Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I've Never Been Happier

I love that Ashley is so happy while on her mission. It is hard to have her so far away; yet, I am so glad that she can have the experiences she is having and have this great opportunity to teach and serve the people of Hong Kong. I love her!!!
Ashley Palmer
Jun 23 (3 days ago)

to Eldon, me, McKay, Spencer, Wade, Ashley
Family, I honestly don't deserve you all!!!!! I'm so glad Christmas in June arrived on your porch. It was quite the hassle a few P-days ago to try and send that bad boy to you, but I won't waste precious time talking about that mess. Okay so wow to I have a lot to tell you about!!!!! This week was probably the best of my life. I am learning what it means to give myself to the Lord. To really do it. I've never been happier and I never want to leave Hong Kong. Can you all just move here? Let's serve missions here until the second coming and then some. I LOVE CHINESE PEOPLE. Sleeping is a burden and I'm sad when I have to go to sleep at night.
Where to begin? Hi I'm warning you right now this is going to be a mess of an email... without congruency and adequate structure. I'm just so happy!!! My heart could either burst or melt right this instant. I have soooo  many pictures to send this week to. So let's get right to it shall we?
We will revert to lists. Okay so
-last Pday was probably the most fun day of my life. Blake Chan, aka the most outrageous person and best mission correlator took us all to Korean BBQ or shall I say restaurant meets amusement park because YES it was that fun and YES you all need to get yourselves here because you would all love it so much. They have all these meets, veggies that you choose and cook yourself right in front of you (see pictures for reference) Now where is the amusement park part you ask? Well great question. We got to make our own gaak jai bangs, cotton Candy, and ice cream. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm hyperventilating all over again just thinking about it. He was so nice to invite Wong Jimuih's son A-Ray too and then those two helped us do necessary shopping and site seeing for the rest of the day. I love the Wong family and I just want to help them have eternal life together.
-We had a turnover lesson from the Sheung Seui sisters and so we had to go on splits. Turns out the SS sisters found a record of a former who they called and had just moved to Ma On Shan. She wanted to cheng us out and take us to dim sam. So I went there with one of the other sisters and met Mary and Sister Olsen and the other sister stayed at our church and taught Crystal. Well Mary (former investigator) is just SO NICE. Her kids are so obedient and nice too (which is rare...that was rude but I'm trying to explain this miracle) and she had two friends over too and they were nice too!!! I kept pinching myself to make sure it was real life. We shared a message at the end and Mary said she would come to church on Sunday. MIRACLE.
-We were able to teach all of our investigators this week, except Wong Jimuih. We kept scheduling her and she had to keep going to Mainland but we saw her several times just as she was getting back from Mainland and we were going home to City One. I love her. Chiu Cap Ngoi Keuih!!!!!!! Keep praying for her.
-So Sister Olsen shared with me recently that her MTC teachers told her to teach lessons while giving Church tours. Let me rephrase that. Make a church tour a lesson opportunity. Teach the restoration and walk around the church. Now I know what you're all thinking in your home on 1050 East-- well duh Paak Jimuih it only makes sense! Well that's what the Spirit told me this week too and so I spent a personal study figuring out the logistics and then this past week we had the opportunity to teach 2 new investigators using this method. IT's a straight up dream come true and the Spirit is just so strong. I'm a soujai for not doing it sooner!
-We got two referrals this week from one member. Are you still breathing? Me neither.
-We survived our first typhoon. It was only a category 3. Feel free to breathe again.
-We had Multi-zone conference and I just was so filled to the brim with inspiration. I love love loved it. President and Sister Hawks is so inspired and makes me want to be a better missionary and human. I have a lot to work on. It's so incredibly humbling.
-Speaking of humbling. Yesterday was top 5 happiest days of my life. I'm not kidding. It was Stake Conference. I wish it was Stake Conference every single day. (Words I never thought I'd put together before my mission.) Anyways, the church rented b
uses and we went to the chapel in Ho Man Tin. First off, everyone said that the would come to church with us ACTUALLY CAME. I was so happy. I could have cried. I think that's what the Celestial Kingdom is like. You look around and the happy faces and realize that you all made it, and you all get to grow and learn together. I almost cried. President Hawks even spoke (in Cantonese--talk about brave!) I saw my MTC teacher, and I was taught so much by the Spirit. I love the Ma On Shan ward so much.
-After Stake conference we had a 2 hour ward council meeting and they discussed how we are going to make this ward double. Yes, ***double.**** Can you believe it? It was so inspiring and incredibly humbling to be a part of. The members here are catching the fire and I am so happy to be here!
-McKay you leave so soon!!!! I think about you lots and I pray you are so excited. You are going to love it. Don't be afraid. I wish I could tell you all the things I want to. But words won't form into sentences but I think it's because the Lord has different lessons to teach you than he has taught me. So just be so excited. I love you so much. I have always admired and looked up to you in so many ways.
Okay family, I think I'm forgetting at least 5 other miracles I wanted to tell you but I made this way too much about me. I want you to know that I know this church is true! Keep praying for these special Chinese children. I love them all so much. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Jesus is the Christ and that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and knows us each individually.
Love you so much!!!!!
Love, Paak Jimuih
Ashley, her companion, Sister Wong's son, and Blake Chan
 This is what Ashley and her companion wear at night to try to stay cool!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ashley's latest!!!

