Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 9 at the MTC

Hnub Zoo (Good Day)!

Today has been great! I just received the package you sent me and I just want to say thank you so much (ua tsaug tiag tiag--thank you truly). I appreciate all the stuff. Its going to be super helpful in the field. Also, I'm actually sending the SD card today so good luck figuring out all the pics because there are quite a few. I'm going to give you my companion's mother's email addresses so you can get in touch with them.

This week two new districts were added to our zone. A Laotian group that is all going to Sacramento (the only Lao speaking mission in the world). Also, the other district is going to Salt Lake City West and the one kid is from my Philosophy class from BYU-I. So that was awesome to see him.

Aunt Sue and Aunt Suzanne & Uncle Dan both sent me packages this last week so that was wonderful. I have so much stuff to sort through especially with your package as well. I'm thinking about maybe sending a package to California so I don't have to worry about packing everything but tell me what you think. Also, you should probably stop sending packages to the MTC from here on out unless you know they will get here before I leave because I wouldn't want awesome goodies and stuff to be wasted :). Grandpa & Grandma Burdick and Papa Jess also sent me letters so that was great to hear from them. I'm trying to write everyone back in a timely fashion and since it's busy I might not be able to reply as soon as I would like but I'll be sure to do it.

During class this week, our one investigator finally made it to baptism (after 26 appointments). We also have a new investigator who is super tough. He gets us off of the doctrine so easily with very practical questions that you just don't ever consider as a lifelong member (for instance: He says his wife doesn't listen...and we said the gospel will help his family, now he's praying that his wife will listen etc, sometimes we dig holes, and other times we just keep diggin'). However, its going to be great once we get into the doctrinal principles.

Also, during class we were studying Alma 34. First, you should get out or your scriptures and read it. It discusses the Son of God's infinite and eternal sacrifice for us. The intent of this sacrifice to bring about the bowels of mercy which overpowereth justice. This teaches us that Christ did not only love us enough to bear the pains and demands of justice for our sins, but also that He loved us enough to OVERPOWER the demands of justice. It then reads: "And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety.' Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can repent thus removing the ETERNAL consequences of our sins, and when we do so the merciful arms of the Savior encircle us and bring us back into His fold. In 3 Nephi 9:13-14, we learn that through the atonement we can be healed if we come unto Christ. Coming unto Christ is not an event, but a process. Missionary work is simply helping people begin the process of coming unto Christ more fully. I pray that we may all continue on this journey, that we may all feel the arms of the Savior beckoning us to come unto Him. I know that through the small things, even praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church...we will feel His love, not only weekly, daily, or hourly, but every second.

I love you all! I'm so excited to get into the field and start serving the Hmoob (Hmong) people. I know the Lord is always there for us. He loves you. He wants you to be happy!


Es Daws Npuaj Hwm


P.S.  Also got a letter from Elder Chris Parker...awesome!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 8 at the MTC

Tsev Neeg (Family),
This week has been great! Today, me and my companions were able to go and clean the temple. What an awesome experience!!! We ripped up carpet and did some vacuuming so it was sweet!
Jenny Oaks Baker was the fireside speaker on Sunday, and she performed pieces throughout her talk and bore her testimony how Heavenly Father has blessed her in her life. Her kids then came up and played "I'm a Child of God"...but oh wait, it wasn't screechy violins or cellos, but amazing little kids playing this complex variation of the song. It was amazing!

Anyways, the MTC life is as good as ever! We are working extremely hard to get prepped to enter into the field. Every day we learn how much we really don't know about Hmoob (Hmong). However, we are always staying close to the Lord, and the blessings are being poured out upon us as we stretch ourselves to our outer most limits. Our teacher complimented us about how we're making a lot of progress etc. and he also said that we were truly united as a district. He then explained that unity is not just liking one another and getting along, but also working towards the same goal/purpose. I'm so blessed and thankful to have such wonderful companions. Elder Lauj and Elder Tooj are just the greatest men ever! They are consistently pushing to be the best. Not better than others, but better than themselves. Through doing this, our companionship enjoys the comforting feelings of the Lord's guidance in everything we do.

The weeks have been flying by here! Every day, me and Elder Tooj run 3+ miles and I sometimes do abdominal workouts with the Cambodians so I’m definitely staying healthy. I'm a little worried about the Hmong food but I'm sure it'll be great (definitely enjoying MTC food while I can).

I received letters from Aunt Amy, Sister Hobbs, and Regan, so please be sure to thank them and I will reply when I have time to write.

Spiritual Thought
I was reading in the war chapters of Alma and I came across a phrase that said "...they were inspired by a better cause..." This struck me very powerfully. There are people in this world that will use all the power that they can ever hope to possess to try and bring down the work of the Lord. Regardless of whatever powers may arise that seek the destruction of the Lord's work, remember the cause for which we fight. Our cause is greater than anything else on earth, for it is the work of Heaven; even salvation itself. We are inspired by a better cause. Remember always, the cause for which we fight!

