Thursday, August 11, 2016

15 Days 'Till Mission Start Date

Our training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah is fast approaching! Our official start date is August 29th, but we have opted to go a week early and do language training. Learning Vietnamese is not a required part of our mission,  but we are encouraged to learn what we can. 

Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah
The Church has wonderful language learning resources for seniors. Once a week we each enjoy an hour-long Skype session with our language tutor,  a Vietnamese speaking returned missionary.  He is excellent!  The Church has many on-line resources to help, including scenarios, dialogues, study tips, and recordings by native speakers.

The MTC also provides a native speaker to Skype with us once a week, as well as a language coach who helps us with goal setting and progress measurements. 

The language program is available before senior missionaries enter the country and for 6 months after they are in the country. 

This week we were given our Vietnamese names.  I am Ánh (like "Ann"), and Greg is Thế, (pronounced "Tay"). We will serve in the Tân Sơn Nhất Branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

We also have an apartment waiting for us in Ho Chi Minh City, thanks to President Hassell and others who helped find it for us.  It is about a 23 minute walk to the church building. There we will be working with members of the branch and the local branch builders, volunteering teaching English, and offering support and encouragement to branch leaders and members.

With our newly acquired language in mind,  I will share my first testimony in Vietnamese:

Tôi biết rằng Thượng Đế là Cha Thiên 
Thượng của chúng ta. Tôi biết rằng Đấng Ky Tô là Đấng Cữu Rỗi của chúng ta. Tôi làm chứng rằng Thượng Đế yêu thương chúng ta và biết chúng ta là ai.

I know that God is our Heavenly Father.  I know that Christ is our Savior. I testify that God loves us and knows who we are. 

We anticipate leaving the MTC for Vietnam on September 5th.  If this mission is anything like our previous one to Hong Kong, it will be incredible and life-changing.  We are looking forward to the culture, the humidity, and the good food.  We are excited about helping people learn English and teaching sound principles which will lead to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

We are extremely humbled by this opportunity and blessing to serve in Vietnam. We are grateful. We look forward to serving the Lord in whatever way He directs us. We expect hard work.  We expect sacrifice.  We expect miracles. 

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