Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas and so many miracles!!

This week's post is a few days late. The library was closed on their p-day so they emailed on Thursday instead of Monday this week. We were able to talk to her on Christmas and it was so great to hear her voice!! She sounded good, yet, a little stressed. Which is very understandable with all the changes she's gone through in the last month. So, keep praying for her I know it helps.

Ngoh ge gating!!! Leeeeihhh hou.

Greetings from Tai Po Library. Okay so here's something weird to think about: right this very second you are all just sleeping in your beds & it is merely 7:20 pm here in Hong Kong! How are you all? It was so wonderful to hear all of your voices & spend moments with each of you via telephone connections. What a blessing! I hope you all had a wonderful rest of the day & the merriest Christmas ever. Thank you for all your emails & updates. I am sitting here in the library laughing so hard. By the way feel free to listen to this little tidbit. I will be emailing again on Monday morning (hopefully, if all goes as planned) so if you want to try & be on at the same time as me, keep checking your email Sunday night. Just dropping a line there. Feel free to disregard that. But before I move on I just want to say, I loved the pictures!!!! You all are looking particularly peppy & attractive so good work. Also, glad to see your sense's of humor have been nothing but enhanced. Honestly. You are all downright comedians. Stay in my life forever. K- see you there.

I will have you all know that about 2 hours after I got off the phone with all of you (best present ever!) We were cheng-ed out. (when I understand why it's called that I will tell you) Anyway this member couple took me, my companion, & the 2 Elders in our ward out for brunch. The other 3 missionaries were making me all nervous & saying things like: "good luck Sister Palmer" & "I hope you came hungry" & "sometimes these are really rough." Not exactly comforting or encouraging words before going into dine with ward members. So anyway we go into the restaurant & the  Chinese couple who invited us ordered SO MUCH FOOD. It was honestly unreal. There was a small turning table on the table & they ordered everything under the sun. Chicken feet you ask? NAILED IT. Yes everyone. I went ahead & enjoyed my very first chicken feet. I've really had worse. It wasn't too bad. Still the worst thing was last week. The cloudy orange flowery jello still takes the cake. I still gag thinking about it. So check that off of my list of tried foods. Also everyone is mildly impressed that I can actually use chop sticks. So thanks Dad! Buy yourself a Subway sandwich as a reward because it's thanks to you your daughter is not starving here in the Hong Kong.

I have so much to tell you & pictures to email so let me just get started here. We have seen so many miracles every day I am having such a hard time choosing what to tell you.
Here's a good one that I meant to share with you on the phone, but somehow forgot! So there we were, on the MTR (very similar to New York's subway system, but I think even more efficient) with an investigator named Jennifer. She is 11 & we are just chatting it up with her on the way home. There is a man near us in a wheel chair that keeps looking at us but we don't want to be rude & we didn't want to stop talking to her & turn all of our attention to the man. So we keep talking & Sister Nielsen says she said a prayer of how we could have a chance to talk to the man without being rude to Jennifer. Well literally 5 seconds later, a man standing near us completely falls to the ground & passes out-- right on the train! Everyone was freaking out, & emergency services were called. The whole train was quiet until the next stop. Turns out the man passed out because he locked his knees, so he ended up being okay. Sister Nielsen & I checked on him as we got off just to make sure everything was okay, & what do you know, the only other man who came to make sure he was okay was the man we knew we needed to talk to-- The Man in the Wheelchair!!!! We were able to talk to him about what our gospel could offer him. It was such a miracle, & it's just one of those moments when you know that you are right where the Lord wants you to be.

Our ward here in Tai Wai is a straight up dream. I told you about the Christmas Party on the phone already, but I didn't tell you about what happened in Church on Sunday. So we were asked to sing with the Ward Choir. We weren't able to go to any of the practices but the Ward Choir director, Tai Jimuih, (my MTC teacher's Mom) is the director. So naturally its going to be a good time. I wish you could meet her. She is fiesty, funny, & has more energy firing up her little body than anyone else I have ever seen. Anyway she asked the 4 of us missionaries to sing the first verse of Silent Night in English, "oooh" the intro to Away in a Manger-a capella, & sing all the rest of the songs with the Choir in Cantonese. Seems harmless enough right? Well keep in mind we are all trying to make a good impression because one of the members of the 70 is in attendance. (And so the plot thickens.) 

Well silent night went great, the ooohing not so great because we sang it in a different key but worse things could have happened, & then came the time to sing the final number, a Christmas favorite & classic: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. We were ready to go when a familiar tune started playing that was not what I had previously been told was going to be sung. My first thought, "I didn't remember this tune being a Christmas song..." but I was trying so hard to keep from laughing that I couldn't remember what the song was to try & turn there. The whole choir was flipping frantically & trying to hum along while trying to figure out what song was actually being played on the piano. Well never fear we figured it out just as the last half of the final verse was being played: Hark All Ye Nations. hahahaha. I was dying! And if you could have only seen Tai Jimuih trying to lead us while this fiasco was going on--Oh my. SO GOOD! 

But the Ward is so awesome. The Mahk Gaaujyu & Taai Taai (Bishop Mahk & his wife) are so wonderful, & the ward members are really missionary minded. I love them so much. Sister Mahk makes the most delicious foods & they host family home evening at their house EVERY Monday with more food than should be legal. She even makes Western Comfort foods (lihtsi: Homemade Orange Rolls!!!) & they are so missionary minded, it's such a blessing.

I want to share one final thought, I know God helps me when I open my mouth. Coming to Hong Kong, that's been my biggest obstacle. Fear is something Satan works on me everyday. I actually said that in my last email to my mission president & then when I saw President Hawks this past week he said, "Sister Palmer, so you have some fear huh?" I replied that yes, I in fact did. And he told me that he has fear everyday! He said, "Every morning I wake up afraid." It was incredibly comforting. Today, Sister Nielsen & I made a goal to talk with everyone! And what do you know. We saw miracles. We contacted a girl named Serena on our train ride home & right before we got off the train she asked quietly "Leihdeih gokdak ligo haih Sahn ge gaaiwalk?" MEANING: "DO YOU THINK IT WAS GOD'S PLAN THAT I MET YOU????" We told her that we knew it was. I know that it's okay to be apprehensive & afraid but I also know that Jesus Christ & the Holy Ghost are my companions along with Sister Nielsen & they go before my face. I am using the fact that I barely speak any Cantonese to my advantage & as a conversation starter. The Chinese honestly think I am so weird. I think my big mouth & broken Chinese scare a lot of them. I like it. 

But I testify that when I exercise small amounts of faith, God gives me bigger miracles than I deserve. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know this church is God's only true church on the earth today. I know there are prepared people in Hong Kong who are ready to change & come closer to Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. I know that families are forever & Heavenly Father's plan is perfect & he loves all of his children individually.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all your support & love. Thinking about you all at home gives me so much strength!!!!!

Miss You Already!!!
Paahk Jimuih
Ashley didn't explain these pictures too much. The one with the pigs is what her whole mission ate together on Christmas Eve. She is pictured with her companion Sister Nielsen.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

She's in Hong Kong!!

Yes. There she is. Ashley is in Hong Kong. She is 15 hours ahead of us there, so I am constantly thinking, what time is it in Hong Kong? and trying to figure out what she might be doing at that time. The above picture was sent to me by Sister Hawks, the mission president's wife, who she is pictured with. As you will see she is doing so great and loving the work.

Dear Dad, Mom, McKay, Spencer, Wade & Rachel:

GREETINGS!!!!!!!!!!! LEIH HOU! Oh my goodness, can you believe I am in Hong Kong? Yeah Me neither!!! I just about pass out every time I think about it. But I mean a good pass out. Like passing out because your heart is so full & you are so excited. You get me? Okay thank you for your emails! And I got the Christmas card my 1st full day here! It looks so good, you all are a very attractive bunch. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL THE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. I nearly slapped myself when I got off the phone for not thanking you more for those. I LOVED EVERYTHING. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Okay FYI before we get rocking, rolling, & updating here, let me just tell you that this email is hitting you from & made possible by Hong Kong Public Libraries. I just can't believe I am here. It's honestly unreal.

So after I got off the phone with you we boarded the plane & began our 7526 mile flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. It was long, but could have been worse. I just read some scriptures, talked, played a little flight game with Sister Larson, looked out the window, ate some snacks, practiced some Cantonese, etc. But mostly I slept. I was so tired! It was a good flight. Pretty comfortable. We arrived in Hong Kong around 7:30pm. We went through this customs thing? Actually I don't really know what it was. But yeah, we went through it & then picked up our bags. They made it so big problem there. We weren't sure which terminal to go through or where we were being picked up so we followed the Senior missionaries that we had been traveling with & went to waiting area B. We were a little confused because we didn't see anyone we knew, or rather anyone who looked like church personal...personel? I can't spell. Okay anyways turns out the President Hawks, Sister Hawks, & the Assistants were at area A. They saw us on a camera & came running. They felt so bad that they weren't there to greet us. But mouh mahntaih! (no problem) It was like 22 seconds of confusion & then they were there to help us, greet us, & love us...!

