Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Week of Contacting Gone Wrong! 7/24/16

Sua Sdei/ Xin Chao!!

This week was amazing! Chi Trinh and I saw so many miracles and can honestly testify of the Lord's hand in this work. 

This week, we were still a little dependent on the Elders and there help. They took us around to different members houses and we even go to sit in on lessons with them. In one of the lessons, while they were sharing I just looked up and realized what a blessing it is to be here in this branch serving with our Elders and Chi Trinh. Each of them has an incredibly powerful testimony and such a love for the work. I'm going to have to be super biased and say, I have the privilege of serving with the best of the best right now.  

We went to visit Co Phuong this week. Her family is super active and her husband is very famous among the Vietnamese branches here because he is such a strong member. Co, however, needs a little encouragement and strengthening of her faith. We visited her last week and committed her to reading the BOM. We came back this week, and she told us straight up she had not been reading because she is so busy. She wakes up at three in the morning to make truckloads of these Chinese buns with the meat inside for her husband to go sell. After she's done, she heads to the market to buy more ingredients and then she just gets caught up.We shared with her the importance of the BOM, and Chi Trinh was really straightforward and firm in telling her that she needed to read it. After the lesson was over and as we were headed out, Co Phuong took her BOM to the front of her house and sat down and read it. It was a real tender mercy.

Co Kim Anh is one of the less-actives we are trying to visit more often. Her and her husband have been members for over ten years and were actually part of getting the church started on the Vietnamese side of things. They are true pioneers. Right now, they are facing a huge trial. Co Kim Anh and her husband, Chu Ut Thi, have stopped going to church for two years now. They are both super sick and running out of food to eat and live in a really run down house. Chu Ut Thi was visited by another church and they offered to buy him a new house and take care of all his physical needs for basically the rest of his life if he would agree to be the leader of a new church. Chu and Co both have very strong testimonies of our church and we witnessed that as they testified to us, but they are in such a hard place that they are really considering leading the new church. They both know this is a trial, but are so overcome by their physical needs that they are not sure what to do. We have been visiting them and trying to encourage them to pray and ask Heavenly Father what they need to do.

We tried to visit a less-active named Co Hanh this week but she kept running away (literally) and hiding from us. One day, we went to her house and she wasn't there. We talked to one of her neighbors who is actually from Kampuchea Kraom so she knows a lot of Vietnamese. This woman has 14 children and one more on the way! We shared with her about prayer and she told us she would be interested in learning more and told us to come back next Sunday! We really hope and pray we get to start teaching her family too! 

Contacting is the best with Chi Trinh. She is slowly but surely learning Khmer and it's actually the funniest thing ever. She doesn't speak clearly but still tried super hard. Here are some funny things she accidentally said wrong this week
"Do you want to sing about Jesus Christ?" (People usually politely reply, "Oh I have heard a song about Jesus before!")
"You can pee with your kids in our English class!" (To guide and to pee sound fairly similar)
None of the people we contact are super turned off though and are always very understanding haha

All in all, it was a super fun and miracle filled week. This week, we get Sister Cheney, the new american sister, with us while Sister Dao goes and does training for English class. We are way pumped and are very hopeful this week is as awesome as the last. 

I love you all and hope you are enjoying your last few weeks of summer! 

P.s. If anyone has tips on how to study two languages at once, that would be awesome sauce.

Sister Wing/ Chi Ca Nguyen 

Picture 1 KaKa is super shy and naps a lot and always follows girls around haha

Picture 2 Chi Trinh being taught by a 7 year old on how to read Khmer

Picture 3 Less-active Co Kim Anh

Picture 4 We are huge fans of face masks

The Week Chi Trinh and I Became a TV Show! 7/17/16

Chi Trinh and I are officially in Branch 3 out in Toul Sang Ke and are whitewashing! Luckily, our Elders have been so kind as to show us around and introduce us to a lot of members. Now it is just a matter of remembering the roads, but Chi Trinh literally has a gift of remembering everything so I am not too worried.

This week was a little stressful because we had to get everything together for our house. No one has been here for six months and so there was literally nothing in the house, but a few piece of broken furniture. It was really fun putting everything together with Chi Trinh though! We both agreed that we now have gained a lot of experience for our future life. 

We saw a lot of miracles happen in just one day. Yesterday was our first real day of proselyting on our own with the exception of one house the elders had to show us. A lot of the families here are part-member families and luckily we came right when the non-LDS family members were home. All in all, we picked up two new investigators yesterday. We taught both of them how to pray and afterwards invited them to pray. It was so cool!! After they prayed they said they felt soo happy.

