Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Mid Autumn Festival

Greetings. Oh my goodness. Good news, everyone said that the Typhoon was going to be the worst HK and Macau had seen in 30 years & then we woke up this morning to our typical forehead sticky humidity so while you're off in dream land, I'm here in the Macau computer lab here to reply to your wonderful emails and give you the 411 of this past week. THIS PAST WEEK WAS SO FAST. Does time go this fast in America? I'm confused. And a little sick about it. Some rumors are going around that I have been a missionary for a year this week..... I like to say I've been one for a month. That's about what I feel like. I'm so glad you all had dinner with Klayton and it was such a wild success. Also I failed to mention last week but I'm so sorry to hear about Warren. I also loved him and Aunt Jo. Are Grandpa and Grandma still there? If so give them a hug for me! McKay, I love reading your emails! They make my life. Spencer, sorry to hear about BYU. I may or may not have read your play by play report. Wade. Happy to hear you're still you. And can't wait to watch Les Mis with you too. Rachel, you little cutie cutester. You are looking so much older! Actually all of the kids are. It's weird. In a good but still very weird way. I looked at a picture of us at Disneyland from almost 2 years ago and everyone looks like a little bouncing baby. Mom. You're the woman. Glad to hear you're getting your corner shelf. You love those. Ps remember last year when we went to 4 Targets for yellow cardigans? I thought about explaining that story to Sister Yeung but then decided against it because she already thinks I'm crazy... and she just wouldn't understand. hahahaha. Dad, New calling! Woh. So great! You little scout master. So Proud of you. I told Sister Yeung about my 21st Birthday via the language of Chi-English (I don't know how to say scout in Chinese) and how it was my brother's court of honor and how I hate scouts... and she just thought it was the funniest. But my right arm is raised and sustaining you! Way to be! How's Grandpa Palmer doing? Tell him I say hello and make him a root beer float for me.

This week was wonderful! Some of the miracles include:
-We have been working with a less active named Lahm Jimuih. She called and scheduled us (that never happens!) and invited us over for dinner in lieu of Mid-Autumn festival. (Mid-Autumn festival is like their Thanksgiving.... minus the turkey and they eat weird nuts and moon cakes instead of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.) Anyways... The miracle part, her husband was there! Usually Chinese men are so scary but he is the world's nicest! Another family miracle is upon us! He has to work crazy hours at one of the casino's here in Macau but we did get to meet him and hopefully we will get to see and teach him again soon. I know Heavenly Father is really looking out for us here in Macau and He has plenty for us to do.
-A few weeks ago, some one walked into the church and apparently gave Elder Welling (a Senior Missionary) a piece of paper with a phone number on it. We called the girl and were finally able to see her this past week. Her name is Rita, and is a less active who was baptized in the US but has been less-active since returning to Macau about a year ago. She didn't think anyone in the branch knew who she was or that she was here. I'm still perplexed and in awe as to who gave Elder Welling her phone number but I am forever grateful we were able to find her! We were able to see her this past week and promise her that Heavenly Father has not forgotten about her. It was a powerful lesson. She wants to feel the Spirit and Sister Yeung and I are hoping to be able to help her. Also- WE WENT TO SNOW COLL AT THE SAME TIME! This world is as small as a Chinese girl's waistline. I'll get a picture with her soon!
-Our investigator A-Si came to church for the first time yesterday and had a delightful time! I prayed so hard the night before that the storm would hold out and that we could have church. Heavenly Father heard and answered my prayer! After church A-Si asked me if I liked drinking coffee. I told her right then and there about the Word of Wisdom and then we had the opportunity to teach her after church and she is already going to try and live it. She has a college student, and is smart, and understands what she needs to do to gain a testimony. It is truly a privilege to teach her.
-Our other investigator named Tina who came to church yesterday is also doing relatively well. She really loves her Buddhist beliefs but says she is looking for "the right path." Sister Yeung and I are going to challenge her this week that as long as she studies her Buddhist books for, we want to invite her to read the Book of Mormon for that long too. So if she studies Buddha for 3 hours, we are going to commit her to read The Book of Mormon for that long too. I know that if she will really commit herself, she will find the answer she is looking for. The Book of Mormon is so powerful!
-Our other miracle of the week, a less-active we have been working with gave up some of her sleep time and finally came to church yesterday! Her name is Chan Jimuih. It is so exciting because a lot of her family (older sister's family, her own daughter) are less-active as well and so we are praying that as we strengthen her, we will be able to help her strengthen her own family. We visited her this past week on Friday Morn and she gave us SO MUCH FOOD. Honestly she was killing me I kept saying the Chinese equivalent of "No" and she kept stuffing all sorts of odd assorted Mid-Autumn Festival pieces in this bag. I'm pictured with some of the stuff. These orange/melon fruits the size of my head, (so naturally Yoga at lunchtime with it on my head is necessary) and then check out these nuts that look like mustaches that grow in the ground. When we were at Chan Jimuih's house she kept telling me to eat it and I thought she had to be joking. Shoot the joke's on the ignorant American girl because you just give it a huge almost teeth crunching bite and what do you know, there's a chestnut like white substance on the inside. They basically have no taste but they are probably the weirdest looking things I have ever seen. 
-This past week was the mission tour. We in Macau were the luckiest because the rest of the mission had groups of 40-50 missionaries we had only 11 of us! It was so wonderful. President and Sister Hawks, and Elder Wilson of the seventy and his wife came. The conference lasted from 9-5 on Saturday and was a rich, spiritual feast. I loved it. We learned about the importance of teaching investigators about the Fall in the relation to the Atonement. We were masterfully taught. In Preach My Gospel it says to teach simply about Adam and Eve and to not teach all you know. I have made the mistake of then just sort of quickly teaching it. I learned how this is a crucial thing for investigators to know!!!! So yesterday when we taught A-Si I made sure she got it. haha. Also, we learned about the power of the Book of ļ¼­ormon. We learned about how to answer the questions of the soul. We also had a sister's meeting with just Sister Hawks and Sister Wilson. Both of the Wilson's are masterful teachers and my notes just don't do it justice. I was also chosen to have a special one on one interview with Elder Wilson and he is just the sweetest man. He gave me advice on how to be a better missionary in finding and using the Book of Mormon that I will never forget. I am the luckiest missionary in the world.

