Monday, February 22, 2016

The Week from Potty Training to Big Girl Pants!

Hi family! Hi friends! 

I'm getting transferred out of Kampong Cham and headed to the city to an area called Toultumpung. Actually, I'm not really sure if that's the right name. I will update everyone next week when I am actually there. I'm a little bummed because we were all pretty sure that Sister Nhem would leave to her death area (because she only has a few months left on her mission) and that I would just lead out KPC. So I didn't say goodbye to any of the members and we told everyone that Sister Nhem was leaving. Also, I'm pretty bummed because I love the members here soo soo much. I hope I get a chance to serve here again!  Not to mention, this will be the first time in my entire mission that I will not be with Sister Brown. We have been together since the MTC and are not sure how we will function without each other. I'm just really grateful that we are able to meet such amazing people while serving :) One more thing, it will be way weird to be out of training. I'm mainly nervous because people will be expecting more from me, but I have to admit, I really don't know much still! 

This week, we tried to meet with a lot of less-actives that we haven't met yet. Not many of them were home so we did a lot of back and forth and didn't get to meet any new people. We did however, have the opportunity to share messages with some of our active members and help strengthen them.One of my favorite lessons was with Ming Pira who is active and has two kids who are return missionaries. We talked to her about the temple and she said, "I'm lazy. I also don't want to go without my husband. He's not a member yet". And the entire time we were talking about her husband, she just kept saying "He's not a member...yet". That little 'yet' at the end really made me realized how hopeful she was. She has so much faith and after a while of talking to her she has so much faith that Heavenly Father will provide a way for her family to be sealed together forever. But for now, she has goals to go to the temple and get her own endowments out. On Thursday, we did service and helped the Branch 1 sisters' recent convert harvest her hickima (spelling?!?!) plants. It was way fun and I'm really glad we had the chance ot do hands on service like that before I head to the city. On Saturday, we got to do FHE with a pretty active family. They live across the huge Kizuna bridge about 20 minutes from the church but still manage to come every week! The bridge is a beast and biking over it is a beast of a challenge. Other than that, I can't really remember much that happened this week! I do have to say that I am super grateful for these past two transfers, this past one especially. It has been super happy and fun and a great start to the mission! I can only imagine it getting better from here and I'm way pumped for that! I hope you all have an amazing week! Next time I write it'll be from my new area!! Peace, love, and blessings Victory hand

Sister Nguyen 

Here is one picture of multi-tasking. Don't worry it was lunch time, no one was on the roads (not many people are on the roads anyway) and Sister Nhem was looking out for me. The other picture is of our Branch 2 elders and us at FHE at Puu Leng's house. They had to escort us home because it was late haha 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Week I Did NOT Get Malaria!

Friends! Family! I hope you all had a blast this week!! 

This was an extremely interesting week for our companionship. Sister Nhem came down with a fever and a cold Tuesday night and had to stay home some of Wednesday and (she thought she was feeling a little better on Thursday) Friday because she was not feeling too well. Luckily, but also unluckily, Sister Brown from Branch 1 was also a little under the weather and had to stay in. So Sister Ren and I went on exchanges and covered branch 1 and 2 for a few days. It was way fun because I love Sister Ren! She reminds me so much of my sisters because she is such a goof and loves to pick on me but she also takes care of me a lot. This entire week, we slept outside and it felt so good but I ended up getting a million mosquito bites EVEN THOUGH I WORE LONG SLEEVES AND SLEPT UNDER A MOSQUITO NET (?!!?!?!???) I counted 25 bites after one night!!! 
On Friday, our mission finally got to watch the Missionary Worldwide Broadcast from like a month ago. And holy cow, it was way powerful. The first presidency and leaders of the church definitely knew what we needed to hear. I especially loved what was said about less-active. We are to treat them like investigators. Teach them the lessons again, give them commitments, and help them remember what they felt at baptism so they can come back and enjoy the blessings. And then, Sister Ren and I went on exchanges. Sister Ren and I contacted this random Om and taught him the first lesson. When we were teaching him about prayer, and told him that when we pray we fold our arms and close our eyes. His response was, "close my eyes?! someone is going to come up behind me and hit me in the head with a stone" haha what a guy! Too bad, he was in the first branch area, but hopefully Sister Ren and Sister Brown get to meet with him some more! 

