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Look, I know it’s been a minute but hear me out… yeah I don’t have an excuse. But I’ve repented and will try to do better in the future. I know all of you are anxiously waiting every week, constantly refreshing your emails waiting to see my weekly so I sincerely apologize that it’s been a whole month.

But yeah. So this last however long it’s been has been full of interesting things. I won’t lie, this area is freaking hard but I’ve never been this close to God in my life. As I see difficulties, I see the support of God right there holding me up. I’ve had to find the kind of missionary I want to be, and I’ve started setting TONS of goals to reach them. I really have a burning desire to be the best servant of God that I can be and I want to be ready for any situation or trial that God gives me.

I’ve had to learn (and I’m still learning) how to have patience with myself as I fail and don’t meet my own expectations. One thing my Dad is always telling me is to relax and trust in the Lord and he will make me into the man I want to be. Some other advice my Grandpa gave me is to give up my own desires and give myself unto the desires and goals the Lord has for me. So I’m trying to do that better every week!

In terms of the work, things are starting to pick up. I don’t know if I already said this but I now am SO much more grateful for the leadership and system we have in the States. The attitudes and sacrifices of the leadership in the States are insane and they really put so much effort into the work of the Lord. But how did I come to this revelation? I have here a scripture:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

So yeah. I’ve now experienced the opposite. Don’t get me wrong these men and women put in a lot of effort as well but it almost seems like a chore for some. And this is a big reason the area of Gaia 2 is moving slowly. But it is clear to me that the Lord has placed me and my comp here to help get things moving.

I think the first miracle was a brazilian family moved in and the father was an awesome ward mission leader in Brazil before moving here. The family loves missionaries and our work. So he is now an assistant to the ward mission leader here who has received no training from the stake and we will now being receiving more help! Here is a tip for anyone who will serve a mission in the future: LOVE AND WORK WITH THE MEMBERS.

When I got my transfer news to come here, the only thing other missionaries said to me were like, “oof good luck that ward is dead”. But I’ve realized we’re in this loop of the missionaries thinking the members are lazy and they think the same of us haha. So one thing I’ve been pushing for (in large part because of my dad) is building very good, trusting relationships with members so they will be more excited to engage in missionary work. We’re slowly starting to see the fruits of our labor and I’m excited to work hard this week!

Please pray that we will meet someone who is excited about our message! I’ve only been able to teach sit down lessons like 4 times in a transfer and a half and it’s horrible. I’ll share one cool story to finish up the post: 

Elder Smith and I were in the north part of Gaia and visiting less active and knocking on doors. When it was time to go home we decided it would be best just to walk back because the public transportation system here isn’t very good and would take around the same time. We started walking home and started street contacting people but no one had interest. However, we came around a corner into an alley and saw a man walking towards us with a leather jacket And boots and lots of tattoos. He stopped right when he saw us and wouldn’t look away. I have been trying my best to stop everyone and talk to everyone on the street but with this guy I looked at elder Smith and I said “yeah no”. As we walked past him he signaled to us to stop walking and we started talking to him but quickly realized that he is mute. 

He shocked both of us when he pulled out a triple combination and signaled he always had it with him. We started trying to interpret what he was saying and we actually did a pretty good job but eventually we got out a pen and paper. He told us his name was Jose Gonçalves and that he has met with the missionaries in the past. But he loves the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church with us. It was honestly a crazy experience meeting this guy and having to try and understand what he was saying without words. I hope and pray that we can help him get baptized and find joy in the gospel. 

It was a lesson to me from God that no matter what someone has done or what they look like, they are God’s children. Having this perspective is critical as a missionary and I repented and promised to see people as they really are from now on. This is my invitation to everyone reading this. If you are holding a grudge, or find yourself judging someone, see them through the eyes of Christ, and you will feel a burning love for them in your heart. I love you all and I pray for you everyday. See y’all next week!

Elder Ho-Ching

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