Nyob Zoo! (Hello Family!)
Thov txim rau qhov vim hais tias kuv email hnub no. Peb muaj preparation day hnub no. [Sorry I didn’t write an e-mail on Monday] We have preparation day today and next Tuesday instead of Monday because of zone meetings etc. We have a member of the Quorom of the Seventy coming so that’s pretty cool.
Some awesome stuff happened this week:
We got to go to the grape vineyard and do a ton of grape picking. I was a cutter so I was all up in the vines working hard cutting grapes out. Pioneer Park is the Hmong Ward and they are awesome. We had close to 150 show up for this so we started at 6ish and finished around 9 so it was awesome. It was the best service ever. The Hmoob ladies gave us medical masks b/c of all the dust and we had gloves so we were decked out in our Hmoob vineyard gear! Literally working in the Lord's vineyard!
(This picture was sent via text from a ward member's phone. We were SO excited to get it!)
We had an investigator commit to a baptismal date for the end of this month so super exciting. We are doing a lot of work with finding and also less active members so the work is moving right along. Tonight and all of tomorrow, Elder Burton is going on exchanges with another companionship in Auberry (Burton is a district leader so he has to go check up on different areas to see how the work is going in our district). Therefore, I have to lead our area the next day and a half and make sure it doesn't crash and burn :) Should be fun!
Today we also got to go to the temple so that was good. We go once every 3 months so very awesome. President Gelwix met our zone outside and gave us some awesome counsel. He said, "Listen for that which isn't being spoken...analyze your feelings and thoughts and learn what the Spirit is trying to teach you." So it totally changed my perspective on stuff at the temple. I've always gone trying to look for deeper messages but really, we should be thirsting for the spiritual and personal revelation that will guide us in our personal journey and conversion. I love Pres. Gelwix! I promise that if you go to church, read the scriptures, go to the temple, etc. with an attitude of "WHAT IS THE SPIRIT TRYING TO TEACH ME?" you will find the answers to the questions you long for. You will feel Heavenly Father speaking peace and comfort to your heart and mind, and you will know what to do.
BURN YOUR SHIPS
Apparently when the Spaniards came to the Americas, there was a commander of a group of soldiers that was pitted against the Aztec empire. They were grossly outnumbered and defeat seemed imminent. However, their boats were sitting in the bay. Therefore, there was solace to be found in the possible escape route which could lead them safely home to their families if they had to retreat. The commander knew his men and knew what he had to do. He unloaded all the supplies off the ships and onto the beach. Then he ordered the ships to be set on fire. Why did he do that? Why would you cut away your only way of retreat? He did it because his men had to know that failure was not an option for them. They had to conquer their enemy or die. There was no looking at the ships while the enemy swarmed them. They had to focus solely on the war at hand. Any distractions would have cost them everything. What things keep us from focusing on the Lord’s work? Do we try to fall back on old ways? What boats do we look at when the battle is raging in front us? We learned that we must (as missionaries) burn all are boats in order to focus on the work. Also, investigators must burn all their boats; alcohol, old friends, everything that keeps them from coming closer to the Lord. It’s going to be hard. The war is not easy. But it demands everything of us, and until we give it, we cannot and will not be successful. So burn your boats!!! Awesome lesson from zone leaders!
I love you all so much and appreciate all your help and support! Kuv hlub Nej tiag tiag! kuv tsev neeg zoo tshaj plawm! [How “I love you all so much and appreciate all your help and support!” is written in Hmong]
kev Hlub [Love]
Es Daws Tseem Fwv Leem 'Xai Yob' Vaj