Jan 26 2011

Okay, so I never remember what I have written in previous emails and stuff, but I probably mentioned I. Well she's right on schedule for baptism on the 6th of february, but guess what next week is. . . CHINESE NEW YEAR. aka everyone goes to the mainland and parties for a whole week and no one has any time to see us. But she really wants to make her date and we still have a bunch of stuff to teach her. Solution needed, solution found. This saturday we're seeing her for like 4 hours to finish teaching everything and then she'll have her baptismal interview. thats some serious business right there. And probably the best thing about this week was that sister l got her fire back. not that she was so tired before, but just not very into the work like when we first got to hong kong (i dont blame her, her trainer was prettttty much on her mission to find a husband if you know what i mean. definitely a challenge and exhausting) but seriously like monday was eh ok, still kind of like before. but then tuesday I donno what changed in her. Something changed or something clicked and it was like back into action! We had a zone find for an hour and a half on tuesday night and ended up teaching a lesson on the street, which rarely happens, and then today again! a lesson on the street and 10 contacts! Its interesting how when you are into the work and you have the faith God will put people in your path. When you don't have enough faith and you aren't really all there, you can try to talk to people all day and no one will listen. Its all about the faith and the hope and the energy for the work. Serrriously. It was amazing. Every day im more and more grateful to be sister L's companion.

Then lets see.. . . other things. Oh sister L and I decided to go on this challenge diet- if we aren't getting chenged out our food sources are veggies, fruits, cereal, or peanut butter. Pretty much seeing how long we can go. I ate SO much lettuce soup with kimchee last week you have no idea. PS did you know lettuce in soup is delicious? That's how they eat it here! Cooked lettuce. pre-mission i had no idea. Anyways this crazy diet has been pretty tough and we've broken it twice, once for burger king with the zone (ok, i used to think why do missionaries go to BK or McDonalds because a. not so good, and b. we can eat it when we get home as much as we want) yeah but no seriously it wass sooooo good. oh and we broke it last night for noodles because we were contacting ALL day. no appointments, just contacting. exhausting to say the least. but that is hong kong around new years, atleast from what i hear that's pretty typical this time of year because people are too busy to see us.

which is also why today we have... [drumroll please] DEEP CLEANING!! basically other than email time, we're supposed to spend ALL DAY today from waking up to going to sleep, cleaning our apartments. I am the lucky one who gets to clean the floors and then wax them. never mind that i have never waxed a floor in my life and the floor wax's directions are entirely in German. Today will certainly be an adventure!!

oh speaking of cool adventurous stuff, we were looking around during our lunch hour the other day for envelopes, and on our way back from the economy shop there was a famous hong kong actor filming a movie. ppl were all around like watching and taking pictures on their cell phones. we didnt know who he was but sister l had seen him before in stuff. and just saying, pretty sure he looked at us because we had no idea what was going on and almost walked out onto the street where they were filming. and a white girl out in Tai Po is not exactly a commonplace thing.. yes i definitely stick out.

So in personal study this week i studied a lot about revelation and prayer and stuff. suuper interesting. one thing i loved was thinking about how adam didnt receive revelation for noah to build the ark, it was current, ongoing revelation through noah. Like how important it is to have prophets receiving revelation adapted to now and our world's circumstances. I also learned a lot about how to recieve answers to our prayers. if we pray for something and then dont show our faith that it could happen (such as please help me find a job, and then do nothing to try to find a job) the lord doesn't help us like if we're doing our part too. That's helped me a lot this week because we really need new investigators because the area is so new, and so if we pray for that, we have to do our part too. Love it! anyways i hope all is well! thank you all so much for your support!

