Monday, February 29, 2016

Bittersweet Week

Leihdeih Hou!

     Well, I guess first things first. I'm still in Yuen Long and I have a new companion named Sister Dolben. She from England and was actually in the same MTC group as Sister Redd. Sister Dolben is awesome! She is super sweet and really relaxed and go with the flow which is a good balance for when I become a stress-ball.We are determined to make some miracles happen in Yuen Long! Sister Redd got transferred to Jeun Sau Wan (don't know about that spelling, but it's in Kowloon). I knew I was likely going to stay in Yuen Long and Sister Redd was going to leave, but I guess that reality didn't really hit me until she got her move call. I miss her so much! She taught me so much and was an awesome trainer/companion. The thought of her leaving and me being in charge until Sister Dolben can get used to the area is terrifying. She doesn't know the area or people in it and I don't know what I'm doing haha! We can learn and get lost together :)

     The other exciting thing is week was the visit from Elder Gary E. Stevenson! It is always so powerful to hear an apostle speak in person. The Spirit is so strong and you can feel his love. We had a group mission picture taken with him (all 147 of us!) and we got to shake his hand, so that was pretty awesome! He talked a lot about a worldwide missionary broadcast that we had last month so I'm afraid a lot of what I learned would pertain more to missionaries than to you, but he did share some other awesome insights! He said not to let little things that bother us get in the way of your mission (or life). That is so true. This mission is so short. Life's too short. Be happy and give all your worries to the Lord. He also pointed out how many promised blessings are in the scriptures. There is a common scripture that says, "Seek and ye shall find. Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Amen." If we took out the promised blessings, it would say "Seek. Ask. Knock. Amen." There are so many blessings promised to us in the scriptures, so keep an eye out for them.
     Our investigators and less actives are progressing which is so exciting. They may not be coming to church, but they progressing in their own ways, so here's a mini miracle for the week. We have one less active Jessie who wants to change her life and come to church, but she is scared to come because of a bad experience in her past ward (that's why she went inactive). However, she came to English class on Saturday which is a huge step for her! She really enjoyed it and I saw a happier side of her I haven't seen before. After English class, the Yuen Long 2 ward was having a family history program and Jessie actually got excited about it and wanted to go. She stayed with one of the members and they went together. I almost died of shock when I saw her walk in the church doors for English class and then she surprised me again when she wanted to stay for the family history program. We have been working with her for about 2 months and I can see the Lord is definitely working with her too. Missions are not the easiest things in the world to do, but it is so comforting to know we are not alone in the work. This is the Lord's work and he is not going to say "Ok here's my work. Now go do it for me." No, He is right beside us helping these investigators and less actives progress and find that path to eternal happiness.  

     I hope all of you have a great week! I will talk with you next Monday! I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: Mosiah 4:19 Are we not all beggars? Doesn't everyone need something? A helping hand, telephone call, a smile? Reach out to people!
Quote of the Week: Turn to Him and your prayers will be answered (Elder James B. Martino)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

One last selfie with our apartment group! Sister Redd moved to Kowloon and Sister Christensen went home!

Me with Sister Dolben​

Sister Redd and I with Jessie!
When you get a slice of pizza bigger than your head... This is what we ate after the devotional with Elder Stevenson.

 Previous Next
Print Friendly and PDF

More Chinese New year Pictures

Here are the pictures that didn't post a couple weeks ago of Chinese New Year (so weird...)

This is a traditional Chinese New Year meal in the countryside. It's called bucket of food. (No I did not eat the chicken head or feet)

​New Year's Eve with ​Ko Ji Muih (Sister Ko) and her family

​​Chan Ji Muih's (Sister Chan) house with a lot of the Relief Society for a New Year's party

Eating with the Jung Gatihng (Jung Family). The mom is actually deaf and the the dad is partial deaf with a hearing aid. The kids can hear though so luckily we could still communicate. But I do want to learn sign language!
Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week of Adventures

Leihdeih Hou!

     So this is my adventure for the week. I got a call from the 1st counselor in the bishopric Tuesday night and he asked me to give a talk this Sunday (yesterday). This was a huge shock because here, they give you notice about a month before. And they give you a talk from general conference as your main resource to base your talk on, and I wasn't able to get the conference talk until Thursday night. So if you think preparing a talk within less than 72 hours is hard in English, try doing it in Cantonese! Apparently the origianl person cancelled so the bishop said ask a missionary to take his place, so I was the lucky one lol! I think it went ok. I know my pronunciation is still pretty bad, but hopefully they were able to have the gift of interpretation of tongues so they could understand me. The topic was about sharing one another's burdens and serving others, so that was a tender mercy!  

