Tender Mercies


October 2015

Working hard and being blessed!

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I held medical marijuana this week. Long story I can’t talk about, but yeah who would have know¬†the mission would lead to drugs haha, don’t worry I threw it away ūüôā ¬†The work is¬†improving a lot! I am trying really hard to get to know the members¬†and gaining their trust. We get mistaken a lot as Jehovah Witnesses, one lady¬†answered the door saying oh no I already read the Lighthouse it is¬†very good. Ummm, wrong book!
We had exchanges this week! I went w Sister Skelley who
wants to move to the South hahahah so she had lots of questions. It
was a decent day. There was this lil boy at one house that just walked
right up to me didn’t say a word but just stood there and smiled. I
tried to give him a high five and he snuggled his face into it, we
were in a very poor area. He is going to have a hard life and it
literally just broke my heart. I had so much love for this complete
stranger I will never see again. Definitely a reason why I was not
sent to a third world country, I would just be sad all the time. I
couldn’t stop thinking about the kid all day!!!
God is so aware of us and who is around us. He has been prompting me to go
see this lady who doesn’t speak English, so we prepared a Spanish
message for her just a short video and after we finally got that
together we go to see her and she MOVED…but my comp looked up other
people in the area and we went to see them, they had also moved but
the people who now live there are so prepared to hear the gospel!!!
The Lord just led us right to them!!!!!!
Also the family there is a family that is moving in a hurry bc of financial ¬†problems and they didn’t want too¬†much of our help, I think they felt bad asking for so much. Since they
wouldn’t let us help them I thought they could use a Coke! So my
companion went along with it definitely thinking I was strange, but they
loved their drinks and were so grateful. A Circle K drink fixes almost
everything right?
Thomas is still on to get baptized November 7th, he¬†was very excited this week and came to church! Iman also came to¬†church, he comes every week. he moved here from the Middle East he is¬†Persian and very excited to have religious freedom, but he won’t stay¬†for Sunday school or let us teach him until he finishes the bible.¬†Which is frustrating but I need to be patient like dad said in his¬†email!
Thank you for praying for me I feel them so much. I know just how weak
I am yet the Lord makes me strong in everything I do thanks to your
prayers. We doubled the number of lessons we taught last week so I know that our efforts are paying off! Our ward is great they are trying to find people for us to
teach there just aren’t very many people in the area interested or¬†looking for more. But we are finding them slowly but surely! Sunday¬†was tough, ¬†nothing was going as¬†planned, no one was answering the door but the Lord sent another¬†tender mercy and turned the night around. I just see so many everyday.¬†After a long hard day he sends us some sweet soul to brighten up
everything. I miss you all and I am so grateful for your emails.
I will not doubt; I will not fear; God’s love and strength are always
near. His promised gift helps me to find an inner strength and peace
of mind. I give my Father willingly my trust, my prayers, humility,
His spirit guides;
His love assures that fear departs when faith
Stay STRONG my loves!

Hello, Sister Wong!

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It sounds like Sister Hawkins is getting settled into missionary life and having all kinds of exciting experiences. This week they met a man who said he was a film director, but wouldn’t give them his name – in her words “probably somebody famous.” He spent an hour arguing with them about the Bible, which was a little upsetting to them, but she said she is so grateful for the time they spend each day studying in the scriptures to help fortify them against people who will try to persuade them not to believe. ¬†“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” ¬†The rest of this post I will quote directly from her email:

Here is a little info about the Elders who are in my District.
Elder Burks is our district leader he has
been out over a year, he is like our overprotective big brother we are
well taken care of haha and he cooks! Elder Dales from Kentucky has
that southern swagger lol. Elder Anglade he came out when I did and
calls me Sister Wong. At a zone meeting in the MTC my branch president
looked at me and said “
Sister Wong what do you think about that?” We
aren’t really sure how he got Wong out of Hawkins but all the
missionaries that came out with me call me that haha I respond to
anything. Then Elder Martin he is a smarty pants. 
Oh we found a pirate ship house! Not just for Halloween but
for like life. There are those fire torches sticking out the side of
it w a skull and cross bones on the front and a legit pirate ship in
their backyard!

On Friday we went to visit‚Ä謆Katie is this sweet girl who was baptized a couple years ago she has¬†some special needs‚Äč, ‚Äčbut she is kinda grumpy¬†and usually only prays for a boyfriend, but I think I really got¬†through to her this week! I even got her to kneel down and pray w us
which apparently is a big accomplishment. I just followed the spirit,
put myself In her shoes, and LISTENED! it is crazy how far those three things can get you! 
I went somewhere sketchy!!! Finally! We went to¬†visit a less active and he lives in this huge castle looking house¬†that looks totally abandon‚Äčed‚Ä謆‚Äčwith‚Ä謆all sorts of things in the yard. And
there are like 15 doors so we weren’t sure which to knock on haha oh
and two huge dogs that looked terrifying but they were so sweet!
Everyone and their dog has a dog here!!!!!!! 
‚ÄčWe ‚Äčhave a young man Thomas on date for baptism but he just informed us he¬†doesn’t¬†like church and he probably wouldn’t go after his baptism, so
we aren’t sure if we should go through w it knowing
‚Äčthis. Going to church is kind of important. lol¬†

My first week here we went to find a potential and found
someone else instead Carlos he seemed moderately interested. I fasted
for him the next Sunday and when we went to visit him he wasn’t there
ūüė¶ I was way discouraged thinking I just got my hopes up, but we went
again this Sunday and he was home and interested he even read the
pamphlet and had questions!!! As we are talking we find out his
brother and dad are actually recent converts and now less active!!
Isn’t crazy how the Lord just leads us to people who are looking for
answers! The past two weeks of rejection were totally worth it because
we found Carlos! I already care for him sooo much, I can’t wait to see
where things go! I can’t get over how God just answers our prayers. It
is in his timing which can be sooo frustrating but his timing is the
perfect timing. Stay strong in his word and ask patiently He is there
waiting and excited to answer you!
“Go forth among the thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be
patient in long suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good
examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my
hands, unto the salvation of many souls.” Alma 17:11
There will be hard times, haters are gonna hate, but be patient and be
a good example and God will use you as an instrument in HIS hands! is
that not the coolest promise ever?!?!”

Talk about tender mercies watching your child learn to be humble and listen to the Holy Spirit. It’s one of those “parent pay days” when we just get to sit back and watch God’s hand in the life of our children. He can make all of us so much more than we can by ourselves.¬†

First Week in the Mission Field – October 13

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Normally we would be getting an email from Sister Hawkins on Monday and so I think I may have checked my email 50 times yesterday. Hoping for that email! NOTHING!!! Last night I saw where her Mission President’s wife posted that they would be going to the temple this week and so their P-Day (Preparation Day) would be different for all the missionaries. Finally I got an email from her this afternoon and it was worth the wait! Here are a few quotes from her email:

“I love Anaheim!!! So we flew in Tuesday, our mission president
interviewed each of us and while we were waiting we took naps w our
new pillows on the church pews lol. Then got our companions! Sister
Webb is from Wyoming she has been out for 3 months.”

They don’t have a lot of people to teach right now so they are spending lots of time finding. “Knocking doors is not fun but since we have like no
investigators that’s all we do! My favorite is when they are outside
then when they see us run inside and when we knock they don’t answer

They are also doing community service. They have been walking an old horse twice a week named Blue, who is near death! I hope she sends pictures of that soon! They also visit a woman who is sick from breast cancer who she says has already taught her so much.

She says that missionary life is hard, but she is taking it one day at a time. She talked about the parable of the loaves and the fishes and how she is learning that the Lord will give her the strength and energy that she needs to get through each day. Some days, our cup will runneth over and some days we will have just enough to get through the day. There will always be enough if we rely up our Savior.

She Has Arrived!

Today started out with a special phone call from Kaitlin while she waited for her plane to board at the Salt Lake airport. I think of all the times I’ve talked to her on the phone or texted her and taken that communication for granted. It was the first time I had heard her voice for nearly two weeks and it was music to my ears!! The last two weeks have been punctuated by moments of sadness when I missed her so much, but it was all worth it to hear the excitement and joy in her voice this morning! That phone call was a TENDER MERCY for sure and I am so grateful for those 29 minutes that we spent together. She had an amazing experience in the Missionary Training Center and was excited and nervous to get to her area. Tonight we received an email from her that simply said, “Hey, I got here.” That’s it! Her trainer is named Sister Webb and she is serving the Anaheim Hills. I’m attaching a picture of her with her mom and dad for the next 18 months – President and Sister Taggart. These two amazing people have put their lives on hold for the next 3 years to teach and mentor about 200 young missionaries in the Anaheim area! I’m sure they could write a book by the time they go home with all kinds of stories. I know that my mission president and his wife were such powerful influences in my life. I remember some of their advice and counsel to this day and it has helped to shape my life. I know that Kaitlin will have the same experiences. So thankful for all of those people who take time to mentor or coach the youth of the world. Your impact is immeasurable.

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