Monday, May 30, 2016


Leihdeih Hou!

     So this email is going to be on the short side because I am a little lost for words right now. So we got a call from President Lam last night and I thought it was for Sister Dolben since she's going to leave next month, she's sister training leader, etc. Wrong. It was for me! He wanted to call and tell me that I am going to be training starting Wednesday! Surprise! She is from Hong Kong and waiting on her visa, so until she gets her visa, I will be training her. Sister Dolben will still be here and is still senior companion though so that's kinda funny. We're going to be in a trio! I was honestly in shock. I am still in shock. It's just all so sudden! I was mentally preparing myself to possibly train next transfer because Sister Dolben will be going home, but I wasn't expecting it so soon! I can say the Lord has a sense of humor though. You hit highs and lows when learning foreign languages. One day you feel almost fluent and the next you feel like you can't speak the language at all. Recently I have been feeling like my Cantonese is not really improving so I have been praying to the Lord to help me have the gift of tongues and improve my language. What better way to do that than to have me train a bundeih (that's Cantonese for native)! Now I have no choice but to improve my Cantonese haha! She hasn't been to the MTC yet so I have to train her on how to teach lessons, but it's okay because she's going to train me on how to improve my Cantonese. Perfect! :) Sister Redd and Sister Dolben were amazing trainers for me, so I hope I can do the same! I'm glad Sister Dolben isn't leaving me yet! She can still be here to make up for all my weaknesses because I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I'm excited though! The three of us are going to make some miracles happen in Yuen Long!

     We had zone conference last week with the missionaries in New Territories and Tolo Harbour which was really fun. I love zone conferences/trainings because I always learn so much and receive so much personal revelation! The last training was about how missionary work is hard. Always has been and always will be. Some of the quotes shared were really good but these were my favorites:

I asked for success and God gave me the physical and mental stamina to endure. 
I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. 
I asked for everything so I could enjoy life. Instead, He gave me life so I could enjoy everything.
I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.

     I think the one that hit me the most was "I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed." The scriptures constantly tell us that God knows what we need before we ask, and I am starting to learn the truth behind those words. I may want "success" in finding people to teach or higher numbers or progressing less actives/investigators, but Heavenly Father knows what I need. I need faith, patience, humility, diligence, basically all the Christ-like attributes. I need challenges so that I can learn and grow, build my testimony, rely on Him more, etc. I know He knows me better than I know myself. I know He knows what I need so that I can become a better missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ. The same is true for all of you. You may want certain things to happen a certain way, but Heavenly Father knows what you need. Most of the time what you receive is not tangible, but that's okay. Trust in Him. He knows what's best for you and what will help you become one step closer to returning to live in His presence.  

     I hope all of you have an My week is definitely going to be exciting for sure. I can't wait to share more with you next week! I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: Matthew 6:32-33 God knows what you want before you ask for it, so be willing to receive His will first. He knows what you want, but do you know what He wants?
Quote of the week: The Lord doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called. 

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Our MTC group from New Territories and Tolo Harbour at zone conference ​(but we're missing Sister Wilcox!)

Now this is what you think of when you think of Hong Kong! I love Tsim Sha Tsui!

Typical Asian pose! 

Next time I post pictures, there will be three of us!

Dinner with the Chan Family!

This bug was in our room and freaked us out. Who wants to tell me what is the world this creature is? I wish I could post the video of a bunch of sisters trying to kill it. Hilarious!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Fun in the Sun

Leihdeih Hou!

     This week has been a lot of fun, but also very hot. I am beginning to experience what a Hong Kong summer is like, and this is only mild weather right now. Luckily I'm used to the heat and humidity, but Hong Kong is a whole other level of hot and humid in my opinion. We'll try to stay cool though! 

     We went district finding this past week trying to promote our English Class. We just walked around a little area and tried to stop people and give them flyers if they were interested in attending. I have found some more ups and downs to being Chinese in Hong Kong. The up is that people are more willing to talk to me then some of the America elders in our district, so if they pass by the elders, I can try and talk to them and share about the gospel. The down is that sometimes the elders would almost end up street contacting me because I look Asian from behind. It's ok. Sister Dolben almost did that to me on the train as well. I just fit right in!  

