Saturday, November 4, 2017
Feeling kinda sick today... almost all the missionaries have been sick all week. Kinda sucks. But I think I'm on the up and up. Just gotta get better before MLC next week. It's on a Thursday again, so we fly out on Wednesday night. This time Sister Jenkins is coming with us since we are in a trio... she can't be the only Sister on Saipan, after all =)
An old Chinese investigator, Shelly, came to church yesterday!! A little back story: our last lesson with her was clear back in April, I think. She gave us back the Book of Mormon and said that she only believed in the Bible. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, she texted us and asked if there was anywhere she could do a Bible study, and if we were still teaching English class. We told her about institute and church, as well as English class. Didn't hear from her again, and she wasn't home when we tried to stop by. Then she showed up at church yesterday with her husband, Tian Min! It turns out he wants to learn more about Jesus Christ. She is strong Christian, but he has always been busy with work and never really learned about Him. In class, we had a memory game based on The Doctrine of Christ. One match had the English word and a scripture, the other had the Chinese word. When someone got a match, we would look up the scripture, read it, and talk about it. It was really cool. Tian Min loved the Book of Mormon; he would continue to read after we finished the scripture. We gave them a new copy of the Book of Mormon, and they said they would be back. It was a reminder to me of how much God plays a role in people's lives, and bringing them to the Gospel, and how little we do: we are just instruments in His hands.
Anbby got her first calling! She is going to be a primary teacher. She is sooo excited!! It'll help her learn more Bible/Book of Mormon stories and more English.
I'm bout out of time... Sorry this week's email is so short. Just know God loves you and Jesus Christ can help you out of any dark hole you or life has thrown you in. You're never too far gone, too far lost, in too dark of a place that "the light of Christ cannot reach". Love you all and thank you for your thoughts and prayers!
Sunday, October 22, 2017
It's been a great week! Lotsa stuff going on.... Zone Conference, working as a trio (but Sister Kaleopa goes on splits a bunch so she can still work in her area), Tropical storms, other stuff. Pretty great week!
Zone Conference was. As a Zone, we came up with a cool idea. We are doing this thing called "Flooding Saipan with the Book of Mormon" Basically every day, each companionship is going to give out 3 Book of Mormons: 2 to people who don't have one, and one to a Less active or recent convert to give away. It's been really cool... I'll tell you some stories in a second. Also got some really cool counsel from President Poston. He walked in and shook every ones hand, staring into our souls as he did. Then he started his training with talking about Priesthood keys and how he has spiritual gifts as our mission President such as the gift of discernment (that short summary didn't even begin to do it justice... it was actually a very spirtual learning experience. Search out your spiritual gifts!!), then saying, "3 words came into my mind as I came in here." Then he Proceeded to expound on them, one by one. 1. Unity. 2. Joy. 3. God loves you. It was such a cool thing, knowing that he is receiving such specific revelation for us as a zone. The Spirit was so strong.
I think I've told ya'll about Ying... but if not, here you go. She's super cool! She is 18 and going to college to be a nurse, and hopefully one day a doctor. She loves learning more about the church, and she is excited to keep reading the Book of Mormon. Now enter those stories about "flooding Saipan with the Book of Mormon": Yesterday we gave her a Book of Mormon to give out. She's got a few friends she wants to give them to.
We were at a less active family's house, and invited them to give out a Book of Mormon. Immediately, the two daughters had people they wanted to give Book of Mormons to. One daughter, Kasey, said she'd been wanting to give her teacher one for a year, but couldn't find one nice enough. Her sister Kaylee has a really good friend who is Buddhist who she has been trying to influence to learn more about Jesus Christ, then she switched schools. She is going to show us her friend sometime this week so we can teach her family =) The dad is going to pray about it so he can know who to give it to. He was really excited about how excited his daughters were about the challenge.
Overall, since Tuesday, our Zone has given out 43 Book of Mormons. The ward is really excited to join us, too. This is just was Saipan needed!! We are so excited!!
A little before Zone Conference, and especially during I have felt impressed that I need to change some things (then again, don't we all.... No one is perfect, after all). I feel like the longer you live with someone, the more Satan, and probably just the natural man, brings out weaknesses, both in the person you are living with, and especially in your self. The challenge is to fight that and learn to love the person anyway, despite weaknesses. After all, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and them, despite all our weaknesses.
