Sunday, December 29, 2013

24 years and 2 days until Christmas!!

This is a wee bit late being posted!!! We had a wonderful time talking to Ashley on Christmas!!! She is doing wonderful!!!Only 4 months til she's home!!! I think I just might make it!!
FAMILY!!!!!!!! SINGDAAN FAAILOHK. Merry Christmas to one and all. HOW IS IT CHRISTMAS? It is finally starting to get chilly here, the Celsius took a turn towards zero and the humidity here threatens to give my back bone scholeiosis (sp?) because I shiver BUT IT HAS BEEN A MIRACLE WEEK HERE IN BUTTERFLY. So good! The pictures from this week are with the Elder's that we serve with in our ward outside our church building, (they're too much... honestly) and then with one of my favorite ward member's Himmy. But let me take this time to talk about two of my biggest hero's-- Shelley and Eldon Palmer. Or Sheldon as their celebrity nickname so perfectly dubs them. YOU TWO. I owe you so much. I think it's appropriate to say, my life! Honestly. Thank you for being married for 24 years and here's to eternity. I love you so much. Thank you for loving each other and leading our family in righteousness. I have learned a lot about families since coming on my mission. I have seen what works and what doesn't. But you two get it. You understand that it's about covenants and loving Heavenly Father the most, and you have raised our family after that. I am so grateful. Forever grateful that I was born into your family. Happy 24 years you too!!!! LOVE YOU.

Alright are you ready for me to get selfish and talk about me?
Monday- such a busy pday. We learned how to make Red Bean Soup from a ward member ( a dessert here... it's so good, I will make it for you someday!) we did shopping, I ate a English Muffin for dinner and remembered that I actually love English muffins and am grateful that they sell them here in Hong Kong. We went less active finding because it was so cold and my heart went out to those serving in Russia-- because my fingers are still defrosting.

Tuesday- WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS. It was such a raining day, so cold, I thought about buying rainboots and a slicker jacket to match. I settled for tights instead. We had district meeting, and then taught our investigator and dream of a woman Mandy. She is honestly a walking miracle. May I indulge you all with what she said after our stop at "how to begin teaching" (reference PMG chap 10) she wants to meet with us because she wants to become clean of guilt that she feels and come closer to Christ. Yep I wanted to pass out because I felt like Alma when we talks about being overcome with joy. That was me. That day we also visited Lahm Jimuih to get her cute self to church on Sundays. We had a great lesson about the sacrament, and she committed to coming to church. We made mexican food for dinner, (MOM Don't judge my cooking!!! hahaa) and then sat next to our fireplace, the heater, and defrosted my toes.

Wednesday- We got to see everyone we scheduled. This may be like the 2nd day on my mission this has ever happened. We got stuck in a less-active's house because she wanted to rant about her son's that are in jail. I really do feel bad for her but after 40 minutes of her talking and not being able to get a word in, I prayed for more charity and listened some more. Later we saw an investigator that we had found the week before. Her name is Linda. She's 30, married and no children. The day we found her I saw her on the train platform and she was wearing a bright pink coat. I felt the Spirit step me forward and we talked to her. Before the train ride was over she was giving us her phone number before we even had to ask for it. So on Wednesday We taught her on the water front about the Restoration and she totally gets it and wants to read the Book of Mormon. Then later we taught another new investigator named Lisa who is just the cutest. She has a daughter named Dora who is 5 and they gave us Christmas Cards and Bread and we gave them a little church tour. The next day Lisa called me back and said she had talked to her husband about meeting with us. My heart started to beat so fast.. But! He said "Yeah why are people that go to church happier?" So I mean can't wait to start teaching this whole family! 

