Monday, October 24, 2016


This week's subject line comes from something my drivers ed teacher said to me (not kidding). It also is a pretty accurate description of my entire life. On Friday and Saturday, Chi Thu Hong and Chi Thuy Anh flew up to Hanoi to go on companion exchange. All day on Friday, I was paired up with Chi Thu Hong (HOLLA). We had a last minute appointment all the way out in Ha Dong, which is about an hour's bike ride away from Cau Giay (the area where I live). Unfortunately, seeing as I am the way that I am (and get lost on the roads in little Nampa, Idaho), and Chi Thu Hong has only lived in Saigon, we got lost trying to get there. Long story short, it took us over 2 hours to meet with this new girl. It was a fun experience. For Christmas, I am going to by myself a GPS and stick it on my bike so that it never happens again!

Saturday night was another special night for us.. Chi Trang's baptism!! Chi Trang really is a miracle for Chi Man Nghi and I. We have been meeting with her since I first got here, all the way back in July! She has been through so much in her life, especially as she was investigating the gospel. It's just amazing to see the way that she's changed and become happier as she's started learning! 

This weekend we had our Branch Conference, and had a special guest come up from Saigon to teach Sunday School (Chi Quen). Chi Quen taught everyone about the importance of family home evening. Back when I lived at home, I admit, family home evening felt like a drag. The only thing that I looked forward to was the snack at the end (just being honest). But now that I don't get to see my family every day, I understand why family home evening is so important! When we have time to spend with our families, our relationships will grow stronger and everyone will be happier. The family unit is so important to Heavenly Father, and I know that we have the families that we do for a reason. I don't believe in coincidences, and so I know that my parents & siblings were placed in my family so that I could learn from them and become a better person. In the church, we have this special thing called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". This article talks about the importance of families, and more about why families are a central unit in the plan of happiness. As always, here's the link for everyone to go and read it:

Just a little update on my ethnicity tally:
Filipino: 3, Korean 2, Laos: 1, Russian:4 (When we went to the grocery store on Tuesday, I said hello to a vietnamese women and she replied to me in some weird language that I'm assuming was Russian. Definitely one of the weirdest experiences I've had so far.)

If there was one quote to describe this week, it would be this: "Anh phải đến đế hiểu nhiều hơn!" (Meaning: you have to come to understand more!) When Chi Thu Hong and I were trying to get to Ha Dong, this random guy stopped us to try to get our numbers, and didn't understand why we shared a phone and didn't have a personal number. He ended up coming to church on Sunday, and I had our elders swoop him up real quick.

Also, I had to give a prayer in English yesterday and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Monday, October 10, 2016

GENERAL CONFERENCE & the Powerpuff Girls

This weekend I FINALLY had the chance to watch all of General Conference.. And how does the Powerpuff Girls relate to that? Well, this little 6 year old girl, Em Ha, decided to sit next to me during the Saturday Morning Session. For the whole 2 hours, she kept stealing my notebook and pens and drew about 50 pictures of the Powerpuff Girls. So, right in the middle of Elder Lynn G. Robbins' talk, I have a beautiful sketch of Bubbles (who just so happens to be my favorite Powerpuff Girl, so it's fine).

I wanted to share something from General Conference with everyone. During Elder Nelson's talk, he said, "we are meant to have joy." That's such a simple sentence, but it is so true! We really are meant to have joy in this life. Some of you may be wondering, "What? I've had plenty of experiences that are far from joy." I agree - I've been there, too. Most of these experiences for me have been when I realized that Walmart doesn't have any more Chunky Monkey Ben & Jerry's so I have to settle with Chocolate Fudge Brownie. No joy there. But in all reality, our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. Yes, we will have some experiences where we will feel sad, disappointed, or angry. But it's so important for us to learn from these experiences so that we can have joy in our lives once again. I read a different conference talk this morning from President Uchtdorf about one way we can always have joy - by being grateful.

So this week was BUSY BUSY BUSY. On Tuesday, Chi Thu Hong and all the other missionaries from Ho Chi Minh came to Hanoi! We spent the whole day in meetings to prep for the new missionaries coming from the MTC. On Wednesday, our fresh batch of 18 year old children arrived! Another full day of training and orientation for them (such a good time too - right after 30 hours of traveling). Our Hanoi Zone has now gained 4 new elders: Anh Ca Khai, Viec, Luc, and Hung. They are going to be so great!