One weakness I have realized I have is that I can get frustrated easily with people. When I get frustrated, I usually just go quiet. But I have been applying that video we watched at MLC: "Stop it!". Look it up on Youtube. It's pretty great. It's from Mad TV. Anyway, I have seen a huge difference in my days. I have seen my companion and I stop arguing about little things. I have seen myself be happy. I have felt the influence of the Holy Spirit more, and have been able to focus more on others and less on myself. I can testify that Etheris true: when we humble ourselves and turn to the Lord, he can make our weaknesses strengths. Without Him, we cannot overcome any of our weaknesses.
I love my mission so much. Learning a lot out here. I love you all, and hope your life is going well! Keep reading the Book of Mormon!! Give it out to a friend, too. Flood the Earth with the Book of Mormon!! I testify that it will bring you closer to Jesus Christ, your Savior and Redeemer, more than any other book that has been or ever will be written.
Lots of love from this little rock in the middle of the Pacific,
I have very little time left so gotta make this one short... We had an appointment to run to, so I had to jump off early. But I'm back real quick.
I have very little time left so gotta make this one short... We had an appointment to run to, so I had to jump off early. But I'm back real quick.
Today was super fun! We went to some cliffs with all the missionaries and a couple of Elder Ieru and Elder Walter's investigators. They jumped into the ocean. I totally wanna try it. After my mission, of course! The water was so clear though. So nice. Elder Ieru used to dive all the time back home (have I mentioned he is from Kiribati?) So he was really missing swimming and diving. Never thought about how much harder it must be for islanders to not go swimming. I would just do it for fun, but they grew up swimming every day not just for fun, but for food. Crazy how much a mission can open your eyes. I love how much I am learning about other places and cultures. America is the melting pot of the world it is said, but I think it's actually Saipan. I've met sooo many different people here. Anywhere from Hindu to Chinese to Palauan to Filipino to Kiribati (ps that's pronounced more like kirdipas. You gotta roll the r)
Anyway, this wee was super good. Spent walking wednesday in our new English speaking area, getting to know some people. It's so different teaching in English! Really cool though. I love the people we've met so far. Especially Val. She's Chuukese, born on Saipan though. She really wants to learn, but her auntie isn't a huge fan of us... so.... she's gonna call us when she can meet up haha.
I forgot to tell ya'll! I finished the Book of Mormon a couple weeks ago! It's the best =) I love the Book of Mormon with my whole heart. Now all the missionaries are doing what we call the Book of Mormon Blitz! Starting October 1st, if you read 6 pages a day, you can finish the whole Book of Mormon by December. I invite you all to join me in this challenge. I promise it will bless your lives! (sorry for the late notice, so you'll have to catch up... but it'll be worth it, I promise!!) I'm trying something different with this reading though. Trying to write my thoughts in the margins as I read. It'll be interesting. Also, with a different color, I'm looking out for promised blessings and blessings fulfilled from the Lord. It takes a while though, so I might read the Book of Mormon quickly and slowly at the same time.... we'll see. Either way, Jump in! Read the Book of Mormon, whether its the first or the third or the 50th time you've read it, read it again! I know you'll find peace, guidance, counsel, healing, or whatever else you are looking for in its pages.
Last note. General Conference was the best!! I especially loved the story of Elder Nielsen learning Chinese.... Anbby loved that story too. She was like, "That's like you guys!". Wow. Thanks Anbby! I love her so much ^^ One day I hope I can go to the temple with her.
That's it for this week. Have a super awesome week! Love you all lots! Don't forget to read the Book of Mormon!
Sometimes I feel like that country song... "The days go by... I can feel em flying like a hand(?) out the window in the wind." Missions go by way too fast.
This week was really great! I don't have time to tell everything.... So many stories I have to save for home. Makes me be more diligent about journal writing I guess, haha.
Had dinner with the Phairs again and Walter/Xingjin/Jojo. They have the coolest house! Lots of excercise equipment. Their 9 year old boy is working on being the next American Ninja Warrior.
