Monday, April 14, 2014

04/14/14 ~ 04/12/14

Ok wow hi where do I start. Ok we do SO much finding it's kind of
ridiculous. Like how long can we walk on state college blvd and knock.
I'll tell you, a very long time. And we haven't seen much success.
Like hi homeless person here is a Book of Mormon and bye we'll never
see you again. We have found a few potentials that we knocked into.
But no one like really solid and golden.

OK HERE IS WHERE I AM LIKE "wow what" AT THIS WEEK. A members brother
moved in with them and wants to get baptized. Wow.
We were trying to see if someone still lived in the ward, they don't.
But the people who live there now were stoked to see us, want to meet
with us this week, AND offered to feed us on 4.14.14 Wow.
And we are sitting in church when the bishop pulls us aside and
introduces us to these people who literally just walked in to church
and want to meet with missionaries. Wow.

LIKE IS THIS REAL LIFE? Like seriously what's going on.

Also the dinner calendar here was like so empty. I don't know what I
could compare it to but it is just so empty. Which is a change from my
last area which had a full calendar a month in advanced. Anyway so
yeah we had to make dinner on our own  a lot, which isn't that bad.
But let's be honest, I'm no Gordon Ramsey. Anyway today after church
we go to see the dinner calendar AND ITS COMPLETELY FULL THIS WEEK. I
COULD CRY. WOW.

So really I am #blessed . And sometimes life is just hard, but that's
the way it has to be. (I'm reading Jesus the Christ and that's one of
the things I've learned so far) well, in addition to y own personal
experience of driving the struggle bus. But really wow. God is
definitely looking out for me! I am just stoked with how this week
ended up! I'm also excited for this week. (An apostle of The Lord,
Neil L. Andersen, is coming to talk to the Anaheim and Irvine
missions. I'll have to tell you all about that next week.)

Now this coming Sunday is Easter. It's more than just eggs and that
grass that gets everywhere. It's about Jesus Christ. I am so thankful
for Him. I know that #becauseofhim we all can be forgiven of our sins.
I know that He suffered for us so that we don't have to suffer alone.
I am thankful for Him. I love Him. I know He makes it possible for us
to return again to Heaven.

I encourage you to notice all the ways your are blessed this week.
Take a moment this week and reflect on how Jesus Christ has influenced
your life!

Much love,
Elder Westin Wong


Ok here is a video of us walking at night. Casual.
And a picture of elder strong blowing bubbles i don't know


04/07/14 ~ 04/14/14 (and weeks past i found, sorry ~kiana)

Wow this week has been crazy!
Well first off, last Monday we are at our pday activity when I see a
missed call and text from the Assistants to the President. Right after
I saw that my zone leaders come grab me, I was like ?????????? ( I was
kind of freaked to be honest. )

Anyway. We had an emergency transfer because this other set of elders
were not getting along. They told me I had about an hour to pack all
my stuff and move down to Anaheim. So there's that.

I am now down in Anaheim! I live right by angels stadium and
Disneyland. I literally can see the Disneyland fireworks from my
apartment, that's pretty cool. Except for the fact that we can't go to
Disneyland. Seeing it everyday is like wow ok see you in two yours,
well 20ish months.

Elder Strong is my new companion. He's awesome! We get along well, and
we work hard. It's definitely a good mix. And while I do miss my last
area dearly, and really sad I didn't have the chance to say goodbye. I
am loving this area so far. Everything about it. The people, the
scenery, everything. Being on a mission is exciting.

We had interviews with the president this week. It was good to get to
talk with president face to face again. He had a lot of good things to
say about me, which is always good to hear!

And general conference! Wow. What can I say?! It was soo great. I
loved watching conference, so many lessons to be learned. My favorite
talks were Elder Nelson and Elder Bednar. I invite you to go watch
Elder Bednars talk. Whether you are a member of the church or not, his
words will inspire you! I can promise you that.

I am so thankful for a loving God. I know that He knows what's up in
all of our lives, and has a plan for each and every one of us, and we
need to be hopeful in that plan.

