Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015 Tsing Yi Tsuen is burning down

We had a pretty good week this week. Monday night I said hi to a girl in the crosswalk and we ended up talking for quite a bit of time about things from school to church and everywhere in between. She didn't have a ton of interest but she was so nice, and it is jsut so much more fun if we get out there and just talk to people! I love learning about other people's lives.

Tuesday night after the temple, we saw our less active Lau Wan Sau. We've been working with her about once a month, ish, sicne I got to Tsing Yi in August. Well, she let us know that night that people have told her before that they are going to stop teaching her because she "just can't learn". How sad!! So we let her know we want to see her every week and set some pretty solid expectations. We're going to get her on her way to reactivation, but I think the first thing we need to do is to help her strengthen her testimony. There's a lot of stuff she's just really unclear on. She said she can't even talk to her dauther (who's active) about church stuff because she just doesn't understand. We're working on getting the ward more involved. She's adorable and when we said "we promise to help you", she got teary-eyed and just said "dojeh, dojeh". She's really excited to learn, and we decided we'll teach her from the gospel principles book and give her her own copy as well. It'll be great. I'm excited to have a goal in mind for her.

Wednesday we taught Cammy, and it was a total bummer lesson. She told us she doesn't even know if she has a desire to know if God loves her, and definitely doesn't know he's real yet. She just really isn't progressing, even though she prays daily and feels peace when she prays and she reads a chapter in the BoM every night and reads with her kids... Her mom is definitely pressuring her to stop going to a Christian church (she's baai-sahn) and it just causes us a lot of problems. She revealed that half the time she doesn't come to church is because her mom stalks her out and waits for her across the street and waits til Cammy is almost in the church and then calls her and gets her to not go. It's really sad. Our member even told us after out lesson that she's surprised we haven't dropped her yet... We are afraid to drop her but definitely aren't quite there yet. I think this week (we've planned to really teach God thoroughly) will tell whether or not we should do that. It's so hard to see these people you love struggle so much, especailyl when her kids are already gaining their own testimonies. Both kids already know how to pray and like reading the Book of Mormon story book. We also saw Cherry (RC) and she's doing great.

Thursday we met with Lan Yi and she's also doing awesome. She remembers more and more each time we see her. She's just the cutest little old lady ever. We love her a lot!

We taught Cammy again on Friday and really hit hard the doctrine about God. Who he is, where he came from, what he does for us, etc. Hopefully it helped. She came to the last hour of church Sunday.

Saturday we went clear out to Park Island (Mawan) to meet a new investigator from last week, but she fonged... so we used that time to do some finding. Finding out there is hard because it's a lot of foreigners and really, really rich people who just throw anti at us, but we talked with a mom on a bench who was from Mainland and just had no concept of God, so we taught her to pray and talked about the plan of salvation. She wants to come to English class too so hopefully we can see her after she gets back from her trip to Taiwan this week.

So after temple day last week, we took an adventure to our apartment to do our studies. Some sirens were blowing outside so sister Killpack turned to me and said "Sister Crook. WHAT DID YOU DO?" jokingly, of course. Then she got up and left to the bathroom. She came back and the sirens were still going, so of course the curious soul would look out the window. She started to PANIC. "WAAAH. WAAHHH. LOOK AT THIS." Lo and behold, I looked out the window and what did I see? Tsing Yi Tsuen (the estate across the street) was on fire. hard core. Cherry (who lives in another tsuen over there that way) said some lady left her hair dryer on... satbaaih. fail. LIke, bgi time. No people were harmed! Only a dog died, poor dog. I wish I could've taken ictures of the damage from over there (we went finding there a couple days later) because it was nasty. All the appliances were totally melted and everything was charred. Thank goodness nobody was hurt. It was an adventure for all, and definitely a great conversation starter!

Nothing else really happened this week...haha. oh well. More adventures to come next week! love you all! (:

-Kuk Jimuih

PS. Went to the mall today and they have giant Hong Kong monopoly set up... not sure why. but it's cool.


Happy Birthday to Elder Gilmore in Alaska!

Life size Monopoly board in the mall

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 Happy Hump Day from Hong Kong!

