Sunday, December 21, 2014


It actually snowed yesterday. We've been lucky enough to experience 60 degree weather since probably mid-November so I guess it was bound to snow eventually. The typical conversation-starter for me:
Person: Man, this snow is crazy.
Me: Yeah, I don't like it.
Person: Aw, where are you from?
Me: Connecticut.
Person: Oh, so you're used to this weather!
Me: Nope.

During the winter, I typically don't spend my time walking around outside trying to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. So, yes, maybe I'm used to it, but I still don't enjoy it.

Last Friday was our ward's Christmas party. We invited all of the investigators and some less-active members. We'd arranged for someone to pick up the investigator who's blind (not the 95 year-old one....I guess we're just hitting up all the blind people). She wasn't home when her ride came. Then she called us a little after 7 and asked if she could still make it. That night was when I realized the sacrifices made in this Christmas season.

1) Sister J, who went to go pick up SL for the party, drove there to find no one home. She went to the party, but just as the nativity skit by the little children was going up, SL called to be picked up for the party. You could tell that Sister J was sad to miss the nativity skit, but she was optimistic anyway and picked up Selena. She sat and talked with SL while she ate.

2) SL. She's been blind since she was 24, and she's 48 now. She's taking care of her 15 year-old daughter at home who has friends who need a place to live. So SL's housing those kids, too. Not only that, but she's also housing her brother and his wife under her care. I'm telling you, super powers.

3) Sister CS, the Relief Society President. Just like any unselfish, charitable, Relief Society president, she spent the entire time during the party, warming up and serving all the food for the party. Not only that, but she prepared the food at her house starting the day before to feed about 100 people.

4) Sister H, the Ward Mission Leader's wife and a ward missionary herself as well. She was in charge of the event. She was racing back and forth trying to make sure the event was a good experience for everybody. She didn't even have time to visit with anyone.

It's the most wonderful hour of the day!

Sent December 13

People are a lot nicer during the Christmas season. Unless it's 8 o'clock at night and it looks like the sun's never going to rise again outside.

Here's a new parody (to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year") to kind of :
It's the most wonderful hour of the day!
When the people are sleeping
And we are still knocking
On all of their dooooooors!
It's the most wonderful hour of the day!

But, of course, it doesn't stop us. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing #truth

There's an older couple in this ward that always invites the missionaries over. We call them Grandma and Grandpa, because they're all the missionaries' adopted grandparents. I'd actually met them before when my previous companion needed to come up here for doctors' appointments. We stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's house for food. The minute I walked into their home, I was showered with love from Grandma and Grandpa. Talk about unconditional love. They have it for everyone!

Because they are so close with the sister missionaries, they invited us to come with them to get their patriarchal blessing. Getting a patriarchal blessing is a guaranteed spiritual experience. Patriarchal blessings date waaaaaay back to Adam, the first mortal ever on earth. He gave a patriarchal, or father's, blessing to his sons and then they gave them to their sons...and so on. Eventually, Abraham, with whom God made the Abrahamic covenant as described in the Bible, gave his patriarchal blessing to his son, Isaac, then Isaac to his son, Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. Israel gave his patriarchal blessing to all 12 of his sons, who are known as the 12 Tribes of Israel. One of those sons, Joseph, begat two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and gave the former the patriarchal blessing. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spirit Tracting


Life is suuuuuuuuuuuper good in the Webster Lake ward. I've never come across such humble people before on my mission. I know I said that when I was in Arvada, but just north of Denver is even more.

Friday night, Sister Kreissl asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her: 70 degree weather. Little did I know that she'd actually pray and ask Heavenly Father for 70 degree weather. And lo, and behold, Saturday, November 29, we enjoyed 70 degree weather. It was practically spring-time. And it was amazing.

That morning, we began in our car looking at a map of our area. We'd decided to do something called "spirit tracting". We looked at the map and narrowed it down to two areas that we could knock doors in so that we could choose a street. We took a moment to pray together on those two specific areas. Afterwards, we waited for revelation through our thoughts, feelings, impressions, instinct...anything! I waited and waited and waited for something, but I just came to a stupor of thought. I wasn't getting anything from those two areas. After a long minute, we asked each other if we got anything. Neither of us got anything. So we thought, maybe we chose the wrong areas. Then she pointed to one area just west of one of the areas we were looking at. She asked me if I'd ever seen Hey, Arnold! and, obviously, said yes, of course I have; it is only one of the greatest shows of all time. She said, "Well, the houses here kind of look like the houses in Hey, Arnold!. I said, done. Let's go there. I wasn't sure if that was revelation, but we know from Moroni 7:13 that every good thought that invites and entices to do good continually is inspired of God.

We parked our car in the area and chose a street to knock doors on. We shared with everyone the story of Christmas and keeping Christ in Christmas through new pass-along cards we have of a short 2 1/2 minute video of the real gift of Christmas. The video is called "He is the Gift", for He, Jesus Christ, is the Gift that our Father in Heaven has sent to us here on Earth. We got to watch it before we began telling everyone about it and it's suuuuuuuuuuper cool.

Towards the end of the street, we bumped into a woman who was interested in watching the video. She invited us back to follow-up with her on how she enjoyed the video. Then we knocked on her neighbor's door. A woman opened the door. She said she was raised Roman Catholic, but she began to question some things in the church and was chastised for doing so. Now she does not practice but is still an avid Bible reader and she teaches her children about God. She said she was raised thinking that she should shut the door immediately when she sees people with black tags at her door. But she thinks if she gave every other religion a chance, why not the Mormons? She's wondered why there are hundreds of different Christian denominations out there. Well, Joseph Smith wondered the same exact thing. She invited us back to hear the good news.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Pros and Cons of having a Tongan companion

What's it like having a companion from Tonga, you ask? Well, let me inform you.

1. It's okay if you eat a lot (not only because I work it all off via biking), but also that your Tongan companion does as well
2. You get away with a lot of things just because she's Tongan (we got permission from our mission president to watch The Other Side of Heaven so I can learn more about Tonga and their culture. It was actually really amazing to see such a difference in our way of life and even more amazing to see that my companion's adjusted well to the American culture. You should all watch that movie, btw.)
3. You learn Tongan phrases such as, "I'm gonna punch you" or "Shut up" or "You're wasting time"

1. You eat a lot
2. You get punched a lot
3. When your companion performs a hula dance for a ward's lu'au, people expect you to join along with them

So last week, Sister Moala had to teach me the hula to the song in Lilo and Stitch (at the very beginning). The missionaries in the 4th Ward were putting on a lu'au for their youth's activity and this happens to be the only transfer where there's an elder from Samoa, an elder from Tonga, a sister from Tonga (my comp.), AND a Samoan sister (from California) within the same stake boundaries. So within one week, we planned out the whole lu'au.

It was a GREAT turnout, though! All the youth invited their friends to come and almost half of the people who attended were not members of the Church. At the very end, we taught them the whole hula dance. It was great! New finding idea!

As for the work in our area, all of our appointments with potential investigators of the Church fell through. It really is the hardest when you build up all this hope for these potential investigators and then they fall through at the last minute. It's still difficult adjusting to having to walk to all of our appointments (but still great that we can eat as much as elders because we walk it all off anyway). There's just so much work to do here but there's not enough time to do it all!

There are, however, many recent converts and less-active members here. If it's one thing about missionary work, it's that strengthening the members are a huge part of missionary work as well.

Sister Wen

The Power of Follow-Up

In the April 2014 General Conference, Elder Ballard expressed his feelings on the power of follow-up in missionary work. And that's what I'm going to do with you here today.

Last week, I talked about three people/miracles that occurred. This week, I'll tell you about their progress.

The woman in the park: We taught her again just this last Saturday the full first lesson about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She talks a LOT, but she's so eager to learn more that she's setting up our future appointments with her!

The high school senior: She dropped us. ("Drop" is missionary lingo for saying she doesn't want us to come by and teach her anymore.) There's too much going on in my life, she says. It was devastating. Heart-wrenching to hear that. I couldn't believe it. My heart sunk and created a pit in my stomach. That may or may not be exaggerating, but that's just exactly how I felt. We followed-up with her on her reading and praying. She even read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and the testimonies. She prayed about it. She's prayed every night. She used to pray once a week. She was progressing! Then she dropped us. She did say that she might want to learn more sometime in the future. Just not now. I hope future missionaries in Arvada 6th will be able to witness her take those steps toward baptism.

The Temple Square tourist: No updates here. The elders tried to contact him, but nothing's come from their contacts.

On the other hand, HOWEVER! We did pick up 2 former investigators! One of them, we didn't know was a former investigator and the other we pulled in with family history! The latter was so fascinated with our vast knowledge of family history and our equally as vast library of family history resources. SO GREAT! They were quick to judge the missionaries who visited them first because I think they dived right into the first lesson without seeing where they're at in life. Both of our first lessons with these former investigators were just downright, hardcore listening. There's a quote in Teaching, No Greater Calling that I enjoy. Not sure what it says exactly, but it's something along the lines of: sometimes we need to sacrifice expressing what we know in order to listen to the person....It was a lot more profound and eloquent than what I just said, but it was something like that.

