Families Can Be Together Forever

Hello world!!
What great first week of the transfer! Man, I love being a missionary, being in Sunland and being with Sister Hobbs. She is a really great person and companion and missionary and we get so much work done but have a lot of fun while doing it! She’s hilarious and I am always laughing. Also, she’s 24 so she feels like my older sister and she says that I am like the Chinese version of her haha. I think I mentioned this last week, but she is from New Zealand so her accent is great for contacting. She was also a pharmacist so that’s super legit. She’s just really legit. And she’s a super bomb coach and pushes me – we ran up the WHOLE street that we live on! Haha it’s like a 3/4 mile run with a 10-15% incline. Anyway, I feel really blessed to be with her and I am already learning so much from her! She’s going to be a huge blessing to this area and to our sisters. She already is!
Wow it was a great week. I just love working hard and going to bed exhausted every night. It’s a good feeling, even when your numbers don’t show it. We have been working really hard on in improving our contacts and talking with everyone. To be honest, I’m not 100% with talking with everyone – I miss a few here and there – but we had one day this past week where we literally talked with everyone we saw. It was really cool. No one that we talked to was interested, but hey, it’s the effort that counts and we are professional seed planters.
On Thursday, we were walking to find a less active when we saw this lady about to get into her car. We walked really quick up to her and introduced who we were. Since she was in a rush, we asked if we could stop by another time and she said that we could come back the next evening. So Friday evening comes and we were at an appointment and it went longer than planned. By the time it was over, it was around 8:30 and we would still have to drive 15 minutes to get to this lady’s house that we said we would visit. When we got there, it was around 8:45. It was late, especially to just drop by, but call me ignorant or rude or inconsiderate, but I just really wanted to stop and visit this lady. We knocked on the door and her husband answered and then she came and was like “WELCOME! Come on in!” So we did and we got to meet her husband and her six year old daughter. Her husband was not interested but we got to have a really good sit down with her. The Spirit was really strong and it was probably one of the best “How to Begin Teaching/Setting Expectations” lesson I have ever had. So much listening, testifying, teaching to her interests and needs and inspired questions. But even with the Spirit that strong in the lesson, she didn’t want to set a return appointment with us and continue to meet. This just shows that people have their agency and we have to respect it. We did all that we could and we just have to trust that God has a plan for them to eventually receive the gospel. I am really grateful for that experience though and I am glad that we decided to still go find her even though it was late.
Remember Crystal? The less active we found last week by jumping the gate? She’s progressing so well and went to church again yesterday! And now she’s saying daily prayers and having her daily scripture study! And the Ward is continuing to do an awesome job with fellow shipping. We visited her yesterday and she told us she just found out great news. SUCH GOOD NEWS, GUYS. She said she was talking with her boyfriend yesterday and long story short, he is seriously considering joining the “Mormon church”. She started tearing up and talking about how excited she is to get her family sealed as well as doing all the proxy work for her ancestors and his as well. It was so cool. This gospel is for families and Heavenly Father’s goal is to not only get us back to Him, but our families as well so that we can have that eternal happiness as a family. We teach and emphasize that baptism is not the end goal. The vision is to get families to the temple! And we were so excited to hear Crystal already having a firm grasp and desire for that vision.
Ooh another cool miracle that happened yesterday. After church and studies, we prepared to head out to start proselyting. That whole day, we kept praying that we would find a new investigator. Heavenly Father answers prayers! We parked the car kind of far away from our appointment so we could talk with more people. Within the span of 10 minutes, we picked up a new investigator and got a referral and taught three people! I love the tender mercies that happen everyday and I am grateful for them.
We are continuing to work closely with the Ward. In fact, we got two sisters in Relief Society to come out with us this week so we will be doing splits! We are excited for that. Also, some of the men in the ward went with the whole high council to do a “rescue mission” yesterday in which they took the ward’s focus 15 list and split off and visited them. Bishop said he would organize all the reports and then let us know which of those people have potential as of now that we could work with. Seriously, our Bishop is bomb and so is this ward. We are also teaching people and inviting people to make a mormon.org profile as our dinner thoughts. This Ward is made up of mostly converts with really diverse backgrounds and stories so we felt like mormon.org would be a good way for them to share their testimony and stories to help other people! It’s going well so far!
I know that Heavenly Father lives and I know that because of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we don’t have to be stuck with our weaknesses. It is so possible to overcome them and make them our strengths with the Lord’s help. I also know that families can be together forever and that this gospel blesses families. It sure has blessed my family and I am so grateful that I get to be with them forever. My family means the world to me! am blessed to have the knowledge that death is not the end and that it is possible to progress and improve and reach the divine potential that God knows we have. I invite all of you to do one thing for each of your family member this week that will strengthen your relationship with them. I know that God put us in our specific families for a reason and that every family can be a successful family if each person puts in their effort. And that is what Heavenly Father wants for us too!
I love you all so so very much! Thank you for all your support, emails and love. Have a blessed week!
Sister Huang

