Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015: Changes and Blackout Rain

This week has been good, and it's always nice to take a trip to the temple. Though I wish we could go more often than once a transfer, I'm just grateful we even have a temple that's close. I have so many friends serving in America who don't have temples in their missions. We're so blessed. Each temple day is filled with meeting amazing people from around the world that sacrifice so much to come to the temple. Every time I am never ceased to be amazed at how much people sacrifice to get here. The blessings of the temple are so real!

Bella didn't make it to church last week. We know she's a little freaked out about baptism (doesn't think she's ready, which is fine) so we have a pretty solid plan in line for her, if she'd just let us meet with her. I have only met her once but I know she'll come around- just may need some time first.

We have a new investigator this week named Grace. She's actually a former from when Sister Cook (my MTC teacher) served here a couple of years ago. I emailed Sister Cook and asked her if there was anyone she wanted us to follow up on. Turns out Grace is super willing to meet with us! She's excited that we know Sister Cook and happy to be hearing the gospel again. She has a little bit of social anxiety, so she's a little afraid to come back to church after not coming for a few years, but we'll work with that. I think with some love and patience, she'll come around.

We have a few less actives that are progressing towards reactivation. Sisters Chu and Mak are on their way. Both of them really love our weekly scripture class and they are doing well. Their testimonies are getting stronger and stronger every time we see them. I think it'll still be a few weeks out at least before they are reactivated but they're getting close. What a blessing!

We got to see Ding Ding this week (RC). She is also doing well. The bishop gave her a challenge to come to 4 weeks all 3 hours of church consecutively, and then she can work towards her temple recommend. I have to say, the bishop in this ward is amazing. He's really working hard to make sure our RCs stay solid and don't go less active really fast.

Vicky and Yan (RCs) are a little more worrisome. We haven't been able to get in contact with either of them in several days. We keep praying for them and hope that they'll answer their phones soon. Casey (RC/LA) needs a lesson in the Sabbath Day, because she just doesn't seem to understand that coming to church is part of her life now. I really love what Sister Jackson says: "Church isn't just a thing you do. it's a lifestyle." She tells that to everyone- members, people from the streets, missionaries, etc. I think it's awesome. She has such a wonderful attitude towards the gospel and how it can change lives.

West Point is overall doing well and I'm so happy to be serving here. I feel like we see miracles on a daily basis and just love the area, the people, and the ward.

We got changed out (taken to dinner) Monday night, last night, and are going to a member's house tonight. The relief society president sends around a list every Sunday in which she says "The missionaries are missionaries and therefore are poor. So either give them food or feed them!" It's pretty effective, haha. The members here love us and we love them and it's great. We ate some super yummy Thai food Monday and Taiwanese food yesterday. Tonight is a good old homemade meal. I think she's making salmon, so it's probably super awesome.

So about once a week we have the chance to walk the streets in front of the Wan Chai chapel and try to pull people back into the chapel for a tour and teach them a lesson. Well, this week we got DUMPED on. literally. It has been raining SO much. There are three levels of rain- amber (anywhere from sprinkling to a little bit of rain) red (torrential downpour) and black (dumping so much rain that it's dangerous to go outside). And then if there's wind it's called a typhoon. Well, Wednesday night we had the chance to do Wan Chai pullbacks and it DUMPED on us. so much. holy crap. it was a red rain warning. So fun! We both came home and were just drenched. But it was so fun! And then yesterday it rained even more and we got a text saying it was black rain and weren't allowed to go out- but it only lasted for 30 minutes so it's all good.

I've been in HK for 9 months now, so I have permission to start to study Chinese characters. I'm so excited to be able to start to learn how to read the Book of Mormon in Chinese- real chinese, none of this pinyum junk. so fun!

Love you all! (:

-Kuk Jimuih

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015: Bittersweet and Rotten

It's been a wonderful week. I find that I'm rather enjoying my new area. Actually, I love it here. It's great. It's so different from my last two areas that it's still taking some adjusting time, but it's alright. I'm getting more confident in my street finding- it's definitely different than chyun finding in Tsing Yi or finding in International. But it's all good and thank goodness my sweet companion has a lot of patience. I'm learning so much from her and am so grateful to be serving with her.

