Friday, November 19, 2010

11/14/10 Letter

Kia Ora cuz,

Me and Sister Feomaia just set Brisbane Mission history: from first contact to baptized in 13 days. Last Sunday, we had an appointment with our friend Joe, whose wife of 50+ years died last week, and we made him toast and jam, which is his favorite, and he wasn't there.
And we thought, "Oh man, Joe! Stinker." Then we prayed and we tracted.
The first door we knocked on was Matthew! And Matthew listened to the Restoration, and then he came to church with us that day. And the Spirit wrought upon Matthew and that was that. He's getting baptized on Friday, and his program is going to be so nice, including a musical number by Matthew's new friends, an 80-year old Samoan couple. We love Matthew so much! He's the catering manager for the university, and surprise, he's feeding all the EFY kids in January.

My first Australian baptism in Australia. What a treat! And can I just say that Matthew is a qualified chef, and that he made us the best lambchops this week.

And about our friend Joe. We later found out that Joe committed suicide that morning we went over. The ultimate appointment dodge. No but really, we miss him so much. He hated not having his wife with him.

And here's other things too:

- On Friday, we taught a man named Vicky.
- I have my first aboriginal investigator, Veronica. It's a dream come true!
- I had my first Reese's in 9 months, that a sister brought back from the States, and it was so nice.
- We tracted into a new friend, a Reformed Latter-day Saint who grew up in that church. What?

Mission is best! Fa.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The greeting has changed because I'm serving in Samoa parts now. My
first non-New Zealand baptism in two weeks. I'm so excited! His name
is Fa'asaigatai. I know right. But it's okay, I call him Tai. He is
18, and he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He's coming to play
sports with us today for P-Day. It will be so fun!

Some things that have happened...

- Door knocking this week:
Me: We're here to share a message from God!
Him: I'm sorry, I am an atheist.
My wonderful Samoan companion: Oh that's okay. Did you grow up in that church?
Him: *Boggled*
Her: ...So, are your parents brought up in it too?

- We've started doing spelling tests to help Sister Feomaia during
language study. And we always end with a round of hangman. In Samoan.
Because I'm learning it. O Le Tusi a Mamona!

- I have mastered islander foods. I can slay anything now --- taro and
coconut cream, chop suey, pork crackle, prawns. I will eat it. The
best is cocoa alisa, which looks like a bowl of mud. It's white rice
covered in chocolate. Hahahaha. Samoans are geniuses.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth. John 7:17, if any man will do
his will, he will know the doctrine. If any person has just a sliver
of faith enough to live a commandment, any commandment, he will know
of the truthfulness and divine origins of that commandment through his
own experience. I know that is true.

Faaa! Fa soifua!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10/12/10 Letter


I can't believe it. Today, I got transferred out of the Gold Coast.
What! To a place called Park Ridge! With a flash flat with three bedrooms, and a full-time car, and my own bathroom. What! I can't believe I won't be biking every other day.

My new companion is Sister Feomaia from Western Samoa. I get to do English language study with her in the morning! Yes! The work is wonderful, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. We got to see General Conference this weekend, and I just thought it was phenomenal.
Saturday morning's always the best. Here are some things I think:

- We're cherished and prayed for by the presiding authorities of the Church. What!
- "The world will teach our children if we do not." Sister Wixon, what a lady.
- "...Reject him and suffer." Bold. Back to basics: follow the prophet.
- Time and agency, our two most precious gifts. Whenever we disobey God, we become captive to our choices. "God will force no man to heaven."
- "Honest toil gives rest its sweetness."
- Life on earth will be long enough for each person, no matter how long or short it is.
- "We are responsible for our own faith." It is not a free gift. Choose faith.
- Whenever we reach out to a child of God, we reach out to all their ancestors, and also to all their posterity after them.
- Character is made up of countless correct decisions.
- Acts of wickedness will never result in a feeling of peace. John 14: 27.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9/27/10 Letter

Kia Ora,

I still haven't managed to baptize an Australian in Australia yet. I may as well be serving in New Zealand. This past week, I learned to bike with no hands. And it was my birthday. And we went to a restaurant called Sushi Train (all aboard?) which means there's sushi that comes to you on a conveyor belt. And then, I played rugby all day long. That night, me and Sister Le'au'anae set a baptismal date with Erana --- best gift. Thanks Heavenly Father!

