December 9, 2010

Sara and her new companion

Big changes. BIG HUGE MASSIVE changes. I don't even know where I want to begin. So... I knew on thanksgiving day that one of my companionship atleast would be moving to a new area. No worries, I had prepped myself for the possibility of staying and going senior companion over sister c. my brain was aok with that possibility. But i pretty much never expected what happened. so.. . . drumroll please.. I am now companions with Sister L from my mtc group (she moved up into our group because she already spoke some cantonese) and we are opening not one, but 6 areas to sister missionaries. Yes. I am just slightly overwhelmed. But its a really good opportunity to grow and become better. It is going to take a lot of work, but it will be ok. I'll put a picture of the two of us in our new apartment in Mong Kok... which is like pretty well known area for shopping and street vendors etc. It's pretty fun. I like the apartment a lot, even though it is a lot junkier than the luxurious palace of chelsea heights in tuen mun. but it's quite a bit bigger.

anyways, i also am really excited but nervous. I am not exactly sure how taking care of 6 areas is going to work out logistically with six wards and stuff, but its going to be fun. the area in general is called Tolo Harbor and it is on the outskirts of hong kong and borders a lot of mainland. So naturally adventurous sister black is going to have to be a little bit careful of NOT going into the restricted zone on accident.

Tonight we are going to be doing some finding with our mission president and the new sister missionary and the APs, essentially we are going to be doing some caroling around wanchai on hong kong island.

Also, I visited a lessactive last week that my old roommate who also served a mission here had written a postcard for. her name is Y and she's from Tin Shui Wai. anyways it was cool to be able to give that to her, and to know that at one point in time it was my roommate doing the work here and now im doing it.

Um other than that crazy news, I don't really have anything. Im a little under the weather right now, but hope I can get some sleep tonight and hurry up and get over it. I think its kind of a stress-induced sickness because it started after i found out i'd be going senior and opening 6 areas at the same time, so naturally i havent been sleeping so well. My companion is awesome, and since we're pretty much the same age in the mission and had a very similar mtc experience, it will be cool to see what we can get done. She's from New York. She is a really hard worker and just wants to get things done and get them done right, at least that's been my impression of her. It will also be new for me because i've been in tri-panionships pretty much my entire mission except for the first month when I got to Hong Kong, so im not used to having just two people at ALL.

Just a lot of thoughts going through my mind right now. Im in my 4th move here, and have this huge responsibility. it's kind of a lot to think about. Im trying to just stay excited because pretty much tomorrow is when it will REALLY start. We're going to have to get this all figured out. Atleast I have some pretty good map skills (thank you byu geography dept haha) and i don't easily get lost- but i make no promises about not having any getting lost stories next week. which is in fact my birthday too! woop woop! next Pday is going to be fantastic i can just feel it. then its christmas, and awesomeness. i am excited to open the presents you sent me! I was taught well not to open things early because it ruins the surprise but i opened the CDs since i knew what they were anyways ;)

oh and i got attacked by this crazy woman at english class, well not exactly but she was about to leave, and she's crazy-- the elders have her in their phone as "sketchy janette" because she is like super sketch and yeah anyways.. she grabs out her perfume and starts spraying me with it like 5 times, i already can't breathe because she smells so strongly of it, and then like im doused with it. im almost positive it did some lung damage because the next morning i woke up hacking and sneezing still.

other than that, no awesome stories for the week. I hope Tolo harbor just picks up for us but we shall see. I love you all and am so SO SO grateful for all that you do for me. I am so grateful for this gospel and how much it has blessed my life. I am grateful for the security and love I get from my Heavenly Father. He's always there, no matter what! I am so grateful that because of Jesus Christ, my family will be able to be together forever. I love christmas! I love being a missionary! I am so so thankful! Everyone, please remember how much people in this world need love. like... my companion sis c said yesterday, people in this world have a hard enough time on their own, they don't need other people making it harder for them. We need to lift those around us, help them feel the love that God and Jesus Christ have for them.. which is HUGE..... we can't even understand it.

anyways, Im super grateful. Im up for this challenge but really, please keep me in your prayers.

With Love,
Sister Black/ baahk jimuih

December 2 2010

This week was again suuuuper busy. We had another week of many days without time for lunch or dinner, and our friend HC got baptized on sunday! :) We had a miracle monday night contacting, and we were able to talk to SO many people. I still don't remember peoples' names and the area is really confusing (well 2 areas actually). I kind of am just still following my bundeih and a half around because 1 they pretty much just talk to each other and 2 its faster if they just do everything becuase then they don't have to explain anythign to me. Its really frustrating but at the same time I am learning a ton about patience and love. And anyways, its only going to last another week anyways. I don't quite know what all to write about because when I'm working hard i'm too busy to think about how hard this companionship is, but when I get a chance to sit down im like... WOAH this is hard. haha. But then I think about how much they have to put up with with me, It's probably a pretty equal share of toughness.

Last night I got to teach LA by myself with his sister as my companion on splits. It was fun because we made cookies and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ: faith repentance baptism holy ghost and enduring to the end. I tried to make it a pretty light lesson because the two of them don't have a perfect relationship. She's getting married soon and going back to BYU hawaii and He's getting ready to go to BYU hawaii. He has a testimony I'm sure of it, but its strengthening that that I think we can help him with. Because its not easy moving countries and starting school im sure, and he's definitely going to need the Lord's help.

sister choi really wanted to go to Korean BBQ today (we each chose 1 thing we wanted to do for Pday this move) so we're heading over there after email (maybe im also pessimistic because i haven't eaten all day?). I do have to say, when all is said and done, I am grateful to be here serving a mission. It's not easy all the time, and a lot of people reject you and the amazing message you want to share with them, but in reality i know that they aren't rejecting me, which makes it easier. I'm living an extreme lifestyle right now! I get to be around sister Choi and C... who are SO funny at times but they have no idea. I am living in the palace apartment of the mission: chelsea heights, and I get have a change of pace halfway through the move. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, and I know that I am doing His work right now, and he's with me every step of the way. I am going to hit my halfway mark in a little over a month... so.. . . . I have a LOT more left to do!

oh funny story. this week I put a letter in the mail, and sister c was like "WHAT You can just put a letter in the mail? you don't have to go to the post office?!" she didn't know! so I got to teach sister c how to send mail- you put a stamp on it, $3 for international mail and 1.40 for HK only, and then you write their address on it, put it in the mail box, and... the mail will go to them! :) Those are the little things I find joy in in this companionship. Oh, and she's the bomb at contacting. There are like. no black people in hong kong, but in the past 2 days weve ran into two of them, and they both speak french. yeah so sister c's like SWITCH go into french. I'd love to be awesome at several languages and be like, if someone doesn't speak english "oh, what do you speak? oh tagalog? no problem blablabla" Speaking of Tagalog, I wanted so badly to go international speaking english teaching philippinas and indonesians, but now not so much. Probably because my chinese is getting better and im starting to be able to understand stuff finally. (mostly just at church, but still that's good right!)

um and the man next to me at the library is making these squeaky noises like along with some music he's listening to. oh boy. This is entertaining.

The thing about being a missionary and hong kong especially is no matter how tough it is, there are always little things to smile/laugh about. Like how at church on sunday sister f's skirt was tucked in on accident after she went to the restroom, like the whole back was tucked in and she walked all the way back to class before sister choi ran after her and helped her. or how elder d just got his hair cut, and well.. in hong kong.. haircuts are just different, and if a white person gets an asian haircut, it looks HILARIOUS with bangish stuff. or how I always forget my nametag and had to introduce myself to butterfly ward without it, or the english on everything here. OH THE ENGLISH. let me give you an example of a typical sentence on a shirt or something. "en joy happyer smile!" or something like that. words broken up, misspelled, and doesnt make sense. So funny!

sorry this email isnt more eventful, other than the thanksgiving gathering, not much else out of the ordinary has been going on. just teaching a TON busy busy busy, and trying to eat when possible! haha! Thanks so much for the love, support, prayers, and letters.

