Love from Hong Kong

I don't even know what to write right now... My heart is full of so many different emotions, I can't even keep them straight. One minute I feel like crying, and the next minute, it's a totally out-of-body experience. It feels like I'm not going home... someone in our apartment is, but it's not me.

At the same time, I'm so excited to see all of you :) It's crazy to think about how long I've been away from home.

I don't want to say goodbye to this beautiful, wonderful city. I have learned so much here. To think that here, a million miles away and on the other side of the world, I have come to know my Savior. I have come close to Him in a way I didn't even think was possible. I have the amazing privilege to wear His name on my heart every single day!!

Yesterday was so sad. I thought my heart was going to break saying goodbye to so many people who mean so much to me. I love Tin Shui Wai ward with all my heart!!! I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and the thought of next Sunday, giving a talk and looking out at people who are not Asian, makes me want to start bawling. I love these people! They are different from me, but I have tried to live like them and become one of them. We got home from church (where there were WAY TOO MANY goodbyes) and started doing our studies. I said the opening prayer for comp study and I couldn't even peep out "Dear Heavenly Father" without COMPLETELY breaking down. I'm so incredibly thankful for this experience to have served Father in Heaven. I hope I've made Him proud :) I have truly tried to give everything I have to Him. I've sacrificed and been as exactly obedient as I know how to be and truly striven every day to be better.

I wouldn't have wanted to end my mission in any other way. I know these streets and tsuens and light rail stops like the back of my hand. I've cried, laughed, taught, been stretched, and grown so much in the past 18 months. Actually, almost 19 months. ah I'm so lucky!

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

Missions end. It's the weirdest, craziest, most beautiful, and life-changing thing that I've been through so far. But oh, I'm excited to be home. I'm excited to take all the things I've learned and be a new me. A brand new Shaylee Wilcox. (wait, do people actually call me Shaylee at home?? that's weird...ha!). I'm excited to continue to develop my relationship with my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I know that they are there, "before my face, and on my right hand and on my left, and the Spirit in my heart, and angels round about me to bear me up."

The future is as bright as our faith! President Monson

WHITNEY. I'm so jealous of you. You're in Japan! You're only beginning the most wonderful journey you'll ever take. Laugh every day :) Be YOU. Keep changing and being a bright light to everyone around you. You've always been the best and brightest light to me :) I love you so much!!! I'm so sad you won't be there at the airport, but don't worry, I'll be there for you in 18 months :) I LOVE YOU MORE THAN LIFE!!!!!!!

P&J, holy cow I'm excited to see you and hang out with you. You guys are men now!! What happened?! :) Dad, I'm so excited to talk with you and learn from you and laugh with you. Mom, oh my goodness I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to see you. You're going to get the biggest hug in just a few days!!! I am so excited to spend time with you. Please tell me you're going to be my new companion until I get adjusted. I need one ha :) FAM! I never thought this day would come!

See you so soon!

Love from Hong Kong.
Sister Gwok


Labor of Love

Dearest everyone that I love:

Wasn't general conference AMAZING?!?!?!?! I know I'm behind the times but I loved it more than life. I've seen 4 conferences on my mission. I'm so blessed!!! General conference as a missionary is the most amazing thing in the world :) I LOVED Elder Scott's talk. He's one of my faves ever since the MTC. I feel the spirit so strongly when he talks! I loved what he said about prayer: "CHOOSE to converse with Father in Heaven daily!" It's a choice, really. Are we choosing to arm ourselves with this power? It's such a privilege to be able to talk with our Father. I love the way He says "Father in Heaven" not "your Father in Heaven" or "our Father in Heaven." For some reason it makes it feel more real. He says "Father in Heaven" because we're all brothers and sisters, talking about the Father we all share :) I also LOVED Elder Bednar's; that story about his sons was so powerful!!! Ok ok i loved it all.... i have too many favorites to share.

oh man i'm typing this in the apple store while standing and it's KILLING my hands. i swear i have carpal tunnel.

Anyway... I can't believe I'm already at this point in my mission. We were all sitting on our beds talking last night and it just hit me.... I've been in HK for a long time. And I'm about to leave. And I REALLY don't want to! I love it too much. I love this area. I love the people here, all our investigators, all our recent converts, all the ward members, everyone. I love the people we walk past every day and the things we do and the way we talk and everything. It's going to be awful to walk away from all this. I don't even want to think about it.

Let me tell you about some cool miracles from the zone lately....

Us and the zone leaders decided that this month, we would try passing out as many BOMs as we could. We wanted to aim for 65 for each district (because it's the 65 anniversary of the church in HK! 65 is the magic number these days!). Our district (4 companionships) just took this and RAN with it. By the end of the first week, our district alone had passed out 72 copies of the BOM. SEVENTY TWO!!!! How crazy awesome is that?! We saw so many miracles and found so many new investigators with this :)

We also decided that we would take turns praying for our investigators. (i.e. we'd pray for Ivan in Hung Shui Kiu on October 6, Jason on October 8, etc etc). SO! Jason is an investigator in Tuen Mun (a different area in our zone). He's 15 and super golden but his parents won't let him be baptized. The entire zone prayed for him on Wednesday night. Super cool :) THEN. The next day, he texted the missionaries and said he'd talked to his parents and they said YES!!! Isn't that amazing?! According to the faith and prayers of so many people, his righteous desires were realized. How amazing is that?! We wanted Tina to have the same blessing. We called her and told her about it and she loved the idea. So on Saturday night, we all prayed for Tina. Every missionary in the New Territories. We're still waiting for her to talk to her mom, but we're praying so hard and hoping for miracles! We know she can do it! She could use your prayers too!!!

I love this zone. I love this place. I love HK!! I'm SO INCREDIBLY thankful for the opportunity to serve. I've been trying to notice the little things each day. It's funny how it's taken me this long to figure out a perfect balance between worrying about the numbers and not worrying about them (if that makes sense at all). I've been so happy these past few weeks. I love everything about everything right now!!!

As Elder Holland said in general conference,
"My work is about love, not statistics. What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean. But if we didn't do it, the ocean would be one drop less than it is."

I'm taking that as a theme of my last full week. This is about love, not statistics or having wonderful numbers or getting the most lessons i've ever gotten in a week or anything. I'm going to focus on LOVING these people and LOVING my God and giving Him everything I have. This work will go on with or without me. But I couldn't live with myself if I didn't give everything I have to Him and Hong Kong this week.

I love you all so much! SO MUCH! I hope you have the most wonderful week in the world!

Love always,
xoxoxoxo :)

lasts...(Letter from Oct 5, 2014)

Dearest family and friends that I love so much!

This week was so good. I feel like the time is passing SO fast. It is like Morgan said, it just slips through my fingers no matter how I try to hold onto it! So crazy! I tried to slow down and look at every moment individually. We had some really, really sweet moments this week. I just love this crazy city. I love it more than anything.

I had a lot of "lasts" this week...

My last MLC (mission leadership council). I realized this week that I've been a sister training leader for exactly half of my time in HK! I feel so blessed to have gone to so many leadership meetings and learned so much from President and Sister Hawks. I love them SO MUCH. They are the most wonderful people in the world. Besides M&D, I've learned more from them than anyone else.

My last zone training meeting. The last one I'll ever plan and lead and do trainings at and share my testimony at. Oh man, I'm going to miss it so much! I shared "words of wisdom" at the end because I'm the only missionary going home this month. I said over and over and over, "LOVE THE MISSION! It flies by! I want everyone to have the chance to love their mission like I've loved mine. It's meant everything to me."

My last fast and testimony meeting.
My last fast Sunday as a missionary.
My last Women's Session of general conference as a missionary.

I LOVED Sister Marriott's talk from the Women's Session. (Haven't seen the other sessions yet!! So excited for this weekend!) She quoted Harriet Uchtdorf and said we are "vibrant and enthusiastic beacons to the world." I loved that so much, especially because of an experience we had on Friday. We did Zone 24's (my last one) and i was with Sister Poulsen, a newbie. She was actually my companions MTC companion. Anyway, we were walking through the park doing finding, and some lady out of nowhere says, "Hey, I recognize you!!" I was like, "Oh, really?" Super excited because maybe I'd contacted her before or something. She said, "Yes, I recognize you from the Subway in Tai Kok Tsui!" Okay, now Tai Kok Tsui is in my old area. The one I was in 8 MONTHS AGO. And we're in HONG KONG. This lady has probably seen millions of people in the time she was working in Subway (yes, like American sandwiches, that Subway). I said, "Really???! But I haven't been there in 8 months!" I knew she was right, we used to go to that Subway all the time when we craved American food. She said, "Yes but I still remember you, you and your friend were always so nice and so friendly!" WOW! I was STUNNED. She wasn't really too interested in the gospel, but she was so nice and we had a great conversation and I walked away feeling lighter than air. People really do watch us! They really do notice us! It's so important to be a good representative of Christ ALWAYS, even when we're tired or hungry or grumpy or whatever. People remember us.I have no doubt that lady will accept the gospel later in her life. And maybe part of it will be because I was nice to her. I hope so :) "We are vibrant and enthusiastic beacons to the world."

