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