Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 101 T-4

another week down! We had some really good stuff happen last week. On Sunday night i realized that that was the last time i will finish a planner all the way... pretty weird. and it was strange to say goodbye to a bunch of the elders i came out with and have served around this whole time. Elder Ward went home and so did elder hixson. they're all on the plane right now... haha not sure what to think. last night it hit me just exactly how much time i have left. a few of the elders that were leaving slept over at our flat last night (there wasn't enough room in the ap's flat since there were 24 elders going home) but i was sitting there talking to them and my whole mission, i've been saying goodbye to missionaries that i feel are a lot more experienced and older than me. but these guys were green with me and went through the whole mission with me and now they're going home. dangit. that scares me. and it doesn't help that some of the members are already planning a goodbye party for us... since 6/7 elders in our branch will be home by the end of august... and the only one staying is the elder that is being trained by elder Yim! haha sure glad i didn't get trained in a flat of elders that were all going home. as for transfers i got another companion! it's elder Cheng! my son! haha i'm pretty excited. so we are in a trio until week 4 and then me and liao go home and cheng will be with someone else for the last two weeks. and also they moved us back to hurstville! hahaha YAYYYY!!! Revesby is a great place but i didn't personally enjoy the 30 minute drive to and from the place we spend the majority of our time. and now we just walk out the door and we're there! but the sad news is we don't live with barlow and knighton anymore. they got put in another flat in hurstville. 

Jack is doing great. we met up with him last week and reviewed the lessons and answered any questions he had. he is very prepared for his baptism. now we just have to get him an interview and finish up the program and he'll be sweet. Keep praying for him this week. 

Joy is also doing well. she's really busy with her winter semester right now but we had a great lesson with her last week and we talked about how the Holy Ghost works and it seemed to make sense to her. She is so awesome. she's keeping all the commitments and i know she will receive an answer. i pray that i will be able to see her be baptised, but it's more important that she's ready. She said she has felt the feelings we described as the holy ghost. its just a matter of receiving a personal witness that she needs to be baptised. so we'll be helping her with that. please keep her in your prayers. this is the last week of her winter semester and she's really stressed. 
On sunday one of the members brought her friend to church! Her name is Vivian and her friend's name is Peter. he's a pretty cool guy. from Beijing. he really enjoyed church and we met up with him yesterday to teach him the restoration. he committed to read the book of mormon and pray about it. and he said if he knew it was true he would be baptised. he asked some really good questions about God and it was fun to teach him. And i understood almost all of it so that was good. 

Other than that nothing much happened with investigators. Mr. Chen and his wife came to english class, but they've been busy recently so we couldn't meet up. Now we're just finding and calling some formers and seeking guidance on what to do. 

Our branch had an activity where we watched meet the Mormons at the chapel and it was really good. we didn't have as big a turn out as we were hoping, but the investigators really enjoyed it. Hopefully they felt the spirit. it hit me while i was watching it how much i miss yous! i've been gone a long time. i'll be happy when august 11th comes. but for now, i'm happy it's july 14th. Love you all heaps! have a good week! The church is true! 
Elder Tingey

our goodbye hot pot party

i'm not sure if this is the same highschool uncle dave went to or not, but this is chatswood high. 

Week 100 T-5

Well, it's week 100. Not sure how we got to this point, but i guess it had to come sooner or later. see, in my mind, i still have 2 years left... i'm probably going to be in denial until i step onto that airplane. 

This past week was pretty sweet. The mini mission went really well. our mini missionary was Elder Godinet from bankstown 1st ward. he was the man. i wish i was as prepared for my mission as he is. but i think that's how it's supposed to be. The rising generation should always be a step ahead of where we were. 

The beginning of the week was pretty slow. a lot of finding and walking around visiting names on the ward list. but from thursday to sunday we were goin hard all day every day. the mini mission started thursday morning at 7 am and we had a mini MTC where me and liao taught chinese and they had samoan and Tagalog classes as well. and then had classes on teaching the lessons. it was really good. i wish they had a mini mission in utah, but it doesn't really work when you have one companionship for a whole stake. whereas we have 16 companionships in the mortdale stake. but then we were out by 1 pmand we had a lesson with a former named Aiko up in the city and it went really well. she told us at the beginning that she is not going to join our church, but she did commit to pray by the time the lesson finished. so hopefully that goes well. and then later that afternoon we had a meeting with jack. Jack got cleared for baptism! he will be baptized not this sunday, but the sunday after. that should be the 19th... but i'm really excited for him. he was so happy and this sunday he is is going down to melbourne to watch his friend get baptized! haha small world, they both got found by the missionaries and are getting baptised at the same time! so we'll be praying and fasting for him as he prepares to be baptized. then we had MCM (our missionary correlation meeting with the branch mission leader) and after that went to a member's home for dinner. then friday we had district training meeting in the morning and we met up with joy! haha it's been so long! she's doing really good. she told us that she's been living the word of wisdom for about a month now! i was so happy to hear that. she's great. i just hope she receives an answer to her prayers soon. she's keeping all the commitments. so we're praying for her, and seeking inspiration as to how we can help. after joy we had some free time so we put up some posters advertising english class around hurstville. hopefully we get some takers. and we did some more finding. i talked to this girl named hana on the train. she specifically told me her name is spelled hana because her chinese name is Han so she just tossed an a at the end and called it good. haha she was cool. but she said she is interested in learning more about our church and what we believe so i gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet and taught her a little bit about our relationship with God. She seemed to really like it so that's good. friday night we had PEC and english class. it was really good because our investigator mr. chen came. and then he came to church! and brought his wife! and they both will be coming to english class this week. it was really basic beginning stuff, like talking about your family. but it was pretty fun because it reminded me of the MTC learning chinese and how hard we would always laugh because everyone's always making funny mistakes. like when this old chinese guy said that elder barlow is a girl. then saturday was the 4th of july!!!!!!!!! happy fourth everyone. we sang the national anthem (and we got our mini missionary to sing it with us) and then we had pizza and hot dogs for lunch. of course it wasn't american pizza or american hot dogs so they could be better, but it was pretty good. we met with a recent convert named Leon and then did a bunch of finding. Sunday was a typical sunday. Pretty flat-out. church was good. we had so many people there that we didn't have enough translation machines so i had to share with our mini missionary and listen to it in english... haha it will be weird to go home and not have translators in every class. i love church here. and then after church we had a meeting with jack again. we taught him about the church organisation and the priesthood. he is the man. and then we visited a potential who kindof tried to bible bash with us at the door, and elder liao was talking to her and then i piped in my bit and i'm not sure if it was the fact that i could speak chinese or the fact that i smashed her argument for not being willing to read the book of mormon, but she was a bit taken aback. haha that look on peoples face when a foreigner speaks chinese to them just never gets old. and then we had a fireside for the mini misionaries to finish it off and brake the fast. and that was my week! it was a great one. 