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih

November 25, 2010

Ok I know the titles of my emails are so boring, but I want to post mission be able to keep track of them. Anyways------- this week was, well interesting. I dont know any other way to describe it. I went into my new companionship with a totally bad attitude. And that was entirely my fault. I didn't want to go with sis Choi and C, or back to the New Territories, or anything, and I didn't take it as I should have- with faith that I was going to the right place, with the right people, at the right time. So I, Sister Black, for any of those of you who know me, cannot, CANNOT hide my emotions. If i like someone or something, it shows on my face, in my eyes, everything about me. If i don't, it also shows. Try as I might, its a definite weakness of mine. Because of this, my first few days were terrible. I was down, I was also sick with a cold/sore throat, and I was pouty. I was only thinking of myself, and why this wasn't fair to me. Anyways, not sis black at her best. I wrote my first letter to the mission president that had any real complaints in it, and well, yeah I think you get the picture. So finally saturday afternoon when we were contacting I broke down and started crying (not a common occurence). I was so upset and angry and sick and unhappy. I pretty much had these two bundeihs (natives) who knew the area, the people, and everything, and weren't really letting me in on it, because its easier to just have me kind of tag along. So we talked it out, and I realized this was in large part a pride issue, because at that point I was mostly thinking of myself. After a lot of prayer and effort, the companionship is starting to come together. This is still going to be a pretty huge challenge, but doable. I am enjoying speaking more cantonese, and being in an area that is SUPER busy. and when I mean super busy I mean we pretty much don't have time for meals. We have been taking 15 min here and 20 min there to quickly eat lunch or dinner. We aren't done with planning until 30 min before we need to go to bed because we're calling until its too late to call, and THEN planning. It's absolutely insane, but so awesome. It's a lot easier to be happy about things when you're thinking about others and when you're working. Work is so great because it gives us the opportunity to see change, to see improvement, to DO stuff. And when we're working hard, we also get to see the benefits of that in the lives of the people we are teaching. I also get to be companions with sister choi, who is pretty much known as a miracle worker. I have never met anyone i think, with as pure a heart as she has. she really REALLY loves everyone. She'd do anything for anyone. Her nickname is mother theresa, seriously. Then there is sister c, who is actually full chinese but born in tahiti, so a TBC (ABC=american born chinese, BBC=british born chinese... etc). She is SUCH a hard worker. She has no fear when it comes to talking to people, which most missionaries have because, lets be honest, missionaries get rejected and hated-on all the time. (which is super sad because all we are trying to do is help people... but anyways.) Usually I'm ok with the rejections but sometimes its like.. WOAH you did not just do that. Like I just was talking to this lady i just said hi and asked her where she was headed while we were on the metro. .. . so she gets up and moves. which isn;t the worst rejection ive had but that one kinda hurt for some reason. just cause i have this awesome black nametag on. I love being a missionary. and I'm really grateful.

This week is also thanksgiving, actually today in fact. I loooooooove thanksgiving. yum. Today we had our thanksgiving missionary service activity where we made cards to give out during chinese new year. Then we had some time for missionaries to share what they are grateful for, and then we ate. and it was yummy, but not ANYTHING like home. because there are 100 missionaries about, there's really no way it could be as good, right? but the turkey was so nice and delicious and so was the pumpkin pie so no worries, i was well fed for thanksgiving. I am sad I missed the family gathering and uncle duane's wedding, but you can send my love and congratulations on, ok? ok. :) It was also really nice to be able to spend some more time being thankful again, and I was really humbled because we are really really blessed. Even when we are down and think the world is terrible, we need to remember to look outside, or in our hearts and remember the many MANY blessings we have. The fact that our bodies work they way they do is a huge blessing. I see all the old people here with mangled bodies from years of bending over picking rice, or people who have other deformities and stuff, and are still going on with their lives. There are things to live for and things to work for. There are also so many things to be grateful for. yeah. Happy thanksgiving. Im sad I'll miss the tree. But if you want to take a picture and print it real quick on a big sheet of paper once the christmas tree is up and send it to me in a letter that'd be cool.

Oh and the biggest news of all. Today the mission president pulled me aside during the thanksgiving activity (because of the unhappy letter I'd sent to him earlier that week) and was talking to me again about the benefits of having three together. We really have a great mission president. I was talking to him and apologizing and stuff because im sure he worried about me. Then he tells me that even if being 3 is difficult, in 2 weeks we're getting a new sister missionary, so there won't be any tripanionships anymore. And as speculation goes, that means they're going to have to open a new area for sisters, and sister k is training, so her comp sister l from my MTC district is going to have to go somewhere with someone. so the options are for me, in 2 weeks, to be companions with sister choi, sis l, or sis c. somewhere. but who knows if i'll stay in this area or leave. Im trying to not speculate too much, but anyone who knows me knows that my mind will just go and think through all the what-if what-if what-if, and that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid so i don't get disappointed when i dont get my wish (which would be to go with sis l and open a new area) because i'll get my hopes up then get bummed when i dont get it. Because I know whatever happens is what God needs to happen. This is His work, and I am just here to serve him and help him bring his kids back to him. He loves us so much and isn't ever going to let us go unless we choose to leave him.

Anyways, Im so grateful family for you, so grateful for the many friends I've had who have influenced me in my life, and so grateful that I am able to spend this short time in Hong Kong serving people and helping them change and have better, happier, more fulfilling lives.

Thanks for supporting me!!

Sis Black/Baahk jimuih


November 18 2010

I don't even know where to start with this last week. On saturday we hiked Lion Rock. It was awesome! We went with the young men and women. So anyways on the way up we met this mormon-hater man who was yelling at us that we were evil and stuff like that, but we kept going, and then when we got to the top, it was AWESOME. So a few min after we reached the top, all of the sudden we see this monkey. Now it wasn't like a cute cuddly looking monkey this monkey was scary. Like mangy evil came out of the depths of not-a-happy-place scary. Anyways, not really that bad, but still not nice looking. So I decide I'm going to take a picture with him when he comes walking around me. and as I sit down with my hand out kind of like woah there's a monkey. i'm sitting aways away from him, you can't tell much in the picture, but he's behind me and back and to the side a bit. So RIGHT after this picture was taken the monkey like springs out at me and scratches my arm. I didn't bleed, just had some bright red lines down my arm thank goodness. But I never would have thought I'd get attacked by a monkey. The hike was good, there are also a few more pictures attached from it.

Last week I also recieved a letter from my portuguese class friend, EJ. he gave me an international contact- his cousin's girlfriend is here studying at law school. So since our appointment had canceled we decided to pay her a visit. We had a fireside at 630 so we had to make it pretty quick and really hope that 1. the guards would let us up to her apt, and 2. she would be home and willing to see us. Anyways, it all worked out and we visited her.She's so nice!! She knows it's all true and stuff i think she just doesn't want to get baptized yet. I don't know what is stopping her, but I hope that we can help her in some small way. The fireside was also really good. I was able to see a lot of my MTC district and sister E before she goes home. I am really sad to see her go because she was such an awesome missionary!!

Then monday night sister A and I went on splits. it was sister h's birthday and kwai chung ward was celebrating for her so she stayed while sis a and i went to Tsuen wan. We went and knocked some doors (very rare because most people live in huge buildings we don't go into) up in this area called sam shing or something like that. Anwyays, as we were making our way, everyone we met had the same last name- fu. eventually we asked someone, and come to find out that whole row of houses is one gigantic family! they were all super nice. On our way down though, there was a man walkign up but to one of the different levels right there- after talking to him briefly i was like "so are you a Fu too?" and he just stood and looked at me like i was crazy "i'm a chan. we don't like the fu's" and left it at that and kept walking up the hill. So just thought that was interesting- i can just imagine some modern day romeo and juliet stuff going down on the hillside in sam shing.

tuesday was moves calls, and we had this game where we had clues and then had to go find the paper with picture clues to our new companions/areas. My clue directed me to a map book for the primary kids, and My clue, well hard to explain but one of the pictures was of vegetables (Choi means vegetable in chinese, and my new sr companion is sister choi). I am now in ANOTHER tri-panionship, which makes this my 5th on my mission. I lived with sister choi before, but not my other companion, her trainee from last move, sister C. Sis Choi is from Hong Kong, she speaks english, cantonese, mandarin, and hakawa. Sister C's mom is a native cantonese speaker but she is from Tahiti. So I am now with a native and a half. It is going to be tough for sure, but I know I'm going to be able to learn a lot from them. My language is going to skyrocket if I put in the effort.

yesterday I got to climb bamboo scaffolding and paint a building for service at crossroads and got white paint in my hair. It was sunny and beautiful and we had a delicious dinner in tuen mun with some members and sister h's trainee who came a day early. We all came home, packed, and today I moved. I know there are a lot of possibilities for this move, with three of us, but still it is kind of frustrating to constantly have 3 of us together and having to work with three people's personalities instead of just two. The mission president came up to me while we were all sitting in the office and started telling me that with 3 you can do so much and its so good, etc etc etc. but personally to be honest I'm not much excited for this move except for the fact that sister choi is amazing, I'm living in the same apartment as my mtc companion, and I know i'll learn a lot.

I loved my last move/area/companions and am sad to have to go. just trying to look forward instead of back, and keep working hard. Thanks for all the love, letters and support!

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih


November 11 2010

Hello Again Everybody!