Thursday- We finished all of weekly planning in one sitting. Shout out to all missionaries out there and any returned ones who know what a miracle that is. Then we went to this park in our area that we'd never been to. The only people that wanted to talk to us was a girl with a wig, fake eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and another girl who was eating and talking to herself but then started saying her number the second we started saying hello. So I mean it was successful? Then we went to a dinner appointment with some of our members at... wait for it... Outback Steakhouse. They were the funniest family, seriously I was crying in laughter. The food was really good... but as we left the restaurant I had a frightening thought and an even more frightening realization-- i missed rice and I think my taste buds have changed.

Okay so I'm about out of time let me share some highlights
-We taught a not so less active named Jennifer. SHE IS THE BEST. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. And get this- She wants us to teach her husband. Hopefully we will start teaching him this or next week. She said, "yes I think he will accept it and then we can go to the temple to be married." FAMILIES ARE FOREVER. GAH. She's the best. Families are the best.
-Another investigator, Isis. Nothing short of another miracle. She has done some research about our church, which always makes me nervous, but nope she is solid on finding truth and she asked a million RELATED questions as we taught the restoration. She's the greatest.
-Mandy came to church yesterday............ AND SHE WORE A MODEST DRESS. AWWWWW I may or may not have had tears form in my eyes. She's basically a member. Pray for her because she is getting baptized soon.
-Mak-Mak finally got to see that little righteous chinglihn. She still wants to get baptized this Sunday... but her Mom is still ignoring her! If not this Sunday then she will soon. I know it. Christmas miracle anyone? See you there.
-We got a new mission correlator!!!!!! Listen I love our old one but our new one is a fiery ball of direction and miracles are going to keep abounding in Butterfly. Three cheers for Chan Hingdaih! HIp hip hooray x3.

AWWW I have so much more I want to say. I feel like this email just doesn't do what I'm trying to relate. But things are so great. God is too good, and I love talking to these Chinese people about Jesus Christ. As I ponder his life, and try to become more like him, I realize how much God loved us to send his very best. Jesus Christ lives and everyone needs this gospel! It is a message of peace and love and I am so happy to be here in China sharing it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. TALK TO YOU SO SOON!!!!! How is it already this time? AWWWW LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Thank you for your love, prayers, emails, and pictures.

Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, December 16, 2013

Changes and Christmas Songs Aplenty

Family!!!!! AWW I'm so excited to be hear (Here.. goodbye English) and emailing you. It has been a great week. Changes have come upon us and I just can't believe how blessed I am as a missionary. Thanks to a simple spot of meditation, I have decided to just give you a daily play by play of what's happening here in Butterfly. We'll see how this set up goes. Feel free to send comments/questions/complaints to my inbox--

Monday- last Pday Sister Tidwell and I went to Kwai Chung (like unto Mong Kok... great shopping!) The missionaries all call it the "Dirty Mall" there is so much stuff there. I went there last January and remember being completely overwhelmed.. good news, I did better this time and spent some of my Christmas money, SO THANK YOU to Mom & Dad, and Grandpa P, and Grandma and Grandpa G. I'm saving the stuff know... later. If April ever comes... you know, it probably won't so I'll never wear the stuff. Anyways, yes Monday was good. We went finding later and then did calls to help set up our week. I talked to one of our investigators, A-Yan (20+ girl)'s Mom on the phone for a good 33-34 minutes. She thought I was her daughter's boyfriend. So.. I'm a little worried that my Chinese voice is too low? I'll share it on Christmas and everyone can take a vote....

Tuesday-- Moves calls. There's nothing like the silent energy of a moves calls district meeting. I really felt/knew I was staying, but it was announced that I would have a new companion. Her name is Sister Aldana. She is so wonderful. She was in Sister Olsen's group so she has been in Hong Kong 8 months. President Hawks had texted me a few weeks ago and told me I would be a Sister Trainer Leader and so Sister Aldana and I have this great little assignment together. The rest of Tuesday Sister Tidwell and I had a language pass off, (they're the best... actually I'm trying to have a good attitude about them.. critiquing of language and teaching skills is a humbling thing---but I have a goal to seek correction and not compliments so the Zone Leaders keep me humble and help me to work on that goal.) We also went finding and saw my favorite returning LA- Lam Jimuih.