hope yous all have a wonderful week! i'll leave you on a spiritual note: i've re-started reading the book of mormon and i've got a schedule to finish by the end of my mission. i just finished 1 nephi today. but something that stuck out to me this run through was that 1 ne 3:7 is not the only time nephi says that we can do anything the lord commands us because he prepares a way for us with everything he commands. he talks about it multiple times. i know that it is true. God asks a lot of us, but he doesn't ask too much. and if we are willing, and have faith, he will prepare the way before us and that's when we can move mountains. Love you all! have a good week!

Elder Tingey

Ps okay funny story, so it's not leaving you on a spiritual note but that's okay. i was calling an investigator one night and she doesn't speak any english so it was all in chinese and we were talking and she told me she met the other missionaries on the train! and that they told her my chinese is good because i get to practice a lot with my wife! hahahaha i was laughing pretty hard and trying to explain to her  that i'm not actually married. i'm guessing that he told her i practice with my companion and she took it as my wife... hahaha #missionaryprobs

Elder Godinet. the man.

happy independence day from the sydney harbor!

Week 99 T-6

Alright another great week in beautiful Sydney Australia! 

It started off a bit rough but finished strong. On monday we were playing footy with a bunch of elders in the zone and elder barlow went to step, and his ankle gave out on him and there was this really loud pop and he went down. after a couple days of going to doctors and getting x-rays we found out that he fractured his tibia down near the ankle and he's in a boot for the next 6 weeks, so pretty much the rest of his mission. the poor guy can't put any pressure on it so we had to do some trade-offs to cover their appointments. it was pretty interesting, but we did manage to get some work done in our area and found a couple new investigators. one of them was found on trade-offs when i was out of the area so i'm not too sure who he is, but elder Liao said he had a lot of good questions so that should be good. This weekend the train line that goes through hurstville was having work done so we had to take the buses and it was a nightmare. took about 4 times as long to drive than it did to train. and i ended up next to this guy from Hong Kong that i talked to for about an hour driving from central to Kogarah and i still don't know exactly what he believes. he said he was going to the Buddhist temple to worship but then he tells me that he believes in Jesus Christ... and Muhammad... and Confucius.... so i was trying to figure that out and all of a sudden he's trying to use the bible to prove reincarnation! hahaha i was so confused. Also he told me that he has a book of Mormon at home that he uses as a reference... not sure how that works, but he was a really nice guy and i gave him a pass-along card with our church's address on it so he can come if he ever wants to. haha some experiences only happen to missionaries!

Jack is still doing great. we taught him the law of chastity this week and committed him to live it. we're hoping to set a date with him this next week. right now he is down in Canberra with all the YSA in the branch. and later he will be going to Melbourne to watch his friend get baptized down there! haha turns out his friend met the missionaries down there and is getting baptized. pretty sweet. Jack is so fun to teach because he is very humble and sincerely wants to follow God in his life. His prayers are so awesome. He is the epitome of a sincere heart and real intent. i love jack. he's the man.

Joy has still been out of town and preparing for winter semester. we're hoping to meet up this week, but she might be busy again so i'll let you know!

Shirley texted us last week and told us that she's been really busy with finals coming up so she wasn't able to answer our texts or calls. and then she got really sick last week. so hopefully we'll be able to meet up with her this week.

Charles Kong gets back from melbourne today so hopefully we can set something up for later this week. 
We picked up a former investigator named mr. chen. haha i met with him once with elder ward my first week and then he never got back to us and then elder liao called him last week and he told us he needed help translating at the RTA (DMV of australia) so we went and helped him out and it was really quick so we asked if we could walk to the library and share a message and he said yes so we walked and talked and he told us that the reason he didn't get back to us is because it was too hard to communicate... dangit.... haha but that's alright. he DID tell me that my chinese has improved a lot since last time we met. so that made me happy. but we'll be meeting up with him from now on and he will be coming to english class as well. i don't know if i've told yous, but we started teaching english on friday nights. we're starting slow, but hopefully picking up the pace soon and we'll be able to use it as a finding tool.

Other than that things are pretty much the same as always. a lot of finding, a good amount of teaching. i'd rather do more teaching and less finding, but that's alright. Tomorrow is the last day of June so our mission's book of mormon challenge is going to finish. i've read the whole thing in chinese and it's been a huge blessing. i love reading the scriptures and especially the book of mormon. 

This week we will be doing the mini mission so we're getting one of the priests in mortdale stake that will be coming to work with us from thursday to sunday. haha so we're trying to set as many appointments for those few days as possible. it should be good. 

