Tuesday, October 28, 2014

So I had my 3 month mark on my mission last week. That means 1/6 th of my mission is gone by. 

I’m not counting down; I just like to know where I stand.  Waste not, want not!

The Zone Leaders wanted us to email at the library, but of course you need a library card (don't have that). Or an address (should have that). Or a Seattle Mission card (don’t have that either). Or a ministry card (nope). They didn't realize that my ministry card was all in Chinese and I said, "Elders, what do you want me to do- hand them all my certification in Chinese documents and say, "Hey I know you can't read that or validate that, but I swear it's legit. So go ahead give me legal validation to use your city's property?  lol.  I get to email in the family history center today :)

It's been a good week. Two big events first: 
  1. Our mission president (whose also a general authority) came to our ward yesterday and spoke.  Saturday he walked along the beach with Elder Christofferson and he told us what he said:  "get married.”  He said that's what he wanted him to tell us and all the single adults.  The Lord wants you to get married.  "The Lord is not seeing enough marriages.  That is why he lowered the mission age." So there you go. 
  2. We have a new investigator who is Chinese.  She was baptized awhile ago because she knew she should be, but not into any church.  We were teaching her about the apostasy and she kept going, "Oh this makes so much sense. I've been so confused about the different churches. " And then we taught her about preisthood and she was like, "Oh... I don't think my host dad who baptized me had that... so I think.. I need to be baptized in this church.  Can I do that?  What do I have to do?  Can I convert?  " Ha! Why yes, yes you may. "

Our area is going well. Recently we've had a lot of success meeting with inactives and working with them.  Some are becoming very active quickly. We also have two very solid progressing investigators moving towards baptism and very actively reading the Book of Mormon.  It's all very exciting to see people coming closer to Christ.  We've been really trying to focus on using our members to help us find, and they've actually found the most solid investigators we've have.  Our ward/ congregation is very active with missionary work, and its great to have a ward whose so excited and dedicated. 

Lately, I've been trying out a few different tactics with street contacting. Btw- Opening the pamphlets with pictures of Christ, prophets, etc, and asking people "what do you see?" is super helpful.  You learn so much about them so fast and they can feel the spirit if they're ready.  But sometimes, it's raining hard and it's not pamphlet-safe weather (unless you're going for gospel paper-mache), so we have to be creative. Basically, I try to make small-talk to lead to important things and then gospel things.  But you know- sometimes you just got to do a 180 and bring up the gospel. So...

5 Ways I Forced People into Gospel Discussions This Week:
  1. "Ya funeral potatoes are good, even at funerals. And speaking of twice-baked potatoes-- Have you heard of the resurrection?" 
  2. "Frank and beans huh? Sounds like Frankincense. You know, wise men brought that to the Savior. And since you brought up Jesus, why do you think he's so important to so many people?" 
  3. "Oh we're all destroying our earth?  And you're studying ecology?  Cool. What do you think is God's greatest creation?" 
  4. "And speaking of the whole nude San Francisco bike festival-- Missionaries actually ride bikes a lot in full suits!  Have you seen us?  Ya?  Why do you think modesty is important to them?" 
  5. "Sweet. You know who else had a beard?" .... *Pulls out a picture of Christ*  "I know why you're smiling.  The resemblance is uncanny.  Let's talk about how you can actually be more like him.  Wow this is so exciting that I met you today to bless you with this!"  

Ya that last guy isn't getting baptized, but I figure if they laugh then it worked. :) 

Also- Everyone knows I'm from Texas. People on the street, people on the bus, my ward, etc.  I told my district leader that the only way I would feel more secure in downtown Seattle was if I had a concealed weapons permit... permission denied. 

Every time my Japanese companion see's a beautiful Asian woman she says, "Oh, I think she's Japanese." "Oh she looks Japanese". Haha. You know where her opinion is. 

