Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 10

Email day is Monday. I got the special Christmas package from Mimi!! Thank you so much. The chocolates and gifts were so sweet, in more ways than one. I feel so loved! I think it is so interesting because in Hong Kong they love Ferrer Roche chocolates, Mimi's favorites. They sell them everywhere and they always remind me of Mimi.

They also love KFC, McDonalds, and 7-11. They are everywhere. When we are on the metro, literally everyone is on their cell phone all the time.

My companion and I pretty much speak Cantonese every day all day. We are trying SYL (speak your language) so we can learn faster. I feel like I have already gotten so much better. It was hard to understand everyone at first because they speak very fast and sometimes slur their words. But this is getting better as well. I am working on really pronouncing the tones so people can understand me better. I have always wanted to live in a big city and talk to and be a part of random people's lives. It is such an amazing experience to be so close to people already and know their families and homes. We helped our investigator Jiu Poh Poh clean her fish tank and she allowed us to visit her shy son who lives next door, who the missionaries have never been able to visit before. We invited him to a Christmas party this week. Miracles happen with exact obedience and faith. Also, when you turn outward, you are able forget about yourself and focus on others. You are able to truly love them and enjoy being around them and want to get to know them. You are able to serve them and find happiness. You are able to gain their trust. I am so honored to have the ability to be a representative of Christ.

So far, the food is so good. Geimeihbau has a coconut filling. They like rice and noodles. They like their pizza with ranch dressing rather than tomato sauce--interesting. I am learning to cook Asian food.

Talking to everyone and asking so many questions is really very fun. I love getting to know people and being able to brighten their day. Every single person has a need to challenge. Every single person can be edified by this gospel. It is necessary and we can find a way to give that to them, even if it means only smiling and leaving a good impression. People will be prepared in their own time.

He will give you talents if you work for them. Those talents can bless others. I thought that was cool. We teach English classes to the Chinese every week. The missionaries alternate teaching duties.

I suggest everyone focus on learning more about Christ and the simple doctrines. That is what we should do as a family this Christmas season. You can read 2 Nephi 31, Alma 34, 3 Nephi:13-22, 3 Nephi 9. I love all of these. I invite you to also read Mosiah 27:29 and Alma 26:17 and think of a time in your life when you have been snatched. The Lord is truly merciful. He gives us experiences or trials that are really blessings in disguise. I can definitely remember some of the experiences that were changing points in my life and I am so grateful.

The ones who enter the Celestial Kingdom are "those who overcome the world through their faith." Be one of those people. I love you all! Bai, bai.
Sister Wilcox

In the airport with all the new Hong Kong missionaries in San Francisco. So many miracles happened. This couple in the middle (members) found us randomly and bought us all expensive Mexican food before we left. He wanted to serve us in return. So sweet. SLC just happened to snow a ton on the morning that we would leave the MTC. We woke up at 3:30am and rode trains/ commuted our luggage for the rest of the day. However, because of the snow, the pilot was 3 hours late to work. He got to our flight 45 mins late and then we were driven around in the airplane on the track for 3 hours while they deforsted. They realized something was wrong with plane. By this time, another flight was about to leave to SF. We boarded that one. On that plane I was seated next to a sister and another guy going to Macau. We were able to really get to know Him and it was as if his whole life had been prepared for that moment. We taught him the restoration. It was very powerful. All of his experiences and personal opinions were truly guided by Heavenly Father. I am thankful that I could help with His work, and plant another seed into this person's heart (Dad analogy from phone)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 9

This weeks message was a telephone call from Aurelia to the family from San Francisco. Because of heavy snow in Salt Lake, the plane was late leaving. In San Francisco, they had plane troubles so the missionaries spent the night at a hotel. The mission sent this picture of all the missionaries as they arrived in Hong Kong. The mission president and his wife are on the front right. Click on the picture to get a good view of Aurelia.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 8: Hong Kong here I come!

Thank you grandpa for the emails with the news of the family. It is so nice to hear that we are as active as ever. This is probably my last email from the USA. On Monday at 3 a.m. (yes a.m.) we leave for the airport and fly out to San Francisco at 6 a.m. We have a 4 hour layover there and then fly for 14 hours to Hong Kong! I. am. so. excited!!

