Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2008 9:56 AM
Subject: Zoo sab kuv tau txais lub txaj ntsim ntawm hom lug.
Nyob zoo nej!
Yesterday we had the opportunity of helping a member family and much of their large extended family (only the closest extended family) prepare for their father's/grandfather's funeral. Hmong funerals are beyond elaborate and exhausting. We helped load and unload enough supplies to sustain over 1000 guests for 24 hours. There will probably only be about 300 or 400 guests, but they will stay for 72 hours (the family will be standing almost the whole time, and none will sleep). Cases upon cases upon cases of pop, water, and beer (the latter provided by and for the non-members) stacked to the heavens.
We are glad we won't be there for the actual funeral, and it was fun to help move such a tremendous cache of supplies and see it all in one big room. We also had the neat experience of working in an environment that might as well have been Hmongland. Nobody was speaking English, so we had a great opportunity to be totally immersed. Many people got a kick out of the two white guys speaking Hmong, so they came up and talked to us throughout the lunch break. We got pretty good at steering every conversation into the gospel, and got a few people interested in the Book of Mormon.
John, Shoua, and Houa Thao ahave been practicing hard for a ko taub tournament that starts today. It will continue on until tomorrow, and we are worried that their team will be asked to play tomorrow. They are pretty good, so there is a good chance they won't be eliminated today. It's weird because we want them to do well, but they need to come to church. We are praying that it will at least work out so they will have a pocket of time so they can come to sacrament meeting. John's baptism is going to be on the first of June, and he's looking forward to it. I really hope he can come to church. All three of them have been working really hard for the huge 4th of July tournament, so they have been busy, and very tired. This makes teaching them difficult, but they are still progressing well.
Have a good week, and good luck with all that stuff that's happening!
-Elder Moua Ying