Monday, November 30, 2015

Xe hơi - Footscray Week 12: Thanksgiving, Birthdays, and Driving in Australia!

Vietnamese Word of the week: Xe hơi (say hoi) as in "car" as in "The Lord protected me as I drive a car for the first time in Australia." :)

Scripture of the week: Alma 44:3 - Moroni knows that his victory was not because of his "great stature," his military cunning, or the strength of his troops; it was because of his religion. I hope we can all take into consideration the victories that come in our lives because we are choosing to be disciples of Jesus Christ. :)

What a week, what a week. It's been a crazy last week for training for me, and so much has happened! The Lord has really helped me get through this week as I've had headaches and have just been really tired.

On Thursday, we had a really great Thanksgiving feast at the branch in the city. We walked in to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing American Hymns with the smell of turkey, pie, and mashed potatoes, and I almost forgot that we were in Australia, celebrating an American holiday the day before the Americans were. :) It was really excellent and really filling. The branch takes good care of us.

I also had a pretty good birthday. Of course, it was missionary work as usual with not a lot of different things, but it was good nonetheless. I had several missionaries surprise me with calls and flash mobs of "Happy Birthday to You!" and some nice gifts from members and recent converts. :) I feel so lucky and blessed to serve here.

On Saturday, I had my first experience driving on the left side of the road. We went on exchanges, but as it turned out, I had to drive for our companionship in Fairfield! It was a really nerve-wracking experience full of prayers of safety and hope, but through Heavenly Father's great mercy, we survived. :) Fortunately, I probably won't have to do it again for a long while. It was pretty stressful driving around with foreign laws on the other side of the road.

Transfers are coming up, and I'm kind of leaving, kind of not really. I'm staying in Sunshine area, but Elder Roberts will be my new companion! We've both just finished training, so it'll be a bit hard, but we can do it if we rely on the Lord to help us. I'm looking forward to another week of faith, work, and Vietnamese! Tonight, we have a special Vietnamese Thanksgiving planned, and I'm making the mashed potatoes (thank you, dad, for teaching me how to make them!)

Until next week, the church is true, the Book of Mormon's blue, I must go now, but I love you! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Con Chau - Footscray Week 11: Hawaiian party!

Vietnamese Word of the Week: Con Chau (con chow) as in "posterity."
Scripture of the week: 3 Nephi 21:22-25 - When we follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, we enter into the Abrahamic covenant and become the children of Israel! We receive all the promised blessings of his posterity. :)

Hello! Long time no contact! Sorry about last week, due to technical difficulties, I had even less time than usual! Ah! But this week has been really good and really celebratory. :)

This week has gone by really quickly; I feel like the longer I'm out in the field, the faster time flies. It's hard to believe that I'm almost "graduated" from being a golden. Reflecting back on who I was twelve weeks ago, not just as a missionary but as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I truly see how serving a mission and dedicating so much time to the Lord has changed me for the better and increased my faith and trust in Him. It'll be interesting to see how transfers go and what it'll be like without my trainer, Elder Howell. he's done an excellent job at helping me grow and stretch and become the missionary that I need to be for this mission. I feel like I'll be able to do well next transfer, but I know that it will be hard.
We had a Hawaiian party at Footscray ward, and it was so fun to see the cultures all mixing! Islanders, Vietnamese, Australians, and even Americans thanks to the missionaries. It was so much fun to see the Vietnamese try to dance islander style, too. They did a good job! :)
The work of the Lord is moving forward! Although we had 2 investigators drop us this week, we're still moving forward with faith, and our recent converts are doing so well! They're incredible! It's a blessing to know them and work with them. :)

I've been reflecting a lot this week about the scriptures and how they unite us. Although we're all at different levels of understanding, the scriptures contain the doctrine which we all believe in, and they help us all draw closer to the Savior. As we all draw nearer to Him, we draw nearer to each other. :) I'm so blessed to be working here in Melbourne with all these wonderful people. Transfers are next week, so we'll see how it goes!
I love you all! Keep reading and ponderizing the scriptures. They will tell you all things that you should do. :) I love you! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Footscray week 10

I'm running out of time, and I don't have a general email! I'm so sorry! Will you just post these pictures? I feel really bad...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

cái khiên - Footscray Week 9: The Life of the Savior and temple work!

