Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2015

This week has been amazing. It's such a blessing to be in the mission field at Christmastime, and I'm pretty sad I only get to experience it once. It was amazing to walk the streets and just ask people about how they celebrated Christmas and shared about the love of our Father in Heaven for giving us the greatest gift of all- His beloved Son.

Christmas Eve was just another proselyting day- nothing special. We saw Cherry and our lesson ran late (Cherry forgot and was late...) so we ended up needing to go out to eat. Sister Killpack ate McDonalds and I grabbed me some steamed bread and white grape juice. We took our food out to the pier and watched the boats drive by. There were carolers walking up and down the pier and it was just awesome. A little chilly, but awesome.

Christmas day here was insane! We got up that morning, got ready, and our sweet roomates made us breakfast- WAFFLES. Sister Robinson LOVES waffles and her aunt that lives here in HK gave her a waffle iron for Christmas, so she made us breakfast. Mmmmm. Been a LONG time since I've had good breakfast. We ate eggs and bacon and seriously just feasted. I was so full we didn't eat lunch. Phone calls home were also fantastic. It's so good to hear everyone's voices!

Cammy let us teach her Christmas day before our ward party. what a blessing! We read from the scriptures about Samuel the Lamanite's prophecies about Christ, and then Christ's birth. Afterwards, we all went to the ward Christmas party. They didn't stay the entire time, but she definitely came for a bit. At the party, the bishop got up and announced he had four special gifts to give away- and called us all up to the front. The ward so graciously gave us four missionaries four MASSIVE bags- garbage bags- full of treats, shampoo, noodles (macaroni!) ramen, popcorn, and all sorts of goodies. We seriously won't have to buy noodles fo rlike, the rest of forever. We are so grateful for such a wonderful ward that loves us so much!! They really are the best.

That night,  Brother and Sister Fong invited us over for Christmas dinner. We got there and just after, Brother Fong walked in with none other than KFC. What? Haha. He said (in perfect English, of course) "This is Kenny Fong's Chicken!" Mmm. We feasted on glorious American food, fruit salad, and of course some Chinese traditional stuff as well like sweet and sour pork and tofu. It was seriously so good. Purple and her son Nigel were there too, and we shared a message about Christmas and watched He is the Gift. We talked about how all of us celebrate Christmas and it was just fabulous.

Cammy's doing well. She doesn't feel prepared for baptism yet, so we invited her to pray about and pick her own baptismal date- all without us. She said she's willing to do that. then we'll make a plan with her on how to help her prepare.

Kelly is doing well. Last time we met with her she expressed interest in better understanding Joseph Smith. We decided to show the Joseph Smith movie to Kelly. We only watched the first part and will finish the second half tonight, but so far she seems to have really appreciated it. She said it helped her more clearly understand his background and what he did for the church. The spirit was really strong in that lesson. I'm excited to finish it tonight. We're also challenging her to pray about her own baptismal date, just like Cammy.

Still haven't been able to contact Janda, but we talked to the relief society president yesterday and she says she still Whats Apps her every couple of days. Janda is now working two full time jobs until she can find a replacement for her old job while she opens her new job in Tsuen Wan. We're hoping we can find a way to contact her, but at least for now we know she's okay- just really, really, really busy.
We've had a rough week with finding. I've taken note of some things that we need to change and sihfaan so we can better improve our finding efforts. We've talked with a lot of people- they just don't really want to hear the gospel. Again, it all boils down to agency. I guess we're just doing the best we can with what we've got, and the rest is up to them.

I am grateful for the faith building experience of 65 in December. Though we may not have reached our numerical goal, I think we reached the most important goal of all- building our faith and bringing others to Christ. What better way to celebrate Christmas than giving our all and loving the people of Hong Kong?

Singdaan faailohk!


(Sister Crook)

 Really awkward selfie with my GLORIOUS breakfast
The view from the pier on Christmas Eve
Chicken nuggets for Christmas Eve dinner
The fam is brainwashing me!

