Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas, again!

Sorry this letter won't be everything I wish it could be cuz we don't have very much time. We're going to the beach! :D But I'll share a little of my testimony and some things that I wrote in my President's letter.
I LOVE being a missionary! I wish I could say I've loved it every single second, but what's most important is that I've made it through--that the Atonement has covered for those parts that were harder than I thought they should've been, and that the Lord has been involved in the details from the beginning. I've grown to love and trust the Savior so much more. I'm so grateful for the Atonement, that has made up for all my imperfections and will continue to make all things right in the end. What a marvelous gift and promise. I'm doing to keep doing my best and, as I learned in personal study this morning, that we ought to walk as He walked. I'm determined to keep helping people live righteous lives focused on the Savior and helping people recieve the restored gospel. That's what I'm here to do, and I'm grateful for the reminders I've had over the last few days.
I'm so excited for this new year and the changes that I'm still going to make to be a better servant of the Lord. I feel so motivated and encouraged to be the missionary I've always wanted to be, and I'm determined to work in faith to be the missionary the Lord has exptected of me. I LOVE Gangshan and I'm SO grateful to serve there, to bring less active people back into full activity enjoying all the blessings of the gospel, and to see the miracles of finding people the Lord has prepared to receive the restored gospel in Gangshan.
Sister Chu is doing so good and is SO strong. I know the Lord has been strengthening her a lot. I love being companions with her. Also, just to let you know, our recent convert passed away this week. Her husband is also SO strong and is determined to go to the temple to be sealed to his precious wife. The mother, however, has been devastated and it was a precious experience to be able to be there for her (the last time we visited the hospital) and just hold her in my arms and let her cry on my shoulder. "Comfort those that stand in need of comfort." She has since said that she's willing to have the missionaries come visit their family. We gave that referral to the QianZhen Elders at the Christmas activity. The Lord works in miraculous ways. I'm just so grateful for the Plan of Salvation that puts things into perspective and for the Atonement that makes everything right.
I love the gospel. I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I love you all SO much!!
Sister Morey

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wow, time has flown by and it's already Christmas again!! It really snuck up on me this year--I guess I just lose all track of time (like I totally forgot which day was my year mark and didn't realize it until the day after, haha). 

Thank you SOOOO much for that WAY fun Christmas package! You should've seen my face when I opened it up :) I was seriously like a little kid in awe and just beaming with joy. I carefully made a "Christmas Corner" in our study room where all the presents are sitting, along with the stocking I saved from last year that is now filled with all the candy and small gifts from the package. They're going to be sitting under the ribbon Christmas tree, once I find time to put it up! Most likely tonight :) I'll send you pictures of it next week before I open all the presents :) Sister Zhu and I have also been enjoying a Christmas Advent activity from the Christensens. Every day has a card with a scripture and a Christmas song to sing, as well as a piece of candy to eat! The sad/happy thing is that Sister Zhu has an ulcer so she can't eat any of it... so I get more to eat... and to share with others :P I'll just have to share more of my Christmas candy at the Mission Activity this week so I don't get sick off of it myself! Yay! :D

This month's mission goal has been to have every companionship baptize and rescue. It's been such a sweet experience to go out and find many less actives that are so ready and willing to come back and experience the full blessings of the gospel. I was so happy yesterday to see 4 people that we had invited back to church there at Sacrament Meeting yesterday. If that's not a happy Christmas present, I don't know what is! It was also a sweet experience last night to go on splits with some Relief Society sisters. We went to go visit some sisters who didn't come to church yesterday and shared a little Christmas message with them. We gave them some pictures of Jesus Christ as a baby with a note with a whole bunch of scriptures about Jesus Christ glued onto the back. They were really touched and said they'd read their scriptures more diligently, starting with those scriptures about Christ. It is such a joy to bring people closer to Christ, especially as we celebrate His birth.

