HELLO

Monday, August 21, 2017

CHI TINH GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!! 

That was hands down the greatest thing that happened this past week. Tinh has waited so long to be baptized and the day ended up being so special and wonderful. Chi Chau and I got to the church early to help her change clothes and what not. We gave her a present and I think she was so full of joy that she was about to explode. I love chi Tinh so much - she is the cutest person I have ever met, and she has such a strong testimony of Christ and the church.



So what else happened this week besides the most wonderful baptism of all time?

Our roommate, chi Thuy Anh, brought a durian home.

While I was getting ready one day, trying not to breath too much because the smell of durian is intoxicating, I came up with a pretty good analogy for it. 

Durian is a lot like sins. Sometimes we deliberately bring a durian into our home - we go out an buy it ourselves - and sometimes we accidentally bring a durian into our home against our original intentions - someone gives us a durian when contacting at an outside market. It doesn't matter what happens, but now all of the sudden you have a durian in your home.

And what's wrong with durian? From first glance, there's nothing wrong with it. It's just a fruit. But then as time goes on, it starts to smell. And let me tell you from first hand experience, when it smells, it SMELLS. It takes over everything else in your whole house and eventually you can't focus on anything else because it smells so bad. 

Some people can battle through the smell - they just put up with it and hope that everything will fix itself. But, again, let me tell you from first hand experience, the smell will not fix itself. Every day it just gets worse and worse and then you really start to regret your decision to bring the durian into your house.

So what can you do? Here's what you do: put the durian in a plastic bag, stick it in the garbage, and then throw the garbage out in the main dumpster. And decide to never, ever, EVER, bring a durian into your home again.

Let's relate this to sins: Sometimes we diliberately sin - we do something that we know wasn't right but at the moment we just didn't care or got carried away. And sometimes, we sin on accident - we had no intention of doing it, it just happened. But whatever happens, we've sinned. We've done something that we knew wasn't the best thing to do, but it's happened, and you can't go back and change it.

So what's wrong with that? From first glance, it was just a mistake. No one really got hurt, no one needs to know. It's just a sin. But then as time goes on, it starts to take its toll on us. We start feeling guilty, self-conscious, like all of the sudden everyone knows about what we did and they're going to judge us. Or maybe it has a different effect - we start feeling unworthy, like what we did was the worst thing in the world and there's no coming back from it.

Sometimes we'll try to battle through these sins without having to repent - we just put up with it and hope that everything will fix itself. "It'll go away if you don't pay attention to it". But every day we'll just feel worse and worse and then we really start to regret our decision.

So what can we do? Here's what we do: repent. Pray to God and ask for His forgiveness, and just as important, ask for His help. Heavenly Father wants us to become like Him, and He doesn't have any sins. We're not perfect, so of course we're going to mess up every once in a while. We'll say we won't do things any more but then life happens and we've messed up again. Heavenly Father knows that will happen. However, His expectations of us don't change. And because His expectations don't change, He will be there to help us. How unfair would it be if your chemistry teacher told you that there would be a huge test at the end of the year and that everyone is expected to pass, but then never showed up to class to actually teach anything? Very unfair. Heavenly Father is not unfair - He will guide us every step of the way, give us the strength to change so that we can meet His expectations. He loves us for more than just who we are - He loves us for who we are trying to become, and He loves us for just trying.

My advice for this week/forever? Put that sin in a plastic bag, throw it in the garbage, and then throw the garbage out into the main dumpster. Then rely on Heavenly Father to help you do better next time. Also, never buy durian.

Of course this analogy doesn't work if you actually LIKE durian. So if you do, please disregard this email.

Thanks to everyone for the emails and pictures and everything! 
How to transport fresh veggies.


15 tháng rồi !!!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thời gian trôi qua thật nhanh. Con không thích.


This past week I hit my 15th month mark! Crazy.

