Power of Peikes!

Hello world!!!

So our golden investigator is almost set to get baptized this
Saturday! Last Thursday, we asked her how she felt about baptism and
she said that she is really excited because she knows that through
baptism, she will be able to come closer to God. We are teaching her
the last lesson today and she is getting interviewed on Wednesday and
then if all goes well (which it will!), she’ll get baptized on the
30th! She is so awesome and it’s been the biggest privilege to teach
such a prepared soul. Guys, these people really do exist! She is our
miracle dropped from heaven. She is a testament to me that Heavenly
Father provides because even though both of our original January
baptism dates didn’t make it, He helped us achieve our goal of
baptizing monthly by giving us Linda. I really believe it was our
commitment to be obedient and learning to rely on God. Also MEMBER
MISSIONARY WORK. It was her neighbor (a member of our ward) that
simply invited her to church a couple weeks ago and look where that
led! “By small and simple things, great things come to pass”!

And I can’t forget about our dearest family! So we were able to meet
with the dad Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before English class (his
wife and son weren’t able to come) and we taught him the Restoration.
Never have I seen someone so readily accept Joseph Smith and Thomas S.
Monson as prophets of God. And that’s not even all. When we introduced
the Book of Mormon, he was SO EXCITED. He also LOVED the analogy of
comparing the Book of Mormon to a keystone. I couldn’t help myself
from not giggling. Okay so best part was Saturday evening when we got
to meet with the whole family. We introduced the Book of Mormon to the
mom and son and the dad helped us in explaining the Restoration and
the Book of Mormon. He was so excited to share all that he had learned
the previous three days!!!! They are all so excited to read the Book
of Mormon. And at the end of the lesson, we said a kneeling prayer. We
invited the mom to say it and even though it was probably the shortest
prayer, it was powerful because it was sincere. I LOVE THIS FAMILY. I
LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I LOVE THE BOOK OF
MORMON.

Another miracle: we hit the standard of excellence for number of
lessons with member present! Actually we exceeded it. The standard is
seven and we got eight. Can I just emphasize again the power of peikes
(member present)?! They add a third testimony of what we missionaries
teach and are able to relate more to our investigators being that
they’re parents and adults also. There were so many times this week
during lessons when I felt prompted to invite our peike to share a
testimony or story and they just did it before I even asked! Talk
about teaching in unity. We have awesome, awesome members who love
doing missionary work!

I also want to testify of God’s perfect plan for each of us. To be
honest, this past week was ROUGH in terms of companionship. During
weekly planning, I just had a meltdown and called the Sister Training
Leaders because I didn’t know what to do. I’m still not able to
balance helping both my companion and our area and I didn’t know who
to go to for help because there would either be a language barrier or
boundary issue or other stuff.  But when the STLs came, we were able
to come up with some ideas as to how to help me get the support I need
to balance helping my companion and Arcadia. Sister Hamilton suggested
putting an English sister with us to help Sister Gong with her English
and I was like “God knows it all because starting from Friday night,
Sister Dunn is going to be with us!” That ET was so crazy, but I know
it was all part of God’s plan. He is so aware of each one of us. So
for the past three days so far, we’ve been doing Chinese and English
work, covering two areas and languages. It’s been so nice to get a
second opinion and suggestion for our investigators and I think it’s
definitely helping Sister Gong in terms of English. The elders joked
saying that by the time this week ends, I will have forgotten all my
Chinese. It’s kind of happening haha.

Other fun stuff that happened this past week:
-Sister Gong and Sister Xia hit their one year mark this past week! SO CRAZY!!!
-I locked us out of our apartment AGAIN (third time….). But luckily,
our bathroom window wasn’t locked so I got to pull off some Spider-Man
action and climb through our tiny bathroom window.
-We had a worldwide missionary department training broadcast and it
was AWESOME. I think they said it was the first one they’ve done in
about ten years? I love getting training and suggestions from our
church leaders. They are so inspired and it reminded me again that
this work is truly THE most important work to do. I LOVE BEING A
MISSIONARY.
-We got to go to an English member’s house for dinner with Sister Dunn
and it was wonderful. It was a young family (the dad’s actually in
school to become a nurse anesthetist) and they had three little kids
that were the cutest. We don’t have any young families in our ward so
it was super refreshing and fun. Sister Gong said she really liked
American families haha.

So this week, we are going to be running back and forth from English
work to Chinese work which will be fun! Daily planning has been fun,
trying to combine our plans together. But double the area, double the
fun, double the miracles!

Thank you for all the looooove and support! I have so much love and
appreciation for each one of you! Thanks for being the best! Have a an
awesome week!

