Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christmas Miracles!

This week was another amazing one as I'm sure the rest will continue to be. It passed by in a whirlwind. I am actually having a hard time believing that today is Monday again. Where did the week go???
I hope you are all doing wonderful and I'm sure you all are. I hope everyone is enjoying the sun and beach for me!
So basically...the week was amazing. I witnessed tender mercies from the Lord all week long and I really wanted to share two of them with all of you.
The first is....well I'm sure there have been others who have had this happen. On Thursday, Sis. Johnson and I had a crazy night. We had lessons and visits to do and we met with one of the members of the stake presidency to talk about the work in our area. It was so awesome and wonderfully busy!
We ended up eating a super later lunch because we were busy earlier in the day so by the time we finally ate it was in the afternoon. What we didn't realize was that in a few hours we were going to be having dinner with a member. Oh my! I was so full after that. I seriously didn't know my stomach could expand that much.
But, it doesn't end there.
We went to another appointment and of course....on this night of all nights... they fed us dinner. I prayed that I would be able to eat all of the food and not be rude and somehow I did it. It was truly amazing.
If anyone doesn't believe that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I am a walking testament. It was the weirdest thing. I didn't feel sick anymore. I didn't feel stuffed. I was just perfect. It was awesome. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. Haha.
The second experience I want to share is truly close to my heart. It involves one of those we meet with. He has been meeting with missionaries for a while now and I just met him recently. The first few meetings with him were good and he understood our message but there was something weird about both. I couldn't place my finger on it but there was something different.
Anyway, this week before we got to his house we said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help us discern his needs and help him with whatever he needed help with. Our lesson started off similar to most and it was the same sort of thing. We asked him questions and he answered them all perfectly. But somehow things were just a little off. I was getting a little frustrated and I felt prompted to ask him what was wrong and just explained that I felt like we, missionaries, weren't helping him in the way he needed help.
And there came the Christmas miracle!
His opened up to us about all of these things or obstacles he was facing in regards to his testimony. My heart broke as I listened to the struggles he endured and continues to endure throughout his life. It was such a tender experience and as he left us with a prayer I felt the Spirit so strongly. I know that the Lord loves him.
I know that the Lord knows us. Individually and Initmately. I know that He is there wanting and waiting to help him. All we have to do is ask.
I love you all!
Sis. Ellis

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day in the Life of a "Pro" Missionary

(Hey Gang - Sorry this is a late post! It's my fault. Keep those letters coming! I know she loves it! Mahalo-Anela)

Aloha everyone, 
So this week I'd thought I'd write about pretty much what I do every day. Our mission president, President Watkins, has this sort of mantra for us all, it's "look pro, act pro, be pro." As missionaries in this area we try to maintain a high standard of professionalism in all those that we interact with on a daily basis. Even though I'm not techinically in Silicon Valley, a lot of the people I work with are very accomplished YSAs (Young Single Adults) and some work there. President Watkins really knows what he's talking about though, with all these super smart people if I was to walk up to someone all confused and not put together most people wouldn't give me the time of day! Haha, sometimes that doesn't happen even when I am all put together but it's still awesome because contacting is one of my favorite things!
Okay...so an average day. We wake up at 6:25 a.m., we're a 6:25 a.m. mission, and sometimes even earlier and we go and exercise. There's four of us that live together in a member's home and one Sister is this awesome crossfit master and she is basically our stand-in coach for the morning. It's awesome, but the other day I woke up and thought my arms were going to fall off from the push-ups we did the day before.
Then we come back home and it's a mad rush as four girls get ready, take a shower, and eat breakfast all within the hour. Haha. But then, we start our studies. An hour of personal study and then two hours of companion study which includes some training.
We don't end up leaving this house until about 11:00 a.m. we then either go to appointments we have set up to teach people or visit people in our congregation and teach them. We eat lunch and do a few hours of service. Go to a dinner appointment and then after dinner we do a few more visits or do some contacting.
Contacting is my favorite. I don't know if I've explained this before but contacting is basically when we meet people on the street and talk a little about the gospel. Sometimes we hand them a "mormon.org" card or give them a copy of the Book of Mormon. Either way it is the most awkwardly amazing thing there can be. It's so fun to walk up to someone and ask them about their belief in God, they are so weirded out by you. It's hilarious. I love it!
But yup. That's basically how my day goes just about everyday. We do lots of service and try to work a lot with the members. It is great! I love being a missionary.
Until next week! Love you all!
SIs. Ellis-Lui-Kwan
my tag : )

Sister Sotele

Elder Perkins

the BIG map

"The District"

Sister Barlow

Arriving in San Jose

Sister Christensen

Sister Bishop

My "new" Betsy! (FYI, Betsy is the name of my car back home!)

Let's eat! : )

Dublin, CA

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sometimes the Week Just Flies By and I Wonder What Happened

This week was crazy. I seriously don't even know where it went. So much craziness. I contacted a guy in the middle of the crosswalk while on my bike. It was awesome. I looked ridiculous and he probably thought I was crazy, but he said he would check out "mormon.org" so all is well. Haha. We, Sis. Johnson and I and the other two sisters we're living with, killed a fat spider the other day. I have ballet flats tan lines and a watch tan line. It's awesome.
Being on a mission is so amazing. I am just so blessed to be here everyday. From the craziness of the spider to the fact that our bike tire was flat the other week, it is truly just so amazing. The way that the Spirit works through people is just great.
Yesterday, the bishopric's wives spoke in sacrament meeting. They spoke about faith, hope, and charity. One of the counselor's wives shared this quote, "The rainbows always come after the rain and storms have gone away."
She is so right.
Sometimes we have appointments that fall through or we bike for like an hours straight across town in the hot sun and the person we are trying to visit doesn't even live there anymore but it really makes it all worth it when I can see just a slight change in the hearts of those I come into contact with.
This week we watched a talk by Bro. Brad Wilcox called, "His Grace is Sufficient". On a side note, if there is a way at all for any of you to watch it, DO IT! Anyways, he talked about not just being saved by Christ's grace but, how as members of the church we work to become changed by His Grace. We try to become like Him and work towards emulating His example because we are not trying to repay Him for what He has done for us or have Him make up the difference of what we lack but we are truly trying to change  so that we can live more abundantly in the eternities with Him.
I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and so grateful for the ability that I have to be better everyday. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all so much and hope to hear from you soon!
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

