Monday, October 28, 2013

Falling For Fall and Butterfly

FAMILY!!!!!!!

THANK YOU so much for all your emails. I love, love reading them. Wade's 10 commandments collage... priceless. Sister Tidwell and I will be using that pronto. Could you print that out and send it to me? You're the best. Your week looks like so much fun! I can't believe it's Monday again and then Halloween is this week. Are you all doing anything fun for it? What is Rachel dressing up as? I recently related the story of the year where Wade was Vector and Rachel was the little girl (can't remember her name.. Hello memory loss) from Despicable Me and no one knew who or what they were. 

Well the weather has taken a dip for the cooler here and we couldn't be happier. We were finding a few night's ago in Tuen Mun Park and I thought to myself, "I wish I had a cardigan... "words I never thought I would ever utter to myself or to others ever again.. but it's happening and it is just too weird. Sometimes in my scripture journal I write down July and then want to throw up when I realize it's not! So what's everyone being for halloween this year?

So let me tell you a few of the happenings of my week. Yesterday, Sunday, was by far my favorite part, so I will touch on that first. This past week we tried to visit several less actives with little success in being let in to the different chuyns. (sometimes the guards are just as crazy as all get out and won't let us in and act like we are jail breaking criminals... it's fine) The reason we try and visit them rather than just call them is because President Hawks says too and the success rate is higher of actually getting to talk to and then teach them :) 

Anyways, later that night during calling time I felt impressed to call one of the less actives that was in the sector that we didn't have a chance to get to. My MTC teacher had taught her when she was in this area, and so she was in a picture with her. Well I called her and to my surprise, she actually answered and then to my utter shock she actually wanted to talk to me! She said that yes, she would love to come to church on Sunday and that I could meet her then. 

So yesterday rolls around and she came, and she wasn't alone! She brought her daughter and grandson! She walks in and I hear her yell my name and she straight up spanks me on the bottom (first time a Chinese person has done that... YOLO) and says so loudly, "Paak Jimuih you called me and I"m here." The daughter and grandson were just like members, and Butterfly ward just welcomed them in and were so excited that Sister Lam (the less active) had come back! We talked to some members that are friends with the family to learn more about them and hopefully will begin teaching her daughter and grandson soon, such a miracle! I got her phone number and so pray that we can teach cute Ma Jimuih and her 11 year old son, Harry. I love them already. She also has a one month old baby that is just too precious for words. Heavenly Father really does answer and hear our prayers, and gives us miracles after all we can do.

We were also able to meet with two of our other investigators, Erica and Mak-Mak. Erica is now learning the commandments and we thought she was going to have the hardest time keeping the Sabbath Day so we taught that first. She didn't really want to commit to keep it.... yet, so we have been praying really hard for her and talked to her fellowshipper yesterday as to how we can help her. We are going to help her to build testimony. Our other investigator Mak-Mak that is progressing is doing well. She's not reading the Book of Mormon everyday so we talked about the importance of doing that. She's not very close with her mom and her mom doesn't want her to be baptized. But we are praying for her and God can change hearts and work miracles. The ward really loves her a lot and is super supportive so we will continue to work with her and help her prepare for baptism-- hopefully we will be able to meet her family soon!

Sister Tidwell and I spent a lot of time finding this past week. We found a lot of people that didn't want to listen and found a few that did, and a few that might be a few good potentials. There is just a lot of anti material here and it just makes me so sad, because it's so true! I just love these people too much. They need the gospel to light up their lives and take away the darkness and sadness from their eyes. We are working hard to be more bold testifying missionaries so that Heavenly Father's children here in Butterfly can recognize us as servants of the Lord. We are striving to be exactly obedient and enjoying our time together. Sister Tidwell is great.

