Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam!
I’ve been here since Wednesday, and I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned this week is how incredible the human body’s ability to adapt is when it needs to Here’s a few examples.
Let me just say that all things considered, the 18 hour flights (which sounds awful, and in a way it was) were not as bad as I thought they would be. Before, I could barely make it through a 6 hour car ride to California without watching a movie or reading a book. 18 flights with nothing to do but sleep, write in my journal, and read my scriptures?! Before, I would have said, “No Way!” But like I said, the human body is amazing when it has to work with what it has.I feel like that’s something that I especially thrive on, doing what I have to do when the things that I want to do are unavailable. The time I spent reading scriptures on the plane and writing down thoughts and impressions I had in my journal was probably the most enlightening studying I’ve had in a long time. The things I learned, the impressions I received as I read and wrote, all those things made the experience extremely enjoyable and edifying.
The most obvious thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane was the weather. I forgot how HUMID Vietnam was this time of year. And for those of you who know me, I hate humidity. But like before, with no other way around it, my body has been forced to accept the fact that I’m out biking in a sauna everyday. And that’s made it easier. Maybe not enjoyable yet, but easier. It’s made me really realize how blessed I am to live in a place that has a lot of rain (it REALLY cools things down, plus is a lot of fun to bike in!) as well as live in an apartment that has working showers, excellent air conditioning, and a working fridge to stick my head in when I get home from a long day outside.
The food here is thankfully pretty familiar. There were some Vietnamese foods that we made at home that I wouldn’t touch, again because of the avilability of other options. But in the absence of steaks, Papa John’s, and In n’ Out and such, I’ve been pushed into a corner and forced to eat things that I’ve never eaten before. and not only that, but enjoy it. For example, there’s this dessert here where you put yugurt and purple rice in a cup and eat that together. Would Kevin Pha eat that stuff? Nope. Would Anh Ca Huy eat it? Absolutely! It’s actually pretty good because the rice adds no taste, so it’s almost like a parfait.
Anyways, I’ve loved my time here so far. It’s not too dangerous and the members here are great! It’s was a little difficult understanding the Northern accent of Vietnamese the first day, but over the next few days, I’ve been able to get used to it and communicate with the members in the branch here. I see now that everything that I was blessed in with my life back home has prepared me to come out here. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for teaching me how to wash dishes, iron my clothes, cook my own food, teaching me to speak and read in Vietnamese (I can’t thank you enough for that one), and in general raising me in such a sheltered environment that allowed me to nurture and develop my relationship with God. Because of you and the way you raised me, I’ve been able to hit the ground running here. I’ve been able to teach simple lessons to investigators we have (more on them next week because I still am unfamiliar with everyone), so it’s been a huge help. My new companions are also a huge help! Their names are ElderToàn and Elder Nguyên. Elder Nguyens from Utah and Elder Toan is from Australia. They both speak English thankfully, but are also super good at Vietnamese! They’re awesome, I love them!
The Lord really does prepare those He has called to serve, and that preparation workls miracles! I love you all and I hope you’re doing well back at home. I’m praying for you every day!
Love, Anh Ca Huy