I made it a whole week in Vietnam! Schyaaaa!
So I want to share an experience I had on Thursday evening. Chi Van and I went to a members family's house out in district 9, about a 30 minute bus ride away from our house. We got to their house about 5 o'clock and taught them about being grateful for our blessings. They're a really sweet family with the most adorable son who sang tons of songs for us. The husband has to work a lot though because they're having a lot of financial troubles and they cannot make it to church on Sundays. I don't know what I can do to help them. The troubles that these people face are so difficult, but every trial can be solved through The Lord. Every. Single. Problem. I hope that they understand that. I hope that everyone understands that. Heavenly Father knows the trials we each face and through Jesus Christ things are good. I've realized that that's the beauty of the gospel. Hope. Hope that things will always work out. Hope that there is a reason for everything that happens to us - both good and bad. Hope that through our obedience we can someday be perfect.
After teaching that family we went to their neighbors house for dinner but I had not been informed we were doing that. It was past 6 o'clock by that time, but I had to teach English class at 7:00. So let's do some math: We have to eat dinner which will take at least 30 + minutes because Vietnamese people can eat for eternity. Plus, the bus ride back takes at least 30 minutes. I'm not a math magician, but I know that that means we would be late for English class. And we did end up being late. After leaving dinner we tried to catch the bus but none of them would stop for us. Then the ride took longer than expected, and once we got off the bus Chi Van and the member that came with us had no idea where we were so we spent another 30 minutes walking along the side of the highway. To say I was frustrated would be a bit of an understatement.
We walked along the curb and my companion and the member were about 10 feet in front of me talking with one another. It was dark, loud and I was really frustrated. And I just started bawling while going down the street. The weird thing about these missions is you have no idea when things are going to get hard. At home you have some idea of when things are going to be difficult whether it be a test coming up or a busy day at work. But on a mission you never know how things are going to play out. I did not think that I was going to feel as awful as I did at that time, but the sadness just hit me like a brick wall. I just felt lost and wanted to go home.
The only way I know how to fix a problem is to pray, so that's what I did. I continued walking and prayed aloud that The Lord would help me with all of this. After sobbing and feeling helpless for about ten minutes, I was reminded of a memory of being about ten years old and my dad saying that I would probably serve my mission in Vietnam. My entire life there has been the idea that I will serve my mission here, and now I am. Heavenly Father has always wanted me to serve here - He's not going to let me fail! I cannot even describe how amazing it felt to have that realization! The Lord wants me to be here. He wants me to be doing his work. I am a pioneer for the church in Vietnam and I cannot mess this up. I have sixteen months to change a country! That's what's been keeping me going this week - I have 16 months. 16 months to change a country.
Really long story short, I understand my purpose. A member recently told me that Elder Bednar was in Vietnam two years ago and promised the people they would have a temple within the next twenty years. I know that seems like a really long time, but it's honestly not. Right now I cannot even call myself a missionary here or even share a scripture with someone outside of a members home or the church. So to think that within the next twenty years these people will have their very own temple is amazing!
I love it here. I'll be honest though, it's difficult and I really miss home. But I only have 16 months to change a country.
I hope you all are doing well at home and know that I love you. I miss you all a lot, but I will see you in a short time. Don't forget to pray and read the Book of Mormon daily. It's the best way to be happy.
With a heap load of love,