Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm now in Bellevue!

Hi all,
Today is transfer day. Last night when we got the phone call saying that I was getting transferred, I was calm as it wasn't really that surprising. I didn't cry until my companion said that she was going to cry in the shower. We did have a hard time getting along at the beginning but then we understood each other more and worked well together. But every time when you can start to love your companion, you will get another one. It's kind of frustrating, but it's also a great learning experience. I started packing at 10:15 and didn't get to bed until 2 in the morning. I'm now exhausted!
When I opened my call letter to see where I would go, I was shocked and almost cried as it said I would be on BIKE!!!! I was like "NOOOOOO!!!!". I was happy that I was the Junior companion, and my companion, Sister Capener, was the Sister Training Leader! I have always wanted to be companions with a Sister Training Leader! When we were outside the mission office wondering how we were going to get home as we didn't have a car or a bike, the vehicle coordinator came to us and told us that we got a car!!!! Yay so we don't need to bike in a skirt. Oh I forgot to mention that I'm now serving in Bellevue, which is the city part of the mission. I feel like I'm in Hong Kong right now. Both my companion and I are new to this area, so it's going to be an adventure as we don't know anything or anyone in this area. I know that the Lord is going to help us find success in this area as long as we put our trust in Him and are exactly obedient.
I served in North Creek for 4 and a half months, so I'm definitely missing the area, especially the people there. But at least I can now say that I have done what the Lord required of me when I was serving there. I have learned to love the people there. I have learned to really focus on helping them instead of thinking about my own problems and trials. I know that I'm now in Bellevue because someone here needs my testimony and my personality. I know that I don't need to worry about the people in North Creek as my last companion and her new companion will take care of them. I may not be able to see some of the people I have taught there getting baptized, but that's alright. The most important thing is that they will be baptized into the Lord's true Church. We are here to be the instrument only. I know that as we are willing to accept the Lord's will, we will find more peace and joy in our lives.
I'm excited to help the people in this area to come closer to our Savior. It's going to be a wonderful transfer!
Sister Leung
Last District Meeting.

The Elders brought of lots of FUN.

Last night in North Creek. I will miss these girls.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What do I need to change?

Hi all,
I just realized 5 seconds ago that 10 months from yesterday I would be on the plane going home. That's just scary. I can't even imagine how hard I will cry when I get on the plane. I really have been enjoying serving a mission, and I think I love it more and more each day. I have seen people's lives changing because of the restored gospel. And I'm definitely a better person than I was before I came on my mission, and at the same time I know that I still have a lot to learn.
For the past month, we didn't really get to teach any lesson during finding. It was kind of weird. My last companion and I could usually teach 2 doorstep lessons each day. But recently, no one wanted to talk with us. So a few days ago, I started thinking about if I said things differently that I did last transfer, and yes I realized that I had to make changes on door approach. When I first came out, I was terrified of knocking on doors, and I would just say "Thank you, have a good day" when people said they weren't interested. Later, I got more bold that I would just start testifying of the Restoration once people came to the door. But this past month, I have been saying things like "Have you ever talked with missionaries?" or "Are you religious yourself?". When I pondered more about the door approach I have been using since the beginning of this transfer, I understood that we wouldn't get to teach a lot unless I changed the way I approached. It doesn't matter if people have ever talked with missionaries because obviously they still haven't accepted the gospel. Also, most people here are religious, so asking question like this just gives them a chance to say things like "We go to a Church and we are good". Since then, I have stopped asking these yes-or-no question and started bearing testimony of the Restored Gospel. And we did get a few lessons during finding within the past two days. I have prayed to Heavenly Father that we would get to share the Gospel with more people when we are more bold to testify the truth, and He has definitely answered my prayer.
Yesterday, Nancy (name changed) came to Church for the first time. It wasn't something easy for her as she grew up Catholic. I could tell that it took her a lot of courage to walk into the Church building. She was pretty nervous but said that she would do whatever Heavenly Father wanted from her. I really do admire her courage and her determination. It is a blessing to have met her. She has strengthened my testimony that there are lots of people ready to accept the Gospel. I know that as we pray for guidance and work hard and are exactly obedient, we will be able to find them.
Serving a full-time mission has been the most wonderful experience in my life. I know that we will be given opportunities to share the gospel with people around us as we pray for them. Even though I still don't feel very comfortable to talk with people on the street, I have been praying that we will be able to meet more people when we are walking on the street. I know that the Spirit is going to help us know what to say if we are willing to listen. In Doctrine and Covenants 84:85, it says "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.". We are promised that we will be given words to say if we are diligently studying the words of God. I pray that you all will have the desire to share the Gospel with people around you.
Sister Leung
From left to right: Me, Sister Morrison, Sister Murphy (Sister Training Leader), Sister Madsen (My companion)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Share what matters to you

