Sunday, September 29, 2013

3 weeks down

Goodness, these emails are always so hard because there are a million things I could tell you about. I could tell you about how I was not selected to sing in the Relief Society choir because I didn't talk myself up enough in the survey, or I could tell you about how the MTC president got mad at the Hmong Elders in my zone for singing happy birthday (which no one even knew was against the rules). There's tons of frustrating things I could tell you about, but I won't.

Yesterday in Tuesday devotional Elder Clarke of theSeventy told us about how much our missions can bless our families if we work faithfully. He also told us to focus on writing home about our spiritual experiences instead of the less significant things we are doing. I realized there are a hundred bad things I could tell you that happened this week, but there are a million amazing things that happened too! 
On Monday I was really able to see just how much the Spirit effects our teaching. Earlier that day I was really frustrated with my companion for who knows what, and I was mad for a few hours. During those few hours I could feel that my heart wasn't in the right place, but I didn't know how to change it. We taught a lesson to Chi Mai and everything was going wrong. It was probably my worst lesson I have had so far. I kept mixing all my words, and the Spirit really wasn't there the entire lesson. I was so mad at myself for messing up the lesson! Afterwards we had personal study. I don't remember what it was that I studied, but once I had prayed and started reading from The Book of Mormon I felt so much better! I could feel the Holy Ghost influencing me again. That evening we had a lesson with Co Nung, a really difficult investigator, and even though she cannot see how important The Gospel is, the Spirit was with us in that lesson. It's amazing what can be accomplished when we have the Holy Ghost with us! 
I really hope you are all having spiritual experiences. The best way to feel the Spirit and to feel happy is through prayer. Prayer is THE most important thing we teach and need people to do. An investigator will never know of the truthfulness of the gospel until they sincerely pray unto Heavenly Father. They can believe our words all they want, but until they pray and have that spiritual confirmation they'll never really know that this IS the church of Jesus Christ. 
Here's some fun things that happened this week:
Elder Pham turned 19 on Saturday! The Sisters in my room, Sister Dunster, Sister Walker, my companion and I decorated the chalk board in our classroom for him. On the board we wrote 19 things we love about Elder Pham. We also had the entire zone sign cards for him. Sister Litchfield and I bought him 19 little gifts from the book store. Every gift had a little note on it that had a little inside joke. I cannot believe that our little zone of five missionaries already has so many inside jokes -  I love them though!
Guess what I did? I PLAYED SPORTS! Round of applause for Sister Egelund! Did you all hear that, I played sports! On Saturday we played softball and I hit a double! It was awesome, and I was so proud of myself. I think it was just luck though because I was wearing my Atlanta Braves shirt! I played sand volleyball for the first time! For all six years of Young Women's I always went home when they played volleyball, but this mission thing has made me a new woman or something. Haha The only thing I can do is serve the ball, but still. I even touched the ball three times yesterday. I mean, one of those times I ducked and it hit me on the back; regardless, it was sweet. So yeah, when I get home you should expect me to be super buff.
Speaking of getting home (not that I ever want my mission to end), my ministerial license expires February 19, 2015 so expect me to be coming home sometime around that date. 
I'm praying for all of you at home! I hope you're all looking for experiences to be missionaries! Everyone, please strive to be a member missionary! I love you all, I'll talk to you next week.

-Sister Egelund/ Chi Trinh
Oh, and for those that have asked, Vietnamese speakers do change their last name. All words in Vietnamese are one syllable so it's difficult to say a lot of American last names. I chose the name Trinh because it's my mom's maiden name, and it's also my brother Eric's middle name. It's pretty cool to be able to choose a name that means a lot to me! 

 Jacobi and I are in the same ward, but we had to have Elder Witt in it too because Sisters and Elders can't be in pictures alone.
The Hmong Elders and I at the temple. Elder Henrie wanted to plank because he's never seen anyone plank in a mission picture before...Elder Pham thought he was an idiot.
The District right before Elder Ho and Elder Ha left for Cambodia.

Elder Culley is a friend of mine from SVU and Elder Yu knows him from high school. He came last Wednesday and I was looking for him EVERYWHERE! I finally saw him at the temple and I totally freaked out when I saw him!

Sister Litchfield and I with Elder Pham on his birthday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My District at the map.

Our first Temple trip as a District.

The Cambodia flag.

One of my best peep's from SVU, Elder Matheny.

Sister Hale, also from SVU. She's going to Denmark.

