Monday, November 24, 2014

Zoroastrians - Week 43


This week was great. Lots of fun stuff.

Last Tuesday I went on exchanges with the ASL sisters so Sister Turley
came with Sister Liu here and I went with Sister Phillips to their ASL
area. I was in the MTC with the two of them so we flew out here
together. It was really fun and interesting. They do a lot of video
chats with people. They have one girl who was recently baptized that
we talked to and she is so cute. Deaf people are cute. Later that
night we taught an ASL class to some church members so I learned how
to say some animals and colors and family members. Super fun.

Thursday night we volunteered at the annual Interfaith concert. It was
really cool. The Washington DC Interfaith Group has about 10 different
religions including LDS, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu,
Muslim, Judaism, Bah'i, Zoroastrians, and another one I'm forgetting.
The concert was at a Hebrew school/cathedral. There were 3
companionships of sisters volunteering, a lot of senior couples, and
maybe 7 companionships of elders. We got there and folded programs for
a while and then were fed dinner. Us sisters had the job of holding
banners. As each religious group being highlighted this year walked
into the concert during the opening song, we had to walk in front of
them and hold a banner and bring it on stage and then stand with it as
they finish singing. The banners weren't heavy but they were awkward
to hold. My banner was for the Zoroastrians. Their religion comes from
when King Cyrus freed the people from Babylon and it's a
middle-eastern religion. I don't know their exact beliefs but that's
what one of the women told me. Pretty cool. So when it started, we all
marched in and as soon as we were done with banner duties we got to go
sit down and watch each group perform which was fun and interesting.
This year the man being honored was actually LDS. It was Elder Gerard
of the Seventy and he was given the award for starting Day to a Serve
which is a day in September when thousands of people in Maryland and
maybe DC got together to serve and to gather food. In the program,
there were letters from many governors and mayors and Mitt Romney
congratulating Elder Gerard so it was cool that our church was
essentially being highlighted. After the concert we had dessert which
each religious group brought to represent themselves. We brought
chocolate chip cookies. The senior couples didn't get why I thought it
was so funny. It was a way cool night. We also got to see a Muslim and
a Jewish Rabbi hug and kiss each other's cheeks on stage. That's a
rare sight. I love my mission, it's the best.

Friday morning we got a tour of the White House. It was freezing and
we all arrived at 8:15 and the tour started at 9. We had to go through
a ton of security and a few people got rejected even though we
submitted our info a couple months before. It was cool but you don't
get to see much. It's not like I was expecting to see Obama's golden
toilet but we saw like 5 rooms. It was still cool though and the
secret service was fun to talk to. Who knew. Apparently you can go to to apply to work for secret service. We went through the
green room, the blue room, the red room, and the dining room. We then
were in a main room before going outside. I'm glad I can now say I've
been inside the White House.

That night we taught Wendy Cao which went really well. She actually
read the chapters we gave her! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and
invited her to be baptized. She said she will be baptized when she
knows it's true. Perfect. I love her, she's my favorite.

Saturday night we had the adult session of stake conference. It was so
good. We had 3 recent converts speak and also our new Chinese Branch
President. He joined the church 8 years ago. Their testimonies were so
powerful. It's amazing to hear how people came to know that this is
true. The stake president spoke at the end and it was really really
good. He spoke about how important it is to follow the prophet. He
spoke about the October 2001 General Conference. It was right after
9/11 and the world was freaking out. In President Hinckley's talk he
gave them words of peace and comfort and said that God still has a lot
of work to do and that although we are in perilous times foretold by
ancient prophets, we can still have peace in our hearts and do our
part to help and serve amid the newly started war. He also counseled
us to get out of debt, save money, and get a food storage. He then
said, "I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat
and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn." That story
in the bible was when Pharaoh had a dream that Joseph interpreted. He
interpreted that for 7 years Egypt will have great prosperity and then
for 7 years Egypt will have a famine. During those seven years of
prosperity, Egypt prepared and saved food so that when the famine came
they were able to get through it. After President Hinckley said that,
the economy started improving against the predictions of it not. The
economy was great up until September 2008 when it all crashed
resulting in the worst recession since the Great Depression. That was
2008. 7 years almost to the day after President Hinckley spoke of the
7 years of prosperity then famine. Now, most economists are predicting
that in mid 2015, the economy will finally be able to get back on its
feet and end the recession. 7 years later. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
Follow the prophet. He knows the way.

