Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dinkytown: Week 7-Warm Me Up!

I made it through my first transfer (my first six weeks) out here in the mission field! It's been an incredible six weeks and I have learned so much about myself, about my Savior and about how to get along with a companion haha.
I love Sister Smith, and we really are good at working with each other to better each other. We are open to each other on things that we can improve on. As much as chastisement and constructive criticisms hurt on the spot and in the moment, they are moments where I have learnt to actually be humble, and to look over my own pride.

The Lord knows me so well. I am so grateful to Him for helping me make the decision of coming out on a mission. If I had not ever came out, I don't think I would have ever realized how prideful and self righteous I was and still am. I have never had to rely on the Savior's Atonement and the power of change through him ever more than I am now. I love my Savior, and I truly am coming to acknowledge him each and everyday of my life as I exercise faith to repentance EACH AND EVERY NIGHT. The power of change is so real! I love how in Chinese, the word for repentance literally means, turn around, and change. Change ourselves to be aligned with the will of God. How come I never realized that until now?? Chinese is so cool!

We had some exciting things happen to us this week! Sister Smith and I survived our first transfer! WE are still together, hoorayyy!
We have two new elders nonetheless in our district family. Elder Meguro from Japan, and our new ZL, Elder Harrison from Arizona!
We are honestly the most ethnic district ever! The Chinese, the Korean, and the Japanese! Woot! Somehow, no matter where I end up, I am still surrounded by diversity. and I love it! Not complaining at all! :D

Other than the change up in peeps around here. Sister Smith and I were so blessed to be fed by so many gracious people. Will and Robert were two Chinese investigators we were teaching, but because they are exchange students here, they have been really busy with a lot of traveling, hence, not much progression at all. They will be leaving back to China in less than a month. They are the sweetest people ever though! Because they felt bad for wasting so much of our time, they invited us over for dinner and we had HOT POT! oh ya! Warm me up baby with some hotpot. I could kill for that everyday in this freezing icebox of a state that I'm living in haha. Pictures will be attached to this email of the amazing amount of food they prepared for us! Chinese people really are soooo hospitable. Oh! and Will is from Shanghai, so literally, during the whole time that we were there, he was busy in the kitchen cooking nonstop. We were so sad that we had to leave early for lesson and that we didn't get to eat more of his good cooking.

As the weather continues to get colder, and colder, my heart becomes warmer and warmer as I think and ponder about my Savior's Atonement, upon the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, and as I continue to feel more and more refined through learning about myself and through doing the Lord's will. 
It saddens my heart, but for a very small moment to think that Shar, Carson, and Robby, will all be reunited with the fam in Taiwan very soon without me, but then my joy is full as I think of the happiness they will have and the excitement it will be for Grandma to finally meet Carson. 
As I feast upon the words of the Book of Mormon, I become more and more grateful for all that I have grown up with. I am grateful for a loving family, I am grateful for goodly parents and grandparents, I am grateful for my gifts and talents, and I am grateful that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- that I know that I am a daughter and child of God, and that I have great purpose in this life.Like the wisdom that Lehi shares with his son Jacob, "the Lord will consecrate our afflictions for our gain."

I am grateful for sweet sweet Emily Hang, one of the new Hmong members of the ward for her thoughtfulness of making cute scarves for us. WARM US UP AND WARM MY HEART ONCE AGAIN.
I am grateful for Brittany Nagel for making us the best SWEET POTATO CHILI, SOUNDS GOOD EH? 

And I am so grateful to the Chan's for sending me such a cute package with a Chocolate Survival Kit from Purdy's! Ah, reminds me of Home sweet Home, Canada. 
With all that said, my weeks here simply get better and better. I say this not to boast or to brag, but to express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for providing me with so many learning experiences. I love my mission and Minnesota truly is my sacred grove. It will be the place where I come to know of the redeeming love of my Savior. (Mosiah 18:30)

I love you all so very much!!!!!! Until next week!


Sister Pao

Dinkytown: Week 5 Church Church Church!

Another week has passed and it's officially been my one month mark out here in Dinkytown! Woot Wooten! Things are only getting better and better. and colder and colder. Luckily, not much snow, or any snow at all, except for that one morning.

This week, we had an appointments jammed packed week. There were two days where we literally had six appointments almost back to back, with only an hour for lunch and dinner in between. I was physically and spiritually drained at the end of both those days. Amazing thing was that, my companion Sister Smith was actually super sick for one of those days. But another testimony to me that the Lord does qualify His missionaries when they are obedient was that she was still able to carry out her duties. I was super glad that I was able to put all of the drugs that Dad gave me to good use. so Thanks Dad for pushing me to bring all those meds! She took some stomach meds, then a nap early in the morning that day since she was up puking all night, and while I prayed for her, She woke up right on time feeling a whole lot better! Miracle right there again! Honestly, she was not even able to walk that morning, let alone have to walk to the institute and teach all day!