Sis Black/Baahk jimuih

January 19 2011

OK now, this week. wellll.. I dont even know where to begin as usual. We were able to see I on sunday and she came to church all three hours. she's fantastic, saw missionaries like 6 months ago then kind of disappeared for a long time. but now she's back and she wants to get baptized. I'm really excited because tonight we're going to give her a baptismal date at dinner with the L family. I dont know if I told you about the L family. they;re pretty much my favorite. their daughter ch is going to be baptized in a couple of months and she's suuuper cute. basically they saved us one sunday when we didnt have any food and a surprise lesson with the elders and an investigator so we wouldnt have been able to eat all day and since then.. they're awesome.

oh we also had another lesson with mrs c, the recently baptized into another church lady. this time she didnt bring her preacher friend, and it was really nice to have a lesson where we were both able to share and talk. I don't see her changing her mind that we aren't just automatically saved if we believe in Jesus, but there was a lot more understanding on her part of our views. we talked a little bit about baptism for the dead and how we believe that if people didnt have a chance to hear in this life they will get an opportunity to learn about jesus and have these ordinances done for them in the next life, and that it mentions baptisms for the dead in the bible in 1 cor 15 (scripture mastery?). which was cool. Anyways, not sure if we'll see her again but she and her friend were much nicer to us this week.

we also were able to visit our favorite less active li twice this week. She is so nice, and didn't quite understand what she was doing when she got baptized. she always wants to feed us- last time it was at some really famous noodle place in Sha tin, i dont remember if i tol dyou about that experience- basically the most spicy food ive ever eaten in my life. they have 8 levels of hot. I t hought i chose the 5th one, sis L had the 6th, but.. . . . heres the thing. the waitress heard me wrong and when she asked me back what i wanted she said "Daaih laaht?" (big spicy) which is the hottest one. and i just nodded htinking it was right. so on tuesday li told me that last time she was so surprised i got the spiciest level of noodles. and i didnt mean to! but really though- i thought i was going to die but i had to finish it because it was a cheng-out. man. spicy noodles. sorry random story inserted there.

what else happened this week? Well not really anything of note. we pretty much teach lessons if we have them, and if we don't we're out on the streets talking to people or riding the MTR talking to people. Every day i meet a lot of super nice people and also a ton of not-as-nice people. Sis L has a hurt knee so we have to mostly do finding on the MTR lately because if she walks too much it hurts a ton. Like yesterday morning she was limping around the apartment. I feel so bad for her! But like the trooper she is she keeps on working because this is the most important work there is... If you think about it, the charge jesus gave to his disciples to go preach the gospel to the world is the same work us missionaries are involved in... and that's huuge!!

so this week in my studies i've been continuing in the bible and book of mormon, i just finished the four gospels and am at the end of alma. I've been thinking about 2 things then. 1 the nature of god and our relationship with him based on the intercessory prayer in john 17, specifically v21-22 where christ asks heavenly father for us to become one, even as they are one. its very interesting to think about... anyways.. yet again another place the bible contradicts the belief of the trinity (sorry i just tend to see these things while reading). then also in alma at the end when captain moroni is AWESOME and is such a good leader. Ive been thinking about how he must have felt when his armies were getting discouraged. im sure there were moments when he wasn't super energized or wanted to just take it down a few notches, but did he? Of COURSE NOT! he kept going and encouraging those around him and helping them to reach for their potential. basically what each of us needs to do because everyone has moments when they could use a little push, a helping hand. Sooooo serve a little more, love a little more. life is hard enough, theres no use in making it harder for those around us, right?

Love you all! thanks for the prayers & letters

Sis Black baahk jimuih


Jan 13 2011

So when I pictured Hong Kong a year ago when i got my mission call.. I never thought I would say this. . . I AM FREEZING. So lately its been the coldest weather of the season and my heavy jacket is a must-have. but its so humid that even with layers etc it never really feels warm. This morning when I got out of the shower i seriously wondered if i'll ever feel warm again.

but no worries, I'm in the library now and sister l let me borrow her white scarfy thing (its this big loop not quite a scarf) so i'm doing a little better. But the coldness of hong kong isnt the only thing chilling my insides right now. This morning my district attempted a "sunrise" hike to the top of lion's rock (the one where the monkey attacked me) and apparently they thought we needed to leave by 4am in order to see it. well.. i dont even know what time we reached the top, but it was foggy and dark and pointless. the elders were all huddled together like penguins for warmth singing songs or something while sis l and i were sitting on a rock because obviously we couldnt join them. After freezing in the dark with the wind blowing really hard for about 30 min all of us but 2 decided to head back home. So this morning I went up a mountain in the dark and then back down it. and then crashed for 2 hours before heading to email. and i still haven't warmed up.

so enough with the complaining, it was fantastic exercise which we never seem to get. and even though this time there were no gorgeous pictures to be had (like other missionaries in the past have had) it was so much fun! Plus elder m made bffs with our taxi driver, so no matter what it is a benefit to someone.

