Monday, April 14, 2014

President Hawks told me to come out of denial.

OKAY !!!! This is Ashley's mom with Ashley's last mission email!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm beyond excited to have her home!!!!! I will be forever grateful for the wonderful experience her mission has been to her!!! She has been an awesome missionary and gave it her all!! She loved the people and I know she is sad to leave; yet, her family is so ready and happy to have her return home!!! Enjoy!!!


Family--

I never thought this email would ever come forth out of my fingertips. Hello it's me coming at you for one last time from China. Where does the time go? Didn't I just get here? Yeah that's what I thought too. Let's talk about you-- Spring Break sounds like a dream. Can we go to Carl Bloch again together? I feel like I would like that sort of activity. See you there? Maybe?

I'm sorry I am about to make this about me, so here we go. Feel free to not read, sorry I'm always so selfish and talking about me me me. Okay so this week literally went by in three shakes and one blink of an eye. IT WAS SUCH A GOOD WEEK. We were busy all the time! I've said lots of non-goodbyes (I just say meihgwok gihn meaning-- see you in America inferring that they better get over to America and visit me!) 

Let me just list a few of the many miracles-
-we had 10 people at church this past weekend for Conference. It was amazing! Conference was a miracle. We missionaries get to watch it in English and so it's like Zone conference in there. Well during President Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude and no-endings only everlasting beginnings everyone in the room is staring at me (given my current predicament) and I just said "stop it" and all resumed to watching conference. So everyone knows I'm in denial... It's fine.
-We had a baptism yesterday! I spoke again (seriously the ward/stake has got to be thinking, get that girl off the stand!) Yuki, The girl that got baptized from our ward, was someone we had taught originally but was Mandarin and so we turned her over. Two people got baptized from the stake and so it was a combined baptismal service. Miracles all around I tell you!
-One of our members through a goodbye party of sorts and invited 4 less-actives that I have been working with since in Butterfly and they all came and we got to teach them all in one sitting! Usually it takes us months to schedule them and there they all were and we got to share a message about the importance of conference.
-Please remind me to tell you about the Relief Society tea activity that was held this past week. I don't have the time or patience to do it justice over here. You'll love it. 
-I had my interview with President Hawks this morning. He is so good and so inspired, as always. He's also very good at being straight and to the point saying that I need to come out of denial, go home and progress-- so I'm being kicked out of my home away from home, China. We talked and shared testimony and when I asked if I could stay longer he said that he would keep me until Friday. So I will see you then :)
-We ate at the Lau Family's house again. Oh my. I made a video of this dinner appointment and lesson because I was dying laughing. They are too much. Lau Hingdaih is so great and his cute wife will get baptized soon.
-We have taught lots of investigators and less-actives this past week and I felt so blessed! One of my favorite weeks of being a missionary for sure.

Family- so I mean I don't know how to express what I'm feeling. I feel so happy and sad all inside. I have loved loved loved my time here in Hong Kong. I won the mission lottery by being sent here. I have changed and I promise to use the talents that the Lord has given me by sending me to Hong Kong. Thank you for being so supportive and writing me every week, for your prayers and innumerable sacrifices on my behalf. 

I know that this church is true. I know it. God is involved in this work and I am humbled and honored by the small part I have been able to play. I learned and came closer to God more than I ever thought possible. I learned how to trust Him. I know the Restoration is true and I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Jesus Christ's Atonement is real and all we need to do is trust Him. Repentence is real. I love repenting! I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm going to spend the rest of forever becoming better at living it.

It's funny, when I came to Hong Kong and everything was so foreign and so knew and hard. I felt like everything I had was taken away from me, but really, it was just being prepared to be given to me. I have been blessed far more than I deserve. I love you and I love the Lord.

See you soon (how is this real life?)
LOVE YOU FOREVER.
Love, Paak Jimuih



Sunday, April 6, 2014

I'm in denial

Family! Hello oh my. Did I email you an hour ago? It certainly feels like it. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? I'm a mess. But I'm happy. And praying to remain calm. And so happy to be here to shoot you all an email of the many miracles from this past week. I loved all your updates about General Conference. We will watch it this coming weekend at Hung Shui Kiu chapel... I am so excited! Can't wait to take notes and be nourished by the words of the living prophets. Also, MOM I got your package this week!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH. I wasn't expecting that. I got the quotes too. THANK YOU YOU ARE A DREAM COME TRUE. We shared/scarfed down the chocolate (reese's aren't available here so naturally we couldn't get enough) and now we are waiting to use the cute books you sent. really! you're the best. hOW DID I get so lucky to have you as a family? I'm the most blessed person on the planet.

Alright!!!! So this week. The miracles keep coming in and rolling. Let me pause and admit something that I hope you will take it in the way it is intended. It finally hit me this morning that I am really leaving Hong Kong. I honestly thought they were going to change the rules and let sisters stay for 2 years. Pathetic? You're rolling your eyes? I should be embarrassed? But after church when no one said anything I realized that I really am coming home. NOW DON'T MISUNDERSTAND me please. I am so excited to see you and talk to you for the first 72 hours without stopping (everyone get lots of sleep to enable this) but I just love this mission and Hong Kong so much. I feel like when I found out I was leaving Ma On Shan all over again but 1,000 times worse. Like my heart is breaking and I'm leaving 3/4th's of it here. But I keep hearing the words of "I'll go where you want me to go" play through my head and realizing that after next week, the Lord doesn't need me here anymore. Which hurts a little, but I love this work and I'm so excited to work until I literally can't because I'll be being disobedient/the plane is leaving. I found myself out here, and being a missionary has changed me. 

