Thursday, August 29, 2013

Post 4

Bula Vinaka Kapaa 2nd Ward!

Well the MTC is amazing and the spirit is so strong! I love how we all have the same purpose here and are working so hard to prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities before we go out into the mission field. Sometimes I wonder how this place has such a strong spirit and then someone told me that when you think about it, this is probably the only place that EVERY single person in this vicinity is worthy of and has a temple recommend. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by faithful and worthy servants of the Lord.

The language is coming along. We had to teach a lesson the second day we got here, in Fijian! All I knew how to say was "Bula Vinaka! Vakacava tiko?" which is "hello. how are you?" I couldn't teach a lesson with just that. So that night me and my companions studied so hard. I've never studied so hard in my life. Now that I look back at that experience it's amazing to see the progression and the gift of tongues in full effect. 

I hope you are all doing well. I would like to leave with a challenge to read my favorite book in the book of mormon. the book of Enos. It talks about prayer and how important it is in our lives today. I testify of the importance of prayer and that it is a gift from our Father in Heaven. We're the ones who get to choose when to pray and where to pray. The challenge is actually doing it. Our Father in Heaven wants to hear about everything that's going on. I know He answers our prayers and I know that it is at times of trials and hardships that He is carrying us. 

I love you all and miss you! Pray to our Heavenly Father and He will help you and guide you through your lives. I leave the MTC next Saturday Sept. 7th.

loloma levu,
sista chong

After playing in the rain

Going FOB
Her District

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Post 3

set tiko! (im good) i still love the language and this week we actually had one of the other fijian teachers (Bro. Angilosi) come and substitute for our class because Bro. Matheson is on vacation. anyway, this week he went through the first and second lesson with us, helping us find scriptures in the bible that would help people understand certain doctrines. he said in fiji there are a lot of methodist so they know the bible pretty well, so they might need proof from the bible rather than the book of mormon in order to believe something. i hope that makes sense. so we read scriptures that explain God and Jesus Christ are two different people. another one explained that we need to pray to our Father in Heaven and not Jesus Christ. we found so many scriptures in the bible that i didn't even know existed! then again, i don't really read the bible but this week made me want to study it more. so that's what im going to try and do.
i miss you all so much! but i love the work and i love serving the Lord.
my favorite scripture this week is in Jacob. it's Jacob 6:12, "O be wise; what can I say more" short and simple! it just reminds me to always think about what im doing. dont make dumb mistakes and just always think about my purpose and bringing others to come unto Christ. There are some elders in the tongan district that got in trouble. they're not getting sent home but they got a warning and it just made me think of this scripture. Don't do anything dumb that will keep you from returning home with honor. it kind of goes along with the message we heard at our devotional. this week we had Elder and Sis. Maynes of the seventies, come and speak to us. Sis. Maynes said something that stuck with me, "Decide right now to make your mission a celestial mission." To me it means to not just serve your mission because you have to, but to make the best experience and most spiritual experience ever! A mission is the closest you'll get to the Lord and the most attentive you'll be to the Holy Ghost. What a blessing! So this week i remind myself to by wise and focus on the work of the Lord, not on the unimportant things. 
we just got back from the temple and it made me think about trent going to the temple for the first time this week. i wish i was there to experience it with him but im sure there was a lot of family there to support him. send him my love and im so excited for him. i just wish he came in while i was still in the MTC. oh well.

heres some pictures from this week. in the picture with me and my companions....sister mauga on the left of me, sister mataoa on the right. in the back the poly one is elder utai and the haole one is elder day (district leader). the picture with just the elders (left to right) elder hosea, elder higa, elder sitake-tanoai, elder pulli. and the last one is just me and sister mauga :)

last thing i want to say is, I love my district! It's going to be so hard to leave and split up once we get to Fiji. No matter what happens, I know we'll have a special bond :) We all know how to crack jokes and have fun. We laugh all the time and just make learning Fijian fun. But when it's time to study or to just be serious, we can all become very humble and spiritual. In our district meetings and even when we're just sharing personal experiences in class, we're not afraid to share experiences that are so close to our hearts, stories that we hold dear. The spirit is so strong in our district meetings and I never fail to shed a tear. 
when do the caycayans check in and josh!?! i'll be looking for them and hopefully i'll get to be host (greet the new missionaries) when josh gets here. if he comes on sept. 4 then i leave that saturdayso hopefully he comes next week on the 28. i feel like it is the 28th because i think it was in august. but im so excited to see all 3 of them!!  anyway i love you guys so much and i miss you all!!  i see micah a couple times, he doesn't have a class right now because they all went into the field but he stopped by tuesday to say hi. hes awesome and he always encourages me to keep going!  but i love you guys and i miss you!!
loloma levu,
sistah chong

And a few more pictures...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MTC Post: letter2

"On your mission you will receive revelation and inspiration in Fijian because the Holy Ghost speaks PERFECT Fijian."

Bula Vinaka everyone!

Vakacava tiko? I hope you're all doing well. The MTC is still awesome and I'm starting to get the hang of things here. All we do is pray, read scriptures, learn Fijian, teach lessons in Fijian, and eat! haha. Well I have developed a love for the language which makes me love the people and I haven't even met them yet. Crazy how that works! But I know the Lord is helping me tremendously because I learn so much every single day. 