This week.. I seriously can hardly remember what we did. We've had a few lessons and have spent a lot of time contacting or making calls. Things are starting to pick up this weekend though and friday and saturday are pretty much booked solid!! :)

This last sunday we met with one of our investigators a, she's from mainland but came to hk to study recently and learned cantonese when she got here. She knows its all true, comes to church pretty much every week and wants to get baptized but is living with her aunt who is super opposed to her joining the church. And since respecting your family is everything here, this is a pretty huge obstacle for her especially since she's living under her aunt's roof now. But hopefully if we can meet the aunt and help her understand, then ashley can get baptized. She and one of our other investigators, j are probably my favorite/most solid. they're both in their twenties and suuuuper nice.

ohhhhhhh... i have a little story. Tuesday night I was making phone calls to some of the people who used to meet with missionaries, and was talking to mrs c. She just got baptized into another church a few months ago and we were talking about how she found out about her church etc. anyways she's super nice so she invites us to lunch for the next day. Then she calls us 45 min before the appointment and is like "where are you!? me and my church friends are waiting for you!!" soo.. naturally I was a little apprehensive because it seems to be the tendency of other christian denominations to try to pick fights with us missionaries. Anyways Sis L and I prayed and we just decided to go on with out plan to teach them the message of the restoration. The lesson, to say the least, was not the most productive because one of the friends was a preacher or something from the church and kept telling us that everyone is saved once they believe in jesus and nothing else is needed and quoting the bible at us in chinese really loudly. The thing is, for every single point she brought up (if i understood it... haha) I could have gone right back into the bible and pulled up a scripture that contradicts it. But as a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ, there was no way I was going to bible-bash which drives the spirit away so quickly and really does no good. So we sat through a lunch of her trying to bait us and us trying to share what we believe and know to be true while understanding her point of view as well. Pretty stressful meal. But through it all I just kept thinking, this is why prophets are so important. Because 50 different churches can read the bible and interpret it in so many different ways. no wonder joseph smith was so confused when he was trying to figure out which church was true and which he should join. I kept thinking about how huge the book of mormon is in my testimony. My testimony that God still speaks to man today rests on that book. because if that book is from God, joseph smith was a prophet and this church is true. anyways, there was no point in arguing because only the small feelings of the spirit can convince of this kind of truth.. so essentially that was yesterday! The book of mormon and the bible go hand in hand in helping us understand more about God and his will for us. It's amazing, and I'm so grateful for it.

oh also president and sister c just dropped by yesterday while we were doing studies... at least it wasnt a member of the 70 which happened last move to some of the missionaries. Oh the joys of having the asia area presidency live in your mission. haha. but itw as fine our apartment was pretty clean and we were able to have interviews which are always good.

anyways my time is about up, I hope all of you are starting the new year off well! keep those resolutions!! :) I am super times a billion grateful for you all and the examples of my family members, my friends throughout the years, and everyone else who has influenced my life! Seriously! Thank you all for being there for me! (see you in 10 months! haha!) 我愛你! I love you!

sister Black


Jan 6 2011

This is me right before i ate jellyfish, which pretty much just tastes like a salty rubber band. imagine that. ok, now you've tried it and trust me, no need to in the future. It wasnt bad, just like... not something i'd ever choose to buy to eat (good thing it was a sample!)

Well hello again!! I put a ton of pictures on today which means i have less time to write, but that doesn't really matter anyways because a picture is worth a thousand words. so I've already "written" like 6,000 words?

