Sunday, May 20, 2012

Follow the Spirit (My Homecoming Report)

After being home for almost the equivalent of another transfer, I've posted my homecoming talk. I never had a script for my talk, just notes, so it's not exactly the same, but it tried to express the same ideas. In any case, these are some of the most important things I learned while serving as a full-time missionary.

When I left on my mission I was blessed to “return safely with an even stronger testimony.” I would like to share how my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ was strengthened through experiences on my mission using principles we can all apply.

I’ve learned that the most important thing we can ever do in our lives is follow the Spirit, because it is through the Spirit that we can receive individual help with the problems we face. In Preach My Gospel it states, “You will succeed in your work as you learn to receive and follow personal revelation,” so I really tried to understand how the Spirit works. I felt like Elder Scott was a mentor for me on my mission. Since he speaks a lot about the Spirit, I studied his words frequently and carefully. I was so blessed to listen to him speak at the MTC and I tried to apply his words throughout my mission. He said, “Spiritual guidance is direction, enlightenment, knowledge and motivation you receive from Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. It is personalized instruction adapted to your individual needs by One who understands them perfectly. Spiritual guidance is a gift of incomparable worth bestowed upon those who seek it, live worthy of it, and express gratitude for it.”

The first thing I learned about personal revelation on my mission is that prayer is more than talking to God, it’s talking with Him. My dear companion Sister Brownell taught me that principle through example. As we finished companionship prayer before going to bed she would often turn to me and say, “You know what I thought of during the prayer?...” and then go on to say how we could help an individual, or something we needed to remember to do, or even a nice compliment. Many times it didn’t have much to do with what we were actually praying about, but it would always be meaningful and relevant and many times sparked a conversation that helped us deal with particular issues at hand. I decided to follow her example and listen more during prayer, not just to the words, but to any feelings or thoughts that came to mind, and write them down, no matter how irrelevant they seemed. I never felt more like I was talking with Heavenly Father than I did when I listened and wrote my impressions while praying.

Some of my most spiritually intense experiences were in response to acting on those specific impressions I had received through prayer. I remember one really hard time when I was crying on my bed at night. Sister Brownell was so sweet and sat on my bed comforting me. I felt out of touch and was wondering what I could do to get back in tune. Sister Brownell asked, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” and I replied, “I don’t know.” But then a thought popped into my mind, find a scripture for Lu Jie Mei (one of our investigators at the time). I wrote that down and immediately felt calm. I kept thinking about what else I could do to help our investigators, and I received very specific instruction and felt very peaceful. I learned from that experience that sometimes we think we’re more lost than we actually are, and if we’ll listen to and act on even the tiniest thought (especially when it has to do with serving someone else), we can get right back in tune.

I soon learned the importance of putting those impressions into action. My dad, in one of his letters to me, shared a line from President Uchtdorf’s talk in the April 2011 Priesthood Session, which has become one of my mottos: “Turn your DO IT switch to the NOW position.” I also love Elder Scott’s similar words. “When you have been prompted by the Spirit to do something, inherent in that prompting is the assurance that you will be able to do it.” Promptings are not to be delayed. When Sister Brownell and I put all the impressions we wrote down into action, miracles started happening almost faster than we could take them! I literally felt my burdens being carried by the Lord. I remember one time kneeling in prayer and thinking, this must be what “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden. Take my yoke upon you, ...for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” feels like (Matthew 11:28-30). It was the busiest and most intense part of my mission, but it was not stressful.

Additionally I learned that when things come to and press on your mind, you should take care of it NOW. Don’t let it weigh on your mind anymore. So many times we have thoughts, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been wanting to call so-and-so,” or “I’ve always been meaning to do that.” Those thoughts, though seemingly insignificant or trivial enough to procrastinate are precisely the impressions that answer other people’s prayers, or even your own. I know when we write impressions down and put them into action NOW, that is when miracles happen.

I know sometimes when we feel we’re giving all we can, our trials still seem to be overwhelming and we may feel abandoned. At our Departing Missionary Devotional, each missionary shared their testimony and one Sister’s testimony expressed exactly my feelings at times during my mission. This is applicable to mothers who are weary or anyone who may not be feeling the Lord’s love and sustaining influence at the time. “There was a time when all I wanted was to feel the comforting power of the Atonement, to bear me up, to bind my wounds. I was pleading for it on my knees and in my heart daily but I wasn’t feeling it. Then I felt even more like a failure because I couldn’t feel it! But after a period of time I came to an epiphany: Christ had been by my side the whole way, not lifting me out of my troubles or binding my wounds, but giving me the strength and encouragement to get through it.” I learned more than anything that no matter what we’re feeling at the time, Christ is always there. I learned that there really are angels on your right hand and your left to bear you up. Trust in that, even when it seems they’re not there.

Through these experiences and many others, I have gained an undeniable witness of the truth of the Gospel. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are always there, listening, and responding through the quiet whispers of the Holy Ghost. I know that when we put those feelings into action we can be perfectly in tune with what the Lord would have us do and experience great joy. He loves us. He has given us the fullness of the Gospel, restored by Joseph Smith so we can have a clear path to eternal happiness. Let us always seek to follow the Spirit, who will help us resolve our personal challenges and lead us to know how to give meaningful service to those around us. I know these things are true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Power of Faith‏

Family Family!! 
It's so weird to think I'm writing my last email home as a missionary. It's just so crazy! Kind of surreal. But despite all thepassing thoughts and feelings about returning home, this has been another great week laboring in the field of missionary work! I promise, I'm still giving it my all :)
 This week I learned a lot of things. I know I reported a lot of amazing things that were happening on behalf of the people we're teaching, and by no means are any of those events any less miraculous, but of course, as in any road that's worth traveling, there's been a few unexpected twists and turns and walls to scale and overcome. I realized that's a lot like life. Many times things are just going so smoothly, almost to good to be true, and then out of no where challenges come that seem super hard to overcome. But, in looking back throughout my mission, I've seen that each one of those times there were ways and strength provided to overcome them as I just did my best to live the gospel and trusted in the Lord. So, even though it'd be tempting to get discouraged at the challenges our investigators are facing, I've just learned to face it all with faith, do all we can, and even if it doesn't work the first (or second!) time, just keep trusting that the Lord will prepare a way. Sometimes the Lord tests our patience and perseverance! And, yes, Dad, just like you said, my mission is ending in a very happy way. I'm not getting down by the challenges we're facing (fasting helps a lot)! It's just all part of the adventure :) I've been blessed to be a part of so many people's conversions here, and even if they're still not baptized before I leave, I will always consider them my converts, once they get baptized! Gangshan is a blessed place!!
Oh my goodness, those conference address clips you sent me are AMAZING. Seriously, it's JUST what the world needs, our investigators and recent converts and ward needs, and exactly what I need. It's so unfathomable to me how the Lord's servants are so in tune to be able to answer such widespread but such initmate and personal questions. It just goes to witness the truth of this work, and how much the Lord loves His people. I'm SUPER excited to listen to it all. Sister Watterson and I have been inviting EVERYONE we can to attend, promising them that something would speak to their heart and answer many of their questions. I have absolutely no doubt that those who attend will experience just that.
Just a few random things before I come home. Dad, thank you SO much for taking care of all my schedule stuff. Don't worry about the fall schedule, it's like that EVERY time I do it too. Yes, it'll all work out by the time school starts. Thanks for getting me something to work with though! I really appreciate it :) Also, I don't know how much money is in by debit account, but I know we'll need some emergency money for travelling home. I just want to make sure there's enough in there. :) Thanks!!
Mom, Dad, Adam, Jake and Jordan, I'm SOOOOOO excited to see you in a week! I cannot wait to give each of you big hugs at the airport!! I miss you and love you SOOOOO much!! See you soon :)
Absolutely ALL of my love,
Sister Morey :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Sisters for Zone Scramble!!!