Family, I know this church is true. I have been reading my "one line a day" journal and reading about my first week in the MTC and I know I'm still me, but I'm not. Heavenly Father through sending me on a mission to Hong Kong, China changing my eternity. I'm sure it will make you smile to know that my journal entry from September 27th, 2012 simply states: "Today I was overwhelmed by Chinese. I need to work harder at this Cantonese." hahahahaha Day 2 in the MTC. Yikes. I need help. But that's just it. I testify that Heavenly Father has helped me and has loved me so much to cut me down so that he could change, mold, and cut out the person that He envisions me to be. I love my mission. I love the Chinese people. I know that this church is true. Every person I tell every day I pray that even if they choose to reject to meet with us missionaries the Spirit will touch them and they will be able to remember it and accept it some day. I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do for me. Your prayers, emails, letters, and care towards me mean more than you know. 

Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, September 16, 2013

Everybody was Kung Fu Finnnnnddddddinggggggg

Fam- Leihdeih hou ma?!?!?!?! 
This has been such a good week! I'm serious. Every week I learn so much and learn about how little I know. I remember President Hawks saying that I would see the most miracles of my mission in finding, and it is so true... This past week especially. 

On Tuesday, Sister Yeung and I had a few 20 minutes to spare because one of our lessons cancelled. We decided to go to the garden near the church to use our time the most effectively. We prayed to find specifically to find someone prepared that would listen to our message of the Restoration. We went to the garden, and it was closed. We looked at each other, a little confused, because we really felt like we should go there. We decided with the remaining time we had to go to Taap Sec, which was just up the hill nearby. With our copies of the Book of Mormon in hand we talked to everyone as we went, but no one would stop. We got to Taap Sec and within 2-3 people we talked to an 18 year old girl who was named Vicky. She said she had met and prayed with missionaries before but didn't meet with them since. We talked with her for a moment, and then asked her if she would have a few moments and we could show her around the church. As we walked she told us how she felt it was Heavenly Father's plan for us to meet. She said that she had felt she should stay at the library longer and she didn't know why. When she did leave, minutes after the library she met us! Sister Yeung and I testified that we felt the same because we had planned to go to a garden first! She is a college student and an only child, but believes in God. We were able to share a short lesson with her right in the chapel, then teach her the restoration on Saturday, and she came to church on Sunday! I can't wait to see how she keeps progressing as she learns more.

