Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The One Where Mindy Is Still Trying To Get The Hang Of The Language

WE LOVE MISSIONARY MONDAY!!! Here is her email for this week. Hope you enjoy :)

"God guides His church through racism..." MTC Week 6  

Leih Hou! 

I don't actually remember what week I'm on here in the MTC, I'll be honest when I say that I lost track after week four. Every time someone asks I have to ask my companion or I just say, "A really long time...". 

This week was a week of learning for me. Learning from mistakes especially! On Wednesday, Sister McNeely and I were teaching a lesson to some other Sisters in our district (Sister Leonard and Sister Shiffert). We were teaching the restoration. I was trying to talk about how God guides His church still today through revelation to His living prophets. The cantonese word for revelation and the cantonese word for racism are pretty darn similar and I accidentally mixed them up. I'm pretty sure my teacher almost fell over he was laughing so hard. I only blushed a little bit... LOL! It's good to make mistakes though, there's a general authority that says, "You only have about 25,000 mistakes to make in a language, make them in the MTC". I'm pretty sure I've already said more than that but I'm glad to know that the mistakes and the mess coming out of my mouth won't last forever. I've had a couple Sisters speaking cantonese bear testimony that they were living prophets and another group said that God loves us so much, he gave us pigs (which in cantonese is one tone off from being the word, Lord). 

We had a really fantastic devotional on Tuesday but Elder Kim B. Clark, who's a member of the seventy. He said there were four things that missionaries (and everyone!) needs to do to be successful. 1. Be willingly obedient. 2. Work HARD 3. Have the spirit with you. 4. LOVE the people. This reminded me of the thing that Bishop Kib said at my setting apart. He said to remember FOWL. Faith, Obedience, Work and Love. My district talked a lot about how we need to see other people as God sees them. We need to love others as God loves them. In 3 Nephi 18:24-25, there's a line that reads "...I am the light that thou should hold up...". People should be able to recognize that we bear Christ's name on our hearts by our actions and by His light shining through our eyes and our faces! Don't be afraid to be obnoxiously enthusiastic about your love of your Heavenly Father and the love of your Savior. We have every right to be enthusiastic about our faith because we get to know a happiness and a love that most people have never felt in their lives! We are so blessed to have this gospel, so bear Christs' name with pride! 

And on the note of pride, I've been studying Humility this week as my Christ-like attribute, LOL! My favorite scripture in the entire Book of Mormon is Alma 26:12. Alma 26 is what we like to call, Ammon's missonary homecoming address. I love verse 12 because it talks about how without God we are nothing. He gave us everything we have. "I will not boast of myself, but I will of my God,for in His strength I can do all things..." Through God, not only do we have everything we have but we can also achieve anything we need! Humility leads to a better understanding of how much you need your Savior and it helps you understand and appreciate the need for the Atonement and repentance that much more! 

I finally got to see that new(ish) Joseph Smith movie that has been out for a couple of years. I've been wanting to see it for years but I haven't really had the opportunity to see it. If you have the opportunity to see it, DO IT! It was such a powerful movie. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and for His undying faith and love for our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the faith of the early saints. I'm so proud of them for staying true to what is right, in the face of so much hurt and so much persecution. I know that this church is true because even while facing those awful events, the knowledge of the Atonement and the love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father kept those saints strong. Their burdens were made lighter on their shoulders and they were able to enjoy greater happiness because of their hardships. God continues to strengthen His people and bear their burdens, just as much now as He did then. He has promised us MULTIPLE times in the scriptures that all we need to do to is have a little faith, a little humility and ASK Him for help and He will bless us. 

God gives me strength to make it through some crappy days here in the MTC, and He'll give you the strength to endure some crappy days too. My challenge this week is for you to find a copy of the book "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard and read it. It's fantastic.  I hope you all have an INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving this week. I love you all and I can feel your prayers. Thank you so much for all your love and support!

Bye Bye! (That's literally how you say good-bye in Cantonese...)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The One Where There Are Only Four More Weeks Until HONG KONG Bound!!

Hello Everybody! Mindy wrote again :) she sounds like she is doing really well. We love love LOVE hearing from her every week! I hope you all do too! I love reading all her emails because i can just picture her saying all of this.
Here is this week's email. enjoy! :)

"Woah, we're half-way there" Living on lots of prayerrrr... MTC Week 5

I have officially made it past my half-way mark in the MTC. I have seen more missionaries come and go than I care to admit and I still have four more weeks of that. I also feel like I could spend my whole mission here in the MTC and still need to learn so much more about how to be a better missionary. I'm excited to leave but terrified to go (which describes how it felt to come on my mission as well). 