Sunday morning was the general session of stake conference which was
grand. President Cooke spoke and shared his conversion story. He
converted in his mid to late 20s. He at one point was thinking of
becoming an episcopalian priest. And now he's a mission president. So
cool. He's the only member in his family. I'm starting to actually
enjoy stake conference. I hated it when I was younger. Maybe I'll
actually start going when I get home haha.

After stake conference we taught a man and his two kids that we met
while tracting two months ago. It was a good lesson. First lessons
never go as planned so it was mainly answering the dad's questions. He
sincerely wanted to read the Book of Mormon to know if it's true so
hopefully he does. The promise in Moroni is real.

Last night we had dinner with a family that just moved from the
Chinese Branch to the Potomac Ward. Another family from the Chinese
branch was there and then a somewhat active member and his nonmember
wife and two kids. It was a good dinner and there were lots of little
kids running around. I've decided Asian kids are the cutest. After
dessert we had FHE. Sister Liu and I talked about the importance of
scriptures and we showed a mormon message about scriptures. We then
played scripture charades and had each family and us act out a story.
It went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I came up with
the lesson and game on the spot since I didn't realize we were
teaching FHE. Good memories of scripture charades with Aunt Marjorie's
family. (:

I realized yesterday how good I've gotten at finding scriptures.
Whenever the man we were teaching had a question I would just flip
open to a scripture and same with FHE last night. Boom.

This week we are getting fed every day until Saturday. We have 2 meals
today, 1 tomorrow, 1 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, and 1 possibly 2 on
Friday. No one has fed us the past 3 weeks but now since it's
Thanksgiving it's feed the missionaries week. I've just accepted the
fact that I'm going to be fat for a few months until it's warm enough
outside for us to start running. Thank goodness for big coats.

Thank you so much mom and dad for the package! I love it! I light the
candle every night using the stove. I was excited when I saw the
summer sausage. I miss Mom's appetizers haha. Thank you Dad for the SD
card converted and cord. You guys are the best (:

1 Nephi 19:23. I read this during FHE last night. It's important to
liken all scriptures to us. The scriptures teach us important
commandments. Also, after President Hinckley's mentioned the famine
story, he said, "I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of
the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew." Guess what I
was studying yesterday haha. FOLLOW THE PROPHET. READ THE SCRIPTURES.
Yeah. Ok. Love you all!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Grand - Week 42


This week was grand. Every week is grand. It's a grand mission.

On Wednesday we had our annual mission tour. A mission tour is when a
member of the Seventy comes with his wife for a few days and they
speak to us and see how the mission is doing. Last week Elder Kacher
and his wife came. He is a new Seventy as of this year. I really like
him and his wife, they are so sweet. We met with them from 10am to 4pm
and then an extra hour as sisters with Sister Kacher. Everything that
was said that day was exactly what I needed to hear to boost myself.
Sister Cooke spoke first and addressed the exact thing I've been
struggling with recently. She even quoted the primary song that has
been going through my head as I struggled to understand. To me that
very talk was proof of God's love and that He does inspire His leaders
to help us and tell us what He wants said. Elder Kacher spoke for most
of the time. It was sporadic but I loved it. He didn't have a set
talk, it was really led by the spirit and by us. Whenever he felt like
we needed to spirit more, he called up a few people to sing a hymn. At
one point three other sisters and I stood in front of everyone and
sang a hymn a Capella. The spirit was so strong. It's been a while
since I've felt the spirit so strong and for the first time I
understood why people said they wished the feeling could stay with
them forever. I felt a constant warm glow in my chest and I was warm
all over and I felt so happy. I came out of that meeting feeling a lot
better about myself. I am good enough. God isn't expecting me to be a
perfect missionary or to run faster than I have strength. Ever since I
switched to Chinese I've been feeling like a bad missionary but now I
feel a lot better. I just need to do my best and not expect perfection
from myself.

On Thursday night we taught Lin. We taught him in Virginia again. The
lesson went alright, not the best, and quite frankly I couldn't
understand a lot of what was said which was frustrating. We didn't get
out of the lesson until 9:15 and at night the metros only come every
20 minutes so we waited at least 10 minutes for each one and we didn't
get home until way after bedtime. We aren't doing that again. Virginia
isn't my mission and President Cooke doesn't really want us there
anyway and basically said that that was our last time going.