Okay so we were greeted by the Hawks. I LOVE THEM!!!! They are so wonderful. They are everything I could have hoped for & more. The assistants took all of our luggage in one mission van & then we went with the Hawks in their's. Here's something I didn't think about/anticipate. All the roads here are like England. Meaning the drivers side is the right hand side, & the roads follow suit. I am so glad I don't have to worry about driving because I know I would honestly panic. But as we drove to the Hawks apartment (aka inside the HONG KONG TEMPLE....!) Actually first, when we got in the car, President Hawks' said, "Sister Palmer, could you help us give a prayer to drive safely to the temple." Sweet. No pressure right. WRONG. IT's only the first time he was going to hear me speak Cantonese out of the 8 minutes I had known him. So I said the prayer, (I really was so nervous, I'm a weirdo), & then we were on our way.

As we drove President Hawks would say things like, "See that building right there... People." "Hey look at that building... People." Looks like I shouldn't go into an interview & ever say a word or phrase similar to "but there aren't any people..." hahahahaha. Everything here is so tall. And yes! The weather is so nice. I guess the bone chilling cold doesn't start until next month. Sister Larson & I slept in the Hawks apartment for 2 nights inside the temple!!!! How many people can say that? It was the most delicious bed & delightful slumber I have had in probably, forever. 

Our first full day of Hong Kong began with a huge breakfast from Sister Hawks, we had orientation meetings about miscellaneous need to know hows, each had our first official interview with President  and then we went tracting for (I think) 4 hours with the assistants. They were pretty much like "sweet, get in there missionaries." At first it was way scary but then I soon hit a point where I didn't care, even when the people would say "Ngoh mhmingbahk yingmahn" = I don't understand English. HAHAHA! I would then try to say "Well great I am not speaking English, I am speaking Cantonese." But that was their clue to basically runaway from the American white girls. Well we gave out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon & loads of flyers. Which is very humbling considering my level of Cantonese is worse than a 6 month old.

That night when we got back to the Hawks apartment I think the Jet lag started to creep in because I was exhausted. I slept from like 10pm-7am. We had a light breakfast the next morning & then attended the "meet your trainer" ceremony. I LOVE MY COMPANION/TRAINER. I keep telling her that she is a straight up dream come true. She is everything I need... & more. Her name is Sister Nielsen (Lihp Jimuih) She is from Idaho, & has been here for 15 months. She is SO SO SO kind & patient. She is very happy & loves the work. I admire her a lot. 

We then set out together to get Hong Kong ID's, went back to the mission office (across the street from the temple) & grabbed my luggage to set out to our apartment. Our apartment is small, but more or less what I expected. We dropped off my luggage & then set out for teaching appointments at the church. We don't live in our area so we have to take the trains (subway) to get to our teaching area aka Tai Wai (pronounced Dy-why, mid tone... why did I just type that, you don't even care about the tones! hahahahaha) The Church is so nice. I need to get a picture. It's just nestled in this green hill & I love it. All of our teaching appointments are at the church so we are there A LOT.

The days here are so good and so long. Every morning Sister Nielsen & I arise & go for a 30 minute casual jog & then prepare, do our studies, teach, find... etc. My first day here Sister Nielsen began to push me. Which is good, but it of course isn't easy. (I know you're thinking to yourself well of course it isn't easy, Ashley!) Anyways, she has me do most of the teaching. What I mean by that is I teach all the principles & then she follows up my clearing up whatever I said wrong, or fills in the gaps where my vocabulary lacks. It is so good. We have taught a few lessons everyday. Mission Field work is so crazy. So busy. But I like that. I like go go going. Sister Nielsen had me make phone calls my first day here! Can you believe that? She trusts me a lot, which is comforting but also frightening.

Our two main investigators that I have met so far & helped teach are Ammon & Lulu. Ammon is 13 & slightly nerdy & I just eat him up. He doesn't feel like he is mature enough for baptism so we are trying to help him see that the blessings of baptism are available for him now if he will only trust Heavenly Father. Lulu is simply the sweetest. Her 21st birthday is Christmas Day. I love her so much. Sister Nielsen is such a good teacher & so inspired. I'm going to be honest. I don't really know what's going on a lot (most) Okay let me be honest: basically all the time. But Hey. It's fine. That is why I am here. To grow & keep learning. Lulu is so great though. We taught her the first lesson on Thursday & she told us when she walked into our church she felt for the first time in our whole life that she had just walked into the real church. She is so prepared. I am now beginning to understand what that means.

Saturday we went to a service project at an old folks home for a Christmas program. It was so fun. Actually two of the sisters in the ward sang this Chinese old woman opera stuff for seriously 25 minutes. I was seriously dying. Apparently it's an old Chinese tradition & Elderly men are supposed to love it. However I was sitting next to one of the residents and he said "hou lahng teng" Which means "really hard to listen to." hahahahahaha. so funny. Look up the opera though on you-tube. It is the best. It sounds like wailing. I have already began to eat foreign foods. For example: I ate octopus already. I love chop sticks. We will talk more about that later. At the service project there was this cloudy orange jello with flowers in it. A member gave me one & I seriously thought I was going to throw up. Oh my I need help! But I got it & kept it down. My eyes were watering. So funny.

Yesterday was my first church day. Talk about a whirlwind. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I thought I didn't understand lessons... church I had no idea what was going on. But what is cool is that the church really is the same everywhere. I was called up to share my testimony, which went fine even though I had a hard time saying "I know families can be together forever."---i got lost in the Chinese grammar. YIKES. But the ward is SO WONDERFUL. I wish you could meet them. My MTC teacher Sister Tai's parents are in my ward. I LOVE THEM. They were so excited to meet me & then in the middle of Sunday school Sister Tai pulls me out & has her iPad & had skyped her daughter, aka my MTC teacher. It was so funny. Her dad is the best & in our correlation meeting yesterday told me that "my daughter told me about you." Anyways I love the ward. They are great fellowshippers & are so crucial to our work. They make everything seem not so overwhelming.

I really love being a missionary. My Cantonese is so bad but everyone is so kind. I am not going to lie, just about everyday I wake up scared. I try not to be, but everything is so foreign. But I know Jesus Christ is my companion & he really does go before my face. I know this gospel is true & the people of Hong Kong NEED this truth. I know Heavenly Father lives, answers prayers & loves us perfectly. There isn't anywhere I would rather be than here.

Family, I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the confusion, yes Pdays are Mondays so count on that. 
Miss, love, & talk to you all so soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Merry Christmas!
Ngoh Ngoi Leihdeih!
Love Paahk Jimuih

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Leaving on a jet plane!!

Here's Ashley with her companion Sister Larson and her teacher.
 Humanitarian service projects on Thanksgiving.
Sister Palmer and Sister  Larson
 Rolls from home for Thanksgiving
 Christmas lights!! Things are festive at the MTC.
 Ashley and her district having fun! YAY!! love jumping pictures!! Well, here is Ashley's last email from the MTC. She leaves early next Monday December 10th, will have a brief layover in Los Angeles and then is Hong Kong bound!!
Family, Singdaan Faailohk! (Merry Christmas!!!!)
In the words of John Denver in less than 7 days I am leaving the safety bubble of the MTC & heading to HONG KONG! I truly never thought this day would come. HA! I meet new missionaries all the time who say they recieved their call when I got to the MTC on September 26th. So funny.
Okay did you just love the Christmas devotional last night? I knew it!!! Did Mom cry during President Monson's address? I loved it so much. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!
Here is a quick update for the week since I basically have no time:
-Language moment of the week: I told my investigator that
"I know Heavenly Father will help us know what to sin."
.....................................................................................yep cool. The word for sin is jeuih. Then I said jo (basically it's like -ly in english) & then I finally I sad jouh which is to do.
Her face was priceless. Hong Kong here I come!!!!! Let's give 3 cheers for foreign languages & inexperienced speakers. Hip hip hooray x3!
-We have had some awesome speakers at the MTC. Lately it has been members of the 70 who have all delivered inspiring adddresses that I try to implement immediately. They always know exactly what to say. The spirit is so real!!!!
-How was everyone's fast Sunday? Mine was SO good! I even bore my testimony in Cantonese to our Branch yesterday! I was so nervous even there were only 5 people who could understand me. (Since there are only 6 Cantonese speakers the rest of our Branch are English missionaries) But everyone was so kind & said they could feel the spirit even if they couldn't understand a word I said. Luckily the Spirit speaks to everyone regardless of their language!
-TRC this week rocked my world! I know, shocking right?! We were assigned to teach revelation through Chruch attendance. I shared an experience I had before the mission where I received revelation that the main purpose of going to church was not so I could be spiritually filled, but that I could help others, & adminster to their needs. The volunteer, Brother West started crying & then he shared an experience of when he received revelation at church. Not only could I understand him I could feel the Spirit so strong. i wish I could have grabbed a bag & filled it & sent it home to you. Everyone needs this gospel & to feel God's outstretched hands like that. Good news! That's why I am going to Hong Kong!
Okay I am about out of time. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN PACKAGE. Okay Mom you outdid yourself, that thing was huge. This one Elder said, "Oh is there a small tiger in there?" But thank you for giving me a piece of home & that countdown. You know me so well & I am so grateful.
I know this church is so true. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I am a little scared to go to Hong Kong, but I am so excited to share the good news that because Jesus Christ lives, we are never alone. Not only did he suffer for our sins, he suffered our pains so he could know how to help us. I know prayer is real & God answers every prayer. I know with the Holy Ghost & the Book of Mormon I can become the kind of missionary God wants me to be.
Thank you for your prayers, support, letters, kind thoughts, & love.
Paahk Jimuih

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's a week for 2's!!

