Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015: Compsacrificeq?

This week has been pretty full of miracles. I am never ceased to be amazed at the ways that the Lord provides for us!

Monday evening we had the opportunity to visit some members. I truly appreciate the willingness our  members have to let us visit them in their homes and share with them how they can share the gospel. It was a really cool experience, because the member's non-member sister was also present and we had a great chance to really get to know her better. She's not interested in the gospel but she is really nice and kind towards us.

Tuesday was pretty crazy. We taught Grace in the morning and it was a really good lesson. We shared a talk from general conference which she seemed to really enjoy and she even committed to come to church! (Which she did- even came on time!) Then we had a really wonderful district meeting. Afterwards, we visited our less active Sister Chan who can never remember that we're coming to visit. It just so happened that she was home, and that a member was available to come with us. Afterwards, the member took us out to dinner and we talked about how we can better support the less actives in our ward, which was a blessing. WE have so many less actives in this ward that people are aware of but just don't really know how to help or support. So it was good to get her opinion on what more we can do.

Wednesday we taught a really, truly, terrible lesson to an investigator. It was a turnover from the elders of a 29 year old girl to us, and in my opinion they definitely didn't need to stay in the lesson, but they did. I think the poor girl was just so overwhelmed by there being four missionaries there and I was really frustrated as to why they didn't just leave after letting us get to know each other. So that was weird. We were teaching her the plan of salvation and we just felt like the elders were just staring us down the whole time. I found it kind of hard to concentrate, and I know my companion was really nervous because she just kept talking even though the investigator didn't understand what she was talking about (partly because of doctrine, but probably mostly because of her Chinese). She felt so bad after that lesson that we came home and did comp study and she just cried. I am amazed at how strong she is- it's the first time she's cried in front of me since she came to Hong Kong over a month ago. We took some time to really talk about it and made some goals to improve our teaching and unity. She is doing fine now.

Thursday was a blessing! Thanksgiving on the mission is so different from what it is at home, but it was fun to eat some of the same food and go around the table at our zone lunch and talk about our blessings. I think that's always such a fun thing to do. Even if Thanksgiving has literally no meaning to anyone from outside the US, I love it because it's just another reason to be grateful. I've really been focusing on gratitude this year and finding something in every day that I'm grateful for, even on hard days, and it's really made a difference in my life. So it was nice to get together with everyone and celebrate and remember our  blessings. But really, we should be doing that every single day.

Friday was another good day. We finished up our weekly planning and then headed out to do some finding. We set a comp goal/companion sacrifice that that we're going to work on cleaning up our language- not that we say bad words or anything, but we both feel that we could be better examples for the sisters we live with who really struggle with slang and things. So we've been really working hard to not say anything that is slang and to not be sarcastic. It's been really, really hard. I know my sarcasm has toned down a ton since coming to Hong Kong but I still have so far to go! We've already seen so many miracles because of our decision to do this sacrifice. We took it to the Lord and he's blessed us so much. we called it "compsacrificeq?" (because my companion always says funny things in English and I always m are fun of them) and now that's our motto. Any time we mess up, we just say "comp sacrifice q question mark!" and it helps us remember that we are representatives of the Lord and need to be doing better.

Friday afternoon we took an adventure to a part of our area that we don't find much in and found a lady who was pretty willing to go to church for some missionaries in another area. That was such a blessing! We'll definitely go back there for finding, because we felt like it was a nice area. It's busy enough that there are people but slow enough that they'll stop and talk with us. then Friday evening one of our old investigators showed up to English class, so we taught her. Friday also had another crazy miracle- a white man approached us (usually I panic and freak out, because white people are so scary to talk to) but he was SO NICE. We talked with him just casually about his stay in Hong Kong and a little about religion for nearly thirty minutes. He was literally the nicest white person I've ever met. Mostly the foreigners that live in Hong Kong work here and have adapted to Hong Kong people's style of "mhdakhahn" and never want to talk to us. But this guy did. So that was awesome!

Saturday we had a HUGE miracle, because we taught our less active Sister Chu this week and for the first time in like, since i've ever met her that she paid attention through almost our entire lesson. She didn't even pull her phone out until the last few minutes. Thanks to my companion, we shared an awesome message that I wouldn't have thought to share with her and I think she really enjoyed it. The spirit was definitely there. Then we visited some more members and shared with them a really great message about how if our treasure is in heaven, our eyes will shine with the light of God and others will be able to see our example.