I hope things are going well. I really enjoyed this week. Last friday we had 24's exchanges, where our companionships change from noon-noon the next day. So sister m, from my older group in the MTC joined sister S and I in Kwai Chung and Tsuen Wan. It was so much fun! We went and visited two less-active members and made a few new appointments, then made vegetable soup and apple pie (in the huge toaster oven we just found under the sink last week!). Then saturday and sunday were super busy again, we found out that our zone needed to come up with a musical number for the mission tour on tuesday. Elder M headed it up and we performed "if you could hie to kolob" by michael mc-something or something like that. its actually a piano piece but we sang to it with the music. Its a beautiful piano arrangement though, you should look it up. SO GOOD. President Perkins, the asia area president and member of the 1st quorum of the 70 spoke to us. I learned a ton about faith, and how to develop it. He made this set of stairs- 1. no faith 2. belief, 3. faith 4.witness/testimony 5. power I think thats the order. but the thing I wanted to point out, is that faith is a principle of power, and you have to walk forward testing out different principles until you can gain a testimony, and once you have faith and a testimony, if you can cast out doubt and fear, that is when the power comes. And I know that through faith miracles can occur.

Ok so mission tour was amazing. but also some funny things happened. So in the middle they fed us lunch, and as I was helping set up the table the AP elder A was walking behind me and i stepped back on accident on his foot, which made me completely lose my balance and essentially i fell back onto him and it was SO embarassing. then as I was getting my food a few minutes later, i gave our mission president a flat tire. yes. I am clumsy and it is awesome. Then that night we had english class. the elders taught about making phone calls and gave people HILARIOUS situations to talk on the phone in, but the best part of the night was seeing C and V. We've been teaching this mom and her daughter for a couple of weeks (but we've known them for about a month and a half), and at first it was liek their relationship was terrible. C was always on v's case about being stupid and v thought she was ugly etc. not happy. But since becoming more involved in stuff even now with just a short amount of time I can really see a change. They are talking more, smiling more, you can tell they care about each other and it isn't as cold of a relationship. its really cool to see.

OH OTHER STUFF I CAN"T FORGET! So sister s just found out that she is moving to macau on friday (tomorrow) and she'll be going with sister t speakign chinese for a week and then going International! She's going to get to work in english with the philippinas and indonesians nepalese etc. No doubt her chinese will suffer but it is so cool to serve in international I've heard. That means sister a is coming here for a week to be our companion!! So i'll have been companions with sister a, s, and l from my MTC's older group! so cool! Then we also heard that sister h will be training! there are three native cantonese speakers coming in 1 from macau and 2 from HK. Sister h's trainee will be a week late though. SO- this is my speculation. There has to be a three-some somewhere in the mission. I wonder if they will keep me in kwai chung/tsuen wan with her while she trains! it'd be really nice to be here for the holiday season since i already kind of know people. but we shall see. The chances are pretty slim to train in a tripanionship, but because she'll be a week late, someone has to be with sister h for a week... .. . . . anyways, it'd be really cool. plus i'd get a native companion which would help with the cantonese A LOT. and A LOT is the amount of help my language needs. I know learning any language is hard, and will push you etc, but because of the difficulty of cantonese, I'm going to probably come home not understanding a lot of stuff still, whereas people who go spanish/portuguese/other languages can come home really with a huge vocabulary and a much better ability to communicate in that language. My language is still progressing, but I am still amazed that after 6 months of working on it, i understand so little of what people say. especially compared to when i was in holland, not trying super hard, after six months i could understand a lot more.

but the difficulty of the language is not really getting me down luckily. I know that as long as I'm putting in my effort and trying hard that its ok. I still have 11 months left to keep working at it and my listening skills will improve I know.

anyways I am out of time, but I love you all and its so nice to hear that you had a good halloween and guy fawkes day :)

I hope you are all doing fantastic! I love you so much! keep smiling, keep being good and serving others. The lord lives, Jesus is the Christ, and they restored their church through Joseph Smith. I know this is true because I've read the Book of Mormon and asked God if the things it contains are true and from Him. And the answer I got was a yes. I love this gospel and I love serving others and sharing this message with them. Thanks for all the support!

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih


November 4 2010

Well this week was so good, like almost every other week. But special in a few ways too. We had two days where we had so many appointments and stuff that we didn't have any time to eat lunch. So we were teaching lessons, in meetings, etc. from 10:30am-7:30pm on saturday, and from 7:30am-7pm on sunday. It was a huge miracle because we just had people show up at the church or people bringing friends to activities that they wanted us to meet. It was amazing but at the same time really really incredibly exhausting. Because when I'm teaching I have to work my brain SO hard to follow what's been said, and be in tune with the spirit and also stay awake haha. So physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausting when you have that many lessons in a row. It is interesting to hear what goes on in other missions because we rarely travel to people's houses for appointments with them, 90 percent of the time our lessons are at the church because peoples' houses are really small here and its like "their space" I think, even more than we would think of in the US. like stopping by and saying hi is pretty much an absolute no-no here. 1. they have guards at all the buildings so half the time you wouldn't be able to get up without an appointment, and 2. even the best members or people you have a close relationship with would be upset if you came by on a whim.

Another thing I really have noticed here especially this week, is how focused hong kong is on money. Hearing from like elder calder or elder moss about the humble people they are meeting because they are poor is not what my typical experience is. A lot of time here people think the point of life is to make money. If you don't have money, life is unfair and I've seen a lot of very bitter poorer people. Of course this is not always the case, but we were talking to our recent convert D this week, and he is in his late 40's and still unmarried. We were talking about marriage and stuff and he told us about the pressures of Hong Kong. Women will literally ask if they can afford an apartment and a car and how much money they have to decide whether they are in the least bit interested or not. They are taught from birth to work hard in school and in life so they can make money. So D's point was, that in Hong Kong because of the social pressures to make money, people either get married really late or not at all. That is why there are tons and tons of older people living with their parents still in their 40's or 50's, that have never moved out. So that is one thing I learned this week.

On tuesday we had a 2 hour chunk of finding time, where we go out and talk to people. Usually I don't really like finding, but I decided I needed an attitude adjustment. Even though it is tough to go start conversations with people when you still hardly understand their language, it can also be a lot of fun. I decided to think positively about the afternoon's finding time all day, keep a smile on my face, talk to everyone, and have faith that my efforts will help people come unto christ. We see thousands of people each day and even if i can't talk to them all, they can see my face and feel heavenly father's love for them through me. Anyways, since there is no way to literally talk to them all, you have to pay attention to the spirit and work hard. We were talking to people around this chyuhn (like a bunch of buildings probably like 30ish stories high all together make up one chyuhn... like an apartment complex only MASSIVE) and sis hancock was talking to this lady on a bench. I was just kind of twiddling my thumbs waiting for her to finish so we could move on, when this other lady came and sat down right in front of me while her daughter went to play in the park right there. So sis s and I started to talk to her. We taught her all about joseph smith and the restoration and why there needed to be a restoration- she took a book of mormon and we may be able to see her again on saturday. It was so cool because you could just tell she was prepared to meet us then. And sometimes the lord will just put people into your path to help when you aren't expecting it, and that is really cool. Ok so then we kept walking and walked all the way to tsuen wan from kwai fong (usually we take a bus or the metro) and as we were walking past bunches of people waiting in lines to get on busses, there was a husband and wife and a little baby that just stuck out to me. Soooo going along with my goals for the day I stopped and talked to them as well. Turns out they were from mainland and hadn't ever had a chance to hear about jesus christ or even much about God really. I am really excited for the day that China opens and missionaries are able to spread the gospel to those wonderful people, because they need it so much! I feel really privaledged to be serving here and now because I know we are helping the people here prepare for that day, which eventually will come.

Other than that, I don't think there's much more to report on. I am amazed at the blessings the Lord is pouring out upon me and on these people. I am just going to keep moving forward and try to do my best. That's all I want to do and every day it's a struggle, but when I work hard and rely on the Lord, everything ALWAYS works out in the end. I know that's true. its like in philippians soemthing: through Christ I can do all things. He's my savior and he's with me every step of the way. He is guiding His work, and will never leave us alone. :) Thanks for the love, prayers and support!!

-sister black

October 28 2010

Hello Again!

This week's weather was a complete disappointment. The huge storm that was coming our way apparently turned at the last minute and didn't even touch hong kong one bit! In fact, the time when it would have hit, it was beautiful and sunny and clear skies!

But in other news.. I passed off another language pass off this week which means I only have 2 more left out of the 8 total until I can start studying characters. yeah! We went on a bike ride last week for pday which was super fun. And the week before that I don't remember if i told you about the ward trip we went on. In fact i just checked my sent emails, and i didnt! I can't believe it haha! So a week and a half ago we had this ward trip because it was a holiday. We went out to the boonies of the boonies of hong kong. First to this wildlife reserve/botanical garden out in the northeastern New Territories, (there are a bunch of pictures from that) and then to this "dairy" it was so cool because there aren't many places like that in hong kong, and the ward members just LOVED it. loveeeed it. They were super excited to feed the cow some long grass stuff (more pictures) and they insisted that us missionaries do it too. At first when we got to the dairy I was just thinking.. hmmm this is kind of reeeally funny how exciting it is for hong kong people to see livestock, but then i remembered going to petting zoos at the fair and stuff when I was little and how exciting that was.

on our way out of the "dairy" there was the biggest spider I've ever seen (picture) the elder's hand in the picture is. . . 6'4'' probably maybe even a little taller, and so if you just compare the size of his hand to the spider.. well you'll get an idea of how gynormous it was. and apparently they can jump too. . scary.

