Transfers

Hello world!!!
This transfer is so bittersweet.
I’m staying in Arcadia!!!!! I feel so so so blessed and happy. I love this place so much and I was so worried I was going to leave since I’ve been here for 7 months, but God is good! And Sister Gong is my new companion! She’s grown so much since I was last companions with her so I am really excited to work with her! I also have a new sense of renewal to be more consecrated and obedient this next transfer so with God’s help, we should be seeing many miracles these next six weeks! Sister Mann moved to Alhambra to be with Sister Xia and I know they will continue to excel.
The Chinese Zone is officially dissolved. We had one last zone breakfast this morning and then went our separate ways. Next time we will all be together is probably the Christmas party. And since our zone split, we won’t be able to see our dear Chinese sisters every Thursday which is super sad. But I know that this is revelation and that many miracles and blessings will come from it! Funny thing is our new district consists of two bilinguals, two English only speakers and two Chinese only speakers. So Elder Chui will teach and I will translate and roleplays should be interesting.
Heavenly Father has blessed us with some great, solid investigators. We gave one of our newer investigators a Book of Mormon and she told us that she’s come in contact with several churches but was never too interested in learning more. She has also tried reading the Bible but could never get past the first couple verses in Genesis. During our lesson though, she said that she feels like she has more desire in learning more and if she could read into the Book of Mormon, she would take that as her answer that she her “time has come” to learn more and find a religion. I’m so excited for her to feel the power and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I KNOW Heavenly Father wants her to read it and will help her do so! I love the Book of Mormon so much.
We also had a great contacting experience and miracle last night! It was around 8:00 at night and our plans fell through so we decided to go to the park to go contacting! We got to the parking lot and my jaw dropped. There were literally ZERO cars in the parking lot. I have never seen Arcadia Park so empty before. Nonetheless, we said a humble prayer that we would find prepared people here at this park and then we went into the park. There was no one at the park. But Heavenly Father provides for His missionaries. Sometimes, I really can’t take in all the love He has for His missionaries. As we continued walking, we found some people. We talked to everyone, but not too much success. It was about time to go home so we started walking back to our car when we saw a couple walking near us. We started talking to them and the husband recognized us as “Mormon missionaries” and a couple minutes in, the wife literally said “I want to learn more about your church, but I need to first get my driver’s license. But after, I will definitely go to your church.” I think this is my first time ever hearing that. Yes, many people have said that when they have time, they’ll come to our church and see how it is, but they usually don’t. However when we were talking to this couple, I just had a confident feeling that we had found Heavenly Father’s prepared children. This work is magnificent.
There were many times this week when I felt like Heavenly Father was teaching me how to completely rely on the Spirit. Trusting others is definitely still a big weakness of mine, but Heavenly Father teaches us with love and patience. There was one lesson this past week when I just felt stuck. It was at that moment when I realized I had still been relying too much on myself and that I needed Heavenly Father’s help. I just prayed and prayed in my heart that He would help me know what to say. I can’t say that I had a huge revelation or feeling, but I can say that it was a humbling experience that I most definitely needed.
It’s Thanksgiving this Thursday! I want to challenge each one of you to write a list of one hundred things you are grateful for. If one hundred seems too much, think of 10 people you’re grateful for, 10 foods you’re grateful for, 10 life experiences you’re grateful for, 10 modern day technologies you’re grateful for, etc.. I know that counting our blessings will only make us happier! There are many things that we can’t control in our lives, but being grateful is in our control! So let yourself be happy and count your blessings!
I am grateful for each one of you. I am grateful for this gospel. I am grateful for my Savior and Heavenly Father who have always been and always will be at my side. I am also so grateful for my family (I have realized more and more how obsessed I am with my family haha. You guys are BOMB). I am grateful to be called of God to preach His gospel!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Love,
Sister Huang

Last Week of the Chinese Zone

Hello world!!

