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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Longest Week EVER-EVEr-EVer-Ever-ever...ever...............ever.

This week's shout out goes out to all the kind people who didn't slam their doors. Thank you. 
So I decided to try unconventional finding methods this week. The first one we did, we were trying to find this less active family, and this lady was running around outside with scissors. Totally unsafe. But she told us she was looking for flowers, and dashed off. A couple days later, I was like "Hey! Let's go buy her flowers!" So we did. She was super cool but she really had no desire to learn anything at all... Kind of an atheist. But she was really happy about the flowers! 
Had exchanges and got to go back to Alamo! Woohoo! It was so crazy. But it was really nice because ever since I've left, I've kind of felt like I let them down. I could've done SO much better, but I just didn't know how. And this was my round for redemption and it was sweet. Becca has a baptismal date. We had this AH-mazing meeting with Holly and her son Ryan. We taught super simply to his needs, and he's going to be baptized! It gets better because we decided to show a video, and we both knew exactly which one when we saw it. We played it and boom it was like being hit by a wall of spirit. So good. And we met the crazies, but they're always there. And I got to see Sister Williams again. She's the sweetest. I walk out of the car, and I look at her, and she's already crying. Love her so much haha :) Sister Goddard, who I went on exchanges with, has the million bucks quality. Which basically means that she can make anyone feel like a million bucks. Which is an awesome quality to have, if you ask me. And our teaching was so smooth, it was like butter on ice. Amazing. 

We took Bob to the Visitor's Center, which might have overwhelmed him with the Spirit, but he kind of phased out of church. Like he called us at 11:30 and told us he couldn't come. Super lame. He wouldn't even tell us what happened and we tried to hunt him down, nothing. We are going to meet with him tomorrow, but we have no idea what happened. We have a sinking suspicion that it had something to do with his fried who goes to some Golden Hills church in Brentwood, because they seem to be teaching some Anti-Mormon things. Personal comments on this, but why would you go to church to preach hate? Church is for uplifting. When you tear others down, that doesn't do anything. So why waste your time teaching a class based on false literature just to hate on another church? It just makes no sense. And there's my two cents.


Met Lani, who's inactive but still identifies as Mormon. She is quite the crafty lady. She makes these gorgeous cards and it's like butterflies are literally flying off the page. Incredible. And she agreed to read the Book of Mormon, which was great. She told us she will not go back to church, but I'm sure she will come around eventually. She's very very nice, but she's also very very busy...
And I got pulled over this week... did you know you can't have your hands on the phone while you're driving? Yeah...  Officer Charles was a very nice man and he let me off with a warning. Never been pulled over before, but being pulled over on the mission, man. But also getting off... Holy smooth criminal. What's funny though, is that we were tracting in another neighborhood a couple days later, and he drives by and yells out the window, "No talking on your cell phone while driving!" You know it's a small town when that can happen. 

Sunday was the best! We had SO many people who we don't normally see at church, at church! It was awesome. I got the feeling "shoot I don't know who I should talk to first" and seriously, that's like the best feeling ever. The Lord is working hard and I'm so grateful to be part of it. It's neat because I can feel him using me. Obviously I don't know all the right words to say. But He does, and luckily he trusts me to say them! 
Dann is doing pretty well. He came to church, which was really good, and he seems to be moving along in the gospel. I guess it takes him awhile to process things, so this will require a fair amount of patience, which again, I am working on. When you want to improve things, you don't get zapped with them. You're given events in your life that will eventually get you there. It's funny that way. 
Teaching Beehives and Priests are some of my favorite things to do. So cute! And they're so excited to hear and listen and learn. It makes the job so much easier. We just love hearing their own testimonies and helping them learn more. You can really tell the families that have a firm gospel foundation, and those that don't. And for those that don't, that's probably why we're there. I wish we could get into more homes, but at the current moment, we are pretty full with all these families. It's way good though, I'm super grateful and humbled by this opportunity. 
I'm totally running out of time because this week was so long and we went to the temple today! And I think I have some pictures but I don't even have time to look to see haha but we had a golden investigator fall into our lap. She's so ready to learn and to grow. And I would write about her, but I'll have to remember next week! We taught her a little, and someone brought up a metaphor about funnels. Weird. But totally makes sense. I'll explain next week... double spiritual thought next week! Ahhh there's not enough time. 
Hope you all are doing AH-mazing. Love you all.