Wednesday- Last day for Sister Tidwell in Butterfly. We saw some of our favorite people for lessons and small farewells, and one of our Less-Actives gave us these crazy bags, and said "I found these and thought of you." They were borderline hideous, so I chose to thank her profusely and then re-gift them later. Hopefully she doesn't ask for them back??? Then we had more finding, met a crazy man, and then had caroling that night with investigators and Less-Actives. One of our less-actives Jennifer came, I love her, (we're hopefully teaching her husband this week!!!!!) and then she walked Sister Tidwell and I home. She's the sweetest. Can't wait for you all to meet her someday.

Thursday- Moves Day. Sister Cutler, who I"ve lived with for the past 4 months went home, it was weird and I made a promise to myself that I would stay in HK forever. Thoughts? Also while I was at the mission office I GOT A CHRISTMAS PACKAGE FROM THE WORLD'S MOST THOUGHTFUL FAMILY EVER and the sweetest letter from my main girl-Heather P. Farr! Thank you so much for the package. I definitely already scarffed down (China has taught me many things, one is to eat food fast) one bag of cadbury eggs! I love those things! I forgot. Thank you so much! I want to open my presents and the rest of the package, but don't worry I'm resisting and hating the waiting. I didn't even open the stocking yet. It's hung on the wall and looking very festive. Christmas is coming.. I can't even believe it! So yes back to Thursday Sister Aldana is the best!  Actually, I can't believe it's already December and how fast time is going. It feels like last month I got off the plane and was sent to my first area of Tai Wai. I still have so many things I want to become, and I just want to be the best missionary I can be. I want to be completely obedient. As I take an honest look at myself, I realize that there are so many little things that I can continue to improve on. I'm trying to implement Sister Hawks teaching from a couple Zone Conferences ago, "keeping things clean before they get dirty." To me also meaning, looking out for laziness before it arrives. Sometimes that overwhelms me, but as I make little achievable goals everyday, I see that Heavenly Father is helping shape me into the missionary and person he wants me to be. We found one of our investigators that night and found her member friend there too, and taught them in the park. It was so great. MIRACLE.

Friday- listen i'm getting low on time and I am sorry i am so long winded. Friday was great. We had lots of finding time and we laughed and invited all to come unto Christ. We actually got some great contacts. It was our turn to teach English class. This little boy named Tony came (not our across the street diagonal neighbor Tony) and he kept whispering/shouting Mandarin children's songs in my ear. I was dying! I'm so mad I didn't get a picture with him. He was too precious for words in any language.

Saturday- taught and went finding. One miracle was we were supposed to meet our investigator A-Yan but then she pulled a little thing I like to call "no-show" but really it means SEE YA SOON ha and so we did some finding in the area. Well we go to our next destination-- Tuen Mun Ferry Pier and we are waiting for the train on the thing. (sorry I honestly can't remember what that word is in English) Anyways, we start talking to the lady next to us. Her name is Linda and she was super interested in our message, and she pulls a piece of paper out of her bag and is like "let me give you her phone number! Yes that never happens in China. We're seeing her again this week. Heavenly Father is sooooo good. Always putting people in our path. We ate at a pizza place that night.. the pizza was very Chinese, and then we had been invited to a Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting with our zone leaders and President Hawks. It was a great meeting, and I learned so much. My respect grew even more for the leadership of the church here in Hong Kong. They don't have it easy but their faith is big. I was hit right to the very heart with gratitude as I realized that I had gotten to Hong Kong exactly a year ago this past week, and how much I had grown. Not only could I understand what was going on in that meeting, I could speak and share my insights on what I"ve learned. Missionary work is nothing but miracle work.

