Friday, December 20, 2013

Diligence. Prayer. Miracle.

Hi all,
We finally got to meet with our Chinese investigator Lily last week! We didn't get to meet with her for over two weeks. We were so worried that she would drop us, but we continued to pray that she would have the desire to learn more as we really knew that she was ready to hear the gospel. This time I was so much prepared to teach. I got the permission to study Mandarin with Brother Fish from a different ward in our Stake the night before our appointment with Lily. Brother Fish is really awesome. He served his mission in Taiwan more than 10 years ago but could still speak really good Mandarin. He showed me the teaching material he got from the MTC. It was so helpful. Since most people in Taiwan didn't really have a Christian background, Brother Fish had learned how to teach in a different way than we normally do. He showed me how to do a door approach when the person didn't have a Christian background and taught me lots of gospel terms. And I got permission to study Mandarin by myself 30 minutes each day besides P-day and weekly planning day. The lesson with Lily went really well. I remember Elder Yeip gave me a Priesthood Blessing at my first transfer that I would be given the gift of tongues, and I really know that I was blessed with the ability to speak the language. Instead of teaching the Restoration, I went back to the basis - God and Jesus Christ. Lily didn't grow up with any religion but believed that there was a God. She knew a little about Jesus Christ since she started having bible study with her friends a couple months ago. I explained to her the role of Jesus Christ in the Plan of Salvation, and she liked it. My companion and I both bore testimony to her that she could only know if our message was true through prayers. She was really hesitant about it, so I extended the commitment at least 3 times in different ways throughout the whole lesson. I told her that our message was either true or not, and I didn't think that she would still want to meet with us if it wasn't true. And then she said " I think your message is true." I was like "Wow!". Still, we invited her to pray to gain a confirmation from the Spirit. She is going to China this Sunday and won't be back until January 14, but she said that she would read over the pamphlet and pray. It was totally a miracle. I'm grateful that I could teach her in her native language. I'm grateful for the Spirit's presence so that I could know what inspired questions I should ask and when should I bear testimony.

After the lesson, we drove to the Bothell Church building as we had a Christmas dinner with missionaries in 3 other zones. I was so happy that I got to talk with some missionaries that I served with before. It was just a very fun time. Each zone had to give a singing performance at the Chapel after dinner. Our Zone Leaders had invited missionaries in the zone to sing "I am a child of God" in their native language, so I sang it in Cantonese. I was nervous to death as I was singing in front of the Mission Presidency and over 100 missionaries. Lots of people complimented on my singing. Um... I guess the Spirit can really hide the sour notes.
We went to the Temple for Endowment this morning. I was so excited that I got to go back to my last area. I felt great peace inside the Temple. My Seminary teacher has told me that it is a privilege to be able to go inside the Temple, and now I really do understand that it's a blessing to be in the Temple. I love the Temple and know that it's the house of the Lord.
Our next P-day will be on December 25, but we are not going to email. We are still waiting for our leaders to tell us the details of skyping or calling family on that day. I wish you all have a wonderful Christmas. And may we all remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Sister Leung
They are the BEST cookies ever!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A challengin​g week