Love you all! have a great week! church is true. 
Elder Tingey

Playing Footy on PDay

Week 98 T-7

Finals are almost over!!!! woohooooo!!! haha and now starts the winter holiday so it should be easy to get people to meet with us if they are staying in town for the next couple months. We tried our hardest to smash out the finding last week and we ended up with 2 new investigators! it was interesting though, because we picked them up yesterday and other than that we got pretty dismal numbers. the whole week we were finding like all day every day and nothing was coming of it and i was pretty discouraged all week until saturday when one of our potentials called us and wanted to meet up the next day! but i'll tell you about that later.

Jack is doing well. taught him the word of wisdom yesterday and he committed to live it. it's nice to have elder liao with me because we can teach in a lot more detail now. haha and by we i mean him. haha i've been trying to push myself with my chinese a little bit recently so if there's something i want to say i just go for it and sometimes it gets me into trouble because i get about halfway into what i want to say and then i realize my vocabulary isnt big enough to finish so i do my best and then the person i'm talking to just kindof stares at me. like jack yesterday thought i told him that we can drink alchohol 1 time but that's it or else we will get addicted when really i was trying to talk about how there are some people who would get addicted after one drink so we all stay away from it to protect everyone. hahaha it was a bit confusing but the member that was fellowshipping knew what i meant and explained it better and then shared a cool experience about what i had said so it worked out okay... hahah dangit. but jack's last test is on the 26th of june so that will be good for him to get that over with. Also apparently he is going down to melbourne with all our YSA next week so that will be fun! haha am i a bit jealous? well, i would never say it, but yes. hahah Jack is the man.

Joy is also in melbourne right now. she went there for a few days after her test finished. So there's not much to tell but she is still awesome!

So as for the new people, we had called a bunch of potentials last week and this one named michael told us to call him after finals and his finals finished on thursday so we called him on friday and it went straight to voicemail so we were a bit disappointed because usually that means that they blocked our phone number but on saturday he called us back! so we set up an appointment with him for sunday afternoon and we went to meet him up at redfern and he brought his girlfriend! His name is michael and her name is Jing. they both wanted to learn about jesus so we taught them the restoration and spent a large portion of time talking about christ's earthly ministry and atonement. haha they would stop every few minutes and ask if i could undertsand and then tell me how strange it was that i could speak chinese. haha that never gets old. but we gave them a book of mormon and they committed to read and pray and to come to church with us. i'm excited. our branch is pretty much all people whose children have already grown up and moved out, young couples that are just starting to have kids, or else YSA. but if we can get the young couples to stick around for about 10-15 years there will be a pretty sweet youth program.

Gotta love it out here. We were talking to some members that had us over about going home (that seems to be all people want to talk to me about recently) and i'm still not sure how i feel about it. i'm just continuing with my plan of not thinking about it until the last possible moment.

The church is true! i know it is. i'm loving representing our saviour out here! its a struggle, and there's always something to overcome and something else to face but it's a joy. if you choose to be sad through it, you'll be sad, but if you choose to be happy through it, you'll enjoy life a lot more. i know that's true. Love you all! have a great week! happy fathers' day! i totally forgot it was fathers' day because they celebrate it at a different time here but every day is fathers' day, right? love you dad :)
Elder Tingey

me and Liao steamed up some zhongzi to celebrate! one of the members gave them to us at church. i love chinese festivals.  This Aloe drink is literally the best thing in this world. if we had enough money i would probably drink it all day every day. and the chinese say it's good for your skin!
zhongzi is a rice dumpling with either meat or red bean inside. it was pretty delicious. Apparently, and this was explained to me in chinese so i'm not exactly sure but, there was an emporer, or a leader of some sort who never listened to his advisors and he went to war and lost terribly and he felt so bad about it he threw himself into a river and died but there were lots of people that really loved him so they would get in boats and row out on the river and throw in rice dumplings so the fish would eat the dumplings and not his body. so that is how it started and now it has evolved into everyone making the dumplings just for us to eat and they have dragon boat races to see who can row the fastest. so there you have it. and that could be totally wrong, but that's what i understand it to be.

Week 97 T-8

Hello again everyone! once again it is p-day and it is tuesday. this is the third week in a row that we have had to do p day on a tuesday and i'm glad its the last one for a while. Sunday night is meant to be p-day eve and when it's not it throws me off. But today our zone went to the temple so i guess it's a good reason to delay pday. (the temple isn't open on mondays) and then we spent the rest of the day checking out the shops in parramatta and then got something to eat and now we are finally back but we're emailing at Kogarah library this week instead of bankstown library and the computers here are not as good so i can't send pictures this week. sorry...

The past week was a bit rough as far as the work goes. and this next week isn't looking too promising. Finals are this week and when finals come, our university students disappear. haha we have like 5 potentials lined up to meet with us after the 26th. so we're just waiting it out and taking advantage of our spare time to do as much finding as we can. hopefully as soon as finals are over our teaching pool will explode! haha that would be ideal.

Joy is doing really well. she wasnt feeling ready for the 21st so we decided to take her off date. she is still reading the book of mormon and praying so we're very hopeful that she will receive an answer. somehow the gospel has to move from our heads to our hearts and i think that can only be done by the spirit. so we will keep helping her do what God has told us will lead to conversion. She is awesome and she is also very stressed for her final exams this week. So we're hoping all goes well for her. 

We met with Jack after church on sunday. he wants to be baptized! it was an awesome lesson about the gospel of jesus christ and how it applies to the atonement. The spirit was really strong and i could tell that Jack is sincerely and humbly seeking the truth. He's awesome. haha and he is ALSO very stressed for finals so we agreed to set a date when finals are over. i'm hoping to still be here for it. He's such a good guy. he's one of those people that just puts off the "good person" vibe. 

