Monday, July 27, 2015

This is it.

Sent 7/27/2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

How great is my calling!

Sister Wen

Monday, July 6, 2015

To the homesick missionary

Sent 7/6/2015

To the homesick missionary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister Wen

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fruits of our Efforts

Sent 6/29/2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister Wen

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mosquitoes are of the devil

Sent 6/22/2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister Wen

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lord, Lord, I believe! = Trust Issues

Sent 6/15/2015

Sometimes I think the mission damages the trust you have in people. Whenever I hear someone accept a commitment to do something great, I don't rejoice anymore because very few of them actually keep the commitments they accepted.

Yeah! I'll come to church! I really wanna check it out!

Sunday rolls around and they don't show up. So who is going to say they'll come to church and then actually come? Ha, who knew you'd develop such trust issues on your mission?

We came across a man, named R, who said, "All you gotta do is believe and you'll be saved!" But what does that even mean to believe?

Since every day as a missionary is treated as if it were the Sabbath, Sister Reynolds and I decided to do something different on the Sabbath Day. So, we decided to watch Finding Faith in German! Ja, Deutsch! I've seen this movie several times, so I noticed that they interchanged the word "glauben" in Deutsch with "faith" and "to believe" in English. But are they the same?

James says that "faith without works is dead". Faith requires works because the very nature of faith is acting upon what you believe to be true. Works can be service and performing good works, but it definitely is not wholly service and good works. Works is the act of faith, the act of doing; therefore, works can be prayer, scripture study, or getting up on Sunday morning to go to church. Even bigger leaps of faith would be accepting a date to be baptized and then doing it to show Heavenly Father that you are committed to Him and His cause.

Later on in the movie shows a scene where a man was picking up the bread he accidentally dropped. Jesus sees this man and straightaway helps this man pick up his bread. Along with this, He says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt.7:21, also 3 Nephi 14:21).

If entering into the kingdom of heaven is equivalent to being saved, then we must do the will of the Father so that we can be saved! So, does "doing" mean that we're doing "works"? Sure does!

So, this man, R, previous to his comment as earlier stated, repeatedly apologized for smoking and drinking in front of us. We didn't even introduce ourselves before he did so. He recognized us as representatives of Jesus Christ. Then he repeatedly said, "I know I need to quit smoking and drinking." He even put out his cigarette and placed his drink on the ground to listen to us. When he picked up the cup again, he said, "Aw, man! I don't even know why I picked this up!" with another apology.

The very desire and actions R was taking to be able to quit smoking and drinking were works. We perform "works" so that we can allow the grace of God to not only save us, but also to change us. So, what are some things that we're doing to "save" ourselves? What can we do now to become comfortable enough to dwell in the presence of the Almighty One whose Glory could kill us in just one glance?

Let's do something today. Don't lose the trust of our Heavenly Father!

Sister Wen

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Humility is the key to success

Sent 6/8/2015

Last week, I hit the typical missionary's breaking point of calling investigators and missionaries to repentance. It was great! The Lord brought me down to the depths of humility and practically chastised me for fighting against aligning my will with His. It will always be a struggle within me, but that means I need to repent by thrusting in prayer and scripture study. I learned that doing so is literally all Enos talks about in the Book of Mormon!

But the Lord blessed us greatly this week. I felt like I was in South America teaching every hour of every day!

A couple of weeks ago, we knew that once we showed God that we were committed to teaching people who will progress and not just waste time, He would bless us. So, we had to drop an investigator who's wasn't progressing. We invited him continuously to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know that it is true. He never did pray. We told him that we would not be able to continue to visit him if he still chose to not pray about it. And he still didn't. We had a heart-breaking lesson as we told him we could not visit him anymore. (Yes, I even cried.)

The funny thing is, he still comes to church! :D

After that, we weren't seeing anything. Most of the investigators we were teaching were not progressing. We were struggling finding people to teach until this past week happened....We found 8 new investigators (one of them for the YSA ward) and they all invited us back to learn more! I'm humbled once again for being able to teach so many people! (The investigator for the YSA ward even showed up at church yesterday AND bore his testimony!)

The greatest miracle that happened, though, was O, the investigator from Ghana. He's been investigating for about a year, but he hadn't come to church since January. We met with him. We asked him, "O, do you believe that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored through His prophet Joseph Smith today?"

He paused and said, "Yes, I do. I need to be baptized."

He now has Saturdays and SUNDAYS off from work! He said, "So, now I have no excuse to not go to church!" So, guess where he went yesterday? CHURCH! He was very happy and loved how everyone greeted him and knew his name. What a humble man.

