Wednesday, September 10, 2014


August 24, 2014

Highlight of the week: While in the middle of personal study I can hear out in the lobby of our apartment some familiar music. Part of me wants to just ignore it and keep studying, but I listened just to see if I'm still good at guessing songs. Once I focused in it wasn't too hard to guess - it was Demi Lovato! And not only did I, the top 40 expert American recognize the song, but so does my companion Sister Trà. Haha We both just stared at each other for a moment, laughed, then decided we should probably try to focus on studying again. But it kept going - Demi song after Demi song. Suuuper distracting. After studying we had to head over to the church. While leaving I looked to see who it was that is a Lovatic. I thought it would be the receptionist, but nope, it was the old man security guy! Haha He was watching a whole reel of Demi music videos! He's cool.

Okay, so that probably wasn't the ultimate highlight of my week. I would say the highlight of my week was seeing Khánh open his mission call. Although there has only ever been one missionary from Vietnam serve outside of the Cambodia mission, we all like to guess random places. I had everyone play that silly game when you put the mission call on your forehead and guess. Well, all of our guesses that he is going to go to Singapore, or South America, or Africa were all wrong. Brother Khánh will soon be Elder Khánh in the Cambodia, Phnom Penh mission! I'm super stoked for him! In the year that I've been here I have seen Khánh change so much. When I first began in Thảo Điền he had a calling as a branch missionary, but never came to the meetings because he wanted to go play soccer instead. But after a lot of persistence from the elders, he began coming each week. Just a few months ago he was called as the branch mission LEADER! Normally BM leaders are returned missionaries. Not Khánh though, he's an exception. (You are the only exception. Oh you are the only exception. Guess that song! C'mon it's super easy!) And now he's off to the MTC the end of September. 

In one year I have seen SO many things change. My own self, my friends, my family, and especially this branch have all changed so much. It's a little weird to think that just a while ago I was trying really hard just to say the tones on khỏe không (how are you?) and now I'm having straight conversations with people. My language is still a work in progress though. Here's an example from this past week: Sister Stephens and I were on an exchange and went to Khánh's house to visit his family and teach a recent convert. After the lesson we were helping them with their English a bit and they wanted us to choose English names for them. We chose Khánh's name to be Jordan, his mom is now Sister Susan, but I couldn't think of a good name for the little brother Lộc. After some deep thinking I came up with one that's perfect for him - Matt! But when Sister Stephens and I told them they all just busted up laughing. Why? Because apparently there is a Vietnamese word that is pronounced like Matt - Mách - that means 'crazy'.... 

Speaking of crazy - transfer calls . . . for the first time weren't super crazy. Sister Trà and I are staying together another transfer! There are a few other changes within the Viet program that are a little interesting but nothing too nuts. The Vietnamese kid from California who was assigned to the Khmer speaking program has now been moved to the Viet program...I think he's spent over an entire year learning Khmer and now he's switching languages. The Viet program is so small (24 missionaries) that it should be pretty easy to guess who is going to transfer where, but weird things always happen that don't make sense. We've all given up on guessing now.

That's it for the week.
B.B. (Viet way to say 'bye bye'.)

-Chị Cả Trịnh Ly

Photo 1: The mission call opening.
Photo 2: Me and my cousin - mean muggin' 4 lyfe.
Photo 3: The headline of the article is "I wish I wasn't an American."

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