Monday, December 28, 2015

The One Where Everyone's Name Is Lam

So glad she's available to email us in Hong Kong! Never taking this for granted! hopefully it's like this the whole time! We got to see her cute face Christmas Eve in the States, Christmas Day here time! We skyped the whole family! Hong Kong, Japan, Washington, and Utah. Gotta love the holidays! here is the this week's email. hope you enjoy :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

The One Where Mindy Made It To HONG KONG! :)

Hello everyone!! Looks like she is finally in Hong Kong! They had a rough time getting over there because of a snow storm in Utah. But thankfully she was able to call her family those days and talk to us. It was SOO good to hear her voice! They had a lot of interesting miracles happen on their way to Hong Kong and it just reaffirmed to all the missionaries and their families that God is THERE and He is watching out for us! He will bless us when we are in need. Hope you enjoy this week's email :)

First Week in Hong Kong!

Wow, what a blur! I'm almost certain that in the MTC I learned more than ten words in Cantonese but so far, my Cantonese is limited to "Nice to meet you" and bearing my testimony (which I guess is all that really matters). My trainers name is Sister Takahashi. She's half Japanese and from Australia. She's been in Hong Kong for a little over a year and her cantonese is amazing. I'm VERY blessed to have her. She's been a really big help for my tones already and I've only been with her for less than a week. We have a lot of laughs together and we've already had some really amazing things happen. 

All I remember about the first day was that I fell asleep during my first lesson, my cantonese was AWFUL (because my brain was so fried that I couldn't translate what I wanted to say in my brain into cantonese.), and the clothing that I had on did not match in the slightest (my companion told me that she was concerned that was actually how my style was and that she was have to help me with that too). I honestly couldn't have told you what we taught that day or how i made it to the apartment that night. I also almost got hit by a bus within like three minutes of leaving the chapel with my trainer (crazy asian drivers ;) ). 

The rest of the week went by SO much better and I've been having so much fun. I already love these people and I'm super excited to learn about them and understand them better. The area I'm in is called Sham Shui Po. It's the area that includes the temple and the Kowloon Tong chapel (the one across the street from the chapel). I'll send some pictures of the temple and Hong Kong next week. (We're in the apple store emailing today and I actually haven't taken any pictures yet. Oops. Sorry Mom.) The ward is very welcoming, kind and supportive. I bore my testimony on Sunday and didn't throw up all over so that's a different plus. 

Sunday was honestly one of the hardest days I've had so far. The second I stepped foot in the chapel, it felt like the MTC all over again with someone chattering at you in Cantonese and you struggling to figure out what in the world they want from you. I'm pretty sure that I only understood like twenty words that were said in the whole five hours I was at the church (We had meetings before and a baptism after). But, the members were really patient and helpful to me. Every once in a while someone would lean over and whisper to me in English about what the joke was about or what the topic of the lesson is (which was very helpful because then I could at least try to pick out key words in that topic). I actually still have no idea what the topic for Sunday school is... 

My area has a LOT of less-actives. My trainer and I spend a lot of time visiting them and trying to serve them the best that we can. It makes my heart hurt thinking about the wonderful gift that they are throwing away when they reject the teachings that are true and right. It's hard for me, knowing the happiness that comes from living faithfully and the joy I feel every time I think about the life I'll get to have with my family and heavenly Father in the celestial kingdom. I can't help but think of the Richard G. Scott tribute that I think came with the November Ensign (?). Elder Scott lost a son, and instead of blaming God for taking his precious baby from him, he turned it around and said "Now, I have EVEN MORE of a reason to live faithfully because I have a son who is in the celestial kingdom and I need to get there to him." I just love that. I hope that in some small way I'm able to help these members come even just a little bit closer to Christ so that they can make the choice to follow Him again. 

My trainer and I try to talk to everybody we can while we are on our way to visit less-actives. We've had some really cool miracles happen where the Lord has definitely put people in our path. Yesterday we were on our way to visit a less-active that hadn't been heard from or contacted in months (we randomly picked a name off the this huge list), on our way we ran into this young mom and her son. As we started talking to them, we found out that they were looking for a church because the church they were going to was too far away from their new apartment. So, we (or course!) introduced ourselves and told her about the Christmas activity we are having at our church this week. We're praying she shows up! When we got to the less-actives' apartment it turned out that she had moved sometime before February and there was a different dude living there. He was really confused to see us standing outside of his door. We left him with a pass-along card, apologized and wished him a Merry Christmas. I don't know what will happen with that but a seed has been planted. 

