FULL of Miracles

Leih hou a! Gamyaht hou ma?

How are you all this week?? It's still weird thinking about it being a different time in Utah. And everywhere else. Most of the people I know in the world are still in Sunday night. But for me, it's Monday already! And so much has happened today! I miss you guys TONS. I hope you know how much I love you and pray for you. Dad, it sounds like you had an INSANE week. I hope stake conference was great! Wasn't the broadcast good?? Yes, we got to watch it :) We're the only missionaries in the mission that got to watch it today! We got up at 5 and went over to our senior couple's apartment here in Macau (Elder and Sister Welling) and Sister Welling made breakfast for us and we all watched it together at6 am! It was fun! Did you think of me here in Hong Kong? :) Did you like how Hong Kong got a shout out? Some of the missionaries I'm serving with knew some of the people that were on the video from HK, so that was cool! :)

Anyway, this week has been amazing. Seriously. Full of so many miracles. It has really helped me to recognize the little miracles and write them down everyday. I've been really good about my journal writing too (much better than when i was in the MTC, i liked my roommates too much in the MTC haha) and so when I have bad days, I go back and reread through my good days. It helps.

Hmm... where to start....

I guess I'll start with the lice. Seems like you guys like hearing about that ;) Thanks for the info, momma. I read all about it. Sounds like they're really hard to get rid of. Great. I've been combing through my hair every night, washing sheets and pillowcase daily.. ahh it's such a pain. It's hard to find time to do that stuff. The shampoo that Sister Hawks tried to find is actually not shampoo :( I was sad to find that out. I know she worked really hard to find something and it came from really far away in Hong Kong so I'm grateful for it. It's actually Lice Defense Spray.. so I'm not sure it really does anything for those of us that already have lice. I don't know. Thank you for sending shampoo! I was actually going to ask if you could try and send some. I'm not sure what else to do besides have faith that the priesthood is real. I know it is. I know that I've been healed before and I can be healed again through that sacred power. I pray that my diligence in trying to get rid of these dumb lice will pay off and I can be healed.. and also that none of the other sisters will get it :/ ugh.

Anyway, things in Macau are going great other than that! I really am starting to love this work. Is it horrible to say that the first week I really didn't? That was enduring through the tough part. Now it is becoming enjoyable and I am seeing that really thrusting in my sickle with my might is working! I am gaining a love for these people and a real love of missionary work! Plus Macau is soooo cool. It's like Europe and HK mixed. I LOVE it. It's so awesome!! I'm slowly trying to find my way through these little narrow streets haha. You guys would love it too!

High points this week:

- Tuesday. We were out park finding. It was boiling hot. I was wearing my glasses and had the biggest headache EVER. My hair was a giant frizz ball. I could understand no one, and no one wanted to talk to us. We still had 2 hours before we could go home. I wanted to die. I stopped my companion right there on the path in the park and said, "I need to pray or I'm not going to make it through today." I offered the prayer, and in my very broken Cantonese said, "Heavenly Father, we are trying to be good missionaries. But we are so tired. Please help us to have strength. Please give us tailihk (it's like.. stamina). Please give us success. Please let us talk to at least one person who is interested in our message." When I closed the prayer, I felt a little bit lighter. We started working again, talking to everyone, and my headache went away almost immediately. It was still hot, but I felt better. We talked to a lot of people and got a few phone numbers and handed out a BOM! On the way home, we bought chah siu baau (delicious meat filled roll type things.. but not really rolls. But sort of. Idk how to explain them). I know prayer is real. Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He gives us what we need. He gives us comfort and strength. I know it!

