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.

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