Love,
Sister Huang

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Expecting Miracles

Hello world!!

One thing I love about being a missionary is being able to wake up everyday and thinking, “What amazing miracle does Heavenly Father have in store for us today?” This week was a spiritual roller coaster. I felt like it was the biggest exercise of faith that I had ever experienced on my mission. But I believe it was because of our added amount of faith and higher expectation of miracles that we were able to see so many miracles this week.

Here are just a few from this week:

Miracle 1: On Tuesday, we had a lesson fell through so we decided try out TRACTING!!! Heavenly Father blessed us with a good first experience. We met an old German man who just opened his whole life up to us – his wife died a year ago right before Christmas, his parents dying in a plane crash, etc.. We testified to him of the Plan of Salvation and he agreed to meet with the missionaries! So we passed him off to the English elders. He also suggested to knock on one of his neighbors’ door! So after we said bye to him, we went to go find apartment number two and guess what? We saw an old Chinese man coming
out of apartment number two to take his trash out! We offered to take his trash to the dumpster for him and HE LET US! This was such a tender mercy for two reasons. The first is because that morning, I asked a Heavenly Father to let us be able to contact someone through an act of service and BAM there it was. The second reason is because a Chinese person accepted our service! This NEVER happens. I have never been so happy taking garbage out to the dumpster.

Wednesday was a rough day. El Niño came for a bit so it was down pouring. We were so fortunate though because unlike most missionaries, we had a car so we could still make our appointments. Well, all our appointments fell through so we decided to go through our list of formers. Some other names popped into my head so we decided to try them too. No one was home. We felt so lost and I felt like we were wasting our miles trying a bunch of people who weren’t even home. We probably said more prayers together that day than I have ever said with any other companion. And tender mercies and miracles happened.

Miracle 2: While we were getting gas, one of our potentials called us and we were able to finally set up a time to meet with her and share our message! We had been trying for two months prior to this phone call. WOW!!! And our lesson (which was the next day) was awesome. She is so open and willing to learn and begin to develop that relationship
with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love her to bits already.

Miracle 3: After about two hours of knocking on empty house, I had a feeling to try to visit our dear friend, G, again. She’s the one who was doing all the commitments but not getting any feeling or answer whatsoever. Her daughter in law recently had a baby so she has been helping her do that traditional one month of confinement after childbirth thing that Chinese people do. So basically, we haven’t been able to see her in over a week. We tried knocking her door earlier that day, but no one answered. When we went back the second time, I had a sure feeling that she was going to be home. We knocked her door
and no one answered. I was so determined that she was home so I knocked and knocked again. There was still no answer so with a heavy heart, we decided to walk back to our car. Right when we turned around, we saw G pull in the driveway!!!!! I couldn’t even believe it.
GOD IS A GOD OF MIRACLES. I was so happy! I gave her the biggest hug.

Miracle 4: We had the best phone call on Thursday night. We wanted to double check our appointment with L (our ten year old friend who has been making SO much progress recently) so we called his mom. But instead of his mom picking up, he did! So we got to follow up with his Book of Mormon reading and praying. He told us he has been reading the Book of Mormon more and he prays before he reads EVERY time!!! And then he was like “Oh I have something else I want to tell you!” He told us that he felt like the Holy Ghost was with him because there were a lot of times where he didn’t know what to do and then he would have a feeling to do something and then the result would be good!” OH MY GOODNESS. I was on the verge of tears. And miraculously, Sister Gong even understood what he said (he was talking in English)! He said he is ready to be baptized on the 24, the only thing is to get official permission from his parents. His mom hasn’t been very
supportive recently so please please please pray for our friend and his mom, that her heart will be softened and that he can get baptized on the 24!! That night when I was saying my bedtime prayers, I literally just started sobbing. I felt like Ammon in Alma 26:11. My heart was brim with joy.

Miracle 5: This week was one of the hardest weeks in terms of finding but  miraculously, we were able to hit our mission’s standard of excellence for new investigators! We were able to find FIVE! It’s another testament to me that this is definitely the Lord’s work and when we completely humble  ourselves to Him and acknowledge the fact we can’t do anything without Him,  He gives us miracles. Also, eight of our friends came to church! That was  definitely a sweet blessing, especially since no investigators came last week.

