Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Conclusion​: A rough transfer

Hi all,

Today is the transfer day. I'm done with my first transfer already. These 6 weeks has gone by so FAST. My companion and I are going to stay together for this transfer also. I'm glad that I don't need to be a trainer before I finish my 12 week training. Sadly, one of our Elders, Elder Vang, is being transferred. He is just an awesome missionary, and he has influenced my life for the better. I admire his personality that he can enjoy doing everything. When he knew that I didn't want to go on exchanges, he just said "It's fine. Learn to love it". And I did enjoy the exchanges a lot. And now when my companion doesn't really want to go tracting, I will just say "It's fine. Tracting is fun". He has taught me a lot by his example. I don't think the Elder coming to our area would be an Asian :(
Since we couldn't email before transfer even though we were staying in the area, we went shopping and met with the Elders to take pictures around the Temple. We had lots of FUN together. It has been a great time serving with them in Somerset.
The past week has been ROUGH. Most of our appointments fell through, and the only serious investigator we had wasn't progressing...... And my companion and I have had a hard time working together. # days after I got here, I already knew that we were totally different people. She thinks that I'm the hardest person to get to know in the world because I don't speak a lot. Well, I can only say that I don't like speaking just for speaking, I prefer being quiet if I don't have anything to say. And she asked me if there was anyone that I just "clicked" with at once. Well, I couldn't think of anyone except Puipui. We have been working on teaching as a companionship also since she felt like she dominated during lessons. That was true sometimes. We just have a lot to work on, and I guess it may be the reason that we are staying together this transfer.
In the past I didn't understand how important it was to have members present when teaching investigators, now I can say that it helps a lot! We have been visiting a Korean lady, she was taught by missionaries a year ago and has filled out her baptismal paper but her husband wouldn't let her join the Church. But I was glad that she wasn't baptized yet as we found out from visits that she didn't even know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true church. She still thought that it was fine to go to any church. We couldn't communicate with her sometimes because she didn't speak much English. A few weeks ago, a Korean family, the Kim family, moved to our ward, and they were excited about missionary work. Sister Kim served her mission years ago, and she told us that she has been praying for opportunity to help hasten missionary work! She came with us to visit the Korean lady yesterday, and it turned out so well! Sister Kim shared her conversion story, and she could translate the message we shared also. And they now become friends. Sister Kim not only helps us with teaching lessons, but also gives us referrals. If every member of the Church can be like her, I'm sure we will have lots of lessons to teach and won't need to spend so much time on knocking on doors and talking with people on the street. And it is what missionary work should be.
My companion said that she felt sorry that I had such a rough first transfer. It's fine. I know that I have gained a stronger testimony because of the hard times I have had. And I know that all experiences I had or will have on my mission will help me a lot for the rest of my life.
Sister Leung
 Back (from left) Elder Yeip (Our amazing District Leader), Elder Bailey (Came out with me from the MTC), Elder Flake (He's CRAZY)
Front (from left) Elder Hicks (Companion of Elder Flake), Sister Boyd (my companion), Me (The only Asian)
 Our Elders had a baptism last Saturday!
 From left: Elder Atherley, Elder Vang, Me, Sister Boyd
We had a great time serving in the Somerset Ward together!
 They are amazing! They have helped me and my companion a lot including changing our flat tire.
 We had lots of FUN taking pictures around the Temple.
Our last picture before transfer :(