Family, I love you all so much! We are the luckiest people alive to have the complete gospel and know what our life's purpose is! I know that this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon changes lives. It helps me so much when I feel sad or even just a tad lonely. As we do the little things, read, pray and go to church, they make a huge difference and will give us real peace. I know that God lives. I know that the Holy Ghost guides us. I know that there are prepared people here in Hong Kong. I'm looking for them and striving to be worthy to teach them everyday. They're here. I think I'm just experiencing a little faith test... so I'm grateful.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Halloween!!!!! xoxo times infinity.. and back.
Love, Paak Jimuih

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Butterflies and Rejections and Miracles

Family!!!! HELLO. May I take this moment to share that my favorite part of P-day is having the opportunity and blessing to communicate with you all. I'm serious. Best part. I love you all so much. I love reading your emails and hearing what you're up to in the 84062 and what Elder Palmer (Paak Jeunglouh) is up to in the Hawaii. (I still can't believe he is there!) I don't know if you read each other's emails but literal tears were falling out of my left eye as I read his email. Wade please share with the fam what you wrote me. I honestly don't know how you got to be so funny. See you on your own talk show. Also speaking of Wade, can you please send me an email and/or pictures of how to do the 10 commandments with your hands. I can't remember what you do for commandment 7 & 9 and I need your creativity. Also to all you read this--please send me your object lesson ideas. I need to spice up my teaching and I lack enough brain cells to think past the ones I usually use. Thank you in advance. :)

Well, it's so weird that it is mid-October. I mean what? I still sweat all the time here... so I think my sweat glands are sending messages to my brain that it's still mid-July here, and so naturally I am confused.... but I love being here in the HK. 

I don't know why my area is so small. I don't really understand the ward boundaries, but I mean it's small but I think I made it sound like it's the size of a pin head or the block on which we live... Neither of which are true but it's still pretty small. Sister Tidwell and I walk most everywhere to a- save money, and b-to get to know our area better and c- to stay healthy and d-to talk to all the people and make sure that no one is perishing on either side of us in unbelief. Everyone here basically lives in the chuyns here still... the picture attached is from our apartment window but lots/most of the buildings you can see are in our area. The transportation... haahahaha it is something else here in the New Territories. It's called the Hing Tit (light rail) and it is just quite the bone rattling experience. I almost always almost (does that make sense) fall on someone everytime we get on it. But it's a good conversation starter....

 Erica is still doing wonderful. Her testimony and receptiveness inspires me. I've thought about and pondered the council we received at the mission tour and how getting investigators in the Book of Mormon is the key to conversion. We have a member of the ward that is preparing her papers to serve (she's the family that we ate dinner with last week, her name is Himmy) and as I was walking yesterday I think I received a little inspiration that this member needs to be Erica's Book of Mormon reading buddy. We're going to set up a little book club for the two of them and I'm really excited to see how this goes. When I talked to Elder Wilson he made it a point to tell me that this will help bring people lasting conversion. I have faith that this can help her. Erica hasn't told her mom that she's continuing to meet with us, so pray so hard that her Mom will be okay with it... and miracles haven't ceased so maybe we can teach her mom too! :) We've also found some cute new investigators this past week named--Vivian, A-Ming, and Wan Jimuih. I love them all so much! 

I'm going to be a little honest at this point-This week we spent a lot of time finding. This week we really tried to do more than find, we tried searching. There are so many people in Hong KOng and  a lot of them aren't ready for this message right now. We prayed hard to be able to find prepared people to teach. I don't want to say we didn't find any, because we found a lot of potentials, but no one super prepared... yet. It's interesting, this week was full of lots of rejection. I'm used to rejection but I feel like this week had more. Or maybe it was my attitude. Actually it definitely was. I'm working on building my faith and trying to exercise the mental work necessary to really believe that Heavenly Father will help me find those prepared people, but I lack so much! But I'm learning every day to humble myself and to develop more charity. I just want to help people and to not let Heavenly Father down!!! But this just isn't about what I want and I'm learning that God has a big plan for me and an even bigger plan for the people of Hong Kong. I just haven't found my place, quite yet. Heavenly Father is testing me and I can't wait to find his prepared children. Listen-- I really am okay! I think I'm just letting Satan get the better of me. I'm focused and just really trying to give everything to the Lord. Please pray that we can find prepared investigators that will accept this message! They're here. I just haven't found them yet.

We've seen some great miracles with the less-active rescue effort here in Butterfly. One of the cute Less-actives that we've been working with, Sehk Jimuih, called this morning and told me that her day-off is on Sunday this week so she's coming to church! During less-active finding this past week we found some less actives (seriously it sounds like I"m joking but it seriously is a miracle) and we even scheduled one for tonight (a family!) and were able to get a less-active's little sister's phone number that we can hopefully schedule. 

