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