Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014: ARRIVED!

So. I made it. and I'm not dead yet. THANK HEAVENS. This week has proved to me more than ever that I am where I need to be.

Monday morning last week, we jumped on an airplane to Seattle. I had the chance to talk to my family for a few minutes, which was awesome. Then we made it to Seattle and had the wonderful opportunity to talk to some really funny old guys that spent the past month or so fishing in Alaska. Minus their language (after 9 weeks in the MTC, I forgot that bad language was a thing...) they totally reminded me of my Grandpa Crook. They showed us some awesome pictures and it was nice to talk with them. They asked about what we were doing and hopefully the missionaries in Texas find them. They're great.

We landed in Hong Kong Tuesday evening. After geting through immigration (not customs, cuz I LIVE HERE NOW! WHAAATT.) we walked out to see our sweet mission president (chyundobouh wuihjeung, in case you wanted to know the Cantonese) and his wife. She just hugged each of us and he shook our hands and knew most of us by name. it was amazing. I was so grateful for them!!! They took us back to their apartment... in the temple. So yeah, I've technically already been to the Hong Kong Temple. it doesn't look quite like the pictures, but it is beautiful. ANyways, we went up a few flights of stairs and right across from their apartment is a little dining area. Sister Hawks made us cake. no joke. legit chocolate cake. I seriously wanted to cry. We were all so overwhelmed and exhausted, but she greeted us with loving open arms, a hug, and a cake. Just like a mom away from home. Love her! President Hawks is cool too. He genuinely cares about each of us. Anyways, we ate cake and took a really awful picture with them (not sure why) and they sent us across the street above the stake center to Patron Housing. that's where all the out of country people come and stay while they attend the temple. We fit 8 people into a room that was maybe just bigger than my bedtroom at home, and it included a bathroom. Needless to say it was hot!

Wednesday, we got our Hong Kong ID's, trained, and took a picture with President and Sister Hawks to send to our families showing that none of us are dead yet. I swear my hair just eats the water in the air here. It's not any more curly, but dang, it's big. I don't have a clue how to tame it so it's been in a bun and probably will be for the next 16 months. We went to a mall and got food0- real chinese sticky rice and soem kind of barbeque pork. I realized that I still stink at usign chopsticks (more to come on that later).That night we went finding in some place with a sister. Sister Nuttall and I went with Sister Choi, who is a native from Hong Kong. We spent a couple hours wandering the streets in the pouring rain trying to tell people about the gospel. No joke, as soon as someone saw us walking towards them they looked away or opened their umbrella at us (it was all wet...not fun) or ran away... it was really discouraging. People are not open to hearing what we have to say. I went to bed feeling pretty sad, not sure I could handle this new adventure.

Thursday we got up, ate breakfast, and met our trainers and got our areas. My trainer is Sister Lubeck from...Morgan? Utah. I have been assigned to serve in the Tsing Yi (kind of pronounced like Ching-Yee, kind of.) area. It's a tiny island just off of mainland Hong Kong (the part stuck to mainland China). It is adorable. There are palm trees lining the coasts and you can see HK Island and mainland in the distance... love it. But it's definitely not paradise. The buildings may look glorious, but dang, the place stinks. It smells like trash and a dirty bathroom everywhere we go. So that'll take some getting used to. We took my 3 suitcases, as well as Sister Lubeck's bag and she ha dto grab another bag of stuff to take to someone in our area, so trying to ride the MTR (subway) was an adventure. We made it though. Thursday evening I got to teacha  lesson! She's my favorite. Her name is Janda, and she's actually Sri Lankan. She married a chinese guy and has been here for like 20 years. She progresses slowly, but it's totally sure and she just is so happy. She smiles and gets so excited about everything we taught her.

Friday was good. We had lunch with a member from the ward, Chiu Jimuih. She made us some kind of vegetable soup and homemade potstickers. AH. It was so so so so so so good. I know not all the food will be that awesome. But homemade dumplings? Yessss. win. I also got the opportunity to teach English! how crazy. I met John, who is the Elders' investigator, and Katie Chan. AI loved teaching English class. We watched a mormon message and took words from it to teach them, so they're still getting to feel the spirit even though we're not really "teaching". It was awesome.