(In Response to sweet little Sophie Fellows' update): Sounds like Christmas miracles are true all around the world. Crazy how that happens. Yeah, I've been praying for Sophie. I can see if my comp wants to help me out too.

(Mom is feeling some evil strangling thoughts after this comment):  Fun fact. I wasn't going to tell you this before Christmas, but skyping was just barely made okay in the mission. Only problem is we can't leave our area to skype, and since there's no place to do it, it just wasn't worth it to tell you. Sorry! Maybe my next area will have somewhere where that's okay. Happy Christmas!

Teaching English with pictures

Sister Killpack eats chicken nuggets for Christmas Eve dinner...ew

Sister Crook eats steamed bread for Christmas Eve dinner...YUM

Enjoying the peacefulness of Christmas Eve

Sister Robinson gets a wafflemaker for Christmas!  Making waffles on the floor though?

Clothed in great Boise State attire!


Red Velvet Christmas peeps from home!

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you all know I love you and wish you a very, merry Christmas!​ All the missionaries here appreciate your prayers in our behalf. This season is such a wonderful season to remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve the Chinese people and help teach them about Christ and his wonderful example. I love you all so much and wish you the very best Christmas ever!

Singdaan faailohk!
-Kuk Jimuih

Wow. I can hardly believe how much has changed in a week... Thursday morning I sent Sister Lubeck home and picked up my new companion- none other than Sister Killpack, my MTC companion. I had a feeling I'd end up with someone from my same MTC group, but I had no idea it'd be with my companion. I'm now senior companion over here, still serving in Tsing Yi. It's so weird to be full-time senior companion. It's such a different view of the work. So far nobody's crashed and burned, and we're still meeting with most of our investigators, so that's good. it'll be a weird adjustment, and we're both still learning so much every day, but I'm grateful for the challenge.

Cammy is doing alright. We met with her once this week to teach her about the Nativity. She doesn't really understand anything about Jesus Christ... I mean, she understands that he atoned for us, and she understands that through him we can repent and return to God's presence, but she doesn't really understand what that means. She doesn't understand really why he's so important, so this week we're going to try to figure out another way to teach that, since apparently the first few times we've tried it didn't click. God will guide our studies and lessons, and I'm grateful to have this learning experience. She still struggles coming to church on time, but made it with four kids in tow (two of which were...nephews, I think?) by relief society yesterday. She's a trooper.

Kelly is doing alright. She still prays daily and reads almost every day. I feel like she's better understanding the things she reads, so that's good. She came to sacrament meeting yesterday for the first time in a long time. She had somewhere to be afterwards, but I was glad she got up and came to church. We're planning to review the Restoration and Joseph Smith with her this week to hopefully help her more clearly understand.
I'm really worried about Janda. She hasn't answered our phone calls in about two weeks. We're going to try to stop by her house and leave a picture and testimony that Sister Lubeck left for her probably this week. She's still in contact with the members though. Her new business is opening this week so we hope that after this week, all goes well and she can meet with us again.

Cherry is doing wonderfully. She has such a clear objective- a temple marriage. What a blessing!

Singdaan faailohk, everybody! I'm so grateful to be sharing the wonderful message of Christmas with everyone this week. We have awesome Christmas flyers, and it's fun to ask people how they celebrate Christmas here. Most don't, but those that do have fun traditions. We have such a happy message to share and this time of the year is truly perfect. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with my tuhnguk (...roomates? I can't remember English. sorry.) and our ward here in Tsing Yi. It's such a wonderful season of giving and sharing. I love you all! Thanks for all you do!!!

-Kuk Jimuih

(In reference to mom's questions): Yes, still in Tsing Yi. I am the senior companion, probably because my Chinese is a lot better ... but President Hawks asked Sister Lubeck if she thought it was good enough to handle senior companion. She taught me a lot about the language and yeah, I can speak well enough. my vocabulary isn't massive, but I can speak the tones clearly and my accent isn't too bad. We're getting along alright. Since my last companion was Sister Training leader, I know the mission rules inside and out.

