Monday, September 14, 2015

My Life Will Never Be The Same

This week was the perfect ending to my mission. Not even the writers of Remember the Titans could have written a script as good as the way this last week played out. We had a new missionary come with us on Wednesday that Elder Lao is training. His name is Elder Ferguson and he is a stud. It was really neat to have a new missionary with me the last week. I saw so many things that I did as a new missionary, and I can't wait for all the experiences that he will have.
     On Saturday was the day of the baptism and everything turned out perfectly. President and Sister Forbes came out to watch and it actually started on time! Honestly the first time on my mission. Tsheej, Tais Paj Lis Lauj, and Tswb Vaj all gave the most amazing testimonies. The room was so full of the Spirit. After the baptism they asked me to speak in sacrament meeting so I ran home and wrote my talk for an hour. Then the coolest woman in Minnesota named Phanida, took all the missionaries, the newly baptized members, and a few other members as well out to Hmong village and we had a huge feast. On Sunday, we had the chance to confirm the three new members and the Holy Ghost was so powerful. I love being able to confirm others, because you know without a doubt that the Holy Ghost is there. Also, I gave my farewell talk as well as the branch President's son Ty gave his farewell talk for his mission. It was a really powerful sacrament meeting. After church our branch mission leader threw a big going away party at his house for me. A ton of members came and they made me give a speech. As I stood there with all of the members together, the only think I could think about was a quote that I had heard earlier in my mission, "Heaven isn't heavenly without the people that you love." I felt so much love for each of them and I told them that my mission would have been for nothing unless it was for the people. I really can't describe how much I love this branch. I spent 18 months of my mission here, working, teaching, and serving. Now that it is over, I can say that I would have not chosen anyplace else to serve but Minnesota. I was so overwhelmed by the love that I felt from all of the members. My life will never be the same because of the 2 years of work they did for me.
     Thanks for all the support all of you have given to me throughout these last two years. My mission has been so much more than I thought it would be when I started. But I know that the best times of my life are still in front of me, and they always will be. I know the church is true, that this is Christ's church. God lives. He will answer our prayers. Love y'all.     

Monday, September 7, 2015

I Love This Place

This past week we have been busy helping our investigators get ready

for their interview. They had Their interview on Saturday and
everything went well. It is always nice to pass that hurdle. The 15
year old Cheng is doing so well. During fast and testimony meeting
yesterday two of the young men got up to bear there testimonies and
both of them gave Cheng a shoutout and just said how grateful they are
for him and his decision to be baptized. The kid was basically in
heaven after. It has been really fun to see him change and be so
happy. He has been a huge help to his mom the whole time she has been
learning as well.
    For some reason in our mission the Hmong missionaries come 1 week
before the transfer and there's a new one coming in this week. His
name is Elder Ferguson. I've heard a lot of great things about him
from the teachers at the mtc and I think Elder Lao will train him. I'm
excited to have a new missionary with us for the next week. They
always bring so much faith and energy. It reminds me of when I came to
east side to be trained. I love this place.
   Not to much to update though. Thanks for everything. Love y'all

