It’s been a great week this week, but first and foremost, I want to apologize in advance because I’m not going to be able to send any pictures in this email because the USB port in the computer that I am currently using is rusted, so it won’t read my files. Vietnam is kind of ratchet like that. But anyways, on to the week…
All the missionaries in Vietnam (all like 14 of us) went up to Hanoi this past Tuesday to go pick up the new missionaries coming in from the MTC. These were the new missionaries that I was with back when I was in the MTC, in case I didn’t mention that before. Even though Elder Tri already had his trainee (yours truly), we went up to Hanoi anyways because there was also a leadership training seminar for all the new leaders, and he’s the new District Leader for Thao Dien. Like I said in last week’s email, we have no new elders in Thao Dien district, but the Saigon area in general has 2 of the new missionaries, Elder Le and Elder Thach. Their Vietnamese names are actually Elder Vinh and Elder Dong Quang, respectively. I recently learned that Vietnamese names, like English names, have a meaning to them. “Vinh” means “glorious”, “Dong Quang” means “winter’s light”, “Tri” means “wisdom”, things like that. So naturally I was curious to know what my name meant in vietnamese, so I asked Elder Tri and Elder Nguyen, my old companion, what my name meant. According to them, it turns out that the name “Huy” means “button”…….
I don’t know how that happened.
Moving on. Speaking of Elder Nguyen, I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was to see the Hanoi missionaries again! It wasn’t until I walked into the room that I realized how much I missed them. They’re an awesome group of people. We got to spend a part of that Tuesday with Elder Nguyen, Elder Toan, and Elder Thoai. Elder Tri and I had to leave that same Tuesday to fly back to Saigon, and I guess you could say thats when the problems started. A little bit of background first. So while all the leaders were in the training seminar, those of us who weren’t in leadership positions went out to proselyte in various parts of Hanoi. I went with an Elder named Elder Son, who serves in Tan Son Nhat. I decided to just leave me bag in the Hanoi mission office because we were going to come back there for lunch anyways. So we went and did our proselyting for 3 or so hours and then took a taxi back. When we almost arrived to the mission office again, Elder Nguyen called us and told us to just meet at their apartment so that we can go out to lunch, so we did. Lunch was good and right after that, Elder Tri and I had to leave because our flight back to Hanoi was at 2:30. I had to go back to get my bag at the mission office, but we decided we didn’t have enough time, and that Elder Son could just bring it home with him when they went home 2 days later. So we took a 45 minute taxi ride to the airport. It wasn’t until we got there (with about 45 minutes to spare before our flight), that I realized that I left my passport and visa exemption guess where? Yep, in my bags at the mission office. So we had to taxi all the way back, missing our flight in the process, and also had to ask Sister VanWagenen, a senior missionary, to see if she could book us another flight back for that day. Fortunately, by the time we got back to the office, she did. Unfortunately, the costs of the tickets came out of the mission funds. I felt so bad for that. Anyways, our flight wasn’t until 7:45, so we went back to Elder Nguyen’s apartment to hang out until it was time for us to go back to the airport (I remembered my bags this time). When it came time, we arrived at the airport, only to hear that our flight plans or whatever were not valid, and we weren’t allowed on the 7:45 flight. So then we had to go to the ticket counter and buy tickets for the next available flight at 9 pm. One thing led to another, and by the time our taxi from the Saigon airport got us home, it was midnight. It was long day, and a lot of it was unecessary and started with that one little mistake. But that’s ok. Elder Tri and I got to talk a lot on the flight back and we learned a lot from each other.
Our highlight of this week was the opportunity we had to watch General Conference. For anyone who might not be familiar with it, General Conference is broadcast held every six months where our church leaders share messages that they felt inspired by the Lord to the entire church as a whole. It’s very much a sacred experience as they answer questions that many of the people in the church just happen to have. It’s not coincidence, it’s inspired. I wish I could more effevtively share what conference is all about, but I can’t even begin to. So I would encourage those who haven’t seen it or don’t know much about it and want to hear God’s word from the mouth of prophets to check it out in this link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10?lang=eng
My personal favorite was the Sunday morning session, specifically Sister Reeves talk on repentance and Elder Ballard’s talk “To Whom Shall We Go”. I won’t spoil what they’ve said, but I can definitely testify that the words that they shared were absolutely, 100% true. Watching conference has definitely made my testimony grow.
Besides that, not a lot has happened this week. I hope everyone is doing well at home or in your respective mission fields. Thank you to all that have been emailing me. Not to say that I’m needy for emails, but you know, it’s always good to hear from home. I’m grateful for this gospel and I know that it’s true. I feel like the Lord has blessed Elder Tri and I’s efforts here because we now have 3 new potential investigators, all of whom have pretty good potential. We’ll see where it goes. The Lord’s work rolls on!