Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Quick Note & Improvised Photos!

Okay, I've used my emailing time in a lot of other places today, so I probably don't have a lot of time.
Noteworthy things:
Ingrid is going to Brazil, right? My roommate from my last semester at BYU-I, Katie, served her mission in Brazil. You can probably find her on my facebook. I don't remember her new last name, but she's a really cute red head! I was thinking Ingrid might want to talk to someone who had been there recently, and a sister. It's an option! I'm sure Katie would love to talk to Ingrid about it. :)
A really, really, nice member gave me a bottle of chipotle tabasco after I told him how sad I was about forgeting my last bottle of hot sauce in KL! God loves me!
One of the miracles this week happened as Sister Anderson and I were on the train on our way to a member's house for lunch when we met two 19 yr old America boys here for a few days with the Navy. As we talked to them they told us how homesick they had been and how much they missed home cooked meals. Suddenly, I got a prompting to invite them to lunch at our member's house.... and then immediately invited them! Only after the invitation had left my mouth did I realize how crazy it was, but I knew it was a prompting! They accepted, our members said it was okay, and I had the most stressful lunch of my life trying to make sure everyone felt comfortable. Afterwards, we shared a spiritual thought about the plan of salvation. What's amazing though is that one of the boys had been baptized but hadn't been part of the church in a long time, and the other had grown up in Utah and Idaho as a cowboy and had so many Mormon friends he basically was one. Over all, it was a great missionary experience that I hope the family doesn't hate us for, and I know those boys will remember.

Love you lots! I'm thinking maybe we could Skype my Saturday at about noon, but I don't know if everyone will be there by then with school and all. Let me know next week and I'll start asking members if we can use their house. I love you! Talk to you soon!

P.S. I didn't take any pictures so I tried to take some last night... SOmeone gave us lots of cereal last night! I got a little creative. haha, the picture of the empty study is ours, the other one is the other sisters in the philipino ward. 

So much toilet humor in Asia!

Our favorite missionary!

lol Cereal - getting desperate for photos

Balance is good on a mission, too! ;)

Philippino sisters' desks.

Sister MacKay's desk on the left & Sister Anderson's desk on the right

Monday, April 18, 2016


Happy birthday, Mom and Nana! I love both of you bunches! I'm glad you two had the chance to go out and part together! Have lots of Baseball Nut to celebrate!