The other finding miracle was last night during Less-Active finding. We went to a place on the outskirts of Macau to go find about 3 less-active members. The buildings weren't marked very well and our addresses we had were incomplete. We found the buildings that we thought were probably the ones we were looking for. There weren't any guards there to open the gate but then a lady came up to go into her house and we thought for sure she would let us come in with her. Well no such luck and she made it clear that we weren't coming in with her. The street was desolate and we had no way of getting inside. We decided to try the next block because the address was incomplete and so we were trying to use our time effectively. The gate was open and we went in. We knocked on the door that we thought was the LA member that we were looking for, but no such luck. We asked one set of very Buddhist neighbors for help but they didn't know, and didn't really want to talk to us. We turned around and saw a family sitting down in their apartment on the other side of the hallway. After asking about the member we were looking for, they said they had no idea. We then introduced ourselves and asked if we could come in for a moment and share a message. The wife said we could and we taught her and her husband!!!!! As we sat down my heart raced, and eyes turned into a slight squinty shape to push back the tears of gratitude. The husband can sort of understand Cantonese, (speaks Mandarin) so Sister Yeung did all the teaching. I felt the Spirit so strong. It reminded me of my first months in Hong Kong where I couldn't understand but I prayed the whole lesson long in my heart. For this lesson, all I could contribute was the opening prayer. The husband has been looking for truth. He said that he feels something in churches that he doesn't feel in Buddhist temples. We were only able to teach a short lesson because they had to leave, but this is a tender mercy of the Lord. After Sister Yeung and I left we grabbed each other, were all smiles, and said a thankful prayer of gratitude. For weeks we have prayed to find and teach a family. Heavenly Father answered our prayers. The Mandarin Elders should be teaching him this week. Sister Yeung and I now know that we need to make our prayers a little more specific and ask to find a Cantonese Chinese speaking family :) 

Pictured is a less active that we have been working with named Lam Jimuih. She was baptized when she was young and doesn't remember hardly any of the doctrine. But she is so nice and every time we come over she feeds us. Unfortunately when it's "share the message time" she likes them short (she's a very much Chinese mother and lets us know when we should be done) but we have been able to start teaching her precious daughters Jessica (12) and Coco. (10) Aren't they the cutest things you've ever seen? Lam Jimuih is always telling us how much her daughters love when we come over. We shared the Restortation this week with them and hopefully we will be able to see them next week. Rachel would love them and they'd be the best of friends.

Other fun facts from the week:
-Mid Autumn Festival. Don't those 3 words together sound enchantingly magestic? Yes my thoughts exactly. That's what's going on right now in China. But I don't know if I tend to get too excited over things or if I'm missing the boat here because it's happening and you could have fooled me because nothing is happening. There's lanterns up everywhere and Mooncakes a plenty but other than that nothing. Let's take a second to talk about mooncakes, shall we? That is what I am pictured with in the featured shot attached. Take a guess about how many calories are in one. I don't know actually but Sister Yeung tells me 1/4 of one equals one bowl of rice. AND THEY DON'T EVEN TASTE GOOD. Honestly I'm fairly sure they're straight up lard with hard boiled egg yolks inside. see yaaaaaaaaa no thanks. Weird. Why a holiday is dedicated to them is truly beyond my made in America head.
-Alex. Oh Alex. He is so great. We decided to crack down on him and get his loving self on the baptismal train. We decided to take some advice from PMG and show him the baptismal record.... saying "you want to get baptized? This is what you're going to need to do." So that's what we did. It was bold and a little frightening and it went really well. After that he didn't talk so much about nothing and was ready to listen to the Plan of Salvation! I love Alex. He's great. A member of the 70 is coming to Macau for a mission tour this week and will be speaking in church next week! Hopefully Alex will keep his commitment and come this Sunday!
-Have I said it lately that I love Chinese people?
-So our investigator Sue played/pet a cat in the street 2 days ago and is now dealing with a skin problem and couldn't come to church yesterday because of it. Does that send chills up anyone else's spine? Love her regardless but yikes. hahahaha We're praying that it heals up ASAP.
-Dad you're so right! Teaching Asian people who don't have distorted views of the Godhead is such a blessing. Teaching them right from square one is like watching a beautiful story begin to unfold. We're teaching a member's friend named Tina. Have I told you about her before? We taught her again this week and as we were giving her the baptismal invite we said, "Are you willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ" and before we could say receive baptism she said "willing."... Stay tuned for what i like to call "Miracles in Tina Corner."
-Oh yes Mom, Amanda is married. Have yet to meet her husband, but we're pushing for it! ETERNAL FAMILY is in their plan... they just don't know/understand it yet.

