Monday, December 30, 2013

My Testimony - Christmas Day 2013

video

(Aloha Family & Friends, I recorded this from her Skype call home off of my phone & then my iPad, so there is a little pause and delay as I switched between the two devices.  She's doing great and is very happy.  She showed us her "battle scars" her cuts and scrapes on her legs and knees from her biking accidents.  Thankfully, it's all nothing serious and she just laughs it off as she peels the bandages back and we see everything ooze out...gross! If this doesn't work, you'll all have to wait until I can get Hi'ilei to help me!  Love, Anela)

Happy Birthday to Jesus and My Mom


Hi Everyone! :)
I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine! I love you all so much and I hope you all have a Happy New Year! This week was another great one!
On Thursday one of our amazing investigators decided she wanted to get baptized on January 4th! We have been inviting her to be baptized for quite some time now and that day we didn't even invite her and she brought it up all her self and said the 4th is what she wanted! Ahhh! :) Tender mercies from the Lord! Other than that, this week has been great. From falling off my bike to teaching Young Women's this week has been hilarious. Can I just say I felt more awkward and embarrassed teaching the Young Women's then when I crashed on my bike and had holes in my tights as I walked into dinner.... yeah. They're a tough crowd. Haha. But really though... nobody wanted to laugh at my jokes...except for Sis. Fraser. My dear companion....always got my back. Haha.
We ate our way through Christmas and I am just really grateful that I'm on bikes because this ward is wonderful and feeds us so much food! This coming week seems like it's going to be a great one! With one of our investigators getting baptized, I am so grateful to be able to serve the Lord at this time! All the tender mercies I've received on a mission thus far have been too numerous to count.
I love you all! I hope you have a great week and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! :)
Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

My New District - Hollister, CA



(Aloha Family & Friends, Thank you so much for all the Christmas boxes and goodies.  Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan said she is stocked for awhile.  She has been sharing her snacks and treats with her companions and others.  She appreciates all your cards, letters, emails and goodies.  Thank you for remembering her! We appreciate it! We had a great Skype-call home Christmas day. I was able to record her testimony and will post it just as soon as I get some help doing so.  Hope you all had a very merry christmas and will have a very safe and happy new year! Love, Anela)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka!

Hi Everyone.
Really sorry. I don't know how this happened but I've run out of time. I love you all so much! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! I love you! :)
Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holla from Hollister!

Aloha.

So I'm alive. I bought a helmet. Things are great. I'm in a biking area in the Hollister 2nd Ward. My companion is Sis. Fraser from Georgia and also an Elementary Education major! Haha. She is an amazing missionary and she is on fire! She is so great as I'm trying to learn the area!

This week has been great. Hollister is an adorable little town. Quite the change from the Tri-Valley area but I'm loving every minute of it! Apparently everyone here was super stoked when the Walgreens opened. Haha. Adorable! The work is great! I think I've taught more investigators this week in Hollister than my entire mission thus far. Things are really looking up!

Also, this week was the first time I contacted someone in Spanish. Yeah! :) There are a bunch of people who speak Spanish here so I've been learning some things. It's awesome! Who would've thought I'd serve in a YSA ward, a Mandarin branch, and learn how to speak Spanish all in my little Stateside mission.
 
We have two super solid investigators right now. One is this girl who is about 13. She is so sweet and got really excited when she came because she writes down her testimony for all the missionaries that teach her and so she said she'd write her testimony for me! Isn't that so precious!
Our other investigator made us T-Shirts! These people are so amazing! I love it!
 
Well, I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all a ton!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan
 
P.S. I spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I don't know what it is...maybe I'm starting my own tradition but so far every first Sunday I've had in a ward I've had to speak in Sacrament meeting. ( I guess with the exception of the Mandarin Branch... but that would've been a little difficult anyways. Haha)
 
(Address Correction AGAIN!!!  The other ones had misspelled street names and wrong zip codes.  Sorry gang....this should be the final, well until her next transfer. : )
Sister Hunter Ellis-Lui-Kwan
1471 Gabilan Drive, #1
Hollister, CA  95023

Friday, December 13, 2013

Corrected Address!

Sorry there was a typo in the Street address.  This should be the correct address:

1471 GABILAN DRIVE, #1
HOLLISTER, CA 95032

Thanks!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Address for Sister Ellis!!

Sister Ellis has been transferred to Hollister, CA. 

Here's her new address:
1471 Gablian Drive, #1
Hollister, CA 95032

Love,
Anela



Monday, December 9, 2013

Leaving Dublin...Doughnuts..and Chinese People

Hi everyone! :)

This week was awesome! We taught a few really great lessons, we sang an a fireside for the outgoing missionaries, and I got a transfer call! Ah! This tuesday I'm getting transferred and I'm not sure where yet but I know I'm leaving the Tri Valley Ward and the ever adorable Mandarin Branch. I'm pretty bummed because I feel like all of those huge, amazing changes are right around the corner but it's okay. 

It's been great! I really love the ward and I'm so sad to leave them all! They are such a solid group of YSAs and I love it! I hope that I get to work with them all again at some point! One of the YSAs told me something yesterday at church that I thought was really profound. She said, "Never let Satan make you feel like you didn't have an influence." Isn't that so awesome? Not just for me as a missionary but for everyone. 

