And if it so be that ye should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
Doctrine & Covenants 18:15

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Love My New Area -- Yuen Long (Northern Hong Kong) . . .

October 15, 2009, Thursday

So this week we have temple day. I love it. The lights go down and zzzzzz. You know how it is. You can't help but fall asleep sometimes. Crazy stuff. I'll try not to fall asleep. No promises though. Anyway, this week we had sister's 24's. This is were we change companions for 24 hours, and sometimes we serve in a different area and sometimes a new sister comes to our area. Sister Palmer was my companion for 24's, and she came to Yuen Long, my area. Sister Palmer's companion paired up with someone else, and they are covering Sister Palmer's area. No. worries. Anyway, we had a lot of fun. We bumped into a Canadian man. He is from Winnipeg. Ya, he talked to us for like an hour. At least it seemed that way. He talked to us about a lot of things. He told us about when he was in the military. He even told us he used to coach band at different high schools. He also mentioned how he now runs a English center where he teaches students English. He said that the center is now falling through and that he thought he might so back and live with his family on their farm in Manitoba. Anyway, he was a very nice man and the conversation was an interesting one. We tried to talk to him about religion, however he did not have much of an interest. The point is that we tried.

Ya, so I finally got to watch General Conference. I didn't take any notes because I can't listen and write at the same time. So I just listened and took notes only when I really had to. I really enjoyed all the talks. They were all really good. I did not take notes during Elder Holland's talk about the Book of Mormon. I wanted to listen more than anything. I think conference was super good this time.

So about my investigators. Well...let me tell you about the best and biggest find ever. So Sister Daniels and I were going to find this one person we had on our list. We get the right building, the right floor, and the right door. Just the wrong people were on the other side of the door, or should I say the RIGHT people were on the other side of the door. The person we wanted to find did not live in that apartment, but this family did. It was a small family; husband, wife,and 2 year old son. We asked them if we could come back and teach them. They said yes and yesterday we taught them part of Lesson 1. We talked about why it is important to pray and why families are soooooo important. The father had previously seen the missionaries. The wife had a religious background. The father wants the family to have the same religion and the wife wants to have her family together forever. This is the perfect family. I'm not kidding. They are like golden. I think this family will be amazing. So this is the best investigator we have right now. Everyone else is not really progressing because they don't read their scriptures, pray, or come to Church. I don't know what to do. One of our investigators smokes. We are really trying to help her too. Anyway, that is pretty much it.

Thank you for sharing with me. I enjoy the "sharings" you send me. They help me be better. Anyway,got to go. Tell Jonathan to pick up his e-mails that I write to him. Also ask him if he gets my letters. I hope he does. Thanks mom! Love you sooooooooooooooo much.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

News for August and September . . .

So for last week's P-day we went to Tung Chung and went hiking up the 2nd biggest mountain in all of Hong Kong, Sunset Peak. We watched the sun go down. We also brought food with us such as P-B-J sandwiches. Mine did not have jelly in it. Still hate jelly. Also I brought a little candy. What fun is a party on top of a mountain, with my district, if you don't bring good nutritious M&M's, it was the peanut M&M's too, sooo good. So this past week we went bowling. After we came out of the MTR station we got lost. We walked around an unfamiliar city with a 2008 map book. My companion had no idea where we were going. Luckily, I was there to save the day. But then my companion got us a taxi. LOL! We took a taxi and drove for 5 minutes. It cost us $18 HK dollars. What a rip off. Chisin. Geez! Anyway, we eventually got to where we needed to be but we then found out the bowling alley only opens at 2 pm. Things open so late here. All the stores in the Kwai Fong mall don't open until 11 am. The later the better, I guess. So we went bowling and I scored 138 my first round, then 101 my second round. My first score wasn't too bad. My second score could have been a bit better. Then after bowling we went back to the Church to watch Mulan. I really love that movie. I can sing to most of the songs. Okay so here is the low down on 2 of the most important things you wanted to know. Okay,in answer to your first question, how do we knock on doors? We don't! Well. . . not exactly. Everyone in Hong Kong except for rich people like Jackie Chan, live in apartment buildings. These are called "chyuhns". The English word means like an apartment complex. Many apartment buildings have security guards and they will not allow us to knock on doors, however, if we discover that a building doesn't have a security guard in front of it, we can knock on those apartment doors. So in order to find people we set up district finds. We have a pretty big board with pictures on it. So we find a spot where we want to set up the board, such as Kwai Hing. We go there a lot. A lot of people go by there. After the board is set up we just go off and start talking to people. We say something like, "Hi, how are you? Where are you going?" Most people say home or work. Then we tell them who we are and ask if they have seen missionaries before. Some people respond with "yes they have seen missionaries" and others say "no". Then we tell them that we teach people about a special message. Either we tell them about why we are here on this earth or we tell them about why there are so many churches or even how to be happy with our families. The idea is to bring these people back to the Church to teach them more gospel information. If they don't want to hear more we give them a pamphlet about either the Restoration or The Plan of Salvation. We commit them to read it, then we see if we can get their phone number. Some people say yes while others say no. It is different each time. If we get their phone number we call them back 24-48 hours later. If we don't get their phone number we hope they will call us. Sometimes people know who we are and tell us to go away. I don't understand yet a whole lot of Cantonese so I don't know when they are telling me to go away. Not understanding sometimes helps.

