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.


August 19

I asked Sara to tell us about the "boring" details of everyday life, since I didn't really have any idea about what being in Hong Kong is like. This is what she sent back.

Living in China is awesome. Our apartment is maybe about the size of our family's kitchen and we now have 5 missionaries living there. I am in a tripanionship. Sister L is our new companion. We were the only sisters to get a change this move, except Sis L's old companion is training Sister B. In addition we have 3 summer missionaries in the apartment all day (thankfully they aren't sleeping here), and it is incredibly crammed. Our room, like a normal size room, has 2 bunk beds, and a mattress on the windowsill, pinned between the two bunk beds and the window. I have to turn sideways to shimmy through the bunk beds to get into bed, and whoever ends up on the windowsill (we still haven't decided yet) is going to have to go sideways then crawl awkwardly around the bedposts to get into bed. I also don't know what we're going to do about closet space right now. But it is amazing to see how much the chinese people do with the space they have. So when you walk in, on the right is the kitchen, in front of you is the living room/kitchen/study area, then there is a bathroom, and another small study room and our bedroom. All very small, but it works. And honestly compared to most places in hong kong that I've seen, it is really reallllly nice. Once again, goes to show how little space we actually need to live in.

We eat... well today i am sad to say i had mcdonald's twice, because we had a farewell breakfast with our district, and then it was just so convenient on the way home. I am not really a fan of mcdonalds, and rarely eat it here, but that's what i had today. Usually we eat breakfast at home, like some fruit or something, and then at lunchtime we're at the church teaching or out and about, so we'll eat whatever food is around there- like chopped up meat on rice, these fish ball things that are essentially the hot dogs of fish meat in ball form, or dumplings. Same is true for dinner. Sometimes the members feed us, there was one week where we had a cheng out almost every day, and one day twice. I thought I would like them a lot, which they are usually SO delicious... BUT... they always make you eat more, eat more eat more more more. and I want to vomit. The trick is... tip your bowl towards yourself, and don't eat the rice until the meal is almost over. If you eat it too soon, they will refill it. So I'm slowly refining my technique. Also, I haven't had to eat anything too terribly disgusting yet. Thank goodness. I'm a little worried someday I'll have to eat chicken feet. My family has chickens. I know what their feet are like. Would I like to eat them? no thank you.

Oh, and it is also tough with eating because everything is drenched in oil. And veggies are scarce if you're not cooking for yourself. And even at members, the veggies are drenched in oil.

Then my companion, now companionS. Sister E is from the seattle area, and she is awesome. She is a hard worker and really obedient. Pre-mission had a bit of a wild side, and is really down to earth. When she doesn't eat or doesn't get enough sleep she is a bit crankier, but it isn't really a problem for our companionship since we're pretty open about everything. Sister L is from california and is pretty crazy. She is funny and outgoing and talks a lot. I was in the MTC with her for 4 weeks, because she's from our older group. I am excited for this move with these new companions. We are planning a hike in a couple of weeks up to castle peak or something like that I'm not sure exactly what it's called. Last move we wanted to hike it but there was never an opportunity because we always had an army of syukeihs (summer missionaries) trailing around with us.

Our ALOHA! party went over SO well. We had a lot of investigators attend and I am glad they had a good time. The night went smoothly and we had just enough food, and just enough activities. We ended the night with a musical chair/cakewalk type game and it was really just such a good time. President and Sister C came too!

Last night I cleaned a lot and we had to get up early this morning to get to the mission home in time to pick up our new companion. So I am pretty exhausted right now. Luckily I have 1 extra hour at home this Pday that I can hopefully take a nap during.

Oh so another thing. A little tender mercy God gave me today. So we got to the library to do email, and we only have one hour. There was a man on my computer finishing something that looked important, and he asked me if he could finish it. Of course i let him right? So after that I get on the computer and try to get onto my email. The internet or something wasn't working at ALL. So I kept trying to get it to work for about 10 min, and then we got the man to help us with the computer (Just a side note, I only get 1 hour per week to communicate with home. This is very VERY precious time.) and he was taking forever, probably another 10 min and i was just sitting there trying to be patient, which is hard because A. I don't understand what anything on the computer says, B. i couldn't do anything to change the situation and C. I knew the time was counting down. SO... sitting there I was just praying and praying. I was like Heavenly Father please somehow help me get to see my email, please help the computer work or something!! over and over and over. And then a couple of minutes later, a boy three computers down came over and said, "here, that is going to take a really long time, do you want my computer?" Yeah, so this like indian boy just walked up to me and handed me his computer reservation paper, and now I am able to email home. To me, this was a miracle. If the computer hadn't been fixed quickly, I wouldn't have had time to write this email or read my emails. And its not like there are a surplus of computers, we have to call and reserve our time every week. So. . . I am so grateful for this experience. That boy may never know how much he helped me out today, and how grateful I am. But at least someone knows.

