Monday, December 8, 2014

Santa Was a Prophet, First One That We Know

Sometimes I can't help but laugh at the silly things that people say. 
Like the time that Sister Tra thought that Justin Timberlake was part of The Beatles.
Or the time that I asked Sister Thi what she thought it meant by dragons in the Book of Mormon and she just looked at me with the most honest face and said, "What? Dragons aren't real? I thought they have them in Europe?"
Haha There's never a dull moment around here! Yesterday was the funniest/most awkward experience ever though. 
Sister Thi and I were teaching a recent convert about the "He is the Gift" initiative and Sister Thi was sharing about how the tradition of receiving gifts from Santa Claus really isn't what's important about Christmas. 
So in Vietnamese the name for Santa Claus is Noen, and just like in America, Santa wears a red suit, lives in the North Pole, has a big stomach and a gnarly beard. We had spent about 10 minutes discussing how we can try to avoid being focused on the traditions of Christmas when our recent convert began to share some of the "doctrine" she had learned while she had investigated the Protestant church before being baptized. What she said went something like this:

"In the Protestant church they believe that Noen was a prophet. He was kind of like Lehi in the Book of Mormon and he received revelation from God that he had to leave a city. So yeah, they believe that Noen is a prophet. So Noen had to build a boat and he brought animals and people onto the boat with him. Why don't we talk about Noen in our church? That other church says that he was a prophet. Why don't I ever hear anyone talk about him? Wasn't Noen a prophet?"

*Blank stares from me and Sister Thi* 
Wait. What? Long story short, our recent convert who shall not be named thought that Noen (Santa Claus) is the prophet Noah...

I've been here for a year and I don't think anyone has learned anything yet. #MyBad

Our Christmas open house is coming up next week! I'm super stoked because I'm in charge of the decorations and this shindig is gonna be off the hook! 
East Hollywood SLATe team, remember all those times I would yell at you while planning dances and decorating the school? This is basically the same thing and boy oh boy is it fun! BTW, sorry if I ever made any of you sad or cry. Just kidding! No one ever far as I'm aware. No really though, the open house is going to be really amazing. In the first room there will be pictures with Santa and the decorations are going to be really bright colors and there will be photos showing all of the different traditions of Christmas that are enjoyed all around the world. Then in the second room we will be showing the He is the Gift video, there will be a photo display telling the story of the birth of Christ, there will be members at different stations sharing about our different beliefs. Walking from one room to the other there will be a noticeable difference in the decorations and the atmosphere to show the contrast between worldly ideas and traditions of what Christmas is and what the true meaning of Christmas is - that is Jesus Christ.
aslkdjfalskdfjoiu I'm so excited!

Get ready 'cause Christmas is comingggg!

See ya in ten weeks!

Love, Sister Egelund

The most UN-photogenic group of people in all of Southeast Asia...

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