Sunday, August 28, 2016

Like, Like, Like

     Things have been going good in Yuen Long, but I am a little worried about Alice. We were only able to meet with her once this week and we were going to teach her about tithing/fasting but we ended up reviewing the baptismal interview questions instead. Logistically we really needed to continue to teach the commandments, but we really needed to see where Alice's testimony was first. She has something little with each commandment that she has to overcome. She's working on overcoming these challenges because she wants to keep the commandments, but she is struggling with the Word of Wisdom because she loves green tea flavor drinks/foods. She hadn't prayed to overcome this weakness yet so we encouraged her to do so this week. I have faith that she can do it, but I hope she has faith that she can do it! Alice is so awesome and I am going to continue to pray for her!

     We had another less active surprise us this week! During sacrament meeting, our less active Wu Ji Muih came to church which was a total miracle! I literally could not close my mouth for a while there I was in so much shock haha! I have only see her twice and both times it was just a quick hello. She has a full time job and is working on her bachelor's degree so she is always super busy. Actually, last week we ran into her on the train and when we talked to her we invited her to church. She said she might come but wasn't sure, and then she shows up during sacrament meeting! She's too busy to meet with us this week, but I am taking her coming to church as a good step in the right direction :)

     Sister Luk and I realized something this week though while finding. We started this Book of Mormon challenge about a week after Sister Luk started her mission and the Book of Mormon has been the main focus of our finding ever since. Well, this week we ran out of Books of Mormon while finding (the best worst problem you could have as a missionary lol!) We still had an hour left so we just continued finding. Sister Luk is super amazing at finding by giving out Books of Mormon, but I realized I have not trained her how to go finding without trying to give away a Book of Mormon! We would start out by asking people about the Book of Mormon but then realize we don't have a Book of Mormon to refer to, so Sister Luk would be at a loss for words lol To be honest, it felt very weird for me as well. The past two months we have been focusing so much on the Book of Mormon that I almost forgot how to go finding without making the Book of Mormon the central focus. We are going to fix that this week though! When we go finding, we are going to try not starting out with the Book of Mormon but maybe family, church, Restoration, etc. and then bringing the Book of Mormon into it later.

     In other news, Sister Luk has pointed out to me that when I speak Cantonese, I say the word "like" all the time. I had no idea I was doing that but she thinks it's funny because I don't say "like" when I speak English and it's only if I am just having casual conversation not in lessons or in prayers. For example I would say "Nogh mhjidou (like) ngoh wuih gong (like) lidi sihchihng (like) soyih *(like) nogh mhji mgoh dimyeung (like) hoyih goijern" (I don't know I say these things, but I don't know how I can improve). It's so weird! haha! I have no idea I'm doing it so I'm not sure how I am supposed to fix something I don't realize I'm doing but the Lord will help me! Msai daamsaam! No worries! :)

     I hope all of you have a great week and enjoy the pictures below! This week was full of adventures! :)
Scripture of the Week: 2 Nephi 32:3 Don't just read the scriptures, feast on the scriptures and you will always receive guidance and revelation.
Quote of the Week:The gospel is a fountain of knowledge that never runs dry. There is always something new to learn and feel each Sunday in church, in every meeting, and in every verse of scripture. (Bishop Gerald Causse)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Sister Luk and I made snickerdoodle cookies for our last district meeting as a district!

​So our distirct is being downsized because the Mandarins are going to the Tuen Mun district. So we celebrated our last district meeting together with cookies and ice cream (It was also Elder Cornilles' birthday so we had cake too!)

And then there were 6...

We ate at our bishop's house for dinner and this is what we had. It was soooo good!

I love Bishop Shum and his family!

Sister Viazzo and I went on 24-hour exchanges this week so that was a lot of fun! :)

Look at all those species of cockroaches! It's a shame I can't show you the albino ones....

And this is the result of coming home to a kitchen full of cockraoches.....

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Leihdeih Hou!

