Saturday, April 19, 2008

From Jon 4/19/2008

Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 10:09 AM
Subject: Kuv zoo siab rau nej!

Zoo siab hnov ntawm nej os!
Things are rolling along here, with some new investigators and lots of hard work with lots of less-actives. Though we have a large area, we are still limited on how many miles we use on the car. We have a bike rack, and usually load up and drive to the general area we will be working, then deploy the bikes.

A couple days ago during the few minutes of down-time before bed, I was sketching in my planner when I heard a shout from the restroom. "Aaaaaaaaagggghhh," Malf--- er, Elder Erickson let out a terrible scream. It turns out that after he was done he stood up, turned around, and bent over to flush the toilet. As he bent over, all of the materials in his shirt pocket escaped. His daily planner was in critical condition following the accident, and he spent quite some time copying what information he could out of it into a spare planner. Keep in mind that he had to rescue his planner from the yet un-flushed toilet bowl before any data could be salvaged. The sudden spew of notebooks and pass-along cards from a shirt pocket as a result of bending over is an example of common and embarrassing phenomenon known in missionary lingo as "puking".

We had another successful covert operation this week. When contacting a member referral a while ago we had been welcomed in by her and her [pog] (grandmother), but as we were removing our shoes her brother walked over and told us that they hadn't given up shamanism and that we should "get out now". We performed a strategic withdrawal, and planned a follow-up visit. A week later we went over with the member who referred her. We stood innocently down the street and conveniently out of sight behind a bush while the member took point. The member was allowed in and discovered that the target was home. The member then asked if her two friends could come in too. Our foothold established, we moved in. The brother was home, but he couldn't kick us out because we were already in, accompanied by a friend of his sister, and what's more, we had been chatting with the grandma and discovered that Elder Erickson is the same clan as them. They can't kick out family---even adopted family. The visit was very successful, despite many distractions and interruptions. We call the event "operation bait-n-switch".

On an unrelated note, we tracted into a Hmong movie star/singer who has a spy movie coming out in July and is somewhat curious about our message. I might buy the film and send it home.

Love ya!
-Elder Moua Ying

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