Week 58: A Milestone

Hi everybody

So this week was a milestone week. I got yelled at and disrespected for the first time for being a missionary. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for this day to happen??? I’ve heard tons of stories about Mormon misisonaries getting yelled at for being representatives of a “cult” and getting food thrown at them and basically being on the receiving end of all sorts of verbal and physical abuse, and I was excited for when it would come to be my turn and lo and behold the day came this last week! For the record, the reason why it’s taken so long is because obviously, this is a Buddhist country, so you’re not going to find many people, if any that have heard of the LDS church here, much less formulate a negative opinion of it, especially since it’s so new here. The second thing is generally Vietnamese people are very respectful, so they will go out of their way to avoid saying something disrepectful to you in order to save your honor, even if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Haha not this guy though!

So the story is we went to go look for a less-active member, a 15 year old kid. His mom also learned about the church for a bit, and even though she never joined, she loved the things missionaries in the past shared about Christ and she believes. Anyways, we found the house to pay him a visit and try to see what we could do to get to know him and see if he wanted to come back to church. There was another guy parked with his motoscooter in front of the house, so we kinda had to go around him order to ring the doorbell, and he asked us who we were and we told him we were friends of this less-active member from his Church. And as soon as this guy heard the word “church” he went off. Turns out he was Vu’s (the LA) dad and he HATES Christian religions. I couldn’t understand everything he said because for some reason when people speak angry Vietnamese, it becomes a completely foreign language to me, and plus some words got cut out because of my mental “missionary filter”. But we we understood enough and this guy was gesturing wildly enough to know that he was hurling some serious verbal expletives our way. Basically, he told us to get off his property and then starting yelling at Vu to come down the stairs so that he could rail on him.
On the one hand, it was an exciting experience, especially when I look back. In the moment however, I was seriously ticked at this man. There’s just something about a person standing in your way when you’re trying to bring one of God’s children back into the fold that really pushes one’s buttons. Luckily, our responses to him were for the most part courteous (while you can’t argue back when someone is yelling at you, there IS a certain amount of satisfaction in remaining dignified, respectful, and smiling while someone is ranting at you to show them that you’re unaffected by what their saying. Nevermind what you’re actually feeling inside). We wished him a good night and grinned at him and then got on our bikes and went on our way stewing on the inside.
It’s a hard pill to swallow when people don’t understand that all you wanna do is help others and make this world a better place, and so they’re haters. But when that happens, you just gotta stay positive and hold on to this attitude: Inline image 1
So for anyoone getting down on themselves because of the opinions of another person, chin up. God loves you and when all things are said and done, that’s all that matters. I heard a statement that said that “Christ had the most powerful self-worth of anybody on the planet”. Let Him be your example and let Him be your guide in happiness and self-worth, and I promise He will support you and uplift you through the hard times when nothing else can. Love you all!
Elder Phan
Pictures:
Just some semi-professional modeling and a baptism. It was an awesome baptismal service. The Ha Dong district and branch is the best! Keep it up ya’ll you’re doing awesome!

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