Friday, May 31, 2013

Pictures from Alex's SD Card

What a cool name tag!
 Alex with the Hmong speakers

 First meal in Wisconsin
 Alex and Elder Vang
Alex's desk in his apartment

 Elder-saurus Rex :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Alex's letter/testimony

We have a long list of things to do today, so I'll have to keep this one exceptionally short. Sorry!!!
I was reading in the scriptures the other day, and I came accross a scripture that my Mom used to always quote... D&C 101:16 "... Be still and know that I am God." How many times in our lives do we get so worked up, so active, so busy that we forget to "be still?" I related this quote in a lesson that we had the other day. We were teaching about how we all feel the spirit. We know that it is a "burning in your bosom" but what in the world does THAT feel like? I shared this experience. In the MTC I knew that I had the spirit. I knew that I had it all my life, and many times in my prayers I would ask God to help me have the spirit. But I didn't know how I felt it... The very day that I began to wonder how I felt the spirit, we had a devotional about the Holy Ghost. Sister Sheri Dew talked to us all about how she had the exact same question I did. I knew I had the spirit, I knew it comunicated with me, but how? She encouraged all the missionaries to go home and pray about it that night. I did, and sure enough, I felt a familiar feeling (the Holy Ghost) and I realized that I sensed it through feelings of peace. I looked back at my life at the times when I felt that I had the Spirit closest to me, and I realized that all these times were accompanied by this exact same feeling. I would encourage everyone who reads this to do the same. Don't ask to have the Holy Ghost, don't ask to have it guide you, give you comfort or peace, but in stead ask God, the one person who would REALLY know, "How does the Holy Ghost communicate with me?" I promise that it will bless your lives. I'll try to leave myself a little bit longer for letter writing next week!! In the meantime, ask my family... They'll love it ;)

Sib Ntsib Dua!! (Shee njee dooa!! See you later!!)

Tub Txib Meej Mom the family

Nyob zizzle m'nizzles!!

Things in Appleton are going really good... Except it smells like Tanner's dirty diapers sometimes... What does the tramp look like? did you help build it? What fun stuff are you doing? did you have fun at the party!! Tell me, are you getting so excited to go to kindergarden? You better be a big kid and be nice to everyone, okay? I LOVE YOU!!!

Hey buuuuddy! Have you jumped a lot on that new tramp lately? I hope so, because when I get back, I'm going to bounce you right over the neighbor's fence! I loved when I was done with those dumb ol' CRT tests! They are so easy, and all I wanted to do was go outside and have it be summer already!! I hear that you went to mcdonalds on monday morning. How fun!! Did you like ghost? what was your favorite part? I think mine was when he was singing "I'm henry the 8th I am, henry the 8th I am I am..." over and over to that one lady... Hilarious!! Well, I love you, be safe, say your prayers, and try reading some of the scriptures every morning (it can only be for like 5 minutes if you want!) BYEE

I'm so glad that you're finally done with all of the hard parts of school... But come ON!!! Live it up, woman!! You get to watch movies, tv shows, and mind numbingly boring documentaries!! For crap sake, I LIVED for the last 2 weeks of school! Sometimes the only thing that got me up and showered in the morning is that the faster I got the 8 1/2 weeks over with, the sooner I could watch movies in school... Geez, the people of your generation.... ;) I remember we had a choice of doing that criminal minds thing or another project, and I chose the other one, but I don't remember what it was, which means I must not have done a very good job at it.... Whoopsie...I don't want to say my olympic team was stinkier than tanner's diaper... But it was way stinkier than tanner's diaper... I try to block out that memory... You've always been a sleeper in movies! They're like your sleeping pills or something! It's hard to watch a movie through closed eyelids Annie... ;)Have you not ever seen all of Ghost?! It's a classic!! It's a Larsen family quotable!! Good grief, you're just fallling apart when I'm not there arent you?... Let me know how the last couple weeks of school go! I said it to Zach but it goes for you too, Pray e'er day, and read your Book of Mormon every morning. I have an hour to do personal study and it takes me maybe 30 minutes to finish 10 pages. At this rate I'll finish the Book every 53 days! Try reading (maybe not that much...)

