Friday, June 29, 2012

Update! New Photo Album on fb

I received a padded envelope Elder O'Gara had someone mail for him on Monday and it contained a camera disc loaded with pictures (62) that are now in an album on his fb page. ~ Elder O'Gara's Mom

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog Post #11: Like "Marriott" but without the "i"

Hello from beautiful Hong Kong! It's a balmy 31 celsius, high humidity, and scattered sprinkles throughout the day. We're looking at good shopping weather, and in the evening it'll cool down enough so that we can have FHE at the Chapel. As an update; only family is allowed to e-mail me, so please go buy some $1.05 stamps and send them to my new address, which should be to the right in my contact info box. 

Elder J E O'Gara
18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong

We flew from SLC to LAX, and I talked to some ladies from Cordoba about the Temple. We flew from LAX to HKG, through American, Canadian, more American, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, possible Koren, and then Taiwanese airspace, then landed in HK. 15 hours in the air, with a good half of it being occupied by talking to my new friend Nina, from Denmark. I got her address, so the missionaries there should be getting to her in a couple weeks. I love being a Missionary! Also, the flight food was really yummy, Cathay Pacific wins.

"Heung Gong" means "Fragrant Harbour", and boy is it ever! Real Asian food, turn a corner; durian, turn a corner; duck pond, turn the next corner really fast; roasting duck, don't turn anymore corners! You can probably look up all these places... Breakfast yesterday was at AOK in Kowloon Tong near Dorset Crescent, Lunch was at Café de Coral at Festival Walk, and dinner was at the Mission Home, 18 Dorset Crescent. Breakfast today was at the Mission Home, Lunch was at a different Café de Coral on Festival Walk, and now I'm here!

My trainer, or "dad" is Elder Marrott (think Merit), hence the name of this post. He is taller and thinner than me, and from Arizona, I think... He lived in Meridian for a few years. My "grandpa", Elder Marrott's trainer leaves today, so we got a very rare "3-Generation Photo" with Elder Maddux, Elder Marrott, and I. This is such a great group of young people! About 100 missionaries, with 1/4 locals, and between 1/4 and 1/3 Sisters. It's great!

Right now, open a new tab and look up "Mong Kok" on google maps. That's my area! Well, actually; it's TST, I can't pronounce the full name, but it's the Mong Kok MTR (subway) stops. It's steriotypical HK, so pretty much the best area to get "born" into. We have a ward of 120 stalwart members, and 1,000 less-active members that are going to become stalwart. Yeah, as in once we get them all coming back it'll be a strong Stake. How exciting is that! We are on the 14th floor (sahp sei), and boy, do we have a view! I look out my office window at the street below, full of people walking from shop to shop, feeling like a detective from a movie. There are so many people here, it's so good!

It's almost go time, so I will go get back to my Missionary work! I love you all so much! This is so much fun! Everywhere I go all I do is try to make people happier! Even if they don't accept the Gospel, I know that because they talked with me, they are happier people! That's what matters; helping people know that there is a point to this life, there is hope, and if you'd like to know how you can not only have that hope, but true and ever-lasting happiness; I can help you find it! This is an amazing work that I am about! I can feel the love of God flow through me as I strive to bless others! I can feel His hand guide me to those that I can help. Yesterday I taught 2 lessons at a park, and I don't know if either of them will end up joining the Church, but I know that they both went home happier because they could see my happiness, they could feel my excitement, and I had them both read the last 2 paragraphs of the Book of Mormon; so I also planted a seed of interest in their hearts.

I am so glad that God, through the Book of Mormon and this opportunity to do this great work, has, is, and will bless me. I know that His prophets have so much guidance to give, and even though it may be difficult to follow their counsel at times, I have seen how it has blessed me, and I intend on seeing how it wll continue to bless me! I know that it can be difficult to choose the right at times, but I promise all of you; that if you learn to rely upon the Lord, He will show you His strength. He is our Father, He wants to bless us, so just let Him! Allow the source of all power and light to energize and illuminate your life! No, it's not easy to allow someone else to take control of what you do, but once you realize that navigating the roads of life is crazier than driving in HK, you'll learn to love having someone else at the wheel. I love you all, I know God loves you, and I know He wants to help. This is my testimony, my knowledge of the truthfulness of my message, and I write it with the intent to glorify the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Post #10: A Day Late, but with $1.50 Extra

