Tạm biệt tháng hai

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Just like that, February is OVER. Now it's the month of the NEW SISTER MISSIONARIES. Slightly freaking out, slightly exciting, slightly feeling every emotion imaginable but it will be fun. No worries.

First off, on the 25th was SISTER SNOOKS BIRTHDAY!! She's officially 20 years old, the age that one of my investigators calls "tien man teen". I won't provide the translation. It's not too late to hit Sister Snooks up with a happy birthday email, or just an email about anything really: alexa.snooks@myldsmail.net.

This week was an amazing week. But one of the reasons why it ended up being so good was because my companion and I really tried to find the little things that happened every day. It's so easy for people to get discouraged or down on themselves because they don't have something BIG or EXCITING happening in their lives. But, we all need to remember that there are little miracles that happen every single day, and those need to be celebrated as well. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/finding-joy-in-the-journey?lang=eng

I was also reading in the Bible the other day and came across these verses in Romans chapter 8. Always remember that God is right by our side, through every trial that we have. He's willing and ready to help us and bless us with His love every day - and we can take joy in that.

 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Sonbut delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulationor distress, or persecutionor famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
 38 For am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So now for some tender mercies that happened this week... We were able to meet/set up appointments with 5 new people!! It was amazing. My sweet RC Co Tam has been doing amazing member missionary work and invited her friend to English class, and then to dinner at her house (a dinner that we would be at!) The following day, her friend came to church and we were able to set up an appointment with her for later in the week. SO EXCITING I LOVE CO TAM. She rocks. And the other 4 people were just pure miracles - I honestly don't even know how they happened but I am so glad that we found them. Heavenly Father takes care of His children, that is for sure.
On a less spiritual tender mercy note, I put our toaster oven on the back of my bike and we brought it over to the church. Definitely no way I could have done that without help from my loving Heavenly Father. We were baking cupcakes with Em Linh, Chi Trang (two recent converts) and Em Linh's friend Em Thao - an explanation for those of you wondering why in the world I would need to bring an oven to the church.

Thanks to everyone for all the emails, updates, and pictures! I love hearing from you all. I hope everyone has a great, safe week!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ngày Tình Yêu

Happy Valentines' Day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't you worry, I did get a Valentines this year. It came in the form of an adorable 12 year old boy that I met on the street. We bonded over the barbeque shrimp they sell on the corners. His name is Ha. No, it is not facebook official, but he did buy me food. 

Since Chi Thu Hong doesn't know the area in Hanoi just yet, and since I am the person that I am, we have been getting lost QUITE FREQUENTLY. On Tuesday we set off to go find the home of a woman that was referred to us - somewhere neither of us have been before. We had to go find street #279, but unfortunately we could only find #263 and #281... So the street we were looking for was somewhere in between, we just DIDNT KNOW WHERE. Long story short, we found the house. Only after going back and forth across the same bridge about 6 times and asking about 10 different people. It's okay - exercise is good for you. And so is talking to strangers. 

This week we received tons and tons of referrals - so many miracles! Normally we don't get too many referrals, but this week it all just came pouring in! Heavenly Father has a HUGE part in missionary work, and it is amazing to see what He does when we are willing to try.

Last Sunday I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting about reverence. And then this Sunday, I completely went against everything that I said. While the sacrament was being passed, a loud obnoxious ringtone went off. I was SO FRUSTRATED because I like to having some quite time during the sacrament meeting to pray and just think. But here was this annoying, loud ringtone and no one was talking ownership and shutting off the phone! I even said another quick prayer asking Heavenly Father to make the phone shut off so that we could enjoy some peace and quiet. Thankfully, after about 2 full minutes, the phone stopped ringing. But then, right when the water was being passed, it went off again! This time I was FURIATED. I couldn't understand who in their right mind wouldn't put their phone on silent for church. As I looked around the congregation, one of the recent converts, Em Linh, said to me, "Chi Kim Thu.. It's your phone.." Turns out that it was OUR PHONE that had been going off the whole time! I was soooo embarrassed. Here I was, praying that someone would shut their phone off so everyone else could enjoy sacrament meeting.. But I was the culprit!! It reminded me of a funny video on the church website about making sure everything is right with ourselves before we try to critizice someone else. 

The quote for this week would be... "Da để cho chị sắp xếp lịch và chị sẽ báo cho em nhé!" Which translates into, "Let me look at my schedule and I'll let you know!" AKA one of my least favorite things to hear. We had scheduled quite a few appointments with new people this week, only for them to cancel on us and say "they'll get back to us." Let's just hope and pray that they actually do!