Kimberly, I got your letter, and your pictures, and man, that dress makes me happy. I'm going to write a proper letter back.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/14/10 Letter

Kia Ora,

I've been getting fed twice at night most of these past couple of weeks. Serving in Coomera is a real killer, but it's worth it. Go ahead, give me the steak, taro, potatoes, and white bread. It's on.
And it's finally happened, my accent is getting Poly-fied--- most people we meet just ask me what part of New Zealand I'm from. Awhi got baptized, I couldn't control my crying for the whole service, and we got her baby blessed, and then she moved to an obscure town in New South Wales to shear sheep. I miss her so much.

Hey! Serve a mission! Okay? It's the best life decision you could ever make.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh hi,

- Awhi is getting baptized this Friday night and I'm making a binofie pie and it's going to be a wonderful experience for everyone. I love her so much!
- Family home evening tonight with ten kids. What?
- Our Argentenian recent convert Gladys teaches us to make meatballs and I eat 12 of them in one fatal swoop.
- I've learned a new sport these past couple of months and that sport is rugby. Have you ever played? Amazing. Just amazing.
- Taught a Restoration lesson to a Japanese exchange student and a Korean exchange student. At the same time. Meaning, watching the Restoration DVD in Japanese with Korean subtitles. Asians!

Have you ever read 2 Kings chapter 6? Elisha, the prophet, prays for God's help and protection against his enemies. God then opens Elisha's spiritual eyes, and allows him to see the concourses of firey chariots and angels that are surrounding him (verse 17), ready and armed to protect him from his foes. I'm sure we'd all be surprised if we knew the divine protection that God has given us and our families at many points during our lives. How lucky we are!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hi All,

Today was transfers, and I'm transferred, for the first time on my mission! I spent 5 months in Helensvale. Here's the real kicker. I live in a flat with the neighboring ward's sisters, Coomera. And I packed all my things, and we all went to transfers. And I got transferred to Coomera. And Coomera's sister got transferred to Helensvale. So all the way back to the flat, same bed, same room. The Lord! The AP's! President Langeland! Goodness.

I finally get a Poly companion, Sister Shum. She's Samoan. TALOFA! (HELLO!)

For my last day in Helensvale ward, I sprinkled manure in the vegetable garden of my old man friend Orazio. He's Italian, and he's old, so I pray every day for the gift of tongues to communicate with him. And it works! I can now understand him and we've taught him two little lessons. I read to him from his Il Libro de Mormon. After our lesson on the Word of Wisdom yesterday, Orazio made us a margherita pizza from scratch, with tomatoes, basil and parsley from his garden.
And proposed marriage to me. Yesssss. I love him so much.

Monday, June 28, 2010

6/28/10 LETTER


I can't believe I'm saying this---tracting is my favorite thing to do.
I love the days of hours of tracting, especially when we tract into inactive church members who aren't on the records. New this week:
Rita, an 85-year old Dutch mother of five living on a farm, who joined the church in Holland, and got all five of her kids baptized while her husband was away fighting in the navy. All five of her kids are inactives who are floating around the Gold Coast. We'll find them.
Rita said we could visit her again this week. as long as we come before 3:00 pm---that's when her programme, Judge Judy, comes on. A'ight!

Our baptism date with Russell fell through due to spousal objection---what can be done? We've already weeded her yard twice! Pray for him please!

I've started eating cereal with water. It makes breakfast so much cheaper. And since we only have a car every other day, I'm becoming better and better at biking every day! These factors are the only two things standing between me and grotesque weight gain, haha.

