Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 13

Thanks for the email about your experiences living abroad and your tips for overcoming culture shock--especially using a sense of humor as you try to figure out how the culture works. It is all so true! I think it is amazing how many neat experiences the family has had. And I am so glad the family is still getting together now and having experiences (old cheese fondue. yum!).

--------------- I'm not even lying when I say the food here literally makes me cry (I've cried a couple of times... I was laughing at the same time though. Because it's funny how much it freaks me out).

I don't have much time so I will just write a bunch of jumbled thoughts/ experiences.

We have a cute little old lady investigator who fell 3 stories when she was 9 and just recently got hit by a bus. You would never even know. She is so full of life and never stops talking. It is the funniest thing. In the markets, they seem to think that chopped up animals (with their heads still around) are appetizing. Maybe it looks more fresh? I don't understand it. Also, so many people eat ramen for breakfast here. We are thinking of doing a cookie beng ge beng (cookie baking party) with all our investigators. I only say that because I like the way cookie beng ge beng sounds. We have another investigator who always wears lots of cheetah print and glitter (she is 80).

We showed "The Testament" during an investigator lesson. I cried at the end (it gets me every time... I love that movie so much) (then we read 3 Nephi 11-- amazing, love it). I cannot begin to comprehend the love and grace that Christ has. Yet I am eternally indebted and grateful to Him.

People here also choose their own English names sometimes. I think it is funny, because there are lots of names like: Bibi, Cat, A-wing, Yoyo, Twinkie, Kaka, Twinkle, Suki, etc. And it's completely normal.

The ward is really getting involved and excited and reaching out to our investigators. It makes me happy. I love sincerely getting to know everyone.

We conducted the English class this week. We taught words about shopping and played the price is right at the end (and gave away some of our random stuff). There were a lot of people who went and everyone was laughing (sardines went for like 1000 HK $). It is also really fun when I make calls to former investigators and things, because I act like I've known them all my life, and they tell me they miss me (I've never actually met them).

I have been more frustrated with the culture lately but I just shrug it off because I realize it is part of culture shock. For example, everyone here is so blunt about their opinions. But I laugh it off. I also didn't know it was rude if you didn't eat with both arms on the table.

Have you served the Savior? Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Serve someone this week (whether it be cooking them food, helping them clean, or even just visiting them and listening with love).

This week has been so great. It is so important to recognize the miracles throughout/ at the end of every day. They are there, you must simply recognize them. It has rained every Sunday since I've been here, which seems to scare investigators/ everyone. They don't come to church because of it. However, this week we have been praying for sunshine and good health on Sunday. Heavenly Father definitely answered our prayers (it started raining a couple hours after church was over, but was a perfect beautiful day before that). Tender mercies.

My vision for my mission is to develop these Christlike qualities and hold onto them for life. (Be the best you... Patriarchal blessing can tell you more of your potential if you look for it... pray to develop what you need) I want my habits developed here to become a lifestyle. "It is not 'life on the mission,' and 'life after the mission.' It is life as a Disciple of Christ." -President Lam. It brings me so much hope that the ways I am learning to live here (constantly reaching out to others and becoming a part of their lives, visiting them, serving them) can and will be continued for the rest of my life. It is interesting how contagious positivity is. You can instantly become close with anyone, if you sincerely want to get to know them and love them and are positive. It is so interesting.

Accountability is something that has become very meaningful to me. Prayer is everything. As I pray in the morning and at night, I account all of my goals. I think of specific people and their needs, I pray for strength in the areas needed, I ask "what more can I do? What lack I yet?"Every way I am trying to change and become better, I converse with my Father in heaven. And He truly gives strength in the ways needed. This is also so essential because it reminds you of the goals for each day and gives you hope and excitement. It changes your attitude and helps you to always be positive. Any hope or dream (which is good) can be accomplished, and through His help, will be. I've also found that your thoughts influence who you are. Your mindset shapes your life. You can be whoever you want to be. You can be the most confident, positive, loving, strong person. You simply need to put yourself in that mindset now and do it. It really works; and I have been able to change my outlook or mood as soon as it starts to get negative.

We have a couple baptisms next week and we are very excited (they have true faith in Christ and a true change of heart through repentance... baptism is the commitment and is a true blessing)! This is His work. So long as we have Faith, Hope, Charity, and are focused (eye single to the glory of God), we are qualified. We will help bring these people the blessings of the gospel and the simple truth of life: Christ has saved us and we will have eternal life/ happiness, should we choose to accept it.

Sister Wilcox

A monkey from our adventure hike I wrote about last week.

A typical meal

Our apartment

Red bean drink

Fish ball delight

My study desk

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