So now that THAT is off my chest and tears are clouding my vision, let's talk about the many miracles of this past week shall we? I'm going to share the daily miracle of the day to try to help me stay focused/not waste your time with endless rambling :)
-On Monday night we had scheduled to go visit an LA who we haven't seen for  a while. We had made some brownies that day and waltzed on over to her house. Well, she wasn't home yet, and so we knew we were on a mission and so we thought of another LA named Linda (17 years old, her mom is a former investigator) and decided to go. Last time we visited Linda wasn't particularly nice.. But we thought, Brownies should butter her right up! (literally) We went over and were let right in, without question. Shared a talk from General Conference, they ate brownies, and we rescheduled them for that weekend! Turns out the prophets words and chocolate were all it took :)
-Tuesday night we got to teach Isis at our wonderful member, Ming Wai's, house. We ate delicious curry (shout out to my love of coconut curry!) and we re-taught her the plan of salvation. The Spirit was so strong as we knelt down together and prayed. She accepted her baptismal date for June and we couldn't be more excited!
-Wednesday we had Mission Leadership Council. Remind me to tell you about this meeting sometime. So good. And so inspiring. The mission is going to reach the goal of 65 in July. And it's an honor to be a part of it. We taught a new investigator afterwards that is going to come to General Conference this weekend. Three cheers for Jung Taai! (that's her name)
-Thursday we went and taught another one of our investigators Wong Jimuih. Wong Jimuih I love her but she tries my patience in the fact that we can call her an hour before and confirm her and then we get to her house only to find out she has left. But this time she was there and wearing her pajamas we visited her with one of our members. Miracle that she was there? Definitely! haha Oh Hong Kong. I love it.
-Friday was zone training and I went on exchanges with my companion from Macau of 5 days, Sister Choi. We went out finding right after and within 45 minutes after zone training taught a street lesson and gave a church tour! It's amazing to be able to feel the power of that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I can't even really explain it. But it's true.
-Saturday more time with Sister Choi in Hung Shui Kiu and then I came home to Butterfly and we had some great time finding! 
-Sunday my last sacrament meeting in Butterfly ward. Since I had been in denial I announced that I would be leaving, I didn't want to, but I didn't want them to think that I didn't care. After sacrament meeting we were bombarded and people are scheduling their friends so we can eat dinner with them and teach their friends! We have a lot of appointments already so it will be a great week. I should have admitted I was leaving sooner? Maybe. hahaha

Other highlights, Tammy is still doing great! She believes in the Book of Mormon is true, and Gong Jimuih came to church with her daughter yesterday. (picture attached.) 

Oh family. How I love you all. I found more family members here in Hong Kong and I will forever treasure these experiences. This gospel is so true! You know what i mean? You know. I know you know. I love being a missionary. If I could get an extension for life I would sign on. I know God lives and that Jesus Christ's Atonement is real. I love the Book of Mormon and the Spirit I feel every time I read it. Thank you for all your letters and support, and encouragement and love for the past 22 years of my life, and especially the past 18+ months. 
Talk to you all next week via email and well you know, in person :)

Love you! Have a great week,

Love, Paak Jimuih

Monday, March 31, 2014

Out for a Stroll in the Black Rain

Family!!!!!!

Greetings. As usual, I loved loved loved all your emails! Wow Spencer and Wade are the next track stars, McKay is finding & baptizing all of Hawaii, Dad is out serving the ward on his birthday, Mom & Rachel are looking as cute as can be going to the YW meeting, and I'm sitting here in my bright blue raincoat talking/emailing to you all in China Hong Kong. What a happy family are we, am I right? Oh things are so very good here. So good. I love Butterfly. A lot. I love the Chinese people, and I am so thankful to be here as a missionary. Where does time go? I don't even know. In my personal study this morning I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude. I get to be a full-servant and messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ. Alright, enough of my nostalgic mush. Do you think maybe I should talk about my week? Here we go.

Last Monday some of the other sisters came and visited us. Afterwards, we met and taught this very prepared girl named A-Guan, who doesn't live in our area so I mean turnovers are in order but she is a dream! 

Then Tuesday came and after District Meeting, and then went out finding. For how small our area is (let us remember smallest in the world second only to Temple Square) we rarely run into the Elders. Which is surprising. Last week we had both chosen the same little group of chuyns so we're walking around and everyone was getting, perhaps annoyed?, because we kept overlapping. We then walk over to this big pirate ship playground right next to it, and I say to Sister Aldana "I'd really like to teach a lesson in one of these boats." well God is a God of miracles and we did. This lady named Patty and we taught her the restoration. She is already Christian, but she said, "I don't want to read the Book of Mormon because I'll probably find out it's true." HA. She's great. We called her this past week and she says she wants to read more and isn't ready to meet with us again, just yet, but she's got the greatest teacher in the world, the Spirit and the Book of Mormon. Later that night we taught Yeuk Sen and just said, "get yourself to church already"-- your baptismal date is coming up. It was good.

