The Season of Love (December 14th, 2014)

Hi fam!! :)

First thing: A member in our ward, Sister Yu, is coming to Vacaville!!! haha she has dad's number, so keep your phones on! She wants to say hi and has something for you I guess! We just visited them a couple weeks ago and they're AMAZING. Her daughter, Winkie, is leaving for a mission in the middle of this week, and we were pretty close because she would help us with missionary work a LOT. She would love to see you! and she speaks Mandarin, so have fun with that, dad! :) (And english and Cantonese). please give her something(NOT A CD OF ME. thanks ;) )--she's making an effort to see you, members here are so thoughtful. i can't wait for you to meet a member from the best ward ever!! :) She has dad's info :)

Well it's been another wonderful week! SO you know how almost every week I talk about the amazing Sister Chan Yiu Wa (deaf one)? well-- I love her even more. gaaaah she's amazing. she seriously threw a whole surprise birthday party for me after church yesterday! Sister Lee (deaf) made me a strawberry cheesecake, and Sister Chan had gotten everyone in the ward to sign a card. live lucky life! ;) so cute. i  love the way she texts english so much. anyway, yesterday i just started crying out of love because everyone just kept hugging me, sharing so much love, and just being so thoughtful.
honestly, the greatest thing i have been learning here is love. Because of the Atonement and grace of Jesus Christ, I've been learning a much deeper, powerful love than I have ever felt. one that's really hard to express because it's so personal--between me and mySavior. And then, with that love, and I find myself doing all I can--every second of the day, to help others feel that same love. And then, working together, with the members, that love grows even more because of their selflessness and their dedication to God. On this mission, I've been learning how to truly change myself and sacrifice the little but big things to learn how to love even more. I seriously can't even express how much I love the members of this ward. And the even better part is, every day I find myself thinking how much I love my companion Sister Richardson! I am so grateful for her.
If you are having troubles learning to love someone, turn to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Change yourself. Ask God with all your might to help you know what to do and have the strength and power to do it--and He will provide the way--if you are willing to accept it. Of course it won't be an overnight, instant change--it will be a challenge! But that is the lesson we all must learn. He knows your frustrations and your desires. He wants to help, so let him :)

Speaking of love, my heart broke a couple times this week! Cinny finally built up the courage to tell her parents about baptism. They completely freaked out. She isn't allowed to meet with us anymore, and wants to respect her parents. She told us she will always read the Book of Mormon and pray... we are praying she won't give up. Luckily, she has a good relationship with quite a few members, and she keeps in contact with us. But it's been hard this week, because first Marlo, then Cinny, and now some of our less actives are becoming RE less active. It is SO hard to see people fall away from the gospel of Jesus Christ--or are forced to fall away because of other reasons. This past week has led me to think many times "why would the Lord let this happen?" But i'm always humbled when I remember: I am here to be an instrument in His hands. This is the Lord's time, not mine! I know He loves every one of us, so these people definitely will have a way to find the gospel again. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help them, and especially to serve the Lord.

Miracles did happen like always! We were less active finding, when we met a super awesome woman who invited us over! (NEVER HAPPENS HERE). she is taking the lessons and said how she's amazed because she has never seen us missionaries here in Wah Fu. She truly knows that this is God's hand! she explained how much she misses Jesus, and kept thanking us for helping her. it was the coolest thing to be thanked by someone. she understands our purpose, and she's learning hers. we are so excited! Ms Chau! pray for her! also had an opportunity to teach a father/minister at our church. never had that situation yet--it was SO COOL! love this!

*my birthday party :)
*in this pic, Sister Chan is next to me, and she is signing "happiness."
I LOVE YOU ALL! Merry Christmas! :)

I made this Chinese dish with Mia, the Mandarin girl last p day! It was SO Fun!

...but then that night i threw up a ton. haha we were finding and i was doing all i could to not throw up on people as we were coming up to them.

as we were taking the mini bus home, i ended up yelling to the bus driver to pull over bc I'm going to throw up! haha I'm glad i did….

(Note from Karli when we sent a picture of Tyler taller than his mom):  YOU ARE KIDDING ME HE IS NOT!!!!!! WHAT THE HECK??!?!?! Wow. I'm dying!!! looks so fun mom! 

We are getting our packages today!!!! SO EXCITED!!! THANK YOU!!! i am seriously so spoiled!! Thank you so much!!! i appreciate all the food you (and grandma) have given me every day. it;s the best. and the love! love you all so much!

Awww im so so happy!! :) yay!!! I'm glad you got your Christmas package from me SO fast! haha that's awesome!! :)im so glad you liked it :) i love you so much! i seriously can't wait to come with you to Hong Kong again-- i LOVE THIS PLACE! Also, a new sister in our apt has the messiah on her iPod, so we've been listening to it occasionaly :) love it!!

I'm a little bit nervous to call on Christmas day though! i don't want to get distracted! haha.i'm thinking later in the afternoonish, but that may be too late. we'll plan more next monday. love you! but man, it's true, the mission sure makes you love your family even more!!! 
i love you!

From mom:

Hi Karli!!

Merry Christmas!!!  I hope you are having the most joyous season!!!

I listened to the First Presidency's Christmas message - did you get to hear that by any chance? Oh, I DO hope you get to hear it. The whole thing made me cry! From start to finish.
We need to head to the Messiah soon so this will be short again, but today our ward wrote hand written notes to you as you were the featured missionary!!  Yay!!

I hope you are having fun opening your 12 days of Christmas packages. Know how much we love you each day til Christmas and then we get to talk to you!!! We will be at Grandma Thomas's house, so just call my cell and we will all be so excited and waiting to talk to you. Oh, Karli. We can't wait. I just loved your letter to me so much. I really cried and will save it forever. Always know that a love note is the best gift by far.

Wish me luck tonight. I was sick with a cold and couldn't sing for two weeks and last night suddenly I could!!!!!  It was amazing. Ive felt so happy today, knowing that Heavenly Father really wants me to sing tonight.

And what better song in the whole world is there than "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth?"  Wow.
I love you, and … "talk" to you soon!! 



From Brandon Woolf:
Karli is adorable.

From Stephanie Angst:
So great to hear how happy she is!  I can't wait and am excited for her to call you on Christmas, haha!  Seriously, you all must be so excited to hear from her!!
Thanks again for including me on these beautiful letters.

From Wael:

Karli looks so beautiful, happy, and she is being loved so much by everyone she comes in contact with. She feels like a part of a huge family away from home. I am so happy for her. I love her so much!

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