I think we all have those days when we're just ready to give up, when we feel like we're just frustrated and we get really down on ourselves and ask why we even try. But in those moments, Satan can take advantage of us. He knows that we're feeling defeated and so he tries to make us feel like all of the good we try to do, all of the hard work we put in doesn't matter. But, it does. It matters to all of those you've helped. It matters to all of those you've influenced and it matters to our Heavenly Father.

I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan



The mattress was for this Chinese sister from Temple square that stayed at our house one night. I forgot to take a picture with the sister...so here's me posing with the mattress the elders dropped off. Haha. We thought they were going to drop off an air mattress and then dropped off this thing. Hah.
Feliz Navidad from the Tri Valley Charity Ball

And then Me and Sis. Johnson. She came back for a baptism and bought us toilet paper :) Haha gotta love her.
These pictures were sent to me (Anela) on Thanksgiving Day by families that fed the missionaries.



(Another picture recently sent to me (Anela) by someone who spotted the missionaries shopping in Target)

Aloha All, This week makes six months out in the mission field. Amazing.  I can't believe how quickly time has passed. We truly appreciate all of your love and support!  Every letter, card, and email is like Christmas everyday for Sister Ellis-Lui-Kwan! May we all find simple joys in the Christmas season and remember to be grateful for all that we have been blessed with.  Thank you again for helping me to raise such a wonderful daughter. Love, Anela

Monday, December 2, 2013

Merry December! : )

Aloha everyone! 

I can't believe that it's already December...especially because everywhere I look makes me feel like I'm stuck in an eternal September. It's the weirdest thing. Haha. 

This week has flown by! We've been meeting with our new investigator form Georgia this week! He is doing great! It's so awesome how solid he is. He read the Book of Mormon and loved every minute of it. I am so excited to see all of the blessings that await him. His willingness and desire to have an open heart and mind about all that we have been teaching him is so refreshing and brings the Spirit into all of our lessons. I can't wait to meet with him again!

This past Sunday was great! Our other investigator came to church again this Sunday! She is so sweet. She is really starting to open up to us and isn't so shy. We go to the family ward with her while her mother goes to the Mandarin branch that meets at the same time. I think she likes going to the English speaking sacrament meeting better...which is fine with me seeing as I don't speak Chinese. Haha! Then in our own ward, one of our recent converts gave the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. It was so tender. Every time he prays it strengthens my testimony of prayer even more. He really talks to Heavenly Father and has a conversation with Him. It's so awesome. You can just sense the overwhelming amount of gratitude, love, concern, and reverence that He has for Heavenly Father. It has really made me think about the way I pray and now I am trying to make every prayer a lot more meaningful! I am so grateful for all of the wonderful examples that I have in my life that get to bring me closer to my Savior. How wonderful!

I hope everyone had a great week! I love you all so much! 

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

pc Sis. Stevenson


pc Sis. Stevenson

pc Sis. Stevenson


Monday, November 25, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! : )

Aloha everyone! :)

This week has just flown by yet again! From birthday parties to a Dance Party with the Mandarin branch, this week has been totally hilarious! I love being a missionary!

On Wednesday, we had a lesson with a less-active and it was really cool. We invited him to take the missionary discussions as he has made it a new goal to refocus his life on the gospel. So we started teaching him The Restoration and then out of nowhere this kid pops out and is like, "oh hey I just recently returned from my mission in Russia why don't I sit and join in this lesson!" It was awesome! He bore his testimony and I think it really added to our lesson. It was great, I asked him how the restoration of the gospel has blessed his life and he pretty much summed up all of the missionary discussions into like two sentences it was amazing and I've been focusing my study on it lately!

He talked about how the restoration of the gospel in it's fullness makes it possible to effectively use the Atonement in our lives and through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again and experience eternal life. Like whoa. I don't know if you are all as mind blown as I was but if not...maybe I'm just easy to please. But he pretty much just summed up everything we teach as missionaries into like two sentences...and plus it all points back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. :) How blessed we are to have a Savior who was willing to atone for us and how blessed we are to have a Father in Heaven who wants us to have everything He does! 

The rest of the week was great and I am so excited for this week ahead. I have three thanksgiving dinners. Haha! Ahh! Love it! :) I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving! I love you all so much! I am so grateful for all of you!

Love,
Sis.Ellis-Lui-Kwan

(Just adding my two cents.  I, too, am grateful to all of you who have been such a great influence in our life and in helping me raise such a wonderful and amazing daughter.  I am truly blessed. I am also grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and peace and happiness and security it brings to my life. I know that Heavenly Father and my Savior loves me and I know he loves you too. We can help others feel the love of Jesus Christ too, if we take heed of Elder Ballard's counsel "that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just "one" between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ."  I hope you'll take the challenge to do so! Happy Gobble Gobble Day! Love, Anela)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Being 20.

Aloooooooooooooooooooooooooha!

