Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Comparisons and Contrasts and Updates a Plenty!

Here is Ashley's latest!! Enjoy!!

You-whooooo Family! Leih hou! Greetings. Get in my arms I love you all so much! Your emails are just the funniest. I'm glad this inversion is over.. almost over? Sounds miserable. I hope you all are happy & healthy. I got the cutest postcard this week from all of you!!! Thank you so much. The Chinese people are crazy about it because they have never seen snow in person before. So thank you so much!!! I just went up 12 cool points in their books. Also, I feel like there is so much to tell you, & I am probably leaving out things you all would really like to know. If you have questions, comments or  concerns will you please send them my way? I am probably trying to give you all the big details that I am leaving out crucial smaller & connecting ones. Anyways, let me know. Mhgoisai!
Alright I made like any good TV show last week & left you with a cliff hanger so here it is: It is now time for me to compare and slightly contrast 2 of my favorite places, Hong Kong, China & Disneyland, USA. 
-The transportation in Hong Kong is unreal. The MTR is exactly like the Monorail. Except for one slight difference. The HK (lingo for Hong Kong) has soooo many people. So 8 times out of 10 you get on the MTR you have to think supple-framed thoughts and slide right in there as you whiz past the towns packed in there like sardines. I'm grateful.

-The Mini Bus. It is STRAIGHT UP Mr. Toad's wild ride. (Also, Wade it's the closest thing to the Knight Bus that I think can legally exist among muggles.) They are these small buses that only fit 16 passengers that you can ride to get across the towns & I'm not trying to scare you but it is a miracle that we don't get in a car accident. They are just maneuvering so quickly & I'm holding on for dear life. I really love riding them though. You have to hold on because they are just the bounciest. Whenever Sister Nielsen says it's mini bus time I honestly get so excited!!!! 

-There are people walking around & cleaning up Hong Kong. Yes. Hong Kong has cast members cleaning up their city too. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. You know what I"m saying?

-They have the best trees here. One of these trees nearby one of our member's chuyns takes me back to a certain ride at Disneyland. It's a line that has an invetiable wait... fast pass or no. I'm talking about Indiana Jones. Sorry this explanation makes no sense. I'm trying to be fast, nostalgic, and poetic & failing miserably. Anyway, just know that there are these trees here that look like the shrubbery as you wait in line on Indiana Jones. 

-Speaking of jungles--who's speaking of jungles? Well no one, but now that I mentioned it, Let us all remember that ride we went on, aka the Jungle Boats at Disneyland where we had that crazy tour guide & I tied my scarf around my head... remembering? Ok so there we were. Just doing Weekly Planning at our church & what do we see in the back yard? If you guessed 2 monkeys you win a gaak jai bang! I tried to get pictures but they just didin't turn out. I need to get a new camera asap. Isn't that crazy though? I'm literally living in a jungle here in Tai Wai.

-They have delicious snacks here in Hong Kong... except the difference is they are literally the cheapest where in contrast on Main Street at Disneyland you are saying not only good bye to your waist but also to a small portion of your life's savings.

-Finally, people like to dress up in Hong Kong. Yes, the Mouse that started it all can be seen in Disneyland. (i.e. Mickey) But, people dress up like cartoon or video game characters and walk around in public here in Hong Kong. For what reason you ask? I have no idea. But my goal is to get a picture with someone so you can see for yourselves as to what I am talking about. I love love love it!

Okayyyyyyy let me now hurry and tell you about my week because my time is nearing a close.
-Lulu continues to be the most golden person I have ever met. I am convinced she is one of the 3 Nephites. We taught her the Word of Wisdom this past week & we were a little nervous because Chinese New Year is next week & they love their teas here. Well I gave myself a good beating because guess what? No one is surprised because her only concern was, "Can I still eat chocolate?" I'M SORRY WHAT? How is she not translated yet? I love her so much!!!!! She is doing wonderfully. Thank you so much for your prayers for her!