The mission is so humbling.

Sister Wen

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Missionary's Energy Source

Sent 5/18/2015

Phooie. Church was cancelled on Mother's Day so we didn't get to take the sacrament. I didn't realize how much of a energy booster the sacrament was until that happened. It was so bizarre.

But, even in the midst of all the mishaps and flakiness, whenever we show Heavenly Father that we're willing to push through, miracles happen all the time.

We begin with a former investigator who learned from missionaries from last Fall. He texted us and said, "Hey"

We said, "Hey how are you?"

"Am I texting the right number"

"That depends who you want to contact. This is the sister missionaries."

"Then yes I have the right number. How are things for you guys"

"Things are going so well, how about for you?"

"I just got out Monday I've got some things to figure out but I should be fine"

So he probably thought we were the same missionaries that were here last Fall. So we set up a time to see him and he was surprised to see a Brit and an Asian standing on his doorstep. He was tall, had broad shoulders, dragged his feet across the floor (most likely a little hungover). But! He was just absorbing everything we were teaching him. Afterwards, we asked him how old he was.


Ohhhh. YSA. We had to pass him off to the missionaries in the Young Single Adult ward so he could get better fellowshipping and be more involved in activities to pull him away from his past habits. That's one thing I've learned about getting rid of bad habits. They have to be replaced with good habits.

Then later in the week, J texted us! After 3 weeks of little to no contact, she texted us and said, "Hey my mom said it's okay for you guys to come tonight at 7, is that okay for you guys?"

Aw heck yeah it was okay! We had a Relief Society activity that night so we were frantically trying to set up a split with members. Turns out, everyone we invited said they wouldn't be able to make it.

We show up at J's with one of the young women (who ended up being the perfect fellowshipper) and were able to just talk with her. Turns out she really is concerned about going to church by herself, without her mom and her brother. But she told us her aunt comforted her by telling her how she went to church by herself for years until she got married. It gave her a boost and motivated her to continue on even without her family there.

Man, I can't even imagine the courage of some teenagers out there. Who knows if I would've done that when I was 16!

It was good to end the week and begin a new week, but this time we were able to take the sacrament: a missionary's energy source.

Sister Wen


Sent 5/11/2015

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of the mothers and mothers-to-be out there! I especially love this day as a missionary because I get to talk with my family face-to-face via the interwebz! It was a whole de-ja-vu moment because it snowed again on Mother's Day this year!

As life and time goes by, I realize more and more each day the importance of a mother's influence on her children. Especially with having the opportunity to work with so many families on my mission....For instance:

1. Fathers generally do not sign up on our dinner calendar to feed us. They usually leave that to the mothers because, let's be honest, only the moms really know the schedules of the family.

2. If mom says no, you often go to your father. And you know what he says? "Go ask your mom."

3. For the past couple of months, we've been meeting with a less-active family who are coming to church again for the first time in years. The reason why they hadn't been going to church was because the parents were offended. Hmm. And, in fact, their mother allowed the offenses to go so far as to cause them all to stop going to church.

A negative influence, yet a very strong influence.

We visited this family last week and decided to share with them a talk by Elder Bednar "And Nothing Shall Offend Them" which addresses directly those members who are "less-active" and don't attend church. We were so so so very nervous that we were going to offend them by sharing this talk with them but then that would defeat the purpose of our visits.

We began by asking them, "What are you going to do differently this time so that you keep going to church, you keep reading your scriptures, and you keep praying rather than fall away into inactivity again?"

They tried to avoid the question. So we pulled up the talk on their TV and watched it with them.

Afterwards, we heard, "Now, I have an issue with one of the things that he said in there."

*frozen* Did it offend him...? And what was that..?

He brought it up and with ALL of the help of the Holy Spirit, we said words that apparently helped them understand more of what Elder Bednar was saying. By the end of the lesson, they said, "Yeah, we know that that's something we really need to work on." So we asked the question again. What are you going to do differently this time around? And they made a resolve to not allow any people or offenses to get in their way of receiving blessings from heaven.

The way Elder Bednar put it: "Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your chidlren's children, and the generations that will follow" (emphasis added).

Don't let people's remarks offend you and, most importantly, don't allow people to get in the way of receiving blessings!

Sister Wen

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Exchanging Miracles

sent 4/27/2015

Last Tuesday, I got to go on exchange with Hermana Aguayo, a boss missionary. She and her companion are actually over our area, but as Spanish-speaking missionaries. That Tuesday morning, the appointment we had with an investigator we found last week fell through. (In fact, she dropped us). So, as we separated the wheat from the tares, we decided to keep our heads high and find those that will receive us (D&C 42:8)!