Here is Ashley's latest!! As you might imagine she had a very memorable Thanksgiving!!
FAmily, HI!!!! I love you.
Today is my 2 month mark here on the mission & 2 TWO TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY I will be on a plane to Hong Kong. Is your mind blown as much as mine?!!!! Ahhhhh I am so excited but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I am a tad nervous. But mostly excited & anticipating going to HONG KONG. Is this real life?!
I want to say something smart to you in Cantonese but I am selfish & just want to tell you everything so let's get right in it here. I am so glad you all had a fun thanksgiving & that my recorder made it in time!!!!! I thought about you all on Thursday & gave repeated prayers of gratitude for my family. When the clock struck 3 & I knew that you all were eating dinner I had a small tinge of missing you that was replaced with a happiness to be right where I am right now. I am so grateful to be where I am & that Heavenly Father trusts me with such sacred work.
Before I tell about how wonderful Thanksgiving was here, let me say something, If i may. Being a missionary is better than I could have ever, EVER imagined. Now don't get me wrong, life is not perfect because I am far from perfect. Some days are so hard & others are so good I am overwhelmed by my blessings and the privelage I have to be a missionary and the opportunity to learn Cantonese. Who would have thought I would like rules & being 100% obedient so much?
On Wednesday, in preparation to really appreciate my Thanksgiving, I went out on a limb (just call me a tree monkey) & I did an English Fast. I know. No English for the whole day. What?! Yes. I didn't want to do it, (in case you've forgotten I like to talk) but when the Lord speaks I am learning to listen. My companions & district were simply angels & translated for me. I thought "This will really help me appreciate English..." but what I didn't expect was how much it made me even more grateful for ALL I have learned & how much I love Cantonese. I felt like it helped me grow so much & the whole next day my first instict was to try to say things in Cantonese. How does God love me so much? I don't even know. But I am doing an English Fast again tomorrow & I know that when we exercise even a little faith God produces huge miracles.
OKAY THANKSGIVING AT THE MTC IS A REAL LIFE DREAM COME TRUE. It is a spiritual party & pure magic. Let me go on a semi-worldly tangent here in an effort to paint an accurate picture. Imagine going to Christmas at Hogwarts. (Do I have Wade's attention?) YES. It was that good, and more. After breakfast we waited in line for 2 hours so we could get a good seat for the Apostle Devotional. I nominated myself to be the entertainment committee (& of course Sister Larson assisted me) so we played all sorts of games while we waited. (drawing game, don't eat the turkey aka don't eat pete, the ABC gratitude game & bouncing a bouncy ball & everytime it bounced you would have to say one thing you were grateful for.) All, at least I would dare to declare, were wild hits & made the time go by fast.
Eventually they opened the flood gates & the 2 thousand missionaries squirmed in a less than orderly & non-quiet-dignity fashion to get good seats. All our waiting paid off & our district got awesome floor seats! As we sang the prelude music & waited to see who was here to speak to us, the door kept opening & I would stretch & squirm to see if I could see who it was. About 10 minutes before 10 I almost had to be revived via smelling salts because I saw the profile of the one & only JEFFREY R. HOLLAND. My prayer of seeing him in person as a missionary had been ansered. He, his wife, & their grandchildren  gave us a wonderful Thanksgiving program. Him & his sweet wife were both very emotional as they delivered their addresses. They said we were their adopted children for the day. One of his granddaughters told a funny story about how she called her grandpa (Elder Holland) in September when she had decided to serve her mission. She asked when she would be able to put in her papers. He said "Well you won't be able to until April but I think it wouldn't hurt to get them done & just be prepared..." She was like 8 months early?! but then of course after conference it all made sense:) Haha.
When Elder Holland spoke the spirit  that touched me so powerful & electrifying. I know he is an apostle of God. His remarks focuses on how little moments build a testimony, we have a lot of work to do as missionaries, the opportunities we have in this dispensation everyday that some people don't have in a lifetime. He bore such a powerful testimony about Joseph Smith & the Book of Mormon. I need to just copy down my notes & send them to you. It was so good.
The rest of the day was awesome. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal at lunchtime, we were able to help set up & do a fun humanitarian project to benefit people in Mali, Africa, we went on a slightly brisk but delicious temple walk, Sister Larson & I ate our Thanksgving day dinner sack lunches in the cute pajamas her Mom sent us (Thanks again!) & OH MY HECK. Heavenly Father must have known that I wouldn't be able to go to Temple Square this year so HE BROUGHT THEM TO US. The MTC is covered in Christmas lights & they turned them on Thanksgiving night. I about passed out & my eyes were watering! That night they also surprised us with bags of sweet popcorn bigger than our heads & we watched 17 miracles. It was such a fun day. I had a lot of time to reflect on you all, my gratitude for my Heavenly Father, & Jesus Christ's atonement.
Family, I love you all so much. Thank you for ALL your letters, packages (EVERYONE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED THE CRESCENT ROLLS, I was an obese American & ate 5 of them for dinner instead of my sack dinner), & for all your support. I couldn't be here without you. I know this gospel is true. I know Jesus is the Christ, the Book of Mormon is true & Heavenly Father answers ALL OF OUR PRAYERS. Pray changes things. I know it.
I love you alllllll sooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I pray for you, & I cannot thank you enough for your sacrifices for my behalf!!!
Love you!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih

Monday, November 19, 2012

Round up your cornicopias, there is so much to be grateful for.

This week will be a little hard, having Ashley so close but not being able to have her come home for Thanksgiving. I'm holding myself back from taking a plate of food over there and leaving it by the fence. I will be sending her some rolls on Wednesday though!! A few more details about the ambassador story she talks about. He came to the MTC about a month ago and met the missionaries in Ashley's district, (some of them are learning Cantonese and going to Australia instead of Hong Kong) They were instructed to be very respectful. They had to call him "your excellency" and they couldn't talk about the gospel for the few minutes that he was with them, yet obviously he felt the spirit during their short time together. So glad Ashley got to be part of that miracle.