Yesterday was a pretty typical Sunday. We helped our ward plan for the Christmas party and then did our studies and some finding.

I think it's slowly starting to sink in that I'll be home before Christmas. More and more places are setting up trees and playing Christmas music and more and more people are planning activities. I love Christmas so much and am almost sad I don't get to spend another one here in Hong Kong. But on the other hand, I am pretty excited to return to my family. Everything happens so fast and I'm not ready to leave my friends here. I love these people so much. But I know the Lord has another plan for me and he'll help me through it.

Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy the snow, because it's starting to get hot again here. So weird. haha.

Attached- funniest chinglish thing ever. it's a lovely poem from our toilet paper that we bought today and a picture of me and my mission president and wife from Thanksgiving. love you all! (

-Kuk Jimuih

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015: My Date with the Dirt

Reporting after temple day is always is always interesting. Sometimes I feel like there ins't much to say, not much has changed since Wednesday. But this time there's actually stuff to report on and not just fluff, so that's awesome.

To start off my letter, I'd like to 1) say MOM DON'T PANIC I'M FINE. and B) explain why my title is what it is. haha.

Seriously. So funny. So when my shoes wore out, Mom sent me some new shoes which happen to be a size too big. From day one I've always had this fear that I'm going to trip and die in them. Amazingly, it hadn't happened yet. Till last week. After temple day, we were walking to the temple and the crosswalk light was blinking (meaning almost red) and we knew we'd have to wait for eternity before it turned green again so we started to run to make it across the street so we could get to the temple earlier. Well, my big shoes finally got the best of my and I tripped and literally ATE the sidewalk. Like, I'm surprised it's not dead. I stood up and was a bit shaken up, because literally, I have not wiped out that hard at least since before I was ten years old. my palm was bleeding, and I lifted my skirt to find that the top of my left foot and both knees were sliced open and bleeding. GAH. so gross. so of course I half walk, half limp over to the temple where I proceeded to clean myself up. Turns out other than brick dust (I tripped and fell on a brick sidewalk) I'm fine. haha. One knee is just super bruised now (lovely, really) and my other knee is just gross looking. Everything is healing fine. I think it's a miracle that I happened to make it nearly my entire mission without any kind of accident. thank goodness it's just a scraped knee and nothing to be worried about! I just think it's so funny. I haven't scraped my knee in over ten years. so that was the exciting point of my week this week. Mom, I'm fine. don't worry. haha. To be honest, I think the thing that got the worst of it was my sock. somehow the brick destroyed my sock.

Wednesday evening we met with some members and it was a really great experience. getting there was another story. they live very close to us, so that was fine. But trying to get into their building was hard, because usually we just follow the last guy who walks in (since we don't have the passcode) and then check in with the guards. We tried to do that and the lady just about slammed us in the door and very rudely asked what business we had to be in the building. Even though I've been a missionary a long time and experience people yelling crude things at us all the time, this time it just really hit me. I don't like mean people. But instead of snapping back at her (which, honestly, is what I wanted to do) we just stepped back and kindly explained that we were there to visit a member and she knew we were coming. She slammed the door on us and told us that if it was true we'd just call the member to come get us and let us in. Which we did. Most of the time that stuff doesn't bug me, but for some reason it just really hit me that loving people as Christ did is really, really hard sometimes. Thank goodness for the power of prayer to give me patience and not let me explode!

Thursday was interesting. Our Welcome Center shift was pretty funny, because my knee was pretty stiff from taking a nasty fall on the way to the temple and we had to use athletic tape to get my bandaid to stay on, and it was just an adventure. We didn't actually teach any lessons, though we met and talked with some nice people. That evening we went to our ward's institue class (it took the place of the former scripture class) and WOW. We went there with the intent of learning what it was like so we could talk it up to our less actives, and dang. I have nothing but good things to say. It was amazing. There were already so many less actives there- actively participating in the discussions! Ah, it was so good. I still didn't 100% understand everything that was said but I walked away having learned things, as did my companion. We are going to strive our very best to get every less active that we're working with to that class, because it is amazing.