It has most definitely been a week of small miracles for me. The Lord blesses those that put in the work first and change their attitudes, that's for sure (at least for me!). This language is finally getting easy. The gift of tongues is real, but ONLY when you do your part. I was doing it half-way and still resisting Heavenly Father's plan for me and it was showing. That small change in attitude made ALL the difference and I'm already seeing the blessing of making that personal change. My lessons have been better, my companionship is more harmonious and I don't feel like I've been bashing my head against a wall all day when I go to bed at night. Change your attitude and it'll change your life. 

It's been snowing a lot this week, espcially today! I got to wear my new red rainboots today and I'm loving every second of it. Also, it's fun to enjoy it now because I won't be seeing it. (I think I talked about this last week... ?) The weeks are starting to blur together a little bit, everytime I get asked how much longer I have, I turn to Sister Mcneely because I usually don't even remember what day of the week it is. But everyday is filled with spiritual growth and moments of self-evaluation to see just how much I still need to change (which is a lot) to become more Christ-like. 

We had an awesome devotional speaker last night. His name is Greg Droubay and he's in the Media Department for missionary work and other things in the church. Basically he works a lot with mormon.org and differnet media outlets that the church has. He gave us a sneak pre-view of some things that the church is doing for Christmas this year and let me say, WOW! I'm so excited for the video and the website to be up. it gets released Nov. 29, 2015 and it is #asaviorisborn. The Lord is definitely hastening his work. My heart is so big just thinking about how exciting it is going to be in Hong Kong during Christmas time. I'm SUPER excited. Another thing that Brother Droubay shared was that the two things that unites EVERY SINGLE person in this world is; 1) We all have the light of Chist inside us and 2) We can all be saved ONLY through our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
Faith in Jesus Christ is the secret to all the miracles that occur in missionary work and the miracles that occur in so many hearts and minds of those that believe in Him. I encourage you all to discover more about what you can do individually and as families to better increase your faith in Christ. 

I was studying Charity this week as my Christ-like attribute. I could study this topic for years and still need to continue to study it because of how important it is to have. one of my favorite quotes about charity came from Silvia H. Allreds talk in October 2011, titled "Charity Never Faileth". She says, "...Charity is not a single act or something we give away but a state of being, a state of heart, kind feelings that engender loving actions." The really awesome thing about charity is that it will literally purify who you are as a person if you are praying for it and striving to apply it to your life. Gene R. Cook said "As we increasingly think and act like Him, our natural man will be replaced by the heart and mind of Christ". HOW AWESOME IS THAT!? Love is like faith and kindness where it's contagious. Sharing love causes more love to grow, not only in your own heart but in the heart of the person you loved. Elder Cook has three other suggestions for how we can recieve Charity. He says 1. Recognize His love. There is evidence of the Lords love for you in every aspect of your life, take a second to reflect and notice those "love notes" from God. 2. Recieve His Love in Humility. God is an anonymous giver, but He still deserves to be thanked. Gratitufe is a form of returning our love to God and it also makes our apprieciating for Him grow more. 3. Convey His Love. Love others more to understand more about how perfectly God loves you. 

"I invite you to not only love each other but to love each other BETTER." - Bonnie D. Parkin 

I love you all so much and I hope that you are having a fantastic week. 

 Sister Adams

"they weren't kidding when they said they will give you ten pounds of books!" -Sister Mindy Mint

This is Sister Adams and her MTC companion Sister McNeeley

All the Sisters in Sister Adams' district 

all the missionaries HONG KONG bound! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The One Where I Can't Think Up A Good Title

Week 4 of Mindy at the MTC. she only has about 4 more weeks until she's off to Hong Kong! Seems like she had a tough week, so everyone send her letters and/or emails and/or packages with lots of love and encouragement. Keep her in your prayers as well!
Here is this week's letter from our cute missionary! :)

Just Keep Swimming! MTC Week 4 (?)

"Just keep swimming!" That has been the motto for the week. This week has been a good one but a tough one. It's a good thing I've been learning so much about trusting the Lord and having patience in His timing because I definitely needed that reminder during this week. I got sick on Friday and it made for a rough weekend. Getting sick in the MTC is the worst. Alma 36:3 is a fantastic verse for anyway having a bad week, it's one of those "insert your name here" verses. 

