The tree that truly smells like cream soda
I love to see the temple
Sister Nuttal (from Layton) and another girl that all went to Jr. High together.
Leih hou, pangyauh! Hello friends! This week has been a whirlwind. Everyone here says the days are long and the weeks are short. I cannot even begin to tell you how true that is. The days are SO long. I spend 9,10, 11 hours a day just studying the language. If we're lucky we have time to take a nap on P days.
So last Tuesday we got two new investigators, Jyu Jimuih (Sister Jyu) and Suki. I seriously love them. They aren't real- they're just our teachers, but they act like investigators and ask many questions that we'll have to know the answers to. I actually learn a ton from those experiences. Suki wanted to meet with the missionaries because she wanted to learn English. (This is the best, by the way. made my whole day.) we started to teach our lesson but ended up way off track because our Cantonese sucks and we ended up teaching prayer instead. Long story short, Suki asked "Well, if I pray will God help me learn English? He helped you with your Gwondung-Wa, right?" Sis Robinson was SO excited at that statement that all she could do was grin with this goofy look on her face and nod really fast. So we taught Suki how to pray and she asked God to help her learn English. I seriously felt so great about that lesson.
Another one of our investigators, Jyu Jimuih, wanted to meet with us because she heard we teach about eternal families and she wanted an eternal family. So our first lesson was....eh. It was okay, but we were kind up jumping around and could've done better. But she seemed to get it and asked us to come back. So we did. and I can't remember what day we taught her, but we taught her again later in the week and spoke about the Plan of Salvation. we hit a rough patch when explaining about the fall of Adam and Eve (Aadong and Hawaa, in case you were wondering) but we picked it up after that and she seemed to be excited. We felt prompted to challenge her to baptism. Now rewind to our last lesson with our very first investigator,Stellar. That lesson was so bad and crashed and burned...but we had challenged her to baptism and said no. So when Jyu Jimuih sat there contemplating, all of us had a silent prayer in our heart to have the Lord soften hers to our message. So we were terrified. BUT SHE SAID YES. We have successfully committed an investigator to baptism. I am so excited that we can finally move on from teaching the same two lessons and finally move on to help her come closer to Christ. I think the best part of that whole lesson was how we sang "I am a Child of God" in Cantonese, and she clearly felt the spirit and asked if she could read the words to our song. I was so excited!!! AH. Love her. I know what it's like to truly love our investigators, even though they're just our teachers.
So in case any of you wanted to know, minions speak Cantonese. I'm sure I've said that before. but if anyone wants to know what Cantonese sounds like, go watch Despicable Me. (They don't really, but some of their words sound like Cantonese). So Mom, when you send that Nutella with the minion crackers all of us ate some and were praying that the crackers would give us Cantonese speaking powers...haha just kidding. But they were cute and I love them! thanks! Also for all you chocolate lovers out there, the word for chocolate in Cantonese is "jyugalik".
I have to say that i am so grateful for the branch presidency down here. The wives of them come to our residence hall a couple times a week at bedtime just to hug us goodnight since our own moms aren't here. It really is the sweetest thing I've ever seen and I seriously appreciate their willingness to come sacrifice their time to take care of us. They're the great.
So here's the funny Chinglish of the week. Mihngbaak means to understand. We have an Elder who is seriously so smart. he's totally getting this language and we always ask him if we have questions. I can't remember the context of the comment (all my days run together) but we said something, and someone commented "Just because Elder Anderson is over there mihngbaaking everything..." and I just had to laugh. it's probably not funny to any of you who read this, but it makes me laugh just thinking about it, so roll with it.
So if anyone gets bored and really wants to hear Cantonese, there's a good video on Mormon.org called "I'm a Mormon, Supportive Sister, and grateful daughter" by a Hong Kong girl. it shows some cool shots of HK. way cool. Also, there's a video somewhere on LDS.org about the story of the very first sister missionaries. It was touching and really made my day.
Sundays here are pretty awesome. We usually have time to take a short nap, but it has to be in the classroom. so the 7 sisters in my district literally lay on the floor and just sleep. It is the funniest thing ever!! we took a nice nap for like an hour yesterday evening. We also have time to watch the LDS.org videos. Anything. We watch Mormon Messages (which sucks because they're so great that we just cry over them all) and really old seminary/church movies. Those are definitely pretty entertaining.
Yesterday was mission conference. We had the opportunity to listen to our mission president of the MTC speak. His wife shared a touching story about Amanda Barnes Smith, my sweet grandmother. I always get teary over her story, and all those that crossed the plains. I have such a love for my ancestors and really appreciate everything they did for me. I am excited to see them again after I die and give them all a great big hug. I definitely could not have crossed the plains. Anyways, she told us about the lyrics to How Firm A Foundation. If you get the chance, go read all of the verses. They're pretty powerful.
The best part of my week? DUHKLAAPYAHT!!!!! Independence Day! It really was the most amazing thing ever and I am really really glad I had the opportunity to be here for it. We had a really great devotional Friday night that was all about how Joseph Smith brought back true freedom- the knowledge of the gospel. And then we got to watch the fireworks from BYU stadium of fire. that was pretty cool. It made us all a little homesick, but it's okay.
I have such a strong testimony of this gospel, and the work that I'm out here to do. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Christ as it was when Christ walked the earth. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and I know he has a plan for me and for my family. I love the opportunity to be here preparing to serve the people of Hong Kong!
Ngoh ngoi leih!!
PS. Thank you to everyone who sent me letters/dear elders this week. I love hearing from you! (:
So here's a funny story for you. I went in with my teacher Sister Heaton to sit down and do our "interview." Basically she asked me questions in Cantonese like how is the MTC, how is the language coming, how are my companions, what are my goals...etc. and then I answered in English. Anyways. The first thing she said when I walked in and sat down was "You know Paige Heninger." I was like. Umm............... yes. But because she was speaking in Cantonese I couldn't understand everything she was saying, so I was sort of REALLY confused as to how she knew that. Apparently her mom and Paige are really good friends/neighbors, and Paige said something about me to Sister Heaton's mom, and then she told Sister Heaton who then told me. So. Small world. Just in case you wanted to know.