Sunday- yikes i'm really long winded and out of time. Sundays are the best but they are physically. mentally, and spiritually draining. Mandy (Sister Olsen's turn over from last week) was smuggled in love by the ward and she loved church!! We taught some lessons, went caroling with the young men and young women for a few minutes and then had a cheng out with the cute Kwong Family... (pictures attached!) I love this cute family! 

Alright listen I"m sorry this is honestly as long as the old testament or at least the war chapters in Alma but I want you to know that this church is true. Heavenly Father loves these children so much. Thank you for your prayers and caring about Mak-Mak, her mom still hasn't given permission, but I know that miracles haven't ceased. I love you all... I know this church is true and Jesus Christ leads it. He is the reason for the season. I love Christmas time. I love you all.

Have a wonderful week, thank you for everything. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU.
Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chasing basic strangers, Weirder things have happened


Greetings from Butterfly. I say it all the time, but the weeks are so short. HOW ARE THEY SO SHORT? I HATE IT. We had a lot of miracles this week! We have had a hard time finding new investigators the whole time we've been here. We avoided discouragement, but sometimes it was hard. But of course, Heavenly Father has blessed us so much this past week and I am so grateful. Heavenly Father truly blesses me more than I deserve!!!!! Thank you for your prayers! They are being heard and answered.

We have been really blessed in Butterfly with a ward that understands the importance of Less Active members and we are trying to work together to bring them back. We spent a lot of time with some members in the ward trying to go and visit some of these members. The lessons were powerful and strengthened my testimony so much of how the members really don't know how powerful they are! They can get into the places we can't and they know who these people are way better than we do. 

We even had some great finding this past week and met some great potentials. I can testify that some of the greatest miracles of my mission are during finding. One day we're out finding because our investigator was busy that we scheduled, and we see this LA member named Mathias or Rufious or something like that (I can never remember his name! ha) and we have been trying to visit his Mom (also LA) but by the time we saw him he was jay-walking in the street and so we did the only thing a sane missionary does, we started chasing him. (Yes, I chase men on my mission.. it's fine.) Well we would only run when we couldn't see him and then walk when there was the chance that he would turn around and see us. As we're getting up close to him there's a man that stops us and says, "Hey aren't you missionaries? Why aren't you talking to me? Well my feet became immediately planted and taught this already  60+ man that was too cute for words! Hopefully we will get to see him again this week. Heavenly Father truly does lead us in mysterious ways.

On Saturday we're just out and about as we we're out finding and we tried to call some people who lived in the area and we wanted to try and visit. Well no luck but as we were sitting there I saw this girl that reminded me of my first ever investigator, Lulu back in Tai Wai. So naturally I just HAD TO talk to her. As we are walking over we run into another LA member that we saw weeks ago but have had a hard time scheduling. There are no coincidences. After we talked to her I still felt impressed that we should sit next to this girl and talk to her. As we sat there and talked she was painfully, and I mean painfully, shy. But as we talked about the gospel I saw light appear there and her eyes soften. We are going to see her again this week and I am so excited! A-Yan is her name. I feel like she has  a hard family situation, but we'll find out more about it when we see her again. 

Yesterday we also met two other new investigators. One was a turn over from the West Point sisters. My best companion ever, Sister Olsen came out with her trainee, Sister Lam who is actually from Butterfly ward. Crazy right? I can't even imagine going to our home chapel. She made me promise not to tell anyone she was coming... especially her parents. It was such a special lesson because it was Sister Lam that found her over in West Point area but then she found out she lives in her ward boundaries. We had a simple but very spiritual lesson with the investigator, Mandy. She's really excited to introduce the gospel to her 14 year old daughter. She is so prepared. Pray for cute Mandy! 

Then later we met and taught one of our street contacts named Fei Fei.  She is so prepared and excited about the Book of Mormon! Which is really just the happiest news. We will be seeing them both (Mandy and Fei Fei) again this week. I LOVE THEM ALREADY. 

