Monday, December 28, 2015

Teaching and Finding and Christmas, Oh My!

Leih Hou!

     I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did! Christmas is definitely different as a missionary on the other side of the world, but I enjoyed every minute of it! The missionaries in our zone had a Christmas brunch and party with a lot of games and white elephant gift exchange, President and Sister Lam even came to enjoy part of it with us and to wish us a Merry Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Sister Redd and I went caroling with the ward to less-active/investigator homes. It's so nice to see the power of music, and even if you can't speak the language, the same Spirit is still there. Christmas day we attended the ward Christmas Party which was a lot of fun. I love my ward so much! They always make my days better! And they definitely know how to cook! There was so much good food and they also gave us so much food as Christmas gifts. If this is how they are at Christmas, I can't imagine what Chinese New Year is going to be like!  

     My first full week as a missionary in Hong Kong has definitely been busy! We have lessons everyday and time to go finding (literally walking along the streets trying to find people willing to talk with us for a few minutes). We have seen miracle upon miracle whether is having aless active come to church for the first time in years or finding a member who people have been looking for. The Lord is blessing us more than I could've ever imagined! Even with me and my shyness haha! For those of you who know me, I am generally quiet, so I have to say that randomly talking the strangers on the trains ​is out of my comfort zone. However, I am getting used to it. It makes it harder with the language barrier, but I have learned so many new words and phrases in the past week. I know that with practice and the Lord's help, it will just come naturally and I won't think twice about it. 

     I'm sorry there wasn't much to report on this week. This email and probably the ones from here on out are going to be relatively short due to my time limitations. This week is shorter because I promised pictures, but there are captions for all of them that I guess can count as part of the email :) I know this is a little, but Happy New Year! Sanlihn Faiilohk!

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​Me with my trainer Sister Redd

​​The area outside my apartment (Tin Shui Wai)

​One area where we serve (Yuen Long)

​Christmas breakfast!

​Singdaanjit Faailohk and Sanlihn Faailohk!

​This is totally made out of recycled bottles and bicycle wheels! And it lights up too!
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Goodbye MTC, Hello Hong Kong!

Leih Hou Leihdeih!

     Well, I made it to Hong Kong! I can't talk much but I can let you know I am safe and doing great! It was crazy getting here because the first snow storm in Utah decided to happen the day we left. We sat on the plane at the SLC airport for 4 hours first waiting on the snow, then waiting on the captain to come, and then when they de-iced the plane, something was bent so we had to go take a different flight to San Francisco. Because of this delay, we missed our connecting flight to Hong Kong and had to take a different flight the next day. That day was completely hectic, but we received soooooo many miracles. We had the opportunity to share the gospel with so many people; I wish I could tell you about all the experiences. We got a hotel room so we didn't have to sleep in the airport and received food vouchers so we didn't have to worry about meals. Right before our flight to HK, a member insisted he fed all 17 of us before the plane ride. there was just miracle after miracleand I wish I could share all of them in detail! Just know that the Lord is watching out for all of us and we made it safe and sound to Hong Kong :)

     I am living in Yuen Long which is the "boonies/countryside" part of Hong Kong (basically like comparing Newnan to Atlanta). I serve in the Yuen Long 1st Ward in the New Territories Zone. It's actually cook because the church we meet in was the first church built in Hong Kong back in 1965. 
    My companion is Sister Redd and she is awesome! she is so sweet and patient with my lack on language skills and is always complimenting me on my Cantonese. She helps me learn new words and fix my tones, and she is just awesome :) Speaking of tones, I have done this a couple of times, but I have to be careful when I say Si Ji Muih because Si Ji can mean lion. So I've said "Hello I am lion!" That's kinda sad when you can't say your own name... Hahaha! I'm learning though!