Friday was pretty good, and also pretty crazy. After interviews in the morning (which were great, thanks!) we did Welcome Center in which we saw a great miracle. I was thinking the other day how there are some people from my first area that I'd love to see again before I left but not sure if I had time to see them or not- one of them being a less active that I worked with for nearly 8 months. I pushed the thought aside and just kept working. Then, out of nowhere, a woman walks up to the chapel who looked vaguely familiar. As I took a closer look, lo and behold it was Sister Chan from Tsing Yi! The very less active that I, just days ago, was thinking about. She didn't recognize me at first but after I told her who I was she got all excited and pulled out old pictures of us from her phone. So cute! It was such a miracle. She has interest in coming to the Christmas activities in Wan Chai, and we gave her a tour of the chapel because she'd never been there before. It really was a testimony builder. Now we can call the Tsing Yi elders and let them know that she's still willing to meet missionaries, because I think no one has visited her since the sisters closed the area a few months ago. Friday evening our member brought his friend, a young mom and her son, to English class which they LOVED. We had the opportunity to meet her once really quick on Monday but she was a little shy because she was afraid to speak English to us. So we invited her to come to English class and she did!

Saturday was insane. It was one of those days where you come home at night and finish your planning prayer and just crash because you're exhausted. We watched part of 17 miracles with a less active and discussed how faith helps us to endure our trials, whatever they may be. She seemed to enjoy it. Then we helped wtih our ward' Thanksgiving party! It was really fun. Lots of members brought their friends and we got to meet and talk wtih them. They put on a musical performance and we even sang "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" with the RM's from our ward. It was a great chance to help those new friends feel the spirit, which I'm sure they did! The friend of our member (her name is Mandy) from English class even came to the entire activity and loved it! I'm sure she'll be back. She's pretty traditional Chinese and is very Buddhist but I think the more time she spends in the chapel, the more she will be able to feel the spirit.

Sunday was a typical Sunday, with wonderful church meetings and then some members invited us over for dinner.

Well, that's all for now. love you all and thanks for your support! (:

Sister Crook

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015: Firday Forever

Note from mom: Sister Crook returns home from Hong Kong on December 18.  Anyone and everyone is invited to attend her welcome home report on December 27 here in Meridian Idaho.  We are in the Bridgetower ward and meet at 1 pm at 2515 W Ustick Rd, Meridian, Idaho 83646.  Dinner will be served following her report at our home at 3968 N. Rotaldo Ave, Meridian.  Please RSVP so we can be sure to plan enough food for everyone.  We are 4.5 -ish hours north of Layton.  Hope to see many of you there!

This week has been amazing. Our ward has been doing a 40 day fast (every day at least one person will fast for missionary work) and DANG! It's working so well. Heavenly Father knows these people have real desire to be better missionaries. He is blessing us so much.

Our finding this week has been better. Less finding, but better success. We've met a lot of nice people and taught some great lessons. Though most of the people taught this week are either from Mainland China or not super interested, we were grateful to have the opportunity to bring them closer to Christ.

We taught Sister Chu this week again. We're truly at a loss as to what to help her with. She isn't making progress and doesn't really seem to want to. We're trying to work with the relief society president to figure out what to do to help her, but most of us are just at a loss. We'll just keep praying and hope that Heavenly Father will bless us with some ideas on how to help her progress to coming back to church.

We had two amazing experiences giving out baptismal dates this week. One was given to our new investigator Kelly, who is a member referral. She's doing really well so far and though her progress is slow, it definitely is there and I know that she'll be ready for baptism. She has accepted a date for December and we hope to get her coming to church starting this week so she can truly feel the spirit. She was really willing to accept a date and work for it. The second date was given to a former investigator that showed up to church a few weeks ago. We were finally able to reschedule Sharon. She has a really, really sad family life. Her husband struggles with a video game addiction and has left home for it several times. She is such an amazing example of strength, because even in telling us about how sad her life was she had a smile on her face. She clearly knows that a positive attitude will benefit everyone around her. We shared the gospel blesses families with her and she loved it. She has agreed to be baptized in the middle of January. She knows that the gospel definitely will change her life and will improve her family relations.

We saw Vicky (RC/LA) this week after forever of not being able to see her. She's doing really good. We taught her how to use the scriptures to study a specific topic- testimony. She loved it. She thinks reading scriptures that way is definitely far more exciting. We rescheduled her this week and hope to be able to keep her up on her scripture reading. I think once that becomes a habit she'll be doing a lot better and have a desire to read on her own more, and a desire to come to church.