With Sister Belnap

With my companion, Sister Watterson

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Ultimate Miracle‏

I had a little bit of extra computer time because as a part of my departure procedure I was asked to write a miracle story from my mission. Sorry I don't have much of an update from this week because I spent all my time writing the story, but I hope that this story is meaningful and inspiring. It sure was a huge testimony to me.

Lin Jiemei's conversion story is the most miraculous I've witnessed on my mission. We met her at her son's baptism. She was already Christian and since she had just moved into the San Min area she was looking for a church to attend. She welcomed our invitation to come to church but was pretty insistent that she wouldn't get baptized because she already was! As we kept talking with her she told us that she had cancer so she felt sick a lot of the time and she wouldn't be able to come to church every week. But she was willing to have us come visit when she was feeling well. We set up with her and started teaching her the Restored Gospel.

Lin Jiemei already understood a lot of the principles we taught because of her strong Christian background but still kept getting caught on the question of why she had to get baptized all over again. We had already taught the first lesson, but it didn't seem to click. She also struggled with some of the commandments, not because she wasn't willing to keep them, but because she was worried of committing in case for any little reason she had to make an exception. She just kept finding all these unrealistic "What if?"s and we didn't know how to help her not be afraid to commit. But we knew she was sincere in her desire to learn because of the way she prayed. Because of her health situation she had a really tender heart and often would plead in tears for Heavenly Father's help, to feel His love and to have ti2 li4.

Our District and Zone Leaders all knew about her and her situation, and one night as we we were discussing with our District Leader how Lin Jiemei didn't understand why she had to get baptized again, he said that the Zone Leaders had advised to teach about the Great Apostacy again. My companion and I got the same impression the day before so we knew that's what she needed. As we re-taught her the Great Apostacy she finally understood why she needed to be re-baptized. The problem then was finding a time her health would be good enough and she would have enough strength, since she was undergoing chemotherapy. She chose a particular weekend that was far enough after her next treatment that she should be recovered enough and committed to that date.

As her date came closer and closer she was progressing a lot but was still struggling to commit to the commandments do to all the "What if?"s she could think of. We were trying so hard to help resolve her concerns but she'd always come up with more. I felt like she wouldn't be completely ready to meet her baptismal goal because of this little bit of heard-heartedness, but my companion kept reassuring me that whenever she prayed she felt we needed to all we could to help Lin Jiemei meet that date. Frankly I didn't see how it could happen that fast and I seriously didn't want to baptize someone that wasn't ready yet! I told Sister Gibson how I really felt and what I knew from my "experience." I remember clearly stopping my bike, turning to her and saying, "I've seen a lot of baptisms and I know there's A LOT that still needs to happen between now and her baptism in 2 weeks. She's not converted yet." Sister Gibson responded, "I know.... but I can't deny the impressions I've gotten in my prayers to help her meet that date." Humbled by my trainee's response I felt I needed to trust those impressions too, even though I still felt uneasy about it. "Ok, then lets start thinking about how we can help her meet her goal instead of thinking of how she can't." As we kept talking we felt we needed to teach her about personal revelation and how the prophets teach the commandments, but through prayer the Holy Ghost can help us understand how to apply them in our own personal situations. To our surprise, after we taught that lesson she never had another problem with the commandments!
Suddenly Lin Jiemei's health took a turn for the worse and her chemotherapy schedule got changed meaning she was scheduled for chemotherapy 3 days before her baptism. I could hardly believe her change of heart over those few days. She was even more humble and really desired to have the blessings of baptism. Both Sister Gibson finally felt she was ready and couldn't believe just a week before we had had the conversation that she wasn't ready yet. It was truly a miracle that the Holy Ghost was able to change her heart in a matter of days. We knew we had to get her in a baptismal interview before her treatments so that as soon as she was feeling well enough she could get baptized.

After her first interview we found out she needed a second, but there was a possibility she was going into chemotherapy the next day. We were all on edge of what would happen and if she'd be able to meet her goal.

kai gong zuo." Finally we got it worked out and when I visited her she said she could do her second interview the next day. Wednesday morning President Chen interviewed her and she passed no problem. The amazing thing was that President Chen was a survivor of the same kind of cancer she had so he was able to comfort and encourage her a lot. He also gave her a tender Priesthood Blessing. President Chen then turned to Sister Gibson and I and gave us specific instructions that we were not to ask her about when she would get baptized, but that when she felt well enough, she would tell us. We were a little bit nervous about that, but trusted President Chen's counsel.

We went back 2 days later and knowing we couldn't bring up the subject of her baptismal date ourselves we read a scripture that Sister Gibson had felt impressed to share. To our amazement she said, "You know, I've been thinking that I'm well enough to get baptized tomorrow." She then explained how that whole week she had been feeling better than she had ever felt the whole time she had been struggling with cancer and said, "I think that's the Holy Ghost telling me I need to get baptized." When Sister Gibson and I left the lesson we immediately offered a heartfelt prayer of gratitude that the Lord had led both us and her through through the Spirit to make things work out the way they did. It was almost too miraculous to believe.

We called the Bishop (who was aware of the whole situation) and he arranged the baptismal service for the next day. It was a really moving experience to see that even though her body was weak, her faith was strong and this baptism meant a lot to her. She wasn't scared of death anymore because she knew she had done what she needed to do.

She passed away a few months later, during my last move-call. Even though I was heart-broken when I heard of her death, I was filled with peace that we had been able to help her prepare for eternal life while she was still on this earth. I know the Plan of Salvation is true, and I can't wait to see my sister again in the Celestial Kingdom. Lin Jiemei's conversion was nothing short of a miracle.