Yesterday was Stake Conference and the Church made this video especially for the Asia area and it was so good! Elder Holland spoke and so did some of the other general authorities. They are so focused here in China, (basically every church meeting is about missionary work!) we're just trying to help the members do this work. It all has such incredible potential here, we're just trying to see how the Lord wants us to help Him do his will in China. Last night we got to eat with the Chan Family. (picture attached) Aren't they the cutest? 

I love you all so much. I know this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I know that Heavenly Father loves us all so much. I know he is there. I know the Holy Ghost is the real teacher and I know that Jesus is the Christ. I hope you all have such a good week! I pray for, miss and love you all every single day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxo
LOVE, Paak Jimuih

Monday, October 14, 2013

Carry On!!

(...........yes that is actually Carry on in chinese....)
Family!

Greetings from Butterfly! It is so great to be in this area. This ward is great. Butterfly is in the New Territories (about as country town/country bumpkin as Hong Kong gets!) and this ward is inside the city of Tuen Mun. Can you find that on Google or any maps? Sister Tidwell (from Provo) and I are still trying to figure out our directions..... hahaha. We may or may not have spent a lot of time being lost this past week. (WHICH I'M FULLY AWARE SOUNDS DUMB CONSIDERING OUR AREA IS SECOND SMALLEST IN THE WORLD but! the transportation in the New T's is so different and we haven't had anyone show us how to do it.) Also several times we've been contacting someone on the train platform and then just follow them right on the train only realizing stops later that we're going the wrong way. But it's fine! All are God's children and I'm learning to pay closer attention.

So Butterfly ward used to be a part of Tuen Mun ward but they split them a few (not sure how many, I've heard different numbers) years ago and made them two wards. Looking at our ward book, the ward is FULL of member families. Which is really shocking compared to the last wards I've been in. But it's great. We've had 2 cheng outs the past week and have had the chance to already meet our Bishop, Relief Society President, and Ward Mission Correlator. They haven't had sister missionaries in the ward for over 2 years and haven't had a baptism in 20 months... and it seems that lots of members are counting. But we just say mouh mahntaih (no problem!) and let them know that we are here to work with them. Because, if we're not moving forward, we're moving back. But we're working under the Lord's direction through the Spirit.

The Elders that were already here have been so good to us. They turned over two great investigators this past week, one of which I would like to talk about who's name is Erica. She is such a dream! She is so humble and willing to learn. We, with the Butterfly Elders, taught her about the Plan of Salvation. I always feel so humbled when I teach this gospel to those prepared spirits and children of our Heavenly Father who are ready to listen. She asked, perhaps one of the best questions that I have heard during my whole mission. She thoughtfully asked,"Why would God be so willing to send his perfect Son knowing he would suffer so much?" The lesson was powerful and Erica was also able to come to General Conference yesterday. During the past lesson we were able to give her a baptismal date for November 24th, and she accepted! Sister Tidwell and I are so excited to teach her. It's people like her that make it all worth it.

We had some other miracles this past week.... Because of course we had lots of finding time. It was so wonderful. I really love finding, sometimes Satan wants me to think I don't, but I really do. One was a woman named Sister Taahm. Her building was out of power and so we asked her if she'd like to come with us to our church in Tuen Mun and here a lesson about Jesus. To my surprise, she accepted! We road the little train to the chapel and taught her the message of the Restoration. I love teaching the restoration. Not that we should have favorite's but if we had to choose I think it's my favorite one to teach. We were able to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon and we will be able to see her again soon.