-This week was honestly incredible. We taught 2 families! One of them was a referral from one of my favorite members, A-May. The Mom's name of the referral family is A-Miuh & she is a dream. She is so nice & has a husband & two daughters. Her youngest daughter is named Pinky (love me some Chinese names!) and oh my heck I need to get a picture with her asap. She is my favorite. I helped her with her English homework & she just kept calling me Paahk Louhsi. She was petting my eyelashes, we sang head shoulders knees and toes, & I just ate her up for breakfast! Pray for this family. They are so special. We taught a brief first lesson. The husband listened but wouldn't even look at us. So, they will take time, but it is so worth it!

-We had 4 new investigators this week. (MIRACLE!!!! There were some days we were teaching 3-4 lessons a day.. it was so good!) I am so sorry I am about out of time so I will tell you more about them next week. Keep praying for them! I love them all so much. Our investigators and the members here in Hong Kong I feel like are all my lost best friends from the Pre-Mortal life. I love them!

I want you all to know that I know this Church is true. I know I can't speak Cantonese, but that it doesn't really matter because the Spirit speaks through me, and that is the most incredible thing I have ever been able to witness. I know that God loves his children and that he answers prayers through the Book of Mormon. I know Jesus Christ's atonement covers all sins & pains. I know he lives!

Please know that I love you all so very very much!!!! I pray for you each & every day!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih
 
Ashley and her companion with her favorite English student, Regina.
 

Dragon Fruit. She loves it!!

 Ashley with one of her new investigators, Carmen!!
 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Geographically were divided, but in purpose we're united!


Here is Ashley's latest email. I love Sunday nights!! It's always good to find out what sweet Ashley has been up to!!
Oh and she asked me to post her new corrected address!! She loves mail!!!

Sister Ashley Palmer

18 Dorset Crescent
Kowloon Tong
Kowloon 
Hong Kong

Greetings loved ones! Jouhsahn! (Good morning)

Okay here we are, I am so excited to email all of you. I love reading your emails and hearing all about your fun lives: the good, the bad and the wonderful. It is such a blessing we have this gospel that unites us amid the miles that are between us. I am so grateful for all of you. I really cannot adequately express how much you all mean to me.

 I feel like my last email was pretty worldly. I need to repent. I also and going to make an effort to not complain/mention/drop a line for the things I lack in my language abilities... because that's all I have done since my first email from the MTC. Let's tell you the good, the weird, the awesome, & the blessings of this past week.

Okay I want to testify I know your prayers are working because guess who came to church yesterday?!?!?! Lulu!!! And Loh Jimuih! I don't think I have told you about Loh Jimuih yet. She is the best. She is loud, speaks really fast Chinese & just cracks me up. I love that she knows that I can't understand her but she talks to me anyway and I just really eat her up. Anyway!!!!!! Yes. They both came to church yesterday. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS. It was such a miracle to see them both there. Poor Lulu was really nervous. She was sweating really bad. I'm not sure why and I am worried about her but I know that we are on the Lord's errand & that is the only reason we can resolve her concerns. I'm going to be honest. Before my mission I didn't even grasp the importance of church attendance. Now I realize that it is crucial for salvation because we need to make these friendships, rescue those who have fallen by the wayside, and be continually nourished ourselves. I promise never to take church meetings for granted again. I was so grateful for this. God is so merciful. Faith & prayer change things! I testify this is true.

On Friday, Sister Nielsen and I had quite the adventure. We went to this remote place in Hong Kong and went finding. We had never been there before & oh my heck it was QUITE the experience. We were literally hiking around this mountain side, knocking on people's doors, being barked at (& in one instance chased) by dogs, and we found lots of people to talk with and share our testimony's with. After the first hour experiencing lots of rejection, some people were even really cruel about it (they even said mean things I could understand), we saw miracles. We talked with people, got their phone numbers, and found lots of potentials. At one point we were hiking around and we passed one of the little tin hut homes (I don't know how else to describe them) and I had the impression we should knock. But there was this man that I didn't want following us so we didn't knock on that door. Later before we left I realized I couldn't live with myself if we didn't knock so I asked Sister Nielsen if we could go back. We did & I began to tell her who we we were & why we were here sharing a message with her. She told us that she had to help her 82 year old mother but to please come back!!!! WHAT?????!!!! I almost passed out. When we left we heard her yelling to someone in her house "That was 2 white american girls talking to me about Jesus!" This area is really out in the middle of nowhere, so I don't know how soon we can go back, but I really want to go visit this lady again. President Monson is so right-- "Never delay a prompting."

