Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Way or the Thai-Way

The Twin Cities welcomed its first major torrential storm of the
summer! Of course the bottom decided to drop out while we were driving
across town to be taken out to dinner by a member, so we had no idea
where we were when a giant monsoon hit. We tried to drive through it,
but the rain was beating the car so hard I was afraid the windshield
was going to shatter. Then the sky started to turn green, so we tried
to find somewhere we could take shelter if a tornado hit. Sister Xiong
isn't used to bad weather, so I'm trying to play it cool and not worry
her, but internally I'm having an anxiety attack...I moved to
California to get AWAY from tornado alley, not go right back to it! We
weren't seeing anything, but we prayed and eventually passed by a
Dollar Tree, so we pulled in and made a mad dash into the store, whose
electricity went out just as we ran inside. We could see all the
lights go out down the whole street. It got eerily quiet, and then the
wind picked up like crazy. The trees started to fall down, and I was
75% convinced we were going to get blown away. Sister Xiong and I
started singing hymns, and after a while the storm lightened up. The
elders called us and asked why we weren't at dinner, which means they
were CRAZY and drove through the severe weather. Their excuse was "Red
Lobster". #elders We prayed about it and felt like it was okay to try
and head over there, and the highway wasn't flooded like the other
roads, so we slowly made our way over. The restaurant didn't even have
power, so we waited for 2 hours to get our food. It was an insane
night, but I'm grateful we survived! Speaking of insane things in St
Paul, there have been riots all week over someone getting shot. They
blocked off the highway by our apartment, and people have been
protesting and getting in fights all over town. It's kinda scary, and
reminds me how much the world needs Jesus!

Anna is so cool! She's our 14-going-on-25 investigator. I think she
has more drama in her middle school life than I did middle, high
school, and college combined. She's had 3 different boyfriends in the
last week we've seen her. But she's really quick, and has already
started reading through the whole Book of Mormon! She likes it a lot,
and when we talked about the restoration of the gospel, she's like "I
want to be a part of Christ's true church. I think that would be
important." We told her it definitely was! So she committed to be
baptized! She would make an awesome addition to the other young women
in church. She also did Sister Xiong's eyebrows, which were totally on
fleek (but she refused to let me take a picture).

Our other investigator Tais Paj fell and had to go to the hospital. It
took us forever to find her because her neighbors gave very Hmong,
very vague directions on where they took her, so we went to all the
close-by hospitals and finally had success at one downtown. When she
first sees us, she takes her cane and runs to Sister Xiong and starts
beating her with it. We assume she must have really hit her head and
can't remember anything, so we're like "Tais Paj, stop, it's us!" She
goes "I know it's you! Why didn't you come see me sooner! I need my
dentures!" She's the cutest little thing, I love her with all my
heart. Sister Xiong goes, "Why didn't you hit Sister Paj Zhuag too?"
and she grabs me and says "Because I love her more than you."
#playingfavorites It was so sad seeing her try to talk to the nurses
because she can't speak any English, and they don't speak Hmong, so
she kept trying to communicate with no avail. Granted all she wanted
to say was how awful the food was, so maybe it was for the best haha.
Her daughter doesn't speak to her anymore, so she always calls us her
daughters. She is the most adorable thing on the planet.

We had an interesting service opportunity this week. This woman was
walking by carrying garbage bags full of clothes, so we asked if we
could help her carry it. Not only did she let us carry it, but we also
washed them all- the Hmong way! You literally only use a hose and
spray them down, step on them with your bare feet, scrub it together,
and hang it to dry. It's so third-world! And we got drenched. But it
was a lot of fun! We taught her and her sister a lesson afterwards and
set up a return appointment! Holla! I can't believe people still do
that when we have laundry machines here, but she said she was so used
to doing it like that in Thailand she just kept up the routine. While
I'm on the topic of Thailand, some members just came back from
visiting family there, so they got us all these souvenirs and showed
us gorgeous pictures! Bucket list trip when I go home.

Miracle of the week: We randomly decided to go to a neighborhood we
hadn't been to in a while, and as we're getting out of the car, this
girl we've never met before goes "Sisters! I was praying for a miracle
and God sent me you! I have a paper due in 3 hours and I don't know
enough English to write it. Can you help me?" Turns out she went
less-active a long time ago, but we re-connected and she made us
dinner as we cranked out her essay! It was awesome to finally meet
her, because we actually had been trying to find her on the branch
directory but she was never home! On top of that, she came to church
Sunday and jumped right back into active church life! AND she made an
A on the paper! #tendermercies

***PRAYER REQUEST!! In order to be baptized in two weeks, Mor has to
completely give up smoking. It will be a HUGE struggle for her, so she
needs all the prayers she can get! Please, please keep her in your
prayers that she can overcome this temptation! We've armed her with
all the cinnamon gum and mints she'll need to make it, and we're
giving up soda and candy alongside her so she's not the only one
sacrificing something difficult. Pray for us too :) just kidding!

*Sister Xiong and I talking about our homeless referral*
Us: "Have you gone to see Fran yet?"
Elder Kemberling: "Oh, with that great address you gave us? 'Next to
the bunny statue, possibly on one of the benches, near the address we
gave you, and with bae's number that doesn't work.' Excellent. No we

Mor's boyfriend Chan: "You know me, I was looking for a real relationship."
Mor: "I met you at the club!"

Sister Xiong: "Tais Paj said her preacher could pass her house keys to us."
Me: "What authority does he have to pass keys to someone? He ain't got
no priesthood!"

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