Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Exact obedience brings miracles

Hi all,
Our P-day is on Tuesday this week as we are going to the Temple this afternoon for the 1pm Endowment session! I'm so excited about it. Hope I'll have some Temple pictures to share next week.
The past week we have been working on being exactly obedient. Both my companion and I are always obedient even before our mission; however, we were struggling with being exactly obedient. To me, the hardest part was going to bed by 10:30pm that sometimes I went to bed 5 minutes late. It was still not exactly obedient. I have been going on bed on time for the past week:) And it did help me to have more energy for the next day. We have been taught that "Obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings MIRACLES". Even though we haven't experienced the miracles from being exactly obedient yet, I'm grateful that I can feel the peace and joy in my heart at the end of each day. And I know that God does miracles in His own time and in His own way. In 1 Nephi 17:3, it says "... And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them..." I know that obeying the commandments of God is a way to show our love to Heavenly Father, and He will help us to get through our trials if we first do what He has asked us to do.
Besides exact obedience, we have been trying our best to have good attitudes on tracting despite rejection. We didn't have people to teach, so for one day we even tracted from noon until dinner time. And our whole area is a hill, so we had to walk uphill and downhill all day long. It was exhausting, but I know that we won't even remember the hard time we have had when we find one person willing to listen. It'll be worth it. I have been praying that the weather would be nice for tracting all day long, and nice weather to me is not too hot. I don't mind tracting in the rain, just not the heat. And the temperature for the past few days was close to perfect:) I didn't feel weak during tracting like I did 2 weeks ago because of the heat.
Last Saturday, our Sister Training Leaders called us that they would come over to tract with us for 30 minutes that evening. Both my companion were wondering the reason for that because we didn't think that 30 minutes would make any difference. Yet, I was excited to go on a 30 minute exchange with them. I went on exchange with Sister Prows last transfer already, so I doubted if I would still go with her, but I did hope to go with her again. I have been asking my companion when we would have exchange again. And I was still with Sister Prows this time. Yay! I was impressed by her boldness, and I wanted to be better at knocking at doors like her. We only knocked on 3 doors within that 30 minutes as people actually at least talked with us even though they were not interested in the Gospel. I was surprised by how friendly people were that evening, and I think the reason for that was Sister Prows did look excited when she knocked on doors. But us, we always looked tired, and perhaps it was why not many people would talk with us. After those 3 doors, Sister Prows started talking with a man on the street, and we ended up talking with him for 10 minutes, and we gave him a card also. I was amazed by Sister Prows! She could just talk with people so naturally. And she said that we should have exchange the coming week, which means this week. I would be sooooooooo happy if I gotta go on exchange with her again. That 30 minutes did help a lot! And I did better on tracting yesterday thanks to that short exchange.
Two weeks from now will be transfer day. My companion will have been here for 6 months at the end of this transfer, so she probably will leave. And I will finish my 12 week training in 2 weeks, and who knows if I will be training someone next transfer. If I get to be a trainer, I will definitely want to be a great one, so I have been thinking of questions that I have to ask before I become a trainer. And I have been paying lots of attention when my companion is driving since I want to better recognize different places as our GPS never works!
I hope you all have a great week. See ya next Monday.
Love, Sister Leung

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Never fear men over God

Hi all,

I don't really know what I can share this time. We had some really good days and some really bad days last week.

Last Wednesday was Zone Conference. The night before that (I meat at 9pm), the Zone leader called us to ask if I could do the musical number at Zone Conference. My companion was the one answering the phone, and she told that I couldn't as there was no way I could do that the next morning without any practice. But the Zone leader thought my companion said YES for some reasons... I don't know how he could get it wrong. About 15 minutes later, he sent us a text "Sister Leung plays the piano. Elder Flake will sing". I was like "What!?" Elder Flake said he was going to sing "I need Thee every hour", and he asked if we could get to the Church building a bit earlier to practice. Well, I knew that I really didn't have any choice, so I said we would do it.

We got to the Church building at 8:30am the next day, and we went to the Relief Society room to practice. Our whole district was there to support us, and our district leader gave us some suggestion on how we could arrange the music as I really thought that it would be kind of stupid to sing and play the hymn directly from the hymn book. Elder Flake really had a BEAUTIFUL voice, we were all amazed by it. He never sang during district meeting though. We only got to practice for three times before the Zone Conference started. However, we did really great on the musical number! It was definitely a success:)

Our Wednesday was really a great day because of all the spiritual messages we gotta listen to; however, we had a really bad Thursday. It was ALMOST the worst day since I came on my mission. Every appointment fell through. Everyone that we planned to visit wasn't home. We went tracting under the heat and the rain for hours yet didn't get to talk with anyone. We were really frustrated when we went home. My companion asked me if I wanted to check the mailbox, and of course I would want to. And I got a letter from my cousin Elder Leung:) I have noticed that I got all his letters when I was having a bad day or a hard time. Thanks to that letter, that day wasn't the worst day.

