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)