Monday, April 25, 2016

The One With The Wise Man And The Foolish Man

Hello fellow readers! here is Mindy's email this week! enjoy :)

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man


Not much to say this week because I don't have much time but wow, this week went fast. It was Sister Takahashi's last full week here in Hong Kong so we were busy saying goodbye to people, eating food and preaching the gospel (of course!). Saying goodbye is ROUGH but I'm excited to hear of her next adventures. She leaves this thursday so you'll be hearing next Monday about my new companion.

Let's just say that the realization that I am now the only missionary in my area that has been there longer than two months is a little terrfying. Sister Takahashi has served in this area for over 11 months total in her mission and I will admit that I relied on her expertise A LOT. God knows us very well though because with Sister Takahashi being the Sister Training Leader, I've had to do a lot of the work in the area without her help, and that's probably going to be a lifesaver once she leaves. The amount of trust that God has in His missionaries is overwhelming to think about, sometimes you feel like you're not worthy of that trust but I know now that if God has called me to do something, He knows I can do it and He'll support me in my efforts.

The theme of this week (accidentally in our case, but guided by God for sure) was the story of the wise man and the foolish man from the Children's Primary song book. The wise man builds his house upon the rock and because he had that firm foundation, when the storm hits, he was safe and so was his house. The foolish man builds his house on the sand and because of that choice, when the storms hits, the foolish man loses his home. We all know how important having a home is and we should be doing everything we can to protect our homes and to make sure that we, ourselves, are built on a firm foundation so that when the storms hit our homes and our families. When temptations come, when tragedies hit, or when trials come your way, you are able to withstand anything AND help those you love withstand all those problems as well. I encourage you all the read Helamen 5:12 and 3 Nephi 14: 24-28 (? something like that) and think about how you can strength your foundation on Christ.

I love you all. I hope you all have the chance to do something amazing this week!

Love, Sister Adams

P.S. I hiked Lions Rock again this week and remembered to bring my own camera so I'll give you some pics. We were sitting on clouds today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The One Where Sister Mindy Shares Her Wisdom

Mindy has been out for 6 months now! can you believe how fast the time has gone?! only one more year left for this wonderful missionary. Here is this week's email. It's a really good one! enjoy :)

10 things I've learned on my mission so far

10 things I've learned on my mission so far

Wow! 6 months down and only 1 year to go. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I cannot believe how short the time has been and how much I have grown and learned in such a short period of time.

Since I have six months under my belt and I'm SUPER experienced now (HA!), here are some things I have learned so far:

1. You may be a missionary, but you are also still a person and your taste is style and food does NOT change. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring clothes that you love and that you feel comfortable in. Bring enough bras. Bring enough T-shirts and bring p-day/barbeque shoes (i.e. vans or converse). I will forever regret not bringing my converse and not bringing enough bras. It's not fun to have to ask your mom for stuff because you didn't pack well. Also, dresses, skirts and shirts that you don't have to wear undershirts with, or slips with are heaven sent. If you go shopping, buy the quality stuff that you don't need all the layers for, it's not worth the sweat or the discomfort.

2. On that same note, PLEASE invest in some waterproof stuff. The Hong Kong mission call packet will tell you to bring rainboots, DON'T. That packet is lying to you. You will not use big, heavy rainboots here. It's too hot and you'll be wasting precious suitcase weight. Invest in waterproof flats or short, waterproof boots. Also, waterproof makeup is NECESSARY. You sweat, you cry, it's humid everyday, and it RAINS. Also, thin rain jackets are amazingly handy in the winter/spring-time. Buy one.

3. Panda Express is NOT real chinese food. Sorry. It's just not. They eat weird stuff here. Fish bladders, fish eyes, chicken feet, pig intestines... you name it, they probably eat it. That being said, there are some INCREDIBLY yummy foods here so don't freak out too much. (I promise I'm well fed, Mom.)

4. You're not perfect and you never will be. Mistakes happen, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Learn from them and move yourself right along. There is no use holding those things inside and letting them eat at you. The power of the Atonement through repentence is real. It's hard but it's worth it. Have faith, have trust and LET IT GO.

5. The places that you teach in are not always going to be the best places to feel the spirit. You preach on the train, the bus, the bathroom, and in the store next to the pigs faces. You preach in dirty, dark houses where kids are running around and screaming. You have to either make it work or find somewhere else to teach. If you are trying your best to bring the spirit, they will fell it. But I'm warning you now, it's not always easy. It takes effort, concentration and prayer but you can do it.