Sister Huang is in Chinese Work

Hello world!!!
So this email will be pretty short. We had transfers and it was really sad and lots of emotions. Sister Robinson is leaving Sunland to be in Monrovia with Sister Bell and Sister Tui’vai for her last transfer. I love her so much and I am going to miss her. Taking her place is Sister Hobbs. She’s from New Zealand (hooray for the accent!) and she has been out for almost nine months. She got transferred from Rowland Heights, in which she served for her first nine months, so we both know what it’s like to serve in an area for a suuuper long time and then leave. She’s really nice and fun and a hard worker so I am excited to work with her!
In other news, they keep moving the Chinese missionaries to English work. Sister Xia is going to Glendora in English work and Elder Fu is going to Glendale, also English work. And my daughter, Sister Mann, is TRAINING! And guess what? Her trainee’s name is ALSO Sister Huang and she’s from Taiwan too! She was originally assigned English speaking but is being trained in Chinese work (hence the title of this email). Haha we have the coolest family tree because our last name and origin actually carries down! Three Sister Huangs 🙂
As for this week, we had a really awesome week. It was an incredible way to end the transfer together! Less active work is continuing to progress! On Tuesday, we went to go visit a returning less active and our Relief Society President came with us. When we got there, it turned out that they weren’t home. BUT, just then, our Bishop texted us a person to visit, someone whose records just got moved into the Ward. So we went out to Lake View Terrace to go find her. After spending 10 minutes trying to unlatch the super rusted gate, Sister Robinson jumped the fence and went to go knock on the door. Also, this was at 8:30 at night haha. But guess what? She was home! Her name is Crystal and she has an adorable 2 1/2 year old son, Ayden. She’s been less active for a long time, but she told us she wants to come back. She said she feels like it’s time to work on strengthening her relationship with God again and she wants to also take the lessons again! Our Relief Society President offered to take her on Sunday since Crystal doesn’t have a car, so she was able to make it! It was so happy. Member missionary work is bomb. Also, she has a non member boyfriend who we got to meet yesterday! He’s super cool and as we started teaching, he said that he wants to give the LDS church a second chance. So, he is going to bring the Book of Mormon with him as he drives the truck and read it during his down time! SO EXCITING!!
We had a ton of other miracles this past week, like a less active bringing his non member friend to church, one of our investigators saying that his view on Mormons completely changed after meeting with us (he did not like Mormons before) and picking back up one of our super awesome less actives!
This past week, I’ve just felt an added amount of gratitude for the fact that I get to be a missionary at this time. I love it so much. As you might have remembered from last week’s email, I was feeling really discouraged. But priesthood blessings are real. It was like a 180 and I am so grateful. Right now, I feel like my fire for the work has increased tremendously and I AM SO EXCITED! Faith, hope and charity are all back!
I love you all so much and I invite you to read Alma 34. It’s all about the Atonement and I know that as you read it, you will learn how to better apply the Atonement to you, personally. I know that Jesus Christ lives and as we turn our weaknesses and feelings of inadequacies to Him, He will comfort us and help us become the instruments that He needs is to be. Let go of the pride and acknowledge your need for His help and then, as Sister Robinson would say, “all is well in Zion.”
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Huang

