Monday, July 15, 2013

"Wo shi Shien di hai zi"

Wo shi Shien di hai zi, "I am a Child of God."

Hello everyone! Oh, can you believe it's been another week?  I sure can't! We have transfer conference this upcoming Friday which means we will be receiving our new assignments.  Yes, we all know I will still be in Temple Square, but I could move to a new apartment or have a new assignment at Temple Square or a new companion.  Whatever it is, I know it's what Heavenly Father wants and I am excited to learn and grow from it!

Stu & Coral - Our friends from Florida

I've been really trying to work on my Mandarin this week! I can now say, "I believe in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ loves you," and "I am a child of God."  Today in one of our Mandarin motorcoaches we actually sang I am a Child of God in Chinese for the first time.  We usually will sing at the end of our tours but Sister Lin will say it in Mandarin and then we will sing it together in English.  Well, today, we sang it in Chinese and the spirit was so strong.  I love the Chinese people too.  They always clap and smile for me.  I know I'm probably saying most of the things wrong, but they are so kind to me about it.

It's really been a wonderful week.  I feel so much gratitude to be serving at Temple Square.  This week one of my favorite tours was with a giant group of people from Belgium, Denmark and Germany.  They all had a little battle about who's chocolate was the best, and yes, I was invited to come and be the judge sometime after my mission.  Who wants to come with me? :)

Last P-day we got to hike up to Ensign Peak and then we went out to Indian food since our Zone Leader from India is going home at the end of this transfer. 

Our Visiting Teachers from the Ukraine & the Philippines
With Sister Hoyt from California.  This girl and I have become such good friends...She wants to come stay with us after her mission and go snowboarding! Dad-she's a shred betty :)
Sister Tukavatu from Fiji!
Sister Bat-uhlzi just went back to Mongolia and I miss her so much already.  This is us at the top of Ensign Peak together!
After the hike up Ensign Peak...I LOVE my Zone! I was pretending to speak Spanish so on the hike I would say, "Hola Como estas?" to everyone we passed.  Sister Marambio, from Chile, decided then to pretend to speak English so she kept saying, "Hi, I speak English!" to everyone haha it was so fun :)
MISSIONS ARE FUN.  For those of you thinking of going, not only is it the most rewarding thing you can do for others and yourself, but it also is so much fun.  As missionaries we get to meet people from around the world and share with them something that brings us all so much joy.

Friday was one of the craziest and busiest days of my mission so far.  We had tour, after tour, after tour and we hardly had time to eat or put our feet up for a minute.  I remember one of our tours was an hour late, but because of that we were able to take another group around and 6 people referred and left with The Book of Mormon.  Just strengthened my testimony of the saying, "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." 

I know it is so true, I have seen it every day of my mission.  When our companionship is willing to put our own needs aside, we always see miracles.  Heavenly Father rewards us so fully for even the smallest deeds.  As you can imagine too, I was EXHAUSTED for that tour.  It was another one of those things where I just prayed to Heavenly Father, asking that the spirit would be with us, that we would know what to say that would bless their lives, that would help them to feel loved and important.  I kept wanting to say certain things but felt restrained by the spirit.  Even though they were good things, they were testimonies, I felt prompted to keep what I was saying short so they could really have time to think.  I just did what I have been doing my whole life--smiling (The sisters here are all starting to call me Sister Smiles haha) After the tour, the 6 that referred said that Sister Lin said just what they needed to hear, and my big smile was a testimony that this gospel really does bring happiness.  They told me they were curious about The Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they could feel a warmth whenever they looked at my smile.  I told them that was the spirit. 

That's one of the most important things we do as missionaries, is help people to recognize the spirit.  So many people feel it so often and yet don't recognize it.  The spirit is that light of Christ that entices us to do good.  Whenever we feel the desire to serve someone, to listen to someone, to help, that is the light of Christ, it is so much more than just a thought.  Some people may say- well yeah, that's just the natural thing to do, it's being kind to others.  YES! It is natural, that is because we are children of God and the light of Christ is within each of us.

It was a most beautiful day and we even got free Chic-fil-A for dinner...only if we dressed up as a cow (see the spots?), so we did. HaHa.
 Sister Lin and I dressed up like cows at the Chic-fil-A at City Creek. 
Shout out to my girl Lauren Moran who introduced me to her!
It really was one of the hardest and longest days of my mission, even my life, but it was one of my happiest and most blessed days too.  I was reading in The Bible this morning for some of my personal study time and was reading about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ and was led to Matthew 28:19-20.  Jesus Christ appeared to people after his resurrection and pleaded with them to, go forth and preach unto all nations.  It really hit me so powerfully that when Christ was resurrected, this was his message and plea to the people, to go and share this wonderful blessing with everyone, with people all around the world.  It really hit me just how important it is.  I know that everyone wants to feel happiness, everyone wants to feel peace, everyone wants to reach goals, to reach their full potential. 

Thursday night we had "hot pot" which is an Asian was so much fun! Sisters from Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong all came together to make it for us :)

There are so many "wants" in this life.  The more I learn about this gospel, the more I really realize how well Heavenly Father knows us so perfectly.  Every commandment He gives, every scripture, is all to help us be successful in our lives.  I have been a member of this church since I was 8, but never have I studied The Book of Mormon has thoroughly and talked about it as much as I am doing now.  It is just hitting me what a reality it is.  This gospel is so much more than a nice thought, but it really is real.  We really are sons and daughters of God who have the potential for so much good.  And what's even better is when we fall, when we make mistakes, when we fall short, we have someone who is always pleading our situation to Heavenly Father.  I know and testify that Jesus Christ really did die for each of us.  And although his death was in the past, his life is in every aspect of the history of time.  He was involved in the creation of the earth, he went about doing good and performing miracles, and now he lives again.  His relationship with me, with you, with all of us is not in the past, his works are not in the past, but they are here and they are happening every moment of every day.

Well, I love you all! You all inspire me every single day and make me want to be better.  The Sisters, especially those with the last name starting with "B" are all starting to complain about how many letters I get haha you are all the best.  Thank you for taking the time to write me, even if it's just a sentence, it still means the world.  And guess what, I can get letters out here too! (The Dear Elder website will print and send your letter on the same day to any mission in the world - check it out)

With our Zone Leader Sister Dominic from India at an Indian food restaurant, since she goes home this transfer!  Casey girl- I totally thought of you when I ordered Chicken tikka masala! love you and miss you! I wish I would have seen you with Ashley and your mom! Also- Bry and Case, everyone I keep meeting is from San makes me happy :)

 Please know I'm thinking of you all and praying for nothing but the greatest happiness for all of you! Even though I never thought I would serve a mission, I am seeing now that I have been preparing for this my whole life, that my FAMILY AND FRIENDS have been preparing me for this my whole life.  Thank you everyone for being such amazing examples to me and for always being so kind.  I truly really do admire and care about all of you and would LOVE to hear how you're doing!

When I got Lauren and Dane's wedding announcement, CONGRATULATIONS! You both look BEAUTIFUL!  I am sooo happy for you both! and yes, if you must know, I cried :)

Shoutouts to: Lauren Moran--THREE letters from this girl AND a wedding announcement!
CONGRATS!  Sister King and Ashley King--I saw them at the Christus and yes, I cried, I was so happy to see them! Daddy Briggs, Momma Briggs, Grandfather, Grandma Jeanie, Grandmother, Britt Lam, Robert Donakey, Ed Donakey, Jean Donakey, Mary and Becca Donakey. Hey Barry Donakey---where's my letter from you mister? haha love you kid.

Sister Briggs
Mosiah 24:15 :) be of good cheer!

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