Leih hou FAM! :)

I looove you guys so much and am happy you got to go to Idyho! I hope you told everyone I said HELLO and I love them soo soo much!

ENGAGEMENTS: Ally Holmes! Oh my goodness congratulations! I'm so happy for you and wish I could be there! Aubree Hansen! Congrats! wowza all my friends will be married by the time I get home. That is sooooooooooooooo weird to think about. Marriage is like the furthest thing from my mind right now... haha.

Think about Mulan. Think about every part of it, the busy street with the grandma crossing it with her eyes closed, the old men playing chess, the shirtless men spitting on the side of the road, the worshipping of ancestors, the little sticks on fire, the gardens.... I'm talking EVERYTHING. Now picture me in Mulan. That's exactly how I feel. hahaha seriously, this is Mulan! It's the most bizarre thing! I was thinking about how similar it really is this week and laughing and quoting parts of it with the other sisters. I'M SERIOUSLY IN CHINA! WHO'S FREAKING OUT?? :)

Anyway, this week was so good! The work has been slowing down quite a bit... some of our investigators are on holiday and a lot of them aren't picking up their phones :( but we push forward as usual and continue to LOVE every second of the time we have in Macau! To answer your question Dad, transfers ("moves") here are every 9 weeks, so we haven't had one yet. We had to have some "mini moves" to accommodate some new missionaries coming in. But my first move is almost over! Craziness!!! August 8 will be moves and I'll find out whether or not I'm leaving Macau! I seriously can't believe it's already been 2 months. Time has FLOWN.

On Tuesday we did exchanges - my first time! I was with Sister Cutler and WOW she is a powerhouse. I feel like I learned so much! She is such a clear teacher. It was so awesome to be able to learn from her. She's a stellar missionary. She goes home in December, but her Canto is rockin' awesome. Gives me hope for mine :)

....but seriously, speaking of Cantonese, I feel like something clicked this week. This week was a big turning point. I now feel like I get most of what happens in lessons!! Sister Lau and I have really awesome balance and we can teach with a lot of unity! I am learning SO much SO fast! It's crazy! The gift of tongues is real, people. Pres Hawks always says, "The language will come faster than you think, but slower than you want." SO TRUE. I want it to come faster, but when I look back at how much I know and understand already, it's absolutely incredible. I'm learning Chinese! This is so insane!!!

We have a lot of people that can't meet with us because of work and stuff, so we've been doing a lot of quick lessons over the phone. It's been really cool. Like the other day, H JM only had a minute to talk to us, so we sang her a hymn over the phone. It reminded me of your story you emailed me last week, Mom. It really brought the Spirit. I love the hymns so much. I love singing. I may not be very good, but I just love music. I loved how you thought about me when that girl played "How Great Thou Art." That always reminds me of Michelle because she told me that was her favorite song, and then it became mine. Michelle, I love you and miss you! I hope you're doing well! :)

Random fact about me that I've learned while I've been here: I LOVE eggplant. I really do. It's absolutely delicious. Why didn't we ever eat eggplant before Mom??? When I get home, we're having eggplant all the time. I'm making it for my roommates and everything - Mina, Hay, Morg, get ready!! :)

In my personal study this week I have learned so much about faith. The Lord gives us trials -- be it lice (which by the way is GONE!!! YIPPEE!) or no investigators or heat or a new language or just a bad hair day (every day....) -- and these trials shape us. When we have hard things, we push through and then we are blessed. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me :) and what a blessing that is!

I love you guys ssoooooooooooooo much! I miss you like crazy, but I LOVE THIS WORK! I am a missionary! It's insane, I can't believe it, but WOW I would never trade it! I love it I love it I love it! sorry this email isn't very long. Today for P-day we're going shopping so I gotta run!

Keep emailing me and writing me! I love and live for your letters! :) I LOVE YOU ALL!

Love always,


Sleeping During the Prayer? :)

HELLO FAMILY! AND FRIENDS! all you people! i LOVE you!