6. Commitments are important. If YOU as the missionary are not giving these people commitments or things to do until the next meeting, then you are failing at your purpose. These people cannot change until you help them know how to do it. They can only recieve a witness after the trail of their faith, so TELL THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR FAITH. And please follow-up at the next visit. Following up is crucial and can lead to some powerful and spiritual lessons.

7. The powers of Heaven are real but you need to be willing to make some sacrafices in order to really see the benefits and to be able to use them. We all come on our missions carrying unnecessary things. We have specific diets that we like, boyfriends/girlfriends,nicely shaved legs, sick or troubled family members, or clothing that we just can't give up.. whatever it is, you know what I'm talking about. It's standing between you and your success as a missionary. Let it go. This is something that I am still working on because as it turns out, there are many things that need to be sacrificed when you're a missionary and some things are harder to give up than others. It's worth it. The changes that I have seen thus far are incredible and the light that shines in others eyes when they feel God's love and use the power of Christ's Atonement is worth the sacrafices.

8. "This work can be summarized into one word and that is LOVE". This was a quote said at my zone training (which are awesome) by a missionary that is going home this month. It is 100% true. Why else would we spend 18 months to 2 years in a strange place, eating strange food and missing our families? Why else would we walk around in the rain, in the snow, in the 100 degree, humid heat? It's because we love our Savior. We love our Heavenly Father. We love every single person on this earth because they are our brothers and sisters and we want to see them happy and home with us again. If you don't love, you can't do this work. There is no way. The testimonies won't have power. The time here is wasted if there is no love involved (See 1 Corinthians 13). "Charity NEVER faileth." and that's a promise.

9. "This is not YOUR work". Sadly, this was said to me by my trainer the other day when I was feeling fear instead of faith. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to get you off the ground and loving others again. As I said earlier, you WILL make mistakes, but God trusts you. He knows you can do this or He wouldn't have let the prophet call you. This is His work. He is at the head of it. HE is the one preparing these people, baptizing these people, helping these people find truth. YOU are just the instrument. You are nothing without Him, so get off the ground, shake it off, say a prayer and keep moving. Remember how blessed you are to have been given the privilege to help God in His work. The be a part of His "work and glory". It's not about you anymore.

10. Jesus is THE Christ. There's a song that the Mormon Tabernacle choir sings called "He is the Christ". The lyrics were written by President Faust. Part of the song states' "HE is the Christ! The holy Son of God. The Savior and Redeemer of us all." I cannot tell you how often that song rings through my mind and my soul as I walk the streets of Hong Kong everyday. I do not have the words in English or Chinese to tell you how much that statement REALLY means to me, but I want you to know that I KNOW that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He is our Brother. He is our Redeemer. He is the LIGHT and the LIFE of this world and of my life.

I'm grateful for these last 6 months. I'm grateful for the trials I've had. I'm grateful for the joyful times I've had. I'm grateful for the times I've been humbled, been amazing, been uplifted and for the times that I've been able to "feel my Saviors love in all the world around me". Being a missionary is hard, but I'm loving every minute of it.

I hope that you all have a fantastic week. My invitation to you this week is to so something to support the missionaries in your area. Feed them, help them teach a lesson, pray for them... whatever it is. We are ALWAYS grateful for whatever help we get.


Sister Adams

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The One Where Mindy Talks About General Conference

Hello fellow readers/bloggers,
here is Miss Sister Mindy Mint's emails for the week! i didn't forget this week :) i hope you enjoy

Out with the cold and in with the heat
Hello Everybody!

How's everyone doing this week? 

General Conference was incredible and inspiring! I hope that all of you felt the same way! General Conference on the mission was definitely different than General Conference at home. The whole stake gathers here to watch the Conference recordings, which means that all the missionaries also gather together and we get to watch it together in English. The members watched it downstairs in the chapel in Cantonese and we, english speakers, gathered upstairs in the primary room to watch it. In between sessions, we missionaries would wander downstairs to check on investigators or to mingle with members and would eat the food that we all packed with us. It was really incredible to see people from all over the world mingling together to watch the Prophet and the Apostles preach about Christ and guide us closer to Christ. It was a spiritually and physically uplifting weekend. 

