Monday, November 30, 2015

The week of charity


This week was a lot about charity and I'm grateful for that because I never thought of myself as an unloving person. I always thought I had a great capacity to love, but this week alone has shown me how much more I can develop that gift and learn more of Christ as I do so.
On Tuesday, we got to teach Lookruu Oleson as Makaraa who is a genius and knows like ten languages and is in charge of our department or something like that. During the lesson, I was getting so frustrated because he knew that the Book of Mormon was important and that Christ was important but he was doubting himself so much and asking questions that didn't matter. So, I just told him straight up none of that mattered and that all that mattered was Jesus Christ because I couldn't understand what he was going through because I'm Sister Nguyen, not Makaraa, but Christ understands. After our lesson, he came to say goodbye to our district and told us how much we helped remind him of his love for the Khmer people and the importance of the Book of Mormon. It was a very tender moment and the Spirit was incredible.

Everything this week just made me more and more excited to leave already. I love the MTC but let's be real, it's time to go.
During Bong Radii's lesson on Friday, we taught about the Law of Chastity and instead if saying refrain from sexual relationships before marriage, I accidentally said refrain from relationships with doctors. And so he thought I was telling him to not go to the doctor. First language oopsie, only 9999 more until I can say I'm good with the language. We laughed for a little and then clarified things up. How embarrassing.
On Wednesday, we went to in-field orientation for the entire day and it was helpful here and there and got me super pumped to get to work.
Thursday was Thanksgiving! I hope you all had an amazing time with family and were able to reflect on what you're truly grateful for, I know I did! This Thanksgiving felt like the first REAL Thanksgiving to me. I am so blessed to be here doing this work. We got to do a service project and broke a record! We made over 300,000 bags of food for children in the Salt Lake area. They told us that if they would've known how efficient we were, they would've provided more supplies and we could've made 500,000 bags! And then we went to a bunch of devotionals. In one of them, we got to watch 17 Miracles! Which is a fantastic movie. And we reflect a lot on the Savior and His gift of redemption to us. ALSO WAIT. ELDER DALLIN H OAKS CAME. HOW BLESSED. His family came and they sang together and it was way cute and made me so very very grateful for my family! I love you all so very much!
On Saturday, we did our last TRC Skype. We taught Phalla Mey again! She has a sister living in Columbus, OH! What a small world. I am so impressed by her faith and willingness to mett with us each week. Now we're about to teach real life Khmer people face to face.

WE LEAVE FOR CAMBODIA TOMORROW. I can't explain the mixed emotions that I have right now. I am so excited to finally get to meet and serve the people that I have been praying for for so long. Lookruu Mickelson showed us a PowerPoint of his mission  and I was so incredibly touched. When he was talking about the people, you could just feel the love he had and how special his mission was to him. He talked about teaching so many families and so many individuals who had huge impacts on those around them. And by golly, I want that too! We heard in a devotional to make the decision to love your mission now.  So I am deciding now to love the people, to endure the tarantulas and no toilet paper, and to serve with my whole heart, might, mind and strength. I know it's going to be hard but, Elder Holland taught that, "if they're unresponsive, maybe you can't teach them but you can love them. And if you can love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow." I absolutely love that because it's incredibly important to have love for the people before we even serve them because if we don't, what's it all for? The gospel of Jesus Christ is literally based on Heavenly Father's love and I just want to help them see that. It can get discouraging sometimes because I feel like I don't know much but Sister Penrod said something that really hit me. She said it doesn't matter how much knowledge you have because you have 100 times more knowledge of God than these people. They're completely new to this and as we help them learn more of God and Jesus Christ, we will learn with them. 
I think today is our last day with our teachers and I'm a little sad but so grateful for them always. They're literally so patient with me haha. I'm a very slow learner sometimes. So I'm grateful they put up with that. 
All in all, I'm grateful for the time spent here at the MTC BUT CAMBODIA IS JUST WAITING. Ahh, I cannot wait to go and share this message of love, peace, purpose, redemption, and eternal families with them. They need the power of the Atonement so much in their life to help heal their past and I really pray that they will accept it. If not, at least I can say I tried my best and did what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and that love has grown exponentially these past two months. I know that the Book of Mormon is a book of truth and light and can help bring so much happiness into your lives. So I invite you all to READ IT or please please study it diligently -- ponder, ask questions, and trust that Heavenly Father will answer.

Well this is it! The next email will be from some rinky-dinky cafe shop in Cambodia. I love you all and miss you terribly, but honestly there's no time to think of myself anymore. On to the Cambodians!!!

Sister Nguyen 

Picture 1 WE LOVE LOOKRUU MICKELSON. Our last day with him. I cried #baby
 Picture 2 Classic Map Pic. I love Sister Luke more than anything.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The week our Flight Plans Came!