So that activity was fun, we just found out 2 other wards are doing one like that in february right after the chinese new year (which is on feb 3) and so we can't go to both (unless we go on splits with members) and so im thinking taking a look first to see where all they're going, because that may or may not influence our decision.

For now things are going good in our area, its still a little slower than what i'm used to, and I'm definitely learning more about patience. DEFINITELY. I have to just keep pushing forward even though right now we aren't very busy and we're still starting from the ground up. Mostly I just feel like im running in water, like no matter how hard you try to push, you still are stuck going really, insanely slow. Its not until you learn how to swim that you can go faster-- and you learn how to swim by working with the water, not by keeping on going the way you're used to moving. SO.. i guess to sum it up, right now I'm trying to learn to swim, and letting God teach me how to. The things that keep me going now are like the pull-back lesson we had with the mandarin woman last week.. well she was able to come to church last sunday and even though we're not teaching her (because we cant understand what she says) it makes me really happy. Because in some little part I was able to help her life improve, and thats what its all about.

I am so grateful for the letters and the prayers and the love. thanks everyone!

LOVE YOU ALL THANK YOU! i dont even know how to tell you how grateful I am!!

sis black



This picture was sent by Sara's companion's sister.


December 30 2010

Hello again! I feel like it was just yesterday I called emailed and called home etc. Yeah so this week has been interesting. We got moves calls and sister l and I will still be together next transfer! (woop woop!) she got sick this week so i've spent like 40 hours making calls and stuff. but that's ok. no one scheduled us but at least its still stuff to do.

Not much else to say about this week. We went to a grand total of three different ward christmas parties, which considering that our area is huuuge was quite the feat. My favorite was probably ma on shan because the food was delicious. I won a prize for answering some question about christmas that was stuck under my seat, and there was a great turnout. I am pretty much ALMOST sick of chocolate though because every ward member I swear has given us a bar of chocolate or something for christmas. but with some marshmallows and these cracker things another member gave us, I had smores for christmas breakfast... so im thankful for the chocolate. well they were kind of smores anyways.

We did have one good new crazy story this week though. So I dont remember if i mentioned it but a couple of weeks ago, this woman walks into the ma on shan chapel while the elders are doing studies and is like, i've learned about a lot of religions and i think this one is the best. I met missionaries in 2003 but i moved abroad and wasn't able to join the church then. Anyways so what you normally think is... GOLDEN! right?! so this is Delia. yeah so the elders taught her and then turned her over a few days later. We met her and apparently she had told them, and then told us, about this stalker she had which is why she's moved so much and that theres been a lot of scandal in her life, and the stalker is an old boyfriend who still hires people to follow her so she knows there are like detectives following her and stuff. I was like, ok, a little paranoid. Then she came to church on sunday (we werent there) and she talked to the ward correlator all church. we talked to him afterwards and he thought she probably just has a lot of stress about being around people because her life is really lonely (lives with her mom, her bunnies, oh yeah she brought her bunny to listen in on our lessons too..) anyways so tuesday night she calls before our appointment the next day and cancels saying she doesnt believe the bible and doesnt want to join our church and if for some chance i ever hate the missionaries or don't want to do this anymore i can call her or stay with her or something. anyways 30 min later im like ok.. well good luck if you ever change your mind you know where to find us.

so then yesterday we made calls all day, had 1 lesson and a dinner appointment. sis l took a nap at the church because she was getting dizzy and once she finished she made a few calls. one of the first calls is to this woman Muffy. She was taught about 7 months ago and just called the elders up one day saying 2 years ago missionaries had met her and gave her a book of mormon. they taught her a few times. her record also said stuff about her having a stalker. So sis l is talking to "muffy"s mom and im sitting there reading this and im like... there is NO way. so i check the number and what do you know. . . MUFFY = DELIA. "muffy" won't talk to us so her mom is like "oh she's unavailable right now" ok so we keep going calling some of the other old investigators. then DELIA calls us and is like sister black.. why did you just call me"???? anyways. i didn't tell her i knew she was muffy, but yeah. it was funny. Sorry if i bored you but the crazy stories are pretty much the only thing out of the ordinary here. even though they're actually quite commonplace. i dont know if other areas of the world get this many crazies.

