Monday, March 25, 2013

Dad's Turning Fifty and my investigators are moving swiftyl

^^^^^Yes that rhyme was intentional.

.......................FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greetings!!!! Okay I would like to start this out my saying a BIG LOUD (just like the Chinese like it) THANK THANK THANK YOU for your wonderful Easter package. IT was such a surprise to get this past week. I nearly passed out in joy. Did I eat a handful (or 3...shhh) of Cadburry eggs for breakfast? Yep I did. #sorrynotsorry (by the way, are hashtags still in, or are they a thing of the past?) But really thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! Mom you are the world's greatest homemaker. I about passed out with joy when I saw the Peeps covered in white & milk chocolate to look like missionaries. so thank thank thank you. really! I am so blessed to have you all! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.

Okay last night as I was breaking out in a sweat (humidity is definitely befalling us right now) my heart started to race. Do you want to know why? Because me, myself & I have been out on my mission SIX MONTHS THIS WEEK. I"m sorry. Yes you read that right!!!! WHAT? I know. I better kick this addicted chocolate body of mine into high gear & get serving with even more heart, mind, might & strength, because it is just flying by! Can you believe it? It just makes me want to hug my investigators even tighter, and shake Wong Hingdaih's hand for just a second longer. Inappropriate? Probably. Okay I won't do it but I will think about it. ha But really I just love missionary life. I love that nothing is awkward, I talk to strangers day in & day out while usually having no idea what they're saying & just bare testimony by looking them straight in the eye and saying "Jesus Christ lives!" What an opportunity that few people get to have. I am so blessed to be apart of this work.

This week was awesome. I love Sister Foong. She is from Malaysia and is just a walking miracle. She is the best companion I could have ever conjured up. I am always telling her that after the mission she has to come visit me in Utah. Her story is incredible too. She joined the church when she was 14 and is as solid as a rock. You're jealous? Rightfully so. I am sure you will all meet her ASAP.

Okay so we spent lots of time working hard this week. That was honestly the dumbest sentence I have ever typed. Oh my..................anyways. Yes! Wong Hingdaih's son has tutoring every Sunday but he claims that he is coming to Church next Sunday. So cross your fingers and toes and if you can your nose because he needs to get his humble self there. I just want him to come unto Christ so bad! GAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. There. That's how I feel about that. But when we taught him this week Brother Tai helped fellowship, and it was such a miracle lesson. When we ask Wong Hingdaih clarifying questions he always repeats back things that we didn't say. (a testament that the Spirit is of course the one teaching him) & as we were wrapping up the lesson Brother Tai told him "I know you are going to be a leader in this church someday." SUCH. AN. INCREDIBLE. MOMENT. The Spirit was so strong I could have scooped some up with a ladle (my favorite kitchen utensil) & savored some more of it later. It was like magic. Thank you for your prayers on his behalf!

Lulu- if we didn't see her this week I swore I would have gotten an ulcer and maybe had signs of colon cancer, but GOOD NEWS! DESPITE rainstorms we FINALLY SAW HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Baptismal date: CHECK. See you at the waters of baptism on May 12th Lulu. Yes!!!! Same date as Mr. Miracle, Wong HD. LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM. Lulu's faith needs some strengthening but she is a-okay and I just love her.

Our other investigators are doing okay and I'm excited to just bring them along the path to Christ. Coco and Family---we might be dropping them this week. I mean I love them and they are a wonderful family, but I fear they are just using the church for the resources and not really "getting it". Does that make sense? We will have a critical lesson with them this week so pray for that. Coco just doesn't understand how ready she is!!!!!!!!!! Oh well. Time shime that's what I always say!

We have got some new potential investigators scheduled this week whom I am so excited to begin teaching! Missionary work is so good. Sometimes (aka every day) I still get really scared! I just want to be a good missionary and do my best. AND ALL I WANT IS TO SPEAK FLUENT CANTONESE. But, for some reason it's not the Lord's will yet and I am starting to understand what patience is. I do pray though that it will come and something in this slow brain of mine will click. But until then, I will have faith and know that the Lord will make up the rest. I need nothing short of a miracle. But the good news is............. miracles haven't ceased, right?

Today, for P-day we have a cheng out (SO MUCH FOOD, MY POOR STOMACH) and then we are going hiking with out district to.............................. MONKEY MOUNTAIN. hahahahahahahahaha. OH gosh I am sure I am going to have stories for you next week. Also, due to the fact that our mission is doubling our sisters, we are moving apartments tomorrow. The sentimental side of me is sad.... I love our view from the 27th floor!