This week. I got to start the Book of Mormon, third time out here.
There is something so interesting in the Lord's direction to Nephi in
1 Nephi 17: 7---"Arise, and get thee into the mountain." Nephi prompty arose and went up into the mountain, and there, he talked to the Lord.
In the mountain, the Lord commands and directs him to build a ship to sail to the Americas. The Lord asks us often to arise, and go to certain places---sacrament meeting, church activities, institute, the temple---and there is wisdom in that simple directive. If we cannot heed the initial first command, to go to the specific places where His spirit can abide, then he cannot give us further direction---direction to build the ships we need to progress on our individual journeys.

Our new mission president and his wife get here this week. Sweet as!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

6/7/10 LETTER

Hi All,

So we have 17 sisters in the mission, and today, every companionship got switched around. My new companion's from New Zealand (sweet as!) and it's exciting. This past Sunday made my life complete as a missionary: every fast Sunday, the Milnes in the ward hosts a Come On Over Evening. A COOE. A potluck, with nonmember friends, and us, the missionaries, giving a nice message. And the theme of every COOE they've hosted for the past five years: Chinese people. Only Chinese people are invited. It was like hanging out with all my aunts and uncles, over fried rice and prawn crackers and pork dumplings. Next fast Sunday can't come sooner.

In other news, we met Ben tracting. Ben accepted the Book of Mormon and a return visit. Ben told us he is a 31-year old father of 2. He even introduced us to his youngest daughter. We went to visit Ben again, but he was not home. His stepfather was home. His stepfather, who informed us that Ben is a 15-year old father of no one. Ben. Can you believe him?

Here's a breakdown of what a typical tracting day is like. Gippsland Avenue: 3 Anglicans, 1 Muslim family, 2 Catholics, 5 not homes, 1 lesson on the Plan of Salvation and prayer for her recently deceased dog at doorstep, 2 "I'm already Christian!", and 1 white South African university student, who accepted a Book of Mormon and a return visit.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

5/31/10 LETTER

Hi All,

One of the best things about the Helensvale ward is that it's a ward of converts. Most of the individuals and families are converts---some joined when they were 14 years old, like I did, and others a lot later in life, even at age 59. Some by themselves, and others with their entire families. That's one of the most rewarding parts of having dinner every night with members, apart from the dinner part---hearing their conversion stories, which are all different. Some joined because of missionaries at the door, some because of distant and close family members, and others even from watching our ad on television, like our aboriginal family in the ward. They've joined in New Zealand, in Australia, England, and all different parts of the world. The Holy Ghost is the same everywhere in the world.

In other news, I got violently ill last week. Haha. Fun. And we went to see a colony of bats living in the neighborhood. And tracted into a man with a pet goose. Met the goose. Learned how to sing "Love at Home" in Samoan. Yes!

Monday, May 17, 2010

5/17/10 LETTER

Hi All

Good day! Nothing has happened this week outside of the gospel being true, and this culinary highlight: I've made myself pancakes for breakfast every morning. Can I like, hear from you? Especially if you are GETTING MARRIED.

sister Liang

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5/10/10 LETTER

Hi All:

Highlights from the past couple of weeks:

Did I mention that our chapel is next door to a Jewish synagogue? Yes, we do share a parking lot. Mazel tof!
Tracted into a notable Australian athlete, and are now teaching him.
Everyone wants to be the member that is present at our member-present
lessons. I never thought that would happen. Tracted into a Navajo? What?
I'm starting to form knee callouses for the first time. Callouses! On the knees?
Attended a 1-year old's birthday party, where there was a pony in attendance too.
Tracted into a Christian Chinese-Russian man selling honey that he
made in his backyard. He wouldn't give us a return appointment but he
did give us free honey. Sweet as!

But really! I never thought I could be rejected so many times a day,
by strangers, investigators, and even members, and still be this
happy. That's how I know that missionary work and the gospel of Jesus
Christ are real. It is so simple: "If ye know these things, happy are
ye if ye do them" (John!). Our Heavenly Father has revealed His will
to prophets and has restored His gospel on earth so that we can be

Pray for our investigators. They need it. We love them so much!

