Monday, May 27, 2013

HAGS

What a relief to hear from Ashley!!! She seems to be doing much better!!! Prayers answered!!!!!
Family!!!!!

Hello I'm here, alive, not just surviving but completely thriving!!!!! Let's address the food scare of hot pot, Sister Hawks said she just thinks it was a little salmonella (sp?) poisoning, she kept tabs on me, and I really am doing so much better this week. I love my life. I love the Chinese people and I love that I am never going to eat hot pot again. OH my heck!!!! Mack's farewell! Tell him that I love that little bundle of joy, he is going to bless the lives of people everywhere, and I just love him completely! How crazy is it that he leaves on his mission so soon! Someone slap my current wet french braided head, wow! I can't believe time is still flying by for you all!!! Congrats to Mack and I can't wait to be forwarded his letters. I hope he just la la loves the MTC.

McKay, going to the temple this week. Oh my! I sat and talked to Sister Olsen about how excited I am for him on the bus ride over. Stay tuned McKay, special email coming your way regarding this time... STAT. Wish I could be there but a part of my spirit definitely will be. SO exciting!!!! You are going to love the temple and 39 days!!!!!!!!!!!!! WA WA WHAT. Mind blown. I'm sure it will please you to know that complete strangers as well as close ward friends all know that you are hitting the land (not the sand or beaches) of Hawaii to serve a mission. Don't be creeped if people come at you... they're probably some of my best friends and your long lost Chinese brethren and sisteren. ALSO- Spencer first place?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!? THAT'S INCREDIBLE. HELLOOOOO YOU ARE A CHEETAH. I'm so impressed!!!!!! You're an inspiration. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Okay this week!!! I cannot get over it. It was just the best. I don't know how where to start, so forgiveness is requested if this isn't chronologically in sync. Friday... I'm going to use the most overused word... was Bliss. Seriously!!! I mean leih-hou an apostle of the Lord addressed us and taught us about Jesus Christ, his atonement, and missionary work. It was a straight up dream come true. I was changed after that meeting. My vision of obedience has been raised and Sister Olsen and I are taking things in the obedience department up a notch. (Don't get excited I'm not running around being an American hooligan!) We are taking the advice of being "more obedient than we need to be." and making goals that follow suit. 

I've only begun to learn about the Atonement since coming to China. I now understand why it was hard for me to understand and try and explain before my mission. You can't book study the atonement to understand it. You have to live it and use it and experience it. I repent everyday and I've never been happier! I've also sometimes never been sadder but I'm learning that mission life is as real as life is ever going to get so of course every single day is a roller coaster of wonderful emotions. The Atonement truly does cover everything that is unfair and perfect about life. Elder Anderson counseled us to be living testaments. He glowed as he spoke and I realized that A- I love glow and B- I can become better so I can glow like that too. That's all I want. My spirit to be so pure that when Chinese people look in my eyes they will see my soul and testimony is so rooted in Jesus Christ that there will be no questioning who I am regardless of what I say. So this week Sister Olsen and I made even more goals about little things that we can x-nay out of our lives so we can be worthy to truly call down the powers of heaven to help us with this work. Little things do matter and make all the difference.

Every day is a miracle out here. This week was no exception. We taught Wong Jimuih once before she hit up the trains to Mainland. She shared with us her concern that she doesn't know if she's received an answer about whether the church is true. She is praying and she is reading and then she dropped a line that translated into English is as follows, "As soon as I know it's true I will pay tithing, and I'll be baptized." I'M SORRY EVERYONE.... WHAT?!!?!?!? My sweet Chinese mother (yes I do call her that) knows about tithing?! Had Sister Olsen and I taught her that yet? No we had not. But she just threw that out into the mix of conversation and I nearly passed out and then later had to verify with the fellowshipper that she had in fact said that. MIRACLE.