At a fireside I was singing higher and higher and I noticed someone was signing with me, just as high! and it was SO GOOD!  So I'm looking and neither of my companions are singing that high.  So I turn to my left.  It was Elder Ford with a big smile on his face.  I was like, "It's on!" so he sang in falsetto higher and higher harmonies and we competed who could sing higher... he won. 
Best two out of three? 

And lets talk about the weather: 

Because that's always interesting. It rains. And it rains. And now it's freezing rainy with big healthy gusts of wind to oh so gently wake us up in the morning. Also, our apartment has no heater. Haha missionary life. Haha but mostly rain. I thought God promised no more floods after Noah. 
Friday we had a ward party, and though there were many investigators all of them were technically the Elders so.. we thought "okay maybe we'll go out in the rain.”  It was a storm.  There was no one outside.  I mean no one. No one but us.  So Sister Imai walks back in, all of our hair soaking wet, tears running down her face, and asks the District Leaders, "So.. maybe it would be more productive to... be here?  And talk to invesigators and do member lessons and just.. not .. and teach people here.." And our district leader was like, "Yes you can come in!  I can't figure out why you thought you should leave in the first place!"  I thought she was gunna cry lol.

Also it's freezing here. But I'll live. If I stay another transfer though I'm finding boots. 

Btw- my companion just asked our district leader, "hey what happened to our district t-shirts?" and he said. "uhhhhhhhhhh you know? It's a surprise. That's why I havent been bringing it up the last few week..." And then he turned around to google t-shirt shops in the area lol

Our district is pretty funny.  For example, Elder Ford, Elder Carpenter and I have hashtags.  #Fordination  #Carpentence  #WawroWisdom :)


Yes we see miracles every day. We met the best people on the street every day. The Elder's investigators named WenJie is getting baptized Saturday! Yay! She went to ask her uncle for family permission (She's Chinese) and her uncle forbade her.  But she told us the more upset he got, the more conviction she had that this was the right choice and told him she would get baptized without family permission (big deal).  It was so cool.  I talked to her Friday and she said, "Do you see how I'm smiling? I can't stop smiling.  It's because I'm getting baptized!  Please come."

Also their investigator Shark (ya that's his name) is getting baptized!  Sharks getting in the water!

My friend Naomi put this in her letter home recently and I thought she had a great message: "I have been studying the atonement and one thing I learned recently is that when we think our weaknesses are part of our identity is against the plan of salvation and everything god has given us. Christ atoned for us so that we could have the strength to overcome the powers of satan. So that we could over come our weakness so we can CHANGE.  Isn't it beautifu!" I often find myself saying oh that will never change.  But guess what the power of the atonement can change anything."

I think what she said is true. I'm so blessed to be here, and I learn so much every day.  This week I was really wondering why we pray for things or other people if we won't change God's mind.   And can we change "God's mind?" And I know we have to ask for certain blessings, but do our prayers matter for other people.  And I came to a soft conclusion- someone has to ask for the blessings God is willing to give us. Maybe, someone else has to ask for them for you, but someone has to ask.  So in conclusion, our prayers do make a difference.  At the very least the bless us, but, I think that's why we can "feel other's prayers".  Because we can feel more blessings than we ourselves have asked for. 

Anyways, thank you all. I love you and thank you for writing me. Have a good week! 

Remember: Attitude is half the battle. 