I'm running low on time. I'm really sorry. My writing/email quality has gone really downhill. you're mad? Okay I'm sorry. Forgive me.
Other newsworthy items--
-remember Tammy Tam? She is a dream and a tim slam! Turns out she is friends with the member we got for her to be her fellowshipper, and she accepted her baptismal date. I love her alot. She ate church up yesterday and it was perfect because all the meetings were so good.
-visited the Wu Family again to discuss their family mission plan. (picture attached) I love them. They are coming to America later this year, or next year, I can't remember but they said they want to come visit us. I love this family! The gospel really does bless families. 
-I went on exchanges to Tin Shui Wai  last week and it was so great. I was with Sister Wilcox who I lived with before in Macau and we just reminisced and laughed the whole day!
-We taught Cheung Jimuih again yesterday and by yesterday I mean Saturday. Our fellowshipper fell through and our correlator found out about it, and so he volunteered himself at a moment's notice. It was a really good lesson. I just kept wanting to burst out laughing. We're teaching our 60+ year old investigator and our correlator, a 40 year old dad and they are just hitting it off like pals right off the old block. During the lesson I kept thinking to myself, "I love everything about this."
-Also China is honestly crazy. Someday I can't wait to adequately explain things to you. But in Mainland the national language is Mandarin, right? Right. So unless they're from Guang Dong they speak Mandarin, not Cantonese. Well a member brought her neighbor to church yesterday and she had the thickest (and what I thought) was a Mandarin accent. Well as we're rapping up the lesson we told her "Hey we have Mandarin missionary friends we want to introduce you to you" and she starts panicking and saying "I don't know Mandarin!" Yikes so apparently she only knows her homeland dialect and some Cantonese. So new investigator where we can't understand each other? Wish this was the first time this has happened. I love China.
-last night we're getting done finding and it starts POURING rain. It was horizontal and umbrella's were no use. By the time we made it home we were soaked right to the skin and then we found out it was black rain. It was crazy! The roads were like rivers and i almost lost one of my crocs a few times. Life as a missionary is the best.  

Family! The work is going so good here. We're busy and I wish I had more time to share all the many miracles with you. Thank you for all your prayers. We're running hard right now in Butterfly. We're expecting miracles and experiencing the love God has for these people every day. I hope you know how much I love each one of you! This is God's work and I love my time here. The church is true.

Love you all!
Paak Jimuih



In the middle picture Ashley is eating turkish delights. She says they taste like swedish fish.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Overtime... Or as I like to call it, BONUS TIME!!!



Paak Gatihng, Palmer Family!

Hello you all cutie cutesters. It's me. Dad it's your birthday this week. Are you feeling younger or what? You're looking so great and fit as a fine tuned fiddle. I hope you have the best day ever and next year I, Paak Sin Yee, Ashley Rose Palmer promise this is me, I promise that I will give you a piggy-back ride around the front yard as my gift for you. (remember how you did that for me not so long ago?... I know you want me to return the favor so I'm going to do it!) I promise this is me and I will do it. I promise. What is your heart's desire? Let me know ASAP so I can grant it.

Also- let me also take a second to congratulate my main Spanish speaking girl Heath on her engagement to Dev! We actually have something in common and something different. We were both proposed to last week, but you said yes (and I am so happy for you,) and I said no, and I assure you that you are so happy for me. :) ha!  All in the Tai Hing apartment in China HK are so excited for you. AND it's your birthday this week! Will Dev or will he not be singing to you to celebrate? Happy Birthday to you as well!

I hope you are all well. I'm sorry Wade's sick but I hope he's taking some meds and will be on the mend soon. The weather in HK is so nice and is on the brink of humidity starting again. Which I kind of like, actually. Being sweaty all the time... it reminds me of last summer, which has so many happy memories. Everyone rolls their eyes when I say I love the humidity, but it's true!

This past week-- here we go!
-Last weeks hike, due to some minor problems we did not hike the tallest peak in Hong Kong last week. We did however, hike up in Tin Shui Wai and were able to have a clear view of Mainland and I even got to "plank" all the chuyns, see attached picture. Really fun though. My mission has changed me for good in so many ways. I love the outdoors way more than I did before I hit the HK soil so I mean see you on a mountain near you-- Also Mom, I went running for a half hour this morning and I think that half MARATHON is going to kill me. I'm just warning you. Sorry in advance.
-We saw so many miracles this past week. We finally saw Isis and had a nice (as missionaries like to call it) do or die lesson. (side note, sometimes i hate mission lingo but other times I find myself using it dim syun..) Anyways, the lesson was so good. SO SO GOOD. We taught her on the Ferry Pier and she got it. Things clicked and most importantly we invited her, and the Spirit convinced her. See you at church on Sunday Isis. yeah yeah hou yeah!
-We had so many miracles. Sister Aldana and I have really been praying specifically and working hard. I feel like we're just running around all day every day. I love it that way. When I sit down for too long (morning studies, love them but sometimes they and weekly planning are a bit long) and then I remember what date it is and it makes my head hurt a little bit and my heart feel torn. So then I run faster. We had so many times this week, where we had planned to go somewhere and then maybe we didn't find someone super prepared where we went BUT while we were traveling, we saw a Less-active that wouldn't schedule on the phone or answer the door but then scheduled them in person, or an investigator who wouldn't answer the phone and then taught them right then and there. God is involved in this work and I am humbled to be his insturment. It's amazing that this week I will have been a missionary for 18 months.. and I'm going to make my bonus time count. I won the mission lottery! :)
-The cute Yim family! We visited and taught them about prayer this week. Miracle. Love them. Their daughter is still sleeping with the Book of Mormon and they were supposed to come to church yesterday but got sick.. so we'll hopefully be seeing them again next week. I love little Iris!
-Cheuk Jimuih is still doing good! And her husband is coming to church this Sunday! We'll me teaching them this week. ETERNAL FAMILY here they come. It makes my eyes water.
-spoke in church yesterday. Same topic basically but I shared different stories and i'm pretty sure 3/4's of the ward were thinking "not her again"... it's fine.
-it would seem we were mandarin magnets this week. We taught all sorts of lessons in finding, but they were to a lot of people who's main language is mandarin. HA too bad all i know how to say is "thank you" and "Jesus Christ" But we'll be turning them over to the Mandarin missionaries.