then what else. . . . today we're going on an adventure and we're also going to try to find a place in hong kong to celebrate our 6 mo in HK mark. We'll probably go hiking or do something else really REALLY incredibly fun that sis L and i are going to find today. the problem is that we're all spread out all over the place, and one of the elders just moved to "international" serving the expat wards so his Pday is on monday instead of thursday.

oh and we finished watching kung fu panda in cantonese this week for language study. so funny. so chinese.

hmmm I can't really think of anything else exciting from this week. Im sorry to everyone i need to write back to, because my pdays have been so busy i haven't had time- but this week I should be able to write back (its been like a month or so now..). I am really grateful for every letter I get, they really help keep me going some days.

ps I am turning into an old woman. I wake up in the morning and like can't walk my body aches so bad. I think its from a combination of bad sleeping conditions, stress, not enough time to work out/stretch, and being on our feet all day/eating weird chinese food. yup. pretty much almost 60 years old by now. I'm going to come back with gray hair and wrinkles and not be able to stand up straight. (hopefully not actually). but really. i/my body feels SO old these days. pps i dont know how the elders sleep in these beds because MY feet stick out the bottom and im not even that tall!

um yeah really thats it, i can't think of other stuff- we have a lot of investigators we're trying to see but everyone is busy. the mainland either eats them or they have testing. seriously school is so hard/stressful/yucky here. it like takes over lives. not to say school isn't important, but when it is the entirety of your thoughts and your time, i definitely see a problem. alright seriously im just trying really hard to come up with stuff to say right now.

hope to hear from more people next week. i'd love more letters, as every missionary would i think. keep serving people, keep remembering to be grateful... because really.. no matter what situation we're in there is a lot to be grateful for. i mean seriously.. i have hands so i can type on this computer. what a blessing! someone in this world was inspired/smart enough to come up with computers!! wow what a huuuge blessing! there are people in hong kong who clean the streets every day over and over again so we're not walking on trash. HUGE blessing! i wish every time i see them i could thank them, because im pretty sure there lives are not easy- a lot of them are permanently hunched over from years of labor intensive jobs. but even in those circumstances they smile, they wave, they are just awesome! what a blessing.

oh and the stake gave me a sweater for christmas thats like 5 sizes too big. its sooo funny on me. but i think i'll keep it just to wear around the house.

Love you all!!

Sis black


December 24, 2010

sorry if you were all looking for an email yesterday... our Pday was changed to today so we could have our christmas party on a Pday. Anyways it was a BLAST. each zone did skits and my zone just had some changes (having sisters) so they had to change it around a bit. while it is appropriate and hilarious for elders to shake their hips and do a dance, its a little less "dak" for us sisters to do so. So we made it a zone meeting where we were late and walked in on the elders all dancing together. It was really funny and to this music from alex boye called build the world or something. i'll have to show it to you when i get off my mission.

other than that.. nothing too exciting today. I got a couple letters this past week. It was really nice to hear from everyone. I also wanted to thank mor mor for the card. and just let her know how grateful I am for her. Because she decided to join the church when she was younger it changed the entire outcome of my own life. and she raised my mom, and she has stayed faithful in the church and stuff. yeah. thank you mormor!! :)

Then I also was thinking about all the many many many billions of things I am grateful for. I am so grateful for my parents. for my companion sister L, for having a healthy body, for my mind, for Heavenly Father for helping me learn this language, for the ability to spread the message of Jesus Christ and the restoration to the people here, for the opportunity God has given me to serve, for my parents for making it possible for me to serve, for my sisters for all being such good examples to me, for my parents for being patient with me even though I am most definitely a piece of work at times, for good friends who have helped me learn, for not-so-good friends who have helped me learn too, for the sunshine we've had this week, for the fact that I've lived in Hong Kong now for almost 6 months, for my apartment, and the members in the ward who are willing to help us spread the gospel, for the courageous men and women who, since Joseph Smith, have changed their lives and followed Jesus Christ and acted on the promptings of the spirit to learn about this amazing, absolutely amaaaazing message. Yeah. I just can't even explain all the ways im grateful.