Chi Trinh and I went contacting and it has become one of our favorite parts of the day. We contacted under this bridge we were supposed to meet our elders at. People were just walking up to us and Chi Trinh was so happy and said it was real evidence of the power of God. We actually found a Vietnamese lady and she said we were more than welcome to come over and meet with her! SCORE. And then there was this other lady selling souvenirs. We started talking to her and could see so much pain in her eyes. We told her that and then testified of the power of prayer and how much Heavenly Father loves her. She literally started crying and we were so amazed at the power of testimony. It was so heartbreaking though because after everything she still said she was too busy to learn with us. I am still a little distraught at that. 

Yesterday, while we were just sitting in church listening to the speakers talk during sacrament when suddenly the Branch President called both Chi Trinh and I to come up and introduce ourselves and share a little bit. We were caught way off guard and both of us just stiffened up. To this minute, neither of us remembers what we said on the pulpit hahah 

The Vietnamese is slowly but surely coming. My companion is the most supportive and caring person ever. We are sure to laugh each day and make the best of everything. It is a real blast. 

Oh! As for the title of this email, we have a huge window in our kitchen that our khmer neighbors just watch us through now. Its way funny and Chi Trinh likes to sing to them in Vietnamese and offer them frozen chocolate from America. They just sit and watch us cook and we talk to them, one of them is an 18 girl who just came from the provinces and is really lonely and has no friends so we've been trying to fellowship her and invite her to church.

That's it from this week! Sorry I dont really have any good pictures to send this week! Ill take more next week!!! 

I love my mission and having the opportunity to serve to Lord each day. 

Also I love you all a lot and thank you for your constant prayers and emails of support. 



p.s. Even my companion who is Vietnamese never says my name right. ill never win. 

The First Real Week 7/10/16


We got the transfer call last night. Chi Trinh and I will be headed to branch 3 up in north stake and Chi Dao and Chi Cheney will stay here and watch over Branch 6 & 10. 

This week, I can testify that the gift of tongues is so real. Heavenly Father has been helping me so much with both languages and I can really see His hand in my life and in the work. 

So this is how the whole Vietnamese thing works. The Vietnamese are just spread out all over the city, but most of them are located in three areas and that's what Branch 3, 6, and 10 are. Our areas are abnormally huge compared to the Khmer programs areas. We just really have to put on our best listening ears to see who speaks Vietnamese and see if they want to learn or not. Other than that, we go visit less-actives or active members. 

Yesterday, I gave my first talk in Vietnamese! I got up there and was so nervous but I started speaking and it just felt so easy and I really did feel the Holy Ghost just guiding me through the whole thing. But as soon as I thought about myself being up there, I panicked and got way nervous again and started stumbling over my words. The members are wayyy nice though and were so encouraging and were so amazed that I spoke both language, which is way funny because so do they! Hahah

In one of the Sunday school classes, we were talking about what we could do to have a better relationship with Heavenly Father. One of the members brought up strengthening our prayers. Awesome, right?! But wait, and then she said what we need to do it change into our best clothes right before we pray and then kneel and pray in front of the altar of God each of us should have in our homes....That's the church in Cambodia. There's a lot of misunderstandings and little knowledge about a lot of things, but these saints are awesome because what they lack on knowledge, they make up for in their amount of faith. They know of the importance of the Gospel and the power that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have and it's awesome! 

I'm so happy to be here! Sometimes, when I am on my bike I find myself being overcome with an immense feeling of peace and love in my heart. I would not change my mission call for anything and am so honored to be serving these people. 

I can't wait to tell you about the new area next week!! I heard it's an awesome area for Khmers and Vietnamese! 

I love you all!!

Chi Ca Nguyen

P.S. People still don't say my name right hahah

Picture 1 We matched but you can't even see dang it 
Picture 2 One of the members had us over for FHE and made us some bomb viet food that tasted just like Mom's
Picture 3 My very sweet companions


The Week of the Other Side! 7/3/16

Xin chao/ sua sdei!! 
This week, I hit many milestones. One, I turned 20 and now I am officially an adult. But that's ok because we all know that I am a 5 year old at heart. Two, I hit my half way mark! That means 9 months left. At first, I thought that my mission was going by way fast but then, I got switched programs and now, it has significantly slowed down. Hooray to learning a new language! 
These past few days have been the most exhausting and emotionally draining ever, but I have two of the BEST companions in the mission. Sister Dao is from Colorado and has been out for a long time and dies in three months! Sister Trinh is from Ho Chi Minh and has been out for six months! Sister Dao and Sister Trinh have been nothing but supportive. They really want to help and take care of me so this is what they do, Sister Dao speaks in Vietnamese while Sister Trinh translates. When we go to appointments, Sister Dao bikes in front and Sister Trinh bikes behind me and they sandwich me like a new born baby. 
Right now, we are waiting for Sister Cheney, the new Sister, to get here in a week!! We are so excited for the work to be growing!! Once Sister Cheney gets here, Sister Dao, Sister Trinh and I will split and become two companionships.
There are only 3 Vietnamese branches and only 9 missionaries! 
Yesterday was the first day of church and it was SO EXHAUSTING. We cover two Vietnamese branches which in essence covers almost all three Khmer stakes in the City! We sat through six hours of church yesterday. The first three hours were great! And I understood a lot and it was awesome, but then the last three hours in Branch 10 were incredibly tiring and I think I actually started falling asleep. Afterwards, one of the counselors from the branch presidency came up to me and asked if I was the new Sister and what my name was. I replied and he said "cool. I have a present for you" and gave me a topic card for talking in sacrament meeting next week. I'm way nervous but my companions have a lot of faith and confidence in me. I speak mediocre enough that people ask whether I am from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh! hahaha 
The Vietnamese Program has been a complete 180. I admire this group of missionaries more than anything. They are some of the most hardworking and humble people I have ever met. They are so good and have been nothing but encouraging and charitable. I am more than honored to be here doing this work with them. This is going to be an awesome 9 months! 