Love the eloquent,
Sister Wen

Muracles in Amurica

Last Sunday, Sister Moala and I both had the faith that we would see miracles if we showed the Lord that we are willing to do whatever it takes to see the work build up here in Arvada. So we decided to fast.

And, guess what? He answers your prayers and your fasts.

Wednesday: We had an appointment with a recent convert in a nearby park on a beautiful, sunny day. We walked to the park and saw, from a distance, a Hispanic-American lady in her 40's talking with an elderly woman on a walker. As we approached them, we said, "Hi! How are you?" They hesitantly greeted us back, but then the lady noticed our name-tags and said, "Maybe God is finally answering my prayers." UHM YES, YES HE IS. "Can we sit down and talk?" UHM YES, YES WE CAN. We sat down at a pavilion where Jamie began to explain to us her situation. She has many difficult familial and financial problems and has been looking for guidance. Her father had her come to Arvada to take care of his mother, but some things happened and now she's car-less and phone-less and even afraid to walk into the house with her father at home. The recent convert drove by and picked us up to bring us to her home (because it was too windy). We taught her about our purpose as missionaries and how our message will help her and change her life. She was worried that the religion she was raised with isn't helping her anymore and concluded, "I really want to learn more about your religion."

Saturday: We contacted a friend that a senior in high school referred us to. And it was a miracle. We've been trying to work with the youth because the youth are the future generation of this church and of this world, really. Anyway, we knocked on her door and her mom greeted us. We asked if her daughter was there. She said yes, but she's sleeping. We told her we could try back another time. She immediately said no, she'll go see if she's okay to visit. We agreed and waited. Then the daughter came down and invited us in. We informed her that we could just set up an appointment if she's busy. She refused and wanted us to share our message with her that night. My heart LEAPED! We were like, holy, we will definitely do that! We taught her. She felt the Spirit, we felt the Spirit, we rejoiced and were edified, AND she accepted the invitation to be baptized on November 29.

Sunday: After sacrament meeting, two men approached us, one of them asking if we were the missionaries. For a moment, I thought I'd forgotten my tag because that's usually a really big indication that I am a missionary. But, the man referred us to the man standing next to him, who introduced himself to us. He explained how he'd just returned from a trip to Salt Lake City and toured Temple Square. He was so interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that he asked the sister missionaries there about where he could attend our service. They referred him to the location and time of the church service. I asked him why he's so interested. He replied, "I feel like I need to expand my spirituality. I know that's really broad, but it's the shortest way to explain it." We accepted the answer and referred him to the elders serving in our ward. And the man attended the remainder of the church meetings.

Develop faith + mighty prayer + action = Miracles.

Sister Wen

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let Your Light So Shine...

Sent 10/27/2014

Bikes! We finally got bikes yesterday! And it was horrible. I was never a big biker and probably never will be after this transfer (that is, if we actually get a car next transfer). But who knew that bikes would really work your thigh muscles and your cardio?

So last night, we decided to take our bikes for a ride. We forgot that it's October and that it's getting colder and colder at night. But, that's besides the point (my mother will remind me once again to bundle up as I go biking). On our way to the appointment, it was all downhill - it was a breeze, absolutely wonderful. But the way back was probably the night I should've died considering the high altitude, my lack of athleticism, and my inability to ride a bike well enough. Sister Moala and I got home and we could barely walk down the stairs. I lied on my bed as I writhed in pain. It was great.

As for the work, it's fantabulous, I rejoice in my heart every single day. Two weeks ago, we met a man named David on our way to these apartment buildings. Now, this apartment complex is practically Aurora in that everyone who lives there lives in incredibly humble circumstances and that the area may or may not be sketchy. BUT, we talked to David about our message of Jesus Christ. It's a message that brings hope and purpose to our lives all because of what we have to say. He accepted and we set up an appointment to see him again.

So we met with him and it was a great lesson! He wants to read the scriptures, learn how to pray, come to church, AND be baptized! It was phenomenal! He wasn't the brightest fellow so we weren't sure of how much he comprehended, but we knew that he understood our words with his heart.

That night, we received a text from David...professing his love...for...Wen. Holy, he was talking to me. He proceeded to send two other texts within the hour talking about my eyes and my lips...but no more details. I didn't respond. A couple of nights later, we texted him telling him that we got a ride for him to church. He replied Sunday morning indicating that he can't make it to church.

Sunday night comes along and he texts us again. "You don't have to drop by anymore. I have my own church. Sorry. David." It killed me. So, now we're not entirely sure if he's just temporarily hurt by my silent rejection or if he only accepted our message because of...the light that shines from our spirits.

So, that happens when you get transferred to such an area #adventurous

Hope you all have an adventurous week as well!

Sister Wen

Monday, October 27, 2014

OCtober 20, 2014

Sent 10/20/2014

Still no bikes. So we've been walking. BUT, luckily, this coming week will be nice and sunny!

This first week of sweeping hasn't been great but hasn't been horrible either (you know what I mean?). Considering how we don't have car nor a bike, it's been good because we met and talked with many people and invited everyone to come unto Christ like crazy #likeaboss

On the other hand, neither of us don't know the area so it's taken us a while to realize it may take 30-60 minutes to travel from one place to another. The members here are great, though. Many of them have offered to drive us (and we take it!). The people here are in a little bit more humble circumstances in comparison to Parker. People are actually receptive to us when we talk with them on the street! AND many people haven't seen missionaries before nor have they heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before. It's definitely a change!

The first people I talked to in Arvada were these three 18-20 year-old boys working on a car outside an apartment building. We talked to them about Jesus Christ, who He is and why the message we share can help them improve their lives. One of them opened up about how he wants to turn his life around. He'd missed his job orientation that morning and was signed up to take anger-management classes. He wanted to hear more about this message that we knew would help him through it all.

It is just so cool to have these 18 months to testify of my Savior and my Redeemer. Jesus is the Christ. He's helped me in ways that no one could ever have. And to think that I'm reaching halfway through my mission on Wednesday is craaaaazy. I only have so little time to be an authorized representative of Jesus Christ to teach people the full truth of the gospel 24/7 (even in my dreams I'm street contacting). This is life!


Sister Wen

Friday, October 17, 2014


Sent 10/13/2014

I've been transferred! To: Arvada! The best part? With: SISTER MOALA! I'm not sure if I've ever talked about her before, but I knew Sister Moala about 6 months ago during my first transfer in Parker. She was serving in a neighboring ward. About 7 1/2 months ago, when Sister Billings first started in Newlin Meadows, S.Bills had to be in trio companionships in other wards. And one of those trios happened to have Sister Moala in it. They're like best frands and I ended up being best frands with Sister Moala as well.

Funky name, you ask? Well, she's from Tonga #polycomp #allieverwanted

But I couldn't have asked for a better companion at this time. We are "sweeping" our new ward in Arvada, which means we are both new to the ward. Turns out, this ward had 2 sets of elders for a long while but, now, we're replacing a set! They haven't had sisters in over 15 years! So, once again, I'm the new sister! (It brings back memories of being the first sisters in 7 years in the Parkview Ward, my first area! Unfortunately, this transfer, sisters were taken out of the Parkview Ward, my "birthplace". I guess they had sisters there for however long they needed.)

Oh, and another funny thing I should add....WE'RE ON BIKE. In other words, I will have ripped thigh muscles. I will also be freezing to death like every day as we go more into Fall. So this will be interesting.

But last Friday, all the missionaries in the mission were able to watch Meet the Mormons at a stake center. They did show it at the local AMC theater in Parker and it was sold OUT! Apparently it was just PACKED with people in the theater and the employees were confused that everyone came out just to watch the documentary about Mormons. Heh.

But, it surrounds 6 individuals: a bishop in Atlanta, a head football coach for the U.S. Navy in Maryland, a female boxer in Costa Rica, a WWII veteran (widely known as the "candy bomber"), a humanitarian from Nepal, and a mother of a missionary in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was very well done. If you like documentary-type movies, you WILL love Meet the Mormons. It's inspiring and it opens your eyes to who these "Mormons" are throughout the world. Look up where it's playing near you then watch it!

Anyway, I'm excited for this new transfer coming up. We are going to work and we are going to have fun.

Sister Wen

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's the Future I Can See (That's so Sister Wen)

Sent 10/6/14

Shout-out to all the missionaries in the field or preparing to go into the field. You are fantastic. Keep it up.

Also, shout-out to those returned missionaries who are now engaged and prepared to take on the covenant with an eternal companion and with Heavenly Father. (You know who you are.)

Even though I know I'm leaving the area next Monday for transfers, I am determined to act upon this area as for years. I don't want to be, as missionaries have coined, "area trunkie" and hinder the work just because I know I'm leaving. I was inspired by this talk, Act upon This Land as for Years by Dennis C. Gaunt, to keep working until the very end. SO, we just began really working with the youth.

The youth of the church are the future generations of carrying on this gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people as it's prophecied throughout the Bible. It really all began with my last companion, Sister Billings and I began teaching this young woman the missionary discussions to help her get more familiar with the doctrine of Jesus Christ. She said, at that time, that she was thinking about going on a mission. But after teaching her for at least a month now, I asked her again if she's still thinking about going on a mission. She said, "Yes, definitely. I'm gonna serve a mission."

