Monday, April 13, 2009

From Jon 4/11

Subject: Huab cua zoo nkauj

Nyob zoo!

That's so exciting! Lope-a-tope is going to be spreken spaniardian in the land of Nephi! It's good to hear he won't have to put up with much hot and mugginess in his portion of the land down under. It is also a cause for rejoicing that we will see each other for the space of a time ere he departs.

We've been earning some good street cred around the hood. All the "G"s respect us a lot, and many tell us, "If anyone gives you guys [trouble], you tell us, and we'll [ensure they don't do it again]." It makes me feel safe to be on most everyone's good side.

We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I went to Dinkytown, which is mostly the U of M campus. It was a lot of fun. It reminded me a lot of LaCrosse, where we would sometimes walk around campus and talk to everyone. We met a student from Japan named Yoshi. He was really nice and polite (of course). He has been in the country for almost a year and has a very heavy accent. He apologized that his "Engrish is not complete", but he understood well enough if we spoke slowly and simply. I can't remember the name of his hometown, but when I mentioned Fukishima, he lit up and said that's really close to where he lives. He wanted to learn more about God and it was a really good conversation. When we first spotted him, Elder Brown, whom I was with, thought he was Hmong and excitedly told me to talk to him. I could tell he was not Hmong, and very likely native Japanese, so I greeted him in Japanese, which greatly startled Elder Brown, and even more startled Yoshi. What startled Yoshi more (and rather delighted him), was when I continued in Japanese with one of the only sentences I know. It's funny how much more people trust you if you can speak even a little of their language. For this reason I often speak Hmong when I first meet Hmong people, even that person answers back in English.
The Zone Leaders share an apartment with another team there, and when we met up with them that night, we noticed that each of the four of us was wearing a different language nametag: English, Spanish, Hmong, and German. Elder Brown was a Spanish Elder before he was a Zone Leader, and Elder Glenn served in Berlin, Germany, but had to come back for surgery on his leg, and is now here. I told him he just missed meeting my Uncle.
Conference was wonderful! Xai Chor and his family came to at least half of the sessions, which were broadcast in Hmong in a different room in the stake center. They liked it.
Neng Thao and Mai Lee also attended both days, but Mai Lee still didn't fully understand what prophets are. We explained afterwards, but it would have been more beneficial if she would have understood the first time we explained it so she could have gone into conference with that context.

I'm trying to decide if I want conference in audio form. It's kind of a hassle to try to find a member who can put it on my MP3 player for me. We don't ever have time to do stuff like that, and it's hard without a car.

Happy Easter! We've found that a lot of people on the street walk around wearing crosses, but they don't even know what Easter is about. Nor the atonement, half of the time. This season opens a lot of good teaching opportunities.

Well, that's the end of our show, tune in next week! Love ya!
-Elder Moua Ying

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