This is has been what has felt like the longest week on my mission. So much has happened and we did so much, and honestly, I’m just tired from all the work we did. But in spite of it all it’s been a good time. First things first, it rained SO MUCH this week. It was crazy. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when my mom and dad first told me that it could flood up to your knees here, but now I have repented of my foolish ways and I can stand by them in that testimony: The rain here can and will get up to your knees. When we bike, every time we pedal down we’re plunging our legs into this super trashy water. One of the other elders actually fell off his bike and face-planted into that water and it got into his mouth. He’s fine and doing healthy, but, yeah, the rain floods here are super fun and really sketchy. I think the time spent between being in the shower, being rained on, and sweating, I’ve probably spent more hours this week being wet than I have being dry.
The works been going well. I think I mentioned this last week, but we got a new investigator and were able to teach him this week. His name is Hung and he’s got a family of 3 kids. He’s Catholic, but agreed with everything that we shared with him so far about God and Jesus Christ, and he accepted an invitation to read the Book of Mormon, if not a little hesitantly, which is completely understandable. We plan on meeting him again this week, and hopefulyl we’ll see where he stands. We also taught another investigator named Joseph Luong. He loves meeting with the Elders and loves learning what we have to share. He has a very sincere desire to know which church is true and has been praying for it. He says he hasn’t gotten a clear answer yet, but when he does, he says he will act on it. Besides waiting for his answer, he also has a calling in his other church as a pianist, so he doesn’t want to just ditch them and leave his congregation with no pianist, which is also completely understandable. In the end, even if they choose not to be baptized, I’m happy just knowing that there’s a seed planted there. As long as we can enrich the lives of the people we meet by helping them come closer to Christ in whatever small way we can, God will take care of the rest.
In other news, we had a few other things happen as well, the first being that we finally got an ironing board and some blankets, so now we won’t freeze at night and we can iron our clothes! Also for English class, I’m back to teaching the intermediate class while Elder Tri goes around inspecting the other classes. I taught this week with the sisters and i think it turned out pretty well. We got a potential investigator afterwards who came and talked to Elder Danh more about what we believe, and those elders met him again this past week for a lesson. I don’t know how it went, but I hope it went well. We also did a service project for our less active branch mission leader this week, which consisted of transporting a ton of things up 4 flights of stairs. I think between service opportunities like that and all the biking that we do (we bike the most out of any area), there’s going to be some pretty toned legs when we’re done, not that it matters or anything. All the missionaries here in Saigon also had a 24 hour fast for the whole Saigon area, I think this is the first actual 24 hour fast that I’ve ever done, and I was not looking forward to it, cause with my experience, I feel light-headed and jelly-legged about fasting for 2 meals on fast sunday. But I really think the Lord blessed my fast that day. The entire time, even though my stomach rumbled like a whale, I didn’t feel hungry, light-headed, or jelly-legged, and that was a small blessing for me that I was able to see. There have been a lot of those. Something that I’ve seen this week that I guess I already learned very early on in my life is that when God gives us blessing or miracles, more often than not, they don’t come down like a thunderbolt. He blesses us with very small miracles, and in order to learn humility and gratitude, it’s up to us to try and look for those miracles and blessings. Too often we get into the mindset that any answer from God should be definite, something big that will erase all doubt that the decision that we are making is the right one. And sometimes, we do have those confirmations. But that doesn’t mean we should come to expect them, or take for granted the little things that He does for us that we may not even notice unless we take the time to look for it. Only when we notice those little things do we realize that he’s been blessing us this entire time and we just need to get off our high-horse and thank him. In this life we’ve been given, I’ve found that sometimes, in order to learn, even though God could tell us what to do, He leaves us to choose for ourselves and deal with the consequences. And as a loving Heavenly Father, if those consequences happen to be bad, he will always be there to help us get back up and choose more wisely next time. Why does he do that? Progression. You never learn unless you make mistakes, and if God told us everything we needed to do and we, by some miracle, did it all, we would not really learn to make those right choices for ourselves and better ourselves. That’s the whole reason why we have bad things happen to us. That’s why God let’s bad things happen to good people. He wants to test us to see that even if we are at our lowest, we will still turn to him for help, and when He does help us, have the humility to recognize the small blessings and thank him for it. It sounds like tough love, but as a perfect parent, I’ll bet that He knows that sometimes a little shoving around is good for us.
Finally, the highlight of this week is that we got transfer calls. The vietnamese elder that I was with in the MTC are finally going to arrive this wednesday, which means there’s going to be new companionships and new area assignments. For the most parts, things have stayed the same. Everything thats in Hanoi is staying in Hanoi, and everything in Saigon is staying in Saigon. Elder Tri and I are still together because I have 6 more weeks of training, and we’re staying in Thao Dien. But the biggest thing that happened is that the Saigon area is officially now split into 2 districts, Tan Son Nhat and Thao Dien. Elder tri has been called as the district leader of Thao Dien, and he’ll be responsible for the just 2 companionships, ours and the sisters. We’re not getting any new companionships in Thao Dien this transfer, they’re all going to either Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat, but things will change a lot when we get the other new elder in december. This new transfer is just a preparatory transfer for all the things that will be happening in december. I’m excited.
If anyone is still reading this, I just want to offer my congratulations and say sorry for such a long email. Like I said, it’s been a long week and I learned a lot. From the words of one of the great modern philosophers of our day, Jess Glynne and the Clean Bandits, “There’s no place I’d rather be.” That’s a song in case you didn’t know (*cough cough* Mom and dad *cough*). In spite of that, I’m keeping a lot of you in my prayers and I love emailing home every week. I love you all and I will see you next week!