However, (dare I say unfortunately?) the story of commandments doesn't end there. After church Sister Olsen and I taught Wong Jimuih. The plan was to give her a little intro into Fasting and then invite her to fast with us next week, you know build faith as we prepare to teach the rest of the commandments.... Well due to a little mix up and the fact that Wong Jimuih is popular we had to fellowshippers. One of them dropped a line about the Word of Wisdom and then AFTER TWO HOURS Wong Jimuih had heard all of the commandments. HAHAHAHA. Yep. This doesn't happen. Also, every part of my natural man brain was freaking out and worrying about her but as I had myself a good personal ponder yesterday I was prompted to remember the phrase that God's ways are higher than my ways. This particular situation was no different. She'll be fine. She said she isn't sure if she can overcome her addiction to coffee (she has 2 sometimes 3 cups per day) and she loves herself some Chinese tea, but she can and will overcome this addiction!!! As we wrapped up teaching her I had her read aloud 1 Nephi 3:7 and then had her re-read it but put her name in for Nephi's. It was such a cool moment. The Spirit twinkled in her eyes and she gave me a sly smile as she read. Every worldly thing is against Wong Jimuih but I'm going to fast and pray so hard for her! I just love her so much.

The Mandarin missionaries turned over the greatest new investigator to us. Her name is Vienna, and she is just the greatest. As we taught her this past week we taught her about the Book of Mormon and prayer at the end of the lesson and she said, "so you want me to read this, and do you want me to pray now?" She gets it!!!!!!!!!!!! I nearly cried for joy. It was just the greatest. I wish I could transport you all here to witness these incredibly large miracles. In the scriptures Jesus talks about having faith like unto a grain of a mustard seed and then mountains can be moved. I haven't ever seen physical mountains moved but I have seen emotional, spiritual, and seemingly insurmountable mountains moved by these Chinese pioneers.

Fun fact-(Mom are you sitting down?) Sister Olsen and I woke up an hour and 15 minutes early to go running. We ran from our apartment to Ma On Shan. By train it takes 45 minutes and via our legs it took the SAME amount of time. I was straight up the sweatiest beast. Humidity does not look good on me. But it was awesome! Ma On Shan is just the prettiest area. I could make like Ammon and declare that I will serve here until I die. Also fun fact #2- a man told me that Chinese is way easy for English speakers and that Spanish is the hardest. Needless to say I wasn't very nice and was completely annoyed as I walked away. hahahahaha the Chinese and their completely serious jokes.

Okay also the subject line of this email is a completely intentional ode to the fact that you all get out of school this week!!!! McKay have a great graduation!!! I can't believe it's that time. I'm so proud of and excited for you. Love you all so much!!!!! Miss you already. Hope you have a wonderful week! Can't wait to see all these pictures from this week! Smile big. Laugh long. Talk much.

xoxoxoxoxo LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks so much for your prayers! Pray for Wong Jimuih she is going to need a miracle! I love you!
Love Paak Jimuih

ps- I like to also think (and dare I declare?) that H.A.G.S. also stands for Have A Great Sweat. 
pps I'm the sweatiest

Monday, May 20, 2013

HOT POT or should I say SHOT GUT!!!!

O.K., Ashley's email this week is very funny as always,  The more I've thought about her story about the HOT POT, the more worried I am. I really hope she is feeling better like she says. Yikes!!!! YOUUUWHHHOOOOO- Leih hou my little fam who's just at Mckay's spiritual social rite of passage from High school seminary attendee to soon to be MISS-ION-AR-Y. (dashes inserted so you can read it in the fashion that it is being vocalized in my head.) CONGRATULATIONS MCKAY!!!! Love you so much & I'm shouting hoots and hollers in your direction. What an exciting time! McKay!!! I'm so excited for you to go through the temple doors!!! WOW that is so soon! You will love it! And next time I talk with you, you'll be an ELDER. My mind is blown. It seems like just yesterday we were sneaking materials from the kitchen and making stone cold carrot soup in the backyard or I had that weird ponytail holder and I told you it was your fairy godmother.... I was (still am?) a weird child. Deuimhjyu. (Big sorry) [Cantonese is awesome because they have big sorry and little sorry. I love using big sorry because every sorry should be a big one... am I right?]
ANYWAYS SPEAKING OF BIG SORRYS..... Let's talk about this week. Honestly comedy. Actually not really. Keihsat yes. Anyways.... Where to begin. How about last Tuesday. Yes that's a nice place to start. So there Sister Olsen and I are sweating our lives away, on the brink of getting swollen sweat glands (YES THAT IS ACTUALLY A MEDICAL CONDITION, NO I DON'T HAVE IT, YES, I PROBABLY WILL SOON) on the waterfront (aka the most beautiful spot in Hong Kong!!!) and Wong Jimuih everyone's favorite Ma On Shan miracle gave us a call. I talk to her and she invites us over for dinner in merely 2 hours time. BOOOYYYAAA! First time at her house! We were so excited.