This week we had some really cool experiences. So actually last week, we had some finding time and we were walking along this river and met this man from mainland. he only speaks mandarin and we only speak cantonese (exept for rudimentary mandarin from sis L) anyways, he had interest in our message but we couldnt communicate. so we called the mandarin elders and we brought the man like 30 min out of his way so he could go meet with the mandarins in kowloon Tong. It was basically really cool, and never happens like that. then this week we had some extra time so we made plans to go finding in sheung shui, but that didn't feel right, so we changed to going finding in Tai Po, then the thought came to us to go visit this less active woman at her shoe store. so we get thre, and we're walking from the chuch to her store, just trying to talk to people along the way and this woman and her 8 yr old daughter stop and start talking to us, but the mom doesnt speak cantonese she can just understand it so the daughter is like translatingish and long story short they wanted to come back and have a look at the church building, so the elders were on exchanges and one of the mandarins just happened have just left the chapel 20 min ago, so he was erally close. we talked to the lady 20 min and then elder Y and D came back and taught her with us there. pretty much the coolest lesson i;ve been in on, because she totally felt the spirit. she'd never learned about who god was, or even learned who jesus was (she was so surprised when we asked if they knew who jesus was and the daughter was like "god's son!" absolutely astounded) anyways when she prayed at the end it was so sincere and i felt the spirit so strong. Seriously. It was amazing. I was also amazed at how much I was able to understand in the lesson even though it was completely in mandarin. What a blessing.

Other than that, we have been still organizing things. we have 6 wards so that's six sacrament meetings and we can't possibly attend them all... so this last week we went to 3 of them. Next week i think we only have time for one. Since we have a few investigators we have to be careful and pick and choose where to go to church based on where we have people to teach. It is a lot of fun but also a lot of work, so i'm pretty muich happy almost all of the time. Christmas is really tiring since it is also 6 christmas parties we have to choose from, but hopefully we can make it to 4. party hopping tonight and tomorrow. . . hahahah yeah.

oh ps for christmas dinner they had a whole pig. like the WHOLE THING. snout and all. and i hope everyone has a really good christmas. it is a wonderful time to remember what is really important. Hope you all have a great time!! :) eat lots of yummy american and swedish and dutch food!!!!!