And now I even have just a couple of extra minutes past what I think is all I wanted to say. There is an old man sitting next to me watching black and white movies on youtube... the purple hairpin. I wonder what it is about. someone should look it up and watch it. I think its like an old back in the day music video. I would send more pictures but once again we are on a floor that doesnt have access to usb drives. Unfortunate. But I really don't take many pictures since we aren't supposed to take pictures while proselyting, and on Pdays I don't really do anything special because we always have to go to Kowloon Tong for summer missionary stuff. So... China is awesome sorry I don't have pictures. The language is coming, slowly but surely. I am pretty sure I won't be near fluent by the time I leave, but no matter. I am able to say I am trying, and working on improving every day. As long as we keep improving every day and trying our best, I am confident that things work out in the end. I just hope I can keep that perspective through the trials that may come my way. I know a mission isn't supposed to be easy, and right now, things have been going so smoothly. My greatest desire is that they will continue to go well as we keep pushing ourselves every day to help more people get to know Jesus Christ, and what He did for them, and can do for them if they will just let Him. I am so grateful for Him. He really helps me every day. Every single day.

Oh ps. I'm compiling an awesome list of ways that the gospel has blessed my family. It is SO long. I know that the number of ways I have been helped is even more than I know. Till next week!

Sister Black/ Baahk jimuih



Helloooo everybody!

This week is crazy! ummm.. lets see. there have been a lot of thunderstorms which are fun. I was trying to think of another cultural difference here in Hong Kong that might be interesting: did I mention that people here are afraid of the weather? It will keep people from coming to appointments if it is raining, and as soon as the sun is out at all the umbrellas come out. Sister M's last summer missionary would run when it was sunny to get away from it. And people always ask me why I don't have an umbrella if it is sunny outside. I am sure there are a lot of things we do in the states too that are super confusing as well though.

Today my companion and I picked up 2 summer missionaries! They will be with us for 2 weeks and next week we have moves calls. So basically either I or my companion will be possibly moving areas. I will most likely stay and she will go, because she's already been in Tuen Mun for about 6 months... which is really quite rare. I am a bit nervous but really excited. No matter who I end up with, I know it will be for the best. One of the other elders in my district will be training next move, so one of the new elders from my younger MTC group will be in Tin Sheui Wai! I hope I stay so I can have another familiar face around. It has been really nice to see elder w every once in a while.

We have seen a lot of miracles this week. The goal to have 20 lessons per week was almost reached with 19, and W.J. got baptized last sunday! He is this little 8 year old boy, and his 12 year old sister was baptized a few months ago. Mostly he just had to wait until he was eight. I am amazed because honestly it isn't like there's something amazing about our cantonese or our personalities, all the work that is happening is because the Lord is working through us to help His children.

I'm starting to understand more and more how important baptism is, and baptism by proper authority. Like I could go to BYU classes and learn the same stuff everyone else was, but if I wasn't enrolled, it wouldn't matter in the end because the authority wouldn't recognize my education as valid. Just like that we need baptism by proper authority--God's authority. Otherwise it isn't valid, and it won't help us any.

I also wanted to mention the blessing of being able to adjust to the climate. I pretty much have a really hard time adjusting to different temperatures and stuff, but here.. yeah it's hot, but after the first week I've been fine. and I think that is a huuuge blessing. and the language. wow there's now way i'd know as much as I know without God's help. Seriously.

I started reading "Our Search for Happiness" by Elder Ballard, and it is really interesting. I sometimes feel like either I am too shy or too bold about sharing the gospel, like he talks about in the introduction. Like... I realize how important this message is: 1. that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us SO much 2. Jesus Christ gave everything for us so we can know how to return back to God, 3. God has a prophet on the earth today guiding his church, just like he has always had throughout history, and 4. our families are the most important unit of society and in the eternities. Our families really can be together forever! That is so cool! I know I haven't been the best daughter or sister all of the time, and that my family certainly isn't perfect, but because we have a common goal, this knowledge and testimony uniting us, there isn't any challenge that we can't overcome. But it all depends on if we choose to accept Jesus Christ and change to become more like Him. I am trying every day to get to know my Savior better. It is pretty tough because I haven't seen Him, but thankfully I have the Bible and the Book of Mormon, full of accounts of his example and prophets' writings about Him. I can pray in His name and feel the love He has for us.

Another thing we've got going on is this saturday night the missionaries have planned a hawaiian themed party! It is going to be HUGE! :) The Tuen Mun elders were in charge of the photobooth, and a less-active member, R (an artist), painted them a backdrop with a sunset and palm trees and a man in a boat fishing, and a cliff oh man it is amazing. It is absolutely beautiful and I wish I could take it home with me to keep forever. I'll send you a picture when I have some printed. But printing pictures is relatively expensive, sooooo, probably not for a bit. My companionship is in charge of the food, and we're making hawaiian haystacks! yummmmm. Seriously I am so excited for this. President C is even coming out for it. We're having a hulahooping contest and karaoke and a cake walk. . . etc etc.

