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