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

24 hours can change everything

Hi all,
The past week has been a great week. To begin with, I need to say thank you to all who wrote me letters or postcards! I seriously didn't expect that I would receive so many letters and postcards on my mission, and I'm glad to know from letters that my friends have been reading my mission blog. Thank you for all the support, love, and prayers. I still have at last 6 letters to reply... I only got to reply one last P-day, I'm going to try my best reply all as soon as possible! But I can promise that I'll always reply your letters. This is a sure thing.
Last Monday night, we planned to visit a family. They first met missionaries 6 years ago, and they have been taught all the lessons. But they never committed to be baptized. We wanted to talk about it with them but we could only stay at their house for 15 minutes in order to get home on time. So my companion asked me to pick a scripture that could touch their hearts. I prayed about it, and soon after that Alma 36:27 was on my mind again. My companion thought that it would be a good one also, so we shared with the family. The mom was touched by it. She didn't usually talk much, but she asked me where the scripture was because she wanted to highlight it in her own Book of Mormon, and she had tears in her eyes. The dad really loved that scripture also, he said that it would be perfect to share with anyone as we all had our own trials. I'm glad that this scripture softened their hearts a bit. I hope that the whole family will get baptized someday.
Last Thursday, we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. That morning, both my companion and I were hoping that they would forget to call us as we didn't want to go on exchanges that day. We had planned to have Temple Walk with a less active member that night. And I even prayed that I didn't need to go that day, but still I asked Heavenly Father to help me go on exchanges with a good attitude if it was something I needed to do that day. And of course we had exchanges that day after our 3 hour weekly planning. My companion stayed with the trainer in our area, and I went to Cougar Mountain area with Sister Prows. We talked quite a lot in the car, and she asked me what my greatest fear had been so far. Of course it was knocking on doors. She said that she was gonna fix it within the next 24 hours before exchanges ended. I was thinking "Are you sure you can fix it?". But she did it. I HAVE NO FEAR OF KNOCKING ON DOORS AFTER BEING WITH HER FOR 24 HOURS! It was an amazing experience. I don't have much time left, but I'm gonna share some of the experiences with you all.
We first went to an investigator's house. She had problems with keeping the Word of Wisdom. Sister Prows said that she would teach the lesson, but at the end of it, I had to extend the commitment of baptism. She said that she would keep looking at me if I didn't say that... For the whole lesson, I was paying attention to both Sister Prows and the investigator so that I could guide by the Spirit to know when I should invite her to be baptized. And I did it at the end of the lesson. And the investigator said YES. She is now on date for August 17. It was my first time inviting someone to be baptized! I feel so good about it.
That night, we went to knock on people's doors. Sister Prows really had no fear at all. We knocked on a guy's door, he said that he wasn't religious at all. Sister Prows started teaching him the Restoration on the doorstep, and she even gave out a Book of Mormon, a card, and the Restoration pamphlet to that guy! He said that he would read them all for sure. And I gave a closing prayer before we left. I was totally amazed by how she could keep talking even though people said they weren't religious or they went to other churches. After a few doors, she said that she wasn't going to say anything when the person opened the door, I had to do all the talking. I just said OKAY. At that point my fear was gone already. Seeing how bold Sister Prows was totally changed my perspective of knocking on doors. It actually wasn't that scary! :) She shared with me 2 Timothy 1:7 when we had companion study the next morning. It says "For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind". I have no doubt that all the fear I used to have was from SATAN!
I didn't expect that the exchanges would help me that much. 24 hours were enough to make a huge change on my mission! Knocking on doors should be EXCITING and FUN as you will eventually find someone that is prepared for the gospel!
My companion got us a FLAT TIRE again last Friday evening. It was the SECOND time within 3 weeks. She hit a curb while making a U-turn. At first we didn't notice that the tire was flat, we still made it to the house of a family of our ward. But when we left, we both knew from the sound that the tire was completely flat for sure! So we ran back to the members' house to ask for help because my companion was too embarrassed to call our Elders for help again. We shared a spiritual message with the members, but they gave us ice water, let us use their bathroom, and even changed our tire. I told my companion that it probably was the most experience spiritual message they have ever had. The members even followed us to make sure we got home safely! I'm so grateful for their help!
Taken after we changed the tire. My companion said that the tire center was her second home! I have no doubt about it.
Talking about ward members, I need to say that they all are very good cooks! Our dinner on Sundays and Mondays are always taken care of! So I've already been to several members' house. All the food I've had was soooooooo great! And they all noticed that I did eat a lot. I can eat at least two times more than my companion usually.
This week is the last week of my first transfer. It is my 6th week already! Since the next week is the transfer week, the P-day will be on Tuesday instead of Monday. So talk to you all later:)
Sister Leung
P.S. I just got a hair cut by a member of our ward this morning! It was the fastest hair cut I have ever had.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The harder, the better