     I love Hong Kong so much! It's definitely crazy busy, but it's still really cool! We walk and take the trains a lot but that's ok with me! :) I've already had so many miracles happen with teaching and seen so many miracles. Sister Redd calls me her little miracle worker but I think she's just being nice lol Our lessons have gone really well, we've been able to find the sweetest people on the streets. Fun fact: Because we live so far away from the city, we are able to knock on doors in the neighborhoods. That was a shock to me but I'm glad I get to do it! It's actually kinda fun. No getting the door slammed on you isn't fun, but I think I've experienced all the different ways people can either accept of reject you haha! Being in the field is SO different from the MTC, but I can definitely see the Lord's hand in the work and He is constantly raining blessings and miracles upon us! 

     I'm afraid the computer I'm using won't let me add pictures, but be prepared for next week! I hope all of you have an amazing Christmas this week, and remember the true meaning of it. If you haven't already, go watch the video "A Savior Is Born" on and you won't be disappointed! 

Merry Christmas! Singdaanjit Faailohk!
Sister Maggie Shiffert
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Monday, December 7, 2015

And Reality Has Sunk In...

Leih Hou!

     So you won't be receiving an email from me next week because I leave for HONG KONG next Monday morning! AHHHH! This is so insane! I am so excited! So in two weeks I will be reporting on Hong Kong and life in the mission field! I love the MTC so much and it has been such a blessing to be here for the past 8 weeks. I have learned so much about the Cantonese language, this gospel, the Savior, and myself. I'm kinda sad to leave, but I am so excited beyond words to be heading into the mission field next week! I feel totally unprepared but I am totally ready to be in Hong Kong teaching the people. I am ready for them to throw me into the deep end and see if I will sink or swim. Hopefully I swim, but I'll probably sink but that's okay because I have the Lord as my life jacket to keep me afloat! :) (Sorry for the cheesiness lol!). The reality started to sink in when we got our official name tags! We were all so excited! it's awesome because half of the name tag is in English and the other half is in Chinese characters. That was on Wednesday, and then on Friday we got our flight plans. That was definitely the highlight of the week! I don't think I've been that excited for a piece of paper except for my mission call haha! Now we are in the single digit countdown and a week from now, I will be heading to Hong Kong. I'm not going to lie, the days are long, but overall I feel like time has gone by so quickly! It's crazy! I know the next 16 months are going to fly by, and I'll be sad when they do. This mission has already been such a blessing in my life and I can't wait to see what blessings are in store for me in Hong Kong.

     So I forgot to mention the past couple of weeks that we Skype church members who are native speakers of Cantonese. Most people in our district have Skyped with people living in the US, but sister Leonard and I have been lucky enough to talk with people who are currently living in Hong Kong. It is so cool, and I love it! It's a little harder to teach because you can't hand them a pamphlet to read or anything, but it helps me kinda evaluate how much I can understand native speakers and how much they can understand me. We do it again for the final time tonight, so I'm excited :)

     We watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night and the talks were all really good! For my spiritual thought for today, I wanted to share what Elder David A. Bednar said. Elder Bednar is my absolute favorite apostle and his talk was great! he said "Christ is the light of the world. He is the light that shines in the darkness. This light dispels fear and brings everlasting peace." His challenge to us this Christmas season was that when we look at all the Christmas lights that look so pretty and shine so brightly at night, remember Christ is the light. I really liked this challenge. it is so easy to get caught up in the worldliness of Christmas, but this is taking something worldly and turning it into something spiritual. I love it! 

     I know my email is lacking today, but trust me! The email you get in two weeks will definitely make up for it! I love and miss you all! I hope you have an amazing week!
Scripture of the Week: Doctrine and Covenants 78:17-19 You don't realize how many blessings the Lord has in store for you.
Quote of the Week: Through our experiences in life, we learn that joy in this world is not full, but in Jesus Christ our joy is full. 
Mormon Message of the Week: Come What May and Love it

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​My new name tag! :)

​So half of our zone left on Tuesday to go serve missions speaking Hmong, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. On Wednesday, we got a new district of Thai speaking missionaries. So here's the before and after pictures of our zone!

​We have a mini Christmas tree in our classroom! (Thanks Mom!)

​Another district photo just because they're awesome!
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