I hope your weeks were amazing! Mine was! I wasn't on earlier because we went to MGM for buffet lunch today! It was so much fun. Haha one of the brothers in the international branch is from Vegas and he works there so he got us buffet half off... which is like $6 American dollars. We took advantage of that! It was so much fun! I'll send all our cool pictures later. We had a blast :) Macau is like Vegas, but it's cleaner, and there's no moral filth, and it's Asian. So it's basically way cooler than Vegas (sorry, Haley). It was awesome!

I wrote another very, very, very long list of things to tell you in my planner. I hope I get through them all haha.

MOM! I GOT YOUR PACKAGES! Oh my goodness you are the best mom ever! it was the best day of my life when I got them. Sister Yeung and Sister Pearl went down to the church and Sister Lau and I were staying at home to do our studies. When the other sisters came back for lunch, they came in the door and said, "It's going to be the best day of your mission so far." And they had my packages! Mom, you are so awesome! You sent me so much! I'm so happy! Seriously, thank you so much. Everything you sent has been SO helpful. Sister Lau and I were like stoked to have new "lice toys." We've been using them every night. Sister Lau says it's like a treasure hunt to find the eggs. Mmm. So, THANK YOU. That was such a blessing. I love you so much Mommy!!!!!!!!

Funny story about that "mmm" in the previous paragraph. Asians do this ALL the time. Us American sisters call it a grunt, but the Asian sisters were like "No! It's like.... a murmur of assent." Anyway, all of us have picked it up. I say "mmm" to EVERYTHING. I'm sure it'll be a habit throughout my mission. So funny. I'm slowly becoming Asian :)

This week we found a new investigator, a little popo named L Popo. We accidentally rang her doorbell when we were looking for the light in the staircase of the apartment building we were in. We taught her a little lesson on her doorstep and said a prayer with her and she invited us back the next day. So the next day, we went and talked to her about God and prayer and the Holy Ghost. It was a great lesson! At the end, we invited her to say the closing prayer. We taught her how to pray like 3x so she would be sure to do it right, then we all folded our arms and closed our eyes. She didn't say anything. After like 30 seconds, I peeked at her. She was sitting there with her arms folded, head bowed, eyes closed. I looked at Sister Lau. She was looking at me. We both didn't want to interrupt her in case she was saying a silent prayer, so we just waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. I looked at Sister Lau again -- her face was red from trying not to laugh. I suddenly had THE BIGGEST URGE TO GIGGLE. I had to look away, pinch my arms, and think of something sad so I didn't laugh out loud. You know when you get the giggles and nothing you do can make them go away? Yeah. It was like that. We waited. And waited. And waited. Past the time it would have been okay to interrupt her, so we just had to keep waiting. It was HILARIOUS. We were both sitting there holding our breath trying SO hard not to laugh. After like 4 solid minutes of just sitting there, Sister Lau said, "Amen" really loud and Lahm Popo jumped. HAHAHA SHE FELL ASLEEP. Oh my gosh it was so funny. We were dying the second we walked out of her apartment building :)

This week we got a new sister in our apartment! A surprise exchange happened and Sister Jamison went to HK and Sister Capucion came here! She is from the Philippines and is Sister Cutler's companion (they're wokring the international ward.) Sis Capucion got called here Tagalog speaking. Crazy right? Anyway, she's awesome! We love her a lot. So many changes in a mission!

You'll get a kick out of this one. I started playing our "game": whenever we hear someone's keys jingling outside the apartment door, I go, "What are we going to do??" We've pretended to be asleep a few times. {Reminds me of the billions of times we've done it with the Belchers :) Kerry and Brad, miss you guys!!} The other sisters thought I was crazy and weird at first but now they all do it too :) hahaha. One time Sister Cutler and I yelled, "That's rubbish!!" off Harry Potter in our British accents. But the best was when we decided to turn off the lights and hide. We heard Sister Yeung/Sister Pearl's keys jingling and Sister Cutler dived over to the light switch. We barely got it off before they opened the door and we were all crouched behind our desks almost peeing our pants laughing. It was so fun! :) I just thought I'd let you know, I'm bringing a little bit of the Wilcox family traditions to our apartment in China!

