Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 28

In a Gospel video in Cantonese, Jesus says, "Lazarus, cheutlaihaa" to bring Lazarus out of the tomb. It sounds like he is summoning a pokemon or something.

I tried yahsei meih (24 hour flavor) which is a super cultural experience. Some ancient Chinese practice that is a weird hot drink that cleans out your system. I was scared at first, but it wasn't bad!

We had a Relief Society activity and made little keychains with flowers in them but I will use mine as a Christmas tree ornament to remember Tuen Mun! Today we will be doing Dim Sum with a Sister Missionary who is leaving on Thursday (Sister Allison from the previous transfer in our apartment).

Our investigator AJ is super cool. She is applying to a fashion institute scholarship. Her portfolio is amazing. I can't send the pictures because I don't want to put her work online but she is really artistic. I want to go to Mongkok where she buys some super pehng (cheap) but amazing clothing. I still have so many things on my bucket list (Sai Kung, Big Buddha, Mongkok, Kadoorie Farm, a modern art museum (can someone look up good ones in Hong Kong please?), Stanley, Ocean Park, see a monk, and go back to Tai Ou to see Pink Dolphins). Though I haven't heard of some of the places you mention, grandpa, the light show, Victoria Peak or Lantau, I'll have to ask about those.

It is interesting... I am learning so much about my future plans and goals. And about myself. There is no way in the world I would ever take back going on this mission. It is life changing. I am improving and learning about myself and my life and goals and becoming so much better than I ever thought I could be. Overcoming so many weaknesses and learning to love life and live it to the fullest. It is really great.

Congratulations to Summer and her scholarships!!! She is amazing; I love her so much and can't wait to be her roomie next year. Email me, Summer. Please and thanks.

Spiritual/ General
Great week. I have learned a lot from all of the physical weaknesses we have been facing this transfer. I have learned the importance of hard work and dependability and obedience (which also lead to health and happiness). I have learned a lot about myself and my goals for the future, which all are shaped through how thankful I am for the Gospel (living in such a way that brings good moral standards, importance of family, high achieving, always becoming like Jesus Christ).

I am kind of hoping I will stay in Tuen Mun next transfer (tomorrow is when they notify us of the Thursday transfers), because I have noticed so many things that need to get done, and have come up with ideas for solutions. The member book and area book were so empty when I first got here, and so we have continuously been working on getting it more updated and relevant and helpful to missionaries. I have successfully gotten pictures of many of the members and investigators and written relevant information, so that each new missionary in the area will not be starting from scratch. However, there is still so much that needs to get done! I have it all planned out. I also have some new finding methods I am excited to try out, and we have many potential investigators/ referrals that need to be reached out to. Tuen Mun is so exciting. So many good people. So many lovely places. And it is so beautiful. I am so blessed to have been serving in this area. I love it so much.

We have implemented a new plan to improve our English Class. The district now meets beforehand to discuss what is being taught and depending on the people attending, we divide into two groups (advanced/intermediate and beginning) and focus on their individual needs. It was actually really amazing. We plan on doing a district find before the class every week as well, once the plan gets more situated. The beginning class ended up really being able to focus on the people who needed help, while the advanced class split into discussion groups and read a short story. We were able to explain hard words/ grammar structures, and then discussed the story afterwards (which had a Gospel principle). It was amazing because all the investigators began to share insight/ testimonies and we all were so uplifted and enlightened while teaching English at the same time. It was a cool experience and everyone who attended really loved it. I am so excited for next week's class. A referral that our Less Active Irene gave attended English Class and is now meeting with the Elders.

We put up the pictures from Yan's baptism and a missionary picture with our number on the bulletin. We have been more thoroughly committing our investigators (specific... ie AJ is reading the Book of Mormon every night) and really been able to testify of how it has blessed our lives... It is like relating something to a friend or member. Logic-- "When I read the Book of Mormon daily, it is like my strength for that day (TG Awake). It fills the feeling of emptiness; adds light and happiness that would otherwise not be there." etc. It is something so true and is such a miracle. Why not be honest about it?

Sister Villasin made the Relief Society a mango float to share. I am so inspired by her willingness to serve and give so lovingly to all those around her. She is always thinking of what more she can do to uplift another's life. So great :) I hope that she will gain health, but I know that Heavenly Father never gives us trials we cannot handle. He gives us things that will allow us to grow. I know the hardest battles are given to Heaven's strongest warriors. That's also why it's so important to pray for the Prophet and apostles and the mission president. Prayers to all of you :)

Sister Wilcox

Shoppingggg!! What else should sisters possibly do on PDay? Play basketball? We aren't elders, you know!