I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to see the General Women's conference yet but WOW. That choir brought me to tears. The messages were very powerful as well but when the choir made up of girls, young women and relief society women from ALL over the world stood there and sang "I am a Child of God", I'll admit, I was in tears. I'm pretty sure the whole room was. THAT right there is EXACTLY what it means to be child of God. Everyone was equal, singing in the same language, there were women and girls holding hands, there were women with cancer, women with disabilities. It was incredible. It was beautiful. I am proud to be a child of God. I am proud to be a women. I am proud to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

The whole message of the General Women's Conference was about service. It talked about using your talents and gifts to do what you can for those around you. Because we are all children of God, we need to understand that we all have the same goal as every other person on this earth. Our goal, which is chose in the pre-earth life, it to become like God, Eternal and Almighty. In order to achieve that goal (which is a HUGE goal) we HAVE to have help. There is no way that we can achieve that goal on our own, we're too mortal, we're too unintelligent (sad but true) and we're too prideful. With the help of those brothers and sisters around us and with the help of our Older Brother, Jesus Christ, we can and WILL achieve that goal. We, as brothers and sisters, need to be more willing to lend a hand. We need to have more charity. We need to look for more opportunities to serve and we need to be less judgmental. This world is hard enough without all the criticism that flies around. 

My challenge to each of you this week is to join me in studying about Charity. Read some talks, read 1 Corinthians 13 and insert your name into the verses, it will show you where you have room for improvement. My second invitation is to watch the General Women's Conference and ponder about what gifts and talents you already have. Pray for ways to develop and share those gifts more. And ask Heavenly Father to help you develop more gifts. 

My funny for the week is that because General Conference is past, we missionaries can start using our air-conditioning units and the Elders are allowed to walk around without their suit coats on. This is funny because it was literally two or three weeks ago that I was still walking around with a coat, wrapped in a blanket with the heater on in my apartment and now we HAVE to have the fans on in the apartment or we die of heat. So, out with the cold heart and in with the warm hands, ready to care and ready to share what gifts we have to give. 

I love you all. Never doubt that you ARE a child of God. He's well aware of you. He's given you special, and unique talents, spend some time to think about them and I promise you'll recognize them. 

Sister Adams

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The One Where I Spaced And So You Get To Read Two Emails From Mindy!

Sorry everyone, it's been a hectic two weeks. YOU GET TO SEE TWO EMAILS THIS WEEK THOUGH!! yay?? hahaha
enjoy! we love this missionary sooo freakin much! we're so happy she writes diligently every week!

last week's email...

The Magic of Prioritizing

Hello Everybody! 

HAPPY EASTER! I hope everyone's Easter was restful and full of remembering our Savior. 

I forgot my planner this morning so I can't give you as many specifics as I usually do but I'll do my best. This email will probably be pretty short because you'll hear from me again on Monday. I had a weird P-Day this week because I got to go to the temple today! :) I never thought I would miss a place as much as I miss going to the temple. As a missionary, I'm only able to go once a transfer (9 weeks), which means I'm much more spoiled than a lot of people in the world but boy do I miss the temple the other 60 something days that I can't go. Those of you that have a temple near you, I hope and pray that you are taking advantage of that gift, especially for those of us that don't have it so readily available to us. You have the opportunity to serve so many people and you'll be doing yourself a service as well. 

Alright, so, other than temples because incredibly sacred and spiritually magical, my week and a half has been awesome, but I'll admit a little slow. We had so many people cancel on us and/or just not schedule us all together. It was a little frustrating but, it was a good faith builder because that meant we had to spend our time street finding, less-active finding, and doing administrative work that we haven't had time to do in weeks. The lessons that we did end up having this week,  were all lessons that I think will stick out in my mind for a while. We have a lot of investigators and less-actives in our mission that will meet with the missionaries every week but won't make any progress. Sister Takahashi and I have been working really hard to break this streak and get them to keep at least ONE commitment. 

So, we've had to take a look at our teaching style and figure out where we can change, what we can improve and how we can teach more like the Savior does. There's one lesson that we had yesterday, that sticks out to me today. It was with a less-active named Ann. We've been meeting with her almost every week since I got here and I have yet to see her come to church (this sadly isn't uncommon). This week we focused more on her, on talking to her about her life, her interests, her struggles. Rather than teach her about doctrine that WE thought she needed to hear, we ended up teaching what GOD needed her to hear. We taught her the magic of prioritizing. When we put God first, put His commandments first, everything else in our day falls into place. If you start your day with a prayer, end your day with a prayer, read your scriptures, and keep God's commandments everyday, the difference that it makes in your life is astounding.  I had a lesson like this when I was in high school, I was struggling a lot with balancing time, I was constantly sick because of lack of sleep and my grades were quickly dropping. My young women leader challenged us to take a look at our life and see what small changes we could make, and then testified to us that prioritizing God first makes all the difference. 