(Unlce Matthew is married!):  Haha. can't believe Matthew's married... and she's only two months older than me. That just...freaks me out. Oh well. Guess I'll get to know her next year. Weird. I know I'll be okay to handle my new comp, but I'm more worried about our area. All we did this weekend was like..... hours after hours of finding. By the end of the night both of us were so exhausted and my feet hurt super bad. So hopefully we can reschedule more people. It's hard because her Chinese is ma ma dei- okayish. she can understand a lot more than she can say, and her last companion didn't let her say anything, so it's going to be a rough time helping her to get up to my level. oh well. no matter, I guess. I'll probably leave next transfer so hopefully i can help her feel familiar enough with the area.
Elders Areanas, Hartwig, Osbourne, Koochin.  Sisters Yeung, Lubeck, Tu'Avao, Crook

Holiday decor

Saying Goodbye to Sister Lubeck

Investigator Brother and Sister Gai

Lau Wan Sau, Brother Poon, Annie Lie, Fei Fei

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

(Mom's Note: Sorry friends and family but Sister Crook is losing her ability to think and speak English and often forgets that none of us know Cantonese.  Good luck!)

Sih ching sih je yeung dik: Chinese Motab

...and it came to pass: Chinese MOTAB. Christmas fireside in Kowloon Tong yesterday was awesome!

We had a pretty big focus on finding this week- we are definitely in need of some new investigators. As our investigators progress towards baptism, we have been wanting to have some new investigators too.

Monday night, we taught Tiger. The Elders met her on the street the night of our open house and we were finally able to reschedule her. She comes from a really hard life... her dad lives on the Island and her mom lives in Mainland. She is 18, studying in form 4, and lives by herself. Two years ago she dropped out of school to work. Now she's going back to school and working. She's super busy and definitely needs the gospel in her life. I'm excited to watch her progress. She was very receptive to the message of the Restoration and I was really grateful to have the opportunity to teach her.

Tuesday we went to a member's house for dinner and taught Cherry Lesson 2 again. Cherry has such a strong testimony and I admire her love for the temple. Everything she says goes back to the temple and how bad she wants to go there. We had a little time to really crack down and find and taught three lessons. We met three really nice people and hopefully will have the opportunity to meet them again. That evening, we went to our lesson with Mrs. Tung (the grandma we started teaching last week) and when we got there, Sister Lubeck called her to tell her we were just waiting for our member. Mrs. Tung told us not to come back. She wasn't ready to accept that our churches were different and we think she may have experienced some anti from her church, because last week she was so happy to meet with us. Oh well. I guess someday she'll be prepared to meet the missionaries again someday.

Wednesday we had a big block of finding, and we made it a goal to do a gauntlet find and teach six lessons. By the end of the day, we had made it to all six areas and taught six lessons. Though none of the people were able to reschedule, we have since contacted some of them and hopefully will be able to continue meeting with them. We were so blessed with so many miracles on Wednesday. We even found a way of finding that makes five hours of straight finding pretty exciting. The weather was nice too! Blessings all around.

Thursday was good. We taught less active Sister Yeung and found a member that may be able to better help her son. We're also working on a way to get her and her son to church. Then we taught Sister Tsang (LA). She's doing well. She hasn't read that much this week because she's super tired from work, but her love for the scriptures is still the same.

Friday Sister Lubeck taught Cammy while I helped teach her kids. She's progressing okay, but still hasn't come to church. We're not sure how to better get Cammy to understand the importance of the Sabbath Day. We've tried teaching it in so many different ways but I am at a loss. If you have any suggestions, let me know. It's hard, because we can only bring this commandment unto her heart...she has to bring it into her heart. She's not ready to be baptized just yet, but I know she will be soon. She's great. WE taught our recent convert A-Ting as well. She also has an issue getting up on time coming to church.

Saturday we taught Sister Lui, a less active. She realizes that if she doesn't come to church or read scriptures its harder to do it the next time. We taught Kelly. She still doesn't feel prepared to be baptized. We are planning to review the lessons again with her to help her understand it.