We weren't able to meet with shirley this past week. she didn't answer our calls or text us back so we're a bit sad about that. hopefully her phone is broken or something. ya, that's gotta be it....hahaha i'm getting better at consoling rejection. there's some missionaries that really struggle with it and so i'm trying to get my pat on the back down just right. not too hard, not too soft. just right. and tell them that "her phone is probably broken". hahahahahaha 

We met up with a new investigator this past week named Charles. it was our first lesson with him and he was asking us how to join our church! haha so that was pretty awesome. he doesn't speak much english and i had no idea until after the lesson when i asked how his english is and he said he can't speak at all. But it was pretty awesome because i understood the whole lesson and was able to go back and forth pretty well with elder Liao instead of him teaching the majority and me trying to understand and then testifying at the end. I'm really happy with where my chinese is. i look at where it was when i came here and i've learned soooo much! and i constantly get reminded of how much farther i have to go to be fluent, but every once in a while its nice to give myself some props. But anyways, charles returns to china at the end of July so we might be rushing to get him in the water before then. and we'll set him up with the church in the DaLu! and the good news is he is NOT a student!!!! hahaha so we can meet with him this week.

Funny things that happened this week:

i found myself on the train one day translating for this crazy lady that was trying to preach to these three chinese ladies who spoke no english. Not sure how it happened, but it was pretty funny. and i was trying to make the things she was saying sound a bit less... weird. because she was wanting me to tell them that the handle they were holding onto on the train was actually jesus because he holds us up and i just said that jesus helps us face our challenges... hahaha it was pretty crackup.

i contacted this guy at the train station and literally 5 seconds after i shook his hand goodbye i found myself holding a strange pamphlet and getting bible bashed by some guy. i was so confused at how fast it happened. i changed from the missionary to the investigator in the blink of an eye! hahahaha i think my tactics are better than his though.... Go mormons.

Life is going well! every few minutes i alternate between wanting time to go faster and wanting time to slow down. I miss you guys with all my heart, but it is depressing for me to think about leaving all my aussie friends behind. SO pretty much what i'm saying is get ready for me to be depressed when i come home. hahaha BUT i can't wait to go to lake powell!!!! so that should pick me up :) love you all SOOOOOOO much!  have an awesome week! 

Elder Tingey

Happy birthday we sing to you! may your dreams and wishes come true! may your hours be filled with happinesssssssss and alllll your daysssss with looooove be blessssed! 

Happy birthday Dad! 

 love you!!!

Week 96 T-9

Hello everyone! hope yous all had a great week. Mine was awesome. Elder Liao is the man. we were smashing it out with finding this week and got a couple new potentials so we're hoping to see some good stuff in the near future. I realized this week that having a native companion is awesome because i feel like my chinese is improving very quickly, but lessons are a bit more difficult for me because they get talking and they start slow for me and then without thinking they get faster and faster until i'm struggling just to know what principle in the lesson we're talking about! haha its fun, though. Yesterday we didnt have P-day because it was a public holiday. The queens birthday. Not sure if it was her ACTUAL birthday, or the fake one, not sure how many birthdays a person can have... wish I was royalty... haha but regardless, we had a holiday and our mission doesn't take p-days on public holidays. so we were out contacting people pretty much all day because no one wanted to meet with us since it was their day off. all goods, though. we got a couple people's contact details so it was a success! 

Joy is doing good. she came to church and told us that she's been praying regularly and i think she enjoyed church. We had a really good fast and testimony meeting. usually i wonder what's going to happen in testimony meeting, but everyone that bore their testimony said some really good stuff. and there was nothing weird that was said! haha actually, this branch is really good with that stuff. it makes it nice to bring investigators.

We had a great lesson with shirley on saturday where we talked about the restoration. and we had a great member there to bear testimony and share her experiences and it was awesome. I think she ran into some anti material because she was asking questions about polygamy and stuff. but it was a really good lesson. and all in chinese so it was even better:) there was a point where we were talking about baptism and we were explaining how it works and she was having trouble understanding what elder Liao was explaining and she got this puzzled look on her face and said "pao yi pao ma?" which i had no idea what that meant but elder liao and our member both started laughing way hard. Elder liao told me later that in chinese it's what they say to describe the action of soaking your oreo in milk. hahahaha she's crack up. but she wants to learn a bit more before she commits to anything as far as baptism goes, which makes sense, but we're still praying for her. and she didn't come to church so we were a bit sad about that. this week, though.

Jack is doing great as well. He's very busy with school because finals are coming up, but he came to all three hours of church and had a lesson with us after AND he joined the ward choir! oh yeah, the branch is turning into a ward soon. at least, that's the word on the street. so that's exciting. but we talked to jack mostly about baptism and why its so important to us and why all the missionaries he's met with keep inviting him to be baptised. he gets it and he wants to be baptised, but just wants to learn a bit more. he is pretty cool, though. and so humble. haha this week i was thinking about how lucky i've been to be able to serve in so many areas with universities. i love teaching people my age. it is awesome. i feel like i'm just talking to one of my friends from back home. just in chinese... haha it's great. 

other than that things are pretty much the same. if we're not in an appointment with an investigator or recent convert/ less-active we are walking the streets or riding the train or sitting at the bus stop to try to find people. It's the life. 