This week I feel like I've learned so much about humility. A lot of our investigators couldn't see us this week, and OL still hasn't answered any of our phone calls or texts :( it breaks my heart. I called her last night and left her a message: "OL, it's Gwok Jimuih and Lau Jimuih. We miss you! We love you! Please call us back!" that's all I knew how to say, but I really hope she knows how much we love her. It's crazy that I feel SO much love for her and I haven't known her that long. This work is helping me have a greater capacity to love. It's amazing. Anyway, with so many investigators not being able to see us, it really made us take a step back and remember that without the Lord, we can't do anything. We are His missionaries, but He is in control. He can give us harder weeks where we don't have as much success because He wants to teach us humility.

I was reading in my personal study one day in 3 Nephi and I wasn't getting much out of it. It was chapter 16 and it was hard to understand and I was tired. But then in verse 2 of chapter 17, Jesus says to the Nephites, "I perceive that ye are weak, and ye cannot understand my words." Wow. It felt like Jesus was speaking right to me. Yes, Lord, I am weak. I cannot understand so much of this. It reminded me of Elder Holland's talk from this last conference, "Lord, I Believe." So I pulled out the Ensign and read that talk. What started out as a not so great personal study turned out to be AMAZING. I was really humbled. Isn't it amazing that if we believe, if we simply have the desire to believe and then start to act, the Lord makes up the rest for us? It's such a blessing. I sat there almost in tears, thinking, "Wow. Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief. Strengthen my weaknesses. I have so many. I fall short every single hour of every single day. But through thee, I know all things are possible." They truly are. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He is also my best and closest friend. Here in Macau, when I'm too tired and too hot and too discouraged and ready to give up, He strengthens me. He lifts me up. He is there to make up the difference in all of our lives, if we are willing to repent and come unto Him. I know this is true with everything that I am. I feel so blessed to testify of these things every single moment of every single day. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world!

Elder Welling (senior missionary) shared a quote with us this week: "All that I am and hope to be I owe to my angel mother." I feel the same way. Mom, I owe you everything I am and everything I want to become. You are so amazing! I feel so blessed to have such great parents and such a wonderful eternal family. You all mean EVERYTHING to me! Also Elder Welling knows how to play the piano and the other day he was playing my FAVORITE SONG EVER. It's an arrangement of "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul." You guys HAVE to look it up. It's on spiremusic.org. PLEASE GET THE MUSIC and then please learn it! Whit, Park. Oh my goodness it's beautiful. Park, why don't you learn it and then Whit can sing it. It's aboslutely gorgeous. Makes me cry every time.

Well, I guess that's all the time I have this week :) I love you so much! I'm so happy you are my family and we are so close. I LOVE your letters. Thank you so much for loving and supporting me like you do. You are all awesome! I pray for you every single night. Have a great week! I love you, I love you, I love you!

Shaylee K


My Designer Rubber Shoes

To the best family and friends in the world,

How are you? Wow it sounds like Philmont was INCREDIBLE. I wish I could have been there! I TOLD YOU BEFORE I LEFT YOU COULDN'T DO ANYTHING COOL WITHOUT ME! ;) just kidding. I'm doing plenty of great things without you. Someday we'll have to experience them together! Even if it's just in heaven watching back on the big screen of our lives ;) I wrote a HUGE long list of stuff I wanted to tell you in my planner. So here goes:

I was reading this week in my personal study about the Gadianton robbers and that immediately made me think of us reading it together as a family. Remember the "secret signs and combinations" we gave to each other? Haha so funny. I will always remember that. {this keboard is awful by the way, we came to a different library and i don't like it} I have the best family ever! We make everything fun, even scripture study! :) I love you guys so, so, SO much. Seriously. Don't forget it!!

So here in Macau, they give you 30 days to be in the country, then you have to leave, then they give you 20, then you have to leave, then they give you 10. BUT sometimes, they make mistakes and give you extra days. Anyway so on Wednesday a few of us had to do our "u-turn." I also had to pick up my Hong Kong ID, so Sister Pearl, Sister Jamison, and I went to Hong Kong! It was fun, and also a good reminder that Macau is SO different. When I get transferred it's going to be crazy getting used to the difference! Anyway, we got my ID (I'm officially chinese now!) and then came back to Macau, where they stamped our passports. The moment of truth: how many days would we get? 20 as usual? Or 30? GUESS WHAT! We got 30!!! Which means the next time they stamp our passports, we'll get 20, then 10 after that! So we got extra days!! :) We still don't know for sure if Pres Hawks will take advantage of that and leave us here or not (moves are on August 8), but we hope so! Macau is like a wonderland! So many miracles here! It's amazing!!