A ward member invited us over for dinner last night. We went and were able to teach their domestic helper about the Restoration. Last time we were there, we gave her an English Book of Mormon. This time we shared the Restoration. It was SUCH a good lesson. The Spirit was stronger than it's been for a long time. She is so humble and prepared! She is from the Philippines and left 3 kids behind (an 11 year old, a 4 year old, and a 9-month old) to come to HK to work so she could get money for them. How sad is that? She was so happy to hear of a message that can help her family be together forever. We passed her phone number onto the Filipino sister missionaries that are here and her address in the Philippines onto the office elders! Here's to hoping and praying for them to have the chance to hear it as well!

I love being a missionary. I'm so incredibly thankful for this experience. I love Hong Kong. Can I just repeat that? I LOVE HONG KONG. I love these sweet people and I love the food and the sights and smells and laughter and mountains and trees and crazy things and culture and..... everything. I love everything. I LOVE this work. I love my Savior. I love what He's done for me. I loved in Sister Marriott's talk when she talked about being in the temple and looking at all of her weaknesses and thinking, "I don't want to be that woman!!" I have so many of those experiences too. But the Savior is our only Hope. He loves us and wants us to come unto Him. I love bringing people that joy!

I love you all! So much!
Sister Gwok



Okay, look at this picture. THIS is worth 1000 words:

Hahaha! Isn't that GREAT?! It totally looks like I baptized her :) So hilarious. We go to our correlation meeting and the ward mission leader says, "Gwok Jimuih, Bishop has asked if you can go into the water with her to make her feel more comfortable." I was like, "What?? Wear the white clothes and everything?" He goes, "Yep." HAHA oh man.... I felt so weird about it, I called the mission president. All okay! She's 82, after all! The ward members were freaking out. They were laughing so hard at me wearing a jumpsuit :) the elders were going to have a heart attack. It was so fun :) It was SUCH a good day!

Look at this little cutie! (And I mean little... she wore a child medium sized jumpsuit). She is the most humble, wonderful person in the world. You would all LOVE her. She had the most peaceful, blissful look on her face when she was going down into the water :) And right when she came back up, she started laughing. She loved it :) I wish you all could have been there SO BAD.

We did a musical number for the baptism -- me, Sister Hansen, Elder Beal, and Elder Anderson. I tried to sing alto and FAILED. It was "I Need Thee Every Hour." I practiced the alto part like crazy and had it down! But then we got up there and I forgot how to sing so I just sang the melody. Oops. Hohn Popo loved it, though. She was in the front row... hair all wet after baptism and just beaming and nodding her head to the beat of the music. Oh my GOODNESS she is the cutest!! We love her so much!!!

Basically yesterday was a wonderful day :) Hung Shui Kiu ward had a baptism (cutest little single mom named A-Goon, I love her to pieces) and we had one :) Happiest day. There was so much peace and joy in that little chapel at Chung Uk Tsuen. I feel so blessed to be working with such amazing people.

We found a new investigator last week named Florence and she actually came to church yesterday! We were so happy about that! The work rolls forward! I absolutely LOVE where we're at right now. Things are booming.... just booming. I'm going to be absolutely heartbroken to leave all this hard work behind. This is my home!!!

Mom, you asked about the other sisters we live with. I love them so much :) Sister Warner and Sister Adams. They're so fun. We are great friends! My companion, Sister Hansen, is doing great. She's getting REALLY REALLY nervous for me to leave, she doesn't think she can take the area/investigators/ward by herself. I keep reminding her that Heavenly Father makes up for where we fall short, and He magnifies us to do what we need to do. She is where I was about a year and 2 months ago. Crazy how fast time flies.. I keep telling her, too, that I have no idea what I'm doing. STILL! We do this work for so long and we get to know everything, but really, we're still babies. We still have no idea what we're doing. The coolest part is, that it works. The Lord truly does make our weak places strong and gives us the means to do His work.

Mom this is for you too: my eating habits lately: corn flakes with soy milk, herbal tea (I'm becoming a HUGE herbal tea drinker. HUGE!!), udon noodles (gwai, remember udon delight?? still make it), rice and veggies, stir fry, egg salad sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, any kind of vegetables, apples, asian pears, scrambled eggs with rice and veggies ..... ha. Yep. I only eat BROWN RICE these days! Thanks to my comp :) she's such a health nut.

I LOVE YOU GUYS! I am so blessed. I have the most amazing life in the world :) I have the best family and friends EVER! And the best mission experience anyone could ever hope for :) I love this mission. I'm making every SECOND count for the next four weeks. I'm loving every single part of everything that is happening right now. It's true what they say.... the last 6 months of the mission are the greatest. AHHH I can't express how much I love this. I love you all!!

Love forever,
Sister Gwok


Hardest thing I ever LOVED to do

The hardest thing I ever loved to do
Was letting go of everything I ever knew
Nineteen years of dreams left in my room
As I buttoned up the jacket of my suit
The hardest word I've ever loved to say
Was goodbye to my mom and walk away
Choking on my tie and on my tears
As I walked down the hall into those years

The sweetest song I've ever loved to sing
Filled the MTC on angel's wings
The chorus filled my soul five thousand strong
And I wished it would just go on and on
The firmest hand I've ever loved to shake
Was my trainer's with that big grin on his face
He grabbed my bag and put his arm round me
And whispered,
"I'm gonna work those Mr. Macs right off your feet!"

The hardest words I've ever anguished for
Came just before some lady slammed her door
My trainer left me hanging out to dry
As a minute of painful silence rolled right by
But the hardest tears I've ever loved to cry
Fell as I opened up my mouth and testified
Between the tiny walls of a stranger's living room
The Spirit told their hearts my words were true

The most wonderful sound I've ever heard
Is the sound of water running in the church
As someone I'd come to love got dressed in white
My eyes saw their first glimpse of Heaven's light
The hardest thing I've ever come to see
Is a Man down on His knees in agony
A drop of blood falls down on olive leaves
And for a moment He suffers there for me

The hardest thing I've ever loved to do
Was getting on this plane and coming home to you
In a million ways completely torn apart
As a land so far away still owns my heart

In the most sincere prayer I've ever prayed
I thank my God for each and every day
For the blessing of the man I've come to be
As I run up and kiss my mama's cheek.

DID YOU JUST START CRYING???? Because I did when I heard this song this week. Actually, all four of us sisters did. There we were, eating lunch together and this song comes on and we just bawled. Missions are the most wonderful, amazing, emotional things in the world. I feel so privileged to serve my Father this way!! I feel EXACTLY like the words of this song. This is the hardest thing I've ever LOVED to do :) So glad I still have time left here.

Today is temple day and I have no time left! But I love you all with everything I have! Things are going SO GREAT here!! A-yan LOVED stake conference and can't wait for more, Hohn Popo is getting baptized this Sunday!!!, Tina and Christine and Christina are as good as ever, the Lord is pouring out His blessings upon this area, and I truly couldn't be happier. I am not perfect and sometimes it frustrates me, but I love what I'm doing and love that every single day I can improve. I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven.

I love you all! SOO MUCH! I hope you have the best week ever!

Love forever,
Gwok Jimuih



Everyone should read Whitney's mission blog!!  I love you, Whit!!!


Whit,  you sound SOOO good!  You will be an amazing missionary!!

Mid Autumn Festival and stuff

HELLLOOOOOOOO!!! oh man this week feels like 30 years. But at the same time, the blink of an eye. Time is the weirdest here.

okay, i LOVED how whit talked about dad blowing his nose and it sounded like a fog horn throughout the whole house. hahahaha i've had a stuffy nose lately and i blow it every morning and every morning i think, "wow, i am becoming my father." SOOOO funny that whit thinks of that too!! dad, i love you! i miss your fog horn nose! ;) hahahaha

Happy (late) mid autumn festival!! It's crazy that this was my second one in HK. Mid autumn festival means lanterns like the ones on tangled, and MOON CAKES galore. Moon cakes sound good, but they're gross. It's a bummer because a TON of people give them to us. This year on mid autumn festival they had a HK-wide activity! It was so much fun!! It was like a big track meet all day long. We got special permission to go and participate. Us and the zone leaders ran the 4x100 relay. HAHA in jeans. Haven't run so fast in.... a while..... we were just a little bit sore. Okay, a lot sore. So fun though! and SOOO HOT.

