Chee Hoo! It's Christmas time!
I don't remember my Skype login or whatever. So you need to tell me that because I haven't used technology in months! The only time I use technology is to write emails, go on mormon.org, or to add myself on facebook so I can stay in contact with the members and investigators! This guy at the library asked me for help to unfriend this guy on his facebook. I had no idea how to do it. I felt bad that I couldn't help tho Tech is so foreign to me. Mom will probably be better at the tech than I will when I come back from my mission! But we will Skype around 4-6 in England time. Not quite sure haven't set up the details yet but we will.
No, I haven't gotten your package yet. If it is sent to the mission office it takes a lot longer because the mission office is in Leeds and someone has to pick it up and drive it over to Newcastle and they don't drive to Newcastle often. But I imagine that it is there. I just need to wait. I'll practise my patience(:
And most days we eat in the flat. Cook our own food is a lot cheaper. We did go to this Mexican takeaway because I really wanted some Mexican but it doesn't compare to the Mex in cali. It wasn't bad it just didn't have that Mexican flavour. I'll just wait til I get home to get some real Mexican burritos. There's also this place called Eat4Less and you can get a baguette, fries, and a drink for £1.75 Cheapest takeaway I've seen thus far. The food matches the price. But it's not so bad. When we don't have time to go home and cook for ourselves we go somewhere in the city center to eat. Our next meal to try are Kebabs. English kebabs are different than American Kebabs...I'll tell you how they taste after I eat one haha
So Sister Monroy is being transferred. She will be moving down to Sheffield. We are all quite upset about it. We all love her and will definitely miss her giggles and personality. I hope that she will enjoy Sheffield and that Sister Lu's companion will be just as amazing. Sis Monroy will leave this Tuesday.
We also had exchanges last week with the the new STL (sister training leader), Sis Holland. She is a native English person. I was really nervous for the exchange because I felt like I would be judged for how bad of a missionary I was. Exchanges always feel so anxious but when you are actually with a different Sister it is okay and quite fun. Sis Holland and I did half an hour of finding together. And then I switched to go finding with her companion. And let me tell you, she is boss at finding. She sees an Asian person and will hunt them down haha not that literally. But she taught me a few things: to stick with the person you want to contact because most times they don't even know that you are talking to them. And most times they are more than willing to talk to you about anything. And the second thing is, when you actually stop and talk to people and have a conversation, you have less time finding and more time getting to know people, which is fun and the best part of finding. Sis Holland is great she gave me advice on how I can improve on being a better missionary. And I need all the help I can get. She told me to be bold, that will be another thing I will work on.
Finding with Sis Holland's companion was great. Her name was Sister Davis, from Colorado. We had a rough start because we didn't know what to exactly do. I am just a month old in the mission and she was a few weeks old. We both were quite new. We couldn't decide whether to stop white people or Asians because she is an English speaking missionary. We went around not knowing what to do for 10 minutes then I just started to get down to finding and stopped the next Asian person I saw. It went well we talked to a few people before ending finding. We even got phone numbers from people who were interested about learning more about Christmas and Christ. It was good finding with Sis Davis and Holland(:
We went caroling with the Relief Society! It was their activity. There was some communication issues and apparently the place we were supposed to be caroling at didn't want carolers so we just went back to the chapel and caroled to ourselves. In England they sing some different songs, songs I've never heard before. They were nice but I just didn't know how to sing them haha But It was a really nice activity and I could really feel the Christmas spirit. We had mince pie and other fruit pie afterwards. Don't try Mince pie, it's like a sweet meat pie and I didn't fancy it much. I liked the apple and black currant pies best ahah
This week is incredibly busy we have the missionary Christmas party tomorrow and the Ward Christmas party on Friday! Very busy, but it will be so much fun(: can't wait to celebrate Christmas in England.
Love, Sis Chee
Btw, I love you(:
Sis davis is the blond and sis holland is the brunette.
Yay early opened Christmas gifts haha but I am saving the rest for Christmas day(:
Hiya Mum & Dad!
Those family pictures are so beautiful! Ah-b ee did an amazing job!(: It's weird to look at my hair and how long it was before! I can't even imagine myself with long hair right now haha
That's so great that mum got together with other Macau families! It's like a little reunion! I can imagine there were a lot of story telling and a lot of talking. I can imagine how happy you are when you run into people you've worked with because I've felt extremely happy that Zhang Yi wanted to be baptised. As a recent convert, he always wants to meet with us to have a lesson it is amazing!(:
Sis Larson said that the Mando speaking missionaries don't move around so much so I might be in Newcastle for my whole mission! Sister Lu has been in Newcastle for 10 months, since the start of her mission. We joke that she will stay here forever! haha! On transfer night she started packing, but when we got the calls for transfers it said she was staying! But she loves it here, Newcastle is like the promised land in the mission. There is so much success here.