Yay Japenese food with member Michael! He's a sushi chef

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All is well in Zion ;) [please tell me someone gets that].
I cannot beleive its Oct 20th. Two weeks from my birthday people! Time to assumble the packages with all the ribbons and the bows. These are a few of my favorite things! Get 'em out quick! Haha just kidding just kidding.
No, I don't know anything about visas.
So this week. Oh goodness: 
I think it will be easier to explain if I just start listing people, so
Abdul- is our new Muslim investigator! He is awesome awesome and so chilarious! I love him. after the lesson he says, "What do you sisters like to drink?" And we're like, "uhhhh water? Juice?" and he gets into his BMW and comes back with smoothies for us! And he hads them to us and goes, "You are like my sister." We said, "Oh what is your sister like?" And he laughs and says, "No- my sister is six. You aren't like her. I mean you are like my sisters to me." Sooooo cute. 
Serafina- is one of my favorite humans. She's Chinese and coming back to church. I get to teach her in Chinese and she says she likes it because she thinks God gives me more power when I teach in Chinese. I love her. She also prays so hard that her mom will believe in God and learn about the gospel. 
Makaela- is my favorite too. She's already a member. She shows up at the institute spontaneously and is deciding this week what she's going to do. Prayers!
Tina- is passed on... to the Elders. Gaw my heart. 
Caroline- is my new ninvestigaor. She was really confused when I brought her to Mandarin Sunday School and then when I and two RMs turned to her in Chinese and said, "What did you think?" inChinese she freaked out and gaspend, "ah! foreigners!" hahahhaa. priceless. 
Sierra- is a member we took contacting adn she rocked it! She was extending committments before I was and everytime she was like, "Ok ok Ill do better next time." So cute
Irene- is Sister Allred's friend from high school who is Taiwanese! She agreed to let me practice teaching the lessons to her in Chiense even though she's not intersted. Woot!
JW- is a man we had to drop because he's wandered off onto forbidden paths and is lost. See 2 Ne 2:11-13 and it boils down our conversations with him. But! We have him the lessons completely through song. So that was cool. 
Also- UW campus is now advedrtising our English class FOR us! And regualrily recommending students! :) :) Got that done this week!
And- I sang to an old man in the unsafe Safeway store this week (thats a joke mom). He liked it. People clapped.
So those are just a few of the people in my life this week. I wish I had time to talk about all the members like I want to. :(
5 Funny Moments this Week: 
  1. Turning out setting up a "date" with someone that turns into a lesson is the #1 finding technique. 
  2. Last week I was trying to spell the sound for spit- for that story- so I asked my district how to put the sound into writing. Then I was logging off later I was frustrated and went "psssh". Elder Carpenter said, "pssh? That's P-S-S-S-H" And I said, ". . . what are you talking about?" and then realized and started laughing. 
  3. Sister Allred was trying to help Sister Imai with her accent. Every morning I hear Sister Allred say, "Raw Raw Raw" and Sister Imai go, "Wu-oo Wuh-oo Wa-oo" after here ahaha
  4. President Choi says, "If you dont write me every week, I will stop your moneys." Like any good father. 
  5. Presdient Choi (he's korean) also said this week, "Open your eyes wide. I can't open my eyes as wide as you, but I am opening". Haha. He went on, "Missionaries keep eyes open to find investigators. Everyone else, to find spouse. . .now." 
Sooooo I hear BYU aint doing so hott. . . I'm relieved. I can't emotionally handle being absences from success. So glad that trial has passed! #whohaveIbecome. Sadly, the Seahawks lost Sunday too. To the RAMS! Omgsh the Rams people what the... but I was the missionary who wasnt supposed to have worldly cares- So I had to be strong for the members, walking around bringing my living water to the emotionally wonded and such.
The atonement covers many pains.
Flu Shots: 
I hate them. A mission is humbeling in many ways. For some Elders its gettign over the face that they scream like small children around needles. For Sister Imai its getting a flu shot she doesnt believe in two weeks before she goes home. For Me it's accepting a flu shot that I'm morally against and see no point of. For Sister Allred it's all of the above. . . Missioanaries are dramatic about needles lol. Proof that we're still mostly 18 and 19 ahha.
House Arrest: 
We got a fungus amoung us so we were banished to this little area of Sibera called our apartment for two days. Its (Satan's) psycological warfare. After a while you start to fool yourself into thinking you really could be semi-useful instide. But, I built something while I was stuck inside... pcitures/explanation below.
Most Amazing Experince of My Mission So Far:
Last night was the member missionary fireside. I had an amazing experince at the end of it. First, some poor guy got up and said, "Yesterday I got baptized, today confirmed, and now this..." he was speaking to two chapels full of people haha. Poor guy. He also said that when the missionaries told him about it he was like, "Oh do I need to bring marshmellows?"   "What?"    "Well.. fireside right?" haha. Antoher new convert got up and talked about how he had 30 questions typed out- so the Elders got scared so they called in reinforcements including 12+ members, a bishop, a stake presidnet, and eventually president Choi who is a general authority. One President couldn't evcen answer, so he went home and studied it and talked to the brethern adn sent it back to the investigaotr in writing the next day. That's my president!
But after, Elder Rainy was talking to a blind and deaf man (you put him hands on your hands and sign to him) and Elder Rainy told me to come over. He puts the man's hands on mine and says. "Okay now tell him your name." Lucklily, my companion who is fluent is ASL (Sister Allred) taught me the alphabet two days earlier so I could! So I did and the man starts signing and tells me about football, and growing up in Texas, and the Dallas Cowboys, and his conversation, and the whole time Elder Rainy translated for me. Then when I wanted to say something Elder Rainy would make me sign it myself. It was soooo cool. I am so so thankful he did that for me, so I could talk to this sweet man. I can't imagine what life is like for him, to have someone almost always translate for you, but it was one of the most touching experinces of my life. Both because his story was touching and he was so kind, and because Elder Rainy was toughful enough to escort him everywhere and translate for him, and to translate for my and give me encouragement that I really could talk to him. And I could! [Elder Rainy's father is death so he's also fluent]. It was suuuuuuch an amazing experience.
I'll be forever grateful.
Remember! attutude is half the battle!
K now pictures :)
This is the wall, the wall I made while under house arreset. The left couple columns are about a booth on campus and the Member Area Book (tracking member's missionary committments. We made it just for our ward). The right three columns are the doctrine and principles for teaching/helping members do missionary work. Remember! Sharing the gospel is not sharing paper people!