So Sorry I am late with this week's post. We've been out of town!!! Good news!! You won't have to wait as long for the next post!!!!!
Ashley Palmer
Jun 16 (5 days ago)
to meEldonMcKaySpencerWadeAshley
Greetings my fellow and dare I say--Favorite Americans!!!!!

Dad, Happy Father's Day. I appreciated your shout out to your forever love, (second only to your one and only, Shelley Elaine Gooch Palmer) Allred's Ace Hardware. I will have you know that Sister Olsen and I enjoyed this past week sharing what we liked to entitle "Eldon and Russ Moments." This included sharing favorite things and stories regarding our Father's and "what makes them tick." We've decided we like it so much that even though Father's day has come and gone, we will continue sharing these moments. Really though it has been such a good time.

Okay so did I tell you I experienced my first black rain recently? Because yes we did. It has been raining up the ying-yang here. And I'm not complaining. It has cooled down substantially and I will take it over the heat any day. It makes finding a little mahfaahn but my polka dotted umbrella is my third most trusted appendage. (The first two being The Holy Ghost and Sister Olsen) But miracles haven't stopped and so we just strive to go to places that have these little coverings connecting from the chuyns to the markets. I don't really know how to explain it. It's not extravagant either... anyway we're just like the bridge trolls featured in your favorite fairy tales of old... we just wait under coverings or overpasses and then share the gospel to whoever will and in most cases won't listen. :)

This past week Wong Jimuih invited us over for dinner again. I asked her if she was serving Dah Bin Louh (AKA HOT POT) and she said no that she was making dinner. So after that concern (aka major problem) was no longer an issue we found ourselves in her home and guess who was there?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! HER HUSBAND. I was so scared to meet him. (I've met some pretty scary spouses in Hong Kong) but he WAS SO NICE. It was a miracle. He has to live in Mainland for business but we got to meet him and it was just the coolest. Not to be a downer but let me also say that while we weren't fed Hot Pot we were stuffed past our limits and I was full for 36+ hours afterwards. I kept telling Wong Jimuih that I was full but she seemed to think I was either lying or joking. Neither of which was the case. Love her regardless.