Friday night we taught our new investigator, Wendy. She and her
teenage son and husband (who is mostly gone in China) live in a
mansion in a neighborhood of mansions in a city full of mansions. She
is super nice and down to earth and normal. We were expecting some
prissy rich lady but she is so cool. We spent the whole time answering
questions she had which were pretty much all about the restoration. We
were going to teach her a different lesson but before we left I had a
feeling I should grab my restoration cups I use to teach people just
in case and we ended up using them. Thank you, Holy Ghost, for the
prompting. Afterward we just chatted in Chinese for a few minutes and
then she gave us two big bags of Kit Kats and a box of cookies. Most
of them are gone already... Anyway I love her, she's one of my new
favorite people.

Saturday was a great day. At 3pm we went to the temple and did a
Chinese session with the branch. It was so cool. I didn't understand
everything but I understood enough to know what was going on. Sister
Liu was so happy, she's never done a Chinese session before. After
that we took a group picture outside the temple and then had dinner at
the stake center next door. There were members and a pair of elders
from the Chinese branch in Virginia so that was cool to meet them.

Saturday night there was also a Chinese music event at the visitors
center. Dinner was all done and cleaned up at 7:30pm and we figured we
could either go check on 3 less actives or go contact at the VC so we
went to the VC. The performance wasn't over but we talked to a few
stragglers. I was trying to decide what to do because there were
200-300 Chinese people downstairs, none of which were members, and we
couldn't talk to all of them. We have referral cards we give out and
we have some Chinese ones where they can send missionaries to a friend
or themselves but I figured none of them would actually do it. I
grabbed another sister from the VC while Sister Liu was talking to
someone and we ran out to our car and grabbed a couple Chinese family
proclamations we had in there. We ran back inside and started making
copies with the printer in the senior couples office. I grabbed 40
copies and ran out to the floor right as the event ended and people
started leaving. I gave some to Sister Hansen and taught her to say 给你
which means "give you" in Chinese and we gave them to every Chinese
person and family on their way out as Sister Amparo kept on making us
more copies. I was able to speak Chinese with a lot of people as they
left and they were very willing to take the papers and were holding on
their hands for them. We gave out over 100 copies of the family
proclamation. Only later did I realize we should've put our phone
number on them but oh well. All those Chinese people are going to read
it and feel the spirit and hopefully come back or be ready for next
time they see missionaries. One of the senior elders was very
impressed and said I was the improviser of the night. It was so fun
and I was in a really good mood for the rest of the night.

Last night was Why I Believe at the VC. We called every single active
family, every less active we've been working with, and all of our
investigators and none would come. The speaker was Dennis Pitta who
plays football for the Baltimore Ravens. Chinese people don't care
about football unless it's soccer. We went anyway since it's mandatory
even though we had no one come. There were so many people there. The
500 seating theater and the overflow theaters were completely full and
at least half of the attendants weren't church members. Sister Liu and
I didn't end up watching it because there was no room left and we
didn't have anyone. Oh well, I'm sure it was great. It felt like a
waste of a night because we just waited for it to be over and then

This week we will be volunteering at a big Interfaith Concert and then
Friday morning a big chunk of the mission is going on a tour of the
White House. Getting a tour of the White House is a pain so it's
amazing that we get this opportunity. Usually you have to send in your
social security number and other info six months in advance and then
they choose the day and time for you. Also they don't do tours on
Mondays so that's out for a P day activity. But we got lucky so I'm

I can't believe the holidays are coming up already. Time is speeding
up. I don't know what we are doing for Thanksgiving yet. Hopefully it
doesn't include rice and tofu but we'll see. At this point it doesn't
really matter to me since I won't be home anyway.

Love and miss you all! D&C 29:7


Monday, November 10, 2014

Hotspot - Week 41


This week was grand. On Wednesday we had zone training which was fun.
There were God workshops and I'm definitely going to implement what I
learned into my teaching.