One experience stood out to me this week i want to share. Elder Liao and i were walking through hurstville and this kid who was sitting with these two girls waved us over so we walked over and i was mentally preparing myself to get bible bashed. But he asked us to sit down next to him and he proceeded to tell us about the tough life he's lived. he can't be more than a year older than me and he's had a rough go of things. and the experiences he's had in life have convinced him that there is no God. So i was able to testify of the reality of a loving God that allows bad things to happen because he gave each of us agency and he wants us to use it. And i felt the spirit testify to me that what i said was true. but he said something that caused me to think a little bit. he told me that his goal in life is "to be able to walk into one of these shops and buy anything, EVERYTHING, and then walk to the next one and do the same thing. and then walk up the street to the car dealer and buy any car i want, and then drive to the Ferrari dealer and get the most expensive one and then drive that ferrari down the main street of hurstville and crash it on purpose and then walk to the Lamborghini dealer and buy one of those and still have money left over to go have a beer." So i thought about that and why that isn't my goal in life and i decided that that is a goal that will never bring satisfaction. No matter what we do, we will always be able to make one more dollar. and as soon as you buy that last Lambo, they will come out with a new model and you won't be happy until you have THAT one. and it never ends. What i believe is that the gospel gives us an attainable goal that brings us infinite happiness. And we are very lucky to understand that.  

Love you all! Have a great week. Happy birthday Grandpa! Cant wait to talk to him about his australia mission stories. Talk to yous next week!

-Elder Tingey

FHE with the Branch

Elder Liao took me to a taiwanese dessert place. have you had this before, dad? mango ice.

Week 95 T-10

Alright we have started my last full Transfer and i am still kickin in the cantonese branch! haha no real surprise there. since elder bowcut was going home it made sense to keep me here. i wasn't sure who my comp would be though and president wouldn't tell me until monday morning who it is! haha it was pretty funny because we had to go to the mission home early to drop off elder Bowcuts luggage and we got there and president was sitting on the couch on his ipad doing something for the mission and we weigh the luggage and he asks, " have you guys eaten?" and we hadn't so he asked if we wanted some toast and we said yes, and then next thing we know we are sitting at the counter on stools while president back cooks us bacon, eggs, hash browns, and toast! hahaha it was great. i felt like i was back home with dad cooking breakfast on a saturday morning again! haha i love president back. But i got him to tell me while we were eating that my new companion is Elder Liao! and as far as i know, we will be dying together because we both go home August 11th. Elder Ward got transferred as well and he was replaced by elder Barlow. Its weird how fast things change on the mission. It's a whole different flat and only half of it has changed! I'm really excited, though, for this next transfer. It will be lots of fun.

Joy is doing very good. in her words, Joy is a joy. We met with her on thursday again and she brought her friend with her! so we talked for a bit and introduced who we are and what we do and what our over-arching beliefs are. not sure how keen she is, but she's really nice. her name is Allison. 

We had a really good lesson with Jack on sunday after church. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the 10 commandments. He is smashing through the book of mormon. he's in 2 nephi now and has heaps of questions. the whole lesson was in chinese and i had a massive headache by the end of it. But it was a great lesson and the spirit was strong. we hope to have him working towards a date for baptism soon. He's such a cool guy. 
Shirley wasn't able to come to church because she got sick and she's been so busy with school that we haven't been able to meet with her. but hopefully this week we will. 

On sunday we had FHE at a member's house and there was a great turnout. there almost wasn't enough room to fit everyone! so we might be moving it to the chapel in the future. Also we will probably be starting an english class taught by Elder and Sister Kinghorn, the senior couple in our branch. that should be a good way to find some people to teach. 

Sad to hear about Elder Perry passing away. he was a great apostle. i've loved studying some of his talks. not sure who the next one will be, but im excited to know. 

Life is pretty sweet right now. it was good to see everyone yesterday at transfers. half of our mission goes home between now and october. pretty crazy. Well, have a great week! Church is true. i'll send some pics.
Elder Tingey

Me and Elder Bowcut

Me and Liao

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 93

okay once again we are going to make this one quick. its the last p-day of the transfer and elder bowcut doesn't want to squander it.

We met with joy and went over the baptismal interview questions with her. she doesn't feel quite ready to be baptized so we have pushed her date back to the 21st of June. kindof sad, but it will be good. She's still awesome. Please keep her in your prayers. 

Shirley is also doing good. she wasn't able to come to church or meet with us last week, but she will finish her assignment by tomorrow and then we can meet up with her. haha she refuses to text us in english so we have to spend ages interpreting the texts she sends us, which is a bit difficult when she asks us things like, "have you ever eaten pig cartilage boiled in brown sugar sauce?" haha that was a tough one. but we got it. and she was all the more impressed by our Chinese:) 

This week they started doing this thing called VIVID in sydney which is where they have all these light shows and stuff and we were riding the train across the harbour bridge on saturday evening and we got to see it! it was pretty cool. the opera house was all lit up and the lights were flashing different colors and stuff. lots of fun. 

Probably the coolest thing was that elder Cook came to our stake conference on sunday! We found out why he is in australia too. he came to give some speeches at unis and also to give tony abbot his family history. but before the meeting we pulled up and were walking in the back door when me and bowcut got caught up in the security and ended up shaking elder cooks hand! hahahaha it was so funny. we were just walking in and then all of a sudden we were pretty much one on one with elder cook. pretty exciting. 

and then after stake conference one of the recent converts in the ward brought her friend to church and told us that he's been being taught by the north missionaries, but he wants to come to our branch now so we will be teaching from this point on. haha great stuff. his name is jack. 

okay gotta go! love you all! if you have questions then email them to me and i will try to answer them next week! BYE!