So, we will begin, during my last week here in Parker, teaching the youth these missionary lessons. This will not only prepare them for a mission, if they have the desire to serve one, but it will prepare them for the Second Coming of Christ. Two birds with one stone!

So, to the youth, you are great. You are fantastic. Satan and his loyal followers will try very hard to thwart the work and to stop it from progressing. And by so doing, he will attack you with false notions about your divine nature, your beliefs, and your God. He will try to make you doubt. Doubt. Doubt. That's a funny word. But, yes, he will try to make you doubt everything you know to be true and everything you hold true to your heart. But, press on. Build your testimony, as our prophets and leaders advised us over this past General Conference weekend. Build it so that you can be a true disciple of Christ and show your true potential as a child of God.

There are so many instances where God shows His love for us, but when can we show our love for Him?

Sister Wen

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Know Ye Not that Ye are the Temple of God?

Sent on 9/29/14

We speak to God through prayer, which I've been using a lot lately. You will never stand taller than when you are on your knees. But God speaks to us in many ways. Through His holy scriptures, through His prophets, through His Spirit....There are many ways! I'm grateful for the fact that we get to listen to our prophet this weekend in General Conference. Listen to what God has to say online at or on TV via BYUtv. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to listen to the words of the prophets and His chosen leaders so that I may feel comfort, love, peace, and guidance through times of difficulty and even times of joy.

We went on exchanges on Saturday and to Clarke Farms with Sister Hunter. It was fantabulous! It almost was a nice refresher on what missionary work really is: it's inviting others to come unto Christ.

The General Women's Broadcast was equally as enjoyable. One of the greatest things I learned from the speakers was from Sister Neill F, Marriott. It is our duty to share this light that we have, this simple knowledge of the gospel with others. Our purpose is to bring people to eternal glory, to their divine potential. The purpose of temples is to allow people to obtain the covenants necessary to live with their Father in Heaven again. Therefore, our purpose as disciples of Christ is the same purpose as the temples here on Earth today! We are literally temples of God!

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

We are temples. Learn about temples and why we have temples here. Also, look for a temple that's being constructed near you because before it's dedicated for its purpose, the public is welcome to look inside! That's everyone!

I'm so grateful that I can be a full-time missionary teaching people about the full gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a privilege to be able to do that.

Sister Wen

Monday, September 29, 2014

You Never Know

(Sent Sept 22)

So I hear I'm the star of the Newtown Ward now back home b/c of my amazing Frozen lyrics. I actually parody-ized the rest of the song, but I'll type it out later. It's funny because the only reason I changed those lyrics was so that I could get worldly songs/movies out of my head. So I thought that the best way to do so was by making it (somewhat) related to our missionary purpose. #consecration

Some members that we had dinner with last week showed us this Mormon Message called "You Never Know". It's a quick 10-minute video about a mother who is being the charitable, hardworking person that all moms are, but has no idea what a great impact she's made on other people's lives. Watch it here. Everyone can use a message like this.

Even though this is a message about mothers and the influence they have, this can easily be applied to missionaries of all kinds (full-time and member missionaries) and the impact they have. We invite people throughout the world to accept the message of Jesus Christ. They say it takes an average of 7 encounters for someone to accept anything they are approached with. So even though we may not be teaching too many people right now, we are planting seeds as long as we go out and invite people to come unto Christ.

Way waaaaaaaaay back when G was on a football team, they took a trip to Spain. Apparently, when he was there, he met with the missionaries for a week and they'd taught him. Now, that was at least 40+ years ago, but those missionaries probably have no idea where G is now. They probably have no idea that he was baptized and that, even though he fell away, he's finding his way back! Those missionaries planted a seed and made an impact on G that he never forgot.

The work is difficult here in Parker. There are many things here that make it difficult BUT I will never say that there is no work here, because there is ALWAYS work to be done in every area we're called to serve in. Even when you're not a full-time missionary, there's always someone out there whose life we need to touch and influence. Hey, you never know!


Love ya!

Sister Wen

P.S. New problems with a new computer. No idea how to upload pictures....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wen Moving and Co.

(Sent Sept 8 | Photos on Facebook)

We're moving again!

"Wen" did we move in the first place you ask? (See what I did there?) Well, lemme explain:

So, the members that we live with were planning on housing missionaries until their oldest son returned from his mission. Well, because of medical reasons, he returned home a little early, and because of the mission rules of not living in the same house as any boy/man over the age of 12, we were kicked out. Luckily, a family in the ward opened up their house to us. Unfortunately, their oldest boy is almost 12 years-old; therefore, we were told we'd just live there for a week.

SO, this week we are moving to...*drum roll* an apartment! Wahoo! This'll be my first time living in an apartment on my mission #statesidemissions

Buuuuut, since our ward boundaries are ever so small, there are no apartments in our ward boundaries; only houses. (We even have to leave our proselyting area to get gas and to eat out!) SO, we are moving to apartments in another ward! By now, I've become an expert packer and mover.

Because we are moving this Wednesday, we decided to not buy any food until then. In other words, I've been thriving off of toast and jam every morning and a ham and cheese burrito every afternoon. I am just living the life.

I also caught a cold this past week. Considering how we visit so many families with so many children, it was bound to happen. I still wanted to work while I was all sickly and stuff but my companion told me I needed to sleep. Unfortunately, b/c of that, we had to have one of the other sisters go on a temporary mini exchange with Sister L to go teach J. I was so excited for them! He knows A-Z about the Latter-day Saint Church. They said the lesson was amazing and that they could feel the Spirit so strongly in that lesson.

Monday, September 8, 2014

MISSIONS: A constant push for success

(Sent Sept 1)

Transfers! And I'm staying! Unfortunately, Sister Billings left this morning to go to Thornton. She just up and left me. But, for reasons only the Lord knows. And I met my new companion today, Sister L!

Sister Billings and I have been together for 3 transfers (4 1/2 months). Sometimes I think we got along too well and had too much fun. But I'll definitely miss her. Yet, at the same time, I'm looking forward to a new transfer!

So this is my 4th transfer here in Parker meaning I'll be coming up on 6 months here by the end of the transfer. Everyone says that when you're transferred to Parker, it's because you need to learn something about yourself. I have to admit, I'm a little rusty on the investigator lessons because it's rough trying to find people to teach in a 3x3 mile area. And it's so easy to get discouraged, but it's always when I immerse myself back into Preach My Gospel that I receive a renewed sense of my purpose as a missionary.

But, a successful missionary is "measured primarily by [their] commitment" (Preach My Gospel, ch. 1).

Instead, we've been implementing the stake presidency's "Parker Plan" where we teach all the active members in our wards about being a member-missionary. If it's one thing I've learned this past transfer, it's that I want to be a great member-missionary when I return home. It'll be the next best thing to serving a full-time mission!

And G. There was a reason why Sister Billings and I had to stay together another transfer. He wouldn't have been able to deal with the change of missionaries had one of us left. We are best friends with G now! He's come a long way!

Now it's time to move onto a new transfer with a new companion. And, before you know it, I'll be half-way through my mission by the end of this transfer! Time really does fly when you're serving the Lord :D

Sister Wen

P.S. Trouble with the pics again....Hopefully I'll get them to you next week!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Spirit, A Missionary's Best Pal

(Sent August 25 | Pics on Facebook)

I got my hair cut today! Unfortunately, my mission president didn't allow me to fly out to New York to get my hair cut by my favorite hairdresser. Let down, I know, but it really took all my might to allow the hair school student to touch my hair. It's free for missionaries, though, so that was nice of them.

Anyway, on a more missionary-related note, we taught J this week and it was amazing, as usual. He shared a personal experience he had the week before when he was on his trip to New Orleans with his buddies. He realized how easy it was to neglect his routine of studying the scriptures, and he expressed how guilty he felt for not doing so. He noticed how neglecting that simple routine negatively affected him for that weekend.

And so we shared with him a scripture:
"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19, emphases added).
We explained to him that it is in our nature to not read our scriptures and pray every day because obeying the commandments of God really does take effort. Anytime we do something that brings us closer to God is, essentially, us acting upon our faith by doing works. Just like James said, faith without works is dead.

Here, J was given an experience last weekend to teach him about what kind of situations he wants to put himself in. It taught him the importance of scripture study. It taught him of the protection that studying the scriptures provides for him. It's these kinds of experiences that help him progress more than anything anyone could ever say. He needed a chance to notice lacking the Spirit in his life for a time in order to realize his need for Him.

We, as missionaries, are instruments in the Lord's Hands. We are placed to teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and create an environment where they can feel the Spirit. Then the Spirit takes it from there.

I love missionary work. I really do! What a fantastic blessing it is!

Sister Wen

Thursday, August 21, 2014

G, G, G, G, G, G, G, G

(Sent August 18 | Initials are to protect the identity of Illia's investigators)

G, G, G, G, G, G, G, G
I know GW,
He is a Latter-day Saint,
He's knows most everything
Since we taught him


Someday he will be back,
He'll have eternal life
Oh, how I love the missionary work!

M-I-S-S-I-O-N. Mission! Mission! Teach it again!

