Hello everybody! How’s everyone doing?
Vietnam has been pretty great as usual. We’re finally getting into the rainy season, which is super exciting! I’ve forgotten how much I miss having rain. First and foremost, it cools everything down and makes biking feel less like pedaling around in an oven (we’ll ignore the after-effects of increased humidity. Focus on the positives😝). Second, there’s just a certain mood that you feel when you imagine missionaries biking their hearts out to get out of the rain
In terms of our area, it’s pretty tough. Like I said last week, we came into the area with absolutely nothing, No records, no maps of where to go, no investigators. We very much had to start from the ground up in terms of the work here; going out and finding good places to go talk to people, finding our own people who may want to learn, etc. As a sort of update for this week, there hasn’t been a lot of results yet. People we talk to are friendly and willing to talk with us, but none are willing yet to want to sit down with us and learn more. It’s hard cause we want so bad to find that one person who needs Christ in their life, but we haven’t found that person yet. I guess it needs a little patience; after all it’s only been a week and a half. Street-contacting is getting a little tedious, but on the bright side, we get to see a lot of interesting things and meet lots of different people. For example, we saw a squirrel fall out of a huge tree and then get up and shake it off and climb back right up that same tree. We also met a man who asked us why doesn’t God appear one more on the Earth like he did to those back in ancient days. Elder Thai and I’s ears pricked up when we heard him, and we were very quick to respond that God has again appeared on the Earth just like in times of old. But then we kept talking to him and he expounded on his point, saying why would God allow evil to exist in the world. Why does he make us have to look for and earn paradise, instead of just creating us and putting us in a state of paradise and perfection so that we don’t do all these terrible things to each other. In a sense, why doesn’t he just create us to be naturally good. Obviously, it’s not relevant because that’s just not how life is, and we told him that, and then he brought up the interesting idea that God should just appear before the entire world and SCARE everyone into doing the right thing, because then they’ll know He exists and never want to do wrong. Basically to him, he believes God exists, but if He allows trials in our lives, it’s because He’s entertained by watching us struggle here on our little Earth with all our little wars and arguments. All of his concerns could have been easily answered, but whenever we tried to share with him, he kept interrupting and saying the same things over and over again. And then out of nowhere he started asking us about active voice and passive voice (English grammar), so we decided we weren’t getting anywhere, cut our losses, and gave him our card, saying that if he ever had time and wanted to listen, we’d love to share with him. So that’s just one example of the kind of people we’ve met. Fun timez!
Anyways, I feel like with the work this week, there are times where I feel like Elder Murray and Elder Tuituu from the District 2: working our hardest, but with little to no results. In a sense running into a brick wall. But also like Elders Murray and Tuituu, I feel like I’m coming closer to my Heavenly Father. As we go out and contact, we’ve really made an effort to try and notice where it is that we are gently being guided to go, rather than choosing a random direction of our own accord. We’re very much getting a lot of practice in relying on the guidance of the Lord, and while we have yet to get physical results from it, I can feel the personal benefit of feeling my own spiritual sensitivity grow. Of the things that I expected to learn in this area, this was not one that I was expecting, so it’s nice to know that God is pointing out spiritual weak points that I need to work on that may otherwise have fallen through the cracks if I were going off my own knowledge and self-evaluating myself without His help.
(Some pictures of anh cả Thái – or elder Nelson- my new companion/ trainee – eating food He’s a hard one to feed. The Vietnamese portion sizes aren’t enough for a full-blown 6 ft. American man)
Elder Thai and I are doing really well as a companionship. One of the things that I love about him is that he pushes me to work harder and do more than I may feel like doing at the time. As we’ve gotten to know each other more, we’re coming closer together as a companionship and working more fluidly together in our contacting. It’s a good life.
That’s basically all I have to talk about today. I hope everyone had a fantastic week last week and keep trying to have a fantastic week this coming week. Don’t forget to stop every now and then and smell the roses. You’ll never get those moments back, so enjoy them!
PS: If you are living in Ho Chi Minh City, you are invited to come to our church on every Sunday at 9 AM at Địa điểm: 16A Phan Tôn, phường Đa Kao, quận 1, tp HCM. All are welcome.