Last week, getting my new companion set up and ready to live in appleton for at least six weeks took a little bit more time than we expected and I didn't have the time to write a family email... Thankfully I have more time today and I'm excited to give everyone an update on what is going on! First of all, for those who didn't know, this transfer I stayed in Appleton, but my companion of 12 weeks, Elder Vaj, left to train in Green Bay. My new companion's name is Elder Thompson. He has been a great help in improving my Hmong already, and boy did I need it! I'm excited to see how much he can help me grow! He's the district leader, so that means that I get to be the little helper (or the District Monkey as we call it). It hasn't been too bad yet. Anyway... The first lesson he and I taught together was very interesting and unexpected... We were walking home from a bust referral when somebody on a bike stopped us and said he had some things to say. He proceded to tell us what he thought Mormonism was all about, and what he thought was true. We were able to give our testimony multiple times in the conversation, and from starting with no desire to listen to us, by the time we finished, we had given him the number of the English Elders in the area to teach him more. While it was very weird hearing somebody talk to us about the Illuminati, different dimensions, and "the Christ Entity" it was very cool that he accepted our invitation to pray with him. I'm not sure what happened with him, but who knows?! He could be a solid investigator. Unfortunately, not all of our experiences like that have been good ones. Last week as we left the library, there was a gentleman waiting for us outside with a paper with notes he had taken about everything that he thought was wrong about Mormonism. He talked at us for about 30 minutes, and every time either I or my companion tried to say anything, we were pretty rudely interrupted. Eventually, and sadly, we stopped him and told him that we couldn't continue to listen to him talking about our faith that way, and we just left. He stayed behind, and talked to 2 more companionships in our district about the same things. The similarity between the good and bad experience is that by the end of both my faith had been strengthened. I couldn't believe it, but walking away from the second experience I felt proud that I was able to withstand somebody tearing down everything I love. I was able to see myself as a disciple of Christ, one who would be as Christ said "Hated for My sake". I know that I have been blessed immensely for teaching of Christ, and even though not every experience is a good one, I know for myself that it is true, and I am willing to stand up for these things.
Now, here is an update of some of the people that we are working with.
Cher: Cher was a referral from our district leaders. They met him in Kaukauna while tracting and gave us his number and address. We went to visit him and found out that he was interested in learning more because "if God made the earth for us, he must have a plan". We have tried to meet with him a few more times since, but he hasn't been home... We're still very excited about him!
Suzy Lucky and Christy: These kids we met while trying to contact their grandma, a less active. They live with their mom at their grandma's house, and we've met only a handful of times, but the kids seem ready for baptism. They love to ask questions (and even though we do get distracted sometimes) we love to answer all of them. The only problem has been getting them a ride to church. Their mom works Sundays, and we haven't found anybody yet. But things are looking better because now we have the relief society president and the primary president looking out to help us.
Mathinoe: (pronounced Mateeno) He is probably my favorite investigator just because how funny he is!! He loves to mess around with us, and not to mention he likes to feed us. He and his wife are about to have a little baby boy named Nathaniel, and we are so excited for them. He's been having lessons taught to him for quite a while but has been in and out of jail for various things. We are very hopeful for him as well...
These are some of the best people we've met yet, and we're excited to see who else we can talk to. I love you all so much and will talk to you in only about 18 months!! (or something like that?)