Sunday, April 20, 2014

10 Months to Live

April 13, 2014

As you should all know, general conference was a solid 10.

My favorite talk was by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson. (The guy that talked about the Olympics.) He related this mortal life to the short "four minutes" that some Olympic athletes have to do the absolute best that they can, and ultimately win the gold medal. In life we have about 80 or so years if we're lucky, and the gold medal is eternal life. But like the Olympics, one small mistake, can completely alter the outcome and we may lose the prize. Fortunately God is super nice and has this super cool plan that Jesus Christ is the center of. And, if we make a mistake, it can be resolved and forgiven through the Atonement.

Here's the thing, you have to use the Atonement and repent to fix the mistakes each and every day. We have no idea when our four minutes are up and the race comes to and end. To be honest, I was really scared to hear that because I'm really afraid of dying. I know you all make fun of me for that, but it's true. Specifically I am afraid I'm going to die in a car accident. I think I have this fear because of the car accident I was in just a couple days before beginning my mission, but eight months later and I'm still super nervous being in or around cars. Point is, I shouldn't be afraid of dying. I shouldn't be afraid of it BECAUSE if I die, it just means I get to go back and live with Heavenly Father again!

...I'm not even sure if that's what the talk was about, but that's what I was thinking about the entire time. Here's the link so you can read it for yourself.

Other news: I'm in a trio now! My two companions are Chi Vy and Chi Tien. We're having a good time kickin' it in the Thao Dien branch until the transfer ends next week. End of transfers means transfer predictions! I think I get more anxious about transfers then I did about getting my actual mission call. Here's what I'm thinking: I go to Hanoi, spend four transfers there, then go to Cambo and die with Sister Litchfield. Die = finish mission. Missionary lingo is pretty weird. Like your trainer is your mom, then when you train you have children of your own and people always ask when you're dying or when you were born. Missionaries are weird. If you know how to do math you may notice that I only have six transfers left...yep. Better start getting the "Welcome Home Sister Egelund" posters ready. BTW I'm expecting posters...with sparkles on them. Please.

Alright. That's it. See ya around.

Sister Egelund

P.S. I went to the store last week and started talking to the cashier about these tricked out speakers they were selling. He thought I was interested in buying them so he tested them for playing the Jonas Brothers.
I covered my ears and walked out. 
#Temptations #SatanIsALifeRuiner #iMissTheJoBros

Pics: They have Banana Republic in Vietnam...I died.
And here's a shopping/mirror in the elevator/Viet guy in the background photo.

Bubba Gump Shrimp

April 6, 2014

Favorite thing of this week:

Sister Tien and I have an investigator named Phuc. He's a pretty chill kid just going school and working at the Pizza Hut. He was scheduled to be baptized on the 27 of March, but Sister Tien and I were nervous that when we taught the word of wisdom, the baptismal date would have to be pushed back to due to problems with drinking alcohol. We taught the lesson this week and Phuc told us he would only have a problem with coffee. He committed to try and quit...but he would need at least one month - longer than his scheduled baptisimal date. After we brought this up about his baptismal date he got quiet for a second and I was really nervous that he was going to say he didn't want to be baptized. 

".....Okay", he said, "I will stop drinking coffee in three weeks." Fabuloso! (13 Going on 30 reference)

Then, our member help mentioned that if he were to be baptized on the 27th I may not be there because transfers are on the 25th.

"Okay", he said, "I will be baptized one week earlier - the 20th of April."

"That only gives you 20 days to stop drinking coffee", I replied.


"You will also be interviewed at least the day before, so you need to stop drinking before then."

"Okay, I will quit within 19 days."

"Let's try to quit within 18 days just to be sure."

"Okay. I will stop within 18 days."

And that's how it's done I guess. He has this huge list of all the logistics of when we will meet with him, how he is going to quit, all the drinks he has to go buy so he won't be tempted to drink coffee, etc. etc.
About ten minutes were spent figuring out how he is going to have time to do all of this. At the end we just sat for a moment in silence and Phuc looks up from his list and just shouts "Okay!!" and smiled. He's totally ready and completely willing! #Gold

Least favorite thing this week:
It's beginning to rain. Meaning lots of rain...nonstop like in Forrest Gump...rain that floods to your waist...I'm not ready for this.