     I'm afraid there isn't much to say this week. Things have been going really good though. The beginning of the week was a little rough because we had a lot of time to go finding and the weather was not in our favor. When it's raining no one wants to stop and talk to you or take a Book of Mormon. Sister Luk and I reevaluated ourselves and realized our faith was a little low so we decided to do a faith find (you go out for 2 hours with complete faith that you will have success and find a new investigator). Faith finds bring miracles! We were able to talk to so many people and give out lots of Books of Mormon. We didn't find a new investigator like we thought we would, but maybe we did and we just don't know it yet! 
     Alice is doing really good! She takes the lessons really well and really has the desire to learn more about this gospel. We were concerned about her working and not being able to come to church or meet with us during the week, but she told us recently that she doesn't have to work anymore. Miracle! If all continues to go well, she will be on track to be baptized next month. She is super cute and funny and I love her! She has also adjusted to coming to Yuen Long 1 ward so that's encouraging!

     This week we had a stake activity where the missionaries had to do two performances. Since our district is so diverse, we decided to sing the hymn "Israel, Israel God is Calling" which each verse being a different language. We did Cantonese then Mandarin then sign language then English. For the second performance, we did a Samuel the Lamanite skit. I wish I could add the video on here because it was so funny! The elders in our district are the best! And then in honor our Pokemon Go, the Hung Shui Kiu district missionaries reenacted Pokemon haha! I will find a way to let you watch these videos because they are too funny!

     In other news, do you remember Wan Ji Muih? She was a less active I worked with but I had to turn her over to the Yuen Long 2 elders because she lived in their area. Well about a month ago she got reactivated and her son Peter was reactivated a couple week ago too! Peter is 16 and his sister Crystal turned 8 yesterday so Peter was able to baptize Crystal. I was so happy for the whole family! I may not serve them anymore, but it still makes me so happy to see how much this gospel can change people's lives and no matter how far-gone you think you are, you can always come back.

     I love all of you and hope you have an amazing week this week!
Scripture of the Week: Mosiah 3:19 Overcoming the natural man is one of the hardest things to do, but all of us can focus on the Lord and become like Him.
Quote of the Week: Don't say, "I want this to happen" but ask, "What should I expect to happen?"

Sister Maggie Shiffert

[They had 3 minutes to copy the cover of the pamphlet]
Elder Wong: What do you think of your picture?
Sister Luk: Ohhhh! It's so ugly! I'm sooo sorry! 
Hahahaha! I love Sister Luk and her drawing skills! 

She did better the second time haha!

We celebrated Sister Wong's 18th birthday by getting lunch together :)

It was blue, black, & gray day in our apartment! It's so funny because we all got dressed separately haha!

I love Alice! And Sister Luk!

Happy 8th Birthday Crystal!

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Working in the Lord's Vineyard

Leihdeih Hou!

     This week has been pretty good! We had zone training and I think it was honestly one of the most spiritual zone trainings I've attended. We talked about working in the Lord's vineyard and having the faith and humility to do the Lord's work His way, which is together with Him. I have definitely learned this lesson over the past few months. I know I am not in this work alone. The Lord did not call us to do His work and then say "Ok have fun while I watch you!" No, He called us here to help Him do His work in this part of the vineyard. Jacob 5 is full of "we" and "us" not "you" and "I". We are in this together with the Lord. We have to trust He knows His vineyard and He knows how he wants His work done. We have to have faith in His timing and His ways and submit ourselves to His will. Sometimes I don't understand why things happen the way they do, but I know that they do for a reason and I have to put total trust in the Lord because He has the bird's eye view of this work. I can only see two steps in front of me. 

     Our Book of Mormon challenge was more than we expected. Our goal for the zone was 280 Books of Mormon, but we were able to give out 403 Books of Mormon in a month's time. That's craziness! All I can say is that there are prepared people in Hong Kong. We just have to use the tools the Lord has given us (Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, members, etc) to find them. The Lord helped us achieve what some would call the impossible but nothing is impossible with the Lord on your side. We are going to continue to give out at least one Book of Mormon a day with the faith that we are going to see some amazing miracles happen in the New Territories!

