Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kickball is my favorite past time.

Sorry folks, no great story this week. But here's a bunch of golden things that happened recently:
We convinced Elder Pham that he was supposed to be showering with a bathing suit on. I told him it was in the white handbook and everything. He was really worried for a while that he had been breaking the rules the entire time, and Sister Litchfield told him that he should probably talk to the branch president about it. He's a goob and believed us for a couple hours. Hahaha.
Kickball is my favorite past time.
The zone has been playing kickball everyday and it's basically the BEST thing ever. Because I'm a ManBear and kickball was the only sport East Hollywood participated in, I am a kickball master. Playing really gets out all of our anger because we yell at each other the entire time. Sister Litchfield was running to second base where Elder Phung, the tiny little Asian kid who looks like he's 15, was standing. She ran full speed towards him screaming "Move it, Phung!!" That's probably the highlight of my week. One of the games Elder McGavin was up to kick and completely missed the ball multiple times. Right after that he was in outfield and laying on the ground because he was laughing so hard, and someone kicked the ball directly to him. I completely lost it! I started screaming at the top of my lungs at him. He had one job -  and he blew it. I could probably tell a million stories of funny things that have happened during kickball, but you have to be there to truly understand how hilarious it is. So sorry that you're missing out on awesome kickball games!
One thing that is really obnoxious at the MTC is missionaries are always walking around trying to talk to other people in the language they're learning. I mean, I get that you're practicing, but obviously I don't speak Maltese. So whenever people try to talk to me in their languages I just say trai cai, which means fruit. I think everyone at the MTC thinks that trai cai means hello in Viet, but really I'm just calling them all fruits.
Sister Litchfield and I had to go to the hospital again because she had the 24 hour flu. This hospital visit was cool as well. We met Elder Lund of the Seventy, saw a newborn baby being cleaned (I actually hated seeing that), met a family who's daughter had just had her first child and named him Indiana Jones, and talked to a girl working at the gift shop who is considering serving. The hospital is a sweet place to meet cool people!
When the Elders need someone to be interviewed for baptism the zone leaders interview them. The zone leaders don't speak Vietnamese though, so Sister Litchfield and I translate the interview. It was going smoothly...until we asked about the Word of Wisdom and she said that she had only been following it for...ONE DAY. Dang it! Well, that didn't fly so now we will have to meet with her in three weeks to interview her again. That was a bummer. But in three weeks we're going to be in CAM-BAM! That's right, 12 days left until we leave!! We should be getting our travel plans tomorrow! I cannot believe I have already spent seven weeks here! Cray.
Because my zone is so huge my branch now has a fourth counselor! But in two weeks over 30 of us are leaving and the zone will be about 10 people. So that will be interesting. Oh and the new counselor has a beautiful wife and it's really weird because they're fairly old.
Sorry I don't have much to say, but if you vote for me I'll make your wildest dreams come true.
With heap loads of love,
Sister Egelund

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Never Ending Story 10/16/2013

(News anchor voice) Hi, I'm Sister Egelund, reporting straight from the MTC, and you're reading my email! *super cool montage*
Greetings loved ones. I have had quite the week! Let's just take a moment now to mentally prepare ourselves for a fairly long email...are you ready? Now let us begin. 