Okay,now to answer your second question, who are our investigators. Well. . . we have several. We cover two wards so we have quite a few investigators.

In Kwai Fong Ward we have:

Kitty: 49 years old, 2 children (all married). No grandchildren. Dresses like she is 20 years old. Knows the Church is true. Has a rabbit, likes music and comes to FHE. Most of the time she comes to Church. Heavenly Father wants her to get baptized. She and God both know that. Kitty is awesome. I like her a lot.

A-Ring: She is 19 years old and is in her last year of high school (form 5). She is friends with Coco. Coco is a member. A-Ring is waiting till her parents give her permission to get baptized. She and we might be waiting a while. A-Ring comes to English class, FHE and occasionally comes to Church. She is short like me.

Rita: We found her in English class. She is between 17-19 years old. When we first talked to her about the Church she wasn't interested. Now she wants to know more. She has a good memory and can remember a lot about the lessons we taught her.

In the Cheung Sha Wan Ward we have many investigators too:

Apple: She is really funny and likes to wear a dress when we teach her, however when she comes to Church we wears pants. She is 30 something years old. She is learning English from us because our English class is too hard for her.

A-King: She is 40 something and lives with her mother. She is married and has a son. I have seen her husband only once and her son a few times. A-King just needs to come to Church for 3 Sundays in a row and then she can be baptized. She always has to work on Sundays. A-King's mother comes to Church more than she does.

Mable and Rachel: They are 2 friends who come to our English class. They are 14 and 16 years old. The Elders found these girls. These two girls ask a lot of questions and they also hear a lot of anti-Mormon stuff. They don't know yet if the Church is true. They do come to Church though.

Katie (Rachel's sister): The Elders found Katie as well. She is 17 years old and wants to learn so much about the Church. She likes what we are teaching her. She speaks a little English. We would like to teach her more English. She follows through on all the things that we tell her to do. She also comes to Church.

So this is the list of people you wanted to know about. Anyway, hope everything is good for you and the ward.

Love Rachel,
Love ya Mom and Dad

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dear Kirkland Ward. . .

July 6th, 2009

I have been here 9 weeks now and I have started to notice how much my testimony has grown. There is so much more I believe, there is so much more I know is true. As a missionary I don't have much. I'm not rich, I don't have a million dollars to spend wherever I want, whenever I want. I'm not smart. I didn't go to Harvard or Oxford Universities. I'm not good looking. I didn't get a face lift or plastic surgery done. I'm not famous, no one really knows me. I figure I don't have much to give the people of Hong Kong, but I have the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. I may not have much at all, but I have the most important thing I can give. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not compare to a million dollars, a fancy car or a big house. Worldly riches don't compare to being spiritually rich in blessings and families. The Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be measured against a university education. Nothing compares to the knowledge we gain about Christ or about His gospel. Nothing compares to beauty says the world. It's true that nothing compares to spiritual beauty that you get by living as a disciple of Christ. The world again will tell you it doesn't matter who you are, the world won't care until you are famous. Famous is all that matters to the world. According to God it doesn't matter who you are, because in the eyes of God you are already famous; that is how much He loves us. What could seriously compare to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Really there are a lot of things I don't have. According to the world I am poor. However, according to God I am richer than the most rich, the most educated, the most pretty or the most famous people. I know the world may believe I have nothing to give, but I believe I have the most important thing I can give. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I have His gospel. I don't have much to give, but I can give what I know. I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I wrote this huge paragraph in my journal one day. This is what I believe and know to be true. This is how much I have changed and grown in 9 weeks in Hong Kong. I know there is no other place Heavenly Father wants me to be right now.

Love Sister Simkovits (Sam ji Muih)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To My Family . . .

June 18th, 2009 Thursday

Hey, alright so about me. Well... we were supposed to have a baptism, but that won't be happening. A-King decided that work was more important than her baptism. :( Anyway, not much to say there. We wake up at 7 am and go to bed at 11 pm. It's different here. It's even more different in Macau. They have everything a half hour later. Weird! Keep praying for Karena. Her parent just don't understand her and we want her to come to Church soooooo badly. Pray that her parent's hearts will be softened. The weather her is 32 degrees with 75-85% humidity. It's not too bad, it's like Mtl. Yup, I am starting to eat some interesting things. I ate some pieces of vegetable at the restaurant we went to the other day. Not too bad. Anyway not much to say here. If there is anything else you want to know let me know.

Love Rachel
PS Tell Jonathan I say i and tell him to write to me (dork!) LOL
PPS Tell Dad I say Happy Father's Day

Monday, June 15, 2009

More news from the mission field . . .