Then the rest of the pictures are from our bike trip out in the Tai Po area. This was the day before the typhoon was supposed to hit so it was pretty windy, and so fun. Unfortunately though, like i said before, the typhoon turned and that little bit of wind was all we got.

We are teaching this less-active woman from thailand who doesn;t read chinese so when we teach we just explain things then we have to somehow figure out how to find the book/chapter/verse in her thai scriptures so we can use the scriptures. When she was baptized she didn't speak cantonese very well so she didnt quite understand what was being taught. It is cool to teach someone who already has a testimony but needs to understand things more clearly, especially when we are having to use two languages to teach. she also has the CUTEST 2 year old daughter EVER. her name is CC and she's so smart. her parents are teaching her thai and chinese, and she also knows a little bit of english. Last time we saw them she brought out a book she wanted me to read, which was old mcdonald had a farm... and then she just starts singing it. she's still 2 so can't really communicate well but it is the funniest cutest thing ever.

Sorry this is so all over the place, but. . . last night we went to visit a family waaay far away in our tsuen wan area. So far, in fact, it doesn't even show on the wall map that we have in the apartment. We had to take the metro and then a small bus out up into the mountains above tsuen wan for about 30ish min. It took an hour to get there total. Then the bus got to the end of its route and we had to walk about a quarter of a mile, continuing up the mountain until we see a road with a few spots to park cars. At first we missed the road, and had to turn back to find it. So that was where the directions ended. We had three options for little paths to take, one veered to the right and continuted through some banana trees, one was straightish and the last was to the left and went uphill. So it was dark, a couple of street lamps and house lights were farther down . (the paths were like 2-3 feet wide maybe at most? and we couldnt see anything really) so we prayed and decided to go down the middle one, and after passing a few gates, we found their house finally. It was quite the adventure. On the way back sis hancock actually slipped off the path because there wasn't enough light at that part and fell off the edge a bit. Luckily it was only a few feet because other parts of the path had like a 5-6 foot drop off. yeah. so much fun!

we also taught one of the girls who was baptized a little over a month ago, and she is soooo awesome! she plays the harmonica! in a harmonica choir!! i've never met someone who played the harmonica before. and its so legit. she says shes not even very good at all but she uses like two at the same time. I'll attach a video cause its so cool. in the next email actually because its too big otherwise.

Love you all!! Thanks for the support, prayers, letters and love!

Sis Black/Baahk jimuih


October 14 2010

Hello Again!

So this week was an interesting one- I got over my illness, we had general conference!!!, we went to the temple, taught a lot of people, I don't know its so hard to just sit down and remember everything that has happened. I went and listened to General Conference with a lot of questions in mind, and recieved answers to them all. It was really interesting to listen to the revelation given for us at this time. I looooved the Saturday Morning session, especially Elder Holland's talk. I also was reminded of the importance of Gratitude in my life and the need to not take things for granted like President Monson said. I was reminded of the fact that I have SO many blessings and so much to be grateful for. I have a huge long list in my journal at home and it will keep growing... however, I would like to really quickly thank mom and dad + rachel becca and anna. I really feel blessed to have them as my family. I know I am a lot of the time a spoiled, selfish piece of work, but I have always had my family's support. I am so grateful for the sacrifices i know my mom has made in her life for us. I have an amazing dad who is patient and works hard. They are supporting me while I spend this year and a half away from home on my mission, and I wouldn't have been able to come without them. I am grateful that when I was young I was taught the importance of making good decisions and being honest in everything that I do. I am grateful that my mom always supported those around her in their callings at church. I am grateful we made keeping the sabbath day holy a high priority by going to church and having it be a day of rest. anyways... I could go on and on and on so in order to not bore you all... I have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to live up to.

This week I was able to see the Lord's hand in my life through a pretty cool testimony-builder of prayer. Basically this is my general conference miracle. On sunday, the 2 wards we serve in had both gotten buses for the members to travel to Ho man tin to watch general conference with the stake. Because we had people coming in both wards, we had to go on splits. That meant showing up at the church at 730 for sister H to meet up with her companion from the day, a nice old lady Sister T from kwai chung, and then sister smith and I getting on the metro and heading over to tsuen wan to get on the bus at 8am. So we hurried out after sister T met us, leaving the phone with sister h. We were supposed to meet at the bus station, or so we thought, and finally got to Tsuen Wan at about 5 min to 8. We rushed down to the bus station and were looking for the ward members or a special bus or anything. But nothing. So it was quickly becoming eight o clock and the bus was supposed to leave- neither of us had a phone nor knew exactly how to get to Ho man tin, and so naturally we started to stress. Then we decided to slow down a second and say a prayer asking for Heavenly Father's help. I knew He knew where that bus was and I knew we had to get on it. We felt to walk down the end of the bus station one more time. Then we kept walking, crossed the street when the sidewalk ended, hopped this railing that keeps people from walking into the road, and then down the street where the road curved I could make out someone wearing a skirt. We practically started running as we got closer realized if was Sister L from the ward, standing right outside of the bus full of members about to leave. We got on the bus just before it left and as sister S and I sat down all we could to was pray and thank Heavenly Father for helping us get to General Conference. It wasn't like a "walk this way and you will find the bus' voice or anything, but a thought of we should go this way. like.. any other way to go didn't even seem like an option. I know that Heavenly Father helped us find that bus and that He knows where we are and what we're doing at all time. He is so aware of each person's individual situations and so willing to help us if we just ASK. So I am so grateful for prayer and the Holy Ghost. yeah. I just can't say that word enough.. grateful.

OK then for the rest of the week... we had a member from indonesia feed us dinner on sunday, and I sent a picture of the dessert, which I almost couldn't get down. I don't remember what it is called.. but it is a gelatinous, somewhat sweet gluey consistency jelly-like potato stuff on the bottom, with this salty slimy creamy stuff on top. I just thought I'd share that with you. The rest of the food was fantastic, but man.. that dessert.. . .

On tuesday we taught english class and for the church lesson portion we taught about the plan of salvation. one of the long-time english class comers and one of my favorites, V, got into a big arguement with D during the lesson though, and it was so sad because she was just yelling at him and then at us and when chinese people yell... . . . well its really scary! Being angry in some languages just sounds angrier... like German, for instance... anyways Cantonese for sure. So finally elder B asked her to calm down because we are just trying to teach the lesson and we want a calm peaceful environment. Anyways the next day she called the elders to apologize and wanted to cheng us missionaries out for lunch. YES! so we all went to dim sum with V and explained some of the stuff she was upset about the night before and it was so good. It is interesting the way chinese people love food, and its association with feelings. Like.. they show their love through food, or they have all these idioms that are food-based. Like in english we have oh its a piece of cake. in cantonese they have stuff like "do you have enough ginger!?" for like do you have guts do do blablabla or when you greet people you ask them "leih sihk jo faahn meih a?" which literally means, have you eaten rice yet? Anyways there are a ton more I'll try to think of them. V was also trying to explain something yesterday about how she is like an egg-yolk or something? anyways I was confused and didn't understand it but that's not surprising because I still don't understand a lot of what is going on here when people talk. But no problem, there is still improvement in my language even if I don't understand most of what people are saying, most of the time.

Anyways, thank you all for the letters, I got a few last week. so yes.. very nice week of letters! Keep them coming :) I appreciate them SO much you don't even know. and I also love getting pictures. anways yes so thank you.

oh! and the other pic- a view from po tin in tuen mun and a video from the lightning storm.

Sister Black/ Baahk jimuih

October 21 2010

TODAY IS MY SIX MONTHS MARK! I've been a missionary for six months now! That is crazy! And today is P day plus a zone activity so we're going to some rural part of hong kong in the northeastern new territories and going bike riding, which will be super fun! Not to many eventful things happened this week, but hopefully next week I'll have some good things to report on... . . .

because of this:(forwarded messages from the mission president)

1. Presidents:

I have been asked to contact you three to obtain a report on your preparations for Typhoon Megi that is scheduled to hit landfall late Friday, or early Saturday according to reports we have received. We just need to know your plan for the missionaries’ safety.

2. Please give me the latest weather report of this typhoon Megi.

Please alert all missionaries to secure all windows in their apartments. They should have identified a safe place in their apartments in case the windows are broken by the strong wind. They should ensure that they have sufficient food and water storage. They should remain indoor if Typhoon Signal No. 8 or above is hoisted.

