Monday, April 28, 2014

Proselyting with a Puppy

This week's shout out goes out to Lauren. Who I remembered her birthday and forgot to shout it out so I'm doing that this week haha

Kim is doing fantastic. Everything in her life is on the up-swing except for her family, and their situation is kind of hard since they're all living together. She's trying to raise Ayden one way, and they want to go another way, so it's a lot of frustration since they don't really see a way out yet. But they recognize that the Lord has a plan, because if they hadn't been in their situation in the first place, they would never have met the missionaries. So all's well ends well. 

We found a puppy that was just wandering, so we picked him up and started knocking doors and asking people if he belonged to them. It's really quite brilliant and I wish we found animals more often! Everyone's heart was like "Oh that's so nice of you to help him find his home..." but we can't have pets haha oh well. 

Went on splits this week with the wonderful sister in our ward who brought us balloons and candy, and her 12 year old daughter Emma! It was a really nice experience. Emma invited someone to come to an activity and she totally got shot down, and she was kind of panicking about how it went down. It was neat to see how her mom handled it- she talked about how there's agency and how we do things by the spirit so they can know for themselves. It was neat. 

Got to go back to Alamo on exchanges! It's weird going back there, it's like going home. It was a great experience to learn from Sister Goddard, who actually came out with me. We were just waving at cars and suddenly one pulls over! She was already a member. But she was house hunting from Texas, and we talked to her. She was pretty frantic, so I'm glad we were there to calm her down. She was like "I just saw missionaries and I felt relieved! I knew there was someone who would tell me about the area!" It was great to be of service that way. 

Warren's heart is slowly being softened! He read the Book of Mormon! Which was a really big deal because he hasn't this whole time. He still has a ton of questions and major issues with Joseph Smith, but he's getting there. Very very slowly. And he's totally anti-government/organized anything. So we don't really know what to do with that.. 

This week's weather went from hot to super cold and rainy. There was a down pour. And then I stepped in poop. That was exciting. And I lost my name tag! One second it was on me, and the next thing I know, I have no idea where it's at. So I felt the next hour feeling super naked. 

We had a service activity where we cleaned up Clayton. The thing is, Clayton is super clean. We were like actively seeking trash to pick up. We ended up roaming the sides of super steep hills in tall grass searching for trash. Which we found a lot of actually. Lots of beer bottles, tires, ketchup pouches.. you name it haha but we didn't realize it was rattlesnake season. Luckily nothing happened, but we will probably be more careful in the future. I did find a tick in my hair later. I felt it moving, grabbed it, saw that it was something that was alive, and threw it. Then I had to find it, and I taped it to a piece of paper. Then I gave it to some kids who love bugs haha. 

Considering the way this week has been, I've been thinking a lot about persistence. So here's this quote:
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
And I'd just say think about it. There's a lot of good messages, and if you need help I can start with one. I always say that a room full of good intentions is empty. And it sounds super mean, but if I had every intention to pay you back, did I? No. But as long as we keep trying, then we will be able to accomplish something, anything. God does not expect perfection, but He does expect us to continue to try.

Happy Spring/Summer!
Sister Kwan

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Holladays

This week's shout out goes out to Jesus Christ. Go here and watch this

Kim went out with us to teach a member family. She was awesome! We talked about the resurrection and she killed it. That totally came out really weird. But anyways, she did an awesome job teaching with us. And she made us Easter baskets! She is so nice. For real. 

So we were like kind of sick this week so we were confined to the apartment. It really wasn't that fun. I guess you'd think that it would be, but really you just feel super guilty for not working haha but we did get to watch The Lamb of God! It was really good. You should watch that too.

This week Bob called us asking for a journal, and we didn't have time to go out and find him a journal. So we were looking around the apartment, and I had bought one at Ross the other day, and the other was from Kim and it was pretty girly looking actually. As I looked at the one from Ross, which was leather with a lot of uplifting messages and it snaps shut, my thought was "He's so frustrating. He doesn't deserve this." And at that instant, I knew I had to give it to him. Because the most important things in life aren't things. And it's really just a journal. It was just an interesting moment where I had a huge switch of perspective, and it was actually pretty neat.

Hitched a ride with the Alvarez family to stake conference, which was in Oakland. It was insane in that her kids are kind of crazy. We were trying to play car games and the attention span was shorter than goldfish. (And side note. We caught a caterpillar this week and gave it to them. I was really intent on calling him Mahonri Moriancumr, but Sister Underwood wanted Johnny. So they named him Sticker. Because he sticks to things.) But it was enjoyable because who doesn't like a little dysfunction? Right? The perfect family is a lot harder to find than most of us think.  

