January 5, 2015

Nimen hao!

My heart is softened as I write this email because I know this is going to be my last one. The mission has been the best thing ever. I feel like words can’t even describe the whole experience. I would never trade this experience for anything in the world.

I don’t have too much time, but before time runs out, I want to bare my testimony. I feel bad because I haven’t been doing this much on my emails. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can comprehend. He gave us one of the greatest things He loves, His Son. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that through Him all things are possible, no matter what our weaknesses, no matter what is unfair in life, no matter what obstacle, no matter what sin is baring us down. I know that we have the fulness of the gospel to help us understand that. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church, religion, organization that has the fulness of the gospel–the way to eternal life. I know that this was all possible because of a humble boy named Joseph Smith who wanted to know what church to join.
I know that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him. This is their evidence of their love for us. I am so very grateful all that they have blessed me with. I hope that I can continue to give my whole life to the Lord. This is my testimony. Thank you so much for all of your support through these 18 months (more like 17 months because of the transfer cycle). You all have no idea how much you all have been a support for me on the mission. Love you all! I write all of these things in the humble and sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Loves,
Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan
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December 31, 2014

Shengdan jie kuai le! Xinnian kuai le! (Merry Christmas! Happy New Years!)

Yeah I don’t know how to type in Chinese on this computer. It has been a crazy time since I last talked to you all. I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote in my letter to President that sums up how it has gone recently:

“I felt like Farhad’s baptismal date moved up was the biggest challenge of my mission. After much pondering, praying, and fasting, I felt like I needed to go through this because God wanted me to learn how to trust. He wanted me to learn to trust that leaders are inspired. Trust Farhad is having a greater conversion experience than I expected. Trust God is preparing a way for Farhad to come unto the fold sooner. Trust my companion and I will work in unity. Trust the ward will make the best, inspired decision. Trust myself that I am doing what God wants me to do. I really do feel like God is teaching me that I need to learn how to trust like God trusts. I feel like this is one of the greatest lessons I will be applying after the mission.

“Thank you for letting me continue to serve in the ABM. I have seen countless miracles, blessings, good times, bad times, challenges, heartaches throughout the mission, and I feel like it was all tailored to me. I definitely have grown into someone closer to who God wants me to become. I love it! I love the people here in the ABM. I wish I can be an eternal missionary in the ABM!”

So what happened was we went to a baptism this past Saturday with our investigator Farhad. The leaders have been fasting to know who can be baptized before the end of the year. Our zone leaders and Chinese training leaders both got a prompting that Brisbane Chinese, Sister Gong and I, are meant to baptize before the end of the year. They then felt like it is Farhad who is meant to be baptized on December 31. At first I was in denial that he is supposed to be baptized on December 31 because I felt like he wouldn’t make it. It took me a lot of pondering and praying that night. That was when those thoughts of trust came to mind. That’s when I felt the peace that Farhad was to be baptized earlier, if not on December 31, sometime in January. He was originally on date for February 14.

Long story short. With a lot of coordinating with the bishop, president, Farhad, other missionary leaders, and God, the date got moved to January 10. I feel at peace with this decision. I get to see Farhad get baptized before I leave!

It was funny because I felt so relaxed with everything until the leaders told me their prompting. I think the Lord saw that I got too complacent, so he kicked me. I felt like this really got me running again.

Something else that I really learned through this experience is how awesome President Henderson is. Sister Gong and I were talking and we figured out how he became CEO of an investment company. When he has an idea, he goes for it. He doesn’t let fear, doubt, or even man stop him. He will only let God stop him. He has a vision and fights for it. He even keeps a positive attitude in everything that he does. Mission presidents deal with all of the dirt and the grime of the mission, yet he still perseveres and stays happy. He’s a spiritual giant. I can’t imagine how much more of a spiritual giant Jesus Christ is. Crazy!

Here’s some pictures: All from the Christmas zone conference on australiabrisbanemission.com. The first picture is of the whole mission, except for the missionaries in the Northern zone. The next picture is of Sister Peterson, Sister Wainwright, me, and Sister Lai.
But yeah, that is mostly everything. Hope you all are doing great. See you in 2 weeks. I will write you one last email next week. Love you all!

Loves,
Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan
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December 15, 2014

Dajia hao!

Haha sorry this is going to be a super short email because I only have 9 minutes left. I was trying to find some good videos to share to our members and investigators.