YEAAH! so I think the typhoon my cousin's area missed is headed right here! I am so excited! No one will schedule us right now though because they are like "um there's a typhoon coming so i'm not available fri or saturday." I hope it is a big one and is fun to be in. Anyways, that's the only exciting news from here.

Hm. . . oh i passed my 5th language pass off out of eight. SO once i get all 8 done I can start learning characters! My goal is to have them all done by the end of this move, and it is going to take a LOT of work. Its fun though because my friend SW's brother is a district leader in my zone, but since my district leaders are mandarin speaking, I have to do my pass off's with him. I donno its weird cause he looks pretty much exactly like her and its really funny. What a small, small world.

We've been teaching this girl who is going to flight attendant school and she always brings her little textbooks with her. I LOVE looking through them and see what they teach them about airline codes and routing and ticketing and stuff. maybe post mission/school I'll go be a flight attendant for a year or two :) that WOULD be something i'd do, huh.

I really don't have that much else to report to be completely honest. We just keep working hard and talking to people about the restored gospel. Sister E and Sister L were at crossroads with us yesterday and it was nice catching up about people I taught and stuff going on in tuen mun. I miss them! I hopefully will be getting their addresses soon so I can write them a letter.

Speaking of which, I'm really trying to get back to everyone who has written me. I am so far behind though!! But you don't even KNOW how grateful I am for every letter that comes.

Anyways thanks and i am so happy to be a missionary! this is the best hardest most fun most interesting work ever!!


Sis Black/baahk jimuih


October 7, 2010

Hello again!

This week WAS SO GOOD!!! I was a little worried last week about moving to a new area and having to start over again, but things are so good! I love my tri-panionship. Sister H and sister s are both so amazing. They are both such hard working missionaries and such good examples to me. I was worried about having another three missionaries together because last move was, in all honesty, pretty tough. But both of them are really chill and we're having a lot of fun while doing a TON of work.

We serve in two wards, so that means two areas. I think I mentioned this before but the standard is for us to be teaching 20 lessons per week. However since we are serving in two wards, we have been asked to reach for the stars and try to teach 40 per week. Now that is *almost* an impossible goal, so we're working our way up to it. There have already been miracles as we are diligently working towards it. We are also focusing a lot on faith, and how we can develop our faith more. Faith is a principle of action- if you have faith, it leads/motivates you to act. It is also a principle of power. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, anything that is within the Lord's will is possible. Faith is also a gift of the spirit. In Moroni 10 it talks a lot about gifts of the spirit and how to obtain them. v. 9-11, for behold, to one it is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same spirit; And to another, exceedingly great faith." So exceedingly great faith is my desire, so I need to work for it and pray for it, and have the faith that God will bless me with greater faith. Because if we need to get 40 lessons per week, we can get 40 lessons per week. But it is going to take a LOT of work and a LOT of faith.

I was really happy this week to get an email from aunt stephanie with pictures! so cute! weird that I have cousins I dont know yet. but I can't wait to meet them!! Tell them hi from me!

On sunday we had 4 people recieve the gift of the holy ghost. It is really something special because its like... before having someone with the priesthood confer upon you the gift of the holy ghost, its like a pen without a cap but you can tap the cap against the pen and the pen can theoretically feel that, just like before you get the gift you can feel the holy ghost at times bear witness of truth, but it isnt until you put the pen cap on the pen that it is always with the pen.it isnt until you get the gift of the holy ghost that it is with you always. (sorry if that analogy is confusing... you get the gist, right? i think that is such a good analogy for it) That's why baptism and confirmation by someone with priesthood power is so important, not just for me to have but for everyone. It is the only way to recieve the same kind of baptism that jesus christ himself recieved. And that is one of the billions of reasons I have within me to be serving a mission.

so confirmations... yes... church.. I went to both wards and learned why sundays in this area are crazy. We didn't even have time for lunch we were teaching people and having meetings and stuff all day long!

This sunday I am really excited we get to go to Kowloon Tong and Ho man tin (sp?) to watch general conference!!!!! YEAH!!! It is going to be amazing. I have been looking forward to this for a long time- because i can't wait to hear what the prophet has to tell us, what guidance the Lord has for us right now. I was thinking about it the other day while teaching, about revelation the prophet recieves and thinking about the "get out of debt" message that had been shared over and over starting like ten years ago, and looking at the economy now it was definitely revelation that helped so many families if they listened to the prophet. so cool.

Ok so more about my companions- sister h is from palo alto california and her parents are professors at stanford. She is really smart and a great missionary because she has such a good balance within her. She is so humble and uses her gifts and talents to help both our investigators, as well as me and sister smith. Sister s is from riverside california, and she has a crazy family. one of her uncles (?) has 14 kids!! holy moley! anyways she is really quiet at first but in fact is so funny and so chill. I wouldnt change being companions with them for anything

This week I also met for real my friend SW's brother. Its so weird because they look almost exactly alike. Anyways it was fun to meet someone who knows someone you know. Speaking of which, Sister G, the temple president's wife, is the nicest woman ever. She knows 2 of my dad's cousins and so today at the temple I was getting ready to leave, and she came up to me and was like I baked some bread and I want to give you a loaf to take back home with you! So... now I have some lovely warm bread sitting here while I'm on the computer typing away. It smells REALLY good too. I miss homemade bread mom!

What else happened this week? hmm.. Well I got probably 30 more bug bites on my calves. that's always fun. but no i got them while we were knocking on some doors up in this cool area in Tsuen wan. There are all these 3 story house/apartment things up on this really steep hill that you have to walk up into. We met this aaaancient lady that didn't speak cantonese, but hakawa (sp?) a dialect from mainland but pretty close to here i think. Luckily sister h speaks a bit of mandarin too so we were able to communicate enough with her to teach her and sing her a song. She was so cute just all hunched over and old! anyways, she was awesome. Then we went to our next appointment, also in one of these houses, and i met a less active member of the church from thailand. She speaks cantonese but reads thai. So we taught her the restoration and invited her to general conference. But we also watched the DVD of the restoration in THAI. Just saying, thai is a pretty crazy-sounding language. Seriously.

So where I live now still is very urban, but on the edges of hong kong, so there is water too. My apartment looks out over a pier or wahtever where they have those cranes that get all the stuff out of ships. And in Tsuen wan there is a nice park/path along the water where you can look across and see lantau island. Tsuen Wan is a pretty wealthy area too which is interesting to see the contrast, because most of the people I meet have like one room apartments but now i've been to these members' apartments that are by hong kong standards, huge.

hmm other things about life here-- typical walk outside= all the grandmas sitting together on benches around the buildings chit-chatting it up, all the grandpas sitting around in groups playing chinese chess or something, and little kids playing on the play structures that are outside of all the buildings. then you walk to another set of buildings and there is the same thing. All the grandmas are wearing these button up floral print shirts which I SO want one for pajamas. annnd yeah. I don't know what else. There are food places everywhere and by our apartment there is a gambling place for horse races. the guards there are really nice and we always wave at them as we go by. Gambling is so sad to me though because its like a total waste of money and it sucks people in! In Hong Kong the big things are horse races and video/computer games. I just think like how many more worthwhile things there are to do in the world. But that's my two cents so... i'll be done on that tangent.

Being a missionary isnt the easiest thing ever but it's for sure one of the most amazing opportunities I've ever had. And I still feel like I've barely started! I am off now for another HUGE week!! please keep me in your prayers! Thank you all so much for the love, letters, prayer, and support!! :)


Sister Black/ Baahk jimuih





Hello everyone!

Today I got an AWESOME package! The pictures were great.

Um.. . . . yeah so I got the package when we went to the mission home to take me to my new companions. Yes, I am in another tri-panionship. Sister H is my new senior companion, and our other companion is Sister s from California. She was also in my older district at the MTC. I have now moved to Kwai Fong and will be serving in two areas- kwai fong and tsuen wan! It is really nice here, I am sad to leave tuen mun and sister e, but I have great hopes of this being an amazing move. Our apartment is about the same size as the one in tuen mun, but having three people instead of five means it is a TON more spacious. Its nice to not have to be quite as careful with your space, because you can spread it out and be a little more easily organized.

The ward members here also give them food all the time, so they've got like a lifetime supply of noodles and chinese candies out on the table. I've attached some more pictures because at the library here we can access the little attachy places to stick the camera into, and yes I AM pretty computer illiterate but somehow was able to figure out how to attach a few to the email even though the computer is in characters. These photos are in a really weird format, but hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to get them on the blog soon. This last week was amazing though- some of the pictures are from last week- like from when S was baptized, she is the one in the white and then in the black dress with the flower. It was so cool, her mom was there supporting her and I just have to say it was probably one of the happiest days ever just to see the joy from everyone. Afterwards we had a dinner gathering with a few families in the ward at the church and that was the last time I got to see S. I'm going to miss her so much, attitude and all!