So now I'm 20. What does it feel like to be 20 you may ask? Well. It feels just about the same as it did to be 19. I'm still a girl. I'm still a missionary. I still live in the basement of my Chinese landlord's home and my primary food is still baked potatoes from the microwave...(Thank you Madison for the potato bag). But there's one word that just makes it great.. "teenagers" Haha. It has a new level of irritation every time I say it! Haha! It's great.

Haha. But really though. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and things! It was a really great birthday! :) One of the YSAs kind of threw me a birthday party and all in all I ended up at the end of the day with half a red velvet cake, brownies, a chocolate bundt cake, and a dozen of these awesome things called "bundtinis" (they're like cupcake verisons of a bundt cake)! It was totally awesome!

But here's the greatest part of the week! Hands down. Sunday! We had four non-members come to church and we had some less-actives come who haven't been in a few years! It was so great! The bishop told us we were the best missionaries in the San Jose mission and I just laughed because even though I would've loved to have been like, "oh yeah that's us." I have no idea how all those people decided to show up! It was great! All these people who we've been inviting for the longest time and have been flat out telling us, no, they don't do church, decided to all show up! It was marvelous. Seriously just amazing! I was so happy! But it gets better! All four of the non-members who came to church want to meet with us! Haha! What? I thought that kind of stuff only happened on The District! :) It was a great end to this week! I have no idea what Sis. Bliss and I have done to receive all of these wonderful tender mercies from the Lord but I want to figure it out real soon so this can keep happening! YAY for people that want to meet with us! WHOOOOOOO! :)

Best. Birthday Present. Ever. 
 
Sorry everyone...the Lord wins. Hehehe :)
 
I love you all. Have a great week! 
 
Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan
 
 
(pc: Sis. Stevenson's blog)
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tri Valley Bringing It Home...Once Again.

(This is a little late since the library was closed yesterday for Veteran's Day.)

Aloha everyone! :)

So this week was another load of awesome. Ending with the fact that my companion and I now have matching grandma track suits....which we got for a whopping total of $1 each. Ohhhhh yes... And if I had any technological skills I would have attached pictures. But for some reason it's not working.

Anyways, this week just flew by. Seriously I have idea where it went at all. On Monday...last week Monday we went bowling. I did terribly...but it's cool. Tuesday we were in Livermore again! It was great we visited all the wonderful YSAs there and Wednesday we met with our wonderful investigator from the Chinese Branch!!!! :) She's doing great! She's only 11 years old and so so shy and we got her to kneel down and pray with us out loud! Ahhh it was the greatest thing ever! I love her and her family so much! I am so grateful and blessed to be able to teach her. She is so cute!

The rest of the week passed by really quickly but I have developed such a testimony of how quickly Satan works. We have a recent convert who has been feeling Satan's power in full force. It was breaking my heart to see her struggle and turn away from things she knew and knows are true. Yet...another tender mercy from the Lord. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet with her today and she wants to come back to church. She said she misses being in the church and "feeling the presence of God." Ahhh! :) Just when we had felt that all hope was lost with her on Sunday, Heavenly Father pulls through yet again! I am so grateful for this gospel and the change that it brings to people's hearts. I feel so lucky to be here and get to see these wonderful changes.

But I love you all so much! I hope everyone's week is great! 

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, November 4, 2013

Aloha!

(Thank you to all of you who continue to write and send your love and support.  I know she appreciates it very much and loves hearing how you are doing. She wishes she had the time to write more but is kept very busy - which is actually a very good thing even if it doesn't seem so. Thank you for all you do! Keep those letters coming! Love, Anela)

Aloha! :)

This week was the start of another wonderful transfer and I am so excited! This week one of the sisters that lived with us was sick and so we did a few exchanges so that we meet everyone's appointments and service and things. It was so fun!

We also got to teach a wonderful lady in the Chinese branch and her daughter! She is a recent convert and her daughter, who is 11 years old, is now investigating the church! She is the sweetest thing! I love their family so much already! We walked in and she had us put on house slippers so our feet didn't get cold. Isn't that the cutest thing? So nice. She gave us grapes and raspberries while we taught and I just loved it! We taught her daughter the part of the Restoration of the church and showed a mormon message called, "Look to the Source". It's one of my favorites! I love how it puts Joseph Smith's experience in today's society. But the lesson went great and we invited her to be baptized and she said okay and that she would pray about it! How adorable! Oh I just love them! They invited us for dinner this coming week and I am so excited! They are just so precious! I love it!

On Saturday, we had a tender mercy from the Lord and two sisters from the YSA came on splits with us! It was great! We were in Livermore and we had a ton of visits to do and with the two of them we were able to hit everyone we wanted to for the week. Some weren't home but we were able to do a whole lot of work that would've taken Sis. Bliss and I a long time to do by ourselves in such a short amount of time. It was so, so great! I'm so grateful for those two sisters! They are so solid. 

Other than that, it was another busy week. We had 23 lessons. So things are still looking up and I am so excited! Have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ni hao ma Kung Hee Fat Choy Chow Mein Orange Chicken

Hello Everyone! :)

This week has been hilarious and awesome and all over the place! But so so great! On Monday, I got a flu shot. It hurt. But I was brave and didn't cry. On Tuesday, we headed out to Livermore like we normally do and had an amazing day we got a ton of lessons! It was so amazing! The Lord truly blessed us on Tuesday! We also had lunch with this sweet lady we were dropping by to visit her granddaughter but her granddaughter wasn't home and she wasn't letting us leave without feeding us lunch! So sweet! It was so wonderful to be in a home and to have someone take care of us.