This week has been CrAzY! How crazy? Just look at those alternating caps, that's the sign of true madness! I'll just go in order, starting last Tuesday.
Tuesday, the 12th, I met a new cousin. Her name is Sister Leavitt, and she is from Madawhoha. Sorry, not "Whoha", "Gascar". Anyways, you're probably thinking "Ngok JéungLóuh, your people aren't anything close to dark enough to be African", and you're right! She married my cousin, thus taking the name of my most-famous ancestor. I also met Sister Pincock from Tacoma, WA. She gave my parents a goat, my mom didn't like it but my dad did. Or maybe I have that reversed. That night Per G. Malm of the Seventy gave a great talk about expectations. He is such a funny man, and his Swedish accent made his jokes even better!
Wednesday, the 13th, I bumped into Elder Peterson of Meridian Idaho (formerly known as Parker). He's going to the West Indies, which means he's pretty much going on a cruise for his mission. JK, he's going to sweat his face off.
Thursday, the 14th, I didn't meet anybody, but that's okay.
Friday, the 15th, I received revelation that really helped me, and also might pertain to all of my friends who are preparing to go on missions, or have decided to not go on mission. Go read Jacob 2:18. It's only one verse, go do it.
Saturday, the 16th, I saw a mama bird taking one of her babies on it's first solo. She would fly somewhere, then chirp at her baby until it flew to her. At TRC our favorite person ever, Sister Wong, told Elder Wu that he's obviously Chinese because he has tiny eyes, and then went on to say that every time she looks at one of her daughters she thinks "Where are your eyes?". I found that a lot funnier on Saturday than today, but it's still funny.
Sunday, the 17th, was Father's Day. Happy late father's day, Dad! I love you! Dad's are just the best aren't they? I met a Sister from Tacoma, Sid Going's Great-Nephew, and Sheri Dew. THE Sheri Dew! She is such an amazing speaker, and I received buckets of revelation while she taught. Why? Because she taught simply and from the heart! If we could put a chip in her head that made her know every language instantly, every woman on the face of the planet would be almost instantly converted to the Gospel. I love Sheri Dew! She also said that HK is one of her favorite cities, that we are "so spoiled", and we invited her to come visit us!
Monday, the 18th, someone randomly said "Jon". I turned around, and there was Aaron Hanson from Meridian! He's going to BYU and working somewhere on the MTC Campus. I love all my people, please continue to keep me in your prayers, cuz I pray for most of you by name every night. No wonder I'm always up so late...
I love y'all! This'll be my last post from North America for 21 months, so I hope you enjoy! Look for me Thursday, June 28th, UTC +8:00!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blog Post #9

Jòusan Gàtìhng tuhng pàhngyáuh!
I hope y'all are having an awesome time, cuz I know I am! I got released as a Zone Leader, which is kinda wierd. I now have study time on Sunday, which I guess means I get to study now, which is cool. Besides that; I've learned how to play a couple good variations of tic-tac-toe, and I've been learning more about Cantonese than I ever thought possible! Turns out that my favorite way to say "How are you" is more like "Wuzzup". I said that to my new Mission President (who's here for training), and he wasn't exactly impressed. I also learned that "to teach with the Spirit" is one sound different than "to teach homosexuality". Luckily I didn't make that mixup, which is good.
Last night at the Devotional Elder Allen, Managing Director of the Missionary Department, spoke to us for the 3rd time. Some people wanted someone new, but I love his talks! The first reason is that he lets us take off our jackets (the auditorium gets super hot!), and the second reason is that his talks are always super upbeat! He always give us encouragement, advice, and a big pat on the back. Who doesn't need that?
The food here is starting to get old, which I guess is okay because I'll be over the Pacific Ocean in 2 weeks! Next week's post will be my last in America for a VERY long time, and I am WAY excited! I can't wait to get to the Fragrant Harbor and start spreading the good news! I'm so glad that we can recieve personal revelation through prayer and study, cuz I am in need of so much more improvement! Everyday I get a little bit of pure light poured into my brain, and I am so grateful that I know how to recieve it! In case you don't know how; here's the basic formula

1: Write down your problem in a question addressed to God, and have something ready to write down the answer
2: Pray that He will give you the knowledge you seek so that you can improve and become a better servant
3: Study the Scriptures, attend Church Meetings, pray more, or watch Conference with this question in mind
4: Write down all the revelation you receive to show God that you want more so He'll give you more
It's really that easy to get the all-knowing Creator to have a sit down chat with you. I do it multiple times a day; it's great! If you don't have any faith in Personal Revelation, act out of a sincere desire to know; and once you recieve your answers you will begin to have more and more faith.
This week I ran into Elder Dykman from Meridian and Elder Calahan from Georgia. Elder Calahan is headed to the Washington, Kenniwick Mission; so all my Clark Wardians give him a great big welcome! I love you all, talk to ya next week!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Blessing through a Blessing

Yesterday, the 3rd of June, I called two Sister Missionaries by their full names. Why? Because I helped in giving them Priesthood Blessings. Because I am a worthy holder of the Melchezidek Priesthood, I have the authority to act in the name of our loving Heavenly Father and pronounce blessings upon His children. How amazing it was, as I put my hands upon Sister Spencer's head, to feel His great consciousness, His infinite love, His omnipotence, brush up against my finite and fallen mind! How marvelous and merciful it is that our Father allows us, as corrupt and short-sighted as we are, to be instruments in His hands in the blessing of others!
That's what this life, and especially this Mission, is all about. We are responsible for the support and upliftment of our spiritual siblings, and our Heavenly Father expects us to act like it! It doesn't matter who you are, what you believe, or what you have done, God loves you! He loves me; impatient, proud, overzealous me! You are also His child! Call upon Him for support! I pray for all of you every night, many of you by name, and as I do so I receive promptings from Him so that I can help some of you. I don't know your struggles, I don't know your situations, but I do know that God loves us enough to help us help each other! How awesome is that?
And don't think that this is just because I'm a Missionary. Although my being set apart does entitle me to special blessings, assistance, and insight; any and all of you can receive PERSONAL revelation. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows exactly how to help you, and He wants to help you, if you'll just ask Him to! I cannot tell you how many times, since I've arrived here, that I've received guidance that has helped lift others. I have said things to people that seemed trivial, but I still obeyed because I could feel that it was our Father telling me to do. Many times they have thanked me far more than was necessary. Why? Not because I am an amazing person, but because God does amazing things through me!
How amazing it is that the Creator of Everything wants to help us! He wants to give you guidance and direction, so please, let Him! As you give Him your undivided attention He will work many great and marvelous miracles through you. I love you all, I invite you to learn how He can work through you, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord, Redeemer, and loving Elder Brother, Amen.