April 9, 2013

Washington - 4/9/13

Dear family and friends:

I'll start out with shoutouts this week!!! - EVERYONE LOVES SHOUTOUTS, RIGHT?!?

Mom and Dad: Thank you so much for that easter package and cute dishtowel bunnies.  Sister Huddleston was so happy to receive a gift, especially since she didn't get a lot of mail last week.  - We loved eating the candy, coconut crackers, reading the mail, and taking pictures with our easter bunnies.  I wrote a letter in Chinese today and will send it tomorrow.  Also, I was really happy to see the pictures of you all at the Humphries having an Easter dinner.  I'm so happy that you keep the traditions going!

Jeffrey and Kara: I'm glad you loved general conference and that you call home every week.  I am including my favorite quotes from general conference at the end of this email, and I know you'll love looking over them! :)

Sister Chen!! - She's so funny.  She always emails me with the funniest little messages, and she tells me all about the Taichung mission.  I CAN'T WAIT to be out there.  ALSO, I can't wait to talk to her on Mother's day! That's so cool that she is going home soon!

Elder Chen!! - WOW.  Every time I read about him, he's always baptizing like a million people.  It's so crazy! He's super amazing, and I am just trying to keep up with him!

JON JON!! AYAYAYAY!  He's SUCH A STUD!! I am so glad that you ran into Amy Smith at the temple so she could give you that cup!   Aren't they the best?! You should totally write Ashley and Amy Smith thank you letters sometime this week when you aren't busy with work and everything.  - You're so cool!!! I can't wait to see how much you've grown when I get back from my mission! LOVE YOU SO!!

MARY MITTON: AHHH!!! - I almost jumped out of my chair (I'm in the library) and started screaming when I read that she got called to the BALTIC, LATVIAN speaking mission!!! GAH! - CONGRATULATIONS!!! You'll have to get my myldsmail email from my parents so we can email one another these next months!

OK, I also saw the following people performing in the choirs during general conference: Sister Humphries (YOU LOOKED BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Hyrum Arnesen, David Ross, Arianne Same, Kiersten Favero, Caroline Madsen, and Zachary Adamson!! - WHEW! It was so fun spotting all those familiar faces as I watched general conference.  Isn't general conference SO amazing?! - I love how the WHOLE world watches it together.  The CHURCH IS TRUE!!!

Alright, so this week was really great! Sister Huddleston and I exceeded the standards of excellence!! - It's been really great because our numbers have been going up and up and up! She said they've been improving ever since all the new sisters have come out.  - We also went on exchanges this week.  Since Sister Huddleston is the coordinating sister, we have to go on exchanges at least once a week.  I'm taking over our area this week since she took care of it last week.  Last week, I left our area for Colville for about 24-hours, and I was able to serve the people up there with Sister Umphenour.  Colville is really rural and has fields and fields of farmland.  It's a cute little town.

I think in the past week I've washed about a thousand dishes (not really - it just feels like it).  We served so many people who needed help, and I feel like I've become stronger and stronger each day!!! It makes me so happy when I am able to serve so many people.

A lot of our investigators have little kids.  - It's perfect for me becuase I LOVE little kids.  They're so cute and have a special light about them.  I'm so grateful to be serving the people I am over here.  They are perfect.

We finally got the address of some of the Chinese students we want to contact this week.  I've been working on my Chinese and can't wait to finally use it to bless people's lives! 

One of the many miracles that happened this week was during general conference, Brother Marx, an 80-year-old man was sitting with us.  He's a recent convert and has a hard time coming to church sometimes.  I kept praying that he would be able to hear and understand everything that the prophets were saying, and guess what?! - HE DID, and he started crying when Elder Eyring started bearing his testimony about the Restoration and about Jesus Christ. 

Alright, so here are my favorite quotes from last week and from general conference:

"You will have success according to the time you spend in the Book of Mormon." - Elder Holland
"Faith is a REAL POWER." - Boyd K.
"What e'er thou art, act well thy part." - Elain S. Dalton
"There is a time and a season for all things." - Quentin L. Cook

How to be a successful missionary:
1. Search the scriptures
2. Teach truths with testimony
3. Plan life with a purpose
4. Serve the Lord with love
"With love we'll win its victory." - Priesthood session (can't remember who gave this talk.)

"The light will always overcome the dark." - Elder Uchtdorf
"Overcome fear with faith"
"No force in the entire world can stop the work of God." - Neil L. Anderson
"This isn't missionary work.  This is missionary fun."
"It's ok to try.  It's ok to stretch.  It's ok to dream." - Rosemary M. Wixom
"Humility answers softly and listens kindly." - Whitney Clayton
"Obedience to law is liberty." - L. Tom Perry
"A child who sings is a happy child." - Enrique R. Falabella
"Be not afraid. Only believe."
"All things are possible for those who believe."
"Hold fast to what you already know and hold strong." - Jeffrey R. Holland

I loved how Bruce D. Porter talked about how every morning we should wake up and say, "Oh! What a beautiful morning!" - Regardless how foggy, dreary, or cold our days may be, we should ALWAYS be optimistic and look at our blessings. 

"Ever be ready to extend a helping hand and a loving heart." - Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Alright, so I'll include pictures in another email, but funny story: One of our families has an autistic child, and I think he's only 5 or 6, so when he was talking to his mom about me (he didn't know my name), he called me "the brown one".  It's was really funny.

OK! - Love you all! Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!


Sister Verina Chen

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