Hi all,
The past week was much better than the first two weeks! We still haven't found any new investigators but we were more satisfied with the our work as we did put in so much more efforts on it. Sometimes missionary work can really be frustrating especially when people tell you that you are misled by your religion. Well, I still know what I know is true. We are here to offer them the gospel, but they can choose to accept or reject. My companion told me more than once that I'm good at door approach even though I don't like knocking on doors. At first, I was thinking that if I really did well, why didn't them accept our message? Now I understand that for some people, they are just not ready for the gospel. No matter what we say, they still won't accept that. Our responsibility is to talk with EVERYONE we see and to teach those who are ready to listen.
And I need to say thank you to those who wrote me letters! I got letters from my previous roommate Julia, Sze Wan (I mean Sister Yeung), and my dear cousin ELDER LEUNG last Wednesday! I got a letter from Jingjing the next day. It isn't hard to imagine my happy face when I saw those letters on the desk. And I have to say that I learned so much from Elder Leung's letter. His letter is always uplifting, spiritual and full of wisdom and encouragement. I love receiving his letters as I can always learn a lot from him. And he makes me want to do better. :) I'm going to try my best to reply all letters today. I promise that I'll reply every single letter that I receive.
Last Tuesday, we went to teach Amber and her family that I have mentioned in previous emails. We went with Sister Tyler and her daughter Brooke as she was about the same age as Amber. We had planned to teach the Plan of Salvation as Amber so wanted to know more about God and death. But the night before, my companion and I felt like we should teach them the importance of prayer, scripture study, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. So we decided to act on the inspiration that we were given. The lesson did go pretty well. Sister Tyler was really awesome. And having Brooke there to tell Amber more about the Primary also helped a lot. Sister Tyler and I both agreed that the lesson was GREAT. Yet, my companion didn't think so. She thought that she didn't let me talk much in the lesson. Indeed, I spoke less than her and even Sister Tyler did. But it doesn't matter. I was able to bear my testimony whenever I felt like I should. And we all felt the Spirit. In the MTC we were taught that if we can feel the Spirit in the lesson, it is a good lesson. We don't need to speak the language perfectly to teach a lesson, and sometimes we don't even need to talk a lot. And it was the first lesson that we had members present. it made a huge difference! Sometimes what an investigator needs is to hear the testimony of members.
Last Thursday afternoon, we had an interview with President Choi and his wife. I forgot how we got to talk about BYU Hawaii during the interview. But I clearly remember the exciting face of President Choi when he knew that my uncle was in the same ward with him at that time. Then half of the interview was about my uncle. And he told me that he missed the time they served in the ward together and all those memories they had. He also told me my uncle was such a great and faithful person. I have no doubt about it. After talking about my uncle and his family, President Choi asked me questions about how I've been doing on my mission, and I told him the rough weeks we had...... The only thing he told me was "The harder, the better". Its true. I know that I've learned to draw closer to God because of the hard times I had. And life isn't easy doesn't mean that we're not blessed. After meeting President Choi, I had an interview with Sister Choi. When she saw my last name on my profile, she told me that she knew someone from BYU Hawaii that had the same last name but she wasn't sure if we were related. BYU Hawaii again. I then told her that my uncle and aunt studied there also. She didn't remember much about my uncle but she knew my aunt. Again she was so excited. She told me my aunt was an awesome person, and she loved her so much! This world is just so small. :) And it was pretty interesting to see how excited they were when they found out that they knew my family.
I'm running out of time. But I want to share a scripture with you all. In Alma 17:11, it says "... yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls". Also, I would encourage you all to read the July 2013 Ensign, especially the talk titled "A Time For Faith Not Fear" by Elder Larry W. Gibbons.
Sister Leung

I have just received this picture taken in Salt Lake from Elder Gonzalez

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1 month down!

Time flies! It has been more than a month since I left home for the MTC.
This week has been rough, but I can tell that we did so much better than our first two weeks. I didn't knock on more than 3 doors for the first two weeks because I was scared to death. I jumped whenever I heard people coming to the door. And my brain went blank also. So I didn't say a word unless the person could only speak Mandarin. For the past week, we had a goal that we had to take turn in knocking on doors! I knew I had to do it. If I didn't knock on doors, what was the point to serve a mission? So we tried. I was so scared at first, and I just prayed in my heart that I would know what I needed to say when someone opened the door. And I did say something but I just didn't know what I was saying. My companion said I did a good job even though that person didn't show any interest in learning more about the gospel, but I told her that I didn't even know what I had said. All I know is that we can be led by the Spirit if we ask for it. I think I'll never feel comfortable with talking to people on the street or knocking on doors, but at least I'll not hesitate to do so out of fear. I know that everyone needs the Gospel. We as missionaries are here to offer them the restored Gospel, but people have their agency to choose whether to accept or reject our message. My former Mission President assured us that there are thousands of people who are ready for the Gospel. It's still hard for my companion and I to imagine that since we couldn't find anyone to teach for the past 3 weeks. But I know that we wouldn't be here if nobody is going to listen to the message we have.
Last Tuesday, we taught a former investigator. He was an educated guy in his 20's. I started the lesson with "How to begin teaching". We gave an overview of what we were going to teach. And after we taught the Plan Of Salvation, he said he had no questions about that. But then he asked a lots of questions about the Restoration, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. My companion extended the invitation of reading the Book of Mormon, he refused. He said the Bible is enough, and he couldn't accept that the Book of Mormon is comparable to the Bible. Well, I said that we were here to teach the truth, but he could choose whether to accept and act on the message we shared. I just couldn't understand why people could say things against the Book of Mormon without reading it!
I don't have much time left. But I want to share something funny happened last Wednesday. We had English class that night. There was a lady that could speak both Cantonese and Mandarin. I was so excited to talk with her in my native language. But as I started using Cantonese to introduce myself, I realized how weird my intonation was, and she looked at me also... And 1 minute later, I noticed that I was speaking in Mandarin....., I couldn't even believe it! Maybe what Elder Wu said was right, my Mandarin will be better than my Cantonese when I come back.... And I have just told him that I'm not going to laugh at his Cantonese anymore...... I'm wondering when I can speak Cantonese again...
Sister Leung