I love you all!! See you soon!!
All my love,
Sister Morey

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eternal Blessings

I just LOVE being a missionary! This week truly was such a joy as I was able to accompany the Peng family to the Temple for their sealing. Oh my goodness, what an incredible blessing!! I wrote a note to them especially thanking Sister Peng for all her love and service. It was the hardest time during my mission when I was serving in that area, but every time I met with them I had a different feeling, a glimpse of hope and joy. They were one of the families that made me want to push through all the toughest times, and it was all worth it! I remember watching Sister Peng in the sealing room as the sealer was giving them counsel and she was just nodding her head, taking it all very seriously. I could just see in her eyes her bright desire to establish a celestial home, and to have that tradition carry on throughout their posterity. I can't wait until their second baby comes, and when they both grow up and serve missions and have their own righteous families! Ah!! This gospel is so amazing, and it blesses families more than anything else can!
Another joy of the week was being able to teach so many wonderful investigators. I just love them so much, and they're progressing a ton! The Liang family, a member family's referral (Wu family), has been loving praying daily as a family and studying the scriptures sometimes with their neighbors, the Wu family. They also committed to live the Word of Wisdom. We had no idea Sister Liang has a smoking problem, but it was so tender to see her daughters' reactions as they said they'd help her quit. After the lesson I felt the need to give her a little more encouragement so as my dear companion was racing with the kids I shared a scripture with Sister Liang (2 Nephi 32:9) to help her know that she could overcome this temptation through prayer. She found hope in that and said she'd pray for the help! As Sister Watterson and I were saying goodbye to the Wu and Liang families to go home for the night I took each of the daughters individually into a hug, looked into their eyes and asked if they'd be willing to pray for their mom, and each of them said yes. That was also a tender moment, and I'm so grateful for their faith!
We also had an incredible member missionary work fireside last night for our ward. It's so crazy because the work has been exploding here! I remember when I got called with Sister Chu to open this area for sisters President Bishop gave me the mandate to help split the ward so they could get a new chapel (we're in a "da lou" right now). The ward has been growing since then, but I seriously can't believe the blessings that have come over the last 2 weeks as we've had an outpouring of member referrals and awesome investigators. Sister Watterson and I have a lot of work to do, as well as the 2 other sets of Elders that serve in this ward as well! President Bishop is such a visionary man to send so many missionaries here.
The fireside last night was so inspiring. There was a panel of ward members who had either been referrals themselves or who had provided referrals that became members of their ward. I was soooo touched by their stories and was given so much courage to keep working hard as a missionary, and then to be more like them when I go home and keep doing missionary work for the rest of my life! It was really special because He Jiemei (who just got baptized a month ago) and her daughter were on the panel, so I got to hear all the "inside" stories of how they felt throughout the conversion process. I just can't believe the Lord's work in each of their lives to prepare them, and then to send us Sisters to this ward just at the right time! I love them both so much, and they're both so faithful! Another one of my favorite parts was hearing Zhuang Jiemei's testimony. She's what we call the "Sister Missionaries' Best Friend" because she is willing to go with us to teach whenever we need someone, and she loves to provide referrals! Seriously, about 1/2 of the GangShan ward are her referrals! She shared her testimony about how we shouldn't be afraid to invite people to learn more because even though she's been turned down several times (and the member sitting right next to her on the panel had rejected her invitations for about a year!), she had still experienced a lot of joy because many of the people she invited DID accept the gospel! She said the first person she ever invited rejected her (and has for the past 7 years) and if she had become discouraged from that and got afraid to ever invite anyone again, she would have missed all the opportunities to help so many people--so we can't and must not get discouraged even when our first try turns us down! People will listen if we keep inviting. President Chen, the Second Counselor to President Bishop also came and spoke. She gave us sister missionaries a special assignment to sit down with Zhuang Jiemei and make a "family tree" of all the people she's helped to baptize and the people those people have brought into the church, and that he'd include it in the Liahona! It's going to be so amazing to put all of her missionary efforts into a visual, and it's true, the fruits of her labors have been great!!! AHHHall! We're actually working with one of Zhuang Jiemei's referral's referral. That's a special treat for us. Anyway, the members here are so amazing! A few came up to me afterwards and said they had a some people on their minds and they were excited to go home and act on the promptings they received. I was so touched by their faith, and the whole fireside just got me so pumped up to keep helping this ward! They're all such amazing members!
OK, so I could go on and on with how much fun we're having, how many miracles we're seeing and how much faith we get to witness... but the email time limit doesn't allow! Just know that this work is so amazing, especially to see the effects of your labors beyond the baptism. This gospel truly brings eternal blessings to all those who live and share it. Families can be sealed together forever. We can help our friends and family members receive the same eternal blessings we've received in our lives, which in turn brings even greater joy! "Behold, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God... And if ye should labor all your days and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy in the Kingdom of my Father!" If that's not real happiness, I don't know what is :) The gospel is real. The gospel is true! I love it with all my heart, and I'm going to work hard the rest of my life to help others be as happy as me through the gospel :)
I love each of you so much, Mom, Dad, Adam, Jake and Jordan. Just remember the importance of these things! Oh, I can't wait till I can share more of the blessings and miracles with you when I get home. But for now, just know that I love you with all my heart, and that I know that nothing but the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring true, lasting, eternal happiness.
All my love,
Sister Morey <3

Monday, March 5, 2012

So Many Miracles!!!