Leih ho! Family!
Are you getting your turkey on? I have no doubt you are you festive gratitudians! Ah. I can almost smell the house & the turkey (but mostly the crescent rolls) now! How fun. I wish I could be there, But know how much I love you & I can't adequately express how much I am grateful for you.
Okay La, here we go!
-Following up with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka & Austrailia postcard that I sent you, The rather robust man that was the mediator of all that happening came to us later that week to thank us for our professionalism. But he told us of a miracle. He said that right now there are no missionaries in Sri Lanka but after the ambassador spoke with us he went to Salt Lake & later that day was going to allow Senior missionaries there to speak English. Isn't that incredible? It's a small step in a life saving & eternal work.
-Let me tell you about TRC. I will just come out & say it: I hate it. Now I am a self proclaimed lover so let me explain myself. TRC is when the volunteers come into the MTC & you teach them. The English speaking missionaries teach there every day so it's no big deal to them, but we teach there once a week & our lucky day is Saturday. From weeks 3-7 we taught 2-20 minute lessons, & now from weeks 8-11 you teach 1 -40 minute lesson on previously assigned doctrines. Yep, you guessed it, teaching in Cantonese. Now even though it's scary usually the feedback is positive so after you feel good about yourself. However, this one time, I think it was week 4 (??) a volunteer wrote on her evaluation that she felt "uncomfortable" I'm sorry............ WHAT?! You feel uncomfortable?! After 3.5 weeks of being here I'm trying to speak to you in Cantonese & you're the one that comes away uncomfortable?! Hahahaha. Looking back it's basically wildly hilarious but at the time I was quite distraught. Ever since I go into TRC like I'm going to a battlefield. Well this past week I thought we had the best lesson we could have possibly prepared & what do you know, no volunteers showed up. We ended up teaching Sister Farr (BOOYA) as herself. It was incredible. The spirit was so strong & even though I couldn't speak basically anything, it didn't matter. The Spirit was so tangible & I know that Heavenly Father lives & loves us. I wish I could explain it better. There are simply not words. I wish I could explain how happy I am here.
-Okay I love my Cantonese district so much. Sister Larson is as wonderful as ever, I confessed to Elder Shaffer in companionship inventory (PMG pg 150) that since he gets Cantonese so well I am his trial here at the MTC, HAHAHA, (I promise I am being on my best behavior here) & I love Sister Alder-she's an angel, Sister Wright is a huge example, & Elder White is so much fun & has such a great spirit. We are so blessed here in District 45-D.
-The big buzz around here is about Thanksgiving on Thursday. The morning devotional will include a general authority. You better believe I'm going to be there 2 hours before it starts. That is totally happening. I can't wait to tell you all about it. Who is coming is very hush hush & I am as excited as you are to find out who it will be.
- I do not deserve to be fed this well. Last night we watched the talk by Elder Bednar on The Character Of Christ. (it was the talk he gave last Christmas here at the MTC)  He said, "Who you are is far more important that what you will ever say." This is a huge comfort to me. As long as I continue to be completely obedient, I know I will be able to teach the people of Hong Kong what they need to know because I will have the spirit with me. Elder Bednar also encouraged as part of the talk to get a brand new paper back copy of the Book of Mormon, write down a question, & then as you read mark every time you find answers to your question. He said, "by the time you're my age you should have a whole libary full of copies of the Book of Mormon marked with answers to different questions. I'm totally going to do it & I am so excited.
-Thank you for anyone who has written me & also those who are praying for me. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate & feel them. Honestly. I know when I feel like I can't go anymore,& then all of the sudden I get a new burst of energy it's an answer to someone praying for me, somewhere. So thank you. Thank you so much. I am so weak & I need them so much.
Family, I love you all so much. Do you know that? I am constantly reminded of how lucky & blessed I am to have you. You are perfect. So supportive, so loving, & your letters keep me laughing. Thank you for the packages & for always sending my stuff. I am so sorry I am so high maintenance. At this special time of year I will be thinking of you & praying that you all continue to be blessed in all you do.
I'm about out of time, but I will be sending a nice little recording, so be looking for that wherein I can respond to all your lovely messages. You are all so very funny & Mondays are my very favorite because I get to hear from each & every one of you.
I know Jesus Christ lives. I know that He loves each and every one of us individually. I know the Atonement can ease all of our pains & make our burdens seem light. I know that the Book of Mormon is true & answers all the questions of the soul. I know families are forever. I know missionary work is God's work & I am so humbled to be apart of it.
I LOVE YOU FOREVER & EVER. MISS YOU ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih

Friday, November 16, 2012

I love the MTC

So Sorry this is late this week. I must have forgot to hit publish!! OOPS!!!
Here's Ashley's latest... She sounds so great!!

Dearest Loved Ones,
Oh my sweet Cantonese speaking tongue. It was such a delight to hear all of your voices this week. While I was doing one of the hot hot hot workouts Mom sent me (THANK YOU BY THE WAY) inside the residence hall, I listened to them & was just laughing oh so hard. You all are very funny & I appreciated your kind words & stories so much.
Okay... highlights: Here we go.
-So there I was in my class just hohksaahping the Cantonese & I may or may not have tuned out my dear teacher for a teeny tiny baby second & she asked me a question. Well I thought she said something about lunch so I pull a Mosiah 3:19 instead of asking her to repeat herself. I answered "Pizza" (because I thought I heard the word lunch & that was what I had dined on earlier that day) Did she ask what I had for lunch? No. Not even close. So it's pretty sweet. I"m now the fat kid in Cantonese class.
-The new Cantonese district got here this week. One of them is Natalya's friend from a camp that she worked at. I love her!!! (She actually reminds me of my roommate Kelsey from Snow College so naturally I love her.) Sister Wright is also great & Elder White is wonderful as well. The gospel is bringing us together one principle at a time & I seriously love everyone. Sister Larson & I are still having a great time & Elder Shaffer is doing great & still loving 3rd Nephi. As you can see, all is well in Zion.
-BIG NEWS THAT MAKES MY KNEES FEEBLE & my heart quake: I'm on Week 8 here. Are you as shocked as I am? As of Saturday I am at less than a month at the MTC & then kung-pow Hong Kong here I come!
-You asked about what speakers have been here. For Relief Society we have been enjoying hearing both last week & this week from members of the Primary presidency. This past week devotional was so good. Elder Zwick from the seventy spoke about becoming a disciple. 3 Nephi 5:13 (Look it up!) He talked about how true discipleship is rarely easy or comfortable. But as I thought about that, true discipleship is a price worth paying. God is the same yesterday, today, & forever. But I am not! Each choice I make will reflect if I am coming closer to Christ & being able to be called one of his disciples. There is no such thing as being the same as yesterday. I am moving forward or I am moving back. It has been very humbling to think about that this week & think about all my shortcomings & what I want to improve on.
-This week I had a very humbling chat with my teacher, Sister Tai. As she was talking to me I felt like I was having my own con-fab (shout out to Grandma Gooch!) with the Spirit. I was thinking about all the things I was doing that are so selfish. The MTC is not about me. It just isn't. It's not about me learning Cantonese here & then I'll help some people later. No! It's about me helping His children now! I know you all are too kind to tell me to get a grip when I complain but I feel like I was whacked with a big humble paddle & then wrapped in a huge hug. After I had this little experience & began to implement it, I saw my language continue to increase even more. Heavenly Father is there & He is so good to me.
-How about all this snow? People at the MTC are honestly freaking out about it. Some love it, & some hate it. Some pray for more, & others have told me that they are praying for a heat wave. Have Big S & Wade gone Snowboarding yet? Also Sister Wright says that we are all going to play in it today for P-day. Let me just say right here & right now that I will not be doing that. Hahaha. I don't have Snow gear & I care too much about my limbs.
-We have been memorizing Joseph Smith's first vision in Cantonese. I am almost done! I have one sentence left. Can I just attest to the fact of the miracle of fasting? I would fast every day if it were a medically sound thing to do. Really though. It's incredible how when we put our physical needs aside & on the back burner how Heavenly Father opens up his spiritual flood gates & pours such delicious knowledge into our minds.
Side notes: shoe size 8.5. Thank you AGAIN! You are truly angels for not being mad & helping me, a sister, out. Also the blog draft you asked about Mom? I know this is probably wildly disappointing because you were hoping for some delicious story but it was when I surprised Heather in Arizona aka the greatest surprise I have ever had the opportunity to be apart of. I know you were crossing your fingers for some intimate detail that I had somehow yet seemingly left out but alas, not the case.
Dad- YOU WERE TEXTING INSTEAD OF READING THE NEWSPAPER? Someone call in the Marines because I think we have a 23-19. I'm serious. I love when you text! What a delight? Did you end up going to the BYU game in this frigid weather? I bet you were so nippity chill. I hope you are unthawed by now. Also I told some missionaries about your piggy back ride gift. People are astounded that you would do such a thing!
Mom- YOUR SUNSHINE PACKAGE. Like what? Perfection timing. THANK You you sweet sweety sweeter. Seriosuly. It was perfect timing. I was having a minorly bad afternoon because I felt like I couldn't understand anything & your package turned my frown upside down. Also great goal to read the 4 gospels before Christmas. I do declare that I will join you. See you at the finish line.
McKay aka Zipper Zurley- Your emails are honestly a straight up SNL skit. Tell me more about your dating life. I'd like pictures & a brief synopsis. Or a long synopsis. Your choice. Also I hated your pumpkin. Bane is the worst. He gives me nightmares.
Spencer- speaking of nightmares, I'm glad you had fun on your zombie slayer race!!!!  that sounds so fun yet so scary. Also I was cracking up that 90% of your voice record to me was about food. nothing has changed. I'm so glad.
Wade- hahahahhahahahahha. You are still doing nicotene jokes? Yes you should probably stop but I was laughing so hard that you know MOm & Dad are disappointed when you say them. Also what have you & Big S been debating/fighting about?
Rachel- Thanks for your letter!!!! I love you so much! Sister Larson says hi! I hope you are still loving school & your fun little Life. I miss you!!!!
The church is so true. I love being a missionary. I feel like I was born for this lifestyle. I am so happy & I feel so blessed. Thank you for your support & prayers.
Ngoh ngoi Leihdeih!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih

Monday, November 5, 2012

If you Invest In God, He will invest in You!!

Here is Ashley with her companions outside the residence hall. Fall has arrived at the MTC!!

 Ashley and her district with her teachers. Sister Tai and Sister Farr. She loves them.

She loves a good temple walk. The curtseys continue.

She found Sister Abby Tucker on one of her walks. Yay!!

Here's another great letter from Ashley...

