Sunday, October 21, 2007

Elder Jon Pimentel 10/20/2007

Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2007 1:25 PM

Subject: Wahoo!This is great!

Hello everyone!

The plane ride was fine. Elder Erickson and I [had] members directly in front of us and to our diagonal right, and the lavatory to my right. No opportunity to share the gospel. The people in front of us were really nice though.

We were welcomed at the airport by the Mission President and his assistants, as well as a bunch of English elders. We went to the mission home and had some orientation and training. We had a fantastic dinner and a testimony meeting of sorts. The next day we had a hearty breakfast Thursday morning and left for the chapel to have another meeting and meet our trainers. They read an intro for each new Elder, and I wasn't expecting the part where "I poke Kint!" ;) [Gary’s note: the mission president asked us to send him a letter telling him about Jon. Part of our letter was a story about when baby Kent started crying and young Jon announced in a proud manner “I poke Kint!”] Before I go farther, our Mission president is awesome! He is very personable and very on the ball. Our mission is known for obedience. Exact obedience. Not only to the white handbook known as "The White Bible", but there is a whole new "higher law". We have about two and a half pages of additional rules, one of which is the further restriction of music---no soundtracks. :( But the rest of the rules, while difficult, are not impossible nor terribly unreasonable. I can see how they can help improve the work and better invite and maintain the spirit. Good stuff. So where was I? Oh yeah, we met our trainers, and mine is Elder Wilson [Gary’s note: Elder Wilson is the nephew of the guy I work with every day at Sonic], a.k.a. Elder Muaj Tsim, which more or less means "worthy". There are several possible translations, but that one makes the most sense. He is great! He is the same height as Elder Erickson (6'3") so I have another comp who "take[s] large steps" (forum) and I must hustle to keep up. He has a great sense of humor and we got along from the first hug. Oh, Elders in this mission don't shake hands with each other, they hug. Same with the mission president. Naturally we shake hands with everyone who is not a missionary, and with sister missionaries.

The sun hasn't shone at all yet, but it has been very pleasant temperature-wise. It rained all day Thursday, but I don't mind being wet.

I live with Elder Muaj Tsim and two other Hmong Elders in a not-too-shabby apartment. The other elders names are Elder Vang and Elder Vang. They didn't know each other before the mission, it's just that Vang is an incredible common Hmong clan. Elder Richard Vang is white Hmong and Elder Choua Vang is Green Hmong. Muaj Tsim's old companion (whom I replaced) was Elder Jonathan Vang, and Elder Jackson Vang is Elder Ericksons trainer and our district leader. So there are 3 companionships in our district. My area is called Frogtown, and I'm in St. Paul. "Frogtown" is "Zosqav" in Hmong. As I was saying, it rained all day Thursday, and as soon as we got to the apartment the four of us assembled my bike and we headed straight out to go contacting. We have a goal to OYM (Open Your Mouth) 10 people each every day, and my first day was no exception. We just go around on our bikes and stop and talk to everyone we pass about the gospel. There is so much more to talk about, but I have to go. Send mail to the mission office, they will forward it to me. We have a baptism on Sunday! This kid is the coolest! I've met so many great people. I want to tell you all about each of them, but I can't, and you probably would tire of reading. Suffice it to say I love it so far.

My new name is Muaj Yeej, and my clan is Muas

-Elder Muaj Yeej

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