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!