Wow, what a week!!! It was full of ups and downs and twists and turns and SO MANY MIRACLES!! I wish I could just jabber away and give you all the details of everything that happened, but you'll have to wait till I get home for that. But I am seriously just in awe at everything that happened in just 7 days! And Sister Watterson and I are just exhausted from working soooooo hard! But that's just the best feeling ever :)
So, the week started out with that crazy adventure of Sister Watterson and I getting lost on the train on the way back to our area, but we knew from that instant that this move-call was going to be full of adventures. :) That night we went to go visit one of our recent converts, XinYin (her and her dad got baptized in December) and the miracle there was that her older brother (who's about 13) prayed with us! Both of her older brothers completely ignore/disregard the missionaries presence, but this time he stayed and actually said the closing prayer! I was shocked and knew that Sister Waterson was sent to serve here in GangShan as my companion for a reason.
Later we had planned to go visit someone Sister Ju and I had met on the street a while back, but it was kinda crazy because somehow I felt really drawn to go visit a certain former that lived on a street near by. I had randomly (although not by chance!) found the record and noticed that the address was on the road we'd be traveling that night, so I took it with me, just in case, and when the time came, I just felt like that was where we needed to go. So, we found the house right away, pulled out the teaching record and reviewed her investigation of the church nearly 3 years ago. Turns out she's the mom of a returned missionary living in another ward and it was amazing that the lesson plan we came up with as we quickly discussed what we could share was exactly what she had been wondering about. The lesson was completely led by the Spirit as she opened up to us and asked a ton of questions about faith and how to understand answers to prayers. She was willing to start praying again and we were super excited to come back again to answer more of her questions. As we left, rushing to get home on time, Sister Watterson and I were BEAMING with so much happiness, gratitude and excitement that we were able to find her, answer her questions of the soul (or begin to) and we were, and still are, completely confident that she's going to be one of our strongest investigators and new members. We love her so much and we're going to help her make it all the way!!
So many other miracles happened as Sister Watterson and I were searching so hard for new investigators. One time I called the Assistants for an unrelated purpose, but Elder Peterson asked me how many baptisms we were planning on having that month and I jokingly, but in a longingly, hopeful voice said, "like five!" and then told him that actually, we were going to work as if it was another "goal of 10" month like Sister Brownell and I had last summer and saw so many miracles from it. Sister Watterson is so sweet. She could sense the longing in my voice and when I got off the phone she said, "Sister Morey, I want you to be able to have those baptisms. I know you've worked hard throughout your mission, and I want to help you find those people. We're going to find like crazy this week so we can have people prepared by the end of this month." Tears came to my eyes as I expressed my gratitude and said, "yes, I want to find them! Ok, we're going to work so hard!" And the Lord answered our prayers in miraculous ways this week as we found SO many new investigators... more than I think I ever have in my whole mission! I'll tell you about a few more of them.
There was a miracle last Sunday night as Sister Ju and I were leaving a member's house. They had just told us about a family down the street that they were hoping to invite to church and meet with the missionaries but they said it'd probably be a few weeks till we'd be able to meet them, BUT as we were leaving, it just so happened that the mom was outside and we set up to meet with her and her family right then and there! So, we came back on Thursday night and when we got there a little early Sister Watterson and I were chatting a little bit and I said,"this street just has a special feeling, doesn't it?" She agreed, and it was so crazy because the investigator mom was still busy when we got there so we decided to meet the neighbors, and we shared about the Book of Mormon with 2 of her neighbors, one of which was from China and said that she had just become Christian 6 months ago but still wasn't sure if it was the "right" church. When we shared with her Moroni 10:3-5 she immediately responded with, "hao, shi shi kan." We didn't even explain it and she already said herself that she'd try it! We were just blown away.
shu fu" so we promised they'd be able to have the same feelings if they said family prayer every day, which they agreed to do! We immediately knelt together to say the closing prayer and they all held hands. Their mom said a really sweet prayer, and when we invited them to church right afterwards they all got excited and said yes! They all agreed to baptism, too. Seriously, I have never seen a family respond with so much faith! And sure enough, they've been praying every day since, and even made the trek to Stake Conference this week! Ahhh! The Lord is helping us so much!!
OK, so I don't have time to tell you about the rest of them, but I'll just say that each one is just as much of a miracle, and there's SO many of them! We're sure going to be busy!
Of course with a mission comes the ups and downs, the joys and the deep sorrows. This week, although it was filled with countless joys, was also filled with one of the saddest moments. I got a call Tuesday night that one of my recent converts, Lin Jiemei, the one with cancer passed away. I was so sad and just started sobbing. I miss her so much, and I was going to have the opportunity to call her really soon, but then she was gone. I was so sad, but at the same time completely comforted in the fact that she had completed her life's mission and that she had had the gates of the Celestial Kingdom opened to her through baptism, and that Sister Gibson and I had been able to take part in that miracle before she passed away. The interesting thing was that I had just shared her miracle story with some members earlier that day. It was kind of a tender mercy because I got to "re-live" that miracle one more time before she left us. She will always be so dear to me, and I can't wait till I can see her again! I got to attend her funeral on Saturday morning and sang a solo verse in "Nearer My God To Thee." It was such a special experience.
The gospel and the Plan of Salvation are just so perfect. My testimony has been strengthened so much throughout my mission of these precious truths. I'm just so grateful that I've had this incredible opportunity to serve here and be on the front lines in witnessing these miracles. I love the gospel, I love the Lord and I love being a missionary, more than I can say!
I love each of you, so much, too!! Please know that I'm sending all my love in this email!
Your Sister and Daughter, Sister Morey :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Final Stretch

Oh my goodness, I really CANNOT believe this is my last move-call! How on earth does that happen? It seems like just yesterday I was on the plane coming here... and ZIP! But, exciting things are happening in GangShan!! Guess what?  I have a new companion! Sister Watterson is the daughter of the  last, last TaiZhong Mission President, and I just love her to pieces.  I wish I could tell you so much more about her, but due to a little adventure today (we got on the wrong train, missed our stop and then didn't get back to our area until an hour and a 1/2 before we need to start proselyting! Oops!)  I don't have much time to write. But, I'm so lucky to have her as my companion, especially for this final stretch. She's incredible, and I know it's going to be one of the most amazing move-calls ever.   Also, another companionship of Elders got added to our ward, so now there's 6 missionaries here, serving in the SAME ward!! This ward is so amazing, and it's going to grow SO much because of their faith  and the hard work of 6 missionaries laboring for them. A funny thing is that our new District Leader was in my district as a trainee, so he's seen me serve  from the beginning to the end! So crazy! But anyway, it's going to be way fun to have the addition to our district and ward.  :)
Another cool thing is that  my companion just moved to   Dong Hai/Feng Jia  (my second area ) to be companions with Sister Fleming!! AHHH It's so crazy! So, I got to call Sister Fleming yesterday to get all the information for the move, and I asked her about some situations of my recent converts there, and the most amazing thing is that the Peng Family is going to the temple on March 10th.... in 12 DAYS!!  And I get to go with them!! Oh my goodness, I cannot wait! It's going to be the happiest day of my entire mission, seriously. Anyway, I am just so incredibly happy, and it's going to be the best move-call of my entire mission. I wish I had more time to write all the miracles that have been happening, but I'll just have to wait until next week to tell you all the amazing ones that are going to happen!!!!
I just love being a missionary! I love each of you SOOOO much! Hang in for the final stretch!
All my love,
Sister Morey :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I want each of you in the Celestial Kingdom with me!‏