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Another rough week

Hi all,
It has been another tough week. We still haven't had much success yet. For a few days, we didn't even get to teach any lesson throughout the day, which was quite frustrating. But I need to admit that it's more or less because of our fear. My companion and I are still afraid of knocking on doors and talking to people on the street. We obviously haven't tried our best out of FEAR.
The Seattle Mission split last Friday. All friends that I met at the MTC or on Facebook are now at the new mission, which is the Federal Way Mission. I'll still be at the Seattle Mission, and I know that I'm here for some reasons. Last Thursday, we had the new missionary training, and all new missionaries had to share the first experience of putting someone on date. And quite a lot of people and I hadn't put anymore on date by that time, but we all shared that we had strong faith that miracles would happen as we continued to work hard and be exactly obedient.
The Elders in our ward gave us a referral few days ago. A lady came to them while they were tracting on the street. The lady had been inactive at Church for years. Her daughter started asking her questions about God and death, so she decided to meet with missionaries. We went by the next day to teach them the first lesson, it went pretty well. It was a bit hard to explain the Restoration to a 9 year old girl though. We are going back to teach them the Plan of Salvation tomorrow. I'm very excited about it.
Thanks to my companion, we got a FLAT TIRE on Saturday while driving back home. She hit on something while looking at the map. And we couldn't get it fixed until today. So we had to WALK uphill and downhill to do finding yesterday! And I so wanna say that Seattle is so HOT right now, its simply an OVEN, no kidding! Who ever said Seattle never gets hot is a lier! I really can't stand the heat anymore. I feel like I'm just in Hong Kong. And too bad that houses here don't even have a fan, not to mention the air-conditioner. I think I just have to live in Alaska for the rest of my life.
The bishop asked me to share some of thoughts and to bear testimony during the Sacrament yesterday. I again shared how I came to be a missionary. I was scared to death to speak in front of people, but I definitely did better than I was in BYU Hawaii. I'm still struggling with English sometimes.
Missionary work is hard indeed. And for the past week, I sometimes felt discouraged that I even wanted to go home so badly. But I know that I was the one choosing to go on a mission, nobody forced me to do that. So I must get it done! In Alma 38:5, it says "And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye would remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day" I know that God can make miracles if we put our faith and trust in Him. And as a missionary, all you can do is that tomorrow is going to be a better day. And I know that God always listens and answers our prayers. On Saturday morning, I was in a pretty bad mood for some reasons, and I just prayed that I could receive any kind of encouragement that day, letters would be best if possible. When I got back from finding later that day, I saw a letter and a postcard on the desk. The letter was from a sister missionary that I've never met in person, I only knew her through Facebook before mission. The postcard was from Puipui, one of the BEST friends in my life. They really did cheer me up. Don't hesitate to pray to our loving Heavenly Father. He knows us perfectly and wants to help us to go back to Him someday.
I still have things to say but I'm running out of time. Hope you all are doing great.
Sister Leung

Hermana Huchendorf. Met her in BYU Hawaii. Sadly she is now at the Federal Way Mission. Many people know that I can't really "connect" with white people for some reasons, but she is always my favorite "white person".
Sister Judd. I met her at the MTC, but again sadly, she is now serving at the Federal Way Mission. I so hope to be companions with her.
Elder Vang, one of the Elders in our ward. He is such a great example to everyone. He can do everything so happily and willingly, and he is always HELPFUL to us.