June 11, 2009 1:19 pm Thursday

So you got to talk with Brother Jesse (MTC branch presidency). That is great. Ya him and his wife are amazing. They are just wonderful people. He really loves the missionaries, and I'm sure he talks a lot about us.

So my companion and I are getting along pretty well. We had something this week called 24's. We get to switch companions to see what other people are like on their missions. I got to go with Sister Chiu. She is a native to Hong Kong. She is really quiet and really awesome. Anyway, back to the topic. There are a few differences of opinion, between me and my companion, but in general it's ok.

About my eating. I had to eat chestnuts last week. Uh... those are... uh... well... interesting. It was different. No different than what we have at home. I also tried some watermelon. It looked more like a slurpee, but nonetheless it was watermelon in a glass. Not half bad. I have to send you a picture of something. I think you tried pineapple bread but you didn't kow what it was. When you see the picture you will recognize it, I hope.

So my Cantonese is slowly progressing. I am doing better. I had to practice a lesson with the district leader and he said I am doing very well. I'm glad I am doing so well. Anyway, ya the more I use the language, the more it comes to me. I am actually starting to forget some Spanish and some French. I just don't have room in my head for 4 languages. AHHHHH! CRAZY! LOL! I am trying very hard to say all I can in a discussion. It's hard but Heavenly Father helps me when I need it. I may just take your suggestion and fast and pray really hard for myself.

We get to teach Connie this week again, I think. One day she will understand what we are teaching her. Until then I don't know what to do. I love Karina and want her to come to Church, even if her parents won't let her because of her work schedule. Ya and Candy is progressing. She actually walked into the Church building, saw some missionaries and wanted to learn more. That was amazing. We don't get to go from door to door. You kinda can't because everyone lives in apartments. It's harder for us. Yup we do companion study, language study and personal study. It's all so very helpful.

Yes, I got the e-mail with the e-mails in it. Thank you. Anyway, got to go see you later.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

More About Investigators . . .

June 4th, 2009 Hong Kong date

Alright here goes all the answers to your questions. The 2 investigators are amazing. A King is ready for baptism but the ward mission leader changed her date and didn't inform the missionaries about this. The ward mission leader didn't even ask if it was ok. However, he asked A King and she is okay with this. She has waited a while to be baptized and she can't wait any longer. She needs to be a member NOW! :'( So frustrating. Geez. Anyhow, Connie came to our lesson we had for her and she walked in very sad. She is always sad. I don't get her. We taught her the lesson on the 4th Article of Faith. Well, when we went over repentance she didn't get it. She said, not word for word, but in this way "I am perfect, I don't need to repent." Well! Let me tell you, we all need to repent, whether we want to or not. My companion said it was a good thing I didn't really understand too much. Sister Mander just got frustrated with Connie. Connie is a good person, but she needs to learn a few things. Sister Mander then told Connie again that she needed to repent. She said she had nothing to repent of. Sister Mander told her to go ask Heavenly Father what she needs to repent of. CRAZY! Keuih haih Chisin! (That means "it's crazy" in Cantonese). We just don't know what to do with Connie. You know? Candy is doing great. She is in Mainland China right now. We still pray for her. We also have this one other person named Karina. She is very special. She is under the age of 18 and is investigating the Church and loves it. However, her parents agreed that after she finished her exams she could go to Church with us. Fat chance of that. Her mother made her get a job. She works on Sundays and on Tuesdays (the day we have English class). So no Karina at Church or English class. What is this world coming to. SERIOUSLY! :'(

For P-day today we got to go to Hong Kong Island and take a ferry to some other island, I don't know where. We went hiking and went through this really cool cave. So very awesome! We also got to walk around the island and saw some interesting things. There was a beach with lots of bugs and spiders and a tree with caterpillars all over it. Oh, the best part was all the butterflies. They were everywhere, and not just some her and there, but like all over the ground and in many trees and bushes. It was so neat.

Yesterday was mission conference. I learned soooooo much. President and Sister Van Dam talked to us about so many things. It was really spiritual. I had to introduce myself. Which I did. I had no choice. I got to do it in English though. Not too bad. Oh, I also want you to check something up on the computer. I want you to read this talk, it's called "Beware of Pride." I realized I was prideful and that is why when you and I go shopping and it turns into a mess, it's cause I am prideful. I apologize for those moments that we have. We shouldn't be fighting with each other. Anyway, things are great. I'll let you know more about our schedule when I have more time.

See you later,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Missionary Work in Hong Kong . . .