Went to MLC. Lots of fun, I love getting together with the Sisters and Elders and counseling together. Learn lots every time.
New change... Elder Ieru and Elder Taan were impressed with Sister Jenkins and my teaching, and so asked President if we could have a small area to teach the locals. He said he was all for it. Don't know the boundries yet, but it looks like we'll be teaching a few locals while still covering the island of Chinese people. Gonna be fun, but challenging. Good news for all of you is I'll hopefully be a master planner by the time I get home, and on time =p Hopefully!
I love President and Sister Poston. They have so much love for each missionary, and care so much about our futures.
Office couple, Elder and Sister Christensen are going home this month. Gonna miss em.... They are so sweet.
New couple, Elder and Sister Campbell just got in. (They said they don't think they have relatives from Canada, sorry Mel....) They are from Idaho. Elder Campbell is the new counselor in the Mission Presidency.
Have four assistants now. Two are gonna be on Chuuk trying to build up the church there, and training. Big tasks for them... Elder Dewitt and Elder Huffaker.
Got to see Elder Robertson, who was in the MTC with me! He's doing great. He's a Zone Leader on Chuuk now.
That's about the sum of my week..... Sorry it's lacking in so many details. Just know that I love you all so much. Keep following God, and always strive to be a disciple of Christ in everything you do and say, even if no one is watching.
Love you, talk to ya'll next week!
Good week here on Saipan. Don't remember if I mentioned it, but our Chinese teacher, Tracy is teaching us characters now, both to read and write!! So cool!!
Wait back story. So Tracy has been teaching us Chinese for 7 months for free, twice a week. She's not even interested in learning about the Gospel or anything. She's sooo busy too, but chose to take time to teach us. About a month ago, she was just talking to us and telling us her son, Hao Yang, is struggling in English class cuz she doesn't have time to sit down and make him read for his reading logs. So we volunteered to sit down and help him read 3 times a week for 30 mins each. It's been really cool, and we've finally got to meet her husband. Hao Yang is 7. He's really smart, but also a little rebel haha. He's good though, and his reading has improved so much already!! He focuses pretty good too now. He's also pretty busy though... he has soccer and karate, and chinese class on the weekends. Busy boy!!
So last week we met this Chinese girl outside our apartment randomly. Her name is Xiao Yun. She speaks pretty good English, but our whole conversation was Chinese. She knows the Mormon church too!! Still not sure how, cuz she told us in Chinese really fast and we both couldn't quite follow... But yeah. Anyway, so this week we go to our investigator, Angelina's house for a lesson, and guess who happens to also be there? Yeah, Xiao Yun! So we end up teaching them both. They're both kinda in the same boat.. The have two small kids, and their husbands divorced them and went back to China. Xiao Yun lives down in Kobler, which is meth city... and right close to where Tianbao used to live.
So fast forward a couple days, and we go down to Kobler (during the day of course) to try to find Xiao Yun. She doesn't answer her phone, so we decide to go try the store right next to Tianbao's old house, his translator friend Ying. She's there and she sees us and says, "Oh, how do you finally have time to come see me??" in an excited way though. We taught her a quick lesson and set an appointment to come back. We've seen her 3 times since then, and she is so golden!! She's really excited to learn more, and is on date to get baptized on. She's so cool, too. She has to watch her mom's store whenever she's not at college, pretty much. She's going to school to be a nurse, but wants to switch to doctor. She was studying cells in Chinese the other day.... Made me so happy haha.
Last couple things then I better go.
Croft Family moved back to California this morning. They're so cool!! Going to miss them lots.... They are stopping in Hong Kong for 9 hours and then Korea for 1.5 days. So cool!
Last thing... Sister Burton has to go home cuz of medical reasons. She's on Guam now, but goes home tomorrow or Wednesday. So sad... she really doesn't want to go. Hopefully she can come back! We only have 2 Sisters coming in the rest of the year, and are losing so many Sisters next transfer... Gonna be some rough transfer calls. Hey, all you ladies thinking about going on a mission! Get out here! Micronesia Guam Mission is the best!!! No better place in the world!!!
Love you all lots! Have a great week!