Also on this finding we contacted a family of 6!!! They had 4 really cute little kids and both of the parents were really normal and nice! (also sort of unheard of) Anyway, please pray really hard that we will have the opportunity to teach this cute and wonderful family. I am so excited at the prospect.

Anyway, the Lord blesses me far more than I deserve. I want to testify that I know Jesus is the Christ lives. He forgives us of our shortcomings if we will only follow his perfect example. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and contains the fullness of the gospel. I know faith is real and Heavenly Father wants nothing more than to bless & help us. I know the people of Hong Kong need this message. They just don't always know it yet. But I know there are prepared people here & I am going to talk to 99 of them so I can find the 1 who is ready and willing to accept Jesus Christ and be changed through this restored gospel.

I hope you all get feeling better and have a wonderful week! I love & miss you all already. You're in my prayers!
Love Paahk Jimuih

Ps. stay tuned for next week's email as I share about the incredible similarities and make comparisons between Hong Kong & Disneyland.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I love to see the temple. I went inside today!

Ashley's email was a little late this week due to her temple trip!! It was worth the wait though!! Her letters never disappoint!
Family, Hello! Okay sorry I am so vain & sent a thousand globs of pictures of basically myself. (Notice the views from my window in my apartment. Can you say hello Cement Jungle?!!! Also the other picture is from the inside of our church building. Notice the picture in Hui Jimuih's house. She is the Relief Society President, she had us & the Elder's over for FHE... Check out her house. Yes yes I know!!! No words.) Anyways. I need help. But there you have it. Yes yes I know I need to get a new camera (these pictures just aren't that great of quality) but let me add my witness to anything every missionary has ever said, there is no time on P-day! And today is no different. Aw well. Actually could you help a sister out? I think I want to get a Canon camera but I have no idea which model. Mom could you do a little research before Sunday (your time) & figure out maybe what a good model to get that could still do some good effects would be? That's not too bulky, reasonably priced, etc. I will try to get one this coming Pday. You're right Mom, pictures are so important!!! (The boy's eyes are rolling hahaaha)
Okay!!! What a week & some odd days it has been. I love missionary work but it is the hardest thing I have ever done mentally! Bahhhh. I love it though. I love the miracles that I am lucky enough to witness every single day. it is so incredibly humbling to be a missionary in Hong Kong speaking Chinese & just loving my life. I've said it once & I will say it again, I'm scared every day but I have never been involved in something where there is just so much at stake! Salvation is no small matter!!!!

The Hong Kong Temple is absolutely beautiful. It is pretty small but I loved it there. It was so quiet and peaceful and perfect. The session was actually in English. I wasn't expecting that. There were only 40 seats for the whole session (went ahead & counted because I knew Mom would want to know & we all know the stories are found within the details!!) & the Celestial room was breathtaking. This church is so true!!! Please pray for Sister Nielsen & I to find & be able to teach a family. I had an interview with President Hawks today & he said that he has been praying for us specifically to be able to find & bring a family unto Christ before Sister Nielsen goes home. Which is no small statement of faith because she leaves in 7 weeks. I have faith that we can find them. I know they are out there. I can't wait to find them & tell them that they can be together forever. Which brings me to my next point. Thank you for your support. It's so comforting to know that even though we are thousands of miles apart we are still united in the same purpose & that we through Heavenly Father's plan can be together forever. Thank you for your prayers. I hope you know I pray for your happiness & success every day too. Families are just so hard to find & teach in Hong Kong because typically the dad of the family is really opposed to religion aka Change. But with God, nothing is impossible! We will find them.