The rest of the week went great and we ended up with a grand total of 20 LESSONS! YAY! For some that might not be much but it's the most I've ever gotten in one week on my mission! Haha! Sis. Bliss and I looked back to when I first got to this area and Sis. Johnson and I had a total of 4 lessons my first week in. Haha. I've received some tender mercies from the Lord because the work is exploding now and it is awesome!

On Sunday we also sang in Chinese branch that meets in our ward building. We sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer. It was so beautiful and Sis. Bliss and I even learned the last verse in Chinese and I sang the alto part! It was awesome. Sis. Bliss taught me how to do it! Then later that night we also had a musical fireside for the Livermore stake! It was called Finding Faith in Christ. Most of it was music, but I was asked to bear my testimony about my faith in Christ. :)

I knew that it had been coming up for a while but I couldn't figure out what to say.I would see different quotes or read different scriptures but nothing really stuck out to me. This happened for weeks and then last night, I was slightly freaking out because I had no idea what I was supposed to say. But then I thought about it differently. Instead of thinking about myself and how I had come to find faith in Christ, I pondered the question what do the people in attendance need to hear in order to find faith in Christ. :) Yet, another tender mercy from the Lord. I stood up and though it was short. The Spirit guided what I had to say and I had no trouble getting up and speaking! :)

But....for all of you who are wondering about my wonderful Chinese on the subject line! :) Guess what?!? Haha! As of next transfer... I will also be serving in the Chinese Branch! Yes, Chinese Branch means they all speak Mandarin. No, I don't speak any Chinese. Yes, I sit in front of the translator so I don't have to wear headphones and can still understand what's going on! Haha!

Haha but really though! I love them all already! They are so hilarious. We were introduced to a bunch of the members of the branch and they are so cute! I'd tell them, "Hi, I'm Sis. Ellis!" (You know trying to keep it easy for everyone...) And they'd look at my name tag and tell me, "Hello, Sis. Kwan." So hah... apparently I'm Sis. Kwan now in the Chinese Branch. Haha. Oh dear...I love being a missionary!

I hope you all have a great week and hopefully by next week, I'll actually be able to say something that makes sense in Chinese! Haha! Love it!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aloha! : )

Alooooha!

Sorry I wasn't able to hop on the computer last week! I was at "Poly Day". Haha...because as we all know I'm pretty much the most Polynesian person out there. Ahhh...haha. Anyways, it was pretty fun. All the Polynesian missionaries in our mission got to spend P-Day together and we pretty much ate, hung out, and played volleyball. Another shocker there...

Haha...but really though. It was totally fun! I got to meet a whole bunch of people who I don't have to explain how "flip-flops" are called "slippers". It was so great. I wasn't the only one with a tita bun. :)

Anyways, these past two weeks have been awesome! So many miracles. This week we have interviews with our mission president. As always, they were great! President Watkins makes me feel like I'm the best missionary on the face of the planet every time I talk to him and then I want to just go and tell everyone about the gospel! Haha! So awesome! On Wednesday, one of our investigators dropped us. He called us and told us that he wasn't interested anymore and didn't want to meet with us. It was really sad. Especially when his cousin, a recent convert, who had been there at every lesson was helping our investigator along the way. Sis. Bliss and I think he took it really hard. But everyone has their agency. I know it will all be fine and that the Lord will continue to bless him and his cousin!

Then, on Thursday the miracle of all miracles occurred! I thought I was in a movie! We went to visit our other investigator and she was amazing! We talked to her about how she thought sacrament meeting went this past Sunday. She said she loved it and even though she had to leave she said when she got in the car she said a prayer asking Heavenly Father if the church was true and if it was the right thing for her and she said she had a voice come into her head and say, "You already know it's true!" What?!?! Ahhhhh! It was so great. I was sitting there listening to her continue to tell us all of these awesome spiritual experiences she was having because she was willing to accept the Lord's will and be receptive to the Spirit. Oh so great! She told us she's excited to go shopping for church clothes now and she wants to get baptized! Whoo hoo! I'm so excited. She is so solid. Man... I felt like I was on "The District" it was so great! It totally was a testament to me that the Lord really does prepare people. She told us that right before we started teaching her she had just told her boyfriend that she wanted to get her life in order and wanted to look for a church! Seriously, tender mercies from the Lord. Things like that really don't happen everyday! I'm so glad that I've had the opportunity to teach her and get to know her. She is such a blessing! 

I can't wait for this new week ahead! All of the wonderful blessings that lie ahead for all of the great people I get to teach and talk to every week are really starting to blossom. I'm so excited for each of them!