I think our biggest miracles this week were the fact that we had two days filled with six scheduled investigator lessons. Both days, all six investigators confirmed and showed up to the lessons. We were kept very busy indeed!
Another one of our miracles this week occurred over the weekend. We had our second lesson with Muhammad on Saturday. We were expecting a lot of arguments and doubts from him, judging by our first lesson, but miraculously, he was very willing to listen and process what we taught him. Although he was still very skeptical and unbelieving at the end of the lesson, he was willing to pray! It was a very interesting prayer indeed, actually quite disrespectful in some sense, however, he was willing to ask through his prayer whether or not what we taught that day was true. Funny note, he ended the prayer by saying " In the name of God's only son...if he even had one, apparently named Jesus Christ, Amen" (Since he didn't believe in Jesus Christ, he tried to "tactfully" dodge accidentally showing that he believes). HILARIOUS! The miracle didn't end there, late Saturday night, he texted and ask, "do I need to dress up for church?" We were overjoyed that he was willing to come to church, and so he did! He even stayed for all three hours! Miracles all around indeed.

Progressing Investigator:
Pan from Thailand is our sweet progressing investigator. We had a tender experience with her this past weekend as we joined together in a fast to pray that she will have the strength to tell her mother about her choice to be baptized. Also in hopes that her family's hearts will be softened when she does tell them. Our prayers were answered as she attended church and listened to a very inspiring lesson from a guest speaker during Relief Society. Sister Ostvig was a convert herself at the age of 20. She received a lot of opposition from her parents and grandmother, but in the end, everything worked out and her family never had a negative comment about her joining the church. Sister Ostvig was a great example to Pan, and we can't wait to see how that nourishment of the good words will blossom within her.

Our final miracle tied the knot for our amazingly blessed and awesome week. We had SEVEN of our investigators show up to CHURCH! Fast and testimony meetings, I personally think, are the best times for investigators to see how Christ's church truly has the fullness compared to other churches. The Spirit was so strong throughout the whole sacrament and so many of the testimonies of the members were so evidently directed at the concerns and needs of our investigators. We were so blessed to have such a divinely inspired meeting.

The Plan of Salvation has been something I have been studying a lot on this week. Read 2 Nephi 2, 9, Alma 12, Alma 34, and 42. The Plan of Salvation truly is remarkable. For those who do not know the purpose of life, and/or are having struggles in life right now, whether it be with making big choices for schooling and work, or with other struggles. Learn of the Plan of Salvation, study it, understand it, and you will see how God will consecrate all thine afflictions for your gain.

Throughout all those chapters, you will see how all the people the prophets were addressing were trying to find solutions to their afflictions. The solution is, know God's plan of Happiness and you will see the bigger perspective of life.

Finally, Happy Belated Halloween to everyone! I dressed up as a Sister Missionary this year. I know really original. However, I did get to be a little bit festive and wear black and orange. We got to celebrate by going to the temple! haha I know weird combo, but at least that was memorable. The St. Paul Temple is apparently the SMALLEST temple in the world...and it really is...and I thought the Taipei temple was small! haha

Finally, to close this up, I just want to tell everyone that...
Minnesota has sooo much good foods! (of course I would talk about food)
Minneapolis is where General Mills' main company is situated! Did you know that? Also, Food science is a huge deal here, and I never even knew how the experiment on food was so widespread here! I love it! It's so refreshening to learn about food science from so many of the ysa members here. Its so cool! One of the members in our ward created Hershey Cookies and Cream cereal! Also! Target's head company is situated here in Minneapolis as well! WHAT! All these big companies here in Minnesota?! How come we never hear much about MN? Weird!

Love you all tons, until next week,

Sister Pao

OUR CUTEST DISTRICT FAMILY EVER! (last district meeting before transfers, boo)
The beautiful apartment building of our favorite member Ali Fyfe. Happy Halloween!
Fun halloween straws credits to Sis. Smith's fam bam.
Ali Fyfe, our lovely sister away from home. She is simply so loving and gives the best hugs! She served in Germany and is now a Pharmacist here in MN! and an awesome cook btw!
Isn't this so mystical. Night view of the city skyline.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Fake It 'til You Make It...Better Yet, FAITH It 'til You Make It!"

Aloha to my beautiful family and friends and poppets!

I chose to title my blog post this week Fake it Til you Make it, because it reminded me a lot of my dad. And believe it or not, Dad, I thought a lot about you this week, during my personal studies, during training, during my lessons with investigators...and etc. You're the topic of my week! Seriously! Weird huh? haha

For those who don't know much about my dad, he's a Super hero. A quiet one though that has worked and labored for decades to serve and provide for my family. On top of that, he's saved hundreds of lives outside of his immediate family. He's a doctor who's days revolve around serving others. Evidently from all these descriptions of him, you can imagine all his super powers.

Despite all these things, what makes him my dad is also the fact that he is still human, and one that makes mistakes. I know for a fact that when he was first investigating the church, he didn't understand his true potentials yet, as a father, as a patriarch of the home, as one that holds the Priesthood authority of God. I judged him, and was not all that patient and humble in helping him find his true potentials. But over the years, I have seen his powers grow, and his faith strengthened, and his true, fathering side.