     So we have a new investigator, but I have going to have to brush up on my Spanish because she is from Venezuela and only speaks Spanish with a little bit of Cantonese and English (very little). Her name is Isabella and her husband is from Hong Kong. He travelled to Venezuela and me her there. She has been in Hong Kong for 4 months. We met them last week when they brought their 3 year old son to English class. Her husband doesn't have interest in the church right now (too busy with work), but Isabella has so much interest and loves how family oriented our church is. She is so ready to hear this gospel, I just hope we can teach her despite our language barrier. Her husband cal translate though so that's helpful. 

     I don't think you are a true missionary until you get caught in the rain without an umbrella. Well, that was me and Sister Redd this week. We went to visit some investigators out in the boonies when it started to rain. And rain. And rain. And rain some more. And we were not expecting this, so neither of us had an umbrella. Luckily Sister Redd absolutely loves the rain and will never use umbrellas. I don't mind the rain, but kinda wish I had my umbrella haha! We were definitely soaked, but it just made the adventure more interesting! 

     This past Saturday, we did an activity with the missionaries, Young Men, and Young Women in the stake where they joined us for a couple of hours to experience missionary work.They all came to Yuen Long and Sister Redd and I went on exchanges so we would cover two lessons. And guess who I was paired with... Sister Leonard! Reminiscent of MTC days except for this time, we were actually able to understand most what was being said haha! 

     Tonight we are hearing from one of the new apostles Elder Gary E. Stevenson and I am so excited! I will let you know next week how it goes! And we also have transfers this week, so you can find out if I stay in Yuen Long or go somewhere else. Lots of exciting things in next week's email! I love all of you (even if I am slacking in responding to your emails) and I hope you have an awesome week!
Scripture of the Week: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me 
Quote of the Week: If actions speak louder than words, what do you think a smile can do?

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​Us with Isabella and her husband 

​Reunited with Sister Leonard!

​Us with our Yound Woman named Kelly 

The bakery called this bread "Hello Panda". There was no way I was passing up an opportunity to eat this! And there was something similar to brownie batter in the middle, so I was quite happy :)

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Past Couple Weeks

Leihdieh Hou!

     P-Days have been a little crazy lately, but here has what's been going on the past couple weeks!

    I had my first 24-hour exchange and I loved it! So you switch companions for 24-hours and one companion goes to a different place and one stays in their area. I stayed in Yuen Long and Sister Redd went to Tuen Muen. I was paired with Sister Wilcox and I learned so much. I never would have thought that they would put two new missionaries together, but I guess the Lord needed for me to prove to myself that I'm better than I think and to build some self-confidence. I taught I wouldn't know what to do or where to go because I'm new to the area, especially compared to Sister Redd, but we made it and we had a lot of success. Sister Wilcox is awesome and I learned a lot from her. We both have different ways of doing missionary work, especially with finding, but Tuen Moon is having a lot of success so I was willing to see how they do things. She and her trainer are more casual and talk to only a couple people whereas Sister Redd and I are more persistent and talk to everyone. I know there is not one "right" way, but I'm glad we have 24's because we can learn from each other. I learned that we probably need to really listen to the Spirit more in finding the Lord's elect. I wish we did 24-hour exchanges more often because they are awesome!

     We have been having a lot of success lately with finding new investigators. Sister Redd and I have really been wanting Yuen Long to grow and we have been trying to find ways to help it grow. This past Sunday we had an investigator literally walk in the church door ready to meet us. Her family was in town for New Year's and they are members. They were coming to church and invited Jasmine to join them. Jasmine is 17 years old and really interested in what makes our church different from other churches. We taught her last night about the Restoration and she had a lot of good questions for us. She is definitely prepared and she accepted a baptism date for March 27! We have been finding prepared people everywhere recently, and it is so good to be able to help these people overcome their challenges and learn how they can follow the Savior and rely on Him. We have been working and praying really hard about how to help Yuen Long grow and find new investigators, and I know that because we always had faith and worked diligently, the Lord is blessing us with all these miracles. 