It was another great week! I have felt so abundantly blessed. November is definitely a month of gratitude and thanks.
So I think last week, I mentioned that President Villanueva raised our standard of excellence for new investigators from 3 to 5 a week. It is a super ambitious goal, but I can testify that it is revelation. This new standard has strengthened our faith to find and pushed us to go contacting more this week. And guess what? We got two new investigators! Even though we didn’t meet the standard, I know that it’s more than what we would have gotten if our standard was still at 3. I am so grateful for President Villanueva and the inspiration and revelation he receives.
One of our new investigators was actually a member referral (seriously, the increase in member-missionary work in this area has been unbelievable). Last Sunday, while we were chatting with the member outside her house, her neighbor pulls up and our member was like “you should give her a shot, I think she’s willing to hear.” So we gave her a card and talked for a little bit. On Wednesday, we went to visit the same member to drop something off, but she wasn’t home. As Sister Mann was starting to walk back to the car, I had a small impression to knock in her neighbor’s door. She was home! We were able to have a lesson and schedule a return appointment! We met with her again yesterday and it was a bomb lesson. She is so open and willing to learn. Our lesson kind of reminded me of Aaron teaching King Lamoni’s father. We built on her knowledge that there is a “higher power” and then expounded on the Restoration. It was so neat to feel the Spirit work through us to let us know what exactly to say.
I have decided that our golden investigator has been the hardest investigator I’ve taught on the mission. It’s not hard  to help her keep commitments – she reads her Book of Mormon and prays and goes to church and meets with us three times a week. The hard thing is helping her recognize and find an answer – aka help her recognize the Holy Ghost. She still does not believe that there’s a God because she hasn’t gotten an answer. Yesterday, I decided to fast to know how to help our dear friend. It was during personal study this morning when I got my answer. Sometimes, I make the gospel and mission work too complicated. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring others unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in the Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We are only guides. We are not here to answer every single one of their questions, we are just to teach them the gospel so that they can receive answers themselves. It’s like what President Uchtdorf said about the gospel this past General Conference: “It is beautifully simple, and it works beautifully.”
So this is the last week of our Chinese Zone which breaks my heart. Next transfer will bring a lot of changes. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, but we know that He knows best. It’ll be weird to have district and zone meetings in English, that’s for sure.
I hope you all have a splendid week! Give more thanks in your daily prayers – it’ll make the day a lot better!
Love,

Sister Huang

The Only Thing Constant is Change

(Letter from Nov. 9)
Hello world!!
It was a good week of more member-missionary work, progressing investigators and miracles with less-actives. On Wednesday, we got a referral from our High Priests leader and she is golden and ready. However, since she lives closer to Alhambra, we sent her over to Sister Xia and Sister Gong. They had a lesson with her the next day and when we followed up, they said it went super well! My faith has been increasing so much in regards to the fact that the field is white ready to harvest! There are SO many prepared people out there! And it’s the best when members are out there helping us missionaries find them!
Yesterday was so happy. First of all, Mountain View Ward and Temple City Ward combined to have the Primary Program! I love Primary Programs and I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen one so the whole time, I was just bubbly inside. One of the best things about the program was that one of our investigators participated in it! He was all dressed nice and spiffy in his suit and it was just the best. Second of all, both of our investigators with baptism dates came to all three hours! When we came into Relief Society, the sisters just welcomed them with open arms. Having peikes (member present) are the best!
Our Relief Society president gave us a list of less actives she wanted us to visit, just to see if they still live there and if they want visiting teachers. We started on the list one night and couldn’t find any of them – they either moved, went to another church, didn’t want to talk to us, etc.. But then the next day when we went out to find more, we had great success! We visited about 7 and one of them was super nice and accepted a return visit! Yes, 1/7 counts as an enormous success! We went back to the car feeling super happy and blessed.
Friday night was also so wonderful. We called one of our less actives to just see how she’s doing and to see if she’s reading the BOM. We’ve invited her to read the BOM so many times, but every time we follow up, she says she hasn’t. To be honest, I kinda expected her to say no, but she said she did! She read the chapter we assigned her! And she saw the immediate blessings from it. AHHH I couldn’t even contain my happiness on the phone so I kinda started giggling haha.
And then later that night, we decided to go over to another one of our less active’s house to invite him to sports night. It’s been probably over 2 months since we’ve seen him so we were really hoping Heavenly Father could give us a miracle and find him. And He did! First miracle: one of their neighbors was outside of the apartment complex and let us in! Usually, we can never get through the gate because it’s locked, but that night, Heavenly Father prepared a way! And then when we knocked on their door, HE WAS HOME!! And not only was he home, but his whole family was! They were so nice and let us in and fed us food (per usual in Chinese culture) and our friend came to sports night!
So really really sad news. Our Zone Leaders told us on Thursday at Zone Meeting that our Chinese zone/family will probably get split up next transfer. They’re thinking about dividing zones based on stakes and since all three of our areas are in three separate stakes, we would all get split up. When I heard this, I almost cried. Sister Xia actually cried. They can’t split up our family! Sometimes, it’s definitely very hard to accept God’s will. But the only thing constant is change so it’s something I need to get used to. Next transfer calls will be interesting…
The gospel is true, people! My testimony of that grows everyday. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and it has been my rock. If you are searching for peace, solace, comfort or help, go to the Book of Mormon. It is a huge blessing to be able to have a full hour dedicated to personal studying and pondering God’s word. I love being a missionary!
Have a beautiful week! Pray for someone new this week!
Love,
Sister Huang