Not only did I leave my planner at home, but it would seem I left my brain there too! I know i have so many more stories to share but I can't remember.. a missionary without a planner is basically a lost soul. Why did I just type that. It's not even funny. ANYWAYS- I love you all. I'm happy. I love China, and I love this work. I know I'm here for so many reasons and I love that I get to be God's servant for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for all your love, prayers, kind thoughts and for being here with me, every step of the way. LOVE YOU ALL, I'm praying for you everyday.

Love, Paak Jimuih


Monday, March 17, 2014

Miracles Everyday

FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is it too early to say a little Happy St. Patrick's Day? Today we are going to hike the tallest mountain in HK to celebrate. If only I had green frosted cookies for breakfast! But I do have a shamrock sticker on my forehead so it's like I'm right at home!
So I mean: Hello you cutie cutesters. Wow what a week it has been here. Every single day we have seen miracles. God is just too kind. I don't understand it. Thank you so much for all you do for me all the time. I mean lets be family for eternity. Because anything less just wouldn't be long enough. 
I don't know where to begin or how to share it all so a bulleted list is in order. You're mad? I fear it won't be in chronological order so... forgive me. It all just feels like one big long fast day.. but in a good way. 
-Last Pday we got to make real life from scratch delicious with milk chocolate chip cookies with Sister Hawks in her apartment in the temple. I haven't had cookies like that since the MTC. I was drooling and loving every second of it.
-After my stomach was full of delicious cookies we went finding and found 2 new investigators. (side but relative note remember when I accidentally went to that Muslim school and was offered a copy of the Koran? Well that man saw us again and was slightly chasing us telling us to come eat dinner at his home. So naturally I followed my first instinct which was to grab Sister Aldana and run away..) but after that little mishap we ran into our next new investigator, so I mean I wasn't even mad. ha. God really does work in mysterious ways.
-This past week I was asked if I was 3 different races. Namely, African American (what? shout out to Kayloni) Korean, and middle Eastern. So, not any of which was Caucasian. Should I be flattered or offended. I'm unsure at this point. Thoughts?
-Sister Cheuk, the LA who we taught her husband on Christmas, is coming back and we're going to teach her husband and get them an eternal family! She's changing, been coming to church and has a goal to go to the temple. We had a wonderful lesson with her last week about the temple and I just wish you could see the change in her. She told us that her husband is shy by nature but that when we taught him that one time she's never seen him warm up to strangers so quickly and that she thinks he has potential to receive the baptism. Yes! Families really are forever
-In other LA news-- remember Choi Jimiuih that I have been telling you about. The one that has recently been coming back to church after 20+ years? After saying she has no faith and to never call her again? Well we visited her again last week and she left me speechless when she said that she has stopped drinking tea and coffee, and would like to pay fast offerings. I nearly fell off my stool. She has been a miracle to watch. Heavenly Father has changed her. I am humbled that God has allowed me to witness such a miracle.
-So, I spoke in Stake Conference. I was dreading the weekend to come like the boys dread mowing the lawn in the summertime. I was panicking, to say the least. But I'm happy to report that I neither passed out nor threw up and got through it all right. I was nervous that I would mess up on a tone or something and say an expletive on the stand, (it's actually too easy to do.. thanks Cantonese) but there were no surprising gasps from the audience so all was well. I was just so nervous. President and Sister Hawks were there, and so was Elder Funk and his wife from the Seventy. Now you're thinking no big deal because except for President Hawks, they don't speak Chinese. WRONG. Translators were there. Ha. Before the meeting started President Hawks shook my hand and in Chinese said "Such a pleasure you're speaking today Sister Palmer. Can't wait to hear you speak for 30 minutes!" ha- as if! 
-I frequently wear tights with Sunday crocs. What? I'm gross. Good thing i'm in the "country" of Hong Kong. I'm disgusted with myself but not enough to stop... they're just so comfortable.
-There are some places in our area where we can knock doors and there is this family that has rejected us at least 3 times now to share a message. We gave there little daughter a Book of Mormon a few weeks ago. We went back to check on them yesterday and the little girl, named Iris, sleeps with it under her pillow. Isn't that the most precious thing? Well after lots of prayers and testifying, we finally scheduled the Yim family for this Tuesday night! Miracles in Butterfly I tell you. Pray for this cute family. They're going to get it. "It" being the gospel and an eternal family.
-Another new investigator that has a really neat story is our new investigator named Tammy. Her last name is Taahm. So Her name in British Pinyam is Tammy Tam. (I've made up several poems about her name) We found her while she was taking pictures of flowers in a park and then asked if she would want us to take a picture of her with the flowers. She agreed and then we quickly asked for her phone number. Well we called her up and she may very well be just the most prepared thing ever. We taught her the Restoration and half way through this lady walks up as we're almost done with squinty eyes and asks what we're doing. Tammy tells her that we're learning about Jesus. This other lady named Miss Wong says "like the Bible?" She sits down and we teach her too. I can't even express what a huge miracle it was. God loves these Chinese children.

Alright so I mean enough about me! I have so many stories but here are some of the highlights. I love you all so much I love being here in Hong Kong. Preaching the gospel in Chinese and inviting others to Come unto Christ. I know all of our prayers are answered and that God loves us so very much, that's why He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. He lives, and we are never alone. I'm grateful that everyday my faith is tried, tested, and grows. I love the Book of Mormon and that I can pray every day to be led by the Holy Ghost.

Love you all so much! Have a wonderful week.
Love, Ashley

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello!!

Family! Listen I realize I just checked in basically 20 minutes ago, (you're mad?) 
but alas I am back and so excited to chat with you all and tell you about the miracles I have been seeing lately. I loved all the pictures you sent. You all are too cute to be real. How are you real? I don't even understand it. Wade-- you're so skinny and so tall! How tall are you these days? When I left you had just barely barely passed me up! Wow. That is just too much. You're great and all the best.