- Wednesday. We watched "None Were With Him" Mormon Message with our investigator, Bobo. Bobo is awesome!! I really love her. She's been investigating the church for a looooong time. She says she has a testimony of the BOM but won't be baptized because she struggles with homosexuality issues :( It's really sad. I'm not sure how to help her. We pray for her sooo much. Anyway, we watched that mormon message because she wasn't sure if she wanted to keep coming back to church if she wasn't going to be baptized. We talked about how Jesus Christ will never leave us, and if we truly love Him, we will never leave Him either. I know that is true. I cried. (of course i did) and I really hope we touched her heart. SHE WAS AT CHURCH ON SUNDAY! yay! plus she came to Iris' (one of the other sisters' investigators) baptism. How awesome! What a miracle :)

- Thursday one of our investigators, Ha-Jeh, took us to lunch at a BUFFET in a CASINO! Hahahaha oh man it was awesome! She brought two of her friends too, and the whole time we were eating she was teaching them things that she'd learned from us and saying, "Isn't that what we believe, Sis Lau?" so funny. She's the sweetest old lady who believes that red is a lucky color and so she wears it all the time. Except apparently now she's switched to pink. She dyed her hair a BRIGHT pink magenta, and was wearing pink from head to toe. She's hilarious. After the buffet -- which was mostly weird Chinese food (I tried lots! just for the experience!) but they had some good salads and delicious ice cream -- we went to visit a less active with one of the members and it was awesome. Sadly, she did not show up for church on Sunday. We'll keep praying for her. Then we went to a part member family's house for dinner. Two cheng outs (cheng out is like when people feed us) in one day. Whoa. Too much food. We were still stuffed from the buffet, but when we went to the Lai family's house, they were making homemade pizza. I was thinking, oh sweet! Pizza! American food! I love pizza! ............ then I started helping make it.


Some weird things that looked like mini octopus.

Some other weird fishy looking stuff.


Some weird looking meat.

Ketchup for the sauce.


I was sitting there thinking, there is no way I can eat this nasty looking pizza. I'll throw up all over their beautiful kitchen table. Oh ewww. Imagine my face when I have to clean up moldy things from the fridge. But I couldn't make that face. So I made it in my head, smiled, and said, "Oh wow, this looks delicious! Thank you so much for feeding us!" and made the disgusting looking pizza. And you know what? When it was cooked, it looked like regular pizza. And it was actually pretty good. But it tasted really fishy. But i ate it! :) Oh Asia.

- Friday was Zone Conference. It was amazing. I wish I could tell you everything but this email is too long already and I'm running out of time and I want to send pictures. I LOVE President and Sister Hawks. They are incredible examples. Our Zone Conference pumped us up so much to get out there and do this fabulous, sacred work of the Lord. We are saving His children! What a great privilege!! Anyway, they stayed in Macau from 9 until 1 and we had lunch with them (just the 10 of us missionaries). It was a really cool opportunity to have it be a more intimate setting. I love Macau :)

- Saturday was the best day!! We helped A-Yen (a recent convert). She wants to serve a mission but has been having a lot of trials getting her papers started. She was telling Sis Lau all about it and I was sitting there not understanding anything feeling like a dead log. Then she started to cry. I felt so bad! I wanted to help SO BAD! But I didn't know what she was saying. I prayed that I would be able to touch her in some way. After a few minutes, I spoke up and I said in Cantonese, "A-Yen, I'm sorry. I don't know what your trial is because I don't understand. But I do know that God loves you. He gives you trials because He knows you are ready to grow. He trusts you so much, A-Yen. He will never leave you. In your greatest trials, He will be right beside you. He will carry you. I know because He has carried me through my greatest trials. He carries me every single day." We were all crying by then. It was really special. I felt so humbled. I didn't know what her problem was, but I was able to help her by relying on the Spirit and saying the things that came to my mind. The Spirit is incredible. I love relying on that power.

- Saturday was also the RS Activity. Our branch has some real problems with unity and we as missionaries are trying to unify the branch more. We decided we would go the RS activity, but also that we would contribute something because it was a cooking competition! But Saturday we ran out of time, so we had like 30 minutes to make something and get to the church on time (church is like 15 min away). I boiled some pasta, cut up some red and green peppers and sauteed them, and looked through the plethera of sauces that have been left in the fridge by other sisters and threw some alfredo sauce on it. Then we went to the cooking competition. GET THIS. I won. hahahaha I was laughing so hard. I won the cooking competition! It was basically a big taste test and apparently they liked my dish! What was even funnier was when I had to stand up in front of everyone and tell them how I made it. They were all taking notes. It was hilarious. And I won a tupperware container. :) haha my first cooking competition... and I won. Wow. Who would have guessed??!! Also funny was that Sis Pearl got 2nd place. And she made cake from a cake mix :)