Scripture of the week: Luke 13:11-13 -> I know what it feels like to be someone who can in no wise lift up themselves, and I bear witness that the Savior's loving arms, outstretched to us all, can immediately make us straight. :)

Vietnamese Word of the Week: cái khiên (Cai Kee-ayn) as in Shield, like taking the "shield of faith" in defense of the Kingdom of God. :) I gave a talk this week at a devotional about that, so that's how it's relevant. Plus, it's always relevant. :)

This week has been a roller coaster of positive spiritual experiences and nerve-wracking, stressful situations, but, through the grace of God, I've made it through, and I feel that I'm even better than I was last week. I'm back inFootscray now, among my Vietnamese brethren and people, and I'm really grateful for that!
We really wanted to stress teaching recent converts the life of Jesus Christ this week. Our central purpose as missionaries is to bring others to come to know, have faith in, and love Jesus Christ. We should some of our recent converts the bible videos, giving a brief, simple overview of the Savior's life and teachings. Those lessons were among the most powerful I've ever been a part of on my mission. I will admit, tears were shed as we all, together, learned more about the extent of the Savior's love and sacrifice for us on an individual level. What a blessing to share that with everyone. :)

We had the opportunity to go to the Melbourne temple to assist the branch with baptisms! It was such a great experience, and my testimony of the temple has really grown although I haven't been able to go for a little bit. It's such a blessing to go there and participate in eternal ordinances!
I know that the gospel is true, that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. As we rely on Him and seek spiritual experiences through the temple, the Book of Mormon, church, and prayer, we will draw nearer to Him and become more who we need to be. I invite you to seek out those experiences and to work toward making the ones that you already have more powerful through diligent study and pondering. I love you all! Until next week! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tiếng Anh - Footscray(ish) Week 8: My Days as an English Elder

Scripture of the week: Luke 5:5 - Sometimes, what we need to do after all that we have been doing is do a little more; when the Savior invites us to act, we can be sure that by acting we will be blessed. :)

Vietnamese Word of the week: "Tiếng Anh" (Tea- ang Ah-n) "english" as in, for about half a week, I've been an English Elder!

​Well, this week has been 4 and a half adventures if I do say so myself. It all started on Tuesday, when I went on exchanges with Elder Roberts again. We're pretty much expecting to go on weekly exchanges at this point because of our companions' positions, but it turns out, Heavenly Father had more plans for me concerning exchanges... On Friday, the zone leaders tell me that I will be serving with Elder Wahlquist (pictured above) until Wednesday because his companion was going home for health reasons. That means for aobut 5 days, I was/am not really a Vietnamese elder! It was hard news to take, but it's been a really good, really rewarding experience.

I'm no in Fairfield area, which is near the stake center of our zone. We went tracting on Halloween and pretended to be trick or treaters just for fun. :) It was actually a lot of fun, and it reminded me of doing fast offerings back home. Speaking of fast offerings, we tracted for more than 5 hours yesterday! On a fast Sunday! Oi! But, it worked out really well because the Lord supported us. That means I've done about 8 hours of tracting in 2 days. Of course, it was the last door we tried that gave us the best results, and I'm excited to see that person progress in the gospel (though I'll be back in Footscray by then). :)

Other than that, we had an awesome Vietnamese Halloween party! Elder Roberts has the pictures, but we carved pumpkins, told scary stories, and played a lot of games. It was a lot of theirs' first Halloween, and it was so much fun to share that with them! I love being a missionary, especially for the Vietnamese people, and that's what made it a little hard to leave them for even just a few days. I know that the Lord has called me to do His work, though, wherever I serve, and I'm happy to do His will. I know that as I work harder for Him, He will bless me and all of you for my service. :) I know these things are true, and I share them in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Australian quirk: The weather here in Melbourne is crazy! I mean, crazier than Utah, even. It can be summer hot one for an hour and then the next be cold and rainy. It's unpredictable and really fun!

I love you all! :) Until next week! :)