Elder Tingey 

Week 92

Hello all! So my comp has decided that since he is going home in two weeks there is no point in emailing a ton so we will be cutting it short for a few weeks here so i'll just be giving yous the short version... haha and i'll see how i like it and maybe it will be how i do the rest of my emails:)

Joy is doing awesome! She took us around to some of the chinese shops today since Elder Bowcut is going home and doesn't have much time left to get souvenirs. haha it was really fun. She came to church on sunday. last week we taught her the 10 commandments and the Law of chastity and sunday after church we taught her the word of wisdom and law of tithing. She says the only thing that will be tough for her is drinking tea. apparently tea is like really popular in china or something..... hahaha since EVERYONE drinks it. including me...JOKES! i only dring the honey-lemon tea which is totally kosher. haha We are still hoping for Joy to get baptised on the 31st of May so we are excited for that and trying to get all the lessons in and give her time to feel comfortable about it. She really is awesome.

Nicole kindof dropped us last week. She's still okay to meet up, but she said she has pretty much made her decision about or church. There's a chance we might do a church swap with her and go to her church so she comes to ours, but that's probably not going to happen, unless we just go anyways because there's a mandarin version that meets at the same time next door apparently... hahah jk that's for after the mission.
Mr. Xu is now in Canberra for work for the next couple weeks so nothing to report on him. hopefully he gets back soon. he's like the only person we visit that we Cant speak english to so it helps my chinese out a lot. plus i miss him. he's so cool.

One of the members brought their friend to church last week and we met up with her on saturday. Her name is shirly and she's really funny. She can't believe how we can survive without electronics and entertainment for two years... haha but we played our cards right and didn't speak any english to her at the beginning so she only speaks chinese to us now so the hard part is just never showing any sign of weakness in our chinese so she doesn't revert to english on us. haha its great. and she has some friends that go to snow college in utah! hahahahaha i was crackin up when she told us. haha good stuff. apparently it's a good school!

Other than that life is pretty normal. haha well, as normal as life can get as amissionary. Sometimes i stop and think about how weird my life actually is right now and i'm so used to it that i don't even notice sometimes. hahah its the best. Love you all! have a great week! bai bai!
-Elder Tian

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week 91

alright, this was a great week filled with lots of finding. The majority of the lessons we teach are from thursday onward so tuesday and wednesday are always a bit slow. we get to do a lot of talking to people on the streets. its fun because we just hunt down the chinese people. we have lots of fun finding. I realized that my whole mission i have always been in a large area. Wollongong was my smallest area, size-wize so i've never had to worry really about accidentally leaving my area. We realized this on the train one day as we passed through like 5 areas on our way to an appointment. its nice. i think i'd get too claustrophobic if i had a small area to work in. 

We met with a recent convert named Li Wei on monday and he is the man. He's actually not too recent because he already has the Melchizedek Priesthood but we talked about the plan of salvation with him and he's solid as when it comes to that stuff. He asked us what we do when we have a question about the gospel. I got to then bear my testimony to him of how i know that god answers questions. I've had lots of questions throughout my life and though it often takes time, my questions always get answered one way or another. There was a cool quote from conference that i love and i think it was from elder Pearson but he said "don't let something you don't fully understand unravel everything you do." or something like that. its so true. everything always works itself out if you trust in God and move forward in faith.

We met with joy as well and she is doing great. she is really busy with school right now so the baptism is going to be pushed back a couple weeks because she can't come to church again until the 17th which is after mid-term is over. so in the meantime we are just meeting up to teach her everything and hopefully she will be baptized on Elder Bowcut's last sunday. please pray for her. She's progressing well, reading the book of mormon regularly, accepts the restoration and plan of salvation. we'll be teaching her the gospel of jesus christ this week and then its on to the commandments and laws and ordinances! Joy has convinced me to get a WeChat when i get home, which is an app that all the chinese people have that uses the internet to text and video chat and send voice messages. its pretty cool. she showed me some of it and i will definitely be using it when i get home. especially since it's the best way to keep in touch with my chinese friends. 

Nicole is doing well, we went over the plan of salvation with her again and explained the parts she didn't really understand. we feel like she will either drop us or start progressing a lot soon. She's way cool. hope she gets an answer to her prayers. 

Carol is doing pretty good as well. we met with her and taught about the restoration and answered questions she had about the book of mormon. she read a lot, actually! i was impressed. she had lots of questions for us to answer. 

YuHan is the man. he's the other elders recent convert that we are working with now because he doesn't speak any cantonese so its pointless to have the cantonese elders work with him. We went over lehi's dream with him. it was awesome and he had some great insights. and he gave us a referral! its for his friend that said he wants to learn more about "the mormon". haha we'll see what that means but i'm excited. we should be meeting with him this coming week sometime. 

Bro. Xu is so good. we had a lesson with him and he told us he hasn't smoked in two weeks! he bore his testimony to us of the power of prayer and then they asked him to share a scripture in priesthood on sunday and he smashed it! he shared 2 nephi 2:14-16 and talked about how he has overcome opposition in his life. I personally think we should have recent converts teach our sunday school classes because they have the doctrine so simply and clearly. and that's really all we need. 

Things are good here in Sydney. time is going quickly. can't believe this week is my last call home! i'm still not exactly sure on when i'll be calling home. because everyone in our branch works on monday so it might be tough to find a place but plan on sunday afternoon/evening for you guys and i'll somehow let you know if its a different time. 
Love you all! The church is true! Me and elder Bowcut got invited over to our neighbor's house last night where we got bible bashed by six lebanese guys, but it's all good. we smashed them:) hahaha i like teaching chinese people with no religious background more.... well, have a good week! talk to yous on sunday! love you!

-Elder Tingey

PS: just got word that on the 26th of May Elder Cook will be visiting our mission! i'm sooo excited! another apostle! that will bring the total up to 5 different apostles that i have seen speak on my mission. pretty cool!