Sister Kwan

Monday, January 20, 2014

Californication

This week's shout out goes out to 680. Not "the 680" just 680. But yes, those are highways. And also the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And Ms. Martin, who introduced me to them. And to Lauren, who's serving a mission in Mexico! Woohoo!

I'm going to try and avoid complaining in this letter, because I really don't have it bad- I could be dead, so it's good to be alive... 

Quote of the week:
Mom: "What else can't we drink that's hot?" (In relation to the Word of Wisdom)
Alicia: "Hot sauce!" 

Transfer day. For some reason this never gets easier. Dropped off Sister Park, grabbed some materials, but we still didn't make it out until kind of late. It was kind of an odd exchange because I know I'll see her again like way soon. So we were just like "...ok bye?" And that was that haha and now I'm with Sister Underwood. I think a fair amount of things have changed, but we still have a lot to work on. Not to brag, but since I'm taller and more muscular than Sister Park and Sister Underwood, guess who had to haul all their suitcases? Yeah. Three flights of stairs, with like seven suitcases. Just you know, working out to get back in shape nbd haha

Tons of miracles this week! Bob came to church! I mean, we kind of had to kidnap him. We sent a member over to pick him up and he was like "Oh! Ok." So he was in on the kidnapping too I guess. But he had to leave early, which was kind of lame, but he sat through the two best talks for him- a talk on how to follow Christ, and faith. I was so grateful. He seemed to enjoy himself, but we will ask him how it wenttomorrow. He seemed really happy and he was crying again, which is a good thing :)

Taught about the Millennium in Gospel Principles yesterday. It was... interesting. We have no clue about anything.. so we had a fairly discussion based class, because a lot of people in there have years and years of knowledge. One thing that I really liked about the format that ended up happening, was that we were able to have a very open environment where everyone could ask the questions that were clouding their mind. I thought it was really neat, I enjoyed it. That's the kind of environment we should have all the time so that people will feel comfortable asking questions!

Dann finally acknowledged that he needed to know the Book of Mormon was true before he could progress. Up until this point, he has just flat out refused to be baptized, but he said he'd consider it this time. I think his heart is in the right place, but he needs to get his mind there too. It's almost hindering him, because he wants to know EVERYTHING. We don't even know everything. And even when we teach it to him, he refuses to accept what we say. So that's kind of a bummer, but we are working on it. 

We were able to teach in Young Women's on Sunday too (we were basically teaching all day...) and we taught with the Elders. It's interesting, because they totally teach different from Sisters. Anyways, it was a very powerful lesson. The girls didn't talk much, and a leader said that it's because they just don't talk. But the lesson was on "Who am I, and who will I become?" And we were really able to tie that in with the Restoration, which was awesome. I'm 100% positive that we need to start working more with the youth. Be it in them inviting their friends, or even just strengthening their testimony, it's so important. I wish I'd had a little more support as a youth, but what I did have was able to carry me to... a mission I guess. Lots of tender mercies, let me tell you. I challenged them to read the scriptures before they sent texts off or did anything they really cared about, so we'll see how that goes :) 

Everyone keeps talking to us about the drought. I heard that California officially declared itself in a drought, so I guess we might be rationing water soon. I guess I never considered that we would run out of water. But the big thing is that Southern California, or SoCal, doesn't have to ration at all, but NorCal does. Which is interesting and kind of lame, but we will see what happens. It's a good thing I have body spray, because I guess I might not be showering as frequently hahaha

This week's goal has been to meet all the members in the ward. Every. Single. One. Which has been a hard task considering there's so many, but I think they are able to trust us, which is very very good. Gotta work hard together :) 

Helped this super less active, Annette, move. She is honestly the sweetest. She had so much ward support and she was crying, and I guess she is going through a divorce, which must've been super hard. We loaded a bunch of boxes into trucks and trailers since the moving van decided not to come and we loaded it and drove it to storage. Me and Sister Underwood stayed back to house sit since there were some rather heavy things left outside that no one wanted to move back inside, and it's a good thing we did. Someone asked if we were having a garage sale and we were like "..nope" so we camped out and read scriptures and such outside. It was a wonderful 72 degrees. 

