OH MY HECK ARE YOU ALL SITTING DOWN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!???
I am about to rock your world and send you all into a coma of
happiness. Because that is basically where I am at. All right, so last
Tuesday I found out that zippidy do dah I was saying good-bye to my
"baby area" of Tai Wai and opening up a new area for Sisters in Ma On
Shan. (pronounced Mah On Saahn. British spelling kills me the T's are
D's, the K's are G's and the Sh's are just S's... Sometimes it feels
like I am learning 5 languages in an effort to just speak adequate
Cantonese... It's fun. #cantoproblems) I wasn't too worried, I spent a
lot of time telling Sister Foong that she could do it and just love our
sweet investigators and keep working with them. My last day in Tai Wai
was on Wednesday, and we started teaching a new investigator, so I am
excited for the work to keep moving forward in Tai Wai. I have decided
that we are successful missionaries if we are able to leave our little
"area in the Lord's vineyard" just a little stronger than we found it. I
have loved my time in Tai Wai but I also feel like the Spirit told me
that I would be leaving to Ma On Shan, so to get a grip and prepare
myself. I will miss the ward members but mostly Lulu and Wong Hingdaih. I
love their humble souls so much and just want them to get themselves
baptized and get on the path to eternal life!
So anywho Wednesday night at about 11:25pm I went into what I now refer to as premature cardiac arrest. Tomorrow I would be getting a new companion who knows less Chinese than I do and taking her to an area that I wasn't sure if I knew how to get to because I'd never been before. I'll spare you the somewhat sweaty details but it was a little bit of a scary night. HOWEVER, Thursday arrived I put on my new mustard yellow skirt, slapped myself, and said "This is the Lord's work, and whom he calls he qualifies," and got myself to Kowloon Tong. We had the trainer/trainee match up ceremony and my wonderful new companion is 19-year-old Sister Lauren Olsen from Cedar City, Utah. (We heard about the temple, she was so excited!) Okay can I just say I am completely obsessed with her!!!!!!! She is the happiest person I have ever met. She just wants to work hard and we just laugh and have so much fun together. I love love love her. She didn't even seem that scared when I just came right out and told her, "Hey I haven't been to our area before either but let's go find it together."
I LOVE LOVE LOVE MA ON SHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously cannot adequately express the love for this new place. It's a dreamy dream dreamster come true. The elders in the ward where we are serving had an Area Book and a Member Book already to go, they showed us where the church was and a few other "good to know" tips, and then there we were BAM, working from the ground up... square one if you will. It's super interesting though. For most of my time in Tai Wai I spent trying to talk to people with no Christian background and saying they "mhsaai, ngoh haih baaisahn." Translation- "I'm buddhist and I don't need this." Well we hit the pavement or rather the coast line (Pictures to come, we are literally right on the edge of the Ocean!) and started chatting with the people. And it looks like I better get my study on because everyone told us they were Catholics and Christians already! So, it was completely different from what I was used to hearing. But lots of people were really to listen which was nothing but downright shocking....and a complete blessing.
Friday we set a lot of high goals for ourselves and then got to work. We looked at our area map, asked Heavenly Father to lead us, and we both felt inspired to go to an Estate (chuyn) called Yiu On. We went finding for almost 2.15 hours and barely anyone would even listen to us. In the MTC they talked a lot about how most people who join the church need "7 touches" before joining the church. We got to be a lot of people's first touch. We got talking with this probably 60+ year old man who really wasn't listening to what I was trying to tell him, and then I saw this 20 something boy watching us from not to far off. It was like these spiritual arrows were popping up all around and pointing at him. I of course wanted to give this first man every shot but then when the conversation took a twist to a comparison of mice (yes, mice) and money we gave him a pamphlet and phone number (#callmemaybe) and went up to the boy that I feel like we were nothing short of being led to find. His name is Louis, he's 25, and oh my goodness just the world's biggest miracle. We talked to him for a little bit, and he told us how unhappy he is, and how he had met and played basketball with missionaries before when he was 10. (hello, 7 touch theory!) We were able to teach him a lesson, and schedule him for this week. He told us he had seen us earlier, and then he found us while we were talking to money-rat man. He found us basically!!!! If I was a crier I could have just sobbed like a newborn babe as we walked away! I mean WHAT?!?!!? A new investigator after being there for less than 2 days. I didn't deserve such a blessing!
Yesterday was our first day in Ma On Shan ward. Louis couldn't come to church because he was going to be out of town. We had called some people but no formers or other potentials said they could come. I really wanted to have someone there and with it being fast Sunday, in lieu of our predicament, I was fasting for new investigators of course. Sister Olsen and I got to the church a little early to start welcoming the members. They were all so welcoming and so excited to have sisters in the ward! The church in Ma On Shan is a rented out building. Now before you get your skeptical eyes on, let me just say it is super nice! It honestly looks like a LDS visitors center on the outside and the inside is beautiful. (Pictures next week) Well we are greeting people, and then I see this woman standing outside looking at our church banner. I go outside and start talking to her, and ask her to come in. She said she was really busy. I told her to just come in really fast and we would give her a tour. She came in & then the spiritual magic began. Ma On Shan ward is just a dream come true (I can't say that enough!!!!) and just welcomed her in and got her to come to Sacrament Meeting. Sister Olsen and I bore our testimonies, and then what do you know our new friend Wong Jimuih (yes, her last name is Wong so naturally it was instant love) stayed for all 3 hours of church!!!! We taught her a lesson with the Bishop and should be seeing her Tuesday and if not Wednesday. WHAT?!?!?!?!???? I could have passed out of pure joy yesterday. I do not understand how Heavenly Father could answer our prayers so quickly. Heavenly Father does hear prayers and he answers them. I still cannot believe that happened. THINGS LIKE THIS DO NOT HAPPEN IN HONG KONG....normally. But Heavenly Father is blessing us so much and I am so incredibly humbled and grateful to be apart of it.
After church the ward members were just the nicest and we already have 3 little dinner appointments and then one of President Hawks counselors in the mission presidency is in the Ma On Shan ward. He was so nice to spend an hour with us yesterday and help us know how to get where (buses, walking routes etc.), he got us a ward list and marked ideas of Less-Actives & part-members to visit, and ideas for missionary finding & getting more investigators. Are you still able to read this?!?!?!?!?! Everyone has just been so welcoming, kind, and I can't believe all the miracles I have seen in 4 days. Words simply cannot describe. But I do know this, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
Thank you so much for your prayers!!!!! I need them so much. and I just love you people so much. Thank you for your emails and just being my most favorite people. I know this church is true. I cannot wait for conference. Not sure yet if I will be watching it in Cantonese or English (pray for English) but if not I will read the talks in their entirety next month in the Liahona. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I don't know a lot of things, I am not really clear when I speak Cantonese, and I don't even think I am that good of a gospel teacher, but I love the Lord and I know he makes up for where I lack, which is basically everything. The missionary program is the greatest thing under the sun. McKay you are just going to eat up Hawaii. I am so excited for you!!!!
I love you all so much! I am excited for another week of hard work, mosquito bites, laughs, and good times! Miss you all so much... everyday! I'm grateful that we know families are forever! See you there! Have a good week and get feeling better! I'm praying for you all. XOXOOOOXXOO Thank you for everything. La la love you! Sleep tight!
Love, Paahk JimuihAshley has had a very eventful week!!! She is doing so great!!!!! Here is a picture of her and her new companion. I think she is so cute!!! They look so happy!!!