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 ashit 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. was nothing short of a miracle dream and I was on missionary cloud 9. Then 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 zoneand 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. :)