Sunday, December 24, 2017
Sheng dan jie kuaile!!
I don't have lots of time today, but I wanted to share a little Christmas Miracle with you.
Every year each zone sets a goal for how many baptisms. Every year for as long as I know, Saipan's goal has been 30. But we have never been able to reach that goal.
At the beginning of December we were at 24. Then the first week, we had 2 baptisms, but one of them is 8 years old so she is a child of record and her brother is a convert. So we're at 25. As a zone, we had a bunch of people on date to be baptized, but many aren't able to make it due to some complications/not coming to church/etc. So last week in District meeting, we all decided to fast and pray for our friends that they could make it to their baptismal date. We started our fast that night. Come , only 4 were going to make it to their baptism. But then, after Sacrament, a member came up to Sister Jenkins and said his little 9 year old brother hasn't been baptized yet. He has been coming to church for years and wanted to be baptized at on Christmas Morning. The problem was he hasn't had the lessons yet. So we called President, and he said it was ok for this little boy to be baptized. When we found out, all of us missionaries were so excited!! Due to many prayers, fasting, and faith, Saipan is going to reach it's yearly goal for the very first time!!!! This morning we went down to the ocean and watched this little boy get baptized. The sun was just rising, and the Spirit was so powerful. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for this Christmas Miracle!
I hope you all have felt and will feel the Spirit of Christmas this season. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's gift to me, and to all of us: That of His Divine Son, Jesus Christ. I can't even put into words how grateful I am for His Life, His Sacrifice, His Resurrection, and His Matchless love. "God be thanked for the matchless gift of His Divine Son." Find something you can give back to Heavenly Father this season; something to change, someone to serve, a promise to make. I love you all so much! Merry Christmas!!
Yeah I'm staying on Saipan forever with the best companion in the world speaking Chinese. =p
Saturday, December 16, 2017
This week was pretty rough far as proselyting goes. Me and the other leaders left Saipan at(so at the airport at ) on Wednesday morning, then had Zone Conference with Guam most of the day on Wednesday, then MLC for 12 hours on Thursday, then back to Saipan eary Friday morning. Caught up on some sleep then got to see my investigators again finally. Missed them! I guess a bunch of the kids were asking where I was. So cute ^^
But Guam was super good!! Elder Gay of the Seventy was there: He is the Area President for Asia North Missions. It was really cool to see how God is guiding the work is this part of the world. We got to work with him personally and learn how to be better missionaries. He really emphasized the importance of asking inspired questions. We did a couple roleplays with him. Sister Jones did one like he was an investigator. She did a good job, but this investigator was rough (based on a real person). From what we understood, she was a devout Orthodox Christian that did a lot of good. She didn't see why she'd have to change churches when her whole life she'd spent dedicated to following Jesus Christ, and raising her children to do the same. We did the typical, well this is the Priesthood/you need to recieve the Holy Ghost/what is baptism to you routes... But none seemed to work. So then Elder Gay paused the roleplay, and gave us a little more information about his friend. Her husband had recently left her for another woman, and soon after she was diagnosed with an untreatable disease that would kill her slowly and painfully. She was left wondering if God hated her-if He had abandoned her. Then Elder Gay talked to us about the importance of asking our investigators questions, and trying to understand what their real question was. She didn't need to know about the Priesthood right then. She needed to know that God did love her. She needed to know about the Plan of Salvation. But how would we have known that if we just tried to throw what we knew about her? It made me think about how often I do that in lessons. Do I just go through the motions, teaching the lessons. Or do I remember to teach the people, and really listen to them. It was very powerful counsel. I learned a lot and hope and pray I can remember the Spirit I felt and the inspirations I received as I review my notes. Sometimes I wish I could relive moments like those. Hey JD, can you get ahold of a pensive for me? Thanks.
MLC was also really good. We didn't intend to be in the meeting for 12 hours, but President is doing this really cool thing. He is letting us come together and counsel about how we can do better and ways we can help our islands. It's been really neat, and helps us bring together all that "scattered revelation" God gives us.