Well, I love you all so much. I wish I had time to email you for like 8 hours. I would tell you everything. I miss you all. Keep praying for me! I'll keep praying for you. I know this is the work of the Lord. When I let myself "forget myself and go to work", I know I am SO much happier. Life is so good. SO hard, but so good. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Best decision I've ever made :) Daddy, Momma, Twit, Park, Jare -- I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING. I hope you're having a great summer! Park, I hope Africa is amazing! I can't wait to hear about it!

With all the love I have,



Head Lice, Macau, and Rollercoasters!!

Family! I didn't think it was possible for me to miss you or love you more than when I was in the MTC. Then I came to Macau. And I miss you and love you more than anyone has ever missed or loved their family in the history of the world. Heavenly Father has blessed me beyond belief. It's incredible when I take the time to think about how amazing my family and friends are and how much support I have. From halfway across the world, it buoys me up and I am so thankful for that! Thank you all SO MUCH! I LOVE you!! :)

I don't even know where to begin!! This week feels like it's lasted 7 years. It's crazy!

I guess I'll start with my companion. Sister Lau is from England but she was born in Hong Kong and lived there until she was 5. So her English is perfect and her Cantonese is perfect. What a blessing! She is a tiny little thing and makes me feel like a giant. Just in general I feel like a giant here. Everyone is a five foot twig. Haha. She's nice. She's very blunt, and VERY obedient, which is good. She's not very emotional which makes me feel really dumb when I have breakdowns... oh well what do you do. We get along, and I'm learning lots from her!!

MACAU! Macau is so different from Hong Kong. The streets are smaller, there is a lot more internationality here, (is that even a word? idk), and it smells different. My nose has been so sensitive since coming to HK. So funny. But yeah! It's cool. There are only 2 branches in all of Macau. Everywhere else in HK is wards, but here in Macau it's only branches. We serve in the 1st branch, which is Chinese speaking. The 2nd branch is international and they speak English there. But if we contact someone who speaks English we have to turn them over to the international sisters :( what a bummer haha. But i guess that will make me learn Canto faster! The only thing I don't like about Macau is the fact that we are cut off from the rest of the mission since we're an hour by ferry away. We can't call them, they can't call us, it's weird. It's like our own little isolated mission! Craziness! But we do have a senior couple here, Elder and Sister Welling. They're nice. I'm bummed out that Zone Conference (this Friday) I won't be seeing all my friends from the MTC :( Just us in Macau having our own little special Zone Conf. Which is still cool. The Seventy that's coming will get to just be with us 10 missionaries! :)

Sister Lau and I are a new companionship here in Macau (before they only had 4 sisters, now there are 6) so we've been finding a LOT. We've had so many crazy experiences! No one wants to listen :*( We were in this park yesterday after church, finding, and we were talking to this really cute girl. Of course I have no idea what she's saying, but I'm smiling and nodding and pretending like I do. All of a sudden this really old Chinese man pops up from behind me and starts yelling "Mormon gaau!!! Che gaau!!!!" (Mormon church, evil church). And when I say yelling, I mean SCREAMING at the top of his lungs. The whole park went silent and was staring at us. The girl we were talking to like ran away. The old man just kept on screaming. I don't even know what he was saying. We just kinda stood there and then Sister Lau said, "Let's go." And we left. I asked her what he was saying and apparently he was calling us "Hags" and saying how evil we were and how we should go die and never come back to Macau. Okay, rude. I wasn't doing anything to you, mister. Instead of making me feel discouraged, this experience made me feel encouraged. It's a testimony to me that this work is true. Satan is working so hard to stop us from proselyting, but he can't stop it. No one can stop this work. This is God's work, and it is mighty, and it WILL go on. I feel so blessed to be a part of it!!