Just as our companionship study ended, we received a referral from Church Headquarters (a media referral) and jumped for joy! We knew that Heavenly Father answered our prayer that morning. Then another HQ referral came in. Then another. And another. By the time we left the apartment that morning, we had 7 HQ referrals!

Almost every hour, we received a HQ referral. It was freaking us out (just so you know, that normally does not happen)! By the end of the day, we'd received 30 HQ referrals. A few were actually in other areas, but a good chunk of them were for the hermanas! MIRACLES.

We knocked on the door of one of the referrals. A lady opened the door. We asked for Armando and she said that he passed away 3 months ago. Whut. She didn't know him too well, though, because she's renting a room there. We offered to show her #BecauseHeLives and she accepted and ended up as a new investigator for the Spanish hermanas! The Lord works in mysterious ways. He had to use media referrals to get us to find the people we need to teach!

And last Thursday, I also got to go on exchange to Strasburg again! I came to the same conclusion as last time....I will never be able to live in a country town. I like my ghetto area (#citysister). Unless, of course, I got to ride donkeys all day. I felt like Mary and Joseph #HeIsTheGift but I survived the country ways. Now, let's be honest. That's a true miracle in, and of, itself.

Sister Wen

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Sent 4/20/2015

Today is April 20th, national weed day, or at least that's what they say here in weedy Colorado. This means I am smelling weed as I type out this post. Yum.

J CAME TO CHURCH! Not sure if I ever talked about her before, but she is way cool. She's a 16 year-old investigator whom we've been teaching for over a month now. Her mom isn't active, but J's been wanting to be baptized for a couple of years now. It's just never happened. The Lord was preparing her all those years and now missionaries are harvesting the seed!

Last Friday, we visited J and brought Brother Robinson, a ward missionary and Elders' Quorum President, with us. She expressed to us her concern of going to church without her mom and her little brother. So, we did as missionaries do and bore sincere testimony of the blessings of going to church. You get to take the sacramental bread and water. You get to feel the Spirit. You lead your family by example and your family, in turn, is blessed for it in many different ways. When you place God as a priority in your life, everything falls into place in some way in some time. There is so much to church attendance than the actual attending church part. The rest comes in as you live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So on Sunday, we texted J and asked her if she needed a ride. She said YES. Sister Reynolds and I were jumping for joy, hearts full of rejoicing because we were afraid her fears would stop her from attending church. So, we frantically were able to get her a ride with Brother and Sister Robinson #truemembermissionaries AND SHE CAME TO CHURCH! She got along great with the other young women and was invited to girls' camp in the summer.

There were also 5 less-active families at church, 3 who haven't come in months and 2 who haven't come in years.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, no matter what. It must be taken to all of the world. What a privilege it is to be able to do that!

I invite you all to live the gospel every day this week and see what a difference it makes in your lives. Even if you're reading this and you haven't prayed or read your scriptures or gone to church in your life, now's a great time to start.

Sister Wen

P.S. I was informed that today is also the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School many years ago. Let us remember all those affected by this incident. Just know that the victims of this incident are safe - Alma 14:10-13.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Raking in tumbleweeds, raking in blessings

Sent 4/6/2015

EASTER. I love Easter. It's a day where all Christians around the world celebrate the event of one Man, who made it possible for us to be saved, for us to live again, and for us to be perfected in Him. How cool is that? Even cooler, though, was being able to watch the prophet and the Twelve Apostles. If you haven't watched it yet or missed it, watch it here! And listen for the inspiration and guidance God is giving us in these latter days.

The other day, we saw a tumbleweed. The only time I have ever seen tumbleweed has been since I've been here in CO. I consider it a wonder of the world. Anyway, since Sister Reynolds had never seen a tumbleweed before, even after being in CO for 16 months, we had to take a picture. Welp, as she ran out behind it, we saw a lady sitting outside on her porch smoking a cigarette. After taking the picture, we ran up to her and she asked,

"What are you ladies doing today?"

"Taking a picture with tumbleweed."

Then, as the great missionaries we are, we brought up the #BecauseHeLives video. As she was pulling it up on her phone, her phone died. Luckily, I had it recorded on my camera so we watched it with her. She loved it. TURNS OUT, she'd driven by the new church building many times and always thought I need to go inside that building and I need to go to a church again. Miracle. We invited her to learn more and she happily accepted!

The field is white already to harvest and we are finding the wheat (not the tares)!

