Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The second chance

Hi all,
This past week was rough. After two baptisms, we didn't have people to teach anymore. We tried really hard to find people, but we didn't have much success. Most people would not even talk to us. We do need to have some rough time so that we would appreciate all the good time we have. And I truly know that we grow more when we face our trials with faith. I know that Heavenly Father is going to lead us to people that are prepared to commit to baptism if we just keep working hard and are obedient. He often teaches us patience also.
My companion went home this morning. I really don't like airport. It makes me cry. Sister McBride and I had lots of fun serving together this past transfer. Her love for the people around her is inspiring. We just got back from transfer, and I'm now companions with SISTER WHETTEN! I was shocked when our names were shown on the screen. A lot of missionaries were shocked too. She was my second companion, and I follow-up trained her. Many people know that we didn't get along at all. So when I found out we would be companions again, all the terrible memories came into my mind that I actually started crying. I really wasn't a great trainer, and I said many terrible things to her that I wish I never had said. When we were driving back to our area, we both apologized to each other for the mean things we had done or said. I know that this time is going to be so much better. We both have grown a lot within the past year. Everything may still be hard, yet I know that Heavenly Father has given me this second chance to be a more loving, caring, and patient companion to her, and I'm going to take it.
Time flies when you are on your mission. I only have 12 more weeks to be a full-time missionary. I'm praying each day that I will be able to stay focused for the rest on my mission so that I can bring more souls unto Christ. This work truly is amazing. My last companion kept telling me that she didn't want to go home, and most missionaries are sad when it's time for them to go home. It really amazes me how many young people of this Church are willing to leave home for 18 months to 2 years to serve the Lord while most young people outside the Church are in college or are working. Being able to serve a full-time mission has been the biggest blessing in my life. I have come to understand the Atonement more and have grown to love the people around me. I know that my life is forever changed because of my decision to serve a mission.
Sister Leung
Last District Meeting before transfer

Me, Sister McBride, Annie (she comes tracting with us sometimes)

Me and Sister Whetten

Me and Sister Madsen (4th companion)

Sister Moulton and I (We went on exchanges once)

Me and Sister Pingree (She's the BEST)

Sister Matheney and I (3rd companion; 2nd trainee)

My trainer Sister Boyd and I (She went home this morning)

Me and Sister Prows (I wouldn't be as bold as I'm without her. She has changed my mission)

Last time seeing my trainer. She's the most patient trainer you can ever ask for.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The BEST weekends in my life