He has taught me to be the person I am today. Through example I guess. I am fearless and willing to explore and try new things all the time because of him. He has taught me the advantages of being quiet and not always needing to express every feeling that I have. My favorite quote that he spoke of during my farewell talk before I left on the mission was: "Sometimes you really don't know what you're doing, but you simply keep doing it until you know more." He basically summed up the first step of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His example and personal experience of investigating the church have shown me the truth of having faith. 

And these are the experiences that I share with my investigators all the time. So thanks dad for being the example that you are to me each and everyday!

I was reminded of these quotes because during my New Missionary Training this past Wednesday, my president's wife, Sister Clements shared the quote about "Fake it Til You make it" Evolved to "Faith It Til you make it." Having that true faith is to have hope in things that you cannot see. I cannot physically see myself as a person that has the ability to not be TONGUE TIED while trying to teach my investigators yet, however, i have the faith that i can keep trying until I know what I am doing. No matter what it is that we are dealing with in our lives, it really is simply "all about our faith and our attitude." 

This past week, Sister Smith and I had the chance to attend a baptism! Not one of our very owns, yet, but the fruits of the hard work by our zone leaders in DinkyTown. Elder Roberts and Laga. These two girls are sisters from China FuJian and are absolutely adorable. 
Danting and DanYan (Diane) are so very sweet. The night before their baptism, I got a voice message from Diane asking for Sister Pao's help with something. I was sooo nervous and thought the worst instantly. I thought that I had to be the one to spill it to the zone leaders about how their two investigators did not want to be baptized anymore. For afterall, they aren't in until they've been dunked, but even after that, there's still so much more! I got a little ahead of myself and thought the worst, but foolish me, that was not the case. THANKFULLY!

I called Diane back and found out that all she needed from me were some church clothing. I was so glad and happy, and overjoyed, and ecstatic, that I could help them out with their troubles, and to be able to even take part in even a little aspect of preparing them for their special day. She definitely came to the right person, because who else would have more skirts and Sunday clothing than the Sister missionaries. Sister Smith and I were so excited to be able to plan out what they could FIT IN (right i forgot to mention that they are tiny!) and to basically mother them a little. haha It was the most that we could do, and it was the best favor anyone could ever ask of us.
Sunday morning rolls around and we help them try on the different outfits that we had for them. Unfortunately, we didn't think clearly and brought a few pencil skirts which obviously would not fit them well enough. So in the end, I had to actually take off my stretchy long skirt that I was wearing that day and switch them for a pencil skirt. Luckily, I can actually fit into Sister Smith's skirts, otherwise...things could have gotten interesting! haha So with that, re-occurring theme, "Fake it Til you Make it!"

OKAY! now exciting things about our very own investigators! Sister Smith and I have been receiving sooo many investigators these days. We have quite a lot of people on our hands now so we are busy busy busy!
A miracle for us was that sisters from another area actually passed on an investigator to us, and she is absolutely GOLDEN i tell you!

Her name is Kala Walcheski, and basically during our first meeting with her, she came in and said, "I have decided, I WANT TO BE BAPTIZED DEC. 7TH" crazy huh? I barely even knew her name and she wanted to be baptized already! We were so blessed that she simply was looking and was prepared by the Lord. Now, Sister Smith and I just need to prepare her by helping her know the members of the YSA ward, and by keeping her in check. She is amazing and I can simply see so many of her potentials.

One of my favorite things about being here in Dinkytown with all the new Chinese converts is that, I get to see the bigger picture of it all. I have come in contact with so many Chinese people/converts, amazing convert stories and experiences of the influences of Chinese converts in my life, that I simply KNOW with all my heart that some of these new converts will  be doing amazing things in building up the kingdom of God in China, when time allows. I am so blessed and lucky to be seeing all the PIONEERING events that will lead to so many greater things in the future. The Lord truly is hastening his work, and I can't wait to see what will come of it.

WeiHua Li from Shanghai and Tuan Pham from Thailand are two of my favorite new converts. I wasn't there to witness their baptism but I got to see them receive the Aaronic Priesthood, start passing the sacrament, and then even baptize Diane and Danting within the 3 weeks that I have been here. It's been magnificent seeing how the Priesthood authority is already playing such a huge part of their life, and I can't wait to see and hear how it blesses their future families.

With that, Know that the Lord is Good and that he loves us all!

I love you all so very much and I can't wait to share with you more of my experiences!

Love always,

Sister Pao

Monday, October 21, 2013


It's official, its been one month already since I've been out here on my mission! One month and 17 more to go, but that month honestly went by way to quickly. It is so true that when you are on a mission, a day is like a week, but a week also passes by like a day. It makes no sense and is a ridiculously impossible thought, but at the same time, if you were or are a missionary, you would know. 

Since the weather is getting colder and colder, aka, it snowed for the first time this morning! Sis. Smith and I needed to get warmer, thicker, LONGER, skirts. oh gosh- I strive hard not to look like a Polygamist, or...a Pioneer, whichever will help you better imagine.
With that...we went shopping at the thrift store! So if people like DI in Provo, they are going to be absolutely obsessed with the thrift store here in Minnesota! It was like a super store thrift store! Anyways, with faith and goal in mind that we will find and conquer our shopping list, we went in and lo and behold, we harvested good fruits. I bought some brown/tan leather boots, a black long pleated skirt, and a green thick, long skirt with POCKETS. Pockets make me very very happy these days because we need to carry tons of stuff when we go out contacting ( cards, pamphlets, phone, keys, and plus they keep your hands warm!)