Anyways, since I only just realized the other day that it was in fact Easter, I was like oh shoot better start studying. So I picked up my Bible. And I ended up comparing all 4 gospels and it was really neat to see all the things that piece together to create the Easter story- the story of how Christ lived and died. And lived again. And it's kind of crazy when you really think about it. I'm going to break it down.
So you know you have 24 hours to live. What do you do?
You celebrate the passover. You wash your 12 best friends' feet. 
Then you go to a garden and take on the sins, afflictions, and feelings, of everyone who has lived, is living, and will live on this planet. Your suffering and agony surpasses anything and you want to stop- but you understand that if you do, then hope for all mankind will be lost. 
One of your best friends comes up and kisses you. Next thing you know, you're getting arrested.
Following your arrest, you get some completely unfair trials and you just keep getting beat up.
The beatings continue, and most people die from the things you've been handling. You suffer in silence.
Finally, these people you grew up with decide that you need to be crucified. So you do. 
Now this isn't your typical final 24 hours. Let's REALLY think about this. Would you be able to? No. Because no one else could do it. And everyday I just think. How grateful am I for what He did? How much would I be willing to suffer for myself AND others? But only through Christ can we be cleansed from sin and be released from our feelings of guilt and shame. Only through Christ can we start over, and REALLY start over. It's all because of Him.

Happy everything :)

Sister Kwan

Monday, April 14, 2014

This week's shout out goes out to Kim! She's so great! 

"If you haven't been offended lately, you haven't been to church"

Kim's baptism was magnificent. It was seriously one of the best things ever. She was literally glowing. And it's like one of those moments where everyone knows it's going to happen but when it does you're like "Is this for real?" But it was great. Pictures to follow! We went to the visitor's center after, super peaceful and they were really able to feel the spirit, which was great. 

We always walk by these two girls in our ward as they're walking home, but this time they saw us walking with bleach and duck tape in hand. Not sure what they thought haha

Had a Relief Society activity, 40 meals in 4 hours about creating freezer meals. The sister who gave it did a great job and we were helping her clean up. Then as everyone's leaving, she goes, "Where is my car key?" And we were like aw no. So we were searching back and forth for a pretty long time. Just back and forth from the car, to the church, and back. And again. And nothing. So we drove to her home and got her spare key, and came back. We go inside to leave a note on the board about a lost key, walk back out and right in the middle of the sidewalk. I look down and I was like "Oh. Here's the key. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK." So we found out. The best part about this though, is as a result, we were able to fix her car (with duck tape) and clean it out for her! She was so grateful, but that didn't really matter. We were just glad to help. 

We saw a lady smoking on the street in the dark and I was like "HEY THAT"S MYRA" so I pulled the car over and we got out and talked to her. She's still not totally interested but she goes, "I told my daughter some girls tried to clean my house the other day. She started laughing." Hopefully we run into her more, she could really use more hope in her life. 

The other day we got the opportunity to share a thought with a large group of people, which I did. From like the back row of people, I hear this lady go, "She's a good speaker. I can hear her..." and I started laughing so I couldn't hear the rest of the things she said. 

It was a week of cancellations. Nonetheless, it was a good week. 

This week's thought is on Easter. I didn't even realize it was Easter until yesterday, but it is! This is the season to remember Christ. It's kind of a big deal, because it's not every day that someone takes upon them all your sins and afflictions and pains and then dies and then is resurrected. The best part is that because of Jesus Christ, we can all be clean! And live again! It's the best deal ever, because we don't have to pay anything for it. By the grace of God, we can repent of our mistakes and live with God again. Do we deserve it? No. Do we try and earn it? No. Do we want it? Well, that's the question. Sure we are saved, but if we don't try to be more Christlike, would we want to live with God? Probably not. And that's it, really. If we want to be WITH God, we have to be LIKE God. It's kind of like. Sure I want to be with fish. But if I'm not fish-like, then I'm going to drown. But if I try my best to grow gills (bear with me on this one) then I'll be able to swim with them. Either way, I hope you get my point haha. 
Hope you all have a wonderful Easter! 

Sister Kwan

Monday, April 7, 2014

Holy Hotness

This week's shout out goes out to the California weather. 40 degrees and haling Thursday, 85 degrees and sunny on Friday. I'm not complaining, but I sure am sweating.

