Monday, July 27, 2015

This is it.

Sent 7/27/2015

Welp, this is it. I've discovered something that may or may not prove to be the silver bullet for a missionary returning home. Maybe it works just for me, but it's definitely something's that helped me. Throughout life, we do things we do not necessarily want to do. I've struggled to align my will with God's will my entire mission and I know it will still be a struggle through the remainder of my life. But, when I actually do the will of the Father, I always end up happier and things always work out. When I do not, I find myself feeling like I'm stuck and can't move forward. And going home? That is the will of the Father. If it is the will of the Father, then why should I fight it? Why should I be sad when He meant for this to be a joyous occasion to celebrate the hard, consecrated work I performed in these past 18 months?

We spend eighteen months to two years of our lives to teach others by the Spirit of God that they need to change their lives to be closer to Christ. Well, this is yet another change. If we expect others to change their lives according to the will of the Lord, then we should expect ourselves to do the same. No moping about and wallowing in tears. Going home from my mission is just another step in eternal progression. It will prove to be a test, but I know that the real measure of my mission is where I am ten years from now. Will I still be the disciple of Christ I am today?

God does not set anyone up for failure. If we fail, it is because of our own choices. My earthly father once told me many years ago that failure is the mother of success. Appalled, I asked him, "Why would you imply that your wife is a failure?" (Yeah I was pretty sassy as a kid, too). But when we fall short, we make those choices to bring us back up. When I do God's will, I am a success. You will find success nowhere else but in the will of the Lord.

I have learned many things on my mission. These are sacred things that I know I can never leave behind. I will take them and I will apply them to my life every day. THAT is what my mission was for.

This morning in my personal study, I came across a scripture that epitomizes how I feel in nearing the death of my full-time missionary service:

"And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world" (Enos 1:26).

How great is my calling!

Sister Wen

Monday, July 6, 2015

To the homesick missionary

Sent 7/6/2015

To the homesick missionary:

Your mission is full of your highest of highs and lowest of lows and it will be like that up and down, up and down. Don't dwell on those lows. Focus on the highs. When weeks like that happen, it will take a couple of days to get over it (trust me, I know), but don't let it turn into a couple of weeks to get over it.

Homesickness will come back every now and again and haunt you, but look under diligence in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel (p120, I think?) and read the quote by Pres. Benson. That's how you can overcome it every time.

The good 'ol times were great, weren't they? But, guess what? Your life has changed ever since you sent in your acceptance to your call to this mission. Do you think James and John knew that their lives were going to change when they left their fishing nets to follow Christ? Probably not. But you can know this now: your life has changed the moment you stepped onto the mission field. And it's changing for you to be closer and closer to Christ.

After Christ was resurrected, Peter, James, and John went back to their fishing nets. They went back to their old life. That's when Christ appeared again in His resurrected body and asked Peter, "Do you love me?" three times. Peter probably got a little annoyed after the 3rd time, but Christ was actually telling him a LOT more than just to feed His sheep. He was basically saying, don't go back. Don't go back to those thoughts, those feelings of nostalgia, or to a yearning for your pre-mission life. Focus on the now. Your life has changed and will be changed forever. Don't look back. Our Father has great things in store for you.

I'm not telling you to abandon your memories of home. Keep them close to your heart! But your mind and heart can only focus on one thing at a time and that one thing now is the Lord's work #consecration Think of all of the good times you're creating right now!

The only thing that can hold anyone back are the very thoughts that Satan puts into your mind. He wants to stop you. Don't let him.

"Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen." (2 Nephi 10:25).

Sister Wen

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fruits of our Efforts

Sent 6/29/2015

You go day by day never really knowing if any of your efforts, testimonies borne, and hard freaking work gets through to anyone. But, once in a while, you're blessed with the knowledge that it did at least somewhere.

We visited a less-active family a couple of months ago. When we first visited them, the mother said that she used to go out with missionaries to visit less-active families. She said that she's sad that she's one of them now.

Since then we'd been working with them and pushing them little by little to make the steps to come back to church. And last week, we asked them how it's been looking back on the past couple of months.

"I feel better." "I feel good." "I'm learning more." "I want more."

It was a blessing and privilege on my part to be able to hear from them how much their lives have been blessed because of persistence, diligence, and willingness.

They've been coming to church more regularly. Even one Sunday, one of the speakers spoke of how he was given the choice of playing baseball on Sunday or not. It was an inspired talk because baseball was the very reason why this family stopped going to church two years ago and, eventually, caused discontinuance of their scripture studies and prayers.

When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected. (Preach My Gospel).

Show the Lord that you love Him by going to church. He will show you why.

Sister Wen

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mosquitoes are of the devil

Sent 6/22/2015

A couple of weeks ago, the cutest little pitbull/boxer mix puppy ran up to us and started playing with us and licking us (cutest little thing ever!) and its owner came out with him. Just as we were about to leave, we invited to show her the #BecauseHeLives video. She agreed and had us wait for a bit. She brought out her boyfriend, V, to watch it, too #themorethemerrier

Last week, we met with only T. She said she thought she saw us from her apartment and thought, are those the sisters? and came on over. And lemme tell you, there are signs as to whether the person you're teaching is prepared or not. These signs involve Satan's hatred and actions toward our cause:

1. Whilst we were teaching her about priesthood authority, V's niece poked her head out of the apartment and offered us some salsa. It was very kind, but oddly perfect timing as we were teaching about the necessity for priesthood authority.

2. As we were teaching about the First Vision, we had T read the very words of Joseph Smith himself. As she was doing so, she had a random cough attack. It came out of nowhere! Fortunately, it didn't stop her from reading.

3. It was getting dark and the mosquitoes were coming out to feed on our blood. We offered to say a closing prayer and T suggested we hold hands as we prayed. As we did so, all of these mosquitoes started attacking our bodies! I could feel several of them crawling all over my body in preparation to satisfy their hunger. On my neck, legs, arms, hands, face. The next morning was filled with applying anti-itch cream.

Though these things seem little, they were big enough to tell us that we really need to work with T and V.

Towards the end of our lesson, T told us that she actually began reading a little bit of the Book of Mormon! And so did V! We offered her her own copy of the Book of Mormon and she was ecstatic. "Yes! I'll definitely read this!"

Then she said she will pray about it. She loved it. She said, "It was a strong message." And it is! We have the message and gospel of Christ and we're here to proclaim it! What a privilege it is!

Sister Wen