Faith is a Principle of Action and Power

Hello world!!!
I am so grateful for my mom and my family! I am so grateful to have been able to Skype with you guys yesterday! I definitely win for best family. It was bittersweet as it was my last call home and my last time seeing my brother before he leaves on his mission in three weeks. I love you guys so much! Thank you for your example, support, love and hilarity. And shout out to the rest of the mothers out there! I am blessed to have so many other moms and women who have taken care of me and blessed me.
This week was our first full week of doing less active/part member work! Although the key indicators don’t show it, it was a week full of great finding and miracles and hard work. ALSO, we had MLC and Zone Meeting and both were focused on less active work! We hope that the rest of the mission catches on with this fire!
Okay so some miracles that we saw this past week:
We went to look for a less active, Ildika and the initial encounter was not pretty. She came out and saw our tags and told us that she will never come back to the church and that we should leave because we are wasting our time visiting her and how she doesn’t know why her names are not of the records yet. We totally could’ve been like “oh okay, we will go tell Bishop and we won’t bother you again,” but rather, we started just chatting with her. We talked about her house and her landscaping and she started softening and opening up to us. We found out why she decided to leave the church and why she resents it so much. She’s just had a lot of hurt. At the end, we were like, “hey, even though you don’t want to come back to church, would it be okay if we came over to practice teaching our lessons?” And she said yes! In fact, she told us to start practicing right then and there. We did how to begin teaching and testified to her that God loves her so much and knows of the hurt she’s been through. We told her that Jesus Christ wants to help heal her and that He knows her perfectly. She started tearing up and the Spirit was so strong. I love being a missionary because we are blessed to feel so much more of God’s pure love for His children within a couple of minutes of talking to them. She was also a great person to practice on because she actually gave us advice and suggestions (for example, I have to talk slower haha. Definitely still working on that). And at the end, she as like “and always remember to say a prayer with every person you meet.” It was so precious. We are convinced she is coming back. It might take some time, but she is coming back.
Yesterday, we had dinner with our Stake President and his wife, who is also the Relief Society President. During dinner, we talked to them about how we are working solely through less actives and they gave us a couple of names! We went to visit one that evening. Her name is Sister Oliver and she is a returned missionary of about 40 years. She served in Mexico! Anyway, her husband is not a member and she was telling us that many missionaries have tried but his time is not up yet. But we are all convinced he will join one day. But then, she told us that she had a neighbor who moved and she got really close with her right before she left. Sister Oliver gave her a Book of Mormon and then guess what? Her neighbor ended up moving back recently! Sister Oliver said that when she found out her neighbor moved back, she just got a really strong feeling that the reason why her neighbor moved back was because she was going to hear gospel. So Sister Oliver told us that she will call her neighbor today and then set up a time to have us come over for dinner and start the discussions with her neighbor!!!! Words can’t describe how amazing that was. And Sister Oliver herself is the sweetest person ever. She was just talking about her mission and it was so amazing to see how much she cherishes it, even though it was forty years ago. I am so grateful to have served a mission and I know it is an eternal blessing.
On Saturday, we were on exchanges – I was in Sunland with Sister Colson again! She is so sweet and humble. I learned so much about patience and trusting in the Lord from her. We prayed that morning that we would be able to find one new investigator because that was a goal that we really wanted to achieve. Faith is a principle of action and power, guys. We need to have faith that the Lord will help us accomplish our righteous goals, but then we have to act on it and work for it. Faith won’t produce miracles itself. It’s the acting on that faith that allows God to use His power to bless is with miracles and answers to prayers. That was a big thing I learned that day. We went out and worked and worked. It was at the end of the day when our miracle happened. We were walking to find a less active and saw a man sitting out at his porch. He was an Armenian who spoke very fluent English and was willing to talk to us! That itself was a miracle. We shared with him our purpose as missionaries and invited him to come to church. He said he would like to come! And he said we could come back and share more! Ahhhhhhhhh I was so happy and grateful for the rest of the day.
It was such a good week but there are still a lot of struggles. I realized this past week that I am still having a really hard time adjusting to English work (even though I’ve been in it for almost three months now…). I got a blessing yesterday and that helped. But more importantly, I have come to know how to better use the Atonement in my life. We always say that we need to use the Atonement and we need to access the power of the Atonement, but knowing how is the key. And I think that’s the hardest part because the how is different for every person. Thank goodness for prayer and the scriptures because that’s how we learn how we need to personally use the Atonement. It’s important to have faith in Jesus Christ’s Atonement but faith is a principle of action and power. Until we figure out how to use and and actually use the Atonement, we won’t be able to access the power of the Atonement.
I know that my Savior lives. I know the Atonement is real and that it is the ultimate cure to everything. I am grateful to testify of the Atonement all day, everyday. We all will overcome physical death through the Atonement and resurrection – that is a free gift. But we need to work for overcoming spiritual death and that is by following the conditions that Christ has given us – His gospel: faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism by the proper priesthood authority that has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. And as members and missionaries, it is our responsibility to help people overcome spiritual death by sharing His gospel! That way on judgment day, people can be judged not only by justice, but by His mercy.
I invite you all to think of one way to share the gospel – whether that’s by social media, writing a letter, giving a Book of Mormon, verbally testifying of it or any other way the Spirit prompts you to – and do it this week! Have faith that God will let you know who and how and then act on it!! I promise that He will give you the added power and strength for you to do it and that you will bless someone else’s life as well as your own!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week 🙂
Sister Huang 