Let me just copy and paste what I wrote to President Henderson: I felt like everything was upped this week: upped in faith, upped in obedience, upped in diligence. It was a great week. I felt like what really helped was preparation for and the actual Chinese Regional Meeting. This is exactly what I needed to help myself and help those I am working with. It gives me hope that even though I have my down times on my mission, I can get back up somewhere so much higher. This is exactly what I needed. This week was still filled with challenges. We found out that our investigator Lalaine lives in the Brisbane North stake, which is a problem because she is supposed to be baptized in the River Terrace ward. We are going to do a lot of praying to understand how to best help Lalaine in this situation. We also have been having the challenge of not attending Brisbane ward for weeks because almost all of our investigators attend River Terrace. I feel like we are getting a bad reputation among the Brisbane ward members because of that.

Yeah, that sums up like a fraction of our week. Our investigators have been progressing very well. They are really starting to see the hand of God in their life. I am so excited for them to accept the gospel.
Before I forget, I was thinking I can Skype you all 4 p.m. Brisbane time. Hopefully that will work out for all of you. If not, I will probably give you all a call. Christmas day Brisbane time. The next time I can email you all is in two weeks. So crazy! That will be the second to the last time I can email you all!

I forgot to post pictures, but here is the most recent ones I have taken: The first two is for our district Christmas picture. My last district in the mission field. Love them! The next picture is from the Joy to the World activity at the Kangaroo Point chapel. That activity was jam packed! The next picture is of the wise men of Queen St.

Love you all! Keep up the good work! Keep being diligent!

Loves,

Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan

December 8, 2014 (long overdue)

Nimen hao!

I feel like so much has happened last week that I don’t really remember what happened. There were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I’ll just talk about the highs though.

We got a new initiative from the prophet: share the video “He Is The Gift.” It sounds like President Monson really wants this video to be viral so that everybody throughout the world watches it. He wants all of the missionaries to share with all of our investigators and those we contact to watch this video. It is so good. It really captures the spirit of Christmas and what the greatest gift is. I invite you all to watch it and ponder on the meaning of the video. To me, it helps me know that if we truly understand how much Christ has done for us, we shouldn’t just remember Him during Christmas. We should “embrace” Christ. That means to put Christ in our life all of the time the rest of our life. Share this video with all of your friends because I know for sure that everybody will feel the Spirit as they watch the video. This will bring them even a tiny bit closer to Christ.

Here’s a miracle: Sister Gong and I ended up getting back to Kangaroo Point earlier than we expected. We didn’t want to get home too early so we GQed our way back to the temple where we parked our car. We GQed a guy from Papua New Guinea. He was only going to be in Brisbane for a week because of a class. We had a good chat with him and then we invited him to take a tour around the temple grounds and he accepted. When we were on the temple grounds he started to tear. He told us that everyday he reads the Bible and prays. He told us how today was different. He felt prompted not to read the Bible, but instead go for a walk. That was the time that he ran into us. He told us that he feels like he got that prompting because he was meant to meet us. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and had a super spiritual lesson on the temple grounds. I know that he felt the strong Spirit that came from the temple. He even just emailed us thanking us. He is definitely a true follower of Christ.

Our investigator, Lalaine came back from Melbourne. We pushed back her date to December 20 because things going on this upcoming Saturday. She is so awesome. She accepted to follow the Word of Wisdom and everything else! She is so prepared. Filipinos are awesome!

I had an interesting experience when I was GQing at the Kangaroo Point overlook last night. I was pondering over how awesome it is to have served in the city for seven transfers. I love it here. I was looking at the city skyline and was thinking about how so much is going on right now in the city. I then turned to the tiny temple of Brisbane. This thought came to mind when I was looking at the temple: “The temple has so much more to offer than the city.” There was then an overwhelming feeling of peace that confirmed how true this is. This gospel, the temple, Jesus Christ has so much to offer than the world. I know it.

Love you all!

Loves,
Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan

Letters

Nimen hao!

Haha mom told me the flight itinerary before I even go it. I get to leave January 13 evening time so that means I get to go to transfer meeting and say goodbye to all of the missionaries. That also means I probably will be hanging out with President and Sister Henderson until I leave. Awesome!

Oh yeah, so we found out about transfers. I will be staying in the city my last transfer with Sister Gong. We also have the same district of missionaries. I am super excited for this transfer. Since I arrived in the mission field, I wanted to die in the city. I got my wish. I love the city because there is so much potential and so much challenges that it really is a place for all missionaries to push themselves. So excited to push myself even more, especially with the circumstances Sister Gong is in.

