Monday, October 31, 2016

Oct 30, 2016" Trick or Preach"

Surprise! Our P-day got moved from Monday to Saturday for this week because we are having some mission wide Halloween events happening on Monday. 

This week: 
I served in the Humanitarian center for the first time on Tuesday! It was a little bit scary. For our first tour, every time I would talk, my brain would get nervous and spout out false facts.  Then I would look at Sister Parks to take it away. I feel like I understand the new sisters a little bit better now. I feel so for them. 

The Humanitarian Center is the place where all of the Humanitarian efforts of the church are concentrated. At first I didn't understand why we had tours there, but apparently there were just a lot of rich and important people that wanted to know what the church did with its money, and wanted to contribute, so we started having organized tours through there so anyone who wants to know exactly where the tithing donations and humanitarian aid donations go, can know. 

The motto of the humanitarian efforts of the church is: "help people to help themselves." Other than providing basic human necessities to people throughout the world (food, clean water, clothes, medical supplies, hygiene kits, wheelchairs, neonatal resuscitation training, vaccinations, and vision care) there is a really cool program where the humanitarian center hires refugees, immigrants, and local citizens who need language training and job experience. The associates who are part of the welfare program are paid for to take English classes and run the humanitarian center. These associates are in the humanitarian center for a couple months to a year, and taught how to find a well paying job elsewhere with a reputable employer. 

God is so perfect and knowledgeable that he has shown us not just how to serve people, but how to take care of people long term. Service isn't a one-time feel-good project. If we serve the right way, we can help people find long term resolutions. God doesn't just want us to be happy for a moment, he wants us to have eternal happiness. 

Our tiny district from last transfer got famous!

Autumn 🍂 

My companion getting a perm. Missionaries are basically nuns anyways (disclaimer: they are not) 

Sister Kaede Takeshige 

Oct 25, 2016 " Big Friendly Giant"


I got a new companion! Her name is Sister Parks, and she is from Oklahoma. This is her last transfer, so this will be the fourth companion that I send home.

Sister Parks is 6 ft/182 cm tall.

(That's not me in the picture with her)

Sisters Parks is a Big Friendly Giant. She is the friendliest human being I have ever met. At the beginning of the transfer I had a kajillion questions to ask her, because we have some assignments that are new for me, like serving in the Humanitarian Center. Sister Parks very patiently answered every single one of them, without any frustration or hint of annoyance. Every single person that she talks to seems to be interested in everything she has to say. She is a great missionary because people can just feel the love that she has for them. People accept Book of Mormons from her and accept to continue learning about the church because Sister Parks is magical. 

The Humanitarian Center is a part of the welfare program of the church. It's where all of the items donated to the church are sorted and packed to be shipped to all parts of the world. It's also a place for many people who are in need of job skills to be trained. There is one set of Temple Square missionaries who are assigned to be there one day of the week, so that people who are curious about the Humanitarian efforts of the church can go and learn and take tours with us.

I'm serving there for the first time tomorrow, so more details to follow.

We also had the opportunity to take a group of International missionaries from the Missionary Training Center around Temple Square today. The MTC teacher asked an interesting question today while we were in the Conference Center: "How does your purpose as a missionary relate to the purpose or role of a Prophet?" 

And my companion said, "It's the same." 

That made me think quite a bit. Our missionary purpose is "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." As we listen to the Prophet and apostles and other church leaders speak, we are motivated to change, repent, and improve. Those feelings we feel as we listen to them are the same feelings that our investigators feel when we talk to them. That makes me happy because this last General Conference, I really was humbled and shown many ways that I can change and become better. I was excited to receive those revelations. 

So yeah. That's what happened this week. 

This is the only other thing: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Oct 19, 2016 "WHAT TIME IS IT?!"


This week:

We went to a service project where we helped out with Special Olympics Utah, where we got to wear pants. But we found out right before the service project that Sister Sookhoo and I won't be companions anymore so this was our face the entire time:

Which means no more of this for me:

And then the other night we saw a group congregating near this sign:

And we asked them, "Are you going to watch Meet the Mormons?" to which they replied, 

"Oh, it's a movie?"

I guess they had been waiting by that sign to try to meet a real live Mormon at 7:30 pm. 

And then Sister Carrasco, our famous district member on the cover of the Ensign, had her birthday so we feasted. 