Anyway, sorry I am so scattered brain every time I write. I guess I should focus my thoughts on the spiritual events that occurred this week.

MondayTuesday, and Wednesday I had the chances to go on exchanges. I traveled away from my area and went to an area in St.Paul. I got to be companions with the first ever Karen sister here in Minnesota! Sis. Riley is wonderfully sweet and has a twin , non-identical, although they look identical serving a mission in California right now as well!

While in the North St. Paul area, I got to knock on doors, and teach families, and teach Karen people! It was insane. All these Karen families were refuges from Thailand or Burma, and most of them have only been living in the states for less than 5 years. They truly are really humble people with a strong faith in Christ. However, they just can't come to understand why they need to be baptized again. Many times, I felt like we were simply only planting seeds, and leaving behind a good impression of Mormons, and being good representatives of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, despite all the numbers and goals we try to achieve, I think that is after all what matters the most. While I was with Sister Riley, I learned a really important thought. As missionaries, we often pray and ask the Lord to put people in our paths, prepared to receive the Restored message of Christ. However, we never ask for the strength to RECOGNIZE these people. I love this thought and it adds a whole other perspective to how I can pray and communicate with God.

Although exchanges were a good experience, I was overjoyed to be back in Dinkytown where I get the warmth and comfort of the Institute quite often throughout the day. I honestly am way spoiled to get to serve in Dinkytown my first transfer. With that, I often know that it is important to me to be even more humble because of it. 

I have been studying a lot recently on how I can become a more effective and consecrated missionary through being guided by the Spirit. I have found what's holding me back as of now, and that is the fact that I often rely too much on my on abilities and gifts, such as my gift of tongues. However, I am not serving a mission to do my own will, but to do the Will of the Lord. He will place people in my path, and he will prepare my mind through the Spirit to teach effectively. I need to think less about myself, more about the investigators, and LISTEN MORE. 

Being quiet and having silent moments on a mission is awfully important I've  found. Often my prayers at night consist of me asking about an investigator followed by me asking "according to thy will, what should I do for them..". and then simply stopping and waiting for impressions. It truly is a powerful way to pray when you learn to submit your all to the Lord and solely rely on Him to show you the way. You become so much more enlightened and spiritually uplifted. 

Helaman and Enos teaches us a lot about what the Lord's voice sounds like. Study Enos' experience of praying to the Lord for repentance and come to learn the Lord's voice for yourself! President Ehlert, a counselor of our Mission presidency taught us a valuable lesson this past Friday about how we can come to learn the Lord's voice. He shares with us that the Lord's voice sounds like what He has recorded in the scriptures, it sounds like the Prophets teachings, and it sounds like the words that come to our minds with influenced by the Spirit. I love that!

Sorry  these photos are so blurry but I'll get better ones!

Well love you all!

Sister Pao

A Miracle A Day...Keeps the Lord's Work Moving Along!

Dear all my lovely poppets back home!

Its been another week and it's all just getting better and better from here! Ya I definitely sound way too ecstatic, but as missionaries, we are supposed to have a 24/7 smile, right?- well, at least that's what it says in the white missionary handbook. haha

Despite all the happiness and miracles we see each day while serving missions, we have bad days as well. Surprised eh?

Well, at the beginning of this week, we struggled a lot with helping our investigators progress. All our people just wouldn't reply our calls or texts! Yes I know we can be obnoxious, but seriously, just let us know if you can or cannot come. Haha, no, that was not complaining.

Sister Smith and I were getting a tad discouraged although we did not want to admit it. We both agreed on a unified fast and dedicated a day to doing so. Fasting works miracles, and Heavenly Father saw our diligence and sincerity. He blessed us with unimaginable success. Although we still don't have many progressing investigators, we came across so many people on campus who we've set up appointments with this coming week. We were able to teach FOUR full Restoration on campus last night. Hopefully, many good things will come from this, but of course, all according to the will of the Lord. We have been blessed on top of that this week, with 4 investigators and 2 less actives that came to church on Sunday. It was one of the most spiritual experiences that I've had so far on my mission, and I simply love taking the sacrament. Church, overall, is great, but there really is something just oh so special about sacrament meeting- and i love it!

Funny things about being a missionary: you get to see people literally JUMP UP, REV UP, and RUN AWAY FROM YOU when you simply say hello to them. It's the funniest! People's reaction when you are approaching them is hilarious as well. Often, the Chinese students simply think that we've met before, that's why we are saying hi to them and they get really scared and confused and apologetic. oh, so funny! 

I love the city of Minnesota, there are so many cute restaurants here around campus, and Sister Smith and I have been waking up earlier in the morning to go running. I LOVE IT! We get to run across this bridge every morning, see all the city lights start to get brighter and brighter, as the sun starts to rise. The beautiful autumn leaves here also reminds me a lot of Canada. I love all the trees and the changing of the leaves. It's absolutely beautiful!