We also had a great Stake-Missionary coordination meeting on Thursday where all the missionaries and ward mission leaders in the stake got together and  discussed how we can do better at member-missionary work. President Terrill gave a powerful talk on how faith and obedience leads to revelation and miracles which are necessary in order to succeed in doing the Lord’s work of salvation. He wrote two numbers on the board: 300,000 and 3,000. He told us that there are 300,000 people living in our stake boundaries and there are 3,000 of them that are  members. He then asked us a question that I invite all you to think about in regards to your own stake: “How many of the 300,000 people do you think are ready to accept the gospel this very moment?” We all agreed that there are a lot. He told us that there are a lot, but we don’t know exactly who they are and where they are but the Lord knows and THAT is why we have to have faith and be obedient, so that we can
receive that revelation in knowing who those people are! And then he reminded the ward mission leaders that there are only 20-30 missionaries in this stake, but there are 3,000 members. We NEED the members’ help! He said that the Lord has already prepared many people to receive the gospel, He is just waiting for the members to start participating in the work of salvation!

So please everyone! If you don’t have a copy of your ward mission plan, get one. Put it somewhere where the whole family sees it! Commit yourself to be a part of accomplishing the ward mission plan! Then set a family mission plan! Decide how many people you want to help join the church – it can be one or two, but just set a goal! It’s just like what they sing in High School Musical – “We’re All In This Together!”.

Wow this was a bit of a longer email. But this week was seriously awesome and just ahhhhh!!!! Okay I love you all so much! Please pray for our 10 year old friend who wants to get baptized on the 24th!!

Love,
Sister Huang

Sorry, no pictures from this week 😦

New Year, New Transfer

Hello world!!!

I hope all you guys had a great New Year! Crazy how it’s already 2016!!!

Luckily, Sister Gong and I will be staying in Arcadia together! Elder
Chui is going back to Alhambra and Elder Hsu will be our new district
leader! Sister Maughan and Sister Dunn are both still in our district
so that’s bomb 🙂

I think this is my seventh transfer here in Arcadia but I am really
really REALLY grateful I get to stay here for another transfer. I have
a lot to learn from Sister Gong and from this area. Even though I have
been in Arcadia for six transfers, I feel like I still have so much to
learn from this area and there are still so many more people to meet
and bring unto Christ. I feel like this area really pushes me to
continually improve. I love Arcadia!

This week, we had a miracle that left me pouring my heart out in
gratitude to Heavenly Father. So we decided that we would start
setting very specific contacting goals – for example, we had to talk
to at least three people on our way to the church building, or we
wanted to find one new investigator that day or get two phone numbers
in one day – and then in every prayer, we would tell Heavenly Father
what our goals were and asked Him to help us achieve it. It was a
suggestion that Elder Chui gave us at district meeting. He said every
time he did that, he reached his goal. I was really excited to do that
and I felt like my faith was stronger than it had ever been. However,
on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, we set a goal to find one new
investigator each day (as well as talking to people), but we weren’t
able to find any new investigators. To be honest, I was disappointed
and confused as to why we weren’t reaching our goals despite our
immense faith and hard work. I remember on Tuesday, as the day was
coming to an end, I prayed countless times, pleading to Heavenly
Father to help us find that one new investigator or to let me know why
we weren’t able to achieve our goal. At the end of the day though, I
remember I got a feeling that everything was going to be alright. I
love the power and blessings that come from sincere prayer. That is
definitely one thing I have learned to treasure and do on my mission –
sincerely talking with and developing a relationship with my Father in
heaven.

Then Thursday comes. Sister Gong was feeling really weak and pretty
sick both Wednesday and Thursday so we weren’t able to go out a ton.
We had a lesson but it fell through so we decided to look through
formers. We prayed to know who to visit. The first two weren’t home or
moved and the third one – their house didn’t even exist. However, we
called the phone number and the dad picked up. We introduced who we
were and he said he was willing to meet the next day! We also told him
to invite his family and he agreed! After we hung up, I just sat in
the car and squealed. I didn’t know what to do with myself and my
emotions so I just squealed. Then Friday, we had a lesson and brought
a member and got three new investigators! And a family! It was too big
of a miracle for me to comprehend. Heavenly Father loves His children
so much and He always answers our prayers as long as we have FAITH!
Man, how I love the principle of faith!

That experience also humbled me a lot. As we were driving to try to
find the third former, (and I was feeling a bit discouraged), Sister
Gong just said “You know, we had a miracle today. People actually
opened up their doors to us when we knocked!” She taught me so much
about gratitude in those five seconds. It really is about those little
tender mercies.

