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. Dearelder.com 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 shares...is 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: maria.liang@myldsmail.net. 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 Dearelder.com (Australia Brisbane mission!)? Thank you, thank you! God bless!