Something Elder Gay and President Poston really stressed in MLC was the need for us to work with the potential Melchezidek Priesthood holders and their families. The First Presidency is stressing this too. There are so many blessings God wants to give His children, but those blessings can only be received through the temple. On the islands, especially like Pohnpei and Chuuk, the women and children are active, but their husbands are not. The blessings of eternal families can only be received through temple ordinances, and keeping your covenants after you have gone through. Basically, a question he asked stood out to me, that I wanted to pass on to you all to ponder: Are you unlocking those blessings for your family?
Ok last thing before I go. Saipan has been having some bad luck with cars recently. The Kagman Elders and Dandan Sisters cars broke down. Then we were taking Dandan home after sports night on Friday, and smoke started coming out the vents. So I pulled over and the Elders came and picked us up. Luckily Kagman fixed their car... but we are down to 3 cars. And the Assistants are here. So it'll be a walking area for China for a bit! It's ok, gotta walk all this extra food off from the holidays somehow ;)
Yesterday there was a fireside and we watched the Christmas Broadcast. It was super good! I loved President Uchtdorf's talk especially. Afterwards I was talking to Brother Benson, and he was talking about the importance of understanding, especially when it comes to cultural differences. Don't have time to go into it, but it is SO important to understand peoples culture and why they do what they do. So many problems from miscommunication and judgment and lots of other things can be avoided if you just take the time to understand.
This weekend is Zone Conference. It'll be good to see President and Sister Poston again so soon!
I hope you all have a super great week! Love you all! Bu jian bu san!
Friday, December 8, 2017
Ni men hao!!
This week has been super good. Don't know how to sum it all up but I'll do my best.
Last Monday we got special permission to watch Love, Kennedy cuz the girl who plays the girl whose family gets baptized cuz of Kennedy was from Saipan! So cool! Elder Ieru and Elder Taan got to meet her too =) But it's gotten us all fired up out here to work harder. Saipan is the best!!
Stake Conference was this Sunday. Since the Stake is based in Guam, we did it over video chat. Which meant it was kinda hard to hear and the internet kept cutting out.. so we missed lots of it. But we did get that we have a new Stake Presidency, and one of the councilors is Brother Sablan, from Saipan. He's so cool! He will do great. He is an amazing man.
At one point, the internet had cut out for awhile so Brother Eddy, in the bishopric, stood up and said we were just gonna start our goodbye party for Sister Ami. He started praying then midprayer the video came back... so he paused and then just sat down. It was so funny. Then there was about 15 minutes left and the internet died again. So we sat there for a bit, then they just turned it off and Brother Eddy stood up and said, "Finally! It's done!!" Hahahaha so funny. I love this ward!!
I'll be in Guam this week again. Someone from the 70 is there, and will be at the Guam Zone conference. President is flying us in sooner to tell them how Saipan is doing with bringing the church out of obscurity. We'll tell them about the Ammon Project, and all the service projects we've been doing. We made a slideshow for it =) Hopefully it'll go well.
I love you all and am so excited for Christmas! Join in the Light the World movement! You never know how much good you can do!!
Sunday, November 26, 2017
was super fun!! Our Zone is doing this thing we call the Ammon Project. We are trying to get the church out of obscurity, and this is one of the things we started doing. Basically, just like Ammon, we are just looking for as many ways to serve the people as possible. we did a free car wash. It was a hit!! Sooooo many people came, and it was hard to keep up. But lots of people really appreciated it. Next time we'll get the youth more involved and it'll be even bigger!!
morning we helped Ana, the Elder's Chinese landlord, clean her house. She was in China visiting family and came back to a house full of rat poop =/ ick! We helped her sweep and mop her floor and clean her counters. Then we helped set up for the Elders and Sisters baptism!!! This one was in the ocean. So beautiful, both the ocean and especially the ordinance. Both were from part member families. It's beautiful to see families get closer and closer to going to the temple.
