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