I've been reading a lot from the book "Jesus the Christ" (which is an AMAZING book!!! I encourage everyone to read it. Just get past the first few chapters or so because those aren't super interesting but after that it gets AWESOME). The other day I read through a chapter that I really loved, which talked a lot about the character of Christ: "Gentle He was, and patient under all affliction, merciful and long-suffering in dealing with contrite sinners, yet stern and inflexible in the presence of hypocrisy, and unsparing in His denunciation of evil-doers." Christ is the most loving, merciful, person to ever walk the earth. But that doesn't mean that He tolerated sins and bad behavior. Christ will always forgive us of our sins if we truly repent, which requires action on our part. He loves us despite the things we do wrong, but He will always expect us to try to do better. And because He expects that of us, He's not going to leave us hanging to figure it out on our own. He will always be there every step of the way, to guide and to encourage. 

And that's just so cool.

This past week was awesome. We had 5 of our investigators come to church, which is awesome, we got a new investigator, which is awesome, and then our other investigator, Van, accepted baptism, which is awesome. 

Monday & Tuesday, chi Chau and I got to go tour some hospitals with Dr. Sellers and his wife (from Hong Kong). It was super fun to go and see all the facilities in the hospitals here in Vietnam. And now I know which hospital has the best/most powerful MRI scan. Valuable information.

The quote for this week would be from my FAVORITE PRIMARY KID EVER, em Nam, 11 years old: "Ồ cảm ơn chị cả, em rất thích kẹo sô cô la!!" Chi Chau and I gave Nam and his sister Suzi hershey kisses the other day, and it TOTALLY made his day. It was so cute to see how happy he got after getting 2 hershey kisses. I will now be asking my mother to send me all the american candy in the world so that I can hand it out to the kids here. 

Thanks for all the updates, pictures, emails!


A typical bike ride in Saigon...Who can find my companion? 

Hello

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sorry, not much time to email today and so here's just a picture of my favorite member, Thao Ly, getting her mission call to VIETNAM HANOI MISSION yayyyy!!
I don't have a ton of time today because chi Chau and I are going to hang out with Dr. Sellers and his wife from Hong Kong.  He's the person in charge of Operation Smiles.  We will be visiting 4 hospitals starting today and continuing on this week.

Contacting with chopsticks

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My new companion, chi Chau, and I have served together now for.. 4 days. And we've already experienced the joy of using our God-given personalities in missionary work. Here's the story:

Saturday night we needed to go buy bread for a member and eat dinner, so we decided to go eat at the food court of a grocery store. I bought some American-looking pasta, and chi Chau bought Bun Thit Nuong but without the fish sauce. So just based off our food choices, you could tell we were foreigners (or maybe you could tell we were foreigners based off the fact that we're 2 feet taller than everyone). We bought our food and tried to find a place to sit. I made us take the first table we could find, because I didn't want to wait any longer to start eating. So we ended up sitting down at a table with one other woman, right next to the trash cans. It wasn't the best place to eat, but it would do. We start eating and just talking about our two next lessons that night - I'm using a fork and chi Chau is using a pair of chopsticks. All of the sudden, the woman sitting next to us says, "Miss, that wrong. That not right." and starts pointing at chi Chau. TURNS OUT chi Chau has been eating her noodles with one of the chopsticks UPSIDE DOWN! It was absolutely hilarious and looked so weird. But, because that sweet lady was kind enough to help chi Chau out, we were able to start a conversation with her and may possibly be meeting her this weekend to teach her the first lesson!!

So, lesson learned. Don't hide who you are, because Heavenly Father will use your personality and your gifts to help other people and introduce them to the gospel. If chi Chau had used her chopsticks properly, we may never have even started talking to that woman! While on the mission, I've heard a lot of things like, "Let God change you." That is entirely true - we should let God change things about us to help us become better people. But, we shouldn't let go of the things that make us who we are. There are some personality traits that we have been blessed with, things that God has blessed us with, to make us unique and allow us to help other people. While we want to change certain aspects of our lives to improve, we should always cling to the special gifts God has given us. It could be things like cracking jokes, talking a lot, singing all the time, not paying attention when eating and using chopsticks the wrong way. God always blesses us with little things, little habits, that make us unique. If we use those gifts, we will be able to help people in all sorts of ways.

Other than this funny contacting experience, we had a pretty good week! Our investigators are doing well for the most part, which is a huge blessing. The weather has been a little bit cooler, as in no longer 10000 degrees celsius. The food, as always, is the best.

I hope everyone has a good week!

These pictures have nothing to do with the week, but I didn't take any new photos.

Heaven is Pho Real.
Blog design by Labinastudio.