Other highlights include:
-We met some new investigators this week, and let me just say while I'm not hungry for durian or fish balls I am hungry for more investigators! One of our new investigators is named Alex. I just love love love him. He told us that he wants everyone to meet us! "Because everyone needs Jesus." He is just the nicest little dad. Also he told us if we go finding in lit areas late at night we would have lots of success talking to people. Shoot that's actually against mission rules to be past 9:30 so I'll have to explain that to him later. haha
-You asked about the meaning of Jimuih. Yes it means sister. So Paak Jimuih translates to Palmer Sister. Most of their names are one syllable (they have like 3 last names that aren't) so I think that's why my name is one syllable. Great question! Keep them coming.
-Last night I had an ice cream sundae for dinner. #yolo #hotfudge #brownies
-We changed Wong Jimuih's baptismal date for July 14th. She's having a really hard time kicking the 30+ years habit of tea and coffee. We've created a plan and we had two good lessons with members this week. I just love her so much. I wish she could understand how much!!!!!
-We have been spending time Less Active finding as well. President Hawks says we should be spending up to half of our finding time looking for less actives. I seriously feel like I'm a detective when I do it. Should I change my major if I ever stop being a missionary? Probably. But in all seriousness it's crazy how many less actives and lost sheep (people with a wrong address and a wrong phone number) there are. There are over 14,000 people who fit into this category.
-Wan Jimuih's mom Chan Taai is just the cutest! Sister Olsen and I split up teaching yesterday so I taught Chan Taai with another ward member. She pulled out her restoration pamphlet and said, "what are we learning about today?" She is just so sweet. I need to get a picture with her. You will die of joy when you see how precious she is. Also sometimes when I'm teaching I translate what is being said into English in my head and I have a hard time not laughing. Because the Chinese sayings translated into English are just funny. For example, yesterday during the above mentioned lesson the fellowshipper, Sister Lam (who is probably 65+ herself) was complimenting Chan Taai and she kept saying things like "You're a good grandma. You have a good memory. What an obedient Grandma you are." These phrases are Chinese sayings so they make sense to them but I was just smiling to myself. 
-Not to get all righteous on you but have you all read President Uchtdorf's talk from the last general conference during the Young Women's session? Honestly it makes me want to cry like a baby!!!! It's so good. I want every Chinese person to have it. Please go read it, apply it, share it and distribute it. 

Alright family. I"m sorry this email is entirely random with limited structure. But I love you all so much! I know this church is true. I wish there were more hours in the days but I know God is concecrating this time! I love those moments when we are able to help investigators recognize the Spirit and realize that God is real and does notice and watch over us. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I know Jesus is the Christ. I know the Book Of Mormon is true. I know repentance works and that prayer changes things and shapes destiny. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miss you so much. See you for forever.
Love Paak Jimuih
ps attached pictures are from last Pday at the 10,000 Buddha shrine!!!!! (worth every bug bite) ^_^

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Father's Day!!

May I begin this email with a shout-out to Fuhchaanjit Faailohk---HAPPY FATHER'S DAY Dad!!!!! You're a dream come true and I just love you ever so much. While I am not permitted to call you from the HK know that I love you ever so much and am grateful beyond words for all that you do for me. Miss and Love you so much!!!!
Well Family, here we are the weeks are getting shorter and it's creeping my creep!!!! Mom. You're so right. I have been in Hong Kong for 6 months and it makes me want to make like Hermoine Granger and get myself a time turner! ;alskdjf;aslkdjf;a. That's me. Time is a keih gwai thing. 

This week was such a dream and a half. Okay so let's give 3 hurrahs (hip-hip-hoorayX3) for transfers not effecting (or is it affecting? yikes! English. Hou maahfaahn) Sister Olsen and I. We're staying in Ma On Shan and we couldn't be more elated!!!!! When they announced it at District Meeting on Tuesday Sister Olsen cried out of joy and wouldn't let go of me. I was dying in laughter. So...... yes we're excited and I think we're staying together for the remainder of... forever. Yes that sounds about right. We've got a lot to do and so yes.... it's a dream. 

So Thanks so much for your prayers for Wong Jimuih. The ward is saying that she is going to need to quit drinking tea/coffee for a month for her to be baptized but... we'll see. We're on the Lord's time table here and so however long it takes is fine with me. I just want her to be happy. She says she's just so sad inside. You can see it in her eyes. We weren't able to see her this week because she's been in shmainland. (Mainland) I'm so proud of her for getting down from 3 cups of coffee to 1. She's going to need a miracle but I've got some good news--- Miracles haven't ceased and this is the Lord's work. No matter what her problems are, whether we (Sister Olsen and I) could understand Chinese better and knew exactly what she was going through, the answer would still be the same. Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Crystal (forwarded pictures of her) is still doing great! She told us she has stopped drinking coffee and we taught her the ten commandments and she told us she could do better about honoring her father and mother by calling them more. I honestly wanted to give her a hug or a chest bump... but neither or really socially permissible in Hong Kong so a thumps up and a wink courtesy of my right eye sufficed. Really it was such a beautiful lesson though. More about it in a second.