Me and Elder Bowcut

Week 90

Alright we had a great week last week. It was pretty crazy because we had to split up the area and we were trying to figure everything out, but it turned out really good. Monday to wednesday it was pouring rain all day every day. it was so bad that the church offices contacted our mission and told us to park all the cars so they didn't get ruined. there was heaps of flooding and crazy stuff. The trains were all either really delayed or else shut down. one of the train stations had water all the way up to the platform. so things were pretty interesting for a few days there. one of our friends showed us a picture of the harbor bridge during the storm and it had a full-on waterfall coming off it. pretty crazy. we were just soaked completely for three days. it was lots of fun... but i won't say i didn't pray for it to never happen again....

The worst part about the storm is that nobody wanted to meet with us because it was pouring rain and also it was just too hard to get anywhere so we struggled to teach people last week, but the people we DID see were great.
We met with Nicole quickly this week. had a good chat about the plan of salvation pamphlet she read. i love teaching about the plan of salvation. it's something that is new to a lot of people, and its something that you could study your whole life and not get it fully, but it makes life so much easier when you have a basic understanding of it. i'm trying to understand it at a more basic level so i can explain things better, and the more simply i study, it seems the more fully i understand why i'm here, where i came from and where i'm going. And preach my gospel makes things so easy on us as missionaries. i wish i could teach as simply and powerfully as preach my gospel teaches.
We couldn't see joy this week and she had so many assignments that she wasn't able to make it to church so that was sad, but she's still awesome. We talked to her on the phone and she said she's up to 1 Nephi 12! pretty good! we'll be meeting with her later this week to go over what she's read and teach some more.

On saturday there was a BBQ at our branch president's house for all the recent converts to come and all the auxiliary leaders to meet them. it was really good and we met some new people that haven't been to church in a while. This branch is really good at inviting people to activities. it makes things heaps easier on us when we can meet people in a setting that is not us knocking on their door and magically knowing their name because we have the ward list. it was especially good for the recent converts to meet everyone.

Sunday night we had FHE at our 2nd councilor's house. it was awesome. Bro Xu made it and he loved it. we played this game where you sit in a big circle and everyone picks a fruit (and remember this is all in chinese so you have to be on your game with the fruits) and then someone is in the middle with a rolled up newspaper and you start with someone and they say a fruit and the person in the middle has to hit the person who picked that fruit before they can say another fruit. it was hilarious. i was dying.

All-in-all it was a really good week. i love being here and serving with elder bowcut. his chinese is way better than mine. everyone was freaking out because he sounds native. its pretty cool. we were talking to a couple members after church and we got them to teach us some chinese jokes. totally hilarious. but they don't make sense in english so i wont tell yous. sorry... chinese people only... like i said, chinese speakers is the most exclusive club in the world. represent!

Love you all! have an awesome week! weird that i'm going to be skyping with yous in a couple weeks... be thinking of questions you want to ask and be ready with a list of general classes for me to choose from! haha jk i can probably do that over email.

I studied the parable of the talents this week. i love that parable. so much we can learn about our stewardships and what God expects of us. go read it! love yous heaps and heaps!
-Elder Tingey

this was  a huge tree that was out front of our chapel. pretty lucky it fell toward the street and not toward the church, right?...

Week 89

Alright sorry this is coming a bit later than usual. the past couple days have been a bit crazy... We got transfer information on saturday and they told elder ward and i that we were both packing! but then they told us that we are still in the same branch, but we're moving flats. and we both got new companions! My new companion is elder Bowcut! we lived together in canberra for 6 months and i'm way excited for this next transfer. But they moved us to a place called Revesby... its about a half hour drive from hurstville and it's definitely not in china town like our last flat. But it's a pretty nice area and it's right next to the train station and Woolworths is across the street. but the problem has been that it hasn't been lived in for the past couple months so it has nothing. not even toilet paper... so we've been trying to figure all that out but i think we've finally got it all sorted. its been a big pain, though and the worst part is that we had to split the area and that's never any fun. so i'll keep you updated on everyone but im not working with all of them anymore. 

as for last week we had some good stuff happen. This guy named Chen just rocked up to church on sunday and told us he wants to learn about our church. he said he went running one morning and ran past it and decided to come on sunday so he showed up and our ward clerk introduced him to me and i was confused as to whether he's a member or not so i just asked him, "are you a member of our church?" and he said "not yet. how to become a member?" haha so i explained to him how baptism works and he was pretty interested but he had already scheduled something during the day so he couldn't stay for all of church so i got his phone number and we'll be meeting with him on saturday hopefully. 

Joy is doing really good. she came to church and really liked it again. She's reading her book of mormon regularly and really enjoying it. she's on date for the 10th of May but we might push it back a bit just to make sure shes really ready. 

Nicole we met with during the week up at Sydney University and she told us she got online and watched conference and really liked elder pearson's talk. i also really liked his talk but she was a bit confused about what temples are and what the difference between a temple and a chapel was so we talked about that for a bit. she's really good. asks good questions and it helps me to make sure i understand the doctrines well enough to explain them clearly. 

matt and Bro. Xu are both doing really good. They have strong testimonies and strong desire so follow the saviour. Elder ward and his companion elder knighton will be working with matt and me and elder bowcut with be working with Bro. Xu. Bro xu is up to 2 Nephi 10 now with his book of mormon reading and i can tell he's really trying to understand it because he asks questions like, "is the jacob that its talking about Nephi's brother Jacob, or a different jacob?" haha i was so proud of him. His english is still pretty rubbish, but we might start teaching him english when we go over for the new member lessons. He's working on bringing some friends to church so that could be really good. he's the man.