Dear Family scattered all over the place!!
Mom! You made it "back"!! I'm so jealous you get to go to the Women's Conference in Hong Kong! I'm sure it's going to be amazing and a real blast seeing all your best friends :) Please say hi to everyone for me, especially the Finamore/Young family! Jake, I hope you have a good, safe time in Canada! I want to hear all about it :) Adam and Jordan, I hope your day's work in Provo was fun and rewarding. I hope you all have a great Monday!
This week was another good one. Wow, missionary work is so hard but so rewarding. Monday started out great with having Family Home Evening with a used-to-be less active mom and her kids (we only met with her once and she came back herself, WITH her two youngest kids! They haven't missed a week of church since, and have been some of the most faithful members). The husband (not a member) wasn't there, and the oldest daughter wasn't there either. Ye jiemei was really sad when we first got there because she had just gotten off the phone with her teenage daughter who left home and is living a rebellious life and won't tell her parents where she's living. It was so heartbreaking to see Ye jiemei so pained, but it was also really touching to hear her share her testimony with her daughter. I gave her a big hug, and told her to keep having faith and that she'll return eventually. We enjoyed a really fun FHE with another family present and it reminded me the simple joys that come from spending time together as a family, learning gospel principles together. Needless to say, we laughed a lot and Ye jiemei was feeling a LOT better by the time we left :)
 I KNOW the power of the Atonement is real and that families can be united together for eternity, but it's no small feat! Faith, repentance and doing the basics (reading the scriptures and praying daily, having weekly family home evening, and attending church each Sunday) are becoming more and more important to me as I see how lacking any of those starts to weaken a family. But at the same time, they're so simple it can be accomplished with diligence and hope that the blessings and spiritual protection willcome as those bricks of faith are placed consistently, one by one, on the foundation of Christ. That's the beauty and simplicity of the gospel.
We've also been teaching a sister named Joyce lately. She has so much faith and can feel the Spirit very easily. It's been such a joy to teach her because she has such a desire to live a righteous life and turn things around. She's had a really rough background and the first question she asked me when I talked to her on the phone was, "I just want to know, why do bad things happen to good people?" The next time we met we helped her know that God loves and knows her, that this life is full of difficult trials (sometimes because of the choices of others), but that God will not let us be tempted above that which we are able, but will provide a way for our escape. We taught her that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that escape, and that with God, we can bear all things. She responded with so much faith and has been developing that faith through prayer and scripture study ever since. She says she's really been feeling more peace in her life as she's been developing her relationship with Heavenly Father through prayer.
I just love this gospel so much. I know it's true with all my heart. It can answer any question, heal any pain and give any honest seeker of truth confidence and assurance. It fills people with hope. I can't imagine my life without it. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for teaching me when I was young. I love you so much, and I love you, Adam, Jake and Jordan, more than I can say. I want to be with you for eternity SO bad, and I can't imagine living in the Celestial Kingdom without any one of you. Please, let's not have any "empty chairs!" I know it takes diligence and faith, but it's worth every sacrifice because life is filled with the sweetest joy that will continue on for eternity. And, as Adam once said, "eternity is a long time." Don't let anything compromise that so we really can live together forever, ok?
All the love a sister and daughter can ever give,
Sister Morey <3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Short Note :)

This week was crazy mostly because lots of abnormal things happened (like having a zone scramble where each missionary in the zone served with a different companion for a day; and making a trip to the hospital for my companion to get an endoscopy done to check up on her stomach ulcer... that was SO fascinating!! Haha, you know me... it was just about the coolest thing ever to watch. I just wish I had a narrator to go along with it, but it was still cool to apply some of my anatomy/physiology knowledge!). BUT, despite all the craziness of the week, we still had one of the happiest moments ever... a baptism!! He jiemei is super cute. Mom, she reminds me so much of you. She "dances" as she walks and does cute stuff like that. Seriously, she's just about an Asian version of you, haha :) Anyway, she's the mom of the second counselor in the relief society presidency and she was so excited. It was so tender to hear her daughter's talk and how happy she was to have another family member join with her in the gospel. They love studying the gospel together, and the thing both of them are most excited is attending the temple together. She's converted through and through. I have no worries about her :). It was one of the most memorable baptisms not only because the whole ward was so excited for it, but also because everyone was so happy that no one remembered to turn the water off and as we started singing the opening song the baptismal font started overflowing! Ahhh! My companion and I started laughing so hard, but also ran to the back to get some mops, hahaha. Many of the members also responded and started finding various ways to get the water off the floor. It was really so funny. He jiemei was so good and tried to stay concentrated by holding up the hymn book high enough she couldn't see, and always keeping her eyes focused on the speaker... till the very end and I'm sure she just couldn't keep from watching the moppers anymore, haha. Needless to say, it was definitely something I'll never forget!

Anyway, I don't have much time this week because we're going on an adventure to see some really pretty flowers! But I'll share more next week :)

All my love,
Sister Morey

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Love Being a Missionary!

Mom and Dad, thank you so  much for your precious letters each week. Even though some of them are shorter than others (as mine are some weeks!) I can still feel your love pouring from them. I did today :) Adam, Jake and Jordan, even though I don't hear from you every week, I can still feel the depth of your love despite the distance and scarcity of words. I love you all with all my heart. I hope that you can feel that through this simple message! I often think of what each of you are up to and hope with all my heart that the things you're doing are wholesome, worthwhile, and help you develop your talents. Each of you are so gifted, and time is so precious... I hope you can find more joy in doing good things! I've learned so much on my mission the difference it makes in how we spend our time, and I've seen the same pattern in so many lives of the people I serve. Maybe each of you can think of some fun activities we can do together when I get home, OK? I can't wait to spend more time with each one of you. <3
This week has been another awesome one. I just love being a missionary :) For some reason my mind is drawing a blank as to anything major that happened this week... except that He jiemei passed her baptismal interview with flying colors! We're so excited for her baptism next Saturday. The ward is really excited too, especially because it's one of the Sister's mother! That's the best feeling to be able to complete (or at least be one step closer to completing) families.
Mom and Dad, thank you SO much for getting everything set up for me when I get home. You have no idea how much that means to me and how much stress it relieves. It will make the transition so smooth. It sounds like the class schedules are perfect! Especially the Chinese one :) even though I know it'll be challenging.  That would go perfectly with the Chinese summer camp job if that one works out!  I really can't say how much I appreciate you for helping me so much with everything! I have to say I laughed when I read that Dad already started the application for me teaching at the MTC, haha :) Sure, that'd be great!

Sorry this email is more odds and ends. Today emailing is a little shorter because we had POWER CLEANING day to start our POWER WEEK! That means we leave the door a 1/2 hour earlier each day and eat meals on the go to have extra proselyting time and get pumped up after the Chinese New Year low. It's gonna be fun! Anyway, I realized just how much I love cleaning and how good it feels to have a completely clean apartment! What a good start to the week :)
I love the gospel so much. I am in so much awe at how much my testimony has been strengthened of the Restored Gospel and the simple but profound truths it contains. I love following the prophet and living up to the promptings of the Spirit and feeling such deep love for others as I help them in any way I can. That kind of life is so rewarding, peaceful and full of joy. Righteousness is the happiest way to live! And I'm so grateful that I have the gospel to show me how and that I can practice it every day, especially as a missionary. Life is hard. But there is always hope as we press forward in faith. Just keep doing the things your heart whispers to you (that voice of the Spirit) and things will work out. That I know with all my heart!
Love, Sister Morey :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Low-hanging Fruit"

This week has really been amazing. Sister Chu and I are really working on diligence and consecration and I feel like we are enjoying a lot of blessings from it. We have more unity. We are seeing increased miracles. We are finding more and more joy in the work!
Since it was Chinese New Year this week, it was a bad week for scheduled lessons, but a great week for eating! We had a whole bunch of members take us out to really nice places and we ate a LOT of hot pot :) SOOO good! I ate lots and lots of vegetables, and some yummy fish and a little other meat. :D But it was awesome, and even though missionary work was tough, we still had a lot of success.
Huang jie mei got baptized on Saturday and it was such a beautiful baptism. :) She was all giggles and smiles and it was clear that she was so happy to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I wish I could send pictures!! This email place won't let me though... Anyway, He mama will be getting baptized soon as well, and it's been such a blessing to be having so much success and seeing people's lives change.
It's been such a rewarding experience to reflect on my mission and realize how much the Lord has blessed me throughout it all. I was promised some very precious things when I was set apart and as I've reviewed the contents of that blessing and the Father's Blessing I received before leaving as well, I've been amazed at just how many of those promises have been fulfilled or are being fulfilled. Over the first few months of my mission I literally could see no way some of them would happen, but it seems like they're all exploding now as I near the end.