Don't you just love the last couple weeks of school? I just want those days sprinkled lovingly throughout the rest of the year so that it doesn't all come at the end! Uh... 40 hours is a lot (at abs) hopefully they'll get some new people for the summer so that the workload wont all fall on you! I remember how hard it was getting excited for work when I had already worked like 4 days that week! Tell Conner that I look back fondly on those times. Even when he and/or Parker put hot sauce... or vineager... or salt... or pickle juice in my drink... Fun times, fuuuuuun times... I'm really glad that everything is starting to work out for you, and that everything is going positively. I read mom's favorite scripture the other day. D&C 101:16 "... Be still and know that I am God" and I just thought how much just sitting down and giving myself some time to think and ponder has done for me. I have that personal study every single morning, and it's something that I wish I had given myself back home. Maybe try it! give yourself 30 minutes in the morning to "be still" and you will be able to work out things you are questioning. My appartment is... not dirty? I'm doing my best to keep it clean, and there should be pictures (and a video) coming this week! MAY the force be with you... (get it????) MMMMBUHBYE!!

I got your letter on Friday. Thank you so much for sending it!! I loved it, and it was my first letter here in Wisconsin! I did speak in church, and from what I heard some of the member's say, they really enjoyed it. The Hmong members couldn't believe that it was only the 9th week that I had ever spoken Hmong in my entire life!! Appleton is pretty beautiful in some parts, and just like any other city it has its... not so good parts. But on the whole it really is very leafy and almost quaint, I really love it! Transfers are every 6 weeks, but we don't know when we will be transferred... Like I could be transferred next transfer, or I could be here for 9 months worth of transfers. Just wherever they need Hmong speakers! Elder Vaj is from California and he has been out for over a year. He is a convert and only decided about a year before he left to go on a mission... He's been a good first companion, and I've had to grow in some areas, and let some things go, but we get along great. I told President about Gramps and sure enough he remembers him!! He asked a little about him, but nothing to important. No idea about sis shumway... I'm having a great time here, dont worry about me!! BYEEE!!!

I can't believe they will be the Hornets again... (like that'll actually help them be better or anything...) I think we should be like the Utah Fightin' Seagles.... bring that up to management would ya?.....
RILEY!!! Yeah, I knew my back was broken. It was so broken I could feel it moving around in there. But I wanted to play, so thanks coach. GOOD FLINGIN' FLANGIN' GRIEF!!! He really needed to take himself out of the game, but the coaches needed to be man enough to say, no, your spine is split, sit down... Gah...
This year's team shouldn't be too awful, but when I get back, they'll really start to be good, so I'm looking forward to it!
Does it have 6,549 pieces? *crunch!* uh 548!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Hey-o Famili-o!

How is everyone doing back at home? As you'll read in my other letter, everything is going spectacularly here! I'm really excited to be doing the Lord's work finally!! I loved getting to read through the e-mails that you guys sent!! And yes, you could send mail to the mission home, but it wont actually get to me for a while, so it'd be better if you just sent it to that other address that I sent... Put that on facebook yeah? ;) Anyway, I miss you guys so much!! We spent the first day in the mission home, and it really reminded me of our house a lot. Wisconsin really looks and feels a lot like Utah. To be honest, even without the mission I feel as if you guys are just down the road! Some of the more surprising things: Everything is green... EVERYTHING!! How do they keep their lawns so nice?? Also, EVERYTHING has dandelions on it, so I guess it's a trade off. Its already extremely humid, and my shirt sticks to my back... Eww!! They have parks, rivers and lakes EVERYWHERE!! Also, everything here is a ____ and bar. Restaurant and bar, grill and bar, etc... People here don't like to wear shirts or shoes. They say "cook me" if they don't know the answer to your question... ummm....... Thats about it, but its only my first week, I'll get back to you..... I'm glad that the girls are feeling better about their ap tests, because I know that they will do great! I'm also glad that Megan is feeling better, I was sad that she was sad when I got to talk to her. Zach better have been good on his campout, or when I get home I'll have to... i dunno, pants him? Taylor! Are you being a good boy? What is going on with BYU right now? Mom and Dad, I have pictures coming, so don't worry!! I'm doing so good, and you guys have been the BIGGEST support for me!! I know this letter is pretty short, but I thought we had 2 hours, not just one on these computers... I only have about 13 minutes to write my president... Ask me any questions you have in your next email so I can answer them ALL!!! I wish I had more time!!! GAAAH, I just love you all so much!
Elder Meej Mom.... Read the other letter if you don't understand that....

Greetings, from WISCONSIN

Hey family!!!