Let's go back to the past Wednesday. As you know I had been sick for a few weeks with a cough. No big deal, right? Wrong. Around 5 o'clock I started to have a really sharp pain in my ribs every time I coughed or laughed. I ignored the pain though in hopes that it would go away soon. At dinner it became worse, but I am a fool and continued to ignore the pains. My companion, Sister Litchfield kept suggesting that we go to the medical center, but I'm not really into going to the doctors. I'm not about that life style. Following dinner Sister Litchfield and I taught an investigator, Co Nung. I estimate that I said four sentences the entire lesson. I spent the rest of the time pressing on my ribs and began to freak out while Sister Litchfield was teaching. Once we had finished teaching Co Nung I ran to the bathroom to check out the spot that was hurting...it was darker than the rest of my skin. No big deal or anything though. That was a lie, it was a really big deal. I showed Sister Litchfield and she told me we had to go find the doctor. She thought that it might be my appendix that was my problem...so that really calmed me down... So we ran to the classroom to grab our bags and we had to write on the board where we were going. She wrote "Cac Chi di seek medical attention #NBD." Well Cac has a tone over the top and while we're walking out the door she turns around and asks if you put the right tone on the word. Haha I'm nearly crying because I'm in pain and she was worried that she didn't put the right tone on a word. It was classic.
Once we got to the front desk and explained to the lady working what was happening, she slowly grabbed a piece of paper and started questioning me. ARE YOU KIDDING? I was in tons of pain and this lady thought I was lying about it. Once she called a doctor and he said I should go to the hospital, we had to wait 20 minutes for the MTC van to come back. Sister Litchfield and I had to sit on the couch listening to the people at the front desk talk about their smelly feet while I was beginning to see the light. Haha Finally the van came back and we went to the Instacare in Provo. Once we got there there was more waiting. Once I was taken back to the room I was told there was nothing they could do to help me there, but based on where my pain was it might be my gallbladder. Great. If I wasn't feeling like a 10 before he said that, I definitely was now. Not. We then had to wait again for the shuttle to come back and take us to the emergency room. Fifteen minutes passed and the shuttle came back to take us, just to find out that the emergency room was right around the corner and I could have easily walked there.
Well we get to the emergency room, checked in, and guess what we had to do? Wait. This was definitely a test of patience. There was a movie playing in the waiting room, and Sister Litchfield and I were so good and faced away from the television. We were really proud of ourselves for not being worldly, then felt bad about being prideful. Sister Litchfield's aunt works in the O.R. so we had someone call for her and she came down and visited with us while waiting -  that was fun for Sister Litchfield. She only works on Wednesday nights, so Litchfield owes me big time for getting sick on the only day her aunt works. About a half hour later I was taken back to a room to get an IV, and because I have the best luck in the world the IV didn't work - the needle wouldn't separate from the tube, so know I have a knarly bruise on my arm. I just tell people I have an abusive companion.
So then they took me to my own room. They gave me a hospital robe to wear, it was kinda fun. I felt weird not having my missionary tag on my shirt, so I put it on. Haha the doctor thought I was a loser. The nurse came and said they were going to try and give me an IV again. Umm. No. This was the worst. So while the nurse gave me the IV Sister Litchfield made me bear testimony in Vietnamese. Cons to an IV: Needles, bruises, pain. Pros to an IV: MORPHINE! They gave me morphine and it was spectacular. I was feeling like gold hopped up on morphine, so when I went to get x-rays they pushed me on a bed through the hospital. If that's not first class I don't know what is. I got some x-rays, got pushed back to my room, then lied there while Sister Litchfield and her aunt talked in the hall. I was pretty bored so I tried holding my breath to see if my pulse would change on the monitor. It didn't, so that was a bust. Later Sister Litchfield came in and read scriptures to me while her aunt went and performed a surgery. That was the best part of the night for me! She read from Mosiah 3 & 4 - my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon! The spirit was really strong in the room! It's so cool that no matter where you are or what situation you're in you can read from the Book of Mormon and feel the Spirit!
Well following that the doctor came in and told me the diagnosis. It wasn't my appendix, it wasn't my gallbladder, it wasn't my respiratory system, all I had done was pulled a muscle near my lungs from coughing too much! Seriously, five hours at the hospital, just to find out I pulled a muscle. No, the pain was really bad though. They gave me a prescription for ibuprofen and I planned on filling it the next day at the BYU medical center. Once the MTC van came and picked us up again the driver asked if we wanted to go fill the prescription. We asked where we could fill it and she said we could go to Riteaid or Walgreens. Sitting in the dark van Sister Litchfield and I look at each other and fist bumped. WE WERE GOING TO A STORE IN THE REAL WORLD!! We stopped in the parking lot and literally ran into the store. I went and picked up the prescription and started buying anything and everything I could. Seriously, I was going insane! I was in a real store, plus it was like 11 o'clock! I have never felt so liberated in my life! Haha.
We finally got back to the MTC around 11:30 and when we checked back in they gave me a voucher so I could call home for seven minutes. Yes, seven whole minutes of talking on the phone! I called home a couple days later and when I talked to my mom I spoke Vietnamese the whole time. It was pretty sweet!
So that is a story I like to refer to as the Emergency Room Fiasco on 2013.
Hmmm what else happened this week?
The Hmong Elders gave me a healing blessing and it was awesome! The Priesthood is awesome!
Our investigator, Chi Mai got baptized!
The two Thai districts left for Thailand.
Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us!
Our zone moved buildings. The desks in the new building are the whips and we're all upset.
We sang Silent Night in Vietnamese and it was THE most pathetic thing ever.
And last but not least, being a missionary is the bees knees!
We got our new name tags with our Vietnamese names! Apparently Trinh means virgin, so that fun.
(Reported voice) Reporting straight from the MTC, I'm Sister Egelund. Until next week - back to you at the news room, Joe!
Sister Litchfield drew the Elders on balloons while we were bored...we are easily entertained.
The entire South East Asian zone the night before the Thai's left.
New name tag!
Wearing my name tag on my hospital robe! Haha.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Yo yo yiggidy yo!