May 28, 2009, Thursday

Hey, so everything is great. Okay so about my apartment. It is awesome. There are 3 girls and me in there, 2 companionships basically. So the area of my mission is called Kwai Fong. We cover 2 wards here, Kwai Fong and Cheung Sha Wan. They are like 20 minutes away from each other. So I have met some awesome missionaries here. They are amazing people and are so dedicated to helping the people of Hong Kong. Along with teaching people in Cantonese, we get to do an English class. It is awesome. I LOVE English class, since I don't speak the language very well. We also have FHE on Mondays. That is fun, we do that in Cantonese. We have a 10-20 minute lesson and than a game and then junk food. Well, not all of it is junk food. We get some fruit too. But we usually have something chocolate. Oh by the way, this last Sunday we went to the home of the Bishop of the Kwai Fong ward and he served us food. Way good food. Plenty of rice for everyone. We also got to take some amazing photos from his apartment windows. He kind of lives up on a mountain. He is kinda rich. He lives in a nice apartment. When I say nice I mean the size of the apartment we had in College Terrace in Utah. Here everyone lives in an apartment. There are just apartments after apartments. It's crazy. Anyway, if you are rich you can get a better apartment than someone else. The people here don't have amazing houses, so when they see my house they always say "hou leng" which means really pretty, then they tell me it is big. I guess compared to the people here, my house is big. I'm learning to appreciate the things here, because they don't have much. We have so much. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ and we have money and food and a good roof over our heads. Some people here don't have all these things. I'm sorry for them. I can't offer the people here much, but I can give them the greatest I have to offer. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know it can do amazing things for these people. Ok, so about my investigators. We have like 10 or something. We have 2 baptismal dates set for 2 people. It is amazing. We really have not had to go contacting (finding). I love all the investigators. If you would like you can pray for Connie and A King. Both these people are amazing. I'm so excited for them. We also have Candy and she is awesome too. If you would like to pray for these 3 people that would be sooo awesome. Thank you so much. :) Anyway, I am doing well. The food here is fattening and I am gaining weight. So within the past month I will be going out on another P-day and getting some new clothes that fit me. Anyway, the pineapple bread is what is making me fat. It doesn't have pineapple in it, it's just called that. So ya, other than that things are good. Talk to you later. Love you lots and lots, miss you

P.S. share the letter with the Elders. I'm sure they would love to know about Hong Kong. Tell the new Greeny I say "hi". Also if there is anything they want to know about Hong Kong they can ask me. I'll answer all questions.

Another Day in Hong Kong . . .

May 21, 2009, Thursday

So this week is interesting. Just ask Dad. He got the e-mail with the low down. I told Sister Mander you said hi. She says hi back. So the weather here is about 25-30 degrees C and it's 85-90% humidity. Crazy huh? We have air conditioning so it's not soooo bad. So how is the perfume coming along. That's very interesting. If I were to wear perfume here the bugs would bite me more often, I guess. Ya, we have had several discussions and they are fun, also a little difficult because I don't speak the language very well. I keep getting to introduce my family, my house and some of my friends. It's fun. I can at least do that. So at church on Sunday, some people were fighting over where I should sit. Each person wanted me to sit with them. I finally sat down and called it good. For now when I teach a lesson I use my Cantonese as much as possible even if I can't say much. It still helps to add a testimony and double testify. Ya the food is good here. We eat a lot at home so I get to pick what I want to eat. Anyway, I got the brown envelope you sent me. I loved it. Thank you. ;) I will e-mail Jonathan and tell him to check his e-mail.

Love Rachel

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What a Wonderful Day in Hong Kong . . .

Message sent May 14th, 2009 @ 7:31 am Hong Kong Time, which is May 13th, Wednesday 7:31 pm Montreal time

Just thought I should let you all know I am in Hong Kong now and I love it. The people are amazing and the weather is
soooooo hot out here. I got here safely and everything is awesome. My mission president, President Van Dam and his wife are so amazing and so king. I love them soooo much. I am sad they are going home in July. This is there home and they love Hong Kong. Anyway, today is P-day and it's great. I met so many missionaries last night when I arrived. It's so wonderful. I have a teaching appointment tonight with a woman. I'm sure this will be fun. I am getting used to the fattening food. I just ate some pineapple bread, and though it has no pineapple in it, it tastes great. Some lady on the MTR (subway) ignored us and started to talk on her cell phone. I guess she doesn't like missionaries. I went to sleep yesterday at 7:30 pm and woke up at 6:30 the next morning. I will never be able to sleep like this again, that's for sure. So, I got my first companion yesterday and she is awesome. She is from Melbourne, Australia. Her name is Sister Mander. She is really sweet and kind. She is always willing to help me. It's great. Anyway the city is really neat and I love it here. Hope you have a great day.
See you later.

Love you lots and lots,
Sam ji Muih (AKA Little Missionary

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Leaving for Hong Kong in a few days . . .

Thanks for the e-mail. I don't have much time to write but I will try and tell you something quick. So we get on the shuttle at 5:30 pm and we get to the airport at about 6:30 pm. Then we get into the airport and we may have some time to call. If I don't have time I will try and call when we get to California. We are going to Sacramento. So when we get there I will try and caLL you from California. We will see how much time we have. I don't know. I will call somehow. Even if it is for 30 minutes. I may even be allowed to call you in Taiwan. I don't know what the time difference is from Taiwan to Montreal. Please find out for me. So if the time difference is okay I will try and call you. Someone find out Dad, Mom, whoever. Oh by the way, can you arrange it so that I can call Jonathan. Let the people at Jonathan's school know he is getting a very important phone call from his sister. If you could do that, it would be awesome. He also needs to know I will be calling him on Monday. Let him know, please.