It's finally p-day, and I already feel like I have a lot to tell you guys, so I'll just start off with some of the obvious and unnecessary... Like first of all I DID make it to Wisconsin safely, and I'm just starting to get adjusted to REAL missionary work... My companion is elder Vang (hmong native, his real name is Shadow Vaj) and he and I are doing really awesome things together. We were both new to this appleton area, we call it being white washed or shotgunned because neither of us is at all familiar with the city. Our first day a member fed us (fettuccine!) and he offered to update his old GPS and give it to us. How nice is that?! His name is Brother Mortenson and he said that he used to be the ward mission leader in his old ward back in Idaho, so he loves to take care of missionaries. Other than that we've been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for the past few days! We got to our apartment (video upcoming) and we found out that we barely had enough food to get us through to this pday... We basically survived this week off of eggs (which we get fresh each Sunday from a member) and a cheap cheap CHEAP knockoff brand of ramen noodles. Needless to say, my mouth is already watering thinking about all the groceries that I'm going to buy at walmart today. We've been trying to contact some of the recent converts, less actives, and our investigators for the past week, but we've only actually been inside 3 houses: 1 member, 1 recent convert, and 1 family we just met tracting who had no interest in our church... It's been hard being so new, but with the help of our Bishop, Bishop Allen, the ward missionary leader, Brother Seethong (see tong) Yang, and a lot of digging through the area book on our part, we think that this next week should be more productive. Appleton is exactly where I said that I wanted to go when everyone asked me which area I wanted to go to first, so I am loving it here!! Even though its as humid as the bathroom after one of my showers, it sometimes smells like wet diapers for no reason, and I'm almost exactly 1200 miles from home, I actually feel myself loving it already! As Elder Vang and I were out tracting the other day, we got a call from a name we didn't recognize, Brother Clifford. I guess he was just put into the bishopric, and you know what that means... Yeah, I get to speak next Sunday!! I was pretty surprised that he asked me, but even more surprised when he asked me if I would try to do the majority of it in Hmong! I'm trying my best to prepare for it, and my topic, "How seminary has prepared you for a mission" is a pretty easy one to speak about. I met some of the Hmong congregation this past Sunday, and they really are a sweet group of people. They asked me to introduce myself in front of the Hmong only Sunday school group, and I did. Afterward they asked me how long I had been a missionary. When I told them that that was my fourth day in the field they were pretty shocked!! So I guess my Hmong is progressing pretty nicely. Anyway, after church ended, somebody asked me "Koj puas muaj Hmong lub npe?" Do you have a hmong name? I told him that I had one given to me in the MTC, but I didn't recieve one from a real Hmong person yet. He then wrote down on a piece of paper my NEW hmong name........ Meej Mom Yaj!! Pronounced Mang Mah Yah!! We looked it up, and to the best of our knowlege it means respected or honored. That pretty much describes me to a "T" right??... The biggest thing that has surprised me about my mission is the fact that up until 1:00 pm, you are in the house studying, exercising, eating etc... We only have really about 1-8 to go and contact people because that's when we come back to eat and to plan. I guess it makes sense that everything would take that long, I just thought that it would be a lot more teaching and tracting. I'm so sorry that I've been all over the place in this letter, I just keep thinking of things to say! But I'll leave off this week by saying how much I love everyone! Your support has really been one of the things that has kept me excited and enthusiastic for this mission! I love you all, and here is my new address...

319 E. Harris Street apt #6
Appleton Wisconsin


Elder Yeej Mom

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Alex made it to Milwaukee!!

On Monday night, Alex had a red eye flight at midnight, where he flew to Atlanta, Georgia at 6:30, and then arrived in Milwaukee at 9:30 on Tuesday morning! We were so happy to be able to talk to him on the phone on Monday night. He sounded so good and so excited! We sure miss him, but we're so glad he's doing the Lord's work and that he will be able to bring so many people to the gospel! The secretary from the mission office sent us some pictures and scanned a letter Alex had written. I'll add the scanned letter as soon as I figure out how to do it :)

Click the letter to make it bigger

Monday, May 13, 2013


Hey hey everyone!!

The time is finally here, the day has finally come!! I'm (getting) ready to leave!! I'm just sitting in the laundry room, waiting for a load of laundry that won't be done for another... wow, an hour and a half.... This'll just be a summary of the last couple of days and it may be my weekly letter for next week because I don't know if I'll get a full p-day or not. I sure hope I'll get SOME sort of pday, because I need to buy a winter and a rain coat, a new comforter, possibly a new camera, and not to mention that I'll need to buy myself some food for the next 6 weeks!!