I am really excited about the two summer missionaries we picked up today. One is going on a mission to the slc temple square mission in one month. She's the coolest!

SO... Thank you all for your prayers. I know the Lord is guiding this work. There are too many miracles, too many "coincidences," too many blessings for it not to be. I know that this church is true, and will change so many people's lives. I am so grateful that I have this short time where I can serve with everything I have. Keep the letters and packages and emails coming!! Anyone can email me, and I can write back to my family. Just to clarify on that rule really quickly. oh and sorry this email is so scattered. time is so short and there is so much to do!! Love you!

Sister Black aka Baahk jimuih


August 5

Hello again! Another week has flown by and it is almost time for moves calls. I don't know if I'll be staying in Tuen Mun, but I am assuming so because Sister Englund has already been here for 4 moves. thats... 6 months I think? So it will be interesting to see who I end up with next move, and who else is in my apartment etc.

My chinese is steadily progressing... it is still really hard. I feel like if I were learning any other language, by now I would have a decent grasp on it. I was thinking the other day, and I am pretty sure one of the reasons God sent me to China instead of anywhere else in the world is so that I would be humbled. Because there is no way I would have been able to learn this much without His help. I am having a grand time just smiling away and not understanding anything! haha!

The other day we were teaching this girl Ban a lesson about the Book of Mormon and prayer. While introducing ourselves, I showed her the only picture I have of my family. She told me I looked like I was Korean and that Rebecca looked like she was chinese. No one here thinks I am white here, which I think is pretty funny! They always ask me where my ancestry is from. Even one of the elders in the MTC thought I was mixed until after we got to China!

We have a goal to teach 20 lessons this week, which is kind of a standard the first presidency has set for the missionaries. I love teaching, but it is really tough to start from complete scratch with people. Most chinese either don't believe in God (believe in themselves only) or are Buddhist, or worship their ancestors.

Some are Christian but believe that all Christian churches are true. I was pondering this the other day, and I realized if all churches are true, then the differences in doctrine don't matter. If the differences in doctrine dont matter, than there isn't any standard by which to measure truth, so essentially it doesn't exist. If one Christian church says god and jesus are the same person, but another says they are two separate beings (like the LDS church does), and both churches are "true", then I submit that neither can be true. So it only makes sense that one christian church can be completely true even if all churches have bits and pieces of truth, the differences in doctrine point that they can't all have complete truth. If Jesus created only one church while he was this earth then which is true?

This is what I am teaching as a missionary. Jesus Christ created one church, and I know that this is His church because we have his priesthood and a prophet leading us today. This is just like how there were prophets a long time ago! God always has a prophet lead his church. He always has, so why now would he not? Some may say false prophets will come, which I know is true because in the Bible it talks about this very thing. But it also says you will know them by their works. I know the Book of Mormon is probably the LDS church's greatest "work" by which to judge. So how to know if the Book of Mormon is true? 1. read it 2. ponder what it teaches 3. pray and ask God, in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true. It is so simple. If anyone truly wants to know, they can. For a free copy of the Book of Mormon, click here

We are teaching a girl and taught her about the restoration and about Joseph Smith. She has grown up going to a christian school, and believes in Jesus. We asked her to read a part from the Book of Mormon and pray about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. She did, and God answered her prayer. You can feel truth. When someone says something that isn't right, or suggests to do something that is wrong, you can feel it. Just like when someone encourages you to do something good, you don't just know in your mind that it is good, but you can also feel it. I guess what I am saying is, I just want everyone to have the opportunity to hear that. To see for themselves, to ask God if it is true-- but sincerely, intending to act upon whichever answer they recieve.

In other news.. . . . the typhoon is gone, the rains are gone, and now.. . it is SO HOT. I don't know why but the air quality is terrible all of hte sudden. it is hazy everywhere. even looking at the buildings around us I can tell it is hazy. Maybe someone could email me and update me on hong kong weather reports because in all honesty, I have no idea what is going on in this world at all. Maybe some news too. Any natural disasters anywhere? Any interesting tidbits? Also I hope I'll have a chance to go into kowloon tong soon and get my mail. I hope I have some!! :) Thank you everyone for your support!

Oh we also have this family, the Lauh family- amy and her two daughters, who we teach english to. They are SO awesome!!! I also know that every person in this world is God's son or daughter. And they all should know that. It is a knowledge that most people don't have. So be kind, help each other, lift each other. Smile! for crying out loud just SMILE!! A smile can do a world of good. I love that there are so many simple things that would make htis world so much better, if people could just let go of their pride, their selfishness and love each other and look for how to help each other be the best they can be, this world would be so much better. and I know people always say that and they always think, its not me that is the problem it is someone else. but no, everyone can improve and change and help ppl more.

ok i have to go. I am going to get kicked off the computer by someone who needs it. Love you! take care!!!

-Sister Black/ Baahk jimuih!