Thursday is when things get exciting. Chi Thu Hong and I had some time to go out on the town BY OURSELVES. Literally the day after our 12 weeks of training ends, we get sent out to go contacting together. You know that feeling when your mom sends you to go grocery shopping by yourself for the first time? You've gone with her before and know what you need to do, but when you don't have her right by your side you freak out and end up buying 2 red milks instead of 1 green and 1 red? This was basically the same. I didn't have my "mom" for the first time (Chi Man Nghi was at the office) so me and my MTC companion, Chi Thu Hong, were just biking around pretending like we knew what we were doing! But it all turned out well in the end and we had a great time together.

One miracle that came from this that I wanted to share with everyone - While Chi Thu Hong and I were walking around at Ho Thanh Cong, we smiled and said hi to this random girl that walked past us. Nothing unusual. We then got stopped by 3 older women who wanted to know who we were and why we looked so different. It was while we were talking to these women that the girl (who's name is Chi Hue) turned around and came back to talk to us! She asked us a lot about what we do here and what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I have never had anyone come back and ask specifically about the gospel. Chi Hue wasn't even interested about coming to a free English class, she just wanted to learn more about our church! We've set up a time to meet with her this week, and I am so excited! MIRACLE.

If there was one quote to describe this week, it would be this: "Em ghet Viet Nam smells nhu the nao" (translated: "I hate the way Vietnam smells". I always forget what the word for "smells" is) This past week, so many people were burning fires outside so every night I came home smelling like a bonfire. LOVE IT.

Also, shoutout to my old teachers, Thay Long and Thay Hai, who translated for General Conference. I totally recognized your voices - especially when Thay Long said "Washington, Seattle" in a British accent.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Khong mau xanh nua

Why yes, the subject for this email would be my awful translation of "No longer green", meaning that I'm NO LONGER A GREENIE. As of this upcoming Wednesday, I will have officially finished me 12 week training period! Chi Man Nghi and I will be staying in Hanoi for another 12 weeks though, because there aren't very many sisters to shift around!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the General Conference session for all the women in the church. It was SO GOOD. One of my favorite things that was said was this, from Sister Jean B. Bingham, "We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." One of the biggest things that I've learned since being here in Vietnam is that attitude is everything. We are going to have trials no matter what we do - that's just a part of life. We'll have days where we don't feel like doing anything, days where we feel like nothing will ever get better. But, I know that when we face those days with a good, hopeful attitude, things always get better. If you didn't have a chance to watch the General Women's session (or general conference for that matter), here is a link:

Another important lesson that I've learned since being here: how to toughen up. There have been so many days where people will say things about the way that I look, since I look COMPLETELY different from anyone here, and I just have to smile and laugh it off! This past week while in an elevator, this little old grandpa stepped in, pointed at me and said, "Why is she so tall? That's not normal." :))))))) THANKS. (I also ran into him later in the week and he said the same thing, so we've developed a really great friendship). I've also started what I call an "ethnicity tally", a little chart to keep track of all the guesses people make about where I come from! As of right now, the most common is Filipino or (for some weird reason) Russian. Coming in a tight second is Korean.

Chi Man Nghi and I had the opportunity to visit one of our favorite people, Bac Bon. I've had some interesting experiences with Bac Bon already, and every time we visit her something exciting happens. This time, we were trying to share a scripture with her and invite her to come back to church. Right as I was reading in Mosiah 2, verse 41 (about "happy are those that keep the commandments of God") a customer stepped up to her little stand and asked to buy some cigarettes. So we had to take a bit of a pause so Bac Bon could do her job, selling cigarettes. But all is well in Zion, I was able to finish up sharing the scripture.

If I had one quote to describe this week, it would be this: "GIOI QUA" (gioi = talented, qua = !!!!!!!!!!!!). This is in total sarcasm. Last Tuesday, Chi Man Nghi and I spent 20 straight minutes trying to figure out how to spell "gioi" so we could text it to one of our investigators. I thought I knew it all, and was trying to convince her that to spell it a certain way. She finally gave in and sent the text, only for us to be told by our investigator that our spelling was completely wrong. So, unfortunately, I am not "gioi qua". 

The next time you all hear from me, our mission will have DOUBLED IN SIZE. We are getting 8 NEW MISSIONARIES on Wednesday, for a whopping total of 20 MISSIONARIES!!!! This means we are big enough for ZONES!! (I can just see all my missionary friends laughing about this excitement). Big changes are coming for our baby Vietnam Mission!

Thanks for all the emails and updates! I hope everyone enjoyed General Conference. If you missed it, it's not too late to watch!

Heaven is Pho Real.
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