Thanksgiving was excellent! I hope you all enjoyed yours!! We had district meeting, then went to dinner (really lunch) at the Conner's. Had super delicious food, deviled eggs and smoked turkey included!! Smoked turkey is seriously the best turkey I have ever had!! sooooooo goooooood!! I made brownie bottom pie for pie night too. It turned out pretty good, considering the boxed milk and whipping cream I had to use haha. After we went and saw Anbby. She's so sweet... I love her so much. She loves little Miaomiao with her whole heart.
We also tried to see a new family we are teaching, but they weren't home. We talked to one of the kids, Romeo. He's pretty cool. He's 14 but looks like he's more like 18. Crazy. We went to pie night, and did studies. A lot of people drink here one Thanksgiving, so the proselyting aspect of Thanksgiving was a little hard.
Church was really good. Tiana, a youth, talked about temptation. She said: avoid it, don't get bored; resist it, don't give in; and pray for help, turn back to God. Sister Ami's(a Philipino) talk was very good too. She leaves to move to Texas next week. Going to miss her, but she's excited to be with her family. She talked about not judging. Basically, "Stop it! Stop. Just stop it! Stop it!.... Don't judge, sing a hymn, love. Just love. And Pray. Pray hard, pray pray pray!!"
Last thing before I go. Just a little more about Charity, coming from Relief Society where we talked about Elder Uchtdorf's talk about the three sisters sad, mad, and glad, in the Women's session of conference. Sometimes when the people we love the most, and who are supposed to love us, hurt us, it's the hardest to forgive. Pray. Pray for you, for them. Pray until you love them again, and don't stop. If Jesus Christ loved the weakest and worst of us to suffer for our sins, I promise you He can help you love them too.
I love you all lots! Don't forget to read the Book of Mormon!
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Hey all! Man I always run out of time before I send this email.. So it'll be short.
Did service cutting down the jungle around a members lemon trees. thats what the pics are from.
The work is going so good here. The ward is seriously the best. Got a new ward mission leader (the other was called to the Bishopric). Got some new really good investigators in our English area. I'll mention Travis and Patrick. They are sooo cool! So prepared. They both fell down the wrong path and are trying to turn their lives around. They love Jesus Christ sooo much! Travis came to churchand loved it. He stayed for Christmas Choir too!! (Can you believe I'll be singing in the Christmas choir? No, my voice hasn't gotten any better... but hey, maybe Angels will help me out and drown me out... haha)
Going to the Conners this week for Thanksgiving. Sooo excited!! Going to make Brownie Bottom Pudding Pie for pie night. So cool.
Trying to get a Visitors center and some other stuff going out here to take the church out of obscurity (what last MLC was about). Super excited for the direction we are going. Also looking for tons of opportunities for service.
Gotta go. Just know I love you all! Also, Sister Jenkins is feeling much better and we're back to work =) So watch out Saipan! Haha just kidding. Watch God humble me this week just for that comment =p
This week I've learned so much. Ok, that's how every week goes on a mission haha. But I feel like I've especially learned a lot about Charity, the pure love of Christ. I cannot tell you all that I learned. I think many lessons you learn in life you cannot share. You can only share what you know.
What I know is this. Let charity drive everything you do. Obedience, faith, knowledge, virtue, all these, everything, don't matter if you do not have Charity. What I mean is, if you are exactly obedient, to the letter of the law, does it mean anything if you have lost the motive of why you are obedient in the first place? That being because you love God, and so you love His children. Or if you have faith, but do not have charity for those around you, what is your faith really placed in? Is it in the Savior, who has changed you? Do you have faith He can also help those around you to change? Then why do you not have charity? And patience... I could go on for days about that one. But long story short, if you have charity, you will be patient. If you have patience, you will develop charity.
Just love the people around you. Jesus Christ did, enough to die and then rise again for them, for us, despite and because of our weaknesses.
On another note, I have a request. With this whole "flooding Saipan with the Book of Mormon", I came across a talk that this was based on. I can't remember who it's by, but basically the General Authority was encouraging everyone to send Book of Mormons with their testimony to all the missionaries. So I want to ask you all to do that. And make it as personal as you want, because I want to place them carefully, with someone who can relate to you. How cool would it be to give a Book of Mormon with the testimony of a 25 year old young mother, or a 15 year old boy, to someone who is that same age, or a middle aged man or woman trying to raise a family and work, and probably dealing with similar struggles? Also, we are working in a small English area now too. Just sayin =) write a note in a Book of Mormon and send it to me!!