Most of this last week has been spent in review of everything that we've ever learned in class... We basically just drilled the basics of the things that we will be saying almost every day. That means we did a lot of "If you... Then you" kind of things... We also have gone through our tones probably a million and a half times to make sure we don't make any slips that could cause us to say something stupid! We had whats called an in-field training last week. They take every departing missionary (somewhere around 300 or so) and put them in a room for a 6 hour workshop!! It covered everything from the lessons that we will teach people, to how to contact them, to even how to set goals and plan effectively. We were able to move around a little bit, but by the last few hours I was very, very done with it!

I have everything packed that isn't being washed and anything that I'm taking with me in my carry on. I decided that I would take all of my books with me on the plane so I could maybe get some study in, but also because there is no need for me to add all that extra weight in my suitcases when I can just carry it with me. Our suitcases can weigh up to 50 pounds each, but our carry on can be 40 pounds too!! So I should have absolutely no problem distributing out the weight in my bags. I can't remember if I already told y'all about my flight plans yet... But we leave the MTC tonight at 9:00. We get to the airport and check in, and all that by probably about 10:00-10:30. Our plane leaves Salt lake at 12:55 (YES am.....) and we fly to Georgia and get there at about 6:30. Our next flight leaves at 8:30 and we fly to Milwaukee by around 10:00... I have no idea what I'll be doing once I get there... But I'm sure SOMEBODY in my group of 20 will tell me...

To end, I'll just share with you the first vision... A.) so I can practice, and B.) so you can see how messed up my language is!!

Kuv pom ib lub teeb ci ntsa iab nyob saum kuv lub taub hau. Nws ci tshaj lub hnub. Nws nqi zuj zus los so kiag ib ncig kuv. Thaum lub teeb ntawd los so ib ncig kuv lawd, kuv pom ob leeg neeg uas muaj qhov ci thiab lub yeeb koob uas kuv tsis pom qab piav li. Ob leeg sawv me ntsis ntawm kuv nrog cov huab cua. Ib tug hais lus rau thiab kuv tuav kuv lub npe thiab taw tes rau tus uas sawv ntawm nws ib sab thiab hais tias "Tus no yog kuv leej tub uas kuv hlub kawg. Mloog nws."

TTFN, Ta ta for now!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Another May 1

Nyob Zoo!!

Nej nyob li cas? Kuv nyob zoo!! Kuv xav hais tias kuv xav pom nej nrog kuv lub siab! Kuv tau tu siab hnub Tuesday vim kuv tsis pom nej, thiab peb raug qhia txog peb tsev neeg nyob saum ntuj ceeb tsheeb. Da si, kuv paub tias nej xav kuv nyob no MTC. Thiab kuv paub tias kuv yuav ua tej yam hu ua vim Vajtswv xav kuv qhia leeg neeg txog nws txoj moo zoo! Nej tsis txais no vim kuv tsis xav tias tias li cas kuv hais no...


How are you? I am good!! I want to say that I want to see you with all my heart! I was sad on Tuesday because I didn't see you, and we were taught about our family living in heaven. But, I know that you want me to be at the MTC. And I know that I will do the things I do because God wants me to teach the people about his gospel!! Don't translate this because I don't think that this is how you say this.......

It feels like everything is starting to catch up with me. I'm mentally and physically exhausted all the time, and I would love nothing more than an entire day (none of this class on your p-day crap!!) just to sleep in, have a nap, and go to bed early... BUT I realize that this is normal for missionaries! What I'm experiencing now is nothing compared to how bad I COULD be having it. I feel much better than I did this past weekend, and everyone in my district is finally finally FINALLY healthy!! The ol' boil has died down, and I haven't had a problem since... Though I do kinda miss the guy... The doctor said I could call it a Ferruncle... but boil sounds less... I guess it just sounds less like ferruncle sounds... We've been allowed to go outside for gym for the first time since I have been here. The field has always been too wet up 'til now. Even though I stink, I love running around playing soccer with my district.

We've all been going a little bit stir crazy here, so that Yo Yo is a blessing!! Whenever I'm not supposed to be doing something else, I whip out that sucker and... yo... it?... I throw it at the ground and it comes back?..... Yeah, that's the mental exhaustion talking... You all should have heard me giggle when I read those quotes. Oh. My. Gosh. I don't giggle, and those had me struggling to keep it in!! I also loved all of the pictures! (How DO you spell Moriancumer anyway?!) All the Hmongs wanted me to thank you for sending those little toilets. They really loved those!! You should have seen them showing them off to everyone in our residence hall.