MCKAY!!!! I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR YOUR MISSION CALL. Dad, I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Know I am doing a celebration for you here in China!!!!!!!! I love you all so so so much. Thank you for your prayers, hilarious updates, and being the greatest family to walk on 2 feet! I know that this church is true! I know God changes hearts and is always wanting and waiting to help us if we will only turn to him.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS YOU!!!!!
Love, Paahk Jimiuh

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

YOU WHHHHHHOOOOOOO!

AFamily!!!!!!! Greetings. Get in here you little cuties. Hey just so you know the chair I'm sitting in at the library is broken and so I am basically sitting on the floor typing this to you. Just thought I'd tell you that in an effort to paint a picture. Waste of space? Maybe. HA. Anyways, hellllllooooooooooooo! So good to be with you all here on this Monday morning/Sunday evening. MCKAY MISSION CALL?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!! AIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIA this is straight to my lungs exciting! I can hear a small group of people outside the library here in Tai Po chanting "Mckay equals HK HK HK". So I think the Chinese people realllllly are thinking you are going to come here. Good news I do too so I can't wait to hear you have been called to the China Hong Kong mission speaking the Cantonese language. Leih haih hou sai lei! Ngoh jidou leih wuih heui Sahn seung leih heui. Daahnhaih ngoh dou heihmohng leih wuih heui Heung Gong! hahahahahahaha sorry I am killing myself here. I need help.
Allllllllrrrriiiiight. This week we began the process of re-building the land of hopes and dreams, Tai Wai. We wanted new investigators and we were **** bent on finding them. We saw so many miracles this week and  I was just basking in the happiness of it. So our dear Wong Hingdaih finally accepted a baptismal date!!!!! Are you all sitting down and still breathing?!?!?!? I know!!!!!! Let's hug about this happiness later. Put a hug date in your planner for March 2013. I'll pencil it in too. Anyway, Sister Foong extended it (& did awesome might I just add) & after resolving a little concern he said yes! May 12th here he comes!!!!!! I love him so much. I can't wait to teach his family because A- we're going to & B- he's a dream come true, and C- I love him. I never knew I could love people that let's be real I don't fully understand. Let me rephrase that, I don't fully understand what they're saying due to the language, but I am by nothing short of a miracle able to teach them and understand how they felt after they share experiences. The Lord understands them and I am just lucky enough to help them come closer to the Lord. Anyway, keep praying for him. He is FINALLY going to be able to come to church in 2 weeks and I am going to get him to Sacrament meeting if I have to eat a half a stick of butter, eat a pot of pigs feet, and not wash my hair for 3 weeks. WHATEVER IT TAKES. 

Mission life is so funny. I wish I could explain it better. Everyday a gazillion probably to the naked eye things happen that are awkward. But let's get real. It's not awkward when you're spreading the good news that not only does Jesus Christ live but that He is coming again! I love thinking to myself the things that Mom used to always say to us, "Be good. Remember who you are... don't talk to strangers..." All of those I still use except the stranger part because everyday I'm just talking to strangers and then giving them a flyer with my phone number on it. It's the best. We had loads of finding time this week and times when you just think to yourself, "What am I doing wrong? Why is no one listening to me?" "If another person says "mh daahang" meaning: "I'm not available" I'm going to lose it. But then you have those finding sessions where people do listen to you, you're able to teach and pray with a girl on the street, and you call people and they actually have interest in seeing you again... it's nothing short of a miracle. This week I am going to increase my boldness and call down the powers of heaven. Because let's be real. This Cantonese speaking tongue of mine needs some divine intervention. I am so grateful for all Heavenly Father has already blessed me with and all the things I can do and say. This mission is such a privilege in every single way possible. 

Yesterday we had a miracle. A girl that Sister Nielsen and I had contacted over a month ago finally came to church!!!!!!! Her name is Bou Yan and she is prepared through and through. We were able to teach her yesterday and she cried as she gave the closing prayer. I KNOW!!!! People told me before my mission that Chinese people don't really cry but I see people cry all the time. Also, Chinese people don't really hug, so naturally I take the advantage of the fact that I am a strange Caucasian American and hug at every opportunity possible. I hugged her and told her that Heavenly Father loves her and knows her family problems. Yes, just another miracle as I see the Spirit speak straight to hearts.