Also this week, I promised to tell you the story of how we met A-Yan, our new investigator. We were finding, saw her, stopped her, and only had time to talk for like 5 seconds. Exchanged phone numbers. Walked away, didn't think much of it. Until SHE texted US! Which never ever happens!! We scheduled her, taught her a great lesson, and she told us, "I stopped believing in Jesus when I was 12. That day I saw you on the street, I had just barely quit my job and I was really sad. But when I saw you, I felt peace and calm and wanted to believe again." THIS WORK IS SOOO REAAALLLL!!! Isn't that the coolest thing?! Heavenly Father truly does prepare people for us to teach!! It is the most amazing and humbling thing to be a part of this great work.

Welll...... a lot of other really great stuff is happening too. But I have absolutely no time to write about all of it. I love being a missionary! I love helping other people come closer to our Savior. I love coming unto Him myself.

Scripture of the week: 2 Corinthians 4:5-7:

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are weak. We have weaknesses (earthen vessels). But if we didn't, God's light wouldn't be able to shine through. We are weak because only through Him are we made strong. I have so much I need to overcome, but I am thankful that through my Savior, I can be made strong. Not perfect, because He doesn't need me to be perfect right now. But better every day. I know that is true!

I love you all SO MUCH! so so much! hope you have the best week ever!


um... 10 minutes.....(from Sep 8, 2014)

AAAIIIYAAAA I only have 10 minutes to type this email because we had a special mission meeting today! We got a great SURPRISE and had Elder Rasband (Senior President of the Seventy), Elder Allen of the Seventy, and our Asia Area Presidency (Elder Gong, Elder Funk, Elder Wong) speak to us missionaries! SO SPECIAL! It was AMAZING!

Well... that's about all I have time for. We're doing SO good here in China! LOVING absolutely every single second of being a missionary and doing the Lord's work. Here's a question for all you returned missionaries:

"Is your testimony of Jesus Christ burning in your bosom the same as it did when you were a missionary?"

Elder Rasband told us that when he was called to be a general authority, President Hinckley asked him the same question. He told us this is the most important time to strengthen our testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm so thankful that I could come to know my Savior. This mission is blessing my life every single day... not only now but for eternity. I know He lives, and because He does, all of us do too. Every single day.

I love you all! Sorry so short this week. Next week will be better!!!!!!

Love love love,
Sister Gwok

this is a typhoon movin' in behind us... whoooo!

our new investigator A-Yan! STAY TUNED FOR THE STORY BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING!!!!!!!!!



LAY HOE!!! :)

I love seeing pictures of all of you peeps :) i miss you guys so much! it's so weird we haven't seen each other in SO LONG! I just gotta say, i have the best friends and family in the entire WORLD :) i looooooove you guys more than i could even say. Life is so good, isn't it?! Heavenly Father loves us so much!

So this week.. was so goooood :) It's amazing to see how many miracles Heavenly Father is giving us. Like this for example...

HELEN. Not our old investigator Helen. A NEW one. We were at the church and someone "fonged" us. Always hate that. So I pulled out a sheet of potential investigators that I keep in my bag and started calling through them. One of the names, Helen, hadn't been contacted by missionaries since 2005. I called her and she's GOLDEN. Seriously golden. We met with her a few days later and she had all kinds of questions about the Restoration and we just taught a great lesson!! She came to English class a few days later and LOVED it. So cool!! It's so amazing to see how the Lord prepares people. Almost 10 years!! And she finally gets to hear the gospel!

SISTER CHAN. She's a less active that Sister Aguilar and I found way back in the first few months we were together. When we first saw her, she said she couldn't come back to church and she couldn't meet with us because her husband disapproved. We were really sad but a few months later, tried again. Nothing. A few months later, we went back. The bishop had gone to visit her and told her she needed to stop putting off coming back to church. AMAZING. She started coming back!! We've been meeting with her every week since then and she is just doing so swell. Truly progressing, and bringing her husband and son back with her! I got teary eyed in the lesson and so did she, talking about the first time we'd met and how far she'd come since then. THE CONVERTING POWER IS SO REAL! It's so amazing to be a part of it.

Look at her! SHE'S THE CUTEST!!! She's progressing so well! Slowly, because her memory is super bad, but progressing! We taught her the 10 commandments this last week, and she loved em. She was all over them, saying, "Wow, I can be a better person by following all of these!" We were so happy. AND she said a wonderful prayer. She's 82 but she's gonna get baptized here pretty soon and we couldn't be happier! Neither could she! We just love her!

TINA. Here's the Tina update! Tina wants to get baptized SO BAD. But her mom won't let her :( we had a really good lesson with her this week about baptism. She said if her mom would let her, she'd get baptized anytime. Our cute little YW fellowshipped suggested that we all fast about it on Sunday. We fasted and now we're waiting to hear the miracles that come. The thing I've learned the most from this process is, Heavenly Father is aware of us. All of us. Maybe we think that it's time for Tina to get baptized, but maybe she needs to wait a little bit longer. Not sure why. But it's all in Heavenly Father's hands. As long as we're exercising faith and doing everything in our power to have these things happen, they'll happen exactly the way they're supposed to. FAITH. It's all about faith.

Oh man we had the BEST ward activity the other night. It was basically a musical talent show. Anything to do with music. There were so many good talents... plus a TON of referrals and all around just the most fun in SO long. I love our ward :) I'm so happy I get to be in this area for 8 months!!!!! IT'S THE GREATEST!

We drank the NASTIEST turtle shell/juice/i don't even know what.....

All I know is that it was turtle and it was DISGUSTING. Never drink or eat turtle. Trust me.

I love you all so so so so so much! I can't wait to see you and talk to you and laugh with you, but right now, I absolutely lOVE Hong Kong. I love the Lord and the things that He's teaching me on this mission. I love what I'm doing. I love my mission. I love you all :)

Sister Gwok


CHANGE. the crazy life.

Dearest famiry and fliends,

Hiiii!!! I can't believe Whit is in the MTC now. SO WEIRD. Hang in there, twit! I hear you're in a threesome. mm.... that can be hard. But man time flies too fast not to just LOVE EVERY SECOND and be grateful that you can serve! i think you're going to be the most amazing missionary in Japan! I love you I love you I love you! I've been thinking about you SO much! so so much!

What an emotional roller coaster of a week. It has been crazy but also really, really good. It's taught me again to rely on the Lord when I have no one else. Truly can't believe my little sister just went into the MTC this last week. It made me a little bit more emotional to think I won't see her for 3 years.. but that's how missions are. And they're so worth it!! I love you whitttt!!! AND Sister Aguilar went home (that was really hard.... here's a pic to show you):

man i'm such a bawl baby. haha. i miss my gwai!

AND I'm training. I'm just going to leave it at this : it's been a hard week. But it's also given me a great opportunity to grow. I'm thankful for that :)

Sister Hansen is my new comp! She's from Bountiful, UT and is 19! Fresh from the MTC woot woot! Here she is:

excuse this picture, it's AWFUL. i look awful... i was crying a lot, okay?

Sister Hansen is great! She doesn't eat gluten or dairy which is going to take some getting used to, but hey maybe I'll lose weight! hahaha. Let's keep our fingers crossed! ;)

The work is going on!!! Awesomely! The first day we went straight out and did finding for a bit. We found a wonderfully prepared mom and 2 kids! It was awesome! I kept thinking, "Wow, we found her so quickly! First person we talked to as a companionship!" So good. Heavenly Father helped us have success so quickly! She came to English class and church with her kids and liked both. She actually doesn't live in our area we found out. Sad :( But the elders will teach her and she'll get baptized! It will be awesome!

Another miracle that happened was during weekly planning. We prayed about who to visit to ask for a referral. The Spirit told us to go visit the Chan family. I saw Sister Chan at church and she invited us over that night for dinner. After dinner, we asked them if they had any friends or family that needed to hear the gospel. Their 16-year-old daughter piped up and told us she had a friend who was interested! WOW! She gave us her number and said she'll call her this week to set up a time to meet with us. Miracle! SO thankful for the way the Spirit guides us to people.