So far I've only met one of our investigators- Bella. She works in realty and will come to church when she doesn't have to work, but she doesn't seem to have much motivation to ask anyone about getting Sundays off. She likes church because she likes the people there, but doesn't really understand that there's only one true church out there. It was good that she came to church with us yesterday. She only came in a little bit late and stayed all three hours.

We got to see Sister Chu this week. She is doing alright, and definitely loves our weekly scripture class. I think she is starting to better understand the scriptures. When we met with her this week, she even set a personal goal to have better scripture study with her family in the evenings. She came to church on Sunday as well!

We met with a less active named Sister Pun and she literally has no motivation to come back to church. She knows that working on Sundays and not reading scriptures or praying is bad, but she doesn't really want to do anything about it. We're reviewing the missionary lessons with her and helping her to build her testimony of really simple things like faith.

Sister Mak is doing well. We didn't see her last week in a scheduled lesson, but we saw her at scripture class and she came to church. She really, really likes the scripture class as it helps her to better understand the scriptures.

We saw our RC Yan this week and baked cookies with her and taught how enduring to the end is like all the ingredients that one needs for enduring to the end. Scripture study, prayer, going to church, service, and many other things are what help us make it through the "hot oven" of trials that God gives us, and in the end we're a chocolate chip cookie in the celestial kingdom. She liked it and understood really clearly how to endure and apply it to her life.

This week especially, we had two special experiences that shows that there are only two kinds of people- the prepared, and the not prepared. A few weeks ago the sisters here met a high school girl and talked to her for like, five minutes before exchanging numbers and leaving. When my companion called last week, she ended up talking to the girl's mom, who scheduled to see us tomorrow. She wants to learn how she can help her daughter have more peace and happiness in her life. We're so excited to be able to share how the gospel blesses families with her tomorrow! But last night, we met a nice woman who just couldn't wrap her head around the fact that there truly is only one "true" church with all the same principles Christ taught while he was on the earth. We tried to explain it in so many different ways and she just didn't get it. I pray that someday she'll understand and have a chance to meet missionaries again, whether it be in this life or the next.

This week was bittersweet because it was the last chance we had to hear from our mission president. President and Sister Hawks are finishing their mission soon and it breaks all of our hearts. We've all grown to love them so much, so listening to their final talks to us in Zone Conference was so so so sad. But I'm excited for the new mission president, as I know he'll bring miracles to Hong Kong. I'm so grateful for the example of endurance that the Hawks have given us. Every single time President Hawks bears his testimony, he tells us everything he has is because of Sister Hawks. Their example of love and support for each other is amazing, and I can only pray my future family will be the same. They shared some wonderful words of wisdom and it's been such a pleasure to serve with them.

This week was rotten because the sister who left to go home a few weeks ago left some food on the floor. Nobody really knew what it was, because by the time my companion found the source of our smelly apartment, the food was so rotten it was literally wet. SO nasty. Just thought you'd all like to be enlightened. The sisters we live with sometimes leave their food out to rot..... so that's gross.

We also were walking past our ward mission leader's store, and he pulls out these tiny turtles and puts one in each of our hands. So we got a nice break from our finding for a few minutes as we played with tiny turtles. it was AWESOME. Look at the picture and please take note of the angry looking Chinese lady in the background.... hahahaha.

Hope that made your day. Love you all. (:

-Kuk Jimuih

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015: West Point

It's been an insane week of crazy running around everywhere, but I feel like it's been awesome. Hearing I was moving on Monday wasn't a surprise- we knew it was coming soon. But when the zone leaders told me I'd be moving Tuesday afternoon, I went into total panic mode and started packing like crazy. By 11 that night I was totally set and ready to move out Tuesday morning. I was definitely surprised to find out I would stay on Hong Kong Island in an area called West Point.