Then Tuesday I found out I was moving, and went to crossroads the next day. I was kind of hoping i'd move to macau if I moved, but maybe later! :) I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. Anyways, crossroads' bugs were out on the prowl again and somehow managed to find my legs. I'm trying to resist the temptation to itch but it is so hard, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to come home in a year with scarred up legs. What a great thing though, right now my biggest personal worry is to not scratch the bug bites on my calves.

Last night we taught S again, who just got back from thailand and brought us these cookie cracker things. I They were so good and it was really nice because she wasn't going to be able to meet with us but I called her tuesday night and told her I'd be leaving and going to Kwai Fong, so she made time even though she's super busy to see us. And it was probably my favorite lesson I've taught since I've been a missionary. The spirit was so strong and we taught her about faith, repentance, baptism, and the holy ghost. She is amazing and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to teach her. I know how important these things are, because without jesus christ's gospel, without his perfect example of how to return back to live with our heavenly father, what is our purpose? Jesus Christ set the example- he was baptized by someone who had the proper authority. It is so simple, baptism and then just continuing in your efforts and striving to follow him- repenting when we do something wrong and changing every day to become more like him. He is so cool!! And the amounts of blessings for following His example are really incomparable.

Ok.. so that is about it. I hope you enjoy the pictures and stuff. I love you all so much!!! I am so full of gratitude for the opportunity I have to serve heavenly father's children, my friends here in Hong Kong.

One thing I realized might be interesting to know- on door handles and elevator buttons here, a lot of the time they have signs talking about how often they are disinfected- "this handle is sanitized four times per day" and stuff like that. I love it. It makes me not feel Quite as gross.

oh ps. I am getting kind of sick right now with a cold and stuff, which an undisinfected four times per day handle probably gave to me. geesh.

ok I'm out! I love you all so much!! :) Take care and keep choosing the right!

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih

September 23

Hello Everyone!

This week, like every other week, just flewwwww by, but had a few fun things as well. I guess I'll do the list thing today since I'm feeling very organizational at the moment:

1. This week we finished teaching S the lessons and she had her baptismal interview! She'll be getting baptized on the 26th and I am so excited!

2. Last friday we had a few lessons planned, and were at the church. After our first appointment "fonged" us (didn't show up for her appointment) we were really looking forward to meeting with our next appointment. Her name was W. So we hadn't ever met her, she had just called us the night before and asked if we had time to teach her the next day. So we walk to the hingtit station to meet up with her and this bleached-orange haired asian woman with bright reddish-pink lipstick comes up to us. I don't exactly remember what she was wearing but it was like sequin-y and sparkly and... awesome... um.. ok so people don't usually just call us out of hte blue unless we've met them and given them our number. Sister e starts to ask her how she met missionaries and stuff about her, finds out she knew a missionary who left the mission field when I left and she just showed up at church last week. The thing is, W used to live in the crazy hospital, and sister h would visit every once in a while. She would try to convince the sister missionaries to tell the people that they were her sisters because then she could leave the mental hospital.She then starts showing us pictures of her with other missionaries, and asks if she can take pictures with us. SO we proceed to have this photoshoot with W, and right after we start teaching her, the doorbell of the church rings, then rings again, and again. Finally we get up to answer the door, and it is GS. Our other neighborhood crazy lady. She wants to meet with the missionaries because she loves the elders and wants to get married. She is constantly trying to give them gifts and follows them around. It is kind of scary and innappropriate obviously. Anyways the elders were down the street when she was walking in and darted into an alley and waited to go to the church so she couldnt start following them. So we have hiding elders, miss GS, and w all at the same time. I don't know if i can convey how incredibly funny this was at the time, but it was. It is really funny and really sad at the same time, because really, there is nothing we can do to help them, they need to get medical help. I am amazed at the number of people here with disabilities both mentally and physically. Maybe it is the area I'm in or maybe hong kong in general, but it is astounding.

3. Now that the w story is over, we had stake conference on sunday. C came even though she was sick and it was just so good. She is really busy so we don't get to meet with her very often, but she really has a huge desire to learn more about Jesus Christ. Every time i see her it just makes me so happy because she has a huge smile on her face. yeah!

4. Monday was Elder D's actual birthday so we had a party for him during lunch and at Family Home Evening that night we had ANOTHER party.

5. Last night/today is mid-autumn festival where everyone gets glowsticks and goes and worships their anscestors or something? I am not quite sure about what it is, but I know glowsticks are involved, as well as mooncakes. um.. mooncakes. how can i describe these. My first time I ate a piece of a mooncake I threw up- it is the only thing so far I haven't been able to stomach. It is like this dense square-ish cake about the size of my fist. it can have several things inside, but usually its like this oily pasty stuff and then salted duck eggs. It is a little sweet, a little salty, and really really gross. OH, good way to describe it- its like eating oily mud with sugar in it and a salted duck egg surprise in the middle. But, I tried it, as it IS the time of year for mooncakes. and members keep giving us mooncakes so we just turn around and give them to less active members and investigators, the guards at our apartment building, basically to anyone we can give them to, because most people here LOVE them, and it makes them oh-so happy. and us too. :)

6. we also had to go on splits this week, because sister c is training next move. on tuesday sister e went with sister m and c to kowloon and then stayed together while sister c had meetings, and on wednesday I was the only option because sister e and l had a doctor's appointment. Basically yesterday with sister m was the best! We woke up early so we could be to Kowloon tong by 830, came home, did studies, and headed to crossroads. Since the training in kowloon tong was a leadership training, elder d (who will be training next move too) and elder d (district leader) as well as elder f/v (zone leaders) and elder L (yuen Long district leader) were also there. Soo.. at crossroads we had Elders JW, MW, and M. All of us in HK 3 moves or less! IT was SO much fun. The people at crossroads finally let us do the "AIDS X-perience" where we go through this half hour of stepping into someone else's shoes who is at risk of getting AIDS, like through their life and what brought them to the point they are at. I was this malaysian girl who was tricked into prostitution when she was 14. It was really really sad, but interesting and eyeopening at the same time. Afterwards, we worked on cleaning the roofs of 7 different buildings. But crossroads is kind of ghetto and the ladder we used had to be put on the stairs and then up to the hole in the roof to get up, anyways really scary, i was praying the whole time i wouldn't die, especially when they thought it'd be funny to SHAKE the ladder as i was climbing up. I almost broke the missionary no-elder/sister touching rule and slapped one of the elders. but i didnt. oh, and it did lead me to a realization- I have a fear of climbing up ladders and I think it's because my earliest memory is of falling off the ladder in the play structure in my backyard when i was little. I also fell off a ladder when i was 11 while picking cherries and my mom was pregnant and ran outside to see if i was ok. but I digress. crossroads was so fun as usual.

7. Speaking of crossroads... that reminds me of the bug bites of last week. I re-counted thursday night marking each one, and I had exactly 100 total. 70 on my left calf, and 30 on my right one. It was so bad that I couldn't sleep really and I couldnt sit in my chair because my legs would twitch. I had to walk around during studies. Even now I wake up at night scratching my legs sometimes and can't fall asleep again for a while. Mosquitos and the little annoying black bugs that got me at crossroads are going to be the death of me here. I just hope I don't get japanese encephalitis or something. There are these posters all over the place that have these NASTY big pictures of different types of mosquitoes and their scientific names along with the warning to watch out for them because they can carry dengue fever and japanese encephalitis. ew. please noo.

9. I am somewhat nervous for moves calls next tuesday to find out if I'll stay in tuen mun or move or whatever. Part of me wants to stay and part wants to go. I know whatever happens is what is supposed to happen, so I know it will be fore the best, BUT its still making me nervous. I know sister c is staying in butterfly/tin shui wai, and elder d will be staying in Tuen Mun, but other than that, there could be a LOT of change this move. well, no use speculating i guess. i'll find out on tuesday and you'll find out next thursday haha! (or is it wednesday when you get these emails??)

10. I've got nothin. any more questions? Thank you all for the letters/emails/prayers!!

Love you all!

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih


September 16

Hello Again!

This week was so fun! We had quite a few appointments, and S is getting ready to be baptized in a week and a half! It is really exciting because I met her when she had no interest in the church, and seeing her change and start reading the book of mormon and praying and seeing that little bit of change is really cool. She is so much fun too, like HILARIOUS. But sometimes it's not so great because we get really distracted when we have lessons.