I like working with a new missionary because they see everything with new eyes. They're so "innocent" and so excited to do this work. It's made me a lot more grateful for the things I usually take for granted, like getting people's phone numbers or getting referrals or being able to help someone feel the Spirit. It's a cool lesson to learn.

Heavenly Father is so smart. He knows EXACTLY what we need when we need it. I'm so thankful for the times I think, "Um, wait a sec, Heavenly Father, I don't see how that's going to benefit me AT ALL. Could you maybe give me another trial instead of this one?" and then He doesn't. He helps me see the reason behind it. Or sometimes, He doesn't. But He waits for me to come to Him and trust Him. I feel like that's happened SO many times on my mission... one of the biggest lessons I've learned, definitely.

I wish I had more time. I love you all so much I can't even stand it! Hope you have the best of the best weeks :) JAREN AND PARKER, WRITE ME!!!!!!!!!! xoxo love you.

Love love love,


CHANGES for the Wilcox Girls (Letter from Aug 17, 2014)

Dearest family and friends,

First of all, Whitney Shalayne, I've never thought more about you on my mish than the last week! And especially yesterday and today! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I dreamed I trained you last night :) Heavenly Father knows what He's doing... He sends you to the MTC the exact same week I get the assignment to train a newbie. What a tender mercy! We'll both be going through the biggest changes ever at the exact same time. I'm so thrilled for you :) I also can't believe it... here it is, the start of 3 years of not seeing you. That will be so hard. I miss you already. I hope you have THE BEST WEEK. You're going to be amazing. I'm praying for you! Pray for me!

So yes, I'm training. I'm just a tad bit nervous. First time. Change. Sister Aguilar going home. I'm a little bit of an emotional wreck... but the Lord knows what He's doing. I just have to trust Him. Whit I love your missionary scripture. The Lord truly does labor WITH us. Thanks for reminding me :) We'll both be relying on Him a LOT this week, huh?

This past week was great. Great! I love Sister Aguilar. We've got such a rhythm down for doing the work. We were able to each 20 lessons this past week which was super good for us! What a way for her to end :) Ah, I'm gonna miss that girl. I'm so thankful for all the things she's taught me. I'm a different, better person because she was my companion!

A challenge? TINA. Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts for her. We really, really wanted her to make it for Sunday but it looks like Heavenly Father has a different plan for her. She was ready to talk to her mom about baptism and have her mom sign the form, but the day she took it home her mom went to Mainland for 2 weeks. (Can I just say? NO OTHER MISSION HAS THIS PROBLEM. It's crazy. Mainland is a black hole. People go up there, and we CANNOT contact them, cannot get ahold of them, can't go up there with them, can't even give them BOMs to give to their neighbors up there...it's pretty nuts). So Tina's mom will be up there for about 2 weeks. We gave her a new date for the 31st. Praying with EVERYTHING we have that she makes it! Please pray for her mom's heart to be softened!

Mom, fun fact! Sister Ag and I taught English class on Friday. We decided the theme was going to be childhood. Sooo we taught them the song, "Say, say oh playmate." hahaha IT WAS SO FUNNY. We made up actions so they would remember the words and then we filmed it :) You'll love it. Sorry I can't send it over email but we'll watch it when I get home! I told them we had to film it for my momma :)

This week I've learned a lot about the doctrine of Christ. THIS is the gospel! Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure the the end. It's the most important thing in the world! I was thinking about some of our investigators and why they aren't progressing.... it all goes back to faith. If we don't help people develop rock solid faith in Christ, they CAN'T progress. Without the Savior, nothing is possible -- progression, eternal life, change, or happiness. I am so thankful for my Savior. I am so thankful for the way He lifts me up when I am down, and the way He strengthens my weakness. I love this scripture (it's in 2 Corinthians 12):

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for mystrength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may restupon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Sometimes I want to beseech the Lord to take my trials away from me. But He teaches me the better way. Now, I take pleasure in hard things and "distresses for Christ's sake" because, like Paul says ,"For when I am weak, then am I strong." I'm SO thankful for my Savior. I am so thankful for the ways I've come closer to Him in the past 16 months. Two months left, it's my time to give everything I have.

I love this mission. I love Hong Kong. I love Tin Shui Wai. I love you all :) Mostly, I love my God and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel with all my heart.

Have a wonderful week! I'll be praying and thinking of you, twit! I LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Gwok

Pray for Tina!!! (letter from Aug 10, 2014)

MY FAM!!!!!!

Wow I cannot BELIEVE Whit's going into the MTC next week!!! Whaaaa??? Craziness! Too many crazy things are happening. The summer flew by! Maybe not for you guys, but I feel like I was just sitting here crying, watching Whit open her call! I'm stoked for you twit! :)

Jaren Cade... are you running xc? YOU SHOULD!!!!!!
P-diddles, good luck with all that's happening.. you're so busy. I'm so proud of you Pres! You're gonna do so good! :)

I can't believe time is flying so fast. I truly feel like it's still June... then I look at the calendar and remember that it's over, 65 in July is over, Mission Tour is over, and life is continuing to cruise. I can't keep up!! Oh yeah, by the way, we had Mission Tour this week! It was AMAZING! Amazing.
We had two Seventies there, Elder Funk and Elder Wong. I especially loved hearing from Elder Wong. (He just got put in April conf, so watch for him to speak in Oct conf!! He's SO GOOD!). Something about knowing that he's from Hong Kong and seeing how strong he is made me so happy and hopeful for the work here. We're really making a difference here! All of us! We're continuing to see Hong Kong progress and grow and individual lives and families change. It's the MOST WONDERFUL thing I've ever been a part of! Truly!

At Mission Tour I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love for President and Sister Hawks. They are so incredible and I feel SO BLESSED to serve here with them! They've changed my life and my mission. I couldn't thank them enough.

We had a bit of a setback yesterday.... we've been working really hard with Tina (who is Christine, our recent convert, ge sister) to get her baptized this coming Sunday, the 17th. The 3 of us (me, Sister Aguilar, and Tina) have prayed about this date and feel really good about it! Tina came up to us yesterday and told us her mom and dad are against her getting baptized. She said she maybe wanted to wait until she was 18 to get baptized. We didn't really know what to say.... at that time, I couldn't think of anything to say. When we were alone, we discussed it and both had very strong feelings about keeping the date for this coming Sunday. We're going to meet with Tina today to help her have the faith and courage to ask her mom to sign the form. I just can't shake the feeling that she should be baptized on Sunday. She's so ready. She's changed so much in the past few months! She's humble and willing and has a huge desire. Please keep her in your prayers! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!!!

The Lord has showed us that we can't do this work by ourselves. There's no way! At first we were both thinking, ah this week will be amazing, Tina will get baptized, no prob, everything will be wonderful. But then He showed us that without relying on Him, this work is impossible. We HAVE to choose His way in order to accomplish what needs to be done. We have to rely on Him. It's like the story from the Bible of Gideon and the 300. He's proving to us that HE will do His own work. We just have to do what He asks us to do. We're tools in His hands, is all.

I LOVE YOU ALL! So so so much! I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful support system of fam and friends behind me. I'm loving my mission. Pray for us this week! Pray for Tina! Pray for Tina's mom!!!!

Love, looove, looooove,
Sister Gwok


This cute little lady is our old security guard (from our old apartment). We had to go pick something up from the elders and she was there and freaked out at seeing us again! She gave us many huge hugs and chatted with us for like 10 minutes. Is she cute or what??

This is last P-day. That is Jane, one of our LA's :) she chenged us to dim sum! So fun! So yum! So cute Jane! :)

THEN, the next day, cutie little Jane gave us flower bouquets that SHE MADE that matched our personalities! HOW CUTE IS THAT?!!!! She said mine is calm and pretty because I'm calmer and pretty. And Sister Ag's is like that because she's more outgoing than me and also pretty :) haha THE CUTEST!! We love Jane!


A higher level

Dearest family and friends,

Oh my goodness.... what a week. What a week! This week has changed my mission and changed my life. I wish I could express every single emotion I've felt in the last 7 days but... well. I'll try.

So we got the results of 65 in July this past week. What an amazing week.... last Sunday (the last Sunday in July), a record breaking 32 people got baptized. ON ONE DAY. Crazy!!! The grand total for July was 48. Forty eight people brought closer to Christ in one month. It gives me the chills just to think about it. You wouldn't believe what was put into this goal. The whole mission fasting, praying, working, exercising faith, sweating, crying, laughing.... all resulted in 48. That's more baptisms in one month than our mission has had in years! AMAZING!