Sister Wen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Sent 3/30/2015

As we approach this upcoming Easter Sunday, I challenge all of you to study more in depth the life of Jesus Christ, especially the days leading up to and the days of His Atonement and Resurrection. Although, we celebrate the sacrifice He made for us on that Good Friday, we celebrate and remember even more the third day in which He rose again.

Watch this video about why Jesus Christ is such an important person in a Christian's life. #BecauseHeLives, if you reach out, call out, cry out, He is here, then, now, always. He is here during the good, the bad, the in-between. He is here. No matter who you are or who you were, He is here. No exceptions, no lost causes. At all times, in all places, He is here. He rose on the third day. He lives today. Find Him.

Because He lives, I can overcome heartache and sorrow and replace them with pure joy and peace. Because He lives, my family can be together for all eternity, not only 'til death to us part. Because He lives, I can be happy. Because He lives, I will live again, too.

Celebrate Easter. Celebrate Him.

Sister Wen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yo se que...

Sent 3/23/2015

Nosotras somos misioneras de La Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias!

This past week, we went on exchanges with another set of hermanas and, this time, I got to go to their area! Even though I had absolutely no idea what anyone was saying, I could still feel the Spirit. Crazy how that happens? So many miracles happened, though. The morning began with not being able to find the apartment of a lady they'd set up an appointment with. But, we met another lady who actually talked with us and let us into her home. We sat down and Hermana Freeman practically taught the whole first lesson about the Restauracion de el Evangelio de Jesu Cristo (mostly because she had to...she was the only one who could hablas Espanol). Half-way through the lesson, Hermana Freeman asked me if I wanted to say anything I'd learned just that morning. I said, in my broken Espanol, "Yo se que...Jesu Salvador y Redentor." And the woman smiled and fondly said, "Yo se, yo se."

We left her apartment and met a former investigator that Hermana Freeman taught when she was last in the area and set up an appointment with him. Then we finally found the apartment of the lady we were looking for. All within the same hour. At the end of the day, we'd found two new GOLDEN investigators and filled our stomachs with some truly deliciously authentic Mexican sopes and tacos.

Back to the High Point area....Since last Sunday was stake conference, M was not yet able to be confirmed. So, she was to be confirmed the next Sunday (yesterday). Well, the sacrament service began and M was nowhere to be found. It was already 15-20 minutes to 9 and we'd already sang the opening hymn and announcements, which is when converts are typically confirmed. So, they continued with the sacrament service. M was still not there....And all I'm thinking is what do we do? What do we do!? just naturally freaking out. And then, in walked M and she was able to be confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What greater gift is there in life than that of the Holy Ghost?

Yo se que Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial y yo se que Dios le ama. Tambien yo se que solo podemos salvarnos por medio de Jesu Cristo. Yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta y La Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias es verdadero. Yo se!

Love, Sister Wen

I'm doing good!

Sent 3/16/2015

M was baptized! What a joyous occasion! Whenever we ask M how she's doing, she always says, "I'm doing good!" For some reason, though, I foolishly thought that the week leading up to her baptism would be smooth-sailing....But, boy, I was wrong.

Just a couple of days before her baptism, something bad happened and M was absolutely distraught, lost, and confused. We visited her that night and had brought our ward mission leader and his daughter. The Spirit was telling me so strongly, she needs a priesthood blessing, she needs a priesthood blessing. So, I asked M if she needed a priesthood blessing. She accepted and our ward mission leader agreed to give her one of comfort right then and there.

I am so grateful for the priesthood power. I am especially grateful for those priesthood holders who are worthy to hold that authority from God and can give priesthood blessings when asked right on the spot to do so.

Right when he said M's full name and began saying the words that Heavenly Father was telling her, his voice changed and the Spirit was so strong, you could cut it. She heard the words she needed to hear and all those who witnessed that experience knew that there had to be another Presence in the room.

After the blessing, M's face was just lit up! You could just feel utter peace. I asked her how she felt. A big smile spread across her face and she said, "I'm doing good!"

Hilary, the woman who met M in the back of the ambulance vehicle, was the one who began it all. If she had not followed the prompting from the Holy Ghost to talk to Mary about the church, M would not have been offered the gospel at such a critical time in her life and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and by His authority. To Hilary, I say, "if it so be that you should...bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" (D&C 18:15-16).

I love that sometimes Heavenly Father allows us to witness the fruits of our efforts on our missions. M was already prepared to receive the gospel and because she has it, her children may now receive it as they grow and develop. It's a generational thing!

So, I hope you're all doing good, too!