Mak-Mak is getting all geared up for her baptism and we are still working with the families in the area... well trying to schedule them. Hong Kong People! Too busy. Oh I almost forgot to mention, we taught another family this week. The Leung family. The Mom is a long time member, and we visited and I invited her husband to hear the message and he said yes! AWWW such big miracles here.

It really is such an exciting time to be a missionary here in Hong Kong. I am so happy! I love it all. The ups and downs the finding hours and bearing my testimony during lessons. I am blessed far more than I deserve, and I am so grateful for  this Christmas season. There were missionaries in Sha Tin last week that got 64 referrals!!!! The people of Hong Kong are truly starting to get missionary work here and we're learning how we can help them help their friends and family. This church is so true!!! I know it. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I'm so happy Heather got to visit. I thought about you all. Praying for McKay and his investigators. I hope Spencer had fun on his trip! Mom, thank you so much for the BEST PACKAGE EVER. YOU'RE PERFECT. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I think it took a while to get here because it had a stamp on it that said, "missent to taipei" ...........umm how does that even happen? But everything was perfect. I love the countdown and the Conference journal. You're the best. I loved everyone's notes too.

Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, December 2, 2013

Belated Thanksgiving Tidings and Early Christmas Writings


Your thanksgiving pictures are so cute! I thought about you all this week and while you were sleeping and I was eating turkey, I thought about how very grateful I am for each and every one of you. I'm so grateful that McKay and I are serving missions here at this time! We are the most blessed family ever. I love reading McKay's emails-He is such a good missionary! I am proud (but not the prideful type.. or maybe I am?) to be his sister! Thanksgiving really was an unforgettable one here in the China Hong Kong. 

On Thursday we had our zone feast. Sister Tidwell and I were on self appointed brownie duty. I love brownies. I'm a sicko. But I don't know if they have this brand in America. I mean yes they do. That's a dumb thing to say because it's imported from America. It's called Ginger Evans. Anyways, it's a straight up dream and they were a wild hit. Just like Mom was saying, yes President and Sister Hawks came and visited all the zones, how cute and all-around too kind are they? President was just being the funniest and sneaking more and more brownies and giving us all sorts of thumbs up. I should have gotten a picture. The credit has to go to my good pal Ginger. Look her up. It's the Chocolate chunk ones! President and Sister Hawks brought the mail, and I got a letter from Fritz so it really felt like having a piece of home with me on Thanksgiving. I am one blessed missionary! Also, we got to play minute to win it games. Then on Friday our ward had their little thanksgiving feast. A catered Duck instead of Turkey was served and then they passed around bowls and all Chinese dishes were on that potluck table. I felt pretty sick after... So typical Thanksgiving. 

So this week! One day I woke up and had an impression. I felt strongly that we needed to go and visit a woman named Sister Lam, William's Mom. Well I told Sister Tidwell and she was all for it. I had spent the past week and then some trying to call them but there was never an answer. So, we went to her house. After a slight debacle with the guards, (love them regardless) they had someone escort us up to her house. I was nervously and anxiously excited. She opened the door and was nothing but kind. She was making dinner but still invited us in. After a silent prayer and a million instantaneous thoughts in my head I asked if we could come back on Friday.. I didn't want to inconvenience her and sitting on her couch while trying to get to know her is not the ideal situation. She said that we could!!! We came back at the appointed time and we had such a wonderful lesson with her! We taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Previously, she had read up to 3rd Nephi all by herself! The Spirit filled the room. I asked her if we could come back and also teach her younger son with her, and she indicated that we could. It was such a miracle. Unfortunately we found out yesterday from our leaders that she most likely lives in Tuen Mun ward (it's right on the boundaries and no members live there so they have to make some calls to confirm it) so we may need to turn her over to the Tuen Mun sisters, but I am so happy to have been able to find her and remind her of the happy message of the gospel. 