Well family, there's loads more I'd love to say but mostly I"m here to say THANK YOU FOR THE EMAILS, and I love you so very much. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. President Hawks invited us to carry it around wherever we go and it's changing the way I travel and the way I share the gospel. It's such a powerful book. I know it's true.

I LOVE YOU ALL & praying for you always
XOXOXOXO times infinity to eternity.
Paak Jimiuh

Monday, September 9, 2013

From a misunderstanding to a baptismal date


OH my goodness you cutie cute cutesters, get in my arms! I loved all your emails. Every Monday I get a little nervous/excited to see what is going to be here mailbox. Good news you all never disappoint. Side note: I won't be able to email early anymore... the library doesn't open until 1:00 Macau time so that's 11:00 your time. That is the definition of mahfaahn and hou chahm rapped up in one situation. SPENCER. Well aren't you just the dating green machine a midst tricycles. Looking good my good man. I love this so much. Tell Shay I say Hi and give her a nice little handshake and hug from me. (too much? "I don't think so"....say that in your best Home Alone voice) Mom glad to see you've found a new use via the pinterest for icecube trays.. (the Chinese would love that... they save and reuse EVERYTHING) Dad I'm so glad you're still wearing your kimono, every night when I wear my Japanese silk pajamas I think of you and just want to give you a good Kamichiua (forgive my spelling) and a tight squeeze. (things to look forward to if April 2014 ever comes...) Mckay I pray for you and your investigators on the daily and that mystic cave looks like you're in the heart of an episode of LOST. Wade, glad to hear that your teachers are a mix of love and hate... some things never change. Rachel- I didn't hear from you this week but it may because you're in a sugar comatose state after all those owl cookies Dad bought you. I hope you expedited one my way. I know you did! Can't wait to eat one in 12-14 business days. Thanks in advance.