This past week went by so fast I can't really remember all that we've done, but we've had a couple of doctor's appointments for my companions, and a lot of work. Yesterday we went to Crossroads to do service again and were working on making this dirt pathway that tomorrow microsoft is coming in to finish or something. But we were essentialy moving dirt and packing it down to make this path. I wore bug spray, but my two-calf grand-total count is 89 bug bites. 89. EIGHTY-NINE. I didn't really even notice them that badly until I woke up in the middle of the night scratching my leg and as I felt it, the whole thing was pretty much swollen. I was up for an hour or so icing my leg and trying to get it so I could sleep, but it really took a lot out of me to lose that sleep. The interesting thing is, the right leg has about 20, and the left leg has the rest.

Then this morning we had to get up early to go play soccer against the Kowloon Zone of missionaries. New Territories was totally dominating (we have 2 college soccer players in our zone), and then the school where we were playing had recess or something, and so the high school boys challenged the missionaries to play them instead of kicking us off their court (which was so nice). I played terribly (which I would like to blame on 1. little sleep, 2. poisoned legs, or 3. not eating breakfast this morning, but any excuse no matter how valid, weakens the character... so scratch that) but had a lot of fun. It was nice to see other missionaries who we haven't seen in a while. Sister C came back from Macau and Elder d, d, k, and wwere also there. I really like seeing other missionaries because in the New Territories there aren't very many and we don't see each other a whole bunch.

The word on the street is that there are still no philippina sisters coming in, and all the philippina sisters that are here are going home within the next 6 months, so there is still the hope that I will get to do international work. And sister c told me there is a brazilian woman in macau who saw pictures of me and heard i know a little bit of portuguese and is now praying that I'll come to macau! hahaha! I hope I get to serve there!

The weather has been a little hotter and a little less humid lately I think. It's been nice, but I am really looking forward to some typhoons which they say come in september usually, but we'll see.

Today I had a really nice moment of thinking "hey i really do like it here!" and that was nice. I've been okay with living here and stuff, mostly like, loving the missionary work and the people but not appreciating the place so much. So when it felt like, comfortable when we were walking up to the soccer field (court? its concrete i donno what to call it) it was so nice. The language is still a beast and I still think I'm ok never speaking it again after my mission (they don't use cantonese in a lot of schools anymore, just mandarin and english I've heard from some Hong Kong people, i dont know if i mentioned that before) but I like it in some ways, I guess. It is really direct and you can just say what you need to say without worrying SO much about talking around subjects like you do in english. YEah but cantonese= definitely not easy.

Soo now we're sitting in a library in Kowloon and are planning on going to lunch with sister e's mtc district because they are hitting their 1 year in HK mark! I am really excited because well.. mostly because im super hungry right now. but also sister c and sister L from my mtc group will be there.

OH! another thing I loved about hk.. yesterday after crossroads we went to mcdonalds for dinner. It was delicious by the way.. haha! the mcdonalds is right on the water by this really nice hotel and a harbor with a bunch of yachts and stuff. And it was just really peaceful and quiet and the sun was starting to go down, and you could see lantau island across the way, and just sitting there was just so peaceful. Living in a city is fun but its just ALWAYS going. And I am one that likes to get away and just have peace and quiet! And i also thought of the mexico trip my mtc district plans to take the summer after the elders get home, which will be really nice. And I have now lived in hong kong for over 2 months, and am still going going going. I plan to push through till the end, even though it is pretty tough sometimes. But the work I am doing is really the most important thing I could be doing now, and even when i think about oh after my mission i'll do this and this and this and i'll be able to do this and th is and this, I still wouldn't change what I am doing now for anything. Every day brings with it so many blessings and so much happiness! Every day I meet people who don't want to talk to me, and then some people who do. Every day is tough, Every day I'm tired, but every day is a blessing... which is something I don't think i understood before. Every day we are given we need to use to make us better, to help others become better, and to make people happy! yeah! because that's what jesus did! he brought people happiness that lasted, not just momentarily, not just a facade of happiness, but real deep lasting happiness! that's what i want, that's what I'm working towards, and that's why I'm a missionary, to help other people have that too :)

ok so i think that is all for this week, I can't really think of anything else. The food is still good, the river on the way to the church still reeks, my apartment is still hot, my bed still hard, but my smile is still here and I'm so happy to have this chance to serve!
Thank you for the letters and support! I'm trying to write back but since time is so short, it may take a few weeks.

Sister Black ... Baahk Jimuih

September 9

Hello Again!

This week was CRAZY! wow. Okay so last week so many things happened, i actually made a list to make sure I wrote it all, but unfortunately I left that list at home when we headed to the library. For starters, last friday we went all the way across hong kong to the tolo harbor area for sister l to have a doctor's appt. And while we were there I had the fun time of using my first squatter toilet. OH DEAR. it was an interesting experience. Peeing in the woods is hard enough and there it is quite sanitary haha! Ohh geesh! We also have been seeing this girl S, I dont know if i mentioned her last week, but she went to cornell and her fiance is a member and she wants to know for herself if it is true or not and just not join for her fiance. Anyways she is amazing and always has so many good questions and it is so cool to see her work out both the logic and the truth behind what we are teaching. I mean, we can feel truth and we can also reason truth, and the combination of the two is just dynamite. Oh and that night i had the most delicious meal ive had in hk so far. this noodle soup with pork on top ahhh so good. So then saturday I went on splits to teach a less active member in the ward and basically taught the whole thing by myself and this member. It was so tough as far as cantonese goes, but really good for me to be able to learn. We also had a surprise cheng-out (like when someone treats you to or invites you over for a meal) with a less-active member sister T. She invited 4 of her friends over and now we are teaching her friend AH and her two kids. This message is really life-changing, and it is such a blessing to see the gospel start to work in the lives of those you teach. On Monday night we started 24's where we go on splits for a day, and I stayed in Tuen Mun with sister l and sister m. It was an interesting day to say the least. We are teaching this woman WWJ and she talks SO fast and says SO much. it is only sister m's and sister l's 3rd move. and my 2nd. So... . . . yeah. that was a tough lesson, but really fun because everything we planned to share worked into what she was talking about and what her concerns are. Lets see... I also saw this philippina lady I met a month or so ago again in a park with her employer, which was cool but I couldn't talk to her since she was working.

Ok that gets you caught up to yesterday.

Then last night happened.. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN.

So today we went to the temple, so last night we needed to go to sleep early so we could get up early and leave. But around 10:30 I was out at my desk, post shower and in my towel and a Tshirt, when I was about to go to sleep (I had actually just finished writing in my journal, a very short entry, with "We're going to the temple tomorrow so im going to bed now") and I hear someone rattling the door handle to get into our room. Sister C always locks the door when she changes in the room, and somehow hadn't shut the door all the way when she locked it, so she left, and shut it behind her. Locking the door, and locking us all out of our bedroom which, with the AC on and at 82 degrees, felt really, really, nice. First, we tried all the keys both companionships had but to no avail. My companion sister e has had experience picking locks before (don't ask me how...) and she worked on it but the type of lock it was you couldn't get, couldn't card it, couldn't pick it, but then we thought of a new idea. We tried the envelope string thing that has worked, or so I hear, in the past, but again no success. We called the office elders in charge of housing, and they told us we had 2 options- 1. break the door down, or 2. wait for them to come and try the keys they have, and if it doesn't work, they'd break the door down. we decided to wait, and the elders started the hour and a half journey to tuen mun from kowloon tong.

Anyways, a few minutes after that phone call, we continued to work at getting the door open. Sister c was freaking out because it was her who got us into the mess. So we finally got her to go sit on the couch out of the way, sister l and I busied ourselves making a chocolate cake. Don't ask me why, we're girls. Then the biggest storm I have seen since Ive been here came in. I have never seen so much lightning in my life. It was like a ground shaking strobe light! Finally the elders came, and they had the key, but we didn't get to sleep until like 1:30 and they ended up sleeping at the Tuen Mun elders' apartment. All because of a silly locked door. And even at 1:30 I couldn't sleep because when I closed my eyes I could see the light from the lightning every 1/2 second or so.

So this morning we got up at 6:30 and headed to the temple. I am so tired right now, and tonight we are playing basketball again with a member and these two kids at a part across the street. Hope I can make it till then!

Oh also, to make today even better-- we had to haul 2 boxes of book of mormons back to tuen mun through all the MTR stations etc. And then when we got to Siu Hong (one of the stations in tuen mun, right before the tuen mun station where we usually get off) we decided to get off and take the hingtit (the lightrail type one) because it would take us RIGHT to our building and we wouldnt have to walk back from Tuenmun station. But just as we got down to the hingtit, there were electrical problems and it stopped working, so we ended up walking from Siu Hong all the way back to our apartment, carrying huge boxes of book of mormons. In actuality it was pretty funny because here are these white girls just carrying huge boxes on their heads/shoulders etc walking along the side of the hingtit.