Then Sister Sookhoo and I took the Zone Leaders on a tour so they could evaluate our teaching skills. We call that "passing off". Every time a sister passes off, she gets a coupon for a free meal at the Lion House, so we feasted again:



(This is the exact spot where Troy Bolton gets off of the school bus after winter break and reunites with his basketball homies)

(This is the exact spot where Sharpay tells Zeke, the creme brulee guy to "disappear")

(This is the spot where all of the children of East High confessed their secret hobbies and they get told to stick to the status quo)

(This is the famous spot where Troy and Gabriella performed all of their duets and let everybody know that they're breaking free)

The best part: East High's theater kids are performing "High School Musical" in November for the 10 year anniversary of the original Disney movie being released, and we got to watch them rehearse. Utah friends, please go watch it and support their adorable cause. 

It was a good week not only because we did all of these fun things, but also because Sister Sookhoo and I worked extra hard to make our last week amazing. I feel really proud of how much we have grown these past six weeks in being bold, working hard, and teaching clearly. We have gone through our struggles and our low self esteems, but this week it all paid off, and we have found so many goooolden people who say that they have been LOOKING for this message of a loving God, and living prophets. 

The work is good my friends. 

My p-day will be Monday starting from next week. 

So long, friends. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oct 12, 2016 "Making Friends"

While General Conference is happening at Temple Square, the Temple Square missionaries have to walk around and talk to people and be missionaries, so it wasn't until this week that we actually got to listen to conference. Actually we've only gotten through one and a half sessions, but so far it's been AMAZING. 

On Friday while we were walking around the square, we ran into Elder Uceda, who gave a talk called "The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray" during conference. He talked about how a prayer with God is such a sacred moment. 

"At the very moment we say, “Father in Heaven,” He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy—love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, “Father in Heaven.”

"So a moment of prayer is a very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, “No, I will not listen to you now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.” Only men do that. He is not one to say, “Oh, you cannot imagine how busy I am now.” Only men say that."

(Read complete talk here.)

When we saw Elder Uceda on the square, we shook his hand, told him that he gave a great talk. He was so sweet! He smiled peered over his glasses like Dumbledore, and said, "Everyday, Jesus is still teaching me how to pray. It was so nice to visit with you sisters. Goodbye!"

Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I don't actually want to pour out my heart to God. Sometimes my prayers aren't so much a conversation with God. Sometimes it's just a "hi, thank you, goodbye." Even though sometimes my prayers are so insincere and rushed and mediocre, as a missionary, I feel like God's loving hand is in my life guiding me anyways. 

Tired (mostly because we have eaten to much sugar (see zebra popcorn))

Church's welfare program casually producing 4000 loaves of bread a day 

I made a friend. She had Sasquatch leggings.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oct 5, 2016 "The Mormon Convention"

This week! 

On Wednesday we had zone conference which, as always, was inspiring. At the beginning of 2016 the Temple Square mission set a goal of having 1016 people that we meet and send to local missionaries be baptized int he year of 2016. The goal was estimated to be accomplished by the end of the year. Last week as we reached the end of September, we had already reached 1021. Yay! We are quite obviously very different from other missions and this could not have been accomplished if not for the hard work of the other missionaries all over the world (of course of course we know). However, it's amazing to know that so far in 2016, we met 1021 people that decided that the message we share as disciples of Jesus Christ was something good, and something they needed. I love my mission. I am in love with my mission. 

In this zone conference we mostly discussed raising our goal for the year, and what we need to do to accomplish it. I really learned a lot about how much we need to change ourselves and sanctify ourselves if we want to see more miracles on Temple Square. 

Another cool thing was that this weekend was General Coooonfereeeeeeeeence!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought a lot about how last October conference was my first week out in Temple Square, and what an excited and scared little poop I was. I didn't know anything yet, and I'm amazed that Sister Burgoyne and I made it through last conference alive. 

We were at the Beehive House on Saturday taking tours in Brigham's dinky little house, and then suddenly the waiting room goes from an average of 10ish people at a time to literally 100 people squished all together and pouring out the front door and all around the front porch. It was quite frightening, but we figured it out. There was a point where we had to switch the tour system and I was stationed by Brigham Young's bedroom and talk about polygamy for 3 hours straight. It was pretty neat, because at the end of the day, I realized that I really truly do know: 1. prophets are real. 2. God gives us commandments for our benefit. 3. That Brigham Young practicing polygamy was a sacred calling he received to bless the lives of many of God's children. 4. We need to stop being embarrassed and sorry about this part of church history because it's a real and sacred thing that happened. 

You're all probably sick of me talking about polygamy by now, but none of you are probably even still reading this incredibly long e-mail anyways, so whatever. 

I don't even know where I'm going with this e-mail... So here are some pictures:

Isaiah of old used a ball point pen

Photographic evidence that I met the Sandall family:

(I am their #1 fan)

Sister Hug modeling some brownies 

I am embarrassed and sad to say that this is the only picture that I have of us attending the Sunday afternoon session