Hi all,
I'm soooooooo excited to tell you all what just happened this past weekends!!!!!! We had 2 BAPTISMS! Sandra (name changed) got baptized on Saturday, and Ethan (name changed) got baptized on Sunday. Both baptisms were very special and spiritual. President and Sister Choi were able to attend Sandra's baptism, which made it even more special and unforgettable.
Alright, now let me give you more details. Sandra's baptism was expected since we got permission to move her baptismal date up for a week. We were at the Stake Center two hours before the baptism so that we could fill the font and get everything ready. I was so excited when I was watching the font being filled with water. Sandra's brother and his family are members of the Church and of course were at the baptismal service. Her brother was the one who baptized her, and he could barely say the baptism prayer as he was just crying so hard. My companion and I couldn't stop crying either as the Spirit was just so strong. Have I told you all that we now have special rules for all baptismal service? I don't think I have actually. So now at every baptismal service, missionaries are required to perform a musical number and teach the Restoration to everyone during changing time. My companion and I had no clue how to teach the Restoration to the congregation since normally we teach it in a discussion setting, so we invited two Elders that we knew pretty well to do it. And all Sandra's nieces and nephews and us sang I Am A Child Of God for her. The whole baptismal service was just filled with love and the Spirit. And many members of the ward came to support her also. Sandra was confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her brother at Sacrament meeting yesterday. She is now a member of the Church!!! She was so excited and texted us "Guess what?! I'm a Mormon". I can tell that she is very ready to move on and to find greater happiness in her life.
The baptism we had last night was kind of a surprise. Ethan had already been taught all lessons before I came to this area. However, he fell off date many times. Satan was working really hard on him that he would postpone his baptismal date whenever it got close. I definitely have learned a lot about patience by working with him. There were times when I was really frustrated, not with him but the situation. Something bad would happen not too long after we put him back on date. I think we have put him on date for baptism for at least 4 times. Besides his oldest sister, none of his family members are members of the Church, and Ethan really wanted them to be at his baptism, especially his dad. And it wasn't easy to pick a date that everyone would be able to come. My companion and I prayed for him many times each day, and finally he told us that he would get baptized on Sunday. He had never sounded that excited before. He still was very nervous, and his anxiety problem made it even worse, but he expressed to us that he knew baptism was the right thing to do. Since he would feel uncomfortable if lots of people came, we didn't announce his baptism at Church. We just invited 3 families that he was close with to come. Ethan was baptized by his best friend, who is our Ward Mission Leader! And I had to play the piano, teach the Restoration, and perform the musical number. My companion had to lead the music, give a talk on the Holy Ghost, and perform the musical number. We were both very exhausted after the baptism as we really did put a lot of effort on it. One of his sisters now wants to actively learn about the gospel and to prepare for baptism as she saw the change in her younger brother. We went to Ethan's house to have dinner with him and his family after the baptism. And his parents are now more open to talking with us, and they told us a few times how grateful they were for us.
President Choi has asked us to teach the Restoration at every baptism because it is a great opportunity for non-members to hear the restored gospel and be touched by the Spirit. And our goal is to have non-members than members at every baptismal service. I know that we will be blessed as we follow the counsel from our leaders.
My companion and I both agree that we really didn't do a lot. It was all because of the Spirit. There is no way that we can convince people that this Church is true (It's not our responsibility anyways), but we can pray to know how to create spiritual experiences for them that would help them gain a testimony of the restored gospel. Only Heavenly Father can create miracles! I'm so grateful to have witnessed these two miracles. This work truly is the most rewarding work ever, and I'm excited to bring more people into the waters of baptism.
Have a good week! Next P-day is Tuesday, and my companion is going home on that day...
Sister Leung
Isn't Seattle just beautiful?!

Sandra's sister in law made this cake for her baptism!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preach My Gospel

Hi all,
This past week was really slow. I mean, we still got more lessons that I ever did in any other areas. I guess the second and third week of this transfer was just SO great. My companion and I spent a lot of time contacting and knocking on doors because we needed people to teach. However, only a few people would talk to us, and none of them were open to listening to the message we had to share. Also, we met another anti-man on the street, and he just kept yelling at us and saying things about the Church that weren't true. I have to admit that I had no patience with him and finally said to him "That's enough!", and then we just walked away.
My companion and I both agree that our past week was rough because our investigator Sandra (name changed) was getting baptized this Saturday! We first put her on date for September 20, but since she has been doing so great with not smoking for a week and has been taught all the lessons, we asked for permission to let her be baptized a week early. She was super excited and thrilled when we told her the good news. Satan has been trying so hard to distract her though. Some of her friends weren't at all supportive and told her some anti stuff, which made her really upset. Yet, she is very strong and knows that she has made the right decision. I really can see the light in her eyes now. She is also very excited about receiving a calling after her baptism.
We have been inviting all the members to study from Preach My Gospel daily. It's a challenge from Elder Ballard from this past General Conference. ( This is not a book written only for full-time missionaries. All members can be benefited from it if they would all study it and prayerfully consider how to apply the principles into their member missionary work. So if you have never read this book before, start reading it today! This book is written by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and I know that they have all been called of God, so we can understand HOW our Heavenly Father wants us to hasten His work by studying this book.
This week we are going to do a lot of finding. It's not going to be easy, but I know that we can do it with the Lord's help. I also know that our mindset is very important. One of the former Assistant to the President said "If you go out looking for people to teach, you will find people to teach. If you go out and look for people to baptize, then you will baptize". It's all about our attitude.
Have a great week everyone!
Sister Leung