I love you all a whole ton! Stay safe. Stay wonderful! Get a tan for me because I'm turning into this weird...pale-ish...person. Love you all!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy After-General-Conference-Weekend Day! :)

(Aloha Gang, This is last week's (10/07/2013) post.  Sorry it's late, I didn't have access to a computer. Sister Ellis wasn't able to email home this week (10/14/2013) because she was in San Jose for the day, but I did hear from her companion who said that she is doing well and will email again next week!  Mahalo for all your love, support, and prayers on her behalf! Love, Anela )

Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone enjoyed General Conference as much as I did! Oh my, it was amazing! It was great to be able to listen to Conference and see all of those we're teaching have questions answered. I can't wait for this coming week and have the time to share all of the messages from General Conference with them. Ahh! So amazing!

This week was as amazing as ever! We got to go to the temple which was just so perfect. It couldn't have come sooner. Ah I love the temple and all the peace it brings to my heart.

We went on exchanges with Sis. Bassett, she's our new Sister Training Leader. She is so great! I loved it! We also gave a church tour this week! It was Sis. Bliss's first church tour and she did amazing! I love giving church tours. I feel like the Spirit is already so strong from the moment someone steps in our church buildings that you just have to feel happy when you're there! 

We also picked up a former investigator! It was great! She had a whole bunch of questions for us and she seemed so open and receptive to meeting with us. Her whole countenance changed from the time I first met her and she really wants to learn things about our church and it is making me so excited! I can't wait to meet with her again this week.

Other than that, everything is going great! We traded in Old Bertha (our Navy Car) for Big Red (the Elder's red car). I was sad to see her go. But seeing that we had to fix our duct taped bumper every couple of days I'm appreciative that Big Red doesn't have those problems. Haha.

But I hope everyone had a wonderful week and I hope each of you have an amazing week to come! I love you all so much!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan


"Old Bertha"

"Big Red"

Sis. Bliss & Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan


At the Oakland Temple
Sister Ikegami's (2nd from left) Grandparents & Aunty are in Nu'uanu Ward

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Know You're A Missionary When...


Aloha Everyone,

This week I wanted to do something a little different because Sis. Bliss, the other two sisters we live with, and I all started talking about the crazy things we do as missionaries...

So here it goes...

You know you're a missionary when... someone texts you to ask for a priesthood blessing and you drop your whole life.
One of the people we teach gets really bad migraines and so sometimes we go over and you can just see the pain on her face. She gets them quite frequently but at this time in her life, she doesn't really want anything to do with the church or the priesthood. We've asked her before if she'd like a blessing and she's never wanted one, until Monday night! She had asked us to pray for her earlier that day and of course we had her in our thoughts. Then Monday night, we got a text from her asking for a blessing. We called her home teacher and his father and we headed to her house. It was amazing to see everything fall into place so easily. First of all that we didn't have a set appointment then so we could go right away. Second, her home teacher answered his phone and then was willing to come. Such a tender mercy from the Lord. It was amazing. They gave her a blessing and the Spirit was so strong. I was so glad to have been able to be a part of that precious experience. 

You know you're a missionary when... you invite someone to come to church without their iPad. Another one of the people we teach has had a hard time coming to church and paying attention because he is constantly on his iPad. When we invited him this past week to come to church without his iPad and sit in the chapel with us, we thought he was going to attack us, but then after a long pause, he agreed. Another tender mercy from the Lord. Hah. Seriously though, that could've gone down a lot differently. 

This week has been amazing. We got to meet with both the Livermore Stake Presidency, the stake we're actually in, and the Pleasanton Stake Presidency, the stake that we cover and the rest of our zone is in. Both stake presidents and counselors are amazing! They are so empowering and motivating! The Lord has called great people to lead the members here. We also had the Sisters Retreat! YAAAYYYY! So....for those of you who don't know... my mission president and his wife are the best that are out there. We had a day long retreat for all the sister missionaries in our mission. We all came to San Jose and went to workshops and listened to speakers. It was such a wonderful spiritual boost and a perfect lead in to the Relief Society Broadcast this past Saturday. I am so grateful for the wonderful Spirit I am able to feel as a missionary and I am so looking forward to General Conference this coming weekend! Ahh I'm so excited! 

I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all so much!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan




The Best Zone in the Mission! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

So Apparently Now I Sing...


ALOOOHA. 

:) 

Hi Everyone. This week has been another great one. Sis. Bliss and I started off the week super strong and had a whole bunch of lessons. It was amazing to actually have all these people remember they were meeting with us and then still want to. Haha! Ahh. But really though...it was awesome. 

Later in the week, we had quite the bump in the road. One of our investigators told us that he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. It was really hard. The two of us were really sad and to top it off, it rained - like the whole day. It was just a really sad day. But, it's okay because I know that the sun will shine again. The Lord has a plan for him and even though we've been able to see him feel the Spirit and feel the comfort that the Holy Ghost can provide, it'll all work out even if he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. 

I feel the one thing I've been learning over and over again is that the Lord is always mindful of us, his children. He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us hanging. He wants to bless us. How amazing! I've seen that over and over again. No matter who we are, no matter who we may think we are, no matter what circumstances we may come from the Lord loves us all and He knows us each more individually, and personally then we could ever imagine.

But here comes the most shocking part of my week....are you ready for it...here it comes...