Christmas lights yet?
I don't wear my Chinese name tag often maybe I'll start wearing it.
So this week...
We had transfers, but nobody in my flat moved we are all staying in Newcastle for another transfer! We have a new English speaker, Elder Wheelhouse-from Utah, and a new Zone Leaders-I haven't met yet.
Not much happened this week.
Except, Elder George R. Donaldson an area authority of Europe came to visit the ward last Sunday. The bishop was sure that he was there to check out all the Asian people to see if there was enough to push for creating a Chinese branch. So for preparation for Sunday, all the missionaries called all the Asian people in our area books, made sure members brought friends and themselves to the meeting, and to make sure investigators and potentials could come. To make sure people would come we had a bit of incentive, HOTPOT! That particular Sunday was also fast Sunday so we made sure to fast for two meals before afternoon hotpot started. We had about 35 Asian people there. The chapel was so full, we had to open up the overflow! It was great to have the chapel so full. Testimony meeting was also great, a lot of Chinese members got up to bear their testimony -- more than the non Chinese members! After Church, the ward council and the missionaries met with Elder Donaldson very quickly. He told us two short and simple stories, and made us a promise that if we repent, so we could be a clean vessel where the Spirit can reside, pray and listen to promptings, even promptings from others have experienced, the Newcastle ward will double in size. His message was short and sweet. Right to the point. These are the basic things we need to do in order to receive blessings and bring others to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is easier said than done but when he said those 3 things it hit me hard especially the first, repent. I'm not perfect but I know that if I repent, I can have the Spirit lead me as a missionary.
last p-day we went to HiYou market and I bought some asian wasabi peas and a bolo bao...it wasn't a very good bolo bao. All the Chinese members say HiYou isn't good but there's a bakery called Bread Point and they have good Asian baos. This Preparation day we went to the Life museum and saw the body exhibit there. It reminded me of all the lab hours I spent in the life science building at Brigham Young University. There were so many specimens of bodies. The museum arranged the bodies in daily life activities like relay races, fishing, playing the guitar, and tennis. But the relay racer was two body forms originating from one body -- one would be just skeletal and the other muscle. It's really hard to explain and I wish I had a picture to show you but no photography was allowed so I couldn't. I found most interest in how they made the full body specimens stand up with no string or visible metal rods. Most of the exhibit was an anatomy review, I tested myself if I still knew the anatomical terms but the museum didn't go into much detail of body parts. But it was a great exhibit worth £12.
On the way to the metro, people say met-ro here, I saw a guy with a tattoo but no ordinary tattoo...this one had Chinese characters!!! And the actual cool thing is i could READ THEM, this random guy's tattoo said family(: Proof that my Chinese is slightly improving haha
Is is quiet? quite?(english is degrading while Chinese is improving) quite sad that Christmas is approaching, only reason is because most of our Chinese members and investigators and potentials will be going home for the holiday! Which means a lot more finding time and by the time I go home the cartilage in my knees will have withered away haha Finding isn't so bad, just yesterday we got 3 people's numbers and they seemed quite interested about religion. I was somewhat surprised we had so many. Oh funny incident while finding, this was sometime last week, Sis larson and I were out finding and we went in our regular route around the city center of Northumberland. We passed this pub where a group of men were standing outside. They all had Christmas jumpers on. Man, once december comes along everyone had Christmas jumpers and Christmas gear. One man had a crutch and a fake swollen foot and a cool snowman jumper, which I commented on. Obviously these guys were fooling around. It made me laugh though, cuz I thought it was dumb and funny. Then as we walked past them, one of the guys walked along us and just walked, no talk. So I said hi. He just wanted so mess around but we started to talk about Church and Mormons and it was nice to share the gospel with someone even if they didn't seem interested. Missionary opportunities are all around us even in the most unlikely circumstances. like around pubs.
Wheey eye man, it's getting a bit colder. The wind has picked up and that's the things that gives you chills. But not unbearable. No snow yet either.
Love, sis Chee
I can't believe it is already December. Time is flying by!
