Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Blast From the Past

This week's shout out goes out to vests, or sleeveless cardigans as my mom calls them. I totally look ridiculous, but they're crazy warm. I'll bring 'em back, just wait ;)

So I'm slowly remembering people. And with that, as we go over to their houses, I'm like "Yeah... wait I've been here before" and then the members go "Yeah! We thought we knew you, but the sisters said we'd never met you before so we didn't want you to think we were crazy." I still don't know most of the people in the ward. I can't even remember that I've met them before haha

We had a huge zone conference, which is basically where a bunch of missionaries all gather together and we get to hear from President Meredith and get trained all day. It was great but it's also very spiritually draining. I learned a lot though, and I'm planning on being a better missionary because of it. One great thing that happened though, was there's this lady in the area, who hand stitched a bunch of towels. So there's a patch on the towels, and there's California and a star where our mission is, and then there's "Oakland/San Francisco California Mission" and it was just so awesome that someone would take the time to do all that for us. So so sweet. I don't even want to use the towel. 

The ward had a Relief Society Christmas party, which was nice in that we got to meet a lot of members, and the food was great. We also had a ward Christmas party, which was awesome. We had some less actives show up, and the whole thing was service based. Like people came in, and they were tying quilts, or putting together hygiene kits, or wrapping gifts. There was just such a tender spirit as we stood there watching this all happen. It was kind of overwhelming. All the ward members were so willing to participate, and they didn't care that they weren't going to benefit from them. Then the whole program was really focused on Christ, which was so great. 

We taught Bob this week! He was so so close to coming to church. I know that once he comes to church, he'll feel the spirit and know that it's undeniable. It's just true. But we had two really great lessons with him, and we brought awesome members with us each time. He actually was like "Well, I can tell Sister Park is pretty serious, and Sister Kwan is kind of... Well, she's the kind that makes jokes and pulls pranks" I just started laughing. He's so funny. He's really receptive, but he's not willing to take the plunge (yet) and as of right now, it's kind of a waiting game. But it will happen. Soon.

The Guillen family is so so great. I love them. There's the mom, her boyfriend, and her son and twin daughters. They're so funny. And really smart. They have these two cats, Simba and Jasmine, who they just love to death. But we were sitting there making cards for cancer patients since we talked about charity, and one of the twins says, "Simba's really really fat. Maybe he should fast like Joseph [her brother] so he can lose weight." And I started busting up because who even thinks of that? It's genius though, I will say. But they are such a cute family. Joseph is a really really nice boy. But he's a typical 10 year old boy. Then there's Alicia and Sophia, who I still can't tell the difference between until I talk to them. Sophia is kind of a punk, but Alicia is the sweetest. She's always asking us if we need anything, or if she can do anything for us. And their mom is really just trying her best, and I think she's doing a great job. It must be really hard though, so I'm always amazed that she holds it together so well. 

We had dinner at the Lee's this week, and they are the cutest. Sister Lee went off on how BYU removes agency and her daughters were singing and playing piano and her husband was telling us about how he applied to John Hopkins and didn't even want to go there but got locked in to going. It was kind of a crazy night. But their daughter, Emily, can sing SO well. We were like "Hey... can you sing for us?" She goes "NO" but then as we're heading out the door, she goes, "Well... maybe I can sing you a little bit.. this song is from that new movie 'Frozen' so here goes..." yeah, she can really really sing. And the other two are just cute haha 

So I woke up one morning and both sides of my chin are bruised. I don't really know what happened, but I guess I punched myself on both sides of my face one night? Weird. 

Met with a less active who told us she doesn't believe in the after life. But she believes in heaven and hell. But she wants to be cremated and have her ashes thrown across the ocean so she can fly away. But she also wants to ride a motorcycle. I have no idea if this makes sense to anyone else, but we are going to follow up. I was like "You know, when we get there, I hope you let me ride with you on the motorcycle, because my mom would kill me if I did that anytime soon." And she just looked at me and smiled. Lots and lots of follow up questions... 

Yesterday's dinner included peasant that had been shot by our member. I know it was fresh because I found some of those little like pellet things while I was eating. Peasant is kind of tough, I don't really recommend it. That and buffalo. We also met with our recent convert, Shuwei, who I actually taught that first time I came here as an investigator, and he's so funny. He's an exchanges student from China and he's going home next week, which will be interesting since China isn't really all about freedom of religion. He was telling us his favorite music artists and he says, "Well, I really like Taylor Swift, but there's also Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna..." hahahaha

This week's thought is on joy. It was the theme for our Christmas party- Jesus Others and You. Tricky right? But I was thinking about what really makes us happy. And not just content, but joyful. And ultimately, it's the things that last forever. Relationships with family, friends, God. Working hard all day every day for a good cause. Not many things will bring that lasting happiness, but I do know that Christ can provide that. Despite our flaws, God loves us unconditionally. And thank goodness He does, because otherwise it'd be pretty hopeless. But that's only one of SO MANY things that I'm grateful for at this time. Especially all of you good people. 

Keep the Christ in Christmas

Sister Kwan

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