On Saturday, the mission president had a meeting with all the church leaders in KPC. And we thought for sure that he would call for a new branch president in branch 2. On Sunday, IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER SEEN THE BRANCH PRESIDENT AT CHURCH. So we were all so sure he was getting released. Turns out, nope. He's keeping his calling, but we are really hoping President Christensen said something to him and that maybe our BP will start showing up to church and being more active in the work here! 

Other than that, not too many exciting things happening. Our investigators have stopped progressing and so Sister Nhem and I are on a task to find people who want to learn by the end of this week. It's a real bummer sometimes when you know how much the gospel can bless their lives but they just can;t see it. Sometimes, I like to just think that we are just paving the way and helping them nourish the seeds and maybe they will be more ready to receive the gospel with another set of missionaries.

We get transfer calls this Sunday which means this transfer is ending soon which means I'm almost out of my training!! It's kind of scary to think about. I still feel like I know so little, but I figure, that's what the Atonement of Christ is for, I am able to say that Christ understands where I am right now and more than anything, He is my light and such a message of hope. Through Him, I know I can learn more and progress each and every day. And I don't ever have to be afraid because I KNOW He will be guiding me and if I am doing His will, there is no way that I can fail. 

Well, that's all from me! Next week, we find out if I'm staying in KPC or leaving. I'm secretly hoping I stay. I love these people so much already and have just started getting to know them, but we'll see!! Grateful for all your support and prayers :) Have the best week ever!!

Sister Nguyen

Picture 1 I fell off my bike, BUT I got this sick bruise and decided to make the best of it and turn it into a flower. Sorry if you are weary of heart.  

The Week of Dolphins in Cambodia‏


We are emailing super late today because for Pday, our district and few elders from our zone decided that we would go to Kratie (two and a half hours away) and see the dolphins in the river! Plus it only cost 5 dollars a person to take a car down there. Well, when we go there, it turns out, you have to pay to get on a boat to see the dolphins, but it's totally against the white handbook. We were super bummed and asked if we were allowed to walk on the trail by the river and they said we would still have to pay as much as we would if we were to ride the boat. Anyway, we were super ticked because we wasted so much time to basically just sit in a cramped van together for five hours. So we all got cheap 2000 riel dolphin hand carved key chains. And I guess it's pretty cool to say we were the first missionaries ever to set foot there. 

A lot of our investigators were either out of town for New Years, busy, or just not answering our phone this week. It was a bummer, but we hope to catch a lot more of them this week. The girls that we taught last week didn't get permission from their parents to learn with us so we had to stop teaching them, and Malee the one we thought was really promising didn't come to church and we don't  have her number so we don't have a way to contact her. We are hoping she comes to English class this week! 

Picture 1 I woke up Sunday with a swollen eye lid and it was really funny ;) 

Picture 2 Om Cianthan, one of the recent converts we teach. She is 69 and is missing all her teeth hahah!
Chinese New Year here isn't as exciting as I thought it would be. It's loud here and there and there's lots of music playing and firecrackers going off and dragon dancing and all the classics. But we didn't really do anything fun or festive. We did try to proselyte but there aren't many people on the streets because everyone is inside playing cards and celebrating with their family. 

I noticed that a lot of this week, Sister Nhem and I talked about repentance and going to the temple with our less-actives and recent converts. The two go hand in hand really. We need to constantly repent and be worthy in order to go to the temple and be in the House of the Lord. What a peaceful place it is, I felt the Spirit so incredibly strong when we were bearing testimony of the holiness of the temple and power of repentance. 

I can't believe it's already week four of this transfer and that I have already been in country for two months now! It has been going by super fast which worries me a little. One night, I had a nightmare that I returned home from Cambodia and that I couldn't remember anything that happened besides training. I woke up in a sweat. 

Here are some funny things that I heard this week:
"I don't want to be reincarnated in to a tree or animal, ya know? I don't want to be mistreated"
"You're not Vietnamese, You're Japanese, Please stop lying. I'm going to go grab this Vietnamese person over here and see if you can speak to them. That'll show you" (He was drunk)
"Ok. Sister Big can pray to close" (referring to me)
"Wow, your siblings are really pretty but you..."

Also, this week as we were riding away from a lesson this week and we rode past a recent convert Bong Viak and she was reading the Book of Mormon and it was such a tender mercy! How faithful these people are. 