Here is an awesome miracle. Well the day that it happened wasn’t awesome. There was a huge storm. Somebody told me it was the worst storm that has occurred in Brisbane in 30 years. Anyways, that day we didn’t know there was going to be a storm. Surprisingly, all of our investigators cancelled with us. Usually Thursdays were our busiest days, but they all cancelled. We drove around trying to meet other people, but there was no success in that. We got pretty frustrated because we still had hours left in the day, yet we couldn’t go to the city to GQ because in a couple hours we would have to come back for correlation meeting in Kangaroo Point (which ended up not happening). We sat in the car for 10 minutes and felt prompted to start our weekly planning. Half an hour after we got home, we looked out our window and it became pitch black. It was only 4:30 pm so we thought it was super strange. It all of a sudden pouring and minutes later there were massive as hail. They told us that the winds were going at 150 kilometers an hour. It lasted for only like 15-20 minutes luckily. Heaps of people’s flats were destroyed from their broken windows and the heavy rain getting in. We are fine. Nothing happened to us or our flat. This was a huge miracles for us. God is merciful to the poor Brisbane Chinese sisters.

Rodessa’s baptism was perfect. Everything went so smoothly. My favorite part was that Rodessa gave a talk at her baptism. Her testimony was so powerful. Even the investigators that came could feel it. She is going to be a super solid member of the church!

Here’s some pictures finally: At Rodessa’s baptism with Elder Hilyard baptizing. Thanksgiving dinner after the storm. Duck made by Elder Wu. Hale from the storm. Sister Gong and Annie, a recent convert from River Terrace. Our investigator Paul bought us all of these drinks.

Thanks for all of you support! Love you all! Email you all next week!

Loves,
Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan

Letters

Dajia hao!

It’s good that dad’s leg is getting better. So sorry I didn’t read that email from like two weeks ago. I feel really bad. I think that week was “leg problem” week: dad and Sister Gong. I will continue to pray for all of you.

This week was a rough one. There was a lot of trial and error with figuring out how to best do the work without pushing Sister Gong too hard. It was a challenge. I never had to be so creative and innovative to do missionary work. Both Sister Gong and I have grown so much from this experience though.

This week, Rodessa will be baptized. We are so overjoyed. We were even more overjoyed with her decision to be baptized on 29th of November instead of any other day. Her family, her boyfriend, and her friend that brought her to the church cannot come to the baptism, yet she still knows that this is something that she needs to do. She said that she sees “the bigger picture.” The bigger picture is that they don’t need to see her be baptized. She’s not being baptized for them. She is being baptized for herself and the Lord. I nearly cried for joy when she said that. To realize that she’s not being baptized for other people, but for herself and the Lord, is a huge testimony builder. She is so prepared to embark on the journey of becoming a disciple of Christ.

Here’s a miracle email from last week. So one of our members, Wendy Pan, wanted us to send the missionaries in Philadelphia a letter to give to her daughter. Her daughter is not a member of the church. We sent it last month. This is what the missionaries responded:
“We got the letter you sent to our mission office about Wendy and
Yunong Zhou a couple days ago. Today we were able to teach her and
deliver the letter. She was so happy!
It was one of the most powerful and spiritual experiences we’ve ever
experienced! She is so kind and welcomed us right in. She talked about
the Brisbane temple and showed us pictures and we showed her pictures
of the Philadelphia temple that is being built really close by her
right now.
She said she wasn’t sure if she believed in God, but wants to. She is
anxious to learn more.
We taught her how to pray and she prayed for the first time!
Tears were shed, the spirit was there and we are going back next
Friday with some members in our Ward who speak Chinese.”
That email made my day. Sister Gong, Wendy Pan, and I all believe that she will accept the gospel. The Lord is truly preparing the people.

Yeah, there has been a lot more challenges and trials coming up. At the same time, there has been a lot more blessings and miracles for pushing through these things. If I had three hours, I would share more, but I only have like 10 minutes left. I know that God knows our potential and will do all He can to help us get there. Next week is week one of my last transfer. I’m excited what more the Lord has in store for all of us here.

Keep staying strong. Keep being exactly obedient. Be exactly obedient so that God will not hold back His blessings and miracles. Love you all!

Loves,
Song Jie Mei
Sister Cabamongan