We went to MLC.. most amazing and spiritual meeting I've been to in SO long. President Hawks talked about how our "65 in July" experience was like Zion's Camp. Do you know the story of Zion's Camp? 200 Saints were called to march to Missouri to redeem Zion... they were prepared to fight. But when they got there, the Lord didn't want them to fight. They were to turn around and go home. In the meantime, they learned so many things. The end result wasn't to have them fight battles. The end result was to strengthen their faith and testimony. I feel the same way about 65 in July. The end result wasn't just to accomplish a grand goal of 65 baptisms in July. The end result was meant to change US. I feel like a completely different person than I was 5 months ago when this goal was first announced. This process has taught me so much. In worrying about these investigators and diving headfirst into the work of salvation, I've learned more about myself and the Lord than I ever would have before.

So we're sitting there at MLC and President Hawks opened it up for discussion. I have never felt the Spirit like that before.... it was amazing. We were talking about the things we learned from our "65 in July" experience and how we could further the work and keep it up in the future months. And then with the Spirit leading the discussion, we all brought it up: "Why don't we shoot for 65 again in December?!" So there you have it.... our new mission goal. 65 in December. AHHH I wish you guys knew what this means for HK. It's hUGE! It feels like we just took the mission and moved it to a higher level... we pushed up everything and miracles are flying left and right. The Lord IS hastening His work... man it's apparent in EVERYTHING here lately! It's so amazing!!!!

Something AWESOME that's happening in Macau (my first area!!! I'll always love it there!!) is that they're splitting the branch into two!!!!!! CAN'T BELIEVE IT!! I got the chills so hard when I heard that. Macau will have 3 branches now! 2 Chinese and 1 international! The work is exploding out there!!! :)

We (we as in the zone leaders and sister training leaders) were praying and worrying so much about how to present this new goal to our zone. We were praying like crazy that zone training meeting would go well. It went so well. The Spirit was there, people were inspired, I was inspired by our zone's faith and optimism, and things were just going perfectly :)

I want to tell you every single little miracle but there's just no time!!!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! There is so much good happening in Hong Kong! Our investigators are doing great! Tina (Christine's little sister) said she wants to get baptized sooner! We're finding new golden ones left and right! The less actives are coming back like crazy! Our recent converts -- Christine and Christina -- are so strong!! There could be NOTHING BETTER right now!

I love you guys SO MUCH. I love your support and every email and note from you. I have the best family in the entire world, hands down! Have a wonderful week! Whitney, 16 days!!!!

Love you love you love you all!
Sister Gwok :)

Today we dropped off our summer missionaries. I was sad to see Sister Chan go but happy because I'll see her in Utah! She's going back to Lehi for school in a few weeks! Woo hoo!
So this is cool.... the lady in the orange shirt and her husband with the glasses are in our ward right now. And their son, the guy in the red and his wife and kids were in my old ward, Cheung Sha Wan. They were at the cheng out last night! It was fun to see them! :)


A quickie...

Leih hou all!!

Hey real fast, I LOVED hearing about the family reunions. Family is the best. I wish I could have been there for both of them!!! WADDOUPS/WILCOX FAM.... I LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!! SO MUCH!!

The work has been SO GOOD lately! This week was awesome! I have loved having summer missionaries because it's made me appreciate so much more the wonderful work we're doing. They get excited about the littlest things! I love it. It's like when I first got here :) This week i've been excited about little things like them and it's made me so much more grateful for what we have and what we're doing!!

So, this is gonna be a quick one today... so sorry la....

One of our less actives that's been consistently coming back gave us a great compliment. She said, "So many missionaries have visited our family for years and years. But it wasn't until you two came that we started coming back to church. Thank you so much. You'll never know how much I appreciate it." I know that isn't because of me or Sister Aguilar, but the many missionaries before that planted seeds and did so much to help her come back. It's pretty cool to be the one that gets to harvest, though :)

President Hawks came and did a "specialized training" for our zone the other day. It was fantastic. I love that man and his wife :) He talked a lot about unity and how to come together as zones, districts, and companionships. He said one thing I absolutely loved. In relationships, so often we think of them in terms of 50-50. I'll give my half, you give yours. But we measure that 50% all the time. "I did this and this and this, you only did this!" The other person always gives "less" than we do. So instead of thinking of them in terms of 50-50, we should think of them in terms of 100-0. We give 100% and expect nothing back. It's a lesson that we learn from the Savior. He accomplished the Atonement, and gave everything He had for us, but didn't expect anything back. He hoped that we would give back, and follow HIm, and follow His commandments, but He didn't expect anything. He gave 100%. I want to give 100% to everything I do -- in every companionship, in every relationship, in every aspect of my life -- and expect nothing back. That's how the Savior is :)

We're all DYING to find out the results of 65 in July. We'll find out this week at MLC!! I don't even know what to say or think about it except that I've learned TONS from this process. I've learned tons about faith. I've learned tons about persistence. I've learned tons about desire. I've learned tons about motivation. I've learned tons about being more accountable. I've learned tons about myself. I've learned tons about making and accomplishing goals. I've learned tons about obedience. I've learned tons about being grateful. I've learned tons about talking to the Lord. I've learned tons about this work and how we can get it to go forward. I can't even express how much I've loved the process of "65" and how much I've learned. It's truly changed me forever.

I LOVE MISSION LIFE AND HONG KONG. Could I say it enough?! I love what I'm doing. I'm giving all I have until the end! 100%!

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Gwok

Our LA, Cathy, and her cutest son Enik (her husband is from Samoa so Enik is the cutest little half Chinese half Polynesian baby EVER!)

Our district -- every single one of us had summer missionaries! Mine is on the far left... no idea why I'm not sitting by her.... and the elders were making fun of my skirt over the chair because they said it looked like a "tumor" on my leg

Very hot weather warning?? THANKS. As if we didn't already know ;)


Onward, ever onward!!

FAMIRY! FLIENDS! All my roved ones!

Hello from the HK this week! This hot, humid, very hot, very humid, very slow week. There's no way I'm going to complain about our amazing investigators getting baptized, but.... that also means that we have a lot more finding to do. A LOT more.

Here's the big news from today. We just got summer missionaries!! So Hong Kong has this program where during the summer they have some youth go and be missionaries for 2 weeks! Sister Aguilar and I both got one. Mine is Sister Chan from Tsimshatsui ward. She's so cute! She actually goes to school in Lehi, UT, so her English is great and knows a lot about Utah :) she's my new companion for the next 2 weeks! We split the work in Tin Shui Wai and Sister Ag and her summer mish do half and we do half. It almost means that we have a lot more finding to do. A LOT more. But hey, if we didn't do finding, we wouldn't find new investigators, and people wouldn't get baptized, and we wouldn't have success. So we will go onward, ever onward!!!

This past week was a little bit rough. We got "fonged" six times. That hasn't happened to me yet in Tin Shui Wai. (Here's a Chinese lesson. "Fonged" is Chinglish. It means people didn't show up to their appointments. English is they stood us up. So in Chinese we say they "fong oh day fay gay" haha now you can say it! It literally means they threw us out of an airplane ha.) Anyway, we were feeling really discouraged but the miracles still came...

  • This week we had another really special experience with Christine. She is such a great example to everyone around her :) She and her sister, Tina, were planning on coming to English class on Friday night. Right before, they got a call and said they had to go home really fast because of some problems. About five minutes later, they came back and asked us if they could talk to us in private. We went with them to another classroom and Tina just started bawling. They said their parents were arguing and their little brother had called them because he was really scared. Poor girls :( Christine said they were going to go home to take care of their little siblings but they wanted us to pray with them first. We said of course! We knelt down and Christine told Tina to say the prayer. It just about tore out my heartstrings... She sobbed and said the most humble, wonderful prayer and I couldn't help but get teary. This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ does for families and for individuals. It heals broken hearts and broken homes. I felt like I could fly in that moment. Because of the gospel, Christine and Tina were able to have peace in a hard time for them. Heavenly Father loves us. Oh, He loves us. That's the best part of this work. It's not the baptisms -- as great as they were. It's seeing their lives change and seeing them take those steps down the path of eternal life. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!
  • Christina gave the spiritual thought at a YSA activity last night and did a GREAT job! We were bursting with pride! :)
  • We also visited a ward member because we felt prompted to go to her and ask for referrals. Turns out, she's been struggling lately but no one has known. It was really cool to go on such a specific and immediate errand for the Lord. He really does treat us as His angels to do this work. We read some BOM scriptures with her, and then she asked us to sing "How Firm a Foundation" for her. She was in tears the whole time. It was another very special and sacred experience.
  • We did a special zone fast yesterday for 65 in July. There are so many wonderful things happening all over the mission! I just heard that two of my old investigators from Cheung Sha Wan, Sister Chan (the one that had cancer) and her daughter Ching Ching got baptized yesterday. I can't even handle the happiness of that news!!!! HONG KONG IS GROWING!! I love being a part of it! I love you all! This work is real! Heavenly Father is pouring the blessings down upon us! I can't even contain my excitement!
Have a wonderful week! Whit, I'll be thinking of you when you go to the temple. I'm so so so excited for you :) P-did, I'll be thinking of you too, you and the old red flip phone. How old is that thing anyway? J-dub, I'll be thinking of you too, watching Harry Potter and going on sweet allstar bike rides and stuff like that :) M&D, I always think of you :) I love you guys!