Just for a quick note: I just wanted to say how grateful I am for being able to have the ability to choose. I can choose to be happy or to be sad. I can choose to focus on others, or on myself, I can choose to smile at someone or to keep to myself, I can choose to run an extra lap in the morning or stop, I can choose what to eat, to wear, to learn, to say, etc etc etc. Life is all about choice and what you do with the choices you are given. so choose good stuff! choose the right! It's so simple, but sometimes seems so hard!! haha! good luck everyone hope things are going well.

Also, thanks for the love, prayers, and letters! :)

-Baahk jimuih


September 2, 2010

Hello Everyone!

This week has been interesting- it was my new companionship's first full week without summer missionaries, and it was awesome! Sister E has a date to come home from her mission in November, and sister L is still a ball of fire. We had some interesting things happen this week too. We went to visit a less active member of the church who invited us over for dinner. When dinner came around,and I didn't know what to expect... out comes these chicken wings that were hardly cooked (no joke, half raw), and all these other dishes that I am preettty sure were incredibly unsanitary and undercooked as well. I was praying the entire meal that we would not get incredibly sick from eating this food. But, luckily we made it out alive.

What else... we had zone conference and learned a bunch about how to be better missionaries. It was really good. I've also had a lot of experiences where I've really been shown that the Lord is directing His work. Hong Kong has millions of people, and you rarely see the same people twice. So we were on this bus and sister e sat next to this man, all the way to wanchai (on Hong Kong Island, about 45 min driving away) and then a couple of hours later, we were going back, and a couple stops into our trip the SAME man gets on and comes up and sits by her again. To me, this is a miracle. Now some could say it is by chance, but really the chances are SO slim and things like that happen all of the time.

Ok so the guy over at the next computer keeps on glaring at me. and at first it really bugged me, but oh well, that is the nice thing about knowing you are a representative of Jesus Christ. As long as I am doing my best to follow His example and just be kind even when people around you arent, things like that are like.. so unimportant to allow to bug you.

hmm other stories. I don't know really, this week has just flown by. Today we climbed the highest mountain in this area in the rain. The pictures from it aren't fantastic but I'll try to get some developed and send them home, since the librarians always send us the the area with no access to the usb port. or whatever that thing is called. I really started to get dizzy as we got to the top of the mountain though, because it was SO steep and just kind of like, if i step wrong I could fall to my death. um.. but luckily I am alive, and no harm done. We also stopped by at this buddhist monestary on the way up which was SO cool. Those kinds of things, old buildings and the natural aspect of the area, are what I really like about Hong Kong. The city is cool because of how busy it is, but the edges of Hong Kong are what I've really come to love as I've lived here.

yeah, other than that i dont know what else to say. so bye! thanks for all the prayers!

Sis Black


Another Week in HK

Hello Again! This week was a bunch of fun! My new companionship with Sister Eand Sister L is just fantastic. It doesn't feel like we're quite as busy because there were the summer missionaries and we were constantly going on splits and essentially working double time. The weather has been really hot, sticky and nasty but it makes it better because with more opposition, there is greater reward right? Something like that.

This week I've had a lot of noteworthy-ish experiences:

1. For the first time I overheard two women talking about me while I was standing right by them. Then I looked at them and was like (in chinese) hey! How are you two doing today? where are you headed? and they were pretty much flabbergasted.

2. This old inactive man we taught (because he has health problems can't make it to church), JB, is awesome. He can hardly hear and is probably 90 years old, and speaks this weird cantonese/mandarin/other chinese dialect mesh. Anyways we went to sing for him because he loves it, and we read some scriptures. So first he's reading the one I asked him to read out loud, all nice and stuff, then he keeps reading, and keeps reading, and then instead of jumping down to the next part, he crosses the page to the left and starts reading a completely different scripture. I'm pretty sure it went from like oh happy blessings nice, to like REPENT blablabla. Completely didnt make sense, but doesn't really matter in the end.

3. Sister L was saying stuff at our apartment and laughing, just being silly, and our somewhat serious summer missionary, sister La, just up and yelled "you take drug!" I donno it was really funny at the time.

4. Today we went on an adventure, since it is Pday. Well first was non adventure: we had a summer missionary ending testimony meeting. It wen't a little long but it was good. Then we headed to Wan Chai (sp?) via TST and took the star ferry across to the HK island. It was so pretty!! We saw the handprints of like all the famous chinese actors/actresses and stuff i dont remember what it is called. but I took a picture with jackie chan's handprints so thats kind of cool. So we headed over to the island, bought some burgers, ate at the wanchai building, which is the most expensive building the church owns in the entire world because of how AWESOME it is and the property value on the island.

But the adventurous part was afterwards. we went down to the convention center to just explore, and ended up meeting this crazy long haired fu-manchu bearded man by the water who helped us take pictures of our district. he kept on saying to us "you will not surrender! You are on commission!" like in this army voice. pretty sure most of his english he learned from video games or something. SO funny.

After we made it to the convention center, we went up just wandering around taking the escalators and looking out the windows at the water. then we all of the sudden are like.. we proooobbbably shouldnt be here, because all of these people were setting up displays and stuff. Come to find out there was going to be a wedding show or convention or something and that we actually weren't supposed to be there. We hurried down some other escalators and walked down a couple that didnt work, to find red ropes blocking off the bottoms of the escalators. So in front of the security guards, about 10 missionaries hopped this red off-limits rope. yay for accidents and adventures!

5. I reached my first language pass-off today. I am officially proficient in my teaching skills/language skills for the message of the restoration.

6. yesterday we went to do service at crossroads. We were supposed to get the "Aids X-perience" and stuff, but there ended up being too much stuff for us to do, but next time we get to go! You should look it up online it sounds pretty cool, and I can't wait to get to do it.

7. Also at crossroads- our job. there were 3 american sister missionaries (strongish) 2 chinese summer sister missionaries (weak) 1 american elder missionary (Strong) 1 half-english/half-chinese elder missionary (strongish) and 1 chinese elder summer missionary (strongiiishshhh) so basically you may be wondering why I am describing our strength capabilities. Well, we were put on the task to move 10 washers and dryers from one building on the second floor, over a building, and up to the second floor. Have you ever moved a heavy duty washer or dryer? pray that you never have to, especially in HK summer weather. I am SOSOSOSOSO sore. It was funny though mostly because we ended up super sweaty and covered in lint.

8. We are planning a day-hike with our zone for next Pday. I am super excited!!

9. Our investigators are doing well. I don't know if I told you about C or D, but they are cousins from mainland who now live in our area. (18, and 17 yrs old) and they are my favorites. This last week they decided that they want to prepare for baptism. It is interesting in China too, because people seem to have no problem with the Joseph Smith story, like seeing God and Jesus and the fact that angels can speak to us etc. I just feel like other places people wouldn't accept that as readily as they do here.

10. Also this week was like the festival of the ghosts or something like that. Our friend I was telling me that they believe the gates of hell open and ghosts come out and no one wants to come out at night during those days or something. so... a lot of people missed their appointments at the church during the beginning of this week.

11. I am sad to have the summer missionaries gone in some ways, but mostly I am glad because it was a lot of time spent helping them understand how to do missionary work. I mean, we get 2.5 months of training before we head out here. So they are lucky they have the language already, but the missionary part is hard. I think of myself back home, it would be, and is still hard to express the things I know in words. Even typing, where i have more time to think of what I am going to say, it isn't easy.

12. I met a man on the hingtit on tuesday who was an athiest studying philosophy, and he pretty much spoke perfect english and essentially started attacking religion. It is interesting, because he think he knows god doesnt exist when he told me he has never even tried praying because he already knows God doesn't exist. It made me really sad because the way things are in his mind "you could get the same answer to your prayer if you were praying to a glass of milk" I know that he is wrong. I am grateful for this experience because it has taught me the importance of acting WITH faith. even if he tried praying to God, and didn't want nor expect an answer- so essentially if he was insincere, he wouldn't be able to recieve. So prayer is important, but praying with the hope and the faith that God hears you and will answer your prayers is even more important.

13. This week I got some awesome letters! So I was really happy. Thanks for writing me!

14. I also learned a bit more how important humility is. I think the reason there is any anger, any hatred, pretty much anything bad is because people are too proud- either thinking too much about themselves, or they are offended easily, or they misunderstand things. its like... love is super important, but being able to be humble is so interconnected with that! If you are humble, and aren't selfishly thinking about yourself, you will be focused outward and on the needs of those around you. You will be able to love. anyways. i love you all! :)

So another amazing week in Hong Kong. Hot, sweaty, spiritual, hard work, fun, smiles, etc. etc. etc. . . I love my mission. I love you all!

Sister Black/Baahk jimuih

oh ps. so the pingyam way to spell my last name is baahk, but the british pingyam way (the way that they would write it here if it was romanized) is Pak. I learned that when we were looking at the famous ppl stars today and there was someone with the last name Pak and it was my character. Cool huh! Pak. i like it.