Sister Liang

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4/26/10 LETTER

Hi All,

Yes. This past P-Day. We went to a wildlife sanctuary, and there, the heavens were opened. Koalas! Tazmanian devils! Wombats! Dingos! Aborigines! And yes, I even cuddled with a herd of kangaroos. I want to attach pictures, but I'm dumb and I don't know how to do G-Mail?

Jackson and Javon got baptized on the 24th, and watching them receive the Holy Ghost on Sunday, I am reminded of how amazing it is that our Heavenly Father has offered us the companionship of his Spirit. 2 Nephi 32:5: ...if ye will enter in by the way and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. All things!

Yesterday was a public holiday: ANZAC DAY! It felt a little bit too right singing the Australian national anthem during sacrament meeting...oh Australia Fair.

I really want to hear about everyone's plans for the summer, and for after graduation. I can't believe it's that time again.

Sister Liang

Monday, April 19, 2010

4/19/10 LETTER

Hi all,

I gave a talk this Sunday on charity. My ward's half Polynesian, half Australian. A lot of people from New Zealand. A lot of kissing on the cheek every Sunday. They are so wonderful.

We are teaching a lady right now who is my kindred spirit, me, if I had been a Maori (New Zealander) teenage mom with 6 kids and a bad coffee habit. Our 80 year old friend Llew attended General Conferennce, and had this to say: "It's just, do you think they realize what sort of expressions they're making when they sing?" Oh Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

So my trainer has warned me of impending doom: I'll probably take over this area of Helensvale. Me, who still occasionally forgets what's going on and drives on the right side of the road (Meaning, the wrong side of the road).

Yay Jess has a baby! I''m so happy! Your letter will be coming in like a week girlfriend! I love you and James, and I love being Jackson's godfather.

I feel so lucky to be serving here. Today, as I was preparing for a family home evening lesson with a 20 year old investigator about Lehi's vision of the tree of life, I was just struck by verses 11 and 12 of 1 Nephi 8. The purest manifestation of God's love is the Atonement, and that is the fruit that we can partake - the fruit that is sweeter than anything on this earth. The Atonement is what changes people, and changes lives. I'm so happy that I can spread the word.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4/14/10 Letter

Hi All !

This week has been discouraging. Investigators ditch out on lessons.
Members ditch out on lessons. Tropical birds wake you up in the middle of the night. And really, what are the chances that I swallow a bug while biking, twice. In one night. What sort of stars in the universe had to align for that to happen! But the work goes on.

We got to go to the Brisbane temple today, which was so nice.

Thought on General Conference: Elder Holland's talk! Talk about a call to repentance! Let's stand up for the right, and yeah, for love! Give no more place for the enemy of your soul, and let the face of Christ replace it.

And random Australian moment of the week: There is a free petting zoo set up in the middle of the mall right now. What?

Sister Liang

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

4/5/2010 letter

Happy Easter! Did anyone have a nice Easter brunch?

So we've got two baptisms on the 24th! How nice!

Guess who started driving in Australia this week? The left side of the
road is so strange, but it's fun. We have a nice little white Camry.
That means that in a week, we get to do every form of transportation:
biking, driving, train, bus, walking, and yeah, running.

The President has us do two hours of door-knocking a day. We love it,
so many aged people who've never worn sunscreen coming to the door in
their underwear, and I would like any tips that you've seen work. Any

I was just thinking about how very strange missionary life is: You get
up at the exact same time every morning. You share a cell phone with
another person. You never eat dinner at your own house. You leave your
house at 10 in the morning, and you don't see it again until 9 that
night. You ask strangers probing personal questions, and even weirder,
they answer those questions. What!