     I love our district so much! I know I don't talk about them as much but they seriously are amazing. Part of the reason I would me sad to move away in because that would mean leaving our district. We have a new district leader, Elder Ashton, and he came up with this amazing analogy between Captain America and Jesus Christ's Atonement. I am not going to give what he said justice, but I will try my best. So Captain America is trying to get into the army but this one guys sees him and says he's going about it the wrong way so he tries this experiment where he gives Captain America a serum that gives him super strength and makes him the amazing person his is. Well, when putting this in gospel terms, this extra strength from an outside source is the grace of Jesus Christ. If we rely on His grace, we can overcome any challenges and become just as amazing as Captain America. He couldn't do it by himself. He had to have help from someone else in order to accomplish everything he accomplished. The same applies to us. We can't do everything on our own, but with the grace of Jesus Christ, we can do any and everything. When I heard this, I thought it was such a cool analogy and I never thought of it that way. We aren't all going to become Captain America, but we can all become like Jesus Christ.

     I hope all of you have a great week and enjoy summer! It's crazy to think of how fast this school year has gone. I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: 3 Nephi 9:14 The Savior's merciful is always extended out towards us. We just have to reach out and grab it. 
Quote of the Week: The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more entitled the receiver feels (Elder Dale G. Renlund)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​Pizza Hut with some members and Nikki's little sister Amber that we will hopefully start teaching!

Korean Barbecue from last week!​

We went into the city to eat Korean Barbecue and this is the Wan Chai chapel. It's fancier than any American church building!​

​Pretty skylines of Hong Kong. I love the city!

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Changes and Positivity

Leihdeih Hou!

     I hope all of you had a good week this past week! Stay cool and wear bug spray! That's what I've learned this past week haha! :) It's been a good week this past week! The work is moving along at what I think is a slow pace, but I think it's the pace that the Lord wants us to go at right now. At this past zone training, we had a really good training about success and what defines a successful missionary. Our zone leader Elder Anderson made the point that our success depends on our attitudes. If we consistently have positive attitudes then we can help an infinite amount of people come unto Christ. Sister Dolben and I have been reading "A Successful Missionary" from Chapter 1 of PMG every night and even though our numbers may not show it, we are successful by the end of the day. It includes a checklist or what makes you successful (obey with exactness, follow the Spirit, serve others, testify of Christ, etc)  and none of the qualifications have anything to do with numbers. If we look at our numbers the past few weeks, they are lower than what we would like, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that we are diligently serving the Lord and doing His work. I have to remind myself that everyone has their agency, but it's my responsibility to at least give them the opportunity to hear about the gospel. The life of a missionary is definitely full of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. All the experiences I have just make me a better person and bring me that much closer to the Savior. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude! 

     So yesterday the stake president announced the growth of the church in Hong Kong. We have 4 stakes right now, but at the beginning of June, we are going to have 6 stakes! That's crazy! I remember my mission president telling me about it in my interview when I first got here and now it's happening. It's so exciting! I have a feeling Yuen Long won't be in the New Territories stake anymore though which is sad. The stake president said we have 8 wards in our stake and 2 are leaving and Yuen Long is on the edge of the stake borders so it's more than likely we are the ones leaving. I love being part of the New Territories so it's sad to possibly be leaving, but I also am excited to see all these changes happening. The bishop has also told us there is a good possibility that our ward will be split in half. That's also exciting but also really sad because I love every one of the members in our ward! I don't want to leave any of them! Change like this is good though. It's crazy how fast the work is moving forward in Hong Kong! Wards are splitting, stakes are forming. I'm proud to be able to say that I've had a small part in helping the Lord do His work here. And the work is only going to continue to move forward and grow! Net stop, mainland China! :) 

     I'm afraid there's not much to say this week, but there are a lot of pictures :) We had a lot of cheng-outs which means we are treated to a meal. One was with the investigator A-Jan who taught us how to cook a whole fish. One was with a member named Sister Kong who is from Micronesia but he husband is from Hong Kong. I learned how to make a really good pumpkin soup so I'm going to have to try it out sometime! And another cheng-out was with Jung Family. The parents are deaf so Sister Dolben and I were able to learn some Chinese sign language which was nice! I always feel bad that we have so many deaf people in our ward but I can't communicate with them because I don't know sign language. But I'm going to learn some! 

     I also went on exchanges with Sister Hansen and took charge of Yuen Long for 24 hours. She came in the MTC group after me so she's still training right now. I had a little taste of what it's like to be a trainer so that was fun! Sister Dolben has also made me senior companion for the week (I'm not really just in teaching lessons and planning and stuff), so now I get to really experience what it's like to be in charge of an area. All of this is good for me though. It makes me come out of my comfort zone and grow a little more. I just hope this isn't foreshadowing for the next transfer!

