Saturday, February 28, 2009

From Jon 2/28/09

Subject: Txhua yam tseem mus zoo

Nyob zoo nej!

Well, things continue to go well here, but gadZOOKS this transfer went fast!

We had a great lesson with Misty and Cindy yesterday, and Cindy's aunt, Yer, was there too. Yer is a year younger than Cindy, and she was investigating in Brooklyn Park until recently when her dad said he didn't want missionaries over at his house to teach anymore. She still wants to learn, so she has started traveling down to Minneapolis with Cindy when she has lessons. Cindy also lives in Brooklyn Park---in the same house in fact. Misty is so ready. She is solid. The day before yesterday we taught Misty the 10 commandments, and yesterday before we arrived for the appointment, Misty had already taught Cindy and Yer the 10 commandments because she was so excited about it.

From what I hear about Tiara, she is exactly like Tou Choua's 2-years-old sister, Ka Mo Lee. I have no idea how to spell her name or if it's even Hmong, but it's pronounced "Kuh-Molly". She also goes by "Molly". She also talks up a storm, and is very intelligent. She is very observant, and very curious, and asks a lot of questions. Her Hmong is supurb, and very clear for a tyke of only two years. After we arrived for one of our lessons with her family last week, we settled down on the couch, and Elder Cutshall removed his coat, but I kept mine on for a while. Molly pointed at me with a concerned expression and said in Hmong, "Where is he going? Why has he put his coat on, but the other one hasn't?" She had many other adorable questions throughout the lesson, and as we were about to leave, she got Elder Cutshall's bike helmet and put it on him, and started to buckle it, saying, "Kuv mam kho rau koj!", or "I'll fix it for you." She then realized that I didn't have a helmet (it was locked with my bike), and, once again concerned, asked in Hmong, "Why don't you have a hat like his? You'll be cold!"

Neng Thao came to church last week! The devil better get some salt, 'cuz heck is freezing over. Neng has been inactive since the invention of stew. He is famous among the missionaries for feigning injury and claiming "Kuv mus tsis taus kev!", or "I cannot walk!", only to be sighted walking just fine when he thought no one was looking. He claims now that he knows the way to church, he will come every week with Mai Lee and Zoua. He even payed his tithing. We hope his repentance is sincere, since there is reason to suspect that the main reason he wants to come now is because the branch president told him he could use the meetinghouse for his wedding at no charge...if he were an active member and got his records moved from the second branch to ours.

Well, love you all, keep being who you are, and doing what you do.

-Elder Moua Ying

Monday, February 23, 2009


Aloha Family! Some of you heard through Facebook or word of mouth but I thought I should make an update here to let everyone know. I've been accepted to BYU-Hawaii! I'll be leaving Alameda April 19th and starting the spring term April 20th. I've already found an incredible place to live and can't wait to see what group of girls (5 of us all together) I get to live with. If your interested to see just how awesome this place is, I'll put the link for the google map at the bottom. Now that my Mom and Dad will be leaving for Germany, I think I've positioned myself about as far away from them as possible. =( As of July I will wear 5 watches. Hawaii, California, Utah, Germany and the last one...China. Why China??? It just so happens I've snagged a boy just in time before he left in February for a a year job teaching English in Taiyuan. Skype is making it all bearable. I'm so excited to see what develops this next year with all theses new opportunities. ALOHA!,+Laie,+Honolulu,+Hawaii+96762&sll=22.577758,88.393464&sspn=159.930741,360&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FR5USgEdpGiW9g&split=0&t=h&ll=21.647107,-157.919734&spn=0.008167,0.013433&z=17&iwloc=addr

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A new addition!

Anne and I (Roger) are pleased to announce the birth of Miles Roger Pimentel, at 11:42 this morning! He weighs 9 lbs, 2 oz., and is 21 inches long. He's got a nice thick crop of Pimentel hair - and both he and his mother are doing great. He's our first, and also Ron & Sarah's first grandchild.