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Hey so not a lot of time this week but here's the run down:  We had to give our non member who we were teaching to the Elders, we had to tell several people what opposition was, and we lost our investigator Simon after we had a stellar lesson that made him start to accept truth.  And then he freaked out.  We also taught a homeless woman who showed up at church. She was brought by a homeless member of the III ward.  She told me about how when her belongings were stolen from her last night, she just prayed and told God that she knew he'd somehow turn this into a good thing, even though she couldn't imagine being homeless as a good things right now.  She had more strength than me.  We also have a solid Muslim looking into the gospel- which I love.  You know?  You can really tell that an non member is ready for baptism when you can talk with them like a member.  That's what I've noticed.  I love seeing that change in people.

In other news: 

My companion caught the kitchen on fire. 
True story. We were in the middle of the lesson in the chapel when we head a rummaging from the kitchen.  And then a yelp.  All of a sudden, the window between the kitchen and the chapel flew open and smoke was billowing out! T hick black smoke poured into the chapel.  A silhouette was in the kitchen;  We could only see it's arms flapping up and down like a traffic director at the airport.  The oven mitts were the flags. In time, we saw it was Brother Moore who was coughing on the smoke. Turns out Sister Allred wanted to "toast" some tortillas right before the lesson and had forgotten about them. Shameful. Brother Moore stayed pretty calm about it, but she was mortified. 

Baptismal Goals: 

So look, we have to get people to church so many times and living the commandments and interviewed before they can get baptized. And no one is eligible to even get baptized this week.  Progressing? yes. eligible? no.] So. We asked our district leader, "look. Do we have to put one on our goal this week? If it really is impossible." He said, "Look, I want you to rate your faith on a scale of 1 to 10. Then write that number in the box." 
Best explanation I've ever heard about goals. ;) 

Michael's Miracle: 

K so we've been working with recent convert Michael lately. He hasn't been at church because he just got a new important job that makes him work Sundays. He said he hadn't been praying about it because he didn't want to bother God. -__-. So we had a talk. Long story short, he half-heatedly asked him boss for Sundays off and BAM all Sundays are now off. lol. Sometimes people forget that going to church is a commandment and that Heavenly Father so easily helps you. 