Saturday was fun. We taught a less active sister, Chan Tung Jimuih. SHe's cute. She's pretty nervous, and I'm new so that threw her for a loop, but she wanted a picture with us so I have one that hopefully Mom can forward on. She's adorable. loved her. She actually came to church this week, so that was good! We went out to eat with a recent convert A-Teng (or Yeung JM) for lunch. we ate curry soup with giant noodles... yeah, we had to eat that with chopsticks. In case you were wondering, eating soup with chopsticks is possible. BUT it ended up down the front of my shirt. so that was fun. We went to eat at a member's house for dinner- Lau Hingdaih. he's the coordinator with the missionaries. His wife made us ribs (whatt??? yeah. real thing) and salad with RANCH! we don't get ranch here so that was fun.

Sunday was good too. I seriously do not understand a single thing people say to me, so they definitely enjoy that. it's funny. I met lots of people and don't remember most of their names. But that's okay. We had amusical fireside last night (hmm, think my being here is inspired?! yes.) and I got to help with that. Janda came and I was super excited to see her. And then another investigator Jasmine that I actually haven't met yet was there too. Kelly, a 14 year old girl, came to church though and we taught her afterwards about the 10 commandments and law of chastity. She's cute and is really excited to be baptized, I think next month? I can't keep the people straight.

So I live on the 24th floor of a skyscraper...that's sketchy. We can't run our AC except at night so it's ALWAYS hot, and the whole thing is maybe as big as my living room at home. kitchen, washer, dryer, bathroom, and 4 beds. I live with two other sisters from another area, Sister Tidwell and Tu-Avao (not sure I spelled that one right). The araprtments are sketchy here because as soon as you step off the elevator you feel like you are in prison, since all the doors have a metal barred door over the door. It's scary. you feel like someone is gonna jump out at you with a knife. bUt we have all sorts of guards and stuff so I know that we're safe. it's not too bad, just hot. and stinky. the whole place stinks like a bathroom (thank goodness our apt doesn't stink that bad). but oh well.

Umm... I love China. I freaking stink at speaking this language. Well, no. I can speak alright. but I TOTALLY can't understand a single thing anyone says. But oh well. I love our investigators and I love the people and the ward totally loves me so that's fun. love you all!

Ngoh nhoi leihdeih! (:

-Kuk Jimuih
Okay, finally have a few minutes to reply to this. Wow. Yeah, missionary miracles are real. I can't believe it. I am so excited for that. I can't believe you're moving already. That's weird. I mean, I know it's fast and stuff, but dang. I'm glad you all have a fresh start though. I hear dad is excited about his new job (sorry, don't have time to reply to his email so just tell him I'm happy for him! and tell hi9m he has to start a rock band in Boise so I can play keyuoard when I come home.) I hope school goes well for everybody. It'll be really weird to come home and not be home home, but it's whatever. I feel pretty weird where I am now, so that's just a new adjustment.

yeah, sorry about that picture. Our senior couple who works in the office, Elder and Sister Pack, kinda...they're special. haha. technology and the seniors isn't the best thing. It's dang funny though. I love them. Sorry I look so awful in whatever picture they sent you!! I promise I look more put together now. really.

I can't get down on my knees and pray here since we're on some hard core time crunch. but I've had a prayer in my heart from the second I got that email. Hopefully all goes well in the move to Boise. I'll be praying for it.

I ask you to pray for the families of those missionaries from Taiwan. I was pretty close to a few of the Taiwan missionaries in the MTC, and though I don't know who they are, I hope their families are okay. If they release the names, let me know. Pray that their families will be comforted. Pray for my investigators as well. We have a few that I haven't met (mroe details next week when I know them) that are struggling. so keep them in mind. Love you all!

 Saying goodbye to Sister (and BFF) Mertens as they part ways from the MTC.
 First daylight view of Hong Kong

 Sister Killpack
 Sister Nuttall
 View from the 24th floor apartments.  Hong Kong island in the view and the mountains beyond are mainland China.

 4 girls crammed into this itty bitty living space.  The refrigerator is on the far left.
 View from outside the apartments.  Palm trees and stinky air.
 New comp Sister Lubeck
 Moon cake
 Mud masks

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