Well that's a summary of my week. I'm super pumped for this week too because we have zone training again! And really hoping we can find at least one family to teach before this transfer ends!! Hope you are all having the best 2016 ever and soaking up the awesomeness of America and eating all the cereal you can!! 


Sister Nguyen

Monday, February 1, 2016

The week we studied about when Nephi decides then and there that he will rely on the Lord forever

Hey. What's up? 

This week was another interesting week. On Monday, we were in Phnom Penh because of Sister Nhem's wrist but came back that night just in time for zone conference on Tuesday which was incredible. President and Sister Christensen are literally angels. We talked and learned a lot about becoming a deliberate disciple which is President's vision for the mission. Something that came up was the scripture 2 Nephi 4:30 when Nephi decides then and there that he will rely on the (hahah wait sorry I accidentally hit send). Anyway, Nephi decides then and there that he will rely on the Lord forever. And I realized a lot of being a deliberate disciple is having a willing spirit and deciding now that you will not give up or turn back. This week I just gained a lot of spiritual knowledge of things I should have known beforehand but didn't ever really think about. I'm seriously grateful for the hour of personal study we get each day to learn by the spirit. 

On Wednesday, we went with the elders to meet SokChen -- who was scheduled for baptism on Sunday-- for his baptismal interview. He's about 10 and was taught by the elders but they decided to hand him off to us because they were having problems with his mom. Anyway, he passed his interview and was just baptized yesterday, so now we get to finish up the recent convert lessons with him :) 

After the baptismal interview on Wednesday, Sister Nhem started feeling really dizzy and weak and was going to pass out, so we went home to let her rest. It was kind of scary because we weren't sure what was causing it because she had eaten plenty that morning and drank a lot of water. Turns out, she took  the medicine the doctor gave her on Monday. It was medicine to take only when you were in a lot of pain but she didn't know and took it because she thought it was medicine to help heal her. Anyway, we ended up spending the rest of the day in the house and she slept off the medicine and even the elders came over to give her a blessing. 

On Thursday, after weekly planning we headed back down to Phnom Penh for exchanges. I went with Sister Or Max who came in two months ago wit my group and Sister Nhem went with Sister Christensen who is from Springville, UT and knows the Tangrens! Small world!! Anyway, Sister Or Max is WAYYY good at English. She lived in Malaysia for 8 years and went to an international school, so when she speaks English sometimes I forget that she's Khmer because she knows so much. It was a way fun exchange and I certainly learned a lot from her. She is super obedient and and super diligent. There were a lot of things that she taught me to do that I didn't know we were supposed to be doing. Anyway, it was really good because again, it just goes to show how much obedience really does affect the work for the better. 

We came back to Kampong Cham on Saturday and met with Srey Niang and Lisa. We watched the Restoration video together and then taught the doctrine of Christ. It's really hard to tell where they are on a progression scale because they are always so so willing to learn but haven't come to church yet and aren't really keeping any commitments. 

Yesterday, all the missionaries gave talks in church and it was so fun. Our branch had 2 baptisms yesterday and they seem like they're going to be pretty solid members. Sister Nhem and I also cover Branch 1 so we always go to Branch 1 sacrament meeting. Anyway, we went and these three girls who regularly come to English class walked in. We talked to them after church and they said they could come back and meet with us at 5! So we ended up picking up three new investigators yesterday. It was an incredible lesson, one of the sreys even pulled out her book and pen to write things down haha. We are a little worried though because it turns out, they're under 18 and we have to get permission from their parents to continue teaching. So we have to wait for that before we continue teaching. 

A lot of this week will be setting up appointments and meeting with the contacts from the car wash. So I'm super hopeful that we find a family to teach because we haven't gotten to yet and this gospel really is a gospel for families. I'm excited to see what happens and I'M WAY STOCKED FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR. There are a considerable amount of Chinese and Vietnamese in Kampong Cham so I hope we get to be a part of some sort of celebration. Anyway, chuc mung nam moi! I love you all and have an awesome week!! 

Sister Nguyen

 Picture 1 Sister Brown and I -- nightly prayers. Sister Nhem and Ren thought this was hilarious
 Picture 2 Sister Nhem, my mom and Sister Sok, my sister! (We were both trained by Nhem)
 Picture 3 Pochey. My favorite person EVER.
Picture 4 MATCHING