(Just a note of thanks from me to all of you who have been writing and showing your love and support to Sister Ellis-Lui-Kwan since she's been gone.  She loves hearing from you all and appreciates it very much! And so do I. Love, Anela)

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Lord's Work

Aloha Everyone,
If I have learned anything this week, it is that this is truly the Lord's work. I already thought I knew that coming out here on a mission but being able to fully realize the seemingly insignificant parts of my life all working together to get to this point is just amazing.
Time and time again, I will walk into someone's home and listen to them speak and something I was talking about with my companion earlier or some life experience relates directly to them. It's amazing. I'm not saying that this happens every time, but it does happen and it is great. Even when we seem to have really random conversations, it'll come up later while talking to those we come into contact with. It's awesome.
I truly feel so blessed to be a missionary because to be completely honest the Lord could've used anyone. If the Lord wants something to be done it will be. It doesn't matter who, but they'll be someone receptive enough to the Spirit to get that work done. I feel like being here has really blessed me more than the others I am trying to help. It seems so amazing to me that my Heavenly Father would love me so much that He would bless me with this opportunity to witness changes in people that have struggles that directly relate to my own life. How awesome it is to be here on a mission and to be able to witness those changes over and over again. I love being a missionary, it is seriously the best decision I have ever made in my life.
But, on a lighter note, being a missionary does have it's awkward moments, especially when you're me. So here's the awkward moment of this week. Actually, it's probably the most embarrassing moment of my mission thus far, which probably means that there are many more to come...great.
As a zone, we all went contacting together at a street fair that the city of Pleasanton hosts every firstWednesday of the month. We had a little area we set up and some of us sang hymns while others contacted. It was pretty great.
I was contacting, which by the way is awesome. I placed my first Book of Mormon. I felt so epic. Haha. Anyways, I'm smiling and these three men come walking by. I do the usual thing and start talking to them. They stop and just keep nodding their heads smiling back at me. So of course being the greenie that I am, I am stoked. I start talking to them about Mormon.org and tell them to check it out. As I'm pretty much rambling on and on one of the guys grabs his friend by the shoulders and turns him around. He then points to his ear.
Yup. They were all deaf.
I just tried to contact three deaf guys and they weren't actually interested in what I was saying. They were just trying to be polite and when they noticed that I wasn't going to stop talking they kindly pointed out to me that they couldn't hear a word I was saying. Haha. Oh man... I was so embarrassed. It was so awkward. They were so nice about it but holy moly, I wanted to go crawl under a rock. Haha oh dear.
Haha, that's just been one event. I've already almost straight ran into my companion on our bikes while she was trying to contact these other people. Haha. But I love it. People look at me like I'm a lunatic, but it's seriously the greatest thing. I love being a missionary and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hope to hear from you all!
Love you lots,

Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan & Sis. Johnson

President & Sister Watkins

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week One in the Field

So much has happened since I last was able to hop on a computer.
Things are great! The work is great! There is so much to do and I am so excited! My trainer's name is Sis. Johnson. She's from Virginia and went to BYU-Hawaii! Awesome right? Well she is.
Anyways, I'm in Dublin. For those of you who don't know where that is, don't worry because I didn't either. It's at the northern edge of our mission and we're assigned to the Tri-Valley YSA ward. We're kind of different because our ward covers like 5 towns some of which is actually out of our mission and part of the Oakland mission. So that's pretty cool.
Another wonderful experience I've had so far is being on bikes! Haha! We're in a car share with another companionship which means we have to bike sometimes. Haha lovely. Yesterday it was like a 100 degrees and we biked to church. Awesome. Haha nah its cool. I've kind of got this system down to sling back my cross-body purse and swing my arm under to pull my skirt down every time we have to start pedaling again after a stoplight. Yeah its pretty awesome. I feel like a ninja when I'm riding all chill in a skirt. (Also, Ashley Furtado is a genius. Safety pinning skirts. Who knew..)
Other than that, Sunday was pretty hilarious. Let me start with saying this first though....on the first day we got to San Jose, President Watkins told us some things about being a missionary. Apart from all the wonderful other things he said which reaffirms the fact that he and his wife are THE BEST MISSION PRESIDENT AND WIFE out there (sorry to all those who think otherwise, you are seriously misguided) he said as a missionary the bishop may call you up at any time to fill up time in sacrament meeting if need be. I just laughed thinking...yeah that would probably happened to me. Well, what do you know? Sunday rolls around and one sacrament speaker is a no show. Haha...well we all know what happened next. Luckily there was also a new elder to the ward who got up and spoke too! Haha oh to be a missionary!
Nah....I really love it though! Everything is great. Even though we walk around in the hot California weather, or show up sweating bullets to the church building I wouldn't trade any second. Being out here doing the Lord's work brings me so much happiness and I can't wait to do this for the coming year and a half!
Keep being wonderful people I know you all are. I love you!
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan

(***Correction!!! I posted the wrong zip code earlier.  ***Current mailing address: 11975 W. Vomac Road, Dublin, CA  94568 )