Ya'll remember Steve and William, the Taiwanese father and son? Well Steve is back on island for a couple weeks! (William stays here for school. Can't remember if I've mentioned that) I wasn't there for church, but the Elders said when asked who Christ was to them in Gospel Principles, Steve said "He is the bridge between me and Heavenly Father" Steve is so cool!! I wish he would just get baptized... he's practically a member as it is!!
Almost out of time, so just gonna end with a quick note about this week. We stayed in for a few days because Sister Jenkins was dying with this awful virus. I think it was what I had, but hit her worse. She had a crazy migraine for two days.... we ended up going to the hospital yesterday and they gave her meds through an IV. Poor Sister Jenkins =( She slept a lot. The only plus is I got to read my Book of Mormon so much!! It was really cool to see how the story goes when you read so much in one or two sittings. I decided to start making geneolgy trees at the begining of each book. Up til Mosiah it's pretty easy, but when you hit Mosiah it's a little rough. I'll take a picture when it's done =) Also started a comic strip thing of the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5. Did ya'll know that it's symobolic of the scattering and gathering of Israel, yes, but also at the end of Jacob 4 he says, essentially, how can a person who has fallen so far from the path get back on? Read it with that in mind, especially if you are struggling/having doubts of fears about the truth. I just love the Book of Mormon!! Keep reading it every day!!!
Love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week!
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!
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Here's a bunch of pics from the service project, going to the lighthouse with the zone today, and the view from our new apartment, and a couple others. Also, the ocean was sooo blue today! It's like that often, when it's not stormy too bad. I'll send more pics of the apartment when it's all cleaned up.
This week was soooo crazy!! But it was really good. We are all moved in to a new place. The Elders ended up moving up to Tanapag, and we moved into their apartment. Their apartment has a super beautiful view!!! We are slowly finishing unpacking. It's our goal to be all unpacked by the end of this week. I think we can do it by Wednesday, since we keep skipping dinner and using that hour to unpack.... haha.
Let's see.... Last Tuesday we went over to the Croft's (the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric's family) place and did a service project. We used machetes to hack down the jungle so they could see the ocean. It was so fun! And it rained a bit, so it was nice to cool down. Elder Ieru stepped on a stick at the very end and it stabbed through is croc and into his shoe... He's ok though. But we called it quits after that.
Tuesday night we found this super cute couple, Joey and Yujin. Joey is Chinese (but his English is wanmei(perfect)), and Yujin is Korean. They are in their 20s and own an apartment complex. Joey has some Christian friends, but he really wants to learn more about the church. He's really excited to learn. His wife is a little less excited, but also wants to learn.
Anbby is doing pretty good! She's really tired lately cuz her crazy Aunt-in-law is here. Long story short, Maning's uncle is not the best guy and hasn't paid them so they quit... but now his sister is here and wants Anbby to help do a bunch of office work. It's been rough, cuz Anbby is trying to take care of Miaomiao. Her whole family is sick, so she missed church ... But we gave her a copy of the Liahona to read, so she can learn English and read Gospel stuff at the same time. She's staying strong and is super helpful with our Chinese. We are going to start telling her Bible stories, and she's going to help us learn to tell them better in Chinese.
Gonna skip ahead to cuz I'm about out of time... But was super cool! Walter and Xingjin came with their daughter Jojo! They were only able to stay for two hours, but Jojo LOVED primary! They were practicing for the primary program next week. She loves singing, and was following along, and even said something for the practice. Sister Lisa, the Primary President is going to go with us on Tuesday to give them a CD with all the primary songs so she can practice. She's really excited, and her parents are too. During Sacrament, Jojo turned to Sister Jenkins and asked "Who is God?" "He created everything, the world, you..." "Oh, okay". She's so cute. Love their family!!
