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.... 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