Okay GENERAL CONFERENCE. Oh My! I could have sat through 8 more hours! So good. We watched it in English on a little flat screen TV at the Hung Shui Kiu (sorry try to look that up, it's a beautiful chapel!) and Sister Tidwell and I were just running around trying to meet all our ward members, even though all the New Territories stake was there. General Conference is incredible. I made goals for the rest of my mission and made goals that I want to keep for if I'm ever not a HK missionary. I loved Elder Ballard's talk about missionary work. As well as Elder Uchtdorf's. Both so good! Heavenly Father loves us so much to give us prophets.

some things i'd like to mention:
-I met a woman on the train yesterday who said she couldn't hear my message because in her own English words she said, "I am the Buddha." So yes, yesterday I met THE Buddha. 
-Some of my favorite reasons for not being able to come to conference (we were just inviting people on the street) ranged from needing to watch TV, needed to cook food for a baby shower, and someone else needing to walk a dog. 
-Sister Tidwell told me the most exciting news. Apparently she woke up merely 3 nights ago to hearing someone speak Cantonese. She realized it was coming from above her and then it would seem those Chinese mid-night incantations were coming from my very mouth! Not only do I dream in Cantonese, I speak it! I mean I'm sorry I woke her up but I'm grateful the Lord is giving me the gift of tongues. He really has answered and heard my prayers! I am still humbled by this language every day, but I know that God hears and answers all prayers.

Sister Tidwall and I are happy and are grateful to be here. I am so happy to be a missionary. One of the biggest answers to my questions at conference was answered about how to help Butterfly ward. I think the key will be to have really good communication with them and to return and report, always. No matter what. Whether things went well or especially when they didn't. I will be good at returning and reporting. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for this area. I feel like I'm starting a new process of faith all over again. When I get stressed I just have to take a mental step back and remember, I am in the Lord's hands! He doesn't set us up to fail. He has a plan for this area and I'm humbled to have the opportunity to play my small part. I feel so small and insignificant, but as we learned in conference, God works through small and simple things.

I know this church is true. I love you all so very much. Thank you for your love, prayers, and many sacrifices on my behalf. LOVE YOU SO!!!!!!
Love, Paak Jimuih
 

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

From Macau to Butterfly

Family!!!!
I feel like my week was all out of sorts but I have all sorts of things I want to tell you. SPENCER. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I thought about you all Friday. I hope it was so good. You're the best. I'm glad I can still count on you to be a 2 cakes kind of kid. You're looking great and running shirtless... why am I not surprised! Wade, I haven't heard from you in a while. HELP A SISTER OUT and tell me what you're about. Rachel, same goes to you little cutie cutester. Mom sent me pictures of you from picture day, you're looking as lovely as ever. So pretty! Mom, you're the cutest beehive advisor ever. I wish I was your beehive. Thank you for your quotes you sent in your email. I need them this week. Dad- how's scouts? :) How's the calculus? What else is knew? What's the yard looking like? McKay I love your emails and I am so grateful we are experiencing the miracles of change together!
Okaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy so this week. Was quite out of the ordinary I daresay. So we got a moves call during the week. I went with Sister Choi for 5 days while still in Macau. She was so great. I love her. What happened was, we have 2 sets of Cantonese sisters serving in the Macau branch. So Sister Yeung got another companion, another native, and I moved desks and worked in the other sister's area. Does that make sense? It was really weird actually. Hearing about or seeing all the people that I had come to love so much the past two months and then not being able to teach them. But it was good. I learned once more THAT THIS JUST ISN'T ABOUT ME. Sister Choi and I worked hard and spent so many hours finding! We even found families that they hopefully will be able to teach.
Saturday night rolled around with a new moves call for me.... and I'm going to Butterfly in the New Territories! Now the shocker of all, I'm opening an area again! This whole move I felt it coming.. the Spirit seems to like to warn me about these things, but I was too scared to admit it would actually happen. I moved to a brand new, way nice apartment, and I have no investigators! ha. It's funny, I feel more scared about it this time than I did the last time when I did it in Ma On Shan. So it's time to take a big gulp of courage and get going. Our area is the second smallest in the world... Second only to the infamous temple square. I'm not sure if I'm excited or nervous about that. My new companion has been in HK for almost 4 months. Her name is Sister Tidwell and she is from Provo. She seems so nice! So we're going to work hard and hit the streets. I talked to President Hawks about it yesterday and he told me how he knows I'm sad to leave Macau but he said all sorts of nice things about me opening this area in Butterfly. It's the last unit in all the mission to have two sets of missionaries, but I'm really excited to see what the Lord has in store for this little area!
Back to yesterday, while you were all enjoying conference (Can't wait for that this weekend! What are all your favorite talks???)  it was fast Sunday in Macau. President Hawks came and bore his testimony. I love when he speaks in English because he is just so inspired, but there is something so special about him speaking in Cantonese. He bore his testimony about how special he thinks Macau is and how he knows that the two branches (one Chinese, one fillipino) are going to be stakes some day. He then said that he feels that Macau is so special that there will be a temple here one day. I had goosebumps all over! It was such a special testimony that I will cherish forever. I have truly loved my time in Macau. I am going to miss the investigators (all of them because I got to teach all of the ones in Macau now ha) and the members. I feel like every transfer my heart is broken because I can't imagine loving a place like that again, and then what do you know, Heavenly Father blesses me way more and I fall in love with the next area all over again. So... yes I think I just typed that sentence more to convince myself than anyone else.
So I'm sorry I don't have more to tell you about this week! I'm back in Hong Kong and I'm a little scared. But it's okay. This past week I thought about my first few moves in HK. I remember feeling completely alone. I felt like everything I had been good at had been taken away from me. My ability to communicate and talk to people, I didn't know how to really live or teach the gospel, my family was half way across the world, I said good bye to things like forks and hello to chopsticks, and books were even read with binding on the right and characters replaced letters. But I realized, everything hadn't been taken away from me, it was being prepared to be given to me. I found family half way across the world that I didn't know I had, I learned that Jesus Christ really lives, and I found myself, and who I want to become here in Hong Kong and I'm happy to be back.
I know that this church is true! I know it. I know that faith and obedience are the keys to a happy and successful life. I am going to humble myself this week and I can't wait to see what miracles this week will produce. I am so weak, insignificant, but I'm trying to do my best. I know this is God's work. I love the Hong Kong people. Sometimes they tell me I have a big mouth and ask why my skin is so white and then I try to tell them more about The Book of Mormon, because it's true and has changed my life! They need this message so much. Pray for the people of HK (and if you want, especially Butterfly) that their hearts will be softened to hear this message.