Yo yo yiggidy yo! (Sorry, that's not Vietnamese)
- I just got done hosting a new sister missionary going to Hong Kong. She's the sister of an Elder in my zone, Elder Choi, and she's in our zone too! It's going to be so weird to have siblings together! If Eric was with me in the MTC right now I would probably just hang out with him all the time and we would tell jokes on jokes. 
So how is everyone doing? How is my pet goldfish, Joey? I really hope he's waiting for me...
- Everyone here has been worrying about this whole government fiasco. To everyone that wrote in my letters "the government shut down", then didn't say anything else about it, you are the worst! If you don't tell me about things going on in the world, there is no way I will know what's happening. So I would appreciate a bit more detail. Please and thank you. Seriously though, we are so cut off from the world it's crazy! The first time we watched a movie here it was so weird and my first thought was "Ooooh moving pictures!" Haha.
- I have been sick for two weeks now and it's the whips. I feel like two cents all the time, which in turn makes me super irritable...and it's making me fat. You know, I might be getting fat because I have no self control; regardless, I hate it. My teachers say I'll lose tons of weight in Cam-Bam though, so let's keep our fingers crossed for that! 
-GENERAL CONFERENCE!! I loved watching conference so much, especially the Saturday sessions. So you know how President Monson announced how many missionaries were in the field? Right after he said that this insane sister raised her arms and screamed! Everyone turned to her and gave her death glares. I was pretty embarrassed FOR her. lol I suppose she's just really YOLO'ing up the mission. 
Anyway, I loved that there was so much emphasis on member-missionaries. "The greatest and most important duty is to share the gospel." How true that is! Even before I became a full-time missionary, I loved sharing this glad message with otherS! The message of the restored gospel is something I hope everyone has the opportunity to hear. The joy and Spirit you can feel when sharing is amazing! I really hope you're all doing everything you can to be missionaries!
Sorry this is short. Weeks are all blending together so I don't remember what happened this week. 
I love you all! Be good. Keep it real, keep it fresh.
 There are so many people here from Southern Virginia U! This is probably 1/16 of the SVU
population that's here.

All the sisters going to Cambodia thought it would be funny to take a picture with our helmets on...we got a lot of weird looks while taking this one.

Part of the zone between conference sessions on Saturday. It's mostly just the Hmong Elders.

Monday, October 7, 2013

4 weeks down!