So last I left you it was temple time. President Hawks had texted us a few days before asking us to come by the office before we went to the temple. I was wondering what was up but we sat in the office, chatted with Sister Cowley (she can't WAIT to meet you Mom! ha) and then President Hawks came out of his office with Sister Olsen and said, "Can you take her to the temple with you as your 3rd companion?" HAHAHA. I was the happiest!!!!!! Prayers were answered as we got to be companions again for 2 hours because her companion had to do some stuff so we just got to do a session together and talk the afternoon away in the Celestial room. It was perfect. I loved it.

The rest of the weekend was spent finding, teaching and seeing miracles. We found a new investigator named Chao Taai, but now she's Chao Jimuih. She is just the cutest little thing. Sister Aldana found her one time on exchanges as she was running to a nearby restroom (fun actually not-so-fun HK fact, bathrooms are honestly sometimes impossible to find. And when you do find them, don't count on toilet paper being in there...carry on) She is the cutest little mom to 2 boys. She doesn't know hardly anything about God, but she knows it's good and wants her boys and husband to have it. We're seeing her again this week so I will take a picture and you can see how precious she is. It's amazing the lives people here lead. She is from Mainland, and told us the horrors of her childhood. Not enough food to eat, only going to one year of school so she can't read, and her mom dying when she gave birth to her little brother, among other things. My heart broke listening to her story! Some people have it so hard. But she is so optimistic and giving the best life she can provide for her two little boys.

Other newsworthy clips-
-among other goals that are of a more spiritual nature, I have set goals to start wearing my glasses so I am not blind at age 60. There are both good and bad side effects to this. Sometimes I can't see very well.. in the darker or cloudier days especially, and so sometimes I think Philippians are Chinese and I try to share the gospel with them. Everyone walks away confused.
-I also wear my retainers during the morning study hours. I sound like a sloth when I speak Cantonese with them in. Actually I sound like a sloth no matter what language I'm speaking with them in. Dr. Gee would be so proud. (remember how he always got mad at me for "losing them" when in all actuality it was the fact that they kept breaking on my left K'9 tooth..?) forgive and forget, I know. 
-We had miracles at church yesterday-even a walk in that came back from last week, even when she didn't have a phone. Her name is Cheung Jimuih and she is even coming to Stake Conference.
-speaking of stake conference... I am so nervous. My palms sweat and my eyes water just thinking about it. 
-We tried to contact a man that WAS IN FACT THE Chinese version of Rumpelstiltskin from "Once Upon A Time" yeah it makes me excited and uncomfortable too. He was kind of scary. He didn't want to give his phone number, but he did take a flyer, so I mean he's coming around.
-Even though we are in a building stage we are moving forward with lots of optimism and faith. We're finding those prepared souls this week.  I can't wait to meet them myself.

Thank you so much for all your love, emails and constant stream of support. I really am so happy here. My favorite thing about being a missionary is that everything I do, I get to just serve people. Isn't that the greatest blessing in the world? A full-time volunteer. I love this work and I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. This is His work and I am grateful to be a part of it. Thank you for all your love, prayers, and kind thoughts! 

I hope you all have a great week!
Love you so much,
Love Paak Jimuih 



Thursday, March 6, 2014

2 Handshakes Paak Jimuih

Family!!!!!

Hello. Long time no chat! How are you all? Doing so good? I knew it. I loved all the pictures of all and everything. You look so good. Rachel, Wade and Spencer are looking so much older. It scares me and reminds me that you are all just flourishing.. and the fact that I haven't seen you in almost a year and a half. So I mean stop growing and just hold on a second. You know? HA. Well I've got a lot to tell and not sure how to say it, so here I go.

Last week Elder Holland came. AWWW it was amazing. We got there early and set up for a group mission picture, and sang Called to Serve when he, his wife, and Elder Hallstrom and his wife all came in. I wish I could have bottled up the Spirit in that room and send it to you via HK snail mail. It was wonderful. After a 3 second 3 shot snap we dissembled and I did one big final in my heart repentance, I mean after all I am about to shake hands with an Apostle of the Lord-- Jeffrey R. Holland. I shook his hand and it was full of kindness and the love of Jesus Christ. We sat down and were prepared to be called (and as we had been warned, yelled at in the most scarily loving manner) to repentance. But it never came. He told us that as he looked into our eyes that we were an obedient mission and he commended us. As President Hawks later remarked, instead of being called to repentance for an hour, we were given the rare privilege of being taught the gospel by a prophet for an hour. It was wonderful. 

Elder Holland told us to expect miracles. If we expect them (miracles) we will get them. Isn't that powerfully simple? He shared an analogy that we are the Lord's investigators and He has invested so much in us. He taught beautifully and simply from the 1st Chapter from the Book of Mormon and reminded us that we are the Lord's shepherds. He pounded the stand and pleaded that "we've lost enough sheep, we can't afford to lose the shepherds too!" The meeting was so inspiring and I think the overwhelming thought that keeps ringing in my ears is that I only have one shot at this and I need to make every moment count, so I will. As he left I was sitting in the middle of the congregation, towards the back and on the end. As they were exiting I smiled and Sister Holland stopped and gave me a hug and then Elder Holland gave me another handshake, looked into my eyes again, and whispered thank you. Have I washed my hand since? Don't count on it. ;) Just call me 2 handshake Paak Jimuih. (like 2 slice Hilley, 2 cake Spencer..)

The rest of the week went great. In fact as Sunday hit and we had all sorts of people at church I thought, "I really don't understand how I can have it this good." Rainie and her adorable daughter Tina were just thriving and beaming and glowing. I was content and overwhelmingly happy. Monday was nothing short of a miracle dream and I was on missionary cloud 9. Then Tuesday came. I hope you won't worry to much if I share what I am really thinking and feeling. I wish with all my heart that I could just tell you that everything is perfect. It is in it's own way. Just not the way I would initially wish.

