons last week, and we're meeting him again tonight.

Also, we stopped by to see a sweet guy named Sid who is a member, but hasn't been to church in a while.  He just got back from China, and there's a lot of opposition in his life from friends and family, but his testimony is so strong!!!  We had a super spiritual lesson where we all just testified of the atonement, and I came away from it feeling so good.  He's a really cool guy.

Hadley - Haha, sounds like his birthday was a lot of fun.  Ya, it's been pretty hot here lately.  I don't think I've eaten anything super gross, but I think maybe you would think it's gross. Chinese food is interesting sometimes.  Mostly we eat at home though.  We've actually been making some really good food. 

Hayden - Man, your email made me want to cry!  That's so sweet!  I'm sure that was the Spirit telling you to get up there and share your testimony.  I've learned that if someone is willing to share their testimony regularly, it will only get stronger and stronger.  The most important thing on my mission has probably been diligence and charity.  If you are diligent and you work hard, you'll be happy to do anything, and if you have charity for the people outside, nothing will be able to stop you from doing your work.  I love you bud!  Happy birthday!

Mom - What's Sam's missionary email?  And what's Braeden's going to be?  I forgot to bring my camera to the library today (but I swear i'm taking pictures :) ) but I promise I'll let you know next week.  Also, my next pictures are going to be SWEET because a few kinds of hats just got approved for missionaries.  People are going to think we're Mennonites, but we don't care.  We're going to look great!

Ashleigh - Man, you saw the missionaries?  I feel like I never saw them.  Probably because they cover like 10 wards each.  Oh Utah.  That's super cool though.  My mission's going pretty good I guess ;)  Just preaching and teaching.  Cool thing that happened this week.  I finally finished reading the Book of Mormon in Chinese characters, which was pretty fun.

To conclude, I just want everyone to know that God is there for each and every one of us, and that we have a duty to bring the gospel to the people around us.  Although this is not a church of coercion or or manipulation, it is a church of invitation.  There is no way to guarantee that people will accept the invitation to accept the gospel, for even God will not do that, but we have the chance every day to decide whether or not we will open our mouths that day.

Here are some scriptures I've been reading lately.

Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with utmost assurance to see the salvation of god. - D&C 123:17

I follow after (Jesus) that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus - Phillipians 3:12

Be ready always to give a reason of the hope that is in you - 1 Peter 3:15

I know that many times we have been promised that "If we open our mouths they will be filled" but I do not believe that we take this promise seriously enough.  Jesus Christ has died for us.  He has figuratively lifted us out of a "hole" of our own making.  He has saved us, but now we look around and we just see other "holes" with people in them trying to get out.  We are the only ones that can do this.  No one else can, and I love that with Christ's help, we can do this.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen

Elder Sabin