Okay so this week.... Was great as usual. 
-Our investigator named Amanda-- she's been meeting with missionaries for a while and has had 2 dropped baptismal dates. In my effort to become a more bold and testifying missionary, I just wanted to give her a little shall we say... kick.... to try and figure out what she's been thinking... Why she's been meeting with us... why she's been reading the Book of Mormon and why she comes to church. Well apparently she is with child. (She wouldn't say so but basically told us without saying.... tricky tricky) But she wants to be baptized.... except for she wants to be baptized next June (9 months ha ha ha) .... so now the test is to help her see what the blessings are and why she needs them now!!!! She is the cutest little mom already though so we just need to help her understand forever families!
-Yesterday we just had the greatest lesson with Sue. I shouldn't be excited but she quit/got fired from her job so guess who was 20 minutes early to church yesterday? Sue herself. She seemed to like it and then after church we taught her. We had planned to teach the Plan of Salvation, but she hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon yesterday and the day before and so then we went in to find what the iceberg problem was. Turns out even though we thought we had made it clear she still didn't get it. Which is completely our fault! We also asked her "if this is true what does that mean to you." She then said she hadn't ever thought of what that would mean.... UHHHH.... that's a potential warning flag. Well we used the scriptures and went to the basics of Heavenly Father, who He is and Why He matters. We shared about Ammon teaching King Lamoni (one of my personal favorites) and she left that lesson 35 minutes later with a baptismal date in November. That wasn't Sister Yeung and I at all. It was the Spirit testifying to her and the power of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the key in conversion!!!! Complete miracle I tell you!
-We have some other great investigators that we are working with and it is so interesting to teach these Chinese spirits who have no concept of God or who He is. One of our other investigators named Tina is a member refferal and we taught her this past week for the first time. She's smart and slightly sassy but I pray for her all the time and just hope that she will feel that this message is true. She might not know it yet, but once she feels it is true that will change everything.
-We're still working with lots of less actives and just inviting them to remember their covenants and come unto Christ. Covenants are everything. As long as we keep our covenants we will be happy.
-We had the best event this past week. The two branches here had a talent show and it was so unifying. Usually the two branches (one Chinese and the other Filipino) don't really get along or support each other but on Saturday the talent show was a complete hit. We missionaries did a rap and there was all sorts of piano, dancing, and singing galore. Everyone was still talking about it at church yesterday. It was so great to see the Branches have such unity. 
-Not to get on the Nostalgic Train here but according to my journal one year ago I gave my mission farewell... which blows my mind. I feel like I am becoming a completely different person and I never want to go back to who I was before. I think one of the biggest changes I have been seeing lately in myself is how far I have yet to go... But Heavenly Father is merciful and kind and I truly love being a missionary. I am learning what obedience is and why it matters. I'm learning to not complain but to sincerely compliment. I am learning the power of a smile. I'm learning to return and report. I am learning to exercise the mental work that faith requires. I am learning to repent daily and experience the power of the Atonement. I am learning to not blame others but to look for someone to help. I am learning to be selfless and to sit by the people who need friends. I am a process. And Heavenly Father isn't mad when I fall short, he's joyful that I'm trying. 

I love the Book of Mormon, I know it is is true! I am so happy to be here in Macau and to be able to give invitations to so many of Heavenly Father's children. I know that this is the Lord's work and God is really there. I love you all so much!!!!! I am praying for you all! I never want to stop being a missionary in the HK mission.

Have such a good week!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL
Paak Jimuih

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Tender Mercies of the Lord do not occur Randomly

Family!!!! Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for the emails. I truly don't deserve the support you all give me. I love reading all your letters. Sometimes I wish I didn't have Pday because I'd rather just do missionary work, but I am so glad for the time to sit in this ghetto (excuse me deluxe) computer lab and throw some lines about the miracle metropolis of Macau. I can't get enough. Sometimes during my peaceful thinking moments during 10:07 pm MCT (Macau Standard Time) showering time (yes I take cold showers, yes I start sweating as soon as I pop out to "dry") I think to myself "HOw am I so lucky to be in Macau just spreading the good news that Jesus is coming again. I love these people!!!!!!!!!!!! I love my shower thinking time and counting my blessings. (TMI?) I explain this to you because sometimes as we're going through out the day I get frustrated. I don't want to, but it happens. People don't show up for lessons, we go finding without any immediate results, or I couldn't say everything in Chinese that I wanted to. But every night as I'm finally able to clear my head and think Heavenly Father helps remind me how blessed I am and how much he truly loves me because he is letting me be a part of His most important work. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