Guys. Sister Lau and I have been SO incredibly blessed. You have no idea. Guess how many investigators we have. Good ones, too. Like they have potential! EIGHT! We started out with NONE! The Lord has given us the most prepared, wonderful, amazing, inspiring investigators. I seriously can't even believe it. Sister Lau keeps saying, "This never happens! I've never had so much success! This is crazy!" Oh my goodness this life is the best! I love missionary work!

On Monday, we had a birthday party for one of our investigators, OL. She is so awesome! She just turned 18. I love her so much. We took her a little cake we bought for SO cheap, and a card (thanks for sending me those cards, i'm using them up and loving them mom!) It was fun. We had a member YW named T come and help us. The lesson was so good and then we took a bunch of pictures! We also extended her a baptismal date and she accepted!September 15th! So happy! But then... the sad news... she didn't come to church on Sunday :( We confirmed her Saturday night and it seemed like everything was good! But then on Sunday she didn't answer any of our calls and texts. We still haven't heard from her. Breaks my heart. I hope everything is okay. She is so amazing. I want her to have the gospel so bad! I have been praying my heart out for her. I hope she doesn't give up!

I finally bought me some water shoes... SO UGLY BUT I AM IN LOVE. I need to take a picture of them. They're seriously gross. They're not crocs brand (I refuse, Dad. haha) nah, the crocs brand were just more expensive. But they are rubber and hideous. But SO fongbihn (convenient... haha my Chinglish comin' out!) It rains here all the time, and socks are such a maahfaahn (inconvenience). So. I now wear crocs. You can make fun of me if you want.

Also. Chinese people just give themselves English names, and whenever I ask someone's name they always give me their English name because they think I don't speak Chinese. (They're right! haha! But not for long!) So far, I have met a Monkey, Rabbit, and Fish. All girls. NO JOKE. I have to stop myself from laughing sometimes. We're also teaching someone named Angel. The other sisters have someone named Candy. So funny :)

Last night we met a guy named C who was from Romania. His accent sounded pretty Nacho Libre, though. I don't know... anyway, we were looking at a map because we were less active finding and were a little lost, and he came up and said, "Can I help you?" (say it like Nacho). He tried to help us but he couldn't read Chinese either so finally he gave up. He looked at me and said, "Can I be straight up with you? I only talk to you because I want practice my English." Haha so funny. Then he asked us if we could go out for drinks sometime. We shook our heads and he said, "Like a Coke?" hahaha. Sister Lau said, "Well, we missionaries share a really special message that we'd love to share with you. So if you want to buy us Cokes and bring them to our church and listen to our message, that would be great!" We ended up exchanging phone numbers and I'm still not sure if he just wants to drink Coke with us or actually hear our message. Either way. Hahaha.

LICE UPDATE. For all of you who care. (By the way, thank you so much for all of your support with my lice trial! It means so much that I have so many people thinking of/praying for me. I am so humbled by the many people that love me. I love you all, too :)) I still comb my hair out every night. I'm not pulling out live bugs anymore. So that's good!!! I'm still pulling out eggs though. But I feel like it's getting less and less! No one in my apartment has gotten it, either. What a blessing. Straight up miracle.

It seems like life is getting better and better. The times when Sister Lau and I get the giggles so bad it hurts and we can't get through hymns or prayers, when we sprint to make the bus, when we have amazing spiritual lessons when I cry, when we get a new investigator and we're so excited we jump up and down... all these things make the really difficult moments worth it. Because yes, this is difficult. But oh my goodness, it's the best thing I've ever done. Best decision I've EVER made. I don't want to waste one SECOND!

