Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1/23/14 ~ 1/30/14

Hey everyone!
I hope you all have been doing fantastic. It's crazy how time flies. Here I am going into week 5! I can't even believe it. A few more weeks and my training will be half over!
So this week has still been really slow. I think Heavenly Father is really trying to teach me how to just accept things that are out of my control, because it seems like everything is out of my control. The 1 investigator that is still hanging on to us is having a ton of health problems. He had pneumonia in both lungs twice and has like 4 blood clots. He has been canceling our appointments, I don't blame him. He is in my prayers all the time, and I would appreciate it if he was in all of yours as well.
Elder Spencer is sick. He's been sick for about 2 weeks, and the virus that has been going around the area lasts for 4 weeks. He is like a zombie sometimes, and needs a lot of sleep. So that has caused us to not be a busy as I would like to be. Please keep Elder Spencer and his health in your prayers!
And that's it. There is not much to report. I am just really praying that things will get a lot better. I am still so excited to be out here and to be working. But I haven't had much of an opportunity to work and teach.
With all the down time I have had with Elder Spencer being sick, I have slowly made my way through all the movies the church allows missionaries to watch. (The Restoration, Legacy, The Testaments, etc.) They're awesome, and I'd definitely recommend watching them. But one thing that really stuck out to me was this quote from Jospeh Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. "The Lord calls us in our weakness, and will qualify us to do His work." I know that to be true. As much as I would like to think I know what I'm doing, I don't. That's why I'm being trained. I know that as I continue to strive to do my very best with these 2 short years that I've been given.
The longer I am out here, the more I am realizing how in control Heavenly Father is over everything, and how little, if any, control we have. I do need to do a better job at trusting in Him, and His plans for me. Sure I can make a list of everything I want to do and accomplish, but if it's not on His list, then I don't think it's happening. The phrase "align our will with His" keeps coming to mind. And I know that to be true. He knows everything that is going to happen. Why don't we trust in that a little more?
One thing that I am looking forward to is my birthday! I am seriously so stoked. A few people have asked me what I want for my birthday. All I could hope for is for the work in my area to pick up. But seeing that you all can't have a direct hand in that happening, a letter would be wonderful! Getting mail is the best thing, and my birthday falls on a day when we get mail, so if you can make it happen, that would be awesome!
And with that, I will talk to you all again soon! I love you all, thank you for the positive influence you have had on me and my life.
Elder Westin Wong
Surprise surprise. Most of them are about food. I'm constantly hungry and tired on my mission. So food is very important.
Okay a member one night canceled dinner. So I had to fend for my self, and all of my favorite foods from the grocery store were gone. (We didn't have a chance to go food shopping this past week) So I made this weird mashed potato thing, with 2 fried eggs, corn chips, some lunch meat, and carrots that are hot tubbing. The more I think about it, the more comical it is.
It was Sister Tanuvasa's birthday this week! So we went to Niko Niko Sushi for lunch to celebrate! It was super good.
That last one is a picture of me, Elder Uchida, Sister Tanuvasa, and Sister Montgomery at the fullerton public library.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1/15/14 ~ 1/22/14

"Success is a journey, not a destination."
That quote brought to you by the lovely inspirational calendar I picked up at the dollar store for my wall.

Super random, but super applicable.

Remember how slow last week was? This week was just as slow, I might even say it was slower, and rougher. Most of our appointments fell through, and 2 of our 4 investigators dropped us. I'm not going to lie, it was kind of discouraging. 

But as rough as it was, it was a better week that the previous. Let me explain.

Basically I was like "wow, woe be me, this is so hard, etc." And that attitude was not getting me anywhere. I have come to realize that, as cliche as it sounds, attitude is everything. A lot of your replies to my letter really helped out, and I thank those who replied and helped get me through the week!

So instead of basing my day, and my worth as a missionary, on the numbers at the end of the day I have begun to say to myself. "Have I helped anyone come closer to Christ today?" That is in the first part of our purpose of a missionary. "Invite others to come unto Christ.."

There was one day where I asked myself that question at the end of the day, and the answer was no. I was pretty sad about that. I then had to dig a little deeper into the previous question I asked. I asked myself "Have I come closer to Christ today?" And the answer was yes. I've often heard the "The biggest convert you'll have on your mission is you." That is making more and more sense as I go along.

 Regardless of if my companion gets up anywhere near on time, (which yes, motivating my companion to do missionary work has been a struggle at times) if we find anyone that day, if our appointments fall through, or an investigators tells us "hey stop talking to me." I think as long as I can answer yes to either of those questions, I have had a good day.

I also find it incredibly funny how God tells us exactly what we need to hear, when we need to hear it. 

Just some examples of things that I have come across in my studies that really helped me:
D&C 59:23 "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."
Preach My Gospel pg 10 "Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach," etc.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me. He loves me, and is giving me these experiences now, so that I can learn from them and help myself, and others, later on. 

This scripture came to my mind multiple times. 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

No matter what happens this week, this transfer, this mission, this life; If I can stand before my Heavenly Father and say that, I will have succeeded.

Again, I apologize for the long letter! I love you all. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you all the best week!