WE ARE ACTUALLY LEAVING THE MTC!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! I'm still in shock that we're not actually called to serve the Provo MTC mission. A lot of this week was just us sitting in class learning or eating or listening to devotional and just turning to each other randomly and saying, "Hey. We're actually going to Cambodia".
On Tuesday, Elder Kim B Clark came for devotional and it was the best devotional we've ever had. He said a lot of things that made me want to be more obedient in order to come home from my mission and say that I have no regrets because I know the Lord helped me do all I could. Also, I got nice warm socks and I am very grateful for that one, because it's getting cold here and two, because one of the elders in my district did sock puppets with me and we acted out a scene from Lord of the Rings and it was hilarious.

Wednesday was our last week of hosting. 600 and some missionaries came in and it was CRAZZYY!! One of the sisters I hosted said she knew Sister McDonald's family! And I met a sister from THE COLUMBUS, OH. She's from the Marysville ward. I don't really know her but she said she knew someone from Lewis Center ward. So that's cool! Friday was the longest day ever. We knew we were getting flight plans that day so we kept checking the mail box and nothing came. When we went to the Travel Office they told us they were behind and so we would get our flight plans Saturday morning at the latest. We were bummed for the rest of the day. And then at the end of the night, we sat down for our daily grateful circle and district prayer and Elder Mendenhall our District Leader said after we were done praying he had something he needed to talk to us about. We were all nervous that we were in trouble or something but after we were done, he looked into his bag and said, "Elder Schiefer and I were walking outside and found something that looks important and thought you all might want it". AND THEN HE PULLED OUT OUR FLIGHT PLANS. WE WERE HAD!!! We weren't even mad, he got us so good! 

And then on Saturday, we got to Skype a real life Khmer person in Cambodia!! Her name is Phalla Mey. She was so sweet and actually understood us! She served her mission in Cambodia and hopefully I get to meet her when I get there! Half way through the lesson, it started raining really hard. We thought it was a connection problem, but it was literally just rain and now I'm scared. Also, towards the end of her lesson, her mom walked in with some sort of very very low cut undershirt on and it was hilarious. Phalla Mey broke and started speaking English and kept saying, "my mom! my mom! it's very hot!" and then shoved her mom out the room but we saw her mom lurking at the door watching us pray over Skype. Needless to say, I am not traumatized because my mom does the same all the time. South east Asians I guess. 

Necruu Davis told us she wasn't coming this week because of Thanksgiving and I literally started crying because I didn't want to say bye. I'm so grateful for our teachers who are so patient with us and so kind and helpful every step of the way. I love them very much and am so grateful for the inspiration they receive for us. I just want to pack them up and take them to Cambodia with us. Lookruu Mickelson video taped us saying our testimonies in Khmer so we could have them later in our mission and see how much we've grown.

Anyway, last full week in America!! I am very excited to go to Cambodia and cannot wait to serve the Khmer people. They are so ready to heal their painful and heartbreaking past through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and I would not want to be anywhere else in the world right now. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week and more fully recognize how much the Lord's hand is working in your lives as well. 

Daoy seckdeisr)lan,
Sister Ving  (that's how you pronounce my name in Khmer haha)

Picture 1 The District's longest running joke is Sister Nguyen Smells. The Elders wrote in on the board in a different class room and Lookruu Sorenson translated it into Sister Nguyen smells good :) (ALSO CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT I CAN ACTUALLY READ THAT!? GOD IS REAL. GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL)

 Picture 2 Sister Moon and I have the same dress! Mine Is from a thrift store in Columbus, Ohio and hers is from Vietnam. lol 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The week it SNOWED!!

Hi friends and family!
I just typed out an email all about my week and it just got erased :( but I had an awesome week full of many blessings. The language is coming along great! And Necruu Davis says that we are learning faster than any group she has ever seen! It was way comforting to hear that. We got to skype real life Cambodians this past Saturday and they actually understood us! ITS NOT A MADE UP LANGUAGE!! I can't wait to actually serve in Cambodia. In exactly two weeks, we'll be out of America!!!! Anyway, I love you all and am grateful for your positive influence and uplifting words. Hopefully exciting things happen this week so I have something to write about!

Sister Nguyen

It snowed!

Monday, November 9, 2015

"I'll own up to that!"


