Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kuv Hlub Hmoob!

I don't think there's enough space on this email to write about how
much I LOVE Hmong work! This week has been miracle after miracle. Most
of the time I only know 10% of what's going on, if that! Most of them
don't speak English unless they're second generation and have lived in
the States their whole life. So I do a lot of smiling and head nodding
during lessons haha. The language is pretty tough, there's a lot of
tones and dialects that if you get wrong, you're completely messing up
the word and it means something else. I'm very slowly learning
different phrases, but as of now, the only thing I really understand
in conversation is when they point at me and say "mika" (aka pasty
white person). But it's coming along! The branch is so AWESOME!
They've been praying for sister missionaries for a long time, so we
got the biggest warmest welcome with lots of food and hugs. We all
made sushi together with the Relief Society which was totally fun,
then there was a sleepover with all the YSA sisters (who all speak
English #halellujah) where we cooked pho (my new best friend) and
spicy stir-fry. Hmong people know how to eat! In Relief Society we had
croissants and muffins and brownies and cookies....mission addition
will be happening in this area. Sister Xiong is HILARIOUS! She is the
funniest spunkiest ball of fire, but at the same time the sweetest
person on the planet. We have such a blast together, I am so grateful
for her. I couldn't have asked for a better companion OR area! We
actually don't have a set area, we cover all of the Twin Cities and
whatever Hmong sisters the elders can't teach, so we do a lot of

Our first few days together were crazy! We were all packed up at the
mission home ready to transfer to our new area, and the APs tell us
our apartment isn't ready yet because the elders hadn't finished
moving out. We were super confused because we didn't know we were
taking over an elders apartment. A sister's area got shut down, so we
stayed in their abandoned apartment for the night since there wasn't
room for us anywhere else, which was a lil creepy but fun. All our
stuff was packed in the car and trunk to the max, and on top of that
it was pouring rain, so we couldn't get any of our stuff out for
overnight! We just slept in our clothes and wore the same thing the
next day...classy haha. The next day after a gps fiasco, we finally
found our apartment! The elders were just leaving after clearing out,
and we saw 4 beds in the living room. Turns out the Hermanas were
moving in too- they had to emergency transfer out of their area
because they were being stalked. So now it's like we're living in a
dorm! But it's a lot of fun, we have such a great time. The first few
days the elders took us out with them to appointments and passed us
off a lot of solid investigators! So we finally tried to do some stuff
on our own, and lo and behold, our car battery completely dies in a
Chipotle parking lot. We went around to random people asking if they
could jump the car for us, and these super nice Jehovah's Witnesses
went home to get cables for us and came back and totally saved the
day! It was such a miracle. After that, we went to an appointment and
locked the keys inside the car. We were freaking out and had no idea
what to do. This sketchy guy comes up with a coat hanger, a washcloth,
and a screwdriver, and is like "step aside ladies I got this" and IT
WORKS. It was another miracle from God. Heavenly Father is so good!

Last night was President's fireside with Larry R Lawrence, one of the
Seventy. He gave my favorite general conference talk last October
called "What Lack I Yet?". He gave a really inspiring talk, and I sang
in a quartet with some other sisters! It was such a spiritual night. I
can't express how much I love this work. I love being a missionary,
and I love learning about the Hmong culture and sharing the gospel
with them (jk, Sister Xiong does most of the talking, but still!).

Sidenote: Prince passed away in his Minneapolis home, and he was
totally in my last area's Ward boundaries! So if he'd joined the
church we would have taught him. That's okay, he'll hear the gospel in
the next life!

Love, Sister Brett (Paj Zhuag Lee)

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