ANOTHER baptism! what?!!!

Dearest fam and friends,

I gotta follow up first. Whit, Park, and Jare. Did you read? Did you pray? Did you commit?!

OH MY GOODNESS WE HAD THE MOST AMAZING SUNDAY IN THE WORLD!!!! I have to tell you every detail about it!

This is Christine. With her FAMILY! They came to her baptism! Aren't they the cutest?! Oh my goodness you have to know her background to appreciate this. So Christine has been investigating for about 6 weeks. She's GOLDEN. Most golden person I've ever known. She's amazing and has taught me something in every single lesson I've taught her. She really has such a desire to come unto Christ. She's been wanting to get baptized ever since we mentioned baptism 6 weeks ago. But she said her family was VERY against it. She was a little nervous they wouldn't want her to be baptized, but she was determined to do it anyway. This past week, she said she was talking to her mom about her baptism and asked her to come see it. Her mom said "no absolutely not." So Christine -- with the AMAZING faith she has -- went into her room and said a prayer. She said her mom came into her room right after and said, "Okay, I'll come." IS THAT A MIRACLE OR WHAT?! She told us that and we were so happy we couldn't even handle it. I absolutely LOVE Christine. She's so selfless. She invited her family plus two friends to come to her baptism. It was the most special, perfect day in the entire world. Christine stood and bore her testimony after she got baptized and, in tears, said, "I'm so thankful to be baptized today. I'm especially thankful my family would come and support me. Even though they didn't want me to get baptized, they're here and I'm so happy. I know the Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Anyone here who isn't baptized should start meeting with the missionaries and do it! It's amazing!" Then, after the baptism, she came up to Sister Aguilar and I and hugged us and cried really hard and said, "Thank you so much. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't know this wonderful church." It was a missionary's dream come true right there. I can't even express the joy we had yesterday. What a special day!! Christine is AMAZING! And we have high hopes for her family! Her brother Paco said he wants to start coming. And Tina, her sister, said she wants to get baptized now!!! :) :) :)

Christine and Christina. Both baptized now :) I LOVE THEM MORE THAN WORDS CAN DESCRIBE :)

We have such a good ward :) I love them SO much. Just so you know all of their names and appreciate China, from left to right is Christina, me, A-Wing, Sis Aguilar, Christine, Delta, Ji Chin, Carol, Seung Yiu, Bobo, Man Sin, and Gung Yat. Hahaha they seem completely normal to me but I bet you guys think they're crazy weird names.

And GOSH that was just Sunday!! Life can't really get much better than right now! I love my companion, I love our zone, I love the people we work with, I love our ward, I love my mission president, miracles are happening left and right, we're in the middle of 65 in July, I'm a missionary, I'm in Hong Kong, I have an awesome family and amazing friends, I love the Lord, the church is true, the BOM changes lives, and everything is just perfect. I can't complain about anything :)

I woke up to this the other day and almost died. Asia has such beautiful clouds. Whit get STOKED!

Oh my GOODNESS hahahhahahaha I almost forgot the FUNNIEST thing. So the Chinese, they like to wear shirts with nonsense English on them, right? Most of the time they have no clue what they mean. We go to our Bishop's house for a cheng out last night. and his wife had a shirt on that said, "Sh** happens." (but it said the word). Oh man we were DYING of laughter. So hilarious!! I love China :)

I am LOVING every single second the Lord has given me in HK. I love this place with my whole heart. I love the work that we're doing here. I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am committing myself to lifelong service for them. This mission isn't just meant to change these 18 months. It's meant to change my eternity.

I love you I love you I love you!

Love always,
Sister Gwok

this one's for the sibs. (letter from July 6, 2014)

Dear Whit, Park, Jare... I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY. I wish I could be there in Canada with you this week! Say hi to all the Chinese peeps for meeee!!!! :) Tell them "lay hoe". They would love it. :) Anyway, I want to write to YOU specifically because I want you to know how much my mission means to me. And how much I hope yours means to you. And how much I WISH I would have better prepared for it.

I'm committing you to, while you're on vacation this week, try these things out. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Will you commit??

Pray. Learn how to talk to Heavenly Father. Not AT Him or TO Him, but WITH Him. He's real. Did you know that? He's given us the gospel to make us the MOST happy. Think about the funnest times we've had -- like that one time we went to Sand Hollow and jumped off the back of the wave runners, or the bazillion times in a row we would go on Indiana Jones at Disneyland, or family jumps on the trampoline in the backyard, or hide-n-seek in the dark -- you thought those were good?? We can't even imagine how good eternal life will be. We can't even imagine the good things Heavenly Father has in store for us. He wants to give us every good thing. All He asks is that we talk to him -- PRAYER -- and obey His commandments.

Read the Book of Mormon. This week we went to Mission Leadership Council and President Hawks talked all about the Book of Mormon. It truly is the book that will change our lives and our hearts. It'll bring us the best kind of happiness -- way better than all those family vacations, way better than friends, way better than anything you can even imagine. I wish I'd read the BOM more before the mish. It has answered every single question I've ever had. It's brought me comfort when I didn't have anything else (that, and prayer).

I've thought a lot about commitment this week because of something Sister Hawks told us. She said she has two daughters that are runners. One runs races to finish. She's okay with walking some of the time. If she doesn't do best, oh well, she's in it to finish only. The other one runs races to win. She gives it her ALL every step of the way. She doesn't stop to walk because she can't afford it. She wants to give it everything she's got. Sister Hawks related it to our missions. Are we here to finish, or are we here to win? We can apply it to life, too. Are we here to finish, or are we here to win? Are we okay with being mediocre, not reading the scriptures and not praying, because whatever, we'll finish anyway? Or are we here to give it everything we've got? I think that's what Heavenly Father expects of us. He wants us to win. He expects us to "run with patience the race that is set before us." I want to give this mission everything I have. I don't want to be a missionary just to finish the mission and say, "Cool, that was great. It was hard, but I let myself walk for part of it, and I'm just fine. I finished, didn't I?" I want to be the missionary that says, "Wow, that was the hardest thing I've ever done. Blood, sweat, and tears... but look at me now." Through the gospel, we CAN change. We can win any race that we want! IF we trust our Father in Heaven and do things the way He wants them to be done.

My week in a nutshell was this: praying so hard for something specific to happen -- Christina's baptism. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted there to be no flaws and for her to have a wonderful day and a perfect memory. It didn't happen exactly like that. We prayed so hard for her to get baptized -- and she DID!! :) -- but it wasn't perfect. There were some things that came up that made me think, "Heavenly Father, why would you do that? Why couldn't you just make today perfect for her? Baptism is right, isn't it??!" I was really frustrated. I was a little bit angry... I'm not proud of it, but I was. But then I read the words in the scriptures,

"The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than He?"

Nope, I'm not. Things don't go perfectly because we're not perfect. This life is meant to be a test. When we have trials, that doesn't mean it's time to give up and say, "Heavenly Father must not be there because He didn't give me exactly what I wanted." Of course not!! If He gave you exactly what you wanted, you'd NEVER grow.

I'm so thankful for the chance Heavenly Father has given me to grow. I'm SO thankful for my mission. I want you three to go through these powerful, spiritual, wonderful changes just like me.

Have a great week! COMMIT to do those two things and report back to me next week! hou mh hou?


Happy 4th of July at an American restaurant!! :) woo hoo!

Cute Christina's baptism! :) I LOVE HER SOOOO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU.


Have miracles ceased?....Behold, I say unto you, NAY!!

Dearest fam and friends,

Gosh I don't even know what to say about this week. It's been absolutely amazing and SO intense. We've laughed and cried more than any other week on my mission so far! Let me tell you about Christina....