Okay so due to Chinese New Year we had to move Lulu's baptismal date to Feb 17 but she is still good with that. There's a lot at stake though because our lesson tomorrow is about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. She will need to come to church every week for the next 4 weeks if she wants to be baptized on the 17th. She usually has work on Sundays (huge problem for lots of Hong Kong people) so we need to teach her why this is so important. AHHHH. For anyone who has seen "The District Season 2) PMG training DVD's (McKay just you wait you little pre-missionary, you're going to LOVE them. And no this is not sarcastic I am 1,000% serious) Lulu is our German. Aka the Golden investigator. Has a heart of gold. Tells me to speak to her more so I can practice my Cantonese. Prays sincerely. Reads the Book of Mormon. Has questions. Service oriented. Yes she is basically Mary Poppins. I have faith we can help her see that coming to church isn't about sacrificing work, it's about receiving answers, developing faith, and coming closer to Christ.

My biggest miracle of the week came during a 2-3 hour finding session. Tai Wai is less "city" but not as country as the New Terroritories. But it's nice because the air is clear & we honestly couldn't ask for better weather. Sorry about all your inversions!!! That sounds awful. Also, I hope you all get well soon! Being sick is miserable. Okay what was I saying? Ok yes. Miracle. So I'm sure last week you were all like "sweet, same old Ashley complaining about her lack of skills/ability to speak Cantonese..." but it's on my mind a lot. I'm used to being a good communicator & it's hard not to get frustrated. I just love these people so much!

 Anyway during our finding session we chose to go knocking doors! YES! I know. How fun right? I didn't know I was going to be able to do this in Hong Kong. They have these little villages (I don't know what other word to use for them!) that we can do it in. I need to take a picture. Some of them ARE QUITE THE SIGHT to behold. Anyways, there we were just going about & there was this girl leaving one of the homes & we stop & talk to her. Her name is Karita. She's 19 & we end up teaching her the first lesson on a bench right outside a big Buddhist temple. Family, I witnessed a miracle. When I spoke to her & shared my parts, no matter how small & pitiful they were, her eyes lit up. Not in an "about to laugh" sort of way (because trust me I see that every day!) but in a way that the Spirit was speaking through me & teaching her something that my words, even someone with perfect sounds & tones Cantonese could never do. The Spirit bore witness to her & I saw it. There are so many times when I try to talk to people & I am met with blank & sometimes even cold stares. But not with Karita. I was so humbled to be the Lord's instrument & tell her that God's Church has been established on the earth today by Joseph Smith & teach her the first vision. I love teaching! I want to do more of it!!!

Here are some tid bits that are floating in my mind that I find humorous & would love to share:
-Uncle Fritz would love the shoes here!!! Every where I go people are wearing the craziest things! My favorite thus far was a woman who was wearing basically a toboggan on each foot. Not just a sled. Yes a wooden toboggan. Can't wait to see those hit the American shelves.
-The Chinese love waffles! They have these ones that have peanut butter & sweetened condensed milk in the middle. I think I need one right now actually. Also- they have these dangerously delicious bakeries that are so so cheap! (we're talking less than $2 for two huge rolls/buns, the waffle is like $1.20 in American dollars) They are so good. They have these coconut flaky things that just make my mouth sing!
-I love teaching English Class. We have it every Saturday and we rotate with 2 other companionship's for who teaches it but it is honestly the life of the party. Great missionary tool as well.
-You may have noticed I have used my Christmas money & put it to my wardrobe. You're not surprised. Everything is just so cheap compared to America. The shirt I wore to the temple today? Less than $7. NAILED IT. hahaha. 
-I love our ward here in Tai Wai but they crack me up. Lot's of women in the ward (like probably 75% or more) do not wear skirts to church. We have jeans, sweats & leopard pants aplenty. hahaha I don't get it. But it's just kind of strange.

Family I am so blessed to have you & your emails. Thank you for your support! I will be better at replying to you on Monday. Just an FYI I don't know if it will be in the Morning or afternoon yet... I kind of hope I do it in the morning so it can be when you are all awake & we can have a little online chit chat. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for your uplifting emails & inspiring messages. You make me want to work harder & be better. I know this church is true. I know Joseph Smith restored it on the earth today & that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Heavenly Father knows, loves, & hears our prayers. Can't wait to talk to & hear about you on Monday!!! Send more pictures!!!!!

Love you so much!!!!! 
Paahk Jimuih

The view outside their apartment.
 Ashley, her companion Sister Nielson, their investigator Ammon, and Bou Wohng (a priest in their ward.)
 How they get around each day.
 The view from their church building.
 Sister Jimuih's home.
 Ashley with her investigator, Lulu.
 Sister Palmer, so happy and cute outside the Hong Kong Temple.