The Situation - Week 2

So here's the sitch with week two at the MTC:
On Thursday our fast track Elders left our district. It was a bummer to see them go. Now our district is only Elder Seegmiller, Pham the younger, Tran and Sister Litchfield and I. We get tons more done now that our class is smaller! We have two teachers now, Sister Bayles and Sister Pinter. They both served in Cambodia about a year ago and now they're best friends. They're basically the coolest ladies ever.
Our teachers are also our investigators. Preparing to teach investigators is basically the scariest thing ever, but once we get into the lesson things are pretty awesome! The hardest thing is completely relying on the Spirit to tell you what to say and not trying to plan every single thing. The more I have been relying on the Spirit the better my lessons have been though!
The MTC is like a big huge class reunion. I know at least 20 people here! I cannot go anywhere in this place without seeing someone I know. I love seeing people I know, it makes things a little less stressful when I can talk to an old friend. SPEAKING OF OLD FRIENDS...Why has no one written me letters?! I have a big sign over my head reading 'Sister Egelund is a loser' because I never get mail! So this is my discrete way of saying I want letters from all of you.
So sorry my topics aren't very coherent; I have become a speed typer trying to get everything written.
The sister missionaries will be singing in the General Conference Relief Society broadcast! But here's the thing...they'll only let you sing in it if you are good. They made us fill out a survey asking about our musical background and one of the questions was "What level of choir have you performed in?" The lowest level was ward that means my required 7th grade choir doesn't even make the cut. Wha Whaa Whaaaaaaa.
Okay, I think that's all I have to say this week. I am pretty boring as a missionary. Xin Loi Khong Xin Loi, that means sorry not sorry. It's one of the first things I taught myself to say in Vietnamese! Oh, I learned how to bear my testimony in Vietnamese this week! It's so amazing how one day I think there is no way I can remember a word, then the next morning I have tons of words stuck in my head that I didn't even know I knew.
I hope everyone in the real world is doing well! I love you all! Keep it real!
-Sister Egelund
Here's my address if anyone wants to write me:
Sister Emily Marie Egelund
2007 North 900 East UNIT 48
Provo, UT 84602

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One week down in the MTC!

Well, hello real world people!                                             

So the MTC is amazing, but it's like living in a parallel universe. So let me tell you about my district because they're amazing! There are six elders and two sisters, my companion Sister Litchfield and I. We're all going to Cambodia except for an Elder going to Australia and an Elder going to Anaheim, California. That's the mission Ashly lives in, so if you see Elder Seegmiller tell him I say hi! Everyone is Vietnamese except for Sister Litchfield, she's just a white girl from Florida. The names of the Elders are: Pham the elder, Pham the younger, Tran, Ho, Ha and Seegmiller. Pham the elder, Ha and Ho are all being fast tracked so they'll all be out in three weeks! I could probably be fast tracked but that would leave my companion all alone. Besides, I am way too scared to be in Cambodia in just three weeks. I love my district though. They're what's keeping me sane. We have a lot of fun together, but we also learn SO much from one another. The first few days we spent a lot of time learning Vietnamese from one another, and now we are spending a lot of time just sharing our favorite scriptures and testimonies with one another. After just a couple days we already felt like family! I don't know if everyone feels like this and just doesn't talk about it, but being part of a district is so amazing and supportive. Missionary work is the! 
We have an investigator named Hang, we've been teaching her since Friday. It's so fun to teach, but really difficult. I understand everything she is asking me, but I have no idea how to say anything back. We not only have to simplify lessons to make them easier for her to understand, but we also have to dumb things down so we can communicate with her. We've already taught her about prayer and a little bit about the prophet President Monson - she wanted to know if he spoke Vietnamese haha. Tonight we're going to back track a little bit and teach her about The Restoration. 
WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE THIS MORNING! Goodness I just love the temple! It was so fun to see my entire zone dressed in white! Seriously, if you are able to attend the temple, DO IT!! I promise you it is worth it. And yesterday at the devotional I had the opportunity to sing in the choir, that was amazing too. The speaker talked about member missionaries, which has been one of my favorite topics lately. It seriously is so important that members seek those that need to hear The Gospel! And it is suuuuper important that they fellowship not only recent converts in their wards, but remember to love those that are active and less-active. A missionary works to bring others unto Christ and to baptism, and a member works to help them progress in coming unto Christ! 
Well there's not much else to say, sorry this is boring. The Church is still true! Everyone stay righteous and WRITE ME LETTERS! I feel like a loser when they hand out mail and I don't get any. It makes me feel better though when the Elders get huge packages of candy and I just eat all of it.
I love you all, and Jesus loves you even more!
-Sister Emily Egelund AKA Chi Trinh (Sister Trinh - the name I will use on my mish)