If any of you know what song I'm parody-izing, props to you for attending girls' camp. This past week, Sister Billings and I reminisced on girls' camp songs from back in the good ol' Young Women days. I created a parody of "Mormon Boy" to G's life just now. Just. Now. Look at how creative and conceited I am!

But, in all #seriousness, for those of you just jumping in on the story, please feel free to refer back to my last two posts. But G is amazing. He really has come a long way. Four months ago, he didn't have a testimony of God. Now, he has a testimony of God, of Christ, of prophets, of personal revelation, of the Holy Spirit...of everything in the gospel! He accepts everything we teach him.

Last week, we taught him once again the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to bring Christ's church back to Earth. We shared Joseph's experience in his own words:
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of Them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, This is my Beloved Son - Hear Him!
G says that 3 years ago (when he was baptized), he would've thought this was a made-up story. But now, when we explained basically the whole timeline of how the world was prepared for the restoration of Christ's church, G knows it's true.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We are our own prophets.

(Sent August 11)

Met with J! And even though he hasn't been able to come to church, he's still progressing. He's still studying the scriptures and he's even meeting up with the Ms, his former LDS neighbors who introduced him to the gospel, down in Texas! And, just like I said last week, we talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We explained how much more he would get out of studying the scriptures if he just had the gift of the Holy Ghost. And he says he wants it! He really has that desire to have His Spirit by his side! Just not right now. He's still adamant in finishing the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price before baptism. So at least we know the Newlin Meadows ward will always have at least one solid investigator! #thebrightsideofthings

On the other side (of Heaven #classic) of bringing someone closer to Christ is G, who I began talking about last week. When we met with him a couple Saturdays ago, we taught him about the gospel in every dispensation. We taught about how God sends his prophets, or men called by God to act in the name of Christ, to end periods of time where people rejected the gospel (aka. apostasies). Basically a little history lesson of how Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham, and all those guys were prophets of God.

Last Wednesday, he said, "You girls missed something big last time."

Uhm. What?

"I have a testimony now."


Friday, August 8, 2014

Reactivation = Baptism

(Sent August 4)

Something that we've been stressing a lot to the members here in the Parker stake is that bringing someone closer to Christ does not only mean baptisms. It also means bringing someone back to church and back to Christ.

So, today I will talk about G. He was baptized about 3 or 4 years ago and fell away from the church almost immediately after. The missionaries that taught him rushed him into baptism before he even gained a testimony just so they could get 1 baptism in their numbers. By the way, that is not the best way to bring someone unto Christ.

When Sister Billings and I both started meeting with him, he didn't have a testimony of God and His existence. Now, he's getting there. His favorite phrase is: "I'm an atheist and I thank God for it!" He looks around the world and can't help but think there is a higher power out there.

He claimed he never felt the Spirit. We shared scriptures but that didn't help. But we learned that he learns best through examples and analogies. (Makes sense, though, because I guess Jesus taught that way, too.) Both Sister Billings and I grew up in the church, so we had to figure it out ourselves. We both reached a point some time in high school where we had to decided whether this church and this whole gospel thing is true. And where's the best place to go with that in mind? Well, God, of course!

So we both shared our experiences of when we felt the Spirit in our lives and he says he's beginning to believe that God has been directing him throughout his life the whole time so that he could reach this point. He says he's beginning to recognize how the Spirit works.

And when I heard that, my heart leaped! It was the same feeling I had when both K and N accepted the invitation to baptism! I was just so happy for them!

Man, missionary work is fantabulous.

We weren't able to meet with J again this week because of his business traveling. We are planning on talking with him about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how much more he'll learn with that gift. We'll see!

Hope you all have a fantabulous week as well!
Sister Wen

Monday, August 4, 2014

J.W. Marriott at it again.

(Sent July 28 | Photos on Facebook)

So rough week again. BUT we have an awesome week/month coming up. Here's why:

The stake presidency here in the Parker stake are super missionary-minded and it really helps us out a lot. But, then again, the purpose of missionaries is really to help the members with the missionary work in their ward. We are simply guests.

But, the stake presidency has begun a program called the "Parker Plan" where we, the missionaries, teach six specific lessons to all the members in our ward with the objective of helping all the active members become better "finders," or be even more open and willing to share the gospel with their friends and neighbors! So, this way, we really are helping the members hasten the work of salvation in the area they live in! It's fabulous!

I absolutely love being a missionary. It's one of the greatest decisions I've ever made thus far in my short life of nineteen years. I've learned so much in the past 6 months and I still feel like I'm new to this whole thing. I kind of like having the Spirit with me all the time. It's a good feeling. And I have to admit, I've never felt closer to God than ever before.

We also were finally able to meet with J again. His job really has him working now....Is it a coincidence now that he's getting closer and closer to accepting baptism? Nope. I think that's the one thing that stumps a lot of people here in Parker. Work. Then life gets too busy and there's no time for the gospel.

But, fun fact! J had actually forgotten to bring his scriptures to study while on his business trip. BUT, luckily, he was staying at a Marriott hotel so he was still able to study from the Book of Mormon they have there! #marriottsavinglives

No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing!

Hope you have a marvelous week! (And get in your last-minute vacations before school starts up again! ha.)

Sister Wen

P.S. Oh, also, shout-out to Sister Hoynacki, my first companion/trainer! She's finished her mission and returned home with honor. I am also expecting a wedding invitation from her as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fields of Sunshine and Butterflies!

(Sent July 21)

We both survived transfers! Both Sister Billings and I are staying here in Parkerrrrrr! This will be our third transfer together and everyone says there's something we need to learn from each other but I'm not sure what because we're like a power companionship.

But I do think it's the area that we need to learn from. I'm learning everyday!

Update on J: We haven't met with him for the past two weeks. His business trips take up the chunk of the week and then he got a call into work before our appointment last Friday. We encourage him to read the Book of Mormon frequently, but we're not entirely sure if he is. I'm sure he is, seeing as to how he's visiting his LDS friends on the side while on his business trips. He'll get there.

But, S. S is a referral from the Interwebz. Some missionaries are doing service for her friend and she requested service as well. We got out of our dinner appointment last Sunday and met a man with his daughter walking their dogs. He was very kind and friendly towards us and let us pet their dogs (cute little kids they were) whom they were fostering. We talked a little bit and parted ways. A couple days later, we met S to set up a time. But, (turn of events) S's husband was the man we met last Sunday!

From then on, both Sister Billings and I knew that something great's going to come from our service for S.

Faith and hope always succeed and lead to even more rewards like fields of sunshine and butterflies! That's how I see Colorado.


Monday, July 14, 2014


(Sent July 14 | Photos on Facebook)

So missionaries have fun all the time. When we talk about our daily routine, it seems pretty boring but, in reality, it's what you make of it.

Last Monday, after I emailed, I organized a water balloon fight with the other sisters in the zone. Only one other companionship showed up but it was still incredibly fun. I got wet from it.

Anyway, back to mish work. This past week has been pretty rough in terms of teaching but only up until the very last day of our week.

J's work has him going on business trips Sundays through Thursdays for the next few weeks sooooo that means we can only meet with him once a week (which is actually better than not at all). But, the worst of all, he won't be able to make it to church for the next couple of weeks.

So we went to church knowing that J wouldn't be there. We were talking with members, minding our business, when Sister S walks into the chapel with her neighbor, B! And for those of you who haven't read my past blog posts (which is probably most of you), B is a former investigator of the church! Since I've been here, I've only been able to meet with her once and that was almost 3 months ago. Work and vacation time came up so we haven't taught her any lessons since 3 months ago. But then she showed up at church! It was amazing!

During Sunday school and Relief Society, I saw her tearing up and wiping her eyes. The Spirit definitely testified to her as we talked about gospel topics. You can always count on the Spirit!

Not only that but some elders in another ward texted us with a referral from another zone, so we're going to contact her this week. I'll let you know what comes from that next week. Stay tuned! heh.

Sister Wen

P.S. Last night, my district leader told me he met someone that asked if he knows a "Sister Wen" (that's me, btw)....So, shout out to Nathan Oaks! It's a super small world!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Purpose. Our Purpose is to...

(Sent July 7 | Photos on Facebook)

Every morning for companionship study, we recite some missionary quotes. The very first one we recite is "Our Purpose" (found in chapter 1 in Preach My Gospel).
Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Sometimes I wonder why on Earth I was sent to Parker, CO at this particular time out of all the other areas in the Denver North Mission. They always tell us to leave an area better than we found it. Buuuut we haven't found too many solid investigators in the area, and there aren't too many less active members that are willing to visit with us. So, since being here almost 3 months now, I thought about it. I thought about my purpose here in this ward. Maybe my purpose here isn't necessarily to build up the teaching pool. Maybe it's to strengthen the teaching pool that is already here. Either way, I'm inviting someone to come unto Christ.

One of the investigators here, named J, has been investigating the church since January. It's been 6 months and he still does not feel ready for baptism.

But, oh, he is getting closer and closer every week.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Coincidences? I think NOT!