What a week. We had a much better week than last week and I know it's due to our increased commitment and faith.

Tuesday night we sat down in a weird place to say our opening prayer for finding and as soon as we looked up, we saw a man standing in white looking out over the ocean. We decided to talk to him- turns out he was praying. He had some pretty unfortunate stuff happen in his life and we got a pretty good discussion about our religions going. He has a really controlling girlfriend and was afraid to give us his phone number but we got an email address and hope that when he's ready, he'll come looking for us. Right now he doesn't have a desire to change religions but was very friendly and willing to meet again- we just don't know when yet. Either way we were grateful for such a great person to talk to. After that we were talking to an old man doing karaoke. He was awesome and we ended up singing karaoke in Mandarin with him. (Or desperately failing... you pick.)

Wednesday we had a district find in Tsing Yi and we met a nice little old man who let us teach him a little bit about the church. He was on break from work and we talked with him for quite some time before he had to go back. It was so great to just have decent conversations with people. Talking with people about their lives first and then the gospel brings us more friends, builds better relationships for future encounters, and we have so much more fun!

Thursday was good. We had a really great learning experience. We were finding in a chyun when two little old ladies chased after us and said they wanted to learn more about our church. Being a missionary, of course, our first reaction is "YES! I can teach you the WHOLE GOSPEL!" and you get really excited. Turns out they were from some other church whose name I'd never heard before (or just didn't understand... leuhng go dou dak) who wanted us to "find truth". It really tested our testimonies- because when people corner you on the street and tear apart the Book of Mormon, there's nothing more you can do but bear a solid testimony that you know what you're doing is true- otherwise you wouldn't be here. We walked away from that lesson pretty shaken. I haven't ever experienced four people just coming up on me and trashing everything I've ever known before. That was hard. But you know what? The church is still true. And that street lesson led me to some awesome personal studies that solidified my testimony even more. Yeah, I still don't know how to answer their questions about grace and being saved and all sorts of other stuff, but I  know that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet. And right now, that's all that matters.

Friday was nuts, but not like Saturday! Saturday was amazing. Sister Kartchner and I decided to follow a spiritual prompting I'd been having for a few days to head out to Park Island. We haven't had much success out there before and Sister Killpack really, really hates going out there to find. I took the opportunity with Sister Kartchner just to get out there and do it, and we saw some incredible miracles. We found one new investigator named Iris that we'll head out there again this week to see. We also taught two family street lessons. One family was willing to pray with us and then their little boy started to cry because he was scared of us (I guess white people are scary...). I prayed in my heart that he would stop crying so the family could feel the spirit- and lo and behold as soon as Sis Kartchner started to pray, he stopped. They don't have much interest in learning about the gospel right now but they have our information if they ever feel they need it. (which they totally do. who doesn't need an eternal family?) The second lesson we taught was a family of a mom from China, a dad from Japan, and a little baby. They are moving to Park Island soon so hopefully we'll run into them more often. Lesson learned: ALWAYS follow the promptings. Even if you hate finding in Mawan.

Sunday we taught a member about the 10 commandments and learned a lot more about how we can better teach them for Hong Kong people to understand. It was good.

We saw a lot of miracles this week and I'm grateful to be serving the Lord. We passed our halfway point this week and though I'm not where I thought I'd be by 9 months out on my mission, I've seen such an incredible change in myself and pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen me. I love this gospel and am so blessed to be serving in Hong Kong.

Totally forgot to mention that this week we were getting ready to start our finding and were walking up to the chyun. We had just come to a  silent part in our conversation when we approached an old man looking at a sign. We were just about to say hello to him when he lets out a fart bigger than anything I've heard in a long, long, long time. Just lets it free. GAH. We literally ran away in tears because we were trying not to laugh. He totally farted on us. Probably didn't mean to because he's an older guy, but then again people here have no shame and burp and fart like nobody's business. So please be uplifted by this message- the Tsing Yi sisters got farted on by an old man this week. And it was really, really really funny.

that is all.

Happy hump day! We celebrated with mango float. (Filipino dessert... SO GOOD.) and St. Patrick's day! Gotta wear lots of green.