My companion beats me at night: 

So the other night- well first of all; I'm totally innocent (like usual). Don't let the story I'm about to tell you fool you. But, the other night, we're praying and the lights are off.  It's pitch black- there are no windows where we sleep.  And I have the top bunk above Sister Allred.  So, I finished my prayers... and I was wide awake.  And I knew Sister Allred was still saying her prayers because I hadn't heard her get into bed yet. So, I leaned over and went PHU-TOOEY!  I didn't actually spit (of course), but I made the sound. Sister Allred freaked out.  Ohhh it was so funny.  Until, in her flailing and reckless arm swinging, she hits me in the face! 
She settled down and sheepishly asked, "Hey is your face okay?" I said, "Ya. . . the left side of my lips are little slower than the right." 

 Adventures with a Japanese companion: 

My Japanese companion, Sister Imai,  is so so funny and cute. She is good at English but idioms are still hard for her. This week she got a text and said, "I know the words but.. What does it mean?" I looked at the message from the district leader and it said: "I think they're beginning to rub off on us. Don't been green with envy; We're two peas in a pod. But hey, we'll repent. Let's bury the hatchet and let sleeping dogs lie." Hahaha. It took twenty minutes to explain that message. 

Also, some things culturally- she just doesn't know how they work yet. For example, she tried to call someone named Zach this last week. She got his voice-mail. So the voice-mail started recording and she started to talk:
Her: Hey Michael! We- oh wiat. Oh no. I mean Zach... ..[turns towards us while talking into the phone] . . . how do I start over? 
Us: What? You cant. 
Her: No, how do I start message over? 
Us: You can't! You're still recording!
Her: . . .uh oh. . . What now? 
Us: [whisper] hang up!
Her: Uhhh no... so Zach. Listen, we know your name. Could you call us back at blah blah blah. 

oh goodness. 

So we do a lot of contacting around the college here. Gawww. So This week I wrote down all the best rejection I got. People can be pretty creative with turning you down, you know? Never underestimate the creativity of the mob. 
5 most tactful street rejections this week: 
  1. "If destiny brings us together again, I will." [Then we saw him later that day]. "I do not think destiny has the same meaning in your language as mine."
  2. What's that? Sorry I think I hear my friend mentally calling me. 
  3. Sorry sweetie, I'm not ready for commitment. 
  4. So if I stand here I have to listen to you.. right? 
  5. "I'm a Christian." "Yea, we are too." "Oh... well I'm Jewish." 
Anyways, I think it's interesting that so many people think that if God did not do what they wanted, if God did not fit to their perfect ideal, or if they just can't plain understand something, they think God doesn't exist. But really, how many times does your parent give you exactly what you want? Or do what you think they should when you were a child? A perfect God would rarely see things from our angle; He has so much more wisdom than us. 

The thing is, there either is a God or there is not. You can logically prove both. You can. But if there's not a God, he won't answer your prayer. And if there is a God, he might choose to answer you're prayer. So, pray. That's the only way you'll know at all, isn't it? And the best part is that whenever you pray, God is close. And God listens. He doesn't just here, he listens. In fact, he says, "I answer." Right in D&C he says again and again, "I answer." Because you're worth infinitely more than the universe. And I know he answers. 

Faith in God and a knowledge of God bring hope. And if we have hope, our entire world changes around us. Everything looks different when we choose hope. Hope can change our very natures. God, or Heavenly Father, so eagerly wants to give us hope. And give us knowldge, and light, which groweth until the perfect day. 

So if you want to know something, don't forget to ask. 

May God bless you all. I love you! 

Pictures this week: 
This is Sister Imai and I studying at night

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