Christina has been investigating the church for 7 months. She steadily comes to church, reads the BOM, and prays. But for 7 straight months she's said that she hasn't been able to feel the Holy Ghost. She doesn't show much emotion ever and doesn't cry easily. We've been working with her like CRAZY to help her recognize the Spirit. Last week, we were ready to give up. We were doing weekly planning, just basically throwing our hands up because we have no idea how to help her. BUT.... this last week.... due to your prayers! And faith! And ours!.... Christina has made the most miraculous change! I want to tell you every detail about it but it's pretty sacred so I won't. We had an AMAZING lesson. The Spirit was felt, Christina cried, we cried, and basically what I'm telling you right now is she's a changed person. Ah I can't begin to describe how much it means to Sister Aguilar and me. We've prayed harder for Christina than anyone in our entire lives. We've put EVERYTHING into helping her change. And finally, after 7 months, she's doing it :) she's changing. She is becoming a 'daughter of Christ' and applying the Atonement to herself. It's been nothing short of a miracle.

"Have miracles ceased?.... Behold I say unto you, Nay."

She'll be getting baptized on Sunday! It will be the happiest day of my entire mission. She's still struggling a bit with her family and stuff... PLEASE PRAY FOR HER. She needs it.

July is coming up and with our 65 baptisms in July goal, we're working our hardest!! It's cool being a Sister Training Leader and working closely with the Zone Leaders to help our zone. I've never had such a huge drive and desire to achieve our goals! It's crazy! We went through a little trial of our faith in June.... in order to achieve 65 in July every zone needs at least 10 baptisms for the month. In June, our zone had one. ONE. We could look at that and say, oh wow, forget July, it'll be impossible. But we're full of faith for the future! We're confident that Heavenly Father will hear our prayers and grant us the righteous desires of our hearts. This July goal is so inspired. I've never been more focused on the work, or had a bigger desire to do well, or had a greater desire to be what my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I'm starting to see what President Hawks says about July, "It's not just about July. It's about the rest of your lives." This is going to be a huge part in changing who I am.

Funny story (we think it's HILARIOUS, we laugh about it all the time):

There's a member in our area book named Vicky. We haven't seen her at church and she hasn't ever answered the phone. Lost sheep.... or so we thought. Anyway, one day we were out finding and we saw a girl walking on the street that looked JUST like Vicky. I said, "Sister Aguilar, that's Vicky!" We chased after her and said, "hey! Vicky! Are you Vicky?" She looked at us like we were crazy and said, "No, I'm not." And walked quickly away with a really annoyed look on her face. But that's typical of less actives that don't want to be found. So we're like, "Man, that was TOTALLY Vicky. What the heck, she lied!"

Part B: We're at church on Sunday. Some cute girl comes in that I've never seen before. I go up, thinking maybe she's a referral, or a less active or something, and say, "Hey, what's your name?" She says, "I'm Vicky! I just got back from BYU-Hawaii, I've been there for 3 years!" Nicest girl on the planet. Super active. hahahahaha we chased down the wrong girl on the street and totally thought it was Vicky, who we thought was "less active." Whoops!! SO FUNNY.

Missionary humor. Sorry if you guys don't get it hahahaha.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I love seeing pictures and videos from all of you :) Lorraine Dettman, your girls camp dance that you made up was the cutest thing in the world! I loved watching it!

Remember that miracles have not ceased. Heavenly Father loves all of us and can provide a way for ANYTHING that He asks us to accomplish. We have to rely on His help first.

Love always,
Sister Gwok

1. Last P-day we went to 10,000 Buddhas! It was fun!
2. Us and Christine after we taught her the 10 commandments :) the thing we're doing with our hands is how you do '10' with your hands in Chinese
3. We did service... picked up trash by the church... in the POURING rain.



Rainbow Family? When i saw that subject line I thought it was gonna be something like someone with the last name "Rainbow" was getting baptized or something hahahaha. Guess that shows where my mind is :).

Anyway, WHIT YOU'RE SO CLOSE! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! I can't even tell you how much your mission will mean to you. Absolutely everything and more. Ah, i can't even describe it. I LOVE YOU!

MORGAN ALEXANDRA FERRELL!!! You're at home! I need an email from you! I love you! I really hope you're loving being with your family :) I can't imagine being where you are, but i hope it's been a happy and good transition... what am I saying, I hope it WILL BE a good and happy transition. I love you so much!

Gosh I'm already running out of time.... I'd better update you on this crazy emotional week....

Kami didn't get baptized yesterday :( we knew she wasn't ready earlier in the week, but it was still a hard day. Her grandma is super against the church and Kami's afraid of what will happen if she gets baptized. SO SAD! Satan is trying his best and it breaks my heart. We're not losing faith, though. Kami wants it, too. PRAY FOR HER, PLEASE!!! Here we are with her :)

Also, Christina. We're teaching her and all is going great! There was a pie making activity last night that she came to.... oh, here's a picture...

"You may call me Aunt Frizzy!!!" -parent trap :) Sis Aguilar said that one, but I thought it was hilarious so I'm re-quoting it :)

Left = Christine. Right = Christina. (I know, confusing, huh?) I LOVE THEM SOOO MUCH!!

Anyway, back to Christina. She second-guesses herself so much! It's been such a long process to help her come to know the truthfulness of the gospel. She is ready but doesn't know it!! Last night she texted us right before we went to bed and said, "hey, i'm scared about my baptism." We fell onto our beds and just cried and then immediately said our prayers. If there's anything that will make my mission worth it, it's seeing Kami and Christina get baptized. It's been almost 5 months with them! I love them so much.... I can't even describe how much. I WANT THEM TO HAVE THE GOSPEL!!! Please pray for them!

Here's the good news: Christine. She's AMAZING. She's definitely the most prepared, golden person I've ever met. She's an answer to every missionary's prayer :) Did I tell you we moved her baptism up because she wanted to? July 13! We asked her why and she said, "I really want to get rid of past mistakes. I want a new start. I know through baptism I can have that." She's incredible! We taught her sister, Tina, the Restoration yesterday after church and Christine was beaming the whole time! We basically used her as a fellowshipper and she bore very powerful testimony. She's absolutely wonderful! :)

The gospel is so true. I can't describe the deep feelings of love I have for what I'm doing right now. This morning, I read my study journal from the MTC and got the chills. I've learned SO MUCH in the past year+. What I'm doing right now is preparing me for my eternity. I love the Lord with everything I have, and that love increases more and more every single day! I love sharing the gospel with these wonderful Hong Kong people. I'm so full of love, I could explode. LOVE IS THE ESSENCE OF THE GOSPEL. I love, love, love, love LOVE this mission and what I'm doing. Could I say it enough?!

I love all of you, too!!! Be safe and stay away from rainbows.

Love always,
Shay Gwokamole



DAD!!! I love you! I hope you had the most wonderful Father's Day! This pic is on Father's Day in China.... after a long sweaty hot hard day of work.... and I'm in my pajamas (do you like my genie pants? it's more like a genie suit.. hahaha).... so ignore that. But I was thinking of you all day and I love you so very, very much. I hope I find a guy just EXACTLY like you to marry. But he's got huge shoes to fill :) i love you. Thank you for being there for me every single time I needed someone. Thanks for forgiving, laughing with, crying with, teasing, playing with, and loving me. You're one of my very best friends! I miss you like crazy!!

This week something hit me like a brick wall:

I think back to the first few months of my mission..... never in a million years did I think I'd say that. I used to wish so badly that we could just sing a song in English, just to make me feel more at home. Or that people would speak English to me. Or that we could eat regular food. Or that I could wear regular clothes or straighten my hair or SOMETHING, to make me feel more at home here.

But now, oh my goodness, I love this place. This is my home. I am like Ammon, I could stay here until the day I die if it means doing what the Lord wants me to do. I love the people of this huge city, I love the members, I love the hymns in Chinese, I love the food, I love speaking Chinese, I love everything about this crazy place that I didn't think I would ever love. And I love being able to say that. I've come so far. And the best part is, there's still time ahead of me to go.

I think I'm feeling a little bit.... nostalgic isn't the right word but idk what is.... because two of my friends end their missions this week! Sister Mckown here in China, and Morgie poo in Chile. Both of them are AMAZING. I cannot believe missions end. It's a scary thought. It makes me want to enjoy my time here even more. Ah, China. Ah, missions. How I love you!!!!

We've had some ups and downs this week.... Kami's baptism is June 22. It's still up in the air. She's doing so well! She's just gotta take this last step! I swear I've never cared more in my life about someone that wasn't my family. And Christina, she just needs to decide she believes!! She says she's "willing" to believe but won't commit. It absolutely breaks my heart. If these girls only KNEW what life was all about! If everyone only KNEW! I can't even describe it. I have such an eternal perspective as a missionary. THE GOSPEL IS EVERYTHING!!! I feel like Alma.... oh that I were an angel and could say it with the sound of trumpets!! If only everyone knew!!!!!!!!!!

