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