I got dad's pictures of Turkey Day dinner, the family looks great. Looks like some good pumpkin pie...they don't have pumpkin pie here. but the Marsh's cooked us some for our Thanksgiving dinner. My Turkey day made me appreciate meat more which reminded me of uncle pow and how he always told me to eat more meat at family gatherings. Well, I'm eating more meat right now! You'd be proud Uncle Pow haha hey, my time on a mission will be the only time I won't have to do the Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes! haha jokes I still do them here but I won't have to do them at Grandma's house! Have fun with that, Alex, Macee, and Makya(;
But a weird thing, I actually like to do dishes, because that is service and it also gives a lil break from doing missionary work all the time. It's quite odd what you find fun and amusing while you are on a mission. For example, Especially For Youth music is the best! Church firesides, Institute classes, and Book of Mormon class are so fun and uplifting!
Institute is so amazing, I learn so much from that class. It's like finding out the cool secret passage ways of a mansion. I get to learn deeper gospel doctrine. My mind is more open to what the institute teacher says. I can see things in a different light. The last institute class I went to, we learned about the signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Doctrine & Covenants 45:56-57, is the parable of the 10 virgins. It can be similar to the Second coming because like the 10 virgins we know that the Saviour is coming soon but we don't know when. The Saviour will come in a time when we least expect it like at midnight. In order to be the 5 prepared virgins we need to rely on the Holy ghost and have him as a constant companion, that way we will be ready whenever. I'm learning simple things that I haven't really applied in my life until my mission and it's great to see how I can apply these simple things in my mission life and life after the mission to be prepared at the second coming and prepared for the time of judgement.
So this week I had an exchange with my Sister Training Leader. An exchange is a temporary switch in companionships so the STL can get a feel for how to help the missionary and to see how they are doing. My STL is the bomb-diggity. She is so fun and an awesome finder. She can talk to anyone about anything and when she conversates it is just so fluid and normal. It's an amazing skill she has and what I want to develop. When I talk to people I often have awkward moments because I have no Idea what to talk about haha but I think that is improving bit by bit while I go out finding and talk to strangers about their clothes or directions or where they are headed. So at first, I was very stressed and nervous about the exchange because that meant I was responsible for leading the lessons and leading where to go out finding and where to go for public transportation. But when the exchange finally happened, I was super relaxed because my STL, Sister Kuhn (see http://calledtoserveinelm.blogspot.com/), is just so funny and made me feel calm and a sense of peace. The day went well, we had a lot of finding in heavy mist and that made Sister Kuhn a lot more sick than she already was so in a sense, I was killing her (finishing a mission = dying) and making her ill haha But I made her some hot coco back at the flat. The exchange was great I learned a lot and set myself goals to be a better missionary. A goal is to be more outgoing in finding.
Yay, this week our investigator ZhangYi got baptised! It was just so great to see him progress and accept this next step in his life. He also bore his testimony of the gospel for the first time. It was short and sweet, a perfect testimony. He even invited 2 friends and they got to witness what a baptism was and see what a good thing it was from Zhang Yi's example(:
Another exciting thing was Rachel's baptism. She is Sister Lu's and Sister Monroy's investigator. Rachel has been an investigator since February and has wanted to be baptised but her parents wouldn't allow it because they weren't sure about their daughter joining a Christian church because they themselves are Buddhist. But after about 9 months her parents allowed her to get baptised only if they could witness it, so they came to England this month and her family got to see her be baptised! 9 months of waiting, how sweet was the moment for Rachel to finally get baptised. It was soo sweet that she was basically crying the whole time because she was extremely happy! If you could only meet Rachel, she's amazing. Golden. She has such a strong testimony and understands the doctrine so well. She's a great example to me, because when I was 18, I just went through the motion of Church. But Rachel lives it.
I hope all is well in Cali and Utah.
And what what Uncle Powell is getting married?!
I need to have a wedding invite!(:
Send the packages to the flat, I'll get them sooner because they will go to the flat instead of ALL the way to Leeds. If it gets sent to Leeds I'll have to wait longer to get it cuz the Zone Leaders have to pick it up when ever they are at the Mission office which isn't often.
I don't feel like I am maturing haha
why did mom get a hair cut! its wayyy short!
Aw CJ, I miss him too ahah
China Town shopping is a lot like missionary work because you have to haul groceries from the store to the flat -- long walk too if you have lots of groceries. I miss China Town bao. Newcastle's HiYou bao isn't very good. I bought a bolo bao and it tasted very English/American -- no flavour
who exactly is aunty angie?
Starting September 3, I begin service as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will be training in Utah for two months then go to my assignment in Leeds, England speaking Mandarin Chinese. See you in eighteen months.