Monday, January 7, 2013

One month!!




Ashley's p-days are Monday. Since, she is 15 hours ahead, that is Sunday evening Utah time. Perfect time to chat it up through email since we are all home. Actually, we don't get to converse back and forth too much since she only has an hour. But, she is great about giving us a long letter. Here, is her latest. Sorry, she didn't have time to explain the above pictures.But, doesn't she look great?
Salutations & 2013 Greetings!

Hey there you little cutie cutesters! It's me just writing here from the magical world of Hong Kong. So good to hear from you & see via the pictures what you are up to. Okay, I am not going to sugar coat it. This week was hard. Hmm. No one is surprised? Well it was hard but of course Heavenly Father blessed me far more than I deserve. He answers prayers in ways that you never expect but are better than you could ever imagine. Shall I elaborate? Okay. Fasten your seat belts!

I think the hardest thing for me is my inability to express myself the way I want. I am just so impatient & want to know the language now. Dad, do you know what I'm talking about? I just want to understand, relate to, & talk to these people instead of having them give me blank stares because I mess up on words or the tones. I do have faith however, that it will come. I just get so easily frustrated with myself because I feel like I'm not reaching my potential because of the language barrier. I know, I know, I've only been here one month but things just aren't clicking & I don't know why. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? But thank you so much for your love & prayers on my behalf. I'm sorry to complain! I just don't want to let the Lord down! I have never felt so humbled & I know that's why I am learning Chinese. I pray that I can learn it as quickly as the Lord sees fit just because I want to help & love these people. If the Lord needs to, He can take it all away from me after the mission. I know sometimes it's easy to think "It will be so cool to be able to use Chinese after my mission..." But I honestly don't care about that. I just want to be able to communicate with these wonderful people as quickly as possible. They need this message!

Tuesday we went on a Loih Hahng. The Chinese people love them. LOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE them. ha. There isn't really a literal English translation but what they are is like a little day trip. Tai Wai ward planned it & about 200 people came. Sooooo many ward members brought their friends (non-member friends, BOOOYAA) So they 4 buses (like unto the buses we use for Choir Tour) except for since people here are Chinese & small by nature they squeeze a whole extra row of seats on one side.. yep. It makes for a cozy time! 

Anyway the first thing we did was go to a Strawberry Patch. Hahahaha. Talk about getting away you know what I mean? Young & old alike were just loving picking all the berries, & then basically paying a small fortune to buy them. They were way expensive! Which is strange because fruits & vegetables (actually food in general) in Hong Kong is SO CHEAP. For example, a huge bag of carrots is $5. Which is less than $1 in American dollars. Anyways back to the Loih Hahng.

After everyone had had their fill of strawberries, we went & ate Chinese vegetarian food at a Buddhist temple. Sure this was a ward activity so it only makes sense to go & eat & a Buddhist temple, right? Okay I don't know if you knew this but the Chinese love love love Tofu. I'm working on loving it because right now the texture & mystery of it makes me feel a little queasy. But I think happy thoughts whenever I'm having a hard time getting anything down. The food wasn't too bad & the Buddhist temple was really cool. We actually didn't eat inside the temple, but in this shack pavilion thing right next to it. This one non-member man said I was using my chopsticks like the Japanese do & tried to teach me the Chinese way. haha! I couldn't get it. Aww well. As long as I can get food into my mouth using them they should just be proud of me, right?!

After the mystery veggies, soups, & tofu at the Buddhist temple we went to.... you guessed it, a Tofu factory. HAHAHA. I just told everyone I was way full & tried to meander from table to table so I wouldn't have to, I mean get to eat any. Then we went to some specialty food shops. I didn't buy anything but some parents were going WILD. People kept offering (forcing) their snacks on me. Dad, I don't know if it was this way in Japan but did people love like little fishy crackers & eating seaweed for snacks? Because they LOVE that stuff here & offer it to me constantly! Haha. We ended our day at a noodle shop & felt successful as missionaries because we got lots of member's friends phone numbers. It was awesome. But I was completely exhausted!