Other than that it was a pretty normal week. Elder Lam is on the plane to hong Kong now and it was sad to watch him die. and now this is elder bowcut's last transfer so i get to watch another one go in 6 weeks. it's so sad! i hate watching people go home. on saturday all the YSA threw elder lam a party and it was kindof depressing being there so me and elder ward left early. We have good YSA in this branch. It makes things a bit more fun when there's people your age there. 

on sunday the other elders had a baptism, which was cool because it was elder Lam's last sunday and this guy is awesome. His name is Yohann and after he was baptised, he gave his testimony and it was the most powerful recent convert testimony i've ever heard. So cool. and Elder Bowcut and I will be working with him in the future so i'm really excited. 

Life is pretty good. time is going too fast for comfort and its really sad to say goodbye to people that i've met and made friends with while i've been here. It's going to be hard to come home. But that's okay. i've still got 4 months to enjoy! This morning i was studying in the book of mormon alma chapter 34. its such an awesome chapter. i love the teachings it has about the atonement. It's such an incredible thing to study. and the more i study, the more i realize i don't fully comprehend what it really meant. i'm so greatful for our saviour. He has made everything possible for us. i have come to love wearing his name on my chest and its going to be a sad day when i have to take it off. But today is not that day! haha it's going to be a good transfer. lets hope my chinese continues to improve. the big test will be on mothers' day i guess! haha Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Tingey

ps. prayers going out to Elder Murphy and his family! i got an email from him so he sounds like he's healing up alright.

okay, you tell me, have i gained or lost weight? or stayed the same?

Week 88

Can't believe this is the last week of the transfer... time is going way too fast. i'm scared to blink, cuz i know if i do i'll be back home. i'm hoping not much changes this transfer. Elder Lam is going home so we are definitely getting someone else in our flat but hopefully that's the extent of the changes. haha i'm a happy camper right now. and i know its at times like these that heavenly father decides to give us a growing opportunity, but i can hope, can't it? haha It was a great week.

Wednesday was probably our best day. We literally had to run from appointment to appointment from 1:00 until 9:30 it makes the day feel so short when there's no gap time to do street contacting or anything. There were two days this week where we were too busy to have dinner even! so that should tell you how busy it was if i didn't have time to eat... haha actually i'm losing weight now so soon all the clothes i bought when i got fat will not fit anymore but i don't have the clothes from before anymore so i'm in a bit of a pickle again... hahaha all goods, we'll figure it out. The lord always provides for his servants.

Joy is doing great. She wasn't able to come to conferene yesterday because she has a big test today and she had to study but she told us she reads the book of mormon every night! Shes pretty awesome. she's planning on may 10th for baptism unless somthing with school comes up. we're meeting with her on sunday and until then we're just praying that she gets an answer about the book of mormon because "those who receive this witness by the Holy Spirit also know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these the last days, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God once again established on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah." Pretty cool how that works out.
Liu is the man. He's keen to meet like every day if we want to, but he goes back to china tomorrow for three weeks so we are meeting with him tonight and we will give him a book of mormon to read on the plane and while he's back there. He came to general conference and said he really liked it. he came to the sunday morning session, which was awesome. even in mandarin i was getting a lot out of it.

We met with a girl named Nicole this past week and it was really good. She is an australian-born-chinese so she can understand chinese because her parents only speak to her use chinese but english is her natural language so we teach in english. She is baptist and has a pretty good understanding of what she believes and what the bible teaches. We met her up at Sydney University when we got lost trying to find where we were meeting someone else and we asked her to help us and she showed us where to go. We met up on friday at a park in hurstville to talk about the restoration pamphlet we gave her and answer any of her questions. She had some really good questions and when we explained the book of mormon she was really interested in it. So we gave her a book and invited her to read it and pray about it and she agreed! So hopefully now she gets an answer. She's really cool. and she's only 18! i think i just assume that everyone who goes to uni is older than me because i've never been before... weird how soon i WILL be going, though. and MJ's right behind me! haha

Matt and Brother Xu are doing really good. Both of them had to overcome smoking addictions to be baptised and it seems to be weighing on them both a bit so prayers for them would be appreciated. Brother xu was expressing to us that he feels a bit uncomfortable at church because he doesn't have a suit so i gave him one of mine. haha he had the biggest grin on his face when he showed up to church in it. (and it fit him better than it fit me)
General conference was amazing. haha we were laughing after saturday sessions because it was pretty much all about marriage and pretty much all of us went to conference with questions like "how can i finish my mission strong?" or "how can i focus more on the work?" haha and then bam, marriage, fatherhood, children. it was great, though. good stuff for 4 months from now. We watched the sunday morning session in mandarin so we missed quite a bit of it, but that is one session i will definitely be studying for a while. Elder Holland and  President uchtdorf both had amazing talks. so i can't wait for the ensign to come out. i'm going to get my own copy. and then the sunday afternoon session was awesome too! Elder renlund representing the holladay 3rd! smashed it. "twas I, but TIS not I" what an awesome talk. and then i can't remember his name, but the guy that talked about hearing the music and not just doing the dance moves. that was really good. now when we get rejected we just ask each other why they can't hear the music! haha and then i loved Elder Pearson's talk as well. "if you lose the spirit, you are lost." he's the man and he's the pacific area president and he's from holladay! he's so good. such a good conference. although we did have to explain to our investigator and less actives why they were talking about easter as if it was yesterday when really it was a week ago, but that's alright.

Love you all. hope you all have a wonderful week and do lots of fun stuff. We have Zone p-day today down in burundula or something like that. its like a park or a beach or something but apparently it's really beautiful so i'll take some pictures and send them next week. have a great week! Church is true.
-Elder Tingey

This photo tells you everything you need to know about the elders assigned to all the mandarin speakers in sydney.

This is us with our friend joy last sunday. and that's my new suit that i bought a couple weeks ago.

this is the mission home... yes it has a pool in the back yard.