Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hai chi nhánh mới ỏ Hà Nội!!!!

2 new branches in Ha Noi!!!!

Yesterday, President Hassell announced the opening of TWO NEW BRANCHES IN HANOI!!!!! For 6.5 months of my mission, I've been in the same area - Cau Giay, Hanoi. We've only had 1 branch, and on average we get around 40 native members at sacrament meeting every week. BUT we have been progressing really well with new members and reactivation, and so President Hassell officially opened up the new Ha Dong and Long Bien branches! Those two branches are very small, they only have about 15 active members including the missionaries, but it is SO EXCITING! My little Hanoi is growing up :'))

For part of personal study everyday, I have been reading out of the New Testament (I'm ashamed to admit this but I used to never read the Bible, only the Book of Mormon.. Whoops..). I came across a scripture in John chapter 6, verse 35 that I love. It's when Christ is talking to the people - It says, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on my shall never thirst." Of course this doesn't mean that when we have faith in Christ, we will never be hungry or thirsty again (literally) because I still get really hungry and thirsty sometimes. For me, it means that when we have faith in Christ, believe in Him, we will always receive the substance that we need to keep us going everyday. He will give us hope, strength, and happiness. 

In other news for this week, the Hanoi branch was busy with Bánh Chưng! It's a traditional Vietnamese cake that they eat for Tet: full of beans, rice, and meat and all wrapped up in giant leaves. Thursday, my companion and I went to the church to help them wash and cut the leaves. Friday, we helped wash the rice and beans and wrap up the cakes! It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm only half Vietnamese, so I'm missing half of the skills a full Vietnamese person would have. 

We found a new PI this week.. Chi Linh. She owns a restaurant right next to the church, and she came to participate in the cake wrapping festivities. I had a chance to talk to her while we were there, and she invited us to go eat at her restaurant the following day. She sells Bún Đậu, which is just noodles and tofu. Chi Man Nghi said that it's not very good, so we didn't commit to actually going.. Unfortunately, the next day we made the foolish mistake of going contacting around the church. We were walking around in the area when she saw us from her restaurant and flagged us down. She cooked us up a HUGE platter of Bún Đậu, so it was a little painful.. but we did have a good conversation with her while we ate. 

Sometimes you have to sacrifice your tastebuds for the work.

If there was one quote to describe this week, it would be this: "Xin lỗi em, chị sẽ đi về quê cho Tết." (sorry I'm going home for Tet!)  spoken by literally every single one of our investigators and recent converts, meaning that we have close to zero appointments for this week. Tết begins this week. Chết rồi.

Thanks for all the emails and pictures! I hope everyone is having a wonderful time back in the States (or wherever you are) and enjoying the cold weather. Hanoi has gotten so cold. I wore a scarf to church yesterday. 

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