Tuesday we found out I wasn't moving until Wednesday, and I was so grateful to have one last day of finding out with Sister Arevalo and one last day to spend with the Victoria 2 Tuesday Family sisters. That was our assigned family, so even though (despite our efforts) we had no one to come to church with us, we still got to be there to support those sisters. We ate dinner with them and I had the chance to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting to them. I am the luckiest sister in Hong Kong to be able to serve there, and I'm so grateful for every experience that happened there- whether they be good or bad. I just truly cannot express how grateful I am. It was amazing.

Wednesday was a mad dash of crazy up to the mission office to pick up my new companion, and then we headed back down to the Island to my new area. There are a lot of things about this area that are very similar to my first area, and a lot that are different. For one, the finding is so so so different. From anything I've ever done anywhere. But that's alright. I just keep praying that with time the Lord will help me to adjust. I already love the people, especially the ward. Wednesday we had the opportunity to visit with the Mak Family (Joseph Mak's family) and share with them about the restoration. It turned more into  discussion on how we as missionaries conquer those hard questions on the street, which was good. It was my first lesson in Chinese after not speaking it for a month (besides language study) so that was really, really rough. I pray every day my Chinese will come back quickly. I haven't lost much vocabulary but my fluency has definitely died a bit. it's okay though. Diligent study and SYL will help. That evening we also saw a less active member that reminds me a TON of an LA in Tsing Yi. Hopefully that experience will help me know how to help Sister Mak learn to apply the gospel to herself.

Thursday we did our weekly planning, some finding, and then went to scripture class. I am amazed at how well that class went, and seriously think every ward should start doing one. Most of the attendees were less actives or investigators, with a few of the members there as well. We got a really good discussion going about the chapters read last time, read a chapter together, and then gave out homework for the next week. Everyone there participated- missionaries, LA, members, investigators, etc, and it was really amazing. It's definitely something I want to encourage in my own future ward, whether it be with the RS sisters or YW or whatever my future calling may be.

Friday was an amazing zone meeting. I really loved the training on how to do better phone calls. I feel like once we get past the people hanging up on us when we ask if "so and so" is there, they'll be really great. We taught a really great lesson to a member who pretended to be herself while she was investigating the church. She helped us know how to better teach the Book of Mormon and even thanked us- our lesson helped her prepare for the lesson she was teaching to us in Relief Society on Sunday. The spirit really guides us in what to teach!

We had our first real day of finding on Saturday. Finding here is so different- it's all on the busy streets. But it's getting less and less weird each day and I hope that it will continue to follow that pattern. We taught one of our less actives as well and we think she's well on the way to reactivation.

Also, happy Mother's Day to the best mom ever. Mouhchanjit faailohk! (:

-Kuk Jimuih
(MAN it feels good to sign my name in Chinese again. whoop.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015: So Much Grateful

This week I am so much grateful. I didn't notice this until this week, but all of these cute Filipino sisters say "so much grateful" in all of their prayers. I've decided to adopt it, because that's exactly how I feel this week. With Macau moves calls looming, it brings to my mind again that I won't stay here for the rest of my mission. But that's alright. I've learned so much here already.

Sister Baby (Pen3 investigator) isn't doing very well. She hasn't been reading her scriptures and hasn't been to church since my first Sunday here. All of the Pen3 members are worried about her, but as full time and branch missionaries, we decided to just let her be for a while. We'll still keep in contact, but she's definitely not ready for baptism yet. She still needs more time to prepare. Her twin sister (RC) is worried about her too, but agrees that she just needs more time to prepare.n That's alright. She'll be baptized someday. She just needs more time to prepare her testimony.

Sister Dang (Vic2 RC) is still doing awesome. She loves the church and is excited to learn more. We started her after baptism lessons this week. She is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy! We're so glad she loves to read it. She has some kind of eye infection so reading these past few days is hard, but she's willing to read just a little bit every day. We also helped her get the Gospel Library app on her phone so now she can take her scriptures with her everywhere she goes. She's doing so well.