So.. yes. Head lice. I'd been noticing my head getting SUPER itchy lately. I didn't think much of it, but then started remembering that Arthur episode where they all get lice and their heads get really itchy. so then i start thinking... hmm... i wonder if i have lice. OH SICK. I didn't want to tell anybody because i didn't want to find out if it was true or not haha. I finally decided i better tell my companion. I told her, and she looked at my head, and we all decided that I for sure had lice. At that moment, I wanted to say "Forget this! I'm going home!" Okay, not really. When I actually stopped to think about it there's no way in this world or the next that I want to come home. But I wanted to at least sit down and cry. But there's no time for that! We went to see Sis Welling (senior missionary here in Macau) and she told me I'd have to cut my hair off. Nope, not doing that. So we called Sister Hawks and she told me what to do. It's a pain, but I've been putting olive oil on my head every night and combing out those nasty nits with a fine tooth comb. I like to think of myself as Job. I'd like to imagine that Heavenly Father and Satan are watching me. Satan says, "I'm going to give her head lice, that'll make her want to come home." Heavenly Father says, "Go ahead. I know her better than that." And so, here I am, in China, with head lice, where they have no special shampoo and no mommy to comb the nits out and no comforts of home. But guess what, Satan?! YOU CAN'T BRING ME DOWN! No way. This is a very very small trial in the beginning of my mission. And so I'm not letting it get to me. It's a pain to get them out, but Heavenly Father gives us trials because he trusts us, right? He's showing me how much he trusts me. More than I think He should ;) haha. But it's all okay!

Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions. I wake up on a VERY very very lumpy mattress (top bunk) with the lumpiest pillow of my life (I'm not even sure how it can pass for a pillow), sweaty like no other, with crazy hair, and want to cry. But I get up, pray, and get working. That's when my homesickness goes away and I really start to enjoy this. I am giving ALL I have to the Lord. I am giving Him my name for these 18 months. I am giving him everything I have, my hair, my head, my body, my mind, my might. I want to make him proud!

I started writing down daily miracles in that little cute owl notebook you got me, Mom. It's helping me see the small things that make this mission worth it. I love looking on the positive side. I hope I can always be happy and show others that I am optimistic :) I want others to want to know Christ because they know me. I love this work. I love the Lord. I love the things I'm learning and the many, many, many, MANY wonderful ways I am growing. If we didn't have challenges, we would never grow. I am so thankful for the challenges of mission life.

I love you all more than I could ever say. You are so incredibly supportive and wonderful. I miss seeing you, but Mondays make the rest of the week worth it. I love talking to you. I really have the best family in the world!

Until next Monday, with all the love I have,
Sista Shay


I AM IN HONG KONG!! But not for long....MACAU?!!

FAMILY! Oh my gosh! I love you so much! I don't think I could love you more than I do at this moment in time. Okay, I just started crying. That's embarrassing...

I don't even know where to start! I'M IN HONG KONG!! It's so insane here!!! Ahhhh!!!!!! I will try to write everything - please don't get bored reading my letters. Ha you say you want details, I will give them to you!

Side note: I AM A MISSIONARY! I AM LIVING IN CHINA! IT SMELLS DIFFERENT CONSTANTLY! I AM ALWAYS SWEATY! I have these moments several times a day. I can't believe I am here, I am a missionary, and that I can understand some Chinese. Whaaa??!!

Sooo... when we left the MTC, it was probably the saddest day of my life. It was so hard to say goodbye to my district. We had a last district prayer on Sunday night before we left and Elder Barker asked me to say it. Me. The bawl baby. I was like "are you sure?" haha and everyone laughed and he said, "yes. i'm sure." So I said the hardest prayer I have ever said and thanked Tinfuh for giving us such a great district in the MTC and for giving us each other and our amazing teachers. Ahhh. I love them. I miss them SOOOO much. Almost as much as I miss you. They were like my family for 9 weeks in the MTC! Anyway, we were all crying. And then we went around and shook each others hands and said "Ga Yauh" and good luck. It was sad!