Let's drop a few lines about yesterday's miracle. So there is a member in our ward named Wan Jimuih. She is wonderful and a really good fellowshipper. WELL she brought her mom to church last week but I wasn't able to get a chance to talk to her. Then she came again this week, and I asked, "Can we teach your Mom?" She said that she had asked her before but that her Mom said No. She told me she would ask again. Then 3 minutes later we were in a classroom and teaching Chan Taai for the very first time. She literally has no Christian background and we were able to teach her about Heavenly Father and prayer. During the lesson she said, "But I don't know how to pray!" Tears formed in my eyes as Wan Jimuih said, "That's why the missionaries are here, to help you!" (see Elder Nelson's conference address from November 2012 Ensign!) It was such a tender moment to witness after we taught her prayer, Wan Jimuih then helped her Mom say the prayer. Afterwards she told us that she has waited for YEARS for this. (Wan Jimuih is probably late 40's and joined the church when she was 16) Tears were in all of our eyes and I know that God has a plan perfect for every one person.

Alright---- Who's ready for fun fact time? Here's some for you-
-I love love love our mission correlator. Honestly I can't get enough of him. He's going to BYU Hawaii and he said that he will look McKay up and take him to dinner. Honestly I know you will all meet Blake Chan someday. Brace yourselves. He is straight up hilarious and asks us English questions like what "Reindeer games" means. (imagine Trying to explain the concept of Santa and saying that everyone believes... and how one year Rudolph saved Christmas.) I can't adequately express how funny he is.
-I caved. I'm now a proud owner of sicko black Sunday crocs. And let me tell you something---they didn't come cheap. Yikes. So... sorry. But it's a lot 
easier. The rain comes down something fierce here. Sometimes I wear jelly shoes too to switch it up. Also Mom buy yourself a cafe rio salad on me because as usual YOU WERE RIGHT mesh is the way to go. I'm not going to elaborate on this any further but you were right and I'm regretting my past comments regarding the mesh vs carinessa debate.
-I also love wearing my hair in a bun. I do it every day. Don't tell Cindy Farr. 
-There is a fruit here that I like to call Death. It is actually in English called Durian. I haven't actually tried it yet but I've smelled it and I know because I am writing about it I'm going to be offered it this week.... But WOW. It's bad. Look it up. hahahaha

Alright that's enough nonsense but let me just tell you I know this church is true! I know God lives, and even though there are only 3,000 active members in Hong Kong, the church is growing, and God is preparing the way for more people to hear about his true and everlasting gospel. I know charity never faileth and I am in love with Moroni chapter 7. The last verse in that chapter is particularly inspiring! I love you all so much. I hope you have a wonderful week.! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! praying for you everyday!!!!

Love, Paak Jimuih.
 Sister Palmer and Sister Olsen put up a blanket to keep the cool air more in their little bedroom!!
Ashley, her companion, the other two missionaries they live with and elders in her district. Below they are pictured with their newest member referral, Crystal.

Monday, June 3, 2013

If I wasn't a missionary and if air conditioning was a man I would marry it.

Here is Ashley's latest. Sorry, she didn't send any pictures... The heat and humidity along with the mosquitos are making things a wee bit miserable.

McKay graduated and endowed!!!!!! WOW! WHAT AN EXCITING WEEK. Wade likes chicken hearts? Why am I not surprised? He needs to try the pigs feet. Or the delicacy of thousand year old eggs. Knowing him he would probably like and then crave both. But back to the exciting news!!!! McKay. In one single month you will be a missionary. BAHHHHHH. I am so excited for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much. Keep going to the temple! Hit up Manti--It's my favorite :)

Mom, thanks so much for your package!!!!! Can't wait to get the vitamin B-1 a part of my blood system and ward off the nasty ma (mosquitos) out of my life!!!! I'm praying that it will work! This week one patch of skin near my knee cap was bitten probably 15-17 times. It was so awesome and I am currently loving the side effects of that horrible deed. "You can never have too much bug spray" is now my cherished motto. Okay I seriously cannot believe that it is now constituted and classified as being lohkyuht-- June. WHHHHAAATTTTT. It makes me sick. I mean where is this time going? Last week couldn't have been any longer than a blink of an eye.

Okay this past week.... so let's give a recap. (It's like on those tv shows where they leave you at the cliffhanger and then they bring you back up to speed a week later... yep that's us right here and right now!) WONG JIMUIH. If you will recall that blessed woman heard all the commandments in one sitting. (The whole zone is finding this story quite remarkable,) and we didn't hear from her Monday (she was in Mainland) but Tuesday we were fasting for her and then guess who gives us a little ring a ding ling....... YES WONG JIMUIH herself. 

