Last week of 2016!

4:17:00 PM

I hope that everyone was able to have a great Christmas Day yesterday! We definitely enjoyed it. Church only included sacrament meeting, and then we had lunch with one our Bishops, Bishop Dunn, and his family. I ate eggs benedict for the first time, it was pretty good! In the afternoon, we Skyped our families, and I loved talking to mom haha. In the evening, we had a gift exchange with the other sisters, and watched the movie, "The Other Side of Heaven," which was based on a true story of Elder Groberg, who served as a missionary in Tonga many years ago. Elder Groberg visited us a few weeks ago, and we were privileged to hear of his testimony and his wife's testimony as well. 

It's fun to watch it as a missionary, because there's so many parts we can relate to(on an emotional level). I reflected on my mission experience so far, and how we really do love the people we meet so much! At the VC, we can't build the same strong relationships with investigators compared to other missionaries who stay in an area for months and months, but our purpose and our love is the same. We face different challenges in different environments, but we learn similar lessons. No efforts are wasted in the work of the Lord, trust is built on how people can feel your love, and the love you have for God and His gospel, and the blessings of living the gospel of Jesus Christ continues in eternity. Miracles happen when we trust in God, and do our very best.

This morning, we also had training from Elder Swinton's son, Dr. Swinton, who is a marriage counselor. What stood out to me was that you can't change personalities, and you can't expect others to change who they are, but what we can change is our own behaviors. How we react to things that bother us, how we communicate with love, how we can be kind instead of judgemental. "Value your relationship itself, not just your interest in it." I'm sure everything we learn in our missions will help us with all types of relationships throughout our lives. 😄

VC:
1) I met a really sweet Chinese couple(old) who came from the tram tour. They were really worried about the son-in-law because he worries about a lot of things outside of his own control, and wanted him to believe in a religion, that would give him surety and hope. Isn't that so sweet? I was able to share my testimony and about how God's plan really does give us purpose, and invited them to request missionaries online when their son-in-law feels ready for that. 
2) Yesterday, the VC was closed because it was Christmas, and there were 6 or 7 Chinese buses that came to visit the temple! Couldn't come inside the VC though - we were all Skyping home haha.
3) We met a lot of nice and polite people this week, which just felt really good. People that were willing to learn and listen, but not necessarily interested in keeping in touch. But that's okay!
4) I met a couple from New York, and was able to explain why family history is something the church invests a lot in. William's co-worker isn't a member of our church, but introduced him to the church websites for family history. So neat! I shared about the importance of temples and doing saving ordinances for our ancestors, and I'll have to follow up with him about the Book of Mormon he took too. 

What a year 2016 has been! Last year this time, I was pretty new to the mission, but this year, I'm so old! I love serving here, and I'm so grateful for all the tender mercies Heavenly Father's given me. All the things that trouble us in life, and what can help us be happy, is Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. What a blessing it is to know it and share it. Have a wonderful New Year's!

Scripture of the week: Alma 53: 20-21
"20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

 21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him."

Pictures:

We went on the Christmas Canoe Ride at the Polynesian Cultural Center! A treat from Elder Swinton. 

​Beautiful Christmas decorations and reflections on the water.

​So Sheri Dew (CEO of Deseret Book)came a few weeks ago, and gifted all of us a copy of President Monson's biography, which Elder and Sister Swinton(who wrote it) hand-signed for us! So happy.


Love,
Sister Wu

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