We saw Sister Pon (LA) this week and talked about the temple. We established that she does have a desire to go, someday. But she just doesn't feel ready. So our goals now are to help her build up her own testimony rather than go off of everyone else's.

We decided to pick up Grace again for the time being. She is already doing pretty well and I think she'll continue to do so. She's changed a bit from the last time I saw her with my previous companion. She said she wants to be baptized but she isn't ready to commit to a date. But, this week's miracle was that she came to church! In the 6 months that I've taught her on and off, she's never come to church or even had a desire to. Even though she was on her phone basically the whole time, she was there, and the tis progress. We hope that we'll be able to help her learn to focus more on what the teachers say and respect the time they put into preparing lessons. She's doing pretty well for now, though. We'll just keep her in the scriptures and slowly work with her to build up her testimony.

We've had two really good district meetings in the time since I've last reported. I'm pretty excited. I especially loved this last weeks, because we focused on teaching the Book of Mormon and the Restoration on the street in short amounts of time. I really learned a lot and we're excited to have some finding time to apply the things we learned.

overall, I think I'm personally doing okay. I'e had some really good studies this week as I've been reading in 3 Nephi. One verse in particular stood out to me this morning, about how the people went to the place they knew the Savior would be and waited for him. It made me really think- I can't help people come closer to Christ if I don't know for myself where he is. And I can't expect my members to be able to do that for that same reason. So I want to really be better at being in tune with the spirit and making sure I'm being exactly obedient so I can "find the Savior". It was a good study.

Haha. I love Chinese typos. Attached is a picture of an announcement about not having any water in our complex on Firday. And then the revised poster after the guards probably saw us on the elevator cameras making fun of the typo. I love bad English here. it happens all the time and dang, it's funny.

-Kuk Jimuih

Love you all! It's been a good week. Have a good week! (:

P.S. Conversations with mom:
(Mom has been cooking and freezing food for the big homecoming dinner): Wow. The food look awesome. I MISS AMERICAN FOOD SO MUCH. Roast. Pork. Pancakes.... dang. I hope you let me make you all a traditional Chinese meal before I head off to Cali. I'm learning a few tricks and though it's nothing like the buhndeihyahn (natives) I can cook a little. at least, i make good rice. haha.

(About the new nanny job in San Diego- reporting for duty January 4) I did get an email (from the family). They look and sound so nice. I'll respond to it in just a second and then forward it to you. I'm still in. The more I think about it the more at peace I feel. I'm nervous because it's something I've never done, but I feel so good about it. so good. and I'll go to the temple today and keep praying, but it just feels right. Don't worry about it being influenced by anything else. I know Heavenly Father wants me to take it. Not sure why yet, but I'll do it. I'll do anything he wants me to. I'll be happy to share my music with her kids too, that would be so fun. I hope you come down to San Diego and just hang out sometimes on the weekends (like when you come to visit). we can go to the temple and hit up old town and oceanside beach! (my current companion is from oceanside, the one I'm training, and I keep making jokes that I'll go visit her family for her). wow, I'm so excited. so so so excited.

(All registered for online classes): I would love to see my classes- I like the idea of having a lesser class load and then doing two over the summer. That would be really great, actually. especially if I won't have to work during the summer.

(NO clothes fit anymore): Yeah, I still have some stuff at home that is in good shape. Not sure how much of it fits, though. I've lost about 40 pounds in Hong Kong... so... yeah. haha. some things just don't fit anymore. most of my clothes now don't fit and aren't coming home with me.

(Note to mom): I have to say thank you for supporting me out here, and helping me get all that stuff done. I know I'm where the Lord needs me and though I am excited to come home, I still have a month left to change some lives. I pray with all my heart that someday soon I'll have the chance to come back with all of yo, because this place has changed my life. I never thought i would love Hong Kong but I do. If nothing else has come of this experience, I have changed and I have set an example for my siblings. I pray that they can also serve missions because I truly, truly am a changed person. I couldn't have ever handled marriage if I didn't do this! companions are SO HARD. the things I've learned have helped me learn how to handle my future family. I am so grateful to be here. so grateful. so much grateful. so thank you so so much.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015: Special Service

This week has been a little slower than the past few weeks. To be honest, I'm not really sure what happened. Things just seemed slower and it seemed like more and more people don't want to talk to us. I know it is just Satan trying to discourage us. I wouldn't say that the week has been bad, because of course we're always seeing little miracles. But it's definitely been a little harder than in the past. But it's okay. The Lord gives us trials to strengthen us.