These past two days have been a roller coaster. We had two investigators show up to their lessons, one of them being "golden" Rainie, only to drop us, and another investigator giving back her Book of Mormon. It hurts deep inside and makes my heart ache. And I spent a little bit of time selfishly angry. Why did this happen? why didn't Heavenly Father send more aide so I could say all the right things? After all, isn't that what he promised? That I wouldn't be confounded before men? But in those moments of prayer, the Spirit gently reminded me, God can't--God won't change the agency of others. So I started praying harder that I could have the strength to overcome my sadness and move forward to find those who are ready and since then i've felt peace, and above all God's love.

If someone would have told me 18 months ago how hard this was going to be, would i still have gone?
If I would have known I was going to be required to learn a language that would require greater diligence that I had ever previously had would I still have willingly said yes?
If they would have then told me that I would come closer to Jesus Christ but would need to face daily and often hourly rejection to get there, would I have gotten on the plane and come half way around the world?

Yes. The answer is yes. I know that now. Because in coming to Hong Kong I have learned and gained a testimony for myself that God lives, Jesus Christ is His son, and our Savior, and it's through the witness of the Holy Ghost that I know it's all true.The gospel is true. It's all true. Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the commandments. They're true and I will share my testimony of then throughout eternity. I am grateful that the Lord could send me to China that he would love me and trust me enough to teach His precious children. He has also loved me enough to cut me down a lot, but He has built me and my testimony past what I ever thought it could or even needed to be. So I'm putting my will on the Lord's alter now. I'm expecting miracles but telling the Lord what I think they should be. I'm going to work harder now--past where I think I can do and faithfully trust that God will accept my offering. 

I know that God lives! I know that all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is His work and I am going to do it His way. I promise to be a missionary for the rest of my life. 2 Nephi 16:8

So I really am doing good. Really surprisingly well seeing that we are back at square 1 here in Butterfly and I don't know right now how to pick up the pieces. I love this time. I wish I had 18 more years. So I'm going to work hard and continue to do my best. 

Yesterday we had a great MLC and President Hawks is setting a goal that in honor of the church being in HK for 65 years, we are going to get 65 baptisms in July! It's inspiring to be apart of! We're going to work hard and it's going to happen. That's triple what the mission got last month but we are going to present the plans to the zonetomorrow and we're going to work on it starting today.

It's such an exciting time to be a missionary. I love this work. I know it's God's work. Thank you for constant emails, love, support and encouragement! I miss you but I am so grateful for my Chinese family too. I can't wait for you to meet them someday.

I hope you have a great week! I am going to the temple today, I'm so excited to go. I love you so much. Thank you for all your love, see you for eternity. 

Love, Paak Jimiuh

ps I think I forgot my card reader---forgive me? pictures next week. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Elder Holland has come into town!!

(sing that subject line to the tune of Santa Claus is coming to town)
....we'll get to more of that in a second:
Dear Family and friends,

Hello!!!! I have so much to share and don't know where to begin.

Monday was great we went bowling with the district, I played a game of all or nothing meaning: i either got gutter balls or strikes, (my bowling teacher at Snow College would have been so ashamed) and we ate at a Japanese burger place called MOS. Have you ever heard of it? Is it a HK thing? I forget which things are American and which things are just a China special. Anyways, it's really good. We taught a new investigator named Yeuk Seun and then I was asked to speak in Stake Conference next month. Yeah let's all pray that March never comes. I'm going to throw up. 

Tuesday we had Zone conference. President and Sister Hawks.. how do they do it? It must be exhausting to be inspirational all the time. They taught us about turning points in our lives and how they can inspire us for the future. We learned how to better teach the first vision and how to work with the units. This work is so important. Every time I teach the first vision I get goosebumps because it's true. It's all true. You know?

Let me pause with this week's miracle story:

It has been a good week in Butterfly. We had a huge miracle this week. We met a mom named Rainie (Siu Jimuih) a few weeks ago while we were less-active finding. We talked to her and her daughter in the elevator and invited them to English class. When we called them later Rainie said she had read up all about our church and her friends had also told us we were evil. After some testimony baring and inviting her, she agreed to meet with us. We saw her again the day before we were supposed to see her and she cancelled again. We were so sad, but told her we would call her. She just seemed different. There was light in her eyes. We called her again and just asked her if we could meet her at the benches below her apartment building. She agreed saying she didn't want to go to the church.

We met her and just spent a lot of time answering her questions and doing How to Begin teaching. We asked her if it would be okay if we could share a brief message with her. After the opening prayer she was crying. Instead of asking her why we just sat and listened. The Spirit spoke to her and she told us that she had met with missionaries of another church before and she never cried. She also said it was her first prayer. She then said "When can I go to your church?" We met her the next day with a great member and she believes the Restoration is true! She came to church yesterday with her daughter and is doing so good. The Lord really is orchestrating this work. My heart swells and my eyes water just thinking about her. Her daughter Tina might be the most precious thing since the phrase "cute as a button" was conjured up by an accomplished tailor. But really. Can't wait to take a picture of them so you can join me in some drooling! They really are too good to be true.

Wednesday brought some good finding time. Also I realize I complained last week about the cold weather but now it's taking a turn for the warm and I could be happier. We knocked on some doors in the middle of no where and gave a man with cancer named A-Sin the copy of the Book of Mormon. (our ward is doing a 40 day fast for missionary work. they're great, and we're trying to give a copy of the Book of Mormon out every day with a member's testimony in it.) 

