News From the Field
We hadn't heard from our missionary for a few weeks--and I had to assume he was anxiously engaged in the work-- so not too much Mom-worrying here. But it was nice to get his email today and find out that he is fine and yes, working hard.
Here is an excerpt from his email today:
So we had an amazing baptism yesterday but you kind of missed out on the whole background story. There names are Qhua Lauj (Khoua Lo) and Neeb Thoj (Neng Thao). They are the ones that I wrote an email to Elder Trythall of the 70 a couple weeks ago about. So after he got the email he spoke with President Lewis and the answer was no, they couldn't be baptized. I spoke with President Lewis for a while about it as he tried to explain Elder Trythall's reasons and I tried to explain why there really wasn't any other option but to baptize them here. I don't think I've been so upset my whole mission, to work so hard to baptize, have an amazingly elect family that wants to be baptized, but have a general authority say they couldn't just seemed so wrong. Elder Trythall offered to meet with Elder Thao and I so that Saturday we set an appointment to go see him. I don't think I've ever prayed so long and hard as I did the couple of days leading up to the meeting. It's pretty intimidating argueing a case as 2 missionaries against your mission president and a member of the 70. The meeting was mostly him talking and trying to convince us that these boundaries are super important, and I pretty much got his point but he hardly even let us speak. The most upsetting part is that he kept trying to say that if they had enough faith they would go anywhere. Khoua and Neng are being completely disowned from their families for this, Khoua's older brother told him, "If you get baptized we're no longer brothers." They have tons of faith, they just don't speak English! But after an hour he finally admitted that with Neng not speaking any English that it would be ridiculous to make them go to an English ward when there's a Hmong ward so close. So in the end he gave us permission to baptize them and said that eventually they would need to move within mission boundaries but they could have at least until their lease ran out, that they weren't under any pressure to do it now. So we had the baptism yesterday and it was great. Nyiaj Looj Lauj, Khoua's uncle baptized him and Elder Thao baptized Neng, who is actually his aunt (by Hmong standards anyway, his great grandpa is her granpa or something like that). As soon as Qhua came up out of the water he started crying and he cryed again during the confirmation (we had a water side confirmation). It was an incredible baptism, very spiritual and very amazing. We still have 2 more people working towards baptismal dates at the end of the month and a few more that we're hoping to firm up for dates in October, hopefully before the 19th :)
So the work is still going fantastic. Oh, I forgot to mention transfers, I'm still in North Sac with Elder Thao but I'm stuck being a district leader. It may be my last transer but I don't plan on slowing down with the baptisms, I'm deffinitely going to make this last transfer count. We have a lot of good people and the ward has never been more behind us. Bishop Lo is super impressed with us for going all the way up to a general authority to in his words, "fight for the Hmong Ward." He even made a big deal out of it in Ward Council yesterday. So while all my emails about school and coming home seem trunky I promise I'm still 100% in the work. I love you all and will try to email again next week.