I love you so much. I tell Sister Lau every single day how much I love you. She says our family sounds so fun. We really have the best family EVER! Dad, thanks for being such a great dad. You are such a good example to me. Mom, every time I think about you it strengthens me. I'm so glad I served a mission so we can have one more connection, one more thing alike. I love you so much and I'm so glad we're best friends! I really can't tell you how much your emails and letters mean to me. You are such an amazing woman and mother. Thank you for everything you do and are doing for me. I LOVE you :) Whit Twit, I miss you like CRAZY. Holy cow. I love you so much. You are so amazing. I was reading your email thinking "okay my sister is so much stronger than i am." You are going to be such an awesome college student. I know you're going to LOVE it in Idyho. I love you. You are so strong!! You can do hard things! You already have! You amaze me. I love you i love you i love you! Parker, your pictures from Kenya are so stinkin cute! You are such a great example! I can't believe you did that. Went to Africa all by yourself and did such hard things! It's not easy being in a foreign country and serving people all the time, but isn't it soooooo worth it? That will be such good "practice" for your mission. I am so proud of you! I miss hearing from you but I hear you're WAY busy. Busy with good things :) I love you Park! Jaren Kincade, how are all your camps going? I think it's so cool that most of your summer will be those camps! You are having all sorts of good experiences that are so fun too. Wow. Lucky lucky duck. How is the rest of summer going? Have you had fires with your friends? Bike riding? Floating the canal? Fill me in okay? I love you SO MUCH!

Have the best week. Remember how much Heavenly Father has blessed us. Try to give back to Him by blessing others :) I love you! So much!

All my love from the other side of the world,

Shay Bay



The Exhibition

(email from July 8, 2013)

Dearest Fam that I love more than anything in the entire world, EVER,

How are you doing?? You're on vacation right now! I've been thinking of/praying for you ever since you left on Wednesday. I hope you're having a blast. I think it's so cool that you get to go to Philmont and have a "spiritual vacation." What could be better than that? I hope you have fun and I expect next Monday to have DETAILED letters from EVERY ONE OF YOU (sibs. you're falling behind on keeping me updated. what's up with that. it's summer. you have loads of free time. every free second you have should be spent on the computer writing long letters of your lives to your sister in china. okay? okay.) I LOVE you sooo much!

This week has been CRAZY busy. I can't believe we have so much to do and so many investigators! It's been amazing! I have so much to say, I don't even know where to start!! I did make notes in my planner though, of everything I wanted to tell you about. Most times I get to the email place, sit down, and try to remember what happened in the week. And I don't remember anything. haha.

Oh, first of all, Gigi, thank you so much for your letters! You are BY FAR the best pen pal I've ever had! Your letters are so supportive and I love reading them! You are amazing. I love you sooo much! I sent a letter last week, so sometime this week you should get it! I love you!

This week the Mandarin elders gave us a new investigator, HJ. She has no Christian background at all but she is VERY interested in the church! She has the best questions and she's just awesome!! In our second lesson with her this week, Sister Lau said the opening prayer and blessed her and her family. She was very teary after the prayer and so we asked her if she was alright. She opened up and told us that her husband had left her :( She really started getting emotional about it, and all of a sudden, I was getting REALLY emotional too. I started sobbing with her. I just looked at her and said in Cantonese, "I'm so sorry, I just feel your feelings" (which, I don't, because I'm not married and I can't imagine how hard that is, but I didn't know how to adequately express my feelings in Cantonese). I was crying so hard my voice was shaky. It was kind of embarrassing but I just felt so much compassion for her, I didn't even care. I told her how much Heavenly Father loves her and how I know that He will help her through her hard times. Then Sister Lau shared Jacob 2:35 (is it 35? i think..) about the Lamanites "breaking the hearts of their tender wives". It was really touching. We bore testimony to her of how much Heavenly Father cares and loves her. She said that she has felt so angry this week, but the many times she has knelt to pray, she has felt calm. Wow. Prayer is awesome. She is awesome. We call her "Golden HJ" because we feel like she is so golden! It's these kind of investigators that you pray for!