Hi all,
1 year ago today, I opened my mission call at BYUH. Even though it has been a year, I still clearly remember how nervous I was and how excited I was when I found out that I would be serving in the Washington Seattle Mission. Now, I have already been on my mission for a little over 8 months. I have experienced and have definitely grown a lot within these 8 months. One thing I have learned a lot on my mission is member missionary work. I wasn't the best member missionary before I came on my mission. I had only fellowshipped once, and it was because the Elders in my ward asked me to help. But I have learned a lot from the Stake Conference last weekends that we have all promised to be felloshippers when we were baptized. And I asked myself why I didn't fellowship more, and I think it was because I didn't feel like I knew much about the Gospel and was scared that I wouldn't be able to answer all the questions the investigators had. Now, as a missionary, I understand that the responsibility of a fellowshipper doesn't include answering all questions. We are not here to impress the investigators but to include them. We can always learn more about the gospel and the scriptures by discussing them with other people. We just need to be friendly and help the investigators feel welcomed. And one of the most powerful way to share the Gospel is to live it. Missionaries only get to stay in an area for a certain time, and members are the ones to help investigators stay active in the Church and become truly converted to the Gospel. I'm grateful for the wonderful message given at the Stake Conference, and I'm definitely going to be a better member missionary when I get home.
Last Friday, we visited Scott and Lora, who had been investigating the Church on and off for quite some time. They had been to Church a few times before I got transferred to this area. We invited Sister McDonald to go with us as she was a friend with both of them. We had a great time visiting them. We got to talk with Scott more about the baptismal service that he had attended the week before. He said that he felt like baptism would be something he wanted to have also. Lora told us that she felt so bad that she didn't get to go since she had to take care of the newborn baby. She asked us to invite her again next time as she really wanted to feel what her husband had felt. She said that Scott looked so happy when he got home from the baptismal service. They also asked lots of questions about the Church service and if there was a mother's room that she could use. They are definitely planning to come back to Church when the baby boy is two months old, which will happen in 2 weeks. They both said that they had never felt the Spirit that strongly in any other churches. They are very close to baptism!
Last week was the coldest week since I came out. We were tracting under -8 degrees Celsius for two evenings. Lots of members asked me if I could survive in the cold as I was from Hong Kong. And I would tell them it was so much better than 25 degrees Celsius, believe it or not. I have been enjoying the cold a lot. Also, I had been saying that I would want to see some snow. My companion commanded me not to wish for the snow as she would be the one driving in it. I got what I wanted last Saturday night. There were 2 inches of snow when we were leaving the Church building after the Stake Conference. All missionaries were not allowed to drive home. We had to leave the cars there and asked members for a ride. It was still snowing the next morning. I had so much fun playing in the snow.
I pray that all of you will have the courage to share the Gospel with other people and tell them what matters to you. I don't know if all your friends will accept the Gospel immediately, but I can promise you that you will make a difference in their lives. Two weeks ago, I read the newsletter of our mission and found out that the lady that I invited her to be baptized last July was baptized finally. She wasn't ready for baptism 7 months ago, but missionaries kept visiting and praying for her, and now she is a member of the Church. Don't ever give up on anyone! And we can always pray to know who needs to hear the Gospel at this time. Heavenly Father knows all His children perfectly and wants all of them to live with Him again. It's time to hasten the work of Salvation and help our brothers and sisters find the greatest joy in their lives.
Sister Leung
We had to leave our car at the Stake Center.

Last Sunday morning, we were waiting for the member to come pick us up.