All the best,
-Elder Wong

so I found this  older one I spaced on posting, sorry! here they are! ~kiana

(03/17/14)
Ok it was in the 90s like all week. This is so weird.

Anyway this week was good. It was kind of a turning point for me, let
me explain.

So up until Saturday of this past week the struggle was so real. Well
it still is, but less. Okay so I haven't really been myself basically
since I stepped into the mtc. I got to be myself towards the end of
the mtc, but then they shipped me off to California and I was back in
my shell. So I got a letter from a missionary in my mtc district this
past week and it really helped. They said how God called ME to this
specific mission.
Like the real me. The me me. Not the fake me, or pretend me.
Like straight up, God called the sassy, really weird Westin that we
all know and love to Anaheim, because he knows that the real me would
be able to help the people here.

So I don't know what happened Saturday this past week. If I just
flipped the real me switch back on, or if I snapped or lost it.
Actually it was probably a combination of all of those. But it
remember being more me on Saturday than I have been my while mission
thus far. Which is kind of sad, and I was actually really worried
about losing my identity of myself before my mission. Idk I'm weird.
Since coming out on my mission I have been so, pardon my French, hell
bent on being the perfect missionary, perfectly obedient, perfect
everything.  And I haven't been enjoying myself. Perfection is a
disease of a nation. (I'm sorry I just had to pull that reference.)
Yes I still need to strive to be my best, but I also needed to be
reminded that I'm not going to be perfect, and I'm not going to be the
prefect missionary right out the gate. So it was good.
But I'm glad I figured it out. When I was trying to explain this to my
companion he knew exactly what I was talking about, and said it took
him twice as long as it did me to come to the same realization. So I
guess I'm ahead of the game? I think I'll be seeing more success now
that I'm being more myself? We'll see.

Speaking of success. We FINALLY got a less active we've been working
with for half my time here to come to church. Granted, they did fall
asleep during sacrament meeting, but they were still there. I was like
OH MY GOSH SHES HERE. when I saw her at the door. It was really cool
because she actually found herself a ride to church. I was worried she
wasn't going to follow through on her side, because she hasn't in the
past, but she called her visiting teacher and she came to church. So
it's not an entire nation being baptized, but it's someone taking a
step in the right direction. I'll take it.

We set a goal as  a companionship for 2 baptisms in April. Which will
be hard because we haven't had any in this area in close to two years.
But I have faith, and I'm really committed to finding those two lost
sheep.

but..THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF MY TRAINING. I'm very excited, it seems
like it's been forever that I have been training, which has basically
been me training myself, but I won't talk about that too much because
part of me turning over the new elder Wong leaf is looking for the
goods and the positives. So yeah.

It wasn't a big week for the area, bit it was a huge week for me.
Watch out Orange County because the real Elder Wong is back and ready to go.
Ok That was super cheesy, BYE

Anyway have a great week everyone!
Love,
Elder Westin Wong


I don't think the iPad saved my captions of the pictures.
But the first is of a random statue in my area. It's weird, but I love it.

The second is of me and a lemon that was the size of my head. We used
that and a regular lemon to make a gallon of lemonade it was so huge
wow.

Ps random story. We were teaching this family and their little 10 year
old girl asked me about the seven seals in the bible and I was like OK
LITTLE GIRL I DIDNT LEARN ABOUT THAT UNTIL HIGH SCHOOL.


(03/25/14)
Hey everyone. Ok here's what's been going down.
We just had transfers. I got a new companion. His name is Elder Cipcic
( sip-sick). He is from Michigan and actually came on his mission the
same time as my trainer Elder Spencer.
Elder Spencer is gone. Well actually just like 20 minutes away, but
gone none the less. I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I
spent 3 months of my life with him, 24/7. And today I was just like
"ok wow he's actually gone. Like what is happening." Because I've only
ever known the mission field with him by my side. ITS WEIRD. Because
as much as I got bugged by the things he did or say, or didn't do or
say, I already miss him. It's so bizarre. I don't even know how to
describe it or what. Like it's just weird.

