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Monday, January 5, 2015

Week #28: A New Year, El milagro de la cámara and Epic Battle of the Dogs

A missionary tradition as you reach your 6 month mark in the field.
New Years! It is crazy that it is 2015 right now and so starts another year of writing the wrong year on everything. Its been a pretty nice start to a new year so far. This week we stayed a little closer to home and started to get to know some of these amazing members over here in the Maclen branch. From day one I knew that they were pilas but now as I have gotten to know a few of them better and set up days to go out with them in this next week.   I really am starting to see the extent of their love for the Gospel.

This week has been filled with a service, most of which focused on shucking corn, over and over and over again.  But have no fear I am getting really good at it! I think with my time here I have shucked more corn than I and my family will ever eat in all of the history and for all future meals.  I may as well change my plans of attending BYU and go to Nebraska, I am sure I am now qualified to be a Cornhusker!! Right Dave Fokken!

Monday night we had the chance to go out with the President of the District and we always have good success on these nights. This night when we were teaching a lesson to a middle age man several little kiddos walked into the room with just a touch of curiosity in their faces as we continued to teach this man the face of this little girl continued to light up. After the lesson I asked her what her name and talked with her a bit and it turns out that this little girl is the little sister of a joven that has been coming to some of the activities at the church and is good friends with alot of the jovens in the branch.

Every Thursday night we have a giant branch family home evening with all of the members. This time we had in the home of some of the the member/investigators houses. These little get togethers are always sweet and have some good messages to them.  This time there was a little bit of a tragedy. as we were finishing out the night we were getting a ride back over to our house a good 40 mins away, but we had to stay out of the car and help push it up the hill at parts. Somehow during the time that we were out of the car my camera came loose and fell out. I didn't realize it until the following day and by then I had simply thought that I had misplaced it somewhere in the house. When Sunday came I searched all over for it and simply couldn't find it, I even went back down to the house Sunday night to see if it was down there and sadly it was not.  I had been reading in a talk earlier in the day that posed a question why are we so slow to ask our Heavenly Father for help...and so with that thought in mind as I said my nightly prayer I asked for help and as I awoke this morning to come down here to san pedro for pday... I pulled a shirt off of my shelf/dresser and poof my camera came flying out of thin air onto the ground. I know I had checked it several times the night before and that is was not there.  Now I know that this will not be featured in the Ensign as the Rio Blanca Camera Miracle of 2015, but I have to say for me, in that moment it was an answer to prayer.
Every Sunday night we eat with one of the members who everyone calls "mama chata".  She is probably one of the favorite people that the missionaries get to know.  She literally is our mother away from home.  That same sunday night that we were looking for my camera we ended up being running late with a lesson and so were late for dinner at mama chata's place.  We started to run to try and get their as fast a we could, however, there are a lot of dogs in the area and they love chasing missionaries, and really love chasing running missionaries.  As we ran we fought, we yelled and we were triumphant as we scared away the dogs in an epic battle to get to dinner. For you see there are many obstacles out there in the world, but there may not be a stronger driving force in the world than a missionary who wants dinner, especially with mama chata.
This week went by really fast and I don't think things are going to slow down anytime soon with this new year here every missionary and member has renewed energy and desire to get out and serve, work and make their lives better and become closer to God. Its a good time to be a missionary.


  1. Elder Tong Dong...ever since they started calling you "corn dog" in football, you qualified as a Cornhusker. Now you just earned that qualification. Keep up the good work and Don't Be Scared(see if you can find the scripture that talks about Don't Be Scared) Dong a Vong e.

  2. Can you post his email address?

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