My favorite people!!!!! LEEEEEIIIIHHHHHHOOOOOO!
I think it is safe to say this is the only time in my life where I will say with all sincerity, ¨I love Mondays!!!!¨ Yay for P-days. How are you all? I hope so good. I can't wait to hear your Dear Elder's later today :) I miss you & love you all so much.
Okay! So here we go, here's what's new down in the MTC.
-I found out what my name means in Cantonese, Paahk= Vigor & Life. Cool right? I am trying to live up to our family name & live each day with vigor & excitement.
- Okay so the Cafeteria showered down blessings upon me twice this week. Can you say "Sweet Pork Salad" & Wingers sticky fingers? Because GUESS WHAT. It happened. Sure the salad only had 1.5 TBSP of chicken but I was so grateful & shouting to anyone at our table how good it was. I honestly was being ridiculous & embarrassing. The wingers chicken for dinner was a similar experience. I need help.
-This week's language moment is brought to you by ommitted anonmyous. So- a little background: before I lecft on my mission both Bishop Walker (can't wait to hear the news!) & President Gleason both counseled me to be a bold & fearless missionary. Well mouh damsam because I am doing just that, whether I know it or not. It has been brought to my attention via my tuhngbuhn's that I have a habit of ommitting the word "if" when extending commitments during lessons. For example: "I know you will read the Book of Mormon & you will know Joseph Smith is a prophet." Not "if" you read, I know you will read. ha. It reminds me of those times we saw those parents at Disneyland that would tell their kids, "you are going to go on this ride & you are going to like it." hahaha. Elder Shaffer thought I was just being bold at first, but even though it's been brought to my attention when appropriate I might as well keep doing it. Ha! I've always said, "Go bold or go home."
-Speaking of bold, that is what I am doing with our investigator Kim. We have about taught her all the lessons but I still don't feel like she is getting it. I finally told her: "Kim our message is either true or it is not. I can't give you my testimony. You have to want it for yourself. We've taught you about praying with a sincere heart. Now it's your turn to do it." YOu should have seen her eyes! Ha. So pray for Kim. I am hoping we can solitify her baptism for next week. But as soon as she knows the Book of Mormon is true it will all fall into place. The Book of Mormon is so powerful. I love it.
-I promise this is me Sister Ashley Palmer. I promise. Just wanted to preface my next request so you didn't think someone had hacked my email. Mom could you send me some print outs of some of your workouts? I know. Are you sitting down? Have you passed out? Okay sweet glad you're still there. Because Sister Larson is still sick I do gym at the residence hall & running up & down the stairs for 20-30 minutes is so monotonous. I know. I KNOW. I never thought this day would come either.... the day where I ask for one of our cross-fit mama's work out's. What is this world coming to? :)
-This week I wrote my missionary purpose, & instead of sharing my testimony this week, I thought I would share this. I think they go hand in hand:
Heavenly Father has been preparing me to serve for a long time. I can look back now & see that. He loves me & I can feel it so powerfully. My purpose as a missionary is to bring souls to Christ. With God, nothing is impossible. Not the language, not finding families, & not feelings of inadequacy. Missionary work is not of men. Missionary work is orchestrated by God because He loves his children. I promise to always have faith and work through the trials & the hard times. I promise to work everyday so I can look back & see that not a moment was wasted. I promise to always listen to the spirit & always act on those promptings. I promose to teach people and not lessons. I promise to read, use & love the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon coupled with the spirit is the perfect missionary to testify that Jesus is the Christ. I promise to look for families & tell them that they can be together forever. I promise to serve. I promise to thank Heavenly Father & pray always. I want God to know that if He needs something done or a person to be loved & talked to, I'll do it. I know that if God has enough faith in me to be a good missionary I need to put enough faith in Him to get me there. I will plan & be completely obedient. I will be a representative of Jesus Christ.
"I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."
-I love Missionary work & I am so happy to be here! While sometimes it is so much easier to focus on the things I can't say in Cantonese, I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father trusts me enough to teach His children in Hong Kong.
-We had to move residence halls (dorm is a forbidden word at the MTC, haha) & so now Sister Larson & I will only have 4 of us in a room rather than 6! And guess who is coming this week... The new Cantonese district! We are all so excited. It is the exact same as ours. 2 sisters going to Hong Kong & 1 solo Elder going to Sydney, Austrailia.
Dad-I'm so glad you had fun @ South Pacific, even if the music wasn't your fave. I was laughing so hard about Mom & her counting story. I can just see your face during that whole convo. So funny! Thank you for the Yellowstone story, I LVOED IT. ps are you reazlly planning to go there March 2014 or is that a little joke?
Mom- I'm so sorry you've been sick, are you feeling better??? THANK YOU FOR YOUR PACKAGES. Since Halloween didn't exist here (although I did wear my Cheetah headband I told everyone I was a cheetah), so the package was so perfect & delicious. YOU'RE NOT SURPRISED BUT I AM OBSESSED WITH ALL THE PICTURES. Oh my the jumping & laughing ones... be still my soul. I love love love them. Your Reeses's package was so clever, hahahahahha I loved it.
McKay- Hi Ghandi! 4.0: typical you. Are you valedictorian or what? hahahahha thanks for the chief updates I miss him completeling my life with his weather repeorts. But I will have you know I miss you more. ARe you voting for Romney or what?
Spencer-You're a dream. Good job on Math & matching socks. Also, thank you for sharing your testimony. I loved it so much.
WAde-HAHAHAHHAHAHAHa your mrs. wEasley costume is the greatest thing I have ever  seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're a celebrity here. Did you have a fun halloween?
RAchel- you-whoooo Who is your secret admirer? I loved your Owl costume!!!! Did you get lot's of candy? Did you get asked if you were from the Snow Pony?
Well once again my time is up!!! I well send you a letter with more comments on your hilarious letters & more updates.
I love you all SOOOOOOOOO MUCH! Thank you for all your support & prayers! I don't deserve you.
Love Paahk Jimuih
ps Hermana Farr if you are reading this HI I'm obsessed with you, I pray for you everyday & will write you a letter TODAY!!!! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Had the Noodle Dream

Here is Ashley's latest email. She sounds so great!! I can tell she is really enjoying her mission. I am so glad she is happy!! Enjoy!!

Leih ho ngoh ge gating,
Jousahn! Or I guess, good afternoon. Okay so you know what the returned missionaries say.... When you dream in your language "you've made it." Ok so I'm not going to type here & say I've made it but this past week I had a dream about Sister Ainge & she was speaking to me in Chinese aka Cantonese so that counts right? (Tell me right to help boost my confidence, thanks in advance.) Anyways it was cool.
Speaking of cool, this weak was dripping with cool waters of blessings. Honestly! I don't understand how I am so blessed to have the best FAMILY, friends, teachers, companions, LIKE WHAT?! Missionary work is the greatest. Let me also just take this second to bear my testimony that I know this church is so true! I know Heavenly Father cares about you personally & loves you infinitely. I know that Jesus Christ lives & his love changes lives, especially mine. I know this work is God's work & I am so grateful that I have a family who loves & supports me so much out here.
Alright this is the time where I become a selfish mission rat & talk all about my highlights.
-I think I am pretty loopy right now because I have been up since 4:30. Cap me. Actually don't. Sister Ainge & the rest of our roommates & sisters in our zone left THIS MORNING!!!!! Time is just flying by here. I am so excited for all the sisters. I spent time with them each this week individually & I love them so much. I am going to miss Sister Ainge & Sister Larson & I will probably need to wear black the duration of our MTC experience as an appropriate outward expression of our inner sorrow. I also must admit I do declare I am going to miss Elder (serious) Staheli. But good news! We will all be reunited in Hong Kong in 1.5 months & the way time goes by here that is basically tomorrow. Also the new Cantonese district will get here next week so BOOYA.
-So me speaking Cantonese last week went so well. SYL (speak your language) is so hard but so worth it. I saw a huge leap & bound increase & I spent all sorts of time on my knees in gratitude. This week Mr. ( I mean Elder) Vocabulary Shaffer was split from Sister Larson & I so he taught by himself & Sister Larson & I taught. Family- It was so cool. The spirit spoke to our investigators in pathetically broken Cantonese but they can understand me & it is a miracle. I wish I could spend 3 hours talking about the little miracles that happen here every SINGLE day. I love the MTC. McKay get your stoked goggles on because you are going to love it here. My tender mercy of the day happened at 6 am this morning on the way to the temple. Guess who I saw? Thomas S. Monson. JK I wish. But I DID see Brother Polish himself, Darin Hillyard. What a dream that was. I was beginning to think that all my friends that told me that worked here were making it up.
-Bad news of the week. Sister Larson has Mono. Yes I feel so bad for her. So pray for her & a speedy recovery.
-Funny story I have been meaning to share with you cute cutie cutesters. So there I was. In the cafeteria & this Elder comes up to me & says "Sister Palmer, did you go through the temple on May 12th?" I looked at him & said, "Do you always begin conversations this way?" ha! Well turns out he went through the temple in the same session I did & he was confused because he thought I was getting married. He said, "Well who were you in there with?" I told him "uh.. My dad?" & he was like "THAT WAS YOUR DAD?" Hahahahaha. So funny. Then Elder Staheli thought Mom was my older sister when I showed him the picture of us laughing together. So what I am trying to say is: Good job you 2! Remember how last summer I was obsessed with the Fountain of Youth? Turns out I just need to hang out & drink the same things you are.
-Word on the street (the MTC) is that there is some serious storms projecting in NYC. FILL ME IN!!!!!!
-Sometimes I just can't fall asleep here because I am straight up so excited for the next day. Like I sit in bed & think to myself "sleepy time is such a burden. I wish it was morning already." I really do love learning Cantonese & teaching our investigators. Now don't get me wrong I have lots of bad days but the good ones are just so fun I just snuggle in my bed at night & am filled with such gratitude.
-Good news of the week: I'm leaving the world more & more behind. Don't roll your eyes! I"m serious. I no longer get into devotionals & think to myself "I need to make sure my phone is on vibrate." Sure, it's taken me 4.5 weeks to get to this point but I am slowly saying good bye to the natural man. Are you proud?
-Can I just say thank you to EVERYONE who has written me this week? OH my heck. I am so blessed. While it was such a good week there were hard moments & those letters were such answers to prayers. Anyone who is in the sound of me typing this email & now reading it on the blog. Thank you for your kind words, prayers. What a blessing you all are! For those I haven't heard from (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) yes I am holding a grudge against you! ha. But MOM- thank you sooooooo much for the packages. You're a dream. Yes all the foot remedies & treats awwwwwhhhh! I'm obsessed with you. Let's be BFF'S.
Dad-I am so glad you are working smarter & not harder. I would have been all over this bonus point policy! Good for you! Also, I miss riding in the van with you & listening to silence. Thank you for the wonderful example you are!
Mom- THank you thank you thank you again. You're an inspired woman. Also I was being a total sicko on temple walk yesterday & telling everyone about my love of those little mini hot dogs wrapped in pretzels that you started buying recently. I love those but I love you more! Thank you for all you do for me.
McKay- Now that you are just a dater... SPILL IT. Whats going on. I laughed really hard at your oreo story. You're a downright comedian.
Spencer- Do you still love driving as much as you thought? I'm so glad you saw your one true love Brady! I miss hearing his name 15-18 times a day.
WAde- It's your big time to shine!@!!!! MRs. WEasely arrives THIS WEEK! SEND ME PICTURES STAT. I'm loving your stories about Tyler. hahahahaha. I"m sorry. Know I am praying for your happiness:)
Rachel- YOu little missy are what I was talking about above. WHERE ARE YOU? I don't want to hold even the slightest grudge against my only sister so please write & tell me what you're about. I miss giving you baby kisses. love you forever.
Ok as ususal I'm just getting going here & my time is up. Thank you so much for your prayers. I need them so much, every hour even, & I feel them. I love you more than words can express & I cannot thank you enough.
I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!!!!! Thank you for everything! Miss you already.
Paahk Jimuih