We have some extra time on the computer some days when we finish all of our work, and all I have to say is that y'all need to go check out these videos... they are absolutely awful!! They're all on under resources, video audio etc... then click the link that says VIDEOS near the top. The first two are under the topic Old testament video resources and are on the third page... Theyre named something like 6:00 news or something, watch both... The other one is under New testament video resources, and i think its the 5th page... It's the news one on that page too... You like bad acting? We've got that B-roll!

Your packages are the best part of the week, and I always always look forward to them!! This week I don't really have any needs... Mostly just stuff. I think I need one of those Tide to Go pens, I'm pretty messy... Also, dryer sheets arent a MUST but would be nice just to have... I would also request more of them there beef sticks!! oooooh, they were good... Other than that... pack as the spirit directs?...

MOM: We won't be able to call you on mothers day, we have a departure devotional and the phones will be packed all day anyway... Would it be okay if I just called from the airport? It'd only be 2 days after that, and then we would be able to talk for about 2 hours!! Let me know what you want to happen, and I will make it happen!!

Always remember, Never forget... What was it again? I forget....


ELDER LIS XEEEEEEEEEEEEEEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 1

 Hello to all my... avid readers?

A lot of our life here at the mtc has been shaken up the past couple of days. We moved from our new classroom, to our new new classroom, and then we were moved back to our oldest classroom. It's weird, at first, we complained from moving from room A to B because we liked our rolly chairs and our ginormous desks. We thought of this room as our home, where we were closest to all the other south east asian languages (Thai, Viet, Laotion, and Cambodian). Then they asked us to move to a different building! We hated it!! The desks were small (seriously, clipboard sized...) and we had 4 flights of stairs to walk up!! My companions said we were just like the pioneers... Then, as soon as we were comfortable and enjoying the A/C and whiteboard in room B, we were shoved into room C. We started loving THAT class for its view of the mountains and the southern end of the valley. Then we were moved back to class A... Which we now are still struggling to get used to... Yeesh!!

Along with the change in classrooms, we had a change of schedule to try and even out the number of missionaries doing certain activities at certain times. So that's why my P-day has been changed to wednesday... We like it so far because it seemed like everyone had their p-days on Tuesdays, so everything we wanted to do was always busy. This morning we got up at 6:30 and we haven't been in much of a rush yet. The temple was really nice because it was a lot less crowded, and we didn't have to wait more than 5 or 6 minutes before we were able to go in.

I have been reading in the new testament. While I was reading Jesus the Christ (which by the way if you haven't DO DO DO!!!) I realized that I recognized the stories, but I had no idea about the real character of Christ. I was inspired to start reading the New Testament, and I am truly amazed at how much I have missed out in just the first few chapters of reading! The other day I read about the Beatitudes. I had totally forgotten that all these blessings that I, and more importantly my investigators, can have are all right their listed in the front of the NT. I studied that for a good long time, and there is still more to do. Today, while in the temple, I was reading in Matthew 10 i think, and I found a verse that was really able to give me needed comfort. Jesus is sending his Apostles out to go preach, minister, and administer unto the people in various cities. As he does this, in verse 14 he says something about how if the people of a city won't listen to the things that the apostles have to say, that they should wipe the dust off their shoes and move on. This is great advice for us, and particularly me as a missionary, because it shows us that we can't let the little things get us down. If somebody slams the door in my face, calling me a Khi Dwb!!! (Kee doo!! Rascal, naughty) I have to be able to keep the spirit with me, and move on to the next house with just as much love and concern as before. My companions and I had our first taste of this disappointment just this last Friday. We were teaching Paul, a new investigator we were referred to. We spent some time getting to know him, and we gave a spiritually powerful lesson. We were prompted to then and their invite him to be baptized, so we asked him if he would like to be baptized a month from that day. He told us he was already baptized, and he didn't need to do it again. We told him that while God was pleased with his faith and his desire to come closer to Him, the baptism that he had wasn't preformed with the proper authority and power from God. He was deeply offended by this, and despite the spirit we had tried to bring, he told us to leave and not come back... Talk about HEART BREAK!!! We were soooo disheartened, and we had a talk with our teacher afterward about dusting our feet off, calling on the spirit, and moving on.... Regardless of this message, I hated that feeling!!!

I had better go and wash some clothes if I don't want to smell like a sweaty boy this week!!

Nrog txoj kev hlub ntxiv (ndrah tsah kay hloo ntzee, with much love)
, Elder Lis Xeeb