Sorry, this email is all over the place. A lot of things happened this week and it was a little overwhelming and I can't really organize my thoughts ahhh 
This is my favorite quote this week, "Do you know why this Sister is so big? It's because she drinks elephant milk!" -one of the members. Thank you to Heavenly Father for allowing me to understand that much haha  
I know that Heavenly Father will help me through this and I am more than grateful to be serving in Cambodia! I have seen His hand so much in my life and in this work already! I love you all! And shout out to mom, I can actually talk to you when I get home!! NO MORE KITCHEN VIETNAMESE!!!

daoy seckdeisrolan,
Chi Ca Nguyen

Picture 1 and 2 and 3 Goodbye to some of the TTP members/ investigators

Picture 4 Some of the TTP Youth got me a cake for my birthday! haha so sweet!

Picture 5 My companions and my RC, Thanh! I am actually serving in her branch now! 

Picture 6 can you guess which legs are mine?  

The Week of the New Mission Call 6/26/16

Before I say anything let me flash you back to my training days, probably my second month in country. I was at the mission home and President Christensen pulled me into his office and asked me about my Vietnamese abilities. I told him a little better than kitchen Vietnamese but that I did not know how to read or write. He said that was fine and that it would be easy to learn. I asked him what his intentions were and he said he wouldn't switch me over to the Vietnamese program unless something happened to one of the Sisters or unless they really needed me. He asked me how I would feel if I switched over and I said politely that I would be more than happy to but that I was having so much fun in the Khmer program and that I really loved the language! I was relieved and continued on with my mission when he told me not to worry. 

This week, transfer calls came. I was feeling pretty peaceful and was really pulling for another transfer here in Toul Tom Pong. Well, President called the other set of sisters in our house and I heard Sister Lines scream and we all suspected that he was calling to ask Sister Schwab to be Sister AP. But then she looked up and pointed to me (Xiong and I lost our phone this week, so he couldn't call us directly) This is how my conversation went with President...
"Hi, Sister Nguyen. How are you doing?"
"I'm nervous."
"Why are you nervous?"
"Why are you calling me President?"
"Well, it's the Sunday night before transfers and you know what I usually do, right? I call people. I have a special assignment for you"
I thought he was going to call me to whitewash or be a Sister Training Leader or finish up training one of the new missionaries, but no. He switched me over to the Vietnamese program and my heart literally dropped and my stomach twisted and turned. I sat crying on the phone asking him not to because I was just beginning to learn Khmer and I really was loving it. He said that he felt really strongly about this and that he really felt that it's what Heavenly Father wanted as well. He added that I knew enough Khmer now and that it was time. Anyway, I'm way sad, and really nervous because it will basically be like training all over again -- learning a new language and all. But I am SO grateful and honored to be able to help the church grow here. Plus, I'll still be in Cambodia, only now I'll be speaking Vietnamese and be in the same two area for the rest of my mission. It's cool too because I'll be basically starting a new mission exactly on the day of my half way mark! 

This week was way interesting. My companion is going through some of her own struggles plus she has had this nasty cold so we didn't proselyte very much this week. We got maybe two hours of proselyting in each day. So basically, I sat inside the house, updated Convert Baptismal Records, and cleaned the house a million times. I really started to go stir crazy. It's funny because on Thursday I was way bummed that we didn't get to go out and then our house literally flooded and I ended up mopping the house down for the rest of the day. It's like Heavenly Father knew I was bored and wanted to give me something to do. 

I love this area so much. I'm more than grateful to have served here for so long. The members here are the best and are so loving. I'm so sad to be leaving them. I love my companion. And I'm grateful to have been able to serve in the Khmer program. I honestly think Heavenly Father let me marinate on this side of the mission for this long so I could meet some of the mission's best missionaries. 

Ok. That's all from me. I love you all so much and am thankful for your support. I hope you are all enjoying your busy summer and soaking up the sun! 

