Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The road to Bac Bon's heart   

I've been told multiple times, "The experiences you've had in the past are what have prepared you for the things you will face in the future." Today, I am going to testify that this statement is true. All throughout middle school and high school, I loved to bake. Partly because I would get bored and need something to do, and partly because I love junk food (mostly because I love junk food). Turns out that all the time I spent in the kitchen baking brownies and cookies paid off, because that was how my companion and I got Bac Bon to come to church on Sunday. We visited Bac Bon on Saturday night, and our conversation went like this (in Vietnamese, of course):

Us: Everyone is going to eat food after church tomorrow. Are you going to come?
Bac Bon: Mmm.
Us: Have you eaten brownies before?
Bac Bon: No.
Us: Do you like chocolate?
Bac Bon: Yes.
Us: If you come we will give you two brownies.
Bac Bon: Okay.

AND NEXT THING YOU KNOW there's Bac Bon, sitting in sacrament meeting. I don't know if I'll have to whip up brownies every Sunday to get her to come, but I'm willing to do what it takes. In all seriousness, I do know that every trial we've had to face is what has prepared us for the things we will have to do in the future. All of the trials I have had while on this mission have been more bearable because of my past experiences and the lessons that I've learned. I know that in the moment, our trials seem to consume our whole lives and we feel like things are never going to get better - but I know for a fact that they will. Our Heavenly Father doesn't want us to feel sad. Our purpose in this life is to have joy! So when we face our trials with the knowledge that they will help us in the future, things will seem just a bit easier.

Here is a link to a talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks at BYU (go cougs):

There are so many different things about this Vietnam Hanoi Mission than any other mission, and one of them was revealed to me on Saturday. There is a less active member that lives out in Hai Ba Trung, about 1.5 hours away from where we live. We try to go visit her as often as possible, always on Saturdays. Last Saturday, we set aside some time to make the bike ride out there, and we even contacted her the night before to make sure that she would be home. But after an hour and a half of biking, we had a no-show! I've always heard so many stories of missionaries going out for appointments only to have their people not answer the door, so this problem is totally normal all around the world. What's not normal is when our people don't answer the door, we have to bike home an hour and a half in hot Vietnam weather. It's wonderful. I love it.

If there was one quote to describe this week, it would be this: "Nam lkajspofij lkajsfpoi ;alskdjfpowiej!" coming from Em Ha (my banana-eating contest partner, age 6). On Sunday, her and her cousin Nam got into a bit of an argument and she started bawling like crazy. Turns out it's really hard to comfort a crying 6 year old when you're not fluent in their language, so when I asked her what was wrong that was literally what it sounded like. 

I hope everyone has an fun Halloween! My companion and I do not have costumes, but we are going to treat ourselves to a really expensive restaurant that has American burgers. Happy Halloween.

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