CINDY: What is your address? Listen up. I want to write you. Okay.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

3/29/10 letter

Hi all,

So it turns out that I'm serving in the highest baptizing mission in Australia! Yes! Our biggest competitors seem to be the Jehovah's Witnesses - they're everywhere. This past week, me and Sister Karren found and taught 7 new investigators! The Lord is amazing. I shouldn't have a favorite, but I do. His name is Llew and he is an 80-year old widowed professional trombone player. I love him, and I want to baptize him so badly.

In other news, I live within kilometers of FOUR theme parks. Can you believe that? Dreamworld, Movieworld, Wet n' Wild, and White Waters.
Amazing. Truly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

3/22/10 Letter From Brisban,Australia

Hi you all,

I'm in a mall on the Gold Coast. There's flowers and greenery and exotic birds everywhere. I'm getting fed seven nights a week by members. There is ice cream for dessert every night. Egg yolks and ice cream cones are orange here, rather than yellow. And I've never felt happier in my life: I love being a missionary. For the first time ever, I am earning my meals and my sleep. And waking up sore has never felt so rewarding!

The Australian people are beautiful, especially the children, and everything they say is 100 times more charming on account of the accents. My trainer is dutiful, and patient, and amazing. We found four new potential investigators yesterday on a single street! Miracle street time!

And so remember! Perfect love - God's love - casts out all fear. We know that! He replaces that fear with logic. That may sound a bit odd, logic often has a bad connotation in the spiritual realm, but we know that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us with a sound mind that enable us to see ourselves and our situations calmly. And that calmness of mind, coupled with faith in Him, can do anything. He's replaced my fear - of the Australian people, of the future, and really, of myself - with a logical mind to solve problems, and to be obedient, and to be diligent.

But really, to anyone who is considering serving a mission, or perhaps has even received a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that they should serve, but is apprehensive about the sacrifices and hardships
involved: I have only been here in Australia for 5 days, but I can already tell. This is the best thing I've ever done. The adversary does not want you to be this happy! He doesn't! He doesn't want those people you find to be this happy either! Don't let him stop you.

Oh, and I think I need to start a sunscreen fund: Send me SPF 80+ sunscreen, if you want to. I use about a bottle a day of it, due to the hole in the atmospheric layer over this nice place. They only have SPF 30 here. Haha.

Anyhow, it's time for lunch, and I think I'll try a meat pie for the first time. Yes! I want to hear from you! Write me! God bless.

Maria's Farewell Pictures, 2/21/2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

e-mail from Elder Lines,Australia Brisbane Missin


This email is to let you know that your daughter got here safe and sound. She looks happy and well, though a little tired! She will be in her new area by tonight, with her missionary trainer.

Elder LinesMission Secretary, Australia Brisbane Mission

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

3/10/2010 Letter

  • Hi three or so blog readers,

    It's another P-Day, and the highlight has been going to the Provo Temple --- namely, the belgian waffles at the temple cafeteria. Me and my district got out travel itinerary this week --- we're going to leave on Monday night for Australiaaa. We're all going to be together on a 143439-hour flight, nice and movieless. me so I have some reading material?

    I'll be sad to leave the MTC. I have an awesome teacher, Brother Reis (of "The District" fame, for those have served), who IS Preach My Gospel embodied in a ukelele-playing human. We love him! Also, me and Sister Nykell Graff got to be taught by Brother Alex Jepsen --- we've got a lot of appointments with him.

    I'll miss having every door opened for me, and being at the front of every line. Man! And I'll miss gym time, even though I'm always the only sister that ever seems to sweat. I'm hoping to organize a nice, super reverent district vs. district relay race on the track. Yes, the next edition of the missionary handbook will probably ban both eating contests and races...and Chinese sister missionaries.

    I'll totally miss the referral center, which is where we missionaries make outbound calls to unassuming strangers, who at some time in their life ordered a free movie or book from the Church.

    Them: "Now when did I order 'Joy to the World'?"
    Me: "That would be...November...1997."
    Them: "That was over a decade ago."
    Me: "Yes...and I know that the message it true?"