Sister Foong and I continue to work with our other investigators. I am quite worried about everyone's favorite Chinese 20-something, Lulu. I know!!!! We haven't been able to see her since she got back from Mainland. Sister Foong had the brilliant idea to have our fellowshipper call her, so fingers crossed, faith engaged and prayers going Lulu's way that we can resolve whatever is on her mind! I love Lulu so much and do not want to lose her!

Alright funny story of yesterday. After church things were going a little too toothily...smoothly. I honestly just typed toothily. Who knew that was a word? Not me. YIKES. Okay anyways... Yes things were going great for a Sunday. I went and found our mission correlater (my MTC teacher Tai Jimuih's Dad) and asked him if he knew of any service opportunities in the ward. He replied "Oh just keep finding people and bringing them to church." I persisted and told him that we are here to help the ward. Well, he then replied, "do you have time right now?" Sister Foong and I told him we did and then 3.5 hours later, Sister Foong and I were just laughing oh so hard. What did he have us do? Go visit less-active families in typical Tai Hingdaih style. Just showing up. We would just show up at people's houses, he would just walk in and then he would say that "the sisters have a message to share with you." We'd share it, resolve concerns and then head to the next house. It really was one of my favorite Sundays ever. But now I know, if I ask for a service opportunity, it's best to have some time penciled in for it, right then and there. It really was a cool experience, though. Tai Hingdaih is a great example of service and giving everything (lots lots lots of time) to the Lord. It was an honor to spend an afternoon with him.

Family, I love you alll so much. Thank you for your support, prayers, and love. Everyone thinks you are the cutest family ever! I of course agree!!!!! I love, miss and pray for your happiness, safety and health every single day! I know this church is true. I know God loves his children and that's why we have this missionary program. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know if we want to be happy, we need to repent each and every day! Repentance is changing my life!

I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! Thank goodness for eternity.
Love, Paahk Jimuih
p.s. The Chinese people don't understand "youuu-whoo" Such a pity.
p.ss. by the way the Cantonese that I typed in the first paragraph is not even funny. It just says that I know Mckay will go on his mission to wherever the Lord calls him but I do hope it will be to Hong Kong :)
shley's latest!! Woot!! Woot!!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Let the games (training I'm still in shock!!!!!!!) begin!!!!

Here we go. Another adventure begins for Ashley-----
Fam fam fam!!!!!

OH my heck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a week it has been. I honestly could just throw up out of pure exhaustion. I am happy but emotionally, spiritually, and in all other forms of the word exhausted. WOW. I feel like life in Tai Wai has just been turned into a 180 degree spin on it's head. Well greetings! Thank you so much for all your wonderful emails. I love love love love love love hearing what you are all up to. I am obsessed with all of you. I am so glad we have eternity because let's get real, this life just simply isn't long enough to spend all the time we need to together. 

Thursday I reported to the mission office and we gathered to meet who the new missionaries were. President Hawks had indicated to me previously that there would be a good chance that I would be training someone with at least a little Cantonese background and so I probably "better pray for it." HA. He kills me. And trust me, last week, pray for it I did!!!! Heavenly Father is so very good to me. ANYWAY, they have this little ceremony where all the trainers are on one side and all the new missionaries are on the other. No one knows who is training who. Then they call out names and say who is going to be companions. It is so very nerve wracking. Well, my trainee is the lovely, Sister Foong!!!!!! I COULD DIE OF HAPPINESS. She is so wonderful. She is from Malaysia and speaks English, Malay, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. Are you jealous? Yeah me too. She's the best. ACTUALLY, her brother teaches in the MTC and so I totally know him. He wasn't one of my teachers but when I was in the MTC the Cantonese district was a little baby and so I saw him lots and he even subbed our class sometimes.

Anyway, Thursday we basically had to run to Tai Wai after we got Sister Foong's Hong Kong ID because we were teaching a lesson to Wong Hingdaih. It actually went good! His biggest problem is he doesn't come to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AWWWWWW but he will get there. I just need to have more faith on how to help him. He just can't really progress until he get's his humble self in some church meetings. You know what I'm saying? I don't know how to help him. AGENCY is a rough thing to have patience with.