Sunday we went to the fireside with A-Ting and Cherry (RC's). Both of them felt the spirit so strong, and I hope that that was a wake up call for A-Ting. She has a testimony but has a hard time not being lazy. We hoped helping her feel that spirit will help her remember why she decided to be baptized in the first place.

Week full of miracles! Bring on 65 in December!
Love, Sister Crook

(In regards to her thoughts on missionary work and her companion leaving this week): this week has been insanely awesome. definitely rewarding. We've had some setbacks with all three of our investigators we're working with right now, so it's sad to see them do that... but setbacks are a real part of life. I go to bed and the very next second I'm up again. time flies. it's weird. I'm always exhausted, but it's good. means we're working hard.

Panicking that tomorrow I find out who my new companion is. I know I'm not training but I could be senior companion, or I could not be. either way I'm staying in Tsing Yi which is good.  Bahaha. yeah... greenies. they're the best. I know Sister Stromberg coming in, so that'll be fun to hopefully see her. I don't mind the new companions, it's the responsibility that may be a thing.  Yeah, kinda sad to see her (Sister Lubeck) go. But it's her time. Mine will come too. she dies, others are born. It's just the circle of life.

(Christmas packing being mailed home): Mailed your Christmas package today... sorry, it may be late. long story. mail here is mahfaan.

(We asked what Mahfaan meant): sorry... umm, the closest English translation is... inconvenient? I can't speak English anymore.

(We don't speak Chinese): mhaih wo! kesaht, hou fongbihn! baha. Your phone call home is gonna be in Chinese... be prepared!

Funny, how I can't remember any Spanish anymore. Lots of Cantonese is just like really bad Chinglish. Gotta run, though. hope you enjoy those pictures! we made gingerbread (wafer?) houses with Kelly, Lam Lam (member) and A-Ting (RC).

Making wafer-cookie "gingerbread" houses with the sisters.

Making Christmas cards: Sister Lubeck

Ingredients for wafer cookie houses

Christmas card activity

Sister Robinson and a pizza


City at night


A miniature Christmas tree

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014: Exact Obedience


I know I say this every week, but miracles are real. Also, exact obedience BRINGS BLESSINGS. I mean, I haven't had a problem being obedient. Really. It's not hard to follow the rules. But this week we encountered a challenge and were insanely blessed for it.

Monday we visited a less active. It was her birthday and she invited us (being Sister Cook and I on exchanges) to dinner. We prepared a short lesson about how God loves her (since it's her birthday, why not make her feel special!) and wow. We got there, and there were probably 15 people there... yep, wasn't planning to teach that many. Me and Sister Cook had to adapt our lesson plan really fast, but we were still able to share our message, even though it felt like half the ward was there watching us struggle with Cantonese. No worries though. It was fun and I like the challenge of having to adapt lessons like that every once in a while.

Tuesday we did a turnover lesson with a lady who walked into our open house last week! She's from Mainland and understands Cantonese but we can't really understand her, so we sent her to the Mandarin speaking sisters. She has some major interest in the Church's new self reliance program, so I'm excited to see how she progresses.

Wednesday we visited a less active, Sister Cheung, who is afraid to come back to church because people will judge her. We brought a fellowshipper with us that hadn't met her before, and it was...interesting. Bless her heart, sweet Sister Law went off about how if you don't take the sacrament, you're going to go to a "place you don't want to go", as she put it. Sometimes, you just can't control what the members say... it's funny. Sister Cheung is close to the relief society president, so I know she'll come back when she's ready. We'll just keep working with her. She's really sweet and is starting to read and pray more often! We did a lot of finding on Wednesday and literally ran into this grandma on the street. Like, we were walking and she walked right into us. We started talking and she invited us up to her house to teach her! That's a first for me.