Love you all!
-Kuk Jimuih

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015 Trials and Tribulations

It's been a pretty difficult week out here, but that doesn't stop us from having a good attitude. We got to see Lan Yi this week and started her ABL's. A member helped us teach the first lesson again and it's amazing to see her just glow as she starts to make more and more sense of the things she's been taught. We arranged for her grandson (the one who isn't on a mission- but who is a ward missioary) to help us teach the rest of her ABLs before he returns to America for college, and he's super excited. I'm so grateful to have his testimony to help us teach her the gospel. This is clearly something he's wanted for a long time but has had the patience that God wanted him to have to wait it out until she was ready to hear the gospel.

Saturday we had a rough day. We planned to do a gauntlet find- not leave one area until we've taught a lesson. We have always had good success with those kinds of finding days (6+ hours) and find that finding in that way gives us something to think about and look forward to, and gives us a goal. Well, things didn't turn out as we'd liked... As we were walking to our first destination we took Elder Ballard's challenge and tried to talk with as many people as we could. One older lady (we're not sure if she had jingsahnbehng or not) talked to us and seemed friedly enough, until she offered us money to stop bothering her. We politely refused her money and told her what we were doing and why, where she proceeded to walk us to the bus stop and tell us how to leave Tsing Yi. So that was a pleasant start to our finding. It just seemed like every corner we turned there were more people willing to refuse our message. Lots of people rudely walked or ran away from us, and we were feeling down. There just wasn't much success in that chyun. But we told the Lord we'd stay there until we taught a lesson. Needless to say we never did leave that chyun except for our scheduled lesson and dinner, but it's okay. It taught us a good lesson of patiece and diligence in all that we do.

Yesterday I was feeling kind of down about that experience. We had only taught one investigator this week- the rest of our lessons were RCLA's or members. But looking back, the Lord blessed us in ways he hasn't in a while- being able to schedule a less active that we haven't been able to schedule in almost three months! What a blessing. Though we worked really hard on the streets and did our best to talk to every person that came at us, we just weren't seeing success. Reporting almost all zeros in numbers was hard. I spent my personal study yesterday studying on patience and diligence and how I can more fully develop these Christlike attributes. I walked away from that personal study with a bigger commitment to talk to even more people and a better view of what the Lord wants me to be. Last night's finding was not successful in that we taught lessons, but we had several really great conversations with some people about their lives and a little bit about religion. If anything, we opened the doors for them to receive the gospel even if they aren't ready just yet.

If there's anything I've learned this week, it's Doctrien and Covenants 58:2-4. After the trials come the blessings. The Lord is trying our faith this week to prepare us for the miracles that we're expecting. Though our numbers are down this week, we're not going to let our spirits be that way. We're going to push harder and pray harder than ever before and expect the miracles. It's been a good learning lesson about not letting your focus get lost, even if you have a bad week. The best thing is today is a new day. It's not yesterday. it's today. and we get to have a brand new start.

Thank you all for your love and support. It's been a rough week but it's a brand new day and I'm excited to see the miracles that are expected to come. Love you all!

-Kuk Jimuih

PS. Last P-Day we visited a pretty park in Mei Foo and had a picnic. The weather was beautiful (overcast but didn't rain on us) and I found lots of bamboo. and that's what my oboe reeds are made of. so that was exciting. Good stuff, la. good stuff.

P.P.S. temple day is next week- p day is on the 24th for me.

(In reference to favorite Mormon Messages): I really love the Hope of God's light. go check it out. or Because of Him, or the spirit of thanksgiving, just for the guy with the skateboard. hahahahaha.​

Homemade guacamole!

Real bamboo!  The stuff my reeds are made of!

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015 The Proposal

What a week.