The one I've noticed the most lately is the promise that I would "go forth and find the low-hanging fruit." That has been coming to pass like crazy here in Gang Shan, especially over the past week when we realized we really needed to find new investigators and somehow a ton of golden ones just got set on our plate, out of no where. I really have no idea where these people come from! The Lord has been blessing us so much. It has been the biggest testimony builder to see these promises being fulfilled. We are enjoying an abundance of people ready and willing to get baptized. We had one this past Saturday. The service was beautiful. We're going to have at least one, but probably two in February. There are many promising people that could be prepared for March and April. This really is a prepared place.
Sorry I don't have much time today. We went on a REALLY fun Zone Activity to go hiking at Monkey Mountain. Totally brought me back to hiking in Hong Kong and Taiwan growing up. We also got some fun pictures with the monkeys! Anyway, I love you all so much, and I'll share more miracles next week! Keep doing the best you can and Heavenly Father will make up the rest. That I know for sure.

All my love,
Sister Morey

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai qin ai de jia ren :) ...I would type that out in Chinese but I have no idea how on the computer. I'll have to figure out how to do that sometime though since I'll have lots of people to communicate with when I get home!

Anyway, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! It's crazy that another year has come and gone and we're having another week of Chinese New Year Celebrations. Everyone things we're crazy as missionaries still going out to "work" even though it's Chinese New Year. Fortunately, New Year’s Day falls on preparation day this year!

It's been fun to be "qinged" out by a few members already, and we've got a full schedule this week of dinner/lunch appointments. The greatest thing is that we've already gotten some awesome referrals from those we've eaten with :) even though they're not in our area.... but that's OK because that's how this mission runs. I've been SO blessed though out my mission by receiving referrals from other missionaries because many of the people I've been able to help baptize have been referrals. So, I'm not so sad to give them away!

Some of the best things that happened this week were efforts of a little more diligence. Earlier in the week I re-discovered the scripture, "Search diligently, pray always and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good" (in D&C 90). I've always thought of the "search diligently" part as searching the scriptures, but this time it had different meaning to me: search diligently for people who are willing to live righteous lives, pray always that we'll be able to find those people and believe that we will find them! Just the night before I found that scripture we had a miracle because we lived those principles. We've been having difficulty finding people to teach lately because everyone's busy for Chinese New Year (it's like trying to proselyte over the Christmas season). That night we went to find a former investigator who the record said would only be home after 8pm because of work. So, we went at 8pm, but the house was completely deserted. Their neighbors said they were still at work! Ah! Our back-up plan was to tract that street, but it really didn't look like much. It was small and looked like not many people would accept the message, but we decided to pray that we would be able to find someone who would be willing to listen. As we were praying someone drove past us on a scooter and parked at one of the houses. We quickly finished the prayer and when I opened my eyes to see who it was I had the feeling, "that's her." We quickly walked over to meet her and we were shocked to find that, indeed, she was willing to listen! As we shared a message about coming closer to God she was interested, but still "hai hao" about having us come back. But before we left we said a prayer with her and then asked her how she thought her life would change if she prayed and was able to have that same feeling every day, and she said she'd be willing to try and see what difference it would make. We then set up a return appointment for after Chinese New Year and left with beaming faces and hearts! Our prayer had been miraculously answered and it was just in time for us to return home. We were a little more diligent in searching instead of quitting when no one was there, prayed in faith and believed we'd find the person... and we did!

The other joy of the week was Huang jiemei passing her baptismal interview! It's always SOOO amazing to me to see people change so much over such a short period of time. Sister Ju (I found out I've been spelling it wrong this whole time) and I were so worried for a long time that she would be able to progress that quickly to meet her baptismal goal. She didn't really understand what the significance of what we were teaching and was struggling to keep the commitments we extended. But, as happened before with Lin jiemei (the one with cancer) within a 2 week period she completely changed and Sister Ju and I are completely confident that she is ready to be baptized. Let me tell you, nothing can do that except the power of God. When we reviewed the commandments she understood every one of them and said "Yes, they're true. This is what I should do." When we talked about the baptismal covenant meaning that we love, serve and follow Christ for the rest of our lives she said, "I will never quit." She loves Heavenly Father and is SO happy! Oh, I LOVE seeing how the gospel brings light and life into lives that were previously dull and void of purpose.

Also, we found out that Chen jie mei wasn't able to come to church last week because she was actually really sick legitimately, not because of a hangover, so that's good! The sad thing was that we haven't been able to meet with her all week because she was recovering and then really busy with work/Chinese New Year. But we're still confident that she's going to progress and continue changing her life around. She really is so awesome.

Perhaps the highlight of the week (although so many little miracles could equally count!) was receiving a letter from the Peng Family, the one that Sister Chu (my second companion) and I helped baptize in Dong Hai last February. I had sent them one of the CDs mom sent to give to my recent converts and other members here and they were SO happy to receive it. The part that made me happiest though was that they said they've started the Temple Prep course in their ward and are preparing to be sealed together in March! AHHH! That will be one of the happiest days of my entire mission to be able to go with them to the temple! And just to add a cherry on top, Peng jiemei is pregnant and their baby will be born in the covenant. She was so excited to tell me that, and I could sense the gratitude in her writing for the gospel in their lives. This truly is the greatest work ever, to help families be united eternally. Accompanying this precious, dear family to the temple will be the crowning event and the perfect "ending" to my service here in Taiwan (I say "ending" because I'll still have a few weeks left after that).

So, in summary, this week has been so wonderful. :) Huang jiemei will be getting baptized next week, He jiemei will be baptized in the middle of February, and my precious recent convert family will be sealed in March. I'm so blessed to be a part of it all! My companion and I studied a talk together this morning that I feel really expresses my feelings. Elder Christofferson, in his most recent conference talk about repentance, described how one long winter of pain and suffering can be completely swallowed up in one morning of forgiveness. It's true, the last 14 months’ worth of pain, sorrow, rejection, suffering, depression, discouragement, and tears are completely overshadowed by the miraculous and joyful experiences such as seeing these people change to live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's so true.

Anyway, my time is up, but I love you all so much and I think of you and miss you!! Don't worry, I don't get distracted, but every once in a while I feel tender moments as I remember the precious gift each of you are to me though your love and service. I love each of you so much! Please remember how much I love you even though I'm not there to show and tell you every day! That time will come sooner that we all think.