We contact in Singapore by talking to everyone. Going door to door probably wouldn't go over too well here, so we talk as we're riding the train, the bus, and as we're walking down the street completely lost. Actually, I think being lost is the best contacting tool.  We're really working on getting referrals from members though, which has a lot of potential here!
I... most definitely did not recognize Brooke when I saw her, but I was definitely confused when she said "Hi, Alex!" Haha, Once she said Boggess I knew her though. It's fun to see her every week!
I sent a picture of the view from my study window where you can see the church spire! We live right next to the church. Being next to the office isn't anything too special, we'll just never run out of planners now. :)
Did I get them all this time?(I had given her a hard time for not answering all my questions from last week.)
So I'm really glad to hear the summary of your report. I realized after I finished emailing last week that I had just given you a whole rant on white people to report on. *face palm* So thank you for cutting that part out and making me sound good! I new I could trust you! (Actually, I did share her "Where's our 'Guide to White People?! phone call to the APs ;) I just forgot to tell her! lol)
I'm sad to say that I am now that person who deliberately stands in six inches of a lamp pole's shade stay avoid the sun. I. am. Malaysian. 
Okay, this part is for Nana, but I'm putting it here because I thought it was really cool. Yesterday in church a man got up and gave a talk in sacrament meeting and mentioned how he was inactive for six years. Now, the microphone was really fuzzy, but what I did hear was that the bishop of that ward went to his house every month without fail for five years to home teach him. Sometimes the man was home, sometimes he wasn't. But it was because of that loving commitment of the not-yet-bishop that man came back to church and couldn't have been happier about it as he shared his testimony yesterday. No effort is every wasted! We never have any idea how much our actions effect and influence others. You know what's crazy? What's crazy is the number of times I've met someone and they've said, "Oh yeah, I've met missionaries before. One talked to me ten years ago. Nice kids." Or "Yeah, I had a neighbor who was mormon a few years ago! I never really talked to them, but they seemed nice." It happens all the time!
We do spend most of our time talking to members or trying to meet with people who are maybe struggling with their testimonies.We do have an investigator though! We had an interesting lesson with him yesterday where I got bored (and a little fed up) and told him that there's no point in our meeting unless he asks God if what we talk about is true, and the only way God will answer him is if he asks with the intent to act on his answer, which action would be baptism. ......I don't think any of the missionaries had been that blunt with him, and his face was the epitome of shock, but he agreed to be baptized in August! It was a really neat experience because of how strong the Holy Ghost was as we were committing him to action. There's power in action!
So I was studying something this morning that I absolutely loved! I was responding to a question "how can a child be of infinite worth and yet be nothing compared to his/her parents?" Or something like that. (It's in reference to Moses 1: ....15? And now I know that I am nothing?) And as I thought about it I had a few different thoughts. 1) A child has infinite potential that hasn't been reached yet, but that the parents see. It made me think about what infinite worth means. At first I was thinking of it as another way to say infinite potential, which I think can be true, but I wonder if another, or maybe even better, way of thinking of it is as infinitely loved. Now how weird is love? Why do people love each other? It's not natural! It's not human! We live with a bunch of imperfect people who could very easily upset us if we let them! Even weirder is a parent loving their child! They basically give up their lives to take care of a baby that can't walk, can't talk, can't support itself, and spits on them. What? But I've decided that love isn't natural to us people down here. Because love is Godly. Love is something that defines God, and the more you align your life with God's plan the more love you have in your life. Coincidence? I think not! But I love that! Who was it that said the other day that Pride is not a divine quality, it's part of our fallen nature. But love, love is the counter part. Love is the divine quality that sits on the other side of the scale! Anyway. I thought that was great. :)
Faith.... I read a really neat quote this morning that said something to the effect of "the study of gospel principles will change character faster than the study of character will change character. Focus on problems can bring an increase of problems. That is why the apostles stress the study of gospel doctrines so much." I loved it! It changed my perspective on how to become more Christlike. The answer isn't to sit down and focus on my imperfections and set goals to change them, (although goals are great for changing character) The answer is to study the gospel and apply the things I learn. Another piece to the puzzle!
...Extra points to the person who finds the three movie quotes in this email!
Ummm....This week was Zone Conference! I tried really hard not to fall asleep. BUT one of the things I liked the most about it was the challenge to restrengthen our testimonies of the doctrine we're teaching. Haha, I'm not sure if I love or hate those moments where I'm teaching something to an investigator or member and I hear the Spirit give a little nudge to me that's saying "excuse me, are you living this?" Haha, Not that I'm breaking the WOW or anything, but I think the commandments are so much just black and white, but it's like, black, keeping the commandment, then angelically keeping the commandment. I love you! I'm out of time! Talk to you next week! Be awesome! have a great birthday! Ah! I forget to tell nana happy birhtday personaly and now i can't wpell and my computers about to turn off tell my nana i love her!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry I didn't respond to anyone else i still love them lots don't forget me I don't be picky!!
If the shoe fits... 

LDS Church - view from her apartment window

LDS Church - view from her apartment window- pull-back view

View of her building out the church window, I think...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Goin to the church with my homies, tryin to get a little praise on, cuz you know how it is!