I sang in Sacrament meeting. In a quartet. Haha what? Yeah. I was surprised at myself too.
Now for all of you who are like "wow, I didn't know she could sing." Don't worry I still can't. Haha. But really though, I was really nervous but Sis. Bliss has this amazing voice and the two elders we sang with, that also serve in our ward, were great too, so we sounded so awesome. We sang "Abide With Me Tis Eventide" and I think that it may be one of my favorite hymns.

Sometimes we feel alone in our lives, sometimes we feel we can't go on, sometimes we are in a hole so deep we think we can never get out and it's okay because that is exactly what the Savior is there for. He is here to help us. He is here is succor us. I don't know about all of you, but sometimes when I'm having a rough day I just want to come home and vent about everything and that's kind of what I think of when I sing "Abide With Me Tis Eventide" asking the Savior to sit and listen to me, asking him to help carry me through the next day because I just feel spent. The Spirit was so strong when we sang and the peace that carried through the rest of church was just amazing. I know the Lord wants us to be happy and I have seen that in my own life. I know that the Lord wants to help me and I am so grateful for that fact!

I love you all so much! 

Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

(Thought I'd share the words to the beautiful hymn she mentioned above. Wish I knew how to post a link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing it, but I'm me, so no link -- just Google it, it's beautiful. Love, Anela)

Abide with Me; 'Tis Eventide

Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
The day is past and gone; 
The shadows of the evening fall; 
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest, 
Within my home abide.

Chorus
O Savior, stay this night with me; 
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me; 
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn, 
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.

Abide with me; 'tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear, 
Would in my home abide.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Transfer Calls...What's the Verdict?

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone has been having a great week! ! You are all wonderful people and I miss you a ton!

This week was another great one! On Monday night, we were able to meet with new investigator. He is the cousin of one of the Recent Converts that started coming to our ward. Member missionary work. It's awesome. Try it. Haha. But really though, it's awesome. Anyways, he is so solid and he committing to getting baptized as long as he prayed and knew for himself that it was true! Ah! Great right? That's exactly what we want him to do! We're meeting with him again this week and I am SO excited.

On Tuesday we were out in Livermore again! It turned out to be a really weird day. A bunch of our appointments fell through at the last minute but it gave us the wonderful opportunity to do some visits that we hadn't been able to do yet! It gave me such a testimony of the Lord's timetable. We visited a member who we haven't been able to catch yet. She works a whole ton and we just happened to catch her in like the half hour between her two jobs! It was awesome! We shared a message with her about Christ's loves for each of us and she seemed so sweet!

Hmm...what else happened this week. Well we got transfer calls...and the verdict is... I'm staying here! Whoo hoo! I'm so excited! I love it here in Dublin in this YSA ward. They are an awesome bunch of people. We were able to do a whole bunch of service this week, which is always great! I love that we do so much service here. It always makes me so happy. One service that we help at is at a place called Open Heart.  It is for senior citizens and I actually think just about anyone. But it cracks me up every time we work there. It's seriously like one of my favorite places we volunteer at. The people we volunteer with are great and the all the seniors that come and eat are so hilarious. Sis. Bliss and I were are the serving lines on Friday, so we plate the food for the servers and then they take it out to the people who came to eat. I just wish that I had a bell so I could ring it at people to tell them their order is ready like in the movies! Haha. Except it wouldn't really work because I wasn't actually cooking anything. But still. An annoying bell would've been awesome.

Well, other than that, things have been great! I feel like I'm learning so much and I can't wait to continue to learn more. This gospel is a beautiful thing and I am so grateful to be a part of it!

Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sometimes a week feels like a month.


Alooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooha! 

Hi everyone. I ate a chocolate doughnut today and it was AWESOME! Seriously like the best doughnuts ever. We all need to come back here and eat doughnuts together at this place here called Doughboys. It. Is. Awesome.

Anyways, this week was so great! I feel like we did ten million things. We had this super solid week planned out but as it would happen like every day almost all of our appointments would fall through. Ahhhh. But it's okay. We always somehow turned out to meet one person everyday where I just felt like, "Yes, this is who the Lord needed me to meet today." Haha. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways! 

On Tuesday, we headed out to Livermore and a whole bunch of our appointments feel through and Sis. Bliss and I were feeling very bummed. We prayed about it because we both felt like we shouldn't be in Livermore and so we headed out. We ended up meeting with this wonderful, wonderful member recent convert who was going through a hard time. She is amazing and the strength that she has really inspires me. She was able to get a wonderful priesthood blessing and the Spirit felt so strongly. I am so grateful to have had that wonderful opportunity to have been able to talk with her. On Wednesday, we started exchanges! Except that it wasn't a real exchange because I didn't go anywhere. Our Sister Training Leader just came to join us. It was super weird because this was kind of my first exchange like this because Sis. Johnson was the Sister Training Leader so I couldn't really go on exchanges with my own companion. Haha. On Thursday, a bunch of appointments fell through yet again and Sis. Bliss and I went contacting at the BART station. We had a whole bunch of meaningful contacts and passed out four copies of the Book of Mormon in like 45 minutes! It was amazing. We even passed one out to a guy who only spoke Spanish. Haha that one involved lots of pointing and gesturing. But as we were driving away we saw him reading it! So awesome!