All my love from across the world,
Sister Morey <3

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miraculous Transformations‏

My dearest family!
This week has been so awesome as we've seen the progression of our investigators! He jiemei (the one who felt the power save her from crashing on her bike with her daughter) had never come to church before we started meeting with her just because she felt bad about drinking tea. This week she shared with us that as she's quit drinking tea for the last 2 weeks some health problems that she didn't know the reason for have completely disappeared. She has felt her trust in Heavenly Father and confidence in life grow. In the closing prayer she said she has felt her faith being strengthened. She attended church for all 3 hours this week! My love for her has been growing so much.  
Our other most progressing investigator is the one I found smoking in the dark alley behind her work. Chen jiemei said she knows the church is true because when she was late to one of our appointments she was tempted to run a red light but felt a prompting not to. She decided to heed that little voice. When she turned her head she saw there were 2 policemen parked right behind her and she was so grateful she listened to that voice. She's been learning to follow the Spirit as she's been making righteous choices. She loves to read the Book of Mormon and believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet. We've been praying as a district (plus the ward mission leader and ward missionaries, too) that she will have the desire to quit smoking and obey the Word of Wisdom herself before we even teach it to her. We were going to teach it to her a few days ago but for some reason we didn't feel it was the right timing. We decided to focus on Joseph Smith and the process of revelation instead and the Spirit was SO strong as we watched The Restoration with her. She said she knew it was true and was willing to set a solid baptismal goal. My eyes were brimming with tears the whole time because I was so happy! We decided to wait a little longer for the Word of Wisdom, and although we didn't know it at the time, it's going to work out so perfectly. We're going to teach it to her tonight. She didn't make it to church yesterday because of a hangover and she was pretty disappointed. Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways to answer our prayers, but we think this will be the perfect opportunity to teach her and help her make the change. I'm confident that she will readily change her lifestyle. She felt pretty miserable yesterday. I'm also super excited because we're going to throw a surprise birthday party for her. It was just so happened that we planned to meet on her birthday today! We made a vanilla pudding pie with an oreo crust (thanks to all the packages that have been sent over the past few months!) and I'll be happy to help her have a REAL fun birthday party, not a "wicked" fun party where everyone ends up drunk. It's such a blessing to be a part of her miraculous transformation. Each one is a miracle and I feel so blessed for each one Heavenly Father lets me be an instrument in.
We also had the opportunity to participate in a ward activity of cleaning our recent converts' house. It was a miraculous transformation, too! 15 people and a few hours later their home went from trash and junk everywhere to none anywhere (7 HUGE trash bags full) and piles of unwashed unkempt clothes to 3 closets full (one for the dad, one for the sister and one for the 2 older boys) of only what they needed (3 huge bags full left to give away), as well as clean floors, bathroom, and cooking area. It was touching to see all the participants working so hard and with so much love. I kept thinking, "The Spirit cannot abide in a dirty apartment" and "Cleanliness is next to godliness" the whole time. There was a special feeling there as the service was being performed and the Spirit was so much stronger when we left. We plan on bringing a picture of Christ for their "new" home the next time we visit. We'll also help them change some of their habits as we keep visiting. I love being a missionary :)

Sister Zhu and I have also set some goals to be more disciplined both as individuals and as a companionship so we can have more abundance of the Spirit in our work. I've felt a big difference over the past few days as we've made the changes. I've been getting faster at getting ready and have felt less stressed. I've also felt it easier to receive and act on revelation. I'm trying to be the best servant of the Lord I can be and have my mission set the pace for the rest of my life. It's so scary that the end is coming soon. I dread that day when I'm released from full-time service, but I will never stop being a missionary! It's in my blood now :)
I love GangShan. I love our investigators, recent converts and members. I'm eager for their progress. I love doing this work. It's such a blessing. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! I love you all so much too :)
All my love,
Sister Morey

Monday, January 9, 2012

I LOVE being a missionary!‏

This week has been great! I caught a little cold though. Luckily the On Guard has kept it at bay and it hasn't affected my work at all. It should leave quickly now, and I hope I won't catch anything else! There's something really contageous going around and just about everyone is sick. It's crazy. We're trying to stay healthy though!
This week has also been fun because it was Sister Exchanges, and guess who got to serve with me for a day? Sister Celestine Yeung! Oh my goodness, she is such an incredible missionary and I was so touched by her faith, diligence and testimony. It was fun to catch up as well and get to know each other better since we didn't know much of each other before. And guess what? She's being trained by my MTC companion, Sister DeMordaunt! How fun is that?! Anyway, I just love being a Sister Missionary here because all of the sisters are so incredible and I learn so much from them. I'm so glad I get to have them as friends for the rest of my life!
I had a really funny experience at the beginning of the week that really reminded me especially of dad... his humor :P It was really cold one evening and as the Elders and us were leaving the chapel after correlation meeting my companion and I noticed that one of the Elders was not wearing a coat! He had forgotten to bring one that day but was claiming that he wasn't cold... you know, trying to be tough about it. I was going to call him out on it and say, "Come on, we all know you're cold. You're just trying to be too manly." But I thought, "No, I can't say 'manly' to an Elder..." so in effort to find a more suitable term I said, "You're just trying to be too 'Elder'ly!" Of course I didn't realize immediately that "elderly" actually means old!  The District Leader then said, "Oh, no, we've gotta go. Sister Morey is trying to make punns..." Hahaha :) We all got a big kick out of that one.
This week has been such a blessing as we've been able to meet with some awesome new investigators and really help some progress. Oh my goodness, we have a miracle story for one of them that is always so amazing to me every time I think of it. One day a few weeks ago as we were leaving a recent convert's house we were driving down a little alley and as we passed a gutter between two buildings and out of the corner of my eye I saw a person there. It happened so fast but there was a distinct impression in my mind, "There's a person there. Go talk to them." Turns out there was a little doorway entering into the back of one of the buildings and one of the shop's employees was sitting out taking a smoking break. She was a young girl, in her 20s, and as I started talking to her I found out that she used to go to church when she was little but she hadn't gone in a long time because she's been busy. I also sensed it had been a long time since she had prayed and when I asked her about it she confirmed my impression. I felt a prompting to invite her to start praying again and to invite her to start learning the restored gospel. She readily accepted. She is now one of our most progressing investigators. She loves reading the Book of Mormon and is starting to make arrangements at work so she can attend Sabbath Day meetings. I love her so much! It truly is a miracle.
I've also been learning a lot about the importance of hope. This month's Christlike Attribute for the mission is Hope (see Preach My Gospel). I've enjoyed so much studying and pondering this attribute and have reflected on the role hope has played in my life, particularly on my mission. At one point that's all I could hold on to. I took the time to re-read some of the Priesthood Blessings that have been given me and reflecting on the hope that I have that the promised blessings contained therein will be fulfilled. This motivates me to act in faith. In fact, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much work I still have left to do before I'm done here and I know I've got to have more faith and diligence, to work in that hope of receiving those promised blessings. It's also been a tender mercy to see that many of the blessings have already been coming to pass in miraculous ways, which feeds my hope, faith and trust even more that all of them will eventually be fulfilled.
Hope has also come to mean more to me as I've seen others live without it. Yesterday we went to visit one of the Elders' recent convert's mom. It was heartbreaking to hear her recount the struggles of her life and that she feels she has nothing to live for except to care for her son. My heart ached for her as I could hear the helplessness and hopelessness in her voice. Sister Zhu and I assured her that she is a precious daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, that she can take her burdens to Him in prayer, and that her life could be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and living the principles of the Restored Gospel. She started sobbing during our visit and I set my Book of Mormon down, knelt by her side and put my arm around her to try and comfort her. I told her to not worry because we would be there by her side and would help her. There was so much peace in that room and I was so grateful in that moment to be able to comfort a sister whose soul had been battered and broken by the battle of mortality and assure her that there was hope, healing and help available. When we knelt in prayer, she pleaded with Heavenly Father for peace and help. I know Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and when anyone goes to Him in hope and faith willI receive the blessings of peace and comfort that Heavenly Father wants to extend. I know that with all my heart.
Things are going well here in GangShan. I love being a missioanry. I love the Gospel! I'm so glad I get to share this passion with other people. It's brought so much joy as others have accepted it and have changed their lives because of it. My testimony has been strengthened so much.
I love each of you with all my heart :)
Sister Morey