Soooooo Thanks for the pictures! I love the video of Jett, too! Auggie definitely looks like Josh in the picture where he's getting his shots! It's so funny!
Oh! I was in such a rush last week that I completely forgot to thank you for the package! I'm so sorry! Thank you so much for the package, the shirt, especially the calendar and pictures, and everything else in there! 
I definitely got a new camera this week. I even got a really good deal on it. ;) I also think Papa should know that the camera started a trend in the mission and now all the sisters have my same camera because they liked mine so much. haha
This has probably been the fastest week of my mission! Aaaaand it's been full of a little culture shock and a lot of adjusting. Both of the wards we're over are expat, which means that instead of contacting Chinese, and Indian, and Philippino, and Malaysian, we're now supposed to contact WHITE PEOPLE! Do you realize how intimidating our race is??? Asian's are so nice! Even when they're not nice it's no big deal! But white people..... That's it! I'm never going back to America! Haha, Kidding. Haha, The other sisters we stay with are over the Philippino ward and, yesterday, we found a "how to for Philippinos" on their desk. I immediately sent a text to the APs and said "What the heck! Where's our guide to white people?!" Okay, I just spent way too much time talking about Caucasians. Ah! I don't know how to spell that!  Whew, thank goodness for autocheck. Can't spell that either. 
Saya tak tahu apa ku harus tulis sebab saya tahu kamu ingin saya kasi banyak informasi tapi tak tahu apa-apa! Sangat streslah. [Google Translate says: I do not know what I have to write because I know you want me to give a lot of information but do not know anything! very stressful.]
Ummm...Aaaaand because it's been such a fast week I don't remember a lot! SO being in Singapore is probably a lot like being in an American mission in like....Henderson. Or what's that area that Amy lives in? That area. Whatever it is. [Summerlin] Or maybe like being a missionary on the Strip. Because there are a lot of tourists, a lot of fancy things, a lot of.... I don't know. Big city! Maybe I can just throw out descriptive words? Merlion! We get lost every day. It's one of my favorite things, though, because then we get to talk to lots of strangers to find out where we are! And it's always more fun being lost.
We never see President Simmons. Except for last Sunday when we were half an hour late for sacrament meeting because we got lost coming from the other ward's building. Oops! hahaha
There were definitely lots of miracles this week, but the one that I've loved the most was how strong the Spirit has been in teaching this week. I don't know exactly why it's been so strong but I really appreciate it! I feel like those appointments where the spirit is incredibly strong has been more of the exception than the norm lately, but this week a "normal" appointment has not been the norm. I think a strong influence in that is definitely the unity sister Anderson and I have found in teaching. I feel like this is the best companionship I've ever had on my mission and I am really, really grateful for it. 
I think that my faith has grown this week as I've really been searching for my strengths and how I can use them here in Singapore. Very often I've tried to make other's strengths my own, but it's sunk in lately that I can't do that any more. I've love it though because God has been helping me see where my strengths are and that my strengths are needed.

I love you so much! Talk next week!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

White-Washing Singapore is a Blast!

Hiiiii! I'm so sorry, there's no time to email today and I have to send one to president! 

Yes, packages can! I live right next door to the mission office.
I'm so excited to be here in Singapore! Sister Anderson and I are having a blast figuring everything out together, teaching, and finding together. On Sunday we were stopped by an Indian man riding his bike who saw us leaving church and asked if he could come next week! He'd just moved here from India, so he's looking for a church. Miracle!
Faith wise... I feel like I'm still figuring out God's expectations for me. It's an ongoing lesson. But something I've started really putting a focus on this week is kneeling down at the end of the day and figuring out with God if I had done my best that day - which is hard! It's hard to say you've done your best when it hasn't been a perfect day! But I'm learning that the only way I can know if I've done my best is by counseling with God, because he's the only one who knows what my best really is. I don't even know what my best is! But that process is helping me to not worry so much about my mistakes and limitations and to feel the Spirit more throughout every day.
There seems to be a lot of working with members here. I'm so excited! The members all seem strangely, really strangely excited to be working with Sister Anderson and me, too. We had a lot of people at church tell us they wanted us to come meet their friends. Whoo! 
I got a new camera! I'll take lots of pictures this week! I loooooooooooooooove you! Sorry this is so short! Time is weird today! We're going biking on an Island...? I think.... THANK YOU FOR THE PICTURES!!! Maddie is the cutest mother ever! Well, her and Kris are. But when Imari has a baby then her, Kris, and Maddie will be the cutest mothers ever. So it all works out. haha, I'm pretty sure Auggie can fit in one of Josh's huge hands! I'm excited to hear conference this week!
We had a family friend that posted a photo and FB message to me on Sunday! She said, "Your cute Alex was in our ward here in Singapore on Sunday so I had to snap a picture for you. She seems to be adjusting well. We'll be sure to take good care of her! "

Singapore ExPat ward!
Her darling companion sent me her email, as well! Here is part of it. It's fun to get her perspective:
I am so sorry but i have NO time we are taking a boat out to a small island where we will bike around for the day and we dont have time because my new companion needed to go buy a camera!  We are white washing two wards oh ya did i menition singapore mission has about 100 missionaries to cover all of malaysia and singapore, or did i mention that i am serving in the ward my mission president attends?  We ran into an Indian man who told us he wasnt to come to church. And we have refferals lining up !!! I think transfers was just the thing first and fourthward needed. I had taco salad yesterday!!! It was so exciting!!!! REAL FOOD AGAIN!!!! Love you all, keep praying for the miricales because they surly do happen!!!- Sister Anderson