Well I'm totally out of time... i'm so sorry..... I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Your summer looks so fun and so foreign :) I can't even imagine doing what you're doing. I miss you guys bucket loads. Give everyone a hug and a kiss for me.

Love love love love you!!
Sister Gwok


a life changer

Dearest fam,

Oh man, this week's been amazing. Life changing, actually. I don't even know if I know how to explain how, either. I'll try.

First of all, this week was MLC (mission leadership council). I love this meeting, but the one this week was different somehow. It was AMAZING. We discussed a lot about obedience and how the missionaries in our mission are doing. We talked about 65 in July -- our huge goal -- and how we're going to accomplish it. President Hawks sent around a survey for us to fill out on what struggles we're having, how optimistic we are about the future of the mission, stuff like that. When he got the responses back, he cried. He said, "Elders and Sisters, I needed this today. As a mission president, I deal with SO MUCH. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the problems. But seeing your enthusiasm, your optimism, your faith.... it strengthens me." When he ended his remarks, he put his head in his hands and kept on crying, wiping his tears. Now you have to understand.... when you look at President Hawks, he's not a bawlbaby. He doesn't cry super easily. He's a stern-looking, get-to-the-point kind of person. Seeing him cry sent me over the edge. It made me realize how important this is and how much he cares about us. He loves this mission and this work and us missionaries and the Lord SO MUCH. What we're engaged in right now is real and so incredibly important. I'm thrilled that I have a chance to be a part of something so big and so wonderful. I want to work harder and harder for the Lord to accomplish what He wants here in Hong Kong.

Then we had Zone Training that us and the Zone Leaders are in charge of. We wanted to make it a really spiritual experience for everyone to pump them up about the work. We had a 15 minute part of it that we called "Soul Searching." We played a mormon message at the beginning, and then invited everyone to think/reflect on themselves and what they are doing to become who they want to become. It was great! Everyone seemed to really feel the spirit and want to be motivated to do better. Sister Aguilar and I did a training on teaching better and used the example of the Master, Christ, when he talks to the Samarian woman at the well. It went really well. It's nice being in a leadership position, I always feel like I learn SO MUCH from the things I have to study and prepare for. Much more than the people I present to, that's for sure.

We had a sad experience with Kami this week. She came to the church and we had a lesson, but she didn't have too much to say and she looked really nervous. We asked her what was wrong and she wouldn't say. Finally she started bawling and said, "I'm not ready to be baptized and I don't want to be forced!!" Whoa... it really made us stop and think. Both Sister Aguilar and I started bawling too and the three of us just cried together for a while. Sometimes, even when it breaks your heart and you think they're SO ready.... your investigators aren't. It's hard to accept God's timing sometimes, but it made us realize what's most important. It's most important that she learns what's real and right. It's most important that she has a testimony and feels the Spirit. It's most important that she comes to love the Savior. And no matter how bad we want to accomplish 65 in July, it's not about that. We're here to invite people to come unto Christ... not push them. It was a good realization to have. It's breaking our hearts because we love her to death and want this for her SO BAD!!!!! but she'll come around.

Our other girls are doing GREAT! Especially Christine. We taught her the plan of salvation yesterday and afterward she said, "Wow. Now I know why I'm here." No one has EVER SAID THAT TO ME BEFORE. I was so happy.

I feel like lately I've had some really great spiritual experiences that have helped me grow a lot. For a while, I wasn't feeling the Spirit like I was expecting I should be and it bothered me. But I think Heavenly Father just wanted me to work a little harder to find it. Now I have, and I can't get enough of the good feelings I get from the Holy Ghost. He is our constant companion and I'm SO inredibly thankful for Him and the way He guides my life.

I know this Church is true... and by true I mean wonderful and right. There is NOTHING in life that brings more happiness than this. Money, fame, a good job, electronics... none of that stuff even matters at all! The only thing that matters is this gospel. I'm so thankful for truth and the truth that I've discovered here in Hong Kong. It's changing my present and my future. I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father and His love. I'm thankful for my Savior and His Atonement. I'm thankful for the Holy Ghost and His guidance. I'm so thankful I get to share these truths as a missionary. I wish time would slow down a little bit... but other than that, I couldn't be any happier.

I love you all. I hope you have a great week!

Whit, I hope you have the most wonderful birthday tomorrow! I love you like crazy. And Mina, you on Wednesday! Happy birthday you two!

Love always,
Sister Gwokamole


heat(miracles) = SUMMER

Helloooo famiry and fliends,

We just got back from biking with the YSA in our ward! It was SO FUN. It was fun to see HK on a bike..... haven't been on a bike for over a year now... so weird and I'll probs be super sore. But it's fine. It was worth it! Pretty crazy though, we took our two investigators, Christina and Annie, which was GREAT! But Christina passed out! I felt SO bad.... we were stopped for a water break and she came over and put her head on my shoulder and said, "I can't breathe... I'm so tired...." and then just kinda went limp on my shoulder. I was like "Oh no!! You need to drink more water" but I was straddling my bike and turning around to get some water for her and all of a sudden she fell straight back on the asphalt. AHH. I felt so bad. We carried her over to some grass and Sister Aguilar and I just held her hands and dumped water on her and fanned her like crazy. She was fine after like 10 minutes.. poor girl. Apparently she hadn't eaten breakfast. :( buuuut other than that, it was a blast bike ride! And so fun to be with our ward! I LOVE this ward. They are wonderful.

It's hotter than JUNK out there..... and we had to wear PANTS. I wanted to die.

this week was SUPER GREAT! I can't get enough of this area, this ward, this companionship, these investigators, everything. The only thing I can complain about is the heat. I want to DIE. People say it's hotter this year and all I can think is, "of course it is.... because I'm here and I hate the heat." SO YIPPEE-AI-A here we go SUMMERRRRRRRR!!!!!

So if you wanted, you guys could add these people to your prayer list:

  • CHRISTINA. She's having trouble recognizing the Spirit and getting answers to her prayers. She's doing SO WELL!!! but we want her to get baptized July 6 sooo baddd. I love her soo much.
  • KAMI. So idk if I told you, but her family has been super opposed to church. Especially her little sister. One lesson, she cried because her sister kept giving her so much anti stuff. I cried with her. I can't even imagine Whit being against something that's important to me. Poor Kami. But then MIRACLE!!! Her little sister came to our ward activity on Saturday night! We were so happy! and she liked it! She says she's been having some problems in her life lately and she wants to see if church can help! Kami was the cutest, bringing her and showing her around and acting like this church and these people were her big family. It was awesome. We want her to get baptized onJune 22 soooo badddd! We loove her.
  • ANNIE. She's new but she's AWESOME! In fact we wouldn't have even known about this bike activity if it wasn't for her. She already has some good friends in the ward that live in her building and they bring her to church! so good!! She knows nothing about God (or she didn't a week ago!) but she's willing and she's super cute. Hoping and praying for her baptism on July 27.
  • CHRISTINE. She's new too! but sooo good!! She has a friend in Yuen Long (another ward in our stake) that's a member and we gave her a baptismal date the first time we met her! She was in AWE at the size and beauty of our church building. She's been to other churches before but didn't really like them so she came to ours. She LOVED Sunday's church meetings. She's the cutest, nicest, most sincere person in the world. Love her. Hoping and praying for her baptism on July 27 too!!
Here's the bad news: Bin Jimuih dropped off the face of the earth. Last Sunday she got SUPER offended at someone's talk (on keeping the Sabbath day holy) and stomped out of the church and won't answer our phone calls anymore. She says she'll never come back :( so sad. We're praying for her to have a change of heart.

We had Zone Conference this week which was SO GOOD. And also fun, because I got to see EVERYONE in my MTC district! We were only missing Elder Barker! Crazy how much we've all changed in the past year! The elders all look like BABIES in the MTC haha.

In Zone Conf President Hawks talked a lot about life changing experiences and how they have tough times. But of course! That's why they're life changing. This roller coaster adventure in Hong Kong is the most life changing thing I've experienced in my entire life. I absolutely LOVE IT. I love the people I serve, the people I serve with, and everything about everything. Truly, life couldn't be any better. I love the Lord. I love this mission. It's changing me in ways I would have never expected.

I love you all SO MUCH more than words could even say. Have the most wonderful week!!

Love always,
Gwok Jimuih