Sister Wen

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's Getting Real!

sent 3/9/2015

M, the investigator from South Sudan, is officially going to be baptized this Saturday, March 14th! She is just so prepared! If we didn't have to teach her all of the lessons, she would've been baptized in a heartbeat anyway!

Almost every lesson we have with M (which is almost every day....Don't worry, she actually wants us to visit her every day), she bears her testimony of the gospel. She just knows it's true. Some people are already prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel. This is what keeps me going. But, let me tell you, daylight savings is a killer! I am just exhausted. And I'm pretty sure I say that in almost every email.

One morning, the alarm went off at 6:25. I was just soooo tired. I thought, maybe just this one day, I'll sleep in juuuuust a little bit. Then the alarm went off again at 6:30. Moment of truth. Then one of the most bizarre things happened. A couple of days ago, a sister missionary friend of mine got the "trunky call" where the mission office asks what airport you fly into. I dreamed that I was on the phone with the mission office and they asked me what airport I will fly into in August. I then realized how little time I have left and just about freaked out (literally). I jumped out of bed and said my morning prayer.

I love the work!

Sister Wen

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What it means to be tired

sent 2/23/2015

You ever hear about those big gang fights in Denver? Well, apparently, they all tend to happen in Montbello...which is in our area.

We had a good lesson with an investigator this past week to see if she has a true desire to change or not. She's gotten herself into drugs, alcohol, name it and she does it. When her and her friends "party" they do all 3 at once. Every time she or her friends said, yeah, I drink, or yeah, I smoke pot, they always say, but other than that, I'm a good person. There is something deeper than just what's on the outside. They know they can change and stop doing all of those abusive substances, but they're stuck. They're bound to their addictions and they don't know how to get out of it. .

As we left our lesson with her, there was an argument going on between 4 or 5 hefty men right outside the apartment the middle of the beginnings of the snowstorm. I wouldn't have been surprised if I heard a gunshot go off or something.

We taught so so so so so so many people this week. I know what it means to be tired. And each and every one of them has a story. I have had so many experiences on my mission with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, but nothing like what I know I'll get out of being in Denver and Aurora. These people here are just torn down to the gulfs of humility.

I've always contemplated, ever since my high school years, why it was that I've lived such a privileged life. And I see people here now and can't even imagine if my life was like that. They go through so much. I wonder sometimes, why did I not go through that? I just wish that I could take their pain away so they could know what it's like to really live life. All we can do is offer them the message that will change their lives.

"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." (Acts 3:6).

But we can never be tired enough to stop. Even when the Savior, Himself, thought the journey to be difficult, He never once thought it was too difficult. He continued on. So when He was so tired and continued on, so can I be so tired and continue on.

Endure to the end!

 Sister Wen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sweep all the areas!

Sent 2/17/2015

Short post this week because of tight schedule we have today. Because of the slimming number of sisters going on missions, they've had to rearrange the sisters a LOT throughout the mission. Unfortunately, the Webster Lake ward was affected and we were the last sisters to serve there for a while. Sister Tu'i went to Westminster and I am now in Aurora with Sister Packer! Sister Packer is amazing! I'd served around her for one transfer in Parker, so I already knew I was in for a good companion. She actually goes home after the transfer at the end of March so, in mission terms, I'm killing her! I am very lucky to have her because she's like my second trainer. I have been called to be a sister training leader and she will be "training" me, in a way, on how to be a sister training leader. (For those of you who aren't familiar with this term, it's like being a zone leader for sisters. We kind of watch out for all of the sisters in the zone and see how we can help each of them in their work out here in the mission.)

The High Point ward is actually mostly in Denver, but it's in the Aurora stake. There is so much work to do here, left and right! Like always, I'm excited to serve in new areas and learn new things!

Sister Wen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest

Sent on 2/9/2015

What an eventful week. You know how I always say that Satan will do whatever he can in order to stop someone from being baptized? Well, he sometimes tries to get those surrounding the target.

Let's begin with February 3rd.

This day was my one-year anniversary of being in Colorado. I didn't really celebrate because of what happened. But it was also the day I woke up feeling like I needed to rid of some acidic material from my body via my throat. My companion thought I was dying. After trying to teach S one last lesson before her baptism, we went straight to Grandma and Grandpa R's. They were out shopping but allowed us to go into their home. I laid on their couch and starting breathing heavily in an attempt to cope with my achy body. Well, I guess I was breathing a bit too fast to the point where my body started tingling and my hands began seizing up. I cracked my eyes open just enough to see that my fingers were distorted and I couldn't move them.