I've put up a couple more pictures on our blog at

Monday, February 16, 2009

From Jon 2/14/2009

Subject: zoo siab hnub hlub!

Nyob zoo!

Thanks for the package! I haven't opened the presents yet---I like having something to open on the day of the event. The Takashitas, a member family that Elder Cutshall knew in Eau Claire, was in town for a volleyball tournament, and they took us to IHOP for brunch. It was a welcome change of pace from Tootie Fruities every morning. They also got us some valentine's candy and small gag gifts. The Takashita's are great company. Much fun was had by all.

Zoua is doing well, she likes the answers we gave about life, God, the after-life, etc. She and her family are planning on coming to church this week. She accepted an invitation to be baptized! We haven't set a date yet, though.

Misty knows a lot about the gospel, and the things she doesn't know she is curious about. She really likes the eternal marriage concept, and it always bothered her when people said "until death do you part". We also had a good discussion with her and Tou Choua's parents, Chor and Mee, about how baptism is essential and how people who didn't get a chance here will get a chance in the spirit world. Misty and Tou Choua recently got culturally married, and are in the process of getting a marriage license to make it legal. Tou Choua is 17, and Misty is 16. Yeah, I know... The lesson went really well, and we set a baptismal date with Misty! We're looking at March 14th or so, after all of this school and wedding stuff is all settled down. Misty is going to take Tou Choua's last name---something most Hmong girls don't do. Misty's middle name is Faith, which means when we write her name on the baptismal record it will say "HER MISTY FAITH". Hopefully her faith will stay firm and steadfast despite her name.

Well, I have to go, so have a grand week filled with stinky hearts stuffed with passion.

-Elder Moua Ying

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Edward pwns Paxon

Stanton's varsity lacrosse team opened its season against rival school Paxon, and Edward, in a beautifully executed shot from the crease, scored the second goal of the game, contributing to a 10-0 rout of the Golden Eagles.

David in the news

Jax's newspaper coverage of the Nepal trip.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

From Jon 2/7/2009

Subject: huab cua zoo nkauj

Nyob zoo!
We've had a good week! Lots of new investigators and some really good conversations. We were visiting a referral that lives in a part of town we usually don't get around to, and we talked to a man named Eugene outside of his home. He was very friendly (and funny) and told us all about his beliefs and what he didn't like about most churches these days. He wasn't against churches, but he was tired of priestcraft etc. He described the way he felt a church should be, based on the teachings of Christ, and the model of His church in the New Testament. We were pretty excited because he was describing our church. He mentioned non-paid ministry, everyone getting a chance to speak once in a while, and a handful of other things that are pretty unique to our church. He had tons of faith, and he recognized the Holy Ghost immediately when we began talking to him, and told us so. To make a long story a little shorter, he wants to check out church, we exchanged information, and we gave his information to the Mika Elders. That's one thing I liked about LaCrosse---I could teach people that I find like that, and I didn't have to turn them over. I don't mind though. It was a great experience to talk to him, and it really strengthened my faith and helped me re-realize how great a blessing it is to have the fullness of the gospel. Our church is everything a church should be, lacking nothing. We have the potential to be everything disciples of Christ should be. We have the knowledge and the power to be like the Nephite saints who lived during the 200 years of righteousness and prosperity following the resurrected Lord's visit to their people. Neat.

We made it out of January! Huzzah! This past January has been the coldest January in Minnesota in *150* years! As a reward for surviving, we have been granted gorgeous weather for the latter part of this week. It has been above freezing! Things are actually dripping!

We had dinner with the Holts a handful of days ago. They know Doug and Ribeka. They are the new office secretary and financial secretary for the mission.

A member of our branch invited us to her little girl's birthday party, which is today. Much of her non-member family will be there. I'm going to bring my balloon animal balloons. Should be fun.