As my dear Mission President reminded us, the message we share is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from death and sin. This message has been particularly meaningful to me lately as I've seen how much this message means to some dear people around me. Last Monday one of our recent converts has a serious accident (the cause is still not quite known) that caused her brain to hemmorage and has been in a coma for a week now. She had to have surgery to have part of her scull removed to relieve the pressure. She is basically brain dead and we have all been heartbroken by the tragedy. Her husband, also a new member (they've only been married for 3 months and baptized for 1 month) has been acceptionally strong as he's faced this trial. We went to the hospital on Thursday with him and some other members to visit her and I was so touched that everything that came out of his mouth was full of faith. He knew Heavenly Father was watching over his precious wife and that if she left, she would be going to the Celestial Kingdom. I was even more touched yesterday as we showed up to church and we saw him practicing with the ward choir for their musical number. I can hardly believe his faith and diligence in giving service to others and to the Lord, despite the tragedy. Not more than 2 hours ago, my companion also recieved a call saying that her father had passed away. I was floored at her response. Her mom (non-member) asked how she could stay so calm and she answered, "Because I know the Plan of Salvation. I know where those who die go." What comfort and peace the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement bring to people, especially to know that life goes on, all because of Jesus Christ.

I know that this gospel is true, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that I get to share this message of comfort and peace with others around me. I hope that each of you will have a special Christmas too. I'll get to be there next year with you :) Have a Merry Christmas, and I'll talk to you soon!!

All my love, Sister Morey

Monday, December 12, 2011

There's Nothing the Atonement Can't Heal, December 12

Oh my goodness, it has been such a crazy week! But the Lord has been blessing us so much here in this new area. The members have been wishing, hoping and praying for Sister Missionaries for years and there isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't tell us that. It's a really interesting challenge starting an area from scratch, but we've got some awesome Elders, really helpful ward counsel and a "duan chuan" (short-term missionary) Lin Jie Mei. She's from this area so she knows it really well and has been helping us learn the ropes here. It's been really helpful because she knows where people live so when we go to visit people there's already people we know of that are in the area to drop by and visit. She's preparing to serve a mission in Germany so this has been good for both us and her. She's getting a great experience of missionary work before she hits the field, or even the MTC! She has an incredibly strong testimony and conviction of the truth as well as a sweet, tender, loving heart and an attitude of service. She does the dishes for Sister Zhu and I all the time because we're always so busy doing other things and getting a ton of stuff organized. I love her and Sister Zhu so much!

Some of the most precious experiences this week have come from visiting less-active members and helping them come back into the "arms of safety." There's one sister who we had no idea who she was but Sister Zhu found her on the ward list and had a feeling we needed to go visit her. When we showed up on her doorstep she was really timid and opened the door just enough to poke her head out. It was amazing what happened over the next few minutes as we just expressed our love for her and that she doesn't need to worry about anything and that we were going to help her. Even though we knew nothing about her or her situation the Spirit spoke to us that her heart was really broken and needed mending. I turned to D&C18:10, 15 about the worth of souls and there was such a special spirit there. I was also so grateful that I had 2 native companions with me because when this precious sister expressed guilt for still drinking milk tea they both chimed in with a good substitute and said that we'd come over one day and help her make it! They are both such tender, loving sisters and I'm so grateful that they knew how to relate to her in a special way.

We later found out that she's been struggling from depression, anxiety and has no self confidence. She hardly goes outside because she's scared of anyone taking advantage of her. Oh, how these precious souls, especially these tender-hearted daughters of God get tortured inside by the tricks and lies of Satan and the evil influences all around! It's so heartbreaking, but it just goes to show the protection the gospel brings and the very real healing power of the Atonement. When we went back to visit her a few days later she opened up to us even more and we shared spiritual experiences, cried together and assured her that she is a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father and that we were going to help her. I'm so grateful for the Gospel. There's no other way to be fully healed from the scars of life than through the Atonement of Christ and His Restored Gospel. I know because I've been saved by it before. I'm so grateful I now have the opportunity to reach out and lift others out of the depths of despair and depression and bring them into the light of the gospel and the tender, loving arms of the Savior.

After learning more about the situations of a few other sisters we're working with Sister Zhu raised the question "Why does God let such bad things happen to such good people?" I had just read a scripture that morning that said it convicts the wicked and justifies God in punishing them, which I told her, but I didn't think that was all. As we continued to talk I felt the Spirit help me understand that there is nothing another person's agency can do that the Atonement can't heal. The bad things that happen in our lives give us opportunities to come unto the Savior to be healed. Otherwise if there was nothing that needed mending in our lives we would have absolutely no appreciation (or need) for the Atonement. But despite what tragedies that happen in our lives, the choices we make, or how evil the world is around us, if we come unto the Savior we can be mended, healed and strengthened. And that is my purpose as a missionary, to find those people whose hearts are open, broken and seeking for that healing power and bring them to the Savior. We've felt His help so much as we've been led to those who are seeking for that healing power.