This is a cute little brown fluffy poodle (picture doesnt do it justice) (my future doggy)
Yuen Long bound for meds
interesting fruit
Exchanges + yahsei meih
A school
Relief Society activity
We learned how to make Tasiubau and tongyuhn with members

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 27

Good morning!

Grandpa, thank you for your report on your trip with Joe's family to Costa Rica. You saw sloths?! No way. I want to see one (never have). I used to like drawing them for missionaries in the mtc lol. So you ate Cantonese fried rice in my honor. I like fried rice too! "heavenly" haha. We have the same lessons in Relief Society and Priesthood that you do. We are doing the President Hunter teachings in RS. We talked about the Berlin wall thing too, and how we make walls around ourselves that keep us from sharing the gospel. I'm still learning Cantonese so I thought cheung meant excuse because I didn't know what it translated to. I guess wall. :) Summer's going to Australia? Can you tell Summer to check her email please? I will study my Cantonese harder! I'm so glad that you keep gathering all the cousins at your log cabin. I love cousins and family fun. Best way to spend your life. So uplifting.

So Sister Tsui is feeling better! She came to church :) We are hoping to get her a baptism date again. Kylie still has a baptism date for after her exams. We have a new investigator named Sally. She is super sweet and makes friends easily with the members and investigators. She is in Mainland right now, but we will give her a date as well. Yan is doing well. She came to General Conference and is part of the Relief Society WhatsApp group so we are getting her more adjusted into the ward.

We had a Relief Society activity where we gave members each an origami flower and they had to get to know the person whose name was on the flower. Now we have origami shirts with imbcd cards (have our contact number and a church message) that they will each give to friends in need (illness, moving, baby, change jobs, death in family). It will be a more simple direct way to find referrals while helping people genuinely in need. I am glad because during ward council we were able to convince all to be more positive (more patient, loving atmosphere in ward).

There have been lots of miracles. Chun Ho has a baptism date (first invited by a young man to Yan's baptism, and we got to know him/ gave the elders his contact info). Eric (LA) keeps running into us outside of church and so we got him to come to church and bring to friends who now have the Elders contact information (Frankie and Tom). We run into former investigators (Immortal, Candy) and are able to schedule them. We were also able to schedule Iris and Winnie (formers) and they are now coming to a stake cycling activity in Yuen Long. Good things. Plus the weather is so nice! A little bit rainy but not too muggy or hot. Just right (it is ALWAYS good weather :) yellow need-to-know pamphlet). Irene Ng (LA) still has work on Sundays (she does real estate), but she has given us three referrals who are all so sweet! One of them came to English class Friday and enjoyed it. Sister Tsang is really unable to come to church because of her back (cannot sit or stand for too long). But I feel that it is a service that should be continued to visit her and allow her to be "nourished by the good word of God." She loves reading the Book of Mormon stories with us. She has changed so much since I first met her. There is a light about her and she loves service and is so happy/ peaceful.

The Gospel really is a miracle. Someone in our ward commented about Carman (a semi-recent convert) about how she has become so much more beautiful since the first time he saw her because of the light of the Gospel. And it is so true. You can see it in their face and their smile; their life is truly never the same. So blessed to witness it.

One of our less actives is going to teach us to make tongyuhn (the sesame dumpling dessert) with a member, so we are excited for that. I am surprised that I have completely changed in food-liking since I've gotten here. I now love asian food (noodle soups, sweet potato/dumpling desserts, buns, meat, etc) and don't really have a liking for american food (pasta, pizza, typical foods etc). It is so funny! All the things I used to be scared of, I now love.

I find that using the B of M picture story book is so enjoyable and easy to understand for all investigators. So great! Our ward is super cooperative and trying to really involve the new members and get to know them. It is a really great atmosphere. Brother and Sister Lo and Lin are really great with that.

I appreciate our mission president's service so much. I know there are so many trials that President and Sister Lam have that are unsaid to us missionaries, but we appreciate that they continue to support us and work hard. So dependable and righteous. Great examples :)

2 Nephi 8. Ephesians 5-6. Awake. Put on thy Strength.

Sister Wilcox

Went to Kwai Fong market (super cheap)

Picture of the missionaries when Elders Stevenson and Gong visited
Tuen Mun
Ward member (ft. Baby Boss! my favorite. He is so sassy/ only smiles for a few people)
Our ward mission leader (Li HD)
Jik family
Elders + Frankie and Tom (We found them with Eric at Leung King the other day :D )
Another cute member who gives us food a lot
Relief Society
Its pretty much always rainy. But its ALWAYS good weather ;) Sister Villasin and I aka "cutest companionship" (missionaries have titled us)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Week 26--One Third Mark

Daihga hou!