This week's thought is this:
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” 
And I think with all things in life, you wish you could've known that sooner, applied it sooner. And that doesn't mean you can't start now, because it's better that you start it now rather than never at all. As long as we're changing to try and be better people, that's all God asks. We don't need to be automatically perfect, we just need to try a little harder everyday. One of my favorite quotes is "Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Love you all and hope the best for each of you :)
Sister Kwan

Monday, January 13, 2014

California Casual

This week's shout out goes out to Haagen-Dazs. Thank goodness for your white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream. 

So we taught our Bishop's family on Monday, and his wife goes, "What do you want for dinner on the 8th?" and I was like "What ever you want to make is good!" And then she grins and says, "I know your secret, tell me!" She got me good. So we had spaghetti and meatballs for my birthday dinner, followed by a huge sundae. It was pretty awesome haha but yes, I'm 20.. it sure doesn't feel like it. I don't think birthdays really matter, because none of this is about me. It's about something bigger than all of us, and I don't think there's anything I'd rather be doing right now. I did, however, completely own one of those claw stuffed animal machines. In 6 minutes, with $3, I got 4 stuffed animals. Booyah. 


Got to be with Sister Park for her first door slam! I'm surprised we made it this far without one. It was like this:
Him: Are you Mormon?
Us: Yeah...
Him: You're not welcome, she doesn't live here, now go away. 
I guess he wasn't too happy that day... 

We visited Carol, who is a less active. She's hilarious. She warned us of the dangers of San Francisco and was telling us about "California Casual." Apparently only the rich people here wear suits. Or I guess the missionaries, but that begs the question of what everyone else is wearing. She very quickly informed us it's usually polo shirts or dress shirts and ties, but it could also include nothing. I started laughing. Can you imagine walking into work and your co-worker walks in naked? Unbelievable. She considered coming to church this week though! She's getting there. I think we'll get her to come at least once before I leave.

Speaking of leaving, Sister Park is headed down to San Ramon 1st to be in a trio/trilogy. Guess who my companion is? Sister Underwood. It's going to be interesting. I think we've both probably grown a lot so we are going to rock this. 

We got Bob to come out to Why I Believe. It was so awesome. He cancelled on us, and I sort of yelled at him as kindly as possible (still working on patience) and promised him blessings, and then Sister Park played the transfer card. Then he called us back later and said he'd go haha. He really felt the spirit. And we found out he kind of gets mad at God a lot for not giving him back his left arm, so we took him to the visitor's center. He sat in front of the Christus for a good 10 minutes. And he was crying. He's so ready to be baptized, he just needs to come to church. My goal is to get him to church and hopefully in the font this transfer. We can do it. And he's right there, we just have to... push a little. 

Met Jason, who's very into the Bible. He knows A TON. It's insane, but you can tell he doesn't have much faith. He knows it, but he doesn't believe it. Which is very different. He has a couple pages of teaching records from missionaries, but I figure why not try him again? Everyone deserves a second/tenth/hundredth chance. He's really nice, but he really likes to talk. He knows SO much. It was neat though, because I said I'd love to learn more from him and he said he'd love to learn more from us. Score one for us :) 

Here's another story on how I know everything happens for a reason. So I really had to pee and it's 7 and it's dark out and everyone hates when we knock on the doors. We're cruising these streets called "The State Streets" because they're all named after states, and here we are on Indiana, and I go "Hey a member lives there! Let's go!" Sister Espinoza is so awesome. Her door is always open as long as she's home. So she let us in and it was the best. It gets better, because she referred us to her neighbor next door, who was actually home for once. She wasn't really interested, BUT she had a vacuum outside. Which we needed. Double blessings! Woohoo!

Jeff and Joan are the best. They're like grandparents. We came over on a really really cold day and they invited us in for hot chocolate and it was really just. Nice. We are so blessed. They are so sweet. As for the gospel, they kind of don't do anything. I'm not really sure why, but I still have an inkling that she's reading it without telling us. 