I love being a missionary so much. I love the Lord with all my heart and I'm so grateful to be in His service. I know the Gospel is true with all my heart! I love each one of you so much as well and hope with all my heart that we can be together in the Celestial Kingdom forever. I'm working towards that goal!

All my love, Sister Morey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gang Shan... The Final Frontier... To Go Where No Sister Has Gone Before

Guess what?! I'm opening a new area!! I got the call on Saturday night that my new companion, Sister Zhu (who has been serving nearby so I know her well already), and I would be moving to Gang Shan together to open the area for Sisters. President Bishop said that the Branch is small but has been growing rapidly and he gave us the special mandate to baptize enough people that they would have to split because the chapel is too small! What an adventure! Of course I was absolutely heartbroken to leave where my heart has been for the past 7 months, but Sister Zhu and I are excited for this special assignment.

This past week has been wonderful. I got to go on Sister Exchanges with Sister Vandegrift (from West Bountiful, Utah), who is a trainee. She is so sweet and it was so wonderful to be able to encourage her and assure her that she was doing a wonderful job as a missionary. I remember what it was like--it's stressful being a new missionary! Trying to get a handle on everything all at once. It was a precious opportunity to serve and strengthen her, and make a new friend. We had a great time, including having a REAL Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to a less active here who is from America (of course Sister Gibson was bummed she missed out on that one). It was SOOOO good and I was shocked that it was so "feng fu" (plentiful) even though he's a single man and an English teacher, and he'd never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before! It was just like home :) ... well, almost. We got enough leftovers to have 3 more rounds over the next week!

It was heartbreaking to leave everyone yesterday, especially my recent converts. Zhou jie mei was so hilarious, as she always is, and brought us cold, smushed apple pies from McDonalds that I'm sure were a day old, wrapped in felt so they were all hairy when we unwrapped them, HAHA. She often brings us random food from what seems like McDonalds but has been re-packaged and re-distributed, sometimes as free-floating chicken nuggets amongst some hamburgers and then a few more buns with just mayo on them! It makes Sister Gibson and I laugh so hard every time. We find it quite endearing. Anyway, she shared a precious testimony about how her conversion all started because I loved her so much. She started treating her family differently and then when they, in turn, treated her differently as well, whe wondered why and then realized it was because of the influence of the gospel. She said she was so touched that I would say I love her every day, and through that love she was able to feel God's love. Now she's a strong, active member and absolutely loves the gospel and wants to share it with her family. That was such a tender moment for me. Lin jie mei (the one with cancer who most recently got baptized) also cried when we had to say goodbye. I love her so much! I'm so grateful the Lord blessed me to be able to serve in San Min for so long and to be a part of these precious people's lives.

Today has also been a HUGE blessing moving from San Min to Gang Shan. Heavenly Father helped the packing go smoothly, and all the last minute things we had to get done before I left were also completed in good time. Sister Zhu and I met at our apartment and traveled together, with Sister Gibson (we dropped her off at the train station to meet her next companion, who is my previous companion Sister Smith who got booted out after 2 1/2 weeks for Sister Gibson to be trained here... but now she gets to come back!) on the MRT, with our bikes. It was quite the adventure! We were so excited when we got off the subway and saw our new area, and we were surprised it was a little cooler as well. We're definitely getting out the winter clothes!

Even though we had absolutely no idea where we were going, we found our house very quickly (asking for people's help on the road). It is such a nice apartment! It will be really nice to have a completely new start here. We had to go get a few supplies (broom, pillows, stuff like that) and by the end of our shopping trip we had accumulated so much stuff that there was no way to get it home on our bikes, but the miracle was that the people at the store offered to take it home for us. We were shocked! Heavenly Father is already blessing us so much. I've just never seen so many huge cockroaches in my life!

I love you all, and I'm glad you all got to attend the Christmas Devotional together.

All my Love,

Sister Morey