Alrighty, that's all my update for now. Last but not least, I get to go knock on doors for a change today! I am going on an exchange, so bye bye to Sis. Smith for THREE days :( boo I am going to miss her, because we truly our soul sisters. WE are sooo similar in soo many ways! However, I'm excited to change it up and to knock on my first door. Pray and hope that i won't get smacked in the face by any doors these next few days haha.

Being a missionary is great! we get a whole meal at this restaurant called eddingtons, with yummy toasty soup, and unlimited supply of breadsticks for 3 bucks! usually its 6 bucks, but we get half off cuz the old owner of the restaurant was Mormon! Woohooo for being missionaries!

Well those are simply some fun tidbits and miracles happening in my day to day life. Keep me updated with miracles going on in all of your lives!!!

3 Nephi 22:10-17 I love the last verse, "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." I'm not just changing my behavior to become a consecrated missionary, i'm changing my nature! You are all TERRIFICAL TO ME!

Love always,

Sister Pao 

Living it up in Dinkytown Minneapolis!

Hola from Dinkytown Minnesota!

Hello to all you poppets out there. I am so excited to be able to update you all on all my exciting adventures and experiences out here on the mish.

First off, I have officially arrived in Minnesota, and this happened on Wednesday, for those who don't keep a track on my whereabouts, every second of my life!
Second off, and the MOST SHOCKING NEWS OF ALL is that....I will definitely be using  A LOT of Chinese while serving here in Minnesota!

Upon arrival, I was welcomed by my Mission President and his wife Sister Clements right off of the plane. It was wonderful, no wandering around and no chances of getting lost. There were around 25 of us all traveling here in Minnesota (finally met some of the people serving in Minnesota, because all of them were on the West Campus at the MTC).
Fast forward, we went to the mission home about fifteen minutes from the airport, and MINNESOTA IS BEAUTIFUL! IT LOOKS SO MUCH AND REMINDS ME SO MUCH OF VANCOUVER WHICH IS GREAT. I AM RIGHT AT HOME HERE!
Fast forward some more, we eat lunch and then i go in to have my interview with my Mission President. They are the cutest couple by the way. Without any delays, President Clements declares to me how excited he has been awaiting my arrival, and how much he has been looking forward to my arrival- assuming that he says this to everyone, i nod and laugh and so thank you as politely as possible. 
However, from there, he goes on to tell me that he personally requested me, a native chinese speaking missionary, to the General authorities of the Church, because they have been having an increase of Chinese investigators and converts. I am officially the FIRST native-chinese speaking missionary out here in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission and...I will be teaching a lot in Mandarin, with an English speaking companion....ya....WHATTTT, NO PRESSURE AT ALL! craziness huh?

Well, speaking of companions. I have the cutest and most amazing trainer/companion at the moment. Praise the Lord, because secretly...I actually fasted and prayed for a first companion/trainer that I can get along with. And lo and behold, Sister Smith is beyond anything I imagined, actually she is just like what I imagined, because we are almost the same person. We love the same things, we love dance, we love dark chocolate, we have the same humor, we both have pretty good style (i like to think that), we both are prepared and diligent about missionary work, we both love the movie Ramona and Beezus, we both went to BYU Provo, lived in the same place freshman year without knowing, and we simply are just getting along sooo well. Sister Smith is from St. George Utah, is very tiny when standing beside me, imagine little blonde Tinkerbell, because that's what she was for Halloween growing up. Sister Smith has been an awesome trainer so far, and we are able to talk to each other about basically everything already. I have learned so much from about the way we teach, and about how we approach people, and she is very much a very consecrated missionary. I can't wait to share more stories with you all about the time we have together.

Alright on to the people I teach and where I serve.
I am currently serving in one of the most favored missions apparently. Lucky me! I am serving in a YSA ward, and we hold meetings at the Institute church building right by campus. That's like our home base building, where we teach all our lessons, eat food, and get fed by people. haha. I am serving in the Dinkytown YSA ward, and my place of contacting people is on the beautiful campus of University of Minnesota! The campus is gorgeous and it covers a large area, because it crosses over to the other side of the Mississippi River! I love this area, and I will have to take some photos and send it to y'all.

Since I'm at a school campus, there are of course tons of Chinese students here! These Chinese students are like our main target for investigators here and it is crazy to see how many people they have been able to baptize without anyone speaking Chinese.
I am hoping that while i am here, i will be able to help accelerate the teaching and help the chinese investigators better understand. although ultimately, the spirit already does so much to teach to there needs, and to their hearts. I am simply helping things move ahead-which i am still figuring out how to do.

ahhh i am running out of time. but here's a quick update of a miracle that i had last night. after conference at the institute building, we weren't expecting any appointments and no lessons for scheduled. but miraculously, a student that we had met contacting a few days earlier appeared at the church! he wanted to learn more and even thought that God had guided him to find us missionaries. we were beyond excited and i was overjoyed and wayyy over excited to have this unexpected time to teach. we taught him the restoration and invited him to be baptized because this is apparently what we do as missionaries now. yup! first visit you invite to baptize. It was great and i will have to tell you all more about it. but i am officially out of time.! 

I will learn to better use my time next week, but there's plenty to do.