Saturday, however turned out to be awesome! One of our investigators who identifies himself as an atheist, prayed. With us. In the middle of a park. What a tender mercy from the Lord! We taught him about God's Plan for each of us, or the Plan of Salvation! It gave him a lot to think about and he still wants to meet with us next week! Whooo! 

Every time I teach, my testimony is strengthened even more. I feel like I continually realize how much the Lord loves us! How lucky we are that this omnipotent, awe-inspiring God loves us as awkward and random as we may be. Haha. Because as we all know I definitely more than fall into the "awkward and random" category. I am so grateful to be here for another wonderful week! 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan 



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Belated Labor Day!


Hi everyone!
 
Sorry, I forgot to mention...but the library was closed yesterday because it was Labor Day.
 
Anyways, it has been another amazing week and it really seems like things are just flying by. I can't believe I'm almost done with another transfer. So weird.
 
Thie week was pretty awesome. It seems like ages ago but it was only really a few days ago. Whoever said that days pass like weeks and weeks pass like days on the mission was so right!
 
Last week, during our weekly planning my companion, Sis. Bliss, and I felt impressed to visit some of our people listed as "Do Not Contact". A lot of them hadn't been seen or heard from in a long time. Those are people who have told the missionaries or the ward for whatever reason that they don't want to have any contact with the church. So this past week, we took that on. It was really amazing. A lot of the people that we hadn't even seen or that we have never met before we found. Before some visits we prayed so hard that people wouldn't yell at us or be rude to us but time and time again the Lord provided for us.
 
We even met this one YSA and she was so nice! She was geniunely interested in what we had to say. We shared with her a scripture in 3 Nephi, where Christ appears to the multitude of Nephites and talked about how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us!
 
It was also a great week because a ton of the people we contacted were willing to talk to us. It was amazing. People were asking us questions and talking to us about our faith instead of just taking our little mormon.org card. So many blessings!
 
I'm so excited for this week ahead. I have a feeling it's going to be another great one!
 
Love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
 
Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, August 26, 2013

When Did It Even Become August?

Aloha everyone,

Time seems to just be flying by. I actually may or may not have been writing "July" in my planner and then I noticed that my companion's said "August" and I kind of freaked out. Haha. But it's okay. I know what month I'm in now! 

This week was great! On Tuesday, my companion, Sis. Bliss, and I started doing service at a new place. We help at a thrift store in Livermore. It's lots of fun and the workers there are so cute! They make me laugh. Then on Friday, we had zone conference. That is where a few zones get together and we basically learn how to be better missionaries. We had three zones at our zone conference, my zone (Pleasanton), the Livermore zone, and the Freemont zone. It was really great! President and Sis. Watkins talked a bit and basically they made me want to just be the best missionary ever! They are so inspiring!

Also this was our last week with our golden investigator. She's leaving for college today actually but teaching her has been such a blessing. From the times when people tell me they can't talk to me because their one foot tall dog is going to bite me to people who tell me that they read the Bible everyday but don't want to read the Book of Mormon because they don't read books, being a missionary isn't always smooth sailing. That is why teaching her has been so amazing. I can see her earnest desire to really want to learn. She has been willing to pray and read the Book of Mormon and try to see if it is really something she believes and if it is really something that is true! It has been beyond amazing to see her willingness and growth during these past few weeks. Even though she's leaving she even brought her parents to church with her yesterday! It's awesome! This past week we taught her the whole Plan of Salvation, or God's Plan for each of us! She loved it and wanted to meet with us again the next day...which of course we were up for! We would've turned our whole day upside down for her if we had to! Haha! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked a lot with her about baptism. She wants to get baptized while she is away and I am so excited for her. I know she will do great things! Here's the best part. From the first time we met her to the second. She has read the Book of Mormon every night. She's almost down with the all of 1 Nephi. She's so solid. She might read more than me! It's awesome!

I'm so grateful for her and her desire to know and not just to know and learn from us but to learn for herself. That is probably my favorite part about being a missionary. We can teach people all day...which I love doing by the way... but when it really comes down to it, a

ll of us telling them things about our church really doesn't matter. It comes down to them and their agency. They can choose to accept our gospel or not. I think that's why it makes it that much sweeter when someone comes to that decision on their own! How awesome! I'm so grateful to be a missionary!

I love you all! Hope you all have a beautiful week!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan
 
Evan's Baptism (Sis. Bliss is on the left and Evan is on the right)

Pahia Family (Dad-Chris, daughter-Karina, and son-CJ)
Car troubles. Last week a flat tire, now we needed a jump! It's okay cause my outfit is still cute! : )
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm Still Alive!


Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone! This week was great. I had my first baptism. It was awesome. I
felt the Spirit so strongly there. His name was Evan and he is so solid. He
bore his testimony and I could just feel the conviction he had within him.
It was great.

I love how mindful the Lord is of each of us.