We get to her house and panic soon to boil under my humid stricken skin. A huge table was filled with raw foods. Leo pulls out a little piece of machinery and then I realize what's about to happen. HOT POT. It is exactly what it's name dictates. It's a huge pot of boiling water and everything is just cooked right in front of you. Now why am I panicking you ask? Well because eating hot pot is against mission rules. The members all know this, BUT I COMPLETELY DIDN'T EVEN THINK TO TELL HER OR THIS RULE BEFORE HAND. So, we can't very well be like Deuimhjyu (Big Sorry) Wong Jimuih... for heaven sakes she has bought all this stuff just for us! So yes. We ate it. And we ate a lot of it. Everything from fish balls, tubes of tofu, stuff that grows on rocks in the sea, squid complete with tentacles, fish heads middles and tails, and even meat that resembled extremely fatty bacon. So...You name it is was swirly around in that pot. She told us we needed to sihksaai which translates "Eat until it's all gone" and then time saved us because we ended up sharing a message and then having to go home before we were late, and didn't sihksaai. Don't worry I called President Hawks, asked to repent and was forgiven, but not before a joke about being sent home was thrown around first. 

Anyways, the reason there is a no hot pot rule is because I was really sick this week. Wednesday I had a burning fever and threw up and the rest of the week I was just feeling a tip under the weather. Sister Olsen went against my will and called Sister Hawks yesterday and now I am on a toast, rice, applesause diet. I'll be fine in an hour I think. But no naps were taken, Sister Olsen and I pushed through and we saw some great miracles this week!

We found some great new investigators and people whom I just love. A man named Tahm SinSaang called us!!!! We weren't able to get his number but he called us and came to church yesterday!!!!! He can't believe that church is free and only members have to pay tithing. We taught him after church, but unfortunately our fellowshipper (last week's fellowshipper's father... the apple doesn't fall from the tree) went ahead and talked about forming Eve from a rib and the breath of life. Sooo it was a little over 65 year old Mr. Tahm's head but we should be seeing him this week! He's so wonderful. We also have a new 17 almost 18 year old girl whom I love soooooo much her name is Saphrina. It's exciting! New people.. new faces... and more gospel to share.

The sad news, Wong jimuih came to church by herself yesterday and then had to leave after Sacrament meeting. Which is fine but what mostly worries me is there was no glow in her eyes. Glow is apparent. I can't really explain it. I could be over thinking this but I feel like the Spirit is telling me something is wrong. I'm so worried! I have been praying a lot. She didn't answer our calls last night so pray pray pray that she will be okay and that we can see her this week. I have no idea what's up... I just love her so much! It hurts. In the best way. and also the worst. She'll be okay. She's in God's hands. I know it's ridiculous but I just really want to see someone get baptized while I'm here. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing something wrong? What more I can do? If my best is good enough and acceptable to the Lord? If this request is ridiculous or unrighteous? I'm trying to align my will with God's.. But then I read The Book of Mormon and remember that this is Heavenly Father's work not mine... He's the gardener here and I am his servant. Missionary work has taught me how truly small I am, but how much God truly does watch over and love me.

ANYWAYS, big week ahead! Elder Anderson and Elder L. Whitney Clayton are coming, and we are all so excited! I know this church is true! I love the scriptures and I love Heavenly Father! I am honored to be a missionary and wear the black name tag. I know because Jesus Christ lives, we are never alone! I know repentance is real and it changes me, slowly and surely, everyday. 

Love you allllll so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miss and pray for you everyday. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Gospel Blesses Families

What a delight it was to talk with Ashley on Mother's day!! She sounds so great and is really doing well and enjoying the work!! Here is her latest news!!!  SALUTATIONS ACROSS MANY NATIONS! Family-

What a dream come true it was to call you all merely hours ago!!!! You all sound so good, older, and just as cute as ever! I'm sorry that I made it all about me. You all are just the cutest things on 2 feet. How am I so lucky to have you forever?!?! I don't even know. Also- I apologize for the fact that I wasted time throwing in random Cantonese phrases! I honestly kept trying to stop but they just kept coming out! I need serious help. hahahaha. Love you all!