So yeah. I'm with Elder Cipcic now. I'm still in North Hills, and
still Westin. Ok you know how last week I had like a revelation about
being myself? Well I'm not exactly sure what happened to that. I don't
know I'm still just very awkward trying to still figure life out and
how to be myself again. IM SO WIERD ABOUT THIS I DONT KNOW WHY. I'll
be sure to keep you updated, but I'm still like "..what" like all the
time.

We got to go to the temple again for temple tour. It's a really cool
thing we do to take investigators and non members to see the temple
grounds. We get to explain why we build temples, and a little about
what goes on inside. We had a lady from our ward bring a friend, so we
could go. (We couldn't go unless we had a non member there with us."
Anyway it was fun. And we were in three separate missions that day.
Anaheim, Long Beach, and Irvine (which used to be a part of the
Anaheim mission until this past summer.) Now don't think we are being
some crazy disobedient missionaries. But the freeway to the temple
literally goes through all of those. And the temple is in irvine so
yeah.

Ok cool story. Yesterday while we were about to check out from grocery
shopping I am about to swipe my card when a lady behind us says "don't
worry about that elders, I'll get it for you!" I was like 'wow are you
sure.' They were. Granted it wasn't very much, but still I was like
WOW on the inside. She was from the ward that shares the building with
us, and remembered me helping putting away chairs and tables at an
event they had. So yeah that was a major blessing that God was like
"here you go."

Sorry this week wasn't major angel appearing material. But I'm
learning that missionary work isn't all fab and cool. Sometimes you
clean a patio while getting lectured by a WW2 veteran. And you just
have to roll with it. (Ok that actually happened. We cleaned this guys
patio and the whole time he was like "WONG, GET THAT OVER THERE. SWEEP
THAT." And it was hot and I was just like "wow what's going on right
now."

Anyway. Hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Wong

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

03/31/14 ~ 04/06/14

I finally had an earth shaking week! In more ways an one. Literally.
On Friday night we were teaching a lesson when the room shook and it
felt like a car hit the building. Weird. About an hour later we had
about a 5.2 earthquake! It was my first earthquake, and was totally
unexpected. I fell onto my bed and broke a hanger. That's about as bad
as the damage was for us. But he rest of la Habra didn't get off so
lucky. We helped some of the ward members and investigators clan up
their home and fix up some stuff. It was centered at the intersection
of my apartment, so we got to feel it pretty good. There have been
after shocks all weekend, mainly in the night, which is totally
acceptable because I'm trying to sleep.

Ok.

So I have been really stressed out. I have a new companion, and pretty
much taking over the area. I have been typical perfectionist Westin
and try to take on the world by myself. And I have been especially
stressed about our numbers. I know, I know. It's not a numbers game.
But we set a goal for 2 baptisms in April. No one has a date yet. I
feel like I'm trying my best. And I feel like I'm failing and nothing
is happening. So that stresses me out.
So yesterday I really prayed about how I felt like I was overwhelmed
and stressed out about life in general.

Ok so Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. And we had a less active
sister we've been working with since I got here. We FINALLY got her to
church. Granted we had to go over at 7 in the morning, wake them up,
and make breakfast yesterday to get them there, but they were there
none the less. So that was a miracle.

Then SHE GOT UP AND BORE HER TESTIMONY. I was dying. I was like what
is she going to say oh my gosh. Well she gets up there and talks about
how these two little kids knocked on her door a couple months ago and
invited her to church. (Little kids being me and my companion.) And
how we kept in coming by. Sharing scriptures with her. Helping her
clean her house. Etc. and how we never gave up on her, and that how
she never wanted to be inactive again after today. I ALMOST LOST IT.
Wow.

Then one of the sisters investigators that we have been helping gets
up and bears their testimony about how they want to be baptized.