Monday (June 3)/somewhere in there it changed to Tuesday (June 4): 2:00 am wake up. Ah, so hard. But I heard E. Barker describe it as the "scariest Christmas morning ever." Yup. Pretty accurate! It was like major butterflies but also terror but also excitement. Craziness. Our cute teachers came and said goodbye to us as we left! I love them. They are the best. The next hours were a BLUR. Airport craziness... yeah yeah you know all that. I TALKED TO YOU ON THE PHONE! That was the best/worst thing ever. Best because I love you so much and it was so great to hear your voices, but worst because I was counting on talking to you FOR SO MUCH LONGER and I didn't get to because of my lame flight :( I was so sad. But it's okay. It was so good to talk to you all. I love you sooooo much! Then we boarded our plane to HK! CRAZY! such a long, boring flight. I was in the middle of 4 missionaries: Sis Tidwell, Sis Wuthrich, and Elder Young. I slept A LOT. Ate some really disgusting food that I hope I never eat again. Studied my scriptures. Wrote you a letter. Studied Cantonese. Got up and walked around and talked to this cute mom and daughters who were from Hong Kong going back there, but they wanted nothing to do with what I was talking about. So I was just nice to them, because every time I brought up religion I think the mom wanted to shoot me. ANYWAY. At the HK airport, met our mission president, wife, and the assistants. WOW. Pres and Sis Hawks are AWESOME!!! I really love them so much! They feel like parents to me already. I'm so thankful that they're American. hahaa. We drove to the mission home (it was pouring rain!!!) and had dessert together with Pres and Sis Hawks. It was like 9 at night. Went to bed! Our first 2 nights we stayed in the temple patron housing, which is in the same building as the mission home. Really small. But it had A/C which was really nice. I was exhausted that night.

Wednesday (June 5): Woke up. SO TIRED. Oh my gosh. Went across the street to the temple/Pres and Sis Hawks' apartment for breakfast. French toast and sausage! For some reason, that was the best meal of my life. We were all dying. Maybe because we've been eating MTC food/disgusting airplane food for the past 2 months. It was delicious. Sis hawks made it all... she is an angel. Went and got our HK Id's. Went on the MTR! (the metro transit something or other... the subway. such a cool efficient system!) HONG KONG IS INSANE! It's huge. and it smells WEIRD. I just can't get over how weird it smells. hahaha. And everyone is speaking really fast Chinese. And there are NO WHITE PEOPLE. whoever said it was a very international city is the biggest liar I ever heard. I have seen NO WHITE PEOPLE besides missionaries. anyway, went and got our HK Id's. Tried to give away some pamphlets! Realized how much Cantonese i DON'T know. Everyone speaks way too fast! if they slowed down a ton, i could maybe pick out some words! But right now I can't even get hardly anything! Anyway, after that we went back to the mission home and had a few hours of study. We were all falling asleep. It was pathetic. We were sooooooooooo tired from jet lag. Ate lunch (sis hawks made sweet and sour chicken over rice, mmmm delicious), did some mores studies, had an interview with Pres Hawks (he's such a nice guy, i really like him a lot and i love his wife!), ate some dinner (pizza! totally normal. although they did have some seafood pizza there for us to try with octopus on it, but it looked totally disgusting so i didn't try it.) went to the English class they have at the church there which was way fun :) I loved that! This cute little old lady said the opening prayer and she said, "Heavenly Father, I am Chinese. Forgive me for my poor English. But thank you for giving me a good place to learn English from your missionaries. I love you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." In a heavy Chinese accent. Sweetest thing. I cried (of course). After English class, went to bed. STOKED to go to bed.

Thursday (June 6): Woke up. Got ready. Went downstairs to meet our trainers! I played the piano to open that meeting - yippee for me using my piano skills already! :) Then they announced the trainers. I was sitting there with Sis MOrgan, Sis Johnson, Sis Palmer - all of us holding hands and squeezing so tight! They announced everyone's companion/area, and then they came to me. Very last. They said, "Sis Wilcox, your trainer is actually not here. You won't meet her till Monday because.... you're going to MACAU."