I've been reading a talk thingy by Elder Lawrence(?) called The Fourth Missionary. It talks about how we can be so much more in this life if we give our will to the Lord's. One of my favorite lines from it says, "You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. HE will create a God." On Tuesday in the choir, we sang, "Be Still, My Soul" (It's ironic how much this song has been the theme song for my mission thus far) We sang it in a way that I have never heard of and the choir director told us a little bit of the meaning behind it. This song is literally a fight that someone is having within themselves between their natural man self and their divine self, the self that God sees in us. The divine self is telling the "chicken self", the natural man, self to sit down and stop getting in the way of the things that God needs you to accomplish! "The Lord is on thy side!" is what we have to constantly remind ourselves. Don't let anything shake your confidence and your hope that you have in the Lord. When it all comes down to it, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never leaves us. He ALWAYS loves us. We are always the ones that move away from Him, that leave Him or forget Him. Tell your "chicken soul" to sit down and shut up more often and you might get more done! 

I honestly don't have very much to share today, other than God really does put us with people that He knows will lift us up, but will also push us to become our very best. My district is really incredible. I'm so blessed to be among spiritual giants like them. One of the Elder's in my district was part of a religious singing group called Beyond 5. His name is Elder Love. I've never heard of them (sorry Elder Love) but apparently they are quite big, He has sisters stopping him and asking him for his picture all the time. The other Elder in my branch is named Elder Peterson. He is so sweet and has such a genuine love for those around him, He also makes the most hilarious reaction faces to things that our teachers/zone says about Asia. The sisters in my district are Sister Curtis, Sister Wilcox, Sister Ng, Sister Leonard, Sister Shiffert and Sister McNeely. Sister Curtis is from California makes me laugh so hard I go into coughing fits. Sister Wilcox and Sister Ng are the peaceful companionship that keeps the rest of us rowdy folk from getting too out of hand. They have really warm and genuine spirits and I describe them with each other because they really are a unite, they work really well together. Sister Leonard is, of course, awesome! We knew each other before the mission so it's been entertaining to spend time with her again. Sister Shiffert cracks me up. She uses food names as exclamations, rather than other words, so I constantly get to hear "Crackers!" or "Fudge" or other words. She has a love of learning this gospel and its been so fun learning from her testimony. Sister McNeely is my other still small voice. She keeps me grounded and tries to keep my "butterfly" brain from flying too far away from what we are supposed to be doing. She plays the violin (and is fantastic at it!) and has a very strong love for our Savior. I learn so much from her. Anyway, that's the district and I truly am blessed to have them,

On Sunday, I studied a lot about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. I came across a talk called "Retaining a Remission of Sin" from October 2000 general conference. It talks about the promises we made to Heavenly Father and the things that He promised us in return when we fulfill our promises (we DEFINITELY get the better side of the deal). Elder Crockett quotes Mosiah 4:11 and talks about the "formula" King Benjamin gives his people on how to retain the remission of their sins. 1. We need to remain humble. God gave us everything we have. Everything we have and everything we are is from Him. 2. We need to "Call upon the Lord daily". Prayer is one of the best gifts God gave us. It's a direct line to Him. USE IT! 3. Stand steadfastly in faith. I think it was Elder Uchtdorf (?) that said something about not JUST enduring this life, we need to go about this life with joy and with peace in our hearts and patience through our trials. When we do these three things, we are fulfilling our side of the covenant we made with God because we are remembering Christ in our lives, We will gain stronger testimonies that will make us want to open our mouths and share what we know. And we will be repenting and constantly striving to distance ourselves from sin. Ask God for help. That's why He gave us the Holy Ghost. That's why He gave us prayer. He promised He wouldn't leave us alone. We just need to follow His plan for us instead of thinking our plan is somehow better than His. 

Anyway, sorry for the heavy stuff. I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The One Where All We Need Is Faith, Trust, And A Little Bit Of Pizza Dust!

Mindy wrote us again! She is such an amazing person and I hope you all love hearing about what she is up to and what she is learning as much as we do :) She seems to be having a great time at the MTC. Super excited to keep hearing from her!
Here is this week's email :)

"Faith, Trust and a little bit of Pizza Dust!" MTC Week 3

Leih Hou! 

This week has gone by SO SO fast, on Thursday I sat there for five minutes trying to figure out how my week had gone from Sunday to Thursday so quickly. I've done so much in so little time and it's definitely been a week of trusting in the Lord. 

