Monday, November 24, 2014

The Gift of Tongues

This week I definitely learned that the gift of tongues is real! Yay! Chinese is so hard, but there have been several times when I found that Chinese was not a problem at all. For the first part of the week my companion was not feeling well at all.  Just a good old cold.  On Wednesday evening after dinner, we were getting ready to go out and she was like "I just need to rest for a few minutes". So she crawled into bed ... and then she did not get up until the next morning.  I was like "uhhh....what do i do????" even though she is sick I'm still supposed to do missionary things. So, I decided to organize our area book and make calls. Ahhhh sooooo scary! I have always avoided calling people when Sis. Garlitz asked me too. Even in English I don't like speaking on the phone. But, i did! I was so scared! I called a bunch of former investigators. Before and after every call I would just pray so hard that I would be able to understand what they were saying and be able to respond appropriately! And it worked!!!! I even set up an appointment for this Wednesday!! I was so excited I was like jumping up and down.

Saturday evening we had a meeting with a with all the Mandarin missionaries and some other members.  It was all in Chinese. and I understood everything!!!!!!  Just during the whole week in general I found that when I am talking about the gospel or bearing testimony or using the spirit or whatever, Chinese is so easy!
And then on Sunday our branch president asked me to say the opening prayer in sacrament meeting!!!! Afterwards one of the investigators that we had at church and one of the elders were like "Sister Sharp your Chinese has improved so much!" I know that I have so much to learn still but I know that the Lord is really blessing me! I am so grateful that he trusts me enough to learn this language.

We did not have too many appointments this week.  Something about the last two weeks of November makes everyone really busy. Most of the people we talk to are like "yeah, I'd love to about in December?" Sooo ... looks like we will be busy in December! Yay!

But, on Sunday the Kowloon sisters had a baptism! It was for a lady and her 9 year old daughter! It was right after church and it was awesome  The person who performed the baptism was himself a recent convert and he is just awesome! We met with Rebecca afterwards and she told us that it was the 2nd baptism she has been to (there was another one before I came that she went to) and she said that every time she sees one it increases her desire to also get baptized! She is just so awesome. She really does love the gospel and cant wait until she too can follow Christ's example and get baptized! 

So yeah, this week has been great! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Noodles that made Sister Garlitz sick!

This week has been good, though definitely not the best week.  On Wednesday we had some noodles that an investigator gave us.  Ever since then my companion has not been feeling too well so we haven't really gone out and done much.  We did some finding and went to all of our appointments. But, the finding wasn't very effective and yeah - it was a bit rough.

Sister Sharp, Lily, Rebecca, Sister Garlitz (L to R)
Thursday we met with Winnie.  She is a recent convert who got baptized in August.  We met up for lunch and showed her the temple and the distribution center.  She really enjoyed it and is currently preparing to attend the temple on her own. On Thursday night we met up with Rebecca (investigator) and Lily (she just got home from her mission to Salt Lake Temple Square).  We went out for dinner and then read scriptures together.  Rebecca is progressing so well.  She is so awesome and has such a big desire to learn about the gospel.

On Saturday we went finding in a place called Pok Foo Lam.  It was awesome!  It is on the coast of Hong Kong Island and also in the mountainy areas.  It is so pretty!

Dinner with Gracie
Sunday we had a bit of a miracle!  On Saturday night we got texts from both of the investigators who were gonna come to church with us telling us that they couldn't.  We were really bummed and thought we weren't gonna have anyone.  But, then at church two unexpected investigators showed up! Yay!  And then Sunday night we had dinner with the Hong Kong Island Elders at Gracie's (a recent convert's house).  It was so fun and yummy!

All is well in Hong Kong! The weather is perfect now! Its like 75 or 80 every day! And, it has only rained once since I've been here!  It's so weird that I've already been here like 4 weeks.  Our branch president called yesterday and asked Sister Garlitz to give a talk next week (because she leaves on Dec 5) and then he asked me to speak the week after .... AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Wish me luck!

HAPPY POCKY DAY!!! (11/11)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Temple

Another great week in Hong Kong!  Everybody here is just so nice and everything else is just awesome.

On Monday we went to a place called Mong Kok and went shopping at an apple mall.  It is the cheapest and funnest shopping ever!

Tuesday we had a lesson with one of our investigators.  She wanted to see the temple so we took her there and we got to sit in the lobby.  I showed her pictures of my family and explained that the temple was so important to me personally because I am able to be with my family forever - especially since Hazel and Emmett are adopted and had to be sealed to my family.  She was really touched by the super strong spirit that was in the temple!