     This week was up and down with our investigators. We meet with Alice last week and extended a baptism date to her. this is the second time we've done it. Her concern is that she doesn't know a lot about the gospel yet and feels like she's not ready to be baptized. After talking with her at some length and assuring her you don't have to be perfect to be baptized, she accepted a baptism date for September 18th! That made me SO happy! She is so ready to be baptized; she just doesn't know it yet :) The problem is Alice has started going to work again so she couldn't come to church yesterday, but pray that she will be able to come between now and her baptism. I don't want to have to push it back, but I don't want to push her to get baptized either. 

     We also had to drop one of our investigators Fung Taai this week. It made me so sad! I didn't want to drop her, but she's not ready for the gospel yet. She likes to listen to our messages, but it's mainly because she likes to talk with us, not because she's interested in the gospel. She is a pohpo so she only prays once or twice a week because she forgets and doesn't read her scriptures or come to church. She's not progressing and she lives way out in the boonies so trying to teach someone who's not progressing in taking away time for finding people that would progress. We will visit her again in the future to see how she's doing, but right now we have to focus on the elect. She will accept the gospel one day though! :)

     Sister Luk is doing great! I love her so much! She works really hard and is getting better and better everyday. Her training is going well and her English is improving. I feel like she has also helped my Cantonese improve (at least I hope so!). She teaching me how to write and text in Cantonese so that's fun! Our unity is good and we are trying to help make Yuen Long progress and grow! 

     I hope all of you have a great week! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but more will be coming soon! I love all of you!
Scripture of the Week: Jacob 5:75 When we do things together with the Lord and keep all His commandments, we find joy in the fruits of our labors.  
Quote of the Week: Are we willing to let our will be swallowed up in the will of God?

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Sister Training Leader selfie! :)

We treated ourselves to our favorite chah siu faahn and boulou baau!

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Doing My Part

Leihdeih Hou!

     I'm afraid this week hasn't been too exciting. One thing that was exciting though is that Hong Kong has a No. 8 tropical cyclone warning and when that happens, missionaries are not allowed to go outside until it lowers to a No. 3 (The range is No. 1-3-8-10). It started Monday night and continued until Tuesday. We were concerned that we would not be able to go out at all on Tuesday because of the storm which would not have been fun. Being out on the streets is more exciting than being an apartment all day making calls and doing records. Luckily it went down to a No. 3 by the afternoon and we could go out. So I guess that was a little exciting. My first No. 8 storm lol!

     The past couple of weeks, Hong Kong people have discovered this game called "Pokemon Go." Does this sound familiar? I have a feeling it's a worldwide thing and popular in America too lol Anyways, it has it's pros and cons. The pro is that it gets more people out on the streets so that's awesome because that gives us more people to talk to when we are out finding. The con is that everyone is so busy playing Pokemon Go that they don't want to be bothered talking to us. Our bishop was so funny about it though. He told us to make our own Pokemon Go account so we can play with people and then invite people to church and tell them that maybe there is someone in our church building that they can play with (I'm not sure how this game works but I know there's one part where you need to be within proximity of someone else playing the game). Missionaries have seen mobs of people running from one place to another trying to catch a Pokemon but I have yet to witness this. I want to though! 

     So we have some more Book of Mormon miracles. We haven't calculated the totals for our whole zone, but between our 5 companionships, our district gave out a total of 285 Books of Mormon in 4 weeks. That's crazy! Our goal for our zone was 280 and the fact that the Lord made that happen in just our one really goes to show there are prepared people everywhere. You just have to follow the Spirit. There have been so many miracles from this Book of Mormon challenge our zone has set up. We have been able to find a new investigator named Laahn Je because we gave her a Book of Mormon on the street. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to give people a Book of Mormon on the street and they have denied me because they already have the Bible or they are Buddhist. That is when I start to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and how much it has blessed my life and by the end of our conversation they are taking the book and profusely thanking me for giving them that Book of Mormon. 

     I know the Lord is helping us do His work in Hong Kong. I can testify that the Book of Mormon is true. It changes people's lives. I know without a doubt it has changed mine. I know that it is a source of personal revelation and it helps you gain a greater testimony of Jesus Christ. When you want to talk to the Lord, you pray. When you want the Lord to talk with you, you read the Book of Mormon. As missionaries it is so important to use the tools we have been given to do the Lord's work. The Lord has given us everything we meed, we now we have to use them and get to work. I love the Book of Mormon so much! If you haven't read it, go read it. I know it will be one of the best sources of truth and light in your life.