Then I start looking around the ward. And as I looked at each
individual or family I all of the sudden remember all that I have
helped them out with, all the messages shared, and the friendships I
have made. I realized I haven't been a failure in my time in this
ward. I've actually done quite a bit. And even though I haven't had a
baptism yet, that is totally ok. I have gotten to help and strengthen
the members.
As one of my best friends put it, "A mission is never a waste."

So my prayers were definitely answered. I can't tell you how many
times I've been told success is not in the results. Or something to
that effect. Obviously I still struggle with the idea of success.
Maybe God is trying to teach me that. I say trying because I obviously
have been really stubborn, and haven't been good at recognizing it
before.

I can tell you that God is completely aware of each of us. I can tell
you that He loves each of us, and has a very specific plan for each of
us. I love this gospel. And, however stressful and tiring may be, I
love missionary work. I have learned so much in the short time I've
been out here. Thank you for all the prayers, I can really feel them
carry me through the day.

Love,
Elder Wong


Monday, March 10, 2014

3/12/14 ~ 3/19/14

Ok this week.

So looking at our numbers I'm like ok what.
Missionary work isn't about numbers, but seeing zeros isn't on the
short list of numbers i like seeing.
Are we working? Yes.
Things just don't always work out as planned. Oh speaking of planning,
I do all the planning lately. We are supposed to plan as companions
but when my companion says "i don't know" to literally everything I
say/ask it's just easier to do it by myself, which again, isn't how
it's supposed to go, but what can you do.
But that's seems to be the overarching theme of my mission thus far.
Apparently I'm really a control freak and needed three months of "nope
you can't do that."

So this week I was going crazy. We weren't seeing success, my
companion was buggin, it was freakishly hot (it's been in the 80-90s
like ok it's supposed to be snowing I'm not used to those.) I was just
such a struggle, well I still am, but less and less of a struggle
everyday. Then exchanges happened.
Exchanges are nice. I get to have a new companion for the day, maybe
got o a different area, it's just fun. So I was with Elder Komura.
He's from Osaka Japan. He is so nice. He made me hot chocolate and
offered to make me more food. I had to fight him to take my own
luggage up the stairs, he is just so nice like wow.
Anyway, out of no where he shares this mormon message about God's will
for us. It's called "the will of God" if you want to watch it, I
recommend it. Anyway. It was awesome. I know him showing me that video
was God's way of being like "ok Westin pipe down and just trust that I
know what I'm doing." But it was a good reminder that God didn't
forget about me. Here I am telling people all day that He knows what
they're going through and I was struggling with that exact principle.

So here is your reminder that God knows, loves, and is aware of you. I
really do know that to be true.
We do a lot of work with less actives in this ward. There's one couple
that we visit that always says "you always show up when I am having a
hard time. I know that God sent you to me." So that's cool to hear.

OH OKAY I JUST REMEMBERED SOMETHING ACTUALLY REALLY COOL. Well two
things. Ok bare with me this letter is so long wow.

Ok there's this family that feeds us every single week. I love them.
They are great. Anyway, they are converts of about 5 years have been
trying to go to the temple, and stuff just keeps getting in the way.
Ok so this week they told us that they have set a date with the bishop
to go to the temple!!!! I was beaming I was so happy when they told
us. They asked if we would come with the, to the temple and if we
could come to the sealing. We have to get permission, but I hope we
can!

Ok the other thing. So we are street contacting. We see this woman at
a bus stop. She is pretty tattooed up, has half her head shaved, and
the other half of her head is striped jet black, bleach blonde, and
neon pink. My comp says that she looks busy, which in his defense she
was kind of busy, and that we shouldn't talk with her. My comp was
probably like what when I went up and talked to her.
Turns out she was the nicest person. She was so willing and open to
listen to what we had to say. She told us how she knew Mormons growing
up, they were always so nice. And she has read the Book of Mormon a
few times when she was in jail. I gave her a copy that I had with me,
and she asked to write my name and something short in it.  So I did
like a one sentence testimony. She said "thank you so much for
stopping and talking with me Elder Wong, most people wont talk to me.
I'll always remember this."