I have been thinking about that a lot lately and it is so interesting to
see how much He truly thinks and cares about each and everyone of us.
On Friday, we had advanced orientation and I got to see all the wonderful
sisters I was at the MTC with again. It was so great! They are such
wonderful examples to me. I am grateful to have known them. During our
advanced orientation we talked about a whole bunch of things. One thing we
talked about was our personal study and things we can do to help make it
more effective.

We went over parts of an interview that President Erying did a few years
ago and he talked about how when he was called as an apostle he got a set
of scriptures and asked the Lord what he would have him do as an apostle
and he waited for the response. After some pondering, he wrote down what he
thought the Lord's answers were. Then color coded them and read the
scriptures looking for examples within the scriptures. It made me think of
a talk I watched by Elder Bednar and he sort of talked about doing the same
thing. So, I decided to try it.

I have been looking in the scriptures for the example of Christ and for how
I can share the gospel with others. I've only just started but it has
already been such a wonderful experience.

I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to serve the Lord during
this time. I feel so blessed to be able to witness changes in people's
lives and in my own. I love you all so much!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Two Months!

Aloha everyone,

And no. I'm not trunkie. But I found out from one of the sisters that lives with me that today is our two month mark! Whoo! Two of the greatest, craziest, busiest months of my entire life.

This week was amazing! My wonderful "mother" left on tuesday and I got my new greenie on thursday! It was crazy. My new companion's name is Sis. Bliss and while I'm pretty sure she thinks her trainer is a complete lunatic. I think she's amazing! Such a great missionary.

This week was a tough one. We had lots of our appointments cancel and things were really just all over the place. But the Lord is truly mindful of us and He knows how to succor us in times of need.

Last night, we had a missionary devotional at the home of one of the members of our Stake Presidency in the Livermore Stake, and they each shared their testimony and thoughts on missionary work with each of us. Each testimony was so powerful and spiritual, I know the Lord was smiling down on us!

The stake president shared something that was really interesting, he said that the things we speak, by the Spirit, have an eternal influence on those with whom we come into contact. How amazing to think of the power we possess as missionaries. He testfied that as missionaries we are ministers of Jesus Christ and as such He will support us. How lucky we are to have the support of the Savior in every aspect of our lives. And it doesn't just stop with missionaries.

As disciples and followers of Christ, we take his name upon ourselves. How wonderful it is to know that we have the support of a divine and perfect being with us every step of the way. One thing that I've continually learned and still learn on my mission is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It covers everything. All of the pains and sicknesses, all of the trials and hardships, all of the weaknesses and short comings we possess, Christ's grace is sufficient to redeem us and to empower us.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the influence that each and every one of you has had on my life.

Until next week!

Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's A Baby Girl!!!


(Aloha Gang!  I'm so grateful for all your prayers on Sis. Ellis' behalf.  We love and appreciate all your support and words of encouragement.  She really loves the people in her area and loves being a missionary! Love, Anela)

Aloha everyone!
 
This week was one of busiest yet. It started off just as wonderful as ever and ended with a whole load of crazy. We have been really busy with Sis. Johnson leaving to go home and doing our normal missionary work through the week. Another sister that lives with us also got her visa and left today for Brazil! She is going to do amazing things there and we were all really sad to see her leave but I can't help being overwhelmingly excited for all the people who have been waiting far too long for her to come and share the gospel with all of them.
 
But, even with all of that craziness, that is not the major bomb that was dropped. On Thursday night, I found out that I'm going to be a trainer!! :)
 
In the mission we call our trainers our mothers and so after only a few short weeks, my mom is leaving me tomorrow and I'm getting a greenie on Thursday! Haha! I am so nervous. I can't wait and I am so excited to meet the wonderfully prepared and excited missionary that will be my "daughter". One thing I've learned on my mission so far is that the Lord is truly mindful of us. He loves us and He knows us. He wants to bless us. I feel so inadqueate for the task ahead of me but I know that the Lord will strengthen me and I feel so blessed to be able to help to influence someone so new to the mission.
 
On Friday, we had a training meeting for all the new trainers in San Jose. President Watkins talked about the importance of a trainer and how they can impact their trainee's mission for good or for bad. Through the example they set, they can pave the way for the way their trainee's mission goes. In part of the meeting he talked about D&C 121 how the Lord has organizational structure through the priesthood. He went on to explained that the Lord wants us to operate by righteousness through kindness, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned. Love unfeigned. That phrase really stood out to me. The Savior loves us unfeigned and unconditionally. He is concerned and cares for all of us imperfect people who probaly can't truly understand the perfect love he offers us so openly. This phrase has been rolling around in my head for a few days and not until one of our investigators talked about Christ's love did things really start to click.
 
He talked about how actions are more powerful than words. He used the example of humility. Someone can say they are a humble person all they want, but until they do things or perform actions that a humble person would do, they are not humble. He related it to the Savior's love for us through prayer. He talked about how, while it would be nice to hear Heavenly Father's voice coming down from heaven everytime we poured our hearts out in prayer, it really hits home when we see and witness the Savior's love for us through the actions that He performed. He performed the Atonement for all of us so that even when we are imperfect and consistently make mistakes, we can continue to try again. How wonderful it is to know we have our Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows and loves us.
 
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week and know the Lord loves you!
 
Love,
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan