Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chinese New Year 2.0: Year of the Rooster

Leihdeih Hou!

     HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! Sanlihn Faailohk! Kung Hei Fat Choi! The holiday actually officially lasts for 4 days so people are still partying in Hong Kong. But I think some people are about partied out because everyone just looks so exhausted when we get on the train or walk around lol! This Chinese New Year was very different from last year though because the more traditional people live in the New Territories where I served before, so Yuen Long was a ghost town with no one out. In Cheung Sha Wan, there isn't too much of a difference. People are still out on the streets and it's more like midday on a Wednesday or something. It was very interesting to see the differences even though they are all part of the same  small country!

     Considering this past week was Chinese New Year and everyone goes to mainland to celebrate, we had a very successful week full of miracles :) Sister Vance and I have been working really hard and being really productive. We were able to go to most of our members houses and deliver oranges to them (oranges are a sign of good health and eternal families). It was a long day that day, but it was good because I was able to explore all over our area and get to know it a little better. Now if only I could remember where everyone lives...haha!

     Our investigators are doing really good! One of them named Icy has been investigating the church for a couple years now. She knows it's good for her, but doesn't really act on what we teach her. We have been considering dropping her because her interest is more in talking with us, not listening to the gospel, but we decided to give her one more chance and invite her to be baptized. And she accepted for April 22! I really hope we can help her progress and truly stick to her baptismal date! She told us she would come to church this week, but she tells us that every week and never comes because its too hard to wake up, so I was honestly a little doubtful. But Icy came to church! It was only for about 40 minutes, but she still woke up and came! It is always when I consider dropping investigators that they surprise me out of nowhere and start making some major changes. Maybe that is the Lord's way of testing my diligence. Even when all hope seems lost, never give up! It is always that last little push and brings about miracles :)

     I hope all of you have a great week! I know the Lord is watching over and blessing every single one of you! Never forget that! :) He loves all of us and wants to helps us so reach out to Him!
Scripture of the Week: 3 Nephi 27:27 All Christ asks of us is to become like Him. Just take one step at a time...
Quote of the Week: Be patient with them until you can conquer by love and you can then mold their characters as you please (Lynn G .Robbins)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Happy Chinese New Year from the Cheung Sha Wan sisters! :)

Chinese New Year dinner! 

Our member gave us cookies. Can you see the resemblance? ;)

Chinese barbecue is the best!

We went barbecuing in San Kung with our ward yesterday! Pretty cloudy, but still gorgeous!

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Miracles Upon Miracles

Leihdeih Hou!

     Cheung Sha Wan is doing good, but Chinese New Year definitely hit us pretty hard this week. Everyone is in mainland to celebrate with their families. That's ok though! There have been so many miracles this week so it makes up for it! We did more finding than usual this week but it was good because it gives me a chance to get to know the area a little better. Still working on it, but I'm getting there!

     Here is the funny story for the week. So for those of you know know me, you know that I love to make brownies. Well, brownie mix here is super expensive. We were making brownies as a treat for our members to say happy new year and missionaries are constantly on a budget so we got the cheapest brownies we could find and made them. Well, note to everyone. 1) Do not buy brownie mix that was made in Indonesia. 2) Read the instructions. the recipe called for eggs and butter so we softened the butter and started mixing it with the eggs. Nothing was really happening so we looked at the box. We were supposed to use melted butter. (Oops!) So we had a bunch of clumps of butter in a lot of beaten eggs. We had to melt the butter but melting the butter would involve heating the eggs and making scrambled eggs.... We transferred all the butter to one bowl to heat up, praying that we would not be making scrambled egg brownies. Well we did have a little scrambled egg in the melted butter, but luckily it floated to the top so we could just skim it off. That was a close call! We almost gave our members scrambled egg brownies! But we didn't. And they enjoyed them :)

     Now here is the miracle story of the week. We found this absolutely golden investigator named Candace this week which was honestly the highlight of my week and one of the highlights of my mission. The West Point elders actually found her while they were out finding and turned her over to us. She told us that she wasn't usually in that area and when she would have normally gone home, she decided to stay a little longer. That is when she made eye contact with the elders and went over to talk to them. She said that she is unhappy right now and thinks that Christ might be able to help her. She is so cute because she asked us if this was a bad reason to want to get to know Jesus Christ and if she was too old to start learning about Him. We assured her that this was the perfect reason to meet with missionaries and get to know our Savior. She really wants to get to know everyone in the ward and wants to meet as many members as possible. She wants us to invite her to activities and she has a lot of interest in learning more about this church and Jesus Christ.