And by the way I sprained my hand yesterday in gym. I was playing soccer baseball and the ball came flying at me and hit my hand. SO I'm in a bit of pain depending on what I do. It's ok now. It hurts when I don't move it. Anyway, I will e-mail more stuff later. Oh and I also got the thing of brownies you sent me. I did share them with lots of people. 2 other districts plus my own got brownies. Don't worry I got a piece too. A big piece I might add. I also got the package with the tape and the chocolate in it. Just an added note, in the future please don't send me chocolate. A. it makes me sick and B. it gives me cavities. I had to go to the dentist this week to check out my teeth. I thought I had cavities. I didn't, thank heavens, but my whitening toothpaste is giving me sensitive teeth. SO I need to get a good toothpaste without whitener in it. So if you could send me a good toothpaste to HK, I would really appreciate that. Thanks. I will try and send more later. No promises. Anyway, I will try and write you all later, have a great day.

Oh and by the way I need one more favor. When I call on Monday please have paper and pencil with you and your computer on. Open up to my hotmail. I need to e-mail some people, whose e-mails I do not have. Please do that for me thanks, love you LOTS!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So many things have happened . . .

April 22, 2009

Hey, how is it going? So many things have happened since I last e-mailed you. Yes, I got all the things in the dearelder box such as the stress ball and the Martinelli's and cinnamon bun or roll (whichever it is). I got everything including the CANDY! Everything is great. I also got the Easter card you sent me with the bunny in it and the Bee card. Everything is super pretty. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH. So next week sometime, my district and I will be getting our flight plans. We leave in 2 and a half weeks. Feels like I have been here for ages, only it has been 9 weeks. So today is P-day and we're going to the Temple later. Should be fun. Sometimes I accidently fall asleep. I don't know why I get so tired in the Temple. :(. Anyway about your dearelder you sent me, about the Lorna Vanderhaegue stuff. I actually would like you to send me Omega Veg, but sent it to Hong Kong. I can't carry everything to Hong Kong. I only have so much room you know. So if there is anything you want to send me send it to HK instead. It will take a while for it to get there anyway. I am also going to the clothing store here at the MTC and getting another skirt. My skirts and shirts and things are getting ruined. I ripped a shirt the other day trying to take it off. So I will get a new shirt sometime, probably when I get to HK. This black one we bought mom, that looks like a turtleneck with short sleeves, got ripped. Man, why does this happen to me? :'( ICK! Anyway other than that everything is good. Oh by the way, I went to the health center the other day. I have been having these weird head problems. I get this occasional pulse that runs through the left side of my head and down into my jaw. I went to the doctor and he said it was a tick. I don't know. He said it was from stress and nerves and other things like that. I don't know if I buy that answer. Hey mom, go to Ki and ask someone there. I think there is something not right with me. It's weird. Anyway everything else is great. I'm eating and am now up to 107 point something. I may weigh more than 108, which is the most I ever weighed. Anyway, remember I will only be at the MTC for another 2 and a half weeks, so if you send me a dearelder send it soon, before May 11, 2009, cause after that I can't get them in HK, they don't send them over there. Oh and by the way, HK gets regular mail over there, there is no special requirements or anything like that, at least as far as I know. Anyway have an awesome day. By the way if you could get me Jonathan's e-mail I would really like that. I'm sending him some stuff. I always try and send him a talk about something. This weeks theme for him is school. So I am sending him something to do with school.

Anyway, have an awesome day, love you lots <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 ---(these are hearts)

PS don't forget I will be calling you in the airport on May 11, 2009 after 5:30 before 9:30 pm. <3

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Life Couldn't be Better. . .

April 15th, 2009, Wednesday

Good Afternoon,

Alright so in answer to the questions you asked. First of all I have had several companions. I started out with Sister Lemmon and Sister Peck, who are going to different missions. Sister Peck is in Hong Kong and Sister Lemmon is gone to the Philippines. She is in Tacloban. I got along with both of these girls. Then I got Sister Webb and Sister Miller as my companions. They are awesome people and we got along super well, in fact so well she even dragged me out of bed when I didn't want to get up in the mornings. LOL! Now I have Sister McLaughlin, and she is awesome too. We get along really well.

Second question, the Cantonese language is coming along well. I am learning so much and yet I find at times it can be difficult. I always remember why I am doing this and then I'm ok. So the people who teach us everything we need to know here are sisters for me. Yup, female teachers. It's cool. One teacher went on her mission to Hong Kong and the other went to California. The one who went to California is originally from Hong Kong. Her name is Sister Burby. The one who went to Hong Kong is Sister Slad. Sister Burby is eight months pregnant and her husband is trying to get into law school. Both my teachers are awesome people and they believe in me and that I will have a great mission. I love both my teachers and they love me. They are so nice. Actually one of the other teachers who teaches Cebwano, in the classroom two doors down from me, comes over and helps me organize my binder that keeps all my notes and things. He is amazing too. He has helped me so much.