     I am lacking in stories and pictures this week, but I hope all of you know I love you and I love serving this mission! 
Scripture of the Week: 2 Nephi 4:34-35 We should trust in the Lord now and forever. I know He will give to those who ask. 
Quote of the Week: You can pray to know His will and with the honest desire to do whatever He asks you to do, you will receive an answer (Henry B. Eyring) 
Sister Maggie Shiffert

When you are stuck in your apartment because of a No. 8 tropical cyclone and decide to make oatmeal pancakes for lunch to pass the time :)

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Hooray for Raid! And All Our Other Blessings!

Leihdeih Hou!

     This week has been super busy but Sister Luk and I have been working really hard and making some progress in Yuen Long! We have been seeing some amazing miracles and blessings. The work for a while there was really working on less actives but it seems to have turned into investigators recently. We have a couple potential new investigators this week and our investigator Alice is progressing and growing a lot, so thank you for all your prayers! 

     Sister Luk seriously surprises me every day. She is growing so much and really working on overcoming her weaknesses. She is a lot more bold when talking to people on the street and the trains. She is super bold about giving people Books of Mormon and is very determined. If we set a goal, she is very motivated to achieve that goal. Her faith and diligence have really helped our companionship and area. I left her in charge of Yuen Long while I went on exchanges with Sister Meh in Hung Shui Kiu and she did a great job. She had a full day scheduled and even though some of our lessons fell through, she just kept going and accommodated to the circumstances. 

     We had a really good experience though this past week. We gave this lady Laahn Je a Book of Mormon on the street last week and met with her again this week. She actually called us the day before and said she was Baaisahn and didn't need to hear our message. We convinced her to meet with us thought and she said okay. When we met with her, she told us again that she was Baaisahn so we asked her if she would listen to our message first and then after our lesson, she could decide if she wanted to meet with us again. We taught very simply about God and Jesus Christ and she seemed to be taking the lesson very well. At one point I stopped to ask what she was feeling right then and she said very comfortable and peaceful. We then talked about the Holy Ghost with her and she said she liked the feelings she was having and wanted to continue to have it. By the end of the lesson she was super willing to see us again and hear our message. I could definitely feel the Spirit in the lesson and I'm glad she could too! The Holy Ghost really is the teacher here and I'm glad Laahn Je's heart was open enough to let it in and testify to her that these things are true and can bring her happiness. 

     So I have failed to mention this over the past 7 months but our apartment has a cockroach problem. No, a cockroach infestation. It was manageable when I first came to Hong Kong and moved into this apartment, but recently it was gotten soooo much worse. You name a place and we find them them. It's the worst in the kitchen and it just spreads throughout the apartment. Cabinets, living room, books, showers, beds. You name it and there has probably been a cockroach that has crawled all over it at some point. Sometimes I wake up to a cockroach friend on the wall beside me so that's fun. Yes we have tried everything under the sun but nothing seems to get rid of them. Well, we have been telling the elders about our cockroach stories and they finally had enough lol! The elders in the Hung Shui Kiu district made a district service project of coming to our apartment and basically doing a deep cleaning to get rid of all the cockroaches. They were so funny! They act more like sisters than the sisters do haha! They did a really good job thought and killed literally hundreds of cockroaches. The Lord is definitely going to bless them for their efforts! Don't worry though because we are getting a new apartment in September so all is well! :)

     I hope all of you have a great first day of school this week! And if you are in college, enjoy your last few days of summer! I seriously can't believe how fast time flies by! I love and miss all of you!
Scripture of the Week: Alma 5:26 Have you experienced a change of heart?
Quote of the Week: Get the gospel out of your head and into your heart (Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson) 
Sister Maggie Shiffert

I always love temple days!

I love Sister Luk!

So this is how close we are to mainland when you are on the train from Yuen Long!

One day we will go there!

when you have to pile all the sisters' suitcases in one room so you can clean....

This is what it looks like when you put elders in charge of cleaning your apartment lol!

Yay for Raid!

Thank you elders!!!
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