Hope everything is going well back home!

Hlub (Love),

Es Daws Npuaj Hwm

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week 7 at the MTC

Nyob Zoo kuv tsev neeg (Hello my family),

Nej nyob li cas (How are you)? Kuv nyob zoo heev (I am very good)!   So the problem with the MTC is that time is a flyin' so I don't always remember everything so I’m sorry if I forget to thank you for something that happened this week etc. but I am extremely appreciative of any packages or letters.

4th of July at the MTC is pretty cool. We had an awesome fireside and it was all "FREEDOM, LIBERTY, RELIGION". However, we ended up trying to watch the Provo fireworks from the MTC campus so we didn't see very much with all the trees and stuff.  It’s hard to believe how long we've been seems like we just got here. Today I went and got a haircut and they had a chalkboard with the "Independence Day" movie quote. "We will not go quietly into the night. We will not go without a fight. Today we fight for independence" so that was one of the many highlights of today. I wish the MTC would let us watch that movie for 4th of July but apparently the brethren may have some issues with that….hahaha.

Anyways, we had some awesome teaching experiences this week. For instance, our one investigator was confused about honoring your father and mother...because the Hmong people do that through shamanism and in our investigators’ eyes, shamanism isn't worshiping someone other than God but rather calling on spirits for help. Yeah, super crazy!!! Never even thought to think about it from that perspective so we have to do a ton of prep to address that question and ensure our investigator understands what's what.

Btw, Npuaj means slap. Hwm means honor. Es Daws is simply elder. So my name that Bro. Sanchez gave me means slap of respect...or it’s just a Hmong name. He gave us something that sounded sort of close to our original name and that’s the only reason why I use Npuaj Hwm. Once I get to the field, I will be renamed and receive my REAL Hmong name. Bro. Luke (one of my teachers) said that the family that gave him his Hmong name have sort of adopted him. He has to stay with them when he goes to California...and he calls them brother, sister, mom, dad, etc. Bro Sanchez said some old shaman gave him his name and that was it. However, everyone becomes close to the families. I'm super excited to get my new name, and my Hmong tag with my new name.

Bro. Sanchez told us about people that he met from Laos that could speak 13 different languages and most old people will easily speak Hmong, Thai, and Laotian, so I'm hoping to pick up some Lao while I'm in Fresno. Anyways, there’s not much going on here this week but I’ll leave you with my spiritual thought:

Mosiah 28:3

Sons of Mosiah desired "that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish." I think it’s awesome that as missionaries we have the opportunity to share the gospel with everyone. We share it so that others can more fully come unto Christ and partake of salvation. I think it’s important that we are all always being missionaries because the message of salvation is a message that everyone must hear. We should not delay; the work's time is now; even today!


Es Daws Npuaj Hwm

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 6 a the MTC

Hi Everyone,

This week has been per usual. We got to see 10/12 apostles at a devotional so that was even awesomer...then L Tom Perry spoke to us...oh and there were 110 new mission presidents there!  Crazy!  I have a list of things to tell you and only 20 minutes so I’m just going to go bullet-point…

Got the package with the flags and stuff and my companions and I were so excited. We actually moved buildings so our room looks sweet with the California and Old Laotian flags.

This week we have been making an effort to do SYL (speak your language) and it is difficult. The new building has showers where you can see over the tops (only see about the eyes of the person next to you showering) so me and my companions were joking that we could do daily planning in there.  Overall, we have been making huge improvements with the language as we have been SYLing.

There is a talk you must look up…The Purifying Power of Gethsemane by Bruce R. McConkie.  It is such a good talk and I would advise you watch it on  It was the last talk before he died.

So my spiritual thought is Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-16

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.  And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.  And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!  Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.  And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!  And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Also 1 Nephi 21:15-16

I really love this is being quoted from the words of Isaiah but its symbolism highlights the atonement so well.  For Christ truly did engrave us into the palms of his hands. The marks in his body are marks of his very personal suffering for each and every one of us. He knows us. He has suffered the very same things we go through and much more. He loves us. He beckons us always, he does not turn away but rather the arms of his mercy are continually extended. Who are we to forget Him? Who are we to turn away from our Savior and Redeemer? We must go to the garden and ensure we never forget His suffering. We must weep at the base of the cross and never forget His death. But most importantly, we must feel the prints in His hands, and know He is the living and resurrected Savior of the World who made it possible for us to overcome sin and death. What a great knowledge we have to be a part of his church! What an even greater responsibility we have to share it with others. "One day everyone will know what we know, and they will know that we knew it".   Now is the time to start doing His work.

Sorry I have such a short letter but my keyboard isn’t being helpful and I can't type very well today


Es Daws Npuaj Hwm