We, the four missionaries in this branch, are the activities committee for the branch. A less active lady was called as the Activities committee chair in order to help get her involved, but there was no committee for her to be the chair of. Anyway, this means we will have to be at the branch valentine's dance, but we will have to leave as soon as the music starts. I hope we have enough time to talk to people before we have to go.

Congrats to Kenty and his dance-a-ling! Haib tsawv 'os (pretty cool)! I wish I could have seen it. In Hmong, dancing is called "jumping beautifully". Hmong is fun. There is supposedly going to be someone teaching a little ballroom dancing at the branch valentine's dance, but I doubt it will be anything more than some laurel who took a semester of ballroom teaching the youth an awkward, basic waltz. It's a very small branch. Ah, well, what can you do?

Well, I've got to go, thanks for everything, and I love you all!
-Elder Moua Ying

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Notes from Sam -- 4 February 2009

Dear family,

I had a couple of great experiences this past week. One of them was with James ----. He'd been taught by missionaries before our arrival in Newcastle, and we'd seen him about three times before last week - all of those lessons had been quite frustrating because he shared a lot about his life and we were unable to focus the lessons on the important doctrines. Last Monday, however, we went in and boldly stated our purpose to help him be baptized. By clearly explaining our goal, we found out that he did have a desire to be baptized and that he was just waiting until his cancer treatment finished on Friday to make a firm commitment. Medical reports hadn't yet indicated that the cancer was gone, apparently, but James told us he felt that it was. We came back on Friday (after James' hospital visit) with a good member and had a great lesson. James told us that sure enough, the cancer was completely gone. He also told us about what seemed to be a spiritual experience he'd had during our last lesson. The Spirit was strongly present and I felt a lot of love for James. Later that night he came to a ward social and had a good experience; lots of members met him and have been talking to us about him since. Unfortunately he got sick and didn't make it to church and he hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet, but he seems very committed to investigating the church, and we're excited to see what happens with him.

Another spiritual moment for me this week had to do with serving the missionaries in my zone. Every Monday night Elder Garcia and I ring the assistants to the President and report on how our zone's doing. On Monday I was speaking with Elder Frogley (one of the assistants) and he asked me what our zone goal for the week was. We hadn't really identified a specific goal for the week, but Elder Frogley and I talked about it and we decided we needed to focus on getting more investigators to sacrament meeting this week. Then Elder Frogley asked me what we were going to do to achieve the goal, and he helped me make some plans. After the phone call, I thought a lot about what needed to happen to help the missionaries achieve that goal (mostly specific follow-up from the leaders), and I spent some of my study the next morning preparing a training to share with the district leaders to help them understand and transmit our focus. That night I had a conference call with the district leaders and shared the training with them. We do a conference call every week and I've shared short things with the district leaders before, but Elder Garcia was away this time and so this was my first time planning and presenting the whole call by myself. I was quite nervous about it right beforehand but the call ended up going really well. Both the district leaders were receptive to the plans I suggested and they shared great insights about the importance of getting people to church. By the end of the phone call, I felt really united with them and confident about making great things happen this week. While I'd initially felt embarrassed when Elder Frogley asked me about a goal I'd never set, I ended up doing a lot more and feeling a lot better as a leader because of his suggestions. I think service in the Church must often work like this - it's one thing to go through the motions of your calling and feel like you're doing a good job, but your service is so much more rewarding and meaningful when you take more active responsibility for your work (as Elder Frogley helped me do) and focus on really making things better. I hope I can continue to take that kind of responsibility in all the things the Lord entrusts me with, so I can receive the blessings he wants me to have.

We've had tons and tons of snow! On Monday it snowed almost non-stop from late morning until after we got in at night. It was great! So much better than the warmer-weather precipatory alternative. It was a little hairy to drive in the freshly-fallen snow (it's the first time I've ever driven in a snowstorm), but luckily I happened to be on exchange with Elder Rosenberg, a very calm, very patient Finnish missionary. He knew all about driving in snow!

I'm short on time today. But I still love you all just as much.

Elder Pimentel