Thus ends another transfer. At the end of this next transfer, I will basically be at 9 months. Wow. This week we, as a companionship, have been working on diligence. And working hard... is hard. But we're promised that if we do it, we will have no regrets. Which is kind of what I want. The last thing I want, is to have wasted 18 months of my life, doing nothing. And this is the Lord's time, it's not mine. Just gotta work as hard as I can, and hope it's the best. And... that's all I've got

Love you all :)

Sister Kwan

Monday, January 6, 2014

-Insert Generic New Year Statement Here-

This week's shout out goes out to... me. I've lost the ability to age, so I will be 19 forever. Darn. 

New Year's Eve. I loved Monsters University. But I loved Despicable Me 2 more. For sure. I was looking forward to it so much. The thing is, I haven't seen a movie in 6 months. Everything was HILARIOUS. And it wasn't just me. I think the fact that we've all been deprived of movies for at least 6 weeks helped a little. However, Despicable Me 2 was probably really inappropriate for missionaries. Romantically wise. Oh man but I loved it. So great. 

Went and visited a 95 year old lady. She was so sweet, she kept telling us about the ladies (on the TV) that were singing with us. And I've never really done this, but she asked me to play guitar and sing for her. It was an odd moment, I never thought I'd be serenading a 95 year old woman, but hey, I think she liked it. Or at least she didn't hate it haha but it was a 12 string guitar. Way cool. 

We had a lesson with one of our 16 year old members and we decided to do the law of chastity. It went something like this:
Me: So what IS the law of chastity?
Him: It's uh.. not doing the.. staying away from the... not touch... uh... 
Me: Ha.. yeah something like that, it's actually...
It was so funny. I felt so bad for him but I think it was a good experience for him. I think. 

We had a really tender moment with one of the families in our ward. He's 18 and decided not to join the military so he could go on a mission! But a lot of really powerful testimonies were born. Beared. I don't know. But it was really great. He was telling us about how great of an example we were and that we actually inspired him to go, and it was so tender. It was tangible evidence of the work we were doing and some real time impact. It was so awesome. 

Ran into a less active who was out smoking on her porch. She's from Missourah. She hasn't been to church in years because people wouldn't answer her questions and men and the priesthood, but I think we are on the right track to bringing her back. She loves us, which is always a good thing. She seemed to really consider her options, so that's a plus. 

We spent our New Year's... serving! Yay! Haha we actually started with dodgeball and McDonald's, but that's a different story. We helped this lady, who's basically a hoarder, clean out her house. She kept trying to give us money, but we were like "No! We can't take that!" and she thought we were weird. We saw a bunch of trash on the road, and we started picking it up, and this guy came out and helped us. Turns out, he's married to one of our less actives! It gets better, because they blessed their baby in church on Sunday. This baby came in rocking a white tux. Booyah. And his name was. Wait for it. Donald. Danger. Diaz. But it was way cool that we actually met this guy and he just happened to show up at church. 

Our focus family got married. Surprise! We walk into the chapel to teach a lesson, and there's a bunch of people setting up. I was kidding, but I go, "What, is there a wedding or something going on?" And they're like "Yeah! Didn't you know?" And we've been teaching this family for months. We should've known really... But, it was a nice wedding. They seem really happy, and they're preparing to get sealed in a year! Woohoo! 

Our less active spent half an hour telling us about mermaids. I always knew they were real, but I guess there's a boatload of evidence now! I knew it. And it's been an odd week for dinners. We've had some pretty crazy kids. Which has been hilarious, but still. Literally, bodies flying, and strange threats. Wasn't really sure what to make of it. Today however, we played volleyball and soccer and it was kind of life threatening. Which is totally fine haha but we were down in Alamo and I was like "Hey it's warmer." And I see these girls from the first ward, and we make eye contact and I'm like "Hey!" and one of them looked at me like she'd seen a ghost hahaha. Poor kid. Man I love them though, I was in like normal clothes and they were thrown into a minor shock. 

So mid week last week, I decided to work on patience. The Lord sure does work quickly when you least expect it. Our investigator Bob who is golden but refuses to go to church, calls us during Relief Society (we have sacrament the 3rd hour) and says he's too nervous to go to church. I was ready to throw the phone and then drag him to church. I was SO frustrated and my mind was just like flying with insults, but I held it all in until he hung up. I haven't felt that frustrated in awhile haha but I guess investigators bring out the best and the worst... and the Lord knows how to try us, holy cow haha I have a long ways to go. 

I hope you all had a fantastic (and safe) New Years Eve! 
Love you all!

Sister Kwan

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