We also learned a lot more about the importance of studies. I feel
like no matter how strong your testimony is or how well you know the
doctrine or how long you have been on the mission, if you don’t have
morning studies, it is hard to work in unity and teach with power and
authority. District meeting was all about how to improve our studies.
It’s always nice to get different insights and ideas from other
missionaries and then implementing them in your own mission life.
Sometimes it is hard for us to have all three hours of studies in the
morning because some of our investigators can only meet in the
morning. However, morning studies is in the white handbook and
Heavenly Father will prepare a way so that we can be obedient to the
study schedule. We are working out our schedules now because we
realized we really do need our studies otherwise our day won’t go as
smoothly as it should, especially lessons.

I love the principle of repentance and how we can repent ANYTIME. We
don’t need to wait for a new year to make resolutions or changes, but
we can do it anytime! And the best thing is that we never have to do
it by ourselves. Jesus Christ is right by us. His hand is outstretched
and He is eager to help us conquer our weaknesses and help us become
like Him. I am also so grateful for the fact that He allows us
imperfect, natural beings participate in the miracles and blessings
that come from doing His work. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really
are all loving.

Well, I hope you guys had a great start to this new year! I love you
all so so much. I know I say that every week but it is so true. I feel
as if my love for His children grows more and more every week.

Love,
Sister Huang

 

Jesus Christ Makes Me Happy!‏

Hello world!!!(12/28/2015)

Skyping with the fam bam was the best Christmas gift ever! I think we used up half the time just laughing again, haha. We have the happiest family! I am so grateful I get to be stuck with these people for eternity 🙂 I am so so proud of Shane for starting his mission papers and so excited to hear that Harriet wants to serve a mission! I am so proud of you guys and all that you are!

As for this week, despite the fact that there were very few people
around and available to meet with and talk with, we still had many
miracles. It was a good week. To start off, we had exchanges on
Tuesday so I got to do some Spanish work! Now I know how to say the
church’s name in Spanish and I was able to say a prayer by the end of
exchanges! I was with Hermana Hamilton (we actually found out we both lived in Hinckley Halls at the same time! Small world). She’s coming up on her last transfer which is sad because she is such a strong and awesome missionary and I am going to miss her. Anyway, it’s so interesting to see how different Chinese, English and Spanish work is. But that means new ideas for finding, teaching and all other aspects of missionary work! I sure picked up a lot from that one exchange.

Also, funny story while we were on exchanges. We were visiting a less
active and while Hna. Hamilton was talking to her, this member had a
really confused look on her face. She then asked how come I wasn’t
saying anything and Hna. Hamilton said it was because I was a Chinese missionary and didn’t know any Spanish. Turns out the member thought I was Mexican.

On Christmas Day, we had a tender lesson with one of our new
investigators. She came to church last last Sunday and when we
followed up with her, she said she loved it so much. She said she
learned and understood so much. I am grateful to be in a ward where we have solid teachers and members to help our investigators better
understand the gospel. The lesson itself was really good too. Sister
Gong and I have been working really hard at balancing out our teaching as well as working better with the Spirit. We felt like our practice and hard work paid off in that lesson. The Spirit was working between us as well as our friend. It’s lessons like these that make all those roleplays and struggles worth it.

We were also praying to find new investigators. It was Friday and we
still hadn’t found anyone. I have been focusing more on making my
prayers more sincere and faithful. On Friday night, I pleaded with
Heavenly Father to give us a miracle and help us find a new
investigator. As we were doing our daily planning, I thought of an
English class student that had been coming for a while now, but for
some reason we never got around to trying to set up a lesson with her.
So on Saturday morning during studies, we role played over and over
how to invite her to learn about the gospel (sounds funny right?
Especially since we do it so often… But we always need more
practice!). After English class, we asked her if we could do a church
tour with her to introduce more of what us missionaries do. She said
yes! And the tour was a success. She said that she felt like God
prepared a way in helping her get to where she is now and meeting us.
It melts my heart when our friends acknowledges God’s hand in their
lives. We are meeting her again this week after English class and I
can’t wait! My testimony of sincere prayer was definitely
strengthened.

As I have served longer on the mission, I’ve realized more and more
that Satan is powerful and he does A LOT to discourage us. But I have
also learned that God is MORE powerful. We hear it time and time again that light will always overcome darkness, but hearing is different than believing. I can truly say that I KNOW that light will always overcome darkness. Faith in Jesus Christ makes us happy and can overcome any discouragement. Oh, He makes me so happy!!!!

I am so grateful to be a missionary and to also have this time to grow
closer to my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, of
whom I get to represent! I love putting on my name tag every morning. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon – I know it is true! Every time I read it, I feel inspired and renewed. It just makes you feel
GOOD! And that’s the Holy Ghost testifying that this book is true!

I love love love you all and hope you all have a happy New Years!

Love,
Sister Huang