Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 9th-- Of things... more spiritual...

Up until this point, my e-mails have dealt largely with the hardship and trial that I perceive as my mission. In reality this has been no doubt the most spiritual, testimony strengthening experience that I may ever go through. I'll tell you the story of my investigators here at the MTC.
We have "investigators" at the MTC that you actually teach lessons to in your own language. This is the best thing that I've had to do yet at the MTC, as it gets me studying my testimony, prayer, and the principles of the gospel in Hmong. Our first investigator was named Choj Thoj (Keeyaw tah) He was sad that his family had abandoned him, and that since they believed in the "old ways", basically a belief that most Hmong people have in shamanism, he was afraid to be converted. We taught him the very first week we got here, and our lessons were short and involved a lot of mistakes. We told him that God was Jesus' son and in stead of asking "Koj Puas kaw thov vajtswv" Will you pray... we switched out Puas for Paus... which means fart... So the sentence changed to God farted in the middle of the day. We were able to overcome the embarrassment and committed him to baptism, but we didn't feel very successful.
Our next was Voom Xyooj (Vong Shyong) Voom had a strong belief in Christ and in God, so we had a very good place to start. He was most definitely a family man, and so naturally we've taught him that families can be together forever. He accepted everything that we threw at him, committing to read the book of mormon, read the proclamation to the family, and pray every single night with his family. We were so excited when we extended the invitation to be baptized, thinking he would accept willingly... He began his response with "aw" (aoo, yes) but finished with a series of questions we weren't able to translate. We walked out of the room completely frustrated, and in no mood to prepare yet another lesson for our third investigator, Npis Vaj (nbee vah)

Npis was an ua li (ooa lee, former gangster) and he felt very guilty and very ashamed of what he had done. In each of our visits he had a very sullen, depressed demeanor. Our first attempt to connect with him, we talked to him about the plan of salvation... Not very effective. Our next we taught him of the love of our Savior... He perked up a little bit, and we even had him say our closing prayer. But the third time we had prepared what we had expected to be an absolutely killer lesson. We had prepared a lesson about faith, and we were ready to deliver it to him, and have him come to the knowlege of our gospel. 45 minutes before we were going to give our lesson, we were prompted to teach him about repentance and baptism. We had absolutely nothing prepared on this topic, but we did. not. hesitate. We immediately scrapped everything we had worked on for two days in favor of a lesson we had not even an hour to prepare. My two companions and I worked our hardest, put together a lesson dealing with the atonement, repentance, and baptism, and prayed for inspiration and the gift of tongues at his doorstep. We taught him, testified to him, and at one point he even had 2 hmong bibles and 2 hmong PnMs (that stands for Phau ntawd Maumoos, Pow Ndow mowmong, book of mormon) finally the time came to ask him to be baptized, I said a prayer in my heart, and we asked. Immediately he said yes, with a huge smile on his face. That is absolutely the strongest I have felt the spirit here at the MTC!

Wish I could keep writing!! But I've got some duties to attend to! Until next time...

Elder Lis Xeeb

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