Luckily, Grandma and Grandpa made the call to 911 and a gorgeous (really) team came to rescue me from my attack. They told me how to breathe slowly as they stuck me in the back of the ambulance.

After being hooked up to machines and needles for 5 hours, I left the hospital and began my adventurous journey of recovery via pills (that made me throw-up everything I ate), electrolytes, and sleepy, all of which amounted to 3 1/2 days of lying in a basement. My heart and mind were yearning to go outside and talk to everyone about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but my body said no flippin' way, Jose.

In the midst of all the craze, we had to move houses. I was literally physically incapable of lifting a water bottle and we were told we had to move all of our belongings into a new house. Grandma and Grandpa were trying to notify the mission office, but no one responded. I felt like no one understood what was happening to me.

And, yet, Someone knew. I was never alone. I prayed so hard and so long. If I wasn't kneeling down in prayer, I was praying in my heart. I asked for comfort. And I could feel His presence near me. I never doubted that He wasn't there with me. I knew that even if I was in the middle of nowhere and no one knew where I was or who I was or even cared about me, I would know that there is ALWAYS Someone watching over me.

"For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9).

Fortunately, I was at least 80% strong enough by February 6th to attend S's baptism (and not throw-up during my talk!). It was a great way to end this humbling experience. You have no idea how big she smiled. I've really never seen her smile so big before! Many people came to see her take this big step. We tried to tell her how many people were there, but because of she could not see, she really just could not comprehend how many people were there for her. So, what did Bishop do? He had everyone in the room say their names and say any words of congratulations to her. And she heard every one of them.

It was just a beautiful baptism to witness. Her sins are washed away and she is one step closer to living with Heavenly Father once more.

Oh, how I cannot wait for the day we see Him again. I will probably give Him a great big hug.

Sister Wen

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Spiritual Highs Actually Require Effort?

Sent 2/2/2015

S IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS FRIDAY. Talk about spiritual highs (no, not in the Colorado way). But, also, talk about stress of the stresses. It's pretty stressful figuring out all the logistics of her baptism requires a lot of coordination with the right people.

Last Saturday, we had a ward activity, the International Potluck, where members of our ward brought foods from different countries for everyone to try. There were even some members who were on the BYU International Folk Dancing team who taught us so steps. (Let me tell you, it's not too easy in a skirt and church boots.) Two less-active families showed up and one of them even participated in the preparations of the food! S showed up with her friend R AND her daughter! Many members went up to talk with them and get to know them. Things were going great.

Then, the stake building coordinator told us she wasn't able to reserve the building for the time that S's baptism was.

Oh, man.

Just before the night ended, we scrambled around trying to figure out a good time that would work out for S. And before we retired to our beds, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help this all work out for S. And, you know what? He almost immediately answered my prayer through the feelings of His Spirit. I felt comforted. I somehow knew it was all going to work out.

By the end of Sunday, everything did work out and I almost felt ridiculous for thinking it wouldn't. Everything is set for S's step towards exaltation.

Even though it was a lot of work to put everything together, I'm glad we had to work through all of that just to make sure S's big day is ready to go.

There really is no greater work than the work of salvation.

Sister Wen

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Sent 1/26/2015

S's baptismal date is coming up closer and closer (2 weeks!). Satan is working hard, but so is God. Good always prevails anyway, right? That, is, if we let it.

We've also been teaching many less-active families. Sometimes, when we teach less-active members, we have to gauge their level of interest and their progress (as in how much they really want to come back to church). This past Sunday, two of those less-active families came to church. It was so great seeing them! There was just a light about them that radiated from their faces because they were finally able to make it back to church.

The hardest part now is to continue to go to church, a.k.a. endure to the end.

"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life" (2 Nephi 31:19-20, italics added).

Even if things don't go the way I expect, or appointments and investigators fall through, all I need is a hope in Christ and a perfect brightness of HOPE.

Stay the path! Endure to the end!

Love, Sister Wen

Friday, January 23, 2015


Sent 1/20/2015

Okay, not really. I'm not actually fat. I know some of you out there want to see what I look like fat, but it a'int happening. But there are just some nights where you eat so much that I might as well go up a pant-size, er- a skirt size.

We'd arrived at a member's home to eat dinner. I hadn't eaten anything for hours (I know, such a trial #firstworldproblems) so I was practically starving. As a result, I, naturally, stuffed myself to the core with the food they gave us. The next appointment we went to was with the couple I talked about last week. They had a mix-up and thought that they were feeding us dinner. The problem was, they had already gotten so far in preparing the food. Holy moly. I was so surprised with how much I could still hork down my stomach. I swear, my stomach must've gotten accustomed to all this food I'm eating.