Thursday. We got to teach Jennifer and her husband A-Chung. I love them too much. A-Chung is so logical but he is as tender as all get out!  I love them. We brought them some brownies fresh from our rice cooker (picture attached) and taught the Restoration. They're the best. Keep praying for them!

Friday and Saturday were great. But I'm antsy to talk about Sunday. So forgive me to skip ahead to this.
Sunday: not only did Rainie and Tina get their cute selves there but so did Choi Lai Wah! Are you still breathing because I nearly fainted when I saw her walking up the way. She hasn't been to church in over 20 years! The Lord really touched her heart and I am humbled to witness such a miracle. We had some great Sunday time and then that night, Elder Holland spoke to the members of Hong Kong from the Wan Chai building. It was broadcast to all the the Stake Centers so we watched it from Hung Shui Kiu. He spoke about pioneers and how we are all pioneers in this dispensation. He spoke about three points for all members to remember
1-We are the first dispensation to not run from Babylon but to turn around and face it. WE must all stand as disciples of Jesus Christ.
2-WE live in the dispensation of the fullness of times. We don't know how good we have it.
3-This dispensation has an assignment it is to prepare the earth for the return of Jesus Christ.
Elder Holland bore powerful testimony and he said, "I know Jesus Christ lives. I'm more sure of this than I know that you sit there and I stand here."

I am the luckiest missionary out here! I love this work and I know it's true. I add my witness that Jesus Christ lives and that because he lives no matter our struggle, we are never alone. I love you all so much. Thank you for all your words of kindness and support. 
Love you so much!!!!
Love, Paak Jimuih

ps- I get to shake Elder Holland's hand tomorrow. I'm repenting as we speak.
pps- I am going to the temple next week so I won't email until later :)
Love you!!!!!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy P-day (Presidents not Preparation)

FAMILY!!!!! HELLO GREETINGS. I'm warning you this is going to be short again because I only have 45 minutes of email time. Hopefully we can get this library situation all figured out before next week. Anyways! How are you? Your Valentine's Day seemed so fun. I thought of you all and how grateful I am for each one of you. Nikelle is home!!!! Will you ask her to email me? I need her new email address. AWW so exciting. I miss her. Wade is an Eagle Scout, Spencer went to Simplot, and you all don't have school tomorrow. Recipe for success? I think so. 

So this past week. At a very memorable District meeting, (Mckay you little district leader, take note) the Elders in our district did a sorting hat Harry Potter meets China style, and Sister Aldana were sorted and told that we are staying in Butterfly for another move. We're excited! I really appreciate Sister Aldana because she lets me live in denial that this is my last move and one day I will leave this Hong Kong paradise. But I am so happy that I don't have to move. I love Butterfly and even though sometimes I feel like I'm running around stressed but not trying to show it, I love it here. I'm happy and I am very blessed. 

We got to teach two part member families this week. One was Jennifer's.. I think I told you her story? She's the best. I need to have her email me the pictures. We taught her husband (non-member) and he LOVES the idea of eternal families. He is very logical and right now isn't sure if he believes in God, but he is going to get there! I love them so much. Pray for them. The temple is in their future! 
The other part member family is the Leung Family. I've told you about them before-- oh my they are the cutest little couple ever. (picture attached... ps I was wearing so many layers that day hence I am ashamed to admit I looked like I gained 200-300 pounds.. but I was mostly warm so who cares) Anyway! Yes we taught Leung Hingdaih about Jesus Christ and it was the best lesson. I felt the Spirit so strong as we talked about Jesus and bore simple testimony.

Other miracles include-
-a man that we contacted in finding last week called us and scheduled himself!!!! After email last week he called and then we met him and turned him over to the Elders. He is this little dad and his son is in foster care. It's amazing, he wants to be baptized and we gave him a date right there in the lesson. The Lord knows who's ready and He just puts us in the path of these people so we can invite them to come unto Him. I love it!
-Getting to teach investigators the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always a miracle. Am I right? Yeah. We had some great lessons this week. I've been in 3rd Nephi in my personal study and it's all about Jesus you know? Aw! I am so blessed to know he is my Savior and to know that because He lives I am never alone.
-do to the freezing cold temperatures I'm blessed to say my bones are still in tact.
-Yesterday we did splits with some ward missionaries and then we ended up not having time to eat Lunch or dinner. Should I have just fasted rather than blatantly starve? Probably. 
-Okay listen. There is this less-active named Choi Lai Wah Jimuih. We were working with her when I first got here and found her. Then one time, a month or so ago, she called and said I don't care about you or about God. I was so sad!!!! Well she called us this past week. Remember fruit doorbell ditching? Yeah well it paid off! She called and scheduled us twice this past week. Yesterday she fed us. She fed us so much sick food. I usually like Chinese food but she fed us red bean mochi and this sick brown thick jello stuff that they call lihn gou--it's a new year's classic. I usually like it but after not eating.. it was just too much. Ha it's laughable to think about now but I was suffering last night. Anyways, in one of our lessons she said, "I've let down God a lot, but he never gives up on me." Isn't that amazing? OH Choi Lai Wah. I love her. She's got a lot of forgiving to do, but she is so good. I love her. She's going to get her little self (maybe weighs 95 pounds soaking wet and holding a lihn gou cake) to church this coming week.

Oh family I am so sorry this is so short, I almost have to go. But I am doing so good! Pray that we can find some new prepared investigators! We're out looking, but I'm remembering that this is God's time and he's going to fill it with what He wants me to do. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is changing my character and nature and I am eternally grateful. (anyone read Elder Scott's talk from Feb. Ensign? good read!) I love you all. This church is true! 

