A worldwide church

8:28:00 PM

Last week was packed with events! Sister Yun from Korea came, and Sister Belmonte arrived just two days ago (waited for her visa)! We had Missionary Leadership Council on Monday, Interviews with President Bekker yesterday, and Zone Meeting this morning. My new companion is Sister Lor, and we have so much fun together! She is such a loving person and always serving me and others. :) 

At MLC on Monday, the APs announced that the missionary schedule worldwide will have some changes. Instead of the rigid study schedule in the morning, we can have companion study at a later time, so that we can be out proselyting by 10 am. And daily planning in the morning instead of at 9 pm, so more time to sleep! Or write in our journals. This is super exciting because the First Presidency is preparing us to be "an agent unto ourselves," so after our missions, we can be flexible but still make time for the Lord. 

VC (so many wonderful experiences!):
1) My last day with Sister Allen, we met two men from Thailand, who came on the tram tour from the PCC. We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to them, showed it in their own language (Thai), and gave them each a copy to take home. Their English was enough to get by, and we invited them to learn more from missionaries in Thailand and they eagerly filled out the Thai guest card! So cool! 

2) I talked to a mother and daughter named Marguerite and Alisha, from the tram tours, and Marguerite was so touched by the beautiful Christus, that she started crying! She was raised Baptist but is going through some hard times in life, so her daughter treated her a trip to Hawaii. She said hearing the Christus narration (90 seconds audio of Christ's teachings from the scriptures) was just what she needed. She actually listened to it twice! I don't meet people like her often, who are really appreciative of Jesus Christ, especially the role He is in their lives. I loved testifying of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and how it wasn't coincidence she was able to come and feel the Spirit here! Both her and her daughter were interested in learning more about the restored gospel. It was just 10-15 minutes of my day, but experiences like these make missionary work so so rewarding. To see her prayer being answered by Heavenly Father, through us. I don't know anything about her life's details, but Heavenly Father knows everyone perfectly, and our needs, and because of that, we were able to draw closer to Christ together. 

3) We also met a really sweet family visiting from Finland! The dad was really drawn towards the family history corner (probably the least popular area in the Visitors Center), and looked up some family names. Before we hopped back on the tram, he wanted to ask me why our church is interested in genealogy, so I taught him about eternal families and temple work. He was so attentive and felt really impressed! Not enough to leave info to keep in touch with us, but still learned a lot. :)

4) Maday, our online investigator from Florida, got baptized a week ago! She was raised in Cuba without much religious freedom, and was really prepared when the local missionaries started teaching her. I have such a testimony that Heavenly Father is preparing His children to receive the gospel everywhere!

5) I took my first Chinese chat on mormon.org. It was transferred to the Chinese queue... and Google Translate helped me for the first part. One cool feature is you can speak Chinese and it will type it out in characters for you (SO useful! and quick! And usually I can read it to make sure it's accurate). I eventually just told Jeff to call me so I can talk on the phone instead. He's from Las Vegas and recently divorced, but still lives with his ex-wife, been investigating the church for the last 6 months or so, and wanted some clarification about the commandments. Heavenly Father is always helping me to know how to teach in Chinese, because I have much to improve on, but I am so happy I was able to help teach him and promise Him blessings from following the commandments. He really desired to have a firm foundation for his testimony before he gets baptized.

6) I took a referral confirmation online for a woman named Dillie, from Japan. She is an English teacher in Kyoto, and wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon from the missionaries. The miracle here was her reasoning, "I appreciated the principled stand that many Utah
Mormons took in the last US election. I'm very politically oriented and I was concerned by how many religious people in America were able to vote for a president whose actions and beliefs were so contrary to their faiths. From what I've heard, it seems like a belief system that encourages education, critical thinking, and charity which are all things I value highly." So many members and their voting decision/process left an impact on Dillie! How cool is that? I'm so excited for the missionaries in Japan to teach her, because I know it is so rare for people to have an interest over there.

First week of the new year started off so strong! 263 New Investigators from the Visitors Center just last week. When President Bekker trained on "teach repentance, baptize converts," I was reminded that in order for us to teach with power, we need to have been personally converted to the restored gospel. In order to teach the Atonement, we need to have applied it in our lives consistently. In order to find joy in our missionary efforts, we have to serve others and serve God with all of our energy. I testify that these things are true, and as I've served the other sisters, seen their struggles and trials, I've come to know that any problem we face can be solved through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, by turning outwards instead of focusing on ourselves, and by seeking Heavenly Father's guidance. All the miracles and successes we witness are gifts from our Heavenly Father. 

Friends and family, please pray for my good friends Daniel and Dante from back home. They were recently in a serious car accident and are slowly recovering/going through major surgeries. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of this gospel, and I know God has a plan for them.

Scripture of the week: Alma 27:17-18
"17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.

 18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness."


After MLC at the tabernacle :) Sister Training Leaders of the VC

​After dinner with Isaac and Jessica, one of the married couples in our married student ward! 

​For interviews with President Bekker, we evaluate everyone's planners. 7 am makes me laugh. Exercise is rough as a missionary...

​​Elder Andrus and the Finnish family! The son on the left has a friend serving as a missionary in Greece, so cool. This is the entrance to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Sister Wu

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