So we've found lots of families recently. I'm so grateful for the family I have, and for the knowledge I have that families can be together forever. I am also grateful for the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that can mend any wound and heal all broken bonds. I know this Gospel changes people, and heals families in a way that makes us want to be together forever. Satan is concentrating his attack on our families, because he knows families can bring us the greatest joy. Keep him out. Don't let him distract you from the most important things. Please. Study the scriptures as a family. Pray as a family. Work together, serve together, play together, learn together. I testify that the family is ordained of God. I love my family, immediate, extended, and those I've come to love as family.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Have a great week, and remember to enjoy every day! Time flies so fast.
Lots of love from Saipan,
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
This week flew by! Half the zone was sick... no good. I didn't catch it, but hopefully it stays that way! Flew to Guam this week. President mixed it up a little... instead of flying outand returning Monday, we flew out and came back . It was pretty cool. It was nice to be at the Saipan Ward for fast and testimony meeting! I love the members here so much. We have such a crazy mix of cultures! Chamorrow, Chuukese, Chinese, Korean (those are Korean girls in the picture from the Culture night. Thought you'd enjoy that, Dad ^^), American, Filipino, Palauan, Pohnpeian... so many! It's really cool how the Gospel unites people though. Love this church!!!
MLC was really good. I love President. The whole mission struggled on baptisms this month.... So we got some chastisement, but also lots of loving encouragement. It was really cool. He is a really good teacher and leader. Basically, I learned I need to have more faith and be more consecrated. I always love the Spirit there! Also, Sister Kaleopa is now a Sister Training Leader too, so she got to come with me!
So the culture night was really fun. Sorry I didn't get pics out last time. There were tables representing stuff from different cultures. There was tons of food from different cultures too, so that was fun. Then people danced/sang dances and songs from their cultures. I love the island cultures!! So cool. The missionaries sang I am a Child of God in like 6 different languages, couple lines each. Chinese included!!
Let's see... This week, Anbby moved out of her house. This morning we went on a hike with the youth to Bonzai Cliff. That was super fun! Found a huge spider that Lee, one of the youth, held like it was his pet. Crazy. All the missionaries had brunch at the Conners after. That family is soooo cool!! I love them =)
Anyway, I think that's all for this week. Keep pressing forward. I know times get tough, but God is very aware of our individual circumstances. Stay faithful. He blesses us in so many ways, in ways we can't even see right now. Hard times may come, but they pass! Love you all so much!
Monday, August 28, 2017
August 27, 2017
Hey all! Hope you all had a great week! Mine was crazy busy. Feel like we weren't able to get a ton of proselyting done =( That's ok though, still doing the Lord's work!
In district meeting this week we were talking about what we want to accomplish before the end of our missions. I said, "Be able to speak Chinese fluently enough to carry on a decent conversation." Sister Jenkins wants to read the Book of Mormon in Chinese (I have the coolest companion!). But that question has got me thinking a lot recently, about what other things I want to accomplish. One thing I really want to change about myself is being impatient. I thought I was a decently patient person, but, especially recently, I am seeing how impatient I am. I want to be so patient; even when someone says something contentious, I don't want to respond with anger, or impatiently, but rather with patience, with charity. I think that is one big thing the world is missing today. We are all so fast to respond, so quick to judge, so unwilling to be understanding of another's viewpoint, that contentions run high and relationships are destroyed every day. I want to change that about myself, starting now. I hope and pray my Heavenly Father and Savior will help me.
Ward Culture night was super cool. I'll tell ya'll bout it next week. Gotta go.
Til next time. Cai Jian!!
Hey all! August 13, 2017
So I know there's some concern from back home about all the threats of bombing Guam is facing..... I hope to calm some of those fears, and to let you know that, no matter what happens, I know I am where God needs me to be, and will be for the duration of my Mission.
First off, if God needs His missionaries somewhere else right now, He will tell His Prophet. And so if we are needed here, bomb or no bomb, here is where I will stay. If the Work is meant to continue in the Micronesia Guam Mission, than it will continue. "The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calamity may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independently, til it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; til the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, 'The Work is done!'". I believe that's true. And so, while we've heard about the threats, I'm not worried.