     I hope all of you have a great week! Thank you for all your support and prayers! Even on the other side of the world I can feel your love :) Talk to you next week!
Scripture of the Week: John 5:30 Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the ultimate example of humility. Strive to follow His example and develop that same humility.
Quote of the Week: Humble yourself before you have to walk through the valley of humility (Elder Steven E. Snow)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

​So A-Jan (the investigator who we visited to learn how to cook) taught us how to chop a whole fish in half and prepare it for a soup. 

​Us with A-Jan

​We had a member treat us to lunch including a whole fish, pumpkin soup, and chicken wings. I think the Lord wants me to learn to like fish so He gave it to me twice this week haha! 

We had zone training and made an apartment lunch :)​

Me on exchanges with Sister Hansen!​

​We had dinner with Jung Family again this week! (The parents are both deaf)
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy (Belated) Mother's Day!

Leihdeih Hou!

     First of all I want to wish all the mothers Happy (Belated) Mother's Day! I hope all of you had a wonderful day and felt truly loved! I love all of you and all of your examples! But I especially love my mom. She is so amazingly wonderful! She is so supportive of me and everything I do and she even takes care of me from halfway across the world. She is strong even in the midst of trials and a great example to me. I couldn't ask for a better mom! I love you Mom!

     Things are going good on this side of the world. The weather is starting to get ridiculously hot and humid and the mosquitoes are out in full force. I put on bug spray but that doesn't seem to phase them (they're relentless here!). Bring it on summer!

     We did have a miracle this week! One of our recent converts Nikki cancelled her lesson so we went finding. While we were out, we ran into this 16 year old girl named Ting ting and she had actually talked with missionaries before. We rescheduled her for the next day and we ended up meeting with Ting Ting and her friend A-Miu who she was talking with before we met with her. So we have two new investigators! We were disappointed that Nikki had cancelled the lesson, but it all worked out for a reason because we were able to get two new investigators from it. The Lord works in mysterious ways! So every time we have a lesson cancelled, we know it's for a reason. 

     Now, we are going to go visit an investigator the Mandarin elders are teaching and she is going to teach us how to cook authentic Chinese food, so I'm looking forward to it! I can bring back some of Hong Kong with me! :) I hope all of you have a great week and know that I am thinking about you! I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: Proverbs 31:10 A virtuous mother is more valuable than all the rubies in the world
Quote of the Week: To all mothers in every peaceful. You are doing better than you think you are. Believe in God and yourself (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Lacking in pictures this week, but here is a copy of the picture of all of us with Elder Stevenson (I'm on the far right in the front with the red shirt)

And here is our apartment picture before Sister Chi left to go serve in Kowloon.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Here to Stay!

Leihdeih Hou!

     I'm sorry about last week! I wrote up the email, but I guess I forgot to press send! Oops! I promise I am alive and well! We had transfers this past week and Sister Dolben and I are staying together in Yuen Long! I am SO happy! Sister Dolben is amazing and we are going to make some amazing things happen in Yuen Long before she goes home in July! I also love Yuen Long SOOO much! The ward is amazing and I have really built up some good relationships with the members. The work is moving along at the pace the Lord wants it to be and I seriously love every single one of my investigators and less actives! I honestly would've been so disappointed if I was moved to a different area, but I would've gone where the Lord wanted me to go. 

     We went with our ward today to go barbecue in Sai Kung which is on the other side of Hong Kong. It was so fun! Wards typically only do it like once a year so this was a nice treat and my first time doing it! It's similar to our campfires. You cook mostly meats but they also had corn, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, stuff like that. They also make toast and put honey on it and it was super good! I'm definitely bringing that method back to America haha!

     I also had something interesting happen last week. We went finding with our ward and while we were handing our flyers to people, we met someone who was a return missionary and travelling around Hong Kong. He served in Yuen Long over 30 years ago and was trying to find the church. His brother was also with him and his brother is Brother Hawkin(Hawkins?) from the Griffin Ward! Who ever would have thought I would meet someone from America in Yuen Long, much less someone whose ward used to be in our stake! Crazy!

     I promise I will have more to share with you next week! But until then, I hope all of you have a great week full of blessings and miracles! I love you all!
Scirpture of the Week: Moroni 8:3 Pray for others and have the faith that the Lord will help them overcome any challenges they may be facing and endure to the end.
Quote of the Week: Always have a prayer in your heart for others (Henry B. Eyring)
Sister Maggie Shiffert

Barbecuing with the ward! It's called siu yeh in Cantonese :) 

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