Pictures here in Macau
Hi Mom, Dad, Kelli, Nathanael and Savanna!!
Happy December!!!!!!! And guess what?!!! I've been in Hong Kong for 1 year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes!!!
We've just had an apartment of freaking out sister missionaries lately. Nearing the end of one's mission can cause trunkieness which is where you don't want to work effectively and just want to buy souvenirs. Then there's another emotion which I will call hou gap (in Chinese that's like pressed for time. . .) It was just a realization that time is sooooo short and that it's going so fast and that we're going to have to be human again!! I've been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I've been here a year. The sisters from the MTC group younger than me are trying to understand how they're only 6 weeks behind, plus they just found out that they're leaving 2 weeks earlier. The first group of 18-19 year olds missionaries (or that generation) comes in on April 3. There are 15 of them!!!!! Crazy!!! Because the MTC time is now shortening by 1/3 they will only be there 9 weeks, so the transfer ends earlier. Transfer periods will be 9 weeks instead of 6. Isn't that awesome!!! So many missionaries in HK!!! Too bad I have to miss it. Well, of course it's affecting the sisters in the apartment who have more time left because they have to listen to us all the time, plus this news means that they have to train new missionaries!! On top of that, moves calls are next week. . . so we're just FREAKING OUT!!! hahahaaha Two of my roommates and I couldn't sleep last night. One of the other sisters in the apartment started it by writing in her journal for a bit to help herself relax, one of the other sisters joined her, then I got up to go to the bathroom and sat with them. It was very theraputic just to talk.
We've had so many miracles this week!! We got to meet with several people for the second time. One of them is a woman we found in a park last week and she came back to the chapel with us. I didn't think she had that much interest, but she came again Wednesday and said she is soooooooo excited to be able to come and learn each week. She has been reading the Book of Mormon. Her Holiday is Wednesday, so we are hoping she can find a way to get time off to come to church. Another is another woman we found in a different park. She also came back to the chapel with us. (It's so good to have such a convenient chapel.) She met the Elders a few months ago and they gave her a Book of Mormon. She wants to get baptized and be a missionary and tell everyone about the gospel!!! Soooo good!!!
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts from church yesterday. I am serving in such a special branch. Most of our branch are Filipinos here working away from their families, so there are very few Priesthood holders. The Elders Quorum has 10 at the very most and the ward has 2 companionships of Elders. . . A sister was sharing her testimony yesterday and she said she remembers when THE Priesthood holder was the Branch President. Now there were 4 men sitting up on the stand, and I looked around and saw maybe 3 or 4 others sitting in the congregation. These Priesthood holders are soooo needed, treasured, desired and prayed for here. It really made me appreciate the Priesthood and those who willingly serve and fulfill their Priesthood responsibilities. There is one American family with 3 little kids in our branch. The husband, is one of 3 White brothers in the Branch. One of our Less-active members is going through a lot of trials right now and we were trying to find someone to give her a blessing. (Luckily the elders who are our default were not nearby) We found two of the men in the branch (one was the American) to give her a blessing. It was really special to see one brother explained to the other how to give the blessing and then so kindly listened to this sister as she explained her problem. I know it is not easy for the American family to live here, but this branch is soooooooo blessed by their service. As I observed yesterday, I could also see that this experience must be changing and blessing their family too.
Sister Clements headed a project to re-decorate the Primary room this weekend. At first I was hesitant, thinking it might not be the best use of time, but I'm sooooooo glad she was persistant, the members of the branch loved it and it no longer looks like a prison. I guess service to a ward comes in many different forms and I need to learn better to think outside the box.
Well, I better go, I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!