Barges Driven to the Promised Land

Hello world!!!
During weekly planning, Sister Robinson and I have decided to completely change our finding method to solely working with and through less actives and part member families. It was inspiration from our last MLC where Elder Nielsen from the Seventy shared the story of South Pacific island missions. They were baptizing like crazy but had a lot of less actives so they told the missions to stop baptizing completely and only work with the less actives in improving retention. In doing that, they ended up still baptizing the same amount because they were finding so many prepared people through that. So we have decided to start implementing that.
I’m going to be honest, we were both nervous with that idea. I fasted about it yesterday to know if this was a good idea. My testimony in fasting has definitely strengthened. During studies and church, it just felt like revelation was pouring into my mind and heart. I was reading Ether 6 where it talks about the brother of Jared and his people crossing the waters to the promised land. In verses 2 and 3 it says:
2 For it came to pass after the Lord had prepared the stones which the brother of Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth the stones into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels.
3 And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.
Sister Robinson and I have prepared the stones by organizing and sorting out the less actives we plan to visit and now we will give it to the Lord and let Him direct our paths. We have already seen miracles from working with less actives!
Saturday was our first day with this approach. We went to find a less active and long story short, she agreed to let us come back on Tuesday to come share the lessons with her again! And not only that, she told us that she would like to have her 11 year old granddaughter, who isn’t a member, to join us in the lesson! WOOHOO! As we were talking to her, I kept praying in my heart to know what commitment we should extend to best help her and her granddaughter. A thought popped into my head to invite her to pray with her granddaughter. She said her granddaughter doesn’t know how to pray, but that it would be good for her so we told her we would teach her on Tuesday! She said she would pray with her granddaughter before then! It was so so exciting and we can’t wait for tomorrow!
On Thursday, we had a super busy day and didn’t have a lot of time to proselyte. By the time we got back to our area, we had about 30 minutes to go finding before our dinner appointment. I kept praying in my heart that God would give us an opportunity to teach. We went tracting and the FIRST door we knocked on was a really nice Armenian man who spoke fluent English (that’s very rare here). We were able to share our testimonies on the gospel blessing families and about prayer. He wasn’t interested in learning more, but I was just super grateful to my Heavenly Father for answering my prayers and that we were able to teach someone that day.
On Wednesday, we went on exchanges! I was with Sister Vaea, who is from Tonga. It was a day full of fall throughs and drops, but we were able to stay positive and happy through it all. I love Sister Vaea. I have also come to the conclusion that I am secretly Tongan. I love the foods they eat (I love all food, but still), like taro and tapioca. And they laugh and dance ALL THE TIME!! She told me that back home, they had church dances at least two times a week. And for missionaries’ homecomings, they have a dance party! It’s great and I am going to Tonga sometime in the future.
Going back to Saturday (sorry, this is so scattered), I went on exchanges with Sister Gong! HER ENGLISH IS GETTING SO GOOD! I took a video of her teaching the Restoration and it just makes me want to cry. She’s grown so much, not just in the language aspect. Sister Plumb is amazing and is an angel and miracle worker. I am so so so proud of them both!
Yesterday was super super bomb. Matthew got confirmed! And the person who did his confirmation is a recent convert who is going through the temple in July! This was his first time confirming someone and he did a great job. It was so wonderful! And then we had the BEST a testimony meeting ever. The first person to go up was Matthew’s main fellowshipper and the person who baptized him. The central part of his testimony was that if you ever feel down or sad or discouraged or that your faith and testimony is not as strong as you want it to be, go out with the missionaries and do missionary work! He said it’s the BEST away to get a jumpstart in your testimony and it is the BEST way to feel the Spirit and be happy. HE IS RIGHT. You can bet how happy Sister Robinson and I were when we heard that.
The second person to go up was one of the returning less actives that we have been working with. She shared that this was her first time bearing her testimony in front of everyone. She said her journey back to being faithful in the church has just been amazing and that she is so happy. After 33 years, she is back and so is her husband. Guys, the gospel is so true. The Lord searches for every single one of His lost sheep. My heart was so happy and I was rejoicing. I love being a missionary!
Super quick, I want to share something else that I learned from Ether 6. This chapter is seriously revelatory. Their travels in the boat is so comparable to life. In verses 5 and 6 it says,
5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
In order to get to the promised land, there HAD to be winds and waves. There’s no way they could get anywhere if it was smooth sailing with no winds and waves. Likewise is the same with our lives. The promised land is the celestial kingdom where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are. We are the barges and the ocean is life. We HAVE to have trials, challenges, temptations and other opposition in order to get to the promised land. But we can be like the brother of Jared and his people in verse 9 where he thanks God for sending the winds and the waves.
9 And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
I invite you all to think of one trial you are grateful for! And then in your prayers, tell Heavenly Father that. I know that His goal and purpose for us is to become like Him and the only way we can do that is if we are pushed out of our comfort zone so that we can grow.
I love Heavenly Father and I love His plan. I love the Book of Mormon and I know it’s so true. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know He died for each one of us. I know His gospel is perfect and true and that it WORKS. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
Sister Huang