I am one third through my mission. It goes by so fast. This is an experience like no other. Literally hardest times but also best times of my life. Transfers are in two weeks. The language comes very well for me (everyone is astonished when I say I have been here for 4 months, they think it must have been at least a year... I am pretty fluent. Just learning more vocal. I boast not of myself. It is literally all God's blessings. It is funny, because I can't speak German anymore. I try to say something and chinese comes out. I can't remember any of it anymore. Most people don't SYL (always speak cantonese) but we are supposed to. My companion haven't been doing it as much lately because we have been up and down all the time (super super sick all of the time). But we are a bit better now! We just have to press forward and work even when we have no more strength to go on. He will give us the strength that we need. (We don't have the best numbers in the zone like last transfer, but are working our very hardest!). Our area isn't in the main city so most people don't speak English. However, people are still always surprised that I speak Cantonese. Take lots of pics in Costa Rica!!! So cool. We are not allowed to learn characters until 9 months in.

This week was great. I learned a lot about obedience and hard work. I have been able to get a lot done in the member book/ area book (which has been a lot of starting from scratch since I've started in Tuen Mun). General Conference was lovely and so healing in every aspect (spiritually, mentally, etc). We have had a lot of funny experiences with meeting people tracting (a model doing kung fu in the park... also some former investigators randomly running into us and wanting to be scheduled again). There are literally so many miracles around us every day. I am excited to start recognising them a lot more thoughtfully at the end of each day. The sacrifice of a mission is everything to me. I think we should all be willing to sacrifice our whole lives for this gospel. We are so blessed, and God has given us everything to be thankful for. I am thankful for my weaknesses that allow me to be strengthened and grow so much (2 Cor 12:7-10). As stated in conference, in life Opposition is an Opportunity for Growth. I have been learning a lot about family and the blessings that go along with that commitment. Hard work leads to happiness and health. Our recent convert is making friends and attended General Conference. Obedience is like a strength to us and allows us to see and become our true divinity. Zone Training Meeting was really great. We have great leaders and I am thankful for their service. (They asked for quotes and put it on a picture of us flexing, and so I gave them a kesha quote.... lol. I didn't know why they wanted the quote. But I wrote my favourite quote by Jesus on the side of my picture (Matthew 7:5).

TG Understanding, Wisdom, Guide

Sister Wilcox

emailing in the giant apple store on pday

Near the little doctors office we went to in Yuen Long. Little Market. typical
Sister Hoxer ate jellyfish. Didn't like her face afterwards. lol.
We made a mango float (Filipino companion for the win)
Went to the temple today!
Investigator getting makeup done before her singing performance
Another room= practicing dancers
Yee Lin!!!
Us teaching English class
Nightly bonding
I'm getting a baby strap thing like this for my future husband. Behngyahn jeuhk lidi sih(sick people wear these masks)
Waiting for General Conf!
She doesn't like pictures
Zone Training Meeting
Cool posters our zone leaders made for our theme this month--being flexible in our approaches. Lol. Sorry you'll have to flex to read them!!
Funeral. My umbrella from Austria died (it rains hard here)
Ice skating rink in the mall!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 25

I am so excited for conference! We get to see it this coming weekend, a week after you do. They show them in the stake centers.

This week we did exchanges. I went to Hung Sui Kiu area. However, I have been very sick with sore throat and other things I am not sure what exactly it is but I am almost better. Today we hiked Lion Rock Peak! Beautiful hike in Kowloon Tong with great view of Hong Kong city. We have had lots of good experiences and I've learned many things.

I love D&C 93, for anyone looking to study a scripture. I have been growing so much, and know that I will never be the same :) This mission is definitely throwing all my weaknesses at me and helping me overcome them. And preparing me for my future. Its funny how well God knows each of us. He places people especially in our lives who strengthen us and help us to grow, and who we can uplift as well. And it is funny because even members/ investigators are able to really uplift us and answer prayers when we need it. Heavenly Father really watches out for us. And I am thankful for my mission.

Sister Wilcox

cat pens

Sister Hoxer's dog jacket, toucan sweater and fox jammie pants
Interesting asian food
My stylish companion folding flowers for a relief society event as we wait in the Hung Sui Kiu building for Zone 24s exchanges.
English class with Elder Aldridge and Petersen!
Tin Shui Wai apartment (zone 24s exchanges)
Exchanges with Sister Lo
Megabed in Tin Shui Wai apartment
How I feel about "Megabed"... I'm pretty sure this is a health hazard. And against the rules? Lol we are working on fixing their apartment (also cockroach infested. eek) Our apartment truly is blessed
Flowers for a relief society get to know you encouragement
Best family ever (easter package!!!) I'm happy
Hike to Lion Rock Peak
My companion, Sister Villasin and I, which picture of me do you like the best? If you click on the view pictures before and after these close ups of me and my companion to enlarge them, maybe you can find me posing or waving in the rocks.