Only three more weeks until we are done with America for a while! These weeks are going by really fast.and I need them so slow down big time. We got to host again this past week! It's always so fun helping new missionaries around and hearing about where they are headed. Our district reminisced about when we all first met each other and realized, we can't really pinpoint the exact moment we met or when we became so close. oh well! This week, during class we heard a really loud noise and thought that it was the radiator or that someone's desk broke so we all just looked around and were like "what was that?" and one of the Elders looks down and just goes, "I'll own up to that". I thought it was so funny because one, I'm actually an 11 year old boy who thinks farts are hilarious and two, totally unexpected and kind of gross haha. Sorry. We are really just looking for things to laugh at in each day.
We met two new people we'll be teaching this week! One is a less-active member named Puu Thuu. His family goes to church but he doesn't. He loves to read the BOM and pray with his family though. During our first time meeting him, I had no idea what to do or say and just kind of stared at him as he was speaking. I didn't understand him and I didn't know what to say to help him and I was just like 'wow. this is going to be Cambodia for me. and i'm going to have no idea what to do.' It was a little discouraging, but I know Heavenly Father will help me out if I put complete trust in Him :) We had our last TRC this week aka we start Skyping REAL people from Cambodia this Saturday and teaching REAL lessons. AHHH.  I don't really have much to say about this week. It was filled with many tender mercies that helped me remember how mindful the Lord is of me. Today in the temple, one of the brethren that was in same session as me told me about how touched he was to be there with me because he was in Vietnam when President Hinckley dedicated the land so we could begin preaching. He cried, I cried. It was a real tender mercy. All in all, what I really took away from this week is to trust in the Lord. And I mean COMPLETELY trust. Quit depending on your own. Surely He knows what He's doing. I love you all and hope you have a grand week! 

Sister Nguyen

                                   Picture 1 Bike helmets on stationary bikes. We've been in here for too long!
                                         Picture 2 LEAVES!!! FALL!! OUTDOORS!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Week We Made it Halfway!‏

Hi All!!!

I can't believe it's been a month now and we have one month left! I keep having to remind myself that the mission is much much more than just being in the MTC; it gets really hard to remember that sometimes. 

This week went by really fast. I would just like to take a moment of silence to appreciate and give eternal thanks to daylight savings because we got an extra hour of sleep and it was literally the #blest thing ever. I can't remember much about this week. We got three new investigators and one less-active to teach. So now we're teaching lots every day and it's helpful to be able to practice the language. We committed Bong Soknii and Bong Radii to baptism! They both love learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I really think it will help them so  much in life. There are so many blessings that come from living the gospel, especially blessings for the family. I LOVE IT.

In case anyone was wondering about who showed up for devotional on Tuesday, it was Elder Anderson of the 12. He talked a lot about sacrifice which our district loved! It made us all really think about what we give up to be here to serve the Lord. One of the things I didn't think about was our will and desires. Everything we do from here on out is for the Lord and is His will. 

This week we were reading in the Book of Mormon about Lehi's vision of the tree of life in 1 NEPHI 8. And Sister Lemon mentioned how funny she thought it was that even in his dream, Lehi prays to the Lord. I remember thinking wow! I want the kind of Faith Lehi has. Anyway, I went home that night and had a dream that I was super discouraged about being a missionary. I was telling myself that I couldn't do any of this and that I couldn't read, write, or speak. But someone in my dream -- I'm not sure who -- told me straight up "Don't worry. Do all you can and the Lord will provide for the rest. Trust in Him". How true is that and how silly of me to think that this success is all mine!? And also, what a tender mercy. He really is mindful of us and He cares very much for each and every one of us. 

Also, we did our first Language Speaking Assessment this week. HAH. It was rough. I didn't score the best but it also wasn't the worst! I'm just very grateful for amazing Lookruus who are able to give us feedback and things that we can work on. Still waiting until I can just speak this language without having to think about it! 

Halloween was way fun! We didn't get to wear real costumes but the sisters though would be funny to dress up as each other and make the elders and teachers guess who was who. We were so proud because we all thought we did a fantastic job and was wondering why no one was congratulating us on our costumes. We totally forgot that no one in this MTC really knows us except for our district and even they weren't that impressed either, haha. 

Yesterday was our first Fast Sunday at the MTC. We all thought we were going to die. It was a very spiritual experience though. We had mission conference and it was ALL about families! And a recent family of converts came and talked to us. They're headed to the temple to be sealed for all of eternity next month! All I could think about was my own family but also, the families we will come across in Cambodia! I'm so excited to share with them the knowledge that families are eternal and there is no end. The Gospel of Jesus Christ really does heal and bless families. It brings and incredible joy and WOW can we just go to Cambodia and tell them that already?

Anyway, all in all, the language is coming along and I believe my testimony of the Savior has grown exponentially. I love being here and have more joy than I've ever had in my life. I know that in everything we do in life, we are never alone. Christ understands and He is there waiting for us to reach out to Him so He can help us. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life right now! I love you all and thank you for your incredible support :) 

Sister Nguyen  

                                                                     Picture 1 our costumes
                                                                         Picture 2 actual us
Picture 3 Thursday Service Day. I love it, I swear!