Hi all,
The past week has been pretty challenging! We were tracting under -3 degree Celsius all the time, and our toes were frozen! But that's okay, just like what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Missionary work isn't easy because Salvation isn't a cheap experience". I believe that being a diligent worker even in a less pleasant situation can bring forth miracles! We learned that "miracles are not for us" in Zone Meeting last Friday. Miracles are for those people who are earnestly seeking the truth. We are only the instruments of the Lord. Talking about Zone Meeting, my companion and I were asked to give part of the training to the missionaries in our zone. It was a great experience. They didn't let us know until the night before, so we had to prepare everything within our study time. The training was about how diligence is related to high expectation and will help us reach our baptism goal for next year. Our mission has set 1663 baptisms as the goal for 2014. We couldn't have set this goal without having high expectation. But at the same time, if we don't make any changes, we won't be able to achieve this goal either. I have learned a lot by studying the Preach My Gospel. It talks about diligence is a Christlike attribute. And one of the things I didn't think of before is that if we are truly diligent servants, we are going to be more persistent when sharing the gospel with people. A lot of people would tell us that they are already Christian or are not interested, and I would just say "have a good day" when I first came out. But now I really know that there is more we can say. The Book of Mormon is what makes our Church unique, and we can always invite people to read and pray about it.
I was relieved after giving the training as I was quite nervous about it. But another challenge came on last Saturday. The Second counselor of the Bishopric called and invited me to give a 10-minute talk at Sacrament the next day. I was like "Um....". My companion thought that I would say no as I didn't like being asked to do something in last minute. But as a missionary, I don't really think that I can say no to any righteous request, so I said yes. I hadn't given a talk at Sacrament for years, and this time the topic was "The prophecies and birth of Christ". I was stressing out. I knew that I only had dinner time which was an hour to prepare, so I prayed to ask for help that I could be inspired to know what I should speak. My companion was helping to find some scripture references also. Even though I was prepared, I was still really nervous. I have always been nervous about speaking in public, and this time I had to give a talk in my second language. I prayed for help that I wouldn't speak with shaky voice as I thought it would be pretty embarrassing. And I wasn't shaking at all when giving the talk. Lots of members said that I spoke pretty naturally, and they did enjoy my talk. I am grateful for the power of prayers. I know that we can be strengthened if we pray sincerely to our Father in Heaven.

Sister Leung
Outside the Church building

I wrote 20 Christmas card last P-day. It's definitely a record!

Finally saw some snow!

First time giving a talk in English

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Be bold and testify of truth

Hi all,
Today is transfer. Both my companion and I are staying. I know that there is still something we need to work on together in this area. I'm excited to see more miracles this transfer.
The past week has been a really good week. We learned a lot at District Meeting. I know that our District Leader was called by God and was inspired to lead us as a district. We discussed the importance of extending commitments and testifying of the Restored Gospel. Sometimes I might make our message sound too casual even though I knew for sure that it was important. And sometimes I didn't take the chance to testify when people said that our message and the Book of Mormon wasn't true. My companion and I set goals to work on our weaknesses. That evening, we got to talk with a Filipino during tracting. He told us that he had LDS friends and had been praying for them as he thought that they were misled. He was being very nice to us but was telling us that Mormonism was so wrong. He also asked a lot of doctrinal questions and did contradict himself a couple times. My companion did a good job in answering those questions without getting into Bible bashing, and I was standing there the whole time. That man just went on and on and on, and I started getting a bit impatient which I shouldn't have. I prayed in my heart that I would be given a chance to just testify to him of the Book of Mormon. After 30 minutes, my companion told him that we got to get going as we had an appointment. He then asked my companion if her parents were LDS. She said yes. He then asked me the same question. I told him that my grandpa joined the Church years ago, and I would eternally be grateful for his decision. I then testified to him that I knew the Book of Mormon was true as I had read and prayed about it. I told him that I was very grateful that I was born and raised in the Gospel. I told him that I knew without a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true Church on this earth and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. To my surprise, he didn't try to argue with me or anything. He just said "Good luck" to us. I don't know everything in the Bible or the Book of Mormon, but it doesn't mean that I can't have a testimony of the restored gospel. And I know that people can choose not to believe in our message, but they can never deny our testimony. I'm very grateful that Heavenly Father answered my prayed immediately and gave me a minute to testify what I knew to be true.
I still can't believe that I have been out for 6 months already, which means I only have about a year left. I have been enjoying serving a mission and am grateful that I can be an instrument of God to share His Gospel. It's the most wonderful thing I have ever done. I'm grateful for all the good times and hard times I have had as they help me learn and grow. Serving a mission does require sacrifice, but I know that it's worth it as I have come to know my Savior more and have been able to share this with other people. I really know that eternal happiness can only be found in the Restored Gospel.

Sister Leung
With our Sister Trainers. Sister Murphy and Sister Prows

Missionaries in the Bothell Zone

With my companion getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner

Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving dinner with members!