First off, shout out to all the people that have written me letters and sent packages the past few weeks! I absolutely love getting stuff in the mail! It's funny how much a simple letter can brighten a day!
It has been a good week! I honestly can't remember most of it though. Time is so weird here in the MTC, the days seem to never end but the weeks go by in a minute. I cannot believe I've already been here for a month!
So Saturday was the General Relief Society broadcast and all the sisters were gone, so I was kind of alone without a companion most of the day. It was so weird to not have someone with me all the time. On Saturday's we do a thing called TRC. Volunteers that speak Vietnamese come in and you teach them a brief lesson, it's a little bit like home teaching. It's fun though because they don't try to act like they don't know anything about the church. Most of the time they're members, and they'll help you out if you don't know how to say something. Anyway, so while Sister Litchfield was at the broadcast I taught with my teacher, Sister Pinter, for the first lesson. The volunteers were three RM's who served in California and Australia Vietnamese speaking. The lesson was so bad! I was so nervous speaking Vietnamese in front of my teacher. So for the second lesson, I asked if I could teach alone, and Sister Pinter agreed that it was a good idea. The second lesson was with two Vietnamese ladies. One of the women joined the church in Saigon about four years ago, and now she's going to BYU. She knows all of the cousins in Vietnam too!! She's super sweet and helps out a lot. The other woman in the lesson is from Hanoi and she's visiting her son who lives in America and is going to be serving his mission in Atlanta. The lesson was awesome! I taught about receiving revelation through prayer, and they seemed to understand most all of it! BOO-YA! The Saturday prior, one of the TRC volunteers was talking to me after the lesson and she served in the Vietnamese branch in Atlanta. She said she's heard all about our family because people talk about us often. And we have a new teacher who came home from his mission in Cambodia/Vietnam four months ago. He also knows all of the cousins in Saigon and he met mom while she was there for Anh Hoang's baptism.

So yeah, moral of the story, everyone in the Mormon-Vietnamese community knows one another.
On Monday while Sister Litchfield and I were in the cafeteria an Elder came up to us and asked if we were going to be serving in Cambodia, we said yes and he told us him and his wife were going to be serving there too. He looks at Sister Litchfield's name tag and says that his wifes maiden name is Litchfield. He asks Sister Litchfield where she's from, she says Florida and he says that they must not be related because his wife is from Canada...well, Sister Litchfield's dad is from Canada. So we go and talk to this Sister and come to find out that this Sister and Sister Litchfield are related or something. While I'm standing there listening to the conversation another senior couple begins talking to me and they told me they that they knew I was going to Cambodia because they've seen the blog before and recognized the dress I was wearing from the blog! (So if you're reading this, I'm sorry I cannot remember your names) It was a pretty crazy dinner we had that night.
Moral of that story: Everyone in the Mormon community is connected somehow.
As for the district, we're all sick. It's a bummer, but it's not too bad. It's all Elder Tran's fault though, so I hate him for that.
The Hmong Elders gave me a Hmong name. I think it's Zag or something like that - it means dragon. Hmong is a super sick language, and words that end with a 'G' make a sound that sounds like your lung is collapsing.
Hey family, why didn't you tell me that one of my best friends was staying AT OUR HOUSE! Elder Hodges got here on Wednesday and he's like, "Oh your dad bought me this tie, and I slept in your brothers room, and blah blah blah I just spent a bunch of time with your family." It's awesome that you all took care of him, but I would have appreciated someone telling me about it. Haha.
And for the very best thing I learned this week: "Read the Book of Mormon as a book -  front to back." I had never thought of it like that. So many of us have read chapters here and there, but how many have actually read cover to cover. We have to read the entire thing to get the whole story and to really understand! Please, everyone read the entire Book of Mormon! Every single day while reading from it I learn something new, and I have no idea how I ever lived without that knowledge, and I've even read it before! Elder Bednar challenges everyone to choose one basic doctrine and to read the entire Book of Mormon focusing on that one doctrine alone. Then once, that is done to choose another doctrine and read it again. You can never read the Book of Mormon too many times! So I've accepted the challenge and I'm beginning again and focusing on Faith. Gosh, I just love the gospel. I love being a missionary! General Conference is this weekend, I cannot wait to hear the wonderful things that will be taught! This weekend it's been exactly a year since President Monson announced that I could serve a mission at 19 years old instead of 21! Being a missionary is such a blessing, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve and to hasten the work!
I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall! Stay righteous, and "Don't go a day without thanking our Heavenly Father"!
-Sister Egelund

Sister Litchfield and Elder Litchfield! I don't know if I mentioned this before but my companion's brother is here in the MTC too. He leaves for Argentina on October 7.

Elder Hodges! Having friends in the MTC is the bomb.com!

Selfie Sunday with Elder Tran!

Selfie Sunday again with Elder Batey from my zone. I think this was him practicing his greeting for when he's in Thailand. Haha!