We survived transfers! Another 6 weeks in Clayton with Sister Underwood. It was kind of crazy because literally minutes before, Kim asked us to speak at her baptism. There was no breathing as that call happened. Transfer calls are almost like waiting to hear if someone made it through surgery...

Speaking of Kim. SHE"S GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is so nervous and so excited and so are we. This is pretty insane. Weeks of preparation all come together for this moment. Unfortunately, she's been dealing with a lot of opposition, especially from her husband's side of the family. Lots of angry texts and crying, but ultimately, everyone is okay. They prayed and felt at peace with their decision, and I really wish it was that easy with everything. But yes, Saturday morning at 10! So stoked. 

One of the greatest things happened this week. Here we are, sitting and planning. We get a text from a member.
"Where do you live?"
"The apartments by the church"
"Okay I'm on my way" 
And we were like what? Anyways, we walk outside, and this member has balloons. And we were like "Who's birthday is it?" But it turns out that this dear member just wanted to show us her love and appreciation for the work that we do. It truly was a tender moment. Just to know that someone was trying to understand and help was really great. I was just filled with gratitude at that moment, and it really makes me think what kind of member I want to be when I get home. 

Met with Alisa, who has the cutest kids. They are also pretty rambunctious. So I was given the job of distracting them while Sister Underwood taught. I don't think that's how we're supposed to do it, but it ended up being the most effective. We went from constant screams to basically silence. They were watching me draw. Luckily I have some drawing capabilities, be it limited. Using my talents! But she is super interested. She really wants to know for herself, so we are providing her with the materials that will answer her questions so she has to seek the information. 

On a funnier note, it's the strangest thing being hit on by a 70 year old man on the mission. And he kissed my hand. I was like "AH NO AH WHAT DO I DO" in my head. But it started with a phone call. Some other sisters called us and told us to talk to him and so we did. And suddenly he asks "Are you married?" And I was like "No... we are missionaries. We don't get married until after our missions." And he says "Oh. Ok. Well I figured with a voice like yours, you'd have 900 guys chasing after you." So first I was a little insulted because there's always that joke about having a face made for radio. But then I was like eh my voice is kind of low and a little raspy, definitely not radio status. And then we were like "900? That's a weird number." Anyways, it continued when we actually met with him in real life and he also hit on our married member. We left him a pamphlet and our number in case he ever wanted to come to church haha

Warren is... slowly getting it. Super slowly. We all walked out exhausted from our last lesson with him. But it's good, because we are able to help him resolve his concerns and I think he's slowly opening up. He is super concerned for our safety and told us he'd buy us some mace. I'm unsure of whether or not it's going to be one of those spiky ball weapons or if it's like pepper spray, but I'm kind of excited to see! 

In better news, we have a new less active! Cherie, who wants to be active! She is a convert who was Jewish before, but wants to come back to church. We texted her and she said come right over! So we did. We started talking about the atonement, and she really liked that. It's so powerful in our lives every day. Then she went into figuring out who we were without even telling us. It was something along the lines of this:
Cherie: So you (Sister Underwood) are a pisces? And you (me) are a capricorn right?
Me: Uh. Yeah...
Cherie: And let me guess. Your birthday is.. January 9th? 
Me: (Who is this woman...) Yeah....
Anyways she had us all figured out. It was kind of insane how good she is at reading people. We've only talked to her like twice and she already knew us. She's awesome though, and hopefully she will start coming back to church again! 

I don't even know where to start! Wasn't General Conference great? How blessed we are to have a modern prophet today! I loved the talk about the 4 minutes. I couldn't even tell you who said it, but I loved how he related our life to the Olympic events. Our life here is a short time, a small moment if you will. And for someone like me who lacks foresight, I have to break it down into even smaller segments. As of right now, it's the mission. And all these things that I've already learned, are going to help me in the next "4 minutes" of my life. I know God lives. I know He loves us. I know there's a lot in this world that will make us happy, but not a lot of things that will bring us joy. This gospel and the knowledge of God's plan for us will bring us that joy. Some things will make us sad, but I know that Jesus Christ has already felt everything that we go through, and His hands are always extended towards us to lift and comfort. May we all do the things we need to in order to have this joy.  

Take care! Love you all :D
Sister Kwan

Shoot. I forgot my camera cord. Look for next week! We played chubby bunny...

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