The next day was a bit better as we continued to strive for exact obedience. We were taught that we should knock on every door and talk with everyone, but we failed to do so often. We knocked on so may doors during tracting that evening, but we didn't get to talk with anyone. While waiting for someone to come to the door, I prayed in my heart that I wanted to have at least one lesson if it was Heavenly Father's will. Nobody came to that door. We then walked up to the next one, but we heard that a family was having a dinner, and my companion was walking away from that door since she didn't want people to think that we were annoying. Nevertheless, I was thinking that the evening was our only proselyting time, and yes people might hate us for knocking on their doors during dinner time, but they would only yell us at most. What if that family was ready for the gospel? If they missed the opportunity to hear the gospel because we were scared of being annoying, we won't be clean on Judgement day for the work we have done. So I insisted that we had to go back to knock on that door. We did. A guy came out, and he was a Christian. We talked about some doctrines of the Gospel, and though we had some differences on what we believed, he was respectful. He didn't want to read the Book of Mormon, but still he said that we helped him understand more about the LDS Church. That guy was the only person that we got to teach that day. I'm grateful for the courage I had to knock on his door, and I'm amazed by how fast Heavenly Father answered my prayer.

I don't have much time left, but I wanted to encourage you all to read the Ensign. I like what elder Dallin H. Oaks said "We will get promptings of the Spirit when we have done everything we can, when we are out in the sun working rather than sitting back in the shade praying for direction on the first step to take. Revelation comes when the children of God are on the move". I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers in His own time and His own way, and he requires us to try our best first. I know that we shouldn't have any fear when we are doing the right things.


Sister Leung

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Learning to be patient, humble and teachable

Hi all,

The past week started off really bad, but I'm glad that it ended up a pretty good week. And I've learned so much in the past few days.

For the whole week, we spent the whole afternoon tracting as we didn't really have any investigators to teach. And I can't describe how hard it was to walk uphill and downhill for 4 hours under the heat. It has been pretty hot which was about 30 degrees Celsius, and everyone knows that anything above 20 would be too hot for me, so the heat has been killing me! And I lost my temper for the first time since I came on my mission. When my companion said that we would tract again if our evening appointment fell through, I just kind of shouted at her that I wouldn't tract again no matter what happened! It was the biggest mistake I have made for the past 2 months. And I knew that the Lord wouldn't help us with our work if I didn't repent, so I prayed for forgiveness that night that I wouldn't do that again.

Even though I'm not afraid of tracting anymore, it isn't my favorite thing to do as most people don't give us a chance to say anything. And almost every week, we would be told by some people that we were misled. This happened again on Saturday during tracting. A guy told us that Jesus Christ never lived, and the Bible was a fiction. and the Book of Mormon was a story that stolen and published by Joseph Smith. I was like "WHAT?!! What are you talking about?" I knew that the only thing we could say was to testify what we knew was true. He told us that we were totally misled, and he was there to teach us how to be smart. I admit that I was a bit mad when he said that we were misled, but 5 seconds later I didn't care about it. WE SHOULD NEVER CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT US MORE THAN OUR HEAVENLY FATHER DOES. I know without any doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and the fullness of the gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. There is no way I can deny that.

Last Saturday, we and our Elders did service for a family. The mom has been inactive for a long time, and she didn't really know much about Jesus Christ. So we talked with her about the Gospel while doing service. The dad wasn't a member, and the Elders has been teaching him. They were really nice people, but the problem was they never stopped working even while we were teaching them. Four of us said that we gotta be bold next time to let them know that the message we have to share is important that they have to stop doing anything during the lesson. I think I can be bold, and my companion and I are going to tell the mom that she must stay for the 3 hour of Church but not going home to work after Sacrament meeting. I know that keeping the Sabbath day holy is a commandment of God, and I have experienced the huge blessing coming from it. And I know that it is something God wants from her, so we need to help her understand the importance of keeping the commandment. It takes courage to do so, but I know that we should never fear men over God.

In my last email, I only mentioned that we had a new Elder named Elder Larson since I didn't know him much. We got to know him a bit more the past week. And he is really amazing. He always has something funny to tell, but he is super focus on his purpose, and he knows why he is on a mission. Last Fast Sunday was his first Sunday in our ward, and he just went up to bear his testimony. My companion and I said that we should do it next Fast Sunday:) And yesterday before the Sacrament meeting started, Elder Larson just walked around to get to know the members of the ward. My companion and I were amazed by it. It took me almost 8 weeks to get to know most members because I was shy... But now I really enjoy greeting members outside the chapel every Sunday, and I think I should learn from Elder Larson's example to get to know people when I get transferred to another ward.