Also this week we nailed down a baptismal date for D! D is 15 years old and she is incredible. She has an amazing desire to learn and to be baptized. She understands things that I'm pretty sure I didn't understand when I was 15. Ahh, she's just so great! The plan is for her to be baptized August 18th... a few weeks after I leave Macau :( so sad. But so happy for her. She is really awesome. I love teaching her because her English is so great and she helps me a LOT with my Cantonese :)

On the 4th of July, we had no free time until 10:00 at night (as usual). So at 10:00 after we'd planned, we all dressed up in red, white, and blue and made hot dogs! And sang the Star Spangled Banner. Hahaha it was hilarious and SO much fun. Earlier in the day I even called the other sisters to make sure they'd bring home an English hymn book from the church so we could get the words right to the song :) it was so fun. America, i love you! From clear over here in China! We are so blessed to live in America! I feel more and more blessed the longer I am here. God bless the USA!

On Friday, we had a branch activity - Less Active Finding. Apparently in the past almost no one has shown up, so Thursday night I spent calling through all the RS sisters, asking them to come to the activity while Sis Lau called our investigators. And we actually had 4 sisters come! It was a miracle! Sister Lau said there has never been that many sisters come. So how it worked: the Branch Mission Leader split us all up, one member with one missionary, and he gave us all two or three LA to find. I was put with JJ, and let me tell you, I was more than just a little bit nervous. I can teach full lessons in Cantonese, but trying to make conversation is still pretty much "Leih hou! Leih gamyaht hou ma? Leih sihkjo faahn meih? Leih jichihn yauh mouh gingwo ngohdeih chyungaausih?" (Hello. Is today good? Have you eaten yet? Have you ever seen us missionaries before?) So I was thinking, oh great. I'm going to be put with a member and we're going to do this in silence. FUN. But I tried to have a good attitude about it! And I loved it!! JJ was so awesome! She served her mission in Singapore and with her little bit of English and my little bit of Cantonese, we had a great time! We actually got to talk to a LA! (hardly ever happens -- the other Canto sisters have been going LA finding for weeks and they haven't spoken to a LA yet) She was a little popo (that's what old ladies are called, it's like "grandma" in English but it's also like a title. Like Mrs. or something. Like the old lady investigators that we have are W Popo, C Popo, etc.) Her name was S Popo and she was so sweet and nice. Her house was TINY. You walk in -- did I mention that every door here has a gate in front of it? it was way weird at first, it felt like prison, but i'm used to it now -- so anyway, you walk in and there is her tiny kitchen table, bed, and fridge all right there. There was a door that I'm assuming went to a bathroom. I hope. Anyway, it was so small! She doesn't want to come to church because she's too tired in the mornings, but we had a nice visit with her anyway. I always remember Jeffrey R. Holland's words. We're here to spread the gospel, yes. But we're also here to "go about doing good", and maybe sometimes that doesn't mean sharing the gospel. Just being a nice person and being willing to serve is also part of missionary work.

The EXHIBITION! Wow. It was crazy. Saturday was spent allllllllll day long doing exhibition stuff. From 8 in the morning till 6 at night we were crazy busy! In the morning it was pouring rain. You don't even know the meaning of pouring rain in Utah. Here the streets flood, you can't see in front of your face, your umbrella is useless type of rain. But by 11:30 the rain went away. MIRACLE!!! The exhibition was good. We got a lot of numbers! The best part was seeing all the members doing missionary work. Here we are in the middle of this park, this big square, and all the members are going around with pamphlets and talking to people. So cool to see them being missionaries! This work is real and the Lord is hastening it! It's so exciting to be a part of!

Well, it's time for me to go. I'll send pictures of this week too. I love you so much! You get me through the hard days. I LOVE hearing from you. Thank you so much for being such great support and examples for me! I count my blessings that I was born into THIS family with all of you. I love you I love you I love you!!!!!!

Parker, I want to hear about Africa dudE! I'm dying to hear about it!

LOVE always,



Wow! I love this!!