Third question, YES, I found and read the letter that was in my suitcase. I loved it. Thank you for your testimony, it helped me a lot. I truly appreciate it. I got the Easter card and the box with the food in it. The half-way present was awesome. I get everything you send me. The box from dearelder had a lot of stuff in it, mostly candy, but I also got some martinelli's in there too. I love sparkling cider, it's so tasty. Anyway, I am sending you my notes from the devotional we had yesterday. They will be in a letter with some other stuff. These notes were taken from the devotional by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I have to admit he is an awesome speaker. I hope I can one day speak with as much conviction and love as he does. He is powerful. If you saw his General Conference talk then you know what I am talking about. Anyway, I am sending some pictures in that package, as well as something for the Florians. I hope they like it. Oh by the way please get cousin Janet's e-mail, I accidently lost it. Get me her address too, I would appreciate it. Anyway, have a great day, love you lots.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New missionaries, temple, gaining weight & food, etc. . . .

April 8, 2009, Wednesday 9:23 am

Hi Daddy and Mommy,

Everything is going great? How is home and work? I have had a good week, not much to write about though. We get new missionaries today. They are going to Hong Kong too, and will be in our branch as well. Very exciting. We also get to go to the temple every Wednesday. So I'm going again today. Also new to go to the bookstore and get a few things. I also need to go to the clothing store and get a new skirt. One of my skirts does not fit me anymore. Ya, I've gained weight. I am now 106. If I gain 2.1 more pounds I will weigh more than I ever did. I hope I break the record. Anyway the food here is not bad. When you and Mom come on your mission you will like it here. They usually have 3 lines with different things to eat, at both. They have fruit all the time, and boy are the strawberries good. I say that from personal experience that the strawberries are GOOD! :) Anyway, they also have a wrap bar where you can get fajita type stuff. You can put just about anything in the wrap. You name it, they probably have it. Chicken, raisins, carrots, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes. They are way good, so I hear. Never actually had a wrap here. They also have soup and salad, which is also good, but I wouldn't know. A lot of the time things can be greasy and then the food is not good. Oh, they also have cereal. They have the sugary stuff as well as mini wheats and other stuff. They have grapefruit too, so don't worry. You can still eat here what you eat at home. Promise. So yesterday we had service, just as we always do on Tuesdays. This time I got to clean the seniors residence. Ok, seriously, it's like a mini hotel. The senior couples get a bed, a phone, a sink, a bathroom, and a medicine cabinet all in their one room. Neat hugh? They treat you like royalty. Anway, got to go get breakfast, I'm hungry. I'll write more later.

Love Rachel
P.S. I try and eat healthy here, but sometimes I let the sugar slip by.

9:53 am

Ok, so did you prepare questions for conference? They tell us at the MTC to have questions we want to ask so when we go to Conference they will be answered. If you didn't prepare some then think about it for next time. It will help you out so much. Anyway, they talked about a house and how to clean it. I was sitting there listening and then the thought came into my head, did my mother ask how to clean her house better? LOL. By the way I get EVERY dearelder you send me and I love them all. Can't remember all the questions you wanted to know, but ask more and I can respond back this time. Sorry about that. We are so busy here. So tell me more about home in the next dearelder. By the way the dearelder website has a way to buy and send cookies. LOVE cookies. Oh and one last thing, good news. I can call you when I get to the airport to go to Hong Kong in 5 weeks, so don't worry. It's okay to phone you the MTC said we could do that. It's alright, not breaking any rules. Send me Jonathan's phone number at school so I can call him. Hope you have a great day.

Love Rachel

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Never a dull moment at the MTC! . . .

April 1, 2009, Wednesday

Alright, so I don't know what to tell you this week. I mean so many things have happened. Sister Peck, my companion, left for Hong Kong on Monday. Sad day, I thought I was going to cry but I didn't. I admit I do miss her to some degree. Now it's just me and the Elders. Next Wednesday we will get a new set of 5 Elders in the other Cantonese district. We will also get one other Elder in the Cebwano district. This Elder is going to the Philippines. Apparently he is Tongan or something. Polynesians and Tongans are awesome and nice people. Anyway, how are things at home? I thought Jonathan was going to go to UVU. I mean, why SUU? Nothing wrong with the school, just curious as to why he picked what he did. You know? Anyway, so I realized that the burgers here are making me sick. They make me feel slow and tired all the time. I kinda stopped eating this food. I now eat a lot of chicken. Oh by the way, funny story. So the other day we were in our classroom praying, me and the Elders. So Elder Loong is praying (things always happen when he prays) and some huge Elder walks by and lets it rip. Not a silent but deadly, but a loud RIIIIPPPP! So as we were praying we were laughing so hard. We stopped the prayer and then laughed for another 30 seconds then continued on. Another funny story. So yesterday, the Elders and I were at the devotional. We have devotionals from General Authorities every Tuesday and also on Sunday. The Sunday devotionals are not from General Authorities, they are from people who work at the MTC. Anyway, I'm sitting with the Elders when all of a sudden the worst thing happened. Someone lets it rip. This time this person does a silent but deadly fart. Man, I thought I was the only one who could smell this since I am closer to the ground. Well I turn to one of the Elders who is 6 foot 3 inches in height and he says he smells it too. I tell him it's not me. He says ok. Eventually, the person in front of us farts again. We figure it is someone who is sitting in the row in front of us. So after about the 4th or 5th fart the Elder sitting next to me says "Geez, stop letting it rip." Man I think it embarrassed the person who was farting. Anyway, just some funny stories you might want to share with Jonathan. Hope you have a great day. Tell Jonathan to look in the mailbox at school, I left him some mail. Hope he gets it or has already gotten it. Tell Dad I say hi and thanks for the dearelder. It was super sweet of him.