I'm already teaching my second and third investigator here at the MTC and I feel it becoming easier and easier to prepare lessons and understand what the investigator is saying. Instead of just saying what I memorized, I'm able to speak from my heart and listen to what the spirit wants me to say. Sometimes what I'm trying to say doesn't make sense, the spirit helps the investigator as well to know what I'm saying. Something cool that my teacher told me this week is that since we're not from Fiji and we're learning their language, the Fijians are going to know that we aren't native speakers and their going to know we're still learning. So they're going to try that much harder to listen to us and try to understand everything we're saying compared to someone who speaks Fijian already and just talks really fast. When you learn a new language you have to simplify your sentences and by simplifying your sentences it makes it easier for the investigator to understand the doctrine you're teaching. So I'm truly excited to go to Fiji but not yet because I know there's so much more I need to learn here at the MTC.

This week in the MTC I felt like the theme was prayer. Almost in every single class and meeting we talked about prayer. It shows how important it is to pray to our Heavenly Father. He wants to know what's going on in our lives and how He can help. It's like when you have a friend who lives far away and you never talk to them. But when you finally do talk to them, you're so excited and happy and want to just tell them everything that's been going on. It's the same with our Heavenly Father. He's far away but He wants to hear everything that we've been up to and wants us to pour our hearts out to Him. The times when we don't want to pray is when we NEED to pray! In my personal study, I studied Enos. It's my favorite book in the Book of Mormon right now because it talks about prayer and how powerful it is. Enos prayed for forgiveness with all his heart and he prayed all day and the Lord forgave him of all his sins. Then instead of praying for himself or his friends, he FIRST prays for his enemies. That takes so much love and forgiveness to pray for your enemies. I definitely need to work on that. But go re-read that book because it's the best ever!! It definitely strengthens your testimony about prayer and makes you re-think if you're praying enough. 

This Tuesdays devotional was so special because it was the first time that the Provo MTC broadcasted a devotional to all the MTCs in the world and it was amazing! Along with it being the first time for a broadcast, we had Elder Richard G. Scott come and talk to us. It was awesome! The spirit was so strong and the presence of an apostle of the Lord just brings a sense of peace throughout the auditorium. He talked to us about prayer and how important it is to pray, not just privately but out loud. When we pray out loud, we tend to pour out our hearts unto the Lord. One of my favorite things he said was that sometimes Heavenly Father doesn't give us an answer to our prayers because he wants us to struggle a little so we can grow. He said there are three different answers from the Holy Ghost. Number one, a sense of peace and comfort which means the answer is yes. Number two, is a sense of uneasiness and your stomach starts to turn then the answer is no. And number three, the Holy Ghost gives you no answer. It is at this time when there is no answer that our Heavenly Father is letting us act on what we think is right in order to grow. It all makes perfect sense now and now we can recognize these different answers. At the end of his talk, Elder Scott did something really special. He gave all those who were attending or watching an Apostolic blessing. In his blessing he blessed that all of us who were learning a new language would receive the gift of tongues. OHHHMMMGOSH!! It was so amazing! What a blessing right!? It motivated me to work so much harder as I try to learn this new language an to put all my effort and energy into practicing the language. My goal is to know atleast 1000 words before I leave the MTC and atleast 200 phrases. That's a lot of work but I'm determined. So this was the highlight of my week, hearing an apostle of the Lord speak to us as missionaries.

4 more weeks and then off to Fiji! I'm already getting kind of a FOB accent from speaking Fijian haha. I love you all and don't be afraid to send me letters, emails, or packages lol nah nah. Love you guys and miss you!!

Loloma levu,
Sista Chong

Monday, August 12, 2013

Setting Apart

It's late, but here are a few shots of Sister Chong's family after her setting apart. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

First week in the MTC

Bula everyone!
Vakacava tiko? Well the MTC is amazing and the spirit is so strong, I love it! It's such a special place where so many young people have the same purpose as I do and that is to bring others unto Christ. The language is pretty hard but I'm starting to get better at it. I think I learned more in the last 5-6 days then I did in 6 years of Hawaiian! Crazy! We had to teach an investigator on the second day we were here and the whole lesson had to be in Fijian! I was so nervous because all I knew how to say was "Hi. How are you?" and that's it. I was so nervous and I had no idea what to say. Good thing there was a book that had translations of all the lessons so we just memorized the lines, but our lesson was only like 5 minutes haha. Oh well, but yesterday we had our 4th lesson with our investigator, who's name is Poasa and that was our last lesson and guess what! We converted him to baptism. We actually only taught him the first lesson in preach my gospel, all 4 times we've taught him but that's something important that I learned. And that is that you don't need to go through all 4 lessons in preach my gospel in order to commit someone to baptism. All you need to do is teach the first lesson which is the basic principles of the gospel and as long as they believe it and have gained their own testimony about it and the spirit prompts you to commit them to baptism, you go for it!!!

My companions are Sister Mauga who is from New Zealand and Sister Mataoa from Tahiti (I instantly though of Aunty Abby!) hahaha but they're awesome. They both love the gospel and are just awesome sisters. We get along really well and we work together really good when we teach our lessons. My district is awesome. There's only us three girls and then we have nine boys in our district. So we're all in the same class and it gets really crazy sometimes. One of the elders in my district is actually not going to Fiji but going to California, Fijian speaking which is crazy cool! They said he's like the first one to ever do that. Our district likes to sing hymns in Fijian all the time and sometimes that's all we do for language study because it helps with our pronounciation. My teachers are Brother Matheson, who's from Salt Lake but he's super cool and funny and makes learning Fijian really fun. He's a clown! My other teacher is Brother Myers and he actually only came back from Fiji in October and he was actually our first investigator. We didn't know that he was our teacher until after we taught him the first lesson. So he was able to give us a lot of feedback about how we were doing. But overall the language is going pretty good and I'm loving every bit of it. It pretty just sounds like your mumbling when you speak Fijian really fast haha. So we'll see what I sound like when I get back. Miss and love you all!
Sister Chong