The rest of the week we spent finding, teaching less-actives, people scheduling us and then not showing, and then teaching our investigators. Family, I'm trying to act calm, cool and collected as a cucumber but lots of time I have no idea what to do! This is a time for me to really exercise faith. I'm excited but scared. I shouldn't be scared but I am. It's just lots of our investigators really aren't progressing. Chan Jimuih told Sister Nielsen and I earlier in the week that she didn't want to see us anymore, (I took that one really hard) and Coco's family isn't really getting the message of the restoration! I've seen it coming for weeks, but I tried to have faith that it would change. We're not starting from square one by any means..... but, almost. :) It's okay. We still have Lulu and Wong Hingdaih, and a few others. But, I just want Sister Foong to have such a great and miracle filled first move. I know slap me upside the head, this isn't my work. It's just hard not to get frustrated. I have so many inadequacies. I wish I could adequately express all the emotions I am feeling but I lack the language in which to do so. But, I do have faith that I can and will find those who are prepared and ready to hear the message of this gospel!!!!! Anyway, please keep praying for me. We have an interesting week ahead of us.

We did have a miracle filled day at church yesterday! 5 investigators came!!!! The most since I have been here. It's so interesting how Heavenly Father tries our faith and answers our prayers. I am so very grateful for all he does for me. Sister Foong is a wonderful companion and I love her so much already. We are going to learn and grow together as we bring an increasing number of people to Christ! I'm excited to improve my missionary skills and to keep learning the wonderful language of Cantonese.

Family, I love you all so so so so very much. Thank you for raising me in this, the Lord's true church. Thank you for your prayers and for all the people you tell me who are praying for me. It honestly means the world to me. I am so very blessed to have you all in my life cheering me on miles away. I know that this is the true church of God. I know that Heavenly Father loves his children more than we can ever comprehend. I know that agency really is a gift and that our goal as missionaries is to love everyone and to share about this, the restored gospel. I know prayer changes things. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know families can and will be together through Heavenly Father's plan.

I love you people so very much!!!!!!! I am so very blessed to be Heavenly Father's missionary and serve him with all my heart, might, mind and strength! I'm doing it, and the Lord is building my testimony every day! This work is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but Heavenly Father is teaching me more than I could have ever learned otherwise.

Have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss you all!!!! Sending hugs, prayers, kisses, and pig's feet your way!
Love, Paahk Jimuih
 
 
Ashley with her new companion, Sister Foong!! So cute!!
 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Where is Ashton Kutcher, am I being punked?

There are some BIG mission changes going on for Ashley this week!!!!!!



FAAAMMMMMIIIILLLLLYYYYYYY!!!!!
!!!!!!

Greetings you heart stopping comedians!!! I am just sitting here in the Sha Tin library laughing & my eyes are watering. Kudos, props, and trophies are coming your way. HAHAHAHAHAHA You are all so very funny. Gong siu gong siu! (literal translation: say smile, say smile) aka you're the funniest. Thank you so much for your emails. I love you all so much. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I'm serious. You all are blowing my mind. I LA LA LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Have I told you lately that I love you? BECAUSE I DO SO SO SO SO MUCH. I will try and type fast fast fast so I can reply to all the rubies, diamonds, and pearls of jokes you have bestowed upon me.

HI listen everyone. Okay if you don't understand the subject line I apologize but I've said it at least 27 times in the past 16 hours. Because I need someone to pinch me as an indication that this is real life. You know what I mean? Of course you don't. I'm not making any sense for which I apologize. Let us rewind the clocks back to 6:18pm HK time. Sooooo.... whenever missionaries die (aka when their service is up, 3 cheers for mission lingo!) in Hong Kong we have this meeting called "My Conversion Story." It's a fireside and all the missionaries that are leaving that transfer choose a convert to share their story about how they met the church and bear their testimony. Other missionaries can go, but you have to bring one of your investigators or potentials with you. Well, since Sister Nielsen is going home this week we went. As we were waiting for the meeting to start, President Hawks came and found me and said, "Sister Palmer, after the meeting will you have a few minutes? I need to talk to you." Now let us all contemplate on this potential life altering sentence. President Hawks is a very busy man. Transfers are coming up and let's just be real. President Hawks isn't just missing me and wanting to "Catch up." After he said that I replied, "of course" but really I wanted to throw up. 

