I LIVE!!!....... 'case you were wonderin.
Oh my goodness guys. I'm almost DONE. I have a lot of feelings about coming to the completion of my mission-- good and sad-- but I think the timing is right?? Idrk tbh.
Soo I've had quite a few excuses as to why I haven't written, one of them being I just ran out of storage (like seriously? My last transfer??), but I don't wanna bore you with excuses. These past few weeks have been amazing!! Oh my where to begin?? Well I have a paragraph for every week I wAs going to send an email, so you get quite a few paragraphs today. Feel free to not read all this. I'm not sure if I would tbh..
We've seen LOTS of miracles! A couple weeks ago we had one night shift at the VC, and we made a goal to find 2 new friends. There were a bunch of trams, so our goal seemed achievable. Every tram that came had some Chinese people on it! I was excited to use my Chinese but as soon as they saw my tag they seemed to avoid me at all costs. At first it threw me off a little, but I quickly recovered as the next Chinese couple came in! Similar to the last couple though, they saw that I spoke their language and instead of being excited, they looked uncomfortable and wanted to tour on their own when I started speaking to them in Mandarin. This time it stung a little. Was I doing something wrong? Why were they avoiding me? It didn't help with my confidence as I watched the first couple walk up to the front with other Sisters who got contact information from them. I wanted to be happy for them. And I was. I just didn't understand why they ignored me and sister Hong. We had one last tram and I said a silent prayer to Heavenly Father saying that I would try to be positive if there were Chinese people on there who wouldn't want to speak to me either. I told him that I was trying, and that if it wasn't meant to be, then I would be okay, and thanked him for helping that first couple find sisters to talk to. Surprisingly, that last tram DID have a Chinese couple! They were interested in taking a tour with us! We showed them the temple model, gave them a BoM and got their contact info! It was an amazing miracle and tender mercy from the Lord! I know He hears me. He listens and cares. Even If I didn't see that big miracle, I still would've known he was listening. I'm so grateful he cares so much about the details of our lives. Also Christmas was amazing!! Sister Hong and I sang Away in a Manger for a devotional Christmas Eve, then gave talks and sang the same song in church the next day!! I felt so close to my savior this Christmas as we served everyone around us!!
This week has been filled with miracles, especially for Sister Hong! It's been a bit rough for her lately because she wasn't meeting or seeing a lot of Korean speakers and she was sad about not getting to use the languages (she's learning German too) she's been studying so diligently. But holy cow I think Heavenly Father is trying to show her that everything is okay, and that there are still so many opportunities to use her Korean! And German! She's been practicing a little German after hours and it payed off this week! We had a tram full of Chinese speakers, (I really want to come together with the other Chinese Sisters to translate the tram script because that would be SO useful) and it was going good until we took their picture in front of the temple. They all started walking left when I made it clear that the VC was to the right, and they didn't look interested in the tour anymore, so I suggested we go inside and look for other Sisters that spoke Mandarin. We found one but she said she talked to them and they weren't interested.. we didn't really know what to do so we just stood there in the VC until this guy walks in, walks straight over to us and asks if he can go inside the temple. We found out he has lived in Germany for the last 10 years and so Sister Hong got to speak a little German with him! Super cool! After showing him the brochures at the desk, he looks through them for a second and asks "how hard is the process to convert to another religion?" We asked if he meant THIS one and he said yes! We got his phone number and told him we could set him up with his local missionaries! It was such a cool miracle!
And just a couple days after that almost the same thing happened except with a Korean speaker! Walks in, says he has a friend that's a member and he's always been interested in knowing more about our religion! Sister Hong popped off with her Korean and we showed him around the entire VC pretty much! We gave him a BoM and he looked so appreciative!!
And these were my thoughts last week (1/13/23)
Missionary work is starting to feel weird.. just weird in the fact that we're trying so hard to build relationships in the branch and with others When I'm not going to be here in a few weeks. I know that the work goes on though, so I'll keep building those relationships for the next missionaries or if Sister Hong stays! This week we were able to break past a barrier with some of our friends! One who was a little stand-off-ish to us at first got sick, and we made her Chuk (Korean porridge that is SO good) with a little get well card and asked if we could drop something off to her! Immediately after dropping it off, she texted us saying she had been too sick to eat a full meal for the past few days and that the Chuk tasted like one of her favorite Hawaiian dishes! It was a miracle that we felt prompted to make it for her!
Another miracle was our lesson with Annabelle and Steve yesterday! They usually like to ask questions to trip us up. Not really in a mean way, they just grew up having it one way and it's VeRy hard for them to see things another way. But last night Annabelle really opened up in our lesson and she said "the reason I said yes to your Korean lessons was because yes, I wanted to learn Korean, but even more than that I was hoping to get something from you guys. I was hoping you could help me." Then she opened up about a hard family situation that ended up being my EXACT situation back home. It suddenly clicked. The reason (at least one reason) I was Sister Hong's companion at this specific time was for this lesson we were meant to have with them. We cried together, and it was really good. She said she wanted to give me and my mom a big hug. And I think it's so amazing how you can bond and form friendships over zoom! (Well Skype in their case)
Okay last paragraph I promise. (Also you can leave anytime just sayin)
Just yesterday we had another lesson with Annabelle and Steve. Looking back at it, I'm amazed. It was a super busy, and productive day so far. We had just finished giving a virtual tour at 4, rushed back to our pad to change out of our muumuus, then drove to our teaching center for our lesson with them at 4:30. Amidst all the chaos of lesson-to-lesson, we actually had no time to plan our lesson with Annabelle and Steve! While I was driving, I had the impression to just read straight from the BoM. To go back to the basics. Lessons/questions were getting too complex. So we did just that! We didn't even finish the chapter, but the vibe of the lesson was SO calm and miraculously, Steve had ZERO snarky comments or stump attempts. He's really nice I promise, he just loves to debate (he's a scientist)! After our time was up, Annabelle said that she liked the BoM study method a lot better and that she got a lot more out of it! Wooo! I'm getting slightly better at recognizing promptings (it only took the whole mission ) but if you listen really hard, and don't dismiss the promtings for "just thoughts", you're getting revelation! It's turned out to be a lot less complex than I thought it would be! A talk that REALLY helped was one by Elder Bednar. AKA the spiritual GIANT!! I highly recommend you listen to his talk on YouTube titled "Quit Worrying About it. (Is it me or the Holy Ghost)" or something like that. I promise it will help build your testimony about listening to the spirit! Okay I've talked your ears off, so I'll end with the fact that I love you all SO much! And that if I do write an email next week, I promise it won't be this long PEACE!
Maybe Jewish couple?