Monday, March 31, 2014

"I would've fasted 40 days to make sure he was the right one!"

This week's shout out goes out to... I haven't thought about that one a lot this week. Well. Since I can't think of who to give it to, I'll just give it to myself. Oh and Ashley, who has a birthday this week haha

Enjoy this picture of my tanlines! It's almost a badge of honor. 

Wasn't the women's broadcast awesome this week? For real though. I loved all the videos. Because I was wondering how they'd keep the attention span of all these 8 year olds, but I was totally impressed with the way they did it. And like within the first 10 minutes I was already overwhelmed. It was a fantastic meeting and I strongly encourage everyone to watch it. And if you've already seen it, re-watch it. And start preparing for General Conference this year! Bring questions. Find answers. 

Kim is doing awesome. There are literally no more words, but she's so stoked to be baptized! I just hope I make it through transfers to be there. Dang. It's like waiting for your mission call on a smaller scale. We had a really fun family home evening with them with some families from the ward and it was crazy. Just kids. Everywhere. And I guess it showed the importance of having it, because it's not always going to be perfect, but it's the consistency that matters. 

So this week we met Francisco as we were walking on the streets. 
Francisco: "Yeah! I'm a Mormon! But I'm less active."
Me: "Well you should come to church! It's literally like right there."
Francisco: "I didn't know it was there!"
Me: " long have you lived here?"
Francisco: "10 years"
Me: "Well. You can still come!"

Anyways we stopped by his house later, and he was home with his wife Marina. Who is awesome. She was raised Catholic and she knows that it's not the true church. And she let us teach the first discussion right there. And we asked if she would be baptized if she knew it was true, and her response was, "Ye-probably. It's a big decision!" And it was just a really great thing. Like I remember while we were saying the closing prayer, I couldn't help but smile and it was like the smile you get when you know someone likes you back haha but seriously. She was just really open, and they both realized that they aren't alive for no reason. There's a purpose, and I think this is it. Super excited. 

One of our less actives wanted us to meet with her mom, and so we did. She thinks her mom does better when she's not in the room, so I guess she was just sitting quietly in the next room. And her mom got baptized 5 years ago and she's 90+ so we had to yell. It was weird praying at those decibels. Anyways, we decided to read 3 Nephi 17 with her. When we're done, she runs in like, "That was a really good chapter. Why were Jesus' bowels filled with compassion?" And we were like "Uhhhhh" but it turns out that it's just a place of a lot of feeling. My first thought was, "My love for you is like my bladder- Always full and sometimes I just can't hold it in." 

We knocked doors in the rain for an hour! It was so fun! Haha but it poured. Like the windows of heaven. And we were dripping wet. But people were pretty nice when they opened the door. One lady was like, "I'm totally Catholic, but I respect you for what you're doing. I couldn't do it." So that was nice. 

This week's thought is on a talk by Brad Wilcox, "His Grace is Sufficient." I highly recommend this to everyone. Because it's super good. It talks all about how you've never fallen too far to come back. And it's true. I still have a hard time comprehending it, because I'm me. Even when I try to do my best, it's nowhere near enough. I make mistakes everyday. But that's okay because Christ makes up the difference. And it's all good.

Love you all!
Sister Kwan 

Monday, March 24, 2014

I know, I know. I suck at taking pictures.

This week's shout out goes out to Marcella, for this conversation.
Marcella: "You can't bully others, people like that go to hell. Do you want to go there?"
Sofia: "I don't know..."
Marcella: "It's not fun down there. There's not flashlights." 
Here's to another week. It's kind of crazy how fast time flies, huh. 

Kim is literally one of my favorite people in the whole world right now. We were at a Relief Society event and Jackie, our friend from Berkeley came. She's not a member, but she loves the events for the "women's worship group." Anyways, she was raving about how great the event was, when Joanna (our member) and Kim (our investigator) start talking about how good church is. And so there they are, talking about church and Kim starts bearing testimony of how awesome it is to go to church. And it's even better because we had a lesson on general conference and preparing for it on Sunday, and we get a call from Kim. She's already preparing for it. And it's in two weeks! And I'm like. Holy cow. You are the best Mormon I've ever met. And you aren't even baptized yet. It's so wonderful how the Lord prepares people to live the gospel. I honestly don't feel like I'm doing anything but confirming the things she already knows are true. 

So there we were, lost on the mountain, trying to find our member's home. I literally thought the odds of us falling off the cliff were greater than the odds of us living. Our poor car. It was trying to hard, but it is such a good car. We made it though, and we did see our members, and man was the view gorgeous. It truly was incredible. I was going to take pictures, but I think if I had gone to take it out and removed my hands from the wheel, we would've died. 

Bob has kind of vanished. We got a cryptic phone call where he said, "Don't come visit any more, it's a waste of time. I'm a lost cause." And we juggled whether or not to just bust in, but at this point, we aren't really sure if we can help him anymore. Out of our hands, and into the Lord's. 

