First Week Out of the MTC

Monday, September 26, 2016

WHATS UP FAMILY. I would say good morning but it’s like 11 pm in Idaho so that doesn’t work for you. Just about done with the first week in Vietnam, and it is CRAZY. This place is insane, and probably the most different from America than any other place! Where to start where to start.
So our first day, Schley and I stayed the night at a senior couples’ home, the Van Wagenens. They are super super nice, from utah, been here 4 months. The the next day I was assigned my companions, Chi Ha and Chi Nghi, who are THE BEST. I love them so much! Chi Nghi is from Texas, full Vietnamese, and was serving in Georgia (9 months) when they gave her the new mission assignment. She’s been here about 2 months or something. Chi Ha is from Ha Noi and doesn’t speak English, so she’s learning English while I’m learning Vietnamese! They are both 20 (Nghi just turned 20 on Thursday) but Chi Ha is SO TINY I feel like I’m talking to like Katie or Sarah. She’s so cute.
So my first night at the apartment where I’m now living… Was definitely different. For one, I killed a cockroach. Never done that before. It ran out onto the kitchen floor right after we finished planning. Haven’t seen any more since, so that’s good. For our meals: breakfast is usually like yogurt and fruit or something. The yogurt here is white, really good, and has like chunks of white jello or something in it. The bananas are about the size of my pinky! So I eat like 3 in one sitting. HAHAHA. Also mom, when we make like scrambled eggs or something, I have to use a METAL SPATULA on a METAL PAN. I’m cringing the whole time because I always here your voice: “NEVER use metal on metal, it will ruin the pan!” And no Dad, the drawers with the pots and pans are not organized like how you like them at home. We just throw them into whatever drawer we want.  Lunch is usually street food. Our rules are that the restaurant has to have at least 3 walls and LOOK decently clean. These places that we eat at are so funny. You walk up, they hand you a tray and scoop some rice on it, and then you just point to the dishes you want - kinda like a buffet. Except I have no idea what I’m eating… It all kinda tastes the same I guess? I haven’t eaten anything that’s bad yet! But when I’m trying to choose meat.. I have no idea if I’m eating pork or beef or chicken or even dog. Who knows. For dinner… Sometimes we eat dinner and sometimes we are too busy planning or biking or something. OH but THURSDAY NIGHT MOM YOU WILL FLIP OUT. MOM AND LINDSAY. Thursday night, for Nghi’s birthday, we went out to eat bom ba hue (I have no idea how to spell things) and then for dessert we had che chuoi. It was pretty much the best. So good.
The first day that we got here, I had to start biking. Biking here is INSANE. It’s like a real life game of frogger. If you were to look up Hanoi on Google Earth, multiply the traffic by like 5. So here I am, just pedaling away. with a thousand cars honking at me and motorbikes buzzing all over the place. To think that at some point I’m going to have to be the senior companion leading someone through this is insane. Biking is so fun, it’s so exciting. Haven’t gotten hit yet, so that’s good.
Saturday night we had a lesson at the church, and then afterwards we stayed behind to clean for church the next day. As we were cleaning, I started to hear these loud knocks on the windows and I thought someone was trying to get in. After awhile though, the knocks got more frequent and it started POURING RAIN. We had called the elders to come help us clean, and by the time they got there they looked like they had jumped into a swimming pool! The rain is AMAZING it’s so loud! I took a video of it but I’m not sure if it will upload. It’s so cool, everything I thought the rain here would be like.
Now for the weather… It is SO HOT. SO SO SO HOT. I mean, I can deal with it, but heat mixed with humidity is something else. Most of the time I show up to places just all sweaty and gross, but it’s fine because everyone else looks like that too. Except for Chi Ha, I don’t think she sweats.
OH YEAH So right now I’m serving in Ha Noi. Schley and Staheli got sent down to Ho Chi Minh, but me and Ray are still here. So there are 7 missionaries in Ha Noi right now: Me, Nghi, Ha, Nguyen, Toan, Toa, and Khiem (ray). All of the msisionaries here already spoke Vietnamese, and all of the elders were previously serving in Cambodia.
Side note: Mom, can you be checking my FB just in case I get any random requests? On Wednesday night we went to english class, and 3 girls asked me for my facebook, hahaha.
LOL SPEAKING OF ENGLISH CLASS. When I was there, I was helping them practice their english. And one group of girls asked me: “Do you have boyfriend?” and it was in that exact accent as the nail salon people it was SO FUNNY. And when I said no, they said “why not, you so pretty”. HAHAHAH DYING.
OKAY WELL. As of right now, I think I’m doing good! I keep having little freak outs (not out loud of course) because this language is SO ROUGH. It sounds completely different than in the MTC!!! Especially when girls talk becasue I’m not used to female voices. I keep trying to remember that at SOME POINT ON THIS MISSION i will be able to understand people. It’s not right now, not only being here for 5 days, but it’ll come at some point.. I hope.. Anyways, I"m trying to pick it up but it’s SO HARD. SO SO SO HARD/
Going to go send out the mass email now. Love you all so much!! Send pictures soon!!!!! Have a great week, talk to you next MONDAY at around 11!!!

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