Anyway, I really need to get off and get going on some others things but I hope that you are all doing well. I just want to encourage you all to remember what this Christmas season is about and to read 2 Nephi 22:2. "...I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song...". Never forget in whom your trust is ALWAYS safe and who will lead you to being the happiest you can be. There's nothing more satisfying than doing your best to become like Christ. 

I love you all, MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Sister Adams

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The One Where It's Mindy's LAST EMAIL FROM THE MTC!!!!!!

I think she had a little more time to email us this week. This week's email is a little longer than usual and it's her last one from Utah! Next one she'll be in Hong Kong, China!!! :) no pictures again this week....she's bad at sending us those! hope you enjoy this week's email from the Lovely Sister Mindy Mint!

"Adam and Eve fell so that we can go to church!" MTC Week 8


The weeks are FLYING here in the MTC. But I'm loving every minute of it. Okay, because I always forget to talk about this, I'm gonna give a brief rundown of what a normal day is like for me in the MTC. After I wake up, I have breakfast and then gym so, my companion and I usually just get bag breakfast then do different things until gym starts at 7:35. After gym, we head to the classroom and we have personal study, companionship study and language study for three hours. Lunch is next and after lunch is more study time and a 3 hour block of classroom instruction with a teacher (all in Cantonese). We then dinner and another class instruction block with a different teacher. After that block of classes, we have another study hour and then we have daily planning before we head back to the residence at 9:30. We do have variations in schedule during the week with P-day, devotionals and service but overall, this is what the MTC is like! Another thing about the MTC is the food. It really doesn't do you any favors for about three weeks until your stomach gets used to it, after that, you're usually in the all clear (at least I was!) but they do have a lot of options you can choose from. 

The days can seem monotonous and long, but that all depends on your attitude (and your district...). It really does fly by fast, I look back on all the things I've learned and how much I've grown as a person and I can't believe that I've only been here two months. On the flip side, I only have 16 more months to share the gospel so I'm anxious to get out there! So, for those of you wondering what the MTC is like, my only advice is that it is what you make it. If you love it and you really focus on learning and improving, you will LOVE the MTC. But if you focus on the sitting, the long hours and the questionable food, you're experience here is going to seem like a lifetime.

Anyway, this week was a challenging, rewarding and sad week. We had a couple districts leave us this week so our zone shrunk to about half of what it used to be (this was the sad things because I really love my zone here), but we also gained some new Thai missionaries on Wednesday. Sister McNeely and I are still laughing about all the mistakes we make during the lessons. On Thursday, we had a particularly rough lesson where we literally could not say anything correctly. Sister Mcneely accidentally bore her testimony about how Adam and Eve fell so that we could go to church (Which is true, in a VERY roundabout way). And I told the investigator that we would have to SOS him later this week. We've gotten a lot of wide eyes and confused looks this week, which I imagine is what I'm going to be getting in Hong Kong so I should probably get used to it. I was also really sick this week too, so that made for a rough week. My teacher calls the MTC a petri dish and he is definitely right, it was long (like two hours) after I started feeling sick that more people in my zone started to feel sick, we're all still trying to recover and some are still getting sick everyday. We're all praying and hoping that we all get better before our flights next Monday or else it's going to be a rough trip to Asia. WASH YOUR HANDS AND GET YOUR SHOTS! FLU SEASON IS HERE! 

Everything will be winding this week with our investigators, teaching and lessons. I'm terrified by the fact that they are letting me loose in the streets of Hong Kong with how little I know but I'm so excited to get out there as well! I am constantly humbled by the faith and the trust that Heavenly Father puts in His missionaries. Trust and faith really is a two-way street. The more we trust Heavenly Father, the more He knows He can trust us and we are given bigger projects and bigger blessings. I studied obedience this week and I am in awe of the faith and obedience the Book of Mormon heroes like Nephi, Ammon, Alma and Moroni (and so many others) show. I truly believe that they were so incredibly obedient because of their love and trust in God. Never did they doubt that He would help them in any situation they were put into. Never did they question a prompting from the Spirit. Never did they doubt that they could overcome their hardships and trials. They knew their Heavenly Father loved them, and they loved and trusted Him right back. Heavenly Father blesses those that are obedient to Him. We are still reaping the rewards of the Book of Mormon heroes obedience. Every time we read the Book of Mormon, every time we talk about how grateful we are for this gospel and every time we think about the fact that we get to be with our families for eternity; we are receiving blessing for their legacy of faith and obedience. 