     She originally had interest in a church tour so after our lesson we gave her a tour of our church building. It was amazing because when we were in the chapel, she said that she felt like cyring and asked if we could feel it too. The Spirit really was super strong and I am so happy that she recognized it! There have been so many times lately where Sister Vance and I can feel the Spirit but the people we are teaching seem oblivious to it, but Candace was not one of those people. That is how you know you have found one of God's elect.

     She said that it was by fate that she met the missionaires and I agree! The Lord defintiely had his hand in this one. It's people like Candace that give me hope and motivate me to keep going and try even harder. Miracles don't just come walking in the door everyday, but when they do, I am 110% grateful to Heavenly Father for trusting us with his prepared child. I know the He sees our hard work and He will bless us for it. It may not be when and how we expect it to come, but the blessings/miracles do come.

     I hope all of you have a great week! I love and miss you all!
Scripture of the Week: John 12:35-36 walk in Christ's light. Believe in His light.
Quote of the Week: Don't just pass through trials but let them sanctify you. There is light at the end of the tunnel - Jesus Christ.

Sister Maggie Shiffert

We made a mess but it all worked out ok! :)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Us with Candace!


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Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot like Winter

Leihdeih Hou!

     This week has been good but definitely colder! Winter has arrived! Luckily it's not as bad as our record breaking winter last year, but it's still pretty chilly! I've heard you have had some wintery weather over there too, so be safe and bundle up!

     Cheung Sha Wan is doing good! I am starting to get adjusted to everything. It's still a process but, I'm getting there! I am developing more and more charity for the people that I serve. The ward is really good! We have had a couple of cheng-outs and even though my stomach can't handle so much food, I really enjoy them because I get to know the members more and they get to know me more. I was honestly a little nervous about coming into a new ward where my companion has been there for so long, but I feel like the more I get to know them, the more I come to love them. CSW really is a good ward to be in!

     It is crazy because in a lot of our lessons we have been teaching, I have been able to feel the Spirit SO strongly. I know it should be this way in every lesson, but the ones we have been having are particuarly spiritual. And a lot of times it happens when we bear testimony because in those moments, the Spirit is also reconfirming to me that what I am saying is true. I am not very good at expressing myself by talking, but I try to put everything I have into bearing my testimonies because I just want people to feel the turhtfulness behind my words because I know this gospel is true and can help them!

     We are also working with the elders on a RMLA (return missionary less active). We met with Edward and his dad this past week and talked to him for a long time about the road he's travelling on right now. He said that the Bishop has reached out to him but that no one else in the ward has. He said no one is trying to find him. It broke my heart when I heard that because I know that the ward is trying to reach out to him, but the fact that he can't see that and thinks no one cares about him is so sad! :( It's LA's like these that give me even more motivation to go out and do this work! So if you know someone who is less active, reach out to them even if it is just to say, "Hello I'm thinking about you and want you to know I am there for you."  I really hope I can help these people in Cheung Sha Wan!

     I hope all of you have a great week! I love you and miss you!
Scripture of the Week: Matthew 6:8 God knows what you need before you even ask, but do you know what God needs you to do?
Quote of the Week: I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted (Henry B. Eyring)
Sister Maggie Shiffert

Below are some pictures of Cheung Sha Wan

Welcome to Hong Kong!

We went soap cycling with some other sisters this week. Soap cycling is where you take bars of soap that people have used, but basically wasted, and you scrape off the outer layer of soap so it is like new. This non-profit organization will give out the new bars of soap to people who need them in places like the Phillipines.

Soap cycling!

We went on exchanges with the Tai Wai Sisters, Sister Thomson and Sister Groberg!

Ate dinner with the Gwok Family! They are so sweet and too funny!

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cheung Sha Wan!

Leihdeih Hou!

     I hope all of you have had a great week! This week has been pretty good but between moving areas, it's been a little crazy! Cheung Sha Wan is very different from Yuen Long, but my new companion Sister Vance is doing a good job of explaining everything to me. There are no boonies areas, just city. It's funny because when I started my mission, I wanted to serve in the city so badly, and now I can. I know geographically Cheung Sha Wan's area is only a fraction of Yuen Long's area, but because you can walk the whole area instead of taking buses, it seems so much bigger. I might get lost (actually I'm guarenteed to get lost because I have no sense of direction lol!), but hopefully Sister Vance can help me quickly figure out the area. I am excited to work with her in Cheung Sha Wan :) 

     The people in Cheung Sha Wan are really nice. I have only been able to meet one of the less actives in the area, but we have more people scheduled for this week so hopefully I can meet more investigators/less actives. The ward seemed really friendly. We are going to mett with some of them this week so I am looking forward to that. I can start putting names with faces which will be good because that is another weakness I have so hopefully these members will be patient with me haha! It's so confusing because there are so many Lee's in this ward, but at least I have a good chance of getting their name right if I call them Brother or Sister Lee haha!

