Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!!

Hello Everyone!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh the day has come, I got a lovely phone call from President Hawks yesterday telling me my "dying date." While I was brushing my teeth, I heard Sister Lier in her office say, "Ah!! Can I extend a year?!!!!!!" Then I heard, "hold on just a minute I'll get her and then she came out, handed me the phone and whispered, "He wants to give you your dying date." Now if he wasn't the mission president I probably whould have hung up the ppnohe<<<< (just look at that I can't spell to save my life today!!)  He said something about church policy to tell missionaries their departure date a few months in advance. . . and that my departure date is March 8 and with church policy and the way the moves are, there are no other options. "Do you have any concerns?" Me: "Well, besides that being the end of my mission, no. . ." Yuck!!!! I don't like having my days numbered!!! Anyway, he said he tells us so we can tell our parents and then forget about it, and that's exactly what I plan to do. You've been told. The good news is, I'll be home just in time for Savanna's birthday!!!!

Coming out of this week I've been amazed (yet again) by the truth of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."   It was an interesting week.  I have been amazed that even the most unpleasant or "hard” experiences are actually the ones that I am appreciating the most and will actually be some of my most precious experiences from my mission.  I have realized this week how bad Heavenly Father wants us to return to His presence and that he is going to give us every opportunity to do that. We just have to choose what we are going to do with those opportunities so that they really can change us and prepare us for the day that we can see Him again. That makes be realize I still have a lot of learning in store for me in my life because I'm nowhere near where I need to be if I want to make it to the Celestial Kingdom.

Sunday was ward conference in Tai Wai. We hadn't been to our Sha Tin ward for a while and I considered going on exchanges so we could cover both wards, but I felt like that wasn't necessary. I'm glad we didn't, it was a good conference and we had an investigator there!!! (She came in during the Sacrament, but she made it!) Halfway through the meeting, the Bishop was announcing the rest hymn and then said, "after the hymn the Stake President would like to invite "chyungaausih leung ji muih" (missionary Sister Nelson) to share a 5 minute message." Then he looked right at me. The ward clerk wheeled up next to our aisle in his wheelchair to double check that I had caught that part.  I was grateful to double check exactly when I was supposed to go up. Then he said, “geng mh geng a?" (are you scared?) I said "mh geng, daahn haid siu siu ganjeung!!!!" (not scared but a little nervous!!!) hahaha I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony. This weekend was a little rough and I was doubting myself and my effectiveness as a missionary. It was just what I needed to express my testimony to these people who I love so much and to remind myself that I really truly believe these things that I'm teaching. It was also amazing to get up and just talk. Can you believe it? I've only been learning this language for a year and I can get up in front of a whole ward and share my thoughts and feelings without a problem. (The only word I remember not knowing was the word for "treasure" and I got around that easily!!)

I basically said, “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share my testimony today.  I’ve been serving in Tai Wai for quite a while.  I’m grateful for your service and your example.  I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what this gospel means to me because I am a missionary and share about it everyday, so I definitely need to know why this gospel is important to me.  I think it comes down to one thing:  We are God’s children and He loves us so much.  Because He loves us He gave us His Son Jesus Christ.  All of us are imperfect, but because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can repent everyday, take the sacrament and have a new start.  Because He suffered for us He understands our trials and can help and comfort us.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and I am very grateful that we always have this friend there to help us.  Because Heavenly Father loves us, He uses many ways to tell us about the gospel of Jesus Christ so we can apply the Atonement in our lives.  One of these ways is scriptures (I picked up a Book of Mormon).  This is a very precious book.  I know that it is true.  I know that with God’s power Joseph Smith translated this book so we can have Christ’s full gospel.  Eventhough it was written by ancient prophets, these words can still help and bless us today.  I encourage you all to read the Book of Mormon everyday.  I know if you do you will have more power in your lives.  The last thing I want to talk about it prayer.  Prayer is so powerful.  Through prayer Heavenly Father can give us very specific direction for our lives.  I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary.  Remember Heavenly Father loves you, I know this because my love for you is very big, so I can’t imagine how great Heavenly Father’s love is for you.

We've still been doing a lot of finding lately in the area books, on the street and through less-active members. Although I really REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to teach new investigators and find a family that we can help receive the gospel and prepare for the temple, it has been interesting and enjoyable to meet so many new people. We even met a lady from Japan the other day.

