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

I'm lovin' it. (no, not McDonald's!) - Email from 5/25/14

HELLLOOOOOOO fam and friends!!

Mama, thank you so much for the package! and p&j thanks for the harry potter cartoon haha i laughed forever. You guys are the cutest :) I loved seeing a little glimpse of home in that package! I can't hear from you all enough!!

This week has been a whirlwind of miracles.... they have been coming so fast, I can't get over it. We lost Sister Choi this week :( she went to Tai Wai... which means that Sister Aguilar and I are now in charge of Tin Shui Wai and Hung Shui Kiu by ourselves! But Heavenly Father is pouring the blessings down. Seriously. Like theeeese:

  • We met a new investigator named Annie, scheduled her for English class, she came, we taught her afterward, gave her a baptismal date, she accepted, she came to church, really liked it, and came to a baptism after church and loved that. THAT NEVER HAPPENS, my friends. NEVER. It was amazing!!! I'm so excited for her to continue to progress!

  • We have this system of counting up our key indicators and striving to attain "balanced" "focused" or "excellence" weeks. Obviously, we want excellence weeks. So we counted up the past 4 weeks last night. The first three, we were barely hitting balanced. We were sad and confused but determined to do better. Then we counted up this past week. Just three numbers shy of excellence! What?! Then we looked back at our week... we've sacrificed train/travel time to exclusively find. We've worked our tails off to make sure everyone progresses and comes to church. We've tried our best not to waste a minute!! We knelt down right then and thanked Heavenly Father. He truly has given us everything we need to succeed, and when we FINALLY decide that we can give everything over to Him, that is when He blesses us the most. It's said best in a quote from Elder Maxwell that I love:

"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!"

  • Christina accepted a new baptismal date for July. And THEN, the next day, she brought her mom to church!!! And her little brother!! AND THEY STAYED FOR THE BAPTISM! We were stoked. Christina's mom has never been to church, and her brother Andy hasn't been for a really long time! It almost made me cry to see them together. This gospel truly is the happiest thing for any family. I don't care who you are, this gospel is FOR YOU. And for all the people you love.
  • We gave a baptismal date to our investigator, Bin Jimuih, and she accepted without hesitation! We rode the lightrail home with her and she got a call from her friend (who is a member) and she said -- well, basically yelled into the phone -- "HEY! I DECIDED TO GET BAPTIZED! THE SISTERS JUST GAVE ME A DATE FOR JULY 13 AND I SAID YES! I'M GETTING BAPTIZED!" The other people on the train were staring but Sister Aguilar and i were beaming. Oh baptism!! Such a happy thing!!

Well, I'm out of time to tell you the other 55 things I wanted to say. But here's some pictures!

This is a pig face. Just a literal pig face, smashed into some plastic, ready to buy. SICK.

Cutest little old couple in our ward, the Leung family. Leung Jimuih is the most beautiful Asian old woman I've ever seen. And Leung Hingdaih is just so cute :)

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! And I love this work. It gives me the chills to think that this worldwide kingdom we're a part of started (not too many years ago) in a little log cabin with 6 members. Now we're 15 million and growing every day! It's AMAZING! And it's real. I love this church with everything I am. I absolutely LOVE what I'm doing.

Have a wonderful week! And read "Swallowed up in the Will of the Father" (October 1995 conference) by Elder Maxwell.

I love you!
Gwok Jimuih