     I am really missing Yuen Long and all the people there. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone! :( I know Sister Meh/Munday and Elder Herzog/Bertolli are taking good care of Yuen Long though so I'm not worried. It's really hard to go from being in an area for over a year to a completely new environment with new people, but the Lord is helping me out. I know I need to give the area more time and that with time, I will come to love this area as much as I did Yuen Long, if not even more! Serving in Cheung Sha Wan is where I need to be. The thought that keeps coming to my mind is that Cheung Sha Wan needs me. I am not exactly sure what I can bring to the area, but the Lord knows! There is a work for me to do in Cheung Sha Wan and I am going to figure out what that is! The people are awesome here and I am excited to start working with them. It's all the same work, just a different part of the vineyard :)

     I hope all of you have a great week and be careful in this wintry weather! (Spekaing of, it feels like April/May in Hong Kong right now so I don't know if we are getting a winter haha!) I love you all!
Scripture of the Week: Ether 12:4 You start with hope and that hope turns to faith so that you can do good works.
Quote of the Week: Stumbling blocks can be turned into stepping stones (Quentin L. Cook)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

Sister Vance and I went to go get some taam jai to celebrate the new transfer!

​We so blessed to be able to see the temple right outside the church window!

Now I can say I am a panda!

Our apartment is a zoo! Featuring:
Panda: Sister Shiffert
Giraffe: Sister Viazzo
Unicorn: Sister Knapp
Stitch #1: Sister Hansen
Stitch #2: Sister Meh
Totoro: Sister Malone

One last district picture before we go our separate ways!

Remember my step-trainer Sister Dolben? This is her younger sister who just came to Hong Kong!

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Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, New Transfer, New Area

Leihdeih Hou!

     Happy New Year! Sanlihn Faailohk! So there have been some crazy things going on lately. The most notable is that you know how I said Sister Meh and I were going to start serving in Yuen Long 2 starting today? Well actually, I AM LEAVING YUEN LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :( After serving in this area for a year, the Lord has decided that it is time for me to move on. Starting on Thursday, I will be serving in Cheung Sha Wan which is a very different environment from Yuen Long (more city-like). The funny thing is that is where my trainer Sister Redd and step-trainer Sister Dolben both went when they left. So I am just following in their footsteps! Haha! 

     Words seriously CANNOT describe how much I love Yuen Long!!! Both YL1 and YL2 are very special places and even though they aren't the easiest areas, they are miracle areas. I know the elders and Sister Meh will take care of Yuen Long for me. It's so hard to say goodbye though! :( It's okay. I know the Lord has a plan in store for me. I can't see what the future holds, but I know the Lord can so I am going to have faith in His decision and trust that Cheung Sha Wan is where I need to be. I am super, super sad to be leaving Yuen Long, but at the same time, for some reason I feel at peace with this moves call. I know the Lord needs me in Cheung Sha Wan. I am excited to be in that area and to serve with Sister Vance. I don't know what Cheung Sha Wan is like, but I know that Sister Vance and I are going to make more miracles happen!

     Yuen Long is past week was doing pretty good though! I am leaving on a high note. Alice got the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday which was very special :) We also found a new investigator in YL2 named Vivi! She is actually Indonesian but speaks Cantonese. She has a lot of trials in her life right now, but she is very interested in the gospel. She doesn't understand any church terms in Cantonese, but luckily our bishop's wife is from Indonesia and can help explain some things into Indonesian for Vivi if we mention gospel word. She came to our ward activity and church and likes the feeling she has when she's with us and when she prays. I'm sad I can't teach her because she seems like a very prepared person, but I know Sister Meh will do a good job. 

     This is a new year and a new transfer and a new area. I'm ready to see what 2017 is going to bring! I hope all of you had a happy new year and have a great week this week! 
Scripture of the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:7 We walk by faith not by sight
Quote of the Week: My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight (Gordon B. Hinckley)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

We went hiking in Yuen Long and this was the view at one point

​I love Yuen Long SO MUCH! 

​You can leave your baby area without taking a selfie!

​I love Sister Meh! (We couldn't get the lighting right...chaam....haha!)

​We ate lunch with our less active Lolo one last time before we moved to YL2
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