We did a ton of finding. I had several days where my feet just ached and I just wanted to quit sometimes. But thank heavens my cute companion is patient with me and we just kept on going. We didn't even teach any lessons on the street this week, but every single night we've come in and she's just prayed for the strength and ability to keep looking for those people who are really prepared. Recently, I've been studying an amazing talk called the Ricciardi Letter. Sister Escher found it from some missionaries in the New Territories. It has literally changed my perspective on everything we do as missionaries. It has given me even more of a motivation to just hit the streets and conquer all fear of man and just open my mouth and share the gospel. It talks a lot about the relationship between a trainer and trainee and I really have learned a lot and am now working on changing myself to be the best missionary/trainer I can be.

This week the only real lesson we taught was to our less active Sister Chu and her son. Though the lesson was chaotic as always (complete with screaming children and a fellowshipped that talks WAY too much in lessons) we could feel the spirit. Something I learned from the above mentioned talk is that when we are teaching, if we can feel the spirit then the people we can teach can feel it too, even if they don't recognize what it is when they feel it. That has really helped me understand that it's true- if we are teaching by the spirit, and the other people are in tune and willing to feel it, the spirit will touch their hearts. And though it doesn't necessarily mean a life-changing experience, that small feeling will help people better recognize their Savior's love for them.

We had a couple of good days at the Welcome Center. Both days we had members there with us and I just have to say having the members there makes it so much better. If there are no people on the street, it's a good time to casually talk with your members and build relationships. But when there are people, it's a chance for them to get involved in missionary work and a chance to see that you're out there working hard to bring souls to Christ. We taught a nice man this week that actually lives in our area! And though he's a little weird (but let's face it, who isn't?) I think he has genuine interest. I just think his attention span is a little short. He wants to come try out going to church, so we'll be sure to get him turned over pretty quickly to the elders.

I don't even know where to start to talk about what I learned in Zone Conference. I think the thing that stood out the most to me was that the culture here isn't weird, it's just different. That really made me rethink about how I think of the culture here. I'll admit, there a lot of things that people do here that I think are a little... well, weird. But Elder James was right. It's not weird to them- the things WE do to them are weird. We're all just here trying to learn to live in harmony with each other. Living in a foreign country for almost 18 months is quite the experience. It teaches you so much about how to truly love others as the Savior did, despite all our differences. It's been a good experience and I really have enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture. I can't wait to be able to further my knowledge on it by continuing to study about China upon my return.

Wow, we had such an amazing time helping out with the meeting with Sisters Esplin and Marriot.

OH wait. Forgot to mention what that is. Haha. Sister Niell Marriot and Cheryl Esplin from the general YW and Primary presidencies came to Hong Kong this week! They had special groups Sunday morning and afternoon where they met small groups of Hong Kong members and discussed the problems of the church with them. I had the pleasure and privilege of being able to be a scribe for one of those meetings. We got to meet and talk with Sister Marriot and then later that evening we were privileged to be able to hear from them I learned so much from them by being a scribe in the focus group and then by being able to listen to their message. It was an experience I definitely will never forget. It's so hard to find real opportunities to serve out here on the Island, so I am really grateful for the chance to be able to reach out and serve, even if it's still just in the church. It's a wonderful opportunity.

Last night I had the opportunity to run into some of the members I served with in Tsing Yi and I literally almost cried. It really hit me that I'm going home soon. and dang, I just love these people. I don't want to ever leave! Of course I'm excited to see my family. But these members here have taken care of me like family for 16 months (almost) and I just love love love love love them. SO much. So it was wonderful to be able to see some of the members from my first area. And all of them say I'm so much prettier than before (gotta love how blunt Chinese people are) so I guess that is a good thing? haha. love them.

Overall I think I'm doing really good this week. It's been a harder week but it's okay. The Lord will provide for us as long as we continue to be obedient.

Love you all!
-Kuk Jimuih