Can't wait to soak up the goodness of conference! I love you all so much!!!!! See you for the rest of eternity. XOXOXO
Love, Paak Jimuih


Thursday, October 3, 2013

I went to the white room

Dear Family,

Dad, I know you're the scout master. So.... thanks for telling me again 4 times. I'm so proud of you. hahahaha Jk. Scout master and scout committee member... they're all the same in my book. Congratulations regardless.

This past week went by in a flash. Sister Yeung and I are scratching our heads and truly perplexed at where the time gone. The area really is doing so well. Between our investigators and less actives we are busy and the only thing that holds us back are the bus afternoon traffic jams.. but maybe then again they are a blessing because we get to talk to more people. 

Our investigator Tina- We committed her to read the Book of Mormon for as long as she reads her Buddhist materials. After some testimonies on our part and the Spirit touching her heart, she said Yes. My jaw nearly dropped to the ground. Sister Yeung called her this week and she said some days she doesn't even read her Buddhist material.. Just the Book of Mormon. This is a huge miracle. My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

Another investigator named Alex finally, finallyfinally committed and then CAME to church last week. This is huge! I started teaching him back in Ma On Shan in June and wasn't able to come to church because of work. He came yesterday and it has been powerful to witness his change these past few weeks. I think I mentioned a few weeks ago, he wasn't really progressing and it was hard to get through the lessons because he would get so easily off track and talk about things that didn't matter... like chinese medicine or the health benefits of running. So, Sister Yeung and I turned to Preach My Gospel and followed the advice of Chapter 8 to show him a teaching record, and basically say: "You want to get baptized? Well this is what you're going to have to do." Since then, we have been able to meet him twice a week and he is really, truly beginning to progress. MIRACLE.

Mimi is a 14 year old girl who was found just before I got here while looking for a less-active. She has huge faith and keeps all the commitments we give her, and then some. A few weeks ago her parents said she couldn't come to church anymore. She was so sad. Not knowing how we could help her, we prayed and felt impressed to write a letter to her parents introducing ourselves, our message, and what we were teaching her daughter. Since Sister Yeung knows a little (lot) of Chinese, she wrote it, while I smiled and and we gave her a thumbs up, and then we gave it to Mimi. I feel like a lot on my mission I have gotten used to Heavenly Father saying No.. or not yet to me on my mission. I try to have big faith but I am learning to humble myself and submit to the Lord's will after all I can do. So after we gave her the letter I am ashamed to admit I wasn't sure how much it was going to help, but we wanted to work as if everything depends on us and pray as if everything depends on the Lord. Mimi called us a few days later and said her Mom said she could come to church!!!!! This is a huge miracle. The Spirit softens hearts. 