Elder Westin Wong

Here are pictures from the most northern part of my mission! Vantage Point! I constantly looking up at the sky, because it's always so beautiful! I am seriously so blessed!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1/7/14 ~ 1/14/14

To be honest, I was kind of discouraged this past week.
Each day we set goals we want to accomplish for that day. And, at the end of the day, we put what we actually did next to the number we hoped for. Our daily actual totals have been lower than our daily goals every single day. Which frustrated me quite a bit.
I know that I am working hard, but I can't help but be disappointed when our numbers are lower or even a zero for that day.
I think one of the things I am supposed to learn on my mission is to be okay with some things being out of my control.
For example, one investigator that we have been trying to meet with since I got out here was finally available for an appointment! I was so stoked! But, when we got to the door, he wasn't there, and he wasn't answering his phone. I was frustrated! But once those negative thoughts came creeping in I had to think to myself: "Okay. You tried your best. It's not your fault that your appointment canceled. These things happen."

I came out here with these expectations of being super busy and teaching literally everyone in the Anaheim mission. I don't really want to lower my expectations, but it's hard for me when things aren't going how I would like them to.

Which leads me to another thing that I know I am supposed to learn on my mission. Nothing out here should be what I want it to be, it should be what God wants it to be. I have to ask myself though, is God wanting me to not be busy? What exactly does God have planned for me? I don't know the answers to these! Which frustrates me a bit.

So, if you knew me well before I came out on my mission. You know that I like to have things planned, and they need to go as planned. Things out here haven't always gone as I have planned them to be. Which I need to become okay with.

I just realized that I sound super negative so far in this letter. Which was not my intent. I apologize for that! And know that I am frustrated and disappointed a lot of times, but that I am okay. I love this work, and I know that I am doing the right thing with my life right now. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people for me to teach. These people may not be ready right now, they may not be ready for 6 months. But they will be ready.

Also, it's crazy how scriptures just come to your mind when you're on a mission. You may have not read a specific verse in forever, but they just come to you. It's AWESOME. One of these verses that has just popped into my head this week is D&C 18:15 which says, 
"15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"

So when I read that, I got scared. I'm going to put all this time and effort into a mission and only save one soul?!

But that is not the right attitude I should be having towards missionary work. After telling myself to calm down, and to really think about why I am out here, this verse brought me a lot of comfort.
If, by the end of these 2 years, I will have only changed 1 persons life. I will be so happy. Happy that I was able to make a difference in a persons life. Happy that I was able to help them know and understand Christ and our Heavenly Father just a little bit more. That is awesome. And that is what missionaries do. Missionaries are awesome.

Speaking of awesome things. I taught my first lesson this week! It was awesome! We taught the restoration, and Elder Spencer says I am doing really well for a new missionary. Which is very comforting to hear. I also had my first experience street contacting and knocking doors in a sketchy part of town. 

I apologize for this being so long! I just have so much to tell you all!

Thank you for all the prayers and support. I love you. God loves you. And He he has a plan for us that will happen sooner or later.

Have a great week everyone!

(This is a picture of my apartment complex, the lighting for the sunset I was aiming for didn't work out as planned. This is also a picture of me after having my first door slammed in my face.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

12/30/13 ~1/6/14 New Years

Hello everyone!

I'm finishing up my first week in the field and am LOVING it! I am in an area of La Habra called North Hills. The area the Elders cover is huge, so we have a car to take us around, which is so nice! 80% of the mission is in cars. It's funny, at zone meetings and what not it'll look like a toyota dealership because of all the Corollas in the parking lot.

My trainer, who I'll be with for 3 months, is Elder Spencer. He's from Washington state, and lives about 20 minutes away from Seattle. He has been out for 10 months, and I am the 3rd Elder he is training! We are getting to know more about each other every day, and are getting along quite well.

We spend a lot of time with two other Elders in our area. Elder Cook, from Holiday Utah, and Elder Uchida, from Tokyo Japan. Elder Cook makes stuff out of wood. He's made watches, hat brims, glasses, all sorts of stuff! It's all super cool. Elder Uchida made us a traditional Japanese style new years breakfast. Udon noodles, fish, and octopus soup! It was definitely the most unique meal I have eaten out here so far.

As some of you may know, the California Anaheim mission is one of 30 missions in the world to use online proselyting tools! We are allowed to get on facebook each day and post uplifting thoughts, and talk with members and investigators in our area. I can add friends and family, however I won't be able to talk to you about anything unless it's the gospel. You can send me messages, but I won't always respond. Here is the link to my mission facebook profile for those of you who wish to add me!

Everything here is so great. The weather is perfect, and we get stunning sunsets each night! The members here are so amazing. I have been fed pretty much every night. Last night we even had a double dinner, which was a learning experience because that does happen occasionally, and you want to eat the food the members make you.

Today we got free haircuts from a member! She has been a professional stylist for 20+ years, and owns her own salon in the Newport Beach area.

The work here has been a little slow. I found out that the Elders before either of us got here were pretty lazy, and didn't do much work. They lost the members trust. And, because the members are the ones giving us referrals, we haven't really had anyone to teach. Which is really frustrating.

I guess I had this vision of me teaching 24/7 while I was out here. But that hasn't been the case. I've had to keep reminding myself that Heavenly Father's timing is perfect, whether we like it or not. I know that there are people ready to hear the gospel, we just have to find them!

I haven't knocked on a door myself, but that is going to change this week. We have goals set up to get a few people interested and to get one of our investigators to commit to a baptismal date.

Overall, I have loved my first week here. The people, the missionaries, the members, are all so wonderful. I cannot picture myself doing anything but missionary work at this point in my life.

I hope you all have a good week! Until next time!


-Elder Wong
Ps. Here are some pictures of me so far. I promise to do a better job! I have just been so busy, I forget to take pictures! The library I'm add won't really let me add pictures, and is super slow. So, here is one picture to keep you all at bay while I wait for a chance to send more pictures.