I, too, can testify that when we make the small changes in our life and show God through our actions that we love Him and that we're willing to TRY, He will bless us with the time we need to do everything we NEED to do and even everything we want to do. This is all because He is a loving Heavenly Father. He wants to bless us. He wants us to have happiness. He wants us to achieve our dreams. We just need to be humble enough to accept that we need His help to do it all and we need His help to have true happiness. 

I'm grateful for my Savior and for His perfect example. His example in how to be a better teacher, leader, friend, sibling, child.. better everything, is one that we should strive to emulate. He's already given us so much guidance. I invite you all to analyze your life and see what small changes you can make to bring you closer to following HIs example better. 

I love you all, 
Sister Adams. 

this week's email....

"It's not an exchange unless you have an adventure."
Hello Everybody!

How is it already April? I have no idea. I ask myself this everyday.

CONFERENCE WEEKEND!! For all of you stateside people! How was it? I'm so excited to watch it this weekend even if it is a weekend behind. Words from God spoken by the mouth of a LIVING prophet. What could be more exciting than that? If General Conference does not show you that we have a loving Heavenly Father than you haven't prepared yourself properly. I will admit, before my mission, I took General Conference for granted. I'd get on my phone. I'd fall asleep. I can't tell you a time where I watched all of the Saturday session on a Saturday, but don't make my mistakes! Don't take this incredible blessing that God has given us for granted. It truly is incredible that we get to hear a living prophet tell us God's will and that we get evidence that God still speaks to His children today and is VERY aware of our earthly situations. He's very aware of every question, doubt, fear and joy that we have. If we prepare ourselves properly, God will answer our every questions, help give us courage and build up our faith.

If you haven't noticed, every lesson that I have been teaching in the past week and every lesson that I will teach this coming week is centered around prophets, God's love, faith and General Conference. Every single one of these topics is related in such a way that it's hard to teach one without teaching about the other. My testimony and undertanding of these principles is strengthened and enlarged everytime I share about it, it really has been an incredible week.

My companion, Sister Takahashi, is a Sister Training Leader. Which means that she has to go to A LOT of meetings. A LOT. So, I get to go on exchanges with other missionaries A LOT. It's been quite the growing and learning experience for me. I've learned a lot about my weaknesses and a lot about my strengths. I feel like I have three companions rather than just one. It's interesting to see how other people do missionary work, because as we all know, there is not just ONE method of doing missionary work, but there is only one way to have success and that's the Lord's way. I have had many opportunities to learn from others methods and to try to apply them into my own work.

This week (actually is may have been last week) Sister Ng, my "second" companion, got to stay at my apartment with my for the night. When we got home that night to prepare for bed, we went into the bedroom and found that the walls were covered in moss and little flies (very weird and gross). We thus decided to move all of the mattresses out of the bedroom and put them on the floor in the living room (See picture above). When Sister Takahashi came home the next night, she and I had the pleasure of bleaching the walls to prevent the moss from growing further and killing all the bugs. We had to sleep on the floor for a couple of days until the bleach smell went away, it felt like camping. LOL! Welcome to Hong Kong where it is so humid that if you aren't careful, moss will grow on your walls while your out proselyting. Sister Ng and I now have a saying when we're together (because crazy things like this always happen to us), "It's not an exchange unless you had an adventure".

I hope that you all are taking the adventures in life as they come and finding some way to learn something and to get a laugh out of them. Life is tough but if we're positive and try to understand why we have the trials we have, we are much more likely to have happiness in our lives and we're able to grow SO much. I hope that you all know that God will never give us "adventures" that we can't handle. He loves us to much to do that. But on the other hand, He knows us so well that He knows what we need to grow, to learn and He knows how we are going to handle the "adventures" we are given. Trust in Him and lean on Him and you will ALWAYS be able to get through any trial you are given.

I love you all. Enjoy General Conference and enjoy lifes "adventures".

Sister Adams

P.S. excuse my pajamas, we were prepping for bed when we fought the bleach that night.

sleeping on the floor of their apartment

ready to tackle the gross moss covered walls!