S is progressing so well! Very, very slowly, but surely. Her baptismal date is becoming more and more real!

But so is Satan's power on her. He is working so hard on her, like the devil he is (#punny). A million more things came up in her life to the point where we might not have a way of contacting her. Vague, but that's the best way I can put it.

She always talked a LOT about the negative things that happened to her in her past. We expressed to her the need for the Spirit in our lessons and how we need to avoid speaking of such negative things of the past and, instead, focus on how she is progressing positively in the present and in the future. Since she's been meeting with us, she still comes to church, she still listens to the scriptures, and she still prays almost every hour of the day. She said herself that she's still listening to us because she feels His Spirit around her. She's already noticed how much closer she's gotten to God because of the changes she's made in her life to do so. She's SO close! And Satan knows it.

Nevertheless, God will prevail. He always does in the end, anyway. We do our part and He will always do His (D&C 82:10).

I love seeing this change in people's lives. Recently, we've been talking about why we came out on our missions but, more importantly, why we've stayed on our missions. This is why.

Sister Wen

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Power of the Spirit

Sent on 1/12/15

Last Friday, we had the wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime (practically) opportunity to have a mission-wide discussion with an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elder David A. Bednar visited us here in the Colorado Denver North Mission. We all expected to hear him speak for 3 hours straight, but what he ended up doing was quite the turn of events. One of the very first things he said was to not write down anything he says. He said, instead, to listen to his words but write down only what we learn from the Spirit. He was only there to facilitate the discussion. He asked us questions and we asked him questions in return. We discussed gospel topics. We heard him speak but, ultimately, learned from the Holy Spirit. I left the meeting feeling edified and understanding more of how to learn by the Spirit and, in turn, how to teach by the Spirit.

What a privilege!

What happened later that night was another miracle. After we had dinner with a member family, we headed out to the families we planned to visit. But, as we walked out, a part-member couple that lived in the same neighborhood came to my mind. I suggested we visit this couple since they live in the same neighborhood. Sister Tu'i agreed. We drove up to their door really not thinking anything of it and walked up. We knocked. After a little while, a woman opened the door as if she didn't expect to see us. She said she just put the kids to sleep. Oh, that's alright, we can visit another time. Then I asked her how many kids she has. She said, "Oh, I don't have any kids."


She said, "I'm not a Mormon. I'm just not a Mormon." We were standing on her doorstep freezing so she invited us in. As the night went on, she eventually opened up about how she doesn't understand repentance. She doesn't understand how easy it is to be forgiven of your sins. We explained to her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We shared our own personal experiences with forgiveness. The Spirit was so strong. Everyone, I mean everyone was crying. Even her less-active husband was crying. They both thanked us for coming and for bringing the Spirit into their home. I expressed to her how we didn't even plan to visit them that night. It was just a simple thought, oh, let's go visit this couple in the neighborhood, and it brought us there at the perfect time.

I love being guided by the Spirit. The discussion with Elder Bednar about always having the Spirit there to learn and to teach prepared us for that night. The Spirit is Heavenly Father's most personal way of helping us. I know it's real!

Sister Wen

The Call

Sent 1/6/15

Last Friday, I received a letter from a friend serving in Brasil. (Side note: they, along with the rest of the world, write their dates out day-month-year. Therefore, when the letter was dated 1-12-14, it actually means December 1, 2014 and not that the letter is a year late #trueAmurican). Well, my friend told me how dreadful it was training a new missionary and/or being the senior companion and noted how lucky I am to not have to do that. Well, just as I read that, the assistant to the president called our phone to extend the call to train a brand new missionary fresh from the MTC.

Welp. My stomach dropped, but I accepted the call. A call from God is not random. Each one is given to us to learn and grow; therefore, accepting a call from God is accepting the opportunity to learn and grow.

SO. I am training Sister Tui'tavake, a Tongan sister from Oregon. I guess I was just meant to be with all these Tongan sisters. Heh. But because she's Poly that means she's chill, outgoing, already prepared to share the gospel!

S came to church a third time this past Sunday! Wahooooo! We are still trying to teach her all the lessons in time for her baptismal date on February 7. She just talks a lot. We visited S just this morning and it was definitely overwhelming for Sister Tu'i to listen to all of that. What a great start!

It is 2015, a new year. Our mission has made a goal to give our all and be 100% committed to the work. And if it so be that Heavenly Father sees us acting on our faith in this way, He may grant us the blessings of reaching our goal of 1,001 baptisms this year. This is His work. He is directing it and we have the privilege of participating in it. We are all called to the work, full-time missionary or not. And every calling is an opportunity to learn and grow. How great is our calling!