All is good and the Lord is good and I am doing soooo well!

Love you all so much!

Sister Pao

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'M HERE!!! (or there...)


I'm kinda loopy right now so excuse any craziness or nonsense that I might speak of. I arrived in Minnesota Minneapolis (Bloomington is where the mission home is ) just about 4 hours ago. I am LOOOOOVING IT HERE. It is sooo green and it reminds me a lot of Canada. Grandma would loooove this place. I am safe and doing well. Loving our mission president and his wife. Being sooo loved here. And surprise surprise peeps, I am officially the FIRST native chinese speaker EVER here in MINNESOTA!!! AHHHHHH PIONEER-ING IT UP AGAIN. IM QUITE NERVOUS THOUGH, CUZ THAT MEANS ITS A BIG DEAL. 

But thats it for now, gotta go! Love you all tonnsssss!

The Lord is great! Ether 12:4


Sister Pao!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Final Countdown!

It's been another week my dear friends and family. Where has it gone, do you ask yourself? because I ask myself that everyday! I know we always hear people talk about how time flies in the MTC BUT, now I can say it for myself, IT REALLY DOES DISAPPEAR BEFORE YOUR EYES.
In five days, I will be flying out to the Icebox of the Nation, otherwise known as the Twin Cities, or the Northern Star State, OR MINNESOTA MINNEAPOLIS! 

You want to know the reason behind why time flies so fast? Let me tell you, it is exactly because I am using every minute and every second of the day to the best of my abilities, and no time is being wasted! I love that feeling, because naturally, I am not a very organized planner, and I believe I often waste time in my "normal" life, but because I know that I am now using the Lord's time and serving him, I am using every ounce of my might, mind, and strength to work my hardest.

Let me tell you all a little bit about the excitements of this week. But before I say so, I want you all to know how humbling my experiences here at the MTC has been, and I owe it all to my Savior who has entrusted me to serve in all these leadership roles.

To answer Sharon's questions: A Sister Training Leader is the girl equivalent version of a Zone Leader, except i mostly only oversee the Sisters. (Robby can probably explain this more to you)
But basically I make sure that each companionship in my zone are doing well, and whenever they have questions or concerns, they usually come to me to try to resolve them. If problems do arise, I am the one that reports it to our bishop.

This past week, to my own surprise, three sisters actually came to me with some concerns and problems that they had been having within their companionship. I honestly was very surprised that i was being summoned to to help, but because they did come to me, I also felt confident in myself that I have been loving and obedient to have them trust me. Thanks to the help of the Savior and my goal to strive to be like him more and more in my life and mission, I was able to help them in a way that my Savior would approve. (Honestly, if i wasn't aware of my responsibilities and my potentials, i would have definitely taken their situation in a completely different approach and the results would have definitely been harmful to both parties. This scripture has been circling around me quite a lot recently, and with that, I want to share it with all you lovelies back home.
Alma 37:36-37 "...Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good, yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep..."

Being a missionary is the best thing because we are all promised an individual angel that watches over us. There really will be no other time in this life where I will have the chance to devote 24/7 of my time to serving the Lord, and to moving his work along. 

I am glad that before I came on my mission, I was inspired with the knowledge that serving a mission will require a lot of love. and seriously, it means  A LOT AND A LOT OF LOVE! I have seen how me judging investigators' ignorance to our message has already gotten in the way of me feeling the Spirit and my purpose of INVITING them to come unto Christ.
I am not out here to force anyone, but to love and to plant seeds. I will definitely keep reminding myself about that.

This past Tuesday, we had the chance as missionaries to go listen to a member of the seventy speak to us at our devotional. Elder Clark visited us and shared an extremely powerful message directed at helping us missionaries prepare to be better teachers of the Gospel. 

He encouraged us to write home about spiritual messages and not to waste our time on talking about what we ate or what we wore, or what we drank here at the Mtc. ALTHOUGH I DO KNOW THAT SOMETIMES, THOSE FUNNY THINGS ARE THE FUN PARTS TO READING MISSIONARY EMAILS. HAHA I WILL STRIVE TO FIND BALANCE! 

During his talk, he emphasized a lot on how as missionaries, we need not worry about our families, because no matter what, they will be watched over. I have every faith that LIFECHANGING events will begin to happen among my very own family and friends. I feel it in my GUTS GUTS GUTS (get what I'm quoting Shar and Cynthia?? haha)
Read D&C 100:1-2 fam and friends if you don't believe me! Challenge taken??

Another important message from the devotional was a lesson on fishing. Learn to be good fisherman, then you will become a good missionary. Like the story from Matthew 4:19. Look in the right places, sometimes they are just in front of you, the people who are most ready for the Gospel. HINT HINT MOM: WEI WEI JIE JIE! and Cyn and Shar, I will make y'all proud and "REEL MY INVESTIGATORS IN LIKE A SEA BASS" (another quote from our favorite movie eh Cyn?)

Fam bam, recently, I have setting goals and working extra hard on memorizing scriptures. I have the worst memory for these type of things, but I have seen how knowing scriptures by heart can be a true blessing to not only the mission world, but for my future. I invite you all to study with me this week the blessings of 1 Nephi 13 and 14. (cyn or mom, invite grandma to do so as well. tell her it's my deathbed wish...haha jokes, i'm not dying, but really, tell her that i am not messing around, and that it won't hurt her. also, i pray for her, so she WILL DO IT!)