Sister Blossom (Pen3 RC) is doing alright as well. She's having a really,really bad time in her family situation at home and nothing there seems to be going well. Her husband has found a new wife and is turning her kids against her. When someone confronted her and told her that all her trials are because of how she joined the church a few months ago, she turned to them and told them about how Christ was tempted several times while in the wilderness for 40 days. She said "This is my trial, and I will not give in to temptation." She already has such an amazing, strong testimony and is so willing to share it. She told us yesterday that she went finding with the missionaries as an investigator and that she just loved it! That's so awesome. She already has such a wonderful testimony of missionary work and service. She didn't get her day off on Friday for the statutory holiday so she was unable to go to the temple, but she's excited for when it's open on Sunday in a couple of weeks so she can do baptisms. She really wants to go to the temple.

Sister Jill (Vic2 RC) Sister Jill has been in the Philippines for several weeks and we didn't know that, so when she came back we were so happy to see her. We were worried something had happened. We think she has some health problems that she's dealing with as well but she seems to be doing alright. We talked about missionary work with her and invited her to continue to share the gospel with others. She was more than happy to. She's super cute and I'm glad I finally had the chance to meet her.

Sister Mila (Vic2 LA) We met with Sister Mila this week. She hasn't really been reading the Book of Mormon, so we really focused on teaching how it can help her. We gave her a new copy of an English Book of Mormon (she finds it easier to understand than Tagalog) and a copy of the Liahona. She accidentally forgot them at the church, so we pray her employer will let her have a holiday this week and we can help her find her stuff. it took her till Saturday night to realize her stuff wasn't in her bag... but it's okay. We send her a text every evening with a scripture on it, so hopefully she's reading those.

Sister Jonah (Vic2 investigator) We ran into her in the park while finding last week. It was a hot day and the both of us were just exhausted. She saw us and got really excited and invited us to sit with her and her friend Lorena. We shared the Restoration with them and gave Lorena a copy of the Book of Mormon. Both were really receptive, though Lorena was a little quiet. We were so blessed to be able to share with them our love of the Savior and the Book of Mormon. Sister Jonah has international holiday so it's hard to know when we're going to see her again.

I love serving in these branches. Whether that changes today or in 6 months, I don't mind, because I've learned so much and would be happy here for a while. It's hard a lot of the time because people really want to speak Tagalog with my companion- people, being people on the streets, members, investigators... So often times I stand there and listen as they speak Tagalog and they point to me and ask if I understand, to which my companion says no, and then they continue talking. I just feel so dumb sometimes, even though I have nothing to feel dumb about. I just wish I could contribute more to conversations. But that's alright. I'll be okay. I'm learning a little Tagalog just from hearing it all the time, and it's very similar to Spanish so I can understand a little bit, but not a lot. I'm really just "so much grateful" for my time to serve here, and I love it. I love the Lord and know that He loves these sisters, so much!

Monday: Grateful for zoos. We found a zoo on the way home from riding the longest escalator. Yay for orangutans and turtles.
Tuesday: Grateful to stay in my area! No transfers (yet.)
Wednesday: Grateful for sisters on the street who are so excited to get the Book of Mormon!
Thursday: Grateful for helping the district RS prep for Friday's activity...and the pizza they bought us afterwards.
Friday: Grateful for chicken salad sandwiches on croissants... MMM. love it when Americans cook for district RS activities.
Saturday: Grateful to meet members from other countries.
Sunday: Grateful for chocolate after a long day of fasting. And water. DANG it's hot.

Love, Sister Crook!

Are you still able to use your Cantonese?   There is one sister who's Chinese who comes to our Sunday branch sometimes and I got to meet her yesterday, turns out she's actually a member that goes to both Tsing Yi and Kwai Chung, so I've met her before. she just comes to the English branch because she has to work on Sundays bit wants to be able to take the sacrament. So I got to sit and talk with her yesterday, and she was like "Thank you so much for sitting by me today." She doesn't know hardly any English but knows that church is more important. what an example of faith.  I'm also teaching my companion Chinese... haha. she speaks a little and accidentally slips into in on the streets and it's way funny.

FYI- I'm moving. Tomorrow. not sure where yet though. but my comp is training. chaaaaaahm