"If you love me, keep my commandments..." Obedience is the best show of love we can give our Heavenly Father. It shows that we trust Him and that we know He knows what's best for us. I get to see the blessings of obedience every time I teach a lesson and Cantonese falls out of my mouth. I get to see the blessings from my obedience when I hear about miracles that are happening in my family and when I see the changes in myself the have come from striving to do my best. I still fall short. Every single day, but Heavenly Father knows your heart and He knows your mind and He knows when you've been faithful. 

I hope you all have an incredible week and that you are able to see where the Lord has blessed your lives, because I know that He has blessed you lots. I love you all and I'm excited for next week when I get to email from HONG KONG!!

Love, Sister Adams

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The One Where Mindy Spends Thanksgiving In The MTC!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAAYYYYYYY!!! MISSIONARY MONDAY! she's so good at writing :) bless her! Sounds like she had an AMAZING week! enjoy!

"Where there's a whale, there's a way" MTC Week ?

Exactly two week left in the MTC!!! YAY! Which means today is week 7 (?) but Wednesday is technically the start of week 8 for me, it's a bit confusing... I also get my flight plans on Friday this week. Hong Kong is rapidly becoming a reality!

Thanksgiving in the MTC was seriously magical. I loved every second of it. We had three different devotionals that we went to that day. At the first devotional, we got to hear from Elder Oaks and hear his cute family play some musical numbers. Elder Oaks quoted the Apostle Paul when he said; "We need to give thanks is all things." We need to be grateful for this gospel for helping us become who we need to be and for giving us hope and second chances. We need to be grateful for commandments because commandments protect us and will help us stay on the path to our Heavenly Fathers presence. We need to be grateful for our trials and adversities because those trials help us gain the experience we were sent here to gain, they help make us strong, the help us become for like our Savior and our Heavenly Father. Give thanks in all things and live in thanksgiving daily for the THOUSANDS of blessings that God gives us daily. We are so incredibly blessed by our loving Heavenly Father. 

The other devotional we had was a bout what our service project would be that day. I've heard that it was on the news but I'm not actually sure. You may be able to Google, "Feeding Children Everywhere" service project, or MTC thanksgiving service project. It was really fun! We bagged up lentil casserole meals that should be able to feed six people with each bag. I had a blast doing it and I'm honestly so grateful that I got to spend a Thanksgiving in the MTC serving others like that. Apparently, the founders of the organization are not LDS, but they LOVE coming to the MTC on Thanksgiving because not only is it one of the biggest service opportunities the organization has in a year but the missionaries work so quickly, get so much done and they do it smiles on their faces. "Our gifts and talents are not for us, they were given to us to bless the lives of those around us". I know that to be true. Why would we be given strong bodies, big hearts and amazing talents if not to share our talents, lift others burdens and love others deeply. God answers our prayers through people, so my challenge this week is to think of someone that may be in need of your service, or your talents. Do this prayerfully and act on the thoughts that pop into your mind. You will be amazed where God can lead you, or who might have needed your help. 

The third devotional was a "grateful tribute" where we sang songs, watch videos and heard quotes and the numerous things God has blessed us with including: music, our bodies, our talents, this gorgeous earth, this gospel, prophets, our families and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The very last song was, "I Believe in Christ", every single missionary in the room stood when we sang that song and the Spirit that filled the room was incredible. My favorite line in that song is in the fourth (?) verse, it says: "I Believe in Christ, so come what may..." Through Christ, our Savior, brother and Redeemer, we can do ALL things. We can face ANY trial. We can achieve ANY goal. We can love ANY person. We can escape ANY addiction or trap that Satan has ensnared us in. Through Christ, we are made whole, we are made clean, we are lifted up and filled with joy. Another song that has hit home for for this week is, "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" (especially the version from 17 miracles, LOOK IT UP! It's so worth it.) "Savior, Redeemer of my soul. Whose mighty hands have made me whole. Whose wondrous power, has raised me up..." It's been stuck in my head for over a week and I don't even mind in the slightest. 

Anyway, I'm counting down the days until I get to be in Hong Kong. I'm so excited to share with them the joy of who our Heavenly Father and who are Savior is (and right in time for Christmas!) I'm also so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be on a mission. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father has let me be a part of His work and His purpose. I'm grateful for who He is turning me into, and that He gives me so many second chances when I fall short of what I should be doing. I'm grateful that He has blessed me with so many giving, loving and supportive people in my life. 

I hope you all have an amazing week! And I will be sharing a picture of the "tree of life" that we have here at the MTC because it is officially Christmas month for Sister Adams here at the MTC.