1 - Are you learning to cook Chinese food? I hope so!!!
I'm trying! What it ends up being is throw things in a wok and hope it comes out. I'll eat it! We'll see if you will!! I'm trying to collect recipes and I hope that Sister Lin will help me translate a few of them.  I figure most things won't be too hard to find online when I get back. I made dessert soup the other day!! It was yummy!!!

Yikes!! I better go!!! I love you all soooooo much and I love hearing about your weeks!!! Happy Mid-Autmn festival!!! (it's on Saturday!!!) Eat moon cake! (That's what they do for it here!!)

I love you!!!

Sister Nelson

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Hello Everyone!

It's good to hear from you!   Time is flying way too fast!!!  

I'll start with your questions:  
1 - I think transfers are this week.  Correct?  Has your apartment changed at all with this transfer? 
We're all still here, but we're the only ones - our zone changed a lot.  But I'm excited our new district and zone leaders are really good, they're hard working but also happy and like to have fun I think the balance will be good for our zone.
2 - When missionaries go to Macau, how do they get there?  Ferry?  Boat?  Plane?  
Ferry.  Speaking of which Sister Fernalious and Sister Hintze (previously in my apartment) are serving international in macau this move!!! Crazy right?
3 - How long does it take?  
An hour-ish.
4 - When they enter Macau, does their Visa say how long they are allowed to stay, or do they find out after they have been there for a little while?
The visa says and it usually gets shorter each time you re-enter macau.

Uh so this week. . .  let me remember.  I tried my first moon cake!! It was yummy except for the 1000 year old egg in the middle. . . hahaha (that is what makes a moon cake a moon cake!)  Can you check an see if mooncakes can be sent to America?  I have a feeling several members will give them to us for mid Autumn festival and there is no way I will eat them all.  Maybe I could mail a few to you to try?

V. came to church and the my conversion fireside and ate dinner at the bishop's house with us!!! She's back!!! (I hope!!!) 

We've still been doing a lot of finding lately,  but we've scheduled a lot of less-active member visits for next week, so hopefully we'll be able to teach more lessons soon. 

We visited a member last week who barely speaks Cantonese,  it was really cool to see Sister Lin lead the lesson, she did a great job (As far as I could tell)  I've been trying to learn a little bit of Mandarin -- things like, "I don't speak Mandarin."  "My name is Sister Leung"  "My friend speaks Mandarin,"  "wait a minute" (so I can hand the phone to her)  It's soooooo weird to be closed off by a language barrier even though we're all speaking a form of Chinese.  However, as I hear more Mandarin I've been able to understand more and more.  They really are pretty similar. 

We met an adorable popoh last week while we were finding.  This fulfilled one of my mission dreams!  I've always wanted to help a popoh carry her groceries and I've always wanted to visit a nursing home.  Well we helped her carry her bags to the nursing home where she lived and she invited us in to chat!!! hahaha we didn't stay very long, but it was fun to just visit and talk with her.  She wasn't interested in our message but I think it made her day to have someone to visit with. 

Hmmmm. . . I'm running out of things to say, I'm sorry I'm just a boring missionary!  hahaha I love you all!  The church is true!  (It is!)  My favorite scripture this week is D&C 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."  If we do all we can with a smile on our faces, we might not see all the reward or blessings now, but one day, we're going to look back in awe and how incredibly close Heavenly Father's hand is to our lives.  He loves us all so much!  

Ga Yauh!

Last week's 1 year on my mission anniversary pizza party

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"I'm trying to be like Jesus"

