Subject: Cov dej uas kho kev mob
Wahoo! Chor, Mee, and Nouchi were baptized today! This completes the family, and now they can look forward to being sealed together. I got to perform the ordinance, and Elder Hill will confirm them tomorrow. Mee is expecting a baby very soon, and it was hard for her to properly squat so I could help her backward into the water. Third time was the charm though. I did Nouchi's prayer in English, and the other two I did in Hmong. They are all very happy. Molly was very excited to see everyone in funny white clothes, and thought it was hilarious.
After the baptism, we stopped by the 2nd branch's summer picnic. It was great to see all the members from over there again and take pictures. I hadn't seen some of them for quite some time, and some had new hairstyles. I didn't even recognize some people.
No news with Yer. She has still been meeting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which causes her to bring up a lot of questions she never would have come up with on her own. She's still pretty sure our church is true, just a few small doubts.
Fu is also struggling a little. He believes the Bible and the Book of Mormon are true, but he had a dream where his deceased parents' spirits came to eat a New Year's feast at his house, but they couldn't come in because he had Christian scriptures in the house. He removed the books and placed them outside, and his parents' spirits came inside and ate. He feels great concern for the welfare of his parents and the only way he knows how to help them is to keep the old traditions and burn incence and spirit money for them so they will have money in the spirit world to buy food and clothing and build a house. We spent a lot of time explaining to him about how he can best help them by giving them the opportunity to receive the blessings of the gospel by be baptized for them in the temple. We gently reminded him about the Plan of Salvation, and how our spirits are taken care of after we pass, and we cannot feel cold or hunger. We also reminded him about the resurrection and how once again, all pain, hunger, etc. will not affect our perfect bodies. He's going to search, ponder, and pray about it more.
[Editor's note: I posed Jay's question to Jon about members present when their friends are receiving the lessons. Is it better for a close friend to not be present, so the investigator feels more at ease speaking freely?] As far as teaching members' friends with the members in the room, I suppose it may depend on the sort of relationship the members have with their friends. In general, we are taught to teach in members' home with the member there, even if the investigator is a friend or relative. The key is to keep the atmosphere and discussion warm, comfortable, and open. Very honest and sincere. The only way I have seen one of these lessons be uncomfortable and awkward was when the member was a little too overbearing and seemed like he was trying to "straighten out" his friend and make him see that his beliefs were wrong. There wasn't much love, and there wasn't much spirit. When there is love and it is a sincere invitation to greater happiness, I haven't seen it be awkward to have the member participate in the lesson with his or her friend. Just don't make it too Gestapo-style.
Love you, Love you, Hurrah for Israel!
-Elder Moua Ying