Our investigator Lulu finally came back from visiting her family in Mainland. (also side note, New Years wasn't really a huge deal here. Their big New Years celebration is next month & I think lasts 10 days. I will keep you posted because apparently it is quite the fun/wild time) ANYWAY Lulu... have I told you about her? Talk about a prepared girl. We started teaching her my second day here in Tai Wai & I love her so much. On Saturday we taught her the Plan of Salvation & I had the idea to take her to different rooms in the Church to help give her a more visual as we explained this lesson to her. I think it really helped & I of course love anything that spurs creative thinking. I gave her the invitation to be baptized & she accepted!!!!! She accepted her goal date of February 10th. She is coming with us to Family Home Evening at the Bishop's house tonight so I will get a picture with her. You would love her.

Our other main progressing investigator Ammon, needs some prayers. He is so funny. Yesterday he told us how he loves stretching. hahaha what?!?! he kills me. Anyways I think he has received an answer that this IS the true church but he is just having a hard time wanting to change. And I feel him. Change is so hard. But his conversion will take time, & that's okay. I'm happy to be apart of this process & teach him why he needs this gospel. I know once he gains his own testimony he will be one fire cracker member!

We are having a hard time finding people to teach & I don't know why. We contacted this man on the train the other day & he was literally glowing. It's so fascinating & humbling how many times when I get on the train the Spirit literally makes some people glow to me & I know I need to talk to them. We shared a brief message with him before we had to get off. When we called him to schedule him this past week he turned us right down! This happens time & time again. Which is so hard because you know they felt something but then they deny it for whatever reason. Anyway, pray that we can find more people to teach this week. I really want to. So bad. I have never wanted anything more. So even though it is a little slow, I have faith & KNOW we will find some more prepared people this week.

Final miracle that I will share this week. I have a testimony that there is at least one verse in the Book of Mormon that is written specifically for our potentials, progressing investigators, and less actives that will convert them because it answers the question of their soul & then the Spirit testifies to them. This week we visited to elderly women in the ward who was experiencing health challenges. In Personal study I read Alma 14:13. It is a pretty bold scripture & at first Sister Nielsen was a little (understandably) nervous about sharing it but as we testified to her that her life does have meaning & a purpose I saw her whole countenance change. It was incredible. That wasn't us. It was the Spirit answering the question her soul longed to know. She started crying. (Which is huge because Chinese people do NOT show emotion like that) and she even came to church yesterday. I love being apart of missionary work!

Okay family, I love you allllllllllll sooooooooooo much! I hope you are happy to be back in school & just loving all the many things you are involved in.

I testify that this work is God's work & I am nothing. I am simply very lucky to have the opportunity to wear Jesus Christ's name on my name tag & proclaim this gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith restored this true church on the earth today. I know God hears & answers prayers.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Here is Ashley's latest.

My Favorite Humans!!!!!

Hello!!!! So good to hear from all of you! I seriously get so excited hearing all about what you are up to. Thank YOU so much for all your updates. I am sorry that I cannot reply to each & every thing you write. I really wish I could because you deserve a novel for the humor you throw my way.

Well I emailed you merely days ago, I told Sister Nielsen this morning, I don't think my family has even had time to miss me yet! HA. But good news I miss you all & here I am. 

Now I don't know if you all have been checking your iPhone/iTouch/iPad contraptions, but the weather here in Hong Kong has taken a turn for the chilly chillster. I am not kidding. Mom, let me be a little honest here. I was a little, (shall I say befuzzled?) about the knee length leggings you sent me. I mean I was VERY VERY grateful but I didn't see how they would be any more useful than regular ones. Well let me slap myself for you because THEY ARE A STRAIGHT UP DREAM COME TRUE. I put them on yesterday & it was like magic to my chilled femur bones. So thank you. All, ALLLLLLL of your Christmas presents have proved to be prophetic & nothing shy of completely necessary so thank you thank you thank you. Since we live on the 27th floor the wind does howl pretty loud, but I am grateful for our little space heaters. It's so interesting to me that Hong Kong doesn't have heating in any building. Actually they love air conditioning... air flow in general. Right now in the library the Air conditioning is going. They also do it at church. NO one takes off their coats because it's basically the North Pole in the church. Sort of interesting. 