This week I went on exchanges with the other Sisters. Sister Kaleopa has a super good voice and Ambee noticed at church. So when we went to her house, MiaoMiao was sleeping and she asked us to teach her I am a Child of God. She asked Sister Jenkins and I to not start lessons with songs..... mostly cuz of customers, but now I'm convinced it's cuz we can't sing hahaha. Anyway, she's going to learn I am a Child of God in English so she can teach MiaoMiao. So cute!!!
On another note, President said we can get Chinese names!!! They have these half English half Chinese name tags they use in Hong Kong and Taiwan, so we are working on getting some. Good thing too, because it's hard for our friends to read and remember our names, haha. Super excited for those.
This week was pretty good. We are trying to find some more investigators, cuz our pool is running a little low. William is back from Taiwan for school! He came to church with his parents. I spoke in Sacrament Meeting, and bore my testimony in Chinese. Our investigators really loved it cuz normally they can't understand anything in church. So cool!!! President is working on getting us some translation microphone things so we can translate better for our investigators. Hopefully our Chinese is good enough x.x
We also got some more Chinese materials! It's been sooo helpful already. We have some where we can hear words, and more learning book things, and we found Preach My Gospel in Pinyon!! (the sound of the characters). Gonna start working on reading Chinese too.
We just finished a transfer, and so evalutated our goals and set some new ones. This transfer is gonna be super good. We have plans to use our time better, cuz our area is so big (the whole island) that we spend a lot of time going place to place. So we'll divide the island in half and only stay there until we go home from lunch/dinner, then go to the other half after. We'll see how it works out. I feel like our Chinese is on the brink of skyrocketing, too. So cool ^^ I love the Chinese people so much!
So with the new transfer, we have 19 new missionaries coming in! Only one Sister. Elder Ieru and Elder Taan will stay Zone Leaders, but they are both training. Elder Meza is the District Leader, and his companion is Elder Jensen, who flew in from Chuuk on Saturday. Pretty cool. All good missionaries!! So excited to see where this new Zone takes us =) All the areas boundries on Saipan (except the Chinese area of course) changed.
Well, out of time. Sitting in the internet cafe listening to a Chinese argument behind me. Haha. Fun times here on Saipan.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all! Stay safe
PS. If you read 8 chapters a day, you can finish the Book of Mormon in a month. If you read 4, you can finish in 2. Try it!
Have a great week!
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Hey family and friends!! 7-16-2017
This week has been so crazy!
Just to sum it up:
Come unto Christ, ye heavy laden. I promise this is the only true rest you will ever find. It's not found in alcohol, drugs, money, material things. None of those things last. If you want lasting rest and peace, turn to Christ. Find rest to your souls there.
This week has been a trial of faith. Luckily that's what I was studying, haha. It seemed like one thing after another happened.... It's ok though. Trials have this way of bringing to your knees, and thus bringing you closer to your Heavenly Father, if you let it. I'm learning that when things go wrong, Satan really tries to work on you to get frustrated and take that frustration out the ones you love. Don't let him. It never, ever, EVER helps.
I've seen families in pieces, lives in danger (spiritual and temporal), people I care about brought to their knees in hopelessness. But there is always a way out, and up out of the darkness. Like I said earlier: Come unto Christ. Why is that so hard for us sometimes? Satan just makes us doubt His ability to rescue us? I don't know. I do know that the answers are in the Book of Mormon and on your knees in prayer.
This weekend was hard. But Sister Jenkins pointed out last night, as it says in Battle Hymn of the Republic, "Our God still marches on". No matter what you are facing right now, remember God still, and always will, march on. Stay on His side, and don't give up.
I love you all so much! Have a super great!
PS: Repentance is real, and it is a very good thing. Satan tries to scare us away from it, but there is no feeling like being clean. Allow Jesus Christ's Atonement to work in your life. He already suffered for your pain and your sorrows. Why allow it to "wrack [your] soul with torment" any longer?