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