Be insightful, dive deeper into the messages contained in those chapters because from reading and studying the words of those chapters, my heart has been filled with joy and gratitude for how lucky we really are to have our very OWN, TANGIBLE COPY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON. it truly contains plain and precious gospel that go hand in hand with the bible. it doesn't deny the bible in any way, but instead, it gives you greater knowledge of the Bible. 

And MOM AND CYNTHIA! i have truly found the answer to that question you had for me back when you were pretending to be my investigators. Why wasn't the Gospel spread to China, why don't we have a BOOK OF JACKIE CHAN, OR A BOOK OF JET LEE? ( JUST KIDDING, HOPE THAT WASN'T CROSSING THE LINES.) HAHA BUT read 2 Nephi 29:6-7 and let me know what you find! I invite you all to study with me!

This is a ridiculously long email, but each day here in the MTC is simply filled with so much new knowledge and I there is no other joy than sharing it with my own family and loved ones. 

Mom: let Songshan ward know that I love them very much. Tell Bishop that I often think back to the advices he gave me before leaving on my mission. I use it often here and share my new found knowledge with my peers. It will be so important for us to get to know the Bishop of any new district or ward we attend when we are out in the field. Members are soooo important in our success as missionaries. I will definitely be putting his advice into practice and I will report back on my results. haha (PLEASE TRANSLATE THESE THINGS FOR THEM)
My prayers go out to them always and I can't wait for the day when we are reunited. 

But for now, I have lots more to learn and do.
God be with you all and until next week...when I'll be in Minnesota!!!

Love love lovesss to all you poppets!

Sister Pao

Sister Carone from Brazil drew me haha.   
Sister Parra, sweet Spanish sister also a Sister Training Leader
More zone photos, i love my zone! Sunday Temple Walks
Sister Soleta has the most beautiful hair ever!
Where everyone's from and going!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Twice in One Week!

Hello once again!

Sister Pao here! Aren't you all feeling so lucky that you get to hear from me twice in a week? Its P-day here for me already. P-days are on Fridays so expect to hear from me on Friday next week as well.

It is official that I will be staying here in the MTC for another 12 days. I will be leaving on the 2nd of October and I am beyond excited.

Let me tell you now about one of my favorite things in the MTC...and that is my district and zone! We are the most diverse and international district ever. We have missionaries here from Dominican Republic, Brazil, Spain, Colombia, Korea, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Singapore, Taiwan (me), Ukraine, and Virginia! It is the greatest thing, because we really are one big happy family in here. Since we have P-day today, we were also very fortunate to get to go to the temple as well. Early this morning we got to go to the Provo Temple for an endowment session. Oh how glorious that moment was! The Provo Temple, although not very large looking from the outside, was ENORMOUS to me when comparing to the familiar Taipei Temple that I had been going to. Provo Temple is HUGE and I was blown away by how beautiful it was inside. Adding to the already perfect experience I had from being in the Provo Temple, we also got to watch the NEW movie for the endowment session. (YUP MOM, THE NEW MOVIE, IT WAS AWESOMEEEE! You will love it) A lot better directed and filmed for sure. (Shar and Robby, have you two seen it yet) haha.
I've been running into so many people that I know here, and it is really the most wonderful thing to see familiar faces here in the MTC. It reminds me of how diligent and hardworking my friends are and it overjoys me to know that they are hard at work serving a mission of the Lord. Seeing familiar faces really are tender mercies given to me by my Savior, and I am sooo grateful for it. (Mom: I even ran into one of Elder Wu's friends from England, serving here in the MTC!!) crazy small world huh?

While in the MTC, we have been emphasizing a lot so far on the purpose of us being a missionary. Why are we serving?- And that is because we want to invite all people to come unto Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer and it really is a wonderful thing to know that for yourself. I can't wait to help people TRULY know that for themselves. We have been teaching "pretend" investigators here in the MTC. Funny thing: two of my teachers here in the MTC our guys who were in my ward last year at BYU. Its hilarious to see that they're here teaching me, when last year, I mostly saw their crazy silly side. We joked about how he might end up teaching me one day and that I would show him no respect, but it was truly amazing to see how the Spirit works and how the Spirit can work through a person. And lo and behold, now they are teaching me and it was amazing to see them in your zone, to see them loving and tutoring us. They truly are worthy priesthood holders, and just from one lesson, I hold every respect and love for them. I am grateful for their worthiness and for their love of the Gospel, and their diligence. 


