Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 8:54 AM
Subject: Nyob zoo sawv ntxov!
Hello everyone! Thanks you for all your letters; I love hearing what everyone is up to. I suppose that's just the rule of the mission: As soon as you leave, your family gets all kinds of nifty new things (ovens, cars, etc.).
This Saturday I will teach the first lesson in Hmong. It is going to be quite a challenge. I can maybe manage to communicate a simplified version of what I want to say, but when they answer my questions, I fear I will have no clue what they said.
We all were given temporary Hmong names for when we are in the MTC (we will get new ones in the field). Elder Egbert is now Elder Kuam, Elder Black is now Elder Pob zeb, Elder Erickson is now Elder Xaiv, and I am now Elder Meej (pronounced 'Mayng' with a falling tone). These are pretty common Hmong names, and each one means something. Kuam is the name of a famous Hmong man who did a lot of translating for the church including much of the translation of the Book of Mormon. THe word also means "to scrape the fur off an animal", but that's beside the point. Pob zeb means a stone or rock, so I guess you could call it the Hmong version of "Peter". Xaiv means "to choose". Meej means "clear", both in the clear understanding sense and also the transparent sense. I think part of the reason I have this name is because I tend to be more careful with my tones and grammer.
Speaking of names, I found out that the way you say "John" in Hmong is "Yauhas", which sounds just like Johann, but without the "n"s, and instead of an "ah" sound it sounds like the "a" in "apple". (I just reminded myself of Kari).
Well, I have to go. Keep me posted on your activities and so forth, I love hearing from you!
Txoj moo zoo muaj tseeb,
-Tub txib Meej