(Sent June 30 | Photos on Facebook)

The other night we were teaching L, a 7 year-old girl who is preparing for her baptism. During our amazing lesson, her mother interrupted us to go find this girl's missing 3 year-old sister. She was just gone! Up and disappeared! We searched the house for her, the backyard, front yard, asked neighbors...the whole works. Then Sister Billings and I all of a sudden realized we were the only people in the house....The mother and L were gone! So we left the house and noticed the mother in the distance talking to someone. We walked towards them and saw a little half-naked, 3 year-old child running around the playground with her sister, L. (Then later their brother joined to wreak #havoc).

Turns out the mother was talking to a young man who was going door-to-door selling something. Turns out he was LDS! But he was still deciding whether he should serve a mission or not. He asked us why it seems that people in Parker seem very hostile towards salespeople. Sister Billings and I were like, *COUGH COUGH* UH HUH TELL US ABOUT IT. Try offering to say a prayer!

After our conversation with him, we returned to their home and the mother apologized for her runaway children. She asked us to share a message with her; she'd felt the need for a missionary visit just for her. Soooo Sister Billings and I had to come up with a quick message for her.

And a very simple scripture came to my mind: "And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men" (Moroni 7:29).

I had no idea why I shared that scripture. But my thoughts were directing me to that scripture so I read it to her and bore a simple testimony. It was literally the Spirit telling me to share a simple scripture. And she cried. And, the whole time, my mind was being flooded with words and thoughts to share with her.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Found Profession: Miracle Banking

(Sent June 23)

So last week, I talked about how Sister Billings and I changed our attitude and miracles began, right?

Well, lemme provide some examples from just this past week.

Last Monday, we had an appointment with D, who invited us back the Saturday previous. Turns out he's good friends with his neighbors who are members of the church so we invited them to join us. Apparently, he's been invited to take the missionary discussions since 2012, but never accepted...until now.

He told us that he's finally meeting with the missionaries because he wants to be more happy, more positive about life. I told him that he came to the right people! We taught him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and by the end, he was very curious as to what the Book of Mormon is all about!

+1 heavenly addition to the Parker miracle bank.

Then, Tuesday morning, one of the Assistants to the Presidents (APs) called us. We thought that he was either bringing bad news to us or very bad news. He told us that some elders in some area other than Parker crashed their car and they needed a car. And they thought that they should take the car from the smallest area in the mission, namely, Newlin Meadows. They were going to take our car away.

Let's just say I was #speechless.

Sister Billings and I were beginning to think of how we were to rearrange our schedules to include walking from place to place. In the dead of heat. In Colorado, where civilization can't get any closer to the sun.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Key to Success!

(Sent June 16 | Photos on Facebook)

This past week was super rough for me because I've been feeling super duper discouraged. It's a new transfer and I thought we could start off great and we ended up having an incredibly unsuccessful week. Our key indicators were dangerously low and absolutely no one was accepting of our message. I became so discouraged that I'd reached a point where I just didn't want to go out and work. I thought, if no one's willing to listen to us, why should we go out? But I got myself out there that day. It was yet another unsuccessful day.

I always think about President Hinckley's experience of when He wrote to his father about how discouraged he felt. His father responded, "Forget yourself, and go to work." So I thought, oh, I'll just forget myself...but I never knew what that meant....

Until last Saturday. Because I figured it out! I know why missionaries are sent to areas where no one accepts them. This was our time to develop ourselves not just as missionaries, but also as true disciples of Jesus Christ. I'd noticed myself getting more and more angry because no one was willing to meet with us (yes, I was angry. I'm not perfect. Surprising, I know), and my attitude was horrible. So I decided to read "A Successful Missionary" in Preach My Gospel, chapter one. It says that a successful missionary is measured by their commitment to the work, not by how many people they find, teach, and baptize. Many, many, many missionaries come home having not witnessed a single baptism that resulted directly from their hard work.

As I read the section, it referred me to a scripture (now my new favorite scripture) in Helaman 10:4-5: "Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people....And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works" (emphasis added).

I realized that if we go out there with full heart, might, mind, and strength in the work, we will be blessed foreeeeeever. That's a reeeeally long time.

So Sister Billings and I decided to work on Christ-like attributes each week for the rest of the transfer because we know that a change in attitude will bring all sorts of success. We decided to have faith and hope this week by being enthusiastic about the area, optimistic about the people, and confident that God has already prepared people for us to teach.

And guess what? Many people accepted to say a prayer with us. All because we changed our attitude and our outlook. All because we, essentially, changed ourselves.

So even though I was so down in the dumps for so many days, I felt rejuvenated by my new sense of purpose. I really do feel hopeful.

Sister Wen

Monday, June 9, 2014

Much Awkward

(Sent June 9 | Photos on Facebook)

If you want to serve a mission to become less awkward, you should change your purpose. Not only because your purpose should be to invite others to come unto Christ, but also because you only become more awkward on your mission.

Allow me to expound:

I went on exchanges with the sister training leaders this past week and I went with Sister Waters (who goes home in 3 weeks #cray). Anyway, We were knocking some doors on the street where our dinner appointment was. Knocked on a door, invited us back later #awesomeness. Walked to next door, saw the family feeding us for dinner pull into their garage and totally watch us while tracting. Knocked on the next door, no one answered and began to walk away but the garage door suddenly opened and a car pulled in. I was thinking, we run now? Or just suffer the awkwardness? Well, we said a prayer with her so it was #worthit. Saw a house across the street with a car in the driveway, so we decided to knock on that door. I began walking across the street on the pavement andddddd the garage door opens and people quickly walk to their car and drive away. So to avoid awkwardness (unsuccessfully) I continue to walk on the pavement and act as if I wasn't just going to knock on their door.

So that was a jumble of awkwardness. I mainly wrote about that because I invited (just like missionaries do) Sister Waters to read my blog when she goes home and she asked me if she was going to be in it. So #shoutout to Sister Waters! (I'll be looking forward to some particular mail from you concerning your next covenant in life, wink wink.)

Anyway, the biggest experience I had this week answered so many questions I've had for like all my life. Maybe not all my life, but pretty close. I'm only 19.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bible study anyone?

(Sent June 2)

One day, Sister Billings and I saw an Indian woman entering her house via her garage. We wrote down her address because Indians are really nice people so we wanted to offer to pray with her. A couple of days later, we knocked on her door. No answer. We knocked on some of her neighbors' doors with no luck. We began walking back to our car anddddd...lo, and behold: the Indian woman. We knocked on her door again and she accepted our offer to pray with her. She and her husband are both from India and practice Christianity. She invited us back to meet with her.

Miracle? Not quite.

So we go back to meet with her and her husband. Turns out, the woman left out a small little detail that her husband is a pastor for a local community church. Oh. So we begin teaching the first lesson about how Christ's church has been restored to this Earth today. We taught with the Spirit, we testified of our faith and knowledge, we shared the word of God buuuuuuut they didn't want to continue with our discussions because they couldn't believe that God would send a prophet even though Amos 3:7 ;D

But, they invited us back to bible study sessions with their community church in their home!

Another day, we were a bit early to an appointment at 5:30. So we knocked on some doors to leave blessings on people's homes. There was one house that had a sign outside their door saying "NO SOLICITING" and listing all the reasons, even threatening to add business cards to a "vending blacklist." BUT, it said that open-minded religious discussions were always welcome. So we knocked on the door. Ka opened the door and let us in to pray with her. Turns out she believes in a faith that believes in all faiths. It was something like Bahist or something like that. I wasn't able to catch it. We said a prayer with her and she, in return, opened up her prayer book and recited a prayer.

Oh, and she invited us back for spiritual classes she holds in her home!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Some people think I don't know a butt-load of crap about the gospel, but I dooooo"

(Sent May 26 | Photos on Facebook)

So that quote from the prominent film of "Nacho Libre" is essentially the story of my life right now. Let me tell you why:

There are three particular individuals that Sister Billings and I ran into last week. Each of them are different scenarios of simply being a missionary.

Situation 1: G is a Catholic who doesn't agree with everything in the Catholic Church but still asserts that he is Catholic. We had an appointment set up and we brought a member with us to teach him. He ended up directing the entire conversation with a lot of what's called "anti-Mormon" material that he read off the Interwebz. He kept talking and professing about what he thinks we believe, most of which were untrue. We were glad that we brought a member with us who's had the same exact questions G has now before she joined the Church. Every doctrine we taught G, he would shut down. Even about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being the one true church on Earth.

There's a talk, by the way, called "17 Points of the True Church" where a group of friends with diverse religious backgrounds - from Christianity to atheism to Islam - gathered together to read the Bible and come up with different key doctrines that Christ taught when He established His church here on Earth. Therefore, the one true church here on Earth must contain all of these 17 points that made up Christ's church. Do they happen to be in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? IDK. They just might. Find out at and!

Situation 2: J was moving some things from his garage when we went up to talk to him. We offered to say a prayer with him, but he turned down the offer and, instead, began telling us what we believe. He kept talking and professing about what he thinks we believe, most of which were untrue. I still didn't quite understand what he was trying to say, though, because we agreed with a few of the doctrine he was talking about. I compared his lecture to an essay without a thesis, because I had no idea where he was going with his argument.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Miracles Do Happen!

