Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Elder Jon Pimentel 11/17/2007

Subject: Zoo siab hnov lus los ntawm nej!
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 17:07:03 +0000

[Nej puas nyob zoo thiab?]

Things are getting nippy here, and we keep getting a couple nicer days followed by a very blustery day. The average temperatures are still mostly 34 degrees (F) without wind, so it's not bad at all yet. My new coat is working out great! So far it has been completely windproof. Before I got out here I was imagining some huge, fluffy, down-filled coat would probably be what I need, but down isn't really necessary. Mine is very warm, and as I said, windproof and water resistant (which it what really counts). So far I have been toasty without even wearing thermal tops. I wear thermal bottoms, and let me tell you: I'm a believer. As the winter starts for reals I will need to start wearing two layers of thermals and thicker socks. I got new boots last week, and plan to get some windproof gloves today.

Most Hmong in America celebrate Thanksgiving Day because it's right about the time of Hmong New Year (usually the same weekend). Since Hmong New Year is a celebration of gratitude for a good harvest, the two holidays sort of mush into one. (New Year lasts about 3 or 4 days) I might go get some traditional Hmong clothes made for me. I hear there is a nice lady who will make them for only about 30 bucks!We will probably have Thanksgiving dinner at a member's house.

We still don't have a baptismal dat for Pa. Her family missed church last week. It turns out they had visiters from out of town. We are trying to set a date either today or tomorrow. If all goes well, she can be baptized within this transfer! Yay! We have about 4 other people who really want to come to church and be baptized, but they haven't been able to make it to church yet because of transportation issues, but as soon as they can get to church and find a way to go consistently we can set a date. A lot rides on getting them to church tomorrow. We have several other really great people who are excited to be baptized, but their relatives won't let them. This is a problem re run into quite a bit. In the Hmong culture, there is nothing worse than disgracing or embarrassing one's family. Many of our investigators really want to be baptized, but they are afraid their family or extended family will disown them. There is a lot of pressure because some family feel that they would be abandoning their culture if they go to church or be baptized. Even grown men who are married and independent feel they are bound by a responsibility to their kin to preserve their culture. It's hard to know what to do. How do you tell someone that they need to rebel against their family and friends?

Tiffany is impossible to get a hold of. She is in so many extra curricular groups, she's never at home. We also suspect that perhaps sometimes when she is home, her mother tells us that she is not.

Mai Houa really want to go to church and be baptized, but her husband (less-active) keeps saying he'll take her, then something always comes up. This week we are making certain she comes. We are arranging for a member to pick them up, and we are calling to make sure both the driver and the drivees remember.

Did Dad or Doug ever do something called The Ten Days of Truth? It's where you and your companion read the entire Book of Mormon together out loud in ten days. It's a terrific experience! We are a little behind though. Right now we are in Alma 18-ish.

By the way, [Muaj Yeej] is my first name, [Muas] is my clan or last name. I notice one of your letters was addressed Elder Yeej, and I just want to clear that up.

[Kuv hlub nej nawj!]
-Elder Muaj Yeej

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