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!

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!


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!

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!

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!
Sis. Ellis-Lui-Kwan