We had a baptism this week. I was privileged to be one of the missionaries that helped Tang Sau Lan enter the waters of baptism and covenant with her Heavenly Father to keep His commandments and follow Christ. Her baptism was amazing. I felt the spirit so strong. Her good friend and fellow-shipper got up and bore a sweet testimony about how grateful she was to be a part of Lan Yi's life. She spoke about when Lan Yi's daughter was in the hospital near the end of her life (she died of cancer some years ago) she told this sister, Sister Hung, that all she wanted was for her mom to be baptized. Of course, she died before she had the chance to see that, but I know without a doubt this daughter, as well as Lan Yi's deceased husband, were there watching the baptism with us. After she was baptized, Lan Yi stood up to share her testimony. She started out by thanking a few dear friends who helped her meet the gospel, but never did pressure her, and then proceeded to thank us. She got a little emotional as she looked right into our eyes and said "Thank you to the missionaries who taught me. Thank you for your patience for when you taught me stuff and I forgot it by the next time. Thank you." It was the sweetest thing. At the end, she closed with her testimony of prayer. Lan Yi had some trouble before remembering to say her prayers sometimes. Friday night (the night before her baptism) both of her grandsons were really sick, and she was really nervous about her baptism and nervous that they wouldn't be able to help her to be baptized. She said a heartfelt prayer to Heavenly Father, asking that He help them to feel well enough to help her be baptized. Sure enough, by Saturday afternoon they were okay. They looked a little sick, but both were okay. One baptized her, and one did the confirmation yesterday in church. It was definitely a baptism to remember. I love her with all my heart and am so grateful she chose to be baptized. It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks (like, literally) but it's been the most amazing thing. If I've learned anything, it's that it's the spirit, not us missionaries, that teach these people. And people are prepared! It just sometimes takes... 30+ years to be prepared. (: but it's okay. I love the gospel and am so grateful to serve here!

So, there's just something fun about being one of the only white people with red hair in Hong Kong. haha. So there's this guy who sits in a common area outside an estate and yells "Yehsou Geiduk!" at us really loud every time we pass (Jesus Christ). Usually when that happens we just ignore them because it's bad news and they are jerks... yeah. But we accidentally ran into him. Turns out he met missionaries a few years back and wants to learn more about the gospel. Crazy. And then. We got talking about our lives (as we normally do on the streets) and he told me if he wasn't already married he would marry me. And then proceeded to ask if I'd date him. Bahaha. Note- this is like a.... 50 or 60 year old man. Haha. Just super funny. So that happened. I mean, it happens to other sisters all the time but seemed to have escaped me until this week. Sister Killpack and I walked away from that contact about crying, it was so funny. He came to English class and we even gave him a name, since we found him. We call him Russ! yay. Naming Chinese people is fun. His English is... zip. so English class is fun. And he just loved it. Thought it was the best. I think he's slightly crazy, but oh well. If he wants to learn the gospel, he still can. We gave him to the Elders to teach. Good times.

Also, our new roommate (a sister from Myra...nmar? Myramar? not sure how to spell it...used to be called Burma?) cooked us dinner yesterday and we literally ate rice, fish (full of no meat and all eggs...icky) and corn- on the FLOOR. with our HANDS. it was the best thing ever. super messy but way cool to experience how she eats at home. She's a brilliant cook. I just decided I  don't care much for fish full of eggs. haha. good times. also I found a lizard in teh church this week. so that was fun.

I'm so grateful I've chosen to serve a mission. It's made me learn to forget about myself and how lame I am and work on how to improve myself so I can be better for my companions. I think if anything, that's why everyone should marry a returned missionary- because they've already had that opportnity to live with someone 24/7 and have to learn to adjust. if you don't, you can't have the spirit and that makes it hard. Don't doubt it- if I can't find someone as good asdad then there's no way on earth​ I'll marry him.

Grandparents are the best. Teaching Lan Yi makes me miss my grandmas a ton, but it's okay because I should be home to see them for Christmas. so all is well. yatchai hou. mmm, gotcha. yeah mental illness is everywhere. We met a guy on the street that is bipolar (and we swear he's also add. hard core.) but he's great. he's had hard times but is a good guy.  I really love grandma pro's letters to me. they are the best part of my week sometimes. (besides missionary-things.)

Yeah, Ric is great. The elders don't like him much though, so even though we did a turnover lesson and let him meet the elders, they aren't too excited to teach him. which is sad. we might just pick him back up again. he's got lots of problems with the word of wisdom but he'll learn. bless his soul, this week he came to church and was falling alseep in sacrament, so he left to buy himself a coffee so he could stay awake. haha. so funny.​

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015 Transfers...or Not

Yep, nothing happened. Sorry ya'll. Sister Kuk (Sister Crook) is still hanging out serving the crap out of Tsing Yi! I'm still senior comp over Sister Killpack. I have to admit I was kind of sad I wasn't training (Sister Robinson is though...bahaha. her trainee is adorable) or going anywhere new (for the new experience, something different!) but it's all good because WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS WEEK.