Chi Ca Nguyen 

Picture 1 Sister Ren who was in the house with me during training came for an exchange with Sister Schwab!
Picture 2 Pharun in TTP. She's awesome and knows so much English. She's leaving for her mission pretty soon!
Picture 3 Probably my favorite investigator ever. Her name is Thida and she's so awesome. She was so sad I was leaving but said she would still learn and get baptized because she's getting baptized for God not for me :)
Picture 4 Kanika. She was born in America but lives over here. She's the best and I love her like a little sister. 

Picture 5 PUPPIES

Sorry, I''m way bad at emailing. 6/19/16

Sour Sdei!

Sorry, I''m way bad at emailing. This is what's been up lately. 

Toul Tom Pong is kind of plateauing right now. We haven't been able to find new investigators that really want to learn about the gospel. And those we do find end up being in a different area, so we have to hand them over to the other sisters. The other day, we came out of a lesson at the church and walked to the front and there was a random lady standing there with her male friend. She asked our investigator, Sophaly, about English class but wouldn't look at me when I tried to answer. And then she tried to quietly ask Sophaly what nationality I was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I answered and told her I was from America, but I was Vietnamese. And then I think it finally clicked in her head that I spoke Khmer. We ended up talking for a little and turns out she's way cool. After talking she said this to me in her cute broken English, "I think you are now my best friend. I always come here to ask questions about English class and then leave after I ask, but this time, I stay and talk to you. I feel so good when I talk to you. You make me so happy. You can come to my house and I will make you food, Chinese or Khmer!" I asked her if she wanted to learn about Jesus Christ and she said, "Yes. You can come to my house and teach me." Big bummer, she is in Comkarmon, but the desire is still there so we gave her to the CKM sisters. Even though it was a bummer, I was so comforted in hearing what she said. We really do make a difference as missionaries, even though sometimes we don't see the immediate effects.  

Our mission is doing a HUGE focus on Family History and Temple Work and so we've been going around and teaching that to basically everyone including our super active members. It's been way good and we've gotten a lot of training on it. There's this little book we invite everyone to fill out. It's called, "My family Book" and there is a section for "Me" and Mom and Dad and Grandparents and stuff like that. It's way fast and so fun. I love families, so I'm so happy we're really emphasizing the importance of it. What's way cool is that most Khmers understand the importance of families already! One of my companions told me, "Sister, have you ever wondered why Khmers always say their last name first on everything?? It's because we always think about our families first. In America, you say your first name first, because you think about yourself" (YIKES) but there's that. Also, our mission just got a senior couple who specializes in Family History and Genealogy so the work is really about to pick up!! 

On Thursday, Sister Soem came back to TTP for an exchange and we were back at it. It was so much fun beign with her and teaching with her again! She's soo good and I could rave about her forever. Plus, the members were so happy to see her again and it was way weird because they were talking to me so much because they were so happy we were back together. But once she left, they were back to normal...hahaha 

On Saturday, Thanh got baptized into the Vietnamese 6th Branch! We showed up at 11 and THANH WAS STILL NOT THERE. So I stated pacing and getting really nervous, but then she finally showed up! We ended up having to ask a member to translate for me, Sister Xiong, and Thanh. Thanh had to get up and bear her testimony but couldn't do it in Vietnamese so she read off of a paper she wrote in Khmer. She was so nervous haha,but now she's determined to learn Vietnamese so she can actually understand what's going on in church. And then after the baptism, as their "light snack", the branch provided us with bun cha gio thit nuong. It was like a full on meal and it was AWESOME. It's funny because when we were preparing for the baptism, I asked the Viet Elders if there was anything we could do or bring to help and in his broken English Elder K said, ""it's ok. my branch will take care of it. after the baptism we will feast". And we really did end up feasting! 

After that, we had mutual with the YW and they demanded that I show them how to make cake. Joke's on them, because I had no idea how to make cake and actually just got the recipe off of the internet. It ended up being a big mess because 1. Mixing bowls are not a thing in Cambodia so we mixed everything in small bowls or the cookingpans 2. Ovens in Cambodia are awful. It ended up taking a lot longer than expected and creating a huge mess. The Young Women then decided that I really didn't know how to make cake. It tasted pretty good though. Also, we had to use duck eggs because we couldn't find any chicken eggs hahahah

Well, that's everything exciting that has happened this week. This next week is transfer calls and I'm a little nervous/anxious to see if I will be staying in TTP because I have been here for three transfers already! Plus, this transfer that is coming up is going to be an 8 week transfer! OOOHH AHHHH ok. 

I love you all. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Happy Sunday. I hope you have a splendid week and are all enjoying Summer!!!! 

Sister Nguyen 


 Picture 2 The whole gang

Picture 3 Oops
Picture 4 The most appetizing cake you will ever see in Cambodia....