Muaj Zoo Vwj

Monday, August 31, 2015

Life is Good

Had a really neat experience yesterday at church. For some background

to the story, one week before my last transfer I decided to set the
goal of helping 3 people be baptized the last Saturday of my mission.
I was nervous because I knew that I would be sent to a new area and I
didn't know who, or if we would have people to teach but I felt that
the goal would motivate me to work hard and be obedient to the end.
Well, we are on track to hit our goal but yesterday all 3 of our date
sets had to come to church otherwise they wouldn't be able to make
their baptism on the 12th of sept.
    Sunday morning rolls around and we are at church and it's about
8:45. Their ride walks in but unfortunately our investigators weren't
with them. Turns out our ride forgot to pick them up and when we
called, our investigator didn't answer the phone. So my companion and
I sat down in the foyer pretty much as sad as I had ever been. Also we
were fasting yesterday that everything would work out so I was pretty
devastated, because I felt we had worked so hard. Well, as we're
sitting there, at about 8:55, I had the thought, "Just go get them." I
had all these doubts come up like, they live in an apartment building
and we won't be able to get in, plus they aren't answering their phone
and their probably not ready and we will make a member miss the
sacrament. Then I had the thought again, "Just go get them." So we go
grab our ward mission leader and tell him that their is some
investigators waiting for us to go pick them up, but they don't have a
ride (even though we really didn't know if they were coming or not)
and he said he would help.
    So we drive to their apartment building and get there at about
9:05, and church had started 5 minutes earlier. Of course, the
apartment was locked. But thank goodness for Hmong grandma's cooking
soup in a giant cauldron outside at 9 in the morning, because one of
them let us in. When we knocked on the door, there they both were,
ready and waiting for us to take them. So after all that, they did
make it to church, and there baptism interview is now scheduled for
this weekend. It reminded me of the scripture in Nephi 3:7 when Nephi
tells his father that he will do all things that the Lord commands
him. It was such a miracle. I'm so grateful that God is helping elder
Lao and I towards this goal. I don't know what will happen in the next
two weeks, there are still obstacles to come I'm sure, but I now have
seen with my own eyes, that if we keep faith, the Lord will answer our
    Congrats to August Jacob Henrie for being the newest addition to
the Henrie clan. I'm excited to be an uncle of 3 now. Tell aunt
heather and uncle Kent that I love them and that I have stayed true to
uncle kent's advice, "The main thing, is to keep the main thing, the
main thing."
    Mom, you asked me to share some impressions of life in this
letter. That's a little broad, so I'm not sure what your looking for,
but I'll do my best:
    Life is good, when you don't make excuses, and do what you know
is right, then it is even better. During my mission I have never seen
the right choice turn out wrong. So I hope to be able to make the
right choice, for the right reasons, with the right attitude, for the
rest of my life. Also, a few nights ago, I read some advice that
Tanner gave to me just a few days before I left, he said, "A mission
is not all about being fast and furious, it is about slowing down, and
ministering to people one at a time, while enjoying every step of the
way." I figure the rest of life is pretty much the same. Thanks for
everything, love y'all.

Monday, August 24, 2015

I Love Her So Much

Sorry, but the librarian lady is on a power surge right now and they have some rules that would take to long to explain so I don't have to much time this week. Things are going well though. The deaf mom that we are teaching is doing well and I love her so much. It is amazing to watch her focus even though she can't understand. Also, the mom and her son that we are teaching absolutely love the branch. They are progressing really well. The son went to the young men's campout on Friday and Saturday and had a blast. They had the young men cook their own breakfast, but then all of them ended up getting sick from some uncooked eggs so unfortunately they couldn't come to church yesterday. 
      Congrats to J Dub and Jessi on the new boy!!!!!!!! What's his name? Love you all, bye

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Spirit Got Me Good and I For Sure Started To Cry

This past week has been possibly the best of my whole mission. The Lord is blessing Elder Lao and I a ton, please keep praying for us because it's working. 
     Last night I had one of the most special experiences of my entire mission. A man named Brooks that I taught in Bloomington was baptized yesterday. At the service the whole chapel was filled with people from the ward there to support him. Elder Craft, who was the first missionary to begin teaching him three years ago performed the baptism. Elder Crapo (my old comp,) A member from the ward, and myself were also in the font to help dip him under and to get him out of the water. We had the curtains open with so many people there, and right as he came out of the water they closed the curtains. The five of us were in the font together and Brooks started crying. You could see and feel 59 years of guilt being lifted and the hope come into his eyes. It reminded me of the scripture In Mosiah Chapter 18 Verse 30 
      And now it came to pass that all this was done in Minnesota, yea, by the waters of Minnesotain the forest that was near the waters of Minnesota; yea, the place of Minnesota, the waters of Minnesota, the forest of Minnesota, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.
     Minnesota really has become sacred ground to me because this is where I came to know God as well as watched others do the same. 
     We also found a few investigators last weekend that are progressing really well and came to church yesterday. We are teaching a deaf mom who's three daughters were recently baptized. No I don't speak sign language, but the daughters translate for us, and last week she committed to Sept. 12 for baptism. As well as the mom and son that I talked about 2 weeks ago came to church yesterday and the son is going on a young mens campout this weekend. Elder Lao and I are going over tonight and plan to commit them to Sept. 12 for baptism. 
     Elder Lao and I have grown so much the last couple days, we started off the transfer with a desire to work, and be obedient and that has made all the difference. I hope in the coming days it will only get even better.
     Last Thursday, our district leader asked Elder Lao and I to train on receiving revelation, and we started our training by reading our call letter to Minnesota. The Spirit got me good and I for sure started to cry. It is amazing how much more those words mean to me now than they did almost 2 and a half years ago. Thanks for everything, good luck this week.