Spiders. All over our poor car. I don't really know why, but they've been like looming around our car waiting to sneak in and freak us out or something. There are currently 3 crushed spiders, 2 shoe prints, and a hand print. Just kidding, it's 3 shoe prints haha

We met the Snyders, who are super less active. The conversation was like this
Her: Oh it's the missionaries! How are you?
(Casual conversation, grandson runs over)
Grandson: Oh! It's the missionaries!
Her: Ask grandpa if he's busy.
(Grandson leaves, comes back)
Grandson: He's busy
Her: Tell him that they know Bob
(Grandson leaves)
Him: Oh! They know Bob!
And that is how we met the Snyders. Super friendly, super nice, and I'm surprised they opened the door for us, but they did! Hopefully we will be able to meet with them again soon.  

This week I gave a thought that I tied into Harry Potter. Just throwing this out there, I'm a slytherin. But we were looking into houses, and it turns out that you're placed into houses based on what traits you value, not necessarily what you have. Anyways, we were talking about this over dinner, and I pulled out Alma 27:27 (look it up yourself) and talked about the characteristics of the House of God. And we posed the question- is it more important to be in the house of gryffindor, or the house of God? 

Audrey is the cutest old lady ever. She's got Alzheimer's and she gave us a job to do, but it really wasn't much haha but we took pictures (I'll attach them) and she's hilarious. Even if we can't necessarily teach her, she still makes my day better. 
Warren totally opened up to us the other day. It was really nice to finally understand why he acts the way he does, and it really helped us out so we can address the things he's worried about. Better news to follow, hopefully :) 

This week I got totally distracted by March Madness. Brackets are one of my favorite things. But I flipped it this week and actually got something out of it. Ready? So let's make the bracket our life and all the choices we make. Sometimes, we have the 1st seat playing the 16th seat, and we all know who's going to win. Those are the easy decisions, like whether or not to smoke. Sometimes, we have the 7th seat playing the 8th seat, and those are a little trickier. Something like whether or not to attend or party, or the friends we hang out with. Ultimately, there will always be upsets (where the lower ranking beats the higher ranking) but in the end, the overall championship winner should be God. All of our choices should lead to a higher playing field, and that's what we shoot for. 
Love you all!
Sister Kwan

Awkward picture with the Elders
Spider remnants on the car

Audrey :) 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

80 degrees and Sunny

This week's shout out goes out to the weather here. Holy cow. 

So our investigator Kim, is more wonderful than anything. We taught her the obedience, law of chastity, and the word of wisdom, in 10 minutes. And get this, she already felt prompted to keep it 5 weeks ago. And it gets better because she testifies of the blessings of it to US. She told ME why to keep those laws. It was so good. But it gets even better because this happened:
Sis U: "So did you pray about a date?"
Kim: "Yeah I did actually, and the numbers 10 and 12 came to mind..."
It was the best. 

I've decided to keep these things short because I don't have a ton of time... and you probably don't either. Short, powerful statements :) 

We finished talking to this lady on her porch when this happens:
(Window opens)
Lady: Hey! Are you mormons?
Us: Yeah, how are you?
Her: I'm good! My sister is learning about the Mormons! I don't know where she's going, but she likes it!
Us: No way! What's her name?
Her: Kim!
Us: We are totally the ones teaching her! Woah! You should come to church with her sometime!
Her: I do! 

Investigator updates:
Bob- turns out he's been drinking... a TON of concerns we need to resolve. And we definitely need to reteach the lessons over again... 
Karen- she's doing awesome! She loves us, we just need to set up a time to meet with her... 
Kelani- she came to church! She didn't seem very happy, but once she has friends, I'm sure it'll be awesome and she will love it :) 
Warren- well. Let's just say that there's a fair amount of things we are struggling with here, first of all being him letting us speak
Audrey- sweetest lady. She has Alzheimer's, so we are going to gauge how much she can remember and see. We are weeding her gardenon Thursday :) 

We went out for a lesson with one of our members, and she gave a really awesome analogy. She compared our life to a GPS. We tend to make a lot of wrong turns and go down unknown paths. But despite our mistakes, God knows the ultimate path. He knows that even though we take a wrong turn, we can still make it back. Life is full of "Recalculating" but there is always a way back. It might take a little longer, but we will still make it where we need to be. 

Love you all :)

Sister Kwan

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shamrock Shake #5

This week's shout out goes out to USPS, for creating these AWESOME HARRY POTTER STAMPS. I literally went searching for a post office that had them. So. Cool.
Well. Because I feel I have an obligation to respond to e-mails sent to me, I have neglected writing this e-mail. However, I will do a quick update on investigators, and then include a thought of sorts. 
Bob- praying for a date to be baptized! Slowly getting it, but we are re-teaching everything because it seems as if he's forgotten.
Kim- praying for a date too! She is latching on to everything and is just wonderful. She is learning and studying and it is so incredible to watch her and how happy she is with the gospel in her life.
Dann- currently sick.
Karen- meeting with her Thursday!
Warren- meeting with him... soon! 
Audrey- we are awful missionaries and forgot to meet with her. We will be dropping by soon with chocolate and endless apologies.
Alisa- hopefully meeting with her soon! 
Kelani- minor problems because she can't read. Praying super hard.