     The Cantonese is improving (I think lol). I still feel like I'm at the same level I was in the MTC, but it's harder to see improvement in yourself. People compliment me on it, and since honesty is the first policy here (no matter how blunt), I guess I can say I've improved. It's also funny because now I have the hardest time saying prayers or bearing my testimony in English. I have to really think about it and translate from Cantonese to English in my brain. I never understood why return missionaries would say it's hard speaking English again because they sounded fine to me, but now I know how hard they had to think about the English. It's crazy, but interesting. 

     You can read a little more about the past couple of weeks in my photo captions, including a traditional Chinese New Year dinner (we ate it on New Year's Eve), eating at members houses, and visiting the Hong Kong Museum! I hope all of you have an awesome week this week! Stay warm! It was really hot and humid last week, but now I've back in my winter coat. And I thought Georgia was bipolar... I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: 1 Nephi 15:8-11 When you have any challenge, no matter how big or small, and you are stuck, ask yourself, "Have I inquired of the Lord?" 
Quote of the Week: The Lord has His timing as to when to give revelation to us (Elder Claudio R. M. Costa)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​24 hour exhanges with Sister Wilcox!

We went to the Hong Kong History Museum which had the history of New Territories and Bruce Lee. It was such a cool place to go to. These are all the sister in our apartment. And this is a giant fortune cookie where you try to get paper airplanes to get stuck in it (I think you make a wish too but I'm not sure).
I could be the next Bruce Lee! (Just kidding...)

We're ready to fight for the salvation of these souls!

Print Friendly and PDF

More Pictures!

This is a traditional Chinese New Year meal in the countryside. It's called bucket of food. (No I did not eat the chicken head or feet)

New Year's Eve with ​Ko Ji Muih (Sister Ko) and her family

​Chan Ji Muih's (Sister Chan) house with a lot of the Relief Society for a New Year's party

Eating with the Jung Gatihng (Jung Family). The mom is actually deaf and the the dad is partial deaf with a hearing aid. The kids can hear though so luckily we could still communicate. But I do want to learn sign language!

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, February 11, 2016

San Lihn Faailohk! Happy New Year!

San Lihn Faailohk! Happy New Year!

     Our P-Day was moved because of Chinese New Year (which is why I'm emailing today), so it was a normal day for us, but it was still awesome! Obviously Chinese New Year is so different and amusing from the way it's celebrated in America. So this is what Chinese New Year is like in Hong Kong!

     First of all, this is the equivalent of our Christmas so everyone is super busy and stressed trying to get things done, but they are also in a cheerful mood. And it is not a one day thing. No one can give me an exact day of when it ends, but I know celebrations last for about a week. Everyone cooks and eats and visits their family, including family in mainland. I can't tell you how many people I have met and talked to who are visiting family members in mainland for the new year. It also kills me because the kids were all dressed in their traditional silk Chinese outfits, and it was soooooo cute! I wish I could 
     They love to decorate for Chinese New year too. The most common thing I see is orange bushes and chrysanthemums. I think they mean good luck, but they are everywhere! They sell them everywhere and you see people carrying them back to their houses all the time. It's kinda funny. Chinese people also love their butter cookies (you know the shortbread cookies you get in the blue tin at Christmas time? Those cookies.) and Ferrero Rocher chocolates at this time of year. There are sooo many varieties of both and people buy them like their candy. Their not exactly cheap here either, but hey, I can go with it!

     We didn't get to celebrate like the locals, but a lion dance as going on somewhere near our apartment. We couldn't see it because of the trees, but we could hear it loud and clear! So I guess that's close enough! We also saw some fireworks that night and the other day I heard them go off during the daytime. Honestly, Chinese New Year felt more like a new year than our American new year. Haha! I've apparently adopted to the Chinese culture and way of life. 

     We wanted to go out and eat actual Chinese food for Chinese New Year so we went out for dinner. I thought it would be super crowded but it was the exact opposite. Literally all the local shops and food places for closed and the only places open were food cahins like McDonalds and KFC. I was not about to have American food on Chinese New Year, so luckily we found a restaurant that was still open. So I got my traditional Chinese food :)

     Chinese New Year was/is so much fun! I can't wait for the other holidays they have coming up! I hope all of you have a great week and I will talk to you on Monday! 
Scripture of the Week: Ether 1:15-16 The Lord hears your prayers and will bless you according to your faith. However, we have to keep in mind we will receive the answer to our prayers in His time. 
Quote of the Week: Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time for one will dispel the other. 

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Happy New Year! Year of the Monkey!

​Companion unity on Chinese New Year!

Decorations for new years

​Orange bushes!

​Yay for deep cleaning the apartment in preparation for the new year!
Print Friendly and PDF