Here's a good story from this past week that I failed to mention on the phone. So there Sister Olsen and I were getting on the train and traveling to our area. It's also easier and substantially less awkward if as soon as you arrive on the train you just talk to the person closest to you and start talking about the gospel. Soooo there we were we got on and there was a rather homely (sorry completely rude but trying to paint a picture here!) man just sitting there. I sat down next to him, gave him a Leih-hou and things quickly took a turn for the worst. He started telling me about a skin condition he was dealing with (showing me his leg and underneath his knees as evidence) and then he asked me how long I had been in China. I told him 4 almost 5 months and then he made up a Cantonese ballad right then and there! The chorus 
of this spontaneous ballad talked about me and how I had only been in China for 4 months. So I mean look for "4 months in China" on the iTunes.... Coming to a radio station near you. I was dying... and it was just so funny because all the people on the train were watching us white Americans as the crazy man sang to us in Cantonese. Too bad filming isn't allowed... because frankly that is something I would like to watch over and over and over. But, by the time I got off the train I was sort of relieved to get away from him. He was overwhelming. But love him regardless. 

Can you believe that we are now teaching Wong Jimuih's sons?!?!?!?!?!? That is the definition of a miracle. And a testament that everyone has their own conversion process. I'm just so incredibly grateful and I just love sharing the message about families and eternity. I don't understand how I am so incredibly blessed to be able to teach them. 

Yesterday in the lesson (sorry I failed to mention this actual good part in the phone call) we asked Wong Jimuih why we were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation and do you know what she said? "BECAUSE YOU WANT ME TO GO TO THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM!!!!" Yes Wong Jimuih that's exactly why!!!! I was so happy. She's incredible. She's a complete miracle from Heavenly Father and I am honored to help her along the path back to Heavenly Father's presence.

In sad news we are going to have to turn Crystal over this week.... She lives in Kwun Tong and no longer works in Ma On Shan so it will be for the better but I will miss teaching her.

Two of our other investigators, Ga-Yih and A-Ying also came to church yesterday!!!!! They are sisters and 12 & 18. Pray so hard that we can teach their family! It will happen. God is a God of miracles.

I feel like I told you all sorts of everything else! Things are great here in Ma On Shan! I love being a missionary. I am honored to be a part of this work and tell the Chinese people that Jesus Christ lives and loves them! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it contains the fullness of the gospel. I love the opportunity I have to repent and be a little better each day. I hope you all know how much I love you. I can't express how much. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, May 6, 2013

Feiseunghou!!!!





Family, Friends and Gospel Comrads!!!!!!!

WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS TO SIT HERE IN THE SHA TIN LIBRARY AND GIVE YOU ALL A LITTLE SHOUT OUT & A LEIH-HOU. Oh my. Where did this week go? When it was Sunday all over again yesterday I almost slapped myself & thought.... WHAT?! Ha. I can't believe it is May already. BUT YAY FOR MACK!!!!!!! AWW. Washington DC, Spanish speaking. I love that so much. And he leaves basically tomorrow. He must be just the most excited. How wonderful!!! Will you send him my congratulations and Salutations?!?!?! MISSIONS ARE THE GREATEST. And how wonderful that we have 4 serving in our family. I love that so much. Mckay and Mack can give each other slaps of hap (short for happiness) when they see each other. Wow wow wow. I love this.

Alright so I mean all I have to say is here I am and as usual don't know where to begin. How about with everyone's favorite Ma On Shan resident, Wong Jimuih. Did she come to church yesterday? You better bet your HK dollars she did! Did we teach her and she just told us the world's greatest story? I'd bet my life savings on it. Do you want to hear it? Sweet I will give it to you free of charge. So, Wong Jimuih runs a company and does lots of work in Mainland... so she is pretty hard to schedule. Which is fine! We just love her sweet self regardless. Anyways, she told us that this weekend she had to make some deal with the mainland Chinese government and they were being a pain about it. She said she had a faith strengthening experience and told Heavenly Father that if he would help her she would come to Hong Kong and go to church on Sunday. She was able to make a deal and it all worked out. She told us that she know Heavenly Father lives and that he heard her prayer!!!!! AWWW I love her. Also earlier this week, Sister Olsen and I were traveling home and Sister Olsen called Wong Jimuih to try and schedule her. Well what do you know she asked to meet us right then at the church and then she introduced us to her son and we all had dinner together! I was the happiest. I love missionary work.