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I found myself writing. 
"Yes, Satan works hard so we work harder. I could literally feel the adversary working right before I went on my mission. He is very powerful and he knows us so well! The veil doesn't exist for him. And that's why we have to stay strong. Inadequacy is a normal part of mission life- we all deal with it every single day, but it doesn't matter because Christ makes up the difference. This isn't our work, it's His. And He will get it done, so it's a matter of if we will join Him and be ready. 
Okay if someone said teaching a lesson is easy, you know they haven't been in the field. Ever. Because there are so many little things. You will (almost) never have a golden investigator who knows all the answers and comes with no concerns. Everyone has them, and the only way we can resolve them is by the spirit. We teach people- not lessons. So every single lesson will be different. If something worked for one person, it probably will never work again. But know that what ever you do, as long as it is prompted by the spirit, is the right thing. If you listen, you will be at the right place at the right time and say the right things. People are my favorite part of the mission. There are so many of God's children just waiting to have the happiness that Christ is able to offer them and we have the chance to take part in that. God has trusted us with His children and we are able to work miracles with Him. How blessed are we to have this calling! I know you have been called by God to serve. There are people there waiting to meet you- not me, or your companion, or anyone else, but you. There is something that only you can give them, and I know that as you prepare and do the things that you need to, that you will find these people. No matter how bad your Spanish is, or how little your knowledge of the gospel is, everyone speaks the language of the Spirit. The Spirit testifies of truth, and that is all we teach. I know God lives. He loves each and everyone of us. There is nothing He wants more than for us to be successful. We are promised that as we are obedient, He WILL bless us. I know He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet in these latter days, and through Him, we have the Book of Mormon. How blessed are we to have this knowledge, to know the truths that have been lost for so long, but have been given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. And how blessed are we to share it."
May we all strive to stand a little taller each day.

Sister Kwan

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy 9 Months :)

This week's shout out goes out to Ashley. Haha. Happy March!
So I've been out long enough to have a baby! Woohoo! Haha but it's probably the fastest 9 months of my life. And now for the downhill, which is supposed to be super fast! Crazy! 
It was a week of miracles, let me tell you. And it's going to be a short one, because I used the time that I should've spent writing e-mails to go shopping. Now you know where my priorities are.

Speaking of shopping, malls are crazy places. I never realized how often they play music just everywhere until I stepped in and I was like "What is this stuff?" And it's like. The music they play is either from before I came on my mission, or it's repetitive with absolutely no meaning. So I'm kind of glad that I don't have to listen to it for now haha
We had 3 investigators come to church! It was exciting. We had NO idea what to do with ourselves. We had to get one acquainted with people, and the other had a friend so it was all good. But then in Sunday School, Bob came and he came late, and we're standing outside the door, and the teacher says, "Sisters, can we help you?" And I was like "Umm.. we need a whole row.." And they all moved! And that's how I, Sister Kwan, parted the sea of people so that we could have seats. Big thanks to those who moved. 

They mentioned something about shirts on Pinterest that say "Please forgive me for the things I said in hunger" - I'd consider that accurate. 

Showered with blessings of new investigators. We met with a less active family, and they want to start coming to church again! And they have a 9 year old daughter who they want to start taking the discussions. Her name's Kelani and she's. Peculiar? That might be the right word. She asked if we get baptized naked. The answer is no. 
Audrey is our 88 year old friend. It's funny because we went to visit, and she was like "Hey! Let's go visit my neighbor!" and here we are, helping an old lady cross the street and it's super windy outside, so the last thing I want is for her to fly away. Anyways, it turns out her neighbor is Mormon and we were able to have a lesson there! It was kind of amazing. 
The miracle of the large print Book of Mormon. So they don't print those anymore, and we were out looking for one for a member. We had a triple, but not a single. It felt pretty hopeless, but then we were at a member's house for dinner and I got the feeling to snoop around their books. I mean, who does that? Anyways, I did it, and there it was. This MASSIVE Book of Mormon and I was so grateful. Luckily, our member was more than happy to trade and actually felt like he had the better end of the deal haha but it's so great to see how the Lord still works with us. Even if we don't deserve it, He helps us. Why? Because this is His work. He isn't going to stop it just because we shouldn't be blessed with miracles, but it's a matter of whether or not we are willing to take up our cross and follow Him. Be the person He needs us to be. And that's all the Lord really expects of us, isn't it? :)
Love you all. You're the best. Write me yo.

Sister Kwan

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