Remember Lan Yi? Cute little old pohpo (grandma) that we're teaching? Yep, she passed her interview with flying colors. WOO.​ She is seriously just the cutest thing and I'm so blessed to be the one who gets to teach her. She's going to be a great blessing to the ward!! They announced her baptism in church yesterday and she was so excited. Her grandsons (one of which was suspecting things but didn't actually know till yesterday) were so happy. We've been in close contact with her older grandson who's also a ward missionary, and when we called him Saturday to let him know about her interview, he was like "Wait. She passed?!" Haha. people worried about her intent because of how fast it has happened, but she's changed so much in the last two weeks. it's incredible the experiences we have! Woo.

Also, apparently Chinese New Year is still going on. We got to see a cool lion dance, and I have a video. if you want it, ask my mom or... check out my blog, probably? Last week we went up to Big Buddha again and checked out a really cool monastery and then took the cable cars down. it was so worth every second! It was so cool. Except are cabin mates didn't really like the fact that we were Christians. but oh well. It was a fun adventure for reals.

Also this week, we had the most incredible opportunity to listen to an apostle of the Lord speak to us. Wednesday at the missionary meeting, I had the privilege to play the piano! Ah. I have missed playing the piano, and it really was so wonderful to help bring the spirit to that meeting. I got to shake hands with Elder Ballard! so cool. Also got to meet the presiding bishop and joigin (meet again) the Asia area presidency and Elder Rasband. It was so cool to sit literally at Elder Ballard's feet (pianists get the front row seats) and listen to the words of a living prophet. It only strengthens my testimony that prophets are called of God! Woo. Thursday night we got to go to Wan Chi again and elder Ballard spoke with all the members in Hong Kong that could make it. As we were walking out and pushing our way through crowds and crowds of Hong Kong members, I was just totally overcome with this huge feeling that the Lord truly loves the members of the church, no matter where you are in the world. It was such a blessing.

Funny thing of the week: Sister Killpack, Robinson, and I all got to serve as a trio again, as Sister Robinson's trainee didn't make it until late, late Thursday night. So we were a trio all day Thursday, super fun!

Also funny thing about apostle meetings in Wan Chi. Obviously Elder Ballard doesn't speak Cantonese (he greeted us missionaries with the typical "ni hao" that we get... silly Elder Ballard, we say "leih hou" here... Haha. good stuff.) so when he spoke, a guy translated. So Obviously I understand English. And now I understand Cantonese. So hearing the side by side translation just killed anyone who could understand both languages, because the translation was..... iffy. And some things were translated super funny, so it was really entertaining.

Wow. I talked a lot this week. Hope everyone is doing fine and dandy. Sending my love from the humid tropics of Hong Kong! Ngoh ngoi leihdeih! (:

-Kuk Jimuih

P.S. Sister Lan Yi, soon to be member's grandson Kenny is leaving to England on a mission in a few weeks!

In reference to our new house: That is a behemoth garage. Literally. Haha. oh well, I'm sure it'll look alright when it's all done. It's looking so nice! yeah, sorry, didn't get transferred this time... almost positive I will next time. President h\Hawks really likes sisters to serve no more than three areas their mission, but two is common I guess. Haha. oh well. Almost everybody else that came with my group but me and sister Killpack is training, and I had a hard time with that for a while. What about us two isn't good enough to train this transfer? Oh well. Guess I still have lots to learn.
In reference to a photo of a random cow Sister Crook took this week: We were just up by the Big Buddha and there was a cow up there... that's it. haha. just thought it was funny that it was wandering, since we don't see many cows. like ever. it's only the second once since I've been in HK and both have been in Tung Chung by big buddha.
In reference to photos of signs declaring "no public urination": Yeah, public urination and pooping is a huge problem. Haha. we just found those two signs like, right after each other. super funny.

Because everyone has a pet cow tied to a tree right?