Family!!!!! GREETINGS IT'S ME. We have temple P-day this week so that's why I didn't email until today. It feels like forever since I've been able to go to the temple (people in Macau don't get to go) so my time is here and I'm been righteously giddy about it all week. How was Halloween? I loved all your updates and emails. Spencer I love your baking pictures and Wade reading you Harry Potter. Too good! Halloween Pizza... so jealous! Pizza in Hong Kong is really expensive.. I think I've only bought it once and then I've had it at a few dinner appointments here in Hong Kong... but it's been so long. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE. I LOVED IT ALL. YOU'RE ALL TOO SWEET. MOM, YOU OUT-DO YOURSELF EVERY TIME. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
It has been another great few days in Butterfly. We have spent a lot of time out on the streets finding and then trying to get into chuyns and find those less active members!
One of our less active members that we found a couple of weeks ago, and brought her daughter in law and grandson is still doing great! We got to teach her daughter in law Ma Jimuih about a week ago. The lesson was great and spiritual and as we are trying to reschedule her she shares the dreaded sentence-- "I'm going to mainland for the next month and a half." I hate that. I'm sure my face fell at least 15 stories. So, we're going to exercise some patience, but the ward is really excited about her, she is so prepared. The Elders should be teaching her son (the less active's grandson) he is also very prepared to hear more about the gospel. Miracles of less active work is real!
Our investigators are still doing pretty good. We are a little concerned about our investigator Erica. She is almost refusing to keep the Sabbath Day Holy and so we are really trying to pray hard how to help her see that it's a blessing from our loving Heavenly Father, not a curse or something random...which is basically what she thinks. We read with her 1 Nephi 8 and we are really trying to emphasize the blessings and power of the Book of Mormon. CAN YOU SAY HOLD TO THE ROD?!?!? YEAH.. that's what i'm telling her too. She will know that it is a commandment from God when she knows the Book of Mormon is true. She's 20 and just as sweet as can be. After leaving her house we got on the Hing Tit (light rail) with her and she asks me, "So is being a missionary like going on a vacation?" HA. I just wanted to laugh but I told her and testified that it is the most important thing I can do with my life BECAUSE THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE. (shout out to the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland in PMG) I think she thinks I'm slightly eccentric. So send a happy thought and prayer Erica's way.... she's going to get it.
Mak-Mak is also preparing to talk to her Mom (they do NOT have a good relationship) about getting permission to be baptized. The ward is really excited about her. She has been investigating the church for over 6 months, one of her friends in the ward referred her. We had a cheng out with our Bishop this past week and he told us that he interviews Mak-Mak on a regular basis, which is great-I didn't know he was doing that. We had a lesson this past week with her and the young women's president in the ward and she says she wants to be baptized and she is excited to have the Holy Ghost. She is so sweet and her testimony is so refreshing. I just want to hug her tight and tell her everything is going to be alight. You know what I'm saying? President Hawks and the New Territories Stake President have made a goal this past week or so ago to have 2 baptisms before the end of the year... and I don't know how, but it's going to happen. The future is as bright as our faith!
Our last investigator that I'd like to shout out about is Wan Jimuih. She is divorced and has 2 children. Her son lives with her and her daughter lives with her dad. We've also had the opportunity to meet both of her children and have a lesson with her daughter this past week. She is really sweet and has a great desire to learn, but is having a little bit of a hard time retaining the things we teach her.
Let me share something that I'm not really sure how to explain... but I think you will enjoy. We teach her outside her chuyn on this random bench... slightly ghetto but we're working on teaching her at the church.. anyways I think one of the first times we taught her, one of her creepy neighbor's walks past. Surprisingly he was really excited that she was learning about Jesus and as he is walking away his shoes catch my eyes. HE IS STRAIGHT UP WEARING BEJEWELED WOMAN'S clunky clunky sandals. Now keep in mind the jewels have probably 40 years of Hong Kong dust on them but as he clomps away my open mouth and wide eyes must have given me away because Wan Jimuih is like "that's my neighbor. I'm not friends with him but I"m nice to him. He likes to wear and do woman things." hahahahaha I had to pray so hard to not burst out laughing.
Well the story doesn't end there. We have seen him several times since then. I really could write an email dedicated to our encounters with him but let me just share my favorite time. So we're sitting outside of Wan Jimuih's building waiting for her and who comes out? Mr. jeweled sandals and he has two woman with him. He's wearing a too short for anyone black dress complete with a fuzzy christmas green blazer and pushing what seems to be an elderly woman in a wheel chair and a woman walking next to her in an equally scary black dress. They tell us they're going to Mong Kok to go karaoking and that we're invited. After no thank-yous and lot's of "we're not allowed's" he/she and his brigade all clomp away. Wan Jimuih comes (she had been buying groceries so was a little late) but she tells us that the woman in the wheelchair was that man's wife and the other woman was his girlfriend from Mainland. Seriously so funny/sad and disturbing for words in any language. I mean everyone needs the gospel.... but some maybe now is just not their time!
We've spent a lot of time finding and Sister Tidwell and I are trying to be faithful, obedient and unified teachers. Finding has been hard this past month and I'm not sure why. I know those people that are prepared are out there, we just haven't found them yet. I'm doing my best to not get discouraged and remain faithful for several consecutive weeks. I was praying really hard the other night. I was selfishly sad because I couldn't really feel anything and I wasn't really receiving any direction. But as I thought over my past month in Butterfly (how has it already been a month?!?!?!?!) I realized that I've learned a lot of things this past month. The biggest being patience and charity. Sometimes I just want to cry because no one wants to listen.. and their eyes are full of darkness and I know that they could be full of light with the gospel but they still say no. Which is so hard. But I've really tried to spend the past week involving God more in my finding. When someone rejects us or is outright rude instead of getting frustrated or mad I think of something I'm grateful for or ask Heavenly Father to change their heart. That simple thing has really made a difference. I know God has a plan for the people of Butterfly, bigger than I understand or could imagine, I'm just not sure what it is yet. We're going to keep praying and working hard!
Thanks so much for all you do! I LOVE ALL YOUR EMAILS AND ALL YOUR NOTES... AND LOVE. I don't deserve such a family as you... and we have eternity. Thank you for your prayers. I can feel them and sometimes when I get down they keep me going. Never forget how much I love you!!!!! Talk to you again soon! I WISH I HAD MORE TIME. Email time is so short. Shout out to McKay aka Paak Jeunglouh. Best missionary ever.. so proud of you.
xoxo LOVE YOU.
Love, Paak Sihn Yih Jimuih