-Sister Black

December 16, 2010

Yeah! Today was my birthday!! And we got to go to the temple this morning. The elders in my new district surprised me with a mexican fiesta for lunch (see picture) and I opened my presents that my family sent me and a present from the vissers. I love them all thank you so much for thinking of me! I am really grateful right now, thinking about all the stuff that has been going on and the opportunity to open this area and having my birthday of course. Well here's the thing, I was thinking about my birthday last night, and mostly what i was thinking of is how grateful I am that I was given the opportunity to come down to this earth and have these experiences in the first place, and how grateful I am that I can learn here and even though I make mistakes every day I can keep changing and becoming someone better. Im so grateful I have the opportunity to share that with other people. I'm so grateful that I know about this gospel. I'm grateful Heavenly Father loves us enough to have 1. sent His Son, Jesus Christ to provide the Atonement, 2. Restore His church with priesthood authority to perform baptism/other saving ordinances, 3. a perfect way we can find truth- prayer and also scriptures like the Book of Mormon or Bible. I'm grateful we have a living prophet now leading us. I know along time ago people rejected the prophets too, and even Jesus, so its not anything new when people here reject what I am trying to teach them. I am grateful that they have the opportunity to choose whether to listen to what us missionaries teach. I'm SUPER grateful for the gift of agency, the ability to choose. But I am also grateful that with that ability to choose comes a big responsibility. We may be able to choose, but we can't choose what the consequences of our actions will be- if we choose to eat way too much food every day... we're pretty much going to get fat, or if we choose not to sleep at night we're eventually going to become exhausted. In essence i guess we can choose the outcome, but it is by choosing the actions first that we choose what we're going to be. I was also thinking a lot about life decisions this past week, and the effects those have on us and on our eternities- like getting married, or serving a mission, and how much that really changes us. Like the decision to get married- that is so scary to me to even start to think about (no worries im not really thinking about it that much ahha) especially without the approving confirmation of the Holy Ghost. Good thing I have a long time until I get to think about that. But having this many missionary companions and seeing how different missionaries serve and who is dedicated/not as dedicated really makes me think about how I can use this experience in the future decisions.
But anyways, I am basically just really grateful that I have chosen to serve a mission and that I have family and friends supporting me- I'm almost halfway done but I feel like I just started! When I think about the fact that I'm senior companion and Sis Lo and I are opening up 6 areas to sister missionaries it is kind of overwhelming, but then day to day somehow we are able to make it through. I am really really lucky to be serving with sister L, she's able to put up with me and we are really similar in a lot of ways- definitely a lot of comp unity so far. We aren't really that busy yet so we've been spending a lot of time finding or making calls, the calls are nice because it is FREEZING here right now. I realized today as we were going to the temple that there was no way i was going to make it the day without a jacket. Good thing it was my birthday so i got one at H&M on our way to the surprise mexican fiesta. It was so fun too, the fiesta I mean. We got to the chuch and elder f had made like this chicken fajita stuff and there was cheese and tortillas and it was SO yummy. Then elder Fe accidently ate a chili pepper and was crying and elder r ate a bit of one too and had a bright red face- this lasted a good ten minutes and was pretty entertaining. I am SO full though and tonight we have a cheng-out with the Ma On Shan bishop... so more food. but no matter what this was an AWESOME birthday and I'm so grateful for all the people who helped make it as good as it was, even though it's really busy. We still have to go get groceries and hurry back to Tai Wai for my pass off at 6pm. I'm hoping Elder Froerer will be nice since its my bday but still fair. Basically I want to get these things passed off so I can start learning characters here and there. I probably know about 100 total, but that's nowhere near sufficient. However i do want to focus on spoken too because in my opinion it is much more important since that's what we do all day is talk to people.

We really haven't had any reallly exciting stories from this week. We kind of toured the areas with each of the pairs of elders and had a couple of lessons. We are both pretty young missionaries so we're trying to step up even though it's pretty hard especially in a new area. But of all the things I learned from my trainer, probably the one that sticks in my mind the most is "any excuse, no matter how valid, always weakens the character" and then that leads me to think of other awesome quotes throughout my life... like president lundgreen's "you move towards your most dominant thoughts" which is SO true- If you are thinking about chemistry all the time and reading stuff and just focusing on that, you're going to progress in knowledge of chemistry. So if you have thoughts of becoming better, raising your vision, you're going to. I love in the bible/book of mormon when people are commanded to "arise." I like to look at this as not settling with mediocrity, with being average. If we arise, and set our sights higher, we will naturally do so. And then another quote I love "only a mediocre person is always at his best" which sums up what I try to remember every day. I am not perfect, none of us are, but when every day we set our heights higher than the day before, when we live our lives working towards worthy goals, when we don't allow ourselves to be persuaded into who we should be by what the world or others around us tell us we should be, we will arise. It is really my hope that in my life I will never become content with complacency or okay with mediocrity. There is nothing mediocre about any person unless they allow themselves to believe that about themselves. You are all so AWESOME!! So this christmas, and every day... arise! :) do something for someone, speak more kindly, serve more diligently, set a good example, lift someone up. If we all did this every day, think of how much better a place this world would be.

anyways that's my two cents. I hope I can live up to what I want to become! and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and remember what it's really about... the beginning of the Savior's life. The beginning of something great, that we all have a part in, whether we know it or not, because Jesus Christ is the Savior of the entire world. That's HUGE. and it's true too which makes it pretty much the most important thing ever. I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support and prayers and letters.

Love you all!

Sister Black/Baahk Jimuih