And though I don't usually include the letters we write to Marshall, here is a response from JW: 
Dear Marshall, 
I love you! 
Big Bro
P.S. Never stop sharing this magnificent gospel! Everyone you see needs it. They need to know there is a God who loves them and a Savior who can free them from their mistakes and carry their burdens with them.
P.P.S. Picture is from a date night with the kids. Jessi and u have started to doing one-on-one dates with the kids. I took both this week cause she's about to have a baby (Monday the 24th!). Probably named Bonecrusher, but August as a backup.

Monday, August 10, 2015

He Really Is the Perfect Comp For Me Right Now

     So i had just recently typed out a super awesome email but it got deleted so this week will be short. I am back with my Hmong homies and on bikes in St.Paul. It has been raining the last couple days so Elder Lao and I have been having a ton of fun. My companion is the coolest kid ever and he has made the work so awesome. He really is the perfect comp for me right now. He works super hard and he is way humble which makes it really easy to get along with him.
     We had a game night on Saturday and Elder Lao and I set up frisbee golf in the gym. It was all the grandmas verses the ysa and the grandmas smoked them. Our investigator Tais Paj Lis was there and she had a blast. 
      We are off to go do some fishing now though so I have to go. Love ya

Monday, August 3, 2015

Love This Guy So Much

  Happy 30th Anniversary Mom and Dad. I'm sure it will be a memorable one being in New Orleans. That is so neat to hear that Tanner was able to be there to help with the baptism of that man and to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. We have had the most amazing miracles and I have some big news this week. Two weeks ago a young man who was the grandson of the Graffs, who is a senior couple working in the office came teaching with us. He was unsure about going out on a mission but wanted to come teach with us to see what it was like. He came out with us and as Elder Crapo and I taught the lesson the Spirit was there but not very strong. Then, when he bore his testimony on prayer, the Spirit was so strong. Then today, two weeks later, Sister Graff came in to the office and said that she wanted to thank us for something. She explained that last night Keaton went to talk with his bishop and is putting his mission papers in in two weeks. She asked him what the defining moment was for him, then she looked at us and started crying and said, "He told me it was Minnesota." I was so pumped. I'm emailing him today to tell him how excited I am for him that he is going. It will no doubt change his life forever. 
     Another neat experience from this last Friday. I was on an exchange with an Elder and we went to see a referral in an apartment building. The referral wasn't there so we knocked on all the doors right next to and across from his. A couple people rejected us and so we started walking out, but the both of us still felt that there was someone that we needed to find in the building. So I asked him to pray for a specific number that we should go knock on. He came up with 319. So we go knock on the door and my heart was pumping pretty hard because I was really hoping it would work for this kid. Of course nobody answered. So we start to head out again when he says, "Wait let's knock one more door." The next door we knock was perfect. A lady in her young 30's opened the door and we made fun of her having so many cats(She had like 4 cats but it turned out she was just cat sitting for someone else.) She laughed and then told us she had just moved into the area a month ago and was looking for a church. She agreed to come to church the following Sunday and to bring her kid. Elder Boekweg and I looked at each other after she closed the door with our jaws open. Then ran outside and started yelling we were so excited. Some old man across the street jumped pretty bad which was funny. I was so excited for Elder B to be able to see that on our exchange. It helped me out and so I'm sure it was good for him as well.
     The big news though is that I'm getting transferred. I am going back to Eastside St. Paul. Back to my birth place for the last transfer. I really couldn't have asked for anything better. It was where I started, and where it all ends. As I was thinking about my last transfer and having all these worries about if I would be able to do all that I wanted to and if I would be lazy or if I would work hard, I had a really sweet revelation, it was, "If Christ had quit the last month of His mission, what would have happened?" So if things get hard this last transfer, I'll just remember that, and I think I'll be fine.
     Anyways, I love you all and hope things go well. Thanks for the package and whatnot. My birthday was superb. Short summary, did like 6 hours of office work for transfers, went to church, and a bunch of elders snuck into our apartment and suprised me with cake and a song, and then took me golfing today. So it was nice. J Dub, that is the most awesome birthday gift. I will probably forget in the coming weeks, so you need to remind me. Don't know when you'll be in Utah, but we'll make it happen. Good luck Tan and Misa in Med School. Libby, you are looking so old now it is crazy. James and Charlie look nothing like when I started (partially because Charlie wasn't born.) Love you all and happy August.

-Elder Muaj Zoo Vwj

Pics: This is a pic of Brooks and me, the man getting baptized August 16th. Love this guy so much.