Crystal is also doing great. She is just right on schedule to be baptized in June... but we might have to turn her over to some other missionaries... Because she doesn't live in Ma On Shan. She works here, but lives like 30 minutes away. So it isn't really fongbihn for her to come to Ma On Shan ward on Sundays. Which breaks my heart...I love her so much! Honestly. She is the world's greatest. We taught her the doctrine of Christ this past week and she started repenting right then and there in her closing prayer. Oh missionary work and singing the song of redeeming love is the world's happiest! EVERYONE NEEDS TO SERVE A MISSION!!!!!

Honestly I love the people of Hong Kong. I love Chinese people so much. I love that I really can't speak the language and most of the time don't understand but that I can love them with every part of my heart. And I pray every day for the gift of the Spirit so that their hearts can be touched and softened. We had a member of the seventy, Elder Wong, visit Ma On Shan ward and he asked us missionaries to stand up during Sacrament meeting. He then spoke to us in perfect English and told us that we need to get 70 more people attending this ward and we are the beginning of huge foundational work in China Hong Kong, and right now Ma On Shan. He also said that we need to be repenting missionaries and the second we sit down we better start! WHOA. 70 more people....! Time to hit the streets and to increase the non-stop talking about Jesus Christ. Which is great because Jesus and house-wife talk is about all I can do in Chinese. But what a challenge and invitation! I love it! Repentance and finding. HERE WE COME.

I've said it once and I will say it again. Ma On Shan ward!!!! I love them! We had 3 cheng out's this past week. Actually, one of the members named Steven I found out is my Snow Coll classmate!!! I was freaking out. We talked about Ephraim and ate delicious pizza with the Elders. Keihsat, really I love most Chinese food. The hardest thing for me is the pigs feet. ohhhh those are rough. But really I am basically addicted to rice and I love that I've said bye-bye to forks and use Chopsticks for lunch and dinner. They are just so much more efficient. Why everyone doesn't use them around the world is beyond me. Okay hi. I'm talking about food. Yikes. Anyways. I'm learning a lot here in Hong Kong. Whether it be Chinese or effective eating techniques, missions teach you a lot about life.

We are going to keep hitting the streets this week for some more finding and hopefully scheduling of people. I'm ready for some new investigators and more eternal best friends! OH here's a good story that I just remembered. We had the funniest thing this past week. We were teaching this boy a lesson on the street and before we could get his number at the end he literally BOLTED AWAY. And when I say bolted I mean whoosh and we was gone. I was dying of laughter. Inappropriate? Mostly. But I wish you could have seen Sister Olsen trying to flag him down and at least give him a pamphlet. hahahahaaha. So good. Apparently he wasn't quite ready yet?

There's a talk by Elder Holland that Mckay you must watch for Sunday night movie night at the MTC. I have been thinking a lot about it actually. Elder Holland says something along the lines of, "this is as real as real life is going to get." And it's true! Real life is serving people and devoting all your attentions and time to serving people. I am learning how to be selfless and trying to learn patience. I want so badly to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And that's who I will work on becoming now and forever. I love this gospel. It's perfect message changes lives. I am so blessed to wear a black name tag and try to become who the Lord wants me to be. 

I love you all so much!!! Thank you for your prayers, unconditional love, and the weekly funnies! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!! Talk to you all so soon!!!!! (FOR REALS!!!)

Love Paak Jimuih
(how embarassing found out my name's pinyam is Paak not Paahk) SOOO yeah the MTC lied..... love that dream of an institution regardless!!!!! hahahahaha

ps. ELDER NEIL A. ANDERSON is coming to our mission and we have a special morningside on May 24th!!! Isn't that the most exciting thing ever!?!?!?! We are the luckiest! President Hawks asked me to lead the music so I better get practicing my 4/4 and heaven forbid but you should always be ready for the 6/8!