Monday, October 22, 2012

Word to the family

Yay!! Time for another email from Ashley!! I added some pictures that Ashley sent me as well.
Family, HI HI HI HI HI HI!!!!
Oh my how are you all! I cannot wait to get my Dear Elder's tonight & hear all about what you cute kids have been up to this past week. Also, I was wondering, I would love to hear all your testimony's so if you have a free little baby second & would want to, I would love for you to send me those sometime in the next couple of days. I mean only if you want to, are feeling spiritual, not wanting to hide your talents under a bushel, etc.
So this week has been a whirlwind. I seriously don't know/understand/cannot fathom where the days are going. This week will be officially one month. MATYEH? (what?) How did that happen.
Let me be selfish here & take the next few (lot) bullet points to talk about me/myself/ & I. (also why am I doing all sorts of /? I'm going to stop.)
-CONTRARY to what (I'm assuming) Fritz told you, hahahahaha no I do not watch Legacy every week! In fact, I usually watch talks Sunday night. They have talks here that the General Authorities have given that are only availiable here. However, I was peeing my pants laughing last week because we watched the movie about the SAlt lake temple being built. Straight up religious comedy right there. Watch it. You'll like it.
-I love Alma chapter 34. I have been shredding (inappropriate word choice?) through it this week. Everything is so easily applicable to me right now. I love when it talks about "crying" unto the Lord because he is mighty to save. I have never prayed so much in my life and felt so much of Jesus Christ's love. I am so grateful for the testimony and knowledge I have.
-Teaching is still hard. It stresses me out. Actually yesterday I started having a panic attack (minor one, category 3 no need to be alarmed) And so I found myself praying a lot. I want my Cantonese to be better than it is. I study it all the time, but I just want it now. (Patience is not my best virtue.) Anyways as I was praying & meditating on my predicament yesterday,I heard the spirit speak to me & say "I love you, but you learn to speak through speaking." Actually, now that I think about it, the voice said that to me in Cantonese. I know it was the spirit talking right to me. SO- today I am speaking no English aka SYL (speak your language) Yes I am very afraid, & yes you read that right. I need an intervention but I also need to show the Lord I am willing to put forth some serious effort & faith & not just be a closet studier. Is this story even making sense? I hope so. What I am trying to say is, I know the Lord loves me & is going to help me because He loves me. I have faith, & I am trying not to doubt. I am so grateful for prayer & that even though I can't call you all everyday, there is one home I can always call.
-Also, yesterday was a long sunday because I was called as the Coordinating sister. So humbling, but I spent the whole day in meetings! I am so excited for this opportunity & chance to grow & make more friends!
-You're not surprised, but I bought a new black skirt. My black pencil skirt was driving me up the wall (as the teeny-boppers would say cray, cray) so I bought a nice one for merely $25 (yih suhp ngh) You're mad? I'm really happy though & it is very comfortable... so no regrets here.
-I love my teachers!!!!! They are the best. Have I told you about them? Sister Tai (native from Hong Kong) & Sister Farr (from Ogden area.) Yesssss... FARR so naturally I am obsessed with her.She is the happiest human alive. They are so patient with me & help me so much. I love them.
-The older Cantonese district leaves in one week! (Sister Ainge, & Elder (serious) Staheli) It is so weird to think about! I can't believe that the time has already come. Also I have been getting Elder Serious to laugh... Challenge mastered.
-Will you ask Jenn if her husband Thomas is actually a missionary? There is a missionary here that STRAIGHT UP looks like him. I make awkward eye contact whenever I see him because I am just so confused... I thought he was married to my friend Jennifer.
-Hi I'm obnoxious (name that movie) & was wondering. Could you send me a pair of my long sweats? It's kind of cold in our residence halls. Also, I'm so grateful for the alarm clock you sent, like really it's a nice piece of fine craftsmanship but can you send a digital one? I can never get it to go off right at 6:30 & after Sister Ainge leaves I will be unable to be assured that it will go off right then. I'm so sorry. Feel free to say no. PS I LOVE YOU (& no I'm not talking about the movie.
-Okay so the boys thought I was bad when I would wash my face when I would get water everywhere... BUT THEY HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING. There are 3 Korean sisters here & they turn our bathroom into a swimming pool. NO EXAGGERATION. It's incredible. I don't understand it.
-HA! Ok so the other day I was leaving & I was talking to Sister(s) Ainge & Larsen when all of the sudden I hear "ASHLEY!!!!" being yelled down the residence hall. There were several girls on the floor & their was an audible gasp that she called me by my first name. hahahahaha. We gave each other an awkward hug & then went on our ways. SO FUNNY! People here kill me. It reminds me of the story that you told me Mom when you dropped me off.
-Everyone has been sick here! But knock on wood because the sick destroyer has not gotten control of my healthy bod yet!!! I am loving hand sanitizer like Thomas S. Monson loves service, & Russell M. Nelson loves giving heart surgery. It would be so rough to be sick here so I am so grateful.
-Yesterday for Relief Society guess who came? Ann M. Dibb!!!! It was so awesome!!! She shared the best stories about President Monson.
-I love singing hymns in Cantonese.
Dad- Your BYU stories & dinner debate stories KILLED ME. I was laughing so hard. bravo. Maybe it's time you & Mom invest in some quality Cable TV. Keep me posted!!!
Mom- YOu domestic Goddess!@!@! Your treats are so good. Also  I KNEW THAT WOULD be your reaction about my teacher. ahahahahahaha. Called it. REally though thank you for writing me every day & for all your thoughtful packages.
Mckay-how was your blessing?!!!!! Tell me all about it. Who gave it to you? I love mine. It changed my life.
Spencer- How's driving? Warning people to stay off the sidewalks? Do you like to be a Priest now?
Wade- ARe you going to be Mrs. WEasely for Halloween? How's XC? Do you & 2 cake Spanks go on runs together?
Rachel-I loved your testimony!!!! I WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THIS ADMIRER!
Okay my time is up! Thank you for everything! I know this church is true. I know Jesus Christ's atonement is real. I know it will all be okay in the end & if it's not okay it's not the end. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I love that book. I know Jesus Christ lives & our Heavenly Father loves us. I know prayer changes things.
I love & miss you all so much! Thank you for your sacrifices so I can be here!!!! I'll try & send a letter this afternoon! Thanks for your prayers!
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paahk Jimuih

Enjoying General Conference!!

