"We only have 2 weeks left... Better party like crazy!"

Monday, September 26, 2016

This week’s subject line was said by Chi Schley when we were eating breakfast this morning. The context? Whether or not we should save the extra napkins we were given. If you’re wondering, we saved them.
This week was SO great because of many reasons.
1. MISSION PRESIDENT CONFERENCE. I had the great opportunity of singing in a choir put together by the MTC choir director, Brother Ryan Eggett. He’s great - one of the funniest men I have ever met. We memorized and sang 3 songs for the Mission Presidents’ Seminar on Thursday/Friday/Saturday morning. It was such a great experience and I will never forget it. Present at this conference were the 12 apostles, and the choir was even able to shake hands with Elder Andersen and speak with Elder Bednar. It was such a blessing to just be in the same room as the apostles, let alone speak with them! For those of you reading this that aren’t members of the church, you may be wondering “What’s so great about these guys?” Well, I’d be more than happy to tell you. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that our prophet, President Monson, and his apostles, the Quorum of the 12, receive revelation from God that will bless our lives and make us happier. I believe that God constantly reveals things to us through his prophet and through his apostles because He loves us. He knows exactly what we struggle with, and He knows exactly what will help us overcome our trials. Having said that, it is amazing to be in the presence of those that receive that revelation. These men are such great men, and the words that they speak during General Conference (and other meetings) and words that really can bless our lives if we choose to let it. I’ve attached a link to one talk given by President Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency. I would encourage you all to read it - He is an amazing speaker.
2. MY FRIENDS ARE OFFICIALLY HERE. Every Wednesday, the MTC gets a new load of missionaries. This Wednesday, two of my good friends from BYU, Ali Snooks and Andrew Oakes, checked in! It was so great to see them, and I managed to snatch Ali up to take her around MTC before any of the other hosts got the chance to. I’m so excited for them to start their missions and I know that they are going to be FANTASTIC (why else would they have gotten sent to serve in Southeast Asia?) 
3. This one is for all my BYU friends… BROTHER GILES. Last week when I was at the temple, my companions and I decided to go eat lunch in the basement (the food is a lot better than the MTC’s, LOL). While we were there, I see this little old man walk over with his lunch and sit at the table right next to mine. Guess who it was? Good ole Brother Giles, on of the counselors in my YSA ward at BYU. Seeing him made me miss all of the good times we had together at BYU - from Moab, to cabins, to Questival, to just random nights spent together. I miss all of you SO MUCH, but I know that you’re all doing great things right now. It’s so cool to see all of you heading out or preparing to head out on your missions, and I couldn’t be more excited for you to experience the happiness that I’ve experienced just from these 7 weeks. I’m also INCREDIBLY PUMPED for Anna Hu to head off on her study abroad - it’s going to be such a fun adventure!
4. PRESIDENT HASSELL. Last Saturday we had the great opportunity to meet with our mission president, President Hassell, and his wife. They are such GREAT people - I love them already! They talked a lot about what we can expect missionary life to be like in Vietnam. Towards the end of our meeting, they said something that I will never forget. President Hassell was talking about the recognition of the church in Vietnam, which happened on May 31st. He said the main reason why the government allowed this was because they trust us. They trust us because of our virtue, character, and integrity - they believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will help improve the Vietnamese community. How amazing is that? A country that hardly had any members at all (maybe 1200 out of the 93 million people) recognizes the church because of it’s good works. This made me realize how important it is to remember who I represent. I represent Christ, and because of that it is imperative for me to act in such a way that people will know who He is. I encourage you all to keep this in mind. People that know nothing about our church trust us because of our virtue, character, and integrity. It is so important for us to act in a way that they can know of who Christ was just based off of our words and actions.
I have one last spiritual thought that I want to share before I tell you of the funny Vietnamese blunder of the week. Last Sunday night we had the opportunity to hear from Brother Steve Allen. He talked a lot about sacrifices that missionaries and their families make, but he also said something that really affected me. He said this: “Satan knows exactly how to push our buttons.” How true is that! It made me think back to the time when I was younger, when I would always do things to annoy my sister (sorry, Linds). I knew exactly what would make her aggravated. Well, the same thing applies to us. We all have weak spots because no one is perfect, and because of that Satan knows exactly how to get to us. But, on the other hand, Heavenly Father knows exactly what will help us get through our hard times. He knows us even better than we know ourselves. I testify to you that Heavenly Father loves each of you, and that He knows each of you personally and individually. If there is ever a time when you feel alone or unloved, I encourage you to give prayer a try. Heavenly Father will always listen to your prayers, even if they aren’t the most eloquent. He will always answer our prayers, no matter what they are. I’d be happy to answer any questions about this, or about anything concerning the gospel. I’ve also attached a link to a different talk given by Elder Russel M. Nelson about prayer.
ALRIGHT, now for this week’s goof-up. Whenever we teach a lesson, we make a big effort to bear testimony as often as possible. However, the phrase for “I bear testimony…” is awfully close to the phrase “I make eggs…”. In fact, “eggs” and “testimony” are only one tone away from each other! It’s happened so many times in class that one of us has accidentally said, “I make eggs that God knows you personally.” Let’s just hope we all get this mistake out of our system before we head off to Vietnam!
This last blunder was from Anh Ca Staheli. Yesterday, he was teaching one of our investigators about baptism & confirmation. His intention was to say “After you are baptized you will be confirmed.” However, due to a different tone, he ended up saying “After you are baptized, you will be assassinated.” I’m so glad that we are able to accurately express true church doctrine here at the MTC. (jokes)
I hope everyone has a great week this week! As always, I’m so thankful for all the emails and letters I receive from you each week. It’s so great to hear from everyone!
If there was one quote to describe this week, it would be this: “All is well in Zion”, as recently said by one of my good friends, Sister Baker. The context? Whenever something isn’t going as well as you hope, just remember: All is well in Zion.
Chi Kim Thu

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