Friday, February 7, 2014

The BIGGEST miracle ever

Hi all,
We had a big miracle last week. My companion and I have been out for almost 8 months now, and we both agree that it's the biggest miracle we have seen since we came on a mission. About 2 weeks ago, we got a referral from Church Headquarters saying that a lady named Nancy (name changed) would want a visit from missionary. So we went there, but the lady who answered the door said she wasn't interested at all. It wasn't unusual, so I updated the referral system that night. But we just kept getting referrals about Nadia through text messages and letters. I updated the system again, but we got another letter last week. I was pretty annoyed by it to be honest. I completely ignored the letter and let it sit on the table for a few days. Last Thursday, I felt like I should read the letter again, so I did. I saw the phone number on the letter and felt prompted to make a phone call. I had learned from experiences that you never question a prompting. You just do it! So I called, and Nancy (name changed) answered and said that she would want to meet with us! We could totally tell that she wasn't the same person that we met a couple days ago. We set up a Church Tour for the next day and were excited about it. The next day morning, we were told that the sister missionaries in the Canyon Park Ward would be holding a baptismal service at 5pm, and my companion and I both agreed that we should invite Nancy (name changed) to that. We texted her, and she said that it would be nice to attend a baptismal service! She even asked if we could meet there at 4 so that we could talk before the service. My companion and I were screaming in the car, and we were like "Who is she?". Also, we invited Scott, another friend of ours, to the baptism as he had been saying that he would want to attend a baptismal service. And both of them were there! Scott was crying during the baptismal service, and he said that he knew that it was something he needed in his life also! He got to go home to take care of his wife and his newborn baby right after the service but told us that he would talk with his family about baptism and would love us to visit his family as soon as possible. We got to talk with Nancy (name changed) after the service. She said that it was different as she grew up Catholic but liked it. She also told us that she had checked out a long time ago and felt like she should request for a missionary visit. However, she was hesitant to do that as her family was all Catholics. She told us that she tried to forget about it but couldn't, so she finally just did it! We set up an appointment for tomorrow, and she said that she would love to tell us her story. I'm very excited about it.
This miracle means a lot to me. It shows me that Heavenly Father loves all His children and always provides a way for those who are seeking the truth to learn about His gospel. It again reminds me that we have to act on the promptings we receive immediately. I know that miracles happen as Heavenly Father wants us to have success and helps His children to come unto Him.
In 2 more days, I will have been out for 8 months. And in 4 more days, I will have received my mission call for a year. Time flies! I never thought that I would serve a full-time mission when I grew up. But I'm grateful that I'm now on my mission. It's the most rewarding work you can ever ask for. I'm thankful for my best friend Sister Leung (Yes, we have the same last name. She is serving in Canada Vancouver Mission), who helped me receive the answer that I should serve a mission. I still vividly remember that we went to the Temple ground to pray after President Monson announced the age change for missionary. We were praying for the whole afternoon, but I didn't get any answer. I told Sister Leung that maybe it meant I didn't need to serve a full-time mission. She looked at me and asked me if I didn't want the answer to be a yes. I admitted it and told her about my concerns. She told me that I would never get an answer if I was worrying that much. She also told me that I had to be willing to receive whatever answer Heavenly Father was going to give me. I'm grateful for the things she told me. I prayed again that night and told Heavenly Father that I would be willing to do whatever He asked me to. All I wanted was a clear, definite, sure answer. The next day when I woke up, I knew that I was going to serve a mission. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel with others as it has brought me the greatest joy in my life. I hope you will all continue to share the Gospel with people around you and help them see the light and joy that come from it.
Sister Leung
Chinese New Year Dinner with members and two recent converts.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The BEST exchanges ever!

Hi all,
Last week we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leader and her companion. Since I have already gone on exchanges with the Sister Training Leader twice, I got to stay in my area with her companion, Sister Morrison. Sister Morrison and I came out together, and one of her friends back home served his mission in my home ward. This world is just so small! We had lots of FUN together. We visited an older couple in the morning after study. They were always soooooo funny. They could totally walk and do most of the things by themselves, but they loved to say that they would die anytime soon. And they loved telling us stories about the Second World War. It was so hard to leave their house within an hour. After lunch, we went to Sister Ivie's house to do service. She had a baby and two sick kids to take care but had to make lots of cupcakes for a Primary activity, so we went to help. It took us a long time to make the frosting and the decoration, but we just had so much FUN! I have learned to do lots of things through service, such as yard work, and making frozen jams. I had never enjoyed doing service that much before my mission. Sister Ivie let us bring some of the cupcakes home. I was never a big fan of cupcakes, but I was pretty excited to try them as my last companion told me that Sister Ivie made the best cupcakes in the whole world, and she did. Those cupcakes were super delicious. :) We went tracting in the evening as usual, and it was a great experience that I got to learn door approaches from Sister Morrison.
Last night we went to visit one of our investigators Laura. We invited her to read Alma 32 last time, and she had read it! It was her first time reading the Book of Mormon, and she loved it. We then discussed more how we could apply the chapter to our lives. We also read 1 Nephi 8 about the Tree of Life with her. She liked it and told us that she could relate it to her life. I don't know how much she understood when we shared the Restoration two weeks ago, but I know that she will have a stronger desire to come to Church if she can feel the Spirit when reading the Book of Mormon. I don't know how her progression is going to be, but I know that she has already come a bit closer to the Savior, and that's our purpose as missionary.

Sister Leung
This picture is taken on Christmas Eve. We had so much fun with the Ivie's kids.