Here's some selfies...

Eat. Pray. Love.

March 30, 2014

A couple months ago a recent convert asked me to describe Vietnam in one sentence.
I told him "Vietnam is a place that everyone takes care of one another." If I could choose two words to explain to you all what Vietnam is all about I would say LOVE and CHANGE.

Taylor Swift still rocks my world all the way over here in V-nam. Also, do you like my polka dot gloves? Gotta fight off the sun somehow. 

To be honest, the way they show love is different than the way we are all used to, but the members here are so willing to help one another and do it with pure love. They don't go bake cookies for their neighbors. They don't go out on play dates with their kids. And for me, being so used to all of those things at home, I thought they were so important. I mean chocolate chip cookies and casserole are my favorite, but they're not how you show love. The intention behind those hours of baking and the monthly visits by home and visiting teachers is what is important. Are we visiting people for an hour to catch some gossip, out of obligation, or because we want to go on a tour of someones house? Or is our intention of visiting other members to help them feel the love of our Savior and to find out how they're spiritually and temporally doing so we can help them overcome challenges?

There's a little self reflection for you this week.


Change change change....
First, Anh Dao got baptized and confirmed yesterday so she has become a member of the good ol' Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! The baptismal font here is a metal frame with a tarp lining thing filled with water. Every time we have baptisms the ordinance has to be performed at least twice because the font is so small and people can't always get their whole body in the water. I was not going to let that happen with my investigator though. So on Friday when we were preparing Anh Dao for her baptismal interview I specifically told her about this problem that always happens and I told her she had to try really hard to get her entire body in the water the first time around. And she did! And it was great.

Another very super duper amazing, exciting, wonderful change: Thanh has decided she wants to be baptized!
Four months of teaching that woman and lots of ups and downs. April 27 is the day! I have three people scheduled to be baptized that day.
...and it's three days after transfers. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that I'll be here for that.

Out of things to say.
Peace out girl scouts.

That little kid is the same kid who told me I was "same same a woman." The other day he played all of his favorite One Direction songs for us and danced around and told me about some song 'What Does the Fox Say?' or something like that. 

Voldemort is a Lamanite

March 23, 2014

Oh uh helloa. (That's how we answer the phone in Vietnam)

It's Sister Egelund here, coming to you all the way from a gross internet shop in Vietnam,

We just wrapped up a successful week and we're anticipating another one with lots of lessons, lots of love and probs lots of weird experiences. Who knows what kind of goofy things are going to end up happening. We do plan to end this week with the baptism of Chi Anh Dao though! Anh Dao is a super sweet girl who's like 22 and loving life and has these awkward tendencies when nothing is said that makes me like her a million times more.

You know the quote by President Hinckley "Forget yourself and go to work"? I tried so hard doing that the first four/five months of my mission. I tried to completely forget about clothes, makeup, shopping, jokes, all of it! And for the past six months I have not felt like myself and I've felt so uncomfortable. I've realized that sometimes I just need to be Emily and go shopping a little and tell a joke every once in a while. There's a difference between losing yourself in the work and entirely changing who you are to fit the "perfect sister missionary" stereotype. I tried so hard to be the always smiling, cardigan wearing sister missionary that you see in The District that I've felt so awkward through this time. So, I tried to be a little more Emily and a little less Trinh this past week and now the sun is shining and I'm feeling like a 10!

I related Harry Potter to the Book of Mormon in the sense that you cannot just start in chapter 20 of Harry Potter and expect to understand the story. If you do that, you have no idea who the heck Voldemort is and it's just confusing. Same with the Book of Mormon, you have to read from the beginning to get the whole story.
Relating the Book of Mormon to Harry Potter totally made sense and for the first time in a long time I felt like myself!

Lot's of silly things have happened lately too. For example: 
-Many people think I'm a tourist and my companion is my translator...
-My skin is so dark that everyone honestly thinks I'm from India. So I'm now a classic Asian afraid of the dark and I wear a jacket, gloves and a mask when I go outside.
-My English class was getting boring the other day and I had extra time, so I improvised and I had a student teach us some yoga. 

Always an adventure here.

That's it for now!
Keep it real, folks.