I guess you may remember who Sister Kim is as I have mentioned her in my past two blog entries. She is the BEST friend of missionaries. She is always excited about missionary work, and she has been praying and fasting for missionary opportunity. Last Wednesday afternoon, Sister Kim told us that we should drop by her house in the evening as her Korean friend would come over to her house with her daughter. So we went by, and her friend was there as her daughter practiced piano at Sister Kim's house every other day. Sister Kim invited her friend to talk with us, and she said that she has been to a few Christian Churches before, but she never knew which one was true. And she asked some questions about the God Head. We didn't get to talk a lot since we had another appointment that evening, but we are going over to discuss more this evening. Sister Kim is definitely the BEST example of member missionary. If every member can be so into missionary work like her, I think we won't have to knock on doors to find people to teach. I know that members are important to missionary work, and I pray that you all will look for opportunity to share the gospel with your friends, non-member family members, and neighbors.

I'm running out of time, but I want to share a scripture that I applied to my life the past week. In Jacob 4:10, it says "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from His hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over his works". We should seek the Lord's will and act on it, and I know that He knows what is the BEST for us. And we can avoid making mistakes if we listen and follow His will. I know from experience that the more humble you are, the more the Lord is willing to help you.


Sister Leung

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Click Day #2

Hi all,
Today is my click day number 2! It has been 2 months since I left home for my mission. Time goes by so fast! We are into the second week of my second transfer. We are going to have frozen yogurt this afternoon to celebrate it.
The past week we have been struggling with finding new investigators. Nobody was home whenever we went tracting. And I just felt like we got so little done. I admit that there were some moments that I really wanted to go home as I felt like it was a waste of time. But President Choi reminded us in Zone Conference that we are here because the Lord wants us to! That's true! I would have had the desire to serve my mission if it wasn't the Lord's will. President Choi then said that we ruin the Lord's will if we want to go home. I seriously can't have this thought again.
We have been teaching a lady called Diana for the past two weeks or so. My companion and her former companion tracted into Diana back in April, but they weren't able to contact with her since then. Since the beginning of my first transfer, we always put her name on the planner. My companion used to say that she was scared of Diana since she felt like Diana was trying to avoid her and her companion. But we still knocked her doors every once in a while. And we finally caught her home about two weeks ago. She was really nice and friendly! She was going through a divorce and was getting ready to move out. We only talked with her and shared a verse from the Book of Mormon every time we saw her the first week as we didn't want to be pushy. Later she told us that she felt good and comforted whenever she shared something from the Book of Mormon, so we decided to teach her the Restoration. We gave her the pamphlet, but we couldn't catch her home ever since we were ready to teach her! It was really frustrating. And I know for sure Satan has been working so hard to distract her as we both know that she is ready for the Gospel! Last night, she was cooking dinner when we went by. We caught up a little bit, and she asked about the Temple. She told us that there was always a LDS Temple close to her house wherever she lived! We told her about the baptism for the dead that we did inside the Temple, and then we got to talk about baptism. We read 2 Nephi Chapter 31 with her that explained clearly that we needed to be baptized the way Jesus did. She said that everything made so much sense to her!!!!!!!! She told us that she had read the pamphlet and had written some questions about it. I was surprised by how serious she was. We are going back tonight to discuss the Restoration with her. This experience teaches me never giving up anyone. People may not be ready for the Gospel when you first meet them, but who knows if they will be ready a few months later. And we are not here to judge if they need to listen to it. We are here to talk with everyone to make sure they have the opportunity to choose for themselves.
Missionary work can be real hard sometimes, but all hard times I have had helped me be closer to the Savior as he said "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88). And I know that the Lord has been helping me to do His work. I can't speak perfect English, but I can't think of a time that I didn't know what to say when teaching a lesson. Words are always put into my mouth. And I know that we can't teach without the Spirit.
There are still things that I have to get used to, and one of them is "EAT CHEAP"! We have been having chicken products every day, and I seriously hate it. I just want some beef, but my companion said that beef was too expensive. When we visited Sister Kim last Saturday, we talked about missionary work and how to eat cheap. She said that her husband's coworker had a farm that he always gave them organic beef! And she just got some the day before we visited her. She then gave us about 6 pounds of organic beef!!!!!!! We are not having chicken this week! Yay:) Members in the ward are just awesome. I enjoy having dinner at member's house every Sunday and Monday. We are always fed with super delicious food.
Running out of time. I know that the Church is true, and I am so grateful for the Atonement of Christ as I know that He can fully understand what we are going through because he has suffered all our bad feelings. Don't hesitate to turn to our Father in Heaven:) I know that we can be healed only through the Atonement.
Sister Leung

Elder Atherley has a new companion
from Arizona - Elder Larson (left)