Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2008 10:07 AM
Subject: Happy groundhog day!
"Anyway I'm sorry, but that just happens to be the way I feel about it...what do you think?"
I had fruit loops this morning (tootie fruities, actually) and I had to laugh out loud as I realized it was groundhog day. Good times. [Gary's note: one of our favorite Stargate episodes has two of our heroes stuck in a time loop, like the movie Ground Hog Day. Each loop starts with Jack eating Fruit Loops and Daniel saying what Jon quoted above.]
Pa's baptism went great, she was pretty nervous before hand, but after she started getting in the water she was fine. I did get to perform the ordinance, and everything went without a hitch. Truly a great experience. Josh and Lynn came to the baptism, and they really liked it. They want to be baptized too. Too bad they moved to Eastside, and we won't get to help them anymore. Brian also moved to Eastside, right after we set a projected baptismal date. The Eastside Elders Vang are pretty happy that we keep serving them progressing investigators. Hmong people like to move around a lot, but only a few blocks, or just across town.
Pa was confirmed on Sunday and received the Holy Ghost, but she gave us quite a scare. Sacrament meeting started, and she and her family were not present. They are usually a little late, but I started worrying when I saw that her confirmation was coming up on the program and she still wasn't there. At last the time came, and the branch president stood up and announced that there was an item of business to take care of and that Pa would now receive the Holy Ghost. He invited her to come forward, then noticed she wasn't there. Awkward. I was translating, so I had to tell the representative from the stake (through the transmitter) that it was time for her to be confirmed a member, but she wasn't there. President Singvah started announcing the next item of business when---BAM! Pa's mom burst through the chapel door. Pa hurried in about 10 seconds later and all went as planned. Elder Vang confirmed her, and there was much silent rejoicing. Whew!
I don't know if you remember Meng, but he recently had a spiritual experience after much continuous scripture study, sincere prayer, and fasting. He felt the spirit and wants that feeling back. He wants his daughter to grow up with the gospel in her life and he's ready to be baptized at last. He's coming to church tomorrow and didn't say anything about being scared of his dad. This is a huge breakthrough. He is so strong and has so much faith and really gets the gospel and how important it is. Missionaries have been working with him constantly for a year to try to help him get the courage to take a huge leap of faith that will likely result in his father disowning him. In Hmong culture, that is about the worst fate to befall someone. You can see how that would be hard. We are praying very hard for him, and are going to fast for him tomorrow.
We are attending a broadcast of the Prophet's funeral, but we are instructed to only stay for the first part. The news has gotten the word out, and many strangers we meet mention that our "head guy" has passed away. Some have assumed that this means we are now lost and leaderless. It gives us an opportunity to show them the elegent order and simplicity of the Lord's kingdom, and about the priesthood.
As the Lord told Peter, His church is built upon the rock of revelation, and while Christ may be in heaven, he still leads the church by revelation through those who hold the keys of the kingdom. Those priesthood keys which He gave to Peter are held by His chosen apostles today. The Church's leader is not dead, He lives! Who leads the camp? The God of Israel (reference to "Zion's Camp").
In other news, the worst of the winter is pretty much over, but I think next winter, and maybe for the remainder of this one, I may want a gator, or some kind of ski mask that can be easily pulled down so I can talk to people without looking scary. I am running a little low on khob noom (candy). I could also use a screen protector for my camera.
Elder Muaj Yeej