Funny things that happened these past few days: We did laundry just now. Although I've done laundry before, I was still soo surprised at how things can go out of hand so easily when surrounded by thousands of other missionaries who need to do laundry as well. First trouble: one of the sisters in our district had all her garments taken from the washing machine. how tragic is that? then following that, one of the sisters garments all turned YELLOW because her yellow skirt bled. Then following THAT, (thinking that I was safe)...MY GARMENTS ALL TURNED YELLOW....just kidding, well not really, because honestly, I THOUGHT THEY DID. however, we finally figured out that none of it had turned yellow and that it was only the glass of the dryer door that made all the white clothing look yellow. Whew! Dodged a bullet there! I still know what I'm doing, I know how to do laundry...hahha

umm...what else! oh right! Crazy thing how fast things are moving here in the MTC. I just got here two days ago, and now two days later, I have been called to be the Sister Training Leader for my District! Ah crazy responsibilities thrown at me already. I am glad that the Lord has this trust in me, and it truly is an honor and blessing to be so relied upon. However, I really hope that I will be able to do exactly what He wants me to do, and that I will be in tuned with the Spirit to be able to help out the Sisters in my district. I love them all so very much already and I wished you all could be here to meet each one of them. Although I'll only have two short weeks here with them, I can tell that I will be eternal friends with a lot of the sisters and elders I have met here. 

So with this new calling, I will be a complete newbie for the rest of this week, but when next Wednesday hits, with the new batch of missionaries coming, I will no longer be a newbie, but instead, I will have to lead and teach all of THEM that comes in. YUP! one week, and I will have to learn everything. The Lord really is wasting no time in moving his Church ahead. I am so glad and happy that I can be a part of the Lords Army at this time and in this dispensation. It truly is a special work and will be the two most cherished years of my life. We only have 18 months to be called "Sister/Elder" something, and I will use it to the best of my ability in representing Christ.

As our branch presidency says, be the best missionary as you can be, I will strive hard to do so!

Sending prayers and love always to all you peeps back home, or friends spread out all over the world.

Sister Pao

My first day roomies
My dear Sister Naatjes who served with me in my student ward last year! (She's from Minnesota as well!) and she's going to serve in Korea. 
Minnesota Minneapolis!
What happens at dinner time. The comparison of sizes of our homeland. The biggest one North and South Korea, then Taiwan, then Samoa, then Singapore. lol
My district!
Me and my companion Sister Ang
Elder Bowie from England! Knows Elder Wu! (excuse the crazy bun on my head...its p-day, cut me some slack. haha)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Love from Sister Pao!!!

Hi family!!!! (& friends)

I'm here! Safe and sound in the Provo MTC! and it cannot get any better than this...well not really, but I am beyond excited to be here. Everything has gone beyond better than I imagined and I really have been watched over.
A quick update of my travels here. Everything went well, to Tokyo and on my flight from Tokyo to Portland, I even got two seats to myself! So plenty of room to spread out and SLEEEP tons since no music and movies were going to help me kill time with that long flight. The layover in Portland was slightly long, and just about killed me!-not really, but 5 hours with nothing to do really was something new to me. Lotsa Book of Morning and Preach My Gospel reading was done for sure, but there really is a limit to how much time you can read in one sitting. haha

After arriving in Provo, I was welcomed by Hayley, Beth and Ali Johnson! I am so blessed to have friends and family who love me so much here in Utah, so no worries, I was in good hands and taken care of.

Hayley and Beth brought me and treated me to dinner at Zupas, my last supper, then I had time to freshen up and pack a few more things at Hayley's apartment, and then they dropped me off at the curb! Didn't even get to walk me in since it was already almost 8pm when I got to the MTC.

It was nice getting in earlier, and not having to arrive with all 600 other missionaries today. I got back to my room and was free to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the evening. My roommates/the other sisters that i share a room with were out at devotional so i got to settle down and get showered and cleaned up before they headed back in.
I shared a temporary room with 3 other international sisters last night. Sis. Guillamba from Mozambique, Sister Randall from New Zealand, and Sister Brigdwater from England. Definitely wayyy surrounded by foreigners and I'm loving it! I looooove hearing their accents. They're all really sweet people. Sis. G going to Madagascar, Sis. R going to New York North Mission, and Sis. Bridgwater to France, Lyon. Sick missions! To be honest, a little jealous, but I'm set and super stoked for Minnesooooootaaa!
So right now its 9am in the morning and I feel like I've already done sooooo much. I guess thats the upside of waking up at 6:30am in the morning haha. MTC food not really settling well on my stomache. Actually overall, I think the nerves has just put messing with my stomach, so MAYBE that i'll lose a few pounds in here haha.
I love being here in the MTC, have I said that already? Tender mercies all around, I've already  seen two of my sister friends in here. It's soooo great seeing familiar faces and knowing that they're doing good.
I have always been grateful with the culture we've grown up in and here I am once again suuuuper grateful for my ability to speak multiple languages. So far, I've already been asked to translate twice! Both Chinese and French. I love being able to serve the people around me and thankssss mom and dad, for raising us the way we are. so blessed with language abilities.

Well, thats about all the update I have up to now. Since i'm international, they're going through with us with all the things we brought and our luggages, and if we're missing anything we need the MTC will provide anything we miss. FREE STUFF ALL AROUND!

Alrighty! more to do now and I think this is a long enough update from me already. I love you tons and the Church is true and pray that I won't get burned out to quickly, because it'll come inevitably. But in the meantime, God is good, I'm doing good, and I LOVE YOU ALLL SOOOOO MUCH!

Sister Pao (I have my name tag now! its official)