Week 61 : Trying hard

 

Hello everybody!

So we don’t have a lot of time to email today because of all the stuff we gotta do. Hopefully I can make this quick and still quality. We had a pretty full week this week. At the beginning of the week we got gently chastised by our mission president for the relatively low numbers coming from the Hanoi zone in terms of finding new investigators and progressing our current investigators to milestone events such as getting a set date for their baptism. So with that, we really kicked our efforts into overdrive this week in terms of finding because we’ve had no investigators for the past 4 or 5 weeks. God used that time to teach us some things, and now, through our mission president, He’s given us the green light “GO!” So we set out this week determined to find the ones God has prepared in our area to learn the Gospel. Remember how we got more work done setting up appointments and nourishing our potential investigators to be ready to learn last week in spite of all the conferences and meetings? Well this week we executed and tried to meet with 5 or 6 of them. By the end of this last week, still no new investigators (the definition of that is a potential investigator who is taught a lesson and then agrees on a specific day for a return appointment), so unfortunately, our reports to president this last week will still be 0. It’s tough, I’ll be honest. Some of these PIs are so great, they’ve been prepared by God and we’ve spent the past couple weeks becoming their friend and gaining their trust until we felt like we could sincerely invite them to learn. Unfortunately, one had to reschedule for us to meet him, one actually just moved out of our area and into another companionships area, and the others we actually DID get to meet have such inconsistent schedules that we couldn’t get a specific date for a return appointment from them. You ever feel like you’re stretching super hard and something that you really want is still just out of your reach? Yeah that’s us right now. I’ve learned more about patience this week than I have in the 5 weeks we haven’t had investigators. When you’re that close, sometimes you want to push them just a little harder to force them to commit to something. The temptation and desire is so real, but I’m grateful that we were able to suppress ourselves and exercise just a little more patience and continue to nourish and nudge rather than get ahead of ourselves and ruin things by shoving them into it. Christ is a source of hope, and right now, we’re relying a lot on hope that we’ll be able to make something of our area. If not this last week, then this week. And if not, I take comfort in the fact that as time continues to go on, they are just that much closer to progressing.
 Hopefully some of our branch activites will play a role in helping nourish these potential investigators though. Our branch opened up 2 new classes, a family history class put on by the senior couples that live in the same apartment complex as us and a book of mormon class, put on by the members. Both of them are valuable tools, and we were able to invite some of our PIs to attend. I’m especially pleased with the Book of Mormon class because it gets the members involved in the missionary work, whereas most of the other classes and activities are put on by the missionaries. It’s a good step to getting this branch to be more self-sufficient, rather than reliant on us missionaries, and plus understanding the Book of Mormon’s teachings, and more importantly how to apply it in our lives, is such an essential element in a person’s conversion to Christ. Another thing I was grateful for was the opportunity to get out of the drought and go on exchanges with one of our district leaders to his area. He was considerate enough to fill that day with appointments just for the exchange, and so we taught 3 recent converts and one of his investigators. It felt good to teach so many lessons.
I apologize if any part of this email feels like complaining, because that’s definitely not my intention. Just like every week on a mission, it was a good week, just not in the way I was expecting (as per usual😅). Because I don’t thank you all enough, I will thank you right now for being willing to sit and read and in a sense share this experience with me. For whatever reason, it takes a weight off my shoulders knowing that I can share with you all and that people take the time to read. I’m also grateful for your prayers. Please continue to pray for us this week because we’re gonna still be kicking itrr into high gear, and we’ll need all the help and grace we can get in order to get this area going.
Love you all and hope you have a great week! If you don’t, then make it a great week!
Elder Phan
Pictures.
1. A picture we snapped of a random couple about to get married I think. Probably my favorite picture from this week
2. Our district on the bridge
3. Our district and the Cau Giay district eating popeye’s together for lunch on P-Day
4 and 5. More pics of my crazy comp and our district
6. Our district with one of our PIs, Giang
7 and 8. Cat pics at a member’s house
Finally: Pictures of the all the attendees of the Hanoi branch’s first eveer Book of Mormon class. I guess you could say we made history
Oh and then a video of me failing at life

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