Time for Bed!!
 The last day for one of her Cantonese teachers. (He's in the middle.) I think he is cute! She never told me if he is married or not.
 New friends.

Ashley always finds  a way to be the fun sister. Here is some curtsey lessons.

Signs of the serious.

No she is not training to be an air traffic controller, just practicing the tones of Cantonese.

She loves temple walks!! They never get old.
As you can see Sister Palmer is loving her life and having fun along the way!! look for another update next week!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

MTC week #3

Anyone care to know what my favorite day of the week is right now? Monday!! Cause it's the day we get a delightful email from Sister Palmer!! Enjoy!!
Hello my Family!
Can you believe I have been here 2.5 weeks? I can/can't. Oh my goodness. I feel like I have always been a missionary. Does that make sense? It's a weird thing to think about. I am just so glad I can write you! Ok so can I just say how blessed we are here? On Tuesday, Elder Bednar came & spoke for Tuesday Devotional with his wife. How lucky are we? General Conference and then Elder Bednar... yes we were all freaking out, screaming, kissing on cheeks, hugging... all of that is true except for the kissing part. Anyway-- he spoke on General Conference. I thought to myself, out of all the things he could have chosen to speak on & that's what he chose... Must be pretty important. He said that when he studies General Conference he goes through the talks and then looks for 1. what doctrine is being taught. 2. What we are being invited to do & 3. Look for the promised blessings. I can't wait to implement his instruction. Also, yesterday Sister Linda K. Burton came & spoke to the sisters for Relief Society!!!! Like I said, we are so very blessed & loved here!
This week had unique challenges and extraordinary blessings. Sister Larsen has been sick with the flu, one of our teacher's Brother Fogt left, & I continued to struggle in learning Chinese. I decided this week to make a simple extra sacrifice, and I asked God if in turn he would help my mind to be clear so I could first obtain His word and then declare His word. No one is surprised to hear this, But it did indeed work! I was retaining gospel sentences that I would repeatedly study. I need Him so much here. Learning Cantonese is so hard. As I was thinking about my time here, I was reminded of a talk from General Conference I listened to this summer in the Fit. (How's she doing by the way?!) Anyway it's from Elder D. Todd Christofferson a couple of years ago. He relates the experience of Hugh B. Brown where he is pruning a bush & he imagined that the bush cried out "Why are you cutting me down? I thought you were the gardener! I though you were going to protect me!" The same is with us. I am a small simple bush and I am so grateful that the Lord loves me enough to cut me down, so he can build me up. This week when I would struggle I would have the same line in my head over & over, "Thank you for loving me enough to cut me down." Missionary work is so humbling. I've never felt so small & other times so powerful because of the Holy Ghost & God's love guiding me.
-Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! for the packages. Mom, you are a bless-ed & inspired woman. I'm not kidding. Last week I thought to myself "I wish I had some goldfish" & then Kung-pow! There they were. Thank you also for the Olay products and delicious homemade treats. My companions think you are straight up Bettty Crocker. I told them you were. ALSO THE PICTURES!!!!!!! I'M OBSESSED. I look at them every night. My book is more than full & I love them all! Mom are you just loving them? Are you going to make them into canvas's? What are your plans. Tell me Tell me. Dad, aren't you glad we did two sessions? Yep me too.
-I see so many people I know here. Elder Shaffer says we can't walk more than 5 minutes without me seeing someone I know. It's such a small world here. I see people from High School, Snow College (one of my new roommates is a girl from my institue class named Olivia... Sister MyGrant. She was in the class with Klayton. Heather, & above all my favorite Billy. WHAT A BLESSING! Hahaha) & I see people from like Elementary school, youth theater...etc.
-Elder (serious) Stalehi & I are making some nice progress. We enjoy a couple spouts of candid laughter.... He is still so interesting to me. He is obsessed with microwaves. I find it strange. Also McKay I saw your brother from another mother Jared Bellon. He is quite the comedian.
-Sister Whitney Mecham made it!!!!! And miracles haven't ceased because she is literally 4 doors away from me on my same floor! We enjoy enthralling conversations every night & just love our lives. Also Mom, she got your package!! She loved it. You're so nice.
-Some of my favorite MTC past times are making spontaneous original songs, curtseying (sp?), you-whoing, & OF COURSE "Would you rather questions."
-Okay so since I know about 10 words in Cantonese it now brings me to a point where I can make embarrassing mistakes. I get so nervous before we teach. It's not teaching that makes me nervous, it's that I will forget everything I've studied. We can't take notebooks, dictionaries... nothing into our lessons. Only our personal scriptures & preach my gospel in English. Can you say "no pressure?" So here are a few good things I did. Instead of saying "I know the thank you is true" I said "I know I'm sorry is true." Moyimunging= Book of Mormon mmhgoughsi= thank you. hahahaha. Yikes. I kept going & everyone was laughing & I didn't find out until after what I said. I also accidentally said that I have 7 people in my family & that 7 of them are my brothers. Our investigator looked at me with the widest eyes & I quickly remedied that I had 3. Oh the blessings of foreign languages.
-I love the people watching here. It is so good!!!! You all would love it. Everyday I'm just in the cafeteria & there are constantly just some great stuff going on. Also the Ice Cream is so good here!!!!
-I wish I had more time but I love my companions!
Dad, thank you again for the Father's blessing you gave me. It has been such a strength to me here. I read it often.
Mom, I loved your stories about Strawberry!!!! You're a comedian. No door on the outhouse sounds like your type of favorable conditions.
Mckay, How's calculus? Still rocking? How's work? Thanks for the poems. You are all so very clever!
Spencer, how's driving?!!?!?!?!?!??!?! Who's the lucky first lady you're going to take on a date?
Wade, THANK YOU for all the movie quotes. I was laughing so hard. My companions loved it. Also thank you for the Dr. Seuss quote. You're the sweetest.
Rachie bo Bachie- How's Jack? The bike ride sounds awful, I'm so proud of you for finishing!!! How's the Adam's peanut butter?
Can't wait to read your Dear Elder's! I'll put a letter in the mail this afternoon!
Love you,
Love Paahk Jimuih (Sister Palmer)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Is General Conference always this good?:

Moving in day! I wonder if she was able to fit all her clothes in that tiny closet. I'd have to say not likely.
Look at all those books. It makes me tired to think of not only carrying all those books around,but learning everything in those books!!

Ashley gets to go to the temple once a week and has two companions!Sister Larson from Texas and Sister Ainge from Springville.
I can tell from Sister Palmer's letters that she is loving her time at the MTC. Enjoy this weeks email!!