The meeting was great but my heart was beating 1,000,000 beats per minute. (ps Mckay I am so glad your heart is okay!!!! THE LORD ANSWERS PRAYERS!) Anyway, the meeting was nice but my hands were sweaty and I just knew what the President wanted to talk to me about. Eventually he came and found me again and pulled me into his office. As he always does, there was no beating around the bush (actually first he again apologized for missing your first email Mom! He says he doesn't know how he didn't get it!) after that he said, "Well Sister Palmer, are you ready to train?" This is exactly why my heart was whizzing and my palms were sweaty. I was right. And I am scared. I have never been more afraid. President Hawks went on to tell me, "Sister Palmer, don't get a big head about this but I have never asked anyone to train this early." I laughed, but all I could manage to reply was, "President if you think I'm ready then I'm ready. And trust me, my head has never felt so small." He laughed said some more really nice and faith promoting things and gave me this huge envelope, told me some meeting details and sent me on my way. Before I left he said, "I can't wait to see what miracles are coming your way."

Last night I didn't sleep. I am freaking out. I know, I know, I know. This is the Lord's work. But family!!!!!!! I feel so inadequate. I've tried to stop using the word "can't" but let's be real, I can barely speak Chinese and my sik teng (ability to understand) is even worse! Every night I plead with Heavenly Father to help me. This is all I want. I would give anything.....ANYTHING to speak to these people. I just want to help them. I've told Heavenly Father if he needs to take it away after the mission than that is okay by me. But, I'm going to rely on the Lord. That is all I can do. I just finished training technically yesterday, and then will start training the new missionary on Thursday. Move 3 here we come! As I've thought about this, actually it's all I've thought about since receiving the huge envelope, I know that Heavenly Father knows me. There are lots of more experienced sisters than me in the mission, but God is ready to "cut me down some more" and refine me and all I can do is have faith. It's incredible. I'm still in what I'm pretty sure is cardiac arrest. But, I am ready to pray harder, way harder than I ever have in my whole life. It's all I will be able to do. 

Okay okay okay. Enough about me. Let's talk about the miracles aka some of my favorite people on the planet: Our investigators.
-Last Monday at FHE at the Bishops house we went with everyone's favorite and slightly crazy woman, Loh Jimuih. She was sitting  by me and then about 5 minutes later some of our other investigators, Coco and her daughter Lily came. All of the sudden Loh Jimuih grabs me by the arm (it was quite painful, and actually pretty scary...ahahahhaha) and starts talking at the speed of a race car and all I can understand is about 10 years ago apparently her and Coco got in a fight! And she just kept whispering, I want to die. I want to die. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Let us recall people we are in HONG KONG, CHINA not in Walnut Grove! Of course 2 of our investigators know each other, got in a cat fight and now hate each other. Get me on a sitcom. I was dying laughing the whole night. Loh Jimuih kept re-situating me as some sort of body shield from Coco. She's ridiculous. But I love them both regardless and I have taken note that it is not in good interest to try and tag-team teach them together. NOTED. 
-Our investigators are doing okay. Lulu finally got back from Mainland last Sunday night. We kept trying to get a hold of her but she  is studying at one of the hardest universities in Hong Kong and has all sorts of homework and tests. Well because she was in Mainland, she couldn't go to church and then this past Sunday she had to go to work... so we have to move her baptismal date. They changed the baptismal requirements recently because there are so many less actives in Hong Kong. Investigators have to be investigating the church for at least 6 weeks before getting baptized and they have to go to church at least 4 times. So, this week we will have to reteach the commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy.
-Miracle find Wong Hingdaih is doing good. I wanted him to come to church so bad this Sunday and he didn't make it. I was praying and fasting so hard for him. He can't really progress until he comes. Anyway, we had to go teach Ammon a lesson yesterday and so we were walking over to his chuyn. Well who do we see?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!!??!?!?!?! WONG HINGDAIH AND HIS WHOLE FAMILY!!!!! Talk about an answer to prayers. Wong HD has been super nervous to talk to his wife about the church and we introduced ourselves and she was SO NICE!!!!! It was a miracle. MIRACLE. MIIIIIRRRRAAACCLLLLLE.
-other investigators, Coco and Fam, Chan Jimuih, and others are all doing great as well. I wish I had 3 more hours to give you the details that they so deserve.
Thank you for praying for them!!!! Please pray that they will come to church!!!

Family, I love you so so so soso much. Thank you thank you thank you for allllll you do for me and for all the things I don't know that you are doing. I know this gospel is true. I know we can and will be together forever! I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know daily repentance is real---that is one of the biggest things I have learned this past week and it truly is a miraculous gift. I know that God hears all prayers and answers them. I know Jesus is the Christ and if we will follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost we will be instruments in the hands of the Lord.

I love love love love you!!!!!! SORRY THIS IS ALL ABOUT ME. I hate when I do this.
okay so much love and prayers being sent your way!
Love, Paahk Jimiuh