So it's moments like that where I'm like ok I don't even care about
numbers because moments like that are just cool.

Also. We pass out a lot of pass along cards. My favorite ones are the
ones with Jesus stepping out of the tomb. People usually say no to a
card, but I whip out one with Jesus on it and they always take it. I
think people feel bad rejecting a picture of Jesus. And most people
will throw pass along cards on the ground, but never one with Jesus on
it. So thanks Jesus, thanks for helping us get pass along cards to
people. I find it fun and funny, it's little things like that that
keep me sane.

I just realized how long this email was. Do I apologize? Not really.
There are a lot of great things happening here in La Habra California
and I miss talking to you all.

Love,
Elder Wong

Ps. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about the
gospel that's on Facebook or that lives in SoCal, let me know! I would
love to teach you, or them, about the message I share as a missionary!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

3/4/14 ~ 3/11/14

Ok I just realized that the iPad only sent half the email. Ugh!

Ok here is the jist of the other half.

We had our nine week check up this past week. We talked about a lot of
stuff. But I'll just talk about prayer. So how often do we say "bless
this, bless that this will happen, etc"
Ok so think of it like this. You get invited to a birthday party. You
go. And the kid whose birthday it is isn't there. Or worse, he forgot.
How awkward would that be?!
So we talked about how we need to be an active part of our prayers, or
in other words , invite ourselves to our own birthday party. God helps
those who help themselves. That phrase keeps running over in my head.
I've been told so many times to invite the Godhead into the work. But
if we don't invite ourselves that's like planning your own birthday
party and not showing up.

There was more in the original email, but this dang iPad is a struggle
sometimes. I apologize for how rough this email is!
But I'm learning, a lot. And it's the hardest thing I have ever done.
I don't know how many times I've said that, or how many more times I
will, and I'm not even 1/8 done. Hahaha!

Until next week!
-Elder Wong
ps. I really do feel so bad about this email glitching, but what can you do!

(This was the other half of the email and idk where to put it- kiana)

Let me just say being trained is weird. Because you come from 19 years
 of acting to your own accord and knowing pretty much what you're doing
 to being put together with someone you don't know for three months.
 And they're basically the boss of you. What is life. I can try to
 explain, but I wouldn't do it justice, especially my training
 situation. It has been such a change for me, let me just tell you
 that. And I'll just leave it at that.
So this week Elder Spencer was sick. That, combined with the monsoon
 type rain that we've been getting, has pretty much put an immediate
 halt on the work out here. Here is a picture of life as we were driving to do street contacting:
                                                         Selfie with Elder Spencer

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2/24/14 ~ 3/3/14 8th WEEK

Wow! I can't believe it's been 8 weeks! Ok here's what went down this
past week.

Zone conference:
Zone conference was amazing. The things that we're said we're just
what I needed to here. There was a lot of talk about obedience. It was
said many times that we will see miracles happen as we make more of an
effort to be even more obedient. Granted we aren't disobedient
missionaries, but there is always room to improve, and always ways to
be more obedient. Stay tuned for miracles.

Actually I'll just tell you right now. So remember our investigator
who had a lot of health problems? Well we lost contact with him for
about a month. Ok so the night before we are planning and there's an
empty spot for like an hour, so we prayed about what to do, and I felt
the strongest impression to go to the neighborhood where he lives.
Why. I had no idea at the time. So we go there and we are driving
around AND THEN WE SEE HIM JUST WALKING AROUND. like we haven't seen
or heard from him in a month and now he is just casually walking when
he never walks. So we pulled over, parked, walked him to his home, and
taught a lesson. #faith
Bad news is last night we got a call and he's back in the hos
pital
vomiting up blood, so we are going to see him later today. So pray for
him? Thank you.