Frozen yogurt:)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The restored gospel changes lives

Hi all,
This past week was wonderful. My companion and I were working really hard that we were exhausted at night. The Lord definitely rewarded us for our hard work as we had 3 people at church yesterday. Our on date investigator Sandra (name changed) and her roommate Lauren (name changed) came to church yesterday! It was Lauren's first time attending a church service. She didn't grow up with any religion but is now interested in learning more about the restored gospel as she recognizes that it makes Sandra much happier. Sandra is on date for baptism for September 20. She has to stop smoking for 3 weeks before she can get baptized. She stopped smoking this past Saturday and has been doing great. On Friday night, my companion and I were kind of worried and nervous as we would need to postpone her baptism once she relapsed. The next morning, Sandra called us and told us that she was excited about quitting smoking, which really amazed us. From her voice I could tell that she was ready to do it. We had a lesson with both Sandra and Lauren last Saturday night, and we could tell that Sandra had much more energy that she used to and the light in her eyes was brighter than before. I am so impressed by her desire and determination to quit smoking. She told us that she had tried to quit many times before but never succeed, but this time she decided to put her trust in God and ask for His help to do it. She even brings her scriptures to work so that she can read them when she wants to smoke. I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can change lives! I am go grateful to have seen all the progress that Sandra has made within these 3 weeks.
Besides Sandra and Lauren, we have been working with Ethan (name changed), a 17-year-old who used to be the Elders' investigator. Since we don't have Elders in our ward anymore, we are the ones teaching him. He has already been taught all the lessons and apparently has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. But he isn't baptized yet because he thinks he needs to learn more first. He was worried that we would be disappointed or mad at him because he kept postponing his baptismal date, but of course we were never mad at him. He is the most awesome 17 years old boy I have ever met in my life. He is really serious about the gospel and always has great questions to ask. He has been going to the library each day and reading the Book of Mormon there. He just wants to finish reading the entire Book of Mormon before getting baptized. There is nothing wrong with it. And we know that once he joins the Church, he is going to be strong and faithful and won't fall away. I would like to share with you how he started investigating the Church as this story is just amazing. Ethan has anxiety and used to have serious depression that he couldn't even leave his house. Several months ago, the Elders tracted into him and gave him a Priesthood blessing after hearing his story and rough past. The next day, he walked across the street from his house. He knew that the Priesthood was real and desired to learn more about this gospel. Now, he is a young man who has a strong desire to share the gospel with others even though he is not baptized yet. He told us that some of his friends had some misconceptions about the Church and he was able to clear them. He even said to us the other day that no one could ever tell him that the Book of Mormon wasn't true. He will get baptized soon. I just know it.
I had an interview with my Mission President last week. The first thing he said to me was "Sister Leung, you have lost weight". I totally laughed. He then asked about my health as he knew that I didn't do that well in the heat, and it was the first time that I was able to tell him that I was doing just fine. The heat really hasn't been bothering me that much, and I have noticed that every time when I focus on helping my investigators to come closer to Christ instead of my own problem, I can be happy even when it's really hot. President Choi told me that he was very proud of me and knew that I would continue to do great things. I only have three and a half months left on my mission, but I know that I can still accomplish a lot of things if I will lose myself in the Lord's service.
I am truly grateful for this gospel and the opportunity to be a full-time missionary. There is nothing better than seeing the change in people when they choose to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins that we may be able to live in God's presence again. I would not be able to serve a mission without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I will be forever grateful for His sacrifice. I know that only the restored gospel can bring true happiness. I hope you all will continue to share it with those around you. Have a good week!
Sister Leung