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.

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