What’s good everybody! I hope everyone had a good week. This last week is a little hard to remember but I’ll try my best lol. So yeah we started out the week playing the Portuguese version of pickleball (actually it’s more like the European version) but basically, you have tennis balls on a smaller tennis court and you play a pickleball and tennis hybrid but you can play off the walls. I guess that’s the best way I can explain it but you guys should just look it up haha.

But yeah so this week was a blur and as I’m writing this I remember that we wrote our testimonies in a Book of Mormon and left it at our friend Patrick’s house in his mailbox because he wasn’t home but then afterward we realized it wasn’t his house. I felt super strongly from the spirit that we should leave that Book of Mormon and now I’m curious why so we will probably go back and see this week!

My companion Elder Smith and some delicious grub!

One thing that’s not hard to forget this week is that I was super sick. I was extremely dizzy and nauseous and every time we took buses or trains I had to stumble off and catch my breath. But we actually taught some lessons this week which was cool.

We taught an older woman named Maria. She was super receptive to the message of the restoration so we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. BUT on the terms that she will receive an answer from God that are messages true. I ask all of you to please pray that Maria can receive an answer. We also invited her to church and she came! This was the 1st friend I had in church in almost 2 transfers! We promised she’d have a super spiritual experience in church but we actually received training on family history for both meetings. I was a little nervous that she was gonna be disappointed that we didn’t talk a lot about the gospel but actually, she was super excited about family history! We have another training this Saturday and she is going to come and start to work on her own family’s history! She is full of miracles! I’m really grateful that we have Maria because we haven’t had a person to teach this whole time. God is so good!

But anyways it rained a ton this last week like seriously there were torrential downpours for days my guy. So that was a little hard for finding people on the streets so we focused on less active work and getting to know our members better! We had some cool service opportunities and chances to play ping pong with members so I’d say it was successful!

Every week when we write an email to our president we have to write about one principle in our handbook that we want to work on and this last week I chose humility because as a missionary you have lots of opportunities to be humble and sometimes I don’t handle these opportunities in the best way. For example, we were waiting at a bus stop and 3 people were walking on the other side of the street making lots of noise and just being really rowdy, But Elder Smith and I just continued to talk and do our thing at the bus stop. I noticed that they started pointing at us and kind of jeering at us and I got a little annoyed because I hate when people think they can make fun of other people without consequences but we just continued to talk. All of a sudden I saw a bunch of bright red flashes in my eyes and I closed them because it hurt. When I opened them I saw the people across the street pointing a laser pointer right into my eyes and I was extremely annoyed. I stared them down and didn’t take my eyes off of them until the bus came and they just continued to jeer and make fun of us. I was ticked off and thought things like “oh those guys are lucky I’m a missionary”. But then I myself realized that I am a missionary and that I am wearing the name of the Savior on my chest (which is basically a giant WWJD (what would Jesus do) bumper sticker slapped on my chest) so I finally got some sense into me, forgave them, and prayed for humility. I find it funny how fast we as humans ask God for more patience or more opportunities to be kind or more humble and when the opportunity arrives to improve ourselves, we forgot completely that we asked for that opportunity. From that experience, I have learned when I ask for things I need to be ready to prove myself.

But honestly, things are pretty good! Sometimes I miss home or family and friends but the Lord is always there for me and he’s always waiting for me to remember my true purpose in being a missionary and he helps me to refocus. It’s hard sometimes because the work in this area is pretty slow and it’s easy to become distracted at times. But one thing I’ve learned over the last transfer and a 1/2 is summed up in Alma:

36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Alma 37:36-37

How profound and wisdom-filled are these 2 scriptures? The end of verse 37 says we shall be lifted up at the last day and all we have to do is to counsel with the Lord and all we do! I know it’s hard sometimes even just to say daily prayers and do daily scripture study but I really can testify to the importance of doing these things. I want to challenge all of you not only to do daily scripture study and prayer, but to change your perspective on doing these things. Because the process is so simple but we oftentimes are narrow-minded as to the blessings we could receive if we did it! Actually, President Eyring says it better than me:

“We are to learn our duty from the Lord, and then we are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. The pattern is simple but not easy to follow. We are so easily distracted.”

How relatable this is for me! I look back at my high school years when I tried over and over again to establish a habit of doing daily prayer scripture study only to forget after 4 or 5 days and fall into the same pattern. But I exhort all of you to set goals to either start or to better your prayers and your studies. Because I can testify that if we will counsel with the Lord in all of our doings we really will be lifted up not only in the last day but every day. I’ve seen it in the last transfer. That God is always there. When I’m doing what I’m supposed to be and showing God that I appreciate these tools we’ve been given he, in turn, has made me a tool in his hands and I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and a representative of Christ every day.

I love you all I hope you have a great week sorry for the super long email hahaha but I discovered voice-to-text on Google docs So you might be receiving a 13-page thesis from now on. Just kidding, love you guys! Until next week!! tchau! … y’all, kid you not, right as I typed “tchau” some drunk homeless guy came into the Capela asking for a scripture and starting rambling about the church and went around to paintings of Jesus and started bowing and saying “oh meu Senhor”. I shared Alma 37:36 with him cause I already had it pulled up lol and then he left. But fr love yall! Elder Ho-Ching signing out! ❤️

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