(Sent May 19 | New photos on Facebook)

K AND N WERE BAPTIZED! I got permission to go to their baptism and, lemme tell you, the baptismal service was just PACKED with people who wanted to witness their baptism. People had to stand in the back and outside the door. I expected that, though, because it was the first baptism(s) the Parkview Ward has had in 7 years! WAHOOOOOO! #miraclesdohappen

I'll never forget their baptism. I was able to see all the members of the Parkview Ward that I'd grown so close to. Everyone was just so excited for a new addition to the Parkview family. The Spirit was so strong during the service that anyone who attended would've felt His presence.

It was a weird feeling, though, because I didn't feel any bit accomplished; I just felt happy for them. I don't think I've ever really felt that kind of happiness before. It wasn't like the feeling of finally learning how to ride a bike, nor was it like getting accepted into BYU. Really, I was just happy they were making the decision to be baptized. They've been ready for a long time. Sister Hoynacki and I just happened to be the missionaries who taught them.

After they both immersed into the water and rose in symbolism of their spiritual rebirth, I went to the dressing room to congratulate them. Sister Hoynacki was there and she asked K and N how they felt. N, being 11, said, "Good," and her mother said, "Clean! Fresh! New!" And it was true! She was then a new person! She was able to put her past mistakes behind her. All that guilt washed away! In entering the waters of baptism, she officially made the covenant, the promise, with God that she will take upon herself the name of Christ, that she will always remember Him, and that she will keep His commandments.

All in all, it was a very humbling experience.

I testify that miracles do happen every single day in all of our lives as long as we have faith and as long as we act upon that faith by continually progressing in our commitment to God.


Sister Wen

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gators that swim but don't bite

(Sent Monday, May 12

For those of you who don't know, missionaries are allowed to call/Skype home twice a year on Christmas and on Mother's Day. So yesterday was the best. It was weird, though, because I felt like I just said goodbye to my family last week...not 3, almost 4, months ago.

But it was a gloomy Mother's Day because it snowed. Yes. Exactly. It snowed in the middle of May. And guess what? It's still snowing right now.

Anyway I think the title of this post was pretty darn clever. Let me tell you why:

B. I've only met with her once since being here. She's progressing very slowly because she has quite a few questions about religion, life, and truths, and they are some very reasonable questions and concerns that she has. But she's only come to church once since February. She hasn't been to church since and her main concern is that since the church is so family-oriented (because the family unit is the most sacred of all units), she wants her family in on it as well. A legitimate concern.

J. We've met with him twice since I've been here the past two weeks. He's also progressing very slowly because he also has legitimate questions on the fullness of the truth that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just happens to hold. His main concern, however, is that he doesn't know quite yet if baptism is the thing God wants him to do right now. He says he's still waiting on an answer from God.

So, with a brief description of two of the investigators here, I'll go on to explain my brilliant title. A "gator" is simply an "investigator," or someone who is looking into the church and seeking for truth. J and B are these gators. They're swimming, moving forward, and progressing, but they're not biting onto anything that will provide food or nourishment or even just an anchor for them. They don't feel prepared to bite onto that one commitment of a baptismal date until they've received a sort of knowing that it's the right thing to do.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sweeping the Nation

(Sent May 5 | New pictures up on Facebook)

My first week here in Newlin Meadows has been pretty amazing. God has blessed us so much and I am continually grateful for Him for helping us find people to teach!

So, since we are essentially starting fresh in this area, we decided to contact a bunch of people who previously investigated the church. We contacted a couple and set up appointments with both of them! So this past week, we met with D who was a former investigator. He said he didn't want the missionaries coming over previously because he had a drug addiction and didn't want to be high when missionaries were over. But now he's more than 2 months sober! (WOOHOO!) Hearing that made me so happy! Even though I'd just met him, I knew that he was already beginning to make right choices! #bestfeelingever

He said he worked on his addiction mostly because of his daughters. He didn't want them to grow up in a family with a father trapped by an addiction. He's so awesome. That's one of the best reasons to begin investigating the church because God would only give us a church that focuses so much on the family and how to strengthen the family.

We also volunteer at a life care center where we help distribute food to the residents. We have the opportunity to help them out and to talk with them as well! There's one man named J who was sitting by himself. I noticed that no one had helped him yet so I went over to talk with him. Most of the residents don't like to talk to strangers, but J was willing! After talking for a bit, he thanked me for talking with him but, frankly, I thanked him for talking with me because, as a missionary, not many people enjoy talking with us....It's hard to believe, I know. Just look at me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Guess what? I've been transferred! Guess where? Yeah, dat's raight. Parker, Colorado. #holla

So transfers are probably the most stressful events ever on the mission. You find out you're leaving Saturday night. You tell everyone in the ward Sunday morning. Then you cry your eyes out for the rest of the Sunday saying goodbye to families and individuals who became good friends. Oh, man. I was so tired by the end of the day.

I'm sad to be leaving K and N, too, the two super solid progressing investigators. I'll miss seeing their early progression in the gospel before their baptism on May 24. I was only able to teach K one time this past week because the other time, I was on exchanges in the Crestmoor ward, the heart of Denver. Let's just say, the people there are very much humbled. It was almost odd witnessing people who were so willing to listen to the message that we have. We usually would get a polite "No, thanks" or a simple slam of the door. But, in Denver, they recognize God's hand in their lives. They attribute all of their successes in life to God, even if there were few.

I also said goodbye to M and B this morning. M's been investigating and B, her boyfriend, is less active in the church. But I'm going to her baptism. No matter how far into the future it is. I'M GOING.

So, I'm in Parker now in probably the smallest ward geographically in the mission. A 3 mile diameter. It is also the southern-most ward in the mission so the ward boundaries are the Denver North and Colorado Springs Mission boundaries. We actually go into the Springs mission for grocery shopping. Like, what?

But I am so excited to begin the work in this ward. Apparently the sister before me would not go out to work, so Sister Billings and I basically have to rebuild the work in this ward again. It's like being swept into a ward again! Apparently the members are very missionary-minded so I'm excited to get started! In like an hour!

Friday, April 25, 2014

So, basically, I'm gonna get fat.

(Sent April 21)

More missionaries wanted to go to Crossfit so they asked President for permission. Instead, President didn't want the missionaries going to a workout (even though mostly everyone there is a member of the church, so they all dress very modestly anyway) and, ultimately, disallowed all the missionaries from going to any early-morning workouts.

So, like I said, I'm going to get fat.

But it's alright. As long as I'm getting spiritually well-fed, my physical appearance won't matter. Right? RIGHT?

Nevermind. I've accepted it.

Anyway, in preparation for Easter, Sister Hoynacki and I volunteered at a community Easter Egg Hunt thing where we read stories to little children and made crafts and basically had the best time of our lives only because we could work with children! I painted some kids' faces. My favorite to paint was a pirate. Not sure how that related to Easter, but it happened.

But this past week we presented an Easter message to a lot of the families in our ward. It consisted of plastic Easter eggs with each one holding some really ghetto, missionary-budget objects representing something relating to Christ. Let's just say our crown of "thorns" was really just a bunch of twigs and our "nails" was a screw we found on the ground somewhere. Luckily, a family in our ward provided us with actual thorns and actual nails to help our message be a little more realistic. Just a little more.

You can all read/watch/learn even more about the story of Easter and what Christ ultimately did for us here.

Bunnies. Chocolate. Eggs. Easter

(Sent April 14)

Missions are always exciting and something new happens each week. Sometimes I think the time's flown by so fast and, at the same time, it's gone by so slow because of how much has happened in so little time.

This week:

1. I helped paint the inside of a house as service. It was the closest thing I could get to an adrenaline rush for being on a ladder so high up to paint the walls. So that was exciting.

2. We were totally blind-sided by a couple investigating the church. He said that there is no way he will read the Book of Mormon. Then he sort of interrogated us for the next two hours. He said he tried not to be lawyer-y because he's a contract lawyer. All I can say is, he did his very best! But he and his wife are one of the nicest people we know here (and Coloradoans are pretty nice!). They said that when they were first in America, he didn't know any English but the only people who befriended him were members of the church and he will never forget that.

So, members of the church! You have no idea how influential you are in missionary work by simply just being an example! In fact, that was talked about quite a bit in the General Conference. A true disciple of Christ is one who loves and is an example to others and, yet, defends what he or she knows is right.

Monday, April 7, 2014

4 Seasons in a Year?

Nope. It's actually 4 seasons in just one day. Colorado weather. Cray.

But, good week, good week! We put K and N on a baptismal date. K had already accepted the invitation to baptism but N hadn't. So when we asked her if she'd be willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the priesthood authority of God, she looked over to her mom and said, "Can we!?" Her mom said yes. N was SO happy! She's so cute. She takes notes on our lessons and writes down questions she has when she studies the Book of Mormon.

Half-way through the week, we got a call from K and she said that N was devastated because she thought her dad and brother wouldn't be able to attend their baptism because they're not members. But we were like, gurl, naw! Everyone is invited to baptisms! (Maybe not exactly like that, but you catch my drift, yeah?) But she was so relieved. I'm telling ya, she's a cutie!