Hello Mom, Dad, Kelli, Nathanael and Savanna!!!!
Aaiyah!!!!! I've been a missionary for a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Crazy!!! I just realized that when I first moved to Tolo Harbour, Sister Far was celebrating her 1 year anniversary and she's not a missionary anymore!!!!!!  Yikes!!!  Usually missionaries will go out with their MTC district for lunch.  Today we ordered HUGE pizzas and ate together at the Wan Chi Chapel.  Last night Sister Lier and I talked for about an hour just reminiscing about the MTC.  It seems soooooo long ago.  We were looking at pictures.  We looked good back then!!!  hahaha now we just have a lot more "experience" showing on our faces.
Sunday we had a lady who only speaks Mandarin come to church.  Sister Lin did so great!  It is such a miracle to have her here and able to speak Mandarin!  She has great things coming for her!  
I've been praying lately to know how to really come to know Christ as my Savior more.  I definitely have faith and believe He suffered for us and that through having faith, repenting, baptism, recieving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end we can be forgiven of our sins and be saved, but I've also felt like there was something more.  This week, during a particularly hard day, I was doing my personal study and I decided to read the Beatitudes in 3 Nephi 12.  I actually didn't get very far when the words, "I'm trying to be like Jesus" came into my head.  I wrote them down and put it on the wall in front of my desk.  As I thought about those words I realized the only way I can come to know my Savior more is by becoming like Him and acting as He would act in all things.  I've heard of people finding joy in the gospel no matter what.  So far for me that has been more like I have had more ups than downs, but I've still had downs.  This was the first time I was in a down but still felt soooooo "up"  I was just overwhelmed by Heavenly Father's love for me and gratitude for this trial so that I could learn more about Jesus Christ.  I was incredibly happy!  It was amazing!!!  I hope that I can really learn to feel like this and embrace this joy for the rest of my life.  
What do you notice about the culture lately?
I'll keep looking, but maybe you can tell me when I get home.  The things I do weird. . . I guess that's Chinese Culture?  I think I've just gotten used to it!  hahaha
I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yesterday was full of miracles!!!

OTTAWA is GETTING SISTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Tell them they are in the most amazing place ever!!  This work is amazing and there is no more important thing that they can be doing right now than sharing the gospel in Ottawa, Illinois.  

Well, I think your e-mail out does anything I could share about this week!  I'm just jumping up and down!  Can you believe we're getting sisters?!!!!  Well that fixes any awkward, "What am I going to do with my life after my mission before I start college-ness!"  Help the sisters!!!  

This week has been special, lots of unexpected, quiet miracles.  I've been feeling a bit lately like I'm not doing well as a missionary.  I know it's Satan trying to get at me, but it still hurts!!!  Sundays are hard becuase I feel like we're failing both wards, but somehow the elders each have a family and several investigators at church each Sunday, plus I still have to work hard to follow what is going on so that gives me too much time to think.  Sunday I centered my fast around having more faith, especially in prayer and in the Atonement of Christ.    

Nothing Super spectactular has happened. . . yet, but I feel better and I feel like I can do it (or at least I feel like that more often than I don't!)  Tuesday V., who has been moving her baptismal date back for the past 2 months, cancelled her appointment with us.  I was super excited for the lesson and really felt it would help her, plus she was our only appointment that day.  At the moment all in our back up plan was. . . finding, which we haven't had a lot of success with lately.  Luckily Sister Lier happened to be near by and just hugged me and pointed out all the lives I've touched until I realized that there were a BAGILLION records to be organized and haven't been touched since before I got to the area.  It turned out to be a successful day.

Yesterday was full of miracles!!! We met 3 people who really might have potential while we were finding, we also had the opportunity to share Joseph Smith's experience with two girls and it was the difference from them having 0 interest and maybe having a little!!!  We have potential of having at least new 3 people coming to English class on Saturday and scheduled a lesson with the L. family tomorrow!!

The L. family is really special.  They were baptized about 10 years ago.  We've been visiting Sister L. since I got here, their living is very very humble, Sister L. provides for the family. Everytime we go there she gives us fruit or some bread or sweet soup.  We tell her she really doesn't have to, but also accept graciously.  People here believe strongly in serving the missionaries and I've heard several people say things like, "Well I need to make sure I feed you or help you because I need these blessings".   Just these past few weeks she has been remembering to pray everyday and I've just seen her faith skyrocket!!! She seems to have a new light!! We asked yesterday if we could come on friday and share a message with her whole family including her two daugthers who don't come to church and her daughter and son who haven't been baptized yet.  Please pray that they are all there and they all listen.  We taught her about the plan of Salvation and asked which kingdom she wanted to go to and she said the Terrestrial kingtom because she feels she needs more knowledge to get to the Celestial kingdom.  Last time we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and told her that she definitely could go to the Celestial kingdom and that I wanted to see her there!!!  We're going to start calling her everyday this week to help her read the book of Mormon.  She doesn't read Chracters very well.  We're going to start with 3 Nepi 11 and 12 (because we only have the pin yam for those chapters.)  That should get us through the next week or so.  After that. . . hopefully we can get more ward members involved.  I just love her sooooooo much!! 

Yikes!! Fast questions then I better go!!
1 - Did Sister Lin join the church in Australia?  
Yes, about 5 years ago.

I love you!!