She told us a horrible story about one of her employees that tried to commit suicide via wrist on Monday and how she found him. She then went on to tell us that "I'm not a doctor and didn't know what to do" so she then did the only thing she knew how to do, she prayed. She prayed and was able to arrange for him to go to the hospital and the doctor said if he would have gotten there an hour later he would have died. She also told us that she called her employee's parents and that they said, "Let him die." ISN'T THAT AWFUL? Wong Jimuih is just so good and she kept saying, "How could  parent say that about their own child?" 

I told her I didn't know but that she had saved his life. I tried to help her in my broken Chinese and then after a prayer in my heart and opening the truly magical Book of Mormon, the Spirit directed me to read with her Alma 31:31. We then talked about miracles. She asked us if we had ever experienced miracles before. I told her for me, meeting her was a miracle. She told me that it wasn't a miracle, but that our meeting was Tinfuh ge ngonpaai. (arranged by Heavenly Father) She reminded me that we had been friends in Heaven before this life. She said, "I came here first and was born in China and then moved to Hong Kong. You two were born later in America and then came to Hong Kong and Heavenly Father helped me find you." My eyes were misty with tears. Wong Jimuih. She truly is such a miracle. Two months ago she didn't even know about Heavenly Father and now she is just teaching me that not only are families forever, but we really are all members of Heavenly Father's family.

Now in regards to the miracle needed for the Word of Wisdom... she is well on her way. On Monday, she told us she didn't have any tea or coffee but that she wanted to die. (her words, not mine) hahahaha. She has been drinking this stuff since she was a teenager, so it is no small commitment. She is getting down to less and less though. Yesterday and Saturday she only had one cup each day rather than 3!!!!! She is telling everyone that "she wants to be baptized, but she doesn't know if she will be able to keep such a big commitment." 

I have faith that she will and she will make her June 30th (THIS MONTH!!!) baptismal date. Thank you so much for your prayers in her behalf!!!!! She is going to make it. And bring her sweet family with her. THIS GOSPEL CHANGES LIVES. I get to have a front row to the biggest miracle of all, watching the Spirit touch hearts and make eyes twinkle. Keep praying for her! We're finishers and with God's will we're going to finish what we start.

Get out your i-devices (to check the weather) and thank your lucky stars that the weather in your neighborhood is not that of HK. It's getting hotter and I now enjoy sleeping in a mumu (sp?) without covers, and with an ice water bottle in my bed with me to cool down the feeling that I am now a walking around rice cooker. Hence why I love AC like never before and have considered marrying it. TMI? Maybe. 

Things really are going so well here. Moves calls are this week! I really feel like I am staying with Sister Olsen in Ma On Shan. She is all trained! Where did these 9 weeks go? It blows my mind. We met new investigators this week, and I am excited to keep working with them and tell you more of the great news and the gospel just blessing Chinese people left and right.

Shout out to my favorite missionaries, Sister Farr and Sister Tilley!!!! Heath I hope you get feeling better ASAP. Do they have doctors in the Tina? Should I expedite some Chinese meds? hahaha. You kill me. and Sister A.D. Tilley... I just love you loads and admire you and can't wait to hear you speak THAI so soon! I love that you love the collection bins!!! hahahaha I'm sitting here dying. I forgot what true gold mines those were. love you both.

Okay family. I am being humbled all over again as I try to continue to speak Cantonese. My language isn't good, but I testify that God gives me just enough to be understood and then in return I can understand what I need to when people speak to me. It's truly a miracle. I love being a missionary, talking about Jesus Christ every day, and teaching people this good news! I hope you all have a great week! I'm praying we find more progressing investigators this week. It's such an honor to teach these special Chinese spirits and learn right a long with them.

Thank you for your prayers, care, and selfless love on my behalf. I love you all sooooooooo much and miss you! Do you know that? Thank goodness for forever!
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Love always, Paak Jimuih 

ps sorry this wasn't very funny. I laugh all day long but I honestly can't think of anything lol funny to share this week. I'll try harder next week.
pps you all are too good to be true!