I hope you all had a happy new year! Let's make 2015 a great one, shall we?

Love, Sister Wen

The Christmas Adventures of Sister Wen

Sent December 29, 2014

Wondering what it's like to have Christmas in the Colorado Denver North Mission? Well, you have come to the right place!

We had dinner with a couple in our ward last week. They wanted us over for breakfast, preferably sometime before Christmas. They ended showing us how they make their 5-minute, homemade egg McMuffins with their mini frying pans. The real test, though, was having us make our own. After we created our delicious creations, they had us sit down and close our eyes. They placed a strange object in our hands and, as I opened my eyes, I beheld...a mini frying pan!

We also taught the 95 year-old investigator who's blind and 90% deaf. This time, we taught her one of the commandments...the Law of Chastity. For those of you who are not familiar with this law, it is a commandment to help us remain sexually pure. Let's just say, it was a very interesting lesson. After we'd taught her about it, she said, "Very good." Oh, Mil.

Christmas Day! Woke up at 6:30...the usual missionary schedule. Opened presents and Skyped my fam. The last time I heard their voices was 7 months ago on Mother's Day. It was just so good to see them and hear them. We were also permitted to watch two movies on Christmas Day. We watched The Saratov Approach and Tangled! We both hadn't seen the former so we decided to watch it. It was a very, very well-done movie about two missionaries in Russia of 1998 who were kidnapped for ransom. It was so weird to watch such an intense action/adventure movie on my mission. It even brought me to tears. Maybe because I'm a missionary and fear that I'd get kidnapped on my mission. Hah.

We spent Christmas with the Ringos, who are the grandparents of the ward. They take in all the missionaries as if we're their own grandchildren. We enjoyed a delicious prime rib. Mmm, mmm, I sure do love my meat.

And, to top it all off, S came to church yesterday! Wahoo! The second time! And, just 30 minutes before church began, I was asked to give a 5 to 10-minute talk in sacrament meeting. Luckily, however, our services were switched so we had Relief Society and Sunday School first before sacrament meeting. Gotta love the mission life.

After thinking about #HeIsTheGift and Who the first and real gift of Christmas is, now it's time to think of what our gift to Christ is as we approach the new year of two thousand and fifteen years after the birth of Christ. What are you going to give back to Christ this year?

Who we are is God's gift to us;
Who we become is our gift to God.


Sister Wen

Who says the blind can't see?

Sent December 22, 2014

S came to church! WAHOOO!!! We've been trying to get her to church for the past few weeks since we've been meeting with her. We always had a ride for her, but she finally came yesterday! She loved it. She enjoyed the music and the Christmas program, even though she couldn't see it. She told me that everyone's just so happy at church! Talk about that Christmas spirit!

We also taught M this week. She didn't make it to church nor did she read the Book of Mormon, but she just has so many questions that her curiosity is pushing her to read and to come to church next Sunday. Once we mentioned the fact that we have programs for her little ones, she said, "Well, now I'm really excited to come to church on Sunday." The only thing holding her back is that it starts at 9. Then, in the new year, we move a whole whopping...30 minutes! and we'll start at 9:30. But, hey, anyone will take an extra 30 minutes of sleep. I would, if I could.

We'd brought a member from our ward to our lesson with M. The member's from Samoa. When M brought up a question about everyone having to be perfect, the member talked about how everyone is welcome in the church. EVERYONE! She talked about how "we welcome all colors, Black, White, Asian, and Polynesian." I looked around the room and realized that she pointed out all the colors sitting in M's living room that very moment. M, Sister Kreissl, me, and the member, respectively #muchdiversity

M opened up a lot more in our lesson with her. The first two times we met with her, we only talked with her on her doorstep. This time, she allowed us into her home! She told us about an experience made her blind in her right eye. I thought, I should've known. Seriously, 3 of the investigators we're teaching are blind! M, in one eye, then S and Mil are both completely blind. We had no idea we were directed to teach so many who were blind!

And, yet, they see so much. They see based on their faith in Jesus Christ and who He was and who He is. They feel God's presence through His Holy Spirit. That's their confirming witness that the church they're attending, the words they're reading from the Book of Mormon, and the things that we're teaching them are true. Through that witness, they can know that Jesus Christ is the Messiah prophesied of old and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church restored to this Earth today. Jesus Christ was born so that we could live.

Let's celebrate! #HeIsTheGift


Sister Wen