Then Yesterday Mimi called us and was clearly upset. Her mom was screaming in the background and Mimi told us that her dad is addicted to gambling and her Mom was yelling at him to stop as he went out the door. Mimi was calling us because she didn't know what to say to her Mom. In my head I thought, "I'm only 22! How can I help adults and their child solve their problems?" The truth is, I can't. But God can. So we prayed, shared Jacob 2:8 with her and she called us back later saying that her mom doesn't believe in prayer yet, but I think a miracle is in the making and we will be able to teach her very Buddhist mother soon.

Other highlights-
-So since I'm an American and my passport is only good in Macau for a total of 60 days, yes i have to leave next Monday. I"m so sad. I love this little miracle metropolis. The passport works like this- the first time you come you get 30 days. Then you have to do a U-turn, which means get on the ferry, and then buy a ticket and come right back. I did this at the beginning of the month and then you get 20 more days. After that you get 10 more days, and then you have to leave for a while before you can come back. Well this past week was my time to do the second U turn and get my 10 more days. We went with our zone leaders and even got McDonalds to eat on the way back. Well we get to immigration and the people at my counter weren't the friendliest boarder patrolers. (sp?) They closed the gate behind me, and then I found myself being summoned to follow one of them like I was some alien or convict. Yes everyone, I saw a room that I daresay few people have seen.... the white room. It was full of Phillipinos and  slightly crazy Mandarin man. Well after some whispering and paperwork they told me I had to go to Immigration... Which happens to be on the other side of town. So after a few more hours, I finally got my 10 more days in Macau. So funny. Honestly. The whole thing was just like some Disney Channel movie... except it was my real life.
-MOM, I got your package this week. YOU ARE TOO THOUGHTFUL. It made Sister Yeung's whole week I'm pretty sure. Those vitamins should cure my ailments ASAP and the candy is so good and THE QUOTES AND THAT CONFERENCE JOURNAL....... exactly what I needed. You're an angel. When I think of angel I think of you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. It meant so much that you would send those to Sister Yeung too. Thank you.
-I will NEVER EVER EVER complain about speaking in church again. Yesterday I had to speak in Church for 10 minutes in Chinese and I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out or throw up first. Honestly one of the top 3 scariest things I have ever done. I've had to speak in my other wards before but it's just been a simple testimony. Full blown talk complete with reading scriptures? YIKES. But good news, I survived and the Branch members and investigators were just the sweetest. I spoke on faith. When I got up to speak I had been sitting up on the front, and I hadn't seen that our investigator Alex (already mentioned above) had actually came! I had to stop myself from just walking off the stand and giving him a hearty hand shake right then and there. So great. 
-Today we went to a buffet at the MGM Casino. I took so many pictures so you will see how beauitful it was. So Fun and such good food! I HAD A REAL SALAD WITH UNCOOKED LETTUCE. So yes. I'm content, and happy.

So many other things I want to tell you but there is never enough time. Mostly I just want to tell you how much I love you. I can't believe I have been a missionary for a year! Oh to turn back the clock with the knowledge I know now. HA. Wouldn't that be nice. But I want you to know that I know this church is true. I know it. I love sharing it every day. The Book of Mormon is changing my life and everyone... every single person needs an invitation to read it. I wish I could express myself better and sum up this dizzy of thoughts in a more concise and powerful way.. but I am just happy. I don't know where I'm going next Monday and it will probably be for just a few days because the transfer (we're on a 9 week transfer schedule) won't end until next Thursday... so we will see. But I am so grateful for my time in Macau, and that I'm a missionary. I pray for you all every day. Heavenly Father is there, and he blesses us all more than we realize.
I love you all so much!!!! Have a great week.
Love love love you! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING

Love, Paak Jimuih