Hello FAM! and FRIENDS! and all of you that i LOVE!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really do. I can't believe that time is flying by so fast. Weeks feel like days, and days feel like weeks. That's how it works. Macau is the best place on earth, I'm convinced. I'm really loving the people and loving the work that I'm doing. Despite all these challenges, I can look back on my life before and see how much I've already grown. I hope and pray that I'll continue to grow and that when I get back, I won't be the same person! (as Jeffrey R. Holland tells us missionaries, we CAN'T be the same person!) I will be a much, much better version of myself.

Daddy, I have the BEST story for you! It was the most wonderful tender mercy the Lord gave me this week. You know that framed picture of Jesus Christ I have that Shauna Jensen's mom gave to me in Primary? I've kept it all these years, i love it. I took it to college with me and now it's on my desk here in Macau, halfway across the world. Anyway, there is "The Living Christ" in the back of the picture and I decided one morning for personal study I would read that. I got it out from behind my picture and saw a piece of paper that said "PRIVATE" on it in little kid red marker. I got it out and you know what it was?..... a Valentine's note from you, Dad, from when i was 10! Oh man, it was the sweetest little note! You said, "Shay, I can't believe you are TEN! Where have the years gone! You are such a beautiful young lady inside and out. I am so proud of who you are becoming. You are really trying to help me and Mom in a lot of ways. I love how you love to read. That is such a good thing for you to do. Always quest after knowledge. Shaylee, I love you so much. I hope you will always want to share your feelings with me. I am here whenever you want to talk. Please be my Valentine! Love you. Love, Dad." I cried. Not because I was sad or because I missed you, but because that is SO sweet. The note is so sweet, and it's so sweet that I held it so dear at 10 years old that I wrote "private" on it and stashed it behind my picture of the Savior. It was a very tender moment and one that I won't ever forget. Dad, I love you so much. Thanks for everything you do for me.

Mom, your questions! I LOVED that email, by the way. Thank you for sending me stuff. That is so nice. I feel so bad it was so expensive. I sure love you. Thank you for supporting me! I love you, I love you, I love you!!

1. The lice are coming okay. I feel like they're getting less and less. I'm not combing bugs out anymore, just eggs, and I'm excited to get your pkg so I can get rid of the eggs too!

2. 6 girls, yep. Before I came there were only 4 girls in this apartment, so yes it's VERY crowded. But we do okay! Haha. We don't really eat together, we're all busy doing different things and have dinner at different times/different places. Sometimes if we're all at the church we have lunch together and watch cheesy 90's Mormon movies (What is Real, On the Way Home, Together Forever) during lunch. Those times are the best :) Other times we're eating with investigators. We LIVE at the church. You don't really knock doors here (but you can in Macau - only place in HK you can knock doors) so we mostly teach lessons at the church.

3. My mission pres and wife are the most amazing people in the world. I love them SO much and look up to both of them. They are endlessly patient, kind, and understanding. They have so many good insights and so many good things to say! This week was Branch Conf for our little branch and so we got to see Pres and Sis Hawks yesterday! it was awesome. Pres Hawks spoke about his vision for Macau in 10 years - 2 stakes! Right now Macau only has 2 branches. Oh man, he pumped us up so much! Idk about the members, but us missionaries, whooo! We have so much work to do! :) it's AWESOME!

4. My branch is awesome! They kind of have been having some difficulties with unity in the branch, but I'm hoping that I can help in some way. this week has been really good for me. I feel like I know everyone's name (only 70ish active members) and I can start up a conversation! Not as many people speak English as I thought before I came. But through body language we can communicate haha :) I really love the members. They're awesome. This week we're getting ready for a BIG exhibition about the church! We've been getting ready for it this whole time, I think I just forgot to tell you. We have all these banners about the Church and we're going on Saturday to this park and staying there from 1-6pm. The missionaries will be doing to Plan of Salvation display. We're excited about it! I hope a lot of members show up. They need to get fired up about missionary work here. The branch president is AWESOME, though. He's maybe 25? He's so nice and speaks really good English so that's good. He has a little baby girl. the whole branch presidency is really young with young families. I think they're good for the branch though. President Chan (BP) is so good about helping us missionaries. He remembers well what missionary life is like and he's always good about asking me how I'm doing. He really cares. I like him a lot.