Ok so are you ready to here about the tender mercies of this week? Here they are:
-Oh my heck I can't wait to tell you about this one. Do you remember Alex from Ma On Shan? Sister Olsen and I found him while walking to the MTR one day. He was a chef at the hotel near the church and is just the cutest little dad you've ever seen. Loves Jesus and wants to be baptized. Hopefully this is jogging your memory? He has bleached tips hair. Actually have I even ever talked about him before? Anyways, MIRACLE OF MY MISSION LIFE....pause for dramatic effect.....commercial break to really clinch the dramatics.... ALEX LEUNG MOVED TO MACAU. Is anyone still breathing?!?!?!??! Yeah me neither. I get to keep teaching him. How does Heavenly Father love me so much. I don't deserve it. I need to go do some more repenting and gratitude prayers. Honestly. I called him on Monday and the phone conversation was a little weird and I was a tad chagrined  He said "I'll call you" which any missionary knows NEVER HAPPENS so it it actually turns into me saying "haih la okay we'll call you." but Tuesday Alex actually called us during the middle of the day. I was cutting onions, so naturally I was crying, and nearly cut myself, I was so happy and may or may not have shed some happy tears in addition to the onion ones!!!! We taught him this week and the picture after our lesson is attached. Alex is doing great.... He's a talker and I think Sister Yeung is not adapt to the way he talk talk talks... But we love him regardless.
-A-Sue is doing great. We saw her 3 more times this week. Except for I have good news and bad news. The good news is- she got a job. The bad news is-she has to work on Sundays... so you're right mostly bad news. Wait what. I'm the devil. No it's good but she had to straight up work 12 hours yesterday. I love her so much. She asks the best questions and every time she calls she yells my name super loud in the phone and it just makes me so happy. We have a newly called ward missionary in the branch named Ding Mahn. She is the best. She is a bigger chinese woman with recently dyed purplish hair, but she has a heart of gold, flowers, and a smile that melts my throat like a delicious egg tart. She was Sue's fellowshipper and the lesson that she helped with was so powerful. I need to get a picture with Sister Ding. You'd love her. She's always hugging me and I sat by her in church yesterday. She showed me how she is taking the missionary pamphlets home to study so she can be more prepared. How cute and tender is she? I love dedicated members!!!!!!
-Our investigator A-Si is also doing great. She has even been praying and I just hope we can get her away from work to come to church services. (yes this is a common trend among Chinese people it would seem) I love her so much. We taught her the Restoration this past Saturday. And there was the most tender spirit in the room as we talked about Joseph Smith. I get tears in my eyes thinking about it. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Thank you Mom and Dad for teaching me this from when I was very young and preparing me to share it with the precious people of Macau. 
-Sister Larson my dear little MTC tuhngbuhn is here in Macau! She is in the international branch but we live together which leads to endless "remember that one time..." "and at the MTC..." I'm trying to not annoy the other sister's but I am so glad she is here! It's great.
-Last night we had the most tender mercy of an experience. Yesterday I wasn't quite myself. I don't know what it was. Some things were bothering me and I was feeling a little annoyed about things that are out of my control. I was being selfish and prideful. Anyway I was trying to forget myself, but we went to go teach our investigators Choi Mei and Choi Yin at their home (daughters of LA) and after we had scheduled to go finding. The lesson was okay-a but as we went to go finding I said "Heavenly Father please lead me to someone that needs your help." We walked around this tiny "park" and talked to some people who just weren't that interested. We found this lady who didn't want to tell us her name but was sitting at one of the chess tables with all of her recently bought groceries. We did a little talking to her and "BRT-ing and HTBT-ing" (shout out out to all PMG missionaries ^_^) and then she broke down crying. She told us of the horrors of her crazy husband and how all of her kids have moved out to get away from him. She talked about scary things like knives and how the cops will take him away but he always comes back. I couldn't understand it all (vocab was a little beyond me) and she didn't want to pray with us. We then asked her if we could sing a hymn to her. We sang one of my very most favorites, Lead Kindly Light, and I saw the peace of the Spirit touch her eyes. She then told us her name, Sister Jau and agreed to let us pray with her. That little spot in Macau has now become a sacred place to me. I know that if we will pray to Heavenly Father to be led to help one of his children, he will lead us to those who are in darkness; whether by their own choices or the selfish choices of others. She kept telling us "thank you for caring about me" and we testified her that God hadn't forgotten about her. It truly was a tender mercy of the Lord.

Okay family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much it hurts. I am so glad we are a family forever. Thank you for your prayers, I wish I could write more and reply better... But I love you and miss you!!!! Thank you for all you do for me. The rest of the postcards should be coming (!!!!) I hope! And I'm so glad you got my memory card. Okay I'll talk to you all next week. Hope school goes well and you remember how much I and Heavenly Father love you.

Praying for you always!
Paak Sihn Yih Jimuih
Sister Ashley Palmer :)

Ashley and her companion run by this church sometimes. It is called the broken church and one of Macau's biggest landmarks.

Teaching Alex.

Ashley with Sister Larson (Her MTC companion) roommates again!!