Thursday night we taught Lin. He has been investigating since the
spring and has been taught most of the lessons but we haven't been
able to meet with him much since he never answers his texts or email.
He told us Sunday before last that he received an answer to prayer and
wants to get baptized. So Thursday night we went to teach him at a
members house. The fun part is that the member lives in Virginia which
is outside of our mission. We got permission from President Cooke to
go. We took the metro there. I felt so dangerous and wrong getting on
the metro line to Virginia. We arrived in Virginia and then we pulled
out my GPS to tell us where to go. Unfortunate the GPS didn't know
where it was going and took us in a weird direction. It was already
dark out and we were following it when we got to a point where we
couldn't walk any further. I looked around and there to our left, only
150ft away, was the HiroJima statue. I don't think that's where they
live. We called them and they directed us to their apartment which was
close to the metro station to begin with. I was super frustrated and
annoyed because we were 30 minutes late because we got lost. Oh well.
The lesson went well and now he's on date to be baptized December 6th.

Friday night we had a hotpot relief society activity. Hotpot is where
they put broth in a little pot that sits on the table and boils and
they have plates of uncooked food that you put in until it's cooked
and then take it out and eat it. It's super yummy. The activity was
good because a lot of less actives and a few non members came. We got
phone numbers and two appointments.

Sunday was a fun day. Sister Liu and I both spoke in church. I got up
there and spoke for 15 minutes straight in Chinese. It was weird
because they have a guy who translates into a microphone that goes to
the headsets of non Chinese speakers and the whole time I was talking
I could hear him translating. I wrote the whole talk and then
translated it into Chinese then I gave it to Sister Liu to correct the
grammar. I think a lot of people were surprised that I can actually
speak Chinese. I am kind of shy about my Chinese at church and Sister
Liu is usually the one who talks to everyone so a lot of them didn't
realize that I knew that much. The chorister for sacrament meeting
didn't show up so I also led the music and I also played the piano in
relief society so I was very involved that Sunday.

There is a less active recent convert in the Branch that we had been
asked to check on. Whenever we check on less actives we usually just
go by and visit them to schedule an appointment because if you call
them they won't give you an appointment. So we stopped by this woman's
house twice and left a note the second time. She was at the hotpot
activity and when Sister Liu talked to her and asked when we could
visit her, she said she doesn't want us visiting her unless she
invites us first. She came to church on Sunday and after sacrament
meeting Sister Liu went up to her to talk to her but she ignored her.
In relief society Sister Liu bravely went and sat next to her but the
lady got up and say somewhere else and then towards the end of the
lesson when Sister Liu was making a comment the lady got up and left.
Sister Liu was in tears and afterwards we went into a room and talked
and hugged it out. Sister Liu is such a sweet, innocent person and
that lady was such a jerk. I would never do that to anyone, that's so
childish and she has no reason to dislike us.

Sunday night was Night of Music and Inspiration. Sister Liu and I sang
"Be Thou Humble" with 10 others and then I accompanied Sister Lewis
and Sister Sundwall for another song. It was a really solid Night of
Music and Inspiration and the theme was a lot deeper. Look for it on
the mission blog soon, it was so good. A group of elders sang the BYU
vocal point version of "Nearer My God To Thee." Meredith, my recent
convert, was there so that was fun to talk to her. It was a good

President Cooke talked to me last night and told me that when Sister
Liu goes back to Temple Square in December that I will be getting
another TSQ Chinese speaking sister. My only concern is that December
is Festival of Lights when all the sisters are supposed to be in the
VC but TSQ sisters aren't supposed to be in the VC when they come
because that's the point of them going outbound is to have a normal
mission experience... I hope they make an exception because I've been
excited about Festival for months. Also, they are getting Chinese
speaking sisters called permanently to the mission so that we will
always have Chinese speaking sisters here so after this I might be
training for the rest of my mission. I'm always up for a challenge. (:

Sister Liu and I have been getting along so much better. Last transfer
there were moments when I absolutely could not stand her. Now we just
love each other and joke around and laugh. We have gotten more used to
each other and we have both developed more patience, love, and
understanding. Now I don't want her to leave haha. My Chinese is also
improving, I understand a lot more. Hopefully by the time I start
training I'll be proficient. But it's nice to be noticing how far I've

Mosiah 5:8-10. I used this scripture in my talk on baptism. I'll
attach a couple pictures of my talk. I wrote it in characters instead
of pinyin (wo hen hao) because pinyin always messes me up but with
characters I don't get lost.

Love you all!