Love you lots,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Keep those cards & letters coming . . .

March 25th, 2009 Wednesday

So I get to my e-mail and discover that there is no mail from my family in there. So distressing. Just kidding. LOL. I got a dearelder earlier in the week from Mom and Sister Davidson. Anyway, I hope the Bishop has been reading the e-mails and letters I send every so often. Anyway, we had a devotional last night and everyone in my district (same people in my Cantonese class) got pumped up with the gospel. Way cool! I get fired up a lot. It's really nice. I love it. The devotional speaker was so good I listened more than I took notes. I was afraid I would miss something. I just enjoy every minute of the things that go on here. Also this week I watched a devotional that the MTC had recorded. It was called "The Miracle of a Mission." The general authority who spoke at this devotional figured that there was someone in the audience who felt like they wanted to leave the MTC and stop their mission. Well he spoke to the audience about that. He said don't have regrets and don't take the mission for granted and don't leave. He also said that it was the best thing someone can do for themselves. By the way, I am praying that when you and Mom get to Hong Kong you will witness a miracle. That would be great to have you see that. Anyway, keep sending dearelders. Everything else is good, love you lots.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

More News From The MTC . . .

March 2009 Wednesday

You know I think it's amazing how you can't see what I'm doing and don't know much, only what I tell you and yet you send the right letters to me. I guess being in tune with the Spirit really help. I sent Jonathan a funny card about the MTC. Just thought he could use a letter too. Please make sure he writes me. I need all the letters I can get. Letters are nice. They make me feel so happy while I am away. Tom and Sarah Davidson sent me a dearelder. It was really nice of them. I didn't expect it either, that's what made it so great. So is there anything specific you want to know about the MTC? Here is something neat. Wr have a General Authority come every Tuesday. They teach us so much about missionary work. We had Elder Kikuchi (Jpanese) come talk to us last week. This week we had Elder Hamula from the 70. His talk was harder for me to understand then Elder Kikuchi's. Both talks were good though. I got to go to the temple this week. I couldn't go last week because my companion Sister Peck was sick. She is way better now. Today is the 2nd out of 12 P-days I will have while here at the MTC. Most people are only in the MTC for anywhere from 3-9 weeks. We are lucky, we need way more help I guess. I'm picking up Cantonese at a slow but steady rate. For now I can bear my testimony, pray, and say random words like Heavenly Father and I know that. . . It's way awesome here. The Spirit is amazing, however I hate sitting in class. I feel like I have ADD each time I have to sit. DRIVES ME NUTS! LOL!
The food here is not bad. We have had many different things to eat such as burgers, wraps, cereal, bread, fries, soda, Cordon Bleu chicken and bagels. I find a lot of the food here really fatty. We eat 3 times a day but everyone get hungry in between, so we all go to the book store to get food.

I'M sending you and Dad a bunch of pictures of me and my district. There are two awesome elders. They are amazing people. By the way I talk to Hamish here all the time. I also see Patrick too. Elder Macpherson leaves next week. Elder Carpenter and I are STILL HERE! After 12 weeks it will be nice to get out of here. Anyway have a great day!

And remember Heavenly Father loves you!

Love Rachel
AKA Sister Simkovits

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A very interesting week...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hi Mom and Dad,

So this week has been very interesting. Lots of stuff has gone on. Yesterday, we had a general authority come and visit. We have one every Tuesday. However, yesterday a very different person came to the MTC. Usually it's someone from the 70 or something like that. This time you will never guess who it was. I was hoping for the prophet but, sadly it was not. It was L. Tom Perry. He is an amazing speaker. He knows a lot and he served a mission to what they call the northern states. Ya all up there was one big mission. Now it's like a million missions. Anyway, then on Sunday last week we had the Beesons come and speak to us. They work here at the MTC and they taught us about music and it was amazing. They said that even if the oeople don't know what language you are singing in, they can, none the less, feel the spirit anyway. Oh by the way dad, the words have not come out of my ears yet. They actually keep coming out of my mouth, kinda weird. Anyway, everything is going well. Well...except one thing. I am trying to get along with my companion. We got into a small dispute. We fixed it, no biggie. I just felt like I always have to be careful about what I say and how I say it. So Sister Lemmons leaves today at 9:20 am for her plane ride to the Philippines, which is where her mission is. She flies to California, then to Taiwan with a 10 hour lay over, then to the Philippines. Crazy huh? Oh by the way I got the package you sent me. I forgot to tell you that. I got all the stuff I accidently left behind.