On Wednesday we got to do service with our Relief Society president.  There actually aren't that many opportunities to do service here so we were so excited when she called and asked if we could help her come make wedding invites for one of the recent converts!

On Thursday we went to the family history center in the wan cai church building.  We met with some senior missionaries and they helped us learn how we can teach family history to our investigators and recent converts!

Friday was zone conference!  Yay!  President Hawks is awesome!  I learned a ton but something that I really liked that he said is "A miracle won't happen every day, but there is not a day when a miracle can't happen."

Saturday I went to my first English class!  The missionaries here put on an English class for the community every week and lots of people come.  We brought one of our investigators (the same who went to the temple with us).  She loved it!

Sunday was great! We had 2 investigators come to church with us! One of them, Rebecca, has been to church 3 other times already! The lesson we had with her was so great! She really just wants to know as much as she can! Also, on Sunday night we went out finding and we passed these people burning big paper mache replicas of things (like houses, cars, etc). I guess it was some kind of ancestor worship. It was cool because it was just this giant furnace on the side of the road!

Yesterday we went over to a family's house for dinner.  They had some relatives over from mainland that they wanted us to meet! I couldn't understand anything they said...eventually I found out that they were actually speaking a different dialect! Phew...though my Mandarin is still pretty elementary.  We also had a huge miracle yesterday! So for dessert last night we had banana bread and after we ate there was about half a loaf left.  They offered it to us and I was about to be like "What no, it's your bread!" but then my companion cut me off and said "Actually that would be such a miracle. We literally do not have any food to eat tomorrow."  And she was right!  I had forgotten that we hadn't gone grocery shopping in a while and literally only had one egg in our fridge.  So yeah, we got to have breakfast this morning - yay!  It reminded me of a scripture in Alma 31:37-38:
37 And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.
 38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

And today we got to go to the temple! We get to go once a transfer (about once every 9 weeks!). It was awesome! the Hong Kong temple is so beautiful! We are so blessed to have a temple in our boundaries that we can go to!

Love you all!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mais Oui, Je Parle Francais!

This week has been great! Hong Kong is just the best.  There are like 170 missionaries (I think) in the mission and there are 7 Mandarin sisters.  Four of us are in the Victoria 3 branch.  It meets in the Wan Chai building (probably the coolest church building ever ... it's like a skyscraper).  Our branch is the only fully Mandarin branch in HK.  Sister Garlitz and my area is HK Island.  All of Hong Kong is split into several parts: New Territories, Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, (and then there are one or two more but I don't remember their names). The other sisters in our branch cover Kowloon. But, we all go to the Wan Chai (in HK Island) branch because it is the only Mandarin one.  There are also 4 Mandarin elders in our branch (two in HK Island and 2 in Kowloon).  The members in our branch are all so great! My Mandarin is kind of terrible but they are all really patient with me!

Hong Kong is so fun! There are just like a bazillion buildings everywhere! And there are also lots of pretty parks! It's also super hot...and we don't have air conditioning. I'm a bit scared to see what summer will be like! Our apartment has some bugs.  The other day I left our apartment and walked into the hallway of our building and there was a huge cockroach hanging outside our door.  Also, people here don't drink cold water ... ever. So that's something to get used to. But, no matter I still love it here!

So this is what we did this week:

On Tuesday we went finding in a little island right next to HK Island called Ap Lai Choe (It means Duck Tongue Island in Cantonese).  It is such a cute place!

On Friday we had Halloween! But we didn't celebrate or anything :( but we did have a zone training meeting.  Our zone is the international zone. SO it has the 8 Mandarin missionaries who go to the Victoria 3 branch, 5 sets of Tagalog missionaries, and then two sets of elders who were originally called Cantonese but are now serving in the English branch.  So they do all their work with foreign people who are working in HK.  Somehow they found out that I had studied French for a while and they were so excited because they had a French family that they were teaching.  They asked me to write out a simple prayer for them (thanks goodness at BYU we had to pray in class!)  It felt awesome to be using my French!

Saturday we had a great lesson with one of our investigators!  She is from Taiwan and she is so nice!

Sunday was awesome! We met with one of our investigators again and she is just the best! She came to church for the third time! We had a lesson afterwards about The Plan of Salvation and she told us that she wants to meet more often so we can study scriptures together! Sunday night we had dinner with a recent convert! She is like 30 and has the cutest 4 year old son! Her mom was in town from Shanghai so she made us some yummy food.  I need to learn to eat slower though...because as soon as my plate is half empty they fill it right back up and I can't say that I'm full so I just have to keep eating! It's so much food!

We have several lessons lined up for this week which I am really excited about! Sister Garlitz is a great trainer and is teaching me so much!