Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Post #33: It's beginning to look a lot like...

[Editor's note, there were NO pictures attached but I knew the website of the restaurant so this is what they advertise that the dinner will be. Very nice ;-}.kvk]


That's right, people I love, my FAVORITE season is upon us! The beautiful rain, the cold that makes it impossible to become sweaty, and, best of all, one of the 2 days a year I can call my family! Thanksgiving was last week, and amazing, and Christmas is in just under a month! I'm super excited to call people, especially my new baby nephew! And my mom.

Speaking of Thanksgiving...

It was a huge success! All told we probably had a $4000 feast (that's about $500 American) for the 20 some odd that came. We had my entire zone and a few of the Mandarins... actually, almost all the Mandarins... because they had "Visitors" (from Mainland) come to get taught everything in one day and get baptized. They are, of course, taught everything months before and live all of our standards before they take the train south, but we like to make sure that they really understand everything before we send them off to be away from the Church for a very long time.

It was a great week, and I'm happy that I am able to give such a nice little report on it! I love you all, have a great week, and keep on searching for miracles!

Elder O'Gara

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog Post #32: Taam Fong

Dear People Whom I Love and Treasure,

Taam Fong (both mid level tone) is what we call Home Teaching in Chinese. It literally means "to pay a visit" or something very like that, but it is something the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is famous for. Every month we pair up and go visit a few families just to make sure that they're all happy and healthy and well. Starting at age 14, our men-folk are assigned a few families (you can, of course, ask to not have an assignment, but where's the fun in that?) that they and their assigned companion are expected to call, write, or visit once a month. I think it's great fun, and it's a good way to get to know the people in your congregation better. There's even been one of those cheesy Mormon Movies made about it! 

So why is it my topic today?

Because it never gets done.

No matter where you are, it's rare to have 50% of the Home Teaching done in a Ward. Some people are legitimately busy, but most are just too lazy to pick up the phone, dial a number, and have a 5 minute conversation with 2-3 families a month.

It doesn't sound hard, does it? But yet, it's one of the biggest things that doesn't happen, and one of my biggest pet peeves. If the Savior, Jesus Christ, was here, you could bet [be sure] that He would visit




When we are baptized into this Church we promise with God to "take His name upon [us]", which obviously includes visiting the families, just like He would. Sure, it's not the most convenient thing in the world, and it can be a hassle when you're assigned a family that hasn't been to Church in 8 years and threatens to shoot you if you ever come back, but I'm pretty sure Jesus would visit those kinds of people, too.

So, to all you Latter-day Saint Men; get out your phone, call your Home Teaching Companion, and get to work! It's common in Washington to have anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of the Ward not coming to Church, and why?

Because they don't remember that Jesus loves them.

Be His representative, be His servant, keep your baptismal covenants, and go make sure that your Home Teaching families are visited. It's a lot more rewarding than facing the Savior at Judgment Day with a solid line of 0's for your Home Teaching record, and a lot more rewarding than the sports you were going to watch instead.

Sisters, this applies to Visiting Teaching, too, but I'm not sure how well that goes because I've never done it. If you're doing 100%, then go encourage the men in your life to do their Home Teaching, and to buy you a little thing of Ben & Jerry's on the way home!

I love you all,
Elder O'Gara

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Post #31: Family Home Evening

Dear Loved Ones,

If you don't put the new battery in your camera; you can't take pictures of your food! Not only that, but I forgot to bring my camera to the dinner we got invited to last night! As my mom would say, "I'm battin' 1000!".

Now, back to this dinner... It was AMAZING! The food here is, of course, the best in the world, from the Lotus Root to the Chicken's Feet. There was also Curry Beef, Soy Sauce Chicken, Roast Duck, two kinds of fish, fresh pears and grapes, fancy noodles, lots of rice, tofu with Daikon radish, bell pepper pork, a few other things, and something that was probably a glutionous rice pouch full of fried mixed veggies. At a restaurant, every dish has it's own chopsticks you have to use to dish it, but at the Family Home Evening dinner last night we all got over our allergies to cooties and just reached in to whatever we wanted with our own sticks. It was super awesome, and just so happened to be the father's 70th birthday. I'm still shocked that he's over 50! The man is going to live to 100 with NO problems.


I've had a great week, and I am loving Hong Kong! If you're not having Family Home Evening; start! Use it as an excuse to have a big family dinner! There's nothing that brings people closer together than enjoying a home cooked meal!

Elder O'Gara

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Post #30: No Time!

Dear People,

I love you, but I have no time to write today! I am doing well, and will have pictures of food to put up next week (which is why I have no time; we gotta make the lunch price!), if I have time...

The Church is True, the Book of Mormon is Blue, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one of you!

Elder O'Gara