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012!

Happy New Year!! It was soooo good to talk to each of my family members last week. I loved getting caught up and hearing a few more details that I might not have otherwise known. Sounds like this week has been fun for the family, especially with Varena and Jairon over for New Years. I got to "kwa nian" in my dreams, peacefully sleeping and getting rested for the next day! :P It was actually pretty fun because the ward had a New Year's party Saturday night and right before it ended they turned the clock to 2 minutes before midnight and we all counted down... so I still got to do a countdown, even if it wasn't the real one! Haha, oh it's so fun to be a missionary :D
Ok, so first I have to tell you a little more about Christmas since last weeks letter was so short. Even though it was really crazy going to zuo ying with the other sisters for 2 days, it made Christmas extra exciting. I already told you that I only got to bring some of my presents with me, so I got to open up the rest when I got home. I thought it was crazy that I had chosen the presents exactly right so that the last 2 big ones left were the exercise clothes, which I LOVE :) Thank you thank you! And the straightener is coming in handy :) I still want to know how to use it to curl my hair, if you can find the instructions for that (probably searching "how to curl your hair using a ceramic straightener" would do the trick). I've seen people do it before and it looks really simple, but obviously there's a trick to it cuz I haven't figured it out yet, haha :)
Although it was really fun to get all those presents, the best part for me was giving some away. Since I had some extra hand sanitizers from previous packages I gave them to my previous companions and Sister Bishop and Sister Liston (the senior couple sister in the office) at the Christmas activity. I loved to see their faces. It's also been fun because now I have an abundance of reallygood chocolate to share. The Elders espeically appreciate that! I also gave Sister Chu one of the pairs of fuzzy socks and she loves them! It's fun for both of us to wear our pairs at the same time :) Oh yeah, and those CDs!!! AHHHH!!! I was SOOO happy to get those yesterday and I've already been starting to send them out today. Oh my goodness, what a precious gift both to me and to my recent converts. Thank you SO much. That was so incredibly thoughtful, especially to include my song, and one of the most motivating, comforting talks of a servant of the Lord that so many people need to hear these days. Thank you, thank you.
Last week was also way fun because we got to go to the beach for a little bit. We mostly enjoyed taking fun pictures... which I can't figure out how to upload at this new internet cafe... I'll keep trying to figure it out though! I just LOVE serving with the sisters in this mission! I look up to them all SOOO much and wish I could be even just a fraction of what they are. But then it always surprises me when the other sisters say that about me! I guess we all have strengths that we admire about each other. Which reminds me of yesterday's Relief Society lesson when someone reminded us all not to compare. She said "Some of us are like forks, some like spoons and some like knives. The fork of course can try to scoop the soup but will it ever be as good as the spoon? And maybe the spoon thinks she's not good enough because she can't cut the meat as cleanly like the knife can." Of course all of our weaknesses will eventually be turned into strengths as we become perfected throughout our eternal progression. But in this life we must not compare our weaknesses with other people's strengths. It was a good reminder for me because I tend to do that sometimes... but I forget that other people are looking up to me in different ways. The Lord calls each of us for who we are. He knows our strengths and He will put them to use where they are needed most. He also knows our weaknesses, but He's also accounted for that through the Atonement. It's all about the Atonement. I've been learning more and more of that truth throughout my mission.
You've asked about my companion and her dad's passing. Her mom and dad got divorced when she was little so she hasn't had much opportunity to develop a close relationship with him. He had been sick for about a year previously so when she got the call it wasn't completely unexpected. But still, I will never forget the first thing she said in response to the news: "It's ok because I know the Plan of Salvation." She's really been able to focus a lot, and we've been so blessed this week. It really is true that the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation take the sting out of death, brings consolation and peace. It's been incredible over the past few weeks as I've seen them bear Lin DiXiong up though the passing of his wife. We got to attend her funeral, which was so beautiful. It really reminded me of Grandpa Green's funeral and the feelings that I felt surrounding his death. Sadness, of course, but lots of comfort, peace, hope, and renewed determination to be faithful and reach exhaltation with those I love so much! That's how it's motivated my dear companion and Lin DiXiong. He's even more committed to going to the temple now.
Something President Bishop said in his last letter to us missionaries means a lot to me. He said, "Because Jesus came into the world, everything is different.  We can overcome all of the problems of this world.  Every sickness, every injustice, every problem, every mistake, and every pain, all will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I've loved sharing that message with people this week.
Well, now for the miracle of the week... we had a baptism!! It was such a miracle because it's the daughter of one of the Elders' investigators and she was always around when they were teaching him but she would never sit and learn when they were there. She's attended church several times with her dad so when the Elders referred her to us as a potential person to be baptized this month it was really a tender mercy. At first she wouldn't really stay focused and talk to us either, but after we leared that she loves to play games, she quickly progressed, she started to love us, and we had a lot of fun teaching her :) We med with her enough to help her learn the basics of the gospel, she passed her interview this week, and got baptized with her dad on Saturday. Xu baba and Xu meimei are so great and really humble. What a miracle!! I really wish I could send you a picture of her!!!
Anyway, my time is up, but I wanted you all to know that I LOVE being a missionary! Don't worry, I'm not letting up just because the time is drawing nearer... although I wish it would stop! We've been working so hard here white-washing gangshan and the Lord has helped us see so many miracles! I know the gospel is true, with all my heart.
I love each of you so much :) Thanks Mom and Dad for your special care and encouraging words of love and support. They mean the world to me.
All my love,
Sister Morey <3