We also met two little girls, 12 and 13. One of the girls' name has an apostrophe in it. So cool. But they opened the door and Sister H introduced ourselves and asked, "Do you have a belief in Jesus Christ?" One of the girls' eyes opened way wide and was like, "Yeah! Of course!" And we were like, whoa now that's he kind of response we've been praying for! So we said a prayer with them and just before we asked if we could come back to share a message, the other girl asked US to return to say another prayer! Two new investigators! #miracleshappen

Also, Sister H and I decided to adapt the lyrics to Myra's "Miracles Happen" song to the real world: Miracles happen ev-er-y day! When you have faaaaaaaaaaaiiiith!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me. Really, though. Don't.

Email #10, sent March 31--new photos up on Facebook

Sister Hoynacki and I think that President Monson will make a huge announcement over the pulpit in General Conference this weekend. We think he'll allow all missionaries to drive convertibles. How ill would that be? (Sorry I used "ill". I'm just trying to stay hip with the trends among the youth today.)

I started this email off with that because this past week has been utterly exhausting. Sister H and I have worked our bee-hives off this week but our numbers don't show it. It's been our ultimate low since we've been in this area. We just caught everyone at bad times so we couldn't teach as many lessons as usual. But numbers aren't everything. It's just that everyone else (namely the ward council) may think we were slacking this week.

Let's start with K. Sister V invited us over for dinner one night with K, her neighbor. We taught K the first lesson and she invited us back this week. And we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She attended church twice these past two weeks and is, therefore, our only progressing investigator. Her 11-year old daughter wants to sit in on the lessons, too! She even attended the General Women's meeting last Saturday night!

(Quick aside from Eden: Illia told me to keep the anonymity of her investigators. She said, "I'm giving a lot of background on this girl so change her name to Sokdfiehrl or something." So for Sokdfiehrl, I did.)

Sokdfiehrl. Sokdfiehrl's 16. She doesn't like going to school so she goes every now and then, very sporadically, because she doesn't understand how to do any of the work she's assigned. Sokdfiehrl is on date for April 26 and she really wants to be baptized. She's been involved with several different things including pot, anti-depressants, drinking, and smoking but she's been 9 months sober from pot and drinking and almost a good 9 months sober from drinking but still working on smoking.

This week, we were walking towards her house when we heard someone behind us say, "Hey guys!" Lo, and behold, it was Sokdfiehrl riding her little sister's bike. We were wondering why she hadn't responded to any of our texts. Turns out, she went to South Dakota for the weekend and she got her phone back (apparently it was taken away from her...?) Anyway, the phone we'd been texting was her boyfriend's. Now ex. But that's another story.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's A Small World

Email home #9, sent March 24; new photos on Facebook

We found 2 new investigators this week! *cue shouts of rejoice* and not only that, but one of our investigators came to church AND a less active member did too! *cue roars of exclamation*

If it's one thing I've learned since being in Denver, it's that it's basically only the people from outside the country that are accepting of our message. Of all the investigators we have, TWO of them are from the states. For instance, we have a family from India, a woman from Soviet Russia, a man from Africa, a couple from Nigeria and Jamaica...etc. Even though I'm not serving a foreign mission, I'm getting all the countries here all at once!

With that in mind, we came by a house that was clearly Asian. We're talking pictures of cartoon Asian girls in traditional red clothing stuck on the door with the Chinese character for "luck" sticking upside down. Not to mention the shoes lined outside the door. So we knocked on their door just hoping their hearts would be softened to see another Asian. Lo, and behold, they were softened! They're Vietnamese BUT they know a little bit of CANTONESE! Woohoo! So she told me to return later that night when her daughter who knows English is home.

We returned that night and offered a prayer for the daughter, C, and her family. We asked her to invite her family to join but I heard the TV on in the background. It was the Hong Kong channel! I guess their Cantonese is pretty good!

But after we said a prayer with C, we asked her how she felt. She said, "Relaxed." That's probably the most amazing thing about prayers. No matter how horribly un-eloquent I am, the prayer always invite the Holy Spirit in and provides us all comfort and calmness. There's actually something we recite every morning called The Standard of Truth. The beginning says, "The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." And that is so true. And also so very relieving because even if I don't explain everything clearly, the Holy Ghost will always come to testify to the individuals that what we are saying is true.

That night we visited a members' home. They'd just gotten their piano tuned so they let me play it and sight-read some songs. It made my heart melt because I didn't realize how much I missed playing the piano. So advice to those piano players who want to serve a mission: bring some pieces to play on P-day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let Them Eat Pi

Email home #8, sent 3/17/14

I'm here for another transfer! Last Saturday was my first ever "Transfer Doctrine" where the zone gathers round and listens to who's getting transferred. The entire week, Sister Hoynacki and I were thinking that neither of us would be transferred because we both just got here! That was up until we got there and an elder said that a lot of the new missionaries are getting a different follow-up trainer and I started freaking out! I didn't want either me or Sister H to be transferred! So when the zone leaders read out the list of people, my stomach knotted! I was so nervous! But the only sister that ended up transferring out of the zone is actually going to be with my MTC companion, Sister Mills! Crazy! 

Anyway, let me continue onto the best story of the mission, thus far: Monday night, we had 3 appointments set and all 3 of them cancelled that morning. It was crazy how they all cancelled all at once....So Sister H and I were stuck with no appointments for the evening, which is the worst thing in suburbia because no one wants you at their door at 8 o'clock at night...

So Sister H and I decided to visit a member of the ward who is less active. We knock on the door and the sister opens the door, walks out, and closes the door behind her. I say, "Hi! How are you?" and while expecting a simple "good" or "okay," we got, "I'm doing HORRIBLE." Whoa. "So many things have happened in the last few years and-- well, come inside and I'll update you on the past few years." So we got in! Then she said, "I'm truly sorry. This house is a disaster!"

She recounts to us all the things that's happened to her since 2010 including breast cancer, whooping cough, shingles, passing away of her mother, AND one of her daughters even barely survived the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012. It was crazy. (Side fact: that movie theater is apparently totally deserted now....)

THEN, she says, "OH! And I lost my daughter's pet hedgehog!" Uhm, come again? Okaaay. And let me remind you, this house really was a disaster. She said, "Ever seen that Hoarding show?" when referring to the cleanliness of her house....So when we'd spent a good hour and half (yes, an hour and a half) trying to find this spiky ball of a rodent, Sister H and I tried to think like the hedgehog. We came to the conclusion that he must want to crawl into a dark area, cuddled up somewhere. So I go into one of the bedrooms, close the door, and turn off the light. And I say a prayer. I was desperate. It was getting late and we definitely weren't going to leave without finding this hedgehog. I ask Heavenly Father to please PLEASE show me a sign that this hedgehog is alive...or dead for that matter! And I stand and listen. And I hear rustling sounds. I walk over to it and see an old stereo perched slanted on who knows what. I tell Sister H to come in and listen. She hears nothing and basically thinks I'm crazy. So we lift up the stereo and, yes, there he was. Tuck the hedgehog.

And we were invited to come back two days later. Moral of the story: #prayerworks

Dang, typing all of that out brought back the stress. Oof. But, we also attended a wedding. A 17-year old girl who we met our first week here had twin boys about 7 months ago. And she and her boyfriend decided to get married before he enter the army next Monday. They wanted something really simple like go in, marry, get out. No decorations or anything. But our Relief Society Presidency really wanted to make it special so they completely transformed the RS room into a wedding ceremony! Check it out!

[View pics on Facebook]

But the wedding was just so beautiful! It took the RS presidency a lot of last-minute planning and setting-up but they totally pulled it off and it was just beautiful! Bishop gave great counsel to both the bride and groom AND didn't mess up their names! He's known for messing up people's names REALLY bad. For instance, he called Sister Hoynacki (really pronounced hoy-naw-ski) Sister Hoy-Nazi. Yeah.

We had dinner with the M family whose boys had punny pi shirts on and it triggered in my mind that I almost missed Pi day! I would've been devastated if I didn't acknowledge Pi day ON Pi day. Phew, I was so close! But when I told them I'd memorized 55 digits of pi, one of the boys was pretty much speechless/in awe of my amazingness (I'm pretty sure that was it). They ended up talking about pi and math and school a lot that night and Sister M said they usually never talk about that stuff. I just think they wanted to impress me and my highly intellectual mind.

That night we had home-made grilled pizza (pies) and peach and apple pies. They apologized that the pies were store-bought. Brother M is known for his home-baked pies but he didn't have time to make one. When he took a bite of the pie, he slammed the fork down and said, "THIS IS HORRIBLE!" And it was just regular pie....He refused to eat it. But, understandable, understandable. 

So this past week was crazy but we've had the highest number of lessons this past week of all the weeks we've been here! It just goes to show that attitude is everything! Keepin' it classy.

Love you!
Sister Wen

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Livin' la Missionary Life

Email home #7, sent March 10

So last P-day, we went shopping for the rest of the day. And let me tell you something. Shopping as a missionary is the weirdest thing ever. It's probably weirder for other people to see, though. People with black tags roaming around the shopping mall. But it's still weird for me because it was like...normal life.

But I got a cool panda watch. It's beautiful.