Nine Months

Hello world!!!
Sister Mann graduated from 12 week training today!!! I also hit my nine month mark this Wednesday which is insane…
This week was wonderful! Our teaching pool is growing with awesome potential! We found a family and the mom already accepted a baptism date! Guys, the gospel really changes people. And sometimes, it’s immediate. We met with the mom on Tuesday and did some how to begin teaching and taught her how to pray. Then on Thursday, we were able to have a lesson with her, her husband and their 12 year old son. One of the first questions we asked them was if they believe that there is a God. They all said yes so we asked them how they knew. Their answer touched me. The husband said that it’s because in the past two days since we met with his wife, he felt as if she became a completely different person. She didn’t get angry as easily or as much and there was more peace in the home. The wife said she felt less irritable. She said that she usually scolds her husband and child everyday, but she didn’t scold them at all the last two days. And this is why they believe there’s a God. This gospel blesses individuals and families. And it was so darling because at the end, the mom was super excited to teach her husband and son how to pray. It’s been so long since I have taught a family so this lesson just brought the biggest joy.
We’ve also had a lot of great member-missionary work going on. One of the blessings of working in the same area for 7 months is that you get to really develop and solidify your relationships with members. And the work hastens when that happens! A member from Hacienda (also family friend, woohoo!) gave us an awesome referral last week. And man, does she have HIGH expectations for us in helping this referral join the church and experience the blessings of the gospel. I am so excited to see where this goes!
We have also been having wonderful experiences with members coming and participating in our lessons. There is true wisdom when Preach My Gospel says, “Before baptism and confirmation, ensure that members are present at every lesson, if possible.” It really makes all the difference, especially in getting investigators to church. I am so thankful for the members who are so willing to give up some time to peike with us and help our friends enter the doors to salvation.
Also, can I just say that our Relief Society is bomb? Another example of member-missionary work. One of our recent converts hasn’t been coming to church for the past two months and we felt like we had been doing everything we could to get her to come. The Relief Society President and Visiting Teaching Coordinator also called and visited her. Every time we meet with the RS Presidency and the VT Coordinator, we talk about our dear friend. Anyway, it’s been a team effort and yesterday, our recent convert came to church! Our VT Coordinator bore her testimony and shared how grateful she was to see a dear friend come back to church. It is so neat and great to share our love for our friends with our members.
One of our less actives called us the other day and asked if we could come over to help with English. So we went over and also read some of the Book of Mormon. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much since I have been on my mission. It’s seeing people change and learning to feast upon the word that is evidence to me that this book is the word of God. While we were reading, our friend told us that after not reading the Book of Mormon for so long, she felt like she was filled. And then she asked if we could come every week to read the Book of Mormon with her. UM, YES!!!!! I love the Book of Mormon.
We Skyped with our recent convert Zhang Li, who’s in China!! She has been going to church every week where she lives and it was just so happy to see her still active in the gospel!!!! Also just to see her in general. I love and miss that lady so much.
I am so eternally grateful for the trials and the hard times Heavenly Father gives us. I am grateful that He loves His children so much that He is willing to break our hearts so that we can learn to completely rely on Him to make our hearts whole. I’ve learned that I’m definitely the kind of person who doesn’t like to rely on people too much, but Heavenly Father has taught me to rely on Him. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s going uphill.
I love you all. Also, this past week, I’ve seen the power that comes from visiting teaching. Home teaching and visiting teaching are SO important. It helps us fulfill our baptismal covenant and it is a RESPONSIBILITY. It gives us an opportunity to be the Lord’s hand in doing His work and administering to our brothers and sisters. So please please please, don’t overlook this responsibility and blessing and do your home teaching and visiting teaching!
Have a wonderful week!
Much love,
Sister Huang