    Really, I've gotten so lucky at the RC. I've gotten the chance to talk with people who are sick with cancer, who've recently lost loved ones, who've expressed that things just aren't right, and these people have gratefully accepted the invitation to meet with the missionaries, and to attend a church meeting. These peopl are just names, ages, addresses, and voices, but it's so wonderful to testify to them.

    In other news, I got into BYU grad school for their Public Health program. So I'll see you Fall 2011! It's so difficult to imagine anything outside of devotionals and comfortable skirts and frumpy shoes. I love not having a cell phone. I love having a companion all the time. I love praying more than I ever have before. I love spending all of my time learning how to love people like out Savior, Jesus Christ, loves them.

    So to my three or blog readers, I want to tell you. You're not a telestial, or even a terrestial being. You are a celestial being.
    Think about the ocean. Vast. Mysterious. Beautiful. Powerful. Even dangerous. Think about a single drop of that ocean. Small. Minute.
    Insignificant. How is it that the ocean and the drop are made of the very same elements --- water, and salt? Us humans, single drops, are made of the very same stuff as God, the ocean. God wants every person He has created to become an ocean. What's one thing you can sacrifice to become so? I'm putting my pride on the altar. Let's become oceans.

    "You can have eternal life if you want, so long as you don't want something else more." --- Bruce C. Hafen, our devotional last night

    Love! Sister Liang

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3/3/2010 Letter

Hi! I'm not going to lie. The MTC is hard. The walls are closing in a little, and I'm pretty sleep deprived, which makes everything that happens here a hundred times funnier, haha. Hey! Email me please! With news about you and the outside world: thanks.

This week, I had the distinct pleasure of challenging and tying in a super reverent eating contest with Elder Burrola, and by judge's vote, it came out to be a tie. Items eaten in a 20 minute period included beef stroganoff, peas, chicken fajita, rice, beans, salad, pineapple, banana coconut pie, blueberry cheesecake, refried beans and beef, apple cobbler, and finally, in a final showdown, an entire sleeve of Oreos in 30 seconds. I've discovered the following things: eating the cafeteria's chimichanga ruined my life for a day, the elders have all started blending into each other, and God is the only thing that gets you through anything. It's funny, in the past week I've had lots of fun run in's: my bishop at NYU's mom and dad, old EFY friends, oh, and teacher Brother Jepsen!, and other people from high school.

Oh! And I got called to be a coordinating sister, which is awesome. Our district is unique - we have more sisters than elders! Anyhow.Oh, and also, if you are an endowed sister, and you are willing to do me a favor that involves temple stuff needs, and will be recompensed with money and possibly blessings (?), can you write me at (Australia Brisbane mission!)? Thank you, thank you! God bless!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letter from Provo MTC presidency,2/24/2010

Dear family of Maria Yang Liang,

We are pleased to inform you that your missionary has been safely checked in at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. We thank you for supporting your missionary and know that your family will be blessed as a result.

Your missionary's mailing address while at the MTC is:
Maria Yang Liang
MTC Mailbox # 318
AST-BRI 0316
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Please note the following items:

1. Your missionary's service began today. Please do not arrange or request visits with your missionary, including meetings at the temple or in proximity to the MTC.

2. All missionary mail must come through the US Mail or commercial delivery services. Hand delivered items will NOT be accepted. Do not send pizzas, fast foods, ice-cream, or any items that will spoil if they are not refrigerated within 24 hours. Missionaries are not called out of class to receive packages, nor do they have access to a refrigerator.

3. Communicate with your missionary weekly through letters sent to the above address or through the email account that the missionary will set up within the first two weeks. This account is to be used by immediate family only. Telephone calls for missionaries cannot be accepted. Your missionary will correspond with you on his/her first preparation day.

4. Families and friends should not plan to visit missionaries departing to their field of labor at the airport or MTC.

Should you need to communicate with the MTC call 801-422-2602. Do not reply to this email.


Provo MTC Presidency