Another miracle was a Less-active lesson that we had. We were finally able to visit Tang Jimuih, this sister in the ward who we had scheduled a couple of times but kept cancelling. We shared about the Restoration with her as well. We sang "I am a Child of God" with her and she had tears in her eyes. After we discussed the restoration and an excerpt from Conference was shared, she told us that she had been wanting to come back to church, but didn't know how. She hasn't come for many years, but the Spirit spoke to her in the lesson about new starts. We invited her to start that night to pray daily and read the Book of Mormon and she committed to do so. She became less active because of work but she said she would be move her schedule around and be able to make it to church twice during December. I wish I could have bottled the Spirit that was so strong in that room! We are going to see her again tomorrow with a member that she requested we bring! That lesson was such a testimony to me that there are those who are ready and just waiting to rekindle their testimonies. Also, her less-active son also came to church yesterday! Miracles I tell you. Sometimes, they just need someone to reach out and tell them that they're loved and missed. I am so blessed to be able to be the one that the Lord trusts to do that in Butterfly.

Mak-Mak continues to be doing well. She has such faith and is committed to being baptized on December 29th. Keep praying for her! Her mom has yet to give her Chinese character John Hancock to the baptismal form, but I have faith that it is going to happen! Christmas baptism? I think yes! I still am unsure who the other baptism will be in Butterfly this year, and I've done a lot of praying about it. The Lord has told me to keep working and he's got it all under control. I also felt impressed to remember all the less-actives who have come back to church consistently this year, even just since we got here. But I keep my eye forward with faith and know that there are prepared people in Butterfly!

One of those prepared people is Amy. She was crying when we met her, (yes I seem to be a magnet for those kinds of people) and we were able to teach her right then and there on the street. It was such a spiritual lesson! After when we asked if we could see her again, what was her response? Yat dihng!.... meaning... DEFINITELY. She's great. I love her already.

 After that lesson we're walking around on Spiritual cloud 9 and a series of unfortunate events happened. We continued to find, and one of my prized jelly/water sparkly shoes broke and so I'm hobbling around looking like a homeless wreck..with an hour of finding time left.  Then this middle-eastern man wearing a turban comes up to us and says in broken English, "I believe in Jesus, I need you to come teach my wife." Now we are not allowed to teach wuihgaau.. Muslim people but he's telling us to come with him in broken English. We can't teach Muslims because they could be killed so we're thinking, maybe he's Hindu? He takes us to his house just steps away and who is inside? A good ten Muslim children! Turns out his wife is an Islamic teacher. He has us sit down on the couch and then just leaves. We're looking at each other with wide eyes, and panicking on the inside hearts. Long story short, no we didn't teach them but they did try to give us a copy of the Koran in Chinese characters. We talked to the children for about 10 minutes and then said we needed to go. The man that originally found us came back out and said that he believes that Jesus was a prophet and about Mohammed as we are trying to kindly get out. He really was so nice and told us to come back anytime for food! I HONESTLY am still bewildered by the whole thing but I mean Hey! I'm looking for those cute kids in the Spirit world. 

Family! I love you all so much. Can you believe it's December? I honestly can't. It's getting relatively colder here... and I'm already bundling up and using the heater. Sister Tidwell is always making fun of me but I'm seriously so cold! But I'm happy and warm on the inside. I know that Jesus Christ lives! I love him and all that he has done for me. I love telling the Chinese people about him.I really wish I had forever to do this. I have been having a mental break down this week worrying about things like "time". There's just so much I want to become and I feel like my time is running so short! But President Hawks wrote me and told me to remember that we aren't enough on our own, but that the Lord magnifies our contribution! So true. I love you all so much. Give Heather 10000 hugs and kisses for me! I'm so jealous you all are being reunited. Keep praying for the people here in Butterfly. We had dinner with the family I told you about last week last night. Hopefully we will start meeting with Ally this week. Thank you for your love, prayers and support. Love you forever!!!!

Love, Paak Jimuih