Oh by the way when L. Tom Perry spoke yesterday he said they have a great need for senior couples. I read an article that I am sending you guys about senior couples. Super good article. They say that because seniors go on missions the llives of all their posterity will be blessed. So their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that are not active, will one day become active again. ALso as a senior couple serves a mission they are also setting a good example for the rest of the family. It is truly amazing. You never know what could happen because you went on a mission. Anyway, you will read the article when it get there. Everything else is great. If you have any questions, remember to send a I love getting those things. They are awesome.

Hope you have a great day, love your little missionary girl,
Bye Momme, bye Daddy

What's it like at the MTC?...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hey, thanks for letting me know what goes on at home. Things seem to be going good for you guys. That is way awesome. So mom wanted to know about my companion. I actually have 2 companions. I'm a solo sister which means I am the only female in the district/class. So about my companions. They are both from Idaho. Sister Lemmons is going to the Philippines and SIster Peck is going to Hong Kong at the end of the month. I will still be here until the 25 of May or something like that. These sister companions I have are way awesome, super nice girls. I love them! Let mom see this e-mail, print it off or something. But please make sure she sees it. So I have not eaten like a cow though sometimes I wonder. I have actually gained 3 pounds so far. I mean you eat and then sit and then eat and then sit and then eat some and then sit again. It's CRAZY! Some people say they lost weight, I don't think so. I gained weight. Mom might be happy about that. I'm so skinny minny I kinda need the extra weight. Anyway, I listened to some of the music I had, at night before bed. It's super good stuff. Oh and about the MTC. At the moment I don't hate it or like it. Here is why. I love the spirit you feel here and the amount of spiritual learning you get, however, I find that sitting in a class for 12 hours a day could drive someone nuts. Seriously! Ya so this week I am working on goals. They make us set some every week. Goals as individuals and as a district and with the language and everything. SOOOOOO many goals. I have set the goal to be patient. I expect people to be patient with me so I should be patient with everyone else right? Ya, I need to work on this goal. I think next week I will work on love and charity or something. Everything else is way good and I love it here. The book store is super fun. I get mail occasionally. Make sure Mom writes me more often. I really appreciate the notes even if I can only write back on P-day (Wednesday). ANd yes, we have 6 to a room. Kind of a busy place. Everything else is great. We have a branch presidency for Sundays here. The people are way awesome. One of the members of the presidency went on a mission to Quebec. That was like back in the day when the Kirkland ward did not exist. I think back then the Elder lived in Dorval (I think that's what he said). Anyway the people here are awesome. I am having, though, a hard time getting along with my teachers. I think it's too much estrogen in the room. Who knows. Anyway, I have 2 companions in the classroom. They are elders and I get to be around them all the time. I can do lunch and dinner with them and go for walks and stuff. Way nice guys. One is from San Jose, California. He is a convert of 4 years I think. The other elder is from Highland Utah. That is the same place Bishop Coleman was from. They are great guys. Both of them have Chinese backgrounds. I have the disadvantage because no one in our family speaks Chinese of any kind. :( Bummer. Anyway, everything is way good and I love everything here, except for class. Hope everything is going good for you. ANyway, send me some more letters, I love them.

Have a great day.
Love Rachel

First week at the MTC ...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hey Mom and Dad,

So this is my first week here in the MTC and everything is great. I admit I cried a bit the first few days. Then everything got better. I even cried on Sunday. It's very hard for me here. All the constant learning. However, eventually you get used to it. So yesterday was Tuesday and we had a devotional and Elder Kikuchi spoke to us. He is in the Quorum of the 70 and he is Japanese. He is an awesome speaker. Even though I have only been here a week I can already feel my testimony growing. I can see where I need to improve and where I am doing well. Things are great. The food is not bad. I also found out yesterday that I gained about 2-3 pounds or so just from being here. I mean all you do is eat and sit all day. It's not too bad. The food is ok. By the way I still have not touched a vegetable yet. Maybe one day I will. Oh here is something neat. I can see how everything I have done has led me up to this moment in the MTC and for my mission. Everything I have done really has helped me. I mean cleaning the church at home. Ya, that's prepared me too. Weird huh? Anyway, hope things are going good for you guys and Jonathan. Have an awesome day and please write me letters as often as possible. I would really like that. Oh and by the way if you want to send me e-mails faster just go to Dad, you can go there and set it up or mom can. Either way it's the fast way to send letters to me, but just while I am in the MTC.

Thanks so much, love you guys

Rachel AKA Sam ji Muih (this is my Chinese name, there are supposed to be tone marks on my name, don't know how to write them)