I have decided that Nephi will forever be one of my Book of Mormon heroes, because he is so courageous and trusting when following God's will for him. Throughout first Nephi, we constantly see Nephi state things like, "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them..." and "...I was led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do...". Nephi NEVER knows what new thing the Lord will ask of him but he always does it without hesitation and without murmuring because he knows he can trust Heavenly Father to lead him somewhere awesome! I'm striving to become like Nephi and to trust the Lord more. To let His will and plan become my will and plan. 

My personal study/ every lesson (I had 6 lessons this week, three of those were on saturday morning and one was Relief Society) I taught this week was all on faith. What is faith? How do we obtain it? What can we do through faith? What are some blessing that come with faith? Faith, as it turns out is ALL about trusting the Lord, being obedient to what he asks of you and hoping that He will bless you for your righteous efforts. So, in life, all you need is a little bit of Faith, Trust and pixie dust or as Sister McNeely thought I said, "Pizza dust" (Which is really funny because that's literally the MTC lifestyle in one sentence). 

We got an apostle on Tuesday! That was seriously so cool! The wave of spirit that he brought in the room with him was absolutely incredible. I hadn't remembered what it felt like to be in the same room as an apostle or prophet but that was an incredible magical moment. The power of the Holy Ghost was most definitely a tangible thing while he was there. He spoke of sacrifice, opposition, adversary and deliverance. We have to sacrifice something in our lives to become something better. It's a small thing that he Lord asks of us and the blessing we get for that sacrifice are worth that sacrifice 1000 times over. Adversary will always try to force you back to what you were before you made the sacrifice, or worse. PUSH AGAINST IT. Do not let opposition force you down a slippery slope. The adversary knows us VERY well and he tries to work with our weaknesses, our guilt, and our selfishness. Be a "disturbance and annoyance to the kingdom" of the adversary (JSH). We know enough... God has blessed us with talents, tools and support systems to help us in this life. We trials and opposition come, we need to tighten our belts, smile and utilize the things that the Lord gave us. "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you". He promises that if we pray, and use the tools He gave us that he will ease the burdens from us, not take them away, but ease them until they don't feel much like a burden anymore. 

We hosted new missionaries on Wednesday (which was weird because you don't usually do that until your fourth week here) but it was so fun. I hosted two sets of three new sisters, which is a lot. We were low on sisters this week and then they just kept piling the sisters on me.. It was so fun to talk with them and feel of their nervousness and excitement. It was sad to tell their families that they had to go though, there was a lot of tears and I wasn't really prepared for that. It's so fun to see them smiling and enjoying their first week around campus though. 

I can finally eat whatever I want again (YAY!). I discovered that it was the milk. So, I've just been avoiding milk since then. Oh, and yesterday was fast Sunday and I didn't get hangry at all! hungry? yes. But hangry, not a bit! I ate like three plates of food at dinner and then continued to eat snacks and candy until I went to bed. I just couldn't stop. It was quite a tender mercy. My companion told me she was shocked at how talkative and happy I was yesterday (She's already witnessed my hangry side and had been praying for me. LOL!)

This gospel blesses families. I know that for a fact. I don't know where I would be without my family. And it makes me SO incredibly happy to know that I get to love them for eternity and not just for my life on this earth. This gospel HEALS families. I have witnessed miracles about this, not just from home, but from things I've seen here in the MTC. Never doubt that families are central to God's plan and that He will do all He can to aide you in your families. God loves families. God love HIS family, which is what I am so excited to share with the people of Hong Kong. A lot of these people don't even know that they have a Heavenly Father and He REALLY wants to here from Him. I get to be the person who hands them the phone (prayer) that let's them speak to Him. I could not be more excited about my purpose for the next year and a half. "If we want to talk to God, we pray. If we want God to talk to us, we read the scriptures." Don't forget that God wants to talk to you just as much as He wants to hear from you. He wants to help you in your life. 

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. (2 Nephi 26:9) 

God teaches us line upon line. Precept on precept. He never gives us more than we can handle or understand. Trust in His plan for your life. And don't forget to have more Faith, trust and pizza dust in your life.  

I love you all so much and I'm so grateful to have you in my life. Each of you has truly contributed into a part of who I am today. My testimony is what it is because of you. Thank you for being so amazing.

This is Sister Adams' District at the Provo MTC. Isn't she so cute?! 

Sister Mindy Mint, Sister Leonard and their friend, Elder Yazzie, from Yokota!
They were all in the same ward together in Japan. Elder Yazzie left to serve the
good people of Turkey!