The meaning of the words for giraffe in Cantonese is long neck deer. Wife is chaiji, grape is taihji. Ngo is goose, which sounds like a goose call. We were talking to some Ukraine missionaries and they said that the word for "point" is similar to the word for "urinate." One of them said when telling the story of the first vision "...calling me by name and urinating at the other". I think that is about the worst language mistake I have heard. We took a Language Study Assessment last week and I got a surprisingly good score for tones and pronunciation. I was very happy as I was really trying to get the tones down well this past week. I think I sound pretty Chinese. I just need to focus more on grammar and sentence patterns and vocabulary for the last week here. I am pretty happy as I feel pretty prepared spiritually and have really come to have a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon within the last couple of weeks.

My zone has become like a family and it is sad that I won't be seeing most of them in a very long time. The Hmong, Viet Nam, and Cambodian missionaries left last week. We just got Thai missionaries in who are so sweet. It makes me realize how much we have grown and changed in the last 8 weeks. There are lots of interesting names in our zone like Shamrock, Tsubasa, and Ysabeaux. My teacher Kuok JiMuih said she didn't like juice. We were all smiling and nodding and thinking "oh, interesting." But the elders started freaking out thinking she has said she didn't like jews. They were wondering why we were acting like it was normal. It was funny.

I've been very sick with a sore throat/dizzy for the whole week. I even missed a day, sleeping all day. The branch president came through giving blessings. So he and the two elders in my district gave me a priesthood blessing to get better. With the blessing and some medicine I'm feeling much better today. BTW Mom, my third companion, who is the Sister Training Leader, said that her dream mission would be the Canary Islands. I thought that was cool since that is where you served your mission. We think that Elder Peterson, one of the two elders in our district, looks like a golden retriever (see if you agree in the picture below), so whenever anyone stumbles over him (he has long legs) or accidentally kicks him, we say "you kicked our puppy."

I'm wondering if I should buy a camera before I leave. I probably won't since mooching off of others seems to be working fine. The other chyungaausih (missionaries) are very charitable. It will be very interesting to see who my next companion will be. I wonder if my trainer will be a native Hong Konger (Heung Gong ge yahn). The phrase I thought of because I'm be missing so many people is "I hate to see you leave but love to see you go." Just because although it is sad, I'm happy that they are going onward and will be working hard and touching the lives of others.

Omni is a very interesting book (procrastination is the focus) as it shows how much effort those in the Book of Mormon put in to make sure we had the record for our day. They were such righteous men and we are so lucky to have their guidance. I love the Book of Mormon.

I can't remember the song but the last line is "What does He ask? Live like His son." If you know what song I mean, I would like everyone to listen to that song and think about the words. At least think about the phrase that I remember. It is such a nice one and it is so interesting to think that the greatest way to repay Heavenly Father for sacrificing His perfect, beloved son is to live like Christ. That is how we show our gratitude. I hope that this Christmas month, everyone will think of Christ AND work to develop his qualities and try to live more like Him.

This is what I wrote in my journal: Thinking of Christ...I want to be more like that--another being and spirit just like us. He really was a person who lived on this earth--the example of courage and selflessness--so perfect and patient, with infinite understanding and forgiveness. Picture him being beaten and put up on the cross, spit on, hated by many. It really happened. Yet in that moment, He asked the Father, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." I'm sure I cried as I watched from above. He knows the fallen confusing state of this world and simply wants to show us the example and way to come home. How could we ever know or come to understand such perfect love? He came to earth and went through all of that willingly and saw each of us as he endured our trials and pains and afflictions (Isaiah 53:10). Of course, it is our goal to show our gratitude by living like Christ. Allow His example to change, purify, and save us. Because He lived, we are saved. He lives today and we will live again. It is my sincere hope that you will take advantage of His life and example and live with the goal of eternal glory. What a day it will be when we see Him and have become like Him.

I invite you to read the scriptures at this Christmas time and share stories of Jesus with your family.

Sister Wilcox

Our zone with missionaries going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in SE Asia.

My district
My friend from my study abroad in Austria, Sister Schoerndorfer, who is going to Hungary on her mission.