Thursday we tried something new with Cammy- having two fellowshippers. We had one for her kids and one for her, and then we split up. I taught Cammy and Sister Lubeck taught the kids. We were in the same room teaching the same thing (1 Nephi 1) but it was really good because Cammy didn't have to worry about her kids being naughty. I think it helped her, because now she understands the scriptures a little better. Maybe she'll be more willing to read them. Our biggest problem with her right now is she doesn't keep the Sabbath Day Holy- she ends up going to yam chah with her mom. I think it's more of a "wanting to respect her mom" thing than not wanting to keep the commandments, but we're sort of at a loss of what to do. Thursday night we also had a miracle- Mrs. Wan, a newish investigator, actually called us and scheduled to meet with us! Very rarely does that happen, so that was really cool. She hasn't ever felt the spirit so she's struggling with that, but we're going to work through it.

Friday was crazy. After an amazing zone conference we taught English class and then did splits. I taught Cammy and her kids really simply about prayer and the Godhead, and Sister Lubeck went out to meet Janda while I waited with my temporary companion for Kelly to come for her baptismal interview. We need to keep working with her as there are some things that she doesn't fully understand, but she's doing really well. For being only 14, I am impressed with her faith. When I was 14 I went to church because my mom told me to- not because I really wanted to or understood why. Now that I do though, I'm thankful she was there to push me. Kelly doesn't really have that support system though, so we're trying to get her to know more members so she can. We taught Janda the rest of the commandments and she's excited to start keeping them. She still doesn't know about her baptismal date though since this month is really, really busy. But we're praying for a miracle!

Saturday we taught Tung Pohpo again. She and her husband are really catholic and it's hard because I understand nothing about the Catholic religion to be able to know how to help her... but we're working on it. We'll work with them together and just teach really simply. Both of them are so nice though, and very willing to let us visit them in their home- what a blessing. Cammy came to our relief society activity but none of the members really included her, so that was pretty sad... she's so cute. We also taught our less active Sister Tsang. She just LOVES the scriptures, so I'm really excited about that. We also had the opportunity to visit Sister Chan, another less active. She really doesn't want to come back to church (we're not sure why) but she likes having the missionaries reteach her the lessons.

Sunday we taught a less active with the saddest story. She's almost 70 now and hasn't been to church in a long long time because her son is disabled. Turns out when he was 7 years old, he and his older sisters were at a primary activity at a pool and there was some sort of accident that made him disabled like he is now, and his sisters blame the church. They're all inactive now. Sister Yeung still has a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ though and loves to have us visit her. We're going to reteach lessons and hopefully find a way for her to be more involved in the ward. That evening we had a less active and former investigator teach us how to make sushi- then we shared a message about God's love for us. So cool!

So my obedience miracle: Missionaries have the rule to not eat hotpot. No worries. Until now, I've never encountered it. We scheduled to eat with a member this week, and when we showed up to her house there was a boiling pot of vegetables on the table. We figured it'd be alright if it was just vegetables. But when she pulled out the raw meat and told us there was meat in the soup as well, we immediately knew it wasn't okay to eat. She's super smart cooking wise and her food is always always delicious, so we weren't expecting hotpot. We shared our message first (thankfully!) and tried to leave before she fed us. Long story short, we kept denying and explained that it's a mission rule that we can't eat hotpot. She assured us the meat was cooked all the way through and we won't get sick. After about five minutes of useless denying, we were frustrated because she wouldn't respect mission rules. We literally just walked out. Of course, we were polite about it. But we left. On the way home, our investigator that we haven't seen or been able to contact in about two months came up behind us and stopped us- said she wanted to reschedule us. WOW. God blesses obedient missionaries! I love obedience!
Miracles are real. Bring on 65 in December!!!​

MTC Companions!

Tessa sent her sister some of her magical turtles and asked her to take good care of them.  It appears that they are studying.