It snowed a couple times this week. But the nice thing about Colorado is that even if snow piles up, it melts within hours. It's amazing. One day we went to crossfit at 6 in the morning and our car had a huge pile of snow on it but by the time we left the house again at 10AM, it was all gone. 360 days of sun! #OHYEAH

We had a potential investigator that we met probably our second week here. She was diagnosed with cancer and told us to come back during the weekdays. So we did. We prayed for her and we were so excited to teach her about the gospel because we knew it would help her through this difficult trial. Buuuuuut she ended up rejecting us. She just didn't know how to say no so she felt bad turning us away the first two times we visited her. My heart sank. It was painful to see her turn it down....Then I realized the new lyrics I wrote to that Frozen song had a whole new meaning to me now. Oh man, it was so sad to see her push away the message of the gospel.

An elder in my district said something interesting: the only thing that trumps the Atonement is agency, our own free will to choose to accept or not.

On the bright side, we visited the family with a baptismal date last Saturday. Vince asked, "What do I need to do to get baptized?" It was so amazing hearing that. He thought he needed to fill out some paperwork or something. Heh. But we just explained to him that in order for someone to be baptized, they need to show they're obeying the commandments of God including diligent prayer and scripture study, attending church, obeying the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, following the prophet...etc. As for the Word of Wisdom, Vince was all in. He said he'd stop drinking coffee and tea, though he doesn't drink that much anyway. As for Kathy, however, she drinks tea at least 3 times/day so she was a little hesitant. But we know that in obeying God's commandments, she will be blessed with the strength to overcome and to add onto the knowledge that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is by our side rooting for us on our journey back to Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Email home #6, sent March 3 / new photos in Facebook photo album

The email title is "Aurora" in baby talk. I might name my child Aurora just so I can say that all the time.
So none of the investigators came to church yesterday. The family from India that committed to coming but their daughters got sick like last Thursday/Friday. We were bummed but we're still praying that they'll get well soon.

There are 2 other investigators we've been trying to visit for the past 3 weeks now. We ask them for their phone numbers but they won't give it to us...they say they'll just call us but, as usual, they never do. So Sister Hoynacki and I thought it'd be better to drop them and stop trying to visit them. So we gave them one last visit. We saw one in his garage fixing his bike and (wait for it) he actually invited us back to visit next week (what!). Yeah. I learned about perseverance. I also learned that I sometimes get too lazy to persevere.

There was a sister in our ward that we met the very first week we were here. She was offered an amazing job in Utah so she's moving down to Provo near BYU! Sister H and I helped her move and pack and clean and basically everything else. I told her and her husband that I'll find them at BYU after my mission. It's happening.

One of our ward missionaries gave us 4 referrals. We've contacted 3 of them and 2 of them invited us back! One of them is a nice Jewish woman whose brother joined the Church when he was 10 or 11. Her parents divorced when they were little so her brother went with her father who joined the church while she went with her mother. She remained Christian, like hard core Christian. She went to school and became a minister so she's very well-versed in the Bible. She ended up questioning a lot of Christian beliefs and now considers herself practicing Judaism.

She's so knowledgeable but she's just missing the entire core of Christianity! She has the intellectual and logical side down but she's missing the emotional and spiritual side of relying on the Atonement of Christ. Jesus Christ wasn't just a teacher or a prophet. He did so much more than that. He performed the greatest miracle of all: the Atonement!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Email home #5, sent Feb 24. (Also. Photos on Facebook.)

Herro famiry!

So much happened this week! Where to start!? I'll never know.

We had appointments with 2 different families (4 investigators) this week and they both cancelled on us. This week was the third time one of those families cancelled on us. It was disappointing the third time but I know that work schedules can always get in the way. Not only that, but Satan likes to annoy good people who are trying to develop an even stronger relationship with God.

BUT! On the bright side, we found 2 new investigators this week. Yes. New (#ohyeah). One of them is a high schooler whose boyfriend is an active member of the Church. The boyfriend and all his priest friends from church are apparently best buddies and whatnot. One of the other priests' girlfriend has been meeting with the elders since before Sister Hoynacki and I arrived here.

Speaking of the elders, they seem to have created some kind of competition between them and us, the sisters, as to how man investigators we can get...but we're all in this together (cue music)! But then again, it is pretty awkward every Sunday in ward council when Bishop praises us and doesn't even bat an eye for the elders....Not my fault, right?

The other new investigator is from Jamaica and her husband is from Nigeria. They have a beautiful 6 month old son who is beautiful.

Also, one of our families who we consider as our "progressing investigators" accepted the invitation to baptism! WOOHOOOO! They've always wanted a home built on a Christian background, mainly for their daughters who are 7 and 3 years old. They couldn't come to church yesterday but the 7 year-old apparently had been begging her parents to go to they dropped her off at church on Sunday. They just dropped her off and went home to run some errands! It was so funny but their daughter had an amazing time and wouldn't stop talking about it when she went home.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sick in Aurora

Email #4

Yes, finally an email from me! Last Monday, Sister Hoynacki and I couldn't email because our car had some weird problem where I'd buckle my seatbelt and the seatbelt indicator would still beep beep beep was very annoying but it took 4 hours to fix and basically cut into our email time. And, guess what? The seatbelt's STILL not fixed. Oh well. Now we try to sing songs to the beat of the seatbelt indicator. It's kinda sad.

The weather here for the past 2 weeks has been crazy! The first two days were about -15 degrees F but the next day was 50 degrees F. It's true what they say: if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes! But then that backfires because if the weather's nice and you wait 10 minutes, then you're outta luck.
But there's so much that happened in these past two weeks! Sister H and I started with absolutely NO investigators. Because our ward boundaries are VERY small, the elders that were already in this ward had only 2 investigators. But at the end of 2 weeks, we officially have 6 investigators! From 0 to 6! The Lord really has guided us directly to them! It's amazing!

Oh, but this past week was pretty physically demanding on me because...yes, I got the flu:

Monday - my wisdom tooth swelled up during a lesson with a less active member. That was embarrassing. I was teaching with a lisp and a lopsided face. But (GROSSNESS ALERT), during the lesson, pus flowed out of it and the swelling immediately went down. Fortunately, there's a dentist in the ward that we had dinner with on Tuesday and he gave me a syringe to clear out the gunk.
Tuesday - woke up with a sore throat.
Wednesday - began coughing
Thursday - got a fever of 101.2 while I was at zone conference from 8AM to 4PM. And my body was all achy. Oof.
Friday - fever be gone! But I continued coughing with a horrible sore throat.
Saturday - woke up congested and weak all around. I ended up staying in all day until 4PM to rest up. I felt so bad for Sister H, though. She had to be inside with me the entire time!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Email home #3b: In Denver

(Continued from 3a: On the way to Denver)

Denver all started with finding our new car (red Subaru #OHYEAH), slipping on ice and scraping my knee (#livingontheedge), getting lost on our drive to the completely opposite end of the mission, and also realizing that Sister Hoynacki and I are actually new sister missionaries in the ward we were placed in. This means...both of us don't know our new area or ward very well.

So, our area book is completely empty and the elders in our ward already only have 2 investigators. We split up the area so that we actually ended up with NO investigators at all....We have a lot of work to do.

And it's already been hard work. Getting the 8.5 hours of sleep last night helped but I'm still very much in a daze from lack of sleep. I feel like I'm not 100% myself because I'm so tired, which might be a good thing, but still. Sleep is my biggest temptation right now.

On the other hand, the members' house we're staying at is very nice and they themselves are very hospitable. They generously fed us dinner last night but I basically said nothing because I was just SO TIRED. I couldn't keep my eyes open at all. Not even when the elders came over to explain the ward a bit. Sometimes I even pretended to be looking down at the papers they gave us just so I could get a little shut-eye. They probably noticed anyway, though....

The members' basement was renovated just for missionaries. They'd apparently been waiting for new missionaries for 5 months now! The basement has a nice little bedroom with a large closet and even a dresser. The bathroom is also really nice and so is the living room area where there's a table for us to study on.

Email home #3a: On the way to Denver

(Sent February 4)


I am officially in Denver! I arrived yesterday (Monday), which is going to be my usual P-day. They allowed us to email today because we just didn't have any time to email yesterday and I'll tell you why: 

The other Denver North sisters and I all woke up at 2 in the morning to get to the mission office by 3:30. The other 4 sisters generously woke up at 3 to come help us move our luggage to the bus taking us to the airport. We hugged and said our goodbyes. It was a really sad goodbye. We had all grown so close to each other in just 11 days. It was like we've known each other for our entire lives...we have a theory we knew each other in the pre-existence and planned to meet up at this time in our lives.

At the airport, Sister Mills and I were able to get some quarters to use the payphone and call our families. (Btw, note to future missionaries: buy a prepaid phone card at the MTC Bookstore with your MTC card because it's free. I wasn't told this so I had to pay for my phone call home). Anyway, when you picked up the phone and I heard your voices, I pretty much wanted to cry. I don't think I realized how much I missed you both until I talked to you. The payphone counted the seconds pretty fast, though. It said I had 1:30 minutes left when, in reality, it was probably half that because of how fast the timer was going.

But the last 10 seconds was probably the saddest thing ever. I could only say "bye" and "I LOVE YOU" so many times up until *click* turned off.

I got a middle seat on the plane, which normally would suck but I got to strike up a conversation with the other two passengers. They were both really nice. We probably would've continued talking had we remained awake...