WAIT! back up! I forgot. On Wednesday night after dinner, Pres Hawks came up to me and said, "Can I see you for a second?" Sure President. So I go with him. He asks me, "Would you say you're adventurous?" uhhh..... haha what am i supposed to say to that? I don't really feel like i'm adventurous. But I said, "Um, i don't know." We both laughed, and he said, "If I were to give you an unexpected assignment, I get the impression that you'd take it and make the best of it and deal with it really well. Is that correct?" Wow. I said, "I would sure try!" And he said, "Okay. That's all I needed to know." He didn't talk to anyone else.... so I was suspicious....

Anyway. MACAU. Everyone FREAKED out. I'm not even kidding. Sister Hawks ran up to me and hugged me and was shrieking, "Macau! Your first area is Macau! Oh my gosh!" So I was just stoked, right?  I had no idea what Macau is about other than its a different country! Wow! Macau!!! K so then we all ate breakfast together. Everyone is like chatting with their trainers and I'm just all like wow. Macau. No companion. OKay..... one sister came up to me and said her name was Sis Pearl and she was going to Macau on Mon too and we were going to be comps till then. Then Pres Hawks came up and told us we'd be living in the Kowloon Bay apartment and helping out the Kwun Tong area until Monday. Okay, cool. Then it was time to leave! Everyone just left! Wow! It was sad :( I miss them soooooo much!!!! Anyway, Sis Pearl and I went and met these other 2 sisters, Sis Cutler and Sis Jamison that are also going to Macau today. They're telling me they can't believe that Macau is my first area because it's so cut off from everyone else. Can't call missionaries in HK from Macau. Can't see any other missionaries. Can't go to the mission office. OKay, wow. Sad. So then I started feeling really sad. Plus, the other 3 sisters weren't talking to me much. And they were talking about stuff that I didn't understand. We basically went finding that day. Oh the thing about HK is that we can't knock on people's doors. because everyone lives in a highrise apt buliding that has a guard. so we just have to find on the streets! Anyway, after a day of finding where i had no idea what anyone said or what anyone was saying to me, i felt awful. I'm in this really strange place and i MISS AMERICA. I MISS MY FRIENDS. I MISS MY FAMILY. I MISS MY MTC DISTRICT AND ROOMMATES SO BAD. we went to a member's house for dinner (Becky) and they were all speaking Chinese. and I just sat there at the table (yes they have tables) and wanted to cry the whole time. It was really hard. Oh, and we had pizza at Becky's. ha. No weird food yet! After Becky's we went home and went to bed. I got into bed and started BAWLING. I have never been so sad/lonely/homesick in my entire life. Ever. Ever. Oh man. I felt so awful. Our apartment was small, it smelled weird, it was just really lonely. I missed my roommates in the MTC so much.

Gah now i'm running out of time. So i will condense the past three days. They have been getting better and better :) Now, I can honestly say, I like it here. It's so fun to be in a different country! Finding is getting better! I love it! I love asking people if they're intersted in hearing a message about eternal familes and then whipping out my picture of you guys! it's awesome! No lessons yet because we haven't had any investigators! I haven't even met my companion yet! All i know is her name is Sister Lao and she's from England and she's Chinese. So that'll be good for my language! :) I'm stoked to get to my area and actually start the work. Like, it's been good here in Kwun Tong, but we can't teach lessons, we have just been finding for the other KT sisters. I LOVE finding though. It's so fun :) I think my Cantonese is getting better already! I love personal study. I love companion study. I really love the Lord. I can feel Him watching over me. I feel such a close connection with people on the other side of the veil EVERY SINGLE DAY. I know they're watching out for me. It's really special. I have felt an especially close connection with Papa for some reason. I feel like this mission has bonded us two. i can't wait till the day I can see him again and thank him for helping me SO MUCH on this mission already.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I can love EVERYONE. I know it. I love the sisters I'm with now. I love my mission president. I love the people here. I love the Lord with all my heart and i'm ready to give EVERYTHING to him!

I love you all so much! I have to go! thank you for being the best family there ever was! You're amazing!

With all the love I have, from China to Heber City,