Week 12 – Get lost in Saigon

Happy Halloween everybody!

This week has been all over the place. There have been some days where things have been crazy, and other days where things have been about as slow as a snail. Speaking of snails, does anyone remember that snail that I found in Hanoi that I ended up keeping as a pet because I named it? I’m pretty sure I wrote about it, but in case anyone forgot, I found this giant snail and we were gonna bring him home to make escargot, but then I named him Ferbie and ended up keeping him. Then I transferred down to Saigon and told Elder Nguyen and Elder Toan to take care of Ferbie. Guess what? They didn’t. Elder Nguyen ended up smashing Ferbie with this giant stick that we had in the apartment and told me about it when I went up to Hanoi with Elder Tri to pick up the new elders.
Anyways…
This week I got suuuuuuuuuuuper lost. Elder Tri went to Hong Kong from Monday night to Wednesday night to renew his Visa, so I stayed with the Elders in District 6. My companions for that day were Elder Danh, who’s this awesome, super humble guy from Cambodia, and Elder Vuong, a temporary missionary from Hanoi (I knew him back when I served up there). So on Tuesday, we had a district meeting over at the church building, but District 6 about an hour long bike ride from the church, and we got out late so we had to book it to make it there in the 45 minutes we had. With the crazy Vietnam morning traffic and the speed that we were going, I lost Elder Danh and Elder Vuong. So here’s little Elder Huy, standing to the side of the street in a district that he’s only been to before once, with no idea where anything is and how to get to where he needs to go. The smart thing to do would have been to stay there and wait for someone to come back and find me, cause they know the area way better than I do, right? That’s what a normal intelligent human being would do right? Is that what I did? Nope. Because I haven’t evolved yet into a fully functioning adult, I decided to pick a certain street and go down there and try and find my way to the church (again I can’t stress enough how much I had no idea where I was going). It seemed like an awesome opportunity to get lost and, if I ever did find my way, it would make a good mission story. Anyways, the district mtg started at 10, and I ended getting lost for about an hour and a half biking all over Saigon. It was nuts. I somehow found my way to the Saigon airport, which for the record is ridiculously far from District 6, and not too close to the church either. It took a long time to find my way back, and in the end, the directions that the people I asked gave me did not end up getting me to where I needed to go. Eventually, with a little Vietnamese and the use of some iconic Saigon landmarks, I was able to find a very roundabout way to get to the church (going through just about every street in Saigon to get there). Solid work, Elder Huy, but you’re also dumb sometimes. It made a decent mission story though.
Other than that, Elder Danh, Elder Vuong, and I also taught the spiritual thought at the end of English class the next day, and it was a super spiritual moment for everyone in the room. We shared about why we needed a Savior and the blessings that come in our lives when we embrace Christ. After the English class lesson we went to pick up Elder Tri. In the days after that, Elder Tri has been bed-ridden due to illness, so a lot of my time has been spent either taking care of him or studying. As boring as it was to be cooped up indoors for a majority of those days, I learned so much from my studies that it made it all worth it. President Hassell and I later gave him a priesthood blessing so that he can heal, and a couple days later, he’s been getting back to normal!
We also had a halloween party for our branch this week, which was super fun. Our investigator, Em Ngoc came. After the party, she even helped clean the church, and then she came to church the day after (that means she’s attended church 2 weeks in a row now). She’s really awesome and I really hope that she progresses cause she has this very special spirit, especially for someone who’s only 12 years old.
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So besides getting into the Halloween spirit as much as missionaries are allowed to, getting lost (amongst other less important shenanigans😇), and Elder Tri being a zombie all week, that’s been my time. Despite the little miracles we’ve seen this week with Em Ngoc, I think the biggest purpose of this week was for my own spiritual edification. I learned a lot from my studies that had a lot of important personal meaning to me, so I’m sorry if I don’t share. But to make up for it, I took a ton of pictures, so enjoy!
Love you all and hope to talk to you again next week!
Love, Elder Phan/Huy (it doesn’t matter 😝)

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