Have a wonderful week. Thank you for everything and I love you so much!!!!!!

Love, Paak Jimuih



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Family!!!! 
HELLO AND HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!! New Year's is wrapping up here, and I haven't seen any Valentine's Decor yet, so perhaps their skipping it here? But I'm not skipping it in my heart or my love for you all. Last year Elder Evans from the Seventy came and spoke to us on Valentine's Day, guess who is coming this year??????? Hold your cell phones and your mouse cursors tight because it is the one and only-- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland himself. It was announced this week so naturally I've spent a lot of time on my knees in gratitude but mostly repentance. I need to get myself ready for that handshake and looking into his eyes as he looks into my soul. My heart races just thinking about it. It's going to be on the 25th of this month. Hong Kong is celebrating 65 years of the church being here this year and we are all just so excited!!!!! So stay tuned!

Last week was so good. I continue to see miracles everyday and to see the hand of the Lord in my life. I love the Hong Kong people so much. I love the investigators and Less-actives we're working with and I'm working hard to really listen and then courageously follow the promptings God puts in my heart. Also in an effort to reply to the gems you bestow on me I'm going to write a little less about me so I can talk more about you.

Last Monday we went shopping in Mong Kok. I got lots of goods and lots of deals. I was just going to town on bargaining. Our investigator Vanessa came, The Tuen Mun sister's investigator (German exchange student) Caroline, and one of my dearest friends who you will all get to meet this fall from the first stake I served in --Victoria. It was so fun! (see attached pictures)  They helped me get some good deals and make it out of Mong Kok (Ladies and Flower's street) alive so we were all grateful, and were naturally exhausted.

Tuesday was a day of all finding and we saw so many miracles. One of which being right at the beginning. We met this girl named Ice. (love Chinese English names) It was so humbling to remember how the Lord really does put people in our path like that. We just have to open our mouths and find them. We taught her the restoration I felt the Spirit so strong. She asked great questions and  is the best. Hopefully we can see her again this week. Our member Ming Wai (she's the greatest!!!!) came LA finding with us for over 2 hours, and I was so grateful she was there. Members often don't know the influence we have!

Wednesday we hopped on the MTR to Kowloon Tong for MLC meeting and it was so good. I love everything that President and Sister Hawks teach us. I love them! I can't wait for you to meet them someday. President Hawks said, "if you dilligently study the Book of Mormon every single day of your life you won't go less-active." I've seen so many less-actives here. Returned missionaries who have been through the temple and have families. But a promise like that just reminds me of the importance of commandment and covenant keeping. It's true and it's real. Then we taught Vanessa that night. We focused on teaching her about the Spirit again. She's getting it. We shared the mormon messages about "light" from Elder Bednar. It's a 3 part mini-series have you seen it? You should look it up. Vanessa gets how the Spirit works now and is well on her way to being baptized next month! I love her. 

Thursday- We finished Weekly planning in one day. In under an 2 hours actually. That's a miracle in and of itself. I can't really remember what else happened that day. Days run together... but we went finding. It was good. And we visited some members and taught a lesson. OH BEFORE I FORGET. WADE YOU'RE THE HIT OF MEMBERS AND INVESTIGATORS IN CHINA. Everyone loves your 10 commandments rendition. Good on you! Thanks for your help.

Friday- Zone meeting was so fun. We changed our goals and actions and presented them to our zone. We had a great time and got our zone excited for the next month. Moves calls is this week but I'm not nervous. I think I'm staying right here for the next year or so. We also had Zone 24 exchanges. Sister Aguilar came to Butterfly with me and in a 20 minute finding session (it's all we had time for) we taught a woman who was so prepared. Heavenly Father answers prayers, you know what I'm saying? She said she saw, but didn't talk to missionaries last September but was too scared to talk to them. We taught her right there how to pray and about the Book of Mormon. God is involved in the details of our lives. We then taught Erica (who is doing great-- she's reading AND praying!!!!!!!!!!) and had English class, and then we had a spiritual lesson where we read 1 Nephi 1 with her. She's the best. Also so fun to be with Sister Aguilar again.

Saturday- woke up did studies and then Sister Aguilar and I were interrupted in language study (right between ching and chong.. you think I'm joking........) to heart moving beating drums. It was the dragon dancers!!!! Did I tell you about this last year? They go everywhere all over Hong Kong. And they beat these loud drums so you can know they are coming. Then finally the dragons show up and do tricks and all sorts of acrobats. Needless to say, language study became harder with the pink and yellow dragons 34 floors bellow us. I got some videos. I'll show them to you someday..... you'll love it. Then we had district find, met a great new investigator (she already had a Book of Mormon!) switched back companions and then it was time for the ward New Years party. It was a wild hit and I was laughing so hard the whole night!!!! I love Butterfly ward. They're another big family that I didn't know I had.

Sunday- was fast Sunday and so good! Chan Hingdaih our cute correlator even mentioned me in his testimony! I almost sobbed like a new born baby right there. We got 2 new ward missionaries (we have an army now) and then we did some finding in the rain and then studies.

Wow sorry I promised that would be shorter and look at me! I apologize. But let me just close with my testimony. Family--I know this church is true. I know that as we are on the Lord's errand we can't fail! We just have to follow the promptings that the Lord puts in our heart even if they seem strange or we don't know why. I love this work and i love the Hong Kong people. No matter how many people say No I'm going to keep searching for the ones who will say yes. They're out there and I'm praying and looking for them. I love the Book of Mormon. I'm in my reading in 3rd Nephi and I love reading about Christ himself teaching. It's all true. I love you all! 

Have a wonderful week and a Happy Valentine's day!!!!!
Love YOU SO MUCH.
xoxoxoxoxo
Love, Paak Jimuih