On another note, I had to lead the music during Sunday School. Hymn #85, How Firm A Foundation. I forgot the tune and attempted to sing it to the tune of How Great Thou Art. It's fine, I'm fine, everything's fine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuần đầu tiên mà không có chị mẩn nghi

It has officially been 4 days since I have not been with my old companion, Chi Man Nghi. It's definitely different since we were together for 7 straight months, but it is fun being with my MTC comp, Chi Thu Hong :) 

This week really was full of miracles. Everything that happened just reminded me of how much Heavenly Father truly is watching over us because He loves us. Chi Thu Hong has only served in Saigon, so she doesn't know the Hanoi area or the people. I have definitely felt more than just a little bit of pressure and stress since being companions with her because I have to make sure we know where we're going and help her get to know the people. It was way overwhelming the first few days, but then as always, Heavenly Father blessed us in ways that helped me know that everything is going to be okay.

On Thursday and Friday, we received 3 different calls that led to us having 3 new investigators! I shouldn't count the eggs before they hatch (or however that saying goes) because we haven't met with 2 of them yet (those appointments are coming up this week) but hopefully by the end of next week we will be able to officially count them as investigators :)

And now, for the highlight of my week, TRUNG ANH GOT BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED. Trung Anh is one of my favorite people. She was the first investigator I ever taught here in Hanoi, way back on July 15th of 2016. It has been a long 7 months of teaching her, and we have definitely had our ups and our downs. But she has always been so devoted and converted to the gospel and has progressed so much. I really love her and am so happy that she is officially a member of the church :)

The quote for this week comes from one of my favorite security gaurds (i forgot his name..). Everytime we bike up the ramp to outside of the parking garage in our building, he shouts "Cố lên, cố lên, cố lên!!!!" This would translate into "go go go go!" We greatly appreciate his support because the ramp is pretty steep. He chanted this for us yesterday on our way out, and I got super pumped up and went super fast, only to hit a bump and have my water bottle go flying out. No worries, the water bottle didn't break, and he got a great laugh out of it.

But to those of you who are struggling right now.. Cố lên, cố lên, CỐ LÊN!!!

A big CẢM ƠN to all of you who email me and give me updates and pictures. I love hearing from everyone!

Hit my halfway mark on Saturday (TRUNG ANH'S BAPTISM) so as my dad says, "it's all down hill from here."

Monday, February 6, 2017

1 year ago...

1 year ago:

  • I wore my favorite black ankle boots which unfortunately have no traction
  • Because of my decision to wear boots that have no traction, I slipped on the ice on my way to my 9 am chemistry class
  • Because I slipped on the ice, my waterbottle fell out of my backpack. Luckily, a kind passerby returned it to me with a sweet "hey your bottle fell when you slipped on the ice back there"
  • I stood in line at the testing center for my PDBIO test
  • After the test, I turned my phone back on and realized I had a missed call from an unknown utah number
  • That number happened to be the Cannon Center front desk
  • The Cannon Center had called me because they HAD RECEIVED MY MISSION CALL

I cannot believe it has been a year since that day. Despite all of the trials that I've had, all the discouragement that I've felt, I know that Vietnam is the place where Heavenly Father needs me to be right now. I love the people here more than I thought I could, and every experience that I have had so far has taught me so much. I honestly could not imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't decided to serve a mission and received my call on February 1st, 2016. 

Other than this exciting milestone in my life, all is well in Hanoi, Vietnam. Tet is officially over, so everything has returned to normal. Last night was our transfer call, and unfortunately my companionship did not survive this time. I have served in Hanoi for 7 months with the same companion, Chi Man Nghi. She trained me and then tolerated me for another 5 months. She is being transferred down south for her last transfer (SHE'S GOING HOME AHH) and Sister Schley (my MTC companion) is going to come up North to serve with me. It is a HUGE change and it makes me very nervous if I think about it too much. She has been my only companion, so everything that I've done here I've done with her! But I am excited to work with Sister Schley again and to see what all will happen.

The quote for this week is also a great quote to live by: "Ăn sô cô la trước và sau đó ăn trái cây" which translates into "Eat the chocolate first and then we'll eat fruit", spoken by one of the members here, Co Huong. Here is another reason why I know I was destined to serve here in Vietnam. Where else would I have received such wonderful words of wisdom?
Heaven is Pho Real.
Blog design by Labinastudio.