Mini mini Christmas tree mom sent


Cooking together


Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014


Our lesson with Mrs. Wan fell through not once but twice this week. She's going through some personal things and hasn't had a chance to meet us. Since then, she's also not been answering our phone calls. We pray that we can have the opportunity to meet with her and her cute baby Yolanda here sometime soon. Monday night we met Winnie, who doesn't have religion but believes in Jesus Christ... wow, what a miracle. Hopefully we'll have the chance to see her this week.
Tuesday was a day crammed full of adventure. We met a crazy guy in Mawan a few weeks ago who had three life questions he *needed* answers to. We gave him a Book of Mormon and got out of there as fast as we could. Well, he had one request- asked us to find answers to his questions and give him a new copy all marked up. We spent a little bit of our prep time marking scriptures with answers to his problems. Tuesday we finally had the chance to give him the book- only to have him say "Wait. Are these answers from a philosophical point of view or a religious point of view?" That was a smack your palm to your face moment, for sure. His heart definitely isn't open to the gospel right now, so the most we can do is pray that someday it will be ready to receive the gospel. Right now we can only bring the things unto his heart- and there's nothing more to it. That evening we went with Cherry (RC) to the Joseph Smith movie in Kowloon Tong. It was a great experience and very eye-opening to her about all the things that he went through. Afterwards she went to about half an hour of institute!
Wednesday. We taught Cammy. I seriously have never been so disappointed in my whole life. That lesson was so hard. It is absolutely impossible to teach without the spirit. We got there and both of her kids were with her and were whining and crying like tired 5 and 6 years olds do after school sometimes. Cammy was exhausted since she's been in the hospital with her sister who just had a baby for the past week or so. She had little patience with her kids. Sister Lubeck had planned an activity that I didn't really understand and it was hard for me to follow the lesson. Anyways, needless to say it crashed and burned. I don't think they learned hardly anything... we'll keep trying though. I know the Lord wants her to be baptized in December so He will give us a way!
Thursday was great. Going to Kowloon Tong for Thanksgiving dinner was such a great experience. We had a couple visiting from Michigan come in and eat some of our pie and they took pictures with us and everything. It was really fun. We taught our less active Sister Tsang that night too. She's coming around and is less and less awkward (but still extremely awkward!) every time we meet with her. She's remembering about some of the things she learned 10 or so years ago. She LOVES the scriptures and marks them up and asks us tons of questions. So great!
Friday was also insanely crazy. Love it. Sister Cook and I did exchanges and I learned one thing- dang, I stink at being senior companion! No worries though. My Chinese is just....pretty bad. But it'll come. someday. After doing some finding and teaching a street lesson, we came back to the church for a family history activity that no one came we did more finding. Then we taught Kelly during English class (elders taught this week). She was still pretty sick but I'm glad she came. Our fellowshipper called five minutes before and cancelled so it ended up just being us, but we read the scriptures together. She struggles having a desire to read them because she doesn't really understand them. but that's okay, we read with her and I know her scripture understanding will come over time- I still don't understand what I read sometimes and I've been reading them for many, many years. We had planned to do splits after that lesson and teach a new investigator and Cammy. Cammy ended up leaving and not giving us a chance to even follow up with her about anything. We taught our new investigator and I guess somewhere she missed the memo of why we wanted to meet with her... so that was awkward. We ended up just explaining the Book of Mormon with her and then together reading 1 Nephi 1.
Saturday we had the Tsing Yi Chapel Open House. It was a success and lots of people came. We taught a lesson to a guy who just walked in from the street. he had lots of questions. Sunday was also good- we found a LA from previous missionaries in the area who hadn't been contacted in... 6 or so months. Her son is really disabled so she can't come to church, but hopefully we can help her feel God's love for her.

This morning we had the opportunity to go to Tsuen Wan to see this 200 year old chinese "uk", house! it ws so cool. Sister Lau (ward coordinator's wife [the one who doesn't drink blue] came wtih us)

love you all! (:

-Kuk Jimuih
Cooking muffins on Thanksgiving with Sister Hawks

Thanksgiving Dinner

Smelling the fruits of their labors

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hong Kong

Add caption

Festive mall decor



Goal of 65 baptisms in December for the entire mission

Turkey Day Dinner

Cute photos sent from Sister Stewart (bottom left corner).  Sister Penny Stewart is a convert member in the Tsing Yi ward where Sister Crook serves.  Sister Stewart recently returned home from a mission to London.