We had some faith building experiences this week. It's so true that the forces of evil are well organized but I can testify with more knowledge than I have ever had before that the forces for good are even better organized. We will meet so many people on the trains or on the street, testify & I can literally see the light of the gospel touch their eyes. We will make appointments to meet with them & then they won't return our calls, or become anti-ed, & it just makes me so sad. I want these Chinese people to have the happiness that I feel. I want them to have the Book of Mormon & know that their Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ love them. So that's why I am here. I am so grateful for this opportunity & incredible blessing to speak broken Cantonese & testify that Jesus is the Christ & the way to finding complete happiness.

One of our investigators names is Ammon. He is a typical & slightly nerdy 13 year old. I love him so much. He talks the speed of a racing airplane & so I basically cannot understand anything he says but I love him regardless. He is progressing so well but we are just having a little bit of a hard time getting him to see why he needs to come to church. He is so sweet though & I feel privileged to teach him. But how interesting that the English name he chose for himself is Ammon. Because where does the name Ammon come from? Oh yeah, that's right, The Book of Mormon. CHA CHING. We said he found it online but we asked him to read about Ammon this weekend from the Book of Mormon so I will be excited to hear (actually have Sister Nielsen translate for me later) what he has to say.

Another one of our investigators name is Lulu. She is 20 & I love her so much! She is so prepared. (When people talk about "prepared people" I never really understood the truth of that statement until I came to a city with 7 million people) She gets back from visiting her family in Mainland tomorrow (!!!!) so we are so excited to meet with her & keep help her progressing. 

Okay here's my funny note for the week. Apparently there's a little bit of fear left over from the SARS epidemic here in Hong Kong. Because it's not weird in the slightest to show up to church, walk down the street, hit up the Subway with one of those face surgical masks on. They wear them if they have a cold so they aren't coughing everywhere. (I guess?)  HAHAHA. It cracks me up. Mostly because Cantonese is hard enough to understand but when people try to talk to me through their green surgical mask I can kiss the hope of understanding good bye because it becomes so muffled. I cannot even express how funny I think it is. Also, another cultural thing that I find amusing is eating habits. Hong Kong people have no reservations about talking with a mouthful of food. Since we use chopsticks here they don't cut their meat so they just stuff these gobbs of meat (bones and all) into their mouth & then spit things out as they go. It's very loud, & dare I say slightly intimidating? By American standards those are bad table manners, am I right? But do you know what is rude here in China? Using a toothpick. Yep feel free to rip apart your meal with things hanging out of your mouth but don't you dare pick at your teeth for other people to see. If you do need to use a toothpick, you better put a napkin in front so no one can see you pick out all the meat & veggies out of your teeth. HAHAHA. I honestly get a kick out of it every time. I wish you all could experience Hong Kong with me.

Yesterday we had a miracle. (typical!) We have a great Gospel Principles teacher who has 2 non-member teenage daughters. Throughout the week I had the impression that we needed to visit her & her daughters. We tried calling her & after a few attempts finally got a hold of her. She said that they were busy & that she would get back to us. HUH. Well I told Sister Nielsen that we needed to tell her that we had repeatedly been impressed to see her & her daughters. Well what do you know. We told her that in Relief Society & then she took us home with her!!! We ate probably the biggest meal since coming to Hong Kong, (I literally was full up to my tonsils) & then shared a message from Lesson 1. It's such a testament that promptings are real & should never be delayed.

I need to be better at taking pictures. Hopefully I will get a new camera soon because I want you to be able to see everything I do, everyday! The Ward members & various people we contact will always ask me what I like about Hong Kong. I always answer-- All the different people & all the new things to look at.

I am going to hurry & type responses to all your emails, but know that I love each & every one of you SOOO very much. I know families can be together forever. I know Jesus Christ lives & through the Atonement we can experience everlasting peace & happiness. I know God knows us personally, by name & through obeying his commandments we experience miracles everyday.

Thank you for your love, support, & for making this experience possible for me!
Happy New Year!!! 
I LOVE YOU ALLL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimuih