Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello Again!

A good good good week!! Funny enough I spent nearly as much time with a different companion as I did with my own. For 3 days this week we went on exchanges. It was my first time leaving the Appleton area for the first time since I arrived here. While on exchanges we really experienced miracles. Within the 3 days we exchanged, we met 8 new investigators and we were able to speak with a family we hadn't spoken to in months. First off, we have a list of about 100 Hmong people that we along with missionaries before us have collected. When we have nothing else to do, we bring out this list and just start working through it. While on exchanges and through working on this list, 8 people were interested in the message that we had to share. Amazing! We are prayerfully approaching how best to meet the needs of these people and (even though many of them I haven't even met yet) I already love them. The other story is a very interesting one. It's one I'm probably going to use in my talk when I get home, so try to act surprised when I re-tell this. When I got to Appleton, we were taken to the house of a member family who was struggling and was becoming less active. We had a good lesson and were looking forward to coming back to speak more to them. However for 4 months we tried at least once a week, but more often two or three times, to begin teaching them again but visit after visit yeilded no answer. Often times we could see one or more of them as we walked by their house. But after knocking with no answer as we left, the curtains were closed and the lights turned off. We decided again this week to visit again and miraculously we had an answer! He ushered us inside and we taught how the gospel blesses families like the tree in Lehi's dream. Then my companion at the time, Elder Croft, asked "how has the gospel blessed you in your life". He broke down. He told us how much he missed church and how much he loved God and wanted to come back, but felt that some things that he had done were keeping him from coming. I was prompted then to give him a blessing of comfort. The feeling in that room was sacred. I will forever remember the Holy Ghost testifying to everyone in the room at that moment the truthfulness of this gospel. After the blessing, this man told us that the things he trusted us enough to know, were things that he hadn't even told his extended family. He told us "That makes you family. I love you guys." I was deeply touched and honored by this compliment. Family means everything to Hmong people, and I will always remember this well. We will now be visiting every week and hopefully there will be more updates to come, but as for now... I'm off to the dollar store to try and snag some sweet deals!! LOVE YOU ALL

Meej Mom

Monday, September 16, 2013

McFamily McEmail

Hello everyone!! Sooooo sorry that I didn't write a family E-mail last week! Not that you're all hanging on my every word or anything, but I still should have written. Anyway, there is a lot to update everyone on. First of all, this week is transfers (everyone's favorite time of the month...) and the news is in... I am... Staying in Appleton for another transfer!! WHAT?? Everyone thought that I was leaving! I thought I was leaving!! But if God needs me in appleton, Who am I to disagree? I will be staying with my companion (the district leader) and I will experience things I didn't think that I would experience in Appleton. I thought I'd be somewhere else when the snow started to fall... I didn't think that I would be here for October conference... I didn't think that I'd even have to unpack my cold-weather clothes!! But, I'm all in all relieved that I get to stay. The ward has really grown on me to the point where every dinner, I leave telling my companion, "Man, they remind me so much of my family!" I didn't think that it would happen this soon, or at all, but I don't want to leave this area!

Other than all of that boring stuff, we've seen some pretty amazing miracles in Apple-Town recently. First of all, while on exchanges with one of our zone leaders Elder Beech (He's from England and totally has the accent) we decided to go visit a family near a dinner appointment we had. We had arrived to the member's house with over 30 minutes until the appointment, so we wanted to fill that time with anything that might be affective. We went and knocked on two houses with no answer, and with 20 minutes until dinner, we seriously considered just being early. We decided one more door wouldn't hurt so we went up the stairs of a small apartment complex and knocked on the door... No answer. We turned to walk back down the stairs, when in the apartment accross the hall we heard Hmong yelling. We knew this was a great opportunity to teach and knocked. A young boy answered the door, and we began to teach. He seemed extremely interested and we were prompted to teach about the book of Mormon. He told us he actually used to have and read a copy that he lost in a move! In talking to him more, we found that he had met with missionaries before and had lost contact! We offered to give him the copy and he responded surprisedly "To keep?!" What a miracle right? Not quite yet... The next day, we set up a lesson with him and found out... HE HAD ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED 6 YEARS AGO!!! We found a lost sheep!! We are so excited (and as soon as we find his baptism records) we will re-activate him.

Miracle #2... More of just a very special experience. We were asked to give a priesthood blessing of healing to a man (the brother of an old member of the ward). He had refused for so long, and his family had been very against the idea of a blessing, but miraculously this past week everyone consented. We didn't know what to expect as we went in. What we saw nearly broke my heart. In a wheelchair, laying his head down on the couch next to him, was the most sickly and trial-worn man I have ever seen. He found out that he has Leukemia and has been experiencing the pains and sorrow that come with the awful disease. My companion annointed him and the brother-in-law of this sick brother offered him the blessing. My understanding of Hmong is minute, but I have never before been so touched by anything said in this language. This truly was a sacred time and a sacred blessing. I don't know what will happen, but what I do know is that that day, my companion and I were able to act as representatives of Jesus Christ. I know that through faith in the priesthood and Atonement of Jesus Christ, we all can overcome the trials and sicknesses in our lives. I am immensely blessed by this power. I love you all, and can't wait to see what another week brings.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


So much happened this week, my thoughts will probably be scattered, so I'm just going to try my very best to get as much down as I possibly can.
First, the bad news... This week we had scheduled 4 dinners, but of the 4 only 1 ended up happening. Two of the three that canceled were actually going to have investigators there, so that made it even MORE sad! We also were extremely low on miles (down to about 8 miles per day) so we felt like we were being extremely extremely ineffective. But then, at church we were asked to go to a member's house for dinner and a lesson for their daughter who is almost ready to be baptized. We were so excited!!.... BUT we found out that they live in a town that's about 30 miles away, and we told them that we wouldn't be able to. They were nice enough to offer to pick us up and drop us off, this all on Labor Day mind you. They have 12 kids, 7 of which are still at home, and as soon as I walked in I could tell that it would be one of my favorite dinners yet. We had so much fun playing "the missionary game" where everyone tries to guess our names, and then we try and guess everyone else's. It took us about 40 minutes to get all of theirs right! After that we had a cinnamon roll cake (I totally knew they got it off pinterest, and I was right!) Then we had our lesson, which was really cool, because everyone in her family gave little tiny testimonies about baptism. Overall a very fun night, one that reminded me of being home with my family. Other than that, we have 7 referrals that we need to contact this week. That's more than I had all of last transfer! We are really excited to teach these people about the gospel. I'll probably have more than one interesting story to tell next week, but until then... Sib ntsib dua, thiab kuv xav neb paub tias kuv hlub neb heev thiab kuv yuav saib neb thaum kuv tsis ua tub tbxib.... kev hlub kev hlub kev hlub!!!   (Gina google translated this..."Goodbye, and I want you to know that I love you and I will see you when I do not tbxib son .... love love love")