IPADS:
So Monday we went down to the mission office and got our iPads and our
iPad training. It was the closest thing I will probably ever get to
experiencing Oprahs favorite things. (You get an iPad and you get an
iPad!!) They just brought in a box of iPads and we're just casually
handing them our. I am so excited to be able to use such a great tool
to hasten the work. It will allow us to teach people over FaceTime and
Skype!  And it means we are going paperless. A lot of the older
missionaries seem apprehensive / resistive of going paperless, but all
the newer missionaries are stoked!

Temple:
So today we got to go to the Newport Beach Temple. It was just what I
needed. I'm still struggling with some things out here, and the temple
really helped. I felt so peaceful and calm after. The temple is just
so great, I can't wait to go again!
Also there is a cafe rio in Tustin. So we stopped there on the way
home. You have no idea how happy I was to eat that grilled chicken
salad.

We'll until next week,

Love
- Elder Westin Wong

Here are some pictures of the Newport Beach Temple!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2/16/14 ~ 2/23/14 2 MONTHS OUT!

Well today marks 2 months since I stepped into the MTC! Crazy right?

I really struggled in what to say in this letter because again, not much is happening. And it's kind of discouraging. I just had this really outlandish expectation that it would just be a perfect mission. I would have people to teach, everyone would be nice, and it would just be so great.. And to be honest, none of those things have happened.

So right after my letter last week, we went street contacting. Can I just say how much I love street contacting and tracting? Call me crazy, but I do. Anyway, the first guy I talked to was like " Yeah! I'm interested! Stop by sometime." We set up an appointment. Ok flash forward a few days and the address does not exist.

Ok.

Also. The other day we are just talking around, and some guy made it a point to cross the street, hunt us down, and bash us. And then that happened again some guy was just like " REPENT. YOU'RE GOING TO HELL. YOU ARE A FALSE PROPHET." 

Rude.

I don't know. I just think it's crazy that people are going out of their way to tell a nice guy, (I'm pretty sure I'm a nice guy), like me stuff like that.. EVERY DAY.

I definitely know it's Satan being like " Okay I need to entertain myself, let's go mess with Elder Wong and see if we can make him have a bad day."

Don't get me wrong, there have been a few great experiences this week. But the bad things really just stick out to me. Okay onto the good stuff.

So a few weeks ago we had a lesson with someone, they didn't show up of course, we had a member with us and they said "Hey let's go visit this one less active family." So we go.

We walk into the home and the needs are very apparent. I won't go into tons of detail, but I definitely felt overwhelmed and under qualified. Here I was, 19 at the time, and this woman was telling me EVERYTHING. I seriously was just like okay what have I gotten myself into.

We've had a few meetings since, and she is doing a lot better. But in our latest meeting I was overcome with thoughts. Thoughts and impressions that I know that Heavenly Father is SO incredibly aware of us, and each of the struggles we all face. He never forgets us, we may only forget Him. And that the Atonement is so real. And I am so thankful for it in my life.

I know that God knows I'm kind of struggling right now. And I can't help but wonder " Okay why? " There is so much about my life right now that is unknown.

Some things that are known? God lives. He loves us. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, for US. For all of us. For all of us in our weakness, in our pain, in our grief, and in our sin. He's there for us all the time. And that. That is pretty cool. 

So I know that Heavenly Father is giving me these experiences, or what seems like lack of experiences, for a reason. For what reason? I have no idea. But I know that it's preparing me for something. (Hopefully a biblical flood of investigators.. Just kidding. Only kind of.) I don't know what that something is, or when it's coming. but I am excited for it. And I have faith that I am being prepared and qualified for it now.

Until next week!
Love, 
Elder Westin Wong

Ok picture time

There is a place called boston donuts on imperial and idaho. and I love it. They sell the best apple fritters for 85 cents. I love them. I have dubbed Fridays "Fritter Fridays." 
Okay here is a picture of me with an apple fritter. I usually only get one. One day I got an apple fritter, maple bar, and bavarian creme in a shape of a heart. I ate them all in like 5 minutes. Yes I regret it. But I still look forward to fritter friday this friday.