5. Cantonese is..... coming. I feel like it's coming better and better but it's still really hard. I write down all new words in a little notebook that I keep in my bag all the time. that helps. My companion is good about helping me learn new things. I feel pretty comfortable (usually) in lessons, it's just during finding that I don't know what anyone's saying. It's funny... well, not funny. I'll say "Leih hou!" and people will look at me, look at my nametag, shake their head, say "Msai" (no need), and walk away. I want to say, "Msai what? All i said was hi!"

We have increased our number of investigators from one to six this week! MIRACLE! Seriously. Sister Lau is always telling me how she can't believe how fast the work is progressing. It's not us, either. It's the Lord, hastening His work! It's absolutely INCREDIBLE to be a part of it.

This week we found C. in our book of former investigators and gave her a call. She agreed to come meet us at the church. She was a really nice woman, middle aged, and right away asked us about our conversion stories. I started to say that I've grown up in the church, and she interrupted and said, "You've never questioned? Never been to another church?" I said no. I started to bear my testimony that doing the little things my whole life, like reading my scriptures and praying and attending church, has helped me to know without a doubt that this church is true, and she wouldn't hear it. I didn't understand what she was saying but I could tell that she thought I was naive. I felt really bad. I brought it up to Sister Lau later and she said, "yeah, I wanted her to realize that it's a process that everyone goes through, and you made it sound like you just grew up in the church and never had to find out." Wow, that made me feel really bad. So for a few days after that, I was questioning myself. Is my testimony as valid as other people's, who have had crazy awesome experiences where they BOOOM, all of a sudden, knew it was true? Do I need to kneel down and ask Heavenly Father if it's true? I don't think I ever have. Well, this went on for a few days. It was really bothering me. One personal study, I knelt and prayed, "Heavenly Father, I know this church is true. I don't think I need to ask you. But please help me feel comfort in this. Please help me to know that I am okay." And I started reading the BOM. {PS. If anyone wonders whether or not the BOM is true, oh my goodness. Read it. It will answer any and every question you have. I know that.} I was reading in Alma 32 and it talks about whoever is compelled to be humble is good, but who humbles themselves without having to be compelled is better. And it also says whosoever knows the word of God without having to be compelled is better off that he who has to be compelled to know. (something like that, i can't remember exactly, it's like verse 16). Direct answer to my prayer. Then I got thinking about D&C 6 when the Lord is telling Oliver Cowdery, "Remember that night when you inquired of me? Why do you want a further witness? Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?" I am like Oliver Cowdery. I have never needed to ask the Lord whether this church is true, because I've come to know that it is through reading my scriptures, learning the gospel, praying, attneding church.... all these little things have added up. I know the church is true with all my heart, and it's okay that I haven't had a huge Alma the Younger-like experience. I don't need it. The Lord is satisfied with my efforts :) I'm okay. That was such a miraculous experience for me. I'm so grateful for the scriptures and how the Lord comforts us through the scriptures.

Some things I have learned:

- how to change sheets like a PRO. I change them every single night! I can do it with my eyes closed.

- Cockroach in my cereal? No big deal. pick it out and keep eating. Didn't even freak out.

- Showering twice a day is necessary. At the end of the day you're so sweaty that if you don't shower, you'll wake up really itchy because of your sweat.

- ALWAYS carry around tissues. Not for crying. Not for runny noses. For wiping the sweat off your face, neck, arms..... everyone carries tissues here. Crazy.

- The people here carry umbrellas, rain or shine. My companion thinks i'm crazy because I don't "protect my skin from the sun." Well I like the sun!! Even though it's hot, it rains a lot here and I really miss the blue sky. When it's blue, I'm gonna enjoy it! :)

- Keep our bedroom door open during the day or mold will grow on the walls. Yuck.

- There is no such thing as too many prayers. I pray probably 100 times a day.

I have the best family on the earth. I love you so much. You wouldn't believe how many other sister missionaries have asked me, "did your family actually have family prayer and scripture study?" I'm so proud to say yes! So many times I think of you and what a blessing you are to me. I love you all so, so, so much. Xoxoxoxoxoxo FOREVER!


PS. Write me letters! Like real ones. They're fun to get :)