Leih Ho family!
Okay, let´s be real, is general conference always this good_  okay this keyboard is mental and will not type question marks. I am unsure what to do. the underscore mark is now a question mark apparently. Anyways, were you guys FREAKING OUT AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT___!!!! i THINK everyone should have the chance to see what people in the MTC were doing. We were all going nuts hooting, hollering etc. Mom, remember how this time last year you were worried they were going to change the age and then I would be going sooner_ OH my. I still cant get over it. MCKAY YOU CAN GO ON YOUR MISSION IN JUNE!!!! Are you going to? (notice the question marks are back, thanks Sister Ainge.) Anyways I am so excited that girls can now go when they are 19! it is all so wonderful. Please, everyone write and share your thoughts. I can't wait to read your Dear Elder's tonight & hear what you're feeling. What was your favorite talk? I personally loved Elder Nelson's "Ask the missionaries" talk. I am "One of the girls on the bikes" and I am SO EXCITED to be a missionary & a representative of Jesus Christ. Seriously though, did you all feel the spirit so powerfully? Every talk I just wanted more & more. I am spiritually exhausted and it feels so good. All the missionaries watched conference in a big assembly hall, and the Spirit was so strong there. I love this gospel. I know it is true.
Okay, this week has been so good! I still worry A LOT about Cantonese but I do my best & I pray harder than I ever have before. I know that I don't have to do this mission thing alone. Not only do I have wonderful companions, I know that Jesus Christ is there with me every step of the way & mostly carrying me. Thank you so much for your prayers on my behalf. I feel them, I need them, and they strengthen me. Cantonese is so interesting. For example, 'when asking questions you say things like can or cannot or want not want or willing not willing. The sentence structure is a lot like Caveman talk because it is subject, time, place, verb, object. Anyways, it's still hard but I am grateful for the challenge & hope I can make you all & my Heavenly Father proud.
So I honestly couldn't sleep for a second last night because I was so excited to write you. The MTC really is so fun. I feel like I could type you for 3 hours & still not have enough time to comment on all your wonderful letters & tell you about what I have been up to. In an effort to respond to everything & still be time efficient, I am going to just make a bulleted list.
-Okay see you at the Hale Mom. I can't wait. That will be so good. I love Dallin Val Bayles.... his voice speaks right to my soul. Really, how fun!! I am so jealous. Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!! Sorry i keep asking for so much. You will be blessed for your sacrifice.
-we (sis Larsen & I) moved into Sister Ainge's room. My nasal passages fell in love with me all over again.
-facial zit count: only 2. For being in a classroom all day I find this very surprising, but I am very elated.
-I lvoe my companions Sister Larson, & Ainge. They are so wonderful!!! They help me to be a better missionary & push myself.
-I love when all the missionaries get together for a fireside or some other important event & a popular hymn is annouced & every one cheers or gives a fist punch to the air while saying "YESSSS." I now do it for every hymn regardless if it is popular or not.
-The food in the MTC is quite a delight. Mostly I enjoy a steady diet of cereal (I'm really loving 'Life' right now) and I also enjoy the wrap station. I do not like Salmon or quinoa. They had that the other night & I seriously thought I was going to pass out it was so sick. JK it was good. But really it wasn't. Mostly I am just astouded by the amount of people that work at the MTC!!!!! From the prepareres of the food to the servers to the dishwashers... Everyone is so nice. If I was a dishwasher at the MTC I would be so stressed! There are so many trays, unwanted food... it is honestly unreal.
-How was Spencer's birthday? (2 cake Hilly, I mean Spencer:) ) hahaha what did you guys do? I thought about you on Thursday night & figured you were at JCW's [x]true or []false
-Speaking of Spencer, is he still afraid of strangers?
-How's Wade? Why don't I hear from him very often?
-Rachel, how's school?! Still loving owls? Still "making your nest" before you go to bed?
-Mckay seen any other good Arthur episodes lately?
-Dad thanks for all your advice! Do you still enjoy the newspaper & watching Fox13 9 o clock news? Hows the election coming?
-Elder (serious) Staheli gets excited about 2 things. BYU football, & Jeffrey R. Holland. Oh and when he gets 8 onion rings on his hamburger. So I guess that's 3 things. He is so interesting. But I like him.
-I can't believe Heather never slept while she was here, I feel so bad because I sleep like a dream. I usually try and count to 100 in Cantonese before I fall asleep but sometimes I slip to dream land before that happens.
-Now that I mentioned dream land, that reminds me. I had a dream the other night that Brother Brookes (our home teacher) opened a Cafe Rio in a petting zoo. You can surely imagine how I felt about such a disgrace coming upon my favorite resteraunt. The family was loving it & so was Kayloni & her sister LaTonya but I was just mad & so sicked out. hahahaha.
Fam- I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!! Thank you everyone for all the letters, packages, and prayers. I am so blessed to have you all in my life. I feel so loved. I want you to know that i know this church is true! I cannot wait to share with teh people of Hong Kong my testimony that Jesus Christ lives, knows, & loves them. I know the Book of Mormon is true & was translated by the power of God for us, today. I know Heavenly Father stands waiting to make of our lives more than we could ever imagine if we will only let them.
Love you all. Thank you again for everything, I will try & write more today! I just have so much to say.
Love youuuuuuuu times infinity (oo)
Love, Sister Palmer

Monday, October 1, 2012

MTC drop off and Sister Palmer's first email.

We took Ashley a.k.a. Sister Palmer to the M.T.C. on September 26, 2012.That was a hard day for me as a mom. I was and am so excited for her, but I was also sad because I knew how much I would miss her. Here are a few photos of the day.
 The ride over. Not too many tears yet.
 It is hard to let go.
 These two said goodbye for 3 years!!
 Last family pictures for awhile

And off she goes!!! Goodbyes and change are hard. Yet, she's only been gone a few days and has already experienced many miracles. I am so grateful she has the opportunity and desire to be a missionary.
Today we received her first email. She has such a positive attitude. I love HER!!

I am so excited to write you!!!! I feel like it has been forever since I have seen your handsome, beautiful and perfectly tailored faces. So much has happened & time is just ticking away so let me just dive in here.
On Wednesday when you dropped me off, I was (on a scale of 1-sad) the saddest I have ever been. But the Elders took me to the world's nicest Sister missionary who was my host (she's going to Spain) and she showed me the ropes & helped me pick up my books, nametag (HOLLA) and find my way around. She took me to my classroom, where I met my district. Let's not forget that my district is 3 people including me. (My companion, Sister Larsen from Texas, & our Solo Elder going to Austraila Cantonese-speaking from Vancouver, his name is Elder Shaffer) Ha. Our teacher is just at the front saying Cantonese as fast as water drips from Niagara Falls. I was just smiling & looking at him with eyes that I'm sure were full of wonder but mostly just confused. We met the district that is older than us. They are both solo missionaries as well. (Sister Ainge from Springville, and Elder (serious) Staheli from... I don't remember where. I have short term memory loss. I'll ask him & tell you next week.) We are the ONLY missionaries in the whole MTC learning Cantonese. So it's awesome. The older district got here Middle of August & they speak so well. I am so envious.
First miracle when I arrived: happened in my room. Actually pause the miracle story, let me tell you something. I might be struck down for being rude but I get to my room & it smells awful. Like the worst feet you've ever smelled times 100 plus the heat of a thousand suns. Apparently one of mine & Sister Larsen's roommates has some sort of foot problem (dare I say obviously?) so that has taken some getting used to. But we will be moving next door this week because 2 of Sister Ainge's roommates are leaving on their missions & we ARE SO EXCITED. Anyway I'm rude. I'll change. It's mostly just funny to me. I just don't understand how that smell is possible. ANYWAYS, back to the miracle at hand. So remember in my Patriarchal Blessing how it says that "I may be called to use my skill in signing so I should keep practicing that blessing?" Well for the longest time I thought that meant that I would go on a stateside mission doing Sign. Well we all know that didn't happen, but I get into my room & there are three sisters in there besides Sister Larsen and myself. I can't remember their names right now, but there is the one with the foot problem, her companion, and then there is another sister with them. This third sister is hard of hearing so she uses sign a lot, but is learning Spanish, cool right? Anyways, the 1st 2 sisters I mentioned have a tendency to be a little disobedient, not going to bed on time, not getting up on time...etc. So this 3rd sister has a lot on her shoulders to try and get them up. That first night I was talking to her (she mostly reads lips) & then it hit me. It wasn't because I would go on a sign mission, it was so I could talk to this Sister better. I got chills as soon as my brain made this connection. Heavenly Father knows us so perfectly! I am so grateful for this gospel.
Alright so there is no way around it. Cantonese is SO HARD. Elder Shaffer is really good at it. He just picks it up & retains it so well. I can pick it up but retention is definitely my weakness. I prayed and fasted so hard that I would be able to retain what I am learning. I can finally pray without looking at my notes & I am starting to work on testifying statement for my testimony. (My goal is to have 5 memorized this week) The tones & remembering the words are so hard! I know Dad always told me to not get caught up in the language but I have a really have a hard time not comparing myself to the other missionaries. I get frustarated really easily and I am quickly learning patience & being served a huge slice of coconut pie humility. I am going to continue working hard, but it is so easy to get discouraged. The only other thing that is hard for me is that my district is super serious. Elder Staheli mostly.. My goal is to get him to have a hearty laugh at one of my jokes! ha. I'll talk more about this later, but I feel like I am most similar to Sister Ainge, & Sister Larson is super sweet so it's all good. Also, long story short to say hello in Cantonese is Laih-ho (lay ho) Yes it used to be nay-ho but has since evolved... I'm embarrassed. I need to change the header on my blog.
 I love the MTC though. Yesterday was awesome!!! Such a full Sunday. I think it's easier to fast here. OH MY. Do we have a new bishop? Dear Elder that answer as soon as possible. We had sacrament meeting, then mission conference, then Sunday School, then personal study, then dinner (we'll talk more about the food here later, I have quite a lot to say on the subject so remind me!) then we had a fireside, then me & the sisters watched an MTC talk that Elder Bednar gave a few years back.
Im running out of time so a few last minute things:
1. THANK YOU FOR THE MAIL & PACKAGES!!!!!!! Mom you are honestly the nicest woman alive. I talk about you all the time. Sister Ainge loves that you do a work out class with your friends in the back yard.
2. SPENCER HAPPY 16TH Birthday! Sister Larson's brother's birthday is that day too so we are going to eat a treat together to celebrate. I hope you have the best day ever. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!
3. I already lost some things, you're not surprised. I lost my Shampoo & conditioner the other night. I was quite distraught. But I was able to find them in another shower so I was so grateful.
Wade, thank you so much for your note & instagram update. I LOVE YOU, Write me. Rachel, I loved your little note as well. It tugged right at my heartstrings.
Dad, Mckay, Spencer, i LOVE YOU 3. I want to hear from you so hopefully I will this week?
Mom thanks for being my best friend and all your notes. I hope I get more mail from you today!
I am so glad 548 memories is working out... I was honestly so